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Baghawat Geeta, Class 132: Chapter 10, Verses 12 to 17

Shloka # 12:

अर्जुन उवाच
परं ब्रह्म परं धाम पवित्रं परमं भवान्
पुरुषं शाश्वतं दिव्यमादिदेवमजं विभुम्।।10.12।।

Arjuna said You are the supreme Brahman, the supreme Light, the supreme Sanctifier. All the sages as also the divine sage Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa [Although Narada and the other sages are already mentioned by the words ‘all the sages’, still they are named separately because of their eminence. Asita is the father of Devala.] call You the eternal divine Person, the Primal God, the Birthless, the Omnipresent; and You Yourself verily tell me (so).

Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, Sri Krishna has given us the essence of Vibhuti Yoga in the first eleven shlokas that we have covered. Main points discussed were: Lord is the material cause of the universe, by which the Lord meant that Bhagavan alone is manifesting as the universe. This is because the material cause alone expresses as the product. And by which Sri Krishna indirectly points out that there is no thing called world; there is no substance called world; because there is no product at all, substantial, separate from the cause. Cause alone is the only substance, effect is nothing but name and rope; name and form added to the cause; which means since the world is a product of the Lord which has emerged from the Lord, Lord is the only substance and appearing as the world with varieties of name rope.

 Appreciating the world as manifestation of God is vishwarupam or virat rupam. In Vishwa rupam Lord’s body is the universal world. Virat rupam is where Lord appears in his manifold forms. Thus, gold can be called as virat as it appears as bangle, ring and chain. So also god appears as Akasha, Vayu, Agni etc. One who appreciates this fact is virat bhakta. For him a special temple is not required to express his bhakti; his bhakti is always with god, in his mind, everywhere. Such a person is known as nithya yuktaha. For such a bhakta, Nirguna Brahma Gyanam is a lot closer.

For those people who are worshipping personal God, nirguna gyanam is farther. From personal God, one cannot reach nirgunam Brahma, there is an intermediary step and it is learning to appreciate the universe, as the manifestation of the Lord; which means I have got to have an expanded mind.

Only such a mind can discover that substratum of entire universe. Lord says, for a Virat Bhakta I will provide all help in attaining nirguna gyanam. Thus all three visions of Eka Rupa, Aneka Rupa and Arupa bhakti have been discussed in first eleven shlokas.

However, Arjuna wants an enumeration of god’s glories. From shloka # 12 to # 18 is the presentation of Arjuna’s request to Sri Krishna. He wants an exhaustive enumeration of God’s glories. Before asking a favor he starts with praise. The mantra Rudram for Lord Shiva also starts with a praise to make Shiva happy and then it presents God with a list of demands that comes in the Chamakam section of the mantra. Chamakam is chanted fast so that God does not get bored with the list of demands. After a shruti then one asks for boons. Arjuna also does the same with Sri Krishna. He says you are supreme Brahman, Param Dhama, the consciousness priniciple; Param pavitram the scared principle; You are the Ananda swarupam which is why you are scared.

Shloka # 12: Second line of shloka:

Arjuna is not sure of nirguna Brahman as he has not experienced it. He says, great people declare that you are indweller of every living being; you are the sentiency of all organs of body; Pursuha shasvatha: You are eternal indweller of the human body; Divyam: You are chetana tatvam; body and mind are inert by nature; they function due to chaitanyam, that is You, the self evident consciousness; Adi Daivam:  You are primal god from whom other gods have arisen. You are one who was never born, you are fatherless; Vibhum: You are located everywhere.

Shoka # 13:

आहुस्त्वामृषयः सर्वे देवर्षिर्नारदस्तथा
असितो देवलो व्यासः स्वयं चैव ब्रवीषि मे।।10.13।।

Arjuna said You are the supreme Brahman, the supreme Light, the supreme Sanctifier. All the sages as also the divine sage Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa [Although Narada and the other sages are already mentioned by the words ‘all the sages’, still they are named separately because of their eminence. Asita is the father of Devala.] call You the eternal divine Person, the Primal God, the Birthless, the Omnipresent; and You Yourself verily tell me (so).

Arjuna says he gathered all this information from scriptures as declared by Rishi’s. A Rishi here means a Gyani. A rishi can even be a Grahasta Gyani. They declare as in shloka # 12: the Rishis of heaven, Deva Rishi’s, also said the same. One such Rishi was Narada, who spreads his knowledge while traveling. Other sages such as Ashita, Devala, Vyasa, all say the same as well. You also have declared as much, so and I have full shradha in you; you will never mislead me. Therefore, You are Brahman, you are param brahma param dhama pavithram, etc.

Shloka # 14:

सर्वमेतदृतं मन्ये यन्मां वदसि केशव
हि ते भगवन् व्यक्ितं विदुर्देवा दानवाः।।10.14।।

O Kesava, I accept to be true all this which You tell me. Certainly, O Lord, neither the gods nor the demons comprehend Your glory.

Arjuna says, whatever glories have been enumerated I accept them as true. In the shloka Rtam means stayam. I cant cross check your teachings as local people don’t know your glory. Even gods (Indra, varuna etc) don’t know your glory.

And this we have seen in Kenopanishad when devas were celebrating victory over asuras, Lord wanted to reveal their limitations; therefore appeared in a mysterious Yaksha form and all the devas could not know even who that Yaksha is; and we saw in the story; Vayu went and got humiliated; Agni went and got humiliated; Indra went and the Yaksha itself disappeared; and all of them understood that we all have our own intellectual limitations. And thereafter Indra becomes humble and surrenders; I can never know the truth with the help of the limited intellect, because our intellects are meant to know only the finite thing, existing within time and space.

