Bhagavad Gita English 11

Vishwaroopa Darshana Yoga

The Yoga of Vision of Cosmic Body

The scheme of discussion in this chapter



Vision of Cosmic form



The Lord shows his cosmic vision to Arjuna



Sanjaya’s commentary on cosmic form



Arjuna is frightened to  see the cosmic form



Lord describes his powers



Arjuna’s prayers to cosmic form



One may see God in any form of his choice



Lord shows to arjuna his four armed and human form



Lord can be seen by devotion and love




VERSE – 11: 01 

“Krishna, by your kind talk all my ignorance is removed”  says Arjuna

अर्जुन उवाच

मदनुग्रहाय परमं गुह्यमध्यात्मसंज्ञितम्।

यत्त्वयोक्तं वचस्तेन मोहोऽयं विगतो मम॥११ -१॥

arjuna uvacha

mad -anugrahaya paramam guhyam adhyatma -samjnitam
yat tvayoktam vachas tena moho ’yam vigato mama (11: 01)

मदनुग्रहाय परमम् गुह्यम् अध्यात्मसंज्ञितम्।

यत् त्वया उक्तम्  वचः तेन  मोहः अयम्  विगतः मम॥  

मदनुग्रहाय – out of compassion towards me परमम् -the most गुह्यम् -profound  अध्यात्मसंज्ञितम् -word of wisdom concerning the self यत् -which त्वया -by you उक्तम् -spoken वचः -word  तेन -by that  मोहः -delusion अयम् -this  विगतः -gone मम -my

Arjuna said – Thanks to the most profound words of wisdom that you spoke to me, out of kindness about the supreme

secret of spirit, all my delusions are now dispelled.


मदनुग्रहाय परमम् गुह्यम् अध्यात्मसंज्ञितम्।

Thank you for the word of wisdom, spoken to me out of kindness to me.

मदनुग्रहाय – Out of sheer compassion to me. Having heard the glory and powers of the Lord in the 10th chapter, Arjuna’s heart was full of gratitude.  O Lord! It is out of sheer kindness that you have revealed to me this closedly guarded supreme secret about the self”.

अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन

विष्टभ्याहमिदं क्रत्स्नमेकाम्शेन स्थितो जगत् (१० -४२)

The lord said, “suffice it to say that I am holding this entire universe by a fraction of my yogic power” Arjuna was

impressed by these words of the lord and filled with


परमम् गुह्यम् अध्यात्मसंज्ञितम् वचः  -All my delusions are dispelled by your talk on the supreme secret of the self. The Lord has spoken to Arjuna in these preceding 10 chapters, the profound knowledge about the self, jnyana and vijnyana that is the knowledge about  saguna and nirguna brahma , and his own glory and  limitless power. This knowledge is not available across the table except for those who are qualified for that. That is why it is called supreme secret. The adjectives परमम्,  गुह्यम् , अध्यात्मसंज्ञितम्, have been used for the noun  वचः

तेन मोहः अयम् विगतः मम -By your words my delusion has

entirely disapprared. Here the delusion refers to the ignorance that causes to feel the world of objects and feelings as real. Just as at the dawn of sunlight the darkness is dispelled,  so with the divine knowledge my ignorance is removed. By the knowledge of the self and knowing its glory and power,

Arjuna says,” Lord all my delustions are gone”. He is yet to hear all the 18 chapters. He is already satisfied. It is like man burping after having half dinner fully contended. Removal of

delusion is not the same thing as gaining knowledge although it is an integral part of it.

VERSE – 11: 02

The origin and dissolution of the universe is your glory

भवाप्ययौ हि भूतानां श्रुतौ विस्तरशो मया। 

त्वत्तः कमलपत्राक्ष माहात्म्यमपि चाव्ययम्॥११ -२॥

bhavapyayau hi bhutanamshrutau vistaraso maya
tvattah kamala -patraksha mahatmyam api hcavyayam (11: 02)

भवाप्ययौ हि भूतानम् श्रुतौ विस्तरशो मया

 त्वत्तः  कमलपत्राक्ष   महात्त्म्यम् अपि च अव्ययम्

भवाप्ययौ -the origin and dissolution (भवः- creation अप्ययः –  dissolution)  हि -indeed भूतानम् -of beings श्रुतौ -have been heard विस्तरशो -in detail मया – by me त्वत्तः -from you कमलपत्राक्ष – O Lotus eyed महात्त्म्यम् -greatness अपि -as well च -and  अव्ययम् -inexhaustible

O Lord the lotus -eyed one, I have heard from you in detail about the orgin and dissolution of beings, as also your

immutable glory.


भवाप्ययौ हि भूतानम् श्रुतौ विस्तरशो मया–Hey Lotus eyed one, I heard from you extensively about the origin and dissolution of all animate and inanimate beings. It is by him that all beings are produced, nourished and Unto Him they all enter


Though creating, maintaining and destroying the whole

universe, God in reality is non -doer. He is not tainted by the actions and fruits of his work.

त्वत्तः कमलपत्राक्ष महात्त्म्यम् अपि अव्ययम् – O lotus-eyed one! I have also heard from you in detail about your glory and



VERSE – 11: 03

Arjuna expresses his desire to behold Lords universal form

एवमेतद्यथात्थ त्वमात्मानं परमेश्वर। 

द्रष्टुमिच्छामि ते रूपमैश्वरं पुरुषोत्तम॥११ -३॥

evam etad yathattha tvamatmanam parameshvara
drastum icchami te rupamaishvaram purushottama (11: 03)

एवम् एतत् यथा अत्थ त्वम् आत्मानम् परमेश्वर   

द्रष्टुम् इच्छामि ते रूपम् ऐश्वरम्  पुरुषोत्तम  ॥ 

एवम् -thus एतत् -this is यथा -as अत्थ -you have declared त्वम् -you आत्मानम् -yourself परमेश्वर -supreme Lord द्रष्टुम् -to see इछामि -I desire ते -your रूपम् –form ऎश्वरम् -devine पुरुषोत्तम -supreme person

O Lord, you are precisely what you have said to be; yet I wish to see your divine cosmic form, O supreme person.

एवम् एतत् यथा अत्थ –Whatever has been spoken by the Lord about himself; his virtues, glory, reality and divine power are indeed true. It is exactly as has been depicted by him. “There is no dispute about that” says Arjuna.

परमेश्वर. पुरुषोत्तम –“Hindu scriptures contain a thousand names for God, each one conveying a different shade of

philosophical meaning”. Parameshwara means supreme

ruler. Ishwara is God in his aspect of cosmic ruler (from the verb root īs, to rule). By his will all universes, in orderly cycles are created, maintained and dissolved. The verbatim meaning of purushottma is supreme person. It is a name for deity in his highest aspect, the unmaifested lord beyond creation.

द्रष्टुम् इछामि ते रूपम् ऎश्वरम् –May I behod your divine form? In the last verse of chapter 10, the lord had said, Arjuna, “I am holding this entire universe by a fraction of my yogic ower”

Natuarally, Arjuna was enamoured and wanted to see his divine form.  ऎश्वरम् or opulence includes wisdom, glory, enery, strength, valour and effulgence.

VERSE – 11: 04

Lord! if you think I am fit, please  show me your infinite form

मन्यसे यदि तच्छक्यं मया द्रष्टुमिति प्रभो। 

योगेश्वर ततो मे त्वं दर्शयात्मानमव्ययम्॥११ -४॥

manyase yadi tacchakyam maya drashtum iti prabho
yogeshvara tato me tvam darshayatmanam avyayam(11: 04)

मन्यसे यदि तत् शक्यम् मया द्रष्टुम् इति  प्रभो। 

योगेश्वर ततः मे त्वम्  दर्शय आत्मानम् अव्ययम् ॥  

मन्यसे -you think यदि -if  तत् -that शक्यम् -possible मया -by me द्रष्टुम् -to see इति -thus प्रभो- O Lord योगेश्वर -O Lord of yogas  ततः -then मे – to me त्वम् -you दर्शय -show आत्मानम् -yourself अव्ययम् -imperishable


O Lord, if you think it is possible for me to see your universal form then O Lord of Yogis; can you please show me your transcendental form?

मन्यसे यदि तत् शक्यम् मया द्रष्टुम् इति  प्रभो।  – O Lord, if you deem it fit please show me your infinite form. Arjuna was very humble. He knew that Krishna was not a mortal human. He was none other than the supreme God. Arjuna requested show me your universal form only if you think I am fit to see it. You cannot pass a 1000 watt power through a thin cable.

योगेश्वर ततः मे त्वम्  दर्शय आत्मानम् अव्ययम् ॥  

Please show me your infinite form.

VERSE – 11: 05

Arjuna, Look here, tens and thousands of forms,  sizes, and hues, walking crawling or flying, engaged in different works, seen and unmagined by you , all inmy body.


पश्य मे पार्थ रूपाणि शतशोऽथ सहस्रशः।

नानाविधानि दिव्यानि नानावर्णाकृतीनि च॥११ -५॥

shri -bhagavan uvacha
pashya me partha rupani shataso ’tha sahasrashah
nana -vidhani divyani nana -varnakritini cha (11: 05)  


पश्य मे पार्थ रूपाणि शतशः अथ सहस्रशः।

नानाविधानि दिव्यानि नानावर्णाकृतीनि च॥  

पश्य -behold मे -my पार्थ -Son of Pritha रूपाणि  -forms शतशः -by hundreds अथ -right now सहस्रशः -thousands नानाविधानि -of different sorts दिव्यानि -divine नानावर्णाकृतीनि -of various colours and shapes च -and

Shri Bhagawan said –

O Son of Pritha (Arjuna) behold my hundreds and thousands of multifarious, divine forms of different colours and shapes


पश्य मे पार्थ रूपाणि शतशः अथ सहस्रशः। -Arjuna, behold in me multitudinous (numerous) forms in hundreds and thousands.

नानाविधानि -multifarious (great variety, diverse). The

contents in the cosmic body of God are not homogenous; it is heterogenous. They belong to different groups like invertebrates to mammals, plants, hundreds of thousands species, living and non living things. You find them in water, air, in the snow glaciers,  planets, etc. Good and bad, ferocious to timid, beautiful to ugly, tiny to mammoth, flying, crawiling, walking or still. Disease causing organisms, disease curing organisms, mud, sand, minerals and metals and so many other things. The diverse variety includes era of fossils to modern times and future. It includes different sciences, arts, and


नानावर्णाकृतीनि -of different hues, forms, and shapes.

दिव्यानि -divine. The diverse forms seen in the cosmic body of God are marvellous and transcendental.

VERSE – 11: 06

पश्यादित्यान्वसून्रुद्रानश्विनौ मरुतस्तथा। 

बहून्यदृष्टपूर्वाणि पश्याश्चर्याणि भारत॥११ -६॥

pashyadityan vasun rudran ashvinau marutastatha
bahuny adrsta -purvani pashyashcharyani bharata (11: 06)

पश्य आदित्यान् वसून् रुद्रान् अश्विनौ मरुतः तथा । 

बहूनि अदृष्टपूर्वाणि पश्य आश्चर्याणि भारत ॥  

पश्य -behold आदित्यान् -the Adityas -the 12 sons of Aditi वसून् -the eight Vasus रुद्रान् -the Rudras (Gods of destruction) अश्विनौ -the Ashwini Kumars, the twin physicians मरुतः -the Maruts -409Wind Gods तथा -and also बहूनि -many अद्रुष्ट्पूर्वाणि -never seen before पश्य -look आश्चर्याणि -wonders भरत -O Bharata 

Bewhold the the celestial beings -adityas, the vasus, the Rudras, the twin Ashwins, the Maruts, and many wonders hitherto unknown!


Krishna shows all Adityas, vasus, rudras,  2 Ashwinis, Maruts which has not been so far by any one in the earth (अद्रुष्ट्पूर्वाणि). So It becomes  naturally surprising and awesome (आश्चर्याणि).

VERSE – 11: 07

इहैकस्थं जगत्कृत्स्नं पश्याद्य सचराचरम्। 

मम देहे गुडाकेश यच्चान्यद् द्रष्टुमिच्छसि॥११ -७॥

ihaika -stham jagat krtsnam pashyadya sa -characharam
mama dehe gudakesha yacchanyad drashtum icchasi (11: 07)

इह एकस्थम् जगत् कृत्सम्  पश्य अद्य सचराचरम् । 

मम देहे गुडाकेश यत् च अन्यत् द्रष्टुम् इच्छसि ॥  

इह -in this एकस्थम् -centred in one जगत् -the universe क्रत्स्नम् -the entire पश्य -behold अद्य -righr now सचराचरम् – the moving and unmoving मम -my देहे -body गुडाकेश O Gudakesha (Conquerer of sleep) यत् -whatever च -and अन्यत् -other things द्रष्टुम् -see इच्चसि -you wish

Here and Now, O Conqueror of sleep (Arjuna)! Behold unified in me the entire creation, animate or inanimate and whatever else you desire to see in one place in my body.


इह एकस्थम् जगत् कृत्सम्  पश्य अद्य सचराचरम् । 

Behold in my body, in one site, all animate and inanimate world of objects, emtion and thought.

इह एकस्थम् –Right here embodied in my cosmic form.  In the last chapter the concept of one in many was explained. This verse is converse of it. Arjuna, behold many centred in one comic body of mine.

सचराचरम् -Chara stands for all objects and beings which

possess motion. Example beasts, birds, insects, mammals and Gods; Achara means devoid of motion.  

जगत् क्रत्स्नम् सचराचरम् – represents entire universe consisting of animate and inanimate beings together with their body and senses, their objects and places of enjoyment.

मम देहे गुडाकेश  यत् अन्यत् द्रष्टुम् इच्चसि -Come-on Arjuna, behold in my single body even as I am seated before you in this chariot, any other spectacle which you may wish to watch. What the Lord meant was Arjuna you may see in my body this very moment, all my glories, scenes of your own victory or defeat of enemy, any other incident relating to the past, present or future, either here in Hastinapur or any where in the  universe. And all this Arjuna, are just a fraction of my glory.

This panoramic survey of the universe is not like a movie. God is beyond time and space. He is vibrationless. So all the scences, events are all seen at the same time and same space.

VERSE – 11: 08

The Lord gives to Arjuna , the divine vision enabling him

to see the Lords yoga and Aishwarya.

