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 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.