18.5 yagyadhAnathapa: karma

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

Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 4

SlOkam – Original

yagyadhAnathapa: karma na thyAjyam kAryam Eva thath |
yagyO dhAnam thapaS chaiva pAvanAni manIshiNAm ||

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

yagya dhAna thapa: karma – vaidhika karmas such as yagya (sacrifice), dhAnam (charity), thapas (penance)
na thyAjyam – cannot be given up (by mumukshus (liberation seekers));
thath – those karmas
kAryam Eva – are to be performed (till the end);

(because)
yagya: dhAnam thapa: cha – these karmas such as yagya (sacrifice), dhAnam (charity), thapas (penance)
manIshiNAm – for those upAsakas (practitioners) who desire liberation
pAvanAni Eva – are purifying acts (which remove the long-standing hurdles which stop the upAsana from completing).

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

vaidhika karmas such as yagya (sacrifice), dhAnam (charity), thapas (penance) cannot be given up (by mumukshus (liberation seekers)); they are to be performed (till the end); (because) they are purifying acts (which remove the long-standing hurdles which stop the upAsana from completing) for those upAsakas (practitioners) who desire for liberation.

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

‘Work, —Yajña, Dāna and Tapas, should never be abandoned; it must of necessity be done; for Yajña, Dāna and Tapas sanctify the wise.’

Never, by the Moksha-aspirant, are Vaidika-acts such as Yajña, Dāna, Tapas and the rest, to be abdicated; but must be daily practised until the last day of death. Why?

Because those acts pertaining as they do to the several varṇas and āśramas1 (‘castes’ and ‘orders’ of life) do purify the wise (manishiṇah) = the thoughtful or reflecting persons.

The thoughtfulness or reflection here meant is upāsana or religious meditation, in which the Moksha-aspirant is supposed to be engaged till the last. And the practising of Yajña etc., destroy the past deeds (karma) which hinder progress of the aforesaid upāsana.

>> Chapter 18 Verse 6

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  1. The four varṇas are Brāhmaṇa, Kshatriya, Vaiśya and Śūdra. The four aśramas are Brahmacharya (bachelor and student), Gārhastya (married life), Vānaprastha (retired forest life) and Sanyāsa (monastic or ascetic life).

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