shrI lalitAtrishatI

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram msr at ISC.TAMU.EDU
Sat Jun 27 22:17:51 CDT 1998


I will not be in town till Tuesday. I will continue trishatI bhaShyam and
shrI shankara aShTottara shatanAmavaliH  from wednesday. If you have any
ADMIN request, I will look into that after I am back.

I am sorry for the inconvenience.

With respects,

mInalochani pAshamochani
>From gmurthy at Mon Jun 29 10:58:14 1998
Message-Id: <MON.29.JUN.1998.105814.0230.GMURTHY at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 10:58:14 -0230
Reply-To: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at>
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
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From: Gummuluru Murthy <gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA>
Subject: What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26
Comments: To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
        <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
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Krishna is a central character in the itihAsa of MahA BhArata and
more important, Krishna is the one that teaches Bhagavad-gita to his
disciple and friend Arjuna. Krishna says in BG-7.03

        manushhyANAm sahasreshhu kashcit yatati siddhaye
        yatatAm api siddhAnAm kashcin mAm vetti tattvatah

Among thousands of men, scarcely one strives for perfection and of those
who strive and succeed, scarcely one knows Me in truth.

I would like to, hopefully, start a discussion on what is Krishna and,
with the help of members of the list, particularly masters of the gita,
to have a better understanding.

Dvaitins and vishishhTAdvaitins describe Krishna as an avatAra
(incarnation) of Lord VishNu. That is, Krishna is God, apart from us.
As jeevas, our ultimate objective is to merge with Him.

I see Krishna as the Atman and the whole bhagavad-gita as a discussion
between Atman (Krishna) and the intellect (Arjuna) that takes place in
any jeeva. That is, I do not see Krishna as separate from Arjuna or any
other jeeva. All seventh chapter of bhagavad-gita can be interpreted in
that way, as also the whole of gita. I use bg-7.26 as an example.

        vedAham samatItAni vartamAnAni cA'rjuna
        bhavishhyANi c bhUtAni mAm tu veda na kashcana

O Arjuna, I know the beings that are of the past, that are of the present,
and that are to come in the future; but Me, no one knows.

Taking Krishna as the Atman, for which the past, present and future do not
apply (or everything being the present, and everything being in the
Atman), Atman knows all. Further, when Krishna says to Arjuna that no one
knows Me, what is implied is: Arjuna, the intellect being in the mAyAvic
state, cannot comprehend the Atman in the paramArtha; this is so for all
jeevas who are necessarily in the mAyAvic state.

The same holds for the rest of seventh chapter of gita. When gita says
"bhagavAnuvAca", it *appears* that a separate entity is speaking to
Arjuna. But, it need not be so. Shri Shankara defines bhagavAn in
commentary on vishnu sahsranAma as follows: (following Vishnu purANa)
BhagavAn is one who has all the six great glories of wealth, power,
dharma, fame, character, knowledge and dispassion. BhagavAn is also one
who knows the beginning and the end, the arrival and departure of beings
and also vidya and avidya.

The above is a description of Atman, which when referred to at the
vyavahArika level and maintaining the udAtta qualities has become the
bhagavAn. Thus, bhagavad-gita is not a discussion between two separate
entities, a God and a selected jeeva, but an internal enlightenment
where the Atman (the inner conscience) has revealed its true nature
to the soul (as Katha u. says in 1.2.23).

I would be grateful if the list members correct any of the mis-conceptions
I may have in the above thoughts.

Gummuluru Murthy
... sarvAgamAnA mAcArah prathamam parikalpate ...

                        Sage VyAsa in MahA bhArata

For all incoming knowledge, discipline is the most fundamental.

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