Share this page on following platforms.
Download Bhagwad Gita 5.16 Download BG 5.16 as Image

⮪ BG 5.15 Bhagwad Gita English BG 5.17⮫

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verse 16

भगवद् गीता अध्याय 5 श्लोक 16

ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मनः।
तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम्।।5.16।।

English Translation - Swami Gambirananda

5.16 But in the case of those of whom that ignorance of theirs becomes destroyed by the knowledge (of the Self), their Knowledge, like the sun, reveals that supreme Reality.

English Translation - Swami Sivananda

5.16 But to those whose ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of the Self, like the sun, knowledge reveals the Supreme (Brahman).

English Translation - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

5.16. In the case of those whose Illusion has been, however, destroyed by the Self-knowledge, then for them that knowledge illumines itself, like the sun.

English Commentary - Swami Sivananda

5.16 ज्ञानेन by wisdom? तु but? तत् that? अज्ञानम् ignorance? येषाम् whose? नाशितम् is destroyed? आत्मनः of the Self? तेषाम् their? आदित्यवत् like the sun? ज्ञानम् knowledge? प्रकाशयति reveals? तत्परम् that Highest.Commentary When ignorance? the root cause of human sufferings? is annihilated by the knowledge of the Self? this knowledge illuminates the Supreme Brahman or that highest immortal Being? just as the sun illumines all the objects of this gross? physical universe.

English Translation of Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya's

5.16 Tu, but; yesam, in the case of those creatures; of whom tat ajnanam, that ignorance; atmanah, of theirs-being covered by which ignorance creatures get deluded-; nasitam, becomes destroyed; jnanena, by knowledge, by discriminating knowledge concerning the Self; tesam, their; jnanam, knowledge; adityavat, like the sun; prakasayati, reveals, in the same way as the sun reveals all forms whatever; tat-param, that supreme Reality, the Reality which is the highest Goal, the totality of whatever is to be known.

English Translation of Commentary - Dr. S. Sankaranarayan

5.16 Jnanena etc. When however the Illusion is destroyed by knowledge, then the natural capacity of knowledge, in illuminating itself and other things starts to work automatically just as the sun does when the darkness is lost. Indeed when the doubt [of poison] is completely rooted out, the nectar does the work of the nectar just automatically. But this is possible for those who have their intellect and mind gone to This [Self] and have abandoned [all] other activities. To make this idea clear [the Lord] says -

English Translation of Ramanuja's Sanskrit Commentary

5.16 While all these selves are thus deluded, in the case of enlightened souls, their delusive ignorance - which envelops knowledge and which is of the form of accumulated, beginningless and endless Karma - is destroyed by knowledge. As already described this knowledge is produced by the teachings of the scriptures about the real nature of the self, which are enriched by daily practice. The purity of this knowledge is unexcelled. And in the case of those selves who regain the knowledge that is natural to Them, it is found that it is unlimited and uncontracted and illumining everything like the sun. Plurality of the selves in Their essence is expressly mentioned in the case of those whose ignorance is overcome, in the expression for those in the text. What was stated at the commencement, There never was a time when I did not exist (2.12) is expressed here with greater clarity. Moreover, this plurality is not due to limiting adjuncts imposed on a single universal self. For, as stated here, there cannot be any trace of such adjuncts for those whose ignorance is destroyed, and still They are described as a plurality. Hence knowledge is taught as an attribute inseparable from the essential nature of the self, because a difference between the self and its knowledge is made out in the statement, Knowledge, in their case illuminates like the sun. By the illustration of the sun, the relation of the knower to his knowledge is brought out to be similar to the luminous object and its luminosity. Therefore, it is appropriate to understand that knowledge contracts by Karma in the stage of Samsara and expands in the stage of Moksa (release). [In this system the Atman has two forms of Jnana or Knowledge - Dharmi-Jnana (self-awareness) and Dharma-bhuta-Jnana (awareness of objects other than itself). It is the latter that is contracted by ignorance and expands by knowledge. See Intrdocution.]

Commentary - Chakravarthi Ji

As ignorance or avidya covers the knowledge of the jiva, superior energy called vidya destroys ignorance and reveals knowledge. By the vidya sakti (jnanena), avidya (ajnanam) is destroyed, and knowledge of the jivas is produced. Just as the glow of the sun destroys darkness and reveals objects like pots and cloth, so vidya destroys avidya and reveals the spiritual (param) knowledge in which the jiva is convinced of his spiritual nature. Thus, the Lord does not bind anyone nor does he liberate anyone, but vidya and avidya which are qualities of prakrti liberate and bind the jiva. The qualities of prakrti are the causes of bondage in the form of instigating the jiva to become the doer and the enjoyer, and they are the causes of liberation in the form of such qualities as detachment and peace. The respective qualities of prakrti are awakened by the Supreme Lord functioning in the capacity of Supersoul. He is only the initiator of prakrti’s functions through this amsa or expansion. Thus, he does not show any injustice or cruelty towards the jiva.

