Chapter 18Final Revelations of the Ultimate TruthVerse 36 , 37


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 threefold expressions of sukham or happiness influenced by the three gunas or modes of material nature are now explained by Lord Krishna beginning with sattva guna the mode of goodness. The happiness which is not sudden and direct like sense gratification but is tempered and disciplined due to relishing affection by its devotion and practice by which one rejoices when arriving at the state of cessation of all pain and misery. This happiness which appears in the beginning to be difficult and painful like poison due to establishing its independence from the mundane mind and senses; but in the end it is amrta-upamam just like nectar. Such consciousness is atma-buddhi of the nature of the soul and is serene and sublime. Having relinquished and abandoned the impurities of raja guna the mode of passion and tama guna the mode of ignorance such sukham becomes pristine and pure. This sukham is invariably situated in sattva guna.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:

There is no commentary for this verse.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

The aforementioned descriptions of knowledge, action, performer, etc. are all utilised for the purpose and intention of obtaining happiness as influenced by the three gunas or modes of material nature. Now Lord Krishna reveals that the sukham or happiness that one becomes habituated to by constant endeavour gradually deriving exquisite pleasure at the cessation of misery with the termination of samsara the perpetual cycle of birth and death. Such sukham is achieved by industrious effort right from its very commencement with the yoga of meditation and pranayama breathing exercises which bring the mind and senses under control. The singular, unique nature of such sukham never having been experienced seems to be like venom in the beginning, but in the end after a lifetime of devotional practice its unique, sublime nature becomes just like nectar. Such happiness arises solely from atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul. The consciousness of one which is absorbed in the atma is one who can realise the atma. The bliss of tranquillity and serenity is experienced within after all conceptions and designations have been renounced except the atma. It is by such renunciation that the atma is perceived and its ananda or bliss experienced and it is this ananda that awards the highest happiness and such sukham is like nectar and situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Thus after presenting how the three gunas or modes of material nature influence knowledge, action, agent, intellect and determination; Lord Krishna elaborates upon the three types of sukham or happiness aspired for by every human being because all of the aforementioned factors are enacted for the sake of receiving happiness. Now the three forms of sukham will be explained to reveal what is to be embraced and what is to be avoided. The sukham by which one experiences unabated pleasure by consistent practice of devotion, meditation and adoration of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised incarnations as revealed in Vedic scriptures is situated in sattva guna the mode of goodness. Such sukham is unhampered by the pangs of sense gratification and the attraction for sense objects and its temporary illusions of pleasure. Hence that which in the beginning by practice of detachment, restraint, renunciation, austerities, meditation, etc. appear to be like poison but at the end when they have been perfected are just like nectar, extremely delicious. By meditation on the Supreme Lord Krishna and constantly focused internally on the atma r immortal soul one stays established in sattva guna. The serenity and equanimity one derives from such sukham is like an elixir to the purified mind arising from abandonment of desire and cessation of passion, greed and infatuation that are the by products of raja guna the mode of passion and tama guna the mode of ignorance.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 18, verse 36 , 37 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 36 , 37

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