Friday, September 14, 2012

Interpretations of Bhagavad-gita (PART FOUR)

(Part Four of an essay by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Click here for PART ONE)

This param bhāvam or transcendental nature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is unknowable to the unlucky four classes of men as aforesaid. Some of them who are influenced by asurabhāva or demoniac nature especially consider that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is no better than an ordinary man and the extraordinary qualities that He possessed can be acquired by any ordinary man, or in other words, any one and every one can become a Śrī Kṛṣṇa or more than Him. But the mahātmās who are graced by Śrī Kṛṣṇa know Him otherwise. Such mahātmās know Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality bhūtamaheśvaram, while the asuras or rakṣasas (like Rāvaṇa and Hiraṇyakaśipu) who defy Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Being above everthing and thereby are baffled in their speculative work, frustrated in their hopes, befooled in their search of knowledge thus remain entrapped by the illusory laws of material nature which they are unable to conquer by any amount of speculative method. [margin note: (Nobody is at or above: (aśrama urdhva))] These asuras and mahātmās are definitely distinguished in the Bhagavad-gītā in so many words, as in Chapter 9, Texts 12-14:

moghāśā mogha-karmāṇo
mogha-jñānā vicetasaḥ
rākṣasīm āsurīṁ caiva
prakṛtiṁ mohinīṁ śritāḥ

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate

"Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.

O son of Prtha, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion." [Bg. 9.12-14]

The whole purpose of Bhagavad-gītā is to reveal Śrī Kṛṣṇa the Personality of Godhead as He is. The whole theme of Bhagavad-gītā is to preach the surrendering process of all living beings unto the Lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, because all living beings are His parts and parcels, and without this surrendering process, nobody can conquer the indefiable laws of Nature. Material existence of all living beings means a perpetual struggle struggle for existence and a continued fight with Prakriti without any success. [margin note (as done by induction)] Advancement of material science has undoubtedly discovered many weapons by the Asuras to fight with the laws of Nature, but without full surrender unto the Lord Kṛṣṇa, nobody can get relief from such perpetual struggle for existence. The fittest person who shall survive this struggle is one who has completely surrendered unto the Will of Śrī Kṛṣṇa the Personality of Godhead. This fact is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā in the following words:

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te

"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it." [Bg. 7.14]

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

"Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." [Bg. 18.65-66]

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā
bodhayantaḥ parasparam
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ 
yena mām upayānti te

teṣām evānukampārtham
aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ 
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho
jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance." [Bg. 10.8-11]

There are certain extraordinarily learned prospective mahātmās who try to understand Śrī Kṛṣṇa by the ascending process of acquiring knowledge, but such process is not only defective, but also troublesome. Such learned scholars attain the Lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa after many, many births and deaths. Such would-be mahātmās are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā as follows:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ

"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare." [Bg. 7.19]

avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ
manyante mām abuddhayaḥ
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
mamāvyayam anuttamam

"Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme." [Bg. 7.24]

avyakto 'kṣara ity uktas
tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim
yaṁ prāpya na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha
bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā
yasyāntaḥ-sthāni bhūtāni
yena sarvam idaṁ tatam

"That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns—that is My supreme abode.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion. Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading, and everything is situated within Him." [Bg. 8.21-22]

jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye
yajanto mām upāsate
ekatvena pṛthaktvena
bahudhā viśvato-mukham

"Others, who engage in sacrifice by the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, as diverse in many, and in the universal form." [Bg. 9.15]

kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām
avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṁ
dehavadbhir avāpyate

ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi
mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ
ananyenaiva yogena
māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate

teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā
bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha
mayy āveśita-cetasām

"For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.

But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotinal service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Prtha—for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death." [Bg. 12.5-7]

Preaching of Bhagavad-gītā is not, therefore, a proposition of mental speculation and putting in different mental interpretations of speculative empiric philosphers. It is one without a second concrete fact for the amelioration of the sufferings of humanity especially and animality generally. It must be presented in the bona fide method of spreading the knowledge, strictly in the line of transcendental chain of disciplic succession. Oṁ Tat Sat.


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