Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 148

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

True Renunciation

18. vividyavinayasarripanne
Brahmans gav haste
Sum cai 'vac , svapake ca
panditah sanasarsunah.

(18) Sages see with an equal eye, a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant or even a dog or an outcast.
vidyavinayasampann.: great learning brings great humility. As our knowledge increases we become increasingly aware of the encircling darkness. It is when we light the candle that we see how dark it is. What we know is practically nothing compared to what we do not know.[1] A little knowledge leads to dogmatism, a little more to questioning and a little more takes us to prayer. Besides, humility comes from the knowledge that we are sustained in existence by the love of God The greatest thinkers of all ages were deeply religious men.
vinaya: humility or rather modesty which is the result of cultivation or discipline. The first division of the Buddhist Tipitaka is called vinaya or discipline. vinaya is the opposite of pride or insolence. The recognition of dependence on non-human factors produces cosmic piety. The truly learned are humble.
samadarsinah: see with an equal eye. The Eternal is the same in all, in animals, as in men, in learned Brahmins as in despised outcasts. The light of Brahman dwells in all bodies and is not affected by the differences in the bodies it illumines.
The characteristics of the Supreme, being, consciousness and bliss, are present in all existences and the differences relate to their names and forms, that is, their embodiments.[2] When we look at things from the standpoint of the Ultimate Reality present in all, we "see with an equal eye."[3] The fundamental dualism is that of spirit and nature and not of soul and body. It is the distinction between the subject and the object. Nature is the world of objectivization, of alienation, of determinability. There we have, the distinction of minerals, plants and animals and men, but they all have an inner non-objective existence. The subject, Reality, dwells in all of them. This affirmation of basic identity is not inconsistent with the empirical variety. Even S. admits that the one eternal reality is revealing itself in higher and higher forms through successive stages of manifestation [4] The empirical variety should not hide from us the metaphysical reality which all beings have in common. This view makes us look upon our fellow beings with kindliness and compassion The wise see the one God in all beings and develop the quality of equalmmded nests which is characteristic of the Divine.


References and Context

  1. The familiar sentence of the great Newton illustrates this : "I do not know what I may appear to the world ; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me." I might transcribe a sentence of Henry Adams. "After all, man knows mighty little, and may some day learn enough of his own ignorance to fall down and pray."
  2. ash bhati priyam rupam nama cety amsapancakam Adams trayam brahmarupam jagadrupam tato dvayam.
  3. caracaram jagged brahmad,rstyaiva paiyanti. Nilakantha.
  4. ekasyapi kutasthasya cittataratamyat, jnanaigvaryanam abhivyaknh parena parena bhuyasi bhavati. S-B.I., 3, 30.