3.22 na mE pArthAsthi karthavyam

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

Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 21

SlOkam – Original

na mE pArthAsthi karthavyam thrishu lokEshu kinchana |
nAnavAptham avApthavyam vartha Eva cha karmaNi ||

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

[hE] pArtha – Oh son of kunthI!
thrishu lOkEshu – (born in) three types of species [dhEva (celestial beings), manushya (human beings), thiryak (animals)]
mE – for me, who is the sarvESvara
karthavyam – duty that must be performed
kinchana – anything
na asthi – not present;

(this is because)
anavAptham – that which is not fulfiled
avApthavyam – to be attained (by performing an action)
kinchana – anything
na asthi – not present.
cha – still
karmaNi – in actions (pertaining to the varNASrama dharma of my births)
vartha Eva – I am engaged

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

Oh son of kunthI! For me, who is the sarvESvara (born) in three types of species, there is duty that must be performed; (this is because) I have nothing to be attained (by performing an action) which is not fulfilled [yet]. Still I am engaged in actions (pertaining to the varNASrama dharma of my births).

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

‘In all the three worlds1, Pārtha2! nothing is there (binding) for Me to do; nothing is there not gained or to gain. Yet I am in work’

In all the three worlds3, where I could, by mere will, be present in the guise of man, or deva, or anything I choose4, there is no work which I am bound to do, for I am the Lord of all (Sarveśvaraḥ5), for I have nothing which has not been gained or which I have to gain by working. Hence the sole reason why I have applied myself to work (ceaselessly) is for the interests of the world.

>> Chapter 3 verse 23

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  1. The three worlds is a world-conception. Richard Garbe in his address before the Philological Congress at Chicago, 1893, says: “It may be here remarked, by the way, that the Pythagoreans, and Ocellus in particular, distinguish as parts of the world, the heaven, the earth, and the interval between them, which they term, lofty and aerial.”……”Pythagoras, as after him Ocellus, peoples the middle or aērial region with demons, as heaven with Gods, and the earth with men. Here again they agree precisely with the Hindus, who place the Gods above, man beneath, and spiritual creatures flitting unseen, in the intermediate regions.”
  2. Epithet of Arjuna, being a descendant of Prithu-Chakravarti.
  3. The three worlds is a world-conception. Richard Garbe in his address before the Philological Congress at Chicago, 1893, says: “It may be here remarked, by the way, that the Pythagoreans, and Ocellus in particular, distinguish as parts of the world, the heaven, the earth, and the interval between them, which they term, lofty and aerial.”……”Pythagoras, as after him Ocellus, peoples the middle or aērial region with demons, as heaven with Gods, and the earth with men. Here again they agree precisely with the Hindus, who place the Gods above, man beneath, and spiritual creatures flitting unseen, in the intermediate regions.”
  4. This alludes to the mystery of Divine Avatāras, (read Part I. Occidental of my Papers on Inspiration, etc. God has nothing to gain for Himself by his ‘Descents’, which are intended as sacrifice and service for others. The three Lokas or kosmic regions are the Deva, the Pitṛ, and the Manushya, Lokas.
  5. Sarveśvareśvaraḥ = The 97th name of Vishṇu. “Yatra devānām adhi-Deva āste“, (Kaushītakī Brāhmaṇopanishat), “Tam daivatānām Paramañcha Daivatam” (Śvetāśvatara: Up:)

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