Chapter 2 Verse 20 – Samkhya Yoga

Sloka

Yaavaanartha udapaane sarvatah samplutodake;
Taavaan sarveshu vedeshu braahmanasya vijaanatah.

Translation

To the Brahmana who has known the Self, all the Vedas are of as much use
as is a reservoir of water in a place where there is a flood.

Interpretation

After talking about Gunas, Lord Krishna shifts his attention to a person who understood himself. A knowledgeable soul who understood everything about self does not need Vedas. To him vedas are like that reservoir which is of no use when there is enough water available for him. This does not, however, mean that the Vedas are useless. They are useful for aspirants who have just started on the spiritual path.

Extending the interpretation to Mankind’s life!

This verse focuses on the person who masters the Sattvik guna and becomes a highly spiritual person. A very important characteristic of a spiritual person is knowing one’s self. Self here means Atman or soul. The journey to knowing the self starts with being spiritual. And spirituality begins with the knowledge of vedas. As one is more and more evolved in the knowledge of vedas he starts becoming spiritual. A spiritual person is respected and treated with respect. Once he attains the mastery of oneself, he goes to the highest level and has a command over the vedas. For such person vedas are like that reservoir which is of no use during a flood!