तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया |
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ||४-३४||


tadviddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā .
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṃ jñāninastattvadarśinaḥ ||4-34||



4.34. This you should learn [from those, endowed with knowledge], by prostration, by iniry and by service [all offered to them]; those who are endowed with knowledge and are capable of showing the truth will give you the truth nearby;

Shri Purohit Swami

4.34 This shalt thou learn by prostrating thyself at the Master’s feet, by questioning Him and by serving Him. The wise who have realised the Truth will teach thee wisdom.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

4.34 See Comment under 4.35

Sri Ramanuja

4.34 This is the knowledge concerning the self that has been taught by Me in the verses beginning with ‘Know that to be indestructibe’ (2.17) and ending with ’this has been given to you’ (2.39). So engaged in appropriate actions, you can learn, according to the maturity of your competence, this wisdom from the wise, who will explain it to you, if you attend on them through prostrating and estioning and by serving them. The wise are those who have immediate apprehension (or vision) of the true nature of the self. Having been honoured by you through prostration etc., and observing your mental disposition characterised by desire for knowledge which you have evinced by your estions, they will teach you this knowledge.

Sri Krsna now speaks of the characterisitcs of knowledge concerning the nature of the self, in the form of direct perception.

Sri Shankaracharya

4.34 Viddhi, know; tat, that, the process by which It is acired; by approaching teachers pranipatena, through prostration, by lying fully streched on the ground with face downward, with prolonged salutation; pariprasnena, through iniry, as to how bondage and Liberation come, and what are Knowledge and ignorance; and sevaya, through the service of the guru. (Know it) through these and other (disciplines) [Other disciplines such as control of the mind, body, etc. Sankaracarya’s own words in the Commentary are evamadina, after which Ast. puts a full stop, and agreeing with this, A.G. says that the word viddhi (know) is to be connected with evamadina. Hence this translation. Alternatively, those words have to be taken with prasrayena. Then the meaning will be, ‘Being pleased with such and other forms of humility৷৷.’-Tr.]. Being pleased with humility, jnaninah, the wise ones, the teachers; tattva-darsinah, who have realized the Truth; upadeksyanti, will impart, will tell; te, you; jnanam, the Knowledge as described above. Although people may be wise, some of them are apt to know Truth just as it is, while others may not be so. Hence the alification, ‘who have realized the Truth’. The considered view of the Lord is that Knowledge imparted by those who have full enlightenment becomes effective, not any other. That being so, the next verse also becomes appropriate:

Swami Adidevananda

4.34 Know this by prostration, estioning and by service. The wise, who have realised the truth, will instruct you in knowledge.

Swami Gambirananda

4.34 Know that through prostration, iniry and service. The wise ones who have realized the Truth will impart the Knowledge to you.

Swami Sivananda

4.34 Know That by long prostration, by estion and by service; the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in (that) knowledge.


Swami Sivananda

4.34 तत् That? विद्धि know? प्रणिपातेन by long prostration? परिप्रश्नेन by estion? सेवया by service? उपदेक्ष्यन्ति will instruct? ते to thee? ज्ञानम् knowledge? ज्ञानिनः the wise? तत्त्वदर्शिनः those who have realised the Truth.Commentary Go to the teachers (those who are well versed in the scriptures dealing with Brahman or Brahmasrotris? and who are established in Brahman or Brahmanishthas). Prostrate yourself before them with profound humility and perfect devotion. Ask them estions? O venerable Guru What is the cause of bondage How can I get liberation What is the nature of ignorance What is the nature of knowledge What is the AntarangaSadhana (inward spiritual practice) for attaining Selfrealisation Serve the Guru wholeheartedly. A teacher who is versed in the scriptures (Sastras) but who has no direct Selfrealisaiton will not be able to help you in the attainment of the knowledge of the Self. He who has knowledge of the scriptures and who is also established in Brahman will be able to instruct thee in that knowledge and help thee in the attainment of Selfrealisation. Mere prostrations alone will not do. They may be tinged with hypocrisy. You must have perfect faith in your Guru and his teaching. You must serve him wholeheartedly with great devotion. Now hypocrisy is not possible.