O my Master! You are pure and all auspicious to your devotees, glory to you, You are the strong wind which dispels the clouds of birth and old age. O powerful God, you destroy all that is inauspicious and dispense the fruit of the scriptures. You are perfect and love your devotees who are free from sensuous desires. You destroy the play of time and are beyond all modifications. O God, you are motionless and you have become big-bellied by gulping the fickle minds of your devotees. To create the world over and over again is your loving sport. You possess pure nature and inspire happiness. You are destroyer of all sins and the cause of this universe. (1-5) O Lord, you are self-illumined and support the clouds in the form of worlds like the sky. You are the first pillar on which is erected the pavilion of the created world, and you are also its dissolution. Free from the conditioning factors, you are the elephant which destroys the garden of empirical knowledge. You are also the sea of compassion which destroys desire and pride with the aid of self-control and restraint of the senses. God, you are one and single, who averts the pride of the snake in the form of desire. You are the lamp in the temple of devotees' hearts and the redresser of their worldly troubles and tribulations. O Lord, you are simply unique and you love your devotees who have become perfected in their dispassion. You are beyond the sway of Maya, but are accessible to your devotees and fit for their devotion.
O Master, you are the wish-yielding tree who showers gifts beyond imagination and you are the fertile soil in which grows the seed of the tree in the form of Self-knowledge (6-10). With what words can I describe you who are devoid of any attribute? I know that the adjectives with which I try to describe you do not represent your true nature. I, therefore, feel embarrassed to praise you. The sea is said to have its limits; but this fame of its lasts only t0 the rise of the moon. The moonstone does not ooze and offer oblations to the moon, because it is the moon which makes it ooze. The trees do not know how the advent of spring makes them put forth foliage (11-15). Just as the lotus creeper blossoms at the first touch of the sun's rays without embarrassment or the salt dissolves at the touch of water, so when I think of you, I forget myself. I am reduced to the state of a person who belches again and again after a satisfying full meal. You have made me forgetful of myself and crazy about singing your praise. If I were to give up my body-consciousness and praise your qualities, it will mean that I am making a distinction between the qualities and qualified. But you are a single entity, so how can I make such a distinction? Is it not be to keep the pearl intact instead of cutting it into two parts and then rejoining them (16-20)? To call you the parent of the world is not to praise you, because it would mean that I defile you by ascribing to you the attribute of possessing me as your child. I could call myself your servant, but how can I falsely attribute proprietorship to you? How can I describe you in a form which is defiled by conditioning factors? O Master, if I call you indiscriminately as the Self, it would mean that I am expelling you from my interior. For this reason, I see no scope to praise you in this world or to decorate you , with any ornament other than silence. Therefore, say nothing constitutes your praise, to do nothing is your worship and to associate with you is to negate one's personality by getting merged in you. (21-25) Like the chatter of an infatuated person is this my praise of you; so bear it, O Master, patiently with a mother's love. Now put your firm seal on my discourse on the Gita, so that it will be acceptable to this audience. Then Shri Nivrittinath said, 'Why do you need to say all this again and again? Is it necessary rub the philosopher's stone with iron over and over again to turn it into gold?" On this Jnanadeva said, "I have received your grace. O Master, now listen to the interpretation of the Gita, which I am going to narrate.
