18.11 na hi deha-bhṛtā śakyaṁ (Original)

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Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 10

Simple

na hi deha-bhṛtā śakyaṁ
tyaktuṁ karmāṇy aśeṣataḥ
yas tu karma-phala-tyāgī
sa tyāgīty abhidhīyate

‘Verily, for one vested in a body, to desert work wholesale, is not feasible; but he is called the Renouncer who resigns the fruit of work.’1

It is notable that for him who is in a body confined, to entirely give up work is beyond possibility, for such work (at least) as that of having to provide oneself with food and drink required to maintain the body, and other acts cognate, are not evitable. Hence, the observance of the Mahāyajñas etc., becomes unavoidable. Hence, he who resigns the fruit of works such as the Mahayajñas, is called the (true) Renouncer (tyāgi), and this is the Renunciation referred to in such Śrutis as:

‘Some by Renunciation obtain immortality.’2

Renouncer of fruit of work is to imply all the three kinds of Renunciation, viz., (1) of fruit, (2) of authorship, and of (3) attachment, alluded to in:

‘Has been explained as of three kinds’ (Gi: XVIII-4).

But, one may argue thus:—Are not all acts such as Agnihotra, Darśa-pūrṇamāsa, Jyotishtoma etc., and the Mahāyajñas, decreed by the Śāstras, in connection always with appropriate fruits such as Svarga etc., to be achieved therefrom? Are not, even for the performance of nitya and naimittika acts, such incentives are held as: ‘For Householders, Prājāpatya (-ceremony) etc.’3 implying fruits therefor? Hence it would clearly seem that between acts prescribed by Śāstras and appropriate fruits therefor, there is inseparable relation, inasmuch as every act must have its fruit, as a seed sown (into the ground) must grow into a fruit (ultimately). Hence fruit, either desirable or undesirable, is inevitable, albeit one may perform the act with no motive for fruit. Such fruit then would necessarily be inimical to Moksha and hence no Moksha-aspirant ought to perform any work. Answers (to this objection) are now given:

>> Chapter 18 Verse 12

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  1. The gist of all these verses is contained in XVIII-66 which with Commentary should be studied.
  2. Mahā-Nārāyaṇa Up: 12; Tait: Nārā: Up°: VI-10-21: ‘Tyāgen-aike amṛitatvam ānaśuh’.
  3. Vish: Pur: I-6-38: ‘prājāpatyam &c.’

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