SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
thapasvibhyO’dhikO yOgI gyAnibhyO’pi mathOdhika: |
karmibhyASchAdhikO yOgI thasmAth yOgI bhavArjuna ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
yOgI – yOga practitioner
thapasvibhya: adhika: (matha:) – is thought to be greater than those who merely engage in penance;
(yOgI – yOga practitioner)
gyAnibhya: api – those who are knowledgeable in worldly matters
adhika: matha: – is thought to be greater than
yOgI – yOga practitioner
karmibhya: cha – those who are engaged in merely performing karma (actions)
adhika: (matha:) – is thought to be greater than.
arjuna – Oh arjuna!
thasmAth – Thus
(thvam – you)
yOgI bhava – become a yOgi.
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
yOgi is thought to be greater than those who merely engage in penance; yOgi is thought to be greater than those who are knowledgeable in worldly matters; yOgi is thought to be greater than those who are engaged in merely performing karma (actions). Oh arjuna! Thus you shall become a yOgi.
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘The yogi ranks higher than the tapasvīs, higher yet than the jñānīs; higher is he than the karmīs. Hence, Arjuna! become thou the yogi.’
As Yoga (or The Path) leads to the highest aspiration of man, it is greater than what is attainable by the austere and ascetic mode of life (tapas); greater than what is attainable by various kinds of knowledge1 inferior to ātma-knowledge, (this is the jñāni meant here); greater even than what is attainable by performers of Aśvamedha2 and other Veda-writ ritualistic ceremonies (the karmīs).
Hence the yogi is superior to the tapasvīs, to the jñānīs and to the karmīs.
You, Arjuna!, become, therefore, this (kind of) yogī.
So far, thus, the subject relating to (or how to acquire) ātma-intuition (or ātma-knowledge) as preliminary to the Higher knowledge (Para-vidyā=God-intuition, or God-wisdom or Theosophy) propounded by Prajāpati in the (Upanishad) passages, (Chh: Up. VIII-7, et seq:)3, has been discoursed upon. The next verse 4 is a eulogy on this Higher Theosophy.
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- Vedāntāchārya says in Tātparya-chandrika: ‘Santi hi tat tad-yoga-śāstrokt āni aupa-nishad-oktāni cha, devatāntara chandra-sūryādi-graha pran-en-driya-visha-yāṇi jñānāni’. Knowledge such as attaining psychic powers, or getting a knowledge of planets, the Sun, vital energy etc. ↩
- Lit: horse-sacrifices, a ceremony emblematic of the immolation of a horse, by a king ambitious of universal empire. See Yajur-Veda, 22nd to 25th Chapters. They are not real sacrifices, but emblematic ceremonies. After certain prayers have been recited, the victims are let loose without injury. If the animals are actually immolated, they are in turn said to wreak their vengeance on the Sacrificer. Vide, Bhāgavata; IV-28-26: ‘tam yajñā-paśavo nena saṃ jñaptā ye dayāḷunā, kuṭhāraiś chiccḥiduḥ kruddhāḥ smaranto mīvam asya yat.’ ↩
- The reader is referred to Rāmānuja’s Proem to Lec: III and the Table of Vidyās appended at end of Lec: III. ↩
- NOTE: Originally “This verse” in the printed version of this book referring to the following verse. ↩