5.14 na karthruthvam na karmANi

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

Chapter 5

<< Chapter 5 verse 13

SlOkam – Original

na karthruthvam na karmANi lOkasya srujathi prabhu: |
na karmapalasamyOgam svabhAvas thu pravarthathE ||

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

prabhu: – the true nature of jIvAthmA which is not bound by karma
lOkasya – for the variegated collection of people [in this world]
karthruthvam na srujyathi – does not create the aspect of being the doer
karmaNi na srujyathi – does not cause actions
karma pala samyOgam na srujyathi – does not cause the result of the actions (for dhEvas et al)
svabhAva: thu pravarththathE – the connection with prakuthi (nature) is that which causes all of these

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

The true nature of jIvAthmA which is not bound by karma does not create the aspect of being the doer, does not cause actions and does not cause the result of the actions (for dhEvas et al) for the variegated collection of people [in this world]; the connection [of such AthmA] with prakuthi (nature) is that which causes all of these.

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

‘Neither actorship nor act, does the (prabhu1) lord of the body create for the world; nor even the bond between act and (its) fruit. It is Nature (svabhāva) that prevails.2

The prabhu is the ruler of the body=ātma. By essence, he is above the influences of deeds (karma) and abides in his own nature. This prabhu is not the originator —in the world or regions abounding in matter-bound existences, viz., the four-fold divisions of deva, animal, human and immovable minerals etc., kingdoms —of the several kinds of agencies (or authorships of acts) pertaining thereto, nor of actions themselves, emanating from those entities; nor of the links which connect act to act-born fruit, such as becoming a deva etc.

What is it, then, that does all this? It is the Nature that prevails. By Nature is meant the material reminiscence or instinct (vāsanā). This kind of actorship etc., springs from union with matter in its forms of deva etc., fashioned by the chain of deeds generated in the immemorial past. The actorship etc., is also the result of the habit or instinct (vāsanā) of the mistaken notion that the forms of deva etc., do themselves constitute the ātma.

Hence actorship (or authorship) of acts etc., —which is the product of union with matter— is no essential characteristic of ātma.

>> Chapter 5 verse 15

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  1. Ātma is prabhu from the root pra-bhavati. It lives (in contrast with lifeless matter). See Dvaita Commentary.
  2. Vide, Bh: Gī: VI-5, 6; XIII-5, 6, 19 to 21; and Theosophist, Vol: VIII, p: 436.

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