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Thread: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

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    Light Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    namaskāraḥ

    Bhagavad-gītā 4.40 says:


    अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति। <br>
    नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः।।4.40।।

    ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṅśayātmā vinaśyati. <br>
    nāyaṅ lōkō.sti na parō na sukhaṅ saṅśayātmanaḥ ৷৷ 4.40 ৷৷

    One who is ignorant and faithless, and has a doubting mind perishes. Neither this world nor the next nor happiness exists for one who has a doubting mind.

    Question:

    So if one asks a lot of questions on a website like HDF, does that make them a saṁśayātmā (doubting mind) according to Gita?


    And we should be asking less and less questions? But then how will we learn if we don't ask questions?
    Last edited by svh; 26 December 2016 at 10:34 AM.

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté & hello,


    Quote Originally Posted by svh View Post
    Bhagavad-gītā 4.40 says:
    अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति। <br>
    नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः।।4.40।।
    ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṅśayātmā vinaśyati. <br>
    nāyaṅ lōkō.sti na parō na sukhaṅ saṅśayātmanaḥ ৷৷ 4.40 ৷৷

    One who is ignorant and faithless, and has a doubting mind perishes. Neither this world nor the next nor happiness exists for one who has a doubting mind.

    Question:

    So if one asks a lot of questions on a website like HDF, does that make them a saṁśayātmā (doubting mind) according to Gita?
    And we should be asking less and less questions? But then how will we learn if we don't ask questions?
    ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṅśayātmā = ajñaḥ ca śradda adhānaḥ ca saṅśaya+ātmā

    Note the sequence:
    • ajñaḥ - not knowing, lack of knowledge
    • aśradda - lack or without faith
    • dhānaḥ - receptacle, seat
    • saṅśaya+ātmā = saṁśaya + ātmā
      • saṁśaya = uncertainty , irresolution , hesitation , doubt
      • ātmā = ātman = the individual, the person

    • (fyi) ca = and


    This says,
    not knowing + the lack of faith becomes the receptacle or seat for uncertainty and doubt for the individual.
    The lack of knowledge is the basis for the lack of faith which will gain or make a seat for doubt and uncertainty.
    You see why the sequence is of key import?

    Now to answer your question:
    So if one asks a lot of questions on a website like HDF, does that make them a saṁśayātmā (doubting mind) according to Gita?

    Finding out, knowing, asking questions is an approach to eradicating ( or at least mitigating)
    ajñaḥ.

    Since we're in chapter 4.40 of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā , we need to back-up two śloka-s to 4.38:
    truly there is nothing in the world so purifying as knowledge.

    If one looks to the top of this Forum's page, this
    śloka is called out and a main principle of this site.

    One also needs to be mindful of different degrees of knowledge... there is pure knowledge ( Self) , that of undifferentiated Being,
    and there is relative knowledge. Our upaniṣad-s have much to say about this, but that will take us off this beacon path.
    But that said, full/whole knowledge is knowledge + experience ( experience of pure awareness which is perfect knowledge).

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    Yajvan: Nice explanation. But how to interpret vinaśyati?

    So you are saying a saṅśayātmā is not a bad person (nor is it a derogatory word) if the object of questioning is to seek knowledge? But if the object of questioning is to criticize our scriptures, then, the saṅśayātmā will perish (vinaśyati)?

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté & hello,

    If one views the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā as perfectly orchestrated teaching by the Lord one will note even the structure on what is taught and in what order. Note the chapter list below... once arjuna offers his despondency (viṣāda) in the first chapter, what is the first thing śrī kṛṣṇa-ji offers ? Knowledge (sāṅkhyayoga) and how it applies to action (karmayoga); then higher knowledge (jñānayoga), and even higher knowledge (rājavidyārājaguhyayoga) before he settles into discussing in full, of devotion (bhaktiyoga) & perfect faith (śraddhātrayavibhāgayoga)

    This informs us that knowledge is essential for removing doubts & is a fundamental precept to one’s full development.


    Chapters of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā
    1 arjunaviṣāda
    2 sāṅkhyayoga
    3 karmayoga
    4 jñānayoga
    5 sannyāsayoga
    6 dhyānayoga
    7 vijñānayoga
    8 tārakabrahmayoga
    9 rājavidyārājaguhyayoga
    10 vibhūtiyoga
    11 viśvarūpadarśayoga
    12 bhaktiyoga
    13 prakṛtipuruṣavivekagayoga
    14 guṇatrayavibhāgayoga
    15 puruṣottamayoga
    16 daivāsurasampadvibhāgayoga
    17 śraddhātrayavibhāgayoga
    18 paramārthanirṇaya




    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté & hello,

    Quote Originally Posted by svh View Post
    Yajvan: Nice explanation. But how to interpret vinaśyati?

    So you are saying a saṅśayātmā is not a bad person (nor is it a derogatory word) if the object of questioning is to seek knowledge? But if the object of questioning is to criticize our scriptures, then, the saṅśayātmā will perish (vinaśyati)?
    What is missing in my opinion is the comprehension that śloka 38 sets the stage, then 39 to 42 develops the idea.

    You mention "if the object of questioning is to seek knowledge" - knowledge is the vehicle to remove the impediments to one's own real nature ( Self, Being, Pure Awareness).

    Now this term vinaśyati is most brilliant. It can be looked at as vi+naś+yati



    • vi - apart , asunder , in different directions
    • naś -to come to nothing , be frustrated or unsuccessful
    • yati - a 'striver', an ascetic or devotee , one who has restrained his passions and abandoned the world


    One can look at this as '
    that striver (yati) that is torn in different directions (vi) and is unsuccessful (naś) . śrī kṛṣṇa-ji is no doubt comparing and contrasting that one that looks to unfold his total Being, but due to lack of knowledge & faith, becomes a receptacle for doubt and in turn: 'is torn in different directions and is unsuccessful' in his development for unfoldment.

