Menu Close

Bhagavad Gita Weekly – Chapter 4 – Jnana Yoga, Approaching the Ultimate True: Divine Manifestations and the Path to Liberation – Verses 6 to 10 – Part 27

In the previous article, we looked at Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, verses 1 to 5 where Lord Krishna imparts profound insights into the path of karma yoga, and the ancient lineage of spiritual knowledge. Lord Krishna explains that He imparted this timeless wisdom to the sun-god, Vivasvan, in the distant past. Vivasvan, in his role as a deity, passed this knowledge down to Manu, the progenitor of humanity. Manu, in turn, taught this to Ikshvaku, the founder of the Ikshvaku dynasty. This sacred knowledge of yoga has been preserved through a lineage of great sages and teachers, demonstrating its eternal nature and significance. These verses lay the foundation for understanding the essence of yoga, guiding us towards a journey of spiritual growth, enlightenment, and self-realization.

In this post, let’s continue from verse 6.

Chapter 4, Verse 6
अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया।।

ajo’pi sannavyayātmā bhūtānāmīśvaro’pi san
prakṛitiṁ svām adhiṣṭhāya sambhavāmyātma-māyayā

English Translation:
Although I am unborn and My transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord of all beings, I still appear in every millennium in My original transcendental form.

Commentary: In this verse, Lord Krishna reveals His divine nature as the eternal, unchanging Supreme Being. He clarifies that His appearances in the material world are not a result of material birth but are manifestations of His spiritual potency, known as atma-maya. This revelation underscores Krishna’s unique ability to descend into the material realm while retaining His divine attributes, making Him the ultimate controller of all existence.

Moreover, Lord Krishna addresses the question of His eternal nature, asserting that His svarupa – transcendental body – is indeed eternal. This understanding accommodates His various incarnations throughout history, the Dashavataras – the ten principal avatars (incarnations) of the Hindu god Lord Vishnu.

Lord Krishna explains that He manifests Himself through His internal potency, yogamaya, which operates within the material nature (prakriti) under His complete control. This divine manifestation is independent of any material elements and is solely orchestrated by His own will. Lord Krishna’s explanation not only reaffirms His eternal existence but also establishes Him as Ishvara, the greatest among the great, surpassing even deities like Brahma and Shiva, a testament to His supreme divinity.

Chapter 4, Verse 7 (Sanskrit)

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛijāmy aham

English Translation:
Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), at that time I manifest myself on Earth.

Commentary: In this verse, Lord Krishna emphasizes the cyclical nature of His divine incarnations, stressing that whenever dharma declines and adharma rises, He manifests to restore righteousness (dharma) and cosmic order. The phrase “yada yada” signifies that His intervention is not bound by time or place but occurs whenever and wherever necessary. This verse underscores a core concept in Hindu / Sanatana philosophy, highlighting the role of divine intervention in maintaining in upholding cosmic balance and safeguarding the virtuous.

Lord Rama’s avatar, an embodiment of Lord Vishnu, exemplifies righteousness, duty, and morality, offering guidance on upholding dharma amidst adversity through the Ramayana. Similarly, Lord Narasimha’s incarnation aimed to protect Prahlada, restore order by defeating Hiranyakashipu, and impart a profound lesson about the consequences of one’s actions. These instances illustrate the Supreme Being’s eternal vigilance, ready to intervene whenever the world strays from righteousness, ensuring dharma’s preservation and the welfare of the righteous.

Chapter 4, Verse 8 (Sanskrit)
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्।
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे।।

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśhāya cha duṣhkṛtām
dharma-sansthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge

English Translation:
To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma, I appear millennium after millennium.

Commentary: In this profound verse, Lord Krishna emphasize His divine role and purpose in the cosmic order. He declares that His divine incarnations are not mere chance occurrences but are purposeful interventions in the world whenever there is a disruption of righteousness (dharma) and a proliferation of unrighteousness (adharma).

The verse emphasizes three key missions of His incarnations. Firstly, “paritrana,” meaning to protect or deliver, underscores His commitment to safeguard the virtuous and righteous individuals who follow the path of dharma. Secondly, “vinashaya cha duskritam” signifies the destruction of the malevolent and wicked forces that threaten the moral and ethical fabric of the universe. Lastly, “dharmasamsthapanarthaya” signifies His endeavor to reestablish and reinforce the principles of dharma whenever they are eroded.

Krishna’s assertion of appearing “yuge yuge” or age after age signifies the cyclical nature of His divine incarnations, reinforcing the eternal and timeless aspect of His role as the preserver of cosmic order. Through this verse, Lord Krishna not only reveals His divine purpose but also instills hope and reassurance in the hearts of the virtuous, assuring them that whenever dharma is in jeopardy, He will manifest to restore righteousness and protect the righteous.

Chapter 4, Verse 9
जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वतः।
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन।।4.9।।

janma karma cha me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so’ rjuna

English Translation:
He who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

Commentary: In this verse, Lord Krishna emphasizes that one who truly comprehends the transcendental aspect of His incarnations and divine activities in their entirety attains a state of spiritual realization. Such a realized soul, upon departing from the physical body, does not undergo the cycle of birth and death in the material realm.

Understanding the divine nature of Krishna’s manifestations and actions is the key to liberation from the perpetual cycle of birth and death – samsara. Instead of being subject to the repetitive process of birth and death, the enlightened soul achieves the ultimate goal – eternal union with the Divine. Lord Krishna conveys that those who grasp this truth reach His divine abode, transcending the material world’s constraints and attaining everlasting spiritual bliss. This verse highlights the significance of perceiving Krishna’s divinity beyond the external, mundane appearance, and recognizing His profound, transcendental nature as the Supreme Being.

atma, gita

Chapter 4, Verse 10
वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिताः।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागताः।।4.10।।

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ
bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ

English Translation:
Being freed from attachment, fear, and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me—and thus they all attained transcendental love for Me.

Commentary: In this verse, Lord Krishna describes the attributes and characteristics of those who have attained a deep connection with Him and have attained liberation. He mentions several qualities that characterize individuals who have reached a state of spiritual purity and devotion.

  1. Freed from Attachment, Fear, and Anger: These souls have overcome worldly attachments, fear of the material existence, and the destructive force of anger. They have transcended the negative emotions that bind them to the material world.
  2. Fully Absorbed in Lord Krishna: They are completely absorbed in the contemplation of the Divine, with their thoughts, actions, and emotions centered on the Supreme. Their consciousness is firmly fixed on Krishna.
  3. Taking Refuge in Lord Krishna: They have sought refuge in the shelter of the Lord, recognizing Him as their ultimate protector and guide.
  4. Purified by Knowledge of Lord Krishna: Through profound spiritual knowledge and a deep understanding of the nature of the Divine, they have been cleansed of impurities and illusions.
  5. Attained Transcendental Love for Lord Krishna: The culmination of their spiritual journey is the attainment of pure, transcendental love (bhakti) for Lord Krishna. Their hearts are filled with devotion and an unwavering affection for the Supreme Being.

Lord Krishna’s message in this verse highlights the transformative power of sincere devotion – bhakti – and spiritual knowledge. Those who cultivate these qualities and align themselves with the Divine ultimately experience profound love and union with the Supreme. This verse serves as an inspiration for all of us, the seekers on the path of devotion, emphasizing the importance of detachment, knowledge, and wholehearted devotion to attain the highest spiritual realization.

Let’s conclude here. Please join me again next week as we continue from Chapter 4, verse 11.

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om Puurnnam-Adah Puurnnam-Idam Puurnnaat-Purnnam-Udacyate
Puurnnasya Puurnnam-Aadaaya Puurnnam-Eva-Avashissyate ||
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

My Pranams to you!