pitāham asya jagato
mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ
vedyaḿ pavitram oḿ-kāra
ṛk sāma yajur eva ca
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 9.17
I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om. I am also the Rig, the Sama and the Yajur Vedas.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The entire cosmic manifestations, moving and nonmoving, are manifested by different activities of Krishna’s energy. In the material existence we create different relationships with different living entities who are nothing but Krishna’s marginal energy; under the creation of prakriti some of them appear as our father, mother, grandfather, creator, etc., but actually they are parts and parcels of Krishna. As such, these living entities who appear to be our father, mother, etc., are nothing but Krishna. In this verse the word dhata means “creator.” Not only are our father and mother parts and parcels of Krishna, but the creator, grandmother and grandfather, etc., are also Krishna. Actually any living entity, being part and parcel of Krishna, is Krishna. All the Vedas, therefore, aim only toward Krishna. Whatever we want to know through the Vedas is but a progressive step toward understanding Krishna. That subject matter which helps us purify our constitutional position is especially Krishna. Similarly, the living entity who is inquisitive to understand all Vedic principles is also part and parcel of Krishna and as such is also Krishna. In all the Vedic mantras the word om, called pranava, is a transcendental sound vibration and is also Krishna. And because in all the hymns of the four Vedas—Sama, Yajur, Rig and Atharva—the pranava, or omkara, is very prominent, it is understood to be Krishna.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Please see text 19 for Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur’s combined commentary to texts 17, 18 and 19.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
9.17 Of the world consisting of mobile and immobile entities, I alone am the father, mother, creator and grandfather. Here the term Dhatr stands for one other than the parents who helps in the birth of a particular person. Whatever is known from theVedas as purifying, I alone am that. I am the Pranava, which originates knowledge and forms the seed of the Vedas. I am the Veda comprising Rk, Saman and Yajus.
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna states that He is the dhata or bestower of the fruits of one’s actions. He is vedyam or the essence of what is to be known and the sole object to be realised. He is pavitram the one who purifies and sanctifies. He is the His own personal sound vibration manifested in the sacred monosyllable OM and He is the sublime and perfect Rig Veda, Sama Veda and the Yajur Veda from where the Atharva Veda was extracted by Vedavayasa.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
The spiritual knowledge spoken previously is further narrated here. Rituals mean sacrifices of worship and propitiation. True sacrifice means the renunciation of wealth by humbly offering it in the service of the Supreme Lord. It is also stated in the Vedic sciptures that in relationship to the Supreme Lord the renunciation of wealth is considered sacrifice.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna confirms that He is the sustainer of all creation and the actual impeller of all beings to create distinct from the seminal birth of parents. In this way He is the father, the mother and grandsire of all. He is the ultimate to be known and He the purifying sacred syllable OM His personal sound vibration and He is the sacred Rig, Sama and the Yajur Veda from where the Atharva Veda was extracted.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
9.17 Asya, of this; jagatah, world; aham, I; am pita, the father; mata, the mother; dhata, ordainer, dispenser of the results of their actions to the creatures; (and the) pirtamahah, grand-father. I am the vedayam, knowable-that which has to be known; the pavitram, sanctifier; [Virtuous actions.] and the onkarah, syllable Om; eva ca, as also Rk, Sama and Yajus. [Brahman, which has to be known, is realizable through Om, regarding which fact the three Vedas are the authority. The ca (as also) is suggestive of the Atharva-veda.] Moreover,
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
9.16-19 Ahim kratuh etc. upto Arjuna. The Brahman-being is of course only one and admits of no parts. The action also depends only on the assumed [or not real] causes. Hence, it accomplishes the aloneness (or oneness) of the Brahman. For, if it is performed with the realisation that all the different causes are nothing but the Self, then the action is not far away from reaching the Bhagavat. That has also been stated – ‘This self same action-power of Siva, if it exists in the ignorant, binds [him]; the same power, when it is realised that it is a path to his own Self [Siva], then it leads to the goal (the Lord).’ (SpK, III, 16). I have myself (Ag.) stated elsewhere as : The intellect that confirms, in the beginning, to [the duality of] the beings and the non-beings; the same intellect does not conform, at the time of withdrawl, to [the duality of] the beings and the non-beings. This subject has been discussed in detail in different places. Hence let us stop [the present discussion] here. I give heat etc. This is said in the context of discussing the One that admits no duality. But if the Brahman can be attained by means of external sacrifices also, then, is a different god (different from Vasudeva) worshipped in the sacrifices like the Agnistoma ? If it is admitted, then it would lead to the doctrine of duality. If [on the other hand] it is Vasudeva Himself, the how is it that emancipation is not attained by the performence [of these sacrifices] ? Therefore it is stated –
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
pitaham asya jagato
mata dhata pitamahah
vedyam pavitram om-kara
rk sama yajur eva ca
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
pitā — father; aham — I; asya — of this; jagataḥ — universe; mātā — mother; dhātā — supporter; pitāmahaḥ — grandfather; vedyam — what is to be known; pavitram — that which puriﬁes; oḿ-kāra — the syllable oḿ; ṛk — the Ṛg Veda; sāma — the Sāma Veda; yajuḥ — the Yajur Veda; eva — certainly; ca — and.