Word by Word Scriptures

From 2015 to 2017, I posted a series of ‘Notes on Tattvabodha’ (31 parts) by Dr. Vishnu Bapat. (Beginning at https://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/bapat/bapat01.html.) These provided word by word translations of the Devanagari Sanskrit as well as an English commentary.

Dr. Bapat now has his own site at Vishnu Rao Bapat – Soulbliss where he has continued this practice and has similar translations of Bhagavad Gita, Atma Bodha, Dakshinamurti Stotram, Bhaja Govindam, Astavakra Gita, Amrita Bindu Upanishad and Devi Stotram.

Here, as an example, are two verses from the Bhagavad Gita. 

Verse 9: 04

I exist in the world in my unmanifest form. But the world does not exist in me.

मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना ।
मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि न चाहं तेष्ववस्थितः ॥९:४॥

mayā tatamidaṁ sarvaṁ jagadavyaktamūrtinā |
matsthāni sarvabhūtāni na cāhaṁ tēṣvavasthitaḥ ||9:4||

मया ततम् इदम् सर्वम् जगत् अव्यक्तमूर्तिना ।
मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि न च अहम्  तेषु अवस्थितः ॥

मया –by me ततम् -pervade इदम् -this सर्वम् –all  जगत् -world अव्यक्तमूर्तिना  –by me, the unmanifest divinity  मत्स्थानि –exist in me I support them सर्वभूतानि –all beings न -not च –and अहम् -me तेषु –in them अवस्थितः –I am present in them

All this world is pervaded by me in my unmanifest form; all beings abide in me but I do not  abide  in them.

Verses 4 to 10 is the central theme of Chapter 9 which deals with the absolute spirit. ब्रह्मस्वरूपम्, ईश्वर स्वरूपम् 

The Lord had promised in the first verse to divulge his Nirguna and saguna aspects; (इदम्  तु ते गुह्यतमम् ज्ञानम् विज्ञानसहितम् प्रवक्ष्यामि ). Now he proceeds to explain his unmanifest aspect (Nirguna) along with its glory.

मया ततम् इदम् सर्वम् जगत् अव्यक्तमूर्तिना ।

This world or jagat of sentient and insentient beings is pervaded by me.  That means I am the supporter of the universe.

अव्यक्तमूर्तिना  ततम्  – is pervaded by me, in the the unmanifest (formless)  divinity (निराकार निर्गुण स्वरूप). The common examples given for this super pervasiveness are : (i)  Mud is present in all earthern wares  but the wares are not present in the mud(Ii ) Gold  is present in all gold ornaments but the ornaments are not present in the gold(iii) Air is present in the ether but ether is not present in air.the entire creation is permeatd by the unmanifest God.

He is called by the following names in Gita:1. Adhiyajna in 08:04 (अधियज्ञोऽहमेवात्र देहे देहभृतां वर); Supreme Divine Purusha in 08:08 (परमं पुरुषं दिव्यं याति पार्थानुचिन्तयन्) and in 08:10 (तं परं पुरुषमुपैति दिव्यम्); All-wise eternal being in verse 08:9 (कविम् पुराणम् अनुशासितारम्); the unmanifest and indestructible. (अन्यः अव्यक्तात् सनातनः यः सः सर्वेषु भूतेषु नश्यत्सु न विनश्यति)

4.Supreme Purusha attainable only through exclusive devotion (पुरुषः सः परः पार्थ भक्त्या लभ्यः)

 मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि  – All beings exist in me, I am the supporter of all beings  but I do not dwell in them. “I,  in my unmanifest nature, is the substratum of all the manifested names and forms, but I do not share their joys and sorrows or destinies”. The statement becomes clearer when we consider the example of ghost and post. The post says; “ the ghost is no doubt in me, but I am not in the ghost”.

The word sthani (स्थानि ) meaning a place of residence is translated as abide. Krishna says that all things abide in the unmanifest for it is the basis of their existence. Without the unmanifest they would not exist. But the unmanifest spirit does not depend on those beings. It would remain unchanged if they cease to exist. The unmanifested spirit existed before the creation and shall exist after the end of creation unchanged.

Thus, being the substratum of the world, and wholly beyond it, the world being his very self, God is not in the world. God is supporter of the universe (विष्वाधारः) I am not supported by the world.

न च अहम् तेषु अवस्थितः – I do not exist in them. God does not cease to exist with the cessation of the world. He shines in his glory even when there is no trace of any material existence. He is eternally existent in his own self.

Three features of Ishwara have been mentioned in verse 4.

    1. अव्यक्तः I am the formless, attributeless consciousness V: 4

    2. मया ततमिदम् सर्वम् V: 4

    3. सर्वत्रगः I am all-pervading verse 6

    4. जगत् अधिष्टानम् I am the supporter of the universe

Verse 9: 05

All beings are in me; but I am not in them.

न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम् ।
भूतभृन्न च भूतस्थो ममात्मा भूतभावनः ॥९:५॥

na ca matsthāni bhūtāni paśya mē yōgamaiśvaram |
bhūtabhr̥nna ca bhūtasthō mamātmā bhūtabhāvanaḥ ||9:5||

न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगम् ऐश्वरम् ।
भूतभृत् न च भूतस्थः मम आत्मा  भूतभावनः ॥  

न -not च -and मत्स्थानि –dwelling in me भूतानि -beings पश्य -behold मे -my योगम् -yoga ऎश्वरम् –devine glory, nature  भूतभृत् –supporting the beings न -not च –and भूतस्थः –dwelling in them  मम –my आत्मा -self भूतभावनः –the creator of beings

Behold my divine Yoga! All beings are apparently not in me, yet I alone am their creator and preservator; my self in reality dwells not in those beings.

न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि पश्य मे योगम् ऐश्वरम् ।

न च मत्स्थानि भूतानि – all the beings do not abide in me. In the second line of the previous verse the Lord had declared  मत्स्थानि सर्वभूतानि -all beings dwell in me . Does he contradict his own statement? He says the world exists in him and does not exist in Him both at once!

Shankaracharya deals with this paradox systematically and shows the hidden meaning of the Lord. Both the statements are correct. In the first statemet the Lord says, X is in me, but in the very next statement he says X is not in me. On closer enquiry the statements become clear. A dreamer who dreams of being chased by a ferocious tiger realises upon waking that the dream was a nightmare. It was real from the stand point of the dreamer but was not real from the stand point of a waker. So dream is called in Vedanta as Mithya (मिथ्या) or unreal.  Mithya is experiencingly available but factually not available. It is like a mirage. Similary, what Krishna says is that world is seemingly real from the standpoint of lower reality of body, mind and intellect.  From the point of Brahman it is mithya. Lalita sahasranama lists one of the names of the Brahman as  मिथ्या जगत् अधिष्टान the substratum of apparent world.

पश्य मे योगम् ऎश्वरम्  – Behold my divine mystery. The divine mystery is the wonderful power of the Lord, who is the very substratum of everything and there is nothing other than him.

The world appears in him and in reality there is nothing other than him.

भूतभृत् न च भूतस्थः मम आत्मा  भूतभावनः ॥  

मम आत्मा – my nature. This refers to the Lord’s formless, attribueless aspect.

भूतभृत् – supports and sustains the world and beings in the world स्थिति कारण. I am also laya karanam.

न च  भूतस्थः – not dwelling in them. The dreamer is the supporter of the dream world. The dream has no independent existence from the dreamer. Similarly the world has no independent existence from the Lord. The Lord does not dwell in the world or is supported by the world. The Lord is independent of the world. He is immanent and transcendent.

भूतभावनः – The Lord is the efficient cause of the world. स्रष्टिकर्ता creator of the world.  The Lord is  स्रष्टि स्थिति लय कारण. During dissolution he swallows everything including the time and space.

The Lord introduces here his fourth feature in the 5th verse.  स्रष्टि स्थिति लय कारण – he is the efficient cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution. In the 4th Shloka, he has already mentioned about his three natures as:

अव्यक्तः I am the formless, attributeless consciousness,

सर्वगतः I am all-pervading

जगत् अधिष्टानम् I am the supporter of the universe

स्रष्टि स्थिति लय कारण – I am the efficient cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution.