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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 55

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 18 श्लोक 55

भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम्।।18.55।।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी ( भगवद् गीता 18.55)

।।18.55।।उस पराभक्तिसे मेरेको? मैं जितना हूँ और जो हूँ -- इसको तत्त्वसे जान लेता है तथा मेरेको तत्त्वसे जानकर फिर तत्काल मेरेमें प्रविष्ट हो जाता है।

हिंदी अनुवाद - स्वामी तेजोमयानंद

।।18.55।। (उस परा) भक्ति के द्वारा मुझे वह तत्त्वत जानता है कि मैं कितना (व्यापक) हूँ तथा मैं क्या हूँ। (इस प्रकार) तत्त्वत जानने के पश्चात् तत्काल ही वह मुझमें प्रवेश कर जाता है? अर्थात् मत्स्वरूप बन जाता है।।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी रामसुख दास जी

।।18.55।। व्याख्या --   भक्त्या मामभिजानाति -- जब परमात्मतत्त्वमें आकर्षण? अनुराग हो जाता है? तब साधक स्वयं उस परमात्माके सर्वथा समर्पित हो जाता है? उस तत्त्वसे अभिन्न हो जाता है। फिर उसका अलग कोई (स्वतन्त्र) अस्तित्व नहीं रहता अर्थात् उसके अहंभावका अतिसूक्ष्म अंश भी नहीं रहता। इसलिये उसको प्रेमस्वरूपा प्रेमाभक्ति प्राप्त हो जाती है। उस भक्तिसे परमात्मतत्त्वका वास्तविक बोध हो जाता है।,ब्रह्मभूतअवस्था हो जानेपर संसारके सम्बन्धका तो सर्वथा त्याग हो जाता है? पर मैं ब्रह्म हूँ? मैं शान्त हूँ? मैं निर्विकार हूँ? ऐसा सूक्ष्म अहंभाव रह जाता है। यह अहंभाव जबतक रहता है? तबतक परिच्छिन्नता और पराधीनता रहती है। कारण कि यह अहंभाव प्रकृतिका कार्य है और प्रकृति पर है इसलिये पराधीनता रहती है। परमात्माकी तरफ आकृष्ट होनेसे? पराभक्ति होनेसे ही यह अहंभाव मिटता है (टिप्पणी प0 949.1)। इस अहंभावके सर्वथा मिटनेसे ही तत्त्वका वास्तविक बोध होता है।यावान् -- सातवें अध्यायके आरम्भमें भगवान्ने अर्जुनको समग्ररूप सुननेकी आज्ञा दी कि मेरेमें जिसका मन आसक्त हो गया है? जिसको मेरा ही आश्रय है? वह अनन्यभावसे मेरे साथ दृढ़तापूर्वक सम्बन्ध रखते हुए मेरे जिस समग्ररूपको जान लेता है? उसको तुम सुनो। यही बात भगवान्ने सातवें अध्यायके अन्तमें कही कि जरामरणसे मुक्ति पानके लिये जो मेरा आश्रय लेकर यत्न करते हैं? वे ब्रह्म? सम्पूर्ण अध्यात्म और सम्पूर्ण कर्मको अर्थात् सम्पूर्ण निर्गुणविषयको जान लेते हैं और अधिभूत? अधिदैव और अधियज्ञके सहित मुझको अर्थात् सम्पूर्ण सगुणविषयको जान लेते हैं।इस प्रकार निर्गुण और सगुणके सिवाय राम? कृष्ण? शिव? गणेश? शक्ति? सूर्य आदि अनेक रूपोंमें प्रकट होकर परमात्मा लीला करते हैं? उनको भी जान लेना -- यही पराभक्तिसे यावान् अर्थात् समग्ररूपको जानना है।यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः -- वे ही परमात्मा अनेक रूपोंमें? अनेक आकृतियोंमें? अनेक शक्तियोंको साथ लेकर? अनेक कार्य करनेके लिये बारबार प्रकट होते हैं? और वे ही परमात्मा अनेक सम्प्रदायोंमें अपनीअपनी भावनाके अनुसार अनेक इष्टदेवोंके रूपमें कहे जाते हैं। वास्तवमें परमात्मा एक ही हैं। इस प्रकार मैं जो हूँ -- इसे तत्त्वसे जान लेता है।ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् -- ऐसा मुझे तत्त्वसे जानकर तत्काल (टिप्पणी प0 949.2) मेरेमें प्रविष्ट हो जाता है अर्थात् मेरे साथ भिन्नताका जो भाव था? वह सर्वथा मिट जाता है।