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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Verse 22

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 18 श्लोक 22

यत्तु कृत्स्नवदेकस्मिन्कार्ये सक्तमहैतुकम्।
अतत्त्वार्थवदल्पं च तत्तामसमुदाहृतम्।।18.22।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

18.22 But that (knowledge) is said to be born of tamas which is confined to one form as though it were all, which is irrational, not concern with truth and triivial.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

18.22 But that which clings to one single effect as if it were the whole, without reason, without foundation in Truth, and trivial that is declared to be Tamasic.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18.22. That [instrument-of-knowledge], because of which, one, not realising the whole, gets indulged, without reason, in a particular activity, and which is unconcerned with the real nature of things and is insignificant - that is declared to be of the Tamas (Strand).

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

18.22 यत् which? तु but? कृत्स्नवत् as if it were the whole? एकस्मिन् one single? कार्ये to effect? सक्तम् attached? अहैतुकम् without reason? अतत्त्वार्थवत् without foundation in Truth? अल्पम् trivial? च and? तत् that?,तामसम् Tamasic (dark)? उदाहृतम् is declared.Commentary The knowledge which regards that each and every object or being exists by itself and is perfect by itself? is Tamasic.One single effect Such as the body? thinking it to be the Self? or an idol? taking it for God? and thinking that there is nothing higher than that.The naked Jains consider that the soul which dwells in the body is of the same size as that of the body. Some regard that Isvara is a mere piece of stone or wood. Such knowledge is really not based on reason. It does not see things in their true light. It is narrow (Alpam) as it is not founded on reason. It produces very small results too. It extends over a limited area and is not allcomprehensive. This knowledge is said to be Tamasic? as it is found in Tamasic persons who are devoid of the power of discrimination.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

18.22 But tat, that knowledge; is udahrtam, said to be; tamasam, born of tamas; yat, which is; saktam, confined; ekasmin, to one; karye, from, to one body or to an external image etc., krtsnavat, as though it were all, as though it comprehended everything, thinking, The Self, or God, is only this much; there is nothing beyond it,-as the naked Jainas hold that the soul conforms to and has the size of the body, or (as others hold) that God is merely a stone or wood-, remaining confined thus to one form; ahaitukam, which is irrational, bereft of logic; a-tattvarthavat, not concerned with truth-tattvartha, truth, means some-thing just as it is; that (knowledge) which has this (truth) as its object of comprehension is tattvarthavat; that without this is ; a-tattvarthavat-; and which, on account of the very fact of its being irrational, is alpam, trivial, because it is concerned with trifles or is productive of little result. This kind of knowledge is indeed found in non-discriminating creatures in whom tamas predominates. Now is being stated the threehold division of action:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

18-20-22 Sarvabhutesu etc. upto samudahrtam. In the classified ones : i.e., [classified] as gods, human beings, etc. Considers as [really] different : i.e., with the thought Here on this depends my pleasure; here in that lies my displeasure. Without reason : To take recourse to wrath, desire etc., slavishly under the influence of ones own addiction and also without examining the cause, in named as a thing born of the Tamas (Strand).

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

18.22 But that knowledge which clings to a single type of act as what ought to be done, viz., act in the form of the worship of ghosts or evil spirits yielding very small fruits, as if it yielded all fruits; that work not founded on any reason for having attachment, because it is not a source of all fruits; untrue because it is based on a false view of things such as seeing differentiation in the nature of the Atman; insignificant, because the worship of ghosts and evil spirits yields poor results - for such reasons knowledge of this kind is declared to be Tamasika. After having thus classified the threefold division of knowledge relating to work according to Gunas in respect of a person who is alified for work, Sri Krsna explains the triple division of the acts that ought to be done, according to Gunas.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

