Ch 10  VERSE 10

तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम्

ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते ॥१०॥


teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ

bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam

dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ

yena mām upayānti te


teṣām—unto them; satata-yuktānām—always engaged; bhajatām—in devotional service; prīti-pūrvakam—in loving ecstasy; dadāmi—I give; buddhi-yogam—real intelligence; tam—that; yena—by which; mām—unto Me; upayānti—come; te—they.


To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ

bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam

dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ

yena mām upayānti te


“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

This is an extremely important and really quite moving verse. And before we get into the explanation of things, I’d just like to draw your attention to a couple of the Sanskrit words and the way they’ve been translated.

So, the first is satata yuktanam. This has been translated by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as “always engaged.” The term yukta can mean in union or bound together, so it carries this meaning of constant connection. Then the next word, bhajatāṁ, a root, as we’ve mentioned before, is bhaj which actually doesn’t mean worship in the way most people in the western world would think of worship. It definitely carries within it the deeper meaning of rendering service in an effort to be pleasing, and so, in the word-for-word translation, it’s been translated as devotional service, the rendering of devotional service. And the last one I’ll bring your attention to is prīti-pūrvakam, which is translated here as loving ecstasy. So prīti here means really in love, and it is very deep and been going on for a long time. That is some of the other and deeper meanings associated with these words.

So what we’re being reminded of here is the fact that there are two processes, or paths, in spiritual life: one is called the ascending path, the aroha pantha, where a person— it’s almost like, I’ve used the explanation before of trying to climb a mountain where it’s going to be dependent upon your strength, your ability your power to climb to the top; and then the other word, avaroha pantha, which speaks to the path which is descending. Descending means we are not reliant upon our own strength, we become dependent upon the divine grace, the mercy of the Lord. This is sometimes referred to as the path of revelation, that things are gradually revealed to the individual. The experience of becoming enlightened, of self-realization and God-realization, is something that is gradually revealed to the individual.

So, we hear in this verse, and just reading it once again:

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

So, speaking to this point, there is a beautiful verse in the Bhagavata Purana, in the 11th canto, the 22nd chapter, the 10th sloka, which goes:

“Because a person who has been covered by ignorance since time immemorial is not capable of effecting his own self-realization, there must be some other personality who is in factual knowledge of the Absolute Truth and can impart this knowledge to him.”

So, this speaks to the material condition. We cannot purify our own consciousness. We cannot achieve self-realisation by our own imagined efforts and endeavors. We just can’t figure it out on our own. This is an ancient Vedic principle, that for a person to become knowledgeable of all things spiritual, this knowledge needs to be given or shared with a person.

And we understand the three authorities that can impart knowledge: one is the shastra or the scripture or Vedic texts, authoritative texts; the second is the guru; the third is the Lord Paramatma, the Lord within our own heart. And speaking to that point from the Bhagavat Purana, the 11th canto, 29th chapter, 6 sloka, there is a wonderful verse it says:

“O my Lord! Transcendental poets and experts in spiritual science could not fully express their indebtedness to You, even if they were endowed with the prolonged lifetime of Brahma, for You appear in two features—externally as the acarya and internally as the Lord within the heart, the Supersoul—to deliver the embodied living being by directing him how to come to You.”

So, what this does is expand the verse that we have been reading, this Bhagavad-gita verse, in terms of how exactly the Lord gives this enlightenment, how the Lord relieves the suffering condition caused by the ignorance of the living being, how one receives this understanding.

So, this is a direct reference to how the bona fide and authentic guru—he is actually a living representative of Krishna, of the Lord within our own heart—and his speaking is an extension of Krishna’s mercy. The only requirement that one needs in order to be able to receive this spiritual understanding, to grow spiritually, is that one not manifest enviousness towards the Supreme Lord.

This was a concept that I really struggled with when I was much younger, when I was first introduced to this philosophy. It’s kind of like, “Well I’m not envious of God,” and the idea, “What does that mean?” And I had a very limited understanding. This tendency towards enviousness of the Supreme Soul is manifested by our very grave and great self-centredness where I see myself as the center of my life.  I refer to it as “my” life. I refer to everything in the world, and all my experiences, in relation to me and mine. And my idea of me and mine is the idea that the body, the gross physical body or the subtle body, is who I am.

So, this is considered to be a highly ignorant position. And generally, when one is very much caught up in this consciousness, this material consciousness, one tends in different ways, to express some form or other of enviousness towards the Lord, just by the fact of desiring to be the center of everything when in reality that is the position of Krishna. That is the position of Bhagavan. It is not my position.

So, there’s a beautiful verse in this Bhagavad-Gita, in the 9th chapter, it is the 1st verse, where Krishna spells this out very clearly. In speaking to Arjuna, the verse goes:

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you the most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.”

So, this [is] what’s considered secret knowledge, not because it’s been hidden away but because we don’t seek it. And Krishna directly says to Arjuna, “Because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart this knowledge to you.” And so, a big part of the spiritual journey is the purification of the heart and mind and to gradually becoming less and less influenced by enviousness.

So, I’d just like to read from a portion of the commentary given by Sridhara Swami, the very famous and authoritative commentator, and he states,

 “And to such persons so fully dedicated to the Supreme Lord Krishna out of great bhakti or exclusive loving devotion, He, Himself, bestows buddhi-yogam or the divine spark of spiritual intelligence allowing their individual consciousness to attain communion with His ultimate consciousness. This means that as paramatma, the Supreme Soul within all living entities, He inspires them internally bequeathing the supra-subtle divine understanding by which they may come to Him eternally.”

