च्छित्त्वा मुनिर्गां विचरत्यतृष्ण: ॥ १७ ॥
cchittvā munir gāṁ vicaraty atṛṣṇaḥ
amūlam — without foundation; etat — this (false ego); bahu-rūpa — in many forms; rūpitam — ascertained; manaḥ — of the mind; vacaḥ — speech; prāṇa — the life air; śarīra — and the gross body; karma — the functions; jñāna — of transcendental knowledge; asinā — by the sword; upāsanayā — through devotional worship (of the spiritual master); śitena — which has been sharpened; chittvā — cutting off; muniḥ — a sober sage; gām — this earth; vicarati — wanders; atṛṣṇaḥ — free from material desires.
Although the false ego has no factual basis, it is perceived in many forms — as the functions of the mind, speech, life air and bodily faculties. But with the sword of transcendental knowledge, sharpened by worship of a bona fide spiritual master, a sober sage will cut off this false identification and live in this world free from all material attachment.
The word bahu-rūpa-rūpitam, “perceived in many forms,” also indicates that the false ego is manifest in the belief that one is a demigod, a great man, a beautiful lady, an oppressed worker, a tiger, a bird, an insect and so on. By the influence of false ego, the pure soul accepts some material covering to be his ultimate self, but such ignorance can be removed by the process described in this verse.