गीतायामुत्तमपुरुषः Also, what is प्रकृति ?

In this title, there are two words पुरुष and प्रकृति, which are closely related, especially from the metaphysical perspective as propounded in प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि (13’19). Both पुरुष and प्रकृति have no beginning (and hence have no ending ?!)

Thinking of the word पुरुष, what comes to mind is पुरुषसूक्तम्, which should be The scripture, which should be giving the best knowledge of what पुरुष is.

But thinking of the word पुरुष in the context of गीता, I tend to think more specifically of उत्तमपुरुषः. The entire fifteenth chapter merits an independent study in this context, because it has the title पुरुषोत्तमयोगः.

There is great difference in the grammars of उत्तमपुरुषः and पुरुषोत्तमयोगः

  • उत्तमः पुरुषः इति उत्तमपुरुषः is simple कर्मधारयविग्रहः
  • पुरुषेषु उत्तमः इति पुरुषोत्तमः / तेन सह योगः तस्य योगः वा पुरुषोत्तमयोगः (!)

Anyway, thinking first of उत्तमपुरुषः, there are many, many instances or quotes in गीता, wherein श्रीकृष्णभगवान् speaks of Himself, using grammatical उत्तमपुरुषः i.e. forms in singular of अस्मद्-सर्वनाम (अस्मद्-सर्वनाम्नः एकवचन-रूपाणि) – अहम्, माम् (मा), मया, मह्यम् (मे), मत् (मत्तः), मम (मे) and मयि, as also मामिकाम् (see 9’7) and also मत् as the first component of compound words e.g. मत्स्थानि in 9’4.

Now, what I am musing upon is, whether browsing through all such quotes would reveal some knowledge of Who He is, OR What He is, what His basic, innate nature प्रकृति is, why He is there for ….. Maybe, studying all those quotes may itself become sort of आध्यात्मिकी साधना ?!

Let me acknowledge that this thought-process is provoked by Mr. Valerio Virgini, who pointed my attention to the word प्रकृति

  1. mentioned as सर्वभूतानि मामिकां प्रकृतिं यान्ति in 9’7
  2. as मयाध्यक्षेण प्रकृतिः सचराचरम् सूयते in 9’10
  3. also as इमं कृत्स्नम् अवशं भूतग्रामं प्रकृतेर्वशात् पुनः पुनः विसृजामि in 9’8

The word प्रकृति as appearing in the three quotes above seems to connote different things. OR are they different aspects of one and the same thing ? At this point one must also take note of परा and अपरा प्रकृति-s detailed in 7’4 and 7’5.

  • भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च / अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा (7’4)
  • अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् / जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् (7’5)

One common factor in all these quotes (except 9’8) is some form or the other of अस्मद्-सर्वनाम्नः एकवचनस्य रूपम्, which I have marked in red. I have also everywhere made  the word प्रकृति bold.

At this point it would be appropriate to also take note of the mention of प्रकृति in Chapter 13.

  • प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि / विकारांश्च गुणांश्चैव विद्धि प्रकृतिसंभवान् (13’19)
  • कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते / पुरुषः सुखदुःखानां भोक्तृत्वे हेतुरुच्यते (13’20)
  • पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थो हि भुङ्क्ते प्रकृतिजान् गुणान् / कारणं गुणसङ्गोऽस्य सदसद्योनिजन्मसु (13’21)

Having compiled as many quotes containing the word प्रकृति, a curiosity crops up, where else does one find this word प्रकृति all across गीता ? Does the word have any different connotation anywhere there ? One does not have to do any big exercise on this, because there is an interesting index श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतान्तर्गतपदानाम् अकारादिवर्णानुक्रमः in श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता (शाङ्करभाष्य हिन्दी-अनुवादसहित)  by गीताप्रेस, गोरखपूर It seems that the book was first published in विक्रमसंवत् १९८८ i.e. 1931 AD. What I have is a copy of 26th reprint in विक्रमसंवत् २०६३ i.e. 2006 AD. One can also refer to BhagavadgitaWordIndex.pdf linked here. This publication as per the Editorial note is of 1943, though author’s Preface is of 1945 (?!)

Anyway tabulated below are the extracts for the word प्रकृति from Page 121 of the pdf. Here author P. C. Diwanji gives two meanings of प्रकृति as primordial matter or one’s innate nature.

I am tempted to question, how good the meaning “primordial matter” is. Note, primordial means “existing at or since the beginning of the world or the universe”. This meaning of primordial is close enough to प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि (13’19). My question is about the word “matter”. The detailing of अष्टधा अपरा प्रकृति in (7’4) includes खम्, मनः, बुद्धिः and अहङ्कारः. By my knowledge, none of these have any material content. The other four components of अष्टधा अपरा प्रकृति viz. भूमिरापोऽनलो वायुः do have material content.


 फ्रकृति - 1 प्रकृति 2

The difference between परा प्रकृति and अपरा प्रकृति then seems to be hinging on the mention of the word जीवभूताम् in the context of परा प्रकृतिः in (7’5). This परा प्रकृतिः is further credited with its nature and purpose being यया इदं जगत् धार्यते (it upholds and sustains this जगत्).

  • The verb धार्यते is in passive voice, which then should have the subject-word of active voice put in तृतीया विभक्तिः. The word यया is in तृतीया विभक्तिः. But I am tempted to think that तृतीया विभक्तिः of यया i.e. तृतीया विभक्तिः of परा प्रकृतिः is more in the instrumental sense करणकारका तृतीया. The actual subject-word in the active voice can be something else. May I put it as पुरुषेण इदं जगत् अनया परया प्रकृत्या धार्यते meaning “this world is upheld and sustained by The पुरुष, by means of that जीवभूताम् परा प्रकृतिः (!)”. By this जीवभूताम् परा प्रकृतिः becomes the modus operandi of how The पुरुष upholds and sustains the world. Does that then become the bigger picture, rather, the magnificent video of विश्वरूपदर्शनम्, how the ways of the world happen ?
  • Should it not be interesting to understand at his stage the word जगत् ? In the first मन्त्र in ईशावास्योपनिषत् we have ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्. When studying the मन्त्र I got a prompt to study the etymology of the word जगत्. It has its etymology from जज् जञ्ज् 1 P. (जजति or जञ्जति) To fight, to struggle. Struggle is replete of activity. Etymology of प्रकृतिः (प्रकृष्टा कृतिः) also leads to similar meaning, replete of activity.
  • Does not कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते (13’19) also lend similar meaning ? This meaning seems to apply uniformly even to परा प्रकृति and अपरा प्रकृति. If so, लोकमान्य तिलक seems justified in his contention that philosophy of गीता is primarily कर्मयोगशास्त्रम्.
    • कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते (13’19) merits some deliberation.

कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते (13’19)

  • कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे = कार्याणां कारणानां च कर्तृत्वम् तत् कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वम् → तस्मिन्निति कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे
  • हेतुः – This word has both the meanings – the objective and the means to achieve the objective.  
  • कार्यकारणकर्तृत्वे हेतुः प्रकृतिरुच्यते = प्रकृति as is called, is the objective and the means unto occurrence of  causes and effects. For example the occurrences of the phenomena in magnetism “like poles repel and unlike poles attract”  have both, the causes and effects inherent (dictionary meaningExisting in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute”).
  • Above example and definition of प्रकृति can as well be suggestive of प्रकृति being primarily the game of “energy-potentials”, happening all across the universe or all across the cosmos, non-stop, incessantly. We individuals are always a part of that game. Even after death, the dead body withering in the grave, is also a part of that प्रकृति “the game of energy-potentials”. Knowledge of this would also make one aware and knowledgeable of the vanity of striving to become wealthier or to become more famous or striving to become happier also  (!)
  • Even happiness, even eternal bliss should be let to happen and should not be strived for. That seems to be the significance of the title of the last, eighteenth chapter being मोक्षसंन्यासयोगः (!)
  • Every occurrence, including its causes and effects is how प्रकृति runs and would continue to run the game of energy-potentials all across the cosmos, incessantly.

In continuation of the above discussion about पुरुष and प्रकृति, it should be logical to now study पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थो हि भुङ्क्ते प्रकृतिजान् गुणान् / कारणं गुणसङ्गोऽस्य सदसद्योनिजन्मसु (13’21)

  • There is a challenge here to decipher the compound word प्रकृतिस्थः. Of the two components, the second component स्थः (= तिष्ठति) is clear. But for connecting it with the first component प्रकृति, there can be different options.
    • पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थः भवति = पुरुषः प्रकृत्यां तिष्ठति, then सः प्रकृतिजान् गुणान् भुङ्क्ते, meaning, when पुरुषः devolves into प्रकृति, He पुरुषः (naturally) acquires प्रकृतिजान् गुणान्.
    • पुरुषः प्रकृतिस्थः भवति = पुरुषः प्रकृत्या तिष्ठति, पुरुषः manifests by means of प्रकृति, He पुरुषः becomes adorned with प्रकृतिज-गुण-s, meaning पुरुषः as such has no गुण-s. Rather, पुरुषः is गुणातीत, as advocated in the fourteenth chapter. Or पुरुषः is अक्षरब्रह्म, as mentioned in the eighth chapter.
  • श्रीकृष्णभगवान् is also that manifestation of पुरुषः when पुरुषः प्रकृतिजान् गुणान्.भुङ्क्ते (!)

शुभमस्तु !




Vikram, Vetal and (१४’९)

सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति रजः कर्मणि भारत ।

ज्ञानमावृत्य तु तमः प्रमादे सञ्जयत्युत ।।१४’९।।

पदच्छेदैः – There are only two संधि-s.

  1. ज्ञानमावृत्य = ज्ञानम् आवृत्य
  2. सञ्जयत्युत = सञ्जयति उत

अन्वयाः – There are 3 clear sentences.

  1. भारत, सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति = Oh descendant of (the great) भरत ! Happiness is the victory of righteousness. OR Righteousness will result in happiness.
  2. रजः कर्मणि (सञ्जयति) = Action is the victory of indulgent character. OR Indulgent character will result in action.
  3. तमः तु ज्ञानम् आवृत्य प्रमादे सञ्जयति उत = Alas ! occurrence of mistakes due to clouding of knowledge makes victory of darkness. OR Darkness, due to clouding of knowledge will result in mistakes.

In each of these sentences, there is one word, which is in seventh case, सुखे, कर्मणि, प्रमादे, respectively. In the optional OR-interpretations,  the seventh case is rightly interpreted by the preposition “in”. This has become so, by interpreting सञ्जयति as “will result (in)”.

Notes –

(1) सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति = Righteousness will result in happiness. It is to be understood that every happiness may not be due to righteousness. If theft gives happiness, that happiness is certainly not due to righteousness. But righteousness will certainly result in happiness.

(2) रजः कर्मणि (सञ्जयति) = Indulgent character will result in action. Generally speaking, रजः the indulgent character is neither as good as righteousness सत्त्वम्, nor as bad as darkness तमः.

  1. Etymology of रजस् (रजः) is given as [रञ्ज्-असुन् नलोपः Uṇ.4.224]. रजस् (रजः) is derived from धातुः रञ्ज्
    • रञ्ज्
      1. To be dyed or colored, to redden, become red, glow;
      2. To dye, tinge, color, paint.
      3. To be attached or devoted to (with loc.).
      4. To be enamored of, fall in love with, feel passion or affection for.
      5. To be pleased, satisfied, or delighted.
  2. ‘Indulgent character’ as interpretation of रजस् (रजः) is good. 
  3. People of indulgent character have great curiosity. That is how scientists’ brains work.
  4. This statement “Indulgent character will result in action”,  can be connected with शरीरवाङ्-मनोभिर्यत् कर्म प्रारभते नरः (गीता १८’१५). Action gets initiated in any of three ways, with organs, with speech or with mind.
    1. Actually speech becomes speech, i.e. uttered sound, only in the fourth stage (1) परा (2) पश्यन्ती (3) मध्यमा (4) वैखरी. Initiation of speech as human action happens at the परा-stage itself.
  5. Point here is, curiosity exciting the thought-process is action. That connects well with meaning of रञ्ज् as “To be enamored of, fall in love with, feel passion or affection for”. 

(3) तमः तु ज्ञानम् आवृत्य प्रमादे सञ्जयति = Occurrence of mistakes due to clouding of knowledge makes victory of darkness. Darkness, due to clouding of knowledge will result in mistakes.

  1. “Victory of darkness” brought to my mind वेतालपञ्चविंशति the 25 stories of Vikram and Vetal. At the end of every episode, Vetal succeeds in forcing Vikram to break his vow to stay dumb. Success of Vetal is victory of darkness. Vetal तमः achieves his success सञ्जयति by forcing Vikram ज्ञानम् आवृत्य to commit the mistake प्रमादे of breaking his own vow.  
    • The whole setting is apt for victory of darkness. Everytime, King Vikram goes out to the dark jungles on no-moon night तमः and carry the corpse on his shoulders, connoting blinding of his reasoning ज्ञानम् आवृत्य.
    • Vetal threatens him of the consequence that Vikram’s brain will be shattered to pieces. That threat is also blinding of his reasoning ज्ञानम् आवृत्य. 
  2. The stories also illustrate रजः कर्मणि (सञ्जयति) = Indulgent character will result in action. It is Vikram’s own resolve, his indulgent character रजः to relieve the corpse from Vetal’s grip, which prompts सञ्जयति him to act कर्मणि. 
  3. Vikram would have been happy, by being what he was, the King. सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति = Righteousness will result in happiness.

The 25 stories are said to be महाकविश्रीसोमदेवभट्टविरचिते कथासरित्सागरे शाङ्कवतीलम्बकेऽष्टमस्तरङ्गः specks in

  • अष्टमस्तरङ्गः = eighth wave 
  • शाङ्कवतीलम्बके = on the शाङ्कवती stream 
  • कथासरित्सागरे = of the ocean of fluent stories
  • महाकविश्रीसोमदेवभट्टविरचिते = composed by the great poet श्रीसोमदेवभट्ट

Every story, a node on the wave of a stream of an ocean ! Such is the immensity and high intellect of authorship of Sanskrit litterateurs ! One life is certainly not enough ! One life is not enough, even to understand and build one’s character as per just the गीता.

शुभमस्तु !



ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ॥ ७’१२॥

पदच्छेदैः – ये च एव सात्त्विकाः भावाः राजसाः तामसाः च ये मत्तः एव इति तान् विद्धि न तु अहं तेषु ते मयि 

There are no compound words in this verse. Just putting into syntax, one can read this as भावाः ये सात्त्विकाः च राजसाः च ये तामसाः एव (सन्ति), तान् मत्तः एव (विद्धि), अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि), ते तु मयि (सन्ति) इति (अपि) विद्धि ।

If we get meanings of the words, interpretation of the verse should come through straightforward. 

भावाः is पुँल्लिङ्गी, and प्रथमा वि. बहुवचनम् of भावः [भू-भावे घञ्] 

  1. Being, existing, existence.
  2. There are many other meanings given in the dictionary. But we can explore with this meaning.
  3. भावाः encompasses all that exists. 


  1. सात्त्विक a. (-की f.) [सत्वगुणेन तत्कार्येण मनसा वा निर्वृत्तः ठञ्] 1 Real, essential. -2 True, genuine, natural. -3 Honest, sincere, good. -4 Virtuous, amiable. -5 Vigorous. -6 Endowed with the quality Sattva (goodness). -7 Belonging to or derived from the Sattva quality


  1. राजस a. (-सी f.) [रजसा निर्मितम् अण्] Relating to or influenced by the quality rajas, endowed with the quality rajas or passion


  1. तामस a. (-सी f.) [तमो$स्त्यस्य अण्] 1 Dark, consisting of darkness -2 Affected by or relating to तमस् or the quality of darkness (the third of the three qualities of nature) -3 Ignorant. -4 Vicious.

