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Re: Gita 4.9

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 12:54:40 PDT

[ from Sri A. Bharat of Bangalore ]

   Dear Mani
   I'm sure you know all this.Still on rereading our Acharyas'
   interpretation of the Gita sloka mentioned I was stunned by
   the doors it opened and felt like sharing my thoughts with
   In Gita 4.9 dealing with Avatara Rahasya, Bhagavan says-
   <Janma karma ca mE divyam yO vEtti tatvatvatah..> he who knows
   my avatara rahasya finds salvation.Here the word Divya means
   not "divine" but "due to compassion" - His avataras are due to
   His saulabhya guna which attracts Him to sadhus and THAT gets
   them attracted to Him in return. Thus once one knows that it
   is due to love for us and not due to karma that He takes
   recourse to various excuses to be with us here, one would feel
   impelled to reciprocate His love- and that is the right royal
   method of Salvation.
   This explanation applies to all His avataras and that is the
   way Swami Emberumanar gives it in the Bhashya.
   But that is not all there is to it with regard to this Sloka.
   In Tiruviruttam 61 Swami Nammazwar goes into ecstasies
   regarding Krishnavatara (which after all produced the Gita and
   the above Sloka) and in the Vyakhyana of Sri PVP the verse is
   explained specific to Krishnavatara and a new line of thought
   is opened which is so logical and obviously correct that it
   hits you in the eye.
   In Brihadar.Up. the behaviour of a Yogi or a GnAni which needs
   emulation by any one who aims at that state is stated
   cryptically- <BAlyEna TishTHAsEt> "one should try to be like a
   child". what does it mean? It is quoted and explained by Swami
   Emberumanar in Sri Bhashyam,and Swami Rangapriya explained it
   in detail while teaching that portion. A child has no
   consciousness of high or low birth, possessions, knowledge,
   learning or ego; it does not go after wealth or even food.It
   knows it will be fed at appropriate times.It has no concept of
   good and evil conduct or persons.It finds the whole world
   acceptable and equivalent to a play thing.It considers every
   one without exception as superior to itself and loves its
   existance.This humility is natural to it.And this is exactly
   the nature and conduct of a Yogi or a GnAni.
   Have you ever seen anyone behave like this ? -you ask.
   Yes,says Swami NammAzhwar- look at Krishna.

   His original Janma is higher than the highest- He is "Aja"-
   than whom no one could be superior in Status.His possessions
   are unmatchable- they cover "SrI" herself and both the
   Vibhutis.His ego is the real ego- because He has the supreme
   GnAna,Sakti etc. Such a Supreme Being just ignores everything
   mentioned above and chooses to identify Himself with the most
   humble community of cowherds - who are not even kept within
   the city limits- and loves to live among animals in
   cattlesheds and wander in forests.Everyone catches him and
   ties him up,threatens him,makes him literally dance to his
   tunes.He is sent as a messenger,he is used as a charioteer.Can
   Humility go any further?
   That's exactly what Krishna tells Arjuna in this Sloka."When
   you really understand what I am and what I am doing and
   emulate it you would be what the Sastra says a Yogi should
   be.That is the path of Salvation."
   Every great religion says that only humility takes one to
   heaven.But it is only in our religion the reason why it
   happens is clearly explained. High birth,possessions,power,
   ego- all these belong to the body and mind- and hence are in
   the jurisdiction of Prakriti.These are the bribes with which
   she enslaves the soul to herself.The moment a person stops
   recognizing 'the value' of these bribes,like a child, and
   laughs at them, Prakriti loses her power over him and turns,as
   it were,into a lifeless statue.He then can play with it as a
   child does with a toy.
   Krishna like Rama came to the world not only to teach but also
   to act out His own teaching.And in this Gita Sloka He is
   telling Arjuna,if you can understand why I who am nothing less
   than the Supreme Soul,have taken this low birth and am acting
   as your menial,AND do the samething yourself,nothing can stop
   you from attaining Salvation. The word "VEtti" does not refer
   (as Swami Embermanar and Swami Rangapriya never tired of
   saying) to mere word of mouth knowledge but complete
   "realisation.",which would result in appropriate action. Like
   for example when referring to exactly the same Gita, Andal
   says in NAchh.Tiru. 11.10 "meymmai peru-vArthai Vittuchittar
   kEttiruppar" i.e., "kEttu (adan padiyE) iruppar"
   SwAmi EmbermAnAr TiruvadigaLE SaraNam!

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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