4.19 yasya sarvE samArambhA:

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

Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 18

SlOkam – Original

yasya sarvE samArambhA: kAmasankalpavarjithA: |
gyAnAgnidhagdhakarmANam tham Ahu: paNditham budhA: ||

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

yasya – for the one (who is mumukshu (liberation seeker))
sarvE samArambhA: – the efforts in nithya (daily), naimiththika (occasion based) and kAmya (desirous of particular goal) karma
kAma sankalpa varjithA: – devoid of kAma (attachment) in the results and sankalpa (will/desire due to confusing body with soul)
tham paNditham – such enlightened person
gyAnAgni dhagdha karmANam – one who is having karma (puNya (virtues) and pApa (vices)) that is burnt up in the fire of gyAna (knowledge which is part of karma)
budhA: – the wise
Ahu: – say

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

The wise say that the efforts of an enlightened person (who is mumukshu) in carrying out nithya (daily), naimiththika (occasion based) and kAmya (desirous of particular goal) karma, devoid of kAma (attachment) in the results and sankalpa (will/desire due to confusing body with soul) will lead to his karma (puNya (virtues) and pApa (vices)) being burnt up in the fire of gyAna (knowledge which is part of karma).

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

‘He, whose all-acts are devoid of desire and delusion (saṅkalpa), —the wise say— is the enlightened man, whose works are burnt up in the fire of wisdom.’

Kāma, desire, is the attachment (i.e., longing) for fruit. Saṅkalpa is delusion, imagining, or fancy. Delusion is the fanciful or wrong notion in one’s mind. The fancying (saṅkalpa) here alluded to consists in the thought which identifies ātma with prakṛiti (matter), and its (the latter’s) guṇās (qualities), and mis-conceiving them all as one (principle).

To the moksha-aspirant, all the nitya1, naimittika2 etc., frugiferous (kāmya) acts, necessitating the worldly activities such as earning money etc., for their sake, are devoid of desire (kāma).

To him, those acts are further exempt from fancies (saṅkalpa), because he performs them with the distinct knowledge he has of ātma, as contrasted with matter (prakṛiti).

Whoso does work in this fashion —work involving meditation of atma-wisdom— the wise, or truth-knowers consider him as one, whose all past deeds have become consumed in the fire of that (ātma)-wisdom.

Hence to work, is assignable a knowledge -(or-wisdom)- aspect.

The same subject is further elaborated;

>> Chapter 4 verse 20

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  1. The daily duties (nitya) are Snāna, Sandhyā, Vaiśvadeva-brahma-yajña, Deva-ṛshi-pitṛi-tarpaṇa, and Aupāsana. The occassioned (naimittika) are the Śrāddhās, Tarpaṇas, etc., performed on the Eclipse-day, Saṇkranti, Mahālaya, etc., Pūrva-Mīmāmsa says: ‘nitya naimittika karmācharaṇe phalam nāsti; akaraṇe pratyavāyaḥ’.
  2. The daily duties (nitya) are Snāna, Sandhyā, Vaiśvadeva-brahma-yajña, Deva-ṛshi-pitṛi-tarpaṇa, and Aupāsana. The occassioned (naimittika) are the Śrāddhās, Tarpaṇas, etc., performed on the Eclipse-day, Saṇkranti, Mahālaya, etc., Pūrva-Mīmāmsa says: ‘nitya naimittika karmācharaṇe phalam nāsti; akaraṇe pratyavāyaḥ’.

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