“The Blessed Lord said: He whose mind is fixed on My personal form, always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith, is considered by Me to be most perfect.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.2)
मय्यावेश्य मनो ये मां नित्ययुक्ता उपासते ।
श्रद्धया परयोपेतास्ते मे युक्ततमा मता: ॥
mayy āveśya mano ye māṁ
te me yukta-tamā matāḥ
“If you read Bhagavad-gita, you can only reach one conclusion. Sure, there are sections about yoga, karma, detachment, meditation, and the like. You get advice on securing the mind, holding it back from uncontrolled attachment. Aversion is just the opposite. You think you are better for not indulging in something, but it’s actually within the same category.
“In fact, that was the flaw with Arjuna’s proposal. He was contemplating vairagya in the sense of abandoning the battlefield. Retreat for the forest. Gain respect as a mendicant. Flow into the renounced order, with an official transformation.
“This decision has the same basis as the side with avarice. One side is greedy for wealth, power, fame, and control. They will do whatever it takes to make the potential a reality. If they have to lie, cheat, or steal, no big deal. If they have to go to war to protect what they have, they will suit up.
“Arjuna worried that such desires would cause harm, both to himself and to others. Therefore, it was better to leave the battlefield. Drop the arms and let the aggressors have their way. This position was equally as foolish, and so Krishna described it as anarya, or not aligned with the principles of higher living.
“There is so much nuance and detail to the relatively short Bhagavad-gita presentation that we could talk for many days, but focus today on the conclusion. It is clearly stated in several verses that the best way to live is to worship Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“He is Bhagavan. There is no ambiguity. Krishna Himself gives the recommendation. Arjuna specifically asks which option is better, the personal or the impersonal. Krishna answers assertively, in the affirmative for the personal side.
“Why are there impersonalists, then? Even worse, how can the impersonalists give commentary on Bhagavad-gita? It is a ridiculous proposal. Do they not have shame? Is there some other understanding that I am missing?”
The root cause of birth in the material world is a challenging spirit. Wanting to compete against God instead of working with Him. Thinking that I can be superior, that through enough personal effort I will become the topmost. It will be a demonstrable achievement. There will be indicators to validate greatness.
The first side of the pursuit is accumulation. This is known as bhoga. Enjoy as much as possible. Gather up enough possessions to make others envious. Try to become satya-sankalpa, in the closest way possible. Desire something and have it manifest mere moments later.
When that endeavor fails, and it will, go in the other direction. This is where impersonalism comes in. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes it as the last snare of the illusion known as maya. The first snare is to try to become God in greatness in acquisition. The last snare is to think that you have become God through renunciation, through merging into the impersonal energy.
Naturally, to be successful in this last snare, which is really an illusion, you cannot have a competing God. There cannot be a personal side. If you acknowledge a person, you explain that away through an abstract concept. You speculate along the following:
“You have to worship the Krishna inside of you. There is no such thing as a Krishna or Arjuna; they merely represent concepts. You have to find your Arjuna moment. Personalism is for the less intelligent. When you have advanced sufficiently, you will give up the duality of a worshiper and object of worship.”
If any of this were correct, then through elevation a person could deliver their own Bhagavad-gita. They could display the universal form. They could protect their disciples from danger. They could repeatedly use the words “mam” and “mama” in Sanskrit verses of instruction.
Of course, their conclusion is not correct. To give any other explanation of Bhagavad-gita is cheating, and such deception is not rare within the material world. The land is based on an illusion, after all, that man can become God.
Fortunately, after an honest assessment the proper information is there. Arjuna did a favor for countless future generations. He locked in an answer to an important question. Through Arjuna, Krishna removed all doubt as to the nature of God and the proper path moving forward.
To disciple dear,
An answer clear.
That worship of personal the best,
Superior to the rest.
Meaning that others cheating,
In wrong direction leading.
Not surprising where in this world to live,
But Krishna the proper answer to give.