Chapter 7Knowledge of the Ultimate TruthVerse 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

It has been previously confirmed that the virtuous who still possess desires and worship the Supreme Lord for the fulfilment of these desires get them and eventually they gradually attain moksa or liberation from material existence. But those who are not devoted to Lord Krishna are overtly in raja guna or the mode of passion as well as those who are situated in tama guna or modes of ignorance being overwhelmed by their expectations to gratify their desires, they give homage to the minor demigods such as Surya or Kali and worship them to obtain the fulfilment of their material desires. What do they do to accomplish this? They worship the demigods by fasts, hymns of praise, celebrating the demigods special days etc. Thus they remain in bondage continuously revolving in samsara or the endless cycle of birth and death. This is what is being stated in this verse and the next three. Dismally lacking in discrimination due to overpowering desires regarding wealth, power, fame, victory and the like; such persons eagerly worship inferior non-eternal beings for their desired material goals and these types have even been known to give their allegiance to ghosts, spirits and horrendous demons to receive coveted material goals. What do these types do to acquire this? They engage in abominable activities like sacrifices of animals and even humans. They allow themselves to be possessed by demoniac spirits and they perform evil magic etc. All these inclinations are the result of internal impressions from the subtle body due to latent tendencies derived from innumerable habits in past life activities.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The compound word hrta-jnanah means one whose spiritual intelligence has been diverted by distortion. This is due to their inherent natures, innate attributes and over attraction to sense gratification. Being enslaved by cravings they choose a path away from Lord Krishna which looks most likely to grants them their material desires and they ingratiate themselves unto the demigod of their choice. The Supreme Lord is not averse to those who worship the demigods but He makes a distinction between worship to Him and worship to others. The results of worshipping all other gods is temporary and fleeting because the inherent power invested in them has limitations being only applicable to the material worlds; but the results of worshipping the Supreme Lord are permanent and eternal because unlimited power is possessed by Him

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Worldly minded people are impelled by material motivations. That they are governed by the inclinations of such motivations is what Lord Krishna is indicating here. These inclinations are the external tendencies which impels one to desire interaction with physical objects and arise from subconscious influences resulting from reactions of sinful activities in past life experiences. These subconscious influences give birth to new cravings for sense gratification. These cravings and desires divert people from true knowledge concerning the Supreme Lord Krishna although this knowledge has always been available. In order to satisfy their material cravings and desires most people resort to inferior formless and impersonal conceptions of god, which never reveal any knowledge of the eternal atma or soul within all sentient beings nor its inherent relationship with the Supreme Lord. Others pray to the demigods for specific material gains such as wealth and power and following the ritualistic rules and regulations place their faith in them. Still others of perverted natures appease dark, demoniac forces; worshipping them for abominable things.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

So previously Lord Krishna revealed just how rare and difficult it is to meet an enlightened jnani or knower of God among the four virtuous types of beings. He also deliberated on the other three types being artto the afflicted, jijnasur the seekers of liberation and artharthi the seekers of wealth and how when gradually becoming free from desire and attachment they also attain moksa or liberation from samsara or the cycle of birth and death. Now Lord Krishna speaks of those who are not devoted to Him but are attracted to the various demigods such as Surya or Kali due to being in raja guna the mode of passion or the worship of vague impersonal conceptions of god without even a name, form or qualities being in tama guna the mode of ignorance. All those rooted in both raja and tama guna have their minds bound and chained by uncountable mundane desires from innumerable previous lifetimes and they remain trapped and caught in samsara or the endless cycle of birth and death. In this verse Lord Krishna is showing the superiority of His devotees by stating hrta janah meaning those whose intelligence is stolen by being deviated away from devotion to the Supreme Lord and diverted to lesser gods with inferior conceptions for the fulfilment of material desires like wealth, power, dominion. Such persons in tama guna worship demoniac and nefarious beings with the help of incantations and magic formulas for hypnotising, stupefying, subjugating and even killing an enemy or troublesome adversary who is an obstacle to accomplishing their desires. Those in raja guna choose to offer hymns of adulation and service of adoration to the demigods for quick gratification for their trivial desires. Both engage in initiation, recitations of prayers and declarations from the texts of such sects, vows and rituals. All these activities are governed by one's individual nature in the form of tendencies conscripted from desires entertained in previous births from time immemorial.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 7, verse 20 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 20

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