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Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Meta Shloka of Gita Verses

Shri R. Visvanatha Sastri (Prof. VK's father) has written a shloka, which refers to 18 verses of Gita. Read more about it here. The shloka itself is this

OmahaM prakR^itiM nainam yogabhaktyA mayA yataH /
amAnitvaM sukhaM kAryaM IshvaraH purushaH sa yat.h // * //

The following is a translation of the 18 verses (source: Swami Gambhirananda), with the five verses 13.(7-11) included.

  1. omityekaaksharaM brahma vyaaharanmaamanusmaran.h .
    yaH prayaati tyajandehaM sa yaati paramaa.n gatim.h .. 8.13..

    He who departs by leaving the body while uttering the single syllable, viz Om, which is Brahman, and thinking of Me, he attains the supreme Goal. [Emphasis on final thoughts. The implied meaning is the emphasis on thoughts in the entire life.] [In the entire Gita, this is the only shloka that begins with Om.]
  2. ahaM sarvasya prabhavo mattaH sarvaM pravartate .
    iti matvaa bhajante maaM budhaa bhaavasamanvitaaH .. 10.8..

    I am the origin of all; everything moves on owing to Me. Realizing thus, the wise ones, filled with fervour, adore Me. [The wise know that things happen due to Him and Prakriti and hence adore him, as they see the beauty of everything as it is.] [
    The verses 9.16 (and hence the series 9.(16-19)), 10.20 and 15.14 also begin with aham. The verses 9.24, 16.18 and 18.53 also begin with aham, though it is less likely that they are being referred to here.]
  3. prakR^itiM purushha.n chaiva vidyanaadi ubhaavapi .
    vikaaraa.nshcha guNaa.nshchaiva viddhi prakR^itisaMbhavaan.h ..

    Know both Nature and also the individual soul to be verily without beginning; know the modifications as also the qualities as born of Nature. [Both of them are
     timeless without beginning.] [Though 9.8 and 13.1 both begin with the same word, it is less likely that this word refers to either of them.]
  4. naina.n chhindanti shastraaNi naina.n dahati paavakaH .
    na chaina.n kledayantyaapo na shoshhayati maarutaH .. 2.23..

    Weapons do not cut It, fire does not burn It, water does not moisten It, and air does not dry It.
     [Though it is more subtle than space, Atman can be thought of as space, with space being one of the five elements. Just as the elements cannot interfere in each other, and hence the other four elements cannot interfere in the most subtle space, they cannot interfere in the Atman.]
  5. yogayukto vishuddhaatmaa vijitaatmaa jitendriyaH .
    sarvabhuutaatmabhuutaatmat kurvannapi na lipyate .. 5.7..

    Endowed with yoga, pure in mind, controlled in body, a conqueror of the organs, the Self of the selves of all beings-he does not become tainted even while performing actions.
     [Even by doing, he is not contaminated.] [2.48 is a reasonable contender for this. What about 4.41?]
  6. bhaktyaa maamabhijaanaati yaavaanyashchaasmi tattvataH .
    tato maaM tattvato GYaatvaa vishate tadana.ntaram.h .. 18.55..

    Through devotion he knows Me in reality, as to what and who I am. Then, having known Me in truth, he enters (into Me) immediately after that (Knowledge). [
    11.54 is a serious contender for this.]
  7. mayaa tatamidaM sarva.n jagadavyaktamuurtinaa .
    matsthaani sarvabhuutaani na chaahaM teshhvavasthitaH .. 9.4..

    This whole world is prevaded by Me in My unmanifest form. All beings exist in Me, but I am not contained in them! [This verse, together with the next one (9.5), contains one of the three secrets of Gita. Prof. VK-ji explains it beautifully
  8. yataH pravR^ittirbhuutaanaa.n yena sarvamidaM tatam.h .
    svakarmaNaa tamabhyarchya siddhi.n vindati maanavaH .. 18.46..

    A human being achieves success by adoring through his own duties Him from whom is the origin of creatures, and by whom is all this pervaded. [The only shloka that begins with the word yataH.]
  9. Ch.13-7: amAnitvaM adambhitvaM ... 

    • amaanitvamadambhitvamahi.nsaa kshaantiraarjavam.h .
      aachaaryopaasanaM shauchaM sthairyamaatmavinigrahaH .. 13.7..

