Wednesday, January 12, 2011

GITA A SARAH by Swami Shantananda Puri

Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi of  Tiruvannamalai (Arunachala)  fame, out of his compassion, selected 42  verses out of the 700 verses of Srimad  Bhagavad Gita, as representing the  quintessence of the entire Gita. It was  called Gita Sar Sarah ah ah. The anecdote as to how  he came to select them is interesting. A  devotee once requested Bhagawan Ramana  to give one sloka from the entire  Bhagawad Gita which would represent the  essence of the entire Gita. He also  explained how it would be easy to commit  to memory one verse instead of the entire  Gita. Bhagavan Ramana selected and gave  him one verse which comes as Sloka 4 in  Gita Sarah. Later on he seleced all the 42  verses. He had selected them from all the  chapters in the order of their importance  and not sequentially. In this selection his  main emphasis is on the Supreme Self and keeping one’s attention fixed on the Self.  Even regarding the words Bhakti, surrender  etc., Bhagavan has translated them as Jnana  or ultimate knowledge. In this book, the  author, while giving the meaning of each  sloka, has closely followed the  commentary of Adi Sankara. For instance,  for the word ‘Samar Samarambhah’ ambhah’ translators  have given the meaning as beginning of  enterprises but as per Sankara it is ‘Sarva  Karamani’ – All activities and not  beginnings. (Yasy asy asya a sar sarve samar samarambhah. ambhah.  For almost all the slokas, Bhagavan  Ramana’s views on the topic dealt with in  the slokas have been quoted citing  reference to the ‘Talks with Bhagavan”.  Each one of the selections is a gem.  Hence, besides the meaning, a fairly  elaborate commentary has also been given  for each sloka.

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