eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha
naināḿ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle ‘pi
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 2.72
That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. If one is thus situated even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
One can attain Krishna consciousness or divine life at once, within a second—or one may not attain such a state of life even after millions of births. It is only a matter of understanding and accepting the fact. Khatvanga Maharaja attained this state of life just a few minutes before his death, by surrendering unto Krishna. Nirvana means ending the process of materialistic life. According to Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after the completion of this material life, but Bhagavad-gita teaches differently. Actual life begins after the completion of this material life. For the gross materialist it is sufficient to know that one has to end this materialistic way of life, but for persons who are spiritually advanced, there is another life after this materialistic life. Before ending this life, if one fortunately becomes Krishna conscious, he at once attains the stage of brahma-nirvana. There is no difference between the kingdom of God and the devotional service of the Lord. Since both of them are on the absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord is to have attained the spiritual kingdom. In the material world there are activities of sense gratification, whereas in the spiritual world there are activities of Krishna consciousness. Attainment of Krishna consciousness even during this life is immediate attainment of Brahman, and one who is situated in Krishna consciousness has certainly already entered into the kingdom of God.
Brahman is just the opposite of matter. Therefore brahmi sthiti means “not on the platform of material activities.” Devotional service of the Lord is accepted in the Bhagavad-gita as the liberated stage (sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate). Therefore, brahmi sthiti is liberation from material bondage.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has summarized this Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita as being the contents for the whole text. In the Bhagavad-gita, the subject matters are karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. In the Second Chapter karma-yoga and jnana-yoga have been clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has also been given, as the contents for the complete text.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse concludes the topic.
Brahmi means that which gives attainment of brahman. Even one at the point of death (anta kale), what to speak of one of young age, by this practice, attains brahma nirvana.
Having presented very clearly jnana and karma and indirectly bhakti, this chapter is called the sutra (abbreviated form) of the Gita.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
2.72 This state of performing disinterested work which is preceded by the knowledge of the eternal self and which is characterised by firm wisdom, is the Brahmi-state, which secures the attainment of the Brahman (the self). After attaining such a state, he will not be deluded, i.e., he will not get again the mortal coil. Reaching this state even during the last years of life, he wins the blissful Brahman (the self) i.e., which is full of beatitude. The meaning is that he attains the self which is constituted of nothing but bliss. Thus in the second chapter, the Lord wanted to remove the delusion of Arjuna, who did not know the real nature of the self and also did not realize that the activity named ‘war’ (here an ordained duty) is a means for attaining the nature of Sankhya or the self. Arjuna was under the delusion that the body is itself the self, and dominated by that delusion, had retreated from battle. He was therefore taught the knowledge called ‘Sankhya’ or the understanding of the self, and Yoga or what is called the path of practical work without attachment. These together have as their objective the attainment of steady wisdom (Sthitaprajnata) This has been explained in the following verse by Sri Yamunacarya: Sankhya and Yoga, which comprehend within their scope the understanding of the eternal self and the practical way of disinterested action respectively, were imparted in order to remove Arjuna’s delusion. Through them the state of firm wisdom can be reached.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Extolling the path of Vedic knowledge that has been described is now being concluded. This path is realisation of the Ultimate Truth which on attaining one is never again deluded becoming pure minded, no more subject to transmigration of the soul from womb to womb in various and diverse physical bodies throughout the material manifestation. Situated in this state for a moment even at the time of death achieves liberation from the material existence and attains the Ultimate Consciousness. It is clear that one who has wisely situated themselves in this state of consciousness early in life most assuredly attains this liberation as well.
The Supreme Lord Krishna who raised His surrendered devotee Arjuna, who had fallen into the mire of despondency, by instructing him in the yoga of wisdom, is my sole refuge.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna thus concludes His instructions in this verse. The state of brahmi is that which is experienced attaining the ultimate truth. Achieving this state one verily is liberated and enters the eternal spiritual worlds otherwise one is compelled to revolve incessantly in the cycle of birth and death. This subject is also expounded upon ahead in chapter 8, verse 6. Even those of spiritual intelligence may be compelled to be reborn if there exists an effect from previous actions. Only by undergoing this process explained previously may all residue of effects be totally dissolved. It is revealed in the Brahma Sutras that karma or effects from actions are dissolved after countless lifetimes. Even for the spiritually intelligent it takes seven births to become a brahmin and for a brahmin realisation comes after many lifetimes. Therefore it has been said in the Garuda Purana that when one becomes established in elevated awareness similar to Rudra or Sesa one becomes delivered by the grace of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Deliverance from material bondage is manifest in ones subsequent by activities in the present life. In the Narada Purana it states that spiritual intelligence assures definite results. These results are the illumination of self-realisation. The reactions from karma is the only cause of bondage. For one who by spiritual intelligence releases themselves from karma they are verily liberated.
