Chapter 4Approaching the Ultimate TruthVerse 24


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 actions performed by a person as offerings and worship to the Supreme Lord Krishna are considered inaction as they lead to spiritual intelligence and are not bonded in any way to reactions. For one who has achieved atma tattva or soul realisation all actions are neutralised by knowing that one is not the doer and hence for them even various natural actions are considered inaction. The transformation of action to inaction due to absence of egoism was previously explained in verse 18. Now Lord Krishna is stating that the transformation of action to inaction is always present in the person who performs all their actions in relation to the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. One whose mind is absorbed in performing all actions as offerings to the Brahman exclusively, attains the Brahman without a doubt.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The essential meaning Lord Krishna is conveying here is the establishing of a higher consciousness that sees all activities as offerings to the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. Everything is spoken as the Brahman because everything is emanated from the Brahman and everything is contained within the Brahman. It should not be assumed that the unlimited myriad of individual beings are in the likeness of the Brahman because that would be erroneous. The Brahman is the whole and all others are infinitesimal parts of the whole and subservient to it because all comes into existence from the Brahman. In the Padma Purana the sages speak that: The Supreme Lord is verily is the essence and the total of the Vedas. Everything is verily the vision of the Supreme Lord's consciousness and the Brahman is the manifestation of this consciousness. With the equanimity of one's intellect Brahman is realised to be the performer of all actions.

Now begins the summation.

How can pride be relinquished? By offering pride to the Brahman along with other unwanted hindrances. The paraphernalia offered to the Brahman is called Brahmarpanamas and they include the fire itself, the ghee or clarified butter and foodgrains offered to the sacred fire as well as the performer of the yagna or worship who propitiates the Supreme Lord by offering oblations. So the Brahman is also the performing presribed Vedic actions with equanimity in higher consciousness. But even with this equanimity all are eternally subservient to the Supreme Lord. The Mahabharata confirms that only the respendent Supreme Lord Krishna is independent everything else is dependent upon Him.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Here the word brahmarpanam means the paraphernalia used to offer oblations in yagna or offering of worship to propitiate the Supreme Lord. All the accessories used in yagna are also considered to be Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence, along with the offerings of ghee and grain seeds, the fire they are offered through as well as the performer of the offering. Lord Krishna is explaining that everything used in yagna can be considered as part of the Brahman. One who realises that the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence is actually abiding in all actions reaches the Brahman which is becoming cognisant of the spiritual substratum of reality underlying and pervading all existence. This is the consciousness of the actions from an aspirant for moksa or liberation where the atma or soul is understood to be non-different from the Brahman. Consequently actions performed in this consciousness are all known to be spiritual and thus realised is in itself a means for achieving atma tattva or soul realisation thus precluding any further need to practice jnana yoga or cultivation of Vedic knowledge.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna explains that all the actions of such a yogi or one whose individual consciousness is in communion with the ultimate consciousness are dissolved but how is this possible? It is because such a yogi is established in the knowledge of the atma or soul with full cognisance of every action being a yagna or offering to the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. As everything in existence is factually within the Brahman it can be understood that everything is actually a form of the Brahman. The Brahman or spiritual substratum of reality is surely the destination to be achieved by those who are experiencing it, as verily it is eternal and permanent. This is in contrast to one being absorbed in obtaining the enjoyments of heaven which are temporary and transitory. Concentration in the Brahman is considered as yagna or propitiation to the ultimate reality.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 4, verse 24 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 24

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