न तु मां शक्यसे द्रष्टुमनेनैव स्वचक्षुषा। 

दिव्यं ददामि ते चक्षुः पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम्॥११ -८॥

na tu mam shakyase drashtum anenaiva sva -chaksusha
divyam dadami te cakshuh pashya me yogam aishvaram (11: 08)

न तु माम् शक्यसे द्रष्टम् अनेन एव स्वचक्षुषा । 

दिव्यम् ददामि ते चक्षुः पश्य मे योगम् ऐश्वरम् ॥  

न -not तु -however माम् -me शक्यसे -you can द्रष्टुम् -to see अनेन -with this एव -indeed स्वचक्षुशा -your own eyes दिव्यम् -divine ददामि -I shall give ते -that चक्षुः -the eye पश्य -behold मे -my योगम् -yoga ऎश्वरम् -lordly

But you cannot see me with your mortal eyes. Therefore I give you divine eye. Behold my supreme power and glory


न तु माम् शक्यसे द्रष्टम् अनेन एव स्वचक्षुषा ।  You cannot see me with your mortal eyes. The two eyes of man’s physical body are adapted to visions of maya, the world of duality -day and night, birth and death and so on. You cannot see the cosmic form with this eye. These eyes are capable of showing us the world. We need to use telescope to view distant objects and microscope for tiny objects. We need x-ray  and scanning to see internal organs. Surely they are useless to see God

because he is beyond the indriyas.

दिव्यं ददामि ते चक्षुः पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम् – “I shall give you the ‘divine vision,  by which you can perceive unity in diversity. The lord now awakens that eye in the devotee. Divine eyes are not something super-uber equipment. The present eyes are enabled to behold the glory and nature of God. Guru stotra says:

अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशालाकया ।

चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥३॥


Salutations to the Guru who removes the darkness of Ignorance from our blind (Inner) eyes by applying the collyrium of the Light of Knowledge; by whom our (Inner) Eyes are opened; salutations to that guru.

Three types of visions have been described in the scriptures.

  1. Ordinary vision – (सधारण द्रष्टी, लौकिक चक्षु) this is available for all living beings. You see all names and forms in their gross nature. Really speaking this is not a vision. It is blindness. Like Arjuna’s uncle Dhritarashtra, you are blind to reality due to greed and attachment. An owl cannot see the sunlight because it closes the eyes during the day.
  1. 2. Equal vision – (सम द्रष्टी). Seeing your own self in the self of all others; you go beyond the duality. It can show many in one. This is also called viveka drashti (विवेक द्रष्टी). It can show you, God in all animals and matter. The yogi treats a pundit or a paupur, a clergy or a laity The world of objects and emotions do not have a sway on him.
  2. Divine vision (दिव्य द्रष्टी). The yogi who is endowed with

divine vision need not discriminate between atma and anatma. Such a vision is called knowledge of wisdom. In 13 -35 the Lord explains it as liberation from the phenomenon of prakruti by divine vision. Such a vision is the goal of all


क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोरेवमन्तरं ज्ञानचक्षुषा ।

भूतप्रकृतिमोक्षं च ये विदुर्यान्ति ते परम् ॥१३:३५

They enter the supreme that perceive with the eye of their wisdom, the distinction between kshetra and kshetrajna and also know the technique of liberation of beings from prakrati.

The eye of wisdom refers to refined mind free from attachment, attractions and revulsions, fear and doubt.  When Rama visited Shabari kuteer, she was able to recognize him by divya chakshu but Ravana was not able to recognize him by his laukika chakshu.

If we apply this principle for Ishwara Darshanam  or spectacle of Universal God as the universe, if we have laukika chakshu we cannot see the universe as God. We see the names and forms as separate. If we have divya chakshu, we see the whole universe as a living organism and we call him Ishwara.

VERSE – 11: 09

संजय उवाच 

एवमुक्त्वा ततो राजन्महायोगेश्वरो हरिः।

दर्शयामास पार्थाय परमं रूपमैश्वरम्॥११ -९॥ 

sanjaya uvacha
evam uktva tato rajan maha -yogeshvaro harih
darshayamasa parthaya paramam rupam aishvaram (11: 009)


एवम् उक्त्वा ततः  राजन् महायोगेश्वरः हरिः।

दर्शयामास पार्थाय परमम्  रूपम् ऐश्वरम् ॥ 


एवम् -thus उक्त्वा -having spoken ततः -then राजन् -O king महयोगेश्वरः -the great Master of Yogas हरिः -Hari, one who takes away all sins दर्शयामास -revealed पार्थाय -to Partha the son of pritha (Kunti) परमम् -supreme रूपम् -form ऎष्वरम् -glorious

Sanjaya said to King Dhritarashtra –

O king, having said this; Lord Krishna, the great master of mystic power of Yoga, revealed his supremely glorious and divine cosmic form.


एवम् उक्त्वा ततः  राजन् महायोगेश्वरः हरिः

-Having said this, Hari, the great master of yoga, महयोगेश्वरः -The master of mystic power of yoga. हरिः -the stealer of hearts or takes away all sins. It is the name given to Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu. In this role as an avatar he takes away the evil of maya from the hearts of devotees.

दर्शयामास पार्थाय परमम्  रूपम् ऐश्वरम् ॥  revealed his infinite form and glory.

परमम् रूपम् ऎष्वरम् -Anything which is pure, superb, and transcendent is called paramam. Roopam is form. The lord has no form. But in this aspect of Ishwara he assumes every form. “Anything exhibiting the virtues, glory and effulgence of God and clothed with his divine power of yoga is called Aishwara.”

“The cosmic body revealed by the Lord to Arjuna was transcendent, and divine in character, superb and all effulgent not the material mundane nature.

VERSE – 11: 10 /11

Krishna reveals his universal form


अनेकदिव्याभरणं दिव्यानेकोद्यतायुधम्॥११ -१०॥ 

aneka -vaktra -nayanam anekadbhuta -darshanam
aneka -divyabharanam divyanekodyatayudham (11: 10)

अनेकवक्त्रनयनम् अनेकाद्भुतदर्शनम्। 

अनेकदिव्याभरणम्  दिव्यानेकोद्यतायुधम् ॥

अनेकवक्त्रनयनम् -With numerous mouths and eyes अनेकाद्भुतदर्शनम् -presenting wonderful sights अनेकदिव्याभरणं -with numerous divine ornaments दिव्यानेकोद्यतायुधम् -and wielding many uplifted weapons

दिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरं दिव्यगन्धानुलेपनम्। 

सर्वाश्चर्यमयं देवमनन्तं विश्वतोमुखम्॥११ -११॥ 

divya -malyambara -dharam divya -gandhanulepanam
sarvascharya -mayam devam anantam vishvato -mukham (11: 11)

दिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरम् दिव्यगन्धानुलेपनम् । 

सर्वाश्चर्यमयम् देवम् अनन्तम्  विश्वतोमुखम् ॥  

दिव्यमाल्याम्बरधरं -wearing devine garlands दिव्यगन्धानुलेपनम् -anointed with divine unguents (pronounced as ungwants) सर्वाश्चर्यमयं -the all wonderful देवम् -supreme God अनन्तम् -endless विश्वतोमुखम् -with faces on all sides (Cosmic form)

Arjuna saw the supreme deity with many mouths and eyes, showing infinite form, many visions of marvel, omnipotent, all -pervading, adorned with countless celestial ornaments, and holding many divine weapons; wearing divine garlands and apparel,  fragrant with celestial perfumes and pastes, full of wonders, the limitless God with faces in every


VERSE – 11: 12

The glory of effulgence of universal form

दिवि सूर्यसहस्रस्य भवेद्युगपदुत्थिता। 

यदि भाः सदृशी सा स्याद्भासस्तस्य महात्मनः॥११ -१२॥

divi surya -sahasrasya bhaved yugapad utthita
yadi bhah sadrshi sa syad bhasastasya mahatmanah (11: 12)

दिवि सूर्यसहस्रस्य भवेत् युगपपत् उत्थिता । 

यदि भाः सदृशी सा स्यात् भासः तस्य महात्मनः ॥ 

दिवि -in the sky सूर्यसहस्रस्य -of a thousand suns भवेत् -were युगपत् -all at once (simultaneously) उत्तिथा -arisen यदि -if भाः -effulgence सदृशी -like सा even that स्यात् -would be भासः -splendour तस्य -of that महात्मनः -mighty being

If the splendor of thousands of suns were to blaze forth all at once in the sky, even that would not resemble the splendor of that exalted being.

दिवि सूर्यसहस्रस्य भवेत् युगपत् उत्थिता । 

-If tens of thousands of suns were to rise in the sky at once. Just as a thousand stars twinkiling in the sky cannot compare with the brightness of a single sun, even so, if tens of thousands of suns were to blaze simultaneously, the brightess cannot be compared with the effulgence of the supreme God.

यदि भाः सदृशी सा स्यात् भासः तस्य महात्मनः ॥ 

even that would not resemble the splendor of that exalted being. There is no other thing equal to the infinite self. Mudakopanishad and kathopanishat describe the supreme light of Brhaman as below:

न तत्र सूर्यो भाति न चन्द्रतारकं नेमा विद्युतो भान्ति कुतोऽयमग्निः

तमेव भान्तमनुभाति सर्वं तस्य भासा सर्वमिदं विभाति ॥

There the sun shines not and the moon has no splendour and the stars are blind; there these lightnings flash not, how then shall burn this earthly fire? All that shines is but the shadow of his shining; all this universe is effulgent with his light.

VERSE – 11: 13

Then, Arjuna beheld the entire cosmos resting in one place in the body of Krishna

तत्रैकस्थं जगत्कृत्स्नं प्रविभक्तमनेकधा। 

अपश्यद्देवदेवस्य शरीरे पाण्डवस्तदा॥११ -१३॥

tatraika -stham jagat krtsnam pravibhaktam anekadha
apashyad deva -devasya sharire pandavas tada (11: 13)

तत्र एकस्थं जगत्  कृत्सम्  प्रविभक्तम् अनेकधा । 

अपश्यत् देवदेवस्य्स् शरीरे पाण्डवः तदा ॥ 

तत्र -there एकस्थम् -resting in one जगत् -the universe क्रत्स्नम् -the whole प्रविभक्तम् -divided अनेकधा -in many groups, manifold अपश्यत् -saw देवदेवस्य -of the God of Gods शरीरे -in the body पण्दवः -Arjuna, son of Pandu तदा -then

There, resting within one transcendental body of the God of gods, the Pandava Prince Arjuna beheld the entire universe with its manifold divisions.


तत्र एकस्थं जगत्  कृत्सम्  प्रविभक्तम् अनेकधा । 

Then  Arjuna beheld the whole universe in its manifold

Division. तदा -then refers to the incident when Krishna

offered to give Arjuna the divine sight to witness the glory of God.

अपश्यत् देवदेवस्य्स् शरीरे पाण्डवः तदा ॥  – He saw  in the person of Krishna, the entire cosmos with its many divisions in the shape of diverse bodies living and non living objects, enjoyer, and places of  enjoyment of pleasure and pain, emotions and वासना (past impressions).

In other words, it was not that he saw a particular part of the universe in seqence as you would focus in a telescope, or tibits of all the divisions jumbled together as in a photo

collage. What Arjuna saw was a seamless, integral, panoramic view of the live cosmos, all at the same place and same time. And he realized what Krishna had told him in the 10th chapter that he stood holding the entire cosmos in a part of his being. That was a reality check. This is the meaning of the word एकस्थम् (resting in one) अपश्यत् -beheld.

What did Arjuna see in the body of Krishna? He saw human world pitra loka, heaven, hell, patala loka, the sun and other celestial objects, and still all these were supported only by a part of Gods body.

VERSE – 11: 14

The spectacle of universal God caused faith and devotion in Arjuna

ततः स विस्मयाविष्टो हृष्टरोमा धनंजयः। 

प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं कृताञ्जलिरभाषत॥११ -१४॥ 

tatah sa vismayavishhto hrshta -roma dhananjayah
pranamya shirasa devam kritanjalirabhahsata (11: 14)

ततः सः विस्मयाविष्टः हृष्टरोमा धनंजयः। 

प्रणम्य शिरसा देवम् कृताञ्जलिः अभाषत॥  

ततः -then सः -he विस्मयाविष्टः -filled with wonder ह्रिष्टरोमा -with the hairs standing on end धनंजयः -Arjuna, the winner of wealth प्रणम्य -having prostrated शिरसा -with his head देवं -the God क्रतन्जलिः -with joined palms अभाषतः -spoke

Then the winner of wealth (Arjuna) struck with wonder, his hairs standing on end, reverentially bowed his head in awe before the divine Lord, joined his palms together and

addressed Him –


ततः सः विस्मयाविष्टः हृष्टरोमा धनंजयः। 

Then Arjuna was amazed and overawed with the divine

Spectacle. ततः -Thereafter shows the impact of the divine

vision on the mind and body language of Arjuna.

विस्मयाविष्टः ह्रिष्टरोमा – Arjuna was wonder struck with the universal form of the Lord. He had never seen or imagined such a sight. He was overwhelmed with awe and joy and as a result his body hairs stood on end.

धनंजयः -winner of wealth. In several battles he waged he brought home a lot of war reperations in the form of money, gold and jewellery.

प्रणम्य शिरसा देवम् कृताञ्जलिः अभाषत॥  

He bowed his head before the Lord , joined his hands as a mark of obeisance to him. Arjuna was filled with joy which he had never experienced earlier. He was electrified by the adorable sight. He bent his head and joined the hands as a mark of faith and devotion to the Lord and said: 

VERSE – 11: 15

Arjuna explains that he saw in the body of the Lord

an integral picture of the varied universe

अर्जुन उवाच 

पश्यामि देवांस्तव देव देहे सर्वांस्तथा भूतविशेषसंघान्।

ब्रह्माणमीशं कमलासनस्थमृषींश्च सर्वानुरगांश्च दिव्यान्॥११ -१५॥

arjuna uvacha
pashyami devamstava deva dehe sarvamstatha bhuta -vishesha -sanghan
brahmanamihsam kamalasana -stham rshims cha sarvan uragams cha divyan (11: 15)

पश्यामि देवान् तव देव देहे सर्वान् तथा भूतविशेषसंघान् ।

ब्रह्माणम् ईशम्  कमलासनस्थम् ऋशीन् च  सर्वान् उरगान् च दिव्यान् ॥ 

पश्यामि -I see देवान् -the Gods तव -in your person देव -O Lord देहे -body सर्वान् -all तथा -as also भूतविशेषसंघान् -various class of beings ब्रम्हाणम् – -Brahma ईशम् -the lord Shiva कमलासनस्थम् -seated on the lotus bed ॠषीन् -sages च -and सर्वान् -all उरगान् -serpents च -and दिव्यान् -celestial

Arjuna said – O Lord, I see in your body all Gods and multitude of beings, Brahma, the lord seated on his lotus throne, all the Rrushis and celestial serpents.


पश्यामि देवान् तव देव देहे सर्वान् तथा भूतविशेषसंघान् ।

Arjuna addresses Krishna as ‘Deva” – resplendent. Having seen the brilliant cosmic body of the Lord, where the blaze of tens and thousands of suns look like a dim star, he was overwhelmed by the spectacle.  Lord! I see in your cosmic body the following –

ब्रह्माणम् ईशम्  कमलासनस्थम् ऋशीन् च  सर्वान् उरगान् च दिव्यान् ॥ 

दिव्यान् उरगान्   -the creator Brahma, the destroyer Shiva, the protector Vishnu seated on a lotus seat, the gamut of living and non- living beings, the great sages and the celestial snakes. These are representative of the three worlds of heaven, earth and patal. In short the entire cosmos, simultaneously all in your body. Just as the screen is the background for the motion picture, Krishna, O Lord, I have realized that you are the substratum for everything present in the universe.

