Now, Sri Krishna explains that although out of knowledge comes this Bhakti, you can also approach Me with Knowledge alone; you may not have the power of Bhakti:
jñānayajñina cāpy anye yajanto mām upāsate |
“You can worship Me, also merely by attaining the integral knowledge of Me; jñāna–yajñina cāpy anye yajanto mām upāsate, even Jnanis are actually kind of devotees of Me, but they are using only Jnana as the instrument. Integral Yogis of course they have combined both knowledge and devotion, but even those who do not combined the two, they only approach Me with Jnana, even they internally, inwardly they are only worshiping Me. And this worship is of 3 kinds:
ekatvena pṛtaktvena bahudhā viśvatomukham ||15|| (IX)
“You can know Me by identity, you can know Me by difference between Me and the worshipper, you can know Me in many forms, bahudhā viśvato–mukham, seeing Me everywhere with My mouth spread in every direction”.
So, with Jnana you can approach Me by identity, by difference, and in many other ways or in every possible way: this is a secret kind of devotion, it is not explicit devotion. To be engaged in thinking and having known the Divine and doing the Divine either by identity, or by difference, or by many ways or in every way. That is you may have Jnanayoga of one kind, or of another kind, or a Jnanayoga which is integral viśvato–mukham, you can know Me integrally, that also is a kind of devotion to Me, but the colour, the taste of that yajña is different, different from the kind of yajña which was in the verse n°14, satataṁ kīrtayanto, that experience is not here.
In other words Sri Krishna explains the distinction between Jnanayoga and Bhaktiyoga, and also shows that the two are united and when the two can be united, the condition of union.
Now, comes the path of action. All action is considered in the Gita as a sacrifice: all action is an offering. This we have seen already in the 3rd and the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita when the principle of the sacrifice was described. Now, Sri Krishna reveals and says that even action is basically nothing but a kind of upāsanā, even that is nothing but devotion.
Although in a pure Karma yoga, you can do action without the feeling of Love for the Divine, one can do an action for the sake of action; one can offer as an offering. We know ourselves how very often we are indifferent while offering, even doing Namaskar is also as it were a kind of an obligation, that devotion does not accompany it, so even that is a kind of a secret devotion, but not explicit and manifest. So, there are different gradations of Karma yoga, all of them are secret forms of devotion, that is how ultimately when you read the supreme climax of Karma yoga, it becomes one with Bhakti yoga, because already, right from the beginning, even in the lower forms, it was already kind of devotion. The very fact that you are offering to the Divine, whether with that great emotion or not, is still some kind of a turning, some kind of upāsanā.
So, Sri Krishna now explains (IX, 16) as to how every action is also a kind of devotion because ahaṁ kratuḥ, ahaṁ yajñaḥ, ‘I am the offering and I am Myself the sacrifice; svadhāham, I am the offerings which are made for the pitṛ(s); aham auṣadham |, I am the samidh(s) which is offered into the yajña; mantraḥ, I am the Mantra which is recited at the time of sacrifice; aham evājyaṁ, I am Myself the clarified butter; aham agnir ahaṁ hutam, I am Myself the Agni, I am Myself the hutam, that which is sacrifice. So, whether you know it or not, while performing every action, that action has only these aspects: kratu, yajña, svadhā, auṣadha, mantra, agni, hutam, these are all elements of sacrifice and action. In every action, every element of action, ahaṁ, I am present; therefore in one way or the other I am the object of worship even by those who are performing Karma yoga.
Gradually when your Karma yoga rises, then at a higher level of knowledge begins to dawn upon you, dawn of knowledge in regards to activities which are manifested in the world and the origin of these activities is ultimately reached. When you reach this ultimate origination of action you now recognise Him as pitāham asya jagataḥ , (IX, 17) then you recognise I am the father of all action of the entire world because world is nothing but a movement of action.