[Advaita-l] Bh.Gita verse 18.73 - Was Arjuna an 'aparoksha Jnani'? - Part 4

Venkatesh Murthy vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 30 22:51:21 CDT 2010

Answer in brief is given below

Puranas give a chance for the women and non brahmins to understand the
vedanta. But purana knowledge is not same as vedanta knowledge.
Arjuna was a warrior not a brahmin Only sannyasi can get vedanta
knowledge.  Krishna cannot give vedanta knowledge to non sannyasi. He
gave purana type of knowledge for non sannyasi Arjuna.  His doubts got
cleared. He fought and won the war.

Purana  type knowledge is also good. Dont misunderstand. It leads to
vedanta knowledge as listener is born as brahmin in next janma.
Arjuna listened to God so this purana  itihasa type knowledge must
have very good effect. Probably in next janma he got a chance for
learning vedanta.

Nobody should say Krishna Paramatma cannot give knowledge to you. God
gives knowledge to you when you are fit to receive it. He will protect
you by  knowledge according to your status.  He will not  break the
varnasrama rules.  We cant teach MSC Maths to  a SSLC student. He will
be confused. We must teach  SSLC Maths only.

Arjuna was sad and said he will not fight Bhishma and others> How can
God give sannyasi type instruction to him.


On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 5:24 PM, V Subrahmanian
<v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am sorry for this big digression. Let me now resume to our discussion of
> verse 18.73. Bhagavatpada says in His commentary, “From the reply of Arjuna
> that ‘My delusion has gone’, it is decidedly shown that the fruit of knowing
> the import of the Gita Shastra is only the destruction of delusion and the
> winning of the memory of the Self.” One should recall what Bhagavatpada
> wrote in the very beginning, “The Gita Sastra, elucidating especially the
> two-fold law of the Vedas is aimed at emancipation”.
> Coming to the question of the Upanishadic passages cited by Bhagavatpadal, I
> said that, using the words of Arjuna, Bhagavatpada successfully establishes
> the Upanishadic siddhanta that the delusion caused by ignorance arising from
> the non-discrimination between the Self and non-Self is dispelled with the
> dawn of clear knowledge of the Self (even it be Paroksha Jnana) and cites
> these passages as pramana. As we know, the first passage cited by
> Bhagavatpada is from the Chandogya Upansihad and consists of the words of
> Narada, who approaches Sanatkumara, the well-known teacher of spirituality
> and tells him that despite all his learning, he is very unhappy - “*na* *
> atmavit*... *sochaami*  (VII.1.3) -- I am not a knower of the Self.  I am
> full of sorrow.” Sanatkumara then instructs him about Brahman through a
> detailed analysis. This section of the Upanishad ends with the passage cited
> by Bhagavatpada, “*smruti*-*laabhe* *sarvagranthiinaam* *vipramokshah* --
> After regaining of memory, comes falling asunder of all the knots of the
> heart.” Though the passage describes the result of *aparoksha* jnana, look
> at the striking similarity between the words of Arjuna (*smritr-labdhaa -
> (aatmatattvavishayaa smritir labdhaa *) and that found in the Upanishad
> cited by Bhagavatpada. Interestingly, I could put together some more
> parallels. In the Gita, we find Arjuna, a competent disciple, overwhelmed by
> grief and delusion approaching Bhagavan for succour. In the Chandogya
> Upansihad, it is Narada, a highly qualified sadhaka under the grip of
> misery, entreating Sanatkumara for imparting Him the Tattva. In both the
> situations, it is Bhagavan Himself (as Krishna and as Skanda) who imparts
> Knowledge; in both the situations, Bhagavan has not resorted to Mahavakyas
> to teach the Tattva but only proximate statements about Brahman. Both the
> aspirants had to subsequently work for aparoksha jnana. In the Chandogya
> Upansihad, we do not find Narada claiming that he has got enlightened
> instantaneously upon receiving the teaching from Sanatkumara. Of course, *
> jnana-nishthaa* would have been the path to perfection in the case of
> Narada, while Arjuna had to go through the path of Karma Yoga to qualify for
> *jnaananishta*. This, perhaps, is the only difference between them. While
> there are umpteen Sruti passages that could have been cited by Bhagavatpada
> in the context, I don’t think any other passage would have echoed the view
> of the Gita as closely as does the Chandogya Upanishad passage cited by Him.
> The second passage cited by Him is the famous one from Mundaka Upanishad
> starting with “*bhidhyate* *hrudayagranthih*”. This passage too is
> significant as there is a clear link between this and the first one.
> Bhagavatpada wants to show here that not only the ‘*granthi*-s’ - the host
> of tendencies and impressions of ignorance in the heart  are destroyed, *but
> also all the doubts become solved*, and all one’s actions becomes
> dissipated, the moment the Self is realised.  While the first passage had a
> link with Arjuna’s winning of *smrti* about the Self, the second passage has
> a link, in particular, with his averment “*gatasandehah’* about the
> vanishing of his doubts. What now remains to be talked about is the utility
> of Jnana - the removal of delusion (moha) and misery (shoka) which is highly
> relevant in Arjuna’s context. Here Bhagavatpada cites yet another beautiful
> passage, this time round from the Isavasya Upanishad: “ *tatra* *ko* *mohah*
> *kasshokah* *ekatvamanupashyatah* - What delusion and what sorrow can remain
> for that seer of Oneness”.  In this manner, Arjuna’s averment, “*nashto* *
> mohah*” too gets an authentication.
> Thus, Bhagavatpada’s statement in His introduction to the Gita that the Gita
> sastra,  elucidating the two-fold law of the Vedas is aimed at emancipation
> stands vindicated by his demonstration of the unity in the teaching of the
> Gita and the Veda, by citing passages from none other than the Principal
> Upanishads, one each from the Sama, Atharvana and Yajur Vedas-s. What a
> razor sharp intellect and an astounding memory Bhagavatpada should have had
> to cite the most appropriate passages from the Sruti texts! He had no
> published books in front of Him, no word indices, no Shastraani CD, or no
> internet to browse - not even Sri Dakshinamurthy Storam book, an
> encyclopedia of vedantic quotes  such as Sutra-bhashya etc :-).
> Bhagavatpada’s commentary mentions that Arjuna has become a krutarthah, one
> who has nothing else to achieve. How is this to be accounted for? It is very
> simple; Arjuna himself says so. He says, “I shall do your bidding”. This
> means he has no more personal goals to pursue. As he has now resolved to do
> what Bhagavan has taught (that is, wage the war) in a spirit of dedication
> and total surrender to the Lord, as Bhagavatpada would describe, “*samarpita
> *-*saadhya*-*saadhana*-*prayojanah*, all goals, means and profit are
> exclusively Bhagavan’s.”, where is anything for Arjuna to separately hold as
> ‘to be done or to be achieved”? So Bhagavatpada says, “*tvatprasadat* *
> krutarthah*; *na* *me* *kartavyam* *asti* - I have done what is to be done
> by your Grace. Nothing more remains to be done.”
> Now arises another question. Would not Bhagavatpada’s mention of
> aparoksha-jnana-related passages in the context, amount to extolling
> Arjuna’s paroksha Jnana and resolve to dedicate all his actions in a spirit
> of Karma yoga on the same footing as aparoksha jnana itself?
> Bhagavatpada’s statement is not unprecedented as Bhagavan Himself does
> something similar in 2.39: “But listen to this (wisdom) from the standpoint
> of Yoga, by acquiring which you will discard the bondage of works.” In other
> words, Bhagavan says that *by achieving Karma Yoga itself* *Arjuna will
> surely win liberation*. It is only Bhagavatpada who describes the process
> involved in His commentary of this verse: “Yoga is Karma Yoga, whose
> immediate purpose is the worship of God. It is to be performed after
> discarding, by the force of detachment, the pairs of opposites like heat and
> cold. Also, it includes the achievement of samadhi or concentration.
> Acquiring this knowledge of (Karma Yoga) you will surely cast off the
> bondage of works. Note that action righteous or unrighteous is bondage and
> that Arjuna will get rid of that bondage by the *attainment* *of
> Knowledge*through God’s grace. This is the idea.” Again in 2.40,
> Bhagavan extols Karma
> Yoga : “Even a little of this dharma (karma yoga) delivers one from great
> peril of transmigratory life with its births, deaths and so forth.”
> Let me give a worldly example. Take the case of a person who has got a valid
> ticket, a  passport and a visa for U.S.A and has also boarded the
> appropriate flight. Even though it might take a day or two for him to reach
> his destination, when someone enquires about him, we say, “He has to gone to
> America”. After all we are sure that the person concerned is already taken
> the flight and therefore, it is more or less equivalent to his having gone
> to America itself. Similarly, when Bhagavan says that acquiring the wisdom
> of Karma Yoga itself will cause one to discard the bondage of works, He is
> sure that the Karma Yogin will gradually but surely attain liberation
> through the practice of the requisite sadhana.
> (To be continued)
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