Gita Series – 135: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII. Verse 24 – 28:

Some look for the Self within through meditation, some through jñāna yoga and some through karma yoga. Those who are ignorant of these three paths, merely worship the Brahman by listening to others by considering Him as the ultimate sanctuary. All of them cease to transmigrate. Arjuna, all that exist, both movable and immovable, emanated from the union of kṣetra and kṣetrajña. One truly realizes the Brahman, only when he perceives Him as the Imperishable, present in all, that is perishable. He, who thus perceives the Brahman dwelling equally in all the beings, cannot obviously destroy Self with the self. He therefore, transcends death.”

There are various means to liberation. Though one can pursue any spiritual path, the ultimate is the realisation of the Brahman. Krishna refers to three types of path - the path of meditation using one’s purified mind; the path of wisdom through sāṃkhya yoga philosophy; and the path of karma, renouncing the fruits of actions. All the three types of paths have been elaborated by Krishna in the previous chapters. Those who pursue any of these paths are bound to get liberation, either in this birth or at least in future births, depending upon the intensity of practice and consequent experience. But, majority of the men do not follow anyone of these paths with sincerity and dedication. Treading all the paths is equally difficult, as liberation does not come easily. One has to really struggle hard against the highly potent waves of materialistic life. One has to have necessary patience, dedication and perseverance to enter the state of perpetual bliss, before his soul makes its final exit. One can easily realise the state of bliss by himself from his elated mood.

There is another category of men who are not aware of any of these spiritual paths. They blindly worship the Lord by listening to what others say, or follow what others do. Interestingly, the original doer himself may not know the significance of his actions, but he still does it out of absolute faith. The one who listens to or follows others resolves that it is better to be a spiritual infant rather than to be a spiritual ignorant. Therefore, he simply follows what others say or do. Even such spiritual infants become eligible to get liberated, says Krishna. This category of men considers Him as the ultimate resort. They merely know that He is the ultimate sanctuary and their blind faith in Him impresses the Lord. It is not the path that really matters, but the mind that surely matters. Krishna had earlier said that He is more than satisfied with a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water as offering. Krishna only reaffirms His earlier saying here. The Lord makes every attempt to stress the importance of purity of mind alone, while seeking Him.

It is not the path that matters, but it is one’s faith, perseverance, dedication and religious simplicity that matters for the Lord. In whatever way He is sought, with utmost sincerity, the seeker gets liberated. It is only the thought process that matters. Krishna further says, all that exists in the universe, arise out of the union of kṣetra and kṣetrajña that have been discussed by Him in the earlier verses of this chapter. Kṣetra is the field or prakṛti and kṣetrajña is the knower of the field or puruṣa and their union gives rise to the phenomenal universe comprising of both animate and inanimate. A person is said to be a Self-realized person only if he understands His omnipresence. The shell or body undergoes constant changes. The law of changes and modifications applies only to the external shell forming as a covering to the soul. The soul within does not undergo changes along with the body, as the soul is beyond modifications as it is eternal. This can be compared to gold ornaments that have different designs, but the source of all the ornaments, the gold, always remain the same. A soul or puruṣa is a direct representative of the Lord. Only the soul infuses the necessary energy to the body to sustain. But at the same time, without attaining a body, an independent soul cannot function. This is the theory of interdependency in spirituality.

Krishna says that one who understands that the Brahman pervades all the beings, be it animate or inanimate is truly a realised person. Those who fail to understand this undergo repeated births and deaths.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII. 12 -18

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII. 19 - 23

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XIII. 29 - 35