Bhagavad Gita: 15. The Supreme Person


Creation is like a tree created by the powers of Māyā

The Supreme Lord said: Sages talk about an eternal, ever changing macrocosmic tree whose root is the Supreme Being and the trunk is Brahman. The Vedic knowledge are its leaves. One who truly knows this tree is wise. (See also 10.08) (15.01) The branches of the macrocosmic tree are spread all over the cosmos. The(other microcosmic) tree (of life) on earth is nourished by the energy of material Nature; sense objects are its sprouts; and below in the human world its roots of Karmic bondage are present. (15.02)
(Both the macrocosmic universe and the microcosmic tree of life on the earth are compared to an eternal tree in verses 15.01 and 15.02, respectively.)

How to cut the tree of attachment and attain salvation
The beginning, the end, the existence, or the real form of this tree of life is not perceptible on earth. Having cut the deep roots of this tree by the sharp ax of (Self knowledge and) detachment, the Supreme goal should be sought, reaching which one does not come back to the mortal world again. One should be always thinking: I take refuge in that very primal person from which this primal manifestation comes forth. (15.03-04) The wise reach that eternal goal, who are free from pride and delusion, who have conquered the evil of attachment, who constantly dwell in the Supreme Self with all desires completely stilled, and who are free from dualities of pleasure and pain. (15.05) The sun does not illumine My supreme abode, nor does the moon, nor the fire. Having reached there people attain permanent liberation (Mukti) and do not come back to this temporal world again. (See also 13.17 and 15.12) (15.06)

The embodied soul is the enjoyer
The eternal individual soul in the body of living beings is, indeed, My integral part. It associates with the six sensory faculties of perception --- including the mind --- and activates them. (15.07) Just as the air takes aroma away from the flower; similarly, the individual soul takes out the six subtle sensory faculties(or causal and subtle bodies) from the physical body it casts off during death to the new physical body it acquires in reincarnation (by the power of Karma). (See also 2.13) (15.08) The living entity(Jeeva) enjoys sense pleasures using six sensory faculties of hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell, and mind. The ignorant cannot perceive Jeeva departing from the body, or staying in the body and enjoying sense pleasures by associating with the modes of material Nature. But those who have the eye of Self-knowledge can see it. (15.09-10) The yogis, striving for perfection, behold the living entity (Jeeva) abiding in their inner psyche (as consciousness),but the ignorant and those whose inner psyche is not pure, even though striving, do not perceive Him. (15.11)

Spirit is the essence of everything
Know the light energy to be Mine that comes from the sun and illumines the whole world and is in the moon and in fire. (See also 13.17 and 15.06) (15.12) Entering the earth, I support all beings with My energy. Becoming the sap-giving moon, I nourish all the plants. (15.13)Becoming the digestive fire, I remain in the body of all living beings. Uniting with vital life forces (Prāna andApāna), I digest all types of food. (15.14) And I amseated in the inner psyche of all beings. Memory, Self-knowledge, and removal of doubts and wrong notions (about the Eternal Being by reasoning or in trance (Samādhi)) come from Me. I am, in truth, that which is to be known by the study of all the Vedas. I am, indeed, the author of the Vedānta and the knower of the Vedas. (See also 6.39) (15.15)

What are the supreme spirit, spirit and the created beings?
There are two entities (or Purushas) in the cosmos: the changeable or temporal Divine Beings (Kshara Purusha),and the unchangeable Eternal Being (Brahma, AksharaPurusha). All created beings are subject to change, but the Eternal Being does not change. (15.16) The Supreme Being is beyond both the Temporal Divine Beings and the Eternal Being. He is also called the Absolute Reality or Paramātmā, who sustains both the Temporal and the Eternal by pervading everything. (15.17) Because I am beyond both the Temporal and the Eternal, therefore, I am known in this world and in the Veda as the Supreme Being (ParaBrahma, Paramātmā, Purushottama,the Absolute, Truth, Sat, Supersoul, etc.).(15.18) The wise, who truly understand Me as the Supreme Being, know everything and worship Me wholeheartedly, O Arjuna. (See also 7.14, 14.26, and 18.66)(15.19) Thus, I have explained this most secret science of Self-knowledge, O sinless Arjuna. Having understood this, one becomes enlightened; one’s all duties are accomplished ;and the goal of human life is achieved, OArjuna. (15.20)