The Glorious Manifestations of the Lord
4.The discriminating faculty, knowledge, freedom from confusion, forgiveness, truth, control, pacification, comfort, discomfort, being, non-being, fear as well as reassurance;
5.Non-violence, equanimity, satiety, asceticism, charity, reputation, disrepute-all of these various kinds of situations of beings happen only from Me.
6.The seven ancient great sages and the four Manus, My aspects, were born of My mind, whose progeny are all these worlds and people.
7.He who knows this magnificence (vibhuti) and yoga in its reality here becomes united with unshakable yoga.
All of the innumerable qualities such as intelligence and knowledge that exist in human beings arise from the ocean of infinity, the Lord Himself, as do the seven seers and the four Manus (law givers) who in turn gives rise to all the creatures. The qualities are called bhavas (mental creations) of the Lord; they are the manifestations of the glory of the Lord, and the power that creates or manifests is the Lord’s power. From the all-pervading mind of the Lord arise the mental entities. Intelligence and knowledge are ever-flowing streams from the ocean of infinity. The majesty of the Lord is displayed in the manifestation of the virtues mentioned in these verse. The aspirant who knows and is fully conscious that all manifestations arise from the Lord attains perfection.
The yogi is he who is in union with the Lord. When the yogi knows that happiness and misery, success and failure, fame and infamy are that bhavas of the Lord and that all creatures possessed of these bhavas have arisen out of the Lord, then in all situations he maintains a tranquil mind. For such a yogi every aspect of the universe is but an aspect of the mighty Lord Himself. One who remains in union with the Lord remains fearless.
The Blessed Lord said
19. Indeed I shall tell you of My celestial magnificence’s, but only the main ones, O Best of the Kurus. There is no end to my details.
20. I am the Self, O Master of Sleep, dwelling in the heart of all beings, and the beginning, the middle, as well as the end of all beings.
21. Of Adityas I am Vishnu; of luminosities I am the sun with rays; of Maruts I am Marichi; of heavenly bodies I am the moon.
22. Of Vedas I am Sama-Veda; of deities I am Indra; of senses I am the mind; of beings I am awareness.
23. Of the Rudras I am Shiva; of the Yakshas and Rakshasas I am Kuvera, the ruling deity of wealth; of the Vasus I am fire; of the high-peaked ones I am Meru.
24. Know Me, O Son of Pritha, the chief of the priests, Brihaspati. Of commanders I am Skanda; of the lakes I am ocean.
25. Among great sages I am Bhrigu; of speeches I am the one indestructible syllable OM; of sacrifices I am the sacrifice called japa; of immovable ones I am the Himalaya.
26. Of all the trees I am the holy fig; of celestial I am Narada; of Gandharvas I am Chitrartha; of adepts I am the sage Kapila.
27. Among horses know Me to be Uchchaihshravas born of the nectar of immortality; of the chiefs of elephants Airavata; and among human beings the king.
28. Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; of cows I am celestial wish-fulfilling cow; of progenitors I am passion; of snakes I am Vasuki.
29. Among Nagas I am Ananta; of sea creatures I am Varuna; among ancestors I am Aryaman; of controllings ones I am Yama, the god of death.
30. Among Daityas I am Prahlada; among calculators I am time; among beasts I am the lion; among birds I am Garuda.
31. Among blowing ones I am wind; among weapon-bearers I am Rama; of fish I am the crocodile; among the streams I am the Ganges.
32. I am the beginning, the end, as well as the middle of creation. Of science I am the spiritual science; and of the discussants I am debate.
33. Of letters I am the letter A; of compounds I am the compound of duality (dvandva); I am the imperishable time, I am the ordainer facing in all directions.
34. I am the death that plunders all, and I am also the origin of those who will come in the future. Among feminine forces I am glory, affluence, speech. Memory, intuitive wisdom, steadfastness, and forgiveness.
35. Of hymns I am Brhat-saman; of meters I am Gayatri; of months I am Margasirsha; of seasons I am flowery spring.
36. Of deceiving ones I am gambling; of the brilliant I am brilliance; I am the victory, the initiator of determination, as well as the inner strength of those endowed with power.
37. Of Vrishnis I am Krishna; of Pandavas I am Arjuna; also among Munis I am Vyasa; and among those endowed with intuition I am Ushanas.
38. Of controlling ones I am the staff; of those desiring victory I am the essence of polity; of secrets I am silence; and of the knowing ones I am knowledge.
39. Whatever is the seed of all beings I am that, O Arjuna. There is no moving or unmoving entity that may exist without Me.
40. There is no end to My celestial magnificence’s, O Scorcher of Enemies; I have told this detail of My magnificence’s only by way of illustration.
In these verse the vibhutas, the extraordinary powers and manifestations of the Lord, are enumerated. The word bhuti means victory, happiness, and strength, and the word vibhuti means having special power and great strength. The self-existent Reality is in the sun and in the smallest particle; it is in all that exists. But the ordinary person perceives the manifestation of the Lord in only a small number of things. He recognizes the presence of the supreme Lord only in such things as religious symbols, but in fact the Lord exists everywhere with one and the same equanimity. The ordinary person finds it difficult to realize that truth.
In this universe of ours, there are innumerable objects. Therefore the manifestations of the Lord are endless. The supreme Self is the dweller in the heart of every being. He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of this universe. He is the Self of every being. There is not even the smallest unit of matter or energy over which He does not have governing authority. The entire universe is His divine expansion. For those who are not able to grasp this grand idea of the all-pervading nature of the Lord, seventy manifestations are mentioned in these verses. These verses explain only the prominent manifestations of the Lord. They are examples of the Lord’s power to manifest rather than an all-inclusive list.
These glorious and majestic manifestations of the Lord are mentioned in response to Arjuna’s questions as to what the object of meditation should be. But for contemplators it is not necessary to choose such objects for the concentration of the mind because they are already aware of the omnipresent and omnipotent power in all objects of the universe, from the most minute to the most enormous.
Initially the meditator finds it difficult to control his dissipated mind. To aid those who are unable to meditate without a concrete object, the teacher recommends either a symbol, a light, or a sound that helps the student gather together the dissipated condition of the mind. In our long, unbroken lineage of meditation, it is recommended that the beginning meditator focus his mind on the flow of his breath. That makes one aware that all creatures of this universe are sustained by one and the same vital force, prana, the only one life giver for all creatures. Concentrating on the flow of the breath has two definite benefits. First, because mind and breath are closely linked, concentration on the breath makes the breath become smooth, even, and calm, and the mind also becomes stilled. Second, the aspirant becomes aware that there is only one force that sustains the entire universe and all creatures. The realization that there is one absolute Truth has immense philosophical value, for when one becomes aware that there is only one life force in all creatures, he learns to love all as he loves himself.
Sri Krishna gives many alternatives for aspirants who are prepared to meditate but do not know how to choose the objects of their meditation. He mentions the sun as one of these. Some manuals recommend gazing at the sun, but that can be injurious to the optic nerve and can lead one to lose his eyesight, so aspirants should not use gazing at the sun as the object of meditation. The scriptures offer a glimpse of how one should practice, but the meditational methods should be learned only under the guidance of a competent teacher. No yoga exercise-whether it be hatha yoga, pranayama, or raja yoga should ever be practiced on one’s own.
Having received the profound teachings of Sri Krishna, Arjuna is now eager to know the practical way of meditation. The experience of the ancients and those great ones who have already trodden the path of meditation guides students in their advancement. The scriptures say that the aspirant should first have profound knowledge of the universe and all its forms, and of Brahman from which this universe arises and by which it is sustained and returns to its primal source. Without having profound knowledge of the universe, the human being, the other creatures, and their relationship to one another, it is not of much use to abruptly begin the practice of meditation. Without building a profound philosophy, practice or sadhana remains incomplete.
The supreme Self is the Lord of all from whom arise all beings in the beginning, who sustains them in the middle, and to whom they return in the end. He is the origin of all. Nothing in the universe if excluded from this powers. Anything that is considered to be a special manifestation such as the sun, moon, stars, and oceans actually has the same presence of the Lord that exists in all things animate and inanimate, large and small.
The sun among objects that shine, the moon among the bodies of the solar system, the mind among the instruments of knowledge, OM among the sacred sounds, the king among men, the lion among the animals, Garuda among the birds, Rama among the brave, and Vyasa among the sages are some of the special manifestations of the Lord, although his manifestations are endless. After one becomes aware of the Lord’s manifestations, he finally meditates on the highest Lord who is the source of light, life, knowledge, and the whole of the universe.
This ends the tenth chapter, in which the teachings of Sri Krishna on the glorious manifestations of the Lord are explained.