ahaṁ vaiśvānaro bhūtvā prāṇināṁ deham āśritaḥ |,
“I am not only Light, but also I am fire…” the two are actually simultaneous, the two are inseparable, the light and fire are simultaneous, so, He says “ahaṁ vaiśvānaro, it is the same light which is the fire, it is that fire which in the bodies”. All this is a state of realisation, when you realise what you realise, you realise Myself as the Light, you also realise Me as the fire. It is this fire, prāṇāpāna, by prāṇa and apāna, this fire moves and digest everything, pacāmy annaṁ catur-vidham ||14|| (XV), there are four kinds of foods: that which can be eaten, that is called ‘bhakṣya’; that which is enjoyed which is called ‘bhojya’; ‘lehya’, that which can be licked; ‘coṣya’. These are the four kinds of food, all these are digested by this Agni, by this fire, the whole world, in other words is maintained by this fire.
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca |
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham ||15|| (XV)
“It is Me…” Now comes the question of ‘being’. First is the light and the fire, then comes the knowledge of the being. Then you find that I Myself, My being, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo, I ma seated in all, through fire and light you come to know Me and then you find that all these things which are, are Myself, My being; mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam, it is because of Me that there is the experience of memory, or the experience of knowledge; apohanaṁ ca, even when they lapse, it is also because of Me.
If there is one thing to be known, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo, it is My being that has to be learnt. So, you can see, first of all you learn the knowledge the light, the fire and then you come to know Him, the being of the Divine; vedaiś ca sarvair, of all the Vedas if you learn the whole Veda, the only thing to be learnt is aham, the supreme Divine is to be learnt, is to be known; vedānta-kṛd, I am Myself the creator of Vedanta, veda-vid eva cāham, I am Myself the knower of the Veda.
And then you come to know now the secret of this Being that there is three Purushas: the Kshara Purusha, the Akshara Purusha and Purushottama. When you know all this, then you know the most secret knowledge.
So, last verse (XV, 20):
iti guhyatamaṁ śāstram idaṁ uktaṁ mayānagha |
“Therefore I have now revealed to you the entire, the most secret truth of My being. When you know all this, then you become sarva-vid, you can be called the knower of all things.” The word sarva-vid is a very important word: what is the meaning of being ‘the knower of all things’?
There is a very important sentence in Chhandogya Upanishad: knowing which all things can be known. This is the question that Shvetaketu is asked by his father. The story: Shvetaketu as you know was a student, son of Aruni. He himself was a teacher, but he sent his son to learn from another teacher. For many years he lived with his teacher and Shvetaketu came back home after studying. When he came back he believed that he had known now everything, as all young people feel after studying that ‘now there is nothing more to be learnt, I have done so much and may be my father and my mother also don’t know as much as I do’ and that was his feeling, in the Upanishad it is said that Shvetaketu felt that he had known now everything and he had become even quite proud and arrogant.
The father being a very good teacher, he recognises he is proud of it also but wants to put him in his place, so, he says to his son: “my son, have you learnt everything?” “All that my teacher knows I know now”. Then he says: “Then you will be able to answer one question I will ask you.” So, he said “of course!” “So, tell me what is it knowing which everything can be known.” He was startled. “Tell me knowing which…what is it knowing which everything can be known.”
So he could not answer the question. But now he felt that “if I don’t plead with my father, my father will send me back to my teacher’s house.” So he said that “I am sure my teacher did not know the answer to this question, therefore you only teach me now.” So, the father said “all right, I will teach you”, then he asked many questions such as “you put salt in this water, then taste from here….
…then he said: “Do you need now do drink from all sides to know that wherever you drink it will be salty? Because you know salt is there in it so wherever you drink from, it will be salty. So, if you know that salt is mixed with it you can be sure about all that is happening in the water: it is salty. So, knowing this one thing you know everything about this water. Similarly if you know that the supreme Divine is everywhere, if you know that you yourself are that and if you know the nature of the supreme Divine, then you can be sure that wherever you go in the world, you know that this is all divine: so, you become sarva-vid, just as a good cook knows when the rice is cooked: only one grain is to be tasted and you know that all that is tasted. Similarly sarva-vid does not mean that necessarily you examine each and everyone and say ‘this is my knowledge’, what we call all is nothing but different names and forms. You can say in general ‘all these are names and forms and there can be thousands and billions and billions of forms, this is known, forms can be one crooked, one straight, one beautiful, one ugly, all kinds of forms are there, you know it already: so, there is one knowledge. Then you know what is behind a form.”