अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम्। देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि।।7.23।।
antavat tu phalaṁ teṣhāṁ tad bhavatyalpa-medhasām devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api
anta-vat—perishable; tu—but; phalam—fruit; teṣhām—by them; tat—that; bhavati—is; alpa-medhasām—people of small understanding; devān—to the celestial gods; deva-yajaḥ—the worshipers of the celestial gods; yānti—go; mat—my; bhaktāḥ—devotees; yānti—go; mām—to me; api—whereas
Verily, the reward (fruit) that accrues to those men of small intelligence is finite. The worshippers of the gods go to them, whereas My devotees come to Me.
7.23 अन्तवत् finite? तु verily? फलम् the fruit? तेषाम् of them? तत् that? भवति is? अल्पमेधसाम् those of small intelligence? देवान् to the gods? देवयजः the worshippers of the gods? यान्ति go to? मद्भक्ताः My devotees? यान्ति go to? माम् Me? अपि also.Commentary The exertion in the two kinds is the same and yet people do not attempt to worship the Supreme Being in order to attain the maximum benefits
or the infinite reward (liberation or Moksha). The reward obtained by men of small understandng and petty intellect who worship the minor deities is small? perishable and temporary.Yajnas (Vedic rituals)? Homas (rituals in which oblations are offered into the sacred fire) and Tapas (penance) of various sorts can bestow only temporary rewards on the performer. Liberation from the wheel of transmigration
alone will give everlasting bliss and eternal peace.Those who worship Indra and others are Sattvic devotees those who worship Yakshas and Rakshasas (demoniacal beings) are Rajasic devotees and those who worship the Bhutas and Pretas (discarnate spirits) are Tamasic devotees.The knowledge of those who worship the small deities is partial and incomplete. It cannot lead to liberation. (Cf.IX.25)