Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 7.14, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 14 from the chapter 7 called “Vijnana-Yoga (Yoga through Realization of Transcendental Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 7.14:

दैवी ह्य् एषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया ।
माम् एव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायाम् एतां तरन्ति ते ॥ १४ ॥

daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā |
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṃ taranti te
|| 14 ||

daivī–she bewilders the jīvas; hi–indeed; eṣā–this; guṇa-mayī–consisting of the three modes of material nature; mama–of Mine; māyā–illusory external energy; duratyayā–difficult to overcome; mām–to Me; eva–only; ye–who; prapadyante–takes shelter; māyām–illusion; etām–this; taranti–transcends, or crosses over; te–they.

This external energy of Mine, which consists of the three modes and which bewilders the living entities, is certainly very difficult to overcome, but those who take exclusive shelter of Me can easily transcend this māyā.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

The following question may be raised: “How can one become free from the delusion created by the three modes of nature?” In response, Śrī Bhagavān speaks this verse beginning with daivī. “This māyā is called daivī because she deludes the demigods (the living entities), who are divine by nature but who are absorbed in the sporting pleasures of sense enjoyment. This māyā is guṇa-mayī, composed of the three modes. The word guṇa-mayī has another meaning: ‘the form of a strong rope with three strands’. This external energy, which belongs to Me, Parameśvara, is extremely difficult to cross over. No one is able to cut this rope and become free from the bondage of the material modes of nature.” Śrī Bhagavān says, “Believe Me,” and then touching His own chest goes on to say mām: “A person can only transcend this māyā if he exclusively surrenders to Me in this form of Śyāmasundara.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Bhagavān’s two types of energy, or śakti, are parā (spiritual) and aparā (material). The spiritual, internal energy is called antaraṅgā (cit-śakti), and the material, external energy is called bahiraṅgā (acit-, aparā- or māyā-śakti). In the Upaniṣads it is also said, “māyāṃ tu prakṛtiṃ vidyān mayinaṃ tu maheśvarammāyā should be understood as the material energy; and the person (puruṣa) who is the shelter of māyā should be understood as the Supreme Controller” (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 4.10).

This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (8.5.30):

na yasya kaścātititarti māyāṃ yayā jano muhyati veda nārtham

The living entity is bewildered by the deluding potency, māyā-śakti, and therefore he is unable to understand the nature of the self. This insurmountable māyā of Bhagavān cannot be overcome by anyone without Bhagavān’s mercy.

One may question that if māyā-śakti is the cause of the living entity’s bondage, can one become free from this bondage by pleasing this māyā-śakti? What is the need to take shelter of Śrī Hari, Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas? In the present verse, Bhagavān responds to this with the words mama māyā. He says, “This māyā is not independent; rather, it is under My control, so it has no independence to liberate anyone from the material world.” This is what He means by the statement mām eva ye prapadyante. “Only a person who surrenders to Me can cross over this insurmountable māyā of Mine; others cannot.”

This is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.58):

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṃ mahat-padaṃ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṃ paraṃ padaṃ padaṃ padaṃ yad vipadāṃ na teṣām

When a person takes shelter of the boat of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is supremely famous and the shelter of such great personalities as Śiva and Brahmā, this ocean of the material world becomes just like the water contained in the hoof-print of a calf. That person then attains his supreme destination, Vaikuṇṭha, which is free from all types of miseries.

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