अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम् |
देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि || 23||
antavat tu phalaṁ teṣhāṁ tad bhavatyalpa-medhasām
devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api
anta-vat—perishable; tu—but; phalam—fruit; teṣhām—by them; tat—that; bhavati—is; alpa-medhasām—people of little understanding; devān—to the celestial gods; deva-yajaḥ—the worshipers of the celestial gods; yānti—go; mat—my; bhaktāḥ—devotees; yānti—go; mām—to me; api—whereas
But finite is the result gained by these men of small minds. Those who worship the deities go to the deities; those who worship Me come to Me.
Those who worship other Devas are men of little intelligence because their exertion yields only very temporary and perishable rewards, like worldly prosperity, wealth, power and position. It is only the unawakened dull brains that can think of those finite things, letting go of the infinite benefit of true knowledge and devotion. He who seeks a small pond when the sacred Ganges is flowing by, he who leaves the wish – fulfilling plant of Heaven and goes to a small tree, tempted by its half-sweet half- bitter fruits – such is the man who forgets the Supreme Lord and devotes himself to the worship of the lesser Deities for the purpose of enjoying small gifts and pleasures.
High or low, whatever is seen (drisya) perishes, be he Indra or Vasu. What does not perish is Atma, the seer (Drik). All else is subject to death. Therefore the wise seek the imperishable. The object of worship determines the goal of the devotee. The worshippers of the Devas go to the Devas, of the Rakshasas to the Rakshasas, of the Pitris to the Pitris. So the seeker has to make his choice after careful discrimination. The Teacher of the Gita declares that those who worship Him go to Him, the Supreme Lord.
Question: What is the reward for those who worship the Devas?
Answer: Finite – Having an end.
Question: Who are those that seek it?
Answer: Men of small intelligence.
Question: To whom do they go?
Answer: To the Devas.
Question: Who reaches the Supreme Lord?
Answer: Those who worship the Supreme Lord reach Him.