Learning Sanskrit and Geetaa together – verses 3-1 and 3-2

Learning Sanskrit and Geetaa together – verses 3-1 and 3-2

गीतान्वेषणम् – (3-1 + 3-2) श्लोकयोः

अथ तृतीयोऽध्यायः |

अर्जुन उवाच –

ज्यायसी चेत्कर्मणस्ते मता बुद्धिर्जनार्दन |

तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव ||3-1||

व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे |

तदेकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयोऽहमाप्नुयाम् ||3-2||

पदच्छेदैः

अर्जुनः उवाच –

ज्यायसी चेत् कर्मणः ते मता बुद्धिः जनार्दन |

तत् किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव ||3-1||

व्यामिश्रेण इव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसि इव मे |

तत् एकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयः अहम् आप्नुयाम् ||3-2||

अन्वयाः

(1) जनार्दन ते मता बुद्धिः कर्मणः ज्यायसी (अस्ति) चेत् = जनार्दन, if, by your opinion, intellect is preferable to performance of duty

(2) केशव, तत् किं मां घोरे कर्मणि नियोजयसि ? = then why (or how come) dear केशव, you engage me in performance of daunting duty ?

(3) व्यामिश्रेण इव वाक्येन मे बुद्धिं मोहयसि इव = By a talk which seems like being a mixed up talk, you seem to be confusing my intellect.

(4) निश्चित्य तत् एकं वद येन अहं श्रेयः आप्नुयाम् = You (should) first decide (by yourself) a select thought, by which I shall attain what is good.

विशिष्टशब्दानां विश्लेषणम् Study of select words

(1) ज्यायसी (स्त्री.), ज्यायस् (नपुं.)

