Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) - Chapter IV: 1-3

March 26, 2020

THE FOURTH CHAPTER

śrībhagavᾱn uvᾱca
™imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavᾱn aham
avyayaṁ
vivasvᾱn manave prᾱha manur
ikṣvᾱkave ’bravīt (IV-1)

™evaṁ paraṁparᾱprᾱptam imaṁ rᾱjarṣayo viduḥ
sa kᾱlene ’ha mahatᾱ yogo
naṣṭaḥ paraṁtapa
(IV-2)

™sa evᾱ
’yaṁ mayᾱ te ’dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purᾱtanaḥ
bhakto ’si me sakhᾱ ce ’ti rahasyaṁ hy
etad uttamaṁ
(IV-3)

IV/1. The blessed Lord said: I taught this imperishable
yogato Vivasvān, he told it to Manu, Manu proclaimed
it to Īkṣvāku. This, handed down thus in regular succession,
the royal sages knew. This yoga, by long lapse of time,
has been lost here, O Arjuna.

IV/2. That same ancient yoga has been today taught to
thee by me, for thou art my devotee and my friend.
It is the supreme secret.

IV/3. ‘There is nothing new under the sun’! The same
old truth is re-stated over and over. The presentation
is different — adapted to suit different peoples, generations
and conditions prevalent.

Swamiji's Commentary

     The Mahābhārata has eighteen chapters or ‘books’. The Bhagavad Gītā has eighteen chapters. One plus eight is nine, the final number. It is a symbol of finality – the last word. There are some who are sure that the Gītā contains the ‘last word’. Others claim the title for The Holy Bible or The Holy Quran. One who realizes that all these three spring from the same source sees no confusion here. The Indian wisely adds, however, that this ‘last word’ can be re-stated time and time again, with a slight difference in the modulation and accent. This is the secret of his tolerance, understanding and all-inclusiveness.

     Truth gets perverted and lost on account of disuse and misuse. The intellect is incapable of comprehending the spiritual truth which spiritual experience alone can approach. When the latter is absent, the intellect feels compelled to spin a web of myth and superstition (known as philosophy) around the truth which is totally covered up in this cobweb in course of time.

     The Lord revives true knowledge once more.

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