मत्तः –

  1. This is मत् + तः
  2. Actually मत् is पञ्चमी विभक्तिः, एकवचनम् of अस्मद्.
  3. But it is also used as a partial component in a compound word as in मत्कर्म (my job). 
  4. तः is an optional suffix for पञ्चमी विभक्तिः 
  5. मत्तः = from me.

Meaning of the verse then becomes 

  1. भावाः ये सात्त्विकाः च राजसाः च ये तामसाः एव (सन्ति) = All that exists, whether virtuous, mediocre or vicious
  2. तान् मत्तः एव (विद्धि) = understand them to be from me only
  3. अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि) = I am not in them.
  4. (अपि)तु ते मयि (सन्ति) = Nevertheless they are in me 
  5. इति (अपि) विद्धि = understand this also.

Discussion – 

  1. General tendency among people is not to own viciousness. Here श्रीकृष्णभगवान् says “All that exists, whether virtuous, mediocre or vicious is from me only”. 
  2. But having made all that exists to exist, does he own their virtuosity, mediocrity or viciousness ? “अहम् तेषु न (अस्मि) = I am not in them” seems to negate ownership of the behavior, what they would indulge in, after having come into existence ‘from Him’.
  3. The next statement “ते तु मयि (सन्ति) = They are in me” sounds like the story in Bible, of the father accepting the Prodigal Son back into the family. 
  4. But from a much vaster metaphysical perspective, looking at the canvas of the universe or of the cosmos, one can appreciate that, the whole canvas cannot exist in ‘every particulate, that is prompted to exist’. So, the अहम् of अहम् तेषु न is the canvas and certainly the canvas अहम् would not exist तेषु in them. But all the same, all that is prompted to exist, exists on the canvas ते मयि (सन्ति) ‘they are in me’.
  5. When discussing this verse yesterday (Friday, Feb. 18, 2017) another metaphor came to mind. Say, there is the field with crop of wheat. But the soil would have allowed some weeds and some thorny creepers also to exist. Now to detail the metaphor, let us say the field or the soil is अहम्, the wheat are the सात्त्विकाः भावाः, the weeds राजसाः भावाः and the thorny creepers तामसाः भावाः. Obviously the soil does not exist in the wheat plants or in the weeds or in the thorny creepers अहम् तेषु न. But they all emanate from the soil and exist on the field ते तु मयि (सन्ति). 
  6. This verse seems to hint at विश्वरूपदर्शनम् which would come in the eleventh chapter. 

शुभमस्तु !


Professionalism at work व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः

I got a diagram of “Ways to be professional at work” from a post on Facebook by my friend Mr. Dattatray Shelke. I thought the theme of the diagram “Ways to be professional at work” connects well with the phrase व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः


व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनदन |

बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् (2’41)

पदच्छेदैः व्यवसाय-आत्मिका बुद्धिः एका इह कुरु-नन्दन | बहु-शाखाः हि अनन्ताः च बुद्धयः अव्यवसायिनाम् ||

अन्वयः – कुरुनन्दन इह व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः एका | अव्यवसायिनाम् च बुद्धयः बहुशाखाः अनन्ताः हि ||

For interpretation of the verse one needs to check up

  1. what is बुद्धिः and where or when does one apply बुद्धिः
  2. How and when can it be called व्यवसायात्मिका ? For that, what is व्यवसाय ?
  • बुद्धिः f. [बुध्-क्तिन्] 1 Perception, comprehension. -2 Intellect, understanding, intelligence, talent; तीक्ष्णा नारुंतुदा बुद्धिः Śi.2.19; शास्त्रेष्वकुण्ठिता बुद्धिः R.1.19. -3 Information, knowledge; बुद्धिर्यस्य बलं तस्य H.2.122 ‘knowledge is power’; P.I.4.52. -4 Discrimination, judgement, discernment; विदेशेष्वपि विज्ञाताः सर्वतो बुद्धिनिश्चयाः Rām.1.7.17. -5 Mind; मूढः परप्रत्ययनेयबुद्धिः M.1.2; so कृपण˚, पाप˚ &c. -6 Presence of mind, readiness of wit. -7 An impression, opinion, belief, idea, feeling; दूरात्तमवलोक्य व्याघ्रबुद्ध्या पलायन्ते H.3; अनया बुद्ध्या Mu.1 ‘in this belief’; अनुक्रोशबुद्ध्या Me.117. -8 Intention, purpose, design; मन्दीचकार मरणव्यवसायबुद्धिम् Ku.4.45. (बुद्ध्या ‘intentionally’, ‘purposely’, deliberately’). -9 Returning to consciousness, recovery from a swoon; Māl.4.1. -10 (In Sāṅ. phil.) Intellect, the second of the 25 elements of the Sāṅkhyas; एषा ते$भिहिता सांख्ये बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु Bg.2.39. -11 Nature (प्रकृति); Bhāg.3.27.18. -12 A means, way (उपाय); किं करिष्याम भद्रं ते बुद्धिरत्र विचार्यताम् Rām.1.4.9. -13 N. of the 5th astrological mansion.
  • From Apte’s dictionary – व्यवसायः 1 Effort, exertion, energy, industry, perseverance; करोतु नाम नीतिज्ञो व्यवसायमितस्ततः H.2.14. -2 Resolve, resolution, determination; मन्दीचकार मरण- व्यवसायबुद्धिम् Ku.4.45 ‘the thought of resolving to die’; व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः Bg.2.41; व्यवसायो$स्मि 10.36. -3 An act, action, performance; व्यवसायः प्रतिपत्तिनिष्ठुरः R.8.65. -4 (a) Business, employment, trade. (b) Following a particular profession or trade. -5 Conduct, behaviour. -6 Device, stratagem, artifice.
  • This is from verbal root व्यवसो 4 P. 1 To strive, endeavour, try, seek, attempt, set about; यथा मे गौतमः प्राह ततो न व्यवसाम्यहम् Mb.3.185.9; ध्रुवं स नीलोत्पलपत्रधारया शमीलतां छेत्तुमृषि- व्यवस्यति Ś.1.18; V.4. -2 To think of, wish, desire; पातुं न प्रथमं व्यवस्यति जलं युष्मास्वपीतेषु या Ś.4.9. -3 To exert strenuously, be industrious or diligent. -4 To resolve, determine, settle, decide; य आत्मनो दृश्यगुणेषु सन्निति व्यवस्यते स्वव्यतिरेकतो$वुधः Bhāg.1.3.18; प्रथमपरि- गृहीतं स्यान्न वेत्यव्यवस्यन् Ś.5.19. -5 To accept, undertake; कच्चित् सौम्य व्यवसितमिदं बन्धुकृत्यं त्वया मे Me.116. -6 To be convinced or persuaded. -7 To reflect.

In the diagram, the words “at work” should rather be understood as related to doing every job, every task, every action.

When reading the phrase व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः and the diagram together, because, one meaning of व्यवसाय is profession, obviously for being professional at work, बुद्धिः has to be व्यवसायात्मिका. At work, meaning, when doing every job, every task, every action, बुद्धिः should be व्यवसायात्मिका.

But is there a good definition of what व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः is ? Possibly the diagram summarises a definition of what व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः is, by identifying ten faculties in the ten circles.

  1. Competence
  2. Reliability
  3. Honesty
  4. Integrity
  5. Listening carefully
  6. Staying work-focused
  7. Supporting others
  8. Being positive
  9. Self up-grading
  10. Respect for others

As a diagram, it looks good and one would be impressed at first glance. But thinking deeper on the ten faculties, I wonder what the difference is

  • Between (1) Competence and (2) Reliability – If the person is not competent enough you will always doubt relying on him.
  • Between (2) Reliability and (3) Honesty – If you now that the person is not honest, you will not rely on him.
  • Between (3) Honesty and (4) Integrity  
  • Between (4) Integrity and (6) Staying work-focused.
  • Between (5) Listening carefully and (10) Respect for others or
  • Between (8) Being positive vis-a-vis (1) Competence (2) Reliability (3) Honesty (4) Integrity (5) Staying work-focused

Actually nine out of the ten faculties can be considered as characteristics of human intellect बुद्धिः. The first one ‘competence’ seems to include aptitude, skills and learning or training, which in turn are related to mind, body and intellect.

Analysis in Gita identifies three entities body इन्द्रियाणि mind मनः and intellect बुद्धिः [इन्द्रियाणि पराण्याहुरिन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः | मनसस्तु परा बुद्धिर्योबुद्धेः परतस्तु सः (3’42)] – These three entities have faculties, which then make up one’s personality and character.

Faculties of intellect are qualified to be सात्त्विक, राजस and तामस – प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये | बन्धं मोक्षं च या वेत्ति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ सात्त्विकी (18’30) यया तु धर्ममधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यमेव च | अयथावत्प्रजानाति बुद्धिः सा पार्थ राजसी (18’31) अधर्मं धर्ममिति या मन्यते तमसावृता | सर्वार्थान्विपरीतांश्च बुद्धिः सा पार्थ तामसी (18’32) From this analysis one can read that the most important faculty of बुद्धिः is to exercise right discretion in respect of both, do’s and don’ts कार्याकार्ये.

This right discretion is further detailed in

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः |

न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन (6’16)

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |

युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा (6’17)

न अति-अश्नतः योगः अस्ति, न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः | न च अतिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतः न एव च अर्जुन (6’16)

  • न अति-अश्नतः योगः अस्ति = It cannot be observance of योग for one who eats too much
  • न च एकान्तम् अनश्नतः = (It cannot be observance of योग) also for one who totally abstains from eating
  • न च अतिस्वप्नशीलस्य = (It cannot be observance of योग) for one who sleepy or dreamy
  • जाग्रतः न एव च = (It cannot be observance of योग) for one who stays awake (i.e. who does not sleep at all, has lost his sleep)

युक्त-आहार-विहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु | युक्त-स्वप्न-अवबोधस्य योगः भवति दुःखहा (6’17)

  • युक्त-आहार-विहारस्य = For one whose intake of food and indulgence in enjoyment are appropriate
  • युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु = For one whose actions employ appropriate activities
  • युक्त-स्वप्न-अवबोधस्य = For one whose sleep and attentiveness are appropriate
  • योगः भवति दुःखहा = for such person योगः alleviates all sorrows and discomforts.

It comes to mind that appropriateness is needed even in running and use of machineries. For example machineries have bearings and bearings need lubrication. Lack of lubrication or inadequate lubrication is of course harmful. But excessive lubrication is also harmful. If lubrication is the food आहार for the bearings, it has to be युक्त, neither excessive nor starving.

Pumping systems are often designed, say with 3 pumps (A, B and C), of which 2 are to be running and one standby. This does not mean that one pump, say, pump C has to be designated as the standby pump. It only means that at any time two of the three pumps will be running. Running and idle times have to be so distributed that all pumps will have equal running and idle times. This will ensure that all pumps are “available” at any time. Here the running and idle times are the same as स्वप्न and अवबोध states, both of which have to be युक्त appropriate for all pumps.

I translated the word विहार as indulgence in enjoyment. I think congenial environment at work is also part of professionalism at work. Indulgence in enjoyment helps to make work-environment congenial. At the end of the episode of “Whitewashing the fence” in “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” Mark Twain summarises the moral of the episode as “Work is what one is obliged to do. Play is what one is not obliged to do”. Work should never appeal as an obligation to be discharged. It should appeal as play, Work and work-environment have to be only so “designed”. So युक्तविहार is also essential part of professionalism at work ! Considering teaching profession, that too teaching mathematics, are there not teachers of mathematics, who make the subject of mathematics also so interesting that students who were once dull, start shining. I would think that such teacher indulge in युक्तविहार. They do not just indulge in enjoyment, they create enjoyment. That is professionalism. I think creativity is inherent to युक्तविहार. In fact, I think that the diagram misses out on creativity, which is certainly an essential part of professionalism.

The phrase युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु brings to mind an observation made by my colleague, who was the Production Supervisor. Two turners Ram and Shyam were doing identical jobs on their respective lathes. At the end of the shift both had done equal work. But Shyam seemed to be more exhausted than Ram. The reason was obvious. Shyam was more vigorous in his actions. When retracting the boring tool, the tool would come out 6 cms. Ram’s actions were ‘cool’. In his case the tool would retract only 2 to 3 cms. To be कर्मसु युक्तचेष्टः includes working with economy of motions, not to overexert. To the company it did not matter, as long as both were giving equal output. But for himself, why should Shyam overexert himself ? In the least, overexertion is inefficiency, spending more energy for the same output. Overexertion is not व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. 

We need to also deliberate on the second line of (2’41) बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् (पदच्छेदैः अन्वयेन च) – अव्यवसायिनाम् बुद्धयः बहुशाखाः अनन्ताः च meaning, those who are not professional at work have intellects endlessly digressing in many directions.

  • One does not have to see very far for explanation of this edict. For any group-discussion to be fruitful, everyone of the group needs to have व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. Many meetings end up with inconclusive discussions, simply because there is no dearth of people who cause the discussions to digress variously and endlessly.
  • Both, participating in a meeting and conducting a meeting very much demand professionalism.

Professionalism at work is of three types – (1) to work in a group (2) to do a job by oneself (3) to get work done. The third type is supervisory or managerial function. Once when preparing a speech on “Management Challenges in the third millennium” the topic involved making a forecast or prediction of what the management challenges would be, that too, over a period of 1000 years. I got an idea to do statistical extrapolation of management thought. To do statistical extrapolation I needed records or mentions of management thoughts as old as possible. I got some fairly old management thought in

पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे |

साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्माणाम् (गीता 18’13)

अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् |

विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टाः दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् (गीता 18’14)

First of all, I contend that these verses delineate management thought, because they detail elements कारणानि which need to be provided for सिद्धये सर्वकर्माणाम् fulfilment of tasks.

Date and reference of the thought is mentioned as साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि i.e. quoted in the साङ्ख्य-philosophy, which is dated as of कृतान्त end of कृत-युग. The war was towards the end of द्वापारयुग. The period between कृतान्त and the war was of almost two युग-s, त्रेता and द्वापार. By this dating, this management thought is thousands of years old.

Five elements are identified (1) workplace अधिष्ठानम् (2) doer कर्ता (3) materials, tools and equipment करणं च पृथग्विधम् (4) energy-systems विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टाः (5) organization of these in right proportion, in right time दैवम्. In the theory of production in the classical theory of economics, mention is made of four factors of production – land, labor, capital, organization. In modern management concepts, there is mention of six ‘M’s – Men, Machines, Materials, Methods, Money, Market. One can see quite some one-to-one correspondence in the elements of management. One may hence predict that in any furtherance of management thought over another millennium, may not identify any new element. But weightages of the elements may vary. For example, in a software development company, since development of software requires strong logical thinking which is really व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः, one employee will not be much different from another intellectually. In such a situation, man-management is really a challenge of managing among equals. In Marathi there is a proverb उंटावरून शेळ्या हांकणे managing a herd of sheep, when riding a camel. That often will be simpler than managing a horde of camels, when riding one of those camels. A man-management function of managing among equals is certainly challenging. Once I had an assignment to conduct a half-day program on Supervisory Development. I wanted a ready crisp list of Supervisory functions. I got it in

शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च |

ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् (गीता 18’42)

I derive from this that a good supervisor or manager needs to cultivate and promote (1) शमः = peace, to make peace, to maintain peace, to ensure positive environment (2) दमः = regulation, control (3) तपः = readiness to do hard work (4) शौचम् = purity of thoughts विचारशुचिता and purity of means साधनशुचिता (5) क्षान्तिः = capacity to tolerate and pardon (6) आर्जवम् = transparency (7) ज्ञानम् = knowledge, know-how (8) विज्ञानम् = know why (9) आस्तिक्यम् = faith

In respect of the other aspect of professionalism at work, i.e. doing a job by oneself, I contend that professionalism at work is योगः, which is defined as योगः कर्मसु कौशलम् (2’50) and also as समत्वं योग उच्यते (2’48). Actually (2’48) merits to be studied and understood more completely. The complete verse is

योगस्थः कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय |

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते (2’48)

अन्वयेन – धनञ्जय, सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा योगस्थः कर्माणि कुरु | (यतः) समत्वं योगः उच्यते |

Oh Dhananjaya, perform tasks devoid of attachment, equanimous of success or failure and as one settled in योग, i.e. with steadfast conscience. Equanimity is योग.

