THE SUPREME PERSON
Now I shall make my heart the square stool(Chouranga) and install on it the wooden slippers (Paduka) of my Master. Then I shall fill the hollow formed by joining my palms in the form of unity with flower buds in the form of my sense organs and offer a floral oblation (arghya) at his feet. With my little Anger I shall smear his forehead with the sandal paste in the form of desire purified by the sentiment of exclusive devotion. I shall adorn the tender feet of my Master with the gold anklets in the form of Self-knowledge. I shall adorn his toes with rings in the form of single-minded and steady devotion (1-5). I shall place at his feet a fully blown lotus consisting of eight petals in the form of eight (Sattvic) sentiments, fragrant with joy. I shall burn before him the incense in the form of self-conceit and wave the light in the form of humility. I shall embrace him with the feeling of complete identity with him and shall make him wear a pair of wooden slippers in the form of my body and life- breath. I shall wave before him sensuous enjoyment and liberation. I shall then become fit to render service at his feet, which secures for one the four aims of human life. Let my knowledge grow in excellence until I get rest in the abode of Brahman. Let my speech become the stream of nectar-like words (6-10). Let its utterances become so sweet and eloquent that one may feel like waving around it numerous full moons. Like the East, which, with the rising sun, bestows the empire of light on the entire universe, let the speech make it a festival of lamps in the form of knowledge to the hearers. If by good luck one secures the pollen from the lotus-like feet of the revered Guru. One's speech pours forth such words that even the divine resonant sound pales before it and even liberation cannot stand comparison with it. It is because of this good fortune that the creeper in the form of speech grows so lavishly that the entire universe enjoys the lovely scenery of the spring season under the bower in the form of hearing. Because of this good luck, that speech, which was unable to fathom Brahman' and had to beat a retreat disappointed along with the mind could now easily expound it (11-15). It is because of this good luck that words were able to hold Brahman, which was unintelligible to knowledge and inaccessible to meditation. This good fortune has only come to my share, and no one else has it, so said Shri Jnanadeva. I am an infant, the only child of my preceptor, so that I am the sole recipient of his favour. Like the cloud, which sends rain for a Chataka bird, my Master has showered his kindness on me (16-20). So whatever I said with my uncultivated tongue, gave expression to the secret message of the Gita. If luck is favourable, sand is transformed into gems, and even an assassin becomes friendly, if one is blessed with long life. If God so wills, even pebbles, when boiled, turn into sweet cooked rice. In the same way, if the revered Master calls anyone his own, even his mundane existence conduces to liberation. Did Lord Krishna, the incarnation of Narayana, the primeval Person revered by all, leave the Pandavas in want? (21-25). In the same way, Shri Nivrittinatha has raised my ignorance to the level of knowledge. But by talking like this only my affection for my master increases, but where can I get the wisdom to describe adequately the greatness of my Master ? Through his grace, I shall now explain to you the meaning of the Gita and render service, O saints, at your feet.
At the end of the fourteenth chapter, the Lord declared that only the man of knowledge attains liberation. Just as one who performs hundred sacrifices goes to heaven (26-30) or one who performs the religious duties prescribed for a Brahmin in hundred births attains the status of god Brahma, or the sun's light becomes available to a person who has sight, so the bliss of liberation is attained only by a man of knowledge. If one looks around to find such a person who is qualified to attain such knowledge, one comes across almost one such person. Only a person born with his feet foremost can see a treasure buried underground by putting collyrium in his eyes. In the same way there is no doubt that liberation is attained through knowledge. But the mind must become pure to be able to retain this knowledge (31-35). The Lord has, therefore, laid down after careful consideration that knowledge can be retained only through indifference to worldly life. The omniscient Lord Hari has also thought out what this indifference to the world is and how it can be cultivated. When a person, who sits down for a meal, comes to know that the food cooked is mixed with poison, he leaves the plate without eating. In the same way, if a person comes to know that the mundane existence is ephemeral, he becomes indifferent to the world. The transitory nature of the worldly life is explained in this fifteenth chapter through the simile of a tree (36-40). If ordinary trees are uprooted, they wither away. But this tree in the form of worldly existence is not like that. The Lord has skilfully suggested a way of deliverance to men from the cycle of birth and death by the use of this simile of a tree. The main purport of the Gita is to demonstrate the unreality of the world and to impart the knowledge of the real nature of the Self. This will be explained in great detail very beautifully in the fifteenth chapter, so please pay your attention. So spoke the King of Dwaraka, the ocean of great bliss and fuller than the full moon (41-45).
The blessed Lord said:
In this way from the beginning of this Chapter, the doctrine of the Gita was culled from the scriptures like fragrance from lotus petals. The Gita is the essence churned out of the Vedas by the talent of the great Sage Vyasa. It is the Ganga of ambrosial knowledge or the seventeenth phase of the moon in the form of bliss or goddess of wealth churned out of the sea of milk in the form of right thinking. The Gita, therefore, does not hold anything dear except myself in words, letter and interpretation. Though the perishable and imperishable purusha had stood before her, the Gita rejected them and surrendered her body and soul to me, the Supreme Person (571-575). So this Gita, which you heard, is my devoted spouse. The Gita is not like a scripture which could be explained through spoken words. It is verily a weapon to conquer worldly existence. The words of the Gita are so many incantations (mantras) conducive to self-realisation. In this discourse on the Gita, I have taken out and laid before you my secret treasure. You have become a second sage Gautama to draw out the Ganga in the form of Gita from the matted hair of Lord Shankara in the form of myself as consciousness. O winner of wealth, you have indeed become a mirror in which I could see my essential nature (576-580). Just as the sea brings down the stormy vault to its bosom in the form of reflection, you have given me, together with the Gita, a place in your heart. By sweeping out from your heart the dirt of the three gunas, you have made your heart a fit abode for myself and the Gita. This Gita, to say the least, is the creeping plant of knowledge, and whoever knows it becomes free from delusion. When a person takes a sip of nectar, he becomes immune to disease and immortal. Is there any wonder then that one who attains full knowledge of the Gita, gets rid of delusion? Through this knowledge of Self one attains union with the Supreme Self (581-585) and all activity comes to a stop, knowing that its life's work is fulfilled. O great warrior, just as with the recovery of the missing article, the search comes to an end, so when the dome of knowledge is built on the temple of activity, all actions cease. So said Lord Krishna, friend of the forlorn.
So this ambrosial discourse of Lord Krishna which filled the heart of Partha became available to Sanjaya through the grace of Sage Vyasa. Sanjaya offered it to Dhritarashtra, so that the king ceased to feel that life was a burden (586-590). Even though a person may be considered unqualified to hear the teaching of the Gita, he attains spiritual progress in the end. If a person pours milk at the foot of a vine, it seems such a waste, but he reaps in the end an abundant crop of grapes. So when Sanjaya narrated the teaching of Lord Krishna to Dhritarashtra with great respect, the king became happy. I have recounted to you this tale in a clumsy way according to my limited ability. One who lacks an aesthetic sense does not appreciate the chrysanthemum flower, and yet a connoisseur like a black bee carries away its fragrance (591-595). So you may kindly accept whatever appeals to you and return to me whatever is not good enough. Ignorance is a common trait of a child, but the parents, seeing it, fondle it with happiness, which overflows their heart. You are like my parents, and so I am lisping these fond words in the form of the Gita to you. Jnanadeva says, may my omniform Master, Shri Nivrittinatha, be pleased with this homage of mine (596-599).