3.39 Avrutham gyAnam EthEna

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

Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 38

SlOkam – Original

Avrutham gyAnam EthEna gyAninO nithyavairiNA |
kAmarUpENa kaunthEya dushpUrENAnalena ca ||

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

kaunthEya – Oh son of kunthI!
dhushpUrENa – desiring for aspects that are impossible to attain and not being content (analEna – even in the aspects that can be attained)
nithya vairiNA – which is being the enemy (of true knowledge) always
EthEna kAma rUpENa – by this lust
gyAnina: gyAnam – the knowledge of AthmA which has knowledge as a natural atttribute
Avrutham – covered

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

Oh son of kunthI! The knowledge of AthmA which has knowledge as a natural attribute is covered by this lust which is desiring for aspects that are impossible to attain and not being content (analEna – even in the aspects that can be attained) and is the enemy (of true knowledge) always.

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

‘The understanding (jñāna1) of the jñāni (the wise man), Kaunteya2! is enwrapped by this eternal foe, in the guise of lust, insatiable and inexhaustible.’

The intellect or understanding of the intelligent or enlightened man, in respect of ātmā-knowledge, is beclouded by the eternal foe which comes in the shape of lust, —that which generates a fascination for object-enjoyments.

It is dushpūra or insatiable, i. e., it hungers and thirsts after gratifications, though inaccessible to its grasp.

It is anala3 or inexhaustible, i.e., nothing will completely satisfy lust. When it gets one object it desired for, it will want another. It is unappeasable. (Inexhaustible greed is never satisfied).

What are the instruments by which lust takes possession of ātmā? It is said:—

>> Chapter 3 verse 40

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  1. Jñāna is a term in Samskṛit, which, according to the place where it occurs, variously means, knowledge, wisdom, reason, understanding, sense intelligence, intellect, consciousness and sentiency. In Vedānta works, all
    these terms are used with reference to spiritual matters. Sir William Hamilton in his Metaphysics (i-193) says:
    ‘consciousness and knowledge each involves the other,’ and yet each term finds its appropriate use according to
    the tenor of particular passages which have to be elucidated.
  2. A matronymic for Arjuna; Son of Kunti = Arjuna.
  3. Anala means also fire. In which case, lust is like fire, which, once it attacks a thing, will burn it outright. So lust burns a man out.

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