THE BHAGAVAD GITA: Chapter 11

Reference: Course on The Bhagavad Gita

NOTE: The following translation of the Sanskrit verses into English is obtained from Srimad Bhagavad Gita, SADHAKA SANJIVANI by Swami Ramsukhdas, published by Govind Bhawan Karyalaya, Gita Press, Gorakhpur, INDIA. For original comments please consult the above book. Abbreviated comments in color are provided by Vinaire.]

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Chapter 11

अर्जुनउवाच
मदनुग्रहायपरमंगुह्यमध्यात्मसंज्ञितम्।
यत्त्वयोक्तंवचस्तेनमोहोऽयंविगतोमम।।11.1।।

Arjuna said:
By this profound discourse concerning the self (spiritual wisdom) which you have delivered out of compassion for me, my delusion has been dispelled. (XI-1)

भवाप्ययौहिभूतानांश्रुतौविस्तरशोमया।
त्वत्तःकमलपत्राक्षमाहात्म्यमपिचाव्ययम्।।11.2।।

From you, O lotus-eyed, I have heard in detail an account of the origin and dissolution of beings and also your immortal glory. (XI-2)

एवमेतद्यथात्थत्वमात्मानंपरमेश्वर।
द्रष्टुमिच्छामितेरूपमैश्वरंपुरुषोत्तम।।11.3।।

O Lord Supreme, You are precisely what You have declared Yourself to be. But I long to see your divine form, O best of persons. (XI-3)

मन्यसेयदितच्छक्यंमयाद्रष्टुमितिप्रभो।
योगेश्वरततोमेत्वंदर्शयाऽत्मानमव्ययम्।।11.4।।

If You, O Lord, think that this Cosmic Form can be seen by me, then, O Lord of Yoga, reveal to me Your imperishable form. (XI-4)

Understanding leads to experience. After really understanding that everything comes into being and also dissolves back into non-being per the laws of nature, Arjuna was ready to experience the Yoga (union) with Cosmic energy. Now that he felt extreme devotion to Yoga, Arjuna was desperately longing for this experience.

श्रीभगवानुवाच
पश्यमेपार्थरूपाणिशतशोऽथसहस्रशः।
नानाविधानिदिव्यानिनानावर्णाकृतीनिच।।11.5।।

Behold My forms. O Partha (Arjuna), by hundreds and thousands, multifarious and divine, of various colors and shapes. (XI-5)

पश्यादित्यान्वसून्रुद्रानश्िवनौमरुतस्तथा।
बहून्यदृष्टपूर्वाणिपश्याऽश्चर्याणिभारत।।11.6।।

Behold in Me, O Bharata, the twelve sons of Aditi, the eight Vasus the eleven Rudras (gods of destruction), the two Ashvinikumaras (the twin born physicians of gods) and the forty-nine Maruts (wind gods) and see many more marvels never seen before. (XI-6)

इहैकस्थंजगत्कृत्स्नंपश्याद्यसचराचरम्।
ममदेहेगुडाकेशयच्चान्यद्द्रष्टुमिच्छसि।।11.7।।

O Gudakesa (Arjuna), now behold within this body of Mine the entire creation consisting of both animate and inanimate beings and whatever else you wish to see. (XI-7)

नतुमांशक्यसेद्रष्टुमनेनैवस्वचक्षुषा।
दिव्यंददामितेचक्षुःपश्यमेयोगमैश्वरम्।।11.8।।

But you cannot see Me with these human eyes of yours; therefore I give you the divine eye. With this behold My divine power of Yoga. (XI-8)

With his understanding and extreme devotion to Yoga, Arjuna was suddenly able to experience the union with cosmic energy that he was desperately longing for. He saw the universal forms in infinite shapes and dazzling colors. In those universal forms, Arjuna could see all the gods and their attendants that were worshipped by his ancestors and his clan. He also saw other marvels never seen before. Arjuna could actually see the entire creation consisting of both animate and inanimate beings. This was not something that human eyes could see. It was the visualization with intuitive sense that came from his understanding and extreme devotion to Yoga.

सञ्जयउवाच
एवमुक्त्वाततोराजन्महायोगेश्वरोहरिः।
दर्शयामासपार्थायपरमंरूपमैश्वरम्।।11.9।।

Sanjay said:
O King, having spoken thus, the Supreme Lord of Yoga, Hari (Krishna) showed to Partha (Arjuna) His supreme divine form. (XI-9)

अनेकवक्त्रनयनमनेकाद्भुतदर्शनम्।
अनेकदिव्याभरणंदिव्यानेकोद्यतायुधम्।।11.10।।
दिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरंदिव्यगन्धानुलेपनम्।
सर्वाश्चर्यमयंदेवमनन्तंविश्वतोमुखम्।।11.11।।

The Supreme Deity possessed many mouths and eyes presenting many a wonderful sight, decked with many divine ornaments, wielding many uplifted divine weapons, wearing divine garlands and clothes, besmeared all over with divine perfumes, all wonderful, infinite with faces on all sides. Such divine cosmic form, the Lord revealed to Arjuna. (XI-10, 11)

दिविसूर्यसहस्रस्यभवेद्युगपदुत्थिता।
यदिभाःसदृशीसास्याद्भासस्तस्यमहात्मनः।।11.12।।

If there were the effulgence of a thousand suns blazing forth all at once in the sky that would hardly be like the splendor of the mighty Lord. (XI-12)

तत्रैकस्थंजगत्कृत्स्नंप्रविभक्तमनेकधा।
अपश्यद्देवदेवस्यशरीरेपाण्डवस्तदा।।11.13।।

Then Arjuna, concentrated at one place, in the person of that Supreme Deity, saw the whole universe with its many fold divisions. (XI-13)

ततःसविस्मयाविष्टोहृष्टरोमाधनञ्जयः।
प्रणम्यशिरसादेवंकृताञ्जलिरभाषत।।11.14।।

Then Dhananjaya, struck with wonder, his hair standing on end, bowed his head to the divine Lord and with joined palms addressed Him thus. (XI-14)

Sanjay is able to describe what Arjuna saw of the universal divine form. That means Sanjay was an accomplished Yogi himself. This was an intuitive sight of the whole Cosmos. One could be seeing the stars and galaxies and interpreting them this way. In any case, it would have been a magnificent but overwhelming sight because it is like the ground slipping away from underneath one’s feet. No wonder Arjuna’s hair stood on end. The only stability he must have felt was his guru, Krishna, standing by his side.

अर्जुनउवाच
पश्यामिदेवांस्तवदेवदेहेसर्वांस्तथाभूतविशेषसङ्घान्।
ब्रह्माणमीशंकमलासनस्थमृषींश्चसर्वानुरगांश्चदिव्यान्।।11.15।।

Arjuna said:
O Lord, I see in Your body all the gods and multitude of different beings; Brahma seated on his lotus-seat, Shiva, all the sages and celestial serpents. (XI-15)

अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रंपश्यामित्वांसर्वतोऽनन्तरूपम्।
नान्तंनमध्यंनपुनस्तवादिंपश्यामिविश्वेश्वरविश्वरूप।।11.16।।

O Lord of the universe, I behold You, infinite in forms on all sides with numerous arms, bellies, faces, and eyes. O Universal Form, I see neither Your beginning nor middle nor end. (XI-16)

किरीटिनंगदिनंचक्रिणंचतेजोराशिंसर्वतोदीप्तिमन्तम्।
पश्यामित्वांदुर्निरीक्ष्यंसमन्ताद्दीप्तानलार्कद्युतिमप्रमेयम्।।11.17।।

I see You with diadem, club and discus; a mass of splendor shining all round, having a brilliance like that of blazing fire and sun, dazzling and immeasurable on all sides. (XI-17)

Here is a concept senior to the concept of all the different gods that Aryans ever had over the centuries. This is an evolution in religious thinking that rises above all symbols and mythologies. It is difficult to put it into words. There is simply a feeling of great awe at the immensity of the experience.

