yataḥ pravṛttir bhūtānāḿ
yena sarvam idaḿ tatam
sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya
siddhiḿ vindati mānavaḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.46
By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
As stated in the Fifteenth Chapter, all living beings are fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Supreme Lord is the beginning of all living entities.
This is confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra—janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. The Supreme Lord is therefore the beginning of life of every living entity. And as stated in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Lord, by His two energies, His external energy and internal energy, is all-pervading. Therefore one should worship the Supreme Lord with His energies. Generally the Vaishnava devotees worship the Supreme Lord with His internal energy. His external energy is a perverted reflection of the internal energy. The external energy is a background, but the Supreme Lord by the expansion of His plenary portion as Paramatma is situated everywhere. He is the Supersoul of all demigods, all human beings, all animals, everywhere. One should therefore know that as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord one has his duty to render service unto the Supreme. Everyone should be engaged in devotional service to the Lord in full Krishna consciousness. That is recommended in this verse.
Everyone should think that he is engaged in a particular type of occupation by Hrishikesha, the master of the senses. And by the result of the work in which one is engaged, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, should be worshiped. If one thinks always in this way, in full Krishna consciousness, then, by the grace of the Lord, he becomes fully aware of everything. That is the perfection of life. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (12.7), tesham aham samuddharta. The Supreme Lord Himself takes charge of delivering such a devotee. That is the highest perfection of life. In whatever occupation one may be engaged, if he serves the Supreme Lord he will achieve the highest perfection.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Humans attain perfection by worshipping (abhyarcya) through their prescribed work him alone, the Supreme Lord, from whom arise the activities of all living entities. This worship consists of offering the work in the mind, thinking, “By this work may the Lord be satisfied.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.46 He from whom arise all activities as origination of all beings and by whom all this is pervaded, by worshipping Him, i.e., Myself, who abide in Indra and other divinites as the Inner Ruler, man attains perfection, consisting in the attainment of Myself by My grace. It has been told before that everything originates from Me and all this is pervaded by Me, in texts like the following: ‘I am the origin and dissolution of the whole universe’ (7.6), ‘There is nothing higher than Myself, O Arjuna’ (7.7), ‘This entire universe is pervaded by Me in an unmanifest form’ (9.4), ‘Under My supervision, the Prakrti gives birth to all mobile and immobile entities’ (9.10) and ‘I am the origin of all; from Me proceed everything’ (10.8).
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The method described is that by worshipping the Supreme Lord Krishna or any of His authorised avatars or incarnations and expansions as revealed in Vedic scriptures is through the medium of one’s own prescribed duty while knowing that from Him proceeds the activities of all jivas or embodied beings and by whom all existence is created and permeated one has achieved perfection in their life.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The perfection of self-realisation is only obtained in perfection from worshipping the Supreme Lord and offering everything one possesses to Him. This can be also done by following one’s natural duties without deviation as ordained in Vedic scriptures. All jivas or embodied beings manifested from Lord Krishna who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and who created, maintains and sustains everything in all creation which is all permeated solely by Him.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.46 Manavah, a human being; vindati, achieves; siddhim, success, merely in the form of the ability for steadfastness in Knowledge; abhyarcya, by adoring, worshipping; svakarmana, with his own duties stated above, as allotted to each caste; tam, Him, God; yatah, from whom, from which God; comes pravrttih, origin,-or, from which internal Ruler comes the activities; ;bhutanam, of creatures, of living beings; and yena, by whom, by which God; is tatam, pervaded; sarvam, all; idam, this world. Since this is so, therefore,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.41-60 Brahmana – etc. upto avasopitat. Surely the intrinsic nature of the Brahmanas etc., does not voilate what has been difined (above) by way of classifying their duties. Therefore, as far as you are concerned, you have the intrinsic quality of the Ksatriya (warrior), and your nature i.e., intrinsic quality, does, without fail, assume the part of the inciter of yourself, even though you don’t like it. For, a person who acts simply being incited by that (natural condition), there is the strong bondage of the merit or demerit. Therefore, perform actions following the means of correct knowledge, taught by Me. In that case, the bondage would disappear. The intention of the principal sentence (statement of the entire passage under study) is to help to get this idea. The meaning of the subordinate sentences (statements) is evident. Briefly (verse 50) : in short. Knowledge : i.e. the one which has been explained earlier. Nistha conveys, avoiding verbal jugglary, the meaning ‘what has been determined’. He who is endowed with intellect totally pure etc. : All this has been almost explained already. Hence, no more trouble is taken [to comment upon it].
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yatah pravrttir bhutanam
yena sarvam idam tatam
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya
siddhim vindati manavah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yataḥ — from whom; pravṛttiḥ — the emanation; bhūtānām — of all living entities; yena — by whom; sarvam — all; idam — this; tatam — is pervaded; sva-karmaṇā — by his own duties; tam — Him; abhyarcya — by worshiping; siddhim — perfection; vindati — achieves; mānavaḥ — a man.