Gita 06.47 explained

Link to purport by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Transcript of Bhakti-Shastri class on this verse by Chaitanya

  • 46-47: The topmost yogi fixes his mind on Krishna

Bg 6.47

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ

Word for word: 

yoginām — of yogīs; api — also; sarveṣām — all types of; matgatena — abiding in Me, always thinking of Me; antaḥātmanā — within himself; śraddhāvān — in full faith; bhajate — renders transcendental loving service; yaḥ — one who; mām — to Me (the Supreme Lord); saḥ — he; me — by Me; yuktatamaḥ — the greatest yogī; mataḥ — is considered.


And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.


yoginām api sarveṣāṁ, among all kinds of Yogi

mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, āntar-ātmanā, within oneself, what should be done mad-gate, one thinks about me makes me the gati, makes me the goal, śraddhāvān, with faith, what does one do with faith, 

bhajate yo māṁ, worship me 

sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ, such a person is most intimately united with me, yukta-tamo.

So there are many significant words in this moving downward, yukta-tamo, generally there are degrees of endorsement there can be good, better and best. So best is the highest endorsement it is superlative, similarly in Sanskrit there are superlatives, Yukta is good, it is well connected. Sri Krishna has used the word repeatedly in BG in this chapter itself as well as elsewhere in this chapter itself such a person is called Yogi Sri Krishna has used twice once He has used in 6.8 and again he has used in 6.18, so let us use these two usages to understand if Krishna is saying something is good and then something He is saying Good, Better and Best, so if we know frame of reference something is good is very nice it is good but then Krishna is saying that is best then we can compare what is good and what is best, so we will look at what Sri Krishna has called as Yukta and what He has called Yuka-Tama. So in Sanskrit Yukta is good, Yukta-Tra is better and Yukta-Tama is best.  


Bg 6.8

nkūṭa-stho vijitendriyaḥ
yukta ity ucyate yogī


A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogī [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything – whether it be pebbles, stones or gold – as the same.


Here Sri Krishna is talking who is Yuka who is detached disconnected from material things. The person has knowledge and he has realization and because he is having knowledge and realization, the person is satisfied, tṛptātmā, and because the person is tṛptātmā, kūṭa-stho, he is well situated, highly situated, high about the material things, and vijitendriyaḥ, the person has conquered the senses and such a person is yukta ity ucyate yogī, such a person is called yukta and what is the nature of the Yukta person? sama-loṣṭrāśma-kāñcanaḥ. Such a person sees all material things equally weather stone, pebbles or gold, a person sees all of them equally. 

And then next time when the word Yuka is used (in this chapter, otherwise at many places it is used e.g. 5.23 also one who controls material desires, one who can tolerate the force of desire and anger such a person is Yuka, well situated   )


Bg 6.18

yadā viniyataṁ cittam
ātmany evāvatiṣṭhate
nispṛhaḥ sarva-kāmebhyo
yukta ity ucyate tadā


When the yogī, by practice of yoga, disciplines his mental activities and becomes situated in transcendence – devoid of all material desires – he is said to be well established in yoga.


So again the point is negative, the point is disconnection, such a person is disconnected, yadā viniyataṁ cittam, when one has controlled one’s consciousness his mind ātmany evāvatiṣṭhate, he fixed it on the self, nispṛhaḥ sarva-kāmebhyo, one is free from all desires, yukta ity ucyate tadā, then such a person is Yukta, well situated.

So Sri Krishna has used Yuka word in above verses but in 6.47 he has used Yukta-Tama, so that is good but this is best so disconnection from matter is good, Sri Krishna recommends that such a person is well situated, at least the person will not become more entangled but connection with the absolute truth is best, so that is good but this is the best Yukta-Tama, sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ, such a person is best among all the well-connected persons. So what is that makes us best, Sri Krishna is not talking here in terms of disconnection He is talking in terms of connection, not in terms of disconnection with matter but in terms of connection with Him. yoginām api sarveṣāṁ, among all the kinds of yogis those who are disconnected from matter. mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, they live in me, mad-gate, Srila Prabhupada interestingly translated as abiding in me and thinking of me. So abide means to live in me, to live in harmony with him, so by thinking of Krishna we live in Krishna mad-gate-anāntar-ātmanā, with in oneself.

śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ, so with faith one worships the Supreme Lord, Bhajate, engages in transcendental service to Lord, Srila Prabupada translated Bhajate as “renders transcendental loving service” over here.

Krishna lives in the heart of everyone but there can be many levels of understanding, at faithless level one may say I don’t know whether Krishna exists in the heart, at another level one may say Krishna exists in heart but Krishna is just a conception, which means it is good to think about God but ultimately one has to go beyond God, Prabhupada sees these problems and said that Mayavadis are also atheistic, because they ultimately want to reject God, the atheist reject God by saying God doesn’t exist, mayavadi also reject God by saying that God doesn’t exist because we have to go beyond God for higher reality. They say that God is just a transitional reality, not the ultimate reality, so they may claim saying we are not atheistic we are trans-theistic, there ideas is that we go beyond believe in God, well whatever the terminology is the point is they are rejecting the personal God. Sri Krishan is saying that sort of conception is not proper, Sradhavan, a person should be faithful, and what should be the faith, yes the Lord which is conceiving in the heart is the ultimate faith that is the object of my service and worship, surrender and devotion, so bhajate with faith one worships, many yogis says that yes we have to perceive Vishnu in heart but after that you have to go beyond, but no there is nothing like going beyond, Sri Krishna is saying that one who thinks about me is the highest. Mad Gate Anteratmana, one who thinks about me is śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ one who worships me such a person is the highest sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ. Now Srila Prabhupada purport has many sections, Prabhupada initially focused on Bhajate, Srila Prabhupada said Bhajate doesn’t just means worship, it means service, we have to serve absolute truth. And he has connected this verse with another verse from Bhagvatam 11.5.3:

The Bhāgavatam (11.5.3) confirms this as follows:

ya eṣāṁ puruṣaṁ sākṣād
ātma-prabhavam īśvaram
na bhajanty avajānanti
sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ patanty adhaḥ

“Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position.”


ya eṣāṁ puruṣaṁ sākṣād, this glorification of Supreme Lord, and this is the absolute truth, puruṣaṁ sākṣād, He is the original person primeval Lord. ātma-prabhavam īśvaram, so He is the controller, He is the iswara, He is ātma-prabhavam, ātma-prabhavam means source of all living beings, if one doesn’t worship Him, na bhajanty, then what does one do? Defies because of ignorance, not just ignorance but misunderstanding avajānanti, so one misunderstand one defies the Supreme Lord, then what happens?  sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ, means to fall away, Yoga Bhrastah is used in this chapter also one who is deviated from the path of Yoga one who falls on the path of Yoga, one who is corrupted, so sthānād bhraṣṭāḥ means one who becomes corrupted and falls away, patanty adhaḥ, means one falls down. Now Srila Prabhupada translated as certainly fall down.

So Bhajanti refers to worship Srila Prabhupada says, not just worship, Bahjanti refers to worship what common people think but Bahjanti refers to service, one may worship a devata, one may chose not to worship a devata that is up to that person, but when we understand that we are intrinsically connected to the Supreme Lord, and we are forever meant for love and service, so if we don’t love and serve Supreme Lord we will fall away from our spiritual position and we fall back to the material world of temptation and Srila Prabhupada mentions that all yogas are meant to culminate on Bhakti Yoga. So here Srila Prabhupada is using the word Yoga in the sense of process, so there are Gyana Yoga there are Astanga Yoga, these are all if we imagine a ladder or staircase which goes to multiple stories, so the topmost floor or realisation is Bhagvan realisation, to enhance this metaphor sometime there are stair case which don’t go up, so imagine there are four levels or four stories from group floor onwards, say there is one staircase which goes only to first floor, second stair case only goes to the second floor, third stair case which only goes to the third floor, and one stair case which goes to the fourth floor, so first floor is Swrga, 2nd Brahman, 3rd Parmatma, 4th Bhagvan.

