Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 20


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

Lord Krishna explains the threefold nature of knowledge commencing with sattva guna or mode of goodness. The knowledge by which one perceives in all jivas or embodied beings, the one immutable, undivided, imperishable and eternal atma or immortal soul existing within all from the highest demigod Brahma the secondary creator down to immovable entities which are distinguishable from each other is situated in sattva guna.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The single reality pervading all existence is the Supreme Lord Krishna the creator, maintainer and energiser of all existence. All creation is situated within Him and He is also within every atom of creation. Living entities in the state of bondage or liberation, they are all under His jurisdiction but those who have achieved moksa or liberation from material existence are promoted to the eternal spiritual worlds. The Supreme Lord although manifesting and residing within unlimited variegated forms simultaneously in an all pervading way; yet He distinctly separate from every jiva or embodied being of all gradations. Those jivas whose gradation is material such as trees are distinct unique amongst themselves such as Palm trees, mango trees, apple trees, etc. which although manifesting from the Supreme Lord's potencies are all distinctly different from the Supreme Lord. This is the knowledge of distinctive characteristics and when developed into wisdom is situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness from whence arises moksa.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

In varna-asrama or the divisions of society the Brahmins comprise the spiritual heiarchy, the ksatriyas the royal and warrior class, the vaisyas the farmer and mercantile class and the sudra the worker class serving the previous three. The other four divisions are brahmacari or celibate student life, grihasta or married householder life, vanaprastha or separation from wife and family and sannyasa or complete renunciation from society and exclusive devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as revealed in Vedic scriptures. There are all variances in appearance within these eight divisions such as tall, strong, attractive, delicate, etc. Yet one who sees the one undivided, spiritual reality of the atma or immortal souls existing equally within all jivas or embodied beings and perceives that they are all inconceivably indivisible although manifesting individually sharing collectively in eternality is firmly situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness. One who sees the atma as indestructible and unchangeable within the destructible and changeable physical body and who although performing variegated prescribed activities in any capacity has comprehended that they are not the actual doer and also have no interest in the rewards of actions is situated in sattva guna.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna speaks of three types of knowledge determined by the three gunas or modes of material nature beginning with sattva guna or mode of goodness. One who while performing activities perceives the one undivided, immutable and imperishable nature in the form of the atma or immortal soul residing within all jivas or embodied beings simultaneously such as demigods, humans, animals, spirits, etc. which are merely exhibiting unlimited varieagated forms according to species and genre is one who is firmly situated in sattva guna.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 20 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 20

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