प्रकृतिं पुरुषं चैव विद्ध्यनादी उभावपि |
विकारांश्च गुणांश्चैव विद्धि प्रकृतिसम्भवान् ||१३-२०||


prakṛtiṃ puruṣaṃ caiva viddhyanādi ubhāvapi .
vikārāṃśca guṇāṃścaiva viddhi prakṛtisambhavān ||13-20||



13.20. Both the Material Cause and the Soul too are beginningless, you should know this; you should also know that the modifications and Strands are born of the Material Cause.

Shri Purohit Swami

13.20 Know thou further that Nature and God have no beginning; and that differences of character and quality have their origin in Nature only.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

13.20 See Comment under 13.23

Sri Ramanuja

13.20 Know this Prakrti and Purusa (self) are uncreated and are beginningless. Know that the modifications, desire, hatred etc., which cause bondage, and the alities of modesty etc., which cause release, originate from Prakrti. The Prakrti, having no beginning, develops into the form of the body, and conjoint with the self, causes bondage through its own transformations such as desire and hatred. The same Prakrti, through its transformations like modesty etc., causes release. Such is the meaning.

The difference in the functions of Prakrti and Purusa in combination is stated -

Sri Shankaracharya

13.20 Viddhi, know; ubhau, both; prakrtim Nature; and also the purusam, individual soul;-these two; Nature and the soul. the aspects of God-to be api, verily; anadi, without beginning. Those two that have no beginning (adi), are anadi. Since the godhood of God is eternal, therefore it is logical that even His aspects also should have eternality. For God’s god-hood consists verily in having the two aspects. Those two aspects through which God becomes the cause of creation, continuance and dissolution of the Universe, and which are beginningless, are the sources of mundane existence. Some interpret the phrase anadi in the tatpurusa [Tatpurusa: Name of a class of compounds in which the first member determines the sense of the other members, or in which the last member is defined or alified by the first, without losing its original independence.-V.S.A.] sense of na adi, not primeval (not cause). (According to them) thery indeed is established the causality of God. Again, if Nature and soul themselves be eternal, the mundane existence would surely be their creation, and the causality of the mundane existence would not be God’s. That is wrong because, there being nothing to rule over before the emergence of Nature and soul, there will arise the contingency of God ceasing to be God! And if the mundane state be uncaused [Uncaused, i.e. not caused by Nature and soul, but by God independently of those two aspects.] there arises the contingency of the absence of Liberation, [If God were. Himself the sole cause of mundane existence, independently of His two aspects, then it would be endless because there would be nothing to prevent liberated souls from being put under bondage again.] the scriptures becoming useless, and the absence of bondage and freedom. On the other hand, all these become justifiable if God and the two aspects be eternal. How? Viddhi, know; the vikaran, modifications that will be spoken of-the intellect etc., the body and the organs; ca eva, as also; gunan, the alities (sattva etc.)-manifest in the form of the mental states of happiness, sorrow and attachment; as prakriti-sambhavan, born of Nature. Nature, Maya, is the power of God, which is the cause of the modifications and which consists of the three alities. Those modifications and alities, which have that Nature as their source,-know those modifications and alities as ‘born of Nature’, as transformations of Nature. Which again, are those modifications and alities born of Nature?

Swami Adidevananda

13.20 Know that both Prakrti and the self (Purusa) are without beginning; know that all modifications and the attributes are born of Prakrti.

Swami Gambirananda

13.20 Know both Nature and also the individual soul [Prakrti is sometimes translated as matter, and purusa as spirit.-Tr.] to be verily without beginning; know the modifications as also the alities as born of Nature.

Swami Sivananda

13.20 Know thou that Nature (matter) and the Spirit are both beginningless; and know also that all modifications and alities are born of Nature.


Swami Sivananda

13.20 प्रकृतिम् matter? पुरुषम् spirit? च and? एव even? विद्धि know? अनादी beginningless? उभौ both? अपि also? विकारान् modifications? च and? गुणान् alities? च and? एव even? विद्धि know? प्रकृतिसंभवान् born of Prakriti.Commentary Steps are necessary to reach the top floor of a building. Even so? steps are necessary to reach the summit of the knowledge of the Self. That is the reason why Lord Krishna took Arjuna to the summit of knowledge step by step. He first taught Arjuna the nature of the field? then knowledge? ignorance or nonwisdom? and ultimately the knowable. When a child is to be fed,the intelligent mother divides the food into small portions and feeds the child little by little. Even so Lord Krishna fed His spiritual child Arjuna with the spiritual food little by little.Lord Krishna says O Arjuna I will give you the same teaching in another form by the description of the Spirit and Nature.Till now the Lord expounded the knowledge of the field and the Self in accordance with the philosophy of the Upanishads. Now He explains the same knowledge in accordance with the Sankhya philosophy? but without accepting its dual nature in the form of discrimination between the Spirit and Nature.Vikaras Modifications from the MahatTattva or intellect down to the physical body the twentyfour principles of the Sankhyas. The Self within is changeless. All changes take place in Nature. Mulaprakriti (the Primordial Nature? the Unmanifested) becomes modified into Mahat? egoism? mind? the great elements and other minor modifications.Just as coolness and ice? the day and the night? are inseparable? so also matter and Spirit are inseparable. The three alities Sattva? Rajas and Tamas are born of Nature (matter). All actions proceed from the mind? the lifeforce? the senses and the physical body.According to the Sankhya philosophy? Prakriti and Purusha are not only eternal and beginningless but also independent of each other and selfcreated. According to Vedanta philosophy? Prakriti or Maya originates from Brahman and is? therefore? neither selfcreated nor independent. Isvara has Maya under His perfect control. Maya is His causal body. Maya is His illusory power.Matter and Spirit are the Natures of Isvara. Know that these two are beginningless. That which has no beginning is Anadi. As Isvara is eternal? His two Natures also should be eternal. (This is according to the Sankhyas.)Isvara possesses these two Natures (superior and inferior) by which He causes the creation? preservation and destruction of the universe. Therefore He has the Lordship and rules over the universe. The two Natures have no beginning. Therefore they are the cause of Samsara.The inferior Nature (Apara Prakriti) which consists of the eightfold division of Nature referred to in chapter VII? verse 4? is the Prakriti of chapter XIII? verse 19. The superior Nature (Para Prakriti) referred to in chapter VII? verse 5? is the Purusha of chapter XIII? verse 19. Purusha here means Jiva (the individual soul).Even a child smiles and experiences exhilaration? grief? fear? anger? pleasure and pain. Who taught it The impressions of the virtuous and vicious actions of this birth cannot be the cause of these. The impressions of the previous birth alone are the cause of all these. They (the impressions) must have a support. From this we can clearly infer the existence of the individual soul in the previous birth and that the individual soul is beginningless. If you do not accept that the individual soul is beginningless? the two defects of Kritanasa (nonfruition of actions performed) and Akritabhyagama (causeless effect) will creep in. Pleasure and pain which are the fruits of virtuous and vicious actions done previously will pass away without being experienced. This is the defect of Kritanasa. So also? one will have to enjoy pleasure and pain? the fruits of good and bad actions which were not done by him previously. This is the defect of Akritabhyagama. In order to get rid of these two defects we will have to accept that the individual soul is beginningless. The scriptures,also emphatically declare that the soul is beginningless.