Now the Gita is a temple studded with jewels, of which ' this chapter is the very pinnacle constructed with the philosopher's stones in the form of insights. It will instruct you in the interpretation of the Gita (26-30). There is a custom in this world that if you .get a vision of the pinnacle from a distance, it is as good as seeing the deity in the temple. The same parallel holds here also. For if you read carefully this chapter, you comprehend the whole teaching of the Gita. It is for this reason that I say that Vedavyasa has composed this chapter as a pinnacle to the temple of the Gita. Just as after the erection of the pinnacle, no construction work remains to be done, this eighteenth chapter suggests that with it the Gita has come to an end. Vyasa was a skillful artisan, who excavated the mountains of gems in the form of the Vedas and formed rocky plains in the form of the Upanishads (31-35). From this excavation became available many well-shaped stones of different shapes in the form of duty (dharma), wealth (artha) and passionate love (kama). With these he built a big rampart in the form of the Mahabharata and in that he selected with great skill the polished stones in the form of the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna relating to the knowledge of the Self. Then using the plummet in the form of renunciation and, taking the help of other religious texts, he fixed the layout of the temple. On this cleared ground, the temple building was' constructed with fifteen stories in the form of fifteen chapters. The Chapter XVI provided a dome on the top of the temple, while Chapter XVII furnished a round frame for building the pinnacle thereon (36-40). Then sage Vyasa set up securely the pinnacle in the form of Chapter XVIII and unfurled the flag of the Gita on it. So all the previous chapters form the floors one over the other. The present chapter is indicating their completion. This pinnacle testifies that the temple is finished and nothing remains to be done. So this eighteenth chapter gives a clear exposition of the Gita from beginning to the end. Thus sage Vyasa skilfully completed the temple in the form of the Gita and has come to the rescue of all beings in every way. Some walk round the temple by reciting the Gita, while others take shelter in the shade and hear the Gita recited (41-45). Still others take the roll of betel leaves and a pice in the form of attention and enter the sanctuary of the temple in the form of the knowledge of the Gita. The last-named get access to Lord Krishna through the knowledge of the Self. But all of them get the same access to the temple of, salvation. In a dinner given by a rich person, all those seated at the head or at the end of a row get the same kind of sweet dish. In the same way all attain liberation by hearing, by reciting or knowing the meaning of the Gita. So as this, Gita is the temple sacred for the devotees of Vishnu and the eighteenth chapter is its pinnacle, I have made this distinction deliberately.
Now, I shall explain to you how this chapter is linked with � Chapter XVII (46-50). Even though the currents of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna are different, they are one because of their common element, water. In the case of Lord Shiva in the form of half male and half female (Ardhanarinateshwara), although the male and female forms have distinctive features, they have one and the same body. The phases of the moon go on increasing' during the bright half of the lunar month, yet they do not appear distinct in the full moon. So although the stanzas appear different because of their four parts and the chapters appear different because of their different stanzas, they form a unity in regard to their import. Just as the thread on which gems are woven is the same (51-55), or the necklace made up of many pearls has the same luster, or the flowers and their wreaths can be counted on Angers, but not so their fragrance, so is." the case with the stanzas and the chapters (i.e. they point to the same common Truth). The Gita consists of seven hundred stanzas divided into eighteen chapters, but the theme taught by the God is the same without any difference. I have given the exposition of the Gita without departing from his meaning. I am now explaining the eighteenth chapter also on the same lines.
At the end of Chapter XVII, the Lord had said (56-60), "O Arjuna, any actions performed without uttering the name of Brahman prove worthless." Hearing these words of the Lord, Arjuna felt happy. He thought that it was good that the Lord disparaged the activist. Poor fellow blinded by ignorance, he could not realise God; then how could he know the secret of the name of Brahman? So long as the qualities of rajas and tamas are not got rid of, his faith remains feeble; then how could it remain fixed in the name of Brahman? Just as embracing a spear or running on a horizontally-suspended rope, or playing with a female cobra (6l-65) is fatal to life, so these actions are noxious, as they lead to the insurmountable dangers of birth and death. If luckily the actions are properly performed, then they conduce to knowledge, otherwise they lead to hell. There are many obstacles in the successful execution of works; so how can a man of action get his chance to attain liberation? It would be, therefore. better to abandon all actions altogether in order to get rid of the suffering resulting from action and adopt faultless renunciation. (66-70)
Renunciation and relinquishment are the two paths which are free from the fear of being affected by actions and which conduce to knowledge. They are incantations of invocation to knowledge, or are the fields of growing knowledge, or are the very ropes for hauling up knowledge. So, I should request the Lord to explain which of these two paths can bring salvation. Deliberating like this, Arjuna asked Lord Krishna to enlighten him about the nature of these two. Chapter XVIII contains the reply of the Lord to this question of Arjuna. In this way according to the law of cause and effect, one chapter gives birth to another.
Now, listen well to the question which Arjuna asked. What the Lord said at the end of the last chapter made Arjuna said. (71-75) He had understood perfectly well the knowledge of the Self imparted by the Lord. Yet he could not bear see that the Lord remained silent without resuming his talk. Even when the calf has drunk the milk to its heart's content, it does not wish to be separated from the cow. Such is the case of single-minded love. That one should wish to talk to a beloved person without cause, to see and go on seeing him or her, love expands with such experience of love � love is of this kind. Arjuna was verily love incarnate, so he felt miserable at the Lord's silence (76-80). Just as one looks into the mirror and enjoys seeing one's own form in it, so Arjuna was enjoying the highest spiritual reality i.e. Brahman through the medium of this conversation. When the dialogue ended, this enjoyment also came to an end. How, could Arjuna, who had become accustomed to this blissful experience, bear to see it stopped? On the plea, therefore, of questioning him about the distinctive natures of relinquishment and renunciation, he reopened the folded cloth. So this is not the eighteenth chapter, but the Gita itself in one chapter. When the calf makes the cow to release its milk, how could there be any delay? So when the Gita was about to end, Arjuna brought it back to its former state. Has it ever happened that the master does not reply when questioned by his servant (81-85)? Then Arjuna said, "Let the Lord hear my request."
Hearing these words of the King, Sanjaya said: I do not know which of the two parties will be victorious. But it is clear that wherever there is longevity, there is life, where there is the moon, there is moonlight; where there is Lord Shiva, there is Parwati and where there are saints, there is discrimination. Where there is the king, there is the army; where there is warm feeling, there is good relationship; where there is fire, there is the burning power; where there is kindness, there is righteousness, where there is righteousness, there is happiness; and where there is happiness, there must be the Supreme Person. Where there is the spring season, there must be flowers; and where there are flowers; there must be swarms of black bees (1631-1635). Further where there is a preceptor, there must be knowledge; where there is knowledge, there must be Self-realisation; and with the realisation of Self, there must be self-satisfaction. Luxurious living goes with good fortune, high spirits go with happiness and light with the sun. Where there is Lord Krishna in whom the four aims of human life have found a protector, there is goddess Lakshmi, and where there is this Mother of the universe along with her Lord, how could there not be her maids, the eight marvellous powers (siddhi) such as the power to be as small as an atom? Lord Krishna is himself victory incarnate, and so victory will run posthaste to that party which is favoured by Him (1636-1640). Arjuna is also well-known by the name Vijaya (victory) and Lord Krishna is victory personified and so wealth and victory will certainly go to them. Since Lord Krishna and Lakshmi are his parents, will not the trees in his country compete with Kalpataru trees? Will not the ordinary stones in his country become the philosophers' stones or will not the land there be of gold? Is it any wonder that the rivers of such a place should flow with nectar? O King, think for yourself. Why should we not call his mere utterances as the words of the Vedas and take him to be the existence-consciousness-bliss in human form? (1641-1645.)
O king, both heaven and liberation will be subservient to him, who has Lord Krishna and goddess Lakshmi as his parents. So all miraculous powers will favour willingly that party which is backed by them. I know this much and nothing more. The cloud is more beneficial than its progenitor, the sea. Similar is the case of Arjuna. The philosopher's stone (the preceptor) transforms iron (the disciple) into gold, but all the transactions of the world are carried on the basis of gold. Because of this one need not attribute an inferior status to the preceptor. Fire transforms itself into a lamp and gives light (1646-1650). In the same way, through the power of God, Arjuna became better than God and so to praise him enhances the glory of God. Every father wishes that his son should surpass him in all qualities and that very desire bore fruit in the case of Lord Krishna � Nay, O King, that party which has on its side Partha, who has received the favour of Lord Krishna is bound to win victory in this war. Why should you have any doubt about it? If that party would not win this war, then victory itself would be meaningless. So wherever there is goddess of wealth, her Lord and Partha, the son of Pandu, there is bound to be victory and prosperity. (1651-1655) If you have faith in the truthful utterance of sage Vyasa, then what I am saying is inevitable. Where there is the lord of Goddess Lakshmi and Arjuna the master devotee, there abides happiness as also gain of all that is auspicious. Should- this speech of mine prove to be untrue, then I shall forego my claim to be "disciple of sage Vyasa, so proclaimed Sanjaya, raising his arms.
