Chapter 14. Path of devotion is the most superior – process of meditation described.

At the beginning of the 14th chapter, Uddhava enquires of the Lord whether of the many courses of discipline leading to liberation, including that of devotion, there is one, which is prominent. In reply the Lord traces the lineage of Vedic instructions from the Lord to Brahma and then from Brahma downwards on to the other created beings. Due to differing natural tendencies of different created beings, their thoughts too differ, and in conformity with their nature, diverse interpretations of the Vedas flow.

Strange are the different views held by the different people, some of them heretic.e.g, karma meemansa declaring Dharma as foremost, truthfulness, control of senses and mind, yoga, austerity, sexual enjoyment etc. However, the path of devotion to Sri Hari without any expectation in return is the most superior path. Such a devotee is very dear to the Lord. Neither yoga nor sankhya nor righteousness nor study of Vedas nor japa of the divine name, austerity or renunciation, captivates the Lord so thoroughly as does intense devotion.

The physical signs accompanying such intense devotion such as hair standing on end, tears of joy, choking of voice etc are described. Even as gold sheds its dross and regains its purity or true form, when heated with fire, so does the jiva shake off the seeds of karma through the discipline of devotion and thus cleansed, attains to its swarupa. The mind of a man dwelling on the objects of senses gets attached to them. Even so, the mind of one engaged in contemplation of the Lord gets absorbed in the Lord alone.

The importance of giving up attachment for the company of women is particularly stressed. Uddhava then enquires of the Lord the process of and form of meditation. In reply, the Lord describes the procedure for control of breathing (pranayama) ,as a prelude to concentrating the mind on the four armed form of the Lord, visualized as being present in the lotus of one’s heart. Thus concludes the fourteenth chapter.

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