18.10 na dhveshtyakuSalam karma

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

Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 9

SlOkam – Original

na dhvEshtyakuSalam karma kuSalE nAnushajjathE |
thyAgI sathvasamAvishtO mEdhAvI chinnasamSaya: ||

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

sathva samAvishta: – Being in sathva guNam as mentioned previously
mEdhAvI – (because of that) having true knowledge about the truths
chinna samSaya: – (because of that) being free from all doubts
thyAgI – the one who is not attached to the result, doership of karmas
akuSalam karma – pApa karma (sinful deed), which gives unfavourable result and is thus undesirable
na dhvEshti – does not hate it
kuSalE (karmaNi) – puNya karma (pious deed), which gives favourable results and is thus desirable
na anushajjathE – does not desire for it

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

The one who is not attached to the result, doership of karmas, being in sathva guNam as mentioned previously, (because of that) having true knowledge about the truths, (because of that) being free from all doubts, neither hates pApa karma (sinful deed), which gives unfavourable result and is thus undesirable nor desires puNya karma (pious deed), which gives favourable results and is thus desirable.

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

‘The Renouncer, Satva-imbued, wise and quit of doubt(s), is neither vexed at evil act, nor is (he) in love with good (act).’

Thus, he, the Renouncer in act, of attachment, fruit and authorship (or agency=kartṛitva), who is full of Satvam; Wise = who has correct knowledge of things, and therefore who is bereft of all doubt; is neither troubled at evil act, nor has he attachment for good act.

Evil act is that which is fraught with undesirable fruit.

Good act is that which brings in such desirable fruit as Svarga, progeny, cattle, food etc.

Inasmuch as ‘myness’ (mamatā) is absent, there is no occasion for exhibiting either of the emotions, hatred for one or love for another; inasmuch too as every other end (fruit) save Brahm, has been resigned; since, also, the notion of ‘agent’ (of the act) has been given up.

Evil act, prolific of undesirable fruit, is here intended to indicate that act which one may accidentally or unwittingly happen to perform; not that it means that one may deliberately perform a bad act, for that to one, who has not ceased from wickedness, there is every obstacle to obtaining wisdom, is evidenced by the Śruti:

‘Albeit he has Spirit-knowledge (prajñāna), yet if he be one not divorced from vice, not stilled of passions, not calmed of mind, not quit of dissipation, he cannot gain Him’.1

Hence what the Śāstra inculcates is the Renunciation of (1) authorship, (2) attachment and (3) fruit (while doing work); and not total relinquishment of work itself.

This is explained:—

>> Chapter 18 Verse 11

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  1. Kath: Up: I-2.24. ‘Nārrato &c.’

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