śabdādīn viṣayān anya
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 4.26
Some [the unadulterated brahmacaris] sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of mental control, and others [the regulated householders] sacrifice the objects of the senses in the fire of the senses.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The members of the four divisions of human life, namely the brahmacari, the grihastha, the vanaprastha and the sannyasi, are all meant to become perfect yogis or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are so arranged that one may become perfect in spiritual life. The brahmacaris, or students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by abstaining from sense gratification. A brahmacari hears only words concerning Krishna consciousness; hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure brahmacari engages fully in harer namanukirtanam—chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibrations of material sounds, and his hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna. Similarly, the householders, who have some license for sense gratification, perform such acts with great restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat-eating are general tendencies of human society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification. Marriage on the principles of religious life is therefore current in all civilized human society because that is the way for restricted sex life. This restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of yajna because the restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency toward sense gratification for higher, transcendental life.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Others, naisthiki brahmancaris, offer the senses such as ear into the fires of the controlled mind. This means that the senses completely disappear in the pure mind. Others, less controlled brahmacaris, offer the sense objects such as sound into fires of the senses. The sense objects disappear in the senses.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
4.26 Others endeavour towards the restraint of the senses like ear and the rest, i.e., keep themselves away from the objects pleasing to the senses. Other Yogins endeavour to prevent the attachment of the senses to sound and other objects of the senses, i.e., they abstain from the sense objects even when they are allowed to be near, by the discriminative process of belittling their valure and enjoyable nature.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna continues stating that others like the Brahmacari’s or those practising celibacy offer each particular sense as a sacrifice in the fire of self-discipline and restraining the senses lead a life of self control. The householders offer the sense objects themselves into the senses and while enjoying sense objects remain unattached. They offer the sense objects as oblations into their senses which they envision to be the fire.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna speaks of the different grades and types of yagnas or offerings and worship and the goals desired. Although the word daivam may refer to the demigods; it can also refer exclusively to the resplendent Supreme Lord who verily is the ultimate goal of all yagnas by those exclusively devoted to Him. Thus the propitiation of the Supreme Lord is the distinctive superior attribute of performance of action. For the spiritually intelligent situated in atma tattva there exists nothing else. Every action even every breath is a yagna dedicated to the Supreme Lord. Yagna is verily the Supreme Lord so by this yagna is performed within yagna. In this way it can be understood that everything offered in yagna is of the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence.
Now begins the summation.
One who perceives the Brahman pervading everywhere there exists nothing else for them except the personal communion with the resplendent Supreme Lord, who to reciprocate with His devotee becomes the very yagna which is being performed. In the fire of the yagna, in the offerings of havih or ghee and grainseeds, in the paraphernalia being used to perform the yagna. In the form of yagna the goal of yagna being the Supreme Lord is verily being offered to Himself. Thus everything becomes the Brahman. Through His propitiation performed according to Vedic injunctions all the sense organs like eyes and tongue are brought under control and all the sense become neutralised and passive. In the Brihadaranya Upanisad I.IV.X it is stated that the Brahman alone was in the beginning and it knew itself as the Brahman and then the Brahman manifested into the all. Whosoever amongst the demigods becomes awakened to this consciousness indeed becomes similar to this consciousness. It is the same for elevated beings and the same for sages and yogis and it is the same for humans.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna speaks of superior to those by the word apare meaning others. These yogis indulge in the spiritual practice of renunciation and are desirous of attaining knowledge of the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence. They keep all their senses away from sense objects and offer the senses into the fire of self-discipline. Others like the grihastas or those family orientated indulging in worldly achievements and desirous of dynasty and progeny offer sense objects into the fire of the senses during enjoyment of them of the sense objects. The senses are considered by them to be the fire and such persons indulge themselves in sense gratification as a symbol of performing yagna or worship.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
4.26 Anye, others, other yogis; juhvati, offer; indriyani, the organs; viz srotradini, car etc.; samyama-agnisu, in the fires of self-control. The plural (in fires) is used because self-control is possible in respect of each of the organs. Self-control itself is the fire. In that they make the offering, i.e. they practise control of the organs. anye, others; juhvati, offer; visayan, the objects; sabdadin, viz sound etc.; indriyagnisu, in the fires of the organs. The organs themselves are the fires. They make offerings in those fires with the organs of hearing etc. They consider the perception of objects not prohibited by the scriputures to be a sacrifice.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
4.26 Srotradini etc. But others [offer] the sense-organs into the fires of the restrainer. Restrainer : the mind. Its fires are the tongues of flame that are in the form of subdued views of objects and are capable of burning up desires. Into them they offer the sense-organs. Hence, they are the performers of penance-sacrifices. Still others offer objects into the fires of sense-organs that are fully set-blaze by wisdom and that are capable of burning up the fruits [of actions]. I.e., they seek enjoyment only for destroying the [past] mental impression of differences [between the enjoyer and the objects of enjoyment]. This is the secret and sacred truth. Hence I (Ag.) have myself stated in the laghvi Prakriya (the Little Process) as : ‘The object of enjoyment does not manifest as different from you, the enjoyer. Because, it is the [process of] enjoyment that itself is the identification (or unity) of hte enjoyer and the object of enjoyment’. In the [work] Spanda also [it has been said] : ‘It is the enjoyer himself who remains in all the instances and at all times, in the form of the object of enjoyment’.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sabdadin visayan anya
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
srotra-adini — such as the hearing process; indriyani — senses; anye — others; samyama — of restraint; agnisu — in the ﬁres; juhvati — offer; sabda-adin — sound vibration, etc; visayan — objects of sense gratiﬁcation; anye — others; indriya — of the sense organs; agnisu — in the ﬁres; juhvati — they sacriﬁce.