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Verse 1:

धृतराष्ट्र उवाच |
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः |
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ||1||

dhṛitarāśhtra uvācha
dharma-kṣhetre kuru-kṣhetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāśhchaiva kimakurvata sañjaya

Commentary of this Verse:

King Dhritarashtra, apart from being blind from birth, was also bereft of spiritual wisdom. His attachment to his own sons made him deviate from the path of virtue and usurp the rightful kingdom of the Pandavas. He was conscious of the injustice he had done toward his own nephews, the sons of Pandu. His guilty conscience worried him about the outcome of the battle, and so he inquired from Sanjay about the events on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where the war was to be fought.

In this verse, the question he asked Sanjay was, what did his sons and the sons of Pandu do, having gathered on the battlefield? Now, it was obvious that they had assembled there with the sole purpose of fighting. So it was natural that they would fight. Why did Dhritarashtra feel the need to ask what they did?

His doubt can be discerned from the words he used—dharma kṣhetre, the land of dharma (virtuous conduct). Kurukshetra was a sacred land. In the Shatapath Brahman, it is described as: kurukṣhetraṁ deva yajanam [v1]. “Kurukshetra is the sacrificial arena of the celestial gods.” It was thus the land that nourished dharma. Dhritarashtra apprehended that the influence of the holy land of Kurukshetra would arouse the faculty of discrimination in his sons and they would regard the massacre of their relatives, the Pandavas, as improper. Thinking thus, they might agree to a peaceful settlement. Dhritarashtra felt great dissatisfaction at this possibility. He thought if his sons negotiated a truce, the Pandavas would continue to remain an impediment for them, and hence it was preferable that the war took place. At the same time, he was uncertain of the consequences of the war, and wished to ascertain the fate of his sons. As a result, he asked Sanjay about the goings-on at the battleground of Kurukshetra, where the two armies had gathered.

Source: bhagwatgeeta.org

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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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In this Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, the nature of Krsna consciousness is fully described. Krsna is full in all opulence

sri-Bhagavan uvaca
mayy asakta-manah partha
yogam yunjan mad-asrayah
asamsayam samagram mam
yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu

Now hear, O son of Prtha [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.
PURPOSE
 In this Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the nature of Krsna consciousness is fully described. Krsna is full in all opulences, and how He manifests such opulence is described herein. Also, four kinds of fortunate people who become attached to Krsna, and four kinds of unfortunate people who never take to Krsna are described in this chapter.

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita, the living entity has been described as nonmaterial spirit soul which is capable of elevating himself to self-realization by different types of yogas. At the end of the Sixth Chapter, it has been clearly stated that the steady concentration of the mind upon Krsna, or in other words Krsna consciousness, is the highest form of all yoga. By concentrating one’s mind upon Krsna, one is able to know the Absolute Truth completely, but not otherwise.

Impersonal brahmajyoti or localized Paramatma realization is not perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth because it is partial. Full and scientific knowledge is Krsna, and everything is revealed to the person in Krsna consciousness. Incomplete Krsna consciousness, one knows that Krsna is ultimate knowledge beyond any doubts. Different types of yoga are only stepping stones on the path of Krsna consciousness. One who takes directly to Krsna consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramatma in full. By the practice of Krsna consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

One should, therefore, begin yoga practice as directed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. The concentration of the mind upon Krsna the Supreme is made possible by prescribed devotional service in nine different forms, of which sravanam is the first and most important. The Lord, therefore, says to Arjuna, “tat srnu,” or “Hear from Me.” No one can be a greater authority than Krsna, and therefore by hearing from Him, one receives the greatest opportunity for progress in Krsna consciousness.

One has, therefore, to learn from Krsna directly or from a pure devotee of Krsna—and not from a nondevotee upstart, puffed up with academic education.

Therefore only by hearing from Krsna or from His devotee in Krsna consciousness can one understand the science of Krsna.

