na me viduhu suraganaahaa prabhavam na maharshayaha |
ahamaadirhi devaanaam maharshinaam cha sarvashaha || 2 ||

 
Neither the gods nor the great sages know of my origin, for I am the cause of the gods and great sages in every aspect.
 
na : not
me : my
viduhu : know
suraganaahaa : gods
prabhavam : origin
na : nor
maharshayaha : great sages
aham : I
aadihi : cause
hi : for
devaanaam : of gods
maharshinaam : of great sages
cha : and
sarvashaha : in every aspect
 
Previously, Shri Krishna declared that only Ishvara can speak about Ishvara’s glories. Now, why should that be the case? Why can’t someone else talk about Ishvara’s glories? It is because Ishvara is the cause of everything in this entire universe. He is the “aadihi” or the first principle. He is the ultimate cause.
 
As we have seen earlier, most of us have an idea that a certain deity is almighty and all-powerful. But ultimately, all those gods and deities are emissaries of Ishvara. They came into existence much later than Ishvara. Similarly, great sages and wise people have also come into existence after Ishvara. Therefore, none of these individuals has the ability to clearly fathom the real nature of Ishvara.
 
For instance, imagine that you want to learn the history of a large corporation. You may research internet sites, you can talk to the current employees, you can even track down the original employees, but the only person who knows the entire history will be the company’s founder. He can reveal details that only he knew at the time of founding the company. No one else can know these details.
 
So then, if Ishvara is the ultimate cause of the universe, then everything in the universe is an effect of that ultimate cause. An effect can never know its cause in totality. Therefore, the most qualified person to expound the glories himself is Ishvara himself, speaking through the form of Shri Krishna. Such a teaching is called “apaurusheya”. It is not authored by a human, it has come from Ishvara directly.
 
As we hear more about the glories of Ishvara, we will need to delve deeper into what is meant by the term “ultimate cause”. To prepare for this exploration, picture a potter creating a pot. There are two main ingredients that go into the pot. One is clay, the substance of which the pot is made. The other is the intelligence of the potter that decides the shape and the method to create it.
 
With this picture in mind, let us remember four things that will help us in understanding Ishvara. The pot is an effect. The pot has come from a cause. The “material cause” of the pot is clay. The intelligence, also known as the “efficient cause”, is the potter. We will recall this example later in the chapter.
 
So then, what is the gain of learning about Ishvara and his glories? Shri Krishna explains this next.

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