[Advaita-l] Discussion on Bhagavat Gita

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Thu Apr 10 11:53:40 CDT 2008

Re: gItA verse 10.3
>shouldn't it read: 'sarva papebhyaH pramuchyate?'
>papaiH is instrumental, whereas papebhyaH is ablative.
>So freed from sin will not work.

Suresh, your translation does stand together grammatically as you can
couple the word sarva-pApaiH to saMmUDhaH. You could also point to verse
18.66, where sarva-pApebhyaH is used with the verb mokshayishyAmi.
However, one should not read too much philosophical import one way or
the other on this grammatical basis. This is because the verb root muc-
does allow the instrumental case to be used instead of the ablative.

For example, in another gItA verse (9.28) we have, SubhASubha-phalair
evaM mokshyase karmabandhanaiH.

In this verse, there is no other word on which one could peg the
instrumental case used in phalaiH and bandhanaiH. The verb used is
mokshyase, a future tense formation from the same root muc- . The sense
indicated is that of freedom *from* the bindings of karma and its
fruits, whether good or bad, yet the ablative case is not used
(phalebhyaH, karmabandhanebhyaH).

In later linguistic developments in India, case endings get replaced by
prepositional suffixes. Again, the instrumental and ablative look very
similar and the meaning has to be understood from context; e.g. in
contemporary Hindi, we add "se" in both cases. Compare yaH rAm se kiyA
gayA (this was done by Rama) and jAnakI mithilA se AyI (Janaki came from

Best regards,

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