गुणेषु दारुष्विव जातवेदसम् ।
मथ्नन्ति मथ्ना मनसा दिदृक्षवो
गूढं क्रियार्थैर्नम ईरितात्मने ॥ ३६ ॥
guṇeṣu dāruṣv iva jāta-vedasam
mathnanti mathnā manasā didṛkṣavo
gūḍhaṁ kriyārthair nama īritātmane
yasya — whose; sva-rūpam — form; kavayaḥ — the greatly learned sages; vipaścitaḥ — expert in ascertaining the Absolute Truth; guṇeṣu — in the material manifestation, consisting of the three modes of nature; dāruṣu — in wood; iva — like; jāta — manifested; vedasam — fire; mathnanti — stir; mathnā — with a piece of wood used for producing fire; manasā — by the mind; didṛkṣavaḥ — who are inquisitive; gūḍham — hidden; kriyā-arthaiḥ — by fruitive activities and their results; namaḥ — respectful obeisances; īrita-ātmane — unto the Lord, who is manifested.
By manipulating a fire-generating stick, great saints and sages can bring forth the fire lying dormant within wood. In the same way, O Lord, those expert in understanding the Absolute Truth try to see You in everything — even in their own bodies. Yet you remain concealed. You are not to be understood by indirect processes involving mental or physical activities. Because You are self-manifested, only when You see that a person is wholeheartedly engaged in searching for You do You reveal Yourself. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.
The word kriyārthaiḥ means “by performing ritualistic ceremonies to satisfy the demigods.” The word vipaścitaḥ is explained in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad as follows: satyaṁ jñānam anantaṁ brahma; yo veda nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ parame vyoman; so ’śnute sarvān kāmān saha brahmaṇā vipaściteti. As Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19), bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate: “After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me.” When one understands that the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart and actually sees the Lord present everywhere, he has perfect knowledge. The word jāta-vedaḥ means “fire which is produced by rubbing wood.” In Vedic times, learned sages could bring forth fire from wood. Jāta-vedaḥ also indicates the fire in the stomach, which digests everything we eat and which produces an appetite. The word gūḍha is explained in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad. Eko devaḥ sarva-bhūteṣu gūḍhaḥ: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is understood by chanting the Vedic mantras. Sarva-vyāpī sarva-bhūtāntar-ātmā: He is all-pervading, and He is within the heart of living entities. Karmādhyakṣaḥ sarva-bhūtādhivāsaḥ: He witnesses all activities of the living entity. Sākṣī cetā kevalo nirguṇaś ca: The Supreme Lord is the witness as well as the living force, yet He is transcendental to all material qualities.