How does one see Īśvara in every aspect of one's life?
aham kraturaham yajñah svadhāhamahamausadham |
mantro'hamahamevājyam ahamagniraham hutam ||9.16||
I am the ritual, I am the worship, I am the food that is offered, I am food in general, I am the chants, I alone am the ghee, I am the fire (in the ritual), I am the oblation.
Rituals filled up the major part of a vaidika's life (one who follows veda way of life), therefore everything involved in ritual is seen as Īśvara. Same idea was presented in verse 4.24, by understanding Īśvara is everything, all karma become Īśvara.
aham kratuh - I am śrauta or vaidikam karma enjoined by Veda. aham yajñah - I am smārtah, any worship or offering. aham svadhā - I am food offered to birds or the dead ones. aham ausadham - I am the food eaten by everybody (plants). mantro'ham - I am the mantras that are chanted when offerings are made. aham ājyam - I am the ghee as oblations that is offered into fire. aham agnih - I am the fire ritual. aham hutam - I am the very ritual itself.
pitāham asya jagato mātā dhātā pitāmahah |
vedyam pavitram omkāra rksāma yajureva ca ||9.17||
I am the father of this world, I am the mother, I am the one who sustains it, and I am the grandfather (the uncaused cause). I am what is to be known, I am the purifier, I am the Omkāra, and I am the Rk, Sāma, and Yajur Vedas.
pitāham asya jagato mātā - I am the father and mother of this world. Saying Īśvara is the father means he is the intelligent cause and he is the mother means he is also the material cause of the world. The intelligent cause and the material cause of this world are not separated entities. And when parents involved, people will also ask about the grandparents, just like if we tell kids that world is created by God, then question of who is the creator of God will be there. Therefore aham pitāmahah - I am the grandfather, the cause which has no cause. aham dhātā - I am the sustainer of the world, in the sense of giver of result of karma, which is the law of karma itself. Because there is law of karma therefore next creation is there as the result of karma, then he is said to be the sustainer of the world. aham vedyam - I am what is to be known, because by knowing me, everything is as well known. In fact that Īśvara is the only thing that can be known, because all names and forms are nothing but Īśvara alone. aham pavitram - I am purifier, because knowledge of ātmā cleanses jīva from every trace of samsāra. aham omkāra - om is my name, which represents the entire creation, sustainer and resolution. aham rksāma yajureva ca - I am rk-veda, sāma-veda and yajurveda. Even though there are four Veda, but only these three are used in all rituals, amount to say, I am the Veda.
gatirbhartā prabhuh sāksi nivāsah śaranam suhrt |
prabhavah pralayah sthānam nidhānam bījam avyayam ||9.18||
I am the result of all actions, the one who nourishes, the Lord, the witness. I am the abode, the refuge and I am the helpful by My very nature. I am the one from whom the whole creation has come, into whom everything is resolved, and in whom everything has its being, in whom everything is placed and the imperishable cause.
aham gatih - I am the destination, any end that is accomplished by a person is the Lord himself, because all result of action including the body and sphere of experience like human life, heaven, etc all are manifestation of Īśvara alone. aham bhartā - I am the one who nourishes the world, bhartā is also a word for husband since he is a provider. aham prabhuh - I am the master, who has all the glories which we claimed to be ours. aham sāksi - I am the witness, even though he is the creator, sustainer and the place of resolution but he performs no karma at all. aham nivāsah - I am the house, a place where we reside. aham śaranam - I am the ultimate refuge, a place where we can relax and completely relieve from sorrow. aham suhrt - I am one who helps without expecting anything. aham prabhavah pralayah sthānam - I am the one from whom the whole creation has come, into whom everything is resolved, and in whom everything has its sustenance (being). aham nidhānam - I am where everything is placed (store house), where this vast universe created out of brahman, but he is not even lesser a bit (not undergo any change). aham bījam avyayam - I am changeless seed. All names and forms which constitute the effect are subject to change and disappearance, however brahman is the undifferentiated cause, the seed - bijam is avyayam - not subject to disappearance.
tapāmyaham aham varsam nigrhnāmyutsrjāmi ca |
amrtam caiva mrtyuśca sadasaccāham arjuna ||9.19||
I heat up the world and I withhold and release the rain. I am immortal and I am also death. I am cause and effect, Arjuna!
aham tapāmi - I energise, I light up the world. Being the sun, I light up and also heat up this world. Because of the heat, water evaporates and then the rain starts, I release the rain - aham varsam utsrjāmi. Sometimes I hold it back - aham nigrhnāmi, for months I hold the rain, then I pour down the rain in the rainy season, I am the seasons which is a very important aspect in the network of the natural laws.
aham amrtam ca eva - I am that relative eternity, which enjoyed by celestial being and I am also the very principle of law of death - aham mrtyuh ca. aham sad asat ca - I am sat - something that has a form by which we are able to recognise it (name and form). I am asat - what existed before the manifestation of names and forms.
Now Lord Krsna talks about those who are ignorance but have śraddhā in Vedas, the rituals, the prayer, and the after-life.
traividyā mām somapāh pūtapāpā
yajñairistvā svargatim prārthayante |
te punyam āsādya surendralokam
aśnanti divyān divi devabhogān ||9.20||
The knowers of the three Vedas, who perform the ritual in which soma is offered and thereby being purified of their pāpas, having propitiated Me with rituals, they pray to go to heaven. Gaining the world of Indra, which is a result of their punya, they enjoy the heavenly pleasures of the celestials in heaven.
traividyāh - those by whom the three Vedas which are Rk, Yajuh, and Sāma are studied. They are people who perform ritual using mantras from these three Vedas. Since Atharva is not used much in ritual, therefore it is not mentioned here. somapāh - people who have performed somayāga, which is done for punyaloka (heaven). In the ritual, the juice of a creeper called soma is offered to the Lord and the worshipers take whatever is leftover as prasādam. They also perform the daily and occasionally prescribed rituals which cleanse them of the effects of any wrong actions they may do, therefore they are called pūtapāpā.
These people have śraddhā in Vedas, with the goal of gaining better world like heaven etc which is relatively immortal compare to human world. Heaven is a place where enjoyment through senses are predominant, and the types of enjoyment are not ordinary. But there is one catch which is told in the next verse.
te tam bhuktvā svargalokam viśālam
ksīne punye martyalokam viśanti
evam trayīdharmam anuprapannāh
gatāgatam kāmakāmā labhante ||9.21||
These people, having enjoyed that vast heaven, enter the world of mortals when their punya is exhausted. In this manner, following the rituals in the three Vedas, those who are desirous of various ends gain the condition of (repeated) going and coming, samsāra.
bhuktvā svargalokam viśālam - having enjoyed this vast heaven, vast in terms of plenty, of variety and also in terms of time. But when all punya is exhausted - ksīne punye, they simply melt away and enter the world of mortals (being reborn) - martyalokam viśanti.
In this manner those who have desires for various objects/worlds mentioned in Veda, they do according to ritual as means for its end. Because all these objects are limited in nature, therefore they go and come - gatāgatam, under the spell of the same desires, they are caught in the realm of samsāra.