Bhagavad Gita- Chap 11 (Pt-2) Vishwaroopa Darshana Yogah- Yoga of the Vision of the Universal Form


Seeing the Lord’s cosmic form Arjuna is struck with awe  and wonder. He sees the entire universe in a single immeasurable form as also  His destructive, all-devouring expression. Fraught with fear and overwhelmed  with adoration, Arjuna surrenders completely to that colossal form. He bows; he  prostrates and begs forgiveness for his lack of reverence towards Krishna in their  relationship.

The  vision of the Lord’s cosmic form terrifies Arjuna. He pleads with Krishna to  resume His original form, the form of Vishnu. Krishna assumes His gentle form.  Arjuna regains his composure when Krishna explains the difficulty in gaining  the state of  God-realization. He points out the way to reach the Supreme Being. The Lord tells him that all  spiritual practices like study of scriptures, austerities, charity, performing  sacrifices etc. by themselves cannot lead one to the Supreme. They will at the  most make one an introvert. Thereafter, deep meditation only is the means to  become one with the Absolute.

The  Text

sanjaya uvaacha
    etacchrutwaa vachanam keshavasya
    kritaanjalirvepamaanah kireetee
    namaskritwaa bhooya evaaha krishnam
    sagadgadam bheetabheetah pranamya // 11.35  //

Sanjaya  said
    Having  heard these words of Kesava, the crowned-one (Arjuna), with joined palms,  trembling, prostrating himself, again addressed Krishna, in a choked voice,  bowing down, overwhelmed with fear.

Arjuna  was extremely terrified on seeing the Cosmic Form and so he spoke in a choked  and stammering voice. These words of Sanjaya are very significant because he  thought that at this late moment (after knowing fully well the impending  destruction of all in the Kaurava side) King Dhritarashtra would halt the war  and call for peace to save at least his own son from being killed. But the  blind king was obstinate and did not consider Sanjaya's indirect advice worthy.


arjuna uvaacha
    sthaane hrisheekesha tava prakeertyaa
    jagat prahrishyatyanurajyate cha
    rakshaamsi bheetaani disho dravanti
    sarve namasyanti cha siddhasanghaah // 11.36  //

O  Hrishikesha! It is proper that the world delights and rejoices in your praise;  rakshsas flee in fear in all directions and all the hosts of Siddhas bow to  you.

In  an ecstasy of adoration and anguish, Arjuna praises The Lord. He sees not only  the destructive power of Time but also the spiritual presence and law governing  the cosmos. While the former produces terror, the latter gives rise to a sense  of peace.

kasmaaccha te na nameran mahaatman
    gareeyase brahmano'pyaadikartre
    ananta devesha jagannivaasa
    twamaksharam sadasattatparam yat // 11.37  //

And  why should they not bow to You, O Mighty Being,  greater than all else, the Primal Cause even  of Brahma, O Infinite Being, O Lord of Lords, O Abode of the Universe, You are  the Imperishable, the Manifest and the Unmanifest, that which is Supreme (that  which is beyond the being and non-being).

Arjuna  clarifies as to why the great men of knowledge bow down before Sri Krishna by enumerating  the majestic and divine qualities of The Lord.

twamaadidevah purushah puraanas
    twamasya vishwasya param nidhaanam
    vettaasi  vedyam cha param cha dhaama
    twayaa  tatam vishwamananta roopa // 11.38 //

You  are the Primal God, the Ancient Purusha, You are the Supreme refuge of this  Universe, You are the Knower, the Knowable and the Supreme Goal.  The Universe is pervaded by You, O Being of  Infinite Forms.

Param  Dhaama: Just as the rope (the substratum for the superimposed snake) pervades  the snake, so also the Self, through its nature of Existence, Knowledge and  Bliss absolute, pervades this entire Universe.

vaayuryamo'gnirvarunah shashaankah
    prajaapatistwam prapitaamahashcha
    namo namaste’stu sahasrakritwah
    punascha  bhooyo'pi namo namaste // 11.39 //

You  are Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, the Moon, Prajapati, and the Great Grandfather, Salutations!  Salutations! unto You, a thousand times and again salutations, salutations unto  You.

Great  Grandfather: The Creator of even Brahma who is known as the Grandfather.

namah  purastaadatha prishthataste
    namostu te  sarvata eva sarva
    sarvam  samaapnoshi tato‘si sarvah // 11.40 //

Salutations  to You, in front and behind; salutations to You on every side! O All! You,  infinite in power and infinite in prowess, pervade all; therefore You are the  All.

The  Supreme dwells everywhere within, without, above, below and around. There is no  place where He is not. He is the all pervading essence like space in the  Universe and also the source of all potentiality, power and capability. Since  nothing can exist without Him He is Pure Existence. Hence He is the All and He  alone is the All. (Ocean alone is all the waves or mud alone is all the pots).

sakheti matwaa prasabham yaduktam
    he krishna he yaadava he sakheti
    ajaanataa mahimaanam tavedam
    mayaa pramaadaat pranayena vaapi //11.41  //

Whatever  I have rashly said from carelessness or love, addressing You as O Krishna, O  Yadava, O Friend, regarding You merely as a friend, unknowing of this fact of  Your greatness....

yacchaavahaasaartham asatkrit’ si
    eko’ thavaapyachyuta tatsamaksham
    tat kshaamaye twaamaham aprameyam // 11.42  //

In  whatever way I may have insulted You for the sake of fun, while at play,  reposing, sitting or at meals, when alone (with You), O Achyuta or in company -  that I pray to You, Immeasurable One, to forgive.

The  vision of God produces a deep sense of unworthiness and sin. Arjuna, beholding  the Cosmic Form of The Lord, seeks forgiveness for his past familiar conduct  with Him. He says he was treating Him with casualness and intimacy not knowing  His greatness and glory. He asks The Lord for forgiveness for his misconception  of His powers. So long, Arjuna was thinking of Sri Krishna as a mere cowherd  boy with whom he, a prince, made patronizing friendship. But when he realized  His true nature, Arjuna bows down before Him in adoration and pleads for His  mercy and forgiveness for whatever impropriety he might have committed either  knowingly or unknowingly.

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