sādhiyajñaḿ ca ye viduḥ
prayāṇa-kāle ’pi ca māḿ
te vidur yukta-cetasaḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 7.30
Those in full consciousness of Me, who know Me, the Supreme Lord, to be the governing principle of the material manifestation, of the demigods, and of all methods of sacrifice, can understand and know Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even at the time of death.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Persons acting in Krishna consciousness are never deviated from the path of entirely understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the transcendental association of Krishna consciousness, one can understand how the Supreme Lord is the governing principle of the material manifestation and even of the demigods. Gradually, by such transcendental association, one becomes convinced of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and at the time of death such a Krishna conscious person can never forget Krishna. Naturally he is thus promoted to the planet of the Supreme Lord, Goloka Vrindavana.
This Seventh Chapter particularly explains how one can become a fully Krishna conscious person. The beginning of Krishna consciousness is association of persons who are Krishna conscious. Such association is spiritual and puts one directly in touch with the Supreme Lord, and, by His grace, one can understand Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the same time one can really understand the constitutional position of the living entity and how the living entity forgets Krishna and becomes entangled in material activities. By gradual development of Krishna consciousness in good association, the living entity can understand that due to forgetfulness of Krishna he has become conditioned by the laws of material nature. He can also understand that this human form of life is an opportunity to regain Krishna consciousness and that it should be fully utilized to attain the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord.
Many subjects have been discussed in this chapter: the man in distress, the inquisitive man, the man in want of material necessities, knowledge of Brahman, knowledge of Paramatma, liberation from birth, death and diseases, and worship of the Supreme Lord. However, he who is actually elevated in Krishna consciousness does not care for the different processes. He simply directly engages himself in activities of Krishna consciousness and thereby factually attains his constitutional position as an eternal servitor of Lord Krishna. In such a situation he takes pleasure in hearing and glorifying the Supreme Lord in pure devotional service. He is convinced that by his doing so, all his objectives will be fulfilled. This determined faith is called drdha-vrata, and it is the beginning of bhakti-yoga, or transcendental loving service. That is the verdict of all scriptures. This Seventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita is the substance of that conviction.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Those who develop such knowledge of me by the influence of devotion to me maintain that knowledge even at the time of death. It is not like the intelligence of others, established by karma, which varies according to the future body. The terms adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna will be explained in the next chapter.
The devotees alone, enumerated as six types, who know the truth about the Lord, cross over maya. This has been presented as the meaning of the chapter.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
7.30 Here, other qualified persons distinct from those already mentioned (i.e., those who desire Kaivalya) are to be understood, because of the mention again of the term ‘those’ (ye). Even though the declaration — those seekers of fortune who know Me as being connected with the higher material entities’ (Adhibhuta) and ‘with that which is higher to divinities’ (Adhidaiva) i.e., the self in Its lordship — resmebles a repetition, it is really an injunction on account of the meaning not being known otherwise. The statement of knowing Me as being connected with the sacrifice is also enjoined as an injunction for all the three types of differently qualified aspirants (those who aspire for Kaivalya, wealth and liberation) without any difference, because of the nature of the subject matter, that being sacrificial. None of the three types of aspirants can give up the performance of the great sacrifices and other rituals in the form of periodical and occasional rituals. They know Me at the hour of death in a way corresponding with their objectivies. Because of the term ca (too) in ‘they too,’ those who have been mentioned before as ‘striving for release from old age and death’ are also to be understood along with the others as knowing Me at the hour of death. By this, even the Jnanin knows Me as being connected with the sacrifice on account of the nature of the meaning of the subject treated (i.e., sacrifice). They also know Me even at the hour of death in a way corresponding with their objective. The purport is that, besides the others mentioned earlier like the knower of the Self, those others who are now described as knowing Him with Adhibhuta, Adhidaiva and Adhiyajna are to be included among those who will know Him at the time of death.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
For such enlightened beings there is not the slightest anxiety nor is there any lapse in their yoga or perfection of the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness even when afflicted by death. This is what Lord Krishna means by the words prayana- kale api meaning even at the time of death, those who know Him as the Ultimate Personality, the Supreme absolute controller of all existence material and spiritual. The meaning of sa adhibhuta-adhidaivam is Lord Krishna’s magnificent rulership of all phases of phenomena and creation and will be explained in detail in chapter eight. Those who know the Supreme Lord Krishna together with what concerns adhibhutas or all embodied beings, with what concerns adhidaivam or the 33 crores equalling 330 million demi-gods throughout creation in charge of universal management in the millions of myriad of universes; and what concerns adhiyagna or worship and propitiation to the Supreme Lord; such elevated and enlightened beings focusing their minds solely on Lord Krishna in one-pointed meditation. So much so that they are one with Him even at the time of passing away during the moment of death. Even at the exact moment of death Lord Krishna’s devotees are not bewildered and perplexed and do not forget Him even for a half a second. Therefore there is no question of His devotees forgetting Him in normal circumstances. There is never a lapse during their yoga for Him because every action in which they perform is a meditation to and for Him exclusively so much do they depend upon Him. This is the purport.
