अनादित्वान्निर्गुणत्वात्परमात्मायमव्ययः |
शरीरस्थोऽपि कौन्तेय न करोति न लिप्यते ||१३-३२||


anāditvānnirguṇatvātparamātmāyamavyayaḥ .
śarīrastho.api kaunteya na karoti na lipyate ||13-32||



13.32. Because This is beginningless, and because This has no alities, this Supreme Self is changeless and It neither acts, nor gets stained [by actions], even-though It dwells in the body, O son of Kunti !

Shri Purohit Swami

13.32 The Supreme Spirit, O Prince, is without beginning, without Qualities and Imperishable, and though it be within the body, yet It does not act, nor is It affected by action.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

13.32 See Comment under 13.34

Sri Ramanuja

13.32 This ‘supreme self’ (Atman) has been defined as having a nature different from that of the body. While existing in the body, It is ‘immutable’, i.e., It is not liable to decay as It is ‘without a beginning,’ i.e., never created at any point of time. Because It is ‘free from Gunas,’ being devoid of Sattva and other Gunas of Prakrti, It neither acts nor gets tainted; It is not tainted by the alities of the body.

Granted that the self being without Gunas, does not act; but how is it possible that the Atman is not tainted by Its constant association with the alities of the body? To this, Sri Krsna replies:

Sri Shankaracharya

13.32 Anadivat, being without beginning: Adih means cause; that which has no cause is anadih. That which has a cause undergoes loss of its own characteristics. But this One, being causeless, has no parts. This being so, It does not suffer loss. So also, nirgunatvat, being without alities: indeed, It si only something possessing alities that perishes owing to the losss of its alities. But this One, being without alities, does not perish. Hence, ayam, this; paramatma, supreme Self; is avyayah, immutable. It suffers no depletion. Therefore It is immutable. Since this is so, therefore, api, although; sarira-sthah, existing in the body-since the perception of the Self occurs in the bodies, It is said to be ’existing in the body’; even then, It na, does not; karoti, act. From the very fact that It does not act, It na, is not; lipyate, affected by the result of any action. For, one who is an agent of action becomes affected by its result. But this One is not an agent. Hence It is not affected by any result. This is the meaning. Objection: Who is it, again, that acts in the body and becomes affected? On the one hand, if there be some embodied being other than the supreme Self who acts and becomes affected, then it has been improper to say in, ‘And also understand Me to be the Knower of the field,’ etc., that the Knower of the field and God are one. Again, if there be no embodied being who is different from God, then it has to be stated who is it that acts and gets affected. Or it has to be asserted that the supreme One does not exist. [If the supreme One also acts like us, then He is no God.] Thus, since the Upanisadic philosophy as stated by the Lord is in every way difficult to understand and difficult to explain, it has therefore been abandoned by the Vaisesikas, the Sankhyas, the Jainas and the Buddhists. Reply: As to that, the following refutation has been stated by the Lord Himself in, ‘But it is Nature that acts’ (5.14). Indeed, Nature, which is nothing but ignorance, acts and becomes affected. In this way empirical dealing becomes possible; but in reality it does not occur in the one supreme Self. It has been accordingly shown by the Lord in various places that there is no duty to be performed by those who adhere to this philosophy of discriminating knowledge of the supreme Reality, who are steadfast in Knowledge, who have spurned actions arising out of ignorance, and who are mendicants belonging to the highest Order of monks. The Lord cites an illustration to show like what It does not act and is not affected:

Swami Adidevananda

13.32 This supreme self, though dwelling in the body, is immutable, O Arjuna, being without beginning. It neither acts nor is tainted, as It is without Gunas.

Swami Gambirananda

13.32 Being without beginning and without alities, O son of Kunti, this immutable, supreme Self does not act. nor is It affected [Also translated as tainted.-Tr.], although existing in the body.

Swami Sivananda

13.32 Being without beginning and being devoid of (any) alities, the Supreme Self, imperishable, though dwelling in the body, O Arjuna, neither acts nor is tainted.


Swami Sivananda

13.32 अनादित्वात् being without beginning? निर्गुणत्वात् being devoid of alities? परमात्मा the Supreme Self? अयम् this? अव्ययः imperishable? शरीरस्थः dwelling in this body? अपि though? कौन्तेय O son of Kunti (Arjuna)? न not करोति acts? न not? लिप्यते is tainted.Commentary The Supreme Self is beyond Nature. Therefore It is without alities. It is Nirguna. The activity in Nature is really due to its own alities which inhere in it. The Supreme Self existed before the body came into being and will continue to be after its dissolution. It is eternally the same and imperishable.Avyaya That which is free from the changes of birth and death or appearance and destruction. That which has a beginning has birth. After the object is born it is subject to the changes of being (growth? decay? etc.). As the Self is birthless? It is free from the changes of state (existence? birth? growth? change? decay and death). As the Self is free from all sorts of functions? It is Avyaya. Even if the reflection of the sun in the water moves? the sun does not move a bit. Even so the Supreme Self is not touched by the fruits of action as It is not the doer? as It is without the alities of Nature? or limbs? indivisible? devoid of parts? without action? beginningless and unattached and causeless.This Supreme Self is free from the three kinds of differences? viz.? Sajatiyabheda? Vijatiyabheda and Svagatabheda. A mango tree is different from a fig tree. This is Sajatiyabheda. A mango tree is different from a stone. This is Vijatiyabheda. In the same mango tree there is difference between leaves? flowers and fruits. This is Svagatabheda. But the Supreme Self is one without a second. There is no other Brahman Which is eal to It. Therefore? there cannot be Sajatiyabheda in Brahman. This world is a mere appearance. It is a mere figment of our imagination. It is superimposed on the Absolute on account of ignorance. An imaginary object has no independent existence apart from its substratum? just as the snake in the rope has no independent existence apart from its substratum? the rope. Therefore? there cannot be Vijatiyabheda in Brahman. Brahman is indivisible? partless? without alities? without form and without any limbs. Therefore there cannot be Svagatabheda in Brahman.Brahman or the Supreme Self is beginningless. It is without a cause. It is selfexistent. It is without parts. It is without alities. Therefore Brahman is imperishable. As It is unattached? It is neither the doer nor the enjoyer. If Brahman also is the doer and enjoyer. It is no longer Brahman. It is in no way better than ourselves. This cannot be. Agency and enjoyment are attributed to the ego on account of ignorance. It is Nature that acts. (Cf.V.14XV.9)