Br. Pranipata Chaitanya, Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:06 am

shrImad bhagavad gItA – Part 1

Part 1

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AUM pArthAya pratibodhitAM bhagavatA nArAyaNena svayaM

vyAsena grathitAM purANamuninA madhyemahAbhAratam .

advaitAmRRitavarShiNIM bhagavatImaShTAdashAdhyAyinIm

amba tvAmanusandadhAmi bhagavadgIte bhavadveShiNIm ..1..

? AUM = OM (the mono-syllable indicative of Supreme Brahman); ??????? pArthAya = for Partha; ????????????? pratibodhitAm = imparted for enlightenment; ????? bhagavatA = by the Lord; ???????? nArAyaNena = by Narayana; ?????? svayam = Himself; ??????? vyAsena = by vyAsa; ????????? grathitAm = incorporated; ??????????? purANamuninA = by the ancient sage; ?????-????????? madhye-mahAbhAratam = in the midst of mahAbhArata; ??????-????-????????? advaita-amRRita-varShiNIm = the showerer of the nectarian philosophy of advaita; ??????? bhagavatIm = the Divine Mother; ???????-??????????? aShTAdasha-adhyAyinIm = in the form of eighteen chapters; ???? amba = O! (universal) mother; ?????? tvAm = thee; ??????????? anusandadhAmi = I constantly meditate; ????????? bhagavadgIte = O! bhagavad gItA; ??-?????????? bhava-dveShiNIm = sure antidote to the repeated births (saMsAra)

O! (universal) mother! bhagavad-gita! I meditate on you. With you Partha was enlightened by the Lord Narayana Himself amidst mahAbhArata war. The ancient sage vyAsa set you in the middle of the great epic mahAbhArata composed by him. You are divine, bestower of nectarian advaita philosophy in the form of eighteen chapters, sure antidote to the repeated births (saMsAra).

OM iti paramAtma-smaraNam
– the Supreme Truth/Self is remembered by the word OM.

he amba! aham tvAM anusandadhAmi
– O! (universal) mother! bhagavad-gItA! I meditate upon you.

One can get to know about a thing or know the thing itself. For the knowledge about a thing, any other thing could also be the source but to know a thing, one has to approach that thing itself. From however knowledgeable source the information is got about a thing; that could not be complete. All the best descriptions about the moon cannot be equal to seeing it by oneself. Hence this knowledge is only parokSha or indirect knowledge.

On the other hand, knowledge from the thing itself is direct and complete hence called aparokSha or direct knowledge. Proximate and open approach takes one closer to the thing for revelation. It is achieved by constantly meditating (anusandhAnam) on the thing to be known and here shrImad-bhagavad-gItA is meditated upon. Knowing/realizing gItA is knowing/realizing the Lord himself because the Lord has told ‘gItA me hRRidayaM Partha’ – ‘gItA is my heart and soul, O Partha!’

In times of distress one cries out to a mother for comfort & relief. The mother immediately offers herself for the welfare of the child and hence gItA is called mother, that too ‘universal mother’ meaning one who is approached by one and all when afflicted by saMsAra (world of change) and want permanent relief. O! Universal Mother! bhagavad-gItA! We constantly meditate on you.

svayam  bhagavatA nArAyaNena
Parthaya mahAbhArata-madye pratibodhitAMgItA was imparted by Lord Narayana himself for the sake of Partha in the middle of mahAbhArata war.

The Blessed Lord, who is none other than the Supreme Being, has only to play the role of the teacher to impart the highest knowledge which destroys ignorance and frees from bondage. The Lord descended for the sole purpose of teaching this knowledge which was given in the mahAbhArata battle-field to the entire mankind making Partha an instrument. Partha simply means son of pRRitA (kunti), which karNa and all other pAnDava-s are. But arjuna, the beloved friend and devotee of Lord shrI-kRRiShNa is fondly referred to as Partha by the Lord. The word Partha could also be split in another way to give a unique meaning – pa + artha. pAti iti paH paramAtmA ucyate, tat arthyate yena saH ParthaH – The supreme self is denoted by ‘paH’ as pa means protecting; one who has It alone as the supreme goal of life is called ParthaH. So anyone wishing highest good as supreme goal of life is Partha and gItA is the means for attaining it.

purANa muninA vyAsena mahAbhArata-madhye grathitAm
gitA was incorporated  in the great epic mahAbhArata by the ancient sage vyAsa.

veda-vyAsa is a great ancient seer who knows all the four veda-s in entirety. He has the unique ability to present the Truth enshrined in the veda-s in sUtra (aphorism) form as brahma-sUtra, as well to elaborate (vyasanAt vyAsaH) in a story form as mahAbhArata epic. In the epic mahAbhArata, called as fifth veda, vyAsa incorporated the bhagavad-gItA shining as a crest-jewel. purANa-muni can also mean the sage (veda-vyAsaji) who wrote all the purANa-s—sage of purANa-fame.

bhagavatIm aShTAdasha-adhyAyinIm advaita-amRRita-varShiNIm bhava-dveShiNim
gItA is divine, consist of eighteen chapters, showerer of non-dual nectar, antidote to repeated births (and deaths).

Born from the lotus like lips of padmanAbha (Lord shrI-hari) and bestowing the supreme good to those who do not want any worldly pleasures, gItA is divine. She consists of eighteen chapters. Eighteen in Hindu tradition represent victory (another name for mahAbhArata is jaya meaning victory). In Jewish tradition eighteen represent the Truth. Hence set in eighteen chapters she reiterates ‘Truth alone triumphs’ (satyameva jayate na anRRitam). The war also said to last for eighteen days, the epic also has eighteen parva-s(sections). Duality leads to change and changeful entity perishes. Non-dual means free from that hence immortal (amrita). gItA teaches the non-dual Self as the changeless Reality and as the substratum of all these changes. As the rains which make land fertile can be said to hate parched dry land, so too, gItA hates change in the form of repeated births and deaths called saMsAra.

That universal mother shrImad-bhagavad-gItA, I constantly meditate for Self-Knowledge.    

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namo.astu te vyAsa vishAlabuddhe phullAravindAyatapatranetra .

yena tvayA bhAratatailapUrNaH prajvAlito j~nAnamayaH pradIpaH ..2..

??? namaH = salutations; ????? astu = be; ?? te = unto thee; ????? vyAsa = O! vyAsa! ?????-?????? vishAla-buddhe = O! one with mighty intellect; ?????-???????-???????-????? phulla-aravinda-Ayatapatra-netra = O! one with the eyes like the petals of a full-blown lotus-petal;  ??? yena = by whom; ????? tvayA = by thee; ????-???-?????? bhArata-taila-pUrNaH = full of the mahAbhArata oil; ??????????? prajvAlitaH = lighted; ???????? ??????? j~nAnamayaH pradIpaH = lamp of knowledge;

Salutations unto thee, O! vyAsa! One of mighty intellect! One with the eyes like the petals of a full-blown lotus-petal! It was you who lighted the lamp of knowledge, filled with the mahAbhArata oil.

veda-vyAsaji is considered none other than Lord viShNu himself. Being the knower of all the Veda-s he is all-knowing and all-pervading yet very considerate to humanity. He divided the veda-s into four in such a way that all aspects of veda-s are there in every part. Learning the veda-s mandates doing the works ordered by it. For those who cannot do the karma-s he gave the dharma enshrined in the veda-s as purANa and itihAsa. He reconciled all the upaniShad-s and gave their unified message as brahmasUtra-s. Like the lotus flower, though in waters yet staying apart, he never got into saMsAra, like the lotus blossom at sunshine his vision was always on Supreme Truth, like lotus he gave the nectarian essence of veda-s to the seekers. Like a lamp filled with oil and wick has to be kindled, he kindled the lamp of knowledge filled with the mahabhArata oil.

vyAsa-ucchhiShTham jagat sarvam – all the entire universe is a remainder of what has been tasted by bhagavan veda-vyAsa. Unto him salutations.

