vihāya kāmān yaḥ sarvān
pumāḿś carati niḥspṛhaḥ
sa śāntim adhigacchati
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.71
A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, desire for becoming Krishna conscious is actually desirelessness. To understand one’s actual position as the eternal servitor of Krishna, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without falsely claiming proprietorship over anything in the world, is the perfect stage of Krishna consciousness. One who is situated in this perfect stage knows that because Krishna is the proprietor of everything, everything must be used for the satisfaction of Krishna. Arjuna did not want to fight for his own sense satisfaction, but when he became fully Krishna conscious he fought because Krishna wanted him to fight. For himself there was no desire to fight, but for Krishna the same Arjuna fought to his best ability. Real desirelessness is desire for the satisfaction of Krishna, not an artificial attempt to abolish desires. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he does have to change the quality of the desires. A materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to Krishna (isavasyam idam sarvam), and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything. This transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization—namely, knowing perfectly well that every living entity is an eternal part and parcel of Krishna in spiritual identity, and that the eternal position of the living entity is therefore never on the level of Krishna or greater than Him. This understanding of Krishna consciousness is the basic principle of real peace.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse describes the person who, not having faith in the sense objects, does not enjoy them at all. He is devoid of Possessiveness and ego regarding his body and objects related to the body (nirmamo nirahankarah).
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
2.71 What are desired, they are called the objects of desire. These are sound and other sense-objects. The person, who wants peace must abandon all sense-objects such as sound, touch etc. He should have no longing for them. He should be without the sense of ‘mineness’ regarding them, as that sense arises from the misconception that the body, which is really non-self, is the self. He who lives in this way attains to peace after seeing the self.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Here it is clearly stated that one who has internally renounced the desire for sense objects equipoise by the association of those coming on their own accord and not hankering for those that are not appearing on their own accord, free from false ego of thinking doership and devoid of any conception of proprietorship of anything, accepts whatever comes as a result of past actions, attains peace of mind.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna clarifies this theme in this verse. One who experiences objects of the senses without one being attached to them or having the conceptions of this is mine or I am this body, such a one verily situated in a state of perfect peace and they alone attain liberation. This is the meaning.
Now begins the summation.
With the determination of renouncing all inappropriate objects, one abandons all sense objects. To assume that which is not under ones control is under ones control is deluded egotism. Rejecting egotism in all its forms is understood to be under the control of the Supreme Lord Krishna. This is the goal to fully strive for.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
In answer to the question, Who is qualified for this yoga which bestows such a great reward? Lord Krishna states the word yah vihaya whomsoever giving up. The use of the pronoun yah meaning who whosoever denotes that there are no restrictions regarding class, caste, education or qualification for engaging in this process of self-realisation preceded by abandoning attachment to all sense objects. Abandoning fully all desires for things to obtain, desires present and desires approaching, experiencing those things only which come on their own accord. Free from attachment and hence free from egoism, devoid of feeling my-ness such as this is mine, when acquiring food, clothing, etc. and free from even the thirst of enjoyment. Being free as well from the feeling of I-ness towards the body and senses thinking that I am the physical body syndrome. Due to the firm knowledge about the eternal soul being distinctly different from all of these material designations, wherever and whatever such a one engages themselves they are always situated in a state of perfect peace.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
2.71 Sah puman, that man who has become thus, the sannyasin, the man of steady wisdom, the knower of Brahman; adhi-gacchati, attains; santim, peace, called Nirvana, consisting in the cessation of all the sorrows of mundane existence, i.e. he becomes one with Brahman; yah, who; vihaya, after rejecting; sarvan, all; kaman, desires, without a trace, fully; carati, moves about, i.e. wanders about, making efforts only for maintaining the body; nihsprhah, free from hankering, becoming free from any longing even for the maintenance of the body; nirmamah, without the idea of (‘me’ and) ‘mine’, without the deeprooted idea of ‘mine’ even when accepting something needed merely for the upkeep of the body; and nir-ahankarah, devoid of pride, i.e. free from self esteem owing to learning etc. This steadfastness in Knowledge, which is such, is being praised:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
2.71 Vihaya etc. Because he has renounced all desires, the man of Yoga, attains emancipation in the form of peace.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
vihaya kaman yah sarvan
pumams carati nihsprhah
sa santim adhigacchati
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
vihāya — giving up; kāmān — material desires for sense gratification; yaḥ — who; sarvān — all; pumān — a person; carati — lives; niḥspṛhaḥ — desireless; nirmamaḥ — without a sense of proprietorship; nirahańkāraḥ — without false ego; saḥ — he; śāntim — perfect peace; adhigacchati — attains.