विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि |
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिताः समदर्शिनः ||५-१८||


vidyāvinayasampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini .
śuni caiva śvapāke ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ ||5-18||



5.18. The wise men look, by nature, eally upon a Brahmana, rich in learning and humility, on a cow, on an elephant, and on a mere dog and on a dog-cooker (an out-caste).

Shri Purohit Swami

5.18 Sages look equally upon all, whether he be a minister of learning and humility, or an infidel, or whether it be a cow, an elephant or a dog.

Sri Abhinav Gupta

5.18 Vidya-etc. So, regarding a Brahmana these men of Yoga entertain no such veiw as ‘I shall become a man of merit by serving him’ and so on; regarding a cow, no [idea] like ‘It is purifying and sacred’ and so on; regarding an elephant, no thought of wealth and so on; regarding a dog, no conviction that it is impure, mischievous and so on; and with regard to a dog-cooker no opinion that he is a sinner, is impure and so on. That is why it is said that ’they look eally [upon these]’ and not that ’they act eally [with them]. This has been said as -

The Self, which is of the nature of pure Consciousness, [shines] in he bodies of all; no discriminating factor exists anywhere. Hence, the person who has conered the cycle of birth-and-death, remains consdering all as fully absorbed in That (Consciousness) (VB, verse 100).

Here too nothing but this stream of thought has been mentioned by ‘remains considering’. The proper mental disposition of a man of wisdom, says [the Lord], would be like this :

Sri Ramanuja

5.18 The sages are those who know the real nature of the self in all beings. They see the selves to be of the same nature, though they are perceived in extremely dissimlar embodiments such as those of one endowed with learning and humility, a mere Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, a dog-eater etc., because they all have the same form of knowledge in their nature as the Atman. The dissimilarity of the forms observed is due to Prakrti (body) and not to any dissimilarity in the self; conseently they, the wise, perceive the self as the same everywhere, because all selves, though distinct, have the same form of knowledge.

Sri Shankaracharya

5.18 Panditah, the learned ones; sama-darsinah, look with equanimity; brahmane, on a Brahmana; vidya-vinayasampanne, endowed with learning and humility-vidya means knowledge of the Self, and vinaya means pridelessness-, on a Brahmana who has Self-knowledge and modesty; gavi, on a cow; hastini, on an elephant; ca eva, and even; suni, on a dog; ca, as well as; svapake, on an eater of dog’s meat.Those learned ones who are habituated to see (equally) the unchanging, same and one Brahman, absolutely untouched by the qualities of sattva etc. and the tendencies created by it, as also by the tendencies born of rajas and tamas, in a Brahmana, who is endowed with Knowledge and tranquillity, who is possessed of good tendencies and the quality of sattva; in a cow, which is possessed of the middling quality of rajas and is not spiritually refined; and in an elephant etc., which are wholly and absolutely imbued with the quality of tamas-they are seers of equality.Objection: On the strength of the text, ‘A sacrificer incurs sin by not adoring equally one who is an equal, and by adoring equally one who is an equal, to himself’ (Gau. Sm. 17.20), are not they sinful, whose food should not be eaten?Reply: They are not open to the charge.Objection: How?

Swami Adidevananda

5.18 The sages look with an eal eye on one endowed with learning and humility, a Brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater.

Swami Gambirananda

5.18 The learned ones look with eanimity on a Brahmana endowed with learning and humality, a cow, an elephant and even a dog as well as an eater of dog’s meat.

Swami Sivananda

5.18 Sages look with an eal eye on a Brahmana endowed with learning and humility, on a cow, on an elephant, and even on a dog and an outcaste.


Swami Sivananda

5.18 विद्याविनयसंपन्ने upon one endowed with learning and humility? ब्राह्मणे on a Brahmana? गवि on a cow? हस्तिनि on an elephant? शुनि on a dog? च and? एव even? श्वपाके on an outcaste? च and? पण्डिताः sages? समदर्शिनः eal seeing.Commentary The liberated sage or Jivanmukta or a Brahmana has eal vision as he beholds the Self only everywhere. This magnificent vision of a Jnani is beyond description. Atman or Brahman is not at all affected by the Upadhis or limiting adjuncts as He is extremely subtle? pure? formless and attributeless. The suns reflection falls on the river Ganga? on the ocean or on a dirty stream. The sun is not at all affected in any way. This makes no difference to the sun. So is the case with the Supreme Self. The Upadhis (limiting adjuncts) cannot affect Him. Just as the ether is not affected by the limiting adjuncts? viz.? a pot? the walls of a room? cloud? etc.? so also the Self is not affected by the Upadhis.The Brahmana is Sattvic. The cow is Rajasic. The elephant? the dog and the outcaste are Tamasic. The sge sees in all of them the one homogeneous immortal Self Who is not affected by the three Gunas and their tendencies. (Cf.VI.8?32XIV.24)