This verse speaks of tamasic knowledge. Knowledge which is speculative only (ahaitukam) (not with reference to any scripture) which is extremely attached to performing one material activity such as eating or bathing, drinking or enjoying with a woman, with disregard for vedic activities like sacrifice, with no idea of real truth (atattva arthavat), knowledge which is scant like that of an animal, is known as tamasic knowledge. Knowledge of tat which is different from the body is sattvika. Knowledge of scriptures of logic and such, which gives rise to various doctrines, is rajasic. Knowledge, which is only of bathing, eating and other material actions, is tamasic. This is a summary of the three types of knowledge.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Here Lord Krishna explains that knowledge in tama guna or mode of ignorance is limited to the singular idea of bodily conception as if the physical body is the actual identity of the jiva or embodied being. Animals which are driven by instinct are possessed with this ignorance. But believing that the physical body is the be all an end all is not consciousness and is fallacious and irrational without any connection to reality. Therefore such a misconception is irrelevant and inconsequential because of possessing an extremely limited scope of existence and hence produces paltry and meagre results. Such knowledge is in tama guna.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Obstinately clinging to ones limited viewpoint without considering the vision of others is a symptom of tama guna the mode of ignorance. Also if one supposes that after acquiring wisdom and thereafter achieving moksa or liberation from material existence that a jiva or embodied is independent when in reality even a liberated being is completely dependent and subservient to the Supreme Lord, this conception would be a great offence and cause demerits. Again assuming that nothing exists beyond the jiva or embodied being and what one perceives is illusory and unmeritorious. What need then is there to emphasise the fact that the acquisition of illogical hypothesis and untenable suppositions is a source of great degradation. Now begins the summation. Irrational consciousness obtained from distorted and perverse conceptions far removed from perceptions of the ultimate truth have no benefit for anyone in this life or the next and are fully situated in tama guna. There is an aphorism that knowledge must be received from a proper source in the proper order. This being the case there is no necessity in itemising degraded and depraved conceptions. The cause for such degradation of consciousness is miniscule knowledge and limited understanding which consequently develops acute unawareness. For a jiva to think of themselves as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent on the same level as the Supreme Lord or entertain the illusion that they are the same as the Supreme Lord is the height of folly and completely devoid of all rationality and common sense. Such erroneous conclusions which stem from irrational consciousness deprives actual knowledge of its elevated position and is always immersed in tama guna. It is seen that those who follow teachings, beliefs, doctrines and philosophies opposed to the eternal and imperishable Vedic scriptures are primarily mayavadis or impersonalists whose religions are designed in such a way that they are bereft of any actual conception of the Supreme Lord to comprehend and so they either follow a creationist conception without purpose or a concoct a supreme being without qualities and attributes.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One who clings to a single activity in a stagnant and obstinate manner such as the worship of an impersonal conception of God and considers that such an insignificant activity has the highest perfection in existence to the exclusion of all other possibilities and not considering any other conception as tenable and in stagnation ceases to develop and grow is the epitome of one shackled in tama guna. The word ahaitakam means irrational, without reason, imagining that which gives meagre results to give great results. The words attatva-arthavat means devoid of reality, without substantiation of the Vedic scriptures. The word alpan means limited in scope and relates to foolish, trivial pagan acts such as worshiping ghosts and spirits for material power. So thus showing how the three gunas or modes of material nature have a direct effect on the knowledge possessed by the performer of any action; Lord Krishna will next expound upon their direct influence upon actions themselves.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One who clings to a single activity in a stagnant and obstinate manner such as the worship of an impersonal conception of God and considers that such an insignificant activity has the highest perfection in existence to the exclusion of all other possibilities and not considering any other conception as tenable and in stagnation ceases to develop and grow is the epitome of one shackled in tama guna. The word ahaitakam means irrational, without reason, imagining that which gives meagre results to give great results. The words attatva-arthavat means devoid of reality, without substantiation of the Vedic scriptures. The word alpan means limited in scope and relates to foolish, trivial pagan acts such as worshiping ghosts and spirits for material power. So thus showing how the three gunas or modes of material nature have a direct effect on the knowledge possessed by the performer of any action; Lord Krishna will next expound upon their direct influence upon actions themselves.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 18.22

Yattu kritsnavadekasmin kaarye saktamahaitukam; Atattwaarthavadalpam cha tattaamasamudaahritam.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 18.22

yat—which; tu—but; kṛitsna-vat—as if it encompasses the whole; ekasmin—in single; kārye—action; saktam—engrossed; ahaitukam—without a reason; atattva-artha-vat—not based on truth; alpam—fragmental; cha—and; tat—that; tāmasam—in the mode of ignorance; udāhṛitam—is said to be