Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 30


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

So it has been shown that even those in jnana yoga or the cultivating of spiritual knowledge should perform prescribed Vedic activities. But as for Arjuna who was not situated in jnana yoga and had not achieved atma-tattva or soul realisation; the only alternative for him was to perform actions in karma yoga or activities prescribed in the Vedic scriptures according to qualification. The word sannyasa means renounce. What is to be renounced? Lord Krishna is explaining to Arjuna to renounce all actions for himself and instead to dedicate all his actions as yagna or worship as an offering to the Supreme Lord. One should try to be guided by the Lord in every action they perform. One should think that they are being guided by the Supreme Lord at all times. Relinquishing both desire and attachment and thereby being free from any ego conceptions of I-ness or my-ness and any conceptions of ownership; one should cheerfully perform all actions for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. In this way Lord Krishna is instructing Arjuna to free himself from delusion and to fight banishing all lamentation.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The words adhytma-cetasa means in one's mind offer all actions within to paramatma or the supersoul of the Supreme Being. Here Lord Krishna is giving the conclusion by instructing that one should dedicate all actions to Him alone eradicating all deluded concepts that one is the doer of any actions. Sannyasya means renouncing all activities that are not dedicated to the Supreme Being. The word nirmamah means without any ego sense of attachment. Those situated in the spiritual wisdom of the Vedas dedicate all their actions as well as their thoughts to paramatma within, without attachment.

Now begins the summation.

The jivas or the subatomic living entity existing as consciousness within every living being is certainly not the doer of any action. The Supreme Lord Krishna through the medium of prakriti or material nature is the doer. Yagna or worship adoring Him is verily the essence of all actions. Even the yagna offered to Him is only possible His mercy and grace alone and not otherwise. Devotion to the Supreme Lord is its own reward and bequeaths His mercy and grace perpetually. Performance of yagna to the Supreme Lord Krishna is exclusively the ordained activity to be performed for all human beings, as well as to any of His authorised incarnations such as Rama, Vishnu or Narasimhadeva as revealed in the Vedic scriptures. Only the Supreme Lord alone is an independent performer of actions. All beings are impelled by Him but He is impelled by nothing. Dependence upon Him and Him alone is the ordained action. The actions of the jivas are fraught with modifications due to being constantly influenced by the gunas known as the modes of goodness, passion and nescience. It is stated in the Brahma Tarka that one should always understand the performance and non-performance of actions as differentiated between the Supreme Lord, the jiva and prakriti. In the Shabda Nirnaya prakriti or material nature is to be understood in some instances as the jivas inclination, in other instances as the gunas and yet in special cases because of His creation potency the Supreme Lord Himself can be so understood. By inclination the jiva is three fold consisting of the best, the worst and the intermediate. The best are the devas or demi-gods, the worst are the asuras or demons and the humans are intermediate. There will never be any change in the disposition or modification in the inclinations of any of the three. The devas will always act noble and godly, the demons will always act ignoble and ungodly and humans will always show qualities vacillating between both. Some humans due to receiving spiritual association will exhibit the noble qualities of the devas and other humans receiving degraded influences will exhibit the ignoble qualities of the asuras.

The jivas who are devas are qualified for moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death, the jivas who are intermediates are qualified for primordial life and the jivas who are asuras are only qualified for eternal darkness. The redemption of each is achieved only by each following there positive inclination. In the absence of a positive inclination the path of the three continues endlessly. Because there is eternal continuity in our primordial world by the will of Lord Krishna the cycle is endless. The knowledge of the asuras who are degraded is always distorted. The knowledge of the mortal human intermediates is mixed, influenced by the three gunas. The knowledge of the essential principles and conclusions of the Vedic scriptures and devotion for Lord Krishna is reserved for the demi-gods and the higher order of human beings such as Vaisnava's and brahmana's and liberated yogis.

All jivas being subservient to the Supreme Being each perform activities according to their natural attributes. Paramatma or the supersoul within monitors the actions performed by every jiva according to each's natural inclination. The deluded believe that they are the cause and sole performer of all their actions; but those situated in spiritual Vedic wisdom are aware that the senses are energised by the will of the Supreme Being and interact with the three gunas within the prakriti totally dependent upon Him. These jivas realising they have no independent actions exceedingly please the Supreme Being by there devotion.

The deluded jivas by the influence of their own attributes consider themselves to be knowledgeable and independent from the Supreme Being. The deluded do not consider that their actions or attributes are dependent on anything except themselves. Being unqualified by their ignorance they never become illuminated with the light of wisdom. In the Prakasa Samhita it is stated : That the deluded of impure minds can never conceive the truth of the ultimate reality and attain perception of the Supreme Being residing within. The deluded possibly could be convinced about it in their minds with strong arguments founded in logic; but never in their hearts so deluded by maya or illusion are they.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Dedicate thy mind and all activities to the Supreme Being in the heart represented by the eternal atma or soul within all living beings. The word nirasih means desireless. Being free from desires and free from hankering for the rewards of all actions while evicting all vanity. The word nirmamah means without a sense of ego. Prohibiting all ego constructs of I- ness and my-ness and relieved from the fever of mental delusion, discharge the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures according to your qualification at once as a matter of duty without attachment. In this Lord Krishna is instructing the warrior prince Arjuna how he should fight his enemies.

The words adhyatma-cetasa means with the mind absorbed in the atma within the heart. One's thoughts should be focused on the nature of the soul, its attributes and qualities as delineated previously in chapter two, verses 13 - 25. There are many scriptures that reveal some of the attributes of the atma. In the Taittiriya Upanisad we find: Enveloped within the interior of the heart, the ruler of all beings, the eternal Supersoul, the origin of all. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad we find: He who is residing in the atma, He who is interior to the atma, He whom the atma knows not, He whom the atma knows not, He who rules from the interior of the atma, He who is the indwelling monitor, He who is the giver of immortality, He whose body constitutes the atma of all living beings, He who is the knower of all and is the inner guide to all.

Therefore we see that by inference that the Supreme Lord Krishna is revealing that since He is the atma within all living beings and that also the atma within all created beings constitute His eternal, transcendental body and derive all their energy from Him; then it is natural that one should dedicate all their actions to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Being as an act of yagna or worship.

One should very reverently reflect that one's atma is a part of the Supreme Lord and therefore He is within me and I am within Him. The Supreme Lord Krishna is the Lord and Master of all. It is He alone who causes acts of yagna to be performed by me to Him and therefore I am His instrument. Therefore no conceptions of I-ness or my-ness, or authorship can be accepted by me for any actions that are performed. Thus I will be free from the fever of mental delusion fuelled by the fire of illusion.

The Paramapurusa is the Supreme Being and Sarveshvara is the Supreme Controller. In the Svetavatara Upanisad VI.VII we find: Let us take complete shelter of the Omnipotent Supreme Lord, the Supreme Lord over all lords, the Supreme Ruler of all rulers, the Supreme Master of all masters. The word isvaratva means lordship and the word niyantritva means ruler and the word patitva means master denoting the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His servitors. In the Narayana Upanisad we find: He is the Supreme Lord of the universe. In the Brahma Samhita V.I we find isvarah parama krishna which means that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Controller.

Arjuna was also reflecting on how he would become free from the myriad's of sins about to be committed by him in the battle for all the warriors he would be slaying. Now he is being instructed to cheerfully begin the fray performing his prescribed duties as yagna or worship in karma yoga or the path of prescribed Vedic activities without attachment according to the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures. By dedicating oneself according to the edicts of the Vedic scriptures one is actually worshipping the Supreme Being and the person who performs their activities in this ordained manner is automatically exempt from all reactions as the Supreme Being Himself accepts their actions of offerings as His own and accepting complete responsibility of His surrendered devotee factually frees them from bondage. Thus the quintessence of all the Upanisads has been duly given.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

From the beginning of this chapter the necessity of performing actions without desire and attachment has been shown. That such actions are essential for the avoidance of bondage in the cycle of birth and death as well as being beneficial for maintaining world order has also been illustrated. But how in the world is all this possible one might wonder. Lord Krishna out of compassion declares that by dedicating all prescribed Vedic activities exclusively to Him with the consciousness absorbed in His localised manifestation the atma or soul within the heart one will realise and experience these things without fail. One must think that the eternal atma is causing all one’s actions and that one is not the independent doer. Therefore dedicate all one’s actions to the Supreme Being, free from desire and attachment whether they are physical, mental, material or spiritual while renouncing all ego conceptions of I and mine. Then the all-pervading, omniscient and omnipotent Supreme Lord will accept your offering and free you from samsara the endless cycle of birth and death. The purport herein is that one should perform the prescribed activities enjoined in the Vedic scriptures as a matter of duty. The results being purity of mind, freedom from attachment and maintenance of world order. Accordingly it was Arjuna’s duty to fight and this is what Lord Krishna is propounding to him about.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 30 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 30

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