Bhagwat Geeta, Class 144 – Chapter 11 Viśva Roopa Darshana Yogaha, Verses 14 to 18


For viśvarũpa darshanam in addition to regular eye, we need a special attitude which is born out of study of scriptures as well as a prepared mind.  Without the prepared mind, we can see viśva but it will not be seen as viśvarũpa Eeswara.  Knowledge, cognitive factors, and a pure mind all required for viśvarũpa darshanam.  Arjuna was missing this divya sakshu and Krishna granted this divya sakshu – prepared mind – for Arjuna to have the viśvarũpa darshanam.  Sanjaya gives the description of viśvarũpa darshanam. 

Verse 14

Then, Arjuna, who was wonderstruck and thrilled, saluted the Lord with his head and spoke with join palms.

Because of the change of perspective, Arjuna had an impact.  Arjuna was struck by this extraordinary change of perspective.  This change of perspective showed at the physical level also. 

Verse 15

Arjuna said – Oh Lord! In your body I see all the gods as well as hosts of various beings.  Lord Brahma who is seated on the lotus, all the sages, and the celestial serpents.

Arjuna goes through several emotional stages and the first stage was wonderment or acharyam; Arjuna sees the world as wonderful.  If you look at the totality of the cosmos, all the problems like terrorism, wars etc., will seem to be insignificant.  This Acharya bhava is described from verse 15 to 22.  His first response is wonderment.   He sees all 14 lokas.  A question may arise whether Arjuna saw other lokas.  But it is not important what lokas Arjuna saw, it is important how he saw:  he saw ordinary world as viśvarũpa darshanam, the manner of seeing is important and not what was seen.  This alone gives liberation. 

Verse 16

I see You everywhere with countless forms, with many arms, abdomens, mouths and eyes.  I see neither Your beginning nor the middle, nor the end, Oh Lord of the universe!  Oh Lord with universal form!

The idea is all the hand of all the people, all the mouths of all the people etc. are all viśvarũpa darshanam.  Lord has limitless form.  The definition of the word viśvarũpam is the one whose body is the world itself.

Verse 17

I see You as a mass of effulgence shining everywhere with crown, mace, and disc.  I see you all around, radiant like the blazing fire and sun, blinding and immeasurable.

This is continuation of Arjuna’s description of viśvarũpa darshanam.  In India, deities are installed in difficult to reach places like Himalayas, so we can appreciate viśvarũpa darshanam.

Verse 18

You are the supreme imperishable one to be known.  You are the ultimate support of this universe.  You are the eternal protector of eternal dharma.  I regard You as the eternal Purusha. Both nirguna and saguna eeswara are eternal, because the universe is anädi – no beginning and no ending.  Ultimate support is that which supports everything, but it is not supported by anything.  Even though Arjuna is seeing saguna brahman, he is describing nirguna brahman.