13.20 kAryakAraNakarthruthvE

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Chapter 13

<< Chapter 13 verse 19

SlOkam – Original

kAryakAraNakarthruthvE hEthu: prakruthir uchyathE |
purusha: sukhadhu:khAnAm bhOkthruthvE hEthur uchyathE ||

word-by-word meaning

kArya kAraNa karthruthvE – for the actions which are done by the body and eleven sense organs
prakruthi: – prakruthi (which is pervaded by the jIvAthmA)
hEthu: – as the cause
uchyathE – is explained;
purusha: – jIvAthmA
sukha dhu:khAnAm bhOkthruthvE – for experiencing joys and sorrows
hEthu: – as the cause (by being the abode of such experiences)
uchyathE – is explained.

Simple Translation

prakruthi (which is pervaded by the jIvAthmA) is explained as the cause for the actions which are done by the body and eleven sense organs [five sense organs for knowledge, five sense organs for carrying out activities and mind]; jIvAthmA is explained as the cause (by being the abode of such experiences) for experiencing joys and sorrows.

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

‘For creating effect and instruments, matter is said to be the cause; for experiencing joys and griefs, the soul is said to be the cause.’


Kāraṇāni= the instruments viz: the senses of perception, the organs of action, with manas ( = mind). In the making of these two (body and senses) to function the soul envisaged matter alone is the cause. That is to say that all work —or manifested activity— as means to afford enjoyment or experiences (to the soul) is dependent on matter in its state of ‘the field’ impulsed by the soul. The soul simply carries with it the function of the ‘director’ or ‘superintendent’ (adhishṭhatṛi). In this sense, the following Vedānta Aphorism applies to the soul viz:—

‘(The soul is) agent, because Śāstra’s purport is (then) fulfilled,’[2. Br: Sū: II-3-33: ‘Kartā śāstrārthavatvāt.’] etc.

What is agency (or being the doer), to the soul but the being the cause of initiating effort through the medium (or by the governing) of matter?

The soul is the cause for experiencing joy and grief: means that the matter-consorting soul is the seat for such experiences.[3. Consult Bh: Gī: III-27 to 29 in this connection. Also read Bhāg: III-26-9: ‘Kārya-kāraṇa-kartṛitve etc.’]

Thus difference of function each appropriate to matter and soul —when in conjunction,— has been mentioned. Next it is shown how the soul which is inherently fit for self-blessedness, comes to experience pleasures and pains derived from objects (products of matter).

>> Chapter 13 verse 20.5

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