  • ज्यायस् a. (-सी f.; Compar. of प्रशस्य, वृद्ध) 1 Elder, senior; प्रसवक्रमेण स किल ज्यायान् U.6. -2 Superior, more excellent or worthy; Ms.4.8;3.137; Bg.3.1,8. -3 Larger, greater. -4 (In law) One not a minor, i. e. come of age and responsible for his own action. -5 Aged, old. -6 Decayed, worn out. -7 Better, stronger, preferable; यद्यप्यपूर्वत्वादन्यत्र विधिर्ज्यायान् अनुवादात् तथाप्यत्रानुवाद एव बहुत्वस्य भवितुमर्हति । ŚB. on MS.1.2.43.
  • There are two options of superlatives of this adjective ज्यायस्, which is in comparative degree. The superlatives are ज्येष्ठ and ज्यायिष्ठ, which is considered irregular.
  • ज्येष्ठ a. (Superl. of प्रशस्य or वृद्ध) 1 Eldest, most senior. -2 Most excellent, best. -3 Pre-eminent, first, chief, highest. -ष्ठः 1 An elder brother; R.12.19,35. -2 An epithet of the Supreme Being.-3 Life. -4 N. a lunar month (= ज्यैष्ठ q. v.). -ष्ठा 1 An eldest sister. -2 N. of the eighteenth lunar mansion (consisting of the three stars). -3 The middle finger. -4 A small house-lizard. -5 An epithet of the Ganges. -6 The goddess of misfortune, elder sister of Lakṣmī; ज्येष्ठा च माया कलहश्च दम्भः Bhāg.1.17.32. -ष्ठी A small house- lizard. -ष्ठम् 1 The most excellent, the first or head. -2Tin.
  • ज्यायिष्ठ a. (irreg.) 1 The most excellent. -2 First, noblest, best; यत्त्वेव राज्ञो ज्यायिष्ठं कार्याणां तद् ब्रवीमि ते Mb.12.152.17.
  • Both the comparative ज्यायस् and superlative ज्येष्ठ/ज्यायिष्ठ are shown to be of the nominal adjectives प्रशस्य or वृद्ध. But there is धातुः ज्या, from which one gets an adjective ज्याय by affixing ण्यत्-प्रत्यय.
  • ज्या 9 P. (जिनाति) 1 To overpower, oppress. -2 To grow old. -3 (I may add) ‘to be superior’. Ā. (जीयते) To be oppressed (This is passive voice)
    • In धातुपाठ, meaning of ज्या is given as वयोहानौ, which is same as “to grow old”.
    • But in धातुपाठ there is another धातु, ज्रि which has both the meanings as of ज्या as given in Apte’s dictionary.
      • (1) भ्वादि (1 प) अभिभवे which is same as “to be superior”, “to overpower”
      • (2) चुरादि (10 उ) वयोहानौ i.e. “to grow old”
    • But it is difficult to consider ज्यायस् to be derivable from ज्रि.
  • But for ज्यायस् to be comparative degree of प्रशस्य or वृद्ध is equally or more difficult for derivation.
    • प्रशस्य is from धातुः प्रशस्
      • In detailing शस् in Apte’s dictionary one finds – शस् I. 1 P. (शसति) To cut up, kill, destroy.-II. 2 P. (शस्ति) To sleep. Cf. शंस् also.
      • One can see close synonymity between प्रशस्ति and प्रशंसा
      • प्रशस्य (= commendable) is by ण्यत्-प्रत्यय affixed to धातुः प्रशस्
      • ज्यायस् is comparative degree of प्रशस्य because of synonymity between ज्याय and प्रशस्य.
    • वृद्ध is from धातुः वृध्
      • वृद्ध a. [वृध्-क्त] (compar. ज्यायस् or वर्षीयस्, superl. ज्येष्ठ or वर्षिष्ठ) 1 Increased, augmented. -2 Full grown, grown up; अतीव वृद्धा बहुला नामृष्यत पुनः प्रजाः Mb.12.256.13. -3 Old, aged, advanced in years; वृद्धास्ते न विचारणीयचरिताः U.5.35. -4 Advanced or grown up (at the end of comp.); cf. वयोवृद्ध, धर्मवृद्ध, ज्ञानवृद्ध, आगमवृद्ध &c. -5 Great, large. -6 Accumulated, heaped. -7 Wise, learned; वृद्धेभ्य एवेह मतिं स्म बाला गृह्णन्ति कालेन भवन्ति वृद्धाः Mb.3.133.1. -8 Eminent in, distinguished by.
      • वृध् I. 1 Ā. (but Paras. also in the second Future, Aorist and Conditional, also in the Desiderative) (वर्धते, ववृधे, अवृधत्-अवर्धिष्ट, वर्धिष्यते, वर्त्स्यति, वृद्ध; desid. विवृत्सति, or विवर्धिषते) 1 To grow, increase; become larger, stronger, or greater, thrive, prosper; अन्योन्यजयसंरम्भो ववृधे वादिनोरिव R.12.92;1.78; धनक्षये वर्धति जाठराग्निः Subhāṣ.; Bk.14.13;19.26; Ms.7.136. -2 To continue, last.-3 To rise, ascend. -4 To have cause for congratulation, usually with दिष्ट्या; दिष्ट्या धर्मपत्नी- समागमेन पुत्रमुखदर्शनेन चायुष्मान् वर्धते Ś.7. ‘your honour is to be congratulated upon your union &c.’-Caus. (वर्धयति-ते, also वर्धापयति-ते) 1 To cause to grow, increase, augment, heighten, amplify, enhance; वर्धयन्निव तत्कूटानुद्धूतैर्धातुरेणुभिः R.4.71. -2 To cause to prosper or thrive, glorify, magnify, exalt; प्रजां संरक्षति नृपः सा वर्धयति पार्थिवम् H.3.3. -3 To congratulate, felicitate (वर्धापयति in this sense.); जयेन जयतां श्रेष्ठं वर्धयन्ति स्म राघवम्. Rām. 2.2.1; यदि को$पि त्वां सांप्रतं मदयन्तिकालमेन वर्धापयति तदा किं तस्य पारितोषिकं करोषि Māl.8. -II. 1 U. (वर्धयति-ते) 1 To speak. -2 To shine.

(2) घोरे – सप्तमी विभक्तिः एकवचनम् of घोर

  • घोर a. [घर्-अच् Uṇ.5.64] 1 Terrific, frightful, horrible, awful; शिवाघोरस्वनां पश्चाद्बुबुधे विकृतेति ताम् R.12.39; or तत्किं कर्मणि घोरे मां नियोजयसि केशव Mb.; घोरं लोके वितत- मयशः U.7.6; Ms.1.5;12.54. -2 Violent, vehement. -3 Ved. Venerable, awful, sublime. -4 Unsteady, displeasing; शान्ता घोराश्च मूढाश्च Sāṅ. K.38.
  • In धातुपाठ, there is no mention of a धातुः as घर्. But there is धातुः घुर् (भीमार्थशब्दयोः) = with meanings of भीमार्थ (meaning as of भीम and भीमशब्द (sound as of भीम)
  • In Apte’s dictionary घर् 10 P. (घारयति) To cover.
  • Also घुर् 6 P. (घुरति, घुरित) 1 To sound, make a noise, snore, snort; grunt (as a pig, dog &c.); कः कः कुत्र न घुर्घुरायितघुरीघोरो घुरेच्छूकरः K. P.7. -2 To be frightful or terrible. -3 To cry in distress.
  • There could be a typo error in घोर a. [घर्-अच् Uṇ.5.64]. It seems it should be घोर a. [घुर्-अच् Uṇ.5.64]

(3) नियोजयसि – धातुः (नि)युज्

  • युज् I. 7 U. (युनक्ति, युङ्क्ते, युयोज, युयुजे, अयुजत्, अयौक्षीत्, अयुक्त, योक्ष्यति-ते, योक्तुम्, युक्त) 1 To join, unite, attach, connect, add; तमर्थमिव भारत्या सुतया योक्तुमर्हसि Ku.6.79; see pass. below. -2 To yoke, harness, put to; भानुः सकृद्युक्ततुरङ्ग एव Ś.5.4; ततः श्वेतैर्हयैर्युक्ते महति स्यन्दने स्थितौ Bg.1.14. -3 To furnish or endow with; as in गुणयुक्त. -4 To use, employ, apply; प्रशस्ते कर्मणि तथा सच्छब्दः पार्थ युज्यते Bg.17.26; Ms.7.24. -5 To appoint, set (with loc.); प्रजासु वृत्तिं यमयुङ्क्त वेदितुम् Ki.1.1. -6 To direct, turn or fix upon (as the mind &c.). -7 To concentrate one’s attention upon; मनः संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्परः Bg.6.14; युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानम् 15. -8 To put, place or fix on (with loc.). -9 To prepare, arrange, make ready, fit. -1 To give, bestow, confer; दध्यक्षताद्भिर्युयुजुः सदाशिषः Bhāg.1.25.29; आशिषं युयुजे. -11 To adhere or cleave to. -12 To enjoin, charge; उवाच चैनं मेधावी युङ्क्ष्वात्मानमिति प्रभो Mb.15.37.3. -13 To put in, insert. -14 To think or meditate upon. -Pass.(युज्यते) 1 To be joined or united with; रविपीत- जला तपात्यये पुनरोघेन हि युज्यते नदी Ku.4.44; R.8.17. -2 To get, be possessed of; इष्टैर्युज्येथाम् Mv.7; इष्टेन युज्यस्व Ś.5; R.3.65. -3 To be fit or right, be proper, to suit (with loc. or gen.); या यस्य युज्यते भूमिका तां खलु भावेन तथैव सर्वे वर्ग्याः पाठिताः Māl.1; त्रैलोक्यस्यापि प्रभुत्वं त्वयि युज्यते H.1. -4 To be ready for; ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व Bg.2. 38,5. -5 To be intent on, be absorbed in, be directed towards; दैवकर्मणि युक्तो हि बिभर्तीदं चराचरम् Ms.3.75;14. 35; Ki.7.13. -6 To be fastened or harnessed. -7 To adhere, to be in close contact. -8 To attain to, pos- sess, obtain. -9 To be made ready. -Caus. (योजयति-ते) 1 To join, unite, bring together; परस्परेण स्पृहणीयशोभं न वेदिदं द्वन्द्वमयोजयिष्यत् R.7.14. -2 To present, give, bestow; चरोरर्धार्धभागाभ्यां तामयोजयतामुभे R.1.56. -3 To appoint, employ, use; शत्रुभिर्योजयेच्छत्रुम् Pt.4.17. -4 To turn or direct towards; पापान्निवारयति योजयते हिताय Bh. 2.72. -5 To excite, urge, instigate.-6 To perform, achieve. -7 To prepare, arrange, equip. -8 To yoke, harness. -9 To apply, fix, set, place. -1 To furnish or endow with. -11 To surround. -12 To despise, think lightly of. -13To appoint to. -Desid. (युयुक्षति-ते) To wish to join, yoke, give &c. -II. 1 P., 1 U. (योजति, योजयति-ते) To unite, join, yoke &c.; see युज् above. -III. 4 Ā. (युज्यते) To concentrate the mind (identi- cal with the pass. of युज् I). -IV. 10 Ā. (योजयते) To censure.
  • In धातुपाठ (1) युजँऽ [सं॒यम॑ने] १०.३३८ (2) यु॒जँ॒ समा॒धौ ४.७४ (3) यु॒जिँ॑र् योगे॑ ७.७

(4) व्यामिश्रेण – This is third case singular of व्यामिश्र.

  • व्यामिश्र a. 1 Mingled, intermixed. -2 Manifold, of various kinds. -3 Dubious, doubtful; व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे Bg.3.2. -4 Troubled, distracted; नैतत् पार्थ सुविज्ञेयं व्यामिश्रेणेति मे मतिः Mb.14.19.56.

