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BG 15.17 (1972)

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


उत्तमः पुरुषस्त्वन्यः परमात्मेत्युधाहृतः ।
यो लोकत्रयमाविश्य बिभर्त्यव्यय ईश्वरः ॥१७॥
uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ
paramātmety udāhṛtaḥ
yo loka-trayam āviśya
bibharty avyaya īśvaraḥ


uttamaḥ—the best; puruṣaḥ—personality; tu—but; anyaḥ—another; param—the Supreme; ātmā—Self; iti—thus; udāhṛtaḥ—said; yaḥ—one who; loka—of the universe; trayam—the three divisions; āviśya—entering; bibharti—maintaining; avyayaḥ—inexhaustible; īśvaraḥ—the Lord.


Besides these two, there is the greatest living personality, the Lord Himself, who has entered into these worlds and is maintaining them.


This verse is very nicely expressed in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad. It is clearly stated there that above the innumerable living entities, some of whom are conditioned and some of whom are liberated, there is the Supreme Personality who is Paramātmā. The Upanisadic verse runs as follows: nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. The purport is that amongst all the living entities, both conditioned and liberated, there is one supreme living personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who maintains them and gives them all the facility of enjoyment according to different work. That Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in everyone's heart as Paramātmā. A wise man who can understand Him is eligible to attain the perfect peace, not others.

It is incorrect to think of the Supreme Lord and the living entities as being on the same level or equal in all respects. There is always the question of superiority and inferiority in their personalities. This particular word uttama is very significant. No one can surpass the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Loke is also significant because in the Pauruṣa, a Vedic literature, it is stated: lokyate vedārtho 'nena. This Supreme Lord in His localized aspect as Paramātmā explains the purpose of the Vedas. The following verse also appears in the Vedas:

tāvad eṣa samprasādo 'smāc
charīrāt samutthāya paraṁ
jyoti-rūpaṁ sampadya svena
rūpeṇābhiniṣpadyate sa uttamaḥ puruṣaḥ

"The Supersoul coming out of the body enters the impersonal brahmajyoti; then in His form He remains in His spiritual identity. That Supreme is called the Supreme Personality." This means that the Supreme Personality is exhibiting and diffusing His spiritual effulgence, which is the ultimate illumination. That Supreme Personality also has a localized aspect as Paramātmā. By incarnating Himself as the son of Satyavatī and Parāśara, He explains the Vedic knowledge as Vyāsadeva.