Chapter 9Confidential Knowledge of the Ultimate TruthVerse 8


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 question may be raised how is it possible that the Supreme Lord who is unattached to creation and not modifiable in any way actually manifest creation. This is being answered by Lord Krishna with the words prakritim svam avastabhya meaning by the medium of His material substratum which pervades all physical and subtle existence the Supreme Lord repeatedly creates again and again in a regulated manner the total aggregate of diverse created beings who all had been absorbed within Him due to dissolution at the end of the previous universal devastation. They not having achieved moksa or liberation are in a helpless condition dominated and controlled by the reactions to their past life activities. It may be further asked how is it and by what method are all living entities propelled into material existence? Lord Krishna speaks the words avasam prakriter vasat which means in accordance to the implications of their nature which is a direct resultant of past actions.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Even as one capable of walking may still take assistance of a stick, in the same way although the Supreme Lord Krishna is fully capable of creating all the universes on His own, He directs prakriti or the material substratum to fulfill this task. The Moksa Dharma states: One should not consider the Supreme Lord, who is the repository of all attributes, to be dependent upon others like normal living entities. Comprehending the Supreme Lord through seven subtle forms and five subsidiary forms those who are situated in equanimity achieves Parabrahman or the personality who manifests the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. In the Rig Veda is stated: The immeasurable power of the Supreme Lord does not get diminished or exhausted in any manner although He engages His external energy prakriti in creation, dissolution etc. In the Bhagavat Purana is stated: Each of the Supreme Lord's attributes have their own innumerable attributes and innumerable forms. Why is the Supreme Lord referred to as Parabrahman or brahman? In the Atharva Veda it states: It is because He being the Supreme absolute truth, makes others realise the Supreme absolute truth. His power is paramount and multifaceted. Who else can compare or compete with His innumerable divine pastimes all eternally existing simultaneously. Even the four-faced Brahma who is capable of counting all the grains of sand in the world is unable to even speak of all the Supreme Lord's lilas let alone perform any of them. O Supreme Lord no one is capable of describing all Your infinite attributes neither in ancient times or the present times. Prakriti is completely dependent upon the Supreme Lord who is verily the maintainer, the sustainer and the energiser of all actions. Dependent upon nothing but Himself the Supreme Lord by His own power and will directs prakriti to perform actions by which all the worlds in the all the planetary systems are created maintained and dissolved.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The Supreme Lord Krishna has perpetual recourse to His own marvellous modifiable external energy known as prakriti or the material substratum pervading all physical and subtle existence and differentiate it in eight fold ways. He repeatedly creates with regularity the fourfold divisions of created living entities being demigods, humans, animal and plants from their dormant inactive state, powerless under the control of prakritis alluring and bewildering gunas of passion, ignorance and goodness. Yet it may be thought that such creative acts involving imbalances and inequalities can cause reactions to come to the Supreme Lord Himself due to the result of having manifested a creation full of seemingly differences and contradictions. The reply to this query is clearly resolved in the next verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna clarifies his position with the words prakritim svam avastabhya or reflecting upon His external energy the material substratum pervading all existence constituted of the three gunas being goodness, passion and ignorance. Although insentient, prakriti is fully competent to transform all the diverse and variegated beings as a total aggregate into their respective forms as designated by their karma or reactions to past life activities. The eight-fold principle transformations of conception, birth up to old age and death etc. are directed by the Supreme Lord and is manifested again and again after every dissolution of creation inclusive of all sentient beings being demigods, humans, animals and plants. None from the highest demigod to the lowest blade of grass are independent. They are all compelled to accept the form conscripted upon them due to their individual natures in accordance with the respective reactions derived from their previous activities

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 9, verse 8 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 8

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