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loke bhojas-sa evA-rpayati gRha-matAy-Arthine’nnaM kRshAya

yas-tasmai pUrNam-annaM bhavati makha-vidhau jAyate’jAta-shatruH /

sakhye nAn-nArthine yo’rpayati na sa sakhA sevamAnAya nityaM

samsakthAy-Annam-asmAt vimukha iva parAvRttim-icched-kadaryAt //


sa eva : He alone

loke : in the world

bhohaH : is the giver

arpayati : (who) offers

annaM : food

kRshAya arthine : to the famished seeker (of food)

gRha-matAya : who comes to his house.

tasmai : To such a one

pUrNaM annaM bhavati : there is plenty of food

makha-vidhau : for the requirement of yajna-ritual,

jAyate : and he turns out to be

ajAta-shatruH : devoid of all enemies.

yaH saH na arpayati : He who does not offer

sakhye : to the friend

anna-arthine :  who seeks food,

nityaM sevamAnAya : who has continuously served him

annaM samsaktAya :  with an attachment for food,

na sakhA : is not a true friend.

asmAt kadaryAt : From such a miser

vimukha iva : as if out of disregard

parAvRttim icchet : one should turn away.


Note 1: Here is one of the many instances to show that Shankara’s is not a ‘dry’ armchair philosophy.


Note 2: Recall  (thanks to Ken-ji) from Rg Veda: X – 117.

sá íd bhojó yó gRháve dádaaty ánnakaamaaya cárate kRshaáya

Bounteous is he who gives unto the beggar who comes to him in want of food and feeble.

ná sá sákhaa yó ná dádaati sákhye sacaabhúve sácamaanaaya pitváH

No friend is he who to his friend and comrade who comes imploring food, will offer nothing  


Note 3 : Let me also recall,  though the context is different, from the Yajur veda Taittiriya Aranyaka (I – 8):

Ko nu marya amithitaH , sakhA sakhAyam-abravIt, jahAko asmad-Ishhate, yastityAda-sakhividam-sakhAyaM, na tasya vAcyapi bhAgo asti, yadIM shRNoty-alakam-shRNoti.


Is there a friend who mistrusts a friend from whom he has derived only good? Whoever discards such a good friend in mistrust and doubt, for him there is no right to read and hear the scriptures any more; even if he hears them, he listens in vain.

The context is different, because, here the ‘friend’ referred to is ‘shruti’, the vedas. But note the parallelism in the words and thought process employed.



svAjnAna-jnAna-hetU jagad-udaya-layau sarva-sAdhAraNau staH

jiveshh-vAsvarNa-garbhaM  shrutaya iti jagur-hUyate sva-prabhodhe /

vishvaM brahmaNy-abodhe jagati punar-idaM hUyate brahma yadvat

shuktau roupyaM ca roupye’dhikaraNam-athavA hUyate’nyonya-mohAt //


jagad-udaya-layau : The manifestation and dissolution of the universe

sva-ajnAna-jnAna-hetU : have for their (respective) cause, ignorance or

knowledge of the Self

sarva-sAdhAraNau staH : and are applicable to all

jIveshhu : beings

AsvarNa-garbhaM :  from Creator Brahma downwards –

iti shrutayaH jaguH : Thus the vedas declare.

sva-prabodhe : When the Self is revealed

vishvaM : the universe

brahmaNi hUyate : is sacrificed into Brahman;

abodhe : When (the Self is) not realised,

punaH brahma hUyate jagati : again Brahman is sacrificed into the universe. –

yadvat : just as

roupyam shuktau hUyate : (the appearing) silver disappears into the mother-of-pearl

athavA : or

adhikaraNam roupye : the substance into the silver

anyonya-mohAt : owing to the non-recognition of each of them in turn.


Note 1: There is a subtly-advanced advaita here. That the  Reality is what appears in the form of the universe is very often talked about in advaita. But here the unreal disappearing into the real is also talked about in the same fashion.  “anyonya-mohAt”.  Non-duality  par excellence! There is matter here for a deep ‘nidhidhyasana’.

Note 2 : Starting from this shloka, until the end, without any digression, the Acharya waxes eloquent on advaitic thoughts, in his inimitable profound manner.



tucchatvAn-nAsad-AsId-gagana-kusumavat bhedakaM no sad-AsIt

kintv-AbhyAm-anyad-Asid-vyavahRti-gatisan-nAsa lokas-tadAnIM /

kintv-arvAg-eva shuktau rajatavad-aparo no virAD-vyoma-pUrvaH

sharmaNy-Atmany-athaitat-kahaka-salilavat kiM bhaved-AvarIvaH //


na asat AsIt : Non-entity was not there

tucchatvAt  : that being absolutely non-existent

gagana-kusumavat : like the sky-flower

no sat AsIt : Nor was there an entity

bhedakaM : that could admit of division

kintu : But

AbhyAM anyat AsIt : there was something different from these two.

tadAnIM : Then

na Asa lokaH : the universe was not there

vyavahRti-gati-sat : as it now exists in its phenomenal condition.

