Viviktasevee laghwaashee yatavaakkaayamaanasah; Dhyaanayogaparo nityam vairaagyam samupaashritah.
Chapter 17 Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yoga Verse 20
Daatavyamiti yaddaanam deeyate’nupakaarine; Deshe kaale cha paatre cha taddaanam saattwikam smritam.
That gift which is given to one who does nothing in return, knowing it to be a duty to give in a fit place and time to a worthy person, that gift is held to be Sattwic.
The last three shlokas concentrated on the austerities to be followed by a Sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic person, in this shloka, Lord Krishna is talking about the gift that is considered to be Sattwik in nature. He says that a gift which is given to a person without expecting anything in return is a sattwik gift. Not only that Lord also talking about the right time and right place for giving such a gift, considering in mind the worthiness of the person. Such a gift alone can be called as a sattwik gift.
to Mankind’s Life !
We have seen that persons have sattwik, Rajasic and Tamasic nature, but do the gifts and offerings that we give also have this nature? This shloka talks about the nature of a sattwik gift. We all give gifts on many occasions and to many people. What do you have in mind, while you are gifting something to someone? Many of us feel that you should get the same kind of return gift sometime in future or should get a favor from that person, equivalent to the value of that gift. All these are non-sattwik gifts. A sattwik gift is something which you give wholeheartedly for someone, expecting nothing in return. Many of us say that we expect nothing, but just introspect, are you really expecting nothing? If so, then don’t even talk about what you gave and the value of that gift to anyone. But we all boast
The next most crucial thing is the place, timing and worthiness of a person. Analyse the person whom you are gifting. If you gift knowledge to an unworthy person, he will misuse it and bring disrepute to you or even can cause irreparable damage to a section of the society. If you gift wealth or money or precious things to an unworthy person, he will be used to it and will keep expecting more and more and will curse you if you don’t match his expectations next time. You would have surely heard the remarks that people make on the gifts that are given. They judge the gift on the occasion, the person’s proximity to them and also on the importance of the occasion. For a marriage, they expect an expensive gift. Such kind of people are unworthy to be gifted anything.
Another point that this shloka makes is on the place and timing of the gift. The Place is not the physical place but the place that a person occupies in our life. You can’t discriminate on the basis of the closeness but you need to gift on the basis of the situation and need. Upanishads say that 1/10th of our wealth should always be given away as gifts to the needy. These can be anyone occupying any place in your life, they can be near and dear or can be total strangers. Timing plays a critical role because a gift is best utilized on the need of the person,
Chapter 16 Daivasura Sampad Vibhaga Yoga Verse 23
Yah shaastravidhimutsrijya vartate kaamakaaratah;
Na sa siddhimavaapnoti na sukham na paraam gatim.
He who, casting aside the ordinances of the scriptures, acts under the impulse of desire, attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme goal.
This shloka talks about the results that the demonic souls who neglect the God get. Lord Krishna starts off by talking about these demonic people who set aside the ordinances of the scriptures. Ordinances of scriptures mean the Vedas and other holy scriptures which suggest a person what to do. They do so because
to Mankind’s Life!
Vedas, Upanishads and Vedangas are considered to be the holy scriptures that give directions to an individual on the path to be followed. The scriptures usually gives two types of instructions. The first set of instructions are those rituals and other directives that an individual is supposed to perform to attain moksha. The other is the directives of what a person should not do. These directives are also called a prohibits or nishedh. A person has to always follow the instructions and do things for attaining moksha. A demonic person always disregards the instructions of the scriptures and take the opposite route. The question is why?
The answers to that are when a person reads in the scriptures what he should not do, he normally gets drawn to it. For example, scriptures say that womanizing is something which is prohibited for the one who is looking at Moksha. But the moment he reads that his senses get drawn to the pleasure of seeking multiple women and those ways he tends to follow most of the times what is prohibited. Scriptures say what should not be done, only to see how strong is the person’s will power to resist this. A person who is daivic will not fall for this, whereas a demonic person gets drawn to this and the result is he neither gets happiness or perfection or attains his goal of moksha.
Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 18
Yasmaat ksharam ateeto’hamaksharaadapi chottamah;
Ato’smi loke vede cha prathitah purushottamah.
As I transcend the perishable and am even higher than the imperishable, I am declared as the highest Purusha in the world and in the Vedas.
After talking about the Supreme being and Him pervading all the three worlds, Lord Krishna in this shloka is talking further about His supremacy over the perishable and imperishable beings. He says that as a Supreme being He alone transcends all the perishable beings in this universe. He is also greater than all the beings that have attained imperishability. In the second part of the shloka, He talks about the Supreme being, Himself. He says that Vedas have declared Him as the highest Purusha in this World.
to Mankind’s Life!
This is a small shloka that talks about reiteration of Lord as the Supreme being. He rules us all and gives us as well as takes away things from us according to our karmas and he also bestows results accordingly. In that process, Lord teaches discipline to every being and that takes the person on the path of salvation and he attains imperishability. As the Lord is responsible for a person to attain imperishability, He is considered to be higher than the imperishable. The Vedic texts that talks about different rituals have declared Lord Sri Maha Vishnu as the Highest Purusha in this Universe and puts every other being under Him.
Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 15
Sarvasya chaaham hridi sannivishto Mattah smritir jnaanam apohanam cha;Vedaischa sarvairahameva vedyoVedaantakrid vedavid eva chaaham.
And, I am seated in the hearts of all; from Me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence. I am verily that which has to be known by all the Vedas; I am indeed the author of the Vedanta, and the knower of the Vedas am I.
After explaining about the fire in the form of Vaisvarana and how he helps in digesting the four kinds of food, Lord Krishna in this shloka talks about He being associated with Vedas, knowledge and memory in an individual. He starts off by saying that He is seated in the heart of every individual in this World. And everyone gets their knowledge and memory from Him and He is only responsible for the absence of the memory in an individual. Lord Krishna also goes onto say that He is what Vedas should know and He is the author of Vedanta. After that Lord Krishna concludes saying that He alone is the knower of the meaning of the Vedas.
to Mankind’s Life !
I would like to start explaining this shloka with a quote from Shrimad Bhagavatham, that formed the motivation of all the learning that I took till this moment and also the knowledge that I would acquire in future. “From You alone, the knowledge of the living being arises, and by Your potency that knowledge is stolen away.” This simply means that whatever knowledge that a person acquired in life is all because of the God in his soul and whatever knowledge he missed out or forgot after leaning is because of the non-presence of the God in him. This beautiful phrase from Shrimad Bhagavatham telling everything about the intention of an individual in acquiring knowledge.
We get closer to knowledge because the senses listen to the soul which has an element of God in it. And whenever you feel that you don’t want to learn or postpone your learning is also because of the senses falling prey to external pulls. So, if you meet a knowledgeable person in your life, understand that his senses are under the control of his soul. If you meet an ignorant and foolish person understand that he is more Worldly and is driven by the pleasures than the urges of the
In this context let us take an example of a student. He learns things not for knowing what they are, but for scoring good marks. Good marks is an external factor and curiosity to know things is internal. His importance is more towards external. Similarly, if a working person goes for a knowledge enhancement course, it would be purely for his career advancement and better salary. These are also external factors. One should never acquire knowledge for these purposes. The one who treats the knowledge as the source of serving humanity learnt in the name of the God, and doesn’t derive any external benefit is the one, who can understand Lord and His Supreme being. That is the essence of Vedas whose means are derived from God and it’s the same God who wrote all those scriptures.
Chapter 15 Purushottama Yoga Verse 1
Sri Bhagavaan Uvaacha: Oordhwamoolam adhahshaakham ashwattham praahuravyayam;Cchandaamsi yasya parnaani yastam veda sa vedavit.
The Blessed Lord said: The wise speak of the indestructible peepul tree, having its root above and branches below, whose leaves are the metres or hymns; he who knows it is a knower of the Vedas.
This is the beginning of a new chapter called “Purushottama yoga” or the “yoga of a Supreme Purusha”. Here Lord explains the qualities of the Almighty in detail. The shloka starts off with Lord Krishna talking about the knower of the Vedas. He says that wise men who lived before used to talk about a peepul tree which has its roots in the upward direction and the branches below the roots. The leaves that these branches have are been compared to the Vedic hymns that are recited. Then Lord Krishna concludes that a person who is aware of this is the knower of the Vedas.
to Mankind’s Life !
What is this indestructible peepul tree and how is it linked to the knower of the Vedas? The knowledge of this indestructible peepul tree is essential because the secret of salvation is hidden it. This peepul tree is like your soul. Since the soul cannot be destroyed it is called indestructible. Unlike all the other trees the roots of the tree are not below but located above. In fact, the roots are at the highest level and that root is the God. He controls your soul like the way roots control the existence of the whole tree. The trunk and the branches that are there are like the body and the senses of the tree. They are the ones which rule the true and soul is hidden inside the trunk.
The vedas are compared to the leaves of the tree. Vedas are descended upon to explain to an individual his dharma and karma. Performing his karmas and aligning them with the dharma, a person goes to the higher lokas only to come back again and live life all over again. It is exactly like how the river water evaporates due to sunlight and goes up, forms into a cloud and comes back again into the same river as rain. Likewise, a person after knowing the Vedas follows the right rituals, learns things goes to higher lokas and comes back again into this world to lead another life.
This is beautifully explained by the word “ashwattham” used in the first line of the verse. Ashwattham in Sanskrit means “something which is constantly changing”. Our soul is ashwattham, which keeps constantly evolving and changing. It is the peepul tree and it is the life cycle of birth and death makes it to evolve in knowledge and that also keeps it indestructible. A person who is aware of this is the one who knows Vedas. And the one who knows Vedas also knows the fact that to attain moksha, one has to destroy this peepul tree and escape the cycle of birth and death and go back to the Almighty through the roots through which the soul came into this world.