Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 47

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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

It may be postulated that since the results of all actions are attained simply by worshipping the Supreme Lord, what is the use of any other actions other than devotion to Him? To counter this conclusion the Supreme Lord states that all living entities have the right to perform actions but none have the right to claim the results. An aspirant of the highest knowledge must know that to hanker or yearn for reward for one's actions is the cause of bondage in the material existence. But it may be said that all actions produce a result, just as eating satisfies the urge of hunger. Anticipating this question the Supreme Lord states that one should not let the anticipated results of actions be the cause of motivation. Be not one who is controlled by fruitive desires. As heaven is attained only when desired being connected to the living entity who performed the rites in the scriptures to attain such an end it can be seen that what is not desired does not take place. Then on the other hand although fruitive actions are binding be not attached and not devoted from fear of this bondage to inaction. This is the idea of this verse.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya

Madhvacarya's Commentary

An embodied soul controlled by mundane desires is considered to be reprehensible. Even the desire for heavenly enjoyments are to be shunned as they have the taint of fruitiveness as well. Therefore for those possessing spiritual intelligence, motivation for the desire of reward is not advisable. Arjuna is certainly spiritually intelligent and being the son of Indra the ruler of the demigods he certainly has sufficient adhikari or qualities. Only for the purpose of giving His unequivocal instructions for posterity has the Supreme Lord Krishna utilised him to benefit all the worlds.

Only those actions prompted by desire for reward are prohibited. Because all rewards are factually independently ordained by the Supreme Lord it is not correct to imagine that any reward which one receives is due only to ones own efforts. Similarly the desire for the rewards of fruitive rewards is also provided without any aspiration for such. Therefore even by not performing any actions an opposite result may occur and it can be seen that rewards are available neither through wisdom nor through desire. So one spiritually situated performs actions unattached to reward. Verily such is the way of action. Neither by accepting desires nor by rejecting desires is wisdom gained.

Desire is the anticipation of a reward, action motivated by desire for reward makes an action fruitive and therefore binding. Even so, one who desires engages in the performance of austerities and penance as a means of sacrificing these desires. One should not perform penance and austerities with the hope of obtaining reward otherwise these activities also become frutive as well. Actions performed without desire as a matter of duty are full of wisdom. Therefore the wise are not bound by desire for rewards. This is why the Supreme Lord Krishna states the words ma te meaning never. Never be attached to the fruits of actions. Any desires which appear are ordained according to the will of the Supreme Lord. Those that receive the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord Krishna are the devotees of the Supreme Lord and by His grace they are benedicted by the desire only to exclusively serve Him. They have no desire for even liberation from material existence if it is to be separated from Him. When they are requested to ask for any desire to be granted their only desire is to remain in service to Him birth after birth, lifetime after lifetime. It is seen and realised that by possessing the desire to serve the Supreme Lord Krishna in devotion ones love for Him automatically increases. So from this it can be understood that those who are imbued with true wisdom perform exclusive devotional service unto the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Now begins the summation.

Actions alone are all that living entities are entitled to. The results however are only within the power of the Supreme Lord Krishna to give. So it is apparent that one who is governed by the desire for fruitive results is not properly situated and have subconsciously desired the impossible delusion of usurping the Supreme Lords infallible position. One should understand that it is fallacious to believe that one is the ultimate controller of their own destiny because all results are ultimately ordained by the Supreme Lord. By this revealing statement which is found in the Paingi scripture it is again clarified that the living entities are always distinctly different from the Supreme Lord.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja
There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Nimbaditya

Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

The question may arise that if one seeking liberation from the material existence should instead acquire firmness in spiritual knowledge and then what is the use of actions. To this Lord Krishna instructs that everyone has the right to perform actions in order to purify ones existence and advance in spiritual knowledge. But one should not cultivate ones mind to think that by the right to perform actions one receives rewards. This mentality is destructive to spiritual advancement because then one will get attachment to the actions and then subsequently to the rewards. So Lord Krishna emphasises never be attached to the rewards of actions or even consider the rewards because this attachment will keep up locked in the material existence. A living entity performing actions without considering the rewards will never develop the fragmentation and indeterminate nature of one whose mentality is attached to the fruits of their actions. It is also important to understand that it is not that the person who is performing actions without attachment to the rewards will not receive the rewards thereof. To the contrary they will certainly receive rewards as well but the difference is they are not concerned about the reward do not let reward be the reason for the motivation of their activities. We must perform all of our actions without being motivated by the fruit. Now in contrast it may be proposed that instead of performing actions without motivation to the rewards perhaps it might be better to perform no actions at all. To this Lord Krishna instructs that one should neither be attached to inaction of not performing ones prescribed activities. We should not allow our egos to dictate to us that we should be inactive because then we incur the sin of non-committance in performing our natural duties everyday and duties in special circumstances and thus not being responsible as declared in Vedic scriptures. One inclines towards spiritual advancement should never perform prohibited actions and should avoid performing frivolous actions but with the understanding of responsibility one should always perform ones obligatory activities daily and occasionaly.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 47 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 47


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