Main Menu

Śrīmad bhagavad gītā | Gunatraya–Vibhaga yoga ~ Sarga 14 of 18

Bhagavad-Gītā-6-desibantu

Sarga (or) Chapter 14 of 18 : Gunatraya–Vibhaga yoga

śloka (verses): 27

Abstract: Krishna explains the three modes (gunas) of material nature pertaining to goodness, passion, and nescience. Their causes, characteristics, and influence on a living entity are also described.

Audio Recitals:

in Sanskrit by Sri Vidyabhushana     
MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_0 = [ { name: "in Sanskrit by Sri Vidyabhushana", formats: ["mp3"], mp3: "aHR0cDovL2EzczMuZGVzaWJhbnR1LmNvbS9iaGFnYXZhZGdpdGEvYmhhZ2F2YWRnaXRhX2NoYXB0ZXJfMTQvaW50cm9kdWN0aW9uL3RoZWJoYWdhdmFkZ2l0YV9jaGFwdGVyMTRfc2Fuc2tyaXQubXAz", counterpart:"", artist: "", image: "", imgurl: "" } ]; MP3jPLAYERS[0] = { list: MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_0, tr:0, type:'single', lstate:'', loop:false, play_txt:'     ', pause_txt:'     ', pp_title:'', autoplay:false, download:false, vol:75, height:'' };
in Telugu by Ghantasala     
MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_1 = [ { name: "in Telugu by Ghantasala", formats: ["mp3"], mp3: "aHR0cDovL2EzczMuZGVzaWJhbnR1LmNvbS9iaGFnYXZhZGdpdGEvYmhhZ2F2YWRnaXRhX2NoYXB0ZXJfMS9pbnRyb2R1Y3Rpb24vdGhlYmhhZ2F2YWRnaXRhX3RlbHVndV90aGViaGFnYXZhZGdpdGEubXAz", counterpart:"", artist: "", image: "", imgurl: "" } ]; MP3jPLAYERS[1] = { list: MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_1, tr:0, type:'single', lstate:'', loop:false, play_txt:'     ', pause_txt:'     ', pp_title:'', autoplay:false, download:false, vol:75, height:'' };
in English Unknown     
MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_2 = [ { name: "in English Unknown", formats: ["mp3"], mp3: "aHR0cDovL2EzczMuZGVzaWJhbnR1LmNvbS9iaGFnYXZhZGdpdGEvYmhhZ2F2YWRnaXRhX2NoYXB0ZXJfMTQvaW50cm9kdWN0aW9uL3RoZWJoYWdhdmFkZ2l0YV9jaGFwdGVyMTRfZW5nbGlzaC5tcDM=", counterpart:"", artist: "", image: "", imgurl: "" } ]; MP3jPLAYERS[2] = { list: MP3jPLAYLISTS.inline_2, tr:0, type:'single', lstate:'', loop:false, play_txt:'     ', pause_txt:'     ', pp_title:'', autoplay:false, download:false, vol:75, height:'' };
गीतोपदेश

Gitopadesh (Sanskrit: गीतोपदेश)


Introduction:

In chapter fourteen Lord Krishna reveals matters pertaining goodness, passsion and nescience which everything in the material existence is influenced by. He gives pertinent details on the essential characteristics of each individually, their cause, the level of their potency, how they influence a living entity affected by them as well as the signs of one who has risen above them. Here he clearly advises to relinquish oneself from ignorance and passion and adopt the path of pure goodness until aquiring the ability to transcend them. Thus this chapter is entitled; The Three Qualities of Material Nature.

Sloka 14.1 audio recital in Sanskrit     

श्रीभगवानुवाच |

परं भूयः प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानमुत्तमम् |
यज्ज्ञात्वा मुनयः सर्वे परां सिद्धिमितो गताः ||१४- १||

shrIbhagavAnuvAcha |

paraM bhUyaH pravakShyAmi GYAnAnA.n GYAnamuttamam.h |
yajGYAtvA munayaH sarve parAM siddhimito gatAH || 14-1 ||



Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.1

Anvaya: sri-bhagavan uvaca–the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; param–transcendental; bhuyah–again; pravaksyami–I shall speak; jnananam–of all knowledge; jnanam–knowledge; uttamam–the supreme; yat–which; jnatva–knowing; munayah–the sages; sarve–all; param–transcendental; siddhim–perfection; itah–from this world; gatah–attained.

Translation: The Blessed Lord said: Again I shall declare to you this supreme wisdom, the best of all knowledge, knowing which all the sages have attained the supreme perfection.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

In the previous chapter the Supreme Lord Krishna explained the reality of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the purusa or the Supreme Being as eternal consciousness. He also clarified how the everything manifesting in existence is a combination of the ksetra asphere of activity and the ksetrajna the knower of the sphere of activity and confirmed that this does not happen independently; but it is by the will of the Supreme Lord. Now in this chapter He delineates at length the unlimited, phenomenal existence of the atma or immortal soul manifesting from its association with the three gunas of material nature as passion, goodness and nescience. He declares that he will reveal the supreme knowledge, the best knowledge which leads to moksa or liberation from material existence which comes from devotion, penance and meditation. Knowing which great sages have achieved release from samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death ascended to attain the ultimate goal.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

Hari OM! After elaborately explaining in detail the reality of the ksetra or sphere of activity and the ksetrajna or knower of the sphere of activity in the previouis chapter. Now Lord Krishna discourses on the binding effects of the three fold qualities of material nature and the means for deliverance from it.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

In the previous chapter the Supreme Lord Krishna explained that by comprehending the factual relationships of purusa or the Supreme Being as paramatma the all pervading supreme soul, the atma or the immortal soul and prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence. Along with imbibing the virtues beginning in verse 8 such as humilty and reverence and also by bhaktir avyabhicarini or exclusive devotion to the Supreme Lord as given in verse 11 which awards His grace. By doing so one would achieve moksa or freedom from material existence.

Now in this chapter the Lord Krishna propounds how the gunas or three modes of sattva guna or mode of goodness, raja guna or mode of passion and tama guna or mode of ignorance all individually and conjointly cause the jiva or embodied being to be bound to samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death and gives the remedy by which one may be redeemed and delivered therefrom. The word pravaksyami means I will declare. What will Lord Krishna declare? He will declare jnananam jnanam uttamam meaning the topmost knowledge and wisdom. What knowledge and wisdom is this? Knowledge of the three gunas whose qualities directly influence the combination of prakriti and purusa effected as the jiva or embodied being. What wisdom is this? Wisdom that surpasses all that has previously been told about this combination. The munis are the great sages and seers or munayah who possessing this wisdom in deep meditation achieve self-realisation and release from samsara ascending to the supreme state. The excellence of this wisdom is extolled next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Extolling the topic of highest wisdom to be presented the Supreme Lord Krishna glorifies it in this verse and the next differentiating it as more advanced then what He had discoursed previously. This is in regard to the by products of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence which are the gunas or three modes of material nature known as sattva guna or mode of goodness, raja guna or mode of passion and tama guna or mode of ignorance. By acquiring this wisdom and imbibing it into the consciousness the great munayah or sages and seers ascended to the highest felicity and achieved moksa or liberation from material existence and release from samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death.

Sloka 14.2 audio recital in Sanskrit     

इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागताः |
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ||१४- २||

idaM GYAnamupAshritya mama sAdharmyamAgatAH |
sarge.api nopajAyante pralaye na vyathanti cha || 14-2 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.2

Anvaya: idam–this; jnanam–knowledge; upasritya–taking shelter of; mama–My; sadharmyam–nature; agatah–attained; sarge api–even in the creation; na–never; upajayante–comes in; pralaye–in the annihilation; na–nor; vyathanti–disturbed; ca–also.

Translation: By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature, which is like My own nature. Thus established, one is not born at the time of creation nor disturbed at the time of dissolution.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

By becoming immersed in this wisdom that Lord Krishna is prepared to reveal the jiva or embodied being attains identity with the Supreme Lord and are no longer subject to samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Nor are they born again at the time of universal creation even though Brahma is created; neither do they expire at the time of universal dissolution. They have achieved freedom from the bondage of transmigration.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

This knowledge and wisdom which the great sages possess is what Lord Krishna is elaborating about in this chapter. The words mama sadharmyam means endowed with a similar divine eternality like the Supreme Lord. The word sarge meaning creation denotes the time of beginning and the word pralaye denotes the time of dissolution. Those who have acquired this knowledge and realised its wisdom having transcended are exempt from both and subject to neither birth or death. The explanation of how all existing beings result in their forms by the combination of matter and spirit and how the qualities of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence come to manifest was already eloquently delineated in chapter 13 verse 22.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Elaborating further Lord Krishna explains that those who devoutly embrace this wisdom gain spiritual intelligence and their atma or immortal soul exalts in communion with Him, revealing its quality of eternality like Him. No longer are they forced to except incarceration in a mothers womb even at the time of universal creation when Brahma and others are born. Neither will such a one ever experience the pangs of death even at the time of universal dissolution when all is recycled because they have ascended to the spiritual worlds.

Sloka 14.3 audio recital in Sanskrit     

मम योनिर्महद् ब्रह्म तस्मिन्गर्भं दधाम्यहम् |
सम्भवः सर्वभूतानां ततो भवति भारत ||१४- ३||

mama yonirmahad.h brahma tasmingarbha.n dadhAmyaham.h |
sambhavaH sarvabhUtAnA.n tato bhavati bhArata || 14-3 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.3

Anvaya: mama–My; yonih–source of birth; mahat–the total material existence; brahma–supreme; tasmin–in that; garbham–pregnancy; dadhami–create; aham–I; sambhavah–possibility; sarva-bhutanam–of all living entities; tatah–thereafter; bhavati–becomes; bharata–O son of Bharata.

