Bhagavadgita !

Chapter 15 Slokas with meanings

Purushottama Prapti Yoga !

Sanskrit text in Devanagari, Kannada, Gujarati, English , Telugu

||om tat sat||
ऊर्ध्वमूलमधश्शाखं अश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम्।
छन्दांसि यस्यपर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित् ||1||

"It is said that the Asvattha tree, whose leaves are Vedas, with root above and branches below, is eternal.
Whoever knows this knows Vedas". ||1||

Salutations to Sri Krishna!
Purushottama Prapti Yoga
Chapter 15

In the Guna Traya Vibhaga Yoga, the fourteenth chapter, Krishna has stated that one can overcome the Rajo, Tamo, Sattvic Gunas and attain liberation through the unswerving path of devotion (14.26).

To attain the unswerving path of devotion is also not easy.

To be on the unswerving path of devotion, it is necessary to develop detachment about this world. Such detachment can be brought about by understanding the reality of the world. To bring out the reality about the world and thus develop detachment, Krishna brings about the discussion of Samsara, comparing that with a mythical Asvattha tree. The word Asvattha is derived out of two roots "sva" tomorrow, "na stha" not there". Thus, Asvattha means it is that which is not there tomorrow. That is an apt description of Samsara.

The cause of this Samsara is the Brahman, the Unmanifested who is endowed with the power of Maya, who is said to be above. So, the root (cause) of this tree of Samsara is said to be above, with branches spreading below. When the impermanence of the Samsara is realized, ignorance which is the power of Maya is destroyed. That is the essence of Vedas. That is also the first thing taught by Krishna in Purushottama Prapti Yoga.

The same point about detachment is made by Shankaracharya in his introductory lines of his commentary on the fifteenth chapter. Shankaracharya writes as follows in first person (as if the Supreme being is thinking):

"Being under my control, fruits of works are obtained by those who work; knowers get the fruits of knowledge; those who devote themselves to Me following the path of devotion, achieve liberation after they overcome Gunas through knowledge won by My grace; where is the need to speak of those who have mastered the Self?" Therefore, the Lord though unasked by Arjuna to elaborate the truth about Himself, uttered the words " Urdhvamulam". To generate detachment, Krishna describes the nature of Samsara, employing the metaphor of the tree; for only one detached from Samsara is competent to grasp the truth about the Brahman.'

There are two parts to the above soliloquy of Sankara. First part is about those already on the path of Karma yoga; they obtain the fruits of their Nishkama Karma which is liberation; those on the path of Knowledge obtain their fruits of Knowledge which is liberation; those on the path of Devotion too attain liberation (through the knowledge gained by the grace of the Supreme being). As for those who have mastered Self, they are one with the Supreme being. That clearly leaves only those who are not yet on any path of liberation.

Second part is understanding what is required for one to be on a path of liberation. That requirement is detachment. By understanding the real nature of Samsara only, one may get the detachment which in turn will enable them to pursue a path of liberation. Thus, to teach the real nature of Samsara, Krishna starts the Chapter with the comparison of Samsara to a mythical tree whose root is Brahman.

In that sense this this chapter, Purushottama Prapti Yoga, is for all those who are yet to tread on the path of liberation. This chapter brings forth the real nature of Samsara, and how to attain the Supreme being (Purushottama Prapti).

Now we continue with the first Sloka.

|| Sloka 1||

ऊर्ध्वमूलमधश्शाखं अश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम्।
छन्दांसि यस्यपर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित् ||1||

स॥ यस्य पर्णानि चन्दांसि (तत्) अश्वत्थं ऊर्ध्वमूलं अथश्शाखम् अव्ययं (इति) प्राहुः। तत् यः वेद सः वेदवित् (भवति)||1||

|| Sloka meanings ||

यस्य पर्णानि - whose leaves (are)
चन्दांसि - Vedas
(तत्) अश्वत्थं ऊर्ध्वमूलं - that Asvattha (tree) has its root above
अथश्शाखम् - branches spread below
अव्ययं- eternal
प्राहुः - it is said
तत् यः वेद - whoever knows this
सः वेदवित् (भवति) - he knows Vedas

|| Sloka Summary ||

"It is said that the Asvattha tree, whose leaves are Vedas, with root above and branches below, is eternal.
Whoever knows this knows Vedas". ||1||

That tree which has Vedas as leaves with roots above and branches spread below is the eternal tree of Samsara. This is the true nature of Samsara with its root above, emanating from the Brahman.

In order for one to understand the true nature of Samsara, and hence develop detachment, the worldly life (Samsara) has been compared to Asvattha tree. Samsara has emerged from Brahman, so the tree of Samsara is explained as having root above.

This tree is said to have Vedas as its leaves. Leaves protect the tree. The Vedas with elaborate rites of fruits protect the transmigratory life of Samsara. Thus, the leaves of the Asvattha tree being Vedas is also apt.

