bhaktyaa tvananyayaa shakya ahamevamvidhorjuna |
jnyaatum drishtum cha tattvena praveshtum cha parantapa || 54 ||

 
But, by single-pointed devotion, I am accessible, O Arjuna. In this manner, as my essence, I can be known, seen, and merged into, O scorcher of foes.
 
bhaktyaa : devotion
tu : but
ananyayaa : single-pointed
shakyaha : accessible
aham : I
evam : this
vidhihi : manner
arjuna : O Arjuna
jnyaatum : known
drishtum : seen
cha : and
tattvena : essence
praveshtum : merged
cha : and
parantapa : O scorcher of foes
 
So finally, Shri Krishna reveals the means by which we can access Ishvara’s cosmic form. It cannot be through any action such as rituals, study of the Vedas and so on since all of these methods are in the realm of space and time. “Ananya bhakti”, or single-pointed devotion is the only means to access Ishvara. We have come across the term “ananya” in prior chapters. It means that in which there is no “anya”, no other. We should not be devoted to Ishvara so that we can get something else. The devotion should be for obtaining Ishvara and nothing else.
 
We see this principle in our daily life as well. You have two friends, one who always comes to you when he needs something from you, not otherwise. Another friend comes to you just to know how you are doing, without any ulterior motive or hidden agenda. We would always prefer to deal with the second friend, and say to him “my house is your house, don’t behave like a stranger, take what you want”. Similarly, when we ask something materialistic from Ishvara, we treat him as different from us. Ishvara does not like this. When we want only Ishvara, we do not treat him as different from us. This is the crux of single-pointed devotion.
 
In the second half of the shloka, Shri Krishna outlines the process of attaining Ishvara. First, we have to know what Ishvara is, discarding all our prior notions. We have to know him as “tattvena”, in his essence, as pervading the entire world, not as someone hiding up in the sky somewhere. When we gain this knowledge and reflect upon it constantly, we begin to see Ishvara in everything, and everything as Ishvara. But the last step, of not seeing Ishvara from the outside, but of totally merging into Ishvara, can only happen through single-pointed devotion. Arjuna came to know Ishvara through Shri Krishna’s teaching, and he also saw Ishvara’s cosmic form. But he did not fully merge into it, he was standing out of it.
 
In this manner, Shri Krishna slowly brings up the topic of the next chapter, which is the yoga of bhakti or devotion. He summarizes this chapter in the next and last shloka.

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