na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni
paśya me yogam aiśvaram
bhūta-bhṛn na ca bhūta-stho
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 9.5
And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The Lord says that everything is resting on Him (mat-sthani sarva-bhutani). This should not be misunderstood. The Lord is not directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this material manifestation. Sometimes we see a picture of Atlas holding the globe on his shoulders; he seems to be very tired, holding this great earthly planet. Such an image should not be entertained in connection with Krishna’s upholding this created universe. He says that although everything is resting on Him, He is aloof. The planetary systems are floating in space, and this space is the energy of the Supreme Lord. But He is different from space. He is differently situated. Therefore the Lord says, “Although they are situated on My inconceivable energy, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead I am aloof from them.” This is the inconceivable opulence of the Lord.
In the Nirukti Vedic dictionary it is said, yujyate ’nena durghatesu karyesu: “The Supreme Lord is performing inconceivably wonderful pastimes, displaying His energy.” His person is full of different potent energies, and His determination is itself actual fact. In this way the Personality of Godhead is to be understood. We may think of doing something, but there are so many impediments, and sometimes it is not possible to do as we like. But when Krishna wants to do something, simply by His willing, everything is performed so perfectly that one cannot imagine how it is being done. The Lord explains this fact: although He is the maintainer and sustainer of the entire material manifestation, He does not touch this material manifestation. Simply by His supreme will, everything is created, everything is sustained, everything is maintained, and everything is annihilated. There is no difference between His mind and Himself (as there is a difference between ourselves and our present material mind) because He is absolute spirit.
Simultaneously the Lord is present in everything; yet the common man cannot understand how He is also present personally. He is different from this material manifestation, yet everything is resting on Him. This is explained here as yogam aishvaram, the mystic power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
“Though everything is situated in me, I am not in them, since I have no relation to them.”
“But this is contrary to what you said before: that you are pervading the universe, that you are the shelter of the universe.”
“See my extraordinary skill in action in doing what cannot be done. And see also something else which is astonishing. Even though I am the maintainer of all the living beings (bhuta bhrt) and protect them all (bhuta bhavanah), I, in my spiritual body (mamatma), am not situated in them.”
Since in the Lord, there is no difference between the body and the soul, the expression “my body” (mama atma) is employed as in the expression “the head of Rahu.” Though Rahu and his head are non-different, like Krishna and his body, the possessive case is used.
The meaning is this: the jivas accept a body, protect it, and, developing attachment to it, remain in that body. But though I accept all the living beings and protect them, though they are my material body consisting of all creatures, I am not situated there, because I am not attached.”
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
9.5 And yet ‘beings do not abide in Me,’ as I do not support them as a jug or any kind of vessel supports the water contained in them. How then are they contained? By My will. Behold My divine Yoga power, namely, My wonderful divine modes, unique to Me alone and having no comparison elsewhere. What are these modes? ‘I am the upholder of all beings and yet I am not in them — My will sustains all beings.’ The meaning is I am the supporter of all beings, and yet I derive no help for Myself whatever from them. My will alone projects, sustains and controls all beings. He gives an illustration to show how all beings depend on His will for their being and acts:
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Neither should it be assumed that all beings are within the Supreme Lord because if one were to think that His all pervasiveness and support of all beings is now being contradicted it is not the case. Anticipating such a doubt Lord Krishna states: pasya me yogam aisvaram meaning behold His supernatural and unimaginable potency which is a divine mystery and arrangement making the impossible, possible. This is to say that since the grandeur and majesty of His mysterious omnipotence is beyond the powers of the mind to fathom there is no contradiction whatsoever. Although the Supreme Lord is the bhuta-bhrt or sustainer of all living entities and the bhuta-bhavanah or protector of all living entities, He is na bhuta-stah meaning He is not subject to them. Although continuously maintaining and nourishing and guarding and protecting the Supreme Lord being free from any sense of ego consciousness unlike the embodied atma or soul which while maintaining and protecting its individual body becomes attached to it due to its sense of ego consciousness.