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The Gitaartha Sagraha of Sri Yamunacarya

Courtesy: See also for the text in various languages (click on Stotras and scroll down to Gittaartha sangraha, click here for Sanskrit text).

l ll 1 ll
Swadharma jnana vairaagya saadhya bhaktyeka gocarahaa l NaaraayaNah Param Brahma Gitaa shaastre sameeritah ll 1 ll
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1) In the scripture known as the Bhagavad Gita, Narayana, the Supreme Brahman, is declared. He is attainable by Bhakti alone, which is to be brought about by the observance of one's own Dharma, aquisition of knowledge and renunciation of attachment. In the authoritative sacred text known as the Bhagavad Gita, Narayana, The Supreme Brahman, is declared to be attainable only through devotion (saadhya bhaktyeka gocarahaa) which is to be developed by the performance of ones duties (swadharma), through wisdom (jnana, concerning the Lord and the Jiva) and through dispassion (vairaagya, for things other than the Lord).

l ll 2 ll
Jnaana karmaatmike nishThe yoga-laskhye susamkrute l Aatmaanubhuti siddhyarte poorva-shaTkena codite ll 2 ll
2) In the first hexad, the performance of desireless Karma and Jna, with the practice of Yoga in view, is enjoined for the realisation of the self. In the first (poorva) group of six chapters (shaTkena), the well refined disciplines of Karma yoga (disinterested action, without desire or expectation of the rewards of actions) and Jnana yoga are enjoined as effective means (susamskrute) of attaining the goal (yoga-lakshye) of self-realization (aatmaanubhuti siddhyarte).

l () ll ()
Madhyame Bhagavat tattva yaathaatmya-avaapti-siddhaye l Jnana-karma-abhinirvartyO bhaktiyogah prakeertitah ll 3 ll
3) In the middle hexad, Bhakti Yoga, which can be brought by Karma and Jana is treated for the attainment of the exact knowledge of Bhagavan, the Supreme Being, as He is. In the middle group of six chapters is thoroughly expounded the discipline of Bhakti yoga (the path of devotion) which requires the (auxiliary) performance of works with the knowledge of the Self, in order to successfully experience the Supreme Lord as He is.

l ll ()
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Pradhaana purusha-vyakta sarveshwara vivecanam l Karmadheer-bhaktir-ityaadih poorvasheshO-ntimoditah ll 4 ll

4) In the last hexad, which subserves the two preceding hexads, is treated matter (Pradhana) in the primordial condition, matter in its evolved state, the self (Purusa), and Isvara the Ruler of all. Besides, the disciplines relating to work, to knowledge and to devotion are again dealt with by way of supplementing and completing what has been taught earlier. In the last (antimO) six chapters is taught (uditah) the distinctions (vivecanam) between matter in its primordial (unmanifest) state (Pradhaana), the Self (purusha), matter in its evolved form (manifest, vykata) and the nature of the Supreme Lord (sarveshwara), in addition to such things (aadih) as works (karma), gnosis (dheeh, or jnaana), and devotion (bhakti), by way of supplementing and complimenting (poorvashesha) that which was taught earlier (poorva).

The first four slokas above give the general structure of the Bhagavad Gita. From slokas 5 to 22 below, Yamunaacarya provides a single-verse summary of the theme of each of 18 chapters of the Gita.

l ll 5 ll
Asthaana sneha kaaruNya dharmaadharma dhiyaakulam l Paartham prapannam uddishya shaastraavataraNam krutam ll 5 ll
5) The treatise was initiated for the sake of Arjuna, who was overtaken by misplaced love and compassion and also perplexity as to what was Dharma and what Adharma, and who took refuge in Sri Krsna. This teaching was revealed (shaastra avataraNam krutam) by Krishna, for the sake (uddishya) of Arjuna (Paartham), who had taken refuge (prapannam) in Him, and who (i.e., Arjuna) due to misplaced (asthaana) affection (sneha) and compassion (kaaruNya) was confused (dhiyaakulam) between dharma (right actions) and adharma (wrong actions).

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l ( ) ll 6 ll
Nityam aasanga karmEha-a-gocaraa Sankhyayogadheeh l Dwitiiye stitha-dhee-lakshaa proktaa tanmoha-shaantaye ll 6 ll
6) The knowledge of Sankya and Yoga, which comprehend in their scope the eternal self and disinterested activity respectively, leading to the state of steady wisdom, is taught in the second chapter for removing Arjuna's delusion. The understanding of Sankhya and Yoga systems (Sankhyayogadheeh), which deal with the knowledge of the eternal Self and the performance of work without desire for rewards respectively, and which are directed at perfecting wisdom (stithaadheelakshaa), are taught in the second chapter for removing his (Arjunas) confusion (tan moha shaantaye).

l ( ) ll 7 ll ()
Asaktyaa loka rakshaayai guNeshvaaropya kartrutam l Sarveshvare vaa nyasya-uktaa tritiiye karma kaaryataa ll 7 ll
7) In the third chapter is taught the need for the performance of works without attachment to any fruits other than the pleasure of the Lord and for the protection of the world (loka rakshaayai), ascribing the agency to the Gunas or placing it in the Lord of all. In the third chapter is taught the necessity for performing works (karma karyataa), without attachment to their results (asaktyaa), merely for the pleasure and the satisfaction of the Lord, attributing (aaropya) the agency (kartrutaam) to the modes of material nature (guNeshu) and surrendering (nyasya) the fruit to the Lord (sarveshvare) of all.

l ll 8 ll
Prasangaat sva-svabhaavoktih karmaNo-karmataasya ca l Bhedaa jnaanasya maahaatmyam caturthaadhyaaya ucyate ll 8 ll
8) In the fourth chapter the following matters are treated: His nature is explained by the way. Next it is taught that Karma Yoga has an aspect other than action, i.e., knowledge-aspect. The varieties of Karma Yoga and the eminence of knowledge in it, are emphasized.

