Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 18.21, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 18.21 from the chapter 18 called “Moksha-yoga (the Yoga of Liberation)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 18.21:

पृथक्त्वेन तु यज् ज्ञानं नाना-भावान् पृथग्-विधान् ।
वेत्ति सर्वेषु भूतेषु तज् ज्ञानं विद्धि राजसम् ॥ २१ ॥

pṛthaktvena tu yaj jñānaṃ nānā-bhāvān pṛthag-vidhān |
vetti sarveṣu bhūteṣu taj jñānaṃ viddhi rājasam
|| 21 ||

pṛthaktvena–separately; tu–however; yat–by which; jñānam–know-ledge; nānā-bhāvān–many natures; pṛthag-vidhān–of different species; vetti–considers; sarveṣu bhūteṣu–in all living entities; tat–that; jñānam–knowledge; viddhi–you should know; rājasam–governed by the quality of passion.

However, that knowledge whereby a person sees different kinds of beings within the different species of life, such as demigods and humans, and thus sees all living entities as belonging to different classifications and existing for different purposes, is known as knowledge governed by the quality of passion.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Here Śrī Bhagavān is explaining knowledge in the mode of passion. The demons say that there are characteristic differences between the souls in all beings and that the soul is destroyed when the body is destroyed. In other words, they see that there are separate types of souls in different bodies. By the influence of knowledge in the mode of passion, one may conclude that the soul is influenced by happiness and distress, or that happiness and distress are without any basis. In other words, one sees their occurrence as merely accidental. The knowledge by which one sees the inert, the conscious, the all-pervading, or the atomic particles, as somewhat similar, is known as knowledge governed by the quality of passion.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Knowledge in the mode of passion, or rājasika-jñāna, gives rise to dissimilar understandings. This means here that those who do not believe in the existence of a transcendental world say that the body itself is the soul. The Jains say that although the soul is different from the body, it is limited by the body. In other words, they say the soul has no existence separate from the body. The Buddhists say that the soul is conscious for a limited period of time. The logicians say that the soul is the basis of nine types of special qualities, that is, it is different from the body and not inert. The knowledge by which these various understandings arise in relation to the soul is governed by the quality of passion.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, “Those who have rājasika-jñāna say that the living entities that exist in different species such as humans, animals and birds belong to different classes and that their constitutional natures are also different.”

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