Chapter 5Action and RenunciationVerse 13


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 has expounded previously that for one who has not purified their mind karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities without desire for rewards was best. This is because without a purified mind it is not possible to renounce actions internally as well and actions without desire are superior to renunciation of actions with internal desires. But the person who is self controlled and has purified their mind by discrimination, renouncing all thoughts and actions that distracts one atma tattva or realisation of the soul, such an embodied being completely free from false ego, devotes themselves to Vedic knowledge contentedly residing in the city of nine gates consisting of the seven gates in the head being two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth and the two gates below the navel being the organs of generation and excretion which comprise the nine gates of the physical body which is just like a city and which the self controlled person does not identify with. Merely by the absence of identifying oneself as the physical body one neither acts through their body or causes their body to act having no conception of proprietorship over it. Hence this is the differentiation from one who is an uncontrolled, impure minded person who always fails attempting to renounce, thwarted by their desires and harassed by their hankerings.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Again Lord Krishna emphasises renunciation of all actions by the mind especially the relinquishing of pride.

Now begins the summation.

By performing yagna or offerings of worship in propitiation to the Supreme Lord and meditation on the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and other such prescribed Vedic activities merit is acquired. Since in reality the atma or soul is not independent as such all actions performed are factually non-action. Just as respect to the father and mother is the duty of the children in the same way the living entities are subservient to the Supreme Lord through the propitiation to the atma is the duty of all humans. This is given in a treatise known as Pravritti. Thus it can be understood by one who comprehends their intrinsic dependence on the Supreme Lord is that it is solely by the mind that renunciation of desire for rewards duly manifests in one's actions.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Discerning in the mind that all authorship of any action resides within the physical body and is the cause by which the atma or soul within is compromised due to the reactions from past life activities. One can distinguish that authorship of actions are not an essential attribute of the atma and thus the embodied atma shall assign all actions to the authority of the physical body. Then remaining content, independent from the body one performs no action as a consequence of being a passenger residing within the body ceases to cause the body to act. The exact, true nature of the independent atma Lord Krishna reveals next.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Persons full of selfish desires hankering for the rewards of their actions are tightly bound to the material existence by the actions of their bodies and senses impelled by the very desires they seek to gratify. While the aspirant for atma tattva or realisation of the soul although also involved in activities of the physical body realise they are undoubtedly different from the actions of the body and the senses. Such a person of controlled mind and sense organs is well aware that the ego and ideas of I-ness and my- ness revolve around the bodily conception so they never ignorantly think that the physical body is who they really are and hence understand that any doership is not of the nature of the atma or soul. So abandoning all fruitive and frivolous actions and residing contentedly in the city of nine gates known as the physical body which also has no ego sense possessed of two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one generating organ and one organ for excretion totalling nine an embodied being is not bound to material existence by actions.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 5, verse 13 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 13

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