|Chapter 7||Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth||Verse 5|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
While concluding the topic of the eight categories of the lower inferior prakriti or material substratum Lord Krishna describes the higher superior prakriti. The lower prakriti is inferior because it is inert and meant for enjoyment by another. The higher prakriti is the individual atma or soul within all sentient beings. By the unique and exclusive sentient principle of the embodied soul being created, activated and energised by an infinitesimal portion of the Supreme Lord all creation is sustained by its own effort.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The word apare means inferior and refers to the eight principle material energies itemised in the previous verse. Residing within all creatures the sakti or feminine energy known as Sri or Laksmi Devi of Lord Krishna is the caretaker of all life existing always as the consciousness of all creatures. Prakriti or the substratum pervading material nature has a dual manifestation gross and subtle. The gross manifestation is the eight categories of material nature which is inferior to the subtle manifestation which is eternal and all pervading. There is nothing comparable to Sri Laksmi as she is an eternal energy of the Supreme Lord manifesting herself individually as an eternal consort for each and every avatar or incarnation of Lord Krishna. In the Narada Purana it states that by these two gross and subtle manifestations of Sri Laksmi all the worlds are energised and sustained by the Supreme Lord.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna explains that the eight categories mentioned are of His lower inferior energy being material. But He has a higher superior energy which is completely transcendent to the insentient nature being spiritual and contributing to the enjoyment of His higher nature of embodied sentient beings. This higher nature is eternal in nature in the form of the atma or soul within all sentient beings and is distinctly different from His lower insentient nature which pervades existence as well. The relationship of the higher nature to the lower nature is equated to the enjoyer and the enjoyed. The higher nature is further distinguished by an intellect which is totally absent in the lower insentient nature; but both nature manifest from the Supreme Lord. The lower nature consisting of matter and the higher nature consisting of the atma or eternal soul within all sentient beings. By this higher superior energy all inert and non-intelligent matter is upheld throughout all creation.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna now clarifies that the eight-fold nature he spoke about in the previous verse is from His lower inferior nature because it is inanimate and insentient but He has a higher superior nature which constitutes the life force of all living beings as the atma or eternal soul which sustains the whole creation. The physical body the lower nature is factually a corporeal inanimate object into which the animate atma the higher nature has entered and taken up residence. Both the animate and inanimate make up the higher and lower natures of the prakriti of the Supreme Lord. The Vishnu Purana states that although the atma is part and parcel of the higher superior nature it is still understood to be subservient to the Supreme Lord.