ye ’py anya-devata-bhakta
te ’pi mam eva kaunteya
"Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way."
Arjuna got a doubt. Jyotish homa is performed to seek swarga and Indra is worshiped. To get rain, Varuna is worshiped. Vayu is worshiped to get wealth. Surya is worshiped to get health. These are all specified and many are performing these worships. Are these persons worshiping these gods? The Lord told that all these gods are body to the Lord or Parabrahmam. They are like organs and these worships for these gods ultimately, reach the Lord only. It is like for example, caring for the feet of a person, ultimately pleases the soul or atman of thet person. So, whichever god is worshiped, ultimately the inner soul of them and the commander of all of them, should only be pleased. Here, Arjuna gets the doubt that since, even if Indra is worshiped, ultimately Lord Sri Krishna is only pleased; so, why not grant that person Moksham straight away? Why that person should be granted only swarga? In reply to this the Lord speaks out in this sloka. The Lord expects them to have the conscience while worshiping other gods, that those worships were directed to the Lord Sri Krishna. But unfortunately, these persons feel that the result of their prayers have been awarded by these gods themselves. They are ignorant that their worships ultimately reach the Lord Sri Krishna alone. This gyana that the Lord is the inner soul of all these gods is necessary to obtain greater benefits. This is evident from Upanishads or Vedantha, the latter part of Vedas. But these persons understand only the Karma kanda of Vedas [as told in sloka 20] and are ignorant that the Lord only, ultimately, grants all benefits. We should therefore, when worshiping other gods, realize that the Lord resides in these gods and our worships reach Him only, ultimately. This is what Sri Krishna expects. Of course, when this gyana dawns in us, we will straight away worship the Lord and get the benefits. Ye api = even these persons, who are different from those devotees, who think only Sri Krishna is all for them, anya devata bhakta = devotees of other gods, yajante = worship, shraddhayanvita = sincerely. These persons are very earnest in performing poojas for other gods. But they do it without the gyana that ultimately it is the Lord inside these gods, Who is worshiped and Who is granting the desired results. Te api = even those persons, yajanty = worship, mam evam = only Me [Sri Krishna], avidhi poorvakam = without understanding the Vedas correctly. That is they are ignorant that all worships done for any god, ultimately reaches the Lord, Sri Krishna. Because of this the Lord also grants them only the desired results and not the eternal Moksham.