Bhagavad Gita: 11. Vision Of The Cosmic Form


Vision Of The Cosmic Form

Arjuna said: My illusion is dispelled by the profound words of wisdom You spoke out of compassion for me about the supreme secret of Eternal Being. (11.01) OKrishna, I have heard from You in detail about the origin and dissolution of beings and Your immutable glory.(11.02)

The vision of God is the ultimate aim of a seeker
O Lord, You are as You have said, yet I wish to see Your divine cosmic form, O Supreme Being. (11.03)

O Lord, if You think it is possible for me to see Your universal form, then, O Lord of the yogis, show me Your transcendental form. (11.04) The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, behold My hundreds and thousands of multifarious divine forms of different colors and shapes. Be hold all the celestial beings and many wonders never seen before. Also behold the entire creation --- animate, inanimate, and whatever else you would like to see --- all at one place in My body. (11.05-07) But you are notable to see Me with your physical eye; therefore, I give you the divine eye to see My majestic power and glory. (11.08)

Lord Krishna shows His cosmic form

Sanjaya said: O King, having said this, Lord Krishna,the great Lord of the mystic power of yoga, revealed His supreme majestic form to Arjuna. (11.09) Arjuna saw the Universal Form of the Lord with many mouths and eyes, and many marvelous visions with numerous divine ornaments, holding many divine weapons, wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with celestial perfumes and ointments, full of all wonders --- the limitless God with faces on all sides. (11.10-11) If the splendor of thousands of suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that would not resemble the splendor of that exalted being. (11.12) Arjuna saw the entire universe, divided in many ways, but standing as (all in) One (and One in all) in the transcendental body of Krishna, the Lord of celestial rulers. (See also 13.16, and 18.20)(11.13)

One may not be prepared or qualified to see God
(Upon seeing the cosmic form of the Lord) Arjuna was filled with wonder; and his hairs standing on end, bowed his head to the Lord and prayed with folded hands.(11.14)

Arjuna said: O Lord, I see in Your body all supernatural controllers and multitudes of beings, all sages, celestial serpents, Lord Shiva, as well as Lord Brahmāseated on the lotus. (11.15) O Lord of the universe, I see You everywhere with infinite forms, with many arms, stomachs, faces, and eyes. O Universal Form, I see neither your beginning nor the middle nor the end. (11.16) I see You with Your crown, club, discus, and massive radiance, difficult to behold, shining all around like the immeasurable brilliance and blazing fire of the sun. (11.17)

I believe You are the Supreme Being to be realized. You are the ultimate resort of the universe. You are the Eternal Being and protector of the eternal order(Dharma). (11.18) I see You with infinite power, without beginning, middle, or end; with many arms; with the sun and the moon as Your eyes; with Your mouth as a blazing fire, scorching the entire universe with Your radiance.(11.19) O Lord, the entire space between heaven and earth in all directions is pervaded by You. Seeing Your marvelous and terrible form, the three worlds are trembling with fear. (11.20) Hosts of supernatural rulers enter into You. Some with folded hands sing Your names and glories in fear. A multitude of perfected beings hail and adore You with abundant praises. (11.21)All the celestial beings amazingly gaze at You. Seeing your infinite form with many mouths, eyes, arms, thighs, feet, stomachs, and many fearful tusks; the worlds are trembling with fear, and so do I, O mighty Lord. (11.22-23)

Arjuna is frightened to see the Cosmic form Seeing Your effulgent and colorful form touching the sky; Your mouth wide open and large shining eyes; I am frightened and find neither peace nor courage, OKrishna. (11.24) Seeing Your mouths with fearful tusks, glowing like fires of cosmic dissolution, I lose my sense of direction and find no comfort. Have mercy on me, O Lord of celestial rulers, refuge of the universe! (11.25)All my cousin brothers, along with the hosts of other kings and warriors on the other side, together with chief warriors on our side, are also quickly entering into Your fearful mouths with terrible tusks. Some are seen caught in between the tusks with their heads crushed. (11.26-27)These warriors of the mortal world are entering Your blazing mouths as many torrents of the rivers enter into the ocean. (11.28) All these people are rapidly rushing into Your mouths for destruction as moths rush with great speed into the blazing flame for destruction.(11.29) You are licking up all the worlds with Your flaming mouths, swallowing them from all sides. Your powerful radiance is filling the entire universe with effulgence and burning it, O Krishna. (11.30) Tell me who You are in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of all celestial rulers, be merciful! I wish to understand You, O primal Being, because I do not know Your mission. (11.31)