(5) मोहयसि – धातुः मुह् | तस्य प्रयोजकस्य वर्तमानकाले मध्यमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |

  • मुह् – 4 P. (मुह्यति, मुग्ध or मूढ) 1 To faint, swoon, lose consciousness, become senseless; इहाहं द्रष्टुमाह्वं तां स्मरन्नेवं मुमोह सः Bk.6.21;1.2;15.16. -2 To be perplexed or bewildered, to be disturbed in mind, be at a loss; आपत्स्वपि न मुह्यन्ति नराः पण्डितबुद्धयः H.1.145; Ki. 18.9. -3 To be foolish, stupid, or infatuated. -4 To fail. -5 To err, mistake. -Caus. (मोहयति-ते) 1 To stupefy, infatuate; मा मूमुहत् खलु भवन्तमनन्यजन्मा Māl.1. 32. -2 To confound, bewilder, perplex; व्यामिश्रेणेव वाक्येन बुद्धिं मोहयसीव मे Bg.3.2;4.16. -3 To throw into confusion. -4 To cause to err or mistake.

(6) निश्चित्य – (निश्)चित् इति धातुः | तस्य ल्यबन्तम् |

  • चित् – 1 P., 1 Ā. (चेतति, चेतयते, चेतित) 1 To perceive, see, notice, observe; नेषूनचेतन्नस्यन्तम् Bk.17.16; चिचेत सामस्तत्कृच्छ्रम् 14.62;15.38;2.29. -2 To know, understand, be aware or conscious of; परैरध्यारुह्य- माणमात्मनं न चेतयते Dk.154; कादम्बरीरसभरेण समस्त एव मत्तो न किंचिदपि चेतयते जनो$यम् K.24. -3 To regain consciousness. -4 To aim at, intend, design (with dat.). -5 To desire or long for. -6 To be anxious about, care for, be intent upon, be engaged in. -7 To resolve upon. -8 To appear, shine. -9 To be regarded as. -1 To make attentive, remind of. -11 To teach, instruct. -12 To form an idea, be conscious of, understand, comprehend think, reflect upon. -13 To be awake; जगत्येकः स चेतति L. D. B.
  • In धातुपाठ – (1) चितीँ स॒ञ्ज्ञाने॑ १.३९ (2) चितँ॒ स॒ञ्चेत॑ने १०.१९२

(7) श्रेयः – श्रेयस् इति नपुंसकलिङ्गि नाम | तस्य (अत्र) द्वितीया विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

  • श्रेयस् a. [अतिशयेन प्रशस्यम् ईयस्सु श्रादेशः] 1 Better, preferable, superior; वर्धनाद्रक्षणं श्रेयः H.3.3; श्रेयान् स्वधर्मो विगुणः परधर्मात् स्वनुष्ठितात् । स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेयः परधर्मो भयावहः ॥ Bg.3.35;2.5. -2 Best, most excellent, quite desirable; श्रेयो ह्यस्माकमेवं हि Māl.1.13. -3 More happy or fortunate. -4 More blessed, dearer (compar. of प्रशस्य q. v.). -n. 1 Virtue, righteous deeds, moral or religious merit. -2 Bliss, good fortune, blessing, good, welfare, felicity, a good or auspicious result; पूर्वावधीरितं श्रेयो दुःखं हि परिवर्तते Ś.7.13; धिङ् मामुपस्थितश्रेयो$वमानिनम् Ś.6; प्रतिबध्नाति हि श्रेयः पूज्यपूजाव्यतिक्रमः R.1.79; U.5.27;7.2; R.5.34. -3 Any good or auspicious occasion; Ś.7. -4 Final beatitude, absolution.
  • Above श्रेयस् is mentioned as अतिशयेन प्रशस्यम् i.e. superlative degree of श्रेय, which is adjective derived by ण्यत्-प्रत्यय from धातुः श्रि or श्री. Actually in superlative degree there is श्रेष्ठ.
  • श्रेष्ठ a. Best, most excellent, pre-eminent (with gen. or loc.). -2 Most happy or prosperous. -3 Most beloved, dearest. -4 Oldest, senior. -ष्ठः 1 A Brāh- maṇa. -2 A king. -3 N. of Kubera. -4 N. of Viṣṇu.
  • श्रि – 1 U. (श्रयति-ते, शिभ्राय-शिश्रिये, अशिश्रियत्-त, श्रयिष्यति- ते, श्रयितुम्, श्रित; Caus. श्राययति-ते; desid. शिश्रीषति-ते, शिश्र- यिषति-ते) 1 To go to, approach, resort to, have recourse to, approach for protection; यं देशं श्रयते तमेव कुरुते बाहु- प्रतापार्जितम् H.1.15; R.3.7;19.1; श्रितासि चन्दनभ्रान्त्या दुर्विपाकं विष्रद्रुमम् U.1.46. -2 To go or attain to, reach, undergo, assume (as a state); परीता रक्षोभिः श्रयति विवशा कामपि दशाम् Bv.1.83; द्विपेन्द्रभावं कलभः श्रयन्निव R.3.32. -3 To cling to, lean or rest on, depend on; नीलः स्निग्धः श्रयति शिखरं नूतनस्तोयवाहः U.1.33. -4 To dwell in, inhabit. -5 To honour, serve, worship. -6 To use, em- poly. -7 To devote oneself to, be attached to. -8 To assist, help.
    • In धातुपाठ श्रिञ् से॒वाया॑म् १.१०४४
  • श्री – 9 U. (श्रीणाति, श्रीणीते) 1 To cook, dress, boil, prepare. -2 To diffuse light; श्रीणन्युप स्थाद् दिवं भुरण्युः Ṛv.1.68.1.
    • In धातुपाठ श्री॒ञ् पा॒के ९.३
  • Meaning of श्रेय matches better with that of धातुः श्रि.

