6.1 anASritha: karmapalam

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

Chapter 6

<< Chapter 5 verse 29

SlOkam – Original

SrI bhagavAn uvAcha
anASritha: karmapalam kAryam karma karOthi ya: |
sa sanyAsI cha yOgI cha na niragnir na chAkriya: ||

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

karma palam – the result of karma (actions) such as svarga (heaven) etc
anASritha: – being not holding on to
kAryam (ithi) karma ya: karOthi – one who performs karma yOga exclusively with the intention of performing that practice [without any expectation]
sa: sanyAsI cha – he remains a gyAna yOga nishta (practitioner);
(sa:) yOgi cha – he also remains a karma yOga nishta (practitioner);
(sa:) na niragni: – neither he is aloof from karmas (actions) such as yagya etc which invoke fire
(sa:) na cha akriya: – nor he is exclusive gyAna nishta (one who is focussed on pursuit of knowledge exclusively without adequate actions)

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

One who performs karma yOga exclusively with the intention of performing that practice, not holding on to the result of karma (actions) such as svarga (heaven) etc, remains a gyAna yOga nishta (practitioner); he also remains a karma yOga nishta (practitioner); neither is he aloof from karmas (actions) such as yagya etc which invoke fire nor is he exclusive gyAna nishta (one who is focussed on pursuit of knowledge exclusively without adequate actions).

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

SRĪ BHAGAVĀN Continued:-

‘He is the sannyāsi, he is the yogi, who discharges work as duty, independent of its fruit; not he that is fire-less (na niragniḥ), not he that is act-less (na-ch-ākriyaḥ).’

Karma-yoga with all its constituents has so far been expounded. The rules for the practice of yoga or meditation to secure ātma-vision, through Jñāna-yoga and Karma-yoga, will now be declared.

This verse is a short recapitulatory re-assertion of what has already been stated, viz., that (i) Karma-yoga is the immediate (or unaided) means (for ātma-attainment); that (2) it has in it the wisdom-aspect; and that (3) Karma-yoga has for its aim yoga (meditation which precedes ātma-vision).

Independently of the rewards of works, such as svarga etc., whosoever performs work as a duty, with no other idea than that it is worshipful service rendered to the Supreme Spirit, —Who is in every way our Real Loving Friend,— he is the sannyāsi or the Jñāna-yogi; and he is the true yogi or Karma-yogi. Such a person may be considered as walking both the paths (of Karma and of Jñāna), leading to ātma-realization.

So that the sannyāsi or Jñāni is not he that simply abstains from fire-duties1, or he who ceases to do any work, enjoined by the Śāstras viz., yajñās (sacrifices) etc., but he who engages in work, answering at once both the requirements of act and knowledge.

The next verse undertakes to show that in the kind of Karma-yoga, just described, there is wisdom also:

>> Chapter 6 verse 2

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  1. ‘Agnihotra’, etc., prescribed as karma.

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