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tion that no works should be abandoned, but that the fruit or consequence of all should be disregarded, and that this disregard of consequences was alone the real abandonment of works.* This principle was applied not only to the ceremonial of religion but to the duties of origin and profession, and even to the faculties and organs of the body.t In this enlarged interpretation of the doctrine of the Vedas the Puranas were chiefly instrumental, and amongst the principal agents was the Mahabharat or at least the Bhagavad Gita.
The doctrine thus promulgated, might be considered to deviate from the original faith only as far as the interpretation was questionable. It was still founded on the text of the Vedas, and might be held by some interpreters to be no more than what was fully warranted by those works. The Puranas, however, did not stop here they superadded a dogma wholly at variance with the spirit and letter of the Vedas when they made Faith implicit reliance on any one deity-sufficient for emancipation. In this new sentiment, the Bhagavad Gita, stands pre-eminent and it is repeatedly declared in
* Foggi ati qiyati faqaut: 18,2. The wise declare the abandonment of fruits to be abandonment. 3771 GG: कर्मफलं कार्यकर्म करोतियः । ससन्यासी च योगीच न निरग्निर्न Fifacio: 6, 1. He who performs proper acts without regard to the consequences of acts, he is the real Sanyasi and Yogi, not bo who is without a sacred fire or abstains from acts.
tua TAC: a full aljaAA Sacrifice, alms and pedance are acts never to be relinquished, but to be perform. ed. 18, 5.
e FLYIfha: fefe an aT: A man attains per. fection by the diligent discharge of his peculiar dnty,
कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्ट्रियैरपि । योगिनः कर्म कुर्वन्नि सङ्गन्यवान्मशुद्धये ॥
The adeuts perform acts in body, heart, and mind, and with the simple organs, for the purification of ibo spirit, abandoning desire-5, 11,
it, that trust in Krishna is of itself exemption from all return to worldly existence* Such assertions are a clear proof that the work which maintains them, is the production of a more modern and degenerate Hinduism.t.
According to all the systems of Philosophy derived from the Vedas, the most assiduous worship of the Gods of the Hindu Pantheon can only elevate the worshipper to equal rank with them. “ Those observers of cere, monies who perform the adoration of celestial as well as the worship of the sacred fire and oblations to sagesancestors, men and other creatures, will by means of the latter surmount the obstacles presented by natural temptations, and will attain the state of the celestial Gods through the practice of the former.” Isopanishad, translated by Rammohun Roy. The Bhagavad Gita, admits this of all the Gods except Krishna, conforming to the sectarial character which is peculiar to the Puranas. “ Those who worship the Gods go to the Gods,-those who worship the Progenitors go to the Progenitors,-those who sacrifice to the Ghosts go to the Ghosts, those who worship me go to me.” And
TITUIÇg Abandoning all doties
* tako refuge with me alone, 18, 66. Heyrazy harà ai faqat SUHÀI 60 qùidata À SAHIHÁT: || Those who have imboed their minds with me, and worship me constantly, being en. dowed with firm faith, are held most perfóct by mo.
___ मनवा त्वनन्यया सक्यअहबंविधोर्जुन । ज्ञातुं दुष्टुंच नल्वेन gagap all I am such oh Arjana, that by faith placed in me, and in no other, alone may men kaow, behold, and be absorbed in me, subduer of thy foes. 11, 54.
+ The worship of particular deities for particular purposes is the main purport of the practical portion of all the Vedas, but no ono divinity occapies more than his sbare or swallows up the rest: Deither is mere faith, trust without worship, enjoinod : formulæ aro however produced from the Atharvana or fourth Veda, which differ very essen. tially in this respect froin the hymns and prayers of the other tbree; the authenticity of these is rather questionable and even if provod es. tablisbes but little, as the bistory and cbaracter of this Veda, are far from beiog ascertained: the style of the fragments is much more podero than that of the other Vedas.
• B 2
again, 9, 25, “ Those born of sinful wombs who diligently depend on me, Women, Vaisyas and Sudras, obtain supreme felicity." 9, 32, The doctrine is carried ad absurdum, but precisely in the spirit of the Puranas, “Whosoever worships me exclusively, although addicted to unholy practices, he shall be held sanctified and well addressed: he quickly becomes of a yirtúous spirit and attains eternal rest, for be assured,* Kaunteya, no one who trusteth in me perisheth.” 9, 30, 31, and this is called union (with the supreme) by the royal knowledge, the royal mystery.t
From these observations the character of the Bhagavad Gita will now be understood, and it was the more necessary to offer some such preliminary view, as the learned translator has abstained from commenting upon the philosophy of his text. He pleads want of leisure for the undertaking, having been anxiousto publish the book without delay. He urges also in further excuse, the absence of the best commentaries :-we doubt whether he would have received that aid from the commentators he seems to have anticipated :- they are far from explicit, and make extensive use of previous and collateral knowledge, the references to which they rarely explain. In addition to their glosses, therefore, it would be necessary, to enter more deeply, than perhaps
* अपिचे सुटुरचाये मजेत मामनन्यभाक् । साधुरेव समन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितोहिसः॥क्षिपं भवति धर्माच्मा शम्पत शान्ति निगच्छति ।
e gagnify a À47: que la ll 9, 30, 31. The mischiev.
