rasohamapsu kaunteya prabhaasmi shashisooryayoho |
pranavaha sarvavedeshu shabdaha khe paurusham nrishu || 8 ||

I am the taste in water, O Kaunteya. I am the light of the sun and moon, Om in all the Vedas, sound in space, valour in men.
rasaha : taste
aham : I
apsu : in water
kaunteya : O Kaunteya
prabhaa : light
asmi : I am
shashihi : moon
sooryayoho : sun
pranavaha : Om
sarvavedeshu : in all the Vedas
shabdaha : sound
khe : in space
paurusham : valour
nrishu : in men
We are exploring the topic of bhakti yoga in this chapter, where we learn to channel our thoughts towards a single ideal, which is Ishvara. Ishvara is in everything, and everything is in Ishvara – these statements were proclaimed by Shri Krishna previously. Even if we intellectually understand Ishvara as the ultimate cause, our senses do not literally “see” Ishvara. So then, how do we learn to remember Ishvara at all times?
Shri Krishna helps us in this regard by giving us a list of Ishvara’s vibhootis or glories. He recognizes that our mind tends to see wonder and glory in some aspects of the universe. If we can train ourselves to remember Ishvara whenever we see his glories, it will help us advance towards our goal of learning to see Ishvara everywhere.
The first example of Ishvara’s vibooti is the taste in water. Water is an important part of everyone’s life. Over 60% of our body is made up of water. Shri Krishna says that Ishvara is the taste or essence of water. In other words, Ishvara is what makes water behave like water. So whenever we have a glass of water when we are extremely thirsty, it is Ishvara that is refreshing us. This is a wonderful meditation that we can practice.
Similarly, whenever we are dazzled by the brilliance of the sun, or the soothing light of the moon, we should remember that it is Ishvara that is providing the brightness or the effulgence. Whenever we hear a sound, we should know that it is Ishvara that provides the ability for sound to travel through air. Moreover, when we read stories about people who selflessly protect their country or their fellow human beings, we should remember that it is Ishvara that provides valour to them.
Finally, Shri Krishna says that Ishvara represents the word “Om” among the Vedas. Om takes a special place in the Vedas. It symbolically represents the eternal essence out of which this entire universe is created. Meditation on the word “Om” is considered one of the highest meditations possible.