मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय |
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव || 7||
mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñchid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
mattaḥ—than me; para-taram—superior; na—not; anyat kiñchit—anything else; asti—there is; dhanañjaya—Arjun, conqueror of wealth; mayi—in me; sarvam—all; idam—which we see; protam—is strung; sūtre—on a thread; maṇi-gaṇāḥ—beads; iva—like
There is nothing higher than Myself, O Arjun. Everything rests in Me, as gems strung on a thread.
Where is God? How does He exist? These questions are answered in this verse. Like the string that holds together the garland of gems, the whole universe is strung on the Lord. There is no place where He is not. There is nothing what-so-ever higher than He.
The string holds the clusters of gems together, without which they fall off like disintegrated elements. Moreover, though the gems are of different shapes, sizes and colours, the string that holds them together is the same. Thus, different beings, races, classes, types of beings, different religions and creeds, and all things sentient and insentient are held together by the indwelling presence of the Lord. The naked eye could see only the gems and not the string behind. and So also, the eye of the common man can see only the outer form of the universe and not the unifying existence of the Lord behind.
Any rational human being can understand the presence of the string behind the gems, though he does not see it with his naked eye. To deny the existence of the string on the ground that he cannot see is sheer ignorance. Such talk of the unwise carries no conviction, even as the denial of the existence of the sun by a blind man. It is not the naked eye but the eye of knowledge that can perceive the Lord as the eternal substratum and sustaining power behind the universe.
He who sees the sentient in the midst of the insentient, the eternal in the midst of the perishable, the changeless in the midst of the changing, is the wise man. It is the eye of Knowledge. The Upadhi (i.e.) the body – vehicle is insentient. But pervading the whole universe, there is the Omniscient Lord and He could be perceived only by the eye of Knowledge. The naked eye is made to see the outer form, and recognises it by its ‘nama‘ and ‘rupa‘. But when the eye of knowledge is opened by the grace of the Lord, His presence is recognised everywhere. Then will man understand that He is the final cause of the universe, that He is in everything, creating, sustaining, and destroying everything by the power of His Prakriti. He who sees the body is the ignorant man, he who sees the jiva is the partially wise; but he who sees Atma is the sage.
Let the seeker take refuge in this thought that the Lord is in all, and that there is nothing other or higher than He. The illustration of the string of pearls is expained below:
|Gems of different forms and colours||the manifold universe|
Without the string, the gems do not hold together-without Paramatma the manifold universe cannot be sustained.
The naked eye cannot see the string the eye of the ignorant man cannot see the basic Reality.
A deeper look discovers the string behind the gems – So also penetrating knowledge reveals the Lord.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
It is the same light coming through glasses of different colours. And these little variations are necessary for purposes of adaptation. But in the heart of everything the same truth reigns. The Lord has declared to the Hindu in His incarnation as Krishna, “I am in every religion as the thread through a string of pearls.” [Source]
So it is with this universal religion, which runs through all the various religions of the world in the form of God; it must and does exist through eternity. “I am the thread that runs through all these pearls,” and each pearl is a religion or even a sect thereof. Such are the different pearls, and the Lord is the thread that runs through all of them; only the majority of mankind are entirely unconscious of it.[Source]
In the Gita we already hear the distant sound of the conflicts of sects, and the Lord comes in the middle to harmonize them all; He, the great preacher of harmony, the greatest teacher of harmony, Lord Shri Krishna. He says, “In Me they are all strung like pearls upon a thread.”[Source]
[To a request of the New York World of October 1, 1893, for “a sentiment or expression regarding the significance of the great meeting” from each representative, Swamiji replied with the quotations given in the following paragraph; one quotation is from the Gita and one from Vyasa.]
“I am He that am in every religion — like the thread that passes through a string of pearls.” “Holy, perfect and pure men are seen in all creeds, therefore they all lead to the same truth — for how can nectar be the outcome of poison?”[Source]
The idea of the cruel and ruthless Jehovah in the Old Testament has frightened many — but why? What right have they to assume that the Jehovah of the ancient Jews must represent the conventional idea of the God of the present day? At the same time, we must not forget that there will come men after us who will laugh at our ideas of religion and God in the same way that we laugh at those of the ancients. Yet, through all these various conceptions runs the golden thread of unity, and it is the purpose of the Vedanta to discover this thread. “I am the thread that runs through all these various ideas, each one of which is like a pearl,” says the Lord Krishna; and it is the duty of Vedanta to establish this connecting thread, however incongruous or disgusting may seem these ideas when judged according to the conceptions of today. These ideas, in the setting of past times, were harmonious and not more hideous than our present ideas. It is only when we try to take them out of their settings and apply to our present circumstances that the hideousness becomes obvious. For the old surroundings are dead and gone. Just as the ancient Jew has developed into the keen, modern, sharp Jew, and the ancient Aryan into the intellectual Hindu, similarly Jehovah has grown, and Devas have grown.[Source]
Question: What is the real nature of the universe?
Answer: There is nothing in it other than or higher than the Lord.
Question: How does the Lord maintain the universe?
Answer: Like the string in the garland of gems the Lord is all-pervading and holds the universe together.
Question: How can man perceive the Lord?
Answer: By the purified eye of knowledge.