Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 171

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

God and the World

The Modes of Nature Confuse Men
13. tribhir gunamayair bhuvair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mohitam na 'bhijandti mam
ebhyah pparam avyayam
(13) Deluded by these threefold modes of nature (gunas) this whole world does not recognize Me who am above them and imperishable.
says that the Supreme expresses His regret that the world does not know Him, the Supreme Lord who is, by nature, eternal, pure, enlightened and free, the self of all beings, devoid of attributes; by knowing whom the seed of the evil of samsarag is burnt up.[1]
We see the changing forms and not the Eternal Being of which the forms are the manifestations. We see the shifting forms as Plato's dwellers in the cave see the shadows on the wall. But we must see the Light from which the shadows emanate.

14. davit hy esa guiamayi
mama maya duratyayã
mam eva ye rapadyante
mayam etam transit te
(14) This divine maya of Mine, consisting of the modes is hard to overcome. But those who take refuge in Me alone cross beyond it.
daivi: divine. Supernatural [2]or belonging to the supreme Lord.[3] mayam etam taranti:[4] cross beyond the maya. They cross beyond the world of maya which is the source of delusion.
R. makes out that maya is that which is capable of producing marvellous effects.

The State of Evildoers
15. na main duskytino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamcih
mayaya 'pahrtajnana
asuram bhavam asritah
(15) The Evil doers who are foolish, low in the human scale, whose minds are carried away by illusion and who partake of the nature of demons do not seek refuge in Me.
The evil doers cannot attain to the Supreme, for their mind and will are not instruments of the Spirit but of the ego They do not seek to master their crude impulses but are a prey to the rajas and tamas in them. If we control them by the sattva in us, our action becomes ordered and enlightened and ceases to be the result of passion and ignorance. To get beyond the three gunas, we have to attain first the rule of sattva. We have to become ethical, before we can become spiritual. At the spiritual level, we cross the dualities and act in the light and strength of the Spirit in us. We do not act then to gain any personal interest or avoid personal suffering but only as the instrument of the Divine.

Different Kinds of Devotion
16. caturvidhd bhajante mama
janah sukytino 'rjuna
arto jijnasur artharthi
jnam ca bharatarabha
(16) The virtuous ones who worship Me are of four kinds, the man in distress, the seeker for knowledge, the seeker for wealth and the man of wisdom, 0 Lord of the Bharatas (Arjuna).

sukrtinah: virtuous ones. Those who are disposed towards the higher life on account of their past virtuous conduct.[5]
The afflicted, those in distress, who have suffered losses are one class. Those who are desirous of wealth, dhanakama (s.), who wish to improve their material position are another. The third group are devout and upright and wish to know the truth. They are on the right way. The fourth are the jnanis, they who know. R. interprets jnana or wisdom as devotion to one alone, ekabhakti.
M.B. speaks of four classes of devotees of whom three are phalakamah or those desirous of rewards while the best are single-minded worshippers.[6] Others ask for favours, but the sage asks nothing and refuses nothing. He yields himself completely to the Divine, accepting whatever is given to him. His attitude is one of self-oblivious non-utilitarian worship of God for His own sake.


References and Context

  1. evambhutam api paramesvaram nitya. uddhabuddhamv,ktasvabhavaa sarvabhutatmanam, nirgunam samsaradosabijapradadhakaranam mam, nabhijanati jagat city anukrosam dartayati bhagavan.
  2. alauhkiki atyadbhuteti.Sridhara.
  3. devasya jivarupena lilayã kridato mama sambandhiniyam daivi Nilakantha.
  4. mavam sarvabhutamohinim taranti, sanasarabandhana, mu- cyante. 8.
  5. purvajanmasu ye kytapusaya janah. sridhara.
  6. caturvidha mania jana bhakta evam hi, me srutam tesam ekantinaa srestha ye caiva nanyadevatah Santiparva, 341, 33.