Dedication and Delineation
Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Goswami Maharaja
om ajnana timirandasya jnana-jnanan salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah
I offer my humble obeisance unto my dear spiritual master who with pure spiritual knowledge has illuminated my consciousness which was covered by nescience.
namah om visnupadaya acarya simha rupine
srimad bhaktiprajnana keshava iti namine
I offer my humble obeisance unto Srila Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Maharaja, the lion-like acarya who never fears having taken shelter of Lord Krishna.
namah om visnupadaya krishna prestaya bhutale
sri srimad bhaktisiddhanta saraswati iti namine
I offer my humble obeisance to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna in this world having taken shelter of Him.
vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca krpap-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavenebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
I offer my humble obeisance to all Vaisnava devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna, who are just like desire trees bestowing the ultimate benediction on humanity being fully compassionate to all living entities.
First and foremost I again offer my heartfelt prayers unto Sri Guru, the Vaisnavas and the Supreme Lord Krishna beseeching them for their most merciful blessings. With great humility I offer this auspicious dedication to the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. In this humble endeavor our only guide and shelter is by the causeless mercy and auspicious blessings of our Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya acarya's in the line of disciplic succession descending through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through Sri Rupa Goswami and then continuing through Jagadguru Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Srila Prabhupada.
By the auspicious desires and blessings of my own dear Guru, Sri Gurupada-padma, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami Maharaja, Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti published its first edition of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita on 9th Hrsikesa, 491 Sri Gaurabda, 20 Bhadrapada, 1384 Bangabda, which corresponds to September 6,1977. This included the illustrious commentary of Vedantacarya-bhaskara, the illuminating sun among acaryas, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, known as ‘Gita-bhusana and also the commentary of nitya lila pravista om visnupada Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura entitled ‘Vidvat-ranjan’.
Following this an abridged pocket edition of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita was published bySri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti on October 3, 1990 which included the original Sanskrit verses and Bengali translation. The various Hindi speaking areas of India, and indeed the whole world, were in dire need of an edition of this jewel-like scripture with the original Sanskrit verses and Hindi translation. To fulfill this need, my Godbrother, theVice-president and general editor of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja has published a royal edition of the Bhagavad Gitafor the general public. It contains the original Sanskrit verses, anvaya, translation, the Saratha-varsini commentary by Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava-acarya maha-mahopadhyaya Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and the simple, natural, and comprehensive
Saratha-varsini prakasika-vrtti. Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti will remain forever grateful and indebted to him for this service. Intelligent and pious readers will also undoubtedly derive great bliss by constant study of this present edition.
Under the editorship of jagad-guru nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, many wonderful editions of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, along with the above mentioned two commentaries, as well as the translation and expositions of its essence, have already been published. After that various editions of this sacred scripture were published in the Bengali language from different ashrams, temples and missions all under the compassionate leadership of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada.
The Tejpura sector of Assam published an edition of the Bhagavad-Gita in the Assamiya language, and from Calcutta and Tamilnadu a few editions in English have also been published. However, up until now a Hindi edition of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita with the commentaries of Srila Cakravarti Thakura or Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana could not be published. By consistent contemplation of the Bhagavad-Gita scholars and intellectuals will experience true understanding and shall assuredly be benefited.
The following was written by jagad-guru om visnupada Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, at the end of his preface named avataranika in his original edition of this scripture.
"Unfortunately until now whatever commentaries and Bengali translations of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita have been published are mostly written by undifferentiated monists known as brahmavadis. Commentaries and translations which are in accordance with pure bhagavad-bhakti are rarely published. Sankara-bhasya and Anandagiri-tika are full of undifferentiated monism or abheda brahmavada. Although the commentary of Srila Sridhara Svami is not fully endowed with monism and is to be accepted, it has an aroma of sampradayika sudhadvaitism or pure dualism. In the commentary of SrilaMadhusudana Sarasvatipada, there are a few statements which nourish the process of bhakti. Yet, while deliberating upon its foremost instructions or essence, it is observedundifferentiated monism, mukti or liberation is what is established by it."
"The commentary of Ramanujacarya is completely in accordance with the process of bhakti; but in India, due to the absence of any commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita based on the conclusion of acintya-bhedabheda which is the inconceivable and simulataneous oneness and difference of the Supreme Lord as revealed by Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the ananda or bliss of all rasika bhaktas, who are the relishers of the suprememly pure and sublime bhakti-rasa, this exalted state is not perceivable.
