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Full text of "Srimad Bhagavad Gita Rahasya - BG Tilak - Volumes 1 and 2"

The Hindu Philosophy of Life, Ethics and Religion. 

OM-TAT-SAT 

S'RIMAD BHAGAVADGITA RAiUSYA 

OR 

KARMMOGA-S ASTRA 

Including an external examination of the Gita, the 

Original Sanskrit stanzas, their English translation, 

commentaries on the stanzas, and a comparison of 

Eastern with Western doctrines etc. 

BY 
BAL GANGADHAR TILAK, B.A., LL.B., 

Law Lecturer, and Pleader, Pooka ; Sometime Additional Membee 

of the council of h. e, the governor of bombay for making 

Laws, Author of Orion or Researches into the Antiquity of the 

Vedas, Arctic Home in the Vedas, Vedanga Jyotish AND Vsdic 

Chronology, FOUNDER OF THE 'Kesan ' AND THE Maratha 

Newspapers Etc. Etc. 

TRANSLATED BY 

8HALCHANDRA S1TARAM SUKTHANKAR, M.A., LL.B., 

Solicitor, High. Court, Bombay. 

Gibbs Prizeman ; Petit Prizeman ( Oercle Litteraire ) ; 
Dakshina Fellow; etc. 

Vol. II. 

FIRST EDI^OI^ 

( 10,000 Copies 

iasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara I 

asakto hy acaran karma paramapnoti purusah H ( Gita, 3. 19 ). 

SAKA YEAR 1857 ; 1936 A. D. 
POONA. 
Price (in India) Rs. 6/- 



Y/arious Vernacular Editions 

OF THE 
GITA-RAHASYA 

MARATHI 

First Edition, June 1915. 

Second Edition, September 1915. 

Third Edition, September 1918. 

Fourth Edition, 1923. 

First Edition in two parts, 1924-1926. 

HINDI 

First Edition, 1917. 

Second Edition, 1918. 

Third Edition, 1919. 

Fourth Edition, 1924. 

Fifth Edition, 1925. 

First Edition in two parts, 1926. 

Sixth Edition, 1928. 

Seventh Edition, 1933. 

GUJARATHI 

First Edition, 1917. 
Second Edition, 1924. 

BENGALI 

First Edition, 1924. 

KANARESE 

First Edition, 1919. 

TELUGU 

First Edition, 1919. 

TAMIL 

First Edition, (First Volume only), out of print 



Works of the Late LOK. B. G. TILAK- 

(ENGLISH) 

1. The Arctic Home in the Vedas ( Price Rs. 5 ). 

2. The Orion, or Researches into the Antiquity of the- 
Vedas ( Price Rs. 2 ). 

3. The Vedic Chronology and the Vedanga Jyotisha 
(Price Rs. 3.). 

4. THE GITA-RAHASYA. 

English, in two volumes. Price Rs. 10 

Marathi, in two volumes. Price Rs. 4 
Gujarathi, (cloth bound) ditto- 

Hindi, „ ditto, 

Kanarese, ,, ditto. 

Telugu, „ ditto. 

Bengali, (card board) ditto. 

5. S'RlMAD BHAGAVADGITA, 

(text, translation and important commentaries) 
Hindi, Gujarathi, and Marathi; cloth 12 as; paper 8 as. 
Three-coloured portraits and pictures : — 
Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 

size 20" by 27", 8 as-, each. 
size 12" by 18", 4 as., each. 
The|Battle-fleld;of Kuru-Ksetra 

size 20" by 27", 8' as-, each, 
size 12" by 18", 4 as. each.. 
All the above books and pictures can be had of : — 
Messrs. TILAK Bros., 

Lokamanya Tilak Mandir, 

568, Narayan Peth, 

Poona City (INDIA). 



GENERAL RULES REGARDING 
THE TRANSLATION. 

(i) Wherever a philosophical Sanskrit word used in the 
Marathi text (not being a technical philosophical term which 
has been Anglicised), has been rendered by me into English, I 
have, wherever necessary, placed immediately after such 
rendering the actual word used by the author in the original, in 
italics, and within brackets ; e. g., bodily (kayika), Self -Realised 
{atma-jnanin), occasional (naimittika), etc. This has been done to 
enable such of my readers as are acquainted with Sanskrit to 
understand what the Author himself wanted to say, in case my 
rendering has not been correct. 

(ii) If the word in the original text is a technical philoso- 
phical word, which has been Anglicised, I have used the word 
in Roman characters, beginning with a capital letter, e. g., 
Jlva, Paramesvara, Prakrti, Paramatman, Atman etc. 

(iii) Diacritical signs have been used in order to ensure 
correct pronunciation by the reader, whose attention is -drawn 
to the tabular statement at p. viii showing what diacritical 
sign has been used for indicating which sound. 

(iv) Technical philosophical English words are used with 
an initial capital letter in order to distinguish them from 
when they are not so used, e. g., Real, Matter, Spirit, the 
Imperceptible, Knowledge, Mind, Consciousness, the Quality- 
less etc., unless the words have been used as adjectives, or in a 
non-technical sense, e. g., the qualityless Brahman etc 

(v) If in the text itself, there is a Sanskrit word in 
brackets after another Sanskrit word, (which latter one has 
been rendered by me into English), the Author's word in 
brackets, though in Sanskrit, has not been put into italics, in 
order to distinguish the case from where I have put such words 
in italic characters, in brackets, after the rendering, as 
mentioned in (i) above. 

(vi) If the Sanskrit word in the original has been retained 
in the translated text,' its rendering in English is placed after 
it in brackets; e.g., the Mrya (product), karma (Action) etc. 
This has been done only where the retention has been necessary 
on account of the context. 



viii GENERAL RULES RE : THE TRANSLATION 



(vii) I have not added anything of my own in the translated 
text except as follows :-In almost all places where the Author 
has given a Sanskrit quotation, he has immediately after- 
wards translated this quotation or given a summary of it in 
Marathi ; and this, of course, has been translated into English. 
In some places, however, the Author has not translated a 
Sanskrit quotation into Marathi ; and in these cases, I myself 
have translated it into English, for the convenience of the 
reader not acquainted with Sanskrit ; but, wherever this has 
been done,.I have added the word " — Trans." after the trans- 
lation. Any inaccuracies in such translations, would, of course, 
be mine. Where, however, such a quotation has been from 
the Glta itself, I have rendered into English, the translation of 
that quotation, as made by the Author himself, in his trans- 
lation of the stanzas of the Glta ( as appearing in this Volume ). 

B. S. SUKTHANKAR. 



SCHEME OF TRANSLITERATION OP SANSKRIT 



3T ... 


... 


a 


3> ... 


... k 


Z .. 


... th 


3T ... 


... b 


sir ... 


... 


a 


^ ... 


■ •■ tCfh 


3 1 .. 


. ... d 


V ... 


... bh 


I ... 


... 


i 


T ... 


... g 


5 .. 


. ... dh 


H ... 


... m 


3g ••• 


... 


I 


*r ... 


... gh 


or .. 


. ... y. 


T ... 


... y 


g - ... 


... 


u 


w ... 


... n 


a .. 


. ... * 


T ... 


... f 


3T ... 


• •• 


u 


^3" ••• 


... c 


«r .. 


. ... th 


<& ... 


■•# v 


* ... 


... 


T 


® ... 


... ch 


«t •• 


. ... d 


n ... 


... V 


«r ... 


... 


e 


3T ... 


... J 


*r .. 


. ... dh 


*T ... 


... i 


<t ... 


• •a 


ai 


Igt ••• 


.. jh 


H .. 


. ... n 


<r ... 


... 8 


3*t ... 


• ■■ 


o 


3T ... 


... n 


T .. 


. ... v 


*r ... 


... s 


3ft ... 


... 


au 


5 ... 


... t 


"*r .. 


... ph 


t ... 


... h 



-{armsmra)rh, : ( usarga) ah , $r ks, % .jn 

•S (avagraha) ' 



THE NUMBER OF VERSES ATTRIBUTED TO THE 

VARIOUS CHARACTERS FIGURING IN THE 

GITA IN ORDER OF ADHYAYAS. 



Chapter. 


Dhrtarastra. Safijaya. 


Arjuna. 


, Lord 
Sri Krsna. 


Total 

No. 


I ... 


1 


25 


21 


... 


47 


|II ... 


... 


3 


6 


63 


72 


Ill ... 


... 


••* 


3 


40 


43 


IV ... 


... 


•• 


1 


41 


42 


v ... 


... 


... 


1 


28 


29 


VI ... 


... 


... 


5 


42 


47 


VII ... 


... 


... 


• •* 


30 * 


.30 


VIII ... 


... 


... 


2 


26 


28 


IX ... 


... 


... 


... 


34 


34 


X ... 


... 


... 


7 


35 


42 


XI ... 


... 


8 


33 


14 


55 


XII ... 


... 


... 


1 


19 


20 


XIII ... 


... 


... 


... 


34 


34 


XIV ... 


... 


... 


1 


26 


27 


XV ... 


... 


... 


... 


20 


20 


XVI ... 


... 


... 


... 


24 


24 


XVII ... 


• •• 


• •• 


1 


27 


28 


XVIII ... 


... 


5 


2 


71 


78 




1 


41 


84 


574 


700 



x PICTORIAL MAP OF PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 



EXPLANATION OF THE PICTORIAL MAP OF THE 

PROMINENT SCHOOLS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHY 

mentioned in the GHA-RAHASYA. 



Shown on the wrapper 




and opp. page 18. 
( Volume I ). 



The river is the River of Time, on the banks which are the* 
various Ages through which India has passed, namely, (1) the 
Vedic Age, (2) the Age of the Gita, (3) the Age of Buddha, 
(4) the Age of Shri Shankaracharya, (5) the Age Dnyaneshvara, 
Tukarama and others being the Age of Devotion, (6) the Age of 
Shri Samartha Ramadasa, showing the revival of Action, and 
(7) the deputation of Indian Leaders at the gates of the Houses 
of Parliament and (8) Mahatma Gandhi, in the Present Age. ' 

Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are the Ages of Action, or of Karma- 
Yoga starting with the Vedic Karma age, and ending with the 
present days, and forming a big L, which means the Lucky 
Ages ; whereas Nos. 3", 4 and 5 are the Ages of Renunciation, 
which are only a small passing cloud on the Karma-Yoga 
tradition of India. 

The narrow bed of the river in the Ages of Renunciation, 
spreads out as it flows down along the plains of the Ages of 
Action, suggesting the widening out of the view-point of 
Philosophy from the narrow Pass of Renunciation to the broad 
Fields of Action. 

The two inset pictures in the form of the ' Svastika ' show 
the five Pandavas on the Kuru field, and the five Indian 
leaders near the Houses of Parliament, in each case, on the- 
Field of Action. The last picture is of Mahatma Gandhi, the- 
latest Karma-Yogin of India. 

R. B. TlLAK. 



(Reprinted from Vol. I for ready re fere ace 
for the convenience of the Reader) 

Detailed Contents of Yolume I with special reference- 
to the subject-matter of chapters I to XIII 

CHAPTER I— INTRODUCTORY. 

The importance of Srlmad Bhagavadglta — the words used' 
at the end of each chapter of the Gits showing the conclusion 
of the chapter — the meaning of the word 'Gita,' — description of 
several other Gltas and the inferiority of these Gltas and of 
the Yoga-Vasistha etc. — methods of examination of a book — 
modern external critics of the Bhagavadglta — the explanation 
of the moral of the Gita as given in the Mahabharata — the 
Prasthanatrayl ( i. e„ the Upanisads, the Vedanta-Sutras and 
the Bhagavadglta), and the doctrine-supporting commentaries 
on it — explanations of the moral of the Gita according to these 
commentaries — Sri Samkaracfirya — Madhusudana — 'Tat-Tvam- 
Asi ' — the Paisaca-Bhasya — Ramanujacarya — Madhvacarya — 

Vallabhacarya — Nimbarka Sridharsvami — Jnanesvara — the 

point of view of all of them is to support some doctrine or 
other — the method of finding out the import of a work, without 
seeking to support a doctrine — how that method is neglected 
by the doctrine-supporting method — the introductory remarks 
and the concluding portion in the Gita — the deadlock arising 
from mutually conflicting Ethical principles, and the resulting 
confusion as to one's duty — the advice in the Gita for solving 
that confusion ... ... ... p. 1 to 39' 

CHAPTER II. EARMA-JIJNASA- 

( THE DESIRE TO KNOW THE BIGHT ACTION ) 

Two English (foreign) examples of the doubt about duty — ■ 
the importance of the Mahabharata from this point of view — the 
doctrine of Non- Violence (ahimsa-dharma), and the exceptions to 
it — 'the doctrine of Forgiveness (ksama), and the exceptions to- 
it — the discrimination between Truth (saiya) and Falsehood 
(anrta) according to our Sastras — a comparison of that discrimi- 
nation according to English (foreign) Ethics — superiority andi 
importance of the point of view of our philosophers — the 
observance of a vow (pratijfia) and its limitations — the doctrine 



xii DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 

of Not-Stealing, and the exceptions to it — the exceptions to 
the doctrine that 'living is more important than dying' — 
self-defence — duties owed to one's mother, father, preceptor 
(guru) and other revered persons, and the exceptions to the 
same— the relative importance of the restraint of Desire (kama\ 
Anger (krodha) and Avarice (lobha) — the occasions and the 
limits of Time and Place for showing courage, and other 
virtues—the relative importance of different courses of 
Action — the subtle distinction between Morality (dharma) and 
Immorality (adharma), and the wonderfulness of the 
Glta... ... ... ... ... p. 40-69 

CHAPTER III. 

KARMA-YOGA-S ASTRA. 

(The Science of Right Action). 

The importance of the Desire to know the Right Action 
(karma-jijnasa) — the first Chapter of the Glta and the necessity of 
the Science of Right Action — the definition of the meaning of 
the word 'Karma' — the subject of Karma according to Mimamsa 
writers — the definition of the meaning of the word ' Yoga ' 
according to the Glta — Yoga = Karma-Yoga, and that is the only 
doctrine which is expounded — synonyms for Right Action 
(karma) and Wrong Action or Non-Action (akarma) — the three 
methods of scientific exposition, namely the Materialistic 
(adhibhautika), the Intuitionist (adhidaivika), and the Metaphy- 
sical (adhyatmika) — why these methods came into existence — the 
opinion of Comte — the Metaphysical point of view is the best 
according to the Glta — two meanings of the word 'dharma' (i) 
with reference to the next world and (ii) with reference to this 
world — the system of the four castes and other systems — it is 
* dharma ', because it maintains the world — 'dharma' in the form 
of precepts (codana) — ordinary rules for distinguishing between 
righteous and unrighteous Action (dharmadharma) — the doctrine 
of ' mahajano yena gatah sa panihah \ i. e., 'that path is the true 
one which is followed by the great', and the exceptions to it— 
the doctrine of l ati sarvatra varjayet', i. e., 'avoid extremes', and 
its incompleteness — the definition of Righteousness by consi- 
dering what is not objected to (avirodha) — the object of the 
science* of Karma-Yoga ... ... ... p. 70-101 



DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I xiii 

CHAPTEE IV. 

ADHIBHAUTIKA-SUKHAVADA. 

( The Materialistic theory of Happiness ). 

An indroduction to the outlines of the subject — principles- 
determining Morality (dharnza) and Immorality (adharma) — 
Carvaka's doctrine of unalloyed selfishness — 'far-sighted 
selfishness ' of Hobbes — Philanthropy is as much an inherent 
desire as selfishness — the doctrine of Yajnavalkya of the benefit 
of the Atman (atmartha) — the doctrine of the combination of 
self-interest and other 's-interest, or 'enlightened self-interest' — 
the objections to that doctrine — the doctrine of giving higher 
importance to other's-interest — the doctrine of 'the greatest 
good of the greatest number' — the objections to that doctrine — 
who is to decide in what the greatest good of the greatest 
number lies, and how — the superiority of the Eeason (buddhi) 
of the doer, over the Action itself — why one should do goo'd to 
others — the perfect state of mankind — that which is meritorious 
(sreya), and that which is pleasurable (preya) — the transitoriness 
of Happiness and Unhappiness, and the immutability of Moral 
principles ... ... ... ... p. 102-12S 

CHAPTEE V. 
SUKHA-DUHKHA-VIVEKA. 

( The Consideration of Happiness and Unhappiness ). 

The inclination of everyone towards Happiness — the 
characteristic features of and difference between Happiness and 
Unhappiness — whether Happiness is an independent thing, or 
means only the absence of Unhappiness — the opinion of the 
School of Eenunciation — the refutation of that opinion — the 
doctrine of the Gita — Happiness and Unhappiness are two 
independent feelings ( bhava ) — the contrariety between the 
Happiness and Unhappiness arising in this world — whether 
there is more of Happiness or of Unhappiness in worldly life — 
the Western theory that there is a preponderance of Happiness — 
that worldly life is full of happiness does not follow from the- 
fact that all mankind does not commit suicide — the uncontrol- 
lable growth of the Desire for Happiness — the impossibility of 



xiv DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 

-extinguishing the Desire for Happiness by enjoying Happi- 
ness — therefore, there is a preponderance of Unhappiness in 
worldly life — the propositions of our philosophers, consistent 
with this point of view — the opinion of Schopenhauer — the 
usefulnesss of Dissatisfaction — how to avoid its evil effects- 
experiencing of Happiness or Unhappiness is within one's 
•control, and characteristic features of the Hope for Fruit of 
Action — prohibition of the Abandonment of Action, since 
Unhappiness can be averted only by giving up Hope for Fruit 
■of Action — the limits of restraint of the organs — the four 
aphorisms (sutras) of the doctrine of Eight Action — the animal 
nature of Bodily, that is, of Material Happiness — the superi- 
ority and immutability of Happiness which is born of the 
Atman, that is, of Metaphysical Happiness — the blending of 
•these two kinds of Happiness is the ideal aceordiug*,tp the 
doctrine of Right Action— the happiness born of the enjoyment 
of 'Bodily pleasures, is inconstant and unfit to be an 
ideal— the incompleteness of the Doctrine of Material 
Happiness ... ... ... ... p. 129-166 

CHAPTER VI. 

ADHIDAIVATA-PAKSA AND KSETRAKSETRAJ-NA- 

VICARA. 

( The Intuitionist School and the Consideration of the 
Body and the Atman ). 

The Western School of 'Conscience' — similar references 
in Indian philosophical works to the Goddess of the Mind 
( manodevata ) — the objections of the Materialistic school 
against the Intuitionist school — the decision as to what ought 
not to be done can be quickly made, by habit and practice— 
' Conscience ' is not an independent force — the objections of the 
Metaphysical school — 'the great factory of the human Body — 
the respective functions of the organs of Perception and the 
•organs of Action — the respective functions of the Mind and the 
Reason — the difference and inter-relation between the Discern- 
ing (Pure) Reason (vyavasayatmiM buddhi) and Practical Reason 
{vascaiatmika buddhi) — the Discerning Reason is initially one, 
but is of three different kinds, according as it is sattvika, etc. — 



DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I xv 



Conscience is included in, and not different from, Discerning 
Eeason — the nature of the Consideration of the Body and the 
Atman, and of the Perishable and the Imperishable, and its 
relation to the doctrine of Karma-Yoga (Right Action) — the 
meaning of the word ' ksetra ' (Body) — the existence of the 
' ksetrajfia ' that is, of the Atman — introduction to the Consi- 
deration of the Perishable and the Imperishable ... p. 167-201 

CHAPTER VII. 

KAPILA-SAMKHYA-SASTRA OB KSARAKSARA- 

VICARA. 

(The Kapila-Samkya Philosophy or the Consideration of the 

Mutable and the Immutable). 

Systems of philosophy dealing with the Mutable and the 
Immutable — the Atomic Theory of Kanadas — Kapila-Samkhya- 
-the meaning of the word ' Samkhya ' — works dealing with the 
Kapila-Samkhya System — the Doctrine of Satkarya-vada (some- 
thing being produced out of something which existed) — the 
fundamental substance of the world, or Prakrti is one — sattva, 
.raja, and tama are its three constituents — the Static or samya 
condition (samyavastha) of the three constituents, and the 
creation of various objects by their mutual intermixtures — 
Matter (Prakrti) is imperceptible, unbroken, homogeneous, and 
inactive — the evolution of the Perceptible (vyakta) out of the 
Imperceptible (avyakta) — Mind and Reason spring from 
Matter — the Gross (Materialistic) Monism (Non-Dualism) of 
Haeckel, and, tracing the origin of the Atman from Matter are 
not acceptable to Samkhya philosophy — Matter (prakrti) and 
Spirit ( purusa) are two independent Principles — of these, the 
.Spirit ( purusa) is inactive, qualityless, and apathetic, and all 
activity is of Matter ( prakrti) — the unf urlment of the Cosmos 
is due to the union of the two — Release (moksa) is attained by 
Realising the difference between Matter and Spirit — whose is 
the Release, of Matter or of the Spirit ?— innumerable Spirits 
of the Samkhya system, and the sole Spirit of the Vedantists — 
-the condition of being beyond the three constituents (triguriatita- 
vastha) — the difference between the doctrines of the "Samkhya 
system, and similar doctrines of the Gita ... p. 202-228 



xvi DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME 1 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE CONSTRUCTION AND DESTRUCTION OF THE 
COSMOS. 

The unfurlment of Matter — the characteristic features of 
(Spiritual) Knowledge (jnana) and worldly knowledge 
(vijnana) — the various theories as to the Creation of the Cosmos, 
and their ultimate oneness — the modern theory of Evolution, and 
its similarity to the Samkhya theory of the ' Developing-out ' 
of the Constituents (gunotkarsa) — an exposition of the theory of 
the order of unfurlment of the Constituents of Matter, or of 
the theory of the development of Constituents ( guyotkarsa- 
vada, or gariaparindma-vada ) — the growth from Prakrti, first, 
of Discerning Reason (vyavasayatrrtika buddhi), and then of 
Individuation (ahamkara) — their innumerable sub-divisions 
under- three main heads — the growth from Individuation of 
eleven elements, including the Mind, in the organic world, and 
of the five Subtle (fine) Elements called 'Tanmatras' in the 
inorganic world— the reason why there are only five fine 
elements (Tanmatras), and only eleven subtle organs — the evo- 
lution of the Gross from the Subtle — Cosmic Tree of 25 
elements — The Cosmic Tree (brahrm-vrksa) of the Anuglta and 
the Pipal-Tree {asvattha) in the Glta — the different Samkhya and 
VedSntic methods of classifying the twenty-five elements — the 
relative tabular statement — the order given in books on 
Vedanta of the creation of the five gross primordial elements — ■ 
and the subsequent growth of all gross objects by Pancikarana 
(unifying of five) — its comparison with the Trivrtkarana 
(union of three) mentioned in the Upanisads — the living 
creation and the Subtle Body (linga-sarira) — the difference 
between the Subtle Body according to the Vedanta and the 
Samkhya philosophies— the activity (bhava) of the Reason, and 
the Karma of Vedanta— Cosmic Destruction (pralaya) — the 
period from Cosmic Creation to Cosmic Destruction — the 
duration of a Kalpayuga— the day and night of Brahma- 
deva, and the duration of his life — the contrast and similarity 
of this Theory of the Evolution of the Cosmos with other 
theories. " ... ... ... ... p. 229-267 



DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I xvii 

CHAPTER IX. 

ADHYATMA. 

( The Philosophy of the Absolute Self ) 

Objections to the Duality of Matter and Spirit— the 
method of considering that which is beyond both — th© 
Absolute Self ( paramatma or para purusa) is beyond both — the. 
Trinity of Matter (Cosmos), Spirit (Jlva) and the Highest 
Isvara (Paramesvara) — the description of the form of the 
Paramesvara as given in the Glta — the Perceptible (vyakta} 
or Qualityful (saguya) form, and its inferiority — the Impercep- 
tible, capable of Perception by illusion ( Maya ) — the three 
divisions of the Imperceptible into (i) qualityful (ii) quality- 
less and (iii) qualityful-qualityless — similar descriptions 
in the Upanisads — the methods of worship (vidya) and symbols. 
( prattka ) mentioned in the Upanisads for worship ( upasana ) — - 
of the three imperceptible forms, the qualityless is the 
best — (p. 289) — the scientific exposition of the above doctrines — ■ 
the moot meanings of the words 'Qualityful' (saguva) and 
' Qualityless ' (nirguna) — 'the natural idea of Immortality — how 
the Knowledge of the universe is acquired, and what it consists 
of — the description of the process of acquiring Knowledge, and 
definition of Names and Forms — the Appearance of Names 
and Forms, and the Thing-in-Itself (vastu-tatva)— the definition 
of the Real (satya); Names and Forms are unreal (asatya) 
because they are perishable, and the Thing-in-itself (vastu-tatva} 
is Real, because imperishable— the Thing-in-Itself is the 
imperishable Brahman, and Names and Forms are illusory — - 
the meaning of the words Real (satya) and Illusory (mithya) 
in Vedanta — the embodiment of Material Sciences is Names, 
and Forms (p. 302) — the theory of vijnana is not acceptable 
to Vedanita — the ancientness of the doctrine of Maya — the 
form of the immutable (nitya) Brahman, clothed in Names 
and Forms, and of the Embodied (sarira) Atman is the same — 
why both are said to be of the form of Consciousness 
(cit)— the identity of the Brahman and the Atman is expressed 
by saying: "what is in the body (pirida) is also in the Cosmos 
(brahmanda)" — the bliss of Realising the Brahman (brahma- 
nanda )— the death of the Ego — the fourth state ( turiyavastha ) 

iii-iv 



xviii DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 



and the exclusive contemplation of the One Entity, without 
separate consciousness of the Known and the Knower 
( rrirvikalpa-scnnudM )— the ultimate limit of Immortality and 
the death of Death (p. 321) — the growth of Dualism ( dvaita- 
vada) — both the Glta and the Upanisads propound the 
Non-Dualistic Vedanta— - how the qualityful Maya ( Illusion ) 
grows out of the Qualityless ( nirguna ) — the ' vivarta ' theory 
and the ' guvapaririama' theory — the doctrines of the 
Philosophy of the Absolute Self, in short, regarding the 
Cosmos ('jagat), the Personal Self (jiva) and the Highest 
Isvara ( Paramesvara ), ( p. 336 )— the Reality or Unreality 
of the Brahman — 'Om-Tat-Sat ' and other symbols of 
the Brahman — how the Personal Self {jlua) is a part of the 
Paramesvara — the Paramesvara is unbounded by Time and 
Space (p. 341)— the ultimate doctrine of the Philosophy of 
the Absolute Self— the feeling of Equability ingrained in 
the bodily organs — the nature of Release (moksa) and a 
description of the State of Perfection (siddhavastha), (p. 346) — 
an exposition giving the literal meaning of the Nasadlya- 
Sufcta in the Rg- Veda— the inter-relation between the previous 
and the subsequent chapters ... ... p. 268-358 

CHAPTER X. 

KARMA-VD?AKA AND ATMA-SVATAMTRYA. 

(The Effect of Karma and Freedom of Will). 

The Maya-world and the Brahman-world — the strata of 

the Body ; and the Subtle Body to which Karma clings — the 

mutual relation between Karma, Names and Forms, and 

Maya — the definitions of Karma and Maya — as the origin of 

Maya cannot be found, it is eternal, though it is dependent — 

the expansion of Matter embodied in Maya, or the Cosmos, 

is Karma— therefore, Karma is also eternal — the uninterrupted 

working of Karma — the Paramesvara gives the Fruit of 

Action according to the Action, without interfering with the 

matter (p. 368) — the adherence of the bond of Karma, and an 

introduction to the theory of Freedom of Natural Inclination 

{pravrtti svatamtrya)—th.e division of Karma into Accumulated 

(samdta), Commenced (prUrabdha), and To-Be-Performed 

(hiyamava) — the Accumulated Karma is exhausted only by 



DETAILED CONTENTS OP VOLUME I xix 

its being suffered (" prarabdha harmav-am bhogad eva ksayah") — 
the Doctrine of ' Naiskarmyasiddhi ' (Release by refraining 
from Action) of the Mlmamsa School, is not acceptable to the 
Vedantists — there is no escape from the Bond of Karma, 
except by JfiSna (Knowledge)— the meaning of the word 
' Jfiana ' — the Embodied Atman is free to acquire Knowledge 
(p. 389), but as it does not possess implements for doing so, it 
is to that extent dependent — even the most trifling Action, 
performed for obtaining Release is not wasted— therefore, 
success will be obtained sometime or other by ha'rd work — 
rthe nature of the Destruction of Karma— one cannot escape 
Karma, but should give up the Hope of Fruit— the bond of 
Karma is in the Mind, not in the Karma — therefore, whenever 
Jnana is acquired, Release is the only possible result — the 
importance, nevertheless, of the hour of close of life (p. 400) 
the Karma-kanda and the Jfiana-kanda — the Yajfia prescribed 
by the Srutis, and that prescribed by the Smrtis — the state of 
a householder involving the performance of Action — its two 
divisions into Knowledge-full and Knowledge-less Action — 
different ultimate states accordingly — the DevaySna and the 
Pitryana paths — whether these words indicate the time of 
•death, or deities — the third path namely, the path to hell— a 
■description of the condition of one who is Free from Re-birth 
ijivanmukta) ... ... ... ... p. 359-415. 

CHAPTER XL 
SAMNYASA and KARMA-YOGA. 
(Renunciation and Karma-Yoga.) 
The question of Arjuna as to whether Samnyasa or Karma- 
Yoga was the better course — similar paths of life according to 
Western philosophy — synonyms of the words 'Samnyasa' and 
'Karma-Yoga'— 'meaning of the word ' Samnyasa ' — Karma- 
Yoga is not a part of Samnyasa, but both are independent of 
each other — the confusion created in this matter by commen- 
'tators — the clear doctrine of the Gita that the path of Karma- 
Yoga is the better of the two — the perversions made by the 
commentators belonging to the School of Renunciation — the 
reply to the same — Arjuna cannot be looked upon as Ignorant 
,(ajnani), (p. 432) — the reason given in the Gita. why Karma- 
Yoga is superior — from times immemorial, the course df conduct 



xx DETAILED CONTENTS OP VOLUME I 

(acara) has been two-fold, and therefore, useless for determining: 

which is better — the three Nisthas according to Janaka and the 

two Nisthas according to the Gita — it does not follow that Karma 

should be renounced, because it creates a bond ; it is enough if 

one renounces the Hope for Fruit of Action — it is impossible to 

renounce Karma — if one renounces Karma, one will not get 

even food to eat — even if as a result of Knowledge, there is no 

duty of one's own to perform, and one's desires are extinguished, 

one cannot escape Karma — it is, therefore, essential to continue 

Karma desirelessly, even after the Acquisition of Knowledge— 

the illustrations of the Blessed Lord and of Janaka — the 

giving up of the Hope of Fruit of Action — indifference towards 

the world (vairagya) and enthusiasm for Action ( p. 455 ) — 

Universal Welfare (lokasamgraha) and the nature of it — this 

is the true resolution of the Eealisation of the Brahman 

(brahmajnana) — still, this universal welfare must be obtained 

according to the arrangement of the four castes and desirelessly 

(p. 46?) — the path of leading one's life in four stages, which is 

described in the Smrti texts — the importance of the state of a 

householder (grMsthasrama) — the Bhagavata doctrine — the 

original meanings of the word 'Bhagavata' and 'Smarta' — the 

Gita supports the Karma-Yoga, that is to say, the Bhagavata 

doctrine — the difference between the Karma-Yoga of the Gita 

and the Karma-Yoga of the Mlmamsa School — the difference 

between Bhagavata Samnyasa and Smarta Samnyasa — points of 

similarity between the two— the ancientness of the Vedic 

Karma-Yoga in the Manu-Smrti and of the Bhagavata 

doctrine— the meaning of the words used in the Gita to show 

the close of a chapter — the wonderfulness of the Gita, and the 

appropriateness of the three parts of the Prasthanatrayi 

(p. 490)— a concise statement in a tabular form showing the 

points of difference and similarity between the Samnyasa 

(Samkhya), and Karma-Yoga (Yoga)-the different ways of 

leading one's life— the doctrine of the Gita that Karma-Yoga 

is the best of all— hymns (mantra) from the Isavasyopanisad 

. in support of this proposition— a consideration of the 

Samkarabhasya on those hymns— authorities from the Manu> 

and other Smrtis in support of the fusion of Knowledge and 

■ Action . ... ... _ w _ p< 416-50& 



DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I xxi 



OHAPTEE XII. 

SIDDHAVASTHS. AND VYAVAHARA. 

( The State of a Perfect, and Worldly Affairs ) 

The perfect state of society — in this state, everyone is a 
Steady-in-Mind (sthitaprajfla) — the climax of Morality — the 
.Sthitaprajiia according to Western Philosophy — the state of a 
.Sthitaprajfla, which is beyond laws — the behaviour of the 
Karma-yogin Sthitaprajna is the climax of Morality — the 
difference between the Morality of a selfish society, and the 
Absolute Ethics in the State of Perfection — the description of the 
best of men according to the Dasabodha — but, the immutability 
of Ethical principles is not affected by this difference 
>{p. 526) — on what basis this difference is observed by the 
Sthitaprajna — the welfare or happiness of society, or the benefit 
of all living beings — but Equability of Reason (samya-buddhi) 
is superior to these external considerations — a comparison of 
the doctrine of Equability of Reason with the theory of ' the 
greatest good of the greatest number ' — living in the world 
with Equability of Reason — philanthropy and one's own 
maintenance — Self-Identification ( atmaupamya ) — the compre- 
hensiveness, importance, and logical explanation of that 
doctrine — 'the universe is the family' ('vasudhaiva-kutumbakam') 
(p. 544) — though one might acquire Equability of Reason, one 
cannot give the go-bye to considerations of who is deserving 
and who not — absence of enmity ( nirvaira ) does not mean 
inactivity, or non-resistance — ' measure for measure ' — the 
restraint of evil-doers — the justification of patriotism, clan- 
pride etc, — observing the limits of Time and Place, and Self- 
defence — the duty of the Jfianin (scient) — universal welfare and 
Karma-Yoga — summary of the subject — self-interest, other's- 
interest, and the highest interest (paramartha) ... p. 510-565 

CHAPTER XIII. 

BHAKTI-MARGA 

(The Path of Devotion.) 

The difficulty of ordinary persons of small intelligence in 
Realising the qualityless form of the Brahman — the* means of 



xxii DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I 

acquiring Knowledge, Religious Faith (sraddha) and Reason — 
both these are mutually dependent — the accomplishment of 
practical purposes by Faith — though one may acquire Know- 
ledge of the Paramesvara by Faith, that is not; enough — in 
order to be able to assimilate that Knowledge, it is necessary 
to contemplate on the Paramesvara with an intense and 
desireiess love — this is called DEVOTION — the Contemplation 
of the .Qualityful Imperceptible, is laborious and difficult of 
achievement — therefore, it is necessary to have some definite 
object for -worship — the Path of Knowledge and the Path of 
Devotion lead to the same goal — nevertheless, Devotion cannot 
become a Nistha like Knowledge — the visible form of the 
Paramesvara, accessible by love, which is taken for Devotion — 
the meaning of the word ' pratika ' — the meaning of the words 
' raja-wdya ' and ' raja-guhya ' — the lovingness in the Gita 
(p. 586) — any one of the innumerable manifestations of the 
Paramesvara can be taken as a symbol (pratika) — different, 
symbols taken by different people and the resulting confu- 
sion — how that can be avoided — the difference between the 
symbol (pratika) and the belief with which one worships the 
symbol — whatever the symbol is, the result obtained is 
according to one's belief about it — worship of different deities 
— but the One who gives the Fruit is the Paramesvara and not. 
the deity — whichever deity is worshipped, that becomes an 
informal worship of the Paramesvara — the superiority of the 
Path of Devotion in the Glta, from this point of view — the 
purity or impurity of Devotion and Love — improvement takes 
place by gradual degrees, as a result of industry, and perfection 
is reached after many births — that man who has neither Faith 
nor Reason is lost — whether by Reason or by Devotion, the 
knowledge of the same Non-Dual Brahman is obtained (p. 601) — 
all the doctrines pertaining to the theory of Causality 
(karma-vipaka-prakriya) and the Philosophy of the Absolute 
Self, also stand good in the Path of Devotion — See, for. 
instance, the form of the Personal Self (' jiva'), and of the 
Paramesvara according to the Glta— nevertheless, there is 
sometimes a verbal difference in these doctrines— for instance,. 
Karma now becomes the same as the Paramesvara — dedication, 
to the Brahman (brahmarpayia) and dedication to Krsna* 



DETAILED CONTENTS OF VOLUME I xxiii 

(krsyarparia) — but these verbal differences are not made, if 
confusion results — the fusion of Faith and Spiritual Knowledge 
in the Glta Religion—there is no room for ' Samnyasa ' in the 
Path of Devotion — there is no conflict between Devotion 
( bhakti ) and Action ( karma ) — devotees of the Blessed Lord 
and Universal Welfare — worship of and sacrifice to the 
Blessed Lord by one's own Actions only — whereas the Path 
of Knowledge is open to the three re-generate classes, the Path 
of Devotion is open to women and to Sudras etc. — there is 
Release, even if one surrenders oneself to the Paramesvara at 
the time of death— the superiority of the Eeligion of the Glta 
over other religions ... ... ... p. 566-618 



xxiv CONTENTS OF CHAP. XIV, XV & APPENDICES 



DETAILED 

Contents of chapters XIV and XV and of the Appendices, 

which are included in the Second Volume 

of the Book. 



:o:- 



CHAPTER XIV. 

GITADHYlYA-SAMGATI. 

( The Continuity of the chapters of the Gita ). 

Two methods of proving a subject-^scientific and catechistic 
— the good and bad aspects of the catechistic method — the 
beginning of the Gita — the first chapter— in the second 
■chapter, the subject-matter starts with only two Paths of life, 
namely, the Samkhya and the Yoga — the exposition of Karma- 
Yoga in the third, fourth and fifth chapters — Equability of 
Reason ( samya-buddhi ) is better than Karma — it is impossible 
to get rid of Karma — Karma-Yoga is superior to Samkhya- 
Nistha — the necessity of the control of all organs in order to 
attain Equability of Reason (samya-buddhi) — the method of 
control of the organs mentioned in the sixth chapter — it is not 
proper to divide the Gits into the three parts, Action (karma), 
Devotion (bhakti) and Knowledge ( jnana )— Knowledge and 
Devotion are the means of attaining Equability of Reason, 
according to the Karma-Yoga— therefore, the Gita cannot be 
divided into three six-chaptered parts, one part for Hvam,' one 
for Hat' and one for 'asi' — the exposition of 'jfiana' and 'vyfiana' 
is given in chapters VII to XII, for the successful practice of 
Karma-Yoga, and not independently — a summary of chapters 
VII to XII — even in these chapters of the Gita, Devotion and 
Knowledge have not been dealt with independently, but are 
intermingled with each other, and they have been given the 
single name 'jfiana-vijflana' — a summary of chapters XIII to 
XVII — the summing up in the eighteenth chapter is in support 
of Karma-Yoga — theref ore, considering the introductory and 
final chapters (upakrama-upsamhara) according to rules of the 
Mlmarhsa, Karma-Yoga is seen to be the doctrine propounded 
by the Gita— the four-fold goal of human life (purusartha) — 
*artha' (wealth) and ' Jmrna ' (Desire) must be consistent with 



CONTENTS OF CHAP. XIV, XV & APPENDICES xxv 

'dharma' (Morality)— but Release (moksa) is not in conflict 
with Morality (dharma) — how the Glta came to be explained 
away as supporting Eenunciation — Is not Samkhya+Desireless 
Action = Karma-Yoga, to be found in the Glta ?— nevertheless 
Karma-Yoga is the doctrine ultimately expounded — prayer to 
(the followers of the Path of Renunciation. 

CHAPTER XV. 

UPASAMHARA. 

( Resume or Summary ) 

Difference between the science of Karma-Yoga and the 
formulating of rules of Worldly Morality (acara-safngraha) — 
the erroneous idea that Ethics cannot be properly justified by 
Vedanta — Glta does that very thing — the Exposition of the 
religion of the Glta solely from the point of view of Ethics — 
Reason is superior to Karma — the Nakulopakhyana — similar 
theorems in Buddhism and Christianity — comparison of the 
doctrine of Equability of Reason in the Glta, with the two 
Western doctrines of ' greatest good of the greatest number ' 
and ' Conscience '—similarity between Western Metaphysics 
and the Exposition in the Glta — the doctrines of Kant and 
Green — Vedanta and Ethics — the reason why there are various 
codes of Ethics, and differences of opinion about the construc- 
tion of the Body and the Cosmos — the important part of the 
Metaphysical exposition in the Glta — the harmonising of 
Release ( moksa ), Ethics and worldly life — Renunciation 
according to Christianity — the Western idea of Action based on 
■the search for Happiness — comparison of the same with the 
Karma-marga in the Glta — difference between the arrangement 
>of the four castes and Ethics — the Western Karma-marga is 
based on elimination of pain, and the Glta religion is based on 
Desirelessness — a short history of the Karma-Yoga in the 
Kaliyuga — Jain and Buddhist monks — the Samnyasin followers 
■of Samkaracarya — the Mahomedan rule — the Devotees of the 
Blessed Lord, the galaxy of saints, and Ramadasa — the living- 
ness of the Glta religion — the fearlessness, immutability, and 
.equality of the Glta religion — prayer to the Almighty. * 



xxvi CONTENTS OF CHAP. XIV. XV & APPENDICES 

APPENDICES. 
An External Examination of the Glta. 
The Glta has been included in the Mahabharata for a 
proper reason and at a proper place, it is not spurious nor 
interpolated — PAET I : the useful purpose of the GITA and the 
MAHABHARATA — the present form of the Glta — the present 
form of the Mahabharata — the seven references in the Maha- 
bharata to the Glta — similar stanzas and similarity of language 
in both — also similarity of meaning — which proves that the 
Glta and the Mahabharata were written by the same author — 
PART, II : A comparison of the GITA and the UPANISADS— 
similarity of language and similarity of meaning — the 
Metaphysical Knowledge in the Glta is taken from the 
Upanisads — the theory of Maya (Illusion) in the Upanisads 
and in the Glta — What the Glta contains more than the 
"Upanisads — the consistency between the Samkhya By stem and* 
Vedanta — the worship of the Perceptible or the Path of 
Devotion — but the most important subject is the exposition of 
the Path of Karma-Yoga — the Yoga mentioned in the Glta for 
the control of the organs, the Patanjala Yoga, and the 
Upanisads — PART III : — Which was first in point of time, the 
GITA or the BRAHMA-SUTRAS ?— the clear reference to the 
Brahma-Sutras in the Glta — the repeated reference in the 
Brahma-Sutras to the Glta by the word ' Smrti ' — a considera- 
tion of the relative chronological position of the two books — 
the Brahma-Sutras are either contemporary with or prior in 
point of time to the present Glta, but not- subsequent — one sound 
reason for the Brahma-Sutras being referred to in the Glta — 
PART IV_:—The RISE of the BHAGAVATA DOCTRINE,, 
and the GITA — the Path of Devotion in the Glta is consistent 
with Vedanta, Samkhya and Yoga — it is not that the doctrines 
of Vedanta have been subsequently inserted in the Glta — 
the most ancient form of the Vedic religion is pre-eminently 
for Action — the subsequent growth of Vedanta, Samkhya, and 
Renunciation — the harmonisation of the two Paths of life had' 
been arrived at already in ancient times — the subsequent 
growth of Devotion — the consequent necessity for making: 
Devotion consistent, from its very inception, with the former 
paths of life — that is the trend of the Bhagavata doctrine, and, 



CONTENTS OF CHAP. XIV, XV & APPENDICES xxvii 



also of the Glta — the combination of Spiritual Knowledge with 
Action in the-Glta is from the Upanisads, but there is the addi- 
tion of Devotion — the ancient treatises on the Bhagavata doctrine,, 
the Glta and the Narayaniyopakhyana — the date of Sri Krsna 
and of the growth of the Satvata or Bhagavata religion is the 
same — that time, is about 700 to 800 years before Buddha, or 
about 1500 years before Christ— the reasons for thinking so — 
the impossible position arising out of a different conclusion — 
the original aspect of the Bhagavata religion supports Inaction — 
the next aspect is Devotional — and the final aspeet is for 
Qualified Monism ( Visistadvaita ) — the original Glta is 
about 900 years before Christ— PART V:— THE DATE OF 
THE PRESENT GITA— the date of the present Glta is the 
same as of the present Mahabharata — out of these, the present 
MahSbharata is prior in point of time to Bhasa, Asvaghosa 
Asvalayana, Alexander, and the method of starting the year 
with the Sun in Aries (Mesa), but subsequent to Buddha? 
so it is about 500 years prior to the Saka era — the 
present Glta is prior in point of time to Kalidasa, 
Banabhatta, the dramatist Bhasa, the Puranas, Baudhayana, 
and the Mahayana sect in Buddhism, that is, about 500 years 
before the Saka era— PART VI : GITA and the BUDDHIST 
LITERATURE — the similarity between the description of the 
' Sthitaprajla ' in the Glta. and the ' Arhata ' of Buddhism — 
the nature of the Buddhist religion, and its growth out of the 
previous Brahmin religion — Buddha has discarded the doctrine 
of the Atman in the Upanisads, and has adopted only a course 
of conduct consistent with Renunciation (nivrtti) — the visible 
reasons for this Path of life according to the Buddhist religion, 
or the four arya truths — the similarity between the Vedic Smarta 
religion, and the duties of a householder according to 
Buddhism — all these ideas are originally from the Vedic 
religion — the reason, nevertheless, for considering the Maha- 
bharata and the Glta independently — the improbability of the 
subsequent Devotional Buddhist religion having been evolved 
out of the original Renunciatory Buddhist religion, which 
denied the existence of the Atman— -the growth of the Maha- 
yana Sect — reasons for concluding that the Path of Devotion 
based on Action (pravrtti) in the Mahayana creed has been 



xxviii CONTENTS OF CHAP. XIV, XV & APPENDICES 

adopted from the Glta, and the consequent conclusion as to the 
date of the Glta— PART VII :-GITA and the CHRISTIAN 
BIBLE — the improbability of the Glta having adopted any 
principle from the Christian religion — the Christian religion 
is not a gradual and independent development out of the 
Jewish religion— opinions of old Christian scholars as to how- 
it came into existence — the Esin sect and Greek philosophy — 
the astonishing similarity between the Buddhist and Christian 
religions— but the priority in point of time of the Buddhist 
religion is undoubted — evidence in support of the fact that the 
Buddhist monks (yatin) had entered Jewish territory in 
ancient times — the high probability, therefore, of the 
elementary principles of Christianity having been adopted from 
Buddhism, and consequently from the Vedic religion or from 
the Glta— the resulting irresistible conclusion as to the 
undoubted antiquity of the Glta. 



ABBREVIATIONS xxir 

Explanation of the Abbreviations used in the Glta- 

Rahasya, and information about the treatises 

referred to by the Abbreviations. 

: o: :o : 

NOTE : — These are not in the same order as in the original, 
as they have been re-arranged according to the English 
Alphabet, whereas in the original, they are arranged according 
to the Marathi Alphabet — Trans.). 

Ai. Bra. Aitareya Brahmarta ; pancika and khanda, (Dr, Honda's 

Edition). 
Ai. or 1 Aitareyopamsad ; chapter, kharida and stanza ( Ananda- 
Ai. U. J srama Edition ). 
Asta. A&tavakragita; chapter and stanza, ( Gtta-Samgraha 

published by Messrs Ashtekar & Co. ) 
Atharva. Atharvaveda; the figures after this show respectively 5 

the kanda, the sukta, and the rca. 
Bhag. Brlmad Bhagavatapurana, (Nirnaya-Sagara Edition). 
Bha. Jyo. Bharatiya Jyotih Sdstra ( Written by the late 

Balkrishna Dikshit ). 
Br. or 1 Brhadaranyakopanisat ; adhyaya, brahmarta and mantra 
Brha. J ( Anandasrama Edition ). The usual reference is to the 

Kanvapatha, but in one place, there is a reference to 

the Madhyandina-sakha. 
Bra. Su. See. Ve. Su. below. 

Chan. Chandogyopanisat ; chapter, khanda and mantra. (Anan- 
dasrama Edition). 
Da. or \ The Dasabodha of Sri Samartha ( Edition of the 
Dasa. J Satkaryottejaka Sabha, Dhulia ). 

Ga. Tukarama's G-aiha (Damodar Savlarama's Edition, 1900). 

Gl. Bhagavadgita, chapter and stanza ; Gi. Sam. Bha. ; Qlta 
Samkarabhasya. Gita. Ra. Bha , Qlta Bamanujabhasya. 
The Anandasrama Edition of the Gita and of the 
Samkarabhasya contains at the end a glossary, which I 
have found very useful ; and I am very grateful for it 
to the compiler. The Rarridnujabhasya is the one 
printed in the Venkatesvara Press; The Madhva- 
bhazya is the one printed by Krishnacharya of Kumbha- 
konam ; The Anandagiri Commentary, and the 
Paramartha-prapa, are those printed in the Jagadhi- 



jcxx ABBREVIATIONS 



tecchu Press ; the Madhusudana Commentary is the 
one printed in the Native Opinion Press ; the Sridhari 
and Vamant (Marathi) Commentaries are those printed 
in the Nirnayasagara Press ; the Paisacabhasya is the 
one printed in the Anandasrama Press ; the Tatvadtpika 
of the Vallabha school is the one printed in the Guzarati 
Printing Press ; the Nllakanthl is from the Bombay 
Mahabharata ; and the Brahmanandi is the one printed 
in Madras ; these are the commentaries of which I 
have made use. But, as the Guzarati Printing Press 
has recently published together in one volume all 
these commentaries except the PaisacabKasya and the 
Brahamanandl, as also the commentary of the 
Nimbarka School and some other commentaries, in all 
fifteen, that one volume is now sufficient for all needs. 

GT Ea° r 1 Qit&'R a fo as y a - The first essay of this book. 

Hari. Harivamsa ; parva, chapter and stanza (Bombay Edition). 

Isa. Isavasyopanisat. (Anandasrama Edition). 

, Jai. Su. The Mimamsa-Sutras of Jaimini ; chapter, pada, and 

sutra. (Calcutta Edition). 
.'Jn5. Jnanesvart with translation ; Indira Press Edition. 
Ka. or 1 Kathopanisat ; valll and mantra (Anandasrama 
Katha. J Edition). 

3£ai. KaivaLyomni$at; khanda and mantra; Twenty-eight 
Upanisads (Nirnaya-Sagara Edition). 

Kausl. Kausitakyupanisat or KausztaM Brahmanopanisat ; 
chapter and khanda ; sometimes the first chapter of 
this Upanisad is referred to as the third chapter 
according to the order of the Brahmanas ; (Ananda- 
srama Edition). 

Kena. Kenopanisat ( = Talavakaropanisat ), khanda and mantra 
(Anandasrama Edition). 

.Ma. Bh§. &riman Mahabharata. The following letter shows the 
various Parvas, and the numbers are of the chapters 
and the stanzas. I have everywhere used the Sanskrit 
Edition published at Calcutta by Babu Pratapchandra 
Roy. If the same stanzas have to be referred to in 
-the Bombay edition, they will be found a little in 
advance or behind. 



ABBREVIATIONS xxxi 



Maitryu. Maitryupanisat or Maitrayanyupaisat ; prapatJiaka and 

mantra (Anandasrama Edition). 
Manu. Manu-Smrti, chapter and stanza. (Dr. Jolly's Edition ; 

but in the Mandalik's or in any other edition, these 

stanzas will mostly be found in the same places ; the 

commentaries on Manu are from the Mandalik 

edition). 
"Matsya. Matsya-Purana (Anandasrama Edition). 
Mi. Pra. Milinda Prasna, Pali text, English translation. 

(Sacred Books of the East Series). 
Mun. or 1 Mundakopanisat ; mundaka, khanda and mantra 
Munda. J ( Anandasrama Edition ). 
INar. Pan. Narada Pafi-caratra. (Calcutta edition). 
JSTa. Su. Narada-Sutras (Bombay edition). 
Nrsimha. U. Nrsimhottara tupantyopanisat. 
Panca. Pancadasl with commentary (Nirnaya-Sagara Edition). 
Patanjala-Sa. Patanjala-Yoga-Sutras. (Tukarama Tatya's 

Edition). 
Prasna. Prasnopanisat ; prasna and mantra. (Anandasrama 

Edition). 
Bg. Rg-veda ; mandala, sukta, and rca. 
Bamapu. Ramapurvatapinyupanisat (Anandasrama Edition). 
,S. B. E. Sacred Boolts of the East Series. 
Sam. Ka. Samkhya Karika (Tukarama Tatya's Edition). 
San. Su. Sanddya-Sutras (Bombay Edition). 
Siva. Siva-glta ; chapter and stanza ; G-ita-Samgraha of 

Messrs Ashtekar & Co., 
Surya. Gi. Surya-Glta ; chapter and stanza, (Madras Edition). 
.Sve. Svetasvataropanisat ; chapter and mantra (Anandasrama 

Edition). 

Tai. or \ Taittiriya Upanisat ; valll, anuvaka, and mantra 
Tai. TJ. J (Anandasrama Edition). 

Tai. Bra. Taittiriya Brahmana; kanda, prapathaka, anuvaka 

and mantra (Anandasrama Edition). 
Tai. Sam. Taittiriya Samhita ; kanda, prapathaka, anuvaka and 

mantra. 
'Tuka. Ga. Tukarama's Gatha ; See Ga. above. 
Vaja. Sam. Vajasaneyi Samhita ; chapter and mantra (Bebar 

Edition). 



xxxii ABBREVIATIONS 

Valmlki Ra. orl Valmlki Ramayana; JcUnda, chapter and 
Va. Ra. J stanza (Bombay Edition). 

Ve. Su. Vedanta-Sutras or Brahma-Sutras ; chapter, pada, and 

t sutra. 

Ve. Su. Sam. Bha. Samkarabhasya on the Vedanta-Sutras ; the 

Anandasrama Edition has been used everywhere. 
Visnu. Visnu-Purana ; a?wsa, chapter, and stanza (Bombay 

Edition). 
Yajia. Yajnavalkya-Smrh ; chapter and stanza (Bombay 

Edition) ; I have in one or two places referred to the 

Apararka commentary (Bombay Edition) on this. 
Yo. orl Yoga-Vasistha ; chapter, sarga, and stanza. There' 
Yoga. J are two sub-divisions, Pu. (purvardha) and 

U. ( uttarardha ) of the sixth chapter (Commentated' 

Nimaya-Sagara Edition).; 

NOTE : — Besides these, there are many Sanskrit, English, 
Marathi, and Pali treatises, which have been mentioned in, 
various places ; but as a general rule, the names of those books- 
have been given in full, wherever they occur, or they have 
been mentioned in such a way as to be easily intelligible ; 
and -they have, therefore, not been mentioned in the above list.- 



PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE U-iTA. 

MB. TILAK, AND THE GTTA-RAHASYA. 

( Continued from p. xxm of Vol. I). 

(8) SHRIMANT BALASAHEB PANT PRATINIDHI, 



The Bhagvadgeeta has been regarded from time immemorial 
as one of the three prasthanas or the status books -of Indian 
philosophy, and is commented on in their own way by eminent 
Acharyas like the great Shankara, Ramanuja, Nimbarka, 
Madhva, Vallabha, and others, each of whom, however, being 
the pioneer of an independent school of philosophy, twisted the 
import of this great book in such a way as to make it in 
conformity with his own system. -The illustrious Dnyaneshwar 
wrote his first treatise on this book in Marathi and the Geeta- 
Rahasya of the late Lokmanya Tilak is its only be'fitting 
successor. The author of the Dnyaneshwari had prominently 
in his view its devotional aspect, which he naturally emphasised 
in his work ; but, as the author of the Geeta-Rahasya rightly 
points out, the " Geeta " is neither a book of knowledge nor of 
devotion nor of action : but rather a harmonious combination of 
them all. Geeta-Rahasya can thus be said to be the most 
honest and impartial commentary on the book. 

The work of translating such a book into English was by 
no means easy for Solicitor Sukthankar ; and he too ought to 
have realised it at the time of undertaking this job. His 
responsibility was twofold : to make the translation 
intelligible, and at the same time not to cause any damage to 
the original ; and judging from the translation that we have in 
hand, he can be very well said to have carried out his work 
most satisfactorily. We went through almost all the portion 
of the translation and found it to be quite interesting and 
intelligible without the help of the original. That the 
translation is most strictly faithful to the text only shows his 
self-control and unbiassed bent of mind, which a true translator 
ought to have. To make the translation worthy of the original, 
Solicitor Sukthankar seems to have spared no pains. ' 
v — vi 



xxxiv PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GITA ETC. 



Geeta-Rahasya, apart from being one of the greatest 
philosophical treatises in Marathi, is the crown-work of the late 
Lokamanya ; and was badly in need of such a translation for 
becoming known to the world at large. The Geeta-Rahasya 
being an indicator to its writer's philosophy of life, the 
-translation will not only help the world to judge the writer and 
realise the value of his original work, but will also help it to 
understand the real meaning of the Geeta itself and make it 
aware of him as a master-intellect that everybody can be proud 
of. We must all be very grateful to Solicitor Sukthankar 
for his commendable work of translation, and hope him every 
due and well deserved reward for his efforts. 



(9) THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE FAIZ B. TYABJI, 

High Court, Bombay. 

It is a sincere pleasure to me to hear that Lokmanya 
Tilak's scholarly works are being rendered available in 
English The Gita has been frequently translated into English 
though it is not surprising that scholars are not altogether 
satisfied with the renderings that have so far been published. 
A work giving a really spiritual interpretation of this inspiring 
work must supply an urgent need of the young men and 
women of to-day. The danger of being cut off from what is 
considered religion requires particular attention in these days. 
The danger is the more serious, as our young men are apt to 
fear that their spiritual needs cannot be met from texts that 
are the foundations of religion. The great religions, it is true, 
have had their foundations in the East. But, it is thought that 
their interpretation, so as to adopt them to the needs of to-day, 
must be sought from the West. To turn, therefore, to the most 
spiritual expressions of our own religious teachers, as inter- 
preted by the modern teachers in the East, is an extremely 
necessary part of the educational experiences through which we 
.should all pass. To men of ripe experience, it must be a 
peculiar satisfaction to have such a work available. I am 
looking forward with keen interest to this publication. 



PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GlTA ETC. xxxv 

(10) SIR MOHAMMAD IQBAL. 

I have always held the Bhagavad-Gita in the highest 
'.admiration. 



(11) SRI MEHER BABA, 
The Bhagavad-Gita has exerted a tremendous spiritual 
influence on humanity at large. As the Blessed Lord Sri Krishna 
-was born a Hindu, the Gita is more often than never regarded 
as a sacred book of the Hindus ; but really speaking, it is a 
sacred book of not merely the Hindus but of the entire human 
race. The message that it contains was meant not merely for 
India, but for the whole world. Let mankind act in accordance 
.with its message, and the universal brotherhood will surely be 
.automatically brought about. 

Those who cast doubts on the perfect sainthood of Shri 

Krishna, know not what they are doing. He was certainly a 

• God-incarnate ; and because He was a Sadguru, a Perfect 

Saint, He was successful in inundating the world with 

spirituality and lofty spiritual teachings. 



-(12) Rao Bahadur Vidvatkulasekhara C. V. VAIDYA,MA.,LL.B. 
THE AGE OF THE GITA AND GITAOAYANTI. 

I propose to place my views on the " Age of the Gita " as 
succinctly as possible. When was this unique work composed, 
is the question which naturally arises in every mind. 

The Gita itself purports to state that it was taught by 
Lord Sri Krsna to Arjuna, hero of the Mahabharata War, on the 
field of battle, before the fight commenced, but when the fighters 
were actually facing each other, ready to commence the fight. 
It follows, therefore, that the date of the Gita is the date of the 
commencement of the Bharata fight. This date is the subject of 
dispute between European scholars, followed by some Indian 
scholars, and myself. I hold that the date assigned to the fight 
hy all ancient Indian writers, especially astronomers, is the 
correct one, viz. Margaslrsa Suddha 13, Pre-Saka 3180 
(3102 B. O). I will not enter into the details of the controversy 
here, but merely indicate my grounds. 



xxxvi PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GITA ETC. 



The Bharata heroes are referred to in the 'Satapatha. 
Brahmana ', and the date of this Brahmana has been fixed by 
Shankar Balkrishna Dikshit, a great modern Indian 
astronomical researcher, at about 3,000 B. G. from the 
astronomical statement in it that the Krttikas rise exactly in 
the East. Attempt has lately been made by Winternitz to. 
dislodge this date by suggesting that the statement (tpTT W 
&(rtor : sn^ft ft??!* « reqr?i% ) in the ' Satapatha ' means only that 
the Krttikas come on the East line, and not that they rise in the 
East. Bui this rendering is negatived by the very next sentence 
' all other stars deviate from the East ' (^refrfa £ 3T ST^rm H^r=m%' 
^tr^cf) in the ' Satapatha ', as shown by me in detail in an 
article published in the Bhandarkar Research Institute Journal. 
If, then, Pariksit and others, mentioned in the ' Satapatha ' of. 
3,000 B. C. as recent kings, are taken to be the grandson and 
great-grandsons of Arjuna, the date of the fight, viz. one year 
before the commencement of the Kali age, given by all 
Indian astronomers, or 3102 B. O., is perfectly borne out by the 
'Satapatha' statement. European scholars, and some Indian 
scholars, too, place the fight about 1400 B. C. on the strength 
of the pedigrees of kings given in Puranas from the Nine 
Nandas to Brhadratha, son of Jarasandha. The evidence of 
the Puranas, however, has no value when compared with the 
evidence of the 'Satpatha'. Indeed, Purana genealogies are 
not reliable, particularly for ancient dynasties, especially as 
they are contradicted by the evidence of Megasthenes, recorded 
about 320 B.C., as shown by me in detail in " Mahabharata- 
Mlmarhsa", a Hindi work. This 'short summary of the con- 
troversy will show to the reader that the year of the Bharata 
fight must be taken to be 3102 B. C. 

With regard to the exact -day of the fight, there is also, 
a controversy. But the difference is only of two days. The 
Gita-Jayanti day is Margaslrsa suddha 11, 'EkadasI' day ; 
hut the statement in the Mahabharata and the course of the 
fight as described therein lead to no other day than suddlia 13, 
and this is the date accepted by old writers and' commentators 
of the Mahabharata. They have consented*, to hold the Jayanti 
for 3 days continually, viz., from Ekadasi to , Trayoda&i. 



PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GlTA ETC. xxxvii 

To speak in English dates, the Mahabharata fight commenced 
in December 3102 B. C, and the ' Gita ' was preached on 
the morning of that day. 

Having placed before the reader the day by date and year 
.on which the doctrines of the ' Gita' were preached by Sri Krsna, 
we go on to state that this cannot be the date of the ' Gita ' as 
it is before us. For the first chapter, etc., cannot have belonged 
.to the teaching, as it was actually given. The whole story 
is told afterwards by some one, and that is Vyasa undoubtedly. 
As the teaching of Christ is given in several books of the 
.New Testament written by St. John and others, so Vyasa 
may be taken to be the writer who first recorded this teaching 
in a work to be studied and recited When this was written 
by Vyasa cannot be definitely stated. He must, however, 
have done it within a few years of the fight, and we may 
roughly say that the date of the original ' Gita ' is somewhere 
about 3100 B. C. 

But it is clear that the work as it is before us is not exactly 
that of Vyasa. We know for certain that the original work of 
Vyasa, called ' Jaya ' or Victory (H^r srag^fc^ , SPIT RTflTft 
"fr^tw*) was twice recast or further expanded, once by Vaisam- 
,payana, who related ' Bharata ' to Janamejaya, and again by 
Sauti, who related it to Saunaka and other Brahmins in 
Naimisaranya. This work has three names, viz. ' Jaya ', 
* Bharata ', and ' Mahabharata ', and the extent of the 'Bharata', 
■ of Vaisampayana is also given as 24,000 slokas, while that of 
the Mahabharata is, as is well-known, one.lakh of verses. The 
original of th8 ' Gita ', no doubt, belonged to the ' Jaya ' 
. ( Victory) of Vyasa ; but the work as it is before us belongs, in 
our opinion, most certainly, to the ' Bharata' of Vaisampayana, 
and not to the Mahabharata of Sauti. The arguments for this 
view are given at length in the last chapter of Mahabharata- 
Mlmaihsa ; but it may here be stated briefly that the greatness 
• of this work is described even in the Mahabharata itself, 
wherein it is related that Arjuna again asked Sri Krsna 
to teach him what was taught on the battlefield. But Sri 
Xrsna answered : " What I told you then, being in the required 
'Yogic mood (*farg%H %<TCfr), I cannot tell you again. I will 



xxxviii PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GlTA ETC. 



tell you, however, another episode". And thus the ' Anuglta " 
s introduced in the Mahabharata. Then, again, the verses in. 
the ' Gita, ' are constantly repeated in the Mahabharata through- 
out its length as of some authoritative work. It is hence 
certain that the ' Gita ' does not belong to the Mahabharata of 
Sauti but it belongs to the ' Bharata ' of Vaisampayana. The 
date of the former is conceded to be about 250 B. C. as shown 
at length in " Mahabharata-Mlmamsa " (Chapter I) ; but the 
date of Vaisampayana's ' Bharata ' cannot be indubitably 
fixed, and hence the date of the ' Gita-', as it is to-day, is 
uncertain. 

But, there are various arguments which point to 1400 B. C 

speaking roughly in centuries, as the probable age of the ' Gita '. 

In the first place the language of the ' Gita, ' strikes one as a' 

spoken language and not classical Sanskrit of the time when it 

was dead and spoken only by Pandits. We know that Buddha 

preached his new religion to the people in Pali, a Prakrit ; and 

hence it is certain that in his time Sanskrit was dead as a. 

spoken language of the common people. The ' Gita ', therefore,' 

precedes Buddha of 500 B. G. Again, there is no reference to 

Buddhism in the ' Gita ', though there are many references to 

the doctrines of Buddhism in the ' Mahabharata '. Some people 

think that in Chapter XVI there is a reference to Buddhist' 

tenets in the description of the Asurl character. But this is &• 

description of Atheists. Por Buddhism is in favour of 

Renunciation, and not the enjoyment of the world. On the / 

other hand, there is not the least doubt that ' Gita ' is post- 

TJpanisadic. The doctrine of Renunciation was first preached* 

by the ' Brhadaranyaka \ and it pervades the spirit of all the 

thirteen old Upanisads. It is clear the 'Gita' is not for 

Renunciation. Indeed, Arjuna is actuated by that spirit when 

he asks the first and subsequent question in the Gita and Sri 

Krsna sums His preaching in the pithy verse (*riw: *&?Ml%ar 

re= £*W«R T f4 t I cfsffeg *tfywjraif*4*n*Ti fifeima n Gl. 5. 2.). This 1 

is wrongly interpreted by those who believe that the object of 

the ' Gita ' is to preach ' Sarimyasa '. Lokamanya Tilak has- 

pointed out its true import, which is also the natural one. As-. 

the " Maitrayanlya TJpanisad" must be dated 1900 B. <X 



PBOMINENT PEESONALITIES ON THE GlTA ETC. xxxix 

roughly, as shown by Tilak from an astronomical statement in 
it, the ' Glta ' must be placed between 1900 B. G and 500 B. C- 
This is a wide range, no doubt ; but it supplies one with limits, 
which are certain and unassailable. 

There are a few arguments which will give us a more 
definite approximation to the probable date. It has been rightly 
shown by some scholars that the ' Glta ' is not only pre- 
Buddhistic but pre-Paninlan. Many forms in it are against. 
Paninl's rules. More interesting still is ( HRTTHT JmfflWf.SP? ) as 
the month names are modern and not Vedic names, new names 
being introduced about 2,000 B. C. according to Shanker 
Balkrishna Dikshit. But, according to Vedanga Jyotisa, the 
first month is Magha, and hence the ' Glta, ' seems to be prior 
to the ' Vedanga Jyotisa ' also, the date of which is about 1190' 
B. C. even according to the calculation of Archbishop Pratt, 
who worked the date out for Max Muller. Dikshit takes its date 
to be about 1400 B. C. It may thus be taken without much 
difficulty that 1400 B. C. is the probable date of the Gita. 

Another sentence furnishes a further argument in favour of 
this date. It may be accepted that Sri Krsna was already 
c onsidered a divine being, indeed as an incarnation of the Highest 
Deity at the time of the Glta ; but not probably Arjuna. Yet, 
when Sri Krsna says ( ' f*rfM =HSfCl-SRiT mugct'MT yn'gfST': ', ), he 
lays the foundation of Arjuna-worship. From Paninl's Sutra 
( ' ^T^5T^HnKtt=i;»3[ ' ), we are sure that during Panini's time both 
Vasudeva and Arjuna were worshipped, though Arjuna lost his 
position later on. Glta is therefore pre-Paninlan undoubtedly. 
If we take the date of PaninI to be about 800 B. 0., as most 
Indians Scholars do, though Europeans scholars place him about 
300 B. G, we may take, the Glta to about 1200 B. O. or at least 
to 1,000 B. C. When we further remember that Sri Krsna 
identifies Himself with Margaslrsa as being the first of months, 
as in other things, we can take the Glta, still further back, i. e., 
about 1,400 B. 0., before the latest possible date for Vedanga 
Jyotisa. 

The exact age of the Glta is, no doubt difficult to 
determine for want of detailed knowledge of the political, 
social and religious history of India, before Buddha. The- 



xl PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON the GITA ETC. 

doctrine of Ahimsa is preached no doubt in the Glta. But it is 
not the doctrine of Buddha. It had already been preached by the 
Upanisads (ariftrac mm 1931*1* *fi3w Chandogya), and the 
Glta keeps to it. Himsa in sacrifice is not Himsa as Hindus 
then believed. Buddha prohibited it altogether. This religious 
question is not at the root of the teaching of the Glta. The 
question which was agitating Arjuna was wholly a moral one ; 
and related, not to the slaughter of animals in sacrifices to God' 
but to the slaughter of men in battle, slaughter of even relatives 
even in a just war. The question was only a moral or a political 
one no doubt ; but in India all questions are only a part of the 
great question : what is the duty of man in this life both from 
the worldly point of view and the view of the highest goal of 
human existence ? It was hence necessary that the question 
should be discussed fully from these points of view and the 
Bhagavad-Glta discusses it so thoroughly from all sides and in 
such a simple yet eloquent manner, in language so deep and 
meaningful, that the Glta will always remain at the head of 
religious, philosophical and moral treatises. The answer of 
Sri Krsna to the vital question which is at the root of the Glta 
is remarakable. The view is summed up at the end in the verse: 

(Extract from Mr. C. V. Vaidya's article in the 
Kalyan Kalpataru, Gita Number, 1935. 
Glta Press, Gorakhpur, INDIA.) 



(13) MRS. SOPHIA WADIA. 
GITA-JAYANTI. 
It is computed that Moksada Ekadasi— the eleventh day of 
Marga-Sirsa, which is auspicious to those seeking spiritual 
realization— was the day when Sri Krisna began to deliver on 
the field of duty His Sermon to the mentally confused Arjuna. 
lneref ore that day is regarded as the birth-day of the Gita Yery 
many Hindus celebrate this day-Gita-Jayanti. The Bhagavad- 
gita is reverenced as the song of life, and its reciters and 



PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GtTA ETC. xli 

readers are said to attain fortune, victory, prosperity and 
-righteousness. That its doctrines emancipate the human soul 
and enlighten it with Wisdom and Peace is a well-recognized 
fact. 

The message of the Gita has a universal appeal. Its 
teachings are fundamentally psychological and practical ; they 
are addressed to man, the thinker, from whom no blind belief in 
ithem is demanded, but whose reason is kindled into conviction. 
The Gita is a drama ; its characters are human passions and 
principles in Nature personified. Its historical back-ground 
and martial ' melange ' have misled some, but more and more is 
it being recognized that the Gita symbolizes the eternal 
struggle between the material and the spiritual in every human 
being. Any thinking individual is capable of recognizing that 
the story of the Gita is the story of life. The more one listens 
to the Song of life, the more one realizes that it is the song of 
his own life. Thus the Gita is understood by each thinking 
•soul in his own way, according to his own stage in evolution. 
To each the Gita offers the solution of his own problems. Thus 
any deluded mortal of any community using the lessons taught 
can become enlightened and immortal. 

The Gita has not only universal appeal ; its influence is 
universalizing. It may be regarded as the book of democracy ; 
it teaches that Spirit is the seed of all, and in the hearts of all 
beings It is rooted. The pure democratic doctrines of the Gita 
do not advocate any process of levelling down all human beings 
to an equality in material things ; they advocate the realization 
of an existing unity in Spirit, Which manifests as harmony in 
diversities. The socialism of the Gita is founded on the maxim 
of noblesse oblige and the method of attaining it is by the 
unf oldment of nobility at every stage and in every station of 
life. The social philosophy of the Gita recognises the divisions 
and differences of the human kingdom, and it does not attempt 
the impossible task of doing away with or ignoring them ; it 
teaches their meaning and purpose, and reveals that they are 
but the results of the natural processes of evolution. Thus, for 
example, the Gita does not say that castes and classes are 
•useless and should be destroyed ; it explains Varnas or castes 



xlii PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GlTA ETC. 

from the point of view of the soul; they are expressions of 
varying qualities of the evolving human consciousness. By- 
merit and merit alone a man is of high or low caste or class, and, 
birth, family, religion or wealth do not determine the soul's 
station in life ; its own qualities bespeak its stage of evolution. 
By self-control and self -effort any sinner can become pare. 

The inspiration of the Gita produces a series of progressive 
awakenings, but all of them result in reliance on the Self 
within, which is perceived as the Inner Ruler. No prophet, no 
priest can save that Self ; no king, no emperor can have power- 
over it. It is its own saviour and holds sway over its own. 
kingdom of the mind, its own empire of the heart. Thus the 
Gita destroys priest-made orthodoxy and sectarianism, but does 
not leave the man barren and lonely ; for it brings to him the 
companionship of the Sage and the Prophet. It illuminates for 
the Muslims his Koran, for the Parsi his Avesta, for the 
Christian his Bible. These are no more regarded as infallible 
books, but as avenues leading to the understanding and. 
appreciation of their great recorders. For example, the teaching 
about Sraddha will purify and deepen the faith of the Muslims ; 
the austerities and mortifications of body, speech, and mind, will 
make the Zoroastrian more enlightened about the triad of good 
deeds, good words, and good thoughts, which he reveres ; the 
Sikh's martial ardour, the Jain's gentleness, will become more 
elevated qualities ; the Christian will learn why ordinarily he 
is not able to live up to the Sermon on the Mount, and by. 
what stages he can reach the position where he will be able 
to do so ; and so on. That which is the force of evil in every 
religion will weaken, and the unifying spirit of true religion, 
will become more and more manifest. 

The principle of democracy, in which each grade of 
intelligence has its duties to discharge, contributes substantially 
to the unfoldment of the quality of self-reliance. The philo- 
sophy of the Gita is the philosophy of responsibility to neigh- 
bour and stranger, to country and race, to the whole of nature* 
visible and invisible; its practice resolves itself into the- 
Religion of Duty. The performance of duties requires a discern- 



PROMINENT PERSONALITIES ON THE GHA ETC. xliii 

merit of what are not our duties ; otherwise like Arjuna, we-- 
shall want to run away from our real duty, thinking that it 
consists in giving way to the enemy within and making peace 
with the wrong-doer in the world. The Gita has a unifying 
force ; that power can bind men and women of different religions 
into a single whole; for, he who practises self-control, who 
attempts purification of his own thoughts, words and deeds, who 
endeavours to live his days and years in an enlightened 
manner, comes in unison and harmony, unconsciously to himself, 
with all others who are engaged in the same task. 

To make the celebration of "Gita-Jayanti" an institution, 
we must first restore the book to its original position, from 
which it has fallen to assume a sectarian character. It is not 
a religious code but a spiritual poem ; its teachings, both meta- 
physical and ethical, have naught to do with religious rites, 
priests or temples ; it is not other-worldly — it deals with the 
problems of life in this world. Its message is clear, its langu- 
age is simple, and no man needs an intermediary to approach 
it or to appreciate it. It is not fragmentary and there are no 
lacunae to be filled up by some expounder or by some study of 
other texts. It itself is perfectly rounded off; in itself it is 
complete. It grades off gently to depth after depth in the 
mighty ocean of wisdom. It rises tier over tier like an awe- 
inspiring mountain. Any man, any woman, in the East as in 
the West, can find his or her own place in its scheme, the very 
next step to be taken by him, the way to take that step, and the 
way to keep on progressing. 

The right approach to the Gita consists in having our mind: 
fresh to penetrate its verses. The effect is magical. 

(Extract from Mrs. Sofia Wadia's article in the Kalyaac 
Kalpa-Taru, Gita Number 1935, Gita Press, Gorakhapur*. 
INDIA). 



TRANSLATOR'S FOREWORD. 



It is with a feeling of relief, and of satisfaction at having 
discharged my duty (kartavya), that I am laying down the 
pen on the last line of the translation of the Glta-Rahasya. 

In completing this volume, I have adhered to the General 
Rules of Translation printed at page xxxix of Volume I, 
which I have re-printed at pp. vii-viii of this Volume for 
the convenience of the readers. Notwithstanding the suggestion 
made in some of the reviews of Volume I of this translation, 
that a free rendering of the text would appeal more to the 
public, I have followed the standard rule of translation, namely, 
of faithfulness to the text, with due regard to the idiom of 
the language into which the text is translated; because, my 
aim has not been to give the public what they would like 
to have, but what they ought to, and are entitled to have. 

The generality of the reviewers of Volume I have not, 
I am glad to feel, attacked the philosophy of the author or 
his conclusions as to the Path of Life preached by the Bhagavad- 
glta.^ And I have been much encouraged in the preparation 
■ of this Volume by the appreciatory and heartening reception, 
which has been accorded to Volume I. 

It would be outside the scope of my commission to express 
any opinion in this Foreword on the conclusions of Author 
regarding the Message of the Gits. 

In spite of scrupulous care taken in going over the proofs, 
some mistakes have inevitably crept in; but they are so patent, 
•that I have not considered it necessary to add a list of errata 
and corrigenda. 

■ f a v* n L ° f the IndeX 0f Defini tions ( Terminological Express- 
ions), has been compiled by -me by way of cross-reference 
to Part I; and it is hoped that it will serve the purpose of 
tirae of my readers, who know the Terminological Expressions 
only m Engteh, and cannot understand them in Sanskrit. 
For the education, however, of these readers, I have added 



TRANSLATOR'S FOREWORD xlv 

after the English word, the actual Sanskrit terminological 
expression for which it stands in the translation, wherever 
I have considered that necessary. 

In concluding, I wish to express my sincere appreciation 
of the trouble taken by the Bombay Vaibhava Press in putting 
the Second Volume through the Press with the greatest possible 
speed, which was consistent with the correct printing of the 
copy ; and of the consistent courtesy shown and the ungrudging 
help given to me in the matter of proofs and of carrying out 
the corrections. 

I am glad to see that this Volume is going to be published 
on the auspicious Rama-Navami day, which happens, incident- 
ally, to be the birth-day of the Publisher Mr. R. B. Tilak. 



& ^mt w\3x( wr^rnr i 



Maha-Shivaratri, \ u q cjTtir „_. 1(r _. 13 

22nd February, 1936. J R S " &T -'KTHANKAB. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME II. 

( GENERAL ) 
Subject. 

Title-page 

Various vernacular editions of the Glta-Rahasya 
"Works of the late Lokamanya B. G. Tilak 
1 General Rules regarding the translation 
.Scheme of transliteration 
Number of stanzas in the Gita, and to whom 

attributed ... 
Explanation of pictorial map of schools of 

philosophy 
Detailed contents of Vol. I with special reference 
to the subject-matter of Chapters I to XIII ... 
Detailed contents of Chapters XIV and XV and 

Appendix included in Vol. II 
Explanation of Abbreviations 
Prominent personalities on the Gita, Mr. Tilak, 

and the Glta-Rahasya- 
' Translator's Foreword ... 
Contents of Volume II (General) ... 
List of Illustrations 

• Chap. XIV : Continuity of Chapters of the Gita 
Chap. XV: Conclusion 

APPENDIX. (External Examination of the 
Bhagavadglta — General Remarks ) 
Part I— The Gita and the Mahabharata ... 
Part II — The Gita and the Upanisads 
Part III— The Gita and the Brahma-Sutras. 
Part IV— The rise of the Bhagavata Religion 

and the Gita 
Part V— The date of the present Gita 
Part VI— The Gita and the Buddhistic 

literature 
Part VII— The Gita and the Christian Bible. 
. Author's Preface to his commentated Transla- 
tion of the Gita, 
- Detailed contents of subjects in the 
chapters of the Gita ... 



various 



Page. 

iii 

v 

vi 

vii 

viii 

ix 



xi to xxiii 

xxiv to xxviii 
xxix to xxxii 

xxxiii to xliii 
xliv to xlv 

xlvi to xlviii 
xlviii 
621 to 663 
664 to 714 

715 to;720 
720 to 739 
739-to 748 
749 to 758 

759 to 784 
785 to 800 

800 to 820 
820 to 831 

835 to 837 

838 to 850 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME II xlvii 

Subject. Pa S e - 

"The Original stanzas of the GITA, with their 

translation, and the commentary on it ... 851 et seq. 

Chap. I— The Yoga of the Dejection of 

Arjuna ... ... - 851 to 865 

Chap. II— The Yoga of the Samkhyas 

(Samkhya-Yoga) ... ... 866 to 908 

Chap. Ill— The Yoga of Right Action 

(Karma-Yoga) ... ... .909 to 938 

Chap. IV— The Yoga of Knowledge and the 
Abandonment of (Fruit of) 
Action ... .» 939 to 967 

Chap V— The Yoga of Renunciation 

(Samnyasa) ... ... 968 to 980 

Chap. VI— The Yoga of Meditation (Dhyana) 981 to 1009 
Chap. VII— The Yoga of Spiritual Know- 
ledge (jnana) and Empirical 

Knowledge (vijnana) 1010 to 1026 

Chap. VIII— The Yoga of the Imperishable 

Brahm&n ... ... 1027 to 1043 

Chap. IX— The Yoga of the King of Sciences, 

and the King of Mysteries ... 1044 to 1061 
Chap. X— The Yoga of Manifestations ... 1062 to 1078 
Chap. XI— The Yoga of the Vision of the 

Cosmic Form ... ... 1079 to 1094 

Chap. XII— The Yoga of Devotion (Bhakti). 1095 to 1105 
Chap. XIII— The Yoga of the distinction 
between the Body (ksetra) 
and the Atman (ksetrajna) ... 1106 to 1123 
Chap. XIV— The Yoga of the Division (of 
Prakrti) into Three Consti- 
tuents ... ... 1124 to 1133 

Chap. XV— The Yoga of the Purusottama ... 1134 to 1147 
Chap. XVI— The Yoga of the Division into 
Godly and Ungodly Endow- 
ment ... ... 1148 to 1157 



xlviii CONTENTS OF VOLUME II 

Subject. Page. 

Chap. XVII — The Yoga of the Division into 

three kinds of Faith ... 1158 to 1170 

Chap. XVIII— The Yoga [of Release 
and Renunciation ( of the 
Fruit of Action ) ... 1171 to 1210' 

INDEXES :— 

An Index showing the beginning of the first 

quarter of each stanza ... ... 1 to 12 

An Index of the words in the Bhagavadgita 13 to 76 

An Index of Personages (not authors) re- 
ferred to in the Glta-Rahasya ... 77 to 78 
An Index of Foreign Authors referred to 

in the Glta-Rahasya ... ... 79 to 80 

An Index of Authors, (not foreign) and of their 

Works, referred to in the Glta-Rahasya 81 to 88 

An Index of Definitions (Terminological 

Expressions) — 
Part I— Sanskrit ... ... ... 89 to 99 

Part II— English ... ... ... 99 to 111 

General information about Hindu Religious 

Treabises... ... ... 112 to 115- 

Glossary of important Sanskrit terms ... 116 to 123 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

The Author in his study ... to face p. 621 

The sacred battle-field called Kuru-Ksetra... „ p. 851 
The Funeral procession of the Author ... „ p. 1210 

Statue of the Author at Chowpati Sands, Bombay ,. Index. 



VOLUME II 



xlviii CONTENTS OF VOLUME II 

Subject. Page. 

Chap. XVII— The Yoga of the Division into 

three kinds of Faith ... 1158 to 1170 

Chap. XVni— The Yoga of Release 
and Renunciation ( of the 
Fruit of Action ) ... 1171 to 1210' 

INDEXES :- 

An Index showing the beginning of the first 

quarter of each stanza ... ... 1 to 12 

An Index of the words in the Bhagavadglta 13 to 76' 

An Index of Personages (not authors) re- 
ferred to in the Glta-Rahasya ... 77 to 78^ 
An Index of Foreign Authors referred to 

in the Glta-Rahasya ... ... 79 to 80 

An Index of Authors, (not foreign) and of their 

Works, referred to in the Glta-Rahasya 81 to 88 

An Index of Definitions (Terminological 

Expressions) — 
Part I— Sanskrit ... ... ... 89 to 99- 

Part II— English ... ... ... 99 to HI. 

General information about Hindu Religious 

Treatises... ... ... 112 to 115 

Glossary of important Sanskrit terms ... 116 to 12S 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 
The Author in his study ... to face p. 621 

The sacred battle-field called Kuru-Ksetra... „ p. 851 
The Funeral procession of the Author •... „ p. 1210 

Statue of the Author at Chowpati Sands, Bombay ,. Index. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE CONTINUITY OF THE CHAPTERS 
OF THE GITA 

(GITADHYAYA— SAMGATI) 

"pravrth laksanam dharmam rsir riSrayano 'bravit I 

Mahabharata, Santi. 217. 2.* 

It will have been noticed from the Exposition made by, me 
so far that the BhagavadgltS, that is to say, the Upanisad 
sung by the Blessed Lord, has promulgated the following 
doctrine, namely, that (i) acquiring complete Equability of 
Reason by Realising the universal identity of the Atman in 
all created things, whether by the Contemplation on the 
Absolute Self or by Devotion, while being engaged in Action, 
and (ii) continuing to perform all the various duties which 
have befallen one in worldly life according to the injunctions 
of the Sastras, even after the acquisition of that Equability of 
Reason, without thinking of taking up Asceticism (samnyasa), 

■ is the highest goal (purusartha) or the best path of living one's 
life for man in this world. Nevertheless, as the order in 
which this Exposition has been made in this book, is different 
from the order adopted in the Glta, it is necessary to 
consider succinctly in what way the whole of this subject- 
matter has been arranged in the Glta. Any subject-matter 
can be dealt with in two ways ; the one is the scientific 
method, and the other is according to the Puranas. 
Out of these, the method of explaining how the funda- 

■ mental principles of the doctrine to be established can be 
derived from things which everybody easily understands by 
logically arranging and putting forward all the pros and cons 
of the doctrine under discussion, is known as the scientific 

*"The Rsi Narayana has preached an Energisfcic (pravrtii- 
laLfanam) doctrine (dharma)". This Rsi is one of the two Rsis 
Nara and Narayana ; and it has been mentioned before that Arjuna 
and Sri Krsna were their respective incarnations. I have quoted 
in the foregoing pages the statement in the Mahabharata that the 
Narayanlya doctrine has been advocated in the Glta. 



ess GlTA-RAHASYA OB karma-yoga 

(sastriya) method. Geometry is an excellent example of this 
method, and the method adopted in the Nyaya-Sutras or the 
Vedanta-Sutras falls into this class. Therefore, wherever the 
Bhagavadgita refers to the Brahma-Sutras or to the Vedanta- 
Sutras, it is stated that the subject-matter expounded in those 
Sutras has been expounded in the form of intentional and 
definite propositions; cf., " brahma-sutra padais caiva hetu- 
madbhir viniscitaih " (Gl. 13. 4), (i.e., " this subject-matter has 
been expounded by stating the reasons (hetu), and the 
conclusions, in absolutely definite words (pada) in the Brahma- 
Sutras " — Trans,). But although, the exposition of the subject- 
matter in the Bhagavadgita is scientific, yet, it has not been 
made in this, that is, in a scientific way. The subject-matter 
in the Glta has been described in the easy and entertaining 
form of a conversation between Sri Krsna and Arjuna ; and 
therefore, at the end of each chapter, we find the words 
" srl krsriarjuTia samvade ", ( i.e., "in the conversation between. 
Sri Krsna and Arjuna "—Trans.), which show the method of 
exposition adopted in the Glta, after the words " bhagavadgita- 
supanisatsu brahmavidyayarh yogasastre ", (i.e., " of the Science 
of Yoga, included in the cult of the Brahman, expounded in 
the XTpanisad sung by the Blessed Lord" — Trans). I have used 
the word 'paaranoM (i. e., "in the fashion of the Puranas" — 
Trans.) with reference to the catechismal exposition, in order- 
to clearly show the difference between that method of exposition 
and the scientific method. It would have been absolutely 
impossible to go into a thorough discussion of all the various- 
matters which are included in a comprehensive word like- 
' dharma ' (Morality) in such a Catechismal or ' pauranika ' 
exposition extending over only 700 stanzas. Yet, it is 
a matter of great surprise that all the various subjects, 
which arise in the Glta, have been crammed together,, 
without mutual conflict, in that way in the Glta though 
succinctly; and this proves the wonderful skill of the author 
of the Glta, and explains the propriety of the statement 
made in the beginning of the Anugita, that the advice given 
in the Gita was given with an 'extremely Yogic (yoga-ynkta) 
frame of mind'. There was no reason to explain once more 
in detail those matters which were already known to Arjuna. 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTEKS OF THE GITA 623 

"His chief difficulty was whether or not he should commit such 
a terrible act like warfare, and if so, how; and when Sri 
Krsna advanced any particular logical argument in His reply, 
Arjuna would raise objections to it. The exposition made in 
the Glta in the form of this catechism is naturally very 
succinct or short in some places, whereas there have been 
repetitions in other places. For instance, the description of 
the developing-out of three-constituented Matter has appeared 
with slight differences in two places (Gl. Chap. I and XIV); 
whereas, although the description of the Sthitaprajna, the 
Bhagavad-bhakta, the Trigunatita, and the Brahma-bhuta is 
one and the same, yet, the same has been repeated on different 
occasions from different points of view. On the other hand, 
the doctrine that 'artlia' (wealth) and 'kuma' (desire), are proper 
when not inconsistent with dharma (Morality), has been 
enunciated in the single sentence " ' dharmaviruddhah kamo'smi" 
(7. 11), (i. e., "I am that kama (Desire), which is not contrary 
to dliarma (Morality)" — Trans). In consequence, although all 
these various subjects have appeared in the Glta, yet, the readers 
of the Glta get confused as a result of their not being 
acquainted with the traditions of the ancient doctrines of the 
religion of the Srutis, the religion of the Smrtis, the Bhagavata 
religion, the Samkhya philosophy, the Purva-Mlmamsa, the ' 
Vedanta Philosophy, the Theory of Causality (kamza-vipaka) 
etc.. on the authority of which the Knowledge in the Glta 
has been expounded ; and as they do not really understand 
the method of exposition, they think that the Glta, is 
something unintelligible ; or that it must have been expounded 
before the scientific method of expounding things had come 
into vogue, and that there are, on that account, to be found 
inconsistencies or an incomplete exposition in various 
places in the Glta ; or that at any rate, the Knowledge expound- 
ed in it is inaccessible to their intelligence. If one refers 
to the various commentaries for clearing one's doubts, one gets 
all the more confused, since almost all the commentaries are 
in support of some doctrine or other, and it becomes extremely 
difficult to harmonise the mutually conflicting opinions of the 
commentators. I know several even very learned readers, who 
have got confused in this way. In order that such a difficulty 



624 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

should no more remain, I have so far expounded the various 
subjects described in the Glta, by scientifically arranging 
them in a way I thought best. If I now explain how these 
various subjects have more or less figured in the conversation 
between Sri Krsna and Arjuna, by reference to the questions 
or doubts expressed by Arjuna, my whole Exposition will 
become complete, and it will be easier for me to sixm up the 
entire subject-matter in the next chapter. 

My readers must first remember that the Glta was preached 
by one omniscient, all-powerful, prosperous, and highly 
revered Ksatriya to another powerful archer-warrior, in order 
to induce the latter to perform his duties according to the 
law of warriors at a date when our India was well-known 
on all sides as enjoying the happiness of Spiritual Knowledge, 
material wealth, worldly success, and complete self-govern- 
ment. Mahavlra and Gautama Buddha, the protagonists of 
the Jain and Buddhist religions respectively, both belonged to 
the warrior class ; yet, Sri Krsna did not, as was done by 
both of them, adopt only the Path of Renunciation from the 
Vedic religion, and open the door of the Path of Renunciation 
to all classes, including the warrior class; and the advice 
given in the Bhagavata religion is that not only the warrior 
class, but even Brahmins must adopt the path of taking part 
in all worldly activities, till death, with a desireless frame 
of mind, while possessing the Peace ( santi ) pertaining to the 
Path of Renunciation. But whatever advice is given, it is 
necessary that there should be some occasion for giving it ; 
and in order that the advice given should become fruitful, 
a desire to receive the Knowledge of that advice must, in 
the first place, have arisen in the mind of the disciple. 
Therefore, in order to explain both these things, Vyasa has 
explained in detail in the FIRST CHAPTER of the Glta, the 
occasion for Sri Krsna to give this advice to Arjuna. The 
armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas were standing on 
the field of Kuru, to fight with each other, and the fight was 
about to start, when Sri Krsna, at the desire of Arjuna, took 
and left his chariot in the middle of both the armies, and said 
to him, "look at these Bhlsma, Drona, and others with whom 
you have to fight". Then, when Arjuna had looked at both the 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GXTA 625 



armies, he saw that his own ancestors, uncles, grand-fathers, 
maternal uncles, brethren, sons, grand-sons, friends, relatives, 
preceptors, co-disciples etc. were ranged on both sides, and that 
all of them would be killed in the war ! It was not that the 
war had sprung up suddenly. The decision to fight had been 
arrived at, and the recruiting of the armies on both sides had 
been going on for many days. Nevertheless, when Arjuna saw 
the realistic vision of the destruction of the entire clan by 
this internecine war, even a great fighter like him felt unhappy, 
and he said : "Alas ! are we going to bring about this terrible 
destruction of our own clan in order that we should get the 
kingdom ? Is it not better to beg ? " And he said to Sri Krsna : "It 
does not matter if I am killed by my enemies ; but, I do not wish 
to commit terrible sins like patricide, or the murder of one's 
preceptors, or fratricide, or ohe destruction of the entire clan, 
ever if I were to get the kingdom of the three worlds". His body 
began to tremble, he lost control over his limbs, his mouth 
became dry, and with a very unhappy face, he threw down his 
bow and arrows and sat down in his chariot. This part of the 
story is mentioned in the first chapter, which is called the 
' Yoga of the Dejection of Arjuna ' ; because, although the 
whole of the Glta deals with only one subject-matter, namely,, 
'the philosophy of Karma-Yoga included in the cult ( vidya ) of 
the Brahman', the subject-matter principally described in each 
chapter is looked upon as a portion of this philosophy of 
Karma-Yoga, and each chapter is, with reference to the 
subject-matter in it, called this Yoga, that Yoga etc. And all 
these Yogas taken together, make up the entire 'Philosophy of 
Karma-Yoga included in the cult (vidya) of the Brahman '. I have 
explained in the beginning of the book the importance of the 
first chapter of the Glta; because, if one does not clearly 
understand at the outset what the question before one is, one 
cannot alsc clearly understand the answer to that question. 
If the sum and substance of the Glta is to be understood as 
being that one should abandon worldly life, and take either to 
Devotion to the Blessed Lord, or the Path of Renunciation, 
then there was no necessity to give that advice to Arjuna, as he 
was ready to give up the terrible warfare of his own accord and 
to go begging round the world. The author of the Glta could have 



626 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

put into the mouth of Sri Krsna a stanza or two containing 
such words as : "Hullo! what a nice thing you have said ! I 
am very glad to notice your repentance 1 Come ; let us both 
give up this worldly life which is full of Action, and redeem 
our respective Selfs by the Path of Renunciation or the Path 
•of Devotion ! " ; and he could have thus ended the Gits. Then, 
if the war had taken place thereafter, and Vyasa had mis- 
employed his speech by spending three years (Ma. Bha. A. 
62. 52) in describing it, Arjuna and Sri Krsna at any rate would 
not have, been to blame for it. It is true that the thousands of 
warriors, collected together on the battle-field of Kuru, would 
have derided Arjuna and Sri Krsna ; but, would a man who was 
bent on redeeming his own Self, pay even the slightest attention 
to such derision? Whatever the world said, the Upanisads 
themselves have said: "yad ahar eva virajet tad ahar eva 
pravrajet" (Ja. 4), i. e., "that moment when you repent, that 
very moment you should renounce the world, and not delay the 
matter". Even if one says that the repentance of Arjuna was 
not based on Self-Realisation, but on Ignorance (molia), yet, 
the fact that there was a repentance at all, would finish 
half the task ; and it was not impossible for the Blessed 
Lord to remove his Ignorance and to give that repentance 
the foundation of Knowledge. Even among those who follow 
the Path of Renunciation or the Path of Devotion, there 
are examples of persons who have given up worldly life, as 
they had for some reason or other got tired of such life, 
and later on obtained complete perfection; and Arjuna could 
have been dealt with in the same way. One could easily 
have found in the field of Kuru, the handful of saffron colour 
necessary for colouring the clothes of Arjuna like those of 
a Samnyasin, or the cymbals, drums, and other instruments 
necessary for him for singing the praises of the Blessed Lord. 

But instead of doing so, Sri Krsna has on the contrary 
said to Arjuna in the beginning of the SECOND CHAPTER 
that: "O Arjuna, whence have you got this disastrous 
idea (kasmala) ? This impotency (Jdaibya) is unworthy of 
you! your reputation will go to dogs! therefore, give up this 
weakness (daurbalya) and stand up and fight!" But when 
in spite of that advice, Arjuna reiterated his previous unmanly 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTA 627 

*ale of woe, and said to Sri Krsna with a pityful expression 
on his face: "how shall I kill such great and noble-souled 
persons like Bhisma, Drona etc. ? My mind is confused by 
the doubt as to whether it is better to die or to kill them ; 
•therefore, tell me which of these two paths is the more 
meritorious; I am surrendering myself to You", Sri Krsna 
saw that Arjuna was completely under the sway of this 
despondence; and smiling a little, He started imparting 
Knowledge to him with the words " asocyan anva socas tvam 
■etc. ". Arjuna wanted to act like a Jnanin (scient), and was 
boasting about Renunciation of Action; and therefore, the 
Blessed Lord has commenced His advice with the description 
of the two paths (Nisthas) of ' Abandonment of Action' and 
'Performance of Action', which were being followed in 
the world by Jfianins; and He first tells Arjuna that 
whichever of the two paths was adopted by him, he would 
yet be wrong. HE then gives advice to Arjuna, upto the 
words, "esa te 'bhihita samkkye buddhih" etc. (Gl. 2. 
11-39), (i. e., "I have given this advice or Knowledge to 
you, or made this Exposition, according to the Sarhkhya 
system"— Trans. ) regarding the Path of Knowledge or 
Sarhkhya system, on the basis of which Arjuna had begun to 
speak of Abandonment of Action; and then He tells Arjuna, 
upto the end of chapter, that fighting was his true duty 
consistently with the Path of Karma- Yoga. If some such 
stanza like "esa te'bhihta sathkhye" had come before the 
•stanza asocyan anva socastvam" etc., this same meaning would 
have been conveyed in a more pronounced way. But, it has 
come in the course of conversation, in the form of: "so far, 
I have explained the system of the Sarhkhyas, I shall now 
explain to you the philosophy of Karma-Yoga", after the 
exposition of the Sarhkhya system was over. In either case, 
the meaning is the same. I have clearly explained the 
difference between the Sarhkhya or Renunciatory path and the 
Yoga or Activistic path in the eleventh chapter above ; and I 
ishall, therefore, without repeating the same subject-matter here 
■only say that, abandoning Action and taking to Asceticism 
for obtaining Release, after a man has acquired Knowledge by 
performance of such Actions as are enjoined on the 



628 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

particular castes for the purification of the Mind, having" 
regard to the different stages of life, is known as the Samkhya 
path ; and not abandoning Action at any time, but continuing 
the performance of Action desirelessly, so long as life lasts, is 
known as Yoga or Karma-Yoga, The Blessed Lord first says 
to Arjuna: "in as much as the Atman is imperishable and 
immortal according to the Philosophy of the Absolute Self 
expounded in the Samkhya system, this idea that you are going 1 
to kill Bhisma etc. is wrong in its very inception ; because, the 
Atman is not killed, nor does it kill. Just as a man changes 
one set of clothes and puts on another, so does the Atman give 
up one body and take up another ; that is all. But it is not 
right, on that account, to imagine that the Atman is dead and> 
to lament for it. Well ; if, on the ground that the idea that 
' I am going to kill ' is an illusion, you ask Me, why you 
should fight at all, then, My answer is, that it is the duty of the 
warrior class not to withdraw from that warfare which befalls 
that class according to the Ssstras ; and as even according to 
the Samkhya philosophy, it is considered meritorious to perform. 
in the beginning all Actions which befall one according to the 
arrangement of the castes and the stages of life, people will 
find fault with you if you do not do so ; nay, falling in the 
fight is the duty of soldiers. Then why are you dejected? 
Give up the Karma-vision that ' I am killing and he 
is dying '; and perform that Action which befalls you-. . 
in the course of life, with the idea that you are merely doing, 
your own duty, so that you will thereby incur no sin 
whatsoever ". This is the advice given consistently with the 
Samkhya philosophy. But that still leaves untouched the 
doubt, that it is better not to fight and to renounce the world, 
immediately on feeling the repentance (if possible), if, according 
to the Samkhya doctrine, it is considered more meritorious to give- 
up all Action and to renounce the world after the purification, 
of the Mind. These doubters say that it is not enough to reply 
that Manu and other Smrti writers have dictated that one should 
renounce the world in old age, after having completed the 
state of a householder, and that one must live in the state of 
a householder in youth; because, if renouncing the world 
sometime or other is the most meritorious course of action, the- 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTA 639 

proper course is to do so without delay, as soon as one 
gets tired of worldly life ; and that is why there are such 
statements in the Upanisads as, " brahmacaryad eva pravrajet 
grliad va variad w" (Ja. i), (i.e., "one should renounce the 
world whether in the state of a celibate, or a householder, or of 
a denizen of the woods " — Trans.). That ultimate goal which 
is to be obtained by renouncing the world is obtained by the 
warrior by falling on the battle-field. It is stated in the 
Mahabharata that :- 

dvav imau purusavyaghra suryamandala bhedinau i 
parivang yogayuktas ca raij£ cabhimukho hatah II 

(Udyo. 32. 65) 

that is, " O, tiger in the shape of a man ( purusavyaghra ), there 
are only two persons who can pierce the constellation of the 
Sun and reach the sphere of the Brahman ; the one is the 
Ascetic steeped in Toga, and the other is the warrior who falls 
on the battle-field while fighting " ; and we find a stanza 
conveying the same import in the book on Economics 
(arthasastra) by Kautilya, that is, by Canakya, to the effect 
that : 

yan yajna samgliais iapasa ca viprah 

svargaisinah patra ca yais ca yanti I 
ksanena tan apy ati yanti surah 

pranam, suyuddhesu parityajantah n 

(Kauti 10. 3, 150-153 and Ma. Bha. San. 93-100) 

that is: " Warriors, who give up their lives in warfare, go in 
a moment far beyond that sphere which is obtained after death 
by Brahmins desiring heaven, by means of many sacrificial 
offerings, or of austerities "; that is to say, that goal which 
is reached not only by austere ascetics or those who have 
renounced the world, but even by those who perform sacrifi- 
cial ritual, is also reached by the warrior who falls on the 
field of battle. This is the summary of the advice given 
in the Gita to the effect that, "the gateway of heaven in the 
shape of war, is rarely found open by a warrior ; if you die 



630 GlTl-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

da the war, you will obtain heaven, and if you gain victory, 
you will obtain the kingdom of the world" (2. 32, 37). 
Therefore, it could even be maintained, according to Samkhya 
.philosophy, that whether Arjuna took up Asceticism or fought, 
the result would be the same. Nevertheless, the definite conclu- 
-sion that he must fight under any circumstances is not arrived 
at by the logical arguments advanced by the Samkhya school. 
.Realising this difficulty which would arise for Arjuna by 
following the Samkhya philosophy, the Blessed Lord has 
after finishing with the exposition of the Samkhya system, 
start.ed with the exposition of the Path of Karma-Yoga; 
and, in order to clear to clear this doubt, the Blessed Lord has, 
upto the last chapter of the Gita, expounded by giving 
various examples, this Karma-Yoga — that is, this position 
that Action must be performed, and that instead of such 
Action coming in the way of Release, such Release is, 
on the other hand, obtained while performing Action. 
'The central principle of the Karma-Yoga is that in order to 
decide whether a particular Action is good or bad, one has 
first to see whether the Practical Reason (vasanatmika buddhi) 
of the doer was pure or impure, rather than considering the 
external effects of that Action (Gl. 2. 49). But, as the question 
whether the Practical Reason (vasanS) was pure or impure has 
ultimately to be decided by the Pure (or Discerning) Reason 
- { vyavasayatmika buddhi ), the Desire does not become pure and 
equable, unless the Discerning Reason is equable. It is, 
therefore, stated at the same time, that in order to purify the 
.Practical Reason, one must also in the first instance steady 
the Discerning Reason by means of Concentration (Gl. 2. 41). 
-If one considers the ordinary activities of the world, the 

■ majority of people are seen, engrossed in the Vedio ritual or 

■ sacrifices etc., based on Desire, for the acquisition of various 
.forms of happiness based on Desire ; and on that account their 
Desire is seen to be keen to-day on obtaining this fruit or 
'to-morrow some other fruit, that is, engrossed in selfish 

■ interests and constantly changing. But, such persons cannot 
■possibly get the permanent happiness of Release, which is of 
.greater importance than the transient result in the shape of 
heaven, etc. Therefore, the mystic import of the Path of 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS Of THE GITA 631 

Karma- Yoga is now explained to Arjuna (2. 47-53) by Ms being- 
told that: "give up this desire-prompted activity of Vedio 
Karma, and learn to perform Action desirelessly; your authority 
extends only to the performance of Action ; obtaining or not 
obtaining the Friut of Action is a matter which is never within 
your control (2. 47); those who perform Action believing that 
the giver of the fruit is the Paramesvara, and with the equable ■ 
frame of mind that it is same whether or not the Fruit of the- 
Action is obtained, are not affected by the sin or the merit of the- 
Action; therefore, acquire this Equable Reason; this Equability 
of Reason is known as Yoga — that is, the device of performing- 
Action without thereby committing sin; when you have learnt 
this Yoga, you will obtain Release notwithstanding that you- 
may be performing Action ; it is not that Action has to be 
abandoned in order to attain Release" etc. After the Blessed' 
Lord had explained to Arjuna that that person whose Reason ■ 
had become equable in this way, was to be called a 
'Sthitaprajfia' (Steady-in-Mind), (2.53), Arjuna again asked' 
the Blessed Lord to tell him how such a Sthitaprajfia behaves. 
Therefore, the description of the course of life of such a- 
Sthitaprajfia has been given at the end of the second chapter ; 
and it is ultimately said that the intellectual state of such a 
Sthitaprajfia is known as the Brahml state (the state of being 
merged in the Brahman). In short, the advice given in the 
Glta to induce Arjuna to fight has been started with the- 
description of the two Nisthas, which have become acceptable 
to Jnanins in this world, namely, the two paths of 
'abandoning Action' ( Samkhya ) and 'performing Action'' 
(Yoga); and the war has first been justified on the basis of the 
SSrhkhya system of philosophy; but, seeing that that argument 
was inconclusive, the science of Realisation according to the 
Path of Yoga or Karma-Yoga has been started immediately - 
afterwards; and after having mentioned that even a little 
observance of this Karma-Yoga is highly meritorious,, 
the Blessed Lord has in the second chapter come to the stage ■ 
of saying that in as much as the Reason which inspires the 
Karma is looked upon as superior to the Karma itself in- 
the Path of Karma-Yoga, Arjuna should perform Actions after 
having made his Reason equable like that of a Sthitaprajfia,,. 



■632 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

so that he would not incur any sin. Let us now see what further 
questions arise. As the root of the whole of the exposition of 
the Gita is in the second chapter, I have dealt with that matter 
somewhat at length. 

The question of Arjuna at the beginning of the THIRD 
CHAPTER is : "if in the Path of Karma-Yoga, the Reason is 
•superior to the Karma itself, then it will be enough if I make 
my Reason equable like that of a Sthitaprajna; why do you ask 
me to perform such a terrible act like war ?". Because, saying 
that the Reason is superier to the Action, does not answer the 
question why war should be carried on, and why one should not 
renounce the world after making one's Reason equable. It is 
not that one cannot abandon Action (perform Karma-Samnyasa) 
with an equable Reason. Then, where is the objection 
io an equable-minded person abandoning Action according 
i;o the Ssmkhya Path ? This question is now answered by the 
Blessed Lord by saying : " it is true that I have mentioned 
to you the two paths of Samkhya and Yoga ; but no man 
■soever can entirely give up Action. So long as he is clothed 
in a body, Matter ( prakrti ) will by its inherent nature, compel 
him to perform Action ; and if you cannot escape this Action, 
which is the result of Prakrti, it is more meritorious to 
equabilise and steady your mind by. exercising control over the 
organs, and to perform all your various duties merely by the 
organs of Action. Therefore, go on performing Action, for 
if you do not do so, you will not be able even to obtain food 
to eat (3.3-8). Action has been created by the Pararnesvara ; 
riot by man. When Brahmadeva created the universe and 
all created beings, he at the same time also created the 
' Yajna ' (sacrificial ritual), and told the created beings that 
they should obtain their own welfare by means of this Yaj'fia ; 
and as those Yajfias cannot be performed without Action 
{ karma ), therefore, Yajna is nothing but Karma. Therefore, 
it must be said that man and Karma have been created at the 
same time. But, as the sole purpose of this Karma is the 
Yajfia, and as the Yajna is the duty of man, therefore; the 
fruit of this Karma does not create a bondage for man. Now 
it is true, that a man who has become a Jfianin has no more 
any duty left to be performed for his own benefit ; and at the 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTA 633 

•same time, he is in no way concerned -with other people. 
But, from this it does not follow, that one should not perform 
Action ; because, as nobody can escape Action, one comes to 
the necessary conclusion that such Action must now be 
performed desirelessly for the benefit of others, though it is 
not necessary to perform it for one's own selfish interests 
<(Gi. 3. 17-19). Bearing these things in mind, Janaka and 
other Jnanins have engaged in Action in ancient times, and 
I the Blessed Lord, am doing the same. Besides, bringing 
about ' lokasamgraha' (universal welfare), that is, putting 
■people on the path of self -amelioration by placing before their 
eyes a good example in the shape of one's conduct, is one of the 
most important duties of Jnanins (Scients). However Know- 
ledgeful a Jfianin may be, he does not escape the activities of 
Prakrti; therefore, far from giving up Action, it is more 
meritorious to even lose one's life, if necessary, while performing 
Actions as duties according to one's own religion (dharma), (3. 
30-35)". Such is the advice which the Blessed Lord has given in 
this chapter. Seeing that the Blessed Lord had in this way 
placed the entire responsibility of Action on the shoulders of 
Prakrti, Arjuna next asks why a man commits sin, though he 
has no desire to do so. In reply the Blessed Lord has said that 
kama (Desire), krodha (anger), and other mental emotions 
■forcibly stupify the mind; and that, therefore, everybody should 
control his mind by controlling the organs ; and He has then 
closed the chapter. In short, after establishing the necessity 
•of the Karma- Yoga by saying that (i) though the Reason may 
have become equable like that of a Sthitaprajna, no one can 
escape Karma and that (ii) Karma must be performed 
desirelessly, for universal benefit (lokasamgraha), if not for 
one's own self-interest, the Blessed Lord has by saying, 
"Dedicate all Actions to me" (3. 30-31) given in this chapter 
the first glimpse (sate uvaca) of the central principle of the 
Path of Devotion, namely, of performing all Actions with the 
idea of dedicating them to the Paramesvara. 

Nevertheless, this subject-matter has not been exhausted 
in the third ohapter, and the FOURTH CHAPTER has been 
started for further dealing with the same subject. In order 
that Arjuna should not think that the disquisition made so far 



634 GlTA-RAHAYSA OE KARMA-YOGA 

■was something, new, which had been invented by the Blessed - 
Lord merely for the purpose of inducing him to fight, He has ■ 
in the beginning of the fourth chapter mentioned the tradition 
of this Karma-Yoga, that is, of the Bhagavata or Narayaniya 
religion, in the Tretayuga. After the Blessed Lord had said to 
Arjuna that in the beginning of the Yuga i(. e., "adau"), 
He had taught this Path of Karma-Yoga to Vivasvata, 
Vivasvan to Manu, and Manu to Iksvaku, but that as 
it had been lost in the interim, He had again preached 
the same Yoga (the Path of Karma-Yoga) to Arjuna, Arjuna 
rejoined by asking how the Blessed Lord could have been in 
existence before Vivasvan. In reply to that question, the 
Blessed Lord has accounted for his several incarnations by 
saying that He had to take those incarnations for protecting 
saints and destroying evil-doers and establishing the true 
religion ; and He has justified the Karma-Yoga by saying that 
though He was in this way performing Action for universal 
welfare ( lokasamgraha ), He had not acquired or suffered for the 
merit or the sin of the Action, because He was not attached 
to the Action ; and saying to Arjuna that Janaka and others 
had in ancient times followed that Yoga, understanding the 
underlying principle of it, He has advised Arjuna to do the 
same thing. He has here repeated the doctrine of the 
Mimarhsa school mentioned in the third chapter that " Action 
( karma ) performed for sacrificial ritual does not create 
bondage " ; and pointed out that (i) though throwing sesamum,. 
rice, etc., into the fire or slaughtering animals, was a kind of 
sacrifice, yet, it was a sacrifice of a lower order, being merely 
a sacrifice of wealth, and that (ii) burning all such mental 
emotions, as desire, anger, etc., into the fire of self-control or 
sacrificing all Action into the Brahman with the words, 
' na mama ' (i. e.j 'this is not mine ') were sacrifices of a higher 
order ; and having in this way given a more detailed and 
comprehensive definition of the word 'Yajna*, the Blessed 
Lord now advises Arjuna that all Actions should be 
performed giving up the Hope for Fruit for the purpose of this 
YajEa. Because, although Actions performed for the purpose of 
the Yajfia do not by themselves create bondage according to the 
Mimaihsa doctrine, yet, one cannot escape obtaining the fruit 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTJL 635 



of the Yajfia; and, therefore, if even the Yajfia itself is 
performed desirelessly, neither the Actions performed for the 
purpose of the Yajfia, nor the Yajna itself will create bondage. 
The Blessed Lord has ultimately preached that (i) the 
Realisation (jfiana ) that all created things are located in one's 
self, or, in the Blessed Lord, is known as ' Equability of 
Reason'; that (ii) when this Realisation has come, all Actions 
are reduced to ashes and do not bind the doer; that (iii) "sarva 
karmakhUani partha jnane parisamapyate", i. e., "all Action is 
ultimately merged in Knowledge" ; that (iv) Action by itself 
does not create bondage, which results from Ignorance, and 
that (v) therefore, Arjuna should give up Ignorance ; and 
follow the path of Karma- Yoga and stand up to fight. In 
short, the subject-matter of JNANA. (Knowledge)-" has here 
been introduced in this chapter by saying that in order to 
successfully follow the Path of Karma- Yoga, Knowledge in 
the form of Equability of Reason is necessary. 

It is true that the reasons why Action should be per- 
formed, that is, the necessity of the Karma- Yoga, has been 
explained in the third and fourth chapters ; but as, already in 
the second chapter, after explaining the Knowledge contained 
in the Sarhkhya philosophy, the Blessed Lord has, even in the. 
course of the description of the Karma-Yoga, said over and 
over again that the Reason was superior to the Action, it now 
becomes necessary to explain which of these two paths is 
superior. Because, if one says that both the paths are of 
equal importance, it follows that people are free to choose 
whichever of the two paths they prefer, and that it is not 
necessary to follow only the Path of Karma-Yoga. This very 
doubt came into the mind of Arjuna and he has, in the 
beginning of the FIFTH CHAPTER, said to the Blessed Lord, 
" Do not mix up the two paths of Samkhya and Yoga, but tell 
me definitely which of the two is superior, so that it will be 
convenient for me to act accordingly "; and the Blessed Lord 
lias removed the doubt of Arjuna by saying that though both 
the paths are equally productive of Release, yet, the Path of 

* The word 'Knowledge' has been used by me throughout as 
synonymous with 'Bealisation' for translating the word 'Jfima' — 
Translator. 
o A 



636 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

Karma-Yoga is the better one of the two — " karma-yogo 
visisyate", (i.e., "Karma-Yoga is the better one" — Trans.), 
(5. 2). For further emphasising this doctrine, the Blessed Lord 
also says that, not only does one attain by means of Karma- 
Yoga the same Release which can be attained by Renunciation 
or by the SSrhkhya Path, but that unless the desireless frame 
of mind prescribed in the Karma-Yoga is acquired, 
Renunciation itself is useless ; and that once such a desireless 
frame of mind is acquired, one does not fail to attain the 
Brahman, notwithstanding that one may be performing 
Action according to the Path of Yoga. Then, where is the 
sense of raising a hue and cry that the Sarhkhya Path is 
different from the Yoga Path? If one cannot abandon the 
hundreds of Actions, which one usually performs, such as, 
walking, speaking, seeing, hearing, smelling, etc., even if one 
wants to give them up, then the wisest course is not to take 
the trouble of abandoning Action, but to perform it with 
the idea of dedicating it to the Brahman. Therefore, true 
philosophers continue performing Actions desirelessly, and 
thereby ultimately acquire Peace (santi) and Release (moksa). 
The Isvara does not ask you either to give up Action or to 
perform Action. All this Action is the manifestation of 
Prakrti ; and as bondage is a characteristic of the Mind, the 
man, who performs Action after he has become Equable in 
Reason, that is, after he has become " sarvabhUtatrnabhutatmd ", 
(Le., " the Self which is identical with the Self (Atman) of all 
created beings" — Trans.), is not bound thereby. It is stated, 
in short, at the end of this chapter that (i) the man whose Mind 
has become equable towards the dog, the Oandala, the Brahmin, 
the cow, the elephant, etc., and who has started performing 
his various activities after having realised the identity 
of the Atman (Self) embodied in all created things, obtains 
Release in the shape of brahma^nirvaija wherever he is ; that 
(ii) it is not necessary for him to go anywhere else for the 
purpose, or to look out for some other means for obtaining 
Release; and that (iii) he is always free, unbound, and 
Released. 

The same subject-matter is continued in the SIXTH 
CHAPTER, and the Blessed Lord has here explained in what 



CONTINUITY Of CHAPTERS OF THE GlTl 637 

•way that Equable Reason oan be acquired by which, one can 
obtain success in the practice of Karma-Toga. In the very 
first stanza, the Blessed Lord has expressed His firm opinion 
that the man who performs all Actions which fall to his share, 
as duties, and without entertaining the Hope of Fruit, is the 
true Yogin, or the true Samnyasin; and that the man who sits 
■quiet giving up the worship of the Fire (agrd-hotra) etc. is not the 
true Samnyasin. HE then goes on to explain the principle of 
the Independence of the Atman by saying that whatever Action 
has to be performed in the shape of the control of the organs, 
for steadying the Mind, according to the philosophy of 
Karma-Yoga, must be performed by oneself ; and that if one 
■does not do so, one cannot properly blame anybody else ; and 
-after this, there is in this chapter principally a description of 
how Yoga in the shape of the control of the organs can be 
acquired according to the Patafijala-Yoga-Sastra. It is further 
.-stated in this chapter that it is nevertheless not enough to merely 
./control the organs by means of religious observance (yamaj 
restraint of the Mind {myoma), physical postures (asana), control 
of the breath (pranayama), etc.; and the necessity of the Realisa- 
tion of the universality of the Atman has been emphasised in 
.this chapter by saying that the frame of mind of the man 
cmust become Equable towards all created beings as described 
jja the words " sarvabhviastham atmanam sarvabhviam catmam " 
(6. 29), (i. e., "all created beings are located in one's Self and one's 
Self is located in all created beings" — Trans.), or, in the words 
"yo mam pasyati sarvatra sarvaih ca mayi pasyati" (6. 30), (i. e., 
"he who sees that I the Paramesvara am everywhere, and that 
everything is located in me" — Trans.). At this juncture, Arjtma 
experiences the doubt that if this Yoga of Equability of Reason is 
not acquired in one life, it will become necessary to begin the 
whole thing over again in the next life, and the story will be 
repeated in every birth ; and that on account of this recurrence 
.In every life, it will not be possible to ever attain Release by 
this means. In order to remove this doubt, the Blessed Lord 
has explained, that nothing is wasted in the path of Karma- 
Yoga, that the impressions received in the previous birth are 
carried forward into the next birth in which the practice of 
Karma-Yoga can be oarried on further, and that Release is 



C5S GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

ultimately obtained by gradual degrees ; and He has at the- 
end of this chapter, again given to Arjuna a- clear andi 
definite advice, that as the Path of Karma-Yoga is in this- 
way the most superior path, and one which is gradually 
accessible, Arjuna should eschew the various paths of 
performing Action as such ( i. e., without giving up the- 
Hope of Fruit), or the practice of austerities, or the 
abandonment of Action after Acquisition of Knowledge, and 
become a Yogin, that is, one who follows the Desireless- 
Karma-Yoga. 

Some persons are of the opinion that the exposition of 
Karma-Yoga has come to- an end here, that is, at the end of the- 
sixth chapter ; that thereafter, the Blessed Lord has described 
the Path of Knowledge and the Path of Devotion as two- 
' independent ' paths, that is to say, as paths which are 
mutually independent, or are the same in importance as the 
Karma- Yoga, but different from it, and as such, proper to be- 
followed as alternatives for the Path of Karma-Yoga; that 
the Path of Devotion has been described from the seventh to- 
the twelfth chapters and the Path of Knowledge in the 
remaining six chapters ; and that if the eighteen chapters of 
the Glta are divided up in this way, six chapters each can. 
be allocated to Action ( karma ), Devotion ( bhakti ) and. 
Knowledge (jnana), and the Gita becomes equally divided, 
amongst the three paths. But this opinion is wrong. It becomes- 
clear from the opening stanzas of chapter V, that the- 
question of Arjuna was (i) whether he should- give xxg> the 
fight having regard to the principles of the Samkhya 
philosophy, or take part in it though he saw the terrible- 
consequences of it in front of his eyes ; and; (ii) if. so, how 
the sin of it could be obviated ; and this doubt was not going, 
to be satisfied by giving an ambiguous and childish reply like :. 
"Release can be obtained both by Knowledge and by 
Karma-Yoga", or, " if you want it, there is alsothe third path 
of Devotion". Besides, when Ajjuna was asking for definite- 
guidance about one particular course of Action, it would be- 
incorrect to imagine that, omniscient and clever Sri Krsna 
avoided the issue and showed him three independent and 
alternative courses of Action. Really speaking, the Glta. 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GITA" 639 

•considers only the two paths of 'Renunciation' (Sarhnyasa), and 
•' Energism ' (Karma-Yoga), (Gl. 5. 1) ; and there has been given 
the definite decision that out of the two, the Path of Karma- 
Yoga is 'the superior path (Gl. 5, 2). Devotion has nowhere 
been mentioned as a third independent Nisflia (Path of Release). 
Therefore, the theory of three independent paths of Spiritual 
Knowledge, Action, and Devotion, is a creation of doctrine- 
-supporting commentators; and as in their opinion the Gits 
•considers only the means of obtaining Release, they have 
evidently got the idea of these three paths from the Bhagavata 
•(Bhag. 11. 20. 6). But these commentators have not realised 
■that the conclusions reached in the Bhagavata-Purana are not 
"the same as those in the Bhagavadgita. Even the author of 
<the Bhagavata accepts the theorem that Release cannot be 
•obtained by mere Action, and that Spiritual Knowledge 
is a necessity. But the Bhagavata-Purana says in addition 
that although Spiritual Knowledge and Desireless Action 
'{naiskarmya) are both productive of Release, yet, both of them 
(that is to say, the desireless Karma-Yoga of the Gita) are 
useless without Devotion — " naislcarmyam apy acyutabKavavarji- 
■tam na sdbhate j-mnamalam nirmjamm " (Bhag. 12. 12. 52 and 
1. 2. 12), ( i. e., "Desireless Action unaocompanied by 
Devotion to the Unfallen {acyuta), does not befit pure and 
stainless Knowledge" — Trans. ). Prom this point of view, it is 
■quite clear that the author of the Bhagavata considers 
Devotion as the only true Nistha, that is, the ultimate Release- 
giving state. The Bhagavata does not say that the Devotee 
of the Blessed Lord should not perform Action with the idea 
•of dedicating it to the Isvara, nor does it say that Action 
must be performed. The Bhagavata says that whether one 
performs Desireless Action or not, these are all different 
varieties of the Path of Devotion (Bhag. 3. 29. 7-19) ; and that 
if there is no Devotion, all Karma-Yogas will bring a person 
back to worldly life, that is, into the cycle of Birth and Death 
■(Bhag. 1. 5. 34, 35). In short, as the entire emphasis of the 
author of the Bhagavata is on Devotion, he has included even 
»the Desireless Karma-Yoga into the Path of Devotion, and 
.maintained that Devotion is the only true Nistha. But, Devotion 
is not the principal subject-matter of exposition in the Gita ; 



640 GITA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

and therefore, interpolating this doctrine or terminology of 
the Bhagavata into the Glta is as improper as fixing the bark 
of a vata-tiee on a pippala-txee. Saying that Release cannot 
he obtained unless one has Realised the Paramesvara, and. 
that Devotion is an easy way for such Realisation, is fully 
acceptable to the Glia. But the Glta does not insist on this- 
particular path, and says that the Spiritu%l Knowledge, 
necessary for attaining Release should be obtained by every- 
body by whichever path he finds easy ; and the most important 
issue in the Glta is whether or not one should perform Action- 
after the Acquisition of Knowledge ( Spiritual Knowledge ); 
Therefore, the Glta starts with the consideration of the two 
paths of ' taking part in worldly affairs ' and 'abandoning, 
worldly affairs', which are both followed by the Birth-released 
(jivanmukta) in this world; and instead of naming the first of 
these two paths as 'Bhakti-Yoga' (the Device of Devotion), as 
has been done by the author of the Bhagavata, the Glta retains 
the terminology of the ancient Marayamya doctrine by 
referring to the ' Performance of Action with the idea of 
dedicating it to the Paramesvara ' as ' Karma-Yoga ' or ' Karnia- 
Nistha,' and to the 'Abandonment of Action after Acquisition of 
Knowledge " as ' Sarhkhya ' or ' Jnana-Nistha.' If one considers- 
the matter, after accepting this terminology of the Glta, 
Devotion can never become a third independent Nistha (path 
of Release) of the same grade as Knowledge, or Action. 
Because, no third position about Karma can now exist 
except the two affirmative and negative paths of 'performing. 
Action' and 'not-performing, or abandoning, Action' (Yoga 
and Sarhkhya). Therefore, if one has to determine what Nistha- 
is followed by the Devotee, one cannot decide the matter 
by merely considering the fact that he follows the Path of 
Devotion ; and one has to consider whether or not he performs 
Action. Devotion is only a means of reaching the 
Paramesvara ; and although Devotion may be called a ' Yoga '' 
in the sense that it is a ' sadhana ' (means), (Gl. 11 26), yet, 
Devotion can never become an ultimate Mstha. If, after the 
Knowledge of the Paramesvara has been acquired by means 
of Devotion, a man continues to perform Action, he is called 
a ' Karma-nistha * ; and if he abandons Action, he is called. 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GITA 641 

a ' Sarhkhya-nistha '. And the Blessed Lord lias clearly 
indicated his opinion in the fifth chapter, that out of these two 
paths, the path of performing Action is the more meritorious. 
But, the important objection of the School of Renunciation 
against Action is, that by performing A.etion, the Realisation 
of the Paramesvara is obstructed ; and that Action must be 
abandoned, as there can be no Release unless the Knowledge 
of the Paramesvara has been acquired. It is stated in a. 
general way in the fifth chapter that this objection is 
groundless, and that one can obtain the same Release by the 
Path of Action, as can be obtained by the Path of Renuncia- 
tion (Gl. 5. 5). But, as this general proposition has not been 
fully developed in that chapter, the Blessed Lord is now 
dealing in the sixth chapter with the important question, 
namely, how the Knowledge of the Paramesvara, and 
ultimately Release, is obtained by Action, while Action is 
being performed, which question had been incompletely dealt 
with in the fifth chapter. That is why, instead of saying 
that the Path of Devotion is an independent path, the Blessed 
Lord has in the beginning of the seventh chapter said to 
Arjuna, that, 

mayyasakta manah partha yogam yufljan madasrayah I 
asamsayam samagram mam yatha jftasyasi tacchrnu II 

(G3. 7. 1). 

that is, " Partha, listen to the way (which I am explaining 
to you) by which (yatha) you will undoubtedly acquire 
complete knowledge of Me, while you are following the Path 
of Yoga, that is, of Karma- Yoga, keeping your mind fixed on 
Me, and having surrendered yourself to Me " ; and this very 
thing has been described in the next stanza as ' JnSna-vijnana ' 
(GL 7. 2). The words "yogam yunjan" in the first stanza 
quoted above, namely, in the stanza " mayyasaktamanah, ", 
etc., which words (yogam yunjan) mean, ' while you are 
performing the Karma- Yoga', are most important, but no 
commentator seems to have attached any great importance to 
those words. 'Yoga' is necessarily the 'Karma-Yoga' which 
has been described in the first six chapters ; and this stanza 



642 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

means that 'now', that is, from the seventh chapter, the Blessed 
Lord is starting a description of that path or 'vidW by which 
the complete knowledge of the Blessed Lord can be acquired 
while the man is practising this Karma- Yoga. That is to say, 
this stanza has been intentionally placed at the commencement 
of the seventh chapter, in order to show the relation between 
the first six chapters and the next chapter ; therefore, it is highly 
improper to neglect this stanza and to say that "the Path of 
Devotion has been described as an independent path by itself 
after the first six chapters". Nay ; I will even say that the 
words ' yogam yunjan ' have been intentionally used in this 
stanza in order that such a misinterpretation should not be 
made by anybody. It has been shown in the first five chapters 
of the Gita, -after fully explaining the necessity of Karma 
(Action), that the Path of Action is superior to the Path of 
Renunciation ; and then in the sixth chapter, the means 
mentioned in the Patafijala-Yoga for acquiring that control 
•over the organs which is necessary for the Karma-Yoga, have 
been described. But this does not exhaust the description of 
Karma- Yoga. Control of the organs is a kind of exercise for 
the organs of Action. It is true that by this exercise, one can 
keep one's organs under control; but if the Desire of a man is 
sinful, having the control of the organs is useless ; because, we 
see that when the Desire is sinful, many persons utilise the 
powers acquired by the control of the organs, for performing 
such sinful actions as propitiation (jararfa) or killing frnaramJ 
etc. Therefore, it is stated in the sixth chapter that 
simultaneously with controlling the organs, one must also 
purify one's Desire so that one Realises that " sarwbhutastham 
Stmanam sarvabhutam catmani " (i.e., " all created beings are 
located in one's self, and one's self is located in all created 
beings " — Trans. ), ( Gl. 6. 29 ). And this purification of 
Desire is impossible, unless one has Realised the purest 
form of the Paramesvara, by Realising the identity of 
the Brahman and the Atman. In short, even if one has 
acquired the control of the organs necessary in the Path of 
Karma- Yoga, one does not thereby drive rasa, that is, the liking 
for objects of pleasure, out of the Mind. The Blessed Lord has 
stated already in the second chapter of the Gita, that in order 



CONTINUITY Of CHAPTERS OF THE GITA 643 

tthat this rasa or Desire for objects of pleasure (visaya-vasaria) 
•should go out of the Mind, one has to fully Realise the Parame- 
svara (Ol. 2. 59). Therefore, that means, that is, vidhi, by which 
this Knowledge of the Paramesvara is acquired by a man, while 
he is following the Path of Karma-Yoga, is being described by 
the Blessed Lord from the seventh chapter. Prom the words, 
" while practising the Karma-Yoga ", it follows that this 
Knowledge has to be acquired while the Karma-Yoga is being 
practised, and that Karma or Action has not to be abandoned 
for acquiring that Knowledge ; and therefore, the statement that 
the Paths of Devotion and of Spiritual Knowledge are two 
independent paths, which have been described from the seventh 
chapter onwards as alternatives for the Path of Karma-Yoga, 
is groundless. As the Karma-Yoga in the Gita has been 
adopted from the Bhagavata religion, the description of the 
vidhi (means) mentioned in the Karma-Yoga for the acquisition 
■of Knowledge, is nothing but the description of the means 
mentioned in the Bhagavata or the Narayanlya doctrine ; and 
that is why Janamejaya has been told by Vaisarhpayana at the 
•end of the Santi-parva that "the Bnergistic (pravrttipara) 
Narayanlya doctrine, together with the incidental forms of 
worship, have been described in the Bhagavadgita " (seethe 
•stanzas quoted at the beginning of the first ohapter ). As said 
by VaisarhpSyana, this path also includes the vidhi (practices) 
xelating to the Path of Renunciation ; because, although the 
■distinction between these two paths is, that in one of them, 
Karma has to be performed, whereas in the other, Karma has 
to be abandoned, yet, as the Spiritual and worldly Knowledge 
4 jnana-vijflana ) necessary in both is the same, the practices 
prescribed for acquiring Spriritual Knowledge are common to 
both. Therefore, in as much as, the express words " while 
•following the Path of Karma- Yoga " ■ have been used in the 
above stanza, it follows that (i) the exposition of Spiritual 
Knowledge ( jflana ) and worldly Knowledge ( mj-fiana ) in 
the seventh and subsequent chapters is principally in support 
•of Karma- Yoga ; that (ii) the practices relating to the Path 
■of Renunciation, which have been inoluded in that jnana- 
.vijnana have been so included on account of the comprehensive 
nature of that jfiana-mjUana, and that (iii) this jnana-mjHana, 



644 GITA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

has not been mentioned for supporting the Samkhya Path 
and suggesting that Karma-Yoga should be abandoned.. 
Another thing, which has to be borne in mind, is that though 
the followers of the Samkhya school attach importance to 
Spiritual Knowledge, they attach no importance whatsoever 
to Action ( karma ) or Devotion ( bhakti ) ; whereas, Devotion 
has been looked upon as easy and important in the Gita. 
Not only is that so, but even while dealing with the- 
subjects of Spiritual Knowledge and Devotion, Arjuna is 
being constantly given the advice that "therefore, you 
must perform Action, that is, fight " ( Gl. 8. 7; 11. 33 ; 16. 24 ;. 
18. 6). Therefore, one is forced to come to the conclusion 
that the exposition of jUana-vijnana in the seventh and the 
subsequent chapters of the Gita is supplementary to, and in 
support of, the Path of Karma- Yoga mentioned in the first 
six chapters; and that those chapters do not contain any 
independent exposition of the Samkhya Path or of the Path 
of Devotion. And when this conclusion has once been. 
arrived at, the Gita cannot be divided into three mutually 
independent parts dealing respectively with Bnergism, 
Devotion, and Spiritual Knowledge. One also realises that 
the conclusion drawn by some persons from the two facts 
that (i) the sacred canon ' Tat-Tvam-Asi ' has three parts, and 
that (ii) the Gita, has eighteen chapters, that because six. 
times three is eighteen, the Gita should be divided into three 
equal portions of six chapters each, and the first six chapters 
should be looked upon as dealing with'Tvam', the second 
six chapters with ' Tat ', and the third six chapters with 
' Asi ', is purely imaginary. Because, the one-sided theory 
that the whole of the Gita deals only with the Acquisition 
of the Knowledge of the Brahman, and does not contain 
anything more than an exposition of the canon ' Tat-Tvam-Asi" 
falls to the ground as shown above. 

When in this way, an explanation has been given as to why 
the Paths of Devotion and Knowledge have been included in 
the Gita, one can easily understand the continuity between the 
chapters seven to seventeen inclusive, of the Gita. It has been 
stated previously in the sixth chapter, that one has to consider 
the form of the Paramesvara, by which the Mind becomes 'free- 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTA 6 45 

from love of pleasure' (rasa-varja) and equable, once from tie- 
point of view of the Perishable and Imperishable (ksarakgara), 
and again from the point of view of the Body and the Atman ; 
and that, by such consideration, one arrives at the ultimate 
conclusion that " whatever is in the Body (pi-pda), is also in 
the Cosmos (brahmatjtda) ; and the same subjects now appear in 
the Glta. But, when one considers the form of the Paramesvara 
in this way, one sees that it is sometimes perceptible 
(cognisable by the organs) and sometimes imperceptible ; and 
then, one has, in the course of this consideration, also to- 
consider which of these two forms is the superior form, how 
the inferior form arises out of the superior form, and many 
other similar questions. One has also now to decide, whether 
this worship of the Paramesvara, which has to be performed 
in order to fully Realise the Paramesvara and to make one's 
Reason steady, equable, and Self-devoted (atma-nistha), should be 
the worship of the perceptible form or of the imperceptible 
form ; and one has to explain why although there is only one 
Paramesvara, one comes across diversity in the perceptible 
universe. There is no wonder that eleven chapters were required 
to explain all these subjects in a systematic way. I do not 
say that the Glta does not contain any exposition of Devotion 
and of Spiritual Knowledge. All that I say is that (i) the 
practice of looking upon Bnergism, Devotion, and Spiritual 
Knowledge as three independent and equivalent Nisthas, and 
making an equal division of eighteen chapters of the Glta 
amongst these three, as on a partition between the members of 
a joint family, is not proper ; that (ii) the Glta supports only 
one path, namely, the Path of Karma-Yoga based on 
Knowledge, in which Devotion is the most important 
factor; and that (iii) the exposition in the Bhagavadgita of 
Ssmkhya philosophy, of Spiritual and worldly Knowledge, 
and of Devotion has been nade only incidentally, for 
supplementing and supporting the exposition of the Path of 
Karma-Yoga, and not for dealing with those subjects as in- 
dependent subjects. Let us now see how, on the basis of this 
conclusion, the subject-matter of Spiritual and worldly Know- 
ledge ( jflana-mjflana ) has been divided amongst the various 
chapters, for supplementing and for emphasising the exposition 



GITA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

of the Karma-Toga. 

In the SEVENTH CHAPTER, the consideration of the 
perishable and the imperishable world ( ksaraksara ), that is, 
of the entire Cosmos, has been started; and the Blessed 
Lord has, in the first place, explained the nature of the 
imperceptible or imperishable Parabrahman, by saying 
that this entire universe, which is made up of Spirit (purusa ) 
and Matter (prakrti), consists of "My superior and inferior 
( parapara ) forms, and that those who worship Me, Realising 
this My imperceptible form which is beyond Maya, acquire 
an Equable Reason ( samabuddhi ), and are given an excellent 
final state by Me " ; and He has then described His own form 
by saying that, " all deities, all created things, all Yajnas, 
all Action, and the Absolute Self are Myself, and there 
is nothing in the world except Me ". Then, as Arjuna has 
in the beginning of the EIGHTH CHAPTER asked what is 
meant by 'adhyaima ', ' adtriyajna ' ' adhidaiva ' and ' adMbhuta ', 
the Blessed Lord has in reply explained to him the meanings of 
those words, and said that, " I do not neglect that man who 
has realised this My form " ; and He has then gone on to 
briefly explain what the imperishable or immortal Principle 
of the world is ; when and how the entire world is destroyed ; 
and what states are ultimately reached respectively by 
those who Realise and understand the true form of 
the Paramesvara, and by those who merely perform desire- 
prompted Aotion, without acquiring Knowledge. In the 
NINTH CHAPTER the same subject-matter is continued, and 
it is said that Realising by means of Devotion, the 
tangible form of the intangible Paramesvara, which has in 
this way filled the entire universe, and surrendering oneself to 
Him wholly and solely, is the easy or royal and practically 
experienceable path of Realising the Brahman ; and that that 
very path is also known as the ' king of all cults ' and the 
'king of all mysticisms. ' Nevertheless, the Blessed Lord does 
not forget to mention every now and then in these three 
chapters, that the person who is following the Path of 
Spiritual Knowledge or the Path of Devotion, must continue 
performing Action, which is the most important principle in 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GITA 647" 

the Path of Karma-Yoga. For instance, it is stated in the- 
eighth chapter, that " tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya 
ca", i. e., "therefore, continue to keep Me before your mind at 
all times, and fight" (8. 7) ; and in the ninth chapter, that "by 
dedicating to Me all Action whatsoever, you will be free from 
the meritorious or evil effects of the Action" (9. 27, 28). After 
explaining to Arjuna in the TENTH CHAPTER the statement 
made by Him earlier, that "the entire Cosmos has sprung from 
Me, and is My form", by saying that everyone of the 
excellent things in the world is an incarnation of the Blessed 
Lord, and giving many examples, the Blessed Lord has, at 
the desire of Aijuna, actually shown to him in the 
ELEVENTH CHAPTER, His Cosmic form, and proved to' 
him the truth of the position that the Paramesvara is All- 
pervading, by placing before his eyes such His Cosmic Form. 
But, immediately after having satisfied Arjuna in this way, by 
actually showing him His Cosmic Form, that the true doer was 
the Paramesvara, He has said to him : " I am the true doer and 
you axe merely a tool ; therefore, give up all doubts, and fight" 
(Gl. 11. 33). Although it has been proved in this way, that there 
is only one Paramesvara in the world, yet, in as much as there 
are such statements in various places as : "although I am imper- 
ceptible, fools look upon me as perceptible" (7. 24); "yad aksaram 
vedavido vadanti" (8. 11), i.e., "Him, Whom the knowers of the 
Vedas, ref er to as the Imperishable" ; "It is the Intangible,, 
which is also known as the Inexhaustible" (8. 21); "not Realising 
My true form, fools believe that I have taken up a human form" 
(9.11); "among all the cults (vidya), the cult of the Absolute 
Self is the most excellent" (10. 32); and, as said by Arjuna, 
"tvam aksaram sadasat tat paramyat" (11. 37), (i.e., "You are 
the so* (Real), and the asat (Unreal), and the aksara (Imperish- 
able) which is beyond both sat and asat "—Trans.), which, 
statements mean that the imperceptible form of the- 
Paramesvara is the most excellent form, Arjuna, in the 
' beginning of the TWELFTH CHAPTER, asks the Blessed. 
Lord the question whether the worship of the Paramesvara 
which has to be performed, should be the worship of the 
perceptible form or of the imperceptible form. To this, the 
Blessed Lord replies that the perceptible form described in the- 



648 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

ninth chapter is the easier one to worship ; and after describing 
■the state of the highest Devotee of the Blessed Lord as being 
similar to that of the Sthitaprajna, described in the second 
chapter, He closes this chapter. 

Although it is seen in this way, that it is not possible to 
•divide the Glta. into three independent portions dealing with 
Energism, Devotion, and Spiritual Knowledge, yet, some 
people think that it is easy to divide the Spiritual and 
worldly Knowledge described from the seventh chapter into 
■the two divisions of ' Devotion ' and ' Knowledge ' ; and they 
say that the second division of six chapters deals with Devo- 
tion. But, anybody will realise after only a little thought, 
that this opinion is wrong; because, the seventh chapter 
starts with the Spiritual and worldly Knowledge of the 
perishable and the imperishable world, and not with Devotion ; 
and if it is argued that the subject-matter of Devotion has 
come to an end with the twelfth chapter, then we find state- 
ments in different places in the subsequent chapters preaching 
Devotion, such as, " those who do not Realise My form by 
Intelligence, should worship Me, relying on ,the state- 
ments of others " (Gl. 13. 25) ; " that man who offers me 
unadulterated Devotion, reaches the sphere of the Brahman " 
'{14. 26); "that man who Realises the form of the Purusottama, 
only offers Devotion to Me " (Gl. 15. 19), and ultimately in the 
eighteenth chapter, " give up all other religions and worship 
Me " (Gl. 18. 66). Therefore, it cannot be said that the advice 
to follow the Path of Devotion is contained only in the 
second division of six chapters. In the same way, if 
the Blessed Lord had intended to say that Devotion 
.•stood on a different footing from Spiritual Knowledge, then 
He would not have said "I am now explaining to 
.you that same Spiritual and worldly knowledge" at the 
■commencement of the seventh chapter (7. 2), that is to 
say, at the commencement of the second division of six 
-chapters which, according to these objectors, deals with 
Devotion, after having introduced the subject-matter of 
Knowledge in the fourth chapter (4. 34-37). It is true that the 
■' king of cults ' (raja-vidya) or the ' king of mysticisms ' {raja- 
■gukya), which is the actually realisable (pratyaktiawgamya) 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF TEE GITS. 649 

Path, of Devotion, has been mentioned in the subsequent ninth 
•chapter ; but at the very commencement of that chapter, there 
is a statement that : "I am explaining to you Spiritual 
Knowledge side by side with worldly knowledge" (9. 1). It, 
"therefore, follows that the subject-matter of Devotion has been 
included in the Gita in the subject-matter of Spiritual 
Knowledge. In the tenth chapter, the Blessed Lord has 
described his own Manifestations (vibhuti) ; but this very 
'thing has been referred to by Arjuna as ' adhyatma ' in the 
commencement of the eleventh chapter (11. 1] ; and, as has been 
stated above, we find several statements that the imperceptible 
:f orm is superior to the perceptible form, inter-mixed here and 
there with the descriptions of the parceptible form of the 
Paramesvara. When, having regard to these statements, 
Arjuna asks in the commencement of the twelfth chapter 
whether the worship to be performed is the worship of the 
Perceptible or of the Imperceptible, the Blessed Lord has stated 
dn reply, that the worship of the Perceptible, that is to say, 
Devotion, was the easier course ; and immediately thereafter 
in the thirteenth chapter, He commences the description of 
"' Knowledge ' (jfiana ), and of the Body (ksetra) and the Atman 
(ksetrqjna) ; and He also says at the commencement of the 
fourteenth chapter that : "param bhuyah pramhsyami jnanaTiam 
Jnanam uttamam " (14. 1), i. e., "I am again describing to you 
completely that same Spiritual and worldly Knowledge ", as 
was stated by Him at the commencement of the seventh 
•chapter ; and even while explaining this Knowledge, the 
thread of Devotion is kept running in the texture. Prom this 
•it follows, that the Blessed Lord did not intend to deal with 
-Spiritual Knowledge and Devotion individually and indepen- 
dently, and that both these matters are woven together in the 
•exposition of the Spiritual and worldly Knowledge (jnana- 
vijfbana) begun in the seventh chapter. That Devotion is 
something distinct and Spiritual Knowledge is also something 
distinct, is a stupid theory which has been started by the 
advocates of those respective paths ; that is not the opinion of 
•the Gita. The Knowledge of the form of the Paramesvara, 
which has to be acquired by means of meditation on the 
Absolute Self in the Path of the worship of the Imperceptible 



650 GITA.-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

(the Path of Knowledge), is also essential in the Path of 
Devotion ; but in the worship of the Perceptible (the Path of 
Devotion), this Knowledge can, in the beginning, be taken for 
granted by means of Faith from others (13. 25) ; and that is 
why the Path of Devotion is actually realisable and ordinarily 
pleasant (9. 2) for everybody, and the Path of Knowledge (or 
the worship of the Imperceptible) is difficult (12. 5) ; but, the 
Glta makes no other distinction between these two paths. The- 
ideal in the Path of Karma-Yoga, namely, making the 
Reason (buddhi) equable after acquiring the Knowledge of the- 
Paramesvata, is reached by both these paths. Therefore, the 
worship of the Perceptible and the worship of the Imperceptible- 
are both equally acceptable to the Blessed Lord ; yet, as even- 
the Jnanin needs to perform worship to some extent or other,, 
the Blessed Lord has said, that the devout Jnanin is the most 
excellent one among the four varieties of Devotees (Gl. 7. 17) ;. 
and He has in that way eliminated the conflict between the- 
Path of Devotion and the Path of Knowledge. While the 
description of Spiritual and worldly Knowledge is going on,, 
it is, in any case, inevitable that there should be a special 
reference to the worship of the Perceptible in one chapter and 
to the worship of the Imperceptible in another chapter as 
occasion arises. But, in order that this should not give rise 
to the misunderstanding that these two matters are distinct, 
from each other, the Blessed Lord has not forgotten to say 
that the perceptible form is inferior to the imperceptible- 
form, while describing His perceptible form, and to say that 
Devotion is essential, while describing His imperceptible- 
form. Nevertheless, as three or four chapters have been used. 
up in describing the Cosmic Form and the Manifestations of 
the Blessed Lord, there is no objection to these three or four- 
chapters (and not to a division of six chapters) being referred 
to as 'the Path of Devotion ' in a comprehensive way, if some 
one prefers to do so. But in any case, this can never mean 
that Devotion and Spiritual Knowledge have been distinguished, 
from each other in the Glta, and that these two paths have 
been described as INDEPENDENT paths. In short, in order 
to acquire the Equability of Reason which is the most 
important factor in the Karma-Yoga, one must acquire the 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GlTA 651 

KNOWLEDGE of the all-pervasive form of the Paramesvara, 
whether such Knowledge is acquired by the worship of the 
Perceptible, or of the Imperceptible ; and there is no distinction 
between the two except that of facility. It must, therefore, 
be borne in mind that this is the sum and substance of the- 
whole of this argument ; and that the whole of the portion of 
the Gita from the seventh to the seventeenth chapter has been 
given only one name in the Gita, namely, ' jnami-mjnana ' or 
'adhyatma'. 

After the physical eyes of Arjuna had got the actual 
experience that the Paramesvara occupies and pervades the 
whole of the BRAHMANDA (Cosmos), that is to say, the 
perishable and the imperishable universe, by having seen the 
Cosmic Form of the Paramesvara, the Blessed Lord explains, 
in the THIRTEENTH CHAPTER, the doctrine of the Body 
and the Atman, namely, that the same Paramesvara occupies the 
PINDA (Body), that is to say, the Body of man, or the ksetra, 
in the shape of the Atman ; and that the Knowledge of this 
Atman, that is to say, of this ksetrajfia, is also the Knowledge 
of the Paramesvara. Having first described the Paramatman, 
that is, the Parabrahman, on the authority of the Upanisads 
by the words "anadi mat param brahma" etc., it is shown 
later on that the same subject-matter of the Body and 
the Atman has been included in the Samkhya exposition 
of 'Prakrti' (Matter) and 'Purusa' (Spirit) ; and it is ultimately 
said that he who Realises the difference between Prakrti 
and Purusa, and Realises the all-pervading Paramatman, 
with 'jnana-caksu' (Spiritual eyes) is RELEASED. But even ' 
in this, the thread of Action has been kept in the texture, by 
saying, "everything js done by Matter (prakrti), and the 
Atman is not the doer, and by Realising this, Action {karma) 
does not create bondage" (13. 29) ; and the thread of Devotion 
is kept in the texture, by saying "dhyaneriatmani pasyanW 
(13. 24), (i. e., "see the Atman by meditation" — Trans.). In 
the FOURTEENTH CHAPTER, the subject of this Jfiana is 
continued, and there is a description as to how, although there 
is only one Atman or Paramesvara, diversity arises in the world 
as a result of the difference of the saitva, rajas and tamos con- 
stituents of Prakrti, according to Samkhya philosophy ; and it 
5—6 



652 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

is stated that, he who realises that these are the activities of 
Matter (prakrti), and that he is not the doer, and who serves the 
Paramesvara by Devotion, is the true Released and Trigunatlta 
{beyond the three constituents) ; and in reply to the question 
■of Arjuna, the state of the Trigunatlta is described in the end 
in the same way as was the state of Sthitaprajna and the 
Devotee. In the FIFTEENTH CHAPTER, there is in the 
beginning a reference to the description of the Paramesvara as 
a Tree, which is to be found in Srarti texts, and it is stated that 
what is called the 'unfoldment of Prakrti' in Samkhya philo- 
sophy is nothing else but that Pipal (asvattha) Tree; and at the 
end, Arjuna is told that by worshipping the Purusottama (the 
Absolute purusa), Who is beyond the Perishable and the 
Imperishable, man is gradually Released ; and that Arjuna 
should do the same thing. In the SIXTEENTH CHAPTER, 
it is said that men are divided into those possessing Divine 
wealth and those possessing ungodly wealth, in the same way 
as there arises diversity in the world as a result of the different 
constituents of Matter (prakrti) ; and there is a description of 
how they act respectively (what their Karma is), and what 
goal is ultimately respectively reached by them. The 
SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER contains an Exposition, in reply 
to a question of Arjuna, of how the diversity resulting from 
"the different constituents of three-constituented Prakrti is also 
to be seen in devotion, charitable gifts, sacrificial ritual, 
austerity etc.; and in the end, the word 'tat' in 'Om-Tat-Sat', 
the symbol of the Brahman, has been explained as meaning 
"Action performed desirelessly'; and 'sat' as meaning 'Action, 
which, though good, has been performed desirefully' ; and it is 
explained that this common Symbol pf the Brahman also 
supports the Path of Karma-Yoga. In short, the summary 
■of these eleven chapters is, that there is only one Paramesvara 
in the world, whether one Realises Him by seeing. His Cosmic 
Form ot by one's Spiritual eyes ; that He is the Atman in the 
Body, as also the Imperishable. within the Perishable universe; 
that He pervades the visible world, and is also outside or 
beyond that world; that although He is One, one comes across 
diversity or difference in the visible world as a result of the ■ 
difference in the constituents of Prakrti ; that as a result of this , 



CONTINUITY OT CHAPTERS OF THE GTTA 653 

allusion (Maya) or of this difference in the constituents of 
Matter, there are many differences or divisions in Knowledge, 
Faith, Austerity, Sacrificial Ritual, Steadiness, Charity, as also 
among ! men; and that, man should Realise the Unity in this 

• diversity and should equabilise and steady his Reason by 
worshipping that One and Permanent Principle — whether that 
worship is of a perceptible object or of an imperceptible object 
— and should with such desireless, sattiika, or equable Reason, 
perform all the activities which befall him according to his 

• status in life, as mere duties and nothing more. As I have 
■exhaustively dealt with this j'nana-vijnana in the former 

■ chapters of this book, that is, of this Gitl-Rahasya, I have not 

■ given a more exhaustive summary of the eleven chapters — from 
the seventh to the seventeenth chapters — in this chapter. As my 
present object is only to consider the continuity between the 
various chapters of the Glta, I have given here only that 

.portion which is necessary for that purpose. 

In as much as the Reason is considered superior to the Action 
dn the Karma-Yoga, the Blessed Lord has started by explain- 
ing to Arjuna what is meant by Jnana-Vijfiana, that is, the 
Realisation of the unity of the Atman in all created beings, 
or the all-pervasiveness of the Paramesvara, which (Realisation) 
is necessary for making the Reason pure and Equable ; and He 
.has so far explained how this Knowledge is impressed on the 
heart as a result of the worship of the Perceptible or the Im- 
perceptible, according to one's intellectual capacity ; and how 
'the Reason acquires stability and equability, and Release is 
'thereby reached without abandoning Action. This subject- 
matter has been considered in the light of the Perishable and 
■the Imperishable and of the Body and the Atman. Neverthe- 
less, the Blessed Lord has said that after the Reason has become 
. equable in this way, it is better to perform Action, while life 
lasts, for the benefit of the world, and giving up the Hope of 
Fruit (phalasa), rather than abandoning Action ( Gi. 5. 2 )» 
' Therefore, the stage of Asceticism described in the Smrti texts 
finds no place in the Karma-Yoga; and as Arjuna felt a doubt 
that there was likely to be a conflict between this Karma-Yoga 
and the Manu Smrti and other Smrti texts, he has, in the 
.Commencement of the EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER, asked' the 



654 GlTA-RAHASYA OB. KARMA-YOGA 

Blessed Lord for an explanation- of the difference between." 
Tyaga (Abandonment) and Sarhnyasa (Renunciation). To this 
the Blessed Lord has replied that as the etymological meaning 
of the word ' Sarhnyasa ' is ' to leave,' and as the Hope of Fruit 
is left in the Karma-Yoga, though Karma is not left, Karma- 
Yoga is essentially a 'Sarhnyasa' ; because, although one does 
not take up the robes of a mendicant and go about begging in 
the Karma-Yoga, yet, the essence of Sarhnyasa. (Renunciation)' 
or Vairagya (indifference to the world), according to the 
Smrtis, is making the mind desireless; and that essence is to be- 
found in the Path of Karma- Yoga. Here, however, another - 
doubt arises, namely : when the Hope of Fruit has been 
abandoned, the hope of acquiring heaven also does not remain ; 
and therefore, there does not remain any more the necessity of 
performing the sacrificial ritual- etc., which has been enjoined" 
by the Srutis. Therefore, the Blessed Lord has definitely 
advised that in as much as these Actions have the effect of 
purifying the Mind, one must perform them along with other - 
Actions, though with a desireless frame of mind, and so keep 
going the cycle of sacrificial ritual for universal benefit. When- 
in this way all the questions of Arjuna had been answered, the 
Blessed Lord has dealt with the suttdka, rajasa and tamasa 
divisions into which all of the following things, namely, 
Knowledge, Action, Doer, Reason, Steadiness, and Happiness- 
fall according to the different constituents of Matter, and Ha- 
has in this way finished the subject-matter of the diversity of 
these constituents. Then, after having explained that out of 
these, the desireless Action, the desireless Doer, the unattached' 
Reason (anasakta-buddhi/, the happiness arising out of Non- 
Attachment and the Realisation of the Unity of the Atman,. 
arising out of the Realisation of the principle of "'avtbhaktam' 
ribhaktesu. " ( i. e., " the unity in the diversity "-—Trans. ) are- 
sattmka, and most excellent, the Blessed Lord has justified the 
arrangement of the four castes on- the basis of the same 
principle, and said that man becomes Accomplished (krtakrtya) 
in this world, and acquires Peace and Release only by con- 
tinually performing as duties and desirelessly, all the various 
Actions, which befall him- according to the arrangement of the 
four castes ; and He has further- explained to Arjuna that as- 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF the GITA 655 

is an inherent quality of Matter {prakrti), and one 
■cannot escape it, even if one wants to abandon it, lie should 
surrender himself to the Paramesvara believing that He is the 
, doer as also the one Who causes things to be done, and perform 
all Actions desirelessly ; that the Blessed Lord is that 
Paramesvara ; and that Arjuna should put faith in Him and 
worship Him, and He would redeem Mm from all sins. And 
having in this way, definitely prescribed the Path of Devotion, 
■the Blessed Lord brings to a close the Activistic ( pravrttipara ) 
religion mentioned in the Glta. In short, the advice in the 
■GltS starts with the consideration of the two paths of Sarhkhya 
and Karma- Yoga, which had been brought into vogue by 
learned people after deeply meditating on worldly life and the 
life after death ; and the Path of Karma- Yoga which has been 
declared to be the superior one of the two, has also been finally 
advocated in the eighteenth chapter, that is, at the end of the 
•Glta, after having described in the sixth chapter, the Patanjala- 
Yoga necessary for making it (Karma-Yoga) successful, and 
described in the subsequent eleven chapters the means (vidhi), 
by which Release is ultimately obtained as a result of 
the Acquisition of the Knowledge of the Paramesvara 
while following it, by giving an exhaustive description of 
the Knowledge relating to the Body (pirida) and the 
Cosmos ( brahmanda ). And it was only when Arjuna had 
heard this justification made by the Blessed Lord, of the 
excellence of this Yoga or ' Device ' of performing all 
Actions, for universal benefit, according to one's own status 
in life, looking upon them as duties merely, and with the 
idea of dedicating them to the Paramesvara, without in any- 
way thereby prejudicing the benefit of the Atman in the shape 
of Release, that he gave up the idea of renouncing the world and 
becoming a mendicant ; and by his own free will — that is, not 
.because the Blessed Lord had said so, but because he had fully 
•understood the science of the Doable and the Not-Doable — 
.prepared himself for the fight. The Gits was commenced to 
be preached for the purpose of inducing Arjuna to fight, and 
■the Glta also ends in the same way (Gi. 18. 73). 

From the continuity of the eighteen chapters of the Glta 
\which has toeen mentioned above, it will be seen that the Glta 



656 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



is not a pot-pourri of three independent Nisthas of Action, 
Devotion, and Spiritual Knowledge, nor a blanket made up 
by sewing together pieces of linen, silk, and embroidery ; but 
that this very fine and costly texture in the shape of the Glta, 
which bears the name of 'Karma- Yoga', has been woven from 
beginning to end with "a mind, which was fully engrossed 
in Yoga", after the threads of cotton, silk and embroidery had' 
been properly placed in their respective places. It is true that 
this method of exposition is somewhat looser than a strictly 
scientific method, because it is catechismal; but when one 
realises that by such a conversational exposition, the barren- 
ness of a scientific exposition has been obviated, and that the 
Glta has become replete with easiness and affectionateness, no 
one will be ever so little sorry, that the insipid block system 
of ' reason ' and ' conclusion ' followed in a scientific exposition, 
which appeals only to the intelligence, has been avoided. It 
will likewise be evident from the above disquisition, that 
though the system of exposition followed in the Glta is con- 
versational, that is, Pauranic, yet, there is no difficulty on 
that account in the way of applying to it all the critical tests 
of the Mlmarhsa school, and thereby drawing the conclusion of. 
the Gita. If one considers the COMMENCEMENT of the Glta, 
it will be seen that the Gita has been enunciated with the idea of 
preaching the Activistic Path of Karma-Yoga, with the help of 
the Vedanta-Sastra, to Arjuna, who had come out to fight accord- 
ing to the religion of a warrior, after he had got involved in the • 
discrimination between the Moral and the Immoral ; and it 
has been shown by me already in the first chapter, that the 
CONCLUSION {upasaihKara) and the result (phala) of the 
Glta is also to the same effect, that is to say, Activistic. I 
have shown that the advice given in the Glta to Arjuna. 
contains at least a dozen times in so many words, and 
indirectly innumerable times, the injunction "Fight," that is, 
"perform Action" ( this is, abhyasa ) ; and as there is no work in. 
Sanskrit literature other than the Glta which preaches Karma- 
Yoga (this is, apurvata), the fact that the Glta supports the 
Karma-Yoga is all the more firmly established by the two 
Mlmarhsa tests of ABHYASA and APURVATA. Out of the 
various tests prescribed by the Mlmarhsa school for determin- 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GITA 657 

ing the conclusion of a book, only two remain to be considered 
with reference to the Glta, namely, ARTHAVADA and 
UPAPATTI. With reference to them, it has become quite 
clear from the individual consideration of these questions in 
the various previous chapters, as also from the reference tc 
the arrangement of the chapters of the Glta made in this 
chapter, that 'Karma-Yoga' is the only subject which has been 
dealt with in the Glta. Therefore, even if all the tests laid 
down by the Mlmamsa school for determining the import of a 
book are applied to the Glta, it becomes clear beyond all doubt, 
that Karma- Yoga based on Spiritual Knowledge, in which the 
highest place is given to Devotion, is the subject-matter dealt 
with in the Glta. There is also no doubt that all other imports 
which have been ascribed to the GitS are merely doctrine- 
supporting ; but although these alleged imports are doctrine - 
supporting, yet, unless I explain how it was possible to place 
these doctrine-supporting interpretations on the Glta — and 
especially the one in support of Samnyasa (Renunciation)— 
the discussion of these doctrine-supporting interpretations is 
not exhausted. I will, therefore, briefly consider how it was 
possible for these doctrine-supporting commentators to interpret 
the Glta as being in support of Samnyasa, and finish this 
chapter, 

Our philsophers have laid down the doctrine that as man is 
a rational animal, his principal duty or goal (puru^artha) 
is to discern the essential principle underlying the Body and 
the Cosmos ; and this is what is known as "Release" in 
religion. Nevertheless, having regard to the usual activities 
of the visible world, it has been laid down by our Sastras, that 
this goal of mankind is four-fold, that is, it consists of duty 
{dhartna), wealth (artha), desire (kama), and Release (moksa). 
As has been mentioned before, the word 'dharma' (duty) is to 
be understood here as meaning worldly, social, and moral 
duty. When the goal of mankind has in this way been con- 
sidered to be four-fold, the question whether these four parts 
of it are or are not mutually promotive, naturally arises. 
Although there may be a verbal difference about the doctrine 
that there is no Release unless a man has acquired the 
KNOWLEDGE of that Principle which pervades both the 



658 GlrS.-RAHA.SyA OB KARMA-YOGA 

Body and the Cosmos, by whatever means such Knowledge 
has been acquired, yet, such difference of opinion is not funda- 
mental. At any rate, this doctrine has been adopted into the 
Glta religion. The Glta also fully accepts the doctrine that if 
one wishes to acquire the two parts, namely, 'wealth' and 
'desire', of that goal, that has to be done according to moral 
principles. The only thing, therefore, which remains, is to 
decide the mutual relationship between dharma (that is, the 
worldly duties pertaining to the four castes), and Release. All 
shades of opinion accept the position that there can be no 
Release unless the Mind {citta) has been first purified by means 
of dharma. A considerable amount of time is taken up in this 
purification of the Mind (citta). Therefore, even considering 
the matter from the point of view of Release, it follows that 
worldly life has got to be gone through consistently with 
* dharma' in the period of time before the purification of the 
Mind (Manu. 6. 35-37). 'Sarhnyasa' means 'giving up', and 
if a man has not successfully led his worldly life with 
the help of 'dharma', what has he to give up ? or, in other 
words, how can that 'hapless fellow' ( karanta ) who cannot 
properly attend to his worldly life (prapanca), properly attend 
to the highest benefit (paramartha ) ?, (Dasa. 12. 1. 1-10 
and 12. 8. 21-31). Because, whether the object relates to 
this worldly life or to the highest benefit, hard labour, 
firmness of mind, fortitude, and other similar qualities are 
required for aohieving it ; and it is quite clear that a man who 
does not possess these qualities will not be able to achieve any 
goal whatsoever. But though some persons accept this 
position, yet, they say that when a man has acquired the 
Knowledge of the Atman by continued effort and by control of 
the mind, he begins to look upon all worldly activities in the 
shape of the enjoyment of the objects of pleasure as insipid ; 
and, just as a serpent casts off the skin which has become 
useless to it, so also does the Jnanin give up all worldly objects 
of pleasure, and become steeped in the contemplation of the 
form of the Paramesvara (Br. 4. 4. 7). As this path of 
leading one's life gives the highest importance to Spiritual 
Knowledge ( jfiana ) after the abandonment of worldly affairs, 
it is called the Path of Knowledge or the Ssriikhya Path ; or, 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF the GITA 659 

'because it consists of the abandonment of all worldly affairs, 
'.it is called tlie Path of Renunciation (samnyasa). But the 
•Glta religion says to the contrary, that not only is dharma 
necessary for the purification of the Mind, but it is necessary 
:to continue doing the same Actions, merely as duties, and as 
part of one's religion, and desirelessly, and for the good of 
■ others, even afterwards, that is, after the purification of the 
Mind, although worldly activities in the shape of enjoyment 
of objects of pleasure may become unnecessary for one's own 
benefit. If a Jnanin does not do so, there will remain nobody 
who can serve as an example for others, and the world will 

• come to an end. No one can escape Action in this world of 
Action, and if the Mind (buddhi) has become desireless, no 

-action which is performed obstructs Release. Therefore, it is 
the duty also of Jnanins, not to give up worldly life, but 
to continue worldly activities, so long as life lasts, with 
an apathetic frame of mind. This path of leading one's life 
which has been preached in the Glta, is known as the Path 
of Karma (Karma-nistha) or Karma-Yoga. But although the 
Karma-Yoga has in this way been proved to be the most 

• excellent way of leading one's life in the Glta, it has nowhere 
vilified the Path of Renunciation, but has on the other hand 

■. stated that it is productive of Release. And it is quite clear, 
that the Blessed Lord could not condemn as unacceptable that 

.path which was followed in the commencement of the world by 
Sanatkumara and others, and later on by Suka, Yajnavalkya 

. and others. Considering worldly affairs as sweet or as insipid, 
depends to a certain extent on a man's inherent nature, 
resulting from the previous prarabdha (commenced) Karma; 
and it has been stated before that in spite of a man's having 

• acquired Knowledge, he cannot escape suffering for that 
Karma which is prarabdha. Therefore, if a Jnanin is filled 
with a sincere disgust for worldly life and renounces the 
world, as a result of such an inherent nature, which results 

•from his prarabdha karma, there is no sense in finding fault 
with him. The perfect man (siddha) whose Reason has become 
unattached (nihmnga) and pure, as a result of the Realisation of 
•the Atman, at least places before the eyes of people, in his own 
dl orm, an example of the highest purity of human intelligence, 



660 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

and of the immensity of human strength involved in keeping" 
under control the most uncontrollable mental emotions which are- 
naturally entranced by objecte of pleasure, if he does nothing 
else ; and such a performance is no mean performance from the 
point of view of universal welfare {lohasamgraha). This- 
accounts for the respect in the public mind for the Path of 
Renunciation ; and that reason has also been accepted by the 
Gita from the point of view of Release. But when one does ■ 
not merely consider ' inherent nature ' or ' prarabdha karma ', 
but considers scientifically how a JfiSnin, who has acquired 
complete Freedom of the Atman, should thereafter lead his life 
in the world of Action, the Path of the Abandonment of 
Action is seen to be inferior in merit ; and one has to draw the 
conclusion drawn by the Gita, that the Path of Karma-Yoga 
followed in the commencement of the world by Marici and. 
others and later on by Janaka and others, must be followed by 
Jnanins in the world, for universal welfare. Because, it now 
logically follows that Jnanins must perform the work of 
keeping going the universe which has been created by the 
Paramesvara ; and as in this Path of Karma-Yoga, the power 
of Jnana is added to the power of Karma without any conflict, . 
it is seen to be superior to the pure Sarhkhya Path. 

When one considers what the main difference between the 
two paths of Sarhkhya and Karma-Yoga is, we arrive at. 
the equation SAMKHYA + NISKAMA-KARMA== KARMA- 
YOGA ; and, as has been stated by Vaisarhpayana, considera- 
tion of the Sarhkhya-Nistha is easily included in the considera- 
tion of the Activistic Karma- Yoga advocated by the Gita (Ma. 
Bha. San. 348. 53) ; and that is how the commentators on the 
Gita who support the Path of Renunciation have found it easy 
to claim that the Gita advocates the Samkhya or the Sarhnyasa. 
Path. If one neglects those stanzas in the Gita which prove 
that Action is meritorious and which preach Action ; or, if one ■ 
passes a remark on one's own responsibility that they are 
merely an ' arthavada ', that is, incidentally laudatory ; or, if 
by some other device the factor of rdskama-karma (Desireless- 
Action) is subtracted from the abovementioned equation, the 
same equation is oonverted into- Samkhya = Karma-Yoga; and 
it becomes easy to say that the Gita supports the Sarhkhya. 



CONTINUITY OF OHAPTEES OF THE GIT! 661 

Path. But, such interpretations are totally inconsistent with 
the beginning (upakrama) and the conclusion (upasamhara) of 
the Glta ; and saying that Karma- Yoga is inferior and that 
Sarhkhya is the chief subject-matter of exposition in the Glta 
is, as I have clearly shown in many places in this book, as 
unreasonable as calling the owner of a house a guest and 
calling the guest the owner ; and, in the course of my exposi- 
tion, I have also refuted the theories that only Vedanta, or 
only Devotion, or only Patafljala-Yoga, has been advocated by 
the Glta. What is there which cannot be found in the Gits ? 
The Glta has adopted something or other from the various 
important paths prescribed in the Vedic religion for obtaining 
Belease ; and even then, the true mystic import of the Glta 
is something which is quite different from all the paths 
according to the rule " bhutabhrn na ca bhutastho" ( Gl. 9. 5 ), 
(that is, "supports all created things, and yet is not in them" 
— Trans.). The doctrine that there is no Release if there is 
no Knowledge, which pertains to the Path of Renunciation, 
that is, to the TJpanisads, is acceptable to the Glta ; but, as 
that proposition has been tacked on to the proposition of 
Desireless Action, the Bhagavata doctrine in the Glta easily 
includes the Path of Asceticism. Nevertheless, instead of 
interpreting the words — 'samnyasa' or 'vairagya' as meaning the 
Abandonment of Action, the Glta says that true vairagya 
(Abandonment) or true samnyasa (Renunciation) lies in the 
Abandonment of the Hope of Fruit, and lays down the ultimate 
doctrine that the Desireless Karma-Yoga is better than the 
Karma-Samnyasa of the TJpanisads. The Glta also accepts the 
doctrine of the orthodox Mlmamsa school that if sacrificial 
ritual is observed merely for the purpose of the sacrifice, it does 
not create bondage. But, if the word 'Yajfia' (sacrifice) is taken 
in a comprehensive meaning, all Actions performed after 
abandoning the Hope of Fruit are a great 'Yajfia' in them- 
selves ; and the Glta has, by taking that comprehensive meaning, 
amplified that doctrine by saying that performing all 
Actions according to the duties enjoined on the four castes, 
continually, and desirelessly, is the highest duty of mankind. 
The Glta has considered the Sarhkhya theory regarding the 
creation of the world as superior to the TTpanisad theory; 



•662 GlTA-EAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

nevertheless, the Glta has not stopped with Matter (prakrti) 
• and Spirit (purusa) according to Samkhya philosophy, but 
has taken the chain of the creation of the universe right to 
the eternal Paramatman of the Upanisads. The Glta, has also 
described the doctrine (vidhi) of the Narayanlya or Bhagavata 
religion consisting of the worship of Vasudeva, namely, that the 
Knowledge of the Absolute Self should be acquired by Faith 
and Devotion, as it is more difficult to acquire it by Intelligence. 
But, even in this matter the Glta does not merely copy the 
Bhagavata religion; and, discarding the theory of the 
Bhagavata religion regarding the birth of the Personal Self 
( Jlva) from Vasudeva, as has been done in the Vedanta-Sutras, 
it has completely harmonised the doctrines of the Bhagavata 
•religion relating to Devotion with the doctrines of the 
Upanisads relating to the Body and the Atman. The only 
remaining Path of Release is the PStarijala-Yoga. But, 
although the Gita, does not say that the Patafijala-Yoga is the 
principal duty of man, yet, since the control of the organs is 
necessary for making the Reason equable, the Glta to that 
extent recommends the practices of yama, (religious observance) 
■niyama ( restraint of the Mind ), asana (bodily postures), etc., 
mentioned in the Pataiijala-Yoga. In short, all the various 
means mentioned in the Vedic religion for obtaining Release 
have been to some extent or other referred to and prescribed in 
the Glta, as occasion arose, in considering the Karma-Yoga in 
all its bearings. If all these injunctions are considered 
independent of each other, there arise inconsistencies ; and it 
appears that the various doctrines mentioned in the Glta, are 
mutually contradictory ; and this impression is fortified by 
;the doctrine-supporting commentaries of various commentators; 
but, when one lays down the proposition, as has been done by 
me, that the principal object of the Gita is to harmonise 
.Spiritual Knowledge with Devotion, and to support the Karma- 
Yoga on that basis, all these apparent inconsistencies 
•disappear ; and one cannot but admire the super-human wisdom 
•of the Gita in bringing about a fusion between Spiritual 
Knowledge, Devotion, and Karma-Yoga in a most comprehen- 
sive way. Just as the form of the Ganges does not change 
whatever the number of rivers which come and join it, so also 



CONTINUITY OF CHAPTERS OF THE GITA 663" 

is the case with the Glta. Whatever it may contain, the 
Karma-Yoga ultimately remains the principal subject-matter 
of the Glta. But, though the Karma- Yoga is thus the 
principal subject of the Glta, yet, as the essence of the 
philosophy of Release has been beautifully described in it, 
side by side with the Philosophy of Action, the Blessed Lord 
has said to Arjuna, in the beginning of the Anuglta, that this 
Glta religion, which was propounded to enable him to 
properly discriminate between the Doable and the Not-Doable 
is fully competent to place the Brahman within one's reach — 
" sa hi dharmah suparyapto hrakmatiah. padavedane " (Ma. Bha. 
Asva. 16. 12) ; and that those who follow this path do not need 
any other arduous worship for attaining Release. I fully 
realise that this statement will not be appreciated by people 
who advocate the Path of Renunciation and who maintain that 
Release is impossible unless all Action is abandoned ; but there 
is no help for that. Not only does the Glta not support the 
Path of Sarimyasa or any other path of renunciation, but, I 
will go further and say that the Glta has been preached in 
order to satisfactorily explain, from the point of view of the 
Knowledge of the Brahman, why Action should not be 
abandoned even after the Acquisition of Knowledge. Therefore, 
the followers of the Path of Renunciation must remain 
satisfied with the numerous Vedic treatises which support the 
Path of Samnyasa, instead of attempting to foist Samnyasa on 
the Glta. Or, just as the Blessed Lord has without pride 
referred to the Path of Renunciation in the Glta as leading to 
Release, so also and with the same equable frame of mind, 
should the followers of Samkhya philosophy say : "as the 
Paramesvara intends the world to go on, and as He from time 
to time takes incarnations for that purpose, the Path of 
carrying on the activities of worldly life , with a desireless 
frame of mind, even after the Acquisition of Knowledge, which 
has been preached by the Blessed Lord in the Glta, is the 
most proper path to be followed in the Kali-yuga". 



CHAPTER XV. 

CONCLUSION. 

( ITPASAMHAJRA ) 
tasmat sarvesu kalesu mam anusmara yudhya ca I* 

GlTA 8. 7. 

Whether one considers the continuity of the various 
•chapters of the Glta, or analyses all the various subject-matters 
dealt with in it according to the logical method of the 
Mlmamsa school, it follows clearly that (i) the various 
interpretations, which have been put on the Glta by doctrine- 
■ supporting commentators, who have looked upon the Karma- 
Yoga as inferior, are not correct ; and that (ii) harmonising the 
Monistic ( advaita ) Vedanta of the TJpanisads with the 
Philosophy of Devotion, and in that way accounting for the 
mode of life of great and noble people, or, to mention the 
■matter briefly, Karma-Toga fused with Spiritual Knowledge 
and Devotion, is the true purpose of the Glta. Although 
performing the ritual prescribed in the Srutis and the Smrtis 
throughout life, as directed by the Mlmamsa, may be following 
the injunctions of the Sastras, yet, this mechanical ritual, 
which is devoid of Spiritual Knowledge, can never satisfy an 
intelligent person ; and if one considers the philosophy of the 
■Upanisads, not only is it difficult to grasp for people of ordinary 
intelligence, as it is based purely on Eeason, but the Samnyasa 
•or Renunciation, advocated by it, conflicts with universal 
benefit ( lokasamgraha }. Therefore, the Blessed Lord has 
•preached in the Glta the philosophy of life-long Desireless 
Action, based on Spiritual Knowledge, and in which the 
highest importance is given to Devotion, so as to effect a 
fusion between Intelligence (Jnana), Love (Devotion), and 
physical capacity (kartrtva), and so as to enable the ordinary 
affairs of the world to be carried on satisfactorily, without 
prejudicing Eelease ; and it follows from the Commencement 
(upakrama) and the Conclusion (upasafiihara) of the Glta, that this 

* "Therefore, at all times, remember me and fight. " The word 
■'fight' has been used having regard to the occasion ; but it does not 
mean only 'fight', but must be taken to mean 'perform all Actions 
.pertaining to your status in life'. 



CONCLUSION 665 

■ advice covers the entire sum and substance of the philosophy 

■ of the Doable and the Not-Doable, and that the disquisition on 
the Doable and the Not-Doable was the true reason for 
.preaching this religion to Arjuna. Which Action is righteous, 
meritorious, just, or beneficial, and which, on the other hand, is 
•unrighteous, improper, unjust or harmful, can be explained in 
'two ways. The one way is not to explain the inherent reason 
or the justification for the advice, but merely to say that if a 
; particular thing is done in a particular way, it is right, 

and if done in another particular way, it is wrong. 
Injunctions like 'Do not cause death', 'Do not steal', 'Speak the 
•truth' (satyafh vada), Act righteously (dharmam cara) etc. are of 
this kind. These injunctions or courses of conduct are definitely 
laid down in the Mami-Smrti, and other Smrtis, and in the 
Upanisads. But as man is a rational animal, he is not 
satisfied with such didactic injunctions, and he naturally feels a 

■ desire to understand the true reason why they were laid down ; 
and he naturally thinks over and finds out the eternal and 
fundamental principle at the bottom of these rules of conduct. 

■ Going to the bottom of worldly morality in this way, and 
finding out the underlying fundamental principles, is the 

-purpose of PHILOSOPHY (Sastra); and merely putting 
together and mentioning the rules, is known as AGARA- 
• SAMGRAHA. The code of rules of conduct (acara-samgraha) 
relating to the Path of Action is to be found in the Smrti 
texts; and the Bhagavadglta contains a conversational or 
Pauranika, but philosophical {sastrlya) disquisition on the 
fundamental principles of that code. Therefore, it is more 
iproper to say that the subject-matter of exposition in the Glta 
■is THE SCIENCE OF KARMA-YOGA (Karma-Yoga-Sastra), 
.instead of saying that it is KARMA-YOGA; and this word, 
■■that is, SCIENCE OF YOGA (Yoga-Sastra) has been used in 
the Gita in the concluding portion of every chapter showing 
■the end of the chapter. This Science of Karma-Yoga in the 
-Glta has been called the Science of Proper Conduct (sadvartana), 
•the Science of Good Behaviour (sadacara), Philosophy of 
Ethics, Critique of Ethios, Elements of Ethics, the Science of 
.Duty, the Discernment of Right and Wrong, or the Science of 
.Sociology, by Western philosophers, who either do not believe 



666 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

in the life after death, or consider it as inferior. These are ■ 
merely Materialistic names ; and their way of criticising is • 
also a purely Materialistic way. Therefore, the majority of 
the persons who have read the books of such Western writers 
think that Morality or Ethics has not been dealt with in any 
work in Sanskrit literature. The most profound philosophy in 
India is the Vedanta philosophy ; and if one considers our 
modern Vedanta works, they are seen to be principally 
indifferent about worldly affairs. Then, how can we find in 
them any consideration of Karma-Yoga or of Ethics ? This 
subject-matter cannot be dealt with in books on Grammar, or 
on Logic ; and in the Smrti texts, one cannot find anything more- 
than a code of religious precepts. Therefore, it is the common 
belief of many persons, that our ancient writers, being steeped- 
in the deep contemplation of Release, have forgotten to deal) 
with the subject-matter of Morality or Ethics. This mis- 
understanding will be removed if one carefully considers the 
Mahabharata or the Glta. But, as the Mahabharata is a very 
extensive work, it is very difficult to read the whole of it and 1 
to give careful thought to the subject-matter in it ; and: 
although the Glta is small, yet, there is a strong belief, that it 
deals only with the question of Release, on account of the 
doctrine-supporting commentaries on it. But no one has 
taken the trouble to think that the Path of Samnyasa and the 
Path of Karma-Yoga were both in vogue in India from Vedic 
times ; that the numbers following the Path of Karma-Yoga 
were a thousand times greater than of those following the Path 
of Samnyasa ; and that the great and noble persons, whose 
lives have been described in the Puranas, were supporters of 
Karma- Yoga. Then, was not even one of these persons' 
inclined to vindicate the Path of Karma-Yoga followed by 
him ? If it is said that there are no works on Karma-Yoga,, 
because all Spiritual Knowledge is confined to the Brahmin 
caste, and the Vedantist Brahmins are apathetic towards 
Action, that statement too would be incorrect. Because, in 
the times of the Upanisads, and also afterwards, there were 
Jnanins like Janaka and Sri Krsna among the Ksatriyas; and 
even learned Brahmins like Vyasa, have written the biogra- 
phies of great Ksatriyas. In writing these biographies, would, 



CONCLUSION 667 

it not be necessary to explain the key-note of the character and 
lives of those men ? This key-note was Karma- Yoga or the 
philosophy of worldly life ; and in order to explain this 
principle, subtle points of righteous or unrighteous conduct 
have been dealt with in several places in the Mahabharata, 
and ultimately the Glta has dealt with those principles of 
Ethics, which have been responsible for the maintenance of 
the world, consistently with the view-point of Release. There 
are also many such instances in the other Puranas. But, as 
all other expositions on the subject turn pale by the side of the 
brilliance of the Gita, the Bhagavadglta has become the most 
important work on the philosophy of Karma-Yoga. I have 
dealt with the true nature of this Karma-Yoga in the foregoing 
chapters. Yet, it cannot be said that this exposition of the 
doctrine of the Glta is complete, unless one compares the 
ethical principles propounded by Western philosophers with 
the fundamental spiritual principles of the Doable and the 
Not-Doable enunciated in the Glta. In making this compari- 
son, it is also necessary to compare the Philosophy of the 
Absolute Self in the East with such philosophy in the West. 
But the knowledge of the Absolute Self in the West has not 
gone much beyond our knowledge. As this fact is commonly 
accepted, there is not much of a necessity to compare the- 
Eastern metaphysical philosophy «with the Western meta- 
physical philosophy ; * and the only thing which remains is 
the comparison of the Eastern with the Western science of 
Ethics or Karma-Yoga, which science according to many has 
not been expounded by our philosophers. But, the considera- 
tion of even this one subject is so comprehensive, that it will 
be necessary to write an independent treatise in order to- 
deal with it exhaustively. Yet, as I did not consider it proper 
* A comparison of our Vedanta with Western Philosophy 
has been made by Prof. Denssen in his book called the Elements: of 
Metaphysics; and at the end of the second edition of this book, there is 
printed the lecture delivered by Prof. DeusEen before the Eoyal 
Asiatic Society at Bombay, when he had come to India in 1893, on 
the subject : " On the Philosophy of Vedanta". Besides this, the 
work, The Religion and Philosophy of the Upanisa&s, Written on this- 
subject by Prof. Deussen also deserves to be read. 

7—8 



668 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

to omit this matter altogether from this book on that account, 
I have touched upon only the most salient and important points 
in that subject in this concluding chapter. 

As the words ' Righteousness ' and ' Unrighteousness ', or 
' Morality ' and ' Immorality ', can, strictly speaking, be 
applied only to the Actions of intelligent beings, it can be 
realised, after even a little consideration, that Morality does 
not rest only on Action, but rests on Reason. This is what is 
meant by saying : " dharmo U tesam adhiko visesah ", i.e., 
" knowledge of Right and Wrong is the specific quality of 
man, that is, of intelligent beings ". It is true that we refer 
to a bullock or to a river, as mischievous or terrible 
respectively, having regard to the effect their action or 
activity has on us ; but if a bullock gives us a push, no one 
files a suit against him ; and if a river gets flooded and crops 
are washed away, and thereby " great wrong to a great many 
persons " is caused, no one on that account calls the river bad, 
or refers to it as a marauder. In answer to this position, 
many object: once it is admitted that the rules of Right and 
"Wrong apply only to the affairs of men, what is the objection 
to considering the Tightness or wrongness of the Action of 
men, merely from the point of view of the Action ? But even 
this question is not difficult to answer. Because, even if one 
leaves aside lifeless objects or animals born in the unen- 
lightened species of birds or beasts, and considers only the 
actions of human beings, yet, in as much as the wrongs 
committed by men in a moment of insanity or unknowingly, 
are considered forgivable by people, or even according to law, 
one has necessarily to consider, in the first instance, 
the Reason of the doer, that is to say, the motive with 
which he did the act, and whether or not he had realised 
the consequences of the act, when one is determining the 
righteousness or the unrighteousness of the doer. It is not 
difficult for a rich man to give large sums of money in charity 
as . he wishes. But although this his act may be ' good ', 
yet, when one has to decide the true moral value of 
it, sueh value cannot be determined merely by considering 
the fact of this gift made in an off-hand way. One has to 
consider whether or not the Reason of that rich person was 



CONCLUSION 669 

governed by religious faith (sraddM) ; and, though, there may 
be no other evidence except this off-hand charitable gift for 
coming to a decision on that point, yet, the fact remains that 
no one looks upon this gift as of the same moral value as 
another gift made by a person with religious faith ; at any 
rate there is room for doubt. At the end of the Mahabharata, 
after the entire question of righteousness and unrighteousness 
has been dealt with, there is a story which very well brings 
•out this position. In the Asvamedha sacrifice (yajna) made by 
Yudhisthira, when he ascended the throne, millions of people 
■were satisfied, and began to sing his praises for the munificent 
.gifts of food and other objects made by him. Then a lustrous 
mungoose {•nakula) came there and said to them: "All your 
.praises are useless. However great the Yajna made by 
Yudhisthira may be, it cannot be equal in merit to that 
sacrifice which was made for a guest in former days, in this 
very Kuruksetra, by a poor Brahmin, who lived by unchavrtti, 
that is, by gleaning grain left in the fields, and who gave all 
■the sattu food, which was spread out before himself and his wife 
and children, to a hungry mendicant, who suddenly came to beg 
for alms, just when they were about to start to eat, notwith- 
standing that he and they had been without food for many 
days ". (Ma. Bha. Asva. 90) The mouth and half the body of 
this mungoose was of gold ; and the reason given by him for 
saying that the merit of the Yajna performed by Yudhisthira 
was less than the merit acquired by the poor Brahmin, who 
had given one seer of sattu grain to a mendicant was as 
follows : " I rolled about in the remnants of food left over 
in the house of that Brahmin after the mendicant had 
ipartaken of it, and on that account my mouth and 
half of my body has become golden; but although I rolled 
.about in the remnants of food left over after eating in the 
pandal erected by Yudhisthira for the Yajna, the rest of my 
body has not become golden". In this case, if one sees only 
what leads to 'the greatest good of the greatest number', 
by taking into account only the external effects of the Action, 
one will have to come to the conclusion, that the merit of 
.•satisfying one hundred thousand mendicants is a hundred 
thousand times more than the merit of satisfying one beggar. 



670 GlTA-RAHASYA. OE KARMA-YOGA 



But, will this conclusion be correct, not from the point of" 
view of religion merely, but even of morality? Acquiring 
a large amount of wealth, or getting an opportunity of 
performing big acts for the benefit of others, does not depend 
merely on anybody's virtuous conduct; and if one has to 
consider the small act performed by the poor Brahmin according 
to his means as of little ethical or religious merit, because 
it was not possible for him to perform a large Yajfia for want 
of money, one will have to come to the conclusion that the 
poor need never entertain the hope of becoming religious or 
moral like the rich. According to the principle of Freedom 
of Will, keeping his mind pure was a matter within the 
control of the poor Brahmin ; and if there is no doubt that 
his charitable instinct was as pure as that of Yudhisthira, then,, 
notwithstanding the smallness of the act performed by him, 
the ethical merit of this Brahmin and of the small act 
performed by him, must be considered to be the same as that . 
of Yudhisthira and of the magnificent Yajna performed by him. 
Nay; from the fact that he made a self-sacrifice by making. 
a gift of food in order to save the life of a mendicant, not- 
withstanding that he himself was poor and without food for 
many days, it follows that his Reason was purer than that of 
Yudhisthira ; because, it is a universally accepted fact that . 
purity of mind, like courage and other qualities, is truly 
proved only in times of adversity; and even Kant has, in the 
beginning of his book on Ethics, expressed an opinion that . 
that man whose moral rectitude does not flinch even in times of < 
adversity is the truly moral man. The same thing is conveyed i 
by what was said by the mungoose. But the purity of the 
heart of Yudhisthira had been tested not only by the Yajna> 
performed by him after he had ascended the throne, that is, 
in times of prosperity, but also before that, that is, on many.' 
trying occasions, in adverse circumstances, just as in the- 
case of the Brahmin ; and as the proposition of the writer of- 
the Mahabharata was, that Yudhisthira was morally great, 
even according to the subtle law relating to righteous and* 
unrighteous conduct laid down above, he has called the- 
mungoose a 'wviler'. Still, from the statement in the Maha- 
bharata that that Brahmin attained the same final state which* 



CONCLUSION 671 

is reached by people who perform the Asvamedha Yajfia, it 
'follows that though the merit of the act of the Brahmin might 
not, in the opinion of the writer of the Mahabharata, have bean 
.greater than that of the Yajna of Yudhisthira, yet, he certainly 
■looked upon the ethical or religious merit of both as at least 
the same. Even in ordinary life, we follow the same principle, 
and consider the moral merit of a millionaire giving a thousand 
rupees for a pious object, as the same as that of a poor man 
who gives one rupee by way of subscription. It is likely that 
'this illustration might be considered -by some as new, on 
account of the use of the word ' subscription ' ; I, therefore, say 
that in the exposition of Morality and Immorality made in 
the Mahabharata, while the story of the niungoose was being 
told, it is said : 

sahaS7-aiaktis ca satam satasaktir daiapi ca I 

dadyad apas ca yah saktya sarve tulyaphalah smrtah 1 1 

(Ma.Bha.Asva.90.97), 

'that is, "a man who owns a thousand giving a hundred, a man who 
owns a hundred giving ten, or some one according to his ability 
. giving only a drink of water, all these (acts) are of the same 
merit, and equally beneficial"; and the same is the purport 
conveyed by the sentence "patram puspam phdam toyam etc " 
■ (01. 9. 26), (i. e., "a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water" — Trans.), 
in the Glta. This principle has been adopted not only in our 
■religion but also in the Christian religion. The Lord Christ has 
•said in one place that : " Bor unto whomsoever much is given, 
of him shall be much required" (Luke. 12. 48); and there is a 
: statement in another place in the Bible, that one day, when 
the Lord Christ had gone to church and the work of collecting 
funds for charitable purposes was going on, He said : "Verily I 
:say unto to you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all 
.they, which have cast into the treasury" (Mark. 12. 43 and 44), 
•on seeing an extremely poor widow giving both the pice which 
■.she had, in charity. This clearly proves that even the Lord 
■Christ had accepted the position that the merit of an act has to 
be determined by reference to the Reason of the doer ; and that 
•when the Eeason of the doer is pure, even a small act is very 



672 GtTl.-EAHA.SYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

often of the same ethical merit as a larger act. If one considers • 
the effect of the impurity of the Reason on the moral merit of 
an Action, in the opposite case, that is, when the Reason is not- 
pure, it will be seen that killing in self-defence a man who has 
attacked you for murdering you, and killing a rich traveller 
for the sake of his money, are ethically entirely different, . 
though the act of killing is the same in both the cases. The 
German poet Schiller has described a similar incident towards ■ 
the end of his drama William Tell ; and the distinction which 
has been made by him there between two externally exact 
actions, on account of the purity or the impurity of the 
Reason, is the difference between the 'abandonment of self- 
interest' (svartlwAyaga) and the 'destruction of self-interest' 
(svartha-hatya). This shows that whether the two acts are- 
unequal or are equal to each other, the difference between them, 
from the point of view of Morality, arises from the difference 
between the motives of the doers. This 'motive' is also known, 
as ' Intention ', ' Desire ', or ' Reason ' ; because, although the 
scientific meaning of the word 'Reason' is the 'Discerning, 
organ', yet, as 'Knowledge', 'Desire', and 'Intention' are all the 
results of the activity of this mental organ, it is usual to also ■ 
refer to all these as 'Reason' ; and as has been stated before, 
the Equable Reason of the Sthitaprajna is a combination 
of the steadiness of Pure Reason and the purity of 
Practical Reason. The Blessed Lord did not ask Ar juna to • 
consider how many persons would be benefited or how many 
persons ruined by the war being carried on. On the other hand, . 
the Blessed Lord has said, "Whether Bhisma will die or Drona 
will die as a result of the carrying on of the war, is a minor 
consideration ; the principal question is with what frame of 
Reason you are going to enter the fight ; and if your Reason ■ 
is like that of a Sthitaprajna, you will incur no sin if Bhisma 
and Drona are killed while you are performing your duty with 
that pure and untarnished Reason. You are not fighting with a ■ 
Hope of Fruit in the shape of causing the death of Bhisma. 
You have only asked for a share of that kingdom to which you 
have acquired a right by birth ; in order to avoid the war, you, 
have not failed to take it lying down as much as possible, and 
have even tried conciliatory ambassadors ; but when you saw- 



CONCLUSION 675 

that this course of propriety and of gentleness was of no avail, 
you have started the war, as there was no other alternative. 
For this, you are not to blame at all ; because, it is your duty, 
to acquire these rights ultimately by fight, if necessary, in 
the interests of publio welfare, according to the religion of 
Ksatriyas, instead of wasting time in begging like a Brahmin, 
( Ma. Bha. U. 28 and 72 ; and Vanaparva 33. 48 and 50 )". 
Accepting this logical reasoning of the Blessed Lord, Vyasa 
has satisfied Yudhisthira later on in the Santiparva (San. ch. 32 
and 33). But though the Reason is thus considered to be the 
superior factor in deciding what is right and what is wrong, 
it becomes necessary to explain what is meant by Pure Reason ; 
because, as both the Mind and the Reason are evolutes ( vikara ) 
of Matter (prakrti ), they can inherently be of three kinds, that 
is sattvika (static), rajasa (active) and tamasa (ignorant). There- 
fore, the Gita has said that, that Reasoning Faculty which 
Realises the Form of the permanent Atman, which (Atman) 
is beyond the cognizance of Reason, which (form) is common 
to all created things, is to be called the pure or the sattvika 
Reason in the Philosophy of Karma- Yoga. The sattvika Reason 
is also known as the Equable Reason; and the word 'Equable'' 
means " which recognises and Realises the unity or identity 
of the Atman which inhabits all created things". That 
Reason which does not Realise this identity, is neither pure, 
nor sattvika. When one has thus decided that this Equability 
of Reason is the most important factor in determining questions- 
of Morality, the next question which naturally arises is, how to 
recognise this evenness or Equability of Reason ; because, as 
the Reason is an internal organ, one cannot see by one's eyes 
whether it is good or bad. Therefore, in order to find out 
whether or not the Reason is pure and equable, one must in the 
first instance consider the external Actions of the man ; other- 
wise, a man will by his mouth say that his Reason is pure and 
equable, and by his hands do whatever he likes. Therefore, the- 
Sastras have laid down the proposition that the true Knower 
of the Brahman has to be recognised by considering his nature; 
arid that if he is a mere talker, he is not a true saint. In 
describing the characteristics of the Sthitapraj&a or of the 
Devotee of the Blessed Lord, the Bhagavadglta principally 



674 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

■describes how such persons behave in the world towards other 
people ; and in the thirteenth chapter, ' Jnana ' (Knowledge) 
has also been defined in the same way, that is, by explaining 
the effect of Jnana on a man's nature. From this it will be 
seen, that the Glta does not say that one need not at all 
consider the external Actions of a man. But, although 
behaviour, that is to say, external Action, and principally 
external Action in times of adversity, has to be considered 
in order to test whether the Reason of any particular 
person — and specially of another person — is or is not Equable, 
yet, we must also bear in mind, that we cannot come to a 
faultless conclusion as to the morality of a person merely from 
his external behaviour. Because, although under certain 
•circumstances, an external Action may be small, yet, its moral 
value is as high as that of a big act, as will be proved from the 
story of the mungoose mentioned above. Therefore, our Sastras 
have laid down that (i) whether the external act is big or small, 
-and whether it is beneficial to one person or brings happiness 
to many persons, that cannot be given higher importance than 
as being an evidence of a pure Reason ; that (ii) after deciding to 
what extent the Reason of the doer is or is not pure, by con- 
sidering this external Action, one has ultimately to decide the 
morality or otherwise of such Action, by reference to the purity 
■of Reason to be ascertained in this way; and that (iii) questions 
of Morality cannot be properly decided merely by con- 
sidering external Actions. And, that is why the Equable 
and Pure Reason, that is, Desire, has been given a high plaoe 
in the Karma- Yoga in the Glta, by saying that "the Reason is 
superior to the Action" (2. 49). In the book on the Bhagavata 
religion called Narada Pancaratra, which is later in date 
that the Glta, Markandeya says to Narada :- 

■manasa'm praijiriam eva mrmtormtitekarcnjam I 
manonurupam vakyam ca vakyena prasphutavi manah ii 
(Ns. Pan. 1. 7. 18). 

that is, "the Mind is the only cause (the root cause) of all 
the Actions of mankind. As the Mind is, so does the man 
apeok; a man's Mind expresses itself in what he says". In 



CONCLUSION 675 

.•short, the Mind (that is, the determination of the Mind) comes 

.first, and then all Actions take place. Therefore, Buddhist 
writers have also accepted the doctrine of the Gita relating 

; to Pure Reason for distinguishing between the Doable and 
the Not-doable. For example, in the well-known Buddhistic 
work on Morality" known as Dkammapada, it is stated right 
in the beginning that :- 

manopubbamgama dhamrm manoseththa (srestha) manomaya I 

manasa ce padutthena bhasati va karoti va l 

tato na dukkham anveti cakkam va vahato padam i) 

( Dhammapada 1 ). 
that is: "the Mind, that is, the activities of the Mind 

■come first, and the righteous or unrighteous Action comes 
afterwards; (this being the order) the Mind is considered 
as principal and superior in this matter, and all these 

- tendencies ( dharnma ) must be said to be based on the 
Mind; therefore, according as the Mind of the doer is 
pure or vicious, so does his speech or action become 
good or bad ; and he enjoys happiness, or suffers unhappiness, 
accordingly later on"*. Similarly, Buddhist writers have 
also accepted the corollary drawn from this doctrine in the 
Upanisads and in the Gita. ( Kausi. 3. 1 ; and Gl. 18. 17), that 
the Sthitaprajna, whose mind has once become completely pure 
and desireless, cannot afterwards be guilty of any sin, and that 
whatever he does, he is free both from sin and merit ; and it is 

■ stated in many places in Buddhistic works that the ' arhat ' 

'that is, the ' man who has reached the state of perfection ', is 
always pure and sinless (Dhammapada, 294 and 295 ; Milinda- 
Pra. 4. 5. 7). 

From what has been stated above the Western Intuitionist 

• sohool, which worships and takes the decision on questions of 
* This stanza, in Pali has been interpreted by different persons 

,in different ways; but in my opinion this stanza is based on 
the principle, that in order to determine the propriety or 
impropriety of any particular Action, one has to consider the 
nature of the Mind of the doer. See the commentary of Max 

IMUller on his English translation of the Dhammapada (S. B. E. 
"Vol. X. pp. 3, 4). 



676 GlTA-RAHAYSA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Morality from the deity of Conscience, and the Western. 
Materialistic school, which asks you to decide all questions of 
Morality by the sole external test of ' the greatest .good of 
the greatest number ', will both be seen to be one-sided and. 
scientifically insufficient ; because, Conscience is not some 
independent thing or deity, but is included in Pure Reason ; 
and when it has been so included, the decision of Conscience 
about the Duty and the Non-duty oan never be faultless ; 
because, the Conscience of every man is sattvika, rajasa or 
tamasa according to his inherent nature. And if you say that 
questions of Morality have to be decided by the purely 
external material test of 'the greatest good of the greatest 
number', the Reason cf the' doer is left entirely out of 
calculation ; and if some one has taken in advance skilful 
precautions for reducing as far as possible the injurious 
external effects of his theft or of his immoral behaviour,, 
one has to say that his evil doings are less objection- 
able from the point of view of Materialistic Morality. 
That is why the Vedic religion is not the only religion 
which has insisted on the purity of the body, the speech, and 
the mind ( Manu. 12. 3-8 ; 9. 29 ) ; but, even in the Bible, 
adultery or immoral behaviour is not considered purely a 
bodily sin; and a man's looking with immoral intentions towards 
a woman not his wife, or a woman looking with similar inten- 
tions towards a man not her husband, have also been considered, 
adulterous (Matthew. 5. 28). And in the Buddhistic religion, 
it is stated that the purity must be not only bodily but also of 
the speech, and of the Mind (Dhamma. 96 and 391). Besides, 
Green says in addition that if one considers only external 
happiness as the highest ideal, there is a chance of rivalry 
between men and men or between nations and nations for 
acquiring it, and of quarrels arising in consequenoe ; because, 
it is, as a rule, not possible for a person to acquire the external, 
means of obtaining external happiness without reducing the 
happiness of others. The same is not the case with the 
Equable Reason. This internal happiness is self-obtained, 
that is to say, it can be acquired by any one for himself 
without interfering with the happiness of another. Not only is 
this so, but that man, who has acquired the inherent nature of 



CONCLUSION 677 

behaving with equability towards all created things by- 
realising the unity of the Atman, cannot either secretly or 
openly commit any sin ; and it does not remain necessary to 
say to him : "Always consider in what the greatest good of the 
greatest number lies". Because, in the ease of a man, it 
necessarily follows that whatever he does, will be done by him 
after proper consideration. It is not that proper consideration 
is necessary only for determining the correctness of moral 
Actions. What should be the state of a man's conscience when 
he makes that proper consideration, is the important question ; 
because, the conscience of every one is not the same. Therefore, 
when one says that Equability of Reason must always inhabit 
the Conscience, it is not necessaiy to also say that one should 
take into proper account the welfare of the greatest number, 
or of all created beings, or of the entire creation. Western 
philosophers have now started saying that man has duties not 
only towards all living beings in the human species, but also 
towards living beings among dumb animals; and these duties 
must be inoluded in the philosophy of the Doable and the 
Not-Doable ; and it will be seen that from this comprehensive 
point of view, the words 'welfare of the entire creation' 
(sarvabhuta-hita) are more comprehensive than the words "the 
greatest good of the greatest number of human beings " ; 
and that, all this is inoluded in Equability of Reason. If, on 
the other hand, one takes the case where the Reason of a 
particular person is not pure and equable, then, although he 
may be perfectly capable of deciding by calculation in what 
' the greatest good of the greatest number ' lies, it is not 
possible that he will be inclined towards moral Action;, 
because, being inclined towards any good Action, is the 
quality of a Pure Mind, and not of a calculating Mind. If 
some one says that we need not consider the inherent nature or 
the mental frame of such a calculative person, and that if his 
calculation is correct, a correct decision is arrived at between 
the Duty and the Non-Duty, and we get what we want, than, 
such a position is wrong. Because, although every one 
ordinarily understands what is pain and what is happiness, 
yet, in discriminating between various kinds of pain and 
happiness, one has in the first place to decide what value- 



'678 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

has to be assigned to which particular pain or happiness ; 
and, as there does not now exist any definite external 
instrument like a thermometer for deciding these values, 
nor is there any likelihood of such an instrument being 
invented in the future, every one has to decide the true value 
of any particular pain or happiness with the help only of his 
own mind. But, as the man who is not saturated with 
-the feeling of Self-Identification (atmaupamya), according 
to which " another man has the same feelings as I ", 
cannot properly gauge the intensity of pain or happi- 
ness, he cannot make a true valuation of this pain or 
happiness ; and then there is a natural mistake in the values 
of pain and happiness taken by him for arriving at a decision, 
and there is very often a chance that all his calculations will 
go wrong. Therefore, one must not ascribe much importance 
to the calculating process of ' considering ' in the phrase 
' considering the greatest good of the greatest number '; and 
one has ultimately to say that the true seed of Morality is that 
Pure, Self-Indentifying and greedless Reason which has 
become Equable towards all created things, and by which the true 
value of the pain or happiness of the greatest number of other 
.persons has first to be decided. Morality is the inherent 
nature of a Conscience which is mineless, pure, loving, equable, 
-or, in short, which is endowed with the sattva constituent ; it is 
not the result of mere discriminating calculation. Therefore, 
when Yudhisthira had ascended the throne after the Bharati 
war, and Kunti, who had been made happy by the prowess 
of her sons, was about to leave the kingdom along with 
Dhrtarastra in order to live in the woods, she did not expatiate 
■on the advice of doing ' the greatest good to the greatest 
number', but simply said " maims te mahad astu ca"(Ma. BhS. 
Asva. 17. 21), i.e., " 0, my son, may your Mind be always 
great". Those Western philosophers, who have maintained 
that considering in what the greatest good of the greatest 
number lies, is the true, scientific, and easiest test of Morality, 
have, in the first place, taken for granted that every one has 
the same pure Mind as themselves ; and with that data, they 
have given advice as to the way in which questions of 
Morality should be solved. But, as the data of these 



CONCLUSION 679 

philosophers is not correct, their principle of determining- 
questions of Morality becomes one-sided and insufficient. 
Not only is this so, but their writings give rise to the 
foolish impression that if instead of troubling about 
making his Mind, nature, or moral character more and more pure • 
and sin-fearing, a man learns to make a proper calculation 
about the external effects of his Actions, that will be 
quite enough for him to become ' moral '; and therefore, those 
persons who have not overcome their selfish natures, become 
crafty, scheming, or hypocritical (Gits 3. 6); and the whole 
of society is likely to suffer to that extent. Therefore, the 
doctrine of the Glta that, (i) considering the external effects 
of Action, even merely as a test of Morality, is insufficient 
and inferior (krpana); and that (ii) in this matter, that is, in 
Karma- Yoga (a) one has ultimately to rely on the Equability 
of Keason, which is expressed in external Actions, and which 
remains unchanged even in times of adversity, and (b) the 
true test of Righteous Action is Knowledge-full and 
unlimited Pure Reason, or rectitude, is, in my opinion, more 
to the point, more comprehensive, more correct, and more 
faultless than the Western Intuitionist or Materialistic 
doctrines. 

Leaving aside the Materialistic and Intuitionist works 
on the Philosophy of Ethics by Western writers, and consi- 
dering only those works which deal with the subject purely 
from the Metaphysical point of view, it will be seen that in 
them, as in the Glta, Purity of Reason is considered of greater 
value than the Action itself. For instance, take the 'Meta- 
physics of Morals' and other books on Morality written by 
Kant. Although Kant has not adopted the doctrine of the unity 
of the Atman in all created beings, yet, after minutely con- 
sidering the question of Pure Reason and Practical Reason, he ■ 
has come to the conclusions* that : (1) rather than determining 
the ethical value of any particular act, by considering its • 

* See Kant's Theory of Ethics, translated by Abbott, 6th Edition. 
This book contains all these propositions; the first proposition is - 
at pages 10, 12, 16, and 24; the second, at pages 112 and 117; the • 
third, at pages 31, 68, 121, and 290; the fourth, at pages 18, 38, 55,. 
and 119; and the fifth, at pages 70-73 and 80. 



680 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

external result, namely, how many persons will be benefited and 
to what extent, one should determine that value by considering 
to what extent the Praotioal Reason (vasana) or Desire of that 
person is pure ; (2) this Desire ( or Practical Reason, i. e., 
vasanatmaka buddhi ) of a man oan be considered to be pure, 
stainless, and independent, only when,, instead of being 
engrossed in the happiness of the organs, it remains continually 
within the control of the Pure Reason (that is to say, when it 
acts according to the dictates of the Pure Reason regarding 
the Duty and the Non-Duty) ; (3) there is no necessity of laying 
down rules of Morality for that man whose Desire has become 
purified in this way, • as a result of the control of the organs, 
after it has been so purified ; these rules are necessary only for 
■ordinary persons ; (4) when the Desire has been purified in this 
way, whatever acts it inspires the man to do, are dictated after 
considering "what will happen to me, if some one else does to 
me what I do to him," and (5) this purity or independence of 
Desire cannot be accounted for, unless one leaves the world of 
Action ( karma-srsti ) and enters the world of the Brahman 
{brahma-srqti). But as the ideas of Kant regarding the Atman 
and the world of the Brahman, were to a certain extent 
incomplete, Green, though he belonged to the school of Kant, 
has, in his Prolegomena to Ethics ( § § 99, pages 174-179 and 
223-232) first laid down that the inaccessible Principle, which 
saturates the external world, that is, the Cosmos (brahmar),da) 
is partly incarnated in the shape of the Atman in the piij4a 
(that is, in the human body) ; and he has later on laid down 
■the propositions that (i) it is the intense Desire of that 
■permanent and the independent Principle in the human body, 
namely, the Atman, of Realising its most comprehensive, 
■social, and all-pervading form, which compels human beings 
•to perform good actions and that (ii) the permanent and un- 
changing happiness of man lies in this Realisation, whereas the 
happiness afforded by objects of pleasure is non-permanent. In 
short, itwill be seen that though this point of view of both 
Kant and Green is Metaphysical, yet, Green has justified the 
discrimination between the Doable and Not-Doable, and the 
Freedom of Will, on the basis of the Pure Atmic form which 
,:is« seen uniformly expressed both in the Body • (piriida ) and in 



nrwnT.TTSTO'W 681 

■the Cosmos (brahmanda), instead of confining himself to the 
•activities of Pure Season. Although, these doctrines of 
Western Materialistic moral philosophers are not identical 
with the doctrines of the Glta mentioned below, one will 
■certainly see the strange similarity between the two. These 
doctrines of the Glta are as follows: (1) the Desiring (i.e., 
vasariatmika) Reason of the doer, is of higher importance than 
his external Actions; (2) when the Pure (vyavasayatmka) 
Reason has become Self-Engrossed (atmormstha), and free 
from, doubt, and equable, the Practical Reason of itself also 
becomes pure and holy; (3) that Sthitaprajfia whose Reason 
has become equable and steady in this way, is himself always 
beyond Rules of Conduct; (4) his behaviour, or the Rules of 
Morality arising out of his Self-Identifying Reason, become 
authoritative and standards for ordinary men; and (5) there 
is only one Principle in the shape of the Atman, which 
pervades both the Body (pinda) and the Cosmos ( brahrnayxja ), 
and the Atman within the body craves to Realise (this is 
Release, or Moksa) its pure and all-comprehensive form ; and 
when a man has Realised this pure form, he acquires the Self- 
Identifying (atmaupamya) vision towards all created things. 
Yet, as the doctrines of Vedanta philosophy with reference 
■to the Brahman, the Atman, Illusion (Maya), Freedom of 
Will, Identity of the Brahman and the Atman, Causality 
etc., are much more advanced and definite than the doctrines 
■of Kant and Green, the disquisition on Karma-Yoga made in 
the Glta. on the authority of Vedanta and of the Upanisads is 
metaphysically much more unambiguous and complete ; and 
■the modern German Vedantist Prof. Deussen has, in his 
book Elements of Metaphysics, accepted this same method 
of dealing with Ethics. Deussen was a follower of 
Schopenhauer, and he has accepted in toto the doctrine 
of Schopenhauer that "it is impossible to destroy unhappi- 
ness, unless Desire is destroyed, in as much as Desire 
is the cause of worldly life; and it is the duty of every 
one to destroy Desire "; and he has clearly shown in 
-the third part of his book referred to above, how all 
principles of Ethics can be substantiated on the basis of this 
Metaphysical proposition. After showing that Desireless 



682 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

Action is the sign and the result of Destruction of Desire,, 
since (i) Abandonment of Action is totally unnecessary for 
destroying Desire, or after Desire has been destroyed, and (ii) 
the fact whether Desire has been destroyed or not, can be 
proved by nothing so well as by Actions performed desirelessly 
for the benefit of others, Deussen has laid down the proposition 
that, Desirelessness of the Mind, is the root of proper behaviour 
and of Morality ; and he has at the end of his argument quoted 
the verse " tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samacara " 
(Gi. 3. 19), * which shows that he must have thought of this 
argument by reading the Glta. Whatever may be the truth, 
the fact that these ideas were universally current in our 
country long before Deussen, Green, Schopenhauer, and Kant, 
and even possibly hundreds of years before Aristotle, is not a . 
small matter. Many persons are now-a-days under the 
impression that Vedanta means giving up family life and enter- 
ing the dry process of acquiring Release ; but this idea is not ■ 
correct. Vedanta philosophy has come into existence for 
considering as scientifically as possible such deep and difficult . 
questions as, (i) going beyond whatever can be actually seen 
in the world and determining who man is, (ii) determining 
what the Principle at the bottom of the universe is, (iii> ■ 
defining the relation between man and that Principle, and. 
what the highest ideal of man in this world is, having regard 
to that relation ; (iv) finding out the mode of life which must be 
adopted by man in order to reach that ideal, or (v) in what way,, 
which ideal can be reached etc. etc. ; and striotly speaking, the 
whole of Ethics, or the consideration of how men should be- 
have towards each other in worldly life, will be seen to be apart 
of that profound philosophy. Therefore, Karma-Yoga has to be 
justified on the basis of Vedanta ; and whatever the followers 
of the Path of Renunciation may say, Vedanta philosophy 
undoubtedly falls into the two divisions of Pure Vedanta and" 
Moral or Practical Vedanta, in the same way as Mathematics 
is divided into Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. 
Kant even says that the moot questions about the 'Paramesvara'' 
(the Highest Atman), 'Immortality,' and 'Freedom (of Will)'" 

*See Deussen's Elements of Metaphysics , Eng. Trans., 1909 
p. 304. 



CONCLUSION 683: 

have come into the human mind, only as a result of considering 
the Ethical questions, " How should I behave in the world ? "„ 
or, "What is my true duty in this -world" ? ; and that deciding: 
questions of Morality by a calculation of the pure external 
happiness of mankind, without satisfactorily answering these 
ethical questions, will result in encouraging the animal 
instincts in the human mind, which are fascinated by objects 
of pleasure, and thereby cutting at the very root of the- 
principles of true Morality. "' It is not necessary now to- 
explain in so many words why and how Vedanta has entered the- 
Gita, even if the subject-matter of the G-Ita is Karma-Yoga. Kant 
has written two books on this subject, which are known as the 
Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Practical Reason. 
But as the Bhagavadgita not only deals with both these 
subjects consistently with the philosophy of the Upanisads, 
but also includes a disquisition on the Path of Devotion 
based on Religious Faith, it has become acceptable and 
authoritative on all hands. 

If, keeping the question of Release aside for the time- 
being, 'Equability of Reason' is accepted as important, as being 
the moral principle involved in the discernment of the Doable- 
and the Not-doable, it also becomes necessary to briefly 
consider why and how other paths arose in the Philosophy of 
Ethics, in addition to that of the Metaphysics of the Glta. 
Dr. Paul Carus*, a well-known American philosopher, answers- 
this question in his book on Ethics by saying that : " a man's- 
ideas about the fundamental principles of Ethics vary accord- 
ing to his idea of the mutual relationship between the Body 
(pinda) and the Cosmos (brdhmanda). Unless there is some 

* « Empiricism, on the contrary, cuts up at the roots of the 
morality of intentions (in which, and not in actions only, consists 
the high worth that men oan and ought to give themselves)... 
Empiricism, moreover, being on this account allied with all the. 
inclinations which (no matter what fashion they put on) degrade 
humanity when they are raised to the dignity of a supreme 

practical example is for that reason much more dangerous 

than mysticism " Kant's Theory of Ethics pp. 163 and 236-238. 
See also Kant's Oritijue of Pure Season (trans, by Max Mailer) 
2nd Ed. pp. 640-657. 

9—10 



684 GlTA-RAH ASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

definite belief regarding the inter-relation between the Body and 
the Cosmos, no question of Morality can really speaking arise. 
It is possible that we may behave morally, although we may 
have no definite belief as regards this inter-relation ; but, as 
this behaviour will be like something done in sleep, it would 
be more proper to refer to it as some bodily (kayika) activity 
resulting from bodily laws, instead of referring to it as moral 
behaviour". For instance, a tigress is ready to sacrifice hei 
own life for protecting her cubs ; but we do not say that this 
her behaviour is a moral act, but we say that it is her 
inherent nature. This answer very well explains how several 
schools of thought have arisen in the matter of principles of 
Ethics. Because, that principle which solves the questions, 
' Who am I ?', ' How was the world created ? ', ' What is my use 
in this world ?', etc., is the principle by which every thinking 
person ultimately decides the question how he is to behave 
towards other people in his life. But these questions cannot be 
answered in the same way in different countries and at 
different times. According to the Christian religion, which is in 
vogue in Europe, the Creator of man and of the Universe is 
the qualityful Paramesvara mentioned in the Bible; and it is 
stated there that He first created the world, and laid down 
the Commandments of moral conduct for man ; and Christian 
•philosophers were originally of the opinion that these 
Commandments, which were laid down consistently with the 
idea relating to the Body and the Cosmos mentioned in the Bible, 
' -were the root of all Morality. When it was found later on that 
these Commandments were insufficient to meet all the ordinary 
activities of life, it came to be maintained that the 

* See The EtUcal Problem by Dr. Oarus, 2nd Ed., p. 111. 

'.'Our proposition is that the leading principle in ethics most 
■ be . derived from the philosophical view back of it. The 

world-conception a man has, can alone give character to the 

jri-neiple in his ethics. Without any world-conception, we have no 
' efchi<Ss (i.e., ethics in the highest sense of the word). We may act 
• morally like 'dreamers or somnambulists, but our ethics would in 
vthat<:ase be a. mere moral instinct without any rational insight 

into its rakon d' itre ". ■ • 



■ CONCLUSION 685 

Almighty (Paramesvara) had given Conscience to man in 
order to supplement or clarify these Commandments. But, 
as they later on realised the difficulty that a thief and an 
honest man have not the same kind of Conscience, there 
came into vogue the opinion that (i) although the Will of 
the Almighty was the foundation of Ethics, yet this His Will 
had to be ascertained by considering in what the greatest 
good of the greatest number lay ; and that (ii) there was no 
■other means of understanding the nature of that Will. All 
these opinions are on the basis of the belief of the Christian 
people, regarding the mutual inter-relation of the Body and 
the Cosmos, to the effect that some qualityful Almighty is 
the creator of the world, and that it is His Desire or Command- 
ment that man should act morally. But when, as a result 
of the growth of the Material sciences, it came to be seen 
that the doctrines enunciated in the Christian scriptures 
.regarding the creation of the Body and the Cosmos were not 
correct, the question whether there was or was not some 
■creator of the world like the Paramesvara came to be left 
aside, and the question whether, or not the edifice of Bthies 
and morality could be erected on the foundation of things 
which were actually visible began to be considered; and it 
began to be maintained that the greatest happiness or benefit 
■of the greatest number, or the growth of 'humanness', were the 
visible principles which were the fundamental principles of 
Ethics. In this exposition, no reason is adduced as to why 
a man should try to obtain the greatest good of the greatest 
number ; and it is only said that such is the constantly growing 
inherent tendency of mankind. But, as human nature also 
includes other visible tendencies like selfishness etc., there arose 
differences of opinion even in this school of thought. It is 
not that these expositions of Ethics are entirely faultless. 
'But, as all the philososhers "belonging to this school of thought, 
placed no belief or confidence in the proposition that there is 
at the bottom of the universe some imperceptible Element, 
■which is beyond the visible objects in the universe, they have 
always attempted to somehow or other explain away all the 
difficulties which arise in their path by some external or visible 
principles. It will be seen from this how, although every one is 



686 GlTA-KAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

in favour of Ethics and Morality, there is always a divergence- 
in the various expositions, on account of there being different 
opinions regarding the construction and the inter-relation of 
the Body and the Cosmos ; and that is why I have divided the 
exposition of Ethics into three divisions in the third chapter 
of this book according to the Materialistic, Intuitionist, and 
Metaphysical view-points regarding the construction of the- 
Body and the Cosmos ; and have af terwads considered indivi- 
dually the most important doctrines of each school of thought. 
Those who believe that the entire visible universe was created 
by some qualityful Paramesvara, do not consider the question of 
Morality beyond considering the Commandments of the 
Almighty as given in their scriptures, or the dictates of Con- 
science, which according to them, was created by the power of 
that Paramesvara. I have called this school of thought 
the 'Intuitionist' (adhidahika) school ; because, a qualityful 
Paramesvara is after all a deity. Those who believe that there 
is no invisible Principle at the root of the universe, or that if 
any such principle exists, it is inaccessible to human intelli- 
gence, erect the edifice of Morality on the foundation of the 
principle of the greatest good of the greatest number or the 
highest development of humanness, which are visible principles. 
I have named -this school of thought, the 'Materialistic' 
(adMbhautika) school. Those who believe that there is some 
eternal and intangible Principle like the Atman at the root of 
the Name-d and Form-ed universe, take the exposition of 
Ethics beyond the Materialistic exposition; and they decide' 
the question of the duty of human beings in this world by 
harmonising the Knowledge of the Atman with Morality or 
religion. This school of thought has been named by me 
'Metaphysical' (adhyatmika) school. The actual practical 
Morality of these three schools is one and the same ; but, a® 
the opinion of each school of thought regarding the construct- 
ion and inter-relatian of the Body and the Cosmos is different, 
the fundamental principles of Ethics are slightly different in, 
each school. Just as Grammar does not create a new language,, 
but only finds out the rules relating to the language in ordinary 
use, and helps the growth of that language, so is the case with: 
Ethics. Ever since the day on which the human being cama 



CONCLUSION 687 

into existence in this world, man has been keeping his conduct 
pure with the help of his own intelligence, according to the 
circumstances of his country and of his times ; and those high- 
principled and noble-minded people, who have come to birth 
from time to time, have laid down rules for the purification of 
behaviour, in the shape of inspirational commands (codaria), 
according to their own ideas. The philosophy of Ethics has 
not come into existence for breaking up these rules and making 
new rules. Rules of Ethics, such as, "Do not commit murder", 
"Speak the truth", "Do good unto others" etc., have been in 
vogue from ancient times. But Ethics has to consider only 
what the basic principles of Morality are, in order that it 
should be convenient to expand those principles of Morality ; and 
therefore, whatever school of ethical thought is taken, the rules 
of Ethics, which are now in vogue, are everywhere more or 
less the same. The only differences which arise in these rules, 
are regarding the form of the exposition of those Tules ; and 
the statement of Dr. Paul Cams that the chief reason for these 
• differences is the difference of opinion regarding the construc- 
tion and inter-relation of the Body and the Cosmos is seen to 
be true. 

The fact that Modern Western Materialistic philosophers, 
who have written on the subject of Ethics, such as, Mill, 
Spencer, Comte etc., have given up the easy and comprehensive 
principle of Self-Identification (atmaupamya) and have 
attempted to erect the edifice of Morality on the external 
principle of 'Universal benefit' (sarvabhuta-Mta), or 'the greatest 
good of the greatest, number', is due to the fact that their 
opinion regarding the construction of the Body and the Cosmos 
is different from the ancient opinions. When this has been 
thus proved by me, those who do not accept these new-fangled 
opinions, and wish to give deep consideration to such questions 
as "Who am I ?" ; 'What is the thing known as the universe?"; 
"How do I perceive this universe ?" ; "Is the external world 
independent of me, or not?"; "If so, what is the fundamental 
element at the root of it ?"; "What is the relationship between 
that Element and myself ?"; "Why should one man sacrifice 
his life for the sake of another?" ; "If it is true, according to 
-the rule, 'whatever has come into existence, is sure to die', that 



688 GlTA-RAHASYA:OR KARMA-YOGA 

the world on which we lire along with all created beings is 
sometime or other going to be destroyed, why should we 
destroy our own happiness for the sake of future mortal 
generations?"; or, those persons again who are not satisfied 
with the solution, that philanthropy and other mental 
tendencies are the inherent tendencies of the visible, non- 
permanent, world of Action, and who wish to go to the root of 
these tendencies, cannot but turn to the eternal philosophy of 
the Absolute Self. And that is why Green has started his 
book on Ethics with the doctrine that the Atman which 
comes to Know the perceptible world, must be different from 
that perceptible world ; and that is also why Kant has first 
dealt with Pure Reason and then written his Critique of Prac- 
tical Reason or of Ethics. Although the statement that man 
is born for the happiness of himself or of many, may appear 
tempting at first sight, it is not really correct. If one considers 
for a moment whether those noble souls, who are prepared to 
sacrifice their lives only for the sake of Truth, do so only 
with the motive that future generations should have more 
and more of physical happiness, one is forced to admit that 
man must be having something as his highest ideal in this 
world, which (ideal) is more important than the transient 
material happiness of himself or of others. Which is that ideal ? 
Those who have Realised the permanent, eternal, Element 
in the shape of the Atman, which is clothed in the Name-d 
and Form-ed, that is, visible, though perishable, Appearance- 
of the Body and the Cosmos, by personal Realisation, 
reply to this question by saying that the first duty of every 
intelligent person in this world is to Realise the eternal,. 
superior, pure, immortal, and all-pervasive form of his own 
Atman, and to be merged in it. That man, who has in this, 
way Realised the Unity of the Atman pervading all created 
things, and every atom of whose body and organs is saturated 
with this Knowledge, does not stop to contemplate on the- 
question whether the world is or is not transient, but automati- 
cally takes to the work of universal benefit, and becomes the 
protagonist of Truth. Because, he has fully Realised the true- 
nature of the Eternal Truth, which is untouched by past,. 
present, or future. This metaphysically perfect state of a man 



CONCLUSION ■ ,.-■ 689. 

is the original souroe of all rules of Morality ; and this what 
is known in Vedanta as 'Release' (moksa). Whatever system 
of Morality is taken, it cannot be independent of this ultimate 
ideal ; and, therefore, in expounding Ethics or the Karma-Yoga, 
one cannot but surrender oneself to this principle. The desire 
for universal welfare is only a tangible form of the intangible 
fundamental principle of the Unity of the Atman in all created 
things ; and the qualityful Paramesvara, and the visible world, 
are nothing but visible forms of the imperceptible, all-pervasive, 
Atman, which is embodied in all created things. And not only 
is Knowledge incomplete, unless one has gone beyond these 
visible forms and Realised that imperceptible form, but the 
highest ideal of every human being in this world, namely, 
reaching the ultimate perfect state of the Atman in the Body, 
is not attained unless this Knowledge has been acquired. Take 
the case of Morality, or of worldly life, or of religion, or of any 
other Science, Metaphysical Realisation is the ultimate culmi- 
nation of all of them; of: "sarvam karmakhUam partha jfiane 
parisamapyate" (Gl. 4. 33), (i. e., "O Partha, all Action whatsoever, 
ultimately culminates in Knowledge" — Trans.); and as our 
Path of Devotion is based on this principle, the doctrine, 
'the principle of Equability of Reason, which comes into 
existence as a result of Realisation, is the root of good conduct 
(sadacaraya) and of Release', remains unchanged even in the 
Path of Devotion. The only important objection against this 
principle, established by Vedanta philosophy, is the belief 
of some. Vedantists, that it is absolutely essential to abandon 
all Aotion after one has come to the stage of Realisation. 
And therefore, the Gita has, after showing that there is no- 
conflict between Knowledge and Action, expatiated on the 
Karma- Yoga doctrine that Jfianins must, notwithstanding that 
they have destroyed Desire, perform all Actions, purely as 
duties, for universal benefit, and with the intention of 
dedicating them to the Paramesvara. It is true that the 
advice given to Arjuna is a special advice to fight, as he has 
been asked to fight and to dedicate all Actions . to the 
Paramesvara ; but that advice has been given consistently with 
the occasion which then existed (01. 8. 7). AH persons e. g. 
farmers, carpenters, ironmongers, agriculturists. ' grain-dealers 



690 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

merchants, Brahmins, clerks, etc., must keep going their 
various activities pertaining to their respective positions in 
life, with the intention of dedicating them to the Paramesvara, 
and thereby carry out the maintenance and uplift of the world, 
in the same way as Arjuna ; and the SUMMARY of all this 
advice is that when every one in this way sticks to whatever 
profession or position in life is his by birth, with a desireless 
frame of mind, he, the doer, does not thereby commit any sin ; 
that all Actions are essentially the same ; that the fault, if 
any, lies in the Reason of the doer, and not in the Action 
(Karma) ; and that, when a man performs all Actions after 
equabilising his Reason, he thereby only performs the worship 
of the Paramesvara, and, not having committed any sin, 
ultimately attains Release. But, those persons, who have made 
a firm determination not to enter the deep waters of the 
consideration of the Atman and the Non-Atman by 
trangressing the borders of the perishable and visible universe, 
because it is improper to do so, (especially, in these modern 
days), give up the high level of man's highest ideal of 
Realising the identity of the Brahman and the Atman, and 
start the exposition of their philosophy of Ethics with the 
inconstant, if visible, Materialistic principles of ' the benefit of 
mankind', or ' the benefit af all created things '. But just as 
one cannot say that a tree has become a different tree, as a 
result of one's having lopped off the top of it, so also does the 
philosophy of Ethics invented by Materialistic philosophers 
not become a new philosophy, merely because it is headless or 
incomplete. Even in our India, Sarhkhya philosophers, who 
do not admit the identity of the Brahman and the Atman, and 
who look upon each Purusa (Spirit) as a separate entity, have 
fixed the characteristics of the three constituents, sattva, rajas 
and tamas, after considering which of those constituents is 
responsible for the maintenance of the world, andwhioh, for 
the destruction of the world ; and they have maintained that 
it is the duty of every man to reach the highest state of the 
saWvika constituent, and that by doing go, one attains the state 
of the Trigunatita (beyond the three constituents), and acquires 
Release ; and the same import has been conveyed, with a slight 
difference, in the seventeenth and the eighteenth chapters of 



CONCLUSION 691 

■the Gita. * Whether you call it the ' highest development of 
-the sattvika constituent ' or, you call it the 'highest expansion of 
philanthropy, or humanness ' in Materialistic terminology, it 
is just the same. Not only have all these Materialistic 
principles been fully enunciated both in the Mahabharata and 
in the Gita, but it is clearly stated in the Mahabharata, that if 
one considers the worldly or the external use of rules of Right 
and Wrong (dharmadharma), one sees that these moral rules are 
for the good of all created beings, that is, for universal good. 
But, instead of somehow or other getting rid of the matter like 
Materialistic philosophers, by relying merely on the Perceptible, 
and indulging in verbosity because they have no faith in the 
Imperceptible, although they realise that Materialistic 
principles are insufficient for philosophically distinguishing 
between the Duty and the Non-duty, the Blessed Lord has in the 
Gita taken the ladder of these principles right up to the funda- 
mental, imperceptible, and permanent Element at the root of 
the Body and Cosmos, and established a complete harmony 
between Release, Morality, and worldly life on the basis of 
philosophy ; and, therefore, it has been clearly stated in the 
beginning of the Anugita (Ma. Bha. Alva. 16. 12) that the 
principles, which have been enunciated for distinguishing 
between the Duty and the Non-duty, ultimately lead to 
Release. Those who are of the opinion that it is not necessary 
to harmonise the science of Release with Ethics, or Meta- 
physics with Morality, will not realise the importance of 
this exposition. But such people as are not indifferent 
about this matter, will certainly consider the argument in 
support of Karma-Yoga as superior to or more acceptable, 
than the purely Materialistic exposition of the subject. As 
philosophy was not as highly developed metaphysically in 
any country in ancient times as in India, it was not possible 
that such a Metaphysical exposition of Karma-Yoga ( Right 
Action) should have been made in any country ; nor has it been 
so made. 

* The book named, The Hindu System of Moral Science written 
by Babu Kishorilal Sircar M. A., B. L., is of this kind, that is, it is 
baaed on the foundation of the three constituents, sattva, rajas, and 
tamas. 



692 GfTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

I have considered in the eleventh chapter above the pros and 
cons of the doctrine that, rather than abandoning Action some- 
time or other in this life, it is better to continue performing the 
same Actions, desirelessly and for the public welfare, cf : "karma, 
jyayo hi/ akarmayah" (i. e., "Action is superior to Inaction" — 
Trans.), which has been enunciated in the Gita, notwithstanding 
that it accepts the position that worldly life is inconstant, and 
that there is more of unhappiness than happiness in such 
life (Gl. 9. 33). But, in comparing this Karma-Yoga of the 
Gita with the Western philosophy of Action, or our philosophy 
of Renunciation with the Western philosophy of Abandonment 
of Aotion (karma-tyaga), it is necessary to deal at greater length 
with this matter. The doctrine that Release cannot he 
attained, unless one goes out of this painful and insipid worldly 
life, was first brought into the Vedic religion by the writers 
of the Upanisads and the Sarhkhya philosophers. The prior 
Vedic religion was Energistic, that is to say, it dealt with 
ritualistic Action, But, if one considers religions other than 
the Vedic religion, it will he seen that most of them had 
accepted the Path of Renunciation from the very commence- 
ment. For instance, the Jain and Buddhistic religions are 
both from the very beginning in favour of Renunciation; and 
the preaching of Christ is also to the same effect. The 
original Christian religion has preached the same principle: 
as was preached by Buddha to his disciples, namely, : 
"abandon worldly life, live like an ascetic, and do not look at 
or speak with women" (Mah&parinibbana Sutta 5. 23). Whereas 
Christ preached : "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself 
(Matthew 19. 19), St. Paul has preached "Whether there- 
fore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all 
to the glory of God"(l Cori. 10.31); and both these com- 
mandments are similar to the preaching of the Gita, that. 
all Actions should be performed by Self-Identification and 
with the idea of dedicating them to God (Gi. 6. 29 and 9. 27). 
But from that it does not follow, that the Christian religion is 
Energistic like the Gita religion ; because, the ultimate ideal 
of the Christian religion is, that man should attain immortality, 
and be redeemed ; and as the Christian religion has maintained 
that that ideal cannot be reached without giving up one's 



CONCLUSION 693 

home, the original religion of Christ must be said to have been 
renunciatory. Not only did Christ himself remain unmarried 
till the end of his life, but when a young man came and said 
to Him : "I have from my youth up followed all such command- 
ments as ' Honour thy father and thy mother ', ' Love thy 
neighbour as thyself ' etc. ; what good thing shall I do, that I 
may have eternal life ?", Christ gave him the plain answer : " If 
thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the 
poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven ; and come and 
follow me " (Matthew, 19. 16-30 and Mark, 10. 21-31) ; and 
immediately afterwards He turned to His disciples and said : 
" It is easier for a camel to go through, the eye of a needle, than 
for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God ". One may 
safely say that this is only a copy of the advice given by 
YSjnavalkya to Maitreyl that : " amrtatvasya tu riasasti vittena " 
(Br. 2. 4. 2), i.e., " if you have money, you need not entertain 
any hope of obtaining immortality ". Christ has nowhere 
preached what has been preached by the Glta, namely, that for 
obtaining immortality, it is not necessary to give up worldly 
life, and that it is enough if all Actions in such life are 
performed desirelessly. On the other hand, whereas Christ has- 
preached that, as there is a permanent conflict between worldly 
wealth and God (cf : "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon", 
Matthew 6. 24), therefore, " if any man come to me, and 
hate not his father, and mother, and wife and children, 
and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, 
he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14. 26), St. Paul, the- 
disciple of Christ has preached that : "It is good for a man 
not to touch a woman" (I. Cori. 7. 1). In the same way, I have 
shown above the similarity between the statement in the 
Brhadaranyakopanisad (Br. 4.4.22) that, "Mmprajaya karisyamo 
yesam no 'yam atrria 'yam lokah", (i. e., "as we see that the whole 
world is nothing but our itman, why should we have any 
(other) generation?"; see p. 433, Vol. I supra — Trans.), and 
the following words uttered by Christ: "Who is my mother? 
and who * are my brethern ? For whosoever shall do the will of 
* This is the standing advice of those who advocate the Path, 
of Benimciation. The words "ia te banta kas te puirah" (i. e. "what 
is thy wife ? what is thy son ?" — Trans.) uttered by Samkaraoarya 



694 GCTl-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

tny Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and 
sister, and mother" (Matthew, 12. 46-50). It follows from 
these statements in the Bible itself, that the Christian religion, 
like the Jainisra or Buddhism, originally advocated the 
giving up of worldly life, that is, supported Renunciation; 
and if one considers the ancient history of the Christian 
religion, it is seen that consistently with the preaching of the 
Lord Christ to his disciples that : "Provide neither gold, nor 
silver, nor brass, in your purses", the earliest of Christian 
preachers used to live in a state of Renunciation. * The 
practice of Christian preachers or of followers of Christ, of 
taking up the state of householders and leading a family life, 
is the result of the reform which came afterwards ; that was 
not the original Christian religion. Even in these days, people 
like Schopenhauer maintain that worldly life is full of pain, 
and on that account discardable; and I have mentioned 
before that the question whether it was better to spend 
one's life in philosophical contemplation, or to spend 
it in diplomatic activity for public welfare, had arisen 
in Greece in ancient times. In short, this Western 
philosophy of the Abandonment of Action and our 
philosophy of Renunciation are to a great extent similar to 
are well-known ; and there is a statement in the Buddhacarita (Life 
of Buddha) by Asvaghosa (6. 45) that Buddha had said : "kvaham 
■matuli km sa mama" (i. e., "what am I to my mother, what is she 
to me ? "—Trans.) 

