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Who Founded Hinduism? The Origin Of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma-hindufaqs

Introduction

What do we mean by Founder? When we say a founder, we mean to say that someone has brought into existence a new faith or formulated a set of religious beliefs, principles and practices which were not in existence before. That cannot happen with a faith such as Hinduism, which is considered eternal. According to the scriptures, Hinduism is the religion of not just humans. Even gods and demons practice it. Ishwar (Ishwara), the Lord of the universe, is its source. He also practices it. Hence, Hinduism is God’s Dharma, brought down to the earth, just as the sacred River Ganga, for the welfare of the humans.

Who is then the Founder of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)?

 Hinduism is not founded by a person or a prophet. Its source is God (Brahman) himself. Hence, it is considered an eternal religion (Sanatana dharma). Its first teachers were Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma, the creator God revealed the secret knowledge of the Vedas to gods, humans and demons in the beginning of creation. He also imparted to them the secret knowledge of the Self, but due to their own limitations, they understood it in their own ways.

Vishnu is the preserver. He preserves the knowledge of Hinduism through countless manifestations, associated gods, aspects, saints and seers to ensure the order and regularity of the worlds. Through them, he also restores the lost knowledge of various Yogas or introduces new reforms. Further, whenever the Hindu Dharma declines beyond a point, he incarnates upon earth to restore it and revive its forgotten or lost teachings. Vishnu exemplifies the duties which humans are expected to perform upon earth in their individual capacity as householders within their spheres.

Shiva too plays an important role in upholding Hindu Dharma. As the destroyer, he removes the impurities and confusion that creeps into our sacred knowledge. He is also considered the universal teacher and the source of various art and dance forms (Lalitakalas), Yogas, vocations, sciences, farming, agriculture, alchemy, magic, healing, medicine, Tantra and so on.

Thus, like the mystic Ashvattha Tree which is mentioned in the Vedas, the roots of Hinduism are in heaven, and its branches are spread out on earth. Its core is divine knowledge, which governs the conduct of not only humans but also of the beings in other worlds with God acting as its creator, preserver, concealer, revealer and remover of obstacles. Its core philosophy (the shruti) is eternal, while it changing parts (smriti) keep changing according to the time and circumstances, and the progress of the world. Containing in itself the diversity of God’s creation, it remains open to all possibilities, modifications and future discoveries.

Also Read: Prajapatis – the 10 sons of Lord Brahma

Many other divinities such as Ganesha, Prajapati, Indra, Shakti, Narada, Saraswati and Lakshmi are also credited with the authorship of many scriptures. Apart from this, countless scholars, seers, sages, philosophers, gurus, ascetic movements and teacher traditions enriched Hinduism through their teachings, writings, commentaries, discourses and expositions. Thus, Hinduism is derived from many sources. Many of its beliefs and practices found their way into other religions, that either originated in India or interacted with it.

Since Hinduism has its roots in the eternal knowledge and its aims and purpose are closely aligned to those of God as the Creator of all, it is considered an eternal religion (Sanatana dharma). Hinduism may disappear from the face of the earth due to the impermanent nature of the world, but the sacred knowledge which forms its foundation will remain forever and keep manifesting in each cycle of creation under different names. It is also said that Hinduism has no founder and no missionary goals because people have to come to it either by providence (birth) or personal decision due to their spiritual readiness (past karma).

The name Hinduism, which is derived from the root word, “Sindhu” came into usage due to historical reasons. Hinduism as a conceptual entity did not exist until the British times. The word itself does not appear in literature until the 17th Century A.D. In medieval times, the Indian subcontinent was known as Hindustan or the land of Hindus. They were not all practising same faith, but different ones, which included Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Brahmanism and several ascetic traditions, sects and sub sects.

The native traditions and the people who practiced Sanatana Dharma went by different names, but not as Hindus. During the British times, all the native faiths were grouped under the generic name, “Hinduism” to distinguish it from Islam and Christianity and to dispense with justice or settle local disputes, property and tax matters.

Subsequently, after the independence, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were separated from it by enacting laws. Thus, the word Hinduism was born out of historical necessity and entered the constitutional laws of India through legislation.

Jagannath Temple, Puri

Sanskrit:

कदाचित्कालिन्दी तट विपिनसङ्गीततरलो
मुदाभीरीनारीवदन कमलास्वादमधुपः ।
रमाशम्भुब्रह्मामरपति गणेशार्चितपदो
जगन्नाथः स्वामी नयनपथगामी भवतुमे ॥१॥

Translation:

Kadahit Kalindi tatta vipina sangita taralo
Mudaa abhiri Naarivadana Kamalasvada madhupah |
Ramaa Shambhu Brahmaamarapati Ganesharchita pado
Jagannathah Swami nayana pathagaami bhavatu me ||1||

Meaning:

1.1 I meditate on Sri Jagannatha, Who fills the environment of Vrindavana on the banks of river Kalindi (Yamuna) with the Music (of His Flute); The Music which waves and flows gently (like the waving blue waters of river Yamuna itself),
1.2: (There) like a Black Bee Who enjoys the blooming Lotuses (in the form) of the blooming Faces ( Joyful with Bliss ) of the Cowherd Women,
1.3: Whose Lotus Feet is always Worshipped by Ramaa (Devi Lakshmi), Shambhu (Shiva), Brahma, the Lord of the Devas (i.e. Indra Deva) and Sri Ganesha,
1.4: May that Jagannath Swami be the center of my Vision (inner and outer) ( wherever my Eyes go ).

