Sanskrit & Trika Shaivism (Magyar-Főoldal)

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 Bhagavadgītā (Bhagavad Gita): Hatodik fejezet (Dhyānayoga) Tiszta

A meditáció Yoga-ja - Tiszta fordítás


Arjuna will be now properly instructed by Lord Kṛṣṇa about the Yoga of meditation. Listen to His words...

This is a "pure translation" document, that is, there will be no original Sanskrit, but sometimes there will be a minimal quantity of transliterated Sanskrit in the translations themselves of the stanzas. Of course, there will not be any word for word translation. Anyway, there will be very often transliterated Sanskrit in the explanatory notes. If you are a blind person using a screen reader and do not want to read the notes, or simply if you are not blind but want to skip the notes, click on the respective "Skip the notes" link to jump directly onto the next stanza.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me. Besides, although I have not written any commentary on each stanza, I have added my own notes when a more detailed explanation is needed. In addition, note that I will use inverted commas to delimit text only when the person speaking is not Sañjaya himself (the narrator). Therefore, the words spoken by Sañjaya will not be delimited by inverted commas or quotation marks.


 Chapter 6: Dhyānayoga (Yoga of meditation)

Venerable Bhagavān1 said:
"He (is) a sannyāsī --i.e. one who practices renunciation-- and a yogī who does action(s) (while) he is indifferent to or not dependant upon (its) --of the action-- effect, viz. the fruit of the action, (but) not one who does not maintain a (sacred) fire nor one who is inactive and abstains from religious rites2"||1||
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1 Lit. "The Divine or Adorable One", or also "The Fortunate One", i.e. Lord Kṛṣṇa.
2 The terms "niragniḥ" and "akriyaḥ" have multiple meanings in the opinions of different commentators. For example, according to Baladeva, the former means "agnihotrādikarmatyāgī yativeśaḥ sannyāsī" or "a sannyāsī who, having become an ascetic, has renounced the rites 'agnihotra', etc." (the word "agnihotra" literally means "oblation to Agni --the god of fire--"). In turn, the latter (i.e. akriyaḥ) is interpreted by the sage Baladeva as "śarīrakarmatyāgyardhamudritanetro yogī" or "a yogī who, having renounced the bodily activities, remains with his eyes half-closed". Baladeva's interpretation practically coincides with that of Viśvanātha, but differs from those of other commentators. Of course, as Baladeva and Viśvanātha even taught together, it is not surprising that their opinions are as good as similar. I made my own translations of those two words as literal and comprehensive as possible.

 "Oh son of Pāṇḍu1, know that which (the wise) called 'renunciation' (to be) Yoga, because nobody who has not given up (his) desire (for the fruits of actions) is a yogī"||2||
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1 Epithet for Arjuna.

 "For the sage who desires to ascend to (the stage of) Yoga1, action is said to be the cause. For the one who has ascended to (the stage of) Yoga2, serenity3 is said to be the cause"||3||
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1 "Jñānayoga" (Yoga of Knowledge) according to Śrīdhara.
2 Idem.
3 "Samādhi" (Perfect Concentration) according to Śrīdhara.

 "Undoubtedly, when one is neither attached to the objects of the senses nor actions, that (person) is said to have renounced all saṅkalpa-s --desires and ideas-- (and) ascended to (the stage of) Yoga"||4||

"One should elevate onelsef by himself1, (and) not lower oneself, since oneself (is) certainly his own friend (or) enemy"||5||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, the term "ātmanā" is to be interpreted as "vivekayuktena", which literally means "being endowed with discernment", i.e. only if one is endowed with discernment can really elevate himself.

 "His own (lower) self1 (is) his friend (when that lower) self has been conquered by himself2. However, for the one who has not conquered (his lower) self, (such a lower) self behaves hostilely like an enemy"||6||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, "ātmā" means here "kāryakāraṇasaṅghātarūpaḥ" or "that which results from --or whose nature is-- a combination of cause and effect". In other words, "ātmā" is the individual self, which remains in bondage. Madhusūdana (another commentator) follows the same course of thought. In turn, both Viśvanātha and Baladeva makes the matter even more simple, because according to them, "ātmā" is "manas" (mind). Well, I translated "lower being" to be so accurate and comprehensive as possible again.
2 According to Madhusūdana, "yena... ātmanā" means here "vivekayuktena manasā" or "by a mind endowed with discernment". On the other hand, both Viśvanātha and Baladeva consider "yena... ātmanā" as "jīvena", i.e. "by the jīva or individual soul". I translated the term "literally" in the stanza.

 "The Supreme Self of one who has conquered (his lower) self1 (and) has attained tranquility2 remains in Samādhi --Perfect Concentration--3 (whether) in cold (or) heat, happiness (or) pain --duḥkha--, as well as in honor (or) dishonor --apamāna--"||7||
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1 The commentators practically keep their opinions as in the previous stanza regarding the meaning of "ātmā" in this context. I did the same thing.
2 The term "praśāntasya" comes from "praśānta" or one who is "tranquil". The various commentators have enriched its literal meaning, but surprisingly, all of them more or less coincide in their opinions: "praśānta" is "rāgādirahita" (one who is without attachment, etc.). So, a "praśānta", being devoid of attachment and so on, has attained real tranquility.
3 In short, the Supreme Self remains perfectly concentrated on Himself.

 "One whose mind is satisfied with 'jñāna' --lit. knowledge-- (and) 'vijñāna' --lit. understanding--1, who is unchangeable (and) whose 'indriya-s' --Powers of perception and action-- have been completely conquered2, is said to be a 'yukta' or 'someone who has attained the stage of Yoga or Union'. (To such a) yogī, a lump of earth, a stone (and) gold (are) the same thing"||8||
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1 The commentators practically come to an agreement here: "jñāna" is "aupadeśika" --derived from teachings-- or "śāstraja" --arisen from (the study of) scriptures--, while "vijñāna" is "aparo'kṣānubhava" --direct immediate experience--. I preferred to leave the terms untranslated in the stanza except for the literal translation. Anyway, note that the literal translations might also be used, as one can "know" about something, but he will "understand" it only when there is a direct experience. For example, you can "know" theoretically all about riding horses, but only when you ride a real one you come to "understand" it. Everyone knows that one thing is "to know" and a different one is "to know how to do". The former is mere knowledge, while the latter is full understanding. Well, despite the imperfections in my explanation, the meaning is clear, I think.
2 Jñānendriya-s (Jñāna-indriya-s) are the five Powers of perception, viz. Śrotra (power of hearing), Tvak (power of feeling by touch), Cakṣus (power of seeing), Jihvā (power of tasting) and Ghrāṇa (power of smelling). In turn, Karmendriya-s (Karma-indriya-s) are the five Powers of action, viz. Vāk (power of speaking), Pāṇi (power of handling), Pāda (power of locomotion), Pāyu (power of excreting) and Upastha (power of sexual activity and restfulness).

