Chapter 4Approaching the Ultimate TruthVerse 28


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

There are others who unable to perform austerities themselves give charity and feed all the guests at the festivals of the Supreme Lord and also give donations to the twice born Vaisnavas and Brahmins to perform yagnas or offerings of worship to propitiate the Supreme Lord. These practitioners are known as arthayagnas. Yoga is the science of the individual consciousness in communion with the ultimate consciousness. In this state the modifications of the mind are totally controlled. Those who practice this are called yogayagnas. Others practice intense study of the Vedic scriptures by analysing the purport and contemplating its meaning. Then there are those who persevere of unbreakable vows who are never deterred.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Those who donate artha or wealth for Vedic festivals and rituals also perform yagnas or offerings of worship. Those who perform tapasya or austerities as penance such as fasting for the propitiation of the Supreme Lord also are considered to be offering oblations in yagna. When such austere penance's are offered as propitiation to the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence, the penance itself becomes the sacrificial fire. Such an offering is spiritualised by the Brahman and is an offering in wisdom. Offering in wisdom is to attain the realisation that all knowledge and all propensities is ultimately for the realisation of the atma or soul which gives direct communion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. There is a more profound meaning to the word dravya which normally means donations and that is in reference to the nine dravya's that compose the physical body being earth, fire, water, air, ether, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the soul. Offering one's everything is also considered offering all one's possessions and superior to mere wealth. The great sage Yagnavalkya has echoed this by his statement in the Brihadaranya Upanisad II.II.V that there is no hope for moksa or liberation through wealth.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

There are some perform especially wealthy and opulent yagnas or offerings and worship known as artha yagnas. By this method they earn money honesty and donate it for temple worship and for articles of worship. Others feed the poor or bear the expenses of feeding everyone at festivals of the Supreme Lord and His incarnations. Others have Brahmins perform Yagas and Homas or special ceremonies for birth and weddings and death . All these are known as artha yagnas. Others betake themselves to tapasaya yagnas or expiatory penances and strict austerities such as fasting. Still others resort to yoga yagnas or the communion of the individual consciousness with the ultimate consciousness following the prescribed Vedic injunctions. The communion referred to here is the individual communing by pilgrimage to holy places such as Kurukshetra, to holy rivers like the Ganges, to holy tirthas like Jagannatha Puri, to holy birthplaces like Lord Krishna's in Mathura. This is what is meant by yoga yagnas. Others exclusively perform svadhyaya yagna or the study of the Vedic scriptures. Others practice jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge and contemplate and reflect on the purport of the Vedic scriptures to better understand them. The word yatayah means diligent and refers to yatis or renunciates who assiduously persevere to accomplish all that they vow to spiritually undertake. The compound word samsita-vratah means they who have firm resolve and fixed determination and refers to the yatis.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Here Lord Krishna reveals others who earn money honestly and donate funds to qualified Vaisnavas and Brahmins to perform yagna or offering of worship to propitiate the Supreme Lord. They also offer foodstuffs to feed all the guests at the Supreme Lord's festivals. They bear the expense of building temples to the Supreme Lord Krishna or His authorised incarnations as well. This is known as arthayagna. Some perform austerities such as special fasting during the time which corresponds from amavasya or the new moon to purnima or the full moon and back again to amavasya. Others perform yagna by practicing the eight-fold yoga system such as yama or forbearance, niyama or restraint, asanas or postures, pranayama or breathing exercises, pratyahara or withdrawal, dharana or focused attention and samadhi or complete absorption in meditation. Others strive by observing austere vows, others perform yagna by intense study of the Vedic scriptures.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 4, verse 28 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 28

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