1.25 तत्र निरतिशयं सर्वज्ञबीजम्

tatra nir-atiśayaṁ sarvajña-bījam

tatra – there (in Him); nir-atiśayaṁ – culmination, unsurpassed, infinite; sarvajña – all-knowing, omniscient; bījam – seed;

In Him the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed (infinite).


1.26 पूर्वेषामपि गुरुः कालेनानवच्छेदात्

pūrveṣāmāpi guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt

pūrveṣām – first, of the ancient (teachers); api – even, also; guruḥ – teacher, guide, guru; kālena – by time; an-avacchedāt – without break, boundless:

He is also the Teacher of all ancient teachers (sages), being not limited by time.

1.25 tatra nir-atiśayaṁ sarvajña-bījam

In Him the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed (infinite).

So in his commentary on this verse, Vyāsa says that “the supersensuous knowledge (meaning knowledge that is beyond normal sensory perception)… supersensory knowledge, vast or little, that is found in any being, in respect of the past, present, and future, singly or collectively, is the seed of omniscience.” This is how he explains it… of awareness and of knowing. And…”When this sort of supersensuous knowledge in a person goes on increasing and reaches a stage which cannot be exceeded that person is called omniscient.”

He further points out that, “This seed of omniscience (that to greater or lesser degrees of course, exists within all beings) has grades of development and thus is capable of increasing from more to still even more. The person in whom it has reached its highest point is a particular being who knows everything.” So what he’s laying out here may be a little bit difficult for some people to fully grasp, but we’ll see as we progress into the Yoga Sutras, it speaks about levels of accomplishment that grant yogi’s…accomplished yogi’s, powers that are in relation to knowing things of the past, the present, and even the future, and things beyond the grasp or perception of a common or even an extraordinary person.

And these powers or capabilities seem to grant a person some type or level of omniscience, and a common person may think that such a yogi is omniscient. But he’s making this point that when we’re speaking here of Īśvara, that His omniscience supersedes all others and it has another characteristic. This omniscience has no beginning and it has no end, and it has…it was present even prior – not just to the particular creation of this universe in this period of time, but even through cycles of previous creation. There was no alteration in this omniscience.

And so, in commenting on this, it gives an understanding or at least some indication to us, of the nature and type of this…or the extent of this particular characteristic which Īśvara possesses. And this is also supported of course throughout the Vedas…so many verses that speak about this, and I’ll just read one here. It is from the Bhāgavat Pūraṇa, and it states:

“Therefore, Oh Lord, feeling weary of material life and tormented by its distresses, I now surrender unto You because You are the perfect master. You are the unlimited, all-knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose spiritual abode in Vaikuṇṭha is free from all disturbances. In fact, you are known as Nārāyaṇa, the true friend of all living beings.”

So, this is a very beautiful account or description of the nature of this omniscient being that…in this particular verse, you’ll see it uses sarva-jñam. Sarva-jñam means not just far-reaching, but all knowledge, all awareness. And Īśvara …He is the Īśvara who possesses all knowledge. So, we won’t go any further on this particular verse. I think it is quite self-explanatory. Thank you



1.26  pūrveṣāmāpi guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt

He is also the Teacher of all ancient teachers (sages) being not limited by time.

So, in his commentary, Vyāsa says that the ancients, purvāḥ those who came before), were all subject to the influence of time or kāla, meaning that they were mortal beings with finite lifespans. And this particular verse references the puruṣa who is not subject to time and is known as Īśvara, one who literally transcends time. And it states here that He is the Guru or the Teacher of all the ancients. So Vyāsa also expounds that just as Īśvara existed as the perfect being at the beginning of this creation, so He was the same also in previous creations.

The reference to Īśvara being the original teacher, the adi-guru, is also mentioned in the very first sloka of the great Bhāgavat Pūraṇa, where it says, “tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye.”  That He is the one who imparted knowledge to the original Creator of this cosmic manifestation, or this universe in which we reside. So we see a far more elaborate…or even, some people might think a little esoteric, explanation in the Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā where there is a description of how the original manifested being within the universe, Brahmā – who then later became responsible for creation; how he was imparted knowledge through a transcendental medium. He found himself the birthless – he’s described as being birthless because he spontaneously manifested and found himself sitting upon a lotus. And finding himself in the darkness sitting upon the lotus he entered into a deep meditation, and in that meditation, he received a transcendental sound vibration. This was the Gāyatrī which sprang from the divine flute of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and passing through the transcendental sphere penetrated the universe and entered Brahmā’s eight ears – because he is said to have four heads, and of course entered within his very heart and manifest through this process of initiation or dīkṣā; that he became instantly realized and set about the work that was actually assigned for him. So, the verse from the Brahma-saṁhitā states:

“Then Gāyatrī,  mother of the Vedas, being made manifest, that is imparted by the divine sound of the flute of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, entered into the lotus mouth of Brahmā, born from himself (meaning self-born), through his eight ear holes. The lotus- born Brahmā having received the Gāyatrī sprung from the flute-song of Śrī Kṛṣṇa attained the status of the twice-born (dvijatām), having been initiated by the supreme primeval preceptor, Godhead Himself.”

The same Brahma-saṁhitā, as well as in other parts of the Vedas, they refer to Īśvara as the ādi-puruṣa. We’ve heard a couple of verses ago that Patañjali described that amongst all purushas there is one purusha who is the puruṣa-viśeṣa – He extraordinary. And now he is of course explaining the nature of this…of Īśvara. And one of the earlier references in the Vedas was to Him being the ādi- puruṣa – the original Personality. So, we also have reference to this oldest Person in numerous other places, and I’ll just quote one from the Bhagavad-gīta. In the eleventh chapter, thirty-eighth sloka, it states:

“You are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the oldest, (so this is puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ – the oldest), the ultimate sanctuary of this manifested cosmic world. You are the knower of everything, and You are all that is knowable. You are the supreme refuge, above the material modes. O limitless form! This whole cosmic manifestation is pervaded by You!” 

The Bhagavad-gīta also has references to Īśvara, and they use the name of course Kṛṣṇa to describe or to name this Īśvara – that his existence is from the very beginning and preceding time, and with the manifestation of this universe not only did he become the original guru, the adi-guru of Brahmā, but the deity of the sun. When the sun manifests in the very beginning of creation, that the deity of the sun, Vivasvan was also instructed by this Īśvara – Īśvara Śrī Kṛṣṇa, in the very beginning of time.