Baghawad Geeta, Class 146: Chapter 11, Verses 22 to 29


Shloka 22:

रुद्रादित्या वसवो ये साध्या
विश्वेऽश्िवनौ मरुतश्चोष्मपाश्च
वीक्षन्ते त्वां विस्मिताश्चैव सर्वे।।11.22।।

Those who are the Rudras, the Adityas, the Vasus and the Sadhyas [sadhyas: A particular class of celestial beings.-V.S.A.], the Visve (-devas), the two Asvins, the Maruts and the Usmapas, and hosts of Gandharvas, Yaksas, demons and Siddhas-all of those very ones gaze at You, being indeed struck with wonder.

Continuing his teaching swamiji said, Arjuna is blessed by Sri Krishna with a divya chakshu, an appropriate mind that can appreciate the body of Lord or universe. After seeing Vishwa rupam, Arjuna goes through three phases of transformations.

First transformation is one of wonder. What you appreciate in totality is wonderful. Thus, water in huge quantities like in Niagara falls is a wonder. Anything in a mass scale produces wonder in us. In Vishwa rupa, everything is in a very large scale. Not only am I appreciating Vishwa rupa, says Arjuna, but others such as Rudras, Vasavahas,Sadhyas, Vishve, Asinau, marutaha, usmapaha, gandharvas etc; are also appreciating the rupa. For this Vishwa Rupa darshanam you need not stand in a long line; you can appreciate it without any difficulty. It is a uniform appreciation by all who are wonder stuck.

Now we are going to the next stage, where Arjuna’s response changes and that is going to be described hereafter.

Shloka # 11.23:

रूपं महत्ते बहुवक्त्रनेत्रं
महाबाहो बहुबाहूरुपादम्
बहूदरं बहुदंष्ट्राकरालं
दृष्ट्वा लोकाः प्रव्यथितास्तथाऽहम्।।11.23।।

O mighty-armed One, seeing Your immense form with many mouths and eyes, having numerous arms, thighs and feet, with many bellies, and fearful with many teeth, the creatures are struck with terror, and so am I.

While appreciating Vishwa rupa, Arjuna saw the Lord’s mouth. This was previously described in Shloka # 19 as well as a huge mouth with a huge conflagration of fire. Mouth represents time as destructive principle. Time is responsible for creation (Brahma), maintenance (Vishnu) and destruction (Shiva). Now creation and maintenance, one loves, but when it comes to destruction, one is afraid. So, Arjuna sees kala as destructive principle and this srikes fear in Arjuna. We should note that this just represents pairs of opposites. These pairs are present in Vishwa rupa as well. One can’t accept one and reject the other. They are inseparable and compliment each other. The most important pairs in life are:

Birth and Death; every moment some one is born and some one dies. Even in our body, cells are born and they die. We are happy to be born but don’t want to die. We don’t care if others die unless they are close to us. However, reality is that both exist and we should accept them both as mangalam.

Other pairs of opposites include: Growth and decay: health and disease; union and separation; night and day; thus everything is mangalam; all should be acceptable and this is a sign of maturity. Without maturity we may see cruelty in God’s actions in some cases. Arjuna is not fully mature and can’t understand this aspect. This is described in shlokas # 20- 23.

O Lord, your Vishwa rupa is infinite with countless faces and eyes; your hands are many; thighs are many; feet are many; stomach are many; but only one part of you, I don’t want to see; that is the mouth; it is frightening with many sharp teeth; when I see it, it is a frightening aspect of yours; the whole world is frightened. Arjuna, being a fearless Kshatriya does not openly admit to his own fear.

Shloka # 11.24:

नभःस्पृशं दीप्तमनेकवर्णं
व्यात्ताननं दीप्तविशालनेत्रम्
दृष्ट्वा हि त्वां प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा
धृतिं विन्दामि शमं विष्णो।।11.24।।

O Visnu, verily, seeing Your form touching heaven, blazing, with many colors, open-mouthed, with fiery large eyes, I , becoming terrified in my mind, do not find steadiness and peace.

On one side Arjuna appreciates the Vishwa Rupa, on the other side he sees the terrible mouth. “Your form is touching the sky; you have manifold colors; I see the mouth with fire and teeth; I see your eyes, large and shining; the sun and moon are your eyes; seeing this form, especially the mouth, my innermost heart is tormented; I have lost my steadiness; I have weakened; I have become restless.

Old age is frightening, everything around us, such as disease will become stronger; my immunities will go away. Kala causes all this as part of Vishwa rupa.

Shloka # 11.25:

दंष्ट्राकरालानि ते मुखानि
दृष्ट्वैव कालानलसन्निभानि
दिशो जाने लभे शर्म
प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास।।11.25।।

Having merely seen Your mouths made terrible with (their) teeth and resembling the fire of Dissolution, I have lost the sense of direction and find no comfort. Be gracious, O Lord of gods, O Abode of the Universe.

