Chapter 6The Science of Self RealizationVerse 1


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

Even if the mind has been purified it is certain that without being augmented by meditation the chance for moksa or liberation from the material existence cannot be the result by mere renunciation of action, so to remedy this situation Lord Krishna expounds the yoga of meditation in this chapter. In order to further explain the yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness by meditation as referred to briefly at the conclusion of the last chapter Lord Krishna begins this chapter. As in chapter five the performance of action preceded by renunciation of action have both been depicted in order to clear up any possible discrepancy regarding the superiority of prescribed Vedic activities over renunciation, Lord Krishna states that one who performs prescribed Vedic activities that are obligatory such as fasting from all grains on Ekadasi which is the 11th day of the waxing and waning moon without hankering for the benefits or rewards is a true renunciate and yogi and not one who has renounced the sacred fire or has renounced purta which are philanthropic activities for the benefit and welfare of society.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Hari OM! In this verse Lord Krishna speaks about meditation which is the principle element of spiritual knowledge. He also explains the method of renunciation by meditation. Sannyasa which is the fourth stage of life and can only be accepted by a male brahmin in the renounced celibate order performs yagna or worship of offerings to the Supreme Lord are recommended along with propitiating the sacred fire. The sacred fire for a sannyasi is the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and the worship for a sannyasi is the performance of Vedic activities such as teaching the Vedas, chanting of mantras, developing devotion and helping the conditioned souls develop devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. So therefore one not devoted either to yagna or the sacred fire cannot be considered a sannyasi or a yogi being one who is perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness.

Now begins the summation.

In this verse Lord Krishna speaks of meditation by such a sannyasi or yogi as a great soul who residing in the Brahman makes offerings of ghee or clarified butter into the sacred fire. By this and other references from Vedic scriptures renunciation includes even one in the sannyasi order who makes offerings of yagna in all their actions even with the offering of their very self.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Karma yoga or the performance of prescribed Vedic activities and all its separate constituents has so far been expounded by Lord Krishna as well as jnana yoga or the cultivation of Vedic knowledge. Now the method for practicing yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness while being in renunciation will be explained by means of meditation to achieve atma tattva or realisation of the soul. This verse is a brief reassertion of what has already been previously stated that karma yoga unaided has the capability of bestowing atma tattva and that within the performance of atma tattva is the special quality of renunciation and that karma yoga in its mature stage also has for its goal meditation which precedes atma tattva.

Whosoever performs karma yoga without hankering for rewards or desiring results, performing all activities as a matter of duty with no other conception except that it is a humble service rendered to the Supreme Lord Krishna who in every way is the best well wisher and dearest friend. Whether one is a sannyasi or celibate brahmin in the renounced order or a performer of jnana yoga or karma yoga such a person may be considered a renunciate following the path to atma tattva. Its not that a sannyasi is one that simply abstains from activities such as agnihotra or offering ghee or clarified butter and food grains into the fire. Nor is one renounced merely because they do not perform activities enjoined in the Vedic scriptures. One is renounced who engages in prescribed Vedic activities at the same time abandoning desire for rewards while fulfilling the requirements of action and renunciation. The next verse describes how within karma yoga there is found renunciation as well.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

In the fifth chapter Lord Krishna described and praised the path of selfless action as well as the path of knowledge. At the very end of chapter five the procedures for meditation were introduced briefly in two verses. Here in this chapter they are elaborated further. One may hypothesise that since actions are of a lower order then renunciation must be superior. To alleviate such ideas Lord Krishna speaks the word anasritah or without expecting. Performance of obligatory prescribed Vedic activities and occasional ones like the appearance celebrations of the Supreme Lord without hankering for rewards or benefits is true renunciation and not for one who has renounced the rituals of the sacred fire and other magnanimous activities. Such a person is neither a renunciate or a yogi. Only the person who performs prescribed Vedic activities renouncing all desires for rewards is regarded as a renunciate and a yogi because they have qualified themselves as competent in both disciplines simultaneously.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 6, verse 1 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 1

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