Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 15, Verse 19

यो मामेवमसम्मूढो जानाति पुरुषोत्तमम् |
स सर्वविद्भजति मां सर्वभावेन भारत || 19||

yo mām evam asammūḍho jānāti puruṣhottamam
sa sarva-vid bhajati māṁ sarva-bhāvena bhārata

yaḥwho; māmme; evamthus; asammūḍhaḥwithout a doubt; jānātiknow; puruṣha-uttamamthe Supreme Divine Personality; saḥthey; sarva-vitthose with complete knowledge; bhajatiworship; māmme; sarva-bhāvenawith one’s whole being; bhārataArjun, the son of Bharat


BG 15.19: Those who know me without doubt as the Supreme Divine Personality truly have complete knowledge. O Arjun, they worship me with their whole being.


The Śhrīmad Bhāgavatam states that God can be realized in three ways:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam

brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śhabdyate (1.2.11)[v18]

“The knowers of the Truth have stated that there is only one Supreme Entity that manifests in three ways in the world—Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān.” These are not three different entities, but merely three manifestations of the same Supreme Entity. For example, water, ice, and steam may appear to be distinct entities, but they are actually three forms of the same substance. Similarly, Brahman is the aspect of God that is formless and all-pervading. Those who follow the path of jñāna yog worship the Brahman aspect of God. Paramātmā is the aspect of the Supreme Entity that resides in the hearts of all living beings as the Supreme Soul. The path of aṣhṭāṅg yog leads to the Paramātmā realization of God. Bhagavān is the aspect of the Lord that manifests in a personal form and performs sweet leelas (pastimes). The path of bhakti, or devotion, leads to the realization of God in his Bhagavān aspect. This was also explained previously in verse 12.2.

In this chapter, from verse 12 onwards, Shree Krishna described all these three aspects of God. Verses 12 to 14 referred to the all-pervading Brahman manifestation, verse 15 mentioned the Paramātmā aspect, and verses 17 and 18 talked about Bhagavān. Now, which of these realizations is the highest and most complete? He answers this question here by saying that those who know him through bhakti as Bhagavān, the Supreme Divine Personality, truly have complete knowledge of him. A detailed explanation of why the Bhagavān realization is the highest is given by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj in Bhakti Śhatak. He begins by quoting the above-stated verse of the Śhrīmad Bhāgavatam:

tīna rūp śhrī kṛiṣhṇa ko, vedavyās batāya,

brahma aura parmātmā, aru bhagavān kahāya (Bhakti Śhatak verse 21)[v19]

“Ved Vyas has declared that the Supreme Lord manifests in three ways—Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān.” Then he goes on to describe these three manifestations of the Absolute Truth.

sarvaśhakti sampann ho, śhakti vikāsa na hoya,

sata chita ānanda rūp jo, brahma kahāve soya (Bhakti Śhatak verse 22)[v20]

“As Brahman, the infinite energies of God are all latent. He merely displays eternal knowledge and bliss.”

sarvaśhakti sanyukta ho, nāma rūp guṇa hoya,

līlā parikara rahit ho, paramātmā hai soya. (Bhakti Śhatak verse 23)[v21]

“As Paramātmā, God displays his form, name, and virtues. But he does not engage in leelas, nor does he have associates.”

sarvaśhakti prākaṭya ho, līlā vividha prakāra,

viharata parikara saṅg jo, tehi bhagavān pukāra (Bhakti Śhatak verse 24)[v22]

“The aspect of God in which he manifests all his energies and engages in various loving pastimes with his devotees is called Bhagavān.” These verses by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj clarify that in the Brahman and Paramātmā manifestations, God does not reveal all his powers. The complete realization of the Supreme Entity is as Bhagavān, in which he manifests all his names, forms, virtues, pastimes, abodes, and associates. (This has also been explained in verse 12.2, with the help of the example of a train.) Thus, those who know him as Bhagavān, the Supreme Divine Personality truly have complete knowledge.