We will see Chapter 12. Arjuna said that he had hopes that by acting in Bhakti marg, he would get salvation. But he also felt that Bhakti was not in our habits. Can we switch over to Bhakti so easily? Can our habits and practices that easily change? Sri Krishna replied him, that it was not like that, and there were many easier steps available for practice. This is the summary of Chapter 12. Swami Alavandar says this as:
tatprak¯ar¯astvatipr¯ıtih.bhakte dv¯ada´sa ucyate ||(16)
Sri Krishna tells that those who could not practice Bhakti yoga, should remember His auspicious qualities, continuously. Besides, they have to follow some habits. In 12.13, He says that they should never show any hatred to any living being. They must be friendly with all. They should show compassion. But many do not behave like that with us. What to do then, even when we show friendship? Then, it is better to be away from such persons. On no account we should have contacts with them. Vibheeshana left Ravana, when the latter did not heed good advice. We should be in touch with noble persons only. Because, we are not that refined to be friendly with persons who hate us. Alwars and Acharyas might have been in such elevated positions. The Lord further advised that one should show same quality to both friends and enemies. We should show the same temperament to both praises and abuses heaped on us. Slokas 12.13 and 12.18 are important. We are reviewing this Chapter, in the ocean on the way to Bhet Dwaraka. It is on an island.
On one side is Gomti Dwaraka and on the other side is Bhet Dwaraka. Earlier they were all one and called Dwaraka. Sri Krishna established a single city Dwaraka. There are many boats to transport people. In Sri Rama Avatar, we saw boats of Guha. It takes about Twenty minutes to reach Bhet Dwaraka. After reaching it, we will see what happened when Kuchela was with the Lord. Beneath this Ocean, many archaeological studies are being conducted. Both ASI and Private Agencies, have written many reports of their findings. Those interested may see them. We could know how Dwaraka was in those times; how it was submerged in ocean, etc. Now, while travelling, we will see the summary of Chapter 12. His Bhaktas should be without ego. Where ahankara is, likes and dislikes emerge. This atman has acquired countless Karma effects, and as a result, it is now residing in this body. We take efforts to get freed from this cycle of rebirths. But when we think atman is this body, it is ahankara. Atman as such has no enemies or friends; but, through the body we acquire relations like mother, father, etc. Atman has no mother or father. Its only relation is with the Lord. So, we assume all body relationships as atman's. So we think we are happy, when our relations are happy and feel sorry, when they face problems. When our head aches, atman suffers, though atman has no head or any organ. And, we complain 'my head aches'! Thus we assume all our likes and dislikes, as atman's. We are carrying unnecessary relationship and bondage. Therefore, the Lord advises that only removal of ahankara, would result in impartial outlook, and likes and dislikes will disappear. When we go on tour, we hop from one place to another. At no time, we think of any attachment with any one place. Because, we know it is transient. Our rebirths are also like this tour. But we seldom think in any one life cycle, that it is transient and we should not show any attachment! In 12.13, He says that we should be without ahankara and view happiness and sorrow equally. Though this might look formidable, by devoting more and more on the Lord, we can achieve success. This the Lord says in 12.8. We can realize this in practice. As we travel to many such Kshetrams, our outlook and short temper will change for good. If we absorb Gita properly, then our attitude will change and get refined. Arjuna again asks how we can try to think of the Lord, when we are used to think of ourselves only? Sri Krishna climbs down a step lower, and asks him to meditate on atman. Here, a hidden agenda of the Lord exists. As one thinks of one's atman only, slowly one would realize atman's true nature! One would realize atman is servant of the Lord. But Arjuna says thinking of atman is also difficult. Sri Krishna gets to a lower step and asks Arjuna to do service. That is doing one's own Karma. Doing one's own Karma continuously, would enlighten one's knowledge about atman. Thus, again thinking of atman can be started. That would result in knowing the true nature of atman and devoting oneself to the Lord. That will result in Bhakti and eventually, reaching Him. First the Lord wanted Arjuna to do Bhakti. When he expressed difficulty, He suggested thinking of Lord's auspicious qualities. When this was also found difficult, He suggested meditating on atman. Finally, when that step also was difficult, He suggested to do one's own Karma, continuously.