अन्तवत्तु फलं तेषां तद्भवत्यल्पमेधसाम् | देवान्देवयजो यान्ति मद्भक्ता यान्ति मामपि ||७-२३||
antavattu phalaṃ teṣāṃ tadbhavatyalpamedhasām . devāndevayajo yānti madbhaktā yānti māmapi ||7-23||
7.23. But, that fruit of those men of poor intellect is finite. Those, who perform sacrifices, aiming at the gods, go to gods, and My devotees go to Me.
Shri Purohit Swami
7.23 The fruit that comes to men of limited insight is, after all, finite. They who worship the Lower Powers attain them; but those who worship Me come unto Me alone.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
7.20-23 Kamaih etc. upto man api. On the other hand, those persons, whose minds are conditioned by a variety of their own respective desires for the best and so on (or the desires that may be classified as the best and so on) - they have thier thinking faculty carried away by their desires, and worship a particular deity who possesses nothing but My intermediate body that suits only to those devotees’ desires. Hence, they obtain their desired result from Me alone. But, that result has an end of its own, because it is limited by the mental impressions of their own. Therefore those who perform sacrifice etc., with the aim of becming Indra etc., (or of attaining the houses of Indra etc.) gain their desired fruit accordingly. On the other hand, those whose chief aim is to attain Me, they gain Me alone. But, while the Absolute-being is immanent in all, how is it that the fruit achieved by the worshippers of other deities is limited ? The answer is given as :
7.23 The men of ‘small understanding’ means those whose understanding is poor, who worship only Indra and other divinities. The fruit of their worship is small and finite. Why? The worshippers of divinities like Indra go to the divinities. And Indra and other divinities possess limited joy and live only for a limited time. So if they attain eality of enjoyment with them, they also fall down along with them in due course; but My devotees, knowing that their acts are of the nature of My worship, renouncing attachment for finite, fruits, reach Me, having for their purpose the pleasing of Me alone. That is, they never more return to Samsara. For Sri Krsna teaches later on: ‘But on reaching Me there is no rirth, O Arjuna’ (8.16).
Now Sri Krsna declares: ‘But these others (i.e., who worship Indra etc.) regard as insignificant even My incarnations among men and other beings in order to make Myself easy for all to resort to.’
7.23 Since those non-discriminating men with desires are engaged in disciplines for limited results, therefore, tat phalam, that result; tesam, of theirs; alpamedhasam, who are of poor intellect, of poor wisdom; antavat tu bhavati, is limited, ephemeral, indeed. Deva-yajah, the worshippers of gods; yanti, go; devan, to the gods. Madbhaktah, My devotees; yanti, to; mam api, to Me alone. ‘Thus, though the effort needed is the same, they do not resort to me alone for the unlimited result. Alas! they are surely in a pitiable condition.’ In this manner the Lord expresses his compassion. ‘Why do they not take refuge in Me alone?’ The answer is:
7.23 But limited is the fruit gained by these men of small understanding. The worshippers of the gods will go to the gods but My devotees will come to Me.
7.23 That result of theirs who are of poor intellect is indeed limited. The worshippers of gods go to the gods. My devotees go to Me alone.
7.23 Verily the reward (fruit) that accrues to those men of small intelligence is finite. The worshippers of the gods go to them, but My devotees come to Me.
7.23 अन्तवत् finite? तु verily? फलम् the fruit? तेषाम् of them? तत् that? भवति is? अल्पमेधसाम् those of small intelligence? देवान् to the gods? देवयजः the worshippers of the gods? यान्ति go to? मद्भक्ताः My devotees? यान्ति go to? माम् Me? अपि also.Commentary The exertion in the two kinds is the same and yet people do not attempt to worship the Supreme Being in order to attain the maximum benefits or the infinite reward (liberation or Moksha). The reward obtained by men of small understandng and petty intellect who worship the minor deities is small? perishable and temporary.Yajnas (Vedic rituals)? Homas (rituals in which oblations are offered into the sacred fire) and Tapas (penance) of various sorts can bestow only temporary rewards on the performer. Liberation from the wheel of transmigration alone will give everlasting bliss and eternal peace.Those who worship Indra and others are Sattvic devotees those who worship Yakshas and Rakshasas (demoniacal beings) are Rajasic devotees and those who worship the Bhutas and Pretas (discarnate spirits) are Tamasic devotees.The knowledge of those who worship the small deities is partial and incomplete. It cannot lead to liberation. (Cf.IX.25)