SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
SlOkam – Original
gyEyam yath thath pravakshyAmi yath gyAthvAmrutham aSnuthE |
anAdhi mathparaṁ brahma na sath than nAsadhuchyathE ||
yath gyAthvA – knowing which
amrutham aSnuthE – attaining the imperishable state [of AthmA]
yath thath gyEyam – about such AthmA which is to be known
pravakshyAmi – I will explain you well;
anAdhi – beginningless (and endless)
math param – my subordinate/servitor
brahma – great
thath – that
na sath na asath uchyathE – it is not known by the word sath (AthmA in an effect state) or asath (AthmA in causal state)
I will explain to you well about AthmA which is to be known, knowing which one attains the imperishable state [of AthmA]; it is beginningless (and endless), my subordinate/servitor, great and is not known by the word sath (AthmA in an effect state) or asath (AthmA in causal state).
Rendering based on ALkoNdavilli gOvindhAchArya swAmy’s English translation of gIthA bhAshyam
‘That will I declare which is to be known, knowing which one tastes immortality; (that which is) the beginningless; having Me for the Highest; the brahma; called neither ‘ens’ nor ‘nonens’.’
That which is to be known: is that which is to be gained, viz: the nature of pratyag-ātma (soul), —to be known by means of the virtues: Reverence etc., (vide supra).
Immortality: is the immortal soul itself, exempt from the material necessities of birth, decrepitude, death etc,
Anādi=That which has no beginning; for to pratyag-ātma (soul) there is no birth; hence it has no end; for says the Śruti: ‘The intelligent soul (vipaśchit) is neither born nor dies’[1. Kaṭh: Up: II-18. ‘Najāyate mṛiyate vā vipaśchit’.].
Mat-param=That (soul) to which I am the High (para), as declared in the Stanza: ‘But know My other Nature, superior, the jīva’ (Gi: XII-5), by which, teaching that soul-nature is in essence that which is body to, and which depends on, the Blessed Lord.
Similarly do Śrutis declare, as for example:
‘Who seated in the soul; in the interior of the soul; Whom the soul knows not; to Whom the soul is body; Who rules in the inside of the soul’[2. Bri: Up: V-7-22: ‘Ya ātmano`ntaro &c.’], etc. And also,
‘He is the Cause, and the Lord of the lord of the senses; to Him there is no progenitor or lord;[3. Śvet: Up: VI-9: ‘Sakāraṇam karanādhipādhipo nacpāsya kaschijjanit nachādhipaḥ’.]………(He is) the Lord of matter (pradhāna) and soul (Kshetrajña), and the Master of qualities.’[4. Śvet: Up: VI-16: ‘Pradhāna kshetrajña pathiṛ guneśaḥ.’]
Brahma=That which is great, because soul is an entity separate from body, and is that which cannot be parted or divided off by body etc. (Brahma=indivisible, impartite). So brahma=the Category of Kshetrajña=soul;
Śruti also declares:— ‘He can become infinite.’[5. Śvet: Up: V-9. ‘Sachānanthayāya kalpate’.] Soul’s limitation by body is due to Karma; but limitlessness or infinity would be its attribute when liberated. In Gītā also the term brahma is applied to designate soul as in: ‘He, transcending these guṇas, is fitted to be brahma’ (Gi: XIV-26); ‘I am brahma’s Prop, —the immortal, imperishable (brahma)’ (Gi: XIV-27). ‘Brahma, purified, grieves not, craves not; same to all beings, he acquires the highest love for Me’. (Gī: XVIII-54)
It is called neither sat=ens, nor asat=non-ens, because it is that which never undergoes the states known as causes and effects. The term ‘Ens’ comes to be applied to it when it (soul) assumes names and forms such as deva etc; and when no such names and forms are donned, the name ‘Non-ens’ comes to be applied to it. (Hence, essentially) it is neither ‘ens’ nor ‘non-ens’. Declare also the Śrutis thus:—
‘Asat (non-being) was in the beginning, from it was sat (being) born.’[6.
Cp: (Tait: II-7-9, also Rig-Veda (VIII-7-17).]
‘This verily was unfashioned, which was (then) fashioned out into names and forms;’[7. Bṛi: Up: I-4-7: ‘Taddhedam etc.’] and so on, showing that the occurrence of states —as cause and as effect— to soul is due to the enshroudment brought on by ignorance (avidyā); and is not inherent to the nature of the soul itself. Hence soul-nature is undefinable by such terms as sat and asat.
It may be said that the Śruti: ‘Asat was in the beginning, etc’ refers to the causal state in which Parabrahm (God) is; to which it is replied that the causal state of Parabrahm is the state of Parabrahm having the principles, chit and achit (soul and matter) as the body. Hence in the causal state, the body also, viz: kshetra and kshetrajña (matter and soul) are fit to be designated as asat; but a causal state to kshetrajña (soul) is accounted for by karma, the pure soul-nature itself being one which can neither be called ‘ens’ (sat) nor ‘non-ens’ (asat).[8. Vide: Bh: Gī: IV-34.]
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