What did arjuna see in the body of the God? The gamut of living and non-living beings of present, past and future. The gods who are responsible for creation, maintenece and

dissolution. The great rrushis, saying vedic mantras, the celebrated divine snakes of patal.

VERSE – 11: 16

Arjuna visualizes the universal spirit as having the hands, mouth, eyes and tummies,

of all the beings. He has no begining and end.

अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रं पश्यामि त्वां सर्वतोऽनन्तरूपम्।

नान्तं न मध्यं न पुनस्तवादिं पश्यामि विश्वेश्वर विश्वरूप॥११ -१६॥

aneka -bahudara -vaktra -netram pashyami tvam sarvato ’nanta -rupam
nantam na madhyam na punastavadim pashyami vishvesvara vishva -rupa (11: 16)

अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रम् पश्यामि त्वाम् सर्वतः अनन्तरूपम् ।

न अंतम् न मध्यम् न पुनः तव आदिम् पश्यामि विश्वेश्वर विश्वरूप ॥ 


अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रम् endowed with  many arms, bellies, mouths and eyes पश्यामि -I see त्वाम् -youself सर्वतः -on all sides अनन्तरूपम् -having innumerable forms न –neither अन्तम् -end न -nor मध्यम् -middle न -nor पुनः -again तव -your आदिम् -begining पश्यमि -I behold विश्वेश्वर -lord of universe विश्वरूप -O Lord manifested in  cosmic form

O Lord of universe, I see you everywhere with innumerable forms, with many arms, bellies, face and eyes. O universal form, I see neither your beginning nor the middle nor the end.

अनेकबाहूदरवक्त्रनेत्रम् पश्यामि त्वाम् सर्वतः अनन्तरूपम् ।

having many arms, bellies, mouths and eyes. Krishna with the divine eyes granted by you, I see so many arms, bellies, mouths and eyes in the sky like the gathering clouds. All the hands seen in the universe are yours. My hands are also yours. My capacity to work is yours.  All the food taken by the living beings reach you; so all the bellies are yours. If any

being suffers hunger O Lord it is you who suffer. Lord I

realized this truth by your grace. You are the owner of all the eyes of the beings. You are the eye behind all eyes and the light behind all lights. 

न अंतम् न मध्यम् न पुनः तव आदिम् पश्यामि विश्वेश्वर विश्वरूप ॥ 

What is your orgin? Who gave birth to you? You have no begining and no end. You are swayambhu. You have no length and breadth. No starting point, middle or ending point. Just as the head, belly and arms of a stone image are nothing but the stone; all your organs are nothing but you.

विश्वेश्वर विश्वरूप – These two vocatives are used for Krishna. Their meaning is O Lord of universe! And O Universal Form! The inifinte spirit is the lord of the universe. He is the creator, supporter and destroyer. He is the supreme ruler of the

universe and has created and appointed others to their

respective duties. Universe is really speaking his own

manifetations (विश्वरूप).

VERSE – 11: 17

Arjuna describes the universal form adorned with diadem,

.club and discus. His resplendence is immeasurable

किरीटिनम् गदिनं चक्रिणं च तेजोराशिं सर्वतो दीप्तिमन्तम्। 

पश्यामि त्वां दुर्निरीक्ष्यं समन्ताद्दीप्तानलार्कद्युतिमप्रमेयम्॥११ -१७॥

kiritinam gadinam chakrinam cha tejo -rashim sarvato diptimantam
pashyami tvam durnirikshyam samantaddiptanalarka -dyutim aprameyam (11: 17)

किरीटिन्म् गदिनम् चक्रिणम् च तेजोराशिम् सर्वतः दीप्तिमन्तम्। 

पश्यामि त्वाम्  दुर्निरीक्ष्यम् समन्तात् दीप्तानलार्कद्युति्म् अप्रमेयम् ॥ 

किरीटिनम्  -one adodrned with diadem गदिनम् -armed with club चक्रिणम् -weilding discus च -and तेजोराशिम्  -a mass of radiance सर्वतः -alround दीप्तिमन्तम् -shining पश्यामि -I behold त्वाम् -you दुर्निरीक्ष्यम् -very hard to gaze at समन्तात् -on all sides दीप्तान्लार्कद्युतिम् -having the brilliance of blazing fire and sun  (दीप्त lighted  अनल fire अर्क sun द्युति्म् brilliance) अप्रमेयम् -immeasurable

I see you with your crown, club, discuss, and a mass or radiance, difficult to behod, shining all around like the immeasurable brilliance of the sun and blazing fire.


किरीटिनम्  गदिनम् चक्रिणम् च तेजोराशिम् सर्वतः दीप्तिमन्तम्। 

The crown on the head and the club, discus, the  the conch and lotus in the four hands is the hallmark of Vishnu as a personal God. The impersonal universal God has the crowns of large mountains. If there is a generation degenerated into adharma, restlessness, war, pestilence, famine, social and communal distrurbances visit them. This is the club of the Lord coming to finish off wrongdoers. If the club is not good enough to punish the guilty, there comes discus to chop them off. The the blow of conch represents the call for duty. Vishwarupa is called chakrinam -chakrapani one who holds the discus in the hand.  Discus keeps on rotating all the time, without any pause. The cycle of Samsar too keeps on

rotating. The birth cycle, the three phases of jagrut, swapna and sushupti take their turns. The sun, moon, earth and the celestial bodies keep on revolving. Who gave them this movement? It must be something which is not revolving that means stationery. It is dynamic consciousness called God. He is the chakrapani.

तेजोराशिम् सर्वतः दीप्तिमन्तम् –represents the splendour and brilliance of the cosmic body.

पश्यामि त्वाम्  दुर्निरीक्ष्यम् समन्तात् दीप्तानलार्कद्युति्म् अप्रमेयम् ॥ 

दीप्तान्लार्कद्युतिम् – having brilliance of the blazing fire and sun. This word is a value addition to the description that the lord has brilliance beyond comparison

त्वाम्  दुर्निरीक्ष्यम् –difficult to gaze at. Even with his divine eye

Arjuna felt limitations to see its brilliance. We cannot see the sun with our bare eyes. But the God is equivalent to so many suns.

अप्रमेयम् – Prameya means measurable with some standards. Lords’ virtues, glory, power, identity and brilliance are

’aprameya’ beyond any measurement.

VERSE – 11: 18

Arjuna’s eulogy of cosmic form of God

त्वमक्षरं परमं वेदितव्यं त्वमस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्। 

त्वमव्ययः शाश्वतधर्मगोप्ता सनातनस्त्वं पुरुषो मतो मे॥११ -१८॥

tvamakṣaraṁ paramaṁ vēditavyaṁ tvamasya viśvasya paraṁ nidhānam| 

tvamavyayaḥ śāśvatadharmagōptā sanātanastvaṁ puruṣō matō mē||11 -18||

त्वम् अक्षरम् परमम् वेदितव्यम् त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परम्  निधानम् । 

त्वम् अव्ययः शाश्वतधर्मगोप्ता सनातनः त्वम् पुरुषः मतः मे ॥

त्वम्  -you अक्ष्ररम् -indestructible or God परमम् -the supreme वेदितव्यम् -worthy to be known त्वम् -you अस्य -this विश्वस्य -of the universe परम् -the great निधानम् -the refuge त्वम् -you अव्ययः -imperishable शाश्वतधर्मगोप्ता -protector of eternal Dharma सनातनः -ancient त्वम्   -you पुरुशः –purusha or eternal being मतः  -opinion मे –of me

I believe you are the Supreme Being to be realized. You are the ultimate resort of the universe.You are the spirit and protector of the eternal order of Dharma.


These verses from Bhagavad Gita are an unparalled ode to the infinite cosmic form of God. Having seen the whole, seamless, integral picture of the cosmic God, Arjuna bursts into excstacy and sets up to explain his four features.

  1. त्वम् अक्षरम् परमम् वेदितव्यम् – You are the supreme being to be realized. Akshara means one who has no wear and tear, immortal. It stands for the formless Brahman, the embodiment of truth, knowledge and Bliss. He is the goal of all spiritual seekers. They all want to know him. All matter and mortal things are bound to perish. A pot can be destroyed but not the space inside it. That is the nature of spirit. By knowing the nature of spirit everything else becomes known. But the finite things are not like that. By knowing one finite thing you do not undrstant another finite thing.
  2. त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परम् निधानम् –You are the ultimate resting place of the universe. We see a lot waves raising one after another which die down and fall into the sea. The ocean is the substratum for all the waves. Earth is the substratum for my house. The mud is the substratum for the pot. Similarly the Brahman is the nidhanam or substratum for the entire universe.
  3. त्वम् अव्ययः शाश्वतधर्मगोप्ता –You are the protector of the

eternal order of Dharma. धारणात् धर्मं इति आहुः The upholder of the dharma is God. This dharma is responsible for the solar

system, gravitational pull etc., but for Dharma all the celestial bodies would have jumbled up. The sun, moon, fire, water, trees, animals and death and birth, follow their stipulated dharma. धर्मस्य पभुः अच्युतः Achyuta (God) is the lord of Dharma. He is the protector of Dharma. He takes an avatar to protect dharma.

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत।
अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदाऽऽत्मानं सृजाम्यहम्।।4.7।।

Like a father he creates the universe and protects it.

  1. सनातनः त्वम् पुरुषः मतः मे –You are the imperishable, eternal purusha. Purusha is purna complete. He is not divided. He is single seamless and intergrated. There is no modification, movement and destruction. He is always the same;

homogenous. Sanatana does not mean old. It means ever new. Arjuna found these qualities in the God by his divine eye.

VERSE – 11: 19

Description of infinite power of the cosmic form.  

अनादिमध्यान्तमनन्तवीर्यमनन्तबाहुं शशिसूर्यनेत्रम्।

पश्यामि त्वां दीप्तहुताशवक्त्रं स्वतेजसा विश्वमिदं तपन्तम्॥११ -१९॥

anādimadhyāntamanantavīryamanantabāhuṁ śaśisūryanētram|

paśyāmi tvāṁ dīptahutāśavaktraṁ svatējasā viśvamidaṁ tapantam||11 -19||

अनादिमध्यान्तम् अनन्तवीर्यम् अनन्तबाहुम् शशिसूर्यनेत्रम् ।

पश्यामि त्वाम् दीप्तहुताशवक्त्रम् स्वतेजसा विश्वम् इदम् तपन्तम् ॥  

अनादिमध्यन्तरम्   -without beginning, middle or end अनन्तवीर्यम् –infinite in power अनन्तबाहुम् –of endless arms शशिसूर्यनेत्रम् –the sun and the moon as your eyes पश्यामि –I see त्वाम्  -you  दीप्तहुताशवक्त्रम् –the burning fire of your face  स्वतेजसा –with your radience विश्वम् –the universe इदम्  -this तपन्तम्  -heating

I see you with infinite power, without beginning, middle or end, with many arms, with the sun and the moon as your eyes, with your mouth as a blazing fire scorching the entire universe with your radiance.

अनादिमध्यान्तम् –O Lord, I see you without beginning, middle or end. Arjuna has already said this about the Lord in 11: 16 as under –

नान्तं न मध्यं न पुनस्तवादिं पश्यामि (11: 16)

Why is he repeating? On closer examination it becomes clear that earlier he spoke about the infinitude of the cosmic body. Now he says Lord, you are entirely free from the six types of modifications viz. Birth, existence, growth, transformation, decay and death. अस्ति जायते वर्धते विपरिणमते अपक्षीयते विनश्यतीति.

Birth is included in ‘Adi’; the intermediate states of existence, growth, transformation and decay are included in madhya’ and finally death represents the end.

अनन्तवीर्यम् –Virya includes prowess, strength, glory energy etc.

अनन्तबाहुम्  शशिसूर्यनेत्रम् –All the hands and feet of the

cosmos belong to you. The light of the sun and moon are

barrowed from you. You are the light of all lights

दीप्तहुताशवक्त्रम् स्वतेजसा  इदम्  विश्वम्  तपन्तम्   -I can see a fire ball in your mouth which is scorching the entire universe

VERSE – 11: 20

The Lord has occupied the entire cosmos . The three worlds are trembling

 with fear,  seeing this marvellous and ferocious form of God.

द्यावापृथिव्योरिदमन्तरं हि व्याप्तं त्वयैकेन दिशश्च सर्वाः। 

दृष्ट्वाद्भुतं रूपमुग्रं तवेदं लोकत्रयं प्रव्यथितं महात्मन्॥११ -२०॥

dyāvāpr̥thivyōridamantaraṁ hi vyāptaṁ tvayaikēna diśaśca sarvāḥ| 

dr̥ṣṭvādbhutaṁ rūpamugraṁ tavēdaṁ lōkatrayaṁ pravyathitaṁ mahātman||11 -20||

द्यावापृथिव्योः एदम्  अंतरम्  हि व्याप्तम् त्वया ऎकेन दिशः च सर्वाः । 

दृष्ट्वा अद्भुतम् रूपम् उग्रम्  तव इदम्  लोकत्रयम्  प्रव्यथितम् महात्मन् ॥ 

द्यवाप्रथिव्यः इदम् –of heaven and earth इदम् –this अन्तरम् –interspace हि  -indeed व्याप्तम् –are filled त्वया –by you एकेन  -alone दिशः – quarters च  -and सर्वाः  -all द्ष्ट्वा –having seen अद्भुतम्  -winderful रूपम्  -form उग्रम्   -terrible  तव  -your इदम्  -this लोकत्रयम् –three worlds प्रव्यतिथम् –are trembling with fear महात्मन् –O mahatma, great soul

O Lord, you pervade the entire space between the heaven and the earth in all directions. By your awesome transdental form and your scary form the three worlds and trembling.


O Lord you are so extensive that you have filled up all the space between the heaven and the earth and all the quarters. What Arjuna means is just not between heaven and earth but all other remaining quarters of the cosmos. No space is found where the cosmic form of the lord is not present. Monk Kanakadasa was given a banana fruit by his Guru and asked to eat it in a place where no body sees. Kanakadasa came back without eating and said, “Guruji, I could not find any place where God is not seeing me”.

God’s terrible form with the tounge pulled out, prominent canines and the beings sandwitched between the teeth was so fearsome and scary. Casting a look at it the inhabitants of the three worlds were struck with fear.

VERSE – 11: 21

The band of devas are entering into your mouth and

the great rishis are singing in your praise.

अमी हि त्वां सुरसंघा विशन्ति केचिद्भीताः प्राञ्जलयो गृणन्ति। 

स्वस्तीत्युक्त्वा महर्षिसिद्धसंघाः स्तुवन्ति त्वां स्तुतिभिः पुष्कलाभिः॥११ -२१॥

amī hi tvāṁ surasaṁghā viśanti kēcidbhītāḥ prāñjalayō gr̥ṇanti| 

svastītyuktvā maharṣisiddhasaṁghāḥ stuvanti tvāṁ stutibhiḥ puṣkalābhiḥ||11 -21||

अमी हि त्वाम्  सुरसंघाः विशन्ति केचित् भीताः प्राञ्जलयः गृणन्ति । 

स्वस्ति इति उक्त्वा महर्षिसिद्धसंघाः स्तुवन्ति त्वम्   स्तुतिभिः पुष्कलाभिः ॥ 

अमी  -these हि  -verily त्वाम्  -you सुरसंघा –hosts of devas विशन्ति  -enter केचित्  -some भीताः –in fear  प्राञ्जलयः –with joined palms गृणन्ति  -extol स्वस्ति –let there be peace इति  -thus उक्त्वा –having said महर्षिसिद्धसंघाः –bands of great Rrushis and siddhas स्तुवन्ति –praise, extol त्वाम्  -you स्तुतिभिः –with hymns पुष्कलाभिः  -abundant

Hosts of Devas (Gods) enter into you, some with folded hands singing your names and glories with fear. Multitudes of maharshis and siddhas (Perfect people) saying ‘let there be peace’ hail and adore you with abundanat praises

अमी हि त्वाम्  सुरसंघाः विशन्ति केचित् भीताः प्राञ्जलयः गृणन्ति –those band of devas are entering and disappearing into you. Others who are watching the process are terribly frightened and get panicky. They are praying to you with folded hands. There are three types of devas.

  1. those who have completed their work and entering into the body of God without any fear
  2. Some are terribly overcome by fear. They have no strength to stand on their legs. They are trembling but praying to God. Many of us go to temples and ashrams out of fear of God but not out of devotion.
  3. Maharshis and siddhas (perfect munis). They have no fear because they have realized the real nature of God. When Narasimha avatar happened, the rakshasas ran away out of fear. But Prahlad stayed back singing the glory of the Lord.

स्वस्ति इति उक्त्वा महर्षिसिद्धसंघाः स्तुवन्ति त्वम्  स्तुतिभिः पुष्कलाभिः –In his running commentery of what he saw in the cosmic body of the lord, Arjuna says lots of Maharshis like Marichi, Angira, and Bhrugu, and many Siddhas (perfect people) on the other hand without getting panicky were praying for the well being of the whole universe and singing hymns in praise of the Lord. They repeatedly pronounced ‘swasti’ let there be peace. Thsese wise people knew that due to preponderance of adharma the lord is in a ferocious mood of ‘construction through destruction’.

VERSE – 11: 22

रुद्रादित्या वसवो ये च साध्या विश्वेऽश्विनौ मरुतश्चोष्मपाश्च। 

गन्धर्वयक्षासुरसिद्धसंघा वीक्षन्ते त्वां विस्मिताश्चैव सर्वे॥११ -२२॥ 


rudrādityā vasavō yē ca sādhyā viśvē’śvinau marutaścōṣmapāśca| 

gandharvayakṣāsurasiddhasaṁghā vīkṣantē tvāṁ vismitāścaiva sarvē||11 -22|| 

रुद्रादित्याःवसवः ये च साध्याः विश्वॆ अश्विनौ मरुतः च उष्मपाः च

गन्धर्वयक्षासुरसिद्धसंघाः वीक्षन्ते  त्वाम् विस्मिताः च एव  सर्वे   

रुद्रादित्याः – Rudras and Adityas वसवः  -Vasus ये  -and च  -also साध्याः –the Sadhyas विष्वे  -Vishwadevas अष्विनौ –the two Ashwins मरुतः  -Maruts च  -and ऊष्मपाः – the pitrus च  -and गन्धर्वयक्षासुरसिद्धसंघाः –hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshaas, Asuras and Siddhas वीक्षन्ते – are looking at त्वाम्  -you विस्मिताः  -astonished च  -and सर्वे  -all

The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, Vishwadevas, the two Ashwins, Maruts, Ushmapas, hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras, and Siddhas -are all looking at you in great astonishment.


Gurudev chinmayananda says, this stanza may not be quite appealing to us because we are strangers to these concepts. But Arjuna was the student of Vedas and therefore it was

relevant to him to see these people in the body of Krishna.

All these names are already introduced in vibhuti yoga (chapter 10). But the names of Vishwadeva and Ushmapa are new. Vishwadevas are the children of Vishwa who is the daughter of Daksha. Ushmapa means eaters of hot food. This refers to Pitrus who consume the hot food offered during a fire ritual.

VERSE – 11: 23

रूपं महत्ते बहुवक्त्रनेत्रं महाबाहो बहुबाहूरुपादम्। 

बहूदरं बहुदंष्ट्राकरालं दृष्ट्वा लोकाः प्रव्यथितास्तथाहम्॥११ -२३॥

rūpaṁ mahattē bahuvaktranētraṁ mahābāhō bahubāhūrupādam| 

bahūdaraṁ bahudaṁṣṭrākarālaṁ dr̥ṣṭvā lōkāḥ pravyathitāstathāham||11 -23||

रूपम्  महत् ते बहुवक्त्रनेत्रम् महाबाहो बहुबाहूरुपादम् । 

बहूदरम् बहुदंष्ट्राकरालम्  दृष्ट्वा लोकाः प्रव्यथिताः तथा अहम्  ॥  

रूपम् –form महत् – immesurable ते  -your बहुवक्त्रनेत्रम् –with many mouth and eyes महाबाहो –O mighty armed बहुबाहूरुपादम् –with many arms, thighs and feet बहुदरम् –with many tummies बहुदंष्ट्राकरालम् – fearful with many teeth दृष्ट्वा – having seen लोकाः –the worlds प्रव्यथिताः –are terrified तथा –also अहम् –am I

Seeing your infinite form with many mouths, eyes, arms, thighs, feet, belly and many fearful tusks; the worlds are trembling with fear and so do I, O mighty Lord!


Arjuna was terrified by seeing the dreadful form of the lord. Not only that, all the beings whom Arjuna saw in the body of the Lord were also terrified. The Lord has two forms, one is mild and another is dreadful. In north India there are many temples dedicated to fearsome forms of lord दुर्गा, शंखिनी शूलिनी काळी ज्वालामुखी etc.

VERSE – 11: 24

नभःस्पृशं दीप्तमनेकवर्णं व्यात्ताननं दीप्तविशालनेत्रम्। 

दृष्ट्वा हि त्वां प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा धृतिं न विन्दामि शमं च विष्णो॥११ -२४॥

nabhaḥspr̥śaṁ dīptamanēkavarṇaṁ vyāttānanaṁ dīptaviśālanētram| 

dr̥ṣṭvā hi tvāṁ pravyathitāntarātmā dhr̥tiṁ na vindāmi śamaṁ ca viṣṇō||11 -24||

नभःस्पृशम् दीप्तम् अनेकवर्णम्  व्यात्ताननम् दीप्तविशालनेत्रम् । 

दृष्ट्वा हि त्वाम्  प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा धृतिम्  न विन्दामि शमम् च विष्णो ॥

नभःस्पृशम् –touching the sky दीप्तम्  -flaming अनेकवर्णम् –in many colours व्यात्ताननम् –with mouths wide open दीप्तविशालनेत्रम् –with large fiery eyes दृष्ट्वा –having seen हि  -verily त्वाम्  -you प्रव्यथितान्तरात्मा –terrified at heart ध्रतिम् -courage न  -not विन्दामि –I find शमम्  -peace च  -and विष्णो –O Vishnu

O Lord having seen your effulgent form of multiple hues touching the hevens, your widely open mouth, your large shining eyes, I am frightened; I find no peace or courage.


VERSE – 11: 25

 दंष्ट्राकरालानि च ते मुखानि दृष्ट्वैव कालानलसन्निभानि। 

दिशो न जाने न लभे च शर्म प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास॥११ -२५॥


daṁṣṭrākarālāni ca tē mukhāni dr̥ṣṭvaiva kālānalasannibhāni| 

diśō na jānē na labhē ca śarma prasīda dēvēśa jagannivāsa||11 -25||

दंष्ट्राकरालानि च ते मुखानि दृष्ट्वा एव  कालानलसन्निभानि। 

दिशः न जाने न लभे च शर्म प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास ॥ 


दंष्ट्राकरालानि –fearful with tusks च  -and ते  -your मुखानि  -faces द्रष्ट्वा –having seen एव  -even कालानलसन्निभानि –blazing like pralaya -fires दिशः –the four quarters न  -not जाने  -know न  -not लभे –I find च  -cha शर्म  -peace प्रसीद –be gracious देवेश –O Lord of Devas जगन्निवास –O Home of the universe

I lose my sense of direction and and find no comfort after seeing your faces with fearful tusks glowing like the horrible cosmic dissolution. Have mercy on Me O lord of celestial Rulers (देवेश), and the last resort of the universe


The word दंष्ट्राकरालानि has already been used by Arjuna in Verse 11: 23 बहुदंष्ट्राकरालम् It shows how bewildered was

Arjuna by the fearful sight.

VERSE – 11: 26 /27

 अमी च त्वां धृतराष्ट्रस्य पुत्राः सर्वे सहैवावनिपालसंघैः। 

भीष्मो द्रोणः सूतपुत्रस्तथासौ सहास्मदीयैरपि योधमुख्यैः॥११ -२६॥

amī ca tvāṁ dhr̥tarāṣṭrasya putrāḥ sarvē sahaivāvanipālasaṁghaiḥ| 

bhīṣmō drōṇaḥ sūtaputrastathāsau sahāsmadīyairapi yōdhamukhyaiḥ||11 -26||

अमी च त्वाम्  धृतराष्ट्रस्य पुत्राः सर्वे सह एव अवनिपालसंघैः। 

भीष्मः द्रोणः सूतपुत्रः तथा असौ सह अस्मदीयैः अपि योधमुख्यैः॥ 

अमी  -these च  -and त्वाम्  -you धृतराष्ट्रस्य –of Dhritarashtra पुत्राः  -sons सर्वे  -all सह  -with एव  -even अवनिपालसंघैः –hosts of kings of the earth भीष्मः -Bhishma द्रोणः  -Drona  सूतपुत्रः –son of the charioteer तथा – as also असौ –this सह  -with अस्मदीयैः –with those of ours अपि  -also योधमुख्यैः –with warrior chiefs

All the sons of Dhritarashta, with hosts of kings are entering unto you; Bhishma, Drona and the son of the charioteer Karna along with warriors of the other side and chief warriors on our side are also quickly entering into your fearful mouths with terribe teeth. Some are seen cought in beween the jaws with their heads crushed.

वक्त्राणि ते त्वरमाणा विशन्ति दंष्ट्राकरालानि भयानकानि।

केचिद्विलग्ना दशनान्तरेषु संदृश्यन्ते चूर्णितैरुत्तमाङ्गैः॥११ -२७॥

vaktrāṇi tē tvaramāṇā viśanti daṁṣṭrākarālāni bhayānakāni|

kēcidvilagnā daśanāntarēṣu saṁdr̥śyantē cūrṇitairuttamāṅgaiḥ||11 -27||

वक्त्राणि ते त्वरमाणाः विशन्ति दंष्ट्राकरालानि भयानकानि।

केचित् विलग्नाः दशनान्तरेषु संदृश्यन्ते चूर्णितैः उत्तमाङ्गैः॥

वक्त्राणि  -mouths ते  -your त्वरमाणाः  -hurrying विशन्ति  -enter दंष्ट्राकरालानि –terrible toothed भयानकानि –fearful to behold केचित्  -some विलग्नाः -sticking दशनान्तरेषु –in the gaps between the teeth संदृश्यन्ते –are found चूर्णितैः –crushed to powder उत्तमाङ्गैः–with their heads

Krishna is showing here the picture of things to come. Whether Arjuna fights or not, the future of all warriors are determined. Valiant commanders and generals of the two

Armies are seen entering into the ferocious mouth of destiny. Their heads and body parts are pulverized and some leftovers are visible.

In Kathopanishad there is a mention of Nachiketa who approached Yama, the Lord of death to teach him Atma jnyana. The Lord said, “Why do you want this . Ask for any boon. Ask for any length of life. I shall grant it to you”. Nachiketa, said smilingly, “Sir at the end of that period still  one has to die right?.

In a market a peddler was selling gold bhasma (medicated powder) which allegedly gave a long life. A wise man came there and asked the peddller, “Who prepared this?”. The peddler said it was prepared by a Rushi long ago who is no more.

Krishna has said in 2nd chapter.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि।।2.27।।

Certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead; therefore what is inevitable ought not to be a cause of your sorrow.

VERSE – 11: 28

यथा नदीनां बहवोऽम्बुवेगाः समुद्रमेवाभिमुखा द्रवन्ति।

तथा तवामी नरलोकवीरा विशन्ति वक्त्राण्यभिविज्वलन्ति॥११ -२८॥

yathā nadīnāṁ bahavō’mbuvēgāḥ samudramēvābhimukhā dravanti|

tathā tavāmī naralōkavīrā viśanti vaktrāṇyabhivijvalanti||11 -28||

यथा नदीनाम्  बहवः अम्बुवेगाः समुद्रम् एव अभिमुखाः द्रवन्ति ।

तथा तव अमी नरलोकवीराः विशन्ति वक्त्राणि अभिविज्वलन्ति ॥ 


यथा –just as नदीनाम्  –rivers बहवः  -many अम्बुवेगाः water समुद्रम् –to the ocean एव  -verily अभिमुखाः  -towards द्रवन्ति  -flow तथा similarly तव  -your अमी –these  -नरलोकवीराः –heroes  in the world of men विशन्ति  -enter वक्त्राणि –your mouths अभिविज्वलन्ति  -flaming

Just as many torrents of rivers enter the ocean; these warriors of the mortal world are entering your blazing mouths.


यथा नदीनाम्  बहवः अम्बुवेगाः समुद्रम् एव अभिमुखाः द्रवन्ति – The sea is the source of water. All the waters of the rivers rush to reach the sea and finally lose their identity. They do no need to be given any instructions. Similarly, the living and non- living beings have all come from God and they finally enter into God.

Swami Raghaveshananda gives an example. A man is travelling in a train from Bangalore to Kolkatta.  Whether he is sleeping, talking or walking, the train keeps on moving. It may stop at many stations but the train keeps on moving. Every birth is like a railway station. Our ultimate destination is God.

तथा तव अमी नरलोकवीराः विशन्ति वक्त्राणि अभिविज्वलन्ति ॥ 

these warriors of the mortal world are entering your blazing mouths. नरलोकवीराः – warriors of the mortal world. This

refers to Drona and Bhishma who were not only good warriors but also fought all their life against internal enemies like greed, lust anger etc.

VERSE – 11: 29

यथा प्रदीप्तं ज्वलनं पतङ्गा विशन्ति नाशाय समृद्धवेगाः। 

तथैव नाशाय विशन्ति लोकास्तवापि वक्त्राणि समृद्धवेगाः॥११ -२९॥

yathā pradīptaṁ jvalanaṁ pataṅgā viśanti nāśāya samr̥ddhavēgāḥ| 

tathaiva nāśāya viśanti lōkāstavāpi vaktrāṇi samr̥ddhavēgāḥ||11 -29||

यथा प्रदीप्तम् ज्वलनम् पतङ्गाः विशन्ति नाशाय समृद्धवेगाः। 

तथा एव  नाशाय विशन्ति लोकाः तव अपि  वक्त्राणि समृद्धवेगाः ॥ 

यथा  -as प्रदीप्तम् -blazing ज्वलनम् -fire पतङ्गाः  -moths विशन्ति  -enter नाशाय –for destruction समृद्धवेगाः –with rapid speed तथैव  -similarly नाशाय –for destruction विशन्ति  -enter लोकाः  -creatures तव  -your अपि  -also वक्त्राणि  -mouths समृद्धवेगाः –rapidly

All these people are rapidly rushing into your mouths for destruction as moths rush with great speed into the blazing flame to end up with their annihilation


In the previous verse it was shown how the devotees enter the ocean and get their identity lost. In this verse it is shown how the sinners voluntary inter into their doom. The moths are attracted by the blazing fire and get burnt.

The moths are attracted by the baeuty of burning flame . They do not know that they are doing a harakiri. Similarly, the men are seduced by the sense objects, morbid attraction and repulsion, do not know that they are also destroying themselves.

On the otherhand the wise men who have experienced the true nature of god, stay away and remain happy in


VERSE – 11: 30

लेलिह्यसे ग्रसमानः समन्ताल्लोकान्समग्रान्वदनैर्ज्वलद्भिः। 

तेजोभिरापूर्य जगत्समग्रं भासस्तवोग्राः प्रतपन्ति विष्णो॥११ -३०॥

lēlihyasē grasamānaḥ samantāllōkānsamagrānvadanairjvaladbhiḥ| 

tējōbhirāpūrya jagatsamagraṁ bhāsastavōgrāḥ pratapanti viṣṇō||11 -30||

लेलिह्यसे ग्रसमानः समन्तात् लोकाः समग्रान् वदनैः ज्वलद्भिः

तेजोभिः आपूर्य जगत् समग्रम् भासः तव उग्राः प्रतपन्ति विष्णो ॥ 

लेलिह्यसे –you lick ग्रसमानः  -devouring समन्तात् –on every side लोकान् –the worlds समग्रन्  -all वदनैः –with your mouths ज्वलद्भिः –blazing तेजोभिः –with radiance आपूर्य  -filling जगत् –the world समग्रम् –the whole भासः  -rays तव  -your उग्राः  -fierce प्रतपन्ति –are buring विष्णो –O Vishnu (all pervading Lord)

O Lord, you are licking up (in enjoyment) all the worlds with your flaming mouth; you are devouring them from all sides. Your fierce rays filling the whole world with radiance are burning O Vishnu!


VERSE – 11: 31

आख्याहि मे को भवानुग्ररूपो नमोऽस्तु ते देववर प्रसीद।            

विज्ञातुमिच्छामि भवन्तमाद्यं न हि प्रजानामि तव प्रवृत्तिम्॥११ -३१॥

ākhyāhi mē kō bhavānugrarūpō namō’stu tē dēvavara prasīda|            

vijñātumicchāmi bhavantamādyaṁ na hi prajānāmi tava pravr̥ttim||11 -31||

आख्याहि मे कः भवान् उग्ररूपः नमः अस्तु ते देववर प्रसीद ।            

विज्ञातुम् इच्छामि भवन्तम् आद्यम् न हि प्रजानामि तव प्रवृत्तिम् ॥ 

आख्याहि –tell मे –to me कः  -who भवान्  -you उग्ररूपः –fierce in form नमः  -salutations अस्तु  -be ते –to you देववर –God supreme प्रसीद –please be pleased विज्ञातुम् –to know इछामि – I wish भवन्तम्  -you अद्यम् –the original being न  -not हि  -indeed प्रजानामि –I know तव  -your प्रवृत्तिम् –purpose

Tell me, who are you in such a fierce form? My salutations to You, O best of all celestial rulers, be merciful! I wish to understand You, O primal Being, because I do not know your mission.


Arjuna was bewildered. He had considered Krishna as friend, charioteer, and a Guru. He could not understand why the lord is showing his unknown fierce form. Warriers from both sides were entering unto God to meet their doom. With a fire ball in the mouth, the God was munching the beings and crusihing them in his tusk. He was licking them in satisfaction. Arjuna could not stand this weird sight. So he requested who are you? salutations to you, what is the pupose of your taking up this garb?

VERSE – 11: 32


 कालोऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो लोकान्समाहर्तुमिह प्रवृत्तः।

ऋतेऽपि त्वां न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे येऽवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः॥११ -३२॥


 kālō’smi lōkakṣayakr̥tpravr̥ddhō lōkānsamāhartumiha pravr̥ttaḥ|

r̥tē’pi tvāṁ na bhaviṣyanti sarvē yē’vasthitāḥ pratyanīkēṣu yōdhāḥ||11 -32||


कालः अस्मि लोकक्षयकृत् प्रवृद्धः लोकान् समाहर्तुम् इह  प्रवृत्तः।

ऋते अपि त्वाम्  न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे  ये अवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः ॥ 

कालः –the eternal time अस्मि –I am लोकक्षयक्रत् –world destroying प्रव्रद्धः  -mightly लोकान् –the worlds समाहर्तुम् –to exterminate इह  -here प्रव्रत्तः  -engaged ॠते  -without अपि  -also त्वाम्  -you न भविश्यन्ति –shall not survive सर्वे  -all ये  -these अवस्थिताः  -arrayed प्रत्यनीकेषु –in hostile armies योधाः  -warriors    

Shri Bhagavan said –

I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world. At this time, I am set out to exterminate these people. Even without your participation all these warriors standing arrayed in the

opposing armies shall cease to exist.   


कालः अस्मि लोकक्षयकृत् प्रवृद्धः लोकान् समाहर्तुम् इह  प्रवृत्तः।

Arjuna’s questions to the wierd Freighting form”, who are you? What is your purpose?”.  The Lord says, Arjuna, I am death I am out here to destroy all these people arrayed here in the war front.

ऋते अपि त्वाम्  न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे  ये अवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः ॥ 

The Lord is the creator, sustanier and destroyer. Now he has taken up the last role of extermination. Arjuna had seen his preceptors, relatives and others all walking up in the cosmic body of the Lord to enter their doom. With many blazing mouths, the lord was seen licking them up and crushing their heads in between his teeth.

All the sinners’ time was out. The lord says, Arjuna you take up the arms and destroy them; remember even without you they are destined to die.

VERSE – 11: 33

तस्मात्त्वमुत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यं समृद्धम्। 

मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वमेव निमित्तमात्रं भव सव्यसाचिन्॥११ -३३॥

tasmāttvamuttiṣṭha yaśō labhasva jitvā śatrūn bhuṅkṣva rājyaṁ samr̥ddham| 

mayaivaitē nihatāḥ pūrvamēva nimittamātraṁ bhava savyasācin||11 -33||

तस्मात् त्वम् उत्तिष्ठ यशः लभस्व जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यम् समृद्धम् । 

मया एव एते  निहताः पूर्वम् एव निमित्तमात्रम् भव सव्यसाचिन् ॥ 


तस्मात्  -therefore त्वम्  -you उत्थिष्ट –arise यशः  -fame लभस्व  -obtain जित्वा –having conquered शत्रून्  -enemies भुङ्क्ष्व  -enjoy राज्यं –the kingdom समृद्धम्  -affluent मया –by me एव –alone एते  -these निहताः –have been slain पूर्वम्  -already एव -even निमित्तमात्रम् –a mere instrument भव  -become सव्यसाचिन् –O ambidextrous one (Arjuna)

Therefore Arjuna! arise, get glory, conquer your enemies and enjoy an opulent kingdom.  I have already destroyed all these warriors. You are only an instrument, O left handed one! (Arjuna)

तस्मात् त्वम् उत्तिष्ठ यशः लभस्व जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यम् समृद्धम् । 

Therefore, Arjuna, get up and attain glory; conquer your

enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. Vanquish your enemies. This advise applies to us all. What are the enemies one is confronted in the world? Morbid desires, attraction and repulsion, duality and ignorance. We have to fight all these foes in our life.

मया एव एते  निहताः पूर्वम् एव निमित्तमात्रम् भव सव्यसाचिन् ॥ 

All these warriors who are arrrained in the opposite sides are already destroyed by me. Arjun, you jpin the battle and

become a mere instrument of heir death.

सव्यसाचिन् –Ambi-dextrous. Arjuna was able to pull the bow string as easily with the left hand as with his right hand. This had earned him the name ‘savyasachin’

निमित्तमात्रं भव –You become a mere instrument in the hands of God. This is a very imporant teaching of Bhagavad gita. By following this priniciple, not only Arjuna each one of us can reach the goal. This mantra teaches us to give up the thought of ownership, and  do your duty for the pleasure of Lord. You give your best performance and when the result comes thank God for inspiring you to do it. Give up the idea of ownership of a job. Do your best and leave the rest to God.

Once, Krishna and Radha were sitting in a swing in their backyard.  A wierd thought came up to the mind of Radha.” Look at this flute; Krishna always carries it and even while sleeping he tucks it into his belt. It is very fortunate to be in proximity to him”. She asked the flute, “Hey, what is the good deed you have done to be always in the hands of my Lord. I wish I had that opportunity” The flute replied,” Look at me; here is nothing inside. I am totally hallowed. Similarly, if your mind is free from egotism, you will be picked up by Krishna.

Once Kanakadasa was asked by his Guru; “Kanaka, who in this group may go to heaven?” Kanaka replied, “Sir, if “I” go I may go”. In short if we drive away egoism from our heart and establish God there, we shall have practiced this manra of निमित्तमात्रं भव. This is what Arjuna did.

VERSE – 11: 34

द्रोणं च भीष्मं च जयद्रथं च कर्णं तथान्यानपि योधवीरान्।

मया हतांस्त्वं जहि मा व्यथिष्ठा युध्यस्व जेतासि रणे सपत्नान्॥११ -३४॥

drōṇaṁ ca bhīṣmaṁ ca jayadrathaṁ ca karṇaṁ tathānyānapi yōdhavīrān|

mayā hatāṁstvaṁ jahi mā vyathiṣṭhā yudhyasva jētāsi raṇē sapatnān||11 -34||

द्रोणम् च भीष्मम् च जयद्रथम् च कर्णम् तथा अन्यान् अपि योधवीरान् ।

मया हतान् त्वम् जहि मा व्यथिष्ठाः युध्यस्व जेतासि रणे सपत्नान्  ॥

द्रोणम्  -Drona च  -and भीष्मम्  -Bhishma च  -and जयद्रथम् -Jayadratha च -and तथा  -also अन्यान्  -others अपि  -also योधवीरान् -the warriors मया –by me हतान्  -slain त्वम्  -you जहि  -kill मा –do not व्यथिष्ठा  -fear युध्यस्व  -fight जेतासि –you shall conquier रणे –in the battle सपत्नान् –the enemies

All these great warriors like Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna and others have already been slain by me. Do not fear. You will certainly conquer the enemies in the battle; therefore fight.


द्रोण भीष्म  जयद्रथ कर्ण  Among the warriors on the side of Duryodhana the Lord has mentioned the names of Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha and Karna.

Drona or Dronacharya:

Accomplished archer and the teacher of Kauravas and Pandavas.

Bhishma One among the ashta vasus. Grand father of Arjuna. He was nicknamed pitamaha because he lived for a number of years. Great warrior, jnyani, and icchamarani that means dies only when he  pleases. So, it was difficult to defeat him in a war. He went in search of a new wife for his father.

Jayadratha Great warrior and devotee of shiva. He had

obtained several weapons and boons from Shiva. He was brother in law of Duryodhana. He married Dushala, Duryodhana’s sister. Once, he kidnapped Draupati. Bhimsena chased him and arrested him. On the advice of Yudhishtira, he was spared from death but was left out with his head shaved.

During the Mahabharata war, when Abhimanyu entered the enemy’s chakravyuha formation, it was  Jayadratha who prevented Yudhishtira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva from entering the formation to help Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu was killed. This enraged his father Arjuna. He took an vow that if he does not kill Jayadratha before sunset the following day, he would kill himself. All the warriors of Kaurava camp

proceeded to protect Jayadratha. Jayadratha had a boon.

Accoding to it, whoever facilitates the fall of his beheaded head to the ground would have his own head sliced into

several pieces. With a strategy of Krishna, Arjuna, not only decapitated Jayadratha but also carried his severed head in a basket of arrows all the way to his father’s lap. So his father‘s head  was sliced into pieces.

Karna He was as valient as Arjuna. He had received a divine weapon from Indra and he was the son of Surya.

VERSE – 11: 35

संजय उवाच 

एतच्छ्रुत्वा वचनं केशवस्य कृताञ्जलिर्वेपमानः किरीटी।

नमस्कृत्वा भूय एवाह कृष्णं सगद्गदं भीतभीतः प्रणम्य॥११ -३५॥

saṁjaya uvāca 

ētacchrutvā vacanaṁ kēśavasya kr̥tāñjalirvēpamānaḥ kirīṭī|

namaskr̥tvā bhūya ēvāha kr̥ṣṇaṁ sagadgadaṁ bhītabhītaḥ praṇamya||11 -35||

संजय उवाच 

एतत् श्रुत्वा वचनम् केशवस्य कृताञ्जलिः वेपमानः किरीटी ।

नमस्कृत्वा भूयः एव आह कृष्णम्  सगद्गदम् भीतभीतः प्रणम्य ॥ 

एतत्  -that श्रुत्वा –having heard वचनम् –speech of केशवस्य – of Keshava, Krishna कृताञ्जलिः –with folded palms वेपमानः  -trembling किरीटी –the crowned prince नमस्कृत्वा –bowing his head भूयः -again एव –once more आह –addressed  कृष्णम् –to Krishna सगद्गदम् –in a choked voice भीतभीतः –overwhelmed with fear प्रणम्य –having prostrated

Sanjaya Said – Having heard these words of Krishna, the crowned Arjuna, trembling with fear joined his palms in prostration and spoke to Krishna in a choked voice.