      (7.) Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, for-bearance, sincerity, service of the teacher, cleanliness, steadiness, control of body and organs;
    • indriyaartheshhu vairaagyamanaha.nkaara eva cha .
      janmamR^ityujaraavyaadhiduHkhadoshhaanudarshanam.h .. 13.8..

      (8.) Non-attachment with regard to objects of the senses, and also absence of egotism; seeing the evil in birth, death, old age, diseases and miseries;
    • asaktiranabhishhvaN^gaH putradaaragR^ihaadishhu .
      nitya.n cha samachittatvamishhTaanishhTopapattishhu .. 13.9..

      (9.) Non-attachment and absence of fondness with regard to sons, wives, homes, etc., and constant equanimity of the mind with regard to the attainment of the desirable and the undesirable;
    • mayi chaananyayogena bhaktiravyabhichaariNii .
      viviktadeshasevitvamaratirjanasa.nsadi .. 13.10..

      (10.) And unwavering devotion to Me with single-minded concentration; inclination to repair into a clean place; lack of delight in a crowd of people;
    • adhyaatmaGYaananityatva.n tattvaGYaanaarthadarshanam.h .
      etajGYaanamiti proktamaGYaanaM yadato.anyathaa .. 13.11..

      (11.) Steadfastness in the knowledge of the Self, contemplation on the Goal of the knowledge of Reality-this is spoken of as Knowledge. Ignorance is that which is other than this.

[There is no contention for these shlokas. They are the well known GYaana shloka, with GYaana here meaning sAdhana.]
  1. sukhamaatyantikaM yattad.h buddhigraahyamatiindriyam.h .
    vetti yatra na chaivaayaM sthitashchalati tattvataH .. 6.21..

    When one experienece that absolute Blisss which can be intuited by the intellect and which is beyond the senses, and being established (thus) this person surely does not swerve from Reality;
     [About bliss of the Atman and the attitude of one who has experienced it.]
  2. kaaryamityeva yatkarma niyataM kriyate.arjuna .
    saN^ga.n tyaktvaa phala.n chaiva sa tyaagaH saattviko mataH ..

    Whatever obligatory duty is performed just because it is a bounden duty, O Arjuna, by giving up attachment and the result as well,-that renunciation is considered to be based on sattva.
  3. iishvaraH sarvabhuutaanaa.n hR^iddeshe.arjuna tishhThati .
    bhraamayansarvabhuutaani yantraaruuDhaani maayayaa .. 18.61..

    O Arjuna, the Lord resides in the region of the heart of all creatures, revolving through Maya all the creatures (as though) mounted on a machine!
  4. purushhaH sa paraH paartha bhaktyaa labhyastvananyayaa .
    yasyaantaHsthaani bhuutaani yena sarvamidaM tatam.h .. 8.22..

    O son of Prtha, that supreme Person-in whom are included (all) the beings and by whom all this is pervaded-is, indeed, reached through one-pointed devotion.
  5. yadaadityagataM tejo jagadbhaasayate.akhilam.h .
    yachchandramasi yachchaagnau tattejo viddhi maamakam.h .. 15.12..

    That light in the sun which illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon, and that which is in fire,-know that light to be Mine.

The shloka and the explanation of ProfVK-ji raises many questions:

  1. Why these verses? Why this order? Is there any implied meaning in this verse? What does Prof VK-ji mean when he says "which makes sense if you look at the content of these slokas.".
  2. Why does Prof Vk-ji say that this shloka is the capsule of whole Gita teaching?
  3. Are 7.16, 7.17, 11.38, 11.18, 9.27, 9.22, 13.2, 18.55, 18.66 hiding somewhere?
  4. Does the second word 'aham' refer to 9.16 and hence to 9.(16-19), rather than just to 10.8? If so, does the number of shlokas then becomes 18+3 = 21?
  5. Why is this shloka written on a page of the 14th chapter?
  6. Is the 9.4 really standing for 9.5 and 9.5 and thus adding one more to the number?
  7. Can we add the 9.(16-19) shlokas, as well as 9.(4-5)? This makes the total number of shlokas as 22. Where are the rest 2 shlokas making up to the (next) magic number 24 (Gayathri)?

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