Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 18.78, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 18.78 from the chapter 18 called “Moksha-yoga (the Yoga of Liberation)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 18.78:

यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः ।
तत्र श्रीर् विजयो भूतिर् ध्रुवा नीतिर् मतिर् मम ॥ ७८ ॥

yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanurdharaḥ |
tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir dhruvā nītir matir mama
|| 78 ||

yatra–wherever; yoga-īśvaraḥ–the master of all yoga; kṛṣṇaḥ–Śrī Kṛṣṇa; yatra–wherever; pārthaḥ–Pārtha (Arjuna); dhanur-dharaḥ–the bow-wielder; tatra–there; śrīḥ–wealth; vijayaḥ–victory; bhūtiḥ–expanding prosperity; dhruvā–constant; nītiḥ–dedication to morality; matiḥ–opinion; mama–my.

Wherever there is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the master of all yoga, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme wielder of the bow, there will surely be majestic opulence, victory, prosperity and adherence to righteousness. This is my conclusive opinion.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

The Eighteenth Chapter briefly describes the essence of the entire Gītā. One division describes karma-yoga predominated by meditation (dhyāna-yoga), which results in knowledge of the self (ātma-jñāna). The other division describes the yoga of pure devotion that originates from faith in Bhagavān. This is indeed the essence of the Gītā. Of all these paths, the confidential instruction is to gradually achieve the path of jñāna. One can do this by the selfless performance of one’s prescribed duty, which is based on one’s own nature, while adopting varṇāśrama-dharma. More confidential than this is the instruction to cultivate, within this life, ātma-jñāna, knowledge of the self, through meditation (dhyāna-yoga). And the most confidential instruction is to engage in bhakti-yoga by exclusively surrendering to Svayam Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is the essence of the Eighteenth Chapter.

The purport of the entire Bhagavad-gītā is that the non-dual Absolute Entity (advaya-vastu) is the only Reality (tattva). He is the complete manifestation of Godhead. All other tattvas have emanated from Him. From His internal, spiritual potency (cit-śakti), His transcendental form, His various incarnations and other spiritual opulences emanate. Innumerable living entities manifest from his jīva-śakti. They are of two types: liberated (mukta) and bound (baddha). And from the twenty-four elements in their unmanifest state–pradhāna–to the blades of grass and shrubs, all manifest from His external, material energy, the māyā-śakti. The creation, maintenance and annihilation are performed by His time potency, kāla-śakti. All types of manifestations emanate from the kriyā-śakti.

The five elements: Īśvara (the Supersoul), prakṛti (material nature), jīva (the individual soul), kāla (time) and karma (activities) have all manifested from Bhagavān only. Brahma, Paramātmā, etc., are all within Bhagavān, as are all other conceptions of the Absolute Truth. Although these five are separate, they are simultaneously one constituent, under the complete control of bhagavat-tattva, and although they are one, they are eternally different because they have different characteristics. This explanation of bhedābheda-tattva, or simultaneous oneness and difference, as given in the Gītā is beyond human logic. Therefore, the previous spiritual authorities (mahājanas) have called this inconceivable relationship between Bhagavān and His potencies acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, and they have called the knowledge related to it, tattva-jñāna.

By constitutional nature, the jīvas are pure conscious entities. They are a special tattva that exist as atomic particles in the rays emanating from cit-sūrya, the transcendental conscious sun, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. By nature, they are qualified to exist in the spiritual (cit) and material (acit) worlds, being situated on the border between the two. Because they are conscious, they are independent by nature. If they are favourably inclined to Kṛṣṇa and attracted to the spiritual realm, then they can relish pure bliss (ānanda) with the help of the hlādinī-śakti, Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency. On the other hand, if, due to the influence of the māyā-śakti, they turn away from Kṛṣṇa, being attracted to the illusory world, then they have to undergo material happiness and distress. The living entities who have affinity for and attraction to the spiritual world are nitya-mukta, eternally liberated, and those who have affinity for the world of unconscious matter are eternally conditioned, nitya-baddha. Both types of living entities are unlimited in number.

Forgetting his pure constitutional nature, the living entity suffers various types of miseries in the ocean of material existence in higher and lower forms of life, such as demigods, humans, worms, insects, trees and creepers. At some time they may become disinterested in material life. By taking shelter at the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, a person meditates on the Lord under his guidance. This is included within the jurisdiction of karma-yoga. Gradually, when he perfects his meditation and realizes his pure svarūpa, he attains prema for the lotus feet of Śrī Bhagavān. Or, if he develops faith in topics of Bhagavān, he takes shelter of a proper guru and performs sādhana-bhakti. He then attains bhāva-bhakti and finally prema-bhakti.

There is no path other than these two to realize the pure svarūpa of the soul.

Of these two paths, the path of karma-yoga predominated by meditation upon the Lord (dhyāna-yoga) is suitable for the common man, because its performance is controlled by one’s own effort. Bhakti-yoga, which arises from śraddhā, is superior to karma-yoga and also easier to perform, but it cannot be attained without the good fortune of receiving the grace of Bhagavān or His devotees.

Most people in the world are inclined to karma-yoga. Among them, those in whom the good fortune awakens of developing faith in bhakti-yoga eventually attain the stage of exclusive surrender to Bhagavān, as described in the concluding verse of the Gītā. This is the process (abhidheya) described in all Vedic literature.

The path of karma is based on material desires. Its goals, attainment of material happiness, enjoyment in the fourteen planetary systems and liberation have no significant worth for the conscious jīva. From the outset, the Gītā describes as worthless both fruitive action and its result, sense enjoyment. Even the attainment of sāyujya-nirvāṇa, which is the perfection of monism and which is attained when one has become liberated from birth and death, is not the ultimate goal of the jīva. This has also been stated in various places. The supreme goal of the living entity is to rise above impersonal realization and the four types of mukti, such as sālokya, and achieve spotlessly pure prema to Śrī Kṛṣṇa by entering into the topmost spiritual realm where His pastimes are performed.

The conclusion of all Veda and Vedānta is compiled in the Gītā, which establishes the supreme goal: to attain prema for Bhagavān by performing bhakti-yoga in knowledge of one’s relationship with Him.

A person should always practise bhakti-yoga by hearing and chanting according to his qualification‚ as well as by adhering to a religious life. He should maintain his life by performing his occupation while remaining favourable to the cultivation of devotion. With great faith in the higher process, he should gradually give up any faith in a lower process. He must then become firmly fixed in bhakti-yoga, through śaraṇāgati, full surrender. In this way, he ought to live his life. Bhagavān will quickly award him śuddha-prema, pure love of God. Merely by starting to purify his existence, a person achieves the mercy of Bhagavān, which bestows upon him fearlessness, immortality and freedom from lamentation, and he becomes eternally absorbed in prema.

Thus ends the Sārārtha-varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja,
on the Eighteenth Chapter of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā.

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