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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 Verse 12

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 12 श्लोक 12

श्रेयो हि ज्ञानमभ्यासाज्ज्ञानाद्ध्यानं विशिष्यते।

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

12.12 Better indeed is knowledge than practice; than knowledge meditation is better; than meditation the renunciation of the fruits of actions: peace immediately follows renunciation.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

12.12 Jnanam, knowledge; [Firm conviction about the Self arrived at through Vedic texts and reasoning.] is hi, surely; sreyah, superior; -to what?-abhyasat, to practice [Practice-repeated effort to ascertain the true meaning of Vedic texts, in order to acire knowledge.] which is not preceded by discrimination. Dhyanam, meditation, undertaken along with knowledge; visisyate, surpasses even jnanat, that knowledge. Karma-phala-tyagah, renunciation of the results of works; excels even dhyanat, meditation associated with knowledge. (Excels has to be supplied.) Tyagat, from this renunciation of the results of actions, in the way described before; [By dedicating all actions to God with the idea, May God be pleased.] santih, Peace, the cessation of transmigratory existence together with its cause; follows anantaram, immediately; not that it awaits another accasion. Should the unenlightened person engaged in works be unable to practise the disciplines enjoined earlier, then, for him has been enjoined renunciation of the results of all works as a means to Liberation. But this has not been done at the very beginning. And for this reason renunciation of the results of all works has been praised in, Knowledge is surely superior to practice, etc. by teaching about the successive excellence. For it has been taught as being fit to be adopted by one in case he is unable to practise the disciplines already presented [Presented from verse 3 onwards.] Objection: From what similarly does the eulogy follow? Reply: In the verse, When all desires clinging to ones heart fall off (Ka, 2.3.14), it has been stated that Immortality results from the rejection of all desires. That is well known. And all desires means the result of all rites and duties enjoined in the Vedas and Smrtis. From the renunciation of these, Peace surely comes immediately to the enlightened man who is steadfast in Knowledge. There is a similarity between renunciation of all desires and renunciation of the results of actions by an unenlightened person. Hence, on account of that similarity this eulogy of renunciation of the results of all actions is meant for rousing interest. As for instance, by saying that the sea was drunk up by the Brahmana Agastya, the Brahmanas of the present day are also praised owing to the similarity of Brahminhood. In this way it was been said that Karma-yoga becomes a means for Liberation,since it involves renunciaton of the rewards of works. Here, again, the Yoga consisting in the concentration of mind on God as the Cosmic Person, as also the performance of actions etc. for God, have been spoken of by assuming a difference between God and Self. In, If you are unable to do even this (11) since it has been hinted that it (Karma-yoga) is an effect of ignorance, therefore the Lord is pointing out that Karma-yoga is not suitable for the meditator on the Immutable, who is aware of idenity (of the Self with God). The Lord is similarly pointing out the impossibility of a karma-yogins meditation on the Immutable. In (the verse), they৷৷.attain Me alone (4), having declared that those who meditate on the Immutable are independent so far as the attainment of Liberation is concerned, the Lord has shown in, ৷৷.I become the Deliverer (7), that others have no independence; they are dependent on God. For, if they (the former) be considered to have become identified with God, they would be the same as the Immutable on account of (their) having realized non-difference. Conseently, speaking of them as objects of the act of deliverance will become inappropriate! And, since the Lord in surely the greatest well-wisher of Arjuna, He imparts instructions only about Karma-yoga, which involves perception of duality and is not associated with full Illumination. Also, no one who has realized his Self as God through valid means of knowledge would like subordination to another, since it involves a contradiction. Therefore, with the idea, I shall speak of the group of virtues (as stated in), He hwo is not hateful towards any creature, etc. which are the direct means to Immortality, to those monks who meditate on the Immutable,who are steadfast in full enlightenment and have given up all desires, the Lord proceeds:

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 12.12

Shreyo hi jnaanamabhyaasaat jnaanaaddhyaanam vishishyate; Dhyaanaat karmaphalatyaagas tyaagaacchaantir anantaram.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 12.12

śhreyaḥ—better; hi—for; jñānam—knowledge; abhyāsāt—than (mechanical) practice; jñānāt—than knowledge; dhyānam—meditation; viśhiṣhyate—better; dhyānāt—than meditation; karma-phala-tyāgaḥ—renunciation of the fruits of actions; tyāgāt—renunciation; śhāntiḥ—peace; anantaram—immediately