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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Verse 39

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 3 श्लोक 39

आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा।
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च।।3.39।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

3.39 O son of Kunti, Knowledge is covered by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is an insatiable fire.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

3.39 O Arjuna, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is unappeasable as fire.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

3.39. O son of Kunti ! The knowledge of the wise is concealed by this eternal foe, which looks like a desired one, and which is the fire insatiable.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

3.39 आवृतम् enveloped? ज्ञानम् wisdom? एतेन by this? ज्ञानिनः of the wise? नित्यवैरिणा by the constant enemy? कामरूपेण whose form is desire? कौन्तेय O Kaunteya? दुष्पूरेण unappeasable? अनलेन by fire? च and.Commentary Manu says? Desire can never be satiated or cooled down by the enjoyment ofobjects. But as fire blazes forth the more when fed with Ghee (melted butter) and wood? so it grows the more it feeds on the objects of enjoyment. If all the foodstuffs of the earth? all the precious metals? all the animals and all the beautiful women were to pass into the possession of one man endowed with desire? they would still fail to give him satisfaction.The ignorant man considers desire as his friend when he craves for objects. He welcomes desire for the gratification of the senses but the wise man knows from experience even before suffering the conseence that desire will bring only troubles and misery for him. So it is a constant enemy of the wise but not of the ignorant.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

3.39 Jnanam, Knowledge; is avrtam, covered; etena, by this; nityavairina, constant enemy; jnaninah, of the wise. For the wise person knows even earlier, I am being induced by this into evil. And he always [Both at the time when desire arises in him, and also when he is forced to act by it.] feels distressed. Therefore, it is the constant enemy of the wise but not of a fool. For the fool looks upon desire as a friend so long as hankering lasts. When sorrow comes as a conseence, he realizes, I have been driven into sorrow because of longings, but certainly not earlier. Therefore it is the constant enemy of the wise alone. In what form? Kama-rupena, in the form of desire-tha which has wish itself as its expression is kama-rupa; in that form-; (and) duspurena, which is an insatiable; analena, fire. That which is difficult to satisfy is duspurah; and (derivatively) that which never has enough (alam) is analam. Again, having what as its abode does desire, in the form of a viel over Knowledge, become the enemy of all? Since when the abode of an enemy is known, it is possible to easily slay the enemy, therefore the Lord says:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

3.39 Avrtam etc. Looks like a desired one : For it acts when there is desire. It is fire, because it is like fire impossible to satiate. For, it burns down both the visible and the invisible results [of rightious actions].

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

3.39 The knowledge, having the self for its subject, of this embodied person (the Jiva) whose nature is knowledge, is enveloped by this constant enemy in the shape of desire, which brings about attachment for sense-objects. This desire is difficult to satisfy, i.e., has for its object things unworthy of attainment and is insatiable, i.e., never attains satisfaction. Now listen to what constitutes the instruments with which desire subdues the self. Sri Krsna goes on to expound this:

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

This verse explains that lust is indeed ignorance of the jiva, for it covers the knowledge of the jiva. The phrase “eternal enemy” indicates that lust must by all means be killed. By this ignorance in the form of lust, compared to an unsatisfied fire, knowledge is covered. Ca means like in this sentence. It is said: na jatu kamah kamanam upabhogena samyati havisa krsna-vartmeva bhuya evabhivardhate As supplying butter to a fire does not diminish the fire but instead increases it more and more, the endeavor to stop lusty desires by continual enjoyment can never be successful. SB 9.19.14

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Now the inimical nature of kama or lust is being made even more explicit by Lord Krishna. It is the discriminative faculty of knowledge that is covered by kama. To the ignorant while enjoying sense objects kama itself is the cause of pleasure; but the subsequent reaction will be inimical. To the person situated in Vedic wisdom who understands that they will receive a subsequent reaction, then kama is a cause of pain even while trying to enjoy. Therefore kama is understood to be an eternal enemy. Moreover even if supplied with delightful sense objects of enjoyment it is never enough because kama is insatiable and when it is not satisfied kama turns to krodha or anger and that leads to grief and affliction just like a forest fire burning everything in its path. So from these statements its eternal inimical nature towards all beings has been declared.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One on the path of jnana yoga knows from the Vedic scriptures that moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death can never manifest itself until first attaining atma-tattva or soul realisation. When such is the case for persons of wisdom what can be said for persons of meagre intelligence. The word kama-rupena means in the form of lust. This indicates that only with great pain and difficulty is lust ever fulfilled. The word duspurena means never satisfied. This indicates that kama or lust is an eternal adversary. Even the position of Indra in the heavenly realms is born of this kama that is to be the king of all the celestials; yet even while trying to achieve the position of Indra, the position of Brahma is sought because kama is never satisfied and it is more exalted to be the ruler of the material worlds then the king of the celestials and so forth and so on. The word analena means like a fire which denotes the burning fire of kama which is never satisfied and insatiable. It is said that kama covers the atma as smoke covers fire, As dust prevents one from seeing a reflection in the mirror this kama prevents one from perceiving their atma and as the womb imprisons the embryo it is kama which keeps a person imprisoned in the material existence. This is Lord Krishnas meaning.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The intellect of one who even has understanding of atma tattva or soul realisation becomes clouded by the eternal enemy known as kama or lust and which generates fascination and excitement for enjoying the objects of the senses. The word duspurena means insatiable, it can never be satisfied. It constantly hungers for sense gratification even if it is inaccessible to get and impossible to have still kama yearns for it. It is anala or inexhaustible as nothing ever completely satisfies kama permanently. When the object of its desires has been acquired and the senses fully gratified then at once kama wants more and looks for something new. It is never satisfied. In what way kama utilises itself to envelope the atma or soul Lord Krishna reveals next.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

The intellect of one who even has understanding of atma tattva or soul realisation becomes clouded by the eternal enemy known as kama or lust and which generates fascination and excitement for enjoying the objects of the senses. The word duspurena means insatiable, it can never be satisfied. It constantly hungers for sense gratification even if it is inaccessible to get and impossible to have still kama yearns for it. It is anala or inexhaustible as nothing ever completely satisfies kama permanently. When the object of its desires has been acquired and the senses fully gratified then at once kama wants more and looks for something new. It is never satisfied. In what way kama utilises itself to envelope the atma or soul Lord Krishna reveals next.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 3.39

Aavritam jnaanam etena jnaanino nityavairinaa; Kaamaroopena kaunteya dushpoorenaanalena cha.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 3.39

āvṛitam—covered; jñānam—knowledge; etena—by this; jñāninaḥ—of the wise; nitya-vairiṇā—by the perpetual enemy; kāma-rūpeṇa—in the form of desires; kaunteya—Arjun the son of Kunti; duṣhpūreṇa—insatiable; analena—like fire; cha—and