तत्रैवं सति कर्तारमात्मानं केवलं तु यः |
पश्यत्यकृतबुद्धित्वान्न स पश्यति दुर्मतिः ||१८-१६||


tatraivaṃ sati kartāramātmānaṃ kevalaṃ tu yaḥ .
paśyatyakṛtabuddhitvānna sa paśyati durmatiḥ ||18-16||



18.16. But this being the case, whosoever views himself as the sole agent (cause of actions) due to his imperfect intellect - he, the defective-minded one, does not view [things rightly].

Shri Purohit Swami

18.16 But the fool who supposes, because of his immature judgment, that it is his own Self alone that acts, he perverts the truth and does not see rightly.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

18.16 See Comment under 18.17

Sri Ramanuja

18.16 In fact, the agency of the individual self is subject to the consent of Supreme Self; such being the case, if the ‘individual self regards Itself as the agent,’ It is of wicked or perverse mind. For, It does not perceive the agent as It really is, since It possesses an ‘uncultivated understanding,’ namely, an understanding which does not reveal the real state of affairs.

Sri Shankaracharya

18.16 Tatra is used for connecting with the topic under discussion. Tatra evam sati, this being the case, when actions are thus accomplished by the five causes mentioned above;-this portion has to be connected with ‘perverted intellect’ by way of causality [Actions are done by the body etc., but since a person thinks that the Self is the agent, therefore he is said to have a perverted intellect.]-yah, tu, anyone, an unenlightened person, who; pasyati, perceives; kevalam, the absolute, pure; atmanam, Self; as the kartaram, agent-thinking, ‘I myself am the agent of the actions being done by them’, as a conseence of imagining the Self as identified with them; why?-akrta-buddhitvat, owing to the imperfection of his intellect, owing to his intellect not having been refined by the instructions of Vedanta and the teachers, and by reasoning-. Even the person who, believing in the Self as distinct from the body etc., looks upon the distinct [Ast. omits anyam (distinct).-Tr.], absolute Self as the agent, he, too, is surely of imperfect intellect. Hence, owing to his having an imperfect intellect, sah, that man; na, does not; pasyati, perceive (properly) either the truth about the Self or about actions. This is the meaning. Therefore he is a durmatih, man of perverted intellect, in the sense that his intellect is contemptible, perverse, corrupted, and the cause of repeatedly undergoing births and deaths. He does not perceive even while seeing-like the man suffering from Timira seeing many moons, or like one thinking the moon to be moving when (actually) the clouds are moving, or like the one seated on some conveyance (e.g. palanin), thinking oneself to be moving when others (the bearers) are moving. Who, again, is the man of right intellect who perceives correctly? This is being answered:

Swami Adidevananda

18.16 Such being the case, he who sees only the self as the agent on account of the uncultivated understanding - he, of wicked mind, does not see at all.

Swami Gambirananda

18.16 This being the case, anyone, who, owing to the imperfection of his intellect, perceives the absolute Self as the agent, that man does not perceive (properly), and has a perverted intellect.

Swami Sivananda

18.16 Now, such being the case, verily he who owing to untrained understanding looks upon his Self, which is isolated, as the agent, he of perverted intelligence, sees not.


Swami Sivananda

18.16 तत्र there (the case)? एवम् thus? सति being? कर्तारम् as the agent? आत्मानम् the Self? केवलम् alone? तु verily? यः who? पश्यति sees? अकृतबुद्धित्वात् owing to untrained understanding? न not? सः he? पश्यति sees? दुर्मतिः of perverted intelligence.Commentary The Self is always actionless. He is unattached like ether. He is always the silent witness. He is the spectator of activity. The egoistic man of little understanding only thinks that he is the real agent? and so he is bound by actions. He takes birth again and again to reap the fruits of his actions. For him who considers the body as consciousness? God or the Self? it naturally follows that the Self is the agent or the doer. He who identifies himself with the body? who has taken the body as the pure Self? has cast a net over himself? and he leads a deluded life of utter ignorance. He is bound by the fetters or bonds of Karma. He is ever shut up in the prisonhouse of this body.He who has not united himself with the Buddhi? who has got an impure or untrained understanding? who regards the Self as the actor or the agent is certainly a man of perverted intelligence. He is deluded. He is really a blind man. He sees not though he has eyes. He does not behold the essence of things. He has no idea of the supreme Principle (the Self) Which is Itself actionless? Which ever stands as a silent witness of the activities of all minds and all organs of all beings? Which moves the minds? organs and the lifeforce and the bodies to action? just as the magnet makes the iron pieces move. He does not behold the truth about the Self and action.Durmati Evilminded person A man of perverted intellect or undeveloped reason. He thinks that he alone is the doer or agent. He does not understand anything. He has no knowledge of the,actionless? pure? selfluminous Self.The ignorant man of untrained understanding identifies himself with the five causes and regards the pure actionless Self as the agent or doer of the actions which are really done by these five causes. What is the reason for this Why does he regard them so Because he is not endowed with a pure and subtle intellect his understanding (Buddhi) has not been trained in the practice of Vedanta he is not eipped with the four means of salvation his intellect has not been trained by the teachings of the preceptor or the spiritual teacher in the methods of logical reasoning.He who considers that the pure actionless Self is the agent or the doer is certainly a man of untrained understanding. He has no knowledge of the actionless Self and action. Therefore? he is a man of perverted intelligence. His intellect works or moves in the wrong direction. His intellect moves in the sensual grooves or avenues. It runs like the vicious horse and leads to birth and death. The technie of Buddhi Yoga taught in the Gita enables one effectively to prevent this.He does not perceive or cognise the Truth though he has eyes. Though he sees? he sees the external? gross? illusory? everchanging? perishable objects only. He does not behold the one immortal? unchanging? allblissful essence? which is the basis or substratum of everything. He is like the man with jaundiced eyes? who sees all objects tinged with yellow colur? or like the man suffering from diplopia who beholds many moons? or like the man who thinks that the moon moves when the clouds move? or like the man who? seated in a train? imagines that the trees are moving when it is the train that is really moving. (Cf.V.15XIII.30)