Vedas have many rites leading to fruits and consequently creating bondages. The same Vedas towards the end elaborate on such bondages and talk of ways of being free from bondages. Thus, paving path for the house holder to be free from the Samsara also.

Whoever understands this tree of Samsara as emerging from the root Brahman, with Vedas as the leaves that protect has in fact understood the true purport of Vedas too.

Such comparison of Samsara with a tree has been seen earlier in both Shruti and Smriti.

In Shruti, Kathopanishad has a similar comparison with Asvattha tree. Bhagavadgita being seen as having the nectar of Vedas, naturally continues that comparison. Shankaracharya mentions corresponding reference from Smritis. The Ashvamedha Parva of Mahabharata has a description of a tree called Brahman-tree. It is said, " The eternal tree of Brahman has unmanifest as its root. It rises high due to His blessing. It has branches of intellect, hollows of sense organs, varied twigs of material elements. Its leaves are sense objects. Its glorious flowers are righteousness and unrighteousness. Fruits borne by this tree are pleasures and pains. All beings depend on the tree. This also is the forest of Brahman, consisting of Brahman tree. Having cut and split it with the Supreme sword of knowledge and gaining the bliss of Self, none returns there from (Ashvamedha Parva 35.20-22; 47.12-15)". The cutting down the Samsara tree with sword of knowledge is recurring theme. We will hear the same.

One may wonder why compare life with a tree when we are also so used to the reading about "Samsara Sagara", the ocean of Samsara to cross which we pray to the Almighty. Shankaracharya gave a gem of clarity for the comparison with a tree. The Sanskrit word for tree is "Vruksha". Vruksha by etymology is that thing which can be felled. The tree is a thing that can be felled. The tree can be felled by an axe. Metaphorically the tree of Samsara also can be felled by the axe of detachment or the sword of knowledge.

Krishna continues with elaboration on the Asvattha tree.

The Asvattha tree with its roots or origins above in the Brahman, with its branches below with Vedas as the leaves is described as imperishable. The tree of Samsara is indeed something that is not there tomorrow, that is why it is called Asvattha. It is seemingly perishable. But it is eternal since the transmigratory life (of births and death) is there from the beginningless time. Thus, the tree of Samsara is eternal and imperishable. The Asvattha tree described as having with Vedas as it's leaves. We may also wonder why Vedas are seen as the leaves of the tree. Just as leaves sustain and protect the tree, the Vedas too sustain and protect the lifestyle practices of Samsara. Vedas contain elaborate Karmakanda to sustain the samsara.

Hence the Vedas as the leaves becomes very appropriate. The end of Vedas, consisting of Vedanta too, provides mechanisms to move away from the Samsara.

||Sloka 2||

अथश्चोर्ध्वं प्रसृतास्तस्यशाखा
गुणप्रवृद्धा विषयप्रवालाः।
कर्मानुबन्धीनि मनुष्यलोके॥2||

स॥ तस्य शाखाः (सत्त्व रजो तमो) गुणप्रवृद्धाः विषयप्रवालाः अथः च ऊर्ध्वं च प्रसृताः | मनुष्य लोके कर्मानुबंधीनि मूलानि अथः च अनुसन्ततानि ||2||

|| Sloka meanings ||

तस्य शाखाः - Its branches
गुणप्रवृद्धाः विषयप्रवालाः - made to grow by Gunas, have sense objects as twigs
अथः च ऊर्ध्वं च - (they spread) upwards and downwards too.
मनुष्य लोके - in the world of men
कर्मानुबंधीनि मूलानि - the roots that create bondages
अथः च अनुसन्ततानि - are spread below.

|| Sloka Summary ||

" Its branches, spreading downwards and upwards,
and made to grow by Gunas, have sense objects as twigs.
The roots that create bondages are spread below in the world of men". ||2||

This tree of samsara is eternal (Sloka 1). Starting from time immemorial, its branches spreading downwards and upwards have been made to grow by Gunas. The branches grow upward by Sattva Guna and down wards by Tamo Guna. The roots that create bondages spread below into the world of men.

||Sloka 3||

नरूपमस्येह तथोपलभ्यते
नान्तो नचादिर्न च संप्रतिष्ठा।
अश्वत्थमेनं सुविरूढमूला
मसङ्गशस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्वा॥3||

स॥ अस्य रूपं इह न उपलभ्यते | अन्तः न | आदिः च न। संप्रतिष्ठा च न |एनं अश्वत्थं धृढेन असंग शस्त्रेण छित्वा ( तत् ब्रह्म पदं मार्गितव्यं) ||3||

|| Sloka meanings ||

अस्य रूपं - it's true nature
इह - in this world
न उपलभ्यते - is not understood
अन्तः न - No end
आदिः च न - does not have a beginning
संप्रतिष्ठा च न - middle also is not seen.
एनं अश्वत्थं - This Asvattha tree ( of Samsara)
धृढेन असंग शस्त्रेण - mighty weapon of detachment
छित्वा - having broken
(तत् ब्रह्म पदं मार्गितव्यं) - (the path for attaining liberation id to searched. ||3||

|| Sloka Summary ||

"It's true nature is not understood in this world.
It has no end. Does not have a beginning. And middle also is not seen.
This Asvattha tree is to be cut by the mighty weapon of detachment
(And the path of attaining liberation is to be searched for)". ||3||

The true nature of Samsara is not seen or known. That is said to be Maya.

