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Gita ch.14 verse 27

brahmano hi pratisthaham amrtasyavyayasya ca sasvatasya ca dharmasya sukhasyaikantikasya ca

What does this verse mean?

  • Lord is the basis of dharma which gives eternal bliss, which is immortal and permenant.. on performance lords worship like pooja one turns towards god which is actually dharama which gives happiness, eternal bliss which is immortal and permenant other than lord worship is aadharma not dharma – Prasanna R Sep 27 at 14:29
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    I’m voting to close this question because English is the language of this website. – Swami Vishwananda Sep 28 at 4:24
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I will answer this question, from the point of view of advaita. I will quote a portion of the commentary by Madhusudhana Saraswati (MS) in his Gudartha dipika. The gist is based on the translation of Swami Gambhirananda.

MS commentary (partial)

अत्र हेतुमाह -- ब्रह्मणस्तत्पदवाच्यस्य सोपाधिकस्य जगदुत्पत्तिस्थितिलयहेतोः प्रतिष्ठा पारमार्थिकं निर्विकल्पकं सच्चिदानन्दात्मकं निरुपाधिकं तत्पदलक्ष्यमहं निर्विकल्पको वासुदेवः प्रतितिष्ठत्यत्रेति प्रतिष्ठा कल्पितरूपरहितमकल्पितं रूपमतो यो मामनुपाधिकं ब्रह्म सेवते स ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पत इति युक्तमेव।

Gist of the above: brahman, here refers to sopAdhika brahman or brahman with limiting adjuncts or the conditioned brahman. Roughly speaking, this is same as saguNa brahman or brahman with attributes/qualities or the lower brahman. This sopAdhika brahman is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the world.

Krishna (or vAsudeva) is saying that he is the basis of the sopAdhika brahman. Here, Krishna or vAsudeva is the nirupAdhika brahman, who is unconditioned, and hence is the supreme brahman, which is the essential nature of the conditioned brahman. Krishna/vAsudeva is the supreme reality, which is sat-chit-Ananda or existence, knowledge and bliss. The true nature of the sopAdhika brahman is the nirupAdhika brahman. That is the idea.

Continuation of MS commentary

कीदृशस्य ब्रह्मणः प्रतिष्ठाहमित्याकाङ्क्षायां विशेषणानि। अमृतस्य विनाशरहितस्य अव्ययस्य विपरिणामरहितस्य च शाश्वतस्यापक्षयरहितस्य च धर्मस्य ज्ञाननिष्ठालक्षणधर्मप्राप्यस्य सुखस्य परमानन्दरूपस्य। सुखस्य विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगजत्वं वारयति -- ऐकान्तिकस्याव्यभिचारिणः सर्वस्मिन्देशे काले च विद्यमानस्य। ऐकान्तिकसुखरूपस्येत्यर्थः।

Gist: Now the qualities of the sopAdhika brahman are listed. It is indestructible, immutable, free from transformations, eternal, devoid of decay, it is the Dharma which is attainable through steadfastness in knowledge, it is happiness which is by nature the supreme bliss, the absolute happiness (not the happiness that arises from contact of objects and senses). It is the happiness that exists in all places and times.

Final gist: Krishna is the unconditioned highest brahman, and He is the real nature of the conditioned lower brahman. Krishna is thus the basis of the lower brahman. The lower brahman rests on Krishna. The qualities of lower brahman are, being immutable, indestructible, eternal etc.

