Baghawad Geeta, Class 147: Chapter 11, Verses 29 to 33


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.

Continuing his teaching Swamiji said, while appreciating the Vishwa Rupa of Lord, Arjuna initially expresses wonderment, seeing the magnitude of Vishva rupa; which consists of the whole creation along with time, which is an integral part of Vishva rupa.

Time and space is integral part of creation. It is not that they existed before; they arise with Creation and once creation is resolved we can’t have space and time. We see this in the sleep state when objects go away, time and space goes away and upon waking up objects come back. During his experience of Vishwa Rupa, Arjuna experiences time via the mouth of Lord. Time is intrinsic in every object that makes it arrive, grow old and then die. This integral kalatatvam is seen as mouth of Lord. Kalatatvam has two powers: Creative and Destructive. Arjuna did not see the creative side such as birth of children. Creative power helps the boom of human beings, a mangala karma. But since Arjuna was in battlefield, he saw destructive aspect of Kala swallowing many beings. If Arjuna had seen the Rupa in totality (birth and death) he would have seen both as mangalam. Thus Union and departure are both mangalam; growth and decay are also mangalam. Once I accept both as mangalam, Vishwa Rupam is not frightening anymore.

Another choice is to see everything as amangalam. Vedanta sees both punar janmam and Punar maranam as amangalam. Even union is amangalam; heaven and hell is also amangalam.

Either accept everything as mangalam or reject whole thing as amangalam. The problem is we want to accept birth as mangalam but we don’t want to accept death as mangalam. So totally accept or renounce the world. Arjuna does not want death of Bhishma, Drona etc; but he also wants Karna to die; this is his dilemma.

Sri Krishna says this is not the law of creation.

Shloka # 30:

लेलिह्यसे ग्रसमानः समन्ता
तेजोभिरापूर्य जगत्समग्रं
भासस्तवोग्राः प्रतपन्ति विष्णो।।11.30।।

You lick Your lips while devouring all the creatures from every side with flaming mouths which are completely filling the entire world with heat.

Arjuna sees bodies rushing into Lord’s mouth.

What is Gods response to all the death? Does he feel sympathy? God does not appear to have any sympathy. He seems to say that if you cant accept law of universe; birth and death; then it is your problem.

Before discussing we should know what is it? Scriptures describe all these in details. So in closing our eyes to death principle, we are closing our opportunity to understand death. So, God is not bothered with all this; rather he seems to enjoy swallowing people.

“ So, like a good eater he seems to be enjoying the meal. Every object seems to be a food object, as god is swallowing them. Al people are devoured within his huge blazing mouth and he is relishing it.”

The radiation of fire from your mouth seems to spread all around. Kalatatvam affects every moment of life, as we grow older.

Arjuna has begun to doubt nature of God. He did not expect to see a violent aspect of God. Is God compassionate? Is there even God? So now he raises a question to Sri Krishna.

Shloka # 31:

आख्याहि मे को भवानुग्ररूपो
नमोऽस्तु ते देववर प्रसीद
विज्ञातुमिच्छामि भवन्तमाद्यं
हि प्रजानामि तव प्रवृत्तिम्।।11.31।।

Tell me who You are, fierce in form. Salutation be to you, O supreme God; be gracious. I desire to fully know You who are the Prima One. For I do not understand Your actions!

Arjuna asks a fundamental question, O God, who are you? Are you compassionate or the fierce one? Why did you create suffering with Joy? I am not able to understand your fierce form. May you cool down and show me a pleasant form of yours?

In effect Arjuna’s question is: who are you; what are you? I would like to clearly know you as Srishti Karta. I do not know your functions as well.

Now, Ishwara answers; with this the second phase of Arjunas’s response is over. His first response upon seeing Vishwa rupa was ascharya; the second response was fear upon seeing God’s destructive aspect, his fiery mouth.

Shloka # 32:

श्री भगवानुवाच

कालोऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो
लोकान्समाहर्तुमिह प्रवृत्तः
ऋतेऽपि त्वां भविष्यन्ति सर्वे
येऽवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः।।11.32।।

The Blessed Lord said I am the world-destroying Time, [Time: The supreme God with His limiting adjunct of the power of action.] grown in stature [Pravrddhah, mighty-according to S.-Tr.] and now engaged in annihilating the creatures. Even without you, all the warriors who are arrayed in the confronting armies will cease to exist!

Sri Krishna answered Arjuna’s question as to, who are you? What is your function?

Answering first question of who are you; Sri Krishna says, I am Kalatatvam also; which is an integral part of the relative world; that is why in Vedanta; we talk about two planes of reality; one is called vyavahariha satyam; and other is called paramarthika satyam; vyavahariha satyam is a plane in which time principle is integral, intrinsic, inherent feature and therefore in vyavaharika plane everything will have a corresponding opposite. So arrival-departure, growth-decay; union-dissociation; birth-death; it is an integral part which is called vyavahari satyam. And Vedantins advice with regard to vyavaharika satyam is that we have only two options; either you accept it totally or you reject it totally;

Paramatrthika satyam has no time and space; as such no pairs exist in it; there is no birth nor death; no good nor bad. For total renunciation you need mental strength. Total acceptance also requires inner strength. This strength comes from Atma Gyanam. So take sanyasa ashrama or Grihasthashrama; In Sanyasahrama ,in which you renounce everything; but partial acceptance is not acceptable; partial rejection is also not acceptable.

“ Sri Krishna says, I am Kalatatvam; I have two fold functions; creation and destruction. Right now I am in destructive principle, as a war is about to begin. I have come and engaged in destroying the armies of Kauravas and Pandavas.”

Sri Krishna gives a warning, “ Arjuna, this is going to happen whether you decide to fight or not, all these people will die.”. Who are they? They are soldiers of both armies who, even in this Dharma and Adharma war, will perish.

Shloka # 33:

तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व
जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यं समृद्धम्

मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वमेव
निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन्।।11.33।।

Therefore you rise up, (and) gain fame; and defeating the enemies, enjoy a prosperous kingdom. These have been killed verily by Me even earlier; be you merely an instrument, O Savyasacin (Arjuna).

Arjuna, whether you fight or not, time for all these people to perish has come. If you fight, you will get name and fame for fighting for Dharma. If you run away, the people will still perish; but you will get a bad name as a coward and incur papam. So, Join and do your duty; win over your enemies. You can enjoy a prosperous kingdom.

I have already destroyed all these people. So O Arjuna (Ambidextrous bowman). So, may you become a simple instrument in my hand for this destruction..

Nimitham Matra Bhava meaning be a mere instrument in my hand; this line is often quoted; so we have to understand it clearly. It appears as if Arjuna is a puppet of God’s hand. It looks like God predetermines everything. Human beings don’t appear to have a choice.

These two lines of Ch # 11 give a boost to fatalistic people concluding that there is no freewill at all. There is only God who is the doer.

Swamiji says this conclusion is wrong. He says there is a freewill.

With Best Wishes,

Ram Ramaswamy