Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 14


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

Because it is due to actions that the Earth keeps revolving, actions should be performed. This Lord Krishna is emphasising in this verse and the next two verses with the words bhavanti bhutani meaning beings are born. They are born from food turned into semen., that food was created from rains that resulted from yagna or worship and that worship was performed by actions and from the efforts of those was accomplished. This is the meaning. In the Manu Samhita III.76 it states that the ghee or clarified butter duly offered into the sacrificial fire ascends to the sun and from that the sun manifests clouds full of rain. From rain results the growth of food and from food humans come into existence from the semen of males fertilising the eggs females.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Actions are born from the Vedas because the Vedas prescribe yagna or worship and appeasement and the performance of yagna is done by actions. The Vedas arose out of the breath of the Supreme Brahman. This is noted by the word brahmaksara which means the supreme immutable Vedas which was the medium by which the knowledge of the ultimate reality was revealed. Otherwise how could the Supreme Brahman which is inconceivable, without a beginning and an end and complete within Himself ever been known. The word aksara in brahmaksara means the ultimate reality denoting the Supreme Lord. When a primary meaning has been identified it is not proper to accept a secondary meaning as is often the case due to forgotten traditions. Insentient objects cannot manifest by themselves they must be created. The magnitude of actions in creation, the unlimited resources of elements and the awesome manifestation of time indicate inconceivable powers. Since the material worlds are but reflections of the spiritual worlds all actions in material existence emanate outwards with the energy of the Supreme Lord as the source. This does not directly include the actions exhibited by sentient beings using free will only the underlying energy that empowers them.

The word aksarani refers to the eternality of the Supreme Lord. The eternal Vedas have Him for their source. Because He is eternal the Vedas are eternal as well. There would be a flaw in anyone thinking that the Vedas were created because they could not have been so without prior knowledge. They are eternally manifest and the Vedic scriptures reveal that they were exhaled by the breath of the Supreme Being. Exhaling is a natural phenomena without any effort required indicating that the Vedas manifested from the spiritual worlds without any conscious effort, this is the inference meant here.

In view of being eternal the statements of being created have to be understood from the point of view of manifesting within material existence or perception of such not that it was actually created for the first time. An example of this is the treatise Shatapatha Brahmana which is said to have been created by Yagnavalkya. How is it possible for any part of the eternal Vedic scriptures to be created by anyone? Yagnavalkya blessed by the Supreme achieved a high level of attainment and received it within his mind from the spiritual plane and transcribed it onto palm leaves for posterity.

A statement clarified after deliberation is superior to one spoken without contemplation. The Vedic scriptures are the source of origin, thus the statement in Brahma Sutras I.I.III that the Vedas are the evidence that Brahma is the creator. In the previous verse I.I.II the word janmadyasya is used meaning from whom were created is the evidence which can be quoted. These verses do not suggest that the Vedas were born from Brahman nor do they infer the Brahman was the cause of the Vedas. The creating of the material worlds by the Brahman from the five basic elements given to him of water, earth, air, fire and ether does not preclude the creation of the Vedas nor would it be correct to assume that the Vedas were created this way. The creation of a most wonderful world is in no way superior to the eternal emanations of the Vedas. This also does not lead to the conclusion that the Brahman is omniscient even though the manifestation of the Vedas is omniscient. Therefore the eternal Vedas coming from the spiritual worlds are themselves the proof and the word aksara confirms this. So Brahman is revealed through yagna and Brahman is revealed through Vedic scriptures and the Vedas eternally establish yagna throughout the material creation. From knowledge of the Vedas and performance of yagna living entities prosper and flourish. This is the eternal cycle.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna has thus pointed out the virtues of performing yagna or worship according to the Vedic injunctions and the demerits incurred by ignoring the Vedic prohibitions and failing to perform yagna. He points out the folly of non- performance of yagna in verses 14, 15 and 16 beginning annad bhananti meaning food strengthens living beings. All beings have evolved from and waxed strong from foods. Production of food is dependent on rain and rain is dependent on yagna which is dependent upon the activities performed by the Brahmins as prescribed in the Vedas. This is the chanting of Vedic mantras by Brahmins and their offering the oblations such as ghee or clarified butter and seed grain such as sesame into the sacred fire. In Manu Samhita III.76 it has been presented in another way: the oblations offered into the fire ascend to the sun, from the sun comes clouds and rain, from rainfall food is grown and from food beings come into existence.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 14 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 14

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