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In the fourth chapter, incidentally (prasangaat), the Lord mentions (uktih) His own (sva) nature (svabhaava), then Karma yoga is delineated, it is differentiated from (Jnaana yoga) its varieties (bhedaa) as well as the importance of wisdom (jnaanasya mahaatmyam) element in Karma yoga are taught.

l ll 9 ll
Karma yogasya saukaryam shaighryam kaashcana tadvidhaah l Brahma-jnaana prakaraasch ca pancamaadhyaaya ucyate ll 9 ll
9) In the fifth chapter are set forth the ease and quick efficiacy of Karma Yoga, some its elements and the modes of knowledge of Brahman, i.e., the individual self. The fifth chapter stresses the ease (saukaryam) of karma yoga, the rapidity (shaighryam) of achieving results, and some (kaashcana) of its elements (tadvidhaah), and the ways (prakaaraash ca) in which the knowledge of Brahman (the Self) may be achieved.

l ll 10 ll ()
Yogaabhyaasa-vidhir- yogee caturdhaa yoga saadhanam l Yoga siddhis-sva-yogasya paaramyam shashTha ucyate ll 10 ll
10) In the sixth chapter are taught the practice of Yoga (concentration and meditation), the fourfold divisions of (successful) Yogins, the means to success in Yoga, and the supremacy of Yoga concerning Himself. The process of practicing the Yoga of Meditation (yogaabhyaasa), the four types (caturdhaa) of successful (saadhanam) yogins (i.e., those who practice yoga), the means of success in the practice of yoga, (the certainty of) success in Yoga (yogasiddhih) and the Supremacy (paaramyam) of Yoga relating to Himself (sva yogasya) are taught in the sixth chapter.

l ll 11 ll
Sva-yaathaatmyam prakrutyaasya tirodhih sharaNaagatih l Bhaktabhedah prabuddhasya shraishThyam saptama ucyate ll 11 ll
11) In the seventh chapter is taught the exact knowledge of Himself, His concealment by the Page | 5

Prakati, the surrender to Him as the means to overcome this, observations on various types of devotees and the superiority of the man of wisdom among these devotees. In the seventh chapter are taught the truth (yaathaatmyam) about Himself (sva), His (asya) obscuration (tirodhih) by Prakriti (prakrutyaa), refuge in Himself (sharaNaagatih) as the means of removing the obscuration, the varieties (bhedah) of devotees (bhakta) and the superiority (shraishThyam) of the wise one (prabuddhasya) among them.

l ll 12 ll ( )
Aishvarya-akshara yaathaatmya Bhagavat-caraNaarthinaam l Vedyopaadeya-bhaavaanaam ashTame bheda ucyate ll 12 ll
12) In the eight chapter are discussed the distinctions (bhaavaanaam) of what are to be understood (vedya) and acquired (upaadeya) by each of the three classes of devotees - those who are after prosperity (aishvarya), after the true nature of the self (akshara) and after the feet of the Lord (Bhagavat caraNaarthinaam). The various things which are to be known (vedya) and those that need to be adopted (upaadeya) by the seekers after the supramundane, the true nature of the (indestructible) Self are all taught in the eighth chapter.

l ll13 ll
Sva-mahaatmyam manushyatve paratvam ca mahaatmanaam l VisheshO navame yogO bhaktiroopah prakeertitah ll 13 ll
13) In the ninth chapter are treated His own eminence, His undiminished supremacy as the Divine even when He assumes embodiments as Incarnations, the excellence of Mahatmas or the devotees who seek God alone, and the discipline of Bhakti of devotion to God. In the ninth chapter are well expounded His own (sva) unique greatness (mahaatmyam), His undiminished divinity (paratvam) and His human incarnations, the high estimation of great souls (mahaatmanaam) who seek the Godhead and the discipline of devotion.

l ll14 ll
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Sva-kalyaaNa guNaanantya krutsna svaadheenataa matih l Bhaktyutpatti vivruddhyarthaa vistiirNaa dashamOditaa ll 14 ll

14) In the tenth chapter are described in detail (krutsna) the infinite auspicious attributes of the Lord and His absolute control over everything, so as to generate (vivruddhyarthaa) and develop (utpatti) Bhakti or devotion to God in the minds (matih) of aspirants. The subject that is extensively (krutsna) dealt with in the tenth chapter, in order to instill and develop devotion (bhakti utpatti), is the knowledge (matih) related to His auspicious qualities (sva kalyaaNa guNa) being Infinite (anantya) and all things being under His control (svaadheenataa).

l ( ) ll ( )
Ekaadshe sva yaathaatmya saakshaatkaara-avalokanam l Dattamuktam vidhipraaptyOh bhaktyekOpaayataa tathaa ll 15 ll
15) In the eleventh chapter, it is stated that the divine eye which can give an immediate vision of Him as He is (yaathaatmya saakshaatkaara avalokanam), was given (daatam) to Arjuna, and accordingly it is stated that Bhakti is the only means (vidhi) of knowing and attaining (praapti) Him in the way described. In the eleventh chapter Arjuna is given clairvoyance (divine eyes) and shown the cosmic form of the Lord and accordingly it is taught that devotion (bhakti) is the only (eka) means (upaayataa) of knowing and attaining Him.

l ll 16 ll ()
Bhakteh shraishThyam upaayoktih ashaktasya-aatma nishThataa l Tatprakaarah tu atipreetih bhakti dvaadasha ucyate ll 16 ll (bhakteshraishThyam and Tatprakaarastvatipreetih with sandhi)
16) In the twelfth chapter, are taught (uktih, compounded with upaaya becomes upaayoktih) the superiority (shraishThyam) of Bhakti (bhakteh) Yoga, the various (prakaaraah) means (upaaya) thereto, the direction for the one unqualified (ashaktasya) to meditate on the self (aatma nishThataa), the details (tat prakaaraah) of the qualities to be acquired and modes of Sadhana to be practiced for that end, and the immense love (ati preetih) of the Lord for the devotees.