Arjuna’s mind goes back to the mouth. “ Your mouth with protruding teeth (cause of pain) is comparable to Pralaya Kala Agni.

Because, according to the scriptures, at the time of pralaya, the whole creation is gradually dissolved; and there are five elements; these five elements are created in a particular order; akasha; vayu; agni; jalam and prithvi; at the time of pralayam; the resolution takes place in a reverse order;

So vipraryaya atha; that means what everything is supposed to be in prithvitatvam; prithvi the earth principle is dissolved in jala tatvam; that is the pralaya; and jalam is supposed to be resolved in agni tatvam; and that agni and that agni is called pralaya kala agni which absorbs everything including the fourteen lokas;

When I see that mouth, I have lost my sense of direction; I am greatly disturbed. I am not sure if you are a compassionate god or a cruel god. Maturity is required to accept both aspects. Oh Lord: Be gracious to me: at least do not open the mouth; everything is fine, if you close the mouth;

Shloka # 11.26:

अमी त्वां धृतराष्ट्रस्य पुत्राः
सर्वे सहैवावनिपालसङ्घैः
भीष्मो द्रोणः सूतपुत्रस्तथाऽसौ
सहास्मदीयैरपि योधमुख्यैः।।11.26।।

And into You (enter) all those sons of Dhrtarastra along with multitudes of the rulers of the earth; (also) Bhisma, Drona and that son of a Suta (Karna), together with even our prominent warriors.

The irony of situation is that what thought you want to avoid, the mouth, becomes more and more prominent now. Arjuna gets a close up of Lords mouth. The mouth keeps swallowing. How does he eat? Just as we eat food, all of us are edible to Bhagavan. So, I see people being eaten by Lord. These are all an integral part of life and we need to learn to accept it.

So many people are entering mouth of Lord.

In the Mahabharata war many soldiers died and they are seen entering God’s mouth. This is a symbolic expression as the war is about to begin and Arjuna sees all this before the war.

All kauravas are entering your mouth; I see many soldiers also from my side entering; many kings and their groups as well. Arjuna asked for Gita teaching because he could not face the death of Bhishma, Drona etc. Now, he sees the death of Bhishma and Drona, Karna, Abhimanyu and other warriors, all entering Lord’s mouth. O Sri Krishna, I can’t accept this fact. We have to accept this fact says, Swamiji, otherwise life will be unacceptable. We have to accept choice-less situations.

Shloka 11.27:

वक्त्राणि ते त्वरमाणा विशन्ति
दंष्ट्राकरालानि भयानकानि
केचिद्विलग्ना दशनान्तरेषु
संदृश्यन्ते चूर्णितैरुत्तमाङ्गैः।।11.27।।

They rapidly enter into Your terrible mouths with cruel teeths! Some are seen sticking in the gaps between the teeth, with their heads crushed!

Arjuna continues to see the frightening mouth of God. All these people are rushing through your mouth without knowing.  It is a mouth with frightening teeth. When I look at your mouth and some of them are caught in between teeth, partly crushed by Lord. This is

all symbolic; again what do they symbolize; different kinds of diseases; taking away different parts; kidney failure; heart attack; pancreas failure; what is

diabetics; pancreas failure; kalam has bitten kidney; kalam has bitten pancreas; all these are happening and nobody can stop all these things; in spite of medical

advances; none of them can be stopped; therefore better learn to accept them as part of life;

Shloka # 28:

यथा नदीनां बहवोऽम्बुवेगाः
समुद्रमेवाभिमुखाः द्रवन्ति
तथा तवामी नरलोकवीरा
विशन्ति वक्त्राण्यभिविज्वलन्ति।।11.28।।

As the numerous currents of the waters of rivers rush towards the sea alone so also do those heroes of the human world enter into Your blazing mouths.

So this is not the lot of the soldiers alone; but this is the lot of all the living beings; because all of them will have to be ultimately resolved; because life is nothing but

avyaktha avastha and vyaktha avastha. We have all come; we have to go back to the Lord, and again punarapi jananam and punarapi maranam.

Arjuna gives example of countless rivers rushing and ultimately going back to ocean from which they originated anyway. All of us have come from Lord and have to go back to him.

Shloka # 29:

यथा प्रदीप्तं ज्वलनं पतङ्गा
विशन्ति नाशाय समृद्धवेगाः
तथैव नाशाय विशन्ति लोका
स्तवापि वक्त्राणि समृद्धवेगाः।।11.29।।

As moths enter with increased haste into a glowing fire for destruction, in that very way do the creatures enter into Your mouths too, with increased hurry for destruction.

Another example is given of small insects and flies; when there is an oil lamp, they all rush to flame and it will destroy them. Either they burn or fall in oil and die. Lords mouth is the lamp with fire; we are all rushing to that flame with increased speed. Similarly, all living beings are rushing towards you with increased speed. Kala is an integral part of life. To get over kala, like markandeya, embrace shiva (atma) whose desha and kala are absent. So, Atmatatvam alone is place to surrender.

Take away:

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy