Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 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 reason for the previous verse is being explained in this verse by Lord Krishna and that is that such a spiritually advanced person has already passed the test achieving atma-tattva or soul realisation which is the ultimate goal of human existence. So such a one being irrevocably anchored in spiritual consciousness without any worldly ego consciousness has no actions to perform and thus has no merits or demerits attaching themselves; for such a person has transcended all injunctions and prohibitions of the Vedic scriptures. Yet it is seen in the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad I.IV.X that the demi-gods do not like that men attain divine knowledge. So it has been recorded that the demi-gods put obstacles on the path of moksa or liberation to block one's success. So for preventing such obstacles the demi-gods should be worshipped by ritualistic activities. Anticipating some doubt Lord Krishna declares that a liberated being in atma-tattva or soul realisation has not to depend upon any living being from Brahma who was the creator of the material manifestation down to an inanimate microbe. Thus no need to perform any action and the demi-gods are powerless to affect and influence the failure of a liberated being because such a person in atma-tattva has already transcended the material manifestation. This is the meaning of text I.IV.X quoted above. The obstacles put in one's path from the demi-gods are exclusively in relation to a human aspiring for moksa or liberation and such obstacles are only possible before atma- tattva is attained never after as after that person is above and beyond their jurisdiction.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

For one situated is atma-tattva or soul realisation if one were to chant the Vedic mantras while performing yagna or worship there would be no greater or similar happiness other than the delight one having communion internally with their eternal soul. Also for a person so transcendentally situated there are no demerits accruing to such a one for not performing the prescribed actions in the Vedic scriptures due to samadhi or being rapt in meditation on the soul within. During samadhi there would be no danger of incurring any demerits for any offense or merits for any benefits for any being. Only whatever benefit one receives from direct darshan or perception of the Supreme Lord Krishna within his heart will be obtained during samadhi of such a person. If by knowledge alone there would not be any diminution in merits then that would also be the case for Arjuna who was instructed to perform actions on the side of dharma or righteousness. For a person who has attained self-realisation and moksa or liberation and is in the state of samadhi meditating blissfully on the soul within. Such a person is considered by Vedic authorities to be doing a very great thing similar to performing a great action like saving the world from destruction. Consequently it is indicated by understanding of prarabda karma or acquired results of activities that the performance of great actions are due to the will of the Supreme Lord.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna has declared previously that the performer of yagna prospers and flourishes and the ommiter of yagna fails to prosper and flourish but now He confirms that in this world the knower of atma-tattva or soul realisation has no need for prosperity or necessity for performing any action precsribed in the Vedas; nor is there any fault or defect in the ommision of any such action. What is done or what is not done is all the same to the perfectly equiposed realised being because such a person is indifferent to everything except the eternal soul within which is the only medium to the Supreme Lord. Thus completely satisfied within such a person has no dependance on any living being including the demi-gods. The purport is that such a person depends on nothing from anyone because such a person has no desire for anything from any being.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 18 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 18

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