त्वमक्षरंपरमंवेदितव्यंत्वमस्यविश्वस्यपरंनिधानम्।
त्वमव्ययःशाश्वतधर्मगोप्तासनातनस्त्वंपुरुषोमतोमे।।11.18।।

You are the Imperishable, the Supreme Being to be realized; You are the ultimate resort of this universe; You are the protector of the eternal Dharma (Duty and Righteousness) and You are the eternal imperishable Being—I deem. (XI-18)

अनादिमध्यान्तमनन्तवीर्यमनन्तबाहुंशशिसूर्यनेत्रम्।
पश्यामित्वांदीप्तहुताशवक्त्रम्स्वतेजसाविश्वमिदंतपन्तम्।।11.19।।

I see You without beginning, middle or end, infinite in power, of infinite arms, the sun and the moon being Your eyes, the blazing fire Your mouth; scorching the universe with Your radiance. (XI-19)

द्यावापृथिव्योरिदमन्तरंहिव्याप्तंत्वयैकेनदिशश्चसर्वाः।
दृष्ट्वाऽद्भुतंरूपमुग्रंतवेदंलोकत्रयंप्रव्यथितंमहात्मन्।।11.20।।

The space between heaven and earth and all the quarters are filled by You alone. Seeing this marvelous and terrible form of Yours, O Great-Soul, the three worlds feel greatly alarmed. (XI-20)

The ultimate realization is that of the natural order in the universe. Underlying all the chaos in the universe there is a natural order. This natural order extends to both physical and metaphysical realms. This order defines the very being of this infinite universe. It is manifested everywhere. This awakens the awe everywhere because of its oneness.

अमीहित्वांसुरसङ्घाःविशन्तिकेचिद्भीताःप्राञ्जलयोगृणन्ति।
स्वस्तीत्युक्त्वामहर्षिसिद्धसङ्घाःस्तुवन्तित्वांस्तुतिभिःपुष्कलाभिः।।11.21।।

Those hosts of gods are entering You; some in awe with palms joined are chanting Your names and glories; bands of great sages and Siddhas (Emancipated Souls) pronounce “May it be well” and praise You with excellent hymns. (XI-21)

रुद्रादित्यावसवोयेचसाध्याविश्वेऽश्िवनौमरुतश्चोष्मपाश्च।
गन्धर्वयक्षासुरसिद्धसङ्घावीक्षन्तेत्वांविस्मिताश्चैवसर्वे।।11.22।।

The eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, eight Vasus, twelve Sadhyas, ten Vishvedevas, two Ashvinikumaras, forty-nine Maruts, manes, hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras and Siddhas—they are all gazing at You in amazement. (XI-22)

रूपंमहत्तेबहुवक्त्रनेत्रंमहाबाहोबहुबाहूरुपादम्।
बहूदरंबहुदंष्ट्राकरालंदृष्ट्वालोकाःप्रव्यथितास्तथाऽहम्।।11.23।।

O Mighty-Armed, seeing Your immeasurable and dreadful form with numerous mouths, eyes, arms, thighs, feet, bellies and terrible fangs, the worlds are terror-struck, and so am I. (XI-23)

The reality of oneness supersedes all other realities of gods, sages and siddhas. All beings and things are just different aspects of this oneness. It is indeed terrifying to realize this.

