Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 33


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

It may be submitted that if follow the teachings of Bhagavad-Gita yields so much why isn't everyone following their prescribed duties, free from desires and attachment. Lord Krishna answers that even a person of Vedic wisdom acts according to the nature received from samskara or impressions from past life actions. One always follows without fail their own disposition and nature. So it goes without saying that an ignorant person is even more dominated by their nature and will act ignorantly in all matters. So understanding in this light what can restraint of the senses accomplish with prakriti or material nature being so powerful? This is the meaning.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

A question may be raised that if it is so beneficial to follow the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita then why is not everyone following them. Lord Krishna explains that it is according to their own nature determined by samskaras or impressions from past lifetimes and because of the influence of prakriti or material nature interacting with the three gunas, or the modes of goodness, passion and nescience.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

That person situated in jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic wisdom is very knowledgeable with the Vedic declarations regarding the distinct difference between the atma or soul and prakriti or material nature. Such a person is also completely aware of the fact that the atma should be the sole object of their contemplation and meditation. But despite this knowledge it is seen that due to the deep influence of samskaras or impressions from past life activities, they are carried along by their subsequent nature which forces them to be act in the current of their natural tendencies and they find themselves preoccupied with various material pursuits enjoying assorted material sense objects. The reason is that living entities become indoctrinated and content with whatever relationship they establish in their environment. In other words whatever habits they form from their association with prakriti they continue to maintain and persistently follow. With the overpowering influence of these deep rooted habits how can the words of the Vedic scriptures impose restraint on such a person? One is helplessly carried away by the forceful current of past life actions and impressions.

The objects of the senses are perceived through the sense organs. For example hearing is perceived by the ears through sound, seeing is perceived by the eyes through sight, smelling is perceived by the nose through smells and so on. For each of the senses one has affection and the desire to enjoy through them. But the same senses operate depending upon attraction or aversion to sense objects. For sense objects that are pleasing one has attraction for pleasure and for sense objects that are displeasing one has aversion to displeasure. All these habits are conditioned from ancient predilections of past life reminisces. Such dualities of attraction and aversion obstructs one who would want to succeed in jnana yoga by subjugating their sense. These dualities which can be understood as different degrees of love and hate, hold a person in an iron grip and forcefully drive them to commit actions that are in conformance with the attributes of one of the three gunas of goodness, passion or nescience which one's nature adheres to from past life impressions. Thus one is being constantly diverted from the real purpose of human existence, that of atma tattva or realisation of the soul and their precious human life is wasted pursuing sense objects.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

If such a hopeless situation exists as given in the previous verse why does everyone not follow the sublime teachings of Bhagavad-Gita? Why are so many living entities hostile and antagonistic to the Bhagavad-Gita’s pristine instructions? In answer to this Lord Krishna states that all creatures follow accordingly to whatever nature they have attained and that nature shapes their actions. This nature is acquired from activities performed in past lives which ripen in this life as impressions of positive of negative acts. Even persons of wisdom in Vedic knowledge do not act contrary to their own natures. So what to say of the ignorant? They must follow there nature also acting in ignorance. The purport is that although it may be possible for such persons to abandon desires and attachment, the necessary purity of mind does not manifest to evoke feelings of dedication to the Supreme Lord Krishna and His impeccable treatise of Bhagavad-Gita.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 33 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 33

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