Hence, for inducing the pure devotees to relish bhakti-rasa and for bestowing benefit upon the general public and the faithful, I gathered with great effort the commentary written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, the crest-jewel of devotees, who is a staunch stalwart following the conclusions Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. I thus published the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita including the above mentioned commentary, as well as Bengali translation named rasika ranjana, which is in line with the said commentary.
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Gita-bhasya is also in accordance with the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This commentary of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana consistsmainly of philosophical thoughts, whereas the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti is fully complete in both the aspects of philosophical thoughts as well as poetic ornaments of priti-rasa in the mood of inspiration.
We have chosen to make available the full commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti at this time. His Sanskrit language is straight forward and thus easily translatable and his conceptions are simple to comprehend and good reading for the public in general."
Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada has also said, "There are numerous expositions, commentaries and translations of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita currently existing in many languages. Although the Bhagavad-Gita is very popular among the masses, in accordance with the conceptions of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti has written the commentary Saratha-varsini for the Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika bhaktas. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti is situated as the fourth descendent in the sisya-parampara from Srila Narottama Thakura. He is an acarya par excellent and a guardian of Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta and he lived and wrote in the medieval period of its historical progress. The following verse about him is very famous:
visvasya natha rupo ’sau bhaktivartma pradarsnata
bhaktacakre varttitatvata cakravartyakhyaya bhavat
"Every Gaudiya Vaisnava must definitively know something about Srila Cakravarti Thakura. Those who seriously study the Srimad-Bhagavatam, who deliberate upon the Bhagavad-Gita, who discuss and teach the commentary on Vedanta-sutra by Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas must to some extent be knowledgeable of the sublime and super excellent commentaries and compositions of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti."
Gaudiya Vaisnavacaryas, as Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti who composed voluminous Sanskrit scriptures with commentaries, very rarely appear in this world. Besides his composing such extensive Sanskrit scriptures he also engaged in welfare activities for the benefit of the whole Gaudiya Vaisnava society. These two contributions were enacted through his writing and preaching and were both in the domain of kirtana.
During his life a great calamity had come upon the Sri Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya in the form of a challenge to the authenticity of the Gaudiya sampradaya. Historical documentation confirms that in 1706 AD some envious pandits challenged King Jai Singh of Jaipur, who was a Vaisnava; telling him that the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya was not bonafide because no one from this line had written commentary on Vedanta-Sutra by Vedavyasa. The king being distressed immeadiately dispatched a message to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explaining the full situation. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti was too old at that time to travel. So he sent his student, Gaudiya VaisnavaVedanta-acarya, that crown jewel among the scholars, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, along with his disciple Krishna-deva dasa to uphold the honor and integrity of all the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Arriving humbly, barefoot with waterpot in hand and an old blanket over his shoulder at the Kings royal assembly in Jaipura. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana declared boldly that the establisher of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya was Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and that Srila Vyasadeva who is in our disciplic succession already wrote the Srimad Bhagavatam which is the natural commentary on his own Vedanta-sutra. But since Madhvacarya was accepted by Srila Vyasadeva and I am in the disciplic succession from Madhvacaraya I will write a commentary on Vedanta-sutra to satisfy your demands, establish Vaisnava vedanta and please the devotees.
In order to dispel this calamity Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusan composed in a short time a very wonderful and marvelous commentary on Vedanta-sutra in accordance with the thinking and conclusions of the Sri Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya through Sri Caitanaya Mahapranhu. This exalted commentary is known as "Govinda Bhasya" and it is so majestic, so flawlessly concise and so splendidly presented that the erring pandits were spellbound in awe and amazement and without any hesitation they fell down at the feet Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana without reservation and fully surrendered without protest to the superiority of the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta.
In this way Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana Prabhu rendered a distinguished service to the Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya and by this important and great act he attained the heartfelt blessings of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti and the eternal gratitude of all the devotees. This incident serves as an illuminating example of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti's second act of greatness and serves the purposes of preaching the Vaisnava dharma. For by by him, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, who appeared in a non-seminal brahminical family, is shown to be approved and accepted according to qualification by samskara and Vaisnava initiation.
