Brahman is in Form of the World / God Resides in Heart of All (161)


Lesson 161 revises important verse 10 & 11 from different perspective. Total reality is also the sun, moon and fire. Brahman is world, jiva, everything. Thus “I” too much be Brahman also.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15, Verse 12, 13, 14, 15


  • PART 1: Verse 1-2. How Samsara entangles the jiva.
    • Jiva born with desires > motivates actions in world > produces mixture of punya-papam > world is required tomorrow in which jiva can experience the effects.
  • PART 2: Verse 3-6: Four remedies to loosening Samsara’s grip (like Crocodile).
    1. VAIRAGYA: Questioning your experience / thinking twice before speaking, acting, deciding (viveka) > builds dispassion (reduced impulse/reaction) > Result: simpler life, less unnecessary responsibilities > clarity of though.
    2. DEVOTION: Bringing Ishvara into your life when eating, driving, before bed, after waking, etc. Having a personal relationship with God.
    3. HEALTHY QUALITIES: Deciding to bring out one chief moral quality that makes you feel good about yourself.
      • EG:
        • In conversations, I will straightforward. (Get to the point. Speak what you honestly feel/think.)
        • Practice kindness/patience while speaking with employees. While still holding your boundaries.
      • CH16 devoted to good virtues to incorporate.
  • PART 3: Verse 7-12. Total Reality (Existence-Awareness) is in form of the Jiva.
    • Verse 10:
      • What is a jiva?
        • Past impressions (samskaras) manifesting as thoughts, sensations, memories. Each different next moment. So the you-body-mind NOW is totally different from you-body-mind NOW. Totally different person next second. So there’s always a different changing-person REFLECTED to Self. How do we know this? Because you are the Self (the unchanging existence-awareness).
        • Difference between reflected consciousness and original consciousness?
          • Reflected is always changing (because it’s reflecting back ongoing changes of the body-mind).
          • But to whom are the changes reflected back to? Original consciousness (Self, “I”); the watcher (sakshi).
            • METAPHOR: Rear car mirror reflects the contents of world. And you are the watcher of the reflections happening on that mirror. Similarly, you (sat-cit) are the watcher of the body-mind-word reflections upon the buddhi-mirror.
        • Should jiva not know the difference between reflected and original-consciousness, the jiva assumes it’s identify to be the reflected bundle of everchanging & finite thoughts/sensations/memories. Thus gets born as every-changing finite actor in the world.
          • It participates in the world according to types of samskaras (mixture of sattva, raja, tama).
          • Although jiva can improve it’s next birth by dying properly: How to die? Repeating OM. Gratitude to the Creator. Direct thoughts to God (infinite), and not to the (finite) children/house/beloved/unfinished work.
    • Verse 11:
      • 2 types of people: Discerning and non-discerning (in reference to self-knowledge).
      • Non-discriminating (paroksha): (Absence of viveka)
        • Minds that are still too passionate about their old notions/beliefs (IE: insuffice prior viveka).
        • Reading shastra either:
          • (a) Feeds ahamkara/self-image. EG: I’m going to learn Vedanta so I can give more value in my existing practice.
          • (b) Interpreted to support pre-existing notions. EG: Dualist will interpret Krishna to be sitting in Vaikuntha, and purpose of B.Gita is to join Him in his abode after death.
          • (c) Not subject to a/b, but doesn’t directly relate to the words. Words don't elicit an emotional response.
        • Should jiva remains at paroksha-stage, it undergoes death/birth process.
      • Discriminating (aparoksha): (Viveka)
        • Seeing the fan, one also sees (through knowledge) the invisible electricity.
        • Similarly, one sees a person called “YOUR-NAME”, but one also recognizes I am the conscious “light” by means of which this person is known.
          • What is present in every cognition? You are. The conscious “light”. So the content of any thought is you, momentarily assuming that cognition.
        • Though you cannot be seen, you are that by means of which all else is seen (experienced in any way).
          • It’s only due to your unbroken presence that the absence or manifestation of any object/thought is known.
        • While an object or batch of information can be forgotten — you cannot be forgotten because you are never absent.