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The superiority of devotion, the various means to adopting it, the practice of meditation on the self (aatma nishThataa) by one who is incapable (ashaktasya) of devotion, the details of the personal qualities to be developed by the practitioner are mentioned (uktih) in the twelfth chapter.

l ll 17 ll
Deha svaroopam aatmaapti hetuh aatma-vishodhanam l Bandha hetur-vivekashca trayodasha udiiryate ll 17 ll
17) In the thirteen chapter, the nature of the body, the means for the realization of the self, investigation of the nature of the self, the cause of bondage, and the discrimination between the self and the body are dealt with. The essential nature of the body (deha swaroopam), the means (hetuh) of selfrealization (aatma aapti), the discussion on the nature of the Self, the cause of bondage (bandha hetu) and discriminating (viveka) knowledge are all expounded in the thirteenth chapter.

l ll 18 ll
GuNabandha vidhaa teshaam kartrutvam tannivartanam l Gatitraya swamoolatvam caturdasha udiiryate ll 18 ll
18) In the fourteenth chapter are explained the various ways in which the Gunas bind the self, how they are the agents in respect of all works, and how to eliminate their hold. It also explains how the Supreme Person is the basis of all the three ends attainable, namely heavenly sovereignty, the abidance in the pristine state of the self, and dwelling in the Lord. In the fourteenth chapter are expounded the various ways (vidhaa) in which the guNas or prakriti bind (bandha) the Self, their responsibility (kartruttvam) for all activities, escape from them (tan nivartanam) and Himself being the foundation for all the three goals (gati traya, supramundane sovereignty, the Self in its pure state and the attainment of God).

l ll 19 ll
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Acinmishraat vishuddhacca cetanaat Purushottamah l Vyaapanaat bharaNaat swaamyaat anyah pancadashOditah ll 19 ll

19) In the fifteenth chapter the Supreme Person is declared to be other than the self both in Its state of conjunction with non - conscient matter and in Its state of pristine purity, because He pervades (vyaapanaat), sustains (bharaNaat) and rules (swaamyaat) over them and the universe. In the fifteenth chapter, the Highest Being is declared to be different (anyah) to the Self when in its state of pristine purity (vishuddhacca) and when in association with the material nature (Prakriti) because He pervades, sustains and directs them.

l ll 20 ll
Devaasura vibhaagokti poorvikaa shaastra-vashyataa l TattvaanushThaana vijnaana-sthemne shoDasha ucyate ll 20 ll
20) The sixteenth chapter deals first with the distinction between the divine nature and the demoniac natures in order to establish what is truth and what is right conduct, which can be attained by submission to the Sastras. In order to firmly establish discriminating awareness relating to truth and to conduct, submission to the Shaastras is taught in the sixteenth chapter after revealing the distinction between the divine and demoniacal.

l ll 21 ll
Ashaastram aasuram krutsnam shaastreeyam gunatah pruthak l LakshaNam shaastra siddhasya tridhaa saptadashOditam ll 21 ll
21) In the seventeenth chapter the following are dealt with: what are not ordained by the Sastras and for that reason wholly demoniac; what are ordained in the Sastras as varied in accordance with the Gunas; and the characteristic of what are established in the Sastras as threefold in terms of 'Aum', 'Tat', 'Sat'. All that is not ordained by the Shaastras is demoniacal; what is enjoined is varied, according to the gunas; the characteristics of what is taught in the Shaastras is threefold. All this is discussed in the seventeenth chapter.

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ll 22 ll
Eeshware kartrutaa buddhih sattvOpaadeyataa (a)ntime l Swakarma pariNaamaasch ca shaastra saaraartha ucyate ll 22 ll
22) The last (antime) chapter presents the mental state required for ascribing the agency to the Lord, the necessity of cultivating the Sattvic quality, the spiritual culmination of discharging one's duties, and Bhakti Yoga which forms the essence of the Gita Sastra. In the last (antime) chapter are taught the state of the mind (buddhih) attributing agency (kartrutaa) to the Lord (Eeshware), the desirability of adopting Satva guna (sattva upaadeyataa), the culmination (pariNaamaah ca) of the performance of ones duties (swakarma) and essence (saaraartha) of the Shastras (Bhakti yoga).

The following slokas describe some general conclusions about the Bhagavad Gita, as enunciated by Sri Sri Sri Yamunaacarya.

l ll
Karma yogas-tapas teertha daana yajnaadi sevanam l Jnana yogO jitasvaanaith parishuddhatmani stithih ll 23 ll
23) Karma Yoga is resorting to austerity, pilgrimage, charities, sacrifices and such other acts. Jana Yoga is the abidance in the purified self by those who have controlled their minds. Karma yoga means resorting to penance (tapa), sacred rivers (holy places, teertha), giving charity (daana), sacrifices (yajna) and other (aadi) activities. Jnana yoga is sustained abiding in mindfulness of the pure Self through (the practice of meditation leading to) control of mind.

l ll 24 ll ()
Bhaktiyogah paraikaantapreetyaa dhyaanaadishu stithih l TryaaNaamapi yogaanaam tribhir anayonya sangamah ll 24 ll

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24) Bhakti Yoga is abidance in meditation and other (dhyaanaadishu) forms of adoration (preetyaa) with one-pointed (ekaanta) love for the Supreme Being (para). The three Yogas are interconnected. Bhakti yoga is unbroken (stithih) meditation done with single-minded devotion to the Supreme Being. All these three (tribhih) yogas are interconnected (sangamah).

l ll 25 ll
Nitya naimittikaanaam ca paraaraadhana roopiNaam l aatmadrusTeh trayopyete yoga dvaareNa saadhakaah ll 25 ll
25) The obligatory and occasional works are associated with all the three Yogas, as they are of the form of worship of the Supreme Being. All these Yogas serve as the means for the vision of the self through Yoga. But Bhakti Yoga can be practiced even before gaining the vision of the self. The aspirant can repeat His name, sing hymns, visit holy places, etc., even with superficial love of the Lord. The three yogas are also associated with obligatory duties (nitya) and periodic (naimittika) activities all done as service (aaraadhana) to the Supreme Being (para). All three yogas serve as means for the realization of the Self.

l ll 26 ll
Nirasta akhila ajnaanO drushTvaatmaanam paraanugam l Pratilabhya paraam bhaktim tathaivaapnoti tatpadam ll 26 ll ll 26 ll
26) When one's nescience (ajnaana) is removed (nirasta) and one perceives (drushTvaa) the self (aatmaanam) as subservient to the Supreme (para anugam), one attains (partilabhya) supreme devotion (paraam bhaktim) and through it alone (tayaiva ) reaches (aapnoti) His realm (tat padaam). There is Vaidhi- bhakti or discipline-bound devotion, next Para-bhakti (higher devotion of love) and then the final stage Parama-bhakti or pre-eminently supreme love.

After one has completely (akhila) overcome (nirasta) nescience (ajnaana) and directly realized (drushTvaa) the Self (aatmaanam) as
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dependent upon (anugam) the Supreme Being (para), begets (pratilabhya) unalloyed devotion (paraam bhaktim) and attains His feet (tat padam).

l ll 27 ll
Bhakti yogas-tadarthee cet samagraishwarya saadhakah l Aatmaarthee cet trayopyete tat kaivalyasya saadhakaahaa ll 27 ll l l l l l ll l ll l l l
27) Bhakti Yoga helps to attain prosperity (aishwarya) or comprehensive (samagra) sovereignty
(aishwarya), if one desires it. If one desires the self (aatma arthee), all these three Yogas serve that purpose, which consist in the attainment of pure Isolation (Kaivalya). Bhakti yoga is the means for attaining total sovereignty, if one desires. If one desire the Self, all these three yogas serve as the means for attaining isolated self-realization and liberation. I have added my personal notes here (the text in Sanskrit, following the English transliteration of the verse) as a discussion of this sloka. Kaivalyam, derived from kevalam, meaning one or only, or denoting isolation, is a much derided concept (in Tamil kevalam actually means to hold in scorn, insult, denigrate, humiliate, etc.) and refers to a Godless Bliss, akin to the teachings of some atheistic traditions. The Buddhist idea of nirvana () comes to mind. The Self in its purest form attains untold bliss but there is no God to serve. This topic is also pursued in the following sloka (verse # 28).

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Ektaanyam bhagavatyeshaam samaanaam adhikaariNaam l Yaavat praapti paraarthee cet tadeva atyantam ashnute ll 28 ll = =
28) The attitude, that the Bhagavan (bhagavti yeshaam) is the ultimate end (eka antyam), is common (samaanam) to all these types of Devotees (adhikaariNaam). But if (cet) one aspires exclusively for the Lord (para arthee) overlooking the other two till such attainment, the attains Him completely (tadeva atyantam ashnute). All these qualified aspirants (adhikaariNaam) have the exclusive regard (eka antyam) for the Lord (as their sole object of adoration). But if one desires (arthee) the Supreme Being (para) then until (yaavat) that desire (praapti) comes to the (final) fruition the aspirant will experience joy here (and now), i.e., atyantam or ati antam without the sandhi, where ati means in fullness and antam signifies, until the quitting of the body. My notes: Usually, the compound word atyanta signifies a lot of something. Here a lot of joy about feeling bliss with Bhagavan until the body is present. That is also what Yamunaacarya must have felt all his life, after he was brought to Srirangam by Rama Mishra (please see sections from the biography, a portion of which is reproduced here following these verses).

