utkrāmantaḿ sthitaḿ vāpi
bhuñjānaḿ vā guṇānvitam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 15.10
The foolish cannot understand how a living entity can quit his body, nor can they understand what sort of body he enjoys under the spell of the modes of nature. But one whose eyes are trained in knowledge can see all this.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The word jnana-caksusah is very significant. Without knowledge, one cannot understand how a living entity leaves his present body, nor what form of body he is going to take in the next life, nor even why he is living in a particular type of body. This requires a great amount of knowledge understood from Bhagavad-gita and similar literatures heard from a bona fide spiritual master. One who is trained to perceive all these things is fortunate.
Every living entity is quitting his body under certain circumstances, he is living under certain circumstances, and he is enjoying under certain circumstances under the spell of material nature. As a result, he is suffering different kinds of happiness and distress, under the illusion of sense enjoyment. Persons who are everlastingly fooled by lust and desire lose all power to understand their change of body and their stay in a particular body. They cannot comprehend it. Those who have developed spiritual knowledge, however, can see that the spirit is different from the body and is changing its body and enjoying in different ways. A person in such knowledge can understand how the conditioned living entity is suffering in this material existence. Therefore those who are highly developed in Krishna consciousness try their best to give this knowledge to the people in general, for their conditional life is very much troublesome. They should come out of it and be Krishna conscious and liberate themselves to transfer to the spiritual world.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Do we not realize at all when we go from the body, reside in the body and enjoy pleasures while in the body? Persons with no intelligence (vimudha) do not recognize when the jiva is leaving the body, residing in the body or enjoying the present sense objects with the senses (gunavitam). But men of discrimination (jnana caksusa) observe this.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
15.10 The deluded do not perceive the Atman (self) as a form of knowledge separate from Its human and other configurations which are particular transformations of Prakrti, with which the self is conjoined when It is in embodied condition, experiencing the objects of the senses. The self also departs from the body when the body dies and assumes another body. The deluded or those who misconceive the body as the self do not understand all this. However, those who possess the eye of knowledge, i.e., have the knowledge concerning the difference between the body and the self, perceive the self as having a form different from the body in all conditions.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
One may wonder do not all humans recognise the atma or immortal soul within as distinct and different from the physical body? Lord Krishna is addressing such a query here. The bewilderd and deluded do not recognise the atma residing within the etheric heart of their own physical body is experiencing prakriti, the material substratum pervading physical existence through the gunas, the three modes of material nature by utilising the senses. Hence they are incapable of perceiving the atma departing from the physical body and likewise cannot perceive that the atma exists equally in all jivas as well. But Lord Krishna confirms that those realised in spiritual intelligence can perceive the atma.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
How one does not perceive and how one is able to perceive is examined by Lord Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Those who are ignorant and unevolved are not able to discriminate between the atma or immortal soul and the physical body. Hence lacking the spiritual intelligence they are completely oblivious of the reality that the atma is distinctly different from the body and the senses even though it is experiencing the senses when dwelling within the body, or when transmigrating from the body or when entering a new body as human, demigod or animal due to the influence of the gunas or three modes of material nature and the resultant tribulation of karma or reactions to actions. But those with spiritual intelligence, possessing the eye of wisdom acquired through devotion and knowledge of the Vedic scriptures as taught by the Vaisnava spiritual preceptor will naturally realise both the eternal atma and the transcendental Supreme Lord in reality as having no material qualities in any respect.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
15.10 Thus, the embodied soul, utkarmantam, when it is leaving the body-the body that was assumed earlier; or sthitam, while residing in the (present) body; or bhunjanam, experiencing sound etc.; or guna-anvitam, in association with, i.e. identified with, the qualities called happiness, sorrow and delusion-even when, under such conditions, this one comes very much within the range of cognition; vimudhah, the persons who are diversely deluded as a result of their hearts being forcibly attracted by the enjoyments of seen and unseen objects; na, do not; anu-pasyanti, see. And the Lord regrets this saying, ‘Alas! How sorrowful this is!’ Those others, again, jnana-caksusah, who have the eye of knowledge, [Jnana-caksuh means the scriptures supported by reasoning, which are the means of knowledge.] who have the insight of under-standing which has arisen from the valid means of knowledge, i.e., those having a clear vision; pasyanti, see this one.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
15.9-11 Srotram etc. upto asetasah. Mind : the internal organ is hereby implied. Hence, due to His association of the bodily existence, when He remains [in the body], or rises up to seize another body, or enjoys the sense objects – at that time the deluded persons do not perceive Him, because they are not well enlightened. But, considering everything as manifestation of the [Self] awareness, the highly enlightened men recognize Him. Thus they are men of unbroken contemplation. Because they are engrossed in their exertion. But in the case of those who have not mastered their self (mind), even their effort does not yield any fruit, because their passion has not yet been fully decayed. Indeed the seeds of corn, sown during the autumnal season are not capable of yielding a rich harvest, even though the means like water etc., get collected together. Therefore, it (the water etc.) does not constitute a collection of means. Indeed totally different is the water sent forth by the mass of clouds that had been filled up in the month of Madhu. Altogether different is the earth that had been under the grip of the Cold-season (Sisira) and has (now) brilliance by the simple touch of the sun-rays. In the same way, the effort of the men of uncontrolled self, never gets to the stage of fulfilment of all requisities . That is why those who, even after receiving the means like the inititation etc. necessary for the realisation of the Supreme Lord, continue to have their inner vision filled with the collection of the knots (granthi) of anger, bewilderment etc., in the manner as before-in their case, even the means does never bear any fruit. This must be borne in mind. For, it is has been said : ‘When anger etc., are seen, then even the initiated one never gets emancipation’.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
utkramantam sthitam vapi
bhuñjanam va gunanvitam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
utkrāmantam — quitting the body; sthitam — situated in the body; vā api — either; bhuñjānam — enjoying; vā — or; guṇa-anvitam — under the spell of the modes of material nature; vimūḍhāḥ — foolish persons; na — never; anupaśyanti — can see; paśyanti — can see; jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ — those who have the eyes of knowledge.