3.2 vyAmiSrENEva vAkyEna

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Chapter 3

<< Chapter 3 verse 1

SlOkam – Original

vyAmiSrENEva vAkyEna budhdhim mOhayasIva mE |
thadh Ekam vadha niSchithya yEna SrEyO’ham ApnuyAm ||

word-by-word meaning

vyAmisrENa – contradictory
vAkyEna Eva – statements
mE – my
budhdhim – intelligence
mOhayasi iva – it appears that you are confusing me
thath – hence
yEna – which statement
aham niSchithya – determine the principle guiding my future activity
SrEya: – that ultimate goal
ApnuyAm – will attain
Ekam vadha – give such a (non-contradictory) statement

Simple Translation

It appears that you are confusing my intelligence with your contradictory statements; hence determine the statement which will determine the principle guiding my future activity that helps me attain that ultimate goal and give such (non-contradictory) statement.

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

‘It seems as if You confuse my understanding by your ambiguous speech. Tell me one thing decidedly, by which I may derive supreme blessedness.’

‘If Your opinion be that knowledge (or cultivation of spiritual wisdom by the intellect) is superior to work (or physical performance of duties as means to Moksha), why then do You enjoin Me to engage in terrible deeds (like war)?’ The purport of this is:-

‘Intellectual Discipline or Path, or Path of Knowledge (Jñāna-nishṭhā) – is the means by which to accomplish ātmā-vision. Work-discipline (Karma-nishṭhā)=bodily activities) lead to the Knowledge-Path. The Knowledge-Path, it was shown, is to be acquired by abstracting all the senses and the mind from their objects: sound etc. If then it holds that ātmā-vision is to be effected (immediately) by the sense-and-mind discipline above alluded to, then I ought to be instructed how to practice this Intellectual Mode (or Knowledge-Path), by abstaining entirely from all active work. But instead, why do You command me to engage in all kinds of violent and such-like acts requiring the use of all the faculties of sense and mind?’

‘Hence, I fancy, as if You are imposing upon me with Your duplicate language!’ The language is verily equivocal inasmuch as the intellectual Path to achieve ātmā-vision consists in the annulment of all the sense-and-mind faculties, whereas Your speech ordains me to embark them on actual work. Hence tell me a single (i.e., consistent) unequivocal word, by which I may know from certainty the exact course to pursue, and achieve (thereby) the highest good.’

The Lord said:-

>> Chapter 3 verse 3

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