For one of spiritual intelligence there is no expectation of being subjected to birth and death again and again. The accumulated effects of all their actions are burned up even as cotton is burned up in fire. The actions have no effect as water cannot wet a lotus leaf for the wisdom of spiritual knowledge evaporates the effect of all actions. Due to such statements some postulate that those of spiritual intelligence need many lifetimes to eradicate all the accumulated effects, still this offers no contradiction. However there is no evidence for such statements and no scriptural authority verifying such.
Those who accept the speculative conjectures of Aksapada, Kanada, Pashupatas which are opposed to the Vedic scriptures are those lacking in spiritual intelligence. Thus these conjectures are to be completely rejected. The invocation to Shiva by his devotees should be understood to be as good as an invocation to the Supreme Lord. This is not an untruth as Shiva is a empowered incarnation as well; but only the Vedic scriptures being authorised may be accepted as evidence. Therefore it is stated in the Varaha Purana that Shiva was ordered by Vishnu to arrange an illusion by inventing doctrines that would create delusion by propagating principles which do not actually exist in fact due to their not being founded upon eternal truth. Shiva was so ordered to execute this task extensively and comprehensively with great imagination and to cleverly conceal the reality of Lord Krishna as the supreme, absolute truth.
Deceptive, confusing and delusory doctrines were promulgated by Shiva throughout the material worlds as enjoined by Vishnu. Influenced by these teachings Dadhici created sciences, Gautama’s nyaya, Kanada’s vaisesikam, Kapila Muni’s sankhya and others such as Sankara’s impersonal mayavadi hypothisis created athiestic philosophies over the course of time to emulate these doctrines and the religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and the Jews all being impersonal without a form or qualities or even a conception of what God they are actually worshipping more or less stem from Sankara. But the following doctrines should be understood not to under Shivas influence. The Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda, Brahma Sutra, Pancharatra, Srimad Bhagavatam, Ramayana and Mahabharata which includes the illustrious Bhagavad-Gita are all known to be Vaisnava scriptures and they eulogise the Supreme Lord. Therefore all the Shiva Puranas should be interpreted and verified according to the understanding of the Vaisnava scriptures without the slightest contradiction and this is confirmed in the Narada Purana.
Thus for one situated in spiritual intelligence liberation is surely forthcoming without fail. For those of spiritual intelligence such as Bhishma and Drona at the time of death they were appropriately in a state of complete equipoise. One should at the moment of death in a state of equanimity depart from the body focused in meditation on the exquisite form, sublime qualities and phenomenal pastimes of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Thus it has been revealed in the Garuda Purana that at the time of death those of spiritual intelligence showing equanimity in all actions meditate on Lord Krishna and being under His protection are guided to salvation. But for those bereft of spiritual intelligence the remembrance of the Supreme Lord at the moment of death never manifests. In the Brahma Vaivarta Purana it is stated that after innumerable lifetimes when wisdom regarding Lord Krishna has matured and devotion has been attained one naturally meditates exclusively on Him at the termination of ones physical existence.
Nirvana denotes existence beyond the purview of the physical body. Nirvana is also used to indicate not possessing any material senses organs. Otherwise how could the Puranas possibly describe the transcendental form of the resplendent Supreme Lord Krishna. The resplendent Supreme Lord Krishna is known as the effulgent Brahman, as Paramatma the supersoul in all living entities and as Bhagavan the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is well confirmed in the Bhagavat Purana.
The effulgent Brahman is the reflection of the Supreme Lord Krishna who is also the source of Paramatma the supersoul. Isvara the supreme controller is the supreme Lord transcendent to all that is mutable and supreme to even that which is immutable. Far, far beyond anything that is accessible by any of the senses. There is nothing comparable to Lord Krishna neither in the past nor in the future. Thus there being nothing comparable to Lord Krishna it is not possible for anything to be superior to Lord Krishna.