Sanskrit:

भुजे सव्ये वेणुं शिरसि शिखिपिच्छं कटितटे
दुकूलं नेत्रान्ते सहचरकटाक्षं  विदधत् ।
सदा श्रीमद्वृन्दावनवसतिलीला परिचयो
जगन्नाथः स्वामी नयनपथगामी भवतु मे ॥२॥

Source: Pinterest

Translation:

Bhuje Save Vennum Shirazi Shikhi_Piccham Kattitatte
Dukuulam Netra-Ante Sahacara_Kattaakssam Ca Vidadhat |
Sadaa Shriimad-Vrndaavana_Vasati_Liilaa_Paricayo
Jagannatha Svaamii Nayana_Patha_Gaamii Bhavatu Me ||2||

Meaning:

2.1 (I meditate on Sri Jagannatha) Who has a Flute on His Left Hand and wears the Feather of a Peacock over His Head; And wraps over His Hips …
2.2: … fine silken Clothes; Who bestows Side-Glances to His Companions from the corner of His Eyes,
2.3: Who always reveals His Divine Leelas abiding in the forest of Vrindavana; the forest which is filled with Sri (Divine presence amidst the beauty of Nature),
2.4: May that Jagannath Swami is the center of my Vision (inner and outer) ( wherever my Eyes go ).

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Lord Venkateswara is the main deity of the Tirumala temple, Tirupathi. The lord is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Sanskrit:

कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वासन्ध्या प्रवर्तते ।
उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्त्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् ॥१॥

Translation:

Kausalyaa Su-Prajaa Raama Puurvaa-Sandhyaa Pravartate |
Uttissttha Nara-Shaarduula Karttavyam Daivam-Aahnikam ||1||

Meaning:

1.1: (Salutations to Sri Govinda) O Rama, the most Excellent Son of Kaushalya; in the East the Dawn is fast approaching at this Beautiful juncture of Night and Day,
1.2: Please Wake Up in Our Hearts, O Purushottama (the Best of Men ) so that we can perform our Daily Duties as Divine Rituals unto You and thus do the Ultimate Duty of our lives.

Sanskrit:

उत्तिष्ठोत्तिष्ठ गोविन्द उत्तिष्ठ गरुडध्वज ।
उत्तिष्ठ कमलाकान्त त्रैलोक्यं मङ्गलं कुरु ॥२॥

Translation:

Uttissttho[ah-U]ttissttha Govinda Uttissttha Garudda-Dhvaja |
Uttissttha Kamalaa-Kaanta Trai-Lokyam Manggalam Kuru ||2||

Meaning:

2.1: (Salutations to Sri Govinda) In this Beautiful Dawn Wake UpWake Up O Govinda within Our Hearts. Wake Up O the One with Garuda in His Flag,
2.2: Please Wake Up, O Beloved of Kamala and fill the Hearts of the Devotees in the Three Worlds with the Auspicious Bliss of Your Presence.

Source: Pinterest

Sanskrit:

मातस्समस्तजगतां मधुकैटभारेः
वक्षोविहारिणि मनोहरदिव्यमूर्ते ।
श्रीस्वामिनि श्रितजनप्रियदानशीले
श्रीवेङ्कटेशदयिते तव सुप्रभातम् ॥३॥

Translation:

Maatas-Samasta-Jagataam Madhu-Kaittabha-Areh
Vaksso-Vihaarinni Manohara-Divya-Muurte |
Shrii-Svaamini Shrita-Janapriya-Daanashiile
Shrii-Vengkattesha-Dayite Tava Suprabhaatam ||3||

Meaning:

3.1 (Salutations to Divine Mother Lakshmi) In this Beautiful Dawn, O Mother of all the Worlds, Let Our Inner enemies Madhu and Kaitabha disappear,
3.2: And Let us only see Your Beautiful Divine Form playing within the Heart of Sri Govinda in the entire Creation,
3.3: You are worshipped as the Lord of all the Worlds and extremely Dear to the Devotees, and Your Liberal Disposition has created such Abundance of Creation,
3.4: Such is Your Glory that this Beautiful Dawn of Your Creation is being cherished by Sri Venkatesa Himself.

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 All images, designs or videos on this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.
Shambhu, this name of Lord Shankar indicates his blissful personality. He assumes the form of gross elements during playful moments.
Sanskrit:
नमामि देवं परमव्ययंतं
उमापतिं लोकगुरुं नमामि ।
नमामि दारिद्रविदारणं तं
नमामि रोगापहरं नमामि ॥२॥
Translation:
Namaami Devam Param-Avyayam-Tam
Umaa-Patim Loka-Gurum Namaami |
Namaami Daaridra-Vidaarannam Tam
Namaami Roga-Apaharam Namaami ||2||

Meaning:

2.1 I reverentially bow down to the Divine Lord Who abides as the unchangeable state beyond the human mind,
2.2: To that Lord Who is also embodied as the consort of Devi Uma, and Who is the Spiritual Teacher of the whole World, I reverentially bow down,
2.3: I reverentially bow down to Him Who tears asunder our (inner) Poverties (He being present as our most Glorious Inner Being),
2.4: (And) I reverentially bow down to Him Who takes away our Diseases (of Samsara) (by revealing His Glorious Nature).