    This doubt brings him no joy in this world or the next... but what does kṛṣṇa-ji say next? Look to the 40th śloka - his doubts are squashed by virtue of yoga ( union with his own Being, really Being/Self becoming his frame of reference)... this union with Self.

    This is how I see it, others may vary.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 December 2016 at 09:54 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté & hello,

    I wrote,

    Now this term vinaśyati is most brilliant. It can be looked at as vi+naś+yati



    • vi - apart , asunder , in different directions
    • naś -to come to nothing , be frustrated or unsuccessful
    • yati - a 'striver', an ascetic or devotee , one who has restrained his passions and abandoned the world


    This is how I see it, others may vary.
    A more conventional view of this term is vinaśya+ti and is also in the proper grammatical form.

    vinaśya = to come to nothing , be frustrated or foiled; to destroy , annihilate ; to frustrate , disappoint , render ineffective

    • ti = 'he' and is a case ending for who owns this frustration or disappointment;
      • 'he' is the owner; this is the 3rd person singular, present tense format,

    • If it was 'you' then it would be a 'si' ending is applied, which is 2nd person present tense form; if it was 'I' then the ending would be 'mi', and is first person, singular, present tense form.


    Then we see the more germane definition we find it most translations ; that is,
    vinaśya+ti = 'he is destroyed' or frustrated or rendered ineffective.

    ... thought that was worth mentioning so the reader and compare and contrast the views. One view being more
    direct (
    vinaśya+ti) and the other more subtle and indirect (vi+naś+yati)

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 December 2016 at 10:57 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    Good info. Thanks. But why is bhaktiyoga towards the end of the list? We see more and more people running after wish-fulfilling bhakti. Very few seem to be after knowledge. Isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post


    Note the chapter list below... once arjuna offers his despondency (viṣāda) in the first chapter, what is the first thing śrī kṛṣṇa-ji offers ? Knowledge (sāṅkhyayoga) and how it applies to action (karmayoga); then higher knowledge (jñānayoga), and even higher knowledge (rājavidyārājaguhyayoga) before he settles into discussing in full, of devotion (bhaktiyoga) & perfect faith (śraddhātrayavibhāgayoga)

    Chapters of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā
    1 arjunaviṣāda
    2 sāṅkhyayoga
    3 karmayoga
    4 jñānayoga
    5 sannyāsayoga
    6 dhyānayoga
    7 vijñānayoga
    8 tārakabrahmayoga
    9 rājavidyārājaguhyayoga
    10 vibhūtiyoga
    11 viśvarūpadarśayoga
    12 bhaktiyoga
    13 prakṛtipuruṣavivekagayoga
    14 guṇatrayavibhāgayoga
    15 puruṣottamayoga
    16 daivāsurasampadvibhāgayoga
    17 śraddhātrayavibhāgayoga
    18 paramārthanirṇaya


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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    Namaste SVH,

    Quote Originally Posted by svh View Post
    अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति। <br>
    नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः।।4.40।।

    ajñaścāśraddadhānaśca saṅśayātmā vinaśyati. <br>
    nāyaṅ lōkō.sti na parō na sukhaṅ saṅśayātmanaḥ ৷৷ 4.40 ৷৷
    One who is ignorant and faithless, and has a doubting mind perishes. Neither this world nor the next nor happiness exists for one who has a doubting mind.

    Question:
    So if one asks a lot of questions on a website like HDF, does that make them a saṁśayātmā (doubting mind) according to Gita?
    And we should be asking less and less questions? But then how will we learn if we don't ask questions?
    If this is what this verse means then Verse 34 of this chapter where Lord Krishna advises to approach a learned one and ask questions becomes contradictory ! If we closely have a look at the verse 4.40 it needs three qualifications for being eligible for "vinshyati" to happen. The person should be :

    1. Ajnya ==> Who is devoid of knowledge
    2. Ashraddhanah ===> Who has no shraddhaa i.e. who is not respectful and humble (to approach the learned ones ask questions humbly)
    3. Sanshayaatmaa ===> Who has doubts

    Now, tell me : If you don't have the right knowledge, you have doubts in your mind and you don't have courtesy to approach the knower having right knowledge, what would happen ? You will certainly go the wrong way ! You don't know which road leads to the destination and you don't have basic courtesy to ask anyone to clarify your doubts ... you are most likely to get lost !!

    This is what Lord Krishna says. Where does he say that you should not ask questions ? He, in fact, encourages you to ask questions from learned ones but there is way to approach the learned ones and ask questions and that you must do to clarify your doubts.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    @devotee, thanks for your explanation!

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post

    Where does he say that you should not ask questions?

    OM
    In the very same shlokha: "Neither this world nor the next nor happiness exists for one who has a doubting mind." (नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मनः)

    - SV

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    Re: Gita 4.40 - What does Kṛṣṇa mean by saṁśayātmā (doubting mind)?

    Namaste,

    Many times we read only a portion of a verse or get hung up on one word of the verse and interpret/translate it to fit our mindset. That leads to wrong conclusions. If a rational human mind detects that there is something wrong with the way we are looking at the message, then why would we ever think that Krishnaji said something so contradictory/irrelevant? The basic question should be framed in a positive tone and not in light of the worst possible interpretation. We should question our abilities to understand/translate rather than cast doubts on the word of the Divine.

    Pranam.

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