ततः पदं तत्परिमार्गितव्य
यस्मिन्गता न निवर्तन्ति भूयः।
तमेव चाद्यं पुरुषं प्रपद्ये
यतः प्रवृत्तिः प्रसृता पुराणी।।15.4।।
15.4 Thereafter, that State has to be sought for, going where they do not return again: I take refuge in that Primeval Person Himself, from whom has ensued the eternal Manifestation.
15.3 - 15.4 The form of this tree, having its origin above, i.e., in the four-faced Brahma and branches below in the sense that man forms the crest through continual lineage therefrom, and also having its branches extended above and below by actions done in the human state and forming secondary roots - that form of the tree is not understood by people immersed in Samsara. Only this much is perceived: I am a man, the son of Devadatta, the father of Yajnadatta; I have property appropriate to these conditions. Likewise, it is not understood that its destruction can be brought about by detachment from enjoyments which are based on Gunas. Similarly it is not perceived that attachment to the Gunas alone is the beginning of this (tree). Again, it is not perceived that the basis of this tree is founded on ignorance which is the misconception of self as non-self. Ignorance alone is the basis of this tree, since in it alone the tree is fixed. This Asvattha, described above, firm-rooted, i.e., the roots of which are firm and manifold, is to be cut off by the strong axe of detachment, namely, detachment from the sense objects composed of the three Gunas. This can be forged through perfect knowledge. As one gains detachment from sense-objects, one should seek and find out the goal from which nobody ever returns. How does this attachment to sense-objects, which consists of the Gunas and erroneous knowledge forming its cause, cease to exist? Sri Krsna now answers: One should seek refuge (Prapadyet) in the Primal Person alone in order to overcome this ignorance. One should seek refuge (Prapadyeta) in Him who is primal, namely, the beginning of all entities, as stated in the following text: With Me as the Lord, the Prakrti gives birth to all that which moves, and that which does not move (9.10), I am the origin of all; from Me proceed everything (10.8), and There is nothing higher than Me, O Arjuna (7.7). From Me, the creator of everything, has streamed forth this ancient activity, continuing from time immermorial, of attachment to sense-objects consisting of Gunas. This has been declared already by Me: For this divine Maya of Mine consisting of the Gunas is hard to break through. But those who take refuge in me alone shall pass beyond this Maya (7.14). Or a variant of this stanza is prapadya iyatah pravrttih (in place of prapadyet yatah pravrittih). This gives the sense that this discipline of taking refuge in the Supreme Person for dispelling of ignorance has continued from a distant past. The tendencies of ancient persons seeking liberation are also ancient. The purport is this: The ancient liberation-seekers, taking refuge in Me alone, were released from bondage. [This can be taken to mean that Prapatti or taking refuge in the Lord had originated in the Bhakti tradition of the Sri-Vaisnavites from ancient sages i.e., from the Alvars who preceded Ramanuja by several centuries. It is not a creation of Ramanuja].
Tatah padam tat parimaargitavyamYasmin gataa na nivartanti bhooyah; Tameva chaadyam purusham prapadyeYatah pravrittih prasritaa puraanee.
na—not; rūpam—form; asya—of this; iha—in this world; tathā—as such; upalabhyate—is perceived; na—neither; antaḥ—end; na—nor; cha—also; ādiḥ—beginning; na—never; cha—also; sampratiṣhṭhā—the basis; aśhvattham—sacred fig tree; enam—this; su-virūḍha-mūlam—deep-rooted; asaṅga-śhastreṇa—by the axe of detachment; dṛiḍhena—strong; chhittvā—having cut down; tataḥ—then; padam—place; tat—that; parimārgitavyam—one must search out; yasmin—where; gatāḥ—having gone; na—not; nivartanti—return; bhūyaḥ—again; tam—to him; eva—certainly; cha—and; ādyam—original; puruṣham—the Supreme Lord; prapadye—take refuge; yataḥ—whence; pravṛittiḥ—the activity; prasṛitā—streamed forth; purāṇi—very old