Bhagavad Gita/Conversation 11. Vision of the Universal Form
Vision of the Universal Form
11:1. Out of compassion You revealed to me this Highest Mystery of the Divine Atman. It has dispelled my ignorance.
11:2. You have told me, O Lotus-eyed, how all beings arise and disappear! I have learned also about Your Imperishable Greatness!
11:3. As You describe Yourself, O Great Lord, I am thirsting to see You in Your Divine Form, O Supreme Spirit!
11:4. If You hold me worthy to see It, O God, then show me Your Eternal Being, O Lord of Yoga!
Lord Krishna said:
11:5. Behold, O Partha, My Form — of hundred faces, of thousand shapes, Divine, multicolored, multifarious!
11:6. Behold adityas, vasus, rudras, asvins, maruts! Behold countless miracles, O Bharata!
11:7. Behold in My Being, O Gudakesha, the entire universe — moving and nonmoving — with everything that you desire to see!
11:8. But truly you are not capable of seeing Me with your eyes, so I endow you with Divine eyes. Behold My Supreme Yoga!
11:9. Having uttered this, the Great Lord of Yoga showed to Arjuna His Universal Form
11:10. with countless eyes and mouths, with many miraculous sights, with numerous divine adornments, brandishing numerous divine weapons,
11:11. in divine garments and necklaces, anointed with divine fragrant oils, with faces to all sides, all-wonderful, flaming, infinite!
11:12. And if the shining of a thousand Suns blazed forth in the sky, it would be comparable to the Glory of this Great Soul!
11:13. In it Arjuna saw the whole universe subdivided into many worlds, but united into one in the Body of the Highest Deity.
11:14. Then astonished Arjuna bowed his head to the Deity, joined his palms and spoke.
11:15. In You, O God, I see “gods”, all kinds of beings, the Lord-Brahman seated in the wonderful lotus asana, all rishis, and wondrous celestial serpents!
11:16. With countless arms, bellies, mouths, eyes — everywhere I see You — unlimited are Your manifestations! My eyes can see neither the beginning, nor the middle, nor the end of Your Glory, O Infinite, Boundless Lord!
11:17. I behold Your Radiance, Your infinite omnipresent Light with discs, diadems, and scepters! Like blazing flame, or a dazzling Sun, You radiate the rays of light hard to look at!
11:18. You are beyond my thinking, O Imperishable Lord, the Supreme Goal, the Foundation of the universe, the Immortal Keeper of the eternal dharma, the Primordial Soul — thus my mind conceives You!
11:19. There is neither the beginning of You, nor the middle, nor the end! You are unlimited in Your Power! Your arms are countless! Like Suns and Moons are Your eyes! When I behold Your Face, It blazes like sacrificial fire and scorches the worlds with Your Glory!
11:20. You alone fill Heaven and the Earth and everything which is extended invisibly between them! The whole triune world trembles in front of You, O Mighty One, in front of Your terrifying Face!
11:21. Hosts of “gods” surrender to You, folding palms in awe. All appeal to You! And armies of saints and siddhis praise You, make hymns that sound throughout the entire universe!
11:22. And hosts of rudras, adityas, vasus and sadhyas, visvas, asvins, maruts, ancestors, gandharvas, asuras, yakshas, “gods” — all are admiring You!
11:23. Seeing Your mighty Form with eyes and mouths of untold number, with rows of fearsome teeth, with a vast breast, with countless hands and feet, the worlds are trembling, and so am I!
11:24. Like a rainbow in the heavens You are shining with dazzling light — with mouths wide open and giant flaming eyes! You permeate my Atman! As I behold You, my strength fades away, my peace vanishes…
11:25. Like flaming glittering swords are Your numerous teeth in the open fearful jaws. The sight of them terrifies me, I do not know where to hide from the vision of You! Be merciful, O Lord, the Refuge of the worlds!
11:26. Dhritarashtra’s sons and many rulers from various countries of the Earth, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, and heroes from the both belligerent parties —
11:27. they all are rushing into Your open mouths, where rows of teeth glitter fearfully! Like mighty millstones they grind all warriors, clutched between them, turning their bodies to ashes!
11:28. As waters of rivers rapidly and violently rush towards the great ocean, even so these mighty warriors, rulers of the Earth rush headlong into Your open burning mouths!
11:29. As a moss swiftly flies into a flame to die in it, so they rush into the dreadful jaws to disappear in them and find death there!