Source: Pinterest

Sanskrit:

नमामि कल्याणमचिन्त्यरूपं
नमामि विश्वोद्ध्वबीजरूपम् ।
नमामि विश्वस्थितिकारणं तं
नमामि संहारकरं नमामि ॥३॥

Translation:

Namaami Kalyaannam-Acintya-Ruupam
Namaami Vishvo[a-U]ddhva-Biija-Ruupam |
Namaami Vishva-Sthiti-Kaarannam Tam
Namaami Samhaara-Karam Namaami ||3||

Meaning:

3.1: I reverentially bow down (to Him) Who is the cause of all Auspiciousness, (ever present behind the mind) in His Inconceivable form,
3.2: I reverentially bow down (to Him) Whose form is like the seed giving rise to the Universe,
3.3: I reverentially bow down to Him Who is also the cause of the maintenance of the Universe,
3.4: (And) I reverentially bow down (to Him) Who is (finally) the destroyer (of the Universe).

Sanskrit:

नमामि गौरीप्रियमव्ययं तं
नमामि नित्यंक्षरमक्षरं तम् ।
नमामि चिद्रूपममेयभावं
त्रिलोचनं तं शिरसा नमामि ॥४॥

Translation:

Namaami Gaurii-Priyam-Avyayam Tam
Namaami Nityam-Kssaram-Akssaram Tam |
Namaami Cid-Ruupam-Ameya-Bhaavam
Tri-Locanam Tam Shirasaa Namaami ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: I reverentially bow down to Him Who is dear to Gauri (Devi Parvati) and unchangeable (which also signifies that Shiva and Shakti are inseparably connected),
4.2: I reverentially bow down to Him Who is Eternal, and Who is the One Imperishable behind all the perishable,
4.3: I reverentially bow down (to Him) Who is of the nature of Consciousness and Whose Meditative State (symbolizing the all-pervading consciousness) is immeasurable,
4.4: To that Lord Who has Three Eyes, I reverentially bow down.
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 All images, designs or videos on this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.

The Stotras on Devi Radharani are sung by the devotees of Radha-Krishna.

Sanskrit:

श्रीनारायण उवाच
राधा रासेश्वरी रासवासिनी रसिकेश्वरी ।
कृष्णाप्राणाधिका कृष्णप्रिया कृष्णस्वरूपिणी ॥१॥

Translation:

Shriinaaraayanna Uvaaca
Raadhaa Raaseshvarii Raasavaasinii Rasikeshvarii |
Krssnnaapraannaadhikaa Krssnnapriyaa Krssnnasvaruupinnii ||1||

Meaning:

Sri Narayana said:
1.1: (The sixteen names of Radharani are) RadhaRaaseshwariRaasavasiniRasikeshwari, …
1.2: … KrishnapranadhikaKrishnapriyaKrishna Swarupini, …

Sanskrit:

कृष्णवामाङ्गसम्भूता परमानन्दरूपिणी ।
कृष्णा वृन्दावनी वृन्दा वृन्दावनविनोदिनी ॥२॥

Translation:

Krssnnavaamaanggasambhuutaa Paramaanandaruupinnii |
Krssnnaa Vrndaavanii Vrndaa Vrndaavanavinodinii ||2||
(The sixteen names of Radharani continued)

Source: Pinterest

Meaning:

2.1: … Krishna Vamanga SambhutaParamanandarupini, …
2.2: … KrishnaaVrindavaniVrindaaVrindavana Vinodini,

Sanskrit:

चन्द्रावली चन्द्रकान्ता शरच्चन्द्रप्रभानना ।
नामान्येतानि साराणि तेषामभ्यन्तराणि  ॥३॥

Translation:

Candraavalii Candrakaantaa Sharaccandraprabhaananaa |
Naamaany-Etaani Saaraanni Tessaam-Abhyantaraanni Ca ||3||
(The sixteen names of Radharani continued)

Meaning:

3.1: … ChandravaliChandrakantaSharacchandra Prabhanana (Sharat Chandra Prabhanana),
3.2: These (sixteen) Names, which are the essence are included in those (thousand names),

Sanskrit:

राधेत्येवं  संसिद्धौ राकारो दानवाचकः ।
स्वयं निर्वाणदात्री या सा राधा परिकिर्तिता ॥४॥

Translation:

Raadhe[a-I]tye[a-I]vam Ca Samsiddhau Raakaaro Daana-Vaacakah |
Svayam Nirvaanna-Daatrii Yaa Saa Raadhaa Parikirtitaa ||4||

Meaning:

4.1: (The first name) Radha points towards Samsiddhi (Moksha), and the Ra-kara is expressive of Giving (hence Radha means the giver of Moksha),
4.2: She Herself is the giver of Nirvana (Moksha) (through devotion to Krishna); She Who is proclaimed as Radha (is indeed the giver of Moksha by drowning the devotees in the divine sentiment of Raasa),

Sanskrit:

