सर्वेन्द्रियगुणाभासं सर्वेन्द्रियविवर्जितम् |
असक्तं सर्वभृच्चैव निर्गुणं गुणभोक्तृ च || 15||
बहिरन्तश्च भूतानामचरं चरमेव च |
सूक्ष्मत्वात्तदविज्ञेयं दूरस्थं चान्तिके च तत् || 16||
अविभक्तं च भूतेषु विभक्तमिव च स्थितम् |
भूतभर्तृ च तज्ज्ञेयं ग्रसिष्णु प्रभविष्णु च || 17||
ज्योतिषामपि तज्ज्योतिस्तमस: परमुच्यते |
ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं ज्ञानगम्यं हृदि सर्वस्य विष्ठितम् || 18||
asaktaṁ sarva-bhṛich chaiva nirguṇaṁ guṇa-bhoktṛi cha
bahir antaśh cha bhūtānām acharaṁ charam eva cha
sūkṣhmatvāt tad avijñeyaṁ dūra-sthaṁ chāntike cha tat
avibhaktaṁ cha bhūteṣhu vibhaktam iva cha sthitam
bhūta-bhartṛi cha taj jñeyaṁ grasiṣhṇu prabhaviṣhṇu cha
jyotiṣhām api taj jyotis tamasaḥ param uchyate
jñānaṁ jñeyaṁ jñāna-gamyaṁ hṛidi sarvasya viṣhṭhitam
sarva—all; indriya—senses; guṇa—sense-objects; ābhāsam—the perciever; sarva—all; indriya—senses; vivarjitam—devoid of; asaktam—unattached; sarva-bhṛit—the sustainer of all; cha—yet; eva—indeed; nirguṇam—beyond the three modes of material nature; guṇa-bhoktṛi—the enjoyer of the three modes of material nature; cha—although; bahiḥ—outside; antaḥ—inside; cha—and; bhūtānām—all living beings; acharam—not moving; charam—moving; eva—indeed; cha—and; sūkṣhmatvāt—due to subtlety; tat—he; avijñeyam—incomprehensible; dūra-stham—very far away; cha—and; antike—very near; cha—also; tat—He; avibhaktam—indivisible; cha—although; bhūteṣhu—amongst living beings; vibhaktam—divided; iva—apparently; cha—yet; sthitam—situated; bhūta-bhartṛi—the Sustainer of all beings; cha—also; tat—that; jñeyam—to be known; grasiṣhṇu—the Annihilator; prabhaviṣhṇu—the Creator; cha—and; jyotiṣhām—in all luminarie; api—and; tat—that; jyotiḥ—the source of light; tamasaḥ—the darkness; param—beyond; uchyate—is said (to be); jñānam—knowledge; jñeyam—the object of knowledge; jñāna-gamyam—the goal of knowledge; hṛidi—within the heart; sarvasya—of all living beings; viṣhṭhitam—dwells
It shines through the functions of all the senses, and yet It is devoid of senses. It is unattached, and yet It sustains all. It is devoid of gunas, and yet It enjoys them.
It is without and within all beings. It is unmoving and also moving. It is incomprehensible because It is subtle. It is far away, and yet It is near.
It is indivisible, and yet It is, as it were, divided among beings. That Knowable Brahman is the Sustainer of all beings, and also their Devourer and Generator.
The Light even of lights, It is said to be beyond darkness. As knowledge, the object of knowledge, and the goal of knowledge, It is set firm in the hearts of all.
In these verses, the Knowable (Brahman) is stated vividly. ‘Jnanagamyam‘ the qualities themselves are not the goal. The goal is Brahman. Whatever path is followed, Karma, Bhakti, Yoga or Dhyana, the end of the spiritual pilgrimage is Brahman. Brahma-Jnana liberates man from the horrible dream of ignorance, birth and death. Man knows the reality and that he is himself one with the Reality. The little ‘I’ did not and does not exist. So the seeker should contemplate the Knowable (Jneyam: Brahman) and realise his identity with That.
The idea is that with the destruction of the vasanas, one should possess the Knowledge of the Supreme. ‘Sadhana’ and knowledge of ‘Sadhya’ are both necessary. The aim of the Gita is to clear the path and also attain the goal. Man’s glorious destiny is the Realisation of Brahman.
May all the seekers discard all foolish and impure notions of their being flesh and blood and know themselves to be the blissful and ever-blessed Paramatma.
asaktam: (drik) Atma does not touch the objective world (drisya prapancham.)
bahirantas cha bhutanam: He is both inside and outside all beings. So near He is to beings, witnessing all that they think and do, that they should never commit evil and sin in any manner what-so-ever.
acharam charam eva cha: He is moving and unmoving; How can this be? In the dream state man imagines that he is moving here and there and doing so many things. But does he really move? No. He is lying down in his bed. So also, this Universe in the form of beings is moving, and as Brahman it is unmoving. The real man, being Brahman does not move. What moves is the Drisya prapancham (Prakriti). Or it may also be interpreted that He is both the objects like animals and birds and so on, and also the unmoving like mountains and trees etc.
sukshmatvat avijneyam: There are three ethers 1. The material ether (Sthulakasa) 2. The mental ether (Chittakasa) 3. The Intelligene ether (Chidakasa). One is more subtle than the other. The third is the subtlest of all. This Chidakasa is the knowable Brahman. It is unseen by the physical eye, by the mental eye, by the eyes of the ignorant. Only the vision of knowledge reveals the Supreme.
antike cha tat: He is near, very near to the people. Knowing this they should be free from all evil and sin.
vibhaktamiva cha: Brahman is undivided. He does not exist as a separate entity in the beings of the world. It would be absurd to think that each man has a separate Brahman of his own. It is the one Being who is present in all. On account of ‘avidya’ it appears as though He is divided. That is why the word ‘iva’ is used. In a pot of water, in the river, in the ocean, the Sun’s reflection is seen differently. But the Sun is only one. Exactly in that manner, the one Brahman, who is shining through the millions of beings, appears to be divided but is not really divided. Like the string keeping together different flowers, He exists all alone sustaining the manifold universe. Brahman being infinite there cannot be any separateness or division in Him. The aim of spiritual ‘sadhana’ is to know that one in this manifold Universe of name and form.
Bhutabhatricha, grasishnu prabhavishnu cha: He is the supporter, the creator and the destroyer. He is Brahma, Vishnu and Siva.
tamasah param: All these worlds, mind and buddhi, are in the realm of ‘avidya‘. This ignorance is itself darkness. The Lord is beyond the darkness of ‘avidya’ (aditya varnam tamasah parastat 8.9).
jnanam, jneyam, jnanagamyam: The first word (jnana) stands for knowledge. The second word (Jneyam) means Atman. The third is ‘Jnanagamyam’ – Here the word ‘jnanam’ stands for qualities like humility etc., which lead to the understanding of Brahman. Jneyam that which is to be known, the knowable (i.e.) the Supreme Brahman. This alone takes man beyond samsara. No other knowledge can achieve this liberation for mankind.
How then to realise God? Certainly, the answer is by the full possession of the qualities of Jnana-like amanitvam, ‘adambhitvam’ etc. There is no other way. Let the seekers be perfectly clear about this point, and strive hard to cultivate every one of the divine virtues.
hridi sarvasya vishtitam: He is in the heart of all. From worms and germs up to Brahma (Creator) the Lord is present in every being, in the moving and the unmoving. There is nothing where he is not. This being the highest truth, each one can realise Him in His own heart. Whether one looks out at the manifested universe or looks within at the Atma the same Brahman exists. There cannot be any distinction between high or low or big or small. Everyone can hope to realise Him, whoever he is and wherever he may stand in the scheme of things.
Question: What is the nature of jneyam (Parabrahman)?
1. That Brahman having hands and legs everywhere and every where having heads and faces, and having ears everywhere exists in the Universe, 2. It pervads all the Universe, 3. It shines by the functions of all the senses, 4. It is without the senses, 5. It is unattached, 6. It supports all, 7. It is without the three qualities i.e. sattva, rajas and tamas, 8. It is the experiencer of the qualities, 9. It exists within and without all beings, 10. It is unmoving, 11. and it is moving, 12. It is unknowable to ignorant 15. because of its subtlity, 13. It is far away, 14. It is near, 15. It is indivisible but exists as if divided in beings, 16. It is the supporter of beings, 17. It is worthy to be known, 18. It is destroying and also generating, 19. That Brahman is the Light of the shining objects like the Sun, the Moon and the fire, 20. It is beyond darkness (ignorance), 21. It is knowledge, the knowable and the goal of knowledge, 22. It is seated in the heart of all beings.