CHAPTER 18, VERSE 65
मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे ॥६५॥
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ‘si me
man-manāḥ—thinking of Me; bhava—just become; mat-bhaktaḥ—My devotee; mat-yājī—My worshiper; mām—unto Me; namaskuru—offer your obeisances; mām—unto Me; eva—certainly; eṣyasi—come; satyam—truly; te—to you; pratijāne—I promise; prijaḥ—dear; asi—you are; me—My.
Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ‘si me
“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus, you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”
So, we are reaching the conclusion of both the Bhagavad-gita and this study course that we’re doing, the Bhagavad-gita Chalisa. This verse is one of the most important of all Vedic verses.
Before discussing it, I just want to bring your attention to the last sentence that Krishna says, “I promise you this because you are My very dear friend,” and just want to reinforce that it is because of this friendly attitude that Arjuna has towards Krishna, as we’ve spoken about a number of times before and pointed out in different verses, it is because of this friendly attitude that Krishna has spoken this way to Arjuna. And it is because of this friendly attitude that Krishna awards a person full spiritual realization and full transcendental experience, both self-realization and God-realization. So it is again on this basis that Krishna is making this rather profound promise to Arjuna.
So, I would just like to walk you through, and if we just look at these, each of the words that are mentioned here in Sanskrit, and look at the English translation of the words, just to reinforce this statement of Krishna, because it is of such incredible significance and importance.
Man-manah: man is “unto Me,” and this manah is the action of the mind, or thinking of Me. Bhava mat-bhaktah—just become My devotee; mat-yaji—become My worshiper, mat means My or unto Me, Mine; mam namaskuru—to offer, just this word, many people know “namaste.” Namas, namah, is the root. It means to offer obeisance in great submission and humility. When namah is joined with another word, the last syllable often takes the form, not always, but often, takes the letter, (I’ll use the word “letter”) “s”. So here namaskuru means to offer obeisances, and mam—unto Me. Then mam, eva, esyasi—that one will certainly—eva is to stress with tremendous certainty, that “unto Me, you will certainly come.” Then satyam te pratijane: This is a truthful declaration which I’m making to you, and it is a promise. Prijah, asi, me, that Priya, the root here, is to be very dear. And He’s stating here that Arjuna is very dear to Krishna.
So I’d like to—and here I’ll probably do more reading than speaking myself, only because these great luminaries whose commentary I will be reading from are such giant authorities. I don’t think that there is very much to add to their words.
So Srila Sridhar Swami, he states :
“Now the essence of all confidential knowledge contained in the Shrimad Bhagavad-gita will be revealed by the Supreme Lord. Dedicate your mind to Lord Krishna. Be solely devoted to Lord Krishna. Give humble obeisance to Lord Krishna. Offer joyful propitiation to Lord Krishna. Living life in this way one will surely attain direct communion with Him by the spiritual wisdom bestowed by His grace. One should not have any doubts about this for it is reality. Lord Krishna is extremely affectionate to His surrendered devotees. [And this] is why He personally promises this eternal benediction which bequeaths both the purpose and the goal of material existence for the highest benefit of His devotees for all time.”
So it’s a very beautiful summation.
And then Sri Madhava Acharya, who is one of the great luminaries in our lineage, he states:
“Now Lord Krishna reveals the essence, the most confidential of all knowledge within Shrimad-Bhagavad-gita which will secure permanent release from samsara—the perpetual cycle of birth and death, guarantee moksa or liberation from material existence and propel spiritual ascendance unto eternal communion with the Supreme Lord.
The Supreme Lord Krishna reveals the secret within the instruction to fix the mind upon Him. Concentrate upon Him with one pointed focus in bhakti or exclusive loving devotion. This instruction is to be practically applied by dedicating all actions prescribed by the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures unto Him.”
This message of having single-minded focus, when it is achieved in the most wonderful way this is known as samadhi or complete absorption, here, complete absorption in Sri Krishna, the highest object of love and affection of the devotee.
So I would just now read a commentary by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami:
“The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krsna and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator…”
So I’ll just make a comment in reference to “an official meditator,” meaning one who is engaged in activity superficially or externally, the meditative process, or for the purpose of gaining fame or followers or money; that one should act without any material motivation and seek to simply become pleasing to Krishna.
“…Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Krsna. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Krsna. One should arrange for his life in such a way that throughout the 24 hours he cannot but think of Krsna. And the Lord’s promise is that anyone who is in such pure Krsna consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Krsna, where he will be engaged in the association of Krishna face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Krsna. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend of Krsna and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.
These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krsna—the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krsna found in the Brahma-Samhita and other literature. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead Krsna and should not even divert his attention to any other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multi forms as Vishnu, Narayana, Rama, Varaha etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Krsna constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Krsna’s.”
So, this of course, once again it’s a confirmation of these two paths—the ascending path, the aroha pantha, and the descending path or the avaroha pantha. The descending path is the path of surrender, the path of revelation where, rather than feeling that by my accomplishment, my ability, by my strength I will gain spiritual realization, I will come to know God, I accept my condition as being weak and helpless and dependent; and surrendering to the Supreme Lord, I simply await His divine grace to grant me this spiritual realization and experience.
Of course, a person may question whether what has been described here, the attainment of Krishna is really the highest of spiritual attainments. There are those teachers who propose that this attainment is actually a lower attainment than the experience of merging into the impersonal feature of the Absolute or of Godhead.
Oftentimes people, due to the influence of materialistic thinking, may also accept those ideas. I can remember from my own childhood, coming to question some of the things that were presented or taught to me within the confines of Christianity. And the idea of God as being highly judgmental and cruel and very willing to punish eternally etc. did not sit well with me at all. And I had difficulty embracing some of these principles that were taught as being actually connected to God. And when I came to be exposed to the teachings of Shankaracharya, and this promotion of this idea that the impersonal feature of God is a better, a bigger, a higher understanding, you know, it’s based on the idea that form has a limitation and that which is formless is without limitation, and the mind can easily embrace that.
The problem with that is that while the material form has a limitation, it is a perverted reflection of a higher spiritual reality. There is such thing as spiritual form, swarupa, one’s own spiritual form, the form, for instance, of the atma, and the form of Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, which is without any limitation, any form of limitation. There is no similarity between spiritual form and material form in terms of its potency.
And so people may, for reasons of materialistic thinking or thinking that is influenced by material conception or misconception, may embrace this idea that this impersonal feature of God is the highest attainment, and what Krishna is proposing here is of a lower nature. But in the Bhagavad-gita, in the 12th chapter, the first two verses, Arjuna actually asks this question of Krishna. And Krishna responds to him in the most extraordinary way. And I’ll just read those two verses:
“Arjuna inquired: Which are considered to be more perfect, those who are always properly engaged in Your devotional service or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested?”
This word that is used here avyaktam, avyaktam means that which is not manifested. It is impersonal in nature, and it actually means that which is not manifest within the confines of material world. There is a higher understanding to this word avyaktam. But anyway, Lord Krishna responds:
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Those who fix their minds on My personal form and are always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith are considered by Me to be the most perfect.”
So here Krishna clearly delineates the greatest of yogis, and how they are to be known.
So in concluding I will just read again this verse and ask you to really reflect on this thoughtfully and prayerfully because it is so critically important for our spiritual success, to attain the highest of spiritual attainments:
“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”
Thank you very much.