Chapter 14The Three Qualities of Material NatureVerse 8


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 binding nature of tamas or mode of ignorance and its characteristics are now stated by Lord Krishna. The word tamas means darkness and is arises from that part of prakriti or the material substratum that pervades physical existence, that possesses the power of mohanam being that which deludes into illusion, concealing the true perception. This power has the ability to confound and bewilder all jivas or embodied beings. Hence tamas binds imperiously the jivas through pramada or madness, alasya or indolence and nidrabhis or sleep. Pramada can also includes listlessness and mental fragmentation. Alasya can also include laziness and dullness and nidrabhis can also include inaction of the mind due to inebriation or exhaustion.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

That by which one becomes obscure is called born of ajnana or non- awareness. This is what is indicated by the words alasya or indolence and nibhadhnati or iertia.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Lord Krishna describes the word ajnana meaning ignorance which is the antithesis of wisdom. The word jnana meaning knowledge is the precise, accurate perception whereas ajnana is the perverted, inaccurate perception. The word tamas means darkness denoting the darkness of ignorance and is diametrically opposite to the light of knowledge. The word mohanam is that which deludes into illusion and the darkness of ignorance. This tamas is also the cause of pramada or madness and listlessness which is the inability to focus having a fragmented attention span. It is also the cause of alasya or indolence slothlike laziness which is the inability to properly execute any endeavor properly and nidrabhih or sleep is the disinclination of the senses to function terminating all activities. All these things nibadhanti or binds one to the material existence without reprieve.The sublation of the external senses constitutes the dream state;but when the mind is also sublated then the dream state becomes sleep.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Now Lord Krishna defines tama guna or the mode of ignorance. The word tamas means darkness and is typified by nescience and inertia. It is subject to the greatest delusion that imagines a permanent and pleasant experience in a temporary and unpleasant existence. Those humans that look upon themselves as being their physical body like the animals do and who accept their physical body as being all that they are all hopelessly situated in ajnana or absence of knowledge which is the antithesis of jnana or wisdom. Jnana is the accurate precise understanding whereas ajnana is the inaccurate perverted understanding. The inaccurate perverted understanding binds the jiva or embodied being through pramada or madness which includes listlessness and bewilderment, alasya or indolence which includes sluggishness and laziness and nidrbhis or sleep which includes inebriation. Sleep is the cessation of bodily organs arising from mental and physical exhaustion. All of these are permanently situated in tama guna and invoking ignorance tightly bind the jiva.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 14, verse 8 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 8

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