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The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 12: The Yoga of Devotion

Arjuna said:
Those devotees who worship You,
And those also who do worship
The Changeless, the Unmanifest–
Which are better versed in yoga? (1)

The Holy Lord said:
Those who, fixing their mind on Me,
Worship steadfast, with supreme faith,
It is My opinion that they
Are thus the best versed in yoga. (2)

They worship the Unperishing,
Unspeakable, Unmanifest,
Omnipresent, Unthinkable
Unchangeable, Immovable– (3)

Having subdued all the senses,
And even-minded ev’rywhere,
Engaged in the welfare of all–
Verily they reach Me alone. (4)

Greater is their trouble whose minds
Are set on the Unmanifest;
For the Unmanifest is hard
For the embodied ones to reach. (5)

Those who worship Me, resigning
All action, deeming Me as the
Supreme Goal, meditating on
Me with single-minded yoga– (6)

To these whose mind is set on Me,
Verily, I become ere long,
O Pritha’s son, their Savior from
The sea of mortal samsara. (7)

Fixing your mind on Me alone,
Placing your intellect in Me,
Then doubtless you shall evermore
Live in Me, here and hereafter. (8)

If you are unable to fix
Your mind on Me in steadiness,
By constant practice of yoga
Seek to reach Me, Dhananjaya. (9)

But if you are unable to
Constantly practice yoga, be
Intent on acting for My sake.
Even that leads to perfection. (10)

If you cannot do even this,
Then by taking refuge in Me,
Abandon the fruits of action,
Becoming this way self-controlled. (11)

Better is knowledge than practice;
Meditation than mere knowledge;
Renouncement1 than meditation;
Instant peace comes from renouncement. (12)

He hates no one, and is friendly
And compassionate towards all,
Free from feelings of “I” and “mine,”
Even-minded and forbearing. (13)

Always content, balanced in mind,
Self-controlled, firm in conviction,
Mind and intellect fixed on Me,
Devoted to Me, dear to Me. (14)

He who agitates not the world,
And whom the world agitates not,
Who is freed from joy, envy, fear,
And worry–he is dear to Me. (15)

He who is free from dependence,
Pure, skilled, unconcerned, untroubled,
Renouncing all undertakings–
That devotee is dear to Me. (16)

He neither rejoices nor hates,
Nor grieves, nor desires, renouncing
Both good and evil, and full of
Devotion–he is dear to Me. (17)

He is the same to friend and foe,
And in honor and dishonor;
In heat and cold, pleasure and pain;
And ever free from attachment. (18)

Who deems blame and praise as equal;
Silent, content with anything,
Homeless, steady-minded, full of
Devotion–he is dear to Me. (19)

They who follow this Immortal
Dharma, described, endued with faith,
Deeming Me as the Goal Supreme,
Devoted–are most dear to me. (20)

Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal, the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the twelfth discourse entitled: The Yoga of Devotion.

Read the next Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field


1) Tyaga: Literally: “abandonment.” Renunciation–the relinquishment of the fruit of action. [Go back]

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Text of the Bhagavad Gita for Singing:

  1. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 1: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 2: Sankhya Yoga
  3. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 3: The Yoga of Action
  4. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 4: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 5: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 6: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 7: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 8: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 9: The Yoga of the Kingly Science and Kingly Secret
  10. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 10: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 11: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 12: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 13: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 14: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 15: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 16: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demoniacal
  17. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 17: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. The Bhagavad Gita—Chapter 18: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

The Bhagavad Gita—The Song of God A new Translation by Abbot George Burke

  1. Bhagavad Gita Chapter One: The Yoga of the Despondency of Arjuna
  2. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two: Sankhya Yoga
  3. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Three: The Yoga of Action
  4. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Four: The Yoga of Wisdom
  5. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Five: The Yoga of Renunciation of Action
  6. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Six: The Yoga of Meditation
  7. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seven: The Yoga of Wisdom and Realization
  8. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eight: The Yoga of Imperishable Brahman
  9. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Nine: The Yoga of the Royal Science and Royal Secret
  10. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Ten: The Yoga of Divine Glories
  11. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eleven: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form
  12. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Twelve: The Yoga of Devotion
  13. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Thirteen: The Yoga of the Distinction Between the Field and the Knower of the Field
  14. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fourteen: The Yoga of the Division of the Three Gunas
  15. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Fifteen: The Yoga of the Supreme Spirit
  16. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Sixteen: The Yoga of the Division between the Divine and the Demonic
  17. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Seventeen: The Yoga of the Division of Threefold Faith
  18. Bhagavad Gita Chapter Eighteen: The Yoga of Liberation by Renunciation

Read the Maharshi Gita, an arrangement of verses of the Bhagavad Gita made by Sri Ramana Maharshi that gives an overview of the essential message of the Gita.

Read the Bhagavad Gita for Awakening, a full commentary on the Bhagavad Gita by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri).

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