Chapter 5Action and RenunciationVerse 18


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

Now the question may arise being what kind of persons are those who achieve moksa or liberation? Lord Krishna uses the word panditah or the wise. Who are the wise? Those with the inner eye of wisdom who perceive the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence in things that appear dissimilar. The example of a humble, learned brahmin and an outcaste dogeater shows dissimilarity in conduct and the examples of a cow and an elephant show dissimilarity in species but the spiritually awakened sees all with equal vision.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Due to this supra-conscious awareness illuminating one's intelligence atma tattva or realisation of the soul is attained and once this happens then one realises the soul, as a manifestation of the Supreme Lord existing equally in all living beings. This is purport Lord Krishna is giving in this verse.

Now begins the summation.

Even though there are external differences in the forms among embodied beings including humans, aquatics, animals and plants, the Supreme Lord Krishna is ever present in each and every being as a witness energising them all as the Supreme Soul and from whom a minuscule portion comprises the eternal individual soul.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The name Brahmana refers to the saintly and spiritual class in India possessed of moral conduct and Vedic knowledge. The mention along with them of a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcaste person who eats dog is to illustrate the great differences in the physical bodies of all the various species of life in which the embodied atma or soul resides in. The variegated appearances of different species of life is due to prakriti or material nature not the atma. The compound word sama-darsinah meaning equal vision is how those in atma tattva or soul realisation regard all the atmas residing in unlimited bodies as being equal due to the atmas essential nature of being eternal and of being an infinitesimal part of the Supreme Lord Krishna.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna uses the word panditah meaning wise or learned, for those who perceive the reality as it is and beholds the nature of the atma or soul equally in all beings. From a Brahmin endowed with spiritual knowledge and a cow the best of all animals both being in the mode of goodness as well as a dog and an outcaste person of the lowest order, all are seen with an equal vision. The purport is that the apparent unevenness between the highest and the lowest is the characteristics of their bodily designation which is the product of material nature but never reflective of the eternal, pure state of the atma. Such a wise being always perceives the intrinsic nature of the soul as it is, unaffected by the degradation of any bodily conception.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 5, verse 18 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 18

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