अधिष्ठानं तथा कर्ता करणं च पृथग्विधम् |
विविधाश्च पृथक्चेष्टा दैवं चैवात्र पञ्चमम् ||१८-१४||


adhiṣṭhānaṃ tathā kartā karaṇaṃ ca pṛthagvidham .
vividhāśca pṛthakceṣṭā daivaṃ caivātra pañcamam ||18-14||



18.14. The basis, as well as the agent, and diverse instruments, and distinct activity of various kinds and Destiny, which is certainly the fifth [factor].

Shri Purohit Swami

18.14 They are a body, a personality, physical organs, their manifold activity and destiny.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

18.14 See Comment under 18.17

Sri Ramanuja

18.14 - 18.15 For all actions, performed through body, words or mind, whether they be authorized by the Sastras or not, the causes are these five. (1) The body, which is a conglomeration of the ‘great elements,’ is known as the seat, since it is governed by the individual self. (2) The agent is the individual self. That this individual self is the knower and the agent is established in the Vedanta-Sutras: ‘For this reason, (the individual self) is the knower’ (2.3.18) and ‘The agent, on account of the scripture having a purport’ (2.3.33.). (3) The organs of various kinds are the five motor organs like that of speech, hands, feet etc., along with the mind. They are of various kinds, viz., they have different functions in completing an action. (4) The different and distinctive functions of vital air - here the expression ‘functions’ (Cesta) means several functions. Distinctive are the functions of this fivefold vital air which sustains the body and senses through its divisions of Prana, Apana etc. (5) Divinity is the fifth among these causes. The purport is this: Among these, which constitute the conglomeration of causes of work the Divinity is the fifth. It is the Supreme Self, the Inner Ruler, who is the main cause in completing the action.

It has been already affirmed: ‘I am seated in the hearts of all. From Me are memory, knowledge and their removal also’ (15.15), and He will say further: ‘The Lord, O Arjuna, lives in the heart of every being casuing them to spin round and round by His power as if set on a wheel’ (18.61). The agency of the individual self is dependent on the Supreme Self as established in the aphorism: ‘But from the Supreme, because the scripture says so’ (B. S., 2.3.41).

Now an objection may be raised in this way: If the agency of the individual self is dependent on the Supreme Self and the individual self cannot be charged with moral responsibility, then the scriptures containing injunctions and prohibitions become useless, as the individual self cannot be enjoined to act in regard to any action. The objection is disposed off by the author of the Vedanta-Sutras in the aphorism: ‘But with a view to the effects made on account of the purposelessness of injunctions and prohibitions’ (2.3.42).

The purport is this: By means of his senses, body etc., granted by the Supreme Self - having Him for their support, empowered by Him, and thus deriving power from Him - the individual self begins, of his own free will, the effort for directing the senses etc., for the purpose of performing actions conditioned by his body and organs. The individual self Itself, of Its own free will, is responsible for activity, since the Supreme Self, abiding within, causes It to act only by granting His permission, just as works such as moving heavy stones and timber are collectively the labour of many persons and they are together responsible for the effect. But each one of them (severally) also is responsible for it. In the same way each individual is answerable to Nature’s law in the form of positive and negative ?ndments.

Sri Shankaracharya

18.14 Adhisthanam, the locus, the body, which is the seat, the basis, of the manifestation of desire, hatred, happiness, sorrow, knowledge, etc.; tatha, as also karta, the agent, the enjoyer [The individual Self which has intelligence etc. as its limiting adjuncts, due to which it appears to possess their characteristics and become identified with them.] who has assumed the characteristics of the limiting adjuncts; prthak vidham, the different kinds of; karanam, organs, the ears etc. which, twelve [The five organs of knowledge (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin), the five organs of actions (hands, feet, speech, organ of excertion and that of generation), the mind and the intellect.] in number, are of different kinds for the experience of sound etc.; the vividhah, many; and prthak, distinct; cesta, activities connected with air-exhalation, inhalation, etc.; ca eva, and; daivam, the divine, i.e. the Sun and the others who are the presiding deities of the eye etc.; is atra, here, in relation to these four; pancamam, the fifth-completing the five.

Swami Adidevananda

18.14 The seat of action and likewise the agent, the various kinds of organs, the different and distinctive functions of vital air and also the fifth among these, Divinity.

Swami Gambirananda

18.14 The locus as also the agent, the different kinds of organs, the many and distinct activities, and, the divine is here the fifth.

Swami Sivananda

18.14 The seat (body), the doer, the various senses, the different functions of various sorts, and the presiding deity, also, the fifth.


Swami Sivananda

18.14 अधिष्ठानम् the seat or body? तथा also? कर्ता the doer? करणम् the senses? च and? पृथग्विधम् of different? विविधाः various? च and? पृथक् different? चेष्टाः functions? दैवम् the presiding deity? च and? एव even? अत्र here? पञ्चमम् the fifth.Commentary Now listen to the characteristics of these five? of which the body is the first. It is termed the support or the seat. The body is the seat of desire? hatred? happiness? misery? knowledge and the like. The individual soul experiences through the body the pleasure and pain that arise through contact with matter. Egoism is the agent or the doer or the enjoyer. Nature does actions but through delusion the individual soul takes to himself the credit of their execution and? therefore? he is called the agent.Karta The enjoyer putting on the nature or properties of the limiting adjuncts with which he comes into contact.Karanam prithagvidham Various organs such as the organ of hearing? by which the individual soul hears the sound? etc. organs of knowledge and action and the mind.Daivam The presiding deity such as the Sun and the other gods by whose help the eye and the other organs perform their respective functions destiny.Cheshta Play of energy in the organs or the senses during the action.Absence of any of these factors will make action impossible.