Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 18.63, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 18.63 from the chapter 18 called “Moksha-yoga (the Yoga of Liberation)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 18.63:

इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातं गुह्याद् गुह्यतरं मया ।
विमृश्यैतद् अशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु ॥ ६३ ॥

iti te jñānam ākhyātaṃ guhyād guhyataraṃ mayā |
vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru
|| 63 ||

iti–thus; te–to you; jñānam–transcendental knowledge; ākhyātam–has been described; guhyāt–than the confidential knowledge; guhyataram–more confidential; mayā–by Me; vimṛśya–after reflecting; etat–on this; aśeṣeṇa–completely; yathā–as; icchasi–you wish; tathā–so; kuru–do.

Thus I have instructed you in this knowledge, which is more confi-dential than the secret knowledge of brahma. Reflect fully on this confidential knowledge, and then act as you wish.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Śrī Bhagavān is speaking this verse beginning with iti to conclude the entire Gītā. “One can know karma-yoga, aṣṭāṅga-yoga and jñāna-yoga by this knowledge. This means that it is even more confidential than the knowledge imparted in scriptures delineating jñāna. Even sages such as Vasiṣṭha, Vedavyāsa and Nārada could not reveal it in the scriptures they composed, for their omniscience is relative, but Mine is complete. Due to the highly confidential nature of this tattva, even these exalted sages are not fully acquainted with it; I do not instruct it even to them. Reflect deeply upon My instructions and then act as you desire, in accordance with your discretion.”

In this way, the last set of six chapters has been completed. This Bhagavad-gītā, consisting of eighteen chapters, is the crest jewel of all types of knowledge. It is comprised of three sets of six chapters and is like a treasure chest that contains the most precious and unrivalled gem, namely, highly confidential bhakti. The first set of six chapters, called karma-ṣaṭka, is the gold-covered base of this chest, and the last set of six chapters, jñāna-ṣaṭka, is the gem-studded lid. Bhakti‚ the set of six chapters situated in between these two ṣaṭkas, is the most precious wealth within the three worlds. Containing the power to control and overpower Śrī Kṛṣṇa, bhakti is situated within this chest like an excellent and beautiful gem. The forthcoming two verses (18.65–66), the first beginning with man-manā bhava, consist of sixty-four syllables. They should be regarded as the pure maidservant of this bhakti, being situated as the upper covering of the entire chest.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

In this present verse, Śrī Bhagavān is presenting His conclusion to Bhagavad-gītā. He says that knowledge of His impersonal aspect, brahma-jñāna, as previously described, is confidential; knowledge of His aspect as the Supersoul, paramātma-jñāna, is more confidential; and knowledge of Him, the Supreme Person, bhagavat-jñāna, is most confidential. He will clearly explain this in the following verse. Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is the non-dual Absolute Truth (advaya-jñāna-svarūpa) and the ultimate limit of parā-tattva. He has three manifestations: brahma (His bodily efful-gence), Paramātmā (His localized aspect) and Bhagavān (His personal aspect, the Supreme Lord Himself).

As Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.11) states:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṃ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate

Those who are knowers of the Truth (tattva-vit) realize that non-dual Absolute Truth in three aspects. Brahma only has the characteristic of cit, or consciousness, and is the first manifestation of that tattva. Paramātmā, the extension of that cit, is the second manifestation. And Bhagavān, who manifests as cid-vilāsa-rūpa (He who performs transcendental, amorous pastimes) is the third manifestation. That tattva is known by three names in these three states.

The three manifestations of Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa are brahma, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Realization of brahma (the effulgence emanating from His body) is the perverted reflection of cid-aṃśa, the conscious aspect of the Absolute Truth. It does not yield full understanding of the Truth. Realization of Paramātmā comprises partial realization of sat (eternality) and cit (cognizance). And realization of Bhagavān is the complete realization of the Absolute in the form of sat (eternality), cit (cognizance) and ānanda (complete bliss).

Here, brahma-jñāna is called confidential (guhya), paramātma-jñāna more confidential (guhyatara) and bhagavat-jñāna the most confidential (guhyatama).

This most confidential bhagavat-jñāna also has three divisions: Śrī Kṛṣṇa is complete in Dvārakā, more complete in Mathurā and most complete in Vṛndāvana, or Gokula. Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa’s friend in His Dvārakā pastimes, is only familiar with His complete feature.

The eighteen chapters of the Gītā are divided into three divisions of six. The first six chapters describe niṣkāma-karma-yoga, the yoga of offering the result of one’s selflessly performed prescribed duty to Bhagavān. The second six chapters describe bhakti-yoga, the yoga of pure devotion, and the third six chapters describe jñāna-yoga, the yoga of transcendental knowledge. One should not think that jñāna-yoga is the highest and final conclusion just because it comes at the end of this scripture. Rather, the meaning is hidden: bhakti-yoga, which is situated in between karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, gives strength to both, enabling karma and jñāna to give their results. Karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga are useless without the shelter of bhakti. Therefore, the Gītā is like a treasure chest, its base being karma-yoga, its upper lid being jñāna-yoga, and the great wealth of Bhakti-devī being situated like a precious gem in between. In this way, people in general can understand that the first six chapters are confidential, the last six chapters are more confidential, and the middle six chapters are the most confidential.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura quotes Kṛṣṇa as saying, “Knowledge of the impersonal aspect of Bhagavān (brahma-jñāna), which I explained to you earlier, is secret. Knowledge of the localized aspect of Bhagavān (paramātma-jñāna), which is now being explained, is more secret. Reflect on this thoroughly and do as you wish.

“If you want to achieve brahma by taking shelter of jñāna through the yoga of selfless action and in this way gradually achieve devotion to Me that is beyond the modes of nature, then perform your actions in this battle as niṣkāma-karma. And if you want to surrender to Paramātmā, then engage in battle while offering your actions to Īśvara, performing the duty born of your kṣatriya nature, as prompted by Him. Then Īśvara, who is My avatāra (incarnation), will gradually bestow upon you that bhakti which is transcendental to the modes. Whatever your conclusion, understand that to fight is certainly beneficial for you.”

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