Preamble

In Chapters 7 to 9 Bhagavan Sri Krishna made an elaborate  exposition of Jnana and Vijnana (Knowledge and Wisdom) about Brahman wherein He  dealt with predominantly Its nirguna aspects (characteristics without  any attributes or manifestations). But for an ordinary person these discourses  would be very much perplexing. Therefore, the Lord introduces this Chapter  dealing with the same subject in a more easy to comprehend way by describing  Brahman in Its saguna aspects (characteristics with attributes or manifestations).  In the next Chapter He physically demonstrates to Arjuna what He has been  talking about.

Chapters 7 to 9 may be understood as the pure science of  Brahman, Chapter 10 as its applied science and Chapter 11 as the practical  demonstration of what had been stated in these Chapters. Thus the Bhagavad Gita  gives us an integrated and complete data about the Absolute, Supreme Being.

Vibhooti Yoga means the yoga of Supreme Manifestation of  God – revealing Brahman as the source of the material world. Even highly  evolved persons do not know the origin of Brahman. The wise, however, pursue  Brahman with devotion and steadfastness until they become one with Brahman.

Arjuna stands bewildered at the astounding knowledge and  personality of Krishna. He asks how Krishna (Brahman) manifests Himself in the  world. Krishna responds by detailing His (Brahman’s) manifested expressions  analytically and tells how Brahman permeates the whole universe (Verses 20 to  39). Reiterating the fact that the range of His divine manifestations is  infinite, He winds up this topic by pointing out to Arjuna that the entire  universe is an insignificant, minuscule fraction of Him (Brahman).

This  is Yoga because by meditating over the glories of The Lord as described in this  Chapter one can discover the Infinite in the finite world of pluralities. The  Self conditioned by or functioning through the individual mind and intellect is  the Ego (Jiva), limited by its imperfections. While the same Eternal Self  conditioned by or functioning through the total (cosmic) mind and intellect is  the God-principle or Ishwara unlimited by any imperfections. This concept of  the Self as seen through an individual mind and the cosmic mind is explained in  this and the next Chapters.

The  Text

THE IMMANENCE AND TRANSCENDENCE  OF GOD

sri bhagavaan uvaacha
    bhooya eva mahaabaaho shrinu me paramam  vachah
    yatteham preeyamaanaaya vakshyaami hitakaamyayaa  // 10.1 //

Sri  Bhagavan said
    Again,  O Mighty Armed, listen to My Supreme word, which I, wishing your welfare, will  declare to you, who are delighted to hear Me.

Encouraged  by the keen interest shown by Arjuna in the discourses so far and the resultant  satisfaction visible in him, The Lord comes forward to repeat what He had told  in the previous discourses (Ch.7 to 9) about His essential nature,  manifestations and Divine glories. He does this because He desires Arjuna's  welfare who is also delighted to hear Him.

na me viduh suraganaah prabhavam na  maharshayah
    ahamaadirhi devaanaam maharsheenaam cha  sarvashah  // 10.2 //

Neither  the Hosts of the Devas nor the great Rishis know My origin; for in all respects  I am the source of all the Devas and Rishis.

The Lord is without a cause. He is changeless and  immutable. Yet He manifests His glories in the Universe in various ways. The  mystery of these manifestations is not known even to the Devas and sages much  less to the ordinary mortals. Human reasoning cannot know His nature. He  reveals Himself out of His infinite compassion in the pure hearts of His  devotees.

The Supreme is unborn and eternal and He is also the  Lord of the world. Though He has no birth, all existence derives from Him. The  teacher announces that He is in truth the Eternal God Himself, more ancient  than all else and that all manifested glory is from Him.

yo maamajamanaadim cha vetti  lokamaheshwaram
    asammoodhah sa martyeshu sarvapaapaih  pramuchyate  // 10.3 //

He  who knows Me as unborn and without a beginning, and as the Supreme Lord of the worlds,  he, among the mortals, is undeluded and is liberated from all sins.

Knows  Me: Knowing not merely by emotion but by spiritual understanding achieved  through one's identification with the Self.

Unborn:  The Infinite cannot be born because It never expresses Itself in any finite  manifestation. The ghost is born and hence it has to die; but the post cannot  be said to have given birth to the ghost nor has it taken birth from the ghost.  The post was, is and shall always be a post only. Similarly, The Self is  eternal and therefore It is birthless.

Beginningless:  Everything is born in the Self, exists in the Self and ends in the Self. Waves  are born but ocean is birthless. Every wave - every manifestation- has a  beginning and an end but the ocean has none. Hence the Self is beginningless.
  Supreme  Lord of the Worlds: `World' includes not only the objective world perceived by  our physical senses but also the world of feelings and emotions experienced by  us. Experiences of the body, mind and intellect cannot be ours unless we are  constantly aware of them. This awareness or Consciousness or Self is that which  rules our `world’ which is called the `Supreme Lord of the worlds'.

When  we learn to look at things as derived from the One Transcendent Reality, we are  delivered from all gropings and bewilderment.

buddhirjnaanamasammohah kshamaa satyam  damah shamah
    sukham duhkham bhavo`bhaavo bhayam  chaabhayameva cha  // 10.4 //

Intelligence,  knowledge, non-delusion, forgiveness, truth, self-control, calmness, happiness,  misery, birth or death, fear and also fearlessness;

ahimsaa samataa tushtistapo daanam  yasho'yashah
    bhavanti bhaavaa bhootaanaam matta eva  prithagvidhaah // 10.5 //

Non-injury,  equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame, ill fame (all these)  different attributes of beings arise from Me alone.

Continuing  the idea that The Lord is the cause for the world of plurality within an  individual and for the world outside, Sri Krishna enumerates the qualities of  head and heart emanating from Him.

The  Lord alone is the cause and the basis of the universe and all its beings.  Created beings are endowed with different attributes according to their karma.  The law of karma functions in the relative world through the power of the Lord  and thus the Divine is indirectly responsible for the pain and sufferings of  the world. He is the lord of the world and guides it, though He is unaffected  by its oppositions of duality.