l ll 29 ll
Jnaani tu paramaikaantee tadaayattam ajeevanah l Tat samslesha viyogaika sukha duhkhah tadekadheeh ll 29 ll
29) The Jani is one who is exclusively devoted to the Lord. His very existence depends on Him. Contact with Him is his only joy, separation from Him is his only grief. His thought is focussed on Him alone. The enlightened (jnaanee) one is indeed (tu) the foremost (parama) among those devoted to the Supreme Being (paramaikaanti) his very existence is dependent on Him. There is no joy or sorrow other than union with and separation from the Divine. The mind rests in that alone. My notes: Here Yamunaacarya seems to be alluding to verses 17 to 19 from chapter 7, which are also quoted by Ramanujaacarya in his famous work, the sharaNaagati gadyam. Krishna says the jnaani is ekabhakti (verse 17 above) and adds vishishyate (excels). There is no other, eka bhakti, to whom devotion of the jnaani is directed. Krishna also says, nityayuktah, always or constantly engaged (with his thoughts and actions). Krishna says to the jnaani He is extremely dear (priyO hi aham ati artham). Page | 13

l ll 30 ll
Bhagavat dhyaana yogOkti vandana stuti keertanaih l Labdhaatmaa tadgata praaNa-manO-buddhee-ndriya-kriyah ll 30 ll
30) When one has begun to find life's sole satisfaction in meditation on the Lord, the vision of Him through such meditation, speaking about Him, saluting Him, singing about Him and praising Him - then the operation of the senses, intellect, mind and vital forces get concentrated on Him. Self-realization is gained only through his meditating upon the Divine, through vision of That, teaching about That, prostrating before That, praising That, and reciting His names. The activities of the senses, the will, the intellect, and the vital energies are directed towards That.

l ll 31 ll
Nija karamaadi bhaktyantam kuryaat preetyaiva kaaritah l Upaayataam parityajya nyasyet deve tu taam abhiih ll 31 ll l l ll 31 ll
31) Looking upon all disciplines from performances of duties to the practice of Bhakti as meant only for pleasing the Lord and not with any extraneous motive, one should abandon all dependence on any other means than Him (the Supreme Person), and remain without any fear of inadequacy of such resignation in respect of his salvation. (The doctrine of Prapati is taught in this verse.) All duties from the personal to the practice of devotional service should be done solely out of pure love, not as the means of achieving salvation. Actions should be done regarding them as the means and ends in themselves, renouncing all fear (abhiih).

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l ll 32 ll
Ekaanta atyanta daasyaikaratih tadpaadam aapnuyaat l Tatpradhaanam idam shaastram iti Gitaartha sangrahah ll 32 ll
32) Such a person finds his sole happiness in exclusive and continual service to God. He attains His realm. This work (Gita-Sastra) is meant mainly for such a devotee. Such is the summary of the meaning of the Gita. One then finds ones sole delight in exclusive and endless service to the Divine: one then obtains His feet, this authoritative religious work is concerned primarily with such a devotee and his goal in life. Such is the summary of the purport of the Gita. My notes: As we see here in the last verse (as also earlier), Yamunaacarya concludes with daasya eka ratih, the only desire or attachment is to daasyam or the single-point attitude of being a servant (servitude) to the Lord. This is the focus of much of this work, and, I believe (without full study) also the focus of the works of acaryas like Ramanuja and the Alwars of South India. Hanuman is a perfect example of this daasya bhavaam. But, the focus of acaryas of the north, especially Gaudiya VaishNavism is on madhurya bhavaam, enjoying the Lord in conjugal bliss like Radha. But, ask yourself, why would Radha want to exluce all else in this? Or are all included then in Radha? Or, if Radha and Krishna magically become one, what happened? Who is gone? I also remember the story of the Banke Bihari temple, which I had discussed in detail after my first trip to Vrindavana in January 2011. The emails sent at that time are included here at the end of this document, for readers to think about, in the context of daasya bhaavam versus madhurya bhaavam and Radha and Krishna magically becoming ONE! The conclusion iti gitaartha sangrahah is pregnant with deep meaning and I believe many who translate this title have not fully grasped its full import. I wish I could keep writing and express al the thoughts that are racing through my mind as I am forced to say I have finished this humble effort to provide a translation of Yamunaacaryas Gita summary along with the original verses, in simplified Sanskrit (where I have tried to make the text sandhi-free to enable readers to reflect on each word of the composition here). At this time, I deeply long to be at the Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavana, as I conclude this humble effort ( ). Do visit that temple and enjoy the bliss with Krishna. In that temple, the current is constantly being drawn and redrawn. Find out why! I mentioned about two crowns! What are they? Why do two crowns appear? Why no Radha? Page | 15


The following is from the post made on my Facebook page on December 2, 2013.

Ourgitapage 27 like this December 2 at 8:24am Please see here a nice biography of two leading acaryas of SriVaishNavism. The story of Yamunacarya's (who was Ramanuja's guru) transformation is particularly touching. I had a chance to retell this story yesterday during our concluding Gita session. Also, of interest are the dates given for the birth and passing away of Ramanuja. Birth Kaliyuga 4118 = 1017 AD Death Kaliyuga 4238 = 1137 AD

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Ramanuja lived the full human lifespan of 120 years, from 1017 AD to 1137 AD, based on the modern calendar that we commonly use. Taking these dates and extrapolating forward, this means that the year 2013 AD equals 5114 according to the Kaliyuga reckoning. Kaliyuga lasts for 432,000 years and only 5114 years have passed. As part of the discussion of the sloka, Sarava dharmaan partyajya, we also chanted the slokas from the Gita that Ramanujacarya has incorporated in his famous work the Sharanagti gadyam. Here we find the following which is a first person version of what Krishna tells Arjuna. Krishna tell Arjuna to surrender. Ramanuja tells the Lord "I am surrendering to You", in his Sharanagati gadyam. Sarva dharmaanshca santyajya sarva kaamaanshca saaksharaan l Lokavikraanta caraNau sharNam te(a)vrajam Vibho ll Krishna says, "Maam ekam sharaNam vraja". Ramanuja says, in the first person, "SharaNam te avrjam Vibho". In the story about Yamunaacarya, we find a touching description of how a sadhu (Named Rama Mishra), a friend of Yamnunaacarya's grandfather (Nathamuni), came and told him about a treasure that had been left for the grandson and then leads him to the treasure, which was nothing other than the Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam. Before they reached Srirangam, the sage instructs Yamunacaraya (who was then a King, at a young age he won one-half of the ancient Tamil Pandya kingdom in a scholarly debate) on the Gita for a whole week. Slowly, Yamunacarya regained his old self. Even before they reached Srirangam, Yamunacarya had lost all interest in his material possession and was ready to surrender to the Lord. As told here, when he arrived at the temple, and came in front of Lord Ranganatha, Yamunacarya fell at the Lord's feet and became unconscious. He never left Srirangam after that and gave up his kingdom.

