Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 2.28, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 28 from the chapter 2 called “Sankhya-yoga (Yoga through distinguishing the Soul from the Body)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.28:

अव्यक्तादीनि भूतानि व्यक्त-मध्यानि भारत ।
अव्यक्त-निधनान्य् एव तत्र का परिदेवना ॥ २८ ॥

avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyakta-madhyāni bhārata |
avyakta-nidhanāny eva tatra kā paridevanā || 28 ||

avyakta-ādīni–unmanifest in the beginning, imperceptible; bhūtāni–all beings; vyakta–manifest, perceptible; madhyāni–in the interim stage; bhārata–O Arjuna;avyakta–unmanifest, imperceptible; nidhanāni–and after death; eva–certainly; tatra–therefore; –why?; paridevanā–lament.

O Arjuna, all beings are unmanifest before their birth, become manifest in the interim stage–after their birth–and after they die, they once again become unmanifest. So what cause can there be to lament?

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

(By Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura; the innermost intention of the commentary named ‘the shower of essential meanings’)

In this way, having dispelled lamentation in relation to the soul, by the verse na jāyate mriyate vā kadācit (Gītā 2.20), and in respect to the body, by the verse jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyuḥ (Gītā 2.27), Śrī Bhagavān now dispels the cause of lamentation for both the soul and the body by speaking this verse beginning with the word avyaktaḥ. Before their birth, demigods, human beings, animals, birds and so on are unmanifest. At that time, the subtle and gross bodies also exist in their causal state in the form of matter, such as earth, but they are in an unmanifest stage. They become manifest in the middle period, and after death they again become unmanifest. In the period of the dissolution and devastation of the universe (mahā-pralaya), the soul also remains in his subtle form, because his karma and his tendency to accept sense objects still exist. Therefore, all jīvas remain unmanifest in the beginning, and in the end they again become unmanifest. They only become manifest in the middle period. The Śrutis also state: “sthira-cara-jātayaḥ syur ajayottha-nimitta-yujaḥ–All moving and non-moving entities become manifest due to their actions. Therefore, why cry out of grief?” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.87.29).

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.13.44) Śrī Nārada Muni says:

yan manyase dhruvaṃ lokam adhruvaṃ vā na cobhayam
sarvathā na hi śocyās te snehād anyatra mohajāt

Whether you consider the human to be an eternal soul or a temporary body, or whether you consider that due to his indescribability, he is both eternal and temporary, you do not have to lament in any way. There is no cause for lamentation other than the affection that has arisen out of delusion.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

All living entities arise from the unmanifest stage, remain manifest for some time, and again become situated in an unmanifest state. Just to explain this point, the present verse has been spoken. In his explanation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.87.29), cited in the above commentary, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura writes that, because all jīvas are manifest from the Supreme Lord Parameśvara, they are under His control. Parameśvara is beyond material nature and remains detached from it. When He performs His pastime of glancing over the material nature, the jīvas, who contain impressions from their previous actions, become manifest in moving and non-moving bodies. Wherever the word utpanna (arising) is used, it means ‘to become manifest’.

If one asks how the jīvas, being merged in Parameśvara, can take birth, the answer is given that it is by His glance and the inspiration of His will. Past karma then becomes active, after which the jīvātmā appears, along with his subtle body. Then, becoming united with the gross body, the jīvātmā takes birth. In other words, when the designations born from the effect of material nature are dissolved, the jīvas are considered to have died;and when the jīvātmā appears with his past karma, impressions, and gross and subtle bodies in various species of life in this material world, he is said to have taken birth.

This is stated in Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Śruti:

yathāgneḥ kṣudrā visphuliṅgā vyuccaranty evam evāsmād ātmanaḥ
sarve prāṇāḥ sarve lokāḥ sarve devāḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni vyuccaranti

Just as sparks appear from a fire, so the senses (such as the power to speak), the results of action (such as happiness and distress), all the demigods and all the living entities, from Lord Brahmā down to the ant, appear from Me, Paramātmā.

The great devotee Śrī Yamarāja also says, “yatrāgatas tatra gataṃ manuṣyam–the living entity goes back to the same unknown place from where he came.”

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