[Advaita-l] gItA bhaashhya sudhaa binduH - 1

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Tue May 25 19:58:31 CDT 2010

Namaste Ramakrishna ji,

Thank you very much for starting this series.  While the Gita Bhashya itself
is an ocean of nectar, drops from this ocean are bound to give us an idea of
the greatness of the worth of the Bhashya.  Going through these selections
will itself be a mananam exercise in Vedanta.

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM, Ramakrishna Upadrasta <
uramakrishna at gmail.com> wrote:

> OM shrii gurubhyo namaH .
> An excellent Telugu translation of Adi Sankaracharya's Bhagavad Gita
> Bhashya into Telugu is by Mahamahopadhyaya Shri Pullela
> ShriRamachandrudu Garu. (It also contains a partial translation of by
> Shri Ramaraya Kavi, which includes refutation of non-advaitin
> positions.)
> At the end of the book is a collection of 70+ quotations from
> gItaa-bhaashhya of shankaraachaarya bhagavadpaada called as
> gItaa-bhaashhya-sudhaa-binduH ('bhagavadgItaa-bhaashhyamuloni konni
> shankara vacana-sudhaa-binduvulu' in Telugu). This series covers the
> originals in transliteration with annotations from Swami
> Gambhirananda's English translation.
> 1. braahmaNatvasya hi raxaNe raxitaH syaadvaiidiko dharmaH\,
> tadadhiinatvaadvarNaashramabhedaanaam.h ||upodghAta \-
> giitaa\-bhaaShya ||
> ##When the Brahminhood is preserved, the Vedic Dharma becomes well
> guarded, for the distinctions among the castes and stages of life
> depend on it.##
> 2. svaprayojanaabhaave.api bhUtaanujighRRixayaa vaidikaM
> dharmadvayam.h arjunaaya shokamohamahodadhau nimagnaaya upadidesha\,
> guNaaadhikairhigRRihIto.anushhThiiyamaanashcha dharmaH prachayaM
> gamishhyatiiti ||upo. bhaa ||
> ##Although He had no need for Himself, still for the sake of favoring
> the creatures He imparted that very two fold Vedic dharma to Arjuna
> who had sunk into the sea of sorrow and delusion, with the idea that
> dharma would surely propagate if it is accepted and put into by
> practice by people who are endowed with an abundance of good
> qualities.##

This is based on the nyAya: yad yad aacharati shreShThaH tat tadevetaro
janaH..specified in the Bhagavadgita (3.29) itself.  Humans have the
tendency to follow others who have gained fame and following.  This applies
to good as well as undesirable practices.  If the leader is good, his good
practices will be an example to others.  Taking note of this psychology, the
Lord chooses Arjuna, whom He Himself says is 'born of sattva (daivee sampat'

> 3. abhyudayaarthau.api yaH pravR^ittilaxaNo dharmau
> varNanaashramaaMshchoddishya vihitaH\, sa
> devaadisthaanapraaptiheturapi san.h\, iishvaraaarpaNabuddhayaa
> anushhTiiyamaanaH\, sattvashuddhaye bhavati phalaabhisaMdhivarjitaH ||
> upo | bhaa ||
> ##That dharma, characterized by action and enjoined for different
> castes and stages of life, even though it is meant for acheiving
> prosperity and attaining heaven etc. yet, when performed with the
> attitude of dedication to God and without hankering for (selfish)
> results, leads to the purification of the internal organ (consisting
> of citta (mindstuff), buddhi (intellect), manas (mind) and ahaMkaara
> (ego)).##

Here we have that unique rule: Even though action is binding by nature, a
clever handling of action, which is itself inevitable and per force every
one engages in without respite (3.5), can be turned to the advantage of
humans' parama purushArtha: Moksha.  From karma/bandha to naishkarmya,
freedom from the compulsion to act.  This is the purpose of the Moksha
shaastra. The only way this action-oriented nature of man can be directed
towards the goal of freedom from the compulsion to act is the method of
dedicating all karma, each and every one of them, consciously, to Ishwara.
Gradually this practice will free one from craving for the fruit of action
which is why one acts and see the great peace that ensues from the state of
the freedom from the need to act.  This trick is called 'karma yoga'. It is
using a thorn, karma yoga, to remove another thorn that lies implanted in
the flesh: the tendency to engage in karma and remain eternally bound. And
finally be free from both the thorns: Naishkarmyam.  Karma yoga leads to the
gaining of the ability to engage in dhyAna yoga which is indispensable to
Jnana Yoga which is the ultimate sadhana for moksha.