Maya is ignorance. Just as non-eternal thing is seen as eternal, and self is seen as non-self, the tree of Samsara emerging from Brahman above is seen as a tree unconnected with Brahman. The ignorant are unable to see the true nature of Samsara.

We do not see the beginning or end of this tree. The Sattva and Rajo Gunas grow the twigs. The roots in the form of actions create bondages. The one who realizes that tree of Samsara is dependent on Brahman, is the one who understood the truth. The one who has understood this, breaking free of bondages, shall proceed on the path of liberation.

To break free of bondages, it is said one has to use the mighty weapon of detachment to cut down the tree of Samsara. (15.3)

Here, Krishna's is saying for those on the path of liberation, the tree of Samsara is creating obstacles in the form of Maya. To overcome the same, we have to cut this tree and proceed.

What do you do after cutting down the tree of Samsara? We here that in the Sloka 4.

||Sloka 4||

ततः पदं तत्परिमार्गितव्यं
यस्मिन् गता ननिवर्तन्ति भूयः।
तमेव चाद्यं पुरुषं प्रपद्ये
यतः प्रवृत्तिः प्रसृता पुराणी॥4||

स॥ ततः यस्मिन् गताः भूयः न निवर्तन्ति यतः पुराणी प्तवृत्तिः प्रसृता तं आद्यं पुरुषं एव च प्रपद्ये | इति( मत्वा) तत् ( ब्रह्म ) पदं मार्गितव्यम्॥

॥Sloka meanings||

ततः यस्मिन् गताः - from where having gone
भूयः न निवर्तन्ति - do not return again
यतः पुराणी प्तवृत्तिः - from where the ancient process
प्रसृता- emanated
तं आद्यं - that primeval person
पुरुषं एव च - that Supreme person
प्रपद्ये- I seek refuge .
इति( मत्वा) तत् - thinking thus
तत् पदं मार्गितव्यम्- that path is to be sought after

||Sloka summary ||

"From where having gone do not return again, from where the ancient process emanated,
I seek refuge in that primeval person, in that Supreme person; thinking thus that path is to be sought after". ||4||

In the previous Sloka it was said "असङ्ग शस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्वा", "with detachment as a mighty sword cut the tree of Samsara". What is to be done after that comes in this Sloka as "ततः तत् पदं मार्गितव्यं", "then that path is to be searched for".

What is that "पदं", the path to be searched for? That is the path of Brahman. How do we approach the search? With single thought on your mind saying, "I seek refuge in that primeval person, the Supreme person whence has emanated the ancient process, from where having gone no body returns". The approach in that search is that of one seeking refuge.

Krishna is stating this as a procedure to be followed. Who are the people who can follow this path? We hear this in the next sloka.

||Sloka 5 ||

निर्मानमोहा जितसङ्गदोषा
अध्यात्मनित्या विनिवृत्तकामाः।
द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ता सुखदुःखसंज्ञैः
गच्छन्त्य मूढाः पदमव्ययं तत् ||5||

स॥ निर्मानमोहाः जितसंग दोषाः अध्यात्म नित्याः विनिवृत्त कामाः सुखदुःख संज्ञैः द्वंद्वैः विमुक्ताः अमूढाः तत् अव्ययम् पदं गच्छन्ति॥

॥Sloka meanings||

निर्मानमोहाः - one without ego and delusion
जितसंग दोषाः- one who has conquered the flaw of attachment
अध्यात्म नित्याः - always firm in spirituality
विनिवृत्त कामाः- one who is free from lust
द्वंद्वैः विमुक्ताः - freed from the dualities
सुखदुःख संज्ञैः - called pleasure and pain
अ मूढाः - one who is not deluded
तत् अव्ययम् पदं गच्छन्ति- attain that imperishable level

|| Sloka summary ||
"One without ego and delusion, one who has conquered the flaw of attachment, one who is always firm in spirituality, one who is free from lust, one who is free from the dualities called pleasure and pain, one who is not deluded, they attain that imperishable state." ||5||

These are the characteristics of those who reach that state.

In the thirteenth chapter saying, "अमानित्वं अडम्बित्वं अहिंसा क्षान्तिरार्जवम्"(13.7), the characteristics of Kshetrajnya. the one who knows Kshetra, have been elaborated. Those having those characteristics will know that one to be known, namely Brahman. Knowing Brahman is same as reaching that imperishable place of Brahman. Thus, the same thought is presented here too.

