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Chapter 12: Devotional Service

Bg 12.20
TEXT 20
ye tu dharmamrtam idam
yathoktam paryupasate
sraddadhana mat-parama
bhaktas te 'tiva me priyah
SYNONYMS
ye—one who; tu—but; dharmya—generosity; amṛtam—understanding; idam—this; yathā—as; uktam—said; paryupāsate—completely engages; sraddadhānāḥ—with faith; mat-paramāḥ—taking the Supreme Lord as everything; bhaktāḥ—devotees; te—such persons; atīva—very, very; me—Me; priyāḥ—dear.
TRANSLATION
He who follows this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engages himself with faith, making Me the supreme goal, is very, very dear to Me.
PURPORT
In this chapter the religion of eternal engagement, the explanation of the process of transcendental service for approaching the Supreme Lord, is given. This process is very dear to the Lord, and He accepts a person who is engaged in such a process. The question who is better-one who is engaged in the path of impersonal Brahman or one who is engaged in the personal service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead-was raised by Arjuna, and the Lord replied to him so explicitly that there is no doubt that devotional service to the Personality of Godhead is the best of all processes of spiritual realization. In other words, in this chapter it is decided that through good association, one develops attachment for pure devotional service and thereby accepts a bona fide spiritual master and from him begins to hear and chant and observe the regulative principles of devotional service with faith, attachment and devotion and thus becomes engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord. This path is recommended in this chapter; therefore there is no doubt that devotional service is the only absolute path for self-realization, for the attainment of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The impersonal conception of the Supreme Absolute Truth, as described in this chapter, is recommended only up to the time one surrenders himself for self-realization. In other words, as long as one does not have the chance to associate with a pure devotee, the impersonal conception may be beneficial. In the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth one works without fruitive result, meditates and cultivates knowledge to understand spirit and matter. This is necessary as long as one is not in the association of a pure devotee. Fortunately, if one develops directly a desire to engage in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in pure devotional service, he does not need to undergo step by step improvements in spiritual realization. Devotional service, as described in the middle six chapters of Bhagavad-gītā, is more congenial. One need not bother about materials to keep body and soul together because by the grace of the Lord everything is carried out automatically.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Twelfth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā in the matter of Devotional Service.

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Copyright (c) 1972 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada