Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bhagavadgita 3-35, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ३-३५

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात्,
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः।।३-३५।।

सन्धि विग्रहः
श्रेयान् स्वधर्मः विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात्।
स्वधर्मे निधनम् श्रेयः परधर्मः भय-आवहः।।३-३५।।

स्वनुष्ठितात् परधर्मात् विगुणः स्वधर्मः (अपि) श्रेयान्।
स्वधर्मे निधनम् श्रेयः। परधर्मः भय-आवहः।

3.35 श्रेयान्=far better स्वधर्मः=one’s prescribed duties विगुणः=even faulty परधर्मात्=than duties mentioned for others स्वनुष्ठितात्=perfectly done स्वधर्मे=in one’s prescribed duties निधनम्=destruction श्रेयः=better परधर्मः=duties prescribed for others भय-आवहः=dangerous


3.35: It is preferable to do one's own duty, however deficient it is, than to do the duty of another, however skillful it is. Better is death in performing one’s own duty than to perform the duty of another, for it is inductive of fear.


Shree Bhagavaan sees that due to attachment and aversion, Arjuna is becoming unable to engage in his own prescribed duty of fighting. Instead, he considers it easier to engage in ahimsaa (non-violence) which is para-dharma (the duty of others). Therefore, shree Bhagavaan is speaking this sloka beginning with the word sreyaan. The word viguna means that, although one's sva-dharma may have some defects and one may be unable to execute it properly, it is still superior to performing para-dharma, which may contain all good qualities and be executed correctly (sv-anushthitaat). For this reason, this sloka, sreyaan sva-dharme, is spoken.

It is said in shreemad-Bhaagavatam (7.15.12):

vidharmah para-dharmas ca / aabhaasa upamaa cchalah
adharma-saakhaah pancemaa / dharma-jno 'dharmavat tyajet

The tree of adharma has five branchesóvidharma (activities opposed to dharma), para-dharma (following another's dharmika principles), aabhaasa (making a show of dharmika principles), upamaa or upa-dharma (practising principles that only appear to be dharmika) and chala-dharma (cheating dharma). A knower of dharma (dharma-jna) will abandon all of them as forbidden acts. 


Activities such as non-violence are prescribed for braahmanas situated in sattva-guna. For kshatriyas in rajo-guna, the prescribed duty is fighting. Therefore, the sva-dharma for kshatriyas is to engage in battle. Even if a kshatriya dies in battle he attains Svarga; therefore, it is better for him to fight.

Shreela Bhaktivinoda Thaakura says, "One who follows svadharma may die before attaining a more elevated state of dharma (a higher adhikaara). Still it is auspicious, because to perform para-dharma is always fearful and dangerous in any circumstance. This consideration, however, does not apply to nirguna-bhakti. When the stage of nirguna-bhakti is attained, one can give up sva-dharma without hesitation because at that time his nitya-dharma or svarupa-dharma (constitutional nature) manifests as his sva-dharma. Here sva means the real self and dharma means the jeeva's eternal function. In that stage the sva-dharma which one previously accepted in relation to the body and mind becomes para-dharma, that is, secondary to the duties of the awakened self."

devarshi-bhutaapta-nrinaam pitrinaam na kinkaro naayam rinee ca raajan sarvaatmanaa yah saranam saranyam gato mukundam parihritya kartam
shreemad-Bhaagavatam 11.5.41

Those who have taken exclusive shelter of shree Mukunda, who is the only shelter, and who have renounced all varieties of karma, no longer remain indebted to the devas, sages, living entities, perfected persons and forefathers.

taavat karmaani kurveeta / na nirvidyeta yaavataa mat-kathaa-sravanaadau vaa / sraddhaa yaavan na jaayate
shreemad-Bhaagavatam 11.20.9 

One who has not become fully detached from enjoying the fruits of his activities (karma), and whose faith in the process of bhakti and the hearing of My pastimes is not yet sufficiently developed, must certainly engage in karma (prescribed duties). Tyaagees or bhaktas of Bhagavaan, on the other hand, have no purpose to achieve by engaging in karma.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bhagavadgita 3-34, श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता ३-३४

इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ।
तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ।।३-३४।।

सन्धि विग्रहः
इन्द्रियस्य इन्द्रियस्य-अर्थ राग-द्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ।
तयोः न वशम् आगच्छेत् तौ हि अस्य परिपन्थिनौ।।३-३४।।

इन्द्रियस्य-अर्थे इन्द्रियस्य राग-द्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ,
तयोः वशम् न आगच्छेत्। तौ हि अस्य परिपन्थिनौ।

3.34 इन्द्रियस्य=of the senses इन्द्रियस्य-अर्थ=in the sense objects राग=attachment द्वेषौ=also detachment व्यवस्थितौ=put under regulations तयोः=of them=never वशम्=control आगच्छेत्=one should come तौ=those हि=certainly अस्य=his परिपन्थिनौ=stumbling blocks


3.34: Desire and dislike reside in senses and sense objects. Men should not come under their influence for these two are obstructionists (to self-realization)


Since it is beyond the control of saastra to enforce injunctions on a person who has an extremely wicked nature, one should not allow his senses to wander wilfully. By regularly engaging in sinful activities, a person becomes depraved. shree Bhagavaan is speaking this sloka beginning with the word indriyasya to explain this. The repetition of the word indriya here indicates the sense objects of each respective sense. Although to look at another's wife, touch her, or allure her by giving her gifts is forbidden in saastra, still an immoral man is attracted to such behaviour. On the other hand, although it is prescribed in saastra to see, touch, serve and offer charity to the guru, braahmanas, holy places and guests, an impious man is averse to such behaviour. To come under the influence of either of these mentalities is not proper. In other words, it is not proper either to develop attachment to a woman by seeing her, or to be malicious to someone who obstructs that attachment. Similarly, a saadhaka on the path of self-realisation should neither be attached to rich and palatable foodstuffs which are to his taste, nor averse to dry, unpalatable food items and objects which are not to his taste. In the same way, he should not be attached to seeing and hearing about his own son, nor should he be averse to seeing and hearing about his enemy's son. It is inappropriate to come under the influence of such attachments and aversions. This has been explained.


The senses are of two types: jnaanendriya (knowledge-acquiring senses) and karmendriya (working senses). There are five jnaanendriyas: the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, which accept form, sound, smell, taste and touch as their respective objects of gratification.There are also five karmendriyas: speech, hands, legs, anus and genitals, which perform the actions of speaking, accepting, moving, evacuating and procreating. The saadhaka of bhakti engages these eleven senses, including the mind, in various types of service for the pleasure of Bhagavaan shree Krishna, instead of enjoying the various sense objects himself. In this way, he can easily overpower the uncontrolled senses and, by the use of his controlled senses, he can attain the supreme goal of life.

Shreela Bhaktivinoda Thaakura quotes Krishna as saying, "O Arjuna, if you think that the jeevas' acceptance of sense objects will make most of them more addicted to worldliness and that liberation from the bondage of karma will thus become impossible, then listen to My words. It is not true that all objects are detrimental to the spiritual progress of the jeevas. It is only the attachment and aversion to the sense objects which are the greatest enemies of the jeeva. As long as you have this material body, you have to accept sense objects. For this reason, you should accept sense objects, and at the same time control attachment and aversion towards them. If you act in this way, you can deal with sense objects without becoming bound to them. You will become detached from sense objects by gradually eliminating the attachment and aversion which develops when one falsely identifies the body with the self. In brief, you will develop yukta-vairaagya. I have not instructed you to subdue attachment to objects and activities related to Me, shree Bhagavaan, which stimulate one's bhakti. Nor have I instructed you not to be averse to objects or activities which are obstacles to bhakti. Rather, I have only instructed you to control that attachment and aversion which is related to selfish pleasure and which promotes a temperament that is opposed to bhakti. This should be understood."