Thursday, 2 September 2021

Inane Interpolations In Bhagvad-Gita (An Invocation for their Revocation)

Inane Interpolations

In Bhagvad-Gita

(An Invocation for their Revocation)

BS Murthy

Copyright@2021BS Murthy

Cover Concept – E. Rohini Kumar

Illustration Within – Gopi Lagusani


 




 

F-9, 1-10-234, Ashok Nagar,

Hyderabad – 500 020 (India)                                                                                                                                                              

Other books by BS Murthy

Benign Flame: Saga of Love

Jewel-less Crown: Saga of Life

Crossing the Mirage – Passing through youth

Glaring Shadow - A stream of consciousness novel

Prey on the Prowl – A Crime Novel

Of No Avail – Web of Wedlock (A novella)

Stories Varied - A Book of short Stories

Onto the Stage – Slighted Souls and other stage and radio plays

Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife

Bhagvad -Gita: Treatise of Self –help (A translation in verses)  

Sundara Kānda - Hanuman’s Odyssey (A translation in verses)  

 

Dedicated to the slighted castes, whose forebear, Krishna, bestowed the invaluable Gita upon the mankind that in due course was fouled by the vested priestly interests.

Why Is This Book Now?

The Manusmriti, the social doctrine of yore, and the Bhagvad-Gita, the spiritual tome in vogue that lay down the discriminatory dharma (duties) of the four social classes (castes) have been the bugbears of the Hindu backward classes. However, to their chagrin, of late, as the latter is being mindlessly promoted even though the former was constitutionally debunked, they began advocating that it too should be dumped in a dustbin.

Ironically, the improbability of their progenitor Krishna, the architect of the Gita, relegating his own ilk to the social margins failed to dawn upon these that Gita supposedly slights, even to this day! Thus, their intellectuals, instead of seeking to reclaim their priceless heritage, albeit after ridding its interpolative garbage, tend to rubbish it a la throwing the baby with the bathwater, and needless to say they must ponder.

Also, it is high time that the Gita-class stop laying store by the self-aggrandizing verses in this Vyasa’s classic, evidently inserted by their progenitors that came to bedevil the Hindu spiritual integrity and social harmony. Likewise, the grumblers of the dalit desertions must see the need for setting the Hindu house in order to prevent the fractious poaching by the Church, if not to facilitate the ‘hoped for’ return of the prodigals. So also those who take pride that Hinduism is the only religion that reckons all faith as true, should be concerned about the ‘in vogue’ Gita that belittles some of their caste fellows. Besides, this work beckons the feminists to reckon the second of the two interpolations from it cited in the cover image that degrades them in unspeakable terms.  

This ‘overdue’ work, may lead the ‘denied’ Hindu castes as well as the favored folks for an objective approach to the in vogue Bhagvad-Gita which could dispel the misgivings of the former and the delusions of the latter, thereby bridging the Hindu emotional gulf with its abridged book that restores its original form. Whether or not one concurs with its propositions, this original work could be of interest to the students of logic and reasoning as well.

 

Contents                                                                 

Author’s Note

Gita’s Double Jeopardy

Provocation for Interpolation

Hindu Intellectual Apathy                                                    

Chapter - 3: Karma Yoga                                                         

Chapter - 4: Jñāna–Karma-SanyasaYoga                                                                                                     

Chapter - 5: Karma–Sanyasa Yoga                                     

Chapter - 6: Ātma Samyama Yoga

Chapter - 7:  Gjnāna Vigjnāna Yoga

Chapter - 8: Akshara Parabrahma Yoga

Chapter - 9: Raja–Vidya–Raja–Guhya Yoga                       

Chapter - 11: Vishvarupa-sandarsanaYoga       

Chapter -13: Kshetra–Kshetragjna Vibhāga Yoga     

Chapter -15: Purushottama Prāpti Yoga

Chapter -16: Daivasura–Sampad–Vibhaga Yoga

Chapter- 17: Shraddhatraya-Vibhaga Yoga

Chapter -18: Moksha–Sanyasa Yoga

Author’s Note

 

 When it comes to my tryst with Bhagvad-Gita, I may say that one thing led to the other, but with a difference – I can share the details with the public in this invocation for the revocation of its inane interpolations from it.

When I was around twelve, my paternal grandfather encouraged me to read the Gita even as he discouraged my mother from venturing into it, voicing the then prevailing view that if women were to imbibe its philosophy, then that could undermine their emotive self in the family fold. Given the lower levels of child awareness in those village days, comparatively speaking that is, as I could neither share Arjuna’s concerns nor grasp Krishna’s response, my first brush with the Gita ended before the end of its second chapter.

However, over two score years later, as it happened, it was a human tragedy that occasioned my fortuitous reengagement with the Gita, eventually that was, as, in the wake of the 2002 Godhra-Gujarat riots, the Op-eds in the print and the debates in the idiot box exhibited the vacuity of the Indian intelligentsia. As that laid the seeds of my Puppets of Faith: Theory of Communal Strife that sought to explore the role, if any, the religions play in fomenting communal discord, and if so, in which way, which in turn compelled me to seek out the Gita that is after perusing the Semitic scriptures. When I could see that apart from sharing the highway of devotion to the God with the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran for salvation, the Gita showed a subway of devotion to Duty leading up to moksha, I found it fascinating as by disposition I am not faith-inclined for it is not a handmaiden of reason.

It’s thus, after the completion of that critical appraisal of the Islamic faith, Indian polity ‘n more, for which I transcreated some selected Sanskrit slokas of the Gita into English verses that I set out to go the whole hog for its wholesome fare. Though Glaring Shadow was in wait to come into the light for by then I had done the novelling of Benign Flame, Jewel-less Crown and Crossing the Mirage, yet this epic pulled me onto its translative course. However, when I checked out of its third post, its route diversion from the set course that I came across perplexed me no end, but nevertheless as I persevered, to my utter dismay, its sectarian pattern became increasingly apparent. Then as it dawned on me that the epic is not to be taken at its face value and it is worth subjecting it to some form of scrutiny, so I looked around for precedents for guidance, but found none save Sir Edwin Arnold’s dismissal of slokas 23 thru 28 of its eighth chapter for they imply that “if one dies when the moon is on the ascent he would be heaven bound and, to hell if it’s other way round”, as the ranting of some vedānti. 

It’s thus, I ploughed my lonely furrow in the Gita’s contaminated field and in the end could manage, needless to say with great effort, to ferret out 110 inane embedments, some of which have long been the impediments to the spiritual and social amity of the Hindu polity. So, I could visualize a social purpose in going public with my discoveries through Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help, and thanks to Michael S. Hart, it first appeared in the public domain as free eBook at Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press only to make its way into umpteen literary websites thereafter. It’s no less heartening that Mike Stickles has accorded the pride of place to my work among the Gita’s translations at the Great Books and Classics site,  and what is more, slowly but steadily it has been gaining ground in the web world, that too to some acclaim.

Though not resting on its laurels for I was engaged in creating seven more books in varied genres, including the translation of Sundara Kānda, of Ramayana, the foremost poetic composition in the world of letters, as Hanuman’s Odyssey, in English verses, and lo, its author, Sage Valmiki, was a Shudra that the ‘in vogue’ Gita belittles! Whatever, I left the Gita at that, but not before supplementing its eBook with a demonstrative audio rendition, also in the public domain. However, owing to its philosophical imprint that got etched in my mind, all along, I have been able to fend for myself through the lows of life without seeking His succor and support.

Now, eighteen years later, fortuitously yet again, my childhood artist friend, E. Rohini Kumar, who saw my Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help, sans 110 inane interpolations, that carried only the rest of its ‘original’ verses, as an unfinished work, goaded me to place those inanities in the public domain for a reasoned review with a rational outlook. However, it is his hunch that the ‘overdue’ work, might lead the denied castes as well as the favoured folks for an objective approach to Gita ‘as it is’ which could dispel the misgivings of the former and the delusions of the latter that clinched the issue. Thus, serving the sore social need of bridging the Hindu emotional gulf with an abridged Gita that restores its original form owes to him for having conceptualized this Inane Interpolations in Bhagvad-Gita - An Invocation for their Revocation for which he conceived the cover as well, like he did for my earlier books, and now that women too have a free rein on this masterpiece, it is hoped that the propositions herein could be well-received, if not readily, maybe in times to come


                                                                                                                                      


                                                    Gita’s Double Jeopardy 

                                                                                 

Bhagvad-Gita, often referred to as the Gita, comprises eighteen chapters, which, in all, contain seven hundred slokas (verses) that is not counting the unnumbered opening number of its thirteenth chapter. Though it has gained prominence on its own steam, in fact it is a part of the epochal Mahabharata, which, with over 100,000 slokas, is the longest tome in the world of letters. Moreover, this epic, probably compiled around the third century BCE, whose authorship is attributed to Vyāsa, is regarded by the Hindus as the panchama veda (the fifth Veda) and the Gita, its divine part, is celebrated by the world as an unrivalled philosophical work.

Yet it is a safe bet to aver that while most (mainly Hindus) might have heard about it, hardly any would have read it (much less appraised it) though it contains no more than seven-hundred verses, excluding the above cited unnumbered one! Not only that, possibly, this classic could be the only epic in the world that is admired without application of mind and debunked with reasonable misgivings as it, as it is, sanctions the inimical caste structure in the Hindu polity that is as opposed to the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran, which seek to inculcate emotional unity amongst their respective adherents! 

Whatever, on one hand, William von Humboldt, the philosopher of yore, eulogized it as “the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue …. perhaps the deepest and the loftiest thing the world has to show”, and on the other, Vijay Mankar, the Ambedkarite of the day, debunks it is as a rotten work deserving to be thrown into a dustbin for “it advocates inequality of man based on caste, stigmatizes women as an inferior kind, and legitimizes violence.” Equally significantly, neither Humboldt was alone in lifting it to the skies for he had the illustrious company of many a Western thinker such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Albert Einstein, Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, only to name a few, nor Mankar lacked company to castigate it as a book of bigotry, for Ambedkar the Dalit intellectual colossus, who piloted the Indian Constitution, was unsparing about it.

It is possible that the Western intellectuals, who could have internalized the Semitic religious notion of the Lord God’s alleged partiality towards his chosen peoples, might have seen nothing perverse in Krishna’s creation of the caste inequity in the Hindu spcial fold sanctified in the Gita thus:

Ch4, V1

chātur-varya mayā siha gua-karma-vibhāgaśha
tasya kartāram api mā
viddhyakartāram avyayam

It is I who engineered the division of men into four varna (castes) based on their guna (innate nature) and karma (earthly duties) but yet although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal,

Or, maybe, they would have simply concerned themselves with its fascinating philosophical postulations, bypassing its alleged espousal of the caste inequities in an alien polity the nuances of which they were unfamiliar with.  

However, in contrast, the improbability of their progenitor Krishna, the architect of the Gita, relegating his own ilk to the social margins failed to dawn upon the Shudras that it supposedly slights, even to this day! Thus, their intellectuals, instead of seeking to reclaim their priceless heritage, albeit after ridding its interpolative garbage, tend to rubbish it a la throwing the baby with the bathwater.

Well, if only they apply their mind, bearing Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in mind,

Ch18, V63

That thee heard of this wisdom

For task on hand now apply mind

iti te jñānam ākhyāta guhyād guhyatara mayā
vim
iśhyaitad aśhehea yathechchhasi tathā kuru,

then, it would be apparent to them that their ancestral work was infested with umpteen interpolations that sanctify their social inferiority and further the Brahmanical religious interests, which together muddy its pristine philosophy besides affecting the sequential conformity and structural economy.  

However, to be able to discern the Gita in proper perspective, and to be able to visualize its fouling interpolations, one must appreciate its context in the epic of Mahabharata that is at the threshold of the battle royale between the estranged cousins, Pandavas ‘n Kauravas, when Arjuna, the spearhead of the former, suffers from qualms about the prospect of slaying his kith and kin for power and pelf.

In this urge to usher in Gita’s votaries, as well as the sideliners, into its ancient granary so as to enable them to segregate its grain from the interpolative chaff, the quotes in verses are excerpted from the author’s eBook, Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of Self-help, which, as already stated, is in the public domain, and the interpolations (in boxes) are obtained from other sources, however, in both cases with the Sanskrit slokas of the in vogue text.

Ch1, V28

Thus spoke Arjuna:                                                        
Disturb kinsfolk here gathered
Feel I parched, it nauseates too.

dihvema sva-jana kiha yuyutsu samupasthitam
sīdanti mama gātrā
i mukha cha pariśhuhyati 

Ch1, V37

See I no gain by their end 
Why then kill our kith ’n kin?

tasmān nārhā vaya hantu dhārtarāhrān sa-bāndhavān
sva-jana
hi katha hatvā sukhina syāma mādhava

Ch1, V38

Blinded by greed, bent on deceit  
Fail they foresee, war ruins the race.


yady apy ete na paśhyanti lobhopahata-chetasa

kula-khaya-kita doha mitra-drohe cha pātakam.