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  • Wow. You really have great knowledge of advaitins and their works. – Satya Sep 28 at 17:52
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    @Satya Advaitic works are like an ocean. I have just touched the surface. I am not being unduly modest. This is the truth. I dont know if a person's lifespan is sufficient to read and understand all the advaitic works. – user17987 Sep 28 at 18:04
  • @kākatālīya ... You said in your answer that sopAdhika aka saguna brahman is the lower conditioned brahman. And this sopAdhika aka saguna brahman is the creator, preserver and destroyer. But then you wrote that Krishna is the unconditioned, supreme nirupAdhika brahman ... My question is... isn't it Krishna who is the sopAdhika or saguna brahman? After all krishna has features, He has a form (rupa) and so its fair to say that krishna is saguna sakara brahman... Also isn't it Krishna who creates, preserves and destroys? ... If krishna isn't sopAdhika saguna sakara brahman, then WHO is? – The Crimson Universe Sep 29 at 15:50
  • @TheCrimsonUniverse You are correct. I had the same doubt earlier. And Krishna himself is praised as the creator etc at many places, so Krishna is also treated as Ishwara/sopAdhika brahman. However, Krishna (not the body), being Ishwara, can lay claim to being both sopAdhika and nirupAdhika brahman at the same time, because Ishwara is also a jnAni. As Ishwara, Krishna is sopAdhika brahman. But as jnAni (jnAna is natural for Ishwara), Krishna is nirupAdhika brahman. sopAdhika and nirupAdhika brahman are just different ways of looking at the same thing. – user17987 Sep 29 at 15:59
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    @TheCrimsonUniverse Basis here means, the underlying reality or the substratum. Think of it as a real rope and illusory snake. The real rope is the underlying reality of the illusory snake. Krishna is always Krishna, the nirupAdhika brahman (real rope). But when we see Krishna from the lens of mAyA, Krishna is seen as the sopAdhika brahman (illusory snake). Hope that clarifies the meaning of basis. In fact entire creation has nirupAdhika brahman as its basis. – user17987 Sep 29 at 16:12
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What is the meaning of Gita ch.14 verse 27?

From Ramanujacharya's Gita Bhashya, the verse means:

Truly, I am the basis of insentient matter as well as the immortal and immutable Self, of everlasting Dharma and of perfect bliss.

His commentary:

Although the expression 'everlasting Dharma’ is usually indicative of the practice [of Dharma or right-living] that leads to the goal; yet in the present context it denotes the actual goal to be obtained and not the practice.

The purport is this:— earlier it has been stated in the passage — 'For this divine Māya of Mine consisting of the three Gunas is hard to transcend, except for those who take refuge in Me alone...' (7.14) — that taking refuge in the Lord is the only means for transcending the Modes of Material Nature and the attainment of Self-realisation, supernal glory and unification with the Supreme Being. Thus, taking refuge (prapatti) with one-pointed mind is the only means for transcending the Gunas and for the attainment of the state of Brahman.

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Consistency requires that Brahma must denote that which is less then and subject to Lord Krishna the Supreme Brahman.

The Brahma Svarupa is discribed in Bhagavad Gita 12.3-4

ye tv akṣaram anirdeśyam avyaktaṃ paryupāsate | sarvatra-gam acintyaṃ ca kūṭastham acalaṃ dhruvam || 3 || sanniyamyendriya-grāmaṃ sarvatra sama-buddhayaḥ | te prāpnuvanti mām eva sarva-bhūta-hite ratāḥ || 4 ||

But those who worship My indescribable, unmanifest, all-pervading, inconceivable, immutable, eternal and featureless brahma-svarūpa, while controlling their senses, maintaining equal vision in all situations and engaging in activities for the welfare of all beings, also attain Me alone.

Here(14.27) Lord Krishna is asserting that the impersonal is still not the ultimate as 'He' the person is the basis and its support

Those who worship the ( impersonal feature) nirviśeṣa-brahma-svarūpa are inferior to devotees. In order to establish this principle, Lord Krishna speaks these the two verses, Akṣara - that brahma cannot be described in words because it is unmanifest, formless (avyaktam), all-pervading (sarvatra-ga) and eternal (dhruvam). It is not subject to transformation (acalam), but it exists uniformly at all times (kūṭa-stham). And it cannot be comprehended by logic (acintya). Also “They attain Me alone after great difficulty

Bhagavad Gita 12.5

kleśo 'dhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām avyaktā hi gatir duḥkhaṁ dehavadbhir avāpyate

For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult for those who are embodied.

Both practitioners attain transcendental realization , One being Impersonal in nature, whose pratishta the rest is 'Aham' the Supreme Person.

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