Jnaneshwari (Bhavartha Dipika)

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

This is commentary introduction to chapter 10 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 Commentary introduction to Chapter 10 of the chapter called Vibhuti-yoga.

Commentary introduction to Chapter 10

(I) bow to thee, who art the master in the art of giving clear knowledge and illumination of the Supreme Brahman. Thou art too, the light that makes the blooming of the lotus that is perfect knowledge; thou art the adept in sporting amorously with the great youthful-maiden that is truth beyond words. (I) bow to thee; all glory to thee, the Sun, who art the expeller of the darkness of worldly life, and person of unbounded strength, as thou, who enjoyest the amours of the youthful Turya (turyā—one of the four states [avasthā] viz. jāgṛti, svapna, suṣuptī and turyā)—glory to you—the protector of the entire universe—the treasure of gems of all blissful things. Thou art like the sandal tree, among the trees, who are the virtuous and the pious. I bow to thee, Oh God, who are the supreme object of devotion. All glory to thee—thou art the Moon, the source of embalming delight to the Chakora bird, that is the mind of the wise. Thou art the Majestic King, destroyer of cupid, among those that have realised the Supreme Self—the very ocean of the quintessence of revealing knowledge. (I) bow to you—glory to you—worthy of being worshipped by the pious devotees—the destroyer of the temples (gaṇḍasthala) of the elephant, which is this worldly life of birth and death, the origin of all created things. I bow to you, Oh Preceptor; Oh Lord, God Ganapati himself is your grace; by his gift, even a child has access into the Sanctuary of learning. When thy divine utterance of grace pledges its word for deliverance from fear (evil) one may easily dive into the depths of the ocean of the nine poetic excellences of sentiments and passions (navarasasudhābdhi).

The Goddess of Learning—Sarasvati—(vāgeśvarī) who comes at your bidding and favour—would by her power enable even a dumb man, to rival even with Brihaspati (bṛhaspatī)—the preceptor of Gods) in poetic talents. Even a poor unworthy mortal rises to the eminence of God, when the light of your benedictory vision falls on him; or the lotus of your palm graces his head. How indeed should I extol with the feeble power of my words, such glory of power and grandeur? As well could one besmear the body of the sun with fragrance. How indeed can one decorate with flowers the Kalpataru tree? With what dainties could one treat the very ocean of milk? How could camphor itself be made fragrant by scents? What can sandal wood gain when treated with other scents? What other food could be made out of nectar itself? Could any one raise a higher hall above the sky itself? Where indeed is that yardstick that can measure the glory of my master who is beyond measure? Knowing this fully, in all humility, I bow down to Him in silence.

To embolden one to extol the glorious power of the master, by the fullness of wits, is as vain as trying to enliven the beauty of pearls; all praise of my master is like silver-plating to gold. It is wiser (simply) to prostrate oneself at the feet of my master. Jnanadev then said to his master: “Nath, Oh master, thy benignant glances blessed me into this condition, which made me the “Prayaga Vata tree,” at the confluence of the sacred rivers, the Ganges, and the Jumna, which is the talk between Lord Krishna and Arjuna.

God Shankar [Shankara] in times of yore, dished up the very ocean of milk before Upamanyu who had asked for milk; and the Lord of Vaikuntha, for tender love humoured the sullen Dhruva, with the gift of a firm seat on the never-changing (North) Polar Seat; in that way (you) made me sing, in sweet, simple, numbers (verses) the Bhagavadgita,—that is the sovereign ruler of the kingdom of “Brahman lore” (brahmavidyā), and the haven of rest to all the sacred Scriptures. My tongue that wandered in the tangled mass of words, with not a syllable that bore fruit, blossomed by your grace, into a creeper laden with immortal thoughts. My mind that was the slave of the body, is now the very treasure-house of the Supreme bliss of Divine vision, while the mind is enjoying sleep on watery-bed (jalaśayana) in that ocean of the Gita truths. So unfathomable and unbounded (apāra) in mercy are the acts of God (my master); how indeed should my words suffice to sing their glory? Yet, may the utterance with which I have dared to clothe them be forgiven.

By your grace I have been able, so far, to sing in short, sweet measures, the first part (pūrva khaṇḍa) of Bhagavad-Gita with extreme joy. In chapter One, was described the direful anguish of Arjuna at the product of war with his kith and kin: in the Second was treated the Yoga of actions, marking it off from the Yoga of knowledge. The simple way of action is settled in the Third, while in the Fourth was revealed the way of action in alliance with the way of knowledge. The Fifth belauds the path of Yoga. And the Sixth works out the theme from the very postures of the body, right up to the final union of soul with the Supreme Atman; further, the Sixth discourse extols the Yoga Union, and talks of the state to which returns the soul of seekers fallen from the Yoga path. In the Seventh are set forth the four kinds of devotees, who first making a triumphant conquest of the illusion, betake themselves to God. The Eighth raises the seven questions and unravels them, showing the state of the soul at the time of its final parting from the body.

Now the Mahabharata in its hundred-thousand verses rolls out in a compact mass, the truth that ripens in the unlimited utterances of the Vedas. The full meaning of the Mahabharata is disclosed in the Gita discourse of Lord Krishna; and this eternal truth of Lord Krishna’s word, is rolled into the Ninth Chapter. Where Arjuna himself was chary of laying his finger on the inner meaning of this chapter, how should I vaunt of laying it bare? Made of the same juice, lumps of jaggery and sugar are yet of different flavour and sweet taste: even so all the chapters of the Gita sing of the Brahman knowledge; yet, some chapters, replete with full knowledge, directly reveal the essence of the Supreme Brahman as realized, while a few others only intimate it by hinting forthwith: while yet in others Brahman knowledge in its flight to the highest abode gets lost in that which they comprehend. So varied is the excellence of the quality. Yet the glory of the ninth amongst them is verily unutterable; yet by your grace, Oh my master, have I laid open the glorious truth.

The chhati (chāṭī—flowing outer garment) of one (sage Vashistha) vied with the Sun’s self-luminous rays in shedding light; while yet another (sage Vishvamitra [Vishvamitra]) rivalled the very creator in setting up a new order of created beings: one (Lord Ramchandra [Ramachandra]) led his monkey-army (on foot) across the sea, on a stone-bridge built on it. The monkey god (Maruti) flew into the sky to catch the very Sun; another (Sage Agastya) made a mouthful of the whole seawater (cūla); in that way you made a mute creature like myself speak the unutterable truth, a spiritual discourse, to which it is hard to find a parallel. And just as the warfare between Rama and Ravana (having no parallel) can only be matched by a conflict between Rama and Ravana, in the same way Lord Krishna’s utterance in Chapter Nine is only matched by nothing but itself.

All truth-seers who have the Gita teachings (truths) at their finger’s ends realize this. So I have extolled the glorious meaning of the first nine chapters, according to my lights; now I begin the second half of the Gita and pray that you lend me your ears. Now I shall speak in sweet words of beauty the divine manifestations, great and small, which Lord Krishna recounts to Arjuna. By the excellence of the mother tongue (Marathi) the sentiment of serenity is sure to outvie the sentiment of love; so shall my Marathi verse shine like a crown on the head of the Muse. Hard indeed would it be then to mark off the original Sanskrit from the Marathi verse, when this latter illumines the Gita truths descending on the mind that reads both with zealous care.

Bodily charms enbellish [embellish?] the very ornaments and make it hard to say which adorns which; in the same way, the divine utterance in Sanskrit and my Marathi verse meet in lovely alliance to illumine and adorn the very soul of the Truth. Pray listen with care. Let a luxuriant wealth of meaning surge in the mind and words of beauty will overflow in rapturous emotions to bring the very wisdom to its original home. So shall the beauty and youthful vigour of my mother-tongue body forth the unlimited treasure of the Gita. Hear now what spoke the Lord of Yadavas, the Great Master of the entire universe, and the giver of miraculous joy to the enlightened souls. Dnyandeo, the disciple of Nivritti, said that Shrihari then spoke “Oh Arjuna, with thy entire mind and soul steady and balanced you have indeed become fit to receive the deepest secret of the knowledge of the Self’.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: