Bhagavad Gita with Commentaries of Ramanuja | Discourse 18 verse 64-78

sarva guhyatamaṃbhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaṃvacaḥ|
iṣṭo’si me dṛṣam iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam || 64 ||

64. Hear again My supreme teaching, the most secret of all; as you are exceedingly dear to Me, I will declare what is good for you. 

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Among the three paths mentioned in the previous verse: bhakti yoga or facilitating communion by exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord is considered the most exalted and pre-eminent and thus it is the most confidential.

Because Lord Krishna is extremely affectionate to His devotees who have Him alone as their sole refuge, He will mercifully reveal in the next two verses the absolute conclusion and final essence of the entire divine discourse of Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita.

manmanābhava mad-bhakto mad yājīmāṃnamas kuru |
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṃte pratijāne priyo’si me || 65 ||

65. Focus your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, prostrate before Me and you shall come to Me alone. I promise you this verily, for you are dear to Me.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

‘Focus your mind on Me’ - enjoins the cultivation of mindfulness (Vedanā), which is expressed more explicitly by the terms ‘meditation’(Dhyāna) and ‘worship’(Upāsanā) —which is proclaimed in Vedanta texts. This meditation culminates in direct perception (Darśana) which is continuous mindfulness [of Krishna] full of ardent love.

‘Be devoted to Me’ —means practice continual mindfulness of Me, who am exceedingly dear to you, as you are incomparably dear to Me.

‘Worship Me’(mad yājī) —is a further application of being My devotee. Yajña here refers to worship in general and the desire to worship (Ārādhanā) follows the [realisation of] complete subservience to the Lord.

“Following these instructions you shall come to Me. I make this solemn promise to you. Do not take it as being mere rhetoric, for you are dear to Me”.

One who loves Krishna ardently, it also intensely loved by Krishna, and consequently, not being able to bear the mutual separation, Krishna Himself will make every effort to assure a reunion.

sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṃ śaraṇaṃvraja |
ahaṃtvāsarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ|| 66 ||

66. Completely relinquishing all Dharmas, take refuge in Me alone. I will release you from all sins, grieve not.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

'Relinquishing all Dharmas’ —means the complete abandonment of the notion of agency, proprietorship, results etc., in the practice of Karma, Jñāna and Bhakti Yogas which are the means (dharmas) for attaining the highest good when done as Divine Service.

'I will release you from all sins' —means that I will free you from all obstacles that prevent you from attaining Me; consisting of [the karmic reaction of] innumerable acts of doing what is forbidden and neglecting what is bidden. Accumulating from beginningless times [the reactions of] these deeds cause obstacles in spiritual development.

An alternative interpretation is this:—Bhakti Yoga is possible only for those individuals who love the Lord intensely and who are free from all negative karma.

One’s karmic reactions (sins) are obstacles in the path of developing loving devotion and are so numerous that the expiatory rites which would exculpate them could not possibly be performed in the limited time of one life span.

Arjuna therefore thought that he was incapable of practicing Bhakti Yoga. To remedy Arjuna's despondency the Lord said:

“Completely relinquishing all Dharmas, take refuge in Me alone.”

The term “Dharma” used in this context would apply to the expiatory rites.

So in order to successfully commence Bhakti Yoga, surrender to Me alone.  I am supremely compassionate, the refuge of all without distinction, an ocean of maternal solicitude for those dependent on Me.

I will release you from all sins, which have been explained as obstacles to the practice of Bhakti Yoga —grieve not.

idaṃte nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana |
na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṃna ca māṃyo’bhyasūyasi || 67 ||

67. This teaching you should never reveal to one who is devoid of self-discipline and devotion, nor to one who has no desire to listen, nor certainly to one who traduces Me.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

As this science of immortality is exceeding esoteric and confidential, Lord Krishna gives the mandate as to those whom Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita should never be imparted to:

1) atapaskāya means one who does not exercise control of their senses

2) na abhaktāya means one who is not a devotee of Lord Krishna or any of His incarnations and expansions.