VERSE – 11: 36

अर्जुन उवाच 

स्थाने हृषीकेश तव प्रकीर्त्या जगत्प्रहृष्यत्यनुरज्यते च।

रक्षांसि भीतानि दिशो द्रवन्ति सर्वे नमस्यन्ति च सिद्धसंघाः॥११ -३६॥

arjuna uvāca 

sthānē hr̥ṣīkēśa tava prakīrtyā jagatprahr̥ṣyatyanurajyatē ca|

rakṣāṁsi bhītāni diśō dravanti sarvē namasyanti ca siddhasaṁghāḥ||11 -36||

अर्जुन उवाच 

स्थाने हृषीकेश तव प्रकीत्या जगत् प्रहृष्यति अनुरज्यते च ।

रक्षांसि भीतानि दिशः द्रवन्ति सर्वे नमस्यन्ति च सिद्धसंघाः ॥ 

स्थाने  -well हृषीकेश –Krishna (Inner controller of beings) तव  -yours प्रकीत्या –in praise of your name. Virtues and glory जगत् –the world  प्रह्रष्यति –is delighted अनुरज्यते  -rejoices च  -and रक्षांसि –the Rakshasas भीतानि –in fear दिशः –to all directions द्रवन्ति –fly away सर्वे  -all नमस्यन्ति –bow to you च  -and सिद्धसंघाः –the hosts of Siddhas

Arjuna said – Rightly O Krishna, the world delights and rejoices in glorfying your name and virtues. Terrified demons flee in all directions. The hosts of the sages (Siddhas) bow to you in adoration.

Arjuna has enunciated three important points in this verse:

  1. तव प्रकीत्या जगत् प्रहृष्यति men revel in glorifying you.
  2. 2. रक्षांसि भीतानि दिशः द्रवन्ति the devils meaning asuri svabhava are frightned by your image and run helter-skelter.

The bad people are like that. They harass weak people and run away from the stronger ones.

  1. द्रवन्ति सर्वे नमस्यन्ति च सिद्धसंघाः The accomplished yogis are saluting you.

This verse is famously called as Rakshoghna Mantra (रक्षोघ्न मन्त्र). This verse contains many beejaksharas. It is believed that by chanting of this here will be no fear from ghosts.

VERSE – 11: 37

कस्माच्च ते न नमेरन्महात्मन् गरीयसे ब्रह्मणोऽप्यादिकर्त्रे। 

अनन्त देवेश जगन्निवास त्वमक्षरं सदसत्तत्परं यत्॥११ -३७॥

kasmācca tē na namēranmahātman garīyasē brahmaṇō’pyādikartrē| 

ananta dēvēśa jagannivāsa tvamakṣaraṁ sadasattatparaṁ yat||11 -37||

कस्मात् च ते न नमेरन् महात्मन् गरीयसे ब्रह्मणः अपि आदिकर्त्रे । 

अनन्त देवेश जगन्निवास त्वम् अक्षरम् सत् असत् तत्परम् यत्  ॥ 

कस्मात् –why च  -and ते  -they न  -not नमेरन्  -prostrate महात्मन् –O great soul गरीयसे -the greatest of the great  ब्रह्मणः –Brahma अपि  -himself आदिकर्ते –the first progenerator of material world अनन्त –infinite being देवेश –O Lord of celestials जगन्निवास –O Abode of the universe त्वम्  -you अक्षरम् -imperishable सत् –is existent असत् –non existent तत्परम् –beyond both यत्  -which

O great soul! Why would they not pay homage to you, the original creator, who is the primal cause of Brahma – the creator of material worlds? O God of celestial rulers, O abode of the universe, you are the imperishable, existent as well as non existent (eternal and temporal) and the Supreme Being that is beyond both.


महात्मन् देवेश जगन्निवास –Arjuna addresses God as O Great soul, O God of the celestial rulers, O abode of the universe. Arjuna says that God is the all pervading soul of animate and inanimate objects; his form, virtues and glory etc., are infinite. He is the ruler of celestial gods. The universe not only exists in him but also pervaded by him. Therefore there is no wonder that all beings should offer their salutation to him.

सत् असत्  तत् परम्   -You are the eternal and temporal and you are beyond both, the  supreme.The gross world of objects is called asat. They are also called existent. They are temporal, perishable and transient. The subtlest object, which is not perceivable by the naked eye or with any instrumentation, is called as sat. It is eternal, imperishable and which never ceases to be. It is the subtlest of the subtlest.

Sat and asat are called as para and apara prakruti in chapter 7 and as akshara and kshara in chaper 14. Beyond these two is the supreme indestrictible God himself, the embodiment of truth, knowledge and bliss.

VERSE – 11: 38

 त्वमादिदेवः पुरुषः पुराणस्त्वमस्य विश्वस्य परं निधानम्। 

वेत्तासि वेद्यं च परं च धाम त्वया ततं विश्वमनन्तरूप॥११ -३८॥

tvamādidēvaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇastvamasya viśvasya paraṁ nidhānam| 

vēttāsi vēdyaṁ ca paraṁ ca dhāma tvayā tataṁ viśvamanantarūpa||11 -38||

त्वम् आदिदेवः पुरुषः पुराणः त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परम् निधानम् । 

वेत्ता  असि वेद्यम् च परम् च धाम त्वया ततम्  विश्वम् अनन्तरूप   

त्वम्  -you आदिदेवः –Primal god पुरुषः  -Purusha पुराणः  -Ancient त्वम्  -you अस्य  -this विश्वस्य  -universe परम्  -supreme निधानम्  -refuge वेत्ता  -knower असि –you are वेद्यम् –knowable च  -and परम्  -supreme च धाम  -abode त्वया –by you ततम् –is pervaded विश्वम् –the universe अनन्तरुप –O being of infinite forms

You are the primal God, the most ancient person. You are the ultimate resort of the entire universe. You are the knower, knowable and the supreme abode. O Lord of the infinite form, indeed you pervade the entire universe.

त्वम् आदिदेवः  पुरुषः पुराणः –The root verb of Deva is Div which means light. You are the first light, from whom the sun, moon, the celestials barrow. Purusha mans full, complete. पूर्णम् अनेन सर्वमिति पुरुशः  – -the one from whom all these things are filled up. पुराणः means ancient, ever new

 त्वम् अस्य विश्वस्य परम् निधानम् – Ultimate resort of this

universe. Nidhanam is normally used to speak about the time of deluge when the whole universe gets merged into God, and ever exists in a fraction of his being.

त्वम् वेत्ता असि वेद्यम् च परम् च धाम –Vetta means knower. You are the knower of the past, present and future. That is why he is omniscient (सर्वज्ञ). Vedyam means one who is knowable, the very subject worth knowing. The knowledge of supreme Barmha or God is the goal of all human existence. Here the knower is the soul/Jeeva; knowable is the supreme Brahman. By the word twam (you), it is indicaed that Jeeva and shiva are one and the same. Verses 12 to 17 of chaper 13, describe the supreme Bramha or God as Jneya, the object of knowledge.

परम् धाम   -The final destination, by reaching which there is no point of return. Jeevatma merges into paramatma.

VERSE – 11: 39

वायुर्यमोऽग्निर्वरुणः शशाङ्कः प्रजापतिस्त्वं प्रपितामहश्च। 

नमो नमस्तेऽस्तु सहस्रकृत्वः पुनश्च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस्ते॥११ -३९॥

vāyuryamō’gnirvaruṇaḥ śaśāṅkaḥ prajāpatistvaṁ prapitāmahaśca| 

namō namastē’stu sahasrakr̥tvaḥ punaśca bhūyō’pi namō namastē||11 -39||

वायुः यमः अग्निः वरुणः शशाङ्कः प्रजापतिः त्वम्  प्रपितामहः च । 

नमः नमः ते अस्तु सहस्रकृत्वः पुनः च भूयः अपि नमः नमः ते ॥

वायुः –vayu (Wind God) य़मः – Yama (God of death) अग्निः –fire (God of Fire) वरुणः –varuna (the god of water) शशाङ्कः –moon -god प्रजापतिः Bramha the lord of creation त्वम्  -you प्रपितामः –grand father (father of Bramha) च  -and नमः  -obeisance ते –to you अस्तु –let there be सहस्रकृत्वः –thousand times पुनः  -again च –and भूयः –again अपि  -also नमः  -solutations नमः  -solutations ते  – to you

You are the God of wind, death, fire, and water, the moon god, the creator as well as the father of creator. Salutations to you a thousand times, and again and again salutations salutations to you


By identifying the infinite  Lord with vayu, yama and other gods all other gods Arjuna means to say that all other gods  exist in the infinite, just as a fraction of his being. The God who mentally conceived the Brahma, the creator of universe is referred to as grand -father. By repeatedly bowing to and showing reverence for God he is showing his deep feeling and fear of the awesome sight.

VERSE – 11: 40

 नमः पुरस्तादथ पृष्ठतस्ते नमोऽस्तु ते सर्वत एव सर्व। 

अनन्तवीर्यामितविक्रमस्त्वं सर्वं समाप्नोषि ततोऽसि सर्वः॥११ -४०॥

namaḥ purastādatha pr̥ṣṭhatastē namō’stu tē sarvata ēva sarva| 

anantavīryāmitavikramastvaṁ sarvaṁ samāpnōṣi tatō’si sarvaḥ||11 -40||

नमः पुरस्तात् अथ पृष्ठतः ते नमः अस्तु ते सर्वतः एव सर्व । 

अनन्तवीर्य अमितविक्रमः त्वम् सर्वम् समाप्नोषि ततः असि सर्वः ॥ 

नमः –salutations पुरस्तात् –from front अथ –also प्रष्टतः from behind ते –to you नमः –solutations अस्तु  -be ते –to you सर्वतः –from every side एव  -even सर्व –O soul of all अनन्तवीर्यः –

infinite in prowess अमितविक्रमः –possessing limitless might त्वम्  -you सर्वम् –all  समाप्नोषि  -pervade ततः  -therefore असि –you are सर्वः –everywhere and in everything

My salutations to you from front and from behind! O Lord, my obeisance to you from every side! You are infinite in

valour and possess boundless might. You pervade everything and therefore you are everywhere and in everything.


नमः पुरस्तात् अथ पृष्ठतः ते नमः अस्तु ते सर्वतः एव सर्व – O Soul of all you pervade everything equally. You are present in every atom and every gross object. That is why you are omnipresent and omniscient (having infinite knowledge). Wherever I turn I see nothing but you. Therefore I pay my obeisance to you from front, back, from sides, from above from below and from everywhere.

अनन्तवीर्य अमितविक्रमः त्वम् सर्वम् समाप्नोषि ततः असि सर्वः ॥ 

ततोऽसि सर्वः – It shows the universal character. There is no iota of space where he is not there. He permeates everything. Apart from God, the world has no reality in the eyes of Arjuna.

VERSE – 11: 41  

सखेति मत्वा प्रसभं यदुक्तं हे कृष्ण हे यादव हे सखेति। 

अजानता महिमानं तवेदं मया प्रमादात्प्रणयेन वापि॥११ -४१॥ 


sakhēti matvā prasabhaṁ yaduktaṁ hē kr̥ṣṇa hē yādava hē sakhēti| 

ajānatā mahimānaṁ tavēdaṁ mayā pramādātpraṇayēna vāpi||11 -41|| 

सखा इति मत्वा प्रसभम् यत् उक्तम्  हे कृष्ण हे यादव हे सखा इति  । 

अजानता महिमानम् तव इदम्  मया प्रमादात् प्रणयॆन वा अपि ॥


सखा  -friend इति  -as मत्वा  -considering प्रसभम् -presumptuously यत्  -whatever उक्तम् –said  हे कृष्ण –O Krishan हे यादव –O Yadava (descendent of Yadu) हे सखा –O friend इति –thus अजानता –unknowing महिमानम्  -greatness तव  -your इदम्  -this मया –by me प्रमादत् – through carelessness प्रणयेन –due to love वा  -or अपि  -even

Considering You merely as a friend, and not knowing your greatness, I have inadvertently addressed you as O Krishna, O Yadava, and O friend merely out of affection or carelessness.


VERSE – 11: 42

यच्चावहासार्थमसत्कृतोऽसि विहारशय्यासनभोजनेषु। 

एकोऽथवाप्यच्युत तत्समक्षं तत्क्षामये त्वामहमप्रमेयम्॥११ -४२॥

yaccāvahāsārthamasatkr̥tō’si vihāraśayyāsanabhōjanēṣu| 

ēkō’thavāpyacyuta tatsamakṣaṁ tatkṣāmayē tvāmahamapramēyam||11 -42||

यत् च अवहासार्थम् असत्कृतो असि विहारशय्यासन भोजनेषु । 

एकः अथवा अपि अच्युत तत्समक्षम् तत् क्षामये त्वाम् अहम् अप्रमेयम् ॥

यत् -whatever च  -and अवहासार्थम् –for sake of fun असत्क्रतः –slighted by me असि –you are विहारशय्यासन भोजनेषु –while at play or sleeping or While sitting or at meals एकः –when alone अथवा  -or अपि  -even अच्युत –O Achyta (sinless one) तत्  -that समक्षम् –in presence of those companions तत्  -that क्षामये – implore to forgive त्वाम्  -you अहम् –me अप्रमेयम् –immeasurable

In whatever way I may have insulted You in jokes; while playing, reposing in bed, sitting, or at meals; when alone, or in company  of others; O Krishna, the immeasurable One, I implore You for forgiveness.

Arjuna, now havng seen the universal fom of God, has realised that Kishna is in fact the supreme god but not merely his buddy. He implores foregiveness for whatever reason he might have treated Krishna disrespectfully in friendship.

He has called Krishan in singular as He Krishnya, He Yadavya, He, dud etc.

VERSE – 11: 43

पितासि लोकस्य चराचरस्य त्वमस्य पूज्यश्च गुरुर्गरीयान्। 

न त्वत्समोऽस्त्यभ्यधिकः कुतोऽन्यो लोकत्रयेऽप्यप्रतिमप्रभाव॥११ -४३॥

pitāsi lōkasya carācarasya tvamasya pūjyaśca gururgarīyān| 

na tvatsamō’styabhyadhikaḥ kutō’nyō lōkatrayē’pyapratimaprabhāva||11 -43||

पिता असि लोकस्य चराचरस्य त्वम् अस्य पूज्यः च  गुरुः गरीयान् । 

न त्वत्समः अस्ति अभ्यधिकः कुतः अन्यः लोकत्रये अपि अप्रतिमप्रभाव ॥


पिता  -faher असि –you are लोकस्य –of the world चराचरस्य –moving and unmoving  त्वम्  -you अस्य –of this पूज्य  -revered च  -and गुरुः –the guru गरीयान् –weightier न  -not त्वत् -सम्ः  – equal to you अस्ति – is there अभ्यधिकः  -surpassing कुतः from where अन्यः  -other लोकत्रये –in the three wolds अपि  -also अप्रतिमप्रभावः –O being of unequalled power

You are the father of this animate and inanimate world, and the greatest guru to be worshipped. No one is even equal to you in the three worlds; how can there be one greater than you? O Being of incomparable glory.   