रासेश्वरस्य पत्नीयं तेन रासेश्वरी स्मृता ।
रासे  वासो यस्याश्च तेन सा रासवासिनी ॥५॥

Translation:

Raase[a-I]shvarasya Patniiyam Tena Raaseshvarii Smrtaa |
Raase Ca Vaaso Yasyaash-Ca Tena Saa Raasavaasinii ||5||

Meaning:

5.1: She is the consort of the Raasheswara (Lord of Raasa) (referring to Krishna in the divine dance of Raasa in Vrindavana), hence She is known as Raasheswari,
5.2: She abides in Raasa (i.e. Immersed in the devotional sentiment of Raasa), hence She is known as Raasavasini (whose mind is always immersed in Raasa)

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Sanskrit:

महायोगपीठे तटे भीमरथ्या
वरं पुण्डरीकाय दातुं मुनीन्द्रैः ।
समागत्य तिष्ठन्तमानन्दकन्दं
परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् ॥१॥

Translation:

Mahaa-Yoga-Piitthe Tatte Bhiimarathyaa
Varam Punnddariikaaya Daatum Muni-[I]indraih |
Samaagatya Tisstthantam-Aananda-Kandam
Parabrahma-Linggam Bhaje Paanndduranggam ||1||

Meaning:

1.1 (Salutations to Sri Panduranga) In the Seat of Great Yoga (Maha Yoga Peetha) (i.e. at Pandharpur) by the bank of river Bheemarathi (has come to Panduranga),
1.2: (He has come) to give Boons to Pundarika; (He has come) along with the great Munis,
1.3: Having arrived He is standing like a Source of Great Bliss (of Parabrahman),
1.4: I Worship that Panduranga, Who is the veritable Image (Lingam) of Parabrahman.

 

Source: Pinterest

Sanskrit:

तडिद्वाससं नीलमेघावभासं
रमामन्दिरं सुन्दरं चित्प्रकाशम् ।
परं त्विष्टिकायां समन्यस्तपादं
परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् ॥२॥

Translation:

Taddid-Vaasasam Niila-Meghaava-Bhaasam
Ramaa-Mandiram Sundaram Cit-Prakaasham |
Param Tv[u]-Issttikaayaam Sama-Nyasta-Paadam
Parabrahma-Linggam Bhaje Paanndduranggam ||2||

Meaning:

2.1 (Salutations to Sri Panduranga) Whose garments are shining like lightning streaks against His Blue Cloud-like shining Form,
2.2: Whose Form is the Temple of Ramaa (Devi Lakshmi), Beautiful, and a visible manifestation of Consciousness,
2.3: Who is Supremebut (now) standing on a Brick placing both His Feet on it,
2.4: I Worship that Panduranga, Who is the veritable Image (Lingam) of Parabrahman.

Sanskrit:

प्रमाणं भवाब्धेरिदं मामकानां
नितम्बः कराभ्यां धृतो येन तस्मात् ।
विधातुर्वसत्यै धृतो नाभिकोशः
परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् ॥३॥

Translation:

Pramaannam Bhava-Abdher-Idam Maamakaanaam
Nitambah Karaabhyaam Dhrto Yena Tasmaat |
Vidhaatur-Vasatyai Dhrto Naabhi-Koshah
Parabrahma-Linggam Bhaje Paanndduranggam ||3||

Meaning:

3.1 (Salutations to Sri Panduranga) The measure of the Ocean of Worldly Existence is (up to) this (much only) for My(Devotees), …
3.2: … (Who seems to say) By holding His Waist with His Hands,
3.3: Who is holding the (Lotus) Flower Cup for the Vidhata (Brahma) Himself to Dwell,
3.4: I Worship that Panduranga, Who is the veritable Image (Lingam) of Parabrahman.

Sanskrit:

शरच्चन्द्रबिम्बाननं चारुहासं
लसत्कुण्डलाक्रान्तगण्डस्थलाङ्गम् ।
जपारागबिम्बाधरं कञ्जनेत्रं
परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् ॥५॥

Translation:

Sharac-Candra-Bimba-[A]ananam Caaru-Haasam
Lasat-Kunnddala-[A]akraanta-Ganndda-Sthala-Anggam |
Japaa-Raaga-Bimba-Adharam Kan.ja-Netram
Parabrahma-Linggam Bhaje Paanndduranggam ||5||

Meaning:

5.1 (Salutations to Sri Panduranga) Whose Face reflects the Splendour of the Autumn Moon and has a Captivating Smile(playing over it),
5.2: (And) Whose Cheeks are possessed by the Beauty of the Shining Ear-Rings dancing over it,
5.3: Whose Lips are Red like Hibiscus and has the appearance of Bimba Fruits; (And) Whose Eyes are as Beautiful as the Lotus,
5.4: I Worship that Panduranga, Who is the veritable Image (Lingam) of Parabrahman.

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 All images, designs or videos on this page are copyright of their respective owners. We don’t own have these images/designs/videos. We collect them from search engine and other sources to be used as ideas for you. No copyright infringement is intended. If you have reason to believe that one of our content is violating your copyrights, please do not take any legal action as we are trying to spread the knowledge. You can contact us directly to be credited or have the item removed from the site.

