Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 14.15, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 14.15 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 14.15:

रजसि प्रलयं गत्वा कर्म-सङ्गिषु जायते ।
तथा प्रलीनस् तमसि मूढ-योनिषु जायते ॥ १५ ॥

rajasi pralayaṃ gatvā karma-saṅgiṣu jāyate |
tathā pralīnas tamasi mūḍha-yoniṣu jāyate
|| 15 ||

rajasi–when passion predominates; pralayam–dissolution (death); gatvā–upon attaining; karma-saṅgiṣu–among those attached to fruitive work; jāyate–one takes birth; tathā–similarly; pralīnaḥ–one dying; tamasi–when ignorance (predominates); mūḍha-yoniṣu–in the species of the foolish (animals and so forth); jāyate–takes birth.

One who gives up the body when the mode of passion is predominant takes a human birth among those attached to fruitive work, while one who dies under the predominance of the mode of ignorance takes birth among animals and other such ignorant species.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Karma-saṅgiṣu means ‘a person who is attached to karma, fruitive activities’.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

If a person dies when rajo-guṇa, the mode of passion, is predominant, he takes birth in a family of humans who are attached to fruitive activities. If a person dies when tamo-guṇa, the mode of ignorance, is extremely predominant, he takes birth in an animal species.

Some think that once the soul has taken birth in a human species, he does not degrade to a lower species. However, from the present verse it can be understood that even after receiving a human body, a person can receive an animal body after death if he is governed by the mode of ignorance instead of the mode of goodness. He even goes to hell if he engages in activities such as violence, and it is not sure when he will again take a human birth after returning from that place. Therefore, it is the duty of every human being to rise gradually from the mode of ignorance to the mode of passion, and from the mode of passion to the mode of goodness. And even beyond that, one should become nirguṇa, free from the modes of nature, by taking shelter of śuddhā-bhakti in the association of pure devotees. Only that sādhaka who is completely free from the modes of nature, and who takes shelter of nirguṇā-bhakti, directly sees Śrī Bhagavān. In this way, his life becomes perfect and successful.

The specific rule is that a person achieves a destination that corres-ponds to his consciousness at the time of death: “maraṇe yā matiḥ gatiḥ–whatever one’s mind reaches out to at the time of death determines one’s next destination and body.” Therefore, it is imperative to only remember Bhagavān at the time of death. One can make one’s life successful by attaining bhakti that is free from the modes of nature, by remembering Bhagavān.

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