sreyo hi jnanam abhyasaj
jnanad dhyanam visisyate
dhyanat karma-phala-tyagas
tyagac chantir anantaram

"If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind."

Sreyosi = Is is not better? Jnanam = Gyana [atman sakshatkaram attained by knowledge, is better than ] abhyasa = exercise [of meditating continuously His auspicious qualities, mentioned in sloka 9]. Meditating on the qualities of the Lord is good. But if that was not possible, it is better to do atman sakshatkaram, which is the window for abhyasa yoga. By atman sakshatkaram, one understands the true nature of atman. This understanding will pave way to appreaciate the auspicious qualities of the Lord. We can climb from lower step only to a higher step. So, instead of lamenting that we are unable to reach the final step, access the step below. That is, atman sakshatkaram is to be realized. Dhyanam = meditation [of atman, is better than], jnanad = Gyana [knowledge to get atman sakshatkaram]. So, meditating on His auspicious qualities is good; if that was not possible, better to have atman sakshatkaram; if that also was not possible, better to contiuously meditate on atman. If that is also not possible? Karma-phala-tyaga = performing Karma yoga renunciating desire for result or aspiring for inferior objectives [is better than], dhyanat = meditation [on atman]. Here the steps in descending order are:

  1. Pondering over His auspicious qualities.
  2. Atman sakshatkaram.
  3. Dhyanam on atman.
  4. Karma yoga.
Here each lower step is recommended as better to reach the next higher step. This is like teaching a child. Tyaga = by doing Karma yoga, that is detached from the results of doing one's Karma, shanti = peace, anantaram = is attained. By doing Karma yoga, abandoning the desire for results and not doing for lower results, we avoid rajo/tamo qualities. By doing any action for a result, we develop rajo/tamo qualities. Once rajo/tamo qualities are not there, raga [passion] and dwesha [hatred] qualities are avoided. This makes mind peaceful. Peaceful mind is capable of dhyanam or meditation. A disturbed mind, due to attachment for results, can never do meditation. Meditation will result in atman sakshatkaram opening the way to appreciate the auspicious qualities of the Lord, resulting in determined Bhakti. We will now take leave of this Kshetram after thanking H.H. Periya Jeer of Thirumala, for permiting to use the temple as venue for Gita lectures.