Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 4.5, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 5 from the chapter 4 called “Jnana-Yoga (Yoga through Transcendental Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 4.5:

श्री भगवान् उवाच–
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ५ ॥

śrī bhagavān uvāca
bahūni me vyatītāni janmāni tava cārjuna |
tāny ahaṃ veda sarvāṇi na tvaṃ vettha parantapa || 5 ||

śrī bhagavān–the Lord, complete in six opulences; uvāca–said; bahūni–many; me–I; vyatītāni–have passed; janmāni–births; tava–you;ca–and; arjuna–O Arjuna; tāni–them; aham–I;veda–remember; sarvāṇi–all; na–not; tvam–you; vettha–remember; parantapa–O chastiser of the enemy.

The all-opulent Personality of Godhead said: O chastiser of the foe, both you and I have passed many lives. I remember all of them, whereas you do not.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

In this verse beginning with bahūni, Śrī Bhagavān says, “I have also instructed this science in My other incarnations.” Tava ca means, “Whenever I have descended, you have also appeared as My associate. Being both omniscient and omnipotent, I remember all of My appearances. For the fulfilment of My pastimes, I have covered your knowledge, and that is why you do not remember your previous births. Now, with the identity of being a son of Kuntī, you are giving pain (tapa) to the enemy (para), O Parantapa.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Here, Śrī Kṛṣṇa informs Arjuna, “Prior to My present appearance, I descended in many other incarnations and manifested many different names, forms and pastimes. I remember all of them fully. You also appeared with Me, but because you are in the category of jīva-tattva (an individual soul, an atomic conscious particle), you do not remember them.”

At the time of Kṛṣṇa’s name-giving ceremony, Śrī Gargācārya also confirmed that Kṛṣṇa has many names, forms and pastimes:

bahūni santi nāmāni rūpāṇi ca sutasya te
guṇa-karmāṇi rūpāṇi tāny ahaṃ veda no janāḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.8.15)

According to His qualities and activities, your son has many names and forms. I am aware of them, but others are not.

Similarly, Bhagavān told Mucukunda:

janma-karmābhidhānāni santi me’ṅga sahasraśaḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.51.36)

My dear Mucukunda, My name, births, activities and other characteristics are unlimited.

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