The Eighteenth Adhyay is a supplementary summarization of the topics discussed before. In every chapter of Bhagavad-gita.

arjuna uvaca
sannyasasya maha-baho
tattvam icchami veditum
tyagasya ca hrsikesa
prthak kesi-nisudana


TRANSLATION

Arjuna said, O mighty-armed one, I wish to understand the purpose of renunciation [tyaga] and of the renounced order of life [sannyasa], O killer of the Kesi demon, Hrsikesa.

PURPOSE

 Actually, the Bhagavad-gita is finished in seventeen chapters. The Eighteenth Chapter is a supplementary summarization of the topics discussed before. In every chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna stresses that devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal of life. This same point is summarized in the Eighteenth Chapter as the most confidential path of knowledge. In the first six chapters, stress was given to devotional service: yoginam api sarvesam…

“Of all yogis or transcendentalists, one who always thinks of Me within himself is best.” In the next six chapters, pure devotional service and its nature and activity were discussed. In the third six chapters, knowledge, renunciation, the activities of material nature and transcendental nature, and devotional service were described. It was concluded that all acts should be performed in conjunction with the Supreme Lord, summarized by the words om tat sat, which indicate Visnu, the Supreme Person.

In the third part of Bhagavad-gita, devotional service was established by the example of past acaryas and the Brahma-sutra, the Vedanta-sutra, which cites that devotional service is the ultimate purpose of life and nothing else. Certain impersonalists consider themselves monopolizers of the knowledge of Vedanta-sutra, but actually the Vedanta-sutra is meant for understanding devotional service, for the Lord, Himself is the composer of the Vedanta-sutra, and He is its knower. That is described in the Fifteenth Chapter. In every scripture, every Veda, devotional service is the objective. That is explained in Bhagavad-gita.

As in the Second Chapter, a synopsis of the whole subject matter was described, similarly, in the Eighteenth Chapter also the summary of all instruction is given. The purpose of life is indicated to be renunciation and attainment of the transcendental position above the three material modes of nature.

Arjuna wants to clarify the two distinct subject matters of Bhagavad-gita, namely renunciation (tyaga) and the renounced order of life (sannyasa). Thus he is asking the meaning of these two words.

Two words used in this verse to address the Supreme Lord-Hrsikesa and Kesinisudana-are significant. Hrsikesa is Krsna, the master of all senses, who can always help us attain mental serenity. Arjuna requests Him to summarize everything in such a way that he can remain equiposed. Yet he has some doubts, and doubts are always compared to demons.

He therefore addresses Krsna as Kesinisudana. Kesi was a most formidable demon who was killed by the Lord; now Arjuna is expecting Krsna to kill the demon of doubt.

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In the Fourth Adhyay, it is said that a person faithful to a particular type of worship gradually becomes elevated to the stage of knowledge.

arjuna uvaca
ye sastra-vidhim utsrjya
yajante sraddhayanvitah
tesam nistha tu ka krsna
sattvam aho rajas tamah

Arjuna said, O Krsna, what is the situation of one who does not follow the principles of scripture but worships according to his own imagination? Is he in goodness, in passion or in ignorance?

PURPOSE

In the Fourth Chapter, thirty-ninth verse, it is said that a person faithful to a particular type of worship gradually becomes elevated to the stage of knowledge and attains the highest perfectional stage of peace and prosperity. In the Sixteenth Chapter, it is concluded that one who does not follow the principles laid down in the scriptures is called an asura, demon, and one who follows the scriptural injunctions faithfully is called a deva, or demigod.

Now, if one, with faith, follows some rules which are not mentioned in the scriptural injunctions, what is his position? This doubt of Arjuna is to be cleared by Krsna. Are those who create some sort of God by selecting a human being and placing their faith in him worshiping in goodness, passion or ignorance? Do such persons attain the perfectional stage of life?

Is it possible for them to be situated in real knowledge and elevate themselves to the highest perfectional stage? Do those who do not follow the rules and regulations of the scriptures but who have faith in something and worship gods and demigods and men attain success in their effort? Arjuna is putting these questions to Krsna.

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sri-Bhagavan uvaca
abhayam sattva-samsuddhir
jnana-yoga-vyavasthitih
danam damas ca yajnas ca
svadhyayas tapa arjavam
ahimsa satyam akrodhas
tyagah santir apaisunam
daya bhutesv aloluptvam
mardavam hrir acapalam
tejah ksama dhrtih saucam
adroho nati-manita
bhavanti sampadam daivim
abhijatasya bharata

 

The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor-these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.

PURPOSE

In the beginning of the Fifteenth Chapter, the banyan tree of this material world was explained. The extra roots coming out of it were compared to the activities of the living entities, some auspicious, some inauspicious. In the Ninth Chapter, also, the devas, or godly, and the asuras, the ungodly, or demons, were explained. Now, according to Vedic rites, activities in the mode of goodness are considered auspicious for progress on the path of liberation, and such activities are known as deva prakrti, transcendental by nature.

Those who are situated in the transcendental nature make progress on the path of liberation. For those who are acting in the modes of passion and ignorance, on the other hand, there is no possibility of liberation. Either they will have to remain in this material world as human beings, or they will descend among the species of animals or even lower life forms. In this Sixteenth Chapter the Lord explains both the transcendental nature and its attendant qualities, as well as the demoniac nature and its qualities. He also explains the advantages and disadvantages of these qualities.