Thomas Alva Edison confessed that he succeeded in making the light bulb only after 1000 failures. He said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.’. Thomas Edison was certainly a योगी. He had cultivated व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः

However in Gita, there is one very challenging advocacy सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् | सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः (18’48) Any कर्म which can be called as सहजं कर्म must not be forsaken, even if it prima facie appears to be malafide, rather, devoid of bonafides. This advocacy appeals to be challenging because of the phrase सहजं कर्म. The challenge is in understanding, first of all, what सहजं कर्म is.

  • Certainly a task planned and then undertaken cannot be called as सहजं कर्म. A task planned and undertaken is संकल्पितं कर्म.
    • In (6’2) Gita denounces the very concept of संकल्प. See न ह्यसंन्यस्तसंकल्पो योगी भवति कश्चन (न हि असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः योगी भवति कश्चन = असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः कश्चन योगी न हि भवति) Note असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः = one who has not renounced संकल्प. Such असंन्यस्तसंकल्पः cannot become a योगी.  
    • In fact in (6’4) सर्वसंकल्पसंन्यासी योगारूढस्तदोच्यते reiterates संन्यास of सर्वसंकल्प.
    • It comes to mind that the reason for denouncing संकल्प must be, because संकल्प implies “I plan and undertake”. Thus संकल्प has अहंकार inherent. Anything which has अहंकार inherent is wrong, it is bad.
  • In Apte’s dictionary meaning of सहज is given as “.. inborn, natural, innate ..” and exactly this verse (18’48) is quoted.
  • Idea of सहजं कर्म seems to be that it is that कर्म, which just presents itself.
  • Simple example of how सहजं कर्म presents itself is this instance of my compiling my thoughts on व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः. I saw that diagram on Facebook and got the prompt for this write-up.
  • I did not at all plan, how this write-up was going to proceed from one point to another. I must admit that the thoughts kept flowing and the write-up kept evolving. Should I put in a ‘disclaimer’ इदं न मम !

Certainly, Professionalism at work व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः has been delineated in Gita both philosophically and practically, rather, in terms of practical philosophy. May such fraternity of people with व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिः grow !

शुभमस्तु !


Linguistic charms in Gita

My friend Shri. R. Y. Deshpande has suggested that I may present some study of Linguistic charms in Gita. Being an engineer by profession, so, not a linguist as such, I am yet venturing to present some such study. The simple contention is that, when one undertakes study of a literature such as Gita, some linguistic charm or other will appeal to one’s mind. That is what the linguistic charms are there for, to appeal even to a common mind, not necessarily only to appeal to linguists.

As I understand, linguistic charms भाषालङ्काराः in Sanskrit literature would be of two broad categories (1) charm of sounds शब्दालङ्काराः (2) charm by figures of speech अर्थालङ्काराः. Actually in English, the term ‘figure of speech’ includes both शब्दालङ्काराः and अर्थालङ्काराः.

Charm of sounds शब्दालङ्काराः is again by Prosody छन्दांसि i.e. metrical structure of the poetry and also by such styles as alliteration and onomatopoeia प्रासाः, as also by different types of यमक, which is defined as “repetition in the same stanza (in any part of it) of words or syllables similar in sound, but different in meaning, a kind of rhyme, (of which various kinds are enumerated; see Kāv.3.2-52); आवृत्तिं वर्णसंघातगोचरां यमकं विदुः Kāv.1.61”

In Apte’s dictionary, “अर्थालङ्काराः are of various types अलंकारशेखर of केशवमिश्र mentions (verse 29) fourteen types of अर्थालंकारs as follows:- उपमारूपकोत्प्रेक्षाः समासोक्तिरपह्नुतिः । समाहितं स्वभावश्च विरोधः सारदीपकौ ॥ सहोक्तिरन्यदेशत्वं विशेषोक्तिर्विभावना । एवं स्युरर्थालकाराश्चतुर्दश न चापरे ॥ simile, metaphor, hyperbole, irony, pun, etc.”

There are अर्थालङ्काराः also by various moods and sentiments called as रस-s in संस्कृत. Again in Apte’s dictionary, “The रस-s are usually eight :– शृङ्गारहास्यकरुणरौद्रवीरभयानकाः । भीभत्साद्भुतसंज्ञौ चेत्यष्ट नाट्ये रसाः स्मृताः ॥ but sometimes शान्तरस is added; thus making the total number 9; निर्वेदस्थायिभावो$स्ति शान्तो$पि नवमो रसः K. P.4; sometimes a tenth, वात्सल्यरस, is also added. Rasas are more or less a necessary factor of every poetic composition, but, according to Viśvanātha, they constitute the very essence of poetry; वाक्यं रसात्मकं काव्यम्”. I would think that भक्तिरसः is yet another eleventh रसः, which merits to be added. Also, since भर्तृहरिः composed a distinct वैराग्यशतकम्, विरक्तिः or वैराग्यम् should become twelfth रसः.

Since Gita is well-known for its philosophical content, one may wonder whether, though it is basically a poem, it does have any linguistic charms worth noting and appreciation.

All the verses in Gita are definitely metrical. So charm of sounds शब्दालङ्काराः are definitely there. गीता सुगीता कर्तव्या is a proverbial advocacy. Majority of the verses are in अनुष्टुभ् or श्लोक-meter, having four quarters of eight letters each, though often written in two lines of 16 letters. The four quarters may make the recitation easy. But single line of 16 letters makes the writing compact, especially if all 16 letters can be written conjoint by संधि-s. For example आचार्यान्मातुलान्भ्रातॄन्पुत्रान्पौत्रान्सखीन्स्तथा (1’26) or पापमेवाश्रयेदस्मान्हत्वैतानाततायिनः (1’36) also अनार्यजुष्टमस्वर्ग्यमकीर्तिकरमर्जुन (2’2) and यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः (2’28-अ) and many more. To recite this line (2’28-अ) by its two quarters, it would sound good recitation to say it as यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर् | मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः | There are 645 verses in अनुष्टुभ् or श्लोक-meter. I remember having read that all the 645 verses do not exactly conform to the code for अनुष्टुभ् or श्लोक-meter, which is quoted as श्लोके षष्ठं गुरु ज्ञेयं सर्वत्र लघु पञ्चमम् | द्विचतुष्पादयोर्ह्रस्वं सप्तमं दीर्घमन्यथा || The metrical inaccuracies do not anyway hamper smoothness in recitation. The metrical inaccuracies can not only be discounted as poetical liberties निरङ्कुशाः कवयः, but also suggestive that the focus should be on the meaning and the message.

Balance 55 verses 2’5 to 2’8, also 2’20, 2’22, 2’29, 2’70, 8’9, 8’10, 8’11, 8’28, 9’20, 9’21, 36 verses (11’15 to 11’50), 15’2, 15’3, 15’4, 15’5, 15’15 have four quarters of 11 letters each.

  • Similar to the instance of saying यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः (2’28-अ) as यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर् | मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः | for the verse 8’9, its first two quarters may be written as कविं पुराणमनुशासितारमणोरणीयाँ-समनुस्मरेद्यः it would sound good recitation to say it as कविं पुराणम् अनुशासितारम् | अणोरणीयान् समनुस्मरेद् यः | Not only that this recitation would be good, one would have also understood the contained words distinctly in the flow of recitation itself.
  • Most of these 55 verses, I guess, would be in उपजाति meter, which is often a combination of इन्द्रवज्रा (त-त-ज-ग-ग) and उपेन्द्रवज्रा (ज-त-ज-ग-ग).

645 verses of 32 letters each and 55 verses of 44 letters each make a total of 23060 letters in Gita ! That count does not include धृतराष्ट्र् उवाच (1), संजय उवाच (9) अर्जुन उवाच (21) and श्रीभगवानुवाच (28).

I am more fascinated by the अर्थालङ्काराः in Gita.

  • To begin with the title श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता, this title is feminine by its gender. Why feminine ? It could as well have been श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतम्. I think the answer is in the epilogue समापनवाक्यम् of every अध्याय. The phrase worth noting is “श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासु उपनिषत्सु”. Obviously the contention is that every अध्याय is an उपनिषत् and all अध्याय-s together make one comprehensive उपनिषत् the श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता. By the way, the word उपनिषत् is feminine ! Why is the word उपनिषत् feminine ? उपनिषत्-s are to Vedas as शक्ति is to शिव or प्रकृति is to पुरुष ! Since the word वेदः is masculine, the word उपनिषत् is feminine ! Every such revelation gives me immense pleasure and hence I see अर्थालङ्कार there.
  • Every chapter is called as अध्यायः (अधि + आ + अयः) Note अधि = deep आ = comprehensive अयः = penetration (into the mind of the reader, reciter, listener). Such is the impact expected from the study of each अध्याय. The English word ‘chapter’ sounds to be too poor to convey the import of the word अध्यायः. Every word is so much meaningful अर्थपूर्ण ! Understanding श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता becomes most charming, if one has some good understanding of its language.
  • The very first verse (1’1) seems to present the personality of धृतराष्ट्र्, the King, yet biased towards his sons, whom he refers to as मामकाः. The affix क in मामकाः itself connotes more affection and in turn the bias. Alternatively, for धृतराष्ट्र्, everyone fighting on the side of दुर्योधन are मामकाः. And the rest are पाण्डवाः. Maybe, a complex always lurked in धृतराष्ट्र्’s mind that he became the king, not by his own merit, but only because पण्डु awarded it to him (like a piece of bread tossed to a dog ?), All that acrimony seems to find expression in the phrase मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव.
  • In the phrase धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे, often धर्मक्षेत्रे is interpreted to be adjectival of कुरुक्षेत्रे. But as a king, धृतराष्ट्र् can be wanting संजय to tell him what happened / was happening on both sides of the battle and hence would have spelt out the two sides as धर्मक्षेत्रे and कुरुक्षेत्रे.
  • Any literary composition is certainly rich with अर्थालङ्काराः, if it is replete with number of interpretations. Just by this consideration alone, Gita would stand out as a preeminent composition.
  • Verse 1’3 sounds quite satirical. दुर्योधन seems to draw attention of precept द्रोणाचार्य to the fact that his own disciples have arranged themselves against him, the arrangement itself having been schemed by his number one enemy, the son of द्रुपद. The verse seems to have the aim of inciting द्रोणाचार्य to teach lesson to his ungrateful disciples.
  • Verse 1’10 is interesting, because it brings forth arrogance of दुर्योधन in a subtle way. When pointing to his own army he calls it with the pronoun तत् (that), implying that his army is spread vast to quite some distance, hence worthy of the pronoun ‘that’. Pointing to army of Pandavas he uses the pronoun इदम् (this), implying that their army is just this much.
  • The words अपर्याप्तम् and पर्याप्तम् are not only antonyms, but each of them has inherently two contradictory meanings. One way अपर्याप्तम् means limitless. It also has an alternate meaning as ‘inadequate’. These words are very suggestive that the strength of an army is to be gauged not just by the number of soldiers, not just quantitatively, but also qualitatively, by the fighting spirit and fighting skills.
  • All the narration of दुर्योधन to द्रोणाचार्य in as many as 9 verses from 1’3 to 1’11 could have been made more distinct by prefacing it as दुर्योधन उवाच. Is there a poetic suggestion implicit in the absence of any such preface, that दुर्योधन does not merit any distinct mention ?
  • Verses 1’12 to 1’18 starting from भीष्मपितामह giving the clarion call and blowing his conch, followed by blowing of conches by श्रीकृष्णभगवान् and all the eminent Pandava-warriors is वीररस in full flow culminating in “स घोषो धार्तराष्ट्राणां हृदयानि व्यदारयत्” (भयानक-रस) and “नभश्च पृथिवीं चैव तुमुलो व्यनुनादयन्” (अतिशयोक्ति) in 1’19
  • The verses सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति | वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते (1’29) गाण्डीवं स्रंसते हस्तात्त्वक्चैव परिदह्यते | न च शक्नोम्यवस्थातुं भ्रमतीव च मे मनः (1’30) are so much expressive and picturesque that an absorbed reader may experience in himself, what अर्जुन might have then experienced. These verses describing the pitiable condition of अर्जुन are full of करुणरस.
  • There is करुणरस also in येषामर्थे काङ्क्षितं नो राज्यं भोगाः सुखानि च | त इमेsवस्थिता युद्धे प्राणांस्त्यक्त्वा धनानि च (1’33) because here अर्जुन is expressing his compassion. Rather his compassion continues up to नरकेsनियतं वासो भवतीत्यनुशुश्रुम (1’44) culminating in अहो बत (भय-रस) in (1’45), rather विसृज्य सशरं चापं शोकसंविग्नमानसः (करुणरस) in (1’47)
  • In the entire first chapter there is no श्रीभगवानुवाच. This means that श्रीभगवान lent a patient ear to what all अर्जुन wanted to say (शान्तरस).  

One would come across good number of similes उपमालङ्कार-s as in

  • यावानर्थ उदपाने सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके | तावान्सर्वेषु वेदेषु ब्राह्मणस्य विजानतः (2’46)
  • इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोsनुविधीयते | तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि (2’67)
  • आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठम् समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् | तद्वत् कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी (2’70)

It comes to mind that every instance of उपमालङ्कार merits its study, taking note of उपमानसर्वस्वम् and उपमेयसर्वस्वम्, rather by tabulating them to see the one-to-one correspondence.

उपमानानि यावान् अर्थः सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके उदपाने
उपमेयानि तावान् (अर्थः) विजानतः ब्राह्मणस्य सर्वेषु वेदेषु

Now, this is interesting. At first reading one may think that the correspondence is between सर्वतः संप्लुतोदके and सर्वेषु वेदेषु. But that is not so. When a ब्राह्मण has become accomplished विजानन्, his विज्ञानम् becomes all-pervading like flood-waters. In that state of accomplishment, knowledge even in all Vedas put together would be like the water in a pond or well. I am left wondering whether there could be a better simile. Alternatively, one can also wonder whether the significance or importance of accomplishing विज्ञानम् could have been stated without the simile and yet with the same impact.

In अशोच्यानन्वशोचास्त्वं प्रज्ञावादांश्च भाषसे (2’11) would one sense उपहास ?

There is some शब्दालङ्कार of अनुप्रास of ओ-कार and of ‘यम’ in अच्छेद्योsयमदाह्योsयमक्लेद्योsशोष्य एव च (2’24) अव्यक्तोsयमचिन्त्योsयमविकार्योsयमुच्यते (2’25).

In (3’37), (3’38) and (3’39) together श्रीकृष्णभगवान् thought it worthwhile to explain the impact of काम and क्रोध on human mind not only by as many as three similes – यथा (1) धूमेनाव्रियते वह्निः (2) आदर्शः मलेन (3) गर्भः उल्बेन He gives to it the personality of someone with insatiable hunger महाशनः He further calls it as fire, which not only engulfs but has the animosity unto one’s intellect to burn it into ashes आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा. The fire is also difficult to drowse दुष्पूरेणानलेन. Maybe, without mentioning it, श्रीकृष्णभगवान् wanted to remind अर्जुन of the ignominious incident of द्रौपदीवस्त्रहरणम्. Even otherwise काम and क्रोध are such दोष-s, which incite people into indecent conduct and demean the character, both individually and socially.

I have tried to present the शब्दालङ्काराः and अर्थालङ्काराः, which appeal to my mind, here, primarily, only from the first three chapters.

There are certainly many, many more, not to forget the great रूपकम् – ऊर्ध्वमूलमधःशाखमश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम् | छन्दांसि यस्य पर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित् (15’1). “One who understands ‘that’ is magi”.

शुभमस्तु !


Uplift Oneself by Oneself

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानम् = उद्धरेत् आत्मना आत्मानम् = One should uplift oneself by oneself.

Ever since it became clear that गीता is so long, because अर्जुन prayed that he be told what will be परं श्रेयः for him,  I have been obsessed of what I can learn from गीता for परं श्रेयः for myself too.

It is clear that first of all, my mind and character ought to be cleansed of vices. Of course, it cannot be a one-time cleansing. I need to be doing constant self-checking. It would be good, if there can be a ready checklist. For a checklist of vices, there is often the mention of six enemies षड्रिपवः as are mentioned in

  • दम्भो दर्पोsभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च | अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदमासुरीम् (16’4)
  • or also in अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं च संश्रिताः | मामात्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तोभ्यसूयकाः (16’18)
  • or also in अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53).

But I am getting to think that only षड्रिपवः do not make a complete checklist of all vices. For example one सुभाषितम् says आलस्यं हि मनुष्याणां शरीरस्थो महारिपुः. As is obvious आलस्यम् is not among षड्रिपवः.

Actually the characteristics which make तामसः कर्ता as also राजसः कर्ता, these also appeal to be list of vices only.

  • रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुर्लुब्धो हिंसात्मकोsशुचिः | हर्षशोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः (18’27)
  • अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठोsनैष्कृतिकोsलसः | विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते (18’28).

Let me see what list I get by understanding these verses.

(1) दम्भो दर्पोsभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च | अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदमासुरीम् (16’4) पदच्छेदैः – दम्भः दर्पः अभिमानः क्रोधः पारुष्यम् एव च | अज्ञानम् च अभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदम् आसुरीम् || अन्वयः – पार्थ, आसुरीम् सम्पदम् अभिजातस्य दम्भः दर्पः अभिमानः क्रोधः पारुष्यम् एव च अज्ञानम् च (भवति)

  • आसुरी – आसुर a. (-री f.) [असुरस्येदं अण् opp. दैव] 1 Belonging to Asuras. -2 Belonging to evil spirits; आसुरी माया, आसुरी रात्रिः &c. -3 Infernal, demoniacal; आसुरं भावमाश्रितः Bg.7.15 (for a full exposition of what constitutes आसुर conduct, see Bg.16.7-24).
  • अभिजात – 1 (a) Born to or for (b) Produced all around. (c) Born in consequence of. -2 Inbred, inborn. -3 Born, produced
  • दम्भः – [दम्भ्-घञ्] 1 Deceit, fraud, trickery
  • दर्पः – [दृप् भावे घञ् कर्तरि अच् वा] 1 Pride, arrogance, insolence, haughtiness
  • अभिमानः – 1 Pride (in a good sense), self-respect, honourable or worthy feeling -2 Self- conceit, pride, arrogance, haughtiness, egotism, high- opinion of oneself
  • क्रोधः – [क्रुध्-भावे घञ्] 1 Anger, wrath
  • पारुष्यम् [परुषस्य भावः ष्यञ्] 1 Roughness, ruggedness, hardness. -2 Harshness, cruelty, unkindness (as of disposition). -3 Abusive language, abuse, reproach, scurrilous language, insult; Bg.16.4; Y.2.12,72; हिंसा तदभिमानेन दण्ड्यपारुष्ययोर्यथा । वैषम्यमिह भूतानां ममाहमिति पार्थिव ॥ Bhāg.7.1.23. -4 Violence (in word or deed)
    • परुष a. [पॄ-उषन्] 1 Hard, rough, rugged, stiff (opp. मृदु or श्लक्ष्ण) -2 Harsh, abusive, severe, unkind, cruel, stern (as words)

(2) अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53) पदच्छेदैः – अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तः ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते अन्वयः – (यः) अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तः (च) (सः) ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते |

  • अहङ्कारम् –  अहंकारः 1 egotism, sense of self, self-love considered as an अविद्या or spiritual ignorance in Vedānta Phil. Note, this explains what is mentioned as अज्ञानम् in 16’4.
  • बलम् – बलं वासनाविषयप्राप्त्यनुकूलो यत्नः Forceful action towards getting one’s desires.
  • कामम् – कामः desire, often of sensual enjoyments
  • परिग्रहम् – detailed study of this is at the given link.
  • निर्ममः (निर्गतं ममत्वं यस्मात् सः) – a. 1 free from all connections with the outer world, who has renounced all worldly ties
  • शान्तः – [शम्-क्त] 1 Appeased, allayed, calmed, satisfied, pacified
  • ब्रह्मभूयाय – ब्रह्मभूयम् identity with Brahma, absorption or dissolution into Brahma, final emancipation
  • कल्पते – कॢप् । भ्वा० सेट् आ० । कृपूँ॒ साम॑र्थ्ये 1 Ā. (कल्पते, चक्लृपे, अक्लृपत्, अक्लृप्त, अकल्पिष्ट; कल्पि- ष्यते; कल्प्स्यति-ते, कल्पितुम्, कल्प्तुम्, क्लृप्त) 1 To be fit or adequate for result in, bring about, accomplish, produce, tend to
  • (यः) अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तः (च) (सः) ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते = After giving up ego, forcefulness, arrogance, sensual desires, wrath, accepting gratifications, one, who has transcended all thoughts of “I, me, mine” and is at peace, merits identity with Brahma.

(3) रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुर्लुब्धो हिंसात्मकोsशुचिः | हर्षशोकान्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः (18’27) पदच्छेदैः – रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः लुब्धः हिंसात्मकः अशुचिः | हर्षशोक-अन्वितः कर्ता राजसः परिकीर्तितः अन्वयः – रागी कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः लुब्धः हिंसात्मकः अशुचिः हर्षशोक-अन्वितः कर्ता राजसः (इति) परिकीर्तितः (अस्ति) |

  • रागी
  • कर्मफलप्रेप्सुः
  • लुब्धः
  • हिंसात्मकः
  • अशुचिः
  • हर्षशोक-अन्वितः
  • कर्ता
  • राजसः
  • परिकीर्तितः

(4) अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठोsनैष्कृतिकोsलसः | विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामस उच्यते (18’28) पदच्छेदैः – अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठः अनैष्कृतिकः अलसः | [Note “शठोsनैष्कृतिकोsलसः” has been deciphered as “शठः अनैष्कृतिकः अलसः” by स्वामी रामसुखदास whereas I find only the word नैष्कृतिकः in Critical word-index by रावबहादुर प्रह्लाद दिवाणजी. Hence, “शठः नैष्कृतिकः अलसः” according to him.] विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामसः उच्यते अन्वयः – अयुक्तः प्राकृतः स्तब्धः शठः अनैष्कृतिकः/नैष्कृतिकः अलसः विषादी दीर्घसूत्री च कर्ता तामसः उच्यते

  • अयुक्तः – Since युक्तः = Fit, proper, right, suitable, अयुक्तः = unfit, improper, wrong, unsuitable
  • प्राकृतः – Uncultivated, vulgar, unrefined, illiterate
  • स्तब्धः – Paralysed, senseless, stupefied, benumbed, Obstinate, stubborn, hard-hearted, stern
  • शठः – Crafty, deceitful, fraudulent. dis- honest, perfidious. Wicked, depraved. A rogue, cheat, knave, swindler
  • अनैष्कृतिकः/नैष्कृतिकः – स्वामी रामसुखदास in his book published by गीताप्रेस, गोरखपुर gives meaning of अनैष्कृतिकः as ungrateful. रावबहादुर प्रह्लाद दिवाणजी gives नैष्कृतिकः = one, who cuts off interest of others. In Apte’s dictionary I could find neither अनैष्कृतिकः nor नैष्कृतिकः
  • अलसः – [न लसति व्याप्रियते, लस्-अच्] 1 Inactive, without energy, lazy, idle, indolent
  • विषादी – विषादिन् = Dejected, dismayed, sad, disconsolate
  • दीर्घसूत्री – working slowly, slow, dilatory, procrastinating
  • तामसः – A malignant person, an incendiary, a villain
  • उच्यते – वच् – . 2 P. (Ā. also in non-conjugational tenses; in conjugational tenses it is said to be defective in the third person plural by some authorities, or in the whole plural by others; वक्ति, उवाच, अवोचत्, वक्ष्यति, वक्तुम्, उक्त) 1 To say, speak

So, from these four verses, I have following checklist of vices.

  • दम्भः, दर्पः, अभिमानः, क्रोधः, पारुष्यम्, अज्ञानम् in 16’4
  • अहङ्कारः, बलम्, दर्पः, कामः, क्रोधः, परिग्रहः in 18’53
  • रागः कर्मफलापेक्षा, लोभः, हिंसात्मकता, अशुचिता, हर्षशोकान्वितता in 18’27
  • अयुक्तता, प्राकृतता, स्तब्धता, शाठ्यम्, अनैष्कृतिकता/नैष्कृतिकता, आलस्यम्, विषादः, दीर्घसूत्रता in 18’28

Of course there are repetitions or overlaps due to synonymity. Hence the list without repetitions or overlaps should be

  1. दम्भः (16’4)
  2. दर्पः (16’4), (18’53)
  3. अभिमानः (16’4),
  4. अहङ्कारः (18’53)
  5. क्रोधः (16’4), (18’53)
  6. पारुष्यम् (16’4) बलम् (18’53) हिंसात्मकता (18’27) are fairly synonymous
  7. परिग्रहः (18’53)
  8. कामः (18’53) रागः (18’27) लोभः (18’27) are fairly synonymous.
  9. कर्मफलापेक्षा (18’27)
  10. अशुचिता (18’27)
  11. हर्षशोकान्वितता (18’27) विषादः (18’28) are fairly synonymous.
  12. अयुक्तता  (18’28)
  13. प्राकृतता  (18’28)
  14. स्तब्धता  (18’28)
  15. शाठ्यम्  (18’28)
  16. अनैष्कृतिकता/नैष्कृतिकता  (18’28)
  17. आलस्यम्   (18’28)
  18. दीर्घसूत्रता (18’28)

(5) In Apte’s dictionary, when detailing the word आसुरी it is mentioned “.. for a full exposition of what constitutes आसुर conduct, see Bg.16.7-24”. It would become a meticulous exercise to list vices inherent in these 18 verses.

  1. आसुराः जनाः प्रवृत्तिं च निवृत्तिं च न विदुः (16’7)
  2. न शौचं (विदुः) (16’7)
  3. न आचारः (विदुः) (16’7)
  4. न तेषु सत्यं विद्यते (16’7)
  5. जगत् असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठम् अनीश्वरम् अपरस्परसम्भूतम् आहुः (16’8)
  6. (जगत्) कामहैतुकम् (आहुः) (16’8)
  7. नष्टात्मानः अल्पबुद्धयः (16’9)
  8. जगतः अहिताः (जगतः) क्षयाय उग्रकर्माणः प्रभवन्ति (16’9)
  9. दुष्पूरं कामम् आश्रित्य (16’10)
  10. दम्भ-मान-मद-अन्विताः (16’10)
  11. मोहात् गृहीत्वा असद्ग्राहान् (16’10)
  12. अशुचिव्रताः प्रवर्तन्ते (16’10)
  13. अपरिमेयां प्रलयान्तां चिन्ताम् उपाश्रिताः (16’11)
  14. कामोपभोगपरमाः (16’11)
  15. आशापाशशतैः बद्धाः कामक्रोधपरायणाः कामभोगार्थम् अन्यायेन अर्थसञ्चयान् ईहन्ते (16’12)
  16. इदमद्य मया लब्धम् इमं प्राप्स्ये मनोरथम्, इदम् अस्ति पुनः इदम् धनम् अपि मे भविष्यति (16’13)
  17. असौ मया हतः शत्रुः अपरान् अपि च हनिष्ये (16’14)
  18. ईश्वरः अहम् अहं भोगी सिद्धः अहम् बलवान् (अहम्) सुखी (अहम्) (16’15)
  19. आढ्यः (अहम्) अभिजनवान् अस्मि कः अन्यः मम सदृशः अस्ति (16’16) [Note आढ्य a. [आ-ध्यै-क पृषो˚ Tv.] 1 Rich, wealthy]
  20. यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्ये इति अज्ञानविमोहिताः (16’16) अनेकचित्तविभ्रान्ताः मोहजालसमावृताः कामभोगेषु प्रसक्ताः (16’17)
  21. आत्मसंभाविताः स्तब्धाः धनमानमदान्विताः (16’18)
  22. दम्भेन अविधिपूर्वकम् नामयज्ञैः यजन्ते (16’18)
  23. अहङ्कारम् संश्रिताः (16’19)
  24. बलम् (संश्रिताः) (16’19)
  25. दर्पम् (संश्रिताः) (16’19)
  26. कामम् (संश्रिताः) (16’19)
  27. क्रोधम् (संश्रिताः) (16’19)
  28. माम् आत्मपरदेहेषु प्रद्विषन्तः अभ्यसूयकाः (16’19)
  29. यः शास्त्रविधिम् उत्सृज्य कामकारतः वर्तते (16’23)

There seems to be quite some overlap or repetitiveness even within this list of 29 phrases.

(6) Just as कर्ता has been detailed as सात्विकः, राजसः, तामसः, many aspects of human character such as आहार, यज्ञ, तप, दान, (in 17th) and ज्ञान, कर्म, बुद्धिः, धृतिः, सुखम्  are detailed by their सात्विक, राजस, तामस variations. Obviously, while सात्विक variations are virtuous, राजस and तामस variations are vices. Since vices are antonymous to virtues, one can chart out vices and virtues as antonyms. There are good lists of virtues in 12’13 to 12’19 also in 13’7 to 13’11 again in 16’1 to 16’3 and in 17’14 to 17’16 and in 18’42 to 18’44. I think it would be a good idea to set the antonymous राजस and तामस variations words/phrases of vices against respective सात्विक words/phrases of virtues.