 

C1, V39 

Wiser for the woes of wars 
Why not Lord we rescind now.


kathaṁ na jñeyam asmābhiḥ pāpād asmān nivartitum
kula-kṣ
haya-kita doha prapaśhyadbhir janārdana

Ch 2, V4

Adore as I, how dare I         
Make Bhishma ’n Dron target?

katha bhīhmam aha sankhye droa cha madhusūdana
i
hubhi pratiyotsyāmi pūjārhāvari-sūdana ,,,

Ch2, V5

Better I go with begging bowl
Than earn disgrace slaying them, 
Would the scepter ever glitter  
In the bloodstained hands of mine?

gurūnahatvā hi mahānubhāvān
śhreyo bhoktu
bhaikhyamapīha loke
hatvārtha-kāmā
stu gurūnihaiva
bhuñjīya bhogān rudhira-pradigdhān

Ch2, V6

Those us oppose
We hate hurting,
What use war
Who victors are?

na chaitadvidma kataranno garīyo
yadvā jayema yadi vā no jayeyu

yāneva hatvā na jijīvi
hāmas
te ’vasthitā
pramukhe dhārtarāh

Ch2, V7

About my duty I’m in doubt 
Tell me kindly what is right.

kārpaya-dohopahata-svabhāva
p
ichchhāmi tvā dharma-sammūha-chetā
yach-chhreya
syānniśhchita brūhi tanme
śhi
hyaste ’ha śhādhi mā tvā prapannam

Besides, Arjuna was also concerned about,

Ch1, V40 

Die aged en masse dharma’s votaries                                  
Won't that let go youth ours haywire? 

kula-khaye praaśhyanti kula-dharmā sanātanā
dharme na
he kula kitsnam adharmo ’bhibhavaty uta

Ch1, v41

Sex ratio adverse that war ensues

Turns women soft on caste barriers.

adharmābhibhavāt kiha praduhyanti kula-striya
strī
hu duhāsu vārheya jāyate vara-sakara

Ch1, V42

Fallen women all go to hell  
What is more their bastards rob
Posthumous rites of forebearers.

sakaro narakāyaiva kula-ghnānā kulasya cha

patanti pitaro hy e lupta-piṇḍodaka-kriyā


Ch1, V43

Liaisons low of women wanton

Set our race on ruinous course.

 dohair etai kula-ghnana vara-sakara-karakai

utsadyante jati-dharma kula-dharmash cha shashvata

 and this is understandable for Arjuna, who was a Kshatriya, seated next only to the Brahmins on the Hindu High Caste-table  

So, Lord Vishnu, the Creator, in his avatar as Krishna (lo as Shudra), donning the role of Arjuna’s charioteer, set out to motivate the doubting tom to fight the just war on hand, beginning with a taunt that is –

Ch2, V11

Averring as knowing
Worried over trivia!
Reckon never wise 
Dead and alive both

shrī bhagavān uvācha

aśhochyān-anvaśhochas-tva prajñā-vādānśh cha bhāhase
gatāsūn-agatāsūnśh-cha nānuśhochanti pa
ṇḍitā


Ch2, V12

You and Me    
As well these,
Have had past 
Future as well.


na tvevāha jātu nāsa na tva neme janādhipā
na chaiva na bhavi
hyāma sarve vayamata param


Ch2, V13       

Wise all realize
Embodies selfsame spirit in one
From birth to death, in every birth. 


dehino ’smin yathā dehe kaumāra yauvana jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati


Ch2, V18

Perish all bodies, Spirit not therein 
Know this truth, and take up arms. 


antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktā śharīria
anāśhino ’prameyasya tasmād yudhyasva bhārata


Ch2, V19

With no slayer, nor one slain        
Whoso feels that he might kill
It's in delusion that he harps.


ya ena vetti hantāra yaśh chaina manyate hatam
ubhau tau na vijānīto nāya
hanti na hanyate.


Ch2, V20

Unbound being ever unborn
Ageless since it’s endless too  
Goes on Spirit, beyond life-span. 


na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāya
bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūya
ajo nitya
śhāśhvato ’ya purāo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre


Ch2, V21

Spirit as entity hath no birth
How can thou kill what’s not born!


vedāvināśhina nitya ya enam ajam avyayam
katha
sa puruha pārtha ka ghātayati hanti kam


Ch2, V22

Change as men fade if clothes
So doth Spirit as frames are worn


vāsānsi jīrāni yathā vihāya
navāni g
ihāti naro ’parāi
tathā śharīrā
i vihāya jīrānya
nyāni sanyāti navāni dehī.


Ch2, V26

Prima facie if thou feel
Subject Spirit is to rebirths  
Why grieve over end of frame?


atha chaina nitya-jāta nitya vā manyase mitam
tathāpi tva
mahā-bāho naiva śhochitum arhasi.


Ch2, V27

Dies as one
For like rebirth,
Why feel sad
Of what’s cyclic


jaatasya hi dhruvoo mrityu dhruvam janma mritasya cha 
tasmaadaparihaaryerthe na tvam shoochitumarhasi.


Ch2, V30

Dies not Spirit as die beings 
What for man then tends to grieve!


dehī nityam avadhyo ’ya dehe sarvasya bhārata
tasmāt sarvā
i bhūtāni na tva śhochitum arhasi


Ch 2 V31

Being a warrior dharma thine 
That thee fight with all thy might.

swa-dharmam api chāvekhya na vikampitum arhasi
dharmyāddhi yuddhāch chhreyo ’nyat k
hatriyasya na vidyate.

At that, had Arjuna picked up the Gandiva, his divine bow, and said “here we go,” perhaps the Gita would have ended then and there, but as he remained unmoved Krishna had continued –

Ch2, V38

Shed thy sentiment, guilt unhinge  
Eye not gain as wage thou war.


sukha-dukhe same kitvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naiva
pāpam avāpsyasi


Ch2, V39

It's this knowledge that liberates 
And helps thee act, with no restraint. 


ehā te ’bhihitā sānkhye                                               
buddhir yoge tvimā
śhiu
buddhyā yukto yayā pārtha
karma-bandha
prahāsyasi


Obviously privy to the Vedic ritualistic regimen, the bedrock of the Hindu religiosity that comes in the way of man’s liberation, Krishna affirmed in the same vein:


Ch2, V42

Unwise use all enticing

Flowery language to further
Rituals Vedic in their scores 
Not the knowledge of Vedas.  


yāmimā puhpitā vācha pravadanty-avipaśhchita
veda-vāda-ratā
pārtha nānyad astīti vādina


Ch2, V43

Eyeing heaven with mind mundane  
Go for ceremonies such in hope
Of having best of both the worlds.


kāmātmāna swarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśhe
ha-bahulā bhogaiśhwarya-gati prati.


Ch2, V44

Pursue if thou wants with zeal
Instincts then would spin thy mind.


bhogaiśwvarya-prasaktānā tayāpahita-chetasām
vyavasāyātmikā buddhi
samādhau na vidhīyate.


Ch2, V53

Stands as firm mind thy clear
Steer thou clear of path rituals.   

śhruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niśhchalā                             
samādhāv-achalā buddhis tadā yogam avāpsyasi.


It was then that Arjuna broke his silence with the query –

Ch2, V54

How to spot the yogi true          
Were he there ever in the crowd?

sthita-prajñasya kā bhāhā samādhi-sthasya keśhava
sthita-dhī
ki prabhāheta kim āsīta vrajeta kim.

Later, having heard Krishna’s exposition of the virtues of self-restraint that was after having goaded him to wage the just war without suffering any qualms about killing his kith and kin, Arjuna, in confusion, quizzed Krishna again thus:

Ch3, V1

Capping wants, if betters action
How come Thou then push for war!


jyāyasī chet karmaas te matā buddhir janārdana
tat ki
karmai ghore mā niyojayasi keśhava and then said,


Ch 3, V2

Find I hard to grasp all this 
Thou be forthright, what is right.  

vyāmiśhreeva vākyena buddhi mohayasīva me
tad eka
vada niśhchitya yena śhreyo ’ham āpnuyām 

The discourse between Krishna and Arjuna that follows is a treatise of self-help containing the cumulative wisdom enshrined in the Upanishads, Brahma sutras and Yoga sastra, however marred in the latter-period by 110 inane interpolations.

Be that as it may, did Krishna share ‘higher caste’ Arjuna’s ‘lower’ caste concerns?

Seemingly not since he averred that –

Ch9, V6                                                                                              

Skies in rooted wind as spreads                                  
Dwell in Me though disperse all.

yathākāśha-sthito nitya vāyu sarvatra-go mahān
tathā sarvā
i bhūtāni mat-sthānītyupadhāraya

But the interpolartor(s) thought differently,


Ch9, V32

hi pārtha vyapāśhritya ye ’pi syu pāpa-yonaya        
striyo vaiśhyās tathā śhūdrās te ’pi yānti parā
gatim

Surely, O Paartha, even those who are born of sinful origin – women, traders, and also Shudras (labourers), they attain the supreme state by taking refuge in me

Had Arjuna heard Krishna aver the above that dented his concept of kula-striyaḥ (high caste women) aired in Ch1,V41 (quoted before), he would have been truly flabbergasted, and might have even dismissed him (Krishna) from service, for at that stage, the latter hadn’t shown his Vishvarupa (the Universal Form) to him as in Ch10.

 

Then, what about Arjuna’s concern for the posthumous rites of forebears?


Ch15, V8

Wind as carries scent of flowers
While leaving them as is where,
In like fashion Spirit from frames
Moves its awareness to rebirths,

śharīra yad avāpnoti yach chāpy utkrāmatīśhvara
g
ihītvaitāni sanyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśhayāt.

 So, seemingly Krishna inferred the futility of the Vedic rituals for the dead, the bread and butter of the priestly class of Brahmins?

But then, notwithstanding their meager numbers, as the Brahmins acquired an unrivalled domination over the rest, they even came to believe that they had the power to control the gods as expostulated in the Nārāyana Upanishad!   

daiva dēnam jagat sarvam / mantrā dēnantu daivatam,

tan mantram brāhmanānam /  brāhmano mama dēvata.                               

 

It’s on god that hinges all

Mantras rein in that godhood

Controlled are those by Brahmans

Making them our own angels.

 

Not just that, going by the purānās, not only the Brahmin sages and saints through yagnās ‘n yāgās ordained the gods to fulfill theirs as well as their clients’ wishes but also were wont to curse them when offended.  

Needless to say, the Gita’s pristine text, besides being at odds with their religious practices and social prejudices had the potential to undermine their temporal power and social preeminence for all time to come, and so they set out to dispose that Krishna proposed.

 

Provocation for Interpolation

 

 

It is believed that the gods themselves made the Brahmin seers of yore privy to the Vedas, the primordial rhythms of creation, and as the communion took place in Sanskrit, it is called devabhasha, the language of the gods.

It is another matter though that in the latter-day Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the Brahmins themselves postulated that “.. since he (man) created gods who are better than he: and also because, being mortal, he created immortals, it is his higher creation. Whoever knows this, comes to be in this, his higher creation.”

Be that as it may, if one were to read the Purusha Sukta (10.7.90.1-16) of the Rig Veda, the foremost of the four Vedas, it would be apparent that v11- v13 are clever Brahmanical interpolations though a clear give away. Given v13’s alleged creation of the Brahmins from the creator’s face, it can be inferred that this sloka, and its two facilitators, were inserted into the said sukta by them, the self-proclaimed guardians of the divine revelations. So as to grasp this Brahmin mischief, the relevant original hymns would come in handy.

V10

tasmad yajnat sarvahutaha

richassamani jijignire

chandhagamsi jijignire tasmat

yajus tasmad ajayata


From that yajna (or sacrifice) wherein the Cosmic Being was Himself the oblation, were born the riks (the mantras of the Rig-veda) and the samans (the mantras of the Sama-veda). From that (yajna) the metres (like Gayatri) were born. From that (yajna again) the yujas (the Yajur-veda) was born.

V14

chandrama manaso jataha

chakshoh suryo ajayata                                                                                                      

mukhad indrash chagnishcha       

pranadvayur ajayata


From His mind was born the moon. From His two eyes was born the sun. From His mouth were born Indra and Agni. From His breath was born the air.


V15

nabhya asidanta riksham

shirshno dyauh samavartata                                                                     

padhyam bhumirdishash shrotrat                              

tada lokagamm akalpayan

 

From (His) navel was produced the antariksha (the space between the earth and the heavens). Dyuloka (or heaven) came into existence from His head. The bhumi (th earth) evolved out of His feet, and deek (or spacial directions) from His ears. Similarly (the demigods) produced the worlds (too).


V16

vedahametam purusham mahantam

adityavarnam tamasastu pare

sarvani rupani vichitya dhiraha

namani kritva abhivadan yadaste

"I know (through intuitive experience) this great Purusha (the Supreme Being), the wise one, who, having created the various forms and the nomenclatures (for those forms), deals with them by those names, and who is beyond darkness and is brilliant like the sun."

Thus, in this creative process, all are seen as arising out of the same original reality, the Purusha, which suggest human oneness, and that wouldn’t have gone down well with the Brahmins, the self-proclaimed god’s own angels. So, they set out to rectify the ‘wrong’ through the three following interpolations thus:




 
 V11

tasmadashva ajayata

ye ke cobhaya dataha

gavo ha jijignire tasmat

tasmad jnata ajavayaha            

From that were born the horses, as also animals (like donkeys and mules) which have two rows of teeth. From that were born the cattle. From that (again) were born goats and sheep.

V12

 



atpurusham vyadadhuhu

kadhita vyakalpayan

mukham kimasya kau bahu

kavuru padavuchayate

(Now some questions are raised by the sages:) When the gods decided to (mentally) sacrifice the Viratpurusha (and produce further creation), in how many ways did they do it? What became of his face or mouth? What became of his two arms? What became of His two thighs? What were (the products of) the two feet called?

V13

 
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brahmanosya mukhamasit

bahu rajanyah kritaha

uru tadasya yadvaishyaha

padhyagam shudro ajayata 

From His face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the rajanya (the kshatriyas). From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.

So, His face (head) produced what– Heaven or Brahmins? 

Who were born out of His belly (navel)? – Antariksha or Vaisyas?

What evolved from his feet – Earth or Shudras?