* See Paulsen's System of Ethics (Bng. trans) Boob. I, Chap. 2 
and 3 ; esp. pp. 89-97. ''The new (Christian) converts seemed to 
renounce their family and country... their gloomy and austere 
a'peat, their abhorrence of the common business and pleasures of 
life, and their frequent predictions of impending calamities 
inspired the pagans with the apprehension of some danger which 
would arise from the new sect". Historian's History of t,he World, 
Yol. VI. p. 318. The German poet Goethe has, in his poem Faust 
said : Thou shalt renounce ; that is the eternal song which rings 
in everyone's ears ; which our whole life long, every hour is 
hoarsely singing to us" (Faust. Part I lines 1195-1198). I can 
quote many other authorities in support of the position that the 
original Christian religion was renunciatory. 



CONCLUSION 695 

each other ; and one may safely say that the Western method 
of supporting that philosophy is the same as the Eastern 
method. But, as the reasons given by Western philosophers 
for proving that the Path of Action is better than that of 
Abandonment of Action are different from the reasons adduced 
in the Glta for following Energism, this difference must be 
mentioned here. The supporters of the Western Materialistic 
Path of Action say, that we must look upon the greatest good 
of the greatest number or of all the beings in the world — that 
is, their Material happiness— as the highest ideal in this world,, 
and that it is the duty of everybody, while working for the 
happiness of everybody else, to also become engrossed in the 
same happiness ; and for supporting this position, many of the 
philosophers say, that there is more of happiness than of 
unhappiness in life. From this point of view, one has to say 
that the followers of the Western Path of Action are such as- 
" take part in the worldly life in the hope of obtaining, 
happiness ", and that those who follow the Western Path of 
Abandonment of Action are "tired of worldly life"; and for 
this reason, they are respectively called ' Optimists ' and 
' Pessimists '*. But the two paths mentioned in the Bhagavad- 
glta are different from these paths. By being induced to take- 
part in worldly life by the enticement of physical material 
pleasure, whether one's own or of other people, the sattvika 
mental frame in the shape of Equability of Reason suffers to a 
certain extent at least. The Glta, therefore, says that (a) whether 
worldly life is productive of happiness or of unhappiness,. 
if one cannot give up worldly affairs even if one wants to do- 
so, there is no sense in considering whether they produce 
happiness or unhappiness ; that (b) whether there is happiness 
or unhappiness, one must consider it a great good fortune 
* James Sally has in his book called Pessimism described the 
two paths of Optimists and Pessimists. Out of these ' Optimist '' 
means ' enthusiastic ', and ' Pessimist' means ' tired of life'; and 
I have mentioned in a previous note (see p. 420 supra), that these 
words are synonymous with the words 'Toga' and 'Samkhya'' 
used in the Glta ; and the same idea is explained above in detail. 
There is a third path who ' desire to prevent unhappiness ', and 
Sully has described this path as ' Helliorism '. 



696 GlTA-KAHASyA OE KAEMA-YOGA 

-that one has got a human birth ; and that (c) it is the duty of 
every human being to (i) suffer whatever fate befalls him 
in the inevitable activity of this world of Action, without 
allowing his heart to be discouraged, and with an equable 
frame of mind, as described in the words, " duhkyesv amdvigna- 
manah sukhesu vigatahsprhah" (Gl. 2. 56.), (i. e., "with an 
undejected mind in the midst of unhappiness. and being free 
from desire in the midst of pleasures" — Trans.), and to 
{ii) go on p3rf orming life-long whatever portion of Action has 
fallen on one's shoulders, for the maintenance of the world, 
according to one's status in life, consistently with the injuetions 
of the Sastras, and not for this purpose or that purpose, but 
desirelessly. In the times of the GIta, the arrangement of 
the four castes was in full swing ; and that is why it is stated 
in the GIta that different social duties are allocated to different 
persons according to the arrangement of the four castes ; and 
it is shown in the eighteenth chapter how these differences 
arise according to the divisions of the constituents and of 
Karma (Gl. 18. 41-44). But, one must not, on that account i 
draw the conclusion that the principles of Ethics enunciated 
in the GIta apply only to the arrangement of the four castes. 
The writer of the Mahabharata was fully alive to the fact 
that the compass of the principles of Ethics like, Non- Violence 
( ahimsa) etc.. is not restricted to the four castes, and that these 
principles ordinarily apply to the whole of mankind. It is, 
therefore, clearly stated in the Bharata, that the maintenance of 
the Non-Aryans, who were outside the four castes who observed 
these principles, must be made by the king according to these 
general Ethical principles (S3n. 65. 12.-22); and instead of 
making the exposition of principles of Ethics depend on any 
particular arrangement of society, such as the arrangement of 
the four castes, the GIta has based it on universal Metaphysical 
philosophy. The chief conclusion of the Ethics of the GIta is, 
-that, one must perform all one's duties according to the 
iSastras, desirelessly, and by Self-Identification ; and this 
applies ' equally well to all persons in all countries. But, 
•although this universal principle of Ethics of a Self-Identify- 
S*ig vision '.and of ; 'Desireless Action is thus established, it is 
also necessary to give SOme'explanatiohof how those Actions, 



OONCLTJSIOtf 697 

to which that principle has to be applied, fall to the lot of 
different persons in this world. The arrangement of the four 
castes has, therefore, been mentioned in the Glta, as it was the 
most simple and natural illustration, whioh applied to the 
circumstances of that particular age ; and the arrangement of 
■society in those days has been concisely explained in the Glta 
according to the division of 'constituents of Matter' (gum). 
and Action. But this is not the principle idea of the Glta ; and 
it must be borne in mind that the comprehensive doctrine of 
the Glta is that, even where this arrangement of four castes is 
not in vogue, or is not rigorously observed, a human being 
comes into existence to perform whatever duties come to his 
•share, for the maintenance of society, according to the arrange- 
ment of society which may then be in vogue, as duties, 
-desirelessly, courageously, and enthusiastically, for the public 
good, and not for the enjoyment of pleasure ; and the opinion 
advanced by some that the Ethics expounded in the Gits is 
based on the arrangement of the four castes is not correct. 
The Glta says that whether the society is a Hindu society or 
a non-Hindu society, whether it is an ancient society or a 
modern society, whether it is an Eastern society or a Western 
society, if the arrangement of the four castes applies to that 
■society, then according to that arrangement, and if it does not 
apply, then according to any other arrangement of society 
which may be applicable to it, that duty which has fallen on 
one's shoulders or which, being possible, may have been taken 
up by one as a duty, of one's own choice, becomes a moral 
duty ; and giving up these moral duties, and, on the spur of the 
moment, taking up that which is proper .for some one else, on 
■some pretext or other, is wrong from the point of view of 
Morality, as also from the point of view of public good. This 
is what is meant by the statement in the Gita: " svadliarme 
■nidlianam sreyah paradharmo bhayavahah" (Gi. 3. 35), i. e., "even 
if one has to die in the performance of those duties which are 
•one's own, that is meritorious.; but, taking up the duties 
■{dharma) of another person is dangerous"; and, it is well-known 
in the Maharashtra that Rama Shastribuva said to the elder 
Madhavrao Peshva, who was a Brahmin by caste, and who 
ihad taken up the career of a,, soldier having regard to -the 



698 GlTA-BAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

circumstances prevailing at the time, that : " by your not 
wasting time in prayer and worship, but spending it for 
protecting society by taking up the career of a soldier, you 
will acquire happiness in this life and in the next ". The 
chief object of the Glta is not to show what would be the 
proper arrangement for the maintenance of society. The 
summary of the Glta religion is that, whatever the arrange- 
ment of society may be, one should enthusiastically perform 
all the duties which have come to one's share, according to ■ 
one's status in life, and acquire the benefit of the Atman in the 
shape of the happiness of all created things. It is true that 
the Actions, which the Sthitaprajna of the Glta performs by 
way of duties, are naturally productive of public good. But, 
the Sthitaprajna of the Gita does not entertain the egotistical 
feeling that 'I' am by 'MY' actions causing public good; and, 
as Equability of Reason has become an inherent nature with 
him, all the Actions which are performed by him, purely as 
duties, according to whatever arrangement of society may be 
in vogue at any particular time, are naturally productive of 
public good. The modern Western moral philosopher, on the 
other hand considers worldly life as an embodiment of happi- 
ness, and bespeaks the performance of Actions which produce 
public good in order to enable everybody to obtain this happiness 
of worldly life: this is the important difference between the- 
Karma-Yoga of the Glta and the Western Materialistic Path 
of Action. 

Nevertheless, it is not that all modern Western philo- 
sophers subscribing to the Path of Action, consider worldly 
life as productive of happiness. There is also a class of 
Karma- Yogins in the West like Schopenhauer, who, while 
admitting that worldly life is principally full of unhappiness, 
maintain, that one should not give up worldly life, but should' 
try as much as possible to reduce the unhappiness of others* 
since it is the duty of a wise man to reduce this general 
unhappiness as much as possible; or who desire 'to reduce 
unhappiness *. And there is a great deal of similarity between 
this' path and the Karma-Yoga of the Glta. Where it is 
stated in the Mahabharata that : "sukMd bahutaram duhkham- 
finite tiatra xxmsayab", i- e., "in worldly life, unhappiness. 



conclusion m 

is proportionately greater than happiness", it is also stated 
by Manu to Brhaspati and by Narada to Suka that .— 

na janapadikam duhkham ekah sodium arhafi I 
asocan pratikurvlta yadi pasyed upakramam 11 

(San. 305. 5 and 330. 15), 

that is, "it is not proper to lament about that unhappiness 
which is universal; instead of lamenting about the matter, 
one ( the Jnanin ) should use such means as occur to him 
for obviating that unhappiness". From this it becomes quite 
clear, that even the writer of the Mahabharata had accepted 
the doctrine that, although worldly life is full of unhappiness* 
the wise man should busy himself with reducing such 
universal unhappiness. But, this is not what the Gita is 
trying to preach. There must still be a considerable amount 
of improvement in the Western Karma- Yoga which attempts 
to reduce unhappiness, before it can come to the level of 
the Karma-Yoga in the Gita, which gives greater importance 
to the happiness resulting from Self-Identification, than to 
mere Material happiness, and which preaches that all worldly 
affairs should be carried on, while experiencing this happiness 
born of Self-Identification, merely because they are duties, 
and without entertaining the rajasa pride that, '"I" (the doer) 
am performing Action with the idea of reducing the unhappi- 
ness of others". Western philosophers are always more or 
less engulfed in the idea that Material happiness, whether of 
oneself or of others, is the true highest ideal of man in this 
world — whether that ideal is reached by increasing the means 
of happiness or by reducing unhappiness — it is not possible to 
find in their philosophy, the desireless Karma-Yoga of the 
Gita, which looks upon worldly life as inevitable, although it 
might be productive of unhappiness, and preaches Action for 
universal good ( loka-samgraha ). It is true that all these 
persons follow the Path of Action ; but it is easy to see the 
difference between the two, even from the point of view of 
Pure Morality, namely, that the Western Energism desires 
happiness or desires the obviation of unhappiness, that is to 
say, in either case, desires something, and is sakama (based on 
Desire), whereas the Karma-Yoga of the Gita is always 
11—12 



700 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

indifferent about the Fruit of Action — or, if the same meaning 
is conveyed in other words, the Karma- Yoga of the Glta is 
sattvika and the Karma- Yoga of the West is rajasa ( Gl. 18. 
23 and 24 ). 

The Energistic path, or the Path of Karma-Yoga based on 
Spiritual Knowledge, of continually performing all worldly 
affairs as pure duties with the idea of dedicating them to the 
Paramesvara, and thereby making a sacrifice to, or worshipping 
lifelong, the Paramesvara, which has been preached by the 
Glta, is known as the ' Bhagavata religion '. The essenoe of 
this path is contained in the words : " sve sve harmony abhiratah 
mmsiddMih labhate varah " (Gl. 18. 45). This doctrine has been 
propounded in the Vana-parva in the story of the Brahmin 
and the hunter ( Vana. 208 ), and in the Santi-parva in the 
conversation between the merchant Tuladhara and Jajali 
(San. 261) in the Mahabharata, and even in the Manu-Smrti, 
after the enunciation of the path to be followed by ascetics, it 
is stated that this Karma- Yoga of the Vedantist ascetic (veda- 
satimyasika) should also be followed, and that it will lead to 
Release ( Mami. 6. 96, 97 ). It becomes clear from the word 
' veda-samnyasika ' ( Vedantist ascetic ), as also from the 
descriptions to be found in the Veda-Samhitas and in the 
Brahmanas, that this path had been in vogue in our India 
from times immemorial. Nay, if it were otherwise, our country 
would never have reached that prosperity, which it had ; for, 
it is clear that in any country whatsoever, the persons who 
wield the destinies of the country must be supporters of the 
Path of Action. But the important point of our Karma- Yoga 
is that even such nation-builders must, without giving up the 
Knowledge of the Brahman, keep Action inter-linked with it ; 
and, as has been stated above, this path came to be called the 
' Bhagavata religion, ' because the Blessed Lord BhagavSn 
enunciated this path logically, and emphasised it, and gave it 
wide circulation. On the other hand, it becomes quite clear 
from the Upanisads that some Jnanins were inherently 
inclined from the very beginning towards the Path of 
Samnyasa ; or at any rate, that after going through the state of 
a house-holder in the beginning, they, towards the end of their 
lives, used to conceive the desire of taking up Asceticism, 



CONCLUSION 701 

"whether they actually took it up or not. Therefore, it cannot 
also be said that the Path of Renunciation (samnyasa) was 
■something new. But; there is no doubt that, although both 
these paths were in this way in vogue in India since ancient 
times, on account of diversity of human nature, yet, in the 
times of the Vedas, the path of Ritualistic Action of the 
Mlmamsa school was more in favour ; and that in the times of 
■the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the Karma-Yoga had to a 
great extent put the Path of Renunciation into shade. 
Because, our religious treatises have clearly said that in the 
Kali-yuga, that is, after the date of the Kauravas and the 
Pandavas, the Path of Renunciation was prohibited ; and in 
as much as every religion is prima fade a sign of whatever is 
■customary at that time, according to the rule, "acaraprabkavo 
■dharmaK' (i. e., "Morality springs from custom" — Trans.), (Ma. 
Bha. Ami. 149, 137 ; Manu. 1. 108), it is quite clear that the 
Path of Renunciation (samnyUsa) must have lost ground as a 
custom long before the writers of the religious SSstras enun- 
ciated this prohibitory rule *. The question now naturally 
arises as to why this Karma- Yoga based on Spiritual Know- 
ledge, which was at one time in full swing, started its 
■decadence, if it was in this way predominant in the beginning 
and matters had come to the stage of considering the Path of 
Renunciation as objectionable in the Kali-yuga ; and why the 
■opinion has gained ground even in the Path of Devotion, that 
tthe Path of Renunciation alone was superior. Some persons 
■say that this difference was brought about by the first 
:6amkaraearya. But if one considers history, it will be seen 
.that this idea is not correct. As has been stated by me 
already in the first chapter, the teachings of the school of 
Samkaracarya fall into two divisions, (1) Knowledge or 
Realisation of Non-Duality based on the doctrine of Maya 
■(Illusion), and (2) the Path of the Renunciation of Action. 
Out of these two, although the Upanisads have advocated 
Renunciation along with the Realisation of the Non-Dual 
Brahman, yet, as this inter-relatiojjietweea Ahe two is not of 
a permanent nature, it does oeffollow from the •acceptance of 
* See the quotations j^fvek above in the loot-notk to p. 476, 
Vol. I of this book. ' ' '■ '•"' ' s 



702 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KAEMA-YOGA 

the Non-Dualistic Vedanta, that one must also accept the- 
doctrine of Renunciation. For instance, not only were 
Janaka and others, who had fully learnt the Non-Dualistic- 
VedSnta from Yajnavalkya and others, followers of the Path 
of Action, but even the G-Ita has advocated the Path of Action 
based on Spiritual Knowledge, instead of advocating, the Path 
of Renunciation, although it has adopted the doctrine of the- 
Realisation of the Non-Dual Brahman from the Upanisads.. 
Therefore, it must be first borne in mind that the accusation- 
against the School of Samkaracarya that it encouraged. 
Renunciation, does not apply to the Non-Dualistic basis of 
that cult, but may probabely be ranged against the doctrine of 
Renunciation included in the cult. Although this Path of 
Renunciation was not something new which had been invented* 
by Sri Samkaracarya, yet, it is true that he removed the- 
inferiority which had become attached to it, as it had' been, 
included among the things prohibited in the Kali-yuga. But',. 
if the Path of Renunciation had not acquired favour with 
people before the date of Samkaracarya for some other reason,, 
it is doubtful whether his advocacy of Renunciation wouldi 
have gained as much ground as it hid. Christ has said that 
when one cheek has been slapped, one should proffer the other- 
cheek also for being slapped (Luke. 6. 29). But if one considers 
how many followers of this position are to be found among; 
the European kingdoms, it will be seen that something does- 
not come into vogue merely because a religious preacher has> 
praised it, but that there are at first some other substantial- 
reasons why the minds of people are attracted towards it, and- 
why there is thereafter a change in the public customs, and a> 
sympathetic change in the religious rules. This is what is-- 
meant by the saying in the Smrtis that 'Custom is the root of 
law or religion'. Schopenhauer sponsored the Path of Renun- 
ciation in Germany in the last century ; but we find that that 
seed has not even yet taken root in that country; and Nietzsche 
has found greater favour there than Schopenhauer ; and even 
if we turn to India, we find that although the Path of 
SamnySsa was already in vogue in the times of the Vedas long, 
.before Samkaracarya, it had never put the Karma-Yoga into- 
the shade. It is true that there are directions in the Smrtis. 



CONCLUSION 703 

4hat one should renounce the world towards the end of life. 
But they too have not done away with Action in the previous 
.•stages of life; and although the works of SamkaracSrya 
advocate Abandonment of Action, yet, his own life bears 
testimony to the fact that he had no objection to Jnanins, or 
•even Samnyasins, performing the Action of universal welfare 
according to their own qualifications, e. g., for establishing 
religion ( Ve. Su. Sam. Bha. 3. 3. 32 ). If the teaching of 
• Saihkaracarya based on the Smrtis had been responsible for the 
predominance of the Path of Eenunciation, Ramanujacarya, 
vwho belongs to the modern Bhagavata school, would have had 
no reason to give an inferior position to the Karma-Yoga in 
his commentary on the Gita, in the same way as SarhkarScarya. 
But, if the Karma-Yoga, which had once been very powerful, 
has been put into shade even by the renunciatory Path of 
Devotion included in the Bhagavata cult, one must say that 
ithere must have been some other reasons for its having thus 
lost ground, which apply equally to all countries or all cults. 
In my opinion the first and the most important of these 
jeasons was the growth and the development of the Jain and 
the Buddhistic religions; and as both these religions had 
•opened the door of Renunciation to all the castes, the Path of 
Renunciation has gained ground even with the warrior 
iksatriya) class from the date when these two religions came 
into vogue. But although Buddha had in the beginning 
preached the inactive Path of Renunciation, yet, soon 
■thereafter, there was a reform in the Buddhistic religion, 
consistent with the Karma-Yoga of the Gita, by it being 
preached that Buddhistic ascetics should not remain in the 
woods, in solitude, like rhinoceroses, but should continually 
exert themselves for the propagation of religion and for public 
.good (See Appendices) ; and history proves to us that as a 
result of this reform, societies of energetic Buddhistic ascetics 
leached Tibet in the North, Burma, China, and Japan in the 
East, Ceylon in the South, and Turkestan and the adjoining 
European oountries like Greece, etc., in the West. The 
.promulgators of the Jain and Buddhistic religions were born 
about 600 to 700 years before the Salivahana era, whereas 
;Samkaracarya was born about 600 year after that era. As the 



704 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

eminence of the societies of Buddhistic ascetics,, working ire 
the propagation of religion, was before the public eyes in the 
intervening period, there arose a kind of liking or respect for 
the life of an ascetic in the public mind, long before- 
Sarhkaraearya was born; and although Sarhkaraearya had: 
refuted the Jain and the Buddhistic doctrines, yet, he gave a 
Vedic turn to the respect which reigned in the public mind for 
the life of an ascetic, and brought into existence Vedic ascetics- 
for the establishment of the Vedic religion, instead of the 
Buddhistic religion, who were as active and energetic as fee 
Buddhist ascetics. It is true that these (Vedic) Sarhnyasins- 
led the lives of celibates, and used to wear clothes and carry 
a staff, which were the emblems of Renunciation ; yet, they,. 
like their spiritual preceptor, continued the work of establish- 
ing the Vedic religion. Seeing in this way, that Sarhkaraearya. 
had established an institution similar to the Buddhist societies 
of ascetics, a doubt may even at that time have arisen as to- 
whether there was any difference between the teachings of 
Srimat Sarhkaraearya and the Buddhistic teachings ; and- 
possibly Sarhkaraearya has on that account said in his 
commentary on the Chandogyopanisad that: "Buddhistic and 
Sarhkhya asceticism is outside the purview of the Vedas and 
false ; and as the Path of Renunciation enunciated by me is- 
consistent with the Vedic religion, it is true" (Ohan. Sam. Bha. 2. 
23. 1), in order to clear that doubt. Whatever may be the case,, 
there is no doubt that Asceticism was first introduced in the 
Kaliyuga by the Buddhist and Jain teachers. It is, however,, 
cpiite clear from history that even the Buddhist ascetics later on 
performed Action for spreading religion or for public good and 
that the societies of Vedic ascetics, brought into existence by 
Samkaraoarya for defeating the Buddhistic ascetics, also- 
did not abandon Action altogether, but re-established the Vedic- 
religion by their activities. But soon after that, our country 
began to be invaded by Mahomedans ; and as the Ksatriya. 
rulers, who were maintaining and protecting the country by 
their prowess against foreign invasions, and also simul- 
taneously, the prowess of our country, began to die out during, 
the Mahomedan regime, the original one-sided opinion that the- 
Jiath of sitting idle, taking the name of God ( saying ' Hari ',. 



CONCLUSION 705 

' Hari ' ) was the only proper way out of the two paths of 
Benunciation and Bneigism, must have become more and more 
acceptable to people for leading their worldly lives, as it was 
more in keeping with the particular external circumstances 
then prevailing. That state of things did not prevail before, 
is apparent from the following stanza adopted in the Sfidra 
Kamalakara from Visnu-Purana namely : — 

apahaya rdjam karma krsna krsiieti vadinah i 

te harer dvesinah papah dharmartham janma yad dhareh u* 

that is, "those who give up the duties which are theirs (accord- 
ing to their religion) and (simply) sit saying 'Hari', 'Hari,', are 
really enemies of Hari, and sinners ; because, even Hari has 
taken birth for protecting religion". Really speaking, such 
persons do not belong either to the fold of Samnyasins or of 
Karma-Yogins ; because, they do not give up worldly affairs as 
a result of Spiritual Knowledge and intense apathy towards 
the world, as is done by Samnyasins ; nor do they desirelessly 
perform the duties which have fallen on them as a result of 
the injunctions of the Sastras like Karma-Yogins, while they 
take part in worldly affairs. Therefore, these nominal 
Samnyasins must be classified under a third category, which 
has not been mentioned in the Gita. When people acquire- 
this neutral mentality from any cause whatsoever, Religion 
cannot but ultimately be destroyed. This very state of things 
was responsible for the Parsi religion being thrown out of 
Iran, and the Vedic religion in India was also on the point of 
being "samulam ca vinasyaii" (i. e., "destroyed root and branch" 
— Trans.) for the same reason ; but the recrudescence of the 
Bhagavata religion enunciated in the Gita along with 
Vedanta after the fall of Buddhism, prevented this evil 
consequence from manifesting itself in our country. A few 
years before the Hindu dynasty of Daulatabad was destroyed 
by Mahomedans, JnaneswaTa Maharaj, by our good fortune, 
gave " a native clothing " to the Bhagavadgita, and brought 
* I have not come across this stanza in the edition of the 
Visnu-Purana published in Bombay. Yet, as it has been adopted 
by an honest writer like Kamalakara Bhatta, I cannot say that it 
is without authority. 



706 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

about an " over-flow of the knowledge of the Brahman " pro- 
pounded by the Glta into the Maharashtriya provinces ; and 
about the same time, other saints were preaching the Path of 
Devotion mentioned in the Glta, in other provinces. As the 
illustrious teaching of the Glta, which looked equably towards 
Mahomedans, Brahmins, and people of lower castes etc., and 
which was based on Knowledge, was being preached on all 
sides simultaneously, although in the shape of Devotion 
combined with Renunciation, not only was the danger of the 
Hindu religion being totally obliterated averted, but it began 
to gain some kind of influence on the bigoted Mahomedan reli- 
gion, and to enter Mahomedan saints like Kabira and others ; 
and about the same time, Shahzada Dara, the elder brother of 
Aurangazeb, got the Upanisads translated into Urdu under his 
own supervision. If the Vedic Path of Devotion had been based 
on the pure ritualistic basis of Religious Faith, without being 
connected with Spiritual Knowledge, it is doubtful whether it 
would have retained this strength. But as this modern revival 
of the Bhagavata religion took place during the Mahomedan 
rigime, it also was more or less devotional, that is, one-sided ; 
and the Karma- Yoga of the original Bhagavata religion, which 
had once lost its independent importance, did not regain it ; 
and the saints, philosophers and preceptors of this period 
began to say that Karma-Yoga was only a part of the 
Path of Devotion, instead of saying that it was a part of or a 
means in the Path of Renunciation. I think that the only 
«xception to this then prevalent opinion is the works of Sri 
Samartha Ramadasa Svami ; and any one who wishes to see 
the true glory of the Path of Action, in pure and inspired 
Marathi language, must study the Dasabodha of Sri Samartha 
Ramadasa, and especially the latter portion of it. SivSji 
Maharaj was blessed by the advice of Sri Samartha Ramadasa ; 
and later on, when the necessity of explaining the elements 
of the Karma-Yoga was being felt in the time of the 
Marathas, prose translations were made of the Mahabharata, 
and not of the Sandilya-Sutras or of the commentary of the 
Brahma-Satras, and they began to be studied in the form of 
o"? bakhars ". These translations are still kept in the library at 
Tanjore. If this course had been carried on further without 



CONCLUSION 707 



interruption, one-sided commentaries on the Glta would 
nave been left in the back-ground, and the fact that the 
■essence of Ethics and Morality in the Mahabharata has been 
described in the Karma- Yoga of the Glta, would certainly 
have been realised by people. But, by our misfortune, this 
revival of the Karma-Toga was not long-lived. 

This, however, is not the place to describe the religious 
history of India. My readers will have realised from the 
brief and succinct statement made above, that the religion 
propounded in the Glta contains some sort of life, brilliance, 
and power ; and that this power was not lost in spite of the 
fact, that there was an intermediate fortuitous revival of the 
Samnyasa religion. The root meaning of the word ' dharma ' 
(morality) is " dharanat dharmah " (i.e., " Morality is that 
which upholds" — Trans.); and it ordinarily falls into the 
•two divisions, (1) ' dealing with life after death ' (paralaukika) 
and (2) ' dealing with worldly life ' {vyavaharika), or (1) the 
philosophy of Release (mdksa-dharmd), and (2) Ethics (niti- 
dharma), as has been stated by me in the third chapter. 
Whether you take the Vedio religion, or Buddhism, or the 
■Christian religion, the principal object of each of them is that 
the world should be maintained and that man should 
ultimately attain Eelease; and therefore, each of these 
•.religions deals to some extent or other with worldly notions of 
Eight and Wrong, simultaneously with the philosophy of 
Release. Nay, we may even say that in ancient times, no 
difference used to be made between the philosophy of Release 
And worldly Morality ; because, every one then fully believed 
•that in order to obtain a proper state after death, one's conduct 
in this world must also be pure. Not only was it so, but 
people used to believe that there is one and the same founda- 
tion for happiness after death as for happiness during life. 
But, as a result of the growth of the Material sciences, this 
belief has now lost ground in the Western countries, and 
people have begun (i) to consider whether Morality, that is, 
those rules by which the world is maintained, can or cannot be 
based on something other than the philosophy of Release, and 
<ii) to base Sociology on a Materialistic, that is to say, a 
-visible or perceptible foundation. But, how will all the needs of 



708 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

human beings be satisfied by that which is only perceptible T 
Even the class-denoting words, ' tree ', ' man ', etc., carry an, 
imperceptible idea. It is true that a mango-tree or a rose-tree 
are specific objects which are Visible ; but the common noun> 
' tree ' does not specify any visible or perceptible objeot ; and 
all our activities are of the same nature. From this it follows,, 
that in order that the idea of the Imperceptible should come 
into the mind, it is necessary to have some percetible object 
before the eyes. But, it is equally true that the Percetible is not 
the final stage, and that we cannot take a single step forward 
or complete even a single sentence without the support of 
the Impercetible. Therefore, if one abandons the imperceptible- 
idea of the Parabrahman in the shape of the Identity of the 
Atman in all created beings, which is taken as a foundation- 
for Ethics from the point of view of Metaphysics, it still- 
becomes necessary to worship as a God, " the whole of 
mankind, " which is a non-visible, that is, an imperceptible 
thing ; and even ninety-nine per cent Materialistic philosophers- 
have now begun to earnestly preach that we should include in 
mankind all the past and future generations, in order to satisfy 
the natural desire of human beings for immortality ; and that- 
worshipping wholly, solely, and lovingly this magnified God,. 
or spending one's whole life in the service of it (mankind), or 
sacrificing one's selfish interests for it, is the highest duty of 
every body in this world. This is the summary of the doctrines- 
preached by the French philosopher Comte, and this religion has- 
been given by him the pretty name of "Religion of the entire 
mankind" or shortly "Religion of Humanity". * The same is- 
the case with the modern German philosopher Nietzsche. This 
philosopher has, in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, 
definitely proclaimed that "God is dead " ; and he says that 
Metaphysics is all bosh. Nevertheless, after admitting the 
doctrines of Causality and of Re-incarnation from the- 
Materialistic point of view, he has admitted in all his books, 
* Oomte has named his doctrine the *' Beligion of Humanity" ; 
and the -whole of it has been expounded in his work A System of 
Positive Polity (Eng. trans, in four volumes). This book contains a 
very clever discussion of the question how society can be established. 
and maintained even from the purely Materialistic point of view. 



CONCLUSION 709 

that performing such action as can he again performed hy us 
birth after hirth, and having such an arrangement of society as 
will lead to the creation in future of such a human animal as 
has all its mental faculties fully developed, and in a state 
of complete perfection, is the duty and the highest ideal 
of man in this world. From this it will be seen, that even 
those, who do not admit the science of Metaphysics, have to- 
take something or other as the highest ideal in dealing with 
the question of Morality and Immorality, and that such ideal 
is in one way 'imperceptible' (avyakta). Because, whether you 
ask people to worship the magnified deity in the shape of the- 
'whole of mankind', and to thereby bring about the benefit 
of the entire human kind, or you ask people to perform Action 
in such a way that at some time or other in the future a 
human being will be created which is in the most completely 
perfect state, both these ideals of the Materialistic moralists- 
are invisible or imperceptible to the eyes of those for whom 
this preaching is intended. Although this preaching of Comte 
and Nietzsche may be contrary to a purely Intuitionist 
devotional religion like Christianity, which is devoid of 
philosophy, yet, all the above-mentioned Materialistic- 
ideals can without any difficulty be included in the highest 
ideals of the science of Morality and Immorality, or of Ethics, 
based on the foundation of (i) the ideal of the Realisation of 
the identity of the Atman in all created beings, or of (ii) the 
state of perfection of the Karma-Yogin Sthitaprajna (one 
whose Reason has been steadied by the practice of Karma-Yoga) j 
and therefore, one need not entertain the fear that this- 
Materialistic philosophy will ever give a set-back to the 
Vedic religion, which is replete with the Knowledge of 
the Absolute Self. If it is necessary to look upon the highest 
ideal as imperceptible, why should it be restricted to- 
"mankind'?; and even if the 'State of Perfection' is to be 
considered as the highest ideal, how is that ideal better 
than the Materialistic ideal which is common both to man 
and animal ? These are the questions which now face us ; and 
when one attempts to answer these questions, one has 
ultimately to take shelter in the one, indescribable, highest 
Element, which is the foundation of the entire moveable and 



710 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

immoveable creation from the Metaphysical point of view. The 
Material sciences have had an unprecedented growth in modern 
times, and our knowledge of the visible world is a hundred 
times more extensive than before; and that Eastern nation which 
will fail to acquire the knowledge of those sciences, following 
the principle of measure for measure', will undoubtedly fail 
to resist the onslaught of new civilised Western countries. 
But, however much the Material sciences may grow, the 
inherent tendency of the human mind to try to understand the 
Boot Cause of the universe, will never be fully satisfied by 
Materialistic explanations. The knowledge of the perceptible 
world by itself does not account for everything; and even 
evolutionists like Spencer frankly admit that there must be 
some imperceptible Substance at the root of the Name-d and 
Eorm-ed visible world. But, they say that as it is impossible 
to understand the characteristic features of this permanent 
and eternal Substance, no science can be based on the 
foundation of such a Substance. The German philosopher Kant 
also admits the incognoscibility of the imperceptible Substance 
at the root of the creation ; yet, he is of opinion that the 
science of Ethics must be based on this incognoscible 
Substance. Schopenhauer goes further, and maintains that 
this imperceptible Substance is of the nature of Desire, and 
the English Moralist Green maintains that this Substance at 
the root of the creation has been partially incarnated in the 
human body in the shape of the Atman ; and as for the Glta, 
it clearly says that, "mcmudvamio fivaloke jivabhutah sanatanah" 
(GI. 15. 7), (i. e., "parts of My eternal essence take the form of 
Life, in the world of Life (the world of Action)" — Trans.). The 
writers of the Upanisads say that this imperceptible Substance 
at the root of the universe, is permanent, one, immortal, 
independent, and of the form of the Atman, and that nothing 
more can be said about it ; and it is doubtful whether human 
knowledge will ever go beyond this conclusion ; because, as 
the imperceptible Substance at the root of the world is invisible 
to the organs, that is, necessarily quality less, this quality less 
Substance cannot be described by any words which denote a 
quality, or an object, or an Action ; and that is why it is called 
"'ajfleya' (unknowable). But though this knowledge, which we 



CONCLUSION 711 

acquire of the imperceptible World-Substance, cannot be des- 
cribed to a greater extent in words, and though it may be small to 
all appearances, yet, as it is the sum and substance of all 
human knowledge, the exposition of worldly Ethics must be 
made by reference to it; and it will be apparent from the 
exposition made in the Gita that there cannot be the slightest 
difficulty in the way of doing so properly. In order to properly 
understand how the thousands of activities in the world should 
be carried on — for instance, how commerce should be carried 
on, how wars should be fought out, what medicine should be 
given to a sick person and in what circumstancs, or how one 
should measure the distances of the Sun and the Moon etc. — one 
will always need the knowledge of the Name-d and Form-ed 
visible world ; and in order to carry on this worldly activity 
more and more skilfully, one must undoubtedly study the 
Material sciences deeper and deeper. But that is not the 
subject-matter of the Glta. The chief object of the GitS is to- 
explain which is the most excellent state of man from the 
Metaphysical point of -view, and to decide the fundamental 
principles of Ethics as regards the Doable and the Not-Doablfr 
on that basis. I have shown in the previous chapters that 
(i) although the Materialistic view is indifferent about Release 
which is the Metaphysical ideal, yet, that view is insufficient- 
even for definitely deciding the elementary principles of 
Ethics; that (ii) that point of view cannot satisfactorily 
answer the moot questions of Freedom of Will, or the per- 
manence of ethical principles, or the inherent desire in the 
human mind to attain immortality ; and that (iii) one has- 
ultimately to necessarily enter into the question of the Atman 
and the Non-Atman. But the province of Metaphysics does- 
not end there. And it must be borne in mind that the 
Materialistic theory of Happiness does not explain what the 
most perfect- state of a human being is, as satisfactorily as it 
is explained by the science of Metaphysios, since the funda- 
mental basis of Righteous Action (sadacarmia) is the ohange,, 
which takes place in the character or the nature of a man, as a 
result of the particular Peace (santi) which is acquired by the- 
human Atman by the continual worship and direct Realisation 
of that Immortal Substance which is at the root of the world. 



712 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Because, pure bodily pleasures are the ideal only of animals, 
and they can never fully satisfy the intelligence of an 
intelligent human being ; and, it has already been fully 
explained in previous chapters, that Happiness and Unhappi- 
ness are transient, and that Duty is permanent. Looking at 
the matter from this point of view, it will be seen that (i) this 
most advanced religion of the Glta will never be found 
inferior to the purely Materialistic philosophy, which considers 
human actions from the point of view that man is only a 
■superior kind of animal, since the religion relating to the life 
■after death and the Ethics preached in the Glta, have both been 
explained with reference to the permanent and immortal 
World-Substance; that (ii) this our Gita religion is a 
permanent, undauntable religion; and that (iii) the Blessed 
Lord has not left the necessity for Hindus to rely on any other 
book, or religion, or opinion in this matter. Nay, the words 
"abhayam. vai prapto'si", i.e., " Now, you have nothing to fear " 
(Br. k 2. 4), which were addressed by Yajfiavalkya to Janaka, 
after the entire Knowledge of the Brahman had been explained 
to him (Janaka), may literally and in several meanings, be 
applied to the religion of the Glta. 

The religion of the Glta, which is a combination of 
Spiritual Knowledge, Devotion, and Action, which is in all 
respects undauntable and comprehensive, and is further 
perfectly equable, that is, which does not maintain any 
distinction between classes, castes, countries, or any other 
distinction, but gives Release to everyone in the same 
measure, and at the same time shows proper forbrearance 
towards other religions, is thus seen to be the sweetest and 
■immortal fruit of the tree of the Vedic Religion. In the Vedic 
Religion, higher importance was given in the beginning 
principally to the sacrifice of wealth or of animals, that is 
to say, principally to Action in the shape of ritual ; but, 
when the Knowledge expounded in the TJpanisads taught 
later on that this ritualistic religion of the Srutis was 
inferior, Samkhya philosophy came into existence out of 
it. But as this Knowledge was unintelligible to 
ordinary people, and as it was specially inclined towards 
Abandonment of Action, it was not possible for ordinary people 



CONCLUSION 713 

40 be satisfied merely by the religion of the Upanisads, or by 
■the unification of the Upanisads and the Sarhkhya philoso- 
phy in the Smrtis. Therefore, the Glta religion fuses the 
Knowledge of the Brahman contained in the Upanisads, which 
is cognoscible only to the Intelligence, with the ' king of 
mysticisms' (raja-guhya) of the worship of the Perceptible 
which is accessible to Love, and consistently with the ancient 
tradition of ritualistic religion, it proclaims to everybody, 
■though nominally to Arjuna, that, "perform lifelong your 
•several worldly duties according to your respective positions in 
ilife, desirelessly, for the universal good, with a Self -Identifying 
vision, and enthusiastically, and thereby perpetually worship 
'the deity in the shape of the Paramatman (the Highest Atman), 
Which is Eternal, and Which uniformly pervades the Body of 
all created things as also the Cosmos ; because, therein lies 
your happiness in this world and in the next" ; and on that 
■account, the mutual conflict between Action, Spiritual 
Knowledge (Jfiana), and Love (Devotion) is done away with, 
:and the single Gita religion, which preaches that the whole 
•of one's life should be turned into a Sacrifice (Yajna), contains 
'the essence of the entire Vedic religion. When hundreds of 
•energetic noble souls and active persons were busy with the 
■benefit of all created things, because they looked upon that as 
•their duty, as a result of their having Realised this eternal 
•religion, this country was blessed with the favour of the 
Paramesvara, and reached the height not only of Knowledge 
'but also of prosperity ; and it need not be said in so many 
•words, that when this ancient religion, which is beneficial 
in this life and in the nest, lost following in our country, it 
(our country) reached its present fallen state. I, therefore, 
now pray to the Paramesvara, at the end of this book, that 
■there should come to birth again in this our country such 
noble and pure men as will worship the Paramesvara according 
rto this equable and brilliant religion of the Glta, which 
itarmonises Devotion, Spiritual Knowledge, and Energism ; and 
I end this Exposition of the Mystic Import (rahasya) of the 
<Glta by addressing to my readers the following hymn, with a 



714 GITA-RAHASYA OB KARMA- YOGA 



prayer that if there is any omission or excess in this hook, 
they should rectify such mistakes with an Equable vision : — 

samara va akutih samaria hrdaySni vah I 
samianam astu vo mano yatha vah susahasati I 

yatlia vah susahasati u * 
OM-TAT-SAT-BRAHMARPAN"AM-ASTU 
that is, 
( OM-TAT-SAT ; this is dedicated to the Brahman. > 



* This hymn has come at the end of the Rg-Yeda Samhita. 
This is a speech addressed to people assembled in a sacrificial pandal. 
It means : "May yonr opinions be uniform ; may your hearts be 
uniform, may you all be of the same mind ; thereby you will acquire 
the strength of unity", 'asati' is the Vedic form of 'asti' (i. e., 
'may it be' — Trans.). The words "yatKa vah susaKasaii" have been- 
expressed twice, in order to show that the book has come to an end. 



APPENDIX 



APPENDIX. 

(PARIS'ISTA-PRAKARANA) 

AN EXTERNAL EXAMINATION OP THE 
BHAGAVAD-GITA. 

ariditva rsim chando daivatam yogam eva ca I 

yo 'dhyapayej japed vapi papiyaii jayate t.u sali II * 

(SMBTI). 
I have in the previous chapters shown how Sri Krsna 
induced Arjuna to fight, after having proved to him with the 
help of the Vedanta-Sastra that (i) the Karma-Yoga was more 
meritorious; that (ii) in the Karma-Toga, Eeason was the 
important factor ; that (iii) Release was obtained by performing 
Actions according to one's own status in life with a Reason 
which had become Equable as a result of the Realisation of 
the Identity of the Brahman and the Atman or by the worship 
of the Paramesvara ; and that (iv) nothing else is necessary for 
obtaining Release, and that He did this in order to correct Arjuna, 
who, after having first visualised the actual form of the terrible 
destruction of the clan and of the community which was sure 
to arise on account of the BharatI war, was on the point 
of renouncing his duties as a soldier, and taking up the life 
of an ascetic. When I have in this way defined the true 
import of the Glta, it is easy to meet the objections, which 
have been raised, to the effect that ' there is no reason to 
include the Glta in the Mahabharata ', etc., as a result 
•of the misunderstanding that the Gits is a book which deals 



* "That man who teaches or recites any incantation ( mantra ) 
■without knowing the Etsi, metre, (chcmda), deity (devata), and 
purpose (yiniyoga) of it, commits a sin". This is a statement from 
some Smrti text, bat I cannot find out from which text. But the 
•root of it is in the Arseya Bmhmana Sruti text (Arseya. 1). That 
is, as follows : — " yo ha va aviditar^yacohandodaivatairahma^ma 
mantrena yajayati m 'dhytipayati va sthcmuih varcchati gj.riam m 
jiratipadyate \ ". The Rsi, metre, etc., of any incantatioa are its' 
external aspects ; and one should not recite the incantation unless 
■one knows these aspects. The same rnle mast be applied to a book 
like the Glta. 



718 GITA-RAHASYA OR KAEMA-YOGA 

purely with. Vedanta and supports Inaction. Because, just as 
Srl-Krsna had compelled Arjuna to abstain from murdering: 
Yudhisthira, by explaining to Mm the difference between Truth 
(satya) and Falsehood (anrta) in the Karnaparva, so also was the 
advice given in the Gita necessary to induce Arjuna to fight ; 
and considering the matter even from the literary point of 
view, it is clear that the exposition of the principles of Morality 
and Immorality in worldly life, or of the Doable and the 
Not-Doable, have been ultimately mentioned in the Glta, as- 
it was necessary to mention in some place or other the- 
•fundamental principles underlying many similar incidents in 
various places in the Mahabharata. In the Vanaparva, in the 
conversation between the Hunter (vyadha) and the Brahmin,, 
the Hunter has justified why he carries on the trade of selling: 
flesh on the authority of Vedanta ; and in the conversation 
between Tuladhara and Jajali in the Santiparva, Tuladhara has- 
justified his profession of a merchant in a similar way 
(Vana. 206-215; and San. 260-263). But this justification 
refers only to those respective professions. In the same way, 
though there are dissertations in several places in the 
Mahabharata on the questions of Non-Violence, Truth, etc.,. 
yet, as they also are one-sided, that is to say, are made only 
with reference to the subject-matter in question, these disserta- 
tions cannot be said to be the principal part of the Mahabharata - 
nor do these one-sided dissertations explain whether or not 
people should take as illustrations the lives of those great- 
persons like Sri Krsna and the Panda vas, for describing whose 
magnificent deeds, the Mahabharata was written by Vyasa,. 
and should act accordingly. If worldly life is fruitless, and if it is 
the better course to take up the life of an ascetic sometime or 
other, one is faced with the questions why Sri Krsna or the- 
Pandavas should have taken part in these useless activities. 
as also why Vyasa should have laboured for three years (Ma, 
Bha. A. 62. 52), and written a book of nearly a hundred 
thousand verses for glorifying those activities for the general- 
good, with whatever motive they might have taken part in 
those activities. These questions are not satisfactorily solved' 
by saying that the duties prescribed for the various castes and 
the different stages of life are for the purification of the Mind ; 



APPENDIX 719 

hecause, acting according to one's duties, or the other activities 
of the world, occupy in any oase only an inferior place from 
the point of view of the School of Renunciation. Therefore, 
it was necessary to answer the above-mentioned objections, 
which cut like an axe at the roots (mule kutharah) of the 
conduct of those noble souls, whose lives had been described 
in the Mahabharata, and to explain in detail in some place or 
other in the Mahabharata whether or not a man should take 
part in worldly affairs, and if so, how a man should perform 
his various duties in worldly life without obstructing his own 
Eelease by such Action. But it would not have been proper 
to deal with this subject-matter in the Nalopakhyana, 
Ramopakhyana, and other subsidiary chapters in the 
Mahabharata ; because, in that case, such an exposition would 
have been considered subsidiary like those subsidiary chapters. 
Also, if the Glta had been crammed into the exposition of the 
■various subjects which had been dealt with in the Vanaparva 
and the Santiparva, it would certainly have lost its importance ; 
and that is why this independent philosophy of the Doable 
and the Not-Doable has been dealt with, with all the arguments 
in support of it, at the psychological moment when the 
TJdyogaparva was over, and the Bharati war, the most 
important part of the Mahabharata, was about to start, by 
jaising to that war an objection, which was seemingly 
unconquerable from the point of view of Morality. In short, 
■even if we keep aside for the time being the traditional story 
ttat Sri Krsna preached the Glta to Arjuna at the commence- 
ment of the war, and consider the matter from the point of 
view that the Glta is a Vedic epic included in the Mahabharata 
for explaining Morality and Immorality, we will see that the 
place which has been chosen in the Bharata for the preaching 
of the Glta is suoh as is even poetically a most proper one for 
impressing the importance of the Glta on the minds of people. 
When the propriety of the subject-matter of the Glta, as also 
■of the place where it has been put in the Mahabharata has been 
•explained in this way, the objection that there was no necessity 
■to preach this Spiritual Knowledge on the battle-field, and 
4hat the text must have been interpolated into the Mahabharata 
&t a later date, or the question whether ten stanzas or one 



720 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

hundred stanzas are the important stanzas in the BhagavadgitS, 
no longer remain; because, when it was once decided that 
certain subjects must for certain reasons be included 
in certain places in the Mahabharata, in order to explain 
Morality, and to justify the Bharata being expanded into 
the Mahabharata, the writer of the Mahabharata did not 
care how much space was taken up in fully expounding those 
subject-matters, as will be seen from the other chapters of the 
Mahabharata. Yet, as it is necessary to consider what amount 
of substance there is in the various other theories which have 
been advanced as regards ths external examination of the Gits, 
and as I have now occasion to do, so, I have in the following 
seven parts of this chapter, dealt seriatim with seven of these 
subjects, namely, (1) the Glta and the Mahabharata, (2) the Glta 
and the TJpanisads, (3) the Glta and the Brahma-Sutras, (4) the 
rise of the Bhagavata religion and the Glta, (5) the time or date 
of the Glta as it now exists, (6) the Glta and the Buddhistic 
literature, and (7) the Glta and the Christian Bible. I must, 
however, make it clear to start with, that, as external critics 
examine the Mahabharata, the Glta, the Brahma-Sutras, the 
TJpanisads etc., merely as literature, that is, from the worldly 
and historical point of view, I also propose to deal with the 
above-mentioned subjects from the same points of view. 

PART I.— THE GITA AND THE MAHABHARATA. 

The statement made by me above that the Glta, which 
supports Action, has been inoluded in the Mahabharata for 
sufficient reasons, and at a proper plaoe, for morally justifying 
the lives of great persons like Sri Krsna, and that it must have 
been a part of the Mahabharata, is fully confirmed if one 
considers the construction of these two books. But before 
entering into such a comparison, it is necessary to^ briefly 
consider the present form of these two books. Srimat Samkar- 
aoarya has stated at the very outset in his commentary on 
the Glta, that there are 700 stanzas in the Glta ; and we find 
the same number of stanzas in all the available editions of 
the book. Out of these 700 stanzas, there is one stanza of 
Phrtarastra, 40 of Safijaya, 84 of Arjuna, and 575 of the 
Blessed Lord. But the Glta-Mahatmya (Eminence of thfr 



- The GlTA asd the MAHABHARATA 721 

GIta) of five and a half stanzas at the commencement of that 
chapter of the Bhlsmaparva, which comes a/ter the eighteen 
chapters of the Gita are over, that is, of the 43rd chapter of the 
Bhlsmaparva, in the edition of the Mahabharata published at 
the Ganpat Krishnaji Press at Bombay, it is stated that :- 

satsatani saviniiani slokanam pralia kesavah 1 
arjunah saptapancasat saptasastim tu saujayah l 
dhrtarastrah slolcam ekam gttaya manam ucyaie n 

that is : " In the GIta, there are 620 stanzas of Kesava, 57 of 
Arjuna, 67 of Sanjaya, and 1 of Dhrtaristra ", in all 745 stanzas. 
These stanzas are to be found in the edition of the 
Mahabharata printed by Mr. Krishnacarya, according to the 
reading adopted in the Madras Presidency ; but we do not 
find them in the edition of the Mahabharata printed in 
Calcutta ; and Mlakantha, who has written a commentary on 
the Bharata, has said with reference to these five and a half 
verses, that " gaudaih na pathyante " (i.e., " they are not to be 
found in the Gauda, that is, Bengali, reading " — Trans.). It 
would, therefore, appear that these five and a half stanzas 
have been interpolated into the Mahabharata; but even if 
these five and a half stanzas are considered an interpolation, 
yet, it is not possible to say how these 45 stanzas, which are- 
in excess of the stanzas of the Gita which are now available. 
were obtained by anybody. As the Mahabharata is a very 
extensive treatise, it is possible to interpolate stanzas into it, 
or to take away existing stanzas ; but the same is not the case 
with the Gita. The GIta was a text in daily recital, and there 
were formerly many people and there are still some people, 
who can repeat the whole of the Gita by heart in the same way 
as the Vedas. We do not come across many variant readings 
in the present Gita, and that is why the few variant 
readings which exist are well-known to the commentators. 
Nay, it may even be said that the Gita has been made to 
contain exactly 700 stanzas, in order that nobody should be 
in a position to add to or take away from that number ; then, 
how have 45 stanzas — and those too of the Blessed Lord — been 
included in the Gita in the Bombay and the Madras 
editions of the Mahabharata ? The total number of stanzas 



733 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

attributed to Sanjaya and Arjuna is the same according to 
this arrangement, as in the present available editions of the 
Glta, namely, one hundred and twenty-four ; and as there is a 
likelihood of ten other stanzas being attributed to Safijaya, on 
account of difference of opinion, just as the seventeen stanzas 
"pasyami devan", etc., in the eleventh chapter (11. 15-31) have 
been so attributed, one can say that although the total of the 
stanzas attributed to Safijaya and Arjuna may be the same, 
there might have been a difference in counting the respective 
stanzas attributed to Arjuna and Safijaya. But, one cannot 
account for the 45 additional stanzas, that is, for 630, instead 
of the now available 575 stanzas attributed to the Blessed 
Lord. If it is said that a praise (stotra) or ' a description for 
purposes of meditation ' (dkyana) of the Glta or some other 
similar subject has been included in this chapter, then, not 
only is such subject-matter not to be found in the Bombay 
edition of the Bharata, but that edition has a Glta of only 
700 stanzas. Therefore, there is no alternative except to take 
as authoritative the present Glta of 700 stanzas. This 
disposes of the Glta. But if one considers the Mahabharata, the 
difference in the matter of the Glta is as nothing. There is a 
statement in the Mahabharata itself that it contains a hundred 
thousand stanzas ; but we do not come across that number of 
stanzas in the now available editions of the Mahabharata, and 
the number of chapters in the various Parvas is also not 
according to the index given in the beginning of the Bharata, 
as has been clearly proved by Rao Bahadur Chintamanrao 
Vaidya in his criticism on the Bharata. In these 
ciroumstances, one has to take in hand only certain definite 
editions of these two treatises for purpose of comparison ; and 
therefore, I have compared them by taking as authoritative 
the Glta of 700 stanzas, which was accepted as authoritative by 
Srlmat Samkaracarya, and the edition of the Mahabharata 
printed in Calcutta by Babu Pratapchandra Roy; and the 
references in this book to the stanzas quoted from the 
Mahabharata are acoording to the above-mentioned edition of 
the Mahabharata printed at Calcutta. If these verses have to 
be referred to in the editions printed by Krishnacharya 
according to the Bombay or Madras readings, they will be 



I - THE GIT a and THE MAHABHARATA 723 

found either in advance of or subsequent to the place mentioned 
by me. 

If one compares the Glta of 700 stanzas and the edition of 
the Mahabharata printed by Babu Pratapchandra Eoy at 
Calcutta, it will firstly be seen that it is stated in many places 
in the Mahabharata itself that the Bhagavadglta is a part of 
the Mahabharata. The first of these references is in the index 
given in the second chapter of the Adiparva. There is first 
a statement, where the various Parvas have been described, 
that "purvoktam bhagavadgitaparva bhtstnavadhas tatah" (Ma. 
Bha. A. 2. 69) ; and afterwards in enumerating the chapters and 
the stanzas in the 18 parvas, there is a clear reference to the 
Bhagavadglta in the description of Bhismaparva as : — 

kaimalam yatra parthasya vasudevo mahamatih I 

mohajam nasayamasa hetubhir moksadarsibhih 11 

that is, " in which treatise, Yasudeva has removed the 
dejection of Arjuna, due to Ignorance, by showing him the 
Path which leads to Release". In the same way, in the first 
chapter of the Adiparva, where Dhrtarastra is explaining his 
growing despair regarding the success of Duryodhana and 
others, starting each stanza with the words "yada srausam", it 
is stated that "when Arjuna became confused, and Krsna 
showed to him His Cosmic Form, I despaired of victory" 
(Ma. Bha. A. 1. 179). After these three references in the 
Adiparva, it again became necessary to refer to the Glta in 
describing the Narayanlya religion at the end of the Santiparva. 
The four names Narayanlya, Sttvata, Bkantika, and Bhagavata 
are synonymous; and this chapter explains the devotional 
energistic path preached by Rsi Narayana or by the Blessed 
Lord to Narada in the Svetadvlpa. (San. 334. 351). The 
underlying principle of this Bhagavata religion is, that by 
worshipping Vasudeva in solitude, and by carrying on one's 
duties in the world according to one's religion, one attains 
Release ; and I have already shown in previous chapters that 
it has also been maintained in the Bhagavadglta, that the 
Karma-Yoga is superior to the Path of Renunciation. In 
describing the tradition of this Narayanlya doctrine, 
Vaisarhpayana says to Janamejaya that this doctrine had been 



724 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 



preached to Narada by Narayana Himself, and that the same- 
doctrine has been "kathito HARIGITASU samasavidhi kalpatah" 
(Ma. Bha. San. 346. 10), i. e., "mentioned in the Hariglta or the 
Bhagavadglta". It is also stated later on in the eighth stanza 
of the 348th chapter, that : 

samupodhe svanlkesu latrupaiidavayor mrdhe I 
arjune vimanske ca glta bhagavnfa svayam, II 
that is, "these rites of the solitudinal (ekantika) Narayaniya 
doctrine, were taught by the Blessed Lord to the dejeeted 
Arjuna on the occasion of the war between the Kauravas and 
the Pandavas" ; and the tradition of the Karayanlya doctrine 
in that war has been given there ; and it is again stated that 
this path, as also the path of ascetics, that is, the Path of 
Renunciation, have both been mentioned in the HARIGITA 
(Ma. Bha. San. 348. 53). Besides these six references in the 
Adiparva and the Santiparva, there is also one more reference 
to the Bhagavadglta in the AnugitSparva included in the 
Asvarnedhaparva. Some days after the BharatI war was over, 
and Yudhisthira had been placed on the throne, when Sri 
Krsna and Arjuna were one day sitting together, and Sri 
Krsna had said to Arjuna : "It is no more necessary for me 
to stay here ; I wish to go to Dvaraka", Arjuna said to Him, 
that he had forgotten what Sri Krsna had preached at the 
commencement of the war, and requested Him to preach the 
same thing again (Asva. 16). Then, to satisfy this request, 
Sri Krsna preached the Anuglta to Arjuna before going to 
Dvaraka. In the beginning of this Anuglta, the Blessed Lord 
has Himself said that : "It is your misfortune that you have 
forgotten the advice which I gave to you in the commencement 
of the war. It is impossible for Me to repeat the same advice 
in the same way again, and therefore I will tell you instead 
.something else" (Ma. Bha. Asva. Anuglta 16.9-13); and some 
of the chapters of the Anuglta are similar to those of the Glta. 
The Gits has thus been referred to SEVEN times in the 
Mahabharata, including this reference. Therefore, it follows 
from the intrinsic evidence in the Mahabharata itself, that the 
Bhagavadglta is a part of the present Mahabharata. 

But, as the course of doubts is uncontrolled, some persons 
are not satisfied even by these seven references, and they 



I - THE GITA AND THE MAHABHARATA 725 

inquire why it may not be said that these references were 
themselves also interpolated into the Mahabharata afterwards ; 
and thus their doubt as to whether or not the Glta was a part 
of the Mahabharata still remains. This doubt has its origin 
in the idea that the Glta deals only with the Knowledge of the 
Brahman. But, as I have already shown that this idea itself 
is incorrect, this doubt should, strictly speaking, not remain. 
Nevertheless, instead of depending solely on this evidence, I 
shall now show, by reference to other evidence also, that this 
doubt is unfounded. When there is a doubt whether or not 
two works were written by one and the same author, literary 
oritios consider two matters in the first place, namely, 
SIMILARITY OF DICTION and SIMILARITY OF 
MEANING. Out of these, similarity of diction includes not 
only the words themselves, but also the composition. 
Considering the matter from this point of view, one must see 
to what extent the diction of the Glta is similar to the diction 
of the Mahabharata. But as the Mahabharata is a very 
extensive work, the diction in it varies according to the- 
occasion. For instance, if one refers to the description of the 
fight between Karna and Arjuna in the Karnaparva, it will be 
seen that the diction in this parva is different from the diction 
of the other parts of the Mahabharata. Therefore, it is difficult 
to definitely say whether or not the language of the Glta is 
similar to the language of the Mahabharata. But if one 
considers the matter in a general way, then, as Mr. Kashinath 
Trimbak Telang* says, the language and the metrical 
arrangement of the Glta is archaic (arm) or ancient. For 
instance, Kashinathpant has shown that the meanings in which 
the words 'anta' (Gl. 2. 16), 'bhasa' (Gl. 2. 54), 'Brahma' 
(=prakrti. Gi. 14. 3), 'Yoga' (=Karma-Yoga),andtheoonsoDant 
'ha' used for completing the meter (Gl. 2.9) etc. have been used 
* The translation of the Bhagavadgita made by the late 
Mr. Kasinath Trimbak Telang, has been published in the Saered 
Books of the East Series Yol. VIII, edited by Prof. Max Miller. To^ 
this translation, a critical dissertation has been added by him by way 
of introduction in the English language. The references made to- 
the opinions of the late Mr. Telang in this Appendix are (with one- 
exception) to this introduction. 



726 GlTl-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

:in the Glta, do not appear to have been used in the same sense 
in the poems of Kalidasa etc. ; and we come across the form 
'"namaskrtva" in stanza 11. 35, and a compound like "sakyaahani' 
in stanza 11. 45, though as variant readings, which are contrary 
to the grammar of Panini. Also in the phrase "semninam aham 
skandah" (Gl. 10. 24), the sixth case (possessive) form 
"senaninarn" is not correct according to Panini. The late 
Mr. Telang has not given detailed illustrations of archaic 
metrical construction. But I think that he has called the 
metrical arrangement of the Glta 'archaic' (arm) with special 
reference to the 36 stanzas in the eleventh chapter, which 
■contain the description of the Cosmic Form (Gl. 11. 15-50). 
In each stanza, out of these 36, there are eleven letters to a 
line. But there is no meter which is consistently followed, and 
we find that if one line is in the indravajra meter, the second 
is in the upendravajra, the third in the salini, and the fourth 
• one in a different meter altogether; and there are thus eleven 
different meters to he found in these 36 verses, that is, 144 
lines. Nevertheless, each line contains only eleven letters, 
and the rule seems to he followed that the first, fourth, eighth 
and the last two letters are long (guru) and the sixth one is usually 
short (laghu); and therefore, an inference may be drawn that these 
•stanzas have been written in the tristupa metre used in the 
Rg-Veda or in the Upanisads. We do not come across 
■odd-numbered meters of eleven letters to a line like this in any 
poem of Kalidasa. In the £akuntala, the stanza: "ami vedifii 
paritah klptadMsfiyah" is in this meter. But Kalidasa himself 
has described this meter as 'Rk.-chanda' that is, a meter used 
in the Rg-Veda. Prom this it is clear that the Glta was 
written when archaic meters were in vogue. We come across 
■similar archaic words and "Vedic metres in other places in the 
Mahabharata. But another convincing proof of the similarity 
of diction of the two books is the similar stanzas to be found 
in the Mahabharata and in the Glta. Examining all these 
stanzas in the Mahabharata and ascertaining correctly how 
many of them are to be found in the Glta is a very difficult 
■task. Yet, in reading the Mahabharata, I found stanzas 
in it which are either word for word similar to the stanzas in 
4he Glta, or are similar but with slight verbal alterations, and 



The GIta and the mahabharata 



727' 



these are not a few in number. This easily solves the question? 
of the similarity of language or diction. We find the 
following stanzas or semi-stanzas either word for word the 
same or with only one or two words different in the Glta and 
in the Mahabharata (Calcutta edition) : — 

GITA. MAHABHARATA. 

1. 9, nana sastra praharana Bhlsma-parva 51. 4. As in the 
etc. Glta, Duryodhana is again 

(semi-stanza). describing his army to- 

Dronacarya. 



1. 10, aparyaptam etc. 
(whole stanza) 

1. 13-19, (Eight stanzas) 



1. 45, alio bata mahatpapam 

etc. 

(whole stanza) 



Bhisma. 51. 6. 

Bhlsma. 51. 22-29. The stanzas- 
are just the same as in 
the Glta, with slight, 
verbal alterations. 

Drona. 197. 50. Same as in the 
Glta, with slight verbal 
alterations. 



19, ubhau tau na vijanitah Santi. 224. 14. In the Baliva- 
etc. sava-samvada, with verbal 

(semi-stanza) alterations ; and in the 

Kat'hopanisad (2. IS). 



2. 28, avyaktadini bhutani etc. 
(whole stanza) 



Strl. 2. 6 ; 9. 11. Instead of 
' avyakta ', the word. 
' abhava ' is used ; rest is- 
the same. 



2. 31, dharmyaddhi yuddhac Bhlsma. 124. 36. Bhlsma says 
chreyo etc. the same words to Karna. 

(semi-stanza) 



2. 32, yad drcchaya etc. 
(whole stanza) 



Karna. 57. 2. Instead of 
' Partha ', the word 'Karna' 
is used in the conversation- 
between DuTyodhana and- 
Karna. 



728 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA " 

2. 46, yavan artha udapane Udyoga. 45. 26. Has appeared 
etc. with slight verbal altera- 

(whole stanza) tions in the Sanatsujatlya 

chapter. 

i,. 59, visaya rinivartante etc. Santi. 204 16. Has appeared 
(whole stanza) -word for word in the 

conversation between 

Manu and Brhaspati, 

2. 67, indriyanUm hi earatam Vana. 210. 26. Has appeared 

etc. with slight verbal altera- 

(whole stanza) tions in the conversation 

between the Brahmin and 
the Hunter; and there is 
also the ' rupaka ' (simile) 
of the chariot in the 
earlier portion. 

'2. 70, apvryamS-nam acala Santi. 250. 9. Has appeared 
pratistham etc. word for word in the 

(whole stanza) Sukanuprasna. 

3. 42, indriyani paravyahuh Santi. 245. 3 and 247. 2. Has 

etc. appeared with slight ver- 

(whole stanza) bal alterations twice in 

the Sukanuprasna; but 
this stanza is originally 
from the Kathopanisad 
(Katha. 3. 10). 

4. 7, yada yada hi dharmasya Vana. 189. 27. Has appeared 

etc. word for word in the 

(semi-stanza) Markandeyaprasna. 

4 31, riayam loko 'stya yajfla- Santi. 267. 40. Has appeared 

sya etc. in the GokSpillya chapter, 

(semi-stanza) and the whole chapter 

deals with the Yajfia. 

4. 40, nayaih loko 'sti na Vana. 199. 110. Has appeared 

paro etc. word for word in the 

(semi-stanza) Markandeya-samasya- 

parva. 



I - THE GITA AND THE MAHABHABATA 729 

5. 5, yat samkkyaih prapyate Santi. 305. 19 and 316. i. Has 
sthanam etc. appeared i i these two 

(whole stanza) places with slight verbal 

alterations in the con- 
versation between Vasis- 
tha and Karala and bet- 
ween Yajfiavalkya and 
Janaka, lespectively. 
"5. 18, vidya viTiaya sampanne Santi. 238. 19. Has appeared 
etc. word for word in the 

(whole stanza) Sukanuprasna. 

6. 5, atmaiva hy atmano ITdyoga. 33. 63, 64. Has 
bandhuh etc. appeared word for word 
(semi-stanza and half in the Viduranlti. 

of the next stanza) 

4. 29, sarvabhutastkarn atma- Santi. 238. 21. In the Sukami- 

■nam etc. prasna, and also in the 

(semi-stanza) Manu-Smrti (Manu.12.91), 

Isavasyopanisad (Isa. 6) 

and literally in the Eai- 

valyopanisad (Kai. 1. 10). 

■f. 44, jijnasur api yogaeya Santi. 235. 7. Has appeared 

etc. with slight verbal altera- 

(semi-stanza) tions in the Sukanuprasna. 

8. 17, sahasra yuga paryan- Santi. 231. 31. Has appeared 

tarn etc. This stanza has literally in the Sukanu- 

been given in the Glta prasna; and the method 

without first explaining of computation of a 'yuga' 

what ' yuga ' means. has also been mentioned 

previously. This has 

appeared with slight 

verbal alterations also in 

•the Manu-Smrti (Manu. 

1. 73). 

'8. 20, yah sa sarvesu bhutequ Santi. 339. 23. Has appeared 

etc. twice with slight verbal 

(semi-stanza) alterations in the NarS- 

yanlya-dharma. 



730 



GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



IS. 



14. 



32, striyo vaisyas tatka etc. 
(■whole stanza and half 
of the nest stanza) 

13, sarvatah panipadam 
(whole stanza) 



30, yada bhuta prthag 
bhavam etc. 

(whole stanza) 

18, urdkvam gacchanti 
satvastha etc. 

(whole stanza) 



Asva. 19. 61 and 62. These 
verses have appeared with' 
slight verbal alterations 
in the Anuglta. 

13. 13, sarvatah panipadam Santi. 238. 29. and Asva. 19. 49. 

This stanza has appeared, 
word for word in the- 
Sukanuprasna and in the 
Anuglta as also in other 
places. It is originally 
from the Svetasvataro- 
panisad (Sve. 3. 16). 

Santi. 17. 23. The same words 
have been addressed by 
Yudhisthira to Arjuna. 

Asva. 39. 10 This stanza has 
appeared word for word 
in the conversation 
between the disciple and 
the preceptor in the 
Anuglta. 

16. %\,triiidhamnaraJcasy edam Udyoga. 32. 70. Has appeared 
etc. word for word in the 

(whole stanza) Viduranlti, 

17. 3, sraddhamayo yam puru- Santi. 263. 17. Has appeared 
sah etc., in the portion on Devotion 

(semi-stanza) . in the conversation bet- 

ween Tuladhara and' 
Jajali. 

18. 14, adhisthanamtatha karta Santi. 347. 87. Has appeared 1 
etc. word for word in the 

(whole stanza) Narayanlya-dharma. 

In this way, it is seen that 27 whole stanzas and 12 
semi-stanzas appear sometimes word for word the same, and 
sometimes with slight verbal differences both in the Maha- 
bharata and in the Glta ; and if a more thorough examination 
is made, there is a likelihood that one may come across many 



I— The GlTA and the MAHABH&RATA 731 

other stanzas and semi-stanzas which are common to both. 
If one wishes to see in how many places there are common 
combinations of two words or three words, or of quarter 
portions of a stanza, which are common to the Mababharata 
and to the Gita, the above-mentioned list will have to be 
considerably increased""'. But, if we leave aside the similarity 
of words, and consider merely the question of similarity of 
stanzas in the above list, we cannot but say that the 
Mahabharata and the Glta must, have been written by the 
same hand. Considering the matter with reference to the 
different chapters, we see that out of the above-mentioned 
33 stanzas, 1 comes in the Markandeya-prasna, J in the 
Markandeya-samasya, 1 in the Brahmin-Hunter conversation, 
2 in the Viduraniti, 1 in the Sanatsujatlya, 1 in the Manu- 
Brhaspati conversation, 6-J- in the Sukanu-prasna, 1 the 
Tulsdhara-Jajali conversation, 1 in the Vasistha-Karala and 
Yajilavalkya-Janaka conversation, 11 in the Narayanlya- 
dharma, 2i in the Anuglta, and the rest in the Bhisma, Drona, 
Karrta, and Stri parvas ; and in almost all these places, these 
stanzas have come at proper places with reference to the 
anterior and posterior contexts and are not interpolations. 
Nay, some of these stanzas seem to have been taken into the Gita 
by way of summarising. For instance, in order to understand 
the stanza " sahasra yuga paryantam " etc. (Gl. 8, 17), it would 
have been necessary to define the words ' varsa ' and 'yuga '; 
and in the Bharata (San. 231) and the Manu-Smrti, this stanza 
has been given after first defining these words. But in the 
Gita, this stanza has been mentioned without defining ' yuga ' 
* If one considers the whole of the Mahabharata from this 
point of view, there will be at least a hundred similar portions of 
stanzas ; but I will mention only a few out of them here: Mm 
bhogair jisiiem va (Gi. I. 32); naitat vay npapadyate (GI. 2. 3); 
trayale mahato Ihayat (2. 40); asantasya kutuh, mkhaih (2. 66); 
■utsldeyur ime loBh (3. 24); mam durnigraham cala?h(6. 35); mam 
alma hhutalhamnah (9. 5) ; mogMia mogha karmanak (9. 12) ; samah 
sarve-su bhute.;ii (9. 29) ; dlptmaUrkadyutim etc. (11. 17); sana Iftutahite 
ratah (12. 4) ; tulya ninda stutih (12. 19); samtusto yena fonacil(l2. 19); 
*samalo$takma Xammnah (14. 24) ; trividha karmacodana (18. 18) j 
nirmamah santah (18. 53) ; brahmabtiuyaija kalpate (18. 53) ; etc., etc., 

15—16 



732 GITA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

«te. Considering the matter from this point of view, it cannot 
be said that these stanzas could have been adopted from the 
Glta into the various chapters of the Mahabharata ; and it is 
improbable that all these stanzas have been taken into the 
Gits from all those various chapters. Therefore, one is bound 
to come to the conclusion that the writer of the Glta must 
have been the same as the person who wrote these chapters. 
I must also mention here that, just as, many stanzas from the 
Manu-Smrti find their way into the Mahabharata, * so also can 
we trace to the Manu-Smrti, the whole of the stanza " sahasra 
yuga paryantam" (8. 17) in the Glta, with slight verbal 
alterations; and the semi-stanza " sreyan svadharmo viguriah 
paradharmat svanustkitat " (Gl. 3, 35 and Gl. 18. 47) with the 
alteration that instead of ' sreyan ', the word ' varam ' has been 
used; and the semi-stanza " sarva bhutastham atmanam" 
i Gl. 6. 29 ), with the variation "sarva bhutesu catmanaih" 
(Manu. 1. 73 ; 10. 97 ; 12. 91). In the Anusasanaparva of the 
Mahabharata, there is even a clear reference to the Manu- 
Smrti in the words " mamma bhihitam sastram " (Anu. 47. 35). 

If instead of considering the similarity of words, one 
considers the similarity of meaning, the same conclusion is 
fortified. I have in previous chapters shown the similarity 
between the Karma-Yoga of the Glta and the Energistic 
Bhagvata or Narayanlya religion. It is true that the genesis 
of Sarhkarsana from Vasudeva, Pradyumna from Sarhkarsana, 
Aniruddha from Pradyumna, and Brahmadeva from Aniruddha, 
being the genesis of the visible world mentioned in the 
ITarayanlya-dharma (San. 339. 71, 72) has not been adopted in- 
to the Glta. There are besides other differences between the 
religion of the Glta and the Narayaniyareligion. But, although 
the idea of the four-fold (catur-vyuha) Paramesvara is not 
accepted by the Glta, yet, if one considers the propositions of 
the Glta that, (i) the devotion to the singular (eka-vyuha), 
Vasudeva is the 'king of paths' ; that (ii) whatever other deities 
are worshipped, that amounts to the worship of Vasudeva; 

* Prof. Bulher has, in his translation of the Manu-Smrti, 
published in the Sacred Books of the East Series (Vol. XXV, 
pp. 533, efc seq.), included a list of the stanzas from the Manu-Smrti 
which are to be found in the Mahabharata. 



I— THE GITS. AND THE MAHABHARATA 733 



that (iii) devotees are of four kinds ; that (iv) devotees of the 
Blessed Lord must perform their duties according to their 
religion, and keep going the cycle of Yajnas ; and that (v) it is 
not proper to take to Renunciation (samnyasa) etc., one comes 
to the conclusion that the Glta religion is the same as the 
Bhagavata religion ; and as I have stated hefore, the tradition 
of Vivasvan-Manu-Iksvaku is common to both. In the same 
way, the Vedanta or the Spiritual Knowledge expounded in 
the Glta is consistent with the Knowledge of the Brahman 
as mentioned in the Sanatsujatiya, the Sukanu-prasna, 
the Yajftavalkya-Janaka conversation, or the Anugita, as 
will be appreciated by any one who reads those chapters. 
Just as the Glta, while accepting the 25 Fundamental Elements 
of Kapila-Samkhya philosophy, and the doctrine of the 
efflorescence of the constituents ( guy.otkarsa), yet accepts 
as Eternal, a further Element beyond Prakrti (Matter) 
and Purusa (Spirit), so also has it been maintained in 
detail, in the Vasistha-Karala-Janaka conversation, and in the 
Yajnavalkya-Janaka conversation in the Santiparva that 
there is a ' 26th ' Element beyond the 25 Elements, and 
that one does not obtain Isolation (kaivalya) unless one has 
acquired the Knowledge of that ' 26th ' Element. It is not 
that this similarity of thought appears only with reference 
to Karma-Yoga and Spiritual Knowledge ; but there are 
many chapters to be found in the Mahabhaiata which 
correspond with the other subsidiary subjects in the Glta. 
For instance, in the beginning of the first chapter of the 
Glta, Duryodhana has described both the armies to Dronacarya, 
and he has again given the same description later on in the 
51st chapter of the Bhismaparva to Dronacarya. There is 
in the beginning of the Santiparva, a dejection expressed by 
Yudhisthira, which is similar to the dejection experienced by 
Arjuna in the latter part of the first chapter of the Gita ; and 
when there was occasion to kill Bhisma and Drona by ' Yoga \ 
Arjuna has again uttered similar words of dejection (Bhisma. 
97. 4-7 and 108. 88-94). Arjuna has said in the beginning 
of the Glta that it was no use obtaining victory if he were 
to kill those very persons for whom that happiness was to 
he acquired (Gl. 1. 32, 33); and later on, after all the Kauravas 



734 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

had been killed in the war, Duryodhana has given expression 
to the same sentiment (Salya. 31. 42-51). As in the beginning 
of the second chapter, two different paths, namely, the Samkhya 
and the Karma-Yoga have been mentioned, so also have two 
paths been described not only in the Narayanlya-dharraa, 
but also in the JapakopakhySna, and the Janaka-Sulabba 
conversation in the Santiparva (San. 196 and 320); and the 
ideas expressed in the third chapter that Karma (Action) is 
superior to akarrna (Inaction), and that if one does not perform 
Action, he will not find even food to eat, are expressed in the 
beginning of the Vanaparva by DraupadI to Yudhisthira 
(Vana. 32); and the same ideas have been repeated again in 
the Anuglta. The idea that Brahmadeva created the Yajna 
and human beings at the same time etc., which appear in the 
Glta, appear also in other places in the Santiparva, besides 
in the descriptions of the Narayamya religion (San. 267), and 
also in the Manu-Smrti; and the idea that there is no sin in 
performing Action according to one's own religious duties, has 
also appeared in the Tuladhara-Jajali conversation, and 
in the Brahmin-Hunter conversation ( San. 260-283 and Vana. 
206-215). Besides this, the little information which the Glta 
contains regarding the creation of the Cosmos, in the seventh 
and eighth chapters, is similar to the description of such 
creation given in the Sukanuprasna in the Santiparva 
( San. 231 ) ; and the information regarding the various 
physical postures (asanas) prescribed in the Patafijala-Yoga, 
which appears in the sixth chapter of the Glta is again 
repeated in detail in the Sukanuprasna ( San. 239 ), and later 
on in the 300th chapter of the Santiparva and also in the 
Anugita (Asva. 19). The description of ordinary and best 
things given in the conversation between the preceptor and 
the disciple (Asva. 43 and 44), and the description of the 
manifestations of the Blessed Lord given in the tenth chapter 
of the Gita, may without the slightest doubt be said to be 
exactly the same in meaning. It is stated in the Maha- 
bharata that the Cosmic Form which was shown by the Blessed 
Lord to Arjuna, was also shown by Him to Duryodhana and 
others at the time of previous conciliatory efforts, and to 
TJttanka, after the war was over, when Sri Krsna was 



I— The GlTA astd the MAHABHAEATA 735 

going back to Dvaraka; and also that it was shown by 
Narayana to Narada, and by DasarathI Kama to Parasu- 
rama. ( U. 130; Asva. 55; San. 339 ; Vana. 99 ). It is true 
that the description of the Cosmic Form given in the 
Gits, is more detailed and beautiful than the descriptions 
in all these four places; but considering the matter from 
the point of view of similarity of subject, there is nothing 
new in the description in the Glta, as will be clearly 
seen by anybody who reads these various descriptions. 
There are to be found descriptions in the Anuglta (Asva. 36-39), 
and also in other places in the Santiparva (San. 285 ; and 
300-311) as to how diversity comes into being in the world 
as a result of the sattva, rajas, and tamas constituents, what 
the characteristic features of these constituents are, and how 
all the activity is of these constituents and not of the Atman, 
which are similar to the descriptions in the 14th and 15th 
chapters of the Glta. In short, although the description of 
certain things given in the Glta may be more exhaustive, 
having regard to the occasion where it appears in the Glta, 
and although the arrangement, of those various subjects may 
also be different in the Glta, yet, we come across ideas in the 
MahSbharata which are more or less the same as those in 
the Glta, but are spread out in some place or other ; and I 
need not say that with this similarity of ideas, there is also 
to some extent a similarity of diction. The similarity in the 
matter of the month of Margaslrsa is indeed astounding. As 
this month has been given primary importance in the GJta, 
as is shown by the words " masanam margasirqo 'ham " (Gl. 10. 
35), so also, where there was twice occasion to mention the 
names of months with reference to fasting in the Anusasana- 
parva of the Mahabhfirata, the counting of the months has 
been started with Margaslrsa (Anu. 106 and 109). The 
ideas of Self-Identification, or of universal good, as also the 
difference between the Materialistic, Intuitionist, and Meta- 
physical aspects, and the description of the Devayana and 
the Pitryana paths taken after death, which appear in the 
Glta, have also appeared several times in the Mahabharata ; 
but as this has been dealt with in great detail in the previous 
chapters, I shall not repeat the same subject-matter here. 



736 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

Whether one considers the similarity of diction, or the 
similarity of subject-matter, or the six or seven references to 
the Gita, which we find in the Mahabharata, one cannot but 
come to the conclusion that the Gita is a part of the 
Mahabharata, and that the same man who wrote the Maha- 
bharata as it now exists, must also have written the Gita as 
it now exists. But, I have seen people attempting to disregard 
all those proofs, and to dispose of them with scant respect in 
some way or other, and to prove that the Gita is an inter- 
polation. But, in my opinion, the line of reasoning adopted 
by these critics, who treat external evidence as no evidence, 
and who yield to the domination of the demon of doubt in 
their hearts, is illogical, and therefore, unacceptable. If it 
could not be reasonably explained why the Gita should be a 
part of the Mahabharata, it would be a different matter. But, 
when it is proved, as has been stated in the beginning of this 
Appendix, that (i) the Gita is not a purely devotional treatise, 
or one which deals purely with Vedanta; that (ii) it was 
necessary to preach the Activistic Gita, in order to explain 
the principles of Morality, or the undercurrents whioh guided 
the lives of exemplary great' men, as described in the 
Mahabharata, and that (iii) there was no better place, even from 
the poetic view-point, for placing the Gita, than the place in 
which it appears in the Mahabharata, one comes to the 
necessary conclusion that the Gita has been included for 
proper reasons and at the proper place in the Mahabharata, 
and that it is not an interpolation. The Ramayana is also 
an excellent and a universally respected archaic epic like 
the Mahabharata; and in it also the principles of 
veracity, filial duty, maternal duty, regal duty etc., 
have been cleverly explained with reference to the 
various incidents in it. But, as it was not the original 
intention of Valmlki to make that epio "replete with many 
incidents, full of numerous doctrines regarding Morality and 
Immorality, and capable of giving to everybody exemplary 
illustrations of properly moral lives", it goes without saying 
that the importance of the Mahabharata is greater than that 
of the Ramayana, from the point of view of the decisions 
contained in them respectively with reference to Morality and 



I— The GITA and the MAH5.BHa.RATA 737 

Immorality, the Doable and the Not-Doable, and Ethics. The 
Mahabharata is not merely an epic or merely a history, but 
it is a Samhita (summary) dealing with delicate situations of 
Duty and Non-Duty ; and if such a religious epitome does not 
contain the scientific and logical description of the Philosophy 
of Karma-Yoga, where else could it come ? Such an exposition 
could certainly not have been included in a treatise which 
deals merely with Vedanta. An epitome of religion is certainly 
the most proper place for it; and if the writer of the 
Mahabharata had not so included it, this immense book, which, 
deals with religious and moral duties— which is in fact the 
fifth Veda — would to that extent have remained incomplete. 
The Bhagavadgita has been included in the Mahabharata in 
order to fill up this gap, and it is our great good fortune that 
India found an excellent Jiianin and a noble soul like the 
writer of the Mahabharata, who was as proficient in worldly 
affairs as in Vedanta, for sponsoring the subject-matter of 
Karma-Yoga. 

Though it has thus been proved that the present Bhagavad- 
gita is a part of the present Mahabharata, yet, this matter 
must be dealt with in greater detail. We understand the words 
'Bharata' and 'Mahabharata' as synonymous ; but, as a matter 
of fact, those two works are different from each other. 
Considering the matter grammatically, any book which would 
contain a description of the illustrious deeds of the kings of 
the Bharata clan could properly be called 'Bharata'. The 
etymology of the words 'ESmayana' and 'Bhagavata' is the 
same; and on that account, any book which contains a 
description of the Bharati war would be sufficiently identified 
by being called 'Bharata', however extensive it were. The 
Bamayana is not a small work ; then why is it not called 
'Maha-Ramayana' ? ; and why should the Bharata be called 
'Maha-Bharata' ? It is stated at the end of the Mahabharata 
that the work has been given the name 'Mahabharata' on 
account of its two features of (i) greatness (mahatva) and of 
(ii) dealing with the Bharata clan (bbaratatva), (Svarga. 5. 44). 
But if we take the mere literal meaning of the word 
'Mahabharata', it means 'the big Bharata'; and if this meaning 
is accepted, the question whether there was a 'small' Bharata 



738 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

and whether such a small Bharata did not contain the 
Gita, naturally arises. There is a statement in the Adiparva 
of the present Mahabharata, that the Mahabharata consists of 
24000 stanzas, not taking into account the sub-chapters 
(iipakhyann), (A. 1. 101) ; and it is said later on that this was 
originally known as 'Jaya* (A. 62. 20). The word 'Jaya' 
seems to intend to convey the idea of the 'victory' (jaya) of 
the Panda vas in the Bharatl war; and if that meaning is 
adopted, it will be seen that the book called 'Jaya' originally 
contained only a description of the Bharatl war, and that 
several sub-chapters were added later on to this historical book, 
so as to make of it the large work known as the 'Mahabharata', 
which dealt both with history and with Ethics. This 
conclusion is fortified by the specific reference to two different 
works named, 'Bharata' and 'Mahabharata', in the incantation 
Telating to oblations to Rsis to be found in the 
Asvalayana-grhya-siitra, which runs as : — "sumanfu-jaimini- 
vaisampayarta — paila — sufra — bhasya — bharata — mahabharata 
— dharmacaryah" ( A. Gr. 3. 4. 4 ). When the 'little Bharata' 
had thus been inoluded in the 'Mahabharata', the 'little 
Bharata' ceased to exist as an independent work, and 
it was naturally believed that only one work, namely the 
^Mahabharata ' was the Bharata. Even in the present 
version of the Mahabharata, there is a statement that the 
Bharata was first recited by Vyasa to his own son Suka, and 
afterwards to his other disciples (A. 1. 103) ; and it is clearly 
stated that the five disciples Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila, Suka, 
and Vaisaihpayana wrote five distinct Bharata-Samhitas 
or Mahabharatas (A. 63. 90) ; and there is a story that out 
of these five Mahabharatas, Vyasa retained only the Maha- 
bharata of VaisampSyana, and the Asvamedhaparva out of 
the Mahabharata of Jaimini. This explains why the names 
Sumantu etc., appear before the mention of the words ' Bharata- 
Mahabharata* in the incantation about oblations to Rsis. 
But it is not necessary to enter so deep so into that subject- 
matter here. The conclusion which has been drawn by 
Rao Bahadur Chintamanrao Vaidya in his criticism on the 
Mahabharata, after considering this subject-matter, is in my 
opinion correct; and therefore, it is quite enough if I say 



II— THE GITA AND THE UPANISADS 739 

here that the present version of the Mahabharata is not the 
original Mahabharata, but that there were various editions 
of the Bharata and the Mahabharata ; and that the present 
Mahabharata is the form it ultimately acquired. It cannot 
be said that the first original Bharata out of these did not 
contain the Glta. It is quite clear that the writer of the 
Mahabharata has written the present Glta on the authority 
of former works, just as the Sanatsujatiya, the Viduranlti, 
the Sukanuprasna, the Yajnavalkya-Janaka conversation, 
the Visnu-sahasranama, the Anugita, the Narayanlya-dharma 
and other chapters were so written, and that it was not 
written independently. At the same time, it cannot be 
definitely said that the writer of the Mahabharata did not 
make any change in the original Glta. From what has been 
stated above, anybody will come to the conclusion that the 
present Glta of 700 stanzas is a part of the present Maha- 
bharata, that both have been compiled by the same hands, 
and that the present Glta, has not been subsequently interpolated 
by anybody into the present Mahabharata. I will say 
later on what in my opinion is the date of the present Maha- 
bharata, as also what I have to say regarding the original 
Glta. 

PART II-THE GITA AND THE UPANISADS. 

Let us now consider the inter-relation between the Glta 
and the various Upanisads. Not only have the various 
Upanisads been generally referred to in the present 
Mahabharata, but the description about the warfare between 
the Vital Organs (prartendriya ) contained in the Brhadara- 
nyaka and the Chandogya (Br. 1. 3 ; Ohan. 1. 2) appears in 
the Anugita (Asva. 23) ; and the words " na me steno janapade " 
etc., uttered by the king Kaikeya Asvapati (Chan. 5. 11. 15), 
appear in the Santiparva, where the story of that king is 
related (San. 77. 8). Similarly, the principles enunciated in 
the Brhadaranyaka, that"na pretya samjflasti",i, e., "after 
death, the Knower (jnata) does not any more possess any 
name (mmjna)", and that the Knower is merged in the 
Brahman (Br. 4. 5. 13) appear in the Santiparva in the 
conversation between Janaka and Pancasikha; and in the 



740 GfTA-BAHASYA. OB KARMA-YOGA 

same plaoe, at the end, the illustration of the river and the 
sea, which appears in the Prasna and the Mundaka Upanisads 
(Prasna. 6. 5 ; Mun. 3. %. 8), has been used with reference to- 
the man who has become free from Name and Form. Besides, 
the comparison of Reason with a charioteer, after comparing 
the organs with horses, which appears in the conversation 
between the Brahmin and the Hunter (Vana, 210), and in the 
Anuglta, has been taken from the Kathopanisad (Ka. 1. 3. 3) ; 
and the stanzas " esa sarvesu bhutesu gudliutma " (Katha. 3. 12), 
and " anyatra dharmad anyatradkarmut" (Katha. 2. 14) 
also appear with slight verbal alterations in the Santiparva 
(187. 29 and 331. 44). I have already stated above that the 
stanza " sarvafah. panipadam " etc., from the Svetasvatara 
appears several times in the Mahabharata, as also in the 
Glta. But this similarity does not end here, and there are 
numerous other sentences from the Upanisads, which appear 
in various places in the Mahabharata. Nay, we may safely 
assert that the Spiritual Knowledge in the Mahabharata has 
been practically adopted from the Upanisads. 

Not only is the Spiritual Knowledge contained 
in the Bhagavadglta consistent with the Upanisads, 
like the Mahabharata, but, as has been stated by me in the 
ninth and the thirteenth chapters above, the Path of 
Devotion described in the Gits is also fully consistent 
with this Spiritual Knowledge. Without, therefore, repeating 
the same subject-matter, I will only say here in short, that 
the non-lamentability of the Atman mentioned in the second 
chapter of the Glta, the form of the Imperishable Brahman 
described in the eighth chapter, the consideration of the Body 
( ksetra ) and the Atman ( ksetrajfia ) contained in the thirteenth 
chapter, and especially the form of the 'Knowable' (jfleya) 
Parahrahman described in that chapter, are all subjects which 
have been literally copied into the Glta from the Upanisads. 
Some of the Upanisads are in prose, whereas others are in 
verse. Expressions from the prose Upanisads cannot, of course, 
come as they are in the Glta, which is in verse form ; yet, the 
ideas "whatever is, is; and whatever is not, is not" (Gl. 2. 16), 
"yam yam vapi smaran bhavam" etc. (Gl. 8. 6), (i.e., "whatever 
ideas are entertained in the Mind" etc.— Trans.) etc., which 



II— The GfTA and the UPANISADS 741 

appear in the Glta, are from the Chandogyopanisad ; and the 
ideas and sentences, "ksine puriye" etc. (Gl. 9. 21), "jyotisam 
jyotih" (Gl. 13. 17), or " matrasparsah" (Gi. 2. 14) etc., are from 
the Brhadaranyakopanisad, as will be apparent to anyone 
who has read those Upanisads. But, if one does not consider 
the prose Upanisads, but considers only the Upanisads in 
verse form, this similarity becomes more explicit; because, 
some verses from these verse-formed Upanisads have been 
taken literally and word for word into the Glta. For instance, 
six or seven stanzas from the Kathopanisad have been taken 
as they are, or with slight verbal alterations into the Glta. 
The stanza " ascaryavat pasyati" etc. (2, 29) in the Glta is very 
similar to the stanza "ascaryo vakta" etc., in the second 
valli of the Kathopanisad (Katha. 2. 7); and the stanza 
"na jayate mriyate va kadacit" etc. (Gi. 2. 20), and the semi- 
stanza "yad icchanto brahmacaryam caranti" etc. (Gi. 8. 11), 
are word for word the same in the Glta and in the Katho- 
panisad (Katha. 2. 19; 2. 15). I have already mentioned 
above that the stanza "indriyaiai paranyahuh" (Gl. 3. 42) 
in the Glta has been taken from the Kathopanisad 
(Katha. 3. 10). Similarly, the simile of the pippala (asvattha) 
tree in the fifteenth chapter of the Glta, has been taken 
from the Kathopanisad; and the stanza "na tad bhasayate 
suryo" eto. (Gi. 15. 6), has been adopted into the Glta 
with slight verbal alterations from the Katha and the 
Svetasvatara Upanisads. Many other ideas and stanzas from 
the Svetasvataropanisad find their way into the Glta. I have 
shown above in the ninth chapter that the word 'Maya' appears- 
for the first time in the Svetasvataropanisad, and that it must 
have been taken from that place into the Glta and the 
Mahabharata. Besides this, the description of the place proper 
for the study of Yoga, given in the sixth chapter of the Glta, 
namely, "sucau dese pratisthapya" etc. (Gi. 6. 11) seems to be 
taken from the incantation "same sucau" etc. (Sve. 2. 10), and 
the words " samam kayasirogrivam " etc. (Gi. 6. 13) seem to 
have been taken from the incantation "trir unnaiam stkapya 
samam sarlram" (Sve. 2. 8), if one considers the similarity of 
wording between the two. Similarly, the stanza "sarvatdk 
pampadam" etc. and the following semi-stanza are also seen 



742 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

to be word for word the same both in the Glta (13. 13) and in 
the Svetasvataropanisad ( Sve. 3. 16 ) ; and the words 
"anorardyBmsam" or "adityavarnam tamasah parastal" are also 
to be found both in the Glta (8. 9) and the Svetasvataropanisad 
{Sve. 3. 9, 20). Further similarity of wording between the 
Gita and the Upanisads is apparent from the fact that the two 
semi-stanzas "sarvabhutastham atmanam ( Gl. 6. 29 ) and 
"vedais ca sr,rmir aham eva vedyo" (Gl. 15. 15) are to be found 
just as they are in the Kaivalyopanisad. But it is not 
necessary to further point out this similarity of wording. 
Nobody oan entertain the slightest doubt that the Vedanta in 
the Glta has been enunciated on the authority of the Upanisads. 
What has to be principally considered is whether there is a 
difference between the exposition of it in the Upanisads and 
the exposition in the Gita ; and if so, what that difference is. 
We will, therefore, now turn to that subject-matter. 

The Upanisads are numerous, and the language of some 
of them is so modern, that one can clearly see that these 
Upanisads are not of the same date as the older Upanisads. 
Therefore, in considering the similarity of subject-matter 
between the Glta and the Upanisads, I have principally referred 
in this chapter, for purposes of comparison, to those Upanisads, 
which are mentioned in the Brahma-Sutras. If one tries to 
examine the similarity between the theories in these Upanisads 
and the Spiritual Knowledge in the Glta, one will see, first of 
all, that though the characteristic features of the qualityless 
Parabrahman is the same in both, yet, in describing how the 
Qualityful came into existence out of the Qualityless, the 
Glta uses the words 'maya' or 'ajSana' instead of the word 
'avidya'. I have explained above in the ninth chapter that 
the word 'maya' has appeared in the Svetasvataropanisad, and 
that this word is synonymous with 'avidya' embodied in Names 
and Forms ; and I have shown above that some of the stanzas 
from the Svetasvataropanisad appear word for word in the Glta. 
The first conclusion to be drawn from this is, that although the 
doctrine "sarvam khalv idam brahma" (Chan. 3. 14. 1), or "sarvam 
atmanam. pasyatf (Br. 4. 4. 23), or "sarvabhutesu catmamni" etc. 
(tsa. &), or possibly even the whole of the Spiritual Knowledge 
in the Upanisads has been adopted into the Glta, yet, it was 



II— The GITA ahd the UPANISADS 743 

only after the word 'maya' came to be used in the Upanisads 
with reference to Name-d and Form-ed 'avidya', that the Gita 
has come to be written. 

Now, if one considers what difference exists between the 
respective expositions of Vedanta in the Gita and the Upanisads, 
one sees that greater importance has been given in the Gita to 
the Kapila-Samkhya philosophy. In tie Brhadaranyaka or 
the Chandogya, which deal with Spiritual Knowledge, 
Samkhya philosophy has not even once been mentioned ; and 
although the words 'avyakta', 'mahau' etc. from Samkhya 
philosophy are found in the Katha and other Upanisads, yet, 
those words are clearly interpreted there according to "Vedanta 
philosophy and not according to Samkhya philosophy ; and the 
same argument applies to the exposition in the Maitryupanisad. 
The idea of boycotting Samkhya philosophy has been carried 
to such an extent, that the diversity of Names and Forms 
in the world has been explained in the Vedanta-Sutras by 
the 'Trivrt-karana' (union of three Elements) consistently 
with the Chandogya, instead of by reference to the 'Paiiclkarana' 
(union of five Elements) of Samkhya philosophy (Ve. 
Su. 2. 4. 20). Although this method of explaining the 
Perishable and Imperishable in Metaphysics without the 
slightest reference to Samkhya philosophy has not been 
adopted in the Gita, yet, it must also be borne in mind that 
Samkhya doctrines have not been taken as they are into the 
Gita. The Samkhya doctrine that the visible world came 
into existence from the three-constituented imperceptible Matter 
{prakrti) by the process of the 'developing-out of the consti* 
tuents' ( guxtotkarsa ), and that the Spirit (purusa) is 
qualityless and is the See-er, is accepted by the Gita. But 
the Samkhya doctrine regarding the Perishable ( ksara ) and 
Imperishable (aksara) has always been mentioned in the 
Gita with the rider of the Non-Dualistic Vedanta that Matter 
(prakrti) and Spirit {purusa ) are not independent Elements, 
but are the forms or manifestations ( vibhuti ) of one and the 
same Parabrahman in the shape of the Atman. This tacking 
on of the order of creation of the universe according to the 
Dualistio Samkhya philosophy with the Non-Dualistic 
doctrines of the Upanisads, which looks upon the Brahman 



744 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



and the Atman as one and the same, is to be found in the 
exposition of Metaphysics in other places in the Mahabharata, 
as in the Glta ; and thereby the inferenoe made above, that 
the Glta and the Mahabharata must have been written by 
one and the same person, is intensified. 

The Path of Devotion or the worship of the Perceptible 
contained in the exposition in the Glta is an important matter 
which is not found in the Upanisads. It is true that mere ritualis- 
tic performances like Yajfias etc., are considered inferior, from 
the point of view of Spiritual Knowledge, in the Upanisads 
as also in the Bhagavadgita ; but we do not come across the 
worship of a perceptible human-formed Paramesvara in 
the older Upanisads. As the Realisation of the imperceptible and 
qualityless Parabrahman is difficult, the writers of the 
Upanisads admit the principle that one must worship the 
Mind, Ether, the Sun, Fire, Yajia, and other similar 
qualityful symbols. But the symbols, which have been 
mentioned in the ancient Upanisads for worship, do not 
include the human-formed Paramesvara. It is stated in 
the Maitryupanisad that Rudra, Siva, Visnu, Acyuta, 
Narayana, etc., are all forms of the Paramatman (Mai. 7. 7) ; 
and the Svetasvataropanisad even contains _ the words 
' Mahesvara ' etc ; and there are also in the Svetasvatara 
such expressions as "jnatva devam mucyate sarvapaiaih" 
(Sve. 5. 13), (i. e., "by Realising God, all bonds are broken" — 
Trans.) or, "yasya deve para bhaklih" (Sve. 6. 23). But one 
cannot definitely say that human-formed incarnations of 
Narayana, Visnu etc ; are intended by these expressions ; 
because, the deities Rudra and "Visnu are both Vedic, that is, 
ancient; and it cannot be said that the above-mentioned 
Upanisads did not refer to the ancient sacrificial ritual, which 
was later on given the form of the worship of Visnu, as shown, 
by the words "ijajno mi visyuh" (Tai. Sam. 1. 7. 4). Never- 
theless, if some one says that the idea of human-formed 
incarnations was conceived in those days, that cannot be 
said to be improbable; because, the word 'bhakti' (Devotion) 
which is to be found in the Svetasvataropanisad cannot 
at first sight be properly applied to worship in the shape of 
a Yajiia. As the expressions used in the MahanSrayana 



II— The GlTA and the UPANISADS 745 



Nrsimhatapanl, EamatapanI, or GopalatapanI Upanisads are 
clearer than those in the Svetasvataropanisad, such a doubt can 
really speaking not arise at all about them. But, as there are no 
means for definitely fixing the dates of these Upanisads, one 
cannoi, with their help, satisfactorily solve the question as to 
when the worship of the human-formed Visnu came into vogue. 
Nevertheless, the fact that the Vedie Path of Devotion is very 
a,ncient is satisfactorily proved in other ways. The 
•grammarian Panini, after first mentioning in a sutra that the 
word ' bhaktih ' is to be taken as meaning ' that, towards which 
Devotion exists ' (Pa. 4. 3. 95), says in another sutra, namely, 
'" vasudevarjmiabhjam bun" (Pa. 4. 3. 98), that the man who 
is devoted to Vasudeva should be called ' Vasudevaka ', and 
the man who is a devotee of Axjuna should be called 
* Ar junaka ' ; and Patanjali, in commenting on this in his 
Mahabhasya, has said that the word ' Vssudeva ' in this 
sutra is the name of a K^atriya, or of the ' Bhagavanta '. 
Dr. Bhandarkar has proved that the commentary of Patanjali 
was written about 250 years before the Christian era; and 
there is no dispute about the fact that Panini belonged to 
a much earlier period. Besides, even Buddhistic religious 
texts contain a reference to Devotion; and I have proved 
later on in detail that the Bhagavata religion must have been 
the cause for principles of Devotion entering into the 
Buddhistic Mahayana cult. Therefore, it is proved beyond 
doubt that the Path of Devotion was well established in 
India long before the date of Buddha, that is to say 
necessarily more than 600 years before the Christian era. 
The Narada-Paficaratra, or the Bhakti-SQtras written by 
Sandilya or Narada, are later in point of time. But thereby, 
the ancientness of the Bhagavata religion, or of the Path 
of Devotion, is in no way affected. It will be seen from the 
exposition made in the Gita-Rahasya that (i) the present Path 
of Devotion has been gradually evolved out of the forms 
of worship of the Qualityful mentioned in the ancient 
Upanisads ; that (ii) the Patafijala Yoga has given further 
importance to the Path of Devotion, as in that Yoga some 
perceptible or visible object has to be placed before the eyes 
for fixing the mind ; and that (iii) the Path of Devotion has 



746 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

not come into India from anywhere else, nor was there any 
neoessity for it to come from anywhere else. Supporting, 
from the point of view of the VedSnta of the Upanisads > 
this Path of Devotion, and especially the worship of Vasudeva, 
which had in this way come into existence in India, is an 
important part of the subject-matter of the Glta. 

But a still more important part of the Glta is the harmoni- 
sation of the Karma-Yoga with Devotion and the Knowledge 
of the Brahman. Although the Upanisads have considered 
the duties fixed for the four castes, or the ritualistic per- 
formances mentioned by the Srutis as inferior, yet, some 
of the Upanisads say that they have got to be performed for 
the purification of the Mind, and that it is not proper to 
give them up even after the Mind has been purified. Never- 
theless, several of the Upanisads may be said to ordinarily 
incline towards Abandonment of Action. There are statements 
in some Upanisads, as in the Isavasyopanisad, that Action 
must be performed so long as life lasts, such as, " kurvaim 
eveha karmani", (i.e., "Action must ba performed in this 
world" — Trans.); but no other Upanisad has justified this 
Karma- Yoga, which had been in vogue from ancient times, 
by doing away with the conflict between Spiritual Knowledge 
and Worldly Action as has been done in the Glta. Way, 
one may safely say that the doctrines of the Glta on this 
matter are different from the doctrines enunciated by many 
of the writers of the Upanisads, As I have fully discussed 
this question in the eleventh chapter of the Gita-Rahasya, 
I do not propose to take up more space by dealing with 
it here. 

The 'acquisition of Yoga' ( yoga-sadhana ), which has been 
referred to in the sixth chapter of the Glta, has been fully 
and scientifically dealt with in the Patafijala Yoga-Sutras ; 
and these Sutras are now-a-days considered an authoritative 
text on this subject. These Sutras are divided into four 
chapters. The word ' yoga ' has been defined in the commence- 
ment of the very first chapter as " yogas cittavrttinirodhah ", 
(i. e., " Yoga means the control of the activities of the Mind " 
— Trans. ) ; and it is stated that " abhyasavairagyabhyam tan- 
mrodhah ", that is, " this control (nirodhdh) can be acquired. 



II - THE GITA AND THE UPANISADS 747 

by practice and by indifference to the world " ; and afterwards 
the means of acquiring the Yoga such as, yama, niyama, asana, 
prariayama, etc. have been described; and in the 3rd and 4th 
chapters, it is explained how perfection and the supernatural 
powers of ' ariirrialaghima ' (i. e, 'self-contraction,levitation'etc. — - 
Trans.) are acquired by the ' asamprajnata ' or ' nirvikalpa ' 
sarriadhi (non-differentiating mental absorption), and how by 
this kind of concentration, one ultimately reaches Release in the 
shape of ' Brahma-nirvana '. In the Bhagavadgita also, there 
is first mentioned the neoessity of the control of the Mind 
(Gi. 6. 20) ; and after stating that the Mind must be controlled 
by the two means of practice ( abhijasa ), and indifference to 
the world ( vairagya ), (Gl. 6. 35), it is ultimately stated how 
one should acquire the non-differentiating mental absorption, 
and what happiness that gives. But on that account, one- 
cannot say that the Bhagavadglts accepts as correct the. 
Patamjala-Yoga, or that the Patanjala-Sutras are earlier in 
point of time than the Bhagavadgita. The Blessed Lord 
has nowhere advised that one should spend one's life holding 
one's nose in the hand for controlling the breath, in order 
to acquire perfect concentration, as directed in the Patafijala- 
Sutras. Control of the Mind and mental absorption have been 
mentioned in the Glta as means for acquiring that Equability of 
Mind, which, is necessary for acquiring Karma-Yoga. Therefore, 
it must be said that in this matter, the Glta comes nearer to the 
Svetasvatara or the Hatha Upanisads than the Patanjala-Sutras. 
The Dhyanabindu, Churika, and Yoga-tattva Upanisads deal 
with Yoga. But, as Yoga is the principal subject-matter in 
them, and its praises are sung everywhere, it is not proper to 
attempt to fully harmonise these one-sided Upanisads with the 
Glta, which considers the Karma-Yoga as the most superior path ; 
and such a harmony cannot in fact be brought about. In the 
introduction to his English translation of the Bhagavadgita, 
Mr. Thompson has said that the Karma-Yoga in the Glta is 
a form of the Patafijala-Yoga; but such a thing is absolutely 
impossible ; and I say that this confusion has arisen in the 
mind of Mr. Thompson, because he has not understood the 
correct meaning of the word 'Yoga' in the Gita. Because, 
whereas the Gita Karma-Yoga is Energistic, the Patanjala-Yoga 

17-1.8 



748 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

is just the opposite, that is to say, renunciatory ; and it is, 
therefore, not possible that the one should have come out of 
tho other; and it is nowhere stated in the Gita that such is 
the case. Nay, the original meaning of the word 'Yoga' was 
Karma- Yoga; and one may safely say that that word came to 
bo commonly understood in the single meaning of 'Yoga* in 
the shape of 'Concentration of the Mind', after the days of the 
Patafijula-Sutras. Whatever may be the case, the Desireless 
Path of Action adopted in ancient times by Janaka and others 
was similar to the Yoga, that is, the Karma-Yoga of the Gita ; 
and it has clearly been adopted from the Bhagavata religion 
traditionally handed down by Manu to Iksvaku etc., and was 
not derived from the Patafija la-Yoga. 

This will have clearly shown to my readers the similarity 
and tho dissimilarity between the Gita-doctrine and the 
Upani-ads. Most of these matters have been dealt with by .me 
in the ( ! lUi-Rahasya. I shall, therefore, say here only this much 
that, although the Knowledge of the Brahman in the Gita 
has been mentioned on the authority of the Upanisads, yet, the 
Gita has not merely copied the Metaphysical Knowledge in 
the rpanisuls, but by adding to it the worship of Vasudeva, 
;is also the fcjamkhya Science of the Perishable and the 
imperishable, that is to say, of the creation of the universe, 
it has principally expounded tho Vedic religion of Karma- 
Yoga, which is easy to follow, and is beneficial in this life and 
the next ; and in this way the Gita is superior to the Upanisads. 
ft is, therefore, not proper to stretch the meaning of the Gita 
doctrinal] y, in order to establish a non-existing harmony 
bet wwn the Gita and tho renunciatory Upanisads, except in 
thi) mattwr of the Knowledge of the Brahman. It is true that 
tho Metaphysical Knowledge in both is the same. Yet, although 
tho head in tho shape of the Spiritual Knowledge is the same, 
tho Samkhya path and the Karma- Yoga are the two equally 
important hands of the Vedic religion; and the Gita has 
emphatically supported Action based on Knowledge, as has 
been done in the Isavasyopanisad, as is clearly shown in the 
eleventh chapter of the Gita-Rahasya, 



Ill - The GlTA and the BRAHMA-SUTRAS 749 

PART III— THE GfTA AND THE BRAHMA-SUTRAS. 

Having in this way considered the similarity and the 
dissimilarity between the Bhagavadglta and the Upanisads, 
which chiefly deal either with Spiritual Knowledge, or with 
Devotion, or with Yoga, it is really speaking not necessary to 
compare the Glta with the Brahma-Sutras; because, as 
Badarayanacarya has written his Brahma-Sutras in order to 
•systematically consider the Metaphysical doctrines mentioned 
in the various Upanisads, these Sutras cannot contain any 
thoughts which are not in the Upanisads. Still, there is a 
clear reference to the Brahma-Sutras at the beginning of the 
13th chapter of the Bhagavadglta, where the subject-matter of 
the Body and the Atman is being dealt with, in the words : 

rsibhir bahudha gltain clumdobliir vividliaih prthak I 
brahma-sUtrapadais caiva hetumadbhir vimscitaih li 

(Gl. 13. 4), 

that is, the Body and the Atman have been described " in 
various ways, in different metres, by different Rsis, dis- 
connectedly; and also definitely and logically in the 
Brahma-Sutra-padas" ; and, if one considers these Brahma-Sutras 
to be the same as the present Vedanta-Sutras, it follows that 
the present Glta must have been written after the date of the 
present "Vedanta-Sutras. It is, therefore, very necessary to 
determine which these Brahma-Sutras are, in order to fix the 
date of the Glta* Because, there is no work now available 
besides the Vedanta-Sutras, which bears the name of Brahma- 
Sutras, nor has such a work been referred to anywhere ; and it 
is not proper to say that the GUa was written after the date 
of the present Brahma-Sutras ; because, it is traditionally 
believed that the Glta is more ancient than these Brahma-Sutras. 
Possibly, the phrase "brahma-sutra-padaih" has been interpreted 
in the Sarhkarabhasya to mean "the phrases in the Srutis or 
the Upanisads, which refer to the Brahman", in order to get 
■over this difficulty. But, on the other hand, Anandagiri, who 



* This subject-matter has bsen considered by the late 
Mr. Telang ; and Prof. Tukaram Bamchandra Amalnerkar B. A. has 
also published -an essay on this subject iu 1895. 



750 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



has written a commentary on the Samkarabhasya, and 
Ramanujacarya and Madhvacarya, who are other commentators 
on the Gita, have said that the words "brahma-sutra-padais eaiva" 
meantheSutras "aihato brahmajijnasa" etc. of Badarayanaearya;. 
and Srldhara Svami interprets them in both ways. We have, 
therefore, to determine the true meaning of this stanza 
independently. This stanza mentions TWO DIFFERENT places, 
where the subject-matter of the Body and the Atman have been 
described; for, it says that this subject-matter has been 
mentioned "in DIFFERENT ways, by different Rsis, DISCON- 
NECTEDLY," and also (caiva) "definitely and logically in the 
Brahma-Sutra-padas" ; and this is apparent from the word 
'caiva' (i. e., 'and also'). Not only are these two places different, 
but the first place, namely, the description given by R?is, is 
"in different metres, and disconnected, and in different ways" ; 
and, as appears by the third case plural termination of the 
word 'rsibhih', it has been made by VARIOUS Rsis; whereas, 
the other description oontained in the B.rahma-Sutra-padas 
is "definite and logical". This is the special difference 
between the two, which has been brought out in this 
stanza. The word 'hetuniat' appears in various places in 
the Mahabharata, and means an ' exposition made according 
to the method of logicians, by showing reason and 
conclusion'. Take for instance, the conversation of Sulabha. 
with Janaka, or what Sri Krsna said in the Darbar of the 
Kauravas, when He went there as an ambassador. It is stated 
in the Mahabharata itself that the first conversation was 
'hetumat' and ' arlhavat' (San. 320. 191); and that the other 
one was 'sahetuka' (Udyo. 131. 2). From this, it follows 
that where pros and cons are discussed, and some unambiguous 
and definite conclusion has been drawn at the end, that method 
of dealing with the subject is called ' hetumadbhir virriscitaih '. 
These words cannot be applied to miscellaneous and inconsis- 
tent conclusions drawn in one way in one place and in 
another way in another place. Therefore, if we have to- 
maintain the distinction and contrast between "rsibhih. 
bahudha vividhaih prthak" (i. e., "by Rsis, in different places, 
indifferent ways, and disconnectedly" — Trans.) and "hetu- 
madbhir viniscituih" (i. e., " definitely and logically" — Trans.),,, 



Ill - THE GITA AND THE BRAHMA-SUTRAS 751 

it becomes necessary to say that the words "the description, in 
various ways, by different Rsis, disconnectedly, and in different 
metres" intend to mean the disconnected and miscellaneous 
•sentences appearing in the different Upanisads ; and that the 
words "definite and logically advanced Brahma-Sfitra-padas " 
signify the description in the Brahma-Sutras, in which 
a definite and unambiguous conclusion has been drawn in the 
■end by showing pros and cons. It must also be borne in mind 
that, as the ideas mentioned by the Rsis in the Upanisads 
were related by them, as they occurred to them, that is to say, 
disconnectedly, the true import of the Upanisads cannot be 
understood unless the ideas contained in them are harmonised. 
A.nd, therefore, it becomes necessary to mention the work in 
which the Upanisads have been harmonised with each other by 
the explanation of reasons and conclusions, at the same time 
when the Upanisads themselves are mentioned. 

When this stanza in the Glta has been interpreted in this 
way, it is quite clear that the Upanisads and the Brahma- 
Sutras were earlier in point of time than the Glta. 
There is, of course, no dispute about the most important 
ones of these Upanisads; because, the stanzas from these 
Upanisads are found to have been copied word for word 
into the Glta. But, there is room for doubt where the 
Brahma-Sutras are concerned; because, although the word 
■* BhagavadgltS ' has not appeared literally in the Brahma- 
Sutras, yet, the BhagavadgltS is believed by the writers of the 
Bhasyas to have been referred to by the word ' Smrti ' in some 
of the Sutras at least. The Brahma-Sutras, which, according 
to the Samkarabhasya, refer to the BhagavadgltS by the word 
'' smrti ' are principally the following ones. — 

BRAE MA-SUTRAS GITA 

chapter, pada, and sutra Chapter and s.tanza. 

1. 2. 6, xmrtes ca I Gl. 18. 61, isvardh sarvabhu- 

tanam etc., (whole stanza) 
1. 3. 23, api ca smaryate I Gl. 15. 6, na tad 



suryah etc. 

1. 36, upapadyate capy- Gl. 15. 3, na rupam asyeha tatho- 
upalabhyateca\ paldbhyate etc. . 



753 GlTl-RAHASYA OR KARMA- YOGA 

2. 3. 45, API CA SMARYATE I Gl. 15. 7, mamaivamso jivaloke 

jivabhutah etc. 

3. 2.17, darsayati catho api Gl. 13.12, jneyamyat tat p-avak- 
smaryate I syami etc. 

3. 3. 31, aniyamah sarvasam- Gl. 8. 26, iuklakrsve gatl 
avirodhah sabdanumana- hyete etc 

bhyam I 

4. 1. 10, smaranti ca I Gl. 6. 11, sucau dese etc. 

4. 2. 21, YOGINAH PRATI CA Gl. 8. 23, yatra kale tvana- 
SMARYATE I vrttim avrttiih caiva yogi- 

ndh etc. 

Even if some out of these 8 references are considered 
ambiguous, yet, in my opinion the fourth (Bra. Su. 2. 3. 45) 
and the eighth (Bra. Su. 4. 2. 21) are absolutely unambiguous ; 
and it must be borne in mind that on this question the four 
commentators, Sarhkaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, 
and Vallabhacarya, are of the same opinion. The sutra 
" api ca smaryate " (2. 3. 45) i. e., "and the Smrti says the same 
thing ", appears in the Brahma-Sutras, in the course of the 
consideration of the mutual inter-relation between the 
Personal Self ( jwatman ) and the Absolute Self (paramatman ),, 
after it has first been definitely stated in the sutra, " natrna 
, sruter nityatvac ca tabhyah" (Bra. SQ. 2. 3. 17), that the 
Individual Self is not created from the Highest Self like 
the other objects in the world ; after stating in the 
sutra, " amso nanavyapadesat" etc. (2. 3. 43), that the Jlvatman is 
a ' part ' (amsa) r of the Paramatman, and after giving the 
authority of the Srutis by saying "mantra varriac ca" (2. 3. 44) 
This Smrti is the sentenoe " mamaivamso jivaloke jivabhutah. 
sanatanah" in the Gita (Gl. 15. 7) according to all the 
oommentators. But the last reference is even more unambi- 
guous than this. I have stated above in the tenth chapter 
that the two periods of Devayana and Pitryana occupy the 
six months of the Uttarayana and the six months of the- 
Daksinayana respectively; and that instead of interpreting 
these phrases as indicating 'time', BadarayanScarya has- 



Ill - The GITA and THE BRAHMA-SUTKAS 753 

interpreted them as meaning the respective deities presiding 
during those periods of time (Ve. Su. 4. 3. 4). The autra, 
"yoginah prati ca smaryate" (Bra. Su. 4. 2. 21), that is, "these 
periods of time are proper in the case of Yogins according 
to the Smrti", has been written in answer to the doubt whether 
the words ' daksiyayana ' and 'uttarayaya', are never to be 
understood as indicating 'time'; and it has been clearly- 
stated in the Gita in the following words, that these periods 
of time are proper for Yogins, namely, "yaira kale tvanavrttim 
avrttim caiva yoginah." . From these references, one has to say 
with the commentators that in these two places at least the- 
woid ' smrti' used in the Brahma-Sutras has reference only 
to the Bhagavadglta. 

But if one believes that the Brahma-Sutraa have been 
specifically mentioned in the Gita, and that the Gita has been 
specifically referred to in the Brahma-Sutras by the word 
'smrti', there arises an inconsistency between the two from 
the point of view of date of writing; because, as the Bhagavad- 
glta contains a clear reference to the Brahma-Sutras, the- 
Brahma-SQtras must be looked upon as prior in point of 
time to the Gita; and if one interprets the word 'smrti' in the 
Brahma-Sutras as meaning the Gita, the Gita becomes earlier 
in point of time than the Brahma-Sutras. The same Brahma- 
Sutras cannot once be earlier in point of time and again later 
in point of time than the Gita. Well ; if, in order to escape- 
from this difficulty, we interpret the words " brahmasutra- 
padaih", as has been done in the SamkarabhSsya, then the words 
" JietumadbMr wniscitaih" become meaningless; and if we say 
that the word 'smrti' used in the Brahma-Sutras refers to some. 
Smrti other than the Gita, then we have to say that all the 
commentators were wrong ; and even if we say that they were- 
all wrong, the fact still remains that we cannot say what 
work is referred to by the word ' smrti '. Then, how are we- 
to get out of this difficult position? In my opinion, there 
is only one way in which we can escape this difficulty. If we 
say that the same man who wrote the Brahma-Sutras also 
gave their present form to the Bharata and to the Gita, the 
difficulty is solved. It is usual to refer to the Brahma-Sutras 
as ' VySsa-Sutras ', and Anandagiri has stated in his comment- 



754 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

ary on the Sarhkarabhasya on the sutra, " sesatvat purusartha- 
indo yathanyesviti jairmnih" (Ve. Su. 3. 4. 2), that Jaimini was 
the disciple of Vyasa, who wrote the Vedanta-Sutras ; and 
in the same way, he has described the Brahma-Sutras in the 
opening stanzas of his work in the following terms, namely, 
" srlmadvyasapayonidMr mdhirasau", Vyasa, the writer of 
the Mahabharata, had five disciples named, Paila, Suka, 
Sumantu, Jaimini, and Vaisampayana ; and I have, on the 
authority of the present Mahabharata, referred aboye to the 
story that Vyasa taught the Mahabharata to them. When 
one takes both these things together, and considers the matter, 
one can draw the inference that the work of giving their 
present form to the original Bharata and to the Glta included 
in it, as also that of writing the Brahma-Sutras was done 
by one and the same Badarayana Vyasa. This does not .mean 
that Badarayanaoarya wrote something new in the shape 
of the present Mahabharata. All that I mean to say is that 
as the Mahabharata is a very extensive work, some portions 
of it may have been lost or become disintegrated at the 
time of Badarayana ; and that Badarayanaoarya may, therefore, 
have critically examined different portions of the Maha- 
bharata whioh were then available, and either corrected or 
supplemented them wherever he found the book to be 
disconnected or incorrect or incomplete, or added indexes etc., 
and in that way either revived the book or given it its 
present form. It is well known that even in Marathi literature, 
Ekanatha has in this way revised the Jnanesvarl; and there 
is even a story that as the Vyakarana Mahabhasya in Sanskrit 
literature was once lost, Ohandrasekharacarya had to revive it 
agaia In this way, one can easily understand how the 
stanzas of the Glta are to be found in the other chapters of 
the Mahabharata ; and the fact of the clear reference to the 
Brahma-Sutras in the Glta and of the reference to the Glta in 
the Brahma-Sutras by the word 'smrti', is easily explained. As 
the original Glta, which is the foundation of the present Glta, 
was available even before the time of Badarayanaoarya, it was 
ief eire.d to in the Brahma-Sutras by the word 'smrti'; and it 
is stated in the Gita, while revising the Mahabharata, that the 
subje.ct-rnatter of the Body and the Atman has been considered 



Ill - THE GITA AND THE BRAHMA-SUTRAS 755 

in detail in the Brahma-Sutras *. There are other references 
in the present Mahabharata to sutra-woiks, similar to the 
reference to the Brahma-Sutras in the present Gita. For 
instance, in the Astavakra-Dik conversation in the Anusasana- 
parva, we find the sentence, "anrtah striya ity evam sutrakaro 
vyavasyati " ( Ami. 19. 6 ). Similarly, there are also clear 
references elsewhere in the Mahabharata to the Satapatha- 
brahmana (Santi. 318. 16-23), the Pancaratras (Santi. 339. 107), 
the Nirukta of Yaska (Santi. 342. 71), and Manu (Ami. 37. 16). 
But, as it was not usual for people to learn by heart all the 
parts of the Mahabharata, a doubt naturally arises about the 
extent to which the reference to other books in the Mahabharata 
in other places besides the Gita, can be looked upon as reliable 
for the purpose of the determination of the date of either. 
Because, those parts which are not learnt by heart can easily be 
tampered with by the addition of interpolated stories or stanzas. 
Yet, in my opinion, there is no reason why we should not take 
advantage of these other references in order to prove that the 
reference to the Brahma-Sutras in the Gita is not a sole, or 
an unprecedented, and therefore, an unreliable reference. 

* The Brahma-Sutras are the most important book on 
Vedanta, and the Gita is the most important book on Karma-Yoga, 
as has been shown by me in previous chapters. Therefore, if 
my inference that the Brahma-Sutras and the Gita were written 
by one and the same person, that is, by Vyasa, is correct, Vygsa 
becomes saddled with the authorship of both these books. I have 
proved this above by inferential argument. But in the new 
•edition of the Mahabharata according to the southern recension, 
which has been published by Mr. Krishnacarya of Kumbakonam, 
we find the following 34th staqza in the 212th chapter of the 
Santiparva (in the Varsneyadhyatma-prakarana) in the description 
of how the various sciences and histories came into existence at 
the beginning of the Yuga, namely, 

vedantafoirmayogam ea vedavid brahmavid vilhuh \ 
dvaipuyano nijagraha silpakastraih bhrguh punah \\ 

In this stanza, " mdwitakwmayogam, " is a compound word in the 
singular number. But that has to be interpreted aB meaning «Vedanta 
and Karma- Yoga'. Possibly the original reading was ''tedantam. 



756 GrtTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

I have proved above by critically examining the meaning: 
of the words in the stanza " brahma-sutra-padms caiva" etc.,. 
that the Bhagavadgita contains a reference to the present 
Brahma-Sutras or Vedanta-Satras. But, I think there is. 
another important and forcible reason for this reference to 
the Brahma-Sutras having come into the Bhagavadgita, 
and that too in the 13th chapter, that is, in the chapter 
which deals with the subject of the Body and the Atman» 
I have already explained in the previous chapters that though 
the essential principle of the worship of Vasudeva has 
been taken into the Bhagavadgita from the Bhagavata or 
the Pancaratra religion, yet, the four-fold (catur-vyuya) theory 
of the Pafiearatra religion regarding the coming into existence 
of Sarhkarsana, that is Jlva (Personal Self) from Vasudeva,. 
of Pradyumna, that is, the Mind (mams) from Sarhkarsana,. 
and of Aniruddha, that is, Individuation (ahamkara) from 
Pradyumna, is not accepted by the Bhagavadgita. The 
Brahma-Sutras lay down the dootrine that the Personal Self 
(jivatman) has not sprung from anything else (Ve. Su. 2. 3. 17) 
and that it is an eternal ' part ' (amsa) of the Highest Atman, 



\galh ca ", and in writing or in printing, the diacritical 
nasal sign ' m ' in 'nta m ' may have been diopped. It is clearly 
stated in this stanza that Vyasa obtained the two sciences of 
VedSuta and Karma- Yoga, and that Bhrgu obtained the Hlpa- 
iastra (i. e., 'the fine or mechanical arts ' — Trans.). But, this 
stanza is not to be found in the edition printed in the Ganpit 
Krishnaji Press in Bombay or in the Calcutta edition. The 212th 
chapter of the Santiparva in the Kumbakonam edition is the 210th 
chapter of the Bombay and Calcutta editions. I am very gratefal 
to my friend Dr. Ganesh Krishna Garde for having drawn my 
attention to this stanza in the Kumbakonam recension. According 
to his opinion, the word ' karmayogtt ' in this place refers to 
nothing else but the Glta, and the authorship of both the Gita and 
the Vedanta-SStras is by this stanza given to Vyasa. Some doubt 
may arise on this point, because this reading is to be found in 
only one out of three editions of the Mahabharata ; but it at least 
proves that my inference about the author of Vedanta being 
the same as the author of Karma-Yoga, is neither new, nor without 
authority. 



Ill - THE GITA AND THE BRAHMA-SUTRAS 757 

( paramatman ), ( Ve. Su. 2. 3. 43). Therefore, Badarayanacarya 
has, in the second part of the second chapter, found fault with 
the Bhagavata doctrine, by saying that the genesis of 
Samkarsana from Vasudeva according to that religion is not 
possible (Ve. Su. 2. 2. 42) j and, by arguing that, since the Mind 
is an organ pertaining to the Personal Self, it is impossible 
for Pradyumna (Manas) to spring from Jiva (Ve. Su. 2. 2. 43)» 
because, we never see it happen in the world that the 
cause or the means spring from the doer, he has to that 
extent logically refuted the Bhagavata doctrine. To this, 
the followers of the Bhagavata doctrine are likely to reply 
that they consider Vasudeva (Isvara), Samkarsana (Jiva), 
Pradyumna (Manas), and Aniruddha (Ahamkara) as four 
equal Jnanins, and look upon the genesis of the one from 
the other as merely symbolical or unimportant. But, from this 
point of view, instead of there being one Paramesvara, one 
gets four Paramesvaras ; and the Brahma-Sutras, therefore, 
say, that even this reply is not satisfactory ; and Badarayana 
has ultimately expressed his opinion that the idea that 
Jiva has sprung from the Paramesvara is not acceptable 
to the Vedas, that is, to the Upanisads. (Ve. Su. 2. 2. 44, 45). 
It is true that the Bhagavadglta has adopted the principle of 
of Action based on Devotion of the Bhagavata religion. 
Nevertheless, the doctrine of the Gita is that the Jiva has not 
sprung from the Paramesvara, and is not a 'son' of the 
Paramesvara, but a part (amsa) of the Paramatman (Gl. 15. 7). 
This doctrine about the Jiva does not form part of the original 
Bhagavata doctrine ; and it was, therefore, necessary to explain 
on what authority it had been based; because, if that had not 
been done, there was a likelihood of a misunderstanding arising 
that while accepting the Energistic Devotional principle of 
the Bhagavata doctrine, the Bhagavadglta was also accepting 
the arrangement of the 'four-folded genesis' (caturvyuha) in 
that doctrine. Therefore, when there was occasion to refer to 
the nature of the Individual Self (Jivatman) in the chapter on 
the Body and the Atman, that is to say, in the very beginning 
of the 13th chapter, it became necessary for the Blessed Lord 
to explain that "My opinion about the Atman (kssetrajna), that 
is, the Jiva, is not the same as in the Bhagavata doctrine, but 



758 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA - 

is consistent with the opinion of the Rsis, who have written 
the Upanisads". And thereafter, it became necessary for Him 
to say in the natural course, that, as different Rsis had given 
disconnected descriptions in the different Upanisads, He 
accepted the harmonisation of all those opinions in the 
Brahma-Sutras (Ve. Su. 2. 3. 43). Considering the matter from 
this point of view, it will be seen that the Path of Devotion 
in the Bhagavata doctrine has been adopted in to the Glta in 
such a way that the objections taken to that doctrine in the 
Brahma-Sutras could be obviated. Ramanujacarya has in 
his commentary onthe Vedanta-SQtras given a different meaning 
altogether to these Sutras (Ve. Su. Ra. Bha. 2. 2. 42-45). But, 
in my opinion, these interpretations are stretched, and not 
acceptable. Thibaut seems to be inclined to accept the view 
of the Ramanujabhasya ; but from the writings of Thibautj one 
does not get the idea that he has properly understood the true 
nature of this discussion. Even in the description of the 
Narayaniya doctrine, which is made at the end of the 
■Santiparva of the Mahabharata, it is first stated that "Vasudeva 
IS ALSO (sa em) Sarhkarsana, that is, Jlva, or the Atman" (See 
.San. 339. 39 and 71 and 334. 28 and 29) ; and the further descent 
•of Pradyumna from Sarhkarsana etc. has then been mentioned ; 
and in one place, it is clearly stated that some consider the 
Bhagavata doctrine as four-folded (calur-vyuka), others as three- 
folded (tri-vyuha), others as two-folded (dvi-vyuha), and others 
again as single-folded {eka-vyuha), (Ma. Bha. San. 348. 57). But 
instead of accepting these various aspects of the Bhagavata 
•doctrine, the present Glta has accepted only that aspect of it, 
which would be consistent with the opinions of the Upanisads 
.and the Brahma-Sutras on the question of the mutual inter- 
relation between the Body and the Atman; and when this 
■matter is taken into account, one clearly understands why 
it was necessary to refer to the Brahma-Sutras in the Glta. 
.Nay, we may even go so far as to say that the present Glta 
has made an improvement in this respect on the original 
Glta. 



IV - The BHAGAVATA RELIGION and the GITA 759 

PART IV— THE RISE OP THE BHAGAVATA 
RELIGION AND THE GITA. 
I have stated in several places in the Glta-Rahasya, and 
also above in this Appendix, that the principal subject- 
matter of the Gita is to harmonise the Spiritual Knowledge 
of the Upanisads, and the Samkhya theories about the Mutable 
and the Immutable, with Devotion, and' principally with 
Desireless Action; and thereby to fully justify the Karma- 
Yoga scientifically. But, those who do not realise the skilful- 
ness of the Gita in harmonising these various subjects, or 
those who have a pre-oonceived notion that it will be difficult 
to harmonise all these subjects, get the impression that many 
of the statements in the Gita are mutually conflicting. For 
instance, these critics object that the statement in the 
thirteenth chapter, that all whatsoever, which exists in this 
world, is nothing but the qualityless Brahman, is inconsistent 
with the statement in the seventh chapter that all this world 
is nothing but the qualityful Vasudeva (7. 19) ; as also that 
the statement that " Friend and foe are alike to Me " (9. 29) 
is inconsistent with the other statement that "Jnanins and 
Devotees are much beloved of Me" (7. 17; 12. 19), both of 
which statements have been made by the Blessed Lord. But 
I have explained in many places in the Glta-Rahasya, that 
there is no real conflict between these statements, and that 
although it was necessary to make these apprently conflicting- 
statements in considering the same question, once from the 
Metaphysical point of view and again from the point 
of view of Devotion, yet, the Gita has finally harmonised 
them from the comprehensive philosophical point of view. 
But, even to this explanation it is objected by some, that 
(i) although it is now possible to thus harmonise the 
Realisation of the imperceptible Brahman, with the Devotion 
to the perceptible Paramesvara, yet, it is impossible that 
there could have been any such harmonisation in the- 
original Gita; that (ii) the original Gita was not full of 
conflicting statements like the present Gita, and that 
(iii) Vedantists or the protagonists of Samkhya doctrines 
interpolated statements in favour of their respective doctrines 
into the original Gita. For instance, Prof. Garbe says that 



760 GITA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

the original Gita contained a harmonisation of Devotion 
with only Samkhya and Yoga; and the harmonisation of 
Devotion with Vedanta and with the Karma-marga of the 
Mlmarhsa School was brought about by somebody afterwards ; 
and he has even appended to his German translation of the 
Gita, a list of those stanzas, which according to him had been 
subsequently interpolated into the original Gita! These 
theories are entirely wrong in my opinion. These people 
have conceived these wrong ideas as a result of their having 
failed to understand the historical tradition of the various 
aspects of the Vedie religion, and the real meanings of the 
words 'samkhya' and 'yoga 'used in the Gita, and especially 
because these people had before their eyes the history of the 
unphilosophical, that is, purely devotional Christian religion. 
The Christian religion was originally purely devotional ; and 
the attempt to harmonise it with the philosophical doctrines 
of the Greeks, or with other philosophies, was made afterwards. 
But that is not the case with us. The Ritualist path of the 
Mimamsa school, the Knowledge preached by the writers 
of the Upanisads, and Samkhya and Yoga, had all reached 
their highest development before the Path of Devotion arose 
in India. Therefore, it was impossible from the very 
beginning that our people should countenance an independent 
Path of Devotion, which would be independent of all these 
sciences, and especially independent of the Knowledge of 
the Brahman preached in the Upanisads; and when this 
impossibility is taken into account, one is forced to come 
to the conclusion, that the form of the preaching of the 
Glta-religion must, from the very beginning, have been more 
or less similar to the exposition contained in the present Gita. 
The exposition of the Gita in the Glta-Rahasya has been made 
by me on this basis ; yet, as this is a very important question, I 
shall here briefly state what results are arrived at, according to 
me, regarding the original form and the tradition of the Glta- 
religion, from the historical point of view. 

I have shown in the tenth chapter of the Glta-Rahasya 
that the most pristine form of the Vedic religion was not 
pre-eminently Devotional, or Realisational, or Yogio, but was 
ritualistic, that is, Actional ; and that the Veda-Sarhhitas, and 



Ill - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AND THE GITA 761 

the Brahmanas have principally enunciated this Aotivistic 
religion of sacrificial Yajaas. As this religion was later on 
systematically expounded in the Mlmahsa-Sutras of Jaimini, 
it acquired the name 'Mlmamsaka-marga'. But although the 
name 'Mlmamsa' was new, yet, the sacrificial religion was 
undoubtedly ancient, and was probably the first stage of the 
Vedie religion from the historical point of view. Before 
acquiring the name 'Mlmamsaka-marga', it used to be known 
as 'Trayl-dharma', that is, 'the religion supported by the three 
Vedas'; and the same name is to be found in the Glta (See 
Gl. 9. 20 and %l). When this ritualistic Trayl-dharma was 
being rigorously observed, how was it possible to Realise the 
Paramesvara by this Karma, that is, this external para- 
phernalia of Yajfias and sacrificial rites ? There then gradually 
arose the doubts and objections, that as Realisation was a 
mental process, it would be impossible to acquire Realisation, 
unless one contemplated on the form of the Paramesvara etc.; 
and this Trayi-dharma gradually came to include the 
Knowledge contained in the Upanisads, as is evident from the 
introductory passages at the commencement of the Chandogya 
and other Upanisads. This Knowledge of the Brahman 
■contained in the Upanisads has subsequently acquired the name 
'Vedanta'. But although this word 'Vedanta' has come into 
•existence subsequently like the word 'Mlmamsa.', yet, the 
Knowledge of the Brahman, or the Path of Knowledge, does 
not, on that account, become something new. It is true that 
the Jnana-kanda came to be formulated after the Karma-kanda ; 
yet, one must not forget that both of them were ancient. The 
Kapila-Samkhya philosophy is another and an independent 
branch of this Path of Knowledge. I have stated in the 
■Gita-Rabasya, that whereas Vedanta was Non-Dualistic, 
Samkhya philosophy was Dualistic, and that the Samkhya 
doctrines regarding the genesis of the Cosmos are fundamentally 
■different. But although the Non-Dualistio Knowledge of the 
Brahman mentioned in the Upanisads is fundamentally 
■different from the Dualistic Samkhya philosophy, yet, from the 
point of view of Knowledge, both these paths were equally 
antagonistic to the prior ritualistic Path of Action (kartna- 
.marga). This naturally gave rise to the problem of the 



763 . GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

harmonisation of Karma with Knowledge; and there had' 
arisen two sects in this matter already in the times of the- 
Upanisads. The Brhadaranyaka and other Upanisads and the 
Samkhya philosophers began to say that on account of the 
perpetual conflict between Karma and Jnana, it was not only 
proper but even necessary to give up Karma after the- 
Acquisition of Knowledge ; and on the other hand, the Isavasya 
and other Upanisads began to say, that one cannot give up 
Karma even after the Acquisition of Knowledge, and that a 
Jnanin must oontinue performing Action for the purpose of 
carrying on the affairs of the world, after making his Reason, 
desireless, by cultivating apathy towards the world. An 
attempt has been made in the commentaries on these Upanisads- 
to do away with this conflict. But, these doctrine-supporting 
interpretations in the Sarhkarabhasya are stretched; and they 
cannot be accepted if one considers the Upanisads independently,, 
as has been stated by me at the end of the eleventh chapter of 
the Glta-Rahasya. It becomes clear from the exposition in 
the Maitryupanisad that this attempt was not restricted only 
to the harmonisation of Karma in the form of ritualistic- 
performances with the Knowledge of the Brahman ; but that, 
about this time, attempts were also made to harmonise, as far 
as possible, the Science of the Mutable and the Immutable, which 
had arisen independently in the Samkhya philosophy, with 
the Knowledge of the Brahman in the Upanisads. The 
Brhadaranyaka and other ancient Upanisads do not attach much 
importance to the Kapila Samkhya philosophy. But, the 
Maitryupanisad wholly adopts the Samkhya terminology, and 
propounds the theory that the 24 Elementary Principles of the 
Sarhkhyas have originally sprung from one Parabrahman.. 
But even the Kapila Samkhya philosophy is in support of 
Renunciation, that is to say, contrary to Energism {karma). 
Therefore, it is seen that from very ancient times there were 
already three schools of VedSnta philosophy, namely, (1) the 
path of merely performing ritual in the shape of Sacrifice etc. ;, 
(2) the path of abandoning Action, by means of Knowledge 
and. Apathy to the world, that is to say, the Path of Knowledge 
or the Samkhya Path; and (3) the Knowledge-Action (jfiana- 
karma-samuccaya) path of continually performing Action,. 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA EELIGION AND THE GITA 763 

with Knowledge, and with, an apathetic frame of mind. From 
the Path of Knowledge, out of these three paths, the two- 
subsidiary branches of Yoga and Devotion have subsequently 
come into existence. It is stated in the Chandogya and other 
ancient Upanisads, that it is necessary to meditate on the 
Brahman in order to acquire the Knowledge of the Para- 
brahman ; and that it is necessary to concentrate the Mind, and 
for that purpose, to place before the eyes, in the first place, 
some qualityful symbol of the Parabrahman, in order 
to succeed in this thought, contemplation, or meditation. 
As the Concentration of the Mind acquired in worshipping 
the Brahman thus acquired a special importance later on, 
Yoga, in the shape of the ' Concentration of the Mind ', became 
an independent path by itself; and, by a tangible human- 
formed Paramesvara being taken for worship, instead of 
a qualityful symbol, the Path of Devotion gradually came 
into existence. This idea of Devotion in the Path of Devotion 
has not come into existence independently, at some intermediate 
period of time, and inconsistently with the Spiritual Know- 
ledge contained in the Upanisads; nor has it been imported 
into India from some other country. When one considers 
seriatim all the various Upanisads, one comes to the conclusion 
that, in the beginning, the various parts of the Yajfia, or 
the OM-kara, and later on, Vedic deities like Eudra, Visnu, etc., 
or qualityful perceptible symbols of the Brahman like Ether 
etc., came to be worshipped for the purpose of the meditation 
on the Brahman ; and that with the same end in view, that 
is, with the idea of reaching the Brahman, the Davotion to, 
that is, a kind of worship of, Bama, Nrsirhha, Sri Krsna, 
Vasudeva, etc., came to be started thereafter. Out of these, 
the Yoga-tattva and other Upanisads on the Yoga, or the 
Nrsiihha-tapanl, Rama-tapanI, and other Upanisads, which 
are devotional, are clearly seen to be more ancient than the 
Chandogya and other Upanisads, when one considers their 
language. Therefore, it becomes necessary to say from the 
historical point of view, that the Paths of Yoga and' of 
Devotion, acquired importance only after the three paths of 
(i) Karma, (ii) Jiana, or Samnyasa, and (iii) Jfiana-Karma- 
samuccaya, described in the Chandogya and other ancient 
19—20 



764 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Upanisads had come into existence. But, although the paths 
of Yoga and of Devotion acquired importance later on, the 
importance of the previous Knowledge of the Brahman was 
not thereby diminished; and it was not possible that it should 
be iu diminished ; and therefore, even in those Upanisads, which 
support Yoga or Devotion, we find statements that the 
Knowledge of the Brahman is the ultimate ideal of Devotion 
and of Yoga; and that Rudra, Visnu, Acyuta, Narayana, or 
Vasudeva and ether objects of worship, are only forms of the 
Paramatman or of the Parabrahman (See Maitryu. 7. 7 ; Ramapu. 
16 ; Amrtabindu. 22 etc.). In short, the various sub-divisions of 
religion, which have from time to time been promulgated by 
various Self-Realised {atma-jnanin) sages into the Vedio religion, 
at different times, have arisen from the aspects of religion 
which were then already in vogue ; and it has been the principal 
tendency of the growth of the Vedic religion, from the very 
beginning, to harmonise new aspects of religion with the older 
aspects ; and the writers of the Smrtis have later on expounded 
the arrangement of the various stages of life, by adhering to 
this tendency of harmonising various aspects of religion. 
When one considers this ancient Indian tendency of harmonising 
various aspects of religion, it is not proper to say that the G its- 
religion was the only exception to this previous and subsequent 
tendency. 

I have mentioned above the general history of the growth 
of the principal aspects of the Vedic religion, namely, the 
ritualistic Karma mentioned in the Brahmanas, the Spiritual 
Knowledge in the Upanisads, the Kapila-Samkhya philosophy, 
Yoga in the shape of Concentration of the Mind, and 
Devotion. Let us now consider the origin of the consideration 
of all these various aspects of religion which has been made in 
the Gita — that is, whether it has been taken into the Gita 
directly from various distinct Upanisads, or there is any 
intermediate stage. Where the Knowledge of the Brahman 
alone is being considered in the Gita, stanzas from the Katha 
and other Upanisads have been adopted word for word into the 
Gita; and where the Jnana-Karma (Knowledge-Action) 
combination path is being dealt with, illustrations have been 
Ijakenfrom the Upanisads of persons like Janaka etc. From 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION and the GITA 765 

these facts, one would think that the Gita must have been 
based on the Upanisads themselves. But, if we consider the 
genesis of the Glta-religion, which has been given in the Gita 
itself, we find that the Upanisads are nowhere mentioned in it. 
Just as Sacrifice included in Knowledge is considered superior in 
the Gits to the sacrifice of wealth (Gl. 4. 33), so also does the 
Chandogyopanisad say that human life is a kind of Yajna 
(sacrifice), (Chan. 3. 16, 17); and in describing the worth of such a 
sacrifice, it says that, "the Cult of this Yajna was taught by a 
Rsi named Ghora Angirasa to Devakiputra Krsna". There is no 
authority for looking upon this Devakiputra Krsna as the same as 
the Krsna of the Gita. But, even if it is assumed for a moment that 
both of them were one and the same, yet, it must still be borne 
in mind that Ghora Angirasa has nowhere been mentioned jn 
the Gita as an authority for considering the Sacrifice included 
in Spiritual Knowledge as superior. Besides, although the path 
followed by Janaka was a combination of Jfiana and Karma, 
yet, Devotion had not been incorporated into that path in 
his times, as is quite clear from the Brhadaranyakopanisad ; 
and, therefore, Janaka does not appear in the traditional history 
of the path, which combines Jfiana and Karma with Devotion ; 
nor has the Glta so included him. It is stated at the beginning 
of the fourth chapter of the Gita (Gl. 4. 1-3) that the religion of 
the Glta was first taught by the Blessed Lord to Vivasvan in 
the beginning of the Yuga, then by Vivasvan to Manu, and 
then by Manu to Iksvaku ; but that, as it got lost in course of 
time, it had sprain to be preached to Arjuna. Although these 
stanzas are of utmost importance for understanding the 
growth of the Glta-religion, commentators have not gone beyond 
giving their literary meaning, in order to elucidate them ; and 
it would appear that doing so would even not have been in 
their interests. Because, if it were admitted that the Glta-religion 
was originally of a particular cult, other religious cults could 
not but to that extent suffer in importance. But, I have 
shown with authorities in the commencement of the 
Gita-Rahasya, as also in my commentary on the first and second 
stanzas of the fourth chapter of the Gita, that the tradition of 
the Gita is consistent with the tradition of the Bhagavata 
religion in the Tretayuga, that is, the last Yuga, which has 



766 GlTA-RAHASXA OR KARMA-YOGA 



been mentioned in the Narayamya Upakhyana of the Maha- 
bharata. Considering this similarity between the tradition of 
the Bhagavata doctrine and of the Gita-religion, one is forced 
to admit that the Glta is a book which supports the Bhagavata 
religion; and if there is any doubt about it, that is fully 
removed by the statement of Vaisarhpayana in the Mahabharata 
(Ma. Bha. San. 346. 10), that: "in the Glta, only the Bhagavata 
religion has been mentioned". When it has been thus proved, 
that the Gita, is not an independent treatise dealing with 
Vedanta, that is to say, with the Spiritual Knowledge of the 
Upanisads, but that it supports the Bhagavata religion, it 
need not be said that any criticism on the Glta, which does 
not take into account the Bhagavata religion, must be 
incomplete and confusing. I will, therefore, give here in short. 
all the available information regarding the date when the 
Bhagavata religion was first promulgated, and as to what 
its original form was. I have stated above in the Gita-Eahasya 
that this Bhagavata religion was also known as the ' STaraya- 
nlya ', the ' Satvata ', or the ' Panearatra ' religion. 

As, many of the Vedic religious treatises written after 
the date of the Upanisads and before the date of Buddha, have 
been lost, the only available principal works relating to the 
Bhagavata religion, in addition to the Glta, are the Narayanlya 
Upakhyana mentioned in the 18th chapter of the Santiparva 
of the Mahabharata (Ma. Bha. San. 334-351), the Sandilya- 
Sfitras, the Bhagavata-Purana, the Narada-Paficaratra, the 
ISTarada-Sutras, and the works of Ramanujacarya and others. 
Out of these, the works of Ramanujacarya have been avowedly 
written in about the twelfth century of the Salivahana era 
for supporting a doctrine, that is to say, in order to harmonise 
the Glta with the Qualified-Monistic ( visiMadvctita ) Vedanta 
of the Bhagavata religion. Therefore, one cannot rely on 
these books for determining the original form of the Bhagavata 
religion; and the same is the case with the books written by 
Madhvacarya and other followers of the Vaisnava doctrine. 
The Srlmad Bhagavata-Purana is earlier in point of time than 
these. But, it is stated in the very beginning of this Purana 
(Bhag. Skan. 1. Ch. 4 and 5 ) that, because the exposition of 
the Renunciatory Bhagavata religion contained in the Maha- 



IV - The BHAQAVATA RELIGION ahd the GITA. 767 

bharata, and necessarily also in the Glta, had not been made as 
it ought to have been made, and as Vyasa on that account felt 
sorry, since "Desireless Action {naiskwmya) by itself was useless 
without Devotion", he, at the instance of Narada, and in order to 
put an end to his mental anguish, wrote the Bhagavata-Puranai 
which maintained the worth of Devotion. If this story is 
considered from the historical point of view, it will be seen 
that when the doctrine of Desireless Action to which importance 
had been given in the original Bhagavata religion of the Bharata, 
lost its influence in course of time, and Devotion acquired 
importance instead, the Bhagavata-Purana came to be written 
in order to expound this second Bhagavata religion (that is, 
in which Devotion was predominant). The Narada-Pancaratra 
is also of the same kind ; that is, it deals purely with Devotion, 
and contains a specific reference by name to the Bhagavata- 
Purana of 12 sltandhas, the Brahma-Vaivarta-Purana,, the 
Visnu-Purana, the Glta, and the Mahabharata ( see Na. Pan. 2. 
7. 28-32 ; 3. 14 73 and 4. 3. 154). It, therefore, follows that 
this work is less important than the Bhagavata-Purana for 
determining the original form of the Bhagavata religion. It 
is possible that the Narada-Sutras and the Sandilya-Sutras 
are earlier in date than the Narada-Paficaratra. Still, as the 
Narada-Sutras contain a reference to Vyasa and to Suka 
( Na. Su. 83 ), there is no doubt that they are later in point 
of time than the Bharata and the Bhagavata; and as the 
Sandilya-Sutras contain stanzas taken from the Bhagavadglta 
(San. Su. 9. 15 and 83), they must be later in point of time 
than, the Glta and the Mahabharata, though earlier than the 
Narada-Sutras (Na. Su. 83). Therefore, in order to determine the ■ 
original and the ancient ' form of the Bhagavata religion, one 
has ultimately to rely on the Narayanlya Upakhyana of the 
Mahabharata. Both in the Bhagavata-Purana (1. 3. 24) and in 
the Narada-Pancaratra (4. 3. 156-159 ; 4. 8. 81), Buddha has been 
referred to as an incarnation of Vismi. But the ten incarna- 
tions mentioned in the NarSyanlyakhyana do not include 
Buddha ; and Harhsa is stated to be the first incarnation, whereas 
the incarnation of Kalki is mentioned immediately after that 
of Krsna (Ma. Bha. San. 339. 100). This fact also proves that 
the Narayaniyakhyana is earlier in point of time than the 



768 GlTA-R.AaA.SYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Bhagavata-Purana and the Narada-PaScaratra. In the 
Narayaniyakhyana, there is a statement that the Bhagavata 
religion, that is, the Narayaniya religion, was originally founded 
by the two Rsis Nara and Narayana, who were the incarnations 
of the Parabrahman ; and that when the Rsi Narada went at 
their direction to the Svetadvlpa, the Blessed Lord Himself first 
preached this religion to him there; the statement in the 
Narayaniyakhyana that the Svetadvlpa, where the Blesoed 
Lord resided, was in the Kslra-samudra, which was stated to be 
to the north of the Mountain Meru, is consistent with the ancient 
description of the Cosmos given in the Puranas ; and no one on 
our side attaches much importance to it. But the Western 
Sanskritist Webber has perverted this very story, and started the 
argument that the Philosophy of Devotion mentioned in the 
Bhagavata religion was imported into India from the Svetadvlpa, 
that is to say, from some country outside India ; and that in 
as much as this Philosophy of Devotion was in those days not 
in vogue in any religion except the Christian religion, the idea 
of Devotion was picked up by the followers of the Bhagavata 
religion from Christian countries. But, there is proof that 
Panini knew the doctrine of Devotion to Vasudeva, and there 
are references to the Bhagavata religion or to the Philosophy of 
Devotion both in the Buddhistic and Jain religious treatises ; 
and there is no doubt that both Panini and Buddha lived before 
Christ. Therefore, even Western philosophers have now pro- 
nounced this argument of Webber to be without foundation. 
I have stated above that Devotion, as a part of religion, came 
into existence in India after the date of the Upanisad:; which 
contain Spiritual Knowledge. It is, therefore, beyond doubt 
that the Bhagavata religion, which consisted of Devotion to 
Vasudeva, came into existence after the Upanisads, which 
preached Spiritual Knowledge, and before Buddha. The only 
question is how many centuries * before Buddha that religion 
* The word 'bhahirwn' ( in Pali, 'bhattmta' ) appears in the 
Ther Gatha (stanza 370) ; and one JStaka even contains a reference 
to Devotion. Besides this, the -well-known French Pali scholar 
Senarfc, delivered a lecture on the subject of 'The Origin of the 
Buddhistic religion' in 1909, in which he has clearly said that the 
Bhagavata religion existed before the Buddhistic religion, cf: 



IV - The BHAGAVATA BELIGION and the GITA 769 

came into existence ; and although it is not possible to answer 
that question with absolute precision, yet, as will appear from 
what follows, it is not at all impossible to get a rough idea of 
its date. 

It has been stated in the GitS that the Bhagavata religion 
preached by Sri Krsna to Vivasvan was lost before that date 
(Gl. 4. 2) ; and the philosophy of this religion gives the name 
'Vasudeva' to the Paramesvara, 'Samkarsana' to JIva, 
'Pradyumna' to Manas, and 'Aniruddha' to Aharhkara. Out of 
these, Vasudeva is the name of Sri Krsna himself ; Samkarsana 
is the nani3 of his elder brother Balarama ; and Pradyumna and 
Aniruddha are names of his son and grandson. Besides, the 
word 'Satvata', which is another name for this religion, is also 
the name of the community, namely, the Yadava community 
in which Sri Krsna was born. From this it is clear, that this 
religion was promulgated in the family and the community 
in which Sri Krsna was born, and that it was preached by 
Sri Krsna to his dear friend, Arjuna ; and the story in 
the Puranas is the same. Besides, as there is also a tradition 
that the Satvata community came to an end with the death of 
Sri Krsna, it was impossible that this religion could have been 
further promulgated even in the Satvata community after the 
death of Sri Krsna. It is possible to historically explain the 

"No one will claim to derive from Buddhism, Vishnuism or the 

Yoga. Assuredly Buddhism is the borrower" "To sum up, if 

there had not previously existed a religion made up of the doctrines 
of Toga, or Vishnuifce legends, of devotion to Vishnu-Krishna, 
worshipped under the title of Bhagavata, Buddhism would not have 
come to birth at all ". This essay of Senart has been published in 
the form of a translation in the issues of the Indian Interpreter, a 
Missionary quarterly published at Poona, for the months of October 
1909 and Jan. 1910 ; the passages quoted above will be found at 
pages 177 & 178 "of the January issue. Dr. Buhler also has said 
that "the ancient Bhagavata, Satvata or Paiicaratra sect, devoted to 
the worship of Narayana and his deified teacher Krislina-Devaki- 
putra, dated from a period long anterior to the rise of the Jainas in 
the 8th Century"— Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXII (1894), p. 248. 
A further detailed exposition of this matter has been made in the. 
sixth part of this Appendix below, to which the reader is referred. 



770 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

various names of this religion, by saying that this religion, 
which was thus promulgated by Sri Krsna, may have been in 
existence before His time to some extent or other under the 
name of the 'Narayarnya' or 'Pancaratra' religion ; and that it 
later on acquired the name of 'Satvata', after it was spread in 
the Satvata community ; and that it came to be called the 
' Bhagavata ' religion in the belief that the Blessed Lord Sri 
Krsna and Arjuna were respectively the incarnations of Nara 
and Narayana. Thus, it is not necessary to imagine that there 
were three or four different Sri Krsiias, and that each of them 
added a little to the religion ; and there is in fact no evidence 
for coming to such a conclusion. This idea has gained ground 
on account of the good or bad changes which have taken place 
in the original religion. But if, though Buddha, Christ, or 
Mahomed were each one individual by themselves, there came 
about many good or bad changes in their religions, then there 
is no occasion in my opinion for believing that there must have 
been several Sri Krsnas, on the ground that the original 
Bhagavata religion later on acquired different forms, or -that 
different ideas later on gained ground regarding Sri Krsna. 
Whichever religion is taken, it is quite easy and natural that it 
should change its form in the course of time ; and it is not neces- 
sary on that account to believe that there were several Krsnas, or 
Buddhas, or Cbrists, or Mahomeds. * Some people — especially 

* The life of Sri Krsna includes amorous passages with Gopi3 
(cowherdesses) side by side with prowess, devotion and philosophy • 
and these things are mutually inconsistent. On this ground, many 
learned people maintain now-a-days that the Sri Krsna of the 
Mahabharata was a different person from the Sri Krsna of the Glta 
or of Gokul ; and this opinion has been accepted by Dr. Bhandarkar 
in his book 'Vaisnavism, Saivism, and other sects". But, according 
to me, such an opinion is incorrect. It may be that the amorous 
descriptions which we read in ths stories about G&pis may have been 
added afterwards ; and it is not necessary on that account to believe 
that there were various persons bearing the name of Sri Krsna ; and 
there is no authority except imagination for doing so. Besides, it is 
not that stories about Gopis came into vogue for the first time in 
the days of the Bhagavata ; for, Gopis are referred to in the 
BuAdha-carila (4. 14) written by Asvaghosa in the beginning of the 



IV - The BHAGAVATA RELIGION and the GITA 771 

Western imaginative people— have raised a doubt that Sri Krsna, 
the Tadavas, the Pandavas, or the Bharati war, were not historical 
facts at all, but are mere imaginary personages or stories; and 
in the opinion of some other persons, the Mahabharata is nothing 
but a tremendous metaphysical allegory dealing with the 
Absolute Self. But, any impartial man will have to come to 
the conclusion that all such doubts are without any basis, if 
he considers the evidence of ancient works. There is no doubt 
that there is historical authority at the root of these stories. In 
short, in my opinion, there were not four or five Sri Krsnas, but 
there was only one historical personage of that name. Now, in 
considering the date of this Sri Krsna, Rao Bahadur Chintamanrao 
Vaidya has expressed an opinion that Sri Krsna, the Yadavas, 
the Pandavas, and the Bharati war, were all synchronous, that 
is to say, they all existed at the commencement of the Kaliyuga; 
that according to the method of calculation of time mentioned 
in the Puranas, a period of five thousand years or more has' 
elapsed since then ; and that, this is the true date of Sri Krsna. * 
But if one considers the generations of various kings from the 
Pandavas upto the Salivahana era, which have been described 
in the Puranas, this date is inconsistent with that calculation. 
Therefore, on the authority of the statement in the Bhagavata, 
or in the Visnu-Purana, that "there are 1115 (or 1015) years 
from the birth of the king Pariksita upto the coronation of 
Nanda" ( Bhag. 13. 2. 26; and Visnu. 4. 24. 32), historical 
scholars have now come to the conclusion that the Pandavas 
and the Bharati war must have been at least 1400 years before 
the Christian era. Necessarily, this will also be the date of 
Sri Krsna ; and if this date is accepted, it follows that Sri Krsna 
promulgated the Bhagavata religion at least 1400 years before 
Christ, and about 800 years before Buddha. Some persons have 
Saka era, as also in the Balacarita (3. 2) written by Bhasa. I, 
therefore, consider the opinion of Chintamanrao Vaidya more to 
the point than that of Dr. Bhandarkar. 

* This opinion of Bao Bahadur Chinatamanrao Vaidya has 
ben expressed in his English criticism on the Mahabharata; and 
ho a'so made the same statement in the lecture delivered by him on 
on the same subject in Poona in 1914 on the occasion of the 
anniversary of the Deccan College. 



772 GlT5.-RAHA.SYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

raised an objection to this argument, that although Sri Krsna 
andthePandavas may bs historical personages, yet, a considerable 
time must have elapsed between the death Sri Krsna and the time 
when Brahmins gave to a Ksatriya warrior like Him the position, 
first of a superman, then of Visnu, and ultimately of the 
Parabrahman ; and that on that account the date of the rise of 
the BhSgavata religion cannot be looked upon as the same as 
the date of the BharatI war. But, this opinion seems to be 
worthless. There is a world of difference between the ideas of 
the modern critics as to who should be deiSsd and who not, and 
similar ideas of people living three or four thousand years ago 
( Gl. 10. 41 ) ; and there are statements in Upanisads, which 
existed prior to the date of Sri Krsna, that a Jnanin himself 
becomes merged in the Brahman (Br. 4. 4. 6); and it is clearly 
stated in the Maitryupanisad that Rudra, Visnu, Acyuta and 
Narayana are all Brahman (Maitryu. 7.7). Then, why should there 
have been delay in the matter of Sri Krsna acquiring the Para- 
brahman status ? If we consider history, Buddha used to call 
himself 'bmhmabhuta' (See Selasutta, 14; Theragatha, 831); and he 
was worshipped as a god in his life-time ; and it appears from 
reliable Buddhistic works that shortly after his death, he had 
acquired the position of ' dtwadliidem ', or of the Parabrahman 
according to Vedic religion; and the same is the case with 
Christ. It is true that Sri Krsna was not an ascetic like Buddha 
or Christ, and that the Bhagavata religion does not support 
Renunciation. But, there could have been no difficulty on that 
account in the promulgator of the Bhagavata religion acquiring 
the form of a god or of the Brahman from the very beginning, 
as was acquired by the promulgators of the Buddhist and 
Christian religions. 

Though the date of Sri Krsna has been defined in this way, 
and , although it is proper and logical to look upon that date 
as the date of the rise of the BhSgavata religion, Western 
scholars are, for quite a different reason, unwilling to do so. 
Many of these scholars are still of opinion that the Rg-Veda 
is not more ancient than 1500 or perhaps 2000 years before 
Christ, and therefore, they think it improbable that the 
devotional Bhagavata religion could have come into existence 
about 1400 years before Christ; because the Vedic religious 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AJSTD THE GITA 773 



literature itself establishes the order that the Rg.-Veda was 
followed by the Yajurveda and the Brahmana treatises, and 
that the Upanisads dealing with Spiritual Knowledge and 
the Samkhya philosophy came afterwards, and that the devo- 
tional philosophical books came into existence last of all; 
and if one considers the treatises on the Bhagavata religion 
themselves, one also clearly sees that the Spiritual Knowledge 
of the Upanisads, the Samkhya philosophy, Toga in the form 
of " Concentration of the Mind ', and other aspects of religion 
were current long before the advent of the Bhagavata religion. 
Even if we economise time considerably, we have to admit that 
a period of at least ten to twelve hundred years must have 
elapsed between the date of the Rg-Veda and the advent of the 
Bhagavata religion, in order to give sufficient time for these 
various aspects of religion to have come into existence and fully 
developed themselves; and if it is believed that the Bhagavata 
religion was promulgated by Sri Krsna in His own time, that 
is to say, about 1400 years before Christ, then a sufficient period 
of time is not allowed for the growth of these various aspects 
of religion according to the opinion of these scholars ; because, 
these scholars place the Rg-Veda itself at 1500 to 2000 years 
before Christ ; and on that computation, one has to say that the 
Bhagavata religion came into existence about 100 years or 
at most 500 to 600 years after that date ; and therefore, some 
Western scholars have even come forward to dissociate Sri 
Krsna from the Bhagavata religion on this or on some other 
meaningless excuse, and to say that the Bhagavata religion 
must have come into existence after the date of Buddha. But, 
the references to the Bhagavata religion, which the Jain and 
Buddhistic treatises themselves contain, clearly show that 
that religion must have been in existence before the date of 
Buddha ; and therefore, Dr. Biihler has said that instead of 
placing the date of the advent of the Bhagavata religion after 
the date of Buddha, the date of the Rg-Veda itself must be pushed 
back, as has been stated by me in my book called Orion. * 
The dates fixed by Western scholars for our Vedic literature on 
* See the Eeview made by Dr. BShler of my book Orion in 
the issue of the Indian Antiquary for September 1894 ( Vol. 
XXIII, pp. 238-249). 



774 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

some insufficiently sound grounds, are wrong ; and the date of 
the starting-point of the Vedic era cannot be taken at less than 
4500 years before Ohrist, as has been proved in my book Orion 
on the strength of the phrases in the Vedas, which show the then 
existing Udagayana ( i.e., period during which the Sun seems 
to travel towards the North— Trans. ); and this conclusion has 
now been accepted by many Western scholars. When in this 
way, the date of the Rg-Veda has been taken back, a sufficient 
period of time can be allowed for the growth of all the 
various aspects of the Yedic religion, and there is no more any 
necessity for pushing forward the date of the rise of the 
Bhagavata religion. As the BiShmana treatises written after 
the Rg-Veda contain the astronomical calculation of the year 
starting with the Sun in the Krttika constellation, their date 
has to be fixed at about 2500 years before Christ, as has been 
shown by the late Shankara Balkrishna Dikshit in his History 
of the Indian Astronomical Science ( bharatiya-jyotih-iastra ) 
written in the Marathi language. But, I do not see this method 
of fixing the dates of ancient books by considering how the 
Udagayana was then started being applied to the Upanisads. 
Some scholars have come to the conclusion that none of the 
Upanisads can be more than 400 to 500 years before Buddha, on 
the ground that the language and construction of devotional 
Upanisads like the RamatapanI, or Yogic Upanisads like the 
Yogatattva, is not archaic. But, if one considers the matter 
according to the abovementioned method of calculation of time, 
it will be seen that such a conclusion is wrong. It is true 
that the dates of all the Upanisads cannot be fixed according to 
the astronomical method of calculation ; yet, this method is very 
useful for fixing the date of the principal Upanisads. Prof. Max 
Miiller* has said that, from the linguistic point of view, the 
Maitryupanisad is more ancient than Panini, because, we find 
in this Upanisad, many compounds of words, used in a ckanda, 
which had gone out of vogue at the date of Panini, but 
which are to be found in the Maitrayani Sarhhita. But the 
Maitrayanyupanisad is not the very first nor a very ancient 
Upanisad. Not only has harmony been established between 
See Sacred Books of the East Series Vol. XV Intro pp. 
xWii-lU. 



IV - The bhagavata RELIGION asd the GITA 775 

Knowledge of the Brahman and Samkhya philosophy in the 
Maitrayanyupanisad, but in many places, phrases or even 
stanzas from the Chandogya, Brhadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Katha, 
and Isavasya are seen being taken as authorities. The actual 
names of these Upanisads are not mentioned in the Maitryu- 
panisad ; but as, in quoting these phrases, words implying 
quotation such as ' evam hyaha ' or ' uktam ca ' ( i. e., 'so it is 
said' ) are placed before the quotations, there is no doubt that these 
quotations are taken from some other book, and are not written 
by the writer of the Maitryupanisad; and one can easily 
determine which Upanisad has been quoted from, by a reference to 
these other Upanisads. Now, where the description of the 
Brahman in the shape of 'kala' (Time) or 'samvaisard (Year) is 
made in the Maitryupanisad (Maitryu. 6. 14), it is stated that : 
"the Daksinayana ( i. e., when the Sun seems to travel towards 
the South — Trans. ) lasts from the day when the Sun enters to 
Magha constellation until it reaches the centre-point of the 
Sravistha, that is, the Dhanistha constellation (cf. "maghadyam 
sravistKardhaih" ) ; and that the Uttarayana ( or Udagayana, 
during which the Sun seems to travel towards the North — 
Trans. ) used to be from the beginning of the Sarpa, that is, the 
Aslesa constellation, in an inverse order upto the centre-point 
of the Dhanistha constellation, that is, counting backwards as 
Aslesa, Pusya, etc.". It is quite clear that these expressions, 
which show the method of calculation of the Udagayana 
must have been used with reference to the period of the 
Udagayana which was then in vogue ; and in this way, the date 
of that Upanisad can easily be mathematically calculated. But 
no one seems to have considered the matter from this point of 
view. This state of the Udagayana, referred to in the 
Maitryupanisad, is earlier than the state of the Udagayana 
referred to in the Vedafiga-Jyotisa ; because, it is clearly stated 
in the Vedanga-Jyotisa that the commencement of the 
Udagayana is from the beginning of the Dhanistha constella- 
tion, whereas in the Maitryupanisad, the commencement is from 
the middle of the Dhanistha. There is a difference of opinion as 
to whether the term 'ardhafn' in the phrase 'sravisthardham' is 
to be interpreted as meaning 'exactly half or 'somewhere 
between Dhanistha and Satataraka'. Whatever may be the 



776 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



case, there is no doubt about the fact that the state of the 
Udagayana mentioned in the Maitryupanisad is earlier in point 
of time than that mentioned in the Vedfihga-Jyotisa. Therefore, 
it must be said that the Udagayana at the date of the VedSnga- 
Jyotisa was about half a constellation behind the Udagayana at 
the date of the Maitryupanisad. It is proved by astronomical 
calculations that the state of the Udagayana mentioned in the 
Vedanga-Jyotisa existed about 1200 to 1400 years before Christ;* 
and in as much as the Udagayana takes about 480 years 
to recede by half a constellation, it follows by mathematical 
calculation that the Maitryupanisad must have been written 
somewhere between 1880 to 1680 years before Christ. At 
any rate, there is no doubt that this Upanisad was previous 
in point of time than the Vedanga-Jyotisa. It need not, 
therefore, be said that the ChSndogya and other Upanisads, 
from which quotations have been taken into the Maitryu- 
panisad, are still earlier in point of time. The date of 
the Tig- Veda being in this way fixed at 4500 years before 
Christ, that of the Brahmanas, dealing with sacrificial 
ritual, being fixed at about 2500 years before Christ, and that 
of the ChSndogya and other Upanisads dealing with Spiritual 
Knowledge being fixed at about 1600 years before Christ, the 
reason for which Western scholars bring forward the date of 
the Bhagavata religion ceases to exist, and there is no more 
any difficulty in the way of Sri Krsna and the Bhagavata 
religion being tied together by the cord of synchrony, like a cow 
and a calf; and then, this date also becomes consistent with 
the state of things mentioned in Buddhistic treatises, or 
established by other historical evidence. The Vedic age comes 
to an end, and the Sutras and the Smrtis begin, at about 
this time. 

The above-mentioned calculation of time proves beyond 
doubt that the BhSgavata religion came into existence about 

* I have discussed the date of the Vedanga-Jyotisa in my work 
Orion in English ; the late Shankara Balkrishna Diksifc has also 
done so in his book called 'Historical Survey of iht Bharattya- 
Jyotih folstm (pp. 87 to 94 and 127 to 139). The date of Vedic 
treatises according to the Udagayana, has been considered in the 
slke'^acft. .... ... 



IV- THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AND the GITA 777 

1400 years before Christ, that is to say, about 700 to 800 years 
before Buddha. This age is very ancient ; yet, the Path of Action 
mentioned in theBrahmana-treatisss is still more ancient, and, as 
has been stated above, the Spiritual Knowledge contained in the 
(Jpinisads and in Samkhya philosophy was fully in vogue 
long before the promulgation of the Bhagavata religion. It is 
in my opinion, entirely wrong to imagine that a clever Jfiauin 
like Sri Krsna would have promulgated His religion at such 
a. time without reference to this Spiritual Knowledge or these 
aspects of Religion ; and that, even if He had done so, it 
would have become acceptable to the Rajarsis and Brahmaisis 
of those days or found circulation among the people. As 
the Jews to whom Christ first preached His religion, were 
not acquainted with religious philosophy at the time. He 
had no need to harmonise His own religion with any religious 
philosophy. It was enough for Him to show that His 
Philosophy of Devotion was only a continuation of the 
"Ritualistic religion described in the Old Testament of the 
Bible ; and that was all He attempted to do. But, when one 
compares this history of the Christian religion with the 
Bhagavata religion from the historical point of view, one must 
not forget that the people to whom the Bhagavata religion was 
preached were, at the time at which it was preached, fully 
conversant, not only with the Path of Action, but also with the 
Vedantic Knowledge of the Brahman and the Kapila Samkhya 
philosophy, and that they had by that time also learnt to 
harmonise those three religion:-. It would have been most 
unreasonable to ask such people to put on the shelf their 
Ritualistic religion, or the Spiritual Knowledge derived from the 
■IJpanisads, or Samkhya philosophy, and to accept the Bhagavata 
religion merely by faith. Unless the Bhagavata religion 
satisfactorily answered such questions as, 'what is the result of 
the sacrificial ritual described in the Vedic treatises and in 
vogue at the time' ?, 'whether the Spiritual Knowledge mentioned 
in the Upanisads or in Samkhya philosophy is futile? '. or, 
'whether the Philosophy of Devotion can be harmonised with 
Yoga in the shape of Concentration of the Mind?', which 
questions would naturally arise, it would have been impossible 
for that religion to gain any ground at alL It, therefore, follows 



778 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

logically that, it was necessary to discuss all these matters, ;to- 
start with, in dealing with theBhagavata religion; and the same 
conclusion is emphasised, if one considers the Narayanl- 
yopakhyana included in the Mahabharata. In this Akhyana, 
the Spiritual Knowledge of the Upanisads and the Samkhya 
theory of the Perishable and the Imperishable have both been 
harmonised with the Bhagavata religion; and it is clearly stated 
that : " it is called the 'Paiicaratra' religion because the four 
Vedas and Samkhya and Yoga are all included in it" (Ma. 
Bha. San. 339. 107); and that "all these (philosophies) including the 
Vedas and the Aranyakas (naturally also, including the Upanisads) 
are all parts of each other" (San. 348. 82). Although this expla- 
nation of the meaning of the -word 'Paficaratra' may not be 
grammatically correct, yet, it clearly shows that the Bhagavata 
religion had, already to start with, harmonised all kinds of philo- 
sophies. Still, harmonising the Philosophy of Devotion with other 
aspects of religion is also not any important part of the Bhagavata 
religion. It is not that the religious principle of Devotion was- 
first enunciated in the Bhagavata religion. Worship of Rudra 
or of Visnu in some form or other had bsen started before the 
advent of theBhagavata religion; audit becomes clear from 
the phrases quoted above from the Maitryupanisad (Maitryu. 7. 7), 
that the idea that any object of worship whatsoever is a symbol, 
or some kind of form of the Brahman, had also previously come 
into existence. It is true that the Bhagavata religion has 
taken Vasudeva as an object of worship instead of Rudra etc. ; 
but at the same time, it is admitted both in the Glta and also 
in the Narayanlyopakhyana, that whatever may be the object 
of worship, the worship reaches one and the same Bhagavanta, and 
that Rudra and Bhagavana are not two. (Gl. 9. 23 ; Ma. Bha. San. 
341. 20-26). Therefore, one cannot consider the worship of 
Vasudeva as the principal aspect of the Bhagavata rel igion. The 
Satvata community by which the Bhagavata religion was ob- 
served, produced Satyaki and other warriors, as also devotees of 
the Blessed Lord like Bhlsma and Arjuna, and also Sri Krsna, who 
engaged and caused others to be engaged in numerous activities, 
involving personal prowess. Therefore, the most important 
teaching of the original Bhagavata religion was, that the 
illustration of these persons should be copied by other devotees 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AMD the GlTA 779 

of the Blessed Lord, who should perform worldly aotivities'like 
warfare, etc., which were then in vogue, according to the 
arrangement of the four castes. It is not that those times did 
not produce persons with a renounced frame of mind, who had 
adopted the principle of Devotion as a result of intense renun- 
ciation, and given up worldly life; but that was not the 
principal element of the Bhagavata religion of the Satvatas or 
of Sri Krsna. The sum and substance of the advice of Sri Krsna 
is, that after the Devotee of the Blessed Lord has acquired the. 
Knowledge of the Paramesvara, by means of Devotion, he must, 
like the Paramesvara, exert himself for the maintenance, 
and upkeep of the world. Already at the time of the. 
TJpanisads, Janaka and others had laid it down that even, 
those people, who had Realised the Brahman, might with- 
out any difficulty take part in Desireless Action. But 
in those days, the Philosophy of Devotion had not entered 
their doctrine ; and whether or not to perform worldly 
Action after the Acquisition of Knowledge was in those days, 
considered a matter of personal volition only (Ve. Su. 3. 4. 15). 
The Bhagavata religion went beyond this and laid down' that 
Desireless Energism (rmskarmya) was better than Total Renun- 
ciation ; and it brought about a proper fusion of Energism, not 
only with Spiritual Knowledge, but also with Devotion. This 
is the most important achievement of the Bhagavata religion 
in the history of the Vedic religion, and is something which is. 
different from what was done by the Smarta religion. The. 
original promulgators of this religion, namely the Nara and 
Narayana Rsis, also engaged in Desireless Energism in this, 
way ; and- it is stated in one place in the MahabhSrata that 
every one must do what was done by them (Ma. Bha. TJdyo. 48. 
21, 22) ; and in the Narayaniyakhyana, the characteristic- 
feature of this religion is clearly defined as_ "pravrtti laksa-yai 
caiva dharmo narayamatmakah" (Ma. Bha. San. 347. 81), i. e., 
"the Narayana or Bhagavata religion is Energistic or 
Aotivistic". This principle of Desireless Action of the. 
Narayamya or the Bhagavata religion is known as 'naiskarmya' ;. 
and this was the most important aspect of the original Bhagavata 
religion. But later on in course of time, this principle lost 
importance, and Devotion to Vasudeva combined with apathy 
21—22 



778 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA- YOGA 

logically that, it was necessary to- discuss all these matters, -to- 
start with, in dealing with the Bhagavata religion ; and the same 
conclusion is emphasised, if one considers the Narayanl- 
yopakhyana included in the Mahabharata. In this AkhySna, 
the Spiritual Knowledge of the Upanisads and the Sarhkhya 
theory of the Perishable and the Imperishable have both been 
harmonised with the Bhagavata religion; and it is clearly stated 
that: "it is called the 'Pancaratra' religion because the four 
Vedas and Sarhkhya and Yoga are all included in it" (Ma, 
Bha. San. 339. 107); and that "all these (philosophies) includingthe 
Vedas and the Aranyakas (naturally also, including the Upanisads) 
are all parts of each other" (San. 348. 82). Although this expla- 
nation of the meaning of the word 'Pancaratra' may not be 
grammatically correct, yet, it clearly shows that the Bhagavata 
religion had, already to start with, harmonised all kinds of philo- 
sophies. Still, harmonising the Philosophy of Devotion with other 
aspects of religion is also not any important part of the Bhagavata 
religion. It is not that the religious principle of Devotion was 
first enunciated in the Bhagavata religion. Worship of Rudra 
or of Visnu in some form or other had been started before the 
advent of the Bhagavata religion ; and it becomes clear from 
the phrases quoted above from the Maitryupanisad (Maitryu. 7. 7), 
that the idea that any object of worship whatsoever is a symbol, 
or some kind of f oral of the Brahman, had also previously come 
into existence. It is true that the Bhagavata religion has 
taken Vasudeva as an object of worship instead of Rudra etc. ; 
but at the same time, it is admitted both in the Gita and also 
in the Narayanlyopakhyana, that whatever may be the object 
of worship, the worship reaches one and the same Bhagavanta, and 
that Rudra and Bhagavana are not two. (Gi. 9. 23 ; Ma. Bha. San, 
341. 20-26). Therefore, one cannot consider the worship of 
Vasudeva as the principal aspect of the Bhagavata religion. The 
Satvata community by which the Bhagavata religion was ob- 
served, produced Satyaki and other warriors, as also devotees of 
the Blessed Lord likeBhlsma and Arjuna, and also SrlKrsna, who 
engaged and caused others to be engaged in numerous activities, 
involving personal prowess. Therefore, the most important 
teaching of the original Bhagavata religion was, that the 
illustration of these persons should be copied by other devotees 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AND THE GlTA 77£ 

of tlie Blessed Lord, who should perform worldly aetivitiesjlike. 
warfare, etc., which were then in vogue, according to the 
arrangement of the four castes. It is not that those times did 
not produce persons with a renounced frame of mind, who had 
adopted the principle of Devotion as a result of intense renun- 
ciation, and given up worldly life; but that was not the 
principal element of the Bhagavata religion of the Satvatas or 
of Sri Krsna. The sum and substance of the advice of Sri Krsna. 
is, that after the Devotee of the Blessed Lord has acquired the. 
Knowledge of the Paramesvara, by means of Devotion, he must, 
like the Paramesvara, exert himself for the maintenance, 
and upkeep of the world. Already at the time of the. 
Upanisads, Janaka and others had laid it down that even 
those people, who had Realised the Brahman, might with- 
out any difficulty take part in Desireless Action. But 
in those days, the Philosophy of Devotion had not entered 
their doctrine ; and whether or not to perform worldly 
Action after the Acquisition of Knowledge was in those days, 
considered a matter of personal volition only (Ve. SQ. 3. 4. 15). 
The Bhagavata religion went beyond this and laid down' that 
Desireless Energism (rutiskarmya) was better than Total Renun- 
ciation ; and it brought about a proper fusion of Energism, not- 
only with Spiritual Knowledge, but also with Devotion. This, 
is the most important achievement of the Bhagavata religion 
in the history of the Vedic religion, and is something which is. 
different from what was done by the Smarta religion. The 
original promulgators of this religion, namely the Nara and 
Narayana Rsis, also engaged in Desireless Energism in this 
way ; and it is stated in one place in the Mahabharata that 
every one must do what was done by them (Ma. Bha. Udyo. 48. 
21, 22) ; and in the NarSyanlyakhyana, the characteristic- 
feature of this religion is clearly defined as_ "pravrtti laksqnjai 
cairn dharmo nardLyaruilmakah'' (Ma. Bha. San. 347. 81), i. a, 
"the Narayana or Bhagavata religion is Energistic or 
Activistic". This principle of Desireless Action of tha 
Narayanlya or the Bhagavata religion is known as 'naiskarmya' ; 
and this was the most important aspect of the original Bhagavata 
religion. But later on in course of time, this principle lost 
importance, and Devotion to Vasudeva combined with apathy 

21—22 



780 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

towards the world came to be looked upon as the important part 
of this religion, as is apparent from the Bhagavata ; and in the 
Narada-Panearatra, mantras and tantras are included in the 
Bhagavata religion along with the Philosophy of Devotion. 
Yet, it is patent from the Bhagavata itself, that these are not 
the fundamental aspects of this religion ; because, wherever 
there has been occasion in the Bhagavata to refer to the Satvata 
or the Narayaniya religion, it is stated that the religion of the 
Satvatas or of Narayana Rsi (that is, the Bhagavata religion) 
is ' of the nature of naiskarmya ' (Bhag. 1. 3. 8 and 11. 4. 6 ) ; 
arid it is stated that it had become necessary to preach the 
Devotional Bhagavata-Purana ( Bhag. 1. 5. 1% ), because 
due importance had not been given to Devotion in the 
* naiskarmya' religion. This proves beyond any doubt that 
the original Bhagavata religion was based on naiskarmya 
or Desireless Action, and that later on its form was changed in 
the course of time, and Devotion became the principal factor in it. 
I have already dealt above in the Glta-Rahasya with the other 
various historical questions, namely, (i) what was the difference 
between the original Bhagavata religion, which maintained 
a permanent fusion between Spiritual Knowledge, Devotion, 
and Prowess, and the path prescribed by the Smrtis in the 
shape of the arrangement of the various stages of life; (ii) how, 
as a result of the growth of the purely ascetic Jain and Buddhist 
religions, the Karma-Yoga in the Energistic Bhagavata religion 
lost ground, and it ( the Bhagavata religion ) acquired its new 
form of Renunciation with Devotion ; and (iii) how the Vedic 
sects which came into existence after the fall of Buddhism 
gave to the Bhagavadglta itself either a renunciatory, or a 
purely Devotional, or a Qualified-Monistic [visi.stadvaita) form. 
I "shall, therefore, not repeat the same subject-matter here. 

Prom the short dissertation made above, my readers will 
have seen (i) when, the Bhagavata religion first came into 
prominence in the ancient course of the "Vedic religion, (ii) how, 
although it was Energistic in the beginning, it later on became 
devotional; and (iii) how, still later on, in the time of Ramg- 
nujScarya, it acquired the form of Qualified-Monism. The most 
ancient of these various forms of the Bhagavata religion, that 
is to say, the Dasireless Activistic form, is the form of the Gita- 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AND THE GlTA 781 

■religion. I shall now briefly explain what inferences can be 
•drawn about the date of this original Gits. Although the time 
of Sri Krsna and of the BharatI war may be the same, that is 
to say, about 1400 years before the Christian era, yet, it cannot 
be said that the original Gita and the original Bharata, which 
are the two principal treatises dealing with the Bhagavata 
religion, were also written at the same time. Whatever 
religious sect may come into existence, literature on it does 
not come into existence immediately; and the same argument 
■ applies to the Bharata and to the Gita. There is a story 
Teeited at the commencement of the present Mahabharata, 
that after the BharatI war was over, Janamejaya, the great- 
grandson of the Pandavas made a sacrifice of serpents ; that, 
Vaisarhpayana recited to him for the first time the whole 
of the Bharata including the Gita; and that, when it had 
been recited by Sauti to Saunaka, the Bharata was thereafter 
promulgated. It is quite clear that some period of time 
must have elapsed between the date when the Bharata came 
to be preached by Sauti and other preachers, and the date when 
it acquired its present tangible literary form ; but there is now 
no means by which to definitely decide what that period of time 
■was. Still, if one draws the conclusion that the archaic original 
-epic-formed Bharata came to be written within 500 years after 
the BharatI war, that will not be too daring a surmise ; because, 
Buddhistic treatises were written in even a shorter period of time 
.after the death of Buddha. In writing an archaic epic, it is not 
enough to merely describe in it the feats of the principal hero; 
but it is necessary to say whether or not what was done by the 
hero was right. Nay, that this is possibly one of the most 
important parts of an archaic epic, appears from other such 
epics, in literatures other than the Sanskrit literature. Irom the 
modern point of view, this justification of the deeds of the heroes 
must be made on the pure basis of Ethics. But, in ancient 
times, there was no difference between Religion and Ethics ; and, 
therefore, there was no way in which to make this justification 
■ other than from the point of view of Religion; and then, as need 
not be said, it was necessary to justify their deeds on the basis 
of that very Bhagavata religion, which had been promulgated 
'.by the heroes in the Bharata, or which was acceptable to them. 



782 GITA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

But another reason for doing so was that, it was not possible to- 
fully justify the deeds or prowess of the heroes of the Mahabharata 
on the basis of the religious principles of other religious paths, 
as all the other Vedio religious paths, besides the Bhagavata reli- 
gion, which were then in vogue, were more or less renunciatory. 
Therefore, it became necessary to expound the Energistio Bhaga- 
vata religion in the original epic Bharata. This was done in 
the original Glta; and although it might not have been the first- 
treatise to categorically expound the original form of the 
Bhagavata religion, yet, it is one of the principal books on that 
religion ; and there seems to be no reason why its date should not 
be roughly fixed at about 900 years before Christ. Since the Glta 
is, at any rate, the most important, if not the first treatise on the 
Bhagavata religion, it was necessary to show that the Desireless 
Karma-Yoga promulgated by it was not inconsistent with the 
other religious paths then in vogue, namely, the Karma-kanda, 
the Spiritual Knowledge in the Upanisads, the Samkhya 
philosophy, the Yoga philosophy dealing with ' Ooncentration- 
of the Mind', and the Philosophy of Devotion; and I may 
even say that that was the principal object of this book. Some 
persons raise the doubt that, the systematic sciences of Vedanta 
and MImamsa could not have been dealt with in the original Glta. 
as they came into existence only at a later date; and that, 
therefore, Vedanta must have been subsequently interpolated, 
into the Glta. But, although the systematic sciences of 
Vedanta and MlmSmsa may have come into existence later on,, 
yet, as has been stated above, the subject-matter dealt with by 
them was very ancient. Therefore, there is no difficulty, from 
the point of view of time, in the way of these subjects having 
appeared in the original Glta, Nevertheless, I do not say that 
no change was made in the original Gits, when the original 
Bharata became the Mahabharata. History shows us that 
whatever religion is taken, sub-sects come into existence in it in 
course of time, as a result of differences of opinion; and the same. 
law applies to the Bhagavata religion. It is clearly stated in- 
'the Naxayaniyopakhyana itself, that the Bhagavata religion 
was considered by some as four-folded (cafur-vyulia), that is,, 
made up of the four aspects of Vasudeva, Samkarsana, 
Bradyumna, and Aniruddha; and that it was considered by 



IV - THE BHAGAVATA RELIGION AND THE GtTJL 783 

others as thiee-f olded, and by others as two-folded, and by others 
again as single-folded (Ma. Bha. San. 348. 57); and some such 
other differences may also have arisen later on. At the same 
time, the Spiritual Knowledge contained in the Upanisads and the 
Samkhya philosophy were being further developed. Therefore, if 
there was any dis-arrangement in the original Gita, it would 
not have been unnatural, or inconsistent with the purpose of 
the original Gita, for the writer of the new Bharata to see that 
iihat defect was removed, and that the Bhagavata religion was 
made consistent with the growing knowledge of the Pinda and 
the Brahmanda ; and I have, therefore, shown in the Part of this 
Appendix headed 'the Gita and the Brahma-Sutras' above, that 
the present Gita contains, on that account, a reference to the 
Brahma-Satras. There might also have been other similar 
differences in the original Gita. Still, it was not possible that 
.many such changes should be made in the original Gita. It 
does not appear that the authority of the Gits was acquired 
-by it after the date of the Mahabharata. I have stated above 
.that the Brahma-Sutras themselves have taken the Gita as 
authoritative by using the word ' Smrti '. If a material change 
iad been made in the original Gita, when the original Bharata 
was changed into the Mahabharata, this authoritativeness 
■of the Gita would certainly have suffered. But instead of that, 
its authority has, on the other hand, increased. We have, 
therefore, to draw the inference that whatever changes were 
made in the original Gita, they were not material, and that 
■ihe changes which were made, were made in such a way as 
<to promote and carry out its original import. It is clear from 
the various Gltas which have been mentioned in the different 
PurSnas on the basis of the present Bhagavadglta, that the 
form which it then acquired was a permanent form, and that 
ihere were no further changes in it. Because, if the Gita had 
not become fully authoritative, that is to say, invariable, at least 
•some centuries before the date of the most ancient of these 
Puranas, it would not have been possible to conceive the idea 
of including . other Gltas on the basis of this Gita 
in those PurSnas. And the attempts made by various 
doctrine-supporting commentators to stretch the mean- 
ings of the words in one and the same Gita in order to show 



784 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

that the purport of the Gits was consistent with their own 
doctrines, would also in that case not have become necessary. 
A doubt is raised by some scholars that many changes must 
have been made from time to time in the Glta in the present 
Mahabharata, on the ground that the present Glta contains 
many mutually contradictory doctrines. But, I have shown 
above that these inconsistencies are not substantial, and that 
this mental confusion is due to people not having properly 
understood the previous aud subsequent Vedic methods of 
expounding religion. In short, it will be seen from the above 
exposition that (i) the original Bharata and the original 
Gits, which propounded the original Bhagavata religion, were 
written about 500 years after the rise of the Bhagavata religion, 
which harmonised the various ancient Vedic aspects of religion, 
and specially supported the Path of Energism, that is to say, 
about 900 years before Christ ; that (ii) though, when the Bharata 
was changed into the Mahabharata, there might have been some 
minor improvements in the original Glta, which would be 
promotive of its purport, yet, the form of the original Glta was 
not then substantially changed ; and that (iii) after the present 
Glta had been included in the present Mahabharata, there was 
no subsequent change in it, nor was it possible that any such 
change should take place. The fixing of the form and the 
date of the original Glta and the original Bharata have been 
made by me approximately and in a liberal way, because that 
amount of information which would be necessary for fixing those 
matters definitely is not now available. But, the same is not 
the case with the present Mahabharata and the present Gita ; 
and there are ways available for fixing their respective dates. 
I have, therefore, discussed that matter separately in the next 
part of this Appendix. My readers must, however, bear it in 
mind that the present Glta and the present Mahabharata, that 
is to say, the forms in which the Glta and the Mahabharata are 
now found by us, after changes have taken place in their 
respective forms in course of time, are not the original forms 
of those respective books. 



V - The DATE of the PRESENT GlTA 785 

PART V— THE DATE OF THE PRESENT GITA. 

I have proved above in a general way that the Bhagavadgita. 
is the most important work dealing with the Bhagavata religion; 
that this Bhagavata religion came into existence about 1400 
years before Christ ; and that the original Gita must have 
come into existence some centuries after that ; and I have also 
said that though the original Bhagavata religion favoured 
Desireless Action, it gradually assumed a Devotional form, and 
ultimately came to include the principles of Qualified-Monism 
(oisistadvaita). More information about the original Gita or 
the original Bhagavata religion is not available, at least at the 
present day ; and the same was the case with the present 
Mahabharata and the present Gita about 50 years ago. But, as 
a result of the efforts of Dr. Bhandarkar, the late Mr. Eashinath- 
pant Telang, the late Mr. Shankar Balkrishna Dikshit, and 
Rao Bahadur Chintamanrao Vaidya, many proofs have now. 
become available for fixing the data of the present Bharata and 
the present Gita ; and very recently, the late Mr. Tryambak 
Gurunath Kale has also adduced some more proofs. This part 
of the Appendix has been briefly made up by me by putting 
together all these matters and adding to them whatever 
addition was necessary in my opinion. In the beginning of 
this Appendix I have shown with proofs that the present 
Mahabharata and the present Gita must have been written by 
one and the same hand. When these two treatises are accepted 
as being written by the same hand, and therefore necessarily 
contemporaneous, one can easily fix the date of the Gita by 
fixing the date of the Mahabharata. I have, therefore, in this- 
part of the Appendix mentioned first the various important 
proofs which are now available for fixing the date of the present. 
Mahabharata, and then shown independently those proofs, which 
are useful for fixing the date of the present Gita. I have 
followed this course in order that the fixing of the date of the 
Gita should not suffer, if some one finds the proofs adduced by 
me for fixing the date of the Mahabharata not sufficiently 
definite. _ 

THE FIXING OB' THE DATE OF THE MAHABHARATA— 
The Mahabharata is an extremely extensive work; and it 
is stated in that book itself, that it consists of one hundred 



786 GITA-BAHASYA. OR KARMA-YOGA 

thousand stanzas. But Eao Bahadur Vaidya has shown 
in the first Appendix to his criticism in English on the 
Mahabharata, that the present edition of the Mahabharata 
consists of less than that number of stanzas, and that we do not 
arrive at that total, even by adding the Harivamsa to it. * 
Nevertheless, there is no reason for not accepting the position 
that the larger book, which came into existence when the 
Bharata became the Mahabharata, must have been more or less 
ifche same as the present edition of the Mahabharata. I have 
■stated above that this Mahabharata makes a mention of the 
Nirakta of Yaska and of Manu-Samhita, and that the Gita even 
mentions the Brahma-Sutras. The other proofs which are avail- 
able for fixing the date of the Mahabharata are as follows :- 

(1) This book of eighteen parms and the Harivamsa, found 
*heir way into the Java and Bali Islands before Saka 400 to 
500 ; and it has been translated into the ancient language of 
those places known as ' Kavi ' ; and the following eight paruas 
of that translation, namely, the Adi, Virata, Udyoga, Bhlsma, 
Asramavasi, Musala, Prasthanika, and Svargarohana parvas 
are now available ; and some of them have been printed. But, 
although the translation has been made into the Kavi language, 
the original Sanskrit stanzas from the Mahabharata have 
been retained in many places. I have considered some of the 
stanzas from the Udyogaparva. All these stanzas can be found 
here and there in the chapters of the Udyogaparva of the 
Calcutta edition of the present Mahabharata. This proves that 
the Mahabharata of a hundred thousand stanzas had become 
authoritative in India at least 200 years before Saka 400; 
because, it would otherwise not have been necessary at all 
to take it into the Java and Bali Islands. The Mahabharata 
has also been translated into the Tibetan language, but, that is 
later in point of time than this, t 

* " The Mahabharata, a Criticism " p. 185. Wherever this 
criticism of Eao Bahadur Vaidya on the Mahabharata has been 
referred to, this book is meant. 

t See the reference to the Mahabharata of the Java Island at 
pp. 32-38 of the issue of the Sfodern Review for July 1914. A 
reference to the Mahabharata in the Tibetan language has been 
made in Eockhill's Life of the Buddha, p. 228, Note I. 



V - THE DATE OF THE PRESENT GITA 787 

(2) There is now available a stone inscription of the 
■Gupta kings made in Cedi Sarhvat 197, that is to say, the 
•367th year of the Saka era, which contains a clear reference 
that the Mahabharata was a book of a hundred thousand verses ; 
and this reference clearly proves that the Mahabharata must 
have been in existence at least 100 to 200 years before 
Saka 367. * 

(3) Many of the dramas of Bhasa, which have now been 
published, have been written on the basis of certain chapters of 
the Mahabharata. It, therefore, follows that the Mahabharata 
was then available and was looked upon as authoritative. The 
•drama, Balacarita of Bhasa contains a reference to the incidents 
■of the youth of Sri Krsna and to Gopis. Therefore, we have to 
say that the Harivamsa must also then have been in existence. 
There is no doubt that Bhasa lived before KalidSsa. Tanjore 
Ganapati Sbastri, who has edited the dramas of Bhasa, has stated 
in his preface to the drama Svapnavasavadatla that Bhasa lived 
■even before Canakya ; because, a stanza found in the dramas of 
Bhasa, is to be found in the Artha-Sastra of Canakya ; and it is 
•clearly stated in that place that that stanza is a quotation. 
Bat although this period of time is not definite, yet, Bhasa can 
•certainly not be placed in my opinion later than the second or 
third century A. D. 

(4) It is established from Buddhistic treatises, that a 
Buddhist poet named Asvaghosa lived at the beginning of the 
.Salivahana era. This Asvaghosa wrote two epics in Sanskrit on 
4he Buddhistic religion, called Buddhacarita and Saundarancmda- 
In both these epics, stories from the Bharata have been referred 
tfco. There is besides a book in the shape of a lecture on the 
Vajrasucikopanisad which is attributed to Asvaghosa ; or it may 
even be said that this Vajrasuci Upanisad was written by him. 
Prof. Webber published this book in Germany in 1860, and it 
contains the stanzas " saptavySdka da&arnem" etc. from the 
.Sraddha-Mahatmya, in the Harivarhia (Hari. 24. 20 and 21) ; and 
some other stanzas from the Mahabharata itself (such as, Ma. 

* This stone inscription has been fully reproduced at page 
134 of the third part of the book called Imcriptionum Indicarum, and 
it has been referred to by the late Mr. Shanker Balkrishna Dikshit 
in his Bharatiya JyoUh-Sastra at page 108. 



788 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

Bha. San. 261. 17). This clearly proves that the present 
Mahabharata of a hundred thousand stanzas including the 
Harivamsa was in existence before the commencement of the 
Saka era. 

(5) The Bharata and the Mahabharata have been inde- 
pendently referred to in the Asvalayana-Grhya-Sutra (3. 4. 4), 
and a stanza from the Yayati TJpakhyana of the Mahabharata 
( Ma. Bha. A. 78. 10 ) appears in one place in the Baudhayana- 
Dharma-Sutra (2. 2. 26). Biihier says that this one stanza is 
not sufficient proof for saying that the Mahabharata existed 
before Baudhayana * ; but this objection is groundless, because 
the Grhyasesa-Siitra of Baudhayana contains a reference to the 
Visnu-Sahasranama (Bau. Gr. Se. 1. 22. 8); and further on, in the 
same Sutra (2. 22. 9), the stanza "patram puspath phalam toyan" 
etc. from the Glta ( Gl. 9. 26 ) has been mentioned. These 
references in the Baudhayana-Sutra were first pointed out by the 
late Mr. Tryambak Gurunath Kale f ; and they prove that the 
objection raised by Prof. Biihier is groundless, and that both 
Asvalayana and Baudhayana were conversant with the 
Mahabharata. Biihier has established on other evidence that 
Baudhayana must have lived about 400 years before Christ. 

(6) Where the incarnations of Visnu have been mentioned 
in the Mahabharata itself, there is no reference to Buddha; and 
where the ten incarnations are mentioned in the Narayaniyo- 
pakhyana (Ma. Bha. San. 339. 100), the Hamsa is taken as the 
first incarnation, and Kalki is placed immediately after Krsna 
to make up the total of ten. Yet, where the future state of the 
Kali-Yuga is referred to in the Vanaparva, it is stated that : — 
" edukacinhu prthivliia demgrha-bhusita", i. e., "on the earth,, 
there will be L eduka' instead of temples of gods" (Ma. Bha, 
Vana. 190. 68). An eduka is a pillar, tower, and other edifice,, 
erected as a memorial over some buried hair, tooth etc. of 
Buddha ; and it is now-a-days known as 'dagdba'. 'dagdba' is a 
corruption from the Sanskrit wor&'dhdtu-garbha' (in Pali, dagaha), 

* Sacred Books of the East. Vol. XIV. Intro, p. xli 
t The whole of the essay of the late Mr. Tryambak Gurunath Kale 
'has been published in The Vedic Magazine and Guruiul Samachar 
Vol. VII Nos. 6,7, pp. 528-532. There the name of the writer is. 
wrongly mentioned as 'Prof. Kale'. 



V - The DATE of the PRESENT GlTA 789 

and 'dhatu' means the 'memento which is buried'. In Ceylon and 
in Burma there is many a dagoba, in numerous places. This shows 
that the Mahabharata must have been written after the date of 
Buddha, but before he was looked upon as an incarnation. 
The words 'Buddha' and 'Prati-Buddha' occur in various places in 
the Mahabharata (San. 194.58; 307. 47 ; 343. 52). But there the 
words only mean a Jnanin, a Knower, or a Sthitaprajna. That 
word does not seem to have been taken from the Buddhist 
religion ; nay, there is good reason for believing that the Buddhists 
themselves have taken these words from the Vedio religion. 

(7) In the Mahabharata, the enumeration of constellations 
does not start with Asvini, but with Krttika. (Ma. Bha. Anu. 64 
and 89) ; and the zodiacal signs Mesa, Vrsabha, etc are nowhere 
mentioned. This is a matter of very great importance from the 
point of view of the date of the Mahabharata ; because, one can 
easily draw the inference from this fact that the Mahabharata 
must have been written before the zodiacal signs Mesa, Vrsabha 
etc. were known in India as a result of contact with the Greeks, 
that is to say, before the date of Alexander. But a still 
more important fact is the enumeration of the constellations 
starting with Sravana. It is stated in the Anuglta that 
yisvamitra started the enumeration of the constellations with 
Sravana ( Ma. Bha. Asva. 44. 2, and Adi 71. 34 ). That has been 
interpreted by commentators as showing that the Uttarayana 
then started with the Sravana constellation, and no other 
interpretation is proper. At the date of the Vedahga-Jyotisa, 
the Uttarayana used to start with the Sun in the Dhanistha. 
constellation. According to astronomical calculations, the date 
when the Uttarayana should start with the Sun in the 
Dhanistha constellation comes to about 1500 years before the 
Saka era ; and according to astronomical calculations, it takes 
about a thousand years for the Uttarayana to start one 
constellation earlier.. According to this calculation, the date 
when the Uttarayana ought to start with the Sun in the Sravana 
constellation comes to about 500 years before the Saka era. 
Therefore, it can be proved mathematically that the present 
Mahabharata must have been written about 500 years before 
the Saka era. The late Mr. Shankar Balkrishna Dikshit has 
drawn the same conclusion in his Bharatiya Jyotih-Sastra. 



790 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

(Bha. Jyo. pp. 87-90, 111 and 147). The important feature of this 
evidence is that the date of the present Mahabharata cannot be 
.taken to much more than 500 years before the Saka era. 

(8) Rao Bahadur Vaidya has in his criticism in English on 
(the Mahabharata shown that the Greek ambassador named 
Megasthenes, at the Court of Ohandragupta (320 B. O.), knew 
some of the stories in the Mahabharata. The works of 
Megasthenes are not now available in their entirety. But 
extracts made from them by other persons have been collected 
together, and were first published in German ; and they have 
been translated into English by M'Crindle. It is stated in this 
book, (pp. 200-205), that the Heracles mentioned by Megasthenes 
was none but Sri Krsna ; and that at the date of Megasthenes, this 
■Sri Krsna, used to be worshipped by the Sauraseni people, and 
that these Sauraseni people used to live in Muttra. * It is 
also stated there that Heracles was the fifteenth in line of 
■descent from Dionisus ; and there is a statement even in the 
Mahabharata ( Ma. Bha. Anu. 147. 25-33 ) that Sri Krsna was 
fifteenth in line of descent from Daksa Prajapati. Also the 
descriptions given by Megasthenes (p. 94) of the hirw-pravarana, 
■ekapada (one-footed — Trans.), lalataksa (cyclops, with one eye 

* See M'Orindle's Ancient India — Megasthenes and Arrian pp. 200- 
■205. This statement of Megasthenes has been fortified in a very 
•curious way by a recent discovery. The Progress Eeport of the 
Archaeological Department of the Bombay Government for the year 
1914 has been recently published. It reproduces the inscription on 
a garuAadhvaja ( eagle monolith ) known as ' KhSmbababa ' at 
J3esanaga^near Bhilsa in the Gwalior State In that inscription^ it 
is stated that a Greek or ywana named Heliodoras who had been 
■converted to Hinduism, had constructed a temple to Yasudeva in 
front of that monolith ; and that this Heliodoras was the ambassador 
sent by the Greek king Antiocledes who ruled at Taksasila, to the 
Court of the king Bhagabhadra ruling at BhUsa. It has now been 
-established from the coins of the king Antiocledes, that he was 
ruling in 140 B. O. This, therefore, clearly establishes not only 
that the worship of Vasudeva was already in vogne at this time, but 
•also that yavanas had started building temples to Vasudeva. 1 have 
stated above that not only Megasthenes, but also Panini knew of the 
worship of Yasudeva. 



V - THE DATE OF THE PRESENT GlTA 791 

only in the forehead— Trans.) and other strange people, and of 
ants (pipllilca ) who bring up gold are also to be found in the 
Mahabharata (Ma, Bha. Sabha. 51 and 52). These and other- 
facts clearly prove that not only the Mahabharata but also the 
history of Sri Krsna and the worship of Sri Krsna were in Vogue* 
already at the date of Megasthenes. 

When it is remembered that all the proofs mentioned above 
are not mutually inter-dependent but are independent, it becomes 
clear beyond doubt that the present Mahabharata was in vogue at 
least about 500 years before the Saka era. It is quite likely that 
some stanzas have been interpolated into or deleted from the 
Mahabharata after that date. But we are now dealing with the 
question not of any particular stanzas but of the principal book 
itself; and it is quite clear that this book must have been 
written at least 500 years before the Saka era. I have shown 
at the commencement of this Appendix that the Glta is a part 
of the Mahabharata, and has not been interpolated into it. 
subsequently ; therefore, the Glta must be considered to be of 
the same date. The original Glta may have been earlier - 
than this ; because, as has been shown in the fourth part of 
this Appendix, the tradition of the original Glta has to be- 
taken much further back. But, whatever may be said, it is 
absolutely clear that its date cannot be placed after the date 
of the Mahabharata. This fact is established not merely by 
the evidence mentioned above; for, there is also independent 
evidence about it, which I shall now place before_my readers. 

THE FIXING OF THE DATE OF THE GITA— The evidence 

mentioned above does not contain a clear reference by name ■ 
to the Gits. Its date has been fixed there by reference 
to the Mahabharata. I shall now set out the evidence which 
contains a clear reference to the Glta. But before I do so, it 
must be mentioned that the late Mr. Telang has fixed the date of 
the Glta as being before Apastariiba, that is to say, at least ■ 
300 years before Christ; and Dr. Bhandarkar has in his book 
in English named Vaismvism, Activism, and other sects accepted - 
the same opinion. * Prof. Garbe is of the opinion that the date 

* See Telang's Bhagamdfita, S. B. E. Vol. VIII Intro pp. 21 
and 34; Dr. Bhandarkar's Vaibmvim, Saivism, and other seels, p. 13 ;; 
Dr. Garbe's Die Bhagavadglta p. 64. 



792 GiTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

fixed by Mr. Telang is not correct, and that the original Glta 
must have bsen written about 200 years before Christ, and 
that it was revised in the second century after Christ. But it 
will be seen that the opinion of Dr. Garbe is incorrect for 
the following reasons :- 

(1) The Samkarabhasya is the most ancient among the 
criticisms and commentaries on the Glta which are now avail- 
able. Sri Sarhkaracarya has also written a commentary on 
the Sanatsujatiya chapter of the Mahabharata; and he has 
in many places in his works taken the statements from the 
Anuglta, the Manu-Brhaspati conversation, and the Sukanuprasna 
in the Mahabharata as authoritative. It is, therefore, clear 
that in his times, the Mahabharata and the Glta, used to be 
looked upon as authoritative. The birth of Sri Sarhkaracarya 
is fixed at Saka 710 on the authority of a sectarian stanza, 
.as has been proved by Prof. Kashinath Bapu Phatak. But 
in my opinion this date must be taken back by another hundred 
years ; because, it is stated in the book named Darsana-Prakasa, 
which belongs to the Mahanubhava sect, that Sri Sarhkaracarya 
entered the cave in the year "yugma payodhi rasanvita sake", 
that is, in Saka 643 * ; and at that time, the Acarya was only 
32 years old. Therefore, the date of his birth is proved to be 
Saka 610. In my opinion, this date is more correct than the 
date fixed by Prof. Phatak % But I cannot deal with that question 
in detail here. In the Samkarabhasya on the Glta, many 
previous commentators are referred to ; and Samkaraearya has 
in the very beginning of that commentary stated that he has 
refuted the opinions of all the previous commentators and 
written a new commentary on the Glta. Therefore, whether one 
takes the date of the birth of the Acarya as Saka 610 or Saka 710, 
the Glta must undoubtedly have been in vogue at least 200 to 
300 years before that time. Let us now see in what way and 
to what extent we can go further back than that date, for fixing 
the date of the Glta. 

* This is a peculiar Sanskrit way of describing dates ; yugma 
means tim ; payodhi means 'ocean', of which there were believed to 
"be four; and rata means 'taste', of which there are six kinds ; and 
• those digits are to be read from right to left ; thus we get the Saka 
year 642 — Trans. 



V - The DATE of the PRESENT GlTA 793 

(2) The lata Mr. Telang Las shown that Kalidasa and 
Banabhatta both knew of the Glta. The stanza "anavaptam 
avaptamjam na te Hmeana vidyate" in the Visnu-Stuti in the 
Raghuvaihsa (10. 31) of Kalidasa, is similar to the stanza 
" nan avaptam avaptavyam " etc., in the Glta (Gl. 3. 22) ; and in 
the paranomastic ( sleqa-pradhana ) sentence " mahabharatam 
.ivananta glta karnan ananditataram" in the Kadambarl of 
Banabhatta, there is a clear reference to the Glta. Kalidasa 
and Bharavi are clearly referred to in a stone inscription 
■dated Saka 556; and it is now definitely proved, as shown 
by the late Mr. Pandurang Govind Shastri Parakhi, in his 
essay in Marathi on Banabhatta, that Banabhatta was in the 
service of the king Sri Harsa, in about Saka 528. 

(3) In the Bhlsma-parva of the MahabhSrata, which has 
'found its way into Java, there i3 a chapter called the ' Glta ' ; 
.and in it, we find word for word 100 to 125 stanzas from various 
chapters in the Gita. But there are no stanzas in it from the 
12th, 15th, 16th, and 17th chapters. Yet, there is no objection, 
-on that account, to saying that- the Glta was then as in its 
present form; because, the Gita" has been translated there 
into the Kavi language, and the Sanskrit stanzas found in it 
.are taken by way of extracts or illustrations here and there. 
'Therefore, it would not be proper to draw the conclusion that 
the Glta then contained only as many stanzas as are found 
in this translation. Dr. Narhar Gopal Sardesai got this infor- 
mation in Java when he went there ; and he has published it 
in the issue of the Modern Bedew for July 1914 as also in 
the Magazine called Chitramaija Jagat. It is clear from this, 
that the Bhisniaparva of the MahabhSrata contained the Glta 
:at least 200 years before Saka 400 to 500, and that the stanzas 
in it were in the same sequence as in the present Glta. 

(4) In the first chapter of this book, I have given some 
information about the references to the Glta or the other 
Gitas written on the basis of the Bhagavadgita, which 
are found in the Visnu-Purana, the Padma-Purana etc. In 
order that the Glta should have been adopted in this way, 
it must have become authoritative and an object of 
raspect even in those days. It is clear that nobody would 
•otherwise think of imitating it. It is, therefore, also clear that 



794 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

the Glta must be at least 100 to 200 years earlier in point of 
time than the earliest of these Puranas. One cannot take the 
commencement of the age of the Puranas at later than the 
second century A. D. ; and therefore, the date of the Glta is 
taken back at any rate to somewhere about the beginning of the- 
Saka era. 

(5) It has been stated above that both Kalidasa and Bana. 
knew about the Glta. The dramas of Bhasa, who lived before- 
Kalidasa, have been recently published. In the drama called 
Karnabhara, out of these dramas, we find the following as the- 
twelfth stanza :- 

hccto 'pi lahhaie svargam jitva tu labhate yasah I 
nbhe bahumate loke nasti nisphalala rwge » 

This stanza is exactly the same as the stanza : " liato vce- 
prapsyasi svargam " etc. (Gl. 2. 37) ; and, as it is proved from the 
other dramas of Bhasa that he was fully acquainted with the 
Mahabharata, one can safely draw the conclusion that in- 
writing the stanza mentioned above, he had in mind the stanza 
in the Glta referred to above. It, therefore, follows that the 
Mahabharata and the Glta existed before the date of Bhasa. 
Pandit Ganapati Shastri has proved that Bhasa must have lived 
200 to 300 years before the Saka era. Bufc,_some are of the opinion- 
that he lived 100 to 200 years after the Saka era. Even if this 
latter opinion is correct, the Mahabharata and the Glta must have 
become commonly accepted books at least 100 to 200 years- 
before the date of Bhasa, that is to say, about the beginning of 
the Saka era. 

(6) But, the late Mr. Tryambak Guranath Kale has- 
published in the English magazine issued by the Gurukul and 
called the Vedic Magazine, a forcible proof about old writers-- 
having adopted stanzas from the Glta ("Vol. 7, Kog. 6 and 
7 pp. 528-532, Margasirsa and Pausa Sarhvat 1970). Before 
this publication, Western Sanskritists were of opinion that the; 
Glta was not found referred to in any books more ancient than- 
the Sanskrit dramas or the Puranas, e. g., in the Sutra treatises 
etc.; and that therefore, the Glta must have been written 
shortly after the age of the Sutras, that is to say, in about 
the second century of the Christian era. But the late Mr. Kale 



V-The DATE of the PRESENT GITA 795 

has shown that this surmise is wrong. In the Baudhayana- 
Grhyasesa-Sutra (2.22.9), the stanza, "patram puxpam" etc. 
(Gl. 9. 26) has been taken 'verbatim with the opening remark 
"tadaha bhagavan" in the following words : — 

desabhave dravyabhave sadharane kuryan manasa varcayed 

iti I tadaha bhagavan — 
patram puspaih phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchaU t 
tad aham bhakty upahrtam asnami prayatafmanah II iti ; 

and it is stated further on, that one should become meek-minded 
by Devotion and then recite these incantations, of. "bhaktinamrah 
etan mantr an adhiyita" ; and it is stated at the end of the third 
prasna of this Grhyasesa-Sutra, that by reciting the twelve- 
lettered incantation " om namo bhagavate vusudevaya" , one 
acquired the same merit as that of performing an Asvamedha- 
Yajfia. Prom this it is clear that the Glta, as also the worship 
of Vaaudeva, was fully in vogue before the date of Bau'dha- 
yana. Besides this, there is the following sentence in the 
Pitrmedha-Sutra of Baudhayana, in the beginning of the third 
prasna, namely, 

jatasya vai manusyasya dhruvam maranam iti vijaniyat 
tasmaj jate na prahrsyen mrte ca na visidet. I , 

which can clearly be seen to have been inspired by the following 
stanza in the Glta : — 

jatasya hi dhruvo mrtyuh dhruvam janma mriasya ca I 
tasrnadapariharye 'rthe na tvam socitum arhasi II 

(Gl. 2. 27); 

and when, in addition to this, you take the stanza "patram 
puspam" etc., there remains no doubt whatsoever about the 
matter. It has been stated above that we find in the 
Baudhayana-Sutra, one stanza from the Mahabbarata itself. 
The date of Baudhayana is about 100 to 200 years before 
Apastaihba ; and Prof. Biihler has come to the conclusion . 
that the date of Apastamba cannot be more than 300 years 
before Christ. * But, in my oninion, that date must be taken. 

* See Sacred Books of the East Series, Vol. II. Intro, p. xliii ; 
and also the same Series Vol. XIV. Intro, p, xliii. 

23—24 



796 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

slightly forward; because, there is no mention in the Maha- 
bharata of the zodiacal signs Mesa, Vrsabha etc.; and the sentence 
"minamesayor mesaursabhayor vavasantah" of Baudhayana has 
been quoted in the Kala-MadMva, and has also been taken 
in the B/mratiya-JyoHh-Sastra ( p. 102 ) written by the late 
Shankar Balkrishna Dikshit. 'From this also, one can draw the 
definite inferences, that the Mahabharata is earlier in point 
of time than Baudhayana; that Baudhayana lived at least 
400 years before the Saka era; and that the Mahabharata and 
the Gita were written at least 500 years before the Saka era- 
The late Mr. Kale has placed the date of Baudhayana at 700 to 
800 years before Christ, but that is not correct. He has 
evidently lost sight of the statement of Baudhayana regarding 
the zodiacal signs. 

(7) It will be clearly seen by anybody from the above 
evidence that the present Gita was in existence at least 500 years 
before the Saka era ; that it was known both to Baudhayana 
and Asvalayana; and that one can trace the gradual history 
of it uninterruptedly right down to the date of Sri Samkaracarya. 
But all this evidence is from Vedic religious treatises; the 
evidence which I am now going to mention is from literature 
other than Vedic literature, that is to say, from Buddhistic 
literature; and the above-mentioned ancientness of the Gita is 
more forcibly and independently established, in an unambi- 
guous way, by that evidence. I have stated above the opinions 
of Buhler and of the celebrated French scholar Senart that the 
Bhagavata religion had come into existence before Buddhism ; 
and I have dealt with the question of the growth of Buddhism 
and of its relation to the Hindu religion etc., independently, in 
the next part of this Appendix. I am giving here in short only 
such references as are necessary for fixing the date of the 
Gita. From the sole fact that the Bhagavata religion was 
previous to Buddhism, one cannot draw the definite conclusion 
that the Gita was also prior in point of time to Buddha; because, 
there is no defiaits evidencs for saying that the Bhagavata 
religion came into existence simultaneously with the Gita. 
It is, therefore, necessary to see whether or not Buddhist 
writers refer anywhere specifically to the Gita. It is clearly 
stated even in the ancient Buddhistic treatises, that the four 



V - THE "DATE OF THE PRESENT GITA 797 

Vedas, the Vedaiigas, the Vyakarana, Astronomy, Itihasa, 
Nighantu and other hooks relating to the Vedic religion existed 
■at the time of Buddha. There is, therefore, no doubt that the 
Vedic religion had reached its perfection before the date of 
Buddha. Although the new religious sect which was formed 
■after that date by Buddha, was, from the Metaphysical point 
of view, un-Atmic (denying the existence of the Atman — Trans.), 
yet, from the point of view of conduct in life, it followed the 
Path of Renunciation preached in the Upanisads, as will be 
•shown in the next part. But at the date of Asoka, this state 
■of Buddhism had changed and Buddhist mendicants had given 
Tip living in the woods, and are seen to have gone as far as 
•China towards the East, and as far as Alexandria and Greece 
towards the West, for the propagation of religion, and on 
other philanthropic missions. Why Buddhist mendicants gave 
up living in the woods and started doing philanthropic works 
Is a question of immense importance in the history of Buddhism. 
If one considers the ancient Buddhistic treatises, it is stated 
in the Khaggavisana-Sutta in the Sutta-nipata that the 
'bhikm' (mendicant), who reached the state of an arhata 
(Perfect) should live in the woods like a rhinoceros, without 
doing anything ; and it is stated in the Mahavagga (5. 1. 27) 
in the story of Sonakollvisa, the personal disciple of Buddha 
ithat : " for the mendicant who has reached the state of 
nirvana (Annihilation) — " kalassa paticayo natthi karanlyam na 
lijjali" — "nothing remains to be done, and nothing of what 
has been done remains to be suffered for". This is Pure 
Renunciation, similar to the Path of Renunciation of our 
Upanisads. Not only is the sentence " hxranvy'afn. na mjjati " 
•similar in meaning to the words " tasya karyam na vidyate " 
in the Glta, but it is word for word the same. But when this 
original renunciatory mode of life* of Buddhist mendi- 
cants changed, and they began to perform philanthropic 
works, there arose a conflict between the old thought and the 
new thought, and those who belonged to the former began to call 
themselves 'theravada' (older sect), and the new school of thought 
■called their sect 'mahayana' (superior path) and began to refer 
to the older sect as 'hinayana' (inferior path). Asvaghosa 
belonged to the Mahayana sect, and was of the opinion that, 



798 GlTA-RAHASYA OE EARMA-YOGA 

Buddhist yatins should take part in philanthropic works-. 
Therefore, in the advice which Buddha is shown to have given', 
to Nanda, at the end of the poem Saundarananda, whenNanda. 
had reached the state of an arhata, he first says : — 

avaptakaryo 'si param gafim gatah 

na te 'sli kimcit karaniyam anvapi I 

(Sau. 18. 54) 

that is, "your duty in life is over, you have acquired the 
highest state ; now there does not remain for you even the least 
duty (of your own)". And then, he goes on to say : — 

vihaya iasmad iha karyam atmanah 
hu.ru sthiratman parakaryam apy atho I 
(Sau. 18. 57) 

that is, "therefore, give up Action for yourself, hut become 
perfectly equable in Reason, and perform Action for others"; 
There is a world of difference between the preaching of Buddha 
in the ancient books, which advocated Abandonment of Action, 
and the words put by Asvaghosa into the mouth of Buddha in 
the Saundaram?ida-kavya ; and it will be seen that this argument 
of Asvaghosa, is similar not only in meaning but also literally 
and word for word to what is stated in the third chapter of the 
Gita, namely, "fasya karyam na vidyate" (I. e., "for him no duty 
(for his own benefit) has remained' ' — Trans,) . . . and ' 'tasniad asaktali 
safatam karyam karma samacara", i. e., "therefore, perform 
desirelessly that duty which has befallen you" (Gi. 3. 17, 19). 
From this, one can draw the inference that this argument has been ; 
borrowed by Asvaghosa from the Gita ; because, as has been shown 
above, the Mahabharata existed before Asvaghosa. But this fact 
does not remain only in inference. It is stated in the book called, 
Taranatha, which is a history of ( Buddhism written in the 
Tibetan language, that the "Jfianin Sri Krsna and Ganesa" were, 
responsible for Rahulabhactra, the preceptor of Nagarjuna, who ■ 
was the principal protagonist of the Mahayana sect, getting the 
idea of this Activistic improvement in the original renunciatory 
path of the Buddhists. This book (Taranatto) was translated' 
into German from the Russian, but not into English I have- 



V - THE DATE OF THE PRESENT QlTA 799 

taken an extract from it (TSrSriatha) from the book written by 
Dr. Kern in 1896 on the Buddhist religion. * Even Dr. Kern 
.is of opinion that there is a reference to the Bhagavadgita, 
by the word ' Sri Krsna '. There are some stanzas in the book 
named Saddhartiia-Pundarlka out of the Buddhist religious 
itraatises of the Mahayana sect, which are quite similar to the 
.stanzas in the Bhagavadgita. But, this and all other matters 
>will be considered by me in the next part of this Appendix. All 
'that 1 have to say at present is that Buddhist writers themselves 
admit that though the original Buddhistic religion advocated 
Asceticism, the Bhagavadgita was responsible for the coming 
.into existence of the Mahayana sect, which advocated Action and 
Devotion; and the similarity shown above between the 
writings of Asvaghosa and the Gita only strengthens this 
• conclusion. Western scholars have come to the conclusion that 
Nagarjuna, the first promulgator of the Mahayana sect, lived 
100 to 150 years before the Saka era ; and it is quite clear that 
the Mahayana doctrine must have been initiated during the 
reign of the king Asoka. Therefore, it is proved independently 
from Buddhistic books and from the histories of Buddhism 
written by Buddhist writers themselves, that the Bhagavadgita 
•was in existence before the rise of the Mahayana sect, and 
possibly even before the date of Asoka — that is, at least 300 years 
before the Christian era. 

When one considers all the proofs mentioned above, there 
doss not remain the slightest doubt that the present Bhagavad- 
gita was in existence at least 500 years before the Saka era. 
The opinions of Dr. Bhandarkar, the late Mr. Telang, Rao 
Bahadur Ohintamanrao Vaidya, and the late Mr. Dikshit were 
more or less the same, and they must be taken as correct on 
this point. The opinion of Prof , Garbe is different; and he has 
taken the words "yogo nastah" — i. e., " in whom Toga has been 
■destroyed", from the stanzas relating to the tradition of the Gita 
doctrine in the fourth chapter of the Gita, as an authority for his 
opinion; and he has interpreted the word 'yogo' there to mean 
'Patafijala-Yoga'. But I have shown above with authorities 

* See Dr. Kern's Manual of Indian Buddhism, Orundriss HE. 
■8, p. 122. The principal book of the Mahayana sect called 
Amiiayu-Sutta was translated into Chinese about 148 A. D, 



800 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

that the word 'yogo' in this place does not mean 'Patafi jala-Yoga"" 
but means Karma-Yoga. Therefore, the opinion of Prof . Gaibe 
is wrong and unacceptable. It, therefore, follows beyond! 
doubt that the date of the present Gita must be taken as 
not later than 500 years before the Saka era. I have shown 
in Part IV above that the original Glta must have been some 
centuries older. 

PART VI— THE GIT A AND BUDDHISTIC LITERATURE. 
In order to fully realise the importance of the evidence of 
Buddhistic works adduced by mo above for fixing the date of 
the present Gita, it is necessary to consider here shortly the 
general similarities and dissimilarities between the Gita on the 
one hand and the Buddhistic treatises or Buddhistic religion 
on the other hand. I have mentioned above in any number 
of places that the Sthitaprajiia of the Glta belongs to Path of 
Energism ; and that that is the most important feature of the 
(ritfi-doctrine. But, if one keeps aside for a moment this special 1 
feature of the Sthitaprajiia, and considers only his mental and 
moral qualities, one sacs a very strange similarity between 
the character ietic'H of the Sthitaprajiia (Gi. 2. 55-72), the Brahma- 
nistha(4. l!>-33; 5. 18-28), and the Bhakti-yogin (12. 13-19), 
mentioned in the Gita, and the characteristics mentioned 
in various Buddhistic works of au urhaJa who has become 
fit for Nirvana, that is to say, of a Buddhist i/atiu, who has reached' 
the state of perfection (Dhammapada stanzas 360-423 and 
Muni-.Sulta and Dhammika-Sutta out of the Sutta-nipata). 
In tlh'Si 1 descriptions, wo also find similarity of words where,, 
liko thi> Sthitupi'ujfW, or tho '!>ha!dimUu\ the true mendicant 
(bhikml is tltiwriU'd us hoini? ' peaceful ' (suntti), 'desireless' 
imxktitm), ' minc-lrxx' (iiinmwm), 'desireless' (mrfisi), or (mrissita), 
"equal in rutin or huppinu.ss' (nimti-tltthkhti-sukha), ' non- 
OOtiiijmiK'ing ' {iiiriirntiibhit), 'homeless' {ruiiMam or amvesana), 
*«iunl tuwaniw ]>ruit«> or diwparagcnient* (xamu-niiidUntuti), and- 
'ono who cunuiik'M nwju«t or disrespect, profit or loss, as the- 
uanio' (Stif Wmumiapada 40, 41 and 91 ; Sutta-nipata, Muni-sutta- 
1. 7 and 14, Dvayattmipussuna-sutta 21-23; and Vinaya-pitaka, 
Culla-vagga 7. 4. 7). The idea that what is light to the 
Jftinin is darkness to the AjnSnin (Ignorant) conveyed by the 
wards "u&mia mrtabhulanum tasi.fi>'" J'Hiurti Knihyamt " (Gi. 2. 69)' 



V - The- DATE of the PBESENT GlTA. 802 

is to be seen in the 40th. stanza of the Dvayatanupassana-sutta. 
and the words "arosaneyyo na roseti" — i. e., "one who is himself 
not worried, and who does not worry others", in the 10th stanza 
of the Muni-sutta, is similar to the description in the Gita in the 
words "yasman no'dvijate loko lokan nodvijale ca yah" (Gt 12. 15)- 
Similarly, we find in the Salla-sutta, with slight verbal 
differences, the following ideas of the Gita, namely, 'that which 
has come to birth, is sure to die', or, 'in as much as the beginning, 
or the end of created things is imperceptible (avyakta), it is futile 
to lament over them' (See Salla-sutta, 1 and 9 ; and Gl. 2. 27 and 
28); and the description to be found in the tenth chapter of the 
Gita and in the Anuglta (Ma. Bha. Asva. 43, 44) in the words 
"the Sun out of the luminaries, the Moon out of the constellations, 
Gayatri out of the Vedic incantations" etc. is repeated just as it 
is in the Sela-sutta (21, 22) and Mahavagga (6. 35. 8). There 
are besides numerous other similarities of ideas which have 
been shown in the notes appended by the late Mr. Telang to his 
English translation of the Gita. But, on account of the 
insufficiency of the means then available for determining how 
these similarities came to be, or* whether these ideas were 
originally from the Buddhistic literature or from the Vedie 
religious literature, and what inferences can be drawn from 
these facts, the late- Mr. Telang has not written anything in. 
this matter beyond merely showing this strange similarity 
of words and meaning. But much more information 
about the Buddhistic religion has now become available; and as 
these questions are solved by that information, I will now 
briefly mention that information about the Buddhistic religion 
here. The English translation of the Gita, made by the late 
Mr. Telang, has been published in the Sacred Books of the East 
Series. English translations of Buddhistic religious treatises, 
have been published further on in the same Series. This; 
information has been principally taken from those translations ; 
and the references to these Buddhistic treatises, as authorities,, 
are to the translations in this Series; and the Pali words or 
sentences quoted in some places have been taken from the 
original Pali books. 

The Buddhistic religion is, like the Jain religion, somewhat 
like a son who has separated from his, father after taking from, 



802 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

him as much of his wealth as he wanted. Therefore, it is not a 
stranger religion, but is only a branch, which has come into 
existence in India, out of the previous Brahmin religion. This 
position has now been established beyond doubt. In the old 
Pali treatises to be found in Ceylon, such as, the Mahavarhsa or 
the Dipavarhsa, there is a description about the kings who ruled 
after Buddha, as also the historical tradition of the various 
Buddhistic preceptors. Calculating time by reference to these 
hooks, one comes to the conclusion that Gautama Buddha 
reached the age of 80 years and died 543 years before Christ. 
But some of the stories ia these books are inconsistent with 
each other. Therefore, Prof. Max Miiller has made a critical 
examination of this calculation of time, and laid down the 
proposition that the true date of the death of Buddha must 
have been 473 years before the Christian era; and Dr. Buhler 
has shown that the name date is arrived at from the 
stone inscriptions of Asoka. But some critics like 
Prof. Rhys-Davids or Dr. Kern say, that this date must be 
•pushed forward by between 65 to 100 years; and Prof. Geiger 
has very recently examined all these opinions, and drawn the 
conclusion that the true date of death of the Buddha must 
have been 483 years before the Christian era.* Whichever 
date is accepted, this much at least is beyond doubt, that the 
Vedic religion had reached its fullest expansion before the 
birth of Buddha ; and that, not only the Upanisads but also 
other religious works like the Dharma-Sutras, were in existence 
before that date ; because, there are statements in the ancient 
Buddhistic religious treatises in the Pali language, that 
Gautama Buddha had personal discussions and conversations 
with some highly moral Brahmins, and bearded ascetics, who 
were well-versed in "the four Vedas, the Vedahgas, Vyakarana, 

• ' * Some information about the date of the death of Gautama 
Buddha will be found in the Introduction to the English translation 
of the Dhammapada made by Prof. Max MHller (8. B. B. Vol. 2, 
Intro, pp. xxxv-xlv) ) and that matter has been examined by 
Dr. Geiger in his Introduction to the translation of the Mahavamsa, 
published in 1912 (The Mahavamsa, by Dr. Geiger, Pali Text 
.Society, Intro, p. xxii et seq.). 



V- THE DATE OF THE PRESENT GITA 803 

Astronomy, Itihasa (history), Nighantu (medicine) etc., and 
had converted them to his own religion. (See the description 
■of Sela in the Sela-sutta out of the Sutta-nipata and Vaththu- 
gatha 30-45). And just as ritualistic srauta sacrifices have 
.been deprecated in the Katha and other Upanisads (Eatha. 1. 
18; Munda. 1. 2. 10), or in the Gita, consistently with those 
Upanisads (2. 40-45 ; 9. 20 and 21), so also, and to a certain extent 
in the same wor&o, has Buddha proved in the Tevijja-sutta 
■(Traividya-Sutra), that "yajnas, yagas, etc. are useless and 
•discardable"; and he has explained how that state, which is 
described by .Brahmins ao ' brahmasahavyatuya' (brahma- 
.sahavyatyaya=brahma-suyujyaia) can, according to him, be 
attained. From this it is clear, that the Buddhistic religion 
has come into existence by bringing about an improvement 
in the two branches of the Brahmin religion, namely, 
the Karma-kanda and Jnana-kanda — that is, the state of a 
householder and the state of an ascetic, or in other words, 
Activism ( pravrtti ) and Renunciation ( nivrtli ) — after those two 
branches had become fully established. The ordinary rule of 
every reform is that some of the former matters remain and 
•others change ; and let us now consider, according to this rule, 
which things out of the Vedic religion remain in Buddhism and 
'which have besn given up. This question must be considered 
from the point of view of the state of the householder and of 
Asceticism. But as Buddhism was originally renunciatory 
or purely Inactivistic, we will first consider the aspect of 
Renunciation in both the religions, and then consider the state 
.of the householder in both. 

If one considers the Vedic Path of Renunciation, the 
■principal element in it, will be seen to be the belief that all the 
activities in the world of Action are productive of Desire, that is 
to say, full of unhappiness; and that, in order to enable the 
Atman to permanently escape from it, that is, from the cycle of 
births and deaths, (i) the Mind has to be made desireless and 
renounced, and must be fixed on the eternal Parabrahman in 
■the form of the Atman, which forms the foundation of the entire 
visible universe, and (ii) one has to totally abandon the duties 
.of family life and remain perpetually steeped in this Atmified 
state. Out of these, the visible world is defined by Name and 



804 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Form, and is perishable ; and its unobstructed activity 
continues as a result of Causality (karma-vipaka). 

kammana vattati loko kammana vattati paja (praja ) l 
karmnanibandhami satta (satvam)mthassa 'ifiva yayato II 
(Suttani. Vasethasutta, 61). 
that is; "the world, as also its inhabitants, continue in life as- 
a result of Karma ; just as the course of the moving chariot is- 
regulated by its axis, so also is every created being bound by 
Karma". This principle of the Jnana-kanda of the Vedic 
religion, or perhaps even the idea of the cycle of birth and death, 
as also the Vedic deities, Brahma, Indra, Mahesvara, Isvara,. 
Yama etc., and their various spheres, such as, svarga, (heaven) 
patala (antipodes) etc., described in the Brahmin religion, were- 
accepted by Buddha; and on that account, such technical 
words of Vedanta and Samkhya philosophy, as 'nama-rUpa' 
' karma-vipaka ', ' avidya ', ' upadana ' , ' prakrti' etc., as also the tra- 
ditions about Brahma and other Vedic deities (maintaining 
always the superiority of Buddha) are always to be found with 
some difference or other in Buddhistic literature. But, although 
the doctrines of the Vedic religion, regarding the world of 
Action, that the visible world is perishable and non-permanent, 
and that its activities are going on as a result of Causality,, 
were accepted by Buddha, yet, the doctrine of the Vedic religion 
or of the Upanisads, that there is some eternal, all-pervasive,, 
element like Parabrahman, which is uniform with the Atman,, 
and is undefined by Name and Form, and which is the founda- 
tion of the perishable universe defined by Name and Form,, 
was not accepted by Buddha. This is the crucial difference 
between the two religions. Gautama Buddha has clearly said. 
(Sabbasava-sutta 9-13), that the Atman or the Brahman does. 
not exist in reality, but is a mere illusion ; and that, therefore, 
no one should waste his time in thinking about the Atman 
and the Non- Atman, or on the meditation of, the Brahman. 
That Buddha did not admit any theory about the Atman, is 
patent from the Brahmajala-sutta out of the Digghanikaya. * 

* The Brahmajala antta has not been translated into English ; 
but a summary of it has been given by Prof. Bhys-Davids in the. 
Sacred Books of the East Series Vol. XXVI. Intro, pp. xxiii-xxv,. 
to which the reader is referred. 



