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Canto 11

Vibhâvarî S'esha

 




Chapter 21: On Distinguishing between Good and Bad

(1) The Supreme Lord said: 'They who give up My paths of jñâna, karma and bhakti, will, in the cultivation of their lusts and fickle senses, keep moving through the cycle of birth and death. (2) When one manages to be steady in one's position that is called virtue, while the opposite of that is considered vice; this is the conclusion about these two [see also B.G. 2: 16]. (3) What would be pure or impure concerning the religion, what would be vice or virtue in normal affairs and what would be favorable or unfavorable for one's physical survival are matters [of good and bad] one must evaluate from the same category of elements oh sinless one [what is good for the body e.g. is not necessarily good for the religion]. (4) This approach of matters I put forward for the sake of those who bear the burden of religious principles. (5) Earth, water, fire, air and ether are the five basic elements that, from Lord Brahmâ down to the nonmoving creatures, constitute the bodies of the living beings who are all connected in the Supreme Soul. (6) Even though they consist of the same elements and in that sense are equal, the Vedas assign different names and forms to them in service of their self-interest [see varnâs'rama].

(7) What would be the right and wrong considerations concerning the time, place, the things and so on, is established by Me with the purpose of restricting materially motivated activities. (8) Among all places, those places are impure where there is no respect for the brahminical culture and no spotted antelopes can be found, where there are no saintly, cultured men even when there are spotted antelopes, where it is unclean like Kîkatha [a place of low-class men, see mleccha and *] and places where the earth is barren. (9) The time that by its nature [solar position, lunar phase] or by its objects [appointment by calendar and sundial] is suitable for performing one's prescribed duties is considered good and the time that  impedes the performance of one's duties or is unsuitable [night time e.g. or times of different obligations] is considered bad [see also B.G. 7: 8, 11.20: 26, kâla and kâlakûtha **]. (10) The purity or impurity of a thing [or of a substance] is determined [validated] with the help of another thing, in respect of what one says about it, by means of a ritual performance [of purification], in respect of time or according to its relative magnitude [***]. (11) Whether it [- viz. the quality of a thing -] imposes accordingly a sinful [or pious] reaction upon a person depends on that person's power or impotence, intelligence, wealth, condition and place. (12) By a combination of time, air, fire, earth and water or by each of them separately [matters are purified like] grains, things made of wood, clay and bone, thread, skins, liquids and things won from fire. (13) When something in touch with that what is impure removes a bad smell or dirt and thus restores the original nature of an object one speaks of purification. (14) By bathing, charity and austerity a twice-born soul who remembers Me should perform activities in respect of his age, his heroism, ritual purification and prescribed duties, in accord with that what is pure, the cleanliness of the [original] Self. (15) The purification derived from a mantra is a consequence of the correct knowledge about it. The purification by a certain act is the consequence of one's dedication to Me. Dharma [religiosity] prospers by [the purity of] the six factors [as mentioned: the place, the time, the substance, the mantras, the doer and the devotional act], whereas godlessness [adharma] is produced by the contrary.