The effulgent Brahman should not be conceived as one without a form. Although not possessing a physical form He does possess a spiritual form. It is clearly described in Vedic scriptures that He possesses a blissful form surrounded by a golden glow and that He should be meditated upon in this form internally within the heart. If He did not possess a form He would have been simply described as Bliss and how can there be a golden glow surrounding His body if it was formless? How can Lord Krishna be meditated on within the heart if He has no form? Possessing a purely spiritual form He is known and referred to as having a form. The Purusa having thousands of heads, having hands and feet in all directions, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. Due to such statements from the Vedic scriptures and due to descriptions of the universal form later in chapter 11 he is known to have form.
The Supreme Lord Krishna the resplendent maintainer of all is 100% complete within Himself in all respects and thus is known as Bhagavan the possessor of the six opulences being full in 100% knowledge, 100% strength, 100% beauty, 100% wealth, 100% fame and 100% renunciation. In the Supreme Lord Krishna reside all the various and diverse energies. This is natural and totally in accordance with reality as He is the source of all theses energies. He is the also the source of the ever blissful Brahman. By only a minute fragment of His potency all creation exists and is sustained. Eternal, immortal, without beginning and without end, of everlasting energy, transcending the brilliance of thousands of suns, more effulgent then thousands of moons, having unlimited attributes and unlimited facets in each one of those unlimited attributes, possessing unlimited forms, unlimited knowledge of immeasurable energy, omnipotent omnipresent and omniscient. Those situated in spiritual knowledge know the Supreme Lord Krishna as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Who else but the Supreme Lord Krishna and His incarnations and expansions may ever be known as Bhagavan. He is glorious and eternally worshipable by all living entities in all situations for all times.
Yet all these attributes are not exclusively independent from each another. Brahman is wisdom and bliss for indeed bliss is and attribute of brahman. Truth, wisdom and eternality are also brahman. Without a gross material body of flesh and blood and corpulence and bones subject to old age, disease and death. Possessing an immortal spiritual body of eternity, knowledge and bliss. These qualities are immutable all their pervading nature are not derived due to yoga or but rather due to Lord Krishna being the Supreme ultimate truth. His spiritual body is fragrant due to the illuminating purity of His wisdom and bliss. Thus it is revealed in the appendix of the Paingi Sutra.
The spiritual body of the Supreme Lord Krishna is not of material nature and is ever blissful being complete in all respects as well as all pervading. This is confirmed in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana. Therefore by impulse or projection all these inherent forms are self-manifested by the Supreme Lord Krishnas internal potency. Lord Krishna was neither born from the womb of Devaki nor was He the son of Vasudeva. Similarly avatars of Lord Krishna such as Rama was not the son of Dasaratha and Lord Krishnas satyavesha avatar Parasurama was not the son of Jamadagni. Even though Lord Krishna is the supreme ultimate non-dual absolute, ever blissful and immutable, He revels in this manner by His own sweet will. Thus is it stated in the Padma Purana. The Supreme Lord, who is the supreme being of all beings never is subject to misery.
The creator of all creation, indestructible, the omnipotent Rama, omnipresent and the embodiment of complete omniscience displayed ignorance for the sake of humanity and the world and wandered about in apparent lamentation searching for his beloved wife Sita. This Sri Rama whose feet are adored by Brahma, mourns in lamentation for his wife just like an ordinary mortal exhibiting extreme attachment. Even though Rama was perfect and complete in all respects being an avatar, in order to not minimise the words of Shiva he behaved as though he was distraught even though Rama was not actually distraught. Ever victorious Parasurama aware of Lord Krishnas devotee Bhishma did not slay him even when they engaged in mortal combat because he refused to marry Amba. What can be more compassionate than this? This is stated in the Skanda Purana.
Therefore it should be understood that miseries of material existence are not applicable in regard to the Supreme Lord and should not be designated as such as this conception is illusory. Some texts mention superiority and inferiority in regard to the Supreme Lord Krishna’s avatar descents not understanding the fact that they are different manifestations of the same supreme non-dual absolute. Therefore it is spoken thus in the Garuda Purana that the Supreme Lord Krishna is complete with all attributes, in all forms and similar in all manifestations being transcendental to material nature. This applies even though according to the perceptions of the spiritually intelligent as well as the perceptions of the ignorant Supreme and mundane qualities are attributed respectively to these manifestations. This even though is not a contradiction or incongruity due to His inconceivable power and and the phenomenal varieagatedness of His appearances.
