At the outset of the chapter,Sri Krishn says that he had imparted knowledge of yog to Vivaswat in the beginning. Vivaswat taught it to Manu and Manu to Ikshwaku, and thus the knowledge evolved to the stage of rajas. The teacher who had imparted this knowledge was Sri Krishn or, in other words, one who is birthless and unmanifest.
A realized sage too is birthless and unmanifest. His body is but an abode in which he dwells. It is God himself who speaks through his voice. It is by some such sage that yog is imparted. Even a glance of such a sage irradiates one’s life-breath with the effulgence of Self-realization. Possessing the light it sends forth, the sun symbolizes the ever-luminous God who resides in, as well as, expresses himself through breath.
“Imparting the knowledge of yagya to the Sun” stands for awakening of the divine life that lies dormant and unperceived in every human heart. Transmitted to breath this light is hallowed into a sacred discipline. In due course it enters the mind as a resolve. Realization of the significance of Sri Krishn’s utterance to Vivaswat gives rise to a hankering for achieving it and yog is then transformed into action.
The point in hand needs further elaboration. Vivaswat, Manu, and Ikshwaku are symbolic primogenitors of mankind. Vivaswat represents the unenlightened primitive man without spiritual awakening. It is a sage who sows the seeds of devotion in this man. There then comes into being a desire for God that arises in the mind which is Manu in microcosm. The mind transforms the aspiration into an acute craving which is embodied as Ikshwaku, and the process of changing it into practice is speeded up. After having gone through the first two stages, when the worshipper is endowed with divine impulses, the yearning for God enters upon the third stage when yog becomes known and begins to manifest its glory.
This is indeed a stage fraught with risk, for yog is now on the brink of destruction.But they who are loved devotees and, dear friends are provided with succour by sages like Sri Krishn.
When Arjun refers to his recent birth,Sri Krishn points out that, although unmanifest, imperishable, birthless, and pervading all beings, he yet manifests himself by atm-maya and by subduing by his yog his nature with its three properties. What then does he do after manifesting himself?
Since the beginning he has undergone one incarnation after another to protect that which is fit for accomplishment, as well as to destroy forces which give rise to evils and to strengthen the Godlike dharm. His birth and acts are of a metaphysical nature and only a seer can perceive them. The state of Kaliyug (predominance of forces of darkness) brings about the advent of God, but only if there is earnest devotion. But novice worshippers are unable to know whether God is speaking to them or whether the signs coming to them are devoid of any purpose. Whose voice do we hear from the heavens?
My noble teacher used to tell us that when God showers his grace and when he turns within the Self into a charioteer, he speaks and provides support from every column, every leaf, verily from emptiness itself, and from every corner.When with constant refinement there is awareness of the essence that is God, only then, by feeling his presence as if by touch, does the worshipper know the reality. So Sri Krishn has told Arjun that his manifest form can be viewed only by seers, after which they are released from birth and death.
He has further explained the mode of God’s manifestation: of how it is an event that occurs within the heart of a devoted yogi and certainly never externally.Sri Krishn has said that action does not bind him, and just so they who have attained to the same state are not bound by action.
It was with realization of this truth that earlier men desiring salvation set out on the path of action to reach that state, and the man who has known what Sri Krishn knows from his elevated position, and Arjun, too, desiring salvation, will be what Sri Krishn is.
This attainment is assured if yagya is performed.Sri Krishn has then told us the nature of this yagya and that the final outcome of this exercise is realization of the highest reality-of the ultimate tranquillity. But where to go in order to know the way of knowledge?
Sri Krishn has advised Arjun to approach sages and win them over with reverence, humble inquiry, and guileless solicitation. He has also said unambiguously that this knowledge he can acquire only by his own action rather than through the conduct or action of others. Also, it will come to him when his yog is in an accomplished stage rather than at the outset. Perception of knowledge will be within the sphere of heart, not outside. And it comes only to those who are dedicated, determined, in control of their senses, and free from all doubt.
So finally Arjun is advised to sever the irresolution in his heart with the sword of renunciation. Thus war is within the heart. The war of the Geeta is quite unconcerned with any external conflict.
In this chapter,Sri Krishn has thus mainly elaborated and explained the nature and form of yagya, and added that the deed of accomplishing it is action.
Thus concludes the Fourth Chapter, in the Upanishad of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, on the Knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, the Science of Yog, and the Dialogue between Krishn: and Arjun, entitled:
“Yagya Karm-Spashtikaran, or
‘‘Elucidation of the Deed of Yagya’’.
Thus concludes Swami Adgadanand’s exposition of the Fourth Chapter of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta in*‘‘Yatharth Geeta’’*
HARI OM TATSAT