Chapter 12

Bhakti Yoga

The twelfth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is "Bhakti Yoga". In this chapter, Krishna emphasizes the superiority of Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion) over all other types of spiritual disciplines and reveals various aspects of devotion. He further explains that the devotees who perform pure devotional service to Him, with their consciousness, merged in Him and all their actions dedicated to Him, are quickly liberated from the cycle of life and death. He also describes the various qualities of the devotees who are very dear to Him.

Verse 1
Arjuna said, "Which of them are better versed in Yoga—those who steadfastly worship You, or those who worship the imperishable and the unmanifested?"
Verse 2
The Blessed Lord said, "In My opinion, those who fix their minds on Me, worship Me ever steadfastly, and are endowed with supreme faith, are the best in Yoga."
Verse 3
Those who worship the imperishable, the indefinable, the unmanifest, the omnipresent, the unthinkable, the immovable, and the eternal.
Verse 4
Having restrained all the senses, being even-minded everywhere, and intent on the welfare of all beings, they verily come unto Me.
Verse 5
Greater is their trouble whose minds are set on the unmanifested, for the goal of the unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach.
Verse 6
But to those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the supreme goal, meditating on Me with single-minded yoga.
Verse 7
To those whose minds are set on Me, O Arjuna, verily I soon become the savior out of the ocean of Samsara.
Verse 8
Fix your mind on Me, and your intellect in Me. Then you will certainly live in Me alone hereafter.
Verse 9
If you are unable to fix your mind steadily on Me, then seek to reach Me through the yoga of constant practice, O Arjuna.
Verse 10
If you are unable to practice even this Abhyasa Yoga, be intent on doing actions for My sake; even by doing actions for My sake, you will attain perfection.
Verse 11
If you are unable to do even this, then, resort to union with Me and renounce the fruits of all actions with self-control.
Verse 12
Better indeed is knowledge than practice; better than knowledge is meditation; better than meditation is the renunciation of the fruits of actions: peace immediately follows renunciation.
Verse 13
He who hates no creature, is friendly and compassionate to all, is free from attachment and egoism, is balanced in pleasure and pain, and is forgiving.
Verse 14
Ever content, steady in meditation, self-controlled, possessing firm conviction, with the mind and intellect dedicated to Me, he, My devotee, is dear to Me.
Verse 15
He whom the world does not agitate, and who cannot be agitated by the world, and who is freed from joy, anger, fear, and anxiety—he is dear to Me.
Verse 16
He who is free from wants, pure, expert, unconcerned, and free from pain, renouncing all undertakings and commencements, he who is devoted to Me is dear to Me.
Verse 17
He who neither rejoices nor hates, nor grieves nor desires, renouncing both good and evil, and who is full of devotion, is dear to Me.
Verse 18
He who is the same to foe and friend, and also in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, and who is free from attachment.
Verse 19
He to whom censure and praise are equal, who is silent, content with anything, homeless, of a steady mind, and full of devotion; that man is dear to me.
Verse 20
They who follow this immortal Dharma, endowed with faith and regarding Me as their supreme goal, are exceedingly dear to Me.