  "He excels who has an equable buddhi --intelligence or intellect-- as regards benefactors1, friends, enemies, neutral --i.e. the ones who are neither friends nor enemies--, arbitrators2, odious, relatives --bandhu--, and even in respect to virtuous (and) wicked people"||9||
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1 Most commentators coincide with respect to the meaning of this word. The common interpretation might be summarized like this: "suhṛtsvabhāvenaiva hitāśaṁsī", i.e. "a 'suhṛt' is one who naturally wishes well". Thus, I think that the word "benefactor" is a good translation, in my humble opinion.
2 Śrīdhara defines "madhyastha" as "vivadamānayorubhayorapi hitāśaṁsī" or "one who wishes well even to both disputing sides". In short, a "madhyastha" is an "arbitrator". In turn, the word "udāsīna" is explained by Śrīdhara as "vivadamānayorapyupekṣakaḥ" or "one who is indifferent even to both disputing sides", i.e. "a neutral". This is the subtle difference between those two terms: "udāsīna" and "madhyastha".

 "A yogī should constantly concentrate (his) mind1 while he stays in solitude. (Also, he should be) without attachment --lit. solitary--2, with (his) mind (and) body3 under control, free from desire (and) with no longing for possessions4"||10||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, "ātmānam" is "manas" or "to the mind", and "yuñjīta" means "samāhitaṁ kuryāt" or "he should make (the aforesaid mind) perfectly concentrated" --i.e. he should make his mind remain in Samādhi or Perfect Concentration--.
2 Śrīdhara specifies that "ekākī" means "saṅgaśūnyaḥ" or "without attachment". Anyway, Baladeva interprets it to be "dvitīyaśūnyaḥ" or "without a companion" --i.e. solitary--. I am following the Śrīdhara's view here because to translate "ekākī" as "solitary" would be redundant, since it was said "while he stays in solitude" before.
3 All commentators practically consider "ātmā" as "deha" or "body" in this context.
4 I translated "aparigrahaḥ" according to the traditional interpretation of this term. Nevertheless, in the Baladeva's opinion it would mean "nirāhāraḥ" or "abstaining from food", i.e. the yogī should practice fasting.

 "After having firmly established in a clean and pure place --deśa-- one's own seat, (which should be) neither excessively high nor excessively low, (and) made of cloth, the soft skin of a tiger, deer, etc., (both things --i.e. cloth and skin-- being placed) on Kuśa grass1... sitting on that āsana or seat, by making the mind one-pointed2 (and) having the activities --also 'fluctuations' or 'modifications'-- of mind (and) indriya-s --Powers of perception and action--3 under control, one should practice Yoga for purifying (his) mind4"||11-12||
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1 Śrīdhara explains this in detail: "... Kuśānāmupari carma tadupari vastramāstīryetetyarthaḥ|..." or "... The skin is (placed) on the Kuśa grass, (while) the cloth should be spread over it --i.e. over the skin--. This is the sense...". The rest of commentators states the same thing. In short, firstly one should put the Kuśa grass, then the skin, and finally, on top of the skin, he should spread the cloth. Simple!
2 Śrīdhara states: "... ekāgraṁ vikṣeparahitaṁ manaḥ kṛtvā...", or "... by making the mind 'ekāgram', viz. devoid of moving to and fro...". In turn, Baladeva interprets "ekāgram" as "avyākulam" (free from agitation and bewilderment).
3 Read the note 2 under the stanza 8.
4 According to several commentators, here "Yoga" means "Samādhi" or "Perfect Concentration". And according to Śrīdhara, "ātma" is "manas" or "mind" in this context. But, for Baladeva, Madhusūdana and Viśvanātha, "ātma" means "antaḥkaraṇa" or "the inner (psychic) organ" (intellect-ego-mind, according to Dvaitavedānta or dualistic Vedānta; and intellect-ego-mind-consciousness, according to Advaitavedānta or non-dualistic Vedānta... I explain this because Baladeva and Viśvanātha are followers of the former while Madhusūdana is a follower of the latter). Well, a little difference, nothing else.

 "Holding body, head (and) neck erect and immovable (while he remains) firm, looking carefully at the tip of his nose and not looking into the air, with a serene mind, fearless (and) engaged in a vow of brahmacārī --lit. celibate--, having fully controlled1 (his) mind... such a 'yukta' --i.e. yogī--, with (his) mind (fixed on) Me, should remain (so) seated (and) considering Me, the Supreme Self, as the Goal2"||13-14||
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1 Śrīdhara states that: "... Manaḥ saṁyamya pratyāhṛtya|..." or "(The phrase) 'Manaḥ saṁyamya' (means) 'withdrawing (his mind)'". This is confirmed by Baladeva himself: "... Manaḥ saṁyamya viṣayebhyaḥ pratyāhṛtya|..." or "... (The phrase) 'Manaḥ saṁyamya' (means) 'withdrawing (his mind) from the objects'...". But according to Madhusūdana: "... Manaḥ saṁyamya viṣayākāravṛttiśūnyaṁ kṛtvā|..." or "... (The phrase) 'Manaḥ saṁyamya' (means) 'making (his mind) devoid of the fluctuations (produced) by the forms of the objects'...". All right, here you are two additional interpretations then.
2 Śrīdhara explains this: "... Ahameva paraṁ puruṣārtho yasya sa matparaḥ|..." or "... (The term) 'matparaḥ' (means) 'the one whose goal as a human being is only Myself, the Supreme Self'...". Baladeva summarizes it beautifully: "... Matparo madekapuruṣārthaḥ|..." or "... (The term) 'matparaḥ' (means) 'the one whose only goal as a human being is Myself'...".

 "Perfectly concentrated thus on (his) Self always, the yogī of controlled mind attains to Peace, which consists of extinction or dissolution --Mokṣa or Liberation-- (and) abides in Me --i.e. such a Peace consists of Liberation and abides in the Lord as Himself... this is the sense--"||15||

"Nevertheless, oh Arjuna, Yoga is neither for one who eats too much nor for one who does not eat at all1, nor (is) for one who is in the habit of sleeping exceedingly nor certainly for one who is awake (too long)2"||16||
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1 I translated "ekāntam" as "at all" for the sake of being concise, but Madhusūdana explains the meaning in a more detailed way: "... Anāhārādatyalpāhārādvā rasapoṣaṇābhāvena śarīrasya kāryākṣamatvāt|..." or "... (The Lord stated that the Yoga is not for one who is 'ekāntamanaśnat') because when one eats nothing or very little, (his) body is unfit for work due to the absence of nourishment in the form of 'rasa'...". The term "rasa" may be translated in many ways, but here, in my humble opinion, it is to be interpreted to be "the essential fluid of the body", i.e. that which gives the body vigor and strength to work. By "work", the author is "mainly" speaking of yogic work, of course, viz. yogic practices. Thus, according to Madhusūdana, the term "ekāntam" is not only tantamount to "no food at all" but even "very little".
2 I added "too long" to the translation because Śrīdhara confirms it: "... Tathātinidrāśīlasyātijāgrataśca yogo naivāsti" or "... Likewise, Yoga is not certainly for one who is in the habit of sleeping excessively nor for one who keeps awake too long...".

