evaḿ buddheḥ paraḿ buddhvā
jahi śatruḿ mahā-bāho
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 3.43
Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Krishna consciousness] and thus—by spiritual strength—conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This Third Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita is conclusively directive to Krishna consciousness by knowing oneself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without considering impersonal voidness the ultimate end. In the material existence of life, one is certainly influenced by propensities for lust and desire for dominating the resources of material nature. Desire for overlording and for sense gratification is the greatest enemy of the conditioned soul; but by the strength of Krishna consciousness, one can control the material senses, the mind and the intelligence. One may not give up work and prescribed duties all of a sudden; but by gradually developing Krishna consciousness, one can be situated in a transcendental position without being influenced by the material senses and the mind—by steady intelligence directed toward one’s pure identity. This is the sum total of this chapter. In the immature stage of material existence, philosophical speculations and artificial attempts to control the senses by the so-called practice of yogic postures can never help a man toward spiritual life. He must be trained in Krishna consciousness by higher intelligence.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
This verse concludes the topic. Understanding that the jivatma is superior to the intelligence, understanding that it is separate from all coverings, destroy the unconquerable lust by being firm in the self by the self. This chapter chiefly speaks of niskama karma as sadhana, and also speaks of jnana, its goal, in a secondary way.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
3.43 Thus, understanding desire, which is higher than even the intellect, to be the fore antagonistic to Jnana Yoga, and establishing the mind by means of the intellect in Karma Yoga, slay, i.e., destroy this foe, in the shape of desire which is difficult to overcome.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now this topic is being concluded. Modifications such as desire which is instigated by the senses and agitates the body and lust which is inflamed by the sense objects and overpowers the mind are both only operating under the intellect. But the atma or soul is not subject to modification and is the witness to all these changes. Thus realising the atma which is transcendental to all these one should control the sense by the atma, steer the mind by the atma and direct the intellect by the atma. Although kama or lust is extremely difficult to conquer and exerts very powerful activity with firm conviction and determination one must completely terminate and eradicate this most pernicious enemy in the form of kama and free oneself from the ravages of delusion.
Worshipping the spiritual masters in disciplic succession whom with devotion through the performance of prescribed Vedic activities have attained moksa or liberation and have attested that the eternally blissful Supreme Lord Krishna, the originator of all should be propitiated through all activities.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
The method of destroying the great enemy known as kama or lust is learned through the knowledge of Vedic scriptures received by the words of the spiritual master. Controlling the five senses is the key step allowing one to benefit from this Vedic knowledge. Without restraint of the senses one has no possibility of conquering kama. The senses are superior to the physical body, the mind is superior to senses, the intellect is superior to the mind and the atma or soul is superior to the intellect. Moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death is not possible from studying various verses in diverse Vedic scriptures in different contexts. In the Gunopasamhara section of Brahma Sutras it is stated that the Supreme Lord should be meditated upon after recollecting in the mind the entire range of attributes and qualities possessed by the Supreme Lord. In the Vedas which are apaurusaheya which means not of human origins and also in the Mahabharata and Garuda Purana it is stated that: Whatever attributes have been revealed in the Vedic scriptures regarding the Supreme Lord Krishna and His authorised incarnations and whoever is able to actually perceive Him realising these attributes in their hearts, in such persons alone does bhakti or devotion become established and never to others.
Therefore the Supreme Lord Krishna should be understood to be superior to everything as He existed before the creation of everything. One who fully understands this and acts in accordance with this understanding is eligible for moksa and never others. The previous verse is not referring to the living being because the words bhudher yah paratas tu sah mean: that which is superior to the intellect is the atma. This is because the desire for sense gratification is overcome by atma tattva or soul realisation and also without perceiving the Supreme Being how will the living being expect to overcome kama. Thus it is clear that knowledge pertaining to the Supreme Lord is what is important. The word atmanam means the mind and the word atmana means the intellect and they are for realising the atma.
Now begins the summation.
Among living beings the demigods are superior to humans. Indra is the chief of the demigods. Shiva the presiding deity of the mind and ego is superior to Indra. Above Shiva is Brahma the presing diety of the intellect and discrimination. Superior to Brahma are all the avatars expansions of Lord Krishna in the spiritual realms and superior to them is the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself. There is nothing equal or superior to Krishna. Knowing the order of gradation and destroying the powerful enemy of kama at the very root one becomes qualified for moksa and attain the spiritual worlds of Lord Krishna which are imperceptible to the vision and conception of humans. An important purpose of Vedic scriptures is to show the order of gradation. The function of the higher deity cannot be performed by a lower deity. To show their area of predominance they each have their respective places and assigned function. In some cases a deity on a lower level is seen to be relegating the duties of a higher level; but this can be understood in the same way that a son sometimes relegates the duties of a father. The Shabda Nirnaya states: traditionally the use of such similes repeatedly are able to convey the conclusive meaning for comprehension. The Brahma Tarka states: that where similar examples are repeated the similarity of their meanings is understood and becomes conclusive from continuous hearing.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Now in conclusion Lord Krishna establishes the fact that one should try to their utmost to destroy the powerful enemy known as kama or lust. Knowing that kama is the mightiest enemy one must by withdrawing the senses, keeping the mind steady and the intellect resolute in sattva guna the mode of goodness then slay this enemy kama which will attack your mind and senses in various ways causing one to fall into delusion before oen becomes powerless to resist. Kama is extremely difficult to overpower and is tenacious and formidable yet if one dedicates all actions to Lord Krishna with their mind fixed on Him they can overcome it. So knowledge of Vedic wisdom and meditation on the Supreme Lord are combined the pancea to neutralise kama from its location in the senses, mind and intellect and then destroy the great enemy known as kama. This path of selfless action unattached without conception of rewards should be practiced according to one’s capacity and knowledge as a means of gradually achieving renunciation.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
3.43 Buddhva, understanding; atmanam, the Self; evam, thus; as param, superior; buddheh, to the intellect; and samstabhya, completely establishing; atmana, with the mind, i.e. establishing (the Self) fully in spiritual absorption with the help of your own purified mind; O mighty-armed one, jahi, vanquish; this satrum, enemy; kama-rupam, in the form of desire; which is durasadam, difficult to subdue-which can be got hold of with great difficulty, it being possessed of many inscrutable characteristics.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
3.42-43 Indriyani etc. Evam etc. ‘Because the sense-organs are different from the sense-objects that indicate the foe [in question]; from them the mind is different; from that too different is the intellect; what is instrinsically different from the intellect also is the Self; so due to wrath, risen at the sense-organs, how can there be a disturbance in the mind, in the intellect or in the Self ?’ Let one contemplate in this manner. This is what is meant here. This is intention of the experts of the Rahasya [literature] : The Supreme I-consciousness viz., the awareness ‘All I am’, which remains beyond the intellect, and the essence of which allows no difference-that is indeed the highest identity. Therefore no furstration (or cut) can be for That which is complete all around; hence wrath etc., do not rise [in It]. Therefore, taking hold of the Supreme Energy which in essence is Consciousness, you must slay the foe, the wrath which is ignorance in essence.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
evam buddheh param buddhva
jahi satrum maha-baho
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
evam — thus; buddheḥ — to intelligence; param — superior; buddhvā — knowing; saḿstabhya — by steadying; ātmānam — the mind; ātmanā — by deliberate intelligence; jahi — conquer; śatrum — the enemy; mahā-bāho — O mighty-armed one; kāma-rūpam — in the form of lust; durāsadam — formidable.