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Contradictory Stanzas in Bhagavad Geeta

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renuka

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I would like opinion of members regarding 2 rather contradictory stanzas in the Bhagavad Geeta.

Chapter 7 Stanza 24 (Taken from BG with Commentary of Sri Shankaracharya)

avyaktam vyaktimaapannam manyante maamabuddhayaha |
param bhaavamajaananto mamaavyayamanuttamam || 24 ||

The non intelligent regard Me as the Unmanifested coming in manifestation,knowing not My higher,immutable,unsurpassed nature.



And the other Stanza which we all know..Chapter 4 Verse 7 & 8(taken from BG commentary by Swami Mukundananda)
[h=2]yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṁ sṛijāmyaham
[/h]
paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśhāya cha duṣhkṛitām
dharma-sansthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge


My question is.."If Chapter 7 stanza 24 says that the Unamanifest does not come as manifest..then why in Chapter 4 stanza 7 & 8 there is a talk of a manifestation from Age to Age?

If there is no Manifestation as in Chapter 7 stanza 24..then Who is Krishna?

Also if there is no Manifestation....so how does the Vaishnava school of thought about Avatars hold good here?
From Matsya right up to Kalki..who are they?

I hope members can shed some light here.
 

100and9

Member
I don't understand Sanskrit well enough yet, but I am basing this on your translations. Chapter 7 stanza 24 says that the True Believer or the one who is really in communion with the Godhead sees him-her as being both manifest and non-manifest, Nirguna Brahman and Saguna Brahman, beyond Time and Language. Brahman or Shiva is everything: you, me, these pixels that you read, your thoughts, and also the things that are imperceptible to us. Those of us who cannot think abstractly enough will be forced to internalize a limited version of the Godhead and thus not fully appreciate the beauty and power of God.

It does not say that "
Unmanifest does not come as manifest.". That seems like a misunderstanding.

Avatars are very interesting and a very advanced topic. I don't subscribe to the Vaishnava idea of the Dashavatara or 10 (not 9. not 11) Avatars, but the notion of the God-incarnate Hermaphrodite is seen in cultures all over: Shiva, Horus, Quetzalcoatl, Jesus, Krishna etc. Through Yoga and by Divine Selection, man-woman can transcend his-her limited state of consciousness and be one with the Cosmos or Brahman. Such a person will reflect the Will of the Cosmos; that is, he-she maybe a pissed off warrior who teaches corrupted Humanity a lesson in the Kali Yuga. Or he-she may become the center of the Mandala of Consciousness and lead Reality. Anyway, God wants you to be the Story Teller.

 

KRN

Active member
1. Avyaktam doesn't mean unmanifested. The translation is inappropriate. The closest meaning of Avyaktam is "unclear". The point expressed in this sloka is, in the case of the "abuddhi" people, their minds are clouded by the Yogamaya of Vishnu. You can consider it as hazy vision. Hence they are unable to perceive the ever present, ever shining Supreme Brahman. (Contrast this with the Vedic sloka Tad Vishnoh Paramam padam sadaa pasyanti soorayah. Diveeva Chakshuraatatam). So what happens? The abuddhis do not perceive that Brahman shining everywhere in it's great glory. As a result, their minds are amazed by the lesser forms of that Brahman, as it appears in their unclear vision, such forms like Devas, Pithrus, politicians, film stars, sportsmen etc and they end up worshipping these lesser manifestations. But that ever shining Parabrahman himself appears in these various forms, so he gives them appropriate results consequent to their worship. However the results would be of much lower quality. Moreover, the fan of film stars will end up a film star in the next birth. While the worshipper of Krishna Brahman attains the all pervasive Brahman of Infinite glory.

2. I think the meaning of this sloka is clear.

Note : This is my interpretation of the sloka. I do not claim it to be perfect or likely to be satisfying to all. Gita is meant to be studied as a conversation between two highly intelligent individuals. So slokas need to be interpreted in alignment with the preceding and succeeding slokas.
 
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100and9

Member
1. Avyaktam doesn't mean unmanifested. The translation is inappropriate. The closest meaning of Avyaktam is "unclear". The point expressed in this sloka is, in the case of the "abuddhi" people, their minds are clouded by the Yogamaya of Vishnu. You can consider it as hazy vision. Hence they are unable to perceive the ever present, ever shining Supreme Brahman. (Contrast this with the Vedic sloka Tad Vishnoh Paramam padam sadaa pasyanti soorayah. Diveeva Chakshuraatatam). So what happens? The abuddhis do not perceive that Brahman shining everywhere in it's great glory. As a result, their minds are amazed by the lesser forms of that Brahman, as it appears in their unclear vision, such forms like Devas, Pithrus, politicians, film stars, sportsmen etc and they end up worshipping these lesser manifestations. But that ever shining Parabrahman himself appears in these various forms, so he gives them appropriate results consequent to their worship. However the results would be of much lower quality. Moreover, the fan of film stars will end up a film star in the next birth. While the worshipper of Krishna Brahman attains the all pervasive Brahman of Infinite glory.

2. I think the meaning of this sloka is clear.

Based on your logic most avatars -- because they are human and limited--are lesser forms of God then? His manifestation is everything, and we pick out certain people and call them gurus and avatars. The Aryan king Ram was far from perfect, for instance. He shot Bali in the back like a coward for a political advantage. He waged a silly war only to abandon his wife he fought for in the end. The stories go on.
 

KRN

Active member
Based on your logic most avatars -- because they are human and limited--are lesser forms of God then? His manifestation is everything, and we pick out certain people and call them gurus and avatars. The Aryan king Ram was far from perfect, for instance. He shot Bali in the back like a coward for a political advantage. He waged a silly war only to abandon his wife he fought for in the end. The stories go on.

No, 1st sloka has nothing to do with Avatars. Avatars is the context of the second sloka.
 
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KRN

Active member
No, 1st sloka has nothing to do with Avatars. Avatars is the context of the second sloka.

They are not contradictory slokas. Both deal with
1) Krishna Parabrahman (KP) who is ready to give us whatever we are after
2) His yogamaya
3) Deluded people

Sloka 1 : As mentioned above deals with "abuddhis" whose vision is hazy due to past bad karma. Hence they are unable to see the all-pervasive KP clearly, and are deluded by their hazy vision (yogamaya). But they are not baddies, they just tend to worship according to their limited vision, hence they get lower, impermanent results. The giver is always KP.

sloka 2. Here the deluded people are the baddies (durbuddhis), they go about the world seeking a worthy enemy to fight with. To give them what they are after, KP takes a suitable form (Avatar) most appropriate to their hazy vision, by controlling his yogamaya. He then gives them what they wants.
 
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