The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 15

The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 15

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the fifteenth chapter, Purushottama Yoga


Srīkrishna now describes samsāra or the created world, comparing it to an inverted tree. Its root which is above is Brahman, the Absolute. The three gunas are its branches, the Vedas its leaves and the Vedic rituals are its subsidiary roots. They have spread out below.

However, it is not seen as such. Neither its origin, nor its end, not its middle can be discerned. One has to cut this tree by the weapon of detachment and search for that by reaching which, there is no return to mundane existence. One has to take refuge in that Primeval person from which this tree of samsāra has emanated. Only those bereft of egoism, delusion and attachment, who are free from desires and pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain, who are devoted to the Lord, can attain that eternal abode. Neither the sun nor the moon nor the fire can light that abode. After reaching it, there is no return.

Now, coming to the jīva or the individual soul.: He is a small part of the Supreme Lord and eternal. While being born here, he attracts to himself the mind and the five organs of knowledge. While leaving the body, he takes them away with him even as wind carries away smell. The jīva enjoys the sense objects through these sense-organs and the mind. He is too subtle to be perceived by the ignorant whereas the wise do perceive him. The yogis striving for perfection succeed in seeing him.

Then Srīkrishna adds: “I am the Lord, the light of lights. It is I that supports the earth and I that sustains vegetation through the moon. It is again I that is responsible for the digestive process in the body, as the Vaishvānara fire. I am the spirit established in the hearts of all. I am the one sought by the Vedānta.

“In this world there are two purushas or beings, the kshara (the perishable) and the akshara (the imperishable). But I am the Paramātman, (the Supreme-Self), the Purushottama (the Being par excellence), different and distinct from them and pervading all the three worlds. Whosoever realizes me as such, he becomes omniscient and worships me in all respects.”


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.