jñātvā māḿ śāntim ṛcchati
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 5.29
A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, which is explained in this part of the Bhagavad-gita. The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Krishna is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. In the Vedas (Shvetasvatara Upanishad 6.7) the Supreme Lord is described as tam ishvaranam paramam maheshvaram. Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Krishna consciousness: Lord Krishna is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Krishna consciousness.
This Fifth Chapter is a practical explanation of Krishna consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered herewith. To work in Krishna consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge. Direct Krishna consciousness is bhakti-yoga, and jnana-yoga is a path leading to bhakti-yoga. Krishna consciousness means to work in full knowledge of one’s relationship with the Supreme Absolute, and the perfection of this consciousness is full knowledge of Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A pure soul is the eternal servant of God as His fragmental part and parcel. He comes into contact with maya (illusion) due to the desire to lord it over maya, and that is the cause of his many sufferings. As long as he is in contact with matter, he has to execute work in terms of material necessities. Krishna consciousness, however, brings one into spiritual life even while one is within the jurisdiction of matter, for it is an arousing of spiritual existence by practice in the material world. The more one is advanced, the more he is freed from the clutches of matter. The Lord is not partial toward anyone. Everything depends on one’s practical performance of duties in Krishna consciousness, which helps one control the senses in every respect and conquer the influence of desire and anger. And one who stands fast in Krishna consciousness, controlling the abovementioned passions, remains factually in the transcendental stage, or brahma-nirvana. The eightfold yoga mysticism is automatically practiced in Krishna consciousness because the ultimate purpose is served. There is a gradual process of elevation in the practice of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. But these only preface perfection by devotional service, which alone can award peace to the human being. It is the highest perfection of life.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
I am the guardian (bhoktaram) of the yajna of the karma yogis and the austerities (tapasam) of the jnanis. That means that I am the object of worship of the karma yogis and jnanis. I am the great controller of all people (sarva loka mahesvaram), the paramatma: the object of worship of the astanga yogis. I am the friend of all entities: I am the person who gives benefit to all living entities by instructions about bhakti, through the medium of my devotees, by my mercy. I am the object of worship for the devotees.
One cannot attain realization of me, who am beyond the modes, by sattva guna jnana. I have said that I am attainable only by bhakti: bhaktaham ekaya grahyah. The yogi, only by bhakti which is beyond the modes, by realizing me as paramatma (jnatva mam), the object of his worship, attains liberation (santim).
This chapter explains that the jnani and the yogi, by niskama karma yoga, realizing both atma and paramatma attain liberation.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
5.29 Knowing Me as the enjoyer of all sacrifices and austerities, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds, and as the Friend of every being, he attains peace, i.e., wins happiness even while performing Karma Yoga. ‘Him who is the Supreme Lord of all worlds’ means ‘Him who is the Lord of all the lords of the worlds.’ For the Sruti says: ‘Him who is the supreme mighty Lord of lords’ (Sve. U., 6.7). The meaning is that knowing Me as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds and the ‘friend’ of all and considering Karma Yoga to be My worship, he becomes gladly engaged in it. All beings endeavour to please a ‘friend’.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now the question may arise as to how one may achieve moksa or liberation from material existence by merely controlling the mind and senses in this way? Lord Krishna spoke this verse to confirm that moksa is attained by knowledge and not merely by control of the mind and senses. The words jnatva mam which means knowing Lord Krishna as sarva-loka mahesvaram or the sovereign lord of all the worlds and knowing Lord Krishna as suhrdam sarva- bhutanam the benevolent well-wisher of all living beings. This knowledge is essential and one who comprehends this knowledge along with performing yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness becomes qualified to attain moksa.
I bow down to the Supreme Lord Krishna who thus removed the thorn of doubt regarding cultivation of knowledge and selfless actions by prescribing the combination of the two in proper sequence.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna has revealed the confidential purpose of meditation and the method of attaining moksa or liberation from material existence in this verse.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Thus the entire scope of selfless actions such as yagnas offerings of worship to the Supreme Lord, various practices of austerities along with processes of augmenting knowledge culminates in to equanimity, detachment from worldliness and atma tattva or realisation of the soul. These results are not attained independently but must come through true accurate knowledge of the Supreme Lord Krishna, who is the sole bestower of all rewards and the sovereign ruler of all existence and who is neutrally the benevolent well wisher of all living entities such a knowledgeable being attains realisation of the final beatitude and moksa or liberation from material existence. This realisation will be further spoken of by Lord Krishna in chapter fifteen.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
5.29 Rcchati, one attains; santim, Peace, complete cessation of transmigration; jnatva, by knowing; mam, Me who am Narayana; who, as the sarva-loka-mahesvaram, great Lord of all the worlds; am the bhoktaram, enjoyer (of the fruits); yajna-tapasam, of sacrifices and austerities, as the performer and the Deity of the sacrifices and austerities (respectively); (and) who am the suhrdam, friend; sarva-bhutanam, of all creatures-who am the Benefactor of all without consideration of return, who exist in the heart of all beings, who am the dispenser of the results of all works, who am the Witness of all perceptions.
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
5.29 Bhokatram etc. [The Lord is deemed to be] the enjoyer in the caste of their fruit of the sacrifices. For, it is in favour of Him that the fruit is renounced. the same is with regard to the austerities. By knowing the nautre of the Lord as such, a man of Yoga is released, whatever way he may remain in.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
jñatva mam santim rcchati
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
bhoktāram — the beneﬁciary; yajña — of sacriﬁces; tapasām — and penances and austerities; sarva-loka — of all planets and the demigods thereof; mahā-īśvaram — the Supreme Lord; su-hṛdam — the benefactor; sarva — of all; bhūtānām — the living entities; jñātvā — thus knowing; mām — Me (Lord Kṛṣṇa); śāntim — relief from material pangs; ṛcchati — one achieves.