भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वत: |
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् || 55||
bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaśh chāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā viśhate tad-anantaram
bhaktyā—by loving devotion; mām—me; abhijānāti—one comes to know; yāvān—as much as; yaḥ cha asmi—as I am; tattvataḥ—in truth; tataḥ—then; mām—me; tattvataḥ—in truth; jñātvā—having known; viśhate—enters; tat-anantaram—thereafter
By devotion he knows Me in essence, what I am and who I am; then having known Me in truth, he forthwith enters into Me.
In the previous verse, it is said that knowledge leads to the highest devotion; and here it is said that devotion helps to know the Lord in truth, what He is, and who He is. Therefore it is perfectly clear that devotion and knowledge sustain and strengthen each other mutually. The perfect knower of Brahman is also the perfect Bhakta, and the perfected Bhakta is also the sage of supreme wisdom. The great Sankara who propounded the highest truth that there is only One and not two, and so there is neither a devotee nor one to be devoted to, was himself the greatest of devotees, and his prayers, adorations and outpourings of the heart constitute a perennial flood of sweet Bhakti (worship) of the Lord. In the Seventh Chapter seventeenth verse-(‘ekabhaktir visishyate’) it is declared that the sage of true wisdom excels by his single-minded devotion.
Abhijanati: Knows Me well. Knowledge arises from deep love. One cannot truly know anything that he does not love. If he wants to understand the sufferings of the poor he should love them, and that love helps him to know their difficulties, pains and sorrows truly. Mere charity without feeling is not of much value from this point of view. The mother knows the child because she loves him. The devotee knows the Lord, because he loves Him. As this love deepens and when the devotee enjoys the blissful nature of the Lord, he gradually enters that realm of supreme bliss, coming closer and closer to his chosen Deity, till he disappears and the Deity alone remains. It is like the salt doll dissolving in the ocean.
Jnātum drastum ca tattvena pravestum ca paramtapa (11-54)
It is only there and not before that the Lord is fully known. Such knowledge comes to man through devotion. From this, two important aspects of spiritual realisation are revealed
- By knowledge alone liberation is attained;
- By devotion (Bhakti) alone such knowledge is obtained. Therefore, it is clear that for all true seekers after liberation, devotion to the Lord is essential.
Question: How can man know the true nature of the Lord?
Answer: Through devotion (Bhakti).
Question: What then will be man’s state?
Answer: He becomes one with the Lord, and attains union with Brahman.
Question: From this, what do we learn to be the way to liberation?
Answer: By true knowledge, liberation is attained and true knowledge is obtained by faithful devotion to the Lord. Therefore through devotion knowledge is obtained and through knowledge Moksha is realised. This is the rationale for spiritual realisation.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 18 🔻 (78 Verses)