Now we hear the specialty of that state, which is His abode.
||Sloka 6 ||

नतत् भासयते सूर्यो न शशाज्ञ्को न पावकः।
यद्गत्वा ननिवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम ||6||

स॥ तत् ( स्थानम्) सूर्यः न भासयते | शशांकः ( न भासयते)| पावकः (अपि) न ( भासयते)| यत् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते तत् मम परमं धामम्॥

॥Sloka meanings ||

तत् ( स्थानम्) - that (place)
सूर्यः न भासयते - Sun cannot illuminate
शशांकः ( न भासयते)- Moon cannot illuminate the same
पावकः (अपि) न ( भासयते) - Fire also cannot illuminate the same.
यत् गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते - from where having gone one will not return
तत् मम परमं धामम् - that is my supreme abode.

|| Sloka summary ||

" That cannot be illuminated by Sun; neither does the Moon nor the Fire. That is my Supreme abode, after reaching which nobody returns". ||6||

The ones who reach that state do not return. That means they are free from the Samsara and have no rebirth.

These are words describing that state of Brahman. Exactly same words are used in Upanishads, In Kathopanishad it is said "न तत्र सूर्यो भाति नचन्द्र तारकम्". Which means that "Sun does not shine, nor do the Moon and stars". In Katha Upanishad, it is further added that, " तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति", meaning that everything shines because of that. We hear that part also in the twelfth Sloka.

By saying that it is " my supreme abode", Krishna is reiterating that he is that Supreme Being, without any doubt.

||Sloka 7||

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतस्सनातनः।
मनष्षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ||7||

स॥ मम एव सनातनः अंशः जीवलोके जीव भूतः प्रकृतिस्थानि मनः षष्ठानि इन्द्रियाणि कर्षति॥

॥ Sloka meanings ||

मम एव सनातनः अंशः - an eternal part of myself .
जीवलोके- in the world of living beings
जीव भूतः -has become Jiva
प्रकृतिस्थानि - those that are set in Prakruti
मनः षष्ठानि इन्द्रियाणि - the sense organs having mind as the sixth
कर्षति - draws to itself.

|| Sloka Summary ||

" An eternal part of myself has become Jiva in the world of living beings. It draws to itself the sense organs having mind as the sixth that are set in Prakruti". ||7||

'ममैवांशो' says emphatically that a part of the Supreme is in Jiva. This also means that Jivatma and Paramatma are one. This realization comes after Jiva realizes Self. Till that realization, the Jiva lives in ignorance. When the Jiva is mentioned as "Kshara", the one who is imperishable, what we understand is that though the Jiva leaves a body, he is born again and is thus imperishable. These are known thoughts.

Here, Krishna speaking in the same vein.

|| Sloka 8 ||

शरीरं यदवाप्नोति यच्चाप्युत्क्रामतीश्वरः।
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति वायुर्गन्धानिवाशयत्॥8||

स॥ ईश्वरः यत् च (यदा) अपि ( शरीरं) उत्क्रामति यत् शरीरं अवाप्नोति (तदा) (यथा) वायुः आशयात् गन्धान् संयाति ||8||

|| Sloka meanings ||

ईश्वरः- the owner of this body
यत् च अपि - whenever
उत्क्रामति - leaves ( this body)
यत् शरीरं अवाप्नोति - when he assumes a body (then)
एतानि ( षष्टानि इन्द्रियाणि) गृहीत्वा संयाति)- he goes taking along these (sense organs with sixth as the mind)
(यथा) वायुः आशयात् गन्धान् संयाति तथैव- just like the air that moves away along with odor from their receptacles. ||

|| Sloka Summary ||

" Whenever the owner of this body leaves, and also when he assumes a body, he goes taking along these (sense organs with sixth as the mind), just like the air that moves away along with odor from their receptacles". ||8||

As long as he is in the cycle of births Jiva continues his travels along with these sense organs which include mind as the sixth.

||Sloka 9 ||

श्रोत्रं चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रसनं घ्राणमेव च |
अधिष्ठाय मनश्चायं विषयानुपसेवते॥9||

स॥ अयं (जीवः) श्रोत्रम् चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च रशनं घ्राणं एव च मनः च अधिष्ठाय विषयान् उपसेवते॥

॥ Sloka meanings ||

अयं ( जीवः) - This Jiva
श्रोत्रम् चक्षुः स्पर्शनं च - ear eye touch
रसनं घ्राणं एव च - tongue as well as nose
मनः च- including mind
अधिष्ठाय- presiding over
विषयान् उपसेवते- enjoys the objects.

