Gita Rahasya -Tilak 12

Karma Yoga Sastra -Tilak


I have so far dealt with what the moral of the Gita is according to the writer of the Mahabharata himself. Let us now see what the purport of the Gita is according to those persons who have written commentaries [bhasya) and criticisms on the Gita. Among these commentaries and criticisms, the bhasya on the Gita, of Sri Samkaracarya is considered to be the most ancient. But there is no doubt that there had been numerous other commentaries or criticisms on the Gita before that date. These commentaries, however, are not now available and therefore, there are now no means for determining in what way the Gita was interpreted in the interval between the date of the Mahabharata and the birth of Samkaracarya. Nevertheless, - it is quite clear from the references to the opinions of these earlier critics which are to be found in the Samkarabhasya itself [1] that the commentators who had come before Samkaracarya had placed, an Energistic interpretation on the Gita, as combining Actiotu with Spiritual Realisation, that is to say, to the effect that every man who had acquired spiritual knowledge had never- theless to continue performing the duties pertaining to his- particular status in life so long as he lived— as had been done by the writer of the Mahabharata. But as this doctrine of the Vedic Karma-Yoga was not palatable to Samkaracarya, he has- in the commencement of the Bhasya, in the introduction, clearly stated that he had written the Bhasya with the sole intention, of refuting that opinion and of explaining what the esoteric moral of the Gita was according to himself.

As a matter of fact, this is exactly what the word " bhasya " means. The two* words "' commentary " ( bhasya ) and " criticism " ( t'ika, ) are, it is true, often used as being synonymous. But ordinarily " tlka " means explaining the plain meaning of the original work and making the understanding of the words in it easy ; but the writer of the "bhasya" does not remain satisfied with that ; he critically and logically examines the entire work and: explains what its purport is according to his opinion and how that work has to be interpreted consistently with that purport. That is the nature of the Samkarabhasya on the Gita. But th& different way in which the Acarya has interpreted the moral of the Gita requires the previous history to be shortly mentioned before one understands the underlying reason for it, The Vedic religion was not purely ritualistic (tanfrilca) and the Upanisads had minutely considered even in very ancient times, the deep underlying import of it. But as these Upanisads have been written by different rsis at different times, they contain various kinds of thought and some of them are apparently mutually contradictory. Badarayanacarya has reconciled these inconsistencies and he has in his Brahma-Sutras harmonised all the Upanisads ; and on that account, the Vedanta-Sutras are considered to he as authoritative on this matter as the Upanisads themselves. These Vedanta-Sutras are also known by the other names of " Brahma-Sutras " or " Sariraka-Sutras ". Yet the consideration of the philosophy of the Vedic religion does not end here. Because, as the spiritual knowledge in the Upanisads is primarily ascetical, that is renunciatory, and as the Vedanta-Sutras fcaire beam wrattiasc only with the intention of harmonising the Upaoisatk, nowhere even in the Upanisads any detailed sad fegial exposition of the Energistio Vedic religion. Therefore, when as stated above, the Energistic Bhagavadgita for the first time supplemented the philosophy of the Vedic religion it became, as a supplement to the religious philosophy in the vedas and in.


References And Context

  1. ( Gi. Sam. Bha. Introductions to Chap. 1 and 3 )