Spiritually admits no barriers, no bias whatsoever. The untouchable can touch God, the Young can be a Guru of the old, the enlightened embrace the fallen and so on; Dakshinamurthy was a youth, his disciples were all old people. Prahalad was a tender lad, when he brought God before his tyrant father. Same was the case with Kapil Muni. Kapil Geeta is a touching story of how a young, mature son offers solace to his old, yet dithering mother, Devahuti, whose soul hungered for spiritual succour.
CCMT is happy to publish a lucid commentary by Swami Tejomayananda on the son's loving and compassionate guidance to his mother. The picture on the front cover is the actual place where the remarkable Kapil Muni, practised austerity and this place is at a seeing distance from our own ashram (Sandeepany-HIM) at Sidhabari, Himachal Pradesh.
A Key to the transliteration and pronunciation has been added in the beginning of the book as a guide to understand the diacritical marks used for transliteration of sanskrta words in the verses and commentary in the book. This will help readers to identify and pronounce the words correctly. We are much thankful to Swami Chidanandaji from San Jose, USA for his valuable suggestions in this regard.
Gita means that which is sung. It is divine song which teaches us about the Truth of life. It does not create a thrill or excitement in our mind like a movie song but stills the mind and delights the heart as it speaks about the blissful Self. It is a dialogue between a disciple and a Master. There are many such Gita-s in our scriptures. Kapila Gita is one of them.
The eighteenth and last purana composed by Bhagavan Veda Vyasa is the Bhagavata Maha-purana. It has 12 cantos (Skandha-s) each with many chapters (adhyaya-s) and contains a total of 18,000 verses (sloka-s). Kapila Gita is found in the third canto.
In the Bhagavata, as in all other purana-s, one story springs from another and the teaching is narrated as taught by masters. As the story goes, Suta-ji (the son of Romaharsan who was a disciple of Veda Vyasa) was relating to Rsi Saunaka and other sages what Sukadeva (the son of Veda Vyasa) had taught to king Pariksit (the grandson of Arjuna) Sukadeva, in his turn, was narrating what Maitreya Rsi had spoken to Vidura-ji about the incarnation of the Lord as Kapila Muni. The Lord, as Kapila Muni, had imparted the knowledge of the Self to His mother, Devahuti, which is known as Kapila Gita.
Svayambhuva Manu and Satarupa had two sons (Uttanapada and Priyavrata) and three daughters (Akuti, Devahuti and Prasuti). Devahuti was a pure and chaste girl (Deva+ahuti = one who can invoke the Lord). When she grew up, she heard of the glory of Kardama Rsi and fell in love with him without even seeing him. Her parents took her to him and requested him to marry her.
Kardama Rsi was the mind-born son of Brahma-ji, the Creator. Brahma-ji wished him to produce worthy children and so Kardama Rsi took to severe penance. The Lord, Pleased by his penance, appeared before him and advised him to accept the marriage proposal brought by King Manu for his daughter Devahuti.
Devahuti and Kardama Rsi were married and the young, beautiful princess lived under a tree serving her husband day and night. The Rsi remained absorbed in mediation for years. When he saw her serving him uncomplainingly, he asked her what she desired. She expressed her wish to live a household life with children and worldly pleasures. He produced, with his power, a wish-fulfilling plane which had all imaginable comforts. They had nine daughters when Kardama Rsi decided to become a renunciate. Devahuti requested him to get the daughters married, give her a son and then take sannyasa. She was asked to undertake penance, as the Lord Himself was to appear as her son. In due course of time, a son, Kapila Muni, was born. The Lord Himself incarnated as Kapila Muni with the purpose of imparting the Sankhya Sastra (the knowledge of he self).
Kardama Rsi left for the forest thereafter and absorbed himself in the Lord. After a few years, one day, Devahuti approached Kapila Muni with a desire for knowledge. The dialogue that ensued is called the Kapila-Gita or Kapila-upadesa.
The original Kapila-Gita, as found in the Bhagavata, has many chapters and verses. The same has been abridged here, giving the essence of the teaching. Hence, it is called "Kapilopadesa-sarah."
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