हिरण्यकेश: पद्माक्ष: पद्ममुद्रापदाम्बुज: ॥ १७ ॥
karmaṇām uddharan jaṭāḥ
jñāna — of scriptural knowledge; vijñāna — and application; yogena — by means of mystic yoga; karmaṇām — of material actions; uddharan — uprooting; jaṭāḥ — the roots; hiraṇya-keśaḥ — golden hair; padma-akṣaḥ — lotus-eyed; padma-mudrā — marked with the sign of the lotus; pada-ambujaḥ — having lotus feet.
By mystic yoga and the practical application of knowledge from the scriptures, Kapila Muni, who is characterized by His golden hair, His eyes just like lotus petals and His lotus feet, which bear the marks of lotus flowers, will uproot the deep-rooted desire for work in this material world.
In this verse the activities and bodily features of Kapila Muni are very nicely described. The activities of Kapila Muni are forecast herein: He will present the philosophy of Sāṅkhya in such a way that by studying His philosophy people will be able to uproot the deep-rooted desire for karma, fruitive activities. Everyone in this material world engages in achieving the fruits of his labor. A man tries to be happy by achieving the fruits of his own honest labor, but actually he becomes more and more entangled. One cannot get out of this entanglement unless he has perfect knowledge, or devotional service.
Those who are trying to get out of the entanglement by speculation are also doing their best, but in the Vedic scriptures we find that if one has taken to the devotional service of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can very easily uproot the deep-rooted desire for fruitive activities. Sāṅkhya philosophy will be broadcast by Kapila Muni for that purpose. His bodily features are also described herein. Jñāna does not refer to ordinary research work. Jñāna entails receiving knowledge from the scriptures through the spiritual master by disciplic succession. In the modern age there is a tendency to do research by mental speculation and concoction. But the man who speculates forgets that he himself is subject to the four defects of nature: he is sure to commit mistakes, his senses are imperfect, he is sure to fall into illusion, and he is cheating. Unless one has perfect knowledge from disciplic succession, he simply puts forth some theories of his own creation; therefore he is cheating people. Jñāna means knowledge received through disciplic succession from the scriptures, and vijñāna means practical application of such knowledge. Kapila Muni’s Sāṅkhya system of philosophy is based on jñāna and vijñāna.