Yoga Kshemam Vahamyaham

Today, Swami Kaivalyananda discussed a few shlokas from the beginning of the ninth chapter of the Gita. One in particular is the 22nd;
ananyascintayanto mam, ye janah paryupasate,
tesham nityabhiyuktanam, yoga kshemam vahamyaham.’

This shloka has been misinterpreted by many modern commentators. The phrase ‘yoga kshemam vahamyaham‘ literally means, ‘I will take care of My devotees’ securing and protection.’ However, this phrase has been taken in a material sense. For example, suppose a person starves for two days, and then somehow gets some food. He then considers that God has secured it for him. In a sense, it is true that Nature itself takes care of things, but that isn’t the meaning of the shloka here.

Here, it says ‘ananyascintayanto mam‘ – one who thinks of nothing but me. This isn’t something needed to secure food. The ‘securing and protection’ here refer to the spiritual growth of the aspirant that is in the hands of the Lord. This shows us that as spiritual sadhaks, all we can do is put forth effort, but the aspect of realization, of spiritual growth is completely in the hands of God, not in ours.

Then some people quote this shloka and say, ‘if you think of God incessantly, he will take care of all of your material needs.’ Some people go to the temple and pray, and then proceed to buy a lottery ticket, believing that the Lord will ‘secure’ for them. That is not the meaning of the verse. This is purely spiritual ‘securing,’ not material. All material securing and such things are within the rules set forth by God, the rules of karma. It is the spiritual progress of the sadhak which is meant here in the shloka.

May 29, 2007

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Om Namah Shivaya

    That was a nice explanation. I think the meaning of the verses can easily be distorted by people without a good teacher to explain it clearly. It must be wonderful to hear discourses from someone well-versed in this text.

  2. Dear Piyush,

    I’ve a question: one of the 1000 names of Amma it doesn’t recite: “Praise to the one that grants all the desires”, or something similar?

  3. Yes, that is true, that we recieve what we desire from the Lord as a fruit of our worship. However, that is not what is expressed in a gross way in this particular part of the Gita. Elsewhere, it does say that there are four kinds of devotees; one seeking relief from suffering, one who seeks wealth, one who seeks liberation, and the jnani. There, the devotee seeking material wealth is on a lower level then the highest aspirant, which is showed in this part of the gita. Remember, it says, ‘ananyas cintayanto mam’ – who is there that thinks of nothing but God? That is only one in many hundreds of thousands. That is all that was meant.
    Om Namah Shivaya,

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