ज्ञानेन तु तदज्ञानं येषां नाशितमात्मन: |
तेषामादित्यवज्ज्ञानं प्रकाशयति तत्परम् || 16||
jñānena tu tad ajñānaṁ yeṣhāṁ nāśhitam ātmanaḥ
teṣhām āditya-vaj jñānaṁ prakāśhayati tat param
jñānena—by divine knowledge; tu—but; tat—that; ajñānam—ignorance; yeṣhām—whose; nāśhitam—has been destroyed; ātmanaḥ—of the self; teṣhām—their; āditya-vat—like the sun; jñānam—knowledge; prakāśhayati—illumines; tat—that; param—Supreme Entity
But for those whose ignorance is destroyed by the knowledge of Atma that Knowledge, like the sun, reveals the Supreme Brahman.
In the previous verse, it is stated that knowledge is covered by ignorance, and so man suffers misery. Here the way to remove sorrow is shown. Ignorance is the cause of sorrow, and Knowledge alone could remove ignorance. Knowledge of Atma is to be acquired by spiritual practices like hearing, contemplation, meditation etc. And such Knowledge reveals the Supreme Being, Brahman, just as the Sun reveals the sense-world. just as the Sun reveals the objects in the sense-worl
Like the sun: When thick clouds spread over the sky, the Sun is hidden and the world is plunged into darkness. Powerful winds drive away the clouds, and immediately the glorious light of the Sun is revealed. Thereby all the objects of the sense-world become visible to us. Even so, the light of Atma is covered up by ignorance. When this ignorance is removed by knowledge, Atma shines forth with all its glory.
It should be clearly understood that Atma is not something to be created by anybody by some kind of spiritual discipline. Atma is already there, unaffected by anything, just as the Sun is there even when the clouds cover him up. Only the covering is to be taken away. Atma is unveiled.
When it is said that Knowledge causes Atma to shine forth, it does not mean that Atma is illumined by knowledge. Atma is Self-luminous. It is unlike material objects which are not self-luminous but which shine by the light of the Sun. Atma does not require anything else to illumine itself. It illumines all.
When ignorance (Jivabuddhi) is destroyed, Atma is experienced, and that is Knowledge.
Let us take the illustration of a lamp kept under a pot. When the pot covers it, the lamp is hidden, and light is not seen. When the pot is broken, the light of the lamp shines forth. The covering of ignorance is shattered by Knowledge and then the light of Atma is unveiled by His own original power.
Either by Nishkama karma or by devotion or by Dhyana or by all these methods put together, man has to obtain knowledge of the real Self to overcome the sorrows of his earthly existence.
It is to be noted that this Knowledge is free for all humanity to secure without distinction of caste, creed, race colour or sex. Each soul is potentially divine. Whoever breaks through the clouds of ignorance will come face to face with the glorious Sun of Atma.
Each individual has the light of Atma in himself shining like the Sun. Even the light of the Sun is only a reflection of the light of Atma.
Question: How is ignorance destroyed?
Answer: By the Knowledge of Brahman.
Question: What is revealed when knowledge comes?
Answer: Atma which is the essence of the light of Knowledge shines forth (experienced).