  1. अमानित्वम् (13’7) नातिमानिता (16’3) <> अभिमानः (16’4)
  2. अदम्भित्वम् (13’7) <> दम्भः (16’4) [दम्भ्-घञ्] 1 Deceit, fraud, trickery; Ms.4.163. -2 Religious hypocrisy; Bg.16.4. -3 Arrogance. pride, ostentation. -4 Sin, wickedness.
  3. अहिंसा (13’7), (16’2), (17’14) <> पारुष्यम् (16’4) बलम् (16’19), (18’53) हिंसात्मकता (18’27)
  4. क्षमी (12’13) क्षान्तिः (13’7), (18’42) क्षमा (16’3) <> दर्पः (16’4), (16’19), (18’53)
  5. आर्जवम् (13’7), (16’1), (17’14), (18’42) <> दर्पः (16’4), (16’19), (18’53)
  6. आचार्योपासनम् (13’7) देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनम् (17’14)
  7. शुचिः (12’16) शौचम् (13’7), (16’3), (17’14), (18’42) <> अशुचिता (18’27)
  8. दृढनिश्चयः (12’14) स्थिरमतिः (12’19) स्थैर्यम् (13’7) शान्तिः (16’2) शमः (18’42)
  9. यतात्मा (12’14) आत्मविनिग्रहः (13’7), (17’16)
  10. अनपेक्षः (12’16) इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यम् (13’8), ब्रह्मचर्यम् (17’14)
  11. निरहङ्कारः (12’13) अनहङ्कारः (13’8) <> अहङ्कारः (16’19), (18’53)
  12. गतव्यथः (12’16) जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम् (13’8)
  13. सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी (12’16) निर्ममः (12’13) अनिकेतः (12’19) असक्तिः (13’9) अलोलुप्त्वम् (16’2)
  14. उदासीनः (12’16) अनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु (13’9)
  15. समदुःखसुखः (12’13) हर्षामर्षभयोद्वेगैः मुक्तः (12’15) यो न हृष्यति न द्वेष्टि न शोचति न काङ्क्षति शुभाशुभपरित्यागी समः शत्रौ च मित्रे च तथा मानापमानयोः (12’17) तुल्यनिंदास्तुतिः (12’18) नित्यं समचित्तत्वम् इष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु (13’9) <> हर्षशोकान्वितता (18’27) विषादः (18’28)
  16. अनन्ययोगेन अव्यभिचारिणी भक्तिः (13’10) आस्तिक्यम् (18’42) ईश्वरभावः (18’43)
  17. विविक्तदेशसेवित्वम् (13’10) मौनम् (17’16)
  18. जनसंसदि अरतिः (13’10)
  19. अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वम् (13’11) तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् (13’11) ज्ञानयोगः (16’1) ज्ञानविज्ञानम् (18’42) – येन ज्ञानेन (मनुजः) सर्वभूतेषु एकं अव्ययम् भावं ईक्षते तज्ज्ञानं सात्त्विकम् (18’20) <> येन ज्ञानेन (मनुजः) सर्वभूतेषु पृथग्विधान् नानाभावान् पृथक्त्वेन वेत्ति तद्राजसम् (19’21) यत् एकस्मिन् कार्ये कृत्स्नवत् सक्तम् अहैतुकम् अतत्त्वार्थवत् अल्पम् तत्तामसम् (18’21)
  20. बुद्धिः – व्यवसायात्मिका एका (2’41) या प्रवृत्तिं निवृत्तिं च कार्याकार्ये भयाभये बन्धं मोक्षं च वेत्ति सा सात्त्विकी (18’30) <> अव्यवसायिनां बुद्धयः बहुशाखाः अनन्ताः च (2’41) यया बुद्ध्या मनुजः अधर्मं धर्मं च कार्यं च अकार्यं च अयथावत् प्रजानाति सा राजसी (18’31) यया तमसावृतया बुद्ध्या मनुजः अधर्मं धर्ममिति सर्वार्थान् विपरीतान् च मन्यते सा तामसी (18’32)
  21. श्रद्धा – मय्यर्पितमनोबुद्धिः (12’14) यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान् (17’4) <> यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः (17’4) प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चैव यजन्ते तामसा जनाः (17’4)
  22. अभयम् (16’1) युद्धे अपलायनम् (18’43)
  23. सत्त्वसंशुद्धिः (16’1) भावसंशुद्धिः (17’16) <> क्लैब्यम् (2’3) किल्बिषम् (18’47)
  24. दक्षः (12’16) व्यवस्थितिः (16’1) अकल्कता Honesty, integrity अकल्मषम् (6’27) <>
  25. कर्म – यज्ञदानतपःकर्म न त्याज्यं कार्यमेव तत् (18’5) नियतं सङ्गरहितमरागद्वेषतः कृतम् | अफलप्रेप्सुना कर्म यत्तत्सात्विकमुच्यते (18’23) <> यत्तु कामेप्सुना कर्म साहङ्कारेण वा पुनः | क्रियते बहुलायासं तद्राजसमुदाहृतम् (18’24) अनुबन्धं क्षयं हिंसामनवेक्ष्य च पौरुषम् | मोहादारभ्यते कर्म यत्तामसमुच्यते (18’25)
  26. दानम् (16’1), (18’43) – यदनुपकारिणे दातव्यमिति देशे काले पात्रे च दीयते तत्सात्त्विकम् (17’20) <> प्रत्युपकारार्थं वा फलमुद्दिश्य परिक्लिष्टम् दीयते तद्राजसम् (17’21) अदेशकाले अपात्रेभ्यः च यत् असत्कृतम् अवज्ञातं तत्तामसम् (17’22)
  27. दमः (16’1), (18’42)
  28. यज्ञः (16’1) – यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान् (17’4) अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिः यष्टव्यमेव इति मनः समाधाय इज्यते सः सात्त्विकः (17’11) <> यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः (17’4) प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चैव यजन्ते तामसा जनाः (17’4) फलमभिसंधाय दम्भार्थमपि इज्यते सः राजसः (17’12) विधिहीनम् असृष्टान्नम् मन्त्रहीनम् अदक्षिणम् श्रद्धाविरहितम् इज्यते सः तामसः (17’13)
  29. स्वाध्यायः (16’1) स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनम् (17’15), कृषिगोरक्षवाणिज्यम् (18’44)
  30. तपः (16’1), (18’42) – अफलाकाङ्क्षि सात्त्विकम् (17’17) <> सत्कारमानपूजार्थम् दम्भेन च चलम् अधृवम् राजसं तपः (17’18) मूढग्राहेण आत्मनः पीडया वा परस्य उत्सादनार्थम् तामसं तपः (17’19)
  31. सत्यम् (16’2), (17’15) <> न तेषु (असुरेषु) सत्यं विद्यते (16’7) असुराः जगत् असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठम् अनीश्वरम् अपरस्परसम्भूतम् आहुः (16’8)
  32. अक्रोधः (16’2) <> क्रोधः (16’4), (16’19), (18’53)
  33. त्यागः (16’2) यन्नियतं कर्म कार्यमित्येव सङ्गं फलं च त्यक्त्वा क्रियते सः सात्त्विकः (18’9) <> परिग्रहः (18’53) नियतस्य कर्मणः संन्यासः मोहात्तस्य परित्यागः तामसः त्यागः (18’7) यत्कर्म (मनुजः) दुःखमित्येव कायक्लेशभयात्त्यजेत् सः राजसः त्यागः (18’8)
  34. अपैशुनम् (16’2) <> पैशुनम्/न्यम् [पिशुनस्य भावः अण् ष्यञ् वा] 1 Back-biting, slandering, talebearing, calumny
  35. अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानाम् मैत्रः करुणः (12’13) भूतेषु दया (16’2) <> पारुष्यम् (16’4) बलम् (18’53) हिंसात्मकता (18’27)
  36. सौम्यत्वम् (17’16) मार्दवम् (16’2) अनुद्वेगकरं प्रियहितम् वाक्यम् (17’15), <> दर्पः (16’4), (16’19), (18’53) पारुष्यम् (16’4) बलम् (16’19) (18’53) हिंसात्मकता (18’27)
  37. ह्रीः (16’2) [Note ह्री f. 1 Shame -2 Bashfulness, modesty] परिचर्यात्मकं कर्म (18’44) <> दर्पः (16’19), 18’53)
  38. अचापलम् (16’2) <> दीर्घसूत्रता (18’28) शाठ्यम् {[शठस्य भावः ष्यञ्] (a) Dishonesty, perfidy, guile; trickery, fraud, villainy} (18’28)
  39. तेजः (16’3), (18’43)
  40. धृतिः (16’3), (18’43) यया अव्यभिचारिण्या धृत्या (मनुजः) मनःप्राणेन्द्रियक्रियाः योगेन धारयते सा धृतिः सात्त्विकी (18’32) <> यया धृत्या (मनुजः) धर्मकामार्थान् धारयते या च प्रसङ्गेन फलाकाङ्क्षी सा राजसी धृतिः (18’33) यया धृत्या स्वप्नं भयं शोकं विषादं मदमेव च न विमुञ्चति सा दुर्मेधा धृतिः तामसी (18’34)
  41. अद्रोहः (16’3) <> द्रोहः [द्रुह् भावे-घञ्] 1 Plotting against, seeking to hurt or assail, injury, mischief, malice मित्रद्रोहे च पातकम् Bg.1.38; Ms.2.161;7.48; 9.17. -2 Treachery, perfidy
  42. शौर्यम् (18’43)
  43. दाक्ष्यम् (18’43) <> (अदक्षिणम्) (17’13) अनार्यजुष्टम् (2’2)
  44. सततं सन्तुष्टः (12’14) संतुष्टो येन केनचित् (12’19) मनःप्रसादः (17’16) <> विषादी (18’29)
  45. आहारः – आयुःसत्त्वबलारोग्यसुखप्रीतिविवर्धिनः | रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिराः हृद्याः (17’8) <> कट्वम्ललवणात्युष्णतीक्ष्णरुक्षविदाहिनः (17’9) यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितम् उच्छिष्टम् अमेध्यम् भोजनम् (17’10)

That makes a good checklist both for being free of vices and for cultivating virtuous conduct.

That should become a good way to uplift oneself by oneself, in one’s own eyes, so that there will never be any guilt in one’s own conscience. Often the public may or may not know of your guilt, but your conscience does know, right ? – उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |

शुभमस्तु !


Verses referred to – 2’2, 2’3, 2’41, (12’13 to 12’19), (13’7 to 13’11), (16’1 to 16’23), 17’4, (17’8 to 17’22), (18’7 to 18’9), (18’20 to 18’28), (18’23 to 18’25), (18’30 to 18’35) (18’47) Total 76.

योगारोहणम् – About Climbing and योगः

Some analytical thinking about योगारोहणम् – Climbing and योगः is provoked by आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते | योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शमः कारणमुच्यते (6’3).

Before indulging in the analytical thinking, let me proceed with understanding the श्लोक itself step by step.

First पदच्छेदाः – आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः योगं कर्म कारणम् उच्यते | योग-आरूढस्य तस्य एव शमः कारणम् उच्यते

Next शब्दानां विश्लेषणानि

आरुरुक्षोः – आरोढुम् इच्छति इति आरुरुक्षुः – तस्य | आरुरुक्षु a. Wishing to ascend, mount or reach

मुनेः – मुनिः [मन्-इन् उच्च Uṇ.4.122] तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

योगम् – योगः [युज् भावादौ घञ् कुत्वम्]

  • युज् – चुरादिः उभयपदी | युजँऽ [सं॒यम॑ने] १०.३३८ (योजति, योजयति-ते) To unite, join, yoke &c.
  • युज् – दिवादिः आत्मनेपदी | यु॒जँ॒ समा॒धौ ४.७४ (युज्यते) To concentrate the mind (identical with the pass. of युज् I)
  • युज् – रुधादिः उभयपदी | यु॒जिँ॑र् योगे॑ ७.७ (युनक्ति, युङ्क्ते, युयोज, युयुजे, अयुजत्, अयौक्षीत्, अयुक्त, योक्ष्यति-ते, योक्तुम्, युक्त) 1 To join, unite, attach, connect, add 2 To yoke, harness, put to 3 To furnish or endow with 4 To use, employ, apply 5 To appoint, set (with locative) 6 To direct, turn or fix upon (as the mind &c.) 7 To concentrate one’s attention upon 8 To put, place or fix on (with locative) 9 To prepare, arrange, make ready, fit. -10 To give, bestow, confer 11 To adhere or cleave to. -12 To enjoin, charge -13 To put in, insert. -14 To think or meditate upon

कर्म – कर्मन् [कृ-मनिन् Uṇ.4.144] 1 Action, work, deed. -2 Execution, performance

कारणम् – [कृ-णिच् ल्युट्] [1] A cause, reason [2] Ground, motive, object [3] An instrument, means [4] (In Nyāya phil.) A cause, that which is invariably antecedent to some product and is not otherwise constituted; or, according to Mill, ‘the antecedent or concurrence of antecedents on which the effect is invariably and unconditionally consequent’; according to Naiyāyikas, it is of three kinds; (1) समवायि (intimate or inherent); as threads in the case of cloth; (2) असमवायि (non-intimate or non-inherent), as the conjunction of the threads in the case of cloth; (3) निमित्त (instrumental) as the weaver’s loom. [5] The generative cause, creator, father [6] An element, elementary matter

उच्यते – वच्-धातोः कर्मणि लटि प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् | अदादिः परस्मैपदी | व॒चँ परि॒भाष॑णे २.५८ | वच् 2 P. (Ā. also in non-conjugational tenses; in conjugational tenses it is said to be defective in the third person plural by some authorities, or in the whole plural by others; वक्ति, उवाच, अवोचत्, वक्ष्यति, वक्तुम्, उक्त) 1 To say, speak

योगारूढस्य – योगम् आरूढस्य – आरुह् 1 P. 1 To ascend, mount, bestride, get upon (with acc., sometimes loc.) आरूढ p. p. 1 Mounted, ascended; seated on.

शमः – [शम्-घञ्] 1 Quiet, tranquility, calmness; धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो Bg.11.24. -2 Rest, calm, repose, cessation. -3 Absence or restraint of passions, mental quietness, quietism; शमरते$मरतेजसि पार्थिवे R.9.4; Ki.1.1;16.48; Śi.2.94; Bg.1.4. -4 Allayment, mitigation, alleviation, satisfaction, pacification (of grief, thirst, hunger &c.); शममुपयातु ममापि चित्तदाहः U.6.8; शम- मेष्यति मम शोकः कथं नु वत्से Ś.4.21. -5 Peace; as in अस्माकं शमकामा वै त्वं च पुत्रो ममेत्यथ Mb.12.1.27; शमोपन्यास Ve.5. -6 Final emancipation (from all worldly illusions and attachments). -7 The hand. -8 Cure of disease, convalescence. -9 Indifference, apathy.

  • शम् I. 4 P. (शाम्यति, शान्त) 1 To be calm, quiet or tranquil, be appeased or pacified (as a person)

अन्वयाः – योगम् आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः कर्म कारणम् उच्यते | तस्य एव योगारूढस्य (मुनेः) शमः कारणम् उच्यते ||

Discussion – (1) As is obvious, there are two stages mentioned – (अ) आरुरुक्षु (आ) आरूढ

Since the action is of आरोहणम् three instances of आरोहणम् come to mind – गिर्यारोहणम्, अश्वारोहणम्, निश्रेण्यारोहणम् (Note निश्रयणी /निश्रेणि/ निश्रेणी A ladder, a staircase) The questions then are –  

  • to what is योगारोहणम् closest – गिर्यारोहणम् or अश्वारोहणम् or निश्रेण्यारोहणम् ?
  • Where does attaining परं श्रेयः fit in योगारोहणम् ?

Thinking of परं श्रेयः it came to mind that some specific aspects have to devolve, viz.  

  1. Our mind and character be washed clean of vices. One should become निर्धूतकल्मष (5’17)
  2. Our mind and character be adorned with virtues. One should become दैवीसम्पदमभिजातः (16’3)
  3. Our mind and character should rather transcend virtuosity. One should become गुणातीतः (14’25)
  4. Our faith should become firm. One should become श्रद्धया परयोपेतः (12’2)
  5. Our devotion should be our all-time platform. One should become भक्तिमान्यः (12’17)
  6. Asceticism should become our nature. त्रिविधं तपः तप्तम् (17’17)
  7. Our senses should become free of distractions. इन्द्रियार्थेभ्यः इन्द्रियाणि सर्वशः निगृहीतानि (2’68)
  8. Our intellect should become steadfast at all times, at all instances. दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीः (2’56)
  9. We should experience oneness with all creation. सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा (5’7)

Though I have made a numbered list of nine devolutions, we need not consider that these would devolve sequentially. For example, character being cleansed of vices and it being adorned with virtues can be simultaneous. Of course transcending virtuosity will mature in course of time, but that also may become a corollary of cleansing of vices and adornment with virtues. Firmness of faith and devotion becoming all time can also be simultaneous.