In this way, Sanjaya brought the gist of the whole Bharata in one verse and delivered it into the hands of Dhritarashtra, the King of Kurus. Even though fire has unlimited power to burn, it is utilised to kindle the end of a cotton wick to dispel the darkness caused by sunset (1656-1660). In the same way, although the Vedic knowledge is infinite; it is contained in one lakh and twenty-five thousand verses of the Mahabharata, and the quientessane of the Mahabharata is contained in the seven hundred verses of the Gita. The last verse in this Gita is the final utterance of Sanjaya, the disciple of Vyasa. Whoever holds fast to this verse in his heart will ' have conquered ignorance, root and branch. These seven hundred verses are the foot-steps of the Gita or they are, as it were, the showers of nectar which have come down from the sky. I rather feel that that these verses are the pillars of the court of the king in the form of Self. (1661-1665) This Gita is like the blessed goddess propounded in the seven hundred mantras, who has become elated after killing the buffalo (Mahisha) demon in the form of infatuation. Therefore he who renders it devoted service through body, speech and mind will become the sovereign in the kingdom of bliss. Lord Krishna has revealed the Gita in seven hundred verses, which have surpassed the sun's rays in dispelling darkness. These Gita verses are like grape-vines forming a bower to provide a resting-place for those who suffer fatigue in the journey of worldly life or they are like the lotuses in bloom in a dark lake and saints are like bees which enjoy their honey (1666-1670). In short, these are not verses, but are so many bards who sing the glory of the Gita. This Gita is like a beautiful city which is enclosed in a wall in the form of seven hundred verses, within which all the shastras have come to dwell. These are not verses, but the outstretched arms of the Gita, with which she has come to embrace her Lord, the Supreme Self. These verses are like the bees on the Gita-flower, the waves on the Gita sea, or the horses of Shri Hari yoked to the Gita-chariot. It is as though all the holy waters have come together to join the Ganga in the form of the Gita on the entry of the sun in the form of Arjuna in the zodiacal sign Leo (1671-1675). This is not a row of verses but a row of philosophers' stones which bestow peace of mind or a row of wish-yielding trees which lead to the attainment of formless Brahman.
So every one of these seven hundred verses is excellent. So how could anyone take out some of them for special mention and praise? We cannot talk of the wish-yielding cow as a milch-cow or as a dry cow. How can one talk about 'the front or the rear of a lamp', or 'small or big' in the case of the sun or 'deep or shallow' in the case of the sea? In the same way one cannot talk of Gita verses as at the beginning or at the end. Who can distinguish between the fresh and stale flowers of the coral (Parijataka) tree? (1676-1680) How much more then is my statement justified that these verses are equally important, none being greater or lesser than others?
As regards this Gita scripture, there is no distinction between one who narrates it and one who hears it. Everyone knows that in this Gita Lord Krishna is the one who narrates it and he it is who hears it in the form of Arjuna. Whatever merit one has got by knowing the import of the Gita is also secured by its recital. This scripture attaches the same importance to the meaning as well as the words which give expression to it. Therefore, there is no topic left for me to prove or establish. Know that this Gita is the literary image of Lord Krishna. Usually a religious text becomes fruitful in explaining its import, and when it has achieved this purpose, it loses its raison d'etre. But this Gita scripture is not like that; it is verily of the nature of the Supreme Self. (1681-1685) Out of compassion for the whole world, the blessed Lord brought the bliss of Brahman within the reach of everyone under the pretext of teaching Arjuna. The full moon cools down the affliction of the three worlds by making the chakora bird an excuse. Lord Shiva brought the sacred Ganga (Godawari) to the earth by making sage Gautama an excuse, in order to cool down the fever of people caused by the advent of the Kali age. In the same way, the Lord milked the cow in the form of Gita using Partha as the calf and made the milk in the form of the Self-knowledge available to the whole world. If you become engrossed in the Gita, heart and soul and thoroughly wet your tongue by means of its recital you will become one with the Gita. A recital of even one quarter of a verse (1686-1690) will make you rich in Brahmic knowledge, in the same way as contact of the philosopher's stone with even one part of a piece of iron turns it into gold. You will attain the same state if you hear it by turning your side and pulling a long face. Just as an affluent and generous donor does not send anyone with an empty hand, this Gita gives nothing short of liberation to one who hears it or recites it or grasps its meaning. Therefore, a wise person should only take recourse to the Gita. What will he gain by resorting to other religious texts (1691-1695)?
