samaṁ paśyati yo ’rjuna
sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ
sa yogī paramo mataḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 6.32
He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
One who is Krishna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is knowing Krishna to be the supreme enjoyer of all the activities of the human being, the proprietor of all lands and planets, and the sincerest friend of all living entities. The perfect yogi knows that the living being who is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected to the threefold material miseries due to forgetfulness of his relationship with Krishna. And because one in Krishna consciousness is happy, he tries to distribute the knowledge of Krishna everywhere. Since the perfect yogi tries to broadcast the importance of becoming Krishna conscious, he is the best philanthropist in the world, and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord. Na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah (Bg. 18.69). In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in this way he is factually the friend of everyone. He is the best yogi because he does not desire perfection in yoga for his personal benefit, but tries for others also. He does not envy his fellow living entities. Here is a contrast between a pure devotee of the Lord and a yogi interested only in his personal elevation. The yogi who has withdrawn to a secluded place in order to meditate perfectly may not be as perfect as a devotee who is trying his best to turn every man toward Krishna consciousness.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Moreover, it has been stated that even the yogi at the stage of sadhana should have equal vision everywhere. This verse explains the most important type of equal vision. He sees what is good for himself and what is bad for himself as equally applicable to all others; he desires happiness for all others, and does not desire suffering for anyone. That yogi I consider the best.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
6.32 (iv) He who — because of the similarity between his own self and other selves, as they are all constituted similarly of uncontracted knowledge in their essential being — views the pleasures in the form of the birth of a son and the sorrows in the form of the death of a son of his own and of others, as equal, on the ground of their equal unrelatedness to such pleasures and pains to him. Viewing his own pleasures and pains of the above description as being not different from those of others of the same kind — tht Yogin is deemed the highest; he is judged as having reached the summit of Yoga. [The idea is to prevent misconstruing the verse as meaning that one shares the joy and misery of all as his own. It means only that the highest type of yogins understand that the self is unrelated to the pain and pleasures of his own body-mind. He understands also that the same is the case with other selves.]
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna specifies that among the different yogis or those perfecting the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the ultimate consciousness, those who worship the Supreme Lord and who are compassionate to all living entities are the most exalted. Such a yogi who empathises with all living entities regarding them as oneself and by this vision wishes only the best for all created beings.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna here explains equal vision differently then He did in previous verses.
Now begins the summation.
Those who are devotees of the Supreme Lord treat everyone as they would treat themselves.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna speaks of the most exalted yogi’s who perceiving the atma in all created beings view them as non-different from himself. Just as a person does not like to create difficulties for themselves and at all times wishes the best for themselves. In the same way such a yogi does not want difficulties created for any being and at all times wishes the best for all beings. Such a yogi is completely free from passion and desire and is the most exalted of all yogi’s. All persons due to their previous actions are caught in the current of reactions of merits and demerits that create obstacles in achieving communion with the Supreme Lord. Those whose knowledge is veiled by nescience birth after birth since time immemorial have no idea that the highest goal of human existence is first atma tattva or realisation of the soul within the etheric heart and second the perception of the atma or soul in all created beings and the ultimate unity of all created beings. This unity is absolute inseparable unity with the Supreme Lord.
By chance a fortunate individual receives the unconditional mercy of the Supreme Lord, reflects on the purpose of human existence and gaining the association of pious people comes into contact with a qualified spiritual preceptor and following their instructions concerning realisation of the atma and the path to moksa or liberation from the material existence they purify their mind and very existence. Then such a person engages themselves wholeheartedly in the practice of meditation which culminates into realisation of the embodied self being the atma or soul and paramatma the Supreme Soul both residing within the etheric heart. From this time on one only experiences the actions dictated by destiny and until all past accumulated reactions are finished. One comprehends that both happiness and unhappiness are temporary and caused by merits and demerits from past actions and present obstacles on the path to moksa or liberation to the Supreme Lord. Just as those fettered in golden chains or iron chains are both in bondage and each feel the same type of relief when released and freed. So in the same way the pleasure one receives causing obstacles due to merits and the pain one receives causing obstacles due to demerits both have the same effect of relief when they are finally exhausted and a person is set free by achieving moksa. This mentality one applies also to all created beings because one sees everything with the same equal vision as one perceives themselves.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
6.32 Atma-aupamyena: Atma means the self, i.e. oneself. That by which a comparison is made is an upama. The abstract from of that is aupamya. Atma-aupamya means a standard as would be applicable to oneself. O Arjuna, yah, he who; pasyati, judges; sarvatra, in all beings; samam, by the same standard, in the same manner; atma-aupamyena, as he would apply to himself-. And what does he view with sameness? That is being stated: As sukham, happiness, is dear to me, so also is happiness agreeable to all creatures. Va, and-the word va is (used) in the sense of and; just as yadi, whatever; duhkham, sorrow is unfavourable, unwelcome to me, so also is sorrow unwelcome and unfavourable to all creatures. In this way, he looks upon happiness and sorrow as pleasant and unpleasant to all bengs, by the same standard as he would apply to himself. He does not act against anyone. That is , he is non-injurious. He who is thus non-injurious and steadfast in full Illumination, sah, that yogi; paramah matah, is considered as the best among all the yogis. Noticing that his Yoga-as spoken of and consisting in full Illumination- is hard to acquire, Arjuna, with a view to hearing the sure means to its attainment, said:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
6.32 Atma-etc. ‘That he finds the pleasure and pain of all on analogy of himself’. This is only a statement of characteristic mark [of the Yogin]; and it is not an injunction enjoining a new action.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
samam pasyati yo ’rjuna
sukham va yadi va duhkham
sa yogi paramo matah
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
ātma — with his self; aupamyena — by comparison; sarvatra — everywhere; samam — equally; paśyati — sees; yaḥ — he who; arjuna — O Arjuna; sukham — happiness; vā — or; yadi — if; vā — or; duḥkham — distress; saḥ — such; yogī — a transcendentalist; paramaḥ — perfect; mataḥ — is considered.