Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 7.18, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 18 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 7.18:

उदाराः सर्वः एवैते ज्ञानी त्व् आत्मैव मे मतम् ।
आस्थितः स हि युक्तात्मा माम् एवानुत्तमां गतिम् ॥ १८ ॥

udārāḥ sarvaḥ evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam |
āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamāṃ gatim
|| 18 ||

udārāḥ–magnanimous; sarvaḥ–all; eva–certainly; ete–these; jñānī–the man in knowledge; tu–but; ātma eva–My very self; me–by Me; matam–is considered; āsthitaḥ–abiding; saḥ–that; hi–indeed; yukta-ātmā–soul is always connected; mām–in Me; eva–certainly; anuttamām–as his unsurpassable; gatim–goal (of life).

These are all certainly great souls, but still, I consider the jñānī to be as dear to Me as My own self. His thoughts always dwelling in Me, he stalwartly takes shelter of Me as his supreme destination.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

“Does that mean that the other three types of persons, the distressed and so on, are not dear to You?” In response, Śrī Bhagavān says, “No, no, that is not so,” and speaks this verse beginning with udārāḥ. “Whoever worships Me with a desire to receive something from Me and accepts that benediction when I award it to him is dear to Me. Having had his desires fulfilled by Me, he gives Me the quality of being bhakta-vatsala (affectionate to My devotees). The words jñānī tv ātmaiva, however, refer to the jñānī who is considered to be My own self and extremely dear to Me. This is because while performing bhajana of Me, he does not expect anything in return, such as residence in the heavenly planets or liberation. As a result I always remain under his control. He is like My own self. This is My opinion. Because he knows only Me, Śyāmasundara, as the highest destination, he remains free from anxiety and he is determined to attain Me. He does not take shelter of My impersonal, formless aspect, brahma-nirvāṇa.

“I am always affectionate to My devotees, and I consider such a jñānī, who is endowed with niṣkāma-pradhānī-bhūtā-bhakti, to be My very self. But one who is endowed with unalloyed kevalā-bhakti is even more dear than My own self.”

It is said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.14.15): “O Uddhava, as a bhakta, you are so dear to Me. Not even My own son Brahmā or Śaṅkara, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Laksmī-devī or My own svarūpa are as dear to Me as you are.” Moreover, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.4.64) says, “Without the association of My saintly devotees, I do not desire even the bliss of My own svarūpa.”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.29.42) says that although Śrī Kṛṣṇa is ātmārāma, He who delights within Himself, He mercifully enjoys pastimes with the gopīs.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura quotes Kṛṣṇa as saying, “When the above-described four classes of devotees accept kevalā-bhakti, they become supremely exalted. However, the jñānī-bhaktas are situated in Me because they have more determination than the others to realize Me, who am the Supreme Conscious Entity and the highest destination of their endeavours. They are very dear to Me and are able to control Me completely.”

People are able to perform bhajana to Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa as a result of spiritual merit accumulated in their previous lives. Those who are averse to Kṛṣṇa remain non-devotees, engaged in the worship of various demigods and goddesses. Therefore, those who perform worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are endowed with great intelligence, whether they have material desires or are free from them.

This is also expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.10):

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena yajeta puruṣaṃ param

Everyone–whether akāma (a devotee), sarva-kāma (a karmī) or mokṣa-kāma (a jñānī or yogī)–is encouraged to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the direct method of devotional service.*

In his Śārārtha-darśinī commentary on this verse, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains the word udāra-dhīḥ to mean ‘of pure and great intelligence (subuddhi)’: “The worship of Bhagavān is the symptom of great intelligence, regardless of whether one has material desires or is free from them. The absence of such worship is a symptom of impure and base intelligence.”

What to speak of the devotees who are free from material desires, even those devotees who have material desires attain service to Bhagavān in His abode, by His mercy or by the mercy of His devotees, after they have enjoyed their desired objective. Therefore, they possess great intelligence.

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