PART 4: Brahman is in form of universe (Verse 12-15)

Bhagavad Gita, CH15, Verse 12:

yat āditya-gataṃ tejaḥ jagat bhāsayate akhilam ।
yat candramasi yat ca agnau tat tejaḥ viddhi māmakam ॥ 15-12॥

The light in the sun which illumines the entire universe, (the light) in the moon, and (the light) in the fire – understand that light to be Mine.

  • ESSENCE: Just like a torchlight, illumines the faced object(s); Awareness (paramātmā) illumines the Sun, world and moon. The very Awareness that [through your mind] confirms the existence of the sun, fire, world and moon – is God.
  • INTRO: Previous section (V7-11) stated that Brahman is in form of jīva (Awareness aware-ing the RM).
  • Next topic: V12-15, Brahman is in form of world (inert gross matter; acetana jagat).
    • Meaning nothing in this world is away from God. Thus worshipful Vedic culture (trees, animals, humans, rivers).
  • Krishna provides 3 noticeable forces: (a) Solar energy, (b) lunar power (and it’s effects on earth), (c) fire.
    • “Their glories belong to Me”, says Krishna.
      • When sun is shining on your skin, you are feeling God in form of heat.
        • In Vedic culture, days begins with worship of sun. Because it’s acknowledged to play major role (vitamin D, sleep, waking, seasons).
      • (God in form of) Moon has power to affect sleep, moods, crops, tides.
        • IE: Pūrṇimā purnima (full-moon) is recognized as auspicious time to worship Ishta Deva (symbol that represents God/divinity for you; will depend on your culture, stage of life) & food fast.
      • Agni fundamental to Vedic rituals.
  • NEXT VERSE: V13/14 elaborates on sun/moon/fire.

Bhagavad Gita, CH15, Verse 13:

gām āviśya ca bhūtāni dhārayāmi aham ojasā ।
puṣṇāmi ca oṣadhīḥ sarvāḥ somaḥ bhūtvā rasātmakaḥ ॥ 15-13॥

Having entered the earth, I sustain the beings with strength, and I nourish all the vegetation, having become soma [nectar; lifeforce] in the form of (their) essence.

  • ESSENCE: I sustain human prāṇa (lifeforce) through the sun. And plant kingdom through the moon.
  • SUN:
    • Indirectly: Sun rays sustain plant growth > consumed by animals/humans.
    • Directly: Sun rays make contact with annamaya-kosha, thereafter invigorate the pranamaya-kosha with prana (energy).
    • What is Prāṇa? Power or subtle-energy that powers the body functions. Like Electricity powers the computer hardware. Gives body sentiency.
      • Divided into 5 functions:
        1. Prāṇa: Automation of inhale/exhale.
        2. Apāna: Excretion.
        3. Samāna: Regulating digestion.
        4. Vyāna: Circulation.
        5. Udāna: Reversal. EG: Vomit/burping & keeps subtle-body bound to gross while prarabdha is running. Releases subtle-body from gross at death.
      • SUMMARY: Prana is responsible for health of annamaya > pranamaya > manomaya > vijnanamaya (as all are connected). All energized by the sun.
      • 2 Popular Sun worshiping mantras:
        1. Gayatri Mantra
        2. Aditya Hridayam (The Heart of Aditya; the Sun God).
  • MOON:
    • Ishvara also assumes form of moonlight, which nourishes plant kingdom. EG: Some farmers expose seeds to moonlight.
  • NEXT VERSE: Glory of fire.

Bhagavad Gita, CH15, Verse 14:

aham vaiśvānaraḥ bhūtvā prāṇinām deham āśritaḥ ।
prāṇa-apāna-sama-āyuktaḥ pacāmi annam caturvidham ॥ 15-14॥
Having become the digestive fire obtaining in the bodies of living beings, endowed with prāṇa (inhalation) and apāna (exhalation), I digest the four-fold food.

