Chapter 15

Purushottama Yoga

(The Yoga of the Supreme Person)

1. The Blessed Lord said: "Creation, with its Eternal as well as ephemeral aspects, can be likened to the Ashwattha tree which has its roots above 70 and branches below; the Vedas are its leaves. He who fully comprehends the nature of this tree truly understands.

2. "Above and below spread its branches; the sense objects are its buds and nourished it is by the Gunas; and its roots which bind the soul according to Karma, stretch forth into the world.

3. "Its true form is not comprehended here 71 , nor its end, nor its origin, nor even its existence. With determination one must cut down this strongly rooted tree with the sharp axe of non-attachment.

4. "Thereafter, one must seek that Supreme State from which there is no return and there surrender to that Primeval Being from Whom this Creation has emanated.

5. "To that imperishable haven go the enlightened ones who are free from both pride and delusion, who have transcended the desire for objects of the senses, who are ever dwelling in the Self, and are also beyond the clutches of the pairs of opposites such as pleasure and pain.

6. "Neither the Sun, nor the Moon, nor fire can illumine that Supreme Self-effulgent State upon reaching which there is no return. That is My Supreme Abode.

7. "The Eternal Jivatma in the human body is but a small part of My own Being; and It is that alone which draws round Itself the mind and the senses, both of which are rooted in Prakriti.

8. "Even as the wind carries the scents from flower beds, so too the Jivatma who is the Master of the body, carries with Him the senses and the mind whenever He discards one body and acquires another.

9. "It is while dwelling in the senses of sound, sight, touch, taste, and smell, and in the mind that the Jivatma experiences objects.

10. "The deluded perceive Him neither when He experiences sense objects in association with the Gunas, nor when He departs from a body; but they see, who are endowed with the eyes of Knowledge.

11. "Yogis who strive, see Him seated in themselves but not so the ignorant, whose heart is impure, even though they may try hard.

12. "The light of the Sun that illumines the whole world, as also that of the Moon and even fire - know thou that all this light is Mine.

13. "Pervading this world, I animate all beings with My energy; and becoming the sap, I nourish all plants.

14. "It is I again as Vaiswanara 72 fire, who entering the body of living beings digests, in association with breath, the four kinds of food 73 .

15. "I reside in the hearts of all; from Me proceed the faculties of memory, wisdom and discrimination; it is I who am to be known in all the Vedas; it is I who am the Author of Vedanta and the Knower of the Vedas as well.

16. "There are two Purushas in the world, associated respectively with the perishable 74 and the Imperishable 75 . All the perishable aspects belong to the former, and the eternal aspects to the latter.

17. "But distinct from these two and above them both is the Supreme Purusha 76 called the Universal Self 77 , who as the Indestructible Lord 78 pervades the three worlds and sustains them.

18. "Because I transcend the perishable and even the Imperishable as well, I am known in the world and also in the Vedas as Purushottama, the Supreme Person.

19. "O Bharata, he who, undeluded, knows Me as Purushottama, knows all, and he worships Me with all his heart.

20. "Thus, O sinless one, have I revealed to thee this most profound Knowledge. He who grasps it becomes enlightened and his mission in life is accomplished."

Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads, the Science of Brahman, the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the fifteenth chapter, entitled:



70In God.
71In the state of being involved in the worldly life. This phenomenon (the tree of Samsara) vanishes to one upon attainment of Brahma Jnana. But it continues to exist for all others, in ignorance.
72The fire in the stomach.
73i.e., that which is masticated, sucked, licked and drunk.