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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 Verse 23

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 9 श्लोक 23

येऽप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयाऽन्विताः।
तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम्।।9.23।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी ( भगवद् गीता 9.23)

।।9.23।।हे कुन्तीनन्दन जो भी भक्त (मनुष्य) श्रद्धापूर्वक अन्य देवताओंका पूजन करते हैं? वे भी करते तो हैं मेरी ही पूजन? पर करते हैं अविधिपूर्वक।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।9.23।। हे कौन्तेय श्रद्धा से युक्त जो भक्त अन्य देवताओं को पूजते हैं? वे भी मुझे ही अविधिपूर्वक पूजते हैं।।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी

।।9.23।। व्याख्या -- येऽप्यन्यदेवता भक्ता यजन्ते श्रद्धयान्विताः -- देवताओंके जिन भक्तोंको सब कुछ मैं ही हूँ (सदसच्चाहम् 9। 19) -- यह समझमें नहीं आया है और जिनकी श्रद्धा अन्य देवताओंपर है? वे उन देवताओंका ही श्रद्धापूर्वक पूजन करते हैं। वे देवताओंको मेरेसे अलग और बड़ा मानकर अपनीअपनी,श्रद्धाभक्तिके अनुसार अपनेअपने इष्ट देवताके नियमोंको धारण करते हैं। इन देवताओंकी कृपासे ही हमें सब कुछ मिल जायगा -- ऐसा समझकर नित्यनिरन्तर देवताओंकी ही सेवापूजामें लगे रहते हैं।तेऽपि मामेव कौन्तेय यजन्त्यविधिपूर्वकम् -- देवताओंका पूजन करनेवाले भी वास्तवमें मेरा ही पूजन करते हैं क्योंकि तत्त्वसे मेरे सिवाय कुछ है ही नहीं। मेरेसे अलग उन देवताओंकी सत्ता ही नहीं है। वे मेरे ही स्वरूप हैं। अतः उनके द्वारा किया गया देवताओंका पूजन भी वास्तवमें मेरा ही पूजन है? पर है अविधिपूर्वक। अविधिपूर्वक कहनेका मतलब यह नहीं है कि पूजनसामग्री कैसी होनी चाहिये उनके मन्त्र कैसे होने चाहिये उनका पूजन कैसे होना चाहिये आदिआदि विधियोंका उनको ज्ञान नहीं है। इसका मतलब है -- मेरेको उन देवताओंसे अलग मानना। जैसे कामनाके कारण ज्ञान हरा जानेसे वे देवताओंके शरण होते हैं (गीता 7। 20)? ऐसे ही यहाँ मेरेसे देवताओंकी अलग (स्वतन्त्र) सत्ता मानकर जो देवताओंका पूजन करना है? यही अविधिपूर्वक पूजन करना है।इस श्लोकका निष्कर्ष यह निकला कि (1) अपनेमें किसी प्रकारकी किञ्चिन्मात्र भी कामना न हो और उपास्यमें भगवद्बुद्धि हो? तो अपनीअपनी रुचिके अनुसार किसी भी प्राणीको? मनुष्यको और किसी भी देवताको अपना उपास्य मानकर उसकी पूजा की जाय? तो वह सब भगवान्का ही पूजन हो जायगा और उसका फल भगवानकी ही प्राप्ति होगा और (2) अपनेमें किञ्चिन्मात्र भी कामना हो और उपास्यरूपमें साक्षात् भगवान् हों तो वह अर्थार्थी? आर्त आदि भक्तोंकी श्रेणीमें आ जायगा? जिनको भगवान्ने उदार कहा है (7। 18)।वास्तवमें सब कुछ भगवान् ही हैं। अतः जिस किसीकी उपासना की जाय? सेवा की जाय? हित किया जाय? वह प्रकारान्तरसे भगवान्की ही उपासना है। जैसे आकाशसे बरसा हुआ पानी नदी? नाला? झरना आदि बनकर अन्तमें समुद्रको ही प्राप्त होता है (क्योंकि वह जल समुद्रका ही है)? ऐसे ही मनुष्य जिस किसीका भी पूजन करे? वह तत्त्वसे भगवान्का ही पूजन होता है (टिप्पणी प0 509)। परन्तु पूजकको लाभ तो अपनीअपनी भावनाके अनुसार ही होता है। सम्बन्ध --  देवताओंका पूजन करनेवालोंका अविधिपूर्वक पूजन करना क्या है इसपर कहते हैं --

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी चिन्मयानंद जी

।।9.23।। विश्व के सभी लोग एक ही पूजास्थल पर पूजा नहीं करते। न केवल शारीरिक दृष्टि से यह असम्भव है? वरन् मनोवैज्ञानिक दृष्टि से भी यह तर्कसंगत नहीं है? क्योंकि सब लोगों की अभिरुचियाँ भिन्नभिन्न होती हैं।भक्तगण जब भिन्नभिन्न देव स्थानों पर पूजा करते हैं? तब ये एक ही चेतन सत्य की आराधना करते हैं? जो इस परिवर्तनशील सृष्ट जगत् का अधिष्ठान है। जब वे विभिन्न देवताओं की पूजा करते हैं? तब भी वे उस एक सनातन सत्य का ही आह्वान करते हैं? जो उनके इष्ट देवता के रूप में व्यक्त हो रहा है। जब हम यह स्वीकार करते हैं कि अनन्त सत्य एकमेव अद्वितीय है? जो भूत? वर्तमान और भविष्य काल तीनों में एक समान रहता है? तब यह स्पष्ट हो जाता है कि सभी ऋषिमुनियों? साधुसन्तों? पैगम्बरों और अवतारों की उपाधियों में व्यक्त होने वाला आत्मचैतन्य एक ही है।सहिष्णुता हिन्दू धर्म का प्राण है। हम पहले भी विचार कर चुके हैं कि परमार्थ सत्य को अनन्तस्वरूप में स्वीकार करने वाले अद्वैती किस प्रकार सहिष्णु होने के अतिरिक्त कुछ और नहीं हो सकते हैं। असहिष्णुता उस धर्म में पायी जाती है? जिसमें किसी देवदूत विशेष को ही ईश्वर के रूप में स्वीकारा जाता है। हिन्दुओं में भी प्राय भिन्नभिन्न पंथों एवं सम्प्रदायों के मतावलम्बी निर्दयता की सीमा तक कट्टर पाये जाते हैं। असभ्यता के कुछ ऐसे उदाहरण भी मिलते हैं? जिनमें एक भक्त की यह धारणा होती है कि अन्य लोगों के देवताओं की निन्दा करना? अपने इष्ट देवता की स्तुति और भक्ति करना है परन्तु इस प्रकार के मत विकृत? घृणित और अशिष्ट हैं? जिन्हें हिन्दू धर्मशास्त्र में कोई स्वीकृति नहीं है? और न ही ऋषियों द्वारा प्रवर्तित सांस्कृतिक परम्परा में उन्हें कोई स्थान प्राप्त है।उदार हृदय? करुणासागर? प्रेमस्वरूप भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण घोषणा करते हैं? ये भक्त भी वास्तव में मुझे ही पूजते हैं? यद्यपि वह पूजन अविधिपूर्वक है।बाह्य जगत् में व्यावहारिक जीवन की दृष्टि से इस श्लोक का अभिप्राय यह है कि परमानन्दस्वरूप आत्मा की प्राप्ति को त्यागकर जो लोग सांसारिक विषयों की प्राप्ति के लिए ही प्रयत्न करते हैं? वे भी आत्मकृपा का ही आह्वान करते हैं? परन्तु अविधिपूर्वक।अत्यन्त विषयोपभोगी पुरुष भी जब धन के अर्जन? रक्षण और व्यय की योजनाएं बनाता है? जिससे कि वह नित्य नवीन विषयों को प्राप्त कर उनको भोग सके? तब वह भी स्वयं में स्थित अव्यक्त क्षमताओं का ही आह्वान करता है। आत्मा के बिना कोई भी व्यक्ति न पापकर्म कर सकता है और न पुण्य कर्म। आत्महत्या जैसे कार्य में भी जीवनी शक्ति की आवश्यकता होती है? परन्तु शस्त्र उठाने में वह पुरुष आत्मचेतना का दुरुपयोग कर रहा होता है।इस सन्दर्भ में अविधिपूर्वक का अर्थ अज्ञानपूर्वक है? जिसका अन्तिम परिणाम दुख और विषाद् होता है? तथा साधक आत्मा के परम आनन्द से वंचित रह जाता है।इन भक्तों के पूजन को अविधिपूर्वक क्यों कहा गया है इसके उत्तर में कहते हैं --

