Jnaneswari chapter 4


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Chapter 4 of Bhagavad Gita describes the synthesis of the paths of action & Knowledge. How proper actions lead to knowledge & what is renunciation.What is proper action & recognition of Unaction.

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Jnaneswari chapter 4

  1. 1. BHAGAVAD GITA Commentary by Sant Jnaneswar PROF. T. K. G. NAMBOODHIRI Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
  2. 2. BHAGAVADGITA 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. BHAGAVADGITA 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. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI INTRODUCTION Sant Jnaneswara talks to his audience: The core subject of Gita is Self-Knowledge, Lord Krishna speaks about it to his devotee & friend Arjuna. One who talks about this wonderful & sweet conversation enjoys heavenly bliss. So concentrate all your senses to the ears & listen carefully. The Supreme Brahman, though formless & imperceptible, took the human form to advise His devotee Arjuna, & through him, all humanity. T K G Namboodhiri
  6. 6. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.1 & 4.2 Lord Krishna said: In the beginning of creation, I taught this imperishable & absolute Yoga (knowledge, Karma Yoga) to the Sun god. Sun taught it to his son Manu, who, in turn, taught it to his son Ikshwaku. Arjuna, this most secret yoga was thus transferred through several generations of King-Sages & was practiced by the people. Unfortunately, now people have lost this knowledge due to misuse, & the world is full of sensual-pleasure seekers who have no interest in Self-Knowledge or righteous living. T K G Namboodhiri
  7. 7. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.3 Since you are my devotee & close friend, I am teaching you this lost , but already revealed in the distant past, Yoga. This knowledge is highly noble & secret. The Karma-Yoga, which I am teaching you now, is the Deepest mystery of My life & most worthy of following by you & others in this world. T K G Namboodhiri
  8. 8. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.4 Arjuna raises a doubt here. He said: Krishna, you were born many ages later than the origin of the Sun. You are nearly of the same age as I. So how do I believe that in the beginning you taught the Sun this Knowledge? T K G Namboodhiri
  9. 9. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.5 & 4.6 The Lord said: Arjuna, I have taken many births in the past, & so have you. I know all about my previous births, but you do not know them. So it is only natural that you think that I could not have taught the Sun this knowledge. But know from Me that I am Unborn, Imperishable & the Lord of all beings. Though Formless & Infinite, I incarnate Myself into various forms to perform certain functions. T K G Namboodhiri
  10. 10. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.7 & 4.8 At all times, I work to maintain the spiritual structure of the world. Whenever there is decline in Righteousness, & Unrighteousness rules the roost, I incarnate Myself in appropriate forms. To protect the Righteous, to annihilate the wicked, & to establish Righteousness, I project Myself in every Age. Whenever I incarnate, life experiences the dawn of Righteousness & mountains of superstitions & ignorance melt away like snow. T K G Namboodhiri
  11. 11. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.9 & 4.10 Whoever knows the truth about my incarnations & my true nature gets liberated from this world of births & deaths. He realizes that though I take births & do many things, I remain birth less & a non-doer. Though living in this world of objects, he remains unattached to his body, & when his body returns to the 5 elements, he merges with Me. They have completely conquered fear, desire & anger, fix their minds on Me always & worship Me. They are completely unperturbed about their past or the present, & are said to be desire-less. They remain outside the influence of sensual pleasures, & lives to serve Me. Always contemplating on the Self, they find bliss in Self-Knowledge. Such noble & wise people are not different from Me, & they eventually merge with Me. T K G Namboodhiri
  12. 12. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.11 & 4.12 In whatever form people worship Me, I grant boons to them in those very forms. All follow My path only. Due to ignorance, people give many names & forms to Me, who is really nameless & formless. Those who desire material boons, worship many gods depending upon their natural inclination. They all get their desires fulfilled quickly, but do not realize that what they get are the fruits of their work only. The work is a giver & a taker. Only activities generate fruits. We reap what we sow. A mirror reflects only that which is put in front of it T K G Namboodhiri
  13. 13. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.13 I created the 4-fold division of society into Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya, & Soodra, based on the natural tendencies of people & the suitability of work. All living beings & activities exhibit the three natural qualities, Satwa, Rajas & Tamas, in varying proportions. The 4-fold division of the society is the outcome of these qualities, & I am not really the doer of this division. T K G Namboodhiri
  14. 14. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.14 & 4.15 Work does not bind Me because I have no craving for the fruits of action. One who understands this true nature of Mine, will also not get bound by his work. Though all activities in life originated from Me, I am not the doer of anything. Knowing this, many wise people in the past have done work without attachment to fruits or feelings of doership, & have been liberated. T K G Namboodhiri
  15. 15. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.16 & 4.17 What is action? What is inaction? Even wise people are confused about them. So I will tell you about action or work, knowing which you may be liberated from this world. We should know what actions should be carried out (Karma) & what should be avoided (Vikarma). We should also know the nature of inaction (Akarma). Imponderable is the path of action. T K G Namboodhiri
  16. 16. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.18 Sri Krishna talks about the characteristics of a person with real knowledge about action (work). One who sees inactivity in activity & vice-versa is the intelligent among men. One who works as duties to be performed, without any selfish motives, or desire for fruits, is really inactive. While travelling on a boat we see trees on the banks moving in the opposite direction, but in reality, we are the ones moving & the trees are stationary. Similarly, work done by our body, mind & intellect, does not affect the Self, which is detached and a non-worker. One who realizes this, sees inaction in action. One, who is ignorant about the Self, though remaining bodily inactive, engages his mind, intellect & ego in thoughts of non- work & enjoyment. Such people are doing work, even when inactive.-Action in inaction. T K G Namboodhiri
  17. 17. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.19 One, whose activities are devoid of any selfish desires, & whose duties have been burnt to ashes by the fire of knowledge, is called a Pandita (wise) by learned people. Such a person has no desire or repulsion from doing his work. All his work are for the welfare of others or for maintaining his body. He does not hanker after the fruits of his actions. Unperturbed & unattached, all his activities are without bondage. T K G Namboodhiri
  18. 18. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.20 Such a wise man discards all attachments to work & its results. He remains always in the bliss of Self-Knowledge, contented, & independent. Though fully immersed in worldly activities, he actually does no work because all his work has reached the state of non-work. He has nothing to gain from worldly activities & always remains in the enjoyment of Self- Realization. T K G Namboodhiri
  19. 19. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.21 & 4.22 No desires control his body & senses. He does the work required to maintain his body alive, without any interest in fruits of action. He remains satisfied with whatever he gets by chance. He is beyond dualities like good & bad, hot & cold, & always sees only the unity of things. Not competing with anybody, he remains equipoise in success & failure. Such a person does not get bound by his actions. T K G Namboodhiri
  20. 20. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.23 A wise man discards completely the feelings of “I” & “Mine”. He remains beyond the feelings of desire & anger, & exists steadily in the knowledge of the Self. He does everything as offerings to the Ultimate. All his work & past impressions of work have been dissolved in himself. He exudes divine brilliance from all parts of his body. T K G Namboodhiri
  21. 21. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.24 to 4.32 In these 9 verses Sri Krishna talks about the various types of sacrifices offered by seekers. All these sacrifices using materials, body, mind & intellect, based on injunctions in Vedas & scriptures, aim at obtaining riches or enjoyment in heaven. All these involve human activity & yields appropriate fruits to the seekers. T K G Namboodhiri
  22. 22. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.33 Arjuna, sacrifices offering knowledge is far superior to all sacrifices of worldly objects, because all actions, complete with the fruits of actions, & end up in self- knowledge. The complicated activities involving worldly objects needed in these sacrifices, as per the Vedas, lead to the attainment of transient heavenly pleasures. Though noble in themselves, they lose their greatness when compared to sacrifices leading to self-knowledge. This knowledge leads to eternal bliss & eliminates all desires, deductions, sensual pleasures, & mental thoughts. Attaining the ultimate goal , the Yogi sees only the Self in everything, & without further effort, he merges with the Self. T K G Namboodhiri
  23. 23. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.34 & 4.35 If you wish to acquire True Knowledge, you have to approach wise men who have realized the Self, prostrate before them, please them through services & asking them questions about the Truth. Services sincerely offered to wise men are the steps to the temple of Self- Knowledge. Earning their confidence through humble surrendering to them, you will be taught all you want to know by the Wise Teachers. Once you receive the Knowledge, you will be free of attachments, possessiveness, & dualities, because you see yourself & all other beings first in your inner Self, & then in Me- the Supreme Self. With the blessings of your Teacher, you become wise, & in the light of True-Knowledge, all the darkness of your delusions will vanish. T K G Namboodhiri
  24. 24. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.36 & 4.37 Even if you are the greatest of sinners, you will cross the sea of sins by the boat of Knowledge. You may be the mine of sins, the ocean of ignorance or the mountain of delusion. All these will become insignificant in the powerful light of Knowledge. The delusion that this world is real will melt away when the rays of knowledge strike. As the razing fire burns to ashes all firewood, the fire of Self-Knowledge burns all worldly actions to ashes-destroys their bondage. T K G Namboodhiri
  25. 25. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.38 There is nothing in this world as sacred & pure as Knowledge. Is there anything to compete with Omnipotence? Can a reflection of the Sun shine like the Sun? Can we hold in place the Sky with our hands? If all these are possible, then only there may be something equal to Knowledge. One who has become eligible to know, through selfless actions & meditation, gradually starts experiencing the Self within, without any outside help T K G Namboodhiri
  26. 26. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.39 One who has faith in the words of his Teacher, one who is curious & anxious to know, & one who has mastered his senses, only he can obtain the Ultimate Self-Knowledge. After obtaining Knowledge he loses interest in worldly sensual pleasures, discards wandering thoughts, & keeps away from the activities of Nature. He always remains happily engaged in his duties, & views the whole universe as himself,& remains beyond selfish feelings of I & mine. He sees Peace & Happiness everywhere T K G Namboodhiri
  27. 27. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verse 4.40 One who is ignorant of the Self, unfaithful towards his teacher, & filled with doubts, cannot find happiness either in this world or anywhere else. The life of one not curious to know about himself, is a total wastage. His life is rooted in ignorance & indiscrimination, & is as futile as an empty house or a dead body. Least interested in knowledge & full of nagging doubts, he is worse than dead. A doubting person cannot distinguish between good & bad, or truth & untruth, like a person born blind cannot distinguish between day & night. He cannot understand anything & loses everything. T K G Namboodhiri
  28. 28. BHAGAVADGITA JNANESWARI Verses 4.41 & 4.42 Arjuna, a Self-Realized Yogi who has eliminated all doubts, & who does all his essential duties as offerings to God, never gets bound by his actions. Hence kill the doubts in your mind, born out of ignorance, with the sharp sword of Knowledge, & adopting Karma-Yoga of Selfless Action, get up & fight the war. T K G Namboodhiri