Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 7


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 three kinds of renunciation introduced previously are being explained by Lord Krishna in this verse and the next two. Renunciation of actions prompted by desire is proper since such actions assure bondage in samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. But giving up prescribed Vedic activities and obligatory duties is not proper since those activities lead to moksa or liberation from material existence by purifying the mind. Therefore abstaining from these sanctifying Vedic activities arises from illusion and the conception to oppose what is prescribed in the Vedic scriptures is delusion. This delusion is understood to be clearly situated in tama guna the mode of ignorance.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

Lord Krishna reiterates that abandoning desire for the rewards of actions is what is to be relinquished and the true expression of renunciation. Merely giving up the actions is an erroneous display of foolishness with no benefit. The Padma Purana states: Those who give up the performance of prescribed Vedic activities, receiving no benefits will undoubtedly be forced to enter the dark and hellish nether worlds.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Prescribed Vedic activities are niyata or eternal. Some are daily duties such as chanting mantras or sacred incantations for the benefit of all creation at the three junctures of the day. Some are occasional duties such as fasting from all grains twice a month on ekadasi which is the 11th day of the waxing and waning moon. Still other prescribed Vedic activities such as a Vishnu yagna which is ritualistic propitiation and worship of the Supreme Lord are performed during extraordinary celebrations such as the installation of the vigraha or authorised deity form of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures. Ceasing to performed such sanctifying and purifying Vedic activities which benefit all creation would be unrighteous and cause unimaginable degradation to humanity specifically and evolution in general. Lord Krishna already confirmed in chapter three, verse 8: That bodily sustenance cannot even be maintained without appropriate actions otherwise it is not possible. . Even if one is able to assimilate bodily sustenance from sunshine or by air alone as some elevated yogis do that is still performing action.

Food not first consecrated unto the Supreme Lord is considered sinful and such food produces delusion and bewilderment in thinking. It is confirmed in Chandogya Upanisad VI.V.IV beginning anna mayam hi somya mana states: The mind is verily composed from food. The purifying vestiges of sanctified food ingested after the performance of the holy yagna is capable of imparting sacred knowledge conducive to atma tattva or soul realisation. Cognition of the Supreme Lord and communion with Him is dependent upon internal and external purity which are mandatory pre-requisites. Purified food purifies the mind, a purified mind has the ability to access the esoteric spiritual reality that assures moksa or liberation from material existence. So the reality is that prescribed Vedic activities and obligatory duties are to be performed all throughout one's life even up to the last day of departing the present existence as they guarantee one is able to fulfil the goals of human existence. So abstinence from performing them is not in one's best interest. Those that desist, ignore, disregard and blaspheme are influenced by illusion and are locked in tama guna the mode of ignorance. For it has been traced by the enlightened that the idea of abstinence of prescribed Vedic activities was induced by tama guna and governed by illusion. Ignorance is that which is hostile to wisdom and exists as perverted knowledge. So abstaining from prescribed Vedic activities is in the category of perverted knowledge. Lord Krishna will illustrate this futher in verse 32.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

The Supreme Lord Krishna delineates the three types of renunciation associated with prescribed Vedic activities. Prohibited actions and acts of adharma or unrighteousness as well as any activity motivated by a desire other then the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord are undoubtedly to be abandoned. But renunciation of prescribed Vedic activities results in evil and inauspiciousness acts that propel one to hellish destinations. An example is not following ekadasi or fasting from all grains on the 11th day of the waxing and waning new moon and full moon. If one renounces this injunction one will certainly have to suffer in a hellish condition of life. So to disregard and ignore prescribed Vedic activities is not appropriate or advisable because these activities help to purify the mind. To relinquish what is benefical due to indifference, indiscretion or indiscrimination has been declared as situated in tama guna or mode of ignorance because such renunciation reveals the presence of inertia and nescience.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 7 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 7

Copyright © Bhagavad-Gita Trust 1998-2015