तत्त्वसे जाननेपर उसमें जो अनजानपना था? वह सर्वथा मिट जाता है और वह उस तत्त्वमें प्रविष्ट हो जाता है। यही पूर्णता है और इसीमें मनुष्यजन्मकी सार्थकता है।विशेष बातजीवका परमात्मामें प्रेम (रति? प्रीति या आकर्षण) स्वतः है। परन्तु जब यह जीव प्रकृतिके साथ सम्बन्ध जोड़ लेता है? तब वह परमात्मासे विमुख हो जाता है और उसका संसारमें आकर्षण हो जाता है। यह आकर्षण ही वासना? स्पृहा? कामना? आशा? तृष्णा आदि नामोंसे कहा जाता है।इस वासना आदिका जो विषय (प्रकृतिजन्य पदार्थ) है? वह क्षणभङ्गुर और परिवर्तनशील है तथा यह जीवात्मा स्वयं? नित्य और अपरिवर्तनशील है। परन्तु ऐसा होते हुए भी प्रकृतिके साथ तादात्म्य होनेसे यह परिवर्तनशीलमें आकृष्ट हो जाता है। इससे इसको मिलता तो कुछ नहीं? पर कुछ मिलेगा -- इस भ्रम? वासनाके कारण यह जन्ममरणके चक्करमें पड़ा हुआ महान् दुःख पाता रहता है। इससे छूटनेके लिये भगवान्ने योग बताया है। वह योग जडतासे सम्बन्धविच्छेद करके परमात्माके साथ नित्ययोगका अनुभव करा देता है।गीतामें मुख्यरूपसे तीन योग कहे हैं -- कर्मयोग? ज्ञानयोग और भक्तियोग। इन तीनोंपर विचार किया जाय तो भगवान्का प्रेम तीनों ही योगोंमें है। कर्मयोगमें उसको कर्तव्यरति कहते हैं अर्थात् वह रति कर्तव्य होती है -- स्वे स्वे कर्मण्यभिरतः (18। 45)। [कर्मयोगकी यह रति अन्तमें आत्मरतिमें परिणत हो जाती है (गीता 2। 55 3। 17) और जिस कर्मयोगीमें भक्तिके संस्कार हैं? उसकी यह रति भगवद्रतिमें परिणत हो जाती है।] ज्ञानयोगमें उसी प्रेमको आत्मरति कहते हैं अर्थात् वह रति स्वरूपमें होती है -- योऽन्तःसुखोऽन्तरारामः (5। 24)। और भक्तियोगमें उसी प्रेमको भगवद्रति कहते हैं अर्थात् वह रति भगवान्में होती है (टिप्पणी प0 950.1) -- तुष्यन्ति च रमन्ति च (10। 9)। इस प्रकार इन तीनों योगोंमें रति होनेपर भी गीतामें भगवद्रति की विशेषरूपसे महिमा गायी गयी है।तपस्वी? ज्ञानी और कर्मी -- इन तीनोंसे भी योगी (समतावाला) श्रेष्ठ है (गीता 6। 46)। तात्पर्य यह है कि जडतासे सम्बन्ध रखते हुए बड़ा भारी तप करनेपर? बहुतसे शास्त्रोंका (अनेक प्रकारका) ज्ञानसम्पादन करनेपर और यज्ञ? दान? तीर्थ आदिके बड़ेबड़े अनुष्ठान करनेपर जो कुछ प्राप्त होता है? वह सब अनित्य ही होता है? पर योगीको नित्यतत्त्वकी प्राप्ति होती है। अतः तपस्वी? ज्ञानी और कर्मी -- इन तीनोंसे योगी श्रेष्ठ है। इस प्रकारके कर्मयोगी? ज्ञानयोगी? हठयोगी? लययोगी आदि सब योगियोंमें भी भगवान्ने भक्तियोगी को सर्वश्रेष्ठ बताया है (गीता 6। 47)। यही भक्तियोगी भगवान्के समग्ररूपको जान लेता है। सांख्ययोगी भी पराभक्तिके द्वारा उस समग्ररूपको जान लेता है। उसी समग्ररूपका वर्णन यहाँ यावान् पदसे हुआ है (टिप्पणी प0 950.2)।इस प्रकरणके आरम्भमें अन्तःकरणकी शुद्धिरूप सिद्धिको प्राप्त हुआ साधक जिस प्रकार ब्रह्मको प्राप्त होता है -- यह कहनेकी प्रतिज्ञा की और बताया कि ध्यानयोगके परायण होनेसे वह वैराग्यको प्राप्त होता है। वैराग्यसे अहंकार आदिका त्याग करके ममतारहित होकर शान्त होता है। तब वह ब्रह्मप्राप्तिका पात्र होता है। पात्र होते ही उसकी ब्रह्मभूतअवस्था हो जाती है। ब्रह्मभूतअवस्था होनेपर संसारके सम्बन्धसे जो रागद्वेष? हर्षशोक आदि द्वन्द्व होते थे? वे सर्वथा मिट जाते हैं तो वह सम्पूर्ण प्राणियोंमें सम हो जाता है। सम होनेपर,पराभक्ति प्राप्त हो जाती है। वह पराभक्ति ही वास्तविक प्रीति है। उस प्रीतिसे परमात्माके समग्ररूपका बोध हो जाता है। बोध होते ही उस तत्त्वमें प्रवेश हो जाता है -- विशते तदनन्तरम्।