SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
yAvAn artha udhapAnE sarvatha: sampluthOdhakE |
thAvAn sarvEshu vEdhEshu brAhmaNasya vijAnatha: ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
sarvatha: sampluthOdhakE udhapAnE – in reservoir which is filled with water on all sides
(For the one who desires to use the water)
yAvAn artha: – whatever amount of water that is required for him
thAvAn (yathA upAdhIyathE) – like how only that much is accepted
(thathA – similarly)
sarvEshu vEdhEshu – in all of vEdhams
brAhmaNasya – being a vaidhika [follower of vEdhas]
vijAmatha: – for the wise mumukshu (one who is desirous of mOksham)
yAvAn (Eva upAdhEya:) – that which is required (as means for mOksham) is accepted [Implies that all aspects of vEdhas need not be accepted and pursued by mumukshus].
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
For the one who desires to use some water, only that much is accepted from a reservoir which is filled with water on all sides. Similarly, for a wise mumukshu (one who is desirous of mOksham), though being a vaidhika [follower of vEdhas], in all of vEdhams, only that which is required (as means for mOksham) is accepted [Implies that all aspects of vEdhas need not be accepted and pursued by mumukshus].
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘As, from a reservoir overflowing with water, a little only (of water) is one’s requirement, so much only is the requirement of the wise Brāhmaṇa1 from out of the numerous Vedas.’
Traiguṇyam: is the group of the three gunas 2 or qualities, viz., satva, rajas and tamas. The term traiguṇya indicates the persons who are severally characterized with, or prompted by, these qualities.
If the Vedas did not minister to each of these classes of men according to their tastes or predilections, by indicating the means for securing Svarga etc., then those, under the influence of rajas and tamas, would not only -(by their nature)- be opposed to the satva-fruit of moksha, but would be in ignorance of how to gain their own ends (of Svarga etc., for which only their present dispositions fit them). And then, full of desires, but not knowing the way, they would fall into tracks, fancying them to be the ways leading to their goal, and thus go to ruin.
Hence the Vedas contain all that the three-qualified persons want. But ‘you be free of them. That is, you are now having satva prevailing in you, encourage and let it grow; but allow not the intermixture of all the triple qualities to prevail in you, i.e., do not encourage the growth of the mixture.’
Nir-dvandvaḥ: or one who is free from the ‘pairs,’ means, to be destitute of all that smacks of samsāra.
Nitya-satva-sthaḥ: or one ever wedded to satva, means, to be separated from the two guṇās (rajas and tamas of the mixture) and abiding in the ever growing satva.
How is this to be done? By being, nir-yoga-kshemaḥ, or one who does not concern himself about acquiring any other advantage external to that of realizing ātmā-nature and the means to effect that end. Acquiring or gathering to oneself external things (which did not belong to him before) is yoga. And caring for (or protecting) what has been acquired is kshema. Relinquishing both, ‘become ātmavān,’ i.e., one who, ever, is in pursuit of finding out the true nature of ātmā.
If you do conduct yourself thus, the predominance of rajas and tamas will cease; and satva will get uppermost.
Not, also, that all that is treated of in the Vedas, is necessary for all. For when there is a reservoir constructed to answer many purposes, and when water is flowing to the brim on every side, there is only that little is required by the thirsty individual as is enough to allay his thirst, so, only that much need be taken from the Vedas as one may require.
Thus in all the Vedas, only that is to be chosen by the knowing brāhmaṇa 3 -i.e., by the Veda-believing moksha-aspirant- which paves the way to moksha.
What is wanted then for the satva-abiding moksha-aspirant is this:
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- See the below Commentary for an explanation of this term … ↩
- See Lect: XIV for an exhaustive treatment of the gunās. These are the three main characteristics of matter which keep the world moving. Satva is the tendency to produce goodness, purity, etc., Rajas is the tendency to act in the world with passions; and Tamas is the tendency to sloth, evil, etc. ↩
- Knowers thus mean all those who believe in the Vedas, brāhmaṇas, Kshatriyas etc. Brāhmaṇas are all those who desire moksha. ↩