Chapter 3The Eternal Duties of a Human BeingsVerse 17


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

Having prescribed the path of prescribed actions for attaining purity of mind for the ignorant now Lord Krishna now explains in this verse and the next that actions are not necessary for one who is spiritually developed in attma-tattva or knowledge of the eternal soul. This is because such a person has actually realised their eternality and are enraptured solely by their soul experiencing unlimited bliss in every moment completely free from all external desires for pleasure and enjoyment; such a one on this platform has no more duties to perform. This is the meaning to be understood.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The word indriyani-ramo in the previous verse indicates one who constantly seeks to revel in the garden of senses objects. It is not possible for such a person to achieve atma-tattva or soul realisation. In this verse trupti means satisfied by how things come on their own accord, and the word santustah means completely content. The delight which arises from being satisfied is complete contentment. In any other thing sufficient delight is derived but the Supreme delight is only found in connection with the Supreme Lord. One who has attained atma-tattva is no longer delighted by external affairs, such a person is self satisfied internally for only the one who finds self realisation within is contented. Nothing else will be the cause of joy for them and their satisfaction and contentment is based solely on their realisation of their eternal soul within and the glories of the Supreme Lord.

Thus for one who has attained atma-tattva the performance of the prescribed injunctions of the Vedic scriptures is not necessary or required. For one who is self realised is also self satisfied and there is no action that needs to be performed as a self realised being is completely transcendent to the dualities and all ego consciousness. But for one who is established in awareness of bodily consciousness it is mandatory that prescribed actions from the Vedic scriptures are duly performed. Such ordained actions are actually for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord and naturally what is to be expected in all circumstances. are purifying and very blissful. This has been explained in the Pancaratra.

Factually in all situations relating to the Supreme Lord eternal delight and rapture occurs. In all other cases where there is sufficiency of satisfaction alone there is no suggestion of eternal delight. Having spoken seperately atmany eva ca santustah meaning completely satisfied solely in the soul Lord Krishna emphasises the paramount importance of atma-tattva. Also it can be seen that performance of actions dictates there must be a concept of time such as when did it take place and how long did the action take etc. Thus only one who is aware of bodily consciousness is the necessity of performing prescribed actions needed.

In this world only human beings have the potential to achieve atma- tattva. Thus only mankind can attain this consciousness and become spiritually liberated. The word manava means mankind from the root word manu. Self satisfied means only satisfied in the Supreme Self. Thus being satisfied in atma-tattva or soul realisation one is also simultaneously satisfied in the Supreme Self residing within every living entity. Thus the statement one who completely delights in the Supreme Lord for that person there is no necessity for performing the prescribed actions of the Vedic scriptures. They have already achieved the goal of human existence.

Thus begins the summation.

Words used like satisfaction and contentment are used as synonyms to emphasise satisfaction and contentment in the Supreme Self within. One who receives the grace of the Supreme Lord Krishna is completely satisfied because of the grace of Lord Krishna and one who being completely satisfied by the grace of Lord Krishna is known to have attained moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence. This has been given in the Agni Purana.

The word rati means delight and the word ananda means bliss. They are used to illustrate satisfaction and contentment respectively in the performance of prescribed Vedic activities. Priti or love is two-fold, love in friendship while performing actions or love in servitude while performing actions. This is given in the Shabda Nirnaya. The word santosha meaning satisfaction and the word trupti meaning contentment are used alternatively as apoorti or emphasising incompleteness.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

In this way Lord Krishna has explained that those who possess endless desire for the enjoyment of sense objects must offer the food they eat in yagna or worship to purify themselves to to be able to perform prescribed Vedic activities according to one’s qualification for the optimal benefit to themselves and by which actions assist the efficacy of the world, universe and all of creation. Now Lord Krishna is describing that the person who having achieved atma-tattva or soul realisation and is freed from all material desires is faultless even by not performing prescribed Vedic actions. But the particle tu emphasises the huge difference between the person with desires who pursues sense enjoyments delighting in the five senses of touch, taste etc. and the opposite sex; and the person without desires who takes delight only in the bliss of their eternal soul and the Supreme Lord. For such a self realised soul who has already attained the goal of human existence no ordinances of the Vedic scripture are required by them.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 3, verse 17 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 17

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