Sage Vyasa made it easy for others to grasp the meaning of the private conversation which took place between Shri Krishna and Arjuna. If a fond mother sits down to feed its child, it serves him food in small morsels or a clever fellow makes a fan in order to utilise the wind. In the same way, through the medium of the Anushtubh metre, it has been made easy for the women, shudras etc. to grasp the knowledge of the Self, which it is difficult to express in words. If the pearls had not been formed by the raindrops falling into the shells under the fifteenth lunar asterism (Svati), how could the beautiful maidens bedeck themselves with them (1696-1700)'P How could we have known the musical notes, if they did not come out of the musical instruments? If there were no flowers, how could anyone have smelled their fragrance? If the daintees were not so sweet, how could the tongue know their flavour? Were there no mirror, how could the eyes see their own form? How could the disciple worship the preceptor, if he did not appear in a manifest form? In the same way, if this infinite Brahman had not been encompassed within seven hundred verses, who could have comprehended it? The cloud, draining up water from the sea, sends showers of rain and so the whole world looks to them with hope. For who could look to the sea which is unlimited and which does not increase or diminish (1701-1705)? Had not sage Vyasa written these beautiful verses, who could have heard or read this theme which transcends speech?
Sage Vyasa has done a great favour to the world by giving the discourse of Lord Krishna in the form of a book and I am now bringing out the same book in the Marathi language, after a full scrutiny of the words of Vyasa. A meek person like me is babbling about the meaning of the Gita, which baffled even the intellect of Vyasa. But this divine Gita is so guileless that she accepts the floral wreath in the form of Vyasa's discourse, but would not reject the sacred Doob grass offered by me (1706-1710). Herds of elephants go to the sea to drink water, but does that sea deny water to the sand-flies? The eagle with a mighty sweep soars in the sky, but the young birds with new wings, who are not able to fly; hover also in the same sky. If the swan walks with a stately gait, does it mean that others should not walk in their own style? If a pitcher takes in water according to its capacity, should not others take a mouthful of water? A torch sheds more light because of its greater size, but does not the wick give light according to its own capacity, (1711-1715)? The sky has a large reflection in the sea because of its wide expanse; but does it not get reflected in a small pond? In the same way it does not stand to reason that' talented persons like Vyasa should interpret Lord Krishna's discourse and I should do nothing about it. Because aquatic animals as big as the Mandara mountain dwell in the sea, should not the smaller Ash swim there? Arjuna (the Sun's charioteer) sees the sun as he is close to him; so should not the ant on the earth look at him? So it will not be improper if ordinary persons like me should write a commentary on the Gita in the local language (1716-1720). If a child follows the footprints of its father, will it not reach the same destination as its father? As I am following in the footsteps of sage Vyasa and consulting the commentator (Shri Shankara) which way to go, where can I, though unworthy, reach if not the right place?