 Lord Krsihan created the first born Brahma and imparted spiritual knowledge to him. So Arjuna calls him पिता असि you are the father of Brahma. You are the first Guru because you taught the spirityual knowledge to Brhama. Ther is no one equal to you in  knowledge and power. How can there be some one who is superior to you?

VERSE – 11: 44

तस्मात्प्रणम्य प्रणिधाय कायं प्रसादये त्वामहमीशमीड्यम्। 

पितेव पुत्रस्य सखेव सख्युः प्रियः प्रियायार्हसि देव सोढुम्॥११ -४४॥

tasmātpraṇamya praṇidhāya kāyaṁ prasādayē tvāmahamīśamīḍyam| 

pitēva putrasya sakhēva sakhyuḥ priyaḥ priyāyārhasi dēva sōḍhum||11 -44||

तस्मात्  प्रणम्य प्रणिधाय कायम् प्रसादये त्वाम् अहम् ईशम् ईड्यम् । 

पिता इव पुत्रस्य सखा इव सख्युः प्रियः प्रियायाः अर्हसि देव सोढुम् ॥

तस्मात् –therefore प्रणम्य  -saluting प्रणिधाय –bending at your feet कायम्  -body प्रसादये –crave forgiveness त्वाम्  -you अहम् –I  ईशम् –the lord ईड्यम् –the adorable पिता  -father एव  -like पुत्रस्य –of the son सखा  -friend एव  -like सख्युः –of the friend प्रियः  -beloved प्रियायाः –as to the beloved अर्हसि –you must देव –O God सोढुम् –bear

Therefore, O adorable Lord, I seek your mercy by bowing down and prostrating my body before you. Bear with me as a father to his son, as a friend to a friend, and as a lover to his beloved, O Lord forgive me.


तस्मात् –therefore. Tasmat is the exit word. It shows that whatever has to be told has been said, and we come to a conclusion.

VERSE – 11: 45

Arjuna’s prayer to cosmic form

अदृष्टपूर्वं हृषितोऽस्मि दृष्ट्वा भयेन च प्रव्यथितं मनो मे। 

तदेव मे दर्शय देवरूपं प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास॥११ -४५॥ 

adr̥ṣṭapūrvaṁ hr̥ṣitō’smi dr̥ṣṭvā bhayēna ca pravyathitaṁ manō mē| 

tadēva mē darśaya dēvarūpaṁ prasīda dēvēśa jagannivāsa||11 -45|| 

अदृष्टपूर्वम् हृषतः अस्मि दृष्ट्वा भयेन च प्रव्यथितम् मनः मे । 

तत् एव मे दर्शय देवरूपम् प्रसीद देवेश जगन्निवास ॥ 

अदृष्टपूर्वम्  -what has never been seen before हृषितः  -delighted अस्मि –I am दृष्ट्वा –having seen भयेन  – with fear च  -and प्रव्यथितं –is distressed मनः -mind मे  -my तत्  -that एव  -only मे –to me दर्शय  -show देव –O God रूपम्  -form प्रसीद –have mercy देवेश –  God of Gods जगन्निवास –O Abode of universe  

Beholding that which has never been seen before delights me, and yet my mind is tormented with fear. Therefore, O God of celestial rulers, the refuge of the universe, have mercy on me; and show me your four -armed form.


तत् एव मे दर्शय देवरूपम्  Please show me only your devine form. The question is whether Arjuna wants to see the human form of Krishna or his divine four armed Vishnu. He says devarupam your devine form. The word देवरूपम्  is qualified by the adjective तत् एव only that. Therefore it may be presumed that Arjuna wanted to see the divine 4 armed body of Vishnu.

Arjuna who had no idea of what Vishwarupa is, requested the lord in verse 11;3 please show me your divine form. Here is the shloka: द्रष्टुमिच्छामि ते रूपमैश्वरं पुरुषोत्तम॥११ -३॥. Arjuna was overwhelmed with surprize and fear at the same time. He couldn’t behold the dreadful form of the Lord devouring the warriors. So he wanted to see the peaceful version of Lord. When Vishnu took the avatar of Narasimha, the entire group of devas were scared. Prahlad pryed to God to show him his tranquil form.

VERSE – 11: 46

किरीटिनं गदिनं चक्रहस्तमिच्छामि त्वां द्रष्टुमहं तथैव। 

तेनैव रूपेण चतुर्भुजेन सहस्रबाहो भव विश्वमूर्ते॥११ -४६॥

kirīṭinaṁ gadinaṁ cakrahastamicchāmi tvāṁ draṣṭumahaṁ tathaiva| 

tēnaiva rūpēṇa caturbhujēna sahasrabāhō bhava viśvamūrtē||11 -46||

किरीटिनम् गदिनम् चक्रहस्तम् इच्छामि त्वाम्  द्रष्टुम् अहम् तथा एव । 

तेन एव रूपेण चतुर्भुजेन सहस्रबाहो भव विश्वमूर्ते ॥


किरीटिनम्  -crowned गदिनम् –bearing a mace चक्रहस्तम् –with a discuss in the hand  इच्छामि – I desire त्वाम्  -you दष्टुम् –to see अहम्  -me तथा एव –as before तेन एव – रूपेण -of form चतुर्भुजेन –by four armed सहस्रबाहो –O thousand armed भव  -be विश्वमूर्ते –universal form

I wish to see you with a crown, holding mace and discus in your hand. Therefore, O Lord with thousand arms and universal form, please appear in the four -armed form.

The sun rise and setting are a pleasant sight to enjoy. But as the sun rises in the horizon, he becomes very hot and difficult to see. Arjuna couldn’t  bear to see his ferocious form. Arjuna says, “ I want to see you in you in  your  four arms चतुर्भुजेन”

VERSE – 11: 47


मया प्रसन्नेन तवार्जुनेदं रूपं परं दर्शितमात्मयोगात्।

तेजोमयं विश्वमनन्तमाद्यं यन्मे त्वदन्येन न दृष्टपूर्वम्॥११ -४७॥



mayā prasannēna tavārjunēdaṁ rūpaṁ paraṁ darśitamātmayōgāt|

tējōmayaṁ viśvamanantamādyaṁ yanmē tvadanyēna na dr̥ṣṭapūrvam||11 -47||


मया प्रसन्नेन तव अर्जुन  इदम्  रूपम्  परम्  दर्शितम् आत्मयोगात् ।

तेजोमयम् विश्वम् अनन्तम् आद्यम् यत् मे त्वदन्येन न दृष्टपूर्वम् ॥

मया –by me प्रसन्नेन  -gracious तव –to you अर्जुन  -Arjuna इदम्  -this रूपम्  -form परम्  -supreme दर्शितम् –has been shown आत्मयोगात् –by my power of yoga तेजोमयम् –full of splendour विश्वम्  -universal अनन्तम्  -endless आद्यम्  -primal यत्  -which मे of me त्वत् –from you अन्येन –by another न  -not दृष्टपूर्वम् –seen before

Lord Krishna said – O Arjuna, being pleased with you I have shown you, through my own yogic powers, this particular supreme, shining, universal, infinite, and primal form of mine that has never been seen before by anyone other than you.


Why did Krishna show his universal form (Vishwarupa) to

Arjuna?  He says मया प्रसन्नेन I am pleased with your devotion and surrender. He wants to grace Arjuan.

VERSE – 11: 48

न वेदयज्ञाध्ययनैर्न दानैर्न च क्रियाभिर्न तपोभिरुग्रैः। 

एवंरूपः शक्य अहं नृलोके द्रष्टुं त्वदन्येन कुरुप्रवीर॥११ -४८॥

na vēdayajñādhyayanairna dānairna ca kriyābhirna tapōbhirugraiḥ| 

ēvaṁrūpaḥ śakya ahaṁ nr̥lōkē draṣṭuṁ tvadanyēna kurupravīra||11 -48||

न वेदयज्ञाध्ययनैः न दानैः न च  क्रियाभिः न तपोभि उग्रैः। 

एवम्  रूपः शक्यः अहम् नृलोके द्रष्टुम्  त्वदन्येन कुरुप्रवीर ॥

न  -not वेदयज्ञाध्ययनैः (वेद यज्ञ अध्ययनैः) –by the study of the Vedas and yajna न  -not दानैः –by gifts न  -not च  -also क्रियाभिः –by rituals न  -not तपोभिः –by austerities उग्रैः  -severe एवम् रुपम् –in such form शक्यः –is possible अहम्  -me नृलोके –in the world of men द्रष्टुम् –to be seen त्वत् –that yourself अन्येन –by another कुरुप्रवीर –O great hero of Kurus

O Arjuna, neither by study of the Vedas, nor by sacrifice, nor by charity, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities, can I be seen in this cosmic form by any one other than you in this human world.

न वेदयज्ञाध्ययनैः न दानैः न च  क्रियाभिः न तपोभि उग्रैः। 

The men in this world are not able to see me in this form by study of the Vedas, nor by sacrifice, nor by charity, nor by

rituals, nor by severe austerities. Then how the Lord becomes approachable? He is available by committed devotion. All other sadhanas  are complementary. They help us get योग्यता प्राप्ति or qualification to get Lord but not for realization

Shankaracharya says in Bhasjagovindam:

कुरुते गङ्गासागरगमनं व्रतपरिपालनमथवा दानम् ।

ज्ञानविहिनः सर्वमतेन भजति न मुक्तिं जन्मशतेन ॥ १७॥

Liberation is obtained not by pilgrimage to Ganga, keeping vows, or by charity. The only way to reach the goal is to knowledge of the supreme.

VERSE – 11: 49

मा ते व्यथा मा च विमूढभावो दृष्ट्वा रूपं घोरमीदृङ्ममेदम्। 

व्यपेतभीः प्रीतमनाः पुनस्त्वं तदेव मे रूपमिदं प्रपश्य॥११ -४९॥ 

mā tē vyathā mā ca vimūḍhabhāvō dr̥ṣṭvā rūpaṁ ghōramīdr̥ṅmamēdam| 

vyapētabhīḥ prītamanāḥ punastvaṁ tadēva mē rūpamidaṁ prapaśya||11 -49|| 

मा ते व्यथा मा च विमूढभावः दृष्ट्वा रूपम्  घोरम् ईद्यक् मम इदम्  । 

व्यपेतभीः प्रीतमनाः पुनः त्वम् तत् ऎव मॆ रूपम् इदम् प्रपश्य ॥

मा  -not ते  – there व्यथा  -perturb मा  -not च  -and विमूढभावः –bewildered state दृष्ट्वा –having seen रूपम्  -form घोरम्  -terrible ईद्रक्  -such मम  -mine इदम्  -this  व्यपेतभीः –free from  fear प्रीतमनाः –with gladdened heart पुनः  -again त्वम् –you तत्  -that एवम्  -even मे  -my रूपम् -form इदम् -this  प्रपश्य  -behold

Do not be perturbed and confused by seeing my dreadful form as this. With fearless and gladdened heart now behold my four -armed form.

VERSE – 11: 50

संजय उवाच 

इत्यर्जुनं वासुदेवस्तथोक्त्वा स्वकं रूपं दर्शयामास भूयः।

आश्वासयामास च भीतमेनं भूत्वा पुनः सौम्यवपुर्महात्मा॥११ -५०॥

saṁjaya uvāca 

ityarjunaṁ vāsudēvastathōktvā svakaṁ rūpaṁ darśayāmāsa bhūyaḥ|

āśvāsayāmāsa ca bhītamēnaṁ bhūtvā punaḥ saumyavapurmahātmā||11 -50||

संजय उवाच 

इति अर्जुनम् वासुदेवः तथा उक्त्वा स्वकम् रूपम् दर्शयामास भूयः ।

आश्वासयामास च भीतम् ऎनम्  भूत्वा पुनः सौम्यवपुः महात्मा ॥


इति  -thus अर्जुनम् –to Arjuna वासुदेवः –Vasudeva (Krishna) तथा  -so उक्त्वा –having said स्वकम् –his own रूपम् -form दर्शयामास  -showed भूयः  -again आश्वासयामास –consoled च and भीतम् –who was terrified एनम्  -him भूत्वा –having become पुनः again सौम्यवपुः –of gentle form महात्मा –great souled one.

Sanjaya said – after speaking like this to Arjuna, Krishna

revealed His four -armed form. And then assuming His pleasant human form, Lord Krishna, the Great One,

consoled Arjuna who was terrified.  

VERSE – 11: 51

 अर्जुन उवाच

दृष्ट्वेदं मानुषं रूपं तव सौम्यं जनार्दन।

इदानीमस्मि संवृत्तः सचेताः प्रकृतिं गतः॥११ -५१॥

arjuna uvāca

dr̥ṣṭvēdaṁ mānuṣaṁ rūpaṁ tava saumyaṁ janārdana|

idānīmasmi saṁvr̥ttaḥ sacētāḥ prakr̥tiṁ gataḥ||11 -51||

 अर्जुन उवाच

दृष्ट्वा इदम् मानुषम् रूपम् तव सौम्यम् जनार्दन ।

इदानीम् अस्मि संवृत्तः सचेताः प्रकृतिम् गतः॥ 

दृष्ट्वा -having seen इदम् -this मानुषम्  -human रुपम्  -form तव  -your सौम्यम्  -gentle जनार्दन –O Janardana Arjuna) इदानीम् now अस्मि –I am संवृत्तः  -composed सचेताः –with mind प्रकृतिम् –to my normal nature गतः अस्मि –I have returned

Arjuna said – O Krishna, seeing this lovely human form of Yours, I have now become tranquil and I am normal again.    

VERSE – 11: 52


सुदुर्दर्शमिदं रूपं दृष्टवानसि यन्मम।

देवा अप्यस्य रूपस्य नित्यं दर्शनकाङ्क्षिणः॥११ -५२॥


sudurdarśamidaṁ rūpaṁ dr̥ṣṭavānasi yanmama|

dēvā apyasya rūpasya nityaṁ darśanakāṅkṣiṇaḥ||11 -52||


सुदुर्दर्शम् इदम् रूपम् दृष्टवानसि यत् मम ।

देवाः अपि अस्य रूपस्य नित्यम्  दर्शनकाङ्क्षिणः ॥ 

सुदुर्दर्शम् –very hard to see इदम्  -this रुपम्  -form दृष्टवानसि –you have just seen यत्  -which मम  -my देवाः Gods अपि –also अस्य –of this  रूपस्य –of form नित्यम्  -ever दर्शनकाङ्क्षिणः –are desirous to behold

Lord Krishna said – This four -armed form of mine that you have seen is very difficult; indeed, to see.Even the Gods are ever longing to see this form.