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

9.23 Even those who, being devoted to other deities and endowed with faith, worship (them), they also, O son of Kunti, worship Me alone (though) following the wrong method.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

9.23 Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship Me alone, O Arjuna, b the wrong method.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

9.23. O son of Kunti ! Even those who are the devotees of other gods and worship [them] with faith, worship Me alone, [but] following non-injunction;

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

9.23 ये who? अपि even? अन्यदेवताः other gods? भक्ताः devotees? यजन्ते worship? श्रद्धया with faith? अन्विताः endowed? ते they? अपि also? माम् Me? एव alone? कौन्तेय O Kaunteya? यजन्ति worship? अविधिपूर्वकम् by the wrong method.Commentary They worship Me in ignorance. Their mode of worship is contrary to the ancient,rule. Hence they return to this world.People worship Agni? Indra? Surya? Varuna? the Vasus? etc. Even they attain Me? because I am everywhere. But their devotion is not pure. It is vicarious. Water should be given to the root and not to the branches. If the root is satisfied? the whole tree must be and is satisfied. Even so? if I (the root of this world and all the gods) am satisfied? all the gods must be and are satisfied. Though the messages from the five organs of knowledge reach the one consciousness? will it be right and useful to place a sweetmeat in the ear and a flower in the eyes The function of eating must be done by the mouth alone and the function of smelling by the nose alone. Therefore I should be worshipped in My own nature. They should know Me as the Self in all beings. They should recognise Me in other worship. I am the root. I am the source of all the gods and of this whole world. (Cf.IV.11VII.20)

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

9.23 Api, even; ye, those who; anya-devata-bhaktah, being devoted to tother deities; and anvitah sraddhaya, endowed with faith; yajante, worship (them), te api, they also; O son of Kunti, yajanti, worship; mam, Me; eva, alone; (though) avidhi-purvakam, following the wrong method. Avidhi implies ignorance. So the idea is that they worship (Me) ignorantly. How it is that they worship (Me) ignorantly? [i.e. the worshippers of other deities worship them knowingly, and hence, how can the estion of their ignorance arise?] This is being answered: Because-

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

9.23 See Comment under 9.26

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

9.23 Those, however, who are devoted to Indra and other divinities, who rely on the three Vedas alone, and who, possessed of faith, worship Indra and other divinities - they too worship Me actually in the light of the truth that all existing things constitute My body and have Me for their selves. In the light of this principle, terms like Indra denote Me only. The worshippers of Indra and other deities therefore worship Me only, in ways not sanctioned by the Sastras. They do not worship Indra and other divinities with a proper understanding of the place of these deities in the light of the Vedanta texts. An example is Wherein (i.e., in the Supreme Self) the sacrifices known as the Caturhotri attain their fulfilment through the divinities (Tai. Ar., 4) etc. These texts say in what way these forms of worship apply to these divinties. For all Vedanta texts lay down that the Supreme Person alone is to be worshipped directly when they enjoin the worship of Indra and other divinities, as they form the body of the Supreme Person. The meaning is that in the Caturhotri sacrifice like Agnihotra, the full moon and the new moon sacrifices etc., it is the Supreme Self only that is worshipped, as He abides as the self in Indra etc., who are the ostensible objects worshipped in these sacrifices by which these worshippers obtain their fulfilment through them. Therefore, the votaries of the three Vedas do not understand that these rituals form the worship of the Supreme Person and that He alone is to be worshipped. As they do not do so, they become experiencers of limited results, and they are again liable to fall into Samsara. Sri Krsna gives expressions to this:

