5.18 vidhyA vinaya sampannE

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

Chapter 5

<< Chapter 5 verse 17

SlOkam – Original

vidhyA vinaya sampannE brAhmaNE gavi hasthini |
Suni chaiva SvapAkE cha paNdithA: samadharSina: ||

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

paNdithA: – the wise
vidhyA vinaya sampannE (brAhmaNE) – in a brAhmaNa who has knowledge and humility
brAhmaNE – in a brAhmaNA (who lacks them)
gavi – in a cow (which is physically small)
hasthini – in an elephant (which is physically huge)
Suni – in a dog (which is killed and eaten)
SvapAkE cha Eva – in a chaNdALa (one who kills and eats such dogs)
sama dharSina: – (as the AthmAs in them are in the same form) see them equally

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

The wise see equally the AthmAs which are of the same form/nature in a brAhmaNa who has knowledge and humility and in a brAhmaNA (who lacks them), in a cow (which is physically small) and in an elephant (which is physically huge), in a dog (which is killed and eaten) and in a chaNdALa (who kills and eats such dogs).

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

‘The wise equally regard the brāhmaṇa, or one of culture and conduct, or the cow, or the elephant, or even the dog or even the abject outcaste1.’

Brāhmāṇa (by mere birth) or brāhmaṇa (the spiritual class in India; any spiritual men generally) possessed of learning and conduct. Cow, elephant, dog, an abject outcaste and so on, are examples by which to illustrate the great differences between one another, in which (embodied) ātmas seemingly so appear.

The equal-seeing (or regarding), for the knowers of ātma-nature, consists in the regarding of all ātmas (residing in those bodies) as equal, by reason of their essential characteristic, viz., intelligence (jñāna) being a common property. The varied appearances are due to (prakṛiti) matter; not to (ātma) spirit.

The wise see that all ātmas (in whatever bodies they may chance to dwell) are equal, viewed by the standard of the attribute of intelligence being shared by them all in common.

>> Chapter 5 verse 19

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  1. Śvapāka, lit: he who cooks a dog and eats.

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