mayi sannyasya mat-paraḥ
mac-cittaḥ satataḿ bhava
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.57
In all activities just depend upon Me and work always under My protection. In such devotional service, be fully conscious of Me.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
When one acts in Krishna consciousness, he does not act as the master of the world. Just like a servant, one should act fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. A servant has no individual independence. He acts only on the order of the master. A servant acting on behalf of the supreme master is unaffected by profit and loss. He simply discharges his duty faithfully in terms of the order of the Lord. Now, one may argue that Arjuna was acting under the personal direction of Krishna but when Krishna is not present how should one act? If one acts according to the direction of Krishna in this book, as well as under the guidance of the representative of Krishna, then the result will be the same. The Sanskrit word mat-parah is very important in this verse. It indicates that one has no goal in life save and except acting in Krishna consciousness just to satisfy Krishna. And while working in that way, one should think of Krishna only: “I have been appointed to discharge this particular duty by Krishna.” While acting in such a way, one naturally has to think of Krishna. This is perfect Krishna consciousness. One should, however, note that after doing something whimsically he should not offer the result to the Supreme Lord. That sort of duty is not in the devotional service of Krishna consciousness. One should act according to the order of Krishna. This is a very important point. That order of Krishna comes through disciplic succession from the bona fide spiritual master.
Therefore the spiritual master’s order should be taken as the prime duty of life. If one gets a bona fide spiritual master and acts according to his direction, then one’s perfection of life in Krishna consciousness is guaranteed.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“Now, what are you indicating to me particularly? Am I an ananya bhakta? Or am I the sakama bhakta just mentioned by you?”
“You do not have the strength to become the most excellent ananya bhakta. And you should not be the sakama bhakta, the lowest among all the devotees. Therefore, be a madhyama devotee, a devotee intermediate between these two. While offering to me all of your occupational activities and your duties of asrama, you whose goal of life is only to attain me (mat parah), in other words, being niskama, remember me always (mat cittah bhava), even while doing those activities and at any other time also (satatam), being endowed with fixed intelligence, vyavasayatmika buddhi (buddhi yogam upasrtya).”
The Lord has previously said the same:
yat karosi yad asnasi yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurusva mad-arpanam
Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give, whatever austerity you perform, offer it to me, O son of Kunti. BG 9.27
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.57 ‘By your mind’ means with thought which considers the self as belonging to Me and as controlled by Me. For, it has been declared: ‘Surrendering all your acts to Me with a mind focussed on the self’ (3.30). Surrendering all acts to Me along with agentship and the object of worship and regarding ‘Me as the goal,’ i.e., constantly contemplating that I alone am to be attained as the goal; performing all acts; and resorting to Buddhi-Yoga — focus your mind on Me always. Buddhi Yoga here implies the mental attitude special to the seeker of salvation in regard to agency of works, the fruits etc. Thus
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord Krishna is now concluding the topic of obtaining moksa by taking full refuge in the Supreme Lord even while performing prescribed Vedic activities daily and occasionally. Even if one still has the residue of desires while performing such activities but take sole refuge in the Supreme Lord not seeking mundane material gains from the demigods and not striving for entry into the heavenly planets. Such an aspirant will receive the grace of the Supreme Lord and by their exclusive devotion to Him and attain His eternal association in the transcendental spiritual worlds.Renunciation factually means surrendering all thoughts and actions unto the Supreme Lord Krishna, regarding Him as the highest attainment, most important reality, the very essence of one’s life and the actual purpose of existence. Resorting to yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by discrimination of spiritual intelligence while performing activities in every aspect of life one fixes their mind in devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna exclusively. In this way every activity is an oblation of devotion unto the Supreme Lord.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna confirms in this verse that those devotees who are versed in karma yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by actions, bhakti yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by exclusive loving devotion, jnana yoga or facilitating communion with the Supreme Lord by knowledge and those who although not so expert have anyway fully surrendered to Him are on the same platform there is no difference if all ordained actions are offered with a feeling of surrender solely to Him. Such consciousness will also cause a modification in the cessation of random thought waves that arise uninvited. The equanimity of the intellect means control of the mind and snses.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
If one is unable to practice detachment by themselves then one should mentally dedicate all actions to the Supreme Lord entrusting them to Him as the doer and offer all prescribed Vedic activities as well as all worldly activities in renunciation. This includes surrendering all ordinances, injunctions and prohibitions as well as one’s daily mundane duties along with the resultant hopes, aspirations and rewards unto the Supreme Lord who becomes the only goal. One who after due reflection makes this resolve has perceived that Lord Krishna is the supreme reality to attain.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.57 Cetasa, mentally, with a discriminating intellect; sannyasya, surrendering; sarva-karmani, all actions meant for seen or unseen results; mayi, to Me, to God, in the manner described in, ‘Whatever you do, whatever you eat’ (9.27); and matparah, accepting Me as the supreme-you to whom I, Vasudeva, am the supreme, are matparah; becoming so; satatam, ever; maccittah bhava, have your kind fixed only on Me; upasritya, by resorting-resorting implies not taking recourse to anything else-; buddhi-yogam, to the concentration of your intellect. Having the intellect (buddhi) concentrated on Me is buddhi-yoga.
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:
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
mac-cittah satatam bhava
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
cetasā — by intelligence; sarva-karmāṇi — all kinds of activities; mayi — unto Me; sannyasya — giving up; mat-paraḥ — under My protection; buddhi-yogam — devotional activities; upāśritya — taking shelter of; mat-cittaḥ — in consciousness of Me; satatam — twenty-four hours a day; bhava — just become.