Often the Purusha Sukta with these contradictions gets chanted (and heard) without anyone raising an eyebrow for none knows Sanskrit and that’s about the Hindu spiritual tragedy. Hence, it is obvious that V11 gave a mundane twist to the divine creation to facilitate the motivated question in V12 for the facilitation of the self-aggrandizing answer in V13. So, one can take his pick and move on as the Kshatriyas keep the Creator’s hands all for themselves! But the Brahmins couldn’t have left it at that as there was also the Bhagvad-Gita to contend with; so, they applied their interpolative hands to handle it. As would be apparent from the following dissection of the Gita ‘as it is’, similar sukta tactics were adopted to make it call their mundane bidding. But then, what was the provocation for the Brahmins to dabble with this philosophical discourse as well with their interpolative verses?

To start with, Krishna averred, as already noted,

Ch9, V6

Skies in rooted wind as spreads
Dwell in Me though disperse all.

yathākāśha-sthito nitya vāyu sarvatra-go mahān                       
tathā sarvā
i bhūtāni mat-sthānītyupadhārayaand,

Ch6, V31  

Me who sees in all beings 
He’s the one that dwells in Me.

sarva-bhūta-sthita yo mā bhajatyekatvam āsthita
sarvathā vartamāno ’pi sa yogī mayi vartate

and these are counter to the Brahmanical innovation in the Purusha Sukta that they were specially produced from the creator’s face, which, if allowed to propagate, would  undermine the false narrative of their preeminent birth.

Secondly, it was Krishna’s stance that,

Ch 2, V42

Unwise use all enticing          
Flowery language to further
Rituals Vedic in their scores 
Not the knowledge of Vedas.  

yāmimā puhpitā vācha pravadanty-avipaśhchita
veda-vāda-ratā
pārtha nānyad astīti vādina,

This is but an unambiguous deprecation of the Vedic rituals that accord the Brahmins their temporal power in the religious place that afforded them an undisputed social preeminence, which if gained ground could have hurt them where it hurts the most. 

Hence, at some stage, they fiddled with the Gita the way they did with the Purusha Sukta, so to say, as shabbily at that, but surprisingly managed to get away with it for all time to come, so it seems, of course, aided in no small measure by the raise in the scriptural belief and the fall of the Sanskrit usage. But the hard rub, as is already seen, was the attribution of the false caste narrative to Krishna with its debilitating lower caste duties.

Ch4, V13                                                                                                                             

chātur-varya mayā siha gua-karma-vibhāgaśha
tasya kartāram api mā
viddhyakartāram avyayam

It is I who engineered the division of men into four varna (castes) based on their guna  (innate nature) and karma (earthly duties) but yet although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal,

So, this, as noted before, is akin to that advanced by the Brahmins in the Purusha Sukata:

V13

 
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brahmanosya mukhamasit

bahu rajanyah kritaha

uru tadasya yadvaishyaha

padhyagam shudro ajayata

 

From His face (or the mouth) came the brahmanas. From His two arms came the rajanya (the kshatriyas). From His two thighs came the vaishyas. From His two feet came the shudras.

 

Not only that, the Brahmins, through their interpolations in the Gita, sought to cement the caste walls by detailing the caste duties as well, cynically at that with -

Ch 3, V35

śhreyān swa-dharmo vigua para-dharmāt sv-anuhhitāt
swa-dharme nidhana
śhreya para-dharmo bhayāvaha

It is far better to perform one’s natural prescribed duty, though tinged with faults, than to perform another’s prescribed duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger.

Ch18, V45                           

śhreyān swa-dharmo vigua para-dharmāt sv-anuhhitāt
svabhāva-niyata
karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiham

It is better to do one’s own dharma, even though imperfectly, than to do another’s dharma, even though perfectly. By doing one’s innate duties, a person does not incur sin.

Also should be seen in this interpolative course are the yoga classes, superstitious suppositions, tasteless assertions, and such that abound in the Gita ‘as it is’, absurdities all, seen in the context of it having been conceived to dispel Arjuna’s reservations in joining the battle of Kurukshetra.

Next is the aspect of structural economy and one finds the similitude though of the benign content in many a sloka in the same or in a different context throughout the text. Obviously, some of them are interpolations but which were the originals and which are the imitations could be hard to find out for they smugly fit into the overall structure. Whatever, save lengthening the discourse, these do not belittle the same and fortunately, not even tire the reader / listener, thanks to the exemplary charm of Sanskrit, which, for the British philologist, Sir William Jones, ‘is of wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either.’

Boxed here in the ‘in vogue’ Gita’s thirteen chapters are 110 verses of deviant character or digressive nature that can be taken as interpolations with reasonable certainty and so one may read the epic afresh by passing over them for a refreshing experience.

 

Hindu Intellectual Apathy

 

Given the social mores of yore with the Vedic chores at their core that the puranic period had ushered in, the spiritual absorption of Gita’s inane interpolations in the Aryavarta of the bygone era is understandable, but what prevented its Hindu adherents in the medieval period, and prevents its Westernized votaries in the modern era, from seeing the wood for the trees?

Notwithstanding the advent of universal education that was once their exclusive domain, as the Brahmins continue to be Gita’s torchbearers, and since they are brought up on the Purusha Sukta’s false caste narrative, they tend to see nothing amiss in its caste aberrations. However, to be in sync with the times, they give politically correct hypocritical spin to its caste outrage of chātur-varya by feigning  as if the varna (caste) is not meant to be taken literally for what was implied is that it’s one’s guna (quality) and not one’s birth (caste) that is the determinative factor in the social pecking order.

Well, well, then what was the Brahmin resistance about to the admit Vishwamitra, the redoubtable Kshatriya sage of yore, into their haloed fold despite their reverence to the Gāyatri mantra that he composed! So be it but why there has been no upward mobility even in these days of the eminent Shudras on the caste ladder, even that of Ambedkar the intellectual colossus?

Besides, not to speak of ‘the now’, in none of the puranic tales, was there ever an instance of a rogue Brahmin having been relegated to the Shudra substrata! So, the ‘caste not by birth’ innovation in circulation is nothing but insincere hogwash to mislead.  

Since Sanskrit has long ceased to be in vogue, Hindus have come to rely on Gita’s translations to have a grasp of it, as is the case with their other epics, if at all that is, and the translators, for the most part, either provide a holistic meaning, wherever possible, to its offensive verses, and when not conducive for an inoffensive spin, then they tone down the inanities, and who cares any way.

Thus, by not calling a spade a spade, they not only betray their intellectual dishonesty but also preclude a public debate about the inane interpolations altogether. If anything, when it comes to pushing these toxic insertions under the caste carpet, the spiritual leaders excel as professional preachers, which is of no avail as the slighted souls desist from walking over the same.

In Gita’s myriad world, are the lazy ones content in just reciting

Ch 2, V47

karmay-evādhikāras te mā phalehu kadāchana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr mā te sa
go ’stvakarmai  

Hold as patent on thy work  
Reckon thou not on royalty 
With no way to ceasing work
Never mind outcome but go on.

Well, if only it were as simple.

Though he too heard that, Arjuna didn’t think so.

Ch3, V36                            

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Why should one with right intent 
Stray ever on the wayward ways!

arjuna uvācha
atha kena prayukto ’ya
pāpa charati pūruha
anichchhann api vār
heya balād iva niyojita 

Ch3, V37

Thus spoke the Lord:                                                    
Well, it's passion, lust ’n wrath 
Drag that man on path painful.

śhrī bhagavān uvācha
kāma e
ha krodha eha rajo-gua-samudbhava
mahāśhano mahā-pāpmā viddhyenam iha vairi
am

 

Ch3, V38

Flame ’n mirror as shrouded

Without let by smoke ’n dust

As well embryo in the womb 
Wisdom is by wants clouded.

dhūmenāvriyate vahnir yathādarśho malena cha
yatholbenāv
ito garbhas tathā tenedam āvitam

Then again,

Ch6, V33

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Frail being man, fail I see
Yoga Thou espouse, lasting in practice.

arjuna uvācha

yo ’ya yogas tvayā prokta sāmyena madhusūdana
etasyāha
na paśhyāmi chañchalatvāt sthiti sthirām

Ch6, V34

Can one ever tame his mind                                            
Like the wind that yields to none?

chañchala hi mana kiha pramāthi balavad diham
tasyāha
nigraha manye vāyor iva su-duhkaram

Ch6, V35

Thus spoke the Lord:
Calm ’n custom bring in ropes
Tough ask though to subdue mind. 

śhrī bhagavān uvācha
asanśhaya
mahā-bāho mano durnigraha chalam
abhyāsena tu kaunteya vairāgye
a cha gihyate

The Gita provides those ropes that the inane interpolations sap.

But yet in blissful ignorance, besides the one-sloka wonders are the silo-readers that pick a verse here and pluck another there from the interwoven text, of course from its translations, thereby gaining nothing in the process, save earning the membership of the Gita groups that now abound in the social media.

Even the earnest ones, who religiously go through the tome, come to naught for failing to apply their ‘faith-filled’ mind to its malcontent in it that begs for attention.

 

Besides these are the gullible seekers in their scores that take their self-styled guru’s interpretative word of Krishna’s word as the last word, and there is no dearth either of the supply-chain translators that churn out ‘Arjuna asked this and Krishna said that’ sort of stuff by recycling the imitative material in the book world. One may say that these are nearer to those Arjuna had in mind when he asked Krishna:

Ch6, v37

What if one 
Throws up all 
Lacks who zeal
Hath though faith?

ayati śhraddhayopeto yogāch chalita-mānasa
aprāpya yoga-sansiddhi
gati kiha gachchhati

However, while the enterprising compartmentalize its interwoven philosophy of life into Gita for This and Gita for That kind of commercials for the marketplace, it is the gift of the gabs with their vacuous lectures that take the cake as gita-chāryās. Whatever it is, the Bard’s words - reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving – ring true on Gita’s universal stage, and if anything, the ostentation of many of these belies their tenuous grasp of its profound philosophy.  

Needless to say, all these, who swear by the Gita, are no better off than those that unerringly keep away from it by mistakenly treating the inane interpolations as its innate philosophy. In what is an unparalleled irony, Vyāsā’s progeny mindlessly shun the mischievously tampered masterpiece of his! So, as the grandstanding by the thoughtless and the indignation of the mistaken constrain the Hindu polity on either bank of its interpolated waters, it is imperative for the left-castes to remove the rubbish from their ancestral stream that muddles the understanding of the right-backers no less.

But still the question remains; can any arrogate to himself the intellectuality to point fingers at the Gita ‘as it is’ that too after Adi Shankara the philosopher vouched for it in his bhashya and Aurobindo, Gandhi, Radhakrishnan et al endorsed it in their writings? Without any disregard for their immense intellect, the short answer is that  ‘one puts up with what one grows up with’ and, so to say, they all dwelled on the ‘right’ bank in the times when caste was taken as a given. Why, don’t’ we have the anecdote of Adi Shankara in which he asked an untouchable to move farther away from him, only to realize later it was none other than Lord Shiva in disguise as a dalit; that should be that.

Now it’s over to the chapter-wise interpolative detail.

 

Chapter - 3: Karma Yoga

 

The pundits and the plebeians alike aver that the philosophy of the Gita is the practice of disinterested action, that is apart from an unflinching devotion to the Supreme, and in that context, it may be noted that while postulating the same, Krishna, as was seen before, had been critical of the ritualistic aspects of and mundane expectations from the Vedic ceremonies (Ch2, v42 -v 46 ‘n v53). Given that the avowed philosophy of the Gita is to tend man on the path of duty without attachment, the about turn in
this chapter, v9 - v16, to formulate the procedural aspects of the rituals and the divine backing they enjoy (not to be confused with bhakti that is devotion to god) cannot stand up to commonsense not to speak of logic and reason.

Thus, it is unthinkable that Krishna, having been unequivocal about the fallacy of the Vedic rituals, and the lack of wisdom in those that lay store by the ceremonies that promise rewards here and in hereafter, would have, in the same breath, advocated the following that turn the rational clock back in the ritualistic direction. 

V9

 
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yajñārthāt karmao ’nyatra loko ’ya karma-bandhana
tad-artha
karma kaunteya mukta-saga samāchara

 

Other than those actions performed for yajna, this world gets bound by action. Therefore, O Kaunteya, perform actions in that regard, without attachment. In so far as the spirit of the rituals is concerned, so far so good, but then comes

V10

 
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saha-yajñā prajā sihvā purovācha prajāpati                              
anena prasavi
hyadhvam eha vo ’stviha-kāma-dhuk

In ancient times, Prajaapati created humanity along with yajna. He said “through this (yajna) let everyone prosper, and may it become your fulfiller of wishes”.

 

However, if it was the Lord that so readily changed his mind in the above and the two succeeding verses, then it would lend credence to Allah’s over and again abrogation of his own diktats in the Quran! But at the mundane level, it can be inferred that the interpolator was just mindless, and so are those that fail to discern this and other ‘divine’ contradictions that abound in the Gita in vogue.

V11

 
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devān bhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu va
paraspara
bhāvayanta śhreya param avāpsyatha

You will make the deities prosper through this (yajna), and the deities will make you prosper. By mutually making each other prosperous, you will attain the highest good.

V12

 
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ihān bhogān hi vo devā dāsyante yajña-bhāvitā

tair dattān apradāyaibhyo yo bhukte stena eva sa

 

The deities, nourished by yajna, will also provide you the objects you desire. One who consumes these objects without offering them to others, he is a thief.

V13

 
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yajña-śhihāśhina santo muchyante sarva-kilbihai
bhuñjate te tvagha
pāpā ye pachantyātma-kāraāt

 

The spiritually-minded, who eat food that is first offered in sacrifice, are released from

all kinds of sin. Others, who cook food for their own enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

V14

 
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annād bhavanti bhūtāni parjanyād anna-sambhava                       
yajñād bhavati parjanyo yajña
karma-samudbhava

 

All living beings subsist on food, and food is produced by rains. Rains come from the performance of sacrifice, and sacrifice is produced by the performance of prescribed duties.