  "Yoga becomes a destroyer of pain for one whose eating (and) moving --vihāra--1, effort --ceṣṭā-- when doing actions2, sleep (and) wakefulness --avabodha--, (are all of them) controlled and disciplined3"||17||
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1 According to Madhusūdana, specifically in the sense of moving on foot (pādakrama), i.e. roaming.
2 In the opinion of Madhusūdana, these actions are completely spiritual-oriented, while other authors (e.g. Baladeva) state that the actions can be "laukika" (mundane) or "pāramārthika" (related to the attainment of the Supreme Goal --Paramārtha--, i.e. spiritual activities).
3 Śrīdhara interprets the word "yukta" in the entire stanza as "niyata" (controlled, disciplined, etc.), while other commentators declare that it means "mita" (measured, moderate, etc.). Well, a little difference here. Nothing of great importance really. Also note that I translated the three words "yukta" simultaneously, because if not so, I would have had to use synonymous such as "moderate, temperate, etc." in order not to be redundant.

 "When (his) mind remains completely controlled (and concentrated) on the Self, (and) he abstains from all desires and enjoyments --kāma-s--1, then, (such a being) is said to be a 'yukta', viz. 'one who has attained Yoga or Union'2"||18||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, "sarvakāmebhyaḥ" means "aihikāmuṣmikabhogebhyaḥ" or "from the enjoyments belonging to both this world and the other one".
2 Śrīdhara states at the end of his commentary: "... Tadā muktaḥ prāptayoga ityucyate||18||" or "... Then, he is said to have attained Yoga, i.e. he is a liberated one||18||". Thus, to attain Yoga or Union amounts to attain Liberation. Baladeva defines him like this: "... yukto niṣpannayogaḥ kathyate||18||" or "... he is said to be a 'yukta', i.e. one who has effected Yoga or Union||18||". In turn, Rāmānuja (the founder of the philosophical system known as Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta or 'qualified non-dualistic Vedānta') states in his commentary that a "yukta" is a "yogārha", viz. "one who is fit for Yoga or Union". Also, Śaṅkarācārya (the founder of Advaitavedānta or 'non-dualistic Vedānta') affirms that a "yukta" is a "samāhita" or "someone who attained Samādhi or Perfect Concentration". Well, it is enough.

 "'Just as (the flame of) a lamp is not agitated when it stays in a place sheltered from the wind '... this simile or comparison (should be) thought of (to understand or describe the state or position) of a yogī of controlled mind --citta-- who practices Yoga whose goal or object is the Self1"||19||
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1 In my translation of the last line of the stanza I fully followed the Śrīdhara's view, specially this portion of his commentary: "... ātmaviṣayaṁ yogaṁ yuñjato'bhyasyato yoginaḥ|..." or "... of a yogī who practices Yoga whose goal or object is the Self...". Baladeva adds the following: "yogaṁ dhyānam", i.e. "Yoga is meditation (in this context)". And Śaṅkarācārya opines, consistently with his viewpoint of the previous stanza, that "Yoga" is "Samādhi" or Perfect Concentration here.

 "(That particular state --i.e. Yoga--)1 in which the mind, controlled by the practice2 of Yoga, ceases --i.e. gets withdrawn--, and in which, by seeing the Self through 'ātmā'3, one remains satisfied in the Self...
Where one knows4 that uninterrupted Joy which is perceived by buddhi --intellect or intelligence-- (but) is beyond the indriya-s --the Powers of perception and action5--6. And (thus), he, by abiding firm (in that Joy), does not swerve from the Supreme Principle7...
And having gotten which --i.e. that aforesaid Joy--, one does not think of (any) other obtainment superior to that; (and) abiding in which --i.e. in that Joy--, he is not agitated and troubled even by a great pain or sorrow --duḥkha--...
One should know that that separation from the contact with pain (is) called Yoga8. (Such a) Yoga must be practiced resolutely (and) with a mind free from depression9"||20-23||
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1 Śrīdhara specifies: "... Yatra ca yasminnavasthāviśeṣe|..." or "...And 'yatra' means 'in which', viz. in that particular state...". He refers to Yoga (mentioned in the latter of this group of four stanzas), which is identified with Samādhi or Perfect Concentration in this context.
2 Baladeva states the following: "... Yogasya sevayābhyāsena|..." or "... By sevā or abhyāsa --i.e. practice-- of Yoga...". The word "sevā" is generally interpreted as "service", but here it means "practice".
3 Śrīdhara makes the meaning of "ātmā" clear in this context: "... Ātmanā śuddhena manasātmānameva paśyati na tu dehādi|..." or "... One sees the Self alone, not the body, etc., by means of 'ātmā', viz. a pure mind...". So, according to Śrīdhara, "ātmā" means "a pure mind" in this stanza. Most commentators agree with him, but Viśvanātha adds: "... Ātmanā paramātmākārāntaḥkaraṇenātmānaṁ paśyan tasmin tuṣyati|...", whose meaning is clear... just kidding: "...By seeing the Self through 'ātmā', viz. the inner (psychic) organ --intellect, ego and mind-- which is a form (emanated) from Paramātmā, one remains satisfied in That...". The word "Paramātmā" literally means "Supreme Self", but here Viśvanātha is referring to the aspect of God located in the heart of every being. God has three aspects according to the Śrīmadbhāgavatapurāṇa (a very important Vedic scripture): Brahma (the impersonal aspect), Paramātmā (the aspect located within the heart of every living being) and Bhagavān (the personal aspect). For more information, read 11th stanza in Skandha 1 - Adhyāya 2 of that Purāṇa.
4 Baladeva specifies: "... vettyanubhavati..." or "... one knows, i.e. one experiences...".
5 Read note 2 under the eighth stanza to fully understand the meaning of "indriya".
6 Śrīdhara explains the meaning of "atīndriyam" in detail: "... tatrāha atīndriyaṁ viṣayendriyasambandhātītam|..." or "... regarding that (the Lord) said: 'atīndriyam', viz. 'beyond the relationship between objects and indriya-s'...".
7 Śrīdhara opines that "tattvatas" means "ātmasvarūpāt" or "from the essential nature of the Self".
8 This is clearly explained by Śrīdhara... another joke... take it easy!: "... Duḥkhasya saṁyogena saṁsparśamātreṇāpi viyogo yasmin tamavasthāviśeṣaṁ yogasañjñitaṁ yogaśabdavācyaṁ jānīyāt|..." or "... One should know that particular state known as Yoga, i.e. called by means of the word 'Yoga', in which there is separation even from all kind of contact or 'saṁyoga' with pain...".
9 I am quoting only Śrīdhara in these last stanzas because the opinions are similar between the various commentators. There are subtle difference but nothing of crucial importance. Now, Śrīdhara summarizes the last line of the 23rd stanza in a simple manner... another good joke again: "... Sa yogo niścayena śāstrācāryopadeśajanitena nirvedarahitena cetasā yoktavyaḥ| Duḥkhabuddhyā prayatnaśaithilyam nirvedaḥ||23||" or "... That Yoga must be practiced resolutely and with a mind devoid of 'nirveda' and forged by the teachings of ācārya --spiritual preceptor-- and scriptures. (The term) 'nirveda' (means) relaxation from the effort (performed) by an intellect (still affected) by pain||23||". In other words, 'nirveda' occurs when one relaxes his effort in his search for Liberation. So, such a mind is not fit for Yoga but the one who is devoid of 'nirveda' and constantly strives to attain Yoga, viz. Samādhi or Perfect Concentration, which leads to final Emancipation.

