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Adhyaya 11 : Vishwaroopa-darshana Yga


In the 10th Adhyya, to satisfy Arjuna’s curiosity the Lord gave a vivid description of his divine aspects by enumerating certain selected examples. From macroscopic to microscopic things, animate as well as inanimate, moving, non-moving as well. Arjuna saw behind everything the Absolute as the animating force. It penetrates into material, emotional and intellectual qualities of the manifested objects. The formless Brahman through its magical form of lshwara crates everything and remains immanent in it. The formless Brahman is difficult to comprehend and can not be seen. Extensive manifestations decried by the Lord induced Arjuna to see for himself the cosmic form of lshwara who is the creater, the sustainer and the destroyer.

Verse l to 4

Arjuna was delighted by the Lord’s grace in showing him the grandeur of his divine manifestations. He expresses his gratitude in befitting words:

"You have taught me this profoundest secret of spiritual matters to do me a kind favour. By these words of yours my delusion has disappeared. Oh Lotus eyed one! 1 have learnt from you, extensively about the origin and the dissolution of creatures and about your inexhaustible glories.

Oh Great Lord! If you are as you have described yourself to be, then, oh Supreme Person, I wish to see your divine form.

If you think it possible that I can see that form, then, oh master of Yga, reveal to me your eternal form.

Verse 5 to 8

Lord Krishna promptly responded to Arjuna’s sincere prayer and he promised to show him his divine forms in hundreds and thousands, various in kinds, various in colour and various in shapes. He tells Arjuna to see the Adityas and the Vasus and the Rudras and the Ashwins and Maruts. Showing him first these various classes of celestial beings Lord asks him to see many more wonderful things which no one had ever seen before.

The Lord promises Arjuna that he would see this very day the entire universe with things, animate and inanimate and whatever else he may wish to see, gathered into one place in the body of the Lord.

But it was not possible to see him thus with human eyes, therefore the Lord offers to give Arjuna divine sight through his ygic power.

Verses 9 to 14

Now Arjuna is well equipped to bear the avalanche of God’s most dreadful cosmic form. Sanjaya who was reporting this whole episode to Dhritarashtra was struck with awe when he himself could see that great master of Yga revealing to Arjuna his supreme & divine form. Sanjaya describes this form having innumerable mouths and eyes, with many marvellous aspects, glittering with divine ornaments, brandishing heavenly weapons, wearing celestial garlands, anointed with scents of heavenly fragrance. All was wondrous, brilliant, limitless and with mouths appearing all over. If thousand suns were to rise in the sky with their brilliance at once shining, that might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Lord in that universal form.

Sanjay further narrates: Then Arjuna saw the entire universe though other wise divided in many parts was brought together in one place in the body of the God of gods.

Verses 15 to 31

Arjuna was wonderstruck with his hair standing erect. He bowed his head before the Lord in adoration and with folded hands said:

"Oh Lord, I see gods and all creatures in their specified groups present within your body. I see Brahma, the creator sitting on lotus flower, also see all the sages and divine serpents.

I have lost the sense of directions. Oh Lord I am totally bewildered.

There I see sons of Dhitarashtra, along with the hosts of kings and Bhishma, Drona, Karma along with our own chief warriors g  ashing to your fearful months which look so dreadful due to your grinding teeth. Some are seen trapped under your teeth with their heads crushed to dust.

As the swift gushing streams of the rivers flow into the ocean so do all these warriors of human world burning in flames rush to your mouths.

As the month swiftly enter into the burning flames and get destroyed, so also these people rushing into your month with full speed - meet their destruction.

Swallowing all these people from all sides by your burning mouths you are licking them. Oh Vishnu ! Filling the entire universe by your effulgence your terrible rays are scorching it.

Getting Awestruck and frightened Arjuna is puzzled and dazedly asks the Lord about the actual mission of this devastating experience.

"Oh Lord of Lords, I bow down to you Have mercy on me and tell me who you are so forceful in form. I wish to know your original nature because I do not know your functions.

I am seeing your endless form with many arms, many bellies, many mouths and many eyes but Oh ! Lord of the universe, Oh! Universal form, I see neither your end nor the middle nor the beginning.

I am seeing your glowing form which otherwise is difficult to see. I see you wearing a crown, holding a club and a disc. You are blazing like a fiery sun in a immeasurable way.

You are known as the Imperishable Supreme. You are the Ultimate resting Abode of this universe. You are inexhaustible. You are the protector of eternal religion. For me you are the eternal Supreme Lord.

I see you without any beginning, middle and end. You possess unlimited power. You have innumerable arms. The sun and the moon are your eyes. I see you with blazing fire coming out of your month. Your radiance is heating up the entire universe.

By you alone is pervaded the sky and the earth including all space in between and all the directions. Oh! Great soul, seeing your awful and terrible form all the three worlds tremble.

There the groups of demigods are entering in you. Some of them greatly frightened are offering you prayers with folded hands. Uttering ‘peace’ the hosts of great sages and the perfected beings are singing your praise with hymns of adoration.

