Gita 15.03-04 explained

Link to purport by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Transcript of Bhakti-Shastri class on this verse by Chaitanya Charan

Now Krishna is saying don’t get too confused by this because it is confusing.

Bg 15.3-4

na rūpam asyeha tathopalabhyate
nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā
aśvattham enaṁ su-virūḍha-mūlam
asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā

tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ
yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ
tam eva cādyaṁ puruṣaṁ prapadye
yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī


na — not; rūpam — the form; asya — of this tree; iha — in this world; tathā — also; upalabhyate — can be perceived; na — never; antaḥ — end; na — never; ca — also; ādiḥ — beginning; na — never; ca — also; sampratiṣṭhā — the foundation; aśvattham — banyan tree; enam — this; suvirūḍha — strongly; mūlam — rooted; asaṅgaśastreṇa — by the weapon of detachment; dṛḍhena — strong; chittvā — cutting; tataḥ — thereafter; padam — situation; tat — that; parimārgitavyam — has to be searched out; yasmin — where; gatāḥ — going; na— never; nivartanti — they come back; bhūyaḥ — again; tam — to Him; eva — certainly; ca — also; ādyam — original; puruṣam — the Personality of Godhead; prapadye — surrender; yataḥ — from whom; pravṛttiḥ — the beginning; prasṛtā — extended; purāṇi — very old.


The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this strongly rooted tree with the weapon of detachment. Thereafter, one must seek that place from which, having gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything began and from whom everything has extended since time immemorial.

na rūpam asyeha, that the form of this tree 


asy, of this tree; eha, in this world, , 

so in this world we cannot understand, Upalabhyate, perceive

We cannot understand the form of this tree, why? It is so vast it is so complex that 

nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā

Where is its beginning where it is ending where is its foundation this cannot be understood. Arjuna has talked something similarly in terms of the Virat Rupa, the Vishva rupa which is displayed in the 11th chapter then Arjuna has said Na Anatam Na Madhim Na Punas Ta Vadim, I do not know My Dear Lord where is your beginning, where is middle where is the end. So like that nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā

aśvattham enaṁ su-virūḍha-mūlam,

so aśvattha is there, as we discussed earlier in this material world the important thing is not to figure out but the important thing is to get out.

Don’t try to figure it out, Get Out!!!

That is what Krishna is saying don’t try to figure it out na Upalabhyate. Not very easy to perceive it but what we can do is, we understand the basic principles that we are bound here by attachments. And that is what He says su-virūḍha-mūlam, mūlam is root, su-virūḍha is very strongly rooted. Our attachment to this world are very deep rooted. And therefore what we have to do is

asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā

asaṅga-śastreṇa, by the weapon of detachment what we have to do dṛḍhena, so detachment and determination chittvā means to cut down, we have to cut down this tree with the weapon of detachment. asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā.

Axe of detachment. asaṅga is the opposite of sanga attachment. Asanga is not easy to develop detachment takes time therefore dṛḍhena, one has to be determined. Even if I am not detached today I will become gradually. 

tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ, 

yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ

tam eva cādyaṁ puruṣaṁ prapadye
yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī

So Krishna has not said that now we are detached from material world your job is over. No He is saying that is only the part of the story other part is 

tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ

tataḥ padaṁ, the destination that one attains thereafter 

yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ, that destiny one attains tataḥ padaṁ, na nivartanti bhūyaḥ, one will not come back from that particular place. 

And we have to do after getting to that particular place? 

tam eva cādyaṁ puruṣaṁ prapadye

There we have to do puruṣaṁ prapadye, you Surrender to that person 

Who is that person?

yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī

From whom this whole pravṛtti, whole material nature is manifested.

So here Krishna is saying when we keep on going in material world what keeps us going is our material Sanga, we discuss the modes offer the water by which the tree grows. So we cannot end the tree of material existence but we can end our entanglement in material existence. E.g. a prisoner cannot destroy the prison. But a prisoner can end one’s own sentence in prison by proper behavior etc. So similarly we cut off our attachment in this material world by detachment. Janma Mritu Jara Vayadhi will be there but greater bodily identification greater will be the sufferings lesser the bodily attachment lesser will be the sufferings. 

tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ

So once we become detached  from material world, from the misleading verities of this world and the beauty and quality that comes with it underlies that variety after that one moves forward and one seeks an eternal destination. This is a clear indication that we should not be detached from the Supreme Person as generally Mayavadis says use that use the concept of Esta Devatas to elevate to spiritual world i.e. we are attached to forms to deities so use them but afterwards becomes detached from  Esta Devatas also and then merge in Brahman. Their idea is to go beyond Bhagvan to Brahman. So Krishna is saying yes asanga, detachment is required but after one becomes detached then one will attain the position from which one will not fall back this is param Vyoma, spiritual sky which is said that one’s we attain that we will not fall back, but Krishna is very clearly telling that is not going to be enough, after we attain that then we have to surrender. 

tam eva cādyaṁ puruṣaṁ prapadye, surrender to that person, so what kind of person is that person? 

yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī

That since time immemorial it is explained that it whole material nature is coming through Him.

Srila Prabhupada: The word asaṅga is very important in this connection because the attachment for sense enjoyment and lording it over the material nature is very strong.

So it is not easy to be detached. 

 So yataḥ pravṛttiḥ prasṛtā purāṇī and Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “I am the origin of everything.” Are same.

Krishna has referred to Himself as third person here that means He is referring to Himself as that Purusha to whom we have to surrender. That person will be mentioned shortly. 

SP Purport: As soon as one surrenders unto Kṛṣṇa, one becomes detached automatically from this material extension.

So the point Srila Prabhupada is mentioned is it is a reciprocal process. So we become detached and surrender to Krishna or we surrender to Krishna and by that we become detached both are possible. One is gradual process that we struggle and struggle to detach ourselves from this world then when we succeed by become detached then we try to find what is the reality beyond this world then we come to know about Krishna and then we surrender to Krishna this process may takes many life times Karma Yoga, Jyana Yoga, Astanga yoga then Bhakti Yoga, Baunam Janmanam ante it may take. But Srila Prabhupada gave us this process of surrender that wherever we are just surrender to Krishna and He will take us 

Vadudeve Bhagvati Bhakti Yogah Pryogitah 

Jan Yat Asu Varigyam Jyanam Ca Yad Ahetukim.

End of trancription.

Author: Vallabhi

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