4.24 brahmArpaNam brahma havir

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

Chapter 4

<< Chapter 4 verse 23

SlOkam – Original

brahmArpaNam brahma havir brahmAgnau brahmaNA hutham |
brahmaiva thEna ganthavyam brahmakarmasamAdhinA ||

word-by-word meaning

brahmArpaNam – offered with materials related to hOma/yagya which are forms of brahma (supreme lord)
brahma havi: – the offering which is a form of brahma
brahmaNA – the performer of the hOma who is a form of brahma
brahmAgnau – fire which is a form of brahma
hutham – the hOma was performed.
brahma karma samAdhinA – (in this manner) for the one who considers karma as brahma
thEna Eva – only by him (jIvAthmA)
brahma ganthavyam – jIvAthmA who is pervaded by brahma, is realised

Simple Translation

The hOma/yagya was performed with the offering which is a form of brahma (supreme lord) made of materials related to hOma/yagya which are forms of brahma by the performer of the hOma who is a form of brahma in the fire which is a form of brahma. Only by the AthmA who is pervaded by brahma, who considers karma as brahma, the self is realised [i.e., self-realisation which is a stepping stone for kaivalya mOksham].

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

‘By Brahma-apparatus, the Brahma-oblation is, by Brahma, offered in Brahma-fire. He who (so) contemplates karma (work) to be Brahma-full, goeth to Brahma Itself[1. This is the highest contemplation in Spiritual Philosophy. It is the ultimate view of all work. This is tantamount to seeing God everywhere, in all acts by oneself, and acts seen by him external to himself. This is a spiritual height, that only saints of the stamp of Prahlāda and Nammāḷvār scaled.].’

Brahmārpaṇa is adjectival to (Brahma)-haviḥ. That by which an oblation is offered is arpaṇa, viz., the yajña-apparatus, ladle etc., (The ladle etc., are accessories or instruments by which haviḥ, oblations —food etc.— are offered into the fire, in yajña-ceremonies). Being an effect (or created thing), it (the ladle etc) is Brahma. That Brahma which is the instrumental accessory (arpaṇa) to oblation (food etc), is Brahmārpaṇa. By this Brahmārpaṇa, the oblation (Brahma-haviḥ), which is again Brahma, is offered by the performer (or offerer) —who is Brahma again—, into Brahma-fire, or fire which is Brahma.

Whoso thus contemplates Brahm to be abidant in all acts, —(this realization of Brahm in every act is samādhi), — which is called Brahma-karma-samādhi—, he reaches Brahm itself. Reaching Brahm is the realizing of the Brahma-like ātmā-nature.

So that, the work that the moksha-aspirant does is by him contemplated as Brahma-ensouled work, or in other words, that the Soul of all work is Brahm. Work, in this view, becomes itself wisdom, and, precluding a distinct course of jñāna, is itself the means to achieve ātmā-vision.

Having now demonstrated how work (karma) may be viewed in the aspect of wisdom (jñāna), the varieties of Karma-yoga are now mentioned:—

>> Chapter 4 verse 24.5

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