The Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 11 Vision of the Divine Form as Including All Forms

We now take up the next chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.  We will be posting both Judge and Johnston renditions.  Please feel free to comment, question and post at will.

Views: 524

 Reply to This

Upload Files

Stop Following – Don't email me when people reply

Replies to This Discussion


From the Judge Rendition:


“My delusion has been dispersed by the words which thou for my soul’s peace hast spoken concerning the mystery of the Adhyatma — the spirit. For I have heard at full length from thee, O thou whose eyes are like lotus leaves, the origin and dissolution of existing things, and also thy inexhaustible majesty. It is even as thou hast described thyself, O mighty Lord; I now desire to see thy divine form, O sovereign Lord. Wherefore, O Lord, if thou thinkest it may be beheld by me, show me, O Master of devotion, thine inexhaustible Self.”


“Behold, O son of Pritha, my forms by hundreds and by thousands, of diverse kinds divine, of many shapes and fashions. Behold the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Asvins, and the Maruts, see things wonderful never seen before, O son of Bharata. Here in my body now behold, O Gudakesa, the whole universe animate and inanimate gathered here in one, and all things else thou hast a wish to see. But as with thy natural eyes thou are not able to see me, I will give thee the divine eye. Behold my sovereign power and might!”


From the Johnston Rendition:


The word which Thou hast spoken through love of me, the supreme mystery named the Oversoul—through it my delusion is gone.

For the birth and the passing of beings have been heard by me at length from Thee, whose eyes are lotus petals; I have heard also of the Great Spirit, which passes not away.

So I would see that Self as it has been spoken by Thee, Mighty Lord; that divine form of Thine, O best of men!

If Thou thinkest it can be seen by me, Lord, Master of union, then reveal to me the Self everlasting!


Son of Pritha, behold my forms hundredfold and