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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16 Verse 8

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 16 श्लोक 8

असत्यमप्रतिष्ठं ते जगदाहुरनीश्वरम्।
अपरस्परसम्भूतं किमन्यत्कामहैतुकम्।।16.8।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

16.8 They say that the world is unreal, it has no basis, it is without a God. It is born of mutual union brought about by passion! What other (cause can there be)?

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

16.8 They say, This universe is without truth, without (moral) basis, without a God, brought about by mutual union, with lust for its cause; what else?

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

16.8. They say that this world is without truth; has no basis; and has no Lord; this is born not on the basis of the mutual cause-and-effect-relation [of the things]; it has nothing [beyond] and has no cause.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

16.8 असत्यम् without truth? अप्रतिष्ठम् without (moral) basis? ते they? जगत् the world? आहुः say? अनीश्वरम् without a God? अपरस्परसम्भूतम् brought about by mutual union? किम् what? अन्यत else? कामहैतुकम् with lust for its cause.Commentary They hold that the universe is without any substratum or support or an undying basic reality.This is a description of the opinion of atheists like the Charvakas and other materialists. They do not believe in the existence of Brahman Who is the support of this world. They do not even accept the existence of an Isvara in this world. They say We are unreal. Therefore this world also is unreal? the scriptures which declare the truth are also unreal. What else but lust can be the cause of this universe Sexual passion is the sole cause of all living creatures. There is no such thing as the theory of Karma. The whole world is caused by the mutual union of man and woman under the impulse of lust. There is neither virtue nor vice. There is no Lord Who dispenses the fruits of actions of the individuals according to virtue and vice. Dharma and Adharma are not the basis of this world. Sexual desire is the sole basis for this universe. This world is a world of chance. They are not endowed with the faculty of introspection. They are ignorant of the field (Nature) and knower of the field (God).Mutual union Sexual union it may mean the union of atoms. The world arose from the combination of atoms according to the Vaiseshikas.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

16.8 Te, they, the domoniacal persons; ahuh, say; that the jagat, world; is asatyam, unreal-as we ourselves are prone to falsehood, so is this whole world unreal; apratistham, it has no basis, it does not have righteousness and unrighteousness as its basis; it is anisvaram, without a God-nor is there a God who rules this (world) according to rigtheousness and unrighteousness (of beings). Hence they say that the world is godless. Moreover, it is aparaspara-sambhutam, born of mutual union. The whole world is born of the union of the male and female impelled by passion. (That union is) kama-haitukam, brought about by passion. Kama-haitukam and kama-hetukam are the same. Kim anyat, what other (cause can there be)? There exists to other unseen cause such as righteousness, unrigtheousness, etc. Certainly, the passion of living beings is the cause of the world. This is the view of the materialists.

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

16.8 Asatyam etc. [It] has nothing beyond : Here there is no other thing beyond what is seen.

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

16.8 They maintain that the universe is without truth, viz., they do not accept that this universe, which is the effect of Brahman denoted by the term Satya, has Brahman for its Self. They contend that it is bereft of any foundation, viz., they do not accept that it has Brahman for its foundation. Brahman as Ananta supports the earth and bears all the worlds, as declared in This earth, sustained upon the head of this great serpent, supports in its turn, this garland of worlds, along with their men, demons and gods (V.P., 2.5.27). They say that it is without a Lord, viz. they dont accept that this universe is controlled by Me, the Lord of all, the Supreme Brahman, whose will is always true. It has been already averred: I am the origin of all; from Me proceed everything (10.8). And they also contend thus: What else can exist without mutual causation? i.e., except by the union of the male and the female among men, beasts etc. What else exists apart from this nature? The meaning is that nothing else is seen. Therefore the entire world is rooted in sexual lust.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

This verse describes the thinking process of the asuras. They say that the world is an illusory conception, based on falsity (asatyam); that it is without shelter (apratistha), not having even the basis of a flower in the sky; that it is without creatorship of a controller since it is false (anisvaram). Because it has arisen from nowhere like entities from perspiration, it has not arisen from a cause (aparaspara sambhutam). What else can be said (kim anyat)? Its cause is just according to the desire of those who propound theories about it (kama haitukam). If they can imagine that the world arises only by illusion, then that becomes the cause. Others explain the verse thus: It has no proof, no confirmation from the Vedas, Puranas or other sources of knowledge (asatyam). It is said: trayo vedasya kartaro bhanda-dhurta-nisacara The makers of the three Vedas are jackals imitating wise men. It has no state of dharma or adharma (apratistham). The ideas of dharma and adharma are both mistaken conceptions. The Lord also is conceived on the basis of mistake or bhrama (anisvaram). “It is observed that the world arises only from the mutual interactions of men and women.” This is not a fact. The world does not arise from their interaction (aparaspara sarhbhutam). Though it is said that the child arises from the mother and father, it is a mistaken idea, like false knowledge that the pot has arisen from the potter. What should be said? The cause of the world is simply a speculation of one’s whim (kama haitukam). By logic, whatever different persons speak about atoms, maya or God, they talk of that as the cause.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

