Musings on the Bhagavad Gita 17: That Is Everywhere

Theology is One Thing, and philosophy is another thing – but, both are mere theories. The inquisitive mind can be satisfied with theories, but not the heart that wants to feel.

            Arjuna is moving out of the realm of the mind, and entering the realm of the heart. Mind you, it is not the physical heart, it is not the heart shaped heart associated with just about any kind and form of love, infatuation, and attraction.

            Hence, his query this time is very precious. It is of great significance: “Thanks to the most profound words of spiritual wisdom that You have spoken out of kindness to me, my delusion has disappeared… I have heard from You in detail an account of the evolution and dissolution of beings, and also Your immortal glory…

            “But I long to see Your divine form possessed of wisdom, glory, energy, strength, valour and effulgence, O Purushottama, the Supreme Being!

            “if You think that it can be seen by me, then, O Krishna Yogeshwara, Lord of Yoga, reveal to me Your imperishable form.”

This is Not About “Seeing is Believing”. This is about “Seeing is Feeling in the Heart of Hearts”. Arjuna wants to see and feel the Divinity within that also envelopes all beings, nay, the entire existence of multiverses. 

            Krishna is prompt in His response, as if He is waiting for Arjuna to plead for this Vishvaropa Darshan, a Glimpse of The Form of All Forms:

            “Arjuna, behold My manifold, multifarious divine forms of various colours and shapes, in their hundreds and thousands… behold as concentrated within this body of Mine the entire creation consisting of both animate and inanimate beings, and whatever else you desire to see. But surely you cannot see Me with these human eyes of yours; therefore, I vouchsafe to you the divine eye. With this, behold My divine form as the Lord of Yoga, the Singular Unifying Factor that unites all existence.”

Doubts Arise from the Sense of Duality. All doubts dissolve as the Unifying Divine Factor is realized. Krishna, the Master, the Lord of Yoga, reveals His supremely glorious divine form, and Arjuna sees Him as possessing many mouths, eyes, and having uncountable faces on all sides.

            Sanjay, who is reporting this to his master, the blind king Dhritrashtra, says: “If there be effulgence of a thousand suns bursting forth all at once in the heavens, even that would hardly approach the splendour of the mighty Lord. In that Divine Form, Arjuna sees the whole universe with its manifold divisions.”

            And, he bows down in deep reverence, “O Lord of the universe, I see you endowed with numerous arms, bellies, mouths, and eyes and having innumerable forms extended on all sides. I see neither your beginning nor middle, nor even your end, manifested as you are in the form of the universe.

“You are the Supreme Indestructible worthy of being known; you are the ultimate refuge of this universe. You are, again, the protector of the ageless Dharma, Righteousness… I consider You to be the eternal imperishable Being. 

            “I see You without beginning, middle or end, possessing unlimited prowess and endowed with numberless arms, having the moon and the sun for Your eyes, and blazing fire for Your mouth, and scorching this universe by Your radiance. Yonder space between heaven and earth and all the quarters are entirely filled by You alone. Seeing this transcendent, dreadful Form of Yours, O Soul of the universe, all the three worlds feel greatly alarmed… the worlds are terror-struck; so am I.”

Arjuna Not Only Sees All the Sons of Dhritrashtra with hosts of kings supporting them entering the mouths of the Supreme Being, but also the principal warriors supporting him rushing headlong into those fearful mouths.

            And, he is terrified, “Tell me, O Lord, what is the truth of this terrible form that you have adopted…  Be kind to me, O Primal Being, what is the purpose of this form?”

            Those of us conditioned to see God as All Good and blame the Satan for all the bad and terrible things may not readily understand this truth. The Truth that God is all and all can never ever be understood by them whose outlook towards life is based on duality, on dualism.

            God, the Supreme Being has no competitor. No satan, no devil is engaged in eternal feud and duel with the Almighty. The Supreme Being is beyond good and bad, indeed, beyond all the things happening to us. We enjoy and suffer on account of our own karma, our own deeds.

Krishna Answers, “I am Mighty Kala, the eternal Time, also the inevitable Death that must happen to facilitate the rebirth… Presently, I have adopted this form as the Destroyer of the worlds, in order to bring an end to the evil doers who have created havoc and disharmony by their unrighteous deeds.

            “Even without you, O Arjuna, they are bound to perish as the natural consequence of their own deeds. Therefore, do you arise and win glory; conquering foes of humanity… These warriors stand already slain by Me, the Kala – the eternal Time and inevitable Death –  be you only an instrument, Arjuna.”

            “Be you only an instrument” – Arjuna is made to realize his role. He is not the doer. He is just a nimitta-matra – a tool being used by the Divine Surgeon, the Lord of Time and Death, the Supreme One, to perform a surgery that can no longer wait. It must be performed in order to save the rest of the body. The cancerous tumor must be removed to heal the body of humanity.

“You are the Primal Deity, the most ancient One; You are the ultimate resort of this universe. You are both the knower and the knowable, and the highest abode. It is You who pervade the universe, O One assuming endless forms.

            “O Lord of infinite prowess, my salutations to You from the front and from behind. O soul of all, my obeisance to You from all sides. You, who possess infinite might, pervade all; therefore, You are all.

            “Unaware of Your divine reality, I have treated you as an ordinary human all this time, please forgive me, O Lord…” Arjuna realizes the Truth, the truth of Krishna, and the reality of his role in the drama of life, his reality of being Arjuna.

            He beseeches Krishna, “Please bless me with the sight of Your gentle human form again, O Lord…” A glimpse of the mysterious form few moments earlier is enough to convince him that the inevitable cannot be avoided. What must happen must happen, will happen, indeed, it is already happening…

Krishna, the Lord of Yoga Uplifts Arjuna with His kind words: “Pleased with you I have shown you this supreme, effulgent, primal and infinite Cosmic Form. Seeing the  dreadful aspect of this, do not be perturbed or perplexed…

            “Through single-minded devotion, O Arjuna, now perform your duty for My sake and as My tool without any attachment, and free from malice towards all beings…

            “Thus you shall be free of the consequences of all your deeds, and reach Me, attain this same state of consciousness that is not only My reality, but also yours…”

            The advice given to Arjuna is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Let us all remember that no one can escape the law of karma. Therefore, it is in our own interest that we act righteously to ensure right consequence. The Mahakala, the Mighty Lord of Time, Birth and Death – the Great Recycler – is always watching us, at all times. Let us give Him a good show! Thus ends the 11th Dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, as recorded in the Bhagavad Gita.

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