Translation: The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

After praising such wisdom and proclaiming the results of what He is about to teach to get the listener attentive, Lord Krishna declares the fundamental purport of the teachings that the emergence of all living entities from the combination of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the purusa or the supreme being as eternal consciousness is that it derives itself from the Supreme Lord and is subservient and dependent upon Him. The brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence is not limited by time and space and is the abode and cause of the expanding evolution of praktiti which is the womb Lord Krishna impregnates casting His seeds in the form of limitless atmas or immortal souls which accept unlimited forms as countless jivas or embodied beings. This He does by infusing the reflection of His supreme intelligence which causes the expansion and evolution of all creation. At the commencement of universal creation at the time of conception the Supreme Lord unites again with the corresponding body of each and every jiva. During universal dissolution all jivas were previously absorbed into Him. Now once again spawning them out He abides within each and every jivas heart as paramatma the all pervading supreme soul and is distinguished as the ksetrajna or the knower of the sphere of activity distinctly different from the ksetra or sphere of activity. The jivas are endowed by the impressions of the three gunas which are the modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience comprised in a kalpa or one day of Brahma, the accumulative actions of their previous 43,200,000 lifetimes for a human. These calibrated results are kept intact and correspondingly transferred into their new existence to reap the exact reactions to there actions thereof. From this dissertation the origins of all jivas from the secondary creator Brahma, the most evolved jiva down to the least evolved jiva such as a one celled amoeba can be succinctly comprehended and practically understood.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

The mahat means that which cannot be limited brahma denotes the expansive material energy or prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence. This represents sakti or the feminine energy such as Sri, Bhu, Durga, etc. Saraswati, Uma and others are partial manifestations of Sri. The same is confirmed in the Kashayana scripture which states: Sri, Bhu and Durga are the three forms of illusion which binds the jivas or embodied beings in this world. Although Saraswati and Uma are only partial expansions of Sri in the Agama texts they to are sometimes referred to as Sri as well. The words mama yonir meaning womb confirms that the feminine sakti is existing to accept the seed of consciousness from the Supreme Lord and give birth to all life forms. In the Sharkarakshya texts it states: For giving birth by the Supreme Lord the goddess Sri, the great illusion is devoid of all suffering. Yet she along with the Supreme Lord displays herself as if suffering to delude the debased and ignoble. An example of this is the sorrow displayed by Rama for the suffering of Sita. Another example is the tolerance of Bhu as the personified goddess of the Earth which is but her reflection. So much destruction and misery takes place on Earth but she is incorruptible and even though she appears as the last of the five primary elements fire, water, air, ether she is the origin of them all. The Anabhimlan scripture states: She willingly accepts the servitude even though she is the matriarch of all the worlds. The Matsya Purana states that prakriti sometimes can be referred by mahat brahma due to her great benevolence and selfless service.

Now begins the summation.

According to the Shabda Nirnay the word yonir has three distinct meanings. One is the wife. The second is the female generative organ and the third is known as the cause. Here it means the wife because Lord Krishna states that in the womb He impregnates.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Inanimate and inert earth, water, fire, air, ether along with manas or mind, buddhi or intelligence and ahankara or ego all constitute Lord Krishna’s eightfold differentiated aspects of matter. But they only comprise His external energy and are inferior. The mahad-brahma signifies the infinite extension of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence by dint of its being the primal source of all variegations of species and subspecies which emanate thereof correspondingly in the forms of manas, buddhi and ahankara. Passages found in various Vedic scriptures sometime refer to prakriti in specific circumstances in the purview of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. An example is seen in the Mundaka Upanisad II.II.VII. beginning yah sarvajnah sarvavid which states: The Supreme Lord is omniscient and omnipotent and His glory is pervading through all of creation. He eternally dwells in Vaikuntha the eternal, transcendental spiritual worlds and simultaneously with the heart of every jiva or embodied being. The term garbha means seed as in embryo in the form of all the animate myriad trillions of atmas or immortal souls manifesting within the jivas en masse at the time of their appearance. So in the inanimate, womb like nature of prakriti the Supreme Lord casts the animate seeds in aggregate corresponding precisely to the exact finite number of atmas for every jiva in creation. The purport is that the Supreme Lord impregnates material nature with souls in the form of incalculable living enities that assume unlimited forms throughout material existence. The ksetrajna or knower of the field of activity uniting with the ksetra or field of activity. Thus are all jivas from Brahma down to a one-cell amoeba manifested by the combination of the aforementioned principles; generated by the will of the Supreme Lord. That such manifestation is actually and factually from the Supreme Lord will be given next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna reveals that all jivas or embodied beings originate by the combination of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the purusa or the supreme, eternal consciousness. But this combination is determined by the will of the Supreme Lord and is not an accidental or random event as the impersonalists of the Sankhya doctrine propound. The Supreme Lord is the cause of origin for all jivas or embodied beings and fully controls prakriti with its gunas or three modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or ignorance. This primordial matter known as prakriti is greater then all its products and beyond the sway of space and time and is infinite because it is the ksetra or sphere of activity where the expansion and evolution of the jiva or embodied beings is able to manifest. The all pervading, omniscient Supreme Lord the source of both the animate and the inanimate reflected as stated in the Chandogya Upanisad VI.II.III beginning tad-aikshata vahu svam meaning: The Supreme Lord glanced upon prakriti and impregnated it for the evolution of innumerable jivas in totality. The manifestation of all jivas from Brahma to a one-celled amoeba is a combination of the sentient purusat and insentient prakriti. When the Supreme Lord perceives that the jiva having an absence of sattva is oblivious to the ksetrajna or knower of the sphere of activity and is in possession of the latencies of tamas and rajas desiring to reap the rewards of their past actions they are bonded to the lower potency known as the ksetra or sphere of activity in the form of an appropriate physical body..

Now Lord Krishna explains in brief the true nature of the ksetra the field of activity and the ksetra-jna the knower of the field. The relationship the ksetra has with the ksetra-jna and the consciousness which is established in Him. Knowledge of the ksetra means what type entity is embodied and the qualities are what modifications restricts it and what is its means of evolving itself through the interrelationship of matter and spirit. And of the ksetra-jna exactly what is the atma or eternal soul, who is the knower of the ksetra and what is its powers and potencies.

Sloka 14.4 audio recital in Sanskrit     

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः |
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रदः पिता ||१४- ४||

sarvayoniShu kaunteya mUrtayaH sambhavanti yAH |
tAsAM brahma mahadyonirahaM bIjapradaH pitA || 14-4 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.4

Anvaya: sarva-yonisu–in all species of life; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; murtayah–forms; sambhavanti–as they appear; yah–which; tasam–all of them; brahma–supreme; mahat yonih–the source of birth in the material substance; aham–Myself; bija-pradah–seed-giving; pita–father.

Translation: It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

It is not only at the conception of creation that all beings manifested from prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and purusa or the Supreme Being as eternal consciousness are generated by the Supreme Lord Krishna; but in every aspect of existence and in all situations they all are totally presided over by Him. The words sarva yonisu means within all species of life. Whatever forms are in existence, whether inanimate or animate, that are born in variegated wombs demigod, human, animal etc. The great refuge of all is the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence within which resides prakriti as the womb into which is manifested all the atmas or immortal souls in existence generated exclusively by Lord Krishna as the father of all.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Whatever forms that are generated into existence from the wombs of demigods, demons, human, animal, birds, reptile, fish, etc. all manifest from the great womb of inanimate existence within the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and is known as prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence by dint of its modifications known as the three gunas of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience. These modifications manifest due to circumstances based on the individual karma of unlimited jivas or embodied beings who are embedded by the Supreme Lord with the animate aspect known as the atma or immortal soul. This is the cause of all created beings and thus Lord Krishna is thus the father of all. The primary reason for such diverse generating of jivas will be given next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

It is not that the origins of all jivas or embodied beings manifest only after the cyclic dissolution of creation; but also all subsequent creations they are all completely dependent upon the Supreme Lord Krishna for their existence. This is what is denoted by the words sarva yonisu meaning all species of life that jivas inhabit be they demigods, human, animals, demons, birds, fish, ghosts, spirits, etc. The original conceiving mother is prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence in combination with the Supreme Lord Krishna as the atma or immortal soul generating father which is like unto a seed in every respect. The purport is that insentient prakriti can never act independently but only subordinate and in conjunction with the Supreme Lord and the jivas are then manifested according to their karma or reactions to past actions.

Sloka 14.5 audio recital in Sanskrit     

सत्त्वं रजस्तम इति गुणाः प्रकृतिसम्भवाः |
निबध्नन्ति महाबाहो देहे देहिनमव्ययम् ||१४- ५||

sattvaM rajastama iti guNAH prakR^itisambhavAH |
nibadhnanti mahAbAho dehe dehinamavyayam.h || 14-5 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.5

Anvaya: sattvam–mode of goodness; rajah–mode of passion; tamah–mode of ignorance; iti–thus; gunah–qualities; prakrti–material nature; sambhavah–produced of; nibadhnanti–does condition; maha-baho–O mighty-armed one; dehe–in this body; dehinam–the living entity; avyayam–eternal.

Translation: Material nature consists of the three modes–goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity comes in contact with nature, he becomes conditioned by these modes.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Having thus declared that the origins of all jivas or embodied beings is from the combination of prakriti or the material substratum pervading all existence and purusa the Supreme Being as eternal consciousness and that they are both manifestations of the Supreme Lord Krishna. The resulting situation of the purusa’s conjunction with prakriti is elaborated upon in fourteen verse beginning with this one is described in relationship to the gunas or three modes of material nature: sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience which all arise from prakriti. The source and foundation of these gunas is only from prakriti and are dependent upon it. The physical body is a product of the three gunas. Everything in material existence is under the influence of the three gunas which binds fast the jivas by connecting the effect of actions to the results of reactions. Due to accepting the illusions of happiness, distress, exhilaration, delusion, etc. The jivas believe that they are physical beings because of identifying with the senses and the physical body. So much so that the eternal part within which is the atma or the immortal soul is completely forgotten even though it is a direct manifestation of the Supreme Lord and in reality immutable and eternal.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

The forms and accruements of attachment obstructing the jiva or embodied being in relation to atma tattva or realization of the immortal soul is indicated in this verse. The words sattva, rajas and tamas are usually depicted as goodness, passion and nescience. But there are other interpretations of the same. Sattva is luminous because goodness illuminates. Rajas is exuberance giving passion to the ego and momentum to activity. Tamas is nescience the degenerative utilization of rajas and the total antithesis of sattva.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The three gunas or modes of material nature are sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience and all arise from prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence. The gunas in actual fact are the attributes and qualities of prakriti and their existence can be discerned from the effects that they are responsible for producing such as intelligence, dimwittedness or beautiful, ugly, etc. These attributes and qualities are in a latent state within material nature when it is unevolved but manifests themselves when in an evolved state. The results of their effects is that the immutable atma or immortal soul is nibadhnanti which means enslaved by material sentiments of the mind. Due to this the atma is impounded in a body as a captive, forced to be manufactured as a jiva or an embodied being and subject to birth and death within the body of a demigod, human, animal, fish, etc. The characteristics of the individual guna’s along with their method of imprisoning the jiva is given by Lord Krishna next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna refutes the impersonalistic sankhya philosophy which negates the existence of the Supreme Lord by propounding the combination and essential dependence of the ksetra or field of activity with the ksetra-jna or the knower of the field of activity. He delineates all aspects such as what the qualities are. How they can be recognised. How they keep the jivas or embodied beings in bondage and how this is established and enforced by contact and attraction to sense objects and material nature. He states that the three gunas or qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas or goodness, passion and ignorance respectively are not the actual forms of objects seen, heard, tasted, smelled or touched but are the status of the inherent attributes contained as. Thus prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence is defined as the resting place where the three gunas are equipoise and arise from. This same prakriti when agitated by the Supreme Lord’s onslaught of time transforms into mahat or cosmic intelligence and firmly becomes bonded with the dualities such as pleasure and pain, happiness and distress, etc. But then one may question why it is stated in chapter 2, verse 30 that the atma or immortal soul can never be destroyed. Anticipating such a query Lord Krishna states the words dehinam avyayam meaning the immutable spirit soul denoting that although the atma resides in the physical body it is immutable and never changes it quality of eternality. So the gunas cause the atma to be imprisoned by the physical body due to its attachment to the body and its attraction to the senses and its desire for sense objects. The Visnu Purana states: The Supreme Lord enters by His own will with equipoise into mutable matter and immutable spirit, activating both at the time of creation. O sage He is both the activator and the activated. By way of contraction and expansion He abides equipoise within prakriti as the ksetrajna from whence the three gunas arise which control the ksetra. This irrevocably manifests at the commencement of creation. So in conclusion the three gunas are the modified essence of prakriti which is generated by the mahat unto all material beings and planets such as Earth and others.