The eighteen successive chapters, from 25 to 42 of the Bhisma-parva of Mahabharata comprise the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.The Supreme Lord Krishna is the speaker of this divine discourse and His dear friend the prince Arjuna is the listener. Before reading Srimad Bhagavad-Gita it is very important to understand the mutual relationship
between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. It is also essential to understand exactly what type of attitude Arjuna had in relation to Lord Krishna. This mood is precisely illustrated early on by Arjuna and is revealed in Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 2, verse 7:
karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me sisyas te'ham sadhi mam tvam prapanna
Now my natural qualities are beseiged by weakness and apprehension and my thinking is bewildered regarding rightousness. I am asking you to state what is definitely good for me. I am your disciple surrendered to you, kindly instruct me.
From this statement by Arjuna it is clear to understand that he humbly approached Lord Krishna in full submission and fully surrendering all ego requested instruction.
Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is not an imaginary scripture, and therefore there is no need toassign to it any interpretation or explanation derived from mundane speculations. To put forward that the supposition that Sanjaya should be seen metaphorically as divine vision, or that the blind king Dhrtarastra represents the blind mind are mere fanciful speculations and concoctions. The existence of a self-controlled mind which posesses divine vision is natural and certainly possible. Only by having such a mind is one able to successfully control their senses.
When the word Gita is spoken it should be understood that it is referring only to the Bhagavad-Gita which was instructed by the Supreme Lord Krishna to Prince Arjuna. Nowadays we find in bookshops, many books with titles such as Gita-samanvya or Gita-granthavali. These books are being popularized by claiming that they are great scriptures whose compilation comprises the very essence of the entire knowledge derived from the scriptures. But why should there be any objection in accepting the supremacy and eternality of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita which emanated from the lotus mouth of the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself and which is sumptuously adorned with such superlative adjectives as ‘sarva-jnana-prayojika’ meaning that which fulfills thepurpose of all knowledge, ‘sarva-sastra-sarabhutah’ which means the essence of all the Vedic scriptures, ’tattvartha-jnana-manjari’ meaning the blossoming flower in the form of knowledge of the absolute truth, etc.
Those who are nirvisesa-vadis or undifferentiated monists, jiva-brahma-ekavadi thosewho consider jiva and brahma to be one, cit-jada-samanvyavadis those who accept irrational conclusions and others, usually employ adjectives like ‘samanvya’ meaningharmony instead of showing vaisistya meaning uniqueness of cit and acit, exhibiting their self impudence by saying ‘everything is the one.’ In this way so called moralists,while always publishing their speculative ‘samanvaya-bhasya’ which is filled with their incoherent explanations of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita remain busy in vain efforts to display their deceptive veil of illusion to appear wise and knowledgeable.
At the present time the word ‘samanvaya’ or harmony is being greatly misused and misinterpreted. Actual and genuine all encompassing harmony can be seen only in the Supreme Lord Krishna alone, and therefore imaginary speculative concoctions and erroneous conclusions cannot be equated or acceptable. Nowadays we see many examples of irrational compromising commentaries of the Bhagavad-Gita in bookshops and libraries. By accepting the conception of oneness between the Supreme Lord and this world it is impossible to arrive at a state of harmony between the two. Neither can we make any anvaya or direct connection with either the world or the Supreme Lord. Presently we see this kind of distortion is vividly apparent among the so-called educated people of society and especially prevalent among people of the new age movement both young and old. It is therefore imperative to benevolently refute and compassionately correct all infectious distortions in the form of fallacious misconceptions and misguided delusions.
Those who take pride in their western oriented education are averse to the steadfast pursuit of pure knowledge through the method of inquiry with complete trust in the infallible validity of the Vedic scriptures. Instead they adopt different varieties of mundane logic and being absorbed in such moods, they attempt but unsuccessfully to conduct investigations. Such mundane historians, scholars, philosophers, scientists and the like are completely atheistic. By their mundane minds of limited perception they attempt to ascertain the point in time when the Vedic scriptures were composed. By such futile efforts they are not only unable to reconcile certain apparently opposing conceptions mentioned in the Vedas, but becoming confused they end up rejecting the Absolute Reality of the Ultimate Truth established therein. They even try and postulate the supposition that Srimad Bhagavad-Gita which is contained within the authentic historical treatise of the Mahabharata is only to be taken as allegorical.
