Lord Krishna said: The imperishable peepul tree, whose leaves are the Vedic hymns, is said to have roots upward and branches downward. Whosoever knows that, understands the import of the Vedas.
Nourished by guṇas, its branches extend downwards and upwards, with their tender sprouts of sensory objects. Its roots also spread below in the human world, giving rise to bondage engendered by activities (prompted by rāga and dveṣa towards their results).
Neither its form, beginning and end, nor details of its foundation are within our reach. Having felled this firmly rooted Aśvattha tree using the strong, sharp weapon of asaṅga (dis-attachment);
Enquire thereupon into that abode, reaching which people do not return again, the means of enquiry being: “I seek that supreme primordial Purusha, from whom has emanated this most ancient process of creation.”
Those, who are free of pride and delusion, have won over the defect of attachment, who are given to constant reflection on the supreme Reality, and are fully rid of desires; who have overcome the hold of pairs of opposites in the form of sukha and duhkha, they become free of delusion and reach that supreme imperishable Abode.
That is My supreme Abode, which neither sun nor moon nor fire illumines, on reaching which there will be no return or rebirth.
An eternal part of Me (the Supreme) becomes the jīva (individual soul, manifesting the power called life) in the world of living beings. By drawing upon the elemental nature it forms the five senses and the mind.
While taking up this body and while exiting it, the Lord (Īśvara) brings in and takes away these sensory powers, like wind carrying fragrances from their seats (sources).
By presiding over the ear, eye, skin, tongue, nose and also the mind, it (the jīva) enjoys the (multiple qualities of) world objects.
The deluded do not perceive the Soul in Its leaving the body or residing in it, or even while experiencing sensory objects, being associated with the guṇas. Those with the eye of wisdom, however, perceive It.
Striving seekers perceive the supreme Reality as abiding in their own within. However, those who lack purity as well as discrimination fail to perceive the same, even if they strive hard.
Know the brilliance of the sun that illumines the entire world, the brilliance in the moon and also in the fire, to be from Me (the Supreme).
Permeating earth, I (the Supreme) sustain beings with My splendour. Becoming lunar lustre, I nourish all herbs and vegetation with sap.
Manifesting as fire of life (Vaiśvānara) in the bodies of creatures, I (the Supreme) conjunct with prāṇa and apāna (the vital forces) and digest the four-fold food.
I (as the Supreme) am embedded in the heart of all. Memory, wisdom and forgetfulness are from Me. I alone am to be known by all the Vedas. I am indeed the knower of the Vedas and the author of Vedanta.
There are in the world two Purushas – the perishable and the imperishable. All beings constitute the perishable. And the imperishable is said to be the unshakeable, unaffected.
The supreme Purusha, the Transcendental, is still different. That is called Paramātmā, the one permeating and sustaining all the three worlds, the all-controller.
As I (the supreme Purusha) transcend the perishable existence and the imperishable (jīva), hence I am famous in the Vedas and the world as Purushottama.
O Bhārata (Arjuna), overcoming delusion, whoever knows Me thus as the Purushottama, he, the knower of all, worships Me through all his thoughts, attitudes and actions.
Thus is revealed to you by Me, this greatest secret of all śāstras, O sinless soul. Understanding this, O Bhārata, does one become wise and fulfilled.
Om – the symbol of Brahman, tat – that singular Reality (Brahman), sat – the ever abiding presence (Brahman).
Thus ends the fifteenth chapter entitled Purushottama Yoga, during the Srikrishna-Arjuna dialogue in Śrīmad Bhagavad Gita, constituting Yoga-śāstra, which falls within Brahmavidya as presented in the Vedic Upanishads.
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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha