Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 22


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

Here Lord Krishna explains that knowledge in tama guna or mode of ignorance is limited to the singular idea of bodily conception as if the physical body is the actual identity of the jiva or embodied being. Animals which are driven by instinct are possessed with this ignorance. But believing that the physical body is the be all an end all is not consciousness and is fallacious and irrational without any connection to reality. Therefore such a misconception is irrelevant and inconsequential because of possessing an extremely limited scope of existence and hence produces paltry and meagre results. Such knowledge is in tama guna.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Obstinately clinging to one's limited viewpoint without considering the vision of others is a symptom of tama guna the mode of ignorance. Also if one supposes that after acquiring wisdom and thereafter achieving moksa or liberation from material existence that a jiva or embodied is independent when in reality even a liberated being is completely dependent and subservient to the Supreme Lord, this conception would be a great offence and cause demerits. Again assuming that nothing exists beyond the jiva or embodied being and what one perceives is illusory and unmeritorious. What need then is there to emphasise the fact that the acquisition of illogical hypothesis and untenable suppositions is a source of great degradation.

Now begins the summation.

Irrational consciousness obtained from distorted and perverse conceptions far removed from perceptions of the ultimate truth have no benefit for anyone in this life or the next and are fully situated in tama guna. There is an aphorism that knowledge must be received from a proper source in the proper order. This being the case there is no necessity in itemising degraded and depraved conceptions. The cause for such degradation of consciousness is miniscule knowledge and limited understanding which consequently develops acute unawareness. For a jiva to think of themselves as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent on the same level as the Supreme Lord or entertain the illusion that they are the same as the Supreme Lord is the height of folly and completely devoid of all rationality and common sense. Such erroneous conclusions which stem from irrational consciousness deprives actual knowledge of its elevated position and is always immersed in tama guna. It is seen that those who follow teachings, beliefs, doctrines and philosophies opposed to the eternal and imperishable Vedic scriptures are primarily mayavadis or impersonalists whose religions are designed in such a way that they are bereft of any actual conception of the Supreme Lord to comprehend and so they either follow a creationist conception without purpose or a concoct a supreme being without qualities and attributes.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

One who clings to a single activity in a stagnant and obstinate manner such as the worship of an impersonal conception of God and considers that such an insignificant activity has the highest perfection in existence to the exclusion of all other possibilities and not considering any other conception as tenable and in stagnation ceases to develop and grow is the epitome of one shackled in tama guna. The word ahaitakam means irrational, without reason, imagining that which gives meagre results to give great results. The words attatva-arthavat means devoid of reality, without substantiation of the Vedic scriptures. The word alpan means limited in scope and relates to foolish, trivial pagan acts such as worshiping ghosts and spirits for material power. So thus showing how the three gunas or modes of material nature have a direct effect on the knowledge possessed by the performer of any action; Lord Krishna will next expound upon their direct influence upon actions themselves.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

That knowledge which mechanically clings to the stagnating mentality that there is nothing better than their conception, that there is nothing more to discover, that there is no other path but theirs. Who perform the most trivial types of worship merely for their own selfish goals. Who worship impersonal conceptions of God without qualities and attributes. Who worship pagan forms symbolising God. Who worship ghosts, spirits, goblins and demons. Who irrationally dedicate their lives to such mundane delusions without any tangible objective while foolishly imagining they are accomplishing results of great import. Such jivas or embodied beings are inescably enslaved in tama guna the mode of ignorance.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 22 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 22

Copyright © Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998-2015