5.10 brahmaNyAdhAya karmANi

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Chapter 5

<< Chapter 5 verse 8 and 9

SlOkam – Original

brahmaNyAdhAya karmANi sangam thyakthvA karOthi ya: |
lipyathE na sa pApEna padhmapathram ivAmbhasA ||

word-by-word meaning

ya: – the one
brahmaNi – the senses which are an effect of the great prakruthi (matter)
karmANi – actions such as seeing (which are done by oneself)
AdhAya – (as explained previously) ascribing to them (i.e., considering the senses to be the doer)
sangam – attachment to the results [of such actions]
thyakthvA – giving up
karOthi – performs the actions (with the thought that oneself is not doing anything independently)
sa: – he
ambhasA – by water
padhmapathram iva – like lotus leaf
pApEna – by sins (such as considering dhEha (body), indhriya (senses) etc as AthmA (self))
na lipyathE – remains untouched.

Simple Translation

The one who performs the actions, ascribing such actions to the senses which are an effect of the great prakruthi, giving up attachment to the results, will remain untouched by sins like lotus leaf remaining unwetted by water.

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

‘Whoso performs acts, ascribing them to matter (brahma), and abandoning all attachment, is not touched by sin, like unto the lotus-leaf unwetted by water.’

The term brahma here signifies prakṛiti (matter). That such application of the term obtains, is exemplified by such passages as:—

‘The great brahma (matter) is my womb (seat)’ (xiv-3). Whoso performs work, reflecting that all activities such as hearing, seeing etc., pertain to matter, and matter’s modifications into the organized forms of senses; and whoso therefore, performs work imputing it to brahma (matter), and, renouncing all attachment, thinks ‘naught do I do,’ he remains uncontaminated with the sin that arises from the misconception of taking matter for ātma, —that causes bondage.

The analogy to this idea is that of the lotus-leaf and water. Though they are in contact with each other, water remains intact with reference to the leaf.

>> Chapter 5 verse 11

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