Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bhagavadgita 3-4, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ३-४

न कर्मणामनारम्भान्नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषोऽश्नुते।
न च संन्यसनादेव सिद्धिं समधिगच्छति।।३-४।।

सन्धि विग्रहः
न कर्मणाम् अनारम्भात् नैष्कर्म्यं पुरुषः अश्नुते।
न च संन्यसनात् एव सिद्धिम् समधिगच्छति।।३-४।।

कर्मणाम् अनारम्भात् पुरुषः नैष्कर्म्यं न अश्नुते।
(कर्मणां) च संन्यसनात् एव सिद्धिम् समधिगच्छति।।३-४।।

3.4 =not कर्मणाम्=of prescribed duties अनारम्भात्=by non performance नैष्कर्म्यं=freedom from reaction पुरुषः=a man अश्नुते=achieves =not=also संन्यसनात्=by renunciation एव=simply सिद्धिम्=success समधिगच्छति=attains.


3.4: Neither because man does not initiate an action, he attains (Niaskarmyam) abandonment of action, nor because of renunciation of action, he attains (siddhim) perfection.


In this sloka beginning with the word na, shree Bhagavaan is explaining that jnaana will not appear in an impure heart. One cannot attain naishkarmya (freedom from karma and its reaction), without performing the karma (action) prescribed in saastra and consequently one cannot attain jnaana. Those persons whose hearts are impure cannot attain perfection merely by accepting sannyaasa, the renunciation of prescribed karma.


Jnaana does not appear unless the heart is pure, and without jnaana one cannot perfect sannyaasa, which is a limb of the process of attaining moksha. Therefore, until one attains jnaana by purity of heart one should, as stated in saastra, continue performing prescribed duties related to varnaasramadharma.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bhagavadgita 3-3, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ३-३

लोकेऽस्मिन् द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ।
ज्ञानयोगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम्।।३-३।।

सन्धि विग्रहः
श्रीभगवान् उवाच।
लोके अस्मिन द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मया अनघ।
ज्ञान-योगेन साङ्ख्यानाम् कर्म-योगेन योगिनाम्।।३-३।।

हे अनघ! अस्मिन् लोके साङ्ख्यानाम् ज्ञान-योगेन,
योगिनाम् कर्म-योगेन द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा मया प्रोक्ता।

3.3 लोके=in the world अस्मिन=this द्विविधा=two kinds of निष्ठा=faith पुरा=formerly प्रोक्ता=were said मया=by me अनघ=O sinless one ज्ञान-योगेन=by the linking process of knowledge साङ्ख्यानाम्=of the empiric philosophers कर्म-योगेन=by the linking process of devotion योगिनाम्=of the devotees

3.3: Sri Bhagavan said: In this world, as said before by me, O sinless One, there are two-fold (two) paths, Jnāna yoga (Yoga of knowledge) for men of contemplation (Sankhya Yogi) and Karma yoga (Yoga of action) for men of action (Karma Yogi). 


In response to Arjuna's question, Bhagavaan shree Krishna says, "If I say that nishkaama-karma-yoga and jnaana-yoga, which are the saadhana performed to attain moksha, are independent of each other, you will again ask Me to speak decisively on one of them. But as I have explained, the two types of nishthaa (staunch faith), karma-nishthaa and jnaana-nishthaa, are actually two consecutive stages on the same path. In fact, I have not said that there are two types of people who are eligible to achieve moksha."

The two slokas beginning with the present sloka, loke 'smin, are being spoken for this reason. As explained in the previous chapter, dvi-vidhaa indicates two types of nishthaa. Regarding this nishthaa, Krishna is saying that, since in the stage of jnaana the heart of the jnaanee is pure, maryaadaa (regulated discipline) can be established by the practice of jnaana-yoga. Only such persons who accept maryaadaa are well known in this world as jnaanees.

In Geetaa (2.61) shree Krishna says:

taani sarvaani samyamya / yukta aaseeta mat-parah
vase hi yasyendriyaani / tasya prajnaa pratishthitaa

Therefore, after controlling all of their senses, the yogees should remain under My shelter and devote themselves to Me. Only a person in control of his senses has fixed intelligence. Only he is sthita-prajna.

"On the other hand, there are those who lack the purity of heart to situate themselves on the path of jnaana, but are searching for the means to attain that path. The maryaadaa of such yogees is established by following the path of nishkaamakarma-yoga which is offered unto Me. They are known as karmees. In Geetaa 2.31 it is said "For a kshatriya there is no better engagement than to fight for religion." Therefore the terms"karmee" and "jnaanee" are only two appellations. However, generally when karmees begin to purify their hearts by the process of nishkaama-karma-yoga they, too, become jnaanees who can in turn become liberated by the process of bhakti. This is the import of My statements."