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Even though all beings abide within the Supreme Lord they do not get attached to the Supreme Lord through their sense faculties. He is not seen with the eyes or heard with the ears. The Moksa Dharma states: The Supreme Lord is only known through intuition. Even though all beings reside in Him and He influences all beings by His manifestation of paramatama or the supreme soul within all beings, He is not attached to them by any ego sense so He is not a part of them. His manifestation of paramatma in all living entities is His tanscendental body with form and consciousness. One should not assume that Lord Krishna has a body of inert matter like we do. Lord Krishna’s body is sat-cit-annanda completely full of eternity, wisdom and bliss. There is no difference between His body and paramatma.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Nevertheless, as remarkable as it may seem, all created beings do not reside in the Supreme Lord like liquefied butter attached to ghee or clarified butter because it is stated so in the Vedic scriptures that the atma or soul is verily separate and not associated. So how can such contradiction be reconciled. Lord Krishna states: pasya me yogam aisvaram or behold my divine supernatural power which is extraordinarily phenomenal and which is beyond the scope of the human mind. So verily none can fathom the Supreme Lord even conceptually because He is factually beyond human conception. As for Him there is nothing beyond His scope because His divine supernatural power encompasses everything and is fully capable at all times in accomplishing the impossible and reconciling perfectly any contradictions. How can He who is bhuta-bhrt or the maintainer of all and He who is bhuta-bhavanah or the protector of all explain in what way existence is created? Lord Krishna states na bhuta-stah meaning He does all this without being associated with them. All this creation comes as a fiat of His will in the form of consciousness. This is corroborated in the Taittiriya Upanisad II.VI which states: He merely desired that there would be many and manifested creation.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
9.5 Na ca bhutani, nor do the beings, beginning from Brahma; matsthani, dwell in Me. Pasya, behold; me, My; aisvaram, divine; yogam, Yoga, action, performance, i.e. this real nature of Myself. The Upanisadic text, too, similarly shows the absence of association (of the Self) due to Its being free from contact: ‘…unattached, for It is never attached’ (Br. 3.9.26). Behold this other wonder: I am the bhuta-bhrt, sustainer of beings, though I am unattached. Ca, but; mama atma, My Self; na bhutasthah, is not contained in the bengs. As it has been explained according to the logic stated above, there is no possibility of Its remaining contained in beings. How, again, is it said, ‘It is My Self? Following human understanding, having separated the aggregate of body etc. (from the Self) and superimposing eoism of them, the Lord calls It ‘My Self’. But not that He has said so by ignorantly thinking like ordinary mortals that the Self is different from Himself. So also, I am the bhuta-bhavanah, originator of beings, one who gives birth to or nourishes the beings. By way of establishing with the help of an illustration the subject-matter [Subject-matter-that the Self, which has no contact with anything, is the substratum of creation, continuance and dissolution.] dealt with in the aforesaid two verses, the Lord says:
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
9.5 Na ca etc. Yet, the beings do not exist in Me : For, the persons, who are blind with nescience, do not see the reality. The ignorant do not consider the Absolute Lord – Who is of the nature of infinite Consciousness – as a basis of determinate knowledge of all objects. On the other hand conceiving [like] ‘I, the lean Devadatta, know this, as existing here on the floor’, they view [things of] finite nature aone as the basis [of determination]. But why this contradiction ? On this doubt [the Lord] says Look at the Sovereign Yoga of Mine. Yoga signifies the Power [of the Absolute], because it is being employed. This is indeed My Sovereignty, which is the Freedom of behaving in this manner in a highly strange way. This is the idea (here).
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
na ca mat-sthani bhutani
pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
na — never; ca — also; mat-sthāni — situated in Me; bhūtāni — all creation; paśya — just see; me — My; yogam aiśvaram — inconceivable mystic power; bhūta-bhṛt — the maintainer of all living entities; na — never; ca — also; bhūta-sthaḥ — in the cosmic manifestation; mama — My; ātmā — Self; bhūta-bhāvanaḥ — the source of all manifestations.