(16) Sometimes though, a virtue turns out to be a vice and a vice - by providence [or Vedic instruction] - turns out to be a virtue. Respecting the regulative principles one is thus faced with the fact that the distinction between what is good and bad is factually effaced by them [4*]. (17) The same performance of karma because of which someone fell down is not the cause of another fall down. Someone who fell [in love e.g.] does not fall any further; for such a one natural attachment changes into a virtue. (18) Whatever one desists from one is freed from - this is for human beings the foundation of religious life [natural pious living] that takes away the suffering, fear and delusion. (19) When one presumes the objects stimulating the senses to be good, a person will develop attachment as a consequence, from that attachment lust originates and because of that lust [to enjoy at will] there is quarrel among people. (20) Because of quarreling there is the anger that is difficult to handle and because of anger there is ignorance; and thus someone's broad consciousness is quickly overtaken by darkness [or narrowed consciousness]. (21) Oh saintly soul, a living being bereft that way [of clear understanding] becomes empty-headed so that, as a consequence having fallen away from his goals in life, he - just like dull matter - is as good as dead [compare B.G. 2: 62-63]. (22) Adhering to the sensual affair one, vainly living the life of a tree, fails in knowing oneself and others, so that one's breathing is nothing more than pumping air. (23) The awards promised in the [karma-kânda part of the] scriptures are for man not the highest good; they are merely enticements to create a taste for the ultimate good [upâsana-kânda], similar to what one says to make someone take a medicine. (24) From the moment they are born, mortals develop a mind of attachment to their family, their vital functions and the objects of their desire, because of which they loose sight of the interest of their soul. (25) Why would the intelligent ones [the Vedic authority] encourage those, who on the path of danger blind to their real interest in submission [to karmic actions] land in darkness, to further engage in such [attachments, also 5.5: 17]? (26) Some who thus with a perverted intelligence do not understand the purpose [of finding fulfillment in Krishna], speak in [karma-mîmâmsâ] flowery language about [sacrificing for the sake of] material benefits; something about which he who really knows the Vedas does not speak [see also B.G. 2: 42-44]. (27) Those who are lusty, miserly and greedy take the flowers [of  karmic sacrifices] for the fruit [of realization]; bewildered by the fire they suffocate from the smoke and do not realize their position [their true identity of being an individual soul instead of a body]. (28) Armed with their expressions My dear, they do not know Me who is seated within their heart and from whom this universe generated that is also Me. In their self-indulgence they are like people staring into fog. (29-30) Not understanding My confidential conclusion [see also 10.87 and B.G. 9] they, absorbed in their sensuality, [as meat eaters] are attached to the violence [against animals] that may occur under conditions [in nature], but certainly never is encouraged for sacrifices. In reality they take pleasure in being violent against the animals that [without necessity] were slaughtered for their sense gratification. With their ritual worship of the gods, the forefathers and the leading spirits, they are mischievous people. (31) In their hearts they all - like business men investing their wealth - imagine to achieve in a world as pleasing as it sounds, but which is as unreal as a dream. (32) Established in the mode of passion, goodness or ignorance they worship the gods and others headed by Indra who likewise delight in passion, goodness and ignorance, but Me they do not worship properly [thus, see also B.G. 9: 23 and 10: 24 & 25]. (33-34) [They think:] 'When we worship the demigods with sacrifices here, we will enjoy heaven, and when that has ended, turn back to earth in wealth in a fine family.' With their minds thus bewildered by the flowery words [of the Vedas] they nevertheless, as proud and most greedy men, are not attracted to My topics.

(35) The trikânda divided Vedas have the spiritual understanding of the true self, the soul, as their subject matter, but also the seers who esoterically express themselves more indirectly [the 'other gurus'] are dear to Me. (36) The transcendental [Vedic] sound [the s'abda-brahman] manifesting itself [at different levels] in the prâna, the senses and the mind [of the pure, self-realized, enlightened person] is most difficult to understand; it is unlimited and as unfathomably deep as the ocean [see also 11.12: 17-18]. (37) The groundless, changeless Absolute of endless potencies that I promote [as My nature, see Omkâra], is represented within the living beings in the form of sound vibrations, the way a lotus stalk is represented by a single strand of fiber [see also 11.18: 32 and 6.13: 15]. (38-40) Just as a spider weaves its web from the heart by its orifice, the breath of the Lord [the prâna] from the ether is manifesting the sound vibration through the mind in the form of the different phonemes. Full of nectar comprising all the shapes that branch out in thousands of directions, the Master, decorated with consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels, has expanded from the syllable om. By the elaborated diversity of expressions and metrical arrangements - that each have four more syllables -, He Himself creates and withdraws again the vast, unlimited expanse [of the Vedic manifestation of sound, see also B.G. 15: 15]. (41) For instance the metres Gâyatrî, Ushnik and Anushthup; Brihatî and Pankti as also Trishthup, Jagatî, Aticchanda, Atyashthi, Atijagatî and Ativirâth [have each in this order four more syllables]. (42) The [confidential] heart of the matter of what these literatures [karma-kânda] enjoin [to be done], what they [upâsana-kânda] indicate [as being the object of devotion], what aspects they describe or what alternatives they [jñâna-kânda] thus offer [as philosophy], is in this world not known by anyone else but Me [compare 11.20, B.G. 4: 5, 7: 26, 10: 41]. (43)  I am the One enjoined, I am the object of worship, I am the alternative [the philosophical hypothesis] that is offered and the One who is explained away [5*]. The transcendental sound vibration of the Vedas establishes Me as being their meaning and elaborately describes the material duality as the department of the bewildering energy one has to emasculate to ultimately become happy.'

