tattva-vit tu mahā-bāho
guṇā guṇeṣu vartanta
iti matvā na sajjate
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.28
One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The knower of the Absolute Truth is convinced of his awkward position in material association. He knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and that his position should not be in the material creation. He knows his real identity as part and parcel of the Supreme, who is eternal bliss and knowledge, and he realizes that somehow or other he is entrapped in the material conception of life. In his pure state of existence he is meant to dovetail his activities in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. He therefore engages himself in the activities of Krishna consciousness and becomes naturally unattached to the activities of the material senses, which are all circumstantial and temporary. He knows that his material condition of life is under the supreme control of the Lord; consequently he is not disturbed by all kinds of material reactions, which he considers to be the mercy of the Lord. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, one who knows the Absolute Truth in three different features—namely Brahman, Paramatma, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead—is called tattva-vit, for he knows also his own factual position in relationship with the Supreme.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The intelligent person, however, knows the truth (tattva vit) about the divisions of gunas and actions (guna karma vibhagayoh). The divisions of the gunas are sattva, rajas and tamas. The divisions of action are divided according the effects of the gunas: devata (sattva), senses (rajas), and sense objects (tamas). One who knows the nature of these two is called tattva vit. The senses such as the eye (gunah) administered by their devatas are engaged with the sense objects such as form (gunesu). The intelligent person is not attached, knowing this. He thinks, “I am not at all the senses, nor the sense objects There is no relation between me and the senses or the sense objects at all.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.28 But he who knows the truth about the divisions of the Gunas and their actions — namely, about the division among Sattva etc., on the one hand, and the divisions among their respective functionings on the other hand — it is he who, realising that Gunas, i.e., Sattva etc., are operating on their own products, is not attached to the actions of the Gunas, being convinced, ‘I am not the doer.’
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna is explaining that the person situated in Vedic wisdom knows that the atma or soul is not the same as the physical body and the senses. Such a person knows the distinction between the two and realises the actions performed are not of the atma and knowing they are only the temporary manifestation of prakriti or material nature, does not become attached to the actions or there results. Such a person comprehends that the senses reside in the mind and are transferred to the sense objects by thought impulses and are connected to the atma.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Knowing the difference between prakriti or material nature and the gunas being the modes of goodness, passion and nescience and their influence of the senses, Lord Krishna declares is a tattva-vit or a person of Vedic knowledge. The word gunesu is referring to the sense objects and their attributes such as form. The attributes that arise from the impulses of the atma or soul are known as primary and they are without reactions and do not bind one to samsara the cycle of birth and death.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
That person of Vedic spiritual wisdom who knows the exact distinction between prakriti or material nature and the gunsa or the modes of goodness, passion and nescience; along with there agents the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching does not get attached to them understanding that one ever one thinks, speaks or does is but a modification of prakriti projected through the gunas and such a person is not beguiled into thinking that they are the doer of their actions. This is the meaning Lord Krishna is conveying.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.28 Tu, but, on the other hand; he who is a knower, tattva-vit, a knower of the facts;-knower of what kinds of facts?-guna-karma-vibhagayoh, about the varieties of the gunas and actions, i.e. a knower of the diversity of the gunas and the diversity of acitons; [Guna-vibhaga means the products of Prakrti which consists of the three gunas. They are the five subtle elements, mind, intellect, ego, five sensory organs, five motor organs and five objects (sound etc.) of the senses. Karma-vibhaga means the varieties of inter-actions among these.-Tr.] na sajjate, does not become attached; iti matva, thinking thus; ‘Gunah, the gunas in the form of organs;-not the Self-vartante, rest (act); gunesu, on the gunus in the form of objects of the organs.’
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.28 Tattvavit tu etc. On the other hand, the knower of the real nature of divisions of the Strands and of their actions, sets himself free by viewing ‘The Prakrti acts; what comes to men ?’ The ignorant men have been described as being attached to action (above III, 26). That attachment [of theirs, the Lord] demonstrates :
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
tattva-vit tu maha-baho
guna gunesu vartanta
iti matva na sajjate
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
tattva-vit — the knower of the Absolute Truth; tu — but; mahā-bāho — O mighty-armed one; guṇa-karma — of works under material influence; vibhāgayoḥ — differences; guṇāḥ — senses; guṇeṣu — in sense gratification; vartante — are being engaged; iti — thus; matvā — thinking; na — never; sajjate — becomes attached.