Bhagavad-Gita Summary, Chapter XI

[For the Disciple—A Guide]


"Vision of the Divine Form as including All Forms."

Arjuna declares himself satisfied with Krishna's explanation concerning spiritual excellence to be existing in the heart of every creature in the Universe. He then prays that Krishna will reveal his divine form to him.

Krishna finding it appropriate to do this, says: "Here in my body now behold...the whole universe animate and inanimate gathered here in one...But as with thy natural eyes thou art not able to see me, I will give thee the divine eye." (Gita, p. 79)

Sanjaya (who must have already acquired the "divine eye") describes to Dhritarashtra the mysterious universal power of Hari (Krishna). (Gita, pp. 79-80)

Arjuna, frightened by such a vision, observes:

"I behold, O God of gods, within thy frame all beings and things of every kind...I see thee on all sides, of infinite forms...But I can discover neither thy beginning, thy middle, nor thy end...Thou art the supreme inexhaustible Being, the end of effort, changeless, the Supreme Spirit of this universe, the never-failing guardian of eternal law..." and he concludes with the words: "I seek to know thee, the Primeval One, for I know not thy work." (Gita, pp. 80-83)

Krishna reminds Arjuna that his present duty lies in being a leader in the Kurukshetra war, and says:

"I am Time matured, come hither for the destruction of these creatures: except thyself, not one of all these warriors here drawn up in serried ranks shall live. Wherefore, arise! seize fame! Defeat the foe and enjoy the fullgrown kingdom! They have been already slain by me; be thou only the immediate agent, O thou both-armed one. Be not disturbed. Slay Drôna, Bhîshma, Jayadratha, Karma, and all the other heroes of the war who are really slain by me. Fight, thou wilt conquer all thine enemies." (Gita, pp. 83-4)

Sanjaya observes that the trembling Arjuna then addressed Krishna:

"The Universe, O Hrishekesha (Krishna, by other names), is justly delighted with thy glory and is filled with zeal for thy service...O mighty Being, thou who art greater than Brahma, who art the first Maker...first of Gods, the most ancient Spirit; thou art the final supreme receptacle of this universe; thou are the Knower and that which is to be known, and the supreme mansion...thou art all things!" (Gita, pp. 84-5)

Krishna, smiling tenderly, resumed his usual four-armed shape and assuaged Arjuna's fears. In conclusion he tells him, as the Supreme Spirit:

"I am to be approached and seen and known in truth by means of that devotion which has me alone as the object. He whose actions are for me alone, who esteemeth me the supreme goal, who is my servant only, without attachment to the results of action and free from enmity towards any creature, cometh to me, O son of Pandu." (Gita, p. 88)





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