अनन्यभक्तिसे तो मनुष्य भगवान्को तत्त्वसे जान सकता है? उनमें प्रविष्ट हो सकता है और उनके दर्शन भी कर सकता है (गीता 11। 54) परन्तु सांख्ययोगी भगवान्को तत्त्वसे जानकर उनमें प्रविष्ट तो होता है? पर भगवान् उसको दर्शन देनेमें बाध्य नहीं होते। कारण कि उसकी साधना पहलेसे ही विवेकप्रधान रही है? इसलिये उसको दर्शनकी इच्छा नहीं होती। दर्शन न होनेपर भी उसमें कोई कमी नहीं रहती अतः कमी माननी नहीं चाहिये।यहाँ उस तत्त्वमें प्रविष्ट हो जाना ही अनिर्वचनीय प्रेमकी प्राप्ति है। इसी प्रेमको नारदभक्तिसूत्रमें प्रतिक्षण वर्धमान कहा है (टिप्पणी प0 951)। इस प्रेममें सर्वथा पूर्णता हो जाती है अर्थात् उसके लिये करना? जानना और पाना कुछ भी बाकी नहीं रहता। इसलिये न करनेका राग रहता है? न जाननेकी जिज्ञासा रहती है? न जीनेकी आशा रहती है? न मरनेका भय रहता है और न पानेका लालच ही रहता है।जबतक भगवान्में पराभक्ति अर्थात् परम प्रेम नहीं होता? तबतक ब्रह्मभूतअवस्थामें भी मैं ब्रह्म हूँ यह सूक्ष्म अहंकार रहता है। जबतक लेशमात्र भी अहंकार रहता है? तबतक परिच्छिन्नताका अत्यन्त अभाव नहीं होता। परन्तु मैं ब्रह्म हूँ यह सूक्ष्म अहंभाव तबतक जन्ममरणका कारण नहीं बनता? जबतक उसमें प्रकृतिजन्य गुणोंका सङ्ग नहीं होता क्योंकि गुणोंका सङ्ग होनेसे ही बन्धन होता है -- कारणं गुणसङ्गोऽस्य सदसद्योनिजन्मसु (गीता 13। 21)। उदाहरणार्थ -- गाढ़ नींदसे जगनेपर साधारण मनुष्यमात्रको सबसे पहले यह अनुभव होता है कि मैं हूँ। ऐसा अनुभव होते ही जब नाम? रूप? देश? काल जाति आदिके साथ स्वयंका सम्बन्ध जुड़ जाता है? तब मैं हूँ यह अहंभाव शुभअशुभ कर्मोंका कारण बन जाता है? जिससे जन्ममरणका चक्कर चल पड़ता है। परन्तु जो ऊँचे दर्जेका साधक होता है अर्थात् जिसकी निरन्तर ब्रह्मभूतअवस्था रहती है? उसके सात्त्विक ज्ञान (18। 20) में सब जगह ही अपने स्वरूपका बोध रहता है। परन्तु जबतक साधकका सत्त्वगुणके साथ सम्बन्ध रहता है? तबतक नींदसे जगनेपर तत्काल मैं ब्रह्म हूँ अथवा सब कुछ एक परमात्मा ही है -- ऐसी वृत्ति पकड़ी जाती है और मालूम होता है कि नींदमें यह वृत्ति छूट गयी थी? मानो उसकी भूल हो गयी थी और अब पीछे उस तत्त्वकी जागृति हो गयी है? स्मृति आ गयी है। गुणातीत हो जानेपर अर्थात् गुणोंसे सर्वथा सम्बन्धविच्छेद होनेपर विस्मृति और स्मृति -- ऐसी दो अवस्थाएँ नहीं होतीं अर्थात् नींदमें भूल हो गयी और अब स्मृति आ गयी -- ऐसा अनुभव नहीं होता? प्रत्युत नींद तो केवल अन्तःकरणमें आयी थी? अपनेमें नहीं? अपना स्वरूप तो ज्योंकात्यों रहा -- ऐसा अनुभव रहता है। तात्पर्य यह है कि निद्राका आना और उससे जगना -- ये दोनों प्रकृतिमें ही हैं? ऐसा उसका स्पष्ट अनुभव रहता है। इसी अवस्थाको चौदहवें अध्यायके बाईसवें श्लोकमें कहा है कि प्रकाश अर्थात् नींदसे जगना और मोह अर्थात् नींदका आना -- इन दोनोंमें गुणातीत पुरुषके किञ्चिन्मात्र भी रागद्वेष नहीं होते। सम्बन्ध --   पहले श्लोकमें अर्जुनने संन्यास और त्यागके तत्त्वके विषयमें पूछा तो उसके उत्तरमें भगवान्ने चौथेसे बारहवें श्लोकतक कर्मयोगका और इकतालीसवेंसे अड़तालीसवें श्लोकतक कर्मयोगका तथा संक्षेपमें भक्तियोगका वर्णन किया और तेरहवेंसे चालीसवें श्लोकतक विचारप्रधान सांख्ययोगका तथा उन्चासवेंसे पचपनवें श्लोकतक ध्यानप्रधान सांख्ययोगका एवं संक्षेपमें पराभक्तिकी प्राप्तिका वर्णन किया। अब भगवान् शरणागतिकी प्रधानतावाले भक्तियोगका वर्णन आरम्भ करते हैं।

हिंदी टीका - स्वामी चिन्मयानंद जी

।।18.55।। परमात्मा से परम प्रेम अर्थात् पूर्ण तादात्म्य ही परा भक्ति है। उस परा भक्ति से ही साधक भक्त परमात्मा को तत्त्वत समझ सकता है। शास्त्र के श्रवण? अध्ययन आदि से प्राप्त किया गया ज्ञान प्राय परोक्ष होता है। जब वह ज्ञान? विज्ञान अर्थात् स्वानुभव बन जाता है? केवल तभी परमात्मा का यथार्थ बोध होता है।यावान् (मैं कितना हूँ) इसका अर्थ यह है कि परा भक्ति के द्वारा एक भक्त भगवान् के उपाधिकृत विस्तार को समझ लेता है। भगवान् की विभूतियों का वर्णन दसवें अध्याय में किया जा चुका है।यश्च अस्मि (मैं क्या हूँ) एक परम भक्त यह भी जान लेता है कि भगवान् का वास्तविक स्वरूप समस्त उपाधियों से वर्जित? निर्गुण? निर्विशेष है। सारांशत? भगवान् को तत्त्वत जानने का अर्थ उनके सर्वव्यापक एवं सर्वातीत इन दोनों ही स्वरूप को जानना है।हमें यह स्मरण रखना चाहिए कि सम्पूर्ण गीता में भगवान् श्रीकृष्ण अपने लिए जो मैं शब्द का प्रयोग करते हैं? वह अपने परमात्म स्वरूप की दृष्टि से ही कहते हैं? वसुदेव के पुत्र के रूप में नहीं। अत जब वे कहते हैं वह (साधक) मुझमें प्रवेश करता है? तब उसका अर्थ किसी गृह में प्रवेश के समान न होकर साधक की आत्मानुभूति से है। भक्त का आत्मस्वरूप भगवान् के परमात्मस्वरूप से भिन्न नहीं है। यहाँ कथित प्रवेश ऐसा ही है? जैसे स्वप्न द्रष्टा जाग्रत् पुरुष में प्रवेश करता है। इस श्लोक का तात्पर्य यह है कि एक साधन सम्पन्न उत्तम अधिकारी निदिध्यासन के द्वारा परमात्मा का अनुभव आत्मरूप से ही करता है? उससे भिन्न रहकर नहीं।जगत् के प्राणियों की सेवा के बिना ईश्वर की सेवा पूर्ण नहीं होती। भगवान् कहते हैं

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

18.55 Through devotion he knows Me in reality, as to what and who I am. Then, having known Me in truth, he enters (into Me) immediately after that (Knowledge).

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

18.55 By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; then having known Me in truth, he forthwith enters into the Supreme.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18.55. Through devotion he comes to know of Me : Who I am and how, in fact, I am-having correctly known Me, he enters Me. Then afterwards,

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

18.55 भक्त्या by devotion? माम् Me? अभिजानाति (he) knows? यावान् what? यः who? च and? अस्मि (I) am? तत्त्वतः in truth? ततः then? माम् Me? तत्त्वतः in truth? ज्ञात्वा having known? विशते (he) enters? तत् that? अनन्तरम् afterwards.Commentary My devotee? O Arjuna? who has attained to union with Me through singleminded and unflinching devotion is verily My very Self. Devotion culminates in knowledge. Devotion begins with two and ends in one. ParaBhakti (supreme devotion) and Jnana are one. Devotion is the mother. Knowledge is the son. By devotion he knows that I am allpervading pure,consciousness he knows that I am nondual? unborn? decayless? causeless? selfluminous? indivisible? unchanging he knows that I am destitute of all the differences caused by the limiting adjuncts he knows that I am the support? source? womb? basis? and substratum of everything he knows that I am the ruler of all beings he knows that I am the Supreme Purusha? the controller of Maya? and that this world is a mere appearance. Thus knowing Me in truth or in essence? he enters into Me soon after attaining Selfknowledge.The act of knowing and the act of entering are not two distinct acts. Knowing is becoming. Knowing is attaining Selfknowledge. To know That is to become That. Entering is knowing or beoming That. Entering is the attainment of Selfknowledge or Selfrealisation. These are all jugglery of words only. Knowing and entering are synonymous terms. It is very difficult to understand or comprehend transcendental spiritual matters. The teachers use various terms or expressions? analogies? similes? parables? stories? etc. to make the aspirant grasp the matter clearly and lucidly. Words are imperfect and languages are defective. They cannot fully express the inner spiritual experiences. The teacher somehow or other expresses to the students or aspirants these spiritual ideas. The aspirant himself will have to realise the Self. That is beyond the reach of words of expressions or analogies of similes. How can there be similes for that nondual Brahman These words are a sort of help or prop for the aspirants to lean upon in the beginning to understand spiritual matters. When he realises the Self? these words are of no value to him. He himself becomes an embodiment of knowledge.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

18.55 Bhaktya, through devotion, through that devotion described as Knowledge; abhijanati, he knows; mam, Me; tattvatah, in reality; as to yavan, what I am, with the extensive differences created by limiting adjuncts; and yah asmi, who I am when all distinctions create by the limiting adjuncts are destroyed-Me who am the supreme Person comparable to space [In points of all-pervasiveness and non-attachment.] and one-without-a-second, absolute, homogeneous Consciousness, birthless, ageless, immortal, fearless and deathless. Tatah, then; jnatva, having known; mam, Me, thus; tattvatah, in truth; visate, he enters into Me, Myself; tadanantaram, immediately after that (Knowledge). Here, by saing, having known, he enters without delay, it is not meant that the acts of knowing and entering immediately after are different. What then? What is meant is the absolute Knowledge itself that has to no other result, [In place of phalantarabhava-jnana-matram eva, Ast. reads phalantarbhavat jnanamatram eva, absolute Knowledge itself, since there is no other result.-Tr.] for it has been said, And৷৷.understand Me to be the Knower of the field, (13.2). Opponent: Has it not been contradictory to say, he knows Me through that which is the supreme steadliness (nistha) in Knowledge? Vedantin: If it be asked, How it is contradictory? Opponent: The answer is: Whenever any Knowledge of something arises in a knower, at that very moment the knower knows that object. Hence, he does not depend on steadfastness in Knowledge which consists in the repetition of the act of knowing. And therefore, it is contradictory to say one knows not through knowledge, but through steadfastness in knowledge which is a repetition of the act of knowing. Vedantin: There is no such fault, since the culmination of Knowledge-which (Knowledge) is associated with the causes of its unfoldment and maturity, and which has nothing to contradict it- in the conviction that ones own Self has been realized is what is referred to by the word nistha (consummation): When knowledge-which concerns the identity of the Knower of the field and the supreme Self, and which remains associated with the renunciation of all actions that arise from the perception of the distinction among their accessories such as agent etc., and which unfolds from the instruction of the scriptures and teachers, depending on purity of the intellect etc. and humility etc. which are the auxiliary cuases of the origin and maturity of Knowledge-continues in the form of the conviction that ones own Self has been realized, then that continuance is called the supreme steadfastness (nistha) in Knowledge. This steadfastness in Knowledge that is such has been spoken of as the highest, the fourth kind of devotion in relation to the three other devotions viz of the afflicted, etc. (cf. 7.16). Through that highest devotion one realizes the Lord in truth. Immediately after that the idea of difference between the Lord and the Knower of the field vanishes totally. There-fore the statement, one knows Me through devotion in the form of steadfastness in Knowledge, is not contradictory. And, in this sense, all the scriptures-consisting of Vedanta (Upanisads etc.), History, Mythology and Smrtis-, as for instance, Knowing (this very Self the Brahmanas) renounce৷৷.and lead a mendicants life (Br. 3.5.1), Therefore they speak of monasticism as excellent among these austerities (Ma. Na. 24.1), Monasticism verily became supreme (ibid. 21.2), which enjoin renunciation become meaningful. Thus, monasticism means renunciation of rites and duties. There are also the texts, Having renounced the Vedas as well as this world and the next (Ap. Dh. Su. 2.9.13), and Give up religion and irreligion (Mbh. Sa. 329.40; 331.44), etc. And here (in the Gita) also various relevant) passages have been pointed out. In is not porper that those texts should be meaningless. Nor are they merely eulogistic, since they occur in their own contexts. Besides, Liberation consists in being established in the changeless real nature of the indwelling Self. Indeed, it is not possible that one who wants to go to the eastern sea and the other who wants to go in the opposite direction to the western sea can have the same course! And steadfastness in Knowledg consists in being totally absorbed in maintaining a current of thought with regard to the indwelling Self. And that is opposed to coexistence with duties, like going to the western sea. It has been the conclusion of those versed in the valid means of knowledge that the difference between them is as wide as that between a mountain and a mustard seed! Therefore it is established that one should have recourse to steadfastness in Knowledge only, by relinishing all rites and duties. The fruit of the attainment of success from the Yoga of Devotion consisting in worshiping the Lord with ones own actions is the ability to remain steadfast in Knowledge, from which, follows stead-fastness in Knowledge, culminating in the result, Liberation. That Yoga of Devotion to the Lord is now being praised in this concluding section dealing with the purport of the Scripture, with a veiw to generating a firm conviction with regard to it (the purport of the Scripture):

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18.55 See Comment under 18.60

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

18.55 Through such devotion, he knows who I am, i.e., knows My own essence and My nature, and what I am, i.e., in My attributes and glory. Knowing Me truly, he rises to a higher level than this Bhakti, and aciring knowledge of the truth, enters into Me through devotion. The meaning is that he attains Me by means of infinite and unsurpassed Bhakti which develops subseent in time to the vision of the nature, attributes and glory of the Lord in reality. Here the term Tatah (through) denotes that devotion is the cause of attainment; for it has been stated to be the cause of entrance n the text, But by singel-minded devotion it is possible ৷৷. (11.54). In this way, the crowning development has been told starting from the disinterested performance of periodical and occasional rites suitable for the various stations and stages of life, which are to be performed to propitiate the Supreme Person. Sri Krsna now explains that even for actions meant for attaining desired objects (Kamya-karmas) the crowning stage is the same as for these described above, provided they too are done not for fulfilling ones desires but as offerings to propitiate the Supreme Person.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

“After attaining bhakti, then what happens to that person?” Giving a particular case of the general rule, the Lord speaks this verse. By bhakti alone one knows me truly as either “that” or as “me”. Thus, the jnani knows me as tat (brahman) and the various devotees know me as mam (bhagavan). Since I have said that only by pure bhakti am I known (bhakyaham ekaya grahyah), then the jnani under discussion, after that (tad anantaram), by that bhakti alone which functions after the cessation of vidya, knowing me, enters me. He realizes the happiness of merging with me (sayujya). The meaning is that since I am beyond maya and vidya is part of maya, I (even in the form of brahman) cannot be known by vidya. But there may be objection, for in the Narada Pancaratra it is said: sankhya-yogau ca vairagyam tapo bhaktis ca kesave panca-parvaiva vidya Oh Kesava, there are five types of knowledge: sankhya, yoga, vairagya, tapas and bhakti. Bhakti is thus said to be a function of vidya in this verse. However, this actually means that some small portion of the hladini sakti of bhakti enters into vidya in order to give vidya its results, just as bhakti also enters into karma yoga in order give results of karma. This can be said because there are many statements saying that karma, jnana, yoga and other processes are just useless labor without bhakti. Since nirguna bhakti is not a function of vidya filled with sattva guna, though vidya is the cause of extinguishing avidya, the cause of knowledge of tat is bhakti alone. Moreover, the smrti says sattvam sanjayate jnanam: sattva gives rise to jnana. (BG 14.17) Knowledge, which arises from sattva, is called sattva. Just as the word sattva indicates vidya, so knowledge arising from bhakti is often called bhakti. Sometimes it is called bhakti and other times it is called jnana. Therefore, one should see that there are two types of knowledge. Giving up the first type of knowledge (sattva), by the second type of knowledge (bhakti), one will attains brahma sayujya. This can be understood by consulting the Bhagavatam 11, twenty-fifth chapter. Now, those who presume to be jnanis, desiring sayujya, by executing jnana alone without bhakti at all, obtain only suffering as their fruit. They are the most heavily condemned. There are others also who, knowing that one cannot attain liberation by jnana alone without bhakti, practice jnana mixed with bhakti. But they consider the form of bhagavan as falsity (upadhi) created by maya, that the body of the Lord is made of the gunas. Reaching the state of yogarudha, they think themselves liberated. They too are condemned. It is said: mukha-bahuru-padebhyah purusasyasramaih saha catvaro jajnire varna gunair vipradayah prthak Each of the four social orders, headed by the brahmanas, was born through different combinations of the modes of nature, from the face, arms, thighs and feet of the Supreme Lord in His universal form. Thus the four spiritual orders were also generated. SB 11.5.2 ya evam purusam saksad atma-prabhavam isvaram na bhajanty avajananti sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah If any of the members of the four varnas and four asramas fail to worship or intentionally disrespect the Personality of Godhead, who is the source of their own creation, they willfall down from their position into a hellish state of life. SB 11.5.3 The meaning is that both those who do not worship me and as well those who do worship me but also disrespect me, even if they are sannyasis, have all their knowledge destroyed and fall. It is also said: ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho ‘nadrta-vusmad-anghrayah O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet. SB 10.2.32 The word “foot” (anghri) should be taken to indicate “with bhakti.” Thus the phrase would mean “those who do not accept your feet with devotion.” They accept the Lord, but in the wrong way. The phrase anadrta-yusmad-anghraya means that they disrespect the Lord by thinking that the Lord’s body is material. It is also said: avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam The fools do not know me. They think I have taken the body of a material human. BG 9.11 Actually his form is human, but it is also sac cid ananda. That form can be seen only by the influence of the Lord’s inconceivable krpa sakti. It is said in the Narayana Adhyatma: nityavyakto ‘pi bhagavan iks(y)ate nija-saktitah tarn rte paramanandam kah pasyet tarn imam prabhum The Lord who is eternal and invisible can be seen through his own sakti. Other than by that means, who can see that Lord of the highest bliss? That the Lord has a sac cid ananda body is confirmed in the Gopala Tapani Upanisad (1.33) with sat-cid-ananda-vigraham sri-vrndavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam: that form of the Lord which is eternity knowledge and bliss was seated at the base of a desire tree in Vrndavana. darsayam asa tarn ksattah sabdarh brahma dadhad vapuh The Lord showed Himself to that Kardama Muni and displayed His transcendental form, which can be understood only through the Vedas.   SB 3.21.8 Thus in the srutis and smrtis there are thousands of such authoritative statements indicating the Lord’s transcendental body. However, by such statements as the following, these jnanis think that the Lord, bhagavan, is a false creation of maya (upadhi). mayam tu prakrtirh vidyan mayinam tu mahesvaram Know this nature to be maya. The great Lord is also made of this maya.   Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.2 However, this statement means that the Lord is endowed with an eternal sakti called maya arising from his own svarupa. Madhvacarya quotes sruti to explain this statement, ato maya-mayam visnum pravadanti sanatanam Thus they call the eternal Visnu mayamayam. Thus the word mayam in the Svetasvatara verse refers to the cit Sakti arising from the svarupa of the Lord, not to the sakti of the three gunas, which does not arise from his svarupa. They do not consider this meaning of the sruti statement. Nor do they consider that the statement could mean “Durga is maya and Siva is the possessor of maya”. Thus, though these jnanis attain the status of jivan mukta, they fall down because of aparadha to the Lord. It is said in the parisista vacana of the Vasana Bhasya: jivan-mukta api punar yanti samsara-vasanam yady acintya-maha-saktau bhagavaty aparadhinah The jivan muktas, if they are offenders to the Lord of inconceivable great sakti, again enter the illusions of samsara. Attaining their goal, they think sadhana is no longer proper, and thus at the time of rejecting jnana, they reject not only jiiana, but also guni bhuta bhakti, thinking that tangible realization (of form and qualities) is false. After bhakti disappears along with jnana, because of offense to the form of the Lord, it cannot be again attained. Because they cannot realize tat without bhakti, they are therefore known only as persons who think they are liberated, having only false samadhi. This is stated in the verse ye ‘nye ‘ravindaksa vimukta-maninah. But those who practice jnana mixed with bhakti, and at the same time respect the sac cid ananda form of bhagavan, gradually, with the cessation of vidya and avidya, attain para bhakti. Those liberated souls are of two types. One type, performing bhakti for obtaining sayujya, attains sayujya in the Lord’s form, realizing tat. These persons are praiseworthy. The other type of person, such as Sukadeva, being greatly fortunate, gives up the desire for liberation by the influence of unpredicted association with kind, elevated devotees, and submerges himself completely in the taste of the sweetness of bhakti rasa. This is the most praiseworthy type. It is said: atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim itthambhuta-guno harih All different varieties of atmaramas [those who take pleasure in atma, or spirit self], especially those established on the path of self-realization, though freed from all kinds of material bondage, bondage; desire to render unalloyed devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead. This means that the Lord possesses transcendental qualities and therefore can attract everyone, including liberated souls. SB 1.7.10 Thus there are four types of jnanis: two, reproachable, fall; and two, praiseworthy, cross samsara.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

