न रूपमस्येह तथोपलभ्यते
नान्तो न चादिर्न च संप्रतिष्ठा।
मसङ्गशस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्त्वा।।15.3।।
न रूपमस्येह तथोपलभ्यते
15.3 Its form is not perceived here in that way; nor its end, nor beginning, nor continuance, After felling this Peepul whose roots are well developed, with the strong sword of detachment-;
15.3 But, asya, its-of this Tree of the World which has been described; rupam, form, as it has been presented; na, is not at all; upalabhyate, perceived; iha, here; tatha, in that way. For, being like a dream, water in a mirage, jugglery, an imaginary city seen in the sky, it is by nature destroyed no sooner than it is seen. Therefore, na, there exists neither; its antah, end, limit, termination; so also, neither; its beginning. It is not comprehended by anyone that it comes into existence beginning from any definite point. Its sampratistha, continuance, the middle state, too, is not perceived by anyone. Chittva, after felling, uprooting, together with its seeds; enam, this, above described; asvattham, Peepul, the Tree of the World; suvirudha-mulam, whose roots (mula) are well (su) developed (virudham); drdhena, with the strong-hardened by a resolute mind directed towards the supreme Self, and sharpened on the stone of repeated practice of discrimination; asanga-sastrena, sword of detachment-detachment means turn ing away from the desire for progeny, wealth and the worlds; with that sword of detachment-.
15.3 - 15.4 The form of this tree, having its origin above, i.e., in the four-faced Brahma and branches below in the sense that man forms the crest through continual lineage therefrom, and also having its branches extended above and below by actions done in the human state and forming secondary roots - that form of the tree is not understood by people immersed in Samsara. Only this much is perceived: 'I am a man, the son of Devadatta, the father of Yajnadatta; I have property appropriate to these conditions'. Likewise, it is not understood that its destruction can be brought about by detachment from enjoyments which are based on Gunas. Similarly it is not perceived that attachment to the Gunas alone is the beginning of this (tree). Again, it is not perceived that the basis of this tree is founded on ignorance which is the misconception of self as non-self. Ignorance alone is the basis of this tree, since in it alone the tree is fixed. This Asvattha, described above, firm-rooted, i.e., the roots of which are firm and manifold, is to be cut off by the strong axe of detachment, namely, detachment from the sense objects composed of the three Gunas. This can be forged through perfect knowledge. As one gains detachment from sense-objects, one should seek and find out the goal from which nobody ever returns. How does this attachment to sense-objects, which consists of the Gunas and erroneous knowledge forming its cause, cease to exist? Sri Krsna now answers: One should seek 'refuge (Prapadyet) in the Primal Person' alone in order to overcome this ignorance. One should seek refuge (Prapadyeta) in Him who is primal, namely, the beginning of all entities, as stated in the following text: 'With Me as the Lord, the Prakrti gives birth to all that which moves, and that which does not move' (9.10), 'I am the origin of all; from Me proceed everything' (10.8), and 'There is nothing higher than Me, O Arjuna' (7.7). From Me, the creator of everything, has streamed forth this ancient activity, continuing from time immermorial, of attachment to sense-objects consisting of Gunas. This has been declared already by Me: 'For this divine Maya of Mine consisting of the Gunas is hard to break through. But those who take refuge in me alone shall pass beyond this Maya' (7.14). Or a variant of this stanza is 'prapadya iyatah pravrttih' (in place of 'prapadyet yatah pravrittih'). This gives the sense that this discipline of taking refuge in the Supreme Person for dispelling of ignorance has continued from a distant past. The tendencies of ancient persons seeking liberation are also ancient. The purport is this: The ancient liberation-seekers, taking refuge in Me alone, were released from bondage. [This can be taken to mean that Prapatti or taking refuge in the Lord had originated in the Bhakti tradition of the Sri-Vaisnavites from ancient sages i.e., from the Alvars who preceded Ramanuja by several centuries. It is not a creation of Ramanuja].