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Bhagvad-Gita: Treatise of self-help

by BS Murthy

                                                                      <<Back to Chapter 10

Chapter-11: Nature of Omnipresence

 

This fascinating chapter of 55 slokas, known as visvaroopa sandarsana yoga, Espial of the Universal Form, is about the character of the Supreme Spirit. Lord Krishna enables Arjuna to espy the All-encompassing Universal Form of the Supreme Spirit by granting him the required ESP. The descriptive nature of the State Supreme falls in the realms of Universal Vision.

Owing to the improbability of their being, s9-s14, make an amusing reading. S3 states that Krishna grants Arjuna the divine sight required to espy His Universal Form. Of course, the ESP that Vyasa granted Sanjaya (s75 ch.18) might have enabled him to monitor the goings on at Kurukshetra in order to appraise the blind king Dhrutarashtra about the same. Thus, only from  Arjuna's averments Sanjaya could have gathered that he was divining the Universal Form, which obviously was beyond his own comprehension.  But s10-s14 have him describe the Universal Form as though he himself was witness to the same, even before Arjuna utters a word about it. At the same time, the Lord made it clear in s52, ĎEver craved gods ín  angels too / Just to behold what thee beheldí. Thus, the Universal Form that was seen by Arjuna surely was beyond the scope of Sanjaya's ESP. Hence, s9-s14 that picture beforehand what Arjuna would witness later on are clear interpolations. Contrast this with the parallel situation in s50-s51, when the Lord reassumes His human form, but handled differently by Sanjaya.

The s29 which seeks to emphasize what was already pictured in s28, albeit with not so  appropriate  a simile, could be but an interpolation.

1     

Thus spoke Arjuna:

Thy words compelling, Spirit about indwelling 

Uttered in compassion, dispelled my delusion.

2     

Besides I've heard, about Thy glories

Origins of beings, and how it all ends.  

3        

Thou art verily, what Thee aver

Wish I espied, form Thy Divine.

4     

If Thou so feel, Iím worthy

Let me espy, Thy True Self.

5         

Thus spoke the Lord:

Divine I let thee, divinity Mine     

Of hues varied, colours ín kinds.

6     

Find  Adityas, twelve therein

Vasus eight, and Aswin twins

Rudras eleven ín Maruts four-nine

Wonders umpteen none else seen.

7     

May thou discern in My frame 

Much more than thy thought would take.

8

Bestow thee that ESP

Helps which espy form Supreme

Beyond the pale of godís own sight.

15   

Thus spoke Arjuna:

In Thou find I

Brahma on lotus,

Gods and sages  

Beings ín serpents!

16   

With no beginning

End none sighted,

Boundless find I

In Thee universe!

17

Find I blinding

Light that blazing

From Thy diadem 

Club and discus!

18       

Thou art Supreme

Indweller Ancient,

Eternal Refuge

Dharmaís Guardian. 

19       

Eyes sun like

And oven for mouth,

How Thou radiate

In arms thy manifold!

20   

Fills Thy Frame

The space entire,

Makes Thy sight 

The worlds tremble.

21   

See in Thee the angelic world

Find them all Thou pray in awe

Spot I sages in their scores

Hear them extol, Thee in hymns.

22   

Demigods all ín celestial folk

Stand they stunned ín look at Thee.

23   

Makes it awful sight Thine terrible

Bear as Thou those weird organs. 

24   

Perplexed am I by Thy sight 

Seems Iíve lost my sense of self.

25

Discern I nadir in Thy face

Pray assume now Form Normal.

26   

See I Bhishma, Dron ín Karn

Kauravs, ours, making way to mouth Thy wide.

27   

Nauseates sight of teeth Thine terrible

Gnashing heads of theirs in smithereens.

28   

Rivers as run, towards the seas

So these armies, towards Thy mouths.

30   

Consume worlds as mouths Thy blazing    

Find I blinding rays those scorching.

31   

Who art Thou, this Terrible Thing!

For what avail, mission this Thine!!

Gripped now am with urge to know.

32   

Thus spoke the Lord:

Iím the time that infolds all

Itís all over for most here

Doomed are they, never mind war.

33

Since Iíve handed them sentence

Thou art no more than hangman,

Finish them all ín flourish in turn 

Brings as reign thee power ín pelf.

34   

Take up arms ín lap up crown

For Drona, Bhishma and Karna,

As well Jayadrath with the rest

Truly are they doomed by Me.

35   

Thus spoke Sanjaya:

Stunned as he by what transpired 

Beseeched Paartha, Lord Krishna.

36   

Thus spoke Arjuna:

Sing Thy praises the rejoiced world

Hither ín thither run wicked in awe

Bow to Thee those self-realized.   

37   

Can one fail to worship Thee

Creatorís Creator, ín Universal!

38   

Thee the Primal, All-Dweller

Thou All-Knower, One to know.

39   

God of gods, O, our Father

Thee I salute on and on.

40   

One and All, who pervades all

Thou All-Powerful, praise be Thee.

41   

Ignorant being of Thy Great Being

Owing to contempt familiarity bred

Sadly I have been badly behaving.

42               

As I took Thee for granted

Kindly forgive, O, Great Soul.

43       

Thou art Greater than greatest

None Thee in three worlds equal.              

44       

Treat me kindly ín forgive

All I crave for, is Thy grace.

45   

Form Thy Current holds dreadful 

Pray show Divine Grace of Thine.

46   

With mace, discus ín diadem

Pray assume Thy Form four-armed.   

47

Thus spoke the Lord: 

As thou please Me, so Iíve shown

Form My Endless, none else seen.

48

Take to penance

Or pore over four Vedas 

None that helps to see this Form.

49   

Having beheld My bewildering Form

Now ease with My Form Normal. 

50   

Thus spoke Sanjaya:

Having said thus Lord assumed

His form normal that calmed Arjun.

51   

Thus spoke Arjuna:

O, Lord now I feel normal

With Thy gentle form human.

52   

Thus spoke the Lord:

Ever crave gods ín angels too

Just to behold that thee beheld.

53

Austerities well Vedic grasp

Charity, as well ritual regimen 

Get none to what thou had seen

54   

Yet in devotion, divines man

Attains besides, Form this Mine.

55   

He that takes Me for Supreme

And treats his work as Mine own one,

Gets who rid of his restraints

And keeps his faith in Me always,

He who bears no ill-feeling

Ever on move, he comes to Me.

 

Ends thus:

Nature of Omnipresence,

The Eleventh Chapter 

Of Bhagavad-Gita,

Treatise of self-help.

  

(cont...)

<<Back to Chapter 10

Introduction  Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4   

Chapter 5    Chapter 6  Chapter 7  Chapter 8    Chapter 9  

Chapter 10 Chapter 11   Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 

Chapter 15  Chapter 16  Chapter 17  Chapter 18

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