The Power of Devotion – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 26-28

“One who offers in devotion to Me, a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I enjoy that pure-hearted devotee’s offering. Therefore whatever you do, eat, sacrifice or give, and whatever tapas you perform, do that as an offering to Me. In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 26- 28 

In these verses, Lord Krishna defines Sannyasa Yoga—Union (yoga) through renunciation (sannyasa)—as Devotion to God. It is the power of devotion that sets the true seeker on the path to liberation and union with God. For this reason, he seeks a guru with whom he can practice devotion while learning how to practice yoga correctly.

The offering of a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, is a devotional practice. When the state of the one making the offering is one of pure devotion, the offering is enjoyed.

The Sanskrit word for ‘enjoy’ also means ‘pervade’. The devotee whose offering is given with devotion, is pervaded by God. This is the source of the custom of pranama (bowing down) and placing gifts at the guru‘s feet. This custom is based on the recognition that God, Guru and the real Self are the same.

We have been getting directions for the yoga practice of surrendering ourselves to Absolute God in meditation. This was referred to as ‘sacrifice’. Now our attention moves to the sacrificial offering as a very powerful practice that we can do outside of the meditation room: Whatever we do, we offer to God with loving devotion. This simple form of surrender to God is another form of ‘renunciation’.

“Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.”
When you renounce not only the fruits of your action, but the actions themselves, this is ‘renunciation’. It is easily achieved through devotion.

If you cannot or will not renounce your sense of doership of actions, you renounce their results, their fruits. Persons traveling both the path of the will and the path of surrender will benefit from the surrender of the fruits of their actions to God. But for those on the willful path, here is a little known secret: Success in this will take you straight to surrender yoga, for this is what real devotion and renunciation truly are—surrender to God.

It is the Power of Devotion that makes full and complete surrender to God, possible, and it is this that brings about your liberation and ultimate union with God.

NOTE to practitioners of Experiential Surrender Meditation: This practice done during your daily life, will save you from accumulating karma and slowing your progress. Even though you have acted, the renunciation of your actions and/or their fruits with loving devotion, will nip the accumulation of karma in the bud. You may even find that you directly experience God’s pleasure in your offering, a blissful experience you will never forget. 

The specific spheres of action in which this instruction is aimed are “whatever you eat, sacrifice, give in charity, and whatever tapas you perform.” These specific actions are mentioned because they give the best results. All these actions done as acts of your own volition, you offer to God.  

“Whatever you eat” refers to anything you consume, or ingest. This is most obviously food, but applies to anything you intentionally take in—the enjoyment of the music, the fragrance of a flower, the pleasure of a good massage, a day at the gallery. We take in many things in a day, but it is those things we take in of our own volition that are the most effective offerings to God, your chosen ideal or Guru. 

“Whatever you sacrifice” refers to what you offer to God. For instance, you may surrender the food you are about to eat, some difficulty you are having in life, a pleasure you enjoy, a decision you have to make, a desire you want to be rid of.

“Whatever you give” refers to gifts and services to others: to Guru, your church, a charity, persons in need, etc. When you give, give it as if you were giving it to God, because you are.

The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes. His body is smeared with ashes.
The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes.

“Whatever tapas you perform” refers to your efforts toward spiritual progress: meditation, selfless service, mantra, prayer, etc. Tapas (‘austerity’) means ‘to burn’ and refers to purification, a direct effect of this renunciation (surrender).

Living your life this way you not only up the ante on your progress, but your attention will always be on God, so it’s money in the bank. 

In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action (karma) and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.

Sannyasa Yoga
Union (yoga) is achieved through renunciation (sannyasa).

  • Renunciation – To commit to, to entrust, lay down, abandon, surrender
  • Yoga – Union with God

The Purpose of Sannyasa Yoga
Committing yourself (devotion) to abandoning self-doing by entrusting all actions and their results to God in order to achieve union with God.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

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One thought on “The Power of Devotion – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 26-28

  1. galtarr

    A wonderful filled article that gives joy as to the moment to moment, countless moment of distinctions to surrender to the one Absolute God.

    Thank you Durga Ma

    Always a friend


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