Baghawad Gita, Class 153: Chapter 11, Verses 50 to 54


Shloka # 46:

I want to see You just as before, wearing a crown, wielding a mace, and holding a disc in hand. O You with thousand arms, O You of Cosmic form, appear with that very form with four hands.

Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, shlokas # 35 to # 45 have been completed and with this Arjuna’s appreciation of Vishwa Rupa Drashanam and his surrender to Lord is also complete.

Arjuna, while he is happy with Vishwa rupa darshanam, he is not mature enough for it. Vishwa rupa darshanam means looking at everything as one whole.

The creation is a relative entity consisting of pairs of opposite and therefore, if I am going to see the universe as the Lord; I should be able to accept the both the pairs of opposite equally. I should have a reverential attitude of acceptance with regard to every event in the creation,

Not only the things consists of pairs of opposite; even events are pairs of opposites. Thus, we have birth and death; both are an integral a part of God.

Therefore, to become a Vishva rupa bhakta; I should be able to accept death of anyone, without any complaint, which means an inner maturity is required; which is also as an integral part of Bhagavan; And therefore it requires a reverence; rather than complaint. That is why in Sandhya vandanam; we regularly worship Yama as Bhagavan. Accepting pairs of opposites with a non-complaining attitude is a sign of maturity.

Similarly every association I have to accept and I have to accept every disassociation as well without grumbling, similarly, health and sickness. Similarly war and peace; as long as human freewill is there; there will be raga and dvesha; which means there will be war even in heaven; devas and asuras will be quarreling; And therefore most of the things are integral part of Vishvarupa; I should be able to accept them without grumbling; which means I should have a very rarified mind; which sees the totality and therefore for an immature mind, Vishva rupam can be a threat; and Arjuna proves that his mind is immature because he says I am not able to withstand it.

Then the question is how can I make myself mature. Until I get the maturity to accept Bhagavan, the aneka rupa Ishvara, the only alternative I have, is to accept the ekarupa Ishvara as the Lord; that is why we start with Ishta devatha bhakthi so that I will be able to accept the situation by feeling the presence of my Ishta devatha in my heart; this is how I begin; Shankaracharya writes a beautiful sthothram called shiva shankara sthothram:

It says, “ O Lord, I will have old age and face death as well; I don’t know how death will come for me. The Yama dutas will come and threaten me; at that time I should not be frightened; at that time I want you to come, O Lord Shiva. I should not be affected by anything; my attention at that time should be on you and Parvati alone. I hope to see your Tandavam and Parvati’s Lasyam; absorbed in it I should not even know when I leave this earth. This prayer to the Ishta Devata gives one a great relief. We have to develop that bhakti for our Ishta Devata right now.

This ishta devatha bhakthi or eka rupa bhakthi will give you sufficient strength to expand your vision to Vishva rupa bhakthi; and when it is getting converted to Vishva rupa bhakthi; ishta devatha bhakthi need not go away; I see the ishta devatha himself as all the rupam; if Sri Krishna is my Ishta devatha; all people are Krishna in different vesham; and thus if I go to Shiva temple; Krishna is in Shiva Vesham; in this manner whole creation becomes Vishwa Rupam.

After remaining in Vishwa rupam for sometime, one then comes to Arupa Bhakti. So, Arjuna confesses to God that I prefer to see you as the simple Sri Krishna.

Shloka # 47:

The Blessed Lord said Out of grace, O Arjuna, this supreme, radiant, Cosmic, infinite, primeval form-which (form) of Mine has not been seen before by anyone other than you, has been shown to you by Me through the power of My own Yoga.

Sri Krishna spoke:

So when Arjuna made this request, Lord Krishna says: Arjuna I am not responsible for showing this Vishva rupam; in fact, I know you are not yet ready; but since you made a special request, I chose to show you; and now that you do not want Vishvarupa, I will bless you accordingly.

In the shloka Yoga means Maya Shakti; the assembly of three gunas; it is god’s Maya Shakti by which I gave you the Divya chakshu. Atmayogat means my own maya Shakti. I used my own Maya Shakti to show Vishwa rupam to you. I was pleased with your sincerity; I gave you the Divya chakshu. If you were mature you would have enjoyed the Vishwa Rupam; for an immature person it maybe frightening; by itself it is Tejomayam, containing all galaxies and stars of the universe; consisting of everything, cognized in many forms. Anantam means limitless space and time; it is first born and only after that individual bodies are born, so it is first born. Arjuna is a blessed devotee; nobody else had this blessing before. Swamiji says, some others too had seen Viswa rupa darshanam; here it is used just as a figure of speech.

Shloka # 48:

Not by the study of the Vedas and sacrifices, not by gifts, not even by rituals, not by severe austerities can I, in this form, be perceived in the human world by anyone [‘By anyone who has not received My grace’. other than you, O most valiant among the Kurus.

Here Sri Krishna wants to point out that Arjuna saw the Vishwa rupam due to his bhakti. Bhakti’s importance is emphasized here while other sadhanas are brought down. This is a method scriptures use. One has to understand this. All sadhanas are important but scriptures bring some down, in a particular context.

Scriptures criticize some sadhanas. In Taittirya Upanishad Various sadhanas were highlighted; Swadhyaya was highlighted and swadhyaya was considered important relative to others.

Here Sri Krishna says bhakti is most important. What should we conclude from this? We can conclude that all values are equally important, however, here bhakti is highlighted. This criticism of other sadhanas should not be taken literally.