(8) आप्नुयाम् – आप् इति धातुः | आपॢँ (आपॢँ॑) लम्भ॑ने १०.३७६ | आ॒पॢँ व्या॑प्तौ ५.१६ | अत्र आ॒पॢँ | Note, the difference between आपॢँ and आ॒पॢँ is of an underscore under आ. The underscore stands for अनुदात्त pronunciation. That makes a difference to the गण i.e. grouping or classification and in turn to the meaning of the धातु.

  • In Apte’s dictionary धातु-s are detailed without the pronunciation marks. The classification १०.३७६ seems to have been treated as just the causative. आप् – 5. P., rarely 1 P. (आप्नोति or आपति, आप, आपत्, आप्स्यति, आप्तुम्, आप्त) 1 To obtain, attain, get; स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी Bg.2.7; 3.2; 3.19. पुत्रमेवंगुणोपेतं चक्रवर्तिनमाप्नुहि Ś.1.12; अनुद्योगेन तैलानि तिलेभ्यो नाप्तुमर्हति H. Pr.25; शतं क्रतूनामपविध्नमाप सः R.3.38; so फलम्, कीर्तिम्, सुखम् &c. -2 To reach, go to; overtake, meet, fall in with; शबरीमापतुर्वने Bk.6.59. -3 To pervade, occupy, enter into. -4 To undergo, suffer, meet with; दिष्टान्तमा- प्स्यति भवान् R.9.79; Ms.8.188. -5 To equal. -pass. (आप्यते) 1 To be reached, found, met with, obtained &c. -2 To arrive at one’s end or aim. -3 To become filled. -Caus. (आपयति) 1 To cause to reach or obtain. -2 To cause anyone to feel or perceive. -3 To hit.
  • आप्नुयाम् is विध्यर्थे उत्तमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |

Notes टिप्पण्यः

(1) Since Arjuna has understood that श्रीकृष्णभगवान् said, बुद्धिः कर्मणः ज्यायसी, that prompts me to check, in which श्लोक श्रीकृष्णभगवान् said so. The particular श्लोक seems to be – दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म बुद्धियोगाद्धनंजय । बुद्धौ शरणमन्विच्छ कृपणाः फलहेतवः ।।२-४९।। This was discussed at https://study1geetaa2sanskrit.wordpress.com/category/2-49n50/ On reviewing the interpretation now, it comes to mind that the phrase दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म can have two interpretations

  • दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म = कर्म is अवरम् not preferable दूरेण हि even from afar.
  • दूरेण ह्यवरं कर्म = कर्म is अवरम् not preferable दूरेण हि only from afar, समीपेन अवरं न not from near.
  • Of course Arjuna understood it as कर्म is अवरम् not preferable दूरेण हि even from afar.
  • Since there are two meanings possible, there was व्यामिश्रता for sure.

(2) In the अन्वय of the first श्लोक – जनार्दन, ते मता कर्मणः बुद्धिः ज्यायसी चेत्, तत् किं, केशव, मां घोरे कर्मणि नियोजयसि there are two address-words जनार्दन and केशव. This is unusual. But this also shows affectionate intimacy or friendship सख्यम् between them.

(3) There are two verbs, which are in causative नियोजयसि and मोहयसि. The use of the causative seems to be to show the cause or effect happening, without implicating the doer of those causes or effects. In fact मोहयसि is also accompanied by इव as if.

