[Advaita-l] Help required to understand the Bhashyam

br_vinayaka vinayaka_ns at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 24 21:45:32 CST 2007

Dear Advaitins,


I am going through acharya's gita bhashya. I have some difficulty to understand the bhashyam for the 27th sloka in the 14th Chapter which seems to be very abstruse. 

The sloka is:

For I am the abode of Brahman-the indestructible and immutable, the eternal, the dharma and the absolute bliss.

Last two paragraphs of the bhashya are as under:

The purport is this: Indeed, that power of God through which brahman sets out, comes forth, for the purpose of favouring the devotess, etc., that power which is brahman itself, am I. For, a power and the possessor of that power are non different. or, brahman means the conditioned brahman, since it (too,) is referred to by that word. 'Of that brahman, I myself, the unconditioned brahman-and none else-am the abode.

(Abode of brahman) of what qualities? Of that which is immortal; of that which has the quality of deathlessness; of that which is immutable; so also, of that which is the eternal; which is the dharma having the characteristics of steadfasteness in knowledge; of that which is the absolute, unquestionably certain bliss born of that steadfastness;-'I am the abode' is understood.

In the first paragraph is acharya referring to incarnation of god or Ishwara in the first case by telling- 'Indeed, that power of God through which brahman sets out, comes forth, for the purpose of favouring the devotess, etc.' and secondly, is he referring to Hiranyagarbha? by referring his as 'or, brahman means the conditioned brahman.'

What is exact definition of dharma given by acharya in the present context? 

Swami Tapasyanandaji of Ramakrishna Order has made a very interesting observation here which is worth quoting.

He defines brahman in this context in the following manner:

What is important here is is that brahmi-sthiti, brahma bhuyam etc. do not seem to be the intution of the supreme being, but a state mid-way, through which alone true intutuion is attained. It is stated in Gita 14.26 that this state of brahmi stithi of brahma-bhuyam is attained through steady devotion to lord. For the lord, it is decalred here is the support of brahman, 'the state of a steady mind free from cravings and passions and established in a sense of unruffled stillness.' On such a mental state only can true intuition can arise. The intuitions of persons who have not struck this dimension of their being, are the projections of  the impressions and desires with which their minds are full. That dimension of boundless peace, free from passion and cravings, which the buddists accepted as 'the final state is, according to  the declaration of the Gita here, only the state nearest to the lord, having its support in him. He quotes a sloka from pali scripture- nicehAto nibbUto sukha-patismvedi brahma-bhUtena Attana-without craving, appeased, cooled, experiencing joy, with his self brahman (Digha NikAya III.233) translated by Zaehner, who maintains that like sankhya gita absorbed the then prevailing  buddhistic ideas too by making due corrections.

Tapasyanandaji further says that this idea is made very clear in the last or the 18th chapter of the gita. There from verse 49 to 53 are given the disciplines to attain to the state of brahma-bhUyam-the state of being brahman. If this were the culmination of spiritual attainment, the Gita must have stopped with it. But it definitely puts it as an intermediary state of attainment, and then proceeds to present the still higher steps in verses 54-56. The brahma-bhUta, it is said, becomes peaceful, without sorrows and fears, and is established in an attitude of equality towards all beings. he then gains supreme devotion to the lord and through devotion, comes to have an intimate understanding of him and his majesty. Knowing him thus in truth and in reality he enters into him.

Hoping to get some inputs from the learned members of the forum.

Yours in Sri Ramakrishna,

Br. Vinayaka



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