sreyo hi jnanam abhyasaj
jnanad dhyanam visisyate
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:
- Pondering over His auspicious qualities.
- Atman sakshatkaram.
- Dhyanam on atman.
- Karma yoga.