नभःस्पृशंदीप्तमनेकवर्णंव्यात्ताननंदीप्तविशालनेत्रम्।
दृष्ट्वाहित्वांप्रव्यथितान्तरात्माधृतिंनविन्दामिशमंचविष्णो।।11.24।।

When I see Your form touching the sky, effulgent with many colors, with mouth wide open, with large shining eyes, my heart trembles with fear, I lose courage and find no peace, O Vishnu. (XI-24)

दंष्ट्राकरालानिचतेमुखानिदृष्ट्वैवकालानलसन्निभानि।
दिशोनजानेनलभेचशर्मप्रसीददेवेशजगन्निवास।।11.25।।

Seeing Your mouth terrible with tusks, resembling the raging fire at the time of universal destruction, I know not the four quarters, nor do I find peace. Therefore be kind to me, O Lord of the gods and Abode of the universe. (XI-25)

अमीचत्वांधृतराष्ट्रस्यपुत्राःसर्वेसहैवावनिपालसङ्घैः।
भीष्मोद्रोणःसूतपुत्रस्तथाऽसौसहास्मदीयैरपियोधमुख्यैः।।11.26।।
वक्त्राणितेत्वरमाणाविशन्तिदंष्ट्राकरालानिभयानकानि।
केचिद्विलग्नादशनान्तरेषुसंदृश्यन्तेचूर्णितैरुत्तमाङ्गैः।।11.27।।

All the sons of Dhritrashtra with hosts of kings of the earth, Bhisma, Drona, Karna, with the chief warriors on our side as well are rushing headlong into Your mouths, terrible with tusks and fearful to look at. Some are seen sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed. (XI-26, 27)

The intimate view of the overall universe takes you by surprise beyond all that is familiar. All of a sudden you become aware of the destruction that is inevitable. It is so real and terrifying.

यथानदीनांबहवोऽम्बुवेगाःसमुद्रमेवाभिमुखाःद्रवन्ति।
तथातवामीनरलोकवीराविशन्तिवक्त्राण्यभिविज्वलन्ति।।11.28।।

As diverse torrents of rivers rush towards the ocean, so do these warriors of the mortal world enter Your blazing mouths. (XI-28)

यथाप्रदीप्तंज्वलनंपतङ्गाविशन्तिनाशायसमृद्धवेगाः।
तथैवनाशायविशन्तिलोकास्तवापिवक्त्राणिसमृद्धवेगाः।।11.29।।

As moths rush headlong into the blazing fire for destruction, so do these people hurriedly speed  into Your mouths for their destruction. (XI-29)

लेलिह्यसेग्रसमानःसमन्ताल्लोकान्समग्रान्वदनैर्ज्वलद्भिः।
तेजोभिरापूर्यजगत्समग्रंभासस्तवोग्राःप्रतपन्तिविष्णो।।11.30।।

Devouring all the worlds with Your flaming mouths, You are licking them on all sides. Your fiery rays filling the whole world with radiance, are burning it, O Vishnu. (XI-30)

आख्याहिमेकोभवानुग्ररूपोनमोऽस्तुतेदेववरप्रसीद।
विज्ञातुमिच्छामिभवन्तमाद्यंनहिप्रजानामितवप्रवृत्तिम्।।11.31।।

Tell me who You are, so fierce in form. I bow down to You, O Supreme Deity, be kind. I wish to know You, the Primal One, in essence; for I know not Your purpose. (XI-31)

Looking at the battle field, Arjuna realizes that all these warriors were rushing toward their deaths and that their destruction was inevitable. This included his own destruction as well. Arjuna feels totally helplessness and horrified about it. He starts to question the very purpose of life.

श्रीभगवानुवाच
कालोऽस्मिलोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धोलोकान्समाहर्तुमिहप्रवृत्तः।
ऋतेऽपित्वांनभविष्यन्तिसर्वेयेऽवस्थिताःप्रत्यनीकेषुयोधाः।।11.32।।

The Blessed Lord said:
I am the mighty world-destroying Time now engaged in wiping out the world. Even without you the warriors arrayed in the hostile army will not survive. (XI-32)

तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठयशोलभस्वजित्वाशत्रून्भुङ्क्ष्वराज्यंसमृद्धम्।
मयैवैतेनिहताःपूर्वमेवनिमित्तमात्रंभवसव्यसाचिन्।।11.33।।

