Tuesday, June 5, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 1st sloka

Hare Krishna,

Bhagavad-Gita the song of the lord Krishna contains ,the essence of all Upanishads . It is one of the prasthana traya . It contains 18 chapters. Each chapter is called a yoga. We shall discuss the Chapter 15th of gita in coming days.
15th chapter of gita is also called the “Purushottama Yoga” or “Yoga of supreme person” . This chapter reveals the characteristics , virtues of the self ,the realization of the Utlimate truth .

Sri bhagavaanu vaacha

15.1 – Urdhva moolah adhah saakha asvattham prahur avyayam
Chandamsi yasya parnani yastham veda sa vedavith

Meaning of words:

Adhah --- inwards/below
Asvattham --- peepul tree
Ahur – they say
Avyayam – imperishable
Chandamsi –is protecting
Yasya – this tree
Parnani – are the leaves
Yastham –yah –tam -- who knows this tree
Veda—protected by the Vedas
Vedavith --- the knower of the Vedas…

Meaning of sloka

Here lord Krishna compares the world with a peepul tree. This tree has the roots which are upward and branches below and with leaves as the Vedas. The person who understands this ,understands the Vedas.

A tree derives it support from its roots. So this tree of the world has its root as brahmam. Because if brahmam doesn’t exist nothing exists. Its the substratum of everything in the world. As the root is the top most entity, it is said to be positioned upwards and all the branches of the tree are below the ground. As branches are the elements of the world Tree so also the egoism and other subtle elements are nurtured by the substratum of self. This tree has 2 qualities. Its imperishable . This tree of world is imperishable as its because of the originless Maya. Maya will persist until one seeks the knowledge. Hence maya has no beginning, but will end ,when the light of knowledge dawns upon oneself. Hence it seems to be imperishable. Asvattam means ,that which has no tomorrow. This world of today is not same as the world of tomorrow.Hence described as asvattam. Another quality of the tree is that, its protected due to the leaves. Tree grows with the leaves. Also the world tree survives on the leaves of Vedas. Hence the world tree sustains on the Vedas, which are protecting it. So the person who knows Vedas, only will understand this tree of the world and the person who knows this tree of the world knows Vedas.

Dhanapathi Suri in his Bhashyotkarshadipika says that the world is mentioned as a tree with roots up and branches bottom as it is a reflection of Brahman in water. The reflection is what is described here as the world. The reality is Brahman which is without any differences (internal or external). The medium of water is what creates the illusory reflection which is the world. This medium itself is only an illusion created by Maya. The reflection and the medium are only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Brahman – because they are all temporary and seem to exist at the present. Anything that is temporary has no existence at all but only is an illusion in the ever-present reality of Brahman.

So this world has its substratum as brahmam, should be brought down by the knowledge of the self through learning vedas. Until then this world will seem to be ever changing and imperishable due to Maya.

If you want to add something here please feel free to do so.

Hare Krishna


1 comment:

vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

The 15th chapter of Gita is a very important one. Though in each and
every chapter we can show the import being Nirguna Para Brahman (as the
article Gitaarthadipika shows it -- available in articles section of our
site http://vedantatattva.org), this chapter is important because of
its beautiful narration about the world, jeeva, life after death etc.
This can be said to be short chapter of 20 slokas but still encompassing
almost all of the important concepts of Vedanta.

This chapter is also important because the last five slokas have been
interpreted by each of the Vedanta acharyas to suit their own philosophy
- Madhva showing that those support dvaita, Ramanuja showing that these
support vishista advaita and Sankara showing that these support
advaita. We have already seen in brief the explanation of Madhva and the
explanation as per Advaita of these last slokas in Mayavada thread -- when
we are about to reach that part in this thread, all should try to read
the explanation in the Mayavada thread.

Thus it is evident that this chapter is of importance to all the
acharyas of Vedanta. Sankara's bhashya on this chapter is brief as is the
case with his prasthaana traya bhashyas. There is the tika of anandagiri
which in a way illuminates certain parts of Sankara's commentary. The
commentary of Dhanapathi Suri titled Bhashya utkarsha dipika (meaning the
lamp that brings out the importance or greatness of Sankara's bhashya)
though is an independent commentary on Gita, still bases itself on
Sankara bhashya -- this commentary in few places illuminates things of
anandagiri's tika and Sankara's bhashya but the prime importance of this
commentary is its refutation of Madhusudana Saraswathi's Gudartha dipika
and Neelakanta's neelakantee vyaakhyaa both of which go against
Sankara's interpretation in many places. The attack that Dhanapathi Suri does
is very strong indeed :)against these two commentaries. Other than this
illumining of attacking these commentaries and supporting Sankara's
views, dhanapathi suri closely follows Sankara except in very few places.

Dont want to write on much about the commentaries as that would be
quite deviating from the main topic of the chapter.

:)Good that Aparna has started this thread of one of the most important
chapter of Bhagavad Gita.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God