SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
aparEyam ithas thvanyAm prakruthim vidhdhi mE parAm |
jIvabhUthAm mahAbAhO yayEdham dhAryathE jagath ||
word-by-word meaning (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
mahAbAhO – Oh mighty armed!
iyam – this material nature which is insentient
aparA – is inferior;
itha: – than this
anyAm thu – different
jIvabhUthAm – called as jIva (sentient entity)
parAm – superior to the previously mentioned material nature
prakruthim – [spiritual] matter
mE vidhdhi – know as mine;
yayA – by which jIva
idham jagath – this universe
dhAryathE – is sustained
Simple Translation (based on puththUr krishNamAchArya swAmy’s thamizh translation)
Oh mighty armed! This insentient material nature is inferior; know that the [spiritual] matter called as jIva (sentient entity) which is different from and superior to the material nature, is mine; it is by this jIva [i.e., collection of jIvAthmAs] that this universe is sustained.
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘But this (Nature) is inferior; know My other Nature, superior (than that), —the jīva (=soul), —by which, O Strong-armed! this Universe is sustained.’
But this (i.e., matter-stuff) is My lower Nature. Know My other higher Nature which is different from that insentient Nature, the latter but contributing to the enjoyment of My other Nature, the sentient beings. This other higher Nature is the living Nature, forming a distinct class from that of the lower lifeless Nature. This higher Nature stands to the lower Nature in the relation of the enjoyer (to the enjoyed), and the higher Nature is further characterized by intelligence (absent in the lower Nature). (As the lower Nature [matter] is of Me) so also is the higher Nature [soul] of Me.
By this higher Nature, all this inert or non-intelligent Nature, —the Universe— is upheld.1 was once ignorant, and that He came to possess true knowledge (i.e., monistic knowledge) after acquaintance with Śāstra2
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- Verses 4 and 5 thus represent the Achit and the Chit, or the Objective and the Subjective aspects of Īśvara (God). Vide, footnote from 2.12: Īśvara is the term which, in preference, Rāmānuja uses to denote God, in all his philosophical discussions; Chit being used for individual soul, meaning ‘sentient or intelligent or conscious’, and A-chit for matter or that which is not sentient, not intelligent, not conscious’. A-chit, chit and Īśvara thus constitute the tatva-traya, or the Three Verieties, or the Three necessary Postulates of Existence. Also, Īśvara or the all-perfect Lord is Parabrahm Itself in the Viśhisḥtādvaita literature, not the Lower Brahm of the Advaita as distinguished from the Higher Brahm. The Vedānta-Sūtras make no such distinctions (vide: G. Thebaut’s Vedanta Sutras). ↩
- Śāstra means laws, learning, and therefore spiritual laws or science embodied in the Vedas or Sṛutis, etc. Also refer to table at end of Lect. VII. ↩