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

In verse 15 you have mentioned the three types of worship, and then to explain the third type of worship (visva rupa) you have recited verses to illustrate it (verse 16-19).  Some others worship Indra and others as part of their practice in karma yoga (verse 20). Though they predominantly worship other devatas, they also are your devotees. Why do they not get liberation? For you have said, “They again take repeated birth and death (verse 21)” and “Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary.” BG 7.23 This verse answers. Yes, they do worship me (te mam eva yajanti). However, they worship without any rules for attaining me (avidhi purvakam). Thus they return to this world.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

As the reality is that there is only one Supreme Lord and that is Lord Krishna and that the worship of any of the demigods who manage universal creation are all His devotees as well; then needless to say the worship of any other lesser god unconnected to Him is superfluous. But how is it that His devotees must still transmigrate incessantly in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death? What happens to them is being explained here. Although they are devotees of Lord Krishna they have a desire to worship demigods as well for material desires and although those desires zealously sought for are sanctioned to the demigod for bestowal because they are not following bhakti or loving devotion they have no chance for moksa or liberation from Lord Krishna because they are interested in mundane transitory acquisitions. Hence they also are born again and again continuously without cessation.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Lord Krishna speaks this verse to alleviate any doubt that He is the sole recipient and ultimate goal of all Vedic yagnas or offering and propitiation as enjoined in the Vedas. Now begins the summation. Superior by far to the worshippers of the demigods for desired results as found in the karma kanda or rituals for fruitive reward section of the Vedas are the Vaisnavas the exclusive devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations or expansions. The Vaisnavas are infused with bhakti or loving devotional service for the Supreme Lord and are without any desires for anything that is not directly associated with Him. The worship of Brahma or Shiva or the demigods is also worship of the Supreme Lord as it is He who they are worshipping but it is indirect. Also to perform Ashwemdha or other such Vedic rituals for desire of rewards is also worship of the Supreme Lord as it is He who sanctions such rewards but it is not direct as well. The Agni Purana states: That the spiritually intelligent verily regard the demigods who are the directors and managers of different aspects of creation as Vaisnavas and that is their service to the Supreme Lord. It should be noted that upasana or meditation on the attributes of the Supreme Lord as paramatma the Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of all sentient beings as well as meditation on His qualities and lilas or divine pastimes is in and of itself the Supreme State.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Lord Krishna confirms that everyone who worships the demigods like Brahma or Shiva as prescribed in traividya or the karma kanda or fruitive reward sections of the Vedas; as well as worship of lesser divinities such as Indra and Surya and also worship of impersonal conceptions of god are all in reality propitiation to the Supreme Lord but offered in an unconscious, indirect way. For this reason as stated previously all the 330 million demigods comprise the body of the Supreme Lord Krishna and within the etheric heart of each He is residing as paramatma the Supreme Soul as also within all living entities. In every sense all the demigods find their highest good and noblest purpose by supplication to Him. The ignorant who worship the demigods and other lesser gods are totally oblivious to this eternal truth and are not performing worship of the demigods in the manner prescribed in the Vedic scriptures. The Taittiriya Upanisad III.II.II beginning chatur hotaro yatra sampadam gacchanti devaih states: By paramatma the four Vedic rituals known as hotri are fulfilled by the demigods. The Supreme Lord in His localised aspect is paramatma who makes the ritual successful. Thus it is clear that the benefits gained by ceremonial worship to any of the demigods is only by grace of the Supreme Lord. The four hotri rituals as prescribed in the karma kanda section of the Vedas such as Agnihotra or propitiation to the sacred fire by offering it oblations of ghee and grains everyday. Two of the other hotris given in the Taittriya Upanisad I.VI.VIII beginning ya evam vidvan are Purnamasa or penance for full moon and Darsa or penance for new moon. The followers of traividya cannot comprehend that all the rituals and worship that they offer to the demigods is in reality indirect worship to the Supreme Lord who has Brahma, Shiva, Indra, Surya and all the 330 million demigods as part of His transcendental body and that He is the actual object of their worship. Hence because they worshipped indirectly they are entitled to indirect recompense because it descends from the Supreme Lord back down through the demigods who taking their share bestow whatever mundane and transitory desire the ritual was performed for such as entry into the heavenly planets and because such a boon is not eternal when the allotted time fo enjoyment has expired they will be recycled back into samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death again as mortals. It should be clearly understood that although the Vedic scriptures directly enjoin worship of the demigods they also explain that the demigods constitute the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord and that He is the spirit soul within each and every one of them as well and thus the spiritually intelligent mahatmanas or great souls easily understand that by worshipping the Supreme Lord all the demigods are automatically worshipped as well and thus with great love and devotion they exclusively worship the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Lord Krishna confirms that everyone who worships the demigods like Brahma or Shiva as prescribed in traividya or the karma kanda or fruitive reward sections of the Vedas; as well as worship of lesser divinities such as Indra and Surya and also worship of impersonal conceptions of god are all in reality propitiation to the Supreme Lord but offered in an unconscious, indirect way. For this reason as stated previously all the 330 million demigods comprise the body of the Supreme Lord Krishna and within the etheric heart of each He is residing as paramatma the Supreme Soul as also within all living entities. In every sense all the demigods find their highest good and noblest purpose by supplication to Him. The ignorant who worship the demigods and other lesser gods are totally oblivious to this eternal truth and are not performing worship of the demigods in the manner prescribed in the Vedic scriptures. The Taittiriya Upanisad III.II.II beginning chatur hotaro yatra sampadam gacchanti devaih states: By paramatma the four Vedic rituals known as hotri are fulfilled by the demigods. The Supreme Lord in His localised aspect is paramatma who makes the ritual successful. Thus it is clear that the benefits gained by ceremonial worship to any of the demigods is only by grace of the Supreme Lord. The four hotri rituals as prescribed in the karma kanda section of the Vedas such as Agnihotra or propitiation to the sacred fire by offering it oblations of ghee and grains everyday. Two of the other hotris given in the Taittriya Upanisad I.VI.VIII beginning ya evam vidvan are Purnamasa or penance for full moon and Darsa or penance for new moon. The followers of traividya cannot comprehend that all the rituals and worship that they offer to the demigods is in reality indirect worship to the Supreme Lord who has Brahma, Shiva, Indra, Surya and all the 330 million demigods as part of His transcendental body and that He is the actual object of their worship. Hence because they worshipped indirectly they are entitled to indirect recompense because it descends from the Supreme Lord back down through the demigods who taking their share bestow whatever mundane and transitory desire the ritual was performed for such as entry into the heavenly planets and because such a boon is not eternal when the allotted time fo enjoyment has expired they will be recycled back into samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death again as mortals. It should be clearly understood that although the Vedic scriptures directly enjoin worship of the demigods they also explain that the demigods constitute the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord and that He is the spirit soul within each and every one of them as well and thus the spiritually intelligent mahatmanas or great souls easily understand that by worshipping the Supreme Lord all the demigods are automatically worshipped as well and thus with great love and devotion they exclusively worship the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 9.23

Ye’pyanyadevataa bhaktaa yajante shraddhayaa’nvitaah; Te’pi maameva kaunteya yajantyavidhipoorvakam.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 9.23

ye—those who; api—although; anya—other; devatā—celestial gods; bhaktāḥ—devotees; yajante—worship; śhraddhayā anvitāḥ—faithfully; te—they; api—also; mām—Me; eva—only; kaunteya—Arjun, the son of Kunti; yajanti—worship; avidhi-pūrvakam—by the wrong method