CHAPTER 15 VERSE 15
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो मत्तः स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनञ्च ।
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् ॥१५॥
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
sarvasya—of all living beings; ca—and; aham—I; hṛdi—in the heart; sanniviṣṭaḥ—being situated; mattaḥ—from Me; smṛtiḥ—remembrance; jñānam—knowledge; apohanam ca—and forgetfulness; vedaiḥ—by the Vedas; ca—also; sarvaiḥ—all; aham—I am; eva—certainly; vedyaḥ—knowable; vedānta-kṛt—the compiler of the Vedānta; veda-vit—the knower of the Vedas; eva—certainly; ca—and; aham—I.
I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
I just have a note that I will read:
“Krishna sits beside us within our heart as Lord Paramatma and witnesses all of our actions thoughts and desires. He is closer to us than anybody else. Because He is our father and friend He is always concerned for our well-being.”
So, this is the—speaking to the very first part, or the first point, that’s established in this particular verse. And what I’d like to do is just reinforce what Krishna has said here with another verse from the Bhagavad-gita that comes up later in the 18th chapter where He says:
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”
So I just bring your attention to the first three words in this sloka [shows on screen: isvarah – the Supreme Lord, sarva–bhutanam – of all living beings hrt-desa – in the location of the heart] which reinforce this statement that Krishna is making: situated within the region of the heart and He is the Isvara, or the Lord and controller of all living beings.
And it is quite amazing, the body is actually described as a machine, yantra in Sanskrit. But even though the Lord is residing within our heart, we have unfortunately forgotten our eternal relationship with Him, and we are wandering around this world like a child who is lost, who has forgotten their real home and family. That is a very good analogy for our situation. And as a well-wishing friend, Krishna travels with us everywhere, guiding us and giving us direction if we so choose to embrace that.
We have been reminded of all of these points in previous verses that we have read and studied as part of this course, but I will just read a sloka from the Bhagavat Purana that directly addresses this point as well:
“Nothing remains unachieved when the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with someone. By transcendental achievement, one understands everything else to be insignificant. One who engages in transcendental loving service is elevated to the highest perfectional stage by the Lord Himself, who is seated in everyone’s heart.”
And of course, this has been pointed out in chapter 10 verse 10, where Krishna says that with the shining lamp of knowledge He destroys the darkness of ignorance and enlightens those who please Him and seek this enlightenment.
The Vedas are meant for the purpose of helping us to understand the nature of this eternal relationship with the Lord. That is its actual purpose. They are there to give information about the nature of the Supreme Lord and the fact that we are eternally related to Him, only we have forgotten this.
So, speaking to the first part of this verse, where He says:
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge, and forgetfulness.”
This reality also describes the mechanism by which—or the mechanism that facilitates the giving up of a body and accepting another one. Some people ask sometimes, “Well if I actually reincarnate, if transmigration of the soul is a reality, how come when I take another birth, I have no recollection of my former life?” Well, that’s not always the case, there are, although they are rare, there are instances of people being able to clearly recollect, and there’s been quite a lot of literature written about this, where they can recollect their former life: young children who wanted to be, or were, taken to a particular village, and began identifying people that they had known in their former life and addressing one man and telling him that he owed money and had not paid it etc. But as a general principle, there is forgetfulness; and this forgetfulness is actually given to us by Krishna. It is created by Krishna. It is—we are put into a state of forgetfulness in order to facilitate our journey.
You see what it is that causes a person to take birth again in the world is the deep attachment to the material world, to material experience and such things, material desires that they wish to have fulfilled. And in order to facilitate that, when a body is very aged, and one is forced to leave it, one is granted another body so that they can attempt to fulfill those desires. In order for that to be able to happen, forgetfulness is actually necessary. If we had the desire to continuously enjoy in this world but we could remember things from before, it would be difficult for us to so to facilitate that desire.
There is an element of forgetfulness, but then at the same time there is a remembrance. When somebody takes birth as a baby, a lot of the abilities that that young have to instinctively do things, it is said is a remembrance that is given to us by the Lord within our own heart in order to facilitate this process.
So, in previous verses that we’ve read, there is also mention of these things. For instance, some time ago, we read in chapter 2, verse 63, where it states:
“From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.”
So, this natural development of states of consciousness.
The reality is that we voluntarily live within this realm, seeking to be the central enjoying agent. And we voluntarily make choices and decisions and act. But all of these actions have consequences, and one of the grave consequences, as stated here, when a person becomes swept away by anger, there is a bewilderment of memory, a loss of memory, and in that state one is capable of great violence and to do things that are against their own interest. But this is something that naturally occurs.
So, we also have knowledge. Knowledge, remembrance, and forgetfulness—these were the three items that have been specifically mentioned here. In the 10th chapter, 11th sloka, we had read the following verse:
“Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.”
So according to the nature of the desire of the living being: If the living being desires to be [in] forgetfulness of our eternal relationship with our own Lord within our heart, then Krishna facilitates that. If we desire to wander, seeking to be the central enjoying agent in this world, then Krishna facilitates it. But also, when a person becomes sincere in their desire to find a way out of this predicament of material entanglement and to once again reconnect with the Lord, then one is graced by Krishna, as is stated in this verse that we just read, that:
“… I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness that is born of ignorance.”
So, it is like, Krishna giveth and Krishna can taketh away. If we don’t want to be connected to Him, if we want to seek to become the Lord ourself and dominate this world, to be the central enjoying agent, then this is facilitated. And similarly, if we want to reconnect with the Lord of our heart, our eternal friend, then that desire is also facilitated by the Lord.
