2.21 vEdhAvinASinam nithyam

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

Chapter 2

<< Chapter 2 verse 20

SlOkam – Original

vEdhAvinASinam nithyam ya Enam ajam avyayam |
katham sa purusha: pArtha kam ghAthayathi hanthi kam ||

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

pArtha – Oh arjuna!
ya: purusha: – that man
Enam – this AthmA (Soul)
avinASinam – indestructible
ajam – unborn
avyayam – without any defects
nithyam – eternal
vEdha – knows
sa: purusha: – that man
kam – an AthmA
katham – how
hanthi – will kill?
kam – an AthmA
katham – how
gAthayathi – (through others) will cause to be killed

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

Oh arjuna! knowing this AthmA to be eternal due to that AthmA being indestructible, unborn and without any defects, how will a man kill or cause that AthmA to be killed?

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

‘Knowing this ātmā to be indestructible, eternal and birthless, which person, Pārtha! can any kill or cause to be killed?’

Thus, how can any person, knowing ātmā to be eternal by reason of its birthlessness and deathlessness and its inexhaustible nature, destroy any ātmā which dwells in the numerous bodies of celestial, human, animal and vegetable kingdoms? Whom can he kill? How can he kill? How can one cause killing?

Hence ignorance of the true nature of ātmā is the cause of grief that is born by thinking: ‘I cause these ātmās to be killed or I kill them.’

Admitting that what happens to the eternal ātmās is but disjunction from bodies, yet it may form good ground for regret that bodies, serving as they do as instruments for enjoying, or for securing enjoyment of pleasures, should so separate away! Reply to this objection:

>> Chapter 2 verse 22

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