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Page 1

Bhagavad­gita 
with commentaries   

by 

Baladeva Vidyabhusana 



Introduction 


satyänantäcintya-çakty-eka-pakñe
sarvädhyakñe bhakta-rakñätidakñe |

çré-govinde viçva-sargädi-kande
pürëänande nityam ästäà matir me ||


ajïäna-néradhir upaiti yayä viçeñaà

bhaktiù paräpi bhajate paripoñam uccaiù |
tattvaà paraà sphurati durgamam apy ajasraà
sädguëya-bhåt svaracitäà praëamämi gétäm ||


May my mind remain eternally fixed on He who is the ultimate perfection of real,
infinite, inconceivable powers, and who thus controls everything; who is Çré Govinda,
expert in protecting His devotees, who is also the root of creation, maintenance and
destruction of the universe, and who is full of bliss.

I offer my respects to the Gétä, which was spoken by the Lord endowed with perfect
qualities, a work by which the ocean of ignorance meets its complete end,1 by which
pure bhakti becomes fully nourished to the highest degree, and by which the supreme
truth, normally difficult to understand, becomes eternally manifest.

That svayam bhagavän, condensed happiness and knowledge, is the Supreme Person,
endowed with inconceivable power. His feet are the object of meditation by Brahmä
and others who create, maintain and destroy the variegated universe depending on His
order. Through such pastimes as His birth, He gave exceeding joy to His associates,
whom He treated equal to Himself, and who appeared with Him. And by His pastimes
He liberated many jévas from the tiger’s mouth of ignorance. Wishing to deliver


1 Or the ocen of ignorance gets cured.

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others in the future, after His own disappearance, He placed even His intimate
expansion Arjuna under seeming bewilderment at the commencement of the battle by
His inconceivable energy, and then, on the pretext of removing Arjuna’s ignorance,
spoke his own Gétopaniñad, which excellently ascertains the real nature of Himself
and His energies.

Five subjects are described in the Gétä: the Lord, the jéva, prakåti, käla and karma.
Among them, the all-powerful conscious being (vibhu samvit) is the Lord, éçvara. The
minute conscious being (anu samvit) is the jéva. Prakåti is the substance which is the
shelter of the three guëas: sattva, rajas and tamas. Käla is unconscious substance
(dravya) devoid of the guëas.2 Karma refers to the force of destiny which fulfills the
efforts of men (in response to previous actions).

The characteristics of these items are as follows. Among them, the first four--éçvara,
jéva, prakåti and käla--are eternal. Jéva, prakåti, käla and karma are under the control
of içvara. The fifth item, karma, has no beginning (anädi) and is liable to destruction,
like prior non-existence (präg abhäva).3 The only objects which have consciousness
as their essential property (svarüpa) are éçvara and jéva. They are aware of other things
(saàvettä) and have recognition of “I” (self awareness) (asmad artha).4 The çruti says:


vijïänam änandaà brahma
That brahman is knoweldge and bliss. Båhad Äraëyaka Upaniñad 3.9.28

mantä boddhä kartä vijïänätmä puruñaù
That Lord who is knoweldge itself is the controller, the knower, the doer. Praçna
upaniñad 4.9

yaù sarvajïaù sarvavit
He knows all things, and knows everything about each thing.
Munòaka Upaniñad 1.1.9


Also the çruti says (concerning self awareness):

so’kämayata bahu syäm
He desired, “May I become many.”


2 This means that käla is distinct from prakåti. Rämänuja also accepts this in his system. Jéva Gosvämé
also places käla as part of nimitta mäya, whose other constituents are karma (action), daiva (fate) and
svabhäva (impressions). It has two functions: vidyä and avidyä. Avidyä causes the bewilderment of
the jéva and vidyä assists in jéva’s release from prakåti. This functions along with guëa mäya or
pradhäna whose constituents are prakåti, mahat tattva, ahaìkära, the five elements, eleven senses and
five sense objects. Guëa mäyä supplies the material body for the jéva.
3 Something which has not yet existed has not existed for infinite time in the past. It has anädi non-
existence. But this state of infinite non-existence comes to an end if and when the object in question
makes its appearance. Thus some objects can have no beginning but have an end.
4 Followers of Çaìkära argue that Brahman is consciousness itself, with no awareness of self or other
things, what to speak of being a doer.

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Attaining the planet of the moon by performance of kämya karmas through the path
protected by eight devatäs carrying out the orders of the Lord (deities of smoke, night,
waning fortnight, winter solstice, year, pitra loka, ether, and moon), after their
enjoyment is over, they return to earth.


çukla-kåñëe gaté hy ete jagataù çäçvate mate |
ekayä yäty anävåttim anyayävartate punaù ||26||


26. These two paths, of light and dark, are accepted in this world as being without
beginning. By one path, one does not return, and by the other path, one returns.

This verse summarizes the two paths. The path of light is called çukla or white
because it consists of enlightenment. The path of smoke is called kåsëa or dark
because it is devoid of enlightenment. These two paths (gaté) are accepted to be
without beginning (çaçvataù) for those of this world (jagataù) qualified respectively
for jïäna and karma, because saàsära itself has no beginning. The rest of the verse is
clear.


naite såté pärtha jänan yogé muhyati kaçcana |
tasmät sarveñu käleñu yoga-yukto bhavärjuna ||27||


27. The yogé is never bewildered who knows these two paths. Therefore, at all times be
fixed in samädhi, Arjuna.

Understanding these two paths clearly is a cause of discriminating intelligence. This
power of discrimination is praised in this verse.

Knowing these two paths, understanding that the path of light leads to liberation and
the path of smoke leads to rebirth, a yogé, My devotee, is not bewildered: he does not
believe in the necessity of prescribed actions (karma yoga) which lead to the path of
smoke. Be fixed in samädhi (yoga yuktaù), Arjuna, in order that you do not return.


vedeñu yajïeñu tapaùsu caiva
däneñu yat puëyaphalaà pradiñöam|

atyeti tat sarvam idaà viditvä
yogé paraà sthänam upaiti cädyam ||28||


28. Knowing My glories, the yogé surpasses all the pious results declared for study of the
Vedas, performance of sacrifice and austerity and giving in charity. Knowing all about
Myself and My devotee, that yogé attains My eternal, attractive place.

This verse describes the type of knowledge described in the seventh and eighth
chapters.

Page 181

Whatever results are promised in the form of svarga, kingdom and such, through
avidly studying the Vedas while following rules such as observing celibacy and serving
the guru, through avidly performing sacrifice completely with all parts, through
intently undergoing austerities according the rules of scripture, through intently
giving charity with faith, while examining the suitability of place, time and person—
all of this the yogé surpasses.

How does he surpass all of this? Knowing the glories of Me, the Lord, and My
devotee, mentioned in chapters seven and eight (idam viditvä), by the mercy of
devotee association, he considers all those other activities (tat sarvam) as insignificant
as grass , without the happiness they promised. That yogé, having become devoted to
Me, attains My abode which is without beginning (ädyam) and real (param).137

The aàça of Kåñëa, the puruña, is obtained by bhakti mixed with yoga, through the
path of light, but Kåñëa Himself is attained only through unalloyed bhakti. This is
explained in the eighth chapter.











Chapter 9

çré-bhagavän uväca
idaà tu te guhyatamaà pravakñyämy anasüyave |

jïänaà vijïäna-sahitaà yaj jïätvä mokñyase 'çubhät ||1||

1. The Lord said: I will speak to you, who have no envy, the most secret knowledge,
bhakti, along with realization of Me, knowing which you will be freed from suffering.

In the ninth chapter the Lord speaks of His supreme powers which cause
astonishment and incite bhakti and as well speaks of the great excellence of His
devotee.

Having stated in the seventh and eighth chapters that He, the Lord of all beings, filled
with knowledge and bliss, a treasure house of unlimited auspicious qualities, is easily
attained by pure bhakti, in this chapter He speaks of His powers (aiçvarya) which


137 This to the ananya bhakta, the pariniñöhita devotee rather than the yoga miçra bhakta, since that has
been the last subject discussed.