V15

 
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karma brahmodbhava viddhi brahmākhara-samudbhavam                          
tasmāt sarva-gata
brahma nitya yajñe pratihhitam

 

The duties for human beings are described in the Vedas, and the Vedas are manifested by God himself. Therefore, the all-pervading Lord is eternally present in acts of sacrifice

V16

 
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eva pravartita chakra nānuvartayatīha ya                     
aghāyur indriyārāmo mogha
pārtha sa jīvati

O Parth, those who do not accept their responsibility in the cycle of sacrifice established by the Vedas are sinful. They live only for the delight of their senses; indeed their lives are in vain.

However, in contrast to the above postulations, it is pertinent to note that while describing the Omnipresence of the Supreme Spirit in Ch10,V22, it has been averred that among the Vedas, the Supreme Spirit is Sama Veda that, symbolizes music but not Rig   or Yajur Veda, both associated with ritualism.

Ch10, V22

I am the Sama of Vedas  
It’s Me Indr
a, god of gods 
Of all organs, mind is Me
And so life in all beings.

vedānā sāma-vedo ’smi devānām asmi vāsava
indriyā
ā manaśh chāsmi bhūtānām asmi chetanā

And again, in v25 of the said chapter, it is averred that among the sacrifices, He is tapo yagjna, prayer muted, and not Asvamedha, the horse sacrifice.

 

Ch10, V25

Bhrugur I am the well-realized 
So Am ‘Om’ that sound supreme, 

Of rituals Am prayer muted  
Himalayas high that kiss the skies.

maharā bhigur aha girām asmyekam akharam
yajñānā
japa-yajño ’smi sthāvarāā himālaya

Hence, it can be said without any contradiction that the eight above cited verses are no more than mere interpolations for the purpose already stated.

 

Now, over to the rest of the rest of the interpolations in this chapter thus:

 

V17

 
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yas tvātma-ratir eva syād ātma-tiptaśh cha mānava        
ātmanyeva cha santu
has tasya kārya na vidyate

 

But those who rejoice in the self, who are illumined and fully satisfied in the self, for them, there is no duty.

V18

 
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naiva tasya kitenārtho nākiteneha kaśhchana         
na chāsya sarva-bhūte
hu kaśhchid artha-vyapāśhraya

 

Such self-realized souls have nothing to gain or lose either in discharging or renouncing their duties. Nor do they need to depend on other living beings to fulfill their self-interest.

Clearly intended to exonerate the Brahmins from the tedious menial occupations, the above two verses v17-v18 are out of context as well, even in the interpolated text, which, along with the preceding ones, as can be seen below, unambiguously break the continuity of the discourse between v8 ‘n v19

Ch3, V8

Lest thee should stake survival 
Turn thy back not on thy work.

niyata kuru karma tva karma jyāyo hyakarmaa
śharīra-yātrāpi cha te na prasiddhyed akarma
a

Ch3, V19

Ever thee act at par duty 
Let that be thy goal of life.

tasmād asakta satata kārya karma samāchara
asakto hyācharan karma param āpnoti pūru
ha

Then comes this

V24

 
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utsīdeyur ime lokā na kuryā karma ched aham
sankarasya cha kartā syām upahanyām imā
prajā

 

If I ceased to perform prescribed actions, all these worlds would perish. I would be responsible for the pandemonium that would prevail, and would thereby destroy the peace of the human race.

 

which is but an analogy of

Ch3, V23 

Were I to fail to self-exert  

Man might follow suit as well

yadi hyaha na varteya jātu karmayatandrita
mama vartmānuvartante manu
hyā pārtha sarvaśhaḥ,

This thus is an interpolation.

 

Then this mischief monger

V35

 
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śhreyān swa-dharmo vigua para-dharmāt sv-anuhhitāt
swa-dharme nidhana
śhreya para-dharmo bhayāvaha

 

It is far better to perform one’s natural prescribed duty, though tinged with faults, than to perform another’s prescribed duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger.

This motivated insertion (and its convenient cousin V47 in Ch18) obviously meant to confine the Shudras to the menial work, read together with its preceding and succeeding ones in the text, is contextually out of place in this egalitarian discourse, fouled by the motivated interpolations, and any whitewashing of the cynical intent by Gita’s diehards in rationalizing these with holistic spins won’t cut much ice.

Ch3, V34

Pays it to see grips avarice 
Senses those thine nature tends.  

indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dvehau vyavasthitau
tayor na vaśham āgachchhet tau hyasya paripanthinau

Ch3, V36

Thus spoke Arjuna:
Why should one with right intent 
Stray ever on the wayward ways!

arjuna uvācha                                                                 

atha kena prayukto ’ya pāpa charati pūruha
anichchhann api vār
heya balād iva niyojita

That’s about the interpolations in this chapter.

 

Chapter - 4: Jñāna–Karma-SanyasaYoga

 

This chapter of 42 verses that deals with the spiritual knowledge and practical wisdom is replete with interpolations, including the damning chātur-varya mayā siha (v13) the first of the caste-centric precepts in the Gita ‘as it is’. The plain reading of this verse would have us believe that the Lord Himself had created the four-caste system, of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Shudra, to suit their innate inclinations towards respective callings of social and spiritual life in this world. And then, as a rider that is vague at the very best; Krishna says that though he is the author of it all, he should not be deemed as the doer. These so-called caste characteristics and duties later figure in v41-v48 of the concluding eighteenth chapter, a long wait indeed, and they are discussed therein.

So, it is imperative that we try to see whether the following verses actually belong to the original text, or are latter-day insertions, meant to sanctify the Aryan caste credo with the underpinning of 'exclusivity of duties' through the venerated Gita, however, keeping in mind the Brahmanical self-aggrandizing mischief in the Purusha Sukta.   

V11

 
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ye yathā mā prapadyante tāns tathaiva bhajāmyaham
mama vartmānuvartante manu
hyā pārtha sarvaśha

In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

It should not be lost on one that this return of favour by the Lord is juxtaposing to the stated detachment of His as espoused thus in

                                               

Ch 4, V14

Detached Am from what happens 
It's this knowledge that frees man

na mā karmāi limpanti na me karma-phale spihā         
iti mā
yo ’bhijānāti karmabhir na sa badhyate

Hence, v11 could be nothing but an interpolation, and so also,

V12

 
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khanta karmaā siddhi yajanta iha devatā

khipra hi mānuhe loke siddhir bhavati karmajā

In this world, those desiring success in material activities worship the celestial gods, since material rewards manifest quickly.

On the other hand, this ritualistic verse that is akin to,

Ch7, V20  

kāmais tais tair hita-jñānā prapadyante ’nya-devatā
ta
ta niyamam āsthāya prakityā niyatā svayā

Those whose knowledge has been carried away by material desires surrender to the celestial gods. Following their own nature, they worship the devatās, practicing rituals meant to propitiate these celestial personalities,

as would be seen therein, is in itself an interpolation.

Now arrives the totally out of context Spoiler-in-Chief

V13

 
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chātur-varya mayā siha gua-karma-vibhāgaśha
tasya kartāram api mā
viddhyakartāram avyayam

 

It is I who engineered the division of men into four varna (castes) based on their guna (innate nature) and karma (earthly duties) but yet although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal.

As already seen, this alleged godly caste-ing of man goes against the grain of the His creation exemplified by –

Ch9, V6

Skies in rooted wind as spreads
Dwell in Me though disperse all.

yathākāśha-sthito nitya vāyu sarvatra-go mahān
tathā sarvā
i bhūtāni mat-sthānītyupadhāraya.

Ch6, V31

Me who sees in all beings 
He’s the one that dwells in Me.

sarva-bhūta-sthita yo mā bhajatyekatvam āsthita
sarvathā vartamāno ’pi sa yogī mayi vartate

As broached before, one school of thought tends to view chātur-varya as a way of general differentiation amongst men. However, apart from what was earlier discussed on this subject, this ingenious argument cannot cut much ice since common sense suggests that Krishna would have been well aware that such a turn of phrase is bound to be viewed by man only in caste colours rather than in ethereal terms. That being the case, he would have been circumspect in his word choices to convey his scheme of things governing man’s birth if they aren’t really as narrow as the Aryan caste credo.

Or, is the chātur-varya his real will, whether one likes it or not? The answer could be found in his averments as one goes through the Gita that is by skipping its interpolative turns. The four types of beings he identified by their nature and disposition are - the virtuous, the vile, the passionate, and the deluded. Isn’t the proposition that people of a given nature and disposition could be bracketed into a single caste so absurd? Why, in every family, of any of the four castes, one sees assorted natures and myriad proclivities among its members, and that being the case, could have Krishna, the Jagadguru been so naive as not to know about it at all!  

However the clinching evidence that the three above verses are interpolations is provided by the preceding and the succeeding ones of this contentious verse as –

Ch4, V7

Wanes if good ’n vile gain reign 
Know it's then that I come forth. 

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmāna
sijāmyaham

Ch4, V8

It’s thus I from time to time
Manifest here to uproot ill   
And uphold well for public good.

paritrāāya sādhūnā vināśhāya cha duhkitām
dharma-sansthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge

Ch4, V9

Grasp who this true self of Me  
Are bound to become one with Me.

janma karma cha me divyam eva yo vetti tattvata
tyaktvā deha
punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna

Ch4, V10  

So with who lead poised life
Reining in their base instincts.   

vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśhritā
bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā mad-bhāvam āgatā
ḥ.

Now read the next three out of context verses that follow-

V 11 - In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate with them accordingly. Everyone follows my path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.

V12 - In this world, those desiring success in material activities worship the celestial gods, since material rewards manifest quickly.

V13 - It is I who engineered the division of men into four varna (castes) based on their guna (innate nature) and karma (earthly duties) but yet although I am the creator of this system, know me to be the non-doer and eternal.

It may also be noted that while V11 is a replica of V9, V12 is a worn out ritualistic hymn and V13 comes from nowhere, without rhyme or reason, with its second line being the borrowing of the first line of the succeeding v14 and the last one a rehash of the verse of the seventh chapter that follows it hereunder –

Ch4, V14

Detached Am from what happens     
It's this knowledge that frees man.

na mā karmāi limpanti na me karma-phale spihā
iti mā
yo ’bhijānāti karmabhir na sa badhyate.

And onto –

Ch7, V12

Virtue, passion so too delusion  
Send I forth though all of them

Come to dwell in none of them                                                                                          

ye chaiva sāttvikā bhāvā rājasās tāmasāśh cha ye                                   
matta eveti tān viddhi na tvaha
tehu te mayi

So, going by Krishna’s narrative up to V10, it is left for man to make it to the Him and in V14 he’s detached from the goings on in this world, so his alleged creation of the four castes that too based on group nature does not jell, and moreover, he had stated that

Ch6, V5

Noble or naughty it’s thy make
Self thus thine but shapes thyself

uddhared ātmanātmāna nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmana

Now the following v24 to v32 that are of religious / ritualistic nature, like in the previous chapter, clearly are out of context besides being prejudicial to the Gita’s philosophical character. Moreover, prior to this seemingly interpolated body of eleven slokas, the nature of the Supreme Spirit and the conduct of those who realize it are dealt with as follows:

Ch4,V20  
He that content leans on none 
Resigned he lives in thick of things. 

tyaktvā karma-phalāsaga nitya-tipto nirāśhraya
karma
yabhipravitto ’pi naiva kiñchit karoti sa

Ch4,V21  
Mind if keeps thy greed at bay
It’s no sin thou meet thy needs.

nirāśhīr yata-chittātmā tyakta-sarva-parigraha
śhārīra
kevala karma kurvan nāpnoti kilbiham

Ch4,V22  
One that truly well realized 
Happy being with his share 
Rids of envy from his mind 
Easy he feels ever engaged 
Treats he alike grief ’n joy 
Wins ’n losses not to speak.

yadichchhā-lābha-santuho dvandvātīto vimatsara
sama
siddhāvasiddhau cha kitvāpi na nibadhyate

Ch4, V23

Acts of man to favour none 
Grace they have of deeds selfless.

gata-sagasya muktasya jñānāvasthita-chetasa
yajñāyācharata
karma samagra pravilīyate

After the self-actualization clues is this recurring ritualistic regimen that’s an anathema to Krishna!

V24

 
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brahmārpaa brahma havir brahmāgnau brahmaā hutam
brahmaiva tena gantavya
brahma-karma-samādhinā

For those who are completely absorbed in God-consciousness, the oblation is Brahman, the ladle with which it is offered is Brahman, the act of offering is Brahman, and the sacrificial fire is also Brahman. Such persons, who view everything as God, easily attain him.

V25

 
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daivam evāpare yajña yogina paryupāsate
brahmāgnāvapare yajña
yajñenaivopajuhvati

Some yogis worship the celestial gods with material offerings unto them. Others worship perfectly who offer the self as sacrifice in the fire of the Supreme Truth.

V26

 

 
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śhrotrādīnīndriyāyanye sanyamāgnihu juhvati
śhabdādīn vi
hayānanya indriyāgnihu juhvati

Others offer hearing and other senses in the sacrificial fire of restraint. Still others offer

sound and other objects of the senses as sacrifice in the fire of the senses.

V27

 
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sarvāīndriya-karmāi prāa-karmāi chāpare
ātma-sanyama-yogāgnau juhvati jñāna-dīpite

Some, inspired by knowledge, offer the functions of all their senses and their life energy in the fire of the controlled mind.

V28

 
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dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā yoga-yajñās tathāpare                                 
swādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāśh cha yatayaḥ
sanśhita-vratā

Some offer their wealth as sacrifice, while others offer severe austerities as sacrifice. Some practice the eight-fold path of yogic practices, and yet others study the scriptures and cultivate knowledge as sacrifice, while observing strict vows.

