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Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, The Essence of Krishna's Teachings

Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, The Essence of Krishna's Teachings

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Published by vlaxmanan
The commentaries by all the great acaryas on Chapter 2 from all the major schools of Hindu philosophy have been compiled here to permit a comparative study of the Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, and Dwaita viewpoints.
The commentaries by all the great acaryas on Chapter 2 from all the major schools of Hindu philosophy have been compiled here to permit a comparative study of the Advaita, Vishishtadvaita, and Dwaita viewpoints.

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Published by: vlaxmanan on Apr 26, 2010
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Dear All:As you all know, Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita is considered by all our great acaryas as the very essence of this Vedic scripture. The subsequent chapters merely build upon the teachings of Krishna in Chapter 2. Hence, I have recently started compiling the commentaries by various acaryas, notably Adi Sankara (the Advaita perspective), Ramanujacarya (Vishishtadvaita), Madhvacarya (Dwaita) and Srila Prabhupada (Gaudiya Vaishnavism).I listed Adi Sankara first because his commentary on the Gita (and also other Vedic scriptures) was the first. Other acaryas have used his commentary as the basis to formulate their own commentaries and in some cases even entirely rejectedhis basic premises. The pursuit of spiritual knowledge, that we are all undertaking now, will be greatly facilitated by a critical study of these commentaries.May be, someday, in the not too distant future, we can all become worthy of theGrace of Krishna Himself, a promise that He makes repeatedly in the Bhagavad Gita.So, pasted below, you will find the commentaries of various acaryas on the firstverse of Chapter 2. I have then added some of my own thoughts to "synthesize" the main points.As the Gita Mahatmyam story for chapter 2 teaches us, a study of chapter 2 alone, with full devotion, will lead one to complete realization of Krishna.Given below are the links for the sources for these commentaries.Adi Sankara.http://www.bharatadesam.com/spiritual/bhagavad_gita/bhagavad_gita_sankara_bhashya_2.phpPrabhupada. http://www.asitis.com/2/1.htmlOther acaryas. http://www.bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-02-01.htmlI have pasted Srila Prabhupada's commentary first since we all can readily get the text. Also, this gives the English transliteration of the verse along with the simple word-by-word translation.P. S. I urge all of you, if you can, to take the time and memorize these versesand learn to chant them correctly, as we proceed with this exercise. In just this verse, I have taken the liberty to change some of the "spellings" in the Prabhupada transliteration to help the beginner. I will NOT do this any further.***********************************************************************************Chapter 2: Sankhya Yoga Chapter 2. Contents of the Gita Summarized (Srila Prabupada)TEXT 1sanjaya uvacatam tathaa krupayaavishtamashru-purnaakulekshanam
visheedantam idam vaakyamuvaaca madhusoodanahSYNONYMSsanjaya uvaca--Sanjaya said; tam--unto Arjuna; tathaa--thus; krupayaa--by compassion; avistam--overwhelmed; ashru-purna--full of tears; akula--depressed; ikshanam--eyes; visheedantam--lamenting; idam--this; vaakyam--words; uvaaca--said; madhu-soodanah--the killer of Madhu.TRANSLATIONSanjaya said: Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears, Madhusudana, Krsna, spoke the following words.PURPORTMaterial compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization. The word "Madhusudana" is significant in this verse. Lord Krsna killed the demon Madhu, and now Arjuna wanted Krsna to kill the demon of misunderstanding that had overtaken him inthe discharge of his duty. No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the oceanof nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress--the gross material body. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a sudra, or one who laments unnecessarily. Arjuna was a ksatriya, and this conduct was not expected from him. Lord Krsna, however, can dissipate the lamentation of the ignorant man, and for this purpose the Bhagavad-gita was sung by Him.This chapter instructs us in self-realization by an analytical study of the material body and the spirit soul, as explained by the supreme authority, Lord SriKrsna. This realization is made possible by working with the fruitive being situated in the fixed conception of the real self.Chapter 2 - The Path Of KnowledgeCommentary by Sri Adi Sankaracharya, Translated by Swami GambhiranandaSanjaya said:2.1 To him who had been thus filled with pity, whose eyes were filled with tearsand showed distress, and who was sorrowing, Madhusudana uttered these words.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Vaishnavite acaryasKumara Vaisnava Sampradaya: NimbadityaKesava Kasmiri's CommentaryHaving heard Arjuna's justifications from refraining from the battle due to thefear of receiving sin for the slaying of relatives; Dhritarastra was relieved ofthe fear that his sons might have returned to the Pandavas their fair share ofthe kingdom and desired to know what happened next. Sanjaya spoke that Arjunas eyes were brimming with tears, when ones eyes are full of tears ones clear visionis obstructed and thus refers to Arjunas unable to see the situation in the correct perspective. By addressing Lord Krishna with the vocative Madhusudana indicates that just as He destroyed the demon Madhu in times of yore, by descending in the royal dynasty as a ksatriya He would destroy all the demoniac and evil elements which are burdening the Earth.
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya: VisnuswamiSridhara Swami's CommentaryWhat happened next? To answer this the verse states that to him meaning Arjuna whose eyes were filled with tears in bewilderment, to him Arjuna who was grievingthe Supreme Lord Krishna spoke these words.Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya: RamanujaThere is no commentary for this verse.Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya: MadhvacaryaThere is no commentary for this verse.In the future, if there is no commentary for a verse, I will NOT paste anything,like I have done for this first verse.Synthesis:As you see from the above, the three acaryas from the three main schools of philosophies offer no commentary for this verse. However, Prabhupada, offers some interesting insights.Krishna is referred to here as Madhu-soodhana, One who killed the demon Madhu. Throughout the Gita, we find both Krishna and Arjuna being referred to by different names. Often, there is a very subtle philosophical reason why that name is chosen as opposed to some other name. Our three great acaryas make no comment because, during their times, some these truths were well known. They simply assumedthat the student knows this and so chose not to elaborage or comment. It does not mean it is unimportant and unworthy of comment.Unfortunately, even these "basics" are now lost, as Kaliyuga has been progressing. Prabhupada, the merciful incarnation of the succession of acaryas, chooses totell us ignoramous masses what this means. Prabhupada knows the difference between 8th and 20th centuries. Adi Sankara, for example, offers no commentaries atall on the Phala Sruthi part of Vishnu Sahastranamam. Why? It is all written inplain simple Sanskrit that anyone with a basic knowledge of Sanskrit can understand. He leaves to us to figure these things out and chooses instead to comment on the more important philosophical aspects, such as, for example, the verse Param Yo Mahat tejah, Parmam yo mahat tapah... from the Bheeshma uvaca section.Prabhupada tells us that Krishna is called Madhusoodhana is to remind us that Hecan slay demons - in this case not external demons like Madhu but the internaldemons that we must fight to realize Krishna completely (as Chapter 2 Gita Mahatmyam story promises us). The second and more important point he makes has to dowith "tam". Here the pronoun "tam" refers to Arjuna. This is further qualified with the adjective "krupayaa aavishtam or with sandhi krupayaavishtam". The word"krupaa" means compassion and "aavishtam" means to fully enter. Arjuna was filled with tears. It seemed like all the compassion in the world had fully entered Arjuna. He was crying (visheedantam) and grieving over the fact that the great war would lead to the killing all those who were near and dear to him and all those whom he revered. But, Prabhupada tells us that we must know where to show compassion. Misplaced compassion is like the compassion for the clothes of a drowning person. One must show eagerness to rescue the drowning person, not his or her

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