kavim puraanamanushaasitaaramanoraneeyaamsamanusmaredyaha |
sarvasya dhaataaramachintyaroopamaadityavarnam tamasaha parastaat || 9 ||

 
He who is omniscient, timeless, the commander, subtler than the subtlest, protector of all, incomprehensible, brilliant like the sun, beyond darkness, (one) contemplates (him).
 
kavim : omniscient
puranaam : timeless
anushaasitaaram : commander
anoraaneeyaamsam : subtler than the subtlest
anusmaret : contemplate
yaha : he who
sarvasya : all
dhaataaram : protector
achintyaroopam : incomprehensible
aadityavarnam : brilliant as the sun
tamasaha : darkness
parastaat : beyond
 
As part of the series of shlokas that help us meditate on Ishvara’s form, Shri Krishna here gives us a beautiful poetic shloka that describes Ishvara’s grandeur. This is the description of the “parama purusha”, the supreme divine person Ishvara that was referenced in the previous shloka. Note that this shloka has a different meter for added emphasis.
 
First, Ishvara is described as one who is beyond the notion of space and time. He is “kavi” which means omniscient or all knowing, which is different than the standard meaning of kavi which is poet. There is nothing we can hide from Ishvara because he knows all. He is also “puraanam” which means ancient and timeless. Kavi means he transcends space, puraanam means he transcends time.
 
Ishvara is described as “anushaasitaaram”, which means one who controls everything, who has final authority over everything. He is also “sarvasya dhaataaram”, one who maintains and ordains everything, one who distributes the result of everyone’s actions. In other words, Ishvara comprises the set of laws that hold the entire universe together.
 
Shri Krishna also cautions us with regard to giving a lot of importance to the visual form of Ishvara. Ishvara is “anoraaneeyaamsam”, smaller or subtler than the smallest particle we can comprehend. He is not visible to our senses or to the most powerful of microscopes. He is also “achintya roopam”. His form is incomprehensible. He can never be made into an object, because he is our own self, the subject. By symbolically comparing Ishvara to the sun – “aaditya varnam” – Shri Krishna indicates that our senses cannot comprehend Ishvara’s brilliance. It is the light that drives away darkness and ignorance – “tamasa parastah”.
 
So therefore, we should try to contemplate on this form of Ishvara throughout our lives, so that we can remember this picture during our final moments.

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