Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 14


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

It may be countered by Arjuna that he was not grieving for those who have died or are living but he was grieving for himself who would be miserable and forlorn by their loss. This is being perfectly answered by the Supreme Lord in this verse. That by which the objects of the senses are preceived is called matra or the functions of the senses which are hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting. Their contact with their appropriate objects produces the sensations of hot and cold, loud and soft, sweet and sour and the like. But as they are solely dependent upon external objects and these objects are always coming and going, they are known to be temporary and thus should be tolerated. Just as contact with the different elements of weather such as snow and sunlight by their very nature give rise to cold and heat. Similarly the contact with the objects of the senses gives rise to pleasure and pain for all living entities and as theses contacts are transitory being temporary one being situated in spiritual knowledge should with fortitude tolerate them and not succumb to lamentation or exaltation because of them.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Even then, in the absence of self-realisation there is always sorrow. therefore it is clarified thus matra means sensuous experience and sparsas means contact with them thus matra-sparsas is the interaction of the senses with sense objects. These interactions are like hot and cold or pleasure and pain. Although only the body is what is actually experiencing these things, anyone with lack of sufficient knowledge who considers that they are their body automatically classifies the soul as the body as well and this misconception is factually the cause of all sorrow.

The experience of sorrow does not affect the individual consciousness by itself. Why is this? Because it appears and disappears. If these contacts of the senses were factually within the individual consciousness then they would also exist in the state of deep sleep. Therefore since it is evident that contact with the senses is experienced only in the waking state and not in any other state; the summation is clear that only when there is contact with the physical body which includes the mind, is there an effect and this proves that the individual consciousness itself is not affected.

Regarding the individual consciousness there is no contact of the sense objects except when it desires a relationship through the experience of senses. Because of their nature of appearing and disappearing like objects floating past on a river, they cannot be classified as eternal due to the fact they cease to exist during deep sleep. Hence they are said to be a- nitya or not eternal.

Consequently when the individual consciousness is deluded into relating to itself as the body, pleasure and pain is experienced; but when the individual consciousness sees itself as separate from the physical body then the sorrow arising from the death of friends and relatives would not arise. Therefore it is by rejection of ones constitutional position as individual consciousness and accepting the position of considering oneself the body that the perception of pleasure, pain, happiness, sorrow and all the rest manifests.

Now begins the summation.

Because of their temporary nature Lord Krishna counsels that reactions arising in the body due to perceptions of the senses should be tolerated as they are temporary. Appearing and disappearing at random with no auspices to the indivdual consciousness.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Although the delusion of death is not appropriate regarding the misconception of the souls destruction when it is in fact eternal and immortal; still it could be submitted that loss of life would result in great unhappiness when preceptors, friends and relatives are slain in battle departing their physical bodies and from this the delusion that they are dead may arise. To dispel this doubt Lord Krishna replies: that sensory perception or the contact between the senses and their objects give rise to feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain. If they are soft and sweet they are pleasing but if they are bitter and harsh they are unpleasant. These things are all temporary, they are not eternal like the soul; but of a fleeting impermanent nature which comes and goes. Therefore one should just tolerate them with discrimination, patience and fortitude for they will disappear in due course of time. By addressing Arjuna as Bharata signifies the great heritage in his ancestry on his fathers side. To address him as Kaunteya signifies the great heritage in his ancestry on his mothers side. This suggests that such delusion is quite improper for Arjuna.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 14 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 14

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