 

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Third revised edition, loaded July 3, 2015.

 

 

 

 

Previous Aadhar edition and Vedabase links:

Text 1

The Supreme Lord said: 'They who give up My paths of jñâna, karma and bhakti, will, in the cultivation of their lusts and fickle senses, keep moving through the cycle of birth and death.
The Supreme Lord said: 'They who give up on these means of achieving Me, consisting of the devotion, the knowledge and the work to be done, are by the insignificance of the flickering lusts they cultivate with the senses, confronted with the finality of a material existence. (Vedabase)

 

Text 2

When one manages to be steady in one's position that is called virtue, while the opposite of that is considered vice; this is the conclusion about these two [see also B.G. 2: 16].

The steadiness each one has in his own position is declared to be the actual virtue and the opposite [of being unsteady] is indeed the vice; this is the final conclusion about the two [see also B.G. 2: 16]. (Vedabase)

   

Text 3

What would be pure or impure concerning the religion, what would be vice or virtue in normal affairs and what would be favorable or unfavorable for one's physical survival are matters [of good and bad] one must evaluate from the same category of elements oh sinless one [what is good for the body e.g. is not necessarily good for the religion].

What would be pure or impure concerning the religion, what would be vice or virtue in normal affairs and what would be favorable or unfavorable for one's physical survival are matters one must evaluate from the same category of elements, o sinless one [what is good for the body e.g. is not necessarily good for the religion]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 4

This approach of matters I put forward for the sake of those who bear the burden of religious principles.

This approach [of distinguishing between good and bad] I put forward for the sake of those who suffer the burden of religious principles. (Vedabase)

 

Text 5

Earth, water, fire, air and ether are the five basic elements that, from Lord Brahmâ down to the nonmoving creatures, constitute the bodies of the living beings who are all connected in the Supreme Soul. 

Earth, water, fire, air and ether are the five basic elements that, from Lord Brahmâ down to the nonmoving creatures, constitute the bodies of the living beings who are all connected in the Supreme Soul. (Vedabase)

 

Text 6

Even though they consist of the same elements and in that sense are equal, the Vedas assign different names and forms to them in service of their self-interest [see varnâs'rama].

Although they consist of the same elements and in that sense are equal, assign the Vedas different names and forms to them in service of their self-interest [see varnâs'rama].
 
(Vedabase)

 

Text 7

What would be the right and wrong considerations concerning the time, place, the things and so on, is established by Me with the purpose of restricting materially motivated activities.

What would be the right and wrong considerations concerning the time, place, the things and so on, is established by Me with the purpose of restricting materially motivated activities. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 8

Among all places, those places are impure where there is no respect for the brahminical culture and no spotted antelopes can be found, where there are no saintly, cultured men even when there are spotted antelopes, where it is unclean like Kîkatha [a place of low-class men] and places where the earth is barren [see mleccha and *].

Among all places are those places spoiled where there is no respect for the brahminical and the spotted antelopes are missing. And even when there are spotted antelopes [left, viz. not all being killed] is a place that is without saintly, cultured men, an uncivilized place where the practices are unclean and the earth is barren [see mleccha and *]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 9

The time that by its nature [solar position, lunar phase] or by its objects [appointment by calendar and sundial] is suitable for performing one's prescribed duties is considered good and the time that  impedes the performance of one's duties or is unsuitable [night time e.g. or times of different obligations] is considered bad [see also B.G. 7: 8, 11.20: 26, kâla and kâlakûtha **].

That time is correct and suitable which either by its own nature [viz. not manipulated against nature] or understood according to the person [the Lord, but also according the season, the money - the lakshmî -, the availability of something] is suitable for executing one's prescribed duty. Wrong and not suitable is the time which impedes someone in the performance of his duty, the time that is not fit for doing work [a lust motivated, arbitrary notion of time, see 11.20: 26, kâla and kâlakûtha **]. (Vedabase)


Text 10

The purity or impurity of a thing [or of a substance] is determined [validated] with the help of another thing, in respect of what one says about it, by means of a ritual performance [of purification], in respect of time or according to its relative magnitude [***].

The pure or impure of a thing [or of a substance] is determined with the help of another thing, in respect of what one says about it, by means of a ritual performance, by the reference of time or according the relative magnitude [see ***]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 11

Whether it [- viz. the quality of a thing -] imposes accordingly a sinful [or pious] reaction upon a person depends on that person's power or impotence, intelligence, wealth, condition and place.