Such type of investigation by mundane academians who are not sincere practitioners is extremely faulty and degraded. Instead of proclaiming and expanding the glories of Sanatana dharma's eternal righteousness and our sanatan dharma aryan sages and rishis, they to the contrary cause them to be neglected by encouraging disregard for knowledge of the absolute truth and ultimate reality. Theirs is not a search for immortal nectar, but rather theirs is the promulgation of destructive poison. It is observed in this modern day and age that educated persons often utilize the term sampradayika or secular in their verbal communications as well as in their thought processes. It is their intention to demonstrate that they are very liberal. However, they are most forgetful of the fact that visuddha sampradayism or pure secularism is the very crowning glory of sanatana arya dharma which is the eternal religion of the Aryan civilization and advanced in spiritual culture.
A sampradaya can only be used referring to a bona-fide guru paraparam or a disciplic succession of spiritual masters or gurus. This is the scripturally authorized and only acceptable way through which the science of the Absolute Truth is received by the method of srauta-amnaya-dhara or by the aural reception of spiritual knowledge. And sat-sampradaya means the system by which the Supreme Absolute Truth is bestowed upon one fully and in totality. This sampradayika line or disciplic succession has been existing and flowing within the Indian theistic culture and the foundation of the Aryan civilzation and culture since time immemorial.
There are only four authentic sampradayas or bonafide spiritual channels descending from and leading to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. Unless one is connected to one of these four authorized spiritual channels by disciplic succession all ones efforts for spiritual evolvement are futile and one is merely only deluding themselves while misleading others. This information is well documented and fully substantiated in ancient Vedic scriptures. We find in the Garga Samhita, Canto 10, chapter 61, verses 24, 25, 26:
visnuswami vamangsastatha madhvastu brahmanah
ramanujastu sesangsa nimbaditya sanakasya ca
Visnuswami, Madhvacarya, Ramanuja and Nimbaditya will appear respectively as a portion of Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesha and Sanaka Kumara.
ete kalau yuge bhavyah sampradaya pravartakah
samvatsare vikrama catvarah ksiti pavanah
These four saviours will establish the four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession through the 432,000 year duration of kali yuga.
sampradaya vihina ye mantraste nisphalah smritah
tasmacca gamanang hyasti sampradaya narairapi
These four authorised and empowered spiritual channels of disciplic succession are to be fully accepted by all beings as any word, combination of words or formulation of sound frequencies; invoked or addressed, audible or inaudible, secret or revealed, ancient or contemporary outside their auspices prove to have absolutely no efficacy.
The illustrious sampradaya-pranali or disciplic succession although completely and fully authorised by Vedanta is now being attacked by persons duly influenced by totally atheistic conceptions and mentalities originating from foreign lands. Efforts are being executed by them to destroy this system of our Aryan civilization. The root cause of all these problems stems from the mistaken understanding and use of the word ‘sectarian’ which also has been imported from the Western civilization. In the current age of speculation and concocted thinking innumerable, imaginary and whimsical schools of thought are being advanced and new ones are constantly being hatched up with the intention of declaring a revolution against the sat-sampradaya. When one is unable to properly investigate the Supreme Absolute Truth, then they adopt the path of convenience by succumbing to the flickering dictates of the mind considering this to be the ‘liberality’ so much promoted for the option of appealing to the opinions of the masses. By developing this attitude, one is forced to soon become nirvisesa-vadi or worshipers of a formless, featureless God. We see this in the religionof the Christians, the Muslims and Hebrews that their God is formless and featureless. We also see this conception in India in the mayavadi adoption of a qualitiless brahma.
Such foolish attempts to establish para-tattva Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord Krishna as nirvesa, devoid of qualities is ludicrous, and this is being dubbed nowadays as apasampradayika or secularism. In discussions on Vedanta such as the Bhagavad-Gita, the prevailing trend is to give an apasampradayika interpretation to it. This has become an unfortunate and extremely lamentable situation, in that today’s society the unrestrained acts which are not condoned by Vedanta, and are performed merely for one’s whimsical pleasure, are being accepted in accordance with this bogus and fallacious apasampradayika hypothesis.
If someone attempts to diminish the perfected realizations of the sanatan aryan sages and nitya siddha maha purusas who know past, present and future, in the matter of their conclusive understanding of the Supreme Absolute Reality, the param satyam, then they reject them considering them to be polluted by the one defect which they term as sampradayika, non-secular and instead they deviate and pretend to accept the explanations of Vedanta given by political and social leaders who are apasampradyika although in the guise of karmis, jnanis, yogis or mayavadis. In light of this it should be understood that the intelligence of such persons is simply engaged in opportunism and exploitation, deeply engrossed in mundane materialism.
In order to acquire the appropriate and philosophical understanding and comprehend the actual conclusion of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, we should submissively follow and humbly accept the shelter of the knowledge of our previous acaryas in disciplic succession which have been given to us by them in the form of their instructions and directions. Then and only then will the actual internal meaning of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita be revealed within our hearts to us.
If the author of a scripture composes his own commentary on that scripture denoting and illuminating its real intent and meaning, then it becomes very simple and easy to understand. Otherwise to the contrary without the aid of such commentary, it is quite natural that in the process of trying to penetrate its meaning, one will be overpowered by the four inherent defects: subject to illusion, imperfection of the senses, the tendency to commit mistakes and proneness to cheating. Therefore in order to understand the real meaning of the Bhagavad-Gita and attain its essence; there is no other recourse than to accept the shelter of param satyam or perfected realizations of such trikala-jnani holy rishis who know past, present and future and our previous acaryas in the disciplic succession who are free from the above mentioned four defects.
In this connection, my own dearmost, divine master parama-aradhyadeva Sri Srimad Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja has given potent and pertinent instructions about Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. I will now attempt herewith to mention a few of them.
"The purpose for the advent of the Bhagavad-Gita is neither political nor military war tactics. Rather it aims at complete saranagati unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Krishna the Supreme Absolute Truth and the Ultimate Reality. The Bhagavad-Gita's manifestation appeared to be due to Arjuna's illusion of lamentation. However, Arjuna can never come under the spell of illusion, and so his apparent lamentation was merely a pastime of Lord Krishna in order to enable the advent of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. Arjuna is an eternal associate and a dear servitor of the Supreme Lord Krishna. It's understood from the statements of the Vedas: partho vatsa," that the advent of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita as Gitamrta or a giver of nectar, did not take place only just for the benefit of Arjuna. Lord Krishna Himself has said: mamekami paranam vraja. Here the import of the word ekam is to surrender unto the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is the supreme controller and this is indeed the final conclusion to be found in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.
We see in the Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 9, verse 31:
kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati
O Arjuna, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.
Herein we can observe that Lord Krishna Himself is making His devotee Arjuna take a vow on His own behalf. The reason Lord Krishna has done this is because He will always unfailingly protect the vow of His devotees under all circumstances, but the vow in which Lord Krishna Himself makes can sometimes be amended due to His devotees acute supplications during great duress. Therefore by the display of His natural disposition of being bhakta-vatsalya He is proclaiming the victory of His devotees in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 4, verse 9. He has stated here that His appearance and activities, which are endowed with inconceivable sakti or potency are all divya or divine, alaukika or transcendental and aprakrta beyond the modes of material nature.
The Vedas are the instructions which emanated directly from the very breath of Isvara, Garbhodaksayi Visnu who is an expansion and verified as a purusa avatar of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, being the words which have emanated from the lotus mouth of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the unlimited source of Visnu is thus known as apauruseya which means of divine origin beyond the purview and authority of the material existence the same as the Vedas. There is no scope for debating this eternal truth.
In Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 9,verse 11,Lord Krishna has told Arjuna that being deluded by maya or illusion which is avidya or devoid of knowledge; ignorant and foolish living entities do not show any regard for Lord Krishna's aprakrta sac-cid-ananda form or for sri vigraha. Instead they consider the Supreme Lord to be just like any other perishable living entity in a physical body and they disrespect Him. Any object which is bereft of form or is impersonal cannot be worshipped. Merely by having an impersonal nature does not justify an object to be accepted as nirguna or aprakrta. The eternal, blissful and transcendental sac-cid-ananda form of the SupremeLord Krishna although completely imperceptible by material senses, is always pure, aprakrta beyond this material existence and nirguna-tattva, totally free from the influence of the material modes of existence."
Jagad-guru Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Srila Prabhupad has written in his commentary that the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita consisting of eighteen chapters is the most famous of all the Vedic scriptures. Numerous commentaries, explanations and translations of this exalted and sacred Vedic scripture numbering in the thousands are present in the world today in many languages. Amongst the various and assorted expositions of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita the commentaries of Srila Sridhara Swami of the Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya, Srila Ramanuja of the Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya, Srila Madhvacarya of the Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya, Srila Keshava Kashmiri of the Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana both from the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya, are the most prominent of those being validated by the bonafide authority of disciplic succession from one of the four authorised spiritual channels of disciplic successions revealed in the Vedic scripture Garga Samhita as delineated earlier.
Those who have taken shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the worshipable ista, diety of Gaudiya Vaisnavas, derive great, transcendental pleasure from these commentaries which are recommended and approved by the acaryas of the Brahma Madhva GaudiyaVaisnava Sampradaya. Brahmanas who are born into a seminal brahmana lineage of caste brahmans, adopt the occupation of smarta dharma which was made prevalent by the rules and injunctions given in the Manu Samhita. But in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita a provision is given for occupational duties based varna which is contrary to all these argumentative opinions. The Supreme Lord Krishna has revealed that, "Those whose intelligence has become deluded or covered by desires that to become free from distress adopt the proper rules to worship the respective demi-gods being compelled by their own nature they worship them. Why should one accept the shelter of different demi-gods giving up the shelter of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the absolute controller of all the 33,000 crores of demigods? This would be nescience. A living entities knowledge is destroyed and lost when he forsakes the devotion of the Supreme Lord Krishna and instead offers his worships to others designations. Yet without being free from all types of desires it is not possible to offer unalloyed devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Jagad-guru Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura has said in his rasika-ranjana exposition of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita," The supremely compassionate Supreme Lord Krishna, whose vows are always true,while aiming His words at His friend Arjuna, manifested Srimad Bhagavad-Gita for the deliverance and redemption of the whole world. This Lord Krishna accomplished in the form of this divine discourse by revealing the deep and esoteric, essential meanings of all the Vedas. In this way Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is the exclusive means of achieving the highest attainment.
Therefore Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is like the crest jewel of all the Upanisads. The Upanisads, Puranas, Srimad Bhagavatam, Vedanta-sutra and Srimad Bhagavad-Gita are all pure scriptures of unalloyed devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Those individuals who are endowed with realization of the impersonal brahman will after hearing the Bhagavad-Gita accept the renounced order like Uddhava. The deep import of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is that one’s adhikara or qualification is always in accordance with one's own svabhava or inherent nature. For a baddha jiva or a being in bondage there is no possibility of any attaining tattva-vastu or the ultimate truth by abandoning the inate qualities of one's own adhikara. Karma, jnana and bhakti each have their own separate svabhava. Therefore it can be understood that their svarupas or spiritual forms are also different. Thus by thorough and sincere comprehensive deliberation on tattva, karma-kanda, jnana-kanda and bhakti it can be determined that there are divisions amongst them. When one renounces all lesser, inferior mundane desires and pleasures and directs one's consciousness in attaining the superior bliss of bhagavat-seva which is exclusive service unto the Supreme Lord Krishna, then karma will automatically culminate in bhakti. Therefore bhakti alone is the highest objective of all living entities along with karma as well as karma-phala or the fruits of their karma. The knowledge of bhakti is an extremely profound and esoteric science. It is the very life breath of both karma and jnana and the only means by which the supreme goal is attained. For this reason the subject of bhakti has been positioned in the middle six chapters of the Bhagavad-Gita, thus showing that visuddha-bhakti or pure devotion is indeed the Bhagavad-Gita’s topmost objective. The verse beginning: sarva-dharman parityajya, in Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 18, verse 66 firmly establishes that saranagati or complete surrender to the Supreme Lord Krishna is indeed the final conclusion to the supreme science of the Bhagavad-Gita.
In order to understand the tattva-siddhanta or conclusive reality, and actual teachingsof the entire Bhagavad-Gita from its auspicious beginning to its final conclusion, it is necessary to first of all become fully surrendered to one of the four authentic and bonafide spiritual channels of disciplic succession in one of the four empowered sampradayas as revealed in the Vedic scripture Garga Samhita given earlier in this forward. This is the only means for us to be recepients of the pure vani or spiritual knowledge which is free from the four defects which is revealed by the nitya-siddhas who are eternally omniscient personalities, far beyond the mundane realm of the material existence.
The trees of neem, mango, bela, imli, etc., situated at the banks of the pure waters of the sacred Ganga, although all accepting the same water, yield different types of fruits, some sour, some sweet and some bitter respectively. Similarly living entities who are beguiled, bewilderd and deluded by maya or illusion even after reading Srimad Bhagavad-Gita go and preach their speculative suppositions and concocted opinions according to their respective qualities. If the question is raised that if karma, jnana, yoga and so on, are not the superior means, then why did Lord Krishna instruct His dear friend Arjuna to practice them? Then the answer must be given that at the same places where Lord Krishna has discussed these subjects, He has also mentioned that the endeavors for karma, jnana and yoga are futile and fruitless without devotion or bhagavad-bhakti.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed that the topmost method of bhajana is in the anugatya or guidance of the vraja-gopis: aisvarya sithila preme nahi mora prita. This alone is His innermost intention. In the Bhagavad-Gita, the source and origin of all incarnations and expansions as well as all of creation is the Supreme Lord Krishna in the verse: sarva-dharman parityajya He has manifested and established His supreme controllership over maya, the demi-gods, and all living entities in existence. As well as His being the supreme object of bhajanathe supremely worshipable object of all. He is the foundation or support of nirvisesa-brahma, the worshipable object of the jnanis. He is advaya-jnana tattva the non-dual absolute reality and He is advitiya vastva-vastu the absolute and ultimate reality one without a second. As the para-tattva He is the embodiment of all energies in perfect harmony and the possessor of all mellows and He is the worshipable of all beings.
In Srimad Bhagavad-Gita the first six chapters delineate karma-yoga or the yoga of actions and the last six chapters delineate jnana-yoga or the yoga of knowledge. Since bhakti-yoga is placed in the middle six chapters, it should be understood that bhakti which is devotion is the supreme shelter of karma and jnana. At Haridwar in maya-tirtha which is prominent among the seven holy tirthas where Srimad-Bhagavatam was recited, bhakti or devotion alone has been established as the life giving source of jnana-vairagya which is knowledge and renunciation. Without receiving the mercy of Bhakti-devi, endeavors of karma, jnana and yoga cannot bequeath their respective rewards and desired fruits.
From Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 9, verse 14 which begins: satatam kirtyanto mam, it is understood that kirtana or glorification of the Supreme Lord Krishna's nama, rupa, guna and lila which correspondlingly is His name, form, qualities and pastimes and engaging in the nine-fold limbs of bhakti is factual and actual worship of the Supreme Lord Krishna. It is said in Caitanya-caritamrta: aprakrta vastu nahe prakrta gocara, aprakrta objects are beyond the scope of prakrta, materialism and jnana, intelligence. In that exalted realm concepts like conceit, ego, scholarship and other mundane ideas are not applicable. Exclusive and unalloyed saranagati or complete surrender is the only means of attaining the mercy of the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Many persons who are unduly intoxicated by their mundane scholarship and ego, falsely claim that they understand and can guide others to understand the import of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita and the Vedic scriptures. But they simply deceive themselves and mislead others. Thus Lord Krishna has instructed in Bhagavad-Gita, chapter 10, verse 10:
tesam satata yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanta te
To those who in constant devotion worship Me with love, I give them the spiritual intelligence by which they may come to me.
Bhagavat-tattva or knowledge of divinty can only be thoroughly known with the help and blessings of buddhi-yoga or spiritual intelligence leading to communion with God This can only be bequeathed by the creator of all existence the Supreme Lord Krishna thru his bonafide representative in disciplic succession known as the spiritual master. Those who try to understand the real imports of the Bhagavad-Gita by accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Krishna, the bonafide guru in authorised disciplic succession directly descending from the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself and the Vaisnavas who are the Supreme Lords dearmost servitors; can very easily cross over the endless cycle of birth and death in the ocean of material existence, and becoming eligible attain para-bhakti, supreme service unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Thus in closing the sarva-guhyatam or the confidential words of the Bhagavad-Gita, have revealed the supreme object to be ascertained and has been established. This is also called pancam purusartha, the highest stage of sadhana and bhajana. Through a comparative discussion, Lord Krishna has established the supremacy of bhakti-yoga. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who has descended to purify the age of Kali along with His associates has performed this supremely benevolent act for the sake of all living being by illuminating the path of he most worshipable Supreme AbsoluteTruth and Ultimate Reality which is the apex of sadhana and zenith of bhajana. This is their causeless and compassionate magnanimty towards all created beings. Therefore this is the only process which is authorized by the auspices of disciplic succession and fully approved and recommended by the previous acaryas, reflective sages, sincere scholars and pious people throughout the entire world.
Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti
Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya