Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 18.40, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 18.40 from the chapter 18 called “Moksha-yoga (the Yoga of Liberation)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 18.40:

न तद् अस्ति पृथिव्यां वा दिवि देवेषु वा पुनः ।
सत्त्वं प्रकृति-जैर् मुक्तं यद् एभिः स्यात् त्रिभिर् गुणैः ॥ ४० ॥

na tad asti pṛthivyāṃ vā divi deveṣu vā punaḥ |
sattvaṃ prakṛti-jair muktaṃ yad ebhiḥ syāt tribhir guṇaiḥ || 40 ||

na–never; tat–there; asti–exists; pṛthivyām–on the Earth; –or; divi–in the heavenly planets; deveṣu–amongst the gods; –or; punaḥ–even; sattvam–a being or object; prakṛti-jaiḥ–born of material nature; muktam–free; yat–who; ebhiḥ–from these; syāt–can be; tribhiḥ–three; guṇaiḥ–binding qualities.

Throughout this entire material creation, there is no one among mankind and the other species on Earth, or even among the demi-gods in the heavenly planets, who is free from the influence of the three qualities of nature.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Śrī Bhagavān is concluding this subject by explaining something He has not yet described. Tat sattvam means that no living being or object in the creation is devoid of the three modes, which are born of material nature. Therefore, everything is composed of the three modes of material nature. Only that which is sāttvika is useful; that which is rājasika or tāmasika is not. This is the purport of this topic.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Śrī Bhagavān is concluding this subject by stating that everything that is related to this material world is composed of the three modes of material nature. The superiority of something that is sāttvika, or in the mode of goodness, has been established. One is instructed to ardently take shelter of and accept only that which is sāttvika. However, in order to become free from the bondage of this material world, it is necessary to take shelter of that which is nirguṇa, transcendental to the modes. Bhagavān, the devotee (bhakta) and devotion (bhakti), as well as all the emotions and paraphernalia used in service to Śrī Bhagavān, are nirguṇa. Without adopting them, it is impossible for a living entity to achieve his ultimate benefit. Therefore, it is the supreme duty of all intelligent individuals to endeavour to rise above the three modes of material nature by the influence of sādhu-saṅga. Being thus situated in their transcendental nature, they enter into the transcendental loving service of Bhagavān.

An overview of this subject is now presented so that practitioners of bhakti may easily understand it and enter the realm that lies beyond the three binding modes of material nature.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.25.30–31) describes the above-mentioned subjects that are within the three guṇas and beyond them. Therein, Śrī Bhagavān says to Uddhava:

dravyaṃ deśaḥ phalaṃ kālo jñānaṃ karma ca kārakaḥ
śraddhāvasthākṛtir niṣṭhā trai-guṇyaḥ sarva eva hi
sarve guṇa-mayā bhāvāḥ puruṣāvyakta-dhiṣṭhitāḥ
dṛṣṭaṃ śrutam anudhyātaṃ buddhyā vā puruṣarṣabha

Various objects, places, results of activities, time, knowledge, action, the performers of action, faith, consciousness, and firm resolve, all consist of the three modes of material nature. O best among men, all that is seen, heard or conceived of within the mind is situated within prakṛti and puruṣa, and is therefore composed of the three modes.

How can one conquer the three modes? In this regard, Śrī Bhagavān says in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.25.32):

etāḥ saṃsṛtayaḥ puṃso guṇa-karma-nibandhanāḥ
yeneme nirjitāḥ saumya guṇā jīvena citta-jāḥ
bhakti-yogena man-niṣtḥo mad bhāvāya prapadyate

O gentle one, because the living entity mistakes the body for the self, he is bound by the modes and by action. Thus he wanders through-out the various species of life. Those influenced by the associatio of devotees practise bhakti-yoga. Consequently, they conquer the material modes, which manifest within the mind as the ego of considering the body to be the self, and they become firmly devoted to Me. Thus they attain service to Me in My supreme abode.

Śrī Bhagavān is beyond the modes of material nature. The devotees who take shelter of Him are also beyond the modes. Exclusive bhakti and its limbs are also beyond the modes. The various objects and moods that the devotees accept as useful instruments in bhakti and that they engage in service to Bhagavān become transcen dental to the modes by His inconceivable power. This principle has been established in various places throughout scriptures such as Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

A Table Of Subjects And Their Guṇas:

Subject Mode of Goodness Mode of Passion Mode of Ignorance Beyond the Modes
Foodstuff Beneficial, pure, easily obtained Pleasing to the senses Gives rise to affliction, impure Offered to the Lord
Place Forest Village Gambling house The Lord’s temple
Result Knowledge of the self Sense gratification Bewilderment Hearing and chanting
Time Happiness, religion, knowledge Misery and wealth Grief and delusion Pure loving service to the Lord
Knowledge Related to the self Full of doubt Material enjoyment Related to the Lord
Action Niskāma-karma-yoga Sakāma-karma-yoga Opposed to Vedic injunctions Hearing and chanting
Performer Detached Absorbed in sense objects Devoid of discrimination Devoted to the Lord
Faith Related to the self Related to fruitive action Related to irreligion Related to devotional service
State of being Watefulness Dreaming Deep sleep Divine
Form attained Demigod Human Trees and stones Servant of the Lord
Destination Heavenly planets Earth Hell Loving service to the Lord
Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: