Ch 9 VERSE 22
अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते ।
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् ॥२२॥
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
ananyāḥ—having no other object; cintayantaḥ—concentrating; mām—on Me; ye—those who; janāḥ—persons; paryupāsate—properly worship; teṣām—of them; nitya—always; abhiyuktānām—fixed in devotion; yoga—requirements; kṣemam—protection; vahāmi—carry; aham—I.
But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form–to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
“But those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.”
This ninth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita deals very intimately with this aspect of the absolute truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Whom we learn is the foundation or the underpinning for all other spiritual truth.
We experience, or we hear, very confidential spiritual truth that requires qualification to understand, just as in this world one needs a certain level of qualification—it might be intelligence, it might be training, it might be both, aptitude—in order for one to be qualified to understand. I mean, I can sit down a four-year-old and explain to them calculus or algebraic formulas, and I will just have blank stares at best, and them babbling, or talking, or wandering off—that would be more in line. And that is because there is a lack of qualification at that point in their life, which may alter later, to understand.
And so this particular chapter we are exploring, or Krishna’s revealing, deeper and deeper spiritual truth that requires wonderful understanding. The means to understand, the means to acquire this knowledge, is also provided by Krishna. And so this particular verse is filled with extraordinary and profound truth, that requires frequent meditation and the application of the spiritual process that will bring about the transformation of consciousness to be able to really enter into and experience the reality of these spiritual truths.
I’ll bring your attention to the first word in the Sanskrit ananyah, meaning having no other object, and it refers to a person coming to the point of exclusively being focused upon this spiritual practice which is described as bhakti.
In the commentary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he says:
“One who is unable to live for a moment without Krishna consciousness cannot but think of Krishna twenty-four hours, being engaged in devotional service by hearing, chanting, remembering, offering prayers, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, rendering other services, cultivating friendship and surrendering fully to the Lord. Such activities are all auspicious and full of spiritual potencies; indeed, they make the devotee perfect in self-realization.”
So we have—I mean since this is a summary study of the Bhagavad-gita, we are not going into great detail to all of the subject matter that has been mentioned. Here Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami points out the nine categories of activity that were associated with the execution of this spiritual path, the path of bhakti, bhakti marga, and how one learns to become dedicated to the remembrance, and to the loving service of Krishna.
In this verse that we’re reading, Krishna uses the term mam meaning on me, or to me. So in the translation though you will see, “…those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form…” So a person will say, “Well we’re not seeing, within this particular verse, this reference to a transcendental form.” But if we look at the preceding verses in this chapter, and in other chapters of the Bhagavad-gita, this is clearly laid out in great detail.
About eleven verses prior to this one, there is a verse which I will read where it states,
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be.”
avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
avajānanti—deride; mām—Me; mūḍhāḥ—foolish men; mānuṣīm—in a human form; tanum—body; āśritam—assuming; param—transcendental; bhāvam—nature; ajānantaḥ—not knowing; mama—Mine; bhūta—everything that be; maheśvaram—supreme proprietor.
And just drawing your attention, again the reference to “Me,” mam, is here. And a foolish person is called a mudha. We also have the term param bhavam or the transcendental, the supremely, transcendental nature. So—-and with the final word in the verse the, mahesvaram: isvaram, Isvara refers to the controller, the Supreme Controller. and mahesvaram means the supreme amongst all controllers, the Supreme Proprietor of everything.
Sridhara Swami, in his commentary on this verse (the one that we’ve been studying) states the following:
“This verse clearly and distinctly confirms that the devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna, who are completely absorbed in reflecting upon Him, and who have no other desire than pleasing Him, by activities or by meditation, are blessed by His grace to the degree that, their welfare, their maintenance, their protection, their achievement of moksha, or liberation from the cycle of birth and death, as well as their ascension to Him in the eternal spiritual realms, are all sanctioned and arranged by the Supreme Lord Himself, for His exclusive devotees, who never even think of asking anything in return for what they offer with devotional love.”
This verse that we are studying is very much a wonderful example of a spiritual principle that we’ve mentioned previously; a principle that is not only found within the bhakti-sastras, or the devotional texts, but also in the great yogic work of Patanjali, the Yoga Sutra.
We have mentioned previously that there are two approaches in this spiritual quest. One is known as the ascending process, or the aroha-pantha, and the other is the descending process or the avaroha-pantha.
The ascending process is this attempt to scale the heights of self-realization and God realization, on the basis of one’s ability and practice, by our righteousness, by our monumental endeavours. And Krishna had pointed out that those who attempt that way, particularly when they are focused on the impersonal aspect of God, the Brahman effulgence, the brahmajyoti, this great ocean of spiritual energy and light, that one who attempts to achieve that, that their path is incredibly difficult, and quite often they do not succeed.
And we learn from other parts of the Vedas that even when one does succeed, one cannot eternally—and when I say eternally I mean in the deepest sense of that word—remain in that position, because ultimately the desire of the soul is activity. We see this when the soul, or the spiritual being, resides within the body we are constantly agitated to engage in activity, but when the living being leaves, the body that is left behind is not seeking any activity. That is because that characteristic is part of the eternal nature.
In this other spiritual process, the avaroha-pantha, or the descending process, where one approaches God in a mood of submission and humility, that one will be awarded if they become pleasing, they will be awarded spiritual realization and experience. And this point is made, as I mentioned in the Yoga Sutra. Patanjali in the 1st pada, in the 1st chapter, the 23rd sloka, he has the verse:
And he had been speaking of the highest form of transcendental samadhi, asamprajnata samadhi. he said:
“Asamprajnata samadhi is also (or certainly) attained by devotion (or complete surrender) to Isvara.”
So bringing your attention to the words in the verse, Isvara, meaning the Supreme Controller, or God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then pranidhanad, which means with great devotion and supplication and bowing down.
When we studied the 34th verse, in the 4th chapter, about surrendering or approaching a spiritual master to learn the highest truth, these words were also used, that it must be done in a mood of submission. This word va while mostly it is used in the sense of—or it can be— or is commonly used as also—it can also be attained—there are cases for it to mean “verily” or “indeed” or “certainly,” where one places stress on the preceding words. This observation was made by Krishnamacharya, who’s a great yogi and Sanskrit scholar.
In the earliest commentary on this work of Patanjali, the commentator Vyasa wrote the following in relation to this verse:
“Through a special kind of devotion (bhakti-visesa) called isvara-pranidhana, on the part of the devotee, Isvara inclines towards him and favours him with the grace for fulfilment of his wish.”
So this is the earliest known commentary on this ancient work, and it clearly states that it is through this process of surrender that one receives divine grace in the form of realization; and this reality has been clearly laid out here by Krishna, that if one, regardless of what your qualification or lack of qualification is, if one worships Him with devotion—and that, of course, is understood to be a deep mood of love—and is meditating upon His transcendental form, He says, “to them I carry what they lack and preserve what they have.”
And so this is the key to actual spiritual realization. This is the key to spiritual experience, to come to meet face to face the actual Personality of Godhead, and to be able to fall deeply in love, to experience the deepest transcendental love, in this relationship with the most lovable, supremely lovable personality, the actual Lord of our heart, that this comes as a reward, a gift, that is granted by Sri Krishna to one who is devoted to Him.
Thank you very much.