Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 13: 24-27

September 26, 2021

™samaṁ sarveṣu bhūteṣu tiṣṭantaṁ parameśvaraṁ
vinaśyatsv avinaśyantaṁ yaḥ paśyati sa paśyati (XIII-27)
samaṁ paśyan hi sarvatra samavasthitam īśvaraṁ
na hinasty ātmanā ’tmānaṁ tato yāti parāṁ gatiṁ (XIII-28)

™XIII/27. He sees, who sees the supreme Lord existing
equally in all beings, the unperishing within the perishing.

™XIII/28. Because he, who sees the same Lord equally dwelling
everywhere does not destroy the self by the self, he goes to
the highest goal.

Swamiji's Commentary

     ‘Samaṁ’  has been translated ‘equally’; but ‘samely’ would express it better. ‘Equally’ suggests quantitative similarity. ‘Sameness’ is much more than quantitative or qualitative similarity, for it expresses identity.

     Some philosophers hold that this ‘sameness’ has in part been ‘transformed’ (pariṇāma- vāda) into the visible diversity; though they assert that the substratum of this diversity is the same. The fundamental hydrogen atom has combined and re-combined to produce the various elements; but it is clear that this reversible process suggests that the ‘reality’ of matter is the simple hydrogen atom (if that is the ultimate material particle which cannot be further reduced).

     Another view is that this diversification of the one, this complication of the simple, is only apparent, not real. The ‘sameness’ has not actually been transformed into the diversity, but only appears to be so. What exists is just one thing, like space. There is infinite diversity that seems to exist in space merely because we think in terms of diversity. The popular simile is that of the snake in the rope. When in the darkness the rope appears to be a snake, the rope has not even in part been transformed into a snake. Thus, according to this view, the combination of atoms (which scientists themselves declare are ever independent of one another) is an idea; and the fusion of several simple atoms into more complex atoms is similarly an idea. Although a group of trees is called a forest, each tree is a tree and nothing more – ‘forest’ only being an idea in the mind. The elements are thus only a mode of thought – the reality being the Lord (and his nature which is forever one with him).

     Knowing this, one does not become egoistic. The egoist ‘destroys’ (veils) the self by his little self (the ego) and thereby destroys his wisdom, peace and happiness.

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