[Advaita-l] Re: gUDArthadIpikA 4.35 question on a figure of speech

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon May 22 22:35:03 CDT 2006

>It is indeed "odanapAkam pacatItivat tasyaiva" and *not*
>"pacatItivaktasyaiva" as I had originally posted.
>Sorry about that.
>I look forward to your interpretation.

Thanks, this makes perfect sense then. In the following, BG = Bhagavad Gita, 
MS = Madhusudana Sarasvati.

MS's style follows traditional commenting practice, so let us split the 
text, keeping in mind the context of the corresponding BG verse.

yat - pUrvoktaM jnAnam AcAryair upadishTaM
jnAtvA - prApya
     odanapAkaM pacatItivat tasyaiva dhAto: sAmAnyavivakshayA prayogaH
na punaH -
mohamevaM - bandhuvadhAdi nimittaM bhramaM
yAsyasi -

Here, yat, jnAtvA, na punaH, mohamevaM and yAsyasi are words from the BG 
verse. The rest is MS's explanation.

yat = which = pUrvoktaM jnAnam AcAryair upadishTaM - the knowledge mentioned 
earlier, taught by the AcArya
jnAtvA = having known = prApya = having attained
na punaH = not again
moham evaM = this delusion = bandhuvadhAdi nimittaM bhramaM = this error, 
which arises from a consideration that you will be killing your relatives
yAsyasi = you will reach.

Put together, this says, "having attained/known the knowledge (as mentioned 
earlier) taught by the AcArya, you will not again reach this delusion/error, 
which arises from a (false) consideration that you will be killing your 

So much for the straightforward translation. In MS's interpretation, the 
second part of the BG sentence "na punar mohamevaM yAsyasi" is a bit 
redundant in its import. This is because the jnAna has already been 
explained before, in the verses preceding this one, the content of the said 
jnAna being that the Self is neither a killer nor is it killed. If one has 
already obtained this knowledge, the question of a further delusion does not 
even arise, yet the BG verse makes it a point to say this explicitly. 
"jnAna" is equivalent to "na moha" and the past participle "jnAtvA" is 
correspondingly equivalent to "na mohaM yAsyasi." Hence, MS says, tasyaiva 
dhAtoH sAmAnya vivakshayA = with a view to point out the equivalence of the 
same .

How so? The simile given here is

odanapAkam pacati itivat = just as we say, "he/she cooks odana (cooked 

This simile rests crucially on the fact that odana means cooked rice. If we 
were to translate literally, we would have to write, "he/she cooks cooked 
rice" - this is the intended redundancy that MS is pointing to here. The 
point would perhaps be better appreciated if we take the English sentence 
"he cooks food." Ideally, food refers to that which is fit to be eaten, and 
so, should not need any further cooking. Yet, we apply the word food, by 
extension, to the raw material that needs to be cooked and we use and 
understand the expression "cooks food," involving both the process (cooking) 
and the result (food).

Similarly, with the jnAna referred to in this case - in MS's interpretation, 
the BG encompasses both the process of acquiring the jnAna and the result of 
being established in the jnAna (a state which is equivalent to that of not 
falling into delusion any more).

Best regards,

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