[Advaita-l] Advaita and Bhagavad Gita
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Jun 25 01:29:45 CDT 2010
On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:20 PM, Rajaram Venkataramani <
rajaramvenk at gmail.com> wrote:
> In Bhagavad Gita, there are many verses where Lord Krishna says I am the
> supreme Lord, I am everything, every thing emanates from me and I am
> distinct from every thing. I am omniscient and you are not. I should be
> worshipped by falling at my feet and you should surrender to me for which I
> will reward you with moksha etc. There are also many verses where Arjuna
> glorifies Lord Krishna as the Supreme Lord and his transcendental form.
> Sanjaya also glorifies Lord Krishna's form but neither of them talk about
> even a theoretical understanding jiva-brahma aikya. Lord Krishna's direct
> students do not understand his nirguna aspect but worship his
> form in the mood of an insignificant bhakta.There are direct statements
> saying that the jivatma is an energy of the paramatma, whereas the
> is distinct from jivatma and material energy (bhumir apo). There are clear
> statements which say that jivatma is an amsa of the paramatma (mamaivamso).
> Is there at least one verse in Bhagavad Gita which can be interpreted
> unambigously as evidence for advaitam?
The entire Bhagavadgita has been seen as a compendium of the teaching of the
Vedanta Mahavakya 'Tat tvam asi'. According to this, the 18 chapters have
been split into three groups of six chapters each. The first six chapters
teach the (jiva)Atma svarupam, the second six chapters the (parama)Atma
svarupam and the last six chapters consisting of the 13th to 18th
concentrate on the 'aikyam' theme.
Even here, the 13th chapter is an Advaitin's forte: All the salient
features of Advaita namely jiva-brahma abheda, prakRti mithyAtvam, adhyAsa
concept, jivan mukti, moksha phalam, svarupa and tatastha lakshanam,
dRk-dRshya viveka, are all very explicitly brought out in the various verses
of the 13th chapter. In fact one can see a mini version of the adhyAsa
bhashya in the 13th chapter. The adhyAsa bhashya of Shankaracharya which is
a preamble to the Brahmasutra bhashya can be seen to contain several inputs
from the 13th chapter of the Gita.
The core teaching of Advaita of the 13th chapter is in the second verse:
kshetrajnam chaapi maam viddhi sarvakshetreShu bhArata
The first verse taught: This 'body', observed body-mind apparatus, in the
microcosm, and by extension, the whole macrocosmic universe, is the
'dRshyam' for the conscious entity, the jiva. This dRshya prapancha is
called the 'kshetram'. And the dRk, the observer consciousness is called
After stating this, the Lord proceeds to give out the Mahavakya: Know the
kshetrajna in every body to be none other than Me. Here, the (jiva)Atma
(parama)Atma abheda is very explicitly taught. The kshetrajna, the 'jna'
suffix, is indicative of the Consciousness. Brahman, is undoubtedly, the
Conscious principle. The Lord is teaching: the observer kshetrajna, freed
of the observed body-mind apparatus that is normally taken to be oneself, is
none other than the Brahman-consciousness.
And most importantly, the Lord says in this second verse:
क्षेत्र-क्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत् तत् ज्ञानं मतं मम
// This knowledge, discriminating the kshetrajna from the kshetram, is THE
knowledge that I (Bhagavan) consider as the liberating knowledge. //
The subsequent verses teach the method of identifying the kshetram, the
anAtma, specifically, the svarupa and tatastha lakshana of Brahman
(kshetrajna) and the sadhana sampatti, disciplinary preparation, required to
acquire the Knowledge.
Thus, in brief, the 13th chapter 2 verse contains the core advaitic teaching
For those who know Tamil, there is a very valuable talk on the 13th chapter
of the Gita by the renowned Advaita Scholar Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal. I
think Sri Ravi Mayavaram ji has uploaded this talk in the Ambaa site. One
can benefit by hearing this talk.
Om Tat Sat
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