Repetition emphasizes – and so does the emphasis in the repetition

In linguistic communication, repetition is a standard rhetorical device for conveying emphasis. The Bhagavad-gita repeats in 18.65 the same two and half lines as in 9.34. Let’s look at these two verses to grasp the significance of both the repetition and the variation.

The Gita (09.34) states that those who fix their minds on Krishna, become his devotees, worship him and bow down to him, with their souls dedicated to him, will attain him. The Gita (18.65) repeats the same four bhakti-yoga prescriptions, but stresses that those doing so will verily attain him, for they are very dear to him. The shift in focus is revealing. In the ninth chapter, Krishna focuses on delineating the process of bhakti-yoga and accordingly it stresses what the seeker needs to do to attain him. In the eighteenth chapter, when Krishna is concluding his message, he focuses on what he will do – he guarantees (satyam te) that the devoted will be delivered and proclaims that they are very dear to him (priyo ‘si me).

When two people, say A and B are signing a deal, initially A may remind B of their part in the deal. But if A is especially eager for the deal, then A will stress what they will surely do if B does their part. This shift in focus reveals A’s eagerness for the deal.

Similarly, the shift in focus from what we need to do in 09.34 to what Krishna will do in 18.65 reveals his eagerness for us to connect with him. Though he is perfectly happy without us and though we are doomed to perpetual misery without him, he longs that we connect with him, for our own ultimate good. By meditating on his eagerness, we can summon our eagerness to engage wholeheartedly in his loving service.

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  1. Hari bol
    Very nice explanation
    Thank you

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  2. Hare Krishna Prabhu. Nice explanation bringing out the commonality and difference in 9.34 and 18.65. Wish you can do the same for 3.35 and 18.47.

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  3. We must emphasize on repetition of JAPA

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