Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 14.8, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 14.8 from the chapter 14 called “Guna-traya-vibhaga-yoga (Yoga through transcending the three modes of Material Nature)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 14.8:

तमस् त्व् अज्ञान-जं विद्धि मोहनं सर्व-देहिनाम् ।
प्रमादालस्य-निद्राभिस् तन् निबध्नाति भारत ॥ ८ ॥

tamas tv ajñāna-jaṃ viddhi mohanaṃ sarva-dehinām |
pramādālasya-nidrābhis tan nibadhnāti bhārata
|| 8 ||

tamaḥ–the quality of ignorance; tu–however; ajñāna-jam–born of ignorance;viddhi–know; mohanam–bewilderment; sarva-dehinām–of all embodied beings; pramāda-ālasya-nidrābhiḥ–through carelessness, laziness and sleep; tat–it; nibadhnāti–binds; bhārata–O descendent of Bharata.

O Bhārata, know, however, that the quality of darkness, which is born of ignorance, is the cause of delusion for all living entities. It binds the embodied soul by carelessness, laziness and sleep.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

(By Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura; the innermost intention of the commentary named ‘the shower of essential meanings’)

Ajñāna-jam means that ignorance, or darkness (tamas), is inferred or perceived, solely by its result, ignorance. It thus means ‘that from which ignorance arises’. Mohana means ‘that which causes confusion’, pramādaḥ means ‘madness’, ālasyam means ‘lack of endeavour’, and nidrā means ‘depression of the mind’. These are all symptoms of tamo-guṇa, the mode of ignorance.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

Tamo-guṇa is the most degraded of the three qualities of material nature. It is the antithesis of the mode of goodness. A person in the mode of ignorance considers the body and bodily pleasures as the all-in-all. Consequently, he loses all discrimination and becomes almost mad. We see that in the course of time our grandfather dies and so does our father. Similarly we will die and our progeny will also die. In other words, death is certain. Despite this, those in the mode of ignorance fail to search for the self within. Simply to satisfy their senses, they collect wealth by cheating, duplicity, violence and other such acts. This is their madness. The specific characteristic of tamo-guṇa is that it makes one mad like this. Consuming intoxicants, meat, fish, eggs, wine, etc., are symptoms of one in the mode of ignorance. Such a person remains inactive, lazy, careless and heedless, and he oversleeps. A sādhaka should endeavour to save himself from these tendencies.

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