yathā sarva-gataḿ saukṣmyād
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 13.33
The sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything, although it is all-pervading. Similarly, the soul situated in Brahman vision does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The air enters into water, mud, stool and whatever else is there; still it does not mix with anything. Similarly, the living entity, even though situated in varieties of bodies, is aloof from them due to his subtle nature. Therefore it is impossible to see with the material eyes how the living entity is in contact with this body and how he is out of it after the destruction of the body. No one in science can ascertain this.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
In this verse the Lord gives an example. Just as the ether, situated in mud and other places, is not contaminated because it is most subtle – not contacting the mud at all, the paramatma is not connected with the gunas or faults of the material body, and therefore is not contaminated.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
13.33 As the ‘all-pervading ether,’ though in contact with all substances, is ‘not tainted’ by the qualities of all these substances, as it is ‘subtle’ — even so the self, though ‘present in all the bodies,’ everywhere, namely, in divinities, men etc., is not contaminated by these bodies by reason of Its extreme subtleness.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
An example is being given by Lord Krishna that just as the akasam or ether existing everywhere being supra-subtle is not contaminated by anything and unaffected; so is the atma or immortal soul although abiding in all jivas or embodied beings some superior like demigods and some inferior as animals it is unaffected and not implicated by the activities performed by any jiva and never subject to any reactions of merit or demerit.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Sri Madhvacharya did not comment on this sloka.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
It may also be questioned how is it that paramatma or the all pervading Supreme Soul and the localised atma or individual immortal soul are not contaminated and infected by the material qualities associated with the physical body such as pleasure and pain, joy and distress. Lord Krishna replies to such with the analogy of ether which atomically is existing everywhere all through prakriti the material substratum pervading physical existence and as such is not contaminated or modified by any object. In the same way paramatma and the atma although abiding within the physical bodies of all jivas or embodied beings is not contaminated or modified by the merits or demerits associated with the actions of the physical body.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
13.33 Yatha, as; sarva-gatam, the all-pervading; akasam, space;-though pervasive, still, na upalipyate, is not defiled, does not come into contact; saukmyat, because of its subtlety; tatha, similarly; atma, the Self; avasthitah, present, sarvatra, everywhere; dehe, in the body; na, is not; upalipyate, defiled. Further,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
13.31-34 Yada etc. upto na upalipyate. When [a man of Yoga] perceives the mutual difference i.e., separateness of all beings (all mutually different beings) in the very Self on account of Its all pervasive nature and realises the said difference as having sprung up from the Self alone – even then he does not get any stain. For [in that case] he would be the creator (or performer) of all. For, he is none but the Supreme Self; and though residing in the body, he is not stained just as the Eather is [not stained].
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
yatha sarva-gatam sauksmyad
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
yathā — as; sarva-gatam — all-pervading; saukṣmyāt — due to being subtle; ākāśam — the sky; na — never; upalipyate — mixes; sarvatra — everywhere; avasthitaḥ — situated; dehe — in the body; tathā — so; ātmā — the self; na — never; upalipyate — mixes.yathā — as; sarva-gatam — all-pervading; saukṣmyāt — due to being subtle; ākāśam — the sky; na — never; upalipyate — mixes; sarvatra — everywhere; avasthitaḥ — situated; dehe — in the body; tathā — so; ātmā — the self; na — never; upalipyate — mixes.