3.40 indhriyANi manO budhdhir

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Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 39

SlOkam – Original

indhriyANi manO budhdhir asyAdhishtAnam uchyathE |
Ethair vimOhayathyEsha gyAnam Avruthya dhEhinam ||

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

asya – for this kAma
indhriyANi – sense organs
mana: – mind
budhdhi – firm intellect (in sense gratification)
adhishtAnam – being the tools to hold on (to AthmA)
uchyathE – is said.
Esha: – This lust
Ethai: – through these tools of sense organs, mind and firm intellect
gyAnam – true knowledge (about the true nature of AthmA)
Avruthya – covers
dhEhinam – jIvAthmA which is together with the body
vimOhayathi – bewilders in many ways

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

It is said that the sense organs, the mind and the firm intellect (in sense gratification) are being the tools to hold on (to AthmA). This lust through these tools of sense organs, mind and firm intellect covers the true knowledge (about the true nature of AthmA) of jIvAthmA which is together with the body and bewilders it in many ways.

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

‘The senses, the manas1, and the buddhi2 are its’ seats. By beclouding the understanding, it bewitches the embodied (soul).’

The senses (indriyāṇi), the mind (manas), and the determinative faculty (of the mind=buddhi) are said to be the seats of lust (or desire), as by establishing itself in these, it exercises dominion over ātmā. By these, —the senses, manas and buddhi,—its instruments,— become saturated with cravings after object-experiences (or delights), lust seizes hold of, or entices the embodied (ātmā), —embodied (ātmā) is the matter-consorted (prakṛiti-samsṛishta) soul—, by beclouding its intelligence (jñāna). Vi-mohayati means vividham mohayati, i. e., (lust) entices (the soul) in many ways. That is to say, it makes the person blind (or opposed) to all knowledge of ātmā, and plunges him into objective revelries (or sense-indulgences).

>> Chapter 3 verse 41

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  1. Manas is generally translated as mind, but mind in English Psychology is a general term denoting Intellect (or Thought), Will (or Volition) & Feelings (or Emotions); but in Indian Psychology, manas is substance, the 11th organ, the internal organ of perception and action. Manas, the mind that functions in the world is the instrument of objective consciousness; whereas buddhi may be considered as the subjective or spiritual consciousness. Manas or the worldy mind constitutes the personality of an entity conterminous with a single incarnation on the material plane; and constitutes also the individuality of the entity as well in its various transmigrations from incarnation to incarnation; the personality being distinguished in the sthūla or gross visible bodily manifestation, and the individuality being distinguished in the sūkshma, linga, or subtle invisible bodily manifestation, and experiences thereof in dream, Svarga, etc. Whereas buddhi is consciousness pure, exempt from all material conditions, and is an inseparable adjunct of the soul. It is spiritual consciousness which eternally adjectivally co-exists with soul (ātmā). In the Yudhishṭhira-Ajagara-Samvāda (vide, Mahābhārata, Aranya Parva, 181st Adhyaya) Ajagara (or the dragon) gives a short and clear definition of buddhi, and manas, worth quoting here:- ‘Buddher ātmānug-ātīva, utpāte na vidhīyate, Tadāśritā hi sā jñeyā, Buddhis tasya-ishiṇi bhavet (25)’. ‘Buddher utpadyate kāryān, manas t-ūtpannam eva hi. Buddher guṇa-vishir nāsti, manas tad-guṇavad bhavet (26)’. Meaning: Buddhi (or intelligence) is the ever indissoluble attribute of the soul (ātmā), and is to be known as dependent on the soul, and ministering to it. Buddhi is the evolvent of effects (or cause) whereas manas is the evolute (or effect). Buddhi is not circumscribed by the guṇas (or properties of matter, whereas manas changes according to the guṇas).
  2. Buddhi is generally translated as understanding, will and so on. Indian philosophy understands by it, the judging, discerning, ascertaining or deciding faculty of the mind. Vide, note 1, above, on ‘Manas‘.

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