The knowledge of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence is attained without effort by the devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna is clearly elucidated in this the seventh chapter entitled Paramahamsa Vijnana Yoga, Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
For the deliverance of old age and death this verse is being spoken and not for other desires. This is the purport. Attachment to moksa or the achieving liberation from the cycle of birth and death is commendable; but surely in no way is it prescribed or should it ever be construed that one should worship the Supreme Lord Krishna merely for the sake of moksa. This would be folly and erroneous as moksa is an insignificant aspiration compared to the aspiration for bhakti which is one pointed loving devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna. The Narada Purana has elucidated on this point and confer that this verse does not apply to those who seek moksa only. This may be explained in a contrary way as follows: The knowledge of all the Vedas for the sake of the demigods, the knowledge of all the 330 million demigods for the sake of Lord Krishna and the knowledge of Lord Krishna for the sake of moksa, then moksa has no purpose at all. Such misconceptions belong to the fledgling intermediates who are just beginning their first lifetime as an aspirants. But for the mature devotees of many lifetimes there is nothing in all existence superior or more glorious then the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Sublime devotion to the Supreme Lord Krishna without distraction and cessation, without desires and expectations, seeking nothing in return, when performed with concentrated meditation with awareness of the inherent eternal nature of the atma or soul within all sentient beings as being part of Him has been established down through the millenniums as the single most superior endeavour in a being’s life. Thus is how the essence of communion with the Supreme Lord in bhakti has been eruditely explained in the Bhagavat Purana.
Now begins the summation.
The words te vidur mean those who know. This refers to the ekantins or those who by dint of their spiritual wisdom are singularly devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna. He is the ultimate one to be aware of, the one without a second and the one who beyond a doubt is the Supreme and Ultimate Personality of all creation and created beings. In the Katha Upanisad I.II.XXIII it states: Only to that being who is singularly and exclusively devoted to the Supreme Lord does He reveal Himself to.
The elevated and enlightened living entities who are singularly and exclusively devoted to the Supreme Lord Krishna are not in the least concerned about the old age and death of the physical body. But what they are very concerned about is the destination of the soul at the time of departure from the physical body which is known as death. Old age and death have reference only to the physical body and can never be applied to the atma or the immortal soul. The eternal atma being purely spiritual is what departs the physical body and has the inherent ability to transcend mortality.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Speaking of all other knowledge and the results such knowledge, Lord Krishna concludes chapter seven beginning with the words: sa-adhibhuta- adhidaivam meaning that the essence of all embodied beings and the demigods, must be known. Whoever by mercy of the authorised spiritual master in disciplic succession knows Lord Krishna, be they originating from those seeking fruitive desires or they originate from those with spiritual wisdom. If they know Him as the integral essence of all existence within as prakriti or the substratum pervading material existence, as the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence and as the sole origin of all creation. Along with knowing Him as paramatma or the Supreme Soul within the etheric heart of each and every sentient being throughout creation witnessing their every thought and action. Such elevated and enlightened beings of purified heart and cleansed minds will be immersed in relishing the remembrance of Lord Krishna up to and even during the moment of death. In the next chapter after being questioned by Arjuna, the intrinsic meanings of the terms brahman, adhibhuta, adhyatma and adhidaivata will be elucidated further by Lord Krishna.
In the seventh chapter Lord Krishna illuminated His supremacy, He showed the superiority of His devotees above all others and explained the root cause of bondage to the cycle of birth and death as well as the root cause of moksa or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. He magnanimously revealed these things to the world out of compassion for His devotees.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
7.30 Ye, those who; viduh, know; mam, Me; sa-adhi-bhuta-adhidaivam, as existing in the physical and the divine planes; ca, and also; sa-adhiyajnam, as existing in the context of the sacrifice; te, they; yukta-cetasah, of concentrated minds-those who have their minds absorbed in God; viduh, know; mam, Me; api ca, even; prayanakale, at the time of death. [For those who are devoted to God, there is not only the knowledge of Brahman as identified with all individuals and all actions (see previous verse), but also the knowledge of It as existing in all things on the physical, the divine and the sacrificial planes. Those who realize Brhaman as existing in the context of all the five, viz of the individual, of actions, of the physical,of the divine, and of the sacrifices-for them with such a realization there is no forgetting, loss of awareness, of Brahman even at the critical moment of death.]
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
7.30 Yesam etc. upto yukta-cetasah. Those, in whom the darkness (ignorance) has totally vanished, and the Self is well secured due to the decaying of the good and bad effects of actions-they break off the canopy of their [castle of the] mighty delusion and realise everything as the Brahman studded (purified) with the rays of the Bhagavat, emerging out of the darkness of old age and death; and realise ‘what governs the Self, the beings, the deities and the sacrifices are all My own different aspects’. They also experience Me at the time of their journey, on account of their having internal organ permanently immersed in the thought of the Bhagavat. For, those who remember the Bhagavat even earlier, since their birth-they at the last momnet would very well remember the Absolute Lord. [Hence] it is good to simply keep silent with regard to those who opine ‘What is the use of worshiping since [the time of] birth ?’
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
sadhiyajñam ca ye viduh
prayana-kale ’pi ca mam
te vidur yukta-cetasah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
sa-adhibhūta — and the governing principle of the material manifestation; adhidaivam — governing all the demigods; mām — Me; sa-adhiyajñam — and governing all sacriﬁces; ca — also; ye — those who; viduḥ — know; prayāṇa — of death; kāle — at the time; api — even; ca — and; mām — Me; te — they; viduḥ — know; yukta-cetasaḥ — their minds engaged in Me.