3.5 na hi kaSchith kshaNam api

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

Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 4

SlOkam – Original

na hi kaSchith kshaNam api jAthu thishtathi akarmakruth |
kAryathE hi avaSa: karma sarva: prakruthijair guNai: ||

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

hi – because
kaSchith – no one
jAthu – ever
kshaNam api – even for a moment
akarmakruth – without performing actions
na thishtathi – cannot remain;
sarva: – everyone (even those who vowed to remain actionless)
prakruthijai: – that which grows due to the connection with matter
guNai – qualities such as sathvam, rajas and thamas
karma – with respect to their respective actions
avaSa: – unconsciously
kAryathE hi – are they not engaged?

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

Because no one can ever remain without performing actions even for a moment; Is everyone (even those who vowed to remain actionless) not engaged in actions based on qualities such as sathvam, rajas and thamas which grows due to the connection with matter? (Thus, it is implied that, unless one engages in karma yOga, reducing rajas and thamas and increasing sathva guNa, gyAna yOga will not be accomplished.)

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

‘None indeed can ever, even for an instant, remain actionless. By the matter-born guṇas1, one is forced against his will, to work.’

No person who is a denizen of this world, remains even for a moment quiet, without busying himself with some one act or another.

If he should ever determine to himself saying: ‘I shall do nothing,’ he will yet find himself compelled into action by the qualities of matter (with which he is bound), viz., satva, rajas and tamas2, whichever may get the ascendancy in response to the influences of past deeds.

Hence by following the Karma-Yoga Course, the cumulated sins of the past must melt away, and then mastery over the qualities (Guṇas3) of matter is gained. The internal organ (mind) is then made pure, by which next Jñāna-Yoga becomes possible.

Otherwise, the attempt to pursue Jñāna-Yoga alone becomes a pretence, says the verse:-

>> Chapter 3 verse 6

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  1. The properties of matter which rule the dispositions of mankind in their several worldly avocations. See Lect: XIV for an exhaustive treatment of the gunās. These are the three main characteristics of matter which keep the world moving. Satva is the tendency to produce goodness, purity, etc., Rajas is the tendency to act in the world with passions; and Tamas is the tendency to sloth, evil, etc.
  2. The properties of matter which rule the dispositions of mankind in their several worldly avocations. See Lect: XIV for an exhaustive treatment of the gunās. These are the three main characteristics of matter which keep the world moving. Satva is the tendency to produce goodness, purity, etc., Rajas is the tendency to act in the world with passions; and Tamas is the tendency to sloth, evil, etc.
  3. The properties of matter which rule the dispositions of mankind in their several worldly avocations. See Lect: XIV for an exhaustive treatment of the gunās. These are the three main characteristics of matter which keep the world moving. Satva is the tendency to produce goodness, purity, etc., Rajas is the tendency to act in the world with passions; and Tamas is the tendency to sloth, evil, etc.

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