yatanto yoginaś cainaḿ
paśyanty ātmany avasthitam
yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno
nainaḿ paśyanty acetasaḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 15.11
The endeavoring transcendentalists, who are situated in self-realization, can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try to.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
There are many transcendentalists on the path of spiritual self-realization, but one who is not situated in self-realization cannot see how things are changing in the body of the living entity. The word yoginah is significant in this connection. In the present day there are many so-called yogis, and there are many so-called associations of yogis, but they are actually blind in the matter of self-realization. They are simply addicted to some sort of gymnastic exercise and are satisfied if the body is well built and healthy. They have no other information. They are called yatanto ’py akritatmanah. Even though they are endeavoring in a so-called yoga system, they are not self-realized. Such people cannot understand the process of the transmigration of the soul. Only those who are actually in the yoga system and have realized the self, the world, and the Supreme Lord—in other words, the bhakti-yogis, those engaged in pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness—can understand how things are taking place.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Those persons of discrimination are the endeavoring yogis. They see the soul in the body. Those of impure consciousness (akrtatmanah), even endeavoring, do not see the soul there.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
15.11 The ‘striving Yogins’ i.e., those striving in the path of Karma Yoga etc., after practising Prapatti (self-surrender), purify their inner organs of perception and percieve the self as established in Its own form as distinct from the body, with the eye of Yoga, But those of ‘unrefined minds,’ namely those who do not practise Prapatti to Me, and are therefore of ‘uncultivated minds, and devoid of intelligence’ find themselves incapable of perceiving the self. They do not perceive It in distinction from the body. Thus, it has been said that the self, whether released or not, is a manifestation of the glory (Vibhuti) of the Lord, Its light of knowledge illuminates even the luminaries such as the sun, moon and fire which help the senses to see by removing the darkness that prevents the contact of the senses with their objects as described (in the verses): ‘That supreme light … is Mine’ (15.6) and ‘An everlasting part of Myself having become the (bound) self in the world of life’ (15.7). Now, He declares that even the lights of the sun and other luminaries, which form particular developments of Prakrti, are Vibhutis of the Lord:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
It is extremely difficult to perceive the atma or immortal soul within one’s etheric heart even if endeavoring with acute discrimination and focused attention. Only some are able to succeed while others who strive do not. The pure yogis who have mastered the science of meditation and completed control of the senses, who assiduously strive for self- realisation, after great effort perceive the atma residing within thier own physical body and distinctly different from it. Whereas those who have not mastered the science of meditation, who have not managed to control the mind, who are of impure thoughts, who are unable to curb the impetuous impulses of the senses; hence are deluded, bewildered and spiritually deficient will be unable to perceive the atma no matter how hard they strive by study and practice.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Those who assiduously strive will perceive the atma or immortal soul after achieving spiritual intelligence. It is not enough to become complacent or be satisfied after acquiring equanimity of mind from meditation and reflection. One must continuously strive with great faith in the teachings of the spiritual preceptor until the goal is finally attained. Otherwise there is always a possibility of contamination of the mind due to the influences of the gunas or three modes of material nature. The word akritatmano means those of impure mind and as such they will be unable to perceive the atma although possessing sufficient intelligence. A classic example of this is Ravana.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The atma or immortal soul is extremely difficult to perceive but the aspirant who continuously strives to achieve it through focused concentration and meditation will realise the atma enshrined within their etheric heart but distinctly different from the physical body. The ignorant enslaved by desires and sense gratification have no qualification for spiritual pursuits as they are bewildered by the ostentatious encumbrances of the false ego and pursuing mundane goals in the phenomenal world they are completely oblivious to the existence of the atma.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
15.11 And some, however, yoginah, the yogis of concentrated minds; yatantah, who are diligent; pasyanti, see; evam, this one, the Self under discussion; as avasthitam, existing; atmani, in themselves, in their own intelligence. They realize, ‘I am This.’ Acetasah, the non-discriminating ones; akrta-atmanah, who lack self-control, who have not purified themselves through austerity and control of the organs, who have not desisted from bad conduct, who are not tranquil and are proud by nature; na, do not; pasyanti, see; enam, this one; api, though; (they be) yatantah, diligent-even though they be striving with the help of the valid means of knowledge such as the scriptures. With a view to speaking of the all-pervasiveness of the State and the fact of Its being the substratum of all empirical dealings, the Lord speaks in brief through the following four verses of the divine manifestations of that State which the light of fire, sun, etc. do not illumine though they are the illuminators of everything; and reaching which the aspirants of Liberation do not return again towards mundane existence; and of which State the individual souls, owing to their conformity with the diversity of limiting adjuncts, are parts, just as spaces enclosed in pot etc. are ‘parts’ of Space:
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:
yatanto yoginas cainam
pasyanty atmany avasthitam
yatanto ’py akrtatmano
nainam pasyanty acetasah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yatanta? — endeavoring; yogina? — transcendentalists; ca — also; enam — this; pasyanti — can see; atmani — in the self; avasthitam — situated; yatanta? — endeavoring; api — although; ak?ta-atmana? — those without self-realization; na — do not; enam — this; pasyanti — see; acetasa? — having undeveloped minds.