8.11 yadhaksharam vEdhavidhO vadhanthi

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Chapter 8

<< Chapter 8 verse 10

SlOkam – Original

yadhaksharam vEdhavidhO vadhanthi viSanthi yadh yathayO vItharAgA: |
yadhichchanthO brahmacharyam charanthi thath thE padham sangrahENa pravakshyE ||

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

yath – that
aksharam – as aksharam (imperishable)
vEdha vidha: – knowers of vEdham
vadhanthi – says
yath – that
ichchantha: – desiring
vItharAgA: yathaya: – without desires [for anything else], controlling their senses
brahmacharyam charanthi – practicing brahmacharya (celibacy, detachment)
yath viSanthi – attaining which (as a result of their practice)
thath padham – that true nature of me (which is to be worshipped)
thE – for you
sangrahENa pravakshyE – will explain briefly

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

I will explain to you briefly about that true nature of me (which is to be worshipped) which is said by the knowers of vEdham as aksharam (imperishable), desiring which they practice brahmacharya (celibacy, detachment) without desires [for anything else], controlling their senses and attains which (as a result of their practice).

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

‘That Way will I now briefly declare to you, which the Veda-wise declare as that of Akshara (imperishable); which, the desire-weaned Yatis enter;, which to tread, aspirants lead the life of Brahma-charya1.’

That other Path, the Path which is for those who would find their soul, and secure isolation (Kaivalya-moksha), I will briefly explain.

That Path is the Path of Akshara, or the imperishable, described as:—

‘Not gross etc.’ (Br: Up. V-8-8)2, by the versed in the Vedas.

It is that, which the Yatis (or renouncers of the world, attempt to enter.

It is that, hungering for which, men keep the vow of Brahma-charya3.

Padam=Path or Way, or that by which one mentally proceeds and gains his object. Padyate=gamyate or that which is followed, or the method adopted by the mind.

The import is this: ‘I give you a short description of the method by which, the soul-seeker (kaivaly-ārthi) has to meditate on Me to achieve the end he has in view, viz., the meditating on Me in the aspect of the Akshara (the Imperishable etc., as described in the Bṛihad-āranyak-Upanishad, V-8-8 to 11).

>> Chapter 8 verses 12-13

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  1. Chastity or continence. See Note 2, verse 6.14. Those who would find their soul, should strictly lead an ascetic life. Unless vital energies are conserved and re-absorbed into the system, Self-illumination is not easily accomplished. Even the atomic philosopher Democritus did not approve of a man’s marrying and getting children. He used to say also, that the pleasure of love was a slight epilepsy. Newton had not time to think of marriage. ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman (I Cor., VII.1) “… have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of heavens` sake”. (Matt., XIX. 12), vide, p:92, Engl. Tr: Tatva-trayā by Yogi Parthasārathi.
  2. Sāhovācha-itad vai tad Aksharam Gargi! brāhmaṇa abhivadanty-asthūlam anaṇv-ahrasvam &c.
  3. Chastity or continence. See Note 2, p. 256. Those who would find their soul, should strictly lead an ascetic life. Unless vital energies are conserved and re-absorbed into the system, Self-illumination is not easily accomplished. Even the atomic philosopher Democritus did not approve of a man’s marrying and getting children. He used to say also, that the pleasure of love was a slight epilepsy. Newton had not time to think of marriage. ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman (I Cor., VII.1) “… have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of heavens` sake”. (Matt., XIX. 12), vide, p:92, Engl. Tr: Tatva-trayā by yogi Parthasārathi.

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