भक्त्या त्वनन्यया शक्य अहमेवंविधोऽर्जुन |
ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परन्तप || 54||
bhaktyā tv ananyayā śhakya aham evaṁ-vidho ’rjuna
jñātuṁ draṣhṭuṁ cha tattvena praveṣhṭuṁ cha parantapa
bhaktyā—by devotion; tu—alone; ananyayā—unalloyed; śhakyaḥ—possible; aham—I; evam-vidhaḥ—like this; arjuna—Arjun; jñātum—to be known; draṣhṭum—to be seen; cha—and; tattvena—truly; praveṣhṭum—to enter into (union with me); cha—and; parantapa—scorcher of foes
But by devotion to Me alone may I be known in this form, Ο Arjuna, realized truly, and entered into, Ο dreaded prince.
In the previous verse, it was stated that God-realisation is not possible by Vedic study, sacrifices etc. In this verse, it is explained what makes union with God possible for man. This verse is therefore very important for all seekers. They should understand the full significance of the idea and realise it in practice.
It is here declared categorically that by single-minded devotion only the Lord could be known, seen, and attained. Ananya bhakti’ is emphasised in several places in the Gita. The mind should not be attached to anything in the objective world; it should be centred in the Lord as the sole refuge, as the most beloved and as the highest goal. Devotion that is not shared, that is not tempted away from God, that does not desire anything other than God, is single-minded devotion. Man’s mind is generally possessed by worldly things and only a part of it is offered to the Lord. This is not ‘ananya bhakti’. When the mind is not distracted by anything material, it acquires divine power and thus attains the Lord.
Three stages of God-realisation are mentioned here: (1) Jnatum to be known, (2) drashtum to be seen, (3) praveshtum-to be entered into. In the beginning, man acquires knowledge of the nature of the Lord. Even this is difficult, because it requires deep study and correct understanding of the Sastras. At this stage, the Lord, though his nature is understood, is quite far away. This is Dwaita. Then in the next stage, the devotee is able to see the Lord face to face, have a clear vision of God in whatever form he contemplates Him. Now there is no doubt at all about His existence, because he has directly seen the Deity. The second step is higher than the first. God is seen like a leaf or fruit in one’s own hand. This is nearly the state of Visishtadvaita.
After long and arduous practice the devotee becomes united with the Lord (Praveshtum). Like salt in water, like rain drops in the ocean, like water in milk, the devotee is merged in the Lord. Then there are no two entities, the devotee and the Lord. The Lord alone is. This is the highest stage. This is perfect Advaita. The aspirant should not stop anywhere till this highest goal is reached. The first is the nearness of God (samipya), the second is the vision of the God (sarupya) and the third is union with God (sayujya). The natural progress of man towards God is explained thus in this verse. -Every aspirant should move forward from the first to the second and from the second to the last and ultimate state. It is for this reason that the Lord has stated ‘Jnatum‘ first, and ‘drashtum‘ next, and ‘Praveshtum‘ last.
Suppose somebody tells us that he has seen a good and beautiful, highly relishing fruit in the market. What is our reaction? We are interested to go and see the fruit and then to buy it and eat it. At first we have come to know of the fruit (Jnatum) and next we go and see it (drashtum), and finally we are fully satisfied by tasting the fruit for ourselves (Praveshtum). The last is the state of the Jivanmukta, the liberated man. It is Moksha. We come to know of a house, see it, and then enter it. Thus one should approach God and realise Him. Everybody should attain the highest Advaitic realisation even in this very life. Then only he is free from the bondage of ‘samsara’.
The Upanishad says
Yada hyevaisha etasminnudara mantaram
kurute atha tasya bhayam bhavati.
Even the slightest separation from the Lord causes fear. When there is fear of anything, it is not perfection. So every aspirant should strive to attain the Lord (Praveshtum) and free himself from fear.
If Vedic study alone could lead to God-realisation, the illiterate shall have to go without it. If austerity alone should lead to God-realisation the weak shall have no hope; If ‘yajnas’ and ‘Dana’ alone could lead to God, the poor shall have to be where they are. As it is declared by the Lord that by single-minded devotion alone he could be realised, every human being can aspire for God-realisation by pure and uncontaminated devotion. Thus out of His compassion, the Lord has revealed the easy path of God-realisation to all beings.
Question: What is the way to God-realisation?
Answer: Single-minded devotion.
Question: What are the stages of God-realisation?
Answer: 1. Knowing Him, 2 Seeing Him, 3. and being united with Him.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11 🔻 (55 Verses)