Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 4, sloka 38

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath 

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Sloka 38 

NA HI JNANENA SADRUSHAM PAVITRAMIHA VIDYATE
TAT SVAYAM YOGA SAMSIDDHIM KALENATMANI VINDATI 

Certainly there is nothing as pure as knowledge in this world. He who is himself perfected in yoga finds it in the Self by himself in due season. 

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Na hi jnanena sadrusham pavitram: there is nothing as pure as the knowledge.
Iha vidyate: certainly/indeed. 

This statement applies to all forms of knowledge, be it spiritual or be it material science, more so in relation to the spiritual knowledge. 

The root word for the Vedas is “vid”. It means “to know.” The knowledge of one’s own self, the knowledge of the eternal truth is emphasised as the real knowledge in the Vedas. Vedas are the authoritative books on Hindu philosophy. 

Opposite of the knowledge is “ignorance.” Ignorance of our true nature, ignorance of our origin has made us fall into this whirlpool called samsara. We are experiencing so much of suffering in our life and see suffering all round us. 

The Gita is to remind us of our true nature which is Tat-Tvam-Asi. “Thou Art That” says the Lord. What are we doing? What have we done?
We have forgotten this “Maha vakya” (famous statement from Chandogya Upanishad, Sama Veda.) We have covered ourselves with ignorance and the root cause for it is the development of “ego”. Finds it in the Self:
“The Self” referred to is the Atman/Soul. It is within us. The same Atman is also in all forms of life. There is no differentiation in the Self. It is “Nirakara, Nirguna”. The entire journey of every individual, taking one back to all the past births is all about the realising this statement. We start the spiritual quest with the question “Ko’ham?” – “Who am I?”
The end for the quest is finding the answer “So’ ham” – “I am That.” 

In due course:
The time taken for “Vasana kshaya and mano nasha” (destruction of all vasanas and destruction of the mind) is not in our hands. We fall prey to worldly pleasures and either fall down from the spiritual heights achieved or stay trapped in the present without upward progress. But, at the end, each one of us will realise the truth and attain Moksha. We are not told that it is possible for only selected few but only that it will happen in due course of time. 

The Lord has no favourites. In chapter 12 He enumerates 36 qualities of a true Bhakta and says that he who develops all the qualities of a Bhakta is inevitably “verily the Lord Himself” only and there is no differentiation between such a devotee and the Lord. What He is asking us is development of all divine qualities (chapter 16) / qualities of a true Bhakta (chapter 12) /qualities of a true Jnani (chapter 13) / features of Sthitaprajna (chapter 2) or features of a Gunatita (chapter 14). All of these have one thing in common and that is annihilation of “ego” and surrender to Him. 

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