Chapter 2The Eternal Reality of the Soul's ImmortalityVerse 39


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

A brief introduction as to the correct understanding concerning the eternality of the immortal soul that has just been described is now concluded and the path of actions known as karma yoga which is the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness is now being introduced.

That by which the nature of reality is determined is deemed as sankhya which is analytical knowledge and that by which the nature of the eternal soul is revealed is also sankhya. The proper understanding one must utilise in respect to this has just been imparted to Arjuna. If in spite of all these unequivocal instructions regarding the nature of the eternal soul one is still unable to realise it then one should with determination seek to realise the eternal soul by the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness through actions without any hankering for fruitive rewards. This will allow a living entity to attain purity of mind and spiritual intelligence. By the manifestation of spiritual intelligence one will understand how to surrender all actions in righteousness to the Supreme Lord. The cessation of seeking and yearning for fruitive results effectively neutralises any fruitive reactions before they even materialise. Since it is ones own fruitive desires that causes fruitive actions and subsequent reactions, by renouncing the desire for any fruitive results and performing actions as a matter of duty a living entity is automatically freed from any fruitive reactions.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The wisdom of sankhya being the ability to understand the distinction of spirit from matter leads to the realisation of the eternal soul and is in essence the sankhya philosophy has been given in smriti. The yoga method of the individual consciousness perceiving and then subsequently attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness and the accompanying state which manifests has been revealed in the Bhagavad Purana. Other than these nothing else has been referred to as the sankhya philosophy or the science of yoga ; but in other contexts the word karma yoga has been used and along with Pancaratra has been named as a method for liberation.

In the Vedic scriptures there is always a holistic understanding and comprehensive appreciation present, thus there is no contradiction unless one is in possession of faulty perceptions. It is sometimes seen that due to partial understanding an incorrect interpretation is made due to not acquiring sufficient knowledge. In the Citra Shikhandi Sastra the similarity between Pancaratra and the Vedas has been well documented. Also in all cases the sankhya philosophy and the science of yoga have been similarly described as methods for liberation from the material existence. This is quite proper because spiritual knowledge is the only means of salvation and various methods have been delineated in the Vedic scriptures regarding this. If attainment of salvation can become known by any method than that in itself is spiritual knowledge. By whatever way the sankhya system comes to be known that is the distinction of spirit from matter by that way it has been explained.

Now begins the summation.

Equal importance is also given to both jnana knowledge and sankhya. By yoga both these 2 become united; therefore yoga is the means. Seekers of truth have determined that yoga is the precursor to sankhya as given in the Sabda Nirnaya.

Brahma Tarka is a dialectical method propounded by Visnu incarnation Kapiladeva in his discourse to Devahuti on the original sankhya philosophy which is fully theist in the Bhagavat Purana. The nyaya philosophy of Gautama, the vaisesika philosophy of Kanada and the imitation sankhya philosophy which is athiestic of Kapila Muni are all but dialectical arguments not dialectical methods for attaining the Ultimate Truth. Mayavadi and Pasupata doctrines are considered profane. The mimamsaka philosophy of Jaimini is threefold concerning rituals, brahman and the Supreme Lord. The original sankhya philosophy of Kapiladeva and the mimamsaka of Jaimini are both dialectical methods for the Ultimate Truth. The perfect wisdom of the Vedic scriptures is the only complete source of spiritual knowledge. Those who have realised this eternal truth do not follow anything else. Other philosophies such as tantra or even the astanga yoga system of Pantanjali should not be followed according to the Narada Purana.

The atheist sankhya philosophy as has been stated earlier is a dialectical argument but here in Bhagavad-Gita it is being explained in its original theistic ontology as a dialectical method. The original sankhya philosophy as well as the astanga yoga system both declare that killing causes undesirable reactions.

In the Bhagavad-Gita war is recommended as desirable for upholding dharma or righteousness and in this way according to prescribed duties of a ksatriya is a means for salvation when it is said karma bandham prahasyasi. So it should be understood in this light and there should be no discrepancy between what has been intended in the original sankhya philosophy or the astanga yoga system and what has been related in Bhagavad-Gita as there is factually no contradiction.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Having instructed the true knowledge of the soul as being distinctly different from the physical body and seeing that this knowledge has still not been firmly embedded in Arjunas heart, Lord Krishna reiterates this truth again in order to illustrate that this knowledge never becomes firmly embedded without practice of the means which is yoga. To do this He introduces the yoga path of selfless actions as the means to this end. Thus the reality is to perform all actions under the direction of ones mind well cultivated by the aid of spiritual knowledge from the Vedic scriptures exclusively. Although this spiritual knowledge is scientific Arjuna is still unsteady in its application due to lack of practice in assimilation. So Lord Krishna explains that by practice in the performance of actions by the renunciation of their rewards Arjuna will be completely freed from transmigration in the material existence.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 2, verse 39 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 39

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