Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 32


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 Lord Krishna gives the defects in not believing and following prescribed Vedic activities. Those who are inimical to the teachings of Bhagavad-Gita and are antagonistic to the injunction of the Vedas that all activities should be performed in yagna or worship for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Such people should be known as fools and lacking in discrimination and all of their activities contrary to this are doomed to failure.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

In these verses Lord Krishna is speaking about the merits one receives from following the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita. Those who perform prescribed Vedic activities with renunciation gradually achieve moksa or liberation by jnana yoga the path of cultivating Vedic knowledge. Who then can calculate the position of one who has attained atma-tattva or soul realisation. Now karma yoga the path of performing prescribed Vedic actions is not given as another medium of attainment. Renunciation and dedication of one's actions are solely for the sake of realising the Supreme Being only. For realisation of the Supreme Being, liberation does not depend upon one particular path. In the Narayana Shataksara it is stated that: All paths may or may not award moksa to the dedicated aspirant treading upon them depending upon their level of renunciation in the performance of unattached actions. But renunciation by itself, not being dependent upon anything else is capable of awarding moksa to those who fully perform it. Therefore the contention that jnana yoga and karma yoga alone are sufficient to award moksa is not correct.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Lord Krishna is revealing the eternal truth that He is the atma or soul within all beings in existence, be they human, animal, aquatic, plant, demi- gods or any other species of life that was not cloned. He is the maintainer, sustainer and monitor of all beings through the medium of the atma and all of its impulses come from Him. All souls emanate from the Supreme Lord and because of Him are completely spiritual and eternal. All the souls of all the living beings in creation everywhere in creation as a total aggregate comprise the form of the Supreme Lord's eternal, transcendental spiritual body. Whoever does not avail themselves and conformably act to this eternal truth, or take this eternal truth seriously in earnest, or who deems unnecessary and not worth the effort, this person should be understood to be completely destitute of knowledge and unable to evolve spiritually and are incapable of achieving atma tattva or knowledge of the soul become lost. Spiritual intelligence is what determines the light of knowledge in the material existence. In the absence of spiritual knowledge, darkness and ignorance prevails and knowledge becomes erroneous and defective. Thus it has been illustrated that doership transpires due to the union of prakriti or material nature and the physical body being influenced by the gunas or modes of goodness, passion and nescience and this is dependent ultimately upon the Supreme Lord.

Reflecting in this manner it can be ascertained that karma yoga or the path of performing prescribed Vedic actions is appropriate for one performing jnana yoga or the path of cultivating Vedic knowledge as well. Karma yoga is appropriate on account of it being easy to perform, exempt from the danger of failure and requires no assistance from other methods in its application. Contrarily jnana yoga is difficult to practice, susceptible to failure and must perform some karma yoga anyway in order to maintain health and vigor which is essential for body maintenance if one is to perform any yoga at all. Also it has been pointed out how it is necessary for a person of distinction situated in Vedic wisdom to set an example to inspire the common man for the benefit and welfare of the world.

What difficulties and dangers are fraught for the performers of jnana yoga are now explained in the remainder of this chapter.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Here Lord Krishna points out that those persons who disrespect and ignore and refuse to follow the edicts and injunctions of the Bhagavad-Gita that are for the benefit of all mankind are fools, bereft of spiritual knowledge and in such a state of ignorance all their activities are fruitless and they hopelessly revolve in the cycle of birth and death, birth and death, birth and death, ad infinitum.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 32 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 32

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