atha vā yoginām eva
kule bhavati dhīmatām
etad dhi durlabha-taraḿ
loke janma yad īdṛśam
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.42
Or [if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Birth in a family of yogis or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives a spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the acarya or gosvami families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. In India there are many such acarya families, but they have now degenerated due to insufficient education and training. By the grace of the Lord, there are still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation. It is certainly very fortunate to take birth in such families. Fortunately, both our spiritual master, Om Vishnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and our humble self had the opportunity to take birth in such families, by the grace of the Lord, and both of us were trained in the devotional service of the Lord from the very beginning of our lives. Later on we met by the order of the transcendental system.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The destination of yogis, who fell after doing a little practice has been described in the previous verse. This verse describes the different destination of yogis, who fell after practicing for a long time. They are born in the families of yogis such as Nimi.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.42 If one swerves from the right path at an advanced stage of Yoga, he will be born in a family of wise Yogins who practise Yoga and are themselves capable of teaching Yoga. Thus, these two types of birth — one in the family of those who are fit to practise Yoga and the other in that of accomplished Yogins — are hardly met with among common people in this world. But Yoga is of such great potentiality that even this rare blessing is achieved through it.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The destination of one who after a short time has abandoned the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness was given in the previous verse. Now Lord Krishna describes the destination of the person who has been practising yoga for a long time and almost perfected it before expiring their life. They are born in families of enlightened yogis and sages, perfecting yoga and in possession of Vedic knowledge which leads to moksa or liberation from the material existence. Birth in this family is more advanced than birth in the families of the previous verse which although virtuous and prosperous had not yet engaged in the process of yoga.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The destination referred to in the previous verse applies to a person who has deviated after a short time from the practice of yoga or the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness. Now Lord Krishna reveals the destination of that praiseworthy person who has digressed from yoga after having practised it for a long time. A person who has dissipated the strong desires of the senses for sensual pleasures by the knowledge of the Vedic scriptures as taught by the spiritual preceptor and is endowed with qualities like detachment and renunciation; if by fate such a person is deviated from yoga somehow or other such as due to the loss of the spiritual preceptor before one was fully matured, then such a person takes birth in a family of enlightened Brahmins; but not in the family of wealthy Brahmins or royal Vedic kings performing opulent ceremonies because riches and opulence give the opportunity to cause distraction to yoga. Although being born in a royal Vedic family or a wealthy family of Brahmins is extremely difficult to receive due to the requirement of many meritorious deeds; it is not deemed to be more beneficial than taking birth in a family of spiritually enlightened Brahmins wedded to yoga because such a birth is bereft of all possibilities for distraction and digression which obstruct and impede progress towards atma tattva realisation of the soul and moksa or liberation from the material existence.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.42 Athava, or; bhavati, he is born; kule, in the family; dhimatam, of wise; yoginam, yogis; eva, only, who are poor-which is different from the family of the prosperous. Etat janma, such a birth; yat idrsam, as is of this kind-a birth that is in the family of poor yogis, in a family as described; is hi, surely; durlabha-taram, more difficult to get, as compared with the earlier one; loke, in the world. Becuase,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.42 Atha va etc. If emancipation is destined to come to him by way of difference (or in grades), then he is reborn nowhere but in a family of the men of Yoga. That is why (the Lord) says : ‘For, this birth is more difficult ot get’. Indeed in the house of the rich there are necessarily many obstacles.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
atha va yoginam eva
kule bhavati dhimatam
etad dhi durlabha-taram
loke janma yad idrsam
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
atha vā — or; yoginām — of learned transcendentalists; eva — certainly; kule — in the family; bhavati — takes birth; dhī-matām — of those who are endowed with great wisdom; etat — this; hi — certainly; durlabha-taram — very rare; loke — in this world; janma — birth; yat — that which; īdṛśam — like this.