Jnaneshwari (Bhavartha Dipika)

by Ramchandra Keshav Bhagwat | 1954 | 284,137 words | ISBN-10: 8185208123 | ISBN-13: 9788185208121

This is verse 6.15 of the Jnaneshwari (Bhavartha-Dipika), the English translation of 13th-century Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita.—The Dnyaneshwari (Jnaneshwari) brings to light the deeper meaning of the Gita which represents the essence of the Vedic Religion. This is verse 15 of the chapter called Dhyana-yoga.

Verse 6.15:Thus continually exercising his self, the man of Discipline, with his mind kept under restraint attains to that Peace which culminates in self-effacement and which has its home in Me. (293)

Commentary called Jnaneshwari by Jnaneshwar:

When the power (“Kundalini”) thus loses its brilliance, the body also loses its form and becomes imperceptible to the mortal eye. It nominally appears in (human) form as before, but appears as if made of wind, or like the heart (gābhā) of the “Kardali” plant (Banana tree), standing erect after the dropping down to the withered outer skin, or like the sky itself putting forth limbs. When the body gets reduced like this, it is called the sky-wanderer (khecara). With the attainment of such a status, the body of the ‘Yogin’ brings about miracles. Just see, as the ‘Yogin’ treads, leaving behind rows of foot prints, the eight powers (aṣṭāsiddhi [aṣṭasiddhi?]) such as “Anima” and others, stand alert at every step with hands joined in humbleness. But, O Dhanurdhara, what have we to do with these Goddesses? The main point is that the three gross elements viz earth, water and fire get extinguished in the body itself. The portion of earth element gets dissolved in water, the watery portion gets absorbed in the heat, while the heat portion gets absorbed in the wind in the heart. As a result, only the wind is left behind surviving in human form. But it too is to be absorbed in the sky after some time.

The name ‘Kundalini’ then gets lost and the name ‘Maruta’ (wind) takes its place. It retains its power until it is absorbed in the Supreme Brahman. Abandoning the posture (bandha) ‘Jalandhara’, it then smashes the mouth of the air passage called “Sushumna,” and enters “Brahmarandhra”. Then placing its feet on the back of ‘Om’, it crosses “Pashyanti” (paśyantī—the second step of the power of speech) and pierces through the “Brahmarandhra” as far as the third (syllabic) part Makara (makāra) of the sacred ‘Om’, just as a river rushes into the sea. Making itself steady in the “Brahmarandhra,” it spreads out its arms in the form of the notion—“I am the Supreme Brahman”, and embraces the very Supreme Brahman.

The screen of the five gross elements then gets dropped down and they both—the life-wind and the Supreme—meet together bodily, and it (wind) along with the sky absorbs itself into the Supreme Brahman getting one with it. Just as the sea-water becomes pure through the clouds (by the process of evaporation etc.), pours itself down into rivers and streams and then ultimately re-joins the sea, in the same way, the individual soul, with the help ' of the human form, enters into the Supreme and secures, O Son of Pandu, union with it (just as sea-water). At this stage there remains no trace or even shadow of doubt as to the existence of duality or the mention of absolute unbroken unity.

The state of getting merged in the absolute void in this way can be well understood only when one actually experiences it himself. It is impossible to find words that could convey through the medium of conversation, the description of such a stage. O Arjuna, even “Vaikhari” (the fourth stage of the power of the speech) who normally boasts of her quality of her expression, becomes powerless in this subject and stands at a distance (i.e. remains mute). Even the Makara (the third syllabic part of ‘Omkara) finds it hard to have access to the interior behind the knitted eye-brow. Similarly the life-wind “Prana” experiences difficulties in passing by this direction to the void. Once it gets mingled with the void in the ‘Brahmarandhra,’ there remains nothing for words to describe, and all their power disappears.

The next step is the elimination of the void also, and when this takes place, it is difficult to trace it in the unfathomable deep waters of the great “void” (mahāśūnya) stage. What of words then? Therefore this thing, the Supreme Brahman, is not one that could come within the scope of utterance (of words), or that could be grasped by the sense of hearing, and this is a truth thrice repeated. Should good luck favour one, he would have actual experience of it and get one with the Supreme Brahman—that much only can be said. O Dhanurdhara, there then remains nothing like any “object of knowledge,” and whatever further might be said, would all be in vain.

That stage from where words turn back, where all fancies and ideas get destroyed, where even the remotest touch or reach of thought cannot have any access, that stage is the very beauty of the fifth stage in which the mind gets absorbed and in which is the very grandeur of the fourth stage, for there the emancipation of the soul is reached. It is beginningless, limitless Supreme Spirit, and is verily the primary seed of the Universe, the ultimate goal of the Yoga-Study, and the very sentience full of bliss; all forms, the state of emancipation, all beginning and end are all uprooted there. It is the original cause of the five gross elements, and the greatest of the great splendours—in short, Oh Partha, it is my own essence and is what may become incarnate and assume the bodily form, with four arms, which is the solace of my devotees when troubled by unbelievers—all that blissful Supreme Spirit is indeed beyond all words.

Those that strive unflinching till the end, reach the form of the Self and secure the ultimate goal. Those seekers, who yearn to realise the supreme purpose of life and live (through) laborious days to act up to the way of life described by me, become holy and attain the greatness of my pure being and power. Their bodies appear brilliant, as if they were shaped out of the essence of Supreme Spirit, and cast in the image of human form. Once such experience illumines the mind, the entire universe of appearance is enveloped in ‘Brahman,’ all as one “Supreme Spirit.”

Arjuna then interposed and said,

“What you say is all true; by following the path you have preached, one clearly attains the Supreme Brahman. I have understood from the description given by you that those that follow, with determination, the study of ‘Yoga’, undoubtedly attain the Supreme Brahman. My mind has realised the point even by hearing the description you have given. What wonder there is, then, if one who experiences it, becomes completely absorbed in it? I have, therefore, (got) nothing (with me) to ask separately about the subject. Yet, I should say one thing and you will lend your attention to it for a moment. I appreciate entirely the doctrine of “Yoga” you have preached. Yet, on account of the crippled state of my strength, I feel, I cannot practise that ‘Yoga’. I shall, with pleasure, follow that path should it be possible for me to reach it with my natural strength: or if I am not physically capable of attaining it, then I ask you to tell me of such (other) path, as could be found suitable to my limited strength. A desire to that effect created in my mind has made me make the query.”

Arjuna further said,

lease, therefore, attend. I have heard about the Path of ‘Yoga’, which you have preached: but do tell me, whether any one, without discrimination, can practise it by study: or is it of such a nature that it cannot be secured unless one attains a certain standard of ability in regard to it?”

Hear what Lord Krishna said on this:—

“This is an extremely difficult thing involving attainment of the Supreme: yet even in the case of an ordinary thing, Oh Dhanurdhara, can one attain it without any ability on the part of the doer? But what is called ‘ability’ can be judged from the success of the thing, since a thing succeeds only if it is undertaken with (inherent) ability. But there is no difficulty of any such ability here. Besides, may I ask, is there (anywhere) any mine of ability, so that once it is found, any amount of ability can be obtained from it? Can anyone intending to be indifferent to wordly-affairs, not qualify himself by regular application to activity in regard to enjoined duties? You (yourself) could bring in yourself, the required standard of ability, by taking to desireless activity in regard to enjoined duties.”

With these words Lord Krishna removed the difficulty in Arjuna’s mind and added

“Oh Partha, there is (however) one such rule in this, that one cannot at all attain that ability, if one does not perform the prescribed actions without being the slave of his desires”.

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