mattaḥ parataraḿ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idaḿ protaḿ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 7.7
O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
There is a common controversy over whether the Supreme Absolute Truth is personal or impersonal. As far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, the Absolute Truth is the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, and this is confirmed in every step. In this verse, in particular, it is stressed that the Absolute Truth is a person. That the Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Absolute Truth is also the affirmation of the Brahma-samhita: ishvarah paramah krishnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah; that is, the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead is Lord Krishna, who is the primeval Lord, the reservoir of all pleasure, Govinda, and the eternal form of complete bliss and knowledge. These authorities leave no doubt that the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. The impersonalist, however, argues on the strength of the Vedic version given in the Shvetasvatara Upanishad (3.10): tato yad uttarataram tad arupam anamayam/ ya etad vidur amritas te bhavanti athetare duhkham evapiyanti. “In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence, who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, but those who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world.”
The impersonalist puts more stress on the word arupam. But this arupam is not impersonal. It indicates the transcendental form of eternity, bliss and knowledge as described in the Brahma-samhita quoted above. Other verses in the Shvetasvatara Upanishad (3.8–9) substantiate this as follows:
vedaham etam purusham mahantam
aditya-varnam tamasah parastat
tam eva viditvati mrityum eti
nanyah pantha vidyate ’yanaya
yasmat param naparam asti kincid
yasman naniyo no jyayo ’sti kincit
vrksa iva stabdho divi tisthaty ekas
tenedam purnam purusena sarvam
“I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person.
“There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person, because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies.”
From these verses one concludes that the Supreme Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is all-pervading by His multi-energies, both material and spiritual.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Because of this, I am everything. That is expressed in this verse.
There is nothing superior to me, because I am both the cause and the effect, and I am the sakti and saktiman. As the sruti says, ekam evadvitiyam brahma: there is only one brahman and nothing else (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.2); and neha nanasti kincana: there is no variety at all. (Brhad Aranyaka Upanisad 4.4.19)
Having spoken of his own identity with everything, the Lord speaks about his entrance into everything. All the universe (sarvam idam) composed of conscious and unconscious prakrti, because it is my effect, is identical with me. Still, everything is pervaded by the paramatma (I am in everything), as pearls are strung on a thread. Madhusadana Sarasvati says that being strung like pearls means only that everything is controlled by the Lord, and does not refer to material causality. A suitable example of causality would be gold and gold earrings.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
7.7 I am absolutely superior to all in two ways: 1) I am the cause of both the Prakrtis and I am also their controlling master (Sesin). This controllership over inanimate nature is exercised through the animate Prakrti (the Jivas) who form the inner controller (Sesin) of their bodies which are constituted of inanimate nature. 2) I am supreme to all in another sense also — as the possessor of knowledge, power, strength etc., in an infinite degree. There is no entity other than Me with such attributes of an equal or superior nature. The aggregate of all the animate and inanimate things, whether in their causal state or in the state of effect, is strung on Me who abides as their Self, as a row of gems on a thread. They depend on Me. And it is proved that the universe of inanimate and animate beings exists as the body with Brahman (i.e. the Supreme Person) as their Self as declared by the Antaryami-brahmana and other texts: ‘He whose body is the earth’ (Br. U., 3.7-3), ‘He whose body is the self’ (Br. U. Madh., 3.7.22), and ‘He is the inner self of all beings, without evil, He is the Lord in the supreme heaven, He is the one Narayana’ (Su. U., 7). Thus, as everything constitutes the body of the Supreme Person forming only a mode of His who is their Self, the Supreme Person alone exists, and all things (which we speak of as diversity) are only His modes. Therefore all terms used in common parlance for different things, denote Him only. Sri Krsna shows this by coordinating some important ones among these entities with Himself.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Now that Lord Krishna’s absolute position has been established in regard to all creation He is confirming that there is nothing that exists which is superior to Him. In other words there is no independent power or cause apart from Him existing whatsoever in the origin, creation and dissolution of all creation. Lord Krishna energises and totally sustains all creation as well. This is what He is stating by the words mayi sarvam idam protam meaning all the worlds are threaded or pervaded by Him. The metaphor is clear enough.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna is stating that He alone is the Supreme Being and that there is none other.
Now begins the summation.
