Of the worshippers, who thus, constantly devoted, meditate on you, and those who (meditate) on the unperceived and indestructible, which best know devotion?
The Deity said:
Those who being constantly devoted, and possessed of the highest faith, worship me with a mind fixed on me, are deemed by me to be the most devoted. But those, who, restraining the (whole) group of the senses, and with a mind at all times equable, meditate on the indescribable, indestructible, unperceived (principle) which is all-pervading, unthinkable, indifferent, immovable, and constant, they, intent on the good of all beings, necessarily attain to me. For those whose minds are attached to the unperceived, the trouble is much greater. Because the unperceived goal is obtained by embodied (beings) with difficulty. As to those, however, O son of Pṛthā! who, dedicating all their actions to me, and (holding) me as their highest (goal), worship me, meditating on me with a devotion towards none besides me, and whose minds are fixed on me, I, Without delay, come forward as their deliverer from the ocean of this world of death. Place your mind on me only; fix your understanding on me. In me you will dwell hereafter, (there is) no doubt. But if you are unable to fix your mind steadily on me, then, O Dhanañjaya! endeavour to obtain me by the abstraction of mind (resulting) from continuous meditation. If you are unequal even to continuous meditation, then let acts for (propitiating) me be your highest (aim). Even performing actions for (propitiating) me, you will attain perfection. If you are unable to do even this, then resort to devotion to me, and, with self-restraint, abandon all fruit of action. For knowledge is better than continuous meditation; concentration is esteemed higher than knowledge; and the abandonment of fruit of action than concentration; from (that) abandonment, tranquillity soon (results). That devotee of mine, who hates no being, who is friendly and compassionate, who is free from egoism, and from (the idea that this or that is) mine, to whom happiness and misery are alike, who is forgiving, contented, constantly devoted, self-restrained, and firm in his determinations, and whose mind and understanding are devoted to me, he is dear to me. He through whom the world is not agitated, and who is not agitated by the world, who is free from joy and anger and fear and agitation, he too is dear to me. That devotee of mine, who is unconcerned, pure, assiduous, impartial, free from distress, who abandons all actions (for fruit), he is dear to me. He who is full of devotion to me, who feels no joy and no aversion, who does not grieve and does not desire, who abandons (both what is) agreeable and (what is) disagreeable, he is dear to me. He who is alike to friend and foe, as also in honour and dishonour, who is alike in cold and heat, pleasure and pain, who is free from attachments, to whom praise and blame are alike, who is taciturn, and contented with anything whatever (that comes), who is homeless, and of a steady mind, and full of devotion, that man is dear to me. But those devotees who, imbued with faith, and (regarding) me as their highest (goal), resort to this holy (means for attaining) immortality, as stated, they are extremely dear to me.
Footnotes and references:
Passively looking on what occurs on earth; immovable = changeless; constant = eternal.
Viz. the indestructible.
I. e. assimilated with me, as expressed before.
Cf. p. 78 supra.
Performing actions, but dedicating them to me.
Fixing the mind with effort on the object of contemplation. Cf. Maitrī-upaniṣad, p. 130.
No disturbance results from him to other men, or from other men to him. Cf. Sutta Nipāta, p. 56.
Indifferent to worldly objects.
Ready to do work as it arises.
Not feeling afflicted by other people's doing an injury to him.
'For fruit' must be understood here.
I. e. governs his tongue properly. Cf. Sutta Nipāta, p. 55, and Dhammapada, stanza 96.
Cf. Sutta Nipāta, pp. 94, 101, 122; Āpastamba, Dharma-sūtra, p. 102 p. 86 (p. 152 in this series); and Dhammapada, stanzas 40-91 (where the identical word is used).