Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 15: Sloka 6

October 17, 2020

™na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (XV-6)

XV/6. Neither doth the sun illumine there nor the moon,
nor the fire; having gone thither, they return not:
this is my supreme abode.

Swamiji's Commentary

™     This is the favorite idea of the men-of-God. It is echoed in at least three principal upaniṣad. Our life is governed by the sun, the moon and fire. We see the world by their light. All our experiences are regulated and limited by them. Earlier, Krishna even made it look as though they concern our death too!

     Going and coming, time, space and materiality do not operate in the absolute. Where shall that which is everywhere come or go to? In it, everything is here and now. Matter is only the spirit perceived through material eyes.

     Who can describe it? It is incomparable to even the grandest objects in the universe which are perceived as the sun, the moon and the fire. The Kaṭhopanisad reminds us that even these shine because of that self – ‘sight’ is possible not merely because the sun, the moon and the fire are there, but because ‘I see’! The sun is reflected in a mirror, and not the mirror in the sun. With what then does one perceive the omnipresence? This supreme state of consciousness can only be found in its own light. Therefore, an aspirant should constantly resort to this inner light which is independent of external sources.

     And who can describe it? For one who goes there (an expression used only to help our comprehension, not to suggest that there is an actual ‘going’), returns not. This is not annihilation but fulfillment. The individual is not destroyed, but the limitation is removed. The part becomes one with the whole, is seen as the whole.

     Some argue that, assuming all souls attain mokṣa. God creates a fresh universe, they are bound to return. The answer is: the same individual cannot come back! If you pour a bucket of water into the ocean then immediately plunge in another bucket and take out some water, that can never be the same water. The first bucketful has become one with the ocean; this is fresh ocean water. The whole argument is, however, fallacious; infinity minus infinity is infinity.

Back to Daily Readings