SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
Urdhvam gachchanthi sathvasthA: madhyE thishtanthi rAjasA: |
jaghanyaguNavruththisthA: adhO gachchanthi thAmasā: ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
sathvasthA: – those who have abundance of sathva guNam
Urdhvam gachchanthi – (eventually) reach the higher position of mOksham (liberation);
rAjasA: – those who have abundance of rajO guNam
madhyE thishtanthi – suffer in middle level births (which mostly give sorrow only);
thAmasA: – those who have abundance of thamO guNam
jaghanya guNa vruththisthA: – being further engaged in inferior thamO guNam activities
adhO gachchanthi – attain very lowly births (due to increased ignorance).
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
Those who have abundance of sathva guNam, (eventually) reach the higher position of mOksham (liberation); those who have abundance of rajO guNam, suffer in middle level births (which mostly give sorrow only); those who have abundance of thamO guNam, being further engaged in inferior thamO guNam activities, attain very lowly births (due to increased ignorance).
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘Upward rise those fixed in Satva; in the middle
stay those of Rajas; downward go those fixed in the low impulses of Tamas-quality.’
Thus in the manner explained, those who are established in Satva rise upward, i.e., gradually accomplish liberation from samsāra-bondage.
Staying in the middle are those who from a greed for Svarga and such like fruits are of Rajas-disposition, who therefore engage in such activities as would fetch them reward; and then getting it and enjoying it, they are born again, and again engage in similar works. Hence, inasmuch as this quality is attended with recurrence of (material) births, it is full of misery.
Those of Tamas are engaged in low occupations, and descend more and more into doing meaner acts. These go downward, i.e., retrograde into the lowest types of humanity, then back into animals, then worms, insects etc, then into plants, going even there into the condition of creepers and thickets; thence still more back into the condition of grass (the lowest type of plants), sticks, clod, stones etc.
How the upward ascent takes place is now explained, — by those who, by adopting a strict course of food1, and by the disinterested2 performance of meritorious works, gradually become more and more Satva-natured, and transcend the (combination of the) qualities.
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