Depending one's power or impotence, intelligence and wealth, condition and place, imposes it [viz. the quality of a thing] accordingly upon a person a sinful [or pious] reaction.  (Vedabase)

 

Text 12

By a combination of time, air, fire, earth and water or by each of them separately [matters are purified like] grains, things made of wood, clay and bone, thread, skins, liquids and things won from fire.

By a combination of time, air, fire, earth and water or by each of them separately [are matters purified like] grains, things made of wood, clay and bone, thread, skins, liquids and things won from fire. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 13

When something in touch with that what is impure removes a bad smell or dirt and thus restores the original nature of an object one speaks of purification.

That is considered purifying which by touching the impure removes a bad smell or dirt and so restores the original nature of that object. (Vedabase)

 

Text 14

By bathing, charity and austerity a twice-born soul who remembers Me should perform activities in respect of his age, his heroism, ritual purification and prescribed duties, in accord with that what is pure, the cleanliness of the [original] Self.

By bathing, charity and austerity, by virtue of his age, his heroism, ritual purification and his prescribed duties a twice-born man [being the doer] should, in the remembrance of Me, perform according to the pure, the cleanliness of the [original] self. (Vedabase)

 

Text 15

The purification derived from a mantra is a consequence of the correct knowledge about it. The purification by a certain act is the consequence of one's dedication to Me. Dharma [religiosity] prospers by [the purity of] the six factors [as mentioned: the place, the time, the substance, the mantras, the doer and the devotional act], whereas godlessness [adharma] is produced by the contrary.

The purification derived from a mantra is a consequence of the correct knowledge about it and the purification by a certain act is the consequence of one's dedication to Me. Religiosity is achieved by [the purity of] the six factors [as mentioned: the place, the time, the substance, the mantras, the doer and the devotional act], whereas the irreligious is there as a consequence of the contrary. (Vedabase)

  

Text 16

Sometimes though, a virtue turns out to be a vice and a vice - by providence [or Vedic instruction] - turns out to be a virtue. Respecting the regulative principles one is thus faced with the fact that the distinction between what is good and bad is factually effaced by them [4*].

Sometimes a virtue turns into a vice though and a vice turns by the power of vedic instruction into a virtue. Respecting the regulative principles one is thus faced with the fact that the distinction [between that what is proper and improper] factually is effaced by them [4*]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 17

The same karma because of which someone fell down is not the cause of another fall down. Someone who fell [in love e.g.] does not fall any further; for such a one natural attachment changes into a virtue.

The same karma because of which someone fell down is not the cause of another falldown. Someone who fell [in love...] doesn't fall further; for such a one the natural attachment changes into a virtue. (Vedabase)

 

Text 18

Whatever one desists from one is freed from - this is for human beings the foundation of religious life [natural pious living] that takes away the suffering, fear and delusion.

Whatever one desists from one is freed from - this is for human beings the foundation of religious life that takes away the suffering, fear and delusion. (Vedabase)

 

Text 19

When one presumes the objects stimulating the senses to be good, a person will develop attachment as a consequence, from that attachment lust originates and because of that lust [to enjoy at will] there is quarrel among people.

Presuming the objects that gratify the senses to be good rises from that assumption the attachment of a person, from that attachment originates the lust and because of lust there is quarrel among people. (Vedabase)

 

Text 20

Because of quarreling there is the anger that is difficult to handle and because of anger there is ignorance; and thus someone's broad consciousness is quickly overtaken by darkness [or narrowed consciousness].

From quarreling there is the anger difficult to handle and the consequent ignorance; thus is someone's consciousness quickly overtaken by darkness. (Vedabase)

  

 Text 21

Oh saintly soul, a living being bereft that way [of clear understanding] becomes empty-headed so that, as a consequence having fallen away from his goals in life, he - just like dull matter - is as good as dead [compare B.G. 2: 62-63].

O saintly one, a living being bereft that way [of clear understanding] becomes empty-headed so that, consequently fallen away from his goals in life, he similar to dull matter is as good as dead [compare B.G. 2: 62-63]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 22

Adhering to the sensual affair one, vainly living the life of a tree, fails in knowing oneself and others, so that one's breathing is nothing more than pumping air.

