Gunatraya-Vibhaga Yoga

Inane Interpolations in Bhagavad-Gita – 15

Continued from Previous Page

This diagnostic 27 verses chapter details the three human proclivities - virtue, passion, and delusion, and it may be noted that v3, v4, and v19 that deal with the Nature and the Spirit are interpolated digressions. So as to pin down the interpolative v3 ‘n v4, one may read the opening verses of this chapter with Krishna’s averment.

Ch14, V1

Pass I now thee that knowledge
With which sages free themselves.

param bhuyah pravakshyaami jnaanaanaam jnaanam uttamam
yaj jnaatvaa munayah sarve paraam siddhim ito gataah

Ch14, V2

Knows whoso this reaches Me
Keeps thus births ’n deaths at bay.

idam jnaanam upaashritya mama saadharmyam aagataah
sarge pi nopajaayante pralaye na vyathanti cha,

Now these two interpolations,


mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbham dadhaamy aham
sambhavah sarva-bhutaanaam tato bhavati bhaarata

The total material substance, prakriti, is the womb. I impregnate it with the individual souls, and thus all living beings are born.


sarva-yonishu kaunteya murtayah sambhavanti yaah
taasaam brahma mahad yonir aham bija-pradah pitaa

O son of Kunti, for all species of life that are produced, the material nature is the womb, and I am the seed-giving Father.

It may be noted that the above two verses are about His role in the birth of beings that as seen, he had unerringly denied, and also, starting with the next (V5) till the very end (barring v19 that follows) this chapter is about human proclivities.

Ch14, V5

To tie the Spirit ’n body tight
Uses Nature as its threads
Virtue, passion as well delusion. 

sattvam rajas tama iti gunaah prakriti-sambhavaah
nibadhnanti mahaa-baaho dehe dehinam avyayam

Ch14, V6

Spirit as well gets well enticed
By the charms of life well-led 
Steeped in wisdom and virtue. 

tatra sattvam nirmalatvaat prakaashakam anaamayam
sukha-sangena badhnaati jnaana-sangena chaanagha

Hence, it can be said that v3 ‘n v4 are not only digressive but also uncharacteristic interpolations. Likewise, in dealing with v19, we should focus on its preceding and the succeeding verses.

Ch14, V18

Echelons virtuous reach higher
Remain ‘as is where’ passionate
Go down ladder ever the deluded.

urdhvam gachchhanti sattva-sthaa madhye tishthanti raajasaah
jaghanya-guna-vritti-sthaa adho gachchhanti taamasaah


Naanyam gunebhyah kartaaram yadaa drashtaanupashyati
gunebhyash cha param vetti mad-bhavam so  dhigachchhati

When wise persons see that in all works there are no agents of action other than the three guṇas, and they know me to be transcendental to these guṇas, they attain my divine nature,

thus breaking the narrative flow only to be succeeded by,

Ch14, V20

Out of orbit if thou go
Of Nature that grips thy mind
Freed be thou of recurring births.

gunaan etaan atitya trin dehideha-samudbhavaan
janma-má¹›ityu-jaraa-duhkhair vimukto mritam ashnute

It can be seen that besides being intrusive, v19 is also a modified version of the penultimate verse of this chapter

Ch14, V26

It’s by capping his nature 
Wavers he not from the path
That which truly leads to Me
And in end he turns Brahman.

maam cha yo vvyabhichaarena bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunaan samatttyaitaan brahma-bhuyaaya kalpate

More so, it is only in these three interpolative verses that we see Krishna’s personal involvement whereas in the rest of the text he presents himself as an impersonal being.

Continued to Next Page 


More by :  BS Murthy

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