śraddhāvān anasūyaś ca
śṛṇuyād api yo naraḥ
so ’pi muktaḥ śubhāḻ lokān
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 18.71
And one who listens with faith and without envy becomes free from sinful reactions and attains to the auspicious planets where the pious dwell.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
In the sixty-seventh verse of this chapter, the Lord explicitly forbade the Gita’s being spoken to those who are envious of the Lord. In other words, Bhagavad-gita is for the devotees only. But it so happens that sometimes a devotee of the Lord will hold open class, and in that class not all the students are expected to be devotees. Why do such persons hold open class? It is explained here that although not everyone is a devotee, still there are many men who are not envious of Krishna. They have faith in Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If such persons hear from a bona fide devotee about the Lord, the result is that they become at once free from all sinful reactions and after that attain to the planetary system where all righteous persons are situated. Therefore simply by hearing Bhagavad-gita, even a person who does not try to be a pure devotee attains the result of righteous activities. Thus a pure devotee of the Lord gives everyone a chance to become free from all sinful reactions and to become a devotee of the Lord.
Generally those who are free from sinful reactions, those who are righteous, very easily take to Krishna consciousness. The word punya-karmanam is very significant here. This refers to the performance of great sacrifices, like the ashvamedha-yajna, mentioned in the Vedic literature. Those who are righteous in performing devotional service but who are not pure can attain the planetary system of the polestar, or Dhruvaloka, where Dhruva Maharaja is presiding. He is a great devotee of the Lord, and he has a special planet, which is called the polestar.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse states the results of hearing the Gita.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
18.71 A man who, with faith and without cavilling, hears the Gita when faught by a qualified teacher, he too is, by such hearing, released from all evil incompatible with devotional life. He shall reach the Lokas, i.e., the realms of the hosts of My devotees who have done virtuous acts, and who will facilitate the growth of devotion in these new arrivals and lead them ultimately to liberation.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Continuing further Lord Krishna affirms that even one who merely hears another reciting Srimad Bhagavad-Gita is totally released from all sins as well; if they have listened with sincerity and humility.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Even if one does not recite it themselves but listens to others reciting Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. Such a person who appreciates the words of Lord Krishna and has faith in them and is not critical of a faulty pronunciation or imperfect meter. Such a person from merely hearing this divine discourse will enter the joyous heavenly spheres at the cessation of life.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
18.71 Yah narah, any man who; being sraddhavan, reverential; and anasuyah, free from cavilling; srnuyat api, might even hear this text-the word even suggests that one who knows the meaning (of the Scripture) hardly needs to be mentioned-; sah api, he too; becoming muktah, free from sin; prapnuyat, shall attain; subhan, the blessed, auspicious; lokan, worlds; punya-karmanam, of those who perform virtuous deeds, of those who perform rites like Agnihotra etc. In order to ascertaini whether or not the disciple has comprehended the meaning of the Scripture, the Lord asks (the following question), the intention of the questioner beings, ‘If it is known that it has not been comprehended, I shall again make him grasp it through other means.’ Hereby is shown the duty of the teacher that a student should be made to achieve his goal by taking the help of a different method.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
18.68-72 Ya idam etc. upto Dhananjaya. The very act of explaining this among My devotees is itself an act of cultivating devotion towards Me. Whosoever shall declare etc : Whosoever directs the mind [of the devotees] by face to face method, following the best procedure prescribed in the scriptures; i.e., he who shall impart [this knowledge] – he becomes one with Me. This is an injunction [concerning the result] and not a sentence of praise. Likewise is [the case] in other places also.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sraddhavan anasuyas ca
srnuyad api yo narah
so ’pi muktah subhaḻ lokan
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
śraddhā-vān — faithful; anasūyaḥ — not envious; ca — and; śṛṇuyāt — does hear; api — certainly; yaḥ — who; naraḥ — a man; saḥ — he; api — also; muktaḥ — being liberated; śubhān — the auspicious; lokān — planets; prāpnuyāt — he attains; puṇya-karmaṇām — of the pious.