pitaahamasya jagato maataa dhaataa pitaamaha |
vedyam pavitramomkaara riksaam yajureva cha || 17 ||

 
I am the father, mother, support and grandfather of this universe. I am the knowable, the purifier, the syllable Om, and the Rig, Saama and Yajur also.
 
pitaa : father
aham : I am
asya : this
jagataha : universe
maataa : mother
dhaataa : support
pitaamaha : grandfather
vedyam : knowable
pavitram : purifier
omkaara : Om syllable
rik : Rig
saam : Saama
yajur : Yajur
eva : also
cha : and
 
Shri Krishna further elaborates on Ishvara’s infinite all-pervading nature by asserting that he is the father, mother and grandfather of this universe. A father’s nature is to protect the child and to push it to grow. A mother embodies the quality of nurture and impartiality, she will care for even the most misbehaved child. A grandfather is extremely attached to his grandchild and takes great pleasure in demonstrating affection towards the child, whereas the father may sometimes not show affection openly. Shri Krishna says that Ishvara treats every being in the universe like a caring family would.
 
Symbolically, Ishvara as father represents the intelligence behind the creation of the universe. Ishvara as mother represents the substance that creates the universe. Ishvara as grandfather refers to the source of intelligence and substance. It is said that Lord Shiva, when asked for his great grandfather’s name, replied “Shiva”. There is no further cause of this universe other than Ishvara.
 
Another pointer to Ishvara is “dhaata” or sustainer. As we have seen earlier, it is Ishvara in his infinite nature that holds the universe together in a state of harmony, where everything is in its place. Ishvara is also the three Vedas which are ultimate source of knowledge in the universe, the only knowledge that needs to be known. Their essence is captured in the syllable “Om”, which is considered the utmost purifier. In other words, once we see Ishvara in everything, everything becomes pure.
 
The next shloka contains a series of pointers to Ishvara which are considered the foundation of bhakti or devotion.

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