  • ESSENCE: I take form of digestive fire (enzymes/acid) which is supported by prāṇa. And 4 types of consumption of food.
  • Fire divided into 2 types:
    1. External fire (popular in Vedic rituals).
    2. Internal fire (enzymes, acids within stomach). Referred to as:
      • jaṭharāgni (Jataragni) : fire within stomach; gastric juice.
      • vaiśvānara agniḥ (Vaishvanara agni) : digestive fire that cooks food 2nd time.
        • Converts food into carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals. Made possible for body to absorb.
        • Thus cooking #1 on stove. Cooking #2 in stomach.
          • Krishna says, this cooking #2 capacity is because of Me.
        • In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, there is upasana called vaiśvānara agniḥ where person meditates on the hunger (experienced when stomach is rumbling. The noise represents the digestive-fire, which is Bhagavan).
      • What kind of food is digested by Bhagavan? 4 types:
        1. Bhakṣya (bhakshyam): Solids which are chewed.
        2. Bhojya: Liquids which are sucked/sipped/drunk. EG: Milk, soup, tea.
        3. Lehya: Licked. EG: pickle, honey (too dense to drink).
        4. Coṣya (coshya): Powders/pills which are swallowed. / Sucked (like sugarcane).
  • How does digestive-fire get fanned (to stay alive)? prāṇa-apāna-sama-āyuktaḥ; By inhalation/exhalation and excretion.
    • Direct connection between pace of breathing and hunger. Faster breath = more fanning of digestive fire > hungrier increases > eat more often. When breathing slow, hunger slows.
  • CONCLUSION: As we eat, our attitude should be of offering the food to the God present within us as the digestive fire. This makes our regular eating also into a worship of God. Being an offering, the food eating experience improves.

Bhagavad Gita, CH15, Verse 15:

sarvasya ca aham hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ
mattaḥ smṛtiḥ jñānam apohanam ca ।
vedaiḥ ca sarvaiḥ aham eva vedyaḥ
vedānta-kṛt veda-vit eva ca aham ॥ 15-15॥
I have entered the hearts of all. From Me (have come) memory, knowledge, and forgetfulness. I alone am the one to be known by all the Vedas and I alone am the author of the Vedanta and it's tradition (vedanta-sampradāya) and the knower of the Vedas.

  • ESSENCE: I (Awareness) am seated in the heart (mind, specifically buddhi) of all. Because of Me, your mind learns, retains and forgets. By means of Vedās, I alone am to be Known. This Vedānta-sampradāya (tradition) used by both the teacher and the student; I (Īśvara) am it’s very author. Being omniscient, I am the knower of the Vedās.
  • sarvasya hṛdi aham sanniviṣṭaḥ: I (paramātma) reside in the heart of all (buddhi; the reflecting mirror of consciousness), witnessing each individual mind.
  • smṛtiḥ jñānam apohanam ca mattaḥ: From Me originates capacity to remember, to understand, and to forget. All 3 are required for growth and liberation.
    • EG: End of CH18, Arjuna tells Krishna, “All my false notions are destroyed (apohanam; forgetting). I have remembered who I am and my duties (smṛti). This self-knowledge (jñānam) has taken place through your Grace”.
    • Also interpreted as: Without Me (the Awareness OF) remembering, knowing, forgetting… there would be no experience for the jiva (neither knowledge nor ignorance; like deep sleep), thus liberation from samsara would be impossible.
    • There is another interpretation for these 3 words:
      • Jñānam: Waking state. Knowledge is used in transactions.
      • Smṛti: Dream state. Memory is from which dream world is projected.
      • Apohanam: Means “to hide”. In deep sleep, experience is hidden by avidyā.
      • CONCLUSION: I am the three states of experience.
  • sarveḥ vedaiḥ ca aham eva, aham vedāntakṛt eva ca vedavit: I am verily That which has to be known by all the Vedas (the subject matter of all the scriptures). I am the author of Vedanta and the knower of the Vedas.
  • CONCLUSION OF PART 3/4: Brahman is “all this” in different nama-rupa. Refer to BG CH4.24 (bramārpanam…).



Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 22 Feb, 2022


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