Staircase of Karma Kanda will take one to Swarga, Staircase of Gyana will take one to Brahman, Staircase of Yoga will take one to Parmatma, and Staircase of Bhakti alone takes one to Bhagvan. So building itself has multiple stories and one has to go to the highest story, So Srila Prabhupada says what is Astanga Yoga, ultimately there is only one goal to go up, that is the only goal, and ultimately one wants to get to the top most level because that is where we will get the top most fulfilment, but to get to top most level one has different ways and what is different ways means, those who take first floor stair case goes there but it is not that they are permanently trapped over there, these floors are connected and they can find out where are other staircase which can take me to top floor, and then they will reach to the top floor. So when we talk about different yogas we can talk about in two different ways one way is that these other yogas are themselves an independent path which takes us to a particular destinations and the other understanding is they are assistant paths which can help in ultimately reaching on the highest destination if one eventually takes to the Bhakti path. When we say that other yogas are independent they are not entirely independent, we look in the later chapters especially in 9th chapter how other yogas also have Bhakti element in them to be successful, that will come repeatedly in 8th chapter. So obviously if one wants to go to the 4th floor it is best to take stair case which directly goes to 4th floor.

Srila Prabhupada Purport: Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realisation.

Bhakti-yoga: the most complete yoga

Bhakti Yoga including within itself union with God through:

1.action (KY), – Positive aspect of KY

2.introspection (JY), and – thinking within, speculation, contemplation all are there, to try to understand what is absolute truth that is JY, 

3.meditation (DY), more directed thinking which goes towards absolute truth that is also there, 

For the body, intelligence, and mind all follow the heart.

So BY is highest because all of the three things are included in BY i.e. action, introspection and medication, and beyond that ultimately all our faculties follows the heart, whatever we wanted to do if our heart is in something everything else comes in, When we allow something or someone we physically render service to that person we mentally think about that person, we intellectually connect with that object of love, so the body, mind and intelligence everything follows the heart. So if the heart is involved all other beings are automatically involved, because the heart is the governing faculty for all of us. Even people who are intellectual, they may not be too emotional but when they do become emotional their emotions take control of their life’s, certainly when material emotions takes place that is undesirable but spiritual emotions taking control is supremely desirable that is why our ultimate goal is to connect to Sri Krishna and everything follows the heart. Because BY activates the heart. BY we connect our heart to Krishna that is why it is the top most of all yogas. 

In this way Srila Prabhupada connects the ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully coloured as a cloud, whose lotus like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels, and whose body is garlanded with flowers. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous lustre, which is called the brahma-jyotir. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva.

Then Srila Prabhupada talks about how one can contemplate like this through process of Bhakti, he has quoted from Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23:

This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by bhakti-yoga, as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ


“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)


Those who have implicit faith in the spiritual master deve parā bhaktir, yathā deve tathā gurau, one has para bhakti for deve and similarly for Guru tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ, the artha of all this kathitā will be prakāśante, will be illumined will be revealed mahātmanaḥ, so interestingly here those who have faith even if they are seekers they are trying for understanding they are referred as Mahatma in this verse. So Prabhupada is explaining here about the point of Sraddha, he is taking systematically first he talked about Bhajate then Mad Gaten, who is to meditate on and now he is taking about Sraddhavan Bhajate Yo mam, Sraddha, means faith, the faith that by mercy of Krishna and by the mercy of Guru prakāśante mahātmanaḥ, things will be revealed to us, then Srila Prabhupada quotes the famous definition of Bhakti from Gopal Tapani Upnished: There are 11 principal Upanishad and there are many other Upanishad among 100 Upanishads which is also important. So among those principal Upanishads there is one which talks about worship of Gopal is called Gopal Tapani Upanishad and it is frequently quoted by our Acharyas. So let us see what is mentioned in Gopal Tapani Upanishad, it also gives definition of bhakti:

Bhaktir asya bhajanaṁ tad ihāmutropādhi-nairāsyenāmuṣmin manaḥ-kalpanam, etad eva naiṣkarmyam.Bhakti means devotional service to the Lord which is free from desire for material profit, either in this life or in the next. Devoid of such inclinations, one should fully absorb the mind in the Supreme. That is the purpose of naiṣkarmya.” (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.15)

Bhaktir asya bhajanaṁ, Bhakti means devotional service, 

And ihā and mutrothis usages came in BG 6.40, when Sri Krishna shown Arjuna either in this world or next world transcendentalist will never meet with disaster, amutra. 

