Now, from chapter n°7 to chapter n°12, we have two larger themes of Knowledge and Devotion; just as we had up till now two larger themes of Knowledge and Action. Now, Action continues even though I speak of Knowledge and Devotion as the themes of these 6 chapters, but the emphasis falls upon Knowledge and Devotion. In fact, the theme of Devotion was already hinted in the first 6 chapters, but only hinted. We had referred to two or three words: madparaḥ, ātmani atho mayi(IV, 35), “First in the self and then in Me”, and when there was explanation of offering of action as sacrifice to the Lord. Now, when you make a sacrifice to the Lord, it is Action, which is taken and offered, so action is of course involved, but in offering there is an element of devotion, but nowhere we had an analysis of devotion.
If you read the last verse of the 6 chapters, it introduces the element of devotion in a striking manner, where Sri Krishna says:
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ madgatenāntarātmanā |
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ || (VI, 47)
Here Sri Krishna speaks of the different categories of seekers, and He says that among all the seekers Yogis are the best: Yogis are those who combine Knowledge and Action. But even among Yogis, Bhakta is the best, so:
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ madgatenā, those who are offered to Me; āntarātmanā, with their own inner heart and self, and one who is śraddhāvān, one who has faith; and bhajate yo māṁ, and one who worships Me; sa me yuktatamo mataḥ, he is to Me the best, even among Yogis.
Now, this element of devotion is introduced already at the end of the 6th chapter. So, you might say that there is a link between the 6th chapter and the rest of the 6 chapters: that linking point is here in the last verse of 6 chapters.
Now, Sri Krishna will explain what is madgatena, what is the meaning of that who is devoted to Me, what is śraddhā, and what is bhaja, what is the meaning of devotion. And the main point that is made is that your devotion to the supreme Lord is highest when you know the supreme Highest in all His aspects. There are Yogis who believe that you can be Bhakta even by simplicity of belief. It is said that the heart’s affection for the Lord…automatic, not knowing anything: “I know no worship, I know no rituals, I no nothing, I only know that you are my beloved and I offer myself to the Lord”: it is one kind of Bhakti, no doubt about it. But what Sri Krishna points out is that the real Love, the highest supreme Love, the supreme devotee is one who knows the Supreme integrally: samagraṁ mām(VII,1), that is the word: one who knows samagra, in all its totality.
That is why the Bhagavad Gita’s teaching is not simple. The Yoga of the Gita is at a very high level of sophistication: you might say it is an advanced Yoga. Ordinary Yoga is as I told you simply, if you say I know nothing, I simply give my heart to the Divine, it is all right! Good! But you do not become advanced Yogi or do not expect that by merely doing that, and not attending to action and knowledge you will really get the Supreme. You will have relationship with Him; when needed He will help you; whenever there is a kind of a calamity to come you may be prevented from your life; but to be able to seat at the feet of the Divine for ever, and wanting nothing else than the Divine, that supreme Bhakti comes only when if you start with a simple Bhakti, it is only when you add to it Knowledge and Action, then you will get that supreme Bhakti. You may start with Bhakti, a simple Bhakti, but supreme Bhakti will come only when it is combined with Knowledge and Action. This is the basic point of these 6 chapters, therefore the emphasis on this supreme Knowledge.
Now, the Knowledge also has been given in the first 6 chapters. Just as Bhakti has been hinted, Knowledge is not only hinted but much more elucidated in the first 6 chapters. But not so elucidated as now. Up till now, the Knowledge, which has been given, is that there is a distinction between Existence and Non–existence; between the Real and the Non–real; between the Immortal and the Perishable: this is one knowledge that is given.