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prapannapArijAtAya totravetraikapANaye .

j~nAnamudryAya kRRiShNAya gItAmRRitaduhe namaH ..3..

???????-????????? prapanna-pArijAtAya = unto bestower of all desires (pArijAta – desire fulfilling tree) for those who take refuge; ?????-?????-??-????? totra-vetra-eka-pANaye = unto the wielder of whip in one hand; ?????-????????? j~nAna-mudryAya = unto the holder of j~nAna-mudra (symbol of knowledge); ??????? kRRiShNAya = to kRRiShNa; ????-????-???? gItA-amRRita-duhe = the one who has milked the gItA-nectar; ??? namaH = salutations;

Salutations unto Lord shrI-kRRiShNa, who milked the gItA-nectar, the wielder of whip in one hand, holding j~nAna-mudra on one hand and bestows all the desires of those who surrender to Him like a wish-fulfilling tree.

Lord shrI-kRRiShNa – The one whose real nature (svarUpa) is sat-cit-Ananda—existence-knowledge-bliss (sat-cit-Ananda-rUpaH) and who is the source of the entire universe (vishva-utpatti-Adi hetuH) is worshipped as Lord shrI-kRRiShNa. ‘kRRiSh’ stands for existence and ‘Na’ for bliss vide ‘kRRiShiH bhU-vAcaka shabdaH, Nashca nirvRRitivAcakaH’.

— That ‘Ananda-happiness’ attracts one and all and hence he is called kRRiShNaH –AkarShaNAt kRRiShNaH. Few among us take refuge in him for the happiness and to those who surrendered (prapannAnAm) he is like the wish-fulfilling tree (pArijAtaH).

vetra means a rod and totra means a string and totra-vetra means string attached to a rod i.e. a whip. Lord wields a whip in his one hand. Famous he was as charioteer of arjuna in the battle-field (Partha-sArati), he held a whip in the hand. The prime responsibility of a well-wisher or guide is to correct when a mistake is committed (skAlitye-shAsitAram) and as a guru Lord reminds this to us by wielding a whip in one hand. Thus he does both anugraha and nigraha.

Lord is our wish fulfiller. But he also expects us to do our duty. A whip is a directive which has to be obeyed. So holding a whip, he reminds our responsibility to him.

or cin-mudra: The three fingers – little finger, ring finger and the middle finger- are held together. The tip of the index finger meets the top of the thumb to form a circle. This is the cin-mudra or j~nAna-mudra.

The gesture which gives joy is called mudra. In classical Indian dances too there are many mudra-s which are aesthetically appealing and convey certain meanings. The cin-mudra symbolizes the highest Truth. The index finger represents the ego. It is with that finger that we create the distinction of you and me. It is used for accusing another, threatening and for quarreling. Does not the ego cause all the differences and quarrel between men? The ego is presently identified with the three bodies (gross, subtle and causal) and the three qualities (sattva, rajas and tamas) represented the three fingers. When the ego dissociates itself with the false identifications and merges with the Truth (represented by the thumb), man attains fulfillment (represented by the circle). The circle has neither a beginning nor an end. It symbolizes completeness and infiniteness. The cin-mudra therefore symbolizes the identity between the jIva (individual) and the brahman (the Supreme Truth). This knowledge is the very essence of all the veda-s. Lord depicts this j~nAna-mudra in one of his hands.

– milker of the gItA-nectar. The Lord who brought out the nectar during the churning of the milky-ocean which will give long life, has milked this gItA-nectar which will give everlasting happiness.

Unto Him, prostrations.

Part 2

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