Wednesday, June 6, 2007

15th Chapter of Gita-- 17th sloka

Hare Krishna,

In the earlier sloka Lord Krishna explained about the kshara akshara purushas ,that which are mutable and immutable. In continuation, in this sloka he explains about uttama purusha.

15.17 – Uttama purusha anyah paramah iti udahrtah
Yo loka traya avisya bibharti avyayah ishwarah

Meaning of words:
Uttama purusha – the supreme person
Anyah – different in characteristics
Udahrtah – as per Upanishads
Yo – who
Loka –traya – the three worlds
Avisya – permeates
Bibharti – upholds
Avyaya – imperishable
Ishwarah – god

Meaning of sloka
The supreme purusha is different from the kshara(mutable) and akshara(immutable) purushas. He is the supreme lord spoken about in the Upanishads. He permeates the three lokas and also sustains them. He is the imperishable lord ishwarah.

Lord Krishna here mentions about the Uttama purusha or the pure consciousness the Upanishads talk about. This uttama purusha is entirely different from the kshara and akshara purusha. As we have seen in the earlier sloka kshara purusha is the mutable entity which changes and akshara purusha is immutable and is the consciousness present in every living being. So the question may arise as to what is the difference between the akshara purusha and uttama purusha. Akshara purusha is also called kutastha and uttama purusha is called brahman , about whom the Upanishads talk about. Both kutastha and brahman are the same as the pot space and the space outside the pot are the same. They are different with respect to the limitations. Kutastha is limited to the body adjuncts, as the pot space is limited by the pot, as the room space is limited by the room. Thus brahman is different from both kutastha and the kshara purusha or the changing body.

The supreme being or brahman is present in all the three lokas – bhuh (Earth), bhuvah (intermediate space) and the svah( the heaven) . He is the creator of the whole world and sustains the world. He is the creator and protector of the universe. He is of the nature of sat chit ananda.

Thus Lord Krishna talks about 3 purushas the kshara or the changing body, akshara or the immutable or kutastha ,which has body limitations and the uttama purusha which is of the nature of sat chit ananda, the all pervading brahman , not limited by time and space. Once the seeker goes beyond the adjuncts of the body , the kutastha becomes one with the Brahman , as when the pot is broken down , or the walls of the room are broken down, the room space or pot space becomes one with the space outside. This state of realization a seeker should strive for.

Hare Krishna


1 comment:

vedanta said...


Prostrations to all.

Aparna has explained quite well this part of the work dealing with the
three purushas. :)Interested people can once again go through the
explanation in mayavada darpanam work
( -- pardon the publicity given for Mayavada Darpanam :).

Though aparna has explained but in english, hence for sanskrit lovers:

purusha is interpreted in two ways -- puri shethe ithi purushah -- he
who lives in the town of body is purusha (microcosmic way). Purnam anena
sarvam ithi purushah - he who is present in full in all the things is
called purusha (macrocosmic way). Vidyaranya in Anubhoothi prakaasha
work (which is a metrical exposition of the main Upanishads) explains this
beautifully that the first definition says Purusha is jeeva (kutastha
to be specific) and second definition says Purusha is Brahman thus
equating jeeva with brahman (or jeeva = brahma equation).

Ksharathi ithi ksharah - he who is mutating or changing is called
yah na ksharathi sah Akshara - he who is not mutating is called
Kutasthah saakshi avyayah - kutastha is saakshi or witness or

Prof. Balakrishnan in his Sivaaravindam Mahabhashyam explains the three
purushas beautifully - when we are associated with jeeva, we suffer as
jeeva is changing which in turn means we are changing. But when we
associate ourselves with kutastha or akshara purusha, we will be blissful.
Slowly when prarabdha wears out, this bliss will become one with
Brahman thereby we will realize that I am Brahman (this explanation is only
from empirical viewpoint as once we realize Brahman, we dont even have
any mind or words to say that "I am Brahman" - such a statement or
realization itself is invalid at the ultimate level but from the empirical
level we can only say that such will be the experience at the ultimate

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God