|Chapter 4||Approaching the Ultimate Truth||Verse 3|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna is confirming that the very same eternal yoga or science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness that had become lost and disappeared is being taught again in parampara or disciplic succession to His friend Arjuna because he is His disciple. It was not taught by Lord Krishna to others outside of parampara because it is highly confidential and a supreme secret.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Hari OM! In this chapter the superiority of the intellect having its power of discrimination, the greatness of the atma or soul possessing its eternal nature, the importance of the performance of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities according to position and stage in life and the supremacy of jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic wisdom. Whatever Lord Krishna has delineated in the previous three chapters should be understood to be dharma or absolute principles of eternal righteousness. This is what is meant by the word iman which means this and refers to the science of yoga which is the science of the individual consciousness in communion with the Ultimate Consciousness. Lord Krishna wants to impress upon posterity that what He is explaining is not temporary relating to time and circumstances but is nitya tattva or eternal truths and rita or inviolable cosmic laws. They never become outdated nor do they become irrelevant with the passage of time. They are always relevant, constantly renewing themselves, remaining ever fresh as nature is in the universe. Nature as was created in the beginning of time and nature as is present now in the world is not different in their essence although there may be difference in the form; but form is but a manifestation it is not the essence. Because of the atrophy of human receptivity and the excess of human depravity along with a decline in human intellect there comes about obscurity in human perception. Therefore from time to time the ashes that are covering the coals need to be brushed away for the embers which were hidden to glow in their eternal splendour. Sometimes the Supreme Lord Himself in His avatara forms as scripturally authorised incarnations manifests and incarnates to periodically re- establish these eternal principles of creation. At other times great souls from the higher realms with exceptional compassion descend and see a need to reiterate and disseminate these divine principles for all of humanity suffering in the perpetual cycle of birth and death. These great souls never modify the intrinsic meaning of these eternal principles nor do they change the essential characteristics of these eternal principles although they make innovations in their preaching and how they distribute them according to time and circumstance. They have nothing new to instruct nor anything to add they merely come to remove aside the ash that has covered the glowing embers of eternal principles and to prepare conditions so that beguiled humanity may have the greatest opportunity to be receptive to these eternal principles.
Now begins the summation.
Hari Om! The wisdom and performance of eternal spiritual principles as given in the Vedic scripture Pancaratra which Lord Krishna aeons before had instructed in initiation to Brahma, Shiva, Indra and Surya the sun-god is again being explained to the Pandavas as the eternal principles of the Bhagavad-Gita which is the abridged form of the Pancaratra and the essence of all Vedic scriptures. The manner in which the demi-gods, the great sages, the saintly kings and how human beings should achieve Vedic wisdom by performing karma yoga in Satya, Treta, Dwarpa and kali yugas or the four measurements of Vedic duration comprising a period of 1, 360, 000 years. All these things are explained in the Bhagavad-Gita. From Arjuna to Manu, all perform karma yoga and gain Vedic wisdom as prescribed in the Bhagavad- Gita. The Brahma Vaivarta Purana states that there is no Vedic scripture superior to the Bhagavad-Gita. The Pancaratra which is supplementary to the four Vedas should be learned and assimilated in its entirety and the Bhagavad-Gita is its essence. Thus there is nothing that can compare to the illustrious Bhagavad-Gita.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna is suggesting that it should not be presumed that the yoga or knowledge of the individual consciousness in communion with the Ultimate Consciousness being given by him is just a persuasive speech intended to prompt one to do their duty; for He now reveals that He also instructed it to Visvavan the demi-god controlling the sun, as a way of attaining moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. A method intended for the salvation of all the universes and a measure designed to benefit all of creation, truly being the sublime goal of humans. Visvavan taught it to Manu who instructed it to Ikshavaku and so on successively until it was transmitted to the saintly kings from the mouths of their spiritual masters. But due to the passage of time and dull understanding of humanity this knowledge was lost and forgotten. But the very same yoga, pure and pristine is being revealed in all its entirety and details by Lord Krishna because Arjuna has taken full shelter in Him in loving devotion as the only refuge. No one other then the Supreme Lord Krishna is able to originally explain the Bhagavad-Gita as it is the essence of the sublime wisdom of all the Vedas and encapsulates the mysteries of Vedanta.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna now confirms that the same eternal yoga or science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness that was imparted aeons before to Visvavan is being instructed to His friend Arjuna and no one else. Why no one else? Because Arjuna was qualified to receive this yoga, and because he was Lord Krishna's surrendered disciple. As this yoga is highly confidential it should not be revealed to those who have no faith nor to those who are unqualified.