|| Sloka Summary ||

"The Jiva enjoys the objects by verily presiding over ear, eye, skin and tongue as also the nose and mind". ||9||

||Sloka 10 ||

उत्क्रामन्तं स्थितं वाऽपि भुञ्जानं वा गुणान्वितम् |
विमूढानानुपश्यन्ति पश्यन्ति ज्ञानचक्षुषः॥10||

स॥ उत्क्रामन्तं वा स्थितं वा भुञ्जानं गुणान्वितान् अपि विमूढाः न अनुपश्यन्ति | ज्ञान चक्षुःषः पश्यन्ति ||

|| Sloka meanings ||

उत्क्रामन्तं - when it is leaving
स्थितं वाऽपि - or when it is staying there
भुञ्जानं वा - or when it is experiencing (the objects)
गुणान्वितान् अपि - when it is in association with Gunas
एनम् - this Jiva
विमूढाः न अनुपश्यन्ति - those ignorant ones (who are incapable of discrimination) are unable to perceive
ज्ञान चक्षुषः पश्यन्ति - the wise with an eye of discrimination are able to see.

|| Sloka Summary ||

"Those ignorant ones (incapable of discrimination) do not see it when it is leaving, or when it is residing (in this body), or when it is in association with Gunas. Those with an eye of knowledge see". ||10||

Those with an eye of knowledge are the ones who realize that the Self and body are different.

|| Sloka 11 ||

यतन्तो योगिनश्चैनं पश्यन्त्यात्मन्यवस्थितम्।
यतन्तोऽप्यकृतात्मानो नैनं पश्यन्त्यचेतसः॥11||

स॥ यतन्तः योगिनः आत्मनि अवस्थितम् एनं (आत्मन्) पश्यन्ति। यतन्तः अपि अकृतात्मनः अचेतसः एनं ( आत्मन्) न पश्यन्ति ॥11||

||Sloka meanings||

यतन्तः योगिनः पश्यन्ति- yogis who persevere see
आत्मनि अवस्थितम् एनं - the one existing within
यतन्तः अपि - though they strive
अकृतात्मनः अचेतसः - those with unpurified minds and devoid of discrimination
एनं ( आत्मन्) न पश्यन्ति- not able to see this.

|| Sloka summary ||

"Yogis who persevere see the one existing within. Those with unpurified minds and devoid of discrimination
are not able to see this, though they strive". ||11||

The Yogis who persevere see the Self within. The Yogis who persevere are those striving with pure mind. Though striving but fail to see are those who are devoid of discrimination. The same thought is captured by Shankaracharya in his Bhajagovindam saying, "पश्श्यन्नपि च न पश्यति मूढो", that the one devoid of discrimination (Mudha) cannot see though it is in front of him.

The key point is that effort with pure mind yields the realization of Self.

|| Sloka 12 ||

यदादित्यगतं तेजो जगद्भासयतेऽखिलम्।
यच्चन्द्रमसि यच्चाग्नौ तत्तेजो विद्धि मामकम् ||12||

स॥ आदित्यगतं यत् तेजः अखिलं जगत् भासयते , (तथैव) चंद्रमसि यत् (तेजः अस्ति) अग्नौच यत् ( तेजः असि) तत् तेजः मामकम् विद्धि॥

॥Sloka meanings||

आदित्यगतं तेजः - the light which is in the Sun
यत् अखिलं जगत् भासयते - which lights the whole world
चंद्रमसि यत् - which is in the moon
अग्नौच यत् - which is in the Fire
तत् तेजः मामकम् विद्धि - know that light is Mine

|| Sloka summary ||

"The light, which is in the Sun, which lights the whole world, the light which is in the moon
and is in the Fire, know that light is Mine". ||12||

The radiant light of Sun, Moon and Fire is, "मामकम् विद्धि - know that as Mine" says Krishna. In Vibhuti Yoga we heard that, "यद्यत् विभूतिमत् सर्वं... ममतेजोंश संभवम्". That whichever living being is endowed with majesty, richness and is energetic, know that as having been born from part of my power. The Sloka here is saying the same.

|| Sloka 13||

गामाविश्य च भूतानि धारम्यह मोजसा।
पुष्णामि चौषधीस्सर्वा स्सोमो भूत्वा रसात्मकः॥13||

स॥ च अहं गाम् आविश्य ओजसा भूतानि धारयामि | रसात्मकः सोमः भूत्वा सर्वाः ओषधीः पुष्णामि॥

॥Sloka meanings||

च अहं - I Myself
गाम् आविश्य - entering the earth
ओजसा धारयामि भूतानि- sustain the things through My power
रसात्मकः सोमः भूत्वा - becoming the essence of all saps
सर्वाः ओषधीः पुष्णामि- all the plants I make them nourishing

|| Sloka summary ||

"Entering the earth, I sustain the things on earth through my power. Becoming the essence of all saps, I nourish all the plants". ||13||

Here, "ओजसा भूतानि धारयामि", or "sustain the things through My power". The same thought is stated in Shruti (Rigveda 10.121.1) saying 'स दधार पृथिवीं'. "He bore the earth" with his power. So, the Supreme Being is the once sustaining the earth.

