|Chapter 14||The Three Qualities of Material Nature||Verse 1|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
In the previous chapter the Supreme Lord Krishna explained the reality of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the purusa or the Supreme Being as eternal consciousness. He also clarified how the everything manifesting in existence is a combination of the ksetra asphere of activity and the ksetrajna the knower of the sphere of activity and confirmed that this does not happen independently; but it is by the will of the Supreme Lord. Now in this chapter He delineates at length the unlimited, phenomenal existence of the atma or immortal soul manifesting from its association with the three gunas of material nature as passion, goodness and nescience. He declares that he will reveal the supreme knowledge, the best knowledge which leads to moksa or liberation from material existence which comes from devotion, penance and meditation. Knowing which great sages have achieved release from samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death ascended to attain the ultimate goal.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Hari OM! After elaborately explaining in detail the reality of the ksetra or sphere of activity and the ksetrajna or knower of the sphere of activity in the previouis chapter. Now Lord Krishna discourses on the binding effects of the three fold qualities of material nature and the means for deliverance from it.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
In the previous chapter the Supreme Lord Krishna explained that by comprehending the factual relationships of purusa or the Supreme Being as paramatma the all pervading supreme soul, the atma or the immortal soul and prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence. Along with imbibing the virtues beginning in verse 8 such as humilty and reverence and also by bhaktir avyabhicarini or exclusive devotion to the Supreme Lord as given in verse 11 which awards His grace. By doing so one would achieve moksa or freedom from material existence.
Now in this chapter the Lord Krishna propounds how the gunas or three modes of sattva guna or mode of goodness, raja guna or mode of passion and tama guna or mode of ignorance all individually and conjointly cause the jiva or embodied being to be bound to samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death and gives the remedy by which one may be redeemed and delivered therefrom. The word pravaksyami means I will declare. What will Lord Krishna declare? He will declare jnananam jnanam uttamam meaning the topmost knowledge and wisdom. What knowledge and wisdom is this? Knowledge of the three gunas whose qualities directly influence the combination of prakriti and purusa effected as the jiva or embodied being. What wisdom is this? Wisdom that surpasses all that has previously been told about this combination. The munis are the great sages and seers or munayah who possessing this wisdom in deep meditation achieve self-realisation and release from samsara ascending to the supreme state. The excellence of this wisdom is extolled next.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Extolling the topic of highest wisdom to be presented the Supreme Lord Krishna glorifies it in this verse and the next differentiating it as more advanced then what He had discoursed previously. This is in regard to the by products of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence which are the gunas or three modes of material nature known as sattva guna or mode of goodness, raja guna or mode of passion and tama guna or mode of ignorance. By acquiring this wisdom and imbibing it into the consciousness the great munayah or sages and seers ascended to the highest felicity and achieved moksa or liberation from material existence and release from samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death.