> 4. sarvapraaNinaaM shokamohaadidoshhaavishhTachetasaaM svabhaavata eva
> svadharmaparityaagaH pratishhiddhasevaa cha syaat.h | svadharme
> pravR^ittinaamapi teshhaaM vaa~NgmanaHkaayaadiinaaM pravR^ittiH
> phalaabhisaMdhipuurvikaiva saahaMkaaraa cha bhavati || 2.11 ||
> ##It is thus that in the case of all creatures whose minds come under
> the sway of the defects of sorrow, delusion etc. there verily follows,
> as a matter of course, abandoning their own duties and resorting to
> prohibited ones. Even when they engage in their own duties their
> actions with speech, mind, body, etc. are certainly motivated by
> hankering for rewards, and are accompanied by egoism (Egoism consists
> in thinking that one is the agent of some work and the enjoyer of its
> result.)##

Bhagavatpada is pointing at the basic problem: craving for something outside
of oneself with the deluded thinking that one is devoid of pUrNatva.  This
is the fundamental avidya, the root, moola, resulting in adhyAsa: I am a
doer, experiencer. Egoism, ahankAra, is the first offshoot of this avidya.

> 5. saMsaarabiijabhuutau shokamohau | tayoshcha sarvakarmasaMnyaasa\-
> pUrvakaadaatmaj~naanaat.h naanyato nivR^itttiriti tadupadidaxuH
> sarvalokaanugrahaartham.h arjunaM nimittiikR^itya aaha
> bhagavaanvaasudevaH || 2.11 ||
> ##Thus, sorrow and delusion are therefore the sources of the cycles of
> births and deaths. And their cessation comes from nothing other than
> the knowledge of the Self which is preceded by the renunciation of all
> duties.  Hence, wishing to impart  (knowledge of the Self) for
> favouring the whole world, Lord Vasudeva, making Arjuna the medium
> said 'ashochyaananvashochastvaM iti' (2.11)##

Bhagavatpada takes forward the basic problem of avidya leading to ahankara
resulting in shoka/moha and further giving rise to samsara: birth and
death.  Since the basic problem is avidya, vidyaa alone can be the remedy.
Bhagavan recognizes that samsaara is aadhyaasika, based on erroneous
knowledge, and offers the panacea in the form of jnana.  Jnana alone can
correct this error.

> 6. na hi pittaprashamanaarthinaH vaidyena madhuraM shItalaM cha
> bhoktavyam.h ityupadishhTe tayoranyataratpittaprashamanakaaraNaM brUhi
> iti prashnaH saMbhavati || 2.11 ||
> ##Indeed, when a physician tells a patient who has come for a cure of
> his biliousness that he should take things which are sweet and
> soothing, there can be no such request as "Tell me which one of these
> two is to be taken as a means to cure biliousness"!##

This remark of Bhagavatpada occurs in the context of His refutation of the
suggestion of the combination of Jnana and karma.  He asks:  If this
combination was indeed intended by Bhagavan, how can there be a question
from Arjuna: 'Teach me that one (of the two) which will be beneficial for
me' (5.1)? Bhagavatpada draws this inference, arthApatti, from the Lord's
specific reply that follows this question: the teaching of Karma yoga as the
one that will be immediately,  practically beneficial to Arjuna.

Om Tat Sat

> (To be continued.)
> praNAmaH
> Ramakrishna
> _______________________________________________

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