Bhagavad Gita- Chapt 15 Purushottama Yogah- Yoga of the Supreme Spirit


dwaavimau purushau loke ksharashchaakshara eva cha
    ksharah sarvaani bhootani kootastho’kshara uchyate  // 15.16 //

Two Purushas are there in this world,  the Perishable and the Imperishable. All these existences are the Perishable  and the unchanging is the Imperishable.

In  the Thirteenth Chapter, Field of the Matter and Knower of the Field were  elaborated. In this Chapter it was made clear that the sun, earth, plant  kingdom and man and his capabilities etc, consisting of the Field of the matter  are nothing other than the Supreme Self. Thus the Field of the matter is the  Spirit, the Consciousness, the difference being that when the Spirit expresses  as matter It looks as if It were subject to change and destruction. Thus the  realm of the matter is described in this verse as Kshara Purusha - the Perishable. With reference to this Kshara  Purusha the Spirit is the Imperishable, Akshara  Purusha. With reference to the ever changing world of the matter,  Consciousness is Imperishable and Changeless. This Consciousness Principle is  referred to here as Akshara with reference to and contact with the Kshara.

The  Self in the midst of changes remains changeless and all changes can take place  only in contact with It just as an anvil (Kootastham) remaining changeless allows all the iron pieces kept and hammered on it to  change their shapes.

uttamah purushastwanyah paramaatmetyudaahritah
    yo lokatrayamaavishya bibhartyavyaya eeshwarah // 15.17  //

But  other than these, is the Supreme Purusha called the Highest Self, the indestructible  Lord who, pervading the three worlds (waking, dream and deep sleep), sustains  them.

The  Imperishable is the quality attained by the Spirit with reference to the Field  surrounding It. A man occupying a high position in an office acquires the dignity  and the status of that position. Even if that position is removed the man never  ceases to exist; he exists as an individual living being.  When the Field of the matter is removed from the  Knower of the Field what remains is the Knowing Principle, the Pure Knowledge.

Similarly,  when the perishable is transcended what remains is not the Imperishable but  that which played as the Perishable and Imperishable Purushas. This is the Pure  Spirit, the Supreme Self which sustains the three worlds or the three states of  experiences viz. waking, dreaming and deep sleep states of consciousness. The  Self alone is the illuminator in all these three states of existence.

Thus  there are no three types of Purushas - Perishable, Imperishable or Supreme. If  a pot is kept in a room we feel that there are three different types of space,  one completely differing from the other - Pot space, room space and the total  space. But in fact there is only one space which can be understood if the  factors conditioning or limiting the space are removed i.e. if the pot is  broken and the room is dismantled. The unconditioned pot space and room space  are nothing but the total space itself.

Thus  the Consciousness is itself Perishable, Field in another form and as the knower  of the Field the same Consciousness is the Imperishable Reality in the  perishable conditionings. But when these conditionings are transcended the same  Self is experienced as the Supreme Self - the Paramatman, Purushottama.

yasmaat ksharam ateeto'hamaksharaadapi chottamah
    ato'smi loke vede cha prathitah purushottamah // 15.18  //

As  I transcend the perishable and am higher even than the Imperishable, I am  celebrated as the Supreme Person, Purushottama, in the world and in the Vedas.

The  Lord explains here how He is the Purushottama, the Supreme Person. He says that  Pure Consciousness is higher than both the Perishable and the Imperishable. The  Perishable can continue the process of change only against the Imperishable  Truth as no change is perceptible without reference to a changeless factor. If  the changes in the matter-body, mind and intellect-have to be recognized there  must be something which is steady that illumines these changes. This constant  factor among the perishable is called the Imperishable.

The  illumining factor can be called Imperishable only when it is compared to the  Perishable. Once the Perishable spheres are crossed over, the Imperishable  Itself becomes the Pure Infinite which is Purushottama.

Since  the Truth, Purushottama, is experienced only after transcending both Perishable  and Imperishable, the Absolute Truth is known as the Highest Spirit,  Purushottama. This term is used to indicate the Supreme Spirit both in the  Vedas and by the men of the world.


yo maamevam asammoodho jaanaati purushottamam
    sa sarvavidbhajati maam sarvabhaavena bhaarata // 15.19  //

He,  who undeluded, knows Me thus as the Highest Purusha, he knowing all, worships  Me with his whole being (heart) O Bharata.

The  Lord tells the fruits gained by the one who realizes the Supreme Truth.  Undeluded is the one who never looks upon the physical body as himself or as  belonging to himself. To know means not only the intellectual comprehension but  the subjective experience that he is the Purushottama-principle. Sri Krishna  declares that such a seeker is the greatest of the devotees because such knowledge  leads to devotion.

The  Highest Spirit, Purushottama, being the Infinite Consciousness, is the  all-knower because he knows that the principle of Consciousness is behind all  perception, feeling and thought.

iti guhyatamam shaastram idamuktam mayaanagha
    etadbuddhwaa buddhimaan syaat kritakrityashcha  bhaarata // 15.20 //

Thus  this most secret science (teaching) has been taught by Me, O Sinless One. On  knowing this, a man becomes wise and all his duties are accomplished, O  Bharata.

In  this concluding verse The Lord praises the Purushottama theme which gives  liberation from all sorrows and agitations. He says that He taught this most  secret science; secret because It (the spiritual science, Brahmavidya) is a  knowledge that cannot come to any one of its own accord unless one is initiated  into it by the Knower of Reality. The secret is also that Purushottama is the  substratum of every thing. Sinless means the one with steady mind. The  knowledge of the Self which gives emancipation from the cycle of births and  deaths and freedom from the bonds of Karma is eulogized here.

He  who has realized the Purushottama-state of Consciousness becomes wise in as  much as he cannot thereafter make any error of judgment in his life creating  confusion and sorrows all around. The second benefit is the enjoyment of a  complete sense of fulfillment, the joy of accomplishing what is expected of him  (achieving the goal of life which is realization of Brahman).

If  this most profound teaching is understood it makes a man wise. After this there  is nothing for him to learn or strive for. He has attained the goal of life and  the aim of human existence. He has the complete knowledge of the Supreme Being  and gets Brahma Jnana. He becomes Jivan Mukta, who is beyond  body-consciousness, three Gunas, three states of consciousness- Waking, Dream  and Deep Sleep - pairs of opposites and the cycle of births and deaths. There  is no rebirth for him. When a person has realized the Self, he has discharged  all the duties of his life.

This  Chapter is the essence of the Gita, the Vedas and the Upanishads. It is  generally recited before taking food as a mark of sacred offering to the Lord.

om tat sat iti  srimadbhagavadgeetaasu upanishatsu brahma vidyaayaam yogashaastre sri  krishnaarjuna samvaade purushottama yogo naama panchadasho'dhyaayah ||

Thus  in the Upanishads of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, the science of the Eternal,  the scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the fifteenth  discourse entitled  The Yoga of the  Supreme Spirit.

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