Chapter 15 – The Supreme Person

Photo by Bri Schneiter on

Lord Krishna said, The Vedic scriptures say this material world is like a banyan tree with its roots above and its branches down below. Those who know this tree know the Vedas.

The leaves of the tree represent the verses of the Vedic scriptures. The branches represent the living beings, and the twigs represent the objects of the senses.

Nourished by the three modes of material nature, some of the branches extend downward to human and lower species and some branches extend upward to the planes of celestial demigods.

The tree has some roots going down which take root in the world of karma and these nourish the tree. These roots represent the human endeavour to enjoy the fruits of action.

Within this world, the form of this tree cannot be realised. You cannot perceive its beginning, middle or end. With the sharp axe of detachment from the mundane, you should cut down this illusory tree of material existence. Then, having reached the plane from which you do not return, you should surrender to the Supreme Lord.

Those who are free from illusion, vanity, and unholy association; dedicated to self-realisation; without material desire and free from the duality of joy and sorrow, and know how to surrender to the Supreme Person, reach the eternal realm.

The sun, the moon or fire do not illuminate my supreme eternal home. Those who reach that abode never return to this material world.

The individual living beings are my eternal fragmental parts. Although they are eternal, due to material life they have accepted the five senses and the mind.

The living beings, masters of their bodies, transfer their perceptions of life from one body to another. Leaving or accepting a physical body, the soul transports the perceptions of the senses and the mind to another body, as the wind gathers fragrances and carries them on the air.

On accepting another physical body, the soul presides over the five senses gathered around the mind and they enjoy a particular set of sense objects.

The deluded cannot see the soul coming and going or enjoying within the body. Those enlightened with knowledge can see this. The sincere seekers of truth can see all this, but ignorant and impure persons cannot see the soul despite their attempts to do so.

The brilliance of the sun, which illuminates this entire world, comes from me. The light of the moon and the radiance of fire also arises from me. I enter into the earth and maintain all beings with my energy. In the form of the moon, I nourish all the crops.

I am the power of digestion in the body of every living being and the outward and inward vital air of life. I am within the hearts of all and from me, memory, knowledge and forgetfulness arise. I am the author and knower of the Vedas.

There are two types of beings, the mortal and the immortal. In the material world, every living being is mortal because they have fallen from their true spiritual nature. But those situated in their eternal spiritual nature are known as immortal.

Distinct from both these types is the Supreme Person, who is known as the Supersoul. He has entered these material worlds and is maintaining the entire universe.

Because I am transcendental to the mortal beings, and superior to my immortal eternal associates, my glories are sung both in the world and in the scriptures as the Supreme Person.

Whoever knows me as the Supreme Person of eternal, all-conscious and blissful form, knows the complete essential truth and therefore worships me in all respects. Arjuna, I have now explained the most sacred and secret knowledge of the Vedic scriptures. Anyone who comprehends this has wisdom and will achieve the ultimate success. 

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