pavanaha pavataamasmi raamaha shashtrabhritaamaham |
jhashaanaam makarashachaasmi strotasaamasmi jaahnavee || 31 ||

 
Among the purifiers I am the wind and among the weapon wielders I am Raama. Among the sea creatures I am the crocodile and among the rivers I am Gangaa.
 
pavanaha : wind
pavataam : among the purifiers
asmi : I am
raamaha : Raama
shashtrabhritaam : among the weapon wielders
aham : I am
jhashaanaam : sea creatures
makaraha : crocodile
cha : and
asmi : I am
strotasaam : among the rivers
asmi : I am
jaahnavee : Gangaa
 
Shri Krishna begins this shloka with the topic of purification. He says that wind is the foremost expression of Ishvara among all of the purifiers in the world. We know this from experience. Deep inhalation and exhalation removes several toxins from the body. If a room has been locked for a long time, the first thing we do is to open the window.
 
Lord Raama is also known as “Kodanda Paani”, the wielder of weapons. Among all of the weapon wielders in the world, Lord Raama is the foremost. This is because although he was adept at wielding several types of weapons, he only used them as a last resort when no other methods of diplomacy worked. In the Raamayana, we can see numerous instances when he killed Rakshasaas after they did not heed his warning.
 
Now, just like we saw power and majesty in the Lion, we see power and majesty in the giant whale and the crocodile. “Makara” refers either to crocodile or the giant whale. Both of these are powerful sea creatures. Shri Krishna says that among the sea creatures, Ishvara’s foremost expression is the Makara.
 
Among the rivers, Ishvara is Jaahnavi or Gangaa. Jaahnavi refers to the daughter of sage Jahnu. It is said that the Gangaa’s turbulent waters disturbed the meditation of sage Jahnu. Angered, he drank her, and only released her when the gods prayed to him. Furthermore, knowledge, just like the river Gangaa, flows from a higher plane to a lower plane, and is perennial. Also, knowledge purifies, just like a river purifies.
 
So whenever we feel the wind, when we see weapons used justly, when we behold the giant whale or the mighty river, we should know that all these are Ishvara’s manifestations.

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