ous tendency of the doctrine is evident, and that no doubt of it might be left, the popular works represent, in logendary adventares, the commission of various crimes as matters that are easi. ly expiated, by firm belief in Krishva, Bhagavad or Mabadeva.
t Sankara Swami, indeed asserts that the Gita teaches emancipation from knowlodge oply, and not from works nor faith, availing himself of Krishna's injunctions to take refuge with him alone, and identifying Krishna with the Supreme : he labours very assiduously to prove also that works are only recommended as the means of obtaining koowledge, but his argoments are more subtle than satis. factory, and he is evidently influenced by the popularity of the Gita, in the attempt to derive from it that support to his own doctrines which it does not afford.
the means attainable in Europe permit, into the systems of Hindu theology, to do full justice to the speculations of the Gita. We do not think indeed that they deserve the labour, as they are of too popular and spurious an origin, and we should rather see such acquirements and acumen as Schlegel's excrcised upon some of the more abstruse and unadulterated performances of the Vedanta and Sankhya schools.
Having thus taken a general view of the doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita, we shall now enter upon an examination of the work in detail, with accompanying reference to the Translation. The work is divided into eighteen adhyayas or lectures, each in the original described by its appropriate denomination. These Wilkins, has translated-Schlegel has left them untouched, in consequence of entertaining some doubts of their being the work of the author of the text. We do not see any reason for the doubt, as the titles invariably occur in the manuscripts, and are sufficiently applicable to the subject of each section.
The Bhagavad Gita, opens with the report made to Dhritarashtra the father of the Curus, by Sanjaya, his charioteer, of what has recently occurred at Kurukshetra, where the hostile hosts of the Pandavas and Cauravas, are assembled. Previous to the engagement, Arjuna, observing kinsmen and connexions in either army, expresses to Krishna his friend and charioteer, great reluctance to engage in a contest so unnatural. Krishna to overcome this feeling enters upon a dissertation on the nature of spirit, his own divinity, the merit of various kinds of worship, and the propriety of discharging religious and moral obligations, in consequence of which ; Arjuna consents to fight. This is the business of the episode. Arjuna’s regret, Arjuna vishada, (375afaaiz:) forms the subject of the first adhyaya, rendered lecture by Wilkins, and lectio by Schlegel.
It has been the avowed object of the translator to be as literal as possible, and he has therefore translated most of the epithets, thus he renders Maharatha (HiTe:)
the common title of the leaders, signifying one fighting in a chariot-magno curru vectus; and sarva maharathah
ITT:) omnes æque magnis curribus vecti : although maha does mean great, it does not bear that acceptation only in these places and might have been omitted or modified without any violation of fidelity.
V. 8. Sanjnartham (#Tei) is rather imperfectly . rendered by “exempli gratia” or Wilkins's “ by way of example.” Sanjaya enumerates the chief leaders of the Curu host for the sake of satisfying Dhritarashtra that the army contains champions, able to contend against those of the Pandavas whom he had pre. viously named, and Sanjnártham means therefore - as information” or the Sanjnápanártham of the Commen, tator.
V. 10, Schelegel has substituted non satis ido. neus and idoneus, for Wilkins's translation of Aparyáptam, (37929g) and Paryáptam, (achig) innumerable and numerable. The commentators differ in their explanation of these terms. Sri.dhara Swami ex- ' plains them by Asamartha, ( HÈ:) and Samartha,
(FHÅ:) which authorises Schlegel's translation. Nil: kantha however prefers Bahu, (F) and Alpa, (3709) which agree with Wilkins--the sense of the passage renders Wilkins's translation preferable in our opinion, as it would be rather inconsistent in Sanjaya to detract from his own friends, of whom he is actually speaking, by asserting that they were unable to face the enemy, The readings may be reconciled by considering the expression elliptical, as suggested by the second named commentator; Aparyaptam meaning, not capable of being surrounded or opposed by the enemy-and not, unfit to contend with them.
V. 13, Panava, (qua) and Anaka, (371977) are here translated cymbala et cornua; for the sake of variety we presume as they signify no such things; but merely differently formed drums. "Wilkins has avoided