A deeper interpretation is that it should never be given to one who has no love for Lord Krishna or any of His incarnation and expansions.

Even if one is aspiring to receive initiation as a Vaiṣṇava Brahmin; yet if one is devoid of loving devotion to Lord Krishna then the confidential teachings of Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita should be restricted from them until qualified.

3) śuśrūṣave means one who's averse to submissive reverence to the spiritual guru

4) abhyasūyasi means one who is envious and blasphemous to the Supreme Lord.

To these four types of jīvas or embodied beings Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita should never be disclosed. For whatever they would hear about the Supreme Lords glories and potencies would make such vile miscreants offensive in their attitude and actions.

The differences of case employed in the ablative form atapaskāya, abhaktāya etc. to the nominative form yo mam etc. is to emphasise the exceedingly despicable characteristics of those who are abhyasūyasi, who are just like poison vipers.

The exposure of the wicked is more imperious then the laudation of the virtuous as the wicked are most degraded.

ya imaṃparaṃguhyaṃmad bhakteṣv-abhidhāsyati |
bhaktiṃmayi parāṃkṛtvāmām evaiṣyaty-asaṃśayaḥ|| 68 ||

68.  One,  who   possessed  of  supreme  devotion  to  Me,  expounds  this  highest  mystery  to  my devotees, shall come to Me, there is no doubt about this.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

One who reveals this glorious exposition of the most profound and confidential knowledge in all existence known as Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita to the devotees of Lord Krishna will have their own devotion to the Supreme Lord multiplied and will attain His eternal communion.

This is absolutely certain.

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ|
bhavitāna ca me tasmād anyaḥpriyataro bhuvi || 69 ||

69. Nor is there among human beings anyone who does more precious service to Me. Nor shall there be another on earth dearer to Me than he.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna affirms that there has never been in the past a human being out of all humanity who was more dear to Him as one who promulgates Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita to His devotees; nor will they ever be one dearer to Him in the future.

Priya-kṛttamaḥ means - pleases more by their actions.

This extolling of the qualities of His exalted servitor is to illustrate the immense divide between the devotees of the Supreme Lord and those who are not devotees of the Supreme Lord.

adhyeṣyete ca ya imaṃdharmyaṃsaṃvādam āvayoḥ|
jñāna-yajñena tenāham iṣṭaḥsyām iti me matiḥ|| 70 ||

70. And whoever studies this dialogue of ours about Dharma, worships Me through the sacrifice of knowledge (Jñāna-yajña); such is My conviction.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The Supreme Lord Krishna has resolved and made it eternal by speaking it, that whenever His devotee adhyeṣyete studies the Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita; He will accept it as an offering consider Himself served in jñāna- yajñena, as direct propitiation and worship unto Him.

Such propitiation and worship is what is inculcated in this divine discourse where by its transcendental potency a mere reciting of the verses equates to offering direct propitiation and worship unto the Supreme Lord which He affirms He accepts.

śraddhāvān anasūyaśca śṛṇuyād api yo naraḥ|
so’pi muktaḥ śubhāṃllokān prāpnuyāt puṇya karmaṇām || 71 ||

71. And the one who listens to it with faith and free from envy, shall also be liberated and will attain the auspicious realms of those who have performed meritorious deeds

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Furthermore Lord Krishna confirms that one with faith in Him, without malice and envy, who even hears verses from Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita from His devotee is sufficient to free one from the sins obstructing one from beginning bhakti,

exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord by which one will become a mukta, liberated being.

Just to hear this divine discourse from the Supreme Lords devotee is enough to be released from samsāra the perpetual cycle of birth and death.

Such a blessed one will join the ranks of the Supreme Lords devoted servitors abiding eternally in the imperishable spiritual realms.

kaccid etacchātaṃpārtha tvyaikāgreṇa cetasā|
kaccid ajñāna saṃmohaḥpranaṣṭaste dhanañjaya || 72 ||

72.  Have  you  paid  attention  to  this,  O  Arjuna  (Pārtha),  with  a  concentrated  mind?  Has your delusion, caused by ignorance been dispelled O Dhananjaya?