In Karma Sannyasa Yoga we heard, "न कर्तृत्वं न कर्माणि सृजति प्रभुः"(5.14), as well as "नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभुः"(5.15). essentially saying that Supreme being does not create ownership or actions themselves. He also does not accept the vice or virtues of any body. So, he remains only a witness to all that is happening. In this chapter we are hearing that we get everything through him only which is not in consonance with the earlier statements of Karma Sannyasa yoga. It must be noted that as we wade through that primarily three paths of liberation have been proposed. These are the path of knowledge, the path of action, and the path of devotion. In the background of these paths, there is Brahman in two forms namely the manifested Saguna Brahman and the unmanifested nirguna Brahman. Krishna in flesh and blood is elaborating on all these thoughts. We also understand that Krishna himself is Supreme being, as such he is the form of saguna Parabrahmane. In this chapter we are following the thoughts about Saguna Brahman or Narayana. We are hearing about the excellence of Krishna Bhagavan. This is being taught by Krishna primarily addressing the those lost in the Samsara, highlighting the true form of this worldly life in order to inculcate dispassion so that they may enter the path of liberation and attain the Purushottama.

|| Sloka 14||

अहं वैश्वानरोभूत्वा प्राणिनाम् देहमाश्रितः।
प्राणापान समायुक्तः पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम्॥14||

स॥ अहं वैश्वानरः भूत्वा प्राणिनाम् देहं आश्रितः प्राणापानसमायुक्तः चतुर्विधं अन्नं पचामि ||

||Sloka meanings||

वैश्वानरः भूत्वा - taking the form of Vaisvanara
प्राणिनाम् देहं आश्रितः - residing in the bodies of all creatures
अहं - I
प्राणापानसमायुक्तः- in association with Prana and Apana
चतुर्विधं अन्नं पचामि - digest four kinds of foods

|| Sloka summary ||

"Taking the form of Vaisvanara, residing in the bodies of all creatures, I, in association with Prana and Apana,
digest the four kinds of foods". ||14||,

Krishna says here, that becoming Vaisvanara, the fire in the stomach, and residing in the bodies of all creatures in association with Prana and Apana digest four kinds of foods

That Vaisvanara means the fire in the stomach, is stated in Shrutis (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 5.9.1). "अयमग्निवैश्वानरो योऽयमन्तः पुरुषे एनेदं अन्नम् पच्यते"; which means that, "this fire is Vaisvanara. Being inside the Purusha, it will digest the food". This statement of Shrutis is stated by Krishna saying,"अहं वैश्वानरः भूत्वा". "I am becoming that Vaisvanara" etc.

The food we eat is generated through plants nourished by Him. Now, the food we eat is also made to be digested by Him in the form of Vaisvanara. The food is mentioned as four types. The four types of food are food eaten by masticating, swallowing, sucking and licking These are भोज्यम्, भक्ष्यं, लेह्यं, चोष्यम्.

"पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विथं" also is telling us that digesting also is a grace of God. That being the case, it stands to reason that we offer the food to God and then only partake in that. This Sloka is recited by many before taking the food, as part of the eating ritual.

We know that Bhagavan is in the stomach in the form of Vaisvanara, the fire in the stomach. In the next Sloka we hear that he in fact resides in our heart.

|| Sloka 15 ||

सर्वस्य चाहं हृधि सन्निविष्टो
मत्तः स्मृतिः ज्ञानमपोहनं च।
वैदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो
वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम्॥15||

स॥ अहं सर्वस्य च हृदि सन्निविष्ठः | मत्तः स्मृतिः ज्ञानं आपोहनं च (भवन्ति)| सर्वैः वेदैः च अहं एव वेद्यः। अहं एव वेदान्तकृत्। अहं एव वेदवित् च।

॥Sloka meanings||

अहं सर्वस्य च हृदि सन्निविष्ठः- I am seated in the hearts of all creatures.
मत्तः स्मृतिः ज्ञानं आपोहनं च (भवन्ति)- memory , knowledge and the forgetfulness are all due to Me.
सर्वैः वेदैः - In all the Vedas
अहं एव वेद्यः- I am the one to be known.
अहं एव वेदवित् च।- I am also the knower of Vedas.

|| Sloka summary ||

"I am seated in the hearts of all creatures. Memory, knowledge and the forgetfulness are all due to Me. In all the Vedas
I am the one to be known. I am also the knower of Vedas". ||15||

"वेदैश्च सर्वैः अहमेव वेद्यो" is a statement that is often heard in discussion of all spiritual matters. The Vedas teach us what is to be "known" by us. Krishna says the principal matter to be 'known' through Vedas is Himself. That Supreme being referred to and taught by Rishis in Vedas is no one else than Vasudeva Himself. This is an emphatic declaration. That Brahman is not very far away. He is residing in the heart of every being. In this instance in front of us in the form of Vasudeva.

