कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भवं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भवम् |
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् ||३-१५||


karma brahmodbhavaṃ viddhi brahmākṣarasamudbhavam .
tasmātsarvagataṃ brahma nityaṃ yajñe pratiṣṭhitam ||3-15||



3.15. Action arises from the Brahman, you should know this; the Brhaman arises from what does not stream forth; therefore the all-pervading Brahman is permanently based on the sacrifice.

Shri Purohit Swami

3.15 All action originates in the Supreme Spirit, which is Imperishable, and in sacrificial action the all-pervading Spirit is consciously present.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.14-15 Annat etc. Karma etc. The things, that are born and are of diversified nature, arise from the food viz , the one which is of the nature of being undifferentiated objct of enjoyment, and which is somehow called by different synonyms like maya, vidya, kala etc. The said food also [arises] from the ‘rain-cloud’ i.e., the Self, which is of the nature of uninterrupted Consciousness. For, the state of being an object of enjoyment gains its existence depending on the enjoyer. That ‘rain-cloud’ too viz., the enjoyer, [arises] from the sacrifice (yajna) i.e., the act of enjoying. For, the state of being an enjoyer depends on the act of enjoying. And the act of enjoying [arises] from action, i.e., from the strength of freedom of action-energy (freedom in assuming any and every from).

The said freedom also, though it is uninterrupted, [arises] due to the good touch of the Brahman Which is full of freedom and of forms that are conditioned and are many, (or which is full of freedom and of many forms and is not conditioned); and which is the Supreme Soul, Brahman assuming the beings (tattvas), viz., the mighty Isvara (or Mahesvara) [and the Sadasiva] skipping high on It (Brahman). That Brahman, having the rising Lord-ship (or might) that is pure and unvieled, arises from what does not stream forth viz., the pure Supreme Consciousness in which the entire waves of might and Lordship have totally calmed down. Thus, the sacrifice well established [as an exil] in this manner, causing a six spoked wheel to rotate , spins the [two-fold] yarns - the yarn of emancipation by employing that part fitted with three spokes, and the yarn of [birth-and-death] activity by looming with the part of the [other] three spokes. Thus, the Brahman Which is charming with rolling waves of wisdom and ignorance, is established on nothing but the sacrifice.

But certain other commentators [interpret the passage as ] : The food is indeed the cause of beings through its graded chages into semen verile and blood; the food arises from the rain-cloud through the rains; that rains too arises from the [Vedic] sacrifice according to the principle :

 'The oblation offered into the [sacrificial] fire, pro-
      perly  reaches the sun etc.  (Manu. III, 76). 

The sacrifice [arises] from the action; the action follows the knowledge, and the knowledge is from the Imperishable.

Still others [explain] differently : The food that is being enjoyed is the pentad of sense-objects; depending on it, the bhutas (elements) i.e., the sense-organs, act; the objects are of the nature of the sparkles of the Self. Therefore, it is only the Self that is being nourished by enjoying sense-objects. Hence the all-pervading Brahman is established in action. For It is identical with that.

Sri Ramanuja

3.15 Here ther term, ‘Brahman’ connotes the physical body consisting of modifications of the Prakrti; for the Prakrti is denoted here by the term ‘Brahman’, as in the scriptural text: ‘From Him arises, this Brahman and this ‘Brahman’ becomes name, form and food’ (Mun. U., 1.1.9). Here also it will be said by Sri Krsna: ‘This great ‘Brahman’ is my womb’ (14.3). Therefore, the words that ‘Activity springs from ‘Brahman’ teaches that activity is produced by the physical body which is of the nature of the modification of Prakrti. The ‘Brahman’ arises from the imperishable self. Here the term, ‘imperishable’, indicates the individual self. The physical body, which is inhabited by the self who is satisfied by food and drink, is fit for action; hence the physical body which constitutes the instrument of activity is said to be from the imperishable. Therefore the ‘all-pervading Brahman’ means here the bodies of all persons of diverse kinds which are the products of Prakrti which comprises all material entities, and is hence all-pervading. They, the bodies, are established in sacrifice. The meanig is that the bodies have roots in sacrifice.

Sri Shankaracharya

3.15 Again, [a different reading in place of this is: ‘Tat ca vividham karma kuto jatamityaha, From where did those various kinds of action originate? In reply the Lord says৷৷.’ Still another reading is: ‘Tat ca karma brahmodbhavam iti aha, And the Lord says: That action has the Vedas as its origin.’-vide A.A., 1936, p. 116). Astekar’s reading is: Tat ca evam vidham karma kuto jatamityaha, And from where has this kind of aciton originated? The answers this.’-Tr.] viddhi, know; that karma, action; is brahmodbhavam, it has Brahma, the Veda, as its udbhavam, origin. [Here Ast. adds ‘revealer’-Tr.] Further, Brahma, called the Veda, is aksara-samudbhavam, it has aksara, the Immutable, Brahman, the supreme Self, as its source. This is the meaning. Since the Veda came out, like the breath of a man, from the supreme Self Itself, called the Immutable, therefore the Veda, being the revealer of everything, is sarva-gatam, all pervading. Even though all-pervading, the Veda is nityam, for ever; pratisthitam, based; yajne, on sacrifice, because the injunctions about sacrifices predominate in it.

Swami Adidevananda

3.15 Know that activity springs from ‘Brahman’, i.e., the physical body, ‘Brahman’ arises from the imperishable (self); therefore the all-pervading ‘Brahman’ is ever established in sacrifice.

Swami Gambirananda

3.15 Know that actin has the veda as its origin; the Vedas has the Immutable as its source. Hence, the all-pervading Veda is for ever based on sacrifice.

Swami Sivananda

3.15 Know thou that action comes from Brahma and Brahma comes from the Imperishable. Therefore, the all-pervading (Brahma) ever rests in sacrifice.


Swami Sivananda

3.15 कर्म action? ब्रह्मोद्भवम् arisen from Brahma? विद्धि know? ब्रह्म Brahma? अक्षरसमुद्भवम् arisen from the Imperishable? तस्मात् therefore? सर्वगतम् allpervading? ब्रह्म Brahma? नित्यम् ever? यज्ञे in sacrifice? प्रतिष्ठितम् (is) established.Commentary Brahma may mean Veda. Just as the breath comes out of a man? so also the Veda is the breath of the Imperishable or the Omniscient. The Veda ever rests in the sacrifice? i.e.? it deals chiefly with sacrifices and the ways of their performance. (Cf.IV.24 to 32).Karma Action? Brahmodbhavam arisen from the injunctions of the Vedas.