Overly absorbed in the sensual he, vainly living the lifestyle of a tree, fails in knowing himself and knowing the other so that his breathing is nothing but pumping air. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 23

The awards promised in the [karma-kânda part of the] scriptures are for man not the highest good; they are merely enticements to create a taste for the ultimate good [upâsana-kânda], similar to what one says to make someone take a medicine.

The awards promised in the scriptures are for man not the highest good; they are merely enticements to create a taste for the ultimate good, similar to what one says to make someone take a medicine. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 24

From the moment they are born, mortals develop a mind of attachment to their family, their vital functions and the objects of their desire, because of which they loose sight of the interest of their soul.

Simply by their birth alone strive mortals against the interest of their souls, because their minds are entangled in the care for the objects of their desire, their vital functions and their loved ones. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 25

Why would the intelligent ones [the Vedic authority] encourage those, who on the path of danger blind to their real interest in submission [to karmic actions] land in darkness, to further engage in such [attachments, also 5.5: 17]?

Submissive [religiously] wander they unaware in regard of their real self-interest the path of disaster. Why would the intelligent [the vedic authority] lead those who enter the darkness further into sense engagement [see also 5.5: 17]? (Vedabase)

 

 Text 26

Some who thus with a perverted intelligence do not understand the purpose [of finding fulfillment in Krishna], speak in [karma-mîmâmsâ] flowery language about [sacrificing for the sake of] material benefits; something about which he who really knows the Vedas does not speak [see also B.G. 2: 42-44].

Some people, they who this way with a perverted intelligence do not understand the actual conclusion, speak in flowery statements of the material awards about which he who really knows the Vedas doesn't speak [see also B.G. 2: 42-44]. (Vedabase)


 Text 27

Those who are lusty, miserly and greedy take the flowers [of  karmic sacrifices] for the fruit [of realization]; bewildered by the fire they suffocate from the smoke and do not realize their position [their true identity of being an individual soul instead of a body].

The lusty, miserly and greedy ones take the flowers for the ultimate truth; bewildered by the fire do they, suffocating by the smoke, not know their position [of being an individual soul instead of being a body]. (Vedabase)

 

Text 28

Armed with their expressions My dear, they do not know Me who is seated within their heart and from whom this universe generated that is also Me. In their self-indulgence they are like people staring into fog.

They, armed with their expressions, My dear, do not know Me who is seated within the heart and from whom this universe has risen that is also Me - they, self-indulgent, are like people staring in fog. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 29-30

Not understanding My confidential conclusion [see also 10.87 and B.G. 9] they, absorbed in their sensuality, [as meat eaters] are attached to the violence [against animals] that may occur under conditions [in nature], but certainly never is encouraged for sacrifices. In reality they take pleasure in being violent against the animals that [without necessity] were slaughtered for their sense gratification. With their ritual worship of the gods, the forefathers and the leading spirits, they are mischievous people.

They without understanding My confidential conclusion [see also 10.87 and B.G. 9] are, being absorbed in the sensual, attached to the violence that may be [an itegral part of nature], but certainly never is encouraged for the sacrifices. In reality taking pleasure in being violent with the animals that in the desire for their own happiness were slaughtered, they are in their ritual worship of the gods, the forefathers and the leading ghosts, mischievous people. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 31

In their hearts they all - like business men investing their wealth - imagine to achieve in a world as pleasing as it sounds, but which is as unreal as a dream.

That unholy world [they uphold] can be compared to a dream that, sounding nice, is about mundane achievements with which they, imagined in their hearts like they were businessmen, have forsaken the actual purpose [of realizing the soul]. (Vedabase)


 Text 32

Established in the mode of passion, goodness or ignorance they worship the gods and others headed by Indra who likewise delight in passion, goodness and ignorance, but Me they do not worship properly [thus, see also B.G. 9: 23 and 10: 24 & 25].

Established in the mode of passion, goodness or ignorance they worship the gods and others headed by Indra who likewise delight in passion, goodness and ignorance. But I am thus not worshiped the proper way [see also B.G. 9: 23 and 10: 24 & 25]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 33-34

[They think:] 'When we worship the demigods with sacrifices here, we will enjoy heaven, and when that has ended, turn back to earth in wealth in a fine family.' With their minds thus bewildered by the flowery words [of the Vedas] they nevertheless, as proud and most greedy men, are not attracted to My topics.

