Author Topic: CHAPTER 9 - Sovereign Wisdom and Secret  (Read 448 times)

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CHAPTER 9 - Sovereign Wisdom and Secret
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:57:37 PM »
In the eighth discourse has been declared the Yoga of concentration (dharana) through nadi as well as its process, and its result has been shown to be none other than the attainment of Brahman - at a subsequent period, through ‘fire and light’ and the like, - whence there is no return. Now, with a view to give no room to the supposition that the attainment of moksha is possible only by this means and by no other, the Lord proceeds as follows:

The Blessed Lord said:
1. To thee who dost not cavil, I shall now declare this, the greatest secret, knowledge combined with experience, which having known thou shalt be liberated from evil.
This: the Brahma-jnana, the knowledge of Brahman, which is going to be declared, and which has been declared in the preceding discourses. Now: this word points to the superiority of knowledge (over Dhyana): this right knowledge alone forms the direct means of attaining moksha, as declared in the sruti and the smrti: " Vasudeva is the All" - (Bhagavadgita, vii. 19) " All this is the Self" – (Chand. Upa., 7 - 25 - 2.) " One only without a second " - (Ibid, 6 - 2 - 1.) And nothing else is a direct means to moksha, as the passages of the sruti like the following declare: "Now the other princes who understand otherwise than thus, they shall attain to perishable regions." - (Ibid, 7 - 25 - 2.) On attaining this knowledge, you will be liberated from the bondage of samsara. And it is,

2. The Sovereign Science, the Sovereign Secret, the Supreme Purifier is this; immediately comprehensible, unopposed to Dharma, very easy to perform, imperishable.
Of sciences it is the king, because it is of great splendor. Indeed, the science of Brahman is the most brilliant of all sciences. So also, it is the king of secrets. Of all the purifiers, this knowledge of Brahman is the best purifier. That it is a purifier needs no saying, since it reduces karma to ashes in an instant, root and all, - all the karma, dharma and a-dharma, which has been accumulated during many thousand births. Moreover, it can be comprehended by pratyaksha, by immediate perception, like the feeling of pleasure and so on. What is possessed of many a desirable quality may be opposed to dharma; but not so is the knowledge of Atman opposed to Dharma; on the other hand it is not separable from Dharma, i.e., not opposed to it. Even then it may be supposed that it is very difficult to attain; but it is not so, says the Lord. It is very easy to acquire, like the power of discriminating gems. Now, of the other acts, those which involve little trouble and are easily accomplished are seen to be productive of small results, and difficult acts are found to be productive of great results. Accordingly it may be imagined that this Brahma - jnana which is so easily attained perishes when its effect is exhausted: to prevent this supposition, the Lord says that it is imperishable. It does not perish like an act when the effect is exhausted. Wherefore knowledge of Atman (Self) is worth acquiring. But,

3. Persons having no faith in this Dharma, O harasser of thy foes, without reaching Me, remain verily in the path of the mortal world.
Those who have no faith in this Dharma (law, religion) viz., knowledge of the Self, those who do not believe in its existence or in its effects, the sinful who follow the doctrine of the Demons (Asuras), regarding the physical body itself as the Self, - these greedy and sinful persons do not attain to Me, the Supreme Lord. - The attaining of Me is certainly out of question; wherefore, the implication is that they do not attain even to devotion (Bhakti) which is one of the paths leading to Me; they are sure to remain in the path of the mortal world, in that path only which leads to hell (naraka) and to the lower kingdoms of animals, etc.

All beings rest in the Lord
Having prepared Arjuna (to listen to the Doctrine) by extolling it, the Lord says:

4. By Me all this world is pervaded, My form unmanifested. All beings dwell in Me; and I do not dwell in them.
All this world is pervaded by My Highest Being, My form being invisible to the senses. In Me, of unmanifested form, dwell all beings from Brahma down to the plant. No being devoid of the Self can ever become an object of experience. Wherefore they dwell in Me, i.e., they are self-existent (or have an individual existence) through Me, the Self, (i.e., they are what they are in virtue of Me, the Self, underlying them all.) Since I am the Self of all those beings, it would seem to the deluded as though I dwell in them. Wherefore I say: I do not dwell in those beings, because of the absence of contact with others, unlike corporeal things. I am, certainly, the innermost essence even of the akasa. That which is unconnected with any object cannot indeed be contained anywhere as though in a receptacle. Wherefore, as I am unconnected with any object.

5. Nor do those beings dwell in Me; behold My Divine Yoga! Sustaining all beings, but not dwelling in them, is My Self, the cause of beings.
And yet these beings, from Brahma downwards, dwell not in Me; behold My Divine working, the Divine Mystery, the real nature of the Self. Accordingly, the sruti speaks of the unattached condition of the Self, seeing that He is unconnected with any object: " Devoid of attachment, He is never attached." - (Brih. Up. 3 - 9 - 26.) Behold, there is yet another mystery. Though unattached, My Self supports all beings but does not dwell in them, as shown above with reasons. Then how to justify the Lord's words, ‘My Self’?
We answer: Separating (from the Real Self) the aggregate of the physical and other material environments, and regarding that aggregate as the “I”, the Lord speaks of the Self as ‘My Self,’ - so far following only the popular conception; not certainly that He believes, as the masses ignorantly believe, that the Atman, the Self, is distinct from Himself, And further it is Myself that cause all beings to come into being, that cause all beings to grow. By way of illustrating by an example what has been taught in the two preceding verses, the Lord says:

6. As the mighty wind moving everywhere rests ever in the akasa, so, know thou, do all beings, rest in Me.
It is observed in our ordinary experience that the wind, moving everywhere and mighty in expanse, ever rests in the akasa; so also in Me, who am all-pervading like the akasa, do all beings rest, without any contact at all.

The Lord is the source and the end of all beings
Thus, as the wind rests in the akasa, so do all beings rest in Me as long as the world lasts.

7. All beings, O son of Kunti, go into My Prakriti at the end of a kalpa. I send them forth again at the beginning of (the next) kalpa.
Prakriti: the inferior one composed of the three gunas. The end of a kalpa is the time of dissolution (pralaya), and the beginning of a kalpa is the time of production (utpatti). Thus:

8. Resorting to My Prakriti, I again and again send forth this whole multitude of beings, powerless under the control of the Prakriti.
With the help of the Prakriti, i.e., of Avidya, which is subject to Me, I cause all these beings we now see to emanate again and again from the Prakriti; all of them being rendered powerless by avidya and other sources of evil under the influence of the Prakriti, i.e., of Svabhava or Nature.

The Lord is not bound by His acts
Then as creating this multitude of beings of unequal conditions, Thou, the Supreme Lord, shalt be subject to dharma and a-dharma arising from that act?
In reply, the Lord says:

9. Nor do these acts, O Dhananjaya, bind Me, remaining like one unconcerned, unattached to those acts.
The acts involved in the unequal creation of the multitudinous beings do not bind Me, the Isvara. Now, the Lord gives the reason why He is not affected by the acts: I, knowing the immutability of the Self, remain like one who is unconcerned, without attachment for the fruit of the act, i.e., without the egotistic feeling ‘I do.’ Wherefore, in the case of others also, the absence of the egotistic feeling of. agency and the absence of attachment for results is the cause of freedom (from dharma and a-dharma). Otherwise, the deluded man is bound by his own acts like the silkworm in the cocoon. Now, the statements ‘1 send forth this multitude of beings’ (ix. 7) and ‘remaining like one unconcerned’ involve a self - contradiction. In explanation thereof, the Lord says:

10. By Me presiding, Prakriti produces the moving and the unmoving; because of this, O son of Kunti, the world revolves.
By Me presiding: as a mere viewer on every side and the immutable witness. My Maya, i.e., the Avidya, composed of the three gunas, produces the universe comprising the moving and the unmoving objects. So says the chant: ‘The one, the luminous, hidden in all beings, all-pervading, the Inner Self of all, the superintendent of all acts, the abode of all beings, the witness, the perceiver alone, and free from qualities.’- (Svetasvatara - Up. 6 - 1 1).
Because I am the witness, because I preside, this universe comprising the moving and the unmoving objects, the manifested and the unmanifested, moves on through all stages. Indeed, all activity in the world - such as ‘I shall enjoy this,’ ‘I see this,’ ‘I hear this,’ ‘I feel pleasure,’ ‘I feel pain,’ ‘To gain this I shall do it,’ ‘I shall learn this’ - arises by way of forming an object of consciousness; it has its being in consciousness and has its end in consciousness. Such chants as ‘Who in the Supreme Heaven (of the heart) is the witness of this;’ (Tai. Br. 2 - 8 - 9) point only to this view. Accordingly as there is no conscious entity other than the One Divine Being, there cannot be a separate enjoyer; and it is therefore irrelevant to ask or to answer the question, ‘Of what purpose is this creation by the One, the Divine, the pure all-witnessing Spirit or Consciousness, having really no concern with any enjoyment whatever? ‘So says the sruti: 'Who could perceive (It) directly, and who could declare whence born and why this variegated creation? ‘- (Tai. Br. 2 - 8 - 9).
The Lord has also said: ‘Wisdom is enveloped by unwisdom; thereby mortals are deluded, (v. 15).

The life of the impious
Though I am thus eternal, pure, wise, and free by nature, Omniscient, the Self of all,

11. Fools disregard Me clad in human form, not knowing My higher being as the Great Lord of beings.
Fools, unable to discriminate, despise Me living among them with a human body, these fools not understanding My higher being, - not knowing that I am the Supreme Self, that I am, like akasa, that I am the Great Lord, the very Self, of all beings. Then by continually despising Me, these poor creatures are ruined. How (is their condition pitiable)?

12. Of vain hopes, of vain actions, of vain knowledge, devoid of discrimination, partaking only of the delusive nature of Rakshasas and Asuras.
They cherish vain hopes. The agnihotra and other actions performed by them are fruitless, because they insult the Lord, because they neglect their own Self. Even their knowledge is fruitless. They are devoid of discrimination. They partake of the nature of Rakshasas and Asuras. They see no self beyond the body and engage in cruel deeds, their rule of conduct being 'cut, break, drink, devour, rob others ’property.'

The ways of the faithful devotees
But, the faithful who are engaged in devotion (Bhakti) to the Lord, i.e., who walk in the path of moksha,

13. The Mahatmans, O son of Pritha, partaking of the nature of the Devas, worship Me with mind turned to no other, knowing (Me) as the imperishable source of all beings.
Mahatmans: the high-souled. The nature of the Devas (Gods) consists in their control over the body, mind and the senses, in kindness, in faith and the like. Beings: bhutas, all living creatures as well as all elements of matter. How (do they worship)?

14. Always talking of Me, strenuous, firm in vows, and reverent, they worship Me with love, always devout. They always talk of Me, their Lord, the very Brahman.
They ever strive by way of subjugating the senses, by way of cultivating the virtues of self-control, kindness, innocence, and the like. Firm in their vows, they worship Me in love, Me who am their very Self lying in the heart. In what different ways do they worship? Listen:

15. Worshipping by the wisdom-sacrifice, others adore Me, the All-faced, in various ways, as One, as different.
Knowledge of the Lord is itself a sacrifice. Worshipping by this sacrifice of wisdom, others adore Me, having abandoned all other forms of worship. And that knowledge varies thus: Some worship with the knowledge of the real truth that ‘One, verily, is the Para - Brahman.’ Some worship with the knowledge that the Lord Vishnu Himself exists as different beings, as the sun, the moon and the like. Others worship Him, who exists in all forms - as the All faced, thinking that the one Lord exists in all the different forms, with his face on all sides.

All worship goes to the Lord
If they worship in so many different ways, how do they worship Thee only? The Lord says:

16. I am kratu, I am yajna, I am svadha, I am aushadha, I am mantra, Myself the butter, I am fire, I the act of offering.
 Kratu is a class of Vedic sacrifices. Yajna is the worship enjoined in the smriti. Svadha is the food offered to ancestors (Pitris). The aushadha means plants in general, including rice and barley, eaten by all living beings. Or, svadha is food in general, and aushadha is the medical (food) serving to alleviate sickness. - I am the mantra, the chant with which the oblation is offered to the Pitris and the Devatas. I am the fire into which the offering is poured. And,