By saying that he is the one to be known through Vedas, Krishna is teaching the essence of Gita. Vedas have many things. But the one to be known through Vedas is only the Brahman. This is mentioned in many different ways from Chapter 2 onwards. Hare Krishna is confirming that by his emphatic statements.

Shankaracharya in his commentary says that in three Slokas from, "यदादित्य गतं तेजः"(5.12), the excellences of Narayana have been stated. He says," भगवतः ईश्वरस्य नारायणाख्यस्य विभूति संक्षेपः उक्तः". Which means that Narayana's excellences have been briefly stated " in those slokas.

What is being stated here is about manifested Brahman in the form of Krishna. This is not for those pursuing the path of knowledge (of Self). However, the path of Knowledge too is an important path. So, in the next three Slokas, Krishna talks about unmanifested Self. In these three Slokas (16-18) Krishna talks about two types of Purushas namely Kshara and Akshara. Then one better than those two Purushas is Uttama Purusha. Again, that Tatpurusha or Purushottam is none other than Krishna Himself.

||Sloka 16||

द्वाविमौ पुरुषोलोके क्षरश्चाक्षर एवच |
क्षरस्सर्वाणि भूतानि कूटस्थोऽक्षर उच्यते॥16||

स॥ लोके क्षरः च अक्षरः एव च द्वौ इमौ पुरुषौ (स्तः) | सर्वाणि भूतानि क्षरः (उच्यते)| कूटस्थः अक्षरः उच्यते॥

॥ Sloka meanings ||

लोके क्षरः च - In the world there is Kshara (mutable)
अक्षरः एव च - Akshara ( immutable)
द्वौ इमौ पुरुषौ - these two persons
सर्वाणि भूतानि क्षरः (उच्यते)- all creatures are said to Kshara
कूटस्थः अक्षरः उच्यते- One existing as Maya is said to Akshara .

|| Sloka summary ||

"In this world there are two persons, Kshara (mutable) and Akshara(immutable). All creatures are said to Kshara (mutable). The one existing in Maya (Katusha) is said to Akshara (immutable)". ||16||

Two types of persons have been mentioned. Kshara and Akshara. Briefly Kshara is one who is devoid of discrimination between the 'Body' and 'Self'. Akshara is one who is aware of the distinction between the 'Body' and 'Self'. Knowing about 'Self' is not same is experiencing 'Self'. Knowing the difference, knowing that Self is Supreme and continues on the path of Self-realization. Thus, the Jiva taking many births till he attains liberation (Moksha) is Akshara.

Akashara is not the one who has overcome the three Gunas. Overcoming three Gunas means, one has achived liberation. Thus, Akshara is not the Kshetrajnya mentioned in chapter thirteen. Kshetrajnya is also one different from these two persons namely Kshara and akshara. In chapter thirteen we heard that Kshetrajnya is none other than the Supreme being, Krishna Himself. We will hear the same again here.

|| Sloka 17 ||

उत्तमः पुरुषस्त्वन्यः परमात्मेत्युदाहृतः।
यो लोकत्रयमाविश्य बिभर्त्यव्यय ईश्वरः॥17||

स॥ यः लोकत्रयं आविश्य बिभर्ति (तत्) अव्ययः ईश्वरः अन्यः उत्तमः पुरुषः उदाहृतः। परमात्म इति (च ) उदाहृतः ॥17||

|| Sloka meanings ||

अन्यः उत्तमः पुरुषःउदाहृतः- different is said to be Supreme Purusha.
परमात्म इति (च ) उदाहृतः- spoken as Paramatma
यः लोकत्रयं आविश्य - who permeating the three worlds
बिभर्ति- sustains ( the same)
अव्ययः ईश्वरः - immutable, ruler of all

|| Sloka summary ||

"(Apart from these two a) Different one is said to be Supreme Purusha. He is spoken of as Paramatma, who permeating the three worlds
sustains the same, who is immutable and ruler of all". ||17||

The words, "उत्तमः पुरुषः अन्यः ", tells us immediately, that apart from the two Purushas mentioned earlier, namely Kshara and Akshara, there is another one, a Supreme one, who is superior to both. Akshara being aware of Self is better than Kshara. But among Akshara's who are on the path of liberation, the one who realizes 'Self' is better than the one who is yet realize the 'Self'. The one who realizes Self is Supreme. In the path of Knowledge, realization of 'Self' is the pinnacle. At that stage 'Self' is none other than Paramatma. That Paramatma is Nirguna Parabrahman.

When you equate the Nirguna Parabrahman with the saguna Prabrahman, he is the ruler of the world. He sustains the earth ("स दधार पृथ्वीम्"), He sustains the three worlds. He is called Paramatman.