V- The DATE of the PRESENT GITS. 805- 

In this sutta after mentioning 62 different ideas about the 
Atman, as to -whether the Atman and the Brahman are one 
or two, it is stated that they are all illusory 'visions' {drsti); 
and even in the Milinda-prasna, it is clearly stated by Nagasena 
to the Greek Milinda (Minander), that according to Buddhism, 
"the Atman is not something which really exists" (Mi, 
Pra. 2. 3. 6 and 2. 7. 15). When one accepts the position 
that both the Atman and the Brahman are illusions, and not 
real, the very foundation of religion is really speaking des- 
troyed; because, in that case, all that remains is non- 
permanent things; and permanent happiness, as also some 
one who can realise that permanent happiness, ceases to exist ; 
and it is on this account that Srimad Sarhkaracarya has 
condemned that opinion as unacceptable even on logical, 
grounds. But, as we have now to considtr only what the- 
original Buddhistic religion was, we will not enter into that 
discussion here, but will see how Buddha has further justified 
his own religion. Although Buddha did not accept the existence 
of the Atman, yet, he has fully accepted the two positions that 
(1) as a result of Causality, the Body which is defined by Name 
and Form (and not the Atman) has to take birth over and over 
again in this perishable world ; and that (2) this cycle of 
re-incarnation or worldly life itself, is full of unhappiness, and 
it is necessary to acquire permanent peace or happiness by 
escaping from it. When in this way, the unhappiness of 
worldly life, and the necessity of overcoming such unhappiness 
have been admitted, the Vedic question about the way in which 
that unphappiness can be removed, and how the highest happi- 
ness can be reached, still remains; and it becomes necessary to- 
give some satisfactory answer to that question. The writers of 
the Upanisads themselves have said that one cannot escape the 
Cycle of Worldly Life (bhava-cakra) by performing sacrificial 
ritual ; and Buddha has gone even further than that, and said 
that all these sacrificial Actions involved destruction of life, 
and were on that account totally prohibited and unacceptable.. 
Also, if the Brahman itself is considered to be a stupendous 
'Illusion', then the Knowledge of the Brahman also becomes, 
an illusory and impossible path for destroying unhappiness.. 
Then, in what way can one escape from this unhappy Cycle of 



806 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

Worldly Life ? The reply of Buddha to this question is that 
.a good doctor first determines the root cause of any disease, and 
then removes that cause in order to cure the disease. In the 
same way, in order to cure the disease of worldly unhappiness, 
a wise man must (3) understand what the cause of that unhappi- 
ness is, and (4) follow that path by which that cause can be 
totally destroyed. Now, when one considers the question of 
the cause of this unhappiness, one sees that Thirst or Desire 
is the root of all the unhappiness in the world; and that when 
once the Name-d and Form-ed Body has been destroyed, other 
Name-d and Form-ad Bodies come into existence one after the 
.other from this seed of Desire, which survives the destruction 
of the Name-d and Form-sd body. And Buddha has come to 
the conclusion that (i) in order to escape the painful cycle of 
birth and death, the path of becoming a Samnyasin or a bhikm, 
after having destroyed Desire by control of the organs, by 
meditation, and by asceticism, becomes the only true path; 
and that (ii) eternal peace and happiness can be reached only 
by this Renunciation based on indifference to worldly life- 
In short, Buddhism does not attach any importance to sacrificial 
ritual etc., nor to the meditation on the Atman and the Non- 
Atman ; but rests on the four visible factors, (i) the fact of the 
existence of worldly unhappiness, (ii) the cause of such unhappi- 
ness, (iii) the necessity of controlling or removing it, and 
>(iv) the means in the shape of Renunciation, for totally doing 
away with it; or, in Buddhistic terminology, on 'unhappiness' 
(duhkha), 'origin of unhappiness' (samudaya), 'control of un- 
happiness ' ( rirodha ), and ' the path of destroying it ' ( niarya ) ; 
and Buddha has called these four fundamental elements of his 
religion, the 'Sublime Verities' (arya-satya). Although the 
Buddhistic religion is in this way founded on the visible 
foundation of the four 'Sublime Verities', instead of on the 
Upanisadic Knowledge of the Atman, yet, as the Path (the 
fourth Verity ) preached by Buddha for acquiring eternal peace 
■or happiness, namely, the path of making the Mind desireless 
by destroying Thirst or Desire, is the same as the path mentioned 
in the Upanisads for obtaining Release, it becomes quite 
■clear that Desirelessness of the Mind is .the ultimate visible 
.Meal according to both these religions. But the writers of 



V - THE DATE OF THE PRESENT GITA 807' 

the Upanisads, who look upon the Brahman as identical, 
with the Atman, refer to this Desirelessness of the Mind 
as'atmanistha', 'brahma-samstha'/brahrna-bhutata', or 'brahma- 
rtirvana' (Gl. 5. 17-25; Chan. 2. 23. 1), that is to say, the 
merging the Atman into the Brahman, all which words 
are denotative of the Ultimate Root ; whereas, Buddha refers 
to that state as merely ' nirvaya', which means 'obtaining 
Rest ', or ' the destruction of Desire in the same way as a lamp* 
goes out ', which definition merely denotes some Action. This* 
is the difference between the two religions. Because, when you 
say that the Brahman or the Atman is an illusion, the questions 
' who acquires the rest ? ', and, ' in what does he rest ? ', do not 
any more remain, (c/.- Ratana-sutta, 14, and Vaiiglsa-sutta 12' 
and 13, out of the Sutta-nipata); and Buddha has clearly said, 
that a wise man should not waste time in thinking about 
'these moot questions (Sabbasava-sutta 9-13, and Milinda 
Prasna 4. 2.4 and 5). As there is no re-birth after 
this state has been reached, the word ' death ', which is applied' 
to the ordinary phenomenon of one body being destroyed 
and another body being acquired, cannot be applied to ' nirvana ', 
even according to Buddhism. ' nirvana 'is the ' death of death', 
or, as is stated in the Upanisads, it is ' the path of overcoming 
death ', and not merely ' death '. When any man has reached 
this state, he does not any more care for his body, just as the 
serpent does not care for the slough which it has thrown away.. 
This illustration which has been given in the Brhadaranya- 
kopanisad (4. 4. 7) has been given in each stanza in the Uraga- 
sutta in the Sutta-nipata in describing the true Buddhist 
mendicant (bhksu). And, as the Atman is always free from sin as 
also from merit (Br. 4. 4. 23), he the bhiksu does not suffer from such 
sins as matricide, patricide etc. This principle of the Vedic 
religion (Kausi. 3. 1) has also been adopted just as it is in the 
Dhammapada (Dhamma. 294 and 295, and Milinda-Prasna, 4. 5. 
7). In short, although Buddha did not accept the existence of 
the Brahman and of the Atman, yet, as that very path which has 
been mentioned in the Upanisads as leading to Release, namely, 
the path of making the Mind peaceful, apathetic, and desireless, 
is also the path for the acquisition of Nirvana according to 
Buddhism, the descriptions of the Buddhist monk and of the 



808 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Vedic Sarhnyasin are exactly similar to each other from the 
point of view of their mental condition. And, therefore, the 
doctrines regarding the responsibility for sinful or meritorious 
actions, or regarding the escape from the cycle of birth and 
■death, are the same in the Vedic Paths of Renunciation as in 
Buddhism. But, as the Vedic religion was prior in point of time 
to Gautama Buddha, there is not the slightest doubt that these 
ideas were originally from the Vedic religion. 

I have so far pointed out the differences and the similarities 
"between the Vedic and the Buddhistic Paths of Renunciation. 
Let us now see what Buddha had to say regarding the state 
of a householder. Although Buddhism is based on four 
visible foundations, namely, the existence of unhappiness in 
worldly life, etc., and does not attach any importance to the 
Philosophy of the Atman and the Non-Atman, yet, it must 
be borne in mind that Buddhism was not fundamentally 
Energistic, like the purely Materialistic religion of modern 
philosophers like Comte, or even like the Glta-religion. It is 
true that Buddha does not accept the philosophical 'vision' 
(drsti) of the Knowledge of the Atman described in the 
Upanisads. But, as Buddhism has adopted in toto the doctrine 
enunciated by Yajnavalkya in the Brhadaranyakopanisad (Br. 4. 
4. 6), that it is the highest duty of every man in this world to 
give up worldly life altogether, and to make the Mind desireless 
and free from slavery to the objects of pleasure, that religion 
has fundamentally become a religion of Renunciation purely. 
The sum and substance of the whole advice of Buddha is, 
that it is impossible to acquire the highest happiness, 
or the position of an arhafa, if one remains in the state of a 
householder. Still, it is not that Buddhism does not at all deal 
with the state of a householder. Buddhistic treatises have 
given the name 'upasakn' to those persons who, without becoming 
monks, put faith in BUDDHA, in his RELIGION, and in the 
SOCIETIES of MONKS, and who surrender themselves to these 
three, by reciting the incantation 'buddham iarayam gacchami', 
'dharmaih saranam gacchami', 'suhgliaih saranaiti gacchami', i. a, 
'I surrender myself to Buddha, to his religion, and to the 
religious societies'. These Upasakas may be taken to be the 
householders of Buddhism; and Buddha himself has in some 



V - THE DATE OF THE PRESENT Q-ITA 809 

places preached how these Upasakas should live in the state of 
householders, when he had occasion to give this advice 
i( Mahaparinibbana-sutta, 1. 24). Buddha did not accept either 
the Srauta religious sacrifices pertaining to the state of a 
householder, which involved the slaughter of animals, or the 
■division of society into the four castes. When these things are 
•eliminated, all that remain out of the duties of a householder, 
■are the five Mahayajnas of the Smrtis, philanthrophy and other 
■charitable duties, and leading a moral life ; and in describing 
;the state of a householder, these are the only things which are 
/referred to in Buddhistic religious treatises. Buddha has said 
that every householder, or Upasaka, must perform the five 
Mahayajnas ; and he has also clearly laid down that the Buddhist 
Upasaka must observe such rules of Morality as, Non- Violence 
iahimsa), Veracity (salyam), NotrStealing (asteyam), Sympathy 
towards all created things (sarmbhutanukampa), Self -Identification 
({although he did not accept the existence of the Atman), Purity, 
■or mental chastity, and especially, making charitable gifts of 
food, raiment etc. to Buddhist monks or Buddhist monastaries. 
This is technically known in Buddhism as 'sila' (Morality); 
And these rules of Morality have, like the five Mahayajnas, been 
adopted by Buddha from the Dharma-Sutras or the ancient 
.Smrti treatises (Manu. 6. 92 and 10. 63) of the Brahmin religion, 
as becomes quite clear when one compares both *. Nay, Buddha 
himself has praised the old Brahmin race with reference to this 
mode of life ; n the Brahmana-Dhammika-sutta ; and some of 
the stan? .. .om the Manu-Smrti have been adopted word for 
word into the Dhammapada (See Manu. 2. 121, and 5. 45 ; and 
Dhammapada, 109 and 131). But, it is not that Buddhism has 
.adopted only the five Mahayajnas and the principles of Morality 
from our Vedie treatises. Buddha had also accepted the opinion 
■expressed in some of the earlier Upanisads, that Release is 
.never attained according to the Vedic religion by remaining in 
4he state of a householder. For instance, while comparing the 
Upasaka with a Bhiksu in the Dhammika-sutta in the 
.Suttanipata, Buddha has clearly stated that a householder may. 
by living a pure life, at most reach the sphere of the 
""self -illumined' (svayamprakam) gods; but that in order to escape 
* See Dr. Kern's Manual of Buddhism (Grandrisa, III. 8) p. 68. 



810 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

the cycle of births and deaths, he must give up his wife and 
children, and ultimately take up the life of a monk. (See 
Dhammika-sutta, 17. 29; and Br. 4. 4. 6; Ma. Bha. Vana. 2. 63).. 
There is a statement in the Tevijjasutta that in arguing with 
ritualising Vedic Brahmins, Buddha used to adopt the following 
argument in order to justify his advocacy of Renunciation, 
namely, "if your Brahman does not have any wife or children 
or any mental emotions, how will you reach that Brahman 
by remaining with your wife and children and performing 
ritualistic sacrifices (Te. Su. 1. 35; 3.5); and it is well 
known that Buddha himself acquired the state of Release 
after having given up his wife and son in the bloom of youth , 
and lived the life of a monk for six years. The same is the 
teaching of the Jain saint Mahavlra, who lived at the same 
time as Buddha, but who entombed himself (became samadkistha)' 
before Buddha. But the important difference between these 
two religions is that Mahavlra did not deny the existence 
of the Atman like Buddha, and that Jain monks followed— and 
even to this day follow— the rules of abandoning clothes and 
other worldly pleasures, and the 'creed of Non- Violence (ahima),, 
even more rigorously than Buddhist monks. Buddha himself 
used to eat the flesh known as ' pavatta '( in Sanskrit, pravrtta),. 
i. e., ' flesh which is already there ', of animals which had not . 
been killed for eating, except the flesh of elephants, lions, and 
some other animals; and he had also permitted Buddhist monks 
to eat ' pawtta' flesh and fish; and according to Buddhism, going, 
about naked without clothes, is a crime (Mahavagga. 6. 31. 14; 
and 8. 28. 1 ). In short, although the definite advice of Buddha to. 
his disciples was that one should become a monk, denying, 
the existence of the Atman, yet, he was not in favour of severe 
religious austerities entailing bodily pain (Mahavagga. 5. 1. 16,. 
and Gl. 6. 16); and the normal arrangement in the monasteries. 
{vihara) built for the residence of Buddhist monks was such,, 
that they could perform the Yogic practices of prariayama etc.,, 
without suffering bodily pain. Nevertheless, as it is a fixed 
principle of Buddhism that the state of a householder must be 
given up in order to acquire the bliss of Nirvana, or the state 
of an arhata (Perfect), that mode of life does not contravene 
the. statement that Buddhism supports Renunciation (samnyasa\ 



VI -THE GITA AND BUDDHISTIC LITERATURE 811 

Although Buddha was firmly of opinion that the Knowledge 
of the Brahman, or the meditation on the Atman and the 
Non-Atman, was a great net' of confusion, yet, he had accepted 
the Upanisadic procedure of making the Mind ' free from the. 
slavery to objects of pleasure' (virvisaya) by cultivating: 
indifference towards worldly life, which (procedure) pertained 
to the Path of Renunciation, in order to achieve the visible 
object of escaping from the painful cycle of birth and death,. 
and obtaining perpetual Peace ( santi) ; and when it has once 
been proved that Buddhism accepts all the Vedic moral precepts, 
relating to the state of a householder, with only slight modi- 
fications here and there, except those relating to the division 
of society into four castes and to the slaughter of animals for 
ritualistic sacrifice into the fire, there is no wonder that the 
descriptions of Vedic Samnyasins given in the Upanisads or in 
the Manu-Smrti etc., and the descriptions of Buddhist monke 
or of an arhata, or such rules of Morality as Non-Violence 
etc., should .be the same — nay, sometimes word for word the 
same— in both the religions. All these things are originally 
from the Vedic religion ; but, these are not the only things which 
have been taken by Buddhists from the Vedic religion. 
Bufidhistic Jataka-treatises like the DaSaratha-Jataka, are 
in the same way only transformations of ancient Vedic stories. 
from the Puranas, which have been made consistent with 
Buddhism. Not only Buddhists, but even Jains, have in this 
way transformed Vedic stories in their Abhinava-Purana; and 
the Mahomedan religion, which came into existence after the 
death of Christ, has similarly perverted one story from the life 
of Christ, as has been stated by Prof. Sale*; and it has been 
established by recent researches, that Jews in the same way 
transformed the religious stories of the ancient Chaldeans, for 
describing the creation of the Universe, the Deluge, or the 
Arc of Noah, in their Old Testament. If we see that the 
Buddhistic religious treatises have thus adopted — and that too, 
sometimes absolutely literally — the descriptions, stories, or 
ideas to be found in the Upanisads, the ancient Dharma-Satras, 

* See Sale's Koran " To the Reader ", (Preface), p. X; and 
the Preliminary Discourse, Sec. IV, p. 58, (Ohandos Classics 
Edition). 

25—26 



812 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

■or in the Manu-Smrti, then, one can naturally draw the 
inference that the stanzas ' enmity is increased hy victory ', 
and ' enmity does not destroy enmity ', from the Udyogaparva 
(Ma. Bha. Udyo. 71. 59 and 63), or the stanza, 'the anger of 
another should be conquered by peacefulness ' from the 
Viduraniti (Ma. Bha. Udyo. 38. 63), or the statement of Janafca 
that, " if you annoint one of my hands with sandalwood-paste 
and cut off the other hand, it will be all the same to me" (Ma. 
Bha. San. 320. 36), as also the several other stanzas from the 
Mahabharata, which are seen to be word for word the same in 
Buddhistic treatises (Dhammapada 5 and 223, and Milinda-Prasna 
7. 3. 5), must have been originally in the Mahabharata, from where 
they were adopted by Buddhists. But, though one can, without 
fear of contradiction, say that the stanzas or ideas from the 
Vedic Upanisads, Brahma-Sutras, or the Manu-Smrti, which 
■one comes across in the Buddhistic treatises, were copied by 
them from those Vedic treatises, since those treatises were 
undoubtedly more ancient than Buddha, one cannot say the 
same thing about the MahabhSrata. As the Mahabharata 
contains a reference to Buddhistic JDsgobas, it is quite clear 
that the last edition of that work must have been made after 
the date of Buddha ; but one cannot merely on the ground of 
similarity of stanzas, draw the conclusion that the present 
Mahabharata must have been prior in point of time to the 
Buddhistic treatises ; and as the Glta is a part of the Maha- 
bharata, the same argument may be applied to the Glta. 
Besides, as has been stated above, the Glta contains a reference 
to the Brahma-Sutras and the Brahma-Sutras contain a 
refutation of Buddhistic opinions. Therefore, we will now 
consider whether or not we can find some other evidence 
in Buddhistic treatises, in addition to the similarity 
between the descriptions of tha Sthitaprajna etc., in the Glta 
and the Buddhistic treatises, which will remove such a doubt, 
and establish beyond question the fact that the Glta was 
earlier in point of time than the Buddhistic treatises. 

I have stated above that the original form of Buddhism 
totally denied the existence of the Atman, and was in favour of 
Renunciation ; but it did not retain this its form for long. 
Not only did several sub-sects come into existence after the 



VI -THE GlTA AND BUDDHISTIC LITERATURE 813 

death of Buddha, as a result of differences of opinion about 
the rules of conduct to be followed by monks, but such 
differences of opinion came into existence also as regards the 
-philosophy of Buddhism. And now-a-days there are even 
people, who assert that Buddha, by saying that there was no 
Atman, intended only to say that, "instead of wasting your 
time in dry discussions about the Knowledge of the 
unimaginable Atman, make the Mind desireless by practising 
indifference to worldly life ; let there be an Atman, or no 
Atman; concentration of the Mind is of primary importance, 
and you must first make an effort to acquire that concentra- 
tion". And these critics say that Buddha did not intend to 
deny the existence of the Brahman or of the Atman, because, 
in the Tevijja-Sutta, Buddha himself has described the state of 
* brahma-sahavyataya '; and in the Sela-sutta and the Theragatha, 
he has described his own state by saying : " I am Brahmabhuta " 
(Sela. Su. 14 ; Ther. Ga. 831). But, whatever the original 
intention of Buddha may have been, yet, there is no doubt 
that various philosophical opinions, arguments, or doctrinal 
sects, saying "neither the Atman nor the Brahman, nor 
any other Eternal Substance is the fundament Of the universe ; 
all that we see is transient and non-existent ", or, "whatever 
can be seen is only Knowledge", came into existence later 
on out of his doctrines (Ve. Su. Sam. Bh5. %. 2. 18-26). This 
atheistic or un-Atmic Buddhistic doctrine is also known 
as ' ksanikavada ' (Theory of Transience), 'sunyavada' (Theory 
of Non-Existence), or ' vijfiana-vada' (Theory of Know- 
ledge). But it is not necessary for us to deal with all these 
various sects here. We have to deal with the historical 
aspect of the matter; and I shall, therefore, mention 
here only as much as is necessary for solving that historical 
question, namely, the history of only the Mahayana sect. 
As the existence of the Atman or the Brahman (and necessarily 
also of the Paramatman, or the Paramesvara), had been denied or 
considered of minor importance in the religion originally 
preached by Buddha, it was hardly possible that he could have 
personally preached in his lifetime the path of reaching the 
Paramesvara by means of Devotion; and so long as his 
imposing figure and his course of life were before the eyes of 



814 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

the people, there was no necessity for that religious path. But the 
path of devotion gradually came into favour with ordinary people, 
and it became necessary to show them some easier and more 
practical course than the atheistic renunciatory path of giving up 
worldly life, becoming a monk, and ( without knowing in what, 
to become annihilated) attaining Annihilation (nirvava), where- 
one was. Nay, it is even possible that the ordinary devotees of 
Buddha, followed the Vedic Path of Devotion, which 'was then 
in vogue, and started the worship of Buddha of their own accord. 
Therefore, shortly after the Annihilation (nirvana) of Buddha, 
some Buddhist philosophers gave to Buddha himself the form of 
a " self-created (svayambhu), and eternal (anadyanta), Highest 
Spirit (purusottama)" ; and preached that attaining 'Annihilation' 
(nirvam) was only his pastime, and that " the true Buddha can 
never be destroyed and is always eternal ". And it also came 
to be preached in Buddhistic treatises, that as " the true Buddha 
is the father of the world and the people are his children ", he is 
" equable towards everybody, and loves none and hates none"; 
and that, " when the state of religion gets disrupted, he takes 
incarnations from time to time, for ' propagating religion ' in 
the shape of Buddha" ; and that "by worshipping this devatideva 
(god of gods) Buddha, by worshipping his religious books, and by 
preaching before his Dagoba ", nay, " by devoutly offering to 
him a few lotus-buds or even a single flower ", man attains the 
highest of states (See Saddhaima-Pundarika %. 77-98; 5. %%; 
15. 5-S2 ; and Milinda-Prasna 3. 7. "). * It is even stated in the 
Milinda-Prasna that " although the whole of the life of a man 
may have been spent in <avil actions, yet, if he surrenders 
himself to Buddha at the moment of death, he will without 
doubt reach heaven " (ML Pra. 3. 7. %) ; and it is stated in detail 
in the second and third chapters of the Saddharma-PundaxJka, 
that " as the spiritual status, inherent nature, and spiritual 
knowledge of all persons is not the same, Buddha, out of 
kindness and by his skill (upayakausalya), created this path 
(yana) of Devotion, in addition to the Renunciatory un-Atmic 
* The work Suddharma-Ptmiarilta has been translated in 
Volnme XXI of the Sacred Books of the Bast Series. This book is 
originally in the Sanskrit language ; and the original Sanskrit text 
ias also now been published. 



VI -THE GETS. AND BUDDHISTIC L1TERATUBE 815 

jiath". It was not possible at any time to entirely discard the 
doctrine preached by Buddha himself that one must take up the 
state of a monk in order to reach 'Annihilation' (nirvana); 
because, doing so would have amounted to cutting at the very 
•foundation of the original preaching of Buddha. But there was 
no objection to saying that it was the duty of Buddhist monks 
•to; -perform philanthrophioal and charitable acts like the 
propagation of religion with a desireless (niriseita) frame of 
mind, instead of living alone and in dejection in the forest 
dike a ' rhinoceros ', though they might be monks. * This 
■opinion has been advocated in the Saddharma-Pundarika and 
•other treatises of the Mahayana sect, and jNagasena has told 
Milinda (Mi. Pra. 6. %. i), that, " it is not impossible to attain 
Annihilation (nirvana) t by remaining in the -state of a house- 
holder, and that many such cases are to be seen ". Anybody 
will easily realise that these ideas are not from the original 
un-Atmic and renunciatory Buddhistic religion, and that they 
•cannot be supported on the basis of the Theory of Non-Existence 
•(svmya-vada), or the Theory of Knowledge (vijnSna-vada) ; and 
.many Buddhists at first thought that these ideas were 
inconsistent with the original preaching of Buddha. But 
-this new opinion naturally became more and more popular 
later on, and the Path followed by; those who adhered 
"to the original preaching of Buddha acquired the name 
of ' Hlnayana ' ( inferior path ), and the new path came 
to be known as ' Mahayana ' ( supe rior path ) f ■ The 
* The refrain (dhruva-pada) of the 41 stanzas of the 
Khaggavisana-sutta out of the Sutta-nipata is '' eh> care JshaggavisaKa 
Aappo", ' Jchaggavisana' means ' rhinoceros ', and the refrain means 
;that the Buddhist monk should Eve alone in the woods like a 

.rhinoceros. 

f In describing the difference between the Hlnayana and the 
Mahayana sects, Dr. Kern says as follows: — "Not the Arhat, 
who has shaken off all human feeling, but the generous, self- 
sacrificing, active Bodhisattva is the ideal of the Mahayanists, and 

4his attractive side of the creed has, more perhaps than anything 

■else, contributed to their wide conquests, whereas Southern 
Buddhism has not been able to make converts, expect where the soil 

jbxu been prepared by Hinduism and Mahayanism " — Manual of 



816 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Buddhistic religion now in vogue in China, Japan, Tibet etc.,. 
is of the Mahayana sect ; and the societies of monks belonging; 
to the Mahayana sect •were principally responsible for the 
vigorous expansion of Buddhism after the Annihilation 
(nirvar/a) of Buddha. Dr. Kern has come to the conclusion that 
this reform in Buddhism must have taken place about 300 years- 
before the Salivahana Saka,* because, there was a big conference 
of Buddhist monks in the reign of the Saka king Kaniska. 
We find statements in Buddhistic works that monks of the 
Mahayana sect were present at that conference ; and the Chinese 
translation of the most important sffira-book of this Mahayana 
sect called Amitayu-sutta, made in about 148 A D., is now 
available. But in my opinion, this date must be taken still 
further back; because, the stone inscriptions made by Asoka 
about 230 B. C. do not contain any reference to the atheistic 
Buddhistic religion, but to the humanitarian and Activistic- 
Buddhistic religion. It is, therefore, clear that the Mahayana 
doctrine of Buddhism had begun to acquire the Activistic form, 
before that date. The Buddhist monk Nagarjuna was the 
principal protagonist and not the originator of this sect. 

As it was not possible that the original atheistic Buddhistic 
religion, which denied the existence of the Brahman and the 
Atman, and accepted only the Renunciatory path of the 
TJpanisads which (path) aimed at freeing the mind from the 
slavery to objects of pleasure, should gradually and naturally 

Indian Buddhism, p. 69. ' Southern Buddhism ' means Hlnayana ; 
the Philosophy of Devotion has found a place in the Mahayana 
creed. '' Mahayanism lays great stress on devotion, in this respect 
as in many others, harmonising with the current of feeling in 
India which led to the growing importance of BhaUi" (Ibid. p. 124). 
* See Dr. Kern's Manual of Indian Buddhism pp. 6, 69 and 119. 
Milinda (the Greek king named Minander) ruled in the eonntry 
called Bactria, in the north-west of India about 140 or 150 B. C. ; 
and it is stated in the Milinda- Prasna that Nagasena then con- 
verted him to Buddhism. As this work of proselytising, was 
carried on only by the Buddhists belonging to the Mahayana path,, 
it is quite clear that the Mahayana path was in existence at that- 
time. 



VI -THE GITA AND BUDDHISTIC LITERATURE 817' 

give rise to the Activistie path of Devotion, it is quite clear that 
there must have been some other contemporary cause outside 
the Buddhist religion which -was responsible for giving to the 
Buddhist religion this Activistie devotional form, which it. 
acquired soon after the death of Buddha; and when one considers. 
what that cause must have been, one cannot but think of the. 
Bhagavadglta. Because, out of the other religions which were 
then in force in India, the Jain and the Upanisadic religions, 
were wholly renunciatory ; and although the Pasupata or Saiva 
or other sects of the Vedic religion advocated Devotion, yet, as 
has been clearly shown by me in the eleventh chapter of the 
Glta-Rahasya, Activism has not been harmonised with Devo- 
tion, anywhere except in the Bhagavadglta. In the Glta, the 
Blessed Lord has called Himself 'the Most excellent Spirit' 
(puruqottama) ; and there are such statements in the Glta as "I am 
the Purusottama, Who is the ' father ' and ' grand-father ' 
(9. 17) of all " ; or, " I am ' equable ' towards all, for, to Me none 
is dear, nor inimical" (9. 39); or, "though I am unborn and 
inexhaustible, yet, I have to take incarnations from time to time 
for the protection of the religion " (4. 6-8) ; or, " however sinful 
a man may be, he becomes a saint by beginning to worship Me " 
(9. 30); or, "if any flower, leaf, or even a little water, is. 
offered to me with Devotion, I accept it with pleasure'" 
(9. 26); or, "Devotion is a very easy path for persons 
who have not acquired Knowledge" etc.; and the doctrine 
that the Brahman-devoted {brahmanistha) must accept the 
Path of Activism has not been expounded in detail any- 
where except in the Glta. Therefore, one is forced to draw the. 
conclusion that, just as the purely renunciatory path of the. 
Destruction of Desire has been taken into the original Buddhistic 
religion from the Upanisads, so also has the principle of 
Activistie Devotion been adopted into the Mahayana sect from 
the Bhagavadglta. But, this fact does not rest only in inference ; 
for, it is clearly stated in the book written by the Buddhist, 
Taranatha in the Tibetan language, which deals with the 
history of the Buddhistic religion, that " Rahulabhadra, the 
preceptor of Nagarjuna, was a Brahmin converted to Buddhism;, 
and the Jnanin Sri Krsna and Ganesa were responsible for this 
Rahulabhadra getting these ideas (of the Mahayana sect)" ; and 



818 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

there is a similar statement in another Tibetan book* It is 
true that this book of Tara.na.tha is not very ancient; 
but, I need not say that the statements in it have 
not been made without the authority of ancient works ; 
because, it is not likely that any Buddhist writer will, 
without any reason, make a reference in this way to saints 
from another religion in explaining the principles of 
his own religion. Therefore, the fact that a Buddhist writer 
has himself, clearly and by name, referred to Sri Krsna, 
is a matter of very great importance ; because, as there is 
no other book in Vedic religion dealing with the path 
of Activistic Devotion except the Bhagavadglta written by 
Sri Krsna, this reference clearly shows that not only the 
Bhagavata religion but also the Bhagavadglta written by Sri 
Krsna for expounding the Bhagavata religion, were already 
is existence before the Mahayana sect ; and Dr. Kern is of the 
same opinion. When it is proved that the Glta existed before 
the date of the Mahayana sect, one can immediately draw the 
inference that the Mahabharata must also have then been in 
existence. It is true that it is stated in Buddhistic treatises 
that the doctrines expounded by Buddha were collected together 
immediately after his death. But from that it does not follow 
that the very ancient Buddhistic treatises which are now 
available had also been written at that date. The Mahaparini- 
bbana-sutta is considered to be a very ancient treatise out of 
the now available Buddhistic treatises. But Prof. Rhys-Davids 
has shown that this book could not have been written for at 
least a 100 years after the death of Buddha, having regard to 

* See Dr. Kern's Manual of Indian Buddhism p. 122 " He 
(Nagarjuna) was a pupil of the Brahmana Rahulabhadra, who 
himself was a Mahayanist. This Brahmana was much indebted to 
the sage Krishna and still more to Ganesha. This quasi-historical 
notice, reduced to its less allegorical expression, means that 
Kahayanism is much indebted to the Bhagavadglta, and more 
«ven to Shaivism". It would seem that Dr. Kern understands the 
word l ganeha' as indicating Saivism. Dr. Kern has translated 
the hook Saddharma-Pundarika in the Sacred Books of the East 
Series; and this opinion has been advocated by him in the 
Introduction to that book (S. B. E. Vol. XXI. Intro, pp. xxv-xxviii). 



VI - THE GlTA and BUDDHISTIC LITERATURE 819 



i reference made in it to the city of Pataliputra ; and it is 
stated in the Vinayapitaka, at the end of the Cullavagga, that 
there had been a second conference of Buddhistic monks a 100 
years after the death of Buddha. Trom this it follows, that 
the Vinayapitaka and other Buddhistic Pali works found in 
Ceylon, had been written after the date of this conference. * It 
is stated by Buddhist writers themselves that these works were 
taken there by Mahendra, the son of Asoka, when he started the 
preaching of the Buddhistic religion in the Sirhhaladvlpa 
{Ceylon) about 341 B. C. ; and that they must first have 
appeared in book-form about 100 to 150 years after that date. 
It was usual in those times to learn these books by heart, and 
therefore, even if one assumes that there was no change in 
them on that account after the date of Mahendra, yet, one 
cannot say that nothing was added to these treatises from the 
ihen available Vedic treatises when they were first prepared, 
after the death of Buddha, or after that, upto the date of 
Mahendra or Asoka. Therefore, as it is proved by other 
evidence also, that the Mahabharata was certainly in existence 
at any rate before King Alexander, that is to say, 325 B. C.» 
though it may have been written after the date of Buddha, it 
is not impossible to find some stanzas from the Mahabharata 
in the books taken into Ceylon by Mahendra, as other stanzas 
are found taken into them from the Manu-Smrti. It is seen, 
in short, that seeing that the Buddhistic religion was being 
propagated after the death of Buddha, ancient Vedic Gathas 
and traditions came to be collected together in the Mahabharata; 
that the stanzas from that work which appear in Buddhistic 
treatises have been taken by the Buddhist writers from the 
Mahabharata; and that the writer of the Mahabharata did not 
take those stanzas from Buddhistic works. But even if one 
assumes for the sake of argument that (a) these stanzas were 
not taken by the Buddhist writers from the Mahabharata, 
but were taken from some other Vedic treatises, which were 
the basis of the Mahabharata, but which are not now to be 
found, and that, (6) on that account, the date of the Mahabharata 
■cannot be fixed from this similarity of stanzas, yet, the following 
four facts, namely, (1) principles of Activism . and Devotion 
* See 8. B. E. Vol. SI. Intro, pp. sv-xx, and p. 58. 



830 GlTA-RAHASyA OK KARMA-YOGA 

cannot gradually and naturally be evolved from the un-Atmic and 
renunciatory original Buddhistic religion, (2) the specific reference 
by name to Sri Krsna made by Buddhist writers themselves- 
in connection with the origin of the Mahayana sect, (3) the 
similarity in meaning and terminology between the Activistic 
and Devotional doctrines in the Gita and the doctrines of the 
Mahayana sect, and (4) the absence of Activistic devotional 
principles in the other Jain or Vedic schools of thought, which 
were then in existence, prove beyond the slightest doubt, 
that (i) the Bhagavata religion was in vogue before the growth 
of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism ; that, (ii) the Bhagavadglta 
had then become an accepted work on all hands ; that, (iii) the 
Mahayana sect has been formed on the authority of this Gita;. 
and that (iv) the doctrines enunciated by Sri Krsna in the Gita 
were not borrowed by Him from Buddhism. The date of the 
present Gita which has been fixed by me by reference to the other- 
pieces of evidence mentioned above is fully consistent with this. 
PART VII— THE GITA AND THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE. 
When it has in this way been definitely established, as- 
mentioned above, that the devotional Bhagavata religion came 
into existence in India about 1400 years bafora Christ, and that 
the Glti. written by Sri Krsna was, according to the opinion 
of Buddhist writers themselves, responsible for Activistic 
Devotional doctrines entering the original renunciatory 
Buddhistic religion promulgated before the date of Christ, the- 
the argument advanced in certain Christian Missionary treatises* 
that, because many of the doctrines of the Gita are to be found 
in the Christian Bible, that is, in the New Testament, these 
doctrines must have been taken into the Gita from the Christian 
religion, and especially the statements made by Dr. Laurincer 
in his German translation of the Gita, published in 1869, will 
necessarily be seen to be absolutely false. Dr, Laurincer has- 
shown at the end of his book (that is, of his German translation 
of the Gita) more than a hundred cases of similarity of words 
between the Bhagavadglta and the Bible, and principally the 
New Testament For instance, the sentence "At that day, ye 
shall know that I am in my father, and ye in me, and I in 
you" (John. 14. Z0), is not only similar in meaning but also- 
almost word for word the same as the following sentences from 



VII -THE GlTi AND THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 821 

the Glta, namely, " yena bhutany asesena draksyasy atmany atho 
mayi" (i. e.. "by this Knowledge, you will realise that all beings 
are in you, and also in Me "—Trans.), (Gi. 4 35), and "yo mam 
paiyati sarvatra sarvam ca mayi pasyati", (i. e., "he who sees that 
I, the Paramesvara Paramatman am everywhere, and sees all 
beings in Me "—Trans.). Similarly, the sentence ' ' he that loreth 
me, shall be loved of my Father and will ]ove him" (John 14. 21) 
is in every way similar to the sentence "priyo hi jftfinino 
'bjartham aham sa ca mama priyah" (i. e., " I am much beloved of 
the Jnanin, and Itoo love (much) the Jfianin" — Trans.), (Gi. 7. 87). 
Prom this and many other similar sentences, Dr. Laurincer has 
drawn the conclusion that the writer of the Glta knew about 
the Bible ; and he has said that the Glta must have been written 
about 500 years after the Bible. An English translation of 
this portion of the work of Dr. Laurincer had been published in 
Vol. II. of the Indian Antiquary; and the late Mr. Telang has, 
in the introduction to his versified translation of the Bhagavad- 
glta, fully refuted that argument *. Dr. Laurincer is not 
looked upon as a Western Sanskritist, and his knowledge and 
pride of the Christian religion was more than his knowledge of 
the Glta. Therefore, his opinions have not been accepted not 
only by the late Mr. Telang, but also by important Western 
Sanskritists like Max Miiller and others. That all the state- 
ments made by him, showing hundreds of similarities of ideas 
and words between the Glta and the Bible, would turn round on 
him like ghosts, when once it was proved that the Glta was 
earlier than Christ, had possibly never entered the head of poor 
Laurincer ! But the saying that, things which one does not 
see even in one's dreams, sometimes actually happen, is true,; 
and, really speaking, it is not even necessary now to give any 
reply to the arguments of Dr. Laurincer. Yet, as these false 
opinions of Dr. Laurincer are seen being repeated in authorita- 
tive English works, it is necessary to mention here in short 
what has now been found, after modern researches in this 
matter. It must first be borne in mind that from the mere fact 
* See Bhagavadglta translated into English blank verse, with 
notes etc. by K. T. Telang 1875 (Bombay). This book is diflerent 
from the translation in the Sacred Books of the East Series by the 
same author. 



822 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

"that there are similar doctrines in two different books, one cannot 
definitely determine which' book was written first and which 
afterwards. Because, there arise the two possibilities that 
(1) the ideas in the first book may have been taken from the 
second book, or (2) the ideas; in the second book may have been 
taken from tbe first book. Therefore, after one has first 
independently determined the dates of two books, one has to 
subsequently decide who has taken from whom. Besides, as it 
is not impossible that similar thoughts should strike two writers 
in two different countries independently of each other, whether 
at the same time or at different times, one has, in considering 
the similarity between the two books also to consider whether 
or not that similarity could have arisen in an independent way; 
and whether or not there was any mutual intercourse between 
the two countries in which these two books were written, and, on 
that account, a chance of these ideas having gone from one 
country to the other. When once the matter has been considered 
from all points of view, it is not only impossible that anything 
should have been taken into the Gita from the Bible, but on the 
other hand, it will be seen to be perfectly possible that such of 
the doctrines enunciated in the Christian Bible as are similar 
to those in the Gita, must have been taken into the Bible from 
Buddhism — that is, ultimately from the Gita, or from the Vedic 
religion— by Christ or by His disciples ; and some Western 
scholars have now begun even to openly say so. When in this 
way, orthodox Christians saw that the scales were turned 
against them, it is no wonder that they were greatly surprised 
about the matter, and felt inclined to flatly deny this fact. 
But all that I have to say to such persons is that, as this 
question is not religious, but historical, the only logical and 
honest thing which every one — and especially those who have 
themselves raised the question of the similarity of ideas — can 
do, is to joyfully and impartially accept all the inferences which 
can be drawn according to ordinary : historical methods from the 
material which has now become available to us. 

The New Testament has been written as an improvement 
on the Jewish religion propounded in the Jewish Bible, that is 
to say, in the Old Testament of the Bible. God is known in 
the Jewish language as ' Iloha ' (Ilaha, in Arabic) ; but accord- 



VII - THE GITA AND THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 823 

ing to the rules made by Moses, the principal deity of worship in. 
the Jewish religion has been given the special name of 'Jehovah'. 
Western scholars themselves have now proved that the word 
'Jehovah' is not an original Jewish word, but has come from 
the Chaldean word 'yavhe' (in Sanskrit, yavha). Jews are not 
idolaters. The principal observance of their religion consists in 
pleasing the Jehovah by sacrificing animals or other things into 
the fire, and following the code of religion and morality 
laid down by God, and thereby obtaining the happiness 
of themselves and of their community in this world. To- 
mention the matter in short, the Jewish religion is Activistic- 
and ritualistic like the Vedic Karma-kanda. Christ has, on 
the other hand, preached in numerous places that, "I will have 
mercy, and not sacrifice" (Matthew 9. 13); "Ye cannot serve- 
God and Mammon" (Matthew 6. 24); "If thou wilt be perfect, 

go and sell that thou hast and come and follow me"' 

(Matthew 19. 21) ; and when He sent His disciples to different, 
countries for propagating His religion, He told them : " Provide- 
neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for 
your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves" 
etc., (Matthew 10. 9-13), and asked them to follow other similar 
rules of Renunciation. It is true that the modern Christian 
countries have coolly shelved this preaching of Christ. But,, 
just as the cult of Samkaracarya does not become a cult of 
royal pleasure, because, the present Samkaracarya owns- 
elephants and horses, so also can we not, on account of this- 
behaviour of the Western Christian countries, say that the 
original Christian religion supported Activism. Just as,, 
though the original Vedic religion was based on ritualistic- 
performances (Karma-kanda), the Path of Knowledge (Jfiana- 
kanda) later on sprang out of it, so also are the Jewish and the 
Christian religions mutually inter-related. But, the Christian, 
religion did not gradually come out of the Jewish religion, 
as the Jfiana-kanda, and later on, the Devotional Bhagavata 
religion, came out of the original ritualistic Karma-kanda in 
hundreds of years. History tells us that a sect of ascetics 
- called ESI or ESES suddenly came from somewhere into 
the Jewish countries about 200; years at most before Christ. 
Although these Esis belonged to the Jewish religion, yet 



824 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

they had given up sacrifical ritual, and used to spend their 
lives in a peaceful place in contemplation of the Almighty, 
and they used at most to take part in harmless occupations 
like agriculture etc. for maintaining themselves. The most 
prominent principles of this sect were to remain celibates, to 
eschew meat and liquor, not to kill animals, not to take oaths, 
and to live together socially in monasteries; and, if any one of 
them acquired any property, to look upon that property as the 
common property of the society ; and if any one had a desire 
to enter their sect, it was necessary for him to serve as an 
apprentice for at least three years, and after that to consent 
to observe certain rules. Their monastery was at Endgi on the 
western coast of the Dead Sea, and they used to live there 
peacefully and as ascetics. The respectful references made by 
Christ Himself and His disciples in the New Testament to the 
opinions of the Esi sect (Matthew 5. 34 ; 19. 12 ; James 5. 12 ; 
The Acts 4. 32-35), clearly show that Jesus Christ was a follower 
of this sect, and He has to a great extent furthered the 
renunciatory religion of this sect. But though the renuncia- 
tory devotional path of Christ is in this way traced to the Esi 
■sect, still it is necessary to give some satisfactory explanation 
from the historical point of view, as to how the renunciatory 
Esi path suddenly came into existence out of the original 
Activistic Jewish religion. Some answer this question by 
saying that Christ did not belong to the Esi sect. But though 
this statement is taken as correct, one cannot in that way 
escape the questions, (i) what was the origin of the renunciatory 
religion preached in the New Testament of the Bible, and 
■(ii) how such a religion suddenly entered the Activistic Jewish 
religion ; for, the only difference is, that instead of having to 
explain the origin of the Esi sect, one has to answer these 
two questions ; because, nothing comes into existence anywhere 
suddenly. It grows gradually, and the growth starts from a 
much earlier period; and it is a well-established rule of 
Sociology, that where such a growth is not noticed, the matter is 
usually found to have been adopted from a foreign country or 
from a foreign people. It is not that the former Christian 
writers had not realised this difficulty ; but before Europeans had 
come to know about Buddhism, that is to say, upto the 18th cen- 



VII - THE GlTA AND THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 825 

tury of the Christian era, Christian research scholars were of the 
•opinion, that the renunciatory doctrines of the Esi sect must 
have entered the Activistic Jewish religion, as a result of the 
■philosophy of the Greeks, and especially of Pythagoras, after 
■an intimate relationship had been established between the Greeks 
.and the Jews. Recent researches prove this inference to be false. 
Yet, this shows that the idea, that it was not naturally possible 
for the Esi or Christian renunciatory religion to have come 
out of the ritualistic Jewish religion, and that there must have 
i>een some reason for it which was outside the Jewish religion, 
is not a new idea ; and that this idea had been accepted as 
•correct by Christian scholars before the 18th century. 

Colebrooke has said that there is a great deal of similarity 
.between the philosophy of Pythagoras and that of Buddhism * ; " 
.and therefore, if the above theory is accepted, the parentage of 
the Esi sect naturally comes to be traced to India ; but it is also 
not now necessary to mince matters about this question. It will 
.be seen by a comparison of the Buddhistic religious works with 
the New Testament of the Bible that the similarity between 
not only the Esi religion but also the life of Christ and the 
preachings of Christ on the one hand and the Buddhism on the 
■other hand, is a hundred times greater than the similarity 
■between the Esi or the Christian religion and Pythagorian 
philosophers. Just as the Devil tried to tempt Christ, and just 
as Christ fasted for forty days when He acquired the state of 
a Siddha (perfect man), so also did Mara tempt Buddha, and 
Buddha on that occasion fasted for forty-nine days (seven weeks) 
&s has been stated in the biography of Buddha. In the same 
way, performing by the force of Faith alone such things as 
walking on water, making one's face or body suddenly appear 
brilliant like the Sun, or redeeming even thieves or prostitutes, 
who had surrendered themselves, are similar in the case of 
Buddha and of Christ; and the principal moral precepts of 
■Christ, such as, "Love thy neighbour", or "Love thy enemies" 
■ .etc. will sometimes be found to have been given word for word, 
before the date of Christ, in the Buddhistic religion. The 
philosophy of Devotion did not originally form part of 
Buddhism. But, as has been stated above, that principle had 

* See Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays, Vol. I. pp. 399, 400; 



826 GlTA-BAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

been adopted by the Mahayana Buddhist sect at least 200> 
to 300 years before Christ, from the Bhagavadgita. But 
Mr. Arthur Lilly has authoritatively shown in his books that 
this similarity does not exist only as regards these things,, 
but that there are hundreds of other small and big incidents,, 
in which there is a similar similarity between the Christian 
and the Buddhist religions. Nay, the symbol of the Cross, 
which has become sacred to Christians on account of the. fact 
that Christ was crucified on a Cross, had also become a holy 
symbol in the Vedic and Buddhistic religions in the shape 
of a 'svastika', hundreds of years before Christ; and modern 
research scholars have proved that not only in Egypt and other 
countries in the ancient continents of the earth, but even in 
Peru and Mexico in America, the svastika was looked upon as 
an auspicious sign many centuries before Columbus'''. From 
this one has to draw the conclusion, that the svastika sign, 
which had become a matter of regard and reverence long, 
before the date of Christ, was made use of in one particular 
way by the devotees of Christ. There is also a great deal 
of similarity between the Buddhist monks and the old Christian 
missionaries (specially the earliest preachers) so far as their 
dress and religious observances are concerned. For instance, 
the ceremony of initiation after a bath, that is to say ' baptism ', 
was in vogue long before the date of Christ; and it has now 
been proved that Buddhist monks had wholly adopted the 
procedure of sending religious preachers to different countries 
and thus propagating their religion, long before the date of 
Christian missionaries. 

It is quite natural for a thinking person to ask himself why- 
there should be such a strange and comprehensive similarity 
between the lives and the moral preachings of Buddha and Christ,, 
and also between the religious observances of both these religionst. 

• Sea The Secret of the Pacific by 0. Beginald Enoch, 1912,. 
pp. 248-252. 

f Mr. Arthur Lily has written a separate book on this subject 
called Buddhism in Christendom ; and he has also briefly expressed 
Us opinion in the last four chapters of Ms book, Buddha and' 
Buddhism. The exposition made by me in this part of the Appendix, 
has bee» made principally on the authority of this book. The. 



VII - The GITi. and THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 827 

this similarity first came to the notice of Western 
scholars by the study of Buddhistic treatises, some Christian 
scholars began to say that Buddhists must have adopted these 
principles from the Asiatic Christian sect known as the 
'Nestorian' sect. But such a thing is absolutely impossible; 
because, the founder of the Nestorian sect himself came into 
existence about 425 years after Christ, whereas Buddha was 
born about 500 years before Christ, that is to say, nearly 900 
years before Nestor ; and it has now been established beyond 
doubt from the stone inscriptions of Asoka that in his times, 
that is to say, at least 250 years before the Christian era, 
Buddism was followed to a very large extent in India and in 
the surrounding countries, and works containing the life of 
Buddha etc. had also been written. The ancientness of 
of the Buddhistic religion being in this way undoubtable, there 
remain only two possible conclusions regarding the similarity 
to be seen between the Christian and the Buddhistic religions, 
namely, that (1) this similarity must have arisen in the two 
places independently of each other, or that (2) these principles 
must have been taken by Christ or His disciples from Buddhism. 
Prof. Ehys-Davids says that this similarity has arisen as a 
result of the similarity between the circumstances of both 
Christ and Buddha, and that it has arisen in both the places 
naturally and independently *. But any one will realise after 
a little consideration that this solution is not satisfactory ; 
because, when anything comes into existence anywhere 
independently, it grows very gradually, and we can also 
see the course of the growth. For instance, we can logically 
show the gradual growth of the Jnana-k3nda out of the 
Karma-kanda, and also how the philosophy of Devotion, 
the PataSjala-Yoga, and ultimately 'the Buddhistic religion 
grew gradually out of the Jnana-kanda, that is, from the 
Upanisads. But the renunciatory Bsi or Christian religions 
have not grown in the same way from the Activistic Jewish 

book Buddha and Buddhism was published in 1900 in The World's 
Epoch Makers Series ; and in the tenth part of that book, about 
SO similarities between the Buddhist and the Christian religions 
have been shown. 

* See Buddhist Sottas, S. B. E. Series, YoL XI, p. 163. 

27—28 



328 GlTA-RAHASYA OH KARMA-YOGA 

Teligion. And I have stated above that modern Christian 
•scholars have now admitted the position that the Christian 
religion came into existence suddenly, and that there was some 
•cause outside the Jewish religion which was responsible for its 
having done so. Besides, the similarity between the Christian 
and the Buddhistic religions is so strange and so complete, that 
it is impossible for such a similarity to arise in an independent 
way. It would be. different if it could be proved that it was 
totally impossible for Jewish people to have come to know 
anything about Buddhism. But history clearly proves that 
after the date of Alexander — and certainly at the date of Asoka 
<that is, at least 250 years before Christ)— Buddhist monks had 
found their way to Alexandria in Egypt, and Greece, in the east 
of Europe. It is stated in one Asokan stone inscription itself that 
Asoka had entered into a treaty with Antiochus, who was a 
Greek king ruling over the Jewish and the surrounding countries. 
In the same way, there is a statement in the Bible itself, that 
learned persons had travelled into Jerusalem from the East when 
•Christ was born (Matthew 2. 1). Christians say that these sages 
were Magis, belonging to the Iranian religion, and not from 
India. But whatever is said, the meaning is the same. Because, 
history clearly tells us that long before this date, Buddhism had 
spread to Kashmir and Kabul, and that it had travelled to the East 
of Europe as far as Iran and Turkey. Besides, Plutarch himself 
has clearly recorded * that a monk from India used to come every 

* See Plutarch's Morals — Theosophical Essays, translated by 
0. N. King (George Bell & Sons), pp. 96 and 97. There is a 
reference in tie MahSvarhsa written in the Pah language (29. 39) to 
a Greek, that is, yavana town named Alasanda ( yona-nagara 'lasanda) ; 
and it is stated there that some years before the Christian era, while the 
work of building a temple was going on in Ceylon, many Buddhist 
monks had gone from that place to Oeylon for the celebration. Tne 
English translator of the MahavamSa says that a town named 
Alasanda established by Alexander in Kabul is meant in this 
place, and not Alexandria in Egypt. But this is not correct ; 
because, this small place would not have been referred to by anybody 
as a city of yavanaa. Besides, the stone inscription of Asoka 
mentioned above, itself contains a clear reference to Buddhist monks 
having been sent to the, kingdom of the yavanaa. 



VII - THE GlTi'AHD THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 829 

year to the shore of the Bed Sea, that is to say, somewhere near 
Alexandria during the life of Christ. In short, there is now no 
doubt whatsoever that Buddhist monks had started entering 
Jewish countries two or three hundred years before Christ; and 
•onoe the fact of this intercourse is admitted, it naturally 
follows that Buddhism was principally responsible for the 
renunciatory Esi religion, and later on, for the renunciatory 
and devotional Christian religion finding entry into the 
Jewish countries. The English writer Lilly has drawn this 
■very inference ; and he has mentioned in his book the similar 
opinions of the French scholars E'mile Bournouff and Bosni in 
•support of his opinion * ; and Prof. Sedan, who was the 
Professor of Philosophy at Leipzig University in Germany, 
has also expressed the same opinion in his books on this subject. 
The German Professor Schroeder has said in one of his Essays 
that the Christian religion is not exactly similar to Buddhism ; 
*that, though there may be a similarity between the two in some 
matters, there is a great deal of dissimilarity in other matters ; 
and that, therefore, the opinion that the Christian religion was 
derived from the Buddhistic religion cannot be accepted. But, 
as this statement is irrelevant, it does not carry any weight 
whatsoever. It is nobody's case that the Christian and 
Buddhistic religions are similar to each other in all respects ; 
because, if such were the case, nobody would have said that 
tthese two religions are, different from each other. The principal 
'question is, what was the reason for the renunciatory devotional 
Christian religion being promulgated as an improvement on 
the fundamentally purely Activistic Jewish religion; and 
when one thinks of the history of the Buddhist religion, which 
•was undoubtedly more ancient than the Christian religion, it 
does not appear .historically logical to say that the renunciatory 
principles of Ethics and Devotion in Christianity were 
discovered by Christ independently. There is no information 
to be found in the Bible as to what Christ was doing from the 
12th to the 30th year of His life, or where He was during that 
period. And it is quite clear that He must have spent this 
time in the acquisition- of knowledge, in religious meditation, 
a nd in travel. Therefore, it is impossible to say definitely 
* See Lilly'B Buddha and Buddhism pp. 158 ff. 



830 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA. 

that He could not have come into contact, directly or indirectly, 
with Buddhist monks during this period of His. life; because, 
the activities of Buddhist monks had at that date gone as far 
as Greece. There is a clear statement in a book to be found 
in a Buddhist monastary in Nepal that Jesus Christ had at 
that time come to India, and that He there acquired the. 
knowledge of Buddhism. This book was found by a Russian 
named Nicholas Notovisch, and he published a translation of 
it into the French language in 1894. Many Christian scholars 
say, that though the translation of Notovisch may be correct,, 
the original book itself is a fraud written by some one; and I 
too am not very emphatic on the position that these scholars 
should accept that book as authentic. Whether the book found, 
by Notovisch was reliable or not, it will be quite clear from 
the dissertation made by me above that, from the purely historical: 
point of view, it was not impossible, at least for the 
disciples of Christ who wrote His life in the New Testament,, 
if not for Christ Himself, to have become acquainted with 
Buddhism; and if this position is not improbable, it does not 
appear logical to say that the strange similarity to be found 
between the lives or the preachings of Christ and Buddha, was- 
something which came into existence independently*. In short,, 
the purely ritualistic path of the Mlmamsakas, the Knowledge- 
Action (nmskarmya) path of Janaka and others, the Path of 
Knowledge and Renunciation of the writers of the Upanisads 
and the Samkhya philosophers, the Patafljala Yoga in the shape 
of 'Concentration of the Mind', and the Panearatra or the 
Bhagavata religion, that is, the Philosophy of Devotion, are all 
religious paths which grew originally from the ancient Vedic- 
religion. Leaving aside, out of these, the Path of the Knowledge of 
the Brahman, the Path of Energism, and the Path of Devotion,. 
Buddha has preached his renunciatory religion to the four castes, 
on the basis of the philosophy of (i) Yoga in the form 
of 'Concentration of the Mind', and (ii) Karma-Samnyasa 



* The same is the opinion of Mr. Rameshehaadra Dufct, and 
he has expressed it in detail in his book. . See Rameshehandra 
Butt's SUtory of Cwilidalion in Ancient India Vol, II, Chapter XX 
pp. 828-340. 



VII - THE GlTA AND THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE 831 

"(Abandonment of Action); but the supporters and followers of 
Buddha, later on added to his religion the principles of Devotion 
and of Desireless Action, and spread this reformed Buddhistic 
religion on all sides. After the Buddhistic religion had in this 
way spread everywhere at the date of Asoka, the principles of 
Renunciation began to find a way into the purely Aotivistie 
Jewish religion; and Christ ultimately added to it the Philosophy 
of Devotion, and established His own religion. When one gives 
proper weight to this gradual growth, which is established by 
historical facts, one comes to the definite conclusion that far 
from the Glta having taken something from the Christian 
religion, as suggested by Dr. Laurincer, there is a very strong 
.probability, and almoBt a certainty, that the principles of Self- 
Identification, Renunciation, Non-Enmity, and Devotion, to be 
found in the New Testament of the Bible, must have been taken 
.into the Christian religion from Buddhism, and therefore, 
indirectly from the Vedic religion; and that, Indians had no 
need to look to other people for finding these religious principles- 
I have in this way considered the seven questions mentioned 
by me at the beginning of this Appendix. Other important 
•questions such as, what was the effect of the Bhagavadglta on the 
Rath of Devotion now followed in India etc., arise in the train 
of these questions. But, instead of saying that these questions 
have a bearing on the Glta, one must say that they deal with the 
ancient history of the Hindu religion. Eor this reason, and 
principally because this Appendix has been lengthened out 
beyond my expectations, although I have attempted to make it 
as short as possible, I shall now finish this External Examination 
.of the Glta. 



THE ORIGINAL STANZAS 
OF THE 



GITH 



■WITH 

TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY. 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE. 

I have explained in detail in the various chapters of the 
Gita-Rahasya, that (i) the highest benefit of every human being 
in this world and in the next, lies in first acquiring as much 
Equability of Reason ( buddhi ) as possible by Knowledge and 
Faith, but withal and principally, by the easy and royal road 
of Devotion, and thereafter doing his duties till death, desire- 
lessly, according to his own religion, in the interests of 
universal welfare; that (ii) it is not necessary, to give up 
Action or to practise any religious austerities for attaining 
Release; and that (iii) this is the sum and substance of the 
Gita-Religion. In the same way, I have shown in the fourteenth 
■chapter of this book the clear continuity of the eighteen 
chapters of the Glta from this point of view, as also which 
parts of the other methods of attaining Release have been 
included in the Activistic religion of the Glta, and how. When 
the whole matter has been thrashed out in this way, there 
remains really nothing to be done beyond giving the plain 
translation of the stanzas in the Glta, according to my 
rendering of them, in their proper order, in the Marathi 
vernacular. But, it was not possible for me to show in the 
general Exposition in the Glt5-Rahasya how the subject-matter 
of each chapter of the Glta has been divided, or how commen- 
tators have stretched the meanings of certain words in the 
stanzas for supporting their particular doctrine. Therefore, 
taking both these matters into consideration, I have thought it 
necessary to give some notes, in the shape of a commentary, 
immediately after the translation of each stanza, in order that 
the prior and subsequent context should be understood on the 
.spot. Nevertheless, in these commentaries, I have only touched 
in passing on those matters, which have been fully dealt with 
in the GltS-Rahasya, and I have given the reference to the parti- 
cular chapter of the Gita-Rahasya in which that . particular 
subject-matter has been dealt with. In order to enable the 
reader to distinguish these commentaries from the original 
matter, I have enclosed them within square brackets, thus, [ }, 



836 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

and put a dotted line by the side. * I have translated the stanzas 
as far as possible literally, and in several places I have retained 
the original word in the translation, and given after it its 
meaning in Marathi, saying 'that is, so and so'; t and I have 
thus included in the translation itself, what would otherwise 
have to be given as small foot-notes. Even though this has been 
done, it has also become necessary to add some words here and 
there in the translation, in ordeT to give the complete meaning of 
the original Sanskrit stanza in Marathi, on account of the differ- 
ence between the Sanskrit and the Marathi idiom ; and very often, 
the word used in the original has also to be given in the translation 
by way of reference. In order to distinguish these additional 
words, I have placed them within round brackets, thus, ( ). 
In Sanskrit books, the number of the stanza is always given at 
the end. But, in the translation I have given it in the beginning. 
So that, if some one wants to find out the translation of aparticular 
stanza, he must refer to what follows the figure showing the 
number of the stanza. I have arranged the translation in such 
a way that, if one reads only the translation, omitting the 
commentaries, there is no break in the sense. Similarily, where a 
sentence has been finished in the original in more than one- 
stanza, I have completed its purport in the translation of the 
same number of stanzas. Therefore, the translation of some of 
the stanzas has to be read in continuity. Where such stanzas 
occur, I have not placed a full stop at the end of the translation 
of the stanza. Still, it must not be forgotten that a translation 
will be a translation in any case. It is true that I have attempted 
to bring out the plain, broad, and principal meaning of the Glta 
in the translation; yet, it is impossible to transport into the 
translation, by means of other words, and just as it is, the power 
of metaphorically creating numerous figurative meanings, which 
exists in Sanskrit words, and especially in the loving, sweet, and 

* Instead of using a dotted margin for distinguishing the 
©Momentary, as was done by the author, I have made the distinction 
by putting the commentary within square brackets, and using a 
diBerent type — Translator. 

t This, too, hns been placed by me within round brackets, 
$hus, ( ), though in the original author's text, it is not within 
brackets— -Trans. 



AUTHOR'S PEEFACE 837 

exhaustive speech of the Blessed Lord, "giving new pleasures 
at every .step". Evidently,' one who merely reads the 
Marathx translation cannot mate a metaphorical use of the 
stanzas in the . Glta on various occasions, as can he done by 
a person who understands the Sanskrit language. Nay, there 
is very often a chance of such a person making mistakes. It 
is, therefore, my earnest entreaty to everybody that, whoever 
can do so, should not fail to study the original Glta in Sanskrit; 
and that is one of the reasons why I have given the 
original stanza side by side with the translation. In order 
that it should be convenient to grasp the subject-matter of each 
ohapter of the Glta, I have given separately, in the beginning, 
the contents showing all these subjects, according to stanzas, 
and in the order of the chapters, on the basis of the groups 
of sections adopted in the Vedanta-Sutras. If one does not 
read each stanza separately, but reads the groups of stanzas 
as a whole by reference to this index, the present misunderstand- 
ing about the import of the Gits will to a considerable extent 
be reduced; because, the different meanings of some stanzas 
which have been given by doctrine-supporting commentators^ 
who have stretched the meaning of the stanzas for proving 
their doctrines, have been usually given, disregarding this 
previous and subsequent context. ( For example, see my com- 
mentary on Gl. 3. 19 ; 6. 3 ; and 18. 2). Considering the matter 
from this point of view, it may well be said that this translation 
of the Giti. and the Gita-Rahasya are mutually complementary.. 
And he who wishes to fully understand what I want to say, 
must read both these parts. As it is usual to learn by heart 
the whole of the Glta, one does not come across important 
variant readings in it. Nevertheless, I must state here that 
I have accepted as genuine the text of the Glta as given in the 
Sarhkarabhasya, which is the most ancient of Bhasyas on the 
Glta now available. 



Detailed contents showing the subjects mentioned 

in the various chapters of the Gita, according 

to the stanzas. 

Note ;— The divisions of the various subjects in the different 
chapters of the Gita, which have been made in these contents 
according to the stanzas, have been shown in the, original 
stanzas printed further on by the sign §§ printed at the begin- 
ning of the stanza ; and, in the translation, a separate paragraph 
has been started from that stanza. 

CHAPTER I— ARJUNA-VISAJDA YOGA 

(The Toga of the Dejection of Arjuna). 

1. The question of Dhrtarastra to Sanjaya. 2-11. The 
description given by Duryodhana to Dronacarya of the armies 
on either side. 12—19. The blowing of conches by way of 
greetings to each other in the beginning of the war. 20-27. 
The survey of the army after the chariot of Arjuna has been 
brought forward. 28-37. The dejection of Arjuna at seeing his 
own relatives in both the armies, and realising that the 
generation will become extinct by their being killed. 38-44. 
The results of sins like extinction of the hda (family). 45-47. 
The decision of Arjuna not to fight, and his throwing away his 
bow and arrows. 

CHAPTER II-SAMKHYA YOGA 

(The Yoga according to the Samkhya system). 

1-3. The encouragement given by Sri Krsna. 4-10. The 
reply of Arjuna, his doubt as to his own duty, and his surrender- 
ing himself to Sri Krsna for an elucidation of what his dharma 
(duty) was. 11-13. The non-lamentability of the Atman. 14-15. 
The inconstancy of the Body ; and, of pain and happiness. 16-25. 
The discernment between the Real (sat) and the Unreal (asat), and 
the justification of the non-lamentability of the Atman by the 
description of the immortality, and other features, of the Atman. 
26, 27. The reply, on the basis of the immortality of the 
Atman. 28. The inconstancy and non-lamentability of the 
perceptible creation according to the Samkhya system. 29, 30. 
it is true that the Atman is difficult to Realise, but you should 



CONTENTS OF THE SUBJECTS IN THE GITA 839 

acquire true Knowledge, and give up lamentation. 31-38, 
The necessity of warfare according to the religion of the 
Ksatriyas. 39. The conclusion of the argument on the basis 
of the Samkhya system, and the beginning of the argument 
on the basis of Karma-Yoga. 40. Even a little observance 
of Karma-Yoga is beneficial. 41. The steadying of the 
Discerning (vyavasayatmika) Eeason. 42-44. A description 
of the unsteadiness of Mind of the followers of the Mimarhsa 
school, who are engrossed in the Karma-kanda (ritual). 45, 46- 
The advice to perform Action with a steady and concentrated 
(yogastha) Reason. 47. The four canons ( catuhsutri) of the 
Karma- Yoga. 48-50. The nature of Karma-Yoga, and the 
superiority of the Eeason of the Doer ( hxrta) over the Action 
( karma ). 51-53. Release, by following the Karma-Yoga. 54-70 
A description of the qualities of the Sthitaprajna in reply to 
the question of Arjuna, including, as occasion arises, a des- 
cription of the growth of Desire ( kama ), Anger ( krodha ), and 
other emotions, as a result of Attachment ( asakti ) to the objects 
of pleasure. 71, 72. The Brahmi state. 

CHAPTER III— KARMA-YOGA 

( The Yoga of Right Action ). 

,1, 2. "Should Action (ritual) be abandoned or performed; 
what is the truth,?", being the question asked by Arjuna. 3-8. The 
definite advice to Arjuna that, although there are the two paths 
( nistha ), (i) Samkhya ( karrm-samnyasa or Abandonment of 
Action ) and (ii) Karma-Yoga, yet, as nobody can escape Karma 
( Action ), Karma-Yoga is superior, and the path to be followed. 
9-16. The advice to perform even the sacrificial ritual of the 
MlmarhsS school after abandoning Attachment; the antiquity of 
the Yajfia-cakra (cycle of sacrificial ritual), and the necessity of 
it, for the continuance and maintenance of the world. 17-19. In 
as much as the Jnanin (one who has acquired Knowledge) has 
no more any self-interest left, he must perform all Action, 
which befalls him, with a disinterested, that is, desireless frame 
of mind ; because, no one can escape Karma (action or ritual). 
20-24. The illustration of Janaka and others ; the importance 
of universal welfare [lokasamgraha), and the illustration of the 
Blessed Lord Himself. 25-29. The difference between th§ 



840 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Actions of the Jfianin and the Ajnanin (one who is ignorant); and, 
the necessity for one, who has acquired Knowledge, to give an 
illustration of righteous action, to the one who has not acquired 
Knowledge, by his own conduct in performing Action desire- 
■lessly. 30. The advice to Arjuna to perform warfare like a 
Jfianin, that is, with the intention of dedicating it to the 
Paramesvara. 31,32. The result of performing Action, by Faith, 
according to this advice of the Blessed Lord, and of not 
doing so. 33, 34. The overpowering influence of Prakrti, and 
the control of the organs. 35. The Desireless Action to be 
performed, should be according to the duty prescribed for the 
doer, even if one meets his death in the performance of such 
Action. 36-41. Desire (kama) compels a man to commit sin 
in spite of his "Will ; and, the destruction of that Desire by the 
control of the organs. 42, 43. The order of superiority among 
the organs; and, the control of the organs by means of the 
Knowledge of the Atman. 

CHAPTER IV— JSaNA-KARMA-SAMNYASA YOGA 
I The Yoga of Jfiana, and Abandonment of Action ). 

1-3. The doctrinal tradition of Karma-Yoga. 4-8. An 
explanation of why, when, and how the Paramesvara, Who is 
free from birth, takes transcendental births or incarnations by 
Maya. 9, 10. Reincarnation is escaped from, and the Blessed 
Lord is reached, by understanding the principle underlying these 
transcendental births and Karma. 11, 12. If the worship is 
performed in some other way, the Fruit obtained, is relative 
to the worship ;e. g. worship of deities for obtaining Fruit 
relating to this life. 13-15. The unbinding (rtirlepa) Action of 
the Blessed Lord relating to the four castes ; the destruction 
of the bond of Action by understanding the underlying 
principle ; and the advice to perform Action (karma) accordingly. 
16-23. The difference between ' karma ' (Action), ' akarma ' 
.(Non-Action), and 'vikarma' (Wrong Action); akarma means 
unattached-Action ; that, is the correct Karma ; and, the bond 
of Karma is destroyed only by such Aotion. 24-33. Description 
of various kinds of Metaphorical Yajfias (sacrifices); and the 
superiority of the Sacrifice performed with the ' brahma-buddhi ' ; 
that is, .of the Jfiana-Yajna '. 34-37. Advice about Knowledge 



CONTENTS OF THE SUBJECTS IN THE GZT1 841 



from one who has acquired Knowledge ; Self-Identification ; and, 
the annihilation of sin or merit by Knowledge. 38-40. The 
means of acquiring Knowledge; buddhi (-Toga) and sraddha 
'(Faith) ; ruin, in the absence of these. 41, 42. A description of 
the individual uses of (Karma-) Yoga and Jfiana (Knowledge), 
'and the advice to engage in warfare with the help of both. 

CHAPTER V— SAMNYiSA-YOGA 
(The Yoga of Renunciation). 

The direct question of Arjuna whether Samnyasa (Renun- 
ciation) or Karma-Yoga is superior. The definite answer of the 
Blessed Lord, that though both lead to Release, Karma-Yoga is 
superior. 3-6. By giving up Desire, the Karma-Yogin becomes 
•a nitya-samnyasin (a perpetual ascetic) ; and Samnyasa (renun- 
ciation) itself is not successful without Karma (Action); 
therefore, both are the same in principle. 7-13. As the mind 
of the Karma-Yogin is always in a state of Renunciation and 
his Actions are only the actions of the organs, he is always 
unattached, peaceful, and Released. 14, 15. The real Activity, 
.and Enjoyment is of Matter (prakrti), but as a result of 
ignorance, it is supposed to be that of the Atman or of the 
Paramesvara. 16, 17. Release from re-birth as a result of the 
annihilation of this ignorance. 18-23. A description of the 
Equability of vision, the steadiness of the Reason, and the 
indifference towards pain or happiness, resulting from 
brahmajnana (Knowledge of the Brahman). 24-28. The 
Karma-Yogin is always brahma-bhuta (merged in the Brahman), 
sarmdhiitha (mentally absorbed) and mukta (Released) in this 
■very life, though he may be performing Action for the benefit 
of the entire creation. 29. The result of Realising that the 
Paramesvara is the recipient of all Yajfia (sacrificial ritual) and 
.tapa (austerities), (though He does not take on Himself the 
Doership), and that He is the friend of the whole creation. 

CHAPTER VI— DHYANA-YOGA 

( The Yoga of Meditation ). 

1, 2. The one who performs Action without entertaining 
any Hope of Fruit (pkdasa) is the true Samnyasin or Yogin; 



842 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

'Samnyasin' does not mean one who is niragrd (one -who does 
not perform Fire-Worship, or other ritualistic Action), and akriya 
(one who performs no Aotion at all). 3,4. The mutual interchange 
of of karya (Result), and kararia (Cause) of soma (Abandonment) 
and karma (Action) in the ' siddKavastha' (perfect state), and 
the sadhanavastha (preparatory stage) of the Karma-Yogin ; and> 
the characteristic feature of the Yogarudha (one who is 
installed in Yoga). 5, 6. The freedom of the Atman to success- 
fully acquire Yoga. 7-9. Even among the jUatman-yogayukta 
(those who have conquered Self and are steeped in Yoga), the 
one who has attained Equability of Reason is the best. 10-17. 
A description of the bodily postures (asana), and food, and 
recreation, necessary for yoga-sadham (the successful practice 
of Yoga). 18-23. A description of the Yogin, and of tha beatific 
.happiness of the yoga-samadhi (mental absorption resulting 
from Yoga). 24-26. How to gradually make the Mind, Absorbed 
(samadKstha), Peaceful (santa), and Self -devoted (atmanistha). 
27, 28. The Yogin alone is 'Merged in the Brahman' (brahmabhuta) 
and intensely happy. 29-32. The Self-Identification of the 
Yogin with the entire creation. 33-36. The control of the restless 
Mind by Practice (abhyasa), and by Indifference to worldly affairs 
(vcdragya). 37-45. A description of how the yoga-bhrasta (one 
who has abandoned the practice of Karma-Yoga), or the jijitam 
(one who has got the desire to understand what the Karma- 
Yoga is) acquires growing merit, birth after birth, and ultimately 
complete Release, given in reply to the question of Arjuna. 46, 47. 
The Karma-Yogins, and among them those who are Devout, 
are better than the tapamns (those who perform religious 
austerities), the Jnanins (the scients), and mere Karmins (those 
who merely perform Action or Ritual) ; and, the advice to Arjuna 
to become a (Karma-) Yogin. 

CHAPTER VII-jSaKA-VIJNANA YOGA 

' (The Yoga of Spiritual and Worldly Knowledge). 

1 — 3. The beginning of the disquisition on Jfiana (Spiritual 
Knowledge) and Vijfiana (worldly knowledge), for the attainment 
of Karma-Yoga; the rarity of persons who make an effort to 
'•attain Karma-Yoga. 4-7. Consideration of the ksara 
(SS&ishableO and- the aksard (imperishable); the eight-fold 



CONTENTS OF THE SUBJECTS IN THE GITA 843- 

aparcHprakrti (inferior material manifestation), and the ( para- 
prakrti (superior material manifestation), in the shape of Jlva, of 
the Blessed Lord; and the further development of everything 
out of it. 8-12. A brief survey of the form of the Paramesvara,. 
which pervades the sattvika (equable) and other divisions of that 
development. 13-15. This is the qualityful {gwnamayi) and 
insuperable (dustara) Maya (Illusion) of the Paramesvara ; and 
the overcoming of that Maya by surrendering oneself to the 
Paramesvara. 16-19. Devotees are of four kinds; and the. 
Jnanin is the most superior among them. The completion of 
JfiSna (Knowledge) after innumerable births, and the permanent 
fruit in the shape of assimilation with the Blessed Lord. 
20-23. The worship of deities in the hope of obtaining non- 
permanent objects of Desire ; but even there, the Blessed Lord 
wields the power to give fruit or benefit according to one's Faith 
in the Blessed Lord. 24-28. The real form of the Blessed Lord 
is imperceptible (avyakta); but that form becomes difficult of 
Eealisation on account of 'Maya' (Illusion): the mental 
confusion about the couples of opposites (dvamdva); and the 
Eealisation of the true form of the Paramesvara by the 
destruction of the confusion created by Maya. 29, 30. Ultimate 
Acquisition of Knowledge by Eealising that the Brahman, the 
adhyatma (Absolute Self), karma (Action), the adhi-bhuta 
(absolute Matter), adM-daiva (the highest Deity), and adK-yajfia. 
(the highest sacrifice) are all Paramesvara. 

CHAPTEE VIII— A.KSABA-BBAHMA YOGA 

(The Yoga of the Imperishable Brahman) ' ■' 

' 1-4. The definitions of the terms 'brahrna', ' adhyatma'," 
'Mhi-Vhuta', 'adM-ddiva','adhi-yajna\ and 'adK-deha', in reply to the. 
question of Arjuna; all of these contain the same Isvara. 5-8.. 
Eelease by thinking of the Blessed Lord at the moment of ' 
death; but, that which is always in the mind, is also in the mind 
at the moment of death; therefore, the advice to always think 
of , the Blessed Lord';' and,' to fight. 9-13. The concentrated, 
meditation on the Om-kara, that is, on the Paramesvara at, the . 
moment of death; and the result of it. 14-16. '.The ' annihilation 
of re-"biri;h as a result' of constant thinking of .the Blessed Lord, 
the states of Brahma-loka etc., are not permanent. 17-19. ' The 

" '29—30 ' " " - 



844 GlTA-EAHASYA OS KAEMA-YOGA 

day and night of Brahmadeva, the creation of the Cosmos from 
the Imperceptible in the beginning of his day, and the merging 
of it, in that same Imperceptible, in the beginning of his night. 
20-33. The Imperceptible (avyakta) and Imperishable (ak^ara) 
Spirit ( puru$a ) is even beyond that Imperceptible ; the possibility 
of attaining the Ultimate Imperceptible, by means of Devotion ; 
and, the end of re-birth as a result of such attainment. 23-26. 
The paths of Devayana and Pitry5na; the first puts an end to 
re-birth, the second is just the opposite. 27-28. The result which 
Is obtained by the Yogin who understands the principle 
underlying these two paths is the highest, and therefore, the 
advice to act accordingly. 

CHAPTEE IX— EUAVIDYA-EUAGUHYA YOGA 

(The Yoga of the 'King of Cults' and the 'King of Mysticisms'), 

1-3. The Path of Devotion, which, includes Spiritual 
Knowledge (jflana) and Worldly Knowledge (vijnam), : is 
productive, of Eelease and is nevertheless easy and realisable ; 
therefore, it is the King of Paths (raja-marga). 4-6. The 
unintelligible Yogic activity of the ParameS vara; being in the 
entire creation, He is nevertheless, not in it ; and the entire 
creation being in Him, is yet not in Him. 7-10. He makes use 
of the illusory Prakrti for the construction and destruction of 
the Cosmos, and the creation and destruction of created beings 
(bhuta); and in spite of all this, He is untouched by Desire, that 
is to say, Unattached (alipta). 11, 12. Those who do not realise 
this, and defy the Paramesvara, Who has taken a human form, 
are fools, and asuri (ungodly). 13-15. On the other hand, those 
who go in for. various otter devotional practices by means of . 
the Jaana-yajna are daivi (godly). 16-19. The Isvara is Allr 
pervading, and He is the parent, the owner, and the maintainer 
of the universe, and the doer of whatever is good or bad. 20-22. 
Although the paraphernalia of Yajnas and Yagas according to 
the Srutis may be productive of heaven, yet, that fruit is 
non-permanent; if it is said that the same is necessary for 
' tJoga-k$ema' (maintenance and protection), then, that can be 
obtained' even by Devotion. 23-25. Devotion to other 
•teiiieB is indirectly Devotion to the Paramesvara, but the 
fiik'istconsiste&t with the deity and the mental belief. 26. If 



CONTENTS OF THE SUBJECTS IN THE GITA 845 

there is Devotion, the Paramesvara is satisfied even by the 
•offering of a petal of a flower. 27, 28. The advice to dedicate all 
acts to the Isvara; escape from the bonds of Karma, and Release 
by doing so. 29-33. The Paramesvara is equal to all; whether 
one is a, sinner, or born in a low caste, or a woman, a Vaisya, 
■or a Sudra, all attain the same end, if they become unlimited 
Devotees. 34. The advice to Arjuna to adopt this path. 

CHAPTER X VEBHfJTI-YOGA, 
(The Yoga of Manifestations) 

1-3. The destruction of sin by realising that the unborn 
Paramesvara is prior to the gods and the Rsis. 4-6. Manifesta- 
tions of the Isvara, and Yoga; the origin of Reason (bvMhi), 
and other qualities (bhava), the origin of the seven Rsis and of 
Manu, and of everything in order of succession from the Isvara. 
17-11. The Acquisition of Knowledge by the Devotees of the 
Blessed Lord, who have Realised this; but to these too, 'buddM- 
■siddW (the success of buddhi) is given by the Blessed Lord. 
12-18. The request of Arjuna to the Blessed Lord to describe to 
him, His manifestations and Yoga. 19-40. A description of the 
most important out of the innumerable manifestations of the 
Blessed Lord. 41, 42. All that which is 'vibhutimat' (manifested), 
'sri-mat' (illustrious) and' urjita' (elevated) is the effulgence of 
the Paramesvara, but only in part. 

CHAPTER XI— VISVA-RUPA-DARSANA YOGA. 

(The Yoga of the Showing of the Cosmic Form ) 

1-4. The request of Arjuna to the Blessed Lord to show to 
him His Isvaric form, as described in the previous chapter. 5-8. 
The giving to Arjuna of transcendental vision to enable him to 
.see this wonderful and transcendental form. 9-14. The 
description of the Cosmic Form (msva-vupa) by Sanjaya. 15-31. 
'The praise of the Cosmic Porm by Arjuna, who had' become 
humble as a result of surprise and terror; ' and, his request to the 
'Cosmic Form-ed Lord to become propitious and explain who He 
■was. 32-34. The reply that : "I am 'Time' or 'Death' (Ma)"; 
•and the encouraging advice to Arjuna to become the instrument 
ior killing those warriors, who had already become engulf 6& in 



846 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

that 'Time' or 'Death'. The praise, the beseeching for for- 
giveness, and the request to resume the former form made by 
Arjunato the Cosmic Form-ed Lord. 47-51. Impossibility of 
visualising the Cosmic Form otherwise than by exclusive 
worship; resuming by the Blessed, Lord of His former form. 
52-54. A vision of the Cosmic Form impossible even to gods in 
the absence of Devotion. 55. Therefore, the final advice, in the 
form of a general summary, to Arjuna to perform Action after 
becoming ' nihsanga' (unattached) and 'nirvaira' (non-inimical),. 
with the intention of dedicating everything to the Paramesvara. 

CHAPTER XII— BHAKTI-YOGA. 
(The Yoga of Devotion) 

1. The question of Arjuna, with reference to the summari- 
sing advice given at the end of the last chapter, as to whether 
the ' worship of the Perceptible ' (waktopascma), or, the ' worship, 
of the Imperceptible' (avyaktopasam) was superior. 2-8. The 
end of both is the same ; but, the worship of the Imperceptible is 
arduous, whereas, the worship' of the Perceptible is easy and 
speedily successful; the advice, therefore, to worship the 
Perceptible -with a desireless frame of mind. 9-12. The various 
devices, such as, Practice (abhyasa), Knowledge (jnama). 
Meditation {dhyana) etc, for concentrating one's attention 
on the Blessed Lord; and the best path, in any case, is the" 
'Abandonment of the Fruit. of Action' (karma-phala-tyUga). 
13-19. A description of the mental condition of the Devotee 
and the love of the Blessed Lord for him. 20. Those believing. 
Devotees, who live according to this religion, are most; beloved 
of the Blessed Lord. 

CHAPTER XIH-KSETRA-KSETRAJS-A-VIBH&GA YOGA- 

1 - ■ ' (The Yoga of the Division of the Cosmos into the 
Body and the Atman) 

', 1,2. Definitions of the terms 'ksetra' and- ' ksetrajfia' ; 
acquaintance with them, ' means < . acquaintance with the 
Paramesvara. 3, 4. The consideration of the Body (ksetra) and, 
the Atinan (ksetrajfia) according to the Upanisads, and according. 
to 'the Brahma-Sutras. 5, 6.' The nature of the form of the Body. 
fty. , .-Jhe nature of the form of Knowledge (jnana); 



CONTENTS OP THE SUBJECTS IN THE GTTA 847 

opposite of it, that is, Ignorance (ajnana). 12-17. The nature 
of the form of the Knowable (jneija). 18. The result of Realising 
all this. 19-21. The consideration of Matter (prakrti) and 
Spirit (purusa). Prakrti is the active agent, and Purusa is 
inactive, but is the one who derives the benefit, -sees, etc. 
22, 23. The Purusa is the ParamStman within the Body; 
the end of re-birth as a result of the Realisation of 
this Prakrti and Purusa. 24, 25. The ways of acquiring the 
Knowledge of the Atman, namely, meditation (dhyana), the 
Samkhya-Yoga, the Karma- Yoga, and Devotion by hearing 
sermons with a believing frame of mind. 26-28. The birth of 
the moveable and immoveable creation from the union between 
the Body and the Atman; that which is imperishable in it, is 
the Paramesvara ; reaching the Paramesvara by one"s own 
efforts. 29, 30. Prakrti is the active agent, the Atman is 
inactive ; all created things are contained in One, and they all 
spring from One ; attainment of the Brahman by Realising this, 
31-33. The Atman is eternal and qualityless, that is to say, 
though it enlightens the Body, it is unattached (nirlepa). 34 
The highest Perfection as a result of Realising this difference 
between the Body and the Atman. ' 

CHAPTER XrV— GUNATRAYA-VIBHAGA YOGA. 
(The Yoga of the division of Matter into three constituents.) 

1, 2. A consideration of the diversity of created beings 
included in Spiritual Knowledge and Worldly Knowledge, 
having regard to the different constituents ; this too is productive 
of Release. 3, 4. The Paramesvara is the father of all created 
beings ; and, Prakrti, which is dependent on the Paramesvara, 
is their mother. 5-9. The influence of the sattva, rajas, and 
tamos constituents on the created universa 10-13. Impossibility 
of there being only one constituent; the growth of the third 
constituent by the defeat of the other two ; and, the nature of 
the growth of each. 14-18. The result of Action, according to 
the predominance of any particular constituent, and the state 
which is obtained after death. 19-20. The attainment of 
Release by going beyond the three constituents. 21-25. A 
description of the nature and the mode of living of the 
Trigunatlta (one who has gone beyond the three constituents) 



848 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

given in answer to the question of Arjuna. 26, 27. The acquiring- 
of the Trigunatita state by solitudinal (ekantika) Devotion, and. 
the attainment thereafter of the Paramesvsra, Who is the 
ultimate resolution of all Release, all religion, and all 
happiness. 

CHAPTER XV— PURUSOTTAMA-YOGA. 
(The Yoga of the most Excellent Spirit). 

1, 2. The similarity between the Vedic and the Samkhya 
descriptions of the Cosmic Tree (brahma-vrksa) in the form of 
the ' asvattha ' (pippala) tree. 3-6. The cutting of that tree by 
' asanga' (unattachment) is the only way for the attainment of 
the Immutable State (avyaya-pada), which is beyond it; a 
description of this Immutable State. 7-11. The forms of the 
'jiva' and the ' ' tinga-sarira' (Subtle Body), and their mutual, 
relationship, which can be realised by scients. 12-15. The 
all-pervasiveness of the Paramesvara. 16-18. The nature of the 
ksara (perishable) and the dksara (imperishable); the Purusottama 
is beyond both. 19, 20. By the Relisation of this mystic 
Purusottama, one acquires All-Knowledge (sarvajftata) and 
Accomplishment (krtakrtyata). 

CHAPTER XVI— DAIVASURA-SAMPAT-VIBHAGA YOGA. 
(The Yoga of the division into godly and ungodly endowment). 

1-3. The 26 qualities of godly (daivi) endowment. 4. The 
nature of ungodly (asuri) endowment. 5. Godly endowment is 
productive of Release, and ungodly endowment is productive of 
bondage. 6-20. A detailed description of the ungodly; they 
are destined to perdition, birth after birth. 21, 22. The three- 
folded door of Hell— Desire (kama), Anger (krodha), and Avarice 
(ld>ha)— bliss, as a result of giving these, up. 23, 24. The advice 
to. Arjuna to decide about the Doable and the Not-Doable 
consistently with the Sastras, and to act accordingly. 

^'CHAPTER XYH— SRADDHA-TRAYA-VIBHAGA YOGA. 
(The Yoga of the Division into three kinds of Faith) 

J-, %*L. A. description of three kinds of Faith, such as, the 
«|jfc^jet&,;;;aceQrding to the inherent nature of Frakrti, in 
wfe*58%3W^J9%f«| Afjana;astheFaith,.so the man. 5,6- 



CONTENTS OF THE SUBJECTS IN THE GlTA 849 

The asura is different from this. 7-10. The sattvika, rajasa, and 
_ tamasa kinds of food. 11-13. The three kinds of Yajfia. 14-16. 
The .three divisions of Austerity {tapa) namely, sarira (bodily), 
vacika (vocal) and manasa (mental). 17-19. Each of these is 
again of three kinds, by a division according as it is sattvika 
etc. 20-22. The three kinds of gifts, namely, sattvika etc. 23- 
The 'brahma-nirdesa' (symbol of the Brahman) 'OM-TAT-SAT' 
24-27. Out of these, the word OM is indicative of the beginning 
of Action, the word TAT refers to Desireless Action, and the 
■word SAT reftrs to Proper Action. 28. That -which remains, 
namely, the Unreal (asat), is fruitless, whether in this life or in 
the next. 

CHAPTER XVIII-MOKSA-SAMNYASA YOGA. 

( The Yoga of Release by Renunciation ). 

1, 2. The definitions of Samnyasa (Renunciation) and 
Tyaga (Abandonment) according to the doctrine of Karma-Yoga 
in reply to the question of Arjuna. 3-6. The explanation about 
the eligibility and non-eligibility of Action; even actions 
(or ritual) like Yajfias and Yagas must be performed, with a 
Desireless frame of mind, just like other Actions. 7-9. 
The sattvika, rajasa, and tamasa varieties of Abandonment 
of Action; out of these, performing one's duty, abandoning 
the Hope of Fruit (phalasa) is the only sattmka-tyaga 
(equable Abandonment). 10, 11. The one who abandons- 
the Fruit of Action is the ' sattvika-tyagin ' ; because, no. 
one escapes mere Action. 12. The three-fold Fruit of Action 
does not become a source of bondage to the 'sattvika tyagin*. 
13-15. There are five reasons for any Action taking place; 
man is not the only reason. 16, 17. Therefore, when a man 
has got rid of the egotistical feeling (ahamkara-buddhi) that 'I 
am the doer', he remains unattached, though he performs 
Action. 18-19. The three-fold nature of, and the Samkhya form 
of ' karma-codana' (the inspiration to perform Action), and 
' karma-samgraha' (the performance of Action). 20-22. The 
three kinds of Jfiana according to the three qualities sattvika 
etc.; the Realisation that 'avibhaktaim vibhaktem' is sattvika' 
23-25. The three kinds of Karma (Action) ; of these, that in 
■which the Hope for Fruit is absent is sattvika. 26-28. The three 



850 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

kinds of Doers (karta); the Unattached (nihsanga) Doer is 
mtvika. 29-32. The three kinds of Reason (buddhi). 33-35. 
The three kinds of Perseverance (dhrti). 36-39. The three kinds 
of Happiness; that which arises out of Self -Identification is 
sattrika. 40. The three divisions of the entire universe according 
'to different constituents. 41-44. The justification of the four 
castes on the basis of the three different constituents; the 
inherent Actions of Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sfidras. 45, 46. 
Ultimate Perfection by doing one's own duties, as prescribed for 
the four castes. 47-49. Living according to another's religion 
is fraught with danger; Action according to one's own religion, 
though faulty, ought not to be abandoned; and when all Actions 
are done according to one's own religion (dharma), with a 
desireless frame of mind, one attains the 'naiskarmya-siddhi' 
(The Perfection of Desireless Action). 50-56. An explanation 
of how this Perfection ( siddM ) is obtained, even after performing 
all Actions. 57, 58. The advice to Arjuna to follow this Path. 
59-63. Individuation ( akmkara ) is helpless before the inherent 
nature of Prakrti ; one must surrender oneself to the Isvara ; the 
advice to Arjuna that he should realise this mystic secret, and 
then do whatever he wants. 64-66. The final promise of the 
Blessed Lord that if Arjuna surrendered himself to Him, giving 
up all other Paths of Religion, He would redeem him from all 
sins. 67-69. The benefit to be derived by maintaining the 
tradition of the Path of Karma-Yoga. 70, 71. A description of 
the results thereof. 72, 73. Arjuna becomes ready to fight, 
after the clearing of his doubts as to what he ought to do. 74-78. 
The summing up by Saujaya after he had told this story to 
DhrtarSstra. 



STtlMAD BHAGAVADGITA 

^%t ^^% WHdl 13^TEr: I 

CHAPTER I. 

[In the present Mahabharata, the tradition as to how the 
■Gita preached to Arjuna by Sri Krsna in the beginning of 
•the BharatI war, was subsequently promulgated, has been 
described as follows : In the beginning of the war, Vyasa 
went to Dhrtarastra and said to him, " If you desire to see 
the war, I will give you your eye-sight ". * But, Dhrtarastra 
said that he did not wish to see the destruction of his own 
clan (lada). Thereupon, Vyasa gave to a bard (suta) named 
Safijaya such spiritual eye-sight as would enable him to 
actually see everything that was taking place on the 
"battle-field, while sitting where he as, and made arrange- 
ments that he should relate to Dhrtarastra what was 
happening in the war, and then went away. (Ma. Bha. 
Bhlsma. 2). When, according to this arrangement, Safijaya 
first went to give to Dhrtarastra the news of the fall of 
Bhlsma in the war, Dhrtarastra lamented the death of 
Bhlsma and commanded Safijayato relate to him the entire 
history of the war. Safijaya has first described the armies 
on both sides, and then started to recite the Gita in answer 
to the question of Dhrtarastra. The same history was later 
on related by Vyasa to his disciples, and thereafter, by 
Vaisampayana, one of those disciples, to Janamejaya, and 
finally by Sauti toSaunaka; and the Gita is comprised in 
all the printed editions of the Mahabharata, from the 25th 
to the 42nd chapters of the Bhlsmaparva. According to 
this tradition — ] 

Dhrtarastra said : (1) O Safijaya, what did my sons 

* Dhrtarastra was totally blind, having lost both his eyes— Trang. 



852 GITA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

T#af TT^prruimi-sira mat ^^ i 

*W P^"* ^ Tttstar nffUHT » 3 » 

and the sons of Pandu, desirous of war, do, when they 
assembled together, on the sacred field, the Kuruksetra ? 
[The Kuruksetra is an open space of ground surrounding 
the city of Hastinapura. The present city of Delhi stands on 
this field. Kuru, the common ancestor of the Kauravas and 
the Pandavas, was ploughing this field laboriously by his 
own hands. That is why it is called 'ksetra' (or, field). It 
is said in the Bharata, that, when Indra thereafter gave 
to Kuru the blessing that all those who would die on that 
field in war or while performing religious austerities, 
would obtain Heaven, Kuru stopped ploughing the field. 
(Ma. Bha. Salya. 53). As a result of this blessing, this field 
came to be called ' dharmakseira' or 'sacred ground'. There 
is also a story that Parasurama killed all the Ksatriyas on 
twenty-one successive occasions on this field, and in that 
way offered a pious oblation to the manes of his deceased 
ancestors (made a pttr-tarparia); and there have been big 
wars, even in modern times, on this field.] 

Safijaya said : *(2) Thereupon, seeing that the army of 
the Pandavas was (standing) drawn up in battle-array, the- 
prince Duryodhana went to the Preceptor (Drona), and said- 
fit is stated in the chapters of the MahSbharata before 
the Glta that when Bhisma had first arranged the 
array of the Kaurava army, the PSndavas, in accordance 
with the rules of war, arranged their army in an array 
{v0ha) called the ' Vajra'. (Ma. Bha. BhI. 19. 4-7 ; Manu. 
7. 191). During the course of the war, these military arrays 
used to be changed every day. ] 
(3) C) Acarya ! behold this mighty host of the sons of 
Fan&u, of which the array has been arranged by your 

,,., * The words ' Dhrtarasfra said ', ' Safijaya said ' etc. have been 
unSarEned by ine, for distinction, though in the author's text they 

,h«^|^h6e^ ; Bp^nde|^ned— Trans. ' . . " 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP, I 853 



igstRt ■RTresj IT?sr *HR«j: 11 8 11 
fS%gS%cfTH: *|RkT3T3J cfiw^ I 
g5r%flcro'T3r5I #?ra 5R5^: n H 11 

*=fNifi f rq^ra ^r csr mrem « 5 « 
a^n% 1 Rffisr ^ snfsrafa %srrem 1 

talented pupil, the son of Drupada (Dhistadyumna) . (4) In 
it there are heroes, mighty bowmen, the equals of Bhlma 
and Arjuna in battle, ( namely ) Yuyudhana ( Satyaki ) 
Virata, and the maharathl Drupada, (5) and Dhrstaketu, 
Cekitana, and the valiant king of Kasi, Purujit Kuntibhoja, 
and that eminent man named Saibya, (6) as also the 
heroic Yudhamanyu, and the valiant Uttamauja, and the 
son of Subhadra (Abhimanyu), and the (five) sons of 
Draupadi all of whom are holders of great chariots. 

[That warrior who could fight single-handed with ten 
thousand archers was known as 'maharathl', that is, 
' holder of a great chariot '. A description has been 
given in the 8 chapters (164th to 171st) of the Udyoga- 
parva, stating which warrior in both the armies was 
a ' raihl ', or a ' maharathl ', or an ' atirathi '. There it is stated 
that Dhrstaketu was the son of Sisupala ; similarly, Purujit 
Kuntibhoja are not the names of two persons. It is 
stated there that Purujit was the legitimate son of the 
king Kuntibhoja, to whom Kunti had been given in 
adoption ; that, Kuntibhoja was his family-name ; and that, 
he was the maternal uncle of Dharma, Bhlma, and Arjuna 
( Ma. BhS. TJ. 171. % ). Yudhamanyu and Uttamauja were 
both from the Pancala country, and Cekitana was a 
Yadava. Yudhamanyu and Uttamauja were the protectors 
of the wheels of Arjuna's chariot. Saibya was. the king of 
the Sibi country. ] 
(7) O best of the twice-born ! I shall now mention to 
you the names of the most distinguished on our side, 



S54 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

who are the leaders of my army, for your information ; learn, 
who they are. (8) They are yourself and Bhisma, and Karna, 
and Krpa, the victorious in battle, Asvatthama, and Vikarpa 
(one of the hundred brothers of Duryodhana), as also the 
son of Somadatta (Bhurisrava) ; (9) and there are besides 
several other valiant men, who are ready to to sacrifice their 
lives for me, and all of them can fight with various weapons, 
and are proficient in the art of war. (10) This our army, 
which is protected by Bhisma is aparyapta,* (that is, 
unlimited or boundless), whereas that their army, protected 
by Bhima, is paryapta, (that is, parimita, or limited). 

[There is a difference of. opinion as to how the words 
'paryapta' and 'aparyapta' are to be understood, 'paryapta' 
ordinarily means 'sufficient'. Therefore, some interpret 
this stanza as meaning, " the army of the Pandavas is 
sufficient, and our army is insufficient (aparyapta) ". But, 
•this interpretation is not correct. In the foregoing chapters 
of the Udyogaparva, Duryodhana, while describing their 
army to Phrtarastra has given the names of the above- 
mentioned commanders of his army, and has said : "As my 
army is very large and well-trained, I am bound to win the 
war " (U. 54. 60-70) ; similarly, when Duryodhana again 
describes his army to Dronacarya, further on in the 
Bhismaparva, he has uttered the words of the above stanzas 

* Di. Annie Besant translates 'aparyapta' as 'insufficient' (See 
The JBhagmadgiB translated by Annie Besant and Bhagvandas. 
Theo. Fab. Honee, 1926 p. 5). Bnt Telang translates it as 
Wlmited' (See. S. B. B. Series Vol. Vlttp. 88)*-Trans. ■ • 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 855. 

of the Glta (Bhlsma. 51. 4-6) ; and as this description has 
been given in a joyful frame of mind, in order to encourage 
the whole army, the word 'aparyapta', cannot possibly be 
interpreted otherwise than as meaning 'unlimited', 'bound- 
less', or ' innumerable '. The root meaning of the word 
' paryapta ' is 'that which is capable of being surrounded, 
(apa = to occupy), on all sides (pari)'. But, when the word' 
'paryapta', is used after some word in the fourth (dative) 
case, as in 'for a particular purpose, paryapta', or 'to some 
person (or thing), paryapta', then the word 'paryapta', means 
'that which is sufficient for, or capable of performing that 
particular purpose' ; and if there is no word before the word 
'paryapta', it, by itself, means 'sufficient', 'limited', or 
'countable'. For instance, take the words 'grasun takanya 
sarakhem' (that which is capable of over-whelming) in the 
Marathi language, which are synonymous with the Sanskrit, 
word 'paryapta'. "When you say 'amakyala grasun takavya 
sarakhem', (that which is capable of overwhelming some 
• thing or some one), it means that it is 'sufficient for him or 
it', and remains over; but, if you simply say 'grasun 
takanya sarakhem ', it means that 'some one else can over- 
whelm it'. In the present stanza, as there is no word 
before the word 'paryapta', this latter meaning is the 
correct meaning ; and the Brahmanandagirl commentary 
gives illustrations of the word being used in that sense in 
books other than the Bharata. The explanation given by ' 
some, that Duryodhana, getting frightened, says that his 
army is 'aparyapta', that is, 'insufficient', is not correct ; 
because, there is no description anywhere of Duryodhana 
having got frightened ; on the other hand, it is stated that 
the Pandavas arranged their army in the military array 
known as Vajravyuha, because the army of Duryodhana 
was large ; and that, Yudhisthira was dejected at seeing the 
huge army of the Kauravas (Ma.' Bha. Bhlsma. 19. 5 and 
21). The reason for saying that the Panda va army was'' 
■ 'protected by Bhima', .'although, Dhrstadyumna was.' the 
; gerw»;aKsswno, isfthat Bhima had been posted in the front of 
of the Vajravyuha, in which the Pandavas had arranged 
their army- on the first day of the war, for protecting it; 



856 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

^msnfSrcsrsg ^c^f- w£ ^ ft « ?* « 

and because he was the only person whom Duryodhana 
could see in the forefront as the protector of the army. 
{Ma. Bha. Bhlsma. 19. 4-11, 33 and 34) ; and that is why 
these two armies have been respectively described as 
'bhimanetra' (of which, BhSma is the eye) and 'bhismanetra' 
( of which, Bhlsma is the eye ) in the chapters of the 
Mahabharata prior to the Gita (Ma. Bha. Bhlsma. 20. 1).] 

(11) (And therefore) Do you all respectively stand in all 
the various 'ayanas', (that is, 'openings in the army'), as you 
have been directed to do, and do you all protect Bhlsma 
on all sides. 

[Duryodhana has elsewhere (Ma. Bha. BhI. 15. 1-30 ; 99. 
40, 41) given his reasons for directing that Bhlsma, who was 
himself a powerful warrior, and who could not be defeated 
by anybody, should be protected on all sides, by saying 
tthat it was necessary for all to be careful, because Bhlsma 
had resolved not to fight with Sikhandi, and was liable to 
be killed by him. 

■araksyiwiaffam hi who hanyat simham mahSbcdam l 
ma simham jambukeneva ghaiayethah sikhatrfinfi It 

that 13, " If the extremely powerful Lion is not protected, 
even a wolf will kill him; therefore, do not allow the ■ Lion 
to be destroyed by a fox like Sikhandi". Bhlsma was 
•capable of dealing single-handed with any person whosoever 
except Sikhandi ; and, he did not look for help from anybody 
else.] 

(12) (At this moment), The oldest of the Kauravas, the 
(powerful) grand-sire (the generalissmo Bhlsma) roared 
■aloud like a lion in order to engladden him (Duryodhana), 
au^'btew' bis conch (as a sign of readiness for battled. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 857 

era*. 9 ^t%3% n^f?t : w^ n«r^ i 

^faf ?aft irfRTf >fw*n! f#?C5 ii V< ii 

srf^*. ^«iaj ^gtworgE^ it ?^ u 

is*pft %reai fficgt%^ratrf%cf s a ?« ii 

fW ft^ira h^p im3t<ra i 

€ra^ n^i^irii ^jfRC WW S^ S«JW » ^ « 

<(13) Thereupon, conches, kettle-drums, tabors, drums, 
•cowhorns, these ( martial musical instruments ) suddenly 
blared forth; and that sound was tumultuous, (that is to 
■say, saturating all the four sides). (14) Thereupon, 
Madhava ( Sri Kxsna ), and the son of Pandu (Arjuna), who 
were seated in a large chariot, to which pure white horses 
were yoked, also blew their divine conches (in order to 
say by way of reply that their side was also ready ). 
<15) Hrsikesa, (that is, Sri Krsna), (blew) the (conch called) 
Pancajanya; Arjuna (blew) the Devadatta; Vrkodara, the 
doer of terrible deeds (that is, Bhimasena) blew the mighty 
conch named Paundra ; (1 6) king Yudhisthira, the son of 
Kunti, blew the Anantavijaya ; and Nakula and Sahadeva blew 
the Sughosa and the Manipuspaka. (17) Similarly, Kasiraja, 
•holder of an excellent bow, Sikhandi, the mighty car-warrior, 
and Dhrstadyumna, Virata, and Satyaki, the unconquered, 
(18) Drupada, and the (five) sons of Draupadi, and the mighty- 
armed Saubhadra (Abhimanyu), all these, O King (Dhrta- 
rastra ) ! blew severally their 'respective conches on all sides. 



GUTi-BAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

3^T3?R I 

<a<fonfaei 3tet ^^rwrw^ gtm^ • 
%nNn 'ai ^wwflm ; ^araisr% u ss « 

yi«S<is^r ii^t (W^ftfe u ^ ii 

#3TT 3^M I 

m^t^i fft^ft 5^ra^tsr wca 1 

%TT^I^W^' ^*imRMl VSCtrPfH II S8 II 

(19) That tumultuous din, which shook the earth and the-, 
firmament, rent the hearts of Kauravas. 

, . (20) Then, seeing that the Kauravas were properly 1 
arrayed, and when the attack by weapons was about to 
start, the Pandava, on whose. standard is depicted MarutiV 
(that is to say, Arjuna), took up his bow, and spoke thus, ' 

(21) O king Dhrtarastra, to Sri Krsna, — Arjuna said ;—■ 
(Please)' station my chariot between the two armies, ' 

(22) so that I will, in the meantime, observe these people- 
who stand here desirous to engage" in battle; and T shall' 
also see those persons with whom I have to fight in this* 
war, and (23) gaze on those fighters who have collected 
here' with the intention of helping the cause of the evil-' 
minded' Duryodhana. SaBjaya said :— (24) O Dhrtarastra f 
when Gudakesa, (that is, the coriquerer of idleness, namely, 
Arjuna), had spoken thus to* Him, Hrsikesa, (that is, the 
Conqueror of the' organs, namely, Sri Krsna), drove and'. 



GlTA, TBANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 85£> 

placed the splendid chariot (of Aijuna) between the two 
armies; and — 

[The meanings given by me above to the two words 
'hrsikesa' and ' gudakesa' are consistent with the inter- 
pretations of the commentators. In the Narada-Paficaratra, 
the etymology of 'Hrsikesa' has been given as: 'hrsika' 
means 'the organs', and their 'isa', that is, 'the Lord', 
is the 'hrsikesa'. (Na. Pafica. 5.8.17). And it is stated 
in Kshirasvami's commentary on the Amarakosa that 
the word 'hrsika', that is, 'the organs', is derived from the 
root 'hrs' — 'to give pleasure'; and that the organs are 
called 'hrstka', because they give pleasure to the human 
being. Nevertheless, there is a doubt whether the meanings- 
of the words 'hrsikesa' and ' gudakesa' given above are 
correct; because, the word 'hrsika' as meaning 'the organs', 
and the word ' gudaka', as meaning 'idleness' or 'sleep' are 
not in common use ; and the words ' hrsikesa ' and 'gudakesa" 
can be etymologically derived, in another way. Instead of 
breaking up the word 'hrsikesa' into 'hrsika' + 'isa', and 
the word 'gud-akesa' into ' guduka' + 'isa', they -can- 
respectively be broken up as, hrsi + kesa, and, guda + kesa; 
and then 'hrsikesa' will mean "one whose hair {kesa) are 
standing up 'as a result of joy' (hrsi) ", and are flowing, that 
is to say, SrlKrsna ; and 'gudakesa' will mean, "one whose hair' 
(kesa) are guda or gudha, that is, closely growing or matted",. ' 
that is to say, Arjuna. Nilakantha, who has written a com- 
mentary on the Bharata, has suggested this alternative-; 
meaning of the word ' gudakesa ' in his commentary on Glta , ... 
10. 20 ; and having regard to the name Bomaharsana, of the 
father of Suta, this second interpretation of the word 
' hrsikesa ' can also not be said to b& improbable. Nay, in 
the Narayanopakhyana in the Santipaxva of the Maha- 
bharata, in giving the etymological meanings of the '_, 
principal names of Visnu, 'hrsi' has been interpreted as 
meaning 'joy-giving' and 'kesa' has been interpreted as 
meaning 'rays'; and the word 'hrsikesa' has been interpreted 
as meaning "One who fills the world with joy by means, of 
the rays of His incarnations, the Sun and the Moon"; and 
31-32 



860 GITA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 



sFsfr 3gr^ i 

it is stated that He is on that account called ' hrsikeia' 
{San. 345. 47 and 342. 64, 65; Udyo. 69. 9). And it is 
similarly stated in the previous stanzas that the word 
'kesava' is derived from 'kesa\ i.e., 'rays' (San. 341. 47). 
Whichever of these meanings is taken, it is impossible to 
give.a fully satisfactory reason as to why Sri Krsna and 
Arjuna got these names. But this is not the fault of the 
etymologists. When it comes to defining proper names 
which have become very common, these kindsof difficulties 
or differences of opinion are quite likely to arise. ] 

(25) HE said, in the presence of Bhlsma and Drona, and 
all other Icings: "O Arjuna! look at these Kauravas 
assembled (here)". (26) Then Arjuna noticed that all who 
were assembled there, were (his own) elders, ancestors, 
preceptors, maternal-uncles, brothers, sons, grand-sons, and 
friends, (27) and fathers-in-law, and dear ones in both the 
armies; (and, in this way) when he had seen that all who 
had assembled there were his kinsmem, Arjuna, the son of 
Kunti, (28) being filled with intense pity and despair, 
began to say as follows :' 

At juna said ; "O Krsna ! seeing these my kinsmen, 
assembled (here) desirous of engaging in battle, (29) my 
]&£&'' droop down, my mouth is parched up, my body 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 861 
IToiH ^t?f I^cTT^ r^F%eT "jR^d I 



ik $\ Trs^sr nfft? $> lifi^r^f^fT ^r » 3* » 
w sfe^asrr g^t sTTirf^rJi^rr wf% ^r « 33 » 
jrrg^r: 'W^st: fart: w&p ^srfSsrc^ar n 38 h 
arffi %<Bi4iKi ^ ^r %at: f§> 3 T^tf>% h 3^ « 
Tr^rrer%?^m'3: i^rmraaTf^r: n 35 « 

shivers, and my hairs stand on end, (30) the Gandiva (bow) 
slips from my hand, and the whole of my body is hot ; I 
•cannot also stand, and my mind is awhirl; (31) similarly, 
O Kesava I all omens appear adverse (to me), and I do not 
perceive (that) any good will come from killing my own 
feinsmen in war. (32) O Krsna ! I have no desire for victory, 
nor for sovereignty, nor for pleasures. O Govinda ! of what 
use is having sovereignty or enjoyment or life itself to us? 
(33) (Even) those for whose sake we desire kingdom, or 
■enjoyments and pleasures, are standing here for battle, 
having given up (the hope of) life or wealth ; (34) though 
preceptors, fathers, sons, as well as grand-fathers, maternal- 
uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, as also 
relatives (35) have all uprisen to kill (us), yet, I do not 
wish to kill (them), Madhusiidana, even for obtaining the 
kingdom of the three worlds ; then, why (talk) of the earth ? 
(36) Janardana ! what pleasure may be ours by killing 
these Kauravas ? Although they are felons, yet, by killing 
them, sin will but attach (itself) to us. 



862- GlTA-RAHASYA OE KABMA-YOGA 

[agnicfo garadai caiva sastrapaviir dhanapahah l 
ksetradaraharas caiva fad ete atatayinah n 

( Vasistha-Smr. 3. 16 ), 
that is, "lie who has come to burn one's house, he who 
administers poison, he who comes to kill with a weapon in 
his hand, he who robs one of one's money, or of one's wife, 
or of one's field, these six are 'felons' (atatayinah)". Even 
Manu has said that such felons should be killed without 
any qualm of conscience, and that there is no sin in doing 
so (Manu. 8. 350, 351).] 
(37) Therefore, it is not proper that we ourselves should kill 
the Kauravas, who are our kinsmen ; for how, O Madhava ! 
can we become happy by killing our own kinsmen ? 

(38) Although these, whose minds have been over- 
powered by greed, do not see the guilt resulting from the 
extinction of a family, and the sin of treachery towards a 
friend, (39) yet, O Janardana ! when we clearly see the guilt 
of the extinction of a family, how can it not enter - our minds 
to turn away from this sin ? 

" [See my disquisition in the first, and again in the ■ 
fourteenth chapters of the Gita-Rahasya, on the questions : 
. (i) what is the import of the fact that Arjuna became doubt- 
ful , regarding his own duty to fight, when he saw in 
advance with his own eyes that the war would ■ entail the- 
killing of elders, the death of relatives, and the 
, extinction of .families ; (ii) what is the relation between 
,, that fact and the subsequent argument in the Gita, and 
(iii) what is the importance of the first ^chapter of the Gita 
jfrora this point of view,'etc. To what extent the argument 
that, those' who are wise should follow the doc'trine : "?ia pape , 
pratipapah syul" (i. e., 'Do not commit a sin in retaliation of 



GITS, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 863 



^§T% i|U|ijijpd f^snfr *HkHI '• 

another's sin' — Trans.), and should remain inactive, but 
should not become wicked for punishing the evil-minded, 
though the latter might not realise their own wickedness as 
a result of their minds having been over-powered by avarice, 
and the other common arguments mentioned in this place, 
are applicable or should be made applicable to the present 
-circumstances, is a question as important as the ones 
mentioned above ; and I have explained in the Chapter XII 
of the Gita-Rahasya at pages 544 to 554 what, in my 
opinion, is the answer of the Glta to these questions. If - 
one bears in mind the fact that the exposition to be found" 
in 'the subsequent chapters of the Gita has been made in , 
order to solve the doubt which had arisen in the mind of 

■ Arjuna as shown in the first chapter, one can no more have 
any doubt about the import of ■ the- Glta. These doubts 

. arose in the mind of Arjuna, because the Bharatl war was a 
■civil war, due to a split between persons belonging to the 
same kingdom and the same religion, who had come- 
forward to kill each other. Whenever similar circumstances 
have arisen in modern history, similar doubts have also . 
arisen. Arjuna now clearly specifies the evils which flow 

' . from the extinction of a family.] 

(40) On the extinction of a family; the eternal rites of families 
are destroyed ; and when these rites (of the family) have 
perished, lawlessness predominates over the whole family. 
<41) When lawlessness prevails, O Krsna, the women of the 
family become corrupt ; and when they have become corrupt, 
then, O Varsneya! ('descendant of Vrsni'— Trans.), there fol- 
lows caste-confusion. (42) And when there is caste-confusion, 



864 GlTi-RAHASYA OR KABMA-YOGA. 

sk% f^RRf gr^r *H c fi pi< a& gPT » 88 n 

^TT 35RI 

f^sar i=n?rc: ^ ^<*><jf^ti(*{M<j : n 8* n 

it (necessarily) leads the destroyer of the family and the 
(entire) family to hell ; and as a result of the cessation of the 
ritual of offering rice-balls and water, their ancestors also fall 
down (to hell — Trans.). (43) By these sins of the destroyers 
of families, which result in caste-confusion, the eternal caste- 
rites and family-rites are abolished ; (44) and O JanSrdana ! 
we have heard that persons whose family rites are abolished, 
must necessarily undergo residence in hell. 

(45) Alas 1 we are engaged in committing a heinous sin 
in that we have uprisen to kill our own kinsmen out of 
greed of the pleasures of sovereignty. (46) If, rather 
than this, (these) Kauravas, bearing arms slay me in the 
battle, I having become unarmed and having given up 
retaliation in return, that would be happier for me. 
Safijaya said : (47) Having spoken thus on the battle-field, 
Arjuna, whose mind was agitated by grief, casting aside the 
bow and arrows (in Ms hands), sat down (quiet) on his seat 
in the chariot. 

' {As it was customary to fight standing in the chariot, the 

words "sat down on his seat in the chariot" more clearly 

bring out the idea that he had no desire to fight, as a result 

.«&£ %is dejection. It would appear from the descriptions of 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. I 865 

5tut xra^Rwrnr: » ? u 

chariots given in some places in the Mahabharata that in 
the times of the Mahabharata these chariots were ordinarily 
two-wheeled, and that larger chariots were sometimes drawn 
by four horses, and that both the master of the chariot 
(the rathi) and the charioteer (xiralhi) used to sit in the 
anterior part of the chariot, side by side. In order that it 
should be possible to find out whose the chariot was, they 
used to erect a particular ensign (dhvaja) on the chariot. 
It is a well-known tradition that Maruti himself used to sit 
on the ensign of Arjuna.] 

Thus ends the first chapter entitled The Dejection of 
Arjuna in the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna ort 
the Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman that is> 
on the Karma-Yoga, in the Upanisad sung, (that is, told) by 
the Blessed Lord. 

[I have interpreted these concluding lines as showing that 
the Gita does not deal only with the Science of the Brahman 
(brahnwrvidya), but contains an exposition of the Karma- 
Yoga consistently with the Science of the Brahman. See 
Chap. I (page 4), Chapt. Ill (page 82) and Chap. XI (page 
489) of the Glta-Rahasya. Although these concluding lines- 
are not to be found in the Mahabharata, yet, they must have 
come into existence before the date of the commentaries in. 
support of Eenunciation (samnj/asa); because, no scholar, 
who is a follower of the doctrine of Renunciation, will give 
the concluding lines as above. This clearly shows that the 
G!ta does not support the doctrine of Renunciation, but 
contains an exposition of Karma-Yoga, as a science, in the ■ 
form of a conversation. I have shown the difference between 
the scientific method and the catechismal method in the 
beginning of Chap. XIV of the Glta-Rahasya. ] 



. CHAPTER II. 

Safijaya said : (1) To him r (Arjuna, who Was), thus' /filled 
with pity, and whose eyes were filled withtearsahd turbid, and 
who was dejected, Madhusudana'(SfiKrsria) spoke these words: 
The' Blessed Lord .said : (2) O : Arjuna ! how has this 
infamous conduct (kasmalam) not practised (at anytime) 
by, the Aryas, (that is, by good men), 'which leads to hell, and 
which- brings one into disrepute, entered your mind, in this 
time of peril ? (3) O Pattha ! be not effeminate (like this) : 
this is not worthy of you. . O, (thou) harasser of foes, casting 
off this base weakness of heart, stand up (to fight). 

[It is true that I have in this • place given the literal 
meaning of the word ' parantapa ' as 'harasser of foes'. But 
I do not consider logical, 1 the theory of most of the conrmeht- 
stars, that thesfr oft-recurring adjectival epithets,-or names of 
Krsna and Arjuna, have been used in the GIta in a hidden 
meaning, or with a particular intention. In my opinion, these 
names have been used as : was convenient for prosody, and do 
not convey any intentional meaning ; and, therefore, I have 
on many occasions not reproduced in the translation, the 
name used in the stanza, hut have generally translated 
ihem as ' Arjuna ' or ' Sri Krsna '. ] 



, TRANSLATION ^COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 

jS'^H^rcji fit 5Ritg*ngrq; ^ft w?i%^raqrf ^ra> i. . 

Arjuna said : (4) O Madhusudana I how shall I counter- 
attack in battle with arrows, Bhlsraa and Drona, who, O 
Destroyer of enemies, are entitled to (high) reverence ? 

(5) It is meritorious to live in this world even by begging, 
without killing one's reverend elders ; for by killing such 
elders, (though they might be) abashed by monetary consi 
derations* I shall have to enjoy in this world blood-tainted 
enjoyments. 

[ The plural word 'gurun' must be taken here as meaning 
' elders ' and not as ' preceptors ' ; for there was no precep- 
tor in the army other than Dronacarya, who taught the 
martial arts. When, before the commencement of the 
war, Yudhisthira took off his shield on the battle-field, 
and went in all humility, to such 'elders', that is, to 
Bhlsma, Drona, and Salya in order to place his head on 
. their feet, and to beseech their blessings, they gave due 
praise to him, who had followed the course of conduct laid 
down by propriety, and they all explained to him their 
reason for fighting on the side of Duryodhana as follows: — ■' 
■ arthasya puruso daso dasastv artho no, Jcasyacit I 
■Hi satyam maharaja baddho 'snvy arthena kauravaih li . : ■ • 
that is, " Man is the slave of wealth, wealth is the slave of 
nobody; this being the true state of things, O Maharaja 
Tudhisthira, the Kauravas have tied me by the bonds of 
wealth" (Ma. Bha. BhI. 43. 35, 50 and 76). The words 
'abashed by monetary considerations ' used above signify 
the meaning conveyed in this stanza.] 

(6) Nor do we know which of the two is more meritorious 

* Dr. Besant & Bhagvandas translate ' arthctSamm ' as ' well- 
wishers ' ( see footnote on p. 2i, The £hagvadglfa, 1926)— Trans. 



GlTi-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

3T=rRT ^WWtif^' TFHT g t TOWT^ ^lf^r4 « £ » 
, 3^g^c=IT fft%^f HJ5T%5T: I^cTT I 

dJfeTM 4«Tt^i: Jnprrera *mc?r i 

for us, whether we should vanquish, or that we should be 
vanquished (by them). To live by killing whom, we have 
no desire, those very Kauravas are standing here in front, 
(to fight). 

[This stanza refers to a test of the respective merits of 
Action or Inaction, which is similar to the theory of ' the 
greatest good of the greatest number ' ; and its net import 
is that it is impossible to decide by that test whose victory 
is better (See Glta-Rahasya, p. 115 and 116). 

(7) As, on account of my natural temperament having been. 
destroyed by adverse circumstances, my mind is in doubt as 
to (my) 'dharma' (that is, my duty), I am asking You. Tell 
me that which is assuredly meritorious. I am your disciple,, 
instruct me, who have surrendered myself to You. 

