Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 2.29, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 29 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 2.29:

आश्चर्यवत् पश्यति कश्चिद् एनम् आश्चर्यवद् वदति तथैव चान्यः ।
आश्चर्यवच् चैनम् अन्यः शृणोति श्रुत्वाप्य् एनं वेद न चैव कश्चित् ॥ २९ ॥

āścaryavat paśyati kaścid enam āścaryavad vadati tathaiva cānyaḥ |
āścaryavac cainam anyaḥ śṛṇoti śrutvāpy enaṃ veda na caiva kaścit || 29 ||

āścarya-vat–as amazing; paśyati–sees; kaścit–some person; enam–this (soul); āścarya-vat–as amazing; vadati–speak of; tathā–in the same way; eva–indeed; ca–also; anyaḥ–another; āścarya-vat–as amazing; ca–and; enam–of this (soul); anyaḥ–others; śṛṇoti–hears; śrutvā–having heard; api–even; enam–this (soul); veda–understand; na–not; ca–and; eva–certainly; kaścit–some people.

Some look upon the soul as amazing, some speak of him as amazing and some hear of him as amazing. Others, however, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Śrī Kṛṣṇa is saying, “O Arjuna, if you ask what this amazing subject is that I am speaking about, then listen. It is indeed a matter of wonder that even after receiving this knowledge, your wisdom has not been awakened. Your doubt is therefore appropriate.” Only for this reason is this verse beginning with the word āścarya-vat being spoken. This whole material world, in the form of the combination of the body and the soul, is indeed a wonder.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Since the truth about the science of the soul is very difficult to understand, the soul itself, the person who instructs about the soul, the instruction itself and the audience are all amazing. In other words, only some very rare, great persons look upon the soul as amazing, and some very rare persons hear about the soul and accept him as amazing. It is even more amazing that most of the audience, even after hearing these instructions from one who knows the Absolute Truth, still cannot realize the soul.

This is also explained in Kaṭha Upaniṣad (1.2.7):

śravaṇayāpi bahubhir yo na labhyaḥ śṛṇvanto’pi bahavo yaṃ na vidyuḥ
āścaryo’sya vaktā kuśalo’sya labdhā āścaryo’sya jñātā kuśalānuśiṣṭaḥ

The opportunity to hear instructions about the science of the self (ātma-tattva) is very rare. Even after hearing them, most cannot realize the instructions because a master who is self-realized is very rare. If, by great fortune, such a teacher is available, it is rare to find students who are able to understand this topic.

For this reason, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has instructed everyone in this present age of Kali-yuga to perform the congregational chanting of the holy names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa (śrī hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana). If even faithless persons chant the name of Śrī Hari while they are talking, walking, sitting, standing, eating, drinking, crying, laughing or in any other way, they will still benefit from it. Gradually, they will attain the association of pure devotees. By such association they can even attain pure love for Bhagavān, and as a secondary result, they easily attain knowledge on the science of the soul.

madhura-madhuram etan maṅgalaṃ maṅgalānāṃ sakala-nigama-vallī-sat-phalaṃ cit-svarūpam
sakṛd api parigītaṃ śraddhayā helayā vā bhṛguvara nara-mātraṃ tārayet kṛṣṇa-nāma

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa (11.234)

The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is the sweetest of the sweet and the most auspicious of all that is auspicious. It is the fully ripened fruit of the flourishing creeper of the Vedas, and it is the embodiment of transcendental knowledge. O best of the Bhṛgu dynasty, even if someone chants the holy name only once, with faith or indifference, he is immediately delivered from this ocean of birth and death.

sāṅketyaṃ pārihāsyaṃ vā stobhaṃ helanam eva vā
vaikuṇṭha-nāma-grahaṇam aśeṣāgha-haraṃ viduḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.2.14)

One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly (to indi cate something else), jokingly, for musical entertainment or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all learned scholars of the scriptures.*

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