Shrimad Bhagvad Gita

Shankar Bhashya on Gita- One shloka a day- 2.10

Gita 2.10

तमुवाच हृषीकेशः प्रहसन्निव भारत।

सेनयोरुभयोर्मध्ये विषीदन्तमिदं वचः।।2.10।।

O descendant of Bharata, to him who was sorrowing between the two armies, Hrishikesha, as if mocking, said these words:

Adi Guru starts his commentary from Gita 2.10. He states that Gita 1.2 to 2.9 must be explained as revealing the cause of the origin of the defect of shoka-moha etc of creatures which are the seeds of samsara.

Arjuna’s own shoka-moha were caused due to (fear of) separation of affection. This was in turn caused due to illusory thoughts such as ‘I belong to them’ ‘they are mine’ with respect to kingdom, guru, son, friends, well-wishers etc. This is shown by Gita 2.4 etc.

Because his viveka-vijnana was overwhelmed by shoka-moha, he refrained from war despite having himself undertaken to fight owing to the dharma of kshatriya. And he became ready to live the life of a bhikshuk which was para-dharma. Thus, all creatures, whose chitta is overwhelmed by shoka-moha etc, naturally abdicate swa-dharma and engage in prohibited karma.

Even when they are engaged in swa-dharma, the activities of their vak-manas-body-buddhi is impelled by desire of fruits and are accompanies with Ahamkara. Thus being the case, the samsara, having the lakshana of desirable and undesirable births and getting sukha and dukha due to accumulation of dharma and adharma, continues unabated. Therefore, shoka-moha is the seed of samsara.

Therefore, with a desire to teach that shoka-moha cannot be destroyed except sarva-karma-sanyas-purvak-atma-jnana, Bhagvan starts with Gita 2.11 for the well-being of entire world by making Arjuna an occasion for it.   

Objection: Kaivalya cannot be obtained by sarva-karma-sanyas-purvak-aatm-jnana-nishtha alone. It is the firm conclusion in entire Gita that kaivalya is obtained by jnana in conjunction with agnihotra-etc-Shruti and Smriti enjoined karmas. And such meaning is evident in Gita 2.33, 2.47, 4.15 etc.

And here one should not question that Vaidika karmas include himsa and hence they are adharma. Because despite the karma of kshatriya having the lakshana of war and himsa of guru and relatives is extremely cruel, it is not adharma by virtue of being swa-dharma. On the contrary, if you don’t do that, then as per Gita 2.33, you will incur sin.

Thus, it is clearly determined that ‘one should do Agnihotra as long as one lives’ etc Shruti-enjoined karmas having the lakshana of the himsa of animals are not adharma.

Answer: This is wrong. Because jnana-nishtha and karma-nishtha are dependent on two types of buddhis and they have been distinguished from each other. Paramartha-atma-tattva has been depicted by Gita starting from 2.11 to 2.31. This is Samkhya. The buddhi having that vishaya (of Samkhya), which arises due to determination of the meaning of prakarana that atman is non-doer and is bereft of six changes such as birth etc, is called Samkhya-buddhi. Those jnanis for whom Samkhya-buddhi is appropriate are called Samkhyas.

Prior to advent of this buddhi, there is yoga which is having the lakshana of anushthana of Moksha-sadhana through the viveka of dharma and adharma having regard to the kartritva and bhoktritva of atman which is different from body etc. The buddhi having this vishaya is called yoga-buddhi. Those karmis for whom yoga-buddhi is appropriate are called yogis. Accordingly, Bhagavan has made this distinction in two buddhis in Gita 2.39.

Among these two buddhis, Bhagavan would separately speak in 3.3 of the nishtha of Samkhyas through jnana-yoga which is dependent on samkhya-buddhi. And He would also speak of the nishtha (of yogis) through karma-yoga which is dependent on yoga-buddhi.

Bhagavan saw the impossibility of co-existence of jnana and karma in one person which are based on akartritva-kartritva and ekatva-biddhi–anekatva-buddi. Accordingly, He distinguished the two nishthas dependent on Samkhya-buddhi and Yoga-buddhi.

This declaration of distinction (between two buddhis) is also described in Shatapatha Brahmana – Desiring this world (of the atman) alone sanyasis and Brahmanas wander. Thus enjoining sarva-karma-sanyas, it is said in continuation in Brihadaranyaka 4.4.22 – What shall we achieve through progeny, we who have attained this Self, this world. Here itself is shown that all karmas, Shruti-enjoined etc are only for one who has avidya and kama.

How has it been shown?

The Purusha or Atman is in its prakrita (natural) state before marriage. After dharma-jijnasa (by studying with teacher before marriage), he desired (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.17) the means of three lokas.

What are those means?

Son, Manusham-vittam and Daiva-vittam. Manusham-vittam is having the form of karma and is the means to attain the pitru-loka. Daiva-vittam is vidya which is the means to attain deva-loka.

Thus, it is shown that all karmas, Shruti-enjoined etc are only for one who has avidya and kama (on the basis of he desired after dharma-jijnasa).

And their (of karmas) renunciation is enjoined for one who is bereft of kamana and is desirous of loka (of atman) alone (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.22).     

Had Bhagavan be intending the conjunction of jnana and Shruti-enjoined-karma, then such declaration of distinction (in Brihadaranyak Upanishad and Satapatha Brahman) would be rendered illogical.

Also, the question by Arjuna in Gita 3.1 would become illogical. If Bhagavan had not said earlier (in chapter two) the impossibility of performance of buddhi and karma by one person, how could Arjuna ascribe that unheard thing – buddhi is superior to karma – falsely to Bhagavan by saying in 3.1 – if it be Your opinion that buddhi is superior to karma.

Further, if Bhagavan had spoken about the conjunction of jnana and karma for one and all, then it stands spoken for Arjuna also. Thus, when the teaching is about (practise of) both, how could the question about (performance of only) either of the two arise as in Gita 5.1 – please tell me clearly as to which one among these two is superior. Suppose a doctor prescribes for curing bile-problem that the patient should take a diet which is sweet and cool. Here a question – please tell me as to which one is the cause of curing the bile-problem – is impossible.

If it is imagined that the question of Arjuna is because of the non-comprehension of distinct meaning of words of Bhagavan, then Bhagavana should have replied in accordance with the question – The conjunction of buddhi and karma has been spoken by Me. Why are you confused thus?

On the other hand, it was not proper for Bhagavan to have answered in Gita 3.3 – two kinds of nishthas were spoken of by Me earlier – in a way that was inconsistent and at variance with the question.       

[Thus far is rejected the possibility of conjunction of Shruti-enjoined karmas and jnana]

Further, the statements about distinction etc. in totality do not become logical if it was intended (by Bhagavan) that jnana was to be combined with Smriti-enjoined karmas. Further, Arjuna’s complaint in Gita 3.1 – why do you urge me to engage in this horrible karma – would become illogical because he knew that war is swa-dharma by being the Smriti-enjoined karma of kshatriyas.

Therefore, none can show that there is even an iota of conjunction of Atma-jnana with the karma enjoined by either Shruti or Smriti in entire Gita Shastra.

On the other hand, if a person who is engaged in karma due to the defects such as attachment etc or due to ajnana, and becomes a person of pure sattva through yajna, tapas or dana, then the jnana dawns in him having the vishaya of paramartha-tattva – this entire (thing) is one, it is Brahman and it is not the karta. For such a person, karma as well as karma-prayojana (purpose) are removed. However, he may be observed to persist in karma with effort, just like before for loka-sangraha (see Gita 3.20). This is, however, not karma which can be conjoined with buddhi. Just as the activities (cheshta) of Bhagavan Vasudeva having the dharma of kshatriya don’t get combined with jnana for achieving purushartha, similarly that of (the activities of) vidvaan (cannot be combined with jnana) due to the similarity of absence of ahamkara and hankering of fala. The knower of tattva does not think – I do (this) – nor does he hanker after its fala. For example, a person hankering after such desirable things as swarga etc. may light up a fire for performing Kamya-Agnihotra etc which are the means to attain desirable things; then, while he is still engaged in the performance of Agnihotra etc. as the means for the desirable things, the desire may get destroyed when the rite is half-done. He may nevertheless continue the performance of those very Agnihotra etc.; but those Agnihotra etc. cannot be held to be Kamya-Agnihotra. [Agnihotra can be either Nitya Agnihotra or Kamya Agnihotra. Nitya Agnihotra is part of nitya karma and is not for getting desirable stuff. Kamya Agnihotra is a kamya karma and is a tool to get desirable stuff].

This is shown by Bhagavan in Gita 5.7, 13.31. As for the texts 4.15 – as was performed earlier by ancient ones – and 3.20 – Janaka etc situated in Samsiddhi through karma – these are to be understood analytically.

How exactly?

If Janaka and the ancients remained engaged in karma despite being knowers of tattva, they did so for loka-samgraha, while remaining established in smasiddhi through the jnana mentioned in Gita 3.28 – gunas (indriyas) are operating in gunas (vishayas). The meaning is, even though the occasion of karma-sanyasa arose, they situated in samsiddhi along with karmas and did not do karma-sanyasa.

On the other hand, if they were not the knowers of tattva, then the explanation should be this – through the means of offering karmas to Ishwara, Janaka and others remained established in Samsiddhi i.e. sattva-shuddhi or jnana-utpatti-lakshana (detailed explanation comes in later shlokas). This meaning is spoken by Bhagavan in Gita 5.11 – (they) do karmas for sattva-shuddhi. After speaking the attainment of siddhi in 18.46 – by doing the Archana of Him through swa-karma, human get siddhi – Bhagavan speak of jnana-nishtha for them in 18.50.

Therefore, in entire Gita Shastra, it is the definite meaning that Moksha is attained only by tattva-jnana and not by the conjunction of karma (therewith). And by pointing out in the relevant contexts the (aforesaid) distinction, we shall show how this conclusion stands.

Bhagvan Vasudeva saw that Arjuna is confused about dharma and that he is submerged in great ocean of shoka due to false knowledge. He felt that Arjuna cannot be saved except through Atma-jnana. Therefore, in order to liberate Arjuna, God spoke as the preface of Atma-jnana.



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