Rudra Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Here Lord Krishna is emphasising that persons whose spiritual knowledge has become awakened do not become deluded in the material existence. They are able to discriminate between the mundane material knowledge and the divine spiritual knowledge by knowledge of the atma or soul and knowledge of the Supreme. This spiritual knowledge destroys all ignorance and manifests illumination of the Supreme Lord within the etheric heart of a human being just as the sun destroying darkness and illuminates all things.

Brahma Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Vedic knowledge alone destroys spiritual ignorance that is why Lord Krishna uses the word jnana or knowledge referring to knowledge of the Vedas which gives actual awareness of the ultimate reality. Here the word jnana denotes a supra-consciousness experience it does not mean expertise in intellectual empirical knowledge nor does it mean proficiency in mundane analytical knowledge.

Shri Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Although the intelligence may be shrouded by the veil of ignorance still it has been seen that there are those whose consciousness becomes awakened upon receiving Vedic knowledge. The veil of ignorance is due to the endless mass of accumulated reactions to previous actions in incessant lifetimes since time immemorial. Atma tattva or realisation of the soul and soul related knowledge derived from the Vedic scriptures and imbibed from the teachings of the spiritual master increases virtue and quality in ones daily life and is exceedingly pure. For this it is necessary to achieve innate extraordinary intelligence or supra-consciousness which becomes resplendent like the sun unlimited and expansive, illuminating all things by the reality of their exact nature. The word jnanam meaning by knowledge and atmanah denoting plurality of souls confirms that by such knowledge one realises the Supreme Being. It should not be contended that the plurality of unlimited atmas is upadhi or limited because no trace of limitation can exist once ones ignorance has been dispelled by atma tattva. Spiritual intelligence in itself is an attribute of one who possesses and is dependent upon existence. The atma which is eternal is not an attribute and is independent in relation to existence. The analogy of the sun as an illuminator is to illustrate the relation between cognisance and cognition or the relationship between the knower and the known shown by the sun as the source of light and emanation of light. Hence it can be discerned that in samsara or the endless cycle of birth and death in the conditioned state there is extreme limitation due to karma or reactions to actions and in moksa or the emancipated state there is an absence of limitation due to a lack of karma..

Kumara Vaishnava Sampradaya - Commentary

Although the intelligence may be shrouded by the veil of ignorance still it has been seen that there are those whose consciousness becomes awakened upon receiving Vedic knowledge. The veil of ignorance is due to the endless mass of accumulated reactions to previous actions in incessant lifetimes since time immemorial. Atma tattva or realisation of the soul and soul related knowledge derived from the Vedic scriptures and imbibed from the teachings of the spiritual master increases virtue and quality in ones daily life and is exceedingly pure. For this it is necessary to achieve innate extraordinary intelligence or supra-consciousness which becomes resplendent like the sun unlimited and expansive, illuminating all things by the reality of their exact nature. The word jnanam meaning by knowledge and atmanah denoting plurality of souls confirms that by such knowledge one realises the Supreme Being. It should not be contended that the plurality of unlimited atmas is upadhi or limited because no trace of limitation can exist once ones ignorance has been dispelled by atma tattva. Spiritual intelligence in itself is an attribute of one who possesses and is dependent upon existence. The atma which is eternal is not an attribute and is independent in relation to existence. The analogy of the sun as an illuminator is to illustrate the relation between cognisance and cognition or the relationship between the knower and the known shown by the sun as the source of light and emanation of light. Hence it can be discerned that in samsara or the endless cycle of birth and death in the conditioned state there is extreme limitation due to karma or reactions to actions and in moksa or the emancipated state there is an absence of limitation due to a lack of karma..

Transliteration Bhagavad Gita 5.16

Jnaanena tu tad ajnaanam yeshaam naashitam aatmanah; Teshaam aadityavaj jnaanam prakaashayati tatparam.

Word Meanings Bhagavad Gita 5.16

jñānena—by divine knowledge; tu—but; tat—that; ajñānam—ignorance; yeṣhām—whose; nāśhitam—has been destroyed; ātmanaḥ—of the self; teṣhām—their; āditya-vat—like the sun; jñānam—knowledge; prakāśhayati—illumines; tat—that; param—Supreme Entity