Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Krishna Ashtami

May the Lord who is beyond manifestation, who manifested as the son of Devaki-Vasudeva and Yasoda-Nanda, who later in His infinite compassion milked the ocean of wisdom in the Upanishads and taught to Arjuna, so that seekers for all future times may not miss it, manifest himself in our hearts so that we can see Him. In particular are relevant BG. 10.10, 10.11 and 18.62.

This is what Shri Sastri-ji says:
nishiithe tama udbhUte jAyamAne janArdane |
devakyAm devarUpiNyAm viShNuH sarvaguhAshayaH||
AvirAsiid yathA prAcyAm dishiinduriva puShkalaH ||

Then, at the hour of midnight, which ushered in the advent of the Lord janArdana, when the darkness was at its most intense, viShNu, who dwells in the cave of the hearts of all creatures, revealed Himself as He verily is, in divinely beautiful devakii, even as the full-orbed moon rises in the eastern sky.

The Lord, who is eternal, manifested Himself, just as the moon, which is ever present, becomes visible in the eastern sky when it rises. He is compared to the full moon to indicate His fullness (pUrNatvam). Read the rest of this entry >>

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Swami Krishnananda: Concept of God in Hinduism

A short, but a very good article by Swami Krishnananda explains the concept of God in various scriptures of Sanatana Dharma. Here is the link. Read the rest of this entry >>

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The only song of its Kind!

Happy Birthday to Shri Aurobindo too! Read the rest of this entry >>

Monday, August 11, 2008

Arjuna's Questions in the Gita

In this old post, Shri Sunder-ji lists the questions and self-descriptions of Arjuna in the GIta. They are the following:

  • nimittaani cha pashyaami vipariitaani keshava .
    na cha shreyo.anupashyaami hatvaa svajanamaahave .. 1\.31..

    1.31 Besides, I do not see any good (to be derived) from killing my own people in battle. O Krsna, I do not hanker after victory, nor even a kingdom nor pleasures.

  • nihatya dhaartaraashhTraannaH kaa priitiH syaajanaardana .
    paapamevaashrayedasmaanhatvaitaanaatataayinaH .. 1\.36..

    1.36 O Janardana, what happiness shall we derive by killing the sons of Dhrtarastra? Sin alone will accrue to us by killing these felons.

  • yadyapyete na pashyanti lobhopahatachetasaH .
    kulakshayakR^ita.n doshhaM mitradrohe cha paatakam.h .. 1.38..

    katha.n na GYeyamasmaabhiH paapaadasmaannivartitum.h .
    kulakshayakR^ita.n doshhaM prapashyadbhirjanaardana .. 1\.39..

    1.38-39 O Janardana, although these people, whose hearts have become perverted by greed, do not see the evil arising from destroying the family and sin in hostility towards, friends, yet how can we who clearly see the evil arising from destroying the family remain unaware of (the need of) abstaining from this sin?

  • kaarpaNyadoshhopahatasvabhaavaH
    pR^ich{}chhaami tvaaM dharmasaMmuuDhachetaaH .
    yach{}chhreyaH syaannishchitaM bruuhi tanme
    shishhyaste.aha.n shaadhi maa.n tvaaM prapannam.h .. 2\.7..

    2.7 With my nature overpowered by weak commiseration, with a mind bewildered about duty, I supplicate You. Telll me for certain that which is better; I am Your disciple. Instruct me who have taken refuge in You.

  • sthitapraGYasya kaa bhaashhaa samaadhisthasya keshava .
    sthitadhiiH kiM prabhaashheta kimaasiita vrajeta kim.h .. 2\.54..

    2.54 O kesava, what is the description of a man of steady wisdom who is Self-absorbed? How does the man of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he move about?

  • jyaayasii chetkarmaNaste mataa buddhirjanaardana .
    tatki.n karmaNi ghore maa.n niyojayasi keshava .. 3\.1..

    3.1 O Janardana (krsna), if it be Your opinion that wisdom is superior to action, why they do you urge me to horrible aciton, O Kesava ?

  • aparaM bhavato janma para.n janma vivasvataH .
    kathametadvijaaniiyaa.n tvamaadau prok{}tavaaniti .. 4\.4..

    4.4 Your birth was later, (whereas) the birth of Vivasvan was earlier. How am I to understand this that You instructed (him) in the beginning?

  • sa.nnyaasaM karmaNaa.n kR^ishhNa punaryoga.n cha sha.nsasi .
    yach{}chhreya etayorekaM tanme bruuhi sunishchitam.h .. 5\.1..

    5.1. O Krsna, You praise renunciation of actions, and again, (Karma-) yoga. Tell me for certain that one which is better between these two.

  • yo.ayaM yogastvayaa prok{}taH saamyena madhusuudana .
    etasyaahaM na pashyaami cha.nchalatvaatsthiti.n sthiraam.h .. 6\.33..

    cha.nchalaM hi manaH kR^ishhNa pramaathi balavad.h dR^iDham.h .
    tasyaahaM nigrahaM manye vaayoriva sudushhkaram.h .. 6\.34..

    6.33. O Madhusudana (Krsna), this Yoga that has been spoken of by You as sameness, I do not see its steady continuance, owing to the restlessness (of the mind).
    6.34. For, O Krsna, the mind is unsteady, turbulent, strong and obstinate. I consider its control to be as greatly difficult as of the wind.

  • ayatiH shraddhayopeto yogaach{}chalitamaanasaH .
    apraapya yogasa.nsiddhi.n kaa.n gati.n kR^ishhNa gach{}chhati ..

    kach{}chinnobhayavibhrashh{}Tashchhinnaabhramiva nashyati .
    apratishhTho mahaabaaho vimuuDho brahmaNaH pathi .. 6\.38..

    etanme sa.nshayaM kR^ishhNa chhettumarhasyasheshhataH .
    tvadanyaH sa.nshayasyaasya chhettaa na hyupapadyate .. 6\.39..

    6.37. O krsna, failing to achieve perfection in Yoga, what goal does one attain who, though possessed of faith, is not diligent and whose mind becomes deflected from Yoga?
    6.38. O Mighty-armed one, fallen from both, without support, deluded on the path to Brahman, does he not get ruined like a scattered cloud?
    6.39. O Krsna, You should totally eradicate this doubt of mine. For, none other than Yourself can be the dispeller of this doubt!

  • ki.n tad.h brahma kimadhyaatma.n kiM karma purushhottama .
    adhibhuuta.n cha kiM prok{}tamadhidaivaM kimuchyate .. 8\.1..

    adhiyaGYaH kathaM ko.atra dehe.asminmadhusuudana .
    prayaaNakaale cha kathaM GYeyo.asi niyataatmabhiH .. 8\.2..

    8.1. O supreme person, what is that Brahman? What is that which exists in the individual plane? What is action? And what is that which is said to exist in the physical plane? What is that which is said to be existing in the divine plane?
    8.2. O Madhusudana, how, and who, is the entity existing in the sacrifice here in this body? And at the time of death, how are You to be known by people of concentrated minds?

  • kathaM vidyaamahaM yogi.nstvaa.n sadaa parichintayan.h .
    keshhu keshhu cha bhaaveshhu chintyo.asi bhagavanmayaa .. 10\.17..

    vistareNaatmano yogaM vibhuuti.n cha janaardana .
    bhuuyaH kathaya tR^ip{}tirhi shR^iNvato naasti me.amR^itam.h ..

    10.17. O Yogi, [Here yoga stands for the results of yoga, viz omniscience, omnipotence, etc.; one possessed of these is a yogi. (See Comm. on 10.7)] how shall I know You by remaining ever-engaged in meditation? And through what objects, O Lord, are You to be meditated on by me?
    10.18. O Janardana, narrate to me again [In addition to what has been said in the seventh and ninth chapters.] Your onw yoga and (divine) manifestations elaborately. For, while hearing (Your) nectar-like (words), there is no satiety in me.

  • evametadyathaattha tvamaatmaanaM parameshvara .
    drashhTumich{}chhaami te ruupamaishvaraM purushhottama .. 11\.3..

    manyase yadi tach{}chhak{}yaM mayaa drashhTumiti prabho .
    yogeshvara tato me tva.n darshayaatmaanamavyayam.h .. 11\.4..

    11.3. O supreme Lord, so it is, as You speak about Yourself. O supreme Person, I wish to see the divine form of Yours.
    11.4. O Lord, if You think that it is possible to be seen by me, then, O Lord of Yoga, You show me Your eternal Self.

  • aakhyaahi me ko bhavaanugraruupo
    namo.astu te devavara prasiida .
    viGYaatumich{}chhaami bhavantamaadya.n
    na hi prajaanaami tava pravR^ittim.h .. 11\.31..

    11.31. Tell me who You are, fierce in form. Salutation be to you, O supreme God; be gracious. I desire to fully know You who are the Prima One. For I do not understand Your actions!

  • evaM satatayuk{}taa ye bhak{}taastvaaM paryupaasate .
    ye chaapyaksharamavyak{}taM teshhaa.n ke yogavittamaaH .. 12\.1..

    12.1. Those devotees who, being thus ever dedicated, meditate on You, and those again (who meditate) on the Immutable, the Unmanifested-of them, who are the best experiencers of yoga [(Here) yoga means samadhi, spiritual absorption.] ?

  • kairliN^gaistriinguNaanetaanatiito bhavati prabho .
    kimaachaaraH katha.n chaitaa.nstriinguNaanativartate .. 14\.21..

    14.21. O Lord, by what signs is one (known) who has gone beyond these three qualities? What is his behaviour, and how does he transcend these three qualities?

  • ye shaastravidhimutsR^ijya yajante shraddhayaanvitaaH .
    teshhaa.n nishhThaa tu kaa kR^ishhNa sattvamaaho rajastamaH .. 17\.1..

    17.1. But, ['But' is used to present a standpoint distinct from the earlier ones understand from 16.23-4.-S.] O Krsna, what is the state [i.e., where do the rites undertaken by them end?] of those who, endued with faith, adore [Adore-perform sacrifices, distribute wealth etc. in honour of gods and others.] by ignoring the injunctions of the scriptures? Is it sattva, rajas or tamas?

  • sa.nnyaasasya mahaabaaho tattvamich{}chhaami veditum.h .
    tyaagasya cha hR^ishhiikesha pR^ithak{}keshinishhuudana .. 18\.1..

    18.1. O mighty-armed Hrsikesa, O slayer of (the demon) Kesi, I want to know separately the truth about sannyasa as also about tyaga.

Question: Is there any repetition in these questions? What is the essence behind such questions? Why this particular order? Read the rest of this entry >>

Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Meta Shloka of Gita Verses

Shri R. Visvanatha Sastri (Prof. VK's father) has written a shloka, which refers to 18 verses of Gita. Read more about it here. The shloka itself is this

OmahaM prakR^itiM nainam yogabhaktyA mayA yataH /
amAnitvaM sukhaM kAryaM IshvaraH purushaH sa yat.h // * //

The following is a translation of the 18 verses (source: Swami Gambhirananda), with the five verses 13.(7-11) included.

  1. omityekaaksharaM brahma vyaaharanmaamanusmaran.h .
    yaH prayaati tyajandehaM sa yaati paramaa.n gatim.h .. 8.13..

    He who departs by leaving the body while uttering the single syllable, viz Om, which is Brahman, and thinking of Me, he attains the supreme Goal. [Emphasis on final thoughts. The implied meaning is the emphasis on thoughts in the entire life.] [In the entire Gita, this is the only shloka that begins with Om.]

  2. ahaM sarvasya prabhavo mattaH sarvaM pravartate .
    iti matvaa bhajante maaM budhaa bhaavasamanvitaaH .. 10.8..

    I am the origin of all; everything moves on owing to Me. Realizing thus, the wise ones, filled with fervour, adore Me. [The wise know that things happen due to Him and Prakriti and hence adore him, as they see the beauty of everything as it is.] [The verses 9.16 (and hence the series 9.(16-19)), 10.20 and 15.14 also begin with aham. The verses 9.24, 16.18 and 18.53 also begin with aham, though it is less likely that they are being referred to here.]

  3. prakR^itiM purushha.n chaiva vidyanaadi ubhaavapi .
    vikaaraa.nshcha guNaa.nshchaiva viddhi prakR^itisaMbhavaan.h ..

    Know both Nature and also the individual soul to be verily without beginning; know the modifications as also the qualities as born of Nature. [Both of them are timeless without beginning.] [Though 9.8 and 13.1 both begin with the same word, it is less likely that this word refers to either of them.]

  4. naina.n chhindanti shastraaNi naina.n dahati paavakaH .
    na chaina.n kledayantyaapo na shoshhayati maarutaH .. 2.23..

    Weapons do not cut It, fire does not burn It, water does not moisten It, and air does not dry It. [Though it is more subtle than space, Atman can be thought of as space, with space being one of the five elements. Just as the elements cannot interfere in each other, and hence the other four elements cannot interfere in the most subtle space, they cannot interfere in the Atman.]

  5. yogayukto vishuddhaatmaa vijitaatmaa jitendriyaH .
    sarvabhuutaatmabhuutaatmat kurvannapi na lipyate .. 5.7..

    Endowed with yoga, pure in mind, controlled in body, a conqueror of the organs, the Self of the selves of all beings-he does not become tainted even while performing actions. [Even by doing, he is not contaminated.] [2.48 is a reasonable contender for this. What about 4.41?]

  6. bhaktyaa maamabhijaanaati yaavaanyashchaasmi tattvataH .
    tato maaM tattvato GYaatvaa vishate tadana.ntaram.h .. 18.55..

    Through devotion he knows Me in reality, as to what and who I am. Then, having known Me in truth, he enters (into Me) immediately after that (Knowledge). [11.54 is a serious contender for this.]

  7. mayaa tatamidaM sarva.n jagadavyaktamuurtinaa .
    matsthaani sarvabhuutaani na chaahaM teshhvavasthitaH .. 9.4..

    This whole world is prevaded by Me in My unmanifest form. All beings exist in Me, but I am not contained in them! [This verse, together with the next one (9.5), contains one of the three secrets of Gita. Prof. VK-ji explains it beautifully here.]

  8. yataH pravR^ittirbhuutaanaa.n yena sarvamidaM tatam.h .
    svakarmaNaa tamabhyarchya siddhi.n vindati maanavaH .. 18.46..

    A human being achieves success by adoring through his own duties Him from whom is the origin of creatures, and by whom is all this pervaded. [The only shloka that begins with the word yataH.]

  9. Ch.13-7: amAnitvaM adambhitvaM ...

    • amaanitvamadambhitvamahi.nsaa kshaantiraarjavam.h .
      aachaaryopaasanaM shauchaM sthairyamaatmavinigrahaH .. 13.7..

      (7.) Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, for-bearance, sincerity, service of the teacher, cleanliness, steadiness, control of body and organs;

    • indriyaartheshhu vairaagyamanaha.nkaara eva cha .
      janmamR^ityujaraavyaadhiduHkhadoshhaanudarshanam.h .. 13.8..

      (8.) Non-attachment with regard to objects of the senses, and also absence of egotism; seeing the evil in birth, death, old age, diseases and miseries;

    • asaktiranabhishhvaN^gaH putradaaragR^ihaadishhu .
      nitya.n cha samachittatvamishhTaanishhTopapattishhu .. 13.9..

      (9.) Non-attachment and absence of fondness with regard to sons, wives, homes, etc., and constant equanimity of the mind with regard to the attainment of the desirable and the undesirable;

    • mayi chaananyayogena bhaktiravyabhichaariNii .
      viviktadeshasevitvamaratirjanasa.nsadi .. 13.10..

      (10.) And unwavering devotion to Me with single-minded concentration; inclination to repair into a clean place; lack of delight in a crowd of people;

    • adhyaatmaGYaananityatva.n tattvaGYaanaarthadarshanam.h .
      etajGYaanamiti proktamaGYaanaM yadato.anyathaa .. 13.11..

      (11.) Steadfastness in the knowledge of the Self, contemplation on the Goal of the knowledge of Reality-this is spoken of as Knowledge. Ignorance is that which is other than this.

    [There is no contention for these shlokas. They are the well known GYaana shloka, with GYaana here meaning sAdhana.]

  10. sukhamaatyantikaM yattad.h buddhigraahyamatiindriyam.h .
    vetti yatra na chaivaayaM sthitashchalati tattvataH .. 6.21..

    When one experienece that absolute Blisss which can be intuited by the intellect and which is beyond the senses, and being established (thus) this person surely does not swerve from Reality; [About bliss of the Atman and the attitude of one who has experienced it.]

  11. kaaryamityeva yatkarma niyataM kriyate.arjuna .
    saN^ga.n tyaktvaa phala.n chaiva sa tyaagaH saattviko mataH ..

    Whatever obligatory duty is performed just because it is a bounden duty, O Arjuna, by giving up attachment and the result as well,-that renunciation is considered to be based on sattva.

  12. iishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaa.n hR^iddeshe.arjuna tishhThati .
    bhraamayansarvabhuutaani yantraaruuDhaani maayayaa .. 18.61..

    O Arjuna, the Lord resides in the region of the heart of all creatures, revolving through Maya all the creatures (as though) mounted on a machine!

  13. purushhaH sa paraH paartha bhaktyaa labhyastvananyayaa .
    yasyaantaHsthaani bhuutaani yena sarvamidaM tatam.h .. 8.22..

    O son of Prtha, that supreme Person-in whom are included (all) the beings and by whom all this is pervaded-is, indeed, reached through one-pointed devotion.

  14. yadaadityagataM tejo jagadbhaasayate.akhilam.h .
    yachchandramasi yachchaagnau tattejo viddhi maamakam.h .. 15.12..

    That light in the sun which illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon, and that which is in fire,-know that light to be Mine.

The shloka and the explanation of ProfVK-ji raises many questions:

  1. Why these verses? Why this order? Is there any implied meaning in this verse? What does Prof VK-ji mean when he says "which makes sense if you look at the content of these slokas.".
  2. Why does Prof Vk-ji say that this shloka is the capsule of whole Gita teaching?
  3. Are 7.16, 7.17, 11.38, 11.18, 9.27, 9.22, 13.2, 18.55, 18.66 hiding somewhere?
  4. Does the second word 'aham' refer to 9.16 and hence to 9.(16-19), rather than just to 10.8? If so, does the number of shlokas then becomes 18+3 = 21?
  5. Why is this shloka written on a page of the 14th chapter?
  6. Is the 9.4 really standing for 9.5 and 9.5 and thus adding one more to the number?
  7. Can we add the 9.(16-19) shlokas, as well as 9.(4-5)? This makes the total number of shlokas as 22. Where are the rest 2 shlokas making up to the (next) magic number 24 (Gayathri)?

This post is one of many with the tag Collections of Gita Verses.

Read the rest of this entry >>