You, therefore, arise and win glory and conquering foes, enjoy the affluent kingdom. These warriors stand already slain by me; be you merely an instrument, O Savyasacin (One who can shoot arrows with the left hand also). (XI-33)

द्रोणंचभीष्मंचजयद्रथंचकर्णंतथाऽन्यानपियोधवीरान्।
मयाहतांस्त्वंजहिमाव्यथिष्ठायुध्यस्वजेतासिरणेसपत्नान्।।11.34।।

Slay Drona, Bhisma, Jayadratha, Karna and other brave warriors who stand already killed by Me. Be not distressed with fear. Fight, you will conquer your enemies in battle. (XI-34)

Time is the all devouring reality. There is constant change. Nothing survives forever regardless of your contribution to the survival or destruction. So, you simply win glory exercising the skills you have to bring the needed harmony, continuity and consistency.

सञ्जयउवाच
एतच्छ्रुत्वावचनंकेशवस्यकृताञ्जलिर्वेपमानःकिरीटी।
नमस्कृत्वाभूयएवाहकृष्णंसगद्गदंभीतभीतःप्रणम्य।।11.35।।

Sanjay said:
Having heard these words of Lord Kesava, the crowned one (Arjuna) with joined palms, trembling, prostrating himself again addressed Lord Krishna, in a choked voice bowing down, overwhelmed with fear. (XI-35)

अर्जुनउवाच
स्थानेहृषीकेशतवप्रकीर्त्याजगत्प्रहृष्यत्यनुरज्यतेच
रक्षांसिभीतानिदिशोद्रवन्तिसर्वेनमस्यन्तिचसिद्धसङ्घाः।।11.36।।

Arjuna said:
O Lord, it is befitting that the universe exults and is filled with love by chanting Your names and glory; terrified demons are fleeing in all directions and all the hosts of siddhas (perfected souls) are bowing to you. (XI-36)

कस्माच्चतेननमेरन्महात्मन्गरीयसेब्रह्मणोऽप्यादिकर्त्रे।
अनन्तदेवेशजगन्निवासत्वमक्षरंसदसत्तत्परंयत्।।11.37।।

O great souled one, why should they not bow to You, the greatest of all, the progenitor even of Brahma? O Infinite Being, O Lord of the gods, O Abode of the universe, You are the Imperishable. You are the being (real) the non-being (unreal) and also that which is beyond both being and non-being viz., the Imperishable Brahma. (XI-37)

Arjuna was shaken by the revelation of the nature of Time and from the knowledge that he must slay those in the opposing army even when he had revered them all his life. He saw that Time was awe-inspiring and that it was loved and feared at the same time. He realized that Time was the ultimate attribute that operated beyond all other attributes of reality.

त्वमादिदेवःपुरुषःपुराणस्त्वमस्यविश्वस्यपरंनिधानम्।
वेत्तासिवेद्यंचपरंचधामत्वयाततंविश्वमनन्तरूप।।11.38।।

You are the Primal Deity, the most ancient person; You are the ultimate Resort of the universe; You are the knower, the knowable and the Supreme Abode. This universe is pervaded by You, O Being of infinite forms. (XI-38)

वायुर्यमोऽग्निर्वरुणःशशाङ्कःप्रजापतिस्त्वंप्रपितामहश्च।
नमोनमस्तेऽस्तुसहस्रकृत्वःपुनश्चभूयोऽपिनमोनमस्ते।।11.39।।

You are Wind-god, God of death, Fire-god, God of water, Moon-god, Prajapati, Father of Brahma, and Great-grand-father of beings. Salutation, salutation to you a thousand times, and again and again salutation to you.(XI-39)

नमःपुरस्तादथपृष्ठतस्तेनमोऽस्तुतेसर्वतएवसर्व।
अनन्तवीर्यामितविक्रमस्त्वंसर्वंसमाप्नोषिततोऽसिसर्वः।।11.40।।

O Lord of infinite prowess, my salutations to You from before, from behind and from all sides. O All! You who possess limitless might, pervade all; therefore You are all. (XI-40)

We are looking at the very essence of the universe in God. God underlies not only the phenomena of physical nature but also of life and human nature. God pervades everything. To behold this underlying unity of nature is simply marvelous.

सखेतिमत्वाप्रसभंयदुक्तंहेकृष्णहेयादवहेसखेति।
अजानतामहिमानंतवेदंमयाप्रमादात्प्रणयेनवापि।।11.41।।
यच्चावहासार्थमसत्कृतोऽसिविहारशय्यासनभोजनेषु।
एकोऽथवाप्यच्युततत्समक्षंतत्क्षामयेत्वामहमप्रमेयम्।।11.42।।

Whatever I have rashly said due to carelessness or love, addressing You as “O Krishna, O Yadava, O Friend,” thinking You only a friend, ignorant of Your greatness; and the way in which You have been slighted by me in jest while playing, reposing, sitting or dining either alone or in company—I crave forgiveness from YouWho are infinite, O infallible Lord. (XI-41, 42)

पितासिलोकस्यचराचरस्यत्वमस्यपूज्यश्चगुरुर्गरीयान्।
नत्वत्समोऽस्त्यभ्यधिकःकुतोऽन्योलोकत्रयेऽप्यप्रतिमप्रभाव।।11.43।।

You are the Father, also the Great Teacher of this animate and inanimate creation and supremely adorable. O Lord, possessing incomparable glory, in the three worlds, there is no one even equal to You; who can excel You? (XI-43)

This view of ultimate reality is beyond any other experience. We see with extreme wonder the things that appeared to be trivial in the past.

तस्मात्प्रणम्यप्रणिधायकायंप्रसादयेत्वामहमीशमीड्यम्।
पितेवपुत्रस्यसखेवसख्युःप्रियःप्रियायार्हसिदेवसोढुम्।।11.44।।

Therefore, O adorable Lord, bowing down, prostrating my body I implore You to forgive me. Bear with me, O Lord as a father with a son, as a friend with a friend, as a lover with his beloved. (XI-44)

अदृष्टपूर्वंहृषितोऽस्मिदृष्ट्वाभयेनचप्रव्यथितंमनोमे।
तदेवमेदर्शयदेवरूपंप्रसीददेवेशजगन्निवास।।11.45।।

I rejoice that I have seen what was never seen before but my mind is confounded with fear. Reveal to me that divine form (the placid form of Vishnu), O Lord of the gods, O Abode of the universe, be gracious. (XI-45)

किरीटिनंगदिनंचक्रहस्तमिच्छामित्वांद्रष्टुमहंतथैव।
तेनैवरूपेणचतुर्भुजेनसहस्रबाहोभवविश्वमूर्ते।।11.46।।

I wish to see You as before, crowned, holding a mace and a discus in two of Your hands, in Your former form only, having four arms, O thousand-armed, O Universal Form. (XI-46)

That extreme view of ultimate reality is hard to sustain, but it is what it is. The attention is much easier to focus in the direction of evolution.

श्रीभगवानुवाच
मयाप्रसन्नेनतवार्जुनेदंरूपंपरंदर्शितमात्मयोगात्।
तेजोमयंविश्वमनन्तमाद्यंयन्मेत्वदन्येननदृष्टपूर्वम्।।11.47।।

The Blessed Lord said:
Arjuna, being pleased with you, I have shown you through  My own power of Yoga, this supreme, shining, primal and infinite Universal Form, which none but you has ever seen. (XI-47)

नवेदयज्ञाध्ययनैर्नदानैर्नचक्रियाभिर्नतपोभिरुग्रैः।
एवंरूपःशक्यअहंनृलोकेद्रष्टुंत्वदन्येनकुरुप्रवीर।।11.48।।

