Share this page on following platforms.
Download Bhagwad Gita 4.6 Download BG 4.6 as Image

⮪ BG 4.5 Bhagwad Gita English BG 4.7⮫

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4 Verse 6

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 4 श्लोक 6

अजोऽपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोऽपि सन्।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय संभवाम्यात्ममायया।।4.6।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

4.6 Though I am birthless, undecaying by nature, and the Lord of beings, (still) by subjugating My Prakriti, I take birth by means of My own Maya.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

4.6 Though I am unborn, of imperishable nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet, governing My own Nature, I am born by My own Maya.

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.6. Though [I am] unborn and the changeless Self; though I am the the Lord of [all] beings; yet presiding over My own nature I take birth by My own Trick-of-illusion.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

4.6 अजः unborn? अपि also? सन् being? अव्ययात्मा of imperishable nature? भूतानाम् of beings? ईश्वरः the Lord? अपि also? सन् being? प्रकृतिम् Nature? स्वाम् My own? अधिष्ठाय governing? संभवामि come into being? आत्ममायया by My own Maya.Commentary Man is bound by Karma. So he takes birth. He is under the clutches of Nature. He,is deluded by the three alities of Nature whereas the Lord has Maya under His perfect control. He rules over Nature? and so He is not under the thraldom of the alities o Nature. He appears to be born and embodied through His own Maya or illusory power? but is not so in reality. His embodiment is ? as a matter of fact? apparent? It cannot affect in the least His true divine nature. (Cf.IX.8).

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

4.6 Api, san ajah, though I am birthless; and avyayatma, undecaying by nature, though I am naturally possessed of an undiminishing power of Knowledge; and so also api san, though; isvarah, the Lord, natural Ruler; bhutanam, of beings, from Brahma to a clump of grass; (still) adhisthaya, by subjugating; svam, My own; prakrtim, Prakrti, the Maya of Visnu consisting of the three gunas, under whose; spell the whole world exists, and deluded by which one does not know ones own Self, Vasudeva;-by subjugating that Prakrti of Mine, sambhavami, I take birth, appear to become embodeid, as though born; atma-mayaya, by means of My own Maya; but not in reality like an ordinary man. It is being stated when and why that birth occurs:

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

4.6 See Comment under 4.9

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

4.6 Without forsaking any of the My special alities, as supreme rulership, birthless, imperishability etc., I am born by My free will. Prakrti means ones own nature. The meaning is that by employment of My own Nature and taking a form of My choice, I incarnate by My own will (Maya). The character of My own Nature becomes evident from the following Srutis: Him who is of sun-like colour, beyond darkness (Tamas) (Sve. U., 3.8), Him who abides beyond Rajas (active matter) (Sama 17.1.4.2); This Golden Person who is within the sun (Cha. U. 1.6.6); Within the heart, there is the Person consisting of mind, immortal and golden (Tai. U. 1.6.1); All mortal creatures have come from the self-luminous Person (Yaj., 32.2); Whose form is light, whose will is truth, who is the self of ethereal space, who contains all actions, contains all desires, contains all odours, contains all tastes (Cha. U., 3.14.2); Like a raiment of golden colour (Br. U., 4.3.6). Atma-mayaya means through the Maya which belongs to Myself. Here the term Maya is identical with knowledge as stated in the lexicon of Yaska: Maya is wisdom, knowledge. Further there is the usage of competent people: By Maya, He knows the good and bad of his creatures. Hence by My own knowledge means by My will. Hence, without abandoning My essential attributes which belong to Me the Lord of all, such as being free of sins, having auspicious attributes etc., and creating My own form similar to the configuration of gods, men etc., I incarnate in the form of gods etc. The Sruti teaches the same thing: Being unborn, He is born in various forms (Tai. A., 3.12.7). The purport is that His birth is ite unlike that of ordinary beings. The dissimilarity consists in that He is born out of His own will unlike ordinary beings whose birth is necessitated by their Karma. Thus constured, there is no contradiction also between what was taught earlier and what is taught later as in the statements: Many births of Mine have passed, O Arjuna, and similarly yours also. I know them all (4.5); I incarnate Myself (4.7); and He who thus knows in truth My birth and work (4.9). [All this elaboration is meant to refute the doctrine of mere apparency of incarnations as taught by the Advaitins. Ramanuja, as stated in his Introduction to the Bhasya, upholds the absolute reality of incarnations.] Sri Krsna now specifies the times of His incarnations.