(4) In fact in the अन्वय, व्यामिश्रेण इव वाक्येन मे बुद्धिं मोहयसि इव, there are two इव-s. This also goes to show that Arjuna does not want to implicate श्रीकृष्णभगवान्. Arjuna seems to be wanting to own fallibility in his own understanding. He knows that श्रीकृष्णभगवान् would not indulge in using sentences with double meaning or in causing confusion, especially when Arjuna had pleaded अहम् ते शिष्यः, त्वां प्रपन्नं मां शाधि (2-7). With that preface, entire गीता there onwards merits to be read as गुरुशिष्यसंवादः than श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादः

(5) Hence, here, in saying एकं निश्चित्य वद Arjuna seems to want to leave the right choice also to श्रीकृष्णभगवान्. अर्जुन is well aware of the गुरुशिष्यपरंपरा that a शिष्य obeys whatever the गुरु ordains, no questions to be asked. If गुरु ordains the शिष्य to plunge into a deep valley, the शिष्य does so unhesitatingly. Hasn’t Arjuna been such a शिष्य all his life ?

(6) That seems to be the problem in Arjuna’s mind. By joining the enemy camp, are भीष्मपितामह and द्रोणाचार्य ordaining him, “Come, fight with us ! Kill us, if you have to !” Arjuna does not think so, because they have never uttered any such explicit words, yet have chosen to be in the enemy camp. More than anyone else, these two are his biggest problem ! कथं भीष्ममहं संख्ये | द्रोणं च मधुसूदन | इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि | पूजार्हावरिसूदन ||2-4|| Those two being in the enemy camp, Arjuna has chosen श्रीकृष्णभगवान् to be his गुरु – अहम् ते शिष्यः, त्वां प्रपन्नं मां शाधि (2-7). Here, he endorses this by saying एकं निश्चित्य वद. There is implicit promise that “I shall do anything, what you ordain.”

(7) Yet गीता proceeds to further 600-odd श्लोक-s, because श्रीकृष्णभगवान् himself does not want Arjuna to be a blind follower of his ordains. श्रीकृष्णभगवान् is very much aware of the responsibility vested in him by Arjuna saying अहम् ते शिष्यः, त्वां प्रपन्नं मां शाधि (2-7). A शिष्य so surrendering to a गुरु becomes a great responsibility for the गुरु !

(8) Would it be a great educational system, if these great tenets of गुरुशिष्यपरंपरा – complete surrender by शिष्य and owning the responsibility by the गुरु – would get revived ?

शुभमस्तु ।

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Thematic studies of गीता

Since every chapter of गीता has been assigned a name or title in गीता itself, one is left to wonder why one finds books on गीता, seeming to be thematic studies. Let me explain, what I mean by thematic studies.

Typical examples of studies, which appeal to me to be thematic studies are (1) लोकमान्य तिलक’’s commentary, to which he has assigned the title as कर्मयोगशास्त्र (2) Essays on the गीता by योगी श्रीअरविंद (3) ध्यानगीता or ध्यानोपकारिणी गीता by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे (4) गीता as a Philosophy of God-Realization, this one also by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे

A friend of mine gave me a compilation called as “तस्मात्-गीता” ! It is a compilation of all those shlokas, where the first line or the second line starts with the word “तस्मात्” ! Here, though the approach is novel, no specific theme is obvious or तस्मात् itself is the theme.

A book કર્મનો સિદ્ધાંત by શ્રી હીરાભાઈ ઠક્કર has already been translated in many languages. It is based on गीता only.

I also have with me a booklet “Discourses on The Gita” compiled from 18 letters on the 18 अध्याय-s of गीता, in Gujarati sent by Bapuji from Yeravda jail to Sabarmati Ashram. I call this a booklet, because all the letters on the 18 अध्याय-s together make just 73 pages of A5 size, approximately four A5 pages per अध्याय. Obviously there is no श्लोक-by-श्लोक interpretation. Each letter is like a short essay on each अध्याय. Curiously, he dwelt on the 12th अध्याय in his first of the 18 letters.

Discourses on The Gita is of course not the only writing of Bapuji on गीता. In the list of publications of नवजीवन प्रकाशन I also notice other booklets, especially, अनासक्तियोग and Message of the गीता.

Examples (1) (3) and (4) have specific themes – कर्मयोगशास्त्र, ध्यान and God-Realization, respectively. I am including Essays of योगी श्रीअरविंद also in this list, since every essay has a specific theme.

These examples make an interesting study, because they don’t give meaning and interpretation श्लोक-by-श्लोक, which is the style common in most other books on गीता.

Whereas these studies stand out different from other books on गीता, can they be considered extra (standing out different from) -ordinary (those having common, rather, commonplace approach) ?

Actually गीता-प्रवचने by आचार्य विनोबाजी have some scent of being thematic. The approach is not श्लोक-by-श्लोक. But the sequence of प्रवचन-s is by the chapter-numbers only. Yet there are 108 paras, if I may say so, serially numbered and every para has a thematic title or subtitle of its own.

कर्मयोगशास्त्र by Lokamanya Tilak has an alternative title as गीतारहस्य. However, for this write-up on Thematic Studies , I would like to call it by its title कर्मयोगशास्त्र, since this title declares its theme being कर्मयोग, i.e. more the कर्मयोग than any other योग. कर्मयोगशास्त्र has actually one main section. Then it has an appendix on गीतेचे बहिरंग-परीक्षण followed by meaning and interpretation श्लोक-by-श्लोक.

In the main section in कर्मयोगशास्त्र there are thoughts on different topics, which is similar to योगी श्रीअरविंद’s essays. Hence it should become interesting to make a comparative study of these two. It should be good to first list just the titles of chapters.

Titles of chapters in कर्मयोगशास्त्र – (1) विषयप्रवेश (2) कर्मजिज्ञासा (3) कर्मयोगशास्त्र (4) आधिभौतिक सुखवाद (5) सुखदुःखविवेक (6) आधिदैवतपक्ष व क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञविचार (7) कपिलसांख्यशास्त्र किंवा क्षराक्षरविचार (8) विश्वाची उभारणी व संहारणी (9) अध्यात्म (10) कर्मविपाक व आत्मस्वातंत्र्य (11) संन्यास व कर्मयोग (12) सिद्धावस्था व व्यवहार (13) भक्तिमार्ग (14) गीताध्यायसंगति (15) उपसंहार

योगी श्रीअरविंद’s essays are in two series. Titles of essays in First series are – (1) Our demand and need from the Gita (2) The Divine Teacher (3) The Human Disciple (4) The Core of the Teaching (5) Kurukshetra (6) Man and the Battle of Life (7) The Creed of the Aryan Fighter (8) Sankhya and Yoga (9) Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta (10) The Yoga of the Intelligent Will (11) Works and Sacrifice (12) The Significance of Sacrifice (13) The Lord of the Sacrifice (14) The Principle of Divine Works (15) The Possibility and Purpose of Avatarhood (16) The Process of Avatarhood (17) The Divine Birth and Divine Works (18) The Divine Worker (19) Equality (20) Equality and Knowledge (21) The Determination of Nature (22) Beyond the Modes of Nature (23) Nirvana and Works of the World (24) The Gist of the Karmayoga

The second series of essays is in two parts. Part 1 “The Synthesis of Works, Love and Knowledge”. Titles of essays in this – (1) The Two Natures (2) The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge (3) The Supreme Divine (4) The Secret of Secrets (5) The Divine Truth and Way (6) Works, Devotion and Knowledge (7) The Supreme Word of the Gita (8) God in Power of Becoming (9) The Theory of the Vibhuti (10) The Vision of the World-Spirit – Time the Destroyer (11) The Vision of the World-Spirit – The Double Aspect (12) The Way and the Bhakta.

Part 2 “The Supreme Secret” of the Second Series of essays have titles – (13) The Field and its Knowee (14) Above the Gunas (15) The Three Purushas (16) The Fullness of Spiritual Action (17) Deva and Asura (18) The Gunas, Faith and Works (19) The Gunas, Mind and Works (20) Swabhava and Swadharma (21) Towards the Supreme Secret (22) The Supreme Secret (23) Core of Gita’s Meaning (24) The Message of the Gita.

ध्यानगीता or ध्यानोपकारिणी गीता by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे also has 12 अध्याय-s – (1) ईश्वरस्वरूपवर्णनम् with 31 श्लोकाः (2) ब्रह्मस्वरूपवर्णनम् with 22 श्लोकाः (3) जीवस्वरूपवर्णनम् with 28 श्लोकाः (4) निस्त्रैगुण्यविचारः with 38 श्लोकाः (5) प्रधानरिपुनिर्दलनम् with 17 श्लोकाः (6) सद्गुणसमुच्चयः with 57 श्लोकाः (7) कर्मयोगः with 31 श्लोकाः (8) ज्ञानयोगः with 21 श्लोकाः (9) ध्यानयोगः with 43 श्लोकाः (10) भक्तियोगः with 35 श्लोकाः (11) विश्वरूपदर्शनम् with 26 श्लोकाः (12) भगवदाश्वासनम् with 16 श्लोकाः That makes a total of 365 श्लोक-s out of 700 in गीता. It seems there are enough number of श्लोक-s in each अध्याय, so that one can develop 12 essays from these twelve अध्याय-s.

