sarvasya chaaham hridi sannivishto mattaha smritirjnyaanamapohanam cha |
vedaishcha sarvairahameva vedyo vedaantakridvedavideva chaaham || 15 ||

 
And I am seated in the hearts of all beings. From me arise memory, knowledge and their loss. It is only I who am to be known through the Vedas. Only I am the author of Vedanta, and the knower of the Vedas.
 
sarvasya : all beings
cha : and
aham : I
hridi : in hearts
sannivishtaha : seated
mattaha : from me
smritihi : memory
jnyaanam : knowledge
apohanam : loss of memory
vedaihi : through Vedas
cha : and
sarvaihi : all
aham : I
eva : only
vedyaha : to be known
vedaantakrit : author of Vedanta
vedavit : knower of Vedas
eva : only
cha : and
aham : I
 
As humans, it is not enough for us to spend our lives seeking out sources of food for existence. We crave knowledge in all its forms – knowledge of the material world, how things work, history, geography, sciences and the arts. We also crave that knowledge which is not tangible but is part and parcel of our lives – aspirations, values, codes of conduct and so on. Shri Krishna says that he is both the producer and consumer of knowledge in our lives. The sum total of all knowledge is referred to as the Vedas in this shloka.
 
The assimilation of knowledge goes through three steps. In the first step, we do not know anything, this is the state of apohanam, absence of memory. Next, we know something, knowledge happens, this is jnyaanam. Finally, this knowledge is stored in memory, this is smritihi. All these steps towards the acquisition of knowledge happen due to Ishvara, who is seated in our intellect, poetically referred to as hridi or intellect. So whenever we learn something new, or we recall something from our memory, we should understand that Ishvara is functioning as the subject and the object, the knower and the known, in this process of knowledge acquisition.
 
But that is not all. The ultimate knowledge, the entire theme of the Bhagavad Gita, is that knowledge which reveals the true nature of the self and its identity with Ishvara. It is handed down from a teacher to a student through tradition. It is found in the end, the conclusion, the anta of the Vedas. Therefore it is known as Vedanta. So the knowledge that reveals the true nature of the self is none other than Ishvara. In other words, only the self can know itself, a statement found in the Jnyaaneshwari’s opening statement “jaya jaya sva samvedyaa” – salutations to that which knows itself.
 
With this shloka, Shri Krishna concludes the topic of Ishvara’s manifestations which began in the twelfth shloka. The change in metre reinforces the conclusion. We learned that ultimately, it is Ishvara that provides awareness, nourishment, food, and the power to absorb food as well as knowledge to all beings on this. Not only does he produce all of this, he consumes it as well. If we truly let this statement sink in, we will realize that our false “I”, our ego, is nowhere to be found.

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