What is Krishna ? Bhagavad-gita 7.03 and 7.26

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 30 13:25:32 CDT 1998

Gummuluru Murthy wrote:

>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
>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.

 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.

 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.


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