Chapter 5Action and RenunciationVerse 20


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

The characteristics of one who has attained the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence are being given now by Lord Krishna. Such a person is completely equipoise and not elated by what is pleasing nor dejected by what is displeasing. Such a persons mind is fixed in transcendence because one is free from the infatuation of delusion.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

In the remaining verses of chapter five Lord Krishna explains renunciation, equanimity of actions and wisdom all together.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Agreeable and disagreeable situations occur in accordance to the physical body one happens to dwell in and the karma or reactions to past life actions an embodied being is subjected to which both exemplify the grave risks of material existence. A person who would seek to scale the heights of spiritual knowledge should remain equiposed at all times and not feel elation at receiving something agreeable nor feel dejection at receiving something disagreeable. How is this possible? It is possible for one who is sthira-buddhir meaning steadfast intelligence. Such a person plants his mind and will in the stability of the atma or soul. The word asammudho means not subject to delusion. If one is sammudho they are inflicted with delusion in the form of confusing the stable eternal atma with the unstable temporary body. How can one escape this delusion? If a person is brahma- vid or a knower of the spiritual substratum pervading all existence from instruction and brahmani sthitah or perceiving and experiencing the spiritual substratum pervading all existence every moment. The meaning Lord Krishna is conveying is that those who receive instructions from the bonafide spiritual preceptor in one of the four authorised sampradayas or line of disciplic succession shall learn the exact nature and means of attainment of the eternal atma. This is brahma-vid. Such a one through diligent and sincere application of this spiritual knowledge always remembering and honouring the spiritual preceptor who mercifully gave such knowledge. In due course of time one will achieve atma tattva or realisation of the soul and in such an elevated position one will blissfully commune internally with the eternal atma and the eternal spiritual preceptor as well and from thenceforth nothing in the external world will ever again be perceived as being agreeable or being disagreeable.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Thus it is established that the cause of triumph over samsara or the perpetual cycle of birth and death is absolute equanimity of perception by beholding the reality that the eternal soul is equally situated in all naturally created beings. One who is also equiposed regarding the dualities and not elated by obtaining something pleasant thinking how lucky am I nor dejected by receiving something unpleasant thinking how unfortunate am I. Such a person endowed with firm resolution reflects that: I will steadfastly cross over the ocean of samsara through the knowledge of atma tattva or realisation of the soul. Such a person is free from all doubts and infatuation with delusion which is merely a tendency of the mind. Such a person becomes a knower of the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence after being instructed by a living knower of the Brahman. Such a person lives their life immersed in the atma or soul which is of the same absolute nature of the Brahman.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 5, verse 20 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 20

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