V29

 
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apāne juhvati prāa prāe ’pāna tathāpare
prā
āpāna-gatī ruddhvā prāāyāma-parāyaā

 

Still others offer as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming breath, while some offer the incoming breath into the outgoing breath. Some arduously practice prāāyām and restrain the incoming and outgoing breaths, purely absorbed in the regulation of the life-energy.

V30

 
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apare niyatāhārā prāān prāehu juhvati
sarve ’pyete yajña-vido yajña-k
hapita-kalma

 

Yet others curtail their food intake and offer the breath into the life-energy as sacrifice. All these knowers of sacrifice are cleansed of their impurities as a result of such performances.

V31

 
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yajña-śhihāmita-bhujo yānti brahma sanātanam
nāya
loko ’styayajñasya kuto ’nya kuru-sattama

Those who know the secret of sacrifice, and engaging in it, partake of its remnants that are like nectar, advance toward the Absolute Truth. O best of the Kurus, those who perform no sacrifice find no happiness either in this world or the next.

V32

 
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eva bahu-vidhā yajñā vitatā brahmao mukhe
karma-jān viddhi tān sarvān eva
jñātvā vimokhyase

All these different kinds of sacrifice have been described in the Vedas. Know them as originating from different types of work; this understanding cuts the knots of material bondage.

What is more, the discontinuity in the discourse, brought about by the body of the above interpolative verses, would be self-evident if we read the preceding v23 (cited already) and the succeeding v33 of this very chapter:

Ch4, V23

Acts of man to favour none 
Grace they have of deeds selfless.

gata-sagasya muktasya jñānāvasthita-chetasa
yajñāyācharata
karma samagra pravilīyate

Ch4, V33

Better wise deeds than acts selfless 
Wise thus strive to better themselves.

śhreyān dravya-mayād yajñāj jñāna-yajña parantapa
sarva
karmākhila pārtha jñāne parisamāpyate

And then this

V34

 
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tad viddhi praipātena paripraśhnena sevayā
upadek
hyanti te jñāna jñāninas tattva-darśhina

Learn the Truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him with reverence and render service unto him. Such an enlightened Saint can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the Truth.

This indeed is laughable to say the least for not only was Krishna imparting divine wisdom to Arjuna at that very moment that is but also is absurd in the context of the discourse fashioned to set the latter’s fears at rest in the battlefield itself, then and there.

 

Chapter 5: Karma–Sanyasa Yoga

 

What characterizes the interpolations in this chapter of 29 verses is the tasteless ‘Omnipresence of the Supreme in Brahmins, cows, elephants, dogs and dog eaters’ of v18, which could be but an interpolation as it ill-behoves Krishna’s eloquence and his sophistication of expression seen throughout the genuine text.

Moreover, V27-v28 that deal with yogic practices and V29, which asserts the Supreme as the beneficiary of sacrificial rituals, are but interpolation for reasons that bear no repetition.

In response to Arjuna’s plea at the very outset, Krishna delves into the renunciation of action.  

Ch5, V1

Pray be clear, as Thee aver

Act ’n give up in selfsame breath.                                           

sannyāsa karmaā kiha punar yoga cha śhansasi
yach chhreya etayor eka
tan me brūhi su-niśhchitam

Then, Krishna sets the tone for the self-help with the opening statement thus:

Ch5, V2

Give up all ’n thou be freed                                               

So’s the case with selfless work

But know latter scores much better. 

 

sannyāsa karma-yogaśh cha niśhreyasa-karāvubhau
tayos tu karma-sannyāsāt karma-yogo viśhi
hyate

Continuing in the same vein, Krishna affirms that –

 

Ch5, V17

In clear conscience ’n fairness 
Gives man freedom faith in Him.

tad-buddhayas tad-ātmānas tan-nihhās tat-parāyaā
gachchhantyapunar-āv
itti jñāna-nirdhūta-kalma

Next appears the silly and tasteless description of the Omnipresence of the Supreme in Brahmans, cows, elephants, dogs, and dog eaters!  Wonder if this is not an idiotic interpolation, then what it is only the blind votaries of the Gita ‘as it is’ can explain

V18

 
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vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmae gavi hastini
śhuni chaiva śhva-pāke cha pa
ṇḍitā sama-darśhina

 

The truly learned, with the eyes of divine knowledge, see with equal vision a Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.

In contrast, the succeeding verse is the true successor of the former (V17).

Ch5, V19

Keeps who equity ever in thought   
Faultless being attains he Brahman.

ihaiva tair jita sargo ye sāmye sthita mana                            
nirdo
ha hi sama brahma tasmād brahmai te sthitā

Now, over to the other interpolations -

V27

 
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sparśhān kitvā bahir bāhyānśh chakhuśh chaivāntare bhruvo
prā
āpānau samau kitvā nāsābhyantara-chāriau

Keeping external sense objects outside, and eyes in the center of the eyebrows, and also equalizing the incoming and outgoing flow of breath inside the nostrils;

V28

 
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yatendriya-mano-buddhir munir mokha-parāyaa
vigatechchhā-bhaya-krodho ya
sadā mukta eva sa

That person who has restrained his senses, mind and intellect, and whose ultimate goal is liberation, who is devoid of desire, fear and anger; that person is also a monk, he is ever liberated.

The v27 that deal with yogic practices and v28 for its ascetic association with it would not fit even in the Gita’s spiritual space and thus are but interpolations for reasons that bear no repetition.  

V29

 
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bhoktāra yajña-tapasā sarva-loka-maheśhvaram

suhida sarva-bhūtānā jñātvā mā śhāntim ichchhati

Having realized Me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all the worlds and the selfless Friend of all living beings, My devotee attains peace.

This Supreme as the beneficiary of the sacrificial rituals is but an interpolative hat, and thus these four verses are nothing but inane interpolations.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter - 6: Ātma Samyama Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

This chapter of 47 verses deals with all aspects of self-control needed for renunciation in action. Here Arjuna’s queries as to what would be the fate of man in his efforts at self- control were he to fail midway, (v37). Even if it were the case, assures Krishna, still one wouldn't come to grief here or hereafter (v40). In this context of the renunciation in action, the yoga-class that follows (v10-v17) informative though, is but a square peg in the round philosophical hole that this discourse is, and so the following verses are but interpolations, even going by what is stated in the very opening verse by Krishna:

 

 

 

Ch6, V1


Forego none if forsake chores 
Eye not gain ’n thou be freed.

anāśhrita karma-phala kārya karma karoti ya
sa sannyāsī cha yogī cha na niragnir na chākriya

V10

 
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yogī yuñjīta satatam ātmāna rahasi sthita
ekākī yata-chittātmā nirāśhīr aparigraha

Those seeking Yogice state must reside in seclusion, constantly engaged in meditation

with a controlled mind and body, getting rid of desires and possessions for enjoyment.

V11

 
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śhuchau deśhe pratihhāpya sthiram āsanam ātmana
nātyuchchhrita
nāti-nīcha chailājina-kuśhottaram

 

To practice Yog, one should make an āsan (seat) in a sanctified place, by placing kuśh grass, deer skin, and a cloth, one over the other. The āsan should be neither too high nor too low.

V12

 
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tatraikāgra mana kitvā yata-chittendriya-kriya
upaviśhyāsane yuñjyād yogam ātma-viśhuddhaye

Seated firmly on it, the yogi should strive to purify the mind by focusing it in meditation with one pointed concentration, controlling all thoughts and activities.

V13

 
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sama kāya-śhiro-grīva dhārayann achala sthira
samprek
hya nāsikāgra sva diśhaśh chānavalokayan

He must hold the body, neck, and head firmly in a straight line, and gaze at the tip of the nose, without allowing the eyes to wander.

V14

 
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praśhāntātmā vigata-bhīr brahmachāri-vrate sthita

mana sanyamya mach-chitto yukta āsīta mat-para

Thus,with a serene, fearless, and unwavering mind, and staunch in the vow of celibacy, the vigilant yogi should meditate on me, having me alone as the supreme goal.

V15

 
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yuñjann eva sadātmāna yogī niyata-mānasa
śhanti
nirvāa-paramā mat-sansthām adhigachchhati

Thus, constantly keeping the mind absorbed in me, the yogi of disciplined mind attains nirvā, and abides in me in supreme peace.

V16

 
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nātyaśhnatastu yogo ’sti na chaikāntam anaśhnata
na chāti-svapna-śhīlasya jāgrato naiva chārjuna

O Arjun, those who eat too much or eat too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yog.

V17

 
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yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-chehasya karmasu                             
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati du
kha-hā

But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.

 

Besides the irrelevant above, the following verses (v41-v42) appetizing though for the yoga enthusiasts, are clear interpolations for the same reason as the preceding ones.

V41

 
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prāpya puya-kitā lokān uhitvā śhāśhvatī samā
śhuchīnā
śhrīmatā gehe yoga-bhraho ’bhijāyate

The unsuccessful yogis, upon death, go to the abodes of the virtuous. After dwelling there for many ages, they are again reborn in the earth plane, into a family of pious and prosperous people. 

V42

 
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atha vā yoginām eva kule bhavati dhīmatām
etad dhi durlabhatara
loke janma yad īdiśham

Else, if they had developed dispassion due to long practice of Yog, they are born into a family endowed with divine wisdom. Such a birth is very difficult to attain in this world.

Hence, these irrelevant ‘yoga ten’ are clear interpolations, and if we were to concede the irreverent argument of some that they would have been incorporated later for holistic reasons, then that in itself is an admission of interpolations in the original text.

 

 

Chapter – 7:  Gjnāna Vigjnāna Yoga

 

This chapter of 30 verses is about understanding the nature of the Supreme through knowing and meditation. However, v20-v23 besides breaking the continuity in the character of the discourse, advocate worship of gods for boon seeking that Krishna, as already seen, has chastised in Ch2, v42-v44. In order to  appreciate that v20-v23 are interpolations, one my see how the original narrative runs, prior to their insertion, and subsequently thereafter.

Ch7, V14

If thee forsake well and true                                   
To Me then thou come ’n grasp
Natures these Mine illusions. 

daivī hyehā gua-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etā
taranti te

 

Ch7, V18

Noble as all worship Me   
The knower true is selfsame Me.

udārā sarva evaite jñānī tvātmaiva me matam
āsthita
sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamā gatim

 

Ch7, V19                                          

Once in a while
Births after many, 
Born who knows 
I pervade worlds.

 

bahūnā janmanām ante jñānavān mā prapadyate
vāsudeva
sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabha

Then appear these inanities

V20

 
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kāmais tais tair hita-jñānā prapadyante ’nya-devatā                              
ta
ta niyamam āsthāya prakityā niyatā svayā

Those whose knowledge has been carried away by material desires surrender to the celestial gods. Following their own nature, they worship the devatās, practicing rituals meant to propitiate these celestial personalities.

V21

 
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yo yo yā tanu bhakta śhraddhayārchitum ichchhati
tasya tasyāchalā
śhraddhā tām eva vidadhāmyaham

Whatever celestial form a devotee seeks to worship with faith, I steady the faith of such a devotee in that form.

V22

 
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sa tayā śhraddhayā yuktas tasyārādhanam īhate
labhate cha tata
kāmān mayaiva vihitān hi tān

Endowed with faith, the devotee worships a particular celestial god and obtains the

objects of desire. But in reality, I alone arrange these benefits.

V23

 
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antavat tu phala te tad bhavatyalpa-medhasām
devān deva-yajo yānti mad-bhaktā yānti mām api

But the fruit gained by these people of small understanding is perishable. Those who worship the celestial gods go to the celestial abodes, while my devotees come to me

Now back to good sense with

 

Ch7, V24   

Unmanifest Am State Supreme 
But saddle Me with form uncouth.

avyakta vyaktim āpanna manyante mām abuddhaya
para
bhāvam ajānanto mamāvyayam anuttamam

Ch7, V25  

 

Dull in delusion won’t perceive 
Me that’s unborn veiled from them.

nāha prakāśha sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvita
ho ’ya nābhijānāti loko mām ajam avyayam  

Hence, undoubtedly v20 –v23 can be taken as inane interpolations. 

 

Chapter - 8: Akshara Parabrahma Yoga

 

This 28-verses chapter deals with an un-wavering devotion to the Supreme to attain Him besides the science of meditation to realize the Brahman towards the same end.  It can be seen below how v5 places the cart before the horse, and why v9-v14 too, are interpolations that is going by their content that’s out of context.  

However, the interpolations that take the cake are the superstitious v23-v27 that pollute an otherwise thought-elevating work, and as already noted, it was to Sir Edwin Arnold credit that he deleted these from his timeless The Song Celestial.    

So, to see all these interpolations in their improper place, one may appreciate the text and the context of this chapter that opens with Arjuna’s query to Krishna thus:

Ch8, V1

O Lord appraise what’s Brahman  
Lies what within ’n backs action  
Nature of deities besides the beings.

ki tad brahma kim adhyātma ki karma puruhottama
adhibhūta
cha ki proktam adhidaiva kim uchyate

Ch8, V2                                                                                                                                           

What is that guides bodily acts,
What makes yogis realize Thee?  

adhiyajña katha ko ’tra dehe ’smin madhusūdana
prayā
a-kāle cha katha jñeyo ’si niyatātmabhi

And thus spoke Krishna,

Ch8, V3

Self-Imperishable is Brahman 
But dwells it yet there in beings   
Brings that forth is Act Supreme.  

akhara brahma parama svabhāvo ’dhyātmam uchyate
bhūta-bhāvodbhava-karo visarga
karma-sanjñita

Ch8, V4

Perish as beings all in time

Spirit that lasts of them is Me.

adhibhūta kharo bhāva puruhaśh chādhidaivatam
adhiyajño ’ham evātra dehe deha-bh
itā vara

Now note this -

V5

 
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anta-kāle cha mām eva smaran muktvā kalevaram
ya
prayāti sa mad-bhāva yāti nāstyatra sanśhaya

 

Those who relinquish the body while remembering Me at the moment of death will come to Me. There is certainly no doubt about this.