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

Lord Krishna asks two questions:

Has His divine discourse known as Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita spoken by Him been fully comprehended with focused attention and has it dispelled the dark delusion of ignorance.

Ajñāna saṃmohaḥ means dark delusion of ignorance.

arjuna uvāca
naṣṭo mohaḥsmṛtir labdhātvat prasādān mayācyuta |
sthito’smi gata sandehaḥkariṣye vacanaṃtava || 73 ||

Arjuna said:

73. Destroyed is my delusion and I have, by Your grace, O Krishna, gained insight (Smṛti). Freed from doubts, I stand steadfast, I will act according to Your word.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The words tvat prasādān means - by your grace. By the grace of Lord Krishna all illusion was dispelled. The word tvat is derived from tvatvam meaning eternal spiritual verities.

The word smṛti means wisdom, enlightenment concerning the absolute nature of tvatvam. By the Supreme Lord's Grace this was bestowed.

Smriti consists in knowing that the ātma or immortal soul is distinct from matter, that the ātma is different in nature from matter,

that the ātma is cognizant and existing equally in all jīvas or embodied beings including humans, animals, fish, plants etc.

and that the ātma is an infinitesimal, eternal part of the Supreme Lord Krishna, is dependent upon Him, under His direction and always in allegiance to Him.

Smriti also consists in knowing that Lord Krishna is the sole origin of all creation, duration and dissolution of the complete material existence and all its myriad of unlimited variegated beings.

Knowing that He is the opposing antithesis to all that is evil. Knowing that He is the almighty ocean of illustrious attributes such omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, unrivalled power, wisdom, beauty, wealth, fame and renunciation.

In knowing that Lord Krishna is He that is described so gloriously as the goal of the Vedic scriptures and in knowing that He is knowable by the Vedic scriptures.

Smriti consists in knowing that Lord Krishna can only be attained by bhakti, exclusive loving devotion unto Him.

Such an exalted position is only achieved by knowledge of lower and higher, what is the ultimate and what is the minimal, what is to be accepted and what is to be rejected. Tvatvam, the eternal spiritual verities are to be embraced all else is to be discarded.

The word moha means illusion, the obfuscation of absolute knowledge for perverted knowledge.

Moha is also infatuation with the physical body believing it to be the actual self instead of just a vehicle for the jīva or embodied being.

Moha is also delusory misconceptions about the nature of karma reactions from actions, the nature of nitya or the eternal prescribed Vedic duties and the nature of naimittika the occasional prescribed Vedic duties.

Erroneously thinking that devotional activities to the Supreme Lord lead to bondage and illusion is distorted knowledge, which gives rise to false conceptions of relationships to family, friends, race, country, planet, etc.

It also gives false conceptions to the limitations of individual freewill.

Distorted knowledge perpetually manifests distorted knowledge. By the Supreme Lords Grace all such delusions, doubts and misconceptions have been dispelled.

sañjaya uvāca
ity-ahaṃvāsudevasya pārthasya ca mahātmanaḥ|
saṃvādam imam aśrauṣam adbhutaṃroma-harṣaṇam || 74 ||

Sanjaya said:

74. Thus have I heard this astounding dialogue between Vāsudeva and the great-minded Arjuna, which makes my hair stand on end.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The use of the name Vāsudeva, the son of Vāsudeva, in referring to Lord Krishna denotes how the Supreme Lord deigns to manifest His completely spiritual body in human form with a father and mother like any other human in order to conceal His supreme divinity.

The use of the word Pārtha refers to Arjuna, as the son of Pritha, who is Vāsudeva’s sister and Lord Krishna's paternal aunt. This relationship illustrates how deeply and dearly Lord Krishna loves all His creation.

The word mahātma meaning great soul refers to Lord Krishna being paramātma, the supreme soul, existing simultaneously in the etheric hearts of every living entity.