Mattah parataram nanyat means there is nothing is superior to Lord Krishna. To consider that there is anything, anywhere in creation independent of Him is foolishness. Because of contact with prakriti or material nature attachment and sorrow arise which enacts a distinct identity for all living entities. Sri or Laksmi Devi is superior to prakriti, being ever free from sorrow. Although Sri associates with prakriti there is no effect from it. Vayu is the demigod in charge of wind. He is madhyana or intermediate and has some independence from prakriti. Lord Krishna is known as the most exalted and since there are no more demigods superior to Him, He is not only exalted but the Supreme Being of all.
Because the jiva or embodied being identifies with prakriti attachment arises and because of attachment then duality is accepted thereby the jiva is considered to be in an inferior position. Therefore everything in material existence which is temporary and subject to change is considered inferior without exception. Even more inferior are those who are inimical to the Supreme Lord. Having no cognisance with even their own consciousness they are ever associated with sorrow and despair. Thus it can be clearly understood that only those who have a relationship with the Supreme Lord have qualified themselves for salvation and no others. Those who have so qualified themselves are always blissful and experiencing happiness internally are the superior ones. But even they are still below Brahma and others according to taratamya or gradation of qualification in bhakti or loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Those who have a relationship with the Supreme Lord attain moksa or liberarion from material existence by this very experience. By such experience supra-sensory illumination manifests in them known as vijnana. The depth and quality of the perception of this illumination and its awareness depends upon taratamya as well. The primary source of illumination is the Supreme Lord Krishna and all others such as Brahma and Shiva are directly empowered and illumined by Him.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Now Lord Krishna speaks of His paramount position over everything and His superiority over all. Because He is the origin of the dual nature of prakriti the material substratum, He Himself is factually the substratum of everything existing and the source of the entire creation. There is no independent power or cause for all of creation other than Him. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord of all and this is clear everything animate and inanimate in all of creation evolves from Him. The Vedic scriptures proclaim of Lord Krishna thus: There is nothing equal to Him neither is there anything superior to Him. He is the source of all sources. He is the controller of all controllers. He is the Lord of all lords. He is the origin of the creator of creation. He is the Supreme Being above all other beings. The Ruler of the unmanifest and the manifest. By the will of Lord Krishna the entire creation of unlimited movable and immovables has been manifested.
Now Lord Krishna reveals He, Himself is the ultimate substratum of everything. The metaphor given are the words sutre mani-gana iva meaning clusters of gems strung on a thread. The stableness and movement of the gems is depending upon the thread and in the same way the stability and movement of the entire creation comprised of the animate and inanimate is depending upon Lord Krishna who resides as paramatma the Supreme Soul within all sentient beings. This means that their life and activities are dependent solely on Him even though possessing free will. It is stated in the Vedic scriptures that: The Supreme Lord encompasses internally and externally everything that is seen or heard. Also it is stated: Intellect, mind, universal intelligence, wind, fire, earth and the four types of beings: 1) engendered by form 2) viviparous or engendered by egg 3) engendered by sprouting 4) engendered by heat and moisture All these four types of beings have their as source Lord Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
7.7 O Dhananjaya, asti, there is; na anyat kincit, nothing else whatsoever, no other cause; parataram, higher; mattah, than Me, the supreme God; i.e. I Myself am the source of the world. Since this is so, therefore, sarvam, all; idam, this, all things, the Universe; protam,is strung, woven, connected, i.e. transfixed; mayi, on Me, the supreme God; like cloth in the warp, [Like cloth formed by threads constituting its warp and woof.] and iva, like; maniganah, peals; sutre,on a string. ‘What qualities are You endowed with, by virtue of which all this is strung on You? This is being answered:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
7.6-7 Etadyonini etc. Mattah etc. Keep them nearby : You should place them in your neihbourhood following the method of experience augmented by practice. Or [it may mean that] You should bear in mind that I, the Vasudeva, am both the origin and destruction of all beings. What is indicated by ‘I’ is this : Even though [it is viewed that] the Absolute (Isvara) is distinct from the Prakrti, Soul and Supreme Soul, It remains by all means immanent in all; hence there is no room for the theory of dualism of the Sankhya and the Yoga schools. Just as the pearls on the string. Just as the string does exist unobserved in the interior [in a necklace] though its form remains undetected, in the same fashion I remain in all.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
mattah parataram nanyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idam protam
sutre mani-gana iva
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
attaḥ — beyond Me; para-taram — superior; na — not; anyat kiñcit — anything else; asti — there is; dhanam-jaya — O conqueror of wealth; mayi — in Me; sarvam — all that be; idam — which we see; protam — is strung; sūtre — on a thread; maṇi-gaṇāḥ — pearls; iva — like.