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Importance of Gita 15.15 – Purushottama Yoga

BG 15.15

श्रीभगवानुवाच ।
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो मत्तः स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनञ्च ।
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् ॥

sarvasya chaaham hRudi samniviShTO
mattaha smRutir gnyaanam apOhanam cha
vaedaish cha sarvair aham aeva vaedyO
vaedaantakRud vaedavid aeva chaaham

Lord Krishna says:

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..

This is a sloka that appears like any normal, simple sloka but has lot of, nay, loads of meaning in different topics, entirely different from each other. It talks about the super soul; how Krishna is related to knowledge, memory and forgetfulness; Krishna’s connection with Veda from all angles.

 Now let us deal with each of them separately.

Super soul
Krishna is the super soul in all the living beings.
Where is He  seated? In the heart of those beings.

What is the source of knowledge for beings, mainly human beings? . He Himself says that knowledge comes from Him only. He is the ocean of knowledge, in any field.


OK, what has Krishna to do with memory? Everybody has different memory capacity. Does Krishna say here or anywhere else in the Gita that He gifts good memory to hard-workers or those who do devotional service to Him, as a special favour? No! Krishna says that from Him only memory comes to all, foolish average and brilliant people-no difference- all of them, all of us. Before discussing further on the subject of memory, we have to necessarily deviate to the next subject in the agenda, forgetfulness, just slightly.

Krishna says, even in the case of forgetfulness, that it comes from Him. Someone might like to say that he is the right hand of the boss, or boss consults him on matters concerning the workers. But will anyone claim that he is the source of all troubles to the boss from some government? No, he will not do that for any negative claims, but here Krishna does that.  Why will He do this?

For that we have to go back to ‘Memory’ There are 2 types of memory-short term memory and long term memory. If someone tells us a phone number, till we go to the telephone we remember it, dial that no. and then, forget it. That memory is for a limited purpose and time. If short term memory is not there or if we do not forget that no., what happens? We will remember that no. throughout the day and next day and lifelong. It is wasteful and a torture for us.

What is long term memory? What will happen if long term memory is not there?
Every day morning, do we get up and ask ourselves and others,
“What is my name? Who is my wife? Who are my brothers, father, mother”? Or, like in the Indian film Ghajini, we have to tattoo such things on our body.
No, we don’t. We remember these things automatically. This is long term memory.
In this sloka, Krishna declares that from Him only memory comes. (I am thankful to Him for this)

Will you agree if I say that it is Krishna ’s grace that we forget things? I’ll explain how. 

We all have forgotten our past lives. Forgetting our past lives is a boon. If not, we will always be living in the past, the distant past life.
Remembering the past in this birth itself is discouraged by psychiatrists and psychologists. What to talk of past lives!
If we remember our past lives, we will not be able to function normally in our present life. What if my neighbor comes and asks me for Rs.5 lakhs which I took from him in the previous life? We both would remember it and the money which I had kept ready for Singapore-Malaysia family trip, I would have to give it to my neighbor.
So, apart from chasing the money due in this birth, we all will also have to do past janma’s money collection. How horrible life would become!  Now do you see Krishna ’s mercy in this?

In this sloka, Krishna says that,
The only object to be known through the Vedas is Krishna.
He alone is the father of Vedanta.
And, Krishna is the knower of Vedas.

Hare Krishna.


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