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eka eva paro hy atma
sarvesam api dehinam
naneva grhyate mudhair
yatha jyotir yatha nabhah
Those who are bewildered perceive the one Supreme Soul, who resides in all embodied beings, as many, just as one may perceive the light in the sky, or the sky itself, as many.
The last line of this text, yatha jyotir yatha nabhah, introduces two analogies in which we perceive one thing to be many. Jyotih indicates the light of heavenly bodies such as the sun or moon. Although there is only one moon, we may see the moon reflected in pools, rivers, lakes and buckets of water. Then it would appear as if there were many moons, although there is only one. Similarly, we perceive a divine presence in each living being because the Supreme Lord is present everywhere, although He is one. The second analogy given here, yatha nabhah, is that of the sky. If we have a row of sealed clay pots in a room, the sky, or air, is in each pot, although the sky itself is one.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.32) gives a similar analogy concerning fire and wood:
yatha hy avahito vahnir
darusv ekah sva-yonisu
naneva bhati visvatma
bhutesu ca tatha puman
“The Lord, as the Supersoul, pervades all things, just as fire permeates wood, and so He appears to be of many varieties, though He is the absolute one without a second.”