The Result of Knowing the Supreme (10.8)

ahaḿ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaḿ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māḿ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāh

The Text

Aham means “I.”

Sarvasya means “all.”

Prabhavo means “the origin.”

So the first line of this text means, “I am the origin of everything.” As Srila Prabhupāda puts it: “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds.

Mattah means “from me.” (Another grammar for aham)

Sarvam means “all.”  (Another grammar for sarvasya)

Pravartate means “emanates.” (Another variant on prabhavo)

So the second line of this sloka means, “Everything comes from me.” Or, “Everything emanates from Me.” The two lines together are just like mirror images of one another: “I am the origin of everything; everything emanates from me.”

Iti means “thus” and is used like a quotation mark or a pointer.

Matvā means “knowing.”

Bhajante means “love, devotion, worship, devotional service.”

means “mine.”

So the third line means, “Those who understand this [that I am the origin of everything] develop love for me and engage in my devotional service.”

Budhā – means the wise / enlightened

Bhāva – means very deeply with ones heart and soul

Samanvitāḥ – means “completely.”

“The love those wise persons have for me is very deep and completely from their heart and soul.”

All four lines together:

I am the origin of everything
Everything comes from me
Knowing this makes one very wise,
full of very deep heartfelt devotion for me

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swāmī  Prabhupāda translates it thus, “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this engage in my devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

Who is “Wise” (Budhā)?

Srila Prabhupāda’s purport on this text addresses the word budhā – the wise. The point of the text is that a person who is really wise is one who understands that everything comes from somewhere. There is a “singularity” at the origin of all things. A person who is still even more wise realizes that a cause is not greater than its effect. In fact, the effect is always lesser than the cause, unless the effect is amplified by other causes. Since there is no other cause at the time of the “singularity” this cannot be the case. Therefore the effect generated from the singularity cannot be greater than the singularity itself. A wise person gets this simple point (“2 liters of milk cannot come from a single 1liter carton”) and therefore understands that the “singularity” which is the origin of all things cannot be an impersonal blob of energy. It must contain everything within the effect, and more: colors, sounds, personalities, emotions, etc.

Therefore the singularity must ultimately be connected to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The connection is allowed by logic to be remote. That is, the singularity can first be connected to the brahmajyoti (an undifferentiated spiritual energy field emanating from the Supreme Person), because the brahmajyoti is itself connected to the Supreme Person (brahmano hi pratishthAHAM).

So the real budhā (“wise man”) understands that the ultimate singularity of all singularities is a transcendental personality containing and surpassing all the traits found in the effect of the singularity (creation) without being tainted by any of its flaws (which arise due to independence of their direct connection to the transcendent person).

Knowing that the origin of everything is a personal being is absolutely essential for the development of bhakti – which we have already (chapters 6-9 of Gita) understood to be the most desirable and efficacious path of self-realization (yoga). Knowing the ultimate origin of all things to be a wondrous person allows me to develop feelings) for that person. In this text Kṛṣṇa uses the word bhāva to indicate these feelings for him. Bhāva means that something is so deep and heartfelt that it is a part of your very being (bhava means “being”, bhāva means something that comes from the being; a.k.a. heartfelt and soul-deep).

The result of having feelings for someone is that you act on those feelings. Kṛṣṇa indicates the action in this text by the word bhajante. This is a grammatical form of “Bhajan.”

Bhajan is a terrifically rich and complex word. The root is bhaj which means “to share” – and indicates the condition where one shares one’s very existence with another. Bhajan is the verb formation of Bhakti as a noun. In other words if love is a noun (a thing), then Bhajan is the verb-form of “love” – it is love as an action: to share your everything with your beloved.

Bhajan is also the verb associated with bhakti-yoga. The Sadhana (practice) of bhakti yoga is “bhajan.” There are 64 recommended ways to do this bhajan. Of these, 5 are particularly effective. Of those five, 1 stands out above all others as the most effective bhajan: hari-nāma-sankīrtan: coming together in a group of bhaktas to sing / amplify the lovable sound of the sweet name of Śrī Hari. The most efficacious mantra formation for the performance of that hari-nama-sankirtana is the “mahamantra”:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare

Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

Thus the conclusion of the 8th text of the 10th Chapter of Bhagavad Gita is that the only person who is fit to be called “Buddha” is the person who engages wholeheartedly in deeply soulful hari-nama-sankirtana (and other forms of bhajana as supplemental support). This is a resounding echo to the statement in the 9th chapter of the Gita that the only person fit to be called “Mahatma” is the person who does constant Kṛṣṇa Kirtana (satatam-kirtayanto mam).

Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

The rest of Srila Prabhupāda’s purport addresses this question. As described in the logic of the above section, the “singularity” from which all things emanate must be a transcendental personality. But who is that transcendental personality?

On our own, we are not entirely capable to know the answer to this questions because what is behind the singularity is by definition outside the purview of the mind and senses that the singularity generates in front of it. Still, since even our mind and senses are of a common substance with the singularity and the origin of the singularity – it is possible for us to comprehend the answer, particularly when we receive assistance from the personality/personalities beyond the border of the singularity event horizon.

Thus the mass of Prabhupāda’s purport quotes directly from shabda Brahman – the singularity in the form of sound – the “scripture” (as the English term so limitingly terms it).

Gopala-Tapani is an Upanishad attached to the Atharva Veda. 1.24 of that Upanishad states that “Kṛṣṇa” (by name) is the transcendental personality that is the ultimate singularity point.

Narayana Upanishad (1) says that Narayana is the original generator of all things. In text 4 this Upanishad states that Kṛṣṇa (by the name “Devaki-putra” – the son of Devaki) is the ultimate Narayana.

Other texts are given showing that all the personalities who are themselves the creators or singularities of other personalities (Shiva, for example, Brahma, the prajapatis) are themselves created by the ultimate singularity, Narayana, who himself is a form of the ultimate of all singularities, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Svayam Bhagavan. This Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the self-causing, cause of all causes (sarva-karana-karanam)

By the scriptural method, an example of which was just suggested, one arrives at the conclusion that Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate singularity and therefore the point towards whom we should direct our heartfelt existence. However also by the path of common sense (provided it is blessed and lucky) this conclusion is also clear. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the being who embodies the highest unrestricted enjoyment of pure bliss. Therefore nothing can be greater to or prior to this person. It is a sound logic even without the support of scripture.

The Point

It is not for other people to become wise, and for us to remain salary men or housewives dilly dallying on facebook games. It is for us to become wise. What then, is wisdom? Wisdom is to seek the cause of all causes. Wisdom is to know that the cause of all causes must be the highest unrestricted experience of pure bliss, because there is nothing greater than that. Wisdom is to seek guidance from within and without (guru and Supersoul) as to exactly who this personality who enjoys unrestricted bliss really is. Wisdom then is to SOAK YOUR MIND in the nectar that is he.

When your mind is soaked in that nectar your inner being comes alive and experiences the same unrestricted bliss. It then flows all-powerfully and unstoppably towards the magnetic pole of bliss – Śrī Kṛṣṇa – and you are always in Bhava Bhajan of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Govinda Ji.

Looking Forward and Back from Here

Looking forward from here, know that this text, 10.8, is the beginning of the catur-sloki gita – “The Bhagavad Gita in four Verses.” The entire summary of Gita is here in these four verses.

Looking backwards, here is a summary of what has happened so far in this chapter.

Kṛṣṇa: I will tell you more about this wonderful yoga of devotion to you! (1)

Arjuna: Yes, please explain what the foundational principle of such devotion is.

Kṛṣṇa: The foundation is that I am the origin of everything that anyone could possibly love. Therefore I am the best object of your love. I am beyond all the demigods, beyond all the sages (2). I am the beginningless beginning of everyone and everything (3). I am the origin of all saints and saintly qualities (4-6). I am the origin of all the wise. (6) Therefore I am beyond the comprehension of anyone, but one who appreciates this develops feelings of respect and affection for me (and in reciprocation with that affection I gift myself to them) (7).

And then today’s 8th text: One who knows me to be the cause of all causes develops heartfelt affection for me and therefore expresses that