Translation of Bhagavad Gita 9.10
This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
It is clearly stated here that the Supreme Lord, although aloof from all the activities of the material world, remains the supreme director. The Supreme Lord is the supreme will and the background of this material manifestation, but the management is being conducted by material nature. Krishna also states in Bhagavad-gita that of all of the living entities in different forms and species, “I am the father.” The father gives seeds to the womb of the mother for the child, and similarly the Supreme Lord by His mere glance injects all the living entities into the womb of material nature, and they come out in their different forms and species, according to their last desires and activities. All these living entities, although born under the glance of the Supreme Lord, take their different bodies according to their past deeds and desires. So the Lord is not directly attached to this material creation. He simply glances over material nature; material nature is thus activated, and everything is created immediately. Because He glances over material nature, there is undoubtedly activity on the part of the Supreme Lord, but He has nothing to do with the manifestation of the material world directly. This example is given in the smriti: when there is a fragrant flower before someone, the fragrance is touched by the smelling power of the person, yet the smelling and the flower are detached from one another. There is a similar connection between the material world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead; actually He has nothing to do with this material world, but He creates by His glance and ordains. In summary, material nature, without the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot do anything. Yet the Supreme Personality is detached from all material activities.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“I cannot accept that you are indifferent in your acts such creation.”
By my direction as the efficient cause (nimitta), prakrtih give rise to this universe of moving and non-moving entities (suyate).
I am only the director. It is like the duties of the kingdom going on under the kings like Ambarisa by the ministers. There, the king remains aloof. But just as nothing can be done by the ministers without the king sitting on the throne, so unconscious matter can do nothing without my directorship in the form of my presence and authority. By this cause (hetuna), my presence, this world is repeatedly created.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
9.10 Therefore, My Prakrti, looked at by Me, through My will and under My supervision creates the world with its mobile and immobile beings in accordance with the Karma of individual selves. Because of this, namely, My look at Prakrti in conformity with the Karma of individual selves, the world revolves. Behold in this wonderful phenomena the lordly power inherent to Me, the son of Vasudeva, such as My sovereignty, true resolve and being devoid of cruelty and similar blemishes! So declare the Srutis: ‘The possessor of Maya projects this universe out of this. The other (i.e., individual self) is confined by Maya in the world. One should know the Maya to be the Prakrti. And the possessor of Maya to be the Mighty Lord’ (Sve. U., 4.9.10).
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
The word mayadhyaksena means the illusory external energy directed by Lord Krishna which manifests prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence and the creation of all moving and immovable living entities again and again in continuous cycles. Although the Supreme Lord is the cause and reason the universes revolve, He has no connection to prakriti and thus dominion and indifference are not incompatible for Him.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord being indifferent does not mean that prakriti or the material substratum pervading physical existence can manifest creation on its own by itself. Therefore the words mayadhyaksena meaning directed by His illusory external energy denoting that it is always under the Supreme Lords control and He is always the overseer. This is what Lord Krishna is indicating. The Vedic scriptures state: Prakriti which gives birth to all physical creations is itself given birth to by the Supreme Lord, who determines the designation of all living entities according to their karma or reactions to the actions of their previous life activities.
Now begins the summation.
In the compound word mayadhyaksena the word adhyaksena meaning representative of the Supreme Lord is spoken by Lord Krishna as one who has His eye on each and every single living entity. Therefore He is adhipati the Lord of all creation.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The doubt may be raised that it seems impossible to perform actions as a doer while at the same time be indifferent to the actions. To dispel any doubt and remove any contradiction Lord Krishna states the compound word mayadhyaksena meaning as the superviser, controller or overseer of maya the illusory external energy brings forth prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence which consists of all creation and all moving and non-moving living entities. The extent of His involvement is to keep the wheel of creation and transmigration of all living being enacting perpetually being created again and again continuously in cycles. So in this manner there is not even the slightest contradiction or necessity for doubt.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
9.10 Maya, under Me; adhyaksena, as the supervisor, remaining changeless as a mere witness under all circumstances; prakrtih, the Prakrti, My maya consisting of the three gunas and characterized as ignorance; suyate, produces; the world sa-cara-acaram. of the moving and the none-moving things. Thus there is the Vedic text, ‘The one divine Being is hidden in all beings; He is amnipresent, the indwelling Self of all bengs, the Supervisor of actions, the refuge of all beings, the witness, the one who imparts consceiousness, unconditioned [This is according to Sankaracarya’s commentary on this verse. A.G. interprets kevala as non-dual.-Tr.] and without qualities’ (Sv. 6.11). Anena hetuna, owing to this reason-because of this presiding over; O son of Kunti, the jagat, world, with the moving and the non-moving things, consisting of the manifest and the unmanifest; viparivartate, revolves, under all conditions [During creation, continuance and dissolution.] All the activities of the world in the form, ‘I eat this; I see; I hear this; I experience this happiness, suffer this sorrow; I shall do this for that purpose, [Ast. omits this portion.-Tr] I shall do this for this purpose; I shall know this,’ etc. indeed arise owing to their being the objects of the conscious witness. They verily exist in consciousness, and end in consciousness. And such mantras as, ‘He who is the witness of this is in the supreme heaven’ [Supreme heaven, the heart; i.e. He is inscrutable.] (Rg., Na. Su. 10.129.7; Tai. Br.2.8.9), reveal this fact. Since it follows from this that there is no other conscious being part from the one Deity-who is the witness of all as the absolute Consciousness, and who in reality has no contact with any kind of enjoyment-, therefore there is no other enjoyer. Hence, in this context, the question, ‘For what purpose is this creation?’, and its answer are baseless-in accordance with the Vedic text, ‘Who know (It) truly, who can fully speak about this here? From where has this come? From where is this variegated creation?’ (Rg. 3.54.5; 10.129.6). And it has been pointed out by the Lord also: ‘Knowledge remains covered by ignorance. Thereby the creatures become deluded’ (5.15).
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
9.9-10 Na ca etc. Maya etc. There is for Me no bondage of actions, because I remain unconcerned. That is why, not resorting to any activity, I am the pirme cause in the process of world-creation.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
mayā — by Me; adhyakṣeṇa — by superintendence; prakṛtiḥ — material nature; sūyate — manifests; sa — both; cara-acaram — the moving and the nonmoving; hetunā — for the reason; anena — this; kaunteya — O son of Kuntī; jagat — the cosmic manifestation; viparivartate — is working.