Article Index

Bhagavad Gita: Chapters 11 - 13

Chapter 11: Vision of the Cosmic Form

Arjuna said: My illusion is dispelled by Your profound words, that You spoke out of compassion towards me about the supreme secret of the Spirit. (11.01)

O Krishna, I have heard from You in detail about the origin and dissolution of beings, and Your imperishable glory. (11.02)

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 this, then O Lord of the yogis, show me Your imperishable Spirit. (11.04)

The Lord said: O Arjuna, behold My hundreds and thousands of multifarious divine forms of different colours and shapes. (11.05)

See the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Ashvins, and the Maruts. Behold, O Arjuna, many wonders never seen before. (11.06) 166

O Arjuna, now behold the entire creation; animate, inanimate, and whatever else you like to see; All at one place in My body. (11.07)

But, you are not able to see Me with your physical eye; therefore, I give you the divine eye to see My majestic power and glory. (11.08) 167

Sanjaya said: O King, having said this; Lord Krishna, the great Lord of yoga’s mystic powers, revealed His supreme majestic form to Arjuna; (11.09)

with many mouths and eyes, and many visions of marvel, with numerous divine ornaments, and holding divine weapons; (11.10)

wearing divine garlands and apparel, anointed with celestial perfumes and ointments, full of all wonders, The limitless God with faces on all sides (omniscient). (11.11)

If the splendour of thousands of suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that would not resemble the splendour of that exalted being. (11.12)

There in the body of God, Arjuna saw all the universes, divided in many ways, but drawn into together into one. (11.13)

Then Arjuna, filled with wonder and his hairs standing on end, bowed his head to the Lord and prayed with folded hands. (11.14) 168

Arjuna said: O Lord, I see in Your body all the deities and multitude of beings, all sages, celestial energies, Lord Shiva as well as Lord Brahma seated on the lotus. (11.15) 169

O Lord of the universes, I see You everywhere with infinite form with many arms, stomachs, faces, and eyes. Neither do I see the beginning nor the middle nor the end of Your Universal Form. (11.16) 170

I see You with Your crown, club, discus; and a mass of radiance, difficult to behold, shining all around with immeasurable brilliance of the sun and the blazing fire171. (11.17)

New realization enters after the mystical experience

I believe You are the imperishable, the Supreme to be realized. You are the ultimate resort of the universe. You are The protector of eternal Laws, and the imperishable primal Spirit. (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 whose radiance provides Light to all the universes. (11.19)

The entire space between heaven and earth is pervaded by You alone in all directions. Seeing Your marvellous and terrible form, the three Worlds are trembling with fear, O Lord. (11.20)

The hosts of deities enter into You. Some with folded hands sing Your names and glories in fear. A multitude of Great Souls and Gifted Ones hail and adore You with abundant praises. (11.21)

Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Saadhyas, Deities, Ashvins, Maruts, Ushmapas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras, and Siddhas; they all amazingly gaze at You. (11.22)

Seeing your infinite form with many mouths, eyes, arms, thighs, feet, stomachs, and many fearful teeth; the worlds are trembling with fear and so do I, O mighty Lord. (11.23)

Seeing Your great effulgent and various coloured form touching the sky; Your mouth wide open and large shining eyes; I am frightened and find neither peace nor courage, O Krishna. (11.24)

Seeing Your mouths, with fearful teeth, glowing like fires of cosmic dissolution, I lose my sense of direction and find no comfort. Have mercy on me. O Lord of gods, refuge of the universe. (11.25)

The sons of Dhatarashtra along with the hosts of kings; Bhishma, Drona, and Karna together with chief warriors on our side are also quickly entering into Your fearful mouths having terrible teeth. Some are seen caught in between the teeth with their heads crushed. (11.26-27) 172

As many torrents of the rivers rush toward the ocean, similarly, those warriors of the mortal world are entering Your blazing mouths. (11.28)

As moths rush with great speed into the blazing flame for destruction, similarly all these people are rapidly rushing into Your mouths for destruction. (11.29)

You are licking up all the worlds with Your flaming mouths, swallowing them from all sides. Your powerful radiance is burning the entire universe, and filling it with splendour, O Krishna. (11.30)

Tell me who are You in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of gods, be merciful! I wish to understand You, the primal Being, because I do not know Your mission. (11.31)

The Lord said: I am the mighty world-destroying Time, engaged in wiping the world. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist. (11.32)

Therefore, you get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these (warriors) have already been destroyed by Me. You are only an instrument, O Arjuna. (11.33)

Kill Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna, and other great warriors who are already killed by Me. Do not fear. You will certainly conquer the enemies in the battle, therefore, fight.(11.34)

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 Siddhas 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 the Creative Energies? O infinite Lord, O God of gods, O abode of the universe, You are both Sat and Asat, and the imperishable God that is beyond both (Sat and Asat). (11.37) 173

You are the primal God, the most ancient Person. You are the ultimate resort of all the universe. You are the knower, knowable, and the supreme abode. The entire universe is pervaded by You, O Lord of the infinite form. (11.38)

