Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 17

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Anvaya

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Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Visnuswami

Sridhara Swami's Commentary

The imperishable soul whose existence is a reality has been delineated and emphasised in a general manner. Now in this verse it is stated: but know that, meaning to know the reality of the eternal soul within every living entity. Pervading as the witness to the physical body which is subject to the transient modifications in the beginning known as birth and at its end is known as death. But it is not possible to modify the soul which is imperishable and impossible to destroy.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya

Madhvacarya's Commentary

In how many ways is this to be understood? Endlessly, not limited by space, eternal, indestructible. It can not be destroyed by curses or magic and while being unable to be destroyed is also immutable.

Now begins the summation.

Thus it is stated in the Maha Varaha Purana:

Even though the soul within the physical body of every living entity is eternal and even though in all respects the use of the word tu confirms that eternity refers only to Lord Krishna alone, the temporal transmigration of bodies, feeling pain, incompleteness, these four attributes of destruction are never spoken as referring to Lord Krishna. However in relation to all other things there surely is a result in loss.

Thus is stated in the Parama Sruti:

Attributes are threefold: relating to time, relating to place and to being complete in themselves. All these attributes are residing fully only in the Supreme Lord Krishna exclusively.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja

Ramanuja's Commentary

It should be understood that the soul is indestructible and is the principle by which the physical body is permeated. The insentient body is completely distinct from the sentient soul. By reason of its pervasive nature the soul is very subtle, in fact so exceedingly subtle is the soul that it is verily incapable of being destroyed being subatomic in essence. There is no thing which is of different or of a dissimilar nature from it which in any way is capable of destroying the soul. For whatever there is existing is pervaded by the soul as well and being pervaded by the soul itself verifies its less gross and most subtle position of all being subatomic. Such things as weapons, water, fire, air, cold etc. can not influence or be the agents of destruction for the imperishable soul, being all pervaded by it.

The rationale of a hammer striking an object and disintegrating it is now given. When a hammer strikes an object with excessive force an extreme vibration produces a molecular disruption which causes the destruction of the object. But in the case of the soul there is no facility for destruction as when light penetrates a glass jar is not destroyed when the glass is destroyed; similarly the soul is like unto this in relation to the body. Thus it can be understood the imperishable nature of the soul.

Now the next verse explains that being perishable is the very nature of the physical body.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Nimbaditya

Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

In this verse the Supreme Lord Krishna emphasizes the conclusive position of the soul with the word avyayasya meaning indestructible. How this is to be understood is given by the word yena meaning by which indicating the difference between the soul and the physical body which the soul pervades. This pervasiveness is so extremely subtle that it is impossible for anything to cause the destruction of its indestructible nature because whatever would be attempting to destroy it is also completely pervaded by it as well.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 17 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 17


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