आवृतं ज्ञानमेतेन ज्ञानिनो नित्यवैरिणा |
कामरूपेण कौन्तेय दुष्पूरेणानलेन च ||३-३९||


āvṛtaṃ jñānametena jñānino nityavairiṇā .
kāmarūpeṇa kaunteya duṣpūreṇānalena ca ||3-39||



3.39. O son of Kunti ! The knowledge of the wise is concealed by this eternal foe, which looks like a desired one, and which is the fire insatiable.

Shri Purohit Swami

3.39 It is the wise man’s constant enemy; it tarnishes the face of wisdom. It is as insatiable as a flame of fire.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

3.39 Avrtam etc. Looks like a desired one : For it acts when there is desire. It is fire, because it is like fire impossible to satiate. For, it burns down both the visible and the invisible results [of rightious actions].

Sri Ramanuja

3.39 The knowledge, having the self for its subject, of this embodied person (the Jiva) whose nature is knowledge, is enveloped by this constant enemy in the shape of desire, which brings about attachment for sense-objects. This desire is difficult to satisfy, i.e., has for its object things unworthy of attainment and is insatiable, i.e., never attains satisfaction.

Now listen to what constitutes the instruments with which desire subdues the self. Sri Krsna goes on to expound this:

Sri Shankaracharya

3.39 Jnanam, Knowledge; is avrtam, covered; etena, by this; nityavairina, constant enemy; jnaninah, of the wise. For the wise person knows even earlier, ‘I am being induced by this into evil.’ And he always [Both at the time when desire arises in him, and also when he is forced to act by it.] feels distressed. Therefore, it is the constant enemy of the wise but not of a fool. For the fool looks upon desire as a friend so long as hankering lasts. When sorrow comes as a conseence, he realizes, ‘I have been driven into sorrow because of longings’, but certainly not earlier. Therefore it is the constant enemy of the wise alone. In what form? Kama-rupena, in the form of desire-tha which has wish itself as its expression is kama-rupa; in that form-; (and) duspurena, which is an insatiable; analena, fire. That which is difficult to satisfy is duspurah; and (derivatively) that which never has enough (alam) is analam. Again, having what as its abode does desire, in the form of a viel over Knowledge, become the enemy of all? Since when the abode of an enemy is known, it is possible to easily slay the enemy, therefore the Lord says:

Swami Adidevananda

3.39 The knowledge of the intelligent self is enveloped by this constant enemy, O Arjuna, which is of the nature of desire, and which is difficult to gratify and is insatiable.

Swami Gambirananda

3.39 O son of Kunti, Knowledge is covered by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is an insatiable fire.

Swami Sivananda

3.39 O Arjuna, wisdom is enveloped by this constant enemy of the wise in the form of desire, which is unappeasable as fire.


Swami Sivananda

3.39 आवृतम् enveloped? ज्ञानम् wisdom? एतेन by this? ज्ञानिनः of the wise? नित्यवैरिणा by the constant enemy? कामरूपेण whose form is desire? कौन्तेय O Kaunteya? दुष्पूरेण unappeasable? अनलेन by fire? च and.Commentary Manu says? Desire can never be satiated or cooled down by the enjoyment ofobjects. But as fire blazes forth the more when fed with Ghee (melted butter) and wood? so it grows the more it feeds on the objects of enjoyment. If all the foodstuffs of the earth? all the precious metals? all the animals and all the beautiful women were to pass into the possession of one man endowed with desire? they would still fail to give him satisfaction.The ignorant man considers desire as his friend when he craves for objects. He welcomes desire for the gratification of the senses but the wise man knows from experience even before suffering the conseence that desire will bring only troubles and misery for him. So it is a constant enemy of the wise but not of the ignorant.