'When we here with our sacrifices to the gods are full of worship, we will enjoy the pleasures of heaven and next on earth all live in a barn of a house and be high-born.' With their minds thus bewildered by the flowery words [of the Vedas] they despite these words, as proud and most greedy men, are not attracted to My topics. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 35

The trikânda divided Vedas have the spiritual understanding of the true self, the soul, as their subject matter, but also the seers who esoterically express themselves more indirectly [the 'other gurus'] are dear to Me.

The trikânda divided Vedas have the spiritual understanding of the true self, the soul, as their subject matter, but also the vedic seers who more esoterically privately express themselves are dear to Me [the 'other gurus']. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 36

The transcendental [Vedic] sound [the s'abda-brahman] manifesting itself [at different levels] in the prâna, the senses and the mind [of the pure, self-realized, enlightened person] is most difficult to understand; it is unlimited and as unfathomably deep as the ocean [see also 11.12: 17-18].

The transcendental sound [the s'abda-brahman] manifesting itself in the prâna, the senses and the mind [of the self-realized, enlightened person] is something most difficult to understand, it is unlimited and is as unfathomably deep as the ocean. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 37

The groundless, changeless Absolute of endless potencies that I promote [as My nature, see Omkâra], is represented within the living beings in the form of sound vibrations, the way a lotus stalk is represented by a single strand of fiber [see also 11.18: 32 and 6.13: 15].

The groundless, changeless Absolute of endless potencies that I promote [as My nature, see Omkâra], is represented within the living beings in the form of soundvibrations, the way a lotus stalk is represented by a single strand of fiber [see also 11.18: 32 and 6.13: 15]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 38-40

Just as a spider weaves its web from the heart by its orifice, the breath of the Lord [the prâna] from the ether is manifesting the sound vibration through the mind in the form of the different phonemes. Full of nectar comprising all the shapes that branch out in thousands of directions, the Master, decorated with consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels, has expanded from the syllable om. By the elaborated diversity of expressions and metrical arrangements - that each have four more syllables -, He Himself creates and withdraws again the vast, unlimited expanse [of the Vedic manifestation of sound, see also B.G. 15: 15].

Just as a spider from the heart weaves its web through its opening, is the breath of God [the prâna] from the ether manifesting the soundvibration through the mind in the form of the different phonemes. Full of nectar comprising all the shapes that branch out in thousands of directions, has the Master, decorated with consonants, vowels, sibilants and semivowels, expanded from the syllable om. By the elaborated diversity of expressions and metrical arrangements that each have four more syllables, He creates and Himself withdraws again the great unlimited expanse [of the vedic manifestation of sound, see also B.G. 15: 15]. (Vedabase)

 

  Text 41

For instance the metres Gâyatrî, Ushnik and Anushthup; Brihatî and Pankti as also Trishthup, Jagatî, Aticchanda, Atyashthi, Atijagatî and Ativirâth [have each in this order four more syllables].

For instance the metres Gâyatrî, Ushnik and Anushthup; Brihatî and Pankti as also Trishthup, Jagatî, Aticchanda, and Atyashthi, Atijagatî and Ativirâth [have each in this order four more syllables]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 42

The [confidential] heart of the matter of what these literatures [karma-kânda] enjoin [to be done], what they [upâsana-kânda] indicate [as being the object of devotion], what aspects they describe or what alternatives they [jñâna-kânda] thus offer [as philosophy], is in this world not known by anyone else but Me [compare 11.20, B.G. 4: 5, 7: 26, 10: 41].

What they [karma-kânda] enjoin [to be done], what they [upâsana-kânda] indicate [as being the object of devotion], what aspects they describe or what alternatives they [jñâna-kânda] thus literarily offer [as philosophy], the heart of this matter is in this world not known by anyone else but Me [compare 11.20, B.G. 4: 5, 7: 26, 10: 41]. (Vedabase)

 

 Text 43

I am the One enjoined, I am the object of worship, I am the alternative [the philosophical hypothesis] that is offered and the One who is explained away [5*]. The transcendental sound vibration of the Vedas establishes Me as being their meaning and elaborately describes the material duality as the department of the bewildering energy one has to emasculate to ultimately become happy.'