How to know truth beyond time and space? How can asuras know as well? So, who knows your glory? Only you know your glory. So, please describe your glories.

Shloka # 15:

स्वयमेवात्मनाऽत्मानं वेत्थ त्वं पुरुषोत्तम
भूतभावन भूतेश देवदेव जगत्पते।।10.15।।

O supreme Person, the Creator of beings, the Lord of beings, God of gods, the Lord of the worlds, You Yourself alone know Yourself by Yourself.

Here interestingly Arjuna is increasing the number of names and forms of God; such as purushottama, jagatpate, bhuta bhavana etc. all these names are used to reveal god’s glories.

Purushottama is a technical word; which will be explained in the 15th chapter, wherein Krishna divides the entire universe into three: kshara purusha; akshara purusha and uttama purusha.

Kshara purusha means manifest matter; or matter,

Akshara purusha is unmanifest matter or energy, and

Uttama purusha is the consciousness principle.

Thus the whole universe consists of only three; matter in tangible form; matter in intangible form, and the consciousness, which is different from both tangible and intangible matter. Tangible matter is called kshara purusha; intangible matter; Energy is intangible matter and is Akshara Purusha; and the consciousness is called Uttama Purusha; and Uttama Purusha reversed is Purushottama; Purushottama means the pure consciousness which is beyond matter.

And Oh Lord! you are not the physical body that I am seeing; your body is an incidental vesha; but the real You is nothing but pure consciousness; Oh

Purushottama you are chaitanya svarupa and chid rupa.

Bhutabhavana: means creator of entire universe of things; Creator of all. You are the consciousness principle from which the entire universe evolves.

Bhutesha: Controller of world. Omni potent one cannot only create but it can manage it as well.

Devadeva: Lord of all devatas; of all natural laws. Katho Upanishad says devatas function purely due to your control alone.

Jagat Pathe:  jagat pathi means the protector of the world from those people who try to destroy the world:

Whenever there is a threat to this world, you yourselves find out methods of protecting this world; therefore jagatpate.

You alone know yourself completely; others don’t.

And how did you come to know; who was your guru. If Lord requires another guru; then the next question will be who is his guru. Therefore Arjuna says you know, not because of any guru, but you know by yourselves. So Lord was never ignorant to become a gyani. All the other people were agyanis; were born agyanis and they struggle, went to a guru; and studied repeatedly and at last somehow they become gyanis; but in the case of Lord; he never became gyani. So you are Sarvajnaha. Therefore you know yourselves by yourselves; and therefore you are the best person; tell me the details.

Shloka # 16:

वक्तुमर्हस्यशेषेण दिव्या ह्यात्मविभूतयः
याभिर्विभूतिभिर्लोकानिमांस्त्वं व्याप्य तिष्ठसि।।10.16।।

Be pleased to speak in full of Your own manifestations which are indeed divine, through which manifestations You exist pervading these worlds.

Upto shloka # 15 it was glorification of God. Now Arjuna starts asking favors. He asks Sri Krishna humbly, to teach him all his glories and manifestations, his extraordinary glories.

Even walking is a glory; you realize it when you see a handicapped person. Citing a story, a man said he was very poor. He was taken to an organ transfer center. There every organ had a price and when he calculated he had between Rs 15 lacs and 20 lacs worth organs. You are a rich man. You are the richest man in the world; but we take the organs for granted because from birth it is there; and it is all money.

Arjuna asks the favor, I want you to enumerate the extraordinary glories with which you pervade the universe. Why does he ask this favor?

Shloka # 17:

कथं विद्यामहं योगिंस्त्वां सदा परिचिन्तयन्
केषु केषु भावेषु चिन्त्योऽसि भगवन्मया।।10.17।।

O Yogi, [Here yoga stands for the results of yoga, viz omniscience, omnipotence, etc.; one possessed of these is a yogi. (See Comm. on 10.7)] how shall I know You by remaining ever-engaged in meditation? And through what objects, O Lord, are You to be meditated on by me?

Arjuna says I want this list of glories so that I can meditate on some of them. Every glorius object becomes an alambanam of god.

When we worship everything, in our culture, it means we worship god; thus, when we worship anything, we do not worship the thing by itself; but the thing symbolizes the Lord behind it, whether we worship the Sun, or moon, or trees or snake or river, each one becomes a pratheekam.

I can invoke you on one any one of the glorius objects and meditate. This is virat meditation on a symbol such as say a cow; the cow has many devatas in it and as such it is virat.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad starts with worship of a horse; here one sees totality of all organs in the horse. Benefit of virat upasana by vishwa rupa visualization is  that, I will come to know your higher nature. Even in sandhya vandanam we invoke god in water. Water is a glorius thing in creation. You see all gods, animals, and insects in that water. I invoke grace of God in that water. By doing this I will come to know your higher nature, arupa Ishwara, Nirguna Brahman. Nirguna gyanam is ultimate gyanam. And therefore Arjuna says, by meditating or visualizing the viswarupa in any glorious object, I will be able to come to nirgunam jnanam later; therefore give me a list.

And other people criticize saying Hinduism is confusing; we say for them alone this is a disadvantage. They have no form or one form; whether you like or not; you have to worship that. But in Hinduism you can take any form; and the Lord and prepare your mind and come to gain that knowledge and be free.

Take away:

Since the world is a product of the Lord, which has emerged from the Lord, Lord is the only substance and appearing as the world with varieties of name rope.

The whole universe consists of only three; matter in tangible form; matter in intangible form, and the consciousness, which is different from both tangible and intangible matter.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy