4.1. This Yoga is also known as BrahmaarpaNa Yoga (The Yoga of Brahman as the ladle etc.)

4.2. Although the two yogas viz. the Samkhya Yoga and Karma Yoga have been presented before in great detail still, the Lord implies their identity due to identity of results of the end and the means. Krishna through the presentation of the genealogy, praises the Yoga of Action which is the means, and the Yoga of Knowledge as the end, with a view to instructing about the various kinds of their qualities.
4.3. श्रीभगवानुवाच —
इमं विवस्वते योगं प्रोक्तवानहमव्ययम् ।
विवस्वान्मनवे प्राह मनुरिक्ष्वाकवेऽब्रवीत् ॥ १ ॥ (4.1)

4.4. Sri Bhagavan said: This immutable yoga I imparted to the Sun (Vivasvan) who gave it to Manu. Manu proclaimed it to Ikshvaaku.

एवं परम्पराप्राप्तमिमं राजर्षयो विदुः ।
स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्टः परन्तप ॥ २ ॥ (4.2)

4.6. Royal sages have known this in regular succession. This yoga, by long efflux of time decayed in this world O scorcherer of foes.

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योगः प्रोक्तः पुरातनः ।
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ॥ ३ ॥ (4.3)

4.8. That ancient Yoga itself, which is this, has been taught to you by Me today, considering that you are my devotee and friend. 1/2

4.9. Knowledge of this Yoga is a profound secret. 2/2

4.10. अर्जुन उवाच —
अपरं भवतो जन्म परं जन्म विवस्वतः ।
कथमेतद्विजानीयां त्वमादौ प्रोक्तवानिति ॥ ४ ॥ (4.4)

4.11. Your birth is recent whereas the birth of Vivasvaan was way earlier. How am I to understand that you instructed him earlier?

4.12. In Sabara Bhaashya of Jaimini Sutra it is said: “What is learnt in other past lives is not recollected.” Hence Arjun’s doubt.

4.13. श्रीभगवानुवाच —
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥ ५ ॥ (4.5)

4.14. Sri Bhagavan said: Numerous births of mine have already taken place, as also those of yours, Arjuna! 1/2

4.15. I know them all, but O scourge of foes! you do not.2/2

4.16. So did Vamadeva, even though a jeeva, say in Daasatayi, “I was Manu and the Sun. Now I am a Brahmana sage Kaakshivan (RV 4.26.1)

4.17. Arjuna was not able to accept this as his mind started thinking as follows:

4.18. A jeeva cannot have omniscience in the primary sense, since he is limited by his adjunct because of which he cannot have relationship with everything.

4.19. Even in the case of Viraat who has the whole universe as his upaadhi there is no possibility of knowing about the transformations of the subtle elements and the transformation of Maya, because he has the gross elements as his upaadhi.
Similarly in the case of Hiranyagarbha as well, who has the subtle elements of his upaadhi, it is an established fact that there is an absence of knowledge about such things as the order of evolution of Space etc. which are the transformations of his own source, viz. Maya.

4.20. Therefore Easwara alone, who by virtue of His having the ultimate cause (Maya) as the upaadhi is endowed with the knowledge of all objects, past, future and present, is omniscient in the primary sense.

4.21. Whether Maya has 3 states – past, future and present – or there is only one aspect of Maya comprising everything is a different question. And for this Easwara, who is eternal and omniscient, ‘birth’ itself is absurd because of the absence of paapam and puNyam etc. His having many past lives, however is a far remote idea! Thus then if You are a jeeva, it is impossible to be omniscient and if you are God it is impossible to be embodied! This is the thinking of Arjuna.

4.22.And so the Lord answer him as follows:

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन् ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥ ६ ॥ (4.6)

4.23. Though I am unborn, imperishable and the Lord of beings, yet subjugating My Prakrthi, I come into being by my own Maya.

4.24. Arjuna had asserted in his mind that embodiment of this kind is not possible for God who is omniscient and cause of everything.

4.25. If His body is made of the gross elements, then, on the assumption that it is a limited gross body, it will be the waking state it will be similar to that of ourselves and others; and on the assumption that it is a cosmic body, He will become a jiva called Virat, on account of possessing his Viraat upaadhi viz. the cosmic gross body.

4.26. On the other hand, if his body be made of subtle elements, then, on the assumption that it is a limited body, it will be the state of dream and be like that of ourselves and others; and on the assumption that it is the cosmit subtle body, He will be the jiva called Hiranyagarbha, on account of having Hiranyagarbha’s upaadhi viz. the cosmic subtle body.

4.27. And thus the conclusion is that the Supreme Lord verily cannot come to have a body made of the elements that not already occupied by a jiva.

4.28. Nor can it be said that, as one is possessed by a ghost in the same way God Himself enters into that kind of body which is indeed occupied by a jiva!

4.29. Because, if it is admitted that the experiences of that particular jiva within the limitation of that body belong to that jiva, then, since the entry of God into all the bodies as the inner Controller is already there, therefore it is useless to assume a special body for Him; and if it is held that those experiences do not belong to that jiva then it is illogical to say that this is a body of that jiva.

4.30. Hence in the first half of the verse “Even though I am birthless, undecaying by nature, and the Lord of all beings,” He admits that God cannot have a body made of elements.

4.31. By saying अज: अपि सन् – ‘even though I am birthless’, He dispels the notion of His acceptance of a fresh body; the notion of separation from a previous body by saying अव्ययात्मा अपि सन् – ‘even though undecaying by nature’; and the notion of His being subject to paapam and punyam by saying ईश्वरोऽपि सन् भूतानाम् – ‘even though the Lord of beings’ — of all beginning from Brahma to a clump of grass, which are subject to birth.

4.32. How then is the embodiment? He answers in the second half of the verse: अधिष्ठाय by controlling स्वाम् my प्रकृतिं prakrthi called Maya which is possessed of various strange powers that is capable of rendering the impossible possible सम्भवामि I am born. I become possessed of a body, as it were, and born as it were.

4.33. The beginningless Maya itself, which is My upaadhi, which is eternal in the sense that it exists as long as Time exists which makes Me the source of the universe and which functions merely under my will, is my body by virtue of being predominantly made up fo pure Satva GuNa.

4.34. And as possessed of that, it is but logical for Me to be birthless, undecaying, and the Ruler.

4.35. Hence it is reasonable that I have taught this Yoga to Vivasvan and to you through this body which is verily eternal.

4.36. Here Arjuna doubts: “In that case, since there is no body made of elements, therefore how can there be the apprehension of your being a man etc. which are its characteristics?

4.37. As to that Sri Krishna says: आत्ममायया by means of my own Maayaa. It is through this power of Maya that you get the cognition of seeing me as a man!



  1. Pingback: BHAGAVAT GEETHA – CHAPTER 3 – KARMA YOGA – THE YOGA OF ACTION (Part – 8) | Tamilbrahmins

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