18.17 yasya nAhankruthO bhAvO

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

Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 16

SlOkam – Original

yasya nAhankruthO bhAvO budhdhir yasya na lipyathE |
hathvA’pi sa imAn lokAn nahanthi na nibadhyathE ||

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

yasya bhAva: – The thoughts of the one (on the doership)
na ahankrutha: – are not arising from the pride of “I am the doer”
yasya budhdhi: – the intellect of the one
na lipyathE – is free from the thoughts such as “the results of this action are mine”, “this action is mine”
sa: – he
imAn lOkAn hathvA api – even if he kills all the beings in this world (in a battle)
na hanthi – will not be considered as the killer;
na nibadhyathE – will not be bound in this samsAram (material realm) as a result of such killing.

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

The one whose thoughts are not arising from the pride of “I am the doer”, whose intellect is free from the thoughts such as “the results of this action are mine”, “this action is mine”, even if he kills all the beings in this world (in a battle), he will not be considered as the killer; he will not be bound in this samsAram (material realm) as a result of such killing.

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

‘He who is exempt from ‘self-ness,’ whose mind
is not tainted, —even though he kill those beings, he kills not, nor is he fettered.’

Self-ness (=ahaṇkṛiti=ahaṇkāra) = Egoity = that function of the mind which attaches to one’s own self the notion of ‘I do the act’ (aham karomi) arising out of self-love. This idea is absent in him who is sufficiently enlightened to refer all agentship to Paramapurusha.

Whose mind is not tainted = ‘Since I am no (independent) agent, the fruit resulting from the act, does not concern me. The act itself is not mine.’ Whose enlightenment is of this sort, his mind is said to be untainted. The inference is that though he kill all these people (lokān) —i.e., not merely Bhīshma etc.,— in the conflict, he killeth not. Hence by the act called war, he is not fettered i.e., he does not commit himself in a manner so as to be a party to share in the good or the evil fruit consequent on such an act.

That this (higher) reflection of one’s not being (independently) actor, arises from the prevalence of Satva-guṇa, that Satvam is therefore worthy of acquisition (or culture), and that differences in acts result from the Guṇas, are now explained at length in order to demonstrate wherein inducement or incentive to act lies.

>> Chapter 18 Verse 18

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