Chapter 4Approaching the Ultimate TruthVerse 6


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

Because Lord Krishna has just confirmed he remembers many births it may be postulated how can He who is without beginning have a birth and how can he who is imperishable have repeated births. How can the Supreme Lord of all transcendant to all dualities such as virtue and sin be embodied like an individual atma or soul. Lord Krishna responds that he comes into being perfectly with all powers such a omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence by yogamaya which is His divine internal potency. It may be further questioned how can Lord Krishna who does not have even a subtle body composed of the 16 material parts be born at all? To assuage these doubts Lord Krishna reveals that from prakriti or material nature which is completely under His control He accepts the nature of sattva or pure goodness and incarnates Himself in His original form of sac-cid-ananda or pure eternity, knowledge and bliss.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

One may wonder that if the Supreme Lord Krishna is eternal then is His svarupa or transcendental body eternal as well? To this Lord Krishna replies that He is unborn. In this verse the words avyaya atma means the eternal body of the Supreme Lord. This also allows for the reality of His many incarnations such as Rama and Buddha. Just as it has been explained previously that the atma or soul being purely spiritual is without beginning and eternal, in the same way the svarupa of Lord Krishna should be understood to exist. One may further wonder how is it He appears to be born if He is without a beginning and eternal? The answer is He manifests Himself by His Self as pure sattva or goodness by His internal potency known as yogamaya through prakriti or material nature which is completely under His control. One may also wonder how it is He being eternal is able to manifest Himself through a material father and mother such as Vasudeva and Devaki? But as both Vasudeva and Devaki are also part of prakriti, Lord Krishna establishes them in pure sattva as well by His yogamaya potency and manifests Himself through them appearing to be born by normal human perception. It should not be thought that Lord Krishna is dependent upon anything or that He is ever born or that He ever dies nor should it be assumed that He uses the material elements of prakriti to create a form for Himself. His form is transcendental and completely in itself and prakriti which is the substratum of all material existence is subservient to Him. The Supreme Lord Krishna manifests His appearances and disappearances and the conditions necessary to descend and ascend by His own sweet will. Atma mayaya infers the consciousness of the soul. Since for material nature there is the distinct word prakriti, here maya is understood to be referring to yogamaya or the consciousness of Lord Krishna's internal potency. This means that yogamaya arranges the situation and all the details with phenomenal alacrity and intricacy so that Lord Krishna appears to be born like a normal human being but factually this not so. He appears to be born from a mother and a father but actually it is not the case. Isha means great but Ishvara means greater than isha.Therefore it is stated that since Lord Krishna is superior to those who are isha such as Brahma, Shiva and Shesha, only He is to be known as Ishvara or the greatest of the great and none other.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Lord Krishna affirms that although He enters prakriti or material nature which is under His complete control, by His own sweet will through His internal potency known as yogamaya. He is never divested of His supreme transcendental attributes and imperishable potencies as Sovereign Lord of all creation even though His external from appears human. The forms and places where the Supreme Lord resides as described in the Vedic scriptures. 1) He the spirit who luminously resides in the interior of the sun 2) He the spirit who luminously resides in the etheric region of the heart 3) He who is immortal and eternal 4) He who manifested all the demigods and humans 5) He who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent 6) He who is resplendent and all pervasive 7) He who is transcendental to prakriti or material nature. 8) He who by His omniscience knows the actions and qualities of all beings

The Supreme Lord Krishna assumes forms suitable to time, place and circumstances in regards to celestial being the demigods and terrestrial being humans. He manifests himself as if He were of their nature according to His desire. Being unborn He yet incarnates in many forms whenever and wherever He chooses whereas for material beings they are forcefully born impelled by their karma or the bondage caused from reactions to past actions. Next the time of manifestation for the avatars or incarnations will be indicated.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

The question may be asked that if the Supreme Lord's knowledge is not veiled like Arjuna's then how is it that He manifests Himself? To alleviate this doubt Lord Krishna replies with the words ajo pi sann avyayatma meaning He is unborn having an imperishable body. His body is purely spiritual without being the result of any previous actions and manifests itself by His own potency for the benefit of all the worlds. Moreover the characteristics of the Lord Krishna's svarupa or divine form have been well described in the Vedic scriptures the most precise being known as sac-cid- ananda or comprised of eternity, knowledge and bliss. He Himself declares that being the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent Supreme Lord of all possessing unlimited forms, attributes and powers which contains the concentrated essence and the maximum of all essences when He manifests Himself by His internal potency known as yogamaya. There is nothing imaginable or unimaginable that is impossible for Lord Krishna. Some commentators interpret this verse to mean that Lord Krishna keeping the material nature under His control manifests Himself through it. But this interpretation is not valid and should not be accepted because it contradicts the Vedic scriptures of the Supreme Lord's svarupa being sac- cid-ananda. If we are to accept that the Supreme Lord's svarupa comes from material nature comprised of the gunas or three modes of goodness, passion and nescience then we must accept that it is made of elements like our human body and is perishable also and that is false. The Vedic scriptures state that one who accepts that the Supreme Lord Krishna's svarupa is made from material elements should be excommunicated and considered as being outside of the Vedic culture and Puranic injunctions. Therefore it should be clearly understood that those that have faith and believe in the Supreme Lord and the eternal Vedic scriptures should accept only the commentaries descending through parampara or authorised Vedic disciplic succession and which are never contradictory to the Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads and other Vedic scriptures.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 4, verse 6 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 6

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