Sep 21, 2023
Sep 21, 2023
by BS Murthy
Inane Interpolations in Bhagavad-Gita – 8
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This chapter of 47 verses deals with all aspects of self-control needed for renunciation in action. Here Arjuna’s queries as to what would be the fate of man in his efforts at self- control were he to fail midway, (v37). Even if it were the case, assures Krishna, still one wouldn't come to grief here or hereafter (v40). In this context of the renunciation in action, the yoga-class that follows (v10-v17) informative though, is but a square peg in the round philosophical hole that this discourse is, and so the following verses are but interpolations, even going by what is stated in the very opening verse by Krishna:
Forego none if forsake chores
Eye not gain ’n thou be freed.
Anaashritah karma-phalam kaaryam karma karoti yah
sa sannyaasi cha yogi cha na niragnir na chaakriyah
yogiyunjita satatam aatmaanam rahasi sthitah
ekaaki yata-chittaatmaa niraashir aparigrahah
Those seeking Yogic state must reside in seclusion, constantly engaged in meditation with a controlled mind and body, getting rid of desires and possessions for enjoyment.
shuchau deshe pratishthaapya sthiram aasanam aatmanah
naatyuchchhritam naati-nicham chailaajina-kushottaram
To practice Yog, one should make an aasan (seat) in a sanctified place, by placing kush grass, deer skin, and a cloth, one over the other. The aasan should be neither too high nor too low.
tatraikaagram manah ká¹›itvaa yata-chittendriya-kriyah
upavishyaasane yunjyaad yogam aatma-vishuddhaye
Seated firmly on it, the yogi should strive to purify the mind by focusing it in meditation with one pointed concentration, controlling all thoughts and activities.
samam kaaya-shiro-grivam dhaarayann achalam sthirah
samprekshya naasikaagramsvam dishash chaanavalokayan
He must hold the body, neck, and head firmly in a straight line, and gaze at the tip of the nose, without allowing the eyes to wander.
prashaantaatmaa vigata-bhir brahmachaari- vrate sthitah
manah sanyamya mach-chitto yukta aasita mat-parah
Thus, with a serene, fearless, and unwavering mind, and staunch in the vow of celibacy, the vigilant yogi should meditate on me, having me alone as the supreme goal.
yunjann evam sadaatmaanam yogi niyata-maanasah
shantim nirvaana-paramaammat-sansthaam adhigachchhati
Thus, constantly keeping the mind absorbed in me, the yogi of disciplined mind attains nirvaan, and abides in me in supreme peace.
naatyashnatastu yogo sti na chaikaantam anashnatah
na chaati-svapna-shilasya jaagrato naiva chaarjuna
O Arjun, those who eat too much or eat too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yog.
yuktaahaara-vihaarasya yukta-cheshtasya karmasu
yukta-svapnaavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-haa
But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.
Besides the irrelevant above, the following verses (v41-v42) appetizing though for the yoga enthusiasts, are clear interpolations for the same reason as the preceding ones.
praapya puá¹‡ya-kritaam lokaan ushitvaa shaashvatih samaah
shuchinaam shrimataam gehe yoga-bhrashto bhijaayate
The unsuccessful yogis, upon death, go to the abodes of the virtuous. After dwelling there for many ages, they are again reborn in the earth plane, into a family of pious and prosperous people.
atha vaa yoginaam eva kule bhavati dhimataam
etad dhi durlabhataram loke janma yad idrisham
Else, if they had developed dispassion due to long practice of Yog, they are born into a family endowed with divine wisdom. Such a birth is very difficult to attain in this world.
Hence, these irrelevant ‘yoga ten’ are clear interpolations, and if we were to concede the irreverent argument of some that they would have been incorporated later for holistic reasons, then that in itself is an admission of interpolations in the original text.
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