We are only a divine instrument
The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world. I have come here to destroy all these people. Even without your participation in the war, all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist. (11.32) Therefore get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies, and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these warriors have already been destroyed by Me. You are merely My instrument, O Arjuna.(11.33) Kill all these great warriors who are already killed by Me. Do not fear. You will certainly conquer the enemies in the battle; therefore, fight! (11.34)

Arjuna’s prayers to the Cosmic form

Sanjaya said: Having heard these words of Krishna, the crowned Arjuna, trembling with folded hands, prostrated with fear and spoke to Krishna in a choked voice.(11.35)

Arjuna said: Rightly, O Krishna, the world delights and rejoices in glorifying You. Terrified demons flee in all directions. The hosts of perfected ones bow to You in adoration. (11.36) Why should they not --- O great soul --- bow to You, the original creator who is even greater than Brahmā, the creator of material worlds? O infinite Lord, O God of all celestial rulers, O abode of the universe, You are both Sat (eternal) and Asat (temporal), and the Supreme Being that is beyond both Sat and Asat. (See also 9.19, and 13.12) (11.37)You are the primal God, the most ancient Person. You are the ultimate resort of all the universe. You are the knower, the object of knowledge, and the supreme abode. The entire universe is pervaded by You, O Lord of the infinite form. (11.38) You are the controller of death, the fire, the wind, the water god, the moon god, and Brahmā, the creator, as well as the father of Brahmā. Salutations to You a thousand times, and again and again salutations to You. (11.39) My salutations to You from front and from behind. O Lord, my obeisances to You from all sides. You are infinite valor and boundless might. You pervade everything; therefore, You are everywhere and in everything. (11.40)Considering You merely as a friend, and not knowing Your greatness, I have inadvertently addressed You as O Krishna, O Yādava, O friend, etc., merely out of affection or carelessness. (11.41) In whatever way I may have insulted You in jokes while playing, reposing in bed, sitting, or at meals; when alone or in front of others, OKrishna, the immeasurable One, I implore You for forgiveness.(11.42) You are the father of this animate and inanimate world, and the greatest Guru to be worshipped. No one is even equal to You in the three worlds; how can there be one greater than You, O Beingof incomparable glory? (11.43)Therefore, O adorable Lord, I seek Your mercy by bowing down and prostrating my body before You. Bear with me as a father to his son, as a friend to a friend, and as a husband to his wife, O Lord. (11.44) I am delighted by beholding that which has never been seen before, and yet my mind is tormented with fear. Therefore, O God of celestial rulers, the refuge of the universe, have mercy on me and show me Your four-armed form. (11.45)

One may see God in any form
I wish to see You with a crown, holding mace and discus in Your hand. Therefore, O Lord, with thousand arms and universal form, please appear in the four-armed form. (11.46)

The Supreme Lord said: O Arjuna, being pleased with you I have shown you --- through My own yogic powers --- this particular, supreme, shining, universal, infinite, and primal form of Mine that has never been seen before by anyone other than you. (11.47) O Arjuna, neither by study of the Vedas, nor by sacrifice, nor by charity, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities, can I be seen in this cosmic form by anyone other than you in this human world. (11.48)Do not be perturbed and confused by seeing such a terrible form of Mine as this. With fearless and cheerful mind, now behold My four-armed form. (11.49)

Sanjayasaid: After speaking like this to Arjuna, Krishna revealed His four-armed form. And then assuming His pleasant human form, Lord Krishna, the Great One, consoled Arjuna who was terrified. (11.50)

Arjuna said: O Krishna, seeing this lovely human form of Yours, I have now become tranquil and I am normal again. (11.51)

God can be seen by devotional love The Supreme Lord said: This (four-armed) form of Mine that you have seen is very difficult, indeed, to see. Even celestial controllers are ever longing to see this form. (11.52) This four-armed form of Mine that you have just seen cannot be seen even by study of the Vedas, or by austerity, or by acts of charity, or by the performance of rituals. (11.53) However, through single-minded devotion alone, I can be seen in this form, can be known in essence, and also can be reached, OArjuna. (11.54) One who dedicates all works to Me, and to whom I am the supreme goal, who is my devotee, who has no attachment, and is free from enmity towards any being --- attains Me, O Arjuna. (See also8.22) (11.55)