VERSE – 11: 53

नाहं वेदैर्न तपसा न दानेन न चेज्यया। 

शक्य एवंविधो द्रष्टुं दृष्टवानसि मां यथा॥११ -५३॥

nāhaṁ vēdairna tapasā na dānēna na cējyayā| 

śakya ēvaṁvidhō draṣṭuṁ dr̥ṣṭavānasi māṁ yathā||11 -53||

न अहम् वेदैः न तपसा न दानेन न च इज्यया । 

शक्यः एवम् विधः द्रष्टुम् द्रष्टवान् असि माम् यथा ॥ 

न  -not अहम्  -meI वेदैः –by vedas न  -not तपसा –by austerity न  -not दानेन –by gift न  -not च  -also इज्यया –by sacrifice शक्यः -possible एवंविधः –like this द्रष्टुम् –to see  दृष्टवानसि –as you have seen माम्  -me यथा  -as   

This four -armed form of mine that you have just beheld cannot be seen even by study of the Vedas, or by austerity, or by acts of charity, or by the performance of rituals.   


My form cannot be seen even by study of the Vedas, or by austerity, or by acts of charity, or by the performance of

rituals.   This statement of the Lord raises some questions. Is God not available by the study of Vedas, by charity, austerity or Vedic rituals? But the Lord says chaper 09 -27 and 28.

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् ।

यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ॥९:२७॥

Arjuna offer to me whatever you do, eat, and give as an



शुभाशुभफलैरेवं मोक्ष्यसे कर्मबन्धनैः ।

संन्यासयोगयुक्तात्मा विमुक्तो मामुपैष्यसि ॥९:२८॥

Arjuna with your mind thus established in the yoga of renunciation (offering all actions to me) you will be freed from the bonds of karma in the shape of good and evil consequences.

However we are told in 17 :25 that the seekers of liberation should perform acts of sacrifice, penance and charity without expecting any return.

तदित्यनभिसन्धाय फलं यज्ञतपःक्रियाः ।

दानक्रियाश्च विविधाः क्रियन्ते मोक्षकाङ्क्षिभिः ॥१७:२५॥

But in verse 11:  54 and 55 below he says he can be reached by exclusive Bhakti. 

भक्त्या त्वनन्यया शक्य अहमेवंविधोऽर्जुन। 

ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परंतप॥११५४॥ 


मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः। 

निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पाण्डव॥११५५॥

So one wonders what the right way to reach liberation is;

offering to God all actions or doing all actions without any

expectation as a devotion to God. These statements are not contradictory. Offering all actions to God is a part and parcel of exclusive devotion (Bhakti). Actions such as performing sacrifices, charity and penance carried on in a disinterested spirit for the sake of God and as an offering to God are

conductive to God -realization; but not those performed with interested motive.

VERSE – 11: 54

भक्त्या त्वनन्यया शक्य अहमेवंविधोऽर्जुन। 

ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परंतप॥११ -५४॥ 

bhaktyā tvananyayā śakya ahamēvaṁvidhō’rjuna| 

jñātuṁ draṣṭuṁ ca tattvēna pravēṣṭuṁ ca paraṁtapa||11 -54|| 

भक्त्या तु अनन्यया शक्यः अहम् एवम् विधः अर्जुन । 

ज्ञातुम् द्रष्टुम् च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुम् च परंतप ॥

भक्त्या –by devotion तु  -indeed अनन्यया –single -minded,

 exclusive शक्यः –am possible अहम् –me एवम् विधः –of this form अर्जुन  -Arjuna ज्ञातुम् –to be known द्रष्टुम् –to be seen च  -and तत्त्वेन –in reality प्रवेष्टुम् –to be entered into च  -and परंतप  Parantapa (Scorcher of foes) 

However, through single -minded devotion alone, I can be seen in this form, can be known in essence, or even entered into, O Arjuna.


ज्ञातुम् द्रष्टुम् च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुम् च परंतप ॥

परंतप  – परम् शत्रुम् तापयति इति परन्तप Scorcher of enemies.

ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परंतप –By exclusive devotion, the Lord promises that he can be reached in three steps. –(Swami Raghaveshanananda)

ज्ञातुम् to know to understand.

द्रष्टुम् to see, perceive; and

प्रवेष्टुम् enter into.

In the first step of ज्ञातुम् we know the nature of God as saguna or nirguna. This is parokhsa jnana; indirect knowledge. At this stage there is dvaita; duality.  I am different from God. 

The second step is to perceive द्रषटुम्.  This is Vishistadvaita. Here the devotee comes face to face to God.

प्रवेष्टुम्  to enter, to merge, to become one. In the first two steps there is a feeling that I am different from God. In the third step he becomes one with God. This is Advaita. The seeker gradually merges with God just as crystal of sugar dissolve into water, leaving no trace. There is no differentiation of jeeva and Shiva. You get Shivoham vrutti शिवोहम् व्रुत्ति

This experience can be illustrated by an example. Suppose some one tells you that there are large, brown ‘Hapus Mangoes’ in the market. One who has heard this, imagines its quality and taste sitting at home. He goes to the market, and actually sees the mangoes and decides to bye it. This is the first ज्ञातुम् stage. That is equal to going to the Guru and

learning the scriptures from him.  In the second stage of द्रष्टुम्, he eats the man go or sees that saguna roopa of the atman. In the third stage he subjectively realizes aham brahmaasmi. अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि प्रवेष्टुम्

VERSE – 11: 55

मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः। 

निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः स मामेति पाण्डव॥११ -५५॥

matkarmakr̥nmatparamō madbhaktaḥ saṅgavarjitaḥ| 

nirvairaḥ sarvabhūtēṣu yaḥ sa māmēti pāṇḍava||11 -55||

मत्कर्मकृत् मत्परमः मद्भक्तः सङ्गवर्जितः। 

निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः सः मामॆति पाण्डव ॥ 

मत्कर्मक्रत् –does actions for me मत्परमः –looks on me as the supreme मद्भक्तः –is devoted to me सङ्गवर्जितः –is freed from attachment निर्वैरः –without enmity सर्वभूतेषु –towards all creatures यः  -who सः  -he माम् –to me एति  -goes पाण्डव –O Pandava (Arjuna)

He, who performs all his duties for my sake, and for whom I am the supreme goal, is ever devoted to me and who is free from attachment and has malice towards none, attains me O Arjuna.

मत्कर्मक्रत् –one who dedicates all his actions to Lord. All the work undertaken by a devotee should be in the service of Lord. We have compartmentalized our activities. Japa, Tapa, worship, meditation, charity etc., in one basket of ‘Lord’s work’; our business, profession in another basket named ‘my personal work’. Gita teaches that for a sadhak the label of Jiva’s work and Shiva’s work has no meaning. A police officer wears his uniform while at work and takes it off while at home. We also wear different costumes for a temple,

wedding, picnic and office. In spiritual practice all our activities should be in one basket called ‘the service and pleasure of God’.

मत्परमः –whose goal is the Lord. It means pro – Lord. If the mind turns outside towards world of objects then you find the lord; if it is interiorized, even then you find the Lord.

मद्भक्तः –My devotee. In a way everyone in this world is a

devotee. Some devoted to worldly matters, some to sensual pleasures, some foodies, some to riches, some to women, children, pride and prestige, election etc. Very few are really devoted to God. They are at most devoted to God for one or two hours in the whole day. Krishna recommends becoming his devotee 24X7.  What does that mean? Bathing 3 times in a day, spending money on special puja, go on pilgrimage? These are good works no doubt but do not add up to the qualification of ‘My devotee’. Donning a costume of Basava does not make one Basaveshwar. A devotee is one, whose mind and intellect (antahkarana) does not deflect or become ‘vibhakta’ from God. Bhakti has no vibhakti.

सङ्गवर्जितः –who is free from all attachments. One who is

entirely free from attachment for all objects of enjoyment; body, wife, children, home, wealth, family, honour, fame and heavenly bliss. He has no love for whatsoever other than God. In Bhakti literature, the body parts of god have been compared to lotus flower.  E.g. Pada kamala, hasta kamala, nabhi kamala, hrudaya kamala, netra kamala, mukha kamala etc, Non -attachment is an important quality of lotus. Whether it grows in fresh water or muddy water, its leaves are free from water drops. The space is Non- attached. No amount of pollution has any effect on it.

सर्वभूतेषु निर्वैरः –Love for all and enimity towards none. If one has a conviction that all living beings are but manifestation of God, and that he alone pervades in all of them, has hatred to none. He loves all just as he loves his own self.

Once Swami Ramtirth’s wife came to meet him after he took to Sansyas order. She asked him,”Sir, do you think of me any time?” Ramtirth said ‘No”. This hurt her. The swamiji added, “Look, if my ear was to ask me, whether I remember it

because it has been hearing for  me all the time what I shall say”. If the ear was different from me I would remember or forget it. Similarly you are also a part and parcel of the

universal atman. So there is no question of remembering or forgetting you.

ॐ तत्सदिति श्रीमद्भगवद्गीतासूपनिषत्सु ब्रह्मविद्यायां योगशास्त्रे

श्रीकृष्णार्जुनसंवादे विश्वरूपदर्शनयोगोनाम एकादशोध्यायः ॥ ११ ॥

Thus, in the Upanishad of the glorious Bhagavad Gita, in the science of the Eternal, in the scripture of Yoga, in the dialogue between Shri Krishna and Arjuna, the eleventh discourse entitled; THE YOGA OF THE VISION OF THE UNIVERSAL FORM.

Summary of 11th  chapter

Based on Swami PaRamarthanada’s audio commentary

From 7th to 11th chapter, Krishna discusses Ishwara swaroopam or the nature of God. He said, “Ishwarah jagat Karanam” or God  is the cause of universe. Ther are two types of causes for creation of an object or material cause and intelligent  cause.  When we say a carpenter has created a wooden image of Lord Krishna, the carpenter is the intelligent cause and wood is the material cause

In the chapters between 7 and 10, Krsihna has pointed out that he is the material cause for creation of universe, backed by intelligent casue. So, he is both material cause as well as the intelligent cause.   

The element gold alone manifests as different ornaments like bangles, chain, ring, necklace etc.  The wood itself is transformed into different furniture. In other words, the casue alone is transformed into an effect. The effect is not different from the casue. When I am seeing the ornaments, I indeed see the gold in it. So karya darshanam is essentially karana darshanam (कार्य दर्शनम् एव कारण दर्शनम्). Wood is the substratum of furniture. Water is the substratum of waves. Gold is the cause or karana and ornaments is the effect or Karya. The jagat or the world is the manifestation of Ishwara. The world is not different from God. When you see the world you will visualize its substratum of God.

The cosmos which includes  this world, its galaxies, the milky way, the suns, moons  and its stars is called Brahmanda

(ब्रह्मांड, समष्ठि). The cosmos is the embodiment of the lord. The total vision of the cosmos is called Vishwarupa Darshana (विष्वरूप दर्शन) which is the subject of 11th chapter. In this 11th chapter of Gita we study the cosmic vision of God. The universe is considered as a body of God and all the objects in the world as a miniature representation of God (व्यष्टि).

 The first 8 verses is the introduction to the chapter.

Arjuna wonders, Krishna, is it possible for me to see your universal form. Please show me this form if you do not mind. Krishna says, Arjuna, it is possible to see my universal nature. But for that you need to have a great change in your attitude. The chane is giving up of ahankara and mamakara (ego and belongingness of objects as ‘mine’). I should see everything as belonging to God and nothing as belonging to me. My property, power, progeny everything are “His.” I am just a caretaker of his assets. तन् मन्  है तेरा सब् कुछ है तेरा. Everything belongs to you. Freedom from ahamkara and mamakara is called divya chakshu (devine eyes, eyes of knowledge). With the eye of knowledge you can have vishwarupa darshana.

         Sanjaya gives a brief description of universal form of God as seen by Arjna, In verses from 9 to 14 Arjuna beholds the body of the Lord with hundreds of  heads, faces, stomachs, hands  and feet. He sees the whole universe in Krishna’s body at one place. He sees the past, present and future.

In verses, 15 to 22, Arjuna was wonderstruck in awe and reverence. The discovery by scientists causes thrill and awe in our mind about the mystery of nature. The underground ant colonies are so complex, that they even have ventilation shafts for the fungus to grow, for the young ones to feed upon. The migrating birds fly thousands of miles for breeding at the same place for several generations.They have memory loaded into their bodies. A new born calf stands up on its own and suckles the udder. The man has complex blood, respiratory, digestive and nerve systems.   A devotee sees all these phenomenon as a vibhuti or glory of God.

         In the verses between 23 to 30 Arjuna finds the Lord in dissolution mode of the universe. Just as the rivers gush towards the sea and the light fleas to the flame for self destruction, the entire cosmos is entering into God’s mouth for its termination. Arjuna says, “O lord, you are licking up in enjoyment all the worlds with your flaming mouth; you are devouring them from all sides. Your fierce rays are burning the whole world. I lose my sense of direction and find no comfort after seeing your faces with fearful tusks of horrible cosmic dissolution. This phase of the Lord represents the”kala” काल or distruction.

the verses from 35 to 45, discusses surrender to the Lord. Surrender is more a  mental shift than physical act. 

         Verses 46 to 55 is conclusion or upasamhara of the teaching. Krishna says, Arjuna I showed you  my cosmic form because of your devotion to me. God is worshipped in three methods. Ekarupa (monotheism), aneka rupa (Polytheism) and arupa or formless. In all these forms, bhakti or devotion is important. Devotion is a tool for attaining the goal but not an end in itself. Unless one practices dispassion (vairagya),  unconditional bhakti is not possible. When the dispassion increases bhakti becomes ananya bhakti. Arjuna has evolved from Ekarupa Bhakti to Aneka Rupa bhakti and finally to arupa bhakti. (monotheism, pantheism to formless God). For this transformation devotion (Bhakti) is an important sadhana.

मत्कर्मकृन्मत्परमो मद्भक्त: सङ्गवर्जित: |

निर्वैर: सर्वभूतेषु य: स मामेति पाण्डव || 11: 55||

He, who performs all his duties for my sake, and for whom I am the supreme goal, is ever devoted to me and who is free from attachment and has malice towards none, attains me O Arjuna.

         Swami Paramarthananda points out that chapter 11 gives some specific benefits to a sadhaka.

  1. Dwesha parihara: We stop hating other creatures becase all are in the image of God.
  2. Amanitvam: freedom from conceipt. You get humility because whatever excellence you have in the form of beutiy, opulence, gift of gag, intelligence, memory are all the glory of Go. Nothing belongs to you.
  3. Look upon everything as sacred. There is no sacred-secular division. Everything is a manifesgtation of God. So,there is no secular. Everything is divine. Every constituent of the universe is the Lord.

समुद्र वसने देवी पर्वत स्तन मंडिते ।

विष्णु पत्नी नमस्तुभ्यं पाद स्पर्शं क्षमश्वमेव ॥

O divine mother! consort of Lord Vishnu,  whose dress is in the form of the oceans, and breasts in the form of mountanins, please excuse me for stepping on to your body.  

Our prayer says, water is the lord, fire is the lord, space, wind , the sun, moon, stars and all directions are in the form of the Lord.

Finally the greatest advantage of understanding Vishwarupa darshan is expansion of mind and freedom from narrow thought. Chitta vishalata.