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

In this verse, he describes the manner of his appearance. “Though I am without birth, I appear. I descend in the forms of devas, humans and crawling animals and other forms.” “But what is remarkable about that? The jiva is also actually without birth, and is born again after the destruction of the gross body.” The Lord answers: “I have an indestructible body (avyaya atma). The jiva is without birth in the sense that he is a soul apart from his body. He takes birth just because of his relationship with the body which produces ignorance. But my being without birth and my taking birth are not separate from my body, since I am the Lord. Both my birth and not being born are in the same form. As such a thing is difficult to happen, it is certainly astounding and inconceivable. And there is no worry that I will take birth in all sorts of wombs like the jiva who is under the influence of papa and punya, for I am the lord of all the living entities (bhutanam isvarah), not under the control of karma.” “But the jiva receives bodies of deva, human and animal according to karma by his subtle body which causes his bondage. You, the Supreme Lord, are without a subtle body, and you are all pervading and control karma, time and all other elements. The Sruti says bahu syam: may I become many. (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.3) From that, it is understood that you are the form of the whole universe. When you say ‘I appear in this particular way,’ I think that must mean that your birth means simply your revealing to people the multitude of varieties of bodies in the whole universe, which are also eternal as types.” “But how can that be? I make my appearance, situated in my own form (prakrtim svam adhisthaya).” If the word prakrti meant the external material energy, then its controller, the Supreme Lord, becomes, by inference, a material form, not a special object of realization. Therefore, in conformity to the dictionary meaning (samsiddhi-prakrti tv ime svarupam ca svabhavas ca), the word prakrti means svarupa in this verse. It does not refer to the material energy which arises from his svarupa. The Lord’s svarupa is sac cid ananda. Concerning the word prakrti, Sridhara Swami says, “You are prakrti which is composed of suddha sattva.” Ramanujacarya. says, “Prakrti means ones own nature. Thus the phrase ‘Being situated in my nature,’ means ‘I appear with my svarupa by my own will.” Thus, prakrti means one’s nature, which is condensed sac cid ananda rasa, which is distinct from material energy. The word svam along with prakrti thus indicates “my own true form,” as distinct from others’ true forms. For the sruti says: sa bhagavah kasmin pratisthitah sva mahimni Dear sir, in what is the supreme situated? It is situated in its own glory.  Chandogya Upanisad 7.24.1 Madhusudana Sarasvati gives the following meaning. “I appear, situated in my svarupa. Being situated spiritually, I act without duality of soul and body.” “But if you have indestructible bodies such as Matsya or Kurma, then why do not your present form and the previous forms appear all at once? “I appear through my maya coming from my self (atma means self, thus atma maya means my own maya), yoga maya, the function of the cit sakti, which both covers and reveals my svarupas. I appear revealing my present form, having covered the previous forms.” Sridhar Swami says, “I appear by my energy of jnana, bala and virya which strongly manifest (atma mayaya).” Atma mayaya can also mean “By my own knowledge,” since maya can mean knowledge in this context: maya vayunam jnanam. The usage is stated by Ramanujacarya: “He continually knows the sin and piety of all entities by knowledge (mayaya).” Madhusadana Sarasvati says: “Maya means the awareness through that body (atma) that I am the Lord, Vasudeva, devoid of difference between body and soul.”

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Because Lord Krishna has just confirmed he remembers many births it may be postulated how can He who is without beginning have a birth and how can he who is imperishable have repeated births. How can the Supreme Lord of all transcendant to all dualities such as virtue and sin be embodied like an individual atma or soul. Lord Krishna responds that he comes into being perfectly with all powers such a omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence by yogamaya which is His divine internal potency. It may be further questioned how can Lord Krishna who does not have even a subtle body composed of the 16 material parts be born at all? To assuage these doubts Lord Krishna reveals that from prakriti or material nature which is completely under His control He accepts the nature of sattva or pure goodness and incarnates Himself in His original form of sac-cid-ananda or pure eternity, knowledge and bliss.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

