Sri Krishna’s Bhakti Yoga – Br. Shankara

Sunday, September 15, 2013

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Krishna and Arjuna

Very early in theBhagavad Gita (Chapter 2, V60-61) Sri Krishna makes it clear who He is. He says to his friend and disciple, Arjuna:

“The turbulent senses … violently carry off the mind even of a wise man striving for perfection. (60) The yogi restrains them and remains intent on Me. His wisdom is steady whose senses are under control. (61)”

These verses are from Swami Nikhilananda’s translation and commentary on the Gita. Nikhilananda, a direct disciple of Sri Sarada Devi, was founder and head of the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center in New York City from 1933 until his death in 1973. He defined “Me” in verse 61 as the Supreme Lord, who is the innermost Self of all.

In Chapter 4, V10, Krishna is more explicit about His promise to spiritual seekers: “Freed from passion, fear, and anger, absorbed in Me, taking refuge in Me, and purified by the fire of Knowledge, many have become one with My Being.”

In Chapter 12 — titled “The Way of Divine Love” — Arjuna asks, “… which of (your devotees) have greater knowledge of yoga?” Krishna replies (V2), “Those who have fixed their minds on Me, and who, ever steadfast and endowed with supreme faith, worship Me — them do I hold to be perfect in yoga.”

The Swami notes that this verse does not indicate any “real contrast between the worshipers of the Personal God and the Impersonal Brahman…” Br. Shankara talks about that, and other aspects of Krishna’s devotional path to realization.