[Advaita-l] gItA bhaashhya sudhaa bindavaH - 3

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue Jun 8 12:22:31 CDT 2010

On Sun, Jun 6, 2010 at 4:54 PM, Ramakrishna Upadrasta <
uramakrishna at gmail.com> wrote:

> OM shrii shankaraachaarya varyaaya namaH, OM brahmaananda pradaayakaaya
> namaH
> OM shrii gurubho namaH
> We continue with the series of selected drops of nectar from
> bhagavadpaadaa's gItA bhaashhya, which being an ocean of nectar,  is
> capable of quenching the shoka-moha of the seeker tormented by
> saMsaaara, ultimately giving shreas.
> The selection is done by mahAmahopAdhyAya Shri Pullela
> ShriRamachandrudu gaaru (Shri Pullela Shri Ramachandrudu gaaru)
> 12. sarvatraiva hi adhyaatmashaastre kR^itaarthalaxaNaani yaani
> taanyeva saadhanaani upadishyante\, yatnasaadhyatvaat.h |  yaani
> yatnasaadhyaani saadhanaani laxaNaani cha bhavanti taani || 2 . 54||
> ##For in all scriptures without exception, dealing with spirituality,
> whatever are the characteristics of the man of realization are
> themselves presented as the disciplines for an aspirant, because these
> (characteristics) are the result of effort. And those that are
> disciplines requiring effort, they become the characteristics (of the
> man of realization). ##

Bhagavatpada shows that the purpose of delineation of the sthitaprajna
lakshanas in the scripture is to enable aspirants to practice them.  They
are the signposts for attaining the ultimate goal of jivanmukti.  Effort in
this direction has no limit.  The greater the effort the greater the
manifestation of freedom from being disturbed by whatever happens in the
life of that jnani.  The bottom line of freedom from avidya having been
achieved, the ability to remain unaffected by whatever happens is a skill,
an art, a fine tuning.  Reaction arising in the mind to an external /
internal stimulus and the ability to quell it is one thing.  The complete
absence of even the reaction arising is quite another.  This distinction
sets one apart from the other,although the basic freedom from ignorance that
would perpetuate repeated births is attained by both.

> 13. taavadeva hi purushhaH yaavadantaHkaraNaM tadiiyaM kaaryaakaarya\-
> vishhayavivekayogyam.h |  tadayogyatve nashhTa eva purushho bhavati ||
> 2.63 ||
> ##Indeed, a man continues to be himself so long as his mind remains
> fit to distinguish between what he ought to and ought not to do. When
> it becomes unfit, a man is verily ruined.##

In a different context, man is distinguished from other lower living
creatures thus:

अहारनिद्रा-भय-मैथुनं च सामान्यमेतत् पशुभिर्नराणाम् ।
धर्मो हि तेषां अधिको विशेषः धर्मेण हीनाः पशुभिस्समानाः ॥

The need to cater to the urges of hunger, sleep, protection from danger and
copulation is common to all living creatures including man.  What sets a man
apart from the other creatures is his special status of compliance to dharma
in addressing the above urges. When the dhArmic compliance is not there, the
dividing line between man and animal becomes invisible.  This ability to
comply is called 'viveka'.  This presupposes the knowledge of what
constitutes the ultimate good:  hita.  Then all other basic urges become
only secondary and the primary goal is the supreme good:  Liberation.

> 14. moxasya cha akaaryatvaat.h mumuxoH karmaanarthakyam.h || 3.1 ||
> ##As Liberation is not a result (of action), actions become useless
> for one aspiring for Liberation.##

> 15. yadi vihitaakaraNaat asaMbhaavyamapi pratyavaayaM bruuyaat.h
> vedaH\, tadaa anarthakaraH vedaH apramaaNamityuktaM syaat.h\;
> vihitasya karaNaakaraNayoH duHkhamaatraphalatvaat.h || 3.1 ||
> ##Should the Vedas speak even of the impossible, that sin accrues from
> the non-performance of enjoined rites, then it will amount to saying
> that the Vedas are a source of evil and hence invalid! For the result
> of either doing or not doing what is enjoined would be pain.##

Bhagavatpada deals with this topic in quite a few places.  There is a view
that 'non-performance of the enjoined karma, vihita karma, will result in
pratyavaaya, sin.'  This is viewed by Bhagavatpada as : a bhaava padaartha,
pratyavaaya, sin, (He uses the very phrase  अभावादेव भावरूपस्य प्रत्यवायस्य
उत्पत्तिः ...) arising from an abhaava cause, non-performance of vihita
karma.  He points out the illogicality of such a proposition and concludes,
in the above bhashya that - 1. performing the enjoined duty will involve
effort and a certain pain because the Jnani,sannyasi is not at all in any
compulsion to engage in any karma as he has no desire for any fruit.  2.
non-performance will also result in sin, otherwise pain.  If such a
situation is foisted on the Veda, then the very Veda would have to be seen
as a source of evil as it gives only pain, both ways.

As an aside note, we see here too Bhagavatpada denouncing the proposition:
abhAvAt kAraNaat bhAvarUpasya kAryasya sambhavaH.  The illogicality is
patent.  The kAraNa therefore has to be a bhAva vastu.

> 16. tasmaat aj~nena adhikR^itena kartavyameva karma || 3.16 ||
> ##Action must be undertaken by one who is qualified (for action) but
> is unenlightened.##

We have seen before that everyone in samsara is under the compulsion to
engage in one or the other action, without respite.  This is a sign of
ignorance as the Self is by nature akartaa as it has no need for anything to
be accomplished as it is pUrNa.  However, owing to ignorance, one thinks one
is the body-mind complex and therefore engages in karma, favourable or
otherwise, in the state of ignorance.  The scripture, with a view to free
him from the need for any karma altogether, gives him a plan:  Engage in
scripturally enjoined action, eschew prohibited ones, keep an attitude of
dedication.  This will gradually take you to the goal of no-action:

> 17. praarabdhakarmaayattaH tvaM lokasaMgraham.h eva api lokasya
> unmaargapravR^ittinivaaraNaM lokasaMgrahaH\, tamevaapi prayojanaM
> saMpashyan kartum.h arhasi || 3.20 ||
> ##tvaM: you, who are under the influence of past actions; arhasi,
> ought; kartum, to perform (your duties); saMpashyan api, keeping also
> in view; loka-saMgrahaM, the prevention of mankind from going astray;
> even that purpose.##

The Lord gives an additional reason for Arjuna to go ahead into action mode
and not refrain from the duty of action.  Even if he were to think: 'The
people of yore like Janaka were not enlightened and therefore they engaged
in action. However, I  am not like them; I am enlightened and have nothing
to achieve from (this) action.  So, why engage in it?' , the Lord points out
that there is in this case the force of prArabdha that has put Arjuna in
such a situation.  And the best attitude towards prArabdha is this:  Here is
a purpose, a very noble one at that, in your choosing to engage in action:
to be a catalyst in bringing about the good of the society.  To be a role
model for people, to set an eminent example for them to tread the path of
dharma and uplift themselves.  In the absence of such an authoritative
catalyst, there will be no motivation for the people at large to know and
cherish and work for higher goals in life. Such a society will be doomed.
So, a shreShThaH, the exalted man at the helm of affairs, has a crucial role
to play.  And this role Bhagavan asks Arjuna to take on and carry out.


> (To be continued.)
> praNAmaH
> Ramakrishna

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