Geetha Saram 18-18 to 18-25 ..

..sloha 18-18.and 18-19…Kanaka bhavan-SriRama antha puram..From His 12th age, till He was 24, Sri Rama spent His time with Sri Sita, in this place very happily..

jñānaṃ jñeyaṃ parijñātā trividhā karmacodanā
karaṇaṃ karma karteti trividhaḥ karmasaṃgrahaḥ ..

jñānaṃ karma ca kartā ca tridhaiva guṇabhedataḥ
procyate guṇasaṃkhyāne yathāvac chṛṇu tāny api ..

Karmacodana = [Vedas pronouncements] inducing one to do karmas. That is the rules of Vedas are, trividha = three types. Jnanam = the knowledge or Gyana [to perform a karma], jneyam = those karmas [target of our knowledge], parijnata = knower or the person who has knowledge and who is to perform the karmas. Knowledge, karma and doer are mentioned here…Karma sangraha = various types of actions or karmas [specified in Vedas], karanam = implements or tools [needed for performing that karma, like curd or paddy or milk, etc.], karma = [actual] action, karta = performer..Yata vat tan api = about them also, chrunu = listen, guna samkhyane = [satvam, rajas, tamas] qualities, while assessing, procyate = are effected. Jnanam = knowledge, karma = action, karta = doer, gunabhedata = according to quality, tridhaiva = be differentiated into three types..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-18..The threefold activities that are the motivating force of all actions are itemised now. 1) Jnanam means knowledge of the activity. 2) Jneyam means knowing how the activity is to be accomplished. 3) Parijnata means the knower who performs the activity. These three activities are prerequisite and are the impetus which impels one to perform prescribed Vedic activities for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Contrarily they are also the impetus to enact mundane activities for personal gratification. Among these three activities jneyam is comprised of three subdivisions and explained in context of the Vedas are: 1) karanam how the activity becomes reality such as by donations of wealth or materials. 2) karma or engagement in the act itself such as yagna or ritualistic propitiation. 3) karta the agent who performs the action or initiates the action to be performed.

 

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-19.. Knowledge is understanding the action to be performed. The effort is the means and method to perform the action and included with the agent as the performer of the action. The phrase guna-sankhya refers to the Sankhya philosophy of analytical deduction by Lord Krishna’s incarnation of Kapila- deva, which describes the characteristics of the three gunas or modes of material nature and their relationship to knowledge and agent as described in the next three verses.

 

..sloha 18-20..kanaka bhavan..We can see the imprints of the Divine feet of Lord Sri Rama here. The place where these imprints are seen, has a speciality. In Accordance with the boons granted to Kaikeyi, Sri Rama departed for 14 years life in forests. To climb the chariot, Sri Rama pressed the ground and this is that place..He was 24 years old and ready to ascend the throne, when He was made to exile to forests..In Perumal Tirumozhi, Kulasekara Alwar has written Ten pasurams as from a crying Dasarata! Dasarata used to ask Sri Rama to go, and as an obedient Son, He would go and Dasarata would admire His beauty from behind. Then, he would ask Sri Rama to come and appreciate His beauty from the front!..In Sri Krishna Avatar, everything like trees, calves, birds, etc., were all messengers of Kamsa trying to kill Sri Krishna! But in Sri Rama Avatar, all persons used to visit temples and prayed that Sri Rama should live with good health and for long years!..

In this sloka Sri Krishna talks about Satva Gyana: 

sarvabhūteṣu yenaikaṃ bhāvam avyayam īkṣate
avibhaktaṃ vibhakteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi sāttvikam 18.20

Tat jnanam = that Gyana or knowledge is, sattvikam = [acquired in] satva quality, viddhi = understand. He tells Arjuna to understand that Gyna as Satvika Gyana. Yena = by which [knowledge or gyana], vibhaktesu = different [types of], sarvabhutesu = all living beings [which are different by species, by birth, by size, by color, etc.], avibhaktam = no differentiation or unity, avyayam = changeless or constant, ekam bhavam ikshate = [all atman are] seen as with singular quality..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-20..In varna-asrama or the divisions of society the Brahmins comprise the spiritual heiarchy, the ksatriyas the royal and warrior class, the vaisyas the farmer and mercantile class and the sudra the worker class serving the previous three. The other four divisions are brahmacari or celibate student life, grihasta or married householder life, vanaprastha or separation from wife and family and sannyasa or complete renunciation from society and exclusive devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as revealed in Vedic scriptures. There are all variances in appearance within these eight divisions such as tall, strong, attractive, delicate, etc. Yet one who sees the one undivided, spiritual reality of the atma or immortal souls existing equally within all jivas or embodied beings and perceives that they are all inconceivably indivisible although manifesting individually sharing collectively in eternality is firmly situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness. One who sees the atma as indestructible and unchangeable within the destructible and changeable physical body and who although performing variegated prescribed activities in any capacity has comprehended that they are not the actual doer and also have no interest in the rewards of actions is situated in sattva guna. 

 

..sloha 18-21 and sloha 18-22..Dasaratha bhavan..To the right of Sri Rama and Sri Sita, are Bharata and his wife Mandavi. On the left are Lakshmana and Urmila. To the right of Bharata, are Shatrugna and Srutakirti. Like this all the Four couples are gracing at the center..Sri Rama derived happiness in introducing Himself as son of Dasaratha. That is at least natural. Sri Sita was born in another family and joined this family as the Daughter-in-law. But Sri Sita would, with pride, introduce Herself, as the Daughter-in-law of Dasaratha! In Lanka, Hanuman discovered Sri Sita, after a great search. During conversation with Hanuman, Sri Sita mentioned Her plight. She said that had Dasaratha been alive, She would not have had Her current difficulty. That shows the great confidence She had in Her father-in-law..

pṛthaktvena tu yaj jñānaṃ nānābhāvān pṛthagvidhān
vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi rājasam

Tat jnanam = that knowledge or Gyana, rajasam = [emanates] from rajo quality, viddhi = understand. Sarvesu bhutesu = in all living beings, prthakvena = differences [in bodies or by birth, etc.], prthakvidhan = [and] difference in characters, nanabhavan = various groups of living beings..a person with Rajasa Gyana, sees the differences in the physical characters, and assumes, those of atman also..

yat tu kṛtsnavad ekasmin kārye saktam ahetukam
atattvārthavad alpaṃ ca tat tāmasam udāhṛtam ..
 

Tat = that [Gyana] is, tamasam udahrtam = called Tamasa [Gyana]. Yat tu = that Gyana, which [is different from what had already been explained in the last slokas].Ekasmin karye = in some action or karma, krsnavad saktam = full rewards or results will be found..ahetukam = [he has] no reasons..Atattvarthavad = based on false knowledge. He has wrongly understood that such inferior karmas would reward him with superior results. Alpam = [such knowledge is] inferior..

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-21..The word prthaktvena means separate individuality alluding to differences in appearance between jivas or embodied beings. The words nana-bhavan refers to plurality of substance in falsely surmising that the atma varies in quality or quantity with the variance of the physical body inhabited by the jiva or to wrongly conclude that the atma varies in size and potency according to the body it is in. This mentality is indicative of those situated in raja guna the mode of passion and includes those desirous of receiving rewards for their actions. 

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-22..One who clings to a single activity in a stagnant and obstinate manner such as the worship of an impersonal conception of God and considers that such an insignificant activity has the highest perfection in existence to the exclusion of all other possibilities and not considering any other conception as tenable and in stagnation ceases to develop and grow is the epitome of one shackled in tama guna. The word ahaitakam means irrational, without reason, imagining that which gives meagre results to give great results. The words attatva-arthavat means devoid of reality, without substantiation of the Vedic scriptures. The word alpan means limited in scope and relates to foolish, trivial pagan acts such as worshiping ghosts and spirits for material power. So thus showing how the three gunas or modes of material nature have a direct effect on the knowledge possessed by the performer of any action; Lord Krishna will next expound upon their direct influence upon actions themselves. 

 

..sloha 18-23..yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmy aham 4.7
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
dharmasaṃsthāpanārthāya saṃbhavāmi yuge yuge 4.8
These are the words of Sri Krishna. He told about His time of Avatar and its purpose. Whenever Dharma was humiliated or disgraced and when Adharma was at its peak, the Lord descended on this Earth. To protect sadhus or noble persons, and to destroy evil persons and to establish Dharma, the Lord takes an Avatar, and such Avatars have been countless. In such Avatars, as He Himself, with complete auspicious qualities, the Lord was born as Sri Rama. He was a personification of all auspicious qualities, and it looked as though such qualities were coronated, when Sri Rama was crowned as King. He was born in the month of Chaitra, in star
Punarvasu, in Navami Tithi and in Kataka Lagna. He was in Kausalya’s womb for Twelve months..the marriage of Sri Rama and Sri Sita was celebrated. Then all of them returned to Ayodhya, in palanquins. The place, where Sri Rama & Sri Sita alighted from their palanquin, is called Ram Durbar..in Kruta yug or Treta yug or Dwapara yug, people would chant ‘Sri Ram‘ only; but in Kali yug, they would always chant ‘Sri Sitaram’!..

niyataṃ saṅgarahitam arāgadveṣataḥ kṛtam
aphalaprepsunā karma yat tat sāttvikam ucyate ..

Yat = which [karma is as per these conditions], tat = that [karma] is, ucyate = called, sattvikam = Satvika [Karma]. What are the conditions? Niyatam = [that karma should] conform to [varana asrama of the performer].Sanga = attachment, rahitam = devoid of. That is karma should be done with sacrifices or Tyaga [here, Kartrutva tyaga and mamata tyaga are indicated]. I-am-doing and I-am-the-beneficiary feelings should be discarded. Aragadvesata = without raga [likes] and dvesa [dislikes]. One should perform a karma without likes and disikes. Here like and dislike are not for the rewards, because in the next line of the sloka, Sri Krishna tells about Phala tyaga..

Krtam = [karma] should be performed. Aphalaprepsuna = with no desire in results and rewards. Such a Karma is Satvika Karma. Thus Four conditions are to be fulfilled:

  1. Should conform to Shastras.
  2. Should be free of attachment.
  3. Should be without likes and dislikes.
  4. Should be free of desire in results.

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-23..Lord Krishna uses the word niyatma meaning consistency and refers to the regulated performance of prescribed Vedic activities as a matter of duty according to varnasrama the position and status one is situated in society. The words sanga-rahitam means free from attachment and egoism that one is the doer. The words araga-dvestha mean devoid of attraction to fame, power and an enjoying nature as well as void of aversion for defeat, failure and obscurity. Acts performed without a mentality of attraction and aversion are without vanity and ego and bereft of desire for phala or rewards and are firmly situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness.

 

..sloha 18-24..Valmiki bhavanam..Koojantam ramarameti maduram maduraksharam
Aruhya kavita sakan vande valmiki kokilam |
Valmikermuni simhascha kavitavanacharina:
shrunvan ramakatha natham konayadi parangatim ||
These slokas describe the glory of Valmiki and his Ramayana epic. On the top of the tree of Vedas, cuckoo Valmiki sat and sang Ramayana to delight all devotees! Valmiki taught his epic Ramayana to Lav and Kush, sons of Sri Rama. Lav and Kush sang Ramayana all over the world and spread its glory. Finally, they also sang Ramayana before Sri Rama! After Sri Rama, Lava – Kusha ruled Ayodhya and made the people of Ayodhya, devotees of Sri Rama…Valmiki wrote 24,000 slokas and each sloka is valuable in millions. All these slokas have been carved on the walls of the two floors..from Himalayas to Kanyakumari, many people write ‘Ram’, ‘Sri Ram’, ‘Sri Sitaram’, ‘Sri Jayaram’, ‘Sri Ramajayam’, etc., and all those books and notebooks are collected here. During Kumbhmela or during Sri Ramanavami, collected books are presented to Sarayu river, by immersion..

yat tu kāmepsunā karma sāhaṃkāreṇa vā punaḥ
kriyate bahulāyāsaṃ tad rājasam udāhṛtam 18.24

Tat = that [karma] is, rajasam udahrtam = called Rajasa [Karma]. Yat tu = which, karma = action or deed, kamepsuna = performed with desire [in results], sa ahamkarena = with ego [that is with the attitude I-am-doing], va = also [that is both desire in results and ego], puna = again, kriyate = performed with, bahula = enormous, ayasam = efforts…

Rajasa Karma is one with any or all of the following:

  1. Desire in results.
  2. Ego [or Kartrutva buddhi].
  3. Enormous efforts.

Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-24..Continuing Lord Krishna affirms that actions done to acquire rewards and which are escorted with conceit and attended by ahankarena or egoism, thinking that one is the actual doer and desirous of everyone to know and which is accomplished only after great endeavour and expenditure of effort is of the nature of raja guna the mode of passion

..sloka 25, about Tamasa Karma:

anubandhaṃ kṣayaṃ hiṃsām anapekṣya ca pauruṣam
mohād ārabhyate karma yat tat tāmasam ucyate

Tat tamasam ucyate = that [karma] is called Tamasa [Karma]. Yat = that [in which], anubandham = [sorrow] follows. After performing a karma if sorrow still folllows, it is Tamasa Karma. Ksayam = decline [of wealth due to wasteful expenditure], Himsam = hurting [performer and others..

Paurusham = [human] capability. One should indulge in activities, where his capability could be shown. Anapeksya = beyond or exceeding. One should not try in activities beyond one’s capability. Mohad = with delusion, arabhyate = commenced [karmas]. That is the performer thinks, he is doing and not understanding thet the Lord is the actual Doer. Following aspects, any or all, constitute Tamasa Karma:

  1. Agony continues even after performing karma.
  2. Wasteful expenditure.
  3. Hurting others and self.
  4. Exceeding one’s capability.
  5. With delusion.

..Ramanuja’s Commentary for sloha 18-25..The word mohat means in illusion, deluded. The word ksaya means loss referring to loss of time, energy and expenditure. The word anubandham meaning consequences is not considering the consequences of one’s actions and paurusam meaning capacity denotes oblivious to whether or not one has the capability to complete it. The word himsa meaning violence denotes causing injury to others. Lord Krishna reiterates that such endeavours engaged in foolish delusion are locked in tama guna the mode of ignorance.

 

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