12.5 klESO’dhikatharas thEshAm

SrI:  SrImathE SatakOpAya nama:  SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama:  SrImath varavaramunayE nama:

Chapter 12

<< Chapter 12 verse 4

SlOkam – Original

klESO’dhikatharas thEshAm avyakthAsakthachEthasAm |
avyakthā hi gathir dhu:kham dhEhavadhbhir avApyathE ||

word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)

avykthAsaktha chEthasAm thEshAm – those kaivalya nishtas who are engaged in [pursuing] jIvAthma svarUpam (the true self)
klESa: – difficulties
adhikathara: – more than those of gyAnis
avyakthA gathi: – the state of mind to engage in AthmA
dhEhavadhbhi: – those who are attached to their bodies
dhu:kham avApyathE hi – isn’t it  attained through great struggles?

Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)

The difficulties of those kaivalya nishtas who are engaged in [pursuing] jIvAthma svarUpam (the true self) are more than those of gyAnis; by those who are attached to their bodies, ins’t the state of mind to engage in AthmA attained through great struggles?

Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam

‘(But) to these, whose hearts are inclined to (this) indiscernible (ātmā), great are the difficulties. Indeed is this avyakta-path, with struggle, attained by the embodied.’

But those who devote themselves (upāsate) to meditation on akshara=imperishable = individual soul-nature which is anirdeśya=indefinable, by defining it as the deva etc., because it is distinct from body (or form which, terms such as deva etc., designate); hence avyaktam=indiscernible or immanifest or that which is imperceptible to any of the senses, the eye etc;

Sarvatra-gam and achintyam=all-entering and inconceivable, inasmuch as despite its (the soul’s) presence everywhere in the bodies of devas etc., it cannot be conceived as such and such a bodily form, the form not helping towards soul-conception; kūtastham=stable=uniform, or that which does not change its form consequent on changes of bodies such as deva etc. Hence, achalam=immovable, because of its singular non-mutatory character; hence dhruvam=durable=everlasting=eternal. Restraining well the sense group=well abstracting them from revelling in the midst of their accustomed objects (external);

Sarvatra sama-buddhayaḥ=equal-minded everywhere, means that the understanding is brought to cognize the fact that soul is everywhere the same by reason of its specific attribute of consciousness (jñāna)—wherever it may happen to dwell for the time being, under cover of the diverse (body-) forms of deva etc.

For this reason, sarva-bhūta-hite ratāh=well-disposed towards all beings, or well-removed from wishing ill to any creature; for ill-wishing is indeed a product engendered by the egoity (or personal selfish loves) due to the differences created by the being a deva etc.

Whoso devotes himself thus to akshara-contemplation (=soul-contemplation) ‘reach Myself,’ meaning that they will realize ātma unconditioned of samsāra, —ātma in essence like unto My own essence. So it is declared further on in Stanza:

‘They will have arrived at an equal status to Mine’ (Gi: XIV-2). Also Śruti says:—

‘Washed of stains, he reaches sublime equality’ etc1.

That Parabrahma is affirmed as distinct from the kūtastha=ātma, also designated as akshara, is borne out by the Stanza:

‘The kūtastha (stable) is called akshara (imperishable); but another, the Supreme Purusha, is the Paramātma (Gi: XV-16 and 17).

But in the Śruti passage, referring to akshara-vidya:

“Now that higher (science, parā) by which That Akshara may be reached,”2 Parabrahma Himself is designated by the term Akshara, for, He is the Source of beings.

To those whose mind is given to avyakta (soul), difficulties are great.

Avyakta-Path is the getting the mind to think of the subject relating to avyakta=Individual soul. This is attained with great struggle by the embodied i.e., those who love the body as if it were the ātma; for, so do those encased in bodies fancy.

That the worshippers of the Lord are the better equipped (to reach their Goal = yukta-tamāḥ) is now affirmed.

>> Chapter 12 verse 6

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  1. Muṇḍ: Up°: III 1-3: Nirparamam sāmyam upaiti.
  2. Muṇḍ: Up°: i-1-5. ‘Atha parā yayā tad aksharam adhigamyate. See Table of the 32 Vidyas at end of Lect: VII.

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