I am the object of worship, the concern of the enjoined action and the alternative that is offered and explained away [5*]. The transcendental sound vibration of the Vedas establishes Me as being their meaning and elaborately describes the material duality as simply being the illusory one has to emasculate to ultimately become happy.' (Vedabase)

 

*: S'rîla Madhvâcârya quotes from the Skanda Purâna as follows: 'Religious persons should reside within an eight-mile radius of rivers, oceans, mountains, hermitages, forests, spiritual cities or places where the s'âlagrâma-s'îlâ [a black oval river-stone suitable for worship] is found. All other places should be considered kîkatha, or contaminated. But if even in such contaminated places black and spotted antelopes are found, one may reside there as long as sinful persons are not also present. Even if sinful persons are present, if the civil power rests with respectable authorities, one may remain. Similarly, one may dwell wherever the Deity of Vishnu is duly installed and worshiped.'

**: The paramparâ adds here: 'Political, social or economic disturbances that obstruct the execution of one's religious duties are considered inauspicious times.' Therefore  the - form of, type of - time with which one achieves the association of the Supreme Lord or the Lord's pure devotee, is the most auspicious time, whereas the form of time which is politically, economically or socially determined and with which one loses such association, is most inauspicious. Religious timing - to the sun and moon e.g. - is sat kâla, or true timing and proper conditioning, whereas humanly determined timing is asat kâla, or time conditioning by false authority, a karma motivated time driven by ulterior motives. Scientifically it concerns a biological conflict at the level of the nervous system between natural stimuli of time, like the regularity of daylight, and the cultural stimuli of time that oppose with linear and generalized concepts of time like mean time and zone time. The time sense of modern man is for this reason disturbed, he suffers psychological time, an unstable sense of time which is fundamental to the cultural neurosis.

***: An example to illustrate this rather abstract formulation is the clock: the clock is pure or impure relative to its object measured: the time of nature as another 'thing' of time. This is called the criterion of scientific validation or the determination of the zero point of measurement. But also speaking of it in a scientific lecture telling that the mean of time, the clock deviating from nature, is derived from and refers to nature itself through a scientific formula that expresses the so called equation of time, is a political way of sanctifying, declaring the truth of, an obviously deviating clock. Furthermore there is also the religious ritual that presents the cross of Jesus Christ for instance, or the Mahâmantra of Lord Caitanya, to the standard of time on the clock in order to forgive the sin of the pragmatical deviating from Krishna's nature of time and the scientific rationalization about it. Next we can simply set the clock to the nature of time, to the time of Krishna, to be true to the religious insight [see f.c.o.]. And finally, realizing that the confidentiality of Krishna's time cannot be imposed politically, there is the purity to the relative magnitude, as this verse states, that with the modern complexity of time awareness can be respected with a dual display of time offered by some clocks or else with two clocks combined: one display set to nature and one to the politics of pragmatical timekeeping. Thus we can by this verse tolerate the impurity of profit motivated karmic time manipulations and still manage with purity as devotees [Prabhupâda who on the one hand demanded punctuality, requested his devotees to further study the subject of time. 'All days and hours are the same to me. I leave that matter to you', he confided in 'A Transcendental Diary' by Hari S'auri Dâsa].

4*: The paramparâ gives an example: 'Someone who abandons one’s wife and children is certainly irresponsible and thoughtless. If one takes sannyāsa, however, and remains fixed on a higher spiritual platform, he is considered to be a most saintly person. Piety and sin therefore depend upon particular circumstances and are at times difficult to distinguish.' According to S'rîla Madhvâcârya, persons above the age of fourteen are considered capable of distinguishing between good and bad and are thus responsible for their pious and sinful activities.

5*: This 'explaining away' of Him as an absolute norm is associated with the relationship between form and content. In bhakti one is faced with His form, the form of the âcârya and the form of the other devotees as the entrance gate giving access to the Vedic knowledge. Once having passed that gate on one's way inside, the gate for which the Lord stands with His form is of a lesser importance than the content taken care of by jñâna. When one has accessed the content, the form is just as obsolete as the package of a product is when one wants to use it after being bought. But Lord Krishna is of course just as well the form as the content. In that sense one rather finds Him on one's way inside. The explaining away pertains to the form thus. Thus is the necessity demonstrated of the trikânda threefoldness of yoga: karma-yoga constitutes the way, bhakti-yoga constitutes the shop and jñâna-yoga shows the contents of spiritual realization to procure there.

 
 

 

 

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The painting is called: 'Saguna'.
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Wim Kuenen, used with permission.
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Filognostic Association of The Order of Time


 

 

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