The various processes of karma, yoga, jnaana and tapasyaa cannot give their own results independently. They are only able to produce beneficial results by taking the support of bhakti. Nirguna-bhakti, however, can give krishna-prema independently without the help of these other processes. Bhakti-yoga mixed with jnaana or karma is the saadhana for achieving moksha. There are two types of nishthaa (staunch faith) related to this saadhana. The first is possessed by those with pure hearts, who ascend the path of bhakti-yoga through their steady faith in saankhya or jnaana-yoga. The second is the faith of those whose hearts are impure, but who, by performing nishkaama-karma offered to shree Bhagavaan, can also ascend the path of jnaana-yoga and ultimately achieve bhakti.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bhagavadgita 3-2, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ३-२

व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे।
तदेकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयोऽहमाप्नुयाम्।।३-२।।

सन्धि विग्रहः
व्यामिश्रेण इव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसि इव मे।
तत् एकम् वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयः अहम् आप्नुयाम्।।३-२।।

व्यामिश्रेण इव वाक्येन मे बुद्धिं मोहयसि इव। तत् निश्चित्य
एकं वद, येन अहम् श्रेयः आप्नुयाम्।

3.2 व्यामिश्रेण=by equivocal इव=certainly वाक्येन=words बुद्धिं=intelligence मोहयसि=you are bewildering इव=certainly मे=my तत्=therefore एकम्=only one वद=please tell निश्चित्य=ascertaining येन=by which श्रेयः=real benefit अहम्=I आप्नुयाम्=may have


3.2: By using confusing words, you perplex my mind. Therefore tell me with certainty that one thing by which I may obtain bliss (Srēyah = Bliss, eminence, greatness).


Shree Bhagavaan is telling His friend, "O sakhe Arjuna! It is a fact that gunaateetaa bhakti is the most superior process because it is transcendental. But such bhakti can only be attained by the mercy of My mahaa-bhakta who is independent (transcendental to the gunas) and aikaantika (one-pointed). It can never be attained by one's own endeavour. Therefore, become nistrai-gunya (free from the gunas). I bless you that you will become nistrai-gunya by performing transcendental bhakti (gunaateetaa bhakti) to Me. When this blessing fructifies, you will achieve gunaateetaa bhakti by the mercy of an independent and aikaantika-mahaa-bhaagavat, but, as I have already said, at present your eligibility (adhikaara) is to perform karma only."

Arjuna then says, "If this is so, why don't You definitively tell me to engage only in karma? Why are You drowning me in an ocean of doubts?" This is why Arjuna is speaking this sloka beginning with vyaamisreneva, which has various implications. He is saying, "By such statements You are bewildering my intelligence. Moreover, initially You said: karmany evaadhikaaras te (Geetaa 2.47). 'You only have the adhikaara to perform karma, your prescribed duty.' Then You said: siddhyasiddhyoh samo bhutvaa samatvam yoga ucyate (Geetaa 2.48). 'That equanimity in which one remains equipoised in success and failure is called yoga.' Then again, You said: buddhi-yukto jahaateeha ubhe sukrita-dushkrite tasmaad yogaaya yujyasva yogah karmasu kausalam (Geetaa 2.50). 'Intelligent persons abandon both pious and impious activities and, because buddhi-yoga is the highest goal of karma, they endeavour for nishkaamakarma.' Here, by the word yoga, You are also referring to jnaana. Then You say: yadaa te moha-kalilam buddhir vyatitarishyati (Geetaa 2.52). 'When your intelligence crosses beyond the dense forest of delusion.' Here again, You are simply speaking about jnaana.

"In fact, the word iva ('like that' or 'it seems') implies that Your statement is not ambiguous. Since You are merciful, it is not Your desire to bewilder me. Besides, since I am not ignorant of these matters, it is appropriate for You to speak directly." The deep purport is that karma (action) in sattva guna is superior to karma in rajo-guna. Jnaana is also in sattvaguna, but it is superior to karma in sattva-guna, and nirgunabhakti is far superior to jnaana. "If You think that it is impossible for me to engage in nirguna-bhakti, then please simply instruct me on saattvika jnaana, by which I will become free from bondage to this miserable material world."


Action (karma) in sattva-guna is superior to action in rajoguna. Jnaana is superior to karma in sattva-guna, although it is also in sattva-guna. Sattvaat sanjaayate jnaanam. "From sattvaguna real jnaana develops" (Geetaa 14.17).

Superior to jnaana in sattva-guna is nirguna-bhakti, which is defined as follows in shreemad-Bhaagavatam (3.29.11-12):

mad-guna-sruti-maatrena / mayi sarva-guhaasaye mano-gatir avicchinnaa / yathaa gangaambhaso'mbudhau

lakshanam bhakti-yogasya / nirgunasya hy udaahritam ahaituky avyavahitaa / yaa bhaktih purushottame

While Kapiladeva was instructing His mother, Devahuti in nirguna-bhakti, He said, "Just as the water of the Gangaa flows naturally and without cessation towards the ocean, similarly that natural unbroken flow of the aatmaa towards Me, who am situated within the cave of the heart of the living entity, merely hearing about My pastimes and qualities, which are blessed with extraordinary potency, is called nirguna-bhakti-yoga. Nirgunabhakti is anyaabhilaasha-sunya, devoid of the duality of the material world which arises from dviteeya-abhinivesa (forgetfulness of Krishna), and it absorbs the performer favourably in continuous service to Me, Purushottama."

To forget Krishna and become absorbed in maayaa is called dviteeya-abhinivesa, absorption in the second or false object (shreemad-Bhaagavatam 11.2.37). This gives rise to various separate interests, such as 'I,' 'mine,' 'you' and 'yours'.