Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 4.29, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 29 from the chapter 4 called “Jnana-Yoga (Yoga through Transcendental Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 4.29:

अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।
प्राणापान-गती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायाम-परायणाः ।
अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान् प्राणेषु जुह्वति ॥ २९ ॥

apāne juhvati prāṇaṃ prāṇe'pānaṃ tathāpare |
prāṇāpāna-gatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāma-parāyaṇāḥ |
apare niyatāhārāḥ prāṇān prāṇeṣu juhvati || 29 ||

apāne–into the down-going; juhvati–he offers; prāṇam–the up-going breath; prāṇe–into the up-going; apānam–the down-going breath; tathā–and; apare–others (who have faith in the process of prāṇāyāma); prāṇa-apāna-gatī–the movement of these two airs; ruddhvā–having blocked; prāṇāyāma-parāyaṇāḥ–devoted to expansion of their life-energy; apare–others; niyata-āhārāḥ–restraining eating; prāṇān–their up-going breaths; prāṇeṣu–into the up-going breaths; juhvati–offer.

Others, who are steadfast in controlling the life force (prāṇāyāma), offer the up-going breath (prāṇa) into the down-going breath (apāna) and conversely offer the down-going breath into the up-going breath. Having stopped both the up-going breath and the down-going breath, they dedicate themselves to controlling the various life-airs. Others, while checking the eating process, offer their up-going breath into down-going breath itself, as a sacrifice.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Some yogīs, who are devoted to the control of their life-airs, sacrifice the up-going breath (prāṇa) into the down-going breath (apāna). This means that at the time of inhalation they combine them. Similarly, at the time of exhalation, they offer the down-going breath into the out-going breath, and as they hold their breath, they stop the movement of both the up-going breath and down-going breath and become fixed in the practice of prāṇāyāma.

Others, who want to control the senses, sacrifice their senses into their life-airs by moderating their food intake. The senses are under the control of prāṇa, the life-air. When the life-air becomes weak, naturally the senses also become weak and unable to enjoy their sense objects. In this way, these persons offer their disabled senses into their life-air, living only on their life-air.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Aṣṭāṅga-yoga (the eightfold path of yoga) is being explained in more detail. Yogīs sacrifice the up-going breath into the down-going breath through inhalation. In other words, as they inhale, they combine them. Similarly, as they exhale, they offer the down-going breath into the up-going breath, and as they hold their breath, they stop the movements of both the up-going and down-going life-airs.

The word prāṇāyāma has two components. Prāṇa means ‘a special type of air’ and āyāma means ‘expansion’. Here, expansion means to control the prāṇa (life-air) from the tip of the toenails to the hair on top of the head. In Garuḍa Purāṇa it is said, “prāṇāyāmo maruj-jayaḥ–to control the prāṇa is called prāṇāyāma.” Therefore, prāṇāyāma means ‘expanding prāṇa for the purpose of controlling the activities of the senses’.

Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.15.1) explains, “When a person controls his senses and his breathing process and fully absorbs his mind in Me, all the mystic perfections naturally come under his control.” For more information on this subject, readers should study the book Prema-pradīpa by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura.

The Smṛtis describe sacrifices such as dravya-yajña (offering material possessions in charity), tapo-yajña (performing difficult austerities), yoga-yajña (performing the eightfold process of aṣṭāṅga-yoga) and svādhyāya-jñāna-yajña (studying the Vedas to acquire knowledge), while the tantra-śāstra describes haṭha-yoga and various other types of vows for controlling the senses. However, the best type of sacrifice in this Kali-yuga, when people have but short life spans and very little intelligence, is the natural and easily perfected saṅkīrtana-yajña, the chanting of the holy names.

Not only every human but every living entity has the right to perform saṅkīrtana-yajña:

harer nāma, harer nāma, harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva
, nāsty eva, nāsty eva, gatir anyathā

Bṛhad-Nāradīya Purāṇa

In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.*

This is also explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32):

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṃ tviṣākṛṣṇaṃ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

By performing the sacrifice of the chanting of the holy names, intelligent persons worship that Personality in whose mouth the two syllables kṛ and ṣṇa are dancing, whose bodily colour is like brilliant gold, and who is surrounded by His associates, servitors, weapons and confidential companions.

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