Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 4.4, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 4 from the chapter 4 called “Jnana-Yoga (Yoga through Transcendental Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 4.4:

अर्जुन उवाच–
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः ।
कथम् एतद् विजानीयां त्वम् आदौ प्रोक्तवान् इति ॥ ४ ॥

arjuna uvāca
aparaṃ bhavato janma paraṃ janma vivasvataḥ |
katham etad vijānīyāṃ tvam ādau proktavān iti || 4 ||

arjunaḥ uvāca–Arjuna said; aparam–recent; bhavataḥ–Your; janma–birth; param–ancient; janma–the birth; vivasvataḥ–of the sun-god; katham–how?; etat–this; vijānīyām–may I understand; tvam–You; ādau–in the beginning; proktavān–spoke; iti–that.

Arjuna said: Your birth took place only recently, whereas the sun-god was born in ancient times. How am I to understand that You spoke this yoga to him in a previous age?

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Arjuna is questioning Śrī Kṛṣṇa, considering His previous statement to be impossible. “You were born recently (aparam), and Sūrya, the sun-god, was born long ago (param), so how can I believe that You instructed him in this yoga in ancient times?”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Arjuna is Bhagavān’s great devotee and eternal friend. For this reason, he is referred to as an associate of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and as such he is completely conversant with the science of Godhead, or bhagavat-tattva. Ignorant people generally think that Bhagavān Vāsudeva, the controller of all controllers, is an ordinary human being. Instead of accepting that He is omniscient and ever-existing, they consider Him to be a man of limited knowledge, who is subject to death. They also think that the birth and activities of Bhagavān are temporary; they do not know that they are transcendental.

It is said in Bhagavad-gītā (10.12):

paraṃ brahma paraṃ dhāma pavitraṃ paramaṃ bhavān
puruṣaṃ śāśvataṃ divyam ādi-devam ajaṃ vibhum

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest and the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn and the greatest.

Ignorant persons accept the opposite meaning of this verse. They do not accept that Śrī Bhagavān is the Supreme Absolute Truth, who possesses a spiritual form and the highest purity. They also do not believe that He is an eternal person and the original Godhead, who is unborn and all-pervading, and who is endowed with unlimited transcendental opulence. Although Arjuna is highly learned, for the welfare of humanity and so that Bhagavān may deliver these truths from His own lotus mouth, he is inquiring from Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa as if ignorant.

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