Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 19


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 of what subsequently transpires as a result is explained as knowledge. In the science of the three gunas or modes of material nature they are described according to their influence and effects. In the Sankhya philosophy of analytical reasoning by Kapila-deva an incarnation of Lord Krishna, it is declared that knowledge, action and agent are of only three types according to the distinction of whether they are situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness, raja guna the mode of passion or tama guna the mode of ignorance. Knowledge which will be described is also of only three types. The emphasis of only used twice regarding the three types negates any conceptions of the jiva or embodied being as independent from the influence of the gunas in any way. Previously the various binding nature of the three gunas has been described. The 14th chapter: verse six explains how sattva guna captivates the jiva by attachment to happiness and knowledge, verse seven explains how raja guna binds the jiva by infatuation and covetousness and verse eight explains how tama guna enslaves the jiva by slothfulness and forgetfulness. In chapter 17, verse 4 it is explained that those in sattva guna worship the demigods who are in charge of universal maintenance such as Brahma or Shiva. Those in raja guna worship Durga, Kali, yaksas which are entities extremely lusty and raksasas which are blood drinking demons. While those in tama guna worship ghosts and spirits. Later it has been declared that one should strive exclusively for sattva guna discarding raja and tama guna and that one should only partake of vegetarian foods in sattva guna which are pure, wholesome, energising and invigorating. Such foods are milk products from the cow, fruits, grains and vegetables.

In order to reinforce and emphasise that action, its factors and rewards are related explicitly in the context of the gunas as they all are totally of a material nature arising from prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence and have no connection to the atma or immortal soul which is of an exclusive spiritual nature. This difference is to be noted.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Here Lord Krishna reiterates the path of sadhana or spiritual development and will explains in the next three verses the distinctions between the three gunas or modes of material nature. The science of attributes is the expertise in distinguishing the attributes and is clarified in the Sankhya philosophy of analytical deduction by Kapila-deva an incarnation of Lord Krishna.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Knowledge is understanding the action to be performed. The effort is the means and method to perform the action and included with the agent as the performer of the action. The phrase guna-sankhya refers to the Sankhya philosophy of analytical deduction by Lord Krishna's incarnation of Kapila- deva, which describes the characteristics of the three gunas or modes of material nature and their relationship to knowledge and agent as described in the next three verses.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Now Lord Krishna describes the characteristics of the threefold factors of knowledge, the knowable and the knower on the basis of the three gunas or modes of material nature. Knowledge as the object of all actions can be explained as that which gives knowledge. The knowable is one who knows the means by which the action is accomplished. The knower is the one performing the action. These three are the essential elements and their characteristics and functions have been substantiated in the philosophy of Sankhya or analytical knowledge by Lord Krishna's avatar of Kapila-deva and will be elaborated upon in the next three verses.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 19 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 19

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