Sadhana Panchakam – The Fivefold Spiritual Practice, Verse 1

Isvara, the Supreme Self

Translation and Commentary by Jayaram V


First Verse

Vedo Nityamadheeyataam taduditam karma swanushtheeyataam
theneshasya vidheeyataamapachitih kaamye matihsthyajitam
Paapaughah paridhuuyathaam bhavasukhe dosho'anusandheeyataam
Aatmecchaa vyavaseeyathaam nijagrihaatuurnam vinirgamyataam

Translation

veda = vedas, nityam = always, adheeyatam = must be studied, taduditam = in that manner or as instructed there in, karma = actions, swanushtheeyataam = you must sincerely perform, tena = by such actions, eeshasya = of Isvara or the lord, vidheeyatam = dutifully according to the procedure, apachitah = expiation, atonement, worship, kamye = kamya karma or desires and desire-ridden actions, matih = thought, intent or mind, thyajitam = give up or renounce, paapaughah = the flow or the flood of sinful karma, paridhuuyathaam = arrested or blocked, bhavasukhe = in worldly pleasure or the pleasure in this world, dosha = impurity or imperfection, anusandheeyataam = investigate, inquire or examine, aatmecchaa = the will to know the self, vyavaseeyathaam = cultivated, nijagrihaat =  current home, tuurnam = quickly, vinirgamyataam = leave behind with dispassion.

Meaning

The Vedas must always be studied; actions must sincerely be performed as instructed by them; by such dutiful actions the lord’s forgiveness must be sought; the thought of desire-ridden actions must be given up; the flood of sinful karma shall be arrested; the impurities of worldly pleasures must be inquired into or examined; the will to know the self must be cultivated, and the current home must be left behind quickly, with dispassion.

Explanation

The instructions in Sanskrit were originally composed in the passive voice, as if they were delivered by a teacher and memorialized by his students for practice. Therefore, the translation may look rather roundabout. The first verse contains eight instructions. They are meant to be practiced in an orderly and sequential manner, with the first instruction to be followed first and the second instruction to be followed next, and so on. Since they reinforce each other and have a synergetic effect, in advanced stages they have to be remembered together and practiced together for better and quicker results. Most instructions are simple and straightforward. They can be used for practice as well as contemplation, so that they become firmly implanted in the consciousness. Each of them is briefly explained. For convenience, they have been presented in the instructive mode. For commentary on each of the instructions please click on the links.

1. Study the Vedas

2. Perform your actions accordingly

3. By such actions seek the Lord's forgiveness

4. Give up the thought of desire-ridden actions

5. Stop the flood of sinful actions.

6. Inquire into the impure nature of worldly pleasures

7. Strengthen the will to know the Self

8. Leave your home forthwith with dispassion   

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