The form of the Supreme Lord Krishna is always complete as well as Ramas. There is not even the slightest variation in their supreme non-dual position. We are still being continuously deluded by all of them. As it is stated in the Narada Purana. Therefore it is established that only the spiritually intelligent who by the mercy of Sri Guru has attained devotion has the possibility to experience the Supreme Lord Krishna and His incarnations being ever immeasurable in all their forms with all comprehensive attributes, eternal and transcendental beyond all defects.
Now begins the summation.
The word brahmi means related to Brahma. Even the intelligent who experience diversity of thought at the moment of death there will be rebirth in the material existence due to the accumulated effects of their karma having not been dissolved. But for those of one-pointed spiritual intelligence who have dissolved the accumulated effects of all their karma, at the moment of death there arises the vision of the Supreme Lord without fail. Then immediately one achieves liberation and is delivered from the cycle of birth and death in the material existence specifically entering into the exact liberated sphere that one had knowledge of and perceived during ones span of life.
At the end of this verse the word vana within the compound word brahma- nirvana refers to the body. Brahman is referring to the potency of the supreme. As Lord Krishna body is completely spiritual the word nirvana is revealing that it is by our spiritual body which is designated as the immortal soul is how we enter into eternal communion with the Supreme Lord and attain the kingdom of God.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna extolling the virtues of the process of spiritual knowledge concludes chapter two with this verse enunciating the performance of actions by being unattached to their rewards. This state of consciousness leads to self-realisation and brahmi the ultimate truth. Having achieved this one never again deluded by the material energy. Nor does one experience the feeling of I or mine in relationship with the physical body. Even if one becomes established in this state at the last moment when death has come still one will achieve the eternal spiritual attainment. Liberation from the material existence in the form of ecstatic bliss which is completely devoid of all unhappiness because it is derived as a result of the cessation of all desires for reward for ones actions. In essence this means that having relinquished both the physical body and the subtle body one becomes qualified to realise their spiritual body and experience the sublime bliss of uninterrupted devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. What more to say to one who began this process and experienced bliss in the early stages of their life, they will attain the eternal spiritual realm at their lifes end. So the following eternal truths must be stated.
1) The root cause of attaining God realisation is certainly pure devotion unto God, whereas self-realisation or soul-cognition although extremely exalted is secondary, devotion to GOD is primary being the means as well as the goal to be attained.
2) Through the process of devotion one becomes relieved from all unhappiness due to being free from attachment and possessing spiritual intelligence is completely equipoised in transcendent meditation attaining the bliss of supreme peace.
3) This commentary of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: chapter two has been delineated to accomplish the highest good for the devotees and the benefit of the spiritually intelligent by the mercy and grace of Lord Krishna.
Thus ends the Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya commentary entitled Tattva- Prakasika to Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 2 by Keshava Kashmiri.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
2.72 O Partha, esa, this, the aforesaid; is brahmisthitih, the state of being established in Brahman, i.e. continuing (in life) in indentification with Brahman, after renouncing all actions. Na vimuhyati, one does not become deluded; prapya, after attaining ; enam, this Rcchati, one attains; brahma-nirvanam, identification with Brahman, Liberation; sthitva, by being established; asyam, in this, in the state of Brahman-hood as described; api, even; anta-kale, in the closing years of one’s life. What need it be said that, one who remains established only in Brahman during the whole life, after having espoused monasticism even from the stage of celibacy, attains indetification with Brahman!
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
2.72 Esa etc. This is the Brahman-existance by remaining, i.e., having dwalt in which, even for a moment, one attains the Supreme Brahman [after] one’s body breaks. Thus [all the] four questions have been decided.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
esa brahmi sthitih partha
nainam prapya vimuhyati
sthitvasyam anta-kale ‘pi
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
eṣā — this; brāhmī — spiritual; sthitiḥ — situation; pārtha — O son of Pṛthā; na — never; enām — this; prāpya — achieving; vimuhyati — one is bewildered; sthitvā — being situated; asyām — in this; anta-kāle — at the end of life; api — also; brahma-nirvāṇam — the spiritual kingdom of God; ṛcchati — one attains.