ekah suddhah svayam-jyotir
nirguno ’sau gunasrayah
sarva-go ’navrtah saksi
ekah—one; suddhah—pure; svayam—self; jyotih—effulgent; nirgunah—without material qualifications; asau—that; guna-asrayah—the reservoir of good qualities; sarva-gah—able to go everywhere; anavrtah—without being covered by matter; saksi—witness; niratma—without another self; atma-atmanah—to the body and mind; parah—transcendental.
The individual soul is one, Pure, nonmaterial and self-effulgent. He is the reservoir of all good qualities, and He is all-pervading. He is without material covering, and He is the witness of all activities. He is completely distinguished from other living entities, and He is transcendental to all embodied souls.
In the previous verse two significant words are used: asamsaktah, meaning “without attachment,” and budhah, meaning “fully cognizant of everything.” By full cognizance it is meant that one should know about his own constitutional position as well as the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in this verse Lord Visnu is describing Himself, or the Paramatma. The Paramatma is always distinguished from the embodied soul as well as the material world. Therefore He has been described as para. That para, or Supreme Personality of Godhead, is eka, meaning “one.” The Lord is one, whereas the conditioned souls embodied within the material world exist in many varieties of form. There are demigods, human beings, animals, trees, birds, bees and so forth. Thus the living entities are not eka but many. As confirmed in the Vedas: nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. The living entities, who are many and who are entangled in this material world, are not pure. However, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pure and detached. Due to being covered by the material body, the living entities are not self-effulgent, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramatma, is self-effulgent. The living entities, being contaminated by the modes of material nature, are called saguna, whereas Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is nirguna, not being under the influence of the material modes. The living entities, being encaged in material qualities, are gunasrita, whereas the Supreme Personality of Godhead is gunasraya. The conditioned soul’s vision is covered by material contamination; therefore he cannot see the cause of his actions, and he cannot see his past lives. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, not being covered by a material body, is the witness of all the activities of the living entity. But both of them, the living entity and the Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are atma, or spirit. They are one in quality, yet they are different in so many ways, especially in regard to the six opulences the Supreme Personality of Godhead has in full. Full knowledge means that the jiva-atma, the living entity, must know both his position and the Supreme’s position. That is full knowledge.
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