What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26
gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Thu Jul 2 22:37:19 CDT 1998
I am grateful to Shri Sadananda, Anand Hudli, Vaidya Sundaram, Ravi
and (by private e-mail) another list-member for responding to my query
On Tue, 30 Jun 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:
> Giitaa 7.3 underscores the importance of Atma-jnAna and the fact that
> the person who achieves such jnAna is extremely rare, as per both
> Shankara and MadhusUdana SarasvatI.
> Says MadhusUdana in his GUDhArtha dIpikA commentary on the Giitaa:
> anekeshhu manushhyeshhu AtmajnAnasAdhanAnushhThAyI paramadurlabhaH,
> sAdhanAnushhThAyishhvapi madhye phalabhAgI paramadurlabha iti kiM
> vaktavyamasya jnAnasya mAhAtmyamiti abhiprayaH |
> which means,
> Among many (thousands) of people, the person who is engaged in the
> sAdhana (accomplishment) of knowledge of the Self is extremely rare;
> among many such people who strive to attain (Self-knowledge), one
> who actually attains the fruit (ie. knowledge of the Self) is
> extremely rare to be found. This being the case, how is the greatness
> of this jnAna to be described? This is the opinion (of shrIkR^iShNa).
> MadhusUdana interprets "mAM vetti tattvataH" in the shloka as
> "mAM IshvaraM vetti sAxAtkaroti tattvataH pratyagabhedena
> tattvamasi-Adi-guruupadiShTa-mAhAvAkyebhyaH", ie. , "(one who)
> directly realizes (the essence of) Me, the Ishvara, as non-different
> from the inner self, by means of the instruction of the mAhAvAkyas
> such as tattvamasi, such instruction being received from the Guru."
> Atma-jnAna is thus extremely great. Anything that is so great is not
> achieved by everyone. If everyone were to achieve Atma-jnAna (from
> the vyAvahArika view), then it would be commonplace. Krishna affirms
> in this verse that Atma-jnAna is not easy to achieve. Among many
> thousands of people, a rare person has the eligibility to attain
> this jnAna. Again, among many such people who are eligible, only one
> rare person actually succeeds in attaining It as the fruit of
> shravaNa, manana, and nididhyAsana.
Thanks for posting Madhusudana's commentary on this verse. The key part,
in my view, is interpretation of "mAM vetti tattvataH" as given in the
last but one paragraph above "seeing Shrikrishna, Ishwara, as
non-different from the inner self, based on mahAvAkyAs.."
> This rules out the possibility that the attainment of jnAna is a
> mind game, wherein one can merely "think" that he/she is liberated
> and presto!, he/she actually becomes liberated.
JnAnam, certainly, is not a mind game. It is neither a game nor a
thing deduced by the mind intellectually or logically. However,
ajnAnam IS a mind game.
Shri Anand says in a further post on the same thread:
> In either case, there is some sAdhana required. I was only trying
> to point out that it is not possible to avoid sAdhana and reach
> jnAna by simply _assuming_ that bondage or liberation is just in
> the mind and therefore, merely thinking oneself as being liberated
> will actually guarantee liberation. ....
I did not get this fully.
If it is not the mind, what is the source of this thinking of bondage ?
Who is it that *guarantees* liberation ? What is this *guarantee* ?
I have another question on this verse. An implication of the use of
"manushhyAnAm" in this verse is to say that species other than humans
(e.g. animals, birds etc) are not eligible for moksha i.e. only
humans have the privilege or authority to get out of the bondage of
this samsAra. Therefore, anyone who is born as a human has to do the
effort for moksha.
I contrast this "manushhyAnAm" in this context with YudhishhTirA's
question to Bhishhma in Vishnu sahasranAma
".... kiM japanmucyate *jantur* janma samsAra bandhanAt"
By doing which japa can creatures (jantu) go beyond the bond of
The implication here is: all species are eligible for moksha and
can go beyond the bondage of samsAra.
Is there a difference in the two verses, in terms of moksha-adhikAra ?
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