THREE KINDS OF FAITH
O my Master, your quiescent meditation (yoganidra) releases the hold of this universe of name and form: my obeisance to you who are verily Ganesha, the lord of ganas (demigods). The embodied Self confined in the body was released by your remembrance, like Lord Shankar who was trapped in the three cities of demon Tripura. If you are weighed with Shri Shankara, you tip the scale, but on the other hand, you are like a light raft to carry a person safe across the sea of worldly existence. To those who are ignorant of your true nature, you seem to have a crooked face (vakratunda), but you always appear straight to the wise. Your divine eyes look small, but by opening and closing them you bring about sportingly the creation and dissolution of the universe (1-5). When you flap your right ear in the form of activity, then the wind fragrant with your rut blows, attracting the bees in the form of embodied Selves. When these bees sit on your temples, they appear like a wreath of blue lotuses offered to you in worship. When you flap the other (left) ear in the form of renunciation, then the worship is concluded and then your bodily form is revealed in its pristine glory. This illusive world appearance is only due to your sportive dance. You display your skill by performing the Tandava dance (the violent dance of Lord Shiva). This apart, the wonderful thing about you is that with whomsoever you form a kinship, that person is deprived of this kinship (with the loss of the sense of dualism). When you remove their bonds of karma, they feel that you are the brother of the world and joyfully render you service (6-10) and lose their body-consciousness. But those who think that you are separate from them and run to reach you by diverse means, you remain hidden beyond their ken. You are never seen in the vicinity of those who meditate upon you; but the one who loses his body-consciousness in such meditation becomes dear to you. He who does not know your eternally self-same nature, shows himself off as all-knowing. Even when the all-knowing Vedas propound you, you do not lend your ears to them. From your rashi (sign of the zodiac) in which you were born, may be you have received the name of mouni i.e. the silent one. Then how can I aspire to sing your praise? Whatever is perceptible is all your Maya, illusion; how then can I worship you (11-15)? If I wish to be your servant, I become liable to the charge of considering myself distinct from you. So it is best not to do anything for you. It is only when one drops all notions of duality, then one attains to your non-dual nature. O my Master, who are adorable one, I have now come to know this secret of yours. You should accept my obeisance like water which does not regard salt as separate from it but allows it to get dissolved in it. What more can I say? An earthen pitcher dipped in water comes out brimful with water. When the wick comes into contact with the lamp, it becomes: the lamp itself. In that way, O my Master, I have attained fulfilment by bowing to you.
Now I shall proceed with the interpretation of the Gita (16-20). The Lord concluded in the last stanza of Chapter XVI that the scripture should be accepted as the sole authority to determine what is proper to be done and what is not. Then Arjuna said to himself, "How is this? Is there no other way of undertaking action without reference to the scripture? This is like taking out the gem from the hood of a snake and pulling out a hair from the nostril of a lion and then wearing the ornament by stringing the gem in the hair. If this is not possible, should one keep the neck bare? (21-25) In the same way, who would be able to bring together the different scriptures and cull out the fruit of consensus from them? Even if such a consensus is secured, will there be sufficient time .to act according to it? How can one be fortunate enough to bring about a concatenation of all materials to achieve this such as long life, study- of scriptures, their Interpretations, the suitable time and place for it? So it may not happen on many occasions that actions will be done in accordance with the scriptures. Then how are the dull-witted seekers to fare? The subject which has been broached by Arjuna to seek a clarification of this doubt is contained in Chapter XVII (26-30). So Arjuna, who is desireless in regard to all worldly objects and proficient in all arts, and wonder of wonders, who in his role as Arjuna attracts even Shri Krishna, who dwells in the heart of the Lord, who is the support of bravery, the ornament of the lunar race, the lover of intelligence, the resting place of the Brahmic lore, spoke thus:
If one gives up this path of faith and performs, on the strength of obduracy, numerous sacrifices, gives in charity the whole earth full of gems, practises thousands of austerities, standing on the toes (411-415), or constructs lakes as big as the sea, all that is of no avail. Like rain fallen on rocks, oblations made into ashes, or like an embrace given to a shadow, or the slapping of the sky, all actions undertaken become fruitless. Just as by crushing pebbles in an oil-mill, one gets neither oil nor oil-cake, such action is worthless. If a person ties up potsherds in the hem of his garment and goes on a journey in his country or to a foreign land, he suffers starvation (416-420). In the same way if actions do not bring him happiness in this world, how could he expect it in the next world? So any transaction undertaken in this world without faith in the name of God, is so much labour lost in this and the next world.
So said Shri Krishna. the Lord of Lakshmi, the bravest among warriors, the lion who destroys the elephant in the form of sin. the sun who dispels the darkness in the form of three-fold misery. Like the moon who gets lost in the moonshine, Arjuna was drowned in the bliss of Self. O King, this war is verily a merchant with the sharp arrows as his weights, with which he measures the flesh of the lives fallen on the battlefield. In such a terrible crisis how did Arjuna come to enjoy the kingdom of bliss? Such a good fortune has not become the lot of any other person. Sanjaya said, O king of Kurus, I am enthralled to see such merit in the enemy. He has become as if our preceptor and brought us happiness. For had he not asked any questions of the Lord, would the latter have disclosed the secret of his heart and how could we have got a glimpse of the absolute Truth? We were going through the rounds of births and deaths in the darkness of ignorance, but Arjuna brought us to the temple of self-knowledge. He has lavished so much favour upon us. that I deem him as our preceptor like sage Vyasa (426-430). Then Sanjaya said to himself, "Such extravagant praise of Arjuna may displease Dhritarashtra, and so it is better to stop it". So dropping this subject, Sanjaya began to narrate what Arjuna next asked Lord Krishna. Jnanadeva, the disciple of Nivritti says, "I shall tell you now what Sanjaya narrated, so please give me your attention". (431-433)