17. I am the father of this world, the mother, the dispenser, and grandsire; I am the knowable, the purifier, the syllable ‘Om’ and also the Rik, the Saman, and the Yajus also.
The dispenser; of the fruits of action. And,

18. I am the Goal, the Sustainer, the Lord, the Witness, the Abode, the Shelter and the Friend, the Origin, Dissolution and Stay; the Treasure - house, the Seed imperishable.
I am the goal, the fruit of action. I am the witness of what is done and what is not done by all living beings. I am the abode wherein all living beings dwell. I am the shelter for the distressed; I relieve from distress those who come to Me. I am the Friend: I do good without expecting any return, I am the source of the world. I am 'that in which it is dissolved, and that in which it stays. I am the treasure - house, that which living beings shall enjoy in a future period. I am the imperishable seed, that which causes the growth of all things that germinate, and which endures as long as the world (samsara) endures. Nothing indeed springs up without a seed; and since growth is constant, it is understood that continuity of the seed never fails. And,

19. I give heat, I hold back and send forth rain, I am the immortality as well as death, existence and Non-existence, O Arjuna.
As the sun I give heat by some powerful rays; by certain rays I send forth rain; and having sent it forth I take it back by certain rays during eight months, and again send it forth in the rainy season. I am the immortality of the gods (devas) and the death of the mortals. I am existence, (the manifested, the effect), which manifests itself in relation (to the cause); and I am the reverse, the Non-existence (the unmanifested, the cause). - Indeed, the Lord can never be altogether non-existent; nor (can it be said) that the effect is existence and the cause is Non-existence.

The fruits of interested acts of Vedic ritual
Those men of wisdom who are devoted to Me, adoring Me by the sacrifices mentioned above, leading lives of Retirement in various forms described above, and regarding Me as One or as different, they reach Myself according to their knowledge. But as regards those who are ignorant and who long for objects of desire,

20. Men of the three Vedas, the soma-drinkers, purified from sin, worshipping Me by sacrifices, pray for the goal of heaven; they reach the holy world of the Lord of the Gods and enjoy in heaven the heavenly pleasures of the Gods.
Men who know the three Vedas, the Rik, the Saman and the Yajus; who drink Soma and are thereby purified from sins; who worship Me as the Vasus and other gods by sacrifices such as the Agnishtoma; who seek for Svarga as the reward of their sacrifices; - they go to the world of Indra who had performed a hundred sacrifices, and there enjoy supernatural (a-prakrita) pleasures.

21. They, having enjoyed that spacious world of Svarga, their merit (punya) exhausted, enter the world of the mortals; thus following the Dharma of the Triad, desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of going and returning.
The Dharma of the Triad: mere Vedic ritual (karma) that which is enjoined by the three Vedas. They have to go and return, and never attain independence anywhere.

The Supreme watching over His devotees’ interests
Now, as regards those men of right knowledge who are free from desires,

22. Those men who, meditating on Me as non-separate, worship Me all around, to them who are ever devout, I secure gain and safety.
Those men of renunciation (samnyasins) who worship Me all around, ever meditating on Me, regarding themselves as non-separate, - i.e., looking upon the Supreme God, Narayana, as their own Self, - to these who see the Reality, who are ever devout, I secure gain. I secure to them what is not already possessed; and I secure to them safety, i.e., preservation of what is already possessed. As said in vii. 17, 18, they form My very Self and are dear to Me.

Objection: To other devotees also the Lord secures gain and safety.
Answer: True, He undoubtedly secures (to them gain and safety); but there is this difference: while other devotees work themselves also for their own gain and safety, those who see nothing as separate from themselves do not work for their own gain and safety. Indeed these latter never cherish a desire for life or death; the Lord alone is their refuge. Wherefore the Lord Himself secures to them gain and safety.