So, in this commentary, which is very self-explanatory, some pain is taken by the commentator to refer to what is going on has being supra-subtle, meaning beyond anything that which is material. It is in fact a divine and spiritual experience to be gifted with this knowledge.

In another commentary by one of the great luminaries in our lineage, Srila Baladev Vidyabhusana, he has commented:

“For those who desire constant association with Me (satata yuktanam), who worship Me with pleasure, understanding Me as I really am ([this is the translations meaning given to] priti purvakam), I, relishing their devotion to Me, offer to them intelligence, such that they can understand worship and attain Me with My infinite qualities and powers (buddhi yogam), by which they attain Me.”

So, this term buddhi yogam is used quite a number of times in the Bhagavad-gita, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada often uses the term devotional service, which is the term also applied to bhakti, in translating this buddhi yogam. This is something that many of the great authorities have done in relation to this terminology. When one has such clarity, they are described as being very intelligent, that they are seeing, they have moved out of the shadow of the darkness of nescience, or ignorance, and are acting in complete union with the Supreme Lord.

So, I’ll just read a portion of the commentary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my Gurudeva, on this verse:

 “A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Krishna from within gives him instruction so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engages himself in Krsna consciousness…”

 And I’ll just pause here: this term “Krishna consciousness”—Material consciousness is “Me consciousness.” It’s all about “me” and what I am seeing, experiencing, doing, desiring. It’s about “me.” Whereas in Krishna consciousness, a person’s consciousness is immersed in the Supreme Lord, in Krishna, and one is constantly immersed in serving, meditating, and chanting in this consciousness.

So, continuing:

“…the qualification, is that a person always engages himself in Krishna consciousness with love and devotion, render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Krishna, and that work should be with love. If one is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain Him.”

 So, this is distilled into very simple terms. Being connected with God, the higher spiritual reality, is not an activity—a mental activity. It involves also practical engagement. This is the process that we call sadhana, sahdhana bhakti, where one engages in practical service of the Lord, which can be done in many, many different ways. What is the importance, to approach this particular verse from another angle, from the beginning of the Bhagavat Purana, from the 1st canto, the 2nd chapter, there is a beautiful verse that was spoken by a great sage, Suta Goswami, to a huge assembly of great sages at Namasharanya, and he said:

“By rendering devotional service unto the personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.”

So, this speaks to how this process results in, and produces, this clarity of understanding and an increasing attachment to Krishna and a dwindling attachment to the material world.

There’s a beautiful story in the Bhagavata Purana that always reminds me, or addresses this wonderful reality. It’s about a young—I mean a very young boy, who was a prince, and who felt insulted by one of his—his stepmother, who was a co-wife of the king, and who sought to influence the king against his elder son in favour of her own son, who was the second son. And so, she created an atmosphere and tried to use her manipulative mind to control the king. And the king ended up, as a result, not allowing his eldest son Dhruva to sit on his lap when he had Dhruva’s half-brother on one of his legs, on his lap.

And Dhruva felt very insulted and ran off, and crying to his mother, and wanting to have his grievance addressed, and he asked his mother, very intelligently, “So who’s higher than the king? Who’s the boss of the king? Who do I go to make a complaint?” And she said, “The only one higher than the king is the Supreme Lord.” And he immediately asked, “So where do I find Him?” and the mother said. “I am not actually sure, but I know the great sages go off to the forest in search of Him.” And so he immediately just left home, ran off and went to the forest.

He was discovered a number of days later by a sage, a very famous transcendental personality, who tried to convince him to go home. And when the boy refused, saying that he wouldn’t accept this good advice from the sage, being very passionate as he was, the sage gave him spiritual instructions and a wonderful mantra to chant, the Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, and taught him how he should engage in the meditative process.

Dhruva Maharaj, for six months accepting increasingly more stringent types of fasting, just was utterly focused on this pursuit. And finally, Lord Vishnu, feeling great compassion for him, appeared before him. When Dhruva Maharaja’s meditation was broken, and he saw the form of the Lord standing before him in meditation, he opened his eyes and there He was externally standing, hovering slightly above the ground, he became overwhelmed, realising that he did not know what to do now.

And so, the couple of verses I’ll read:

“Although Dhruva Maharaja was a small boy, he wanted to offer prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in suitable language. But because he was inexperienced, he could not adjust himself immediately. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone’s heart, could understand Dhruva Maharaja’s awkward position, and out of His causeless mercy, He touched His conch shell to the forehead of Dhruva Maharaja who stood before Him with folded hands.”

So, the form of Lord Vishnu carries four types of articles—a mace, a disc (a Sudarshan chakra), a lotus flower, and a conch shell. And with His conch shell, He simply lent forward and touched it to the forehead of Dhruva Maharaja.

“At that time Dhruva Maharaja became perfectly aware of the Vedic conclusion and understood the absolute truth and His relationship with all living entities. In accordance with the line of devotional service to the Supreme Lord whose fame is widespread. Dhruva, who in the future would receive a planet which would never be annihilated even during the time of dissolution, he offered his deliberate and conclusive prayers.”

So, we see that Dhruva Maharaja went from being kind of quite startled and filled with ecstasy at this vision before him of this transcendental and ecstatically beautiful personality, and not knowing what to do and how to offer suitable prayers, the Lord simply touched him, and as a result, Dhruva now began to speak. And the prayers that he spoke are astonishing. They are so profound and so beautiful.

And so, this is an example of how this verse from the Bhagavad-gita may be experienced. Of course, that was a very unusual situation where the Lord Himself did it. Normally, it would be in the form of a spiritual master, or insight also that can be delivered by the Lord within one’s own heart.

So just reading the verse, in conclusion:

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

Thank you very much.