So Bhaktir asya bhajanaṁ,, we worship the supreme lord we serve the supreme lord, tad ihāmutro, one doesn’t have nairāsye, one doesn’t have desire for gaining in this world or in next world, in this life or next life, and then manaḥ-kalpanam, etad eva naiṣkarmyam, should absorb mind in Krishna without any desire for fruitive activity that is actually naiṣkarmyam that is actually Bhakti. So this is the perfection, this is the first time very categorically, very emphatically Sri Krishna is saying connecting with Him is the highest truth. He has talked about fixing the mind on Him earlier, in 2.61 he has talked about this so that one can become sense controller, like that He has talked about connecting with Him on several occasions, where all He talked? 2.61, Yukaseit mat parah, 3.30, where He said that you should offer the fruits to Me, there also goal of fruits but nothing has been mentioned clearly, 4th chapter also Sri Krishna said that you should have faith in Me. Faith in Me and my words, Sri Krishna talked about His position several times, but here we are talking about fixing the mind on Krishna so in 4.9 He says that Janma Karma Ca Mey Divyam, one who understand my word will get liberation, and for that in 4.10 He said fix the mind on Me, man maya man upasritham. And many in past has become liberated so you can also become liberated. In 4.35 Sri Krishna says that 4.34 He says Tad Viddi Paripatena PariPrasnenasevaya, surrender to the Guru and what is the result of surrendering to the guru, Sri Krishna says that such a person sees that all living beings are situated in me. In 5th chapter there is only one reference to Mam in 5.29 He says that everything should be offered to Me, Bhoktaram Yagaya tapsam…I am the Bhoka of everything, in this way Sri Krishna has talked repeatedly in previous chapters. In 6th chapter also he mentioned Mam in 6.14 & 15, then 6.30,31 so Mam has come again and again but it has never come as emphatically as it is coming here. Here at the end of chapter He is saying one who thinks about Me, one who abides in Me, with faith, serving Me, śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ

Such a person is most intimately connected with Me. 

So if we look at the flow of the chapters what is happening in first 6 chapters?

Sri Krishna is recommending Arjuna far more subtle, sophisticated, sublime, satisfying, empowering than just the dialect, dialect means choice or debate Arjuna’s dialect was action or renunciation, shall I act or shall I renounce that was the only thing Arjuna was thinking about, but Sri Krishna has revealed much more subtle, He says don’t think of only action and renunciation, what Arjuna thought about two option Sri Krishna tell it is not only two option He said within action also there can be variety, there can be renunciation in action, so what was two, Sri Krishna brings the third one which integrates the two, instead of action or renunciation you can have action with renunciation OR renunciation in action and that was the overall tenure and the connection which Sri Krishna was talked about briefly, but now in this verse and from here we will start 7th chapter the focus will be much more on Mam so now it will not be renunciation in action but devotion in action. That means one performs action with devotion internally not just renunciation. Yes I am not connected with the world, still I will act, I am not connected with the world but I want to be connected with Krishna and the more I am connected with Krishna the more I will make spiritual advancement. So spiritual advancement will be in the Bhakti section which will start from BG 7.01, spiritual advancement is judged not by how much one is disconnected from the world but by how much we are connected with Sri Krishna, so we will see from 7th chapter a new mood develops in Bhagavad Gita. The mood till now was disconnection, rejection, detachment, but now from 7.1 onwards it will be connection, attachment devotion, and this inaugurates first 6 chapters are basically setting the scene for the heart of the Bhagavad Gita i.e. chapter 07-12 in BG. Chapter 7-12 are chapters talking about Bhakti and these chapters will put the spotlight on Sri Krishna, so Bhagavad Gita flow is such a way that Arjuna’s spotlight is on the BODY, Sri Krishna moves the spotlight from BODY to SOUL from 2nd chapter onwards, then the focus is on soul, how can the soul be liberated ok that is by Karma Yoga not by just simple renunciation but by sublime action now while focusing on atma Sri Krishna moves the spotlight from atma to parmatma, and that Parmatma is revealed to be Sri Krishna Himself. So in this way the flow of the thought of the BG will move on.

End of transcription.

Author: Vallabhi

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