Jnaneswari chapter 3


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Chapter 3 of Bhagavad Gita describes Karma-Yoga, the path-of-work which is one of the paths to lead to Self-Knoledge and Liberation. Sant Jnaneswara gives his interpretation on the path here.

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Jnaneswari chapter 3

  1. 1. BHAGAVAD GITA Commentary by Sant Jnaneswar PROF. T. K. G. NAMBOODHIRI Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
  2. 2. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI JNANESWARI • Jnaneswari is the commentary on Bhagavad Gita written by Saint Jnaneswar, who lived in Maharashtra in the 13th Century AD. • This very popular & simple commentary was written in Marathi by Saint Jnaneswar when he was only 15 years of age. • The complete English translation of this commentary is available at http://www.bvbpune.org/contents1.html T K G Namboodhiri
  3. 3. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI JNANESWARI • The Marathi commentary Jnaneswari has been translated into most Indian languages, English & other several European languages. • The Malayalam translation of Jnaneswari was prepared by Shri M. P. Chandrasekharan Pillai (1924-1999),of Thiruvalla, Kerala. After a devotional labour of 4 years, referring several English & other translations, Shri. Pillai completed his Malayalam Jnaneswari in 1990. During this period, he was an inmate of Anandasram, Kanjangad, Kerala, who published the commentary. • This presentation is based entirely on this Malayalam version of Jnaneswari T K G Namboodhiri
  5. 5. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI VERSES 3.1 & 3.2 Arjuna asks the Lord: Dear Janardana, if you think that knowledge is better than work, why are you advocating me to fight this terrible war? You just told me to discard all actions. Kindly do not confuse me with your mixed-up words. You seem to contradict yourself & lead me into a blind alley. I am your humble student & so kindly teach me the one way which will lead me to the Highest. T K G Namboodhiri
  6. 6. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.3 Sri Bhagawan Said: O sinless Arjuna, I have told you before that there are two paths of practice in this world; 1) the path of knowledge for the Samkhyas & 2)the path of action for Yogins. Samkhyas capable of discrimination between the permanent & impermanent, immerse in deep contemplation & gain perfect knowledge & attain liberation. Yogins perform their worldly duties selflessly, & attain knowledge & liberation. Whether the food is cooked by you or by somebody else, it satisfies your hunger. Similarly, both these paths lead to the same goal of liberation. The seeker of knowledge adopts the path suited for his temperament & reaches the goal. The Samkhyas, through the path of knowledge, directly reaches the ultimate Goal, while the Karma Yogins attain knowledge through their selfless work,& through the knowledge reach the Absolute. T K G Namboodhiri
  7. 7. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.4 Simply by not doing anything you do not attain the state of worklessness. It is utter foolishness to think that by not doing your required duties you will become a renouncer. As long as your desires have not vanished, you are forced to do worldly work. When you are hungry, you have to eat food cooked either by yourself, or by others. You cannot escape from the bondage of work by simply avoiding your duties. Only when you reach the state of permanent bliss & satisfaction, your duties will vanish. If you want to reach that state, you have to do all the work assigned to you by your station in life. T K G Namboodhiri
  8. 8. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.5 None ever remains completely inactive. All are forced to be incessantly engaged under the influence of the three nature-born Gunas or constituents. By simply not doing your duty, you cannot shut your senses. They continue to hanker after their objects. Your ears will continue to hear, eyes continue to see etc. Everyone is compelled to work under the influence of his nature, just like a man sitting still in a chariot is transported as the chariot moves. You cannot stop your activities as long as you are in contact with the outside world. T K G Namboodhiri
  9. 9. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.6 Whoever contemplates on sensual pleasures while controlling only his work- organs, is called a hypocrite. Some renouncers just stop doing their ascribed duties but keep on thinking about sensual pleasures in their minds. Such people can never become real renouncers. They cannot expect to get liberated as they remain entangled in sensual pleasures. T K G Namboodhiri
  10. 10. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.7 One who uses his mind to control the senses, who is not egoistic, & who engages in his prescribed duties without any desire for its fruits, he becomes wise & noble. Just as the lotus leaf floating on water is not wetted, he is not tainted by sensual pleasures, though engaged in all worldly activities like an ordinary person. While his organs-of-action are engaged in performing his duties, his mind is always fixed on the Infinite Reality T K G Namboodhiri
  11. 11. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.8 & 3.9 Do all your prescribed duties because action is nobler than inaction. Without action none can even maintain one’s body. Arjuna, all work except those done as offering to God, binds beings to this world. So one has to do his duty without any desire for its fruits & as offering to God. Such actions do not bind. Moreover such persons eventually get liberated. T K G Namboodhiri
  12. 12. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.10 & 3.11 In the beginning, the Lord created living beings along with prescribed duties & responsibilities to each. He exhorted beings to progress through these essential duties. If one performs such duties selflessly & as offering to God, then they fulfil all your needs. Living beings and the natural forces, working in a mutually benefitting fashion leads to all round well being & harmony. T K G Namboodhiri
  13. 13. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.12 & 3.13 Do your duty in accordance with natural laws so that nature provides you wealth & happiness. Use your wealth for helping others & for the common welfare. Do not indulge in wanton destruction of nature to satisfy your greed & sensual pleasures. One who does not follow these obligations perishes. As the soul leaves the body at death, & as the light vanishes when the lamp is extinguished, all wealth & happiness of such renegades leave them. T K G Namboodhiri
  14. 14. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.14 to 3.16 All living beings require food to survive & grow. Food grows with the help of rain, which is produced through sacrifices. Sacrifices originate as the fruits of work, & work originates from the Vedas, which are the manifestations of the Brahman. Arjuna, one who breaks this cycle of life & work, is a sinner & a slave of his senses. T K G Namboodhiri
  15. 15. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.17 & 3.18 One who leads a worldly life but finds happiness in the Self, is not tainted by his work. When he gains knowledge of the Self, all his worldly duties vanish. He becomes free & liberated from the chains of worldly duties. He remains in eternal bliss & is not required to perform any duty. All duties end when he gets Sel-Realization. T K G Namboodhiri
  16. 16. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.19 & 3.20 One who sincerely carries out his duties without any attachment to their results attains liberation. People like King Janaka attained the Ultimate by living in this world & doing his duties. A normal person should guide blind people to their destination. Similarly, a wise man should engage in self-less work & set an example for ignorant people to follow & become wise. Even those who have attained self- knowledge, should continue to work for uplifting the ignorant people around him. T K G Namboodhiri
  17. 17. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.21 Whatever a noble person does, others imitate him. Whatever standards he maintains, others will set as their example & will follow. Whatever our ancestors did, we consider them as our righteous behaviour & work accordingly. Hence nobody, particularly the wise, should work sincerely throughout their life. T K G Namboodhiri
  18. 18. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.22 to 3.24 Arjuna, I have nothing to attain or to do in the three worlds, yet I continue to work. This I do, not for any selfish motive. If I remain inactive, all the world will follow my example to become lazy & all righteous activities will come to a standstill. The social order will be destroyed. Thus I will be doing a great disservice to the whole world. T K G Namboodhiri
  19. 19. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.25 & 3.26 The wise should work without attachment in the same way as the ignorant work with deep desire for the fruits of action. They should engage in activities ordained by the scriptures in such a fashion that common man will not find them to be any different from him. The wise should not confuse the commoners with instructions or advise against their way of working. Instead they should work & show righteousness for others to follow. An infant digesting his mother’s milk only, should not be fed with normal food. Similarly, ordinary people should not be discouraged from their way of working, which is the only way they know. Teach them the right way by setting examples by your actions. T K G Namboodhiri
  20. 20. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.27 & 3.28 All activities are done by & according to nature- born tendencies. But the ignorant thinks that he is doing the work. The three constituents Satwa, Rajas & Tamas propel humans to do good as well as bad actions. The wise realizing this fact is not perturbed by these worldly activities. He does not feel the doership of his actions & is not thus bound by them. Though all the world runs on Sun’s energy, Sun is not affected in the least by what happens on earth. Similarly, the one with self-realization is not tainted by the work done by his body, mind & intellect. T K G Namboodhiri
  21. 21. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.29 & 3.30 Ignorant people, completely under the control of their natural tendencies, do work with selfish motives. Hence they are drawn into the cesspool of activities & remain under the delusion of doership. Wise people should be careful in not disturbing them from their notions. Hence, the Lord advises Arjuna to do all his duties as offerings to God constantly thinking of Him & without any expectations for the fruits of work. So get up & fight without any mental disturbances or attachments & for the welfare of the world. T K G Namboodhiri
  22. 22. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.31 & 3.32 Those who believe My words & follow My advice will be liberated from the bondage of all types of work. However those who ridicule My words & do not follow My instructions are verily ignorant & stupid. Deluded & immersed in sensual pleasures, such people do not understand or follow My advice, which is like Sunlight for the blind, or a diamond on a corpse. Like the fire-flies burnt by the fire, sensual pleasures eventually destroy such people. T K G Namboodhiri
  23. 23. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.33 Even those who have realized the Self act according to their natural tendencies. All living beings follow their in-born natural qualities & impressions of previous work accumulated in their minds. There is no gain in forceful control of your sense organs, which are ruled by the nature. Realizing the transient nature of sensual pleasures, wise people should always withdraw from them. T K G Namboodhiri
  24. 24. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.34 Each sense organ develops attachment to things it like & hatred to those it doesn’t like. The seeker after Truth should never become a slave to these likes & dislikes because they are enemies of his progress. Sensual pleasures eventually lead to destruction just like the fish which gets hooked by biting the morsel of food kept on the hook. So never get friendly with attachment & aversion , & keep away from both. T K G Namboodhiri
  25. 25. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.35 Activities natural to your qualities & tendencies , though not of high values, are definitely better than those, may be of better values, which do not suit your basic nature. It is better to live with the woman you married, may be not that beautiful, than going after a more beautiful wife of another man. You will get peace of mind & happiness by doing the things you like & which suite your temperament. T K G Namboodhiri
  26. 26. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.36 After hearing the advice of Lord Krishna, Arjuna wanted to clear some doubts in his mind. He asked; Krishna, what prompts people to do bad things, even against their will? Even wise people, at times, lose their moorings and descend to bad ways and engage in uncharacteristic activities. There seems to be some strong force which make people do cruel things. What is it? Kindly clear this doubt in my mind. T K G Namboodhiri
  27. 27. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verse 3.37 Sri Krishna replied: Desire (lust) & anger (wrath) are born of the natural quality of Rajas & drag people into ignorance & inaction. They are two ruthless diseases. They prevent people from approaching True Knowledge. They imprison the Soul in sensual pleasures. They are insatiable & prompt people to do undesirable things. T K G Namboodhiri
  28. 28. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.38 & 3.39 Just as fire is enveloped by smoke, mirror soiled by dirt, & foetus covered by placenta, Knowledge is shielded by Lust. Kindled by consumption, just as fire enhanced by firewood, Desire completely covers Self-Knowledge. So only by subjugating lust, one can attain True Knowledge. T K G Namboodhiri
  29. 29. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.40 & 3.41 Senses, Mind, & Intellect are said to be the seats of Lust. Using the senses, it shields Self-Knowledge & deludes the Self. Arjuna, hence, you first control your senses & kill this lust which destroys Self-Knowledge & Self-Realization, & is an embodiment of sin. T K G Namboodhiri
  30. 30. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI Verses 3.42 & 3.43 Senses are said to be superior to the physical body, mind superior to senses, & intellect even superior to mind. But even superior to intellect is the Self. Arjuna, thus knowing the superiority of the Self, use your decisive intellect to subdue the mind, & destroy the difficult-to-defeat enemy of Lust. Control of the senses lead to a calm mind & unfettered intellect, thus expelling Lust from its haunts. Once lust & anger are removed, Self-Knowledge will dawn in you & you will attain bliss. T K G Namboodhiri
  31. 31. BHAGAVAD GITA JNANESWARI T K G Namboodhiri