tad ity anabhisandhāya
dāna-kriyāś ca vividhāḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 17.25
Without desiring fruitive results, one should perform various kinds of sacrifice, penance and charity with the word tat. The purpose of such transcendental activities is to get free from material entanglement.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
To be elevated to the spiritual position, one should not act for any material gain. Acts should be performed for the ultimate gain of being transferred to the spiritual kingdom, back to home, back to Godhead.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Uttering the word tat (tad iti), uddhrtya being understood from the previous verse, they perform activities such as charity. Anabhisandhaya means without seeking results.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
17.25 Whatever acts such as the study of the Vedas, sacrifices, austerities and gifts are done without aiming at results by those of the first three stations, seeking only final release — these are designated by the term Tat referring to the brahman, since they constitute the means for attainment of brahman. For it is well known that the term Tat signifies brahman, as in the following passage: He is Sah,Vah, Kah, Kim, Yat, Tat, Padam, Anuttamam.’ (M.B., 13.254.91). Thus, the study of the Vedas, sacrifices etc., which are the means of attaining release, have been stated; the connection of Tat has been spoken of since the word Tat signifies them (i.e., the study of Vedas etc.). The connection of the term Tat with the three stations is shown because of their practising the study of the Vedas etc., in the way stated. In order to show how the term Sat is connected with these, Sri Krsna shows the etymology of the term Sat, as it is prevalent in the world:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna glorifies the auspicious sound vibration TAT. The performance of yagna or propitiation, tapah or austerities and danam or charity by the pure minded aspirants in sattva guna the mode of goodness are performed without any desire for rewards. Therefore the recitation of TAT is auspicious because through the purification of the mind and the subsequent renunciation of desire for recompense one becomes motivated for spiritual goals such as moksa or liberation from material existence, atma tattva or realisation of the immortal soul and communion with the Supreme Lord.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The auspiciousness of resonating TAT also as a name of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence which is a potency of Lord Krishna signifying that everything is under the complete control of the Supreme Lord. To perform prescribed Vedic activities without any desire for rewards is known as TAT. Such followers of the Vedic scriptures perform all activities for the Supreme Lord out of devotion or as a matter of duty with no expectation of anything in return. This is also known as TAT.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
17.25 After uttering the word tat, which is a name of Brahman, yajna-tapah-kriyah, acts of sacrifice and austerity; ca, as also; vividhah, the various; dana-kriyah, acts of charity, such as gift of land, gold, etc.; kriyante, are performed; anabhisandhaya, without regard for; phalam, results of actions; moksa-kanksibhih, by persons aspiring for Liberation. The use of the words Om and tat has been stated. Thereafter, the use of the word sat is bieng presently stated:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
17.23-27 Om etc. upto abhidhiyate. An indication of the Brahman i.e., an act of facing (or aiming at) the Brahman is made by these three words viz., OM, TAT and SAT. Of them, Om indicates that ‘This purport of the scriptures is [to be ?] accepted as long as one has bodily connection’. The pronoun TAT, which denotes generality and which is incapable of denoting exclusively a particular, mentions, as far as the Brahman is concerned, the absence of intention for fruit. An intention is not possible without reference to something particular. No doubt [TAT] may denote all particulars [in general]. But it would lead to intending the fruits and the doer-ship with regard to all [in general]. Even then [the Brahman] cannot have connection with any particular fruit. The Vedic word SAT denotes ‘prasie’. The act, like this sacrifice etc., though perormed, truns out to be an act of the Tams (evil act) if it is performed with the idea, ‘It is an evil act’. Further, what is performed with an intention for a particular fruit is not praiseworthy, and it causes nothing but bondage. Therefore, those, who bear in mind, ‘This is a thing to be performed’ – they are not fettered, even though they perform acts like sacrifice etc. With this idea only, it has been said in the Adiparvan as – ‘The austerity is not dirt, nor the [Vedic] study, nor the natural ritual enjoined by the Vedas, and nor the act of earning wealth by all efforts. But, if they are struck by mind, they themselves become dirt.’ (MB, Adi. i, 210). [Here in this passage] dirt that which fetters. Natural : [That is, ordained ], such as – ‘Without expecting anything, a Brahman should learn the Vedas etc., together with their six subsidiaries’ etc. By all effort : by the act that is suitable and is well known in the scriptures and in the worldly practice. By mind : by the mind that is yoked to the traid of the Strands, Sattva etc. [Those actions that] have been simply ruined [by that mind], are binding and not otherwise. This is the idea here. Therefore, the acts like sacrifice etc., and the acts, like acquiring [Wealth] etc., for that purpose, have to be perfored as being inevitable as long as the body exists. Or, perhaps, the word OM conveys [with regard to the Brahman] the idea of That in Which the entire universe has been totally calmed down. TAT conveys the idea of That of the nature of Sovereign Independence of Will, which is nothing but comprehending the rising waves in the form of the universe. And the word SAT denotes the act of manifestation by the Brahman – even though It is complete in Itself – as [the universe] having varied nature, a manifestation that causes differences (or duality) expanding under the weight of its Sovereign Independenc of Will. Hence it has been said ‘In the sense of manifesting as beings and in the sense of manifesting perfectly [SAT is employed].’ Thus, having is front [as a casue] that aspect (the Soul) of highly tranquil nature; and having in the centre that aspect which is well connected with desire-waves viz., the desire to make gift, the desire to perform sacrifice and the desire to observe penance; this final body radiates (or dances) filled with a group of activities, such as offering gift, performing sacrifice and observing austerity, and of what are conducive to them. This triad is indeed simultaneously the inherent nature of the Unhindered One (the Soul). So, what fruit could be there ? And to whom ? How ? Whence ? Where ? And by what means ? The act of person, with no faith, is an act of the Tamas and bears no fruit in any way and bears fruit which is nothing but the labour undertaken in bringing together the band of means [of those acts]. Hence one should not on any account remain faithless. This is being said now :
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
tad ity anabhisandhaya
dana-kriyas ca vividhah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
tat — that; iti — thus; anabhisandhāya — without desiring; phalam — the fruitive result; yajña — of sacriﬁce; tapaḥ — and penance; kriyāḥ — activities; dāna — of charity; kriyāḥ — activities; ca — also; vividhāḥ — various; kriyante — are done; mokṣa-kāńkṣibhiḥ — by those who actually desire liberation.