  "Having completely abandoned all desires1 whose source is the ideas and thoughts (and) having thoroughly restrained the group of indriya-s --Powers of perception and action--2 only by means of the mind3, gradually one should stop (his mind)4 through an intellect armed with constancy and resolution, (and), by making the mind remain in the Self, he should think of nothing whatsoever"||24-25||
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1 The explanation of Rāmānuja on the two kinds of desires is really interesting. Listen up: "... Sparśajāḥ saṅkalpajāśceti dvividhāḥ kāmāḥ sparśajāḥ śītoṣṇādayaḥ saṅkalpajāḥ putrapautrakṣetrādayastatra saṅkalpaprabhavāḥ svarūpeṇaiva tyaktuṁ śakyāḥ..." or "... The desires are of two kinds: '(1) born of contact, and (2) born of ideas and thoughts --saṅkalpa-s--'. The ones which are born of contact (are related to) cold, heat, etc., (while) the ones born of ideas and thoughts (have to do with) son, grandson, body, etc. Of these, those whose origin is saṅkalpa --ideas and thoughts-- can be abandoned really!...".
2 Read note 2 under the eighth stanza to fully understand the meaning of "indriya".
3 Śrīdhara comments: "... Saṅkalpātprabhavo yeṣāṁ tānyogapratikūlānsarvānkāmānaśeṣataḥ savāsanāṁstyaktvā manasaiva viṣayadoṣadarśinā sarvataḥ prasarantamindriyasamūhaṁ viśeṣeṇa niyamya| Yoga yoktavya iti pūrveṇānvayaḥ||24||" or "... Having completely abandoned all those desires, which oppose to Yoga and whose source is 'saṅkalpa' --ideas and thoughts--, along with their 'vāsanā-s' --tendencies accumulated in the causal body--, and in special restraining thoroughly the (ever) advancing group of indriya-s only by means of a mind that sees the imperfections in the objects --this is the meaning of the stanza 24--. (In turn, this stanza) is connected with the previous one (through the fragment) 'Yogo yoktavya' viz. 'Yoga must be practiced'||24||". As this stanza continues in the next one, the interpretation given by Śrīdhara seems to be incomplete.
4 Śrīdhara specifies: "... niścalaṁ manaḥ kṛtvoparamet..." or "... 'uparamet' (implies) 'by making the mind immovable'...". Baladeva opines the following regarding "uparamet" (3rd Person singular, Potential Mood, Parasmaipada, of the verb "uparam"), but he uses the term "uparameta" (3rd Person singular, Potential Mood, Ātmanepada, of the verb "uparam"). Parasmaipada and Ātmanepada are two different group of terminations... oh well, a long story, you know. All in all, both terms mean the same thing in this context, and this is what you should understand. Now, the Baladeva's comment: "... samādhāvuparameta tiṣṭhet|..." or "... one should make an 'uparama', i.e. he should remain in Samādhi or Perfect Concentration...".

 "Wherever the inconstant (and) unsteady mind wanders away, by withdrawing1 this (mind) from all that whatsoever, one should subdue it (and fix it) on the Self alone"||26||
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1 Śrīdhara specifies that "niyamya" means "pratyāhṛtya" (by withdrawing) in this context. Baladeva confirms the Śrīdhara's view in his own commentary: "... tatastata etanmano niyamya pratyāhṛtya..." or "... 'niyamya', viz 'by withdrawing' this mind of all that whatsoever...".

 "Undoubtedly, the highest Joy comes to that yogī whose mind is tranquil, whose Rajas --the quality of passion-- is peaceful --lit. passionless--1, who has become Brahma2 (and) is sinless and taintless"||27||
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1 Madhusūdana explains the meaning of "śāntarājasam": "... Śāntaṁ vikṣepakaṁ rajo yasya taṁ vikṣepaśūnyam|..." or "... (The highest Joy comes) to the one whose Rajas, which is 'vikṣepaka' or 'shaking, agitating', is peaceful. (In other words, such a Joy comes) to someone who is devoid of 'vikṣepa' or (mental) agitation...". Rajas is one of the three qualities of Prakṛti. The other two are Sattva and Tamas.
2 The impersonal aspect of God.

 "By subjugating constantly the mind thus1, the yogī who is devoid of sin easily2 obtains the immensurable Joy of getting in touch with Brahma3"||28||
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1 I am following the Śrīdhara's view in this portion: "... Evamanena prakāreṇa sarvadātmānaṁ mano yuñjan vaśīkurvan|..." or "... 'Yuñjan', i.e. 'by subjugating' the 'ātmā' or mind constantly thus, viz. in this manner --in the way described in the previous stanzas--...".
2 According to Baladeva and Śrīdhara, "sukhena" means here "anāyāsena" or "easily".
3 The impersonal aspect of God.

 "He whose mind is perfectly concentrated by (the practice of) Yoga1 (and) looks on all with equal eyes --i.e. he is endowed with equanimity-- everywhere2, sees the Self existing in all beings and all beings in the Self"||29||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, a "yogayuktātmā" is "... Yogenābhyasyamānena yuktātmā samāhitacittaḥ|..." or "... A 'yogayuktātmā' is one whose mind is perfectly concentrated --i.e. in Samādhi-- through the practice of Yoga...". Viśvanātha opines the following: "... Yogayuktātmā brahmākārāntaḥkaraṇaḥ|..." or "... A 'yogayuktātmā' is one whose inner (psychic) organ --viz. intellect, ego and mind-- has the form of Brahma --i.e. he is perfectly absorbed in Samādhi in Brahma--...".
2 The eminent sage Rāmānuja explains the phrase "sarvatra samadarśanaḥ" as follows: "... sarvatra jñānaikākāratayā..." or "... endowed with an only form of knowledge everywhere...". In the opinion of Śrīdhara: "... Sarvatra samaṁ brahmaiva paśyatīti samadarśanaḥ|..." or "... A 'samadarśana' is 'one who sees only the same Brahma everywhere'...".

 "I am not lost1 to the one who sees Me everywhere and all in Me... and he is not lost to Me"||30||
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1 Both Śrīdhara and Baladeva opine exactly the same thing regarding "ahaṁ na praṇaśyāmi". Śrīdhara says: "... adṛśyo na bhavāmi|...", while Baladeva declares: "... nādṛśyo bhavāmi|...". As you can see, only "na" appears in a different position, but this does not alter the final meaning. Oh yes, the translation; it literally means: "... I do not become invisible...". In other words, the Lord is always perceivable to that great yogī. The same thing is true in the opposite case, i.e. the great yogī does not become invisible to the Lord. In short, He is always aware of such a sublime yogī. This is the sense.

