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


sri bhagavan uvaacha
    kaalo'smi lokakshayakrit pravriddho
    lokaan samaahartumiha pravrittah
    ritepi twaam na bhavishyanti sarve
    ye'wasthitaah pratyaneekeshu yodhaah // 11.32  //

Sri  Bhagavan said
    I  am the mighty world-destroying Time now engaged in subduing the world. Even  without you, none of the warriors arrayed in the opposite armies shall live.

The  power that is behind destruction and construction is that which rules over  things and governs the lives of beings. Sri Krishna declares that this power is  the all destroying ‘Kala’. Kala or Time is the prime mover of the Universe. If  God is thought of as time, then He is perpetually creating and destroying. Time  is the streaming flux which moves unceasingly. Time absorbs in its womb of  oblivion all names and forms.

The  Supreme Being takes up the responsibility for both creation and destruction.  The doctrine that God is responsible for all that is good and Devil is responsible  for all that is evil is a clumsy device. If God is responsible for mortal  existence, then He is responsible for all that it includes - life and creation,  anguish and death, pain and pleasure and so on. The Gita teaches us to see  Reality as a whole. God, the bountiful and prodigal Creator and Preserver is  also the God, the Destroyer and Devourer.

God  has control over time because He is outside of it. As the force behind this, He  sees farther than us, knows how all events are controlled and so tells Arjuna  that causes have been at work for years and are moving towards their natural  effects which we cannot prevent by anything we know of.  The destruction of the enemies is decided  irrevocably by acts committed by themselves long ago. There is an impersonal  fate, a general cosmic necessity, the will of the Sovereign Personality, which  pursues its own unrecognizable agenda. All protestations, abstentions,  non-interventions of the individuals against it are of no avail before the  divine will. On the contrary such complaints  increase confusion.

tasmaat twam uttishtha yasho labhaswa
    jitwaa shatroon bhungkshwa raajyam  samriddham
    mayaivaite nihataah poorvameva
    nimittamaatram bhava savyasaachin // 11.33  //

Therefore,  stand up and win glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy an opulent kingdom.  Verily, by Me and none other they have been already slain; you be a mere  instrument, O Arjuna!

Savyasaachin:  Arjuna, the one who could shoot arrows with his left hand as well as his right.

dronam cha bheeshmam cha jayadratham cha
    karnam tathaa'nyaanapi yodhaveeraan
    mayaa hataamstwam jahi maa vyathishthaa
    yudhyaswa jetaasi rane sapatnaan // 11.34  //

Do  Slay Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna and other great warriors as well who  have already been slain by Me ;  be not  distressed with fear ; fight and you shall conquer your enemies in the battle.

Sri  Krishna says whatever be the strength of the negative forces they have already  been destroyed by the all powerful `Time' and Arjuna has only to act as an  instrument in their ruin and claim victory to himself. In fact during all  actions in our lives we are merely the instruments in the hands of The Lord.  The concept of self surrender for serving the world in the constant awareness  of The Lord is the only way for claiming glory in our lives. The God of destiny  decides and ordains all things and Arjuna is to be the instrument, the flute  under the fingers of the Omnipotent One who works out the mighty evolution.  Arjuna is self-deceived if he believes that he should act according to his own  imperfect judgment. No individual soul can encroach on the prerogative of God. In  refusing to take up arms, Arjuna is guilty of such mischievous presumption.

The  doctrine of Divine Predetermination is upheld here that indicates utter  helplessness and insignificance of the individual and the futility of his will  and efforts. The decision is made already and Arjuna can do nothing to change  it. This however does not mean that the cosmic process is a mere unveiling of a  ready made scenario. It only affirms the meaning of eternity in which all  moments of the whole of time, past, present and future, are contemporary to the  Divine Spirit. Each moment of evolution in time has no novelty in it nor does  it project any inconsistency in the Divine Eternity.

The  ideas of God are worked out through human instrumentality. Nothing exists save the  Lord's will. He alone is the doer and we are only the instruments. Judged from  the human standards the consequences of war are abhorrent and hence none should  encourage it. But once the purpose of the Almighty behind the war is revealed  Arjuna acquiesces in it. What he desires or what he gains do not count any  more. Behind this world of space-time, inter-penetrating it, is the creative  purpose of God. We must understand that Supreme Design and be content to serve  it. The consciousness of the divine agency and its constant application in all  works release man from responsibility.

Every  act is a symbol of something beyond itself. Sri Krishna specifically mentioned  the names of the four great warriors because they were considered invincible  and even then they were eliminated by the Principle of Destruction and  therefore He advises Arjuna not to be afraid of incurring sin by killing them  and others though they are venerable to him.

When  Krishna tells Arjuna that he will conquer his enemies in the battle we have to  understand it as the divine will and that Arjuna is not permitted to take  credit for his victory.

Concepts and Issues
  After  hearing the secret of divine manifestation and its glory Arjuna says his  delusion has gone and expresses his eagerness to see the Lord's Cosmic Form. As  the Cosmic Form cannot be seen by the ordinary physical eyes Sri Krishna  bestows Arjuna with Divine Vision to enable him to see such form.

Sanjaya  who was witnessing everything happening in the battlefield describes to  Dhritarashtra the Cosmic Form of the Lord as seen by Arjuna.

It  is an extraordinary form with myriads of faces, ornaments and weapons.  Decorated with divine garlands and garments, the wondrous cosmic form is more  brilliant than a million suns. The whole world of variegated forms constitutes  only a small part of his being.

Excited  by wonder and joy, Arjuna starts praying to that Divinity. This beautiful hymn  of 17 verses gives nice description of the Cosmic Form. All beings- divine,  human and subhuman- are being seen in Him. He has several arms, stomachs and  faces. He is extraordinarily brilliant. He has pervaded the whole space. All  beings like gods and sages, are praising Him with folded hands. The various  heroes arrayed on the battlefield are entering into Him and getting destroyed  like moths in the fire. Gripped with fear and wonder, Arjuna prays to Him to  reveal who He is.

The  Lord replies that He is Time, the eternal destroyer. He has come to annihilate  the warriors in the enemy armies. Since this task will be achieved by Him even  without Arjuna's involvement, the Lord advises Arjuna to fight merely as an  instrument and get victory, fame and kingdom.

The  underlying concept behind this Chapter is that Brahman is the substratum behind  the phenomenal universe and that every thing therein moves according to the  Divine Law irrespective of what man thinks or does.

Live as the Gita Teaches You to Live

The  advice is surrender to the Allmighty and to do our duty as His chosen  instruments without any egoism.

Points to Ponder
  1.  What is the significance of the Cosmic Form?
  2.  Elucidate the contrast between this Chapter and the previous one.
  3.  What is meant by acting as an instrument?
  4.  What is the requirement for seeing the Cosmic Form?

Next time we  will proceed from the Verse 11.35

Harih Om

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