Recension By William Quan Judge
Devotion by means of Faith
“Among those of thy devotees who always thus worship thee,1 which take the better way, those who worship the indivisible and unmanifested, or those who serve thee as thou now art?” (1)
“Those who worship me with constant zeal, with the highest faith and minds placed on me, are held in high esteem by me. (2) But those who, with minds equal toward everything, with senses and organs restrained, and rejoicing in the good of all creatures, meditate on the inexhaustible, immovable, highest, incorruptible, difficult to contemplate, invisible, omnipresent, unthinkable, the witness, undemonstrable, shall also come unto me. (3-4) For those whose hearts are fixed on the unmanifested the labor is greater because the path which is not manifest is with difficulty attained by corporeal beings.2(5) But for those who worship me, renouncing in me all their actions, regarding me as the supreme goal and meditating on me alone, if their thoughts are turned to me, O son of Pritha, I presently become the savior from this ocean of incarnations and death. (6-7) Place, then, thy heart on me, penetrate me with thy understanding, and thou shalt without doubt hereafter dwell in me. (8) But if thou shouldst be unable at once steadfastly to fix thy heart and mind on me, strive then, O Dhananjaya, to find me by constant practice in devotion. (9) If after constant practice, thou art still unable, follow me by actions performed for me;3 for by doing works for me thou shalt attain perfection. (10) But if thou art unequal even to this, then, being self-restrained, place all thy works, failures and successes alike, on me, abandoning in me the fruit of every action. (11) For knowledge is better than constant practice, meditation is superior to knowledge, renunciation of the fruit of action to meditation; final emancipation immediately results from such renunciation. (12)
“My devotee who is free from enmity, well-disposed towards all creatures, merciful, wholly exempt from pride and selfishness, the same in pain and pleasure, patient of wrongs, (13) contented, constantly devout, self-governed, firm in resolves, and whose mind and heart are fixed on me alone, is dear unto me. (14) He also is my beloved of whom mankind is not afraid and who has no fear of man; who is free from joy, from despondency and the dread of harm. (15) My devotee who is unexpecting,4 pure, just, impartial, devoid of fear, and who hath forsaken interest in the results of action, is dear unto me. (16) He also is worthy of my love who neither rejoiceth nor findeth fault, who neither lamenteth nor coveteth, and being my servant hath forsaken interest in both good and evil results. (17) He also is my beloved servant who is equal-minded to friend or foe, the same in honor and dishonor, in cold and heat, in pain and pleasure, and is unsolicitous about the event of things; (18) to whom praise and blame are as one; who is of little speech, content with whatever cometh to pass, who hath no fixed habitation, and whose heart, full of devotion, is firmly fixed. (19) But those who seek this sacred ambrosia—the religion of immortality—even as I have explained it, full of faith, intent on me above all others, and united to devotion, are my most beloved.” (20)
Thus in the Upanishads, called the holy Bhagavad-Gita,
in the science of the Supreme Spirit, in the book of devotion,
in the colloquy between the Holy Krishna and Arjuna,
stands the Twelfth Chapter, by name—
DEVOTION BY MEANS OF FAITH.
1. That is, as described at the end of Chapter XI.
2. The difficulty here stated is that caused by the personality, which causes us to see the Supreme as different and separate from ourselves.
3. The works referred to here are special works of all kinds performed for the sake of the Supreme Being, which will have their effect upon the performer in future lives.
4. In the original this reads as “not peering about.”