bhoktaram yajnyatapasaam sarvalokamaheshwaram
suhridam sarvabhootaanaam jnyaatvaa maam shaantimrichhati || 29 ||

Having known me as the recipient of sacrifices and austerities, as the controller of all worlds, and as the well-wisher of all beings, (he) will attain peace.

bhoktaram : recepient
yajnyatapasaam : of sacrifices and austerities
sarvalokamaheshwaram : controller of all worlds
suhridam : well-wisher
sarvabhootaanaam : of all beings
jnyaatvaa : having known
maam : me
shaantim : peace
richhati : attain

In the prior two shlokas, Shri Krishna provided a preview of meditation. In this shloka, he gives us the objective of meditation. In other words, this shloka tells us what one comes to know in the state of meditation. This shloka is a preview of the topic covered in the seventh chapter to the twelfth chapter, which is the elaboration of Ishvara.

The goal of meditation is to realize the eternal essence. It is akin to a wave that realizes its identity with water. In this manner, the wave realizes that it is no longer the finite entity that it once was. It is one wave but also it is many waves. It is the entire ocean. Similarly, once the meditator realizes oneness with brahman or the eternal essence (water) , he attains Ishvara (ocean).

Who exactly is Ishvara is covered in the chapters seven through twelve. Only few of his attributes are covered here. First, he is the cosmic enjoyer or the cosmic recipient. Any work that is performed for the welfare of society is automatically dedicated to Ishvara. This was the theme of the third chapter on karmayoga where we are advised to act in a selfless manner, and dedicate the results of our actions to a higher ideal. Ishvara is the highest ideal possible because he encompasses the entire cosmos.

Next, Ishvara is called the controller of all beings. Through prakriti or maaya, Ishvara manifests as the laws or rules by which our lives as well as the lives of plants, animals and inert objects are governed. We saw earlier that the universe functions through inherent laws such as gravity and electromagnetism. In that regard, Ishvara through these laws controls us.

Finally, Ishvara’s laws are fair. They treat everyone equally. They work without any expectation or ulterior motive. They also work non-stop, just like our heart beats and our breath functions all the time. In this manner, Ishvara is the highest well-wisher and friend of all beings. If we too make friends with Ishvara, which is another way of saying that we work in the best interest of the world, we do not have to worry about our well-being. Ishvara takes care of us.

So therefore, one who comes to know the eternal essence, and realizes his unity with Ishvara during meditation, attains peace. This is the concluding message of the fifth chapter of the Gita.

om tatsatiti shrimadbhagavadgitasu upanishadsu brahmavidyayaam yogashastre shrikrishnaarjunasamvade
karmasanyaasayogonaamo panchamodhyaahaha || 5 ||

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