The second part of the verse is of actually tremendous significance, where Krishna states:
“By all the Vedas, I am… known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
So, I don’t think that there is anything more crystal clear than this. We see people who develop different types of attractions. For instance, the attraction to emerging into the Brahman effulgence. We have people that seek to be God, themself. We have people who seek so many things. But ultimately the purpose of the Vedas is to know Krishna, as is clearly stated here, and it cannot be, or should not be, interpreted any other way.
The word Veda means knowledge. Vedanta, it means the end of all knowledge, the conclusion. And Krishna is describing that He is—it is by the Vedas that He is to be known. “By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
So, I’d like to share with you a part of the commentary that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has made on this particular verse:
“In all Vedic literature, beginning from the four Vedas, the Vedanta-sutra and the Upanisads and Puranas, the glories of the Supreme Lord are celebrated. Therefore the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Krishna. The Vedas give us direction to understand Krishna and the process of understanding. The ultimate goal is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedanta-sutra confirms this in the following words: tat tu samanvayāt. One can attain perfection by understanding Vedic literature, and one can understand his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by performing the different processes. Thus one can approach Him and at the end attain the supreme goal, who is no other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse, however, the purpose of the Vedas, the understanding of the Vedas and the goal of the Vedas are clearly defined.”
So, I wanted to also read to you a part of a commentary by the great Kesava Kasmiri. He is of a different lineage than mine. He is from the Kumara sampradaya. He was around in the later part of the 15th century, and actually gained the association of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He had been a renowned scholar and pundit, and had travelled throughout India, debating so many great scholars and defeating them in debate, and therefore he was known as a digvijaya: means he was victorious in all directions.
He came to Navadwip, which was the place, the area, where Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared, and he sought to defeat all of the pundits in what had now become the seat of great learning in India. The pundits had all scurried off, not wanting to face him, and not telling Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who at that time was still a young lad, going by the name Nimai, Nimai Pandit. Nimai Panndit was appreciated as the most highly intelligent person, but he was still at a teenager. And so, their plan was they were going to scurry off on the pretext of attending a great meeting of pundits, of scholars, in another place, and not tell Nimai, and leave him there, with the thought that if Nimai Pandit defeated him in debate, they could all proudly say, “Look, even a teenage boy could beat the Digvijaya.” And if the Digvijaya beat Nimai, then they would say, “Well, he was just a young boy. You should have let us know you are coming, and we would have gladly remained there and debated with you.”
The encounter between this Kesava Kasmiri and Caitanya Mahaprabhu was recorded in the Caitanya Caritamrita, and it’s absolutely amazing, a wonderful experience in which Kesava Kasmiri was enticed in his—he had this ability to extemporaneously recite Sanskrit poetry, just create it and speak it. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu had asked him to demonstrate an example for all of his class. At that time even though he was a teenager, around 14 or 15 years of age, he had a large school, a large following of students because of his brilliance. And Kesava Kasmiri, after some prodding, did this. And Caitanya Mahaprabhu began to question him about some of his usage of grammar and different things which exposed actually monumental flaws in the hundred verses of extemporaneous poetry.
And Kesava Kasmiri was absolutely bewildered by what had happened. And that night in a dream, the goddess Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, who had empowered Kesava Kasmiri, given him his ability, appeared in a dream and told him, “You shouldn’t be ashamed of what happened, for this person that you have met is in fact my Lord also. He is the incarnation of the Supreme Lord Himself.”
Kesava Kasmiri approached the Lord the next morning, in great humility, bowing before Him. And after a conversation and receiving His blessings, Kesava Kasmiri renounced the world and gave everything up and became a wandering mendicant, and became a renowned member of the Nimbaka sampradaya, or Kumara sambradaya, and so, his commentaries are greatly also respected by the followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So, reading from his commentary:
“The Supreme Lord Krishna is the absolute authority on the Vedas, the deciding authority on the contrary statements of the Vedas when they appear contradictory to each other due to varying angles of vision while expounding on various diverse topics.”
So, I’ll just pause there for a moment. Sometimes people that are not so trained or not so intelligent may discover what they feel to be contradictory statements. But as is explained here that sometimes philosophical points are explained from different points of view to try and aid and assist in understanding, but people that are not so intelligent cannot see how these things can be and are in fact reconciled.
“He is the eternal, universal guru and the propounder of the philosophy of the Vedic scriptures. As the originator of the Vedic scriptures, He has imbued them with the ultimate import and no one can fathom this and know the meaning of the Vedic scriptures without His grace. One becomes a knower of the Vedic scriptures when through the grace of Lord Krishna one realizes the reality that the Vedic scriptures originated from Him to guide and protect those in material creation to return to Him. Those who are not graced by the supreme Lord can never fathom and discover the import of the Vedic scriptures even if they are renowned scholars and erudite professors who give detailed discourses on them. This is because they are not devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna is the absolute, the original establisher and ultimate authority on the Vedas and there are none qualified to expound upon any aspect of the Vedic scriptures contrary to that which has been directly revealed, declared and instructed by Him, His authorized avataras or incarnations and expansions as confirmed in Vedic scriptures and by His devotees in authorized disciplic succession who have received His grace.”
So, we have previously, on two occasions, mentioned how Krishna has said to Arjuna that He is revealing this most confidential knowledge to him, He says, because “you are My friend and My devotee.”
So, these are the two requirements. If one is neither a friend, nor devoted to the Supreme Lord, then one will not have access. One will become the victim of their own pride and conceit, and they will be subjected to a lack of knowledge, even forgetfulness, rather than to actually receive this torchlight of knowledge that will illuminate their hearts and give full and complete understanding of all spiritual matters.
So, in conclusion, we will just read the verse:
“By all the Vedas I am to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
Thank you very much