Madhusuudana Sarasvatii's introduction to the Giitaa (5)
ahudli at SILVER.UCS.INDIANA.EDU
Fri Aug 23 10:40:27 CDT 1996
ekamekena shhaTkena kaaNDamatropalakshhayet.h |
karmanishhThaajnaananishhThe kathite prathamaantyayoH ||5 ||
word for word meaning:
ekamekena shhaTkena - by each group of six (chapters in order)
kaaNDaM - a section of the Vedas
atra - here
upalakshhayet.h - should be designated
karmanishhThaa - performance of action
jnaananishhThaa - practice of jnaana
kathite - (the two) are said
prathamaantyayoH - of the first and last
Each group of six chapters should be designated by a section
of the Vedas. The practice of karma and the practice of jnaana
are said to (designate) the first and last groups of six chapters.
(ie. The chapters 1-6 are related to karma and chapters 13-18 are
related to jnaana.)
1) Shankara, in his introduction to the Giitaa, says that the
Lord imparted the two-fold Dharma of the Vedas.
svaprayojanaabhave .api bhuutaanujighR^ikshhayaa vaidikaM
dharmadvayam-arjunaaya shokamohamahodadhau nimagnaaya upadidesha...
Even though the Lord has no objective of His own to fulfill,
with a desire to promote the welfare of all beings, He imparted
the two-fold dharma of the Vedas to Arjuna, who was drowned in
the sea of grief and delusion.
This two-fold dharma of the Vedas which is necessary for the
maintenance of the world consists of 1) pravR^itti or activity
and 2) nivR^itti or cessation of activity (renunciation).
dvividho hi vedokto dharmaH, pravR^ittilakshhaNo nivR^itti-
2) Anandagiri, in his gloss on Shankara's commentary, points out
the two-fold Vaidika dharma spoken of by Shankara may be
characterized as karmanishhThaa and jnaananishhThaa.
karmanishhThaa or the practice of action is meant for those
desire prosperity and those who desire liberation by successive
stages. jnaananishhThaa or the practice of knowledge is the
direct cause of mokshha.
3) Shankara further adds that karmanishhThaa, when done without any
expectation of rewards and with a sense of dedication to God, serves
to purify the mind and makes it fit for jnaananishhThaa.
4) Madhusuudana differs from Shankara regarding the contents of the
Giitaa. Madhusuudana agrees that the Giitaa describes karmanishhThaa
and jnaananishhThaa. But he says that in addition to those two
it also describes upaasana or worship.
5) In my opinion, this difference may be reconciled if we admit that
jnaananishhThaa, according to Shankara, includes upaasana of the
Lord. This is supported by Shankara's interpretation of verses
13-20 in the 12th chapter. He points out that these verses
describe the jnaani, but in most of these verses the jnaani is
also called "madbhakta" (My devotee) or "bhaktimaan.h" (devotee).
So the implication is that the jnaani is also the Lord's devotee.
Later in his introduction, Madhusuudana states that upaasana is
compatible with both karma and jnaana. Devotion to the Lord comes
naturally to jnaanis.
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