Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 10.32, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 10.32 from the chapter 10 called “Vibhuti-yoga (appreciating the opulences of the Supreme Lord)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 10.32:

सर्गाणाम् आदिर् अन्तश् च मध्यं चैवाहम् अर्जुन ।
अध्यात्म-विद्या विद्यानां वादः प्रवदताम् अहम् ॥ ३२ ॥

sargāṇām ādir antaś ca madhyaṃ caivāham arjuna |
adhyātma-vidyā vidyānāṃ vādaḥ pravadatām aham
|| 32 ||

sargāṇām–of created objects such as the sky, etc.; ādiḥ–the creator (beginning); antaḥ–the dissolution (end); ca–and; madhyam–the maintainer (middle); ca–and; eva–certainly; aham–I; arjuna–O Arjuna; adhyātma-vidyā–knowledge of the self; vidyānām–of processes of knowledge; vādaḥ–the philosophical conclusion; pravadatām–of logical arguments; aham–I.

O Arjuna, I am the creator, maintainer and destroyer of all created objects, such as the sky. Of all knowledge I am knowledge of the self, and in logical debate I am vāda, the philosophical principle that asserts the conclusive truth.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

“That which is created, such as the sky, is called sarga. I am the creator (ādi–the beginning), annihilator (anta–the end) and maintainer (madhya–middle) of these. Therefore, since creation, maintenance and annihilation are My opulences, one should meditate upon them.” The statement, “I am the beginning, middle and end,” establishes that Śrī Bhagavān is the original doer (karttā) behind all creation. “Of Vedic knowledge, I am ātma-jñāna, knowledge of the self. Within logical debate (pravadatām), consisting of jalpa, vitaṇḍā and vāda, which establish one’s own point and refute the opponent’s assertion, I am vāda, by which the correct siddhānta and tattva are established.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

In this verse, Bhagavān has explained that of the various aspects of knowledge, His opulence is adhyātma-vidyā, spiritual knowledge of the self. Vidyā (knowledge) is the education a person acquires in relation to knowable subjects by using his own intelligence. The scriptures describe eighteen types of vidyās.

Among them, fourteen are prominent:

aṅgāni vedaś catvāro mīmāṃsā nyāya-vistaraḥ dharma-śāstraṃ purāṇañ ca vidyā hy etāṃ caturdaśaḥ
āyur-vedo dhanur-vedo gāndharvāś ceti te trayaḥ artha-śāstraṃ caturthañ ca vidyā hy aṣṭādaśaiva tāḥ

(Viṣṇu Purāṇa)

Śikṣā (phonetics), kalpa (ritual), vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar), nirukta (etymology), jyotiṣa (astrology) and chanda (metre) are the six types of knowledge known as vedāṅga (the limbs of the Vedas). Ṛg, Sāma, Yajuḥ and Atharva are the four Vedas. All these combined with mīmāṃsā (the science of fruitive action), nyāya (the study of logic), dharma-śāstra (morality) and the Purāṇas comprise the fourteen chief branches of knowledge called vidyā.

Practice of these vidyās sharpens a person’s intelligence and increases his knowledge of various subjects. This knowledge not only helps him to maintain his livelihood, but it also guides him on the path of righteous conduct, or dharma. However, transcendental knowledge (adhyātma-vidyā) gives human beings immortality, liberating them from their bondage to the material world. It gives them complete knowledge of Parabrahma, the Supreme Lord, and it allows them to realize the supreme eternal reality. Thus it is superior to all the above-mentioned vidyās. This transcendental knowledge (adhyātma-vidyā) is Kṛṣṇa’s opulence, or vibhūti. Bhagavad-gītā and the Upaniṣads are included within the category of adhyātma-vidyā. The rasa-filled bhakti of the residents of Vraja, as described in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, is millions of times superior to the adhyātma-vidyā, transcendental knowledge, of Uddhava. Since this rasamayī-bhakti is the essence of the pleasure-giving and cognizance potencies (hlādinī-and saṃvit-śaktis) of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s svarūpa, it is truly the svarūpa of Kṛṣṇa. Knowledge of the soul, or adhyātma-vidyā, on the other hand, is a partial opulence of prema-bhakti.

This is also confirmed in the dialogue between Rāya Rāmānanda and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 8.245):

prabhu kahe,—“kon vidyā vidyā-madhye sāra?”
rāya kahe
,—“kṛṣṇa-bhakti vinā vidyā nāhi āra

Mahāprabhu inquired, “Among all types of knowledge, which is the best?” Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “Besides kṛṣṇa-bhakti there is no other type of knowledge.”

A similar statement is made in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.29.49): “ vidyā tan-matir yayā–that by which one’s intelligence becomes fixed on the lotus feet of Śrī Bhagavān is the only real knowledge.”

Moreover, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.3) states:

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva jīvanti san-mukharitāṃ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṃ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir ye prāyaśo’jita jito’py asi tais tri-lokyām

Bhagavān is unconquerable by anyone within this world. Yet if someone faithfully hears hari-kathā, even while remaining within his established social position, then the disease of lust and all impediments to spiritual advancement (anarthas) will vanish from his heart and he will overpower that unconquerable Bhagavān. Such is the potency of līlā-kathā.

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained the confidential meaning of the statement jñāne prayāsam udapāsya in this verse. “There are three types of knowledge that are opposed to bhakti: nirviśeṣa (knowledge of a Truth devoid of variety), nirākāra (knowledge of a Truth devoid of form) and jīva-brahma-aikyavāda jñāna (knowledge of the oneness of the jīva and Bhagavān). What is more, Svayam Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa is replete with six opulences: jñāna-tvadīya-svarūpa-aiśvarya-mahimā-vicāre. From a portion of a portion of His plenary portion, this material world is created, maintained and annihilated. Even if one does not try to understand all these subject matters, or even if one does not make the effort to travel to the holy places, merely by listening with love to Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful pastimes, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who cannot be conquered by anybody, becomes controlled.”

Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa has also said [regarding various topics of debate] that He is vāda, the conclusive truth (tattva) ascertained by proper deliberation, logic and argument. In the field of argument and logic, vāda, jalpa and vitaṇḍā are quite well known. When, for the sake of establishing one’s own opinion, one continuously finds fault with the opponent’s statements, it is called jalpa. Keeping the truth aside and avoiding proper deliberation and logic while finding fault in an opponent’s statement is called vitaṇḍā. The purpose of such arguments is not to ascertain Reality, it is only to display one’s scholarship, and it is seen when the desire to defeat the opponent is very strong. That deliberation which ascertains the Absolute Reality is called vāda. This vāda is superior to all other forms of discussion.

When a self-realized guru and a disciple who is hankering for transcendental knowledge have a positive dialogue about the Absolute Truth, the conclusion they reach is called vāda. The pride of scholarship does not exist within such exchanges, as neither guru nor disciple has the desire to defeat the other.

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