The Bhagavad Gita : Chapter NINE. [compiled by Kamini Khanna. Mombasa, Kenya. Africa
In the very center of the Bhagavad Gita, and also in the middle of the Mahabharata, sits the ninth chapter. The whole shastra seems to revolve around this chapter.
Here the Lord elaborates the path of bhakti. It is the most mystical chapter as well. He promises to look after the needs of those who surrender to Him in unconditional love – those bhaktas or devotees, whose only support is the Lord Himself. He further assures us that this is an easy path to follow. Sri Krishna says, “I take whatever is offered to Me lovingly, with a pure heart – be it a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water.” This offering or surrender itself – is bhakti. When we perform a puja or worship the Lord, we offer various articles. Of all the offerings, the best or the highest offering is to offer oneself to the Lord –atmanivedanam.
Bhakti or the Path of Devotion, is very dear to the Lord. This is His heart. It beats for His devotees. This is the seat of love and compassion. A devotee’s feelings, prayers and offerings to God are always cherished by Bhagavan. This is because the Lord is all pervasive and is therefore present in our actions, words and feelings. Just as waves are always in touch with water, similarly our deeds and thoughts are in touch with the Lord. The Lord is touched by our prayers and offerings. Sri Krishna looks upon a devotee as a thinker or a reflective person. He emphasizes that it is only ‘thinkers’ or gyanis who become true bhaktas and enjoy reality.
Bhagavan explains what is prayer and devotion – He states that they are not a program to be undertaken for any specific time of the day. Any action can be undertaken as a time bound program. But an attitude is different which does not need to be invoked daily, since it is synonymous with our existence and needs only to be discovered. For e.g. – a mother need not invoke that motherly feeling, as it is naturally with her always. Similarly, when a person discovers that it is the Lord who is the source, support, and end of the entire physical, biological, and physiological existence, he then naturally has reverence in him for the Lord.
Bhagavan further explains, that when all actions are done as an offering to the Lord,it frees the individual from the depression and elation related to the results. Accepting the results as absolutely in keeping with his actions, frees one from emotional highs and lows. Elation exhilarates one initially but on deeper reflection, we realize that it must inevitablylead to depression. Renunciation of elation and depression does not make life insipid, but it actually makes life serene and tranquil.
Sri Krishna also explains to Arjuna, that He is equally present in all. There is none hateful or dear to Him. Those who have devotion for Him, He is always with them. Even if the vilest sinner worships Him with exclusive devotion, he gradually becomes virtuous and secures lasting peace, for a true devotee of the Lord never fails.
Bhagavan says, “Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, make obeisance to Me; thus uniting yourself to Me, you shall come to Me.
Chapter 9 is the Lord’s heart. The immense love in His heart is revealed as bhakti. It is all-encompassing and complete. He says, “The whole world is in Me and I am in the whole world.”
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