Gita 15.11 explained

Link to purport by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Transcript of Bhakti-Shastri class on this verse by Chaitanya Charan

Chp15 Overview

1-6: Attain Liberation by detachment (The upside-down banyan tree)

If one will not get liberation in this way then stage 2 (7-11)

7-11: Otherwise bondage and transmigration

12-15: How Krishna assists us in our material existence and our spiritual endeavor

16-18: The essence of Vedanta (Tri-ShlokiGita)

19-20: To know Krishna means to know everything


10th verse talks about Jyana Chakchu now the question may come up why some people have Jyana Chakchu and other don’t have? What is the difference that is talked about in this particular verse. 

Bg 15.11

yatanto yoginaś cainaṁ
paśyanty ātmany avasthitam
yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno
nainaṁ paśyanty acetasaḥ


yatantaḥ — endeavoring; yoginaḥ — transcendentalists; ca — also; enam — this; paśyanti — can see; ātmani — in the self; avasthitam — situated; yatantaḥ — endeavoring; api — although; akṛtaātmānaḥ — those without self-realization; na — do not; enam — this; paśyanti — see; acetasaḥ — having undeveloped minds.


The endeavoring transcendentalists who are situated in self-realization can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try.


yatanto yoginaś cainaṁ, Yogis those who are striving for Yoga, yatanto, endeavor

cainaṁ, this 

This reality of how the soul is trapped in material existence and dragged around by the modes

Paśyanty, so the Yogis who endeavor will perceive 

How do they perceive?

 ātmany avasthitam, by becoming situated on the spiritual platform.

 But on the other hand yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno, others may endeavor but still they are akṛtātmāno, they are not situated on the spiritual platform.

Ātmany means soul and akṛtātmāno means not being situated on spiritual platform.

Therefore nainaṁ paśyanty acetasaḥ, one is not able to perceive, acetasaḥ, because of misdirected consciousness one cannot perceive. 

Both are yatanto, endeavoring but one is ātmany avasthitam and other is akṛtātmāno and acetasaḥ so they are not able to perceive.

That means it is not just enough that we desire and strive to perceive the spiritual reality, previous verse is having Jyana Chakchu and this verse is having pasyati so that is logical connection with eyes we see, what is required to develop this Jyana Chakchu? It is not just endeavor, that is important, but that endeavor should lead to a transformation by which one can become ātmany avasthitam, one become situated in the spiritual platform. Srila Prabhupada would give example that just endeavor or willpower alone is not enough if a person is blind and there is a beautiful panting that person cannot see it doesn’t matter how long he tries to see it. A correction or treatment is required in his eyes so that he can see. So just endeavor is not enough there should be guided endeavor so the guided endeavor will do some treatment by which such a person can get the eyes and see thereof. So both are yatanto but just by yatanto paśyanty will not come. Along with yatanto there should be transformation by which one is ātmany avasthitam, situated on spiritual platform.

It starts with hearing that there is a higher reality with that we get some perception and we are inspired to pursue further, and when we pursue it more we perceive it more. That inspires us to pursue it further. So initially we have to do a little bit of pursuing by hearing. Hearing itself is pursuing. A little bit of favorable inquisitiveness in the initial stage can also help it will begin the process. 

yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno
nainaṁ paśyanty acetasaḥ

nainaṁ paśyanty, one cannot perceive because acetasaḥ, because consciousness is caught at material level. 

Krishna has talked about acetasaḥ in Bhog Ashvarya Prashakta Nam Taya Apahar Acetasaḥ Vavshayatmika Bhuddhi Samadho Na Vidiyate

Chetasam is Apahart the consciousness is abducted. Apahart is also kidnapped. 

So by attachment to matter the consciousness is kidnapped. So we have to be careful we should not be a kids and we should not take naps , so don’t be childish we have to recognize that spiritual life is a serious pursuit and children may be casual, playful. Don’t take nap means don’t be lazy. We have to be constantly alert. We have to recognize that spiritual path is a continuous pursuit as soon as I lower my guard maya is just waiting nearby she will catch us Nikate Maya Tare Zapatiya Dhare maya will pounce and capture. This is very much like kidnapping as soon as the kidnapers get opportunity they will pounce on the child and drag them away. So we have to be alert. In Krishna Consciousness whether we feel high or dry at any point of time we have to keep going. 

Situating ourselves on spiritual platform means acting as a soul as much as possible and not acting at the level of body which means letting bodily desires rule our life, acting at spiritual life means letting need of soul shape our life. To be at spiritual platform doesn’t mean one has to be fully self-realized. We cannot be entirely at spiritual platform right now but we can act at the spiritual level at the significant level. Those who let bodily desires and drives rule there life, acetasaḥ, their consciousness gets dragged away from Krishna.

Krishna has earlier used the word acetasaḥ in 3.32

Bg 3.32

ye tv etad abhyasūyanto
nānutiṣṭhanti me matam
sarva-jñāna-vimūḍhāṁs tān
viddhi naṣṭān acetasaḥ


ye — those; tu — however; etat — this; abhyasūyantaḥ — out of envy; na — do not; anutiṣṭhanti — regularly perform; me — My; matam — injunction; sarvajñāna — in all sorts of knowledge; vimūḍhān — perfectly befooled; tān — they are; viddhi — know it well; naṣṭān — all ruined; acetasaḥ — without Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not follow them regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and ruined in their endeavors for perfection.


acetasaḥ, Their consciousness gets dragged away from Krishna Chetana means consciousness acetasaḥ means the consciousness is not there where it is supposed to be like absent mind. So because of excess material desire one is not consciousness of Krishna one is conscious of matter. E.g. if our consciousness is somewhere else like lust even while taking darshan of Krishna in temple our consciousness is somewhere else.  

yatanto ’py akṛtātmāno
nainaṁ paśyanty acetasaḥ

So even if one endeavors but if one is not striving to be situated on spiritual platform then one cannot perceive spiritual reality, then we may say what yatanto in second case is referring to? Yatanto refers to misinformed endeavor e.g. blind person trying to see painting. 

Purport: Even though they are endeavoring in a so-called yoga system, they are not self-realized. Such people cannot understand the process of the transmigration of the soul

not self-realized, means they have hazy conception of the soul. Because of hazy conceptions they do not take tangible steps towards self-realizations, that is why they neither have comprehension nor self-realization resulting through it

End of transcription.

Author: Vallabhi

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *