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12.12 SrEyO hi gyAnam abhyAsAj

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

Chapter 12

<< Chapter 12 verse 11

SlOkam – Original

SrEyO hi gyAnam abhyAsAj gyAnAdh dhyAnaṁ viSishyathE |
dhyAnAth karmapalathyAgas tyAgAch chAnthir anantharam ||

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

abhyAsAth – devotion towards bhagavAn (without true love)
gyAnam – the knowledge which facilitates direct vision (which is the means for such devotional practice)
SrEya: hi – isn’t it better?
gyAnAth – the (incomplete) self-realisation
dhyAnam – meditation upon the self (which is means for self-realisation)
viSishyathE (hi) – isn’t it better?
dhyAnAth – (incomplete) meditation
karma pala thyAga: – karma (activities) performed giving up the fruits (which is the means for such meditation)
(viSishyathE (hi) – isn’t it better?)
thyAgAth – engaging in karma yOga giving up the fruits
anantharam – subsequently
SAnthi: – peace of mind (occurs)

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

Better than devotion towards bhagavAn (without true love) is the knowledge which facilitates direct vision (which is the means for such devotional practice); better than the (incomplete) self-realisation  is the meditation upon the self (which is means for self-realisation); better than the (incomplete) meditation is the karma (activities) performed giving up the fruits (which is the means for such meditation); engaging in karma yOga giving up the fruits lead to peace of mind.

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

‘Next to (God-)devotion, (soul-)knowledge is preferable; next to (soul-)knowledge, (soul-)meditation is preferable; next to (soul-)meditation, surrender of work’s fruit; from surrender follows peace.’

If (God-)exercise or practising (God-)devotion constantly (=abhyāsa) (as a mere head-exercise) is hard, by reason of no response coming to it in the interests of the soul from the heart, then the next alternative is to attempt soul-exercise, or practise the akshara-path (Gi: XII-345) through which to attain to soul-vision (jñāna).

In the interests of the soul, next to the achievement of soul-vision (or soul-cognition), —not arising— the mere contemplation on soul-nature (dhyāna), (as Spiritual Books teach) is to be adopted as the next alternative.

If soul-contemplation be found hard to practise —then it is best to perform works, resigning fruits thereof. This would lead (gradually) to soul-contemplation.

Performing action this-wise; viz., —without interest in the reward,— results in the divorcement of sin; and thereafter comes peace of mind. (Thus):—

  1. From peace of mind comes soul-contemplation;
  2. From Soul-contemplation results soul-cognition.
  3. From soul-cognition arises Parā-bhakti (God-love)

 

Hence, to him who is inept for Bhakti-Yoga (=the Path of God-love), soul-devotion is recommended as (next) best; but to him who cannot bring a mind peaceful enough to try this, -let him devote himself to doing fruit-forsaken works, based on soul-faith. This would (gradually) lead to soul-contemplation and soul-vision (in order).

The qualifications required for such a disinterested worker are now enumerated:

>> Chapter 12 verse 13

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12.11 athaithadhapyaSakthO’si

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

Chapter 12

<< Chapter 12 verse 10

SlOkam – Original

athaithadhapyaSakthO’si karthum madhyOgam ASritha: |
sarvakarmapalathyAgam thatha: kuru yathAthmavAn ||

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

atha – now
math yOgam ASritha: – pursuing bhakthi yOgam towards me
Ethath api karthum aSaktha: asi – if unable to perform this activity (which is the beginning stage of bhakthi yOgam)
thatha: – then
yathAthmavAn – having controlled the mind (through karma yOgam)
sarva karma pala thyAgam kuru – give up the fruits of all activities (as part of being engaged in gyAna yOgam which will instill parabhakthi (full attachment to bhagavAn))

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

Now, if you are unable to perform this activity (which is the beginning stage of bhakthi yOgam) of pursuing bhakthi yOgam towards me, then, having a controlled mind, give up the fruits of all activities (as part of being engaged in gyAna yOgam which will instill parabhakthi (full attachment to bhagavAn)).

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

‘If, even to do this —with a view to My union— you are unable, then, mind-controlling, resign all action’s fruit.’

With a view to My union (mad-yoga): means adopting the Bhakti-Yoga, which demands all love being centered in Me alone. Whoso then, —the follower of this Path,— always musing on My attributes, finds himself unable to perform all works for My sake, —from which procedure God-love would be born— then let him launch on akshara-yoga, or the contemplation on soul-nature, —described in the first six Lectures,— which would (gradually) engender Para-bhakti (or God-love).

The resignation or renouncal of the fruits of action, is preliminary, or the preparatory stage, to insure soul-vision.

Yat-ātmavān = yata-manaskaḥ = mind-controlling in this case, the mind made willing to do works without craving for fruition).

It is only to one, who is entirely cleansed of all his sins, that I become the Object of Love. It is only such a person who would converge all the strength of his intellect (buddhi) to Me (the Fullness of Love) as his sole Aim.

Thus, by performing actions —which in truth are forms
of My Worship,— and not craving for their reward,

  1. Soul-contemplation ensues;
  2. From Soul-contemplation results the obliteration of all beclouding impediments, such as ignorance (avidyā).
  3. From this follows Soul-vision (Pratyag-ātma-sākshātkāra), or the experiencing of soul-nature as essentially relate to Me.
  4. When this experience is had, Parā-bhakti (God-love + God-vision) for Me becomes a natural product.

 

It will be shown further on that ‘By worshipping Him by his acts, man wins the Goal’ (Gi: XVIII-46).

‘Relinquishing, and freed from ‘my-ness’, and in repose, he is made fit to become like unto Brahm’ ‘(Gi: XVIII-53).

‘Become Brahm-like and clear-souled, he laments not and longs not; same to all beings, he does attain to My love supreme1’ (Gi: XVIII-54).

>> Chapter 12 verse 12

archived in http://githa.koyil.org

pramEyam (goal) – http://koyil.org
pramANam (scriptures) – http://granthams.koyil.org
pramAthA (preceptors) – http://acharyas.koyil.org
SrIvaishNava education/kids portal – http://pillai.koyil.

  1. Supreme Love is Intense Love resulting in God-vision = parama bhaktim. Love has three stages: Parabhakti, Parajñāna, Parama-bhakti.