3.24 uthsIdhEyur imE lokA

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

Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 23

SlOkam – Original

uthsIdhEyur imE lokA na kuryAm karma chEdh aham |
sankarasya cha karthA syAm upahanyAm imA: prajA: ||

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

aham – I
karma – actions (pertaining to the heritage of the family I am born in)
na kuryAm chEth – did not perform
imE lOkA: – the residents of this world (who follow my discipline)
uthsIdhEyu: – will be ruined;
sankrasya – mixture (in the families of dedicated followers)
karthA cha syAm – [I] would be the  one who caused;

thus,
imA: prajA: – these people
upahanyAm – will be the cause for their downfall (in the future too)

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

If I did not perform the actions, the residents of this world (who follow my discipline) will be ruined; I would be the  one who caused mixture (impurity in the families of dedicated followers); thus, I would be the cause for the downfall (in the future too) of these people.

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

‘Did I not Myself perform work, all these worlds1 would go to ruin. I would be creating disorder saṇkara) and working the downfall of all those creatures.’

If I, the Lord of all, of Will Infallible, and in Whose command lies the phenomenal display of the kosmos in its several scenes of emanation, continuance and immanation; if I, taking births —seemingly as if it were a common event like the births of other (karma-bound) creatures2,— for the purpose of benefitting the world,— did not at any time, out of indifference (say), not act; if I, having been born in the pedigree of the famous man-chief Vasudeva3 (My father), did not conduct Myself in all seriousness, in the ways and manners adapted to his race (etc.,), why, all mankind would begin to act likewise, carried away with the notion that My ways are the ways of virtue, the worthy ways of the worthy son of the worthy Vasudeva4!. They would thus be put on the way to Infernum by the mere omission on My part to do a duty, which amounts to the commission of the gravest wrong. Mankind would be put out of the way of realizing ātmā.

If I did not Myself observe the customs of the country, mankind would take that as the final verdict as to what is right. They would desist from all (right) effort, and be lost.

If, again, I failed to respect the behests of Śāstra, by practising them Myself I would be the author of causing a mixture or turbidity in the races of pure and holy people5. I would thus be the cause of such men’s ruination.

If you also, Arjuna! you the son of Pānḍu6, you the brother of Yudhisṭhira7, should betake yourself away to Jñāna-Yoga (to which class thou belongest), all the worthy rest of men, moksha-aspirants, would likewise follow your example, not knowing that their own stage is not of that advanced kind as yours is.

Thus, failing to walk in the Path of Works, mankind must meet ruin.

Hence, even for the specially distinguished men (who do not need any action) there is this reason requiring them to act.

>> Chapter 3 verse 25

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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. Cp: Galatians: 4.4:- ‘God sent forth His Son made of a woman, made under the law.’
  3. Vide, Geneal: Table at end of Lecture 1.
  4. Vide, Geneal: Table at end of Lecture 1.
  5. About caste, read Lecture I, verses 39 to 44
  6. Vide, Geneal: Table at end of Lecture 1.
  7. Vide, Geneal: Table at end of Lecture 1.

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