The word abhijatasya in reference to one born of transcendental qualities or godly tendencies is very significant. To beget a child in a godly atmosphere is known in the Vedic scriptures as Garbhadhana-samskara. If the parents want a child in the godly qualities they should follow the ten principles of the human being. In Bhagavad-gita we have studied also before that sex life for begetting a good child is Krsna Himself. Sex life is not condemned provided the process is used in Krsna consciousness.

Those who are in Krsna consciousness at least should not beget children like cats and dogs but should beget them so they may become Krsna conscious after birth. That should be the advantage of children born of a father or mother absorbed in Krsna consciousness.

The social institution known as varnasrama-dharma-the institution dividing society into four divisions or castes-is not meant to divide human society according to birth. Such divisions are in terms of educational qualifications. They are to keep the society in a state of peace and prosperity.

The qualities mentioned herein are explained as transcendental qualities meant for making a person progress in spiritual understanding so he can get liberated from the material world. In the varnasrama institution the sannyasi, or the person in the renounced order of life, is considered to be the head or the spiritual master of all the social statuses and orders. A brahmana is considered to be the spiritual master of the three other sections of a society, namely, the ksatriyas, the vaisyas and the sudras, but a sannyasi, who is on the top of the institution, is considered to be the spiritual master of the brahmanas also. For a sannyasi, the first qualification should be fearlessness. Because a sannyasi has to be alone without any support or guarantee of support, he has simply to depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

If he thinks, “After leaving my connections, who will protect me?” he should not accept the renounced order of life. One must be fully convinced that Krsna or the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His localized aspect as Paramatma is always within, that He is seeing everything and He always knows what one intends to do.

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The purpose of Adhyay 15 of Bhagavad Gita is as follows.
sri-bhagavan uvaca
urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham
asvattham prahur avyayam
chandamsi yasya parnani
yas tam veda sa veda-vit

TRANSLATION

The Blessed Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.

PURPOSE

After the discussion of the importance of bhakti-yoga, one may question, “What about the Vedas?” It is explained in this chapter that the purpose of Vedic study is to understand Krsna. Therefore one who is in Krsna consciousness, who is engaged in devotional service, already knows the Vedas.

The entanglement of this material world is compared here to a banyan tree. For one who is engaged in fruitive activities, there is no end to the banyan tree. He wanders from one branch to another, to another, to another. The tree of this material world has no end, and for one who is attached to this tree, there is no possibility of liberation. The Vedic hymns, meant for elevating oneself, are called the leaves of this tree.

This tree’s roots grow upward because they begin from where Brahma is located, the topmost planet of this universe. If one can understand this indestructible tree of illusion, then one can get out of it.

This process of extrication should be understood. In the previous chapters, it has been explained that there are many processes by which to get out of the material entanglement. And, up to the Thirteenth Chapter, we have seen that devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the best way. Now, the basic principle of devotional service is detachment from material activities and attachment to the transcendental service of the Lord. The process of breaking attachment to the material world is discussed at the beginning of this chapter.

The root of this material existence grows upward. This means that it begins from the total material substance, from the topmost planet of the universe. From there, the whole universe is expanded, with so many branches, representing the various planetary systems. The fruits represent the results of the living entities’ activities, namely, religion, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation.

Now, there is no ready experience in this world of a tree situated with its branches down and its roots upward, but there is such a thing. That tree can be found beside a reservoir of water. We can see that the trees on the bank reflect upon the water with their branches down and roots up. In other words, the tree of this material world is only a reflection of the real tree of the spiritual world. This reflection of the spiritual world is situated on desire, just as the tree’s reflection is situated on the water.

Desire is the cause of things’ being situated in this reflected material light. One who wants to get out of this material existence must know this tree thoroughly through analytical study. Then he can cut off his relationship with it.

This tree, being the reflection of the real tree, is an exact replica. Everything is there in the spiritual world. The impersonalists take Brahma to be the root of this material tree, and from the root, according to sankhya philosophy, come prakrti, purusa, then the three gunas, then the five gross elements (panca-mahabhuta), then the ten senses (dasendriya), mind, etc. In this way, they divide up the whole material world. If Brahma is the center of all manifestations, then this material world is a manifestation of the center by 180 degrees, and the other 180 degrees constitute the spiritual world. The material world is the perverted reflection, so the spiritual world must have the same variegatedness, but in reality.

The prakrti is the external energy of the Supreme Lord, and the purusa is the Supreme Lord Himself, and that is explained in Bhagavad-gita. Since this manifestation is material, it is temporary. A reflection is temporary, for it is sometimes seen and sometimes not seen. But the origin from whence the reflection is reflected is eternal. The material reflection of the real tree has to be cut off. When it is said that a person knows the Vedas, it is assumed that he knows how to cut off attachment to this material world. If one knows that process, he actually knows the Vedas.

 One who is attracted by the ritualistic formulas of the Vedas is attracted by the beautiful green leaves of the tree. He does not exactly know the purpose of the Vedas. The purpose of the Vedas, as disclosed by the Personality of Godhead Himself, is to cut down this reflected tree and attain the real tree of the spiritual world.

