krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ
sammohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ
smṛti-bhraḿśād buddhi-nāśo
buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.63

From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

Srila Rupa Gosvami has given us this direction:

prapancikataya buddhya
mumuksubhih parityago
vairagyam phalgu kathyate

(Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.258)

By development of Krishna consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord. Those who are without knowledge of Krishna consciousness artificially try to avoid material objects, and as a result, although they desire liberation from material bondage, they do not attain to the perfect stage of renunciation. Their so-called renunciation is called phalgu, or less important. On the other hand, a person in Krishna consciousness knows how to use everything in the service of the Lord; therefore he does not become a victim of material consciousness. For example, for an impersonalist, the Lord, or the Absolute, being impersonal, cannot eat. Whereas an impersonalist tries to avoid good eatables, a devotee knows that Krishna is the supreme enjoyer and that He eats all that is offered to Him in devotion. So, after offering good eatables to the Lord, the devotee takes the remnants, called prasadam. Thus everything becomes spiritualized, and there is no danger of a downfall. The devotee takes prasadam in Krishna consciousness, whereas the nondevotee rejects it as material. The impersonalist, therefore, cannot enjoy life, due to his artificial renunciation; and for this reason, a slight agitation of the mind pulls him down again into the pool of material existence. It is said that such a soul, even though rising up to the point of liberation, falls down again due to his not having support in devotional service.

Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

From anger develops absence of discrimination of what should be done and what should not be done (sammohah). From bewilderment develops loss of remembrance of ones own benefit derived from the instructions of scriptures (smrti vibhramah). From that comes a destruction of resolve for spiritual practices (buddhi nasa). Then one falls into the well of samsara.

Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:

2.63 ‘From the loss of memory there comes the destruction of discrimination.’ The meaning is that there will be destruction of the effect of efforts made earlier to attain the knowledge of the self. From the destruction of discrimination, one becomes lost, i.e., is sunk in Samsara or worldliness.

Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:

Continuing Lord Krishna explains that from anger the result is delusion and loss of discrimination. From delusion results confusion and lapse of memory. From loss of discrimination results bewilderment regarding the injunctions of the scriptures and the instructions of the spiritual master. The end result of these is the complete stupefaction of ones intelligence like unto a tree. From the destruction of one’s intelligence one spiritually perishes becoming dead while alive as it were.

Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:

Lord Krishna has given the origin and causes for the defects mentioned in this verse and the previous one. Sammoha meaning delusion indicates the desire to engage in inappropriate actions. The same meaning is given for moha which also indicates unrighteousness desires and the tendency to inappropriate activities. Bewilderment of memory causes destruction in the intellect. Destruction of the intellect is the non-awareness of ones eternal connection to the omnipresent soul. Pranasyati meaning one falls completely down indicates that one goes to the degraded hellish planets. Due to having unrighteous desires one cannot remember the eternal truths of the Vedic scriptures. Then due to defective perceptions one makes erroneous summations in what actions to perform and what actions not to perform. By these sinful activities one is degraded to the lower worlds.

Now begins the summation.

Sammoha denotes an illusionary perception of knowledge. This means even if the knowledge is right one will be deluded and remember it incorrectly. Thus due to perceiving the essence of the knowledge erroneously ones judgement will be compromised and ones actions will follow a distorted summation.

Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:

Lord Krishna further explains here that from anger arises delusion which is the lack of discrimination about knowing what actions to perform and what actions not to perform. From delusion comes confusion which is the bewilderment of intelligence and forgetfulness of the truths written in the Vedic scriptures instructed by the spiritual master. From confusion comes illusion the misinterpretation of intellect in determining the true nature of reality. From illusion one becomes completely ruined. One loses focus on the goal of material existence and the purpose of human life and lives in the darkness of nescience. Thus it must be understood that controlling ones mind is essential.

Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:

2.63 Pumsah, in the case of a person; dhyayatah, who dwells on, thinks of; visayan, the objects, the specialities [Specialities: The charms imagined in them.] of the objects such as sound etc.; upajayate, there arises; sangah, attachment, fondness, love; tesu, for them, for those objects. Sangat, from attachment, from love; sanjayate, grows; kamah, hankering, thirst. When that is obstructed from any quarter, kamat, from hankering; abhijayate, springs; krodhah, anger. Krodhat, from anger; bhavati, follows; sammohah, delusion, absence of discrimination with regard to what should or should not be done. For, an angry man, becoming deluded, abuses even a teacher. Sammohat, from delusion; (comes) smrti-vibhramah, failure of memory originating from the impressions acquired from the instructions of the scriptures and teachers. When there is an occasion for memory to rise, it does not occur. Smrti-bhramsat, from that failure of memory; (results) buddhi-nasah, loss of understanding. The unfitness of the mind to discriminate between what should or should not be done is called loss of understanding. Buddhi-nasat, from the loss of understanding; pranasyati, he perishes. Indeed, a man continues tobe himself so long as his mind remains fit to distinguish between what he ought to and ought not do. When it becomes unfit, a man is verily ruined. Therefore, when his internal organ, his understanding, is destroyed, a man is ruined, i.e. he becomes unfit for the human Goal. Thinking of objects has been said to be the root of all evils. After that, this which is the cause of Liberation is being now stated: [If even the memory of objects be a source of evil, then their enjoyment is more so. Hence, a sannyasin seeking Liberation cannot avoid this evil, since he has to move about for food which is necessary for the maintenance of his body. The present verse is an answer to this apprehension.]

Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:

2.63 Dhyayatah etc. krodhat etc. In the case of an ascetic, the very act of abandoning sense-objects itself resutls in undertaking the sense-objects. For, they abandon indeed by meditating [on them], and at the very time of such a meditation, attachment etc., are born in regular succession. Hence the act of abandoning objects is harmless only in the case of a man-of-stabilized-intellect. (65)

Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:

krodhad bhavati sammohah
sammohat smrti-vibhramah
smrti-bhramsad buddhi-naso
buddhi-nasat pranasyati

Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:

krodhāt — from anger; bhavati — takes place; sammohaḥ — perfect illusion; sammohāt — from illusion; smṛti — of memory; vibhramaḥ — bewilderment; smṛti-bhraḿśāt — after bewilderment of memory; buddhi-nāśaḥ — loss of intelligence; buddhi-nāśāt — and from loss of intelligence; praṇaśyati — one falls down.