11:30. Devouring everything in all directions, the fire of Your countless tongues burns to ashes all creatures! The space is filled with Your Radiance! The world is blazing under Your all-pervading rays, O Lord!
11:31. Reveal to me Your essence! Your vision is frightening me beyond all measure! I prostrate myself in front of You! Have mercy on me, O Mighty Lord! What is concealed in You I aspire to know! But Your present form is terrifying to me!
Lord Krishna said:
11:32. I am the Time that brings despair to the world, that slays all people, manifesting its law on the Earth. No one of the warriors arraying here for battle will escape death! You alone will not cease to live!
11:33. Therefore, arise! And reach your glory, vanquish your enemies, and enjoy the power of your kingdom! They are already slain by My Will! You are to provide just the outer appearance, to slay them with your hand!
11:34. Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna, and all the warriors present here are doomed to die! Therefore fight boldly, O Arjuna! And the victory on this battlefield will be yours!
11:35. Having heard the words said by the Lord, Arjuna, trembling and prostrating, addressed Krishna again with voice faltering of fear:
11:36. The worlds are right to rejoice in praising You in songs and hymns beholding Your Magnificence, O Hrishikesha! Hosts of saints prostrate in front of You and demons scatter in fear!
11:37. And how can they not venerate the Great Atman, Which is superior to Brahman! O Infinite One! The Lord of all righteous men! The Refuge of all worlds! Eternal! You are both Beingness and Non-beingness, and That Which is beyond Them!
11:38. Among gods, no one is superior to You! The Primordial One! The Supreme Refuge of all the living! You pervade the entire universe! O Cognizable! O Omniscient! The whole universe is contained in Your Form!
11:39. You are the God of wind, the God of life, the God of death, the God of fire, the God of water! You are the Moon, the Father, the Progenitor of all beings! Be praised thousand times, again and again! Be ever praised!
11:40. All prostrate in front of You! Hail to You from all sides! There is neither limit to Your Might nor measure to Your Power! You include everything, since You are Everything!
11:41. If sometimes I inadvertently addressed You as my friend: “O Krishna! O my friend!”, I did this out of my emotions, being unaware of Your Greatness!
11:42. And if when resting, joking, playing, eating, or having fun, I did not show the due respect to You — being alone with You or together with other friends — I beseech You: forgive me my sin, O Immeasurable!
11:43. The Father of the worlds and of everything moving or nonmoving! The most honorable and glorious Guru! There is nothing comparable to You! Who can excel You? Who in all worlds can surpass Your Glory?
11:44. I prostrate myself in awe before You and implore You: be forbearing with me! Be my father, be my friend! As loving one with the beloved, even so You bear with me!
11:45. I have beheld Your Glory seen by no one before! I am shivering with fear and joy. I implore You: assume Your previous form! Have mercy on me, O Lord of gods, the Refuge of worlds!
11:46. I strive to see the former You in Your glittering crown and with a kingly mace in Your hand! Show me Your form, which is known and dear to me! Hide this multi-armed appearance of Yours, unbearable for mortals!
Lord Krishna said:
11:47. Arjuna! By My Grace you came to know My supreme and eternal Form, which is revealed only in Yoga, in mergence with the Atman. Of all men around, no one but you has seen it.
11:48. Neither merits, nor knowing the Vedas, nor offerings, nor exploits of ascetics, nor profoundness of knowledge — nothing is able to reveal this concealed Form of Mine that you saw.
11:49. Allay your confusion and trepidation, do not be afraid about seeing My awesome Form! Forget your fear! Cheer up! Behold My appearance well known to you!
11:50. Having said these words, Krishna assumed His usual appearance and comforted shocked Arjuna. The Great One took again His mild appearance.
11:51. Seeing again Your mild human appearance, I am coming to myself and regaining my normal state.
Lord Krishna said:
11:52. That Form of Mine, which you have seen, is very hard to see. Even “gods” are ever eager to see It!
11:53 One cannot see Me such as you have seen even if one knows all the Vedas, performs ascetic exploits, makes offerings.
11:54. Only love can behold Me thus, O Arjuna! Only love can contemplate Me in My innermost Essence and merge with Me!
11:55. The one who does everything (only) for Me, for whom I am the Supreme Goal, who loves Me, who is detached, devoid of enmity — such one comes to Me, O Pandava!
Thus in the Upanishads of the blessed Bhagavad Gita, the Science of Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, says the eleventh conversation between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, entitled:
Vision of the Universal Form.