Shloka # 20:
अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशयस्थितः।
अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भूतानामन्त एव च।।10.20।।
O Gudakesa, I am the Self residing in the hearts of all beings, and I am the beginning and the middle as also the end of (all) beings.
Continuing his teaching, Swamiji said, Arjuna requested Sri Krishna to enumerate all his glories so that he can take anyone of them to meditate upon. He asked for a list so that he could choose as per his inclination. Sri Krishna enumerates the list from Shloka # 20 onwards.
First on the list of glories is Chaitanyam. It makes every being sentient. Without it, the body will be just jada shariram. It is the greatest glory. It is the only glory that is paramarthika while all others are vyavahrika or born out of Maya. If one has to approach god as nirguna vibhuti he has to have gyanam. So, this first glory requires Gyanam to know it.
And therefore first Lord Krishna enumerates paramarthika Vibhuthi and thereafter all Vyavaharika Vibhuthis as well.
He says, I am beginning, middle and end of all creation; I am the srishti, sthiti and laya karanam. Thus clay is the beginning, middle and end of all pots. It is clay alone at all stages. It is karanam that always exists in past, present and future.
So Sri Krishna says I am the cause of the creation; which existed in the beginning; and I am the sustaining principle of the creation; because of which alone the world enjoys existence; and I am the cause into which the world resolves.
Since god is only one permanently there, you should hold on to him. As, he alone can give you security. I am willing to love all people, but when asked who is my security, my answer will only be, God; not my son, friend etc. Anything else you will not have any assurance of security. So, hold on to Karanam, the Lord.
आदित्यानामहं विष्णुर्ज्योतिषां रविरंशुमान्।
मरीचिर्मरुतामस्मि नक्षत्राणामहं शशी।।10.21।।
Among the Adityas [viz Dhata, Mitra, aryama, Rudra, Varuna, Surya, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusa, Savita, Tvasta and Visnu.-Tr.] I am Visnu; among the luminaries, the radiant sun; among the (forty-nine) Maruts [The seven groups of Maruts are Avaha, Pravaha, Vivaha, Paravaha, Udvaha, Samvaha and parivaha.-Tr.] I am Marici; among the stars I am the moon.
Sri Krishna enumerates various things and beings in universe. He says they are all my own manifestations. During enumeration some are laukika vibhuti’s, from this world, while others are from Puranas, including the Devatas.
Thus, Puranas talk of Adityas, the 12 faces of sun god; sun in the 12 months of the year; there is only one sun, but every month he feels different, hence the 12 sun gods. 33 main gods are enumerated. Thus, they are 12 adithyas, 8 Vasu’s, 11 rudras, Indra and Prajapati; all add up to 33. Karma kandis know these gods very well. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says these 33 gods are the ones that become 33 crore devatas. So Sri Krishna says, among these 33 Devatas, I am Vishnu. Adityas were born to aditi; And among them I am vishnu; because vishnu in vamana avathara was born as aditi puthra; and therefore I am vamana rupi vishnu among aditi puthras. Among luminaries in sky, stars, planets, sun etc I am Ravi, the sun god with powerful rays. Sun god is adored even in sandhya vandanam. Even our survival is due to Sun.
In Ramayanam, Agastya rishi came and taught Aditya Hridayam mantra to Rama for both material victory as well as spiritual victory. Therefore aditya hridayam is a wonderful prayer for materialistic people; also for getting health; for getting money; for getting victory in examinations children can chant that; and for spiritual students as well it is supposed to be a wonderful prayer. Hence, when sun rises, we say sun is coming to bless us. Hence they ask us to get up early as we are supposed to welcome him.
A group of devatas, in heaven, is known as Marut devatas. There are different colonies of devatas in heaven. Depending on our punyam we will go one such colony. Thus 49 Marutis are there, 7 each in 7 groups. They preside over the Vayu tatvam. Sri Krishna says I am Marichi among the maruti’s. I am the tender, cool breeze that you feel presided by Marichi devata. Among night luminaries, stars, planets, moon etc, I am the moon or Chandra devata whom we worship on purnima day.
Shloka # 22:
वेदानां सामवेदोऽस्मि देवानामस्मि वासवः।
इन्द्रियाणां मनश्चास्मि भूतानामस्मि चेतना।।10.22।।
Among the Vedas I am Sama-veda; among the gods I am Indra. Among the organs I am the mind, and I am the intelligence in creatures.
Sri Krishna says, Among Vedas I am sama veda. Why choose Sama Veda? Because, it is the only musical veda, as such more attractive.
The word God is used in two contexts. One is the God, the creator. The other is gods who are really jivas occupying heavenly world due to their punyam. They are samsari’s, only with powers. Once their punyam is exhausted they will come back as humans or some other being.
So here, we are talking about only the superior jivas, because of their punya papam; and among their Gods, celestials, I am Vasavaha; meaning Indra devatha or Indra. He is controller of all devatas. He is a jiva as well. Once his punyam is over he will also have to take another birth.
Among sense organs I am the mind. Every sense organ can function only in a particular field. But mind is behind all sense organs; it can function in shabda, sparsha, rupa, rasa, and gandha. Hence mind is an ideal symbol. In Taittiriya Upanishad this topic is discussed. The more you think of mind the more you wonder about its capacity.
In every being I am its sentiency or Chetana. Scientists are still trying to find out what is life or death; it is all still a mystery to them. Even a small insect, you can see how sensitive it is; they have all systems that we have within them, while we can’t even create a unicellular organism. Hence emphasis on ahimsa paramo dharma; hence vegetarianism is promoted to avoid or reduce himsa. In eating vegetables, the plants are not killed.
Shloka # 23:
रुद्राणां शङ्करश्चास्मि वित्तेशो यक्षरक्षसाम्।
वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि मेरुः शिखरिणामहम्।।10.23।।
Among the Rudras [Aja, Ekapada, Ahirbudhnya, Pinaki, Aparajita, Tryam-baka, Mahesvara, Vrsakapi, Sambhu, Harana and Isvara. Different Puranas give different lists of eleven names.-Tr,] I am Sankara, and among the Yaksas and goblins I am Kubera [God of wealth. Yaksas are a class of demigods who attend on him and guard his wealth.]. Among the Vasus [According to the V.P. they are: Apa, dhruva, Soma, Dharma, Anila, Anala (Fire), Pratyusa and Prabhasa. The Mbh. and the Bh. given a different list.-Tr.] I am Fire, and among the mountains I am Meru.
12 Adityas were mentioned; hence surya namaskara is performed 12 times. Now 11 Rudras are enumerated in the scriptures; and that is why when we have rudra ekadashini or eleven times chanting of Rudra is performed. All of them are rudras. Among them I am Shankara; why shankara; because he is the most auspicious one. Mangalam means ananda. Rudra means one has removed dukha. Wherever Rudra parayanam is performed dukha goes away. Another group of devatas are called Yaksha’s and Raksha’s. Among them I am Kubera; one who presides over wealth. In Badrinath, there is a place for Kubara and there is a belief that if you keep a coin in Kubera’s hand and keep that coin in your safe, it will multiply. He is lord of wealth and we don’t condemn wealth. Then pavaka vasunam asmi; the next important group of devathas are ashta vasavaha. Vasus are eight, presiding over the eight directions; So among the ashta vasus, I am agni devatha; So pavaka is agni; agni is called pavaka because he is the greatest purifier; In the relative sense also; if you want to purify anything it has to be heated; including food. If you have to remove all the impurities; say in water, the best way is to boil the water; and the Surgeon, if they want to purify their instruments, is to boil in water; and if you have to dispose off the dead body, fire of cremation is the best method of purification; and so on. So from loukika point of view agni is the purifier; From Shastric angle also agni purifies mind. So, I am the fire principle.
In the rig veda many mantras begins with chanting of Agni. Agni is very important for us; we start our day with lighting of lamp. Start our day because the outside light is the Sun. And not only that, when they light the lamp, they show to the sun; the idea is that the Sun is the celestial light which represents the Lord is invoked in the flame and I keep the flame in my house; And therefore flame is worshipped; agni is worshipped; and therefore Krishna says I am agni tatvam.
Among mountains with peaks I am Meru parvatam. This is descried in puranas. Some say Himalayas are Meru, others say it is in North pole, mountains. Others say it is an invisible mountain in heaven. Meru parikrama is recommended. One shastriji went to North pole in religious dress and did the a prikrama there. He even wrote a book in Tamil on his trip.
Shloka # 24:
पुरोधसां च मुख्यं मां विद्धि पार्थ बृहस्पतिम्।
सेनानीनामहं स्कन्दः सरसामस्मि सागरः।।10.24।।
O son of Prtha, know me to be Brhaspati, the foremost among the priests of kings. Among comanders of armies I am Skanda; among large expanses of water I am the sea.
Among purohitas, ritual priests both celestial and earthly ones; among celestial priests, I am Brihaspati, Indra’s pujari. He guides all rituals.
Among military commanders I am Skanda or Subramania. He was Deva senapati. Skanda was born from Shivas third eye to destroy demons.
Skanda means the one who flowed out; who emerged out of Lord’s Shiva’s third eye to destroy some
Rakshasa, who had extra ordinary strength. Lord Shiva had to bring a special avathara and out of Lord’s shakthi; skand means flow, to emerge out; to originate; from the third eye of Lord Shiva; third eye represents Gyanam and that is why Subramamya is Gyana Subramanya.
Among all water reservoirs I am sagara, the ocean. In Puranas there is a big story regarding this that I will mention briefly for you all:
In Ramayana Vishwamitra told a story about arrival of ganga from heaven to earth. There was a Raja named Sagara. He had 60,001 sons. They are called saagaraha. One of them was Asamanja. The king wanted to perform the ashwa medha Yaga. The horse went in front of the conquering army.
Indra got frightened of this Yaga, as he felt threatened. Indra stole the Yaga horse. All 60,000 sons went after Indra except Asamanja. Indra went underworld. Going after him they started digging and soon the hole was full of water and it became known as Sagara. They went to Patala Loka looking for Indra. The scared Indra wanted to hide the horse and run away. Sage Kapila was doing penance in Patala Loka at that time. Indra left the horse in the sage’s ashrama. The Saagara’s saw the horse there and thought Kapila stole the horse. They shouted at Kapila. He got angry and cursed them all; due to the curse, they were all killed. The king sent asamanja to Sage Kapila. Asamanja met kapila. He told him if he brought ganga down to earth his brothers could be saved. He told this to his father. Father asked asamanja to bring ganga down. Asamanja prayed to ganga but failed to bring her down. Asamanja’s son ansuman also tried and failed. Ansuman ‘s son Bhagirathi did tapas to ganga and she agreed to come down. The question was if Ganga came down who would withstand her force of descent? It was determined that only Shiva can receive ganga by receiving her in his mat of hair. So he did tapas to shiva.
With Best Wishes,