18.7 niyathasya thu sanyAsa:

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

Chapter 18

<< Chapter 18 Verse 6

SlOkam – Original

niyathasya thu sanyAsa: karmaNO nOpapadhyathE |
mOhAth thasya parithyAgas thAmasa: parikIrthitha: ||

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

niyathasya karmaNa: – of the karmas such as nithya (daily), naimiththika (periodical) etc
sanyAsa: thu – abandonment
na upapadhyathE – does not fit;
mOhAth – due to bewilderment (thinking karma is defective)
thasya – such karma
parithyAga: – abandonment
thAmasa parikIrthitha: – said to be caused due to thAmasa guNam (the mode of ignorance).

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

Abandonment of the karmas such as nithya (daily), naimiththika (periodical) etc does not fit; abandonment of such karma due to bewilderment (thinking karma is defective) is said to be caused due to thAmasa guNam (the mode of ignorance).

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

‘Abstention from a prescribed duty is not meet. Such abstention out of misconception, is considered as Tāmasa.’

Prescribed (niyata) duties are the Nitya, Naimittika etc., —the Mahāyajña1. Ceasing altogether to perform them is not rightful, as according to: ‘Actionless, you shall not be able even to sustain your bodily existence’ (Gi: III-8), even bodily existence would (without action) be impossible. As for sustaining bodily existence, it (has been shown that it) must be done from partaking of the vestiges of food after its consecratian to Yajña, only such food being conducive to produce holy knowledge. Otherwise, as declared in: ‘But those who cook for self-enjoyment —sinners— incur sin’ (Gi: III-13), food unconsecrated to Yajña is sinful, and such food is productive of erroneous knowledge in the mind. For, as affirmed by the Śruti: ‘O Somya! mind verily is formed of food,’2 etc., mind is by food verily fed and nourished; also, that knowledge of the kind of direct apperception of Brahm (Brahma-sākshātkāra = God-cognition) is dependent on the purity of food, is evidenced by such passages as: ‘Food (being) pure, mind (becomes) pure; mind (being) pure, sustained (or perfect)3 memory (ensues); memory obtained, the loosening (follows) of all knots (bondage).’4

Hence, since Mahāyajñas, etc.,5 —the Nitya, Naimittika-duties— practised until the last moment of departure, are worthy of adoption as leading to Brahm-knowledge, abstention therefrom is not meet. The ceasing, thus, to do knowledge-creating work, influenced by ignorance (moha) is called tāmasa. For to tamas as origin is traceable the idea of abstention, arising from ignorance; ergo, an effect of tamas. That tamas is indeed the root of ignorance or unwisdom was declared in: ‘Inattention and infatuation, come from Tamas, as well as unwisdom’, (Gi: XIV-17).

Ignorance or unwisdom is that which is hostile to wisdom, and it is erroneous (or perverted = viparīta) knowledge.

The same is illustrated further on as in:

‘That intellect is Tāmasa, Pārtha! which, (being) enshrouded in Tamas (mis) apprehends Adharma as Dharma and all things pervertedly.’ (Gi: XVIII-32).

Hence, the surceasal6 to perform nitya, naimittika etc., duties arises from perverted knowledge.

>> Chapter 18 Verse 8

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  1. The daily duties (nitya) are Snāna, Sandhyā, Vaiśvadeva-brahma-yajña, Deva-ṛshi-pitṛi-tarpaṇa, and Aupāsana. The occassioned (naimittika) are the Śrāddhās, Tarpaṇas, etc., performed on the Eclipse-day, Saṇkranti, Mahālaya, etc., Pūrva-Mīmāmsa says: ‘nitya naimittika karmācharaṇe phalam nāsti; akaraṇe pratyavāyaḥ’. The five Great Sacraments (Mahāyajña) or Acts of Divine Worship ordained for every holy man are:- 1. Adhyāpana = The teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, etc., called Brahma-yajña. 2. Tarpaṇa = The oblation of water, food, etc., called Pitṛi-yajña. 3. Homa = The offering of clarified butter, etc., into fire, called Deva-yajña. 4. Bali = The distribution of food to creatures in general, called Bhūta-yajña. 5. Athiti-pūjana = entertainment of holy guests, called Nṛi-yajña. Vide Manu, III 69 to 73.
  2. Chh: Up°: VI-5-4 and VII-26-2 ‘Anna-mayam etc.’
  3. Perfect memory means incessant meditation or memory of God.
  4. Chh: Up°: VI-5-4 and VII-26-2 ‘Anna-mayam etc.’
  5. The daily duties (nitya) are Snāna, Sandhyā, Vaiśvadeva-brahma-yajña, Deva-ṛshi-pitṛi-tarpaṇa, and Aupāsana. The occassioned (naimittika) are the Śrāddhās, Tarpaṇas, etc., performed on the Eclipse-day, Saṇkranti, Mahālaya, etc., Pūrva-Mīmāmsa says: ‘nitya naimittika karmācharaṇe phalam nāsti; akaraṇe pratyavāyaḥ’. The five Great Sacraments (Mahāyajña) or Acts of Divine Worship ordained for every holy man are:- 1. Adhyāpana = The teaching of the Sacred Scriptures, etc., called Brahma-yajña. 2. Tarpaṇa = The oblation of water, food, etc., called Pitṛi-yajña. 3. Homa = The offering of clarified butter, etc., into fire, called Deva-yajña. 4. Bali = The distribution of food to creatures in general, called Bhūta-yajña. 5. Athiti-pūjana = entertainment of holy guests, called Nṛi-yajña. Vide Manu, III 69 to 73.
  6. i.e., ceasing

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