[Advaita-l] Fwd: bhagavad.h gItA 2.11

Annapureddy Siddhartha Reddy annapureddy at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 15:58:38 CST 2007

Sending the mail again as it does not show up on the list archives.
Apologies if you receive it twice. The moderators might want to check if
this is a known issue (viz. posts being dropped).

namaskAramu Sivasenani gAru,
        My response is prefixed by ASR:
> * I have seen neither (at the IIT, Kanpur's supersite on Gita,
SrimanmadhvAcArya's commentary is obviously corrupted, and Abhinavagupta is
said not to have commented on the said Sloka),

ASR: abhinavagupta uses the Kashmir recension of the gItA which has a
few more verses. There the verse occurs as "praGYAvat na

> but yes one can read like that as well: You do not talk like a wise man
and grieve about those not to be grieved for; the learned do not grieve
about the dead or the living. However, note that there are three ways of
getting that meaning: a) praj~nAvAdAn na bhAshase (the most direct version),
b) apraj~nAvAdAn bhAshase (you talk like the not-learned), and
c)praj~nAvatAm avAdAn bhAshase (you talk that which is not spoken by the
learned). The entire style of Bhagavadgita is simple and direct, with almost
no attention paid to sophistication and style in expression; from the
overall style of Bhagavadgita, I would rather think that if the intent were
to express that Arjuna does not talk like a wise man, a) or b) above would
be used, rather than the contrived construct of c).

ASR: I do agree that praGYAvAdAnnabhAShasE might be more direct than
praGYAvAdAMshchabhAShasE where avAdAn is meant. But Ananda tIrtha also
gives another split as praGYA + vAdAn, but interprets praGYA as
arjuna's limited praGYA, and not praGYA in the sense of the wise.

> -- shaN^kara means only worldly wisdom when he uses praGYAvatAM,
budhdimatAM etc. But this also does not seem to be the case given that
shaN^kara uses the word "pANDityaM darshayasi" for arjuna, and in the same
paragraph, he goes on to define paNDita as "paNDA AtmaviShayA budhdiH yEShAM
tE hi paNDitAH". Thus, praGYA could not have been used in the sense of the
> wise.
> * There are two ways to look at this. pANDityam as used in the first
instance (in 'tadetat mauDhyam  pANDityam ca Atmani darSayasi) cannot mean
"knowledge of the Self" because in an unmatta, such a knowledge of the Self
and mauDhyam do not co-exist. Why? where there is Atmaj~nAna, how can there
be mauDhyam? Why will such a j~nAni be an unmatta?

ASR: But this is exactly the contradiction that shaN^kara sees.
-- arjuna talks like a paNDita (Note that it's only his talk, not his
mind which is like that of an AtmaGYAni.) (A)
-- arjuna behaves like a mUDha because he is in grief. (B)
-- A paNDita cannot be in grief either for the living or the dead.
Note the connecting yasmAt in the bhAShya sentence starting "yasmAt
gatAsUn..." (C)
-- Therefore, arjuna is not a paNDita, but is an unmatta (iva
puruShaH).  (D)

* In the first instance, pANDityam should be taken to mean scholarship
etc. Only on such a reading is the analogy with unmatta apt because
such a person sometimes speaks profoundly, and at other times is
deranged. The second way of looking at it is, Arjuna is speaking the
words of a praj~nAvAn, buddhimAn but such praj~nA or buddhi is not
firmly established in Arjuna, and so even as he speaks the words of
the learned, grieves about those not to be grieved for.

ASR: Anandagiri's TIkA goes against the interpretation given above. He
says thus,
"tanmauDhyamashOchyEShu shOchyadR^iShTitvaM Etat pANDityaM budhdimatAM
vachana bhAShitvaM iti yAvat"...
"nanu sUkShma budhdi bhAktvamEva pANDityaM na tu AtmaGYAtvaM
hEtvabhAvAditi AshaN^kyAha -- tE hi iti|"

Anandagiri uses the word pANDityaM for the words of arjuna, and then
goes on to define pANDityaM as AtmaGYAnaM. Thus, (IMHO) the question
is how Anandagiri interprets the arguments of arjuna in (and evaluates
his character from) the first chapter.

In dvaita vEdAnta, the flow is somewhat like:
-- arjuna speaks these arguments in the first chapter.
-- shrI kR^iShNa dismisses them starting BG 2.2
-- arjuna says that he suffers from kArpaNya dOSha, and is
dharmasammUDhachEtAH (BG 2.7).
The inference thus is that arjuna is talking like a confused man, and
by implication, speaking words not fit to be uttered by the wise. So,
the question is what words of arjuna did shaN^kara perceive to be wise
(fit to be spoken by AtmaGYAnis)?

> -- shaN^kara intends that arjuna indeed spoke words of wisdom (in the
sense of speaking words fit to be spoken by an AtmaGYAni).
> * No, the bhagavatpAda intends that Arjuna spoke words fit to be spoken by
scholars, not Atmaj~nAnis.

ASR: Anandagiri seems to think otherwise.

>  And what is said about madhusUdana sarasvatI's commentary is only half
the truth: he comments with both splits as is seen from the relevant
commentrary reproduced below (original from IIT Kanpur's supersite on Gita,
and the quick and dirty translation by yours truly):

ASR: My apologies for this. I meant to send another email with the
correction, but did not get to it.

> * I don't know if something like this one month after you posted is
useful, but here we are.

ASR: Irrespective of the time delay, this has definitely been very
useful. Thanks so much.

> * A couple of corrections. The IIT, Kanpur's supersite at Gita has the
proper version of SrimanmadhvAchArya's bhAshya: it is so short, that I
thought that it must have been corrupted. Later I checked at the
Dvaita.netsite and realised that when the bhAshya, tAtparya nirNaya, a
'sub-commentary' (by SrimajjayatIrtha, I think), and the vritti of Sri
Raghavendra Swami together contain the position set out in Sri Siddhartha's
mail below.

ASR: Yeah, Ananda tIrtha's commentary is usually very terse. You find
most of the explanation in jayatIrtha.

> * Secondly, it looks like the Sloka in question: 2-11 is 2-12 for

ASR: That could be because of the few extra verses in the Kashmir recension.


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