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sri-bhagavan uvaca
param bhuyah pravaksyami
jnananam jnanam uttamam
yaj jnatva munayah sarve
param siddhim ito gatah

The Blessed Lord said: Again I shall declare to you this supreme wisdom, the best of all knowledge, knowing which all the sages have attained to supreme perfection.
PURPOSE

Krsna has now explained about the personal, the impersonal and the universal and has described all kinds of devotees and yogis in this chapter.

arjuna uvaca
prakrtim purusam caiva
ksetram ksetra-jnam eva ca
etad veditum icchami
jnanam jneyam ca kesava
sri-bhagavan uvaca
idam sariram kaunteya
ksetram ity abhidhiyate
etad yo vetti tam prahuh
ksetra-jna iti tad-vidah

Arjuna said: O my dear Krsna, I wish to know about prakrti [nature], Purusa [the enjoyer], and the field and the knower of the field, and of knowledge and the end of knowledge. The Blessed Lord then said: This body, O son of Kunti, is called the field, and one who knows this body is called the knower of the field.

PURPORT

Arjuna was inquisitive about prakrti or nature, purusa, the enjoyer, ksetra, the field, ksetrajna, its knower, and of knowledge and the object of knowledge. When he inquired about all these, Krsna said that this body is called the field and that one who knows this body is called the knower of the field. This body is the field of activity for the conditioned soul. The conditioned soul is entrapped in material existence, and he attempts to lord over material nature. And so, according to his capacity to dominate material nature, he gets a field of activity. That field of activity is the body. And what is the body?

The body is made of senses. The conditioned soul wants to enjoy sense gratification, and, according to his capacity to enjoy sense gratification, he is offered a body, or field of activity. Therefore the body is called ksetra, or the field of activity for the conditioned soul. Now, the person who does not identify himself with the body is called ksetrajna, the knower of the field. It is not very difficult to understand the difference between the field and its knower, the body and the knower of the body. Any person can consider that from childhood to old age he undergoes so many changes of body and yet is still one person, remaining.

Thus there is a difference between the knower of the field of activities and the actual field of activities. A living conditioned soul can thus understand that he is different from the body. It is described in the beginning-dehe ‘smin-that the living entity is within the body and that the body is changing from childhood to boyhood and from boyhood to youth and from youth to old age, and the person who owns the body knows that the body is changing. The owner is distinctly ksetrajna. Sometimes we understand that I am happy, I am mad, I am a woman, I am a dog, I am a cat: these are the knowers. The knower is different from the field. Although we use many articles-our clothes, etc.-we know- that we are different from the things used. Similarly, we also understand by a little contemplation that we are different from the body.

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita, the knower of the body, the living entity, and the position by which he can understand the Supreme Lord are described. In the middle six chapters of the Gita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the relationship between the individual soul and the Supersoul in regard to devotional service are described.

The superior position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the subordinate position of the individual soul are definitely defined in these chapters. The living entities are subordinate under all circumstances, but in their forgetfulness they are suffering. When enlightened by pious activities, they approach the Supreme Lord in different capacities-as the distressed, those in want of money, the inquisitive, and those in search of knowledge.

That is also described. Now, starting with the Thirteenth Chapter, how the living entity comes into contact with material nature, how he is delivered by the Supreme Lord through the different methods of fruitive activities, cultivation of knowledge, and the discharge of devotional service are explained. Although the living entity is completely different from the material body, he somehow becomes related. This also is explained.

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The question asked of Krsna by Arjuna will clarify the distinction between the impersonal and personal conceptions in this chapter of Bhagavad Gita

arjuna uvaca
evam satata-yukta ye
bhaktas tvam paryupasate
ye capy aksaram avyaktam
tesam ke yoga-vittamah

Arjuna inquired: Which is considered to be more perfect: those who are properly engaged in Your devotional service, or those who worship the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested?

Purpose:

Krsna has now explained about the personal, the impersonal and the universal and has described all kinds of devotees and yogis. Generally, the transcendentalists can be divided into two classes. One is the impersonalist, and the other is the personalist. The personalist devotee engages himself with all energy in the service of the Supreme Lord.

The impersonalist engages himself not directly in the service of Krsna but in meditation on the impersonal Brahman, the unmanifested.

We find in this chapter that of the different processes for realization of the Absolute Truth, bhakti-yoga, devotional service, is the highest. If one at all desires to have the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he must take to devotional service.

Those who worship the Supreme Lord directly by devotional service are called personalists. Those who engage themselves in meditation on the impersonal Brahman are called impersonalists. Arjuna is here questioning which position is better. There are different ways to realize the Absolute Truth, but Krsna indicates in this chapter that bhakti-yoga, or devotional service to Him, is highest of all.

It is the most direct, and it is the easiest means of association with the Godhead.

In the Second Chapter, the Lord explains that a living entity is not the material body but is a spiritual spark, a part of the Absolute Truth. In the Seventh Chapter, He speaks of the living entity as part and parcel of the supreme whole and recommends that he transfer his attention fully to the whole.

In the Eighth Chapter, it is stated that whoever thinks of Krsna at the moment of death is at once transferred to the spiritual sky, Krsna’s abode. And at the end of the Sixth Chapter the Lord says that out of all the yogis, he who thinks of Krsna within himself is considered to be the most perfect. So throughout the Gita personal devotion to Krsna is recommended as the highest form of spiritual realization.

Yet there are those who are still attracted to Krsna’s impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence, which is the all-pervasive aspect of the Absolute Truth and which is unmanifest and beyond the reach of the senses. Arjuna would like to know which of these two types of transcendentalists is more perfect in knowledge. In other words, he is clarifying his own position because he is attached to the personal form of Krsna.

He is not attached to the impersonal Brahman. He wants to know whether his position is secure. The impersonal manifestation, either in this material world or in the spiritual world of the Supreme Lord, is a problem for meditation. Actually, one cannot perfectly conceive of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. Therefore Arjuna wants to say, “What is the use of such a waste of time?”

Arjuna experienced in the Eleventh Chapter that to be attached to the personal form of Krsna is best because he could thus understand all other forms at the same time and there was no disturbance to his love for Krsna.

This important question asked of Krsna by Arjuna will clarify the distinction between the impersonal and personal conceptions of the Absolute Truth.

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This chapter of Gita reveals the purpose of  Krsna as the cause of all causes.

arjuna uvaca
mad-anugrahaya paramam
guhyam adhyatma-samjnitam
yat tvayoktam vacas tena
moho ‘yam vigato mama

Arjuna said: I have heard Your instruction on confidential spiritual matters which You have so kindly delivered unto me, and my illusion is now dispelled.
Purpose:

sri-Bhagavan uvaca
bhuya eva maha-baho
srnu me paramam vacah
yat te ‘ham priyamanaya
vaksyami hita-kamyaya

The Supreme Lord said: My dear friend, mighty-armed Arjuna, listen again to My supreme word, which I shall impart to you for your benefit and which will give you great joy.
PURPOSE
The word paramam is explained thus by Parasara Muni: one who is full in six opulences, who has full strength, full fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty, and renunciation, is paramam, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

While Krsna was present on this earth, He displayed all six opulences. Therefore great sages like Parasara Muni have all accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now Krsna is instructing Arjuna in the more confidential knowledge of His opulences and His work. Previously, beginning with the Seventh Chapter, the Lord already explained His different energies and how they are acting. Now in this chapter, He explains His specific opulences to Arjuna.

In the previous chapter he has clearly explained His different energies to establish devotion in firm conviction. Again in this chapter He tells Arjuna about His manifestations and various opulences.

The more one hears about the Supreme God, the more one becomes fixed in devotional service. One should always hear about the Lord in the association of devotees; that will enhance one’s devotional service. Discourses in the society of devotees can take place only among those who are really anxious to be in Krsna consciousness. Others cannot take part in such discourses.

The Lord clearly tells Arjuna that because he is very dear to Him, for his benefit such discourses are taking place.

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In the Seventh Chapter, of Gita we have already discussed the opulent potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His different energies

sri-bhagavan uvaca
idam tu te guhyatamam
pravaksyamy anasuyave
jnanam vijnana-sahitam
yaj jnatva moksyase ‘subhat

The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most secret wisdom, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.
PURPOSE

As a devotee hears more and more about the Supreme Lord, he becomes enlightened. This hearing process is recommended in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: “The messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are full of potencies, and these potencies can be realized if topics regarding the Supreme Godhead are discussed amongst devotees. This cannot be achieved by the association of mental speculators or academic scholars, for it is realized knowledge.”

The devotees are constantly engaged in the Supreme Lord’s service. The Lord understands the mentality and sincerity of a particular living entity who is engaged in Krsna consciousness and gives him the intelligence to understand the science of Krsna in the association of the devotees. Discussion of Krsna is very potent, and if a fortunate person has such association and tries to assimilate the knowledge, then he will surely make advancement toward spiritual realization. Lord Krsna, in order to encourage Arjuna to higher and higher elevation in His potent service, describes in this Ninth Chapter matters more confidential than any He has already disclosed.

The very beginning of Bhagavad-gita, the First Chapter, is more or less an introduction to the rest of the book; and in the Second and Third Chapters, the spiritual knowledge described is called confidential.

Topics discussed in the Seventh and Eighth Chapters are specifically related to devotional service, and because they bring enlightenment in Krsna consciousness, they are called more confidential. But the matters which are described in the Ninth Chapter deal with unalloyed, pure devotion. Therefore this is called the most confidential. One who is situated in the most confidential knowledge of Krsna is naturally transcendental; he, therefore, has no material pangs, although he is in the material world.

In the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu it is said that although one who has a sincere desire to render loving service to the Supreme Lord is situated in the conditional state of material existence, he is to be considered liberated. Similarly, we shall find in the Bhagavad-gita, Tenth Chapter, that anyone who is engaged in that way is a liberated person.

Now this first verse has specific significance. Knowledge (idam jnanam) refers to pure devotional service, which consists of nine different activities: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, obeying, maintaining friendship and surrendering everything. By the practice of these nine elements of devotional service one is elevated to spiritual consciousness, Krsna consciousness.

At the time when one’s heart is cleared of the material contamination, one can understand this science of Krsna. Simply to understand that a living entity is not material is not sufficient. That may be the beginning of spiritual realization, but one should recognize the difference between activities of the body and spiritual activities by which one understands that he is not the body.

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