Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 16.8, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 16.8 from the chapter 16 called “Daivasura-sampada-yoga (Yoga through discerning Divine and Demoniac Qualities)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 16.8:

असत्यम् अप्रतिष्ठं ते जगद् आहुर् अनीश्वरम् ।
अपरस्पर-सम्भूतं किम् अन्यत् काम-हेतुकम् ॥ ८ ॥

asatyam apratiṣṭhaṃ te jagad āhur anīśvaram |
aparaspara-sambhūtaṃ kim anyat kāma-hetukam
|| 8 ||

asatyam–falsity, or illusion; apratiṣṭham–without a cause; te–they; jagat–the world; āhuḥ–say; anīśvaram–without a controller; aparaspara-sambhūtam–born of sexual union, or automatically produced; kim–what?; anyat–other; kāma-hetukam–caused by lust.

The demons describe the world as unreal, without basis and godless. They say it is the product of sexual union, or that it is self-generated. Not only this, they even say that it is the result of lust.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Śrī Bhagavān is describing the philosophy of the demons. “They say that the material world is asatyam, unreal, and a result of illusion. That which has no shelter, or basis, is called apratiṣṭha. They say that just as a flower in the sky has no basis, in the same way this material world has no basis.” Anīśvaram means that since the world is unreal, it has not been created by the Supreme Lord; rather, it has come about accidentally, without any mutual union: ‘Just as perspiration and so forth appear, so do the living entities.’

“Not only this, they say that this world is only the result of lust, the desire to procreate. Since they claim that this world is unreal, they feel that they have license to give speculative explanations about it. Furthermore, some claim that the evidence given in the Vedas and Purāṇas is false. Demoniac persons say, “trayo vedasya karttāro muni-bhaṇḍa-niśācarāḥ–thinkers, jesters, jackals and owls have composed the Vedas.”

Apratiṣṭham means that dharma and adharma are not established in the Vedas and that both are the result of illusion. Anīśvaram means that even Īśvara has been concocted as a result of illusion. “If somebody says that this material world seems to manifest from the union of male and female, then in response the demons say, aparaspara-sambūtam, that there is no such cause and effect behind it and that the birth of a child from parents is also an illusion. They say that when a potter makes a pot from mud, he knows what he is doing, but when parents procreate a child, they do not know how it happens; therefore, the process of begetting a child is also illusion. O Arjuna, what more can I say? Demons say that the only cause of the universe is selfish desire. According to their logic, atoms, the deluding material energy, the Supreme Lord and anything else is the cause of the creation of the world.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

In the present verse, Śrī Bhagavān is explaining the philosophy of those who possess a demoniac nature. The essence of Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s commentary on this verse is as follows:

(1) According to the opinion of the māyāvādīs, this material world is asatya, apratiṣṭhita and anīśvara. They say it is asatya because it is an illusion, just as a rope can be taken for a snake. They say it is apratiṣṭhita because it has no basis, like a flower in the sky, and that it is anīśvara, because Īśvara is not the cause of creation.

(2) According to a particular sect of Buddhists–the svabhāvavādīs–the material world is aparaspara-sambūtam, not born of mutual union between male and female but comes from nature. They say that the natural and necessary action of substances according to their inherent properties produce and sustain the universe.

(3) According to the philosopher Cārvaka, this material world is kāma-haitukam, born from the flow of lust between male and female.

(4) According to the Jains, selfish desire is the cause of this world. On the basis of their speculative logic, they disregard the authoritative Vedic literatures and uselessly endeavour to ascertain the cause of this material world.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s statement, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (Gītā 9.10), very clearly explains that this entire material world consisting of moving and non-moving beings has been created by material nature (prakṛti) under His supervision. Since this world has been created by the will of Bhagavān, who is satya-saṅkalpa, He whose desires are always fulfilled, it is also real but changeable and perishable. The demons concoct various types of temporary atheistic philosophies because they are bereft of pure and perfect wisdom.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, “Those of a demoniac temperament call this world asatya–illusory; apratiṣṭhita–without basis; and anīśvara–without a Supreme Being. Their philosophy is that there is no purpose in accepting the existence of a Supreme Controller, since the relationship of cause and effect is not the basis of the creation of the universe. Some say that Īśvara does exist, but when He created the world, He was influenced by His selfish desires, and therefore He is not qualified to be the object of our worship.”

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