It can also refer to Arjuna who heeding the advice and instructions of Lord Krishna has become eminently wise in tvatvam eternal spiritual verities.

vyāsa prasādāc-chātvān etad guhyam aham param |
yogaṃyogeśvarāt kṛṣṇāt sākṣāt kathayataḥsvayam || 75 ||

75. By the grace of Vyāsa have I heard this supreme mystery of Yoga as declared personally by Krishna, the Lord of Yoga.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The phrase Vyāsa prasādāt means - by the grace of Krishna Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa, the author of Vedānta Sutras, the Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, etc.

This grace gave Sanjaya celestial vision and clairaudience to directly see and hear all that transpired on the battlefield and thus he was able to recite verbatim the divine discourse spoken by Lord Krishna, known as Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita exactly as Lord Krishna originally revealed it. 

rājan saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya saṃvādam imam adbhutam |
keśavārjunayoḥpuṇyaṃhṛṣyāmi ca muhurmuhuḥ|| 76 ||

76. O King, constantly remembering this astounding and auspicious dialogue between Śrī Krishna and Arjuna, I rejoice again and again.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The wondrous and amazing recitation of Śrīmad Bhagavad-Gita by Lord Krishna directly heard and seen by Sanjaya by clairaudience and celestial vision sanctified and rejuvenated him.

Reminiscing on this divine discourse over and over again he became increasingly ecstatic and thrilled.

tacca saṃsmṛtya saṃsmṛtya rūpam aty-adbhutaṃhareḥ|
vismayo me mahān rājan hṛṣyāmi ca punaḥpunaḥ|| 77 ||

77. And constantly recalling that most spectacular form of Hari, great is my amazement, O King, and I rejoice again and again.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The phrase rūpam aty-adbhutaṃ refers to the phenomenal Viśvarūpā or universal form exhibited by Lord Krishna on the battlefield that was described in chapter 11, which Sanjaya had observed in astonishment by the power of his celestial vision.

The more he remembered this amazing and astonishing Viśvarūpā the more rapturous and ecstatic he became by its transcendental magnificence.

Marvelling in wondrous ecstasy he is incessantly inundated by waves of rapture.

yatra yogeśvaraḥkṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanurdharaḥ|
tatra śrīrvijayo bhūtir dhruvānītir matir mama || 78 ||

78.  Wherever   Śrī  Krishna,  the  Lord  of  Yoga,  and  Arjuna  the  archer  are,  there  abide  forever prosperity, victory, wealth and righteous statesmanship —this is my firm conviction.

Rāmānuja’s Commentary

The name Yogeśvara, attributed to Lord Krishna, means the ultimate lord of all yogas or all prescribed Vedic activities that lead directly to communion with the Supreme Lord,

who is the sole bestower of all dispensations, benedictions and rewards for all endeavours, appropriate to the qualification of the aspirant and the quality of the action

after the accumulative karma or reactions to all actions in all forms of previous existences, sentient or insentient, have been calculated and tabulated throughout all creation.

One time one existed as a deva, another time as a demon, other time as an animal, another time as a human all forms of life are dependent upon the actions performed in the previous life. All are subject to diversities of existence. They have their beginning and they have an end.

Only the Supreme Lord who is eternally spiritual in His form, nature and qualities, being completely transcendental to material existence,

along with His liberated associates and servitors, who first realising the ātma or immortal soul achieved Mokṣa or liberation and subsequently attained eternal communion with the Supreme Lord.

Wherever Lord Krishna and Arjuna are present and whenever they are glorified by thinking about them, or reading about them, or speaking about them, or hearing about them,

then at that very place will be Śrī or opulence, vijaya or victory, bhūtiḥ or opulence and nīti or righteousness.

hariḥ oṃ tatsat
iti śrīmad bhagavad gītāsūpaniṣatsu
brahma-vidyāyāṃ
yogaśāstre śrīkṛṣṇārjuna saṃvāde  mokṣa-sanyāsa-yogo nāma
aṣṭāḍaśo’dhyāyaḥ

Thus in the Upanishads of the Glorious Bhagavad Gita
The science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga
The dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna
Ends the eighteenth discourse entitled
“Liberation Through Renunciation”