Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 15


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 five causes heretofore enumerated are solely responsible for all actions. This includes everything done by the mind, speech and body. This is proven by the fact that all activities are either physical, audible or mental. So Lord Krishna confirms that whatever action one performs whether virtuous or sinful these five causes are responsible.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The actions enacted by mind, speech and body which are righteous and meritorious are those that are sanctioned by the Vedic scriptures. Those actions which are unrighteous and unmeritorious are those that are prohibited and those not prescribed in the Vedic scriptures.

In all actions of any nature whether pertaining to mind, speech or body the following are the five-fold cause. 1) Adhistathanam the physical body comprising the five elements of material creation. 2) Karta the jiva or embodied being endowed with the properties of intelligence and action giving the ability to think and act accordingly. 3) Karanam are the various organs such as eyes, ears etc. along with those of locomotion such as feet, hands, etc. endowed with functions of combining to produce actions. 4) Pranas is the vital airs which in the form of automatically breathing sustains life 5) Paramatma the Supreme Soul exists simultaneously within all jives as the witness and monitor and includes the atma or individual immortal soul.

That the jivas ability to perform activities is dependent upon paramatma but not influenced by Him is confirmed in Vedanta Sutra II.III.XXXX beginning krita prayatnapek shastu vihita prati siddha meaning: The Supreme Lord impels the jivas according to their nature and tendencies from previous activities and does not interfere in the freewill or invalidate the injunctions or ordinances of the Vedic scriptures in any way.

It might be speculated with an objection that if the jiva performance of action is dependent upon and is a consequence of paramatma then there is no need to be concerned about karma or reactions from actions. But this is an erroneous conception and not harmonious with the injunctions and interdictions of the Vedic scriptures. Paramatma grants the jiva a physical body and its organs to function by the powers inherent in them. All jives are empowered by and dependent upon paramatma without exception. The jivas thus equipped to function are factually dependent upon paramatma although they have been bequeathed freewill which is above instinctual animal behaviour and if they choose to utilise it they have the ability to determine and choose their actions and execute the appropriate effort for such to manifest. Internally within the etheric heart paramatma unbeknownst to the jiva is monitoring all thoughts and actions, sanctioning them silently by not interfering in the freewill of any jiva. The jiva in this sense is the secondary doer because of freewill and thus is subject to the mandatory results of karma or reactions to actions. Just as a heavy boulder requires the combined efforts of many people to move it yet the person for whom it is effected for derives the benefit or detriment of its removable. In the same manner the effort to accomplish an action although comprised of different elements, bestows the positive or negative results to the jiva who enacted the effort.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

The five factors being the physical body, the life airs, the ego, the senses and the soul are invariably the cause of all actions. Lord Krishna now specifies that all actions performed by the mind, speech or body whether righteous as prescribed by the Vedic scriptures or unrighteous which are prohibited in the Vedic scriptures are caused by these five factors.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 15 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 15

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