उपद्रष्टानुमन्ता च भर्ता भोक्ता महेश्वरः |
परमात्मेति चाप्युक्तो देहेऽस्मिन्पुरुषः परः ||१३-२३||


upadraṣṭānumantā ca bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ .
paramātmeti cāpyukto dehe.asminpuruṣaḥ paraḥ ||13-23||



13.23. The Supreme Soul in this [corporeal] body is called the Spectator, the Assentor, the Supporter, the Experiencer, the Mighty Lord and also the Supreme Self.

Shri Purohit Swami

13.23 Thus in the body of man dwells the Supreme God; He who sees and permits, upholds and enjoys, the Highest God and the Highest Self.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

13.20-23 Prakrtim etc. upto parah. The Material Cause also is beginningless, because it has no other casue. Modifications : the cloth and the like. What is known as Material Cause is the basis for the process of cause-and-effect. But, the Soul, because of Its importance, constitutes the enjoyer. [Thus] the Material Cause and the Soul have verily an existence of interdependence just as that of the lame and the blind. Hence, the nature of the Soul is described by the authors of the scriptures by nomenclatures having different forms such as ’the Spectator’ and so on. The meaning, intended here is this : The Material Cause, Its modifications, the fourteen types of creation and also the Soul - this is all beginningless and perennial as it is completely illuminated by the category Brahman and is identical with it. Hence [the Bhagavat] said :

Sri Ramanuja

13.23 The self existing in the body becomes the ‘spectator and approver’ of this body by means of the will in consonance with the functioning of the body. Likewise, It is the ‘supporter’ of the body, Similarly, It becomes ’experiencer’ of the pleasure and pain resulting from the activities of the body. Thus, by virtue of ruling and supporting the body and by making the body completely subservient, It becomes ’the great lord’ (Mahesvara) in relation to the body, the senses and the mind. Sri Krsna will further declare: ‘When the lord acires the body, and when he leaves it and goes on his way, he takes these as the wind carries scents from their places’ (15.8). In the body, It is said to be the ‘supreme self’ in relation to the body, the senses and the mind. The word ‘self’ (Atman) is applied to the body and the mind subseently. It is said afterwards: ‘Some perceive the self by means of the self through meditation’ (13.24). The particle ‘also’ (api) indicates that the self is the ‘supreme lord’? in relation to the body just as It is the supreme self. The supremacy of the self has been described in the text beginning with ‘It is the beginningless brahman having Me for the Highest’ (13.12). It is true that the self (in Its emancipated state) has limitless power knowledge. But It becomes the great lord and the supreme self only in relation to the body. Such lordship and supremacy is the result of attachment to the Gunas arising from the beginningless conjunction with Prakrti.

Sri Shankaracharya

13.23 He who is the upadrasta, Witness, who while staying nearby does not Himself become involved: As when the priests and the performer of a sacrifice remain engaged in duties connected with the sacrifice, there is another (called Brahma) remaining nearby who is unengaged, is versed in the science of sacrifices and witnesses the merit or demerit of the activities of the priest and the performer of the sacrifice, similarly, He who is not engaged in the activities of and is different from the body and organs, who has characteristics other than theirs, and is the proximate (upa) observer (drasta) of the body and organs engaged in their duties, is the upa-drasta. Or: The observers are the body, eyes, mind, intellect and the soul. Of them the body is the external observer. Proceeding inwards from that (body), the Self is the inmost as also the proximate observer, compared with which there is no other higher and inner observer. The Self, because of being the most proximate observer, is the upadrasta. Or, It is the upadrasta since, like the non-looker of a sarifice, It witness everything. And He is the anu-manta, Permitter: Anumananam, approval, means satisfaction with those performers (viz body and organs) as also their perfomances. The agent of that (approval) is the anumanta. Or, He is the anumanta since, even though Himself not engaged in the activities of the body and organs, He appears to be favourably disposed towards and engaged in them. Or, He is the anumanta because, when the body and organs are engaged in their own functions, He remains as a witness and never dissuades them. It is the bharta, Sustainer: Bharanam means the continuance in their own state of the body, organs, mind and intellect, which reflect consciousness and have become aggregated owing to the need of serving the purpose [Viz enjoyment, or Liberation.-Tr.] of some other entity, viz the conscious Self. And that (continuance) is verily due to the consciousness that is the Self. In this sense the Self is said to be the Sustainer. It is the bhokta, Experiencer: As heat is by fire, similarly, the experiences of the intellect-in the form of happiness, sorrow and delusion in relation to all objects-, when born as though permeated by the consciousness that is the Self, are manifested differently by the Self which is of the nature of eternal Consciousness. In this sense the Self is said to be the Experiencer. He is maheswarah, the great God, because, as the Self of all and independent, He is the great Ruler. He is paramatma, the transcendental Self, because He is the Self which has the characteristics of being the supreme Witness etc. of (all) those-beginning from the body and ending with the intellect-which are imagined through ignorance to be the indwelling Self. He is api ca, also; uktah, spoken of, referred to, in the Upanisads; iti, as, with the words; ‘He is the indwelling One, the paramatma, the transcendental Self.’ [Ast reads atah in place of antah. So the translation of the sentence will be: Therefore He is also referred to as the transcendental Self in the Upanisads.-Tr.] Where is He? The parah, suprem; purusah, Person, who is higher than the Unmanifest and who will be spoken of in, ‘But different is the supreme Person who is spoken of as the transcendental Self’ (15.17); is asmin, in this; dehe, body. What has been presented in, ‘৷৷.also understand Me to be the Knower of the field’ (2), has been explained and conclude.