Sri Krishna says study of Vedas (learning to chant vedas) can’t give Vishwa rupa darshanam. Discussing the study of yagnas, that is rituals; there is a difference between Veda adhyayana and yagna adhyayana. Veda adhyayana is learning to chant the Vedas; and yagna adhyayana means analysis of the Vedas; and learning how to do the rituals. Sri Krishna says Veda adhyayanam is useless; yagna adhyayanam is also useless; none of them will give you Vishva rupa darshanam.

Dana is also useless, how about laukika Karmas? They are also useless for obtaining Vishwa rupa darshanam as are Vaidica karmas.

Tapas is also useless, as are intense austerities. Through all these sadhanas, Vishwa Rupam can’t be seen. Only people like you, O Arjuna, can see it since you have a unique qualification for Vishwa rupa darshanam. Sri Krishna will later say that qualification is Bhakti. Bhakti alone helps one obtain Vishwa rupa darshanam. In the 7th chapter, Sri Krishna has talked about four types of bhakthi: artha bhakthi; artharthi bhakthi; jignasu bhakthi and Gyani bhakthi.

What type of bhakti helps? Artha bhakti (crisis driven bhakti) won’t help. Artharthi bhakti, bhakti craving for wealth, also does not help. Now Jignasu bhakta means one who seeks ekarupa Ishvara darshanam through devotion, such a mature bhakthi alone can help you see Vishwa rupa darshanam. So, O Arjuna, you asked for it and I gave it to you.

Shloka # 49:

May you have no fear, and may not there be bewilderment by seeing this form of Mine so terrible Becoming free from fear and gladdened in mind again, see this very earlier form of Mine.

Sri Krishna says if you are not ready for Vishwa rupa darshanam, I don’t want to impose it on you. Vedic teachings don’t impose anything. Moksha is advaitam and many can’t accept it. Appreciating the value of moksha requires a great maturity. If you don’t appreciate importance of moksha, don’t strive for it. Citing an example: A woman wanted to be a Gopi and dance with Sri Krishna; another woman wanted to visit heaven. If you are not ready for Vishwa rupa darshanam ask for others such as Artha and Kama.

So, therefore if you are not ready for Vishva rupa darshanam; I do not want to impose it; have eka rupa bhakthi; ask for artha; ask for kama; with only one condition, that is to follow dharma. And whatever you get legitimately, take it as Bhagavan’s gift. That is the only sadhana we request you to practice; you need not study upanishad; follow only karma kanda; follow only karma Yoga by which we mean fulfill your desires, legitimately and take whatever you get as Ishvara prasada; Start there and it will lead you to Moksha. In fact, Sri Krishna himself is going to tell this beautifully in the next chapter.

 “ May you not feel the pain of my crushing people between my teeth; don’t feel immobilized by seeing my viswa rupam that is frightening to you”.

Many people cant stand the sight of blood; imagine a doctor in such a situation.

“ Now may you see my old Sri Krishna rupam, my Eka rupam, without any fears and with a stress free mind again.

Shloka # 50:

Sanjaya said Thus, having spoken to Arjuna in that manner, Vasudeva showed His own form again. And He, the exalted One, reassured this terrified one by again becoming serene in form.

So Arjuna requested the Lord to change the form and Lord Krishna has also agreed to change the form; And now there is a period of silence during this change; wherein the transformation is taking place from aneka rupa to eka rupa; And since there is silence neither Sri Krishna talks nor Arjuna talks; And therefore Sanjaya comes in and gives a running commentary as to what is happening in the battle field; So Sanjaya reports:

Lord Krishna uttered these words and once again showed his Eka Rupa form to Arjuna. Even after having seen the changed rupam of Sri Krishna, even then, Arjuna’s fears continue for some time. It is the same with our nightmares as well. Sri Krishna, in his peaceful rupam, consoles Arjuna like a mother. Thus Aneka rupa Ishwara became Eka Rupa Ishwara and consoled Arjuna.

What does the withdrawing of Vishwa Rupam mean? Will God remove Vishwa rupam? World is the body of God as such there is no arrival or departure for Vishwa rupam. All that Sri Krishna did was to withdraw the Divya Chakshu from Arjuna. Divya chakshu is a mind that is not overpowered by Ahamkara and mamakara. In a state of ahamkara and mamamkara one can’t see the totality.

Citing an example, if you take a picture of a person standing with a mountain in background; if you focus on person the mountain becomes defocused or the other way around. So, depending on focus, one may see the man or the mountain.

So if Aham-Mama are dominant; my focus is never on vishva rupam; it will be one segment of the creation alone; but when aham and mama; I and mine, come down; then and then alone, Vishva rupa appreciation would come.

So ahamkara and mamakara has to come down.

Citing another example: Children acted in a play at a school’s annual day program. Parents came to see the play. It was interesting to see people taking pictures of some scenes and then leaving. The parents were not interested in the drama, only in their child or children. They did not come to see other kids. They only see “ my” son or daughter and not the totality.  

We are all trapped in enclosed consciousness; we do not have a rarified consciousness, to appreciate the totality;

So divya chakshu was gone; that means Arjuna has come back to my Bhishma; my Drona; he has come back to the old story.

Take away:

Divya chakshu is a mind that is not overpowered by Ahamkara and mamakara. In a state of ahamkara and mamamkara one can’t see the totality.

Swamiji says, follow only karma kanda; follow only karma Yoga by which we mean fulfill your

desires, legitimately and take whatever you get as Ishvara prasada; Start there and it will lead you to Moksha.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy