द्वाविमौ पुरुषौ लोके क्षरश्चाक्षर एव च |
क्षरः सर्वाणि भूतानि कूटस्थोऽक्षर उच्यते ||१५-१६||


dvāvimau puruṣau loke kṣaraścākṣara eva ca .
kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni kūṭastho.akṣara ucyate ||15-16||



15.16. There are two persons in the world, the perishing and the nonperishing : the perishing is all elements [and] the speak-like One is called the nonperishing.

Shri Purohit Swami

15.16 There are two aspects in Nature: the perishable and the imperishable. All life in this world belongs to the former, the unchanging element belongs to the latter.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

15.16 See Comment under 15.18

Sri Ramanuja

15.16 There are, the Sastras say, ’two kinds of Persons (Purusas)’ well known in the world - ’the perishable and the imperishable.’ Of the two, the Persons designated by the term ‘perishable’ (Ksara) are beings conjoint with non-conscient matter of modifiable nature, from Brahma down to a blade of grass,who can be signified also by the term Jivas (individual selves). Here the term Purusa (Person) is used in singular to indicate the common single condition of being conjoined with non-conscient matter. That which is the ‘imperishable’ (Aksara) is called ‘unchanging’ (Kutastha), this is the released self, devoid of association with non-conscient matter, remaining in its own form. It is called ‘unchangeable’ inasmuch as when free from non-conscient matter, It has no specific connection with particular transformations of non-conscient matter like the bodies of Brahma etc. Here also the designation of the term in singular (as expressing a generic class) denoting the totality of liberated selves, is used on account of the single condition of dissociation from non-conscient matter. It does not mean that before this, in time without beginning, there existed but a single liberated self. So it is stated: ‘Purified by the austerity of knowledge, many have attained My state’ (4.10); and ‘They are not born at the time of creation, nor do they suffer at the time of dissolution’ (14.2).

Sri Shankaracharya

15.16 There are imau, these; dvau, two-grouped separately; purusau, persons, so called [Persons-so called only figuratively, since they are the limiting adjuncts of the supreme Person.]; loke in the world; the ksarah, mutable-one group consists of the perishable; the other person is the aksarah, immutable, opposite of the former, the power of God called Maya, which is the seed of the origin of the person called the mutable. That which is the receptacle of the impressions of desires, actions, etc. of countless transmigrating creatures is called the immutable person. Who are those persons? The Lord Himself gives the answer: Ksarah, the mutable; consists of sarvani, all; bhutani, things, i.e. the totality of all mutable things. Kutasthah is the one existing as Maya: Kuta means a heap; kutasthah, is that which exists like a heap. Or, kuta is maya, deception, falsehood, crookedness, which are synonymous; that which exists in the diverse forms of maya etc. is the kutasthah. It is ucyate, called; the aksarah, immutable, because, owing to the countless seeds of worldly existence, it does not perish.

Swami Adidevananda

15.16 There are two kinds of Persons (Purusas) spoken of in the Sastra - the perishable (Ksara) and the imperishable (Aksara). The perishable is all beings and the imperishable is called the unchanging (Kutastha).

Swami Gambirananda

15.16 There are these two persons in the world-the mutable and the immutable. The mutable consists of all things; the one existing as Maya is called the immutable.

Swami Sivananda

15.16 Two Purushas there are in this world, the perishable and the imperishable. All beings are the perishable and the Kutastha the unchanging is called the imperishable.


Swami Sivananda

15.16 द्वौ two? इमौ these? पुरुषौ Purushas (beings)? लोके in the world? क्षरः the perishable? च and? अक्षरः the imperishable? एव even? च and? क्षरः the perishable? सर्वाणि all? भूतानि beings? कूटस्थः the immutable (unchanging)? अक्षरः the imperishable? उच्यते is called.Commentary Now the Lord describes the three aspects of the divine existence. One is the individual soul called the perishable? the second is the imperishable or the Maya Sakti of the Lord and the third is the Purushottama or the Supreme Being.The perishable comprises the whole world of changing forms. From Brahma down to the tiny blade of grass? all movable and immovable objects? all that can be thought of by the mind? all that is made up of the five elements? all that is changing? all that has names and forms? all that appears to the naked eye and what is described as the body and the modifications of the field? in the thirteenth chapter? are Kshara or the perishable. Kshara is the changing one. It is the everchanging form of matter which is inert or insentient. Akshara is the changeless.In Samsara there are two categories arranged in two separate groups of beings? called Purushas? as they are the limiting adjuncts of the Purusha. Maya Sakti? the illusory power of the Lord? is the seed from which the perishable being takes its birth. It is the seat of all the latent impressions of desires? actions? etc.? of various perishable creatures. Maya Sakti is the Akshara Purusha. The unmanifest condition is generally described as deep ignorance or sleep for there is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. It is only a potential state. It is the condition in which all forms of life with its accompanying limitations lie latent? just as the tree lies latent in the seed of the fruit. In this state matter and energy are one. In this state sound? matter and energy exist in an undifferentiated state. In this state the Gunas exist in a state of eilibrium.The imperishable is known as the Kutastha? i.e.? that which remains immovable like a heap. That which is at the root (Kuta) of all these beings is the Kutastha. Or? Kuta also means illusion? and Kutastha means that which manifests itself in diverse forms of illusion. That which conceals the Truth and shows the false thing and deceives the worldyminded people is Maya or Kuta. That which is of the form of the AvaranaVikshepa Sakti (veiling and vacillating power) is Kutastha. As this Maya Sakti cannot be destroyed except by the knowledge of the Self? it is said to be endless. That is the reason why this is called Akshara. That seed of Samsara has no end. Therefore? it is said to be imperishable in the sense that it is not destroyed in the absence of knowledge of the Self. But the seed is scorched or destroyed in toto when one gets the knowledge of Brahman. The,illusion vanishes and everything is realised as the one Cosmic Consciousness. Only the illusory perception of matter is destroyed.Purushottama or the highest Purusha is distinct from these two – the perishable and the imperishable. He is not affected by the evils of the two vehicles or limiting adjuncts of the perishable and the imperishable. He is eternal? pure? intelligent and free by nature.