[Advaita-l] Shankara's commentary to the First chapter of the BG

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Aug 14 11:50:56 EDT 2017

On the face of it, it would appear that Shankara's BG commentary is from
the verse 2.11 only. However, this very commentary has at the beginning a
comprehensive commentary, the essence thereof, to the first chapter and the
early verses of the second chapter as well:

*अत्र ‘दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकम्’ (भ. गी. १ । २)
इत्यारभ्य यावत् ‘न योत्स्य इति गोविन्दमुक्त्वा तूष्णीं बभूव ह’
(भ. गी. २ । ९)
इत्येतदन्तः प्राणिनांशोकमोहादिसंसारबीजभूतदोषोद्भवकारणप्रदर्शनार्थत्वेन
व्याख्येयो ग्रन्थः** ।
* तथाहि — अर्जुनेन राज्यगुरुपुत्रमित्रसुहृत्स्वजनसम्बन्धिबान्धवेषु ‘
अहमेतेषाम्’ ‘ममैते’ इत्येवंप्रत्ययनिमित्तस्नेहविच्छेदादिनिमित्तौ आत्मनः
शोकमोहौ प्रदर्शितौ ‘कथं भीष्ममहं सङ्‍ख्ये’ (भ. गी. २ । ४)
 इत्यादिना । शोकमोहाभ्यां ह्यभिभूतविवेकविज्ञानः स्वत एवक्षत्रधर्मे युद्धे
प्रवृत्तोऽपि तस्माद्युद्धादुपरराम ; परधर्मं च भिक्षाजीवनादिकं कर्तुं
प्रववृते । तथा च सर्वप्राणिनां शोकमोहादिदोषाविष्टचेतसां स्वभावत एव स्वधर्म
परित्यागःप्रतिषिद्धसेवा च स्यात् ।  स्वधर्मे प्रवृत्तानामपि तेषां
वाङ्मनःकायादीनां प्रवृत्तिः फलाभिसन्धिपूर्विकैव साहङ्कारा च भवति । तत्रैवं
सति धर्माधर्मोपचयात्इष्टानिष्टजन्मसुखदुःख़ादिप्राप्तिलक्षणः संसारः अनुपरतो
भवति । इत्यतः संसारबीजभूतौ शोकमोहौ तयोश्च
सर्वकर्मसंन्यासपूर्वकादात्मज्ञानात् नान्यतो निवृत्तिरिति तदुपदिदिक्षुः
सर्वलोकानुग्रहार्थम् अर्जुनं निमित्तीकृत्य आह भगवान्वासुदेवः — ‘अशोच्यान्’
(भ. गी. २ । ११)
 इत्यादि ॥

*English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami

2.10 And here, the text commencing from 'But seeing the army of the
Pandavas' (1.2) and ending with '(he) verily became silent, telling Him
(Govinda), "I shall not fight"' is to be explained as revealing the cause
of the origin of the defect in the from of sorrow, delusion, etc.(2.9)
[Delusion means want of discrimination. Etc. stands for the secondary
manifestations of sorrow and delusion, as also ignorance which is the root
cause of all these.] which are the sources of the cycles of births and
deaths of creatures. Thus indeed, Ajuna's own sorrow and delusion, cuased
by the ideas of affection, parting, etc., originating from the erroneous
belief, 'I belong to these; they belong to me', with regard to kingdom [See
note under verse 8.-Tr.], elders, sons, comrades, well-wishers (1.26),
kinsmen (1.37), relatives (1.34) and friends, have been shown by him with
the words, 'How can I (fight)৷৷.in <http://xn--i8ba.in> battle (against)
Bhisma' (4), etc. It is verily because his discriminating insight was
overwhelmed by sorrow and delusion that, even though he had become engaged
in battle out of his own accord as a duty of the Ksatriyas, he desisted
from that war and chose to undertake other's duties like living on alms
etc. 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 reward.] Such being the case, the cycle
of births and deaths characterized by passing through desireable and
undesirable births, and meeting with happiness, sorrow, etc. [From virtuous
deeds follow attainment of heaven and happiness. From unvirtuous, sinful
deeds follow births as beasts and other lowly beings, and sorrow. From the
performance of both virtuous and sinful deeds follows birth as a human
being, with a mixture of happiness and sorrow.] from the accumulation of
virtue and vice, continues unendingly. 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 that
(knowledge of the Self) for favouring the whole world, Lord Vasudeva,
making Arjuna the medium, said, 'You grieve for those who are not to be
grieved for,' etc.

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