Sloka 14.6 audio recital in Sanskrit     

तत्र सत्त्वं निर्मलत्वात्प्रकाशकमनामयम् |
सुखसङ्गेन बध्नाति ज्ञानसङ्गेन चानघ ||१४- ६||

tatra sattvaM nirmalatvAtprakAshakamanAmayam.h |
sukhasaN^gena badhnAti GYAnasaN^gena chAnagha || 14-6 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.6

Anvaya: tatra–thereafter; sattvam–mode of goodness; nirmalatvat–being purest in the material world; prakasakam–illuminating; anamayam–without any sinful reaction; sukha–happiness; sangena–association; badhnati–conditions; jnana–knowledge; sangena–association; ca–also; anagha–O sinless one.

Translation: O sinless one, the mode of goodness being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode develop knowledge, but they become conditioned by the concept of happiness.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna states that sattva or the mode of goodness being transparent, stainlesss, and luminous is free from the propensity for evil and thus is serene. Yet being serene binds the jivas or embodied beings as well by attachment to its effect of happiness. As well being luminous binds the jivas by attachment to its effect of knowledge. The understanding is that the happiness one feels and the knowledge one has achieved gives one the corresponding mental states of I am happy and I am wise respectively and gives rise to the jiva identifying themselves with the temporary physical body and not with the atma or immortal soul.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The characteristics given by Lord Krishna of sattva or the mode of goodness within the three gunas or modes of material nature is that it is pure and lucid and shines brightly. Purity and clarity is that which negates obscuration of brightness and happiness. As illumination and happiness can only result from sattva it is understood to be their cause. The word prakasakam means illuminates, enlightens, reveals the exact knowledge of. The word anamayam means of peaceful quality, that which has no inherent cause for producing discomfort, pain or sickness denoting that sattva is the cause of good health. The quality of sattva produces in the jiva or embodied being the predisposition for happiness and knowledge. When the dispositions for happiness and knowledge arise in life one embarks upon such worldly material enterprises and spiritual pursuits as correlates to the level of one’s developement and evolution. Hence the jiva is propelled to take birth in such wombs that are favorably suited fot the enjoyment of one’s karma or resultant reactions to actions which arising out of sattva are positive. Born in sattva the inclinations and disposition that one has again gravitates towrds happiness and knowledge and in this way lifetime by lifetime in sattva guna the mode of goodness one has the opportunity to advance in spiritual life. But this opportunity is not accessible to those born in the two inferior gunas of rajas or passion and tamas or ignorance as will be described next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

In order to delineate the characteristics and types of bondage associated collectively and individually to the three gunas or modes of material nature. Lord Krishna begins in three verses first with sattva the mode of goodness and in the next two verses rajas or passion and tamas or ignorance. The quality of sattva is immaculate , it illuminates and is lucid like a crystal. It is devoid of the propensity to veil or cover happiness or knowledge and it possesses tranquillity and equipoise. Although sattva is imbued with such good qualities it still binds the jiva or embodied being through attachment to happiness and knowledge which keeps the identification with the physical body strong inducing feelings of I feel happiness, I am knowledgeable and so on. This entices one to seek accomplishments of greater and greater deeds and experience the rewards of their result .

Sloka 14.7 audio recital in Sanskrit     

रजो रागात्मकं विद्धि तृष्णासङ्गसमुद्भवम् |
तन्निबध्नाति कौन्तेय कर्मसङ्गेन देहिनम् ||१४- ७||

rajo rAgAtmakaM viddhi tR^iShNAsaN^gasamudbhavam.h |
tannibadhnAti kaunteya karmasaN^gena dehinam.h || 14-7 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.7

Anvaya: rajah–the mode of passion; raga-atmakam–born of desire or lust; viddhi–know; trsna–with hankering; sanga–association; samudbhavam–produced of; tat–that; nibadhnati–binds; kaunteya–O son of Kunti; karma-sangena–by association with fruitive activity; dehinam–the embodied.

Translation: The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, O son of Kunti, and because of this one is bound to material fruitive activities.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

The binding nature of rajas or mode of passion and its characteristics are now stated by Lord Krishna. It should be understood that rajas is the root of sense gratification and lust. Therefore rajas is the source of desire and attachment. Desire is hankering for that which is yet to be experienced and attachment is the obsession to have that which has been experienced already. By instigating and increasing the propensity to continuously perform actions rajas binds the jiva or embodied being tightly in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death due to accute desire and attachment to enjoy apparent and inapparent results.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

Because of attraction the attachment to craving binds by becoming incessant and insatiable.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna explains that the mode of passion is known as rajas and is the cause of sexual desires known as carnal lust. From rajas arises trishna which is desire for all forms of sensual enjoyments through the medium of the senses such as seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. Also arising from rajas is sanga or desire to be in the association of family, friends and loved ones. Thus rajas encourages desires and promotes activities to enjoy such desires which binds one to the reactions of merits or demerits and keeps the jiva or embodied being incessantly revolving in samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death. This propensity for constantly performing actions is inherent and also causes the jiva to take birth at a specific place with a particular body suitable to enjoy the rewards of previous actions. Hence by instigating the desire for performing works one is kept in bondage. In this way rajas is known to be the root cause of lust, sensual desires and attachment.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Here Lord Krishna explains raja guna or the mode of passion and describes how it binds the jiva or embodied being to material existence. The quality of passion gives the impetus to perform activities for the desire of sense gratification and identifying in the mind such sense objects to be enjoyed by the senses. Desire is the hankering for the acquisition of objects to be acquired and attachment is obsession for objects that have already been acquired. This rajas tightly binds the jiva through incessant readiness to perform actions to satisfy desires and attachment to the lure of perceived and unperceived results for such actions.

Sloka 14.8 audio recital in Sanskrit     

तमस्त्वज्ञानजं विद्धि मोहनं सर्वदेहिनाम् |
प्रमादालस्यनिद्राभिस्तन्निबध्नाति भारत ||१४- ८||

tamastvaGYAnajaM viddhi mohanaM sarvadehinAm.h |
pramAdAlasyanidrAbhistannibadhnAti bhArata || 14-8 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.8

Anvaya: tamah–mode of ignorance; tu–but; ajnana-jam–products of ignorance; viddhi–knowing; mohanam–delusion; sarva-dehinam–of all embodied beings; pramada–madness; alasya–indolence; nidrabhih–sleep; tat–that; nibadhnati–binds; bharata–O son of Bharata.

Translation: O son of Bharata, the mode of ignorance causes the delusion of all living entities. The result of this mode is madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

The binding nature of tamas or mode of ignorance and its characteristics are now stated by Lord Krishna. The word tamas means darkness and is arises from that part of prakriti or the material substratum that pervades physical existence, that possesses the power of mohanam being that which deludes into illusion, concealing the true perception. This power has the ability to confound and bewilder all jivas or embodied beings. Hence tamas binds imperiously the jivas through pramada or madness, alasya or indolence and nidrabhis or sleep. Pramada can also includes listlessness and mental fragmentation. Alasya can also include laziness and dullness and nidrabhis can also include inaction of the mind due to inebriation or exhaustion.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

That by which one becomes obscure is called born of ajnana or non- awareness. This is what is indicated by the words alasya or indolence and nibhadhnati or iertia.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna describes the word ajnana meaning ignorance which is the antithesis of wisdom. The word jnana meaning knowledge is the precise, accurate perception whereas ajnana is the perverted, inaccurate perception. The word tamas means darkness denoting the darkness of ignorance and is diametrically opposite to the light of knowledge. The word mohanam is that which deludes into illusion and the darkness of ignorance. This tamas is also the cause of pramada or madness and listlessness which is the inability to focus having a fragmented attention span. It is also the cause of alasya or indolence slothlike laziness which is the inability to properly execute any endeavor properly and nidrabhih or sleep is the disinclination of the senses to function terminating all activities. All these things nibadhanti or binds one to the material existence without reprieve.The sublation of the external senses constitutes the dream state;but when the mind is also sublated then the dream state becomes sleep.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna defines tama guna or the mode of ignorance. The word tamas means darkness and is typified by nescience and inertia. It is subject to the greatest delusion that imagines a permanent and pleasant experience in a temporary and unpleasant existence. Those humans that look upon themselves as being their physical body like the animals do and who accept their physical body as being all that they are all hopelessly situated in ajnana or absence of knowledge which is the antithesis of jnana or wisdom. Jnana is the accurate precise understanding whereas ajnana is the inaccurate perverted understanding. The inaccurate perverted understanding binds the jiva or embodied being through pramada or madness which includes listlessness and bewilderment, alasya or indolence which includes sluggishness and laziness and nidrbhis or sleep which includes inebriation. Sleep is the cessation of bodily organs arising from mental and physical exhaustion. All of these are permanently situated in tama guna and invoking ignorance tightly bind the jiva.

Sloka 14.9 audio recital in Sanskrit     

सत्त्वं सुखे सञ्जयति रजः कर्मणि भारत |
ज्ञानमावृत्य तु तमः प्रमादे सञ्जयत्युत ||१४- ९||

sattvaM sukhe sa~njayati rajaH karmaNi bhArata |
GYAnamAvR^itya tu tamaH pramAde sa~njayatyuta || 14-9 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.9

Anvaya: sattvam–mode of goodness; sukhe–in happiness; sanjayati–develops; rajah–mode of passion; karmani–fruits of activities; bharata–O son of Bharata; jnanam–knowledge; avrtya–covering; tu–but; tamah–the mode of ignorance; pramade–in madness; sanjayati–develops; uta–it is said.

Translation: The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness, passion conditions him to the fruits of action, and ignorance to madness.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

The predominating effect of sattva guna or mode of goodness is that it instils in the jiva or embodied being the attraction for happiness even though the seeds of misery and sorrow are also inherent. So sattva guna by such natural but strong attraction for happiness binds the jiva to material existence and raja guna the mode of passion binds one by the work and effort constantly undertaken to achieve such happiness and tama guna or mode of ignorance binds one to material existence by distorted delusions and perverted perceptions of knowledge even if heard from liberated beings. Tamas also manifests as neglecting the teachings of great liberated beings or by acting contrary to these teachings because such teachings differ from ones personal understanding. The word uta means and so forth and indicates that tamas binds one as well to lethargy listlessness and laziness.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The cardinal features of three gunas or modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience are now being delineated by Lord Krishna. The main quality of sattva is its ability to confer blessedness. The main proponent of rajas is that it impels vigourous activity and the dominant factor in tamas is that it obscures intelligence giving a perverted view of reality which results in the tendency to perform unnatural activities. The three gunas are the natural effects of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and constitute the qualities of all matter which manifests into physical bodies both gross and subtle. How they each give rise to consequences so radically different and conflicting with each other is answered in the next verse.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Here Lord Krishna describes in brief the functional capacity of the three gunas which are sattva guna or the mode of goodness, raja guna or the mode of passion and tama guna or the mode of ignorance. The quality of sattva impels the mind to be attracted to happiness. Although there may be situations of pain and discomfort the overall tendency of the mind is to seek knowledge and experience joy. The quality of rajas activates the mind to be attracted to action. Although there may be situations of tranquility and calm the overall tendency is constant activity. The quality of tamas is obscuring and distorting knowledge even if instructed by the spiritual master. Such perversion causes the jiva or embodied being to commit degenerative activities that hinder it’s well being and blocks it’s own best interests.

Sloka 14.10 audio recital in Sanskrit     

रजस्तमश्चाभिभूय सत्त्वं भवति भारत |
रजः सत्त्वं तमश्चैव तमः सत्त्वं रजस्तथा ||१४- १०||

rajastamashchAbhibhUya sattvaM bhavati bhArata |
rajaH sattvaM tamashchaiva tamaH sattvaM rajastathA || 14-10 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.10

Anvaya: rajah–mode of passion; tamah–mode of ignorance; ca–also; abhibhuya–also surpassing; sattvam–mode of goodness; bhavati–becomes prominent; bharata–O son of Bharata; rajah–mode of passion; sattvam–mode of goodness; tamah–mode of ignorance; ca–also; eva–like that; tamah–mode of ignorance; sattvam–mode of goodness; rajah–mode of passion; tatha–as in this.

Translation: Sometimes the mode of passion becomes prominent, defeating the mode of goodness, O son of Bharata. And sometimes the mode of goodness defeats passion, and at other times the mode of ignorance defeats goodness and passion. In this way there is always competition for supremacy.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

All the three gunas being sattva guna or mode of goodness, raja guna or mode of passiion and tama guna or mode of ignorance originate from past karma which are reactions to actions from previous lives whose results are known as adrishta. When sattva guna is dominant it overpowers the effects of rajas and tamas and in this way sattva binds the jiva or embodied being exclusively to its effects of happiness and pursuit of knowledge. When raja guna is dominant it overpowers sattva and tamas and binds the jiva to its effects of desire and activity and when tama guna is dominant it overpowers sattva and rajas and binds the jiva by its effects of inertia and indolence.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna confirms the fact that the three gunas or modes of sattva or goodness, rajas or passion and tamas or nescience are the three qualities that exist within all jivas or embodied beings in the material existence. But owing to adrishta which is conditions imposed by the effects of past karma or reactions to actions and determined as well by the types of food that were chosen to eat in sustaining the physical body in the previous life. Based upon this assessment any of three gunas may be dominant or they may neutralise each other or they may be antagonistic to each other depending upon which mode is more present and dominant within a jiva. This being the reality it can be inferred by knowledge and discerned by witnessing the visible effects of the three gunas as manifested within any jiva.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna explains the relationship and interaction between the three gunas which are sattva guna or the mode of goodness, raja guna or the mode of passion and tama guna or the mode of ignorance. All three gunas inexplicably locked to all jivas or embodied beings throughout material existence; but one of the gunas prevails over the other two due to the stringent law of karma or the reactions of committed actions performed in the previous lifetime combined with the effects from the types of food eaten such as vegetarian or animal, compounded with the degree of sinfulness committed knowingly or unknowingly determines which of the three gunas will be prevalent. The Chadogya Upanisad VI.VI.V beginning annamayam hi somya mana states: The mind is made up of the food that it eats. Srila Vedavyasa states in the Bhagavat Purana that knowledge, water, progeny, place, time, actions, origin, meditation, formula and mental tendency, are the 10 causes of growth.

Sloka 14.11 audio recital in Sanskrit     

सर्वद्वारेषु देहेऽस्मिन्प्रकाश उपजायते |
ज्ञानं यदा तदा विद्याद्विवृद्धं सत्त्वमित्युत ||१४- ११||

sarvadvAreShu dehe.asminprakAsha upajAyate |
GYAnaM yadA tadA vidyAdvivR^iddha.n sattvamityuta || 14-11 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.11

Anvaya: sarva-dvaresu–all the gates; dehe asmin–in this body; prakasah–quality of illumination; upajayate–develops; jnanam–knowledge; yada–when; tada–at that time; vidyat–must know; vivrddham–increased; sattvam–the mode of goodness; iti–thus; uta–said.

Translation: The manifestations of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna delineates the developed characteristics of sattva guna or mode of goodness by explaining that when the five sense s no longer exercise there search for sense gratification but instead focus their attention to the experiencing the atma or immortal soul; then the light of knowledge radiates througfh them and by this manifestation it can be ascertained that sattva guna is predominant within a jiva or embodied being. Also by the signs of happiness and effulgence.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

When the light of jnana or knowledge is seen to be dominate in all the channels of the body and the senses such as seeing and hearing; then an accurate perception of reality as it is naturally occurs. Lord Krishna confirms that this is indicative that sattva guna or the mode of goodness is predominant.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

One can recognise the presence of the three gunas or modes of material nature by their productive effects. Lord Krishna states that when the gates of the physical body which are the senses such as the eyes and ears, etc. by which one perceives light and sound achieve a sense of dispassion and discerment then arise s the light of true perception and it symbolises that sattva guna or the mode of goodness is predominant based on its feeling of well being and happiness.

Sloka 14.12 audio recital in Sanskrit     

लोभः प्रवृत्तिरारम्भः कर्मणामशमः स्पृहा |
रजस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे भरतर्षभ ||१४- १२||

lobhaH pravR^ittirArambhaH karmaNAmashamaH spR^ihA |
rajasyetAni jAyante vivR^iddhe bharatarShabha || 14-12 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.12

Anvaya: lobhah–greed; pravrttih–hankering; arambhah–endeavor; karmanam–of activities; asamah–uncontrollable; sprha–desire; rajasi–in the mode of passion; etani–all this; jayante–develop; vivrddhe–when there is excess; bharata-rsabha–O chief of the descendants of Bharata.

Translation: O chief of the Bharatas, when there is an increase in the mode of passion, the symptoms of great attachment, uncontrollable desire, hankering, and intense endeavor develop.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Continuing furtherLord Krishna states that the ever increasing desire for wealth known as greed and avarice keeps one always in activities to acquire and enjoy. Restlessness, agitation, the incessant impulse to perform actions for the purpose of satisfying desires. Longing to exploit and enjoy things as soon as they are seen by any means available. When these characteristics are prevalent then it is apparent that raja guna or the mode of passion is predominant within a jiva or embodied being,

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna now describes what is indicative of passion with the following words.
The word lobha means greed, avarice, parsimony regarding wealth.
The word pravritih means restlessness with no specific purpose or reason.
The word arambhah means engaging in fruitive activities.
The word asamah means agitation of the senses.
The word spriha means craving for sense gratification.
All of these qualities manifest when raja guna or the mode of passion is predominant.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna speaks of the indications of the qualities of raja guna or the mode of passion. Underlying the preponderance of passion is lobhah or greed wwhich is the desire to always acquire more even if not needed. The motivating force is activity for increasing self interests. The mentality is after I acquire this, I will acquire that and so forth and so on. There is an incessant impulse to do and an obsession to enjoy every object. So by lobhah it can be understood that one is controlled by raja guna.

Sloka 14.13 audio recital in Sanskrit     

अप्रकाशोऽप्रवृत्तिश्च प्रमादो मोह एव च |
तमस्येतानि जायन्ते विवृद्धे कुरुनन्दन ||१४- १३||

aprakAsho.apravR^ittishcha pramAdo moha eva cha |
tamasyetAni jAyante vivR^iddhe kurunandana || 14-13 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.13

Anvaya: aprakasah–darkness; apravrttih–inactivity; ca–and; pramadah–madness; mohah–illusion; eva–certainly; ca–also; tamasi–of the mode of ignorance; etani–these; jayante–are manifested; vivrddhe–is developed; kuru-nandana–O son of Kuru.

Translation: O son of Kuru, when there is an increase in the mode of ignorance, madness, illusion, inertia and darkness are manifested.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna confirms that tama guna or mode of ignorance is darkness of knowledge, absence of discrimination, indolence, listlessness, forgetfulness, delusion, erroneous conclusions. Where such characteristics are seen it is clear that tama guna is predominant within a jiva or embodied being.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Here Lord Krishna explains what is indicative of tama guna or the mode of ignorance. The word aprakasa means devoid of illumination, nescience, ignorance. The word apravrrtih means inertia, lethargy, absence of effort. The word pramada means madness, fragmentation, propensity for sinful activities. The word moha means illusion, distortion, misinterpretation of reality. When tamas is predominant then delusion and perversion are seen to be rampant in society.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Here Lord Krishna speaks of the indications of tama guna or the mode of ignorance with the presence of inertia, indolence and delusion in the mind and in the senses.. The word moha means absorbed in illusion; hence neglectfulnesss of the teachings of the spiritual master, carelessness in obligatory duties such as fasting from all grains on ekadasi which is the 11th day leading to the new moon and full moon. Listlessness, inactivity and subject to the illusion of perverting reality with distorted impressions giving a false view of life. By all these things one can be seen to be controlled by tama guna.

Sloka 14.14 audio recital in Sanskrit     

यदा सत्त्वे प्रवृद्धे तु प्रलयं याति देहभृत् |
तदोत्तमविदां लोकानमलान्प्रतिपद्यते ||१४- १४||

yadA sattve pravR^iddhe tu pralayaM yAti dehabhR^it.h |
tadottamavidA.n lokAnamalAnpratipadyate || 14-14 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.14

Anvaya: yada–when; sattve–mode of goodness; pravrddhe–in development; tu–but; pralayam–dissolution; yati–goes; deha-bhrt–embodied; tada–at that time; uttama-vidam–of the great sages; lokan–the planets; amalan–pure; pratipadyate–attains.

Translation: When one dies in the mode of goodness, he attains to the pure higher planets.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna explains the result of sattva guna or mode of goodness being predominant at the time of death is that the jiva or embodied being will reach the pure, luminous higher realms of those who worship the highest demigods such as Hiranyagarbha.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna explains that when the jiva or embodied being is in sattva guna or mode of goodness at the time of death then numerous blessed regions are reached where the knowers of atma tattva or knowledge of the immortal soul are residing. The word amalan means pure, exempt from blemish, denoting devoid of ignorance. The understanding is that the fate of a jiva who dies under the influence of sattva guna would be so beneficial that it would predetermine that the next birth would take place in the enviornment of pious and holy people that have realised atma tattva and so combined with an inner impulse to pursue this way of life and with opportunity in abundance one would continue in sattva guna purifying one’s existence by performing spiritual activities until one achieves perfection.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna explains that a jiva or embodied being when situated in sattva guna or mode of goodness at the moment of death reaches the pure unblemished association of the spiritually perfected in the higher heavenly planets up to the planet of Brahma which is where the virtuous and pious reside.

Sloka 14.15 audio recital in Sanskrit     

रजसि प्रलयं गत्वा कर्मसङ्गिषु जायते |
तथा प्रलीनस्तमसि मूढयोनिषु जायते ||१४- १५||

rajasi pralayaM gatvA karmasaN^giShu jAyate |
tathA pralInastamasi mUDhayoniShu jAyate || 14-15 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.15

Anvaya: rajasi–in passion; pralayam–dissolution; gatva–attaining; karma-sangisu–in the association of fruitive activities; jayate–takes birth; tatha–thereafter; pralinah–being dissolved; tamasi–in ignorance; mudha–animal; yonisu–species; jayate–take birth.

Translation: When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when he dies in the mode of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Continuing Lord Krishna explains the result of raja guna or mode of passion being prredominant at the time of death is that the jiva or embodied being is born into families that are are involved in vigorous activity, Likewise the result of tama guna or mode of ignorance being predominant at the moment of death then the jiva is born in the wombs of irrational species as animals.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna describes that when a jiva or embodied being dies while in raja guna or the mode of passion one takes birth among those who perform activities out of desire for rewards and having been born as such will endeavour mightily to accomplish works that would be rewarded by immense wealth and power even up unto the heavenly spheres. Similarly if one dies while under the influnce of tama guna or the mode of ignorance then such jivas will be born from the wombs of animals such as pigs and dogs where one would be completely incapacitated to perform any activity that would give any spiritual benefit.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna states that if death comes upon a jiva or embodied being while predisposed to raja guna or the mode of passion then one takes birth next from those who are obsessed to perform actions in anticipation of rewards . Also a jiva dying while under the influence of tama guna or mode of ignorance is forced to take birth as an animal in the next life.

Sloka 14.16 audio recital in Sanskrit     

कर्मणः सुकृतस्याहुः सात्त्विकं निर्मलं फलम् |
रजसस्तु फलं दुःखमज्ञानं तमसः फलम् ||१४- १६||

karmaNaH sukR^itasyAhuH sAttvikaM nirmalaM phalam.h |
rajasastu phalaM duHkhamaGYAnaM tamasaH phalam.h || 14-16 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.16

Anvaya: karmanah–of work; su-krtasya–in the mode of goodness; ahuh–said; sattvikam–mode of goodness; nirmalam–purified; phalam–result; rajasah–of the mode of passion; tu–but; phalam–result; duhkham–misery; ajnanam–nonsense; tamasah–of the mode of ignorance; phalam–result.

Translation: By acting in the mode of goodness, one becomes purified. Works done in the mode of passion result in distress, and actions performed in the mode of ignorance result in foolishness.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Here Lord Krishna describes how the characteristic actions of the three gunas or modes of material nature produce different results. According to Kapila deva the liberated avatara or divine incarnation, the results of being situated in sattva guna or the mode of goodness is purity, virtue and happiness. The results of being situated in raja guna or the mode of passion is desires, activity and attachment. The results of being situated in tama guna or the mode of ignorance is stupefication,pain and misery. Further characteristics of the three gunas from another perspective will be elaborated on in chapter 18 beginning at verse 23.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

The result of raja guna or the mode of passion does not categorically mean only pain but denotes pleasure mixed with the pain. Actions are known to be in rajas. The Shabda Nirnaya states: In the word duhkha, the dhu denotes pain and the kha denotes pleasure.. The Sharakarakshya text states: Rajas verily manifests in small measures of pain and pleasure . Along with pleasure must also come pain; therfore such persons are known as both happy and unhappy. Unhappy due to the pain from the effort and happy due to the pleasure of enjoying the result. Otherwise without such joy the excessive pain caused by rajas would be the same as the pain caused by tamas which has an extremely limited scope for fulfilling desires. The Skanda Purana states that tamas or darkness is caused by ignorance and always results in continuous pain.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Thus result of those situated in sattva guna or mode of goodness at the moment of death is birth in a family of enlightened transcendentalists who are atma tattva or knowledgeable of the immortal soul. Such a virtuous being performs all actions without any motive for rewards but only for devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. The result of such actions is only increasing one’s bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to the Supreme Lord. Purity means the absence of any pain so say sages who are in a position to know such matters. The result of those situated in raja guna or the mode of passion at the moment of death is birth among those prodiguous families who only perform activities desirous of rewards. They actually engage in actions with the sole intent of enjoying the results themselves and gratifying their dependents and then again and again embarking on more and more ventures developing more and more passion as they do. Hence do they perpetuate a mountain of karma or reactions to actions, some good giving pleaure and some bad giving pain. Thus they perpetuate themselves permanently into samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Similarly the result of those situated in in tama guna or the mode of ignorance at the moment of death is inertia, nescience, darkness of knowledge.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna speaks of the different results one receives and the consequences of being in one or the other of three gunas or modes of material nature. The avatar or divine incarnation Kapila deva has confirmed that the result characterised by sattva guna or the mode of goodness is purity, happiness and wisdom. The result of raja guna or the mode of passion is characterised by pleasure and pain due to the combination of merit and sin in the activities committed. The result of tama guna or the mode of ignorance is inertia, nescience and delusion.

Sloka 14.17 audio recital in Sanskrit     

सत्त्वात्सञ्जायते ज्ञानं रजसो लोभ एव च |
प्रमादमोहौ तमसो भवतोऽज्ञानमेव च ||१४- १७||

sattvAtsa~njAyate GYAnaM rajaso lobha eva cha |
pramAdamohau tamaso bhavato.aGYAnameva cha || 14-17 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.17

Anvaya: sattvat–from the mode of goodness; sanjayate–develops; jnanam–knowledge; rajasah–from the mode of passion; lobhah–greed; eva–certainly; ca–also; pramada–madness; mohau–illusion; tamasah–from the mode of ignorance; bhavatah–develops; ajnanam–nonsense; eva–certainly; ca–also.

Translation: From the mode of goodness, real knowledge develops; from the mode of passion, greed develops; and from the mode of ignorance, foolishness, madness and illusion develop.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

The cause of the variation in results is being stated by Lord Krishna that from sattva guna or mode of goodness arises liminousity the results of which are knowledge and happiness. From raja guna or the mode of passion arises desires the results which are greed and suffering. From tama guna or the mode of ignorance comes illusion in the form of madness and delusion.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

What Lord Krishna is stating about those situated in sattva guna or the mode of goodness increase their wisdom to fruition then atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul becomes a reality. When raja guna or the mode of passion increases in intensity more and more avid appetites are incited to enjoy the fruits of. Similarly when tama guna or the mode of ignorance increases it manifests as perverted understanding and the proclivity to be influenced by wickedness from which more and more tama is begotten. Thus all developement of intelligence is blocked and neutralised.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna is explaining that concerning the gunas or the three modes of material nature the variations in the results is attributed originally within the respective charcterisitics of each quality. The results from sattva guna or mode of goodness is knowledge which has understanding that is illuminated and from that gives great happiness. The results from raja guna or mode of passion is unabated desires which incites incessant greed for wealth and constant hankering for sense gratificationfrom form which comes pain by the endeavor and suffering from the loss. The results from tama guna or the mode of ignorance is nescience and inertia which gives delusion and forces one to be in the darkness of illusion.

Sloka 14.18 audio recital in Sanskrit     

ऊर्ध्वं गच्छन्ति सत्त्वस्था मध्ये तिष्ठन्ति राजसाः |
जघन्यगुणवृत्तिस्था अधो गच्छन्ति तामसाः ||१४- १८||

Urdhva.n gachchhanti sattvasthA madhye tiShThanti rAjasAH |
jaghanyaguNavR^ittisthA adho gachchhanti tAmasAH || 14-18 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.18

Anvaya: urdhvam–upwards; gacchanti–go; sattva-sthah–one who is situated in the mode of goodness; madhye–in the middle; tisthanti–dwell; rajasah–those who are situated in the mode of passion; jaghanya–abominable; guna–quality; vrtti-sthah–occupation; adhah–down; gacchanti–go; tamasah–people in the mode of ignorance.

