Baghawad Gita, Class 195: Chapter 15, Verses 12 to 15
15.12 That light in the sun which illumines the whole world, that which is in the moon, and that which is in fire,-know that light to be Mine.
Continuing his teachings Swamiji said, after defining Brahman in the 6th verse of this chapter, Sri Krishna establishes in the later verses, that Brahman alone is in the form of everything. And in Sanskrit, this is called sarvatmakatvam and here Sri Krishna talks as one with Brahman; He says: I alone am appearing as everything.
I am everything. He has already talked about this in the seventh, ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters. In the fact the very vishvarupa darshanam is revealing this fact that Bhagavan is everything and that sarvatmakatvam is briefly dealt with in these verses and for this purpose, the whole universe is divided into two, the sentient, the living beings, and the insentient objects of the creation. Sri Krishna says that I alone appear in the form of chetana jiva, I alone appear in the form of the achetana jagat also. Of these we have seen the first part, from verse No.7 to verse No.11. In the first part he says, I alone am in the form of the chetana jiva. We have entered into the second part, from verse no.12, which I introduced in the last class. And this part is I, the Brahman alone, am in the form of achetana jagat also. So from the 12th verse, up to the 15th verse, Brahman or Bhagavan is everything.
And in this context, Sri Krishna does not give the logic behind this conclusion because the logic has already been given in the previous chapters. Why do we say that Bhagavan is everything? Bhagavan being the cause of everything, Bhagavan alone has to be everything. Remember the example, gold is the cause of all ornaments and therefore gold alone is in the form of all the ornaments. So cause of the ornaments means, it is in the form of ornaments, because there are no ornaments other than gold. Wood is the cause of the furniture, means wood alone is in the form of furniture; there is no furniture separate from wood.
Generalizing, cause alone is in the form of all the effect; extending that, Brahman or Bhagavan being the cause of everything, Brahman or Bhagavan alone is in the form of everything. In short, there is no creation different or separate from Ishvara and this is the uniqueness of the vedic teaching, because that is why, we worship the Lord in any form and every form. We worship animals as God; we worship human beings as God; we worship trees as God; we worship rivers as God; we worship even the five elements as God; the reason is these do not exist separate from Bhagavan or Brahman. And therefore Bhagavan is in the form of everything. And therefore Sri Krishna has to say, I am the table, I am the chair, I am the pen, I am the book, I am you, I am he, I am mike; if Sri Krishna has to enumerate everything in the creation, the 15th chapter will not end at all.
And therefore Sri Krishna wants to take a few important things in the creation and he points out they are my own manifestation. Just a few samples are taken to point out that Bhagavan is in the form of them and from that you can extend to everything else also. And what are those few samples Bhagavan takes? They are the fundamental natural forces that we experience all the time, which we have not created, but they are very much part of this creation. Without these natural power or forces or energy, we cannot think of the creation or its survival. What are the natural forces that Sri Krishna takes up? He takes three of them. One is surya Shakti, The solar energy. The solar power called surya Shakti and the second one is the lunar power, the chandra Shakti. Sri Krishna uses the word tejaha instead of Shakti; therefore surya teja, chandra teja, teja is Shakti, energy, power and the third one is Agni Shakti and Agni teja. The power of the fire. So these are the three natural and very important forces or energy; the more you study their glory, the more you admire. The scientists have been studying the sun for years, decades, for centuries and they are still studying; still they have not completed the glory of the Sun.
Sri Krishna enumerates them first and says I am in the form of Surya Shakti and I am in the form of chandra shakti and I am in the form of agni shakti. That is said in the 12th verse, which we read in the last class.
And even those people who feel that all other sources of energy will be exhausted; they think that ultimately we have to tap the solar energy only. And especially, we the people in the tropical country, we have got solar battery, solar cells; so many things are solar based.
Sri Krishna says that energy belongs to me; the energy located in the sun, which illumines the entire universe;
So he says; akhilam jagat bhasayate; meaning the energy of the sun never ends.
And yat chandramasi; that energy, which obtains in the moon, the moonlight or the lunar energy, of course it is borrowed from the sun.
The original sunlight is getting reflected in the moon; that reflection itself is so powerful that on a full paurnami day, you can even read a book.