 "That yogī who, having resorted1 to unity2, worships Me as residing in all beings, abides in Me even in whatever condition he may be"||31||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, the word "āsthitaḥ" is to be interpreted as "āśritaḥ" or "one who has resorted to".
2 The term "unity" is easy to be understood in non-dualistic commentaries, as their authors follow Advaitavedānta, a philosophical system postulating the unity between oneself and the Supreme Self. But what about authors following dualistic Vedānta, e.g. Baladeva? Listen to his explanation of this term: "... Teṣu bahūnāṁ madvigrahāṇāmekatvamabhedamāśrito yo māṁ bhajati dhyāyati..." or "... The one who, having resorted to 'ekatva' or 'abheda' --i.e. unity-- from My many 'vigraha-s' --divine forms-- (residing) in them --i.e. 'in the hearts of all living beings'--, meditates on Me --note that according to Baladeva, 'bhajati' means 'dhyāyati' or 'meditates' in this context--...". So, in the opinion of Baladeva, "having resorted to unity" does not mean "having become one with the Supreme Self", but "having realized that all those many vigraha-s --divine forms-- residing in the hearts of all beings are only the Supreme Lord in His Paramātmā aspect". The Paramātmā aspect is the Lord located in the hearts of all beings. The other two aspects are Brahma (impersonal) and Bhagavān (personal). Well, if you are wondering how I arrived at that conclusion, my response is that I read the previous part of that commentary. So, trust me, please.

 "Oh Arjuna, that yogī is considered a supreme one who sees --i.e. experiences-- in like manner, whether happiness or pain, everywhere --i.e. regarding all beings-- by comparison to himself --viz. to his own experience--1"||32||
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1 The commentaries of this difficult-to-understand stanza... the one of Madhusūdana is really a long one... may be summarized by that of Śrīdhara: "... Ātmaupamyena svasādṛśyena| Yathā mama sukhaṁ priyaṁ duḥkhaṁ cāpriyaṁ tathānyeṣāmapīti sarvatra samaṁ paśyansukhameva sarveṣāṁ yo vāñchati| Na tu kasyāpi duḥkham| Sa yogī śreṣṭho mamābhimata ityarthaḥ||32||" or "... (The compound) 'Ātmaupamyena' (means) 'by comparison to himself'. By seeing --i.e. experiencing-- in like manner everywhere --i.e. in like manner as everybody--, (he feels:) 'Just as happiness is dear to me and pain is not dear to me, so it is regarding the others too'. (Thus,) he wishes happiness for everyone and pain for nobody. That yogī is (therefore) considered by Me as the best one. This is the sense||32||". Oh well, Śrīdhara made the meaning of the stanza clear, no doubt about it. Thank you Śrīdhara.
Baladeva helps to understand the meaning with this phrase: "... svaparasukhaduḥkhasamadṛṣṭiḥ..." or "... (that yogī), as regards others' happiness and pain, has equal eyes like to himself...". In short, he is able to place himself in the same position as everyone else everywhere and understand their happiness or pain. Such a yogī excels, in the opinion of the Lord.

 Arjuna said:
"Oh destroyer of the demon Madhu1, (with respect to) this Yoga which has been described by You as equanimity, I do not see in it (any) lasting2 continuance due to (mental) restlessness3"||33||
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1 Epithet for Kṛṣṇa.
2 No doubt "sthira" generally means "firm", but here it is to be interpreted as "lasting". This is corroborated by the words of Śrīdhara: "... Etasya sthirāṁ dīrghakālāṁ sthitiṁ na paśyāmi|..." or "... I do not see in it any continuance which is 'sthirā', viz. 'which lasts for a long time'...".
3 Rāmānuja corroborates, in the last part of his commentary on this stanza, my opinion that that "restlessness" is "mental": "... Etasya yogasya sthirāṁ sthitiṁ na paśyāmi manasaścañcalatvāt||33||" or "... I do not see in this Yoga any lasting continuance due to mental restlessness||33||". The word "manasaś" derives from "manasaḥ" --mental--. Of course, Arjuna will confirm this as well in the next stanza. Keep reading, please.

 "Since the mind, oh Kṛṣṇa, (is) restless, turbulent1, powerful and hard2. I think (that) its restriction and suppression3 (is so) extremely difficult to be performed as (that) of the wind"||34||
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1 According to most commentators, the mind is "pramāthi" because it is turbulent. For example, the great Śaṅkarācārya states: "... pramāthi ca pramathanaśīlam..." or "... and (the mind) is 'pramāthi', viz. it behaves in an agitating and harassing way...".
2 All commentators come more or less to an agreement regarding the meaning of "dṛḍham", but some analogies are interesting. For instance, Śaṅkarācārya specifies: "... Kiñca dṛḍhaṁ tantunāgavadacchedyam..." or "... Besides, (the mind) is 'dṛḍha', i.e. it is impossible to be cut like a shark...". Nice! Now, here is the opinion of Viśvanātha: "... Kiñca dṛḍhamatisūkṣmabuddhisūcyapi lohamiva sahasā bhettumaśakyam|..." or "... Besides, (the mind) is 'dṛḍha', viz. as if it were made of iron, it cannot be pierced quickly, even by the sharp point of an extremely subtle intellect...". Good example! In other words, the mind is "hard". Some translate the term "dṛḍha" as "obstinate, stubborn"... oh well, different ways to say the same thing.
3 According to the vast majority of commentators: "nigraham" means "nirodham" (restriction, suppression, etc.).

 Venerable Bhagavān1 said:
"Oh big-armed one2, the mind (is) doubtless fluctuating (and) difficult to be restrained and suppressed. However, oh son of Kuntī3, it is controlled4 by practice and renunciation --vairāgya--"||35||
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1 Lit. "The Divine or Adorable One", or also "The Fortunate One", i.e. Lord Kṛṣṇa.
2 Epithet for Arjuna.
3 Epithet for Arjuna.
4 According to Viśvanātha, "gṛhyate" means "svahastavaśīkartuṁ śakyate" or "it can be controlled and dominated at will --lit. 'with one's own hands'".

 "My opinion (is that) 'Yoga is difficult to be attained by one whose mind is not under control'. But (it) can be attained by one of subdued mind who strives for (Yoga) through the (aforesaid) means --i.e. practice and renunciation--1"||36||
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1 I am following the Śrīdhara's view in my translation, and the rest of translators agrees with him for the most part. For example, Śaṅkarācārya specifies in the last portion of his bhāṣya or commentary: "... upāyato yathoktādupāyāt||36||" or "... (the meaning of the word) 'upāyataḥ' (in the stanza) is 'through the abovementioned means'||36||". Nonetheless, Baladeva, as a follower of dualistic Vedānta, he tends to devotion. Hence, he adds in the last part of his commentary, as if Kṛṣṇa Himself were speaking through his mouth, the following: "... Upāyato madārādhanalakṣaṇājjñānākārānniṣkāmakarmayogācceti me matiḥ||36||" or "... 'Through the means whose form is jñāna or knowledge characterized by worship of Me together with (the practice of) Karmayoga --Yoga of action-- free from desires', this is My opinion||36||". Rāmānuja adds some devotion to the Lord in his commentary too. In full non-dualism (absolute unity with the Lord), devotion to Him cannot arise because it needs "two" (Lord and devotee) to exist. Anyway, in my personal opinion, all is devotion to Him in the long run.

 Arjuna said:
"(Though) endowed with faith, one who does not make efforts properly1 (and) whose mind is deviated from Yoga, not having obtained complete perfection or success in Yoga, oh Kṛṣṇa, what way does he go2? --i.e. what state does he attain after dying?--"||37||
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1 According to Śrīdhara, an "ayati" (lit. one who is not ascetic) is as follows: "... ayatiḥ samyaṅna yatate| Śithilābhyāsa ityarthaḥ|..." or "... (he is) an 'ayati' (because) he does not make efforts properly. (In other words, his) practice is relaxed --i.e. he does not persevere diligently--. This is sense...". The rest of commentators agrees with him in general. For instance, Śaṅkarācārya says that an "ayati" is the following: "Ayatiraprayatnavān yogamārge..." or "An 'ayati' is one who does not make efforts on the path of Yoga...".
2 The ending portion of the Śrīdhara's commentary summarizes the meaning of the last line of the stanza: "... Evamabhyāsavairāgyaśaithilyādyogasya saṁsiddhiṁ phalaṁ jñānamaprāpya kāṁ gatiṁ prāpnoti||37||" or "... Thus, not having obtained the 'yoga-saṁsiddhi' (or) fruit of Yoga (in the form of) knowledge, due to his relaxing 'abhyāsa' --practice-- and 'vairāgya' --renunciation--, what state or condition does he attain?||37||". It is interesting that Madhusūdana (another commentator) makes the following point very clear, viz. that Arjuna is asking about what will happen to that person after dying: "... atattvajña eva mṛtaḥ san kāṁ gatiṁ he kṛṣṇa gacchati sugatiṁ durgatiṁ vā..." or "... the one who does not know the Supreme Principle (or Truth), once he is dead, oh Kṛṣṇa, what way does he go... a good way or a bad one?...". Of course, Madhusūdana is not speaking of an ordinary mortal but about one who is endowed with faith and practiced Yoga to a certain extent but failed to attain the goal.

 "Oh big-armed one1, fallen from both2, without support3, completely deluded and bewildered on the path of Brahma --i.e. on the path leading to Brahma--, does he not perish4 like a rent cloud?"||38||
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1 Epithet for Kṛṣṇa, in this case, as "mahā-bāho" is generally used as an epithet of Arjuna.
2 There are several elaborate explanations, but I selected the one of Madhusūdana because it is concise. The commentaries of this author are not generally characterized for being "concise"... but in this case, despite his commentary is a long one as almost always, his definition of the meaning of "ubhaya-vibhraṣṭaḥ" --lit. 'fallen from both'-- is short and precise. Listen up: "... ubhayavibhraṣṭaḥ karmamārgājjñānamārgācca vibhraṣṭaḥ..." or "... (the compound) 'ubhaya-vibhraṣṭaḥ' (means) one who has fallen from the paths of karma --action-- and jñāna --knowledge--...". In other terms, he has failed to attain the fruit of Karmayoga (Yoga of action) and Jñānayoga (Yoga of Knowledge).
3 According to Śrīdhara, the word "apratiṣṭha" means "nirāśraya", i.e. "supportless".
4 The term "kaccid" (kat cid), which generally may be translated as "sometimes, now and then", here is used as a mere particle of interrogation. Thus, it remains untranslated. Yes, in English you can consider it as meaning "does, do, etc." (particles of interrogation) but in other languages (e.g. Spanish), such particles are not used at all. And of course "na" is "not" in "does he not perish..." (read the stanza, please). In turn, the word "naśyati" means "it disappears, perishes, is lost, etc.". Simple!

 "Oh Kṛṣṇa, please, remove completely this doubt of mine, because, other than You, there is no1 remover of this doubt --saṁśaya-- --i.e. there is nobody who can remove this doubt but You--"||39||
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1 The expression "upapadyate" might be interpreted as "he|she|it is fit for|to", in the sense that "because there is nobody fit for being a remover of this doubt other than You", but this, though clear and nice apparently, is not right in this case because the construction of the sentence should be different if one is going to use the root "upapad" --from which "upapadyate" is derived-- as meaning "to be fit for|to". I cannot explain how to make the changes in the structure of the sentence to you in order to use "upapad" in the sense of "to be fit for|to" here because it firstly requires from you a good knowledge of Sanskrit grammar. No, the real meaning of "upapadyate" in this context is "there is", and in combination with "na", i.e. "na... upapadyate" (look at the stanza), the phrase means "there is not" or "there is no", such as is explained by Madhusūdana himself: "... nopapadyate na sambhavati..." or "... (the expression) 'na... upapadyate' (means) 'na sambhavati', viz. 'there is not' or 'there is no'...". For this reason, I translated the stanza as I did. OK, if you did not understand anything, do not worry and trust me. I had to make that point clear because any translator may make a mistake in this stanza if not careful enough.

 Venerable Bhagavān1 said:
"Oh son of Pṛthā2, neither here --in this world-- nor in the other world there is destruction or loss3 for him, since nobody who does good --i.e. who is virtuous-- goes a bad way --viz. attains a bad state or condition--, my son"||40||
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1 Lit. "The Divine or Adorable One", or also "The Fortunate One", i.e. Lord Kṛṣṇa.
2 Epithet for Arjuna.
3 It is interesting to read the interpretation of Śrīdhara as far as the meaning of "vināśa" --lit. loss, destruction, etc.-- is concerned. Note that "vināśa" and "nāśa" may be used as synonymous. Śrīdhara writes: "... Iha loke nāśa ubhayabhraṣṭātpātityam| Amutra paraloke nāśo narakaprāptiḥ| Tadubhayaṁ tasya nāstyeva|..." or "... Here, in the world, 'nāśa' (means) loss of position or caste --i.e. degradation-- since he has fallen from both --read note 2 under stanza 38--. 'Amutra', i.e. in the other world, 'nāśa' (would be) an arrival at hell (for such a person). (Anyway,) those two things --loss of position or caste and arrival at hell-- does not happen to him at all...".

  "After having attained the worlds of the righteous (and) dwelt --lit. 'having dwelt', but it would be redundant-- (there) for many years, he who has fallen from Yoga is born in the house of prosperous people of virtuous conduct1"||41||
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1 Viśvanātha explains in the last part of his commentary on the present stanza: "... Śucīnāṁ sadācārāṇāṁ śrīmatāṁ dhanikavaṇigādīnāṁ rājñām vā||41||" or "... (The meaning of the phrase 'śucīnāṁ śrīmatām' is as follows:) 'śucīnām' (means) 'of virtuous conduct', (and) 'śrīmatām' (means) 'of wealthy merchants, etc., or (even) kings'||41||". In turn, Śrīdhara comments: "... śucīnāṁ sadācārāṇāṁ śrīmatāṁ dhaninām|..." or "... (the meaning of the phrase 'śucīnāṁ śrīmatām' is the following:) 'śucīnām' (means) 'of virtuous conduct', (and) 'śrīmatām' (means) 'of wealthy people'...".