In my heart dwells my mighty preceptor, Shri Nivrittinatha, who has placed the whole world under his obligation. Because of his forbearance the earth bears the movable and immovable world without complaint. The moon borrows his ambrosia and cools down the world and the sun takes over a part of his splendour and dispels the darkness. From him the sea derives its water, the water its sweetness, the sweetness its beauty, (1721-1725) the wind its force, the sky its expanse and knowledge its brilliant sovereign glory, the Vedas their eloquence, happiness its fervour and all things their respective forms, Moreover my capable and worthy Guru Shri Nivrittimath, who favours all, has entered my heart and dwells in it. Then what wonder is there if I tell in the local language the Gita which is already there? Ekalavya, a hunter made an idol of his preceptor Dronacharya and installing his image on the mountain, learnt archery from him and won fame in all the three worlds for his valour (1726-1730). The trees which are close to sandalwood trees become fragrant like them and the ochre-coloured garment of sage Vasishkha, which was spread out for drying up, challenged the splendour of the sun. As for myself, I have an attentive mind, and my Guru is a great saint who has the power to grant his disciple his status by a favourable glance. If good sight is backed by sun's light, what thing is there which cannot be seen? So even my respiration will produce metrical numbers. What cannot be wrought by the grace of the Guru? I have, therefore, explained the substance of the Gita in the local language in a lucid style and brought it within the reach of everybody. (1731-1735)
Even if this version of the Gita in the local language is not sung, it would not suffer any deficiency. One who sings it will earn great merit. But if one were to recite these verses (ovis) without singing, they would not lose their charm. The ornaments look beautiful as they are, even if they are not worm by a beautiful damsel. But it is proper to wear them on a body. Whether the pearls are strung on gold or kept loose, they look equally gorgeous. The full-blown roundish jasmine flowers in the spring season are equally fragrant, whether they are formed into a wreath or kept loose. (1736-1740) So I have composed this work in ovi metre which, if set to music, will be found captivating or 1f recited, will hold one spell-bound. In these verses I have interwoven letters and given them such flavour of Brahman that they will be appreciated by both the young and the old. Now just as it is not necessary to wait for the sandalwood tree to flower in order to get its fragrance, so as soon as a person hears the recital of this metrical composition; he will get into samadhi (abstract meditation). Then will he not be enthralled by the exposition of its meaning? Even if he recites it casually, his learning will blossom and give him such sweet pleasure that he will not even remember the sweetness of nectar (1741-1745). The poetical merit of this work will give him more benefit than meditation and deep contemplation. Its mere hearing will yield to any person divine bliss and also give satisfaction to the other senses. The clever chakora bird enjoys the moonbeams through its inherent power, but others also can enjoy the moonlight. Only those who understand the inner purport of this metaphysical work will become fit for its study; while ordinary people will enjoy its literary merit. I owe this all to my Guru Shri Nivrittinatha and so it is not my composition, but is the glory of his favour. (1746-1750)
This secret Lord Shiva uttered in the ears of Parvati somewhere in the milky sea and it was heard by Matsyendrknatha who was hiding in the stomach of a Ash in that sea. Matsyendranath met crippled Chouranglnatha on the Saptashringi mountain and by his mere glance made him sound in all his limbs. Then in order to enjoy samadhi undisturbed, he transferred the yogic planes achieved by him to Gorakshanatha. He installed in his chair Gorakshanatha, who was the lake containing the lotus-creeper in the form of yoga and the unique hero capable of vanquishing the sense-objects (1751-1755). Then Gahininatha received from Gorakshanatha the bliss of non-dualism, which had descended from Lord Shiva. Seeing that the people of the world were afflicted by worldly existence, he gave a mandate to his disciple Shri Nivrittinatha that he should embrace the tradition (sampradaya) which had come down through unbroken succession of teacher-disciple relation beginning with Lord Shiva and protect immediately all beings stricken with Kali (the age of Strife personified). Nivrittinatha was naturally tender-hearted, and had now received his mission from his Guru. He came forward like a cloud in the rainy season to coo) the world (1756-1760). Then moved with compassion at the sight of the people in distress, he showered the serene sentiment on them under the pretext of narrating the purport of the Gita. At that time I stood before him like a chataka bird in distress, and he raised me to the peak of fame. In this way, my Master entrusted to me his wealth of samadhi and so this work has come to me in succession from the Guru to the disciple.
I had neither recited nor read the scriptures, and nor did I know how to serve my Master; how then could I have attained the capacity to compose this work? But the Guru, by making me an instrument, has protected this world through this composition. (1761-1765) If my narration has been superfluous or inadequate, you may please overlook it as a mother would do. I hardly know how to use a word correctly, how to broach a subject methodically or how to employ figures of speech. I talk as my Master guides me, just as a puppet depends for its gesticulations upon the movements given to it (by the puppeteer). So I do not press you to praise the merits or forgive the lapses in this work, as I have been inspired by my Guru to compose it. And if my narration is found by this august audience of you saints to be deficient, it will be all your fault (1766-1770). If the iron does not lose its base quality even after it comes into contact with the philosopher's stone, who is to blame for that? All that the stream can do is to join the Ganga; then if it does not become one with the river, whose fault is it? Through my great goad fortune. I have come to your feet, what then do I lack in the world? Through the grace of my preceptor, I am enjoying your company and so all my desires are fulfilled.
Having a parental home like yours, I have been able to finish this work and have fulfilled my cherished desire. (1771-1775) It might become possible to make the earth-globe entirely of gold, or to create seven mountains out of wish-fulfilling gems or All up the seven sees with nectar, nor would it be difficult to make all the stars into moons or to make pleasure-gardens of wish-fulfilling trees. But it is extremely difficult tolerate the secret meaning of the Gita. It was because of you that a dumb fellow like me has been able to tell you the import of the Gita in the local language in such a way that it will enchant all people. It is through your grace that I have been able to cross this vast sea in the form of this composition and to dance like a big-wig on the other shore, parading the banner of victory (1776-1780). It is through your grace that I have been able to build this temple in the form of the interpretation of the Gita, which looks like the Mount Meru with its high peaks and to instal therein the image of my preceptor and worship it.
The Gita is a guileless mother and I am its infant, who has been separated from her and has been wandering at random. It is your duty, O saints, to bring about a meeting between us two. Shri Jnanadeva says 'Whatever I have spoken is sound and the credit for all this goes to you. Because of you this festive occasion of the completion of this work has come to pass, fulfilling my life's dream. I had extreme faith in you and you have made me happy by fulfilling all my expectations (1781-1785). O my Master, you have made me create this second universe in the form of this work, and that makes me mock at sage Vishwamitra who created a transient world for Trishanku simply to demean god Brahma. But this literary creation of mine will live for ever.
Lord Shiva created the milky sea out of affection for Upamanyu; but this sea contained poison and- so is not At to be compared with this work. When the people sought protection from the sun against the demon in the form of darkness, he gave them relief from their trouble; but while doing so he makes the people suffer from heat. The moon pours down moonshine to cool down the heat-stricken world; but how can we compare this work with the moon which has dark spots on it (1786-1790)? The work which you saints have enabled me to compose for the benefit of the three worlds is peerless. It is due to your grace that this sermon with music and singing (kirtana) has come to an end. All that remains to be done is to render service to you.
Now may the Supreme Self be pleased with the sacrifice in the form of this literary work and grant me this grace. May the wicked drop their evil ways and become inclined towards good deeds and may all beings develop friendship for one another. May the darkness in the form of sin in the world vanish, and let there be the dawn of religious duty. May the desires of all beings be fulfilled (1791-1795). May the concourse of saints who shower suspiciousness on the universe appear and visit perpetually all beings on this earth. May these saints, who are like walking wisp-yielding trees, and the abodes of sentient philosophers' stones or talking oceans of nectar, and who are like spotless moons or heatless suns be the constant kinsmen of all. In short, let all the three worlds be perfectly happy and may everyone desire to offer perpetual worship to the Primeval person (Brahman) and may those who follow the teachings of this work have perfect happiness in this and the next world. (1796-1880) Hearing these words, the Lord of the universe said, "I grant you this grace", at which Jnanadeva became very happy with this boon.
In this Kali age, there is a holy and ancient place called Panchakrosha (Newase) on the southern bank of the river Godavari in the state of Maharashtra, where dwells the goddess Mahalaya (also named Mohiniraja), who pulls the strings of the world. There rules most justly king Ramadevray, the crown gem of the Yadu race, who is the abode of all arts. At that time Jnanadeva, the disciple of Shri Nivrittinatha, claiming succession of discipleship from Lord Shiva, gave the Gita the garb of Marathi language. (1801-1805) This beautiful dialogue which took place between Lord Krishna and Arjuna occurs in the Bhishmaparva of the Mahabharata. It contains the quintessence of the Upanishadic knowledge and is the parental home of all shastras. It is verily the Manasa lake, which is resorted to by the swans in the form of ascetics of the highest order (Paranmhansas). I, Jnanadeva, the disciple of Nivrittinatha, now declare that this eighteenth chapter, which is the pinnacle of the dialogue, ends here. May the religious merit of this work bring full happiness day by day to all beings in this world. Jnanadeva composed this commentary on the Gita in the (Shalivahana) shaka year 1212 and Sachchidanandababa became his reverent amanuensis. (1806-1810)