Shraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga

Inane Interpolations in Bhagavad-Gita – 18

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This chapter of 28 verses deals with the spiritual as well as the temporal aptitudes of man. It may be noted that, v11-v13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded in ritualistic sense, and v23 -v28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat, of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the readers are familiar with. However, v7 - v10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate, and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man in an infallible manner? Perhaps, some future research and analysis might resolve the universality or otherwise of this averment, and till then, it is appropriate to reserve the judgment on these.

Now to the text as Arjuna asks,

Ch17, V1

None the regard for scriptures
Who tend to manage life their well
What Thou say of such of beings
Virtuous, passionate or merely deluded.

arjuna uvaacha
ye shaastra-vidhim utsrijya yajante shraddhayaanvitaah
teshaam nishthaa tu kaa krishna sattvam aaho rajas tamah

and Krishna begins to clarify

Ch17, V2

It’s one’s nature that tends him
To be virtuous, passionate, or deluded

stri-vidhaa bhavati shraddhaa dehinaam saa svabhaava-jaa
saattviki raajasi chaiva taamasi cheti taam shrinu

Then, after Krishna plays his part as a dietician in v7 - v10, come these ‘sacrificial’ ten.


aphalaakaankshibhir yajno vidhi-drishto ya ijyate
yashtavyam eveti manah samaadhaaya sa saattvikah

Sacrifice that is performed according to the scriptural injunctions without expectation of rewards, with the firm conviction of the mind that it is a matter of duty is of the nature of goodness.


abhisandhaaya tu phalam dambhaartham api chaiva yat
ijyate bharata-shreshtha tam yajnam viddhi raajasam

O best of the Bharatas, know that sacrifice, which is performed for material benefit, or with hypocritical aim, to be in the mode of passion.


vidhi-hinam asrishtaannam mantra-hinam adakshinam
shraddhaa-virahitam yajnam taamasam parichakshate

Sacrifice devoid of faith and contrary to the injunctions of the scriptures, in which no food is offered, no mantras chanted, and no donation made, is to be considered in the mode of ignorance.


deva-dwija-guru-praajna- pujanam shaucham aarjavam
brahmacharyam ahinsaa cha shaariram tapa uchyate

Worship of the deities, the twice born, teachers and the learned, purity, straightforwardness, chastity and non violence, these are called penance of the body.


om tat sad iti nirdesho brahmanas tri-vidhah smritah
braahmanaas tena vedaash cha yajnaash cha vihitaah puraa

Om, Tat, Sat, this has been declared as the triple indicator of the eternal essence. By that were created the braahmanaas, the Vedas and the sacrifices, long ago.


tasmaad om ity udaahritya yajna-daana-tapah-kriyaah
pravartante vidhaanoktaah satatam brahma-vaadinaam

Therefore, when performing acts of sacrifice, offering charity, or undertaking penance, expounders of the Vedas always begin by uttering “Om” according to the prescriptions of Vedic injunctions.


tad ity anabhisandhaaya phalam yajna-tapah-kriyaah
daana-kriyaash cha vividhaah kriyante moksha-kaankshibhih

Persons who do not desire fruitive rewards, but seek to be free from material entanglements, utter the word “Tat” along with acts of austerity, sacrifice, and charity.


sad-bhaave saadhu-bhaave cha sad ity etat prayujyate
prashaste karmani tathaa sach-chhabdah paartha yujyate

The word Sat is used in the sense of existence and goodness, and also, O Paartha, the word Sat is added in the sense of an auspicious act.


yajne tapasi daane cha sthitih sad iti chochyate
karma chaiva tad-arthiyam sad ity evaabhidhiyate

Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and charity is called Sat, and also, action relation

to these is called Sat.


ashraddhayaa hutam dattam tapas taptam kritam  cha yat
asad ity uchyate paartha na cha tat pretya no iha

Whatever is sacrificed, donated or done, and whatever penance is performed, without faith, it is called asat, O Paartha. It is neither here nor after death.

For the reasons cited supra, these boxed are but interpolations.

Continued to Next Page 


More by :  BS Murthy

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