Question: The difference between the three?
The first is the description of the perception of oneself. Bhagavad Gita’s teaching is what is called in philosophical terms “monistic”. According to Monism there is only “one” Reality. Dualism is a theory according to which there are “two” ultimate Realities. Pluralism is a theory according to which ultimate Realities are “many”.
Now, Bhagavad Gita’s teaching is neither ‘dualistic’ nor ‘pluralistic’: it is ‘monistic’. Therefore, the fundamental statement of the Bhagavad Gita is that there is “one Reality”. You may speak of multiplicity, you may speak of any kind of differences, but all this is a subordinate description. The one principle overarching, pervasive description of Reality is: “it is One”. Now, perception of Oneness is according to the Bhagavad Gita the state of true Knowledge: “he who sees multiplicity does not see; he who sees Oneness sees”. “One who sees Oneness even in multiplicity is one who sees”; “one who sees multiplicity in Oneness is also one who sees” because Oneness is the fundamental perception. This ekatvam is the fundamental statement of the Bhagavad Gita. You take out this ekatvam from the Bhagavad Gita, the whole teaching collapses. Therefore, I consider these 3 statements to be so important; brahmanirvāṇa also refers to that Oneness.
Now, the 2nd statement is that beyond the oneness and multiplicity, because in the first statement you say: “all in self and self in all”. Now, this “all” and the “self” (oneness), are reconciled in a higher Reality, which is also one. And that Reality is the Purushottama. And Sri Krishna whenever He refers to Himself, whenever He says: ahaṃ sṛjāmi (IV, 7) in the 4th chapter, when He says, “I take birth again and again”, who is this “I”? It is the Supreme; it is the Lord Himself. So, the Lord is that which reconciles “one” and “all”, “one” and “multiplicity”, in which multiplicity is subordinate to the oneness. This is the relationship between the two. And these two are reconciled in the supreme Lord. Now, that supreme Lord is also to be perceived in “one” and “all”. So, this next statement, 6th chapter, 30th verse (VI, 30), refers to that perception. It is not merely a perception of the staticity in dynamism, and dynamism in the staticity. Here there is a perception of the Supreme in all, and all in the Supreme. So, that is the distinction between the two.
And the 3rd statement brings out the attitude that the individual possesses when this Knowledge, which is described in the previous 2 verses, is attained. Then what happens? bhajaty. The highest condition in which the individual falls is in a state of complete devotion. So, He says that, “Such a Yogi, he always remains in Me”. And since He Himself is both static and dynamic, he does not get destroyed, he does not get laya, because the Supreme Himself is dynamic; in the dynamic aspect He lives in the individual, mamaivāṁśaḥ. Therefore the highest condition, in which the individual lives, is at the feet of the supreme Lord, even though there is oneness; oneness in staticity and dynamism; oneness with the Lord himself. And yet, because of the relationship of dynamism, in which the individual lives, his condition is of a complete dāsānudāsa, “he is servant of servants”; bhajaty, he remains entirely at the feet of the Lord. Therefore, his Karma does not cease: as a dāsānudāsa, if the supreme Lord is in dynamism, and if he is a servant of Lord, so he is also in dynamism.