And what is the third one, it is the energy which is stored in agni; agni means the fire principle, agni shakti, all these three powers belong to me.
That is why in the vedic discipline, the day begins with the worship of the sun. And all the prayers are surya prayers.
So this Sun alone sustains the living beings. Sun alone sustains the earth.
The brilliant light and energy and lot of nutrients like vitamin D, etc are there due to the sun. Our skin requires sunlight. And even our sleep and waking is connected to sunlight; And that is why they say, do not take heavy meal in the night, because, everything slows down including digestive power. So the more you study the Sun, the more its glory is. Therefore morning begins with the Surya Namaskara and on most pauranami days, we have got some festival or the other; every month you see pauranami is special for us, because we worship the moonlight. And then of course Agni worship is fundamental to vedic religion.
Do not take powers of Surya, Chandra and Agni for granted.
In the following verses, Sri Krishna is going to talk about the glory of each shakti. What is the contribution of sun light? What is the contribution of moonlight? He is going to explain in the following verses. We will read.
And entering the earth I sustain the beings through (My) power; and nourish all the plants by becoming Soma [According to S. and most other translators, Soma means the moon.-Tr.] which is of the nature of sap.
The first line talks about the contribution of the surya shakti, which is a blessing from the Lord. So Sri Krishna says: regularly the solar energy, through the rays of the Sun, penetrate or enter on to the surface of the earth;
It pervades all the directions and blesses all the jiva rashis with ojas or prana shakti.
Having entered the earth, the sun rays or the solar light penetrates into every being, that is why we are asked to get up before sun rise and we are supposed to expose ourselves to the morning sunlight and therefore they go to the rivers for bath.
We are all exposing our body to the solar energy; which is called pranic energy. And that is why the pranic healers talk about drawing energy from the Sun and handing over to our prana maya kosha.
The entire pranamaya kosha is sustained by the Sun. And therefore, all the living beings, I sustain. Sri Krishna says: I sustain through the solar energy, by blessing the living beings with ojas, or prana Shakti or pranic energy or vital force. And this is supposed to be responsible for the health of the annamaya kosha. And it is also responsible for the health of manomaya kosha.
directly pranamaya kosha; indirectly annamaya and manomaya; That is why, one of the most powerful daily prayers is aditya hridayam. If you do not know it, learn it; and daily chant it in the morning; it will take care of the annamaya kosha health;
pranamaya kosha health; manomaya kosha health, and vignana maya kosha health, those who do not know gayathri mantra, those who do not chant gayathri, they can replace their sandhya vandhanam with Aditya Hridya, because it is invoking aditya Shakti.
Then what is the contribution of the soma Shakti? or Moon energy. He says: I myself become the moonlight or lunar energy and what type of moonlight it is? It is a light which is full of the plant nutrient; according to shastra, the moonlight has got lot of energy or nutrition, which is directly given to the plant kingdom. So here rasa means the sap of the plants, the nutrient power for the plant is here called rasa and I become that. And through that, I nourish all the plants. So through Surya Shakti I nourish the human beings; through Chandra Shakti, I nourish the plant kingdom; i.e. why they say, some of the farmers, they expose the seeds to the moonlight; they say it is very good, to expose the seeds to the moonlight; before sowing them; it will draw energy from the moon. So I am chandra teja. Then what is left out; it is agni teja.
Taking the form of Vaisvanara and residing in the bodies of creatures, I, in association with Prana and Apana, digest the four kinds of food.
So in this verse, the agni shakti or agni tejas or power is talked about. In the shastra, agni tatvam is divided into two types; one is called bhahya agni, the external fire principle; which is the popular one; and the shastra says there is another internal fire principle; which is within our stomach, which is called anthara agni; the internal fire; this anthara agnihi, is known by different names. It is called jataragni; jataram means stomach; jataram, means within the stomach; so jataragni, the fire within the stomach; And, it is also known by another name, vaishvanara agni and this fire is called the digestive fire, which cooks the eaten food, the second time; before the body assimilates the food, the food should go through two types of cooking; one is the external cooking; another is the internal cooking; and in each cooking; the food gets transformed. Initially you gather the food in the form of vegetables; grains, cereals etc. and you do not directly eat the grains; normally we do not eat directly, and vegetables also generally we do not eat directly unless you are a naturopath and all the time living on salads only. Cooking is banned for them. Eat with the skin is their motto. Skin has got more nutrients than the original fruit. There are some who eat the skin and leave the fruit.
The first transformation takes place in the external cooking; where the vegetables are converted into variety of foods, so that we have the taste; we have to do lot of ‘dressing’ so that it becomes eatable.
First conversion is make it edible, tasty for the tongue. and once you have eaten all the varieties of vegetables, it goes inside. but remember, idlis and dosas, cannot be directlly taken; a second cooking has to take place, wherein the eaten food items have to go through second transformation. And after that alone the body canabs orb; and this is done by the digestive fire; vaishvanara agni. In science they are called digestive juices, the enzymes and acids, and we have lot of acids and enzymes.
That is why if you do not feed the body, the acid begins to eat your own stomach, which is called ulcer.
Therefore you have to feed the internal fire, which cooks the food a second time.
And once the second time cooking takes place, all the idlis and dosas, have been converted into carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals; all these conversion takes place and the body absorbs this converted food alone. So first conversion is called cooking outside; the second cooking or conversion is inside; first cooking is done by bahya agnihi, the second cooking is done by anathara agnihi; vaisgvanara agni.
And Sri Krishna says, that cooking power belongs to me alone, which is otherwise called samana prana; the digestive power is Bhagavan’s power and that is why, before we eat the food, we worship Bhagavan and consider the food as an offering to the Lord; the Lord who is in your stomach. And what type of Lord he is? vaishvanara agni; and that is why, that offering is also called another form of agni hotram. According to Chandogya upanishad, eating itself is a form of agni hotra ritual called pranagni hotram.
Therefore Sri Krishna says I am that power.
In Brihadarnya upanishad, there is a special upasana upon vaishvanara agni; you meditate upon your hunger, or digestive power as the Lord. Have you heard of Hunger upasana anywhere? And how do you detect your hunger. The Upanishad says, when you are hungry within the stomach, you hear of varieties of noises; so that noise represents the digestive power, the hunger that is asking for food, and therefore meditate upon the sound as Bhagavan.
So Sri Krishna reminds us of that; he says; I myself am in the form of anthara agni Shakti and the bahya agni Shakti as well.
Sri Krishna does not talk about here that we can supply; here he talks about only the internal digestive fire. And were do I reside?
I reside in the body of every pranani.
What is my job? I cook all forms of foods that are offered inside; in this second cooking; converting the food into the respective nutrients called carbohydrates; fats, etc. So I, digest the food, assimilate the food; What type of food;
There are four types of food; which a human being consumes; what is the chaturvidham annam?
They say all the food consumed all the living beings can be classified into four types, based on the mode of consumption; not-based on the type of food, not like Gujarati food, Tamil food, etc. etc.;
Here we classify the food based on the type of consumption, method that we used to eat; and accordingly we use four types; they are called bhakshyam, bhojyam, lehyam and chokshiyam; these are the four types of eating.What are those four:
bhakshyam means, those types of food which are masticated, which you bite and masticate and swallow
Second type is bhojyam; those types of food, which you directly swallow; liquid type of food, like milk or soup or coffee or tea, which are directly swallowed. You do not require to masticulate them.
The third one is called lehyam; lehyam means that which has to be licked and consumed; You cannot directly pour into the mouth; like honey, honey you should not directly pour, it is viscous liquid, if you directly take, one could even be dead; it has to be licked; or lehyam.
The fourth one is chokshiyam, which has to be sucked inside, like the sugar cane, etc., or modern day example is the way you consume the soft drinks with a straw.
So bhakshyam, bhojyam, lehyam and chokshiyam; these are the only four types of eating; intravenous feeding, nasal feeding are all irregular and exceptions. Sri Krishna says all these types of foods, I cook or I digest in the form of digestive fire and naturally, the question is how the external fire is fanned; a normal fire is kindled by fanning.
So if the external fire is kindled by fanning; the question comes how is the digestive fire kindled; Sri Krishna says that is also done by fanning; You require another type of fanning; prana, apana, breathing in, and breathing out is the fanning of the digestive fire; and therefore, Whenever you do extra activity; breathing becomes faster, and when breathing becomes fast internal fire is kindled and the vaishvanara agni becomes big, when vaishvanara agni is kindled, you feel hunger, therefore you eat more.
When the breathing slows down, hunger slows down; and breathing increases; hunger increases; from that it is clear, breathing is the fanning of the digestive fire; therefore Sri Krishna says, prana, apana, prana means breathing out, or exhalation; and apana here means breathing in, inhalation, supported by, activated by the breathing, I, in the form of vaishvanara agni, digest the food; and that is the agni shakti. And therefore, O Arjuna appreciate me in the creation; in the form of surya shakti, chandra shakti, and agni shakti. And therefore I am everything. And now Sri Krishna concludes that topic.
And I am seated in the hearts of all. From Me are memory, knowledge and their loss. I alone am the object to be known through all the Vedas; I am also the originator of the Vedanta, and I Myself am the knower of the Vedas.
So here concludes the topic, pointing out that I am everything; I am in everything; he says, sarvasya hrdi aham sannivishtah. O Arjuna, I, the paramatma, reside in the heart of everyone. So everybody is like a temple; the heart represents the mind, the mind represents the sanctum or garbha griham; and in that mind, I, the paramatma, am present as the jivatma; witnessing every thought occurring in the mind. Therefore, Hrdi sakshi chaitanya rupena; in the form of the very consciousness, I am inevery living being; And mattaha; because of me, the consciousness alone, allthe functions of the body are going on and all the mental faculties are alive. What aresome of the faculties; Gyanam means the capacity to learn, learning faculty; is alive because of me.Then smrtir, learning should be followed by remembering; remembering faculty is because of me.
And some people may say, I do not have remembering faculty, I have got forgetting faculty. Remember, we think forgetting is a curse, remember, forgetfulness is also important, we go through lot of painful experiences in life, in due course we have to forget; imagine if you remember all the painful experiences, you will be terrible; and that is why we say time is a healer; because in time, we forget those things. So remembering is an important faculty. Forgetfulness is also an important faculty.
Sri Krishna says what is to be remembered and what is to be forgotten; both faculties are a blessing; and both of them are my glory alone. And one commentator (name not given) gives a special meaning to these words.
He says Gyanam refers to the waking state; because the in the waking state we are gathering fresh experiences. Smrti represents the dream state; because in dream, we do not gather anything new, only what is already registered that is projected again; therefore smrtir indicates svapna avastha. And apohanam means forgetfulness and forgetfulness represents sushipthi
Avastha, as in sleep, we forget everything. Therefore Gyanam, jagrath, smrtir, svapna, apohanam, sushupti, all these three avasthas are because of me alone. So I am in everyone, responsible for their expereinces in all the three states. And not only that; sarvai vedaiha aham eva vedhya; I am the subject matter of all the scriptures; because scriptures are dealing with the Lord alone, the veda purva bhaga is dealing with Saguna Ishvara; Veda antha bhaga is dealing with Nirguna Ishvara. In short the entire veda is dealing with Ishvara alone. Therefore, he says, through all the four vedas, I am the one to be known. And vedantakrt aham; and I am the one who is the initiator of the vedantic tradition; vedantic tradition includes the vedas and the entire vedic tradition; so, therefore, what is known through the veda, I am, and the vedas themselves are nothing but my creation; or myself
Then what about the students of the vedic teaching; he says the students are also myself; so vedavit; the students; the knower of veda. So the knower I am; the known I am; the means of knowledge, I am; pramata, pramanam, prameyam, the entire triputi I am. Therefore I am everything.
So with this Krishna concludes the second topic that I am in the form of the insentient world too. Previously he said I am in the form of the sentient living beings also; therefore, chetana-achetana prapancha aham asmi. This is called sarvatmakatvam.
So the knower I am; the known I am; the means of knowledge, I am; pramata, pramanam, prameyam, the entire triputi I am. Therefore I am everything.
I, the paramatma, reside in the heart of everyone. So everybody is like a temple; the heart represents
the mind, the mind represents the sanctum or garbha griham; and in that mind, I, the paramatma, am present as the jivatma; witnessing every thought occurring in the mind.
One of the most powerful daily prayers is aditya hridayam. If you do not know it, learn it; and daily chant it in the morning;