Author Topic: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries  (Read 1672 times)

Hari

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Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« on: May 28, 2013, 11:33:58 AM »
I open this topic not only because of my love and affection to these Sacred Texts but also because they are at the core of Vedantic knowledge. Here I will try to post Upanishadic verses with commentaries of enlightened Masters. I hope this will be helpful for you.
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Hari

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 11:38:46 AM »
I will start the topic with Swami Vivekananda's view on Upanishads:

"The Upan­ishads have this one theme before them: "What is that know­ing which we know everything else?" In mod­ern lan­guage, the theme of the Upan­ishads is to find an ulti­mate unity of things. Knowl­edge is noth­ing but find­ing unity in the midst of diver­sity. Every sci­ence is based upon this; all human knowl­edge is based upon the find­ing of unity in the midst of diver­sity; and if it is the task of small frag­ments of human knowl­edge, which we call our sci­ences, to find unity in the midst of a few dif­fer­ent phe­nom­ena, the task becomes stu­pen­dous when the theme before us is to find unity in the midst of this mar­vel­lously diver­si­fied uni­verse, where pre­vail unnumbered dif­fer­ences in name and form, in mat­ter and spirit—each thought dif­fer­ing from every other thought, each form dif­fer­ing from every other form. Yet, to har­monise these many planes and unend­ing Lokas, in the midst of this infi­nite vari­ety to find unity, is the theme of the Upanishads. … God is first taught as some one who is the Cre­ator of this uni­verse, its Pre­server, and unto whom every­thing goes at last. He is one to be wor­shipped, the Ruler, the Guide of nature, exter­nal and inter­nal, yet appear­ing as if He were out­side of nature and exter­nal. One step fur­ther, and we find the same teacher teach­ing that this God is not out­side of nature, but imma­nent in nature. And at last both ideas are dis­carded, and what­ever is real is He; there is no dif­fer­ence. "Tat tvam asi, Śvetaketo—Shve­taketu, That thou art." That Imma­nent One is at last declared to be the same that is in the human soul."
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sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 11:55:07 AM »
Sanatkumara tells Narada in Chandogya Upanishad: (Ch.U.VII – 24 – 1)


Yatra nanyat pasyati nanyac-chrnoti nanyadvijanati sa bhuma, atha yatranyat pasyati anyacchrnoti anyadvijanati tad-alpam;

“Do you want to know what Completeness is? And do
you want to know what finitude is? Here is the definition,”
says Sanatkumara. “Where one sees nothing except one’s
own Self, where one hears nothing except one’s own Self,
where one understands nothing except one’s own Self, that
is Bhuma, the Absolute; and where one sees something
outside oneself, where one hears something outside oneself,
where one understands or thinks something outside
oneself, that is the finite.”

-Sanjay
Salutations to Bhagawan

Hari

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 12:04:20 PM »
Swami Śivananda says in his book Bhagavad Gita the following:

"The Srimad Bhagavad Gita is a dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna, narrated in the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata. It comprises eighteen discourses of a total of 701 Sanskrit verses. A considerable volume of material has been compressed within these verses. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna, during the course of His most instructive and interesting talk with Arjuna, revealed profound, sublime and soul-stirring spiritual truths, and expounded the rare secrets of Yoga, Vedanta, Bhakti and Karma.

All the teachings of Lord Krishna were subsequently recorded as the Song Celestial or Srimad Bhagavad Gita by Bhagavan Vyasa for the benefit of humanity at large. The world is under a great debt of gratitude to Bhagavan Vyasa who presented this Song Celestial to humanity for the guidance of their daily conduct of life, spiritual upliftment and Self-realisation. Those who are self-controlled and who are endowed with faith can reap the full benefit of the Gita, which is the science of the Soul.

The Gita Jayanti (birthdate of the Gita) is celebrated throughout India by the admirers and lovers of this unique book on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margasirsha according to the Hindu almanac. It was the day on which the scripture was revealed to the world by Sanjaya.

In all the spiritual literature of the world there is no book so elevating and inspiring as the Gita. It expounds very lucidly the cardinal principles or the fundamentals of the Hindu religion and Hindu Dharma. It is the source of all wisdom. It is your great guide. It is your supreme teacher. It is an inexhaustible spiritual treasure. It is a fountain of bliss. It is an ocean of knowledge. It is full of divine splendour and grandeur.

The Gita is the cream of the Vedas. It is the essence of the soul-elevating Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a wonderful book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, devotion, Vedanta and action. It is a marvellous book, profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s own body, those caused by beings around one, and those caused by the gods.

The Gita contains the divine nectar. It is the wish-fulfilling gem, tree and cow. You can milk anything from it. It is a book for eternity. It is not a catch-penny book, with life like that of a mushroom. It can be one’s constant companion of life. It is a vade-mecum for all. Peace, bliss, wisdom, Brahman, Nirvana, Param Padam and Gita are all synonymous terms.

The Gita is a boundless ocean of nectar. It is the immortal celestial fruit of the Upanishadic tree. In this unique book you will find an unbiased exposition of the philosophy of action, devotion and knowledge, together with a wonderfully woven synthesis of these three. The Gita is a rare and splendid flower that wafts its sweet aroma throughout the world.

If all the Upanishads should represent cows, Sri Krishna is their milker. Arjuna is the calf who first tasted that milk of wisdom of the Self, milked by the divine Cowherd for the benefit of all humanity. This milk is the Bhagavad Gita. It solves not only Arjuna’s problems and doubts, but also the world’s problems and those of every individual. Glory to Krishna, the friend of the cowherds of Gokula, the joy of Devaki! He who drinks the nectar of the Gita through purification of the heart and regular meditation, attains immortality, eternal bliss, everlasting peace and perennial joy. There is nothing more to be attained beyond this.

Just as the dark unfathomed depths of the ocean contain most precious pearls, so also the Bhagavad Gita contains spiritual gems of incalculable value. You will have to dive deep into its depths with a sincere attitude of reverence and faith. Only then will you be able to collect its spiritual pearls and comprehend its infinitely profound and subtle teachings.

The Bhagavad Gita is a unique book for all ages. It is one of the most authoritative books of the Hindu religion. It is the immortal song of the Soul, which bespeaks of the glory of life. The instructions given by Sri Krishna are for the whole world. It is a standard book on Yoga for all mankind. The language is as simple as could be. Even a man who has an elementary knowledge of Sanskrit can go through the book.

There are numerous commentaries on the Gita at the present time. A volume can be written on each verse. A busy man with an active temperament will be greatly benefited by the commentary of Sri Gangadhar Lokamanya Tilak, entitled Gita Rahasya. A man of devotional temperament will be attracted by Sri Sridhara’s commentary, and a man of reason by that of Sri Shankara.

The Gita is like an ocean. Sri Shankara, Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhava dived into it and gave accounts of their interpretation and established their own philosophy. Anyone can do the same and bring out the most precious pearls of divine knowledge and give their own interpretation. Glory to the Gita! Glory to the Lord of the Gita!

The teachings of the Gita are broad, universal and sublime. They do not belong to any cult, sect, creed, age or country. They are meant for the people of the whole world. Based on the soul-elevating Upanishads—the ancient wisdom of seers and saints—the Gita prescribes methods which are within the reach of all. It has a message of solace, freedom, salvation, perfection and peace for all human beings.

This sacred scripture is like the great Manasarovar lake for monks, renunciates and thirsting aspirants to sport in. It is the ocean of bliss in which seekers of Truth swim with joy and ecstasy. If the philosopher’s stone touches a piece of iron even at one point, the whole of it is transformed into gold. Even so, if you live in the spirit of even one verse of the Gita, you will doubtless be transmuted into divinity. All your miseries will come to an end and you will attain the highest goal of life—immortality and eternal peace.

The study of the Gita alone is sufficient for daily Swadhyaya (scriptural study). You will find here a solution for all your doubts. The more you study it with devotion and faith, the more you will acquire deeper knowledge, penetrative insight and clear, right thinking.

The Bhagavad Gita is a gospel for the whole world. It is meant for the generality of mankind. It was given over five thousand years ago by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

None but the Lord Himself can bring out such a marvellous and unprecedented book which gives peace to its readers, which helps and guides them in the attainment of supreme bliss, and which has survived up to the present time. This itself proves clearly that God exists, that He is an embodiment of knowledge, and that one can attain perfection or liberation only by realising God.

The world is one huge battlefield. The real Kurukshetra is within you. The battle of the Mahabharata is still raging within. Ignorance is Dhritarashtra; the individual soul is Arjuna; the indweller of your heart is Lord Krishna, the charioteer; the body is the chariot; the senses are the five horses; mind, egoism, mental impressions, senses, cravings, likes and dislikes, lust, jealousy, greed, pride and hypocrisy are your dire enemies."
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Hari

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 01:17:18 AM »
Isha Upanishad, verse 1

Om. All this, whatever moves on the earth, should be covered by the Lord. Protect your Self through that detachment. Do not covet anybody's wealth. Or - Do not covet, for whose is wealth?


Commentary: Everything in this universe is transitory and therefore, can be labeled as relatively real, or temporarily real, or illusory. This is the meaning of 'whatever moves on the earth'. Then all these things - everything one sees, feels, thinks, or imagines - in short the whole universe 'should be covered with the Lord'. Who is this Lord? The Lord is none other than our indwelling Self. Know this and try to see the same Self manifest in all 'things in motion' on this earth. In other words, renounce everything that is not your Self; or know that the essence of universe is your true Self. In either case, there are no two; the only reality or truth is one Self. Knowing this the realized soul renounces this illusory world of name and form and becomes free from threefold desire, viz. son, wealth, and worlds. Thus, 'protect your Self' through such detachment and realize your true nature through the knowledge obtained through discrimination and renunciation.

The world is not to be abandoned, but is to be defied as one divine Self. Attachment to the wealth in any form is to be sublimated by realization that all the wealth is illusory and the real Lord is our indwelling Self in everything.

This first verse is meant for those who are fit to renounce threefold desire through knowledge. But for those who are unable to grasp this higher knowledge because of involvement in the non-self - worldly attachments - the second verse imparts the instruction.
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Hari

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 03:19:29 PM »
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial."
(Henry David Thoreau)
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Hari

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Re: Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita with commentaries
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 03:20:59 PM »
"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity."
(Aldous Huxley)
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