You are all, Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, Shashanka, and Brahma as well as the father of Brahma. 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 obeisance to You from all sides. You are infinite valour and the boundless might. You pervade everything, and therefore You are everywhere and in, everything. (11.4O)

Considering You merely as a friend, not knowing Your greatness, I have inadvertently addressed You as O Krishna, O Yadava, O friend; 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; O Krishna, I implore You for forgiveness. (11.42)

You are the father of this animate and inanimate world, and the greatest teacher to be worshipped. No one is even equal to You in the three worlds; how can there be one greater than You? O Being of incomparable Glory (11.43)

Therefore, O adorable Lord, I seek Your grace 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. Show me that (four-armed) form. O God of gods, the refuge of the universe have mercy. (11.45)

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

The Lord said: O Arjuna, being pleased with you I have shown you, through My own yogic powers, this Supreme, shining, universal, infinite, and primal form of Mine that has never been seen before by anyone other than you. (11.47)

Neither by study of the Scriptures, nor by Service, nor by charity, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities, can I be seen in the cosmic form in this human world by anyone other than you, O Arjuna. (11.48)

Do not be perturbed and deluded by seeing such a terrible form of Mine as this. With fearless and cheerful mind, now behold My four-armed form. (11.49)

Sanjaya said: Lord Krishna, having thus spoken to Arjuna, revealed His four-armed form. Then assuming His gentle human form, the great-souled one, Krishna, consoled Arjuna who was terrified. (11.50)

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

The Lord said; This (four-armed) form of Mine that you have seen is very difficult, indeed, to see. Even the deities are ever longing to see this form. (11.52)

Neither by study of the Scriptures, nor by humility, nor by charity nor by ritual, can I be seen in this form as you have seen Me. (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, O Arjuna . (11.54)

The one who does all works for 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 also 2.22) (11.55)

Chapter 12: Yoga of Devotion

Arjuna said: Those ever-steadfast devotees who worship You as the manifest or personal God, and those who worship the eternal unmanifest, the formless or impersonal God (by Jnana-yoga), which of these has the best knowledge of yoga? (12.O1)

The Lord said: Those ever steadfast devotees who worship with supreme faith by fixing their mind on Me as personal God, I consider them to be the best yogis. (12.O2)174

But those who worship the Imperishable, the Undefinable, the Unmanifest, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchanging, the Immovable, and the eternal God; (12.O3)

restraining all the senses, even minded under all circumstances, engaged in the welfare of all creatures, they also attain Me. (12.O4)

Spirit-realisation is more difficult for those who fix their mind on the formless God, because the comprehension of the unmanifest God by the average embodied human being is very difficult. (12.O5)

But, to those who worship Me as the personal God, renouncing All actions to Me: setting Me as their supreme goal, and meditating on Me with single minded devotion; (12.O6)

I swiftly become their saviour, from the world that is the ocean of death and transmigration, whose thoughts are set on Me, O Arjuna. (12.O7)

Therefore, fix your mind on Me alone and let your intellect dwell upon Me through meditation and contemplation. Thereafter you shall certainly come to Me. (12.O8)

If you are unable to meditate (or focus your mind) steadily on Me, then seek to reach Me, O Arjuna, by repetitive ritualistic practise which will train the mind. (12.O9)175

If you are unable even to do any of that (Sadhana), then be intent on performing your duty for Me. You shall attain perfection just by working for Me as an instrument.(12.10)176

If you are unable to work for Me then just surrender unto My will, and renounce the attachment to, and the anxiety for the fruits of all action by learning to accept all results, with equanimity, as God-given. (12.11)

Knowledge is better than formal ritualistic practice, meditation is better than mere knowledge, renunciation of the fruit of action is better than meditation, peace immediately follows the renunciation of the fruit of work. (12.12)177

One who does not hate any creature, who is friendly and compassionate, free from the notion of “I” and “my”, even-minded in pain and pleasure, forgiving: and (12.13)

the yogi who is ever content, who has subdued the mind, whose resolve is firm, whose mind and intellect are engaged in dwelling upon Me; such a devotee is dear to Me. (12.14)

The one by whom others are not afflicted, and who is not afflicted by others; who is free from joy, envy, fear, and anxiety - is dear to Me. (12.15)

One who is free from desires; who is pure, wise, impartial, and free from anxiety; who has renounced the idea of doership in all undertakings; and who is devoted to Me, is dear to Me. (12.16)

One who neither rejoices nor grieves, neither likes nor dislikes, who has renounced good and evil, and who is full of devotion, such a person is clear to Me. (12.17)

The one who remains the same towards friend or foe, in honour or disgrace, in heat or cold, in pleasure or pain; who is free from attachment; and (12.18)

the one who is indifferent or silent in censure or praise, content with anything, unattached to a place (country, or house), steady-minded, and full of devotion; that person is dear to Me.(12.19)

But those devotees who have faith and sincerely try to follow the above mentioned dharma (teaching / law) of immortal virtues, and set Me as their supreme goal; are very clear to Me. (12.20)

Chapter 13: Creation and the Creator

Arjuna said, Creative Energies and Uncreate Energies, and the Field of Creation, and the wisdom thereof, O Lord, that I wish to learn.

