श्रीमद् भगवद्गीता

मूल श्लोकः

श्री भगवानुवाच

ऊर्ध्वमूलमधःशाखमश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम्।

छन्दांसि यस्य पर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित्।।15.1।।

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Ramanuja

।।15.1।।श्रीभगवानुवाच -- यं संसाराख्यम् अश्वत्थम् ऊर्ध्वमूलम् अधःशाखम् अव्ययं प्राहुः श्रुतयः -- ऊर्ध्वमूलोऽवाक्शाख एषोऽश्वत्थः सनातनः। (क0 उ0 2।3।1)ऊर्ध्वमूलमवाक्शाखं वृक्षं यो वेद संप्रति (आरण्य0 1।11।5) इत्याद्याः।सप्तलोकोपरि निविष्टचतुर्मुखादित्वेन तस्य ऊर्ध्वमूलत्वम्? पृथिवीनिवासिसकलनरपशुमृगपक्षिकृमि कीटपतङ्गस्थावरान्ततया अधःशाखत्वम् असङ्गहेतुभूताद् आसम्यग् ज्ञानोदयात् प्रवाहरूपेण अच्छेद्यत्वेन अव्ययत्वम्।यस्य च अश्वत्थस्य छन्दांसि पर्णानि आहुः छन्दांसि श्रुतयः।

वायव्यं श्वेतमालभेत भूतिकामः (यजुः 2।1।1)ऐन्द्राग्नमेकादशकपालं निर्वपेत् प्रजाकामः (यजुः का0 2।1) इत्यादिश्रुतिप्रतिपादितैः काम्यकर्मभिः विवर्धते अयं संसारवृक्षः इति छन्दांसि एव अस्य पर्णानि? पत्रैः हि वृक्षो वर्धते।यः तम् एवंभूतम् अश्वत्थं वेद स वेदवित्? वेदो हि संसारवृक्षस्य छेदोपायं वदति? छेद्यस्य वृक्षस्य स्वरूपज्ञानं छेदनोपायज्ञानोपयोगि इति वेदविद् इति उच्यते।तस्य मनुष्यादिशाखस्य वृक्षस्य तत्तत्कर्मकृता अपराः च अधः शाखाः पुनरपि मनुष्यपश्वादिरूपेण प्रसृताः भवन्ति? ऊर्ध्वं च गन्धर्वयक्षदेवादिरूपेण प्रसृता भवन्ति। ताः च गुणप्रवृद्धाः गुणैः सत्त्वादिभिः प्रवृद्धाः? विषयप्रवालाः शब्दादिविषयपल्लवाः।कथम् इति अत्र आह --

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Adidevananda

15.1 The Lord said The Vedas speak of the imperishable 'Asvattha tree' called Samsara, which has its 'roots above and branches below', in such passages as the following: This Asvattha tree with its roots above and branches below is eternal' (Ka. U., 6.1), and 'He who knows the tree with its roots above and branches below' (Tai. A., 1.11.5). It has its roots above since it has its roots in Brahma (the Creator otherwise known as Hiranyagarbha) who is seated above the seven worlds. It has 'branches below' ending with denizens like men, animals, beasts, worms, insects, birds and immovables. It is 'immutable' since it cannot be felled, being of the form of a continual flow. It can be felled only at the dawn of perfect knowledge which causes detachment. They say that the leaves of this Asvattha tree constitute the Vedas. 'The Vedas are said to be the leaves', since this tree of Samsara increases by actions prompted by worldly desires as taught in certain Srutis as, 'He who desires prosperity should sacrifice a white animal to Vayu' (Taitt. Sam., 2.1.1) and 'The desirer of offspring shall offer to Indra and Agni a sacrifice with eleven cups of rice-cakes' (Ibid., 2.2.1). Indeed the tree flourishes with the help of leaves. He who knows the Asvattha of such a nature 'knows the Vedas'. The Vedas also set forth the means of felling this tree of Samsara. He who understands this is called the knower of the Vedas, since knowledge of the nature of the tree to be cut off is helpful to the knowledge concerning the means of felling the tree. This tree spreads downward with men etc., who are the products of their Karma, as branches. It again spreads above into Gandharvas, Yaksas, gods, etc. They are nourished by the Gunas of Sattva etc. They have tender shoots augmented by sense-objects. How does this happen? Sri Krsna explains:

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda

15.1 Urdhva-mulam, that which has its roots upwards:- Brahman, possessed of the unmanifest power in the form of Maya, is referred to by the word 'upward' because of Its subtleness in point of time by virtue of Its being the Cause, and also because of Its eternality and vastness; and That is the root (mulam) of this world. The Tree of the World which is such, is urdhva-mulam. This accords with the Upanisadic text, 'This has its roots above and branches below' (Ka. 2.6.1). In the Purana also we have: It sprouts from the Root in the form of the Unmanifest; it grows through the sturdiness of that very One. And it has abundance of intelligence as its trunk, and the appertures of the organs as the hollows. The great elements are its boughs [A.G. takes the word visakha (boughs) in the sense of stambha, perhaps meaning the aerial roots.-Tr.]; so also, it has the objects of perception as its leaves. It has virtue and vice as its beautiful flowers, and happiness and sorrow are the fruits it bears. This eternal Tree presided over by Brahman is a means of livelihood to all creatures. And this verily is the resort of Brahman [Or, etat brahma-vanam means: This Tree has Brahman as its object of adoration, its support. For, the world has nothing but Brahman as its support.] in it Brahman dwells for ever. Having felled and split this Tree with the great sword of Knowledge, and then attaining the bliss of the Self, one does not return from that (bliss).' (Cf. Mbh. As. 47.12-15.) That Tree which has its roots upwards and is constituted by the enchantment of mundane existence, and adhah-sakham, which has the branches downwards-mahat, [See under 7.4.-Tr.] egoism, subtle elements, etc. are its branches (sakhah), as it were, extending downwards (adhah); so, it has its branches downwards-; that Tree with its branches downwards, which does not (a) last (stha) even for the morrow (svah), is asvatthah (lit. Peepul tree). Ahuh, they say; that the asvatthah, Peepul Tree, undergoing destruction every moment; is avyayam, imperishable, and constituted by the enchantments of mundane existence. Having been in existence from time without beginning, that Tree of the World is imperishable. It is, indeed, will known as the sustainer of the beginningless and ceaseless series of bodies etc. They call that the imperishable. Of that very Tree of the World here is another alification: Yasya, that Tree of the World of which; chandamsi-chandas being derived in the sense of covering (protecting)-, the Vedas in the form of Rk, Yajus and Sama; are the parnani, leaves, as it were. As leaves serve as protectors of a tree, so the Vedas serve as the protectors of the world; for they reveal what are virtue and vice as also their causes and results. Yah, he who; veda, knows; tam, that-the Tree of the World along with its root, as has been explained; sah, he; is a vedavit, knower of the Vedas, i.e. versed in the meaning of the Vedas. Since, apart from this Tree of the World along with its root, not even an iota of any other thing remains to be known, therefore he who knows the purport of the Vedas is omniscient. In this way the Lord euligizes the knowledge of the Tree together with its root. An imagery of the other parts of that very Tree of the World is being presented: