Bhagwad Gita Chapter 10 verse 20

अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभुताशयस्थित​: ॥

अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भुतानामन्त एव च ॥


I am the Self, O Gudakesha (Arjuna —Conqueror-of-sleep), dwelling in the hearts of all beings.I am verily am the Beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.

Explanation According to Advaita

This one verse from Brihadaranyak upanishad to explain Advaita philosophy

अहम् ब्रम्हास्मि / Aham Bramhhasmi I am(the self or atman) the bramhan

Explanation according to Vishitadvaita

Enthroned as such within the atma of all living entities as paramatma the Supreme Lord is the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings and their cause, their evolution and their dissolution.

From Bhagwad Ramanujacharya's Gita Bhasya

This verse is consistent with Vishitadvaita and Adivata thought school but how is this verse explained by Dvaita.

  • 4
    The most interesting thing is that... Dvaita expounder Madhavacharya didn't commented in this verse...
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 9:37
  • 1
    @Tezz Oh okay! that is something very interesting, but I think its more obvious that he couldn't find any answers because Krishna is very clear and precise with his words here so that no one misinterprets this verse.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 10:23
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    Well, Dvaitins do believe that Vishnu dwells within the hearts of all beings, they just don't believe he dwells within Jivatmas. Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 10:32
  • @KeshavSrinivasan if so then why didn't Madhavacharya comment on this verse?
    – Yogi
    Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 11:53

1 Answer 1


I just happened to see this question, posted 10 months back. If you are still searching for an answer, here's an explanation from dvaitin:

The word 'आत्मा' has multiple meanings: self, Brahman, mind, body across the scriptures, within Gita itself. For example in gita 6.36 (vashyAtmanA), Shankara himself interprets AtmA as 'manas'.

The brahmasutra 1.3.1, relying on Mundaka Upanishad's statement, holds that to be referred as AtmA, which holds the heavens and the earth and everything - which is Paramaatmaa, and not the individual soul. Even according to Shankara, the word 'AtmA' primarily refers to Paramatma.

The above are conventional meanings (रूढयर्थ) of the word 'AtmA'. It has more meanings etymologically (यौगिकार्थ). That which creates and pulls in; that which is pervasive and so on.

With this background, the verse is easy to interpret. I am that who pervades (or who supports this entire universe), and I am situated in the heart (aashaya) of all beings. I am the beginning (i.e. creator), the middle (the sustainer, स्थितिकर्ता), and the end (the destroyer) of all beings.

Hardly advaitic.

  • 1
    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Please take a tour of our site and visit help center. Visit this page to know how to format your posts. Better formatting makes your posts easily readable. Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 13:40
  • Hi nice to see another Vaishnava in the community 😊😊, I don't know how to greet you , Namo Narayanya! 🙏. Thanks for your answer but the answer lacks proper citations.
    – Yogi
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 13:55
  • हरये नमः, which portion do you need citations for? Except the yaugikaartha, I gave references to the rest.
    – Krishna
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 15:57
  • I want citations from some authentic Madhawa work and explanation for this verse, can you tell me why Madhawacharya is silent on this verse?. I think you are missing something with Vashyatmana it is VAshyat+mana controlling the mind, look at the context Keshava is discussing mental control and how disgusting people won't achieve it bhagavad-gita.org/Gita/verse-06-31.html
    – Yogi
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 20:37

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