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sri-bhagavan uvaca
anasritah karma-phalam
karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca
na niragnir na cakriyah

 

The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.
PURPOSE
In this chapter, the Lord explains that the process of the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and the senses. However, this is very difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the age of Kali. Although the eightfold yoga system is recommended in this chapter, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, or acting in Krsna consciousness, is better.
Everyone acts in this world to maintain his family and their paraphernalia, but no one is working without some self-interest, some personal gratification, be it concentrated or extended. The criterion of perfection is to act in Krsna consciousness, and not with a view to enjoying the fruits of work. To act in Krsna consciousness is the duty of every living entity because all are constitutionally parts and parcels of the Supreme.
The parts of the bodywork for the satisfaction of the whole body. The limbs of the body do not act for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the complete whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts to the satisfaction of the supreme whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect sannyasi, the perfect yogi.
The sannyasis sometimes artificially think that they have become liberated from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform agnihotra yajnas (fire sacrifices), but actually, they are self-interested because their goal is becoming one with the impersonal Brahman.
Such a desire is greater than any material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. But a person acting in Krsna consciousness works for the satisfaction of the whole, without self-interest.
A Krsna conscious person has no desire for self-satisfaction. His criterion of success is the satisfaction of Krsna, and thus he is the perfect sannyasi, or perfect yogi. Lord Caitanya, the highest perfectional symbol of renunciation, prays in this way:
na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye.
mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi.
“O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”
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Here is the purpose of Adhyay 6 of Bhagavad Gita.

sri-bhagavan uvaca
anasritah karma-phalam
karyam karma karoti yah
sa sannyasi ca yogi ca
na niragnir na cakriyah

The Blessed Lord said: One who is unattached to the fruits of his work and who works as he is obligated is in the renounced order of life, and he is the true mystic: not he who lights no fire and performs no work.

PURPOSE

In this chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord explains that the process of the eightfold yoga system is a means to control the mind and the senses. However, this is very difficult for people in general to perform, especially in the age of Kali. Although the eightfold yoga system is recommended in this chapter, the Lord emphasizes that the process of karma-yoga, or acting in Krsna consciousness, is better.

Everyone acts in this world to maintain his family and their paraphernalia, but no one is working without some self-interest, some personal gratification, be it concentrated or extended. The criterion of perfection is to act in Krsna consciousness, and not with a view to enjoying the fruits of work. To act in Krsna consciousness is the duty of every living entity because all are constitutionally parts and parcels of the Supreme. The parts of the bodywork for the satisfaction of the whole body. The limbs of the body do not act for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of the complete whole. Similarly, the living entity who acts to the satisfaction of the supreme whole and not for personal satisfaction is the perfect sannyasi, the perfect yogi.

The sannyasis sometimes artificially think that they have become liberated from all material duties, and therefore they cease to perform agnihotra yajnas (fire sacrifices), but actually, they are self-interested because their goal is becoming one with the impersonal Brahman.

Such a desire is greater than any material desire, but it is not without self-interest. Similarly, the mystic yogi who practices the yoga system with half-open eyes, ceasing all material activities, desires some satisfaction for his personal self. But a person acting in Krsna consciousness works for the satisfaction of the whole, without self-interest. A Krsna conscious person has no desire for self-satisfaction. His criterion of success is the satisfaction of Krsna, and thus he is the perfect sannyasi, or perfect yogi.

“O Almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor to enjoy beautiful women. Nor do I want any number of followers. What I want only is the causeless mercy of Your devotional service in my life, birth after birth.”

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Here is the purpose of Adhyay 4 of Bhagavad Gita.

arjuna uvaca
sannyasam karmanam krsna
punar yogam ca samsasi
yac chreya etayor ekam
tan me bruhi su-niscitam

Arjuna said: O Krsna, first of all You ask me to renounce work, and then again You recommend work with devotion. Now will You kindly tell me definitely which of the two is more beneficial?
PURPOSE
In this Fifth Chapter of the Bhagavad gita, the Lord says that work in devotional service is better than dry mental speculation. Devotional service is easier than the latter because, being transcendental in nature, it frees one from reaction. In the Second Chapter, preliminary knowledge of the soul and its entanglement in the material body were explained. How to get out of this material engagement by buddhi-yoga, or devotional service, was also explained therein. In the Third Chapter, it was explained that a person who is situated on the platform of knowledge no longer has any duties to perform.

And, in the Fourth Chapter, the Lord told Arjuna that all kinds of sacrificial work culminate in knowledge. However, at the end of the Fourth Chapter, the Lord advised Arjuna to wake up and fight, being situated in perfect knowledge. Therefore, by simultaneously stressing the importance of both work in devotion and inaction in knowledge, Krsna has perplexed Arjuna and confused his determination. Arjuna understands that renunciation in knowledge involves cessation of all kinds of work performed as sense activities.

But if one performs work in devotional service, then how is work stopped? In other words, he thinks that sannyasam, or renunciation in knowledge, should be altogether free from all kinds of activity because work and renunciation appear to him to be incompatible. He appears not to have understood that work in full knowledge is nonreactive and is, therefore, the same as inaction. He inquires, therefore, whether he should cease work altogether, or work with full knowledge.

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Here is the purpose of Adhyay 4 from Bhagavad Gita.

sri-Bhagavan uvaca
imam vivasvate yogam
proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha
manur iksvakave ‘bravit

The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu, in turn, instructed it to Iksvaku.

Purpose:

Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gita traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the royal order, the kings of all planets. This science is especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants and therefore the royal order should understand it in order to be able to rule the citizens and protect them from the material bondage to lust. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture, and devotion.

In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Krsna consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life.

“Let me worship,” Lord Brahma said, “the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda [Krsna], who is the original person and under whose order the sun, which is the king of all planets, is assuming immense power and heat. The sun represents the eye of the Lord and traverses its orbit in obedience to His order.”

The sun is the king of the planets, and the sun-god (at present of the name Vivasvan) rules the sun planet, which is controlling all other planets by supplying heat and light.

He is rotating under the order of Krsna, and Lord Krsna originally made Vivasvan His first disciple to understand the science of Bhagavad-gita. The Gita is not, therefore, a speculative treatise for the insignificant mundane scholar but is a standard book of knowledge coming down from time immemorial.

“In the beginning of the Treta-yuga [millennium] this science of the relationship with the Supreme was delivered by Vivasvan to Manu. Manu, being the father of mankind, gave it to his son Maharaja Iksvaku, the King of this earth planet and forefather of the Raghu dynasty in which Lord Ramacandra appeared. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita existed in the human society from the time of Maharaja Iksvaku.”

At the present moment, we have just passed through five thousand years of the Kali-yuga, which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was Dvapara-yuga (800,000 years), and before that there was Treta-yuga (1,200,000 years). Thus, some 2,005,000 years ago, Manu spoke the Bhagavad-gita to his disciple and son Maharaja lksvaku, the King of this planet earth. The age of the current Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of which 120,400,000 have passed. Accepting that before the birth of Manu, the Gita was spoken by the Lord to His disciple, the sun-god Vivasvan, a rough estimate is that the Gita was spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago; and in human society, it has been extant for two million years.

It was respoken by the Lord again to Arjuna about five thousand years ago. That is the rough estimate of the history of the Gita, according to the Gita itself and according to the version of the speaker, Lord Sri Krsna. It was spoken to the sun-god Vivasvan because he is also a ksatriya and is the father of all ksatriyas who are descendants of the sun-god, or the surya-vamsa ksatriyas. Because Bhagavad-gita is as good as the Vedas, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is apauruseya, superhuman.

Since the Vedic instructions are accepted as they are, without human interpretation, the Gita must, therefore, be accepted without mundane interpretation. The mundane wranglers may speculate on the Gita in their own ways, but that is not Bhagavad-gita as it is. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita has to be accepted as it is, from the disciplic succession, and it is described herein that the Lord spoke to the sun-god, the sun-god spoke to his son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Iksvaku.

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