And going by the following, the above is a prehash of the same -


Ch8, V6

In the end the way one tends
Charts that future course he takes.

ya ya vāpi smaran bhāva tyajatyante kalevaram
ta
tam evaiti kaunteya sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvita

Ch8, V7

If thou act with this in mind
In the end thou gain Me true,
By My word now opt for war
With thy strength ’n skill I gave. 

tasmāt sarvehu kālehu mām anusmara yudhya cha
mayyarpita-mano-buddhir mām evai
hyasyasanśhayam

Ch8, V8

Me they reach whoso keep
On Me focus as they work.

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajatyante kalevaram                                         
tam tam evaiti kaunteya sada tad-bhava-bhavitah

So, as v5, places the v8 cart before the horse, here comes v3’s  expansion of after the closure of the subject as above

V9

 
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kavi purāam anuśhāsitāram         
a
or aīyānsam anusmared ya

sarvasya dhātāram achintya-rūpam
āditya-var
a tamasa parastāt

He who is omniscient, timeless, the commander, subtler than the subtlest, protector of all, incomprehensible, brilliant like the sun, beyond darkness, (one) contemplates (him).

Now follows a mixture of lectures on yoga, meditation, celebicy etc.

 

V10

 
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prayāa-kāle manasāchalena
bhaktyā yukto yoga-balena chaiva
bhruvor madhye prā
am āveśhya samyak
sa ta
para puruham upaiti divyam

At the time of departure, endowed with devotion, an unwavering mind, as well as the power of yoga, fully establishing the praanaas in the centre of the eyebrows, he attains that supreme divine person.

V11

 
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yad akhara veda-vido vadanti
viśhanti yad yatayo vīta-rāgā

yad ichchhanto brahmacharya
charanti
tat te pada
sagrahea pravakhye

Scholars of the Vedas describe Him as Imperishable; great ascetics practice the vow of celibacy and renounce worldly pleasures to enter into Him. I shall now explain to you briefly the path to that goal.

V12

 
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arva-dvārāi sanyamya mano hidi nirudhya cha

mūrdhnyādhāyātmana prāam āsthito yoga-dhāraām

 

Restraining all the gates of the body and fixing the mind in the heart region, and then drawing the life-breath to the head, one should get established in steadfast yogic concentration.

V13

 
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o ityekākhara brahma vyāharan mām anusmaran       
ya
prayāti tyajan deha sa yāti paramā gatim

 

One who departs from the body while remembering Me, the Supreme Personality, and chanting the syllable Om, will attain the supreme goal.

V14

 
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ananya-chetā satata yo mā smarati nityaśha
tasyāha
sulabha pārtha nitya-yuktasya yogina

O Parth, for those yogis who always think of Me with exclusive devotion, I am easily attainable because of their constant absorption in Me.

And here we have the v23-v27 superstitious kit, the pièce de résistance that was broached at the beginning of this chapter introduction, and before, which, if literally taken, would imply that if one dies when the moon is on the ascent he would be heaven bound and, to hell, if it’s other way round. So, Sir Edwin Arnold, one of the foremost to translate the Gita that was way back in 1885, dismissed these as the work of some vedānti and thought it fit, justifiably at that, not to include them in his The Song Celestial, of course, along with the tailpiece v28.

In this connection it may be noted that the relationship between the state, in which a person dies, and his imminent rebirth is covered in Ch14, v14 ‘n v15, which are seemingly authentic.

V23

 
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yatra kāle tvanāvittim āvitti chaiva yogina
prayātā yānti ta
kāla vakhyāmi bharatarhabha

 

But, (there exists) the path of no return for a yogi who is leaving his body, and also the path of return, I shall speak about those, O scion of the Bharatas.

V24

V24

0

 
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agnir jyotir aha śhukla ha-māsā uttarāyaam
tatra prayātā gachchhanti brahma brahma-vido janā

 

Fire, light, day, the bright (fortnight of the month), the northern movement comprising six months; those people who have departed through that path, knowers of brahman attain brahman. 

V25

 
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dhūmo rātris tathā kiha ha-māsā dakhiāyanam
tatra chāndramasa
jyotir yogī prāpya nivartate

Smoke, night, darkness and the southern movement comprising six months; the yogi (travels through) that path, attains the light of the moon, to return.

V26262V2620

 
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śhukla-kihe gatī hyete jagata śhāśhvate mate
ekayā yātyanāv
ittim anyayāvartate puna

For, bright and dark, both these paths have been known since eternity. By one, the traveller does not have to return, by the other, he has to return again.

V27

V27

70

 
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naite sitī pārtha jānan yogī muhyati kaśhchana
tasmāt sarve
hu kālehu yoga-yukto bhavārjuna

Yogis who know the secret of these two paths, O Parth, are never bewildered. Therefore, at all times be situated in Yog (union with God).

V28

 
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vedehu yajñehu tapasu chaiva
dāne
hu yat puya-phala pradiham
atyeti tat sarvam ida
viditvā
yogī para
sthānam upaiti chādyam

The yogis, who know this secret, gain merit far beyond the fruits of Vedic rituals, the study of the Vedas, performance of sacrifices, austerities, and charities. Such yogis reach the Supreme Abode.

It is worth noting that v1- v4, v6- v8 and v15-v22 of this chapter, if read together would bear an unmistakable continuity of argument that these thirteen interpolations as above deprive it.

 

 

Chapter - 9: Raja–Vidya–Raja–Guhya Yoga

,

 

This chapter of 34 verses describing various ways of attaining the Supreme lends itself readily for interpolations, and what is more given the seemingly incomplete exposition of the promised dharma in v2, possibly in the in vogue Gita, there could be some omissions that the original had contained.

At the outset alert, Krishna tells Arjuna

Ch9, V1 

Thus spoke the Lord:
Unenvied as thou I would tell
The art of leading fruitful life.

śhrī bhagavān uvācha
ida
tu te guhyatama pravakhyāmyanasūyave
jñāna vijñāna-sahita yaj jñātvā mokhyase ’śhubhāt,

So, it goes without saying that until and unless one overcomes his envious tendencies, ‘the art of leading fruitful life’ that Krishna revealed would be of no avail, but neither Gita’s commentators nor the gita-chāryās seldom, if ever, stress upon this enabling condition for grasping Gita’s philosophy!

However, hoping that our readers would have grasped the import of Krishna’s above averment for their self-enlightenment; now back the Gita’s interpolative course with the following verses.

Ch9, V2 ,

Supreme secret that’s sacred     
Profound dharma for mankind  
Fair and simple, practicable.

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhya pavitram idam uttamam                                    
pratyak
hāvagama dharmya su-sukha kartum avyayam

 

V7

 
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sarva-bhūtāni kaunteya prakiti yānti māmikām
kalpa-k
haye punas tāni kalpādau visijāmyaham

At the end of one kalp, all living beings merge into My primordial material energy. At

the beginning of the next creation, O son of Kunti, I manifest them again.

As can be seen, the above contravenes the following (Ch8, v15-v16) besides echoing the interpolative v18 - v19 of this chapter.

Ch8, V15

Having come to stay with Me
Get they rid of births and deaths.

mām upetya punar janma dukhālayam aśhāśhvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmāna
sansiddhi paramā gatā

 

 

Ch8, V16

Journey to Brahman holds return ticket 
Journeys back none abode from Mine. 

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokā punar āvartino ’rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate
 

Next comes v15 but before that, so as to see it in its interpolative colours, we must view its preding prisinte substance as under

Ch9, V13  
With Me in mind well-meaning
See they beings sourced in Me.

mahātmānas tu mā pārtha daivī prakitim āśhritā
bhajantyananya-manaso jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

Ch9, V14  
With right intent ’n focus
Such Me worship with true faith. 

satata kīrtayanto mā yatantaśh cha diha-vratā
namasyantaśh cha mā
bhaktyā nitya-yuktā upāsate

Now comes the ritualistic version of v14

V15

 
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jñāna-yajñena chāpyanye yajanto mām upāsate
ekatvena p
ithaktvena bahudhā viśhvato-mukham

Others, offering the sacrifice of knowledge, worship me with oneness, separateness and also multifaceted diversity.

 

Apparantly, this is to facilitate v16 to v19 that are but the forerunners to V20 of the next Ch10, and the ritualistic V20-V21 of this one

V16

 
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aha kratur aha yajña svadhāham aham auhadham         
mantro ’ham aham evājyam aham agnir aha
hutam

 

It is I who am the Vedic ritual, I am the sacrifice, and I am the oblation offered to the ancestors. I am the medicinal herb, and I am the Vedic mantra. I am the clarified butter, I am the fire and the act of offering.

V17

 
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pitāham asya jagato mātā dhātā pitāmaha
vedya
pavitram okāra ik sāma yajur eva cha

 

Of this universe, I am the Father; I am also the Mother, the Sustainer, and the Grandsire. I am the purifier, the goal of knowledge, the sacred syllable Om. I am theRigVeda, Sāma Veda, and the Yajur Veda.

V18

 
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gatir bhartā prabhu sākhī nivāsa śharaa suhit
prabhava
pralaya sthāna nidhāna bījam avyayam

I am the Supreme Goal of all living beings, and I am also their Sustainer, Master, Witness, Abode, Shelter, and Friend. I am the Origin, End, and Resting Place of creation; I am the Storehouse and Eternal Seed.

V19

 
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tapāmyaham aha varha nigihāmyutsijāmi cha
am
ita chaiva mityuśh cha sad asach chāham arjuna

I radiate heat as the sun, and I withhold, as well as send forth rain. I am immortality as well as death personified, O Arjun. I am the spirit as well as matter.

 

V20

 
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trai-vidyā mā soma-pā pūta-pāpā
yajñair i
hvā svar-gati prārthayante
te pu
yam āsādya surendra-lokam
aśhnanti divyān divi deva-bhogān

 

Those who are inclined to the fruitive activity described in the Vedas worship Me through ritualistic sacrifices. Being purified from sin by drinking the Soma juice, which is the remnant of the yajñas, they seek to go to heaven. By virtue of their pious deeds, they go to the abode of Indra, the king of heaven, and enjoy the pleasures of the celestial gods.

V21

 
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te ta bhuktvā swarga-loka viśhāla
k
e puye martya-loka viśhanti
eva
trayī-dharmam anuprapannā
gatāgata
kāma-kāmā labhante

 

When they have enjoyed the vast pleasures of heaven, the stock of their merits being exhausted, they return to the earthly plane. Thus, those who follow the Vedic rituals, desiring objects of enjoyment, repeatedly come and go in this world.

 

Now it may be seen that the following v23-v25 are but interpolative exrtrapolations of -

Ch9, V22

Those as meditate ’n worship                                             
Them I take My wings under. 

ananyāśh chintayanto mā ye janā paryupāsate
te
nityābhiyuktānā yoga-khema vahāmyaham

V23

 
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ye ’pyanya-devatā-bhaktā yajante śhraddhayānvitā
te ’pi mām eva kaunteya yajantyavidhi-pūrvakam

 

Even those devotees who worship other deities, filled with faith, they also worship me only, O Kaunteya, (but) incorrectly.

V24

 
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aha hi sarva-yajñānā bhoktā cha prabhureva cha
na tu mām abhijānanti tattvenātaśh chyavanti te

 

For I am the recipient and also the lord of all sacrificial rituals, but they do not know me in essence. That is why they fall.

V25

 
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yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝīn yānti piti-vratā
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā yānti mad-yājino ’pi mām

 

Those who worship deities attain the deities, those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors, those who worship spirits attain the spirits, but those who worship me attain me.

It may be noted that for all spiritual purposes, this chapter would have ended thus:

Ch9, V30  

Start as wicked My worship 
Take them all as well realized. 

api chet su-durāchāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavya
samyag vyavasito hi sa

Ch9, V31

Tend I them then turn even
Devout Mine none go restive. 

khipra bhavati dharmātmā śhaśhvach-chhānti nigachchhati
kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhakta
praaśhyati

But then we have the inane extension to the above as under:

V32

 
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hi pārtha vyapāśhritya ye ’pi syu pāpa-yonaya
striyo vaiśhyās tathā śhūdrās te ’pi yānti parā
gatim

 

Surely, O Paartha, even those who are born of sinful origin – women, traders, and also Shudras (labourers), they attain the supreme state by taking refuge in me.

 

This, to say the least,  is reprehensible for it is not only caste-ist but also sexist besides being obnoxious, and there must be something drastically wrong with those votaries of the Gita ‘as it is’, who believe that Krishna would have indeed held that view.

Whatever, the moot point is, if as implied, Brahmin and Kshatriya women (no exemption is given to them as they are clubbed with Vaisyas and Shudras, men and women together) were to be born of sinful womb (actually it is paapa-yoni, sinful vulva, in the sloka), it goes without saying that their male siblings would not have been any differently born, but it is yet stated in the same vein that Brahmin men are worship-worthy! Yet this nonsensical verse is taken as Krishna’s word, equally senselessly by the Shudras, who have come to grudge the Gita on that score as well!

But lo, in the very next chapter, Krishna is that which makes woman’s glory! 

Ch10, V34

I’m the death that devours all
As well brings forth that beings
Besides what makes woman’s glory  

mityu sarva-haraśh chāham udbhavaśh cha bhavihyatām
kīrti
śhrīr vāk cha nārīā smitir medhā dhiti khamā

And here follows some prevarication, as if, to dilute V32’s obnoxity.

V33

 
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ki punar brāhmaā puyā bhaktā rājarhayas tathā
anityam asukha
lokam ima prāpya bhajasva mām

 

What then to speak about kings and sages with meritorious deeds? So, having come to this transient and joyless world, engage in devotion unto Me.

