etadyoneeni bhootaani sarvaaneetyupadhaaraya |
aham kritsnasya jagataha prabhavaha pralayastathaa || 6 ||

 
Both these are the wombs of all beings, understand this. I am the source as well as the dissolution of the entire universe.
 
etat : both these
yoneeni : wombs
bhootaani : beings
sarvaani : all
iti : this
upadhaaraya : understand
aham : I
kritsnasya : entire
jagataha : universe
prabhavaha : source
pralayaha : dissolution
tathaa : as well as
 
Having described both his lower and higher nature, Shri Krishna says both those natures combine to create everything in this universe. This creation is described poetically as the “womb” from which everything originates. The lower nature and higher nature are both needed to create this universe. Furthermore, everything that is created is also sustained and ultimately dissolved into Ishvara. In other words, Ishvara creates, maintains and dissolves the entire universe.
 
Let us now understand the deeper meaning of this shloka. But before we proceed, let us first understand what is meant by cause and effect. When we hold a piece of cloth, what do we see? We see its color, its texture, its shape and so on. But if were to go back in time, we would see that cloth come from cotton threads, which came from a cotton plant, which came from a cotton seed, which at some point came from the earth. So the cause of the cloth was the earth, and the effect is the cloth.
 
Unfortunately, our minds have been conditioned to focus on the effect, and not on the cause. We see the cloth and its attributes, but do not even think about the cause, because that requires our intellect to come into the picture. Most economic, social and political movements tend to fail because they only focus on the symptoms and not the cause. For example, imprisoning small-time drug dealers does not stop the drug trade, because the demand for drugs will push some other person into dealing drugs.
 
Now let us look at this shloka from the standpoint of cause and effect. If we were to trace the ultimate cause of anything in this universe, it eventually comes back to Ishvara’s lower and higher natures. Therefore, Shri Krishna is asserting the fact that Ishvara is everywhere. Even though our eyes cannot see the form of a deity in front of us, our intellect will tell us that the ultimate cause is Ishvara. Our eyes give us jnyaanam or knowledge of the effect, our intellect provides us with vijnyaanam, which is the vision of the cause.
 
In mythology, this intellectual vision is depicted as the “third eye” of Lord Shiva that turns everything into ashes. This eye is a metaphor for developing equanimity of vision. If we learn to behold Ishvara as the cause of every object that we see, we will automatically begin to see Ishvara everywhere. So therefore, this shloka urges us to exercise our intellect so that we can see Ishvara everywhere.
 
Seeing Ishvara in everything is a huge milestone in the spiritual path. What is the next milestone?

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