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In this verse Saïjaya speaks of his own qualification for hearing the conversation that
just took place. By the mercy of Vyäsa, attaining a form with transcendental eyes and
ears given by him, I have heard this secret. What is this secret? It is the yoga—karma
yoga, jïäna yoga and bhakti yoga--which manifests the supreme entity (param). I
have heard it from the controller (éçvära) of all beings, who has a natural fellowship
with all living entities such as devas and men (yoga). I have heard it from the original
form (svayam), Kåñëa, from His own mouth as He spoke it (kathayataù), not from
another person indirectly. Saïjaya celebrates his own good fortune.




räjan saàsmåtya saàsmåtya saàvädam imam adbhutam
keçavärjunayoù puëyaà håñyämi ca muhur muhuù ||76||


76. O King, remembering this wonderful, sacred conversation beween Keçava and Arjuna
again and again, my hairs are standing on end at every moment.

O king, O Dhåtaräñöra, remembering this wonderous conversation which destroys all
faults of the hearer, and destroys even avidyä--the cause of our existence in this world
(puëyam), at every moment (muhur muhuù) my hairs are standing on end.


tac ca saàsmåtya saàsmåtya rüpam aty-adbhutaà hareù
vismayo me mahän räjan håñyämi ca punaù punaù ||77||


77. O King, remembering also, again and again, that amazing form of Hari, the universal
form, I am filled with wonder, and my hairs stand on end again and again.

Tat here refers to the universal form which was shown to Arjuna.


yatra yogeçvaraù kåñëo yatra pärtho dhanur-dharaù

tatra çrér vijayo bhütir dhruvä nétir matir mama ||78||

78. Where there is Kåñëa, the master of yoga, and where there is Arjuna, the holder of the
bow, there will be unfailing prosperity, victory, ever-increasing wealth, and righteousness.
That is my conviction.

This being so, give up the desire for the victory of your sons. Where there is the
master who is related to all beings (yogeçväraù, explained above), who brings into
motion and maintains the forms of all other living entities just by His will, where there
is Kåñëa, the son of Vasudeva, who takes the role of a helper even as the charioteer of
Arjuna, and where there is Arjuna, the son of Prthä, your father’s sister,267 who is the
avatära of Nara, the pure devotee of Kåñëa, the holder of the bow Gäëòéva which


267 Kåñëa’s father, Vasudeva, was the sister of Påthä. Both were children of king Çürasena. Påthä was
adopted by King Kuntibhoja and called Kunté. She married Päëòu and gave birth to Arjuna.

Page 361

cannot be cut (dhanur dharaù)--at that place alone, where Kåñëa and Arjuna are
situated, siding with Yudhiñöhira, there will also be secured the wealth of kings (çré),
victory (vijaya)--great superiority causing the defeat of the enemy, the constant
increase of that royal wealth (bhütiù), and the permanent (dhruvä) sense of justice
(nétiù).

One should not worry that this scripture is favoring war. It is not so. The instructions
are man-manä bhava mad-bhakta and sarva-dharmän parityajya. It is clear that the
prescribed actions according to the four varëas and äçramas (including fighting) have
been delineated for purification of the heart, and for teaching the populace.268

There are many methods, but among them, surrender (prapatti), along with the
attitude of being a servant, quickly pleases Viñëü. This is the conclusion of the
eighteenth chapter.

In the Gétä, the supreme truth Kåñëa, filled with all spiritual qualities, who drunk the
breast milk of Yaçodä, who became the charioteer of Arjuna, is glorified.

Attaining the fulfillment of my desires, I immersed myself in the milk ocean of the
Gétä, but I have not been able to lift the jewel of very wonderul meanings out of the
ocean, though I have understood to some degree. In this way, my master, the joyful
son of Nanda, with great delight, shows His affection for me.

With care Vidyäbhüñana has attended upon this commentary called Çrémad Gétä
Bhüñaëa. O devotees who are greedy for the sweetness of prema of Çré Govinda, filled
with mercy, please purify this work.



268 These instructions are for the saniñöha and pariniñöhita devoee.

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