Now maybe to assuage the hurt feelings is,

V34

 
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man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī mā namaskuru
mām evai
hyasi yuktvaivam ātmāna mat-parāyaa

 

Always think of Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, and offer obeisance to Me. Having dedicated your mind and body to Me, you will certainly come to Me.

This was indeed borrowed from the following.

Ch18, V 65

If one remains to Me firm
It’s My promise I take him  

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī mā namaskuru
mām evai
hyasi satya te pratijāne priyo ‘si me 

Needles to say, the above cited fourteen verses are but inane interpolations deserving to be blue-penciled like the others in this codification for rectification.

 

Chapter - 11: Vishvarupa-sandarsanaYoga

 

This 55 verses chapter is about the Omnipresence of the Supreme Spirit, and owing to the improbability of their being, v9-v14, make an amusing reading. V3 states that Krishna grants Arjuna the divine sight required to espy Vishvarupa (His Universal Form). Of course, the ESP that Vyāsa granted Sanjaya (Ch18, V75) was to enable him to monitor the goings on at the battleground in order to appraise Dhrutarāshtra the blind king about the same.

Thus, only from Arjuna’s averments could have Sanjaya gathered what he (Arjuna) was divining of the Vishvarupa, which obviously was beyond his (Sanjaya’s) own espial. But v9-v14 would have him talk about the Vishvarupa as if he himself was witnessing the same, even before Arjuna uttered a word about it. However, v29 which seeks to emphasize what was already pictured in v28, albeit with an unnecessary as well as an inferior, though not silly, simile is but an interpolation.

Having heard about the Glories of the Supreme from Krishna in the previous chapter, Arjuna said –

Ch11, V4

If Thou so feel, I’m worthy
Let me espy, Thy True Self.

manyase yadi tach chhakya mayā drahum iti prabho
yogeśhvara tato me tva
darśhayātmānam avyayam

 
At that Krishna said –

Ch11, V5

Divine I let thee, divinity Mine      
Of hues varied colours ’n kinds.

paśhya me pārtha rūpāi śhataśho ’tha sahasraśha
nānā-vidhāni divyāni nānā-var
ākitīni cha  


Ch11, V6

Find Adityās, twelve therein 
V
āsus eight, and Aswin twins 
Rudr
ās eleven ’n Maruts four-nine
Wonders umpteen none else seen.

paśhyādityān vasūn rudrān aśhvinau marutas tathā
bahūny ad
iha-pūrvāi paśhyāśhcharyāi bhārata

Ch11, V7

May thou discern in My frame  
Much more than thy thought would take.

ihaika-stha jagat kitsna paśhyādya sa-charācharam
mama dehe gu
ākeśha yach chānyad drahum ichchhasi

Ch11, V8

Bestow thee that ESP 
Helps which espy form Supreme 
Beyond the pale of god’s own sight.

na tu mā śhakyase drahum anenaiva sva-chakhu
divya
dadāmi te chakhu paśhya me yogam aiśhwaram

As already discussed at the beginning of this chapter, in spite of his inability to espy the Vishvarupa, and before Arjuna had uttered a word about it, Snajaya went on describing it as if he himself was espying it.

V9

 
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evam uktvā tato rājan mahā-yogeśhvaro hari
darśhayām āsa pārthāya parama
rūpam aiśhwaram

O King, then having spoken this, Hari, the great Yogeshwara, showed the supreme form of Ishvara to Paartha.

V10

 
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aneka-vaktra-nayanam anekādbhuta-darśhanam
aneka-divyābhara
a divyānekodyatāyudham

With several faces and eyes, showing several marvellous sights, wearing several divine

ornaments, armed with several divine uplifted weapons.

V11

 
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divya-mālyāmbara-dharaṁ divya-gandhānulepanam          
sarvāśhcharya-mayaṁ devam anantaṁ viśhvato-mukham

 

Wearing divine garlands and clothes, anointed with divine fragrances, all of these wonderful (sights) were shining and infinite, with faces on all sides.

V12

 
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divi sūrya-sahasrasya bhaved yugapad utthitā
yadi bhā
sadiśhī sā syād bhāsas tasya mahātmana

Should thousands of suns happen to rise in the sky simultaneously, their blaze would resemble the light of that magnificent one.

V13

 
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tatraika-stha jagat kitsna pravibhaktam anekadhā
apaśhyad deva-devasya śharīre pā
ṇḍavas tadā

Then, the Paandava saw the entire universe with many divisions located in one place in the body of that lord of lords.

V14

 
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tata sa vismayāviho hiha-romā dhanañjaya
pra
amya śhirasā deva kitāñjalir abhāhata

Thereafter, filled with bewilderment, his hair standing on end, Dhananjaya, with folded hands, bowed his head to the lord and began to speak.

In view of Sanjay’s ‘visual’ limitations, this amusing account of his is improbable for its ever happening on two more counts –

Having seen Vishvarupa, Arjuna described it in similar terms and more that is after Sanjaya gave him the mike

Ch11, V15  

In Thou find I 
Brahma on lotus, 
Gods and sages   
Beings ’n serpents!

paśhyāmi devāns tava deva dehe
sarvāns tathā bhūta-viśhe
ha-saghān
brahmā
am īśha kamalāsana-stham
ihīnśh cha sarvān uragānśh cha divyān

Ch11, V16  
With no beginning
End none sighted,
Boundless find I
In Thee universe!

aneka-bāhūdara-vaktra-netra                                
paśhyāmi tvā
sarvato ’nanta-rūpam
nānta
na madhya na punas tavādi
paśhyāmi viśhveśhvara viśhva-rūpa

 

 

Ch11, V17

Find I blinding
Light that blazing 
From Thy diadem  
Club and discus!

kirīina gadina chakria cha
tejo-rāśhi
sarvato dīptimantam
paśhyāmi tvā
durnirīkhya samantād
dīptānalārka-dyutim aprameyam

So on, and

Ch11, V31                                                                           
Who art Thou, this Terrible Thing! 
For what avail, mission this Thine!! 
Gripped now am with urge to know.

ākhyāhi me ko bhavān ugra-rūpo
namo ’stu te deva-vara prasīda
vijñātum ichchhāmi bhavantam ādya

na hi prajānāmi tava prav
ittim

Then, Krishna averred:  

Ch11, V47

As thou please Me, so I’ve shown
Form My Endless, none else seen.

mayā prasannena tavārjuneda
rūpa
para darśhitam ātma-yogāt
tejo-maya
viśhvam anantam ādya
yan me tvad anyena na d
iha-pūrvam

 

Ch11, V48

Take to penance
Or pore over four Vedas  
None that helps to see this Form.

na veda-yajñādhyayanair na dānair
na cha kriyābhir na tapobhir ugrai

eva
-rūpa śhakya aha ni-loke
dra
hu tvad anyena kuru-pravīra  

Ch11, V49

 
Having beheld My bewildering Form
Now ease with My Form Normal.

mā te vyathā mā cha vimūha-bhāvo
d
ihvā rūpa ghoram īdi mamedam
vyapeta-bhī
prīta-manā punas tva
tad eva me rūpam ida
prapaśhya 

Then Krishna added,

Ch11, V52

Ever craved gods ’n angels too

Just to behold what thee beheld.

su-durdarśham ida rūpa dihavān asi yan mama
devā apy asya rūpasya nitya
darśhana-kākhia

Ch11, V53

Austerities well Vedic grasp

Charity, as well ritual regimen

Get none to what thou had seen.

nāha vedair na tapasā na dānena na chejyayā
śhakya eva
-vidho drahu dihavān asi mā yathā  

So, we have Krishna’s word that none else in the universe but Arjuna had witnessed Vishvarupa. Also, Sanjaya had stated towards the very end of the Gita that –

Ch18, V75


It’s with Vyasa’s grace I've heard
This peerless art of yogic life 
Which Lord Krishna taught P
ārtha.

vyāsa-prasādāch chhrutavān etad guhyam aha param
yoga
yogeśhvarāt kihāt sākhāt kathayata svayam

Needless to say, if per chance, Sanjaya had an improbable peep at the Vishvarupa, he wouldn’t have forgotten that celestial experience in a hurry and would have surely recalled it, and mentioned it in the above verse. Besides, he was not known to have lied at any stage in his Kurukshetra reportage in the Mahabharata, these v9–v14 are unquestionable interpolations that have all along been seemingly escaping the attention of one and all! Hope this singular circumstance would enable Gita’s admirers as well as detractors to see that in the present form it cannot be taken at its face value for good or bad.

One may see how the inferior v29 as under, inserted after Vyāsa’s profound v28, exhibits the interpolator’s unmistakable limitation of imagination:

 

Ch11, V28         

Rivers as run, towards the seas 
So these armies, towards Thy mouths.

yathā nadīnā bahavo ’mbu-vegā                        
samudram evābhimukhā dravanti

tathā tavāmī nara-loka-vīrā
viśhanti vaktrā
y abhivijvalanti

V29

 
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yathā pradīpta jvalana pata                                                       
viśhanti nāśhāya sam
iddha-vegā
tathaiva nāśhāya viśhanti lokās
tavāpi vaktrā
i samiddha-vegā

Like moths enter a blazing fire with great speed for their destruction, so also do these people enter your mouths with great speed for their destruction.

Hence, though these seven interpolative verses, as such are not detrimental to Gita’s philosophical essence, just the same they prove the point that it was tampered with   poetically as well.  

 

Chapter -13: Kshetra–Kshetragjna Vibhāga Yoga               

 

This chapter of 35 verses deals with the body and spirit in the first half, and for the rest, about Prakruti (Nature) and Purusha (Supreme Spirit). One might notice that v10,  advocating asceticism to which Krishna was opposed, won't jell with the rest, either contextually or philosophically, and thus should be seen as an interpolation.

V22, which states that the Supreme Soul lay in beings as a sustainer, consenter, enjoyer and overseer, contravenes its very nature expostulated in Ch15, v16-v18. Besides, as can be seen, it also affects the continuity between v21 and v23 in this, and v30, akin to v15 is an irrelevant interpolation.

It may be noted that inexplicably though, the first verse of this chapter, is either omitted from some texts or retained, but traditionally ‘unnumbered’ in others, for reasons none explained, which reads thus: 

Ch13, V0

Thus spoke Arjuna:
What is nature ’n its role, 
What is spirit ’n its nature, 
What is frame ’n who lords it
What makes feeling ’n sixth sense?

arjuna uvācha
prak
iti puruha chaiva khetra khetra-jñam eva cha
etad veditum ichchhāmi jñāna
jñeya cha keśhava

So be it, now to,

V10

 
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asaktir anabhihvaga putra-dāra-gihādihu
nitya
cha sama-chittatvam ihānihopapattihu

 

Single-pointed devotion in me through unwavering yoga, going to solitary locations and disinterest in the assembly of people.

Maybe it’s a way for Nirvana but certainly out of place in the context of Krishna motivating Arjuna to fight a just war, and thus should be seen as an interpolation. Before going to the interpolated v22, a reading of its preceding and succeeding verses is needed to appreciate its digressive nature. 

Ch13, V20

It’s Nature that tends beings   
Binding Spirit to one’s own acts

prakiti puruha chaiva viddhy anādī ubhāv api
vikārānśh cha gu
ānśh chaiva viddhi prakiti-sambhavān

Ch13, V21

Spirit that lay in beings all
Inclines to one’s attitudes, 
With the ethos it imbibes
Tends it one to like rebirth. 

kārya-kāraa-kartitve hetu prakitir uchyate
puru
ha sukha-dukhānā bhoktitve hetur uchyate 

V22

 
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puruha prakiti-stho hi bhukte prakiti-jān guān
kāra
a gua-sago ’sya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu

He who is the witness, the permitter, the nourisher, the experiencer, the master and who is also spoken of as the supreme self, is the supreme Purusha in this body.

Ch13, V23

Gets one freed, as he grasps
Aspects Nature ’n Spirit as well.

upadrahānumantā cha bhartā bhoktā maheśhvara
paramātmeti chāpy ukto dehe ’smin puru
ha para

Hence, owing to its digressive nature v22 is an interpolation.

Then to

V30

 
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prakityaiva chakarmāi kriyamāāni sarvaśha
ya
paśhyati tathātmānam akartāra sa paśhyati

 

When he realizes that the variety of beings is established in the one, and it is only an evolution of that (one), he then attains brahman. It can be seen that the above is akin to v15 of this chapter and thus it is an irrelevant interpolation as well.

Ch13, V15

In beings all ’n objects too  
Within He lies, without as well,
If one comes to grasp this well
It’s perception that’s Supreme.

ihibhir bahudhā gīta chhandobhir vividhai pithak
brahma-sūtra-padaiśh chaiva hetumadbhir viniśhchitai

 

Chapter -14: Gunatraya–Vibhaga yoga

 

This diagnostic 27 verses chapter details the three human proclivities - virtue, passion, and delusion, and it may be noted that v3, v4, and v19 that deal with the Nature and the Spirit are interpolated digressions. So as to pin down the interpolative v3 ‘n v4, one may read the opening verses of this chapter with Krishna’s averment.

Ch14, V1
Pass I now thee that knowledge
With which sages free themselves.

para bhūya pravakhyāmi jñānānā jñānam uttamam
yaj jñātvā munaya
sarve parā siddhim ito gatā

Ch14, V2

Knows whoso this reaches Me                                                                    
Keeps thus births ’n deaths at bay.

ida jñānam upāśhritya mama sādharmyam āgatā
sarge ’pi nopajāyante pralaye na vyathanti cha,          

Now these two interpolations,

V3

 
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mama yonir mahad brahma tasmin garbha dadhāmy aham
sambhava
sarva-bhūtānā tato bhavati bhārata

The total material substance, prakiti, is the womb. I impregnate it with the individual souls, and thus all living beings are born.

V4

 
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sarva-yonihu kaunteya mūrtaya sambhavanti yā
tāsā
brahma mahad yonir aha bīja-prada pitā

O son of Kunti, for all species of life that are produced, the material nature is the womb, and I am the seed-giving Father.

It may be noted that the above two verses are about His role in the birth of beings that as seen, he had unerringly denied, and also, starting with the next (V5) till the very end (barring v19 that follows) this chapter is about human proclivities.


Ch14, V5

To tie the Spirit ’n body tight
Uses Nature as its threads 
Virtue, passion as well delusion. 

sattva rajas tama iti guā prakiti-sambhavā
nibadhnanti mahā-bāho dehe dehinam avyayam
 

Ch14, V6

Spirit as well gets well enticed

By the charms of life well-led 

Steeped in wisdom and virtue. 

tatra sattva nirmalatvāt prakāśhakam anāmayam
sukha-sa
gena badhnāti jñāna-sagena chānagha

Hence, it can be said that v3 ‘n v4 are not only digressive but also uncharacteristic interpolations. Likewise, in dealing with v19, we should focus on its preceding and the succeeding verses.

Ch14, V18  

Echelons virtuous reach higher

Remain ‘as is where’ passionate

Go down ladder ever the deluded.

ūrdhva gachchhanti sattva-sthā madhye tihhanti rājasā
jaghanya-gu
a-vitti-sthā adho gachchhanti tāmasā

V19

 
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nānya guebhya kartāra yadā drahānupaśhyati
gu
ebhyaśh cha para vetti mad-bhāva so ’dhigachchhati

When wise persons see that in all works there are no agents of action other than the three guas, and they know me to be transcendental to these guas, they attain my divine nature,

thus breaking the narrative flow only to be succeeded by,


Ch14, V20

Out of orbit if thou go                                                          
Of Nature that grips thy mind
Freed be thou of recurring births. 

guān etān atītya trīn dehī deha-samudbhavān
janma-m
ityu-jarā-dukhair vimukto ’mitam aśhnute

It can be seen that besides being intrusive, v19 is also a modified version of the penultimate verse of this chapter

Ch14, V26

It’s by capping his nature  
Wavers he not from the path 
That which truly leads to Me
And in end he turns Brahman.

cha yo ’vyabhichārea bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gu
ān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

More so, it is only in these three interpolative verses that we see Krishna’s personal involvement whereas in the rest of the text he presents himself as an impersonal being.

 

Chapter -15: Purushottama Prāpti Yoga

 

This unique chapter of 20 verses deals with the indwelling spirit and the Supreme Spirit, and the perishable man and the imperishable Purusha (Supreme Spirit).  It can be seen that v9, v12, v13, v14, and v15 are clear digressions after the fascinating proposition in,

Ch15, V8

Wind as carries scent of flowers                               
While leaving them as is where,
In like fashion Spirit from frames
Moves its awareness to rebirths.

 

śharīra yad avāpnoti yach chāpy utkrāmatīśhvara
g
ihītvaitāni sanyāti vāyur gandhān ivāśhayāt

 

Then, here follows this obvious interpolation.

 

 

V9

 
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śhrotra chakhu sparśhana cha rasana ghrāam eva cha
adhi
hhāya manaśh chāya vihayān upasevate

 

Using the sense perceptions of the ears, eyes, skin, tongue, and nose, which are grouped around the mind, the embodied soul savors the objects of the senses.

Hence, sans v9, in continuity to v8, the narrative runs thus,

Ch15, V10

Know not fools in lifetime theirs 
Nature of Spirit thus lies in them  
But ever on move from frame to frame. 

utkrāmanta sthita vāpi bhuñjāna vā guānvitam
vimū
hā nānupaśhyanti paśhyanti jñāna-chakhuha

Ch15, V11                                                                                      

This by striving wise realize  
Fail though naive in spite of it.

yatanto yoginaśh chaina paśhyanty ātmany avasthitam
yatanto ‘py ak
itātmāno naina paśhyanty achetasa

that is broken yet again by the digressions in V12 thru V15 thus:

V12

 
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yad āditya-gata tejo jagad bhāsayate ’khilam
yach chandramasi yach chāgnau tat tejo viddhi māmakam

Know that I am like the brilliance of the sun that illuminates the entire solar system. The radiance of the moon and the brightness of the fire also come from Me.

V13

 
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gām āviśhya cha bhūtāni dhārayāmy aham ojasā                         
pu
hāmi chauhadhī sarvā somo bhūtvā rasātmaka

Permeating the earth, I nourish all living beings with My energy. Becoming the moon, I nourish all plants with the juice of life.

V14

 
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aha vaiśhvānaro bhūtvā prāinā deham āśhrita
prā
āpāna-samāyukta pachāmy anna chatur-vidham

It is I who take the form of the fire of digestion in the stomachs of all living beings, and combine with the incoming and outgoing breaths, to digest and assimilate the four kinds of foods.

V15

 
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sarvasya chāha hidi sanniviho
matta
smitir jñānam apohana cha
vedaiśh cha sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-k
id veda-vid eva chāham

I am seated in the hearts of all living beings, and from Me come memory, knowledge, as well as forgetfulness. I alone am to be known by all the Vedas, am the author of the Vedānt, and the knower of the meaning of the Vedas.

As can be seen, after the above digressive spell, v16 ‘n v17 put the discourse back on its logical course thus:

Ch15, V16

Perish all beings though in time
Perishes not the Spirit in them

dvāv imau puruhau loke kharaśh chākhara eva cha
k
hara sarvāi bhūtāni kūa-stho ’khara uchyate

Ch15, V17

Self Mine Highest that sustains  
Is but different from that One

uttama puruhas tv anya paramātmety udāhita
yo loka-trayam āviśhya bibharty avyaya īśhvara

Hence, the marked verses in boxes are but interpolations   

 

Chapter -16: Daivasura–Sampad–Vibhaga Yoga

                                               

This chapter of 24 verses deals with all aspects of virtue and evil including how they affect human life. However, V19 which implies that the Lord condemns to hell those who hate Him reads thus:

V19

 
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tān aha dvihata krūrān sansārehu narādhamān             
k
hipāmy ajasram aśhubhān āsurīhv eva yonihu

These cruel and hateful persons, the vile and vicious of humankind, I constantly hurl into the wombs of those with similar demoniac natures in the cycle of rebirth in the material world.

But it may be appreciated that this characteristic of the Semitic God that’s alien to the forgiving-natured Hindu deities (barring Satyanarayana Swamy, a relatively recent addition to the pantheon, who punishes those that slight him but yet prone to recompense after repentance) is an innovative interpolation that contravenes Krishna’s affirmative averments to the contrary thus-

Ch4, V14

Detached Am from what happens 
It's this knowledge that frees man.

na mā karmāi limpanti na me karma-phale spihā
iti mā
yo ’bhijānāti karmabhir na sa badhyate

Ch5, V15

Takes not Supreme credit or fault  
Grasp none have of this uncouth.

nādatte kasyachit pāpa na chaiva sukita vibhu
ajñānenāv
ita jñāna tena muhyanti jantava

Ch6, V31

Me who sees in all beings 
He’s the one that dwells in Me.

sarva-bhūta-sthita yo mā bhajatyekatvam āsthita
sarvathā vartamāno ’pi sa yogī mayi vartate
 

Ch7, V12    

Virtue, passion so too delusion  
Send I forth though all of them 
Come to dwell in none of them.

ye chaiva sāttvikā bhāvā rājasās tāmasāśh cha ye
matta eveti tān viddhi na tvaha
tehu te mayi

Ch9, V29

 

None I favour; slight I none

But devout Mine all gain Me true

 

samo ’ha sarva-bhūtehu na me dvehyo ’sti na priya
ye bhajanti tu mā
bhaktyā mayi te tehu chāpyaham

 

and other such averred in many a context in the Gita makes this interpolation the odd thing out therein.

Be that as it may, since He is the indweller in all beings, as postulated by Him, won’t the interpolative proposition of v19 amount to self-condemnation!

 

Chapter - 17: Shraddhātraya-Vibhāga Yoga

 

This chapter of 28 verses deals with the spiritual as well as the temporal aptitudes of man. It may be noted that, v11-v13 that deal with the virtuous, the passionate and the deluded in ritualistic sense, and v23 -v28 concerning Om, Tat, Sat and Asat, of the Vedic hymns are clear interpolations for reasons the readers are familiar with. However, v7 - v10 that deal with the food habits of the virtuous, the passionate, and the deluded would pose a problem in determining whether or not they are interpolations. Can eating habits be linked to the innate nature of man in an infallible manner? Perhaps, some future research and analysis might resolve the universality or otherwise of this averment, and till then, it is appropriate to reserve the judgment on these.

Now to the text as Arjuna asks,

Ch17, V1

None the regard for scriptures 
Who tend to manage life their well
What Thou say of such of beings
Virtuous, passionate or merely deluded.

arjuna uvācha
ye śhāstra-vidhim uts
ijya yajante śhraddhayānvitā
te
nihhā tu kā kiha sattvam āho rajas tama

and Krihna begins to clarify

 

Ch17, V2

It’s one’s nature that tends him
To be virtuous, passionate, or deluded

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha                                                
tri-vidhā bhavati śhraddhā dehinā
sā svabhāva-jā
sāttvikī rājasī chaiva tāmasī cheti tā
śhiu  

Then, after Krishna plays his part as a dietician in v7 - v10, come these ‘sacrificial’ ten.

V11

 
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aphalākākhibhir yajño vidhi-driho ya ijyate
ya
havyam eveti mana samādhāya sa sāttvika

Sacrifice that is performed according to the scriptural injunctions without expectation of rewards, with the firm conviction of the mind that it is a matter of duty is of the nature of goodness.

V12

 
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abhisandhāya tu phala dambhārtham api chaiva yat
ijyate bharata-śhre
hha ta yajña viddhi rājasam

O best of the Bharatas, know that sacrifice, which is performed for material benefit, or with hypocritical aim, to be in the mode of passion.

V13

 
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vidhi-hīnam asihānna mantra-hīnam adakhiam
śhraddhā-virahita
yajña tāmasa parichakhate

Sacrifice devoid of faith and contrary to the injunctions of the scriptures, in which no food is offered, no mantras chanted, and no donation made, is to be considered in the mode of ignorance.

V14

 
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deva-dwija-guru-prājña- pūjana śhaucham ārjavam
brahmacharyam ahinsā cha śhārīra
tapa uchyate

Worship of the deities, the twice born, teachers and the learned, purity, straightforwardness, chastity and non violence, these are called penance of the body.

V23

 
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o tat sad iti nirdeśho brahmaas tri-vidha smita
brāhma
ās tena vedāśh cha yajñāśh cha vihitā purā

Om, Tat, Sat, this has been declared as the triple indicator of the eternal essence. By that were created the braahmanaas, the Vedas and the sacrifices, long ago.

V24

 
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tasmād o ity udāhitya yajña-dāna-tapa-kriyā
pravartante vidhānoktā
satata brahma-vādinām

Therefore, when performing acts of sacrifice, offering charity, or undertaking penance, expounders of the Vedas always begin by uttering “Om” according to the prescriptions of Vedic injunctions.

V25

 
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tad ity anabhisandhāya phala yajña-tapa-kriyā
dāna-kriyāśh cha vividhā
kriyante mokha-kākhibhi

Persons who do not desire fruitive rewards, but seek to be free from material entanglements, utter the word “Tat” along with acts of austerity, sacrifice, and charity.

V26

 
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sad-bhāve sādhu-bhāve cha sad ity etat prayujyate
praśhaste karma
i tathā sach-chhabda pārtha yujyate

The word Sat is used in the sense of existence and goodness, and also, O Paartha, the word Sat is added in the sense of an auspicious act.

V27

 
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yajñe tapasi dāne cha sthiti sad iti chochyate
karma chaiva tad-arthīya
sad ity evābhidhīyate

Steadfastness in sacrifice, austerity and charity is called Sat, and also, action relation

to these is called Sat.

V28

 
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aśhraddhayā huta datta tapas tapta kita cha yat
asad ity uchyate pārtha na cha tat pretya no iha

Whatever is sacrificed, donated or done, and whatever penance is performed, without faith, it is called asat, O Paartha. It is neither here nor after death.

For the reasons cited supra, these boxed are but interpolations.

 

Chapter -18: Moksha–Sanyāsa Yoga

 

This chapter of 78 verses that deals with the aspects of human behaviour based on the three natures - virtue, passion, and delusion - and the path of selfless action, ends describing the relevance of, and the reverence to, the Gita. While v12 breaks the continuity between v11 and v13 with hyperbolic averments, V41- v48 that describe the allotted duties of man on the basis of his caste are clearly interpolations. In essence, the discourse till v40 is about the human nature and how it affects man and as can be seen, the duties on caste lines detailed in the said interpolations have no continuity of argument.

That apart, v56 combines what is stated in the preceding and the succeeding verses, and thus both are seemingly interpolations. As in earlier chapters, the text acquires continuity if only these verses are bypassed.

V61 avers that the Supreme dwells in humans and deludes them all by his maya. This is contrary to what is stated in Ch5, V14 ‘It’s his nature but not Spirit / Makes man act by wants induced’. Thus, V61 clearly is an interpolation as it contravenes the neutrality of the Supreme Spirit in the affairs of man affirmed throughout by Krishna.

Now scanning the text in the light of the above, first of all, one can note how v12 breaks the continuity between v11 and v13 with hyperbolic averments.

 
Ch18, V11

Needs one work to sustain life
Relinquients avoid, overloads all

na hi deha-bhitā śhakya tyaktu karmā