Bhagavad Gita- Chap 11 (Part-1) Vishwaroopa Darshana Yogah- Yoga of the Vision of the Universal Form


tatah sa vismayaavishto hrishtaromaa  dhananjayah
    pranamya shirasaa devam  kritaanjalirabhaashata // 11.14 //

Then,  Dhananjaya, overcome with wonder, with his hair standing on end, bowed down his  head to The Lord, joined his hands in salutation and thus addressed Him.

Sanjaya  tells the blind King about the strong emotions and humility passing through  Arjuna on seeing the Cosmic Form of The Lord. Arjuna was struck with wonder  causing his hairs to stand on end. He bent his head low and with folded hands  spoke as under.

arjuna  uvaacha
    pashyaami  devaamstava deva dehe
    sarvaamstathaa  bhootavisheshasangaan
    brahmaanameesham  kamalaasanastham
    risheemshcha  sarvaanuraagaamshcha divyaan // 11.15 //

Arjuna  said
    I  see all the Gods, O Lord, in Your body and hosts of various classes of beings; Lord  Brahma seated on the lotus, all the sages and the celestial serpents.

These  descriptions indicate not only the things of this world but also the Devas are  represented in the Cosmic Form. Even the creator, Brahma, the annihilator, Siva  and the sustainer, Vishnu could be seen by Arjuna. These names belong to  `Samashti' (Macrocosm). The things of microcosm (Vyashti) like serpents and  sages also were seen.

“The  vision of God widens our horizon and takes us beyond the earthly tumults and  sorrows which so easily obsess us. God's creation is not limited to this small  planet, which is only an insignificant part of the cosmos. Arjuna sees the  great and various companies of spirits filling the Universe”. -  Dr.S.Radhakrishnan.

    pashyaami twaam sarvato'nantaroopam
    naantam na madhyam na punastavaaadim
    pashyami vishweshwara vishwaroopa // 11.16  //

I  behold you infinite in form on all sides with manifold arms, stomachs, faces and  eyes ; neither your end nor your middle nor also your  beginning do I see, O Lord of the Universe, O  Cosmic Form.

Various  organs of the body mentioned here should not be taken literally. They only  indicate the Truth from which all names and forms emanate, in which they exist  and into which they merge back at the end of their temporary play on the earth.  These verses show the oneness that runs through mortal beings and finite things  of the world making a single entity of them all.

kireetinam gadinam chakrinam cha
    tejoraashim sarvato deeptimantam
    pashyaami twaam durnireekshyam samantaad
    deeptaanalaarka dyutimaprameyam // 11.17  //

I  see you with your crown , mace and discus; a mass of radiance shining  everywhere, very hard to look at, all around blazing like burning fire and sun  and immeasurable.

Arjuna  is giving more and more details of what he is seeing in that Cosmic Form. The  items mentioned here are the symbolic insignia of Lord Vishnu.

The  reference to radiance shining everywhere like blazing sun and fire does not  mean tremendous amount of light in its physical sense but it indicates the  glory of Pure Awareness. Consciousness is the light through which we see our  own thoughts and emotions. It is the light which illumines for us various  objects, sound etc. Hence Sri Krishna who Himself is Infinite Awareness is  described as resplendent light immeasurable. Although the Universal Form is  painted here in an objective manner it is only a subjective experience and is  not an object of even intellect.

twamaksharam paramam veditavyam
    twamasya vishwasya param nidhaanam
    twamavyayah shaashwatadharmagoptaa
    sanaatanastwam prusho mato me // 11.18  //

You  are the Imperishable, the Supreme Being to be realized. You are the Supreme  Support of the Universe; you are the imperishable protector of the eternal Dharma;  in my opinion you are the Primal Person, Purusha.

Imperishable,  Supreme Being: Arjuna states that the Supreme is Brahman and Isvara, Absolute  and God. He is the eternal Truth and Supreme worthy to be known because He is  the substratum from which the pluralistic world rises up, exists in and merges  into. He is the sum total of experiences of every one at their physical, mental  and intellectual levels. He is the changeless `knowing principle' through which  all changes are perceived.

Protector  of eternal Dharma: For Hindus the protector of Dharma is The Lord Himself and  not any mortal. He is the guardian of the sattvata dharma.

Purusha:  That which dwells in the body is Purusha; the Consciousness principle is the  presiding deity which rules the body and hence it is the Purusha.

    anantabaahum shashisooryanetram
    pashyaami twaam deeptahutaashavaktram
    swatejasaa vishwamidam tapantam // 11.19  //

I  see You as one without beginning, middle or end, infinite in power, of endless  arms, the sun and the moon being Your eyes, the burning fire Your face, whose  radiance burns up this Universe.

The  Supreme Self is the one essential strength behind every thing.
  Sun  and Moon: sources of entire light energy, the oneness of the individual and the  Cosmic Form.  
  Burning  fire your face: power of speech and taste.
  Heating  the whole Universe with your radiance: The light of Consciousness not only  illumines but gives warmth to life. The light here is its own light and not  that of any external source.

dyaavaaprithivyoridamantaram hi
    vyaaptam twayaikena dishashcha sarvaah
    drishtwaa'dbhutam roopamugram tavedam
    lokatrayam pravyathitam mahaatman // 11.20  //

The  space between the earth and the heaven and all the quarters are filled by You  alone; having seen this, Your wonderful and terrible form, the three worlds are  trembling with fear, O Exalted One.

As  the Lord is eternal and infinite He fills the whole universe with innumerable  objects, animate and inanimate. The all-pervading, omnipresent Being penetrates  and inter-penetrates the entire creation. As the Cosmic Form is of unusual  nature Arjuna says everybody is wonder-struck and trembling to look at it.

amee hi twaam surasanghaah vishanti
    kechid bheetaah praanjalayo grinanti
    swasteetyuktwaa maharshisiddhasanghaah
    stuvanti twaam stutibhih pushkalaabhih  // 11.21 //

Verily,  into You enter these hosts of Devas; some extol You in fear with joined palms;  `May there be peace’ thus saying, bands of great Rishis and Siddhas praise You  with sublime hymns.

So  far Arjuna described the Cosmic Form in Its static state. Now he describes it  in its active state. He says some are entering and disappearing in His Form,  some are praying with fear and some more praise Him singing hymns of His glory  and lost in ecstatic worship.

rudraadityaa vasavo ye cha saadhyaa
    vishwe'shvinau marutashchoshmapaashcha
    gandharvayakshaasura siddhasanghaa
    veekshante twaam vismitaashchaiva sarve  // 11.22 //

The  Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas,Vishwa Devas, the two Ashwins, Maruts, Ushmapas  and hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras and Siddhas - they are all looking at  You, all quite astonished.

The  terms used here were already explained in the previous Chapter. They are all of  the Vedic concepts.

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