वेदो नित्यमधीयतां तदुदितं कर्म स्वनुष्ठीयतां

तेनेशस्य विधीयतामपचितिः काम्ये मतिस्त्यज्यताम्।

पापौघः परिधूयतां भवसुखे दोषोऽनुसंधीयतां

आत्मेच्छा व्यवसीयतां निजगृहात्तूर्णं विनिर्गम्यताम्॥ १

vedo nityamadhīyatāṁ taduditaṁ karma svanuṣṭhīyatāṁ

teneśasya vidhīyatāmapacitiḥ kāmye matistyajyatām |

pāpaughaḥ paridhūyatāṁ bhavasukhe doṣo'nusaṁdhīyatāṁ

ātmecchā vyavasīyatāṁ nijagṛhāttūrṇaṁ vinirgamyatām || (1)

Study Vedas daily. Observe, practice and perform prescribed duties. Surrender the results of such actions to Brahman. Purify the mind by purging all types of desires. Wash all the sins. Get away from the pleasures of sensory organs, the result of which is always painful. Realize the Self within. Get rid of body consciousness.

Thus, there are eight conveyances in this verse.

1. Studying Vedas here means studying its essence, Upanishads. Vedas has four divisions - Saṁhitā, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka and Upanishad. Out of these four, Upanishads elucidate the ways and means of attaining Liberation, by realizing the formless Brahman. They are considered as the source of knowledge to realize Brahman, which is formless and devoid of attributes. Seeking something that is the subtlest of all, is a diligent task. Cessation from transmigration does not come that easy. Why we should study Upanishads? They elucidate the highest knowledge, which is required to understand and realize Brahman. There are two important steps in Liberation. One is knowledge about Brahman, which also involves understanding māyā and later transcend the deceptive and illusionary material world envisioned by māyā. After understanding and transcending māyā, the next step would be to understand and realize Brahman. Upanishads reveal Brahman only through negations. This is not Brahman, that is not Brahman, etc. Then what is Brahman or who is Brahman? Brahman cannot be explained in words; It has to be experienced with the help of a Teacher, who himself should have realized Brahman. Why do we need the guidance of a Teacher? Brahman is subtler than the subtlest. If there is an object, then it can be explained. An apple can be explained. But how can a subtle thing be explained? Brahman is one, without a second. It is satyaṁ, jñānaṁ, anantaṁ, sat, cit and ānandā (truth, knowledge, infinite, existence, consciousness and bliss). Nothing of these are gross and cannot be seen with our biological eyes. Unless we read Upanishads repeatedly, we cannot attain the knowledge that is required to realize Brahman. Vedas here should not be taken as saṁhitā-s or verses in Vedas. It means essence of Vedas, Upanishads. This verse says that every day, one should study and understand the revelations of Upanishads, which alone gives spiritual knowledge, required for realizing Brahman within.

2. Observe, practice and perform prescribed duties. Every being performs actions. Perform your duties well, without associating with the fruits of such actions. Bhagavad Gītā says, “By performing duties without attachment, one reaches the Paramātman. Kings like Janakar attained perfection, only by performing their prescribed duties. You have to do your duties, at least for the purpose of guiding others. Whatever the actions done by great men are followed by common men.  Whatever standards set by such great men are simply being followed by all other men”. This is called observance and then practicing. Great sages like Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, and Vivekananda had set examples by leading simple life, without pomp and vanity. A Teacher is the one who sets examples for his followers in terms of simplicity and modesty. A true student observes what his teacher does. Then he begins to practice, what his teacher had taught him. Observation is an essential part of practice and performance. What one has to perform? He has to perform his prescribed duties. Smṛti-s (the whole body of codes of law as handed down by tradition) refer to five yajña-s, known as pañca mahā yajña-s. They are Deva yajña (appeasing gods and goddesses), brahma yajña (the knower of Vedas), pitṛ yajña (remembering ancestors), bhūta yajna (animals, etc) and nara or atithi yajña (nara means man and atithi means guest). Atithi is explained as a person who is entitled for hospitality).  Deva yajña is the worship to one’s kula devatā (the deity worshipped through lineage). The study of Veda-s is the next.  Remembering our ancestors is the third. This does not refer to performing of śrāddha or annual ancestral rites. The idea behind this yajña is not only to remember them, but also to remember and follow the family’s culture and values. Bhūta yajña means sharing with other living beings. Feeding the hungry animals develops universal love. The last one also known as manuṣya yajña (manuṣya means friendly to man), traditional hospitality extended to fellow beings. Observing, practicing and performing these duties set our body and mind to progress towards the path of Liberation. This says that we have to do our karma without any expectations such as rewards.  

3. Surrender the results of such actions to Brahman. Brahman is the cause of action and naturally, the fruits of actions also should be surrendered to It. Why should we surrender all our karmas to Brahman? The concept of surrendering is a very interesting doctrine. The initial step of surrender is the faith in Brahman. This faith is difficult to repose, as Brahman is subtlest of all. Based on this fact, the analogy of Self-realization is prophesied, looking for the source of creation within. This is based on the principle, that what exists externally exists internally as well, because the unique nature of the Brahman is omnipresence. The cause and effects of all actions originate from Brahman and it is wrong to say that we do perform this action. We are merely tools of Brahman to unfold Its actions based upon the karma of individuals. Someone is extremely good and someone else is extremely bad. Such individual actions depend upon ones karmic account. If we choose to surrender the fruits of all our actions to the Creator, the karmic account is not disturbed, irrespective of the nature of such actions either good or bad. Self-realization does not merely mean realizing God within, but also to understand Its unequalled quality of ubiquitousness. The lineaments of Brahman can be realized only if we renounce our ego.  Ego always leads to illusionary pride; illusion because of the fact that we are in no way a cause for an action or its effect. Surrender is a precondition to renunciation. In fact, renunciation begins when the concept of surrender is perfected. Most of the times, renunciation is a reflexive evolution of surrender.

Further Readings:


Sri Vidya Sadhana

What is Sadhana