4.28 dhravyayagyAs thapOyagyA

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Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 27

SlOkam – Original

dhravyayagyAs thapOyagyA yOgayagyAs thathAparE |
svAdhyAyagyAnayagyAS cha yathaya: samSithavrathA: ||

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

yathaya: – those yathis (ones who put effort)
samSithavrathA: – and with firm will
aparE – some karma yOgis
dhravya yagyA: – engage in the sacrifice of charity with wealth acquired by righteous means
(aparE) thapO yagyA: – Some others, engage in the sacrifice of austerity
thathA (aparE) yOga yagyA: – Some others, engage in the sacrifice of pilgrimage to holy lands, rivers etc
(aparE) svAdhyAya gyAna yagyA: – Some others, engage in the sacrifice of studying vEdham and few others in the sacrifice of studying the meanings of vEdham

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

Some karma yOgis who are yathis (ones who put effort) with firm will engage in the sacrifice of charity with wealth acquired by righteous means; some others, engage in the sacrifice of austerity; few others, engage in the sacrifice of pilgrimage to holy lands, rivers etc; few others, engage in the sacrifice of studying vEdham and few others in the sacrifice of studying the meanings of vEdham.

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

‘Some do wealth-sacrifices; some, tapas-sacrifices; some yoga-sacrifices; some, svādhyāya-sacrifices; and some yatis of fixed resolve, go in for jñāna-sacrifices.’

Some few karma-yogis go in for wealth-sacrifices; that is, they earn money in the right way, and devote the same to Divine-worship; others devoting it to charitable purposes; others performing Yāgas1 and Homas2 therewith. All these come under wealth-sacrifices.

Others betake themselves to tapas-sacrifices. Tapas is austerity (or penance or mortification of the flesh). Its modes are known as Kṛicchra, Chāndrāyaṇa3, fasting etc.

Others resort to yoga-sacrifices. Yoga here refers to a variety of karma-yoga, in agreement with the subject that is discussed here. Yoga means joining. Joining or making pilgrimages to holy waters, holy shrines etc., is meant by yoga-sacrifices.

Others take to svādhyāya-sacrifices, i.e., study of the Vedas (Holy Scriptures).

Others employ themselves in jñāna-sacrifices, i.e., they endeavor to enquire into the import of the Vedqs and understand them.

Yatis (plu : yatayaḥ) are those who assiduously persevere to accomplish what they undertake.

Samśita-vratāḥ=dṛidha-saṅkalpāḥ=those of fixed resolve or firm determination.

>> Chapter 4 verse 29

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  1. Yāgas are the great Sacrificial rites inculcated in the Vedas, such as aśvamedha-yāga, rāja sūya-yāga, garuda-chayana etc.
  2. Homas are Sacrifices in which consecrated fire is a sine qua non in which offerings (food etc.,) are burnt.
  3. Expiatory penances. See Manu XI-217, Hemādri and other Dharma-Śāstras which give detailed rules. Tapas, Rajendralal Mitra L.L. D., C. I. E., translates, as ‘religious austerity or self-denial’, p. 6o. Yoga Sūtras.

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