व्यवसायात्मिका बुद्धिरेकेह कुरुनन्दन |
बहुशाखा ह्यनन्ताश्च बुद्धयोऽव्यवसायिनाम् ||२-४१||


vyavasāyātmikā buddhirekeha kurunandana .
bahuśākhā hyanantāśca buddhayo.avyavasāyinām ||2-41||



2.41. O source of joy to the Kurus ! The knowledge in the form of determination is just one; [but] the knowledge (thoughts) of those who do not have determination, has many branches and has no end.

Shri Purohit Swami

2.41 By its means, the straying intellect becomes steadied in the contemplation of one object only; whereas the minds of the irresolute stray into bypaths innumerable.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

2.41 Vyavasayatmika etc. The knowledge in the form of determination is just one and natural in the case of everyone; but it suffers manifoldedness according to the objects to be determined. Therefore -

Sri Ramanuja

2.41 Here, i.e., in every ritual sanctioned by the scriptures, the Buddhi or disposition of mind marked by resolution, is single. The Buddhi marked by resolution is the Buddhi concerned with acts which must be performed by one desirous of release (and not any kind of work). The term ‘Vyavasaya’ menas unshakable conviction: this Buddhi (disposition of mind) comes out of prior determination about the true nature of the self. But the Buddhi concerning the performance of rituals of fulfill certain desires, is marked by irresolution; because here only this much knowledge of the self is sufficient - ’the self (as an entity) exists differently from the body.’ Such a general understanding is sufficient to alify for performing acts giving fulfilment of certain desires. It does not reire any definite knowledge about the true nature of the self. For, even if there is no such knowledge, desires for heaven etc., can arise, the means for their attainment can be adopted, and the experience of those fruits can take place. For this reason there is no contradiction in the teaching of the scriptures. [The contradiction negated here is how can the same scriptural acts produce different results - fulfilment of desires and liberation. The difference in the disposition of the mind accouts of it.]

The Buddhi (mental disposition) marked by resolution has a single aim, because it relates to the attainment of a single fruit. For, as far as one desiring release is concerned, all acts are enjoined only for the accomplishment of that single fruit. Therefore, since the purpose of the scriptures here is one only (i.e., liberation), the Buddhi regarding all rituals taught in the scriptures too is only one, as far as liberation-seekers are concerned. For example, the set of six sacrifices, beginning with Agneya with all their subsidiary processes (though enjoined in different passages) forms the subject of a single injunction, as they are all for the attainment of a single fruit. Conseently the Buddhi concerning these is one only. The meaning of the verse under discussion must be construed in the same manner. But the Buddhi of the irresolute ones who are engaged in rituals for winning such fruits as heaven, sons, cattle, food etc., are endless, frutis being endless. In rituals like Darsapurnamasa (new moon and full moon sacrifice), even though attainment of a single fruit (heaven) is enjoined, there accrues to these the character of having many branches on account of the mention of many secondary fruits as evidenced by such passages as, ‘He desires a long life.’ Therefore the Buddhi of irresolute ones has many branches and are endless.

The purport is: In performing obligatory and occasional rituals, all fruits, primary and secondary, promised in the scriptures, should be abandoned, with the idea that release or salvation is the only purpose of all scripture-ordained rituals. These rituals should be performed without any thought of selfish gains. In addition, acts motivated by desires (Kamya-karmas) also should be performed according to one’s own capacity, after abandoning all desire for fruits and with the conviction that they also, when performed in that way, form the means for attainment of release. They should be looked upon as eal to obligatory and occasional rites suited to one’s own station and stage in life.

Sri Krsna condemns those who perform acts for the attainment of objects of desire:

Sri Shankaracharya

2.41 Kuru-nandana, O scion of the Kuru dynasty; iha, is this path to Liberation; there is only eka, a single; vyavasayatmika, one-pointed; buddhih, conviction, which has been spoken of in the Yoga of Knowledge and which has the characteristics going to be spoken of in (Karma-) yoga. It is resolute by nature and annuls the numerous branches of the other opposite thoughts, since it originates from the right source of knowledge. [The right source of knowledge, viz the Vedic texts, which are above criticism.] Those again, which are the other buddhayah, thoughts; they are bahu-sakhah, possessed of numerous branches, i.e. possessed of numerous variations. Owing to the influence of their many branches the worldly state becomes endless, limitless, unceasing, ever-growing and extensive. [Endless, because it does not cease till the rixe of full enlightenment; limitless, because the worldly state, which is an effect, springs from an unreal source.] But even the worldly state ceases with the cessation of the infinite branches of thoughts, under the influence of discriminating wisdom arising from the valid source of knowledge. (And those thoughts are) hi, indeed; anantah, innumerable under every branch. Whose thoughts? Avyavasayinam, of the irresolute ones, i.e. of those who are devoid of discriminating wisdom arising from the right source of knowledg.

Swami Adidevananda

2.41 In this (Karma Yoga), O Arjuna, the resolute mind is one-pointed; the minds of the irresolute are many-branched and endless.

Swami Gambirananda

2.41 O scion of the Kuru dynasty, in this there is a single, one-pointed conviction. The thoughts of the irresolute ones have many branches indeed, and are innumerable.

Swami Sivananda

2.41 Here, O joy of the Kurus, there is but a single one-pointed determination; many-branched and endless are the thoughts of the irresolute.


Swami Sivananda

2.41 व्यवसायात्मिका onepointed? बुद्धिः determination? एका single? इह here? कुरुनन्दन O joy of the Kurus? बहुशाखाः manybranched? हि indeed? अनन्ताः endless? च and? बुद्धयः thoughts? अव्यवसायिनाम् of the irresoulte.Commentary Here? in this path to Bliss there is only one thought of a resolute nature there is singleminded determination. This single thought arises from the right source of knowledge. The student of Yoga collects all the dissipated rays of the mind. He gathers all of them through discrimination? dispassion and concentration. He is free from wavering or vacillation of the mind.The worldlyminded man who is suck in the mire of Samsara has no singleminded determination. He entertains countless thoughts. His mind is always unsteady and vacillating.If thoughts cease? Samsara also ceases. Mind generates endless thoughts and this world comes into being. Thoughts? and names and forms are inseparable. If the thoughts are controlled? the mind is controlled and the Yogi is liberated.