Chapter 12 of Bhagavad-Gita As It Is is a short chapter. It has only 20 verses. It is along with chapter 15, the shortest chapter of the Bhagavad-gita. In total Bhagavad-gita comprises 700 verses, as if Sri Vyasadeva, the transcriber, liked round figures. We appreciate round figures too. It makes things easier. Chapter 18 is the longest chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita with 78 verses. It is seconded by chapter 2, with 72 verses, only 6 verses short of chapter 78.
Please find a Bhagavad Gita chapters breakdown. First number refers to chapter and the second number indicates number of verses found in the chapter:
1: 46 verses
2: 72 verses
A total of 700 verses!
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For the purpose of this article we shall concern ourselves with verses 13 to 20 of chapter 12 of Bhagavad- Gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedant Swami, the Founder-Acarya of the international Hare Krishna movement, started in New York city in the year 1965.
From verses 13-14, which are juxtaposed, to the end of the chapter 12, i.e. verse 20, Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, described the requisites for someone who wants to be “very dear” to Him. This expression “very dear” is found verbatim in each and every verse. However in the last verse 12.20, the word “ativa” is used, which is translated as “very, very.” Here Sri Krishna even accentuates and increases the degree of dearness to Him by stating:
“Those who follow this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engage themselves with faith, making Me the supreme goal, are very, very dear to Me.”
Yes indeed here is the formula to follow to become dear to Sri Krishna, just as there are formulas to follow for a successful business life. The devotees are in business for the pleasure of Krishna.
And who would not want to endear him or herself to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, literally the ultimate boss of everything and everyone! As the saying goes: “It is all about relationships.” And the most important relationship and the most congenial one of all is our relationship with the Supreme. This is exactly what is meant by the word “yoga” or the quality of our relationship with the Supreme. Now one may say: “Hang on a second: relationship with the Supreme? That’s really too far fetched! I live in the real world of everyday problems of life.” But everyday life is also a manifestation of the external energy of the Supreme. Why dissociate the two?
There are 29 indications of how one becomes dear to the Lord, as follows:
1) Who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities. This also means we cannot eat up our friends and brothers animals.
2) Who does not think himself a proprietor.
3) Who is free from false ego.
4) Who is equipoised in happiness and distress (repeated three times).
5) Who is tolerant.
6) Who is always satisfied.
7) Who is self controlled.
8) Who is engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Shri Krishna. (mentioned three times, including in whole verse 12.20)
9) He by whom no one is put into difficulty.
10) He who is not disturbed by anyone.
11) Who is equipoised in fear and anxiety.
12) Who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities.
13) Who is pure.
14) Who is expert. He is always expert because he fully knows the essence of all activities of life and he is convinced of the authoritative scriptures.
15) Who is without cares. A devotee never takes the part of a particular party; therefore he is carefree.
16) Who is free from all pains. He is never pained, because he is free from all designations; he knows that his body is a designation, so if there are some bodily pains, he is free.
17) Who is not striving for some result.
Careful: this is a tricky expression. From the purport it is clear that it is meant that the pure devotee is not striving for some PERSONAL results. The devotee of the Lord is not a useless and aimless fellow because “he is not striving for some result”. Here are Srila Prabhupada words from the purport:” The pure devotee does not endeavor for anything which is against the principles of devotional service. For example, constructing a big building requires great energy, and a devotee does not take to such business if it does not benefit him by advancing his devotional service. He may construct a temple for the Lord, and for that he may take all kinds of anxiety, but he does not construct a big house for his personal relations.”
In the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.13.8, purport, Srila Prabhupada expresses it with even more clarity:
“Temples and monasteries should be constructed for the preaching of spiritual consciousness or Krishna consciousness, not to provide free hotels for persons who are useful for neither material nor spiritual purposes. Temples and monasteries should be strictly off limits to worthless clubs of crazy men. In the Krishna consciousness movement we welcome everyone who agrees at least to follow the movement’s regulative principles—no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating and no gambling. In the temples and monasteries, gatherings of unnecessary, rejected, lazy fellows should be strictly disallowed. The temples and monasteries should be used exclusively by devotees who are serious about spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness.”
18) Who neither rejoices nor grieves.
19) Who neither laments nor desires.
20) Who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things.
21) Who is equal to friends and ennemies.
22) Who is equipoised in honor and dishonor.
23) Who is equipoised in heat and cold.
24) Who is equipoised in fame and infamy.
25) Who is always free from contaminating association.
26) Who is always silent.
“He does not speak of anything but the topics about Krishna; therefore he is called silent. Silent does not mean that one should not speak; silent means that one should not speak nonsense. One should speak only of essentials, and the most essential speech for the devotee is to speak for the sake of the Supreme Lord.”
27) Who is satisfied with anything.
28) Who does not care for any residence.
29) Who is fixed in knowledge.