Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 21


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 denial of any possibility in the slaying of any living entity has been established, for all living entities continually maintain their existence through the agency of the immortal soul. Who can that person slay and how? When knowing its eternality which is free from modification, its immutability which is free from decay, unborn being free from birth and indestructible being free from death. For it is impossible to destroy the immortal soul by any means. So who then can factually claim to be the cause of another perishing? There is none who can claim this or by any means achieve this. So the Supreme Lord by clarifying this point is also informing Arjuna to that He is not directing him to slay anyone because the soul is factually never slain.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

One who understands that the eternal soul is incapable of being destroyed who can be slain and how? The word avinasinam means indestructible, nityam means eternal and therefore by its own inherent nature the immortal soul is imperishable without any defects because what is eternal is never in a state of modification. The word defect is commonly used for that which is not of perfection. The physical body of the living entities is not perfect it is defective, thus the word destruction is applicable to the physical body but never to the eternal soul.

Now begins the summation.

The word avinasinam is indicative of one whose body is indestructible. Eternal in form only applies to the Supreme Lord. Unlimited activity is the attribute of being independent, total independence is found only in the case of the Supreme Lord, who being immutable is without any support outside of Himself.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

So possessing spiritual intelligence, knowing the soul to be eternal, understanding it to be birthless and deathless being of an inexhaustible nature how is it possible for anyone to commit any act of destruction against the immortal soul which dwells in trillions of various and diverse living entities among the 8 million 400 thousand species of life throughout the billions of material universes. Whom can anyone destroy? How can anyone destroy anyone? Who can cause anyone to be destroyed? No one can! Thus it can be seen that ignorance of the eternal nature of the soul is the cause of all grief by not understanding that the soul is immortal and thinking that the eternal soul perishes when the physical body perishes. Comprehending that what happens to the immortal soul when the physical body ceases to function is factually the withdrawal from an old physical body to enter into a new physical body. So it can be understood that those who have deep regret for the loss of the physical body, serving as it does as the facility for securing and enjoying material pleasures; these living entities should reflect on the futility and temporal nature of material existence rather than trying to eternally exploit their senses. This will be further expounded in the next verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

As to remove any doubts concerning the Vedic injunction against the killing of cows and the killing of a brahmana such as Drona, the perpetrators of these heinious crimes go directly to hell to suffer at the termination of their material existence. To mitigate this Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that one who knows the soul to be indestructible and thus eternal as well as unborn and unmodifiable although uniquely different within every body knows that no one in anyway can cause the destruction of the soul. Who is the doer in the action of killing? Whom can one cause to be killed? Can one be the agent in the death of the soul? The answer is no to all and it is indicated that there should be no doubt about the veracity of the Vedic scriptures regarding the sin incurred either when one causes another to be killed or when one is directed to kill another. By this the Vedic injunctions prohibiting cow slaughter and the slaying of brahmanas and the great sin attached thereof must be accepted as fact even though one is in knowledge about the factual nature of the eternal reality of the souls immortality.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 21 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 21

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