One may wonder that if the Supreme Lord Krishna is eternal then is His svarupa or transcendental body eternal as well? To this Lord Krishna replies that He is unborn. In this verse the words avyaya atma means the eternal body of the Supreme Lord. This also allows for the reality of His many incarnations such as Rama and Buddha. Just as it has been explained previously that the atma or soul being purely spiritual is without beginning and eternal, in the same way the svarupa of Lord Krishna should be understood to exist. One may further wonder how is it He appears to be born if He is without a beginning and eternal? The answer is He manifests Himself by His Self as pure sattva or goodness by His internal potency known as yogamaya through prakriti or material nature which is completely under His control. One may also wonder how it is He being eternal is able to manifest Himself through a material father and mother such as Vasudeva and Devaki? But as both Vasudeva and Devaki are also part of prakriti, Lord Krishna establishes them in pure sattva as well by His yogamaya potency and manifests Himself through them appearing to be born by normal human perception. It should not be thought that Lord Krishna is dependent upon anything or that He is ever born or that He ever dies nor should it be assumed that He uses the material elements of prakriti to create a form for Himself. His form is transcendental and completely in itself and prakriti which is the substratum of all material existence is subservient to Him. The Supreme Lord Krishna manifests His appearances and disappearances and the conditions necessary to descend and ascend by His own sweet will. Atma mayaya infers the consciousness of the soul. Since for material nature there is the distinct word prakriti, here maya is understood to be referring to yogamaya or the consciousness of Lord Krishnas internal potency. This means that yogamaya arranges the situation and all the details with phenomenal alacrity and intricacy so that Lord Krishna appears to be born like a normal human being but factually this not so. He appears to be born from a mother and a father but actually it is not the case. Isha means great but Ishvara means greater than isha.Therefore it is stated that since Lord Krishna is superior to those who are isha such as Brahma, Shiva and Shesha, only He is to be known as Ishvara or the greatest of the great and none other.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Lord Krishna affirms that although He enters prakriti or material nature which is under His complete control, by His own sweet will through His internal potency known as yogamaya. He is never divested of His supreme transcendental attributes and imperishable potencies as Sovereign Lord of all creation even though His external from appears human. The forms and places where the Supreme Lord resides as described in the Vedic scriptures. 1) He the spirit who luminously resides in the interior of the sun 2) He the spirit who luminously resides in the etheric region of the heart 3) He who is immortal and eternal 4) He who manifested all the demigods and humans 5) He who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent 6) He who is resplendent and all pervasive 7) He who is transcendental to prakriti or material nature. 8) He who by His omniscience knows the actions and qualities of all beings The Supreme Lord Krishna assumes forms suitable to time, place and circumstances in regards to celestial being the demigods and terrestrial being humans. He manifests himself as if He were of their nature according to His desire. Being unborn He yet incarnates in many forms whenever and wherever He chooses whereas for material beings they are forcefully born impelled by their karma or the bondage caused from reactions to past actions. Next the time of manifestation for the avatars or incarnations will be indicated.

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Lord Krishna affirms that although He enters prakriti or material nature which is under His complete control, by His own sweet will through His internal potency known as yogamaya. He is never divested of His supreme transcendental attributes and imperishable potencies as Sovereign Lord of all creation even though His external from appears human. The forms and places where the Supreme Lord resides as described in the Vedic scriptures. 1) He the spirit who luminously resides in the interior of the sun 2) He the spirit who luminously resides in the etheric region of the heart 3) He who is immortal and eternal 4) He who manifested all the demigods and humans 5) He who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent 6) He who is resplendent and all pervasive 7) He who is transcendental to prakriti or material nature. 8) He who by His omniscience knows the actions and qualities of all beings The Supreme Lord Krishna assumes forms suitable to time, place and circumstances in regards to celestial being the demigods and terrestrial being humans. He manifests himself as if He were of their nature according to His desire. Being unborn He yet incarnates in many forms whenever and wherever He chooses whereas for material beings they are forcefully born impelled by their karma or the bondage caused from reactions to past actions. Next the time of manifestation for the avatars or incarnations will be indicated.

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 4.6

Ajo’pi sannavyayaatmaa bhootaanaam eeshwaro’pi san; Prakritim swaam adhishthaaya sambhavaamyaatmamaayayaa.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 4.6

ajaḥ—unborn; api—although; san—being so; avyaya ātmā—Imperishable nature; bhūtānām—of (all) beings; īśhvaraḥ—the Lord; api—although; san—being; prakṛitim—nature; svām—of myself; adhiṣhṭhāya—situated; sambhavāmi—I manifest; ātma-māyayā—by my Yogmaya power