Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 26


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

It may be put forth that if one feels compassion for the ignorant one should give them knowledge of atma-tattva or soul realisation which is the highest. Lord Krishna neutralises this argument by stating na vicalayet tan meaning on should not try to impart knowledge to them. The ignorant should not be influenced to refrain from performing their duties by superior instructions about the atma or soul that they are not qualified to understand. The spiritually wise in Vedic knowledge should inspire the ignorant to perform their duties with attentiveness and care. If the minds of the ignorant become disturbed and unsettled then they may lose faith in working altogether and with actions stopped and knowledge not rising the ignorant would lose out in both ways.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The word avidvamsah means ignorant, the ignorance referred to is all those who are not knowledgeable of atma-tattva or soul realisation. Those who have desires and are attached to performing actions to obtain the fruits of such desires are unable to approach the jnana yoga or the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. Others being more sober are only fit to follow karma yoga the path of prescribed Vedic actions as their means to achieve atma- tattva. Let the wise act and behave like one performing karma yoga performing prescribed Vedic actions even if they have no interest in the results of their actions and are qualified for jnana yoga and even if they have knowledge of atma-tattva. For such a person is naturally great and is looked up to by all the world and should always conduct themselves in an exemplary manner by performing prescribed Vedic activities according to qualification. By this mankind will be cognisant of what is proper and improper in society. Actions of this nature can only be accomplished by one performing karma yoga.

The ignorant are conditioned to desires of fruitive activities being fully attached to gaining results and are incapable of adopting the path of jnana yoga or the cultivation of spiritual knowledge. A person of wisdom should not unhinge the minds and disturb the equilibrium of ordinary people pursuing their dreams of material acquisitions in karma yoga by preaching the superior path of jnana yoga which they are incapable of following. What a person of wisdom must do is set an example by their actions and perform prescribed Vedic activities in karma yoga showing the ignorant by their example that without desire and being unattached to the results it is sufficient to achieve atma-tattva. By setting the example in this manner the great souls inspires the whole society to perform righteous activities so that eventually their minds will be come purified of all dross and they will become competent to advance in spiritual life and attain atma-tattva. The difference between how a person of wisdom performs karma yoga and how the ignorant acts in karma yoga and the reason why will be explained in the next verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

As a person who falls in the mud is stained by the mud in the same way an ignorant person attached to the rewards of their actions is stained with having to receive negative reactions. Lord Krishna is stating that a person of Vedic spiritual wisdom should impart knowledge to them but in a simplified way knowing that the ignorant are lacking in purity of mind and are not qualified to perform prescribed Vedic activities one of spiritual wisdom should not disturb their equilibrium and confuse them with superior teachings as this will only acerbate their self esteem. The spiritually wise should merely encourage the ignorant to continuously perform their daily activities as a matter of duty without attachment and also perform occasional duties on special occasions in the same spirit as well.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 26 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 26

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