[Advaita-l] GITA - 2.39

Amuthan aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Mon Mar 27 11:51:50 CST 2006

namo nArAyaNAya!

bhagavAn vAsudeva now eulogises yoga with a view of
the result (knowledge of the self) that it produces,

eShA te.abhihitA sA~Nkhye buddhiryoge tvimAM shRNu.
buddhyA yukto yayA pArtha karmabandhaM prahAsyasi..

this knowledge (sA~Nkhya) has been taught to you. now,
listen to (the knowledge of) yoga, gaining which you
will free yourself of the bondage of karma.

the knowledge of the self, which was taught by kRShNa
to arjuna, is referred to as sA~Nkhya. thus, sA~Nkhya
stands for the knowledge of supreme truth that is
taught in the upaniShad-s. it should not be confused
with the sA~Nkhya darshana. similarly, yoga is taught
as a means to the attainment of that knowledge and
should not be confused with the yoga darshana. the
difference between what is taught here and the other
darshana-s that bear the same name lies more in the
way the various tattva-s are interpreted and
integrated into a single siddhAnta than with the
actual explanations of the tattva-s themselves.

arjuna was earlier taught 'nAyaM hanti na hanyate'
etc. which show the impossibility of any action for
the self. after teaching the nature of the self as
imperishable and devoid of any action, kRShNa urged
arjuna to fight (tasmAdyuddhAya yujyasva). thus, there
seems to be a contradiction since the knowledge of the
self and the notion that 'i am a doer' cannot exist in
the same person. the purpose of the present verse is
to remove this contradiction by showing the two main
divisions of the gItA. one is the knowledge of the
self and the other is related to yoga. the knowledge
of the self is only for those who have sAdhana
chatuShTaya sampatti. for others, yoga is taught as a
means for the direct vision of the self through the
destruction of all obstacles. since arjuna was not
able to grasp the truth of the self when kRShNa taught
it, he is now taught yoga as a means to Atma tattva

though the self is ever present, merely hearing the
truth of the self does not produce tattva j~nAna for
those who do not have the right maturity. moreover,
shravaNa alone does not destroy all karma-s owing to
the abundance of obstacles. hence, yoga is taught for
the destruction of all these obstacles. thus, yoga
plays a very crucial role in making the mind a fit
receptacle for the knowledge of the self through the
destruction of all obstacles. though yoga by itself
cannot produce Atmabrahmaikya j~nAna, it does produce
Atma tattva j~nAna and has a definite place in the
process of attaining jIvanmukti. it's necessity as an
antara~Nga sAdhana for j~nAna needs to be thoroughly

since sA~Nkhya is for those whose minds are pure and
yoga is for the others, there is no contradiction in
what is being taught. in other words, while j~nAna
karma samuchchaya is impossible, karma is necessary
for j~nAna to flourish in the buddhi.

yoga which is taught here is the same as karma yoga.
it's culmination is samAdhi. the means to that, as
will be taught in the subsequent verses, is the
selfless performance of one's svadharma by dedicating
the fruits of one's action to Ishvara, patiently bear
all the dualities like pleasure, pain etc. which
normally obstruct such a performance. when the karma
bandha-s are thus exhausted by the perfomance of
righteous action, the knowledge of the self occurs by
the perfection of samAdhi, with IshvarAnugraha.

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

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