Translation: Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna explains the various destinations of those situated in the three gunas or modes of material nature. Those who are predominantly in sattva guna or the mode of goodness ascend and can obtain according to the degree of excellence birth in the human worlds, the worlds of the Gandharvas who are the celestial singers and musicians. The worlds of the anscestors, the worlds of the demigods on up unto Satyaloka the world of Brahma which is the highest material realm. In the preceding examples the happiness that is experienced in each succeeding sphere is 100 times more potent than the preceding worlds. Those who are predominantly in raja guna or mode of passion, being overwhelmed by desires and attachment are only born again in the worlds of humans. Those who are predominantly in the darkness of tama guna or the mode of ignorance descend into lower existences taking birth according to the sinful deeds they committed in one of the 28 fiery hellish planets such as Tamisra reserved for those who steal anothers wealth and property or Rauvara the planet reserved for those who killed, sold, cooked or ate the flesh of animals.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna reveals that those who are situated in sattva guna or the mode of goodness ascend upward in spiritual devlopement and eventually achieve moksa or liberation from material existence. Those who are situated in raja guna or the mode of passion have the desire for rewards for thecause of actions engage in activities that give them the results they wish to exploit and enjoy. Maintaining this mentality they engage fully in such fruitive activities life after life and are born again and again to engage in more and more works. Hence since it insures a constant reoccurrence of material births it is full of misery. Those who are situated in tama guna or the mode of ignorance are engaged in degenerative behaivior and descend downwards doing more and more despicable inhuman activities. Such beings development is in retrograde and after becoming the lowest types of humanity such as cannibals and perverts of beastiality they sink into the animal species themselves. After that due to the reactions from their heinious activitie they become worms and maggots and then they even descend into the lowest of plants to become stationary creepers and fungus.So Lord Krishna has revealed how the jiva or embodied being rises in evolution and how it descends. All those who adopt and maintain a strict vegetarian diet as detailed in chapter 6, verse 17 and chapter 17 verse 8 and who perform activities as a matter of duty without impetus for rewards gradually become fully situated in sattva guna and eventually ascend performing all activities for the satifaction for the Supreme Lord.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Now Lord Krishna speaks of the ascending stationary and descending spirals that He already began in verses 14 and 15. Those situated in sattva guna or the mode of goodness ascend to the heavenly spheres including the wordls of the ancestors, the worlds of the demigods etc. up onto Satyaloka the planet of Brahma. There by performing pious activities in the association of liberated beings they gradually perfect themselves and are freed from material existence and not subjected to accept samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Those situated in raja guna or mode of passion who seeking rewards desire the pleasures of the heavens perform rituals to obtain such. After enjoying the temporary rewards for their endeavors and their punya or merits have been exhausted, they again are forced to suffer samsara over and over again due to greed for desires and attachment to pleasures of the flesh. Those situated in tama guna or mode of ignorance, whose consciousness is full of inertia and nescience and enveloped in darkness.They are full of degraded desires and degenerative impulses whose reactions caues them to sink deep into one of the 28 fiery hellish worlds such as Tamisra reserved for stealers of others wives and property and Raurava reserved for the killers, sellers, cookers and eaters of animals. Anyone who is a killer or eater of cows will definitely have Rauvara as their hellish destination where having received abundant punishment and suffering appropriate to their self induced previous sinful activities, they will take birth in the animal species as a dog, or pig, or even in lower species as an insect or worm.

Sloka 14.19 audio recital in Sanskrit     

नान्यं गुणेभ्यः कर्तारं यदा द्रष्टानुपश्यति |
गुणेभ्यश्च परं वेत्ति मद्भावं सोऽधिगच्छति ||१४- १९||

nAnya.n guNebhyaH kartAraM yadA draShTAnupashyati |
guNebhyashcha paraM vetti madbhAvaM so.adhigachchhati || 14-19 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.19

Anvaya: na–never; anyam–other than; gunebhyah–from the qualities; kartaram–the performer; yada–when; drasta anupasyati–he who sees properly; gunebhyah ca–from the modes of nature; param–transcendental; vetti–know; mat-bhavam–My spiritual nature; sah–he; adhigacchati–is promoted.

Translation: When you see that there is nothing beyond these modes of nature in all activities and that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to all these modes, then you can know My spiritual nature.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Having briefly explained something about the many manifestations of the mundane worlds due to the conjunction of the three gunas or modes of material nature which arise from prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence; Lord Krishna emphasises how moksa or liberation from material existence comes from careful discerment of them. The gunas have transformed themselves into the mind, intellect, etc- One should realise the fact that the gunas are actually performing all one’s actions and that the atma or immortal soul is different from and far beyond the gunas and is actually the monitor, the witness of all thoughts and actions. Such a person realising these thing attains the Supreme Lord.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

One who perceives the Supreme Lord as the one from where prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence and the gunas the three modes of material nature arise from although distinct from Him. Know that He alone is the performer of all actions. Not only by observing that the Supreme Lord, the initiator of all actions is different from the gunas but also by seeing Him superior to everything such a one attains the consciousness of the Supreme Lord. The eternal consort of the Supreme Lord is Laxmi, the goddess of fortune known as Sri. A minute part of her is prakriti and so also is prakriti’s by products of sattva, rajas and tamas or goodness, passion and ignorance respectively. At the time of universal creation due to her great luminousity Sri is known as sat or eternal existence and because of her illumination Sri is known as tva. Sri is known as Bhu-devi the Earth because in the process of creation she is the creative enterprice and by this impulse Sri is also called Rajas. Since she manifests as the whole Earth Sri is known as Bhumi and by.her deluding potency which obscures the minds of the jivas or embodied beings she is known as Durga or Tamas. The unliberated humans are thus controlled by these three and the demigods are controlled directly by Sri herself and she binds them. Her expansions of Bhu-devi binds the humans and her expansion of Durga binds the demons to material existence. Yet if any of them by chance get the opportunity receive the mercy of a Vaisnava devotee of Lord Krishna and understand that He alone is the Supreme Lord of all, then they achieve moksa or liberation from material existence. The Visnu Purana states:That until the jiva or embodied being realises that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord of all they remain like animals in human form. Thus the Supreme Lord Krishna should always be remembered and never forgotten.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

Thus by eating foods situated in sattva guna or the mode of goodness such as milk, cream, butter, fruits, rice, grains and vegetables and performing activities exclusively for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His 55 authorised avatars or incarnations and do this never considering renumeration or rewards has been duly delineated by Lord Krishna Himself. Then all traces and residue of raja guna or mode of passion and tama guna or mode of ignorance will be completely dissolved and eradicated. When the aspirant becomes knowledgeable in the mechanisms of the three gunas or modes of material nature and realises that they actually are performing all actions themselves according to their respective qualities,then they see that they are not the doer but only the observer. When such a one further perceives the localised atma or immortal soul within the etheric heart as being eternally a part of paramatma or the Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of all sentient beings everywhere in creation; then one attains a state of consciousness like unto the Supreme Lord. The understanding is that the atma or immortal soul is eternal and transcendental to all aspects of material nature and thus free from any influence or karma or reactions to actions that may come to the jiva or embodied being due to its association with the three gunas within material existence. The atma itself is of the nature of infinite expanding consciousness. All atmas are feminine and when the atma is thus realised then a jiva qualifies to have eternal association in the spiritaual worlds with Lord Krishna. This is what He means by the words mad bhavan meaning attains a consciousness like Mine. So in conclusion after cognising and realising the absolute nature of the actionless atma which is completely beyond the purview of the material the assocaiation of the Supreme Lord is attained.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Thus the definitions, characteristics, and types of bondage caused by the influence of the three gunas or modes of material nature; which locks the jivas or embodied beings within the material existence has been definitively deleneated by Lord Krishna. All this was referring to His statement in chapter 13, verse 22 beginning purusa prakriti that the jivas infatuation with material nature is the sole cause of their imprisonment. But now He speaks of communion with Him, the ultimate attainment of all. In verse two of this chapter Healready revealed that those who take refuge in this knowledge He is giving achieve communion with Him. First one must engage themselves in eating only vegetarian foods which are in sattva guna or the mode of goodness and are beneficial for spiritual developement. Then one must rise above the qualities of raja guna or mode of passion which is full of desires and attachments and overcome the influence of tama guna or mode of ignorance which causes inertia, perverst and distorting reality. Then one will perceive that the three gunas are the doer and the motivating factors that impel the jivass to perform actions predicated upon samskaras or impulses from previous births. The atma or immortal soul is totally transcendental to prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and also of course to its by products the three gunas. In the state of bondage all actions are determined by the three gunas but they do not contaminate the jivas inherent eternal nature which is beyond them as their influence endures only as long as the activity lasts. When due to the predominance of sattva guna the heart finally becomes pure and tranquil the jiva by knowledge of atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul becomes detached from even the qualities of sattva guna which are unnecessary and such a one becomes established in the atma and free from the misery of samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death.

Sloka 14.20 audio recital in Sanskrit     

गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान् |
जन्ममृत्युजरादुःखैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्नुते ||१४- २०||

guNAnetAnatItya trIndehI dehasamudbhavAn.h |
janmamR^ityujarAduHkhairvimukto.amR^itamashnute || 14-20 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.20

Anvaya: gunan–qualities; etan–all these; atitya–transcending; trin–three; dehi–embodied; deha–body; samudbhavan–produced of; janma–birth; mrtyu–death; jara–old age; duhkhaih–distresses; vimuktah–being freed from; amrtam–nectar; asnute–enjoys.

Translation: When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Thus by the cessation of all attachments and attractions associated with the three gunas or modes of material nature one transcends them along with the three evils of birth, old age and death one achieves moksa or liberation from material existence. Then the jiva or embodied being released from the transitory physical body attains an immortal spiritual body capable of associating with the Supreme Lord Krishna eternally.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The three gunas or modes of material nature all arise from prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence from which the physical body manifests. When the jiva or embodied being transcends them all and realises the atma or immortal soul which is of the nature of infinity. Such a being attains moksa and is liberated from samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death and all misrey and sorrows associated with material existence. At the time one achieves atma-tattva or soul realisation, one assumes a spiritual body that is immortal. This is what Lord Krishna is declaring.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Having transcended material existence in one’s physical body in this very life through atma tattva or realisation ot the immortal soul within the etheric heart. One effortlessly rises above the three gunas or modes of material nature no longer influenced by them. Lord Krishna confirms that when this transpires one is eternally freed from birth, old age, disease and death as well as all the effects of material nature and qualifies to enter the immortal spiritual realms forever in association with Him.

Sloka 14.21 audio recital in Sanskrit     

अर्जुन उवाच |

कैर्लिङ्गैस्त्रीन्गुणानेतानतीतो भवति प्रभो |
किमाचारः कथं चैतांस्त्रीन्गुणानतिवर्तते ||१४- २१||

arjuna uvAcha |

kairliN^gaistrInguNAnetAnatIto bhavati prabho |
kimAchAraH katha.n chaitA.nstrInguNAnativartate || 14-21 ||



Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.21

Anvaya: arjunah uvaca–Arjuna said; kaih–by which; lingaih–symptoms; trin–three; gunan–qualities; etan–all this; atitah–having transcended; bhavati–become; prabho–my Lord; kim–what; acarah–behavior; katham–what; ca–also; etan–these; trin–three; gunan–qualities; ativartate–transcend.

Translation: Arjuna inquired: O my Lord, by what symptoms is one known who is transcendental to those modes? What is his behavior? And how does he transcend the modes of nature?

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Excited from hearing Lord Krishna reveal that by transcending the three gunas or modes of material nature one attains immortality; many questions arose in the mind of Arjuna. With a view to more comprehensively understand the characteristics and conduct of such a great being and also to learn the direct means they used to achieve immortality he humbly requests Lord Krishna to reveal it. By what characteristics means what distinguishes such a one and by what symptoms can such a one be perceived? By what conduct is meant how does such a one live and how does such a one behave? Then in conclusion he asks by what means is such phenomenal feat possible.

There is no commentary for this verse. Awaiting contributions.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The word lingais means symptoms. By what symptoms can a liberated being be perceived? What distinguishes them from others? The word acarah means conduct. By what means does such a liberated being conduct themselves? How does one transcend the three gunas or modes of material nature. These questions will be answered by Lord Krishna next.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Having heard Lord Krishna declare that those who transcend the three gunas or modes of material nature attain immortality amazes Arjuna and he is exhilarated to know about the characteristics and conduct of such great beings as well as by what means they were able to achieve this. Specifically he asks Lord Krishna to reveal by what symptoms can such a one be recognised? What is their behavior and by what method they were able to attain this.

Sloka 14.22 to 14.25 audio recital in Sanskrit     

श्रीभगवानुवाच |

प्रकाशं च प्रवृत्तिं च मोहमेव च पाण्डव |
न द्वेष्टि सम्प्रवृत्तानि न निवृत्तानि काङ्क्षति ||१४- २२||

उदासीनवदासीनो गुणैर्यो न विचाल्यते |
गुणा वर्तन्त इत्येवं योऽवतिष्ठति नेङ्गते ||१४- २३||

समदुःखसुखः स्वस्थः समलोष्टाश्मकाञ्चनः |
तुल्यप्रियाप्रियो धीरस्तुल्यनिन्दात्मसंस्तुतिः ||१४- २४||

मानापमानयोस्तुल्यस्तुल्यो मित्रारिपक्षयोः |
सर्वारम्भपरित्यागी गुणातीतः स उच्यते ||१४- २५||

shrIbhagavAnuvAcha |

prakAsha.n cha pravR^itti.n cha mohameva cha pANDava |
na dveShTi sampravR^ittAni na nivR^ittAni kAN^kShati || 14-22 ||

udAsInavadAsIno guNairyo na vichAlyate |
guNA vartanta ityevaM yo.avatiShThati neN^gate || 14-23 ||

samaduHkhasukhaH svasthaH samaloShTAshmakA~nchanaH |
tulyapriyApriyo dhIrastulyanindAtmasa.nstutiH || 14-24 ||

mAnApamAnayostulyastulyo mitrAripakShayoH |
sarvArambhaparityAgI guNAtItaH sa uchyate || 14-25 ||



Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.22 to 14.25

Anvaya: sri-bhagavan uvaca–the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; prakasam ca–and illumination; pravrttim ca–and attachment; moham–illusion; eva ca–also; pandava–O son of Pandu; na dvesti–does not hate; sampravrttani–although developed; na nivrttani–nor stop development; kanksati–desires; udasina-vat–as if neutral; asinah–situated; gunaih–by the qualities; yah–one who; na–never; vicalyate–is agitated; gunah–the qualities; vartante–is situated; iti evam–knowing thus; yah–one who; avatisthati–remains; na–never; ingate–flickering; sama–equal; duhkha–in distress; sukhah–in happiness; sva-sthah–being situated himself; sama–equally; losta–a lump of earth; asma–stone; kancanah–gold; tulya–equally disposed; priya–dear; apriyah–undesirable; dhirah–steady; tulya–equally; ninda–in defamation; atma-samstutih–in praise of himself; mana–in honor; apamanayoh–dishonor; tulyah–equally; tulyah–equally; mitra–friend; ari–enemy; paksayoh–in parties; sarva–all; arambha–endeavor; parityagi–renouncer; guna-atitah–transcendental to the material modes of nature; sah–he; ucyate–is said to be.

Translation: The Blessed Lord said: He who does not hate illumination, attachment and delusion when they are present, nor longs for them when they disappear; who is seated like one unconcerned, being situated beyond these material reactions of the modes of nature, who remains firm, knowing that the modes alone are active; who regards alike pleasure and pain, and looks on a clod, a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye; who is wise and holds praise and blame to be the same; who is unchanged in honor and dishonor, who treats friend and foe alike, who has abandoned all fruitive undertakings–such a man is said to have transcended the modes of nature.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Although the questions put forth in verse 21 were asked previously in chapter two verse 54 and answered from that point of view. Now Lord Krishna describes the characteristics in detail from another angle of vision until the end of the chapter. In verse 22 He describes the primary quality of each of the three gunas or modes of material nature that indicates the position were one is situated. One who neither hates nor rejoices by being exposed to unpleasant or pleasant situations due to illumination within is a result of sattva guna the mode of goodness and from all the sense openings of the physical body this light of consciousness radiates. Similarly when these same sense openings express themselves with activity it is a result of raja guna the mode of passion and when they are steeped in nescience they are in tama guna the mode of ignorance. When the attributes and qualities of the three gunas manifest themselves within the consciousness as the case may be; one who is not repulsed by them because they are painful nor is attracted to them because they are pleasurable is known to have transcended the three gunas.

Thus Lord Krishna having described the characteristics that can be known only by Him regarding such a person, He now describes the conduct that can be known by anyone in verses 23, 24, and 25. One who is indifferent in every situation like a winess to an event and who is equipoised and undisturbed by any interaction with the three gunas that might present itself such as happiness or misery, realises that the gunas themselves are empowering the effects. Such a jiva or embodied being understands by discriminative reflection that the atma or immortal soul has no connection whatsoever with the gunas or their effects. Such a jiva is avatisthati or firmly situated and nengate or unwavering. The use of the suffix ti instead of te in the verb is poetic license in tribute to the sages and seers.

To whom pleasure and pain are non-different to the jiva who is thus situated abiding in the atma in one’s eternal nature. To such a jiva aclod of earth, a precious stone and a nugget of gold are all simply manifestations of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and are all of equal worth. Also to whom agreeable and disagreeable things which are the causes of pleasure and pain are seen as the same by one of calm and steady intellect who is also indifferent to the bestowal of both praise and ridicule. Equiposed in honor or dishonor, equal towards friend or foe alike. Who is habituated to renouncing the rewards of all actions producing visible or invisible results to bhakti or exclusive loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised avatara’s or incarnations as verified in Vedic scriptures. Such a jiva is known to have transcended the three gunas.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

The primary chracteristics is an enlightened being is equipoise in all situations. Such a one has no desires so nothing can disturb them. If adversity comes one is not alarmed and if prosperity comes one is not elated. One remains balanced in all situations. In the Ballaveya section of the Sama Veda it is stated:One who transcends the three gunas or modes of material nature is neither attracted, attached , repulsed or antagonised. If some subtle qualities of sattva guna or the mode of goodness were to enter the consciousness in connection with the Supreme Lord Krishna then they would be accepted. But if subtle qualities of raja guna or the mode of passion and tama guna or the mode of ignorance were to appear they would be rejected immeadiately. The Moksa Dharma known as the Mahabharata confirms that neither the demigods nor the enlightened one’s being established in sattva guna can ever be without the subtle attributes of sattva thus they are firm in their convictions. One who is not steadfast in their convictions can never achieve moksa or liberation from material existence and attain the Supreme Lord. The person who is fixed within in sattva guna soon becomes perfected and is assured all success.

Now begins the summation.

The illumination that may be established in others is neither desired or detested by one who has transcended the influence of the three gunas. But sometimes it has been seen that illumined beings seem to again succumb to subtle desires by the subtle influence of raja guna and tama guna. This can be perceived by anger or bewilderment; but as they are always in communion with the Supreme Lord within their hearts even if they appear deluded they will still always seek the association of the Supreme Lord Krishna alone. Even in the absence of happiness or the darkest adversity the devotees of the Ssupreme Lord remain balanced and are ever equipoised. They are never disturbed because of lack of wealth, the death of dear ones, harrassment by those who are inimical, bewilderment or fright. In all situations there is never any decrease in their devotion if anything here is an increase in devotion because the devotee is humbly reflecting how the Supreme Lord is only allowing the minimum reaction to past reactions. The word nengate means unwavering. The word udasinavat means indifferent to the inflences of three gunas bothe subtle and gross. Those who completely relinquish all activities opposed to dharma or eternal righteousness which are not pleasing to the Supreme Lord and His devotees will undoubtedly attain Him. The words sarvarambha means abandonment of all endeavors unrelated to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Being impassive does not mean being unconcerned or uncommitted it means being only dedicated to the essential principles of bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The word prakasa means illumination, lucidity, the brightness of disposition and are the effects of sattva guna or the mode of goodness. The word pravritti means enthusiastic effort or the disposition to endeavour actively and are the effects of raja guna the mode of passion. The word moha means delusion, bewilderment or having a distorted perception. All things external to the atma or immortal soul are of two categories. One is what causes attraction and the second is what causes aversion. The fundamental symptom of discerning who is beyond the three gunas or modes of material nature is that such a being neither desire to accept anything nor does such a one desire to reject anything. Whatever the Supreme Lord Krishna designates to come, such a one remains equipoise in all situations. Such a one is udasinavat or unconcerned with external circumstances because of being enraptured within by atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul. Therefore one is naturally indifferent to anything external. One who is never agitated by attraction and aversion which arise from the three gunas and who lucid and tranquil reflects within that it is natural for the impulses of the three gunas to occasionally parade themselves in one’s consciousness, is never deluded by them into being impelled to act as the qualities might provoke one to respond.

The word sama means equanimity or keeping oneself equipoise in both joy and distress. The word svasthah means solidly situated, established firmly within on the immortal atma, filled with raptureand bliss by its communion. Such a one is never even distracted by external things let alone influenced by them. Even when exposed to great events of joy or catastrophic events of grief such a one is undisturbes and does not succumb to delusion or illlusion. To such a one a clod of earth or , a precious jewel or a nugget of gold all are looked upon alike as merely modifications of prakriti. So there is nothing in material existence which such a one has any special attraction or aversion towards.

The word means dhirah means sober and denotes the wisdom of one who is knowledgeable of the distinction between prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the eternal atma or immortal soul. Hence such a one remains equaniminous in both praise and censure. It is the deisre for praise and adulation that shows the consequence of egotism which abides in the mind and is erroneously mistaken for the atma and deludes one into thinking that it is a great honor to be praised. Similarly aversion to being ridiculed and censured is also the consequence of same egotism which makes one think it is ignoble and shameful to receive such infamy. But both conceptions are the results of delusion and one who is established in atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul is never implicated in illusion as such a being is unlimited in consciousness knowing that all material designations are all transcended by communion with the atma. In the same way that egotism is alienated from the atma what pertains to egotism such as honor and disgrace, friends and enemies, praise and censue does not affect the atma. One who is illuminated by atma tattva is unconcerned and indifferent to worldly matters. Similarly since such a one comprehends that all efforts of activity are the cause and perpetuation of physical embodiment such a one abandons all efforts not related to the atma. Such a person is known to be a conqueror of the theree gunas. Next the primary means to overcome them will be given.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna now clarifies the characteristics and qualities of one who has transcended the three gunas or modes of material nature. First He answers by what symptoms does one transcend them? One who is neither repulsed by what is unpleasant nor is attracted to that which is pleasant is prakasam or illuminated, filled with the light of spiritual wisdom which arises from sattva guna or the mode of goodness. Activity and endeavor arises from raja guna the mode of passion and inertia and stupor arise from the mode of ignorance. By the effects indicative of the three gunas all other qualities of them can be accordingly determined when they are visibly appearing and even as mental tendencies in the mind. So by this it can be seen that one who is free from aversion and attraction is able to transcend.

Next Lord Krishna clarifies the question what is the behavior and conduct of one who has transcended the three gunas? One who is perfectly focused on the atma or immortal soul within is merely a witness to what transpires in the physical body. Such a one does not involve themselves anywhere in anything because they are unattached everything external and thus free from desire and and repulsion which arise from passion and ignorance. Such a one does not deviate from the their firm and steadfast establishment in the atma. Such a one is impervious to the desires for happiness and the disdain for unhappiness, accepting whatever comes equally and indifferently. They are free from bodily attachment and conceptions that the physical body has any connection with the atma. Thus they understand that they never engage in any actions. Such a one equally reacts to adversity and felicity alike considering them both to be the same similarly with a clod of earth, a precious jewel or a nugget of gold are just different manifestations of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence. In the same spirit one is neutral when exposed to pleasant or unpleasant sense objects and is dhirah or wise, not deviating from discriminative knowledge even if by chance one is subjected to the effects of the three gunas due to circumstances. Such a one views censure and praise, honor and infamy, friend and foe as alike as well and is equal to all living entities because of being free from attachment to all actions and due to perceiving the atma within all beings.

Sloka 14.26 audio recital in Sanskrit     

मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते |
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ||१४- २६||

mA.n cha yo.avyabhichAreNa bhaktiyogena sevate |
sa guNAnsamatItyaitAnbrahmabhUyAya kalpate || 14-26 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.26

Anvaya: mam–unto Me; ca–also; yah–person; avyabhicarena–without fail; bhakti-yogena–by devotional service; sevate–renders service; sah–he; gunan–all the modes of material nature; samatitya–transcending; etan–all this; brahma-bhuyaya–to be elevated to the Brahman platform; kalpate–is considered.

Translation: One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

In this verse Lord Krishna is specifically answering how such a jiva or embodied being transcends the three gunas or modes of material nature. One who is exclusively devoted to the Supreme Lord alone without cessation by bhakti yoga or the attaining the communion of the individual atma or immortal soul with the Supreme Lord through exclusive loving devotion is able to completely transcend all influences of the three gunas and achieving the state of the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence becomes worthy of moksa or liberation from material existence and ultimately attains the Supreme Lord Krishna. The word avyabhicarena meaning without fail emphasizes these assertions.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

Even when attaining the state of the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence from where prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence arises and subsequently manifests the three gunas or modes of material nature. Still no jiva or embodied being is as dear to the Supreme Lord as Sri Laksmi the goddess of fortune. This is stated in the Padma Purana. The word bhuyaya means elevated, the state of perfection denoting similarity in qualities to the Supreme Lord. The Pravritti text states that whoever is able to surmount the myriad of eternal obstacles created by Sri Laksmi is verily duly worthy and wise and is known as one who has transcended the gunas. Even more than surmounting the gunas; one who attains the association of the Supreme Lord Krishna in the eternal spiritual realms is known to even surpass transcendence. Like the one who crosses the minister has access to the emperor direct. The compound word brahmi bhuyaya denotes a state of consciousness similar in devotion to Sri Laksmi’s devotion to the Supreme Lord. In this verse Sri Laksmi is referred to as the brahman and prakriti. Thus she is being eulogised in three forms including her original form. By her grace a devotee of the Supreme Lord attains the Supreme Lord.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

So from this verse it can be understood that not by only comprehending the relationship between matter and spirit, the physical body and the soul in meditation does one achieve the desired goal. For can one surmount the three gunas by mere reflection and contemplation which is always liable to be violated by the obstacles of old habits inimical to them by the mind which has been contracted out in service to them for countless lifetimes.

Mam=unto Me the infallibly willed, the infinitely loving, the ocean of mercy to His devotees. Avyabhicharena means without adulteration, interruption or error in exclusive devotion Bhakti yoga means communion with the Supreme Lord through intense loving emotions Only the devotee of bhakti yoga will be able to surmount the gunas and attain Lord Krishna Brahma bhuyaya = Brahma bhavaya or eligibility and qualification for realisingthe brahman The brahman is the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. Although it is eternal and imperishable it is only the impersonal aspect of the Supreme Lord Krishna manifesting from the effulgence emanating from His inconceivable spiritual form. It also contains elements of the nature of the atma or the localised immortal soul as well as paramatma the omnipresent Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of all sentient beings in all dimensions and manifestations of creation in existence.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Thus after presenting the characteristics and conduct of one who transcends the three gunas or modes of materual nature; now Lord Krishna reveals the unfailing method to insure success in a comprehensive manner. Mere discrimination and contemplation of the gunas is not sufficient enough to overcome them. This is because the removal of their effects which have germinating for unlimited lifetimes needs an equally powerful means to remove their emeshed fettering in the senses and the subtle consciousness that have been prevalent since time immemorial. Now the omnipotent and omniscient Supreme Lord Krishna the bestower of fearlessness through yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness through bhakti yoga or exclusive loving devotion to Him. Being most benevolent, merciful and compassionate to His surrendered devotees who have no other shelter but Him; He explains that although the three gunas are practically insurmountable one can transcend them by bhakti yoga and reaching the absolute state of the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence one will be elligible to attain Him. Thus by qualification all ones sins will be dissolved, one will become omniscient, one will be bestowed an imperishable spiritual body and relish association with the Supreme Lord that is consistent with one’s eternal nature. The particle ca is used to emphasize and express ascertainment of this. The word anyabhicarena meaning unadulterated denotes devotion to the Supreme Lord exclusively. For the worship of other, lesser gods is equivalent to lack of faith in the Supreme Lord Krishna and His teachings of the Bhagavad- Gita which are paramount and superior to all of the teachings of all other gods combined. Such faithlessness in the Supreme Lords teaching which are for the benefit of all jivas or embodied beings is the most heinious of sins and such a one becomes their own worst enemy blocking all opportunity for spiritual advancement. As is stated in the Brahmanda Purana: One who worships anything other then the Supreme Lord Krishna or His authorised incarnations revealed in Vedic scriptures will never attain moksa or liberation from material existence and samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. The Narada Pancaratra states; That one who out of ignorance or infatuation considers the Supreme Lord krishna as equal to any other god is indeed a jiva of the lowest order even if not born in the lowest order and the Kurma Purana states: That one who thinks of the Supreme Lord as equal to lesser gods is considered a heinious offender and such a most wretched jiva is elligible for the fiery hellish realms.

Sloka 14.27 audio recital in Sanskrit     

ब्रह्मणो हि प्रतिष्ठाहममृतस्याव्ययस्य च |
शाश्वतस्य च धर्मस्य सुखस्यैकान्तिकस्य च ||१४- २७||

brahmaNo hi pratiShThAhamamR^itasyAvyayasya cha |
shAshvatasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikAntikasya cha || 14-27 ||


Show Translation, Anvaya and Commentaries: Sloka 14.27

Anvaya: brahmanah–of the impersonal brahmajyoti; hi–certainly; pratistha–the rest; aham–I am; amrtasya–of the immortal; avyayasya–of the imperishable; ca–also; sasvatasya–of the eternal; ca–and; dharmasya–of the constitutional position; sukhasya–happiness; aikantikasya–ultimate; ca–also.

Translation: And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal.

Commentaries of the four authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

Sridhara Swami’s Commentary:

Here the reason is revealed by Lord Krishna for what He proclaimed in the previous verse. That He, Himself is the pratistha or source of the brahman in concentrated form. In the same way the sun is concentrated light. Likewise He is imperishable, immortal and eternal. He is dharma or the eternal religious principles which are the means to moksa or liberation from material existence and freedom from samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. The Supreme Lord Krishna is the ultimate embodiment of pure, absolute, transcendental ananda or bliss. As His devotees only desire association with Him, they inevitably attain His nature and association with Him.

So in conclusion the Supreme Lord Krishna has declared that the ocean of samsara results from the three gunas or modes of material nature which are all subservient to Him. The ocean referred to is in the form of the 43,200,000 or 43 million and 200 thousand lifetimes in one day of Brahma that all all jivas or embodied beings who have not achieved moksa are subjected to before partial dissolution of creation dissolves them back into pradhana or the cosmic absolute. In this chapter the Supreme Lord Himself has confirmed that His devotees easily cross over this ocean due to their exclöuisve devotion unto Him.

Madhvacarya’s Commentary:

In this verse the brahman or spiritual substrtatum pervading all existence refers to Sri Laxsmi, the goddess of fortune. This is what is being clarified by the words brahmano hi. As one attains Sri Laxsmi one attains the Supreme Lord as she is never separated from Him. So by her grace one attains the immortal, eternal, imperishable state of the Lord Krishna. The word aikantikanye means the ultimate and denotes the happiness one experiences in communion with the Supreme Lord. Thus the manner of attaining Him has been explained.

Ramanuja’s Commentary:

The word hi means indeed, in as much aa when by propitiated by never erring bhakti yoga or intense loving devotion, the Supreme Lord Krishna personally manifests Himself to His surrendered devotee who has no other refuge but Him.

The words sasvatasya dharmasya mean the sublime equisite spiritual happiness that comes in asociation with the Supreme Lord and His devotees. Although the concept of dharma usually means the eternal spiritual principles promulgated in the Vedic scriptures implying the means to accomplish a goal. In this verse it is the goal be that it occurs betweeen two other expressions of goals one being brahmano hi prastisthalam which refers to the atma or realising the soul and the othe being aikantikasya sukhasya realising the Supreme Lord. The words aikantikasya sukhasya means the absolute nature of never ending bliss with the Supreme Lord which is the natural result of bhakti yoga.

The essence is that exclusive loving devotion unto the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised avataras as revealed in Vedic scriptures is the only way to transcend the three gunas or modes of material nature and sincere prayers offerred to Him from hearts over flowing with love is the essential means for Him to reciprocate and grace us with His mercy.

Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary:

Lord Krishna now gives the evidence why bhakti yoga or exclusive loving devotion to Him is the panacea for transcending the three gunas or modes of material nature and qualify to become elligible for the state of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and attain Him. It is because He is the abode of the brahman which is the effulgence of His inconceivable spiritual form and which is a manifestation of His attributes such as being eternal, imperishable, immortal with attributes characterised by moksa or liberation, ananda or never ending bliss and omniscience. Because the Supreme Lord possesses all these, His devotees who worship Him attaining Him easily transcend the three gunas.

In conclusion the jiva or embodied being by attraction of the senses to the gunas becomes emershed and entrapped in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. By engaging in bhakti yoga one is released from samsara and awarded moksa or freedom from material existence. In this chapter Lord Krishna the bestower of benevolence onto His devotees, out of compassion instructed the science of transcending the three modes of material nature.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.