Gita Series – 126: Chapter - XII. Verse 6 – 9
Kṛṣṇa continues. “Arjuna, but, those whose minds are steadfastly fixed on Me, surrendering all their actions to Me and always thinking about Me through single minded devotion, worship My form, I quickly free them from the cycles of transmigration. Therefore, fix your mind and intellect on Me and without any doubt, always abide in Me. If you cannot steadily fix your mind on Me Arjuna, then attain Me through repeated practice.”
True devotion is nothing but one’s faith. Visualization of the Lord is not possible to everyone, because of the inherent weakness of the mind. But, it is possible for everyone to concentrate on an object that is placed before them. Instead of visualization, a process that has to happen in a serene mind, concentration is a better choice, as the pressure on the mind gets reduced. One has to simply connect one’s mind on the idol before him. The idol already has a form hence the tough task of visualization is reduced. Now the aspirant has the Lord before him and all that the aspirant has to do is to establish a two way communication with Him, Who has now attained the form of the idol or picture. The aspirant has to now surrender all his actions to the Lord, who is now seated in the idol. The idol should not be treated just an idol and instead, as the Lord Himself. The idol that can be seen when eyes are open should also be seen when the eyes are closed. This becomes possible by absolute concentration on the idol. The idol worship ultimately paves way for contemplation of the true form of the Lord, the formless form.
The depth of devotion depends upon one’s ability to function on behalf of the Lord. Unless one’s ego is totally pruned and surrendered to the Lord, one cannot function on behalf of the Lord. As long as ego exists, “I” also exists. This “I” has to be dissolved unto the Lord and only then, the union between Self and the self can take place. If one becomes devoid of ego, he becomes like the Lord as a result of which he is not bound law of karma. When there is no “I” and only Him, karmas do not accrue. Karma accrues only on account of ego. Yoga means the mental union between Him and I ness. When such union takes place, his transmigration ceases to exist and the yogi is not born again. He is now known as yogi as he has mastered the art of yoga, the union of Him and I or the Self and the self.
Kṛṣṇa stresses the importance of steadfast mind and intellect. One’s ego can be surrendered only if mind is fixed on the Lord all the time. Intellect is a tool that purely depends upon the mind. Only due to the intellect, one can distinguish between perishable and Imperishable or Infinite. Ordinary knowledge is not enough to understand this difference as Infinite is not objective and cannot be seen. To understand the Infinite and subtle, one needs to have knowledge much beyond the ordinary perception. This Supreme knowledge is called intellect. Intellect has the capacity to discriminate between the Lord and His māyā. Māyā is also Lord’s play and He uses this tool to evaluate a person. Intellect also manifests faith, which is yet another tool for Realization. If one is not able to fix his mind on the Lord all the time, the Lord says that this can be surely achieved by persistent practice. Practice always leads to perfection.
Kṛṣṇa says that path pursued is not important, but the goal is important. The path may be devotion, austerities, meditation, etc, but ultimately the aim of an aspirant is to get liberated by merging with the Brahman. Liberation is important, because the existence is always painful.