Other devotees do but worship the Supreme in ignorance

Objection: If other gods (Devatas) are Thyself only, their devotees also worship Thyself.
Answer: Just so, indeed:

23. Even those who, devoted to other Gods, worship Them with faith, worship Myself, O son of Kunti, in ignorance.
With faith: believing in the efficacy (of the worship of those Gods). Why dost Thou say that they worship in ignorance? For,

24. I am indeed the Enjoyer, as also the Lord, of all sacrifices; but they do not know Me in truth; whence they fail.
As the Devata, (i.e., as the God to whom sacrifices are offered) I am the Enjoyer and the Lord of all sacrifices enjoined in the sruti and the smriti. I am indeed the Lord of yajna or sacrifice, as said in viii, 4. So they do not know Me as I am; whence, having worshipped in ignorance, they fail to attain the fruit of the sacrifice. The fruit of sacrifice certainly accrues I to them also who, devoted to other gods, worship Me in ignorance. How?

25. Votaries of the Gods go to the Gods; to the Pitris go the votaries of the Pitris; to the Bhutas go the worshippers of the Bhutas; My worshippers come to Myself.
The votaries of the Gods, those whose devotion and vows are directed to the Gods, go to the Gods. The votaries of the Pitris such as the Agnishvattas, engaged in performing sraddha and other rites in devotion to the Pitris, go to the Pitris. The Bhutas are the Vinayakas, the hosts of Matris, the four Bhaginis and the like. My worshippers, i.e., Vishnu’s votaries, come to Myself. Notwithstanding the equality of trouble, people do not worship Me alone, because of their ignorance. Wherefore they attain very small results.

Facility in Devotion to the Supreme
Not only do My devotees attain an endless result, i.e., attain a state from which there is no return to this world, but it is also easy for them to worship Me. How?

26. When one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water, - that I eat, offered with devotion by the pure-minded.
Because it is co, therefore,

27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, in whatever austerity thou engagest, do it as an offering to Me.
Whatever thou doest of thy own accord (i.e., not enjoined in the sastra) and whatever thou offerest in sacrifice as enjoined in the sruti or the smriti, whatever thou givest - such things as gold - to the brahmanas and others, do all that as an offering to Me. Now listen as to what will accrue to you doing thus:

28. Thus shalt thou be liberated from the bonds of actions which are productive of good and evil results; equipped in mind with the Yoga of renunciation, and liberated, thou shalt come to Me.
Thus: when you thus offer everything to Me. This (act of offering everything to Me) constitutes the Yoga of renunciation. It is renunciation inasmuch as everything is offered to Me; and It is also Yoga inasmuch as it is an action (karma). Thus, with mind equipped with Yoga and renunciation, thou shalt be liberated from bonds while yet living; and when this body is dead, thou shalt come to Me.

The impartiality of the Supreme
Objection: Then the Lord has love and hatred, since He bestows His grace on His devotees, not on others.
Answer: Not so:

29. The same I am to all beings; to Me there is none hateful or dear; but whoso worship Me with devotion, they are in Me, and I am also in them.
I am like fire: just as fire does not ward off "cold from those who are at a distance and wards it off" from those who go near it, so I bestow My grace on My devotees, not on others. Those who worship Me, the Lord, with devotion are in Me, as a matter of course, but not owing to any attachment on My part. In them also I am, only as a matter of course, not in others. By this behavior, I cannot (be said to) hate the latter.

Even the Low - born attain salvation by Devotion
Now I shall tell you how excellent a thing devotion to Me is:

30. If one of even very evil life worships Me, resorting to none else, he must indeed be deemed righteous, for he is rightly resolved.
He is rightly resolved: he is a man of good resolution. By abandoning evil ways in his external life, and by the power of his internal right resolution,

31. Soon he becomes righteous and attains eternal peace; do thou, O son of Kunti, proclaim that My devotee never perishes.
Listen, this is the real truth: thou mayest proclaim that He who is devoted to Me in his inner soul never perishes.

32. For, finding refuge in Me, they also who, O son of Pritha, may be of a sinful birth - women, vaisyas as well as sudras, - even they attain to the Supreme Goal.

The Yoga of Devotion

33. How much more then the holy brahmanas and devoted royal saints. Having reached this transient joyless world, do thou worship Me.
Holy: of pure birth. This world: the world of man, human birth which is the means of attaining spiritual aspirations (purushartha), and which is very hard to attain. Moreover,

34. Fix thy mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me.
Thus steadied, with Me as thy Supreme Goal, thou shalt reach Myself, the Self. Me: Vasudeva. Steadied: in thought (chitta). I am the Self of all beings, and I am the Supreme goal.

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