(8) For, though I might win a prosperous kingdom on the 
earth free from foes, or even the sovereignty of the gods, 
(of heaven), yet, I do not see aught (any means) which will 
remove this my grief, which is drying up my organs. 
Sanjaya said : (9) After Gudakesa, the harasser of enemies,. 
(that is, Arjuna), had spoken thus to Hrsikesa (Sri Krsna), he 
became quiet after saying to Govinda : " I shall not fight ". 
(10) ( Thereafter ) O Bharata ( Dhrtarastra ) !, Sri Krsna, 
smiling as it were, spoke thus to Arjuna, who was sitting 
deje$edj)etween the two armies. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 869 

[The Blessed Lord is now going to give advice on the 
question of one's duty in this world, to Arjuna, who 
was pulled on one side by the inherent duty of the 
Ksatriyas, and on the other side by the fear of the sin of 
killing one's elders, and causing the extinction of families; 
and who was engulfed in the doubt whether he should 'kill 
or be killed ', and was prepared to give up the fight and 
live the life of a mendicant. Arjuna's objection was that 
his Atman would not be benefited by a terrible act like 
war. Therefore, the advice in the Gits starts by showing 
how those great men, who have attained the fullest bliss of 
their Atmans by Realising the Parabrahman, live in this 
world. The Blessed Lord says that if one scrutinises the 
affairs of the world, one sees that from times immemorial 
there are two ways in which persons, who have acquired 
the Knowledge of the Brahman, have been leading 
their lives. (See GltS, 3. 3 ; and Glta-Rahasya, Chap. XI). 
.After acquiring the Knowledge of the Self, men like Suka r 
gave up worldly life and led the lives of mendicants,. 
whereas, other men like Janaka, who had also acquired the 
Knowledge of the Self, spent their time in numerous 
worldly activities according to their own dharma, even 
after the Acquisition of Knowledge, for the universal good. 
The first mode of life is known as the 'Saihkhya', or the 
Samkhya-nistha, and the other is known as 'Karma-Toga' 
or 'Yoga' (cf. stanza 39). But the Gits has laid down the 
doctrine that though both these modes of life were in vogue,, 
the Karma- Yoga was the superior mode, as will be shown 
later on (Gl. 5. 2). Out of these two NisthSs, the mind of 
Arjuna was inclined towards the Samnyasa (Renunciation) 
-Nistha. Therefore, the Blessed Lord has first brought home to 
him his mistake, on the basis of the philosophy relating to- 
that path of life; and then, from the 39th stanza onwards, 
He has started the exposition of Karma-Yoga. Though the 
followers of the Saihkhya path do not take part in Action 
after the Acquisition of Knowledge, yet, there is no 
difference between the Knowledge of the Brahman according 
to the Samkhya path and according to Karma-Yoga. There- 
fore, the Blessed Lord has first explained to Arjuna in a 



870 . GXTA-RAHASYA OR KARJVEA-YOGA 



§§ a^u-^ Harare ? qfTRi^ra *n*r% i 
Tm^nTcm^ HigtfNfsar tt%3t: n \\ >» 
sr ^m mg nm * <$ %t srsnf^rr: i 

ridiculing way that, if the Atmap is indestructible and 
permanent, even according to the Saihkhya system, then 
his question, "Sow shall I kill so and so" was mere worth- 
less talk.] 

The Blessed Lord- said : - (11) Vou are lamenting for 
those, for whom you should not lament, and yet talk about 
Kndwledge-'.'Knawers do not lament (whether) the dead or 
the not-dead. , •'.,■•■ 

[-In this stanza it is stated that one should not lament 
whether life continues or has become extinct. , Out of these, 
lamenting over one who is dead, ' is only natural ;' and 
■it is proper to give advice not to do so. But a doubt having 
arisen as to why and in what manner it is possible to lament 
the fact of some one not being dead, commentators have 
indulged in a considerable amount of discussion on : this 
point ; and many have said that it is a matter of lamenta- 
tion that the lives of fools and ignorant people should be 
spared. But, instead- of hair-splitting in this way, we 
should interpret the word ' lament ' in a broad way, as 
meaning 'to feel happy or unhappy', or ' to mind'. All that 
is intended here is, that the JnSnin looks upon both these 
matters as one and the same.'] 
(12)- Just realise that not only is it not that I was not (in 
the past), but it is not that you and these kings were not 
<in the past); nor is it that all of us will not be again in 
the future. 

[In commenting on this stanza, it is stated in the 
Ramanujabhasya-that, if. both 'I', that is, the Supreme Being, 
and- 'you and these kings',' that is, the otheT Atmans, 
existed in the past and will be born again in the future, 
then, according to this stanza, the Supreme Being, and -the 



GlTl, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 871 

Atman both become separate, independent, and permanent 

entities. But, this argument is not correct. It is a 

partisan argument in support of a particular doctrine ; 

because, this stanza is intended to explain only that both 

are permanent ; and their mutual inter-relation is not stated 

here, nor was there any occasion for doing so. When that 

occasion arose later on, we find stated in clear terms in the 

Gits itself, the Non-Dualistic (advaita) doctrine that the 

Paramesvara, that is, the Blessed Lord, is the embodied 

Atman in the bodies of all created beings (Gl. 8. 4 ; 13. 31).] 

(13) Just as, for the One Which assumes a corporeal form, 

there is (acquired) infancy, youth, and old age, in this Body, 

so also, is another Body (later on) acquired ; (therefore) those 

who have acquired Knowledge, do not suffer from any 

ignorance in this matter. 

[The great ignorance or fear in the mind of Arjuna was 
" How shall I kill a particular person ? " Therefore, in 
order to dispel that ignorance, the Blessed Lord first 
philosophically examines the questions 'what is death', and 
'what is killing' (Stanzas 11 to 30). Man is not merely some- 
thing encased in a body, but an aggregate of the Body and the 
Atman. Out of these, the Atman, which becomes percepti- 
ble as T, as a result of Individuation (aJwmkara), is 
permanent and immortal. It is to-day, it was yesterday, 
and it will also be to-morrow. Therefore, the words 'to kill' or 
'to die' cannot be properly applied to the Atman, and there 
is no room for lamentation in that matter. Then remains 
the Body. That, of course, is admittedly non-permanent 
and destructible, and will come to an end, if not to-day or to- 
morrow, at least after a 100 years. Of. "adya m 'bdasatante va 
mrtrur vai praqinam dhruvah ( that is, "Death is certain for 
living beings, whether to day, or after a hundred years" — 
Trans.), ( Bhag. 10. 1. 38 ) ; and as the Atman definitely 
acquires later on another body in accordance with the 
previous Action {karma), though it gets out of one body, it is 
also not proper to lament over the loss of that body. In short, 



872 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

4 ft t 5^r«ra??ts s^ g^nf*t i 

it is definitely proved, that whether one looks at the matter 
from the point of view of the Body or of the Atman, 
lamentation on account of death is foolish. But, though 
this fact is thus proved, yet, it is necessary to explain why 
•one should not lament, on account of the suffering which 
one goes through while the existing life is being destroyed. 
Therefore, the Blessed Lord now deals with the form of this 
bodily happiness and unhappiness, and shows that it is not 
proper to lament on account of that suffering. ] 

(14) O Son of Kunti ! these contacts (with bodily organs) 
of 'maira', (that is, of things in the external world), which 
produce cold and heat, or happiness and unhappiness, come 
into existence and die out ; (therefore) they are non-per- 
manent (that is, destructible). O Bharata ! do you bear these 
■(without lamentation) ; (15) because, O, pre-eminent among 
men ! it is the Jfianin alone, (who is) equal towards happiness 
and unhappiness, who (on that account) is not affected by 
them, that becomes capable of attaining immortality, (that is 
to say, the state of the Immortal Brahman). 

[The man who has not Realised that the Name-d and 
Bbrm-ed Cosmos is illusory, by Realising the identity of the 
Brahman and the Atman, looks upon as real, the happiness 
and unhappiness or the cold and heat arising from the 
contact of the physical organs with the external world, and 
wrongly attributes those properties to the Atman ; and, on 
that account, suffers grief. But the man who has realised 
that all the emotions are of the Prakrti, and that the 
Atman (Self) is a Non-doer and Unattached, looks upon 
happjnesss and unhappiness as alike ; and the Blessed 
Lord is now telling Arjuna,„tha.t he (Arjuna) should bear 
unhappiness and happiness with such an equable frame of 
3^Jj aiid th^ same, import has been explained in a more 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 873 

§§ Tra^t merit weft ^rnvft raerct *ep » 

•exhaustive manner in the subsequent chapters. The word 
* mafra ' has been interpreted in the Samkarabhasya as 
meaning 'the organs, by which external things can be 
measured or known', Of., ' miyate ebltiriti matra '. 
But, some commentators interpret 'iriatra' as meaning 
'the external objects, such as, sound, touch, etc., which 
■can be measured by means of the physical organs' ; and 
*hey interpret 'mStrasparsa' as meaning 'the contact of those 
■external objects with the physical organs' ; and that is the 
interpretation which has been accepted by me ; because, 
.where the ideas appearing in this stanza, appear again 
later on in the Glta (Gi. 5. 21, 23), the word ' bahya-sparsa ' 
:has been used ; and if the word ' matrarsparsa ' is interpreted 
in the way in which I have interpreted it, both these words 
become consistent with each other. But, though these two 
words can be made consistent with each other in this way, 
the word ' matrasparsa ' seems to be the more ancient of 
■the two ; because, the word ' matra-sanga ' has been used in 
the Manu-smrti in the same sense (6. 57) ; and it is stated 
in the Brhadaranyakopanisad, that the Atman of a Jfianin 
becomes ' asamsarga' (Of. iriatra 'samsargah), that is, de- 
tached from the Matras, that is to say, that he becomes free; 
and there is no connotation (samjna) for him after his death 
<Br. Madhyan. 4. 5. 14 ; Ve. SQ. Sam. Bha,. 1. 4. 22). The 
words ' heat and cold ', or, ' happiness and unhappiness * are 
synecdochial, and include the opposite couples {dvamdm) 
•of ' love and hostility ', ' real and unreal ', ' death and im- 
mortality' etc. As these opposite couples belong to the 
Maya-world and the true Parabrahman is, as described in 
the Nasadlya-Sukta, beyond this duality, one cannot attain 
the Brahman, otherwise than by peacefully bearing these 
■opposite couples and releasing the Reason from the grip of 
these couples (Gl.2. 45; 7. 28 and Gi Ra. Oh. IX p. 314 and 
351). The same meaning is now made clear from the 
point of view of the Philosophy of the Absolute Self — ]. 
(1 6) That which is not (asai), cannot be as if it is ; and 



874 GlTA.-RAHA.SYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

that -which is (sat), cannot be as if it is not ; in this way, the 
see-ers of the Essence of things have perceived the truth 
about 'is' and 'is not' (sat and asaf), (that is to say, they 
have denned their connotation, after having perceived the 
truth). 

[The word ' anta ' in this stanza has the same meaning as 
in the compounds ' raddhanta ', ' siddhmita ', or ' krtanta ', 
(Gl. 18, 13) ; and the Sasvatakosa defines the various mean- 
ings of the word'aMfa' as "svarupaprantayor antam anilhe 
'pi prayujyate" (Sa. 381) (that is," the border of a form 
(.body ), or of a region, as also Death — Trans.XAecording 
to this stanza 'sat' means the 'Brahman', and, 'asat' means 
the Name-d and Form-ed visible world (See Gl. Ra. Oh. IX, 
p. 307 and pp. 335 to 339). Although the doctrine "that 
which is, cannot cease to be", looks like the Satkaryavada 
theory, (See Gita-Rahasya Oh. VII, p. 310 and Ch. IX. pp. 325 
and 335 — Trans.), one must bear in mind that its meaning 
is slightly different. Where one thing is produced out of 
another thing, e. g., the tree from the seed, the only 
principle which can be applied is that of the Satkaryavada. 
That is not the idea to be conveyed in the present stanza ; 
and, all that is being said is that, the existence (astitm or 
bhava) of 'sat', that is, of 'that which exists', and the 'non- 
existence' (abhava) of 'asaf, that is, of 'that which does not 
exist', are both permanent, that is, ever-lasting. When we 
thus look upon the respective existence and non-existence 
of these two as permanent, it follows as a matter of course 
that 'asat' is not the result of the destruction of that which 
was 'sat'. But this doctrine is not the same as the 
Satkaryavada doctrine, which initially takes for granted the 
coming into existence of one thing from another thing, as 
an effect from a cause (Gl.Ra. Oh. VII, p. 211). The Madhva- 
bhasya reads the words "wdyate bhavah" out of "nasato 
vidyate bhavah", which is the first quarter of this stanza, as 
'■eidyate + abhavah'; and it has interpreted these words as 
meaning that "there is no 'abhava' that is, 'destruction' of 
f (unreal), that is, 'avyalcta' (imperceptible) Prakrti ; 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 875 

and, as it has been stated in the second quarter of the 
stanza that the 'sat' too is not destroyed, Madh.v5ca.rya has, 
according to his Dualistic doctrine, interpreted the entire 
stanza as meaning that both the 'asat' and the 'tat' are 
permanent. But, this meaning is not the straight-forward 
meaning of the stanza. It is a stretched meaning ; for, it 
can be seen that the two mutually opposite words 'abhava' 
and 'bhava' have been used in this place in the same way as 
the mutually opposite words, 'asat' and 'sat'; and if the word. 
'abhava' has beed used in the second line of the stanza, name- 
ly, in the phrase, "riftbhavo vi-dyate satah", it is quite clear that 
the word intended to be used in the first line of the stanza 
must have been ' bhava ' and not ' abhava ' ; besides, it was 
not necessary at all to use the words ' abhava ' and ' ■lidyate * 
twice, in order to say that both ' asat ' and ' sat ' are per- 
manent. But, even if this repetition is looked upon 
as a respectful repetition, as suggested by Madhvacarya, 
it has been clearly stated later on in the 18th 
stanza, that the human body to be seen in the percepti- 
ble or visible world is destructible, that is to say, non- 
permanent. It, therefore, clearly follows that according to 
the Bhagavadglta, the Body cannot be looked upon as. 
permanent, in the same way as the Atman. Whereas the 
latter is permanent, the former is non-permanent. Never- 
theless, I have given here the meaning of this stanza 
according to Madhvacarya, by way of example, in order 
to show my readers how the meanings of words are 
stretched by doctrine-supporting commentators with the- 
intention of supporting their own doctrine. However, as that 
which is ' serf ' can never cease to exist, it is no use lament- 
ing over the sarf-formed (satsmmpa) Atman; and as the 
Name-d and Form-ed Body etc., as also the emotions of 
pleasure or displeasure, are essentially destructible from 
the philosophical point of view, it is also not proper to 
lament their loss. This justifies the words " you are lament- 
ing that over which you should not lament " used in speak- 
ing to Arjuna. The Blessed Lord now further explains the 
meanings of the words ' sal ' and ' asat ', in the next 
stanzas — ] 
33—34 



876 GIT5.-RAHAS5TA OE KARMA-YOGA 



sr^rcrrftr i crft% %h *i3faf Hera; i 

Hri|i|i|a«y^^R!!T H ^iffej; *|*^ki II ?*9 'I 

^ "^ %% ^dK ^HNr irj% ^rq; I 

3# & sr t%5rrsfRTt Jrre ^i sj %*& ii t^ u 

(1 7) Know that That (fundamental Atman-formed Brahman) 
Which has pervaded or occupied this whole (world) is 
indestructible. The destruction of this Inexhaustible 
(Principle), none can bring about. 

[This is the description of what has been referred to as 
' sat' in the last stanza. Now, the Blessed Lord says, that 
the Atman, which is the Owner of the Body, falls into this 
category of the Permanent, and He goes on to explain what 
is to be called 'Non-permanent' or 'asai' — ] 

(18) These bodies acquired by the eternal, indestructible, 
and unimaginable Owner of the Body (Atman) are said to 
be perishable, (that is non-eternal). Therefore, fight ! O 
Bharata ! 

[In short, if one thus discriminates between what is 
eternal and what non-eternal, the idea that 'I am killing a 
particular person' is proved to be false; and the reason 
given by Arjuna for not fighting falls to the ground. This 
conclusion is now made more clear — ] 

(19) He who thinks that It (the Owner of the Body or the 
Atman) is the killer, or, who thinks that It is slain, both 
these do not possess true Knowledge ; (because) this (Atman) 
does not kill, and is not killed. 

[Because, the Atman is permanent and itself a Non-Doer, 
and the whole activity is of Prakrti. This and the • 
nest stanza appear in the Kathopanisad ( Katha. 2. 
18, 19). It is also stated in several places in the Maha- 
bhSrafca that everything is swallowed up by 'kala' (Time, 
or Death) ; and that 'kills' or 'is killed' are worldly names 
for this pastime of Death (San. 25. 15). The Blessed Lord 
lias again explained to Arjuna later on (11. 33) thia very 



GlTA. TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY. ORAP. TT £ 

«rratf% Profit*! ^t»jt f%it?r T^Tf% y$iiti H<ts<rofur t 

principle in terms of the Philosophy of Devotion when He 
says that He himself has already killed Bhlsma, Droria, 
and the others in His form of Death, and that Arjuna should 
now become only the nominal implement (nimtta).] 

(20) This (Atman) is never born nor does It ever die j noi 
is it that It, having (once) existed, will not be again; It is 
unborn, ever-lasting, immutable, and primeval ; and it is 
not killed, though the Body is killed. (21) O Partha! 
that man who has Realised that It is indestructible, 
ever-lasting, unborn, and inexhaustible, how and whom can 
he cause to be killed, and how and whom can he kill ? 

(22) Just as a man, casting off old clothes puts on others 
and new ones, so the dehi, (that is to say, the Atman, which 
owns the Body), casting off old bodies, becomes united with 
others and new bodies. 

[This simile of olothes is in ordinary use. In another 
place in the Matebharata, the illustration has been given 
of leaving one house (sala), and going to another house 
(San. 15. 56) ; and one American writer has expressed the 
same idea by giving the illustration of putting on a new 
cover on a book. The same argument is here applied to the 
Body, which was applied above in the 13fch stanza to the 
states of infancy, youth, and old age. ] 

(23) Weapons do not cut It (that is, the Atman) ; fire does 
not burn It ; so also does water not moisten It : the wind 



878 GlTA-BAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

3^§tsfis?nT?rafts?riT|^Trs^frRT «33 ^ i 
d^HW f^^sf STT3^frf^irr^l% ii ^ n 

does not dry It up. (24) This (Atman), which is uncleave- 
able, uncombustible, not-to-be-moistened, and not-to-be- 
dried up, is permanent, all-pervading, stable, immoveable, 
and, eternal (that is, everlasting). (25) This (Atman) is 
said to be imperceptible (that is, not perceptible by the 
organs), unthinkable (that is, impossible of being under- 
stood even by the Mind), and immutable (that is, such as is 
not subject to the attribute of any modification). Therefore, 
knowing this (Atman) to be such, it is not proper that you 
should grieve over It. 

[This description has been taken from the Upanisads, and 
is of the qualityless Atman, and not of a qualityful Atman ; 
because, the adjectives 'aukarya' (immutable), ov'acintya' 
(unthinkable) cannot be applied to the Qualityful. This 
reason for not grieving has been given on the authority of 
that description. Now, some one may advanee the argu- 
ment that, as he does not accept the Atman as eternal, this 
argument is not acceptable to him. Therefore, the Blessed 
Lord' first mentions this assumptive proposition (pwrva- 
paksa) and replies to it as follows — ] 

(26) Or, even if you believe that this Atman, (is not 
permanent, but with the Body) is constantly born, and 
constantly dies, even then, O Mahabaho ! (mighty-armed — 
Trans.), it is not proper that you should grieve over It; 
(27) because, to one that is born, death is certain, and to 
one that dies, birth is certain ; therefore, about an (this) 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 879 

unavoidable (according to your abovementioned opinion) 
matter, you ought not to grieve. 

[The argument, mentioned in the two above stanzas 26 and 
27, is not for supporting the doctrine of the Gits. It must be 
remembered that this is a reply to the assumptive proposition, 
raised by the words ' atha ca ' = ' or '. The only thing to be 
shown is : whether one looks upon the Atman as permanent, 
or as non-permanent, there is no room for lamentation in 
either case. I have already mentioned above that the doctrine 
advanced by the Glta is, that the Atman is existent (sat), 
unborn, immutable, and un-imaginable, or qualityless. The 
Blessed Lord now gives another argument, on the basis of the 
Samkhya system, in support of the theory that there should 
be no lamentation over the Body, as it is non-permanent — ]. 
(28) All created beings are imperceptible in the beginn- 
ing, perceptible in the middle, and imperceptible again in 
death ; (if this is the case with every being) then, O Bharata ! 
■where is ( there room for) lamentation ? 

[The word ' avyakta ' means ' that which is not perceiva- 
ble by the organs ' ; the argument advanced in this stanza, 
is based on the Samkhya doctrine that the entire percep- 
tible universe has come out of One original imperceptible 
Substance by gradual degrees, and that in the end, that is, 
at the time of the final Dissolution (pralccya), the entire 
perceptible universe is again dissolved into the same Im- 
perceptible (GL 8. 18). See the explanation of this Samkhya 
doctrine in the seventh and the eighth chapters of the 
Glta-Rahasya. If the perceptible form of anything soever 
is, in this way, going to be destroyed sometime or other, 
■there remains no cause at all for lamenting over some- 
thing, which, by its very nature, is liable to destruction. 
This same stanza appears in the Strlparva of the MahS- 
barata (Ma. Bh5. Strt 2. 6), where the word ' dbMva ' (non- 
■existent) has been used instead of ' avyaMa '. Also, later on, 
the word ' adariana ', i. e., '. to go out of sight *, has been 



880 GTTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGi 

f$ ftrtimwfuaf^i writer wear i 

awsr ^sfifar mr&i * &t 5Trf%raJttr% n 3° u 

used with reference to death in the stanza: "adarsariad 

apatitah. punas cadarsatmm gatah l na te tava na teiam team 

tatra ka parideoana II " (Strl. 2. 13), (that is, "emerged from 

the Invisible, and returning into the (same) Invisible, 

these are not thine, nor art thou theirs ; wherefore, then 

(any) lamentation (for them)?" — Trans.). If lamentation 

is futile both according to the Sarhkhya and the Vedanta- 

philosophies, and if the same conclusion is reached, even 

looking upon the Atman as non-permanent, why do people 

lament over death 1 The reply is : this is due to ignorance 

of the nature of the Atman, because — ] 

(29) Some look at this (Atman— Trans.) as a wonder 

(wonderful thing), others speak of It as a wonder, and some 

others (than them) hear (of It — Trans.) as a wonder ; but 

even after (seeing and describing in this way, and) hearing* 

no one (out of these) Knows It (really). 

r [Though learned people enter into discussions about the 

Atman, as a wonder, yet, as very few persons ever realise 

the true nature of It, many people lament over death. Do 

not you do" likewise, but Realise the true nature of the 

Atman after mature deliberation, and cease to lament ; that 

is what this stanza means. The Atman has been described 

in the same way in the Kathopanisad (Eatha. 3. 7).] 

(30) The Owner of the Body, (that is, the Atman), (which is) 

in every Body, is always unkillable, (that is, never liable 

to destruction); therefore, O Bharata (Arjuna) ! it is not 

proper that you should lament about all (i. e., any) created 

things. 

"'fit has thus far been proved that there" is no reason to 
' lament ' if some one kills or is killed, because according 
^toSaibihya philosophy, or the philosophy of the Path 
i <PtKunc!ati6n, the Atman is immortal, and the Body 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 882 

is inherently mortal, But if, on that account, some one 
draws the conclusion that there is no ' sin ' in somebody 
killing someone else, that will be a very serious mistake. 
Only the meaning of the words 'dying' and 'killing* 
has been analysed here, and this explanation has been 
given only for the purpose of first removing the fear 
attendant on death or on killing. Man is a combination 
of the Body and the Atman. As the Atman, out of these, 
is immortal, the words ' dying ' or ' killing ' do not apply 
to it. Then remains the Body; but as the Body is 
naturally mortal, there is no reason for lamentation if it is 
destroyed. But, even accepting the position that one 
should not lament over death, or become happy or unhappy 
if some one dies or is killed accidentally or in course of 
time, one does not thereby solve the question, why a person, 
should enter upon such a terrible act as war and destroy 
the bodies of others. Because, although the Body is mortal, 
yet, as the Body is the only means by which one can 
attain the permanent benefit of the Atman or obtain. 
Release, both suicide and the unjustified killing of another 
person are looked upon as grave sins by religion. There- 
fore, though it is not proper to lament over death, yet, it is . 
necessary to give some other satisfactory reason why one 
person should kill another. This is known as the discri- 
mination between 'dharma' (Right) and 'adharma' (Wrong) ; 
and this is the subject-matter really propounded in the 
Glta. The Blessed Lord, therefore, first tells Arjuna that 
as fighting is the duty of all Ksatriyas according to the 
arrangement of four castes accepted even in the Sarhkhya 
philosophy, not only should he not lament over the fact of 
death or of killing, but that both dying or being killed in 
war were things which were his lot according to the religion 
of Ksatriyas— ] 

(31) Besides, even if you consider your own duty, you 
ought not. to .falter (on this occasion) ; because, there is 



882 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

era: ^nrf 3>nt =gr %gr q i mw i c ^ ri% » 33 » 
^srmrcr^ =^fer4rorp?f3fTr^ »i 38 » 

nothing more meritorious to a Ksatriya than warfare enjoined 
by duty. 

[This argument about "one's own duty" (svadharma) 

appears twice later on (Gi. 3. 35 and 18. 47). This and the 

subsequent stanza say, that although the fourth stage 

(asrama) in the shape of Renunciation of Action (karma- 

samnyasa), is the last step according to the Path of 

Renunciation or the Sarhkhya philosophy, yet, as it had 

been enjoined hy Manu and other writers of the Smrtis that 

before reaching that stage, Brahmins had to follow the 

duties of Brahmins, and Ksatriyas, the duties of Ksatriyas, 

and in that way to complete the state of a householder 

(grhasthasrama), it was the duty of Arjuna, who was in the 

state of a householder, to fight.] 

(32) And O Partha ! this war, which is indeed a door of 

Heaven, found open without effort, falls to the lot of only 

those Ksatriyas, who are fortunate. (33) But, if you will 

not carry on this (for you) righteous warfare, then you will 

bare abandoned your duty and lost your honour, and 

incurred sin ; (34) (not only that, but) also (all) men will 

tell of your everlasting infamy ! And to one who has been 

honoured, infamy is (a) greater (death) than death. 

[This same principle has been explained by Sri Krsna to 
Yudhisthira in the Udyogaparva (Ma. Bha. U. 72. 24). The 
stanza there is as follows : "kuiinasya ca ya tmidii vadho 
tea 'mitrakarsana\ mdhaguwo vadho rajan na tu ninda 
htjlvikS' ( that is, 'ill-fame of a well born ( person ) is ( his ) 
murder; it is not only an ill-fame which spoils life, but 
indeed the highest' form of murder' — Trans.). But, as this 
idea has been conveyed in the Glta in a shorter form, and 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OHAP. II 883 

ij-qf ^ ;g «rf*r?fr ygm tr?t% <s4t=j«im ii ^h ii 

M^?dwy ^rm«^ cicft %-wit 5 1%^ ii 35 ii 
left ^t srn^rr% i ^»f l%f^i ^t ^w# jt#j; i 

cUjWiWS #'^T 5^TO l«cTf%^r S II 3® II 

5Trft 3^1*1 3^1^ %^ mmni , -wf% II 3< II 

•also as the Glta is more in rogue, the line, "sainbhavitasya" 

■etc., from, the Glta gets .easily fixed in the memory, and 

people use it as a proverb. Many other stanzas from the 

Glta are similarly to be heard quoted everywhere. The 

Blessed Lord now explains -what the form of the infamy is, 

on the present occasion — ] 

(35) (All i Masters of great chariots will think that you with- 

■drew from the battle on account of fear ; and those by whom 

you are highly thought of ( to-day ), will hold you in less 

•esteem. (36) Also, your enemies, decrying your power, will 

speak much (about you) that should not be spoken; and 

what indeed more painful than that ? (37) Killed, you will 

go to heaven ; victorious, you will enjoy the earth ; therefore, 

Arise, O Arjuna ! determined on battle. 

[Though the above exposition has shown that, according 
to the Saihkhya philosophy, not only should one not lament 
the fact of death or of killing, but that fighting according 
to the rules laid down for one's own caste is a duty, yet, 
the Blessed Lord now answers the doubt whether the killer 
is responsible for the 'sin' of the deaths caused in 
warfare. Strictly speaking, the argument in reply to this 
question pertains to the Path of Karma-Yoga, and the 
introduction to that doctrine starts here.] 
(38i Looking upon happiness and unhappiness, gain and 
loss, victory and defeat, as alike, then start the battle ; acting 
thus you will not incur (any) sin. 

[There are two paths of leading one's life in the world ; 
the one is the Samkhya, and the other is the Yoga. Out of 



884 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



Tr gm *nrr w£ ^few ir%rer f% " ^% » 



these two, it is not proper to lament over the Atman or the 
Body according to the philosophy of that .very Sarhkhya 
Bath, or the Path of Renunciation, by considering the- 
doctrines of which, Arjuna had come to the point of giving, 
up warfare and starting begging. The Blessed Lord has. 
proved to Arjuna, that happiness and pain have to be borne* 
with an equable frame of mind ; that, warfare was the only 
proper thing to do for Ksatriyas having regard to the rules 
of conduct applying to them; and that, if warfare was; 
carried on with an equable frame of mind, a man incurs no. 
sin whatsoever. But as Sarhkhya philosophy is of the 
opinion that it is the highest duty of everyone in this, 
world, under any circumstances, to give up worldly life 
and take up Samnyasa (Renunciation), that philosophy 
does not solve the questions : (i) why Arjuna should not. 
take up Samnyasa at that very moment, giving up warfare; 
or, (ii) why he should follow the rules of conduct laid down 
for his own caste ; and then, the original objection of 
Arjuna may be said to remain unanswered. Therefore, the 
.Blessed Lord now says as follows—] 

(39) This buddhi (that is, Knowlege, or argument) 
stated to you is according to the Sarhkhya (that is, the 
Saihnyasa>Nistha. Now hear that buddhi (that is, Knowledge) 
according to the (Karma-) Yoga, (which I am describing to 
you), being possessed of which, O Partha, you will (even 
without giving up Action) cast off the bonds of Action. 

[This stanza is of very great importance in order to 
understand the import of the Bhagavadglta. The word 
^ Sarhkhya' is not to be understood here as meaning 
' Kapila-Samkhya ', or only 'VedSnta', nor is the word 
''Yoga' to be understood as meaning ' Patanjala-Yoga ' ; 
•but, 'Sarhkhya' must be taken here as meaning the 
'Samnyasa-marga' (Path of Renunciation) and ' Yoga ' as 
meaning the '.' Karma-Yoga ' (Path of Proper Action), as is 
4: 1"- 'These two paths are independent of 



GlTi, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 885 

^f&swzwi ^i^r srract »r^?ff srcrra; h so u 

each other, and the followers of these paths are known respect- 
ively as ' Saihkhya'='Sarimy5sa-m5rgm' and 'Yoga'= 
' Karma-Yoga-margin ' (Gl. 5. 5). As the followers of the 
Samkhya-nistha out of these consider it more meritorious to 
give up Action in the end completely some time or other, the 
philosophy of this path does not completely answer 
Arjuna's question : " Why should I fight ?". Therefore, the 
Blessed Lord now starts to impart the Knowledge pertain- 
ing to the Nistha of Karma-Yoga, or shortly Yoga, 
according to which true manhood consists in continuing to 
perform Action lifelong, with a disinterested frame of 
mind, and without adopting Samnyasa, even after the 
acquisition of true Knowledge ; and this Path of Action has 
been emphasised from now on right to the last chapter of 
the Gits, by showing many reasons for following that path 
and by giving satisfactory explanations of many doubts. 
When one bears in mind this explanation of the exposition 
of the subject-matter of the Glta, given by the Blessed Lord 
Himself, there remains no doubt any more that the Glta 
supports the path of Karma-Yoga. The Blessed Lord first 
states the most important propositions of Karma-Yoga-] 

(40) Here, (that is, in this path of Karma- Yoga), Action. 
(once) commenced is not destroyed, (and afterwards)- 
obstacles do not arise ; even a little (practice) of this- 
religion protects (one) from great danger. 

[The importance of this doctrine has been shown in 
Chapter X of the Glta-Rahasya (p. 392, bottom) ; and a 
fuller explanation is also given later on in the Glta 
(Gl. 6. 40-46). This stanza means that according to the 
path of Karma-Yoga, even if perfection is not reached in 
one life, the Action performed is not wasted, but comes in 
useful in the subsequent births, and the merit being thus 
accumulated from birth to birth, true Release is reached 
ultimately, sometime or other. The Blessed Lord now 
propounds the second important doctrine of Karma-Yoga — 1 



S86 GETA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



(41) O Kurunandana, ( that is, descendant of Kuru, or 
Arjuna— Trans. ), in this (path) the ( mental organ in the 
shape of) Reason, which performs the vyavasaya, (that is, the 
■discernment between the Doable and the Not-Doable), has 
got to be one, (that is, concentrated); but, the buddhayah (that 
is, the Desires) of those whose Reason is not (in this way) 
-concentrated, are many-branched and (of) endless (.kinds). 

fThe word ' buddhi ' has many meanings in Sanskrit Of 
these, it has been used in the meaning of ' Knowledge ' in 
the 39th stanza ; and later on in the 49th stanza, ' buddhi ' is 
to he interpreted as meaning ' understanding ', ' desire ', 
"* wish ', or ' motive '. But as the adjective ' vyavasayatmika ' 
precedes the word ' buddhi ' in the first line of this stanza, 
it there means the " organ of Reason which performs 
' vyavasaya ', that is, which discerns between the Doable and 
•the Not-Doable" (Gita-Raha. Oh. VI, pp. 179 to 187). 
When this organ of Reason has first decided whether any 
matter is good or evil, the Mind conceives the desire or 
wish to act accordingly ; therefore, this Desire or wish is 
.also called ' buddhi ', But the adjective ' vyavasayatmika ' 
does not in the latter case precede that word. If it becomes 
necessary to show the difference, the phrase ' vasanatmaka ' 
buddld is used. In the second line of this stanza, the word 
* buddhi ' has been used by itself. It is not preceded by the 
adjective ' vyavasayatmika '. Therefore, the word ' buddhayah ' 
in the plural form means ' desires ' or ' flights of imagina- 
tion ' ; and the second line of this stanza means : " Those 
whose ' vyavasayatmika buddhi', that is to say, the discerning 
mental organ of Reason, is not steady, (that is, the 
avyavasayimh — Trans. ) conceive ever new waves of imagi- 
nation or desires every moment". Unless one keeps in 
mind these two meanings of the word ' buddhi ', namely, 
(i) the discerning and deciding mental organ, and 
(ii) Desire, it will not be possible to clearly understand the 
i of the exposition of the word 'buddhi' in the 



GUI, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 887 



doctrine of Karma- Yoga. The Blessed Lord now shows. 
how when the Discerning Reason is not steady or con- 
centrated, the Mind is continually disintegrated by 
different desires, and the man runs after different pursuits,, 
wishing to-day to do something for getting a son, and 
to-morrow something else for attaining heaven, etc. — ] 

(42) O Partha ! (those) fools who rejoice in the words- 
(showing the gain to be made) appearing in the Yedas 
(Karma-kanda), and who say that nothing else is of 
importance, say in a flowery way that : (43) " By means of 
many Actions (such as, Yajnas, Yagas, etc.), one obtains the 
fruit of (re-)birth, and (birth after birth) pleasures and- 
prosperity are obtained " ; and these (people) with a desire- 
filled Mind, who run after heaven, (i4) are attracted by 
those words, and become immersed in pleasures and 
prosperity, and thereby their vyavastiyatmika buddhi (that 
is, their Reason which decides between the Doable and the 
Not-Doable) cannot (ever) be concentrated (that is, fixed on : 
one point). 

[The above three stanzas make up only one sentence, and 
contain a description of Jnana-less ritualists following; 
the Mlmamsa path, who are continually engrossed in the 
performance of sacrificial rites in the shape of Yajnas or 
Yagas solely for the selfish purposes of attaining one object ■ 
to-day and another object to-morrow according to the 
Karma-kanda prescribed by the Srutis and the Smrtis ; and' 
this description has been made on the basis of the- 



GlTAVBAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



ITpanisads. For instance, it is stated in the Mundako- 
panisad that : 
iatapurtam manyamana varistham nanyac chreyo vedayante 

pramudhah I 
nakasya prsthe te sukrte 'nubhutvernam lokam hinataram 

vavisanti n 
(Mun. 1. 2. 10). 
that is, "these fools, who believe that only the 'performance 
of sacrificial ritual' (istapurtam) is meritorious and that 
nothing else is meritorious, come hack to this mortal 
-world after having enjoyed happiness in heaven " ; 
and similar statements, derogative of Jfiana-less Karma 
{ritual) are also to be found in the Isavasya and Katha 
Upanisads (Katha. 2. 5 ; Isa. 9. 12). It is true that these 
people, who, without acquiring the Knowledge of the 
Paramesvara, are steeped in the performance of Karma 
(ritual), obtain the fruits of their respective ritual in the 
shape of heaven etc. But, as their Desire is entangled to-day 
in this ritual and the next day in some other ritual, and is 
straying about in all directions, they never attain Eelease, 
how many soever times they may have gone to heaven. In 
■order to obtain Release, the organ of Reason must be 
steady or concentrated on a single point. For the present, 
the Blessed Lord says only as follows — ] 

(45) O Arjuna 1 as the Vedas (consisting of the Karma- 
tanda) deal (in this way) only with the subject-matter of the 
three constituents, do you become 'nistraigunya' (that is, 
trigumtita), (that is, 'beyond the reach of the three consti- 
tuents' — Trans.\ 'nitya-sattoasthd (that is, abiding in eternal 
Truth — Trans.*), and free from the Opposites fof happiness and 
trahappiness etc.); and without being steeped in the selfish 
interests of 'yogaksema' etc., become Self-devoted (JUmavan). 

*)The author has retained in his Marathi translation, the word 
'mtyasattvastM' from the original, and in the commentary he has 
^PJiSS 8 ^ i' as being synonymous with 'mstratemya ' or 'trigumtita' ; 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 889 

['traigum/a' means the 'worldly life (samsara) ofPrakrti 
made up of the three constituents sattva, rajas, and tamos'; 
and it has been clearly shown in the Glfca-Rahasya (p. 314 
and 353) that the true Brahmana is beyond that, and that 
■worldly life is made up of the perishable Opposites of happi- 
ness and unhappiness, life and death etc. It has been 
stated in the 43rd stanza of this very chapter, that people, 
who follow the Mlmariisa doctrine, perform the Tajnas etc. 
prescribed by the Srutis, fc order to obtain the happiness 
pertaining to this worldly life of Prakrti or Maya, and that 
they are entirely steeped in these practices ; some perform a 
sacrificial ritual in order to obtain a son, whereas others 
perform some other sacrificial rite in order that rain should 
fall. All this ritual is necessary for 'the maintenance of 
worldly life', that is, for 'yogaksema'. It is, therefore, clear 
that onewho wishes to attain Release, must go beyond these 
ritualistic practices, which are the result of the sattva, rajas 
and tamos constituents, and which bring about only yoga- 
ksema, and must concentrate his attention on the Parabrah- 
man, Which is beyond all this. And the words 'mrdvamdva' 
{beyond the Opposit9s— Trans.) and 'nir yogaksema,' (beyond 
the anxiety for new acquisitions and the protection of old 
acquisitions — Trans.) have been used above to convey this 
idea. In this place, a doubt is likely to arise as to how yoga- 
ksema will be carried on, if these desire-prompted fkamya) 
but this is difficult to understand, as there seems no reason for 
repeating the idea. The late Mr. Telang, therefore, translates 'sattva' 
here as 'courage' ; and Dr. Besant as 'purity'. As 'sattva' is one of the 
three constituents, and as the Blessed Lord has just asfced Arjuna 
to be 'beyond the three constituents', 'nityasattvastha' cannot be 
understood as referring to the 'mttva' constituent. Therefore, 
Prof. W. D. P. Hill (Bhtgavailfita : Ox. Univ. Press, 1928, p. 120) 
has translated the word 'sattva' in its more general sense of 'Truth', 
which has been adopted by me. Sadashiva Shastri Bhide has got 
over the difficulty by explaining 'mstraiguaya' as 'free from the 
desires to enjoy pleasures arising from the three constituents', and 
t>y then explaining 'mtyasatttcstha' as meaning 'possessing the 
sattvika qualities of equability, perseverance, enthusiasm' etc.— 
Translator. 



890 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



ritualistic performances prescribed in the Karma-kanda are 
not carried on (Gl. Ra. pages 405 and 535). The reply to- 
that question is not given here ; but when this subject 
comes again later on in Chapter IX, it is stated that the 
Blessed Lord looks after this yogaksema (i. e., 'bestows the 
things wanted and preserves the security of the things' 
possessed' — Trans.) ; and it is only in these two places that 
the word 'yogaksema' appears in the Glta (See Gl. 9. 22, and 
my commentary thereon). The word 'nityamttvastha! means 
the same as 'trigunalita' (beyond the three constituents);- 
because, it is stated later on that by the continual growth 
of the scUtua constituent, one acquires the 'trigunStitarastha ' 
(the state of being beyond the three constituents — Trans.),, 
and that that is the true ' siddhavasiha' (the state of Perfec- 
tion—Trans.), (Gl. 14 14 and 20, Gl. Ra. pp. 226 and 227). In- 
short, the advice given here is that one should give up the 
desire-prompted ritual prescribed by the Mimarhsa school for 
obtaining yogaksema, which is based on the three consti- 
tuents, and go beyond the Opposites of happiness and 
unhappiness etc., and become brahma-nistha (devoted to the 
Brahman) or atma-nistha (devoted to the Atman). But, it 
must be borne in mind at the same time that the injunction 
to become atma-nistha does not mean that all this ritual 
should totally and for all intents and purposes be given up. 
The adverse criticism made in the above stanza of the 
desire-prompted ritual prescribed by the Vedas, or the- 
inferiority which is shown of that ritual, is not the 
inferiority of the ritual itself, but of the desire-prompted 
Reason behind it. If this desire-prompted Reason does not 
govern the Mind, mere sacrificial ritual does not in any- 
way close the door to Release (Gl. Ra. pp. 404 to 408). That 
is why the Blessed Lord has given it as His definite and 
most valuable opinion later on in the beginning of the 18tb 
chapter (Gl. 18. 6), that these very ritualistic performances- 
prescribed by the Mimarhsa writers should certainly be 
performed, for the purification of the Mind (cittasuddhi), and 
for public welfare (lokasamgraha), giving up the Hope for 
Bruit ( phalaia ) and Attachment [sanga). When you take- 
together these two statements made in two different places- 



GlTA , TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OHAP. II 891 

in the Glta, it becomes quite clear that the inferiority of 
the Mlmarhsaka Karma-kanda shown in the stanzas in this 
chapter has reference to the desire-prompted Reason, and 
not only to the ritual. With this object in mind, it has 
been stated in the Bhagavata that : 

vedoktam eva hurw.no nihsango 'rpitam isvare I 
naiskarmyam lahhate siddhim rocanSrtha phalairutih 11 

(Bhag. 11. 3. 46), 
that is, " the 'recital of fruits ( phalasruti )' to be 
obtained by the performance of Vedic ritual, which has 
been given in the Vedas, has been given ' rocanariha ', 
that is, only in order that {he person who performs 
the ritual should find it agreeable ; and therefore, that 
man who, instead of performing such ritual for obtain- 
ing the promised fruit, performs it unattachedly (with a 
nihsahga Reason), that is to say, after giving up the Hope- 
for Fruit and with the sole intention of dedicating it to the 
Isvara, attains the 'naiskarmyasiddhi' (the Perfection 
of Desireless Action)". In short, the summary of the advice 
in the Glta is, that although it has been stated in the Vedas 
that a particular sacrificial ritual should be performed for 
a particular purpose, yet, one should not be taken in by 
that Desire, but should perform the ritual because it is 
' yastawja ', that is, because the performance of the ritual is a 
duty; that, one should give up the desire-promptedness 
of one's Reason, but not the ritualistic sacrifices (Gl. 17. 11) ; 
and that the other rites should also be performed in the. 
same way. And the same meaning has been expressed in 
the subsequent stanzas. ] 
(46) To that extent to which there is a use (that is, 
necessity) for a well when there 13 a flood of water every- 
where (clearly, there ia no necessity whatsoever), to the 
same extent is there any necessity of the Vedas (containing 
the ritualistic Karma-kanda) for the enlightened Brahmana 
(that is to say, for him, there is no more any necessity of the 
Vedic Karma-kanda which describes desire-fulfilling ritual). 
35—36 



m-2 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

[ There is no difference of opinion as to the broad meaning 

{ phalitartha) of this stanza; but, commentators have entered 

into a useless hair-splitting discussion about the terms used 

in it. " mirrtitahminplutodake" is a compound phrase in the 

seventh oawo (locative case) ; but if it is looked upon not 

merely as the locative case, nor as an adjectival phrase 

tiualil'ying the word ' uclapcim', but as the ' sati saptami ' 

(locative absolute), one can syntactically work out the 

sentence, in a simple w;iy as : " sarvatalisathptutodake sati 

itiliiiitiiir yitriin artluih (ita xnt/pam api prayojanam vidyate) 

fi'iran rijtinatah hruhma.msya ttarcesu vedesu arthah ", 

without taking any outside words as implied ; and this also 

gives the following clear and simple meaning: — "Just as 

no one cares for wells when there is water everywhere, 

(bsicause drinking-water can be had anywhere without 

difficulty and sumptuously), so has the man, who has 

attained Knowledge, no more any use for mere 'Vedic' 

ritual liko sacrificial Yajnas etc ". The Vedic ritual has 

to Ins performed for obtaining the final Release-giving 

Knowledge, and not merely for obtaining heaven ; and that 

man who has already obtained this Knowledge, has nothing 

new to learn by performing Vedic ritual. That is why it is 

stated later on in the 3rd chapter of the Gita (3. 17) that "to 

him who has acquired Knowledge, there is no more any duty 

loft in the world". When one can without difficulty obtain 

ax much pure water as desired from a large lake or from 

a river who will even look at a well? In such eweum- 

Htan«.v, no one attaches the slightest importance to a well. 

in the last chapter of the Sanatsujatlya (Ma. Bha 

Udyo 45 26), this very stanza occurs again with a slight 

verbal difference; and the meaning of it has been given m 

the commentary on it by Madhvacarya in the .nm* way 

as above; and in the Sakarmprasna, where the relative 

^orth of Jfiana (Knowledge) and Karma is being described, 

ttteolearlv stated that «« /• UnZninaU karma prasam- 

tmmplnacmrH^nn^", that is "**««• ^ 

gets watof rom the river, does not attach any importance to 

I "ell, bo do '<key\ that is, the Jnanins, ^^btte 

^ ^ fS*S to Karma" (Ma. Bh&. Sam 340. 10). 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 893 

In the same way, in. the 17th stanza of the Pandavaglta, 
the simile of a well is used for saying that the 
man who, ignoring "Vasudeva, worships other gods, is 
like a fool who, "trsito jahnaviiire knpam vancchati 
durmatih", that is, "being thirsty, and being able to get 
drinking-water on the banks of the Bhaglrathl (Ganges), 
still craves for a well ". It is not that this simile 
appears only in the Vedio Sanskrit texts ; but it has 
been adopted even in the Pali Buddhistic books. The 
■dictum that the man who has destroyed Thirst does 
not have anything further to acquire, is acceptable also 
to Buddhism ; and in referring to it, it is called a 
' drstanta ', and appears in the Pali text called Vdana 
{U. 7. 9) in the form of the stanza " kirn kayira udapadena 
.apa ce sabbada siyum", which means, ' what is the use of a 
well after water can be had in all places '. We experience 
it even now-a-days in big towns, that when a person has 
taken a water-pipe in the house, he does not any more care 
for a well. Prom these facts, and especially from the 
exposition in the Sukanuprasxia, the reader will realise the 
appropriateness of the simile used in the Gita, and see that 
the meaning of this stanza as given by me above is straight- 
forward and correct. But commentators on the Gits 
analyse the sentence in this stanza in a slightly different 
way, whether because by accepting this interpretation 
some inferiority becomes attached to the Vedas, or because 
they wish to keep intact the doctrinal proposition, that ' a 
Jnanin need no more perform Action, because Knowledge 
includes the performance of Action '. They take the word 
J tavan ' as implied in the first, and the word ' yavan ' as 
implied in the second part of the stanza, and analyse the 
stanza as follows : " udapane yavan arthuh tavan eva sarvatah- . 
samplutodake yatM sampadyate tatha yavan sarvesu vede&u 
artha\ tavan vijanatah bi-ahmanasya sampadyate", that is to 
say, " to that extent to which wells can be put to use for 
the purpose of bathing and of drinking water, to the same 
•extent can use be made of large lakes (sarvatahsampluto- 
•dake) for the same purpose ; in the same way, Jnanins can, 
by means of their Knowledge, obtain from the Vedas as 



894 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KABMA-YOGA 

much benefit as it is possible to obtain ". But as, accord- 
ing to this interpretation, the word ' tavan ' has to be taken 
as implied in the first part of the stanza, and the word 
' yavan ' in the second part of the stanza, I have not 
accepted it. The interpretation and working out (anvaya) 
of the stanza adopted by me is arrived at -without taking 
any words as implied ; and, as is quite clear from the 
previous stanzas, this stanza is intended to give expression 
to the inferiority of the pure (that is, JIana-less) Karma- 
kanda in the Vedas. But, the inference that because a 
person who has attained Knowledge has no use for the 
ritual of Yajnas or Yagas, he need not perform them, and 
may give them up altogether, is not borne out by the Glta ; 
because, although a Jfianin does not care for the fruit to be 
obtained by this ritual, yet, he must go on performing the 
ritual, if not for the fruit, at least because the performance of 
Yajnas and Yagas is his duty as laid down in the Sastras ;. 
and, therefore, he oan never give up the ritual. The Blessed 
Lord has given it as His definite opinion in unmistakeable 
terms in the 18th chapter, that though a Jfianin may have 
no Hope for Fruit, yet,he must desirelessly perform Yajnas 
and Yagas in the same way as he desirelessly performs 
other acts (See my commentary on the previous stanza and 
on Gi.6. 19); and the Blessed Lord now further clearly 
states this version about Desireless Action in the next 
stanza—]* 
* Annie Besant and Bhagvaudas (SAagavadglta, Theo. 
House, 1926, p 42) translate this stanza as : " All the Vedas are 
as usef al to an enlightened Brahmana as is a tank in a place covered 
all over with water", which is similar to the interpretation-. 
of the author. Telang translates it as : "To the instructed 
Brahmana, there is in oil the Vedas as much utility as in a reservoiir 
of -water into which waters flow from all sides " (S. B. E. Series, 
Vol VIII, p. 48); and W. D. JP. Hill's translation is practically 
tie same (the Bkagamdgtt% Oxf. Univ. Press, 1928, p. 121). Both. 
these - klter authors have attached, explanatory notes, to which the- 
reader is referred. The divergence is baaed on the interpretation of 
'qwpatdl} tutiifyiiite' , -which is translated by some as " filled from all 
L byipthe-TijjaSji^when there is a flood on all sides".— Trans.. 



GITS, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 895 

(47) Your authority extends only to the performance of 
Action; (obtaining or not obtaining) the Fruit, is never 
within your authority (that is, never within your control) ; 
■(therefore,) do not be one who performs Action with the 
(avaricious) motive (in the mind) that a particular fruit should 
be obtained (of his Action) ; nor do you also insist on not- 
performing Action. 

[The four quarters of this stanza are mutually comple- 
mentary; and, therefore, without their overlapping each 
other, the entire import of the Karma-Yoga is given in a 
short and beautiful form; nay, one may even safely say 
that these four parts of the stanza are the catuh-sutri of the 
Karma- Yoga. It is stated to begin with, that "your 
authority extends only to the performance of Action". But 
as the Fruit of an Action is inseparable from the Action, 
there is room for the doubt that, 'he who has the authority 
to perform the Action, has also the authority to take the 
fruit, since he who owns the tree, also owns the fruit '; 
therefore, in order to solve that difficulty, the Blessed Lord 
has pronounced in a clear way in the 2nd quarter of the 
stanza that, " your authority does not extend to the Fruit " ; 
and then He has pronounced the 3rd proposition, which arises 
from that dictum, namely, "do not be one who performs 
Action having in mind the Hope for Fruit", (karmapkda- 
hetuY, is a Bahuvrlhi-samasa , thus, 'karmaphale hetur 
yagyasakarmaphalahetuh'), (that is, 'he is a karmaphcda- 
hetuh, whose motive is in the Fruit of the Action' — Trans.). 
But someone may advance the argument that because 
an Action and the fruit of it are mutually interlinked, one 
must give up the fruit ( Action ?— Trans. ) at the same time 
as giving up the Hope for Fruit. In order to make it clear 
that such an inference would not be correct, the clear advice 
has been given, that one should give up the Hope for Fruit 
but, at the same time, " one should not insist on not doing 
Aotion, that is, on giving up Action". In short, saying 
that one should perform Action, does not amount to saying 



896 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

that one should entertain the Hope for Fruit; and con- 
versely, saying that one should give up the Hope for Fruit, 
does not amount to saying that one should eschew Action. 
The meaning of this stanza is, that one should necessarily 
perform one's duty, having given up the ' Hope for Fruit '; 
and that, one should not be attached to the Action, and 
at the same time should not give up the Action — " tyago 
na yukta ilia karmasu tuipi ragah" (Yoga. 5. 5, 54); 
and the meaning has been emphasised again in the 
18th chapter, where it is stated that the obtaining of 
Fruit is not a matter -within one's own control, and that it 
is necessary to have the co-operation of many other things 
for that purpose ( Gl. 18. 14-16 and Rahasya, Chapter V. 
p. 154 and Ch. XII ). The Blessed Lord now clearly defines 
the characteristics of Karma-Yoga by saying that, such 
Action means ' Yoga ' or ' Karma-Yoga ' — ] 

(48) O Dhananjaya I casting off Attachment and looking 
upon as alike the being fruitful and unfruitful ( of Action ), 
perform Action being 'yogastha' (that is, 'steadfast in 
the path of Karma-Yoga'— Trans.); the (mental) state 
of being Equable (towards the Action being fruitful 
or unfruitful ) is known as (Karma-) Yoga. (49) For, 
(external) Karma is by far inferior to the Yoga (of the 
Equability ) of Reason; (therefore) surrender yourself 
to (this equable) Reason; the • phalahetavah' (that is, 
those, who perform Action only with an eye to the Fruit) 
are -'Mpana' (that is, low, or on a lower level). (50) He, 
who' is steeped in the (equable) Reason remains untouched 
both by sin or merit in this (world) ; therefore, take shelter 
ttt'Sfega*... ..Th©«leverness (skilfulness or trick) of performing 



QlTK, TBANSLATION & COMMENTABY, CHAP. II 897 

Action (without acquiring merit or sin ) is known as (Karma-) 

Yoga. 

t The description of the nature of Karma-Yoga given in 
these stanzas is very important, and I have to refer the 
reader to the discussion of that subject in Chapter III 
of the Gita-Bahasya (pp. 76 to 87). But, the proposition 
of Karma-Yoga mentioned in the 49th stanza, namely that, 
'the Beason is superior to the Action', is of utmost 
importance. As the word ' buddhi' (Beason) in these 
stanzas is not preceded by the adjective ' vyavasayatmika', it 
must be understood in this stanza as meaning ' desire ' or 
'understanding'. Some persons try to interpret the word 
'buddhi' here as meaning 'Jnana', and to interpret the 
stanza as meaning that ' Karma is of less importance than 
Jnana'; but this interpretation is not correct. Because, as 
the description of Equability given in the 48th stanza 
is continued in the 49th and the subsequent stanzas, the 
word ' buddhi ' must be interpreted as meaning an ' equabi- 
lising buddhi '. The goodness or badness of an act does not 
depend on the act itself, and though the act may be one and 
the same, it becomes good or bad according to the good or 
evil intention of the doer; therefore, the Beason is superior 
to the Action. As this and other principles of morality 
have been dealt with in Chapters TV, XII, and XV 
of the GM-Bahasya (p. 119; p. 530; and pp. 668 to 675), 
I do not propose to deal with them here in a more ex- 
haustive way. It has been stated above in the 41st 
stanza that in order that the Desiring Beason (vasanat- 
maka buddhi) should remain equable and pure, the Discerning 
Beason (■vyavasayatmaha buddhi), which decides about the 
Doable and the Not-Doable must in the first instance become 
steady. This has been already stated above in the 41st 
stanza. Therefore, the word ' samyabuddhi' (Equable Beason) 
means and includes both the steady Discerning Beason 
(vyavasayatmakabuddki) andPureDesire (vasariMmdkabuddhi)\ 
as this Equable. Beason is the basic structure on which 
whether Pure Conduct or Karma-Yoga is based, the Blessed 
Lord has, with reference to His statement in the 39th stanza 
(that He would explain to Arjuna the ' device' or 'Yoga' by 



G-lTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

§§ 5S#5f gl^prr ft <k^ f^sFrgr Jpfifw: i 

?r?r JT?aTf% R^f sfttfssresr $^n ^ u ^ n 

means of which Arjuna would not ba affected by Action, 
though he might perform it), explained to Arjuna in this 
stanza that, that 'device' or 'skill' consists in 'keeping 
one's Reason, steady, holy, equable, and untainted', and 
that it is known as 'Yoga'; and He has in this way defined 
the word 'Yoga' twice over. Although the words "yogah 
karnw.su kausalam" appearing in the 50th stanza are thus 
capable of being interpreted in a straightforward way, 
some commentators have attempted to stretch the words, 
and to interpret them to mean that, 'karmasn yogah 
kausalam', that is to say, "kausala or skill, means the 
Yoga in the performance of Action". But, as there was 
no occasion here to give a definition of the word 'kausala', 
and the matter in point was to show the meaning of the 
word 'Yoga', this interpretation cannot be looked upon as 
correct. Besides, when it is possible to inter-relate the 
words in a simple and straightforward way as 'karmasu 
kausalam', it is not proper to transpose the words so as to 
inter-relate them as 'karmasu yogah'. The Blessed Lord now 
says that when a man performs A.ction in this way with an 
■equable Reason, there is no neglect of worldly activities, 
and at the same time, one cannot but achieve complete 
Perfection or Release — ] 

(51) The Jnanins, when acting in union with (Equable) 
Reason, having abandoned the Fruit of Action, and becoming 
free from the shackles of births, reach the state (of the 
Paramesvara) where there is no unhappiness. (52) When 
your Reason shall have crossed the turgid enclosure of 
Ignorance, you will become indifferent towards whatever you 
may have heard or have to hear. 

BWtistosay, yon will not desire to hear anything more; 
because, you will have already obtained the Fruit which 
cUTj be obtained by hearing these things. The word ' mrveda ' 
By used/to signify * being tired of worldly life ', or, 



GlTA'TRANSLATION&COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 899 



4 Renunciation '. In this stanza, it ordinarily means 

'tiredness' or 'not wanting'. It will be seen from the 

subsequent stanzas that this 'tiredness' is only with 

reference to the ritual prescribed in the Srutis, which 

relates to the objects of the three constituents.] 

(53) When your Reason, confused by ( all kinds of ) 

sentences from the Vedas, will become fixed and irnmoveale 

in the state of mental absorption, then will you attain this 

Yoga (in the shape of an Equable Reason). 

[In short, as has been stated above in %. 44, when a 
person, being taken in by the description of obtainable 
fruits given in Vedic hymns, falls into the turmoil of 
performing a particular act for obtaining a particular fruit, 
his Reason gets all the more confused instead of becoming 
steady. Therefore, Arjuna is advised to give up paying 
attention to- such statements of advice, and to attain a fixed 
■concentration of the Mind, so that he would attain the 
Karma-Yoga consisting of Equability of Reason, and be 
able to perform Action without incurring any sin, and 
without being in need of any further advice. It is stated 
that the Karma-yogin, whose Reason or prajna has become 
steady ( i. e., sthita ) in this way, is called a ' Sthitaprajfia ' ; 
and Arjuna now asks how such a person acts or behaves.] 
Arjuna said : (54) O Kesava ! who should be called a 
* saniadhislha sthitaprajna ' ( that is, the Steady-in-Reasonj 
steeped in Mental Absorption— Trans. ) ? How does such a' 
Sthitaprajfia, speak, sit or walk ?.(tell me that). 

[In this stanza, the word ' bhaqa ' has been used in the 
meaning of ' laksaw ' (characteristics) ; and I have trans- 
lated it as meaning ' who should be called ', having regard 
to the root, ' bhas ', of the word ' bham '. It has been made 



900 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KABMA-YOGA 



starrer ?r? r OTtP); ^r^N; vm Jrsfrr?rre; > 
I^-iisi'fl'+Mr' ^5 fgircresi: 1 

srrra^flT h tfg n^r w srfrrfifrr 11 <w n 

*r?r #g<?r =5(4 iKteffffta ?=HNt: 1 

^Rst^M r gftf^nqW^TCT srtrr srrafscrr 11 hc h 

xm$ 'raiscg^i trt ?ft for&t 11 h^ 11 

clear in Chapter XII of the Gita-Bahasya (p. 510 

to 527) that the mode of life of the Sthitaprajfia is the 

basis of the doctrine of Karma-Yoga, and from, this fact 

' the importance of the description which follows will 

become apparent.] 
The Blessed Lord said : (SS) Partha ! when (a person) 
abandons all desires (that is, vasam) of his heart, and is 
pleased by himself in his own self, then he is called a 
Sthitapiajfia. (56) He, whose heart is not agitated in the 
midst of calamities, who is void of longing in pleasures, and 
from whom affection, fear, and wrath have departed, is 
called a Steady-in-Reason sage (sthitaprajfia muni — Trans.) 
(57) His Reason is (said to be) steady whose Mind is without 
Attachment in all things, and who feels no exultation 
or aversion about the agreeable or disagreeable which 
befalls him. (58) When a person draws in (his) senses from 
the objects (such as, sound, touch etc.) of the senses, as the 
tortoise draws in its limbs (such as, hands, feet, etc.) from 
all sides, then his Reason is (said to be) steady. (59) The 
objects of sense leave the foodless person, yet, the relish 
(that is, .the sweetness) in them, does not leave him ; but 
after he has experienced the Parabrahman, (all the objects 
together with) the relish also (in them), (that is, the objects 
<>f : s^e as alsotlie relish, in them) leaves him. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENT A.RY, CHAP, II 901 

[The senses are fed by food. Therefore, when a person 
does not take food, or fasts, the senses become weak, and 
incapable of enjoying their respective objects. But getting 
rid in this way of the enjoyment of objects of sense, is the 
external action of enforced weakness. The desire (relish.) 
for the objects of sense is not thereby redueed ; therefore, 
one should acquire that Knowledge of the Brahman, by 
which such. Desire will be destroyed ; when a person has thus 
experienced the Brahman, his Mind, and at the same time, 
his senses also come automatically under control ; and it is 
not necessary to fast or do anything else in order to obtain 
control over the senses. That is what this stanza means. 
And the same meaning is clearly conveyed later on in 
the stanzas in Chapter VI ( See Gl. 6. 16, 17 ; as 
also 3. 6, 7), where it is stated that the Yogin should eat 
moderately, and that he should not give up food or pastime 
altogether. In short, it must be borne in mind that the 
Glta looks upon fasting and other practices, which weaken 
the body, as one-sided, and therefore, eschewable ; and lays 
down the doctrine that, moderate food and pastime, and 
the Knowledge of the Brahman, are the best means of 
controlling the senses. Some commentators interpret the 
word ' rasa ' in the stanza as meaning ' the sweet, bitter, 
and other tastes experienced by the tongue ', and interpret 
the stanza to mean that though one can overcome the 
objects of the other senses by fasting, the relish of the 
tongue, that is, the desire for food and drink, is intensified,. 
instead of being destroyed, by fasting for many days ; and, 
there is also a stanza to the same effect in the Bhagavata 
(Bhag. 11. 8. 20). But in my opinion, -it is not correct to 
interpret this stanza in the Glta in that way ; because, that 
meaning becomes inconsistent with the second part of the 
stanza. Besides, the word used in the Bhagavata is not 
' rasa ' but ' rasanam ' ; and we also do not find there the 
second part of the stanza in the Glt5. It is, therefore, not 
proper to consider the stanza in the Glta, as meaning the 
same thing as the stanza in the Bhagavata. The Blessed 
Lord now says in more explicit terms, in the two following 
stanzas, that it is not possible to obtain complete control 



902 GIM.-RAHASYA OR KAKMA.-YOGA 

g^t fir g^f^rm aw stitt srraficTT « ^? « 

oTer the senses, except by the ^Realisation of the 
Brahman — ] 

(60) Because, O son of Kunti, these boisterous senses forcibly 
carry away in an improper direction, the Mind of even the 
intelligent person, who makes efforts merely (for controlling 
the senses). (61) (Therefore), one should control all these 
senses and become 'yukta' (that is, yoga-yukta) and solely 
devoted to Me. His Reason is (said to have become) 
steady, whose senses are thus subject to his control. 

[In this stanza, it is stated that one should obtain control 
over the senses by moderate eating, and should at the same 
time, become ' matparayam ', that is, should fix his mind on 
the tsvara, in order to obtain the Knowledge of the 
Brahman ; and the reason for that will be clear from my 
interpretation of the 59th stanza. Even Manu has given 
a warning to the man who merely controls his senses, when 
he says : " balavan indriyagramo vidvamsam api karsati " 
{Manu. 2. 2-15), (that is, " the powerful group of the senses 
drags about even the wise man " — Trans.); and the same 
meaning is conveyed by the 60th stanza above. In short, 
the implied import of these three stanzas (that is, 59, 60, 
and 61 — Trans. ) is as follows; namely that, one who 
has to become a 'Sthitaprajma' must moderate his food 
and pastimes, and acquire the Knowledge of the Brah- 
man; that, the Mind becomes free from the slavery of 
"the senses only when one acquires the Knowledge of 
the Brahman; and that, the device of mortifying the 
body is only external and not efficacious ; and the words 
* rnafparayctya ' also give the first indication of 4he Path of 
BeVotion (See Gl. 9. 34). The word ' yukta ', which has been 
used in the above stanza, means ' one who has been perfected 
by means of Toga '. ' In Gita 6. 17, the word ' yukta ' means 
'■ 'JiiodeWate '. , But this word is used in the Gita mostly to 



GITS., TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 903 
tailed) fg^n^S^T' ^Tf^^'SIl^ I 

^fro^TTf f%?n^ft gf%TRTT3Pn^n% M3 h 

mean ' the person who has become an adept in bearing both 
pain and pleasure with a placid mind, by practising the 
Yoga of Equable Reason, which has been prescribed in the 
Gita '. (See Qi. 5. 23). A person who has become an adept 
in this way is known as a ' sthitaprajfia ', and his state is 
known as the ' siddhavastha ' (the state of Perfection) ; that 
state has been described at the end of this chapter, 
and also again at the end of Chapter V and of Chapter XII. 
The Blessed Lord has so far explained what is 
necessary for becoming a Sthitaprajiia, after having lost 
pleasure in the objects of the senses. HE now first explains 
in the following stanza how pleasure arises in the objects 
of the senses, how this pleasure gives rise to the emotions of 
terna (Desire), krodha (Anger), etc., how man is thereby ulti- 
mately ruined, as also how it is possible to overcome them.} 
(62) The sanga (that is, intimacy) of the man, who contem- 
plates on the objects of the senses, with these objects 
of sense, continually grows. From this intimacy, there 
grows later on kama (that is, the Desire to possess those, 
objects of the senses) ; (and when there is an obstruction in. 
the matter of ths satisfaction of this Desire) from this Desire 
there arises Anger; (63) from Anger, there arises sammoha 
(that is, Indiscrimination); from Indiscrimination, confused 
memory ; from confusion of memory, destruction of 
Reason; and from destruction of Reason, there arises 
the total destruction (of the man). (64) But he (the man), 
whose Atman'(that is, whose internal sense) is within his 
control, is satisfied (in his Mind), though he moves about 
among the objects of the senses, with senses which have 
escaped from love and hate, and which are perfectly within 



904 GITi-EAHASTA OE KARMA-YOGA . 

sn=rer%crar ®rg 1% : t4mi38cI » ^ » 

his control. (65) When the Mind is satisfied, all his un- 
happiness is destroyed, because the Reason of the man, 
whose Mind is satisfied, is also immediately steadied. 

[It nrust be borne in mind that these two stanzas 
( that is, 64 and 65 — Trans. ) clearly lay down the 
following propositions, namely, (i) the Sthitaprajna does 
not give up either Action or the objects of sense, but 
merely the 'aafiga' (intimacy), and moves about among 
the objects of the senses with an unattaohed frame of mind ; 
and that (ii) the peace of mind which he obtains is not the 
result of giving up Action, but of giving up the Desire for 
Fruit of Action; because, except for this, there is no 
difference between this Sthitaprajna and the Sthitaprajna 
who follows the Path of Renunciation. Both of them need 
the qualities of absence of Desire and peace of Mind; but 
the Sthitaprajna of the Glta does not renounce Action, but 
- desirelessly performs every kind of Action for universal 
good, and the other Sthitaprajna does not do so : this is 
the important difference between the two (See Gl, 3. 25). 
But the commentators on the Glta, who favour the Path of 
Renunciation, look upon this difference as a minor difference, 
and for supporting their own doctrine, insist that the 
description of a Sthitaprajna given here is of the Sthita- 
. prajfia according to the Path of Renunciation. The Blessed 
- Lord now describes those whose mind is not at peace, thereby 
more fully describing the nature of the Sthitaprajna — ] 

t (66) The man, who is not 'yukta', (that is, who has not 
become yoga-yukla as mentioned above), possesses neither 

. (steady) Reason, nor bhavanfl (that is, Nistha, or fixedness, 
in the shape of a firm Reason) ; who has not fixedness, can 

xiase/ np tranquility ; and how can he who is not tranqpjl, 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. II 905 

tf?3*TPJif ft; ^t?rt ^-jpffsgr^fterH i 
rr^rru^T mrar§r fa^auSt fr^t * i 

acquire happiness ? (67) The Mind which follows in the 
wake of the senses, which roam about (that is, move), (among 
the objects of sense), enslaves the Reason of a man, just as 
the wind (enslaves) a boat in the water. (68) Therefore, 
O Arjuna ! his Reason is (said to have become) steady, whose 
senses (are) controlled on all sides from the objects of sense. 

[In short, control of the senses by means of the control of 
the Mind is at the root of all means of reaching Perfection. 
When the senses have become disintegrated on account of 
the objects of sense and run in all directions, it is not 
possible for a man even to get the desire of obtaining Self- 
knowledge. As the desire is wanting, there is no resolute 
endeavour in that direction, and then there is neither 
tranquility nor happiness. Though this is what is meant, 
control of the senses does not mean totally destroying the 
senses and giving up all Action altogether; and, as is stated 
in the 64th stanza, the message of the Glta is that 
one should perform all Action desirelessly, as has been 
shown in Chapter IV of the Glta-Rahasya.] 
(69) The Sthitaprajna is awake in that which is night for 
everyone else ; and such a Jfianin looks upon that as night in 
which every other living being is awake. 

[This paradoxical description is metaphorical. Ingnorance 
means 'darkness' and Knowledge means 'light' (GI.T4. 11). 
That which the Ignorant dislike, that is, what to them is 
darkness, is desired by the Jfianin ; and that in which the 
Ignorant are engrossed — that is, what for them is light — ■ 
is ' darkness ' for the Jfianin, that is to say, he 
does not want it. This is what is meant. For instance, 



GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

a Jnanin looks upon desire-prompted Action as con- 
temptible, whereas ordinary people are steeped in such 
Action; and that Desireless Action, which the Jnanin 
likes, is disliked by others.] 

-(70) Just as all water enters, from all sides, the sea, of which 
the shores are not transgressed, though it is being filled on 
-all sides, so is (true) tranquility obtained only by that person, 
who is entered by all objects of sense (without disturbing 
his tranquility) ; not by one, who desires the objects of sense 
(is it possible that this tranquility is acquired.) 

[This stanza does not mean that one should abandon 
Action in order to attain tranquility ; what is meant is that 
the minds of ordinary people axe confused by the Hope of 
Fruit, or by Desire, and their peace of mind is destroyed by 
the Action they perform ; but the Mind of the man who has- 
reached the Siddhavastha (the state of Perfection) is not 
distressed by Hope of Fruit. Whatever the number of 
Actions he has to perform, his peace of Mind is not 
disturbed, and he performs them remaining as peaceful as 
the sea ; and he does not, therefore, suffer from pain or 
happiness. (See stanza 64 above and Gl. 4. 19). The 
Blessed Lord now summarises this subject, and tells Arjuna 
what this state of the Sthitaprajna is called — ] 

(71) He alone acquires tranquility, who performs Action 
having given up all Desire (that is, all Attachment) and. 
become desireless, and who has not got mine-ness and 
egoism. 

[The word ' carati' (performs Action) has been interpreted 

! % commentators who support the doctrine of Renunciation 

"" ek meaning ' goes about begging*; but, that interpretation 

is wrong. The meaning which has been given to the words 

tAtartW* a,nd' dOKttam' in the 64th and the 67th stanzas- 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP II 90? 



,<£ *.. 



tm srrsrr t^jrt- <mr ^rsrr sn^r ragsrm i 

above must also be taken here. The Glta has nowhere 
preached that the Sthitaprajna should become a mendicant 
On the other hand, it has been clearly stated in the 64th 
stanza, that he should freely ' move about among the objects 
of sense', keeping his senses under control. Therefore, the 
■word ' carcdi ' must be interpreted here as ' performs Action " 
or ' takes part in worldly affairs '. Sri Samartha (Ramadasa) 
has given, in the latter half of the Dasabodha, an excellent 
description of how the 'desireless scient' (Sthitaprajna) 
takes part in worldly affairs ; and the same is the subject- 
matter of Chapter XIV of the Glta-Rahasya. ] 
(72) O Partha ! this is (called) that Brahmic state ; having 
attained this, the man does not remain in ignorance ; and 
remaining in this state even at the end (that is, at the 
moment of death), he attains Release in the shape of 
' brahmanirvana ' (that is, of merger in the Brahman). 

[The Brahmic stats is the ultimate and the best state in 
Karma-yoga (See Gl. Ra. Ch. IX pp. 319 and 344) ; and the 
important point about it is, that when this state has been 
reached, there is no more any Ignorance. This important 
point is particularly mentioned here, because, even if a. 
man on any particular day experiences the Brahmic state 
for a short time, he does not thereby get any permanent 
benefit. Because, if that man is not in that state of mind 
at the moment of death, he cannot escaps re-birth according 
to the desire which may be in his mind at the moment of 
death (See Gi. Ra. p. 398). Therefore, in describing the 
Brahmic state in this stanza, it is particularly mentioned 
that the Sthitaprajna maintains this state of mind even at 
the moment of death (cf. "antakale 'pi ", that is, ' even at the 
moment of death'). The importance of the Mind being 
pure at the moment of death has been described in the 
Upanisads (Chan. 3. 14. 1 ; Prasna. 3. 10.), and later on in 
the Glta itself (Gl. 8. 5-10). As desire-prompted Action 
is the reason for being re-born several times, it is clear 
37—38 



908 GtTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 



that Desire should be annihilated at least at the moment 
of death. And it naturally follows that in order that 
Dasire .should be annihilated at the moment of death, one 
must have practised the annihilation of Desire before one 
reaches the point of death ; because, the act of destroying 
Desire is extremely difficult, and it is not only difficult but 
absolutely impossible for any one to be easily able to 
annihilate Desire, except by 'special divine blessing'. 
(viseMnuiirahd). The doctrine that Desire should be pure 
at the moment of death has been accepted not only in the 
Vedic religion but also in other religions ( See Glta Ra. 
p. 614.] 

Thus ends, the Second Chapter entitled Sam'khya- 
Yoga in the dialogue, between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the 
Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman, (that is, on 
the Karma- Yoga) in the Upanisad sung, (that is, told) by the 
Blessed Lord. 

[As there is a description of the Sarhkhya or the 
Saranyasa doctrine in the beginning of this Chapter, it is 
called ' Samkhya-Yoga '. But one must not, on that 
account, think that the whole of the chapter contains no 
other subject. There are usually many subjects in one and 
the same chapter ; but the chapter is named by reference 
to the subject which is in the beginning, or is the most 
important one in the chapter (See Glta-Rahasya Ch. XIV, 
p. 625.] 



■§§ «^P5r# ■5c*4°r*si *rar ff%^mf »r i 
?rf&> ^f^r wft *rf #rat^Rrf% %^r it ? ii 

CHAPTER m. 

[After the Blessed Lord had proved to Arjuna that the 
dread which he had felt about killing Bhisma, Drona, and 
others was foolish, having regard to the immortality and 
the non-lamentability of the Atman according to Samkhya 
philosophy, and made to Arjuna a short exposition of his 
own duty, the principal subject-matter of the Gita, namely, 
the exposition of the Karma-Yoga, was started in the 
Second Chapter ; and, after stating that the only skilful 
way, or Yoga, by which it was possible to perform Action 
without incurring either merit or sin, was to perform it 
with a disinterested frame of mind, there is given a 
•description, at the end, of the Karma-Yogin Sthitaprajfia, 
whose Reason has thus become Equable. But, that does not 
exhaust the exposition of the Karma- Yoga. It is true that 
if any act is performed with an equable frame of mind, one 
does not incur sin. But, if it cannot be disputed that 
Equability of Beason is superior to Action (G). 2. 49), then 
it would be quite enough if one makes one's Beason .equable 
like that of a Sthitaprajfia ; and it does not follow that it 
is necessary to perform Action. Therefore, when this 
■doubt has been raised by Arjuna in the shape of a question, 
the Blessed Lord lays down in this and in the next chapter, 
that ' Action must be performed '.] 

Arjuna said : — (1) O Janardana ! if it is Your opinion that 

■the (Equable-) Reason is superior to Action; then, O Kesava ! 

why are You engaging me in a terrible Action (of war) ? 

{2) By this seemingly mixed (that is, double-meaninged) 

advice, You are, so to say, confusing my understanding; 



910 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-TOGA 

§§ #%sfttrc ftfsrar f%sr g*r stTtrt m\sm i 
ttw#W ^r^^TRt ^srrito sfrnRra; « 3 « 

therefore, tell me definitely only that thing by which I shall 
attain ireya (that is, bliss). 

The Blessed Lord said :— (3) O sinless Arjuna 1 I have 
said before (that is, in the Second Chapter) that in this world,, 
the path is of two kinds : that of the Sarhkhyas, by the 
Jfiana-Yoga, and that of the Yogins, by the Karma- Yoga. 

[Ihave translated the word 'pura'=' before', as meaning,, 
' in the Second Chapter ', and that is the straightforward 
meaning; because, the Blessed Lord has, in the Second 
Chapter, first described the Sarhkhya philosophy, and then 
the Karma-Yoga philosophy. : But, the word ' pura' can 
also be interpreted to mean ' from the beginning of the 
world ' ; because, where the Narayanlya or Bhagavata. 
religion has been described in the Mahabharata, it is stated 
that the Blessed Lord created the two independent paths of 
Sarhkhya and Yoga [mmtti (Renunciation) and _ pravrtti 
(Action)], in the beginning of the world (See San. 340 
and 347). As I have shown in great detail in Chapter XI of 
the Glta-Rahasya (pp. 420 to 437) that (i) the word ' moksa * 
(Release) is to be taken as understood behind the word 
'mftha', that (ii) ' nistha' means 'that path by following 
which one ultimately attains Release ', and that (iii) there 
are only two such paths, according to the Glta, which are. 
independent of each other, and are not parts of each other, 
I shall not repeat the same subject-matter here. The 
difference between these two paths has also been shown by 
me in the form of a tabular statement at the end of 
Chapter XI of the Glta-Rahasya (p. 491). The Blessed Lord 
has thus mentioned the two paths of attaining Release. 
Now He clearly defines the nature of that imiskarmyasiddM 
(Perfection by Desireless Action) which is incidental to 
them—] 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP, in 911 



ST ^ #RTCRT%3 f%f% ^WT%FE3T3 It 8 II 

•{4) (But) It is not that a man attains naiskarmya (that is, per- 
forming Action after destroying its binding force — Trans.) 
by not commencing Action ; nor does one attain Perfection by 
merely making a Renunciation (tyaga) of Action ; (5) because, 
whoever he may be, he does not remain even for a moment 
without performing (some or other) Action. The constituents 
of Prakrti compel every being, that has become dependent, to 
(always) perform (some or other) Action. 

[Commentators, who support the Path of Renunciation, 
have interpreted the word ' naiskarmya ' occurring in the 
first part of this stanza, as meaning ' Jfiana '; and in order 
to support their own doctrine, they have interpreted the 
stanza as meaning, " Knowledge is not acquired by not 
starting Action, that is to say, Knowledge can be acquired 
•only by performing Action, in as much as Action is the 
instrument by means of which Knowledge can be 
acquired". But this interpretation is neither straight- 
forward nor correct. The word ' naiskarmya ' occurs any 
number of times both in the Vedanta and the Mimarhsa 
philosophies, and Suresvaracarya has even written a book 
entitled NaisharmyasiddU. But these principles of 
Naiskarmya are not new, but have been in vogue from 
before the time not only of Suresvaracarya but even of the 
Sutras on the Mimarhsa and the Vedanta. It need not be 
said that Karma (Action) is necessarily binding. Therefore, 
it is necessary to devise some means whereby the binding- 
force or faults of Karma or Action can be destroyed, 
in the same way as Doctors purify mercury by ' killing ' 
it before it is used ; and the state of performing Action 
by this device is known as ' Naiskarmya ' . As Action, 
thus crippled, does not become an obstruction to Release, 
how to acquire this state is an important question in 
the science of Release. The Mimarhsa school answers 



»n GITA.-B AHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA. 



this question by saying that if one performs the ' Daily ' 
(rritya) ritual, daily, and the 'Occasional' (naimittika) 
ritual, when there is occasion for it, and eschews the 
' Desire-prompted ' (kamya) and ' Prohibited ' (nisiddha) acts, 
one will escape the bond of Action, and can without 
difficulty obtain the ' naiskarmyavastha' (the state of Absten- 
tion from Action). But Vedanta science has proved that. 
this device of the Mlmamsa school is wrong ; and this 
matter has been discussed in Chapter X of the Glta-Rahasya. 
(pp. 378, 379). There are others who maintain, that Action 
(' Karma ') will not bind a person, if he does not perf orm it, 
and that therefore, one should abandon all Action, is order to 
attain the state of Inaction (naiskarmyctvastha). In their opi- 
nion 'liaiskarmya' means 'Absence of Action' (karma-sunyata). 
But it has been stated in the fourth stanza that this is not 
correct, and that Perfection (mddhi), that is, Release (moksa} 
cannot be attained in that way ; and the reason for saying 
so has been given in the fifth stanza. Even if one contem- 
plates giving up of Action, yet, in as much as Action, like 
sitting, sleeping etc., does not stop so long as the Body 
exists (Gi 5. 9 and 18. 11), no man whosoever can at any 
time totally abstain from Action. Therefore, Naiskarmya 
in the shape of total Abstention from Action is impossible. 
In short, the scorpion of ' Karma ' never dies. Therefore,. 
one must devise some means whereby that scorpion will 
become poisonless. The doctrine of the Glta is that this 
device consists in destroying the Attachment which ties a 
person to the Action, and this device has been later on 
described several times in an exhaustive manner. But 
even to this position an objection may be raised that : 
though ETaiskarmya may not mean ' total Abstention from 
Action ' , yet, in as much as, those who follow the Path of 
Renunciation, obtain Release by giving up all Action, the 
giving up of all Action is necessary for obtaining Release. 
But to this line of reasoning the reply of the Glta is that, 
though the followers of the Path of Renunciation attain 
Release, that is not because they have given up Action; 
for, their attaining Release is the result of their Jfiana. 
(Knowledge). If Release were to be obtained merely by 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 915 

^f^rfor #q-Rr q 3rref jt^tt ^pcj; < 
cf^rsfa; f^Trirr foaTFsnr: *T 3^ II % n 

abstaining from Action, even a stone ought to obtain it. 
Therefore, the following three facts stand proved, namely, 
(1) Naiskarmya does not mean total Abstention from 
Action ; (2) no one can possibly give up Action even if he 
says that he will do so ; and (3) giving up Action is not a 
means for obtaining Siddhi (Perfection) ; and this is what 
has been stated in the above stanza. When these three 
conclusions have been arrived at, the only way in which 
Naiskarmya-siddhi (Perfection by Desireless Action) can 
be attained is, by not giving up Action, but continually 
performing Action after destroying the 'asakti' (Attach- 
ment) by means of Jfiana (Knowledge). Because, though 
Jnana alone does not give Eelease, yet, in as much as it is 
impossible to totally abstain from Action, it is necessary 
to perform Action, after having destroyed one's Attach- 
ment (asakti) to Action, in order to get rid of the Bond 
of Action. This is what is known as ' KABMA-YOGA ' ; 
and the Blessed Lord now says that this method, which 
combines Jfiana (Knowledge) with Karma (Action) is of 
higher importance, that is, superior — ] 

(6) That fool, who merely controls the Action (of the hands 
and feet etc.), but continually thinks by his Mind of the objects 
of the senses, is called mithyacara (that is, a hypocrite). 

(7) But the worth of that man, who controls his senses by 
means of his Mind, and starts the Karma-Yoga by means 
(solely) of the organs of Action, with an unattached Reason 
is, O Arjuna ! very great. 

[ These two stanzas amplify the statement in the pre- 
vious chapter that: 'in the Karma-Yoga, the Reason is 
superior to Action' (Gl. 3. 49). This stanza clearly says 
that the man, whose Mind is not pure, but who restrains 
the activities of his organs of Action only out of fear of 
others, or in order that other persons should call him good,. 



914 GlTA-RAHASYA OS KARMA-YOGA 

is not really a virtuous man, but a hypocrite. Those who 
point to the dictum: "kalau Icarta ca tipyate" , that is, 
■"in the Kaliyuga, fault is found not with Reason, hut with 
the Action " , and who say that, whatever the state of one's 
Reason, one's Action should not be had, should carefully 
note the principle laid down in the above stanza of the 
Glta. It becomes clear from the 7th stanza, that the name 
* Karma-Yoga ' has been-given in the Glta only the ' Yoga 
■of performing Action desirelessly '. Some supporters of 
the Path of Renunciation interpret this stanza as meaning 
that though this Karma-Yoga may be superior to the Path 
■of Hypocrisy described in the 6th stanza, yet, it is not 
superior to the Path of Renunciation.- But this argument 
is only a doctrine-supporting argument; because, the 
doctrine that Karma-Yoga is more worthy than, or superior 
to, the Path of Renunciation has been laid down not only 
in this stanza, but again in the beginning of Chapter V, 
as also in several other places (Glta-Ra. p. 425 and 436). 
As the Karma- Yoga is, in this way, proved to be superior, 
the Blessed Lord now advises Arjuna to follow that Path 
only—] 

(8) Perform the Action which has been niyata (that is, 
prescribed), (according to your dliarmd) ; because, it is better 
to perform Action than not to perform Action ; (see) besides, 
(that), if you do not perform Action, (you will not get even 
food to eat and) even the Body will not be maintained. 

[By the words ' besides ' and 'even' (cf. : " api ca ") it has 
been shown that ' keeping alive the body (sanra-yatra) is a 
very secondary object. Now the Blessed Lord starts the 
subject of Sacrificial Ritual (yajna-karma) in order to show 
what Action is ' niyala ' that is, ' prescribed ', and for what 
other important reasons that Action has to be performed. 
As the Sruti religion of sacrificial ritual has now become 
extinct, readers do not now-a-days attach much importance 
to this subject But, as these Yajfias and Yagas (that is, 



GIT!, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 915 

sacrificial ritual) were in full swing in the days of the 
Gits, those were the things which were principally under- 
stood by the word ' Karma ' ; and it was, therefore, neces- 
sary to expound in the Gita whether this religious ritual 
should be performed or not, and, if so, in what way. 
Besides, it must be borne in mind, that the word ' Yajna ' 
does not mean only 'the Jyotistoma and other Yajfias 
prescribed by the Srutis ' or, ' sacrificing something or other 
into the Fire (agni)', (Gl. 4. 32). The word 'Yajna' 
embraces all Action, which was enjoined by Brahma- 
■deva on all created beings, in accordance with the four 
different castes, after he had created the Cosmos, in order to 
achieve the smooth running of the Cosmos, that is to say, 
for 'lokasaihgraha' (universal welfare), (Ma. Bha. Anu. 48, 3; 
and Gl. Ra. pp. 400-408) ; and these very rites have been 
•described in our religious texts (dharma-sastra), and are 
what are here meant by the word ' niyata ' (prescribed rites). 
Therefore, though the sacrificial ritual of the Srutis is 
now extinct, this exposition of the cycle of Yajfias cannot 
be said to be meaningless in these days. From the point 
of view of religion, all this ritual has been prescribed 
because, it is ' kamya ', that is, in order that man should 
thereby derive benefit and become happy. But in the second 
chapter above (Gl. 2. 41-44) is stated the doctrine that these 
purposeful or desire-prompted rites of the Mlmamsakas 
obstruct Release, that is to say, are inferior in worth. And 
here it is shown that it is necessary to perform that very 
ritual. Therefore, the Blessed Lord has explained in an 
exhaustive manner in the following stanzas how the good 
■or evil contact or binding effect of these Actions can be 
made to disappear, and how the Naiskarmyavastha (state 
of Desireless Activity) is reached while performing Action ; 
and all this is consistent with the Harayaniya or 
Bhagavata religion described in the Bharata.] 

(9) This world is bound by Action other than that which 
is performed for the Yajna ; perform (even) the Action (to be 



916 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

performed) for it, (that is, for the Yajfia), abandoning the 
Attachment or Hope of Fruit. 

[ In the first half of this stanza is given the doctrine of 
the Mrmarhsa school, and in the other half, the doctrine of 
the Glta. The Mlmarhsa school says that in as much as the 
ritual of Yajfias and Yagas has been placed on everybody's 
shoulders by the Vedas themselves, and in as much as 
this cycle of Yajfias is necessary in order that the affairs 
of the world created by the Isvara should go on smoothly, 
nobody can give up Action (ritual) ; and that if he does so, 
he is to be looked upon as lost to the religion of the Srutis. 
But it is a doctrine of the Law of Causality {karmavipaka- 
prakriya) that, man has to suffer the consequences of each 
one of his acts ; and according to this doctrine, it follows 
that man has to suffer the good or bad consequences of even 
the Action performed by him for the Yajfia. To this the 
reply of the Mlmarhsa school is that, in as much as the 
Vedas themselves have enjoined the performance of the 
'Yajfias', and in as much as all Action which has to be 
done for the purpose of the Yajfia must consequently be 
deemed to be acceptable to the Isvara, such Action cannot 
be a source of bondage to the doer ; but any other Action, 
performed for any purpose except for a YajHa, e. g., for 
one's own living, is an act not for the purpose of a Yajna,, 
but merely for the benefit of oneself. Therefore, the' 
Mlmarhsa school refers to such Action as ' purusartha- 
karma' (Action performed for oneself); and it has laid down 
that every person must suffer the consequences, good or 
evil, of all such Action, that is, of Action other than that 
performed for the purposes of a Yajfia, or in other words, of 
Purusartha-karma ; and this is the proposition referred to 
in the first line of the above stanza (Gi. Ra. Ch. Ill, pp. 72 
to 75). The meaning, which some commentators arrive 
at, by taking 'Yajna' to mean 'Visnu' (which is a secondary 
interpretation) so as to explain 'Yajfiartha' as meaning, 
'for the sake of Visnu', or 'in order to dedicate it to the 
Paramesvara', is, according to me, a stretched and uncouth 
meaning. But here a question arises, namely: if a man 



GIT A, TRANSLATION & COMMENT ARY, CHAP. Ill 917 

does no other Action except what is necessary for the 
performance of a Yajfia, does he escape the bondage of 
Action 1 For, Yajfia is also an Action, and one cannot 
escape the fruit of it in the shape of obtaining heaven, 
mentioned in the Sastras. And it has been clearly stated 
in Chapter II of the Gits ( GL 2. 40-44 and 9. 20, 21 ), 
that this Fruit in the shape of obtaining Heaven is 
obstructive to Eelease. Therefore, in the second part of 
the above stanza, it has been again emphasised that even 
the prescribed (myata) ritual, which a man has to perform 
for the purposes of a Yajfia, should be performed by him 
without entertaining the Hope of Fruit, that is to say, 
merely as a duty ; and the same doctrine has been 
propounded later on when the 'sattvika sacrifice' has been 
defined ( Gl. 17. 11 and 18. 6 ). When in this way all 
Actions are performed for the purposes of a Yajfia, and that 
too without entertaining the Hope of Fruit, (1) they cannot 
affect a person adversely in any other way, according to 
the Mlmarhsa doctrine, because they have been performed 
for the purpose of a Yajna, and (2) one does not thereby 
obtain the Sastric, yet non-permanent, Fruit in the shape 
of heaven, as they have been performed 'without enter- 
taining the Hope of Fruit', but attains Release. Such is 
,' the import of this stanza ; and the same meaning has been 
again emphasised later on in the 19th stanza, as also in the 
23rd stanza of Chapter IV. In short, the doctrine of the 
Mlmarhsa school that "one should perform Action for the 
purposes of the Yajfia, as it has not a binding effect", has 
been amended and amplified by the Bhagavadgita as : 
"even the Action to be performed for the purposes of the 
Yajfia, should be performed without entertaining the Hope 
of Fruit". But even to this position an objection is raised, 
by asking whether it is not better, for obtaining Release by 
escaping the bond of Karma, that one should take 
Sarhnyasa (renounce the world) and give up all ritual, 
rather than go through the useless effort of amending this 
doctrine of the MImamsa school, and keeping alive the duty 
of a householder to perform Yajnas and Yagas. The clear 
answer of the Bhagavadgita to this is in the negative ; 



918 GlTA-BAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

ar^?r jnafgisrsq^ gtsre^rg^fflspp » to « 
tfWfk 'ZV&FS: mi: m iW tFVW n ?t » 

l^rtsrstff^t *fr 3§; ^r «3^ w h \r ii 

"because, but for the cycle of Yajfias, the affairs of the 
world will not go on. Nay ; this cycle has been created 
by Brahmadeva in the beginning of the world in order to 
maintain the world ; and in as much as the well-being or 
the welfare of the world is what is desired by the Blessed 
Lord, no one can escape the performance of this Yajfia- 
ritual. And this very import is embodied in the next 
stanza. In reading this chapter, my readers must bear in 
mind that the word Yajfia' has not been used in the narrow 
meaning of the Yajfia prescribed by the Srutis, but that it 
includes the Yajfias prescribed by the Smrtis as also all 
worldly Action prescribed for the four castes, according to 
their respective authority, j 

(10) In ancient days, Brahmadeva created living beings 
( praja ) together with the YajSa and said (to them): 'By- 
means of this (Yajfia), may you grow ; may this be to you a 
Mma-dhenu (that is, something which fulfils all desires). 

(11) By this Yajfia, do you give pleasure (that is, prosperity) 
to the gods ; (and) may those gods (in return) give you 
pleasure (that is, prosperity) ; pleasing each other (in this 
ay), may you (both) attain the highest kreya (that is, 
benefit) ; (12) because, the gods, being satisfied by the 
Yajfia, will give you (all) desired enjoyments. He who 
«njoys ( by himself atone ) what has been given by them, not 
giving it (back) to them, is indeed a thief. 

[After Brahmadeva created this Universe that is, the 
world of the gods and all the other worlds, he was filled with 
anxiety as to how all these worlds would be maintained. 
He, therefore, performed austere religious practices for a 
thousand years ; and having thereby pleased the Blessed 
LorjL He (the Blessed Lord) created the Activistic cycle 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OHAP. Ill 919 

of Yajfias for the maintenance of all these worlds, and 
directed both the gods and the men to follow that arrange- 
ment and thereby protect each other: such is the 
description given in the Narayaniya doctrine mentioned in 
• the MahSbharata ( Ma. Bha. San. 340. 38 to 63 ) ; and the 
same has been repeated in the above stanza, slightly 
differently and with minor verbal alterations. This fort- 
ifies the proposition that the doctrine enunciated in the 
A.ctivistic Bhagavata religion is propounded in the Gits. 
But, as the Bhagavata religion considered the slaughter of 
animals included in the Yajfias as objectionable (Ma Bha. 
San. 336 and 337), Yajfias by sacrifice of wealth took the 
place of the sacrifice of animals; and ultimately, the 
opinion that the Yajna by means of prayer (japayajfia), or 
by means of Knowledge ( jnana-yajfta ) was the most 
superior Yajna, came into vogue (Qi. 4. 23-33). It is clear 
that the word Yajna' means, all the Action (duties) prescri- 
bed for the four castes ; and that this Yajna-ritual or Yajfia- 
cakra (cycle of Yajfias) has to be kept going without a. 
hitch in the interests of the maintenance of society (Manu. 
1. 87). Nay, the Yajna-cafo-o' (cycle of Yajnas) mentioned 
later on in the 28th stanza is a kind of universal service 
(lokasamgraha), (See Gl. Ra. Oh. XI). It is, therefore, stated 
even in the Smrtis that the Action productive of universal 
welfare, which the Blessed Lord thus created in the 
beginning of the world for the welfare both of the world of 
men and of the world of gods, should necessarily be kept 
going ; and the same meaning has been made perfectly 
clear in the next stanza. ] 
(13) Those good men, who partake of what remains after the- 
performance of the Yajna, are redeemed from all sin. But 
those, who (without performing the Yajna) cook (food) for 
themselves (only), such sinful persons eat only sin. 

[ In the Rg-Veda hymn 10. 117. 6, the same meaning is 
conveyed ; and it is stated that : "narymavam pusyati no 
sakhayam kevalUgho bhavati kevaladC, that is, "he who does- 



.820 GlTA-RAHASYA OB. KARMA-YOGA 

not feed the 'aryama', that is, the friend, but eats alone, 
•should be looked upon as a sinner". Similarly, there are 
to be found such stanzas in the Manu-Smrti, as : "ogham, sa 
keualam bhunkte yah. paoatyatrmkaravM I yajHasistaianam hy 
etat satam annam vidhhjate" II (3. 118), that is, "He who cooks 
{food) only for himself, eats only sin ; what remains over 
after the performance of the Yajfia is called amrt and what 
remains over after everybody else has eaten (blmkta-sesa) 
is called vidhas" (Manu. 3. 285) ; and that food alone is the 
proper food for respectable people ( see, Gl. 4. 31 ). The 
Blessed Lord now gives a more detailed explanation of how 
the Yajna is necessary for the maintenance of the world, or 
how the world depends on the performance of Yajfias, 
instead of the Yajfia and other ritual being merely for the 
purpose of burning rice and sesamum into the fire, or 
merely for the purpose of obtaining heaven — ] 

■(14) Living beings come into existence from food; food 
xesults from rain ; rain results from the Yajfia ; and the Yajfia 
results from Karma (that is, ritual — Trans.). 

[ Even the Manu-Smrti describes the origin of man, and 
of the food necessary for his sustenance, in the same way. 
The stanza in the Manu-Smrti is : "the oblation made into the 
Fire in a Yajna reaches the Sun, and then rain results from 
the Sun, that is, ultimately from the Yajfia ; food results 
from the rain, and life, from food" (Manu. 3. 76) ; and the 
same stanza appears in the MahabhSrata (Ma. Bha. San. 
•262. 11). In the Taittiriya Upanisad (2. 1), this evolution 
is taken even further back, and the order of evolution is 
.. given as : "from the ParamStman was first born ether ; and 
;: afterwards, air, fire, water, and earth came into existence, 
. «ne after the other ; and from the earth spring the vegeta- 
bles, and from the vegetables, man". Therefore, the 
Blessed Lord, consistently, with that order of creation, takes 
the. evolution of created 'beings, which, in the last stanza 
nas.been brought as far as Karma, still further back to 



GET!., TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 921 



*frf srgfrspf f%f% wsrr^^rg^cT'j; i 

Prakrti (Nature or Matter), and behind Prakrti, right upto 
the Imperishable (ak$ara) Brahman ] 

(1 5) Know (that) the origin of Action (is) from the Brahman 
{that is, from Prakrti', and this Brahman has sprung out of 
the aksara * (that is to say, from the Paramesvara) ; there- 
fore, ( know that ) the AH-pervading Brahman is always 
"primarily worshipped' (adhisthita — Trans.) in the Yajfia. 

[Some commentators interpret the word 'Brahman' in this 
. stanza, not as Prakrti, but as "Veda. Although this inter- 
pretation would be correct in the meaning that "the Brah- 
man, that is, the Vedas, originate from the Paramesvara", 
yet, the words "the All-pervading Brahman is in the 
Yajfia", do not become intelligible according to that 
interpretation. Therefore, the meaning of the word ' Brah- 
man', given in the Ramanujabhasya, consistently with its 
meaning in the stanza, "mama yonir mahat brahma" 
Gl. 14 3), (where it means Prakrti), namely, 'Prakrti, which 
is the Fundamental Substance of the world * appeals to me 
as better. Besides, the description, " anuyajnam jagat sarvam 
yajflas canujagat sada", that is, "the Yajfia is followed 
by the world, and the world is followed by the Yajfia", 
which appears in the Santiparva of the Mahabharata, 
where the chapter of Yajfias is going on (San. 267. 34), 
also becomes consistent with the present stanza, if the word 
is taken to mean Prakrti. For, I have explained at con- 
siderable length in Chapters VII and VIII of the Gita- 
Rahasya, that the world is nothing but Prakrti, as also 
how Prakrti springs from the Paramesvara, and how the 
entire activity of the world springs from the three-con- 
stituented Prakrti. Besides, there is a description even 
■ in the PurusasQkta that the Gods created the world by first 
performing a Yajfia. ] 

* 'al^ara 1 , means 'the Imperishable' — Trans. • : 



922 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

(16) The life of that man who does not move the cycle; 
(that is, the cycle (pakrd), whether of Action, or of sacrificial 
ritual), which has thus been started (for the maintenance of 
the world), is sinful; and the existence, O Partha ! of this 
slave of the senses (that is, of the person, who enjoys ail- 
by himself, without giving anything to ths gods) is worthless. 

[ It has thus been proved that sacrificial Action, or the 
respective duties of the four castes, have been created by 
Brahmadeva — and not by man — and that these duties are 
necessary both for keeping the world going on (stanza 14), 
as also for maintaining oneself (stanza 8); and that, 
therefore, the Cycle of Sacrifice (yajna-cakra) has got to be 
continually kept going on in this world, unattachedly, 
That is to say, I have shown how the Karma-kanda in the 
Mlmamsa philosophy, or in the ' trayi dharma ' has been 
left untouched in the Glta-religion by the device of the 
Unattached Reason ( See Glta-Rahasya, Ch. XI, pp. 478 
to 482). But some commentators belonging to the School 
of Renunciation take exception to this by saying that, 
as the Self-Knower (atma-jflardn) obtains Release in this 
world, and as he has already acquired here all that is to be 
acquired, it is not necessary for him to perform any Action 
whatsoever in the world, nor should he perform Action. 
Therefore, the Blessed Lord now gives in the three following 
stanzas the answer of the Gits to that objection — ] 

(17) But, for the man who is merged only in the Atman, 
content in the Atman, and pleased with the Atman, nothing 
(as of his own) remains (in balance). (18) Similarly, here 
(that is, in this world) he has nothing to gain whether by 
doJM or by not doing (any particular thing) ; and there is 



GIT1, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 923 

no purpose (as of his own) which, is mixed up with all created 
beings; (19) tasmat, (that is, because the Jflanin does not 
in .this way set store by anything in this world), you too 
do not have any Attachment (to the Fruit), but perform (your) 
duty ; because, the man who performs Action, having given 
up Attachment, attains the highest (state). 

[As commentators have very much distorted the meaning 
of these three stanzas (17 to 19), I -will first explain their 
plain meaning. These three stanzas form really speaking 
only one sentence, in the shape of a reason and an inference. 
Out of these, the 17th and 18th stanzas first show the 
reasons generally given for the JnSnin not performing 
Action; and the inference drawn by the Glta is stated 
in the 19th stanza, which starts with the word 'tasrrwt' 
(that is, ' therefore '), which shows the inference. It has been 
clearly stated in the 4th and 5th stanzas in the beginning 
of this chapter, that the Actions of sleeping, sitting, getting 
up, nay, of existing itself etc., cannot be given up in this 
world, even if one wants to do so; and that, therefore, 
'ncdskarmya ' is not achieved by giving up Action, nor is 
such Renunciation of Action any means for attaining 
Perfection (siddhi). But the argument advanced against 
this point of view by the School of Renunciation is: "It 
is not that we give up Action in order to obtain Perfection. 
Whatever anybody does in this world, he does it either 
for his own gain or for the gain of another. But the 
highest ideal of every man, namely, the Siddhavastha. 
(State of Perfection), or Moksa (Release), is attained by 
a Jnanin as a result of Knowledge ; and therefore, as there 
does not remain anymore anything else, which" he has to 
acquire (stanza 17), it is all the same to him. whether he 
performs a particular Action or does not perform it. Very' 
well, if it is said that he must perform such Action for the 
benefit of other people, then he has nothing to do with 
other people (stanza 18). Then, why should he perform 
39—40 



926 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

in the same words as the Gits ; and it is stated in the 
second line that, "why should I insist on not performing 
Action ? I am performing whatever befalls me according 
to the Sastras". Also, a little higher up, the Yoga-Vasistha 
has borrowed verbatim from the Glta the stanza: "naiva 
; tasya krteriartho" etc., and in the next stanza, it says: 
yad yatha nama sampannam tat tathastv itareoa Jam ", that 
is, "therefore, (the jivan-mukta) performs whatever befalls 
him, and does not pay attention to anything else". (Yo. 
6 U. 125. 49, 50). Not only in the Yoga-Vasistha, but 
also in the GanesagltS, where the same meaning is to be 
conveyed, the stanza is : 

kimcid asya na sadhyam syat sarvajantu$u sarvada I 
afo 'saktataya bhupa kartavyaih karma jantiibhih u 

(GanesagltS 2. 18), 

that is, " there is nothing left for him to earn from other 
living beings ; for this reason (atdh), O Raja! everybody 
has to perform his duties with an unattached Reason"! 
From this it will be clear that the mutual relation between 
the three stanzas as showing respectively the reason and 
the inference, as stated by me, is correct As the" Yoga- 
Vasistha gives in one stanza what is shown in three- 
stanzas in the Glta, there remains no room for doubting 
the relation of reason and inference in that stanza. This 
line of reasoning of the Glta has been later on adopted 
by the Buddhist writers of the Mahaytna sect (Gl. Ra. 
pp. 798 and 816). The Blessed Lord now gives an 
illustration for emphasising the statement made above 
that, there no more remains any self-interest for the person 
who has attained Knowledge ; that, he must perform his 
duties with a desireless Reason ; and that, Desireless Action 
'of this kind ends in Release, instead of obstructing it — ] 
(30) Janaka and others thus attained Release by 
performing Action. In the same way, it is proper that you 
,; ; sha$d : £erform, Action, keeping an eye to universal welfare. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 927 

[ The first part of this stanza contains an illustration of 
how Release is attained by means of Desireless Action ; 
and a different subject-matter has been started from the 
second part of this stanza. It has been proved that 
although a Jnanin has nothing to do -with other people, 
yet, as such a person cannot escape the performance of 
Aotion, he must perform Action desirelessly. Although 
the argument that, ' since one cannot escape the perform- 
ance of Action, one must perform it ', may be perfectly 
logical, yet, it does not satisfy ordinary persons as much 
as it should. They are afraid in their minds that Action 
is to be performed merely because it is unavoidable, and 
that nothing else is to be gained thereby. Therefore, the 
Blessed Lord starts the second part of the stanza in order 
to show that securing universal welfare by one's Action is 
a real ideal to be reached in this world by the Jnanin. 
This is the reason for the words 'evapi' in the phrase 
' lokasamgraham evapi' ; and these words clearly show that 
a different subject has now been commenced. The word 
'loka' in the phrase ' lokasamgraha' has a comprehensive 
meaning, and includes the putting, not only mankind, but 
the entire world, on a proper path, and making a 
' samgraha ' of it, that is, maintaining, feeding, protecting, 
and defending it in a proper way, without allowing it to 
be ■ destroyed. As these and other matters have been 
dealt with by me in an exhaustive manner, in Chapter XI 
of the Glta-Rahasya (pp. 455 to 467), I shall not deal with 
them again here. The Blessed Lord now first explains why 
this duty or right of achieving 'lokasamgraha' 
(universal welfare) falls to the lot of the Jnanin — ] 

(21) Ordinary people do what is done by the Exalted 
(that is, by the Self-Realised Karma- Yogin). That thing 
which is accepted by him as correct is followed by people. 

[ The Taittiriya TJpanisad, after first giving the advice, 
'satyam vada' (speak the truth), ' dharmam eara' (act 
righteously) says : " if you are in doubt how to act in any 



928 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YCGA 

st ^ qT«rff%r ^rfef rag; t^f^'s i%-=h > 

particular contingency of life, act as the knowing, Yoga- 
practising, religious Brahmin acts in that matter" 
(Tai. 1. 11. 4) ; and a stanza to the same effect also appears 
in the Narayanlya-dharma (Ma. Bha. San. 341. 25). The 
Marathi stanza of Sri Samartha, ' jasa vartato lokakalyaya- 
kari I jagtmvartatisarvahityaprakarim", (that is, "as the 
public benefactor acts, so also do all act in the -world" — 
Trans.), is nothing but a translation of this stanza. This- 
'lokakalyanakari' person (i. e., 'public benefactor' — Trans.) 
of Sri Samartha is the ' irestha ' Karma- Yogin of the Glta. 
The word ' srestha ' does not mean a Self -Realised Ascetic 
(atma-jnartin sa.fn.ny asm), (See Gl. 5. 2). The Blessed Lord 
now points to Himself as an illustration, for further 
emphasising the proposition that although a Self -Realised 
person may have got over his selfishness, he does not escape 
the performance of Actions for public welfare—] 
(22) O Partial (see this that,) there is left no duty 
(of mine) in the three worlds for Me ; nor is there any not. 
acquired (thing left) to acquire; yet, I am performing Action; 
(23) because, if I, giving up idleness, do not take part 
in Action, then, O Partha ! all men will follow in all respects 
the path followed by Me. (24) If I do not perform Action, 
these worlds will become utscmna (that is, extinct); I shall 
be the cause of samkara (that is, caste-confusion — Trans.) j 
and these created beings will be destroyed by my hands. 

[The Blessed Lord has made clear in this stanza in a very 
njce way that ' lokasamgraha ' ( universal welfare ) is not 
some humbug. So also does the illustration of Himself 
given by the Blessed Lord fully bear out the inter- 
pretation put by me on stanzas 17 to 19 above, namely, that, 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENT ARY, CHAP. Ill 929 



§§ *ra>T! ^wrarftgMf ^«IT fulfil STFRT I 

though, no duty remains to be performed for the Jfianin 
(for himself), after he has acquired Knowledge, yet, he must 
perform all Action desirelessly. Nay, otherwise this illus- 
tration will be out of place and meaningless (See GL 
Ra. pp. 446-7). The important difference between the 
Samkhya path and the Karma-Yoga path is that the 
Jnanins following the Samkhya path do not attach the 
slightest importance to what will become of the world if 
the cycle of Yajnas come to an end, and they give up all 
Action, whereas the Jnanins following the Karma- Yoga 
path keep performing all their various Actions, according 
to their respective religion (dharma), for the purpose "of 
universal welfare ( lokasamgraha ), looking upon it as 
an objective of the utmost importance and necessity, and 
though they may not need to perform such Actions for 
their own benefit. (See Glta Rahasya, Chapter XI, p. 491). 
The Blessed Lord has thus toldArjuna what He Himself 
does. HE now shows in the following stanzas the difference 
between the Actions of the Jnanin (scient) and the Aj&anin 
(ignorant), and explains what a Jnanin has to do in order 
to reform the AjnSnin— ] 

(25) O Arjuna ! (therefore) the .Jnanin who desires 
to achieve universal welfare must behave in the same way as 
Ajnanins, who are attached to (worldly) Action, but having 
given up Attachment. (26) The Jnanin should not unsettle 
the buddhi (that is, Faith — Trans.) of Ajnanins attached to 
Action, but should (himself) become yukla (that is, yoga- 
yuhta), and a performer of all Actions, and make others 
perform them willingly. 

[This stanza means that one should not unsettle the 
faith, or conviction of the Ajnanins (ignorant), and the same 
direction is again given in the 29th stanza. But, this does 
not mean that people are to be kept in ignorance. In the 



930 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

25th stanza, it has been stated that the Jnanin must achieve 
universal welfare ( lokasamgraha ) ; and 'universal welfare' 
means enlightening people. But to this an objection may- 
be raised that though 'lolcasamgraha' may be a duty, yet, it 
is not necessary on that account that a Jnanin should 
personally perform Action ; and it will be quite enough if 
he imparts wisdom to people. To this objection, the Blessed 
Lord replies that : 'if knowledge is merely orally imparted 
to those persons, who have not got into the firm habit of 
righteous Action, (and ordinary people belong to this 
category), we see that they make use of that Knowledge of 
the Brahman for supporting their own misdeeds ; and they 
talk nonsense, saying, "such and such a Jnanin says so" '. 
Besides, if a Jnanin absolutely gives up all Action, that 
becomes an illustration for the Ajfianin to become idle. 
"When people thus become wicked in thought, or mischievous, 
or idlers, a 'buddhi-bheda' is said to have taken place ; and 
it is not proper that a Jnanin should in this way unsettle 
(make a bheda of) the conviction (buddhi) of other people. 
Therefore, the Glta has laid down the important doctrine 
that, it is an important duty of a man who has become a 
Jnanin, to remain himself in worldly life, for the purpose 
of 'lokasamgraha' ', that is, in order to make people wise, and 
put them on the righteous path, and thus to give a living 
example to others of performing righteous, that is, Desireless 
Action, and make them act righteously. (See Glta-Rahasya 
pp. 561-2). But some commentators disregard this import of 
the Glta, and put a perverse interpretation on this stanza to 
mean: "the Jnanin should hypocritically perform the same 
acts which are performed by the Ajnanins, in order that the 
Ajnanins should remain Ajnanins, and perform Actions " ! 
As if the Glta has been written in order to teach people 
hypocrisy, and in order to keep people in ignorance and 
make them perform Actions like beasts ! Those persons, 
who firmly believe that Jfianins should not perform Action 
will naturally look upon ' lokasamgraha' as hypocritical. 
But, that is not the true message of the Glta. The Blessed 
Lord says that .' lokasamgraha' is one of the important 
duties of a Jnanin, and that; a Jfianin must perform Action 



GlTA, ANSLATION& COMMENTARY, CHAP. HI 931 

^mr gotg cr^i fit Hc^t * m£i 11 *< n 

not for keeping people in ignorance, but in order to place 
before them an excellent example, and to thereby improve 
them, (See GIta-Rahasya, Chapters XI and XII). To 
proceed further ; there is the likelihood of a doubt that if a 
Self-Realised Jnanin begins to -do all worldly Actions in 
this way for universal welfare, he too will become an 
Ajfianin. Therefore, the Blessed Lord now shows the 
difference between the conduct of a Jnanin and an Ajfianin, 
though both 'may take part in worldly life, as also what the 
Ajfianin has to learn from the Jnanin — ] 
(27) Though all Actions take placets a result of the consti- 
tuents (sattva, rajas, and tatnas) of Prakrti, the (Ajfianin per- 
son) befooled by egoism looks upon himself as the doer. (28) 
But, O mighty-armed Arjuna ! he (the Jfianin), who realises 
the principle that, the constituents, as also Actions, are both 
different , from himself, ' and that all this is nothing but the 
mutual inter-play of the constituents, does not become' 
attached to it. (29) People befooled by the constituents of 
Prakrti become attached to the constituents and to Actions ; 
such non-scient and dull-mi aded people should not be spoiled' 
by the Jnanins (by putting them on a wrong path by 
abandoning Action themselves). 

[This stanza repeats the exposition made in the 26th 
stanza. The propositions laid down in the above stanzas, 
namely : Prakrti and the Atman are different from each 
other; Prakrti or Maya does everything, the Atman does 
nothing; and he, who has Realised this, is the true 'buddlia' 
or 'jfianin' etc., form part of the Kapila-Samkhya philosophy ; 
and the reader is referred to -the .exhaustive exposition of 
this subject made in the seventh chapter of the GIta-Rahasya 
(pp. 222 to 226). Many persons interpret the 28th stanza as . 



932 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



§§ % $ iiwmz f%^ragf3sf?cf m*m"< i 

■M^HUIH^Kdlffen^ «<aH^ri^ : n 3* II 

meaning that the 'gwnaK, that is, the 'senses', rove about in 
the 'gunah'i that is, the 'objects of the senses'. This interpreta- 
tion is not incorrect ; because, the eleven organs of sense and 
the five 'objects of the senses' (that is, visaya), such as, 'sabda' 
(sound), ' sparia ' (touch) etc. form part of the 23 qualities of 
the original Prakrti according to Sarhkhya philosophy ; but 1 
think that, the statement, " gurcja guqesu vartante", has been. 
made with reference to all the twenty-four qualities (Gi. 13. 
19-22 ; and 14. 23). I have translated those words literally 
and in an exhaustive way. And saying that, although the- 
JIanin and the Ajnanin may both perform the same act, . 
yet, there is a great difference between them from the point 
of view of Eeason (See Gita-Eahasya, pp. 430 and 450), the 
Blessed Lord now advises as follows, by way of summarising 
all this exposition — ] 

(30) (For this reason, O Arjuna ! ) making a ' samnyasa '" 
(that is, dedication) of all Actions to Me ' with a mind fixed, 
on the Highest Self (that is, with an adhyatmabuddhi — 
Trans.), and giving up Hope (for the Fruit) as also Mine-ness, 
fight, without any mental perturbation. 

[ The Blessed Lord now explains the result of acting 
• according to this advice and of not so acting — ] 

(31) Those devout (persons), who always act according 
to this advice of Mine, without finding fault with it, they too 
become free from Karma, (that is, from the bonds of Karma). 
(32) But, know that those, who do not act according to this 
My teaching, finding fault with it with a fault-finding vision, 
such ' sarvajnana-vimudha' (that is, utter fools), thoughtless. 
persons, are utterly ruined. 

[The description of the consequences of following or not 
following Karma-Yoga, given above to prove that the 



GUI, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY.CHAP.nl 933 

srf^ ^rn^r »prR r?h: f% ^ftmia u ^ » 

Kaama-Yoga, which prescribes Desireless Action, is the 
best, clearly shows what, the doctrine propounded by the 
Gits is. In order to supplement this disquisition on the 
Karma-Yoga, the Blessed Lord now describes the strength 
of Prakrti (inherent nature), and the control of the senses 
necessary for resisting that power — ] 

(33) Even the Jfianin acts according to the natural 
tendency of his Prakrti ; all created beings act according to 
the inclination of (their respective) Prakrtis ; (in these 
circumstances) what can restraint (that is, pressure) do ? 
(34) The liking and repulsion between the senses and 
the objects of sense (such as, sound, touch, etc.) are both 
vyavasthita (that is, fundamentally fixed). One should not 
become subject to this affection and repulsion, because, they 
are the (highway-robbing) enemies of men. 

