18.11 na hi dhEhabhruthA Sakyam

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

Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 10

SlOkam – Original

na hi dhEhabhruthA Sakyam thyakthum karmANyaSEshatha: |
yas thu karmapalathyAgI sa thyAgIthyabhidhIyathE ||

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

dhEha bhruthA – By the AthmA who sustains the body
karmANi – actions
aSEshatha: thyakthum – to abandon fully
na hi Sakyam – is it possible?
ya: – one
karma pala thyAgI – who gives up the results of the actions
sa: thu – he only
thyAgI ithi – as renouncer
abhidhIyathE  – said as

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

Is it possible to fully abandon actions by the AthmA who sustains the body? No. Only the one who gives up the results of the actions is said to be a renouncer.

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

‘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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