Gita 15.17 explained

Link to purport by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

Transcript of Bhakti-Shastri class on this verse by Chaitanya Charan

Bg 15.17

uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ
paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ
yo loka-trayam āviśya
bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ


uttamaḥ — the best; puruṣaḥ — personality; tu — but; anyaḥ — another; paramaātmā — the Supreme Self; iti — thus; udāhṛtaḥ — is said; yaḥ — who; loka — of the universe; trayam — the three divisions; āviśya — entering; bibharti — is maintaining; avyayaḥ — inexhaustible; īśvaraḥ — the Lord.


Besides these two, there is the greatest living personality, the Supreme Soul, the imperishable Lord Himself, who has entered the three worlds and is maintaining them.


uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ, the Supreme Person is somebody else. 

Is it very significant that there is ākṣara and kṣaraś there is conditioned and liberated, but the Supreme Person, uttamaḥ puruṣas is not a liberated soul, He is something higher beyond the liberated also, 

paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ, He is the Paramatma, Supreme Soul,

yo loka-trayam āviśya, in three world āviśya, having entered, 

bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ, is maintaining avyaya īśvaraḥ

So Krishna is building up the message of the Vedanta, 

So if look at Vedanta Sutra it talks primarily in terms of Brahman

So Krishna is also using in third person there is Uttam Purusha and who is that Uttam Purusha, He is known as Paramatma. 

Krihsna has used Paramatma several times earlier like 13.23, 6.7 

But here the important point is Krishna is telling in the message of Vedanta there are two Purushas but beyond them there is Uttam Purusha and He is known as Paramatma, and He enters into all the worlds and He maintains the worlds, Krishna has said in 15.13

gām āviśya ca bhūtāni
dhārayāmy aham ojasā

That I enter in planets and I maintain those planets. Now Krishna is saying Paramatma maintains those planets. Now obviously we can put 2 and 2 together and we can say that it is Krishna who is entering into all the planets and it is Krishna who is talked about in Vedas that is what Krishna will tell in the next verse. So Krishna refers to Himself as the third person over here and later He will refer Himself as first person. Why because He is not talking from the perspective of the Vedanta. Vedanat talks about ākṣara and kṣaraś and uttamaḥ puruṣa and Krishna says I am that uttamaḥ puruṣa. In this way in the three verse summary He leads to the conclusion that by all Vedas I am to be known. So he doesn’t give this conclusion right in the beginning only.

This is development of thought. I is first person, you is second person and He or She is third person. So Krishna refers to uttamaḥ puruṣa in third person over here. Because He is talking from the perspective of Vedanta and He is saying that, that person is beyond the condition and is liberated. So in the three verse summary of the Vedanta Krishna does three things, 

  1. First he establishes that Supreme Person is different from both the conditioned and liberated soul. Supreme Person is different from even the liberated soul.
  2. It is not the liberated soul who is all pervading it is Supreme Soul who is all pervading. Supreme Soul enters into all creations and maintains all creations.

The word anyaḥ shows it not even the liberated soul the ideas of the mayavadis is when we merge in Brahman we become everything.

Krishna says no that Supreme Person is somebody else and that Supreme Person is all pervading. 

  1. And the third thing He will pervade in the next verse is that, that Supreme Person is Me.

So this way Krishna correlates Vedas Ca Serve Aham EveVaidyo, He come to the same conclusion through this three sloki Geeta. 

SP Purport: nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām, there are many living being but among them there is one who is special, who is Supreme. And the same thing is told over here that Supreme Soul is beyond the liberated souls.

End of transcription.

Author: Vallabhi

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