It may be wondered how is it tat the demoniac are not able to perform righteous activities prescribed in the Vedic scriptures and unable to refrain from executing unrighteous actions that are prohibited as vile and degrading? How can there be any logical explanation as to the cause of happiness and misery without the evaluation of righteous and unrighteous conduct? It may be further postulated why do the demoniac determinedly transgress the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures in spiteful disrespect to truth, purity and dignity? Unless one accepts the reality of the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures there is no other valid and proven explanation for the origin of creation and all its variegated unlimited beings. All these queries will be summarily answered and resolved in these 12 verses beginning now. The demoniac mentality is very dark and limited in scope. The demoniac believe creation to be false, without any basis or purpose. The demoniac refuse to acknowledge or accept the absolute authority of the Vedic scriptures which have manifested for the benefit of all creation. The demoniac say that the ordinances and injunctions of the Vedic scriptures are nebulous and imaginary having no moral implications or applications to concepts of right or wrong. They regard the unlimited myriads of variegated jivas or embodied beings as merely arising spontaneously on their own accord like bubbles arising in water; without the auspices of a Supreme Lord or almighty god, without even a singular consciousness manifesting as a creator. The demoniac hypothecate that creation originated by the mutual union of a supra human male and female in sexual intercourse and cite as their evidence the visible proof that all species cohabit in this way and that is how creation expanded and evolved. The demoniac hence belligerently believe that the origins of creation is from lust alone without superior agency. All these blatantly erroneous concepts they adamantly cling to as rust stubbornly clings to metal.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The material existence is real. This world is not an illusion. The incarnation Vedavyasa has written in Vedanta Sutra III.II.III beginning mayamatram tu kartsyena meaning: This world appears illusory because its nature is not manifest in its entirety. The Upanisads proclaim that the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence has a twofold nature of manifest and unmanifest and this is the established form of the ultimate truth. All the worlds have been established by the Supreme Lord Krishna who has energised them and sustains them providing them the means to flourish and evolve. The Supreme Lord as isvaram parama the supreme controller who alone creates, maintains and destroys all existence yet the demoniac contrarily, adamantly oppose Him.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The demoniac declare that creation is asatyam or unreal and that creation is not an effect of anything. The demoniac state that creation exists without any aparaspara or cause. The demoniac propund that creation is without apratistham or any support, maintenance or foundation. The demoniac postulate that creation is anisvaram without any controller and is godless. But the fact exists that after manifesting creation the Supreme Lord places it on the hood of Sesa Naga as confirmed in the Visnu Purana II.V.XXVII beginning ten eyam naga varenya sirasa vidhirita mahi stating: Creation rests on the hood of Sesa Naga, which in turn supports the chain of spheres in the material worlds which is the abode of demigods, humans, beasts and demons. The demoniac have also concocted theories which they strictly adhere and propagate. They hypothecate that creation is not under the auspices of or created by the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is eternal, infallible, omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present and who is the Supreme controller of everything. Their only evidence is that everywhere they look they see male and females of such and such species cohabitating to continue the preservation of that species and hence they have concluded that sexual passion alone is the cause that propels mutual union between male and female and evolves creation.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The demoniac declare that creation is asatyam or unreal and that creation is not an effect of anything. The demoniac state that creation exists without any aparaspara or cause. The demoniac propund that creation is without apratistham or any support, maintenance or foundation. The demoniac postulate that creation is anisvaram without any controller and is godless. But the fact exists that after manifesting creation the Supreme Lord places it on the hood of Sesa Naga as confirmed in the Visnu Purana II.V.XXVII beginning ten eyam naga varenya sirasa vidhirita mahi stating: Creation rests on the hood of Sesa Naga, which in turn supports the chain of spheres in the material worlds which is the abode of demigods, humans, beasts and demons. The demoniac have also concocted theories which they strictly adhere and propagate. They hypothecate that creation is not under the auspices of or created by the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is eternal, infallible, omnipotent, omniscient, omni-present and who is the Supreme controller of everything. Their only evidence is that everywhere they look they see male and females of such and such species cohabitating to continue the preservation of that species and hence they have concluded that sexual passion alone is the cause that propels mutual union between male and female and evolves creation.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 16.8

Asatyamapratishtham te jagadaahuraneeshwaram; Aparasparasambhootam kimanyat kaamahaitukam.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 16.8

asatyam—without absolute truth; apratiṣhṭham—without any basis; te—they; jagat—the world; āhuḥ—say; anīśhvaram—without a God; aparaspara—without cause; sambhūtam—created; kim—what; anyat—other; kāma-haitukam—for sexual gratification only