2.46 yāvān artha uda-pāne (Original)

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Chapter 2

<< Chapter 2 verse 45


yāvān artha uda-pāne
sarvataḥ samplutodake
tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu
brāhmaṇasya vijānataḥ

‘As, from a reservoir overflowing with water, a little only (of water) is one’s requirement, so much only is the requirement of the wise Brāhmaṇa[1. See Commentary for an explanation of this term …] from out of the numerous Vedas.’

Traiguṇyam: is the group of the three gunas[2. See Lect: XIV for an exhaustive treatment of the gunās. These are the three main characteristics of matter which keep the world moving. Satva is the tendency to produce goodness, purity, etc., Rajas is the tendency to act in the world with passions; and Tamas is the tendency to sloth, evil, etc.] or qualities, viz., satva, rajas and tamas. The term traiguṇya indicates the persons who are severally characterized with, or prompted by, these qualities.

If the Vedas did not minister to each of these classes of men according to their tastes or predilections, by indicating the means for securing Svarga etc., then those, under the influence of rajas and tamas, would not only -(by their nature)- be opposed to the satva-fruit of moksha, but would be in ignorance of how to gain their own ends (of Svarga etc., for which only their present dispositions fit them). And then, full of desires, but not knowing the way, they would fall into tracks, fancying them to be the ways leading to their goal, and thus go to ruin.

Hence the Vedas contain all that the three-qualitied persons want. But ‘be thou free of them. That is, thou are now having satva prevailing in thee, encourage and let it grow; but allow not the intermixture of all the triple qualities to prevail in thee, i.e., do not encourage the growth of the mixture.’

Nir-dvandvaḥ: or one who is free from the ‘pairs,’ means, to be destitute of all that smacks of samsāra.

Nitya-satva-sthaḥ: or one ever wedded to satva, means, to be separated from the two guṇās (rajas and tamas of the mixture) and abiding in the ever growing satva.

How is this to be done? By being, nir-yoga-kshemaḥ, or one who does not concern himself about acquiring any other advantage external to that of realizing ātmā-nature and the means to effect that end. Acquiring or gathering to oneself external things (which did not belong to him before) is yoga. And caring for (or protecting) what has been acquired is kshema. Relinquishing both, ‘become ātmavān,’ i.e., one who, ever, is in pursuit of finding out the true nature of ātmā.

If thou dost conduct thyself thus, the predominance of rajas and tamas will cease; and satva will get uppermost.

Not, also, that all that is treated of in the Vedas, is necessary for all. For when there is a reservoir constructed to answer many purposes, and when water is flowing to the brim on every side, there is only that little is required by the thirsty individual as is enough to allay his thirst, so, only that much need be taken from the Vedas as one may require.

Thus in all the Vedas, only that is to be chosen by the knowing brāhmaṇa[3. Knowers thus mean all those who believe in the Vedas, brāhmaṇas, Kshatriyas, etc. Brāhmaṇas are all those who desire moksha.] -i.e., by the Veda-believing moksha-aspirant- which paves the way to moksha.

What is wanted then for the satva-abiding moksha-aspirant is this:

>> Chapter 2 verse 47

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