The following is extracted from the above biography and describes the very touching transformation in Yamunacaryas life. Please read and also review the entire biography of the two acaryas. YAMUNACHARYAS CONVERSION However, Alavandar (Yamunacarya) could not understand the real meaning of Rama Misra's words, and, being anxious to acquire the treasure, he said, "I am ready to go there immediately along with four divisions of my army. Please be our guide".

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"It is better if we go alone," replied Rama Misra, "for it is not advisable for many people to assemble there." The king accepted this proposal, and, having made arrangements for the management of the kingdom in his absence, he prepared to set out with the sadhu. Leaving the city of Madurai behind them, they traveled in a northerly direction. At noon, while they were resting from the heat of the sun, Rama Misra began to chant the verses of the Bhagavad Gita. It was many years since Yamunacharya had read and studied this great scripture, and while he had ruled as a king the sublime teachings of the Gita had been far from his heart. But now, as he listened to Rama Misra's sweet voice bringing forth the words of Sri Krsna, he began to realize the illusory nature of his position as a king and to see how he was neglecting the real goal of life. When Rama Misra had finished chanting all the eighteen chapters, Yamunacharya fell down at his feet and begged, "Please accept me as your servant, so that I may be able to continually relish the sweet nectar of Sri Krsna's words. Now, as I hear from you, all the pleasures of my worldly life seem pale and insignificant." At this Rama Misra smiled and said, "If you have the time to spare, then why not stay here for a few days and study the Gita with me." Now that a taste of the real value of life had begun to reawaken in the heart of the king, his concern over material affairs was diminished. "Whatever duties I may have in this world," he replied, "certainly the most important duty for every man is to understand the true meaning of the Bhagavad Gita. Thus, the two of them remained in that solitary place for almost a week, and every day Rama Misra spoke on the sublime teachings of the Gita, while Yamunacharya listened with rapt attention. With every word that the sadhu spoke, the king's attachment for his material opulence was diminished. This is natural, for once one becomes truly aware of the glory and sweetness of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, the pleasures of this world seem worthless in comparison. When Rama Misra reached the eighth verse of the twelfth chapter, he sang in a voice choked with tears, mayyeva mana adhatsva mayi buddhim nivesaya | nivasisyasi mayy eva ata urdhvam na samsayah || "Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme being, and engage all of your thoughts on Me. Thus you will live in Me always without a doubt." When he heard this wonderful verse, Yamunacharya was filled with remorse and cried out, "Alas! Alas! All these years I have wasted my life, with my mind and intelligence absorbed only in thoughts of lust and wealth. When will that day come when I will be able to remove such useless things from my heart and fix my mind completely on the lotus feet of Sri Krsna?"
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Hearing this pure sentiment, Rama Misra consoled the king, saying, "Your majesty, your pure mind rests always on the lotus feet of the Lord. Just for a short time it has been captivated by worldly desires, as a small cloud obscures the sun's rays for a short time. Now the cloud has almost gone, and the sun will shine again and dispel the darkness from your heart." At this point Yamunacharya decided that he wanted no more to do with material life, and so he told Rama Misra, "Now, all I desire is to become your disciple, and so I have no need of the wealth left by my grandfather." "But I gave my word to Sri Nathamuni," replied Rama Misra, "and so I must deliver the treasure to you to keep my vow intact. Now let us continue our journey together." After walking for four days, they reached the banks of the Kaveri River and the next day crossed over to the island on which stands the sacred temple of Sri Ranganatha. Rama Misra led Yamunacharya through the six outer gates, until they stood before the doors of the temple room itself. Then Rama Misra said, "In front of us lying on the bed of Ananta Sesa is the treasure that was your grandfather's only property Sri Ranganatha, the Lord of Laksmidevi, the most beautiful of all Deities." Hearing these words, Yamunacharya ran forward and fell unconscious at the feet of the Deity. From that day he had no desire to resume his royal position. He took initiation from Rama Misra and spent the rest of his days totally absorbed in service of the Lord Sri Ranganatha.

ll Sri KrishnaarpaNam astu ll ll Om Namo NaaraayaNaaya ll

After several years of Gita study, and many emails and Facebook posts on Gita, and many Gita lectures that I have given over the years (started in 1999, including full narrations of all 18 chapters, two times so far), I feel blessed to now finish this humble compilation of Yamunaacaryas Gita summary and message. In some ways, this is, probably, the best I have ever done in my life. Yesterday, Dec 12, 2013, on Gita Jayanthi day, I was also blessed to recite ALL 18 chapters of the Gita, with a couple of devotees. We will be performing the Gita Yajnam (reading all 18 chapters, with a brief summary of each chapter and Mahatmyam story telling for each chapter) on Sunday Dec 15, 2013 at the Sri Balaji Temple (3325 Middlebelt Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48321).