It is by this supreme devotion that one becomes qualified to truly understand the Supreme Lord Krishna. The understanding derived is as to the nature of the Supreme Lord such as omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc. His attributes of sat eternal existence, cit unlimited consciousness and ananda endless bliss. His qualities of mercy, compassion, equanimity to all and others similar. Thus realising something of His true nature one perceives Him residing within the heart and obtains then and there moksa or liberation from material existence which bequeaths the attainment of actual communion with Him.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The manner in which after reaching perfection and assuming the nature of brahman the spiritual substratum pervading all existence is through bhakti or exclusive loving devotion. In verse 54 brahma-bhutah means assuming ones intrinsic divine nature and as such one is tranquil, serene, humble and egoless. The Maha Varaha Purana states: With the eradication of all sins and demerits subsequently renouncing the desire for sense objects one proceeds progressively towards the Supreme Lord Krishna by the transcendental medium of devotion. For one who has realised the Supreme Lord even while in a physical body there is a progressive increase of spiritual wisdom even after attaining moksa or liberation from material existence.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word abhijanati means really knowing Lord Krishna. Perceiving who He is in essence by His essential attributes which manifests as glorious qualities of all creation. It is by bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna which constitutes the eternal nature of the atma or immortal soul which subjectively initiates the quest to realise the Supreme Lord life after life until success is achieved by His discovery within the etheric heart of the atma from whence communion with Him commences. This knowledge of discovering the Supreme Lord consists of the atma envisioning Lord Krishna as He eternally is with a sparkling blackish complexion, two armed, dressed in golden cloth, bedecked with peacock feather, glorified by gunga mala, smiling charmingly while holding a flute to His lips. This vision is His original and eternal form and is rarely seen by even liberated jivas or embodied beings. More commonly seen is His four armed expansion as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu who resides in every living entity individually in the abode of the etheric heart of all jivas. Still others may envision any of His avatars or incarnations and expansions revealed in Vedic scriptures that they are surrendered to such as Rama or Narasinghadeva or even the visvarupa or universal form described in chapter 11. Once the vision has been obtained by intense love and devotion one attains communion with that very form of the Supreme Lord Krishna that one dedicated their life to. is devoted to and immediately is borne aloft to by such intense love and devotion. The word tatah refers to bhakti as the sole cause and means which verily constitutes the only way in reality to effect communion and attainment to the Supreme Lord. This was clearly and equivocally stated in chapter 11, verse 54 beginning bhaktya tv ananyaya meaning: That only by exclusive, loving devotion the Supreme Lord can be known. The fruition of naimittika or daily prescribed Vedic activities as well as nitya or occasional prescribed Vedic activities with renunciation of desires for rewards performing every activity as an offering to the Supreme Lord in worship has been concisely elaborated. That the same fruition accompanies activities of kamya or craving when performed in the same manner in relationship to the Supreme Lord will be confirmed next.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The word abhijanati means really knowing Lord Krishna. Perceiving who He is in essence by His essential attributes which manifests as glorious qualities of all creation. It is by bhakti or exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna which constitutes the eternal nature of the atma or immortal soul which subjectively initiates the quest to realise the Supreme Lord life after life until success is achieved by His discovery within the etheric heart of the atma from whence communion with Him commences. This knowledge of discovering the Supreme Lord consists of the atma envisioning Lord Krishna as He eternally is with a sparkling blackish complexion, two armed, dressed in golden cloth, bedecked with peacock feather, glorified by gunga mala, smiling charmingly while holding a flute to His lips. This vision is His original and eternal form and is rarely seen by even liberated jivas or embodied beings. More commonly seen is His four armed expansion as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu who resides in every living entity individually in the abode of the etheric heart of all jivas. Still others may envision any of His avatars or incarnations and expansions revealed in Vedic scriptures that they are surrendered to such as Rama or Narasinghadeva or even the visvarupa or universal form described in chapter 11. Once the vision has been obtained by intense love and devotion one attains communion with that very form of the Supreme Lord Krishna that one dedicated their life to. is devoted to and immediately is borne aloft to by such intense love and devotion. The word tatah refers to bhakti as the sole cause and means which verily constitutes the only way in reality to effect communion and attainment to the Supreme Lord. This was clearly and equivocally stated in chapter 11, verse 54 beginning bhaktya tv ananyaya meaning: That only by exclusive, loving devotion the Supreme Lord can be known. The fruition of naimittika or daily prescribed Vedic activities as well as nitya or occasional prescribed Vedic activities with renunciation of desires for rewards performing every activity as an offering to the Supreme Lord in worship has been concisely elaborated. That the same fruition accompanies activities of kamya or craving when performed in the same manner in relationship to the Supreme Lord will be confirmed next.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 18.55

Bhaktyaa maamabhijaanaati yaavaanyashchaasmi tattwatah; Tato maam tattwato jnaatwaa vishate tadanantaram.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 18.55

bhaktyā—by loving devotion; mām—me; abhijānāti—one comes to know; yāvān—as much as; yaḥ cha asmi—as I am; tattvataḥ—in truth; tataḥ—then; mām—me; tattvataḥ—in truth; jñātvā—having known; viśhate—enters; tat-anantaram—thereafter