|Chapter 2||The Eternal Reality of the Soul's Immortality||Verse 45|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
It may be submitted that if heaven and enjoyment of heavenly realms is not the highest goal, why do the Vedic scriptures prescribes duties and rites as a means of attaining them ? The answer to this is being given in this verse that the Vedas mainly deal with those aspirants who influenced by fruitive desires are controlled by the three modes of material nature. This means that aspirants are given the incentive of reward by adhering to specific activities for a specific period of time to get a specific result. But Arjuna is being instructed by the Supreme Lord to be above the three modes of material existence and free from desires remain beyond the dualities of happiness and misery, pleasure and pain and the rest by enduring them. How is this to be accomplished? By remaining always established in the pure light of spiritual consciousness that is being steadfast. Likewise regardless of gain which is accepting what one has not or preservation which protecting what one already possesses without any exertion for either. Established in the self denotes vigilance. Certainly it is not possible for one influenced by the dualities of opposites, embroiled merely in the acquisition and preservation of tangible things to transcend the three modes of material nature inadvertently.
Thus ends the commenatary to Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 2, verse 45, by Sridhara Swami.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Up until this verse the intelligence of yoga which is the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate consciousness and other matters regarding the three modes of material existence being goodness, passion and ignorance has been discussed. The Vedic scriptures give the outward appearance of having as their purpose in relating how those living entities in goodness, passion and ignorance can achieve the joys of the heavenly spheres. But the Vedic scriptures also contain confidential meanings as well and thus it has been instructed by Lord Krishna not to accept only the external form of the Vedic scriptures; but to understand the Vedic scriptures by the light of the confidential meanings.
It is also declared that unauthorised interpretations by those outside disciplic succession within the Vedic culture and of course to all the unqualified interpretations by those who are not even attempting to follow the Vedic culture must bring about doubts and confusion even if they do not deny the truth because although they may possess adequate academic intelligence they are not properly situated in spiritual intelligence.
In all the Vedic scriptures which include the Ramayana, the Puranas, Upanisads and Mahabharata, the Supreme Lord Krishna and His direct expansions and incarnations are continuously eulogised in the beginning, middle and end. All the Vedic scriptures speak of His form.
All of the Vedic scriptures and their revelations, the historical activities of the noble and the knowledge revealed regarding the soul are all based on dharma or eternal righteousness. What the Vedic scriptures speak as dharma is righteouness and whatever is contrary to righteousness is spoken of as adharma. Thus in the Vedic scriptures the supremacy of the Supreme Lord Krishna as ever residing within the heart of every living entity is declared and anything in harmony with this understanding in known as dharma or righteousness and anything contrary to this understanding is known as adharma or unrighteousness.
Now begins the summation.
The Vedic scriptures are known for speaking about the three modes of material existence being the qualities of goodness, passion and ignorance because they give instructions about ameliorating the effect of these three modes of material existence. Taking full protection of the Vedic scriptures those of spiritual intelligence free themselves from the three modes of material existence and become fully devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna. Because all of the qualities and attributes and activities of the Supreme Lord Krishna are in themselves the Ultimate Truth and also because he is situated in the heart of every living entity as the Ultimate Consciousness in the soul; meditating on Him incessantly situates one unceasingly in the Ultimate Truth. The Supreme Lord is within every living entity, recognising this eternal truth is spiritual intelligence and is understood to be an eternal principle of existence. This clearly elucidates that any idea or conception of being the same, non-different or one with him is categorically negated because it is not possible for anyone to be within the heart of every living entity; so the Supreme Lord simultaneous seperatness and oneness can thus be correctly comprehended.
When Lord Krishna speaks about being free from gain and preservation this does not mean to deny the things one needs to survive and flourish but relates only to having desires for acquisition of possessions; or else one would be forced to conclude that such instructions such as arise and be equipoised would have no relevance.
Since the injunctions of Vedic scriptures are the means of ameliorating the three modes of material existence, the Vedic scriptures are often spoken of as being the objective of the theses three modes.
Taking refuge in the Vedic scriptures a living entity can be emancipated from the material existence and gains the heavenly planets but taking refuge solely in the Supreme Lord Krishna one attains the spiritual world and is thus far superior. This living entity possessing noble attributes, being ever in goodness, illuminated in the self the soul becomes an ever source of illumination. Continuous remembrance of the Supreme Lord Krishna is ever present within. The full acceptance of the Supreme Lord verily within ones own-self effectively dissolves any conception of being one and the same with the Supreme Lord. This means that one should not only abstain from undertaking any action contrary to realisation of the Ultimate Truth but also one should also refrain from even having any desire for any action which would be contrary to realising the Ultimate Truth.
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
If the rewards like heaven are of such an impermanent nature then why do the Vedas which are eternally perfect and beneficial for all beings enjoin practices aimed at achieving heavenly spheres. To answer this Lord Krishna states that the Vedic scriptures deals with the three modes of material nature which are goodness, passion and ignorance and all beings are born into these three modes of material nature. Some beings have a preponderance for goodness, others for passion and others for ignorance while some are mixed. These modes are conditioned within the mind and they typify the three types of created beings. With exception of the Upanisads the Vedic scriptures dealing with the three modes gives prescribed activities and their results. Whatsoever one desires to obtain in heaven the prescription is enjoined for them to achieve it and the description of the various rewards are eulogised as well as the rituals for their fulfilment. If the Vedas were not to reveal and elaborate a way for those within the three modes to benefit themselves according to the three modes of material nature. Then those locked in the cycle of birth and death would forfeit both their opportunities. Firstly unaware of the reward of liberation beyond the three modes and thus being oblivious to it would miss it altogether and secondly if their was no material goal which they could strive for they would lose faith in spiritual knowledge without rituals and practices giving them the means to acquire their cherished goals such as heavenly delights and thus they would lose both chances bequeathed to them with birth into material existence. So it is justly so that the Vedic scriptures deal with the three modes of material nature as they explain the rituals that bring benefits for all those subject to the influence of these modes. But Lord Krishna is instructing through Arjuna to be free from desires of reward and go beyond the influence of the three modes maintaining no faith in heaven and the rituals prescribed for enjoyment therein for these things are temporary even though they are enjoined in the scriptures.
It may be put forth that one may become indifferent to heavenly delights but that the basic requirements for human existence such as food, clothing and shelter which are also veritable modifications of the three modes of material nature are impossible to ignore and become indifferent too. In answer to this Lord Krishna explains to be free from dualities like praise and blame, heat and cold, pleasure and pain. Being free from them means being unattached to them. How is this to be done? By enduring them and becoming established in pure spiritual consciousness. Its characteristic is patience and endurance uninfluenced by passion or covered by ignorance. One should always be tempered by patience for one without patience is easily overpowered by passion and ignorance and becomes uncontrolled and fearful in situations involving the three modes of material nature. So we should overcome the hindrances of passion and ignorance and maintain a balanced state of equilibrium.
But in all this one with worldly possessions desirous of increasing and protecting them may wonder how they may maintain themselves in the material nature. To this Lord Krishna reiterates niryoga-ksema become free from conceptions of acquisition and preservation. But how then would one sustain their lives? By atmavan firmly established in spiritual consciousness of the soul. The essence is to understand that the Supreme Lord is the fulfiller and bestower of all desires. So one should only seek His refuge and accept His shelter. Never fear nor seek any other succour from any other source for the Supreme Lord will provide all sustenance and maintenance to those who understanding Him are fully surrendered.