The Rudras, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Ashwins, the Maruts, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas the Asuras and the Siddhas are all beholding you in wonder.

Seeing your great form with mouths, eyes arms, legs, bellies and terrifying teeth in manifold numbers all the worlds are frightened including myself.

Seeing you reaching the sky with your glowing colours, your mouth widely opened, big eyes shining, my inner soul is trembling and oh Vishnu, I have lost my courage and peace,

Oh God of gods, oh shelter of the world, seeing your mouths looking fierceful due to your terrible teeth and resembling with the fire flames of death.

Verse 32 to 34

The Lord replies Arjuna’s question pointing to his all devouring nature.

"I am the time, the supreme destroyer of the worlds and growing so big I have come to destroy all people even if you are not there (to fight) all the soldiers of opposing sides will not remain. (As they will be slain)


Arjuna is thus motivated by the Lord to rise and fight to win the war. By conquering the enemies he should enjoy the prosperous kingdom. Arjuna should become a mere cause because his enemies are already slain by the Lord (in his design)

"You should kill, Drna, and Bhishma and Jayadratha and Kana and other great warriors who have already been killed by Me. Do not worry. Just fight. You will conquer your enemies in the battle."

Verse 35 to 51

Sanjaya then reports to Dhritarashtra how Arjuna after hearing the words of Lord Krishna, folding his hands bowed down to the Lord with his body trembling. With great fear he again spoke to Krishna in a choking voice. His heart was full of devotion.

The Cosmic revelation brought complete transformation in Arjuna. He started showering words of praise on his master.

"Oh, Master of the sense, It is in fitness of things that the world gets delighted in singing your praise and becomes attached to you. At your sight, however the demons flee to all directions in terror. But the hosts of perfected souls offer salutations to you."

And why should not they offer these salutations to you who is greater than the Brahma, the original creator? Oh endless one, Lord of gods, ultimate abode of the world, you are eternal, you are exists and what are what exist not and what transcends them.

You are the first God, you are the ancient Purusha, you are the ultimate refuge of this cosmos. You are the known, you are all that is knowable, You are the highest goal, oh of infinite forms, this Universe is pervaded by you.

You are the wind, you are the death, you are the fire, you are the water, you are the moon and you are prajapatti the great grandfather. Unto you my thousand salutations. Again and again Isalute you.

I bow down to you from the front from behind and from all sides, oh All!

Oh! Of boundless power, you are of limitless glory. You cover all therefore you are everything.

Carelessly I addressed you as ‘ Oh Keshav, oh Yadav, oh friend" considering you my comrade. Not knowing your greatness I might have done this out of foolishness or love.

I have disregarded you many times jesting in relaxation, while lying down or sitting or while eating, at times alone or in company of others. Please forgive me for all these offences oh, immeasurable one!

For, you are the father of this moving and unmoving world. You alone are worthy of worship. You are the great master. No one is equal to you. Who can then surpass you in three worlds? Oh Lord of infinite power’

Therefore bowing down my body I offer my salutations to you who is the Lord of my worship, to seek your mercy. Oh God, forgive me as father forgives his son, a friend forgives his friend and a lover forgives his beloved.

I am delighted seeing that universal form which no one had ever seen before. But still my mind is fearful and disturbed. Therefore have mercy on me, and reveal to me your earlier form Oh Lord of gods. Oh abode of the world.

I wish to see you with crown, holding mace and a disc in your hands. Therefore please appear in your earlier four-armed form, Oh thousand armed one ! Pleased with Arjuna’s prayer, the Lord responded positively and said to Arjuna :

"Oh Arjuna, taking mercy on you and using my internal Yoga power I showed you my highest form which is illustrious, universal, limitless and primal. No one had seen -this before.

Neither by the Vedas, nor by sacrifices nor by charities nor by studies nor by ceremonies nor by austerities nor to any person other than you in this world I am to be seen in this form, Oh Greatest of the Kurus!"

Do not get frightened nor you should be confused by seeing this my terrible form. Discarding fear, with comfortable mind, see again that known for m of mine."

Sanjay reports how Krishna again appeared in his pleasing form. He narrates:-

Saying thus to Arjuna, Lord Krishna again showed him his own form. The great soul, once again assumed his mild form to bring solace to Arjuna who was in fearful state.

Sanjay records Arjuna’s mental relief after seeing the pleasing form of Lord Krishna. Arjuna reacts:

Oh Janardan, seeing your mild human form, I am fully settled and have come back to awakened state.

Verse 52 to 55

The Lord while summing up, brings out the special significance of his cosmic form and tells the secret by which one is able to see it. Lord says:

"This form that you experienced is very difficult to see. Even the gods remain thirsty to see this form. It is very difficult to see Me in that form in which you saw Me. Through Vedas, penance even charity or sacrifices it is not possible."

" Dear Arjuna, by single-minded and intense devotion alone that form of mine can be fully known and seen and entered into. He who is engaged in My work, makes Me his goal, is devoted to Me, is free from attachment and feeling no hatred to any creatures reaches Me."

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