एवं प्रवर्तितं चक्रं नानुवर्तयतीह यः |
अघायुरिन्द्रियारामो मोघं पार्थ स जीवति ||३-१६||


evaṃ pravartitaṃ cakraṃ nānuvartayatīha yaḥ .
aghāyurindriyārāmo moghaṃ pārtha sa jīvati ||3-16||



3.16. Whosoever does not roll forward the wheel, thus set in motion in this world, he is a man of sinful life rejoicing in the senses; and he lives in vain, O son of Prtha !

Shri Purohit Swami

3.16 Thus he who does not help the revolving wheel of sacrifice, but instead leads a sinful life, rejoicing in the gratification of his senses, O Arjuna, he breathes in vain.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.16 Evam etc. On the other hand, he, who does not accept as stated above, is full of sins. For, he enjoys only in the sense-organs and not in the Self.

Sri Ramanuja

3.16 Thus this wheel is set in motion by the Supreme Person: From food arise embodied selves which are denoted by the word ‘beings’: from rain food; from sacrifice rain; sacrifice from activities which constitute the exercise of an agent; and activity from the embodied self; and again the body endowed with life from food. In this manner there is a seence which revolves like a wheel through the mutual relations of cause and effect.

Hence, He who is engaged in spiritual practice - whether one is alified for Karma Yoga or Jnana Yoga - if he does not follow, i.e., does not keep in motion the wheel which revolves in a circle through mutual relation of cause and effect - that person by not maintaining his bodily subsistence by means of the ‘remainder of sacrifice,’ lives in sin. His life begins in sin or develops in sin, or is of both these kinds; he lives the life of sin. Thus he is a reveller in his senses and not in his self. The senses become the pleasure-gardens of one whose mind and body are not nourished by the ‘remainders of sacrifices.’ Rajas and Tamas preponderate in his body. Being thus turned away from the vision of the self, he rejoices only in the enjoyment of the senses. Therefore, even if he were to attempt for the vision of the self, it will be fruitless. So he lives in vain, O Arjuna.

Sri Krsna now says that there is no need for the performance of the ‘great sacrifices’ etc., according to his station and stage of life, only in respect of a liberated person whose vision of the self does not depend on any external means.

Sri Shankaracharya

3.16 O Partha, sah, he; jivati, lives; mogham, in vain; yah, who, though competent for action; na anuvartayati, does not follow; iha, here, in the world; cakram, the wheel of the world; evam, thus; pravartitam, set in motion, by God, on the basis of the Vedas and the sacrifices; aghayuh, whose life (ayuh) is sinful (agham), i.e. whose life is vile; and indriya-aramah, who indulges in the senses-who has his arama, sport, enjoyment, with objects, indriyaih, through the senses. Therefore, the gist of the topic under discussion is that action must be undertaken by one who is alified (for action) but is unenlightened. In the verses beginning from, ‘(A person does not attain freedom from action by adstaining from action’ (4) and ending with, ‘You perform the obligatory duties৷৷.And, through inaction, even the maintenance of your body will not be possible’ (8), it has been proved that before one attains fitness for steadfastness in the knowledge of the Self, it is the bounden duty of a person who is alified for action, but is not enlightened, to undertake Karma-yoga for that purpose. And then, also in the verses commencing from ‘(This man becomes bound) by actions other than that action meant for God’ (9) and ending with ‘O Partha, he lives in vain,’ many reasons [Such as, that it pleases God, secures the affection of the gods, and so on.] have been incidentally stated as to why a competent person has to undertake actions; and the evils arising from their non-performance have also been emphatically declared. Such being the conclusion, the estion arises whether the wheel thus set in motion should be followed by all, or only by one who is ignorant of the Self and has not attained to the steadfastness which is fit to be practised by the Sankhyas, the knowers of the Self, through the Yoga of Knowledge only, and which is acired by one ignorant of the Self through the means of the practice of Karma-yoga mentioned above? Either anticipating Arjuna’s estion to this effect, or in order to make the meaning of the scripture (Gita) clearly understood, the Lord, revealing out of His own accord that the following substance of the Upanisads-Becoming freed from false knowledge by knowing this very Self, the Brahmanas renounce what is a compulsory duty for those having false knoweldge, viz, desire for sons, etc., and then lead a mendicant life just for the purpose of maintaining the body; they have no duty to perform other than steadfastness in the knowledge of the Self (cf. Br. 3.5.1)-has been presented here in the Gita, says:

Swami Adidevananda

3.16 He who does not follow the wheel thus set in motion here, lives in sin, satisfying the senses, O Arjuna. He lives in vain.

Swami Gambirananda

3.16 O Partha, he lives in vain who does not follow here the wheel thus set in motion, whose life is sinful, and who indulges in the senses.

Swami Sivananda

3.16 He who does not follow here the wheel thus set revolving, who is of sinful life, rejoicing in the senses, he lives in vain, O Arjuna.


Swami Sivananda

3.16 एवम् thus? प्रवर्तितम् set revolving? चक्रम् wheel? न not? अनुवर्तयति follows? इह here? यः who? अघायुः living in sin? इन्द्रियारामः rejoicing in the senses? मोघम् in vain? पार्थ O Partha? सः he? जीवति lives.Commentary This is the wheel of action set in motion by the Creator on the basis of the Veda and sacrifice.He who does not follow the wheel by studying the Vedas and performing the sacrifices prescribed therein but who indulges only in sensual pleasures lives in vain. He is wasting his life. He is leading a worthless life indeed.One who does not live in accordance with this law and who is selfish commits sin. He violates the law of the Creator and that is the worst sin.