Studying Geetaa and Sanskrit together (Chapter 2 Verse 69)

गीतान्वेषणे (अध्यायः२ श्लोकः ६९)

या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |

यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुनेः ||२-६९||

There is only one संधि ! पश्यतो मुनेः = पश्यतः मुनेः |

अन्वयः –

  1. या सर्वभूतानां निशा (भवति) तस्यां संयमी जागर्ति |
  2. यस्यां (सर्वाणि) भूतानि जाग्रति सा पश्यतः मुनेः निशा (भवति) |

अन्वेषणमभ्यासश्च –

(1) Most interesting word appeals to be निशा. Most commonly understood meaning of निशा is ‘night’. Apte’s dictionary gives quite some interesting insight.

  • (1-1) निशा [नितरां श्यति तनूकरोति व्यापारान् शोक Tv.] 1 Night या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी Bg.2.69. Note Tv is abbreviation for तारानाथवाचस्पत्यम्.
    • (1-1-1) Among other meanings of निशा – A collective name for the zodiacal signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Capricorn.
      • Why should collective name of these zodiacal signs मेषः, वृषभः, मिथुनः, कर्कः, धनुः मकरः have been निशा ?
      • Other signs सिंहः, कन्या, वृश्चिकः, तुला, कुम्भः मीनः should become another group.
      • In astrology zodiacal signs seem to be also grouped by elements they are related to – Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
  • (1-2) In the phrase नितरां श्यति, नितरां is explanation of the prefix नि and श्यति is explanation of शा, since it is derived from धातुः शी 2 Ā. (शेते, शयित; pass. शय्यते; desid. (शिशयिषते) 1 To lie, lie down, recline, rest; इतश्च शरणार्थिनः शिखरिणां गणाः शेरते Bh.2.76. -2 To sleep (fig. also); किं निःशङ्कं शेषे शेषे वयसः समागतो मृत्युः । अथवा सुखं शयीथा निकटे जागर्ति जाह्नवी जननी Bv.4.3; Bh.3.79; Ku.5.12. -3 To rest, repose. -Caus. (शाययति-ते) -1 To cause to sleep or lie down; पार्श्वे शायय रावणम् Bk.8.83. -2 To allow to rest or repose.
  • (1-3) Apte’s dictionary also details निश् f. (This word is optionally substituted for निशा in all cases after acc. dual; it has no forms for the first five inflections). 1 Night.  
  • (1-4) Apte’s dictionary also details धातुः निश् 1 P. (नेशति) To lose oneself in abstract meditation, meditate upon.
  • (1-6) Extended meaning of निशा can be taken as state of being unaware .

(2) Opposite of being unaware is being aware, alert. For this there are two verbs जागर्ति and जाग्रति, present tense, singular and plural forms of धातुः जागृ

  • जागृ 2 P. (जागर्ति, जागरित) 1 To be awake, be watchful or attentive (fig. also); सो$पसर्पैर्जजागार यथाकालं स्वपन्नपि R.17.51; गुरौ षाङ्गुण्यचिन्तायामार्ये चार्ये च जाग्रति Mu.7.13; to sit up during the night; या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी Bg.2.69. -2 To be roused from sleep, awake. -3 To foresee, be provident.

(3) But what is it that a संयमी one who is restrained जागर्ति is aware or alert about, when सर्वभूतानां निशा (भवति) all others are unaware of or are oblivious to ?

  • And what is it that (सर्वाणि) भूतानि are aware of, when they जाग्रति ?

(4) Although I have made it as questions, the अन्वय has no questions. There we have two very affirmative statements. In his discourses Osho is said to have put these statements as “.. O Arjuna, what is a dark night for all beings, is wakefulness for those who have attained godliness. All those who are destructive, who live in ephemeral worldly happiness, call it wakefulness. But, for the wise man, who knows, it is a dark night. ..”

(5) Obviously the two concepts of जागृति wakefulness, and of निशा un-wakefulness are for common people related to being happy जागृति time to enjoy, otherwise, being not happy निशा.

(6) The wise remains संयमी in self-control in instances, which for common people are not instances of being happy. When common people are awake, enjoying, the wise, the मुनिः prefers to be oblivious of them, even when he is पश्यन् seeing.

(7) पश्यतः मुनेः is an interesting phrase. It is in the style of सच्छष्ठी, with षष्ठी विभक्ति of both the doer and his action. The action in सच्छष्ठी, here, the action पश्यतः i.e. दृष्टिः, दर्शनम् is simultaneous with the other action or state निशा.

(8) If the wise is either जाग्रति or पश्यन् that means he is always alert and equanimous. संत रामदास (१६०६ – १६८२) puts this very beautifully अखंड सावधान असावें | दुश्चित्त कदापि नसावें | अंतरीं असो द्यावें | समाधान || Be alert all the time. Let the mind be never disturbed. The inner self should be at peace.

(9) What गीता speaks of संयमी and मुनि being always alert, संत रामदास advocates, that yourself be that way. That is precisely the way to read and understand गीता. Place yourself in Arjuna’s position. Then every statement, that is told by श्रीकृष्णभगवान् is not just what He said to अर्जुन but it is in fact for you. That way, may it soak down into your own intellect. Then keep checking how good your own conduct conforms and whether it deviates. Keep controlling the conduct to eliminate deviations.

(10) That brings to mind an incident from सच्चरितम् of Sai Baba of Shirdi. A few Muslim ladies had come to have blessings of Sai Baba. Madhavrao Deshpande, sort of personal secretary of Sai Baba was there. Also Nanasaheb Chandorkar, who for Sai Baba, say, for श्रीकृष्णभगवान् was as good as अर्जुन. Being at the feet of Sai Baba the ladies lifted their veils. One lady’s beauty was beyond description. Sai Baba could assess what had happened to Nanasaheb, even without looking at him. After the ladies left Baba just said बनता, बनता, बनेल ! Literal meaning, “It will become by keeping on becoming.” What Sai Baba implied was “control on the mind will become, but only as it keeps becoming.” That beauty should have been realized as निशा by Nanasaheb and he should not have allowed his mind to be disturbed by it. Disturbance of the mind is that very subtle, right ? And then control of the mind संयम is so very challenging ! Be alert all the time !

(11) उत्तिष्ठत, जाग्रत, प्राप्यवरान्निबोधत (कठोपनिषत्)

  • उत्तिष्ठत Get up, Shake away all cloudings, all confusions, all negativities, what you have covered yourself with
  • जाग्रत awaken, be alert, stay alert
  • प्राप्यवरान्निबोधत know, cultivate and imbibe the right commands !

शुभमस्तु !!