By this consideration, I would think that योगारोहणम् is akin to अश्वारोहणम्. Riding a horse has two distinct phases – (1) getting astride the horse (2) staying put. In the first phase, there is not much significance for the reins. In the second phase it is all reins. This matches with योगम् आरुरुक्षोः मुनेः कर्म कारणम् उच्यते and तस्य एव योगारूढस्य (मुनेः) शमः कारणम् उच्यते. Getting astride the horse is all action कर्म कारणम् उच्यते. Staying put is all शमः.

योगारोहणम् is not at all like निश्रेण्यारोहणम् climbing a ladder, because the devolutions need not be taken to be sequential. Anyway, a ladder निश्रेणी does not take one to any high elevation.

Now let us consider how योगारोहणम् compares with गिर्यारोहणम्. By गिर्यारोहणम् I would not consider climbing a hillock. I would rather consider mountaineering, say, scaling the Everest. It is well-known that गिर्यारोहणम् becomes more and more challenging, higher one goes. Frankly, I do not know, whether योगारोहणम् also becomes more challenging as one progresses upwards on the spiritual path. But in गिर्यारोहणम् one does not stay put at the mountain top. In योगारोहणम् one has to stay put.

At least for myself I would like to think that योगारोहणम् is like अश्वारोहणम्.

Discussion (2) – Having listed 9 devolutions, it comes to mind that अष्टाङ्गयोग speaks of eight devolutions to be imbibed through यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम, प्रत्त्याहार, ध्यान, धारणा, समाधि.

Let me check whether one can see some correspondence between them. Before that I should check whether I understand the devolutions of अष्टाङ्गयोग.

  1. यम – The yamas are usually said to be ten, but, their names are given differently by different writers; e. g. ब्रह्मचर्यं दया क्षान्तिर्दानं सत्यमकल्कता । अहिंसा$स्तेयमाधुर्ये दमश्चेति यमाः स्मृताः ॥ Y.3.312; or आनृशंस्यं दया सत्यमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् । प्रीतिः प्रसादो माधुर्यं मार्दवं च यमा दश ॥ sometimes only five yamas are mentioned:– अहिंसा सत्यवचनं ब्रह्मचर्यमकल्कता । अस्तेयमिति पञ्चैते यमाख्यानि व्रतानि च ॥
  2. नियम – शौचमिज्या तपो दानं स्वाध्यायोपस्थनिग्रहः । व्रतमौनोपवासं च स्नानं च नियमा दश ॥
  3. आसनम् – अनायासेन येन स्यादजस्रं ब्रह्मचिन्तनम् । आसनं तद् विजानीयाद् योगिनां सुखदायकम् ॥
  4. प्राणायामः – restraining or suspending the breath during the mental recitation of the names or attributes of a deity.
  5. प्रत्याहारः –  Restraining the organs; स्वविषया$संप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्या- हारः Pātañjala.
  6. ध्यानम् – Meditation, reflection, thought; contemplation; ज्ञानाद् ध्यानं विशिष्यते Bg.12.12
  7. धारणा – Keeping the mind collected, holding the breath suspended, steady abstraction of mind; धारणेत्युच्यते चेयं धार्यते यन्मनो तया ।
  8. समाधिः – Intentness, concentration (in general), fixing of thoughts; यथा भानुगतं तेजो मणिः शुद्धः समाधिना । आदत्ते राजशार्दूल तथा योगः प्रवर्तते ॥ Mb.12.298.12 सम्यगाधीयते यत्र स समाधिः स्मृतो यथा ।
Sr. No. Nine devolutions to imbibe अष्टाङ्गयोग
1 Be free of vices यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार all these together help the devolutions 1, 2 and 3
2 Cultivate virtues
3 Transcend virtuosity
4 Faith should be firm धारणा
5 Be devout all the time ध्यान
6 Asceticism as nature प्रत्याहार
7 Control on senses यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार all these together help the devolution 7 and 8.
8 Steadfast intellect
9 Oneness with all creation समाधिः

I think, the nine devolutions are easier to understand, practise and gradually imbibe. अष्टाङ्गयोग does not seem to be as easy to understand. Practising and imbibing can happen only when understanding is clear.

May we all succeed in योगारोहणम् !

शुभमस्तु !


Analytics in गीता

If it is to be contended that much of गीता is based on साङ्ख्य-philosophy, that philosophy itself seems to be very analytical in its spirit. Since the words साङ्ख्य and सङ्ख्या are closely related and since one meaning of सङ्ख्या is number, the word साङ्ख्य can be taken to mean ‘enumerative’. Analytics is inherent to enumeration. That would be some explanation of why this philosophy, which is analytical in its spirit is called as साङ्ख्य philosophy.

(A) A very prominent instance which comes to mind is – पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे | साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् (18’12) अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् | विविधाश्च पृथक् चेष्टाः दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् (18’13). Here we have the analysis of the five elements, which participate in fulfilment of tasks सर्वकर्मणाम् सिद्धये. The five elements are (1) अधिष्ठानम् (2) कर्ता (3) पृथग्विधम् करणम् (4) विविधाश्च पृथक् चेष्टाः (5) दैवम्. These five elements are of course as साङ्ख्ये प्रोक्तानि.

  • The first element is mentioned as अधिष्ठानम्, not just स्थानम्. I would contend that अधिष्ठानम् is such स्थानम्, which is fit for कर्मसिद्धिः. I read  शुचौ देशे प्रतिष्ठाप्य स्थिरमासनमात्मनः | नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचं चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् (6’11) as specifying how a स्थानम् would become अधिष्ठानम्. Note शुचौ देशे connotes pleasant, cleaned, purified, conducive location and ambience, स्थिरमासनम् connotes steadiness, rigidity नात्युच्छ्रितं नातिनीचम् connotes uniform equilibrium चैलाजिनकुशोत्तरम् connotes leveled and also cushioned to isolate vibrations and shocks

(B) A good study of psychoanalysis of, how association, attachment and involvement in worldly matters leads to self-destruction, can be learnt in ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते | सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोsभिजायते (2’62) क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः | स्मृतिभ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति (2’63)

(C) The cycle of interdependence of natural and ethereal phenomena is detailed in अन्नाद्भवन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसंभवः | यज्ञाद्भवति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भवः (3’14) कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् | तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् (3’15) एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः | अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति (3’16)

(D) The analytics is both subtle and comprehensive at the same time as can be seen in कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्ध्यव्यं च विकर्मणः | अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः (4’17)

(E) The concept of यज्ञ is both minute and varied, as is detailed in 4’28, 4’29, 4’30.

(F) In तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया | उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः (4’34) I find wonderful summary of the entire theory of education. Since education has two aspects, learning and teaching, I find the first line to be summarizing the theory of learning and the second line, the theory of teaching.

  • तद्विद्धि = get to know that, i.e. whichever topic of knowledge, you want to learn
  • प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया
    • प्रणिपातेन = प्रकृष्टः नितान्तः पातः, तेन = By intensive thorough analysis
    • परिप्रश्नेन = circumspect questioning of the logic, detailed enquiry into the concepts involved
    • सेवया = by verification and validation of the theory, which is often obtained by Exercising, Experimenting and Experiencing
    • Mr. Herbert Casson summarized the theory of Learning by an acronym OTA (Observation, Thinking, Action). Here प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया.
  • उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः –
    • Teacher, to impart the knowledge has to be himself ज्ञानी.
    • Even if one is ज्ञानी, teaching is an aptitude by itself. So to impart the knowledge the teacher has to have the aptitude of being तत्त्वदर्शी.
    • The teacher also needs to keep a judgement, an assessment of the student of how much hand-holding a student needs. The teacher should never ever give the answer. The answers have to be explored by the student only. The teacher should guide and lead the student towards the answer. That is the significance of the prefix उप in उपदेक्ष्यन्ति – उप, i.e. near enough, as the student would need, but never the answer. Again उपदेक्ष्यन्ति contains the meaning of showing the direction, again, just showing the direction. Treading the path has to be done by the student himself.
    • In chapter 39 of श्रीसाईसच्चरितम् one would get flabbergasted by a wonderful perception lent by श्रीसाईबाबा by suggesting ते ज्ञानं to be rather read as तेsज्ञानम्. That prompts a very challenging thought, “Is a teacher supposed to impart Knowledge or is supposed to remove ignorance ?” Knowledge is said to be self-revealing तत्स्वयं योगसंसिद्धः कालेनात्मनि विन्दति (4’38). Saint Kabir also said जिन दूँढा तिन पाइयाँ गहरे पानी पैठ. Teacher should remove the doubts, clear the obstacles, help overcome the impediments on the path. There is a श्लोक, defining why गुरु is called a गुरु – गुकारस्त्वन्धकारो वै । रुकारस्तन्निवर्तनम् । अन्धकारनिवर्तित्वात् । गुरुरित्यभिधीयते.॥
    • The second line does summarize the theory of teaching.

(G) The Godhood or परमात्वतत्त्व or ब्रह्मतत्त्व or पुरुषः is said to have two identities परा प्रकृतिः अपरा प्रकृतिश्च.

  • Of these अपरा प्रकृतिः is stated to be the eightfold cognitive identity – भूमिरापोsनलो वायुः खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च | अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा (7’4) अपरेयम् (= अपरा इयम्)
  • परा प्रकृतिः is then the noncognitive identity, which is both the genesis and support system of the cosmos – इतस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् | जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् (7’5)
  • I get to use the word identity, which, as in mathematics, connotes an equation or statement or theory, which is eternally true and valid.

In 13’5 and 13’6 क्षेत्रम् is analyzed to be comprising of as many as 31 aspects.

  1. महाभूतानि …………. 5
  2. अहङ्कारः ………….. 1
  3. बुद्धिः ………………. 1
  4. अव्यक्तम् …………… 1
  5. इन्द्रियाणि दश ..……. 10
  6. एकम् ………………. 1
  7. पञ्च इन्द्रियगोचराः …..  5
  8. इच्छा ……………….  1
  9. द्वेषः ………………..  1
  10. सुखम् दुःखम् ………..  2
  11. सङ्घातः ……………. 1 त्वक् च मांसं तथा$स्थीनि मज्जा स्नायुश्च पञ्चमम् । इत्येतदिह संघातम् Mb.12.184.2
  12. चेतना ………………. 1
  13. धृतिः ……………….. 1

Out of these 13,

  1. (1) महाभूतानि, (5) इन्द्रियाणि (5 out of 10), (7) इन्द्रियगोचराः, (11) सङ्घातः seem to be physiological with material content.
    1. (1) महाभूतानि are well known to be पञ्च and are enlisted as भूमिरापोsनलो वायुः खम् in 7’4.
    2. The count ‘5 out of 10’ for इन्द्रियाणि would take note of कर्मेन्द्रियाणि  
  2. (2) अहङ्कारः (3) बुद्धिः (6) एकम् (मनः) (8) इच्छा (9) द्वेषः (10) सुखं दुःखम् (12) चेतना (13) धृतिः seem to be aspects of psychology
    1. Out of these (2) अहङ्कारः (3) बुद्धिः (8) इच्छा (12) चेतना (13) धृतिः seem to be primarily inherent or internal instincts.
    2. (6) एकम् (मनः) (9) द्वेषः (10) सुखं दुःखम् would contain responses to external instincts, as received by पञ्च ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि – श्रोत्रं चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रसनं घ्राणमेव च (15’9) by which मनः विषयानुपसेवते. And corresponding विषयाः are शब्दाः, रूपाणि, रसाः, गन्धाः, स्पर्शाश्च  
  3. (4) अव्यक्तम् appeals to be the philosophical aspect

(H) Virtues are enlisted in अमानित्वमदंभित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् | आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः (13’7) इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहङ्कारमेव च | जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम् (13’8) असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु | नित्यं च समचित्तत्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु (13’9) मयि चानन्ययोगेन भक्तिरव्यभिचारिणी | विविक्तदेशसेवित्वमरतिर्जनसंसदि (13’10) अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् | एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोsन्यथा (13’11) Virtues are also listed in अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः | दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् (16’1) अहिंसासत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् | दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वम् मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् (16’2) तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता | भवन्ति संपदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत (16’3)

Of people, who become spiritually inclined, there would be four categories. See चतुर्विधा भजन्ते मां जनाः सुकृतिनोर्जुन | आर्तो जिज्ञासुरर्थार्थी ज्ञानी च भरतर्षभ (7’16). What are detailed as inherent aptitudes of ब्रह्मकर्म, क्षात्रकर्म, वैश्यकर्म and शूद्रकर्म are in fact lists of virtues only. See शमो दमः तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च | ज्ञानविज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् (18’42) शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् | दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् (18’43) कृषिगोरक्षवाणिज्यं वैश्यकर्म स्वभावजम् | परिचार्यात्मकं कर्म शूद्रस्यापि स्वभावजम् (18’44).

(I) Given the virtues, what becomes the ideal conduct is detailed as कायिक, वाचिक and मानस तप-s in देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनं शौचमार्जवम् | ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते (17’14) अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् | स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्-मयं तप उच्यते (17’15) मनःप्रसादः सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रहः | भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यते (17’16)

(J) Given the virtues and the ideal conduct, the vices to be refraining from and to be guarded against are stated in दम्भो दर्पोभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च | अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदमासुरीम् (16’4) and also in अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53)

The गुणाः – सत्त्वम्, रजः, तमः have the capacity to keep one engaged in worldly bonds, as has been detailed in 14’6, 14’7, 14’8. How they thrive is detailed in 14’9. How their influence grows is detailed in 14’11, 14’12 and 14’13. The carryovers of their influences are detailed in 14’14 and 14’15. Their results are detailed in 14’16. Their corollaries are detailed in 14’17. What they lead to are detailed in 14’18.

There is threefold (सात्विक, राजस, तामस) detailing

  1. of श्रद्धा in 17’4
  2. of आहार in 17’8, 17’9 and 17’10
  3. Of यज्ञ in 17’11, 17’12, 17’13
  4. Of तप in 17’17, 17’18, 17’19,
  5. Of दान in 17’20, 17’21, 17’22
  6. Of ज्ञानम् in 18’20, 18’21, 18’22
  7. Of कर्म in 18’23, 18’24, 18’25
  8. Of कर्ता in 18’26, 18’27, 18’28
  9. Of बुद्धिः in 18’30, 18’31, 18’32
  10. Of धृतिः  in 18’33, 18’34, 18’35
  11. Of सुखम् in 18’37, 18’38, 18’39

(K) One who becomes ineligible for all the knowledge, due to oneself being otherwise, is also summarized in इदं ते नातपस्काय नाभक्ताय कदाचन | न चाशुश्रूषवे वाच्यं न च मां योऽभ्यसूयति (18’67).

शुभमस्तु !


गीता, a recipe for परं श्रेयः ?

(A) From my study of गीता a thought comes to mind that in all his advocacy श्रीकृष्णभगवान् wished not just that अर्जुन be motivated back to fight the battle, but also that अर्जुन should understand परमार्थः the highest or most sublime truth and in turn should attain परं श्रेयः the best attainment. In fact it was not that श्रीकृष्णभगवान् wanted to educate अर्जुन on परमार्थः and परं श्रेयः. अर्जुन himself asked it. See यच्छ्रेयस्स्यान्निश्चितं ब्रूहि तन्मे | शिष्यस्तेऽहं शाधि मां त्वां प्रपन्नम् (2-7) also तदेकं वद निश्चित्य येन श्रेयोऽहमाप्नुयाम् (3-2). Does that mean that all advocacy of श्रीकृष्णभगवान् is a sure recipe to attain परं श्रेयः for anyone who is anxious for that ? Should not we too be studying गीता to check what will make परं श्रेयः for us also ? That would be an exciting angle to study गीता.

