yat tu kāmepsunā karma
sāhańkāreṇa vā punaḥ
tad rājasam udāhṛtam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.24
But action performed with great effort by one seeking to gratify his desires, and enacted from a sense of false ego, is called action in the mode of passion.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
No commentary by Srila Prabhupada.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
That work which is performed with desire for results (kama ipsuna), indicating a little pride, or with great pride (sa ahankarena va) is called rajasic work.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.24 But whatever act is performed by one who seeks to gratify his desires, viz., by one who desires the results of his action and with the feeling of egoism, viz., has the misconceived notion that oneself is the agent; and with a great deal of effort — such an act is of the nature of Rajas. Here va (or) is used in the sense of ca (and). Whatever action is performed by one who possesses the misconceived notion, ‘This action demanding enormous effort is performed entirely by me’ — it is said to be Rajasika.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna asserts that actions that are pompous and ostentatious or possessed of egoism and conceit or enacted expressly with the desire and purpose of coveting rewards or that is executed with great effort and difficulty are declared to be situated in raja guna the mode of passion.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna explains that actions that involve excessive effort and cause stress and strain from the conception to the completion. Actions that are executed with the expectation of enjoyment and rewards. Actions that are motivated by vanity, conceit and egoism as well as desire for recognition. Such actions are known to be situated in raja guna the mode of passion.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.24 But tat, that; karma, action; udahrtam, is said to be; rajasam, born of rajas; yat, which; is kriyate, done; kamepsuna by one desirous of results; va, or; saahankarena, by one who is egotistic; and bahulaayasam, which is highly strenuous, accomplished by the agent with great effort. ‘Egotistic’ is not used in contrast to knowledge of Truth. What then? It is used in contrast to the absence of egotism in an ordinary person versed in the Vedic path. For in the case of the knower of the Self, who is not egotistic in the real sense, there is no question of his being desirous of results or of being an agent of actions requiring great effort. Even of actions born of sattva, the agent is one who has not realized the Self and is possessed of egoism; what to speak of actions born of rajas and tamas! In common parlance, a person versed in the Vedic path, even though not possessing knowledge of the Self, is spoken of as being free from egotism thus-‘This Brahmana is free from egotism’. Therefore, ‘sahan-karena va’ is said in contrast to him only. Punah (again) is used to complete the meter.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.23-25 Niyatam etc. : upto Tamasam ucyate. With determination : i.e., it is a thing to be acquired. Abundant in offlictions : spread through by nescience etc. Due to ignorance : i.e. due to that which is born of addiction.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yat tu kamepsuna karma
sahankarena va punah
tad rajasam udahrtam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yat — that which; tu — but; kāma-īpsunā — by one with desires for fruitive results; karma — work; sa-ahańkāreṇa — with ego; vā — or; punaḥ — again; kriyate — is performed; bahula-āyāsam — with great labor; tat — that; rājasam — in the mode of passion; udāhṛtam — is said to be.