nadatte kasyacit papam
na caiva sukritam vibhuh
tena muhyanti jantavah
"Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge."
Atman takes various bodies in various births. When it resides in a body, the nature of that body is assumed. For example, if in the present birth, an atman resides in a lion's body, it is friendly with other lions but shows enmity to elephants. Imagine, the elephant, with which the lion showing enmity, was born as a lion in its previous birth. That is the atman in the present elephant was residing, in the earlier birth, in a lion's body. Then this and other lions would have been friendly with it. So, we have to understand that enmity or friendliness is with respect to the body and atman as such is neither friendly to a particular atman nor unfriendly with some other atman. In the present example, if we imagine that the lion was able to remember the previous birth of the elephant as lion, then it is possible that this lion might not show enmity to the present elephant. The enmity between lion and elephant is the nature of the bodies. Similarly if an atman resides in a snake body, then enmity towards a mangoose is natural. But if the atman ever thinks that it is neither snake nor lion, then enmity to mangoose or elephant will never arise. Lack of this knowledge that atman and body are different and likes and dislikes arise because of the body, is the reason for all problems. We should understand that no atman can cause sorrow or happiness to another atman. This is what Sri Krishna tells, na datte kasyacit papam, none can be sinful to others. Similarly, na caiva sukhrutham, none can do good to others. But we tell in our normal conversation that we caused harm to him because he was not to my liking, or helped him because he was to my liking. But the mistake is that we assume body related things as those of soul. We cause harm or help only to the bodies and atman is not connected with those harm or happiness. All our actions are therefore body related and atman is not connected with that. We quoted animals as examples, because if we quote examples in human beings, unnecessary hatred might be aroused. But these examples could be extrapolated in our behaviour also. In Srimad Ramayana, Vali was showing great contempt for his brother Sugreeva. But, after he was shot by the arrow of Sri Rama and at the last moments, he pleads to the Lord to take care of Sugreeva, and then dies. If we study this case it will be clear that when Vali was showing enmity, his gyana or knowledge [about atman and body] was unflourished. He was hating the body of Sugreeva, but after realizing that aman and body are different, he never saw Sugreeva as his enemy. Brotherly fights were with respect to the bodies. This is explained by Sri Krishna in the next line of the sloka. Jantava = all living creatures or all atman, tena = by that, muhyanti = are confused or disillusioned. By what? Jnanam = [our] knowledge, avratam = is hidden or covered by, ajnanae = agyana or ignorance. Agyana is the beginningless karmas and the associated papa/ punya. This covers or blocks, the inherent gyana of atman. Like the clouds blocking Sun rays. Only when this Gyana is fully flourished that one will understand that the atman is in a body and likes and dislikes are nature of the body in which atman is residing. This agyana makes all living beings or atman to assume that they are the body in which they are residing and this is the source of all other consequential likes and dislikes and the resultant misery and happiness. The Gyana that 'I-am-not-the-doer' or akartrutva is emphasised by Sri Krishna. We are at the Sri Katazhagar temple.