 "Or (his) birth occurs in the family of wise and learned1 yogī-s. (However,) this birth, which is endowed with such qualities, (is) certainly more difficult to be attained in the world2"||42||
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1 Śrīdhara says: "... Yoganiṣṭhānāṁ dhīmatām jñāninām..." or "... Of followers of Yoga who are 'dhīmantas', viz. 'knowers'...".
2 Śrīdhara, the great commentator of Gītā, specifies clearly in the last portion of his commentary: "... Etajjanma stauti īdṛśaṁ yajjanmaitaddhi loke durlabhataraṁ mokṣahetutvāt||42||" or "... (The Lord) extols this birth which is endowed with such qualities (because) this birth is certainly more difficult to be attained in the world, since it causes Liberation||42||".

 "In that (birth) --i.e. in either formerly described births--1, he gets in contact or connection (again) with that buddhi --lit. intelligence, understanding--2 he had in his previous body . And after that --viz. after having obtained that birth--3, he strives for total perfection still more4, oh descendant of Kuru5"||43||
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1 Śrīdhara explains: "... Sa tatra dviprakāre'pi janmani..." or "... He, in that birth that is even of two kinds...". Śrīdhara refers to the two types of birth described by the Lord in the stanzas 41 and 42.
2 The sublime Baladeva comments: "... Buddhyā svadharmasvātmaparamātmaviṣayā saṁyogaṁ sambandham labhate|..." or "... He gets a 'saṁyoga' or connection with buddhi --intelligence, understanding-- whose object is (to perform) his own dharma (or duty in life, to attain) to his own Self and (to realize) Paramātmā --viz. the aspect of God located in the heart of all beings--...". In short, such a person comes to get in touch again with that kind of buddhi which had been developed by himself in his past life.
3 Madhusūdana makes clear this term: "... tatastallābhānantaram..." or "... 'tatas' (means) immediately after that obtainment (of a new birth)...".
4 Śrīdhara says that "bhūyas" means "adhikam" (exceedingly, more, etc.), while Baladeva interprets the same term as "bahutaram" or "more, etc.".
5 Epithet for Arjuna.

 "He is carried on1 by that very practice --abhyāsa-- (performed) before, even against his own desires indeed. Even one who desires to know (the essential nature) of Yoga2 passes beyond --i.e. transcends-- Śabdabrahma --lit. the Veda-s considered as a revealed sound or word and identified with the Supreme--3"||44||
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1 Viśvanātha specifies that "hriyate" means "ākṛṣyate" (he is dragged).
2 Śrīdhara says that the phrase "jijñāsur... yogasya" in the stanza means really "... Yogasya svarūpaṁ jijñāsuḥ..." or "... One who desires to know the essential nature of Yoga...". Anyway, "jijñāsur... yogasya" might be 'directly' translated as "one who desires to know Yoga", but this form of expression in Sanskrit is rare though possible. Generally, you would expect "jijñāsur... yogam" and not "jijñāsur... yogasya"... oh well, subtleties of Sanskrit grammar. Do not worry and trust me.
3 According to Śrīdhara and Madhusūdana, "śabda-brahma" is "Veda". But Viśvanātha extends the meaning to "Vedaśāstra" (in singular number), i.e. "Vedic scripture" or "the doctrine of the Veda-s". Other commentators also consider "śabda-brahma" as "Veda", except Rāmānuja, who gives a elaborate explanation of the meaning of "śabda-brahma". To be able to understand his explanation, you need to know several things about Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta --qualified non-dualistic Vedānta-- (a philosophical system of which he himself was the founder), and to explain them to you in detail would make this note too lengthy indeed.

To summarize it, I will only say that in the Rāmānuja's view, "śabda-brahma" is Brahma appearing in the form of all that can be expressed as śabda or sound (e.g. gods, men, etc.), and therefore, Brahma is Prakṛti in this case. The traditional interpretation of Prakṛti as source of the material universe, specially maintained by Dvaitavedānta (dualistic Vedānta) and Sāṅkhya, is not completely valid in Rāmānuja's Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta. There are several differences. For example, Prakṛti is limited and not unlimited like in Sāṅkhya. Oh well, a long story for a mere explanatory note. Just understand this finally: Rāmānuja specifies that such a yogī passes beyond Śabdabrahma in the sense that he is freed from his relationship to that Prakṛti, and thus he attains his own Self, which is a continual flow of knowledge and joy which cannot be expressed in śabda o sound. OK, sorry if I am making some mistake, but Viśiṣṭādvaitavedānta is not my specialty, be sure. Remember that every philosophical system is an universe in itself and I am just a mere human being with just one limited mind. Good!

And according to the great Śaṅkarācārya:
"... sāmarthyātso'pi śabdabrahma vedoktakarmānuṣṭhānaphalamativartate'atikrāmati..." or "... due to (his) capacity and efficacy, he even passes beyond, i.e. he goes beyond Śabdabrahma or the fruit (gotten) from the performance of rituals described in the Veda-s...". OK, it is clear enough, isn't it?

By the way, always remember that I am using 4 commentaries in Sanskrit as a indispensable help in my work of translating the Gītā. The respective authors of those commentaries are Śrīdhara, Baladeva, Viśvanātha and Madhusūdana. Besides, now and then I use the commentaries of Rāmānuja and Śaṅkarācārya too. Thus, when I say "all commentators agree with each other" or any other thing related to Gītā's commentators, I am the whole time referring only to those first four sages and their works, despite I insert here and there comments by Rāmānuja and Śaṅkarācārya. Understood? Well done!

 "The yogī who strives1 diligently2, who is purified from sin (and) has achieved full perfection3 (after) many births, attains consequently the highest state --i.e. Liberation--4"||45||
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1 In the Śrīdhara's view, "yatamānaḥ" is "yatnaṁ kurvan" or "one who makes an effort".
2 Śrīdhara defines "prayatnāt" as "uttarottaramadhikam" or "more and more, abundantly".
3 The sage Śrīdhara states the meaning of "saṁsiddha" by the following phrase: "... samyagjñānī bhūtvā..." or "... having become a jñānī or knower completely...". Thus, Śrīdhara considers that a "saṁsiddha" is someone who has become a knower of Brahma.
4 Viśvanātha says, in the last part of his commentary, that "parāṁ gatim" means "... parām gatim mokṣam||45||" or "... (he attains) the highest state, viz. Mokṣa or Liberation||45||". But Baladeva enriches the description of the concept of Liberation according to Dvaitavedānta (dualistic Vedānta) in the last portion of his own commentary: "... parāṁ svaparātmāvalokalakṣanāṁ gatiṁ muktiṁ yāti||45||" or "... he attains the highest state, i.e. Mukti or Liberation characterized by the vision of the Self in himself and others||45||".