गीता as a Philosophy of God-Realization by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे appeals to be the most scholarly among all the thematic studies. A glance at its Contents-list is sufficient to endorse this observation. There are five parts. Part 1 The Relation of the भगवद्गीता to ancient philosophical systems (3 chapters) Part 2 Vedantic and mystical interpretations of the भगवद्गीता (2 chapters) Part 3 The Labyrinth of Modern Interpretations (9 chapters) Part 4 The Clue through the Labyrinth (6 chapters) Part 5 Conclusion (1 chapter)

I may as well note the titles of all the 21 chapters. But immediately interesting to note should be the titles of the 9 chapters in Part 3 –  

  • Ch. 6 Interpolationism
  • Ch. 7 Devotionalism : Bhandarkar
  • Ch. 8 Christianism
  • Ch. 9 Buddhism : Buddhiraja
  • Ch 10 Activism : Tilak This seems to take note of कर्मयोगशास्त्र by लोकमान्य तिलक.
  • Ch. 11 Detachment : Gandhi. This seems to take note of अनासक्तियोग by Gandhiji
  • Ch. 12 Other Modern Prominent Interpreters.
  • Ch. 13 Numenism : Otto.
  • Ch. 14 Divinisation : Aurobindo. This seems to take note of Essays on the गीता by योगी श्रीअरविंद.

It seems that since गीता as a Philosophy of God-Realization by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे has chapters taking note of other thematic studies, study of this book would save one the trouble of going through other studies. But I would rather not recommend this to myself, because it would mean getting a bias in my mind by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे’s assessment of the other studies.

Not having a bias is useful. By that one can explore by oneself. Sometime back I was searching for the definition of कर्म in गीता. Since the third अध्याय has the title कर्मयोगः, I thought the definition should be there. But I came across a good definition, only in the eighth अध्याय, in भूतभावोद्भवकरो विसर्गः कर्मसंज्ञितः  I contend that this line in 8-3 is the exact place, where one gets definition of कर्म in गीता.

There would be any number of viewpoints to explore what गीता says or whether गीता is relevant in different contexts. All those explorations would require thematic studies.

  • Way back in 1979 in the silver jubilee convention of Bombay Productivity Council, I made an observation that in the context of industrial productivity, one generally finds the workers to be not as well tuned up to the corporate goals as the management staff. If this be due to lack of adequate motivation of the workers, it would be helpful to study गीता as a digest of the science and philosophy of motivation, because, गीता is all about motivation only.
  • In 1989 I was invited to give a talk on Management Challenges in the Third Millennium. I thought of applying the concept of statistical extrapolation to a database of Management Thought. I hit upon श्लोक 18-13 सांख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् Of course सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् means “for fulfillment of tasks”. Then I asked myself, “What is Management if not fulfillment of tasks ?”. So this श्लोक evidences Management thought in गीता. This श्लोक also evidences that this management thought is much older than गीता itself. It was being quoted in गीता from the सांख्य-philosophy, which dated back to कृतान्त, i.e. to end of कृतयुग. So this database of management thought is old enough to use for statistical extrapolation.

Certainly, such thematic studies is an interesting approach not only for a student of गीता, but to get guidance from this great ancient wisdom, especially, in the face of problems . But it cannot be an approach for a novice. Only a student, who has read through the entire गीता and somewhat assimilated the interpretation of all श्लोक-s can explore this wisdom to seek guidance in the face of problems. One needs to never think that गीता is so ancient. Can it offer solutions to modern day problems ? Basically problems are problems of the human mind. गीता resolves problems of the mind. Nine out of ten or rather ninety-nine out of hundred times, there would be a solution available in गीता.

शुभमस्तु !

Books mentioned in this article –

  1. गीतारहस्य/कर्मयोगशास्त्र by लोकमान्य तिलक
  2. Essays on the गीता by योगी श्रीअरविंद
  3. ध्यानगीता or ध्यानोपकारिणी गीता by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे
  4. गीता as a Philosophy of God-Realization, this one also by श्रीगुरुदेव रानडे
  5. तस्मात्-गीता author unknown
  6. Discourses on The गीता by Mahatma Gandhi
  7. કર્મનો સિદ્ધાંત by શ્રી હીરાભાઈ ઠક્કર
  8. गीता-प्रवचने by आचार्य विनोबाजी
  9. अनासक्तियोग and Message of the गीता by Mahatma Gandhi

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