Swami Adidevananda

13.23 The self in the body is called spectator, approver, supporter, experiencer, the great lord and also the supreme self in the body.

Swami Gambirananda

13.23 He who is the Witness, the Permitter, the Sustainer, the Experiencer, the great Lord, and who is also spoken of as the transcendental Self is the supreme Person in this body.

Swami Sivananda

13.23 The Supreme Soul in this body is also called the spectator, the permitter, the supporter, the enjoyer, the great Lord and the Supreme Self.


Swami Sivananda

13.23 उपद्रष्टा the spectator? अनुमन्ता the permitter? च and? भर्ता the supporter? भोक्ता the enjoyer? महेश्वरः the great Lord? परमात्मा the Supreme Self? इति thus? च and? अपि also? उक्तः is called? देहे in the body? अस्मिन् (in) this? पुरुषः Purusha? परः Supreme.Commentary Upadrashta A spectator? a witness? a lookeron? a bystander? one who sits near. When the priests and the sacrificer perform the sacrificial rites? an expert who has good experience in sacrifical matters sits by their side. He does not take any part at all in the sacrifice. He sits as a silent witness. He guides them. He points out their defects and corrects them. Even so the Supreme Self does not act. It does not take any part in the activities of the body? the mind and the senses. It is entirely distinct from them. It is a silent witness of their activities. It sits near Nature and silently watches Her actions.It may be explained in another way. The body? the eyes? the mind? the intellect and the Self are the,seers. Of these the body is the most external seer the Self is the most internal and nearest seer. Beyond the Self there is no other internal seer.Anumanta Permitter. The Supreme Self gives consent. It expresses Its approval or satisfaction regarding the actions done by the senses? the mind and the intellect. The King consents and says Yes. The Prime Minister and the other officers carry out his orders. Even so the Supreme Self consents or gives permission the body? the mind? the intellect? and the senses perform their respective functions. Or? though It Itself does not work while the senses? the mind and the intellect work? It appears to be engaged in action? it seems to cooperate with them. As It is an onlooker or mere witness? It never stands in the way of the activities of the body? the mind? the intellect and the senses.Bharta Supporter. Just as the huand is the supporter of his wife? so also the Self is the supporter of this body? mind? intellect? lifeforce and the senses. It is different from them? just as the father who supports the children is different from them.Bhokta Enjoyer the Self? of the nature of eternal intelligence. Just as heat is the inherent nature of fire? so also eternal intelligence is the inherent nature of the Self. All the states of the mind such as pleasure? pain and delusion are permeated and illumined by the intelligent Self. Just as Govindan who takes the food is different from the foo? so also the Self is different from the intellect? the mind and the senses.Mahesvarah The great Lord. As He is the soul or essence of everything and as He is independent of all? He is Mahesvara. The sky is very big. Mahesva is bigger than even the sky? and so He is called Mahesvara. Just as the king is different from his subjects? so also the Self is different from Nature and the effects or modifications of Nature.Paramatma The Supreme Self. It is supreme because It is superior to all those things? from the Unmanifested to the physical body? which are mistaken for the Self on account of ignorance. Just as an iron piece moves in the presence of a magnet so also the mind and the intellect which are insentient move and function in the presence of the Supreme Self. Just as the moon borrows its light from the sun? so also the mind and the intellect borrow their light from the Supreme Self. The Supreme Self is selfluminous. Mind and intellect have no selfluminosity. In the Vedas also He is called the Supreme Self. Lord Krishna says in verse 17 of the fifteenth chapter But distinct is the Highest Purusha spoken of as the Supreme Self.Do thou also know Me as the knower of the field in all the fields? has been described in detial and the subject is concluded in this verse.