SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
thEshAm gyAni nithyayuktha Ekabhakthir viSishyathE |
priyO hi gyAninO’thyartham aham sa cha mama priya: ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
thEshAm – among these four
nithya yuktha: – one who is always united with me
Ekabhakthi: – exclusively devoted to me
gyAnI – the gyAni
viSishyathE – is best
aham – I
gyAnina: – for such gyAni
athyartham priya: – very dear
sa: cha – he too
mama – for me
priya: – dear
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
Among these four, the gyAni who is always united with me and is exclusively devoted to me is the best. For such gyAni, I am very dear and he too is dear to me.
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘Of these, the jñāni is distinguished, as the ever-united and single-loving. Very dear indeed am I to the jñāni; he also is dear to Me.’
Of these four classes, the jñāni or the God-lover is the most distinguished, for he is, nitya-yuktaḥ and eka-bhaktiḥ.
Nitya-yuktaḥ=ever-united, i.e., ever-united to Me, by reason of My being his sole Goal. Others establish relations with Me only so long as their objects of desire are gained [or classes (1), (2), (3), verse 16, ante].
Eka-bhaktiḥ=single-loving, i.e., I am to the jñāni, his exclusively single Object of love; to the others, their love for Me has but the motive of gaining their several objects of desire, using Me as but the means by which to gain them.
Hence the jñāni is My Elect.
And what is more?:—
To the jñāni, I am the Object of his most passionate love. Atyartha=most, means beyond description or beyond utterance or expression.1 The jñāni’s love for Me is so deep and abundant,—so it is meant—that even for Me, the Omniscient and Omnipotent, it is difficult to fathom.
His love (for Me) can have no limits assigned to it, as in the case of Prahlāda,—the pre-eminent among the jñānis,—of whom it is said:—
‘Though bitten by huge snakes, he did not know (or feel) he had a body; so much was his mind devotionally immersed in Kṛishṇa; so transported by rapture induced by incessant recollections of Him’2.
He also3 is similarly loved by Me.
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- Cp: the striking parallel to Bhakti in the words of St: Augustine: “Quid est credere in Deum ? credend amare, credendo diligere, credendo in eurn ire, et ejus membris incorporari.” Meaning: what is to believe in God? Believing is loving (with passionate warmth =the love of emotion); Believing is loving (with reasoned attachment – the love of esteem): Believing is to pass in to Him, to be incorporated with his members. ↩
- Vishṇu-purāṇa: I-17-39. ‘Satvāsakta matiḥ Kṛishṇe dasyamāno mahoragaih, na vived-ātmano gātram tat-smrity-āhlāda-samsthitaḥ’. ↩
- Also has here the force: ‘My love to him is cool compared with the warmth and intensity of his love to Me. Or, it is impossible, even for Me, to sufficiently reciprocate his love for Me’. ↩