Kintu : However,

arvAg-eva : already

(Asa) : it existed

aparaH : differently

shuktau rajatavat : like silver (already existing) in the mother-of-pearl.

no : Nor was (then)

virAT : the primordial Cosmic substance

vyoma-pUrvaH : sprung from Space.

atha etat kiM bhavet :  For what is there,

kahaka-salilavat : like the water produced by a magician

sharmaNi Atmani : that can cover the Self?

AvarIvaH: ???


Note 1: It is for us now to recall the ‘Nasadiya-sukta’ of Rg Veda (X – 129)!


Note 2 : It might be worthwhile to find, in the light of the wonderful presentation of Ken-ji on ‘MayA in the Rg Veda’, whether the word ‘kahaka’ occurs in the Rg Veda and, with what sense.


Note 3. I would need help on the word ‘AvarIvaH’.



bandho janmA-tyayAtmA yadi na punar-abhUt tarhi mokshho’pi nAsIt

yadvad-rAtrir-dinaM vA na bhavati taraNau kintu dRgdoshha eshhaH /

aprANaM shuddham-ekaM samabhavad-atha tan-mAyayA kartR-samjnaM

tasmAd-anyacca  nAsIt-parivRtam-ajayA jIva-bhUtaM tadeva //


yadi na bandhaH punar-abhUt : If there had been  no bondage

janma-atyaya-AtmA : in the form of birth and death

tarhi : then indeed

mokshaH api na AsIt : there was no liberation either,

yadvat : just as

taraNau : in the Sun

rAtriH dinaM vA na bhavati : there is neither night nor day

kintu eshhaH dRgdoshhaH : it is only a limitation of vision.

EkaM tat : That One

aprANaM shuddhaM : which is motionless and unconditioned

mAyayA : by its own mAyA,

kartR-samjnaM : became the ‘maker’ (Hiranyagarbha).

tasmAt anyat ca na AsIt : There was nothing else than that.

Tat eva : That itself

parivRtaM : veiled

ajayA : by the Unborn (= mAyA)

jIva-bhUtaM : became the individual soul.


Note: Advaita in a nut-shell!



prAg-AsId-bhAva-rUpaM tama iti tamasA gUDham-asmAd-atarkyaM

kshhirAntar-yadvad-ambho janir-iha jagato nAma-rUpAtmakasya /

kAmAd-dhAtuH sisRkshhoH anugata-jagataH karmabhis-sampravRttAt

reto-rUpair-manobhiH prathamam-anugataiH santataiH kAryamANaiH //


prAk : In the beginning

tamaH AsIt : there was darkness

bhAva-rupaM : as an entity.

iti tamasA gUDhaM : Thus veiled by darkness

asmAt atarkyaM : nothing could be inferred,

yadvat kshhIrAntaH ambhaH : like the water in milk.

iha jagataH janiH : The birth of this universe

nAma-rUpAtmakasya : consisting of name and form

kAmAt : (was) by the will

dhAtuH : of the Creator

sisRkshhoH : desiring to create –

sampravRttAt :  (this itself) being induced

karmabhiH :  by the actions

anugata-jagataH : of a continuing universe

santataiH kAryamANaiH : ever caused or inspired by

manobhiH : minds

prathamam anugataiH : (that are) also continuous

retorUpaiH : in a germinal form.


Note 1: The original printed text that I have with me has the  word “tantataiH”  instead of “santataiH” in the fourth line.  I think it must be a print mistake. If some one can find a relevant meaning for “tantataiH kAryamANaiH” I would appreciate it.

Note 2:  In shlokas 23, 24 and 25 The Acharya rolls back in his own mind the lines of Nasadiya sukta from the Rg Veda and paraphrases them. The following lines are relevant to this shloka #25: (RV: X.129. 2,3,4)

 aániid avaatáM svadháyaa tád ékaM tásmaad dhaanyán ná paráH kíM canaása
That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.

táma aasiit támasaa guuLhám ágre .apraketáM

saliláM sárvam aa idám

tuchyénaabhv ápihitaM yád aásiit

tápasas tán mahinaájaayataíkam

 Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness.  All this was indiscriminated chaos. All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.

kaámas tád ágre sám avartataádhi mánaso rétaH prathamáM yád aásiit
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.

Note 3: Also recall from Taittiriya Upanishad: 2-6: “so’kAmayata, bahusyAM prajAyeyeti” – He desired, Let me become many.

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