Chapter 12

Bhakti Yoga

(The Path of Devotion)

1. Arjuna asked: "My Lord, of those who love Thee as the Lord of Love, and those who seek Thee as a Nameless, Formless Reality, which way leads sure and swift. Love or Knowledge?"

2. Lord Sri Krishna replied: "For those who set their hearts on Me, and worship Me with faultless devotion and faith, the way of Love leads sure and swift to Me.

3. "Those who seek the Transcendental Reality, Unmanifested, without Name and Form, beyond the reach of feeling and thought;

4. "With their senses subdued and mind serene, and striving for the good of all beings, they too will verily come to Me.

5. "Yet, hazardous and slow is the path to the Unrevealed, difficult for physical man to tread.

6. "But they for whom I am the Goal Supreme, who do all work renouncing self to Me, and meditate on Me with single- hearted devotion.

7. "These will I swiftly rescue from the cycle of birth and death, to the fullness of Eternal Life in Me.

8. "Still thy mind in Me; still thyself in Me; and without doubt thou shalt be united with Me, Lord of Love, dwelling in thy heart.

9. "If thou canst not still thy mind, then learn thou to do so with the practice of meditation.

10. "If thou lackest the will for such self-discipline, engage thyself in selfless service to all around thee, for selfless service can lead thee at last to Me.

11. "If unable to do even this, surrender thyself to Me in Love, receiving success and failure with equal calmness, as granted by Me.

12. "Better indeed is Knowledge than mechanical practice. Better still is meditation. But better than meditation is renunciation of the fruit of action, for there follows immediate Peace.

13. " That one I love who is incapable of hatred, and who returns love for hatred. Living beyond the reach of 'I' and 'mine', and of pleasure and pain; forgiving,

14. "Ever content, self-controlled, firm in faith, with all his mind and all his heart given to Me, such a one is dear to Me.

15. "Not agitating the world nor agitated by it; he stands above the sway of elation, competition, fear and anxiety, accepting life, good and bad, as it comes.

16. "He is pure, efficient, detached, ready to meet every demand I make upon him, as a humble instrument of My work.

17. "He is dear to Me who runs not after the pleasant, or away from the painful; grieves not over the past; lusts not today; but lets things come and go as they happen.

18-19. "Who serves both friend and foe with equal love, not buoyed up by praise, or cast down by blame; alike in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, free of selfish attachment and self-will, in harmony everywhere, firm in faith - such a one is dear to Me.

20. "But dearest to Me are those who seek Me in Love and Faith, as Life's Eternal Goal. They go beyond death to Immortality."

Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads, the Science of Brahman, the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the twelfth chapter, entitled: