Chapter 13The Individual Consciousness and The Ultimate ConsciousnessVerse 30


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 may be postulated that substantial differences can be seen by different jivas or embodied beings in performing good and evil activities so how is it that the atma is equal within all? Anticipating such a query Lord Krishna states yah pasyati meaning one who sees. Sees what? One who sees understands that all activites in all respects are factually performed by prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence. This is actualised by the transformations of prakriti being the three gunas or modes of goodness, passion and ignorance which direct and influences the mind, body and senses organs to actions. Such a one comprehends that the purely spiritual atma or immortal soul is the monitor and witness to these actions only. Any misconception arising contrary to this reality is due to the erroneous identification of the atma as being the physical body instead of understanding that the atma is imperishable and completely independent of the perishable physical body.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

One who perceives that the atma or immortal soul is only the witness and performs no actions; such a person can realise the Supreme Lord Krishna. After enacting the effects of one's karma or reactions to previous actions, the Supreme Lord causes the reactions to be experienced by the jivas or embodied beings. But for the Supreme Lord there exist no enactment of previous actions. Vedavyasa has confirmed that the Supreme Lord is transcendental to material nature, actions and time. The Skanda Purana states: From but a single desire of will the entire creation is manifested by the Supreme Lord. He is the creator of everything but nothing is the creator of Him. He himself has stated earlier that: I am the Lord of all creation. I am the progenitor of Brahma. Everything rests in Me. It is from me that everything has arisen. Know that all creation has manifested from Me alone. These proofs found in the Vedic scriptures and also the absence of any contradictions to this in the Vedic scriptures is corroborated by the words in this verse of prakrtyaiva ca meaning: the material substratum pervading physical existence in the unlimitedly modified forms of bodies with senses. The adjective ca specifically establishes all forms to be from the Supreme Lord alone. In the Shabda Nirnaya is stated that sometimes ca is used to show additional embellishments and other times to emphasise association and other times to show detriments.

Since for the inanimate there is no self-motivation as confirmed by Vedavyasa in Vedanta Sutras. It is clear that prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence which is inanimate cannot be the primary cause of creation in any way and the creative impulse to animate from the inanimate is completely impossible and preposturous. Thus in this instance the adjective ca is applicable only to the Supreme Lord and not prakriti. in any way. What Lord Krishna has explained in earlier chapters about His being the original seed and everything is connected to Him like pearls on a string is what He is confirming here through association of the ksetra or sphere of activity and the ksetrajna or the knower of the sphere of activity; so there is absolutely no contradiction whatsoever in this regard. Contrarily, hypothesising that anything inanimate can be the cause of the animate is extremely contradictory and completely erroneous. The Paigni scripture states: Creation emanating from conscious will can alone be the main criteria. So in conclusion only supra-mundane actions which are not subject to any modification should be considered eternal and of the nature of the Supreme Lord.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Lord Krishna reveals that one who truly perceives understands that all actions proceed from the agency of prakriti or the material substratum that pervades physical existence. One perceives that for creating effects and instruments insentient prakriti is the cause. One perceives that the atma or immortal soul although sentient is not the doer. One perceives that tamas or ignorance in the shape of karma or reactions to actions is the reason for forced confinement in the material existence, the terms and conditions of the confinement and the experiences of pleasure and pain in correlation with the duration of the confinement. One who comprehends all these truly perceives reality.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Lord Krishna is making the point that when one does not comprehend that all actions are impelled by the body, mind and senses due to the influence of prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and perceives different living entities and who assume that the performers of good and evil actions are separate from the Supreme Lord; then it is impossible to realise the atma or immortal soul within the etheric heart. All actions are due to prakriti which is transformed into the body and from which all physical activity depends upon to perform actions and fulfil desires through the medium of the senses. For the atma this does not apply having no material qualities or material attributes it is the witness monitoring all thought and activities of every jiva or embodied being.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 13, verse 30 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 30

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