The Lord said: O Arjuna, this body of yours is a miniature universe and may be called the field or creation. One who knows the creation is called the creator by the seers of truth. (13.01) 178

Know Me to be the Creator of all creation, O Arjuna. The true understanding of both the Creator and the creation is considered by Me to be the transcendental or metaphysical knowledge. (13.02) 179

What the creation is, what it is like, what its transformations are, where the source is, who that creator is, and what His powers are, hear all these from Me in brief. (13.03)

The sages have described the Creator in many ways, in various hymns, and also in the convincing verses of Scripture. (13.04)

The great elements, egoism or the “I” consciousness, the intellect, the unmanifest Creative Energy, the ten senses and the one mind and the five objects of the senses; (13.05)180

desire, hatred, pleasure, pain, the combined elements in physical body, consciousness, and resolve. Thus the field of creation (the body) has been briefly described with its transformations. (13.06)

Humility, modesty, nonviolence, forbearance, honesty, service to teacher, purity (of thought, word, and deed), steadfastness, self-control; and (13.07)

dispassion towards sense objects, absence of ego, constant reflection on the agony and suffering inherent in birth, old age, disease, and death; (13.08)

non-attachment, non-identification of self with child, wife, and home; unfailing equanimity upon attainment of the desirable and the undesirable; and (13.09)181

unswerving devotion to Me by the yoga of non-separation, love for solitude, distaste for social trivialities; (13.10)

steadfastness in knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, perception of (the omnipresent God as) the object of true knowledge, is called knowledge; what is contrary to this is ignorance. (13.11)182

Creator described

I shall fully describe the object of knowledge, and having this knowledge one attains immortality. The Supreme God is beginningless and is not said to be Being or Non-Being. (13.12) 183

With hands and feet everywhere; having eyes, heads, and faces everywhere, having ears everywhere the creator exists in the creation by pervading everything. (13.13)184

He is the perceiver of all senses without the senses; unattached, yet He is the sustainer of all; devoid of the Gunas, yet, He experiences them all. (13.14)185

Inside as well as outside all beings, both animate and inanimate, He is incomprehensible, because of His subtlety. He is extremely near and very far removed. (13.15)

Undivided, yet He appears as if divided in beings; He is to be known as the creator, sustainer, and destroyer of all beings. (13.16)

The Light of all lights, He is said to be beyond darkness. He is the knowledge, the knowable, and seated in the hearts of all beings. 186 (13.17)

Loving devotion evolves into higher Knowledge

Thus the creation as well as the knowledge and the object of knowledge have been briefly described. Understanding this, My devotee attains Me. (13.18)187

Creative energy and Uncreate Energy are eternal realities

Know that Creative Energy and Uncreate Energy are both beginningless; and also know that all manifestations and Gunas arise from Creative Energy.188 (13.19)

The Creative Energy is said to be the cause of production of physical body and organs (of perception and action). Uncreate Energy (or the consciousness) is said to be the cause of experiencing pleasures and pains. (13.20)189

Uncreate Energy associating with Creative Energy, enjoys the Gunas of Creative Energy. Attachment to the Gunas is the cause of the birth of Jivatman in good and evil wombs. (13.21)190

Uncreate Divine Energy in the body is also called Witness, Guide, Sympathiser, Experience, and the Great Lord or Holy Spirit. (13.22)191

They who truly understand Uncreate Energy and Creative Energy with its Gunas are not born again regardless of their way of life. (13.23)192

Some perceive God in the heart by the spirit through meditation; others by the yoga of knowledge (Jnana yoga or theology); and others by the yoga of action (or Karma-yoga). (13.24)

Some, however, do not understand God, but having heard from others, take to worship. They also go beyond death by their firm faith to what they have heard. (13.25)

Whatever being is born, animate or inanimate, know them to be born from the union of the field (or Creative Energy) and the field knower (or Uncreate Energy), O Arjuna. (13.26)193

The one who sees the imperishable Lord dwelling equally within all perishable beings truly sees. (13.27)

Seeing the same Lord existing in every being, one does not injure the Spirit by the spirit and therefore attains the Supreme Goal. (13.28) 194

Those who perceive that all works are done by the (Gunas of) Creative Energy alone, and thus the spirit remains actionless, they truly understand. (13.29)195

When one perceives diverse variety of beings resting in One and spreading out from that alone, then one attains God. (13.30)

The imperishable Supreme Spirit, being beginningless and without Gunas, though dwelling in the body (as spirit) neither does anything nor gets tainted, O Arjuna. (13.31)

As the all pervading ether is not tainted because of its subtlety, similarly the Spirit, seated in everybody, is not tainted. (13.32)

O Arjuna, just as one sun illuminates this entire world, similarly the creator illumines (or gives life to) the entire creation. (13.33)

They, who understand the difference between the creation (or the body) and the creator (or the spirit) and know the technique of liberation from the trap of Illusion with the help of knowledge, attain the Supreme. (13.34)