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Artists rendition of scenes from the lives of Yamunacarya and Ramanuja (from biography)

The passing away of Yamunacarya (page 26)

The birth of Ramanuja (page 11)

Ramanuja accepts Mahapurna as his guru (page 34)

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Emails shared about Banke Bihari Temple in Vrindavana After my first and only first to this temple in January 2011

Still frame from the video at 3:05 Banke Bihar Mandir in Vrindavan
From: V Laxmanan 1/24/11 Dear All: After visiting Gokul in the early hours of the morning, the autodriver who was taking me around, got me to Vrindavan. The first temple that we visited was the Krishna-Balarama mandir, or the ISKCON temple, in Vrindavan. This is a beautiful temple with devotees from all over the world with continuous chanting of Harinama. I spent a few hours there and with no restrictions on photography managed to capture many pictures, including all of the beautiful paintings on the walls of the temple depicting various Krishna lilas. When I was ready to leave, it was already too late and most of the temples in Vrindavan were closed (most close from 12 noon to 4 PM). The autodiriver, however, suggested we go to Banke Bihari temple where the last darshan was at 12:30 PM.
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This is a very ancient temple and it was packed completely with devotees with hardly any room to move about. The door to the shrine was closed and we had to wait for about 10-15 minutes to get darshan. Finally, when the doors opened, I was able to see Krishna's beautiful face, with wide open eyes, beautifully decked and with not one but two crowns. One crown was on His head and the other crown was on His shoulder. Several priests were constantly going in and out of the sanctum, accepting flowers and other offerings from the devotees and giving them back to them. This obviously meant they were blocking the view and I was unable to get full darshan as I wished. The second crown that I could see clearly was Radha's crown. It was in the exact same place where it would be if Radha had placed Her head on Krishna's shoulder. I could see Radha in a nice red dress, similar to the one worn by young women, a flowing petticoat and a strip of sari wrapped around. But, I could not see Radha's face and tried hard to see it. To make matters worse, the priests were constantly closing and opening the curtain. I did not understand why (see history and legend behind the reason why this is done, which I now know). Indeed, I started complaining loudly that I wanted to see Radha and that the priests were blocking our view. I was in the very first row where male devotees were standing, the front part being reserved for female devotees. After hearing my complaints, one of the devotees actually pulled me over to the first row and I was standing face to face with Krishna and had a blissful darshan for several minutes, through several openings and closings of the curtain. The reason it was being done is because it is believed that one will lose one's consciousness if one gazes continuously at Krishna. No one can withstand that continuous gaze. But, I still could not see Radha. Then, the devotee who pulled me over explained to me that in this temple there is no Radha, only Krishna. Then, why the second crown? That too exactly on Krishna's shoulder, exactly where it would be if Radha had Her head on Krishna's shoulder? Was I imagining things when I saw a young woman in a red dress next to Krishna with Her head on His shoulder, with no face being visible? I was told that Radha is inside Krishna. But, Krishna chooses to reveal Her crown to us. Radha and Krishna are one and the same. It is His grace to reveal Her to us. He lets us see her when He wishes. Our bodies are just maya, illusion. It is just a vehicle to understand the Supreme! The purpose of the human body, especially, is to understand the Supreme and return to Godhead.

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Nowhere is this better understood than in the Banke Bihari mandir where Krishna gives us divine darshan with two crowns. You can read more about this temple by pursuing the link given below. The Emperor Akbar is said to have visited this place, along with the famous court musician, Tansen. Now, read why and also what challenge that Akbar faced when he offered to use his royal wealth to do some work at the temple. d=28

Very sincerely V. Laxmanan

Banke-Bihari Mandir Vrindavan - II1/29/11
From: V Laxmanan 1/29/11 Dear All: In the earlier email on this topic, I had described my personal good fortune and experience at the very ancient Banke Bihari mandir at Vrindavan. Now, here's another interesting story about the gopis of Vrindavan from 10th Canto, Chapter 82, of Srimad Bhagavatam. At least, I thought, I saw, in this mandir, Krishna with two crowns - one on His head and the other on His shoulder. It seemed as if Radha had Her head on His shoulder and the second crown was exactly where Radha's head would be. The second crown, to me, therefore, appeared to be Radha's crown. But, I could not see Radha's face. But, I felt I saw Her next to Krishna with a beautiful red dress. Then, I was told by one of the devotees, who pulled me over to the very first row to get a good darshan, that in this temple there is no Radha, only Krishna. Why? Because, Radha is inside Krishna! I concluded therefore that this temple teaches us the ultimate lesson regarding our bodies. Our bodies are really an illusion. Krishna reveals them to us at His Will and He can take it away too at His Will. Unlike all other bodies, the human body, in particular, is merely a vehicle to understand the Supreme.

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But, don't misunderstand this statement. Krishna also says (in his instructions to Sanatkumaras, in the Hamsa avatara, where He appeared as a swan) that all bodies are equivalent and there is really no difference since all bodies are constituted from the same ingredients of material nature (see SB 11.13.22,23,24). Krishna lets us see Radha at His will and He can also make Her disappear at His will. Amazingly, there is an exactly similar statement in the Srimad Bhagavatam about all the gopis of Vrindavan (SB 10.82.48). Once, when Bhagavan was in Dwaraka, there was a total solar eclipse and the earth became totally darkened. So dark that it seemed like pralaya (SB 10.82.1) - sooryoparagah sumahaan aaseet kalpakshaye yathaa - at the end of a day of Brahma (kalpa kshaye). Everyone then decided to go to the holy Kurukshetra. All of the Yadu dynasty, which included Krishna's father Vasudev, Krishna's sons and grandsons, went to this holy place to destroy all their sins, took their holy bath, and offered many charities. The kings from all over India also arrived (names of countries from all parts of India are mentioned, from Vidarbha to Kerala). All the assembled men and women were filled with joy. When the news reached Gokula, Nanda Maharaja and Yashoda and all their families, and the gopas and gopis, also arrived in Kurukshetra to see Krishna. It was a joyful reunion of Krishna with His (adopted) parents. Mother Yashoda was filled with tears in her eyes as she embraced both Krishna and Balarama. Rohini (Balarama's mother) and Yashoda embraced Devaki, the birth mother of Krishna. The gopis after seeing their beloved Krishna after a long time embraced Him in their mind's eye and were overwhelmed by His sight. Their eyes were filled with tears which blocked their view and they cursed their tear drops for blocking His sight! In their heart they tightly embraced Krishna blissfully. With this mental embrace they achieved a blissful union with Him that is not possible even for the greatest of yogis. Then Krishna started talking to the gopis, His dear childhood friends, and said. "My dear sakhees (female friends, male friend is called sakhaa), do you even remember Me? I got so busy with so many things I had to do for my friends and relatives and with the killing of their enemies. A lot of time has passed. Do you still remember me or think ill (avadhyaaya, 11.82.43) of me? Do you think I am ungrateful to have abandoned you? There is no question, it is Bhagavan who is responsible for such unions and separations (yunakti viyunakti ca) of embodied souls." He continued, "Just as the wind can disperse the clouds, the blades of grass, the dust, the cotton fibers, and also bring them together, in the same way all the bhootas are dispersed or conjoined by the Bhootakrut (their Creator). In this situation, the only recourse to amrutatvam (immortality, or even mere happiness) is devotion to Me - mayi bhaktir hi bhootanaam amrutatvaaya kalpate 11.82.45. This is the path to reaching My abode of
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Blissful joy. By great fortune, and quite accidentally really (dhishtyaa), all of you developed a great fondness and friendship towards Me. That prema-bhakti (loving devotion) is the path to Me." Krishna continued, "Indeed I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all beings (sarva bhootaanaam) just as all of material nature embodies all the five elements, the earth, the sky, the air, the fire, the water. I reside in all of them, inside and out, everywhere. These reside in all bhootas and so do I and the atma, the embodied soul, who is the enjoyer (within the body). Yet I am separate and the immutable Supreme. Know this, my dear friends, see Me inside you and enjoy Me." After receiving this very concise instruction on the essence of Adhyaatmaa (the secret of the soul), all the gopis lost their material bodies (linga sharira, jeevakosha, which literally means that which envelops the jeeva, or the soul) and merged into Him. Everyone had disappeared, like Radha in Banke-Bihari mandir of Vrindavan. Aadhyaatma shikshaya gopya evam Krishnena shikshitaah l Tad anusmarana dhwasta-jeevakoshaah tam adhyagan ll 11.82.48 ll The gopis were face to face with the Supreme who, when He had a childlike form, was their friend. They were drawn to Him and gave up everything, even their husbands and came to Him in the middle of the night to perform rasa-lila. Krishna told them to go back to their husbands and that it was inappropriate for married women to do this. But, they did not go back. In other words, they abandoned their swadharama. Sarva dharmaan parityajya maam ekam sharanam vraja. These gopis were abandoning all known streedharmas and took refuge in the Supreme. They could not see Him as the Supreme but only as a child but that was enough for them to abandon everything and be with Him. After many years had passed, when they again came face-to-face with Him. He spent just a few moments and instructed them very concisely in the secret of the soul (adhyaatma shikshaya) and gave them moksha - aham tvaam sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyaami ma shuchah. Note that mokshayishyami is future tense. That is what happened to the gopis - for abandoning swadharma they got moksha many years later after suffering through their separation from Krishna! We see here in this chapter of Bhagavatam a real example of what Krishna promises Arjuna and the real meaning of abandoning all dharmas for the sake of the Supreme. It also illustrates the illusory nature of the bodies that we have. When we are willing to abandon everything and come to Him, He will surely give us moksha. He promised this to Arjuna and He actually gave it to the gopis.

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In another interesting sloka from the Bhagavatam, the sage Narada says (in his conversation with Vyasa where Narada instructs Vyasa to compose the Bhagavatam), Tyaktvaa swadharmam charanaabhujam Hareh Bhajan apakvotha patet tato yadi l Yatra kva vaabhadram abhoot amushya kim ko vaartha aapto abhajataam swadharmataha ll SB 1.3.17 ll Krishna emphasizes the practice of swadharma (BG 3.35 and 18.47) as the method of avoiding sinful reactions while we are engaged in performing our duties. Narada, however, emphasizes one more requirement here. He wants us to remember Hari while performing swadharma. Narada says, "If one abandons swadharma and takes refuge in the lotus feet of Hari (like the gopis did abandoning their husbands), even if one is not fully ripened and falls (again, may be like the gopis who were not great jnani but simple folks), what has this person really lost?" This is a rhetorical question and the answer is - the person has lost nothing. Narada also asks, "What good, or valuable, has the person gained who performs swadharma perfectly while never worshiping Hari or surrendering to Hari (like the gopis did)?" The answer again is, nothing. This person has gained nothing at all by excelling in swadharma (Krishna accepts even swadharma practiced with faults). The gopis, although not great jnanees, were filled with prema-bhakti as mentioned by Bhagavan when He instructed them briefly. That was enough to get them moksha and they merged into Him (and disappeared, like Radha has disappeared in Banke-Bihari mandir at Vrindavan). Hari Bol! Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.......

Very sincerely V. Laxmanan

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