man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.65
Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Krishna and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Krishna. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Krishna. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Krishna. And the Lord’s promise is that anyone who is in such pure Krishna consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Krishna, where he will be engaged in the association of Krishna face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Krishna. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Krishna and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.
These words stress that one should concentrate his mind upon Krishna—the very form with two hands carrying a flute, the bluish boy with a beautiful face and peacock feathers in His hair. There are descriptions of Krishna found in the Brahma-samhita and other literatures. One should fix his mind on this original form of Godhead, Krishna. One should not even divert his attention to other forms of the Lord. The Lord has multiforms as Vishnu, Narayana, Rama, Varaha, etc., but a devotee should concentrate his mind on the form that was present before Arjuna. Concentration of the mind on the form of Krishna constitutes the most confidential part of knowledge, and this is disclosed to Arjuna because Arjuna is the most dear friend of Krishna’s.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The phrase bhava mad-bhakto means “Being my devotee, think of me.” The Lord says this to exclude the other possibilities. He does not mean, “Be a jnani or be a yogi and meditate on me.”
Or the phrase man-mana can mean: “Give your mind as a gift to me, Syamasundara, with moon-like face, with shining locks of hair and beautiful eye brows, raining nectar in the form of glances of sweet mercy.”
And then bhava mad bhaktah can mean, “And give all your senses such as the ears to me. Perform worship of me (bhava mad bhaktah) using all the senses with such services as hearing, chanting, seeing my murti, cleaning and anointing my temple, picking flowers, and offering me garlands, ornaments, umbrella and camara.”
And then the Lord says, “Give me objects such as gandha, flowers, incense, lamp and naivedya. Be my worshipper. Perform my worship.” (mad yaji).
And then Lord says, “O, just give my respects, (mam namaskuru) Falling on the ground with the whole body, offer respects, by touching the body to the ground with eight limbs.” “Of these four – thinking of me, serving me with senses, worshipping me with items and offering respects to me – do all of them or any of them, and you will attain me (mam eva esyasi). Make an offering of your mind, your senses, or items of worship unto me, and I make an oath to you (te satyam): I will give myself to you.”
The word satyam implies something of which there is no doubt. According to the Amara Kosa, satyam means an oath and truth.
“Well, the people born in the land of Mathura make such oaths in every sentence.”
That is true. In that case, under oath (pratijane) I declare, “You are dear to me. No one cheats a person dear to himself.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.65 What is enjoined in Vedanta texts such as ‘I know the Great Person of the radiance of the sun, who is beyond this Prakrti. Knowing Him thus, one becomes here immortal; there is no path for immortality’ (Sve. U., 3.8); what is designated by words such as knowledge (Vedanta), meditation (Dhyana) and worship (Upasana); what is of the form of direct perception (Darsana) having the character of continuous succession of memory of a surpassingly loving nature to the worshipped — it is this that is enjoined herein by the words ‘Focus your mind on Me,’ ‘Be My devotee.’ It means, be one to whom I am incomparably dear. Since I am the object of superabundant love, meditate on Me, i.e., practise the succession of memory of unsurpassed love of Me. Such is the meaning. Be My worshipper (yaji). Here also the expression, ‘Be My devotee’ is applicable. Yajna is worship. Worship Me as one exceedingly dear to you. Worship (Aradhana) is complete subservience to the Lord. Prostrate before Me. Prostration means bowing down. The meaning is: Bow down humbly before Me with great love. Renouncing thus all ego-centredness, you shall come to Me. I make this solemn promise to you. Do not take it as a mere flattery. For you are dear to Me. It has been already stated, ‘For I am inexpressibly dear to the man of knowledge and dear is he to Me’ (7.17). He in whom there is surpassing love for Me, I hold him also as surpassingly dear to Me. Consequently, not being able to bear separation from him, I myself will enable him to attain Me. It is this truth alone that has been solemnly declared to you in the expression that ‘you shall come to Me alone.’
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now the essence of all confidential knowledge contained in Srimad Bhagavad- Gita will be revealed by the Supreme Lord. Dedicate your mind to Lord Krishna. Be solely devoted to Lord Krishna. Give humble obeisance to Lord Krishna. Offer joyful propitiation to Lord Krishna. Living life in this way one will surely attain direct communion with Him by the spiritual wisdom bestowed by His Grace. One should not have any doubts about this for it is reality. Lord Krishna is extremely affectionate to His surrendered devotees. That is why He personally promises this eternal benediction which bequeaths both the purpose and the goal of material existence for the highest benefit of His devotees for all times.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna reveals the essence, the most confidential of all knowledge within Srimad Bhagavad Gita which will secure permanent release from samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death, guarantee moksa or liberation from material existence and propel spiritual ascendance unto eternal communion with the Supreme Lord.
The Supreme Lord Krishna reveals the secret with the instruction to fix the mind upon Him. Concentrate upon Him with one-pointed focused in bhakti or exclusive loving devotion. This instruction is to be practically applied by dedicating all actions prescribed by the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures unto Him. Whatever prescribed Vedic activitiy offered to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His avatars or incarnations and expansions as revealed in the Vedic scriptures is considered devotion which will lead to direct communion with Him eternally. It should not be erroneously misconstrued that one can offer actions that are prohibited in the Vedic scriptures as that would be inconscienable and offensive. It is seen that followers of Kali Ma offer meat to her in sacrifice; but if some ignornant fool offered meat to Lord Krishna they would be condemned to suffer in hellish condition for such a great offense as it is prohibited to offer Him at any time under any circumstances foods that are not in sattva guna the mode of goodness and flesh from any source is always in tama guna the mode of ignorance.
Worshipping the Supreme Lord exclusively by prescribed Vedic activities in the form of offering material possessions, or in the form of executing tapah or austerities or as simple as performing the blessed and purifying Ekadasi vrata which is fasting twice a month from all grains on the 11th day of the waxing and waning moons and which grants unalloyed devotion to Lord Krishna.
For offering worship with material things such as pure cow ghee, gold, silver, marble, etc. is possible only if one is wealthy; but even if one is poor Lord Krishna will happily accept a fruit, a flower or just pure water from His devotees according to their capacity. Offerings in the form of austerities forebearing hunger and thirst, cold and heat, etc. in the natural course of following one’s own prescribed Vedic duties. The offerings of yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord are the repitition of sacred mantras, exercises controlling the breath, the mind and the senses along with asanas or postures. The offerings of wisdom are reciting and chanting the verses of the Upanisads, the Puranas, Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Vishnu-Saharanama the Thosand Names of Vishnu, etc. The offering of learning is studying and learning and for those more qualified teaching the meaning and conclusion of the Vedic sciptures to others.
Now in order to avoid any complacency Lord Krishna instructs to bow down to Him with regularlity fully with all the eight limbs of the body touching the ground for men. For women it should be only the knees, head and hands touching the ground as a womens breast should never touch the floor. So dedicated a devotee will advance by means of such devotion. The perfomance of millions of ritualistic ceremonies cannot compare to the results Lord Krishna’s devotees receive from bhakti. To receive the full result one should have concentrated devotion with undivided attention to Lord Krishna alone. Although the Supreme Lord is extremely difficult to propitiate even by Brahma, Shiva and the demigods who often consider themselves independent; but to His surrendered devotees He is so easy to please that even with only fresh water He is amply satified if it is offered with devotion.
After investigating and scrutinising the Vedic scripture intensely and reflecting and pondering over them repeatedly the consensus concluded by the wise and sagacious is that one should concentrate their mind and energies on meditating on the nama or name, rupa or form, guna or qualities and lila or divine pastimes of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Always remembering Him and never forgetting Him attain immortality. The sage Medhavi stated in Moksa Dharma: I am that enlightened person, non-violent, true to the self, with senses controlled, free from passion and anger, equipoised and tranquil and in this way I shall overcome death like the immortals. Undoubtedly one should abandon anything internal or external which causes attachment in the mind and distracts it from meditating fully on the Supreme Lord and remain blissfully absorbed in this state until the final moment of death. The muktas or liberated souls who have achieved this state while still alive have declared that if one can control the mind in this way after some time it locks and one is free to establish themselves in the atma or immortal soul within the etheric heart which gives liberation granting direct communion with the Supreme Lord.
The misguided and malicious atheists of mundane intelligence and degraded impulses, such deluded living entities are unable to behold the wide open gateway to moksa or liberation from material existence that is accessible to all humanity. All their endeavours and attempts to understand the inconceivable is for them in vain because they have eternally cursed themselved for denying the existence of the magnanimous and compassionate almighty Supreme Lord.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.65 Bhava manmana, have your mind fixed on Me; be mad-bhaktah, My devotee; be a madyaji,sacrificer to Me, be engaged in sacrifices to Me; namaskuru, bow down; mam, to Me. Offer ever your salutations to Me alone. Continuing thus in them, by surrendering all ends, means and needs to Vasudeva only, esyasi, you will come; mam, to Me; eva, alone. (This) satyam, truth: do I pratijane, promise; te, to you, i.e. in this matter I make this true promise. For, asi, you are; priyah, dear; me, to Me. The idea conveyed by the passage is: Having thus understood that the Lord is true in His pormise, and knowing for certain that liberation is the unfailing result of devotion to the Lord, one should have dedication to God as his only supreme goal. Having summed up surrender to God as the highest secret of steadiness in Karma-yoga, there-after, with the idea that complete realization, which is the fruit of adherence to Karma-yoga and which has been enjoined in all the Upanisads, has to be spoken about, the Lord says:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.64-65 Sarva – etc. Manmanah etc, By the portion ‘Be with your mind fixed in Me’ etc., it is determined that in the scriptures the importance completely lies only in dedicating [everything] to the Brahman; and it is declared that this present scripture (the Holy Bhagavatgita) is of use [only] in the case of one who cultivates [the attitude of] dedication to the Brahman. Also He says –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ’si me
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
mat-manāḥ — thinking of Me; bhava — just become; mat-bhaktaḥ — My devotee; mat-yājī — My worshiper; mām — unto Me; namaskuru — offer your obeisances; mām — unto Me; eva — certainly; eṣyasi — you will come; satyam — truly; te — to you; pratijāne — I promise; priyaḥ — dear; asi — you are; me — to Me.