Arjuna, in this mortal world I cannot be seen in this form by anyone else than you, either by the study of the Vedas or of rituals or by gifts, sacrifices or austere penances. (XI-48)

मातेव्यथामाचविमूढभावोदृष्ट्वारूपंघोरमीदृङ्ममेदम्।
व्यपेतभीःप्रीतमनाःपुनस्त्वंतदेवमेरूपमिदंप्रपश्य।।11.49।।

Seeing such a dreadful form of Mine, be neither afraid nor bewildered; with a fearless and complacent mind, behold once again the same four-armed form of Mine. (XI-49)

You are graced only when you flow with nature. None of the studies, rituals or penances matter otherwise. Reality is what it is. Just be there and confront.

सञ्जयउवाच
इत्यर्जुनंवासुदेवस्तथोक्त्वास्वकंरूपंदर्शयामासभूयः।
आश्वासयामासचभीतमेनंभूत्वापुनःसौम्यवपुर्महात्मा।।11.50।।

Sanjay said:
Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Lord Vasudeva showed again His own four-armed form and then assuming a gentle appearance, the great souled One consoled Arjuna who was frightened. (XI-50)

अर्जुनउवाच
दृष्ट्वेदंमानुषंरूपंतवसौम्यंजनार्दन।
इदानीमस्मिसंवृत्तःसचेताःप्रकृतिंगतः।।11.51।।

Arjuna said:
Having seen this gentle human form of Yours, I am now composed and am restored to my own nature. (XI-51)

श्रीभगवानुवाच
सुदुर्दर्शमिदंरूपंदृष्टवानसियन्मम।
देवाअप्यस्यरूपस्यनित्यंदर्शनकाङ्क्षिणः।।11.52।।

The Blessed Lord said:
It is exceedingly difficult to see this form of Mine which you have seen. Even the gods are always eager to behold this form. (XI-52)

Human appearance is very gentle compared to the stark view of this universe. It takes a lot of courage to view the universe as it is.

नाहंवेदैर्नतपसानदानेननचेज्यया।
शक्यएवंविधोद्रष्टुंदृष्टवानसिमांयथा।।11.53।।

Neither by the study of the Vedas, nor by penance, nor by charity, nor by ritual can I be seen in this form as you have seen me. (XI-53)

भक्त्यात्वनन्ययाशक्यमहमेवंविधोऽर्जुन।
ज्ञातुंदृष्टुंचतत्त्वेनप्रवेष्टुंचपरंतप।।11.54।।

By unswerving devotion I can be seen in this form (with four-arms) and known in essence and even entered into, O scorcher of foes. (XI-54)

मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमोमद्भक्तःसङ्गवर्जितः।
निर्वैरःसर्वभूतेषुयःसमामेतिपाण्डव।।11.55।।

O Pandava (Arjuna), he who works for My sake, depends on Me, is devoted to Me, has no attachment and is free from malice towards all beings, reaches Me. (XI-55)

The whole reason why one studies, does penance, participates in charity, or follows rituals, is to really understand nature and get in tune with it. One may do so directly by unswerving devotion and being immersed in natural actions. One has to let go of everything–all attachments and prejudices. Just be there and confront.

.

Final Comment

God refers to the core of the universe from which all natural laws spring forth and form the universe. Extreme devotion of Yoga may take the Yogi to this rare experience of God, but that experience is totally different from any intellectual projection.

It takes a lot of courage to view the universe as it is. It may feel like the ground slipping away from underneath one’s feet. There is no way that the yogi can be prepared for this experience. It can be so real that it is terrifying and utterly overwhelming.

There is simply a feeling of great awe at the immensity of this experience. Here is something senior to all the different gods that Aryans ever had over the centuries. Time is the all devouring reality. Destruction is inevitable. There is constant change. You are graced only when you flow with nature.

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