Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 13,14


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

The question may be submitted how is it possible that one performing actions derives no reactions from their activities. Apprehending such a doubt Lord Krishna in order to exemplify that for one who has given up attachment to the reward of actions and who is free from the ego sense of I and mine there is no connection to reactions from any action. This he elaborates in this verse and the next four. He says to understand the meaning of His words, learn the five causes that are about to be given regarding the accomplishment and production of all actions. To imbibe the cessation of the conception as the doer of actions it is necessary to comprehend these five causes. So to emphasise them Lord Krishna states as declared etc. Here the word sankhya refers to Vedantic philosophy of analytical rationalism established by Kapila Deva, an empowered incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krishna. That by which the atma or immortal soul is thoroughly known is declared sankhya or wisdom of the ultimate truth which is the final point and apex of all knowledge which is the ultimate conclusion found in the Vedic scriptures.

The five causes of all actions to manifest are the body, the ego which is the juncture of spirit and matter, the life airs which automatically function and pervade throughout creation, the senses such as the eyes which include the diety of the sun which presides over the eyes and also the other four senses with their presiding dieties and finally the inner ruler and controller of them all as the atma or soul which is powered by paramatma the Supreme Soul.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

In this verse Lord Krishna again reiterates sannyasa or renunciation by abandonment of actions. The words sankhye kritante refers to the system of analysis established in the sankhya philosophy of analytical conclsion by Kapila-deva, who appeared as the son of Kardama Muni from the womb of Devahuti and who is an empowered incarnation of the Supreme Lord Krishna. His is the original sankhya philosophy acknowledging the existence of the Supreme Lord as the goal and is in full accordance with the Vedic scriptures. It should not be confused by an imitation sankhya philosophy by a Kapila Muni which bases its precepts on analysis of matter and is atheistic, not accepting the reality of the Supreme Lord hence contrary to the Vedic scriptures and unacceptable.

The word adhisthanam means the body, the life airs, the ego, the senses, and their inner director the atma or immortal soul controlled by paramatma the Supreme Soul residing simultaneously in the individual etheric heart of all living entities. Paramatma is an effortless expansion of the Supreme Lord Krishna's purusa avatar known as Ksisirodaksayi Vishnu. All embodied beings acesta refers to actions both involutary such as the heart beating and breathing as well as volutary actions such as using the hands to perform yagna or ritualistic propitiation and worship of the Supreme Lord or utilising the mind to meditate upon the Supreme Lord. By such actions impressions are established which impel one towards the divine. The divine is transcendental and cannot be seen although the liberated can perceive it in their consciousness it is not visible. It has been said that the body, the life airs, the ego, the senses and the atma are the instruments of all activities with paramatma as the unseen controller of them all.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The word sankhya means rational, analytical reasoning and refes to the sankhya philosophy established by Lord Krishna's incarnation of Kapila Deva. The word kritante means deriving the perfect conclusion of the categorical and essential nature of all things based upon the tenents, ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. The five causes Lord krishna will reveal are component factors combining to manifest individual acts. The word nibodha meaning comprehend denotes that they must be contemplated and reflected upon. The absolute conclusion of the Vedic scriptures verily regards Lord Krishna's expansion as paramatma the Supreme Soul existing simultaneously in the etheric heart of all living entities as the sole author of all acts. The body, the prana or life airs, the ego, the senses, the are the four instuments of the atma or individual soul which is powered by paramatma the Supreme Soul. Evidence confirming this is found in the Taittiriya Upanisad II.III.I beginning prana deva anu prananti meaning: That which is within the body is the prana and that which is seated within the body is the the atma and that which rules the immortal atma is paramatma.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna previously clarified that those who perform actions motivated by desire incarnate and take birth in either the heavenly, hellish or human worlds; but those who have renounced the desire for rewards are not subject to this karma or reactions to actions. Now in order to establish the fact that egoism and non-egoism are the cause of actions influenced by indiscrimination and discrimination, Lord Krishna revals the five factors which cojointly contribute to the accomplishment of all action. These five factors accomplish all actions and must be understood by the aspirants for moksa or liberation from material existence in order to achieve the discriminative knowledge that dissolves the sense of egoism while performing actions. These five factors to be presented will remove any doubt regarding the liberating or binding effects of actions. The Sankhya philosophy of analytical rationalism established by Kapila Deva an incarnation of Lord Krishna, explains these five factors in detail as a method of eradicating the effects of all actions. This method is by precise analytical ascertainment of the cause and effect of all actions. Such analysis includes atma the immortal soul, maya the illusory potency, prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence, paramatma the Supreme Soul etc. and illustrates how a jiva or embodied beings relationship with each liberates or binds one in the material existence and thus is understood to be included in Vedanta.

The five factors are the physical body, the five senses such eyes, ears, etc., the ego, the life airs which govern breathing and the atma the controller of them all. The Vedanta Sutra II.III.XXXIII beginning upadanat states: The atma of the jiva or embodied being at the death of the physical body takes the pranas along with it; therefore the atma is the controller. Some assert without any basis that the controller is the insentient ego but this opinion should be rejected based upon the evidence cited above. For how can the insentient ego be responsible for the physical body, the senses, the life airs and itself as well along with the atma. It is not possible for the insentient to control the sentient, The controller of the five factors is atma the individual immortal soul and the controller of all atmas simultaneously is paramatma the Supreme Soul residing with the atma within the etheric heart of all living entities. Srila Vedavyasa has confirmed this in Vedanta Sutras II.III.XXXXI beginning amso nana vyapadesa:The atma is vibhinamsa an infintessimal expansion of paramatma like the rays of the sun.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 13,14 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 13,14

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