विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि |
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन: || 18||
vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śhuni chaiva śhva-pāke cha paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśhinaḥ
vidyā—divine knowledge; vinaya—humbleness; sampanne—equipped with; brāhmaṇe—a Brahmin; gavi—a cow; hastini—an elephant; śhuni—a dog; cha—and; eva—certainly; śhva-pāke—a dog-eater; cha—and; paṇḍitāḥ—the learned; sama-darśhinaḥ—see with equal vision
The sages look with equal eye on a Brahmana endowed with knowledge and humility, on a cow, on an elephant, on a dog and on the outcaste who feeds on dog’s flesh.
Sages who have acquired Brahmajnana see everything as Brahman. In all the varied manifestations of nature, they see the underlying substratum (i.e) Atma, and so they do not make any distinction between one thing and another. For them, all that exists, whatever the name and form may be, is made of one substance – Brahman (Atma). So they have love and compassion for all the creatures without distinction of high or low, caste and creed, and so on. The Brahmana here stands for the highest purity. The outcaste (svapaka) represents the lowest order of human beings. The sage looks upon both with an equal eye, because the background for the highest spiritual giant and the meanest wretch is Brahman and nothing else. Is the vision of the sage confined to humans only? No. His vision embraces all the created beings. So the elephants, dogs the cows are mentioned to represent the animal kingdom. It means animals, birds, reptiles and all living creatures without any exception at all, are included in the universal vision of the sage. All are Brahman. One who looks upon all these equally is the man of real Knowledge.
Each man is looking at things from a particular plane of vision. The most ignorant man looks upon objects only from the physical plane. He considers only the colour, stature, race, caste and so on. This is bodily outlook ‘dehadrishti’ the mere apprehension of the outermost fringes of all beings, the mere flesh and blood estimate. They are pleased or displeased according to these physical distinctions. The second class of persons look upon objects from the mental plane. They consider the character of man, his mental makeup, his intellectual powers, and other talents which are exhibited in him. This is mental-outlook (manodrishti). The highest class of people look upon all things from the spiritual plane, and they find God or the Reality in everyone. They penetrate to the innermost recesses of the heart through the outer coverings of the mind and body. Their vision is that of the One Brahman (Atma) being the essence of all things. This is Atmic outlook (Atmadrishti). All that exists is God. Out of that one substance, all the apparent distinctions and differences of name and form are created by the power of Maya. If a number of golden ornaments are given for sale to a jeweller, he sees them all as gold, and weighs and values them accordingly. All pots are made of earth. The reality in all of them is the earth. Thus the sages see the all-pervading Atma everywhere. Hence they possess equal vision. This is Jnana.
Love for all is the highest attribute of God. The Jnani has such love extended to all beings. This is the universality of the Gita message. All artificial limitations are transcended by the realisation of the Self. Brotherhood of man is no doubt a great ideal. But the love of the Jnani does not stop there. He finds the same Self in all beings. The ultimate goal is cosmic love, the identification of one’s self with all that exists. In the human organism, there are different organs, like hands, legs, eyes etc. If one of the limbs is affected, the whole body feels the pain. So it is that the Jnani feels pained when any part of the universe suffers. We come across exceptional men who ave reached this state, who take upon themselves the sorrows and sufferings of other beings, just because they see the same Self in all.
This universal love is the test of jnana. To know that Atma is the one indwelling principle of creation as a whole is to enter the plane of cosmic love and unity. In this, the application of the Vedantic doctrine of oneness in practical life is clearly declared.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
Those of you who have studied the Gita will remember the memorable passages: “He who looks upon the learned Brahmin, upon the cow, the elephant, the dog, or the outcast with the same eye, he indeed is the sage, and the wise man.”[Source]
The real Vedantist alone will give up his life for a fellow-man without any compunction, because he knows he will not die. As long as there is one insect left in the world, he is living; as long as one mouth eats, he eats. So he goes on doing good to others; and is never hindered by the modern ideas of caring for the body. When a man reaches this point of abnegation, he goes beyond the moral struggle, beyond everything. He sees in the most learned priest, in the cow, in the dog, in the most miserable places, neither the learned man, nor the cow, nor the dog, nor the miserable place, but the same divinity manifesting itself in them all. He alone is the happy man; and the man who has acquired that sameness has, even in this life, conquered all existence.[Source]
Last of all will come self-surrender. Then we shall be able to give ourselves up to the Mother. If misery comes, welcome; if happiness comes, welcome. Then, when we come up to this love, all crooked things shall be straight. There will be the same sight for the Brahmin, the Pariah, and the dog. Until we love the universe with same-sightedness, with impartial, undying love, we are missing again and again. But then all will have vanished, and we shall see in all the same infinite eternal Mother.[Source]
Question: Who is a wise man?
Answer: He who looks with an equal eye on all beings is the man of real wisdom.