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Chapter 10 Vibhuti Vistara Yoga Verse 16
Shloka

Ahamaatmaa gudaakesha sarvabhootaashayasthitah;

Ahamaadishcha madhyam cha bhootaanaamanta eva cha.

Translation

I am the Self, O Gudakesha, seated in the hearts of all beings!

I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.

Interpretation

Lord Krishna after speaking about the divine glories of Himself, He continues to talk about the other virtues. He says that He is the self who is seated in the hearts of all beings. The self here refers to the soul of a person and that soul is seated in the hearts of all beings. Not only that Lord Krishna also says that He is the beginning of all beings, He is the middle and he is also the end of them. Here the beginning, middle and end do not refer to a single being but it refers to all the beings in the universe.

Extending Interpretation to Mankind’s Life!

There are two points that I wish to describe in this shloka. First is the usage of the word Gudakesha, to Arjuna. Gudakesha is a sanskrit word that means conqueror of sleep. Lord Krishna says that to Arjuna in a symbolic context. It means Arjuna was able to overcome his ignorance and that is equated to conquering the sleep. Sleeping here means ignorance and living in maya. A person who has overcome that will see illumination and wisdom and when that happens a person will feel as if God is just staying in his heart. When God stays in our heart, we are never influenced by ignorance. We will not do anything that brings us down spiritually.

The next point is Lord Krishna referring to Himself as the beginning, middle and end of all beings. We normally mistake it either for a single person or for the whole mankind. But it is neither of both. Lord here is referring to all beings. One needs to understand the fact that Lord is the beginning, middle and end of all beings in this world. Lets take an example to understand this. We normally refer to “pralaya” or doomsday. Whose doomsday are we referring to here? Is it the mankind’s or of all beings?

The answer is we are referring to only the doomsday for our mankind. The creation of Brahma is not limited to just humans. There were many beings that existed before humans existed and more beings will come even after humans disappear. It is our myth to think that we are the greatest and the more powerful. It is the Lord who is the most powerful. Even the dashavataras of Maha vishnu had other beings like “Matsya” or fish, “kurma” or wild bore, that are not human forms. So, Lord subtly reminds us that all beings are as important to Him as human beings and He is the beginning, middle and end of all beings in this Universe.