|Chapter 13||The Individual Consciousness and The Ultimate Consciousness||Verse 14|
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:
The question may arise that if the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence is neither existing or non-existing then there seems to be a contradiction with Vedic scriptures such as the Chandogya Upanisad III.XIV.I which state: Everything is nothing but the brahman and the Narasingha Upanisad VII.III which state: All this is nothing but the brahman. Apprehending such doubts the nature and qualities of the brahman are revealed by Lord Krishna as being omnipresent, with heads, faces, eyes, ears, hands and feet everywhere. This manifests through the inconceivable potency and incomprehensible power of the Supreme Lord as confirmed in the Svetavastara Upanisad VI.VIII which states: The Supreme Lords transcendental power is unlimited and manifold and His knowledge, strength and action are inherent within Himself. The Supreme Lord who manifesting in all jivas or embodied beings has head, faces, eyes, ears, hands and feet everywhere is pervading everything in creation and is the basis of all activity as these selfsame organs of perception and locomotion belong to all beings.
Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna begins this verse with sarvatah pani-padam tat meaning the Supreme Lords has hands and feet everywhere. This denotes that by His potency the Supreme Lord is capable of doing everywhere what all hands and feet do in the embodied state. Similarly He speaks sarvatah srutimal loke meaning He hears everything in all directions internally and externally. This denotes that He is capable of performing the functions of the senses such as hearing and seeing without the need of any physical sense organ. The Supreme Lord known as Parabrahman although possessing not hands and feet is able to perform the activities of hands and feet. The Svetasvatara Upanisad III.IXX beginning apani pado jivana grihita meaning: Footless and handless He moves and grasps; eyeless and earless He sees and hears. That the atma or immortal soul of every sentient being even situated as an infinitesimal particle of Parabrahman also has the capacity of performing functions without organs as well. This is confirmed in the Mundaka Upanisad III.I.VIII beginning tatha vidva punya-pape vidhuya niranjana param samyam upaiti means: The atma casting off the dross of merit and demerit becomes purified attaining qualitative sameness in transcendence as the brahman. So in conclusion the ksetra-jna abides throughout all creation encompassing everything. This means that the atma pervades all things in creation without exception for the atma has no limitations of time and space. The atma is qualitatively equated to Parabrahman but quantitatively it is minuscule similar to a ray of light from the sun.
Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna defines the qualities of Parabrahman the Supreme Lord as the source of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence beginning with sarvatah pani padam meaning with hands and feet everywhere. The Svetasvatara Upanisad III.IX states: Without feet or hands He is swift and seizes. He sees without eyes and hears without the ears. Without material organs the Supreme Lord sees on all sides and hears all things within and without and grasps from all directions. The Supreme Lord being of transcendental nature endowed with supra-extraordinary potency is performing all actions of coming, going, grasping, seizing, hearing, seeing although without hands and eyes and ears and feet, etc. The jiva or embodied being who realises atma-tattva or the reality of their soul and achieves moksa or liberation from material existence, they will ultimately attain the association of the Supreme Lord and experience this state as well. The Mundaka Upanisad III.I.III states: When an aspirant perceives the source of the brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence as the brilliantly effulgent Supreme Lord, then realising the ultimate truth such a one becomes pristine and pure casting off all dualities such as what is good and what is evil and attains direct communion with the Ultimate Consciousness and the Supreme Lord. Hence all those liberated beings who have attained such communion to the Supreme Lord are also known to be performing actions like Him irrespective of whether or not they have the actual material organs. Through the auspices of the atma or immotal soul and the brahman the Parabrahman pervades with knowledge all objects of the ksetra-jna. When ignorance has been completely removed and nescience has been transcended the unlimited aspect of the atma becomes manifest and the quality of knowledge becomes unlimited and the soul becomes endowed with an all pervasive quality of omniscience including past and future. Only then is the atma spoken of as being equated to Parabrahman; otherwise it is not possible. The same is declared by Vedavyasa in his treatise Vedanta Sutras II.III.XXVIII beginning yavadatam bhavitva ca meaning: Proof that the atma is the consciousness factor is that cognition is only present as long as the atma is present; before self realisation it is obscured and after enlightenment it is perceived.