Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 12


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 result of renunciation of the desire for rewards is being stated by Lord Krishna. The threefold results of actions are disagreeable such as birth in the hellish planets resulting from sinful activities. Agreeable such as birth in the heavenly planets resulting from virtuous activities and mixed which is birth as a human resulting from both sinful and virtuous activities. But these destinations are only awarded to those who have not fully engaged in renunciation. Those jivas or embodied beings who are full of desires, after death in their next life they get the opportunity to pursue these desires, but these limitations never apply to those situated in renunciation. The word sannyasinam means fully renounced and includes both those who abandon the desire for the rewards of actions as well as those who abandon all actions. The purport is that sinful activities that would propel one to hellish planets are impossible for the aspirant situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness and since whatever rewards they would receive for their virtuous actions have been renounced and offered to the Supreme Lord none of the threefold results of actions would have any effect or influence on them.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Renunciation is being praised and is beneficial for all humanity regardless of status or class. But merely renouncing actions is not sufficient. For those enlightened by the light of spiritual wisdom and those aspirants serious about moksa or liberation from material existence the desire for any rewards in the performance of prescribed Vedic activities have been completely abandoned. For them the only goal is the eternal bliss of attaining communion with the Supreme Lord which is their hearts desire. Such enlightened ones perform activities not for the expectation of any rewards but out of compassion for the benefit of all created beings. The word sannyasinam means totally renounced and this denotes that one never performs activities associated with desire even if they are for the benefit of others. Such sannyasi's or celibate monks in the renounced order along with sages, ascetics, rishi's and paramahamsa's who have already surrendered everything to the Supreme Lord are no longer associated with desires as is a normal human being and thus they take action by inaction. They have terminated all karma or reactions to actions and have transcended samskara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. They exist aloof from the world both internally and externally and wholly devote themselves to atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul and inner meditation on the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

There are three types of rewards that a jiva or embodied being accepts after death as a result of actions. They are anistam or hellish rewards in naraka the hellish planets, istam or godly rewards in svarga the heavenly realms and misram or human rewards in the material worlds. These results only bind those who have not renounced the desire for rewards for their actions expecting renumeration. The three types of renunciation to be abandoned are: the rewards of the actions, the attachment to the actions for the reward and the sense of authorship as the doer. If these three are relinquished then there is no bondage to any action. The word preyta means after death when in the next life the appropriate rewards will be reaped but it does not preclude that some results cannot be experienced even before death such as having a son or being exposed and that as such renunciation may still be applied even while receiving the results in life. But the emphasis is on renouncing the desires to receive rewards for one's actions. Anyway even if there is some desire for rewards one should never under any circumstances peform any activity inimical to the Vedic scriptures, the Supreme Lord Krishna or His devotees the Vaisnavas.

It is undeniably true that prescribed Vedic activities are obligatory for everyone according to varnasrama or rank and status in life. This is confirmed by the fact that one is born automatically in a certain family, in a certain society, country, continent, planet, etc. based on the hankering for rewards in the previous life by which karma or reactions to actions were incurred awarding the results of one's past life activities. Yet the very same prescribed activities performed without desire for rewards bestows completely different results. This is known as known as viniyogah prithaktva nyaya and is the justification of dispensation by appropriate application. The aspirant for moksa or liberation from material existence who does not desire any rewards is awarded something different then the furtive hankerer. As declared previously, by study of the Vedic scriptures, by yagna or ritual propitiation and worship, by tapah or austerities and by danam or charity the Vaisnava Brahmins seek to commune with the Supreme Lord. Hence the sannyasa or renunciation that is revealed in the Vedic scriptures is non-different from tyaja the renunciation of the desire for rewards, both which include absence of authorship and ego sense and no attachment. In this way prescribed Vedic activities and obligatory activities can be performed without reactions proving the reality that the cessation of all activity is not necessary neither is it feasible or even practical.

The manner of divesting from oneself conceptions of authorship thinking of oneself as the doer is to be situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness and assign authorship of all actions which conform to Vedic scriptures over to the Supreme Lord. From this correct determination arises the feeling of selflessness while performing actions and an absence of desire in actions performed. The Supreme Lord controls everything external through His agency of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and its triplicate agency of the three gunas or modes of material nature which impels all jivas or embodied beings to follow the impulses of the pranas or life airs and the natural propensities of the body they inhabit based upon karma or reactions to actions due to desire for rewards in previous lifetimes. Hence even the gratification of the senses such as appeasing one's appetites and all activities which natures demands necessitates all belong to the Supreme Lord and not the individual. Surrendering all actions solely unto the Supreme Lord is the understanding aspirants are imbued with.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Others may speculate that just as milk products such as butter, cheese. cream and curds without thinking about them increasing the fat content of the body anyway increase bodily fat when eaten. Then likewise the performance of prescribed Vedic activities even without desire for any rewards would still yield rewards in the next life which would be obstacles in achieving moksa or liberation from material existence. So such aspirants should refrain from all actions. This conception is refuted by Lord Krishna as He clarifies that the result of those seeking rewards for actions are threefold. Those actions performed in righteousness are meritorious and they award birth in the heavenly spheres. Those actions performed unrighteously are unmeritorious leading to evil consequences and cause birth in the hellish planets and birth as animals. Those actions that are both a mixture of righteousness and unrighteousness cause one to take birth in the human realms. This applies only to those desirious of rewards for the actions they perform. For those who have renounced the desire for rewards completely they are not subject to the threefold births as there are no rewards for them to be attached to as obstacles for achieving moksa. Thus such righteous aspirants never indulge in unmeritorious conduct and hence no evil consequences are attached to them and as all their meritorious activities are already dedicated to the exclusive satifaction of the Supreme Lord, there is no possibilty of them being attached to their actions or any desire therof. So with this understanding there is no scope for any doubt about this matter.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 12 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 12

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