 "A yogī (is) superior to the tapasvī-s --lit. the ones who practice austerities--1. He is considered superior even to the jñānī-s --lit. the ones who are occupied with knowledge--2. And a yogī (is) superior to the karmī-s --lit. the ones who perform karma-s, i.e. rituals, in this context--3. Therefore, oh Arjuna, become a yogī"||46||
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1 Śrīdhara opines that "tapasvibhyaḥ" means "... kṛcchracāndrāyaṇāditaponiṣṭhebhyaḥ|..." or "... to the ones who follow austerities (such as) kṛcchra --a type of bodily mortification--, a fast regulated by the moon, etc..." The rest of commentators more or less opine the same thing.
2 Śrīdhara tells about "jñāninibhyaḥ" the following: "... Jñānibhyaḥ śāstrajñānavidbhyo'pi|..." or ".... (He is considered superior) even to the jñānī-s, viz. to the ones who possess knowledge of scriptures|...".

According to Viśvanātha: "... jñānibhyo brahmopāsakebhyo'pi..." or "... (he is considered superior) even to the jñānī-s, viz. to the ones who are engaged in Brahma --the impersonal aspect of God---...". Well, this is reasonable, as Viśvanātha follows Dvaitavedānta (dualistic Vedānta), in which the aspect Bhagavān or personal of God is predominant.

Madhusūdana says: "... Jñānibhyo'pi paro'kṣajñānavadbhyo'pi..." or "... (He is considered superior) even to the jñānī-s, viz. to the ones who has indirect or mediate knowledge...". Thus, as the yogī has "direct o immediate" (aparo'kṣa) knowledge of Truth, he excels. This is the sense.

Śaṅkarācārya states: "... jñānibhyo'pi jñānamatra śāstrārthapāṇḍityam..." or "... (he is considered superior) even to the jñānī-s --the ones possessing jñāna or knowledge--, (being) knowledge here scholarship as regards the meaning of the scriptures...".

Finally, Rāmānuja affirms that the jñānī-s are the ones who seek to attain "puruṣārtha" or "the goal of the human being" thus: "... ātmajñānavyatiriktairjñānaiḥ..." or "... by means of the knowledges abundantly furnished with knowledge of the Self...".

Baladeva also gives his opinion but he includes the term "arthaśāstra". To explain the exact meaning of this word would take too long for a mere explanatory note like the present one, as the reader firstly needs to be fully informed by me about some complicated topics. Anyway, all in all, one thing is certain: the "jñānī-s" are "men of knowledge". This is what you should understand.
3 Śrīdhara defines "karmibhyaḥ" as "iṣṭāpūrtādikarmakāribhyaḥ" or "to the ones who do actions (involving) 'iṣṭāpūrta' --lit. stored up sacrifices--, etc.". In a sacrifice, one obtains merit which is stored up in heaven according to what is taught in the Veda-s. This "unseen" merit gained from the sacrifice is named "iṣṭāpūrta" (iṣṭa-āpūrta).

Rāmānuja postulates that the karmī-s are the ones who seek to attain "puruṣārtha" or "the goal of the human being" as follows: "... kevalairaśvamedhādibhiḥ karmabhiḥ..." or "... only by means of actions (such as) the horse-sacrifice, etc...". Of course, I cannot explain you in depth what the horse-sacrifice is here. It is an ancient rite in which a horse is involved, and that is all I can say to you for now, or this will not be an explanatory note anymore but the longest commentary of Bhagavadgītā ever! Just kidding, but one thing is true, the horse-sacrifice is a long topic which is completely explained in detail in the Vedic scriptures.

Madhusūdana gives a lengthy explanation: "... dakṣiṇāsahitajyotiṣṭomādikarmānuṣṭhānebhyaḥ..." or "... (he is considered superior) to the ones who perform actions (such as) the 'jyotiṣṭoma' sacrifice along with the gift or fee given to the officiating priests, etc...". "Jyotiṣṭoma" is a type of sacrifice, of course... another long story. And "dakṣiṇā" means in this case "the gift or fee which is offered to the priests officiating the ceremony on behalf of the sacrificer". In short, the priests perform a sacrifice for someone --the sacrificer-- and then they get a gift or fee from him, which results in merit being stored up in heaven for the sacrificer himself. This stored up merit is called "iṣṭāpūrta" as I explained above (Read the Śrīdhara's opinion).

Baladeva has a similar opinion as the previous commentators: "... sakāmeṣṭāpūrtyādikṛdbhyaḥ..." or "... (he is considered superior) to the ones who perform 'iṣṭāpūrti' --lit. stored up sacrifices--, etc., with desire...". The term "iṣṭāpūrti" is synonymous with "iṣṭāpūrta". Read my explanation of the latter term above (in the opinions of Śrīdhara and Madhusūdana). Baladeva added "with desire" to denote that those sacrificers are desirous to get the fruit of such sacrifices in the form of merit stored up in heaven.

Viśvanātha does not explain the term "karmibhyaḥ" at all in his commentary.

Finally, Śaṅkarācārya specifies the following regarding to the actions of the "karmī-s" or "the ones who perform karma-s": "... agnihotrādi karma..." or "... (the term) 'karma' (means here) Agnihotra or oblation to Agni --the god of fire--, etc...".

Therefore, the "karmī-s" are not to be interpreted here as people just doing ordinary actions, but as people performing sacrificial rites, i.e. they are sacrificers. This should be understood clearly.

 "The one furnished with faith who worships Me with (his) mind1 fixed --gata-- on Me, is considered by Me as the best 'yukta' --lit. one who is engaged in Yoga, i.e. a yogī--2 even among all the yogī-s"||47||
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1 Śrīdhara says that "antarātmanā" means "manasā" or "with (his) mind". Baladeva agrees with him completely. But according to Madhusūdana, the Lord is referring to "antaḥkaraṇa" or "the inner (psychic) organ composed of intellect, ego, mind and cít or consciousness". Śaṅkarācārya has the same opinion as Madhusūdana. In turn, Rāmānuja agrees with Śrīdhara. He also gives a elaborate explanation about the mind, but all in all he says the same thing as Śrīdhara, i.e. "antarātmanā" means "manasā" o "with (his) mind".
2 Śrīdhara interprets "yuktatamaḥ" as "the best of the ones engaged in Yoga" in the following phrase, as if the Lord were speaking through his own mouth: "... Sa yogayukteṣu śreṣṭho mama sammataḥ|..." or "... He is regarded by Me as the best among the ones engaged in Yoga...". Baladeva interprets "yuktatamaḥ" as "... madekabhaktaḥ..." or "... one who is devoted only to Me...".

In the opinion of Madhusūdana, a "yuktatamaḥ" is "... madbhakto yogī..." or "... a yogī who is My devotee...". Viśvanātha comments: "... Madbhakto bhavati sa yuktatama upāyavattamaḥ|..." or "... He is My devotee who is a 'yuktatama' or the best of the 'upāyavatas', i.e. 'the ones acting as a means'...". In short, he is the best means between the Lord and the living beings fallen into the power of spiritual ignorance. This is the sense, in my humble opinion.

And Śaṅkarācārya says: "... yuktatamo'tiśayena yuktaḥ..." or "... a 'yuktatamaḥ' is a 'yukta' endowed with superiority or pre-eminence...". Though he does not specify what a "yukta" is, by following the Śrīdhara's view, a "yukta" means "one who is engaged in Yoga", in this context.


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Gabriel Pradīpaka

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