Chapter 8Attainment of SalvationVerse 16


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

The proof that there is no more returning to the material existence is confirmed by Lord Krishna by the evidence that all the denizens of all the material worlds from the highest being the abode of Brahma the architect of creation in Brahmaloka down to the lowest in the subterranean planetary system in Pataloka; all are subjected to samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Thus all the material worlds are subject to destruction and rebirth is inevitable to those who have taken birth in any planetary system and have not achieved atma tattva or realisation of the soul. Brahma who designed and constructed material creation certainly achieves moksa or liberation during his lifetime and those souls who have achieved Brahmaloka through meditation by which gradual emancipation is the result and who have gained spiritual knowledge and realised atma tattva then they attain moksa along with Brahma at the time of universal dissolution. But the devotees of Lord Krishna have no need to go to Brahmaloka after attaining Him because wherever they may be there is never any rebirth for they go directly to the eternal spiritual worlds is association with Him.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Starting with Brahma the designer and architect of creation who resides on the crest of Mt. Meru in Brahmaloka which is the highest material planet all living entities are subjected to samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Therefore it is stated in the Narayana Kalpa that: In all cases concerning the material worlds from the highest Brahmaloka down through the heavenly planets to the worlds of humans there is no possibility of attaining the Supreme Lord without moksa or liberation.

Now begins the summation.

Liberation from samsara and attaining the Supreme Lord Krishna is only possible through bhakti or exclusive loving devotion to Him exclusively. Those whose goal is to enjoy in the heavenly planets which is free from disease, decrepitude and old age will reach those worlds and enjoy; but they will take birth in a womb again for attainment of the Supreme Lord was not their goal; but the devotees of Lord Krishna whose only goal is Him attain moksa.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

All the worlds throughout the Brahmanda or the levels of material creation from the topmost Brahmaloka down to lowest Pataloka are appointed realms where beings may taste as much as they are able material happiness in the form of wealth, power, dominion, etc. But these material realms are impermanent and perishable. Inasmuch as the very realms where such activities of enjoyment are unstable and transitory then it can be understood that the happiness and pleasures experienced there are fleeting and temporary and some time come to an end. This is inevitable. To the contrary those who perform bhakti or loving devotion to Lord Krishna who is omniscient and omnipotent and whom the complete cosmic manifestation of creation and dissolution is emanating from Him as mere sport. He who is the most compassionate, the most merciful, the most enduring being eternal; once His devotees attain Him there is no question of rebirth being reincarnated again in a womb in the material existence. By Lord Krishna's grace they directly attain the eternal spiritual worlds in His association. The next three verses will be a dissertation on the great cycles of created beings as willed by the Supreme Lord which periodically regulates the appearance and disappearance of all regions in the material existence beginning with the realm of Brahma the designer and architect of creation.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Those who are not endowed with bhakti or loving devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna if they manage to reach the heavenly worlds of the highest material planet of Brahmaloka and others, because they have to reap the reactions of their various actions they are reborn again into the world of mortals. Lord Krishna specifically mentions the highest material realm of Brahmaloka emphasising that the denizens and residents of these regions enjoy the pleasures and delights found there and thus from there downwards through the 14 levels of material creation all are subjected to reincarnation and samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Yet one whose goal is the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the source of the entire cosmic manifestation, upon attaining Him automatically are awarded moksa or liberation for ever more and never again subjected to samsara. The use of the particle tu meaning but emphasises the fact that there is a great difference between the devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna and the votaries of other gods.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 8, verse 16 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 16

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