3.33 sadhruSam chEshtathE svasyA:

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

Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 32

SlOkam – Original

sadhruSam chEshtathE svasyA: prakruthEr gyAnavAnapi |
prakruthim yAnthi bhUthAni nigraha: kim karishyathi ||

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

gyAnavAn api – even one who is having knowledge (on truth which is acquired from SAsthram)
svasyA: prakruthE: sadhruSam – matching his time eternal attachment towards worldly pleasures
chEshtathE – engaged (in worldly maters);

(This is because)
bhUthAni – chEthanas (souls) who are together with achEthana (material bodies)
prakruthim – only time eternal taste
yAnthi – follow.

(thAni – those)
nigraha: – injunctions of SAsthram
kim karishyathi – what can it do?

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

Even one who is having knowledge (on truth which is acquired from SAsthram) is engaged (in worldly maters) matching his time eternal attachment towards worldly pleasures; This is because chEthanas (souls) who are together with achEthana (material bodies) will only follow time eternal taste [towards such matters]. What can the injunctions of SAsthram do to those [souls]?

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

‘Even the jñāni follows the bent of his nature1; all creatures follow nature2; what can (Śāstra)-restriction avail?’

The jñāni, —the man of wisdom— is well acquainted with the Śāstra-declarations as regards the distinctive nature of ātmā from matter (prakṛiti), and knows also full well that ātmā should form the sole object of his contemplation. And yet the force of old habits (in connection with matter) is such that he is carried along in the current of old nature’s tendencies, and he finds occupation with material objects. The reason is that creatures become confirmed in whatever habits they form with nature, —whatever habits they create from their association with the inert companion achit=(matter); and in those habits they persist.

In the face of these inured habits, what availeth Śāstra, which would impose restraint (on these habits)?!3

How one (slavishly) follows (material) nature is now explained :—

>> Chapter 3 verse 33.5

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  1. Nature here means the sum of tendencies, dispositions, tastes, inclinations, etc., which are seen to evoke in each individual, -the man thus apparently unaccountably differing from another,- varieties so exhibited being accounted for by the habits formed in previous births, which eventuate in the present birth, (Read my Articles on ‘Predestination and Free-will.’ In the Theosophist, 1896-97).
  2. Nature here means the sum of tendencies, dispositions, tastes, inclinations, etc., which are seen to evoke in each individual, -the man thus apparently unaccountably differing from another,- varieties so exhibited being accounted for by the habits formed in previous births, which eventuate in the present birth, (Read my Articles on ‘Predestination and Free-will.’ In the Theosophist, 1896-97).
  3. Cf. the Mahābhārata verse: ‘Janmāntara sahasreshu yā buddhir bhāvitā nriṇām, tām eva bhajate jantur upadeśo nirarthakaḥ.

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