[ The word ' m'graha ' in the 33rd stanza does not mean 
mere ' control ', but means ' coercion ', or ' insistence '. The 
Glta favours the proper control of the senses. What is 
meant here is that it is not possible to totally destroy the 
natural tendencies of the senses by self-coercion or 
persistence. For instance, so long as the body exists, a 
man leaves his home to go and beg when he is hungry, 
however much he may be a Jnanin or wise, because hunger, 
thirst, etc. are natural tendencies. Therefore, this stanza 
means that the duty of a wise man lies, not in uselessly 
determining to totally kill the senses by force, but in 
keeping them within his control by ' samyamana ' 
(concentration), and turning his natural tendencies to 
universal welfare. Similarly, it is quite clear from the 
word 'vyavasthita' in the 34th stanza that pain and 
happiness are two independent emotions, and that tbe one 
is not the absence of the other" (Gl. Ra. Ch. IV pp. 136 and 
182). In the incessant activity of Prakrti, that is, of the 



934 GlTA-RAHASYA OH KARMA-YOGA 



creation, it very often happens that we have to do things, 
■which we do not want to do (Gl. 18. 39). It is impossible 
for us to refuse to perform them. On these occasions, the 
Jfianin performs these acts with a desireless frame of mind 
and purely as a matter of duty, and remains untouched by 
the sin or the merit of the Action, whereas, the Ajfianin 
becomes Attached to these things and thereby suffers pain. 
This is the great difference between the two from the 
point of Reason, as has been stated by the poet Bhasa. But 
now the following difficulty arises : even taking it for 
granted that one should not forcibly kill the senses, nor 
give up Action, but should perform all Actions with an 
unattached Reason, yet, is it not more proper for the Jfianin 
to take to agriculture, commerce, mendicancy, cr other 
similar mild and harmless Action, rather than to terrible 
and destructive acts like warfare? To this the Blessed 
Lord replies as follows—] 

(35) Even if it may be easier to follow the religion of 
another, yet, one's own religion (that is, according to the 
religion of the four castes) is more meritorious, though it 
might be ' vigima' (that is, full of faults); though death results 
(while acting) according to one's own religion, there is bliss 
in that ; (but) the religion of another is risky ! 

['One's own religion' means the ' code of duties prescribed 
for every one by the Sastras according to the arrangement 
of the four castes laid down by the writers of the Smrtis '; 
it does not mean the science of Release (moksa-dharma). 
As the arrangement of the four castes, made by the writers 
of the Sastras by allocating activities consistently with the 
special qualities of each, is for the benefit of everybody 
{Gl. 18. 41), the welfare of Brahmins and Ksatriyas and the 
welfare of the entire society, lies in their respectively 
performing their own duties, notwithstanding that they 
become Jaanins (sages) ; and it is not proper for them to 
meddle with that arrangement every now and then. This 
is what the Blessed Lord says (Gl. Ra.. pp. 464 and 697). 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 935 

§§ saw %h sig^s* qrf ^tf?t <£^ni 

There is a Gujarati proverb in vogue which has the same 
meaning namely, "jerium kama temthi thaya I bijo hare io- 
gotham Khaya ". Anybody will admit that, even where the 
four-caste arrangement is not in vogue, it is in the best 
interests of everybody, that the man who has spent the 
whole of his life in the army should, when the occasion 
arises, do the business of a fighting-soldier, rather than that 
of a tailor ; and the same argument applies to the four- 
caste arrangement. The question whether the four-caste 
arrangement is good or bad, is a different question 
altogether, and does not arise here. It is an unquestionable 
fact that other forms of activity are as necessary for the 
proper maintenance and protection of society as agriculture ' 
or other similarly harmless and gentle occupations. This 
stanza means that whatever occupation one may have once 
adopted, whether according to the four-caste arrangement, - 
or of one's own free will, it becomes one's '.religion ', and it 
is not proper to find fault with it when occasion arises 
and to forsake one's duty; and if necessary, one must 
die in the performance of one's own duty in life. 
Whatever occupation is considered, some fault or other 
can certainly be found with it (Gl. 18. 48). But it is not 
proper that one should, on that account, give up one's pres- 
cribed (niyata) duty. This very principle has been enun- 
ciated in the Brahmana-Hunter dialogue and Tuladhara- 
Jajali dialogue in the Mahabharata; and the first half 
of the 35th stanza is to be found in the Manu-Smrti 
(Manu. 10. 97), and also later on again in the Gita (18. 47). 
With reference to the statement, "one cannot carry out 
one's determination to kill the senses " in the 33rd stanza, 
Arjuna. "now asks why that should be so, and why a man 
is pulled towards evil deeds, against his will.] 

• Arjuna said : (36) -Varsneya ! (that is, Sri Krsna\ 

now tell me by what inspiration. does -a man commit sin, not 



GITA-RA.HASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 
4frtJttlg4H 1 

3rp|3 fITSWcH UTRsft Mc^Ruil I 

H^|-vdRlPsim u m<tt f^TWf WTO I 

■himself desiring it, as though coerced ? The Blessed Lord 
said: (37) Know that in this matter, the enemy is that 
Desire, which is most greedy and most sinful, born out of 
the rajas constituent, and that Anger; (38) just as fire 
is covered by smoke, or a mirror by dust, or as the embryo 
is enveloped by the amnion, so has everything been 
enveloped by it; (39) O Kaunteya! that which is an 
insatiable fire, that constant enemy of Jfianins in the shape 
of Desire, has enveloped all Knowledge. 

[ This is a repetition of the statement of Manu that : 
najatu kamah kamanam upabhogena samyati I 
havisa krsnaoartTiiewi bhuya evabhivardhale II 

(Manu. 2. 94); 
that is, "Desire is never satisfied by the enjoyment of the 
objects of Desire; it grows more and mors as does the fire 
to which fuel is added " ( See GL Ra. Ch. V, p. 143 ) ]. 
(40) The Senses, the Mind and the Reason are said to 
be the adhisthana (that is, the house, or fortress) of it; by 
the support of these, it puts aside Knowledge and throws 
the man into confusion. (41) Therefore, O most excellent 
Bharata! first control the senses and destroy this sinner, 
who is the destroyer of Jfiana ( Spiritual Knowledge ) and 
Vijfiana (specified Knowledge). " 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. Ill 937 

srit srf *ku«hsCi ^ra^w ^iwjh » 83 n 

(42) It is said that the senses (which know material 
•external objects as they experience them) are 'para ' (that is, 
beyond) ; the Mind is beyond the senses, the vyavasayfitmika 
(that is, discerning — Trans.) Reason is beyond the Mind; 
and It (the Atman) is beyond the Reason. (43) O Migbty- 
.armed Arjuna ! thus Realising that, which is beyond the 
Reason, and controlling yourself by yourself, destroy this 
■enemy, which is difficult to conquer, in the shape of Desire. 

[In order that a person should be able to perform all 
Actions according to his own religion, and for universal 
•welfare, having got rid of Attachment (asakti) in the shape 
of Desire, one must have perfect control over his senses : and 
that is the only control over the senses, which is meant 
here. The Glta does not say that one should forcibly kill 
-the senses, and give up all Action (see Gl. Ra. Ch. V, p. 153). 
The stanza " indriyayi pararpyahuh etc." above (3.42) is from 
-the Kathopanisad, and I have shown in the Glta-Rahasya 
that four or five other stanzas have been taken into the 
Glta (see Appendix p. 741) from the Kathopanisad. The 
purpose of the senses is to collect the impressions of the 
external world ; and after the Mind has co-ordinated them, 
the Reason distinguishes between them ; and the Atman 
■(Self) is beyond all these, and different from all these. 
'This is, in short, the summary of the Science of the Body 
.and the Atman (See the exhaustive consideration of 
this subject-matter at the end of Chapter VI of the Glta- 
Rahasya pp. 179 to 201). As I have exhaustively 
■considered in the tenth chapter of the Glta-Rahasya (pp. 383 
to 395) the moot questions relating to the doctrine of 
•Causality (karma-vipaka), such as, how a man is incited 
to a particular act as a result of the emotions of Desire, 
Anger etc., notwithstanding that he may not wish tc 
perform it, or how a man finds out a way even out of this 



938 GlTS.-EAHA.SYA OR KAKMA-YOGA 

fi% 5fl<+*^NsfraTg 3cn%csg %®f&xm ?fr»T^T# 

situation by means of sense-control, as lie has Freedom of 
Will, I shall not take up space by repeating the same 
subject-matter here. The question of the. control of the 
senses has been considered later in Chapter VI of the GitaJ 

Thus ends the third chapter, entitled Karma- Yoga 
in the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the Yoga 
included in the Science of the Brahman (that is, on the 
Karma- Yoga) in the Upanisad suug (that is told) by the 
Blessed Lord. 



fgcr^n^TWg 5TTf Tr«JK&HlT5fi%SsCT3 II ? it 

*s=f q<M<miHi*i*i Tra&ft rafs i 

*r ts=rra t*tt rrsir sfrr: imp: g^icm*. i 
*r>r?rsf% it gfw ^m *m? miMH H « 3 » 

CHAPTER IY. 

[This chapter further emphasises the -principles of 

Karma-Yoga which have been explained so far, namely, (i) 

as nobody can escape Karma (Action), Action must be 

performed, though the Reason may have become desireless ; 

(ii) ' Karma ' means, such karma as Yajnas and Yagas etc.; 

(iii) but, as this Karma (ritual) of the Mlma.rb.sa school is. 

productive of heaven, and consequently to a certain extent 

binding, it must be performed having given up Attachment. 

(asakti) ; (iv) even though selfishness disappears as a result 

of Knowledge, Action does not cease to be necessary ; and, 

therefore, even a Jfianin must perform Desireless Action, 

as such Action is essential in the interests of universal 

welfare. In order that Arjuna should not suspect that this 

course of conduct, or Nistha was something new, which had 

been prescribed for him, the Blessed Lord now first explains. 

the ancient tradition of this teaching which has been. 

handed down from preceptor to disciple. ] 

^ (1) I expounded this avyaya (that is, inexhaustible, or 

which is not touched by past, present, or future, and is. 

permanent) (Karma-) Yoga to Vivasvat (that is, the Sun); 

Vivasvat expounded it to (his son) Manu ,- and Mann 

expounded it to (his son) Iksvaku. (2) This Yoga, come 

into existence by this tradition, came to be known to the 

Royal Sages ; but, O Satrutapana ! (Arjuna), after the 

lapse of considerable time, it ceased to exist on this world. 

(3) That same ancient Yoga (Karma-Yoga-marga) has been 

41—42 



'940 GTTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

expounded by Me to you to-day, as being the most supreme 
mystery (of all mysteries), bscause you are My disciple, and 
and are beloved of Me. 

[ I have proved in Chapter III of the Glta-Rahasya 
(pp. 76-88) that the single word ' Yoga ' used in these three 
stanzas has been used in the meaning of 'Karma-Yoga', 
that is, ' the method of performing Action with an Equable 
Reason ', out of the two paths of life, namely, the Sarbkhya 
and the Yoga. Although the tradition of this path of life 
-which has been stated in these stanzas is of the utmost 
importance for understanding its origin, commentators do 
not seem to have paid much attention to the matter. In 
the description of the Bhagavata religion given in the 
Narayaniya Upakhyana of the Mahabharata, Vaisarhpayana 
says to Janamejaya that in the Svetadvlpa, this religion 
•was, from the Blessed Lord, 

naradenct fu saftipraptah sarahasyah sasamgrahah I 
em dharmo jagannathat saksan narayanan nrpa II 
euamesa mihan dharmah sa te purmni nrpottama I 
kathito harigttasu sim'isavidhikalpitdh tt 

(Ma. Bha. San. 346. 9, 10) 
that is, " acquired by Narada ; and O Raja ! the same 
illustrious religion has been imparted to you in the Hari- 
■glta, that is, in the BhagavadgitS, together with the briefly 
stated ritual (xanwsaudhikalpitah)'" '. Later on, it is again 
stated (Ma. Bha. San. 348. 8) that, " this religion was 
•expounded to Arjuna, who had become despondent in the 
war". This clearly shows that the Karma-Yoga in the 
Glta has arisen out of the Bhagavata doctrine (Ql. Ra. pp. 12 
to 16). The tradition of this doctrine from the beginning of 
the universe has not been given in the Glta out of fear of its 
taking up too much space ; and reference has been made 
, only to Vivasvan, Ma'nu, and Iksvaku ; but the real mean- 
ing of this statement becomes clear when one considers the 
•entire tradition of the Narayaniya doctrine. Brahmadeva 
had seven lives. After the description of the tradition of 
the Narayaniya religion given in the first six of these lives 
Is over, Yaisampayana has again said to Janamejaya in , 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 941 



the course of the further description of the Narayanlya 
doctrine as follows : — When the Krta-Yuga of the seventh, 
that is to say, the present life of Brahmadeva was over, 
tretayugadau ca tato vivasvan rnanave dadau I 
manus ca lokabhrtyartham sutayeksvakave dadau II 
iksuakuna ca kathito vyapya lokan acasthitah l 
gamisyati ksayante ca punar narayanam nrpa I 
yatinam capi yo dharmah sa te purvam nrpottama I 
kathito harigitasu samasavidhikalpitah n 
that is, "this doctrine was propounded by Vivasvan to 
Manu in the beginning of the Treta-yuga ; Manu gave 
it to his son Iksvaku for universal welfare, and 
Iksvaku then propounded it to the world; O Raja: 
when the world has been destroyed, (this doctrine) will 
go back to Narayana. This doctrine, and side by side 
with it, "yatinam capi", that is, 'the Samnyasa doctrine 
also ', has been explained to you before in the Bhagavad- 
glta" (Ma. Bha. San. 348. 51-53). From this, it becomes 
clear, that the tradition of the Bhagavata doctrine given 
here relates only to the Tretayuga, which came before the 
Dvapara-yuga at the end of which the Bharatiya war took 
place ; and that more has not been described out of fear for 
the amount of space which the description would take up. 
This Bhagavata doctrine is nothing else but ' Yoga ' or 
* Karma-Yoga ' ; and this tradition of the Karma-Yoga 
having been propounded to Manu, appears not only in the 
Glta, but has also been referred to in the Bhagavata-purSna 
(BhSg. 8. 24. 55) ; and the importance of the Karma-Yoga 
propounded to Manu has also been described in the 52nd 
chapter of the Matsyapurana. But the subject-matter 
stated in any of these places is not as exhaustive and 
complete as in the Narayanlya Upakhyana. When one 
realises that the tradition of 'Vivasvan to Manu to 
Iksvaku * does not at all apply to the Sarhkhya doctrine ; 
and that no third Nistha in addition to the Samkhya and 
the Yoga doctrines has been propounded in the Gits, the 
fact that this tradition is of the Karma- Yoga comes to be 
proved in a second way (01. %. 39). But, although the 
tradition of the Samkhya and the Yoga doctrines may not 



943 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

§§ smt ■mm sntf <re *&n fi N ^ a = i 

be the same, yet, as the exposition of the Samkhya or 
Samnyasa doctrine is inoidentally included in the 
exposition of Karma-Yoga (Gl. Ra. Ch. XIV, p. 660) 
Vaisampayana has said that the yati-dharma, or the 
Samnyasa doctrine, has been described in the Bhagavad- 
glta. In the description of the duties applicable to the four 
stages of life, given in the Manu-Smrti, there is at the end 
of the sixth chapter a description of the Yati-dharma 
(religion of Ascetics), which is followed by a description 
as of an alternative path, of the Karma-Yoga described in 
the Gits or in the Bhagavata doctrine, under the name of 
the ' Karma- Yoga of Vedic Sarhnyasins '; and it is clearly 
stated there, that "the highest Release is ultimately 
obtained by continually doing one's duties desirelessly " 
(Manu. 6. 96) ; and this clearly shows that the Karma- Yoga 
was acceptable to Manu. And I have quoted authorities 
at the end of Chapter XI of the Gita-Rahasya (pp. 505 to 
509) to show that it was also acceptable to the other Smrti- 
writers. Arjuna now raises the following doubt as to this 
tradition — ]. 

Arjuna said : (4) Your birth is subsequent, and that 
of Vivasvat was beyond (that is, earlier) ; (that being so) 
how can I realise that You expounded (this Yoga) ' adau ' 
(that is, before — Trans.) ? 

[In replying to this question of Arjuna, the Blessed Lord 
describes the work done by Him in His various 
incarnations and again emphasises the Attachment-less 
KarmarYoga or the Bhagavata doctrine, saying " I too have 
been performing Actions in this fashion"—]. 
The Blessed Lord said: (5) O Arjuna ! both yourself and 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMBN TARY, CHAP. TV 943 

Myself have lived through many lives. I know all this ; (and) 
O Parantapa ! you do not (this is the difference). (6) Being 
the Lord of (all) created beings, and free from births, (and) 
though the form of My Atman never suffers ' vyaya' (that is, 
modification), yet, governing My own Prakrti, I come to 
birth by My own Maya. 

[ In the Spiritual Knowledge contained in this stanza, a 
fusion has been made of the Kapila-Samkhya with the 
Vedanta philosophy. The Samkhya doctrine is that the 
Prakrti creates the world of its own accord; but the 
Vedantins look upon Prakrti as a form of the Paramesvara, 
and believe that the world is created as a result of 
the Paramesvara governing (becoming adMsthita in) 
His own Prakrti. This unimaginable power of the 
Paramesvara to create the entire cosmos from His Imper- 
ceptible form is called ' Maya ' in the Glta ; and there are 
similarly such statements in the Svetasvataropanisad as 
" mayam tu prakrtim vidyan ?nayinam tu ymliesvaram" (Sve. 
4. 10), that is, "Prakrti is nothing else but Maya, and the 
Paramesvara is the Lord of that Maya", and "asman rriayi 
srjate visvam etat" (Sve. 4. 9), that is, "from it, the Lord of 
Maya, creates this world". See the exhaustive discussion 
made by me in Chapter IX of the Glta-Rahasya on the 
questions, (i) why is Prakrti called 'Maya'? (ii) what is 
the form of this Mays ? (iii) what is meant by saying that 
the world is created as a result of Maya? etc. Having thus 
explained how the Imperceptible (avyakta) Paramesvara 
becomes Perceptible (vyakta), that is to say, how Karma 
. is seen to have come into existence, the Blessed Lord now 
explains when and why He does so — ■ ]. 

(7) O Bharatal whenever Righteousness declines and 
Unrighteousness becomes powerful, then I Myself come to 



944 GtTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

«r§€ir §warror <jm u^rrarmrart u to n 

birth. (8) I take birth in different Yugas for protecting the 
Righteous and destroying the Unrighteous, and for establi- 
shing Righteousness. 

[ In both these stanzas, the word ' Dharma ' does not mean 
' the Vedic religion relating to life in the other world'. The 
word principally means and includes the duties of the four 
castes, justice, morality, and other similar things. The 
import of this stanza is that when injustice, imm orality, 
cruelty, and tyranny begin to rule in the world and the 
righteous are harassed and the unrighteous predominate, the 
Blessed Lord becomes incarnated in the shape of a brilliant 
and powerful human being, in order that proper order 
should rule in the world which He created, and that 
the world should derive happiness (Gi. 10. 41) ; and He thus 
re-establishes the disorganised condition of the world. It 
has been stated in the previous chapter that ' lokasamgraha ' 
(Universal welfare) is only another name for the work 
which the Blessed Lord does by becoming incarnated in this 
manner; and that the Self-Realised ( atma-jfianins ) must do 
the same work as far as their power or authority extends. 
(GL 3. 20). It has thus been stated when and for what 
reason the Paramesvara becomes incarnated. The Blessed 
Lord now explains what state is attained by those persons 
who realise this principle and act according to it — ] 

(9) He, who understands the principle underlying these 
transcendental births and Actions, he, O Arjuna !, after 
shedding the Body, conies and joins Me, without being 
re-bom. (10) Many people, whose love, anger, and fear 
have gone, who are devoted to Me, and seek shelter in Me, 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 945 

becoming (thus) pure by the austerity in the shape of 
Knowledge, have come and become merged in My Form. 
[ In order to understand the transcendental births of the 
Blessed Lord, it is necessary to understand how the Para- 
mesvara becomes qualityful as a result of M5y5 ; and when 
one understands that, one acquires Spiritual Knowledge; 
and when one fully understands the transcendental Karma 
or Action of the Blessed Lord, one becomes acquainted with 
the principle of remaining unattached to Karma even 
after performing it. In short, when one has fully under- 
stood the transcendental births and the transcendental 
Karma of the Paramesvara, one becomes fully acquainted 
with both Spiritual Knowledge and Karma- Yoga; and, as 
that is all which is necessary for obtaining Release, such 
a person cannot but ultimately obtain union with the Blessed 
Lord. Therefore, when a man has Realised the transcen- 
dental births and the transcendental Karma of the Blessed 
Lord, that is all he need Realise ; and it is not necessary to 
separately study Spiritual Knowledge or the Desireless 
Karma-Yoga. Therefore, the Blessed Lord asks you to 
contemplate on His births and deeds, and understand 
the principle underlying them, and act accordingly ; and 
says that, having done this, nothing else is required to be 
done for obtaining union with the Blessed Lord. This is 
indeed the true worship of the Blessed Lord. The Blessed 
Lord now mentions the fruit and the usefulness of inferior 
kinds of worship — ] 
(11) In that way in which they worship Me, I give them 
Fruit accordingly. O Partha ! whichever path is followed, 
a man ultimately comes and joins into My path. 

[The latter portion of this stanza, namely, "mama 
wrtmanuvartante" etc., has come above (3.23) in a some- 
what different meaning; and that will show how the 
meaning of words differs in the Gita aocording to anterior 
and posterior contexts. The Blessed Lord now explains why 



'946 GlTA-RAHASYA oe KARMA-YOGA 

^T|?cf : WIT T%f% ^T^cT SI %5f?fT: I 
%sf ft *TT3% ^1% f%f%ifora 3OT3TT II t* II 
§§ =gi^o^ W gi JJtJTEOTfl*JpT=>T: | 

different persons reach Him by different paths, if it is true 
that by whichever way one goes, one ultimately reaches 
the Paramesvara — ] 
(12) People, who desire (only) the Fruit of Action 
(and not the destruction of the bonds of Karma), worship 
deities in this world,- because, (that) Fruit of Action is soon 
obtained in this world of human beings. 

[These very ideas have appeared again later on in 
Chapter VII (See Gi, 7. 21, 22). The true fruit of the 
worship of the Paramesvara is Release, and it is obtained 
only after the bond of Action has been fully destroyed, 
after a considerable length of time and by deep and solitary 
worship; but, very few persons are so far-sighted or 
industrious. This stanza means that almost all people 
want to have something or other in this world, as the Fruit 
of their Action; and that such people run after deities 
(Ql. Ra. Oh. XIII p. 589). But the Gita says that this is 
in the end a kind of worship of the Paramesvara, and that 
when this Yoga grows.it ultimately culminates in Desireless 
"Worship, and eventually Release is obtained (Gi. 7. 19). 
The Blessed Lord has explained before that the Paramesvara 
becomes incarnated for the re-establishment of Righteous- 
ness. HE now explains in short what is necessary to.be done 
for the re-establishment of Righteousness. — ] 

(13) I Myself have created the arrangement of the 
four castes (into Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras), 
consistently with the differences in their qualities and 
Actions. It is I, Who am the Maker of it, and (I am) also an 
ctkartU (that is, One Who has not made that arrangement), 
and avyaya (that is, inexhaustible— Trans.). 

[This stanza means that although the Paramesvara is the 
Doer (karta), yet, as He. is. always unattached (nihsanga) as. 



GIT A, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 947 

fi% iff msf^r^ cRifra^ *3 ^413 ii ?8 ii 

1^ ?F^r rTOTTriJ *%$ • *gfat fTcf* II \1 II 
described in the next stanza, He is necessarily a Non-Doer 
{akarta), (See Glta. 5. 14). There are also other apparently 
inconsistent descriptions later on of the form of the 
Paramesvara, e.g., " sarvendriyaguyabhasam sarvendriyaw- 
varjitam " (Gl. 13. 14). See the description of the difference 
between the qualities of the four different castes later on in 
Chapter XVIII (18. 4149). The Blessed Lord now explains 
the hidden meaning of the words, ' One Who does, and at 
the same time, does not do ', which the Blessed Lord has 
used with reference to Himself — ] 

(14) I am not touched by the lepa, (that is, the adverse 
■effect) of Karma, because, My Desire is not in the Fruit of 
Action. He who Knows Me in that way, is not affected by 
Karma. 

[It has been stated above in the 9th stanza that " he who 
understands My birth and My Aotion attains Release ". 
This stanza contains an elucidation of the principle of 
* Action ' mentioned in that stanza. The word ' under- 
stands ' means and includes ' understands and acts 
accordingly '. This stanza means that the Blessed Lord is 
not affected by the Action which He performs, because He 
does not perform the Action, entertaining the Hope of 
Fruit ; and he who understands this principle and acts 
accordingly cannot be affected by Action. The Blessed 
Lord now fortifies the proposition laid down in this stanza 
by an actual example — ] 

(15) Knowing this, those who strove after Emancipation 
in ancient times, also performed Action ; therefore, do you 
also perform the Action (Karma) performed by the ancients 
in the past, 

[A definite advice has been given to Arjuna to perform 
Action, as there is no antagonism between Action and Release. 
But this gives rise to a doubt as to what is essentially 



948 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

waft giFT ^t^=4 #Fg=?i ^ f2i**f<Ji! i 

meant by the opinion of the School of Renunciation that 
' Release is attained by Abandonment of Action, that is, 
by Inaction (akarma) '. Therefore, the Blessed Lord now 
starts a disquisition on what Action is ; and He ultimately 
lays down in the 23rd stanza the proposition that Non- 
Action (akarma) does not consist in giving up Action ; and 
that, Desireless Action is to be called Non-Action (alcarma),] 

(1 6) Even the Wise are confused as to what is karma 
(Action — Trans.)? and what is akarma (Abandonment of 
Action — Trans.) ; (therefore,) I shall explain to you that kind 
of Karma, by knowing which, you will be free from sin. 

[•' akarma ' is a ' nan-samasa ' ; and the ' a '=' nan ', in it, 
grammatically means both ' absence of ' (abhava), or 
' impropriety of ' (aprasastya) ; and it cannot be said that 
both these meanings may not be meant here. Nevertheless, 
as a third division of Action called ' vikarma ' has been 
mentioned in the next stanza, the word ' akarma * 
in this stanza must be taken to mean particularly, 
that ' Abandonment of Action ' which the School 
of Renunciation called ' the literal abandonment of 
Action '. Nay, it will be seen from my commentary on the 
18th stanza, that it is not necessary to totally abandon 
Action, as prescribed by the School of Renunciation ; that, 
such Abandonment of Action is not true ' akarma ' ; and 
that, the true meaning of the word 'akarma' is quite 
different.] 

(17) The path (gatih — Trans.) of Karma is moot; 
(therefore,) it is necessary to understand what is karma,. 
(that is, Action— Trans.) and it is necessary to understand 
what is vikarma (vipanta karma), (that is, Wrong Action — 
Trans.) j and it is also necessary to understand what is- 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 949 

akarma (not performing Action). (18) That man, who 
sees Inaction in Action, and Action in Inaction, is the 
Jnanin (sage — Trans.) among men; he is 'yukta', (that is,- 
'yoga-yukta '), (that is, steeped in the Karma- Yoga— Trans.), 
and one who performs all Actions. 

[This and the following five stanzas contain a 
description of ' karma ', and 'akarma' and 'vikarma'; and 
whatever has been left over here has been made up later on 
in Chapter XVIII, where the three kinds of Abandonment 
of Action (karma-tyaga), the three kinds of Action (karmi) 
and the three kinds of Doers (karta) have been explained 
(Ql. 18. 4-9 ; 23-25 ; and 26-28), It is necessary to explain 
here in short and clearly what the doctrines of the Gita are 
about karma, akarma, and vikarma, having regard to the 
disquisitions on Karma in these two places; because, the 
commentators have created a considerable amount of 
confusion about these things. The followers of the School 
of Renunciation favour the ' literal ' abandonment of 
Action ; and, therefore, they try to stretch the meaning of 
the term ' akarma ' here in support of their own doctrine ; 
and the followers of the Mlmamsa school favour desire- 
prompted Action like Yajfias and Yagas ; and look upon 
everything else as ' vikarma '. There are besides, the 
differences of the Mlmamsa school between the Daily {nitya) 
and the Occasional (naimittika) Action ; and the supporters 
of the Sastras try at the same time to push forward their 
own doctrine. In short, as a result of this stretching in all 
directions, it ultimately becomes very difficult to understand 
what the Gita understands as ' akarma ' and what as 
' vikarma '. Therefore, it must be borne in mind in the first 
instance, that the scientific basis on which this point has been 
considered in the Gita is the path of the Karma-Yogin, who 
performs Action desirelessly ; and not of the Mimamsakas, 
who perform Desire-prompted Action, nor of the followers of 
the School of Renunciation, who abandon Action. "When 
one accepts this basis of the Gita, it follows first of all that 



■950 GlTA-EAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

' akarma ' cannot possibly mean ' karmasunyata ' (total 
absence of Action); and that no man can under any circum- 
stances be Inactive (Gl. 2. 5; 18.11); because, nobody can 
escape sleeping, sitting, or at any rate, being alive ; and 
if it is impossible to be totally Inactive (karma-iunya), 
one has to decide what is meant by 'akarma'. To this 
the reply of the Gits is : Do not look upon ' Karma' as 'the 
mere performing of Action'; but decide as to whether an 
Action is ' karma ' or ' akarma ' by considering the good or 
bad results which flow from it. If the Cosmos itself is 
karma, man cannot escape karma, so long as he exists in 
the Cosmos. Therefore, the consideration of what a man 
-should do or not do, must be from the point of view of to 
what extent such Action will prejudicially affect him. 
That Action, which being performed, does not prejudicially 
affect the Doer, must be deemed to have lost its nature of 
being a ' karma ' (that is, its ' karmatva ' ), or its binding 
force (bandhakafva) ; and if in this way, any Karma loses its 
'karmatva' ox 'bandhakatva', then necessarily that 'karma' 
becomes an 'akarma'. It is true that the ordinary meaning 
•of the word 'akarma' is' total absence of Action' (karma- 
sunyata); but considering the matter scientifically, that 
meaning is not appropriate here, because even 'sitting 
■quiet', that is, 'not doing anything', is very often an 
Action in itself. For instance, if one sits quiet, when 
someone is hammering one's parents, and does not do 
anything to protect them, that is 'Inaction' (akarma), 
that is, 'total absence of Action' ( karmaiunyatva ), according 
to the ordinary meaning of the word. It is nevertheless 
an ' Action ' ( karma ), nay, even a Wrong Action ( vikarma ); 
and, according to the doctrine of Causality, one cannot 
escape the evil results of this kind of Action. Therefore, 
the Glta says paradoxically and very skilfully in this 
stanza that he who understands that even 'akarma' 
amounts to ' karma ' ( sometimes, even very terrible karma ) ; 
and also that even in performing Action, such Action 
is ' dead action ' or ' akarma ' from the point of view of 
Causality, is the real JfiSnin; and this meaning has been 
explained in different ways in the subsequent stanzas. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 951. 

According to the Gita science, the only true means by which 
one escapes the bondage of Action is by performing Action 
unattachedly, that is, 'giving up the Hope of Fruit' (See 
Gl. Ra. Ch. V. pp. 148 to 156 and Ch. X. p. 394). Therefore, 
that Action alone, which is performed in this way, that is,, 
unattachedly, is the proper, that is, the sattuka Action, 
according to the Gita (Gl. 18. 9). That is the true 
' Non- Action ' (akarma) according to the Gita ; because, its 
' karmatva ' (that is, its nature of being a ' karma '), or its- 
binding force (bandhakatoa) according to the law of 
Causality (karma-vipaka-prakriya) is lost. When, from all 
that men do, (and even sitting idle is included in the word 
'do'), Action of the above kind, that is, sattvika Action, or, 
''akarma' according to the Gita, is deducted, all that 
remain's can be divided into two parts, namely, (i) rajasa 
Action and (ii) tamasa Action. Out of this, tamasa Action- 
is the result of Ignorance {moha), and therefore, it falls into 
the category of Wrong Action ( vilcarma ). Thus, if Action 
is abandoned as a result of Ignorance, it is still a 'vikarma',. 
not an 'akarma' (Gl. 18. 7). Then remains the rajasa 
Action. This Action is not of the first class, that is, sattuka ;. 
nor is it what the Gita describes as true 'akarma'. The Gita 
calls this ' rajasa Action ' ; but if any one wants to do so,, 
he may use the single word ' karma ' to mean this kind of 
rajasa Action. In short, whether a particular Action is a- 
'karma ' or an 'akarma' is to be decided according' to the 
binding force of the Action, and not from its nature of 
being an act, nor also according to what may be laid down- 
in barren religious treatises. The Astavakra-Gita supports 
the Path of Renunciation. Yet, even in it, it is said that : 

nivrttir api mu<],hasya pravriiir upajayate I 
pravrttir api dhlrasya nivrttiphalabhagini n 

(Asta. 18. 61); 

that is: "the 'nivrtti' of fools, that is, their turning away 
from Action, as a result of perversity or of Ignorance, in 
itself amounts to ' pravrtti ' or ' Karma ' ; and the 'pravrtti' of 
the wise, that is to say, their Desireless Action, gives the 
same benefit as nivrtti (i.e., Renunciation) or karmatyaga 



953 . GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

(that is, Abandonment of Action)". This very meaning has 
been very skilfully, paradoxically, and metaphorically set 
out in the above stanza ; and unless one carefully bears 
in mind this definition of ' akartna ', he cannot fully 
understand the argument about ' karma ' and ' akarrna' 
in the Glta. The Blessed Lord now explains this very 
meaning more explicitly in the following stanzas ] 

(19) He, whose samarambhah (that is, Actions) are devoid 
of the Desire for Fruit, is referred to by Jfianins, as the 
learned man, whose Actions aie reduced to ashes in the 
Fire of Knowledge. 

[This clearly shows that, "karma (Action) is reduced 
to ashes by jnana", is not to be understood as direc- 
ting Abandonment of Action, but the performance of 
Action, having abandoned the Desire for Fruit. (Gi. Ea. 
Ch. 2. pp. 394-400). Similarly, the meaning of the words 
* sarvarambha-parityagi ', — that is, ' one who gives up all 
arambha or activity', — which appear later on in the 
description of the devotee of the Blessed Lord (GI. 12. 16 ; 
14. 25), is also made clear by this. Now the Blessed Lord 
makes the same meaning more explicit as follows — ] 

(20) ( The man ) Who, having given up the Attachment 
for the Fruit of Action, is always happy and nirakraya [ that 
is, one who does not possess a Reason, which has taken 
'shelter' (asrqya — Trans.) in the means of obtaining the 
Fruit of Action, by wishing to do a particular Action, for a 
particular result] is (said to be) doing nothing whatsoever, 
though he may be engrossed in performing Actions. (21) 
When a person, who gives up the aklh (that is, the Desire for 
Fruit), who regulates his Mind, and who has become free 



GlTl, TRANSLATION &COMMENTAEY,CHAP. IV 953 

from all Attachments, performs Actions, which are merely 
sarira (that is, performed by the Body, or only by the organs 
of Action), he does not incur sin. 

[Some commentators interpret the word ' nirasraya ' in the 
20th stanza as ' one who has no home ', that is, a 
Sarhnyasin ; but that is not correct. The word ' airaya ' may 
be interpreted to mean 'house' or 'home' ; but what is meant 
in the present place is not the ' home ' of the person who does 
the act, but the ' home ' in the shape of ' a motive for the act 
which he performs ' ; and what is meant is, that there 
should be no such ' home ' ; and the same meaning has been 
made clear in the words ' anasritah karmaphalam ' (Gl. 6. 1) ; 
and the same meaning has also been adopted by Waman 
Pandit in his Marathi commentary on the Glta known as the 
Yatharthadipika. Similarly, the word ' sarira ' in the 21st 
stanza does not mean the Action of begging alms sufficient 
for the maintenance of the body, etc. The true meaning of 
the words ' kevalam sariram karma ' is consistent with the 
description contained later on in Chapter V (5. 11) that, 
" Yogins, that is, Karma- Yogins perform all Actions merely 
by their organs of Action, without entertaining any Attach- 
ment or Desire in their minds ". It is true that the organs 
of Action perform the Action, but as the Mind is equable, 
the person who performs the Aetion, does not incur either 
sin or merit] 
<22) The man, who is satisfied with whatever falls to his lot 
.according to fortuitous circumstance, who is free from the 
pairs of Opposites (such as, happiness and unhappiness etc.), 
•who is devoid of jealousy, and who considers it the same, 
whether there is success for the Action or not, is not bound 
by the merit or the sin of Actions, even though he performs 
(Actions). (23) (He) Who is without Attachment, free (from 
love and hate), whose Mind is concentrated on Knowledge 



954 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

(in the shape of an Equable Reason), and who performs- 
Actions (merely) for the purpose of a Yajna, his entire Karma- 
is destroyed. 

[The doctrine explained in Chapter III above (3. 9), that 
Action or ritual performed for the sake of a Yajna does 
not become binding according to the Mimamsa school, and 
that when the same Action is performed with Attachment, 
it becomes productive of Release instead of leading 
to heaven, is again referred to in this stanza. The word 
' sarnagram ' in the phrase ' samagratii prauiliyate ' is very 
important. The Mimarhsa school looks upon the happiness- 
of heaven as the highest ideal, or the summum bonum; 
and in their opinion, Action which leads to heaven is 
not binding; but the Gits aims beyond heaven, that 
is, at Release ; and from this point of view, even that 
Action which leads to heaven, is binding. Therefore, it is 
said that if Action is performed, even for the purpose of a 
Yajna, but with an unattached Reason, it is ' totally * 
(samagra) destroyed, that is to say, it does not become 
productive even of heaven but leads to Release. But, 
nevertheless, there is an important distinction to be borne- 
in mind in the portion of this Chapter which deals with the- 
Yajfias. In Chapter III, it has been stated that these same- 
Yajfias, that is, the immemorial Yajna-ca&ra or the 
paraphernalia of ritualistic performances, prescribed by 
the Srutis and the Smrtis, must be kept going ; but the 
Blessed Lord now says that the word ' Yajna ' is not 
to be taken in the limited meaning of ' offering til (sesamum) 
or rice or animals into the fire ', as offerings to deities, or as- 
meaning the performance of the duties relative to the four 
castes, in accordance with their respective religion, though 
, desirefully. The words ' Ham m mama ' uttered at the end 
of the hymn, while throwing the offering into the fire, which 
mean ' this is not mine ', contain a selfless, non-egotisticaL 
principle, which is the most important part of the Yajna ;. 
and, performing in this way all the Actions of one's life, 
saying ' na mama ' (that is, ' this is not mine '), that is, 
giving up mine-ness and performing them merely with the 
idea of dedicating them to the Brahman, is in itself a 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV" 955 

§§ w§n4"f air ira^rt#r anorr f^ « 

stupendous Yajna, or ' homa ' ; and by means of this Yajna, 

an offering of oblation (yajana) is made to the deity of all 

deities, that is, to the Paramesvara, or the Brahman. 

Needless to say, the doctrines of the MImamsa school 

relating to the sacrifice of wealth apply equally well to this 

stupendous sacrifice; and the person who performs every 

Action in the world unattachedly, and for the sake of 

Universal Welfare ( lokasaingralia ) becomes liberated from 

the 'entire' (samagra) consequence of the Action, and 

ultimately attains Release (Gi. Ra. Ch. XI, pp. 478 to 483). 

This stupendous Yajna in the form of dedicating everything 

to the Brahman is described in the beginning of the next 

stanza ; and the Blessed Lo^-d after describing thereafter the 

form of other specific Yajiias of lesser importance, sums up 

the whole thing in the 33rd stanza by saying that, "such a 

'Jfiana-yajna' (sacrifice of Knowledge) is the best of all". ] 

(24) He, whose belief is that the arpana (that is, the act 

of offering) is Brahman ; that, the havi (that is, the oblation. 

which is to be offered) is Brahman ; that, the Brahman offered 

a sacrifice into the Brahman-fire ; and that, (all) Karma is 

(in this way") Brahman, attains the Brahman. 

[In the Sarhkara-bhasya, the word 'arpaya' has been 
interpreted as "the means by which the "offering' 
( arpaya ) is made, such as a ladle etc."; but that inter- 
pretation is rather far-fetched. It is more to the point to 
take the word ' arpaya ', as meaning the ' act of offering ' or 
' the act of offering into the fire '. Thus far, there has been 
a description of persons who perform the yajna desirelessly, 
that is, in order to dedicate it to the Brahman (that is, make 
a ' brahmarpaya ' of it). The Blessed Lord now describes the 
desire-prompted Yajna addressed to particular deities — ] 
(25) Some (Karma-) Yogins perform sacrifice addressed to 
deities (instead of for dedicating it to the Brahman) ; and 
43—44 



956 GtTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



^gTltrfn^T^nfnT gr ui^nffui =grq^ i 

others make ;i sacrifice of a Yajfia, by a Yajfia, into the 

Brahman-fire. 

[The latter portion of this stanza refers to the description 
in the Purusa-Kukfa that the gods . offered a sacrifice to the 
Virata-formed Yajna-pt/rasu, cf., " yajnena yajuam ayajanta 
demh " (Rg. 10. 90. 16) ; and the words, " yajrlam ijajn&mv- 
epujuhoati" in this stanza are synonymous with the words 
"yajflena yajrlam ayajanta" in the Rg-Veda, and seem to 
be used accordingly. It is evident that the Virata-formed 
animal, which was sacrificed into the Yajiia performed in 
the beginning of the world, and the god, for propitiating 
whom the sacrifice was made, must both have been of the 
form of the Brahman. In short, as the Brahman con- 
tinually pervades all things in the world, the statement 
in the 24th stanza that, in performing all Actions desire- 
lessly, the Brahman is always sacrificed by the Brahman, 
is scientifically correct; all that is wanted is that one's 
Mind has been formed accordingly. This is not the only 
stanaa in the Gita which refers to the Purusa-Sukta, but 
later on, the description in Chapter X, is also consistent 
with that Sukta. The Blessed Lord has now described the . 
Yajfias performed for propitiating particular deities. HE 
now explains how the Yogie performance of Breath Control 
( prawyama) etc., prescribed in the Patanjala-Yoga, or even 
the performance of religious austerities, is a kind of Yajfia, 
if the words 'agm' (fire), 'kavi' (sacrificial offering) etc., 
are taken in their symbolical meanings—' ] 

(26) Others sacrifice the srotradi (that is, ears, eyes, etc.) 
organs into the Fire (agni) in ■ the shape of a Limit 
(scahyamana)-, and others again, sacrifice the objects of sense, 
such as, sound etc, into the Fire in the shape of the senses. 

(27) Others still, sacrifice all the Actions (that is, functions) of 
the various organs, and vital forces (pram) into the Fire of 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 957 

Yoga in the shape of Mental control, which has been lit by- 
Knowledge (jfiana). 

[ In the above stanza, are described two or three different 
kinds of symbolical Yajiias e. g., (1) controlling the senses, 
that is, allowing them to perform their respective functions 
within proper limits; (2) totally destroying the senses, by 
wholly giving up the objects of sense, which go to feed 
the senses ; (3) putting an end to the Actions, not only of the 
senses, but even of the vital forces (praija ) themselves, 
by entering into a complete mental absorption { smriadH ), 
and remaining steeped in the joy of the Atman. Now, 
if these are compared with a Yajna, then, in the first 
kind of Yajna, the limit (samyamaiia) which is placed 
■on the senses becomes the Fire (agiii); because, by 
■ -working out the simile, all that enters the limit may 
be said to have been offered into the Fire. Similarly, in 
the second kind of Yajna, the organs themselves, and 
in the third kind of Yajna, both the organs and the 
prana (vital forces) are compared with the material 
offered up as a sacrifice-offering, and the Control of the 
Atman ( atmasamyamana ) becomes the Fire. There are, 
besides, others, who only perform the Pranayama (i. e., 
•control of the Prana (life) in the shape, of the breath- 
Trans. ); and these are described further on in the 29th 
stanza. This idea of symbolically extending the original 
meaning of the wOTd 'yajna', namely, 'a sacrifice of 
various materials', and making it include religious 
austerities (tapa), Renunciation (samnyasa), Mental 
absorption (sarriadhi), control of the prana or breath 
(pranayama), and other means of getting merged into the 
Blessed Lord, has not been mentioned for the first time 
"intheGlta. In the 4th chapter of the Manu-Smrti, where 
the state of the house-holder is being described, after 
" stating that no house-holder should give up the five 
* principal sacrifices (maha-yajna) prescribed by the Smrtis, 
namely, the Rsi-yajna, the Deva-yajna, the Bhuta-yajfia, 
the Manusya-yajfia, and the Pitr-yajna, it is stated that 
many persons "sacrifice the speech into the organs, or the 
Prana (life) into the speech, or ultimately even propitiate 



958 GITI.-RAHA.SYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

3wr% iffir snnf m^TH crarsqr i 
sfmrTfTnaT ^sm srpm3rnT<rcraatr. n s^ n 

the Paramesvara by a Jfiana-yajna (that is, the sacrifice by- 
Knowledge, or sacrificing everything into the sacrificial 
fire of Knowledge— Trans.)", (Manu. 4. 21-24). Considering- 
the matter from the historical point of view, it can be seen 
that when the sacrifice of wealth of various kinds 
prescribed in the Sruti-texts for propitiating Indra, Varuna,. 
and other deities fell into disuse, and the devices of 
attaining the state of the Paramesvara by Patanjala-yoga, 
Sarhnyasa, or Metaphysical Knowledge came more and 
more into vogue, the meaning of the word 'Yajna' was 
widened, and it was made to symbolically include all 
the various devices of obtaining Release. The principle 
at the root of this is the tendency to indicate subsequent 
religious methods by the same technical terms as had 
come to be formerly accepted in the religion. Whatever 
may be the case, it is clear from this exposition in 
the Manu-Smrti, that this idea had acquired general 
acceptance before, or at any rate at the same' time as, 
the Glta.] 
(28) In this way, some Yatins observing severe vows (that 
is, persons who have acquired mental control) perform the 
sacrifice of wealth ; others perform the sacrifice by austerity, 
others by Yogic practices, others by svMhyaya (that is, by 
observing the ritual prescribed for one's own caste), and 
others by Jfiana (i.e., Knowledge — Trans.). (29) Others taking 
to pramyama, and controlling the movements of the prana 
(outgoing breath — Trans.) and the apana (incoming breath — 
Trans.) breaths, sacrifice the /?-3»a-breath into the apana- 
breath, while others sacrifice the «/5na-breath into the prana- 
breath. 

[The idea conveyed by this stanza is that performing 
the Pranayama (breath-control) according to the PataSjala 
Yoga is a kind of Yajna. As this Yajfia in the form of . 



GlTA, TRANSITION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 959 

the PataSjala-Yoga has been mentioned in the 29th 
stanza, the words ' saorifloe by Yogio practices ' (' yoga- 
yajfla') in the 28th stanza must be taken to mean 
the Yajna according to Karma-Yoga, The word 
'prana' in the term ' pranayama' usually indicates 
both the svasa ( inhaling ) and the ticchvasa (exhaling) 
of the breath; but when a distinction is made 
between ' prana ' and 'apana ', the word 'prana ' means the 
' out-going ' breath, that is to say, the ' ucehuasa ' breath ; 
and the word ' apana ' means the ' incoming * breath (Ve. 
SQ. Sam. Bha. 2. 4. 12 ; and Chandogya Sam. Bha. 1. 3. 3). 
It must be borne in mind that these meanings of the words 
' prana ' and ' apana ' are different from their ordinary 
meanings. Taking these meanings, when the prana, that 
is, the exhaled breath or the ' ucchvasa ' has been sacrificed 
into the apana, that is, the intaken breath, the pranayama 
which is performed, is known as the ' puraka' ; and 
conversely, when the apana has been sacrificed into the prana, 
the pranayama which is performed is named ' recaka '. 
When both the prana and the apana axe controlled or stopped, 
the pranayama which is performed is named ' kumbkaka ' ; 
now there remain besides these, the three breaths named 
vyana, udana, and samana. Out of these, the breath ' vyana ' is 
located at the meeting point between the prana and the 
apana, and comes to be used when one has to perform 
actions requiring force, when one partially controls the 
breath, such as, in drawing a bow or lifting up weights 
etc. (Chan. 1. 3. 5), The udana breath is the one whieh 
leaves the body at the moment of death (Prasna. 3. 7) and 
the samana breath is the breath which continually takes 
food-juices to every part of the body (Prasna. 3. 7). These 
are the ordinary meanings of these various kinds of breath 
according to the Vedanta-Sastra ; but in some places even 
■quite different meanings are intended ; for example, in the 
212th Chapter of the Vana-parva of the Mahsbharata, quite 
■different characteristics are mentioned of the prana and 
other breaths; and 'prana' is explained as meaning the 
breath in the head, and the apana is described as meaning 
the breath which escapes downwards from the body 



960 , GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



(Prasna. 3-5 and Maitryu. 2-6). According to the above 
stanza, the breath which is controlled is said to be 
' sacrificed ' into the other kinds of breath] 

(30) Others still moderating their food, sacrifice the prana 
(vital airs) into prana itself. All these being sin-diminished 
as a result of sacrifice, and (being) well-versed in sacrifice, 

(31) and partaking of the amrta (food), which remains over 
after the sacrifice, attain the eternal Brahman. The non- 
performers ot sacrifice have not (success even in) this world ;. 
how then, O Kurusrestha, (can they obtain) the next world I 

{ In short, although the performance of Yajmas is the duty 
of every human being, according to the directions of the 
Yedas, yet, it is not that this Yajfia is only of one kind. 
Whether one performs Pranayania, or religious austerities, 
or the reading of the Yedas, or the Agnistoma-yajfia, or the 
Pasu-yajna (sacrificing animals), or throws til, rice, or 
clarified butter into the fire, or performs worship, or 
performs the five domestic sacrifices ( grha-yajiia ), such as, 
naivedya ( food offered to household gods ), vaisvadeva (food 
offered into the fire), etc., if one has destroyed the Attach- 
ment for the JJruit of Action, all these become YajSas in- 
the wider meaning of the word ; and then, all the doctrines 
of the Mlmamsa school relating to the partaking of what 
remains after the performance of the Yajfia, become- 
applicable to each of them. The first of these rules is that 
' no Action performed for the purpose of a Yajfia has a 
binding effect '; and that rule has been mentioned above in 
the 23rd stanza (See commentary on Gl. 3. 9). The second' 
rule is, that every householder should partake of food in the 
company of his wife, after he has performed the five 
principal sacrifices, and given food to guests, beggars etc., 
and that when a person lives in this manner, the house- 



GlTA, TRANSLATIONS COMMENTARY, OHAP. IV 961 

holder-state becomes profitable, and leads to a happy state 
after death. It has been stated in the Manu-Smrti, and in 
other Smrtis, that every house-holder should always become 
a vighasasV (i. e., one who eats the vighasa — Trans.), and 
' amrtasV (i. e., one who eats the amrta — Trans.), after the word 
' vighasa ' has been defined as meaning 'whatever remains, 
over after the guests have eaten', and the word ' amrta ' has- 
been defined as meaning ' that which remains over after the 
performance of the Yajna'; cf., vighasam bhuktasesam tu 
yajnasesam athSmrtam" — Manu, 2. 285 (See Gl 3. 13 and 
Gita. Ra. p. 403). The Blessed Lord now says that this rule 
which applies to the ordinary domestic sacrifices also applies 
to all the various Yajnas mentioned above. Not only is 
any act performed for the purpose of a Yajna not binding,, 
but if any portion of these acts, which remains over after 
the performance of the Yajna, is utilised by one for his own 
use, even that is not prejudicial. (See Gita Ra. Chapter XII 
p. 535 bottom). The last sentence in this stanza, namely, 
"the non-performers of sacrifice have not (success even in)- 
this world", is fraught with deep meaning and is important. 
It does not mean only that in the absence of the Yajnas 
there is no rain, and that in the absence of rain, the course 
of life on this world cannot go on ; but, taking the word 
'Yajna' in its wider meaning, the social principle, that 
unless every one sacrifices something or other dear to him, 
the ordinary course of the world cannot go on, by all 
getting equal opportunities, is necessarily included in it. 
For instance, the Western socialistic doctrine that 
unless every one controls his own freedom of action, 
all others cannot enjoy equal freedom of action, 
is an example of this principle ; and if the same meaning, 
is to be conveyed in the terminology of the Gits, one will 
have to speak here in terms of a Yajna, by saying that 
' unless every one to some extent performs a Yajna of his 
Freedom of Action, the course of life on this world cannot 
go on '. When the Yajna has thus been made the founda- 
tion of the entire social structure by thus giving it an 
extended and wide meaning, it need not be said in so many 
words that the social arrangement will not continue; 



S62 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 



properly, unless every human being learns to perform these 
Yajfias as pure duties. ] 

(32) In this way, various kinds of Yajfias, are always taking 
place in the mouth of the Brahmaa ; know that all these 
arise from Karma ; when you have acquired this Knowledge, 
you will obtain Release. 

[The Yajfias of physical materials prescribed by the 
Srutis, such as, the ' jyotistoma' etc., are performed by 
throwing oblations into the Fire; and as the sacrificial 
fee is supposed to be the mouth of the gods, these sacrifices 
are stated by the Sastras to reach the various deities. But, 
some one may raise the doubt that since the symbolical 
Yajfias mentioned above are not performed in Fire, 
•which is the mouth of the gods, how can merit be acquired 
by performing them ? Therefore, in order to remove this 
doubt, the Blessed Lord now says that these Yajnas are 
performed into the mouth of the Brahman itself. The 
purport of the second part of the stanza is that he who 
understands this extended meaning of the performance of 
a Yajna, and does not understand that word in the narrow 
meaning given to it by the Mlmarhsa school, does not 
remain narrow-minded, but is enabled to understand the 
form of the Brahman. The Blessed Lord now explains 
which is the most superior of all these kinds of Yajnas — ] 

(33) O Parantapa! the jnana-maya yajna (that is, the 
Yajiia peformed by sacrificing everything into the Fire of 
Realisation — Trans.) is better than the dravya-maya 
yajna (that is, the Yajfia, performed by sacrificing materials — 
Trans.) ; because, O Partha ! all Actions of all kinds 
are ultimately merged in Jnana. 

[The word' Jfiana-yajna' has occurred twice later on in 
the Gits (Gl. 9. 15 and 18. 70). The Yajfia'of materials 



GlTA, TRANSLATION &COMMEimRY, CHAP. IV 963 
grq^riSa & frr* frri^ H^dTci ^R: ii ^g ii 

performed by men, is performed by them fo±" attaining 
the Paramesvara. But one cannot attain the Paramesvara, 
unless one is acquainted with His form. Therefore, the 
method of acquiring the Knowledge of the form of the 
Paramesvara and of attaining the Paramesvara by leading 
a course of life which is consistent with that Knowledge, 
is known as the ' Jnana-yajlia '. This Yajfia is mental, 
and is performed with the help of the Reason, and it is 
naturally considered more worthy than the YajSa of 
wealth. This Jfiana included in the Jfiana-yajna is of 
supreme importance in the Science of Release ; and it is 
the firm doctrine of the Glta that (i) all Karma is destroyed 
by means of this Jnana ; that, (ii) in any case the 
Jfiana of the Paramesvara must ultimately be obtained; 
and that, (iii) there is no Release except by the Acquisition 
•of Jfiana. Nevertheless, I have proved in detail in 
Chapters X and XI of the Gita-Rahasya that the words 
'" all Actions of all kinds are ultimately merged in Jfiana" 
in this stanza are not to be understood as meaning that 
' after a man has acquired Jnana, he may give up Karma'. 
The Glta preaches to everybody that (i) all Actions must 
be performed as a matter of duty for universal welfare, 
though they may not be needed for one's own self; that, 
(ii) as all these Actions are performed with Jnana, that is, 
with an equable Reason, the person, who performs them, is 
, not affected by the merit or sin of that Action (see, stanza 
37 later) ; and that (iii) as this Jnana-yajna leads to Release, 
one must perform the Yajfia, but with Jfiana, and with a 
desireiess frame of mind. ] 

(34) Remember that, philosopher- Jfianms will, by your 
■offering obeisance (to them — Trans.), and questioning and 
service, teach you that Jnana, (35) by having acquired which, 
O Pandava ! you will not again be overcome by mental 



964 GlTA-RAEASYA OB KABMA-YOGA 

srfq %?T% TI^P «#RT: "TnTfrW I 

§§ *r ft m%f ^t iRMftti: fgeift i 
?i?j^ ^rw%g". ^n%5n?srf% f^f?r " \< ii 

confusion in this fashion, and by means of which Knowledge,, 
you will come to see everything created as located in your- 
self and ultimately in Me. 

[ There is a reference here to the Knowledge of the iden- 
tity of the Atman with all created beings, that is, to seeing 
the entire creation embodied in oneself, and seeing oneself 
embodied in the entire creation, which has been dealt with 
later on (Gi. 6. 29). As the Atman (Self) and the Bhagavan 
(Blessed Lord) are fundamentally uniform, the entire 
creation is comprehended in the Atman, that is, ultimately,, 
also naturally in the Bhagavan, or the Blessed Lord; and the- 
three-fold distinction between the Atman (one's Self), the 
rest of the creation, and the Blessed Lord, naturally dis- 
appears. It is, therefore, said in the Bhagavata-purana, in 
describing the Bhagavad-bhakta (the devotee of the Blessed 
Lord) that " that man is the best Bhagavata or devotee of 
the Blessed Lord, who sees the entire creation in the Blessed 
Lord and in himself (Bhag. 11. 2. 45). See the further 
explanation of this important principle of the Glta in 
Chapter XII of the Glta-Rahasya (pp. 543 to 555) ; and also 
in Chapter XIII, from the point of view of Devotion 
(pp. 600-601).] 

(36) Even if you are a sinner, greater than any other sinner, 
you will sail over the whole sin by (this) ship of Jnana. 

(37) Just as the kindled fire reduces to ashes (all) fuel, in the 
same way, O Arjuna ! (this) Jnana- formed Fire reduces to 
ashes (the prejudicial or unprejudicial binding force of) all 
Action. 

[ The Blessed Lord has described the worth of Jnana. HE 

now explains how this Jnana can be acquired ] 

(38) There is nothing indeed in this world so holy as 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 965> 
SRfPTlgffl?* fTH ism.: *Hldl«W I 

34lr*H-d *T *fijftfdr HgST^cT SW^RT II 8? II 
Jfiana. That Jfiana is automatically acquired in course of 
time by the person who has mastered the Yoga (that is,, 
the Karma- Yoga). 

[The word ' Action ' in the 37th stanza means ' the 
binding force or effect of Karma or Action ' (Gl. 4. 19). 
Acquiring Knowledge by means of desireless Actions, 
which one has started by one's Reason, is the principal 
means of acquiring Knowledge, or the means accessible 
to Reason (buddhi) ; but, for those who cannot acquire Know- 
ledge in this way by their own Reason, the Blessed Lord 
now prescribes the other path, namely, the Path of Faith — ] 

(39) That person having Faith, who, having acquired control 
over the senses, pursues this Knowledge, (also) acquires it ; 
and when he has acquired Knowledge, he immediately after- 
wards experiences the highest peace. 

[In short, that Knowledge ( Jfiana ), and the tranquility 
(santi) which is acquired by means of the Reason (buddhi), 
is also acquired by Faith (sraddha). But he who has 
neither Reason nor Faith — ] 

(40) But (he) who has himself neither Knowledge nor Faith, 
such a doubter is utterly destroyed. For the doubter, there 
is neither this world, nor the next, nor any happiness 
whatsoever. 

[The Blessed Lord has shown two ways of acquiring 
Knowledge, namely, (i) one's own Reason and (ii) Faith. 
HE now explains the respective uses of the Jnana-Yoga and 
the Karma-Yoga, and summarises the whole subject- 
matter — ] ' 

(41) O Dhanarljaya ! Actions cannot bind the atma-jmnin 
(Self-Realiser— Trans.) who has cast off Karma (that is, the 



GlTA-EAHASYA OR KABMA-YOGA 

im =£i?re!*R?fraTi ^tfw?i guram^r %jrit# s^otix- 

bondage of Karma) by taking shelter in the (Karma-) Yoga, 
■and whose doubts have been annulled by means of Jfiana. 
(42) Therefore, cutting off with the sword of Knowledge, 
this doubt, which has arisen in your heart as a result of 
Ignorance, take shelter, in the (Karma-) Yoga, (and) 
■O BbSrata ! stand up (and fight). 

[ Just as in the Isavasyopanisad ( Isa. 11 ; Gl. Ba. Ch. VI, 
p. 501 ), after shortly showing the respective uses of vidya 
and avidya, a direction has been given to act without 
giving up either vidya or avidya, so in the Glta, in these 
two stanzas, after shortly showing the respective uses of 
Jfiana and (Karma-) Yoga, the advice has been given 
to Arjuna to perform Action with the joint help of Jfiana 
.and Yoga. The respective uses of these two are that when 
a man performs Action by the Desireless Jnana-Yoga, 
the binding effect of Karma (Action) is destroyed, and 
it does not obstruct Eelease ; and as a result of Jfiana, all 
doubt or mental confusion is annihilated and one attains 
Belease. Therefore, the ultimate and final advice to 
Arjuna is, that he should not seek the protection of either 
Karma alone, or of Jfiana alone, but should make use of 
both, and fight. It has been shown in the Gita-Bahasya 
■(Ch. Ill, p. 80) that because Arjuna has to stand up and 
fight here by taking shelter or protection from Yoga, the 
word 'Yoga' must here be interpreted as meaning the 
Karma- Yoga. This fusion of Jfiana and Yoga, is also 
again referred to later on in the Glta (GL 16. 1), in de- 
scribing the characteristics of 'godly endowment' (daw 
sampatti), by the words "jnana-yogavyavasthitih". ] 

Thus ends the fourth chapter entitled the Jnana-Kakma- 
SAMNYASA Yoga in the dialogue between Sri Krsna and 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. IV 967 

Arjuna on the Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman 
(that is, on the Karma- Yoga), in the Upanisad sung (that 
is, told) by the Blessed Lord. 

[ It must be borne in mind that the word ' sarimyasa ' in 
the phrase ' jnana-karma-samnyasa ' is not literal karma- 
tyaga (Abandonment of Action), but is the Desireless 
' samnyasa' or the 'Dedication' of all Action to the 
Parame&vara; and the same explanation has been given 
later on in the beginning of Chapter XVIII. ] 



CHAPTER Y. 

[In this chapter, has been given the clear answer of the 
Blessed Lord to the doubts likely to be raised by the 
followers of the Path of Renunciation to the doctrines laid 
down in Chapter IV, after expressing those doubts through 
the mouth of Arjuna. If Jfiana is the ultimate resolution 
of all Action (4. 33); if allActionis destroyed by Knowledge 
■(4. 37); and if the sacrifice into Knowledge is superior to the 
sacrifice of wealth (4. 43), then, why has the Blessed Lord, 
after saying in the second chapter that "it is most 
meritorious for a Ksatriya to fight the battle prescribed by 
his religion" (2. 31), summarised the fourth chapter by 
paying " therefore, stand up to fight, taking shelter in the 
Karma-Yoga" (4. 42)? To this the reply of theGltais 
that what is needed is the fusion of (i) Knowledge, which is 
necessary for Release, by removing all mental confusion 
.and of (ii). Karma, which cannot be escaped from, and 
which though not necessary for Release, is yet necessary 
for Universal Welfare (4. 41). But, even to this an 
■objection may be raised to the effect that, if both the 
Karma-Yoga and the Sarhkhya-Yoga are proper according 
to the Sastras, why should not a person adopt the Sarhkhya- 
Yoga and abandon Action, if that pleases one better? 
Needless to say, there must be made a clear decision as to 
which of these two paths is the better one ; and as Arjuna 
was seized with the same doubt, he now raises the 
following question, in the same way as he had raised the 
-question in the beginning of the third chapter—] 

(1) Arjuna said : — O Krsna 1 once you say that the Path 
of Renunciation is superior, and again that Karma- Yoga 
(that is, the path of continuing to perform Action) is 
superior ; therefore, tell me definitely that one, of these 



GtTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. V 969 

two, which is really sreya, (that is, more praiseworthy). 
(2) The Bles sed Lord said : — Karma-sarimyasa and Karma- 
Yoga, both these (paths or Nisthas) are nihkreyasakara (that 
is, producing Release) ; but, (that is, though both may be of 
the same value from the point of view of Release), the worth 
■(that is, the efficacy) of Karma- Yoga, out of these two, is 
greater than that of Karma-Sarhnyasa. 

[This question and answer are both unambiguous and 
clear. The word ' sreya ' in the first stanza means ' more 
praise-worthy ', or, better ; and, to the question of Arjuna 
about the relative value of the two courses, the reply of the 
Blessed Lord is, " harrna-yogo visisyate", that is "the 
Karma-Yoga is the better (path) ". Nevertheless, as this 
doctrine is not consistent with the Samkhya theory, that 
a man must abandon or make a literal Saihnyasa 
{Renunciation) of Action, after he has acquired Knowledge, 
soma commentators, have taken hold of the word 
* ■visisyate ', and contented themselves with saying that that 
was a mere hollow praise of the Karma- Yoga by way of 
an arthavada, after they had ineffectually struggled to 
twist this plain-meaninged question and answer; and 
•saying, that the true intention of the Blessed Lord was 
not to praise the Karma-Yoga ! If it was the opinion of 
the Blessed Lord that there should be no Action after the 
acquisition of Knowledge, could He not have replied 
to Arjuna that: "out of these two paths, the Path of 
Renunciation is the better one " ? But, as instead of 
■doing so, the Blessed Lord, after saying in the first 
part of the second stanza that, " the paths of perform- 
ing Action and abandoning Action, are both equally 
productive of Release ", uses the word ' tu ', that 
is, ' but' , in the second part of the stanza and 
unambiguously lays down the doctrine that, ' taydh ', that 
.is, 'out of these two paths', "the path of Performing 



970 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Action is more praise-worthy (sreya) than the path 
Abandoning Action ", it is clearly proved that He -was of 
the opinion that in the siddhavastha (state of Perfection), 
the Jnanin must still go on performing desirelessly, till 
death, as a duty, and for Universal Welfare, the same- 
selfless Action, which he was performing in the 
' sadhanavastha' (the state of Perfecting) for acquiring- 
Knowledge. The same meaning has been made clear in. 
Glta 3. 7, and the term ' visisyate ' has also been used there ; 
and in the next stanza, that is, in Glta 3. 8, the woids. 
"Action is superior to Inaction" were again clearly 
repeated. Now, it is true, that there are descriptions in 
several places in the Upanisads (Br. 4. 4. 22) to the effect, 
that Jfianins (those, who have acquired Knowledge) roam, 
about begging, without having any ' lokaisaw ' (desire for 
society), or ' putraisana' (desire for children). But, it has. 
not been stated in the Upanisads that this is the only path,, 
which can be followed after a man has acquired. 
Knowledge, and that there is no other path. Therefore, it. 
is not proper to attempt to harmonise the GifcS with the- 
above-mentioned sentences from the Upanisads. The Glta. 
does not say that this Path of Renunciation described in 
the Upanisads is not productive of Release. But, the firm 
doctrine of the Glta is, that though the Karma-Yoga and 
Renunciation are both equally productive of Release,, 
that is to say, though, from the point of view of Release, the 
effect of both is the same, yet, considering the course of 
life in the world, the better or more praise-worthy path is- 
to continue to desirelessly perform Action even after one- 
has acquired Knowledge. This interpretation of mine is- 
not the one which has been accepted by the majority of 
commentators ; and, they have treated the Karma-Yoga as. 
secondary ; but, in my opinion, these interpretations of the.- 
commentators are not plain and straight-forward ; and, as 
I have given -a detailed statement of my reasons for my 
interpretation in Chapter XI of the Gita-Rahasya (pp. 420 
to 431), I shall not take up space here by saying more- 
about it. After the Blessed Lord had thus given His clear 
decision as to which of the two paths is more praise-worthy,. 



(JlTl, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. V 971 

w^'sfi ft q&wi£i W ^wifny^^ ii ^ u 

^*^wii%rp ^rssr*frfsr*??r *m<{ h 8 n 
gg; ^rN% ^r^m ^str cr£r%ror n*q% i 

HE now proves that though these two paths might appear 
different to people in ordinary life, yet, they are not 
essentially different—] 

(3) He, who does not hate (anything) and who does not 
desire (anything), that man should be looked upon as 
a 'permanent ascetic' (though he might be performing 
Action) ; because, O Mighty-armed Arjuna ! he, who has. 
been liberated from the pairs of Opposites (such as, pain and 
happiness, etc.), is, without effort, liberated from (all) the 
bonds (of Karma). (4) Fools say that Sarhkhya (Karma- 
Sarhnyasa) and Yoga (Karma-Yoga) are different ; the learned 
do not say so ; if any one path is properly followed, the 
result of both is achieved. (5) That (Released-) state, which 
is reached by the (followers of the) Sarhkhya (Path), there 
too do the Yogins (that is, the Karma-Yogins) go ; he who 
sees that the (two paths of) Sarhkhya and Yoga are (in this 
way) the same, may be said to have seen (the true principle). 
(6) Even Renunciation, O Mahabaho ! is difficult to achieve, 
in the absence of Yoga, (that is, in the absence of Karma). 
That sage who has become steeped in the Karma- Yoga, is 
not long in attaining the Brahman. 

[A clear and exhaustive explanation has been given later 
on from the seventh to the seventeenth chapter of the Gita 
as to how the same Release can be obtained by Karma-Yoga, 
that is, by not abandoning Action, as can be obtained 
by the Sarhkhya-Yoga. All that is intended to be said for 

45—46 



•973 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

§§ %rgrtfr f^j^rarr fgrf^rar? m fsrfrf^F < 

the present is, that as there is no difference between the two 
paths from the point of view of Release, it is not proper to 
magnify the difference between these two paths, which 
liave been in vogue from times immemorial, and to quarrel 
about it ; and the same logical argument has been repeated 
over and over again later on (See Ql. 6. 2 and 18.1, 2; 
and my commentary on it). The stanza " ekam samkhyam 
■ca yogam ca yah pasyati sa pasyati" has appeared twice 
with slight alterations in the Mahabharata (San. 305. 
19 ; 316. 4). Though Jfiana is considered of supreme 
importance in the Path of Renunciation, that JHana is 
not perfected unless Action is performed; and though in 
the Karma-Yoga, Action is performed, yet, one does not 
fail to reach the Brahman by it, since such Action is 
performed with the help of Jnana (Gl. 6. 2) ; then, where 
is the sense of raising a cry that these two paths are 
different? If it is said that the performance of Action 
has in itself a binding-effect, the Blessed Lord says that 
such objection does not apply to Action performed 
desirelessly — ] 

(7) (He,1 Who has become steeped in the (Karma-) 
Yoga, whose conscience is pure, who has conquered his Mind 
and his senses, and whose Atman has become the Atman of 
all created beings, remains untouched (by the merit or sin of 
Action), though he performs (all Actions). (8) (He,) Who 
has understood the basic principles, and is steeped in 
the Yoga, should realise that : " I do not do anything "; (and) 
in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleep- 
ing, breathing, (9) speaking, excreting, taking, opening the 
eye-lids, and closing them, (should act) believing that (merely) 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTAKY, CHAP. V 973 

s&rar iptot f^rr *=i§RP^tii'M i 

the senses are acting with reference to their respective 
•objects. 

[The last two stanzas form one sentence ; and the -various 
Actions described in them are the Actions of the different 
•organs of the body; for instance, excretion is the action of 
the anus ; taking, that of the hand ; moving the eye-lids, 
"that of the Vital Airs ; seeing, that of the eyes, etc. " I do 
not do anything " does not mean that one should allow 
■one's senses to do what they want. What is meant is that 
-when once one has lost the egotistical sense of ' I ', the 
unprompted senses are not capable of performing any evil 
action of their own accord, and remain under the control of 
the Atman. In short, even if a man becomes a Jnanin, the 
organs of breathing etc., will continue to perform their 
•respective functions. Nay, even remaining alive for a 
■fraction of a second is in itself an Action; then, where 
•remains the difference that the Jnanin, who follows the 
Path of Benunciation, gives up Action, and that the 
Karma-Yogin performs Action ? Both are bound to perform 
Action. But, as the same acts cease to have a binding 
effect when the Attachment based on Egoism has been 
discarded, giving up the Attachment remains the only 
basic principle ; and the Blessed Lord now further amplifies 
the same idea—] 

(10) He, who performs Actions, dedicating them to the 
Brahman and unattachedly, to him sin does not adhere 
(touch), just as water does not adhere to the leaves of a lotus- 
plant. (11) Therefore, the Karma-Yogin performs all 
Actions (without entertaining the egotistical notion that he is 
performing them) for Self-purification, unattachedly, by the 
body (merely), or by the Mind (merely), or by the Reason 
(merely), and even by the senses merely 



974 / . GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

Itp gntes &vmr ^rrffffrmftfa %%-* c f^ i 

{The words ' Body ', ' Mind ', and ' Reason ' in this stanza 
have been used with reference to the bodily (kayika), vocal. 
(vodka) and mental (manasika) divisions of Action. 
Although the adjective 'kevalaih' (merely) is placed, in the 
original, behind the word ' indriymh ' alone, it also applies to- 
the words ' Body ', ' Mind ', and ' Reason * (Gl. 4. 21). There- 
fore, in my translation, I have placed it behind all the 
other words, as behind the word ' Body '. The meaning is, 
as explained in the 8th stanza above, that if a man 
performs any act, which is merely bodily (kayika), or merely 
vocal (vodka), or merely mental (nianasika), giving up- 
egoism, and without any Attachment to the Fruit of 
Action, he does not incur any sin (See Glta 3. 27 ; 13. 29 ;. 
and 18. 16). When there is no egoism, all the Action which 
is performed is merely the Action of the organs ; and as the 
Mind and the other organs are only the evolutes (vikara) 
of Prakrti, the doer does not incur the binding effect of 
such Action. The Blessed Lord now proves this doctrine 
according to the Sastras — ] 

(12) He, who has become 'yuktd (that is, Yoga-_y«^to), (that 
is, steeped in Yoga — Trans.) gives up the Fruit of Action and 
attains the final complete tranquility; and the 'ayuktd (that 
is, one who is not Yoga-yukla), becoming attached to the 
Fruit, as a result of Mma (that is, of desire ), becomes bound 
(by- the merit or the sin). (13) The embodied (man), who 
has controlled the senses, renouncing all Actions mentally 
(not literally), inhabits happily this (body-) city with its nine, 
entrances, doing nothing and causing nothing to be done. 

[That is to say, he realises that the Atman is a non-doer,, 
and that the entire activity is of Prakrti ; and therefore,, 
he lives quietly, or in a state of indifference (See Gits 13. 20 
and 18. 59). The two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils,. 



• GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. V 975 

§§ t ?$&( n *m\iw ^vw isrfar srg: i 
n grfesw'f ^rm^Rg sre3% <i ?8 h 

the mouth, the opening for urinating, and the anus are 
looked upon as nine openings or doors of the body. The 
Blessed Lord now gives a metaphysical explanation of the 
fact that the Karma-Yogin remains 'yukta', though he is 
performing Actions—] 

(14) The prabhu (that is, the Atman or the Paramesvara) 
does not create either the capacity of men for Action, nor 
their Actions, nor the attendant Fruit of Action (accruing to the 
doers). Inherent nature, (that is, Prakrti) performs (every- 
thing). (1 5) The vibhu (that is, the all-pervading Atman or 
Paramesvara) does not acquire either the merit or the sin of 
anybody. As Knowledge is covered by the covering of 
ignorance (that is to say, as a result of Maya), all created 
■beings are confused. 

[The principle involved in both these stanzas is 
originally from the Samkhya philosophy (See Glta-Rahasya 
pp. 222 to 224). But, as according to Vedantists, the 
Atman = the Paramesvara, they extend the principle that 
'the Atman is a non-doer' to the Paramesvara. The 
Samkhyas look upon Prakrti (Matter) and Purusa (Spirit) 
as the two fundamental principles, and look upon the 
Prakrti as the active agent and the Atman as inactive; 
but the Vedantists go even beyond that, and say that the 
root of both Purusa and Prakrti is a quality-less Parame- 
svara, who is a Non-Boer (udasin) like the Atman of the 
Samkhyas ; and that the entire activity is of Maya or of 
Prakrti (Gi. Ra. p. 369). The Blessed Lord now explains 
that the ordinary man does not understand these things 
on account of Ignoranoe; and that, as the Karma-Yogin 
understands the difference between the Doer and the 
Non-Doer, he remains unscathed, notwithstanding that 
he performs Action— ] 



976 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

SO 

faffa ft <m snr cremiufw 3 resmp 11 1% 11 

(16) But those, whose own such Ignorance has been, 
destroyed by Knowledge, their Knowledge throws light on 
the Highest Principle like the Sun; (17) and those, whose 
Reason has become engrossed in this Highest Principle,, 
whose Internal Sense (antahkarana) has found happiness in. 
It, and become fixed on It, and devoted to It, their sin is- 
entirely washed away by Knowledge ; and they do not come, 
to birth again. 

[The Blessed Lord now gives a further description of the 
state of the ' brahma-bhuta ' (merged in the Brahman) or 
'jivanmuJda (Released in this life) state of these Karma- 
Yogins (not Sarimyasins), whose Ignorance has thus been 
destroyed — ] 

(18) Those who have become Pandits (that is, Jfianins), 
their vision is the same towards the Brahmin endowed with. 
Knowledge and humility, as towards a cow, or an elephant,, 
or a dog, or a candala. (19) Those, whose Mind, has thus 
become steady in a state of Equability, conquer the mortal, 
world, wherever they are (that is, without having to wait for 
death) ; because, the Brahman is faultless and equable j, 
therefore, these persons (with an equable Reason) are- 
(always) merged in the Brahman (that is, they have become: 
brahma-bhUta already in this world). 

[ This is a repetition of the statement in the Upanisads 
that he, who has Realised that the Atman-formed 
Paramesvara is a Non-Doer, and that the entire activity is 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. V 977 

of Prakrti, has 'become steeped in the Brahman' ( brahrna- 
samstha); and he attains Release, cf. " brahmasamstha 
'mrtatvam eti " (Chan. 2. 23. 1). Yet, it is clear from stanzas 
1 to 12 above that, according to the Gita, a man does not 
escape Action even though he has reached this state. This 
sentence from the Chandogyopanisad has been interpreted 
by Saihkaracarya so as to support the Path of Renunciation;, 
but, if one considers the anterior and posterior contest in 
the original Upanisad, it will be seen that the greater 
possibility is of this statement having been made -with 
reference to the person who performs Actions appropriate to 
the three stages of life, even after having become brahma- 
samstha ; and this same import has been very clearly set 
out at the end of the "Upanisad ( See Chan. 8. 15. 1 ). As 
this state is reached during life after a man has attained 
the Knowledge of the Brahma ( brahma-jnana ), it is called 
the ' jivan-muktavastha' (state of being Released in life), 
(See Gl. Ra. Ch. X, pp. 413 to 415). This is the highest 
pinnacle of Metaphysics, and the Yoga devices, such as, 
the control of the mental tendencies ( citta-vrtti-mrodha) etc., 
by which this state can be reached, are explained at length 
in the next chapter. This chapter contains only a further 
description of this state. ]■ 
(20) One should not become glad because one has got the? 
priya(tha,t is, the desired thing); nor should one become-, 
dejected, if something undesirable happens. One whose mind 
has (thus) become steady, and who does not suffer from 
mental confusion, such a Knower of the Brahman is (said to 
have become) 'steady in the Brahman'. (21) He (alone), 
whose mind is not attached to the contacts (with the senses) 
of external objects, (that is, to the enjoyment of objects of 
sense), obtains (whatever) the happiness, which pertains to 
the Atman ; and such a person, who has become yukla as a 



978 • , .. GlTA-RAHASYA OK EABMA-YOGA 

^ ^fr 3fTf%cfinT =?Sn?ciTSi%PseJT% n ?8 II 

fa^t^T ^TSItITR: ^^?ff^ T3T> II *H II 

result of union with the Brahman, enjoys inexhaustible 
happiness. (22) As enjoyments, born of contacts (with ex- 
ternal objects), have a beginning and an eud, they become 
the cause of unhappiness. The wise man, O Kaunteya ! 
■does not find happiness in them. (23) He, who has become 
•capable (by control of the senses) of bearing in this world, 
before leaving this body (that is, till death), such pain as is 
born of Desire and Anger, is the liberated and the (truly) 
happy man. 

[This is an expansion and elucidation of the advice of the 
Blessed Lord to Arjuna in the second chapter that he must 
bear pain as well as happiness (Ql. 2. 14). In Glta %. 14, 
the adjective " agamapayinah " ( i. e., ' coming and going ' ) 
has been applied to pain and happiness ; whereas, here in 
the 22nd stanza, the word used is "adyantavantah" (i. a, 
* with a beginning and an end ' ) ; and here the word 
' bahya ' has been used instead of the word ' matra ' used 
there ; this stanza ( i. e., stanza 21) also defines who is to be 
called ' yukta '. Bearing pain and happiness equably, and 
not avoiding them, is the true characteristic of yukta-ness. 
See my commentary on Glta 2. 61. ] 
(24) He who has thus become internally (that is, in his 
•conscience) happy (without laying any store by external happi- 
ness or unhappiness), who has found tranquility within 
himself, and similarly, who has acquired (this) internal light, 
such a (Karma-) Yogin has become Brahman-formed, and 
attains the brahma-nirvana . Release (that is, the Release of 
being merged in and unified, with the Brahman), (25) Those' 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. V 979 

3rf*rat 3§rf?raH n^i NRdirHH i ^, ii ^ ii 

Hl<»ll<«*ft ^T f**TT qT^rT *^«-d<^lRafi II *S II 

Rsis, who have lost the sense of duality (that is, who have 
realised the principle that there is only one Paramesvara in 
all places), whose sins have been dissolved, and who have 
."become engrossed in achieving the welfare of the entire 
creation by means of Self-control, attain Release in the shape 
of brahma-nirvma. (26) The yatins who are free from Desire 
and Anger, who are self-sontrolled and possessed of Self- 
Knowledge, attain the brahma-niroana Release 'abhitah' (that 
is, as if it is placed all round them, or in front of them ; that 
is to say, wherever they are). (27) That Release-desiring 
Muni, who keeps outside the (painful or pleasing) contacts 
■ (of the organs) with external objects; who, having fixed his 
gaze between the two eye-brows, and equalised the prana 
.and the apana breaths passing through his nostrils, (28) has 
• obtained control over the senses, the Mind, and the Reason ; 
.and, who has become free from Desire, Fear, and Anger, may 
.be said to be ' perpetually Released '. 

[It will he seen from Chapter IX (pp. 320 and 344) and 
Chapter X (p. 414) of the Glta-Rahasya, that this 
description is of the Jlvan-muktavastha (state of being 
Released, while alive). But, the assertion of some 
commentators that it is a description of a man who follows 
the Path of Renunciation is not correct in my opinion. 
"Whether in the Path of Renunciation, or in the Path of 
Karma-Yoga, ' tranquility' (santi ) is one and the same ; and 
to that extent, this description might apply to the Path of 
Renunciation; this cannot be denied; but, as in the 
beginning of this chapter, the Karma-Yoga has been 
mentioned as the superior path, and again in the 25th 
stanza, it is stated that Jnanins (sages) are engrossed in 



SSO GITA-RAHASYA. OR KARMA-YOGA 



iff* 9Tw^Ji#raT^ -JMNMcy, snrf^rrof sini^i^ 

achieving Universal Welfare, it is clear that this description 
is of the Karma-Yogin Jlvan-mukta (Released-in-life) and 
not of the Sarhnyasin (See Gl. Ra. p. 520). To proceed; 
since, Realising the Paramesvara, Who pervades the entire 
creation, is the highest ideal even according to the Path of 
Action (karma-marga), the Blessed Lord finally says that — ] 

(29) Realising, (in this way), Me, Who am the Recipient, 
of (all) sacrifice and austerities, the Overlord of all spheres- 
(such as heaven, etc.) and the Friend of the entire creation, . 
he attains tranquility. 

Thus ends the fifth chapter entitled Samnyasa-Yoga in, 
the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the Yoga in- 
cluded in the science of the Brahman (that is, on the Karma- 
Yoga) in the Upanisad sung (that is, told) by the Blessed;, 
Lord. 



CHAPTER ¥1. 

[Thus far it has been proved that, (i) though nothing 
except Knowledge is necessary for attaining Release, the 
Jfi§nin must continue to perform Actions even after the- 
Acquisition of Jnana, for universal welfare; but that, (ii) he 
must perform these with an Equable Reason, and having 
given up the Desire for Fruit, so that they may not have 
any binding effect ; that, (iii) this is known as the Karma- 
Toga ; and that, (iv) this path of life is more praise-worthy 
than the path of Renunciation of Action {Ixirma-samnyasa). 
Nevertheless, the justification of Karma-Yoga is not 
thereby finished. Already in Chapter III, in describing 
Desire, Anger, etc., the Blessed Lord has explained to- 
Arjuna, that these enemies make their home in the organs, 
the Mind, and the Reason of humans, and destroy their 
Spiritual Knowledge (jnana) as also their Specified 
Knowledge (vijnana), (3. 40); and advised him that 
he should, therefore, first conquer these enemies by con- 
trolling his senses. In order that this advice should be 
complete, it was necessary to explain (1) how to acquire 
control over the senses, and (2) what is Spiritual Knowledge 
and what Specified Knowledge ; but, in the meantime, the 
Blessed Lord, in reply to the question of Arjuna,. 
(i) explained to him which path of life, out of the paths of 
Karma-Yoga and Karma-Samnyasa, was the better one r 
(ii) harmonised these two paths of life as far as possible ; and 
(iii) showedhow the Brahma-nirvana Release could be obtain- 
ed without giving up Action, and by performing Action 
with an unattached Reason. The Blessed Lord now starts 
in this chapter a description of the means by which it is 
possible to acquire this unattached (nihsanga), or Brahman- 
devoted (brahma-nistha) state, which is necessary even in 
Karma-Yoga. Nevertheless, in order that it should be 
clear that this explanation has not been given for 
preaching the Patanjala-Yoga independently, the Blessed 
Lord, to start with, repeats here what has been expounded 



GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

^ #s3Traf*n% inform h %% qiogg i 
?r ®#?5r?a^OT ^ftifT irarar ^am « * » 

in the previous chapters, namely that, the true Samnyasin 
is the person, who performs Actions, having given up the 
Hope for Fruit of Action, and not the one, who abandons 
Action (5. 3)— J 

The Blessed Lord said : — 

(I) That man is to be called a Samnyasin and a Karma- 
Yogin, who performs (his Sastra-enjoined) duties, without 
taking shelter in the Fruit of Action (that is, not having in 
his Mind a 'home' in the shape of Hope of Fruit). The 
niragni (that is, one who has given up Fire-ritual, "such as, 
agnikotra etc.), or the akriya (that is, one who sits abso- 
lutely quiet, without performing any Action whatsoever), 
such a man is not (the true Samn5'asin, or the true Yogin). 
(2) O Pandava, understand that what is known as Samnyasa 
is (Karma-) Yoga, because no one can become a (Karma-) 
Yogin unless he makes a Samnyasa (i. e., Renunciation — 
Trans.) of the samkalpa (that is, of the Hope of Fruit in 
-the shape of a Desireful Reason). 

[ This is only a repetition of the statements made in the 
previous chapters, such as, " ekam samkhyam ea yogam ca" 
(5. 5) ; or, " there is no Samnyasa except by Yoga " (5. 6) ; 
■or, "jfteydh sa tdtya-samnyasi" (5. 3); and later on, where 
the whole subject-matter has been summarised in Chapter 
XVIII, the very same import is again repeated. In the 
■ state of a house-holder, one has to maintain an agmhatra 
(a perpetual sacrificial fire), and perform Yajfias, Yagas 
etc. But, as it was not necessary for a person, who had 
become an ascetic, to thus maintain a perpetual fire, it is stated 
in the Manu-Smrti, that he should become niragid (i. e., free 
from Eire-ritual), and live in the forest, and maintain 
.himself by begging, and not take part in worldly affairs 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP, VI 983- 

( Manu. 6. 25 etc. ). This dictum of Manu has been referred 
to in the first stanza above, and with reference to it, the 
Blessed Lord says that, " becoming ' mragrti * or 'niskriya' is 
not a feature of true SamnySsa". True SamnySsa 
consists in giving up a Desireful Reason, or the Hope of 
Fruit. Samnyasa consists in the frame of the Mind, and 
not in the external act of giving up the maintenance of the 
sacrificial fire, or ritual. Therefore, that man alone, who 
gives up the Hope of Fruit, or the samkalpa, and thus 
performs his duties, can be called the true Saiimyasin. 
This doctrine of the Glta is different from the doctrine of 
the Smrti-writers ; and I have to refer the reader to 
Chapter XI of the Ulta-Rahasya (pp. 480-496), where I have 
clearly shown how the Glta harmonises it with the doctrine 
of the Smrtis. Having in this way explained what 
true Samnyasa is, the Blessed Lord now explains the 
difference between the Actions to be performed in the 
mdhanavasths, that is, in the state before Knowledge has 
been acquired, and those to be performed in the siddhavastha 
that is, after the Acquisition of Knowledge, giving up the 
Hope of Fruit — ] 

(3) To the Muni who desires to become (Karma-) 
yogarudha (that is, enthroned on the Karma-Yoga— Trans.), 
Karma is said to be the Mra%a, (that is the means) ; and 
when that same man has become yogarudha (that is, has 
become a complete Yogin), the soma (that is serenity — 
Trans.) is said to become later on the karana (for the 
Karma). 

[Commentators have utterly misinterpreted the meaning 
of this stanza. The wOTd ' yoga ' used in the first part of 
the stanza means Karma-Yoga ; and it is accepted by every- 
body that, for acquiring that Yoga, Karma is the karaya, 
or the means; but commentators have interpreted the 
words, " after having become ' yogarudha ', sama becomes 
the Jcarava for him ", as supporting the Path of Renuncia- 
tion. What they say is : ' sama ' means ' upasama ' (that 



984 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-TOGA 

is, ' cessation ' — Trans.) of Karma; and he who has acquired 
Yoga must, therefore, give up Karma ! Because, according 
to them, the Karma-Yoga is a part (anga), that is, a 
preliminary accomplishment, of Samnyasa. But, this 
interpretation is only a doctrine-supporting interpretation, 
and not the correct interpretation. For, (1) if the Blessed 
Lord has stated already in the first stanza of this chapter, 
that that man alone is a true Yogin, or yogarudha, who 
" performs his duty " without taking shelter in the Fruit 
of Action, and that the person who does not perform 
Action (who is an akriya) is not a true Yogin, it would be 
totally illogical to imagine, that the Blessed Lord could 
have in the third stanza advised the Yogin, or the yoga- 
rudha, to make the sama of Karma, that is, to give up Karma. 
Although it may be the opinion of the Samnyasa school, 
that the yogarudha should not perform Action, after having 
attained tranquility, yet, that opinion is not acceptable to 
the Glta ; and there is clear advice in several places in the 
Glta to the effect that the Karma-Yogin should, even in the 
State of Perfection (siddhavastha) continue to perform all 
Actions, desirelessly, and merely as duties, and so long as 
he is alive, in the same manner as the Blessed Lord. (Cf. 
Gi. 2. 71 ; 3. 7 and 19 ; 4. 19-21 ; 5. 7-12 ; 12. 12 ; 18. 56 
and 57 ; and Gi. Ra. Ch. XI and XII). (2) The second 
reason is : How is it possible to interprete ' sama ' as mean- 
ing the ' sama ' of Karma ? The word ' sama ' appears three 
or four times in the Bhagavadglta ( Gi. 10.4 ; 18.42 ) ; and in 
those places, as also in common parlance, it means ' peace 
of Mind'. Then, why should it be interpreted to mean the 
' peace or the ending of Karma ' ? In order to get over this 
difficulty, commentators have, in the Paisacya-bhasya on 
the Glta, treated -'tasya' as being the sixth (possessive) 
■case of the neuter gender, and read the line as: 
' tasyaiva karmartah. samah ', ( that is, ' the sama, which is 
tasya, namely, of the Karma, referred to in the first half of 
the stanza ), instead of referring the demonstrative pronoun 
' tasyaiva ' in the phrase ' yogarudhasya tasyaiva ' to the word 
"' yogarudhasya ' ! But, this syntax of the sentence is also 
mot plain ; because, undoubtedly, the second part of the 



GETA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OHAP. VI 985 

stanza has been started in order to show the state reached 
afterwards, that is, after he has completed his training, by 
the man studying the Yoga, who has been described in the 
first part of the stanza ; therefore, the word 'tasyaiva ' cannot 
be interpreted as meaning ' karmanah eva ' ; and even if that 
interpretation is taken, then, that word should be joined to 
the words ' koranam ucyate ', instead of to the word ' sama '. 
'Then, the syntax of the sentence will run as follows, 
namely, ' samah yogarudhasya tasyaiva karmanah karanam 
ucyate', which means, "the 'sama' now becomes the kararia 
for the Karma of the yogarudha'. (3) The third reason for 
rejecting the interpretation of the commentators is as 
follows : according to the Path of Samnyasa, nothing 
remains to be done for the yogarudha. and all his Karma 
ends in ' sama ' ; and if this is true, the word * karaya' in the 
sentence, "the 'sama' becomes the 'karana' for the 
yogurudha", becomes totally meaningless. The word 
' karana ' is always a relative ( sapeksa ) term. As soon as 
you say ' karana ' (means), there must be some ' karya ' 
'(effect) of it. But, according to the Samnyasa doctrine, 
there is no more any karya left for the yogarudha. 
If 'sama' is taken as the 'karana', or the means for 
Release, even that interpretation is not proper. Well ; if 
it is said that ' sama ' is the ' karana ', that is, the means, 
for the Acquisition of Knowledge, then, this being a 
description of the yogarudha, that is, of one, who has 
already reached the state of complete perfection, he has 
already acquired Knowledge by means of Karma. 
'Then, of what is this 'sama', the 'karana' ? The commenta- 
tors of the Samnyasa school cannot give any satisfactory 
solution of this question. But, if one considers the matter, 
disregarding the interpretation of the commentators, then, 
in interpreting the second part of the stanza, the word 
'karma' in the first part of the stanza comes before the mind 
by reason of its proximity ; and then, one gets the 
interpretation that: as the yogarudJia cannot escape Action 
for Universal Welfare (lokasamgraha), though he has no 
self-interest left (Gi. 3. 17-19), 'sama' now becomes the 
"karana' or the means, for him to perform that Action. 



986 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

The same interpretation is arrived at, if one considers the 
statement in the previous chapter that, "yuktah karma- 
phalam tyaktva santim apnoti naisthiklm" (Gl. 5. 12), that is, 
"the Yogin attains complete tranquility by abandoning the 
Fruit of Action" ; because, in that stanza, 'tranquility' is- 
related not to the 'Abandonment of Action', but to the 
'Abandonment of the Hope of Fruit' ; and it has been 
clearly stated in that place, that the karma-samnyasa, 
which the Yogin has to perform, has to be performed 
'manasa', that is, by the Mind (Gl. 5. 13) ; and that, by the 
Body, that is, by the organs of Action, such a Yogin must 
perform all the various Actions. In my opinion, the 
present stanza is an example of what is known in the 
aZamtera-sasfra (science of Figures of Speech) as the 'anyonya- 
lamkara', as it embodies some strangeness of meaning, or 
sweetness of sentiment as is produced by that alamkara ; for, 
after stating, in the first part of the stanza, when Karma, 
becomes the 'karana' of 'sama', the latter part of the stanza, 
states conversely, when 'sama' becomes the 'karana' of the 
Karma. The Blessed Lord says that in the beginning, that 
is, in the preparatory stage (sadhanavastha), Action (Karma). 
' becomes the means (karana) of tranquility (sama), that is,, 
of Yoga-siddhi ; that is to say, when a person goes on 
performing, as far as possible, all Actions with a Desireless. 
Mind, his Mind becomes peaceful, and he thereby 
ultimately attains complete perfection of Yoga (yoga- 
siddhi). But, when the Yogin has become yogarudha 
( steeped " in Yoga ), that is to say, when he has 
reached the state of perfection, ( siddhavasths. ), this 
relation of cause and effect between Karma and 
'sama' is reversed; and instead of Karma being the means 
of obtaining 'sama', or its 'karana', the 'sama' itself 
becomes the means for the Karma; that is to say, the 
yogarudha, thereafter performs all his Actions merely as 
duties, and without entertaining any Hope of Fruit, and 
with a peaceful Mind. In short, this stanza does not mean 
that a man becomes free from Karma in the state of 
Perfection; and all that the Gita says is that, the 
jelation of cause and effect between Karma and ' sama' 



GrTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 987: 

in the preparatory stage (sadhariavastha) becomes changed 
or inverted in the State of Perfection (siddhavasthfi), (GL 
Ra. Ch. XI, pp. 449 to 451). It is nowhere stated in the 
Glta that the Karma-Yogin must ultimately give up> 
Action ; nor is it intended to say so. It is, therefore, not 
proper to take some stanza or other from the Glta, 
wherever there is a chance of doing so, and hy some 
stratagem or other to give it a renunciatory meaning, That 
is why the Gits has become so difficult to understand for 
many in these days. The proposition, that the yogarudha 
must continue to perform Actions, is also borne out by 
the definition given in the next stanza. ; That stanza is as 
follows — ] 

(4) Because, when a man does not become attached to> 
these objects of sense (such as, speech, touch etc.), nor 
to Karma, and when he makes a Renunciation of all saihkalpa 
(that is, of the Hope of Fruit in the shape of a Desireful 
Reason, and not of Action, literally), he is called a 
'yogarudha' . 

[This stanza may be said to be a continuation of the 
last stanza or perhaps even of the last three stanzas. 
This clearly shows that the Gita advises the Yogarudha 
to give up not Action, but the Hope of Fruit, or the 
Desireful Reason, and to perform Action desirelessly, 
and with a peaceful frame of mind. The words 
' samnyasa of samlsalpa'' appear in the second stanza above; 
and they must be given the same meaning here, as in that 
stanza. Karma-Yoga includes Samnyasa in the shape of 
the Abandonment of the Hope of Fruit, and that man alone 
is the true Samnyasin, or Yogin, or the true Yogarudha who 
performs all Actions, having abandoned the Hope of Fruit. 
The Blessed' Lord now says that succeeding in such a 
■ Desireless Karma-Yoga, or Renunciation of Hope of Fruit, 
is a matter within the control of every man ; and if he- ; 

47—48 



S88 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

§§ ftrmrnsp srtfh^t q^twr buttict: i 

liimself makes the effort, -it -is [not impossible for him to 
achieve it — ] 

(5) (Man) should himself bring about his own emanci- 
pation;' one should not (at any time) discourage oneself: 
because, (every man) himself is (said to be ) his own bandhu 
{ that is, helper), or his own enemy. (6) Who has himseli 
conquered himself, becomes his own helper ; but who does 
not understand himself, acts towards himself as his own 
enemy. 

[ These two stanzas contain a description of the doctrine 
of Free Will (atmasvatamtrya), and propound the principle 
that every one must bring about his own emancipation;., 
and that, however powerful Prakrti (Nature) may be, it' is 
within one's own hands to conquer it and to bring about 
one's own betterment (Gl. Ba. Ch. X, pp. 383 to 391). In 
order that this principle should be firmly impressed on the 
mind, it has beenstated (i) positively, that is, by showing, when 
the Atman becomes one's friend; and again (ii) negatively, 
by showing when the Atman may be said tobe one's enemy; 
and this very principle is again referred to in 13. 28. As 
the word ' atma ' has three meanings in Sanskrit, namely, 
(1) the ' antaratman ', (2) one's self, and (3) the Internal Sense, 
or the Mind, this word, ' atma ' appears several times in this 
and the following stanzas. The Blessed Lord now explains 
what result is obtained by bringing the Atman under 
control — ] 
(7) Who has conquered the Atman (that is, his Internal 
Sense), and who has attained tranquility, his ' paramatrnan' 
becomes samahita (that is, equal and- steady)' towards heat 
and cold, pain and happiness^ .hortouc .and .dishonours f 



* .V 

GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 989 



frfi i^f^r^.%# ^^^laiW+i^HS it c II 

[ In this stanza, the word ' paramatman ' has been used 
■with reference to the Atman itself. The Atman within the 
•body is ordinarily engrossed in the turmoil of pain and 
happiness ; but, when this turmoil has been conquered by 
means of control of the senses, the same Atman acquires 
the form of a ' paramatman ', or of the ' paramesvara '. It is 
stated further on in the Gita itself ( Gl. 13. 22 and 31- ) that 
the Paramatman is not some substance, different in nature 
from the Atman, but that the Atman within the body of a 
man is essentially the PaTamatman; and even in the 
-Mahabharata, there is a statement that — 

atma ksetrajfia ity uktah samyuktah prakrtair guyaih I 
tair eva tu vinirmuktah. paramatmety. udahrtah n ' 

(Ma. BhS. San. 187: 24 ), 
that is, " when the Atman isprakrta, that is, bound by the 
constituents of Prakrti ( by emotions, such as, happiness, 
pain etc.), it is called the ' ksetrajfia ' or the ' jivatman', 
within the body; and when it has become free, from 
-these constituents, the same Atman is called the 
Paramatman ". It will be seen from Chapter IX of the 
<Jlt3-Kahasya, that the same is the doctrine of the Non- 
Dualistic ."Vedanta. Those who are of opinion that the 
'Gita does not support Non-Dualism, but supports Qualified 
Monism (visistadvaita), or pure Dualism, do not take the word 
' paramatma ' here as a single word, but break it up into 
' parafii ' and ' atma ', and look upon the word ' param ' as an 
adverb qualifying the verb ' samahitah'. This, interpreta- 
tion is far-fetched; but it will show how commentators,, 
who want to establish a particular doctrine, stretch the 
meaning of the Gita to support their own point of view.] 
(8) He, whose Atman has become satisfied by jmna (that is, ; 
Spiritual: Knowledge— Trans. ) and by vijnana, [that -is, by 
specified (vividha) Jfiana], who 1 has conquered his senses,, 
who has become 'kutastha' (that is, who has reached the 
origin), and has begun to look upon the earth, . stone, and 
gold as one and the same, such a (Karma-) Yogin (alone) 



990 GlTS.-RAHA.SYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

is said to be 'yukta' (that is, to have reached the siddha- 
vastha). (9) That man, whose Reason has become equal 
towards dear persons, friends, enemies, udasinas, madhya- 
sthas, persons fit to be hated, and brethren, as also towards 
saints, and evil-minded persons, may be said to be of special 
worth. 

[' suhrd ' means a friend, who helps without expecting a; 
return ; ' ttdasina ' is a person, who, where there are two* 
factions, does not desire the good or the evil of either party ; . 
' madhyastha ' is a person, who wishes well by both sides ; 
and ' bandhu ' is a relation. Such are the meanings given 
by commentators to these words. But it will do, if 
slightly different meanings are taken instead of taking these- 
meanings ; because, these words have not been used with 
the intention of showing a different meaning in each case y 
and several words are sometimes used in this way in 
order that an exhaustive meaning may be conveyed by 
the combination, and that nothing should be left 
over. In this way, after having briefly explained who- 
may be called a 'yogi', or a ' yukta', or a ' yogarudha'' 
(Gi. 2. 61 ; 4. 18 ; and 5. 23), the Blessed Lord has also said' 
that every man is free to achieve this Karma-Yoga for: 
himself ; and that it is not necessary for him to depend 
for assistance on anybody else for that purpose. The 
Blessed Lord now explains the means for achieving this; 
Karma-Yoga — ] 
(10) He, who is a Yogin (that is, a Karma- Yogin) should, 
remaining alone in solitude ; controlling his Mind, and his- 
Atman ; not entertaining any desire whatsoever ; and giving 
up parigraha (that is, bonds), take constantly to his Yoga- 
practice. 

[ It becomes clear from the next stanza that the word 
'yw&jita' refers to the Yoga described in the Patafijala-- 



■ GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 991 

^TR^raq' l^itliTuWIr^N^^ II \% II 

sutras. But, this does not mean that the man, who wishes 
to achieve the Karma-Yoga must spend his entire life in 
the practice of the Patafijala-Yoga. The Patafijala-Yoga 
has been described in this chapter as a means for acquiring 
that Equable Reason, which is necessary in the Karma- 
Yoga ; and solitude is necessary only to that extent. As a 
result of Prakrti, many persons are not able to acquire in 
one life the Mental Absorption (samadhi) described in the 
Patafijala-Yoga ; and the Blessed Lord has said at the end 
of this very chapter, that such persons should practise the 
Karma-Yoga by steadying their Reason, as far as possible, 
instead of wasting their whole life in the practice of 
Patanjala-Yoga ; and that by doing so, they will ultimately 
attain Perfection (siddhi) after many births (Gl. Ea. Oh. X, 
pp. 389 to 390)— ] 

<(11) Having unchangeably fixed one's ' asana ' (that is, place 
of sitting — Trans.) on dried grass, covered by a deer-skin, 
■over which too has been placed a piece of cloth, neither too 
high nor too low, in a pure place, (12) and controlling in 
that place the activities of the * Mental Vision (i. e., citta — 
Trans.) and of the senses, and concentrating the Mind, 
one should practice Yoga, sitting on that seat, for self- 
purification. (13) Becoming steady, holding the kaya (that 
is, the back), the head, and the neck fixedly in a vertical 
straight line, not looking towards the cardinal directions 
<(that is, around oneself), and fixing the, gaze on the tip of 

* See, Apte, Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1924, p. 435 — 

T.rans. 



992 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

^rrfS?r -RraWrorf rtr#5«imf%TEsfra- u V*. m 

one's nose, (14) not entertaining any fear, keeping a 
peaceful frame of mind, observing Irahmacarya (that is,. 
celibacy— Trans.), controlling the Mind, fixing one's Mental 
Vision on Me, becoming devoted to Me, one should become 
yukta (i. e., ' steeped in Yoga ' — Trans.) 

[The words " in a pure place " and "holding the back, 
neck, and the head fixedly in a vertical straight line " are 
from the Svetasvataropanisad ( see Sve. 2. 8 and 10 ) ; and' 
the whole of the description given above is not from the 
Hatha-Yoga, but is more consistent with the description of 
Yoga given in the ancient Upanisads. In the Hatha- 
Yoga, there is a coercive control of the senses ; but it is 
stated later on in the 24th stanza of this very chapter, that 
" the senses should be controlled by the Mind " Of. 
"manasaiva indriyagramam nniyamya". This clearly shows 
that the Glta does not countenance the Hatha-Yoga. 
Similarly, it has been stated at the end of this chapter,, 
that this description is not to be understood as directing a 
person to spend his whole life in the practice of Yoga. The 
Blessed Lord now further expounds the concrete results of 
this Yoga-practice — ] 

(15) By thus continually practising the Yoga, the Mind! 
comes under control; and the (Karma-) Yogin attains the. 
tranquility, to be found in Me, and which is ultimately 
productive of 'nirvana' (that is, which causes assimilation, 
into Me). 

[The word 'continually' in this stanza is not to be taken 

. ,as meaning for twenty-four hours a day. All that is 

, meant is, that one should perform this practice, for a few 

hours every day (see commentary on stanza 10). The 
— '•reason for saying: "become 'macdtta' and 'matparayaya' 

■while thus practising Yoga", is that the Patafijala-Yoga fc 



G-lTS, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 993 



~. -s .^-v ^3. 



T ^iid^njtfi^^ msmt %sr =srt^sr u \§ it 
^K^tsrra^r^r : ?TPft *ra% %:ma » ?« » 

only one of the devices or processes for controlling the 

Mind. When the Mind has been controlled by this 

practice, it is possible to fix it on other things instead of on 

the Blessed Lord. Therefore, the Glta says that, (i) one. 

should not thus misapply the concentrated Mind, but 

should' utilise this concentration or ' samadhi ' of the Mind, 

for acquiring the Knowledge of the form of the 

Paramesvara ; chat, (ii) it is only when this is done that 

Yoga becomes beneficial ; and that, (iii) otherwise, the 

practice is only productive of useless trouble ; and the same 

meaning is conveyed later on in the 29th and 30th stanzas, 

and again in the 47th stanza at the end of the chapter. 

Those, who have only practised the physical control of, or 

acquired the Yoga of, the organs, without being devoted to 

the Paramesvara, only become adept in such practices, as 

' jaraya' (incantations to produce impotency, diseases, or 

infirmities), ' maram ' ( incantations to destroy or kill ), 

'vaiikarana' (incantations for fascinating or enchanting 

and subduing), which are harmful to others. This state of 

'things is not desirable either for the Glta or for any other 

path of Release. The Blessed Lord now gives again a 

further elucidation of this Yoga-practice — ] 

(16) O Arjuna! he who eats too much, or who eats nothing; 

at all, and he who sleeps too much, or who keeps awake 

too much cannot succeed in (this) Yoga. (17) Whose food 

and pastime are moderate, whose Action is just sufficient, 

and whose sleep and keeping awake are measured, to him, 

(this) Yoga becomes a destroyer of pain (that is, a producer 

of happiness). 

■ [In this stanza, the word 'yoga' means the practice of 
the Patafijala-Yoga ; and the word 'yukta' means, moderate, 
enough, or measuj/ed ; and further on also, in one or two 
places the word ' yoga ' has been used to mean 



S94 GlTA-BAHASYA OB KABMA-YOGA 

Patafijala-Yoga. Nevertheless, it does not, on that account, 
follow that this chapter deals independently .with the 
Patafijala-Yoga. It has been clearly stated in the forego- 
ing lines that one's most important duty in life is to 
successfully practise the Karma-Yoga ; and that this 
description of the Patafijala-Yoga has been given as being 
■a means for attaining that Karma- Yoga, and for that 
purpose only ; and it becomes clear from the words "whose 
Action is just sufficient ", that this Yoga-practice has to be 
carried on, without giving up other Action. The Blessed 
Lord now first gives a short description of a Yogin, and 
describes the nature of the happiness of mental absorption 
(sarnadhi) — ] 

(18) When the controlled Mind becomes fixed on the 
Atman, and when there does not remain the desire for any 
•enjoyment, the man is said to have become 'yukta'. (19) 
Just as a lamp (that is, the flame of a lamp) kept in a breeze- 
less place, remains unflickering, that same simile is applied to 
the Yogin, who practices Yoga, having controlled the Mind. 

[Besides this simile, there are other similes in the 
Mahabharata, such as, " the mind of a Yogin becomes 
' yukta ', just as a man becomes ' yukta ' (concentrated) when 
taking a utensil filled with oil down a stair-case, or when 
protecting a boat in a storm (Santi. 300. 31, 34). The 
simile in the Kathopanisad of the charioteer and the horses 
-of the chariot, is well-known ; and although that simile has 
not been clearly used in the Gita, yet, the 67th and 68th 
stanzas of the second chapter, and the 25th stanza of this 
chapter, have clearly been written with that simile in mind. 
Although the word ' yoga ' has the technical meaning of 
''■Karma-Yoga ' in the Gita, yet, that word has been used in 
.< various other meanings in the Gita ; for instance, in 9. 5 
0. 7, the word 'yoga' has been used, to mean "the 



GlTl, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 995 



— ^. , f ~^ . , *„ ^i-. 



.-power to do something supernatural, or whatever is 
desired ". Nay, as the word ' yoga ' has several meanings, 
the supporters of the Patafijala-Yoga, or of the Samkhya- 
Yoga, have found an opportunity of making use of that 
fact for saying that the Gita supports their respective 
doctrines. The Blessed Lord now desoribes in a more 
exhaustive manner the ' samadhi' in the shape of 'total 
control of the Mental Vision ' prescribed by the Patanjala- 
Yoga — ] 

• (20) That state in which the Mind remains entranced after 
at has become controlled by Yoga-practice, and seeing one's 

Atman in which, one remains contented in the Atman itself j 
■ (21 j in which It experiences that summit of happiness, which 
is only Mind-Realised c, buddhigamya ) and imperceptible to 
the senses ; and, having (once) become steady in which, It 

• does not swerve from the ' tattva' (that is, principle — Trans.); 

- (22) similarly, having acquired which state, It does not con- 
sider any other attainment as greater, and having become 
steady in which, no pain, however big can move (It) there- 
from; (23) that state is known as the "myoga (i.e., disunion- 
Trans.) from the contact of pain ", that is, as ' yoga ' ; and 
this ' Yoga ' must be practised determinedly, without 

.allowing the Mind to get tired. 

[These four stanzas make one sentence. The demonstra- 
tive pronoun " to him " (' tani '), used at the beginning of 
the 23rd stanza, refers to the description given in the first 
three stanzas; and the four stanzas complete the 



996 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



TT?Tfl%ff^mm RTRSPRT W&tKP II *8 II 

3TTF3R^«T JT^^rcTT * xm^n f^cft^ II *H l» 
description of the 'samadhi'. The words used in the 
beginning of the 20th stanza are similar to the description 
of 'Yoga' as, "yogas tittavrttinirodhah", that is, 
"Yoga means the control of the activities of the Mental 
Vision (eitta) " given in the Patafijala-Yoga-Sfitras. The 
'sam&dhi' is the culmination of this control of the activities 
of the Mental vision ; and that is called Yoga' : this is the 
new definition of the word 'yoga', which has now been inten- 
tionally given. It has been stated in the Upanisads and in 
the Mahabharata, that a determined and industrious man 
can accomplish this Yoga in six months (Maitryu. 6. 28 ; 
Amrtanada. 29 ; Ma. Bha. Asva. Anuglta, 19. 66)- Never- 
theless, it has been stated above in the 20th stanza, and 
later on also in the 28th stanza, that this happiness, arising 
out of the samadhi of the Patanjala-Yoga, is not the result . 
merely of the control of the activities of the Mind, but 
arises after one has become acquainted with the nature of 
the Atman, after having controlled the activities of the 
Mind. This painless condition is known as ' brahmananda " 
(the Brahmie bliss ), or, ' Stmaprasadaja happiness ' (the • 
happiness resulting from the Realisation of the Atman), or, 
'mmananda' (the Atmic bliss), (Gi. 18. 37, and Gl. Ra. Oh. IX, 
p. 320). It is not that this Equability of the Mind, 

, necessary for acquiring the Knowledge of the Atman, can 
be acquired only by the Patanjala-Yoga ; and it is stated 
in the following chapters that the same result, namely, the 
purification of the Mind, can also be achieved by means of 
Knowledge ( jnana ) and Devotion (bhaktij ; and, that course 

' is usually considered more proper and easier. The Blessed 
Lord has thus given a description of the samadhi ; He now 
explains how that samadhi is to be brought about — ] . 

(24) Abandoning all the Mma (that is, wishes) arising 

out of satiikalpa (that is, imagination — Trans.), and controlling. 

the senses on all sides by the Mind, (25) you should gradually 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 997 



§§ 



become tranquil, with a courageful Mind ; and steadying the- 
Mind on the Atman, you should allow no thought to enter 
the Mind. (26) (while you are concentrating the Mental 
Vision in this fashion) Controlling the volatile and unsteady 
Mind in every direction, from which it may seek to escape^ 
you should bring it within the control of the Atman. 

[The description of this proeess of attaining the samadhi 

(absorption) of the Mind is well-exemplified by the 

illustration of a chariot given in the Kathopanisad 

(Katha. 1. 3. 3). Just as the skilful charioteer takes the 

horses along a straight road, without allowing them to rush 

- in this direction or that, the same kind of effort has a man to- 

make in order to attain samadhi. He, who is accustomed to 

concentrate his mind on any particular subject, will easily 

understand the meaning underlying this stanza. When 

the Mind is controlled in one direction, it breaks out in 

•another direction; and unless this is stopped, it is not 

possible to attain samadki. The Blessed Lord now describes 

the result which can be obtained by controlling the Mind 

in this way— ] 

(27) The (Karma-)Yogin, who is thus peaceful-minded, 

devoid of the rajas quality, sinless, and brahma-bMUa, attains 

the highest kind of bliss. (28) The (Karma-) Yogin, who 

continually practises Yoga in this fashion, becomes liberated 

from all sins, and happily enjoys the beatific happiness- 

arising from brahma-samyoga (i. e., union with the Brahman — 

Trans.). 

[I have interpreted the word ' yogi ', in these two stanzas, 
as meaning ' Karma-Yogin ' ; because, as the Patafijala- 
- Yoga has been mentioned as one of the means for attaining. 



GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 
§§ 



r.u 



n ^0 u 



the Karma-Yoga, such a man who practises the Patanjala- 
Yoga must be a Karma-Yogin. Nevertheless, it will do if 
. -the word ' yogi ' is taken to mean a person, who is in 
samadhi. It must not, however, be forgotten that the 
■course of conduct advocated by the Gita is beyond this. 
The same argument is advanced in the next two or three 
.stanzas. The Blessed Lord now describes the Self- 
Identifying (atmaupamya) vision towards the entire 
creation, acquired after a man has in this way experienced 
the happiness of the nirvana (Absolute) Brahman — j 

(29) Whose Atman has (thus) become yoga-yukta (i. e., 
rsteeped in Yoga — Trans.), his vision becomes equalised in all 
directions, and he sees himself in all things, and sees (that) 
all created things (are) within himself. (30) Who : sees Me 
(the Paramesvara, Paramatman), (to be) everywhere, and 
who sees everything, within Me, him, I never abandon ; nor 
does he ever abandon Me. 

[ The description in the first out of these two stanzas, 
■where the word 'atman' has been used, is from the impercept- 
ible, that is, the metaphysical point of view ; and the second 
description, where the first personal pronoun ' I ' has been 
used, is from the perceptible, that is, the devotional point 
.of view. But both these things mean the same (GL Ra. 
•Oh. XIII, pp. 598 to 605). This vision of the identification 
of the Brahman with the Atman, is the foundation both of 
Release and of Karma-Yoga. The first part of the 29th 
•stanza has appeared with a slight difference in the Mami- 
Smrti (Manu. 12. 91), in the Mahabharata (San. 238. 21 and 
268. 22), and also in the Upanisads (Kaiva. 1. 10 ; and 
Isa. 6). Nay, the realisation of the identity of the entire 
creation with the Atman is the origin of all Metaphysics 
and of Karma-Yoga, as has been shown by me at great 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CHAP. VI 999- 

length in Chapter XII of the Glta-Rahasya (see p. 537 etc.). 
Although a man may have obtained control over the 
senses, such control is useless in the absence of this Jnana ; 
and therefore, the Blessed Lord starts from the nest chapter 
to speak about the Knowledge of the Paramesvara. ] 

(31) He, who worships Me (the Paramesvara), Who pervade 
every created thing, keeping in mind the idea of Unity, (that: 
is, of the Identity of the Atman with all created things), that . 
Karma-Yogin, though he may be acting in all manner, is in. 
Me. (32) O Arjuna ! that (Karma-) Yogin, who has begun to 
look everywhere with a (Self-Identifying-) Vision according to* 
which, others are the same as himself, such a man is . 
considered parama (that is, most superior). 

t The idea, that there is only one Atman in the entire 
creation, is common to the Samkhya-marga as also to the 
Yoga-marga ; in the same way, even according to the 
Patanjala-Yoga, this Equability is attained after a 
man has Realised the Paramesvara. But as both the 
Samkhya-Yogins and the Patafijala-Yogins support the: 
Abandonment of Action, they never make occasion for 
utilising in actual life this feeling of Equability ; and the 
Karma-Yogin of the Gits, on the contrary, continually - 
utilises in every day life this Equability of Reason, acquired 
by Metaphysical Realisation, and goes on performing all 
the different affairs of the world for Universal Welfare : this 
is the great difference between the two ; and, that is why it 
is stated at the end of this chapter, that the Karma-Yogin is . 
superior to the 'tapamiin', (that is, the Patafijala- Yogin) on 
the one hand, and the ' jnanin ' (that is, the Samkhya-Yogin) 
on the other hand (stanza 46). Having heard this- 
description of the Yoga of Equability, Arjuna now raises . 
the following doubt—] 



1000 , GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

^93^ 1% ipr. f 15 ^ srmfsr ^^rs: sot; i 
awri f^srt **% srnfrfer ^«%<h » 38 « 

srKsrrerc 1 #;%*? %tp%it <% *p% n 3h n 
a^rmrrpn ^ft issm 1 fa if ?n%: 1 

Arjuna said •.'—(33), O Madhusudana, I do not think that 
this Yoga (that is, Karma -Yoga), acquired by samya (that is, 
by Equability of Reason), which You have preached will 
last permanently, having regard to the inconstancy (of the 
Mind); (34) because, Krsna! the Mind is volatile, 
-rebellious, powerful, and dr $ha (that is, difficult to mould) ; 
I think that the control of it is as difficult as of the wind, 
(that is, as trying to bind the wind in an envelope).. 