In Kshetra Kshetrajnya Vibhaaga Yoga, Krishna says 'He' is the Kshetrajnya in all Kshetras. Kshetrajnya is the one who knows all that is to be known about Kshetra, the body. He is the one who realized 'Self'. So Khetrajnya is same as the Uttama Purusha. Krishna who said he is the Kshetrajnya in all bodies. The Supreme person or Uttama Purusha being same as Kshetrajnya, Krishna will tell us that he is the Uttama purusha or Purushottam in the next sloka.

Reference to Uttama Purusha also appears in Chandogyopanishad (Ch 8.12.3)

|| Sloka 18 ||

यस्मात् क्षरमतीतोऽहम् अक्षरादपि चोत्तमः।
अतोऽस्मि लोकेवेदे च प्रथितः पुरुषोत्तमः॥18||

स॥ यस्मात् अहं क्षरं अतीतः अक्षरात् अपि उत्तमः च अतः लोके वेदेच पुरुषोत्तमः प्रथितः अस्मि ||18||

|| Sloka meanings ||

यस्मात् अहं - Because I
क्षरं अतीतः - surpass the Kshara
अक्षरात् अपि उत्तमः - Superior to Akshara
अतः- hence
लोके वेदेच - In the world and Vedas
पुरुषोत्तमः प्रथितः अस्मि - I am celebrated as Purushottama .

|| Sloka summary ||

"Because I surpass Kshara, the perishable and I am superior to Akshara, the imperishable, in the world and in Vedas, I am celebrated as Purushottama, the Superior Purusha". ||18||

|| Sloka 19 ||

योमामेवमसम्मूढो जानाति पुरुषोत्तमम्।
स सर्वभजति मां सर्वभावेन भारत॥19||

स॥ हे भारत ! यः असम्मूढः एवं माम् पुरुषोत्तमम् जानाति सः सर्ववित् सर्वभावेन माम् भजति॥19||

|| Sloka meanings ||

यः असम्मूढः एवं - Whoever free from delusion
एवं माम् पुरुषोत्तमम् जानाति - Knows me as the Supreme Person ( Purushottama) this way ,
सः सर्ववित् - That one is knower of everything
सर्वभावेन माम् भजति- adores Me with his whole being

|| Sloka summary ||

"O Bharata, he who is free from delusions, knows Me as the Supreme Person, that one is all knowing and adores Me with his whole being". ||19||

Hare Krishna is saying, he who is free from delusion, free confusion that this Krishan is a mere human being, knows me as Purushottam, the Supreme Person, that person is knowing everything and adores Me with his whole being.

This is in line with what we heard in the previous chapter that, "Whoever through unswerving yoga of devotion worships Me, such a one, transcending these Gunas, qualifies for becoming Brahman"(14.26)

This is the message for those trying to get out of this sea of Samsara. They should understand the mythical Asvattha tree, knowing Krishna as the Purushottama, worship Krishna with unswerving devotion transcending the three Gunas. They attain Purushottam or they have Purushottam Prapti!

|| Sloka 20 ||

इति गुह्यतमं शास्त्र मिदमुक्तं मयाऽनघ।
एतद्भुद्ध्वा बुद्धिमान् स्यात्कृतकृत्यश्च भारत॥20||

स॥ हे अनघ ! इति गुह्यतमं इदं शास्त्रं मया उक्तं एतत् बुद्ध्वा बुद्धिमान् कृतकृत्यः च स्यात्॥20||

|| Sloka meanings ||
अनघ - sinless one
इति गुह्यतमं- This most secret
इदं शास्त्रं - scripture
मया उक्तं - told by Me
एतत् बुद्ध्वा - Knowing this
बुद्धिमान् कृतकृत्यः च स्यात्- one becomes wise who has fulfilled his duties.

|| Sloka summary ||

" O Sinless one, this most secret scripture is thus told by Me. Knowing this, one becomes a wise one who has fulfilled his duties". ||20||

Krishna addressing Arjuna as "O Sinless one", says that he told the most secret scripture to him. Why is it so secret? Sometime what is in plain view remains secret because it is not seen. In the Chapter 4, tracing the anticedents of Karma Yoga, Krishna says, 'स कालेनेह महता योगो नष्ठः परंतप' (4.02)- Meaning that with passage of time this yoga was lost. That means at that time of Krishna delivering this message, Gita, whatever is being told in this has been forgotten for generations. Thus, they remained secret. So now knowing this message of Purushottama, one can attain Purushottam or can have Purushottama Prapti. Thus, this is Purushottama Prapti Yoga

Thus, whoever practices this spiritual scripture attains liberation.

Thus ends Purushottam Prapti Yoga taught by Sri Krishna.

इति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे
श्रीकृष्णार्जुन संवादे पुरुषोत्तम प्राप्ति योगो नाम
||om tat sat||