Here then I embark on some freewheeling exploration from this angle. अथातः परश्रेयसि जिज्ञासा. As is obvious, who will attain परं श्रेयः, will be one, who has become most eligible for it. One, who becomes most eligible is called as योगी. See तपस्विभ्योऽधिको योगी ज्ञानिभ्योऽपि मतोऽधिकः | कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिको योगी तस्माद्योगी भवार्जुन (6-46).

(A-1) Let us grant that everyone may not become a योगी. I know it well that I am myself far too away from becoming a योगी. In fact there is already such caution in गीता. See मनुष्याणां सहस्रेषु कश्चिद्यतति सिद्धये | यततामपि सिद्धानां कश्चिन्मां वेत्ति तत्त्वतः (7-3). In fact one may not become a योगी in this life itself. अनेकजन्मसंसिद्धस्ततो याति परां गतिम् (6’45). Obviously there is no point in worrying about whether I would become a योगी and if yes, when. Let us just keep the focus on, whether गीता has the recipe.

(B) First step on the path of becoming a योगी should be to cleanse one’s mind and intellect of all negativities, rather, the dirts. The dirts which make mind and intellect dirty are primarily six अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53). They are also mentioned as six enemies षड्रिपु-s कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभो मदमोहौ च मत्सरः It seems, of these six, अहङ्कारः बलं दर्पः are internal instincts, makings of one’s own mind. कामः क्रोधः परिग्रहः may have external instincts. It is of course quite challenging to cleanse the mind and intellect of all these six. They are challenging even one by one.

(B-1) About अहङ्कारः – Basically taking credit for any job done implies अहङ्कार. This is fallacious and demonstrates ignorance, as stated, first in प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः | अहङ्कारविमूढात्मा कर्ताहमिति मन्यते (3’27) and reemphasized in तत्रैवं सति कर्तारमात्मानं केवलं तु यः | पश्यत्यकृतबुद्धित्वान्न स पश्यति दुर्मतिः (18’16). Antidote for अहङ्कार is नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् (5’8).

(B-2) About बलम् / बलः – There is a श्लोक, wherein different types of बल-s are mentioned. तदेव लग्नं सुदिनं तदेव | ताराबलं चंद्रबलं तदेव | विद्याबलं दैवबलं तदेव | लक्ष्मीपते तेऽङ्घ्रियुगं स्मरामि People harbour excessive notions of their strengths, skills and/or capabilities. This is more so with people of असुर-character. See असौ मया हतः शत्रुः हनिष्ये चापरानपि | ईश्वरोऽहमहं भोगी सिद्धोऽहं बलवान्सुखी (16-14)

(B-3) About दर्पः – Its synonym is मद. “.. दर्प [दृप् भावे घञ् कर्तरि अच् वा] 1 Pride, arrogance, insolence, haughtiness; भृतो नार्तो न कुर्याद्यो दर्पात्कर्म यथोदितम् (स दण्ड्यः) Ms.8.215; Bg.16.4. -2 Rashness. -3 Vanity, conceit. -4 Sullenness, sulkiness. -5 Heat. -6 Musk…” This दर्प or मद is also a shade of असुर-character. See दम्भो दर्पोऽभिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च | अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ संपदमासुरी (16’4). Also आढ्योऽभिजनवानस्मि कोऽन्योस्ति सदृशो मया | यक्ष्ये दास्यामि मोदिष्य इत्यज्ञानविमोहिताः (16-15)

(B-4) About काम – आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा | कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणाचलेन च (3-39) Genesis of काम is well-explained in ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते | सङ्गात्सञ्जायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोभिजायते (2-62)

(B-5) About क्रोध – क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः | स्मृतिभ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात् प्रणश्यति (2-63). These two श्लोक-s 2’62 and 2’63 make a textbook on psychology ! Rather, entire गीता is a textbook on psychology, explaining how mind and intellect work, how they should work and how they should not work.

(B-6) About परिग्रह – This word परिग्रह occurs in गीता at four places, 4’21, 6’10, 17’16 and 18’53. Study of this and related words is compiled at the link. The six enemies affect right thinking. Lack of right thinking is अज्ञानम्.

(c) The tool to cleanse mind and intellect of all अज्ञानम् is ज्ञानम् ! See ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः | तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् (5-16). If so, one needs to know what ज्ञानम् is. This is well-detailed in 5 श्लोक-s – अमानित्वमदम्भित्वमहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम् | आचार्योपासनं शौचं स्थैर्यमात्मविनिग्रहः (13-7) इन्द्रियार्थेषु वैराग्यमनहङ्कार एव च | जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदुःखदोषानुदर्शनम् (13-8) असक्तिरनभिष्वङ्गः पुत्रदारगृहादिषु | नित्यं च समचित्तस्त्वमिष्टानिष्टोपपत्तिषु (13-9) मयि चानन्ययोगेन भक्तिरव्यभिचारिणी | विविक्तदेशसेवित्वमरतिर्जनसंसदि (13-10) अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम् | एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा (13-11). From another angle, what is detailed as ज्ञानम् here are diktats of virtuous conduct. A list of virtues is also detailed in first 3 श्लोक-s in the sixteenth chapter. अभयं सत्त्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः | दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् (16-1) अहिसा सत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् | दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् (16-2) तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता | भवन्ति संपदं दैवीमभिजातस्य पाण्डव (16-3). One can read lists of virtues also in शमो दमस्तपः शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च | ज्ञानविज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्मस्वभावजम् (18-42) शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर्दाक्ष्यं युद्धे चाप्यपलायनम् | दानमीश्वरभावश्च क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभावजम् (18-43) Obviously some virtues are repeated in these three lists. Once I tried to make a list of virtues eliminating the repetitions. It became a list of 42 virtues. Most virtuous person will have 42 virtues ! Why अर्जुन was dearest to श्रीकृष्णभगवान् was possibly because he was one such person ! And yet he became afflicted by सम्मोह.

(D) Hence virtuosity, even total virtuosity by itself does not become enough guarantee or insurance against afflictions. In fact for insurance against afflictions it is mentioned यज्ज्ञात्वा न पुनर्मोहमेवं यास्यसि पाण्डव | येन भूतान्यशेषेण द्रक्ष्यस्यात्मन्यथो मयि (4-35) तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया | उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः (4-34). I think, import in these two श्लोक-s comes out better by reading them in this order. The ज्ञानम् for insurance against afflictions should be such that भूतानि अशेषेण आत्मनि द्रक्ष्यसि. This ज्ञानम् is not just insurance against afflictions, but by such ज्ञानम् one would undergo such transformation that योगयुक्तो विशुद्धात्मा विजितात्मा जितेन्द्रियः । सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा कुर्वन्नपि न लिप्यते ॥५-७॥ Here, the words जितेन्द्रियः and सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा merit study and deliberation.

(D-1) जितेन्द्रियत्वम् is when one attains command वशः over इन्द्रियाणि. वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता (2-61). जितेन्द्रियत्वम् would lead to or would come by स्थितप्रज्ञत्वम्. It is not that for जितेन्द्रियत्वम् and/or स्थितप्रज्ञत्वम् one needs to forsake all interests. In fact, what is advocated is न बुद्धिभेदं जनयेदज्ञानानां कर्मसङ्गिनाम् | जोषयेत्सर्वकर्माणि विद्वान् युक्तः समाचरन् (3-26). Also, यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् | नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता (2-57). One stays to be सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहः But one does not pursue the interests by oneself. Also, one does not complement नाभिनन्दति the resultant शुभ, nor does one disdain न द्वेष्टि the अशुभ. To be disinterested, to forsake all interests and शुभाशुभम् प्राप्य नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि are three different things. It would be relevant here to note that अपरिग्रहः is non-acceptance, rejection and renunciation. One श्लोक, which I like very much in this context is विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः | रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते (2-59). Realizing that this person is रसवर्ज, विषय-s themselves go away from him विनिवर्तन्ते. That is one way, how जितेन्द्रियत्वम् would happen, would come by. The other way is तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वशः | इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता (2-68). One who strives for जितेन्द्रियत्वम् would withdraw इन्द्रियाणि from इन्द्रियार्थाः or विषयाः. Basically इन्द्रियार्थाः or विषयाः are five – शब्द, रूप, रस गन्ध स्पर्श. Correspondingly, इन्द्रियाणि, which indulge in the विषय-s are श्रोत्रं चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रसनं घ्राणमेव च | अधिष्ठाय मनश्चायं विषयानुपसेवते (15-9). To withdraw इन्द्रियाणि from इन्द्रियार्थाः is like the eyes are open but one is not seeing anything. He is not seeing anything, because he is not looking at anything. If a pill of medicine is bitter, but if one gulps it with lot of water, the tongue does not get to taste any bitterness. There are sounds falling on the ears. But one may not hear any of those sounds, if one is not listening. That, I think, is how one withdraws इन्द्रियाणि from इन्द्रियार्थाः. This then becomes स्थितप्रज्ञत्वम्. If one practises it intensely, स्थितप्रज्ञत्वम् would become second nature. Intense practice is तपस्.

(D-1-1) तपस् is of three types. Much detailing in गीता reads like scientific theories. They are scientific theories. Three types of तपस् are detailed in the seventeenth chapter. See देवद्विजगुरुप्राज्ञपूजनं शौचमार्जवम् | ब्रह्मचर्यमहिंसा च शारीरं तप उच्यते (17-14). अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् | स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्मयं तप उच्यते (17-15) मनःप्रसादं सौम्यत्वं मौनमात्मविनिग्रहः | भावसंशुद्धिरित्येतत्तपो मानसमुच्यते (17-16). Intense practice of such threefold तपस् would build up a chaste सात्त्विक personality. श्रद्धया परया तप्तं तपस्तत्त्रिविधं नरैः | अफलाकाङ्क्षिभिर्युक्तैः सात्त्विकं परिचक्षते (17-17). A सात्त्विक person would not have enemies internal or external. It comes to mind that it is more important not to have internal enemies. दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः | वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते (2-56).

(D-1-2) There are many prescriptions. नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नतः | न चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन (6-16) युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु | युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा (6-17).

(D-2) Having discussed जितेन्द्रियत्वम् in Para (D-1) and तपस् in (D-1-1), the word  सर्वभूतात्मभूतात्मा also needs to be discussed. I think five श्लोक-s 6’29 to 6’32 dwell on this. सर्वभूतस्थामात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि | ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्रसमदर्शनः (6’29) यो मां पश्यति सर्वत्र सर्वं च मयि पश्यति | तस्याहं न प्रणश्यामि स च मे न प्रणश्यति (6’30) सर्वभूतस्थितं यो मां भजत्येकत्वमास्थितः | सर्वथा वर्तमानोऽपि स योगी मयि वर्तते (6’31) आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन सुखं वा यदि वा दुःखं स योगी परमो मतः (6’32). This समदर्शनम् seems to be a much higher plateau than समत्वम् as in सुखदुःखे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ (2’38). For some simple understanding of this समदर्शनम् let us appreciate that there are trillions of microbes hovering around all the time all around us, in all the air around us. Some are bacteria, some are viruses and whatever. Some of them would be offensive, which is why we may suffer viral fever. Does आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र imply experiencing समदर्शनम् with all those trillions ? This brings to mind one अभंग by जनाबाई – वामसव्य दोहीकडे | दिसे देवाचे रूपडे | खाली पहावे अथवा वरी | जिकडे पहावे तिकडे हरी || डोळे झांकूनीया पाहे | पुढे गोपाळ उभा आहे | अणूरेणू चक्रपाणी | खूण झाली दासी जनी ||, meaning “On the right or left I see Him. Above or below, wherever I see, I see that हरी. Even when I see with eyes closed, that गोपाल is standing in front. All molecules and atoms are but He, He, who wields the wheel in His hand. Myself, जनी, a mere housemaid, am but a mark of that Omnipresence !” Uumh ! Isn’t that some magnificent समदर्शनम् ?

(E) When I was studying the first मन्त्र in ईशावास्योपनिषत् – ईशा वास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्, I came to a guess that the word जगत् is derived from धातुः जज् / जञ्ज्. In धातुपाठ, जज् । भ्वा० सेट् प० । जजँऽ [यु॒द्धे] also जञ्ज् । भ्वा० सेट् प० । जजिँ यु॒द्धे. Use of these धातु-s would be यु॒द्धे, in the context of यु॒द्धम्, in the context of fight, struggle. Of course, life is a struggle. जगत् living means undergoing the struggle. But basically fight or struggle is needed, if there are enemies. If there are no enemies, internal or external, there would be no struggle, just peace, absolute Peace ! युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी नियतमानसः | शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति (6-15). 

(F) A person enjoying such absolute peace would still be living, would still be  जगत्. Is his living so taken care of that he is जगत् and is yet enjoying absolute peace ? The answer is possibly in the assurance अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जनाः पर्युपासते | तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् (9’22). The assurance of योगक्षेम is for those who are नित्याभियुक्त and who render पर्युपासना. Possibly these conditions of being नित्याभियुक्त and rendering पर्युपासना are also explained in मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु | मामेवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवमात्मानं मत्परायणः (9’34). There is further assurance सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज | अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः (18’66). Here the assurance is to even absolve the person of all sins. Important words in these three श्लोक-s to understand and imbibe are नित्याभियुक्त, पर्युपासना, मन्मनाः, मद्भक्तः, मद्याजी, मत्परायणः, शरणम्.

(F-1) The word नित्याभियुक्त has in it धातुः युज्. Words योगः योगी are also from धातुः युज्. A योगी observes योगः, nothing but योगः all the time and thus becomes नित्याभियुक्त and hence योगी. अर्जुन got a doubt, whether one can observe योगः, nothing but योगः all the time. He asks योऽयं योगस्त्वया प्रोक्तः साम्येन मधुसूदन | एतस्याहं न पश्यामि चञ्चलत्वात्स्थितिं स्थिराम् (6’33) In reply श्रीकृष्णभगवान् agreed, but added असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलम् | अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते (6’35) असंयतात्मना योगो दुष्प्राप इति मे मतिः | वश्यात्मना तु यतता शक्योऽवाप्तुमुपायतः (6’36). Of course योगः is not easy. It is difficult, but not impossible, can be practised, by वश्यात्मना, अभ्यासेन, वैराग्येण,

(F-2) What is meant by सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य merits some deliberation. Usual English translation of the word धर्म is religion. So translation of सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य becomes “forsake all religions (and) ..”. Point to deliberate upon is, why here the word सर्वधर्मान् is plural. I would interpret the word धर्म here to mean code related to interpersonal relations. Every person has many interpersonal relationships, as a father, as a son, as husband, as a friend, as a student, as a teacher, as a colleague. In the flow of life one develops in his mind codes of how the relationships are to be cultivated and sustained. अर्जुन also had in his mind, धर्म-s about how his conduct needs to be with भीष्मपितामह and द्रोणाचार्य. However the situation on the battlefield was challenging him to forsake the धर्म-s, which had become entrenched in his mind over so many years of life. He became askance कथं भीष्ममहं संख्ये द्रोणं च मधुसूदन | इषुभिः प्रतियोत्स्यामि पूजार्हावरिसूदन (2’4). In 18’66 श्रीकृष्णभगवान् is advocating सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य. This advocacy is in effect an invitation to unlearn long-entrenched concepts and to adapt oneself to the situation on hand. It is not easy to unlearn long-entrenched concepts. One good antidote would be to surrender to a superior command. Hence मामेकं शरणं व्रज. Such surrender demands unquestioning faith in the superior, rather, in the superior-most commandant. That faith also needs to be cultivated by being नित्याभियुक्त, by rendering पर्युपासना, by being मन्मनाः, मद्भक्तः, मद्याजी, मत्परायणः and by शरणम्.

That, I would say, is गीता’s recipe for परं श्रेयः !

शुभमस्तु !


