Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 3.3, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 3 from the chapter 3 called “Karma-yoga (Yoga through the Path of Action)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 3.3:

श्री भगवान् उवाच–
लोकेऽस्मिन् द्वि-विधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ ।
ज्ञान-योगेन साङ्ख्यानां कर्म-योगेन योगिनाम् ॥ ३ ॥

śrī bhagavān uvāca
loke'smin dvi-vidhā niṣṭhā purā proktā mayānagha |
jñāna-yogena sāṅkhyānāṃ karma-yogena yoginām
|| 3 ||

śrī bhagavān uvāca–Śrī Bhagavān said; loke–in the world; asmin–this; dvi-vidhā–two types of; niṣṭhā–strong faith; purā–previously; proktā–it was clearly said; mayā–by Me; anagha–O sinless Arjuna; jñāna-yogena–through the connecting process of philosophical speculation; sāṅkhyānām–of the analytical philosophers; karma-yogena–through the yoga of selflessly offering the result of one’s karma to the Supreme, niṣkāma-karma; yoginām–of the yogīs.

Śrī Bhagavān said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained clearly that there are two types of faith in this world. The faith of the empiric speculators is in the path of jñāna-yoga, and that of the yogīs is in worshipping the Supreme Lord by offering Him the fruits of their prescribed duties.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

In response to Arjuna’s question, Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa says, “If I say that worshipping the Supreme by selflessly offering Him the results of one’s prescribed duties (niṣkāma-karma-yoga) and by the path of knowledge (jñāna-yoga)–both of which are the practices to attain liberation–are independent of each other, you will again ask Me to speak decisively on one of them. But as I have explained, these two types of faith, faith in karma and faith in jñāna, are actually two consecutive stages on the same path. I have not said that there are two types of people who are eligible to achieve liberation.”

For this reason these two verses are being spoken, beginning with loke’smin. As explained in the previous chapter, dvi-vidhā indicates two types of faith. In this regard, Kṛṣṇa is saying that, since in the stage of jñāna the heart of the jñānī is pure, he can be established in regulated self-discipline by the practice of jñāna-yoga. Only such persons who practise such regulated discipline are known in this world as jñānīs.

In the Gītā (2.61) Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:

tāni sarvāṇi saṃyamya yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ
vaśe hi yasyendriyāṇi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā

Therefore, one should subdue the senses by surrendering to Me in bhakti-yoga and remain under My shelter, because only one whose senses are controlled is of fixed intelligence. Only he is sthita-prajña.

Kṛṣṇa says, “On the other hand, there are those who lack the purity of heart to situate themselves on the path of jñāna but are searching for the means to attain that path. The regulative discipline of such yogīs is established by following the path of niṣkāma-karma-yoga, which is offered unto Me. Such persons are known as karmīs. In the Gītā (2.31) it is said, ‘For a kṣatriya, there is no better engagement than to fight for religion.’ The terms karmī and jñānī, therefore, are only appellations. However, generally, when karmīs begin to purify their hearts by the process of selflessly offering the fruits of their work to the Supreme Lord, they too become jñānīs, who can in turn become liberated by the process of devotion to Him. This is the import of My statements.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

The various processes of karma, yoga, jñāna, and tapasya (austerity) cannot independently award the results of practising them. Only by taking support of bhakti are they able to produce any beneficial result. Bhakti that is beyond the modes of material nature, however, can award kṛṣṇa-prema independently, without the help of these other processes.

Bhakti-yoga that is mixed with jñāna or karma is the means to attain liberation. There are two types of staunch faith related to this practice of mixed bhakti. Those with pure hearts possess the first type of faith. They ascend to the path of bhakti-yoga through their steady faith in sāṅkhya (the analytical study of the nature of spirit and matter) or jñāna-yoga (the path of spiritual advancement through transcendental knowledge). Those with impure hearts possess the second type of faith, yet by performing selfless action offered to Śrī Bhagavān, they can also ascend the path of jñāna-yoga and ultimately achieve bhakti.

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