[The word * yoga ' in the 33rd stanza mustbe taken as 

■meaning ' Kaima-Yoga ' ; because, it is qualified by the 

^adjective 'by means of sarnya', that is, 'by means of 

Equability of Eeason '.- Although the samSdM according to 

-the Patafijala-Yoga has been described in the foregoing 

lines, yet, the Patafijala-Yoga is not meant by the word 

'' yoga ' in these stanzas ; because, in Chapter II, the'Blessed 

Lord has Himself defined Earma-Yoga as : "samatvam yoga 

zeccyate" (2.48), that is, ''Equalijess of Season, or Equability, 

is known- as 'Yoga"\ The Blessed Lord admits the 

correctness df the doubt' of Arjttna and says — j ; 

The Blessed Lord said :— (35) O Mighty-armed Arjuna, there 

is not the slightest doubt that the Mind is volatile, and' that 

controlling it,, is difficult; but, Q Kaunteya, itcanbeke.pt 

under control by aS^qsa ({hat is,, by practice — Trans.), and 

by vairagya (that, is, absence of Desire — Trans.). ([36) That 

man whose Inner Sense (antahharamy is not within control, 



GlTA, TBANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VI 1001 



:for him, it will be difficult in My opinion to achieve this 
Yoga (of Equable Reason) ; but, if one makes the effort, 

rafter controlling the Inner Sense, it is possible to acquire 

•this Yoga. 

[ In short, that which appears difficult in the beginning- 
can ultimately he achieved by practice and by industry. 
' abhyasa ' means 'doing any particular thing over and 
•over again' ; and 'vairagya' means "absence of 'ragd or of 
'love'", that is to say, "absence of desire". In the 
PStafijala-Yoga-Sutras, after first describing the nature of 
Yoga, as "yogas cittavrttinirodhah", that is, "controlling the 

■ activities of the Mental Vision is Yoga", (see the 20th stanza 
of this Chapter), it is stated in the next sutra that "abhyasa 
vairagyabkyam tan nirodhah", that is, "Mental Vision is 
■controlled by practice and by indifference to the world". 

' The same words have been used in the G-Ita, and the meaning - 
is the same ; but it cannot be stated, on that account, that, 
these words have been taken from the Patanjala-Sutras 

■(See Ql. Ea. pp. 746-747). Although it is thus possible to 
attain eamadhi (mental absorption) in this way, by 

■ controlling the Mind, and although it might be possible for 
some determined persons to acquire it by practice in six 
months, yet, another difficulty now arises, to the following 
■effect, namely, this highest stage of the Karma-Yoga cannot 
be acquired by many people even after several births, as a 
.result of their inherent nature. How are such people to 
.attain this Perfection? Because, even if such a person 
begins to practise Karma-Yoga, in one life, after having 
practised the control of the senses as far as possible, yet, 
that practice is bound to remain incomplete at the moment 
■of his death; and if in the, next birth, he is to start over 
again from the beginning, the same thing will be repeated 
in his next birth. Therefore, the • next' ■ question : of Ar juna 
is as to what such'persons should dcH-.]\. -< ■■'<• i u' 

Arjuna said :— (37.) O Krsna^whatiState^is^attained by 



1002 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

3wr%5r itmtii %?r w§ron 4& « \t » 
nzFW #^ fi«or ^^TT^aitracn i 

a man, instead of acquiring success in Yoga, who has. Faith r 
but whose Mind, on account of his being ayati (that is r 
wanting in sufficient effort, or sufficient control, as a result 
of his natural proclivities), has moved from the (.Karma-) 
Yoga, (consisting of an Equable Reason) ? (3^) O Mighty-- 
armed Krsna! is such a man, who, being encompassed by 
Ignorance, and not having become steady in the path of 
attaining the Brahman, has become bhratta (that is, alienated)* 
from both sides, ruined (in the middle) like a broken cloud ?" 
(39) O Krsna ! You it is, Who must remove this doubt in. 
my mind; because, no one other than You will begot for 
removing this doubt. 

[Though in the nan-samasa, the prefixed nan (i.e., a) is 
commonly taken to mean 'absence of, yet, as it is very, 
often also used to denote dimunity, the word ' ayati ' in the. 
37th stanza has to he interpreted as meaning, ' one who 
makes little, that is, insufficient effort or control \ The 
words " alienated from both sides" that is, "ito bhmstas 
taio bhrastah" used in the 38th stanza must be taken to. 
refer to the Karma-Yoga. K Action is performed accord- 
ing to the directions of the Sastras, though desirefully, one 
obtains heaven ; and if it is performed with a Desireless- 
Keason, one , obtains Release, without being bound by the 
Action; these are the two results of Karma; but, this man,, 
who is neither here nor there, does not get the Desire-borne 
Fruit in the shape of heaven, etc., because, that has not 
been his motive ; and cannot also attain Release, as he has. 
not acquired Equability of Reason. Arjuna's question is= 
whether, in this way, heaven is lost and Release is also lost- 
to him; whether, ghee is. lost to him, as also the oil, and' 




GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VI 1003 

its? %%^ spg^STRT^ci^r f%^rw i 

t f| *<>yi^t>^*i*if^ ?rra *r5grf% ii so ii 

U^f sfirraf 5t% ^rerstefSisrnTa; u 8? » 
arsrar wrwht f§ "*^rm f marra; t 

u.dl^' jp?*T*H 55f% ^TfT ^te^HJC II 83 II 
there remains in his hands the empty vessel*, like a person- 
abandoned by both sides. It is not that this question 
applies only to the means, for the aoquision of the Karma- 
Yoga in the shape of the practice of Patafijala-Yoga. It 
has been stated in the following chapters, that the 
Equability of Reason necessary for Karma- Yoga can be- 
acquired either by the Patafijala-Yoga, or by Devotion, or 
by Knowledge; and just as the means in the shape of 
Patafijala-Yoga are likely to remain incomplete in one 
life, so also are the means in the shape of Devotion, or 
of Knowledge, — if those paths are followed, — also likely to 
remain incomplete in one life. Therefore, the reply given 
by the Blessed Lord to this question of Arjuna may be said 
to apply equally to all the various means in the path of 
Karma-Yoga.] 
The Blessed Lord said : — (40) O Partha ! such a man does not 
come to grief, whether in this world or in the next ; 
because, my friend, no man, who performs beneficial 
Actions, ever reaches an unhappy end. (41) This Yoga- 
bhrasta (that is, this man, who has fallen from the Path of 
Karma-Yoga), takes (re-) birth in the family of pure-minded 
rich people, after reaching the spheres (like heaven, etc.), 
which are attained by people, who perform good Actions, and 
(after) having remained there for many years ; (42) or, he is 

* Ttis is a reference to the story of a foul, •who -went to buy 
clarified butter, as also oil, with a vessel (usually used for burning 
incense), which has openings on b >th sides and a partition in the 
middle s and who, putting the clarified batter on one side inverted 
the vessel to put the oil in on tbe other side, and thus lost the 
clarified butter : and then lost the oil also, in inverting the vessel- 
again, to see what had beeome of the clarified butter Trans.: 

49—50 



1004 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

vtf% *r mft ^i?r- *#%# i^t^ » 8^ h 
iH Hi a c w rar^ graft ^f%f|g«r: i 

torn in the family of intelligent (Karma-) Yogins ; such (re-) 
births are very rare in (this) world. (43) The spiritual 
impressions acquired in the previous births, come to him 
again here (that is, in the birth which he has thus acquired) ; 
and, O Kurunandana ! he attempts to acquire success (in 
Yoga), -which is ' bhuyah ' (that is, even higher). (44) As a 
result of that practice, made by him in the previous births, 
he is necessarily (that is, though he may not wish it) drawn 
(towards complete siddhi). He, who has experienced 
the jijndsa (that is, the desire to possess the knowledge) of 
(Karma-) Yoga, such a man also goes beyond the sabda-brahma 
(that is, the desire-prompted ritual, such as, YajHas, Yagas, 
etc., prescribed by the Vedas — Trans.). (45) Becoming 
absolved of sin, while (thus) practising industriously, the 
(Karma-) Yogin, acquires success, after many births, and 
reaches a most superior state. 

[The words 'yoga', ' yoga-bhrasta' and 'yogi' in these 
stanzas have been used as meaning ' Karma-Yoga ', ' one 
who has fallen from the Karma-Yoga ' and ' Karma-Yogin ', 
respectively ; because, being born in a rich family cannot 
be proper for anyone else. The Blessed Lord says that one 
should start the practice of the Karma-Yoga with as much 
pure-mindedness as possible in the beginning. Whatever 
Action is performed in this way, however little it be, that 
will gradually bring more and more of success ; and in the 
next life, if not in this life, it will ultimately lead to 
Release. The stanzas, "if this 'course of conduct' 
(* dharma ') is observed even to a small extent, it saves a 
person from the great danger " (Gl. 2. 40), and " one 
reaches .Vasudeva after many births" (GI. 7. 19) further 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. VI 1005 

support this proposition. For further discussion on this 
subject, see pp. 389-395 of Chapter X of the Gita-Rahasya. 
The word ' sabda-brahrna ' used in the 44th stanza means 
'desire-prompted ritual, such as, Yajnas and Yagas, 
prescribed by the Vedas'; because, that ritual is enjoined by the 
Vedas ; and it is performed, keeping faith in the Vedas ; and 
the 'Veda' is the ' sabda ' (word), that is, the ' sabda-brahrna', 
which was in existence before the entire creation came into 
existence. Any person whosoever performs all Actions with 
.some desire in the first instance; but, as the Mind is 
gradually purified by the performance of such Action, he 
gradually acquires the inspiration of performing Action 
desirelessly. That is why it is stated in the Upanisads, as 
.also in the Mahabharata that : 

dve brahmant veditavye sabda-brahrna param ca yat I 
sabda-brahmani nisriatah param brahmadhigacchati 1 1 
that is, "it must be understood that the Brahman is of 
two kinds, namely, the sabda-brahrna, and the other (that is, 
nirgwna-brahma) beyond it ; when a person has become well- 
versed in the sabda-brahrna, he reaches the mrgwna-brahma, 
which is beyond it" ( Maitryu. 6. 22 ; Amrtabindu, 17 ; 
Ma. Bha. San. 231. 63 ; 269. 1). Getting tired of the desire- 
prompted ritual prescribed by the sabda-brahrna (that is, the 
Vedas), the man gets the desire to practise the Karma-Yoga, 
which prescribes the same Actions, but for Universal 
Welfare ; and in this way, this Desireless Karma-Yoga is 
for the first time practised to a certain extent. Later on, 
according to the rule " svalparambhah ksemakarak ", this 
little practice slowly drags the man more and more forward 
by gradual degrees; and, ultimately gives him complete 
Release, This is the meaning of the words, "who has 
■experienced the desire to possess the knowledge of Karma- 
Yoga, such a man also goes beyond the sabda-brahrna", 
■which appear in the 44th stanza ; because, such a desire, or 
' jijnasa ', is the mouth of the grinding-mill in the shape of 
Karma-Yoga ; and once one gets into this mill, then, either 
in this life or in the next, and sometime or other, one 
■cannot but get complete success, and reach the (nirgurta) 
IBrahman, which is beyond the sabda-brahrna. It would 



1008 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

becomes the most beloved of the Blessed Lord, as when 
sugar is added to milk. It does not mean that Devotion is 
better than the Desireless Karma- Yoga ; because, later on in 
Chapter XII, the Blessed Lord has Himself clearly stated ■ 
that Renunciation of the Fruit of Action is better than. 
Meditation ( dhyana ), (Gi. 12. 22). It is one thing to say 
that the mixture of Devotion and of Desireless Action is- 
valuable, and it is quite another thing to say that tie . 
Desireless Karma-Yoga is useless, and that Devotion is- 
superior to it. The doctrine laid down by the Gits, is of the 
first kind; and that laid down by the Bhagavata-purana is . 
of the second kind. It has been stated in the first, and. 
again in the last chapter of the Bhagavata, after declaring .. 
that all kinds of kriyayoga (ritual) are destructive of Spiri- 
tual Knowledge (see Bhag. 1. 5. 34), that, 

rmisJcarmyam apy acyuta bkamvarjitam 

■na sdbhate jUanamalam niranjanarn I 

( Bhag. 1. 5. 12 and 12. 12. 52 ), 

that is, "even ncriskarmya, i. e., ' Desireless Action *" 
(Bhag. 11. 3. 46), does not seem good, is useless, without 
devotion to the Blessed Lord". This will show that as the 
entire bias of the writer of the Bhagavata is on Devotion, . 
he even goes beyond the Bhagavadglta, when occasion 
arises. This Pur3na came to be written in the belief that 
due stress was not laid on Devotion in the Mahabharata, 
and necessarily, in the Glta. Therefore, it is not a matter 
of surprise, if one finds in it statements similar to those 
above. But, what we have to see is the summary or the 
import of the Glta, and not what the Bhagavata says. The: 
occasion for writing, as also the time of writing, was 
different in each case ; and, therefore, it is not possible to* 
fully harmonise them with each other. This chapter has- 
described the devices from the PataEjala-Yoga, which are. 
part of the devices necessary for cultivating the Equability 
of Reason required in Karma-Yoga. Knowledge, and 
Devotion, are other such devices; and their description starts- 
from the next chapter. ] 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. VI 1009 

Thus ends, the sixth chapter entitled Dhyana-Yoga ia 
the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the Yoga 
included in the Science of the Brahman (that is, on the 
Karma- Yoga), in the Upanisad sung (that is, told) by the 
Blessed Lord. 



TOPfts«irc: 



CHAPTER ¥11. 



[After having proved that the Karma- Yoga is as much 
productive of Release as the Sariikhya-marga, and yet, 
independent and superior to it; and that even a little 
practice of this Yoga is not useless, the Blessed Lord has 
explained how to acquire the control of the senses necessary 
in that path of life. But, the control of the senses is a 
purely external Action, and the purpose for which this 
exercise of the senses is necessary, has not yet been 
■considered. The Blessed Lord had already explained to 
Arjuna in the third chapter that, enemies like Desire, Anger 
■etc. fix their abode in the senses, and destroy both Spiritual 
Knowledge (jnana) and Specified Knowledge (vijuana), and 
that he should, therefore, first control the senses and 
destroy these enemies; and He had thus shown the necessity 
for the control of the senses ; and He has also described the 
Yoga-2/uA/a person in the last chapter as one who, after 
having controlled the senses, "has become satisfied by 
Jfiana and Vijfiana" (6. 8), and "sees the Paramesvara 
in all created beings, and all created beings in the Parame- 
svara " (6. 29). Therefore, as He has explained to Arjuna 
what is meant by the control of the senses, it has become 
necessary for Him, as a matter of course, to also explain to 
him what is 'Jfiana' and what is 'Vijfiana', as also the 
methods (vidhi) of the Karma-Yoga, by which one can 
acquire the complete Knowledge of the Paramesvara, 
without abandoning Action, and ultimately attain Release 
with certainty ; and this same subject has been explained 
in the eleven chapters of the Gita from the seventh chapter 
to the end of the seventeenth chapter ; and in the last, that 
is, in the 18th chapter of the Gita, a summary of the 
Karma-Yoga has been made. Realising that there is only 
One Indestructible Paramesvara, Who pervades all the 
various perishable things which fill the world, is known as 
* Jfiana*; and understanding in what way the various 
perishable tilings eome into existence out of one permanent 



GITA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VII 1011 

Paramesvara, is known as 'Vijnana' (Gl. 13. 30); and this 
is also known as ' ksaraksara-viccira ' (the Consideration of 
the Mutable and the Immutable). But, in addition to this, 
one can also acquire the Knowledge of the form of the 
Paramesvara by understanding what is the nature of the 
Atman or Self , to be found within the body or ' kqetra' of 
every person. This method of consideration is called 
' ksefra-k§etrajna-vicara ' that is, the, Consideration of the 
Body ( ksetra) and the Atman ( ksetrajna ). Out of these, 
the Blessed Lord has first started the Consideration of the 
Mutable and the Immutable; and taken in hand the 
• Consideration of the Body and the Atman in Chapter 

- XIII. But, although the Paramesvara may be One, He 
has two aspects from the point of view of Worship, namely, 
the Imperceptible (amjakta) one, which is realisable only 
by the Reason ; and the Perceptible ( vyakta) one, which is 
empirical, that is, which can be actually experienced. It 
is, therefore, necessary to explain, as a part of this subject- 
matter, how one can Realise the Paramesvara by means 

- of Reason, as also how it is possible to Realise the 
Imperceptible, by worshipping the perceptible form, in the 
first instance, with Faith or Devotion. One should not, 

- therefore, be surprised if this subject-matter has taken up 
eleven chapters. Besides, as both these paths of life 

. automatically produce the control of the senses, simultane- 
ously with the Knowledge of Paramesvara, the Path of 
Knowledge and the Path of Devotion are both considered 
, to be of greater value in the science of Release, than the 
Patanjala-Yoga path. Nevertheless, it must be borne in 
mind that all this exposition is a part of the justification 
of the Path of Karma-Yoga, and is not something 
independent. Therefore, the division of the Glta into three 
parts, according to which the first six chapters deal with 
Karma, the next six chapters deal with Devotion and last 
. six chapters deal with Knowledge, is not a scientifically 
■ correct division. Broadly speaking, all these three subjects 
have been dealt with in the Glta; but they are not 
. independent, and have been dealt with as being parts of 
. the Karma-Yoga, as has been explained by me in chapter 



1012 alTA-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



^|[V|J|c||^c|M | 

SIV of the GitS-Rahasya (pp. 638 to 644). Therefore, 
instead of repeating the same subject-matter here, let us 
see how the Blessed Lord starts the 7th chapter—] 

The Blessed Lord said :— (1) O Partha ! hear yatha (that 
is, in which manner or by what method) you will acquire 
complete and unquestionable knowledge of Me, while you 
are practising the Karma- Yoga, keeping your mind on Me,- 
and taking shelter in Me. (2) Leaving nothing in balance* 
I am explaining to you this ' Jnana ' together with ' Vijnana '• 
by knowing which, there remains no other thing in this, 
world to know. 

[ From the words "taking shelter in Me" and specially the 
word ' Yoga ' used in the first stanza, it becomes quite clear 
that the ' Jnana ' and ' Vijnana ' explained further on, has 
been explained, not independently, but as a means for 
perfecting the Karma- Yoga, which has been described in 
the previous chapters (Gl. Ra. Ch. XIV, p. 641). Not only 
in this stanza, but also in other places in the Gits, the- 
words "mad yogam asritah" (Gl 12. 11) "mat parah"" 
(Gl. 18. 57 and 11. 55) have been used with reference to the 
Karma-Yoga ; and therefore, there remains no doubt that 
the Yoga which the Glta ordains for practice, after one has 
taken shelter in the Paramesvara, is the Karma-Yoga,, 
which has been dealt with in the last six chapters. Some. 
persons interpret the word ' vijnana ' as meaning the. 
' brahmajMna ( Knowledge of the Brahman ), which is- 
acquired by experience', or the ' brahmasaksatkara '. But, 
as the knowledge of the Paramesvara is divided into- 
synthetic (samastirupa ) Knowledge, (that is, Jnana), and. 
analytical ( vyastirupa ) Knowledge, (that is, Vijnana), I 
. think those are the two meanings, which are here conveyed 



GtTi, TRANSLATION & COMMENTAEY, CH. YII 1013- 

qftftmfi T%?Rf grf^irf gf% m^-- n 3 u 

by the words 'jnana' and 'vijnana' (See Gl. 13. 30 and 18. 20). 
The words "there remains no other thing in this world to 
know" in the second stanza, have been stated on the- 
authority of the Upanisads. In the Chandogyopanisad, the 

father of Svetaketu, after asking him: "yena 

awjnaiam vijflatam bhavati", that is, "what is That, by 
knowing Which, one can know everything", has explained 
to him that problem by saying : " yaiha somyaikena mrt~ 
pindena sarvam mrnmayam vijnatam syad vacarambhanam 
vikaro narnadheyam mrftilcety eva satyam " (Chan. 6. 1. 4). that 
is, " just as, after once knowing what is contained in a ball 
of clay, one knows that all earthenware articles are only 
different evolutes of clay, bearing different Names and 
Forms, and nothing else, so also after knowing the 
Brahman, nothing else remains to be known" ; and evert 
in the Mundakopanisad ( Mun. 1. 1. 3 ), the first question is : 
" kasmin nu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam -vijUaiam bhavati", 
that is, "by knowing what, is knowledge of all other things 
acquired ? ". From this, it is clear that what is meant here 
is the Non-Dualistic Vedanta doctrine that, (i) when one 
has acquired the Jnana and the Vijnana of the Paramesvara, 
nothing else remains to be learnt in this world; because,, 
the Fundamental Element of this world is only one ; that, 
(ii) this Fundamental Element pervades everything in 
different Names and Forms ; and that, (iii) there is no other 
thing besides it in the world. Otherwise, the statement 
made in the second stanza does not become intelligible. ] 

(3) Only some persons out of thousands make an attempt to-- 
attain Perfection; and out of these (numerous) Perfect 
Beings, who make the attempt, only some gain true Know- 
ledge of Me. 

[ Though the persons who are making the attempt, are 
referred to as ' siddha-purusa' (Perfect Beings) in this 
place, yet, it must be borne in mind that they attain 'siddhi' 
(Perfection) only after having acquired the Knowledge of 



1014 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



z*%mK fcfH % ftrarr ^fcRg^r u 8 » 
sfNnijrf iTfT^TCr *rq? •enzfa sma; » ^ u 
art fJcsre^ mz- sra*r: sr^i^«n n 5 u 

the Paramesvara. The Blessed Lord now starts the 

Consideration of the Mutable and the Immutable, being one 

of the two sub-divisions of this Knowledge of the 

Paramesvara, namely, (i) the Consideration of the Mutable 

and the Immutable and (ii) the Consideration of the Body 

and the Atman — ] 

•(4) The earth, water, fire, air, and ether (these five subtle 

elements), the Mind, the Reason, and Individuation, this is 

My Prakrti divided into- eight-divisions. (5) This Prakrti is 

' apara ' (tnat is, of an inferior order). O MahSbaho, Arjuna, 

know that there is besides this, yet another Prakrti of Mine, 

in the form, of Jiva, which is para (that is superior), by which 

this world is maintained. (6) Bear in mind that from both 

these, all created beings are created. I am the ' prabhava' 

( that is, the origin ) and the ' pralaya ' ( that is, the end ) of 

the entire Cosmos. (7) Beyond Me, O Dhananjaya, there is 

nothing else. Just as several beads are strung on a string, 

so is all this strung on Me. 

[These four stanzas contain a summary of the science of 
the Mutable and the Immutable ; and the same has been 
dealt with in extenso in the subsequent stanzas. The 
S&mkhya system says that (i) there are two independent 
Elements of the universe, namely, (a) the acetana 
(inanimate) or jada (gross) Prakrti (Matter) and (b) the 
•' sacetana ' (conscious) Purusa (Spirit) ; and that, (ii) every- 
thing is created out of these two Elements. But, as the 
Gita does not admit this Duality, it looks upon Prakrti and 
Puiru§a, as two manifestations (vibhuti) of one and the same 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VII 1015- 

Paramesvara, of which Gross Matter (jada prakrti) is an 
inferior manifestation, and the ' Jlva ' or ' Purusa ' (that is, 
Spirit) is the superior one (See the 4th and 5th stanzas) ; 
and it further states that all moveable and immoveable 
creation is created out of these two (Gl. 13. 28). Out of 
these, the superior Prakrti in the form of Jlva, considered 
as the Atman {k^etrajna), has been fully considered later on 
in the Chapter XIII. Then remains Gross Matter (jada 
prakrti). The Glta does not look upon this as independent, 
but considers that the entire creation is created out of this 
Gross Matter, under the supervision of the Paramesvara 
(Gl. 9. 10). Nevertheless, though the Glta does not look 
upon Prakrti as independent, yet, the divisions of Prakrti 
according to the Samkhya system have been accepted with 
minor differences by the Glta (Gl. Ra. Chapter VIII, 
p. 244-250) ; and the Glta also accepts the Samkhya theory 
of gunotkarsa regarding the subsequent creation of all 
things out of Prakrti (Gl. Ea. Ch. IX, p. 334-335), after 
Gross Matter has come into existence out of the 
Paramesvara (Gl. 7. 14) as a result of Maya. According to 
the Samkhyas, Prakrti and Purusa make up 25 Elements ; 
out of these, Prakrti gives rise to 23 Elements. Out of 
these twenty-three, the five Gross Elements, the ten senses, 
and the Mind, these 16, arise out of the remaining seven, 
that is, are Evolutes (vikara) of those seven. Therefore, in 
considering the Fundamental Elements, these sixteen ele- 
ments are left out of account ; and when that is done, there 
remain only seven Elements as Fundamental Elements, . 
namely, the Reason (mahtin), Individuation (ahamkara) and 
the five Fine Elements {tanmntra). These seven have been 
named ' prakrti-vikrti ' in the Samkhya system, and these 
seven prakrti-vikrti and the Fundamental Prakrti, now 
make up what is known as the ' Eight-fold Prakrti ' ; and 
this known as the ' astadha prakrti ' (that is, Eight-fold 
Prakrti) in the Mahabharata (San. 310. 10-15). But the 
Glta has not considered it proper to place the original 
Prakrti in the same grade' as the seven prakrti-vikrti; 
because, if that is done, the distinction that there is one 
Fundamental Prakrti and that the remaining seven are its ■ 



1016 GlTA-BAHASYA OK EARMA-YOGA 

qoTci: ^^s ^: % "fm IS U < l< 
sftctf ^£^3 crwrm crrfers n % H 

Involutes (vikara) is not shown. Therefore, there is a 
■difference between the classification in the Mahabharata 
and the classification in the Gita, according to which 
latter, the seven prakTti-vikrti and the Mind make up 
the fundamental eight-fold Prakrti (Gl. Ea. p. 249). In 
short, it must be borne in mind that although the Gita 
■does not accept the independent Prakrti of Sarhkhya 
philosophy, the description of the further growth of Prakrti 
is essentially the same in both places. As in the Gita, so 
also in the Upanisads, there is a statement that, 
etasmaj jayate prayo manah sarvendriyara ca I 
kham vayur jyotir apah prthivi visvasya dharirfi II 
that is, "from this {para-purusa), Prana (Vitality), the Mind, 
all the senses, ether, air, fire, water, and the earth, which 
supports the Universe, these (all) are created " (Munda 
.2.1.3 ; Kai. 1. 15 ; Prasna. 6. 4). For further details, see 
Chapter VIII of the Gita-Rahasya. It has been stated by 
the Blessed Lord in the 4th stanza that He Himself is the 
.five Elements, namely, the Earth, "Water, etc. Now, saying 
that He is also the qualities which are to be found in these 
Elements, the Blessed Lord makes clear what is meant by 
the statement made above, that all these things are strung 
on a string like beads—] 

(8) I am the Liquidity, of water, O Kaunteya ; I am the 
Effulgence, of the Sun and the Moon; I am the ' pra-aava' 
(that is, the Om-kara), in all the Vedas ; I am the Sound, of 
Ether ; and I am also the Manhood, in all men. (9) And I 
am the puTbvagandha (that is, the smell), of the earth ; and 
also, the Lustre, of fire ; I am the Life-Force, in all created 
"beings ; and 1 am the Austerity, in those who perform 
austere practices. (10) O Fartha ! know that I am the 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OB. VII 1017 

vi nl wf t s?i gfnfrsfsrr *rccr<?*r « l\ n 
ft %r gTfrER>T *rrar tT^^rerwHra % i 

"Eternal Seed, of all created beings ; I am the Intelligence, of 
.all intelligent people; and the Brilliance, of those who are 
bright. (11) I am the Strength, of all the strong, but not 
their kama (that is, Desire) or raga (that is, Attachment to 
■objects of sense); and O Bharatasrestha ! I am also the 
kama, which dwells in all created beings, which is not 
antagonistical to Morality. (12) And know also that the 
sattvika, rdjasa, and tamasa ' Bhava' (that is, objects) are all 
•sprung out of Me ; but they are in Me, and I am not 
in them. 

[The meaning of the words " they are in Me and I am not 
in them" is very deep. The first, that is, the broad 
meaning, is that, all things have sprung from the 
ParameSvara, and that though the Paramesvara is the 
■substratum in the shape of the qualities in all things, like 
the string round which the beads are strung, yet, the 
pervasiveness of the Paramesvara does not end there ; and 
that, the Paramesvara pervades all these things and is 
also beyond ; and the same meaning is brought out later 
on in the words, " I have occupied the whole of this 
universe by only a part of Myself " in Gl. 10. 42 ; but, 
there is another meaning, which is always implied, namely, 
" though the diversity in the three-constituented universe 
seems to have sprung from Me, yet, that diversity does not 
exist in My qualityless (rdrguna) form"; and there are 
descriptions of the supernatural powers of the Paramesvara 
later on (Gi. 13. 14-16), which have been made on the basis 
of this second meaning; such as, "bhutabhrt na ca 
■bhutasthah" (Gl. 9. 4 and 5) etc. If the pervasiveness of the 
Paramesvara is thus more than that of the universe itself, 
-then it is clear that one must go beyond the Mayic 
-.universe in order to_fully understand the true form of the 



1018 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

Hrnra sTTfSrsTTsrrfa- ura*^: T^g^ « \\ « 

Paramesvara ; and this meaning is now plainly brought 
out by the Blessed Lord — ] 

(13) This entire universe, being confused by the three 
'bhavct (that is, objects), which are the embodiment of the 
three ( sattva, rajas and tamas ) constituents, does not 
realise Me, the Inexhaustible ( Paramesvara ), Who Am 
beyond them (that is, necessarily qualityless). 

[ Maya, or ignorance is the inherent quality of the senses 
and of the Body, in which the three-constituents are embodied ; 
it is not the quality of the Atman : the Atman is Jnana- 
formed, and is permanent ; and It is thrown into confusion, 
by the senses : this Non-Dualistic proposition, which has 
been mentioned in Chapter IX of the Glta-Rahasya with 
reference to Maya, has been stated in the above stanza. 
(See Gi. 7. '24 and Gl. Ra. Oh. IX, pp. 325-341. ] 
(14) This My divine Maya, which is the embodiment of the 
constituents, is difficult to understand ; and therefore, they 
alone, who surrender themselves to Me, can swim through, 
this Maya. 

[ This clearly shows that the Blessed Lord refers to the 
three-constituented Prakrti of the Sarhkhya system as His 
Maya. It has been stated in the Narayanlyopakhyana of 
the Mahabharata that, the Blessed Lord, after showing His. 
Cosmio Form to Narada, said in the end :— 

niaya hyesa maya srsta yan mam pasyasi narada I 
sarvabhutagunairyuktam naiva tvam jnatum arhasi If 

( San. 339. 44 ) 
that is, "O Narada, that which you see, is the Maya,, 
which has been created by Me. Do not think that I possess 
the qualities, which are to be found in the created world". 
The same proposition has now been stated here. For a 
description of the nature of Maya, please refer to Gl. Ra. 
CklXandX.] 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH, VII 1019' 

3TTftsr?P 1-T ft ^RIcHT UT^TT3rI1Tf ifc^t » ?<S II 

(15) Those fools and evil-doers, whose Jfiana has been, 
annihilated by Maya, they, being inspired by an ungodly- 
Reason, do not surrender themselves to Me. 

[The Blessed Lord has explained that those, who are 
engulfed in Maya, forget the Paramesvara and are 
destroyed. HE now describes what happens to those, who 
do not do so, but surrender themselves to the Paramesvara, 
and worship Him — ] 

(16) O Bharata-srestha Arjuna ! four kinds of virtuous 
people worship Me, namely, the ' arta ' (that is, those who 
are affected by disease), the 'jijnasu'-s (that is, those who 
desire to acquire Knowledge), the 'artharthi'-s (that is, those 
who entertain the desire for money or other desirable 
things), and the 'jfianin '-s (that is, those who, although 
they are Accomplished (krtakrtya), as they have acquired the 
Knowledge of the Paramesvara, and have nothing more to 
gain, yet, worship Me desirelessly). (17) Out of these, that 
Jnanin, who is an ' ekabhakti ' (that is, one, who, believing 
that there is no other, worships Me alone), and who always 
behaves like a ' yukta' (that is, with a desireless frame of 
mind), is the highest in worth. I am most beloved of the 
Jfianin, and the Jfianin is (most) beloved of Me. (18) All 
these Devotees are ' udara ' (that is, good) ; but, (among all 
of them) 1 hold the Jfianin as equal to Myself; because,, 
having become yukta-citta (that is, having his Mind united 
(to Me)— Trans.) he has become steady in Me, Who Am the 
51—52 



1020 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

highest Goal (of every one). (1 9) After many births, the 
Jfianin, having come to the empirical conclusion that 
'whatever is, is Vasudeva', comes and reaches Me. Such a 
' mahatma ' (that is, noble soul — Trans.) is rare. 

[One must thoroughly understand the import of the 
statement, made by the Blessed Lord, that by worshipping 
His form, a man acquires the Knowledge of the Parame- 
svara, after He had described that form, from the point of 
view of the Mutable and the Immutable, by saying that, 
(i) both Matter and Spirit are His forms, and that, (ii) He 
pervades everything on all sides homogeneously. Every 
one needs to perform worship, whether it is of the 
Perceptible, or of the Imperceptible ; but, as, out of these 
two, the worship of the Perceptible is easier, that kind of 
worship has been described here ; and that is known as 
'bhakti' (Devotion). Nevertheless, that kind of Devotion, in 
which a man entertains some kind of desire in his heart, 
and worships the Paramesvara for some particular object, 
is inferior ; and, even those 'Knowledge-seekers' (jijfiasus), 
who are devoted with the intention of acquiring the Know- 
ledge of the Paramesvara, must be considered as imperfect ; 
"because, their knowledge is not yet complete, as is apparent 
from their state of being 'Knowledge-seekers'. But, as all 
these are worshippers, they have all been referred to as 'udara' 
(that is, 'going by a good path'), (stanza 18). But, the 
import of the first three stanzas is that, the worship desire- 
lessly offered (Bhag. 1. 7. 10) by those Jnanins, who have 
gone further, that is, who have become Accomplished as a 
lesult of the Acquisition of Knowledge and for whom, there 
is nothing more left in this world to do or to acquire 
<GL 3. 17-19), is the highest kind of Devotion, The 
Devotion of devotees like Prahlada and Narada falls into 
this excellent category ; and that is why the 'Yoga of 
Devotion' (bhakti-yoga) has been denned in the Bhagavata 
as the 'desireless and endless worship of the Paramesvara' 
<Bhag. 3. 39. 12 ; and Gl. Ra. Ch. Kill, p. 572). It may 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VII 1021 



3^1 SW^reif SPgf m%g f^U**ls|^ II *? II 

safely be said that the words 'ekabhakti', and 'vasudeva' in 
the 17th and 19th stanzas aie from the Bhagavata religion; 
nay, even that the above description of devotees is from the 
Bhagavata religion. Because, in the Mahabharata, while 
-the description of this religion is being given, and after 
the four kinds of devotees have been first described, we find 
it stated that : 

caturvidha mama jana bhakta evam hi me srutam i 
tesam ekantinah srestha ye caivananyadevatah II 
aham eva gatis tesam nirasih karmakarixiam u 
ye ca sistas trayo bhakfah phalakania hi te matah I 
sarve cyavana-dharmus te pratibuddhas tu, sresthabhak li 

( Ma. Bha. San. 341. 33-35 ). 

that is, " the other three kinds of devotees do not perform 
Actions like the 'amnyadaivata' ( 'no-other-deity' ) and the 
'ekantin' (solitudinal) devotee, but perform Action with some 
.desire or other ; and therefore, they are 'cyavanslld ', whereas, 
■the 'ekantin'-s are 'pratihv,ddhr£ ( that is, scients )> and su- 
perior. And later on the word 'Vasudeva' has been given a 
metaphysical etymology by saying " sarvabhutadhivasas ca 
vasudevas tato hy aham ", that is, " I am called ' Vasudeva ', 
because I reside (have my vasa) in everything which is 
created" (San. 341. 40). The Blessed Lord now explains 
why different people worship different deities, though there 
is only one Paramesvara everywhere — ] , 

.(20) Various persons, being befooled by their respective 
■desires, (such as, fruit in the shape of heaven etc.), according 
to their respective natures, follow those respective rules (of 
-worship), and take to the worship of other (various) deities . 
(2)) Whatever form or deity any devotee may desire to 
-worship with Faith, I steady such his Faith therein. 



1022 GlTi-BAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



^4i«3<H4«ri ^nf^cr ifgm snfScr nmft u ^ u 

(22) Then, being full of that Faith, he becomes engaged in" 
the 'radhand (that is, the worship) of that deity ; and then 
he obtains those very desired fruits, which have been 
created by Me Myself. (23) But, this fruit, which (these) 
short-sighted people obtain, is perishable (and not permanent 
like Release) ; those, who worship deities, reach the deities ; 
and those who worship Me, come to Me. 

[It is the common belief that though the Paramesvara is 
the One, Who gives Release, yet, the power to give the- 
various things, which are necessary for the ordinary worldly- 
life, can be given only by deities ; and that, it is necessary 
to worship the deities for that purpose. How various people 
run after various deities ( Gl. 17. 1-6. ), after it has thus- 
become necessary, according to them, to worship deities, 
some running after Mhasoba, others observing Saturday, 
after the deity Saturn, etc., has been very nicely described in 
the above stanzas. But, what must be borne in mind here is. 
that, though the fruit to be obtained by worshipping various 
deities, may be looked upon as having been given by those 
respective deities, yec, ultimately that worship amounts to< 
a worship of the Paramesvara (Gl. 9. 23) ; and, that fruit 
also is essentially given by the Paramesvara ( stanza 22 ). 
Not only is this so, but even this idea of worshipping the 
various deities is given by the Paramesvara, according to 
the previous destiny of a particular person (stanza 21) ; 
because, in this world, there is nothing else but the 
Paramesvara. The same doctrine has been laid down in 
the Vedanta-Sutras (3. 2. 38-41), and in the Upanisads 
(Kausl. 3. 8). The utility of these diverse kinds of worship 
is, that after worshipping various deities, the Mind becomes 
steady and pure, and one ultimately acquires the- 
Knowledge of the One, and Permanent, Paramesvara. But, 
■ fruit obtained before the acquisition of that Knowledge is- 



GlTA,TRANSLATION& COMMENTARY, CH. VII 1083 

non-permanent. Therefore, the advice of the Blessed Lord 
to every one is, that he should not he enmeshed in this 
Hope of Fruit, but should aspire to become a ' Jfianin ' 
devotee. As the Blessed Lord gives reward to every one 
according to his own Actions, (Gl. 1 11), although He does 
everything, and gives all kinds of rewards, it is also said, 
that He essentially does nothing whatsoever Himself 
(Gi. 5. 14). The reader is referred to the further elucidation 
of this matter at page 369 in Chapter X and at pages 595-6 
in Chapter XIII of the Glta-Rahasya. The Blessed Lord 
now further explains what is meant above by saying that 
people run after deities according to their own natural 
inclinations, forgetting that the fruit of the worship of the 
deities is given by the Paramesvara Himself — ] 

(24) The 'abuddhf (that is, fools), not recognising my 
'para' (that is, superior), best of all, and imperceptible form, 
look upon Me, Who am imperceptible, as having become 
perceptible. (25) As I am enveloped in My Yoga-formed 
Illusion (that is, Maya — Trans.), I do not (clearly) appear 
to all (in My own Form). Fools do not Realise, that I am 
Unborn, and Inexhaustible. 

[The device of giving up the Yoga-form, that is, imper- 
ceptible form, and taking up the perceptible form (GL 4. 6 ; 
7. 15 ; 9. 7), is called " Maya ", by "Vedantists ; and when 
the Paramesvara becomes enveloped in this Yoga- Maya, 
He begins to possess a perceptible appearance. In short, 
the import of this stanza is, that the perceptible universe is 
Mayic, or non-permanent ; and that, the Paramesvara is 
Real, and Permanent. But the word ' rnaya ' in this place, 
and also in other places, is taken by some as meaning 
J a super-natural or wonderful power ' ; and these say that 
ithis Maya is not Unreal, but is as permanent as the 
Paramesvara Himself. As the form of Maya has been 



1034 GiTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



considered by me at great length in Chapter IX of the 
Glta-Rahasya, I will here only say that the proposition 
that Maya is some wonderful and eternal pastime of the 
Paramesvara is acceptable even to the Non-Dualistie 
Vedanta, because, although Maya is an ' Appearance ', 
created by the senses, yet, as this is done by the senses at 
the direction of the Paramesvara, Maya, must be ultimately 
said to be the pastime of the Paramesvara. The only point 
at issue is, whether this Maya is essentially Real, or 
Unreal ; and on this point the doctrine of the Gita, clearly 
appears from the above stanzas to be the same as that of the- 
Non-Dualistic Vedanta, namely that, that Maya expressed 
by Name and Form, by which the Imperceptible 
Paramesvara is considered to have become perceptible — 
whether it is called a super-natural power or anything 
else — is merely an ' Appearance ', or ' moha ', created by 
'ajfiana' or Ignorance; and that the true essential 
Paramesvara is different from it. Otherwise, there seems 
to be no reason for using the words ' abuddhi ' or ' mudha ' ' 
in this place. -In short, Maya is not Real, and the- 
Paramesvara alone is Real, and the Gita says that, being 
confused by this Maya, people run after various deities- 
. In the Brhadaranyakopanisad (Br. 1. 4. 10), there is a 
similar statement ; and it is stated there that those persons, 
who, not recognising that the Atman and the Brahman are 
one and the same thing, run after various deities, 
with a distinguishing mind are the ' animals of the 
gods ', that is to say, just as men benefit from cows- 
and other animals, so do these deities benefit from these 
ignorant devotees, and that these devotees do not obtain 
Release. So far, the Blessed Lord has given a description. 
of those, who being fooled by Maya, worship diverse deities, 
with a distinguishing mind. HE now explains how one 
esoapes from this Maya — ] 
(26) I know all bhuta-s (that is, created beings), (who- 
existed, or exist, or will be) in the past, present, and future ; 



GlTl , TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VII 1025 

mf ccpfcRcf tt<7 ^jtht go?reiJ?orra; i 

?r =r§r cffsi: fprewwn?4 3>4 ^tt%?r n S<?, u 

but, O Arjuna, none know Me; (27) because, O Bharata, all 
created beings are steeped in ignorance in this world, as a 
result of the confusion created by the pairs of Opposites 
(such as, pain and happiness etc.) arising, O Parantapa, from 
Desire and Hate. (28) But, the virtuous people, whose sin 
is exhausted, become fixed in purpose, escaping from the 
ignorance created by the pairs of Opposites (of pain and 
happiness etc.), and worship Me. 

[The Blessed Lord now describes the state of these people 
after they have thus become free from Maya—] 

(29) All those, who (thus) taking shelter in Me, attemp 
to escape from jaramarana (that is from the cycle of re-births) 
Realise what (all) Brahman, (all) Absolute Self, and all Karma 
(is). (30) Those, who know Me, along with the adhibhuta, the 
adhidaiva, and the adhiyajila (that is, who know that I am all 
that), such (being) yukta-citta (that is, Mind-united with 
Me — Trans.), Know Me, even at the time of death. 

[See the explanation given in the next chapter of- the 
words adhyatma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajna. The 
words " even at the time of death " in the_ last stanza have 
reference to the doctrine of the Dharma-Sastra and of the 
TJpanisads that a man has his next birth according to the 
desire which is most prominent in his mind at the moment 
of his death. Nevertheless, the word " even " clearly shows 
that, unless a man has acquired complete Knowledge of the 
Paramesvara in his lifetime, he cannot acquire that 



1026 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

fl% sJw^MsOdl^J ^uplNc^, s|^M4Mflf ^IH^II^ 

Knowledge light at the moment of death (See Gl. 2. 72). 
A further explanation has been given in the next chapter. 
It may be said that the next chapter has been introduced by 
the words ' adhibhuta ', etc., in this stanza.] 

Thus ends the seventh chapter entitled Jnana-Vijnana 
Yoga in the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the 
Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman (that is, the 
Karma- Yoga) in the Upanisad sung (that is, told) by the 
Blessed Lord. 



CHAPTER YIH. 

[ The explanation of the Jfiana and Vijnana included in 
"the Karma-Yoga is continued in this chapter, and after first 
explaining the meaning of the various forms of the 
Paramesvara, such as, Brahman, adhyatma, karma, adhi- 
bhuta, adhidaiva, and adhiyajna, mentioned at the end of the 
last chapter, the inner import thereof is explained. But, 
as this explanation has been given merely by defining 
those several worlds, that is to say, in an extremely concise 
way, it is necessary to give a somewhat exhaustive ex- 
planation of this subject in this annotation. Different 
people form different ideas in different ways about the 
creator of the universe, on looking at the external universe. 
Some say that all things, which exist in the world, are only 
evolutes of the five primordial Elements (mahabhuta), and 
that there is no other Original Principle, except these five 
primordial Elements. There are others, who maintain that 
all this world has been created from a Yajna as stated in 
the fourth chapter of the Glta ; and that, therefore, the 
Paramesvara is of the form of a yajna-narayaiia ; and that 
He can be worshipped only by a Yajna. A third class say 
that the various activities of the world are not carried out 
by the material objects by themselves ; but that, in each of 
them, there is some active (sacetana) deity (or purusa), and 
that these deities carry on all these activities ; and that, 
therefore, we must worship these deities. Pot example, the 
act of giving light is performed by the 'purusa' called Sun, 
embodied in the globe, made up of the five primordial 
Elements, which is known as 'the Sun' ; and this purusa is 
the subject-matter of worship. A fourth class says, that it is 
not proper to imagine that there exists in everything, some 
■ deity, other than the thing itself. Just as the Atman 
exists in the body of a man, so does there also exist in 
everything, some subtle form of that very thing, that is to 
say, some subtle force, like the Atman ; and that thing is 
the original and true form of it. For instance, they say 
that the five gross primordial Elements have, at their core, 



1038 GlTA-EAHASYA OR KARMA-TOGA 

the five Fine Elements (tanmatra-a) ; and that in the 
material organs, such as, the hand or the foot, there are 
similar fundamental subtle organs. The Samkhya doctrine 
that each person has a different Atman, and that there are 
innumerable such Atmans, is based " on this fourth theory. 
But in this stanza, the Samkhya doctrine seems to be 
included in the adhideha class. These four schools of 
thought are respectively called the adhibhuta, the adhiyajna,, 
the adhidaivata, and the adhyatmaka. Whenever the prefix. 
'adhi' is placed behind any word, it conveys the meaning of 
'tamadhikrtya', 'tadvisayaka', that is, 'in that matter', or, 
'embodied in it'. According to this interpretation, 'adhidai- 
vata' means 'the Principle existing in many deities'. 
'adhyatma' ordinarily means 'the science which maintains 
that there is only one Atman pervading everything' ; but 
this is the interpretation by way of 'conclusion drawn' 
(siddhanta-paksa) ; that is to say, this is the conclusion 
(siddhanta) arrived at by the Vedanta-sastra, after con- 
sidering the pros and cons of the theory that there are 
numerous Atmans in numerous human beings or things, 
which is the hypothetical position (purvapaksa). So,, 
when the hypothetical position has to be considered, it. 
is assumed that the subtle form of the Atman in every- 
thing is different, and this is the meaning conveyed by the 
word 'adhyatma' in the present stanza. How one and the 
same exposition becomes diversified into different classes . 
from the adhyatma, the adhidaivata and the adhibhuta points . 
of view, has been made clear in the Mahabharata, by 
giving an example of the organs of a man (See Ma. Bh5. 
San. 313 and A6va. 41). The writer of the Mahabharata. 
says, that the question of the organs of human beings can 
be considered from three points of view, namely, the* 
'adhibhuta', the 'adhyatmaka' and the 'adhidaivata'. AIL 
those things, which are perceivable by these organs, namely,, 
that which has to be taken by the hands, that which has to* 
be heard by the ears, that which has to be seen by the eyes,, 
or that which has to be contemplated by the Mind, all this - 
is the 'adhibhuta' ; and the subtle capacities of these organs,. 
namely, the hands, feet, etc., (according to the Samkhya. 



GITA, TRANSITIONS; COMMENTARY, OH. VIII 1029- 

system), that is to say, the subtle senses are the 'adhyatma's 
of those organs ; hut when one keeps aside both these points 
of view, and considers the matter from the 'adhidaivata' 
point of view, Indra is said to be the deity of the hands, 
Visnu, of the feet ; Mitra, of the anus ; Prajapati, of the 
organ of generation ; Agni, of the speech ; Surya (Sun), of 
the eyes ; the eight cardinal points or Ether, of the ears ; 
water, of the tongue ; the earth, of the nose ; the wind, of 
the skin ; the Moon, of the mind ; buddhi (Reason), of 
Individuation, and purusa (Spirit), of the Reason ; and these 
various deities are said to be performing the various 
functions of these organs. Among the symbols of the form 
of the Brahman, which have been described in the 
TJpanisads for purposes of worship, the Mind is described as 
the adhyatma symbol, and the Sun or the firmament as the 
'adhidaivata' symbol ( Ohan. 3. 18. 1 ). It is not that the 
distinction between the 'adhyatma' and the 'adhidaivata' has 
been made only for the purpose of worship. But, in con- 
sidering the respective superiority of the organs of speech, 
or of seeing, or of hearing, etc., and of Vitality ( prana ), 
the -matter is considered once from the Metaphysical 
(adhyatma) point of -view by taking the subtle form of the 
organs of the voice, the eyes, and the ears, and again from 
the Intuitionist {adhidaivata) point of view, taking the 
Agni, the Sun, and Ether, as the deities of those organs 
(Br. 1. 5. 31-23 ; Ohan. 1. 2, 3 ; Kausl. 4. 12, 13). In short, 
the distinction between 'adMdaivaia', 'adhibhuta', 'adhyatma' 
etc. has been in vogue since very old times ; and the 
question as to which of these various ideas regarding the 
form of the Paramesvara is the correct idea, or as to the 
inner import of such ideas, having arisen in those times, 
Yajnavalkya has told Uddalaka Arum in the Brhadaranya- 
kopanisad (Br. 3. 4), that there is only one PararnStman, 
Which subsists at the core of all created things, all deities, 
all adhyatma, all spheres, all Yajfias, and all bodies what- 
soever, and Which makes them unwittingly perform their 
respective functions. This doctrine of the Upanisads has 
been accepted in the Antaryamyadhikarana of the Vedanta- 
Satras (Ve. Su. 1. 2. 18-20), where it has been proved that 



1030 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

srfSrajjf ^ t§> qtrpfrf^ fag-are ii \ h 

3ft*r»rarf=fH' i 
^^rrat^r^tt ra^fr wl^flRT: n 3 ii 

this Principle, which, exists at the inner core of everything, 
is not the Prakrti or the Jivatman of the Sarhkhya system, 
but the Paramatman. The Blessed Lord now tells Arjuna, 
with reference to this proposition, that there is only one 
Paramesvara, Who pervades every human body, all created 
beings (as adhibhuta), all Yajnas (as adhiyajna), all deities 
(asadhidaivata), all Karma, and all the subtle (that is, 
Metaphysical) forms of everything ; andthat the diversity, 
or the various kinds of Knowledge of deities, Yajnas etc. 
is not true Knowledge. The words 'adhibhuta' etc., used 
by the Blessed Lord at the end of the seventh chapter, 
create in Arjuna a desire to learn their meaning, and he 
•first asks as follows — ] 

Arjuna said : — (1 ) O Purusottama, what is that Brahman ?; 
what is adhyatma ? ; what is iarma 1 ; what is to be called 
■adhibhuta ?; and what is called adhidaivata? ; (2) of what 
kind is the adhiyajna ? and O Madhusudana, Who is (the 
adhideha) in this Body (that is, deha — Trans.) ? ; and how 
do those, who control their senses, Realise You, at the 
moment of their death ? (Tell me this). 

[The words ' brahma ', ' adhyatma ', ' karma ', ' adhibhuta ', 
and ' adhiyajna ' are to be found in the last chapter; but, in 
addition to these, Arjuna has asked something new, namely, 
" who is the ' adhideha ' ?". If this is borne in mind, it will 
not be difficult to understand the meaning of the following 
answer.] 
The Blessed Lord said : — (3) That Element, which is 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. VIII 1031 



parama ( that is, higher — Trans. ), ( than anything else ), 
and aksara ( this is, immutable ), is Brahman ; (and) the 
fundamental quality of each and every object itself 
( that is, its ssriirbhava ) is called ' Adhyatma ', That 
' visarga ' or ' creative activity ' which creates ( the move- 
able and immoveable) created things (from the im- 
mutable Brahman) is called Karma. (4) The ksara (that 
is, ' conditioned by Name and Form ', or ' perishable ') state 
(of all things which have come into existence) is the 
' adhibhuta ' ; and the purusa (that is, the conscious 
(sacetana) Overlord (adhisthata), Who exists in all things) is 
the ' adhidaivata '. HE, who is called the adhiyajna 
[that is, the Lord (adhipati) of all Yajnas] is Myself, Who 
am (adhideha), (that is, am the Installed — Trans.), in this 
Body, O Most Superior among all embodied beings ! 

[The word 'parama' in the third stanza is not an 
adjective of Brahma, hut of 'aksara'. In Samkhya 
philosophy, the imperceptible Prakrti is also called 
' aksara ' (immutable), (Gi. 15. 16). But, the Brahman of the 
Vedantists is beyond this imperceptible and immutable 
Prakrti ( see stanzas 20 and 31 of this chapter ) ; and 
therefore, although the word ' aksara ' alone is used, it may 
mean either the Samkhya Prakrti, or the Brahman. In 
order that such a doubt should not arise, the adjective 
'parama' has been placed before the word 'aksara' in 
defining the word Brahman (Gi. Ra. Chap. IX, pp. 274-277). 
I have explained the word ' svabhava ' as " ' the subtle form ' 
{suksma-svarupa) of any and every object ", following the 
example given above from the Mahabharata. In the 
Nasadiyasukta, the visible world is called the ' visrsti ' 
{visarga), that is, 'growth' of the Parabrahman (Gi. Ra. 
p. 351) ; and the word ' visarga ' must be understood here in 
the same meaning. It is not necessary to interpret the 
word ' visarga ' as meaning the ' havirutsarga of the Yajnas '. 
Why this visible world is itself called ' Karma ' has been- 



1032 GITA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

explained at p. 362 of Chapter X of the Gita-Rahasya. 
' ksara ' is the mutable Name-d and Form-ed ' Appearance ' 
of everything created; and, the Immutable Principle 
beyond it, is to be understood as the Brahman. The word 
' purusa' includes the ' purusa' in the Sun, the Varuna- 
purusa or the deity in water, and other conscious (sacetana) 
subtle-formed deities, as also the Golden Embryo {Mrawa- 
garbha). The word ' adhiyajna ' has not been defined here by 
the Blessed Lord; because a detailed description of the 
Yajfia has been given above in the 3rd and 4th chapters, and 
the Blessed Lord has again later on stated (Gl. 9. 24 ; 5. 29 ; 
.and Ma. Bha. San. 340), that " I am the Lord and the 
recipient of all Yajnas ". After having in this way des- 
cribed the characteristic features of the ' adhyatma ' etc., the 
Blessed Lord has ultimately said shortly that " (that which 
is called) the ' adhiyajna ' is Myself, Who Am in this deha ", 
that is to say, that He is the adhideha as also the adhiyajna 
in the human body. The Samkhyas believe that every 
body has a different Atman (purusa), and these Atmans are 
innumerable; but this doctrine is not acceptable to 
Vedanta Philosophy, which holds that although there may 
"be innumerable bodies, there is only one Atman in all of 
■them (Gl Ra. Ch. VII, p. 225). This very proposition is 
boine out by the sentence " I am the adhideha". Neverthe- 
less, the words " I am " in this sentence have not been said 
only with reference to the ' adhiyajna ' or the ' adhideha ' ; and 
•their reference to the previous words adhyatma, etc., is 
■patent. Therefore, the sum and substance of the whole 
■seems to be : — take the various Yajnas, take the various 
■deities in various things, take the five perishable elemental 
principles, take the subtle forms of substance, take the 
■diversity of Atmans, take Brahman, take Karma, or 
■take the various bodies of different human beings, I am 
everywhere, that is, there is only one Paramesvara- 
.principle in all things. According to some, there is no 
independent description here of the 'adhideha' form; and 
-the ' adhideha ' has been mentioned by implication in 
giving a definition of the ' adhiyajna ' ; but, I do not 
.consider this interpretation as correct. Wherever this 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VIII 1033 

??• sprit's «=j T^rt ^rrfcr sn^ra w^ m h h 

3J ^ gift W^flTO r^T^'S «h«gcKH I 

subject-matter has been referred to, not only in the Gita, 
but also in the Upanisads and in the Vedanta-Sutras, 
■(Br. 3. 7 ; Vs. Su. 1. 2. 20), the embodied Atman has been 
considered side by side with the adhibhuta and the other 
forms of the Paramesvara ; and the doctrine has been laid 
down, that everywhere there is only one Paramatman. 
Besides, as there has been previously asked a question 
about the adhideha, it is logical to conclude that that aspect 
"has been mentioned here distinctly and not by implication. 
One is likely to think at first sight that if all that which 
is, is the Parabrahman, then, in describing the various 
forms of the Parabrahman, such as, the adhibhuta etc., it 
was not necessary to consider the Parabrahman also. But, 
as this description of diversity has been addressed to 
people, who are engrossed in the different kinds of worship 
on the basis that the Brahman, the Atman, the deities, the 
Yajfianarayana, etc., are all different from each other, the 
declaration that "I am all this", has been made after 
explaining the characteristics of the differences arising on 
.account of the different beliefs of different people. When 
■one looks at it from this point of view, no such doubt can 
arise. The Blessed Lord has thus explained this diversity by 
saying that although various distinctions may be made for 
purposes of worship, such as, the adhibhuta, the adhldaivata, 
the adhyatma, the adhiyajna, the adhideha, etc., yet, this 
diversity is not real ; and that, as a matter of fact, there is 
only one Paramesvara, Who pervades everything. HE 
now gives His reply to the last question of Arjuna, namely, 
how the All-pervading Paramesvara is Realised at the 
moment of death — ] 
■(5) And there is no doubt that he who leaves his body, 
thinking of Me at the moment of death, is merged in My 
form. (6) O, Kaunteya, thinking of whatever form (bkava — 
cTrans.) a man ultimately leaves his body, because, he has 



1034 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

sada, (that is, for the whole of his life) been engrossed in 
thinking of that form, that is the form (bhava) in which he is 
(later on) merged. 

[In the fifth stanza, the Blessed Lord has explained the 
necessity and the result of thinking of the Paramesvara at 
the moment of death ; but, that is likely to give rise to the 
misunderstanding, that it will be enough if a person thinks 
of the Paramesvara only at the moment of death. There- 
fore, it is stated in the sixth stanza, that whatever is in 
the mind throughout life, does not leave the mind at the 
moment of death ; and, the necessity of remembering and 
worshipping the Paramesvara throughout life, and not only 
at the moment of death, is made clear (GI. Ra. Ch. X,. 
p. 398). "When one accepts this proposition, it naturally 
follows that those, who worship the Paramesvara at the 
moment of death are merged in the Paramesvara ; and that 
those, who worship other deities at that moment, are 
merged in the other deities (Gl. 7. 23 ; 8. 13 ; and 9. 25) ; 
because, as has been stated in the Chandogyopanisad, 
"yatha kratur asmiM lake puruso bJiavati taihelah pretya 
bhavati" (Chan. 3. 14. 1), that is, " a man gets a state after 
death, which is consistent with his ' kratu ' or samkalpa, 
that is, his resolution". There are similar sentences in 
other Upanisads as in the Chandogya (Prasna. 3. 10 ; 
Maitryu. 4. 6). But the Glta now says that unless the 
Mind is steeped in one particular aspiration throughout, 
life, it is not possible to have that aspiration during the 
throes of the passing away of life. Therefore, consistently 
with the doctrine that it is necessary to meditate on the- 
Paramesvara ' amarananta ' that is, throughout life' 
(Ve. Su. 4. 1. 12), the Blessed Lord now tells Arjuna that — ) 

(7) Therefore, think of Me at all times (that is, always), and 
fight ; when you have dedicated your Mind and your 
Reason to Me, you will, (notwithstanding that you have 
fought), undoubtedly come and be merged in Me, 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. Till 1035 
"TOT 5^ T&Q mf% WlSJMSd^ u c II 

mi m i cs JTirerts : g^T *t=r2jt gsmr ^Fra#^ %g i 

(8) O Partha ! when a man, with the help of practice, steadies 
his Mind, without letting it stray elsewhere, and meditates 
on the Highest Spirit, he goes and is merged in that Spirit. 
[Those ,who maintain that according the Bhagavadglta, 
one must give up worldly life and take to Devotion, should 
pay attention to the proposition laid down in the seventh 
stanza. It is unquestionable that Release is obtained by 
Devotion combined with the Knowledge of the: 
Paramesvara ; and that, in order to possess that frame of 
mind at the moment of death, it is necessary to have that 
practice throughout life. But, it is not necessary, accord- 
ing to the Glta, for this purpose, to give up Action. On 
the other hand, it is the proposition of the GitS-science, 
that even the Devotee of the Blessed Lord must desirelessly 
perform all Actions, which fall to his lot, according to the 
duties allocated to him ; and the same meaning has been 
conveyed by the words " continually meditate on Me, and 
fight ". The Blessed Lord now describes how the Karma- 
Yogin, who desirelessly performs Action throughout life, 
with the idea of dedicating it to the Paramesvara, 
meditates on the effulgent Highest Spirit at the moment of 
death — ] 

(9) That (man), who meditates on the Purusa, Who is the 
kavi (that is, omniscient), Who is the Ancient, the All-ruler, 
the Minuter-than-the-atom, the dhata (that is, the supporter, 
or the doer) of everything, Whose form is unimaginable, and 
Who is as brilliant as the Sun beyond the darkness, 
(10) after steadying his Mind by force of Yoga (in the shape 
of control of the senses), and being imbued with Devotion, 
and properly keeping the prana (that is, the Vital breath — 

53—54 



1038 GM.-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



of the Brahman has ceased to exist ; therefore, all these 
states are of a lower order ; and as there is no re-birth after 
the Realisation of the Paramesvara, that state is the 
highest : such is the import of the 16th stanza ( See 
Gl. 9. 20, 21). In support of the statement that even the 
sphere of the Brahman is non-permanent, the Blessed Lord 
now explains how the entire cosmos, including the sphere 
of the Brahman, is created and destroyed over and over 
again — ] 

(17) Those persons, who (essentially) understand what 
is meant by 'day' and 'night', realise that the day of 
Brahmadeva is made up of a thousand {mafia-) Yugas (each 
mahayuga being made up of the four Yuga periods called 
Krta, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali respectively), and that one 
thousand (similar) Yugas make one night (of his). 

[ This stanza has appeared in the Gita without there being 
a previous explanation of the calculation of a Yuga; 
and it has to be understood by reference to such a table, 
which is to be found elsewhere. This table, as also this 
stanza from the Gita, are to be found in the BhSrata (San. 
231. 31), and in the Manu-Smrti (Manu. 1. 73) ; and the 
same description has been given in the Nirufcta of Yaska 
(Nirukta, 14. 9). The day of Brahmadeva is also known 
as a 'kalpa'. The word 'avyakta', used in the next stanza, 
means the avyakta (that is, imperceptible) Prakrti of 
Samkhya philosophy, and not the Parabrahman ; because, 
it is clearly stated later on in the 20th stanza, that the 
Imperceptible in the form of the Brahman, is something 
beyond the 'avyakta' described in this stanza. How the 
Perceptible {vyakta) universe springs from the Imperceptible, 
as also the method showing how the 'kalpa' has to be compu- 
ted, has been given at p. 264 in Chapter VIII of the Glta- 
Rahasya, to which the reader is referred. ] 
(IS) When this day (of Brahmadeva) starts, all perceptible 



GITS, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. VIII 1039 

*ijT5nrr. ^ *&kq ijsrr ^fi v^SUid" i 

n- *t *a% i|s *mm t fawfy « *o u 

srsrjts^ ic^thWJHi^: qw nicre: i 
tf srro T facial ?i^m <rc*f u* u *? n 

^■Hfisd ^qrf? icm% %t ^tfiTf crara; n ^'J it 

(objects) are created out of the Imperceptible ; and when 
(his) night starts, (they) become dissolved into the above- 
mentioned Imperceptible. (19) This collection of beings, 
coming (thus) to birth again and again, is dissolved when the 
night starts (as though put into a machine), being 'avasa' 
(that is, whether they personally wish it or not) ; and O 
Partha I (it) comes to birth (again) when the day starts. 
[ That is to say, although a man may have acquired a 
permanent residence in the sphere of the Brahman, as a 
result of his meritorious Actions, yet, as even the Brahma- 
loka is destroyed when Destruction (pralaya) starts, created 
beings cannot escape coming to birth again at the begin- 
ning of a new Kalpa. The Blessed Lord now explains the 
only way in which this can be avoided — ] 

(20) But, the other eternal Imperceptible, which is 
fceyond the Imperceptible mentioned above, which does not 
come to an end even if all created things come to an end, 
(21) that Imperceptible, which is (also) called ' aksara ' which 
is said to be the parama (that is, the most excellent or the 
ultimate) state, (and) having reached which, there is no return 
(to birth), that, indeed is My super-excellent sphere. (22) O 
Partha 1 that para (that is, highest) Spirit, within Which all 
created beings are contained, and by Which all this has been 
enclosed or pervaded, can be reached only by Devotion, 
-which is ananya (that is, to-none-other — Trans.). 

[The 20th and 21st stanzas make together only one 
sentence. The word ' avyakta ' in the 20th stanza, has first 
been applied to the Samkhya Prakrti, that is, to the 



1040 GITA.-BAHASYA OE KAEMA-YOGA 

Imperceptible mentioned in the 18th stanza ; and later on,, 
the same word has been applied to the Parabrahman, 
Which is beyond the Samkhya Prakrti ; and it has been 
stated in the 21st stanza that this second Imperceptible is 
also called ' aksara ' (that is, the Immutable) ; similarly, in 
the beginning of this chapter, there is the phrase " aksaram 
brahma paramarn", (that is, "the immutable highest 
Brahman " ; c/., 8. 3 — Trans.). In short, the word ' aksara ' 
(Immutable) like the word ' avyakta ' ( Imperceptible )• 
has been used in two meanings in the Glta ; it is not 
that the Samkhya Prakrti alone is imperceptible and. 
immutable, but the Paramesvara or the Brahman, Which 
"is not destroyed, even when all created things are 
destroyed" is also immutable and imperceptible. This 
clearly shows that the word ' aksara ', used in giving the 
characteristics of the " Purusottama " in Chapter XV,, 
where it is stated that He, is beyond the ksara (mutable) 
and the aksara (immutable), has been used with reference 
to the Samkhya Prakrti (see, Gl. 15. 16-18). In short, it 
must be borne in mind that, both the adjectives ' avyakta ' 
and ' aksara ' have been used in the Gits, sometimes with 
reference to the Samkhya Prakrti, and sometimes with 
reference to the Parabrahman beyond this Prakrti (Gi. Pa. 
pp. 275-277). The form of the Parabrahman, which is beyond 
the Perceptible and the Imperceptible has been referred 
to in the ninth chapter of the Glta-Rahasya, to which the 
reader is referred. So far, there has been a description of 
the ' aksara brdhma ' (Immutable Brahman), that is, of the 
goal, having reached which, a man escapes from the 
necessity of re-birth. The Blessed Lord now describes the 
difference, from the point of view of time of death and goal 
reached, between those for whom there is no 'ariavrtti ', that 
is, no coming back after death, and those for whom there 
is 'avrtti', that is, those who have to come back from 
heaven and take birth again — ] 

(23) I shall now mention to you, O Bharatasrestha ! the 



GUI., TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. VIII 1041 

?rar wm w^si^ %® srgrfoff *w. u *8 n 
lift ttt^wtt fEir: ^mrar ^ uu^hh i 

IfSfwT i?ft ifa sura: STr»sr?f *H* i 

time of death, having died when, the (Karma-) Yogins do not 
come back (to birth in this world); and (the time of death, 
having died) when, they come again. (24) The Fire, jyotih 
(that is, flames), daytime, the bright half (of the month), and. 
the six months of the ultarayana (that is, northern solstice — 
Trans.), those men, knowers of Brahman, who die in these,, 
attain the Brahman after death (and do not come back).. 
(25) (Fire), smoke, night, the dark half (of the month), and 
the six months of the daksinayana (that is, the southern 
solstice— Trans.), the (Karma-) Yogin (who dies) in these,. 
going to the light of the Moon, (that is, the sphere of the 
Moon), returns (after his acquired merit is over). (26) In this 
way, the white and the black (that is, the light and the dark), 
have been considered the two 'sasoate gali' (that is, the 
eternal paths) of the world ; going by one path, one does not 
return ; and by the other path, one returns. 

[These two paths are known in the TJpanisads by the 
names - devayam ' (bright half) and ' pitryarta ' (dark half), 
or the ' arciradi-marga' and the ' dhumradi-marga' ; and 
these paths have been described even in the Rg-Veda. 
When fire is set to the dead body of a man, that is, from 
fire itself, both these paths commence ; therefore, the word 
' Fire ' must be taken as implied from the previous stanza 
into the 25th stanza. As the only object of the 25th stanza 
is to show the difference between the path described in the 
previous stanza and the second path, the word ' Mre ' has 
not been repeated in it. A further explanation about this 
matter has been given towards the end of Chapter X of the 



1042 GlTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

§§ ^r ^cft ir«J ^n^i; qtfft gsricT gjaw i 
%?5 WS ?W1 % ?T#f *fc«i ,w «*«* %f?m. i 

Gita-Rahasya (pp. 408 to 412), to which the reader is 
referred, and which will clearly explain the import of this 
stanza. The Blessed Lord now explains the benefit of 
realising the principle underlying these two paths — ] 

(27) O Partha ! no (Karma-) Yogin, who (essentially) 
understands these two sr tl-s (that is, paths) is overcome by 
Ignorance ; therefore, O Arjuna ! become (Karma-) Yoga- 
yukta at all times. (28) Understanding this (principle* 
which has been explained above), the (Karma-) Yogin 
transcends the fruit in the shape of merit mentioned in the 
Vedas, in the Yajiias, for austerity, and for charity, and 
reaches the highest state, which lies beyond. 

lit is clear that the man, who has understood the 
principle underlying these two paths, namely, the devayana 
and the pitrySija, that is, who has understood that, by going 
by the devayana path, he does not incur re-birth, and that 
the ptryana path, though productive of heaven, is, yet, not 
productive of Release, will, of course, choose that path out 
of the two, which is truly beneficial to him ; and will not 
ignorantly follow the path, which is of a lower order ; and 
it is to convey this idea that the words, " one who 
(essentially) understands these two arfi-s, that is, paths " 
have been used in the former stanza. These stanzas mean 
that the Karma-Yogin understands which path, out of the 
devayana and the pitpjana leads where; and that he, 
therefore, naturally goes along that path, which is the 
better one, and acquires Release, avoiding the trips to and 
from heaven ; and in the 27th stanza, the Blessed Lord has 
advised Arjuna to act accordingly.] 



GITS, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. VIII 1043 

ira 9ft»re?*ra#a'n 3Tn%tff^ smrfgsrrcf *ff*RTr# 

Thus ends the eighth chapter entitled Akshara-Brahma 
Yoga in the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna on the 
Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman, (that is, on the 
Karma- Yoga) in the Upanisad sung (that is, told) by the 
.Blessed Lord. 



CHAPTER IX. 

[In order to show how a man, by practising the Karma- 
Yoga, acquires peace of mind or Eelease as a result of his 
acquiring full Knowledge of the Paramesvara, an 
exposition of Jfiana (Spiritual Knowledge) and Vijnana 
(empirical Knowledge) has been started in Chapter VII ; and 
the form of the immutable and imperceptible Spirit has 
been described ; and the Blessed Lord has explained in the 
last chapter how the worship of the OM-kara (omlmropasam) 
should be performed at the moment of the close of life, after 
entering into mental absorption acoording to the 
Patafijala-Yoga, in order that that form of the Paramesvara 
should remain fixed in the mind even at the moment of 
death. But, acquiring the Knowledge of the immutable 
Brahman is in itself difficult ; and if, in addition to that, 
mental absorption is prescribed as an essential, this path of 
life will have to be given up by ordinary people ! Bearing 
this difficulty in mind, the Blessed Lord now explains a 
royal road, by following which the Knowledge of the 
Paramesvara will become easy for everybody. This path is 
called the Path of Devotion (bhaktimurga) ; and I have fully 
discussed that path in Chapter XIII of the Gita-Eahasya. 
In this path, the form of the Paramesvara can be realised 
by means of love, and is vyakta, that is, actually perceptible ; 
and the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th chapters contain an 
exhaustive description of that perceptible form. Neverthe- 
less, it must not be forgotten that this Path of Devotion is 
not something independent, but a part of the Jfiana and 
Vijnana necessary for acquiring the Karma-Yoga, of which 
a description was started in Chapter VII ; and this 
chapter has been opened as being a part of the previous 
exposition of Jfiana and Vi jnana]. 

The Blessed Lord s ai d : — (1) Now, as you are not 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IX 1045- 

fault-finder, I will expound to you the most mysterious- 
Spiritual Knowledge, coupled with empirical Knowledge, by 
knowing which, you will become free from sin (to which, 
listen). (2) This (Knowledge) is the king, (that is, the 
most superior ) of all mysteries, it is a rajavidya [that is, the 
most superior science {vidya) of all], it is holy, excellent, 
actually realisable, easy to observe, consistent with religion, . 
and inexhaustible. (3) Those persons, O Parantapa ! who 
do not put faith in this religion, return to the path of worldly 
life, circumscribed by death, instead of coming to Me ( that, 
is, they do not attain Release). 

[The meanings of the words ' rajavidya ', ' rajaguhya ' and 
' pratyakmvagama' in the second stanza, have been fully- 
considered in Chapter XIII of the Gita-Rahasya, at pp. 574 
to 582, to which the reader is referred. The means of 
attaining to the Paramesvara are referred to as ' vidya ' in 
the Upanisads ; and it was usual to keep these VidySs 
clothed in mystery. It is said here that the bhaktimarga 
(that is, the Path of Devotion, or the worship of the 
Perceptible) is a Vidya, which is the king or the most 
superior of these mysterious Vidyas, and also that this 
religion, being something which is actually visible to the 
eyes, is easy to follow. Nevertheless, as this Yoga has 
come into vogue by the tradition of Iksvaku and the other 
kings (Gi. 4. 2), it may also he said to he the path followed 
by Rajas or eminent persons, and to be a ' rajavidya ' also 
in that sense. Whichever meaning is taken, it is quite 
clear that this stanza does not refer to the Knowledge of 
the immutable or the imperceptible Brahman ; and that the 
word ' rajavidya ' indicates in this place the Path of 
Devotion. Having in this way praised this path of life, to 
start with, the Blessed Lord now describes it at length — ] 



1046 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

§§ *&Tt craft? i&t WF?ZFf>*$R\ I 



_g>L,.. *v 



^«nss^RTR«raT ra<*r ^3: msp ' ti *r£R; 1 

(4) 1 have occupied or pervaded this universe by My 
imperceptible form. All created beings are in Me, I am not 
in them ; (5) and at the same time, all created beings are 
not in Me ! See this My divine Action or power of Yoga ! 
My Atman, which created (these) created things, although 
it is embodied in the created things, (yet,) is not in them ; (6) 
just as, the great vayu (atmosphere), which reaches every- 
where, is perpetually in space, so are all created things in 
Me, this believe. 

[This apparent contradiction in terms results from the 
Paramesvara being qualityless as also qualityful (see my 
commentary on stanza 12 of Chapter VII of the Glta, as also 
Glta-Rahasya, Chapter IX, pp. 281, 285, 286, and 287). Hav- 
ing in this way excited the curiosity of Arjuna, by giving 
him a surprising description of His own form, the Blessed 
Lord now again describes here how the universe is created 
from Him, and which His perceptible forms are, which 
(descriptions) are slightly different from those given above 
in Chapters VII and VIII of the Glta (Gl. 7. 4-18 ; 8. 17-20). 
Although the word ' yoga ' is interpreted as meaning some 
supernatural power or device, yet, this Yoga or device for 
transforming the Imperceptible into the Perceptible is 
nothing but Maya, as has been proved in my commentary 
on Glta 7. 25, and in Chapter IX of the Glta-Rahasya 
(pp. 325 to 330). As this Yoga is very easy for the 
Paramesvara, nay even His slave, He is referred to as the 
' Lord of Yoga " (yogesvara), (Gl. 18. 75). The Blessed Lord 
now explains how the transformations of the universe are 
carried on by the power of this Yoga — ] 



GlTl, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. IX 1047 

§§ ^ijnf?r ^t«#sr srfif^ snrsci wftfo'iq i 
3>5W% gi*cnf% spjcrrft ra^fTKn^; « « h 

Hyww i +w* p^trert srfieNNrra; it < « 

^n^sr^reffaira^ as wf§ n % n 

(7) At the end of a kalpa, O Kaunteya ! all created beings- 
are merged into My Prakrti ; and in the beginning of a kalpa, 
(that is, at the beginning of the day of Brahmadeva), I 
Myself create them again. (8) Taking in hand My own Prakrti,. 
I create again and again all this collection of created beings, 
which has become avasa (that is, dependent, or, in other 
words, bound by its respective Karma) as a result of its 
having become subject to (that) Prakrti. (9) (But) O 
Dhanafijaya! as I am not attached to this My Action (of 
creating the universe), and as I live like an 'udasin' (that 
is, apathetically — Trans.), these Actions do not bind Me. 
(10) Becoming the adhyaksa (that is, Superintendent- 
Trans.), I cause Prakrti to give birth to the moveable and 
immoveable universe. By reason of this, O Kaunteya ! the. 
make and break of this world is going on. 

[It has been stated in the previous chapter that the 
perceptible universe begins to come to birth out of the im- 
perceptible Prakrti, when the day of Brahmadeva (that is, 
the halpa) starts (8. 18) ; but, as the Pararnesvara gives to> 
every one a good or bad birth according to his own Karma, 
the Blessed Lord has explained here that He Himself is 
untouched by (that is, is not responsible for) this Karma. 
In a scientific exposition, all these principles are stated in 
one and the same place ; but as the catechismal system has 
been adopted in the Gita, the same subject has been dealt 
with partly in one place and partly in another place, as 
occasion arose. Some commentators have raised a point 



1048 GlTA-RAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

qt W^lT3TR;cft *m VT tf H&H H, II \\ II 

ifmRn Ht^^noff jttstht ; tt macron i 
^srefRTiff %r JTfj ra jtft^t tsrit: » ^ « 

^rr gfmVrfr *rf srarrrar ggarar ; i 

that the words "jagad viparivartate" used in the 10th stanza 
have reference to the Vivartavada (See p. 331 in Chap. IX 
of the Glta-Rahasya— Trans.). But I do not think that 
the word ' viparivartate ' means anything more than that 
"the make and break of this world is going on "or, that 
"the Perceptible is transformed into the Imperceptible, and 
the Imperceptible re-transformed into the Perceptible"; 
and even the Samkarabhasya does not say that anything 
more is meant. How a man becomes ' avasa ' ( that is, 
dependent), as a result of Karma, has been explained in 
Chapter X of the Glta-Rahasya, to which the reader is 
referred — ] 

(11) Those foolish people, who do not realise my parama 
(that is, super-excellent — Trans.) form, namely, that I am the 
Highest Isvara of all created beings, do not pay respect to 
Me, Who hare taken a human form, (considering Me to be 
human-formed). (12) Their hopes are futile; (their) 
Actions, useless; (their) Knowledge, barren; (their) 
Mind misguided ; and they have given shelter to a devilish 
.and ungodly temperament, based on Ignorance. 

I This is the description of the ungodly person ; now the 
Blessed Lord describes the godly (daivi) nature — ] 

(13) But, OPartha! those mahatma-s (that is, noble 
■souls— Trans.), who have taken shelter in a godly nature 
{prakrti), realise and recognise (that) Me, Who am the supreme 
inexhaustible source of all created beings ; and believing that 
there is no one else, worship Me ; (14) and being industrious, 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IX 1049 

'fixed of purpose, and continually steeped in Yoga, they 
•continually praise Me and bow to Me, and -worship Me with 
devotion. (IS) Similarly, others worship Me, Who am 
saroatomukha (Hast is, all-facing — Trans.), looking at Me on 
the basis of 'ekatvd (that is, synthetically), or, on the basis of 
'prthaktva' (that is, analytically), or in many other ways, by 
means of a Jfiana-yajfia (that is, sacrifice by Knowledge — 
Trans.) 

[The brief description given here of people of godly and 
ungodly natures has been amplified in Chapter XVI. As 
has been explained before, a Jfiana-yajfia means, ' compre- 
hending the form of the Paramesvara by Jfiana 
(Knowledge), and thereby acquiring Release '. (See my 
commentary of Gl. 4, 33). But, this Knowledge of the 
Paramesvara can also be of different kinds, such as dualistic, 
non-dualistic, etc. ; and therefore, the Jfiana-yajfia, may 
Also he of many kinds ; and stanza 15 says that, 
although the Jfiana-yajfia may thus be of many kinds, 
yet, in as much as the Paramesvara is All-facing 
(msvatomukha), He becomes the recipient of all these 
Yajnas. It is clear from the words "on the basis of ekatva", 
and "on the basis of prthaktva", that these ideas were 
ancient, though the dvaita (Dualistic), advaita (non-dualis- 
tic), and visistadvaita ( qualified monistic ) systems are 
modern. The Blessed Lord now further exhaustively deals 
with the one-ness and diversity of the Paramesvara referred 
to in this stanza, and also explains how the one-ness exists 
in the diversity—] 

(1 6) kratu (that is, the Yajfia according to the Srutis) is 
Myself; Yajfia (that is, the Yajfia according to the Smrtis) 
is Myself; svadha (that is, the food offered to one's ancestors 



1050 GfTA-RAHASYA OK KARMA-YOGA 

sra^f : sr^r: *=?rre f^nn sfl^wsm » ?<£ « 

in the death-anniversary ceremony) is Myself; ausadha 
(that is, the food prepared from vegetables for the purposes 
of a Yajna) is Myself; the hymns (chanted while offering 
sacrifice into the Yajna) are Myself; I (am) the clarified 
butter, I (am) the Fire ; and, the offering, which is thrown 
into the Fire, is also Myself. 

[The words 'kratu' and 'yajna' were originally synony- 
mous ; but, though the word 'yajna' acquired later on a 
wider significance, by being applied to the worship of the 
household deities, the worship of the household Fire, the 
feeding of guests, breath-control, reciting prayers, and 
performing other ritual, the meaning of the word ' kratu * 
has not been extended. The Yajnas, such as the asvamedha, 
etc., to which this word had been applied according to the 
Sruti religion, were the only Yajnas, which were even 
later on signified by it. It is, therefore, stated in the 
Sarhkarabhasya that the word * kratu ' in this place should 
be taken to mean the Yajna according to the Srutis, and 
that the word ' Yajna ' should be taken to mean the Yajnas 
according to the Smrtis ; and the same meaning has been 
given by me above ; because, if this distinction is not made, 
the words ' kratu ' and ' yajna ' will become synonymous, 
and the stanza will become liable to the fault of containing 
a meaningless repetition of the two words.] 

(17) I (am) the father, mother, supporter (support), grand- 
father of this world ; I am also all that which is holy, or which 
is kndwable ; and 1 am the OM-kara, the Rg-Veda, the Sama- 
Veda and the Yajur-Veda; (18) I (am) the Ultimate State 
(of all), the Maintainor (of all), the Overlord, the Witness, the 
Rest, the Refuge, the Friend, the Origin, the Destruction, the 
Existence, the Repository, and the Imperishable Seed. 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IS 1051 

(1 9) I cause the Sun to shine, I restrain and let loose the- 
rein; (and) O Arjuna ! I am Immortality as also Death ; and 
the Imperishable as also the Perishable. 

[A description of the form of the Paramesvara similar to 
this description has again appeared in detail in, 
Chapters X, XI, and XII.- But the difference between the- 
two descriptions is, that in this ' place instead of merely- 
mentioning the manifestations of the Paramesvara, there is- 
a specific statement, that the relationship of the Param- 
esvara to all created beings in the world is like that of a. 
father, a mother, a friend, etc. It must be borne in mind 
that though causing the rain to fall or preventing the rain 
from , falling, is either profitable or unprofitable from the 
human point of view, yet, scientifically speaking and 
essentially, both the acts are the acts of the Paramesvara. 
With this idea in mind, the Blessed Lord has said before 
(Gi. 7. 12) that He Himself creates all the things which are- 
sattvika, rajasa or tamasa ; and later on in Chapter XIV",. 
there is an exhaustive description of how diversity is 
created in this world as a result of the difference between 
the three constituents of Prakiti. Looking at the matter 
from this point of view, the words ' sat ' and ' asat ' in the 
19th stanza can also be translated as meaning 'good' or 
' bad ' ; and later on in the Gits (Gl. 17. 26-28), such a- 
meaning has once been given to those words. But the 
ordinary meaning of those words namely, 'sat' meaning; 
' imperishable ' and ' asat ' meaning ' perishable ' (Gl. 2. 16) 
must have been meant here ; and it would appear that this 
pair of opposites, namely, ' sat ' and ' asat ' must have been, 
inspired by the Nasadiya-Sukta in the same manner as the. 
words ' mrtyu ' and ' amrta \ Nevertheless, whereas in the 
Nasadlya-Sukta, the word ' sat ' has been applied to the- 
visible world, the Glta applies the word 'sat' to the 
Parabrahman, and the word ' asat ' to the visible world ; 
this is the difference (See Gl. Ra. Oh. IX, pp. 336-339). But 
although there may be this terminological difference, yet, 
55—56 



1052 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 



§§ %%n w ittww- -<gmm si%ftfT ^rnr% sn«hn$ i 
% So^nrrerm #«*<8i<wrsn% film's?® ^4mik n *o it 

*m snfr'WfigipTsn icmra grmsJTJTT 3ra??f n ^ ti 

when the two words ' sat ' and ' asat ' are used together, they 
clearly include both the visible world and the Para- 
brahman. Therefore, in order to show that both the sat and 
the asat are the forms of the Paramesvara, although people 
might call this ' sat ' and that ' asat ', as a result of termino- 
logical difference, one may interpret this description by 
saying that a vague definition has been given of the words 
* sat- ' and ' asat ' in the expression ' I am both the sat and 
the asat ', instead of defining those words (Gi. 11. 37 and 
13. 12). The Blessed Lord now shows the difference 
between worshipping the forms of the Paramesvara looking 
upon Him as One, and worshipping such forms looking 
upon Him as Diverse, though the forms of the Paramesrara 
may thus be numerous — ] 

(20) The sinless ( persons ) and the somapl-s (that is, 
performers of the Soma-ynjiia), who are traividya (that is, who 
perform the ritual prescribed in the three Vedas, namely, 
the S.g, Yajuh, and Sama); who, worshipping Me by means 
of a Yajna, entertain a desire to obtain heaven, reach the 
holy sphere of Indra, and enjoy the numerous divine 
enjoyments of the gods, in heaven. (21) And when they 
have exhausted their merit, by enjoying that expansive 
heaven, they take birth again and come to the mortal world. 
In this way, those people, who observe the trayl-dharma (that 
is, the Sruti religion, consisting of Yajnas aad Yagas 
prescribed in the three Vedas ), and who entertain a desire 
for desirable enjoyments, have to go backwards and forwards 
(from heaven). 

[The proposition that, although residence in heaven for 
some time becomes possible by worshipping various deities, 
and by performing such religious observances as Yajnas 
qa^ ITSgas, one has to take birth again and eome back to 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. IX 1053 

the mortal world when the acquired merit is over, has been 
mentioned several times before (Gl. 2. 42-44; 4.34 ; 6. 41; 7. 23; 
8. 16 and 25). Release is not like that, but is permanent ; 
that is to say, when once a person has reached the Param- 
esvara, the. cycle of birth and death does not any more exist 
for him. The description of the happiness of heaven given 
in the Mahabharata (Vana. 260) is similar. But a doubt 
may arise as to how the ' yoga-ksema' (that is, security 
and prosperity in life — Trans. ), in the world will go on, if 
Yajfias and Yagas are given up, seeing that the Yajnas 
and Yagas are responsible for rain, etc., (see my com- 
mentary on Gl. 2. 45 and Gl. Ra. pp. 404-405). Therefore, 
the Blessed Lord gives a reply to that doubt, immediately 
after the above stanza — ] 

(22) Those none-other-worshipping persons, who, meditating 
(only) on Me, worship Me, of those perpetually steeped-in- 
Yoga persons, I carry on the yoga-ksema (that is, security 
and prosperity — Trans.). 

[Even the Sasvatakosa defines ' yoga-ksema ' by saying 
that 'getting the things one has not got' is 'yoga'; and 
'protection of the things one has got' is ' ksema' (see 
stanzas 100 and 292); the sum and substance of the 
expression is 'daily maintenance in worldly life'. The 
reader is referred to the explanation of what this means 
in the path of Karma-Yoga, given in Chapter XII of the 
Gita-Rahasya (see pp. 535 to 537). It has been similarly 
stated in the Narayanlya doctrine that : — 

manlsino hi ye kecit yatayo moksadliarmvnaK I 
tesam vicchinnatrsnanam yogaksemavaho harih it 

(Ma. Bha. San. 348. 72). 
And it is also stated there that such persons, though they 
may be ' ekanta-bhakta-s ', (that is, worshippers in solitude — 
Trans. ) belong, nevertheless, to the Path of Action, that is, 
they perform Action with a desireless frame of mind. The 
Blessed Lord now explains what happens to those persons 



1054 ; GlTA-BAHASYA OE KARMA-YOGA 

art ft ^g-frRt *Tre>r ^ srg^i ^ i 

who worship the Paramesvara, looking upon Him as diverse 
(that is, analytically — Trans. ) 

(23) Even those, who, becoming faith-filled, and 
(becoming) devotees of other deities, perform sacrifice, they 
too, O Kaunteya ! (indirectly) sacrifice to Me, though not in, 
the prescribed way ; (24) because, I am the recipient and 
the Lord of all Yajfias; but, as they do not understand- 
Me essentially, they slip. 

[See the explanation given by me in Chapter XIII of 
the GIta-Eahasya (pp. 586 to 591) of the importance of the 
proposition laid down in these two stanzas. The principle 
that, whatever deity is taken, it is a kind of form of the 
Paramesvara, has been in vogue from very ancient times 
in the Vedic religion. For instance, it has been stated 
in the Rg-Veda that " ekam sadvipra bahudha vadanty agnim 
yamccfn mutaris oanamahuh " ( Rg. 1. 164, 46 ), that is, " though 
the Paramesvara is only One, sages give Him such 
different names as, Agni, Yama, Matarisva ( Wind ) ". And 
consistently with that doctrine, there is a description of 
the various manifestations of the Paramesvara in the 
next chapter though He is only One. So also in the 
N&rayanlyopakhyana of the Mahabharata, after stating 
that the devotee, who performs Actions in solitude, is 
the most excellent one out of the four kinds of devotees, 
(see my commentary on Gi. 7. 19), it is stated as follows.— 

brahimvam Icsitikaytham ca yascanya devatah smrtah I 
prabkuddhamryah sevaTtto mameucdsyanii yat param II 

(Ma. Bha. San. 347.35.) • 

that is, "even those saints, who worship Brahmadeva or 
Siva or the other deities, also ultimately come and reach 
Me"; and the ideas in the above stanzas in the Glta have 
also been adopted in the Bhagavata-Purana (Bhag. 10,- 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. IX 1 055 

*m% ^setst ?3rra; fq*pni?cr ft-pm: i < , 

^Jcttr ^m% iflw Trf??f nsrri^fisft *m. » ^ » 

pp. 408-10 ). In the same way, it is again stated later on 
in the Narayanlyopakhyana, that : — 

ye yajanti pitrun devan guruns caivatithims tatka I 
gas caiua dvijamukhyams ca prthivlm mataram tatha li 
karmaya manasa vaea visnum eva yajanti te I 

(Ma. Bha. San. 345 ; 26,27). 

that is, " those who worship deities, ancestors, preceptors, 
.guests, Brahmins, cows, etc., indirectly worship only Visnu." 
It is surprising that even the followers of the Bhagavata 
religion should quarrel with the followers of Saivism, 
though the Bhagavata religion itself thus clearly states 
that Devotion should be taken as the principle factor, 
and that the symbol in the form of a deity is a matter 
of minor importance, or that though there may be a 
difference in the form of worship, yet, the worship is only 
of the One Paramesvara. To proceed: the Blessed Lord 
now explains how though the proposition, that whatever 
deity is worshipped, the worship is ultimately received 
by the Bhagavanta, is true, worshippers miss the Path of 
Release, as they do not realise that the deity is one and 
the same; and ths Blessed Lord Himself gives different 
Fruits of Action to different persons according to their 
respective faith — ] 
.(25) Those, who worship deities go to and are merged in the 
■deities; those, who worship ancestors, in the ancestors? 
those, who worship (different) past beings, in (those 
^respective) past beings; and those who worship Me, in Me. 
[In short, although one Paramesvara alone pervades 
everything, yet, the fruit of the worship is of a higher or 
lower grade to every one according to his respective faith. 
Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten, that the act of giving 
the reward is not performed by the deity, but by the Para- 
mesvara, as has been stated above ( Gl. 7. 20-23 ). The 
•statement made above by the Blessed Lord, in the 24th 
stanza that, "I am the recipient of all Yajflas" means the 



1056 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 



§§ ire gW "K^ cfN % n fl^Bjr sprssra i 

same thing. Even in the Mahsbharata, it is stated as 
follows : — ■ 

yasmin yasmins en visage yo yo yati viniscayam I 
sa tarn eoabhijanati nanyani bharatasattama II 

(San. 352. 3); 
that is, " on whatever form ( bhava ) any man is fixed, he gets 
a fruit, which is conformable to that form"; and there is a 
Sruti text that "yam yatha yatliopasate tad eva bliavati" 
( see my commentary on Gl. 8. 6 ). After having described 
the state obtained by those, who worship the Paramesvara. 
analytically, in the first part of the stanza, the second 
part states that those, who worship the Blessed Lord with 
the faith that there is none other, are really merged in 
the Blessed Lord. The Blessed Lord now enunciates the 
important principle in the Path of Devotion, that He does 
not pay any attention to what His Devotee offers to Him, 
but merely takes into account his faith or devotion — ] 

(26) Whoever with devotion, offers Me a leaf, or a flower;, 
or a fruit, or (according to his means) even a little water, 
that devotional offering of that ' prayatatma' (that is, person. 
with a regulated Mind ), I accept (gladly). 

[The above stanza enunciates the devotional trans- 
formation of the principle of Karma-Yoga, that "the 
Reason is superior to the Action" (See Gl. Ea. Chap. XV, 
pp. 668 to 672 ). In this connection, the tradition of the 
boiled rice offered by Sudama to Sri Krsna is well-known; 
and in the Bhagavata-Puxana, this stanza has appeared 
in the Sudamacaritopakhyana itself (Bhag. 10. U. 81. A). 
Having a large or a small quantity of the material for 
worship, is not subject to the control of a person, under all 
oircumstances, and at all times. It is, therefore, said in the 
Sastras, that the Blessed Lord is satisfied, not only with 
whatever little material for worship may be available 
according to one's means, but even by the mental material' 
of worship offered with a pure mind. The Blessed Lordi 



GlTA" , TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IX 1057 

§§ ic*<iiM ; 5rrsnf% QFrs&m «f?u% wi, i 
: ^TfT^i% ^3T cif^ 1 ?^ Tf^onj; ii ?a » 

does not crave for materials of worship, but is concerned 
only with Devotion. This is the most important difference 
between the Mlmamsa Path and the Path of Devotion. For 
performing Tajaas and Yagas, it is necessary to spend 
a lot of money, and also many other things have got to be 
done; but the devotional sacrifice can be performed even 
with a single leaf of the tulsi plant. There is an incident 
described in the Mahabharata of DraupadI having performed 
this kind of Yajna when DurvSsa had come as a guest to 
her place, and having thereby pleased the Blessed Lord. 
To proceed : the Blessed Lord now advises Arjuna to perform 
various Actions in the way, in which the devotee of the 
Blessed Lord performs them ; and explains to him what is 
obtained by doing so—] 

(27) O Kaunteya ! whatever you do, whatever you eat, 
whatever you offer as sacrifice, whatever you give, whatever 
austerity you perform, dedicate all that to Me. (28) Acting 
thus, (even performing Actions), you will be free from the 
bonds of Action, in the shape of a good or evil result ; and, 
becoming a 'yuktatma' (that is, pure-hearted), and 
(becoming) Released, by means of this Yoga of Renunciation, 
(of the Fruit of Action), you will come and reach Me. 

[Prom this it becomes quite clear, that even the Devotee 
of the Blessed Lord (the bhagavadbhakta) has to perform 
all Actions, with the idea of dedicating them to Sri Krsna, 
and that he cannot give up Action; and from this point 
of view, these two stanzas are important. The principle 
of the Jnana-Yajna, namely, " bmhmarpayam brahma havih" 
(Gl. 4. 24), has now been enunciated in the 27th stanza 
in the terminology of Devotion. ( See Gl. Ra. Ch. XIII, 
pp. 602 to 604). The Blessed Lord has advised Arjuna 
already in Chapter III that: "mayi sarvaijd karmani 



1058 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-YOGA 

§§ ^mrsi sr&ipS t % |<arfsfef * fsw i 

sift %S5 *rercr ^3Tcr nTJRwparr^ > 
^tt^st *r ^cTcg: ^r*s!rcri%cft ft w- » 3° » 

sanmyasya" (Gi. 3. 30), that is, " making a Renunciation 
■of all Action in Me— fight"; and in Chapter V, the 
Blessed Lord has again said, that the person, who performs 
Actions unattachedly, dedicating them to the Brahman, 
is not affected by the Action ( 5. 10 ). This is true 
Renunciation according to the Glta ( Gl. 18. 2 ) ; and, one who 
performs all Actions, in this way, giving up (samnyasya) 
the Hope for Fruit of Action, is a ' nitya-samnyasin' 
< perpetual ascetic), (Gi. 5. 3). The Glta does not approve 
■of Renunciation in shape of the Abandonment of Action. 
It has been stated in various places before, that performing 
Actions in this way, is not obstructive of Release (Gi. 2. 64; 
3. ■ 19; 4. 23 ; 5. 12 ; 6. 1 ; 8. 7 ) j and, the same thing has been 
repeated here in the 28th stanza. In the Bhagavata- 
Purana, the Nrsimha-formed Lord has advised Prahlada 
as follows namely, " mayyavesya manastat kuru Isarmayi 
matparah", that is, "perform all Actions, fixing your mind 
on Me " ( BhSg. 7. 10. 23 ) ; and later on, in the 11th skandha, 
the principle of Yoga by Devotion has been enunciated 
by saying, that the Devotee of the Blessed Lord should 
' dedicate all Actions to Narayana ( See Bhag. 11. %. 36 and 
11. 11. 24 ). To proceed : it has been stated in the beginning 
of this chapter that the. Path of Devotion is pleasant and 
■easy. The Blessed Lord now describes the other great 
special quality of that Path, namely, Equability, as 
follows: — ] .. i 

(29) I am the same towards all created beings; to Me 
(there) is not (some one, who is) dvesya (that is, un-liked), 
nor (some one, who is) priya (that is, dear). But, those who 
worship Me with devotion, I am embodied in them, and they 
are embodied in Me. (30) Be he a great evil-doer, yet, if 
he worships Me with the faith that there is no one else, then 
he must be considered a saint; because, the determination of 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IX 1059 
*rf f| ITS? &mx%<Q $sfa ^: Trnfrnp I 

his Reasoa is proper. (31) He soon becomes a 'dharmatma' 
■ (that is, ' a pious soul' — Trans.); and attains eternal tran- 
quility. O Kaunteya! know this to be certain, that no 
devotee of mine is (ever) destroyed. 

[The third stanza is not to be understood as meaning that 
the Blessed Lord loves his devotee, even if he is an evil- 
doer. All that the Blessed Lord says is that, even if a man 
is an evil-doer in the beginning, yet, when his mind has 
become definitely directed towards the Paramesvara, he 
cannot afterwards perform any evil Action; and, that he 
gradually becomes a pious soul ( dharmatma ), and attains 
Perfection; and by such Perfection, his sin is ultimately 
fully destroyed. In short, the proposition stated in 
Chapter VI, that even if a man is merely inspired by the 
desire to know what Karma-Yoga is, he becomes helpless, as 
if he was put into a grinding-mill, and gradually goes 
beyond the fruit-promising ritualism ( subda-brahma), is now 
made applicable to the Path of Devotion. The Blessed 
Lord now explains more clearly how He is equable towards 
all created beings — ] 

• (32) Because, O Partha ! taking shelter in Me, women, 
Vaisyas/Sudras, and others born in a sinful class (such as 
the lowest classes, etc. ) obtain the highest state ; ( 33 ) 
then, all the more so, those, who are holy Brahmins and also 
King-Sages (i. e., ' rajarsi-s ' — Trans.), (Ksatriyas), who are 
My devotees. As you are living in this transient and 
unhappy (that is, painful) mortal world, do you be devoted 

■•to Me. 

[Some commentators have said that the word ' papayom' 
in the 32nd stanza is not independent, but applies equally to 



1060 GlTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

women, Vaisyas, and Sudras, because no one is born as 
a woman, or a Vaisya, or a Sudra, unless be has committed 
some sin in previous births. According to them, the word 
'papayoni ' is a common word, and women, Vaisyas, and 
Sudras, are specific divisions of such papayoni, given by 
way of illustration. But this interpretation is not correct 
according to me. Tbe word 'papayoni' indicates such 
tribes as are referred to as 'criminal tribes' in present 
legislation ; and, the doctrine laid down in these stanzas is, 
that people belonging to even these classes obtain Perfection 
by means of Devotion to the Blessed Lord. Women, 
Vaisyas, and Sudras do not come under these tribes, and 
their difficulty in obtaining Release, is that they are not 
authorised to hear the Vedas ; and it is, therefore, stated 
in the Bhagavata-Purana that : — 

stri sudra duija-bandhunam trayi na srufigocara I 
karmasreyasi mudhanam sreya evam bliaved iha l 
iti bharatam akhyanam krpaya mumria kriam II 

( Bhag. 1. 4. 25 ) 
that is, "in order that women, Sudras, and the nominal 
Brahmins of the Kali-Yuga ( i. e., the present age ), who do- 
not get a chance of hearing the Vedas, should not remain 
ignorant, the sage Vyasa has benevolently and intentionally 
written the MahabhSrata, — and necessarily also the 
Glta — for their benefit". The above stanzas from the 
Bhagavadgita have, with minor alterations of reading,, 
also appeared in the Anuglta (Ma. Bha. Asva. 19. 
61, 62). The true worth of this royal road of Devotion 
to the Blessed Lord, which gives a good final state to all,, 
without considering the difference between castes, or 
between classes, or between women and men, or between 
persons of black or white colour., will become fully 
intelligible to any one who considers the history of the 
Maharastra saints. A fuller explanation of the above 
stanza has been given in Chapter XIII of the Glta-Rahasya 
at pp. 613 to 618, to which the reader is referred. The advice 
given to Arjuna in the latter part of the 33rd stanza, 
to follow this religion of Devotion, is continued in the 
34th stanza. 1 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. IX 1061 



(34) Keep your mind fixed on Me, become My devotee, 
worship Me, offer sacrifice to Me, and bow down before Me. 
When, becoming thus devoted to Me, you perform your 
Yoga, you will come and reach Me. 

[Strictly speaking, this advice has been started in the 
33rd stanza. The word 'arutya', in the 33rd stanza, has 
been used consistently with the Metaphysical doctrine, 
that the expansion of Prakrti, or the Name-d and Form-ed 
visible world, is non-permanent; and, that the Atman, or 
the Paramatman alone is permanent; and the word 
' asukha ' echoes the proposition, that there is more of unhappi- 
ness than of happiness in this life. Yet, this description does 
not pertain to the Philosophy of the Absolute Self, but to the 
Path of Devotion ; and, that is why, instead of using the 
words ' ' parabrahman'' or 'paramatman', the Blessed Lord 
has used words indicative of the first person, with reference 
to His perceptible form, and said "Worship Me, keep your 
Mind concentrated on Me, and bow down before Me"; and 
advised Arjuna, that, if he thus performed this Yoga or 
Karma- Yoga, with Devotion, and becoming attached to 
Him, (Gl. 7. 1), he would be free from the bonds of Action, 
and ultimately come and be merged in Him; and that is- 
the final admonition of the Blessed Lord. And the same 
advice has been repeated later on at the end of Chapter XL 
This is, indeed, the mystic import of the whole of the- 
Glta. The only difference is, that it has once been 
expressed from the Metaphysical point of view, and at 
another time, from the Devotional point of view. ] 

Thus ends the ninth chapter named Rajvidya-Raja- 
guhya Yoga in the dialogue between Sri Kysna and Arjuna, 
on the Yoga included in the Science of the Brahman, (that is, 
the Karma- Yoga) in the Upanisad sung (that is, told) by the 
Blessed Lord. 



'§§ *$sr asr st^ff ^g 3r q^f ^r: i 

su^nritil ?=jTHi J^orf ^ ^j: u * 11 

3T#>p: *f *#5 ^rfrriq: Sfg^ u ■% || 

CHAPTER X. 

[The description of the royal road in the shape of the 
-worship of the Perceptible, prescribed by the Blessed Lord 
for acquiring Karma-Yoga in the last chapter, is continued 
in this chapter ; and in reply to the question of Arjuna, He 
gives in the end a description of the various perceptible 
forms or manifestations {ribhuti) of the Paramesvara ; and 
hearing this description, Arjuna is filled with the desire of 
seeing the Form of the Paramesvara with his own eyes ; 
therefore, in the next, that is, the eleventh chapter, the 
Blessed Lord has shown him His Cosmic Form, and satisfied 
his ambition.] 

The Blessed Lord said :— (1) Mahabaho ! to you, who 
.are gratified ( by My speech ), I am once more describing 
( one ) excellent thing, for your benefit, to which listen. 
.(2) My origin is not understood even by the multitude of 
gods, or by great Rsis; because, I am, indeed, in every way, 
the Fundamental cause of the gods and the great Rsis. (3) He, 
who realises that I am the Great Isvara of all spheres, ( such 
as, the earth, etc. ), and that there is no birth or origin for 
Me, he alone, among all men, becoming free from Ignorance, 
becomes free from all sins. 

[The idea that the Parabrahman, or the Blessed Lord, was 
in existence even before the gods, and that the gods came 
afterwards, is to be found in the Nasadiya-Sukta in the 
P,g-Yeda (See Gl. Ea. Ob. IX, p. 351). To proceed : this 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. X 
§§ l^HTTT^lfti: $P7T W% ?T: Wf- > 

' i# i*^ *rats*trat *rs ^wr&r ^ n 8 n 

is, so far, the introduction; the Blessed Lord now explains 
how He is the Great Isvara of all — ] 

(4) Reason, Knowledge, Non-delusion, forgiveness, Truthy. 
sensual restraint, tranquility, happiness, unhappiness, 'bhava 
( that is, coming to life ), ' abhava ' ( that is, death ), as also* 
fear and fearlessness, (5) harmlessness, equability, ' tusti ' 
(satisfaction), austerity, charity, 'yasa' ( that is, glory— - 
Trans.), 'ayaka ' (that is, disgrace — Trans.), and other similar 
' bhava '-a ( that is, temperaments ) of all living beings, . 
are born from Me alone. 

[The word 'bhava' means 'condition', 'state', or 
' temperament ' ; and Samkbya philosophy makes a 
distinction between the bhavas of Reason, and the bhavas 
of the Body. As the Spirit is non-aetive, and Reason is 
an evolute of Prakrti according to the Samkhyas, they 
say that the various conditions or bhavas of the Reason, 
existing in the Subtle Body (linga-sarira) are responsible for 
the various births, as a bird or a beast, which the Subtle 
Body assumes (see Gl. Ra. Ch. VIII. p. 261, and Sam. Ka. 
40 to 55) ; and most probably, these are the bhavas which 
have been referred to in the above two stanzas. But, as 
Vedanta says that there is only One Permanent Principle,- 
in the shape of the Paramatman, Which is beyond both 
Matter and Spirit, and that the entire visible universe 
comes to birth as a result of the desire to create ther 
universe, which arises in the mind of that Paramatman, as 
described in the Nasadlya-Sukta, even Vedantists say, that 
all the created things in the world, which are embodied in 
in Maya, are the Mental bhavas of the Parabrahman (see - 
the next stanza). The words ' austerity ', ' charity 



1064 GfTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA.-YOGA 

H«?HT flTRTT ; 3tTm ^rf o?t3I SUT : ST3TT : II | II 

' Yajna '* etc. are to be understood as the frames of mind 
indicating faith in those things. To proceed : the Blessed 
Lord now says that — •] 

(6) The seven Great Rsis, the former Four, as also the 
Manu-s from whom this generation was created in this ' loka ' 
( that is, world-Trans. ), are My mental ( that is, ' created by 
the Mind ' ) ' bliava '-s ( that is, ' states '-Trans. ). 

[Although the words used in this stanza are easy, yet, 
there is great difference of opinion between the commentators 
about the legendary personages to whom this stanza refers. 
Especially the explanation as to the terms to which the 
words " the former " and the word " Four " are to be 
applied, has been given by different commentators in 
different ways. The seven Maharsis ( i. e., " Great Rsis " ) 
are well-known ; but one kalpa of Brahmadeva consists of 14 
Manvantaras (See Gl. Ra. p. 264) ; and for each of these 
Manvantaras, the Manu, the deity, and the seven Rsis were 
different (See Harivarhsa 1. 7; Visnu. 3. 1, and Matsya. 
9). Therefore, some commentators have taken the words 
" the former " as an adjective qualifying the ' Seven 
Maharsis " ; and have explained the stanza by saying that 
the seven Maharsis of the Caksusa Manvantara, that is, of 
the Manvantara previous to the present Vaivasvata 
Manvantara, are indicated here. These seven Rsis were 
Bhrgu and others, namely, Bhrgu, Nabha, VivasvSn, 
Sudhama, Viraja, Atinama, and Sahismi. But according to 
me, this interpretation is not correct ; because, there seems 
no reason to say anything in this context about the seven 
Great Rsis in the Manvantara, previous to the present one, 
that is, Vaivasvata Manvantara, in which the Gita. was told. 
Therefore, one must take the seven Rsis to be those of the 
present Manvantara. Their names have been mentioned in 
* The word ' YajBa ' appears in the author's text ; but I think 

' yola ' is meant, as that is the word nsed in this stanza oi the 

Gita —Trims 



GTTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, CH. X 1065 

the Narayanlyopakhyana of the Santiparva of the Maha- 
bhSrata as : Marioi, Angirasa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, 
Kratu, and Vasistha (Ma. Bha. San. 335. 28, 29 ; 340. 64 
. and 65) ; and in my opinion those are the seven Rsis who are 
indicated here ; because, it is the Narayaniya or Bhagavata 
religion, with its relative ritual, which has been supported 
in the Glta (See Gl. Ra. pp. 12 and 13). However, it must 
be mentioned here that the names of the seven Rsis 
mentioned above, namely, Marlci, etc., are sometimes 
found started from Bhrgu instead of from Angirasa ; and 
in some places, there is even a description that the 
seven Rsis of the present Yuga are Kasyapa, Atri, 
Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Vasistha 
{Visnu. 3. 1. 32 and 33 ; Matsya. 9. 27 and 28 ; Ma. Bh§. 
Anu. 93. 21). In the Visnu-Purana, Bhrgu and Daksa 
have been added to these seven Rsis, namely, Marlci and 
the others, so as to make out nine (Visnu, 1. 7. 5. 6) ; and 
one more, namely, Narada has again been added to those 
nine in the Manu-Smrti in describing the ten Mind-born 
sons (manasa-putra) of Brahmadeva (Manu. 1. 34, 35) ; and 
the etymology of the words Marlci, etc., has been given in 
Bharata (Ma. Bha. Anu. 85). But, as we have to see for 
.the present only which these seven Great Rsis were, it is 
not necessary to consider here those nine or ten Mind- 
born sons or the etymological significance of their names. 
It is quite clear that the words " the Former " cannot be 
interpreted as meaning the seven Rsis of the previous 
Manvantara. Let us now see to what extent the inter- 
pretation of some commentators, who have taken the words 
"the former Four" as referring to the word 'Manu-'sis 
correct. There are in all fourteen Manvantaras, of which 
there are fourteen Manus ; and these are sub-divided into 
two classes of seven each. The first seven are called 
Svayarhbhuva, Svarocisa, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, 
Caksusa, and Vaivasvata ; and they are referred to as 
' Svayarhbhuva and others ' (Manu. 1. 62 and 63). Of these, 
the first six Manus are over ; and the seventh, that is to say, 
the Vaivasvata Manu, is now going on, When this Manu 
is over, the seven subsequent Manus (Bhag, 8. 13. 7) are 



1066 GlTA-RAHASYA OR KARMA-TOGA 

called the Savarni Matms. Their names are, Savarni, 
Daksa-Savarni, Brahma-Savarni, Dharma-Savarni, Rudra- 
Savarni, Deva-Savarni, and Indra-Savarni (Visnu. 3. 2 ; 
BhSgavata. 8. 13 ; Harivarhsa, 1. 7). Considering that there 
are seven Manus in each class, it cannot be explained why 
the Glta should have referred only to " the former Four ",. 
that is to say, the " first four " only from either class. On 
account of the tradition in the Brahmanda-Purana, that out 
of the Savarni Manus, the four after the first one, namely,, 
the Daksa-, Brahma- Dharma- and Rudra-Savarni 
Manus, were all created at the same time, some commenta- 
tors say that the Glta refers to these four Savarni Manus. 
But to this suggestion, an objection is taken by others that 
as the Savarni Manus are all to come in the future, the/ 
words " from whom this generation was created in this 
world ", which are indicative of the past tense, cannot be 
applied to the Savarni Manus, which are to come in the' 
future. In short, the words " the former Four " cannot be • 
taken to refer to the word " Manus ". Therefore, the words 
" the former Four " must be taken to have independent, 
reference to some former four Rsis, or four personages ; and- 
if you say so, the question who these " former Four " were, 
naturally arises. Those commentators, who have inter- 
preted this stanza in that way, say that these " former Four " 
were the four Rsis named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana, and 
Sanatkumara (Bhag. 3. 12, 4). But, to this interpretation,, 
there is the objection that although these four Rsis were 
the Mind-born sons of Brahmadeva, yet, as they were 
Sarhnyasins from birth, they refused to raise progeny ; and,, 
on that account, Brahmadeva had got angry with them 
(Bhag. 3. 12 ; Visnu. 1. 7) ; and, therefore, the sentence 
" from whom this generation was created in this world — 
" yesam loka imah prajah" — cannot under any eircum-- 
stances be applied to the Rsis. Besides, although it is 
stated in the Puranas, that these Rsis were four, yet, in the 
Bharata, in the Narayanlya, that is, the Bhagavata 
doctrine, Sana, Kapila, and Sanatsujata have been added 
to these four, and these seven Rsis are said to be the Mind- 
born sons of Brahmadeva; and it is stated that they 



GITS., TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. X 106r 

followed the Path of Renunciation from birth (Ma. 
Bha. 340. 67. 68). Besides, even if the Rsis are thus taken 
to be sevan, that is, Sanaka and others, yet, there seems to 
be no reason why only four of these should have been 
referred to here. Then, who are these " former Four " ? In, 
my opinion, the answer to this question must be given from, 
the legendary stories pertaining to the Narayanlya, or, the- 
Bhagavata religion; because, in my opinion, it is- 
unquestionable that the Bhagavata doctrine alone is- 
supported in the Gita. Now, if one considers the Bhagavata. 
conception of the creation of the universe, the four entities 
Vasudeva (Atman), Samkarsana (Jlva), Pradyumna (Mind)> 
and Aniruddha (Individuation) had come into existence- 
before the seven Rsis ; and, it is there stated that, from the- 
last of them, namely, from Aniruddha, that is, from 
Brahmadeva, the Mind-born sons Marici, etc., came to be born 
(Ma. Bha. San. 339. 34 to 40 and 60 to 72 ; 340. 27 to 31). 
The four entities, Vasudeva, Samkarsana, Pradyumna, and. 
Aniruddha, are collectively known as the ' Caturvyuha ' j. 
and whereas one sect of the Bhagavata doctrine says that 
these four entities were all independent of each other, other 
sects look upon two or three, out of these four, as the more 
important ones. But, these conceptions are not acceptable 
to the Bhagavadglta, which pertains to the ' Ekavyuha * 
school, that is, which is of the opinion that the four 
Vyuhas and everything else was created from ' eka ' or 
One, Paramesvara, as has been shown by me in the Gita- 
Rahasya (Gl. Ra. p. 266 and 756). It is, therefore, stated 
in this stanza, that the four entities, Vasudeva, etc., 
forming the ' Caturvyuha ' are not independent of each 
other, and that all these four "Vyuhas are the bhavas or 
' states ' of One Paramesvara, that is, of the All-pervading. 
Vasudeva (GI. 7. 19). Looking at the matter from this 
point of view, it will be seen that the words " the former 
Four " have reference to the Caturvyuha of Vasudeva and 
the others, who had come into existence before the Seven 
Rsis according to the Bhagavata religion. It has been 
stated in the Bharata itself, that the distinction between 
the four Vyuhas according to the Bhagavata religion was 
57—58 



1068 G-lTA-RAHASYA OB KARMA-YOGA 

st£ srt^ spsrefir ittti ^r sr^§cr i 

sksijjtctsj iff R?^ gEgfT3 =g ^prfS^r ^ ii ^ n 

OTf ^cJH^TBTSff •srsrcTf sfrm'p^ I 

In vogue from former times (Ma. Bha. San. 348. 57) ; this 
idea is not something new invented by me. In short, on 
the authority of the Narayanlyopakhyana of the Bharata, 
I interpret " the seven Maharsis ", to mean, Marlci and 
others ; " the former Four ", to mean, Vasudeva and others 
forming the CaturvyQha ; and ' Manu-s ', to mean, the six 
previous Manus, and the seventh Manu then current, 
making up the Svayambhuva group of Manus. The idea 
of looking upon the four entities, namely, Aniruddha, ( that 
is, Individuation ), and the others, as the sons of the 
Paramesvara is also to be found in another place in the 
Bharata (Ma. Bha. San. 311. 7, 8). The bhava-s or mental 
states of the Paramesvara have thus been mentioned. The 
Blessed Lord now explains the Tesult of worshipping Him, 
after one has realised this fact — ] 

(7) He, who understands the principle of this my 'vibhuti' 
(that is, manifestation) and this my Yoga (that is, device or 
power by which I cause this manifestation), undoubtedly 
attains the permanent (Karma-) Yoga. (8) Wise men, realising 
that I am the Origin of everything, and that all things spring 
from Me, become imbued with My bhava-s ( that is, states 
— Trans. ) and thus worship Me. (9) Concentrating their 
minds on Me, fixing their life on Me, giving counsel to each 
other and telling each other legends about Me, they are 
always happy and engrossed (in doing that ). (10) To those, 
who thus always remaining 'yukta' (that is, content), 
worship Me, I give the Yoga of the ( Equable ) Reason, 



GlTA, TRANSLATION & COMMENTARY, OH. X 1069 

arfttcfr |srat surras ^rt t*r snftfa 3r « ?^ « 

■which enables them to come and reach Me. (11) And in 
order to bestow favour on them, I enter their ' atmabhaoa ' 
(that is, their Inner Sense); and by the brilliant Lamp of 
Knowledge, destroy the darkness born of Ignorance ( in 
their Minds ). 

[It has been stated above in. Chapter VII that it is the 
Paramesvara Himself, Who creates the faith towards 
various deities (7. .21) ; in the same way, it is now stated in 
the 10th stanza that the act of increasing Equability of 
Reason in persons, who have taken to the Path of 
Devotion, is performed by the Paramesvara Himself ; and 
■this proposition in the Path of Devotion is similar in 
.meaning to the statement made above (Gti. 6. 44) that once 
.a man is inspired by a desire for Karma-Yoga, he is 
dragged towards complete perfection, as if he had been put 
into a grinding-mill. It is said that this capacity arises 
from Free Will according to the doctrine of Causality. 
But, even the Atman is the Paramesvara ; therefore, it is 
.stated in the Doctrine of Devotion, that this Fruit or this 
Frame of Min