[Advaita-l] Discussion on Bhagavat Gita

Ananta Bhagwat ananta14 at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 5 10:19:04 CDT 2008

Dear Sri Suresh

I too am a student without Guru and go by books. I find MadhusUdana Sarasvati's bhAshya to be appealing. Here it is what he says on 12.20:

#1: Those to whom I (mat), Lord Vasudeva alone, who am identifiable with imperishable supreme (parama) Goal to be attained are 'matparamA'. That is those who accept me (mat) as a supreme (parama) goal are matparamA. 

This word matparamA must be a samAsaH (bahuvrIhi or madhyamapada lopI or itaretara? - I have forgotten my Sanskrit!). If it is a samAsaH I too am curious to know about it to revive my Sanskrit memories.

#2: amRtam is used as an adjective; hence dharmAmRutam is 'nectar like (ambrosial) virtuosity' or 'Immortal dharma'. Those who follow this dharma with full diligence and faith are dear to the Lord.

#3: shraddhAnA is not only 'by shraddhA (shraddhena)' but 'endued, filled with shraddhA". A more forceful and positive way of stressing the importance of shraddhA.

N.B I call myself a student, but Sri Sankara's criteria to be a student is so stringent that I may not qualify for the studentship (Ref upadeSa sahasrI). I can really call myself a jidnAsu (a person with curiosity).


----- Original Message ----
From: Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com>parama
To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Sent: Saturday, April 5, 2008 4:43:50 PM
Subject: [Advaita-l] Discussion on Bhagavat Gita


I thought I could start a thread on the immortal
Bhagvat Gita, doing which we can learn more about
gita, its import, and sanskrit as well. As I am a
student learning on my own without any guru, please
excuse errors. With my limited resources and lack of
opportunity (to learn from a guru), this is all I can
come up with. I hope from this series, we can discuss
not only the nuances of grammar, but also the
(advaitic) import of the gita. All contructive
participation welcome.


ye tu dharmaamrtam idam

yathoktam paryupaasate

shraddadhaanaa mat-paramaa

bhaktaas te atiiva me priyaah

The meaning would go something like this: But those
devotees who (with faith) worship this nectar (of
dharma) as described, they're exceedingly dear to me.

Some of the questions are:

#1 What is this mat-paramaa and how does it fit in
here? Many times in the gita, I find words like
mat-paraha and mat-paramaa and although I know the
literal meaning of these, I am not able to accommodate
them, or give them a proper place in the scheme of

#2 The word dharmaamrtam is in the accusative case, so
it must be the object of the verb paryupasate, but
that would translate to 'worship this dharmic nectar.'
Wouldn't that be absurd, worshipping dharma? Or, can
paryupasate be stretched to mean 'follow' rather than

#3 If shraddhadhaana means 'by or with faith', why
can't we have a simpler 'shraddhena?' 

These are some of the qs that come to mind with
respect to grammar.

With respect to philosophical import, though, dvaitins
and other devotees say this verse (and pretty much
this chapter) is proof of Krishna's supremacy, and
that the jivas are distinct, which is why Krishna
urges Arjuna (and others) to worship Him. How to
interpret this in advaitic terms? Does it mean we must
interpret Bhakti as love of the self, rather than as
love of the particular individual Krishna? Some
explanation on this would be helpful, because I am of
the view that bhakti in the advaitic sense would mean
'love (of the knowledge) of the Self' or something to
that effect.


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