Chapter 4Approaching the Ultimate TruthVerse 22


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

Completely content with what comes, unsought, by its own accord, patiently enduring all dualities such as success and failure, happiness and disappointment, free from elation and depression, not subject to jealousy and envy. Lord Krishna confirms that such a person is not bound to accept reactions even though performing actions, such actions being those actions exclusively that are prescribed in Vedic scriptures.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The characteristics of one who has constrained their mind are being given by Lord Krishna, along with the method of transcending all dualities by being equipoised in all situations whether it is success or failure.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

One who is tranquil and content with whatever spontaneously comes to one of its own accord to maintain one's existence is the being who has gone beyond the dualities of material existence. This means that such a being patiently endures pleasure and pain, acceptance and rejection, sadness and happiness and the rest of the opposites which inevitably all mortals must face until one attains the goal of their endeavours which is atma tattva or soul realisation. The word vimatsarah means free from malice. One who comprehends that only due to one's previous activities are present activities manifesting, such a one does not hold malice against others and blaming them others for any negative reactions one may experience. The compound words siddhau-asiddhau samah which means one who keeps their mind balanced and equipoised in success or failure while performing their duties. The essence of what Lord Krishna is saying is that if a person has this mentality while performing activities they will not be bound to samsara or the cycle of birth and death in material existence even though they are not fully following the path of jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

This verse gives the keys to being free from reactions which leads to bondage in the material existence. If one performs all activities in this manner they will neutralise reactions to bodily actions but will still remain bound if there is still any affection for previous actions that are presently being renounced. To this Lord Krishna emphasises being content with whatever comes, unsought, by its own accord. Being satisfied in one's mind with material things coming unexpected without the least desire or motivation for more and no effort to receive them. If one gets or does not get their mind remains equipoise in tranquility and never agitated by dualities such as success and failure, jubilation and sadness, triumph and disaster, elation and despondency, achievement and non-achievement. Such a spiritually enlightened being never performs an action that is devoid of a connection to the Supreme Being of all. Thus such a person situated in Vedic knowledge can never have a selfish motive or perform a selfish action; on the contrary even if such a person is requested to perform yagna or worship to the Supreme Lord on behalf of someone else and that person is blemished or tainted by material desires then even still one will not be affected by any reactions for performing such an activity to the Supreme Lord due to they are in knowledge.

Some explain in this verse that a yogi or one who developing their individual consciousness to be in communion with the ultimate consciousness after renouncing all desires and enjoyments, including even begging to sustain their physical sustenance should maintain themselves by accepting what comes unsought by its own accord and this insures that their actions become inaction and not subject to reactions. In the normal sense such a person appears to be begging to worldly people but in actual fact according to the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures this not the case and the actions of such a yogi are factually inaction. In this manner such a yogi performs activity for the maintenance of their body by only accepting what comes unsought by its own accord even though for society it appears as if one is begging. Also such a yogi incurs no negative results in the form of reactions by behaving so because all reactions leading to bondage are destroyed by the fire of knowledge. But this explanation does not fit in the context of this verse because of the flaw of being repetitive. This point was already established in the previous verse and actions like begging to maintain physical sustenance are factually no different from natural bodily management. So then the speaking of this verse would be superfluous and that is not the case. Also it is clear that if one takes this verse to refer to a yogi then there would be a contradiction in the succeeding two verses as well because in these verses the action of yagna or worship of the Supreme Lord is presented and a yogi is not entitled to perform any sacrificial rituals. Only the Vaisnavas and the Brahmins following the Vedic injunctions have the authority and are empowered to perform Vedic rituals. So it is not possible to properly explain the context of this verse in reference to a yogi because of impropriety and the correct understanding of this verse is in reference to a Vaisnava or Brahmin devotee of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is without desire and attachment and who is situated in atma tattva or soul realisation. This also applies to a Vaisnava or Brahmin devotee of any of Lord Krishna's authorised incarnations and expansions.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 4, verse 22 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 22

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