kasmāc ca te na nameran mahātman
garīyase brahmaṇo ’py ādi-kartre
ananta deveśa jagan-nivāsa
tvam akṣaraḿ sad-asat tat paraḿ yat
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 11.37
O great one, greater even than Brahma, You are the original creator. Why then should they not offer their respectful obeisances unto You? O limitless one, God of gods, refuge of the universe! You are the invincible source, the cause of all causes, transcendental to this material manifestation.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
By this offering of obeisances, Arjuna indicates that Krishna is worshipable by everyone. He is all-pervading, and He is the Soul of every soul. Arjuna is addressing Krishna as mahatma, which means that He is most magnanimous and unlimited. Ananta indicates that there is nothing which is not covered by the influence and energy of the Supreme Lord, and devesa means that He is the controller of all demigods and is above them all. He is the shelter of the whole universe. Arjuna also thought that it was fitting that all the perfect living entities and powerful demigods offer their respectful obeisances unto Him, because no one is greater than Him. Arjuna especially mentions that Krishna is greater than Brahma because Brahma is created by Him. Brahma is born out of the lotus stem grown from the navel abdomen of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, who is Krishna’s plenary expansion; therefore Brahma and Lord Shiva, who is born of Brahma, and all other demigods must offer their respectful obeisances. It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam that the Lord is respected by Lord Shiva and Brahma and similar other demigods. The word aksharam is very significant because this material creation is subject to destruction but the Lord is above this material creation. He is the cause of all causes, and being so, He is superior to all the conditioned souls within this material nature as well as the material cosmic manifestation itself. He is therefore the all-great Supreme.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Why should they not offer respects to you? Certainly, they should offer respects to you, for you are brahman (aksaram), above both cause and effect (sad asat param)?
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
11.37 O Mahatman, for what reason should Brahma and others not bow down to You, who are great and are the First Being and the Creator even of Brahma, namely, Hiranyagarbha? O Infinite, O Lord of the gods, O You who have the universe for Your abode! You are the ‘Aksara’. What does not perish, is the Aksara, here, the ‘principle of individual self’; for the individual self does not perish as established in Sruti passages: ‘The intelligent self is not born, nor dies’ (Ka. U., 1.2.18). You alone are the ‘existent and the non-existent,’ the principle of Prakrti, in its condition as effect and in its condition as cause. This is denoted by the terms ‘Sat’ (existent) and ‘Asat’ (non-existent). You alone are the state of effect denoted by the term ‘Sat’, which is the state of diversification by names and forms, and also the state of cause, denoted by the tetm ‘Asat’, which is the state incapable of such divisions and diversities. ‘What is beyond both’ — what is beyond Prakrti and the individual self associated with the Prakrti, as also from the principle of liberated selves who are different from those associated with Prakrti, i.e., bound souls. You alone are that also. Therefore:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Why indeed should not every living entity in all creation offer their humble respects to the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the sole controller, the primeval God of all gods, the original creator of the primary creation and the creator of Brahma who created the secondary creation being material existence composed of trillions of universe but which is but 1/4th of the spiritual energy of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is both sat the manifest and asat the unmanifest as well as that which is beyond each and contains them both. The original root and primeval cause of all existence. The sole source of the imperishable brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. There is no surprise by the facts given by these nine examples that all beings in creation should offer homage to Lord Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Here it is explained why it is appropriate to propitiate the Supreme Lord Krishna. As He is purna or complete He is known as the source of all atmas or souls. Here He is addressed as mahatma the greatest personality. The word atma has been explained in Mahabharta in this manner: The Supreme Lord is pervading everywhere in everything, because He is the controller of all, the dispenser of the results of all actions, abiding in each and every body and the first recipient of all sense enjoyments and because He is eternal He is known as atma the soul of all. The Bhagavat Purana states that the material worlds are a combination of sat or effect and asat or cause but the Supreme Lord is superior to both sat and asat.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
The statements made in the previous verse are being justified with the words kasmac na meaning why not which refers to why shouldn’t all the demigods and exalted sages and perfected beings bow to the Supreme Lord Krishna who is the progenitor of Brahma who is their creator. The Supreme Lord is the embodiment of all creation, comprised of the animate and inanimate. He is sat the effect and asat the cause and He is tat param that which is beyond both. He is beyond the jivas or embodied beings united with primordial matter which is characterised as what is existent and what is non-existent. He is beyond prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence. He is beyond the brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. He and His energies are indestructible, imperishable and eternal. His plenary expansion within all sentient beings is the atma or soul which is also indestructible and eternal. The Katha Upanisad I.II.XVIII beginning najayate mriyateva vipaschit meaning: The soul is never born neither does it ever die. As all sentient beings are blessed with an eternal soul bestowed by Supreme Lord Krishna alone why should they not all bow down to Him.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
11.37 Ca, and; since You are the Primal Creator, the Cause, api, even; brahmanah, of Brahma, of Hiranyagarbha; therefore, kasmat, why, for what reason; should they na nameran, not bow down; te, to You; mahatman, O exalted One; gariyase, who are greater (than all)! Hence, why should these not bow down adi-karte, to the first Creator? Therefore You are fit for, i.e. the fit object of, delight etc. and salutation as well. Ananta, O infinite One; devesa, supreme God; jagannivasa, Abode of the Universe; tvam, You; are the aksaram, Immutable; tat param yat, that which is Transcendental, which is heard of in the Upanisads;-what is that?-sad-asat, being and nonbeing. Being is that which exists, and non-being is that with regard to which the idea of nonexistence arises. (You are) that Immutable of which these two-being and non-being-become the limiting adjuncts; which (Immutable), as a result, is metaphorically referred to as being and non-being. But in reality that Immutable is transcendental to being and non-being. ‘That Immutable which the knowers of the Vedas declare’ (8.11; cf. Ka. 1.2.15)-that is You Yourself, nothing else. This is the idea. He praises again:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
11.37 Kasmat etc. Existent (11.Sat) : i.e. as a purport of words (11.or as material object). Non-existent (11.Asat) : Because, the Absolute does not become an object of perception. Or Asat signifies negation; [in fact] it is also well connected with the words which denote it directly, or indicate it indirectly by denoting what contains it; it also enjoys a form (11.becomes an object) of knowledge (11.of its own); and [hence] is has no separate existence other than the existence of the Absolute Brahman ? (11.It is) beyond both the existent and non-existent : For, It is realised when the knowledge of both of them disappears. (11.38)
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
kasmac ca te na nameran mahatman
gariyase brahmano ’py adi-kartre
ananta devesa jagan-nivasa
tvam aksaram sad-asat tat param yat
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
kasmāt — why; ca — also; te — unto You; na — not; nameran — they should offer proper obeisances; mahā-ātman — O great one; garīyase — who are better; brahmaṇaḥ — than Brahmā; api — although; ādi-kartre — to the supreme creator; ananta — O unlimited; deva-īśa — O God of the gods; jagat-nivāsa — O refuge of the universe; tvam — You are; akṣaram — imperishable; sat-asat — to cause and effect; tat param — transcendental; yat — because.