Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 28


Sanskrit Vocal





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:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

When one considers the nature of the physical body and the facts about birth and death being a physical reality one should not lament. All living entities have the unmanifest as their beginnings, meaning unmanifest in the physical existence because it is only that which exists in the physical world either subtle or physical that is manifested. In the middle all living entities are manifested in the period between birth and death known as life constituting the state of mortal existence. Finally at the moment the body perishes known as death all living entities return once more to the unmanifest state. It is inevitable that all living entities must accept the nature of the material existence being embodied in a physical body so what is the need to lament over the physical body. To lament thus is like a person lamenting over friends seen drowning in a dream after one has woken up.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

In this verse the Supreme Lord Krishna explains the fact that here on Earth whatever happened before birth is unknown by the use of the word avyaktadini.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Living entities like human beings though eternally existing due to the auspices of each one's eternal soul have an unknown origin before birth, a manifest condition from birth to death and proceed again to an unknown existence at the termination of the physical body. Such alternations constitute material existence and are a natural law. This then gives no cause to grieve. Having just shown that even if one erroneously was under the misapprehension that the physical body itself and the eternal soul are the same; there is still no reason to grieve as in the next verse 29 it is declared that very rarely is a person found who would see, hear, converse, or who could be convinced about the wonderful nature of the eternal soul which is factually distinct from the physical body.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Even when the soul has departed from the physical body and no longer connected as is inevitable at the time of death and the bodies of respected elders like Bhishma are no longer perceptible still what is the necessity for grief? To this Lord Krishna states that all is unmanifest in its primordial state which is characterised by the three qualities known as sattva, rajas and tamas and which is a prior stage of creation to the illusory energy and material creation. All living entities have bodies in substratum as consciousness and this is the original matter of all existence which is beyond perception due to its being extremely subtle and subatomic in essence. But this in no way indicates that there is before all this an antecedent non-existence as the logicians and the impersonalists opine due to there inability to perceive this extremely subtle, subatomic nature. This original matter although extremely subtle and subatomic is revealed in the Vedic scriptures and is perceived by one whose consciousness has attained the realization of that state. Thus they are of the same nature although there is modification during the intermediate stage from birth to death as is established in the Vedanta Sutra, II:XV,XVI of Vedavyasa which states: because of the existence of the cause, the effect is perceived; the effect is non-different from the cause although being posterior because it is existent in the cause.

It should not under any circumstances be erroneously assumed or mistakingly believed that from a non-existent condition the existent was produced and that because of the cause being non-existent then the effect is non- existent and thus the world is also non-existent. This has already been refuted and clarified by Vedavyasa in Vedanta-Sutra, II:XIX where it states: That as a cloth is non-different from its threads, an effect is also non-different from it's cause. So how can it be reconciled that the something can be produced from nothing as those hypothesising that existence can manifest from the non-existent.

If we were to accept our origin as being non-existent then we can accept that the oil of sesame seeds is produced from sand but this has never been seen or heard. Because it is subatomic it is imperceptible and yet it is still existing. Therefore in the matter of the existence of living entities the unmanifest, imperceptibly subtle, transforms itself into the manifest by modification which is known as birth and after some time again transforms itself into the unmanifest which is known as death. So when the correct understanding of birth and death is realized then what possibly is the necessity for lamentation as it is not befitting one who is situated in spiritual intelligence.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 28 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 28

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