anubandhaḿ kṣayaḿ hiḿsām
anapekṣya ca pauruṣam
mohād ārabhyate karma
yat tat tāmasam ucyate
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.25
That action performed in illusion, in disregard of scriptural injunctions, and without concern for future bondage or for violence or distress caused to others is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
One has to give account of one’s actions to the state or to the agents of the Supreme Lord called the Yamadutas. Irresponsible work is destructive because it destroys the regulative principles of scriptural injunction. It is often based on violence and is distressing to other living entities. Such irresponsible work is carried out in the light of one’s personal experience. This is called illusion. And all such illusory work is a product of the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
That work which leads to later bondage by the servants of Yama, by a king or thieves (anubandham), which destroys dharma, knowledge and other good qualities (ksayam), which destroys oneself (himsam), which is performed without prior consideration (anapeksya), which is performed only by materialistic persons (paurusam), commenced out of ignorance (mohat), is called tamasic work.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.25 ‘Anubandha’ or consequence is here the pain which follows when a work is performed. ‘Loss’ means loss of wealth involved in doing that act. ‘Injury’ is the pain caused to living beings when the work is carried out. ‘Capacity’ is the ability of completing the act. Whenever an act is begun without consideration of these and from delusion, viz., due to ignoring the agency of the Supreme Person — that act is said to be Tamasika.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Continuing Lord Krishna affirms that action which are undertaken under delusion without consideration of the good and evil consequences that will follow from such action, without evaluation of its worth; which incurs unreasonable expenditure in time, energy or resources, which causes injury to oneself and to others and is pointless to pursue is situated in tama guna the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Those actions that are undertaken through the defect of not knowing that absolutely everything is under the complete control of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Those actions that are engaged in without considering the consequences of good or evil for them or determining as to whether or not one is capable of accomplishing them. Those actions that cause harm to others and to oneself and that are merely a waste of time, energy and expenditure. Such actions are invariably situated in tama guna the mode of ignorance.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.25 Tat, that; karma, action; yat, which; is arabhyate, undertaken; mohat, out of delusion, non-discrimination; anapeksya, without consideration of; its anubandham, consequence, the result which accrues later; ksayam, loss-that losss which is incurred in the form of loss of energy or loss of wealth in the course of any action; himsam, harm, suffering to creatures; and paurusam, ability, prowess-one’s own ability fest as, ‘I shall be able to complete this task’;-without consideration of these, from ‘consequence’ to ‘ability’, ucyate, is said to be; tamasam, born of tamas.
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:
anubandham ksayam himsam
anapeksya ca paurusam
mohad arabhyate karma
yat tat tamasam ucyate
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
anubandham — of future bondage; kṣayam — destruction; hiḿsām — and distress to others; anapekṣya — without considering the consequences; ca — also; pauruṣam — self-sanctioned; mohāt — by illusion; ārabhyate — is begun; karma — work; yat — which; tat — that; tāmasam — in the mode of ignorance; ucyate — is said to be.