Chapter 12The Path of DevotionVerse 20


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

Dharma or eternal righteousness is amrtam or nectarian, together with their derivatives are being now concluded. They are called nectarian because they lead to immortality. Those devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna who follow and practice the spiritual principles of eternal righteousness with faith and determination while taking full refuge in Him as the ultimate goal of attainment are very dear to Lord Krishna.

In conclusion the worship of the abstract, unmanifest, impersonal aspect of the Supreme Lord is extremely difficult to succeed and is only finally achieved after the greatest of efforts. A person blessed with spiritual intelligence should embark upon the easier and noble path of bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Collating all the previous recommendations Lord Krishna concludes this chapter. Dharma is eternal righteousness and is infused by the Supreme Lord Krishna and anything pertaining to Him is also dharma. Reflection upon Him is dharma, worship of Him is dharma, glorification of Him is dharma. Also study of the Vedic scriptures which originate from Him is dharma. Dharma is conducive to meditation upon the Supreme Lord which has the power to terminate samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death and therefore dharma is known to be immortal. The word sraddadhanah means endowed with faith. The root of sraddha or faith is srad which means being receptive. Those who are receptive to the revelations of the Vedic scriptures are sraddadhanah.

Now begins the summation.

Casting away all things undesirable which do not lead to bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna, such a devotee becomes very dear to Him. Collating and applying all of the recommendations given in these past seven verses His devotee becomes especially dear to Lord Krishna. Bhakti is completely independent and alone is considered the goal. Dharma is considered the means and primary path leading to bhakti.. That which is an instrument of bhakti is also a part of bhakti. Thus the means dharma guides one to the goal of bhakti. Thus the path of immortal bhakti can be approached by following dharma.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The path of dharma or eternal righteousness which is holy and that which is amritam is immortal is known as bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna and is the means as well as the goal. This was briefly emphasised in verse two of this chapter with the nitya-yuktas upasate meaning engaged in constant devotional worship were yuktatamah or the most superior of all. Whosoever devotes themselves to this transcendental path of bhakti as enumerated in the previous seven verses is a true devotee of Lord Krishna and very dear to Him.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna has categorically presented the essential virtues to be cultivated for His devotee desiring to serve Him with bhakti or exclusive loving devotion. Now He concludes this chapter with the affirmation that bhakti is the paramount path of dharma or eternal righteousness and immortality. Amrtam infers nectar of the gods which leads to immortality. Those devotees with firm faith whose sins have been eradicated by performing renounced activities for thousands of previous births and who are imbued with the virtues given in the previous seven verses take to the path of bhakti with their minds completely focused upon Lord Krishna as the be all of their existence. This was alluded to in verse two of this chapter with mayy-avesya mano meaning absorb themselves fully in thoughts of Him and in verse seven mat-parah meaning take full refuge in Him alone. In ye tu meaning and of all those persons the particle tu denotes that this last instruction takes precedence and is superior to all the individual virtues described in the previous seven verses. Such devotees of His who resolutely follow the righteous and noble path of bhakti are without a doubt the most dear to Him of all.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 12, verse 20 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 20

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