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BG 18.13-14 (1972)

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXTS 13-14

पञ्चैतानि महाबाहो कारणानि निबोध मे ।
साङ्ख्ये कृतान्ते प्रोक्तानि सिद्धये सर्वकर्मणाम् ॥१३॥
अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् ।
विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् ॥१४॥
pañcaitāni mahā-bāho
kāraṇāni nibodha me
sāṅkhye kṛtānte proktāni
siddhaye sarva-karmaṇām
adhiṣṭhānaṁ tathā kartā
karaṇaṁ ca pṛthag-vidham
vividhāś ca pṛthak ceṣṭā
daivaṁ caivātra pañcamam


pañca—five; etāni—all these; mahā-bāho—O mighty-armed one; kāraṇāni—cause; nibodha—just understand; me—from Me; sāṅkhye—in the Vedas; kṛtānte—after performance; proktāni—said; siddhaye—perfection; sarva—all; karmaṇām—actuated; adhiṣṭhānam—place; tathā—also; kartā—worker; karaṇam ca—and instruments; pṛthak-vidham—different kinds; vividhāḥ ca—varieties; pṛthak—separately; ceṣṭāḥ—endeavor; daivam—the Supreme; ca—also; eva—certainly; atra—here; pañcamam—five.


O mighty-armed Arjuna, learn from Me of the five factors which bring about the accomplishment of all action. These are declared in sāṅkhya philosophy to be the place of action, the performer, the senses, the endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul.


A question may be raised that since any activity performed must have some reaction, how is it that the person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not suffer or enjoy the reactions of work? The Lord is citing Vedānta philosophy to show how this is possible. He says that there are five causes for all activities and for success in all activity, and one should know these five causes. Sāṅkhya means the stalk of knowledge, and Vedānta is the final stalk of knowledge accepted by all leading ācāryas. Even Śaṅkara accepts Vedānta-sūtra as such. Therefore such authority should be consulted.

The ultimate will is invested in the Supersoul, as it is stated in the Gītā, "sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi." He is engaging everyone in certain activities. Acts done under His direction from within yield no reaction, either in this life or in the life after death.

The instruments of action are the senses, and by senses the soul acts in various ways, and for each and every action there is a different endeavor. But all one's activities depend on the will of the Supersoul, who is seated within the heart as a friend. The Supreme Lord is the super cause. Under these circumstances, he who is acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness under the direction of the Supersoul situated within the heart is naturally not bound by any activity. Those in complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness are not ultimately responsible for their actions. Everything is dependant on the supreme will, the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.