4.13.5 na mAm karmANi limpanthi

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

Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 13

SlOkam – Original

na mAm karmANi limpanthi na mE karmapalE spruhA |

word-by-word meaning

karmANi – activities such as creation etc
mAm – me (who is sarvESvara)
na limpanthi – do not bind;
mE – for me (who is avAptha samastha kAma (free of any unfulfilled desire))
karma palE – the fruits of the activities such as creation etc
na spruhA – no desire;

Simple Translation

Activities such as creation etc do not bind me (who is sarvESvara). There is no desire in me for the fruits of the activities such as creation etc;

Additional notes

  • brahma sUthram 2.1.24 “vaishamya nairgruNyE na sApEkshathvAth” – bhagavAn cannot be said to have favouritism and cruelty due to being engaged in creation since he provides bodies to AthmAs based on their own karma. As creation is variegated in nature, there will be different types of entities (celestial beings, humans, animals, plants, rich, poor, healthy, unhealthy and so on). jIvAthmA attains a body solely based on its own previous karma and bhagavAn cannot be blamed for jIvAthmA’s sufferings. This is what is explained by krishNa here in saying that the creation etc does not bind him.
  • As bhagavAn is said to be avAptha samastha kAma (one who has no unfulfilled desires), he does not desire specifically for any result as well. The actions performed by jIvAthmA will have consequences for its own self and bhagavAn will be unaffected by the same.

So, the activities such as creation etc in the material realm, are performed by bhagavAn as leelA (sport/pastime). The leelA itself is the goal, and there is no separate goal/benefit which is derived from the leelA by bhagavAn.

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

‘Works soil Me not. No interest have I in works’ fruit.’

Because, the wonderful works of creation etc., do not soil Me, i. e., do not bind Me. The wonderful variety, such as deva, man etc., are beings created by their own deeds of merit and demerit. Hence, inasmuch as one’s own deed, or no-deed results in his becoming conditioned or not conditioned in material existence (prāptāprāpta-viveka), the man himself is his author; and I, am free, i.e., I am No-author (in the sense that I am not answerable for the conditions which creatures bring upon themselves by their own deeds or works).

I am No-author, again, for another reason: that the born (or created in the world) embodied souls (kshetrajñas), —who by the conditions of creation, get endowed with limbs and bodies— take to enjoying the things of the world, as a consequence of their (selfish) attachment to fruit[2. Cp. Svet: Up: 1-8. ‘Anīśaś-chātmā badhyate bhoktṛi-bhāvāt’ etc., and many other passages.]. Hence it is these that have interest in the fruits of kosmic creations, not that I have any interest.

The Sūtra-kāra (or Vyāsa, the framer of what are known as Brahma-sūtras, Vedānta-sūtras or Vyāsa-sūtras, or aphorisms exegetic of the Upanishads), says :—

‘(The Lord) cannot be reproached with ‘inequality and cruelty’, for (karma=merit and demerit) are regarded (by Him)’[3. (Brahma-sūtra II-1 -34) = ‘Vaishamya-nairghṛiṇye na, sāpekshatvāt’ etc.]

Bhagavān Parāśara as well, declares:—

‘In the act constituting the creation of beings, (He the Lord) is but the directing (or instrumental) Cause, because the creating forces verily have their roots in nature (pradhāna)[5. ‘Pradhāna’ means the tendencies in the matter-stuff of creation, impressed thereon by the spiritual entities who are encased therein, by their Karma. Hence ‘pradhāna’ means karmic forces, or samskārās or skandhās (as the Buddhists call). This is equivalent to the Greek notion of ‘plastic nature’.].

‘Save that ideal (or instrumental) Cause, no other is desired, and, O chief of ascetics!, the beings (deva) etc., come into their (conditioned) existences in accordance with (their) own (karma)-potencies.’[6. Vishṇu Pur: I-4-51, 52:—
‘Nimitta-mātram-evāyam’ etc.]

I, Paramount Spirit (Paramapurusha), indeed, am the fashioning ideal Cause of the created beings, the devas and such like ; but the chief factors determining the diversities of the kosmos, such as the devas, man etc., are the antecedent karma-potencies.

Save the instrumentality (or ideality), save the schematic power vested in Me, the Supreme Spirit, no other is needed to fashion out the marvellous representation of creatures, as devas etc., in their embodied condition, except the inherent primal karma-potencies, by which creatures become enfigured.

>> Chapter 4 verse 14

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