Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 2.49, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 49 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 2.49:

दूरेण ह्य् अवरं कर्म बुद्धि-योगाद् धनञ्जय ।
बुद्धौ शरणम् अन्विच्छ कृपणाः फल-हेतवः ॥ ४९ ॥

dūreṇa hy avaraṃ karma buddhi-yogād dhanañjaya |
buddhau śaraṇam anviccha kṛpaṇāḥ phala-hetavaḥ || 49 ||

dūreṇa–(throw) far away; hi–because; avaram–is (vastly) inferior; karma–fruitive activity; buddhi-yogāt–by the yoga of intelligence (selflessly offering all the fruits of one’s actions to Śrī Bhagavān) dhanañjaya–O Dhanañjaya (Arjuna); buddhau–within the culture of intelligence (niṣkāma-karma); śaraṇam–shelter; anviccha–accept; kṛpaṇāḥ–misers; phala-hetavaḥ–desire the fruits of their activities.

O Dhanañjaya, action performed by those desirous of its fruit is vastly inferior to selfless action offered to the Lord. You should take shelter of this selfless action, niṣkāma-karma-yoga. Those who desire the fruits of their action are misers.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

In speaking this verse beginning with dūreṇa, Śrī Bhagavān is criticizing fruitive action, that is, sakāma-karma or kāmya-karma. Kāmya-karma is very inferior to niṣkāma-karma-yoga, which is offered to the Lord and which is also called buddhi-yoga. Here, the word buddhau implies performing action without the desire for the fruit (niṣkāma-karma), while buddhi-yoga implies worship of the Supreme Lord by selflessly offering Him the fruit of one’s work without attachment (niṣkāma-karma-yoga).

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Kṛpaṇāḥ refers to those miserly persons who are unable to understand the meaning of niṣkāma-karma-yoga, selfless action dedicated to Bhagavān. Such people are attached to the fruits of their activities, and consequently, they are sometimes happy and sometimes distressed. This topic has been explained at greater length in the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad.

Once, there was a great assembly of realized sages in the royal court of Janaka Mahārāja. Janaka Mahārāja’s servants brought to that assembly hundreds of milk-giving cows along with their beautiful calves. The horns of the cows were encased in gold and their hooves in silver. Beautiful cloth decorated with golden ornaments graced their backs. Folding his hands, Janaka Mahārāja addressed the sages with great humility. “Whoever among you is brahma-vettā (a knower of the Absolute), I beg you to come and accept these cows.”

All who were assembled there began to whisper among themselves. No one dared come forward to present himself as brahma-vettā and take the cows. Again, Janaka Mahārāja looked towards them, with all seriousness. This time the sage Yājñavalkya got up and told his students, “O boys, take these cows to my āśrama.”

Hearing this, the other saints objected, saying, “Are you brahma-vettā?” Mahārṣi Yājñavalkya said, “I offer my obeisances at the feet of those who are brahma-vettā. If you want to examine me or ask any question, please do so.”

The various sages asked different questions and Yājñavalkya Mahārṣi gave them befitting answers. At last, the greatly learned Gārgī humbly inquired, “Who is a miser and who is a brāhmaṇa?”

Yājñavalkya Mahārṣi’s response was this, “yo vā etad akṣaraṃ gārgy aviditvāsmāl lokāt praiti sa kṛpaṇaḥ–O Gārgī, that person is a miser who leaves this world without knowing Śrī Bhagavān Acyuta, the Infallible Absolute Reality” (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 3.8.10).

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.9.49) it is said “na veda kṛpaṇaḥ śreya ātmano guṇa-vastu-dṛk–misers, or kṛpaṇas, are those who consider that the Ultimate Reality consists only of sense objects produced from the material modes.” Furthermore, it is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.19.44) “kṛpaṇo yo’jitendriyaḥ–a miser is a person who has no control over his senses.”

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