P.S. – I have not given meanings of the verses. Giving the meanings would have interrupted the flow of thoughts and would make the write-up too long. People, who need to know the meanings can read in books of गीता with meanings of verses. I am giving links to my posts on those few verses, which  have been covered already in my verse-by-verse study so far.

Verses quoted from गीता, in the order of their occurrence in the above write-up – 2’7, 3’2, 6’46, 7’3, 6’45, 18’53, 3’27, 18’16, 5’8, 16’14, 16’15, 3’39, 2’62, 2’63, 5’16, 13’7, 13’8, 13’9, 13’10, 13’11, 16’1, 16’2, 16’3, 18’42, 18’43, 4’35, 4’34, 5’7, 2’61, 3’26, 2’57, 2’59, 2’68, 15’9, 17’14, 17’15, 17’16, 17’17, 2’56, 6’29, 6’30, 6’31, 6’32, 2’38, 6’16, 6’17, 6’15, 9’22, 9’34, 18’66, 6’33, 6’35, 6’36, 2’4. Verses quoted in the linked article on परिग्रहापरिग्रहयोः 4’21, 6’10, 17’16 and 18’53.

Above index of verses in the order of their occurrence in गीता – 2’4, 2’7, 2’38,  2’56, 2’57, 2’59, 2’61, 2’62, 2’63, 2’68, 3’2, 3’26, 3’27, 3’39, 4’21, 4’34, 4’35, 5’7, 5’8, 5’16, 6’10, 6’15, 6’16, 6’17, 6’29, 6’30, 6’31, 6’32, 6’33, 6’35, 6’36, 6’45, 6’46, 7’3, 9’22, 9’34, 13’7, 13’8, 13’9, 13’10, 13’11, 15’9, 16’1, 16’2, 16’3, 16’14, 16’15, 17’14, 17’15, 17’16, 17’17, 18’16, 18’42, 18’43, 18’53, 18’66.



I am working on another article “गीता, a recipe for परं श्रेयः ?” There I came to the words परिग्रहः and अपरिग्रहः. In गीता they occur at three places, निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः | शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् (4’21) योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः | एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः (6’10) अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53). I realize that I must understand परिग्रहः and अपरिग्रहः more clearly. It would be good to find from the dictionary the meanings of परिग्रह, परिग्रह starting with ग्रह्, ग्रहः.

ग्रह् 9 U. (In Vedic literature ग्रभ्; गृह्णाति, जग्राह, अग्र- हीत्, ग्रहीतुम्, गृहीत caus. ग्राहयति; desid. जिवृक्षति) 1 To seize, take, take or catch hold of, lay hold of, catch, grasp; तयोर्जग्रहतुः पादान् राजा राज्ञी च मागधी R.1.57; आलाने गृह्यते हस्ती वाजी वल्गासु गृह्यते Mk.1.5; तं कण्ठे जग्राह K.363. पाणिं गृहीत्वा, चरणं गृहीत्वा &c. -2 To receive, take, accept, exact; प्रजानामेव भूत्यर्थं स ताभ्यो बलिमग्रहीत् R.1.18; Ms.7.124; 9.162. -3 To apprehend, capture, take prisoner. बन्दिग्राहं गृहीत्वा V.1; यांस्तत्र चोरान् गृह्णीयात् Ms.8.34. -4 To arrest, stop, catch; अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते Bg.6.35. -5 To captivate, attract; महाराजगृहीत- हृदयया मया V.4; हृदये गृह्यते नारी Mk.1.5; माधुर्यमीष्टे हरिणान् ग्रहीतुम् R.18.13. -6 To win over, persuade, induce to one’s side; लुब्धमर्थेन गृह्णीयात् Chāṇ.33; Pt.1.69,184. -7 (Hence) To please, gratify, satisfy, propitiate; ग्रहीतुमार्यान् परिचर्यया मुहुर्महानुभावा हि नितान्तमर्थिनः Śi.1.17,33. -8 To affect; seize or possess (as a demon, spirit &c.); as in पिशाचगृहीत, वेतालगृहीत. -9 To assume, take; द्युतिमग्रहीद् ग्रहगणः Śi.9.23; Bk.19.29. -10 To learn, know, recognize, understand; युवतीजनैर्जग्रहे मुनि- प्रभावः Ki.1.8; Pt.1.43. -11 To regard, consider, believe, take for; मयापि मृत्पिण्डबुद्धिना तथैव गृहीतम् Ś.6; परिहासविजल्पितं सखे परमार्थेन न गृह्यतां वचः Ś.2.19; एवं जनो गृह्णाति M.1; Mu.3. -12 To catch or perceive (as by an organ of sense); ज्यानिनादमथ गृह्णती तयोः R.11.15. -13 To master, grasp, comprehend; न्यस्ताक्षरामक्षरभूमि- कायां कार्त्स्न्येन गृह्णाति लिपिं न यावत् R.18.46. -14 To guess, conjecture, infer; नेत्रवक्त्रविकारैश्च गृह्यते$न्तर्गतं मनः Ms.8.26. -15 To utter, mention (as a name); यदि मयान्यस्य नामापि न गृहितम् K.35; न तु नामापि गृह्णीयात् पत्यौ प्रेते परस्य तु Ms.5.157. -16 To buy, purchase; कियता मूल्येनैतत्पुस्तकं गृहीतम् Pt.2; Y.2.169; Ms.8.21. -17 To deprive (one) of, take away from, rob or seize away; यथा रणे प्राणान् बहूनामग्रहीद् द्विषाम् Bk.9.9;15.63. -18 To wear, put on (as clothes &c.); वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरो$पराणि Bg.2.22. -19 To conceive. -20 To observe (as a fast). -21 To eclipse. -22 To undertake, undergo, begin. -23 To take up, draw (water.); अपस्फुरं गृभायत सोममिन्द्राय पातवे Rv.8.69.1. -24 To stop, intercept. -25 To withdraw, to draw back; यथोर्णनाभिः सृजते गृह्णते Muṇḍa.1.7. -26 To include. -27 To receive hospitably (as a guest). [The senses of this root may be variously modified according to the noun with which it is joined]. -Caus. 1 To cause to take, catch, seize or accept. -2 To give away in marriage; अयाचितारं न हि देवदेवमद्रिः सुतां ग्राहयितुं शशाक Ku.1.52. -3 To teach, make one acquainted with. -4 To make one take, deliver over to. -5 To become familiar with; -With अनुसम् to salute humbly. -अप to take away, tear off. -अभि to seize forcibly. -II. 1 P., 10 U. (ग्रहति, ग्राहयति-ते) To take, receive, &c.

ग्रहः [ग्रह्-अच्] 1 Seizing, grasping, laying hold of, seizure, रुरुधुः कचग्रहैः R.19.31. -2 A grip, grasp, hold; विक्रम्य कौशिकं खड्गं मोक्षयित्वा ग्रहं रिपोः Mb.3.157.11; कर्कटकग्रहात् Pt.1.26. -3 Taking, receiving, accepting; receipt. -4 Stealing, robbing; अङ्गुलीग्रन्थिभेदस्य छेदयेत्प्रथमे ग्रहे Ms.9.277; so गोग्रहः. -5 Booty, spoil. -6 Eclipse; see ग्रहण. -7 A planet, (sometimes more particularly ‘Rāhu’; वध्यमाने ग्रहेणाथ आदित्ये मन्युराविशत् Mb.1.24.7.) (the planets are nine :– सूर्यश्चन्द्रो मङ्गलश्च बुधश्चापि बृहस्पतिः । शुक्रः शनैश्चरो राहुः केतुश्चेति ग्रहा नव ॥); नक्षत्रताराग्रहसंकुलापि (रात्रिः) R.6.22;3.13;12.28; गुरुणा स्तनभारेण मुखचन्द्रेण भास्वता । शनैश्चराभ्यां पादाभ्यां रेजे ग्रहमयीव सा ॥ Bh.1.17. -8 Mentioning; utterance, repeating (as of a name) नामजातिग्रहं त्वेषामभिद्रोहेण कुर्वतः Ms.8.271; Amaru.85. -9 A shark, crocodile. -10 An imp in general. -11 A particular class of evil demons supposed to seize upon children and produce convulsions &c. cf. Mb. Crit. ed. 3.219.26; कृष्णग्रहगृहीतात्मा न वेद जगदीदृशम् Bhāg.7.4.38. -12 Apprehension, perception; ज्योतिश्चक्षुर्गुणग्रहः. …… श्रोत्रं गुणग्रहः Bhāg.2.1.21-22. -13 An organ or instrument of apprehension; Bṛi. Up.3.2.1. -14 Tenacity, perseverance, persistence; नृणां स्वत्वग्रहो यतः Bhāg.7.14.11. -15 Purpose, design. -16 Favour, patronage. -17 The place of a planet in the fixed zodiac.-18 The number ‘nine’. -19 Any state of mind which proceeds from magical influences. -20 A house. -21 A spoonful, ladleful; ग्रहान्त्सोमस्य मिमते द्वादश Rv.1.114.5. -22 A ladle or vessel; चमसानां ग्रहाणां च शुद्धिः प्रक्षालनेन तु Ms.5.116. -23 The middle of a bow. -24 A movable point in the heavens. -25 Keeping back, obstructing. -26 Taking away, depriving; प्राण˚ Pt.1.295. -27 Preparation for war; ग्रहो$वग्रहनिर्बन्धग्रहणेषु रणोद्यमे । सूर्यादौ पूतनादौ च सैंहिकेये$पि तत् त्रिषु । Nm. -28 A guest (अतिथि); यथा सिद्धस्य चान्नस्य ग्रहायाग्रं प्रदीयते Mb.13.1.6. -29 Imprisoning, imprisonment; Mb.13.136.11.

परिग्रहः 1 Seizing, holding, taking, grasping; आसनरज्जुपरिग्रहे R.9.46; शङ्कापरिग्रहः Mu.1 ‘taking or entertaining a doubt’. -2 Surrounding, enclosing, encircling, fencing round. -3 Putting on, wrapping round (as a dress); मौलिपरिग्रहः R.18.38. -4 Assuming, taking; मानपरिग्रहः Amaru.97; विवाहलक्ष्मी˚ U.4. -5 Receiving, taking, accepting, acceptance; भौमो मुनेः स्थानपरिग्रहो$यम् R.13.36; अर्ध्यपरिग्रहान्ते 7;12.16; Ku. 6.53; विद्यापरिग्रहाय Māl.1; so आसनपरिग्रहं करोतु देवः U.3 ‘your majesty will be pleased to take a seat or sit down’. -6 Possessions, property, belongings; त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः Bg. 4.21; R.15.55; V.4.26. -7 Taking in marriage, marriage; नवे दारपरिग्रहे U.1.19; Māl.5.27; असंशयं क्षत्रपरिग्रहक्षमा Ś.1.22; न हि गणयति क्षुद्रो जन्तुः परिग्रहफल्गुताम् Bh.1.9. -8 A wife, queen; प्रयतपरिग्रहद्वितीयः R.1.95,92;9.14; 11.33;16.8; Ś.5.28,31; परिग्रहबहुत्वे$पि Ś.3.19; प्राप श्रियं मुनिवरस्य परिग्रहो$सौ Rām. Ch. -9 Taking under one’s protection, favouring; धन्याः स्मो वः परिग्रहात् U.7. 11; M.1.13; कुर्वन्ति पाण्डवपरिग्रहमेव पौराः Pañch.1.2. -10 Attendants, followers, train, retinue, suite; परिग्रहेण सर्वेण कोषेण च महीयसा Śiva.B.8.4. -11 A household, family, members of a family. -12 The seraglio or household of a king, harem. -13 Anything received, a present; राजपरिग्रहो$यम् Ś.1. -14 Assent, consent. -15 Taking possession of, acquiring. -16 A claim. -17 Entertaining, honouring, receiving (a guest &c.). Mb.1.195.1. -18 An entertainer. -19 Assistance. -20 A husband. -21 Respect, reverence.-22 Grace, favour. -23 Comprehension, understanding. -24 Undertaking, performing. -25 Subjugation; धर्षितो मत्परिग्रहः Mb.12.32.55. -26 Dominion.-27 Punishment. -28 Connection, relation. -29 Summing up, totality. -3 A house, residence. -31 Removing, taking away. -32 A curse; निर्मुक्तनिष्ठुरपरिग्रहपाशबन्धः Rām. Ch. (cf. पत्नीपरिजनादानमूलशापाः परिग्रहाः Ak.). -33 (In Ved. gram.) The double mention of a word both before and after इति. -34 The form which precedes इति. -35 Root, origin. -36 The eclipse of the sun or moon. -37 An oath. -38 The rear of an army. -39 N. of Viṣṇu.-40 The body; आश्रयन्त्याः स्वभावेन मम पूर्वपरिग्रहम् Mb.12. 32.57. (com. स्वभावेन चित्तेन मम परिग्रहं शरीरं आश्रयन्त्याः). -41 Administration; राज्यपरिग्रहः Mb.12.32.51.

अपरिग्रह a. Without possessions or belonging, attendants &c; Without a wife; तदाप्रभृत्येव विमुक्तसङ्गः पतिः पशूनामपरिग्रहो$भूत Ku.1.53. quite destitute, as in निराशीरपरिग्रहः Bg.6.1. -हः 1 Non-acceptance, rejection, renunciation, one of the several kinds of yamas (mental restraints) stated in Yogaśāstra by Patañjali. -2 Destitution, poverty.

It is interesting to note that number of meanings of परिग्रहः are more than those of ग्रहः. This would be so, because the prefix परि has its own shades of meaning.

From उपसर्गवृत्तिः – परीत्युपसर्गः समन्ततो भावः, व्याप्तिः, दोष-आख्यान-उपरभूषण-पूजा-आवर्जन-आलिङ्गन-निवसन-व्याधि-शोक-वीप्सासु अर्थेषु

Actually, since अपरिग्रहः is like an antonym of परिग्रहः, number of meanings of अपरिग्रहः should be as many as of परिग्रहः . Though number of meanings of अपरिग्रहः detailed in the dictionary are less, the meanings “non-acceptance, rejection, renunciation” themselves merit appreciation of the nuances in the shades of their meanings.

Since one meaning of अपरिग्रहः is renunciation, it becomes synonymous with त्याग. Of course अपरिग्रहः is much more than त्यागः.

त्यागः [त्यज्-भावे घञ्] 1 Leaving, forsaking, abandoning, deserting, separation; न माता न पिता न स्त्री न पुत्रस्त्यागमर्हति Ms.8.389;9.79. -2 Giving up, resigning, renouncing; Ms.1.112; सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं ततः कुरु यतात्मवान् Bg.12.11. -3 Gift, donation, giving away as charity; करे श्लाघ्यस्त्याग Bh.2.65; वित्तं त्यागनियुक्तम् (दुर्लभम्) H. 1.139; त्यागाय संभृतार्थानाम् R.1.7; Pt.1.169. -4 Liberality, generosity; Ms.2.97; R.1.22. -5 Secretion, excretion. -6 Dismissing, discharging. -7 Sacrificing oneself; मिथो यत् त्यागमुभयासो अग्मन् Rv.4.24.3. -8 A sage.

Looking back at the three श्लोक-s in गीता, निराशीर्यतचित्तात्मा त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः | शारीरं केवलं कर्म कुर्वन्नाप्नोति किल्बिषम् (4’21) योगी युञ्जीत सततमात्मानं रहसि स्थितः | एकाकी यतचित्तात्मा निराशीरपरिग्रहः (6’10) अहङ्कारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम् | विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते (18’53) one can see that there is so much in common between (4’21) and (6’10). The words निराशीः and यतचित्तात्मा are there in both. It is त्यक्तसर्वपरिग्रहः in (4’21) and अपरिग्रहः in (6’10). They also sound to be synonymous.

I think this is good enough study of परिग्रहः and अपरिग्रहः.

शुभमस्तु !