ācāryo brahmaṇo mūrtiḥ
pitā mūrtiḥ prajāpateḥ
bhrātā marutpater mūrtir
mātā sākṣāt kṣites tanuḥ
dayāyā bhaginī mūrtir
agner abhyāgato mūrtiḥ
ācāryaḥ—the teacher or spiritual master who instructs Vedic knowledge by his personal behavior; brahmaṇaḥ—of all the Vedas; mūrtiḥ—the personification; pitā—the father; mūrtiḥ—the personification; prajāpateḥ—of Lord Brahmā; bhrātā—the brother; marut-pateḥ mūrtiḥ—the personification of Indra; mātā—the mother; sākṣāt—directly; kṣiteḥ—of the earth; tanuḥ—the body; dayāyāḥ—of mercy; bhaginī—the sister; mūrtiḥ—the personification; dharmasya—of religious principles; ātma—the self; atithiḥ—the guest; svayam—personally; agneḥ—of the fire-god; abhyāgataḥ—the invited guest; mūrtiḥ—the personification; sarva-bhūtāni—all living entities; ca—and; ātmanaḥ—of the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu.
The ācārya, the spiritual master who teaches all the Vedic knowledge and gives initiation by offering the sacred thread, is the personification of all the Vedas. Similarly, a father personifies Lord Brahmā; a brother, King Indra; a mother, the planet earth; and a sister, mercy. A guest personifies religious principles, an invited guest personifies the demigod Agni, and all living entities personify Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
According to the moral instructions of Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu: one should observe all living entities to be on the same level as oneself. This means that no one should be neglected as inferior; because Paramātmā is seated in everyone’s body, everyone should be respected as a temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This verse describes the different ways in which one should respect a guru, a father, a brother, a sister, a guest and so on.
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