ते तं भुक्त्वा स्वर्गलोकं विशालं
क्षीणे पुण्ये मर्त्यलोकं विशन्ति |
एवं त्रयीधर्ममनुप्रपन्ना
गतागतं कामकामा लभन्ते ||९-२१||


te taṃ bhuktvā svargalokaṃ viśālaṃ kṣīṇe puṇye martyalokaṃ viśanti .
evaṃ trayīdharmamanuprapannā gatāgataṃ kāmakāmā labhante ||9-21||



9.21. Having enjoyed that vast world of heaven, they, when their merit is exhausted, enter the world of the mortals. Thus the persons, who long for pleasure and continuously take refuge in the code of conduct prescribed by the Three Vedas, attain the state of going and coming.

Shri Purohit Swami

9.21 Yet although they enjoy the spacious glories of Paradise, nevertheless, when their merit is exhausted, they are born again into this world of mortals. They have followed the letter of the scriptures, yet because they have sought but to fulfill their own desires, they must depart and return again and again.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

9.20-21 Traividyah etc. Te tam etc. Of course, they worship Me (Vasudeva) alone. However, the action [like sacrifice] is limited (or is known [to them]) by their aspiration for heaven only. Hence, on account of the weakness is their own being (sattva), they condition the action solely by the result of the heaven. That is why their religious act leads to rirth and thus they attain the state of going and coming. But [on that account] it is not the inherent nature of the sacrifice to beget rirth. For instance :

Sri Ramanuja

9.21 After enjoying the spacious world of heaven, they return to the world of mortals when the meritorious Karma forming the cause of that experience is exhausted. Thus, lacking in the knowledge established in the Vedanta and desiring only the attainment of heaven etc., they who follow the teaching of the three Vedas on sacrificial rites, come and go. After enjoying the trifling and transient pleasures of heaven, they return to Samsara again and again.

But the great souls meditating on Me, who am incomparably dear to them, attain boundless and unsurpassed bliss and do not return to Samsara.

Sri Krsna desribes their distinguishing features:

Sri Shankaracharya

9.21 Bhuktva, after having enjoyed; tam, that: visalam, vast; svargalokam, heavenly world; te, they; visanti, enter into; this martyalokam, human world; ksine, on the exhaustion; of their punye, merit. Evam, thus, indeed; anuprapannah, those who follow in the manner described; trai-dharmyam, [A variant reading is trayi-dharmam.-Tr.] the rites and duties prescribed in the three Vedas-merely the Vedic rites and duties; and are kama-kamah, desirous of pleasures; labhante, attain; only gata-agatam, the state of going and returning, but never that of independence. This is the meaning.

Swami Adidevananda

9.21 Having enjoyed the spacious world of heaven, they return to the world of mortals their merit is exhausted. Thus, those who follow the Vedic rituals and are drawn by desires, come and go.

Swami Gambirananda

9.21 After having enjoyed that vast heavenly world, they enter into the human world on the exhaustion of their merit. Thus, those who follow the rites and duties prescribed in the three Vedas, and are desirous of pleasures, attain the state of going and returning.

Swami Sivananda

9.21 They, having enjoyed the vast heaven, enter the world of mortals when their merit is exhausted; thus abiding by the injunctions of the ï1threeï1 (Vedas) and desiring (objects of) desires, they attain to the state of going and returning.


Swami Sivananda

9.21 ते they? तम् that? भुक्त्वा having enjoyed? स्वर्गलोकम् heavenworld? विशालम् vast? क्षीणे at the exhaustion of? पुण्ये merit? मर्त्यलोकम् the world of mortals? विशन्ति enter? एवम् thus? त्रयीधर्मम् of the three Vedas? अनुप्रपन्नाः abiding by? गतागतम् the state of goind and returning? कामकामाः desiring desires? लभन्ते attain.Commentary When the accumulated merit (the cause of heavenly pleasures) is exhausted? they descend to this world. They come and go. They have no independence.The Dharma of the three Mere Vedic ritual? enjoined by the three Vedas. KamaKamah The people whose minds are filled with Vasanas or worldly tendencies.