Transcendental Knowledge


From Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharajas Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Texts 35 and 37

Text 35
yaj jnatva na punar moham / evam yasyasi pandava yena bhutany aseshani / drakshyasy atmany atho mayi pandava.

O Pandava, after acquiring such jnana you will never again be deluded. By that knowledge you will see all living beings as jivatmas, and you will see them in Me, Paramatma.

In the next three and a half slokas beginning here with the words yaj jnatva, Sri Bhagavan explains the fruit of jnana. .After you have attained jnana, by which one knows the atma to be different from the body, your mind will not become deluded again. By attaining svabhavika nitya-siddha-atmaj nana (natural and eternally perfect knowledge of the self) delusion is removed and you will see all living beings: humans, animals, birds, etc. as jivatmas appearing separately due to their external covering or designations (upadhis). In addition, you will see all of them in Me, parama-karana (the ultimate cause), situated as My effect (the jiva-sakti)..

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura expresses Krishna.s mood. .Now, due to delusion, you are trying to give up your sva-dharma (prescribed duty) which is to participate in battle, but after attaining tattva-jnana as instructed by your guru, you will no longer fall prey to delusion. By that tattva-jnana you will be able to understand that all entities: human beings, animals, birds, etc., are situated in the same jiva-tattva. The various levels of gross existence have occurred due to their external bodily designations. All jivas are situated in Me, bhagavatsvar upa, who am the parama-karana (ultimate cause), as the effect of My Sakti.

yathaidhamsi samiddho .gnir / bhasmasat kurute .rjuna jnanagnih sarva-karmani / bhasmasat kurute tatha arjuna.

O Arjuna, just as a blazing fire burns firewood to ashes, in the same way, the fire of transcendental knowledge burns all karmika reactions to ashes.

When jnana manifests in a pure mind, it burns up all karma (reactions) except for prarabdha-karma. This is explained with an example in this sloka beginning with the word yatha.

Jnana destroys the reactions of all sorts of karma such as nitya, naimittika, kamya, vikarma and accumulated aprarabdha, but not prarabdha-karma. This has been verified in Vedanta-darsana:

tad-adhigama uttara-purvarghayor
aslesha-vinasau tad-vyapadesat

Brahma-sutra 4.1.13

Even a jnani has to face the results of his prarabdha-karma. According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, however, a person who has taken shelter of the holy name, be it even namabhasa (a semblance of pure chanting), not only destroys the results of all his karma, such as accumulated aprarabdha and kuta, but also the fruits of prarabdha-karma. What, then, is to be said about the chanting of suddha-nama? Srila Rupa Gosvami has written in Sri Namashtaka (sloka 4):

vinasam ayati vina na bhogaih

O Nama Prabhu! Your appearance on the tongue of Your bhaktas burns up the results of prarabdha-karma, which is otherwise unavoidable, even after realizing brahma by unbroken meditation. This is declared adamantly and repeatedly in the Vedas.