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17.4 yajanthE sAthvikA dhEvAn

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

Chapter 17

<< Chapter 17 Verse 3

SlOkam – Original

yajanthE sAthvikA dhEvAn yaksharakshAmsi rAjasA: |
prEthAn bhUthagaNAmS chAnyE yajanthE thAmasA janA: ||

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

sAthvikA: – Those who are having abundance of sathva guNam (goodness), and faith in such mode
dhEvAn – dhEvas (celestial beings)
yajanthE – worship;
rAjasA: – those who are having abundance of rajO guNam (passion), and faith in such mode
yaksha rakshAmsi (yajanthE) – worship yakshas (ghosts) and rAkshasas (demons);
anyE – others who are different from the aforementioned two categories of people
thAmasA: – those who are having abundance of thamO guNam (ignorance), and faith in such mode
prEthAn – dead people
bhUthagaNAn cha – devils
yajanthE – worship

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

Those who are having abundance of sathva guNam (goodness), and faith in such mode worship dhEvas (celestial beings); those who are having abundance of rajO guNam (passion), and faith in such mode worship yakshas (ghosts) and rAkshasas (demons); those others who are different from the aforementioned two categories of people and who are having abundance of thamO guNam (ignorance), and faith in such mode worship dead people and devils.

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

‘Those of Satvam worship the Devas; those of Rajas, the Yakshas and Rakshas; and then those of Tamas worship the Pretas and the hosts of the Bhūtas.’

Those in whom the Satva quality reigns, become united to the Satva-kind of faith, and they worship the Devas. That faith is called the faith of Satva, which concerns itself with the supreme bliss-fraught Deva-Sacrifices, —bliss unmixed with pain.

Those of Rajas-quality (similarly) resort to the worship of Yakshas and Rakshas; and those of Tamas-quality to Pretas and hosts of Bhūtas. The Rajas-faith is that which gives birth to some happiness but mixed with pain; the Tamas-faith is that which gives birth to little or no happiness, tantamount to pain itself.

Thus, fruits differ according to the qualities with which Sacrifices etc., are performed in faith, even when those Sacrifices are in accordance with Śāstra. (Lord Kṛishṇa) now declares what he had before reserved in his mind that not the smallest modicum of happiness attends the performance of anti-Śāstra penances, Sacrifices etc., inasmuch as they are opposed to His Mandates. Not only that no happiness results but positive evil attends.

>> Chapter 17 Verse 5

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17.3 sathvAnurUpA sarvasya

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

Chapter 17

<< Chapter 17 Verse 2

SlOkam – Original

sathvAnurUpA sarvasya SradhdhA bhavathi bhAratha |
SraddhAmayO’yam purushO yO yachchradhdha: sa Eva sa: ||

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

bhAratha – Oh descendant of bharatha clan!
sarvasya – for everyone
sathvAnurUpA – as per their desire
SradhdhA bhavathi – faith occurs;
ayam purusha: – this person
SradhdhA maya: – is a transformation of such faith;
ya: – whoso
yachchradhdha: – whatever faith he is with
sa Eva sa: – he is a result of that such only.

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

Oh descendant of bharatha clan! For all individuals, their faith occurs as per their desire; this person is a transformation of such faith; whatever faith a person is with, he is a result of such faith only.

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

‘The faith of every one, Bhārata! accords with his mind; one is saturated with faith; of what one is, he is that.’1

Satvam=Antaḥ-karaṇam=(The inner-sense), the mind. As is the mind, so is the faith of every person; in other words, whatever quality is the mind conjoined with, faith is begot for such things as are of that quality. The term satvam (mind) implies the body and the senses mentioned afore-said (See Comm: Stanza2).

Śraddhāmayaḥ or the man saturated with faith: means that man is the embodiment of faith itself.

Of whatever faith he is united to, into that faith he becomes transformed. The sense is that if a person is filled with faith for a meritorious work, he becomes entitled to meritorious fruit thereof; so that faith of any kind leads to a fruit corresponding to that faith.

The subject is further expanded:

>> Chapter 17 Verse 4

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

  1. ‘Desire first fathers the thought, and then thought woos belief’ says Alger.
  2. TBD.