ज्ञानं कर्म च कर्ताच त्रिधैव गुणभेदतः |
प्रोच्यते गुणसङ्ख्याने यथावच्छृणु तान्यपि ||१८-१९||


jñānaṃ karma ca kartāca tridhaiva guṇabhedataḥ .
procyate guṇasaṅkhyāne yathāvacchṛṇu tānyapi ||18-19||



18.19. The instrument of knowledge, the object and the agent are just three kinds because of the differences in the Strands-thus it is declared in enumerating the Strands. These also you must listen to [from Me] as they are.

Shri Purohit Swami

18.19 The knowledge, the act and the doer differ according to the Qualities. Listen to this too:

Sri Abhinav Gupta

18.19 Jnanam etc. In enumerating the Strands : In the consdered conclusion of the Sankhya where the Strands are decided numerically, these instruments of knowledge etc., are declared to be of three types. that you must listen to. This is what is conveyed by the association of words (or ideas) here. By instrument-of-knowledge (Jnanam) the two-fold instruments viz. that of knowledge and of activity, are spoken of. Similarly object (karman) speaks of both the object of knowledge and the object of activity and agent (kartr) refers to both the knower and the performer. Now the three verses. Sarvabhutesu etc. (20-22) speak of the three-foldness of the instrument of knowledge. That is why the Instrumental Yena is employed. The nature of all the instruments of knowledge and of action is described by this much of portion. The three-foldness of object of both the types viz. the object of knowledge and the object of action is described by the tripple verses Niyatam etc. (23-25). The three-fold nature of the agent of both the categories viz. the knower and the doer is briefly explained by the three verses Muktasangah etc. (26-28). The three types of the intellect is examined by three verses, Pravrttim etc. (30-32), in order to explain the different nature of the two-fold instruments (i.e. of knowledge and of action). By this means the three-fold nature of other instrumetns is also indicated. The instrument reires technical know-how, and this technical know-how, of course, consists of the pentad that includes content and so on. However, because faith [included in this pentad] has already been dealt with (XVII, 2ff.), and because the desire to know and the aversion to know [both belonging to the pentad] are obtained by inference through the firmness and happiness [of the pentad], the three-fold division of the last two is explained by the verses Dhrtya yaya etc. (33-35) and Sukham tu idanim etc. (36-39). All this [the Lord] declares [one by one] ;-

Sri Ramanuja

18.19 The knowledge of action which ought to be done, the act to be performed, and the performer of the act are threefold, each of them being divided in accordance with Sattva etc., Listen about these, which are differentiated according to the Gunas.

Sri Shankaracharya

18.19 Jnanam, knowledge; karma, action-not the objective case in the technical sense, which is defined as ’that which is most cheirshed by the subject’; and karta, agent, the accomplisher of actions; procyate, are stated; guna-sankhyane, in the teaching about the gunas, in the philosophy of Kapila; to be eva, only (-only is used for emphasis, by way of showing that they have no classification other than that based on the gunas-); tridha, of three kinds; guna-bhedatah, according to the differences of the gunas, i.e. according to the differences of sattva etc. Even that philosophy teaching about the gunas is certainly vaild so far as it concerns the experiencer of the gunas, though it is contradictory so far as the non-duality of the supreme Reality, Brahman, is concerned. Those followers of Kapila are acknoweldge authorities in the ascertainment of the functions of the gunas and their derivatives. Hence, that scripture, too, is being referred to by way of eulogy of the subject-matter going to be spoken of. Therefore there is no contradiction. Srnu, hear; tani, about them; api, also; yathavat, as they are, as established by reason and as propounded in the scriptures. Hear about knowledge etc. and all their diversities created by the differences of the gunas. The idea is , ‘Concentrate your mind on the subject going to be taught.’ And now the threefold classification of knowledge is being stated:

Swami Adidevananda

18.19 Knowledge, act and agent are declared in the science of Gunas to be of three kinds, according to the difference in the Gunas. Listen about them also as they are.

Swami Gambirananda

18.19 Knowledge, action and agent are stated in the teaching about the gunas to be only of three kinds according to the differences of the gunas. Hear about them also as they are.

Swami Sivananda

18.19 Knowledge, action and actor are declared in the science of the Gunas (Sankhya philosophy) to be of three kinds only, according to the distinction of the Gunas. Of these also, hear duly.


Swami Sivananda

18.19 ज्ञानम् knowledge? कर्म action? च and? कर्ता actor? च and? त्रिधा of three kinds? एव only? गुणभेदतः according to the distinction of Gunas? प्रोच्यते are declared? गुणसंख्याने in the science of Gunas (Sankhya philosophy)? यथावत् duly? श्रृणु hear? तानि them? अपि also.Commentary The three alities overpower the whole of creation with their special nature and bring it entirely under their control. The nature of action? the actor and his knowledge are threefold according to the Gunas that is predominant. If all the three are Sattvic? then the action will not bind the man.Karta The doer of the actions.The science of the Gunas here referred to is Kapilas system of philosophy. Though the Sankhya system is opposed to Vedanta with reference to the Supreme Truth? viz.? the oneness or nonduality of Brahman? yet it is an authority on the science of the Gunas.I shall describe knowledge? action and actor? as also their various distinctions caused by different Gunas? scientifically and rationally. Hear My teachings? O Arjuna? with rapt attention. You will be immensely benefited.