अधश्चोर्ध्वं प्रसृतास्तस्य शाखा
गुणप्रवृद्धा विषयप्रवालाः |
अधश्च मूलान्यनुसन्ततानि
कर्मानुबन्धीनि मनुष्यलोके ||१५-२||


adhaścordhvaṃ prasṛtāstasya śākhā guṇapravṛddhā viṣayapravālāḥ .
adhaśca mūlānyanusantatāni karmānubandhīni manuṣyaloke ||15-2||



15.2. Of which (Tree) the branches, spreading downward and upward, well developed with Strands, have sense objects as sprouts; also below in the human world are Its roots, stretching successively, having actions for their sub-knots.

Shri Purohit Swami

15.2 Its branches shoot upwards and downwards, deriving their nourishment from the Qualities; its buds are the objects of sense; and its roots, which follow the Law causing man’s regeneration and degeneration, pierce downwards into the soil.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

15.1-2 Urdhva-mulam etc. Adhas ca etc. In other scriptural texts it is delcared ‘All is the holy Fig-tree; that alone is to be meditated upon’. The present verse tells us this : What is intended by that declaration is only the religious meditation of the Brahman, the Bhagavat. Root : the one with a highly tranil nature. That is high (above) : Becasue it can be attained by him alone who has withdrawn himself from every other [lower] thing. The [Vedic] hymns are the leaves [of it] etc. : Just as the girth, height, the fruits and the taste etc. of a tree are indicated by its leaves, in the same fashion the idea of the Brahman-being is through the scriptures that are included in the ‘Vedic hymns’. This is what is narrated here. With Strands : i.e., with the Sattva etc. Well developed : i.e., starting from gods down to the stationary ones. Of this tree, the roots, that are below, are the good and bad actions.

Sri Ramanuja

15.2 The ‘secondary roots’ of this tree having the main roots in the world of Brahman and its crest in men ramify below in the world of men. They bind them according to their Karma. The meaning is that the effects of acts causing bondag become roots in the world of men. For, the effect of actions done in the human state brings about the further condition of men, beasts etc., down below, and of divinities etc., up above.

Sri Shankaracharya

15.2 Sakhah, the branches, as it were; tasya, of that Tree; prasrtah, extending; adhah, downwards, from the human beings to the immobile (trees etc.); ca, and; urdhvam, upwards, upto Brahma-beginning from the Creator of the Cusmos to Dharma (Death) [According to A.G. ‘human beings’ stands for the world of human beings, and ‘Brahma ’ for the ‘world of Brahma’ (Satva-loka). So Dharma may mean the ‘world of Death’ (pitr-loka).-Tr.], which, ‘in accordance with their work and in conformity with their knowledge’ (Ka. 2.2.7), are the results of knowledge and actions; are guna-pravrddhah, strengthened, made stout, by the alities sattva, rajas and tamas, which are their materials; and visaya-pravalah, have the sense-objects as their shoots. The sense-objects (sound etc.) sprout, as it were, like new leaves from the branches (bodies etc.) which are the results of actions. Thery the branches are said to have sense-objects as their shoots. The supreme Root, the material cause of the Tree of the World, has been stated earlier. And now, the latent impressions of attraction, repulsion, etc. born of the results of action are the subsidiary roots, as it were, which grow later on and become the cause of involvement in righteousness and and unrighteousness. And those mulani, roots; karma-anubandhini, which are followed by actions; anu-santatani, spread, enter; adhah, downwards, as compared with the world of gods; manusya-loke, into the world of human beings particularly-for it is well known that (only) here men have competence for rites and duties. They (these roots) are said to be karma-anubandhini since actions (karma) that are characterized as righteous and unrighteous follow as their product (anubandha), (i.e.) succeed the rise of those (attraction, repulsion, etc.).

Swami Adidevananda

15.2 (a) Its branches extend both above and below, nourished by the Gunas. Their shoots are sense objects ৷৷.

(b) ৷৷. And their secondary roots extend downwards, resulting in acts which bind in the world of men.

Swami Gambirananda

15.2 The branches of that (Tree), extending down-wards and upwards, are strengthened by the alities and have sense-objects as their shoots. And the roots, which are followed by actions, spread down-wards in the human world [According to A.G. and M.S. manusya-loke means a body distinguished by Brahminhood etc.].

Swami Sivananda

15.2 Below and above spread its branches, nourished by the Gunas; sense-objects are its buds; and below, in the world of men, stretch forth the roots, originating action.


Swami Sivananda

15.2 अधः below? च and? ऊर्ध्वम् above? प्रसृताः spread? तस्य its? शाखाः branches? गुणप्रवृद्धाः nourished by the Gunas? विषयप्रवालाः senseobjects (are) its buds? अधः below? च and? मूलानि the roots? अनुसन्ततानि are stretched forth? कर्मानुबन्धीनि originating action? मनुष्यलोके in the world of men.Commentary The countless objects? large and small? which life needs are all products of the five elements through the activity of the alities. This tree of Samsara is nourished by the three alities of Nature. The senseobjects are its buds and the roots which grow downwards are the bonds of Karma for those who lead a life of passion and attachment in this world? who are under the sway of likes and dislikes. The sprouts of this marvellous tree are the charming objects of the senses with their characteristics of sound? touch? colour? taste and smell. The roots? the Karmic tendencies from the past lives? grow downwards to generate the bonds of Karma in the world of men. These roots strengthen the bondage by further actions.The primal root is ignorance from which arises the eightfold Nature – the five elements? mind? intellect and egoism. From the stem of the tree spring four branches called Svedaja? Andaja?,Jarayuja and Udbhijja. Eightyfour lakhs (eight million and four hundred thousand) of species came into being.One branch shoots straight upwards. This is the branch of Dharma which yields the fruit of enjoyment in heaven. Another branch is the branch of dispassion which yields the fruit of Selfrealisation. The sun? the planets? the manes and the sages have also come out of this wonderful tree. Above them are the branches of the worlds of Indra and the gods. Still higher are those of the sages and the men of austerities and penance. Still higher is the Satyaloka where Hiranyagarbha dwells.From man down to the immovable objects below and from him up to the realm of the Creator above? whatever regions are attained in accordance with the nature of knowledge or action? they are the ramifying branches of the tree of Samsara. They are nurtured and fattened by the three Gunas which form their material base.The senseobjects such as sound? touch? colour? taste and smell represent the buds that sprout from the branches of the physical bodies which are the products of actions.The highest root of this wondeful tree is Brahman. The secondary roots are the latent impressions (Samskaras) of likes and dislikes? which spread in this world of men and impel them to perform virtuus and vicious actions and bind them fast to actions.Now listen to the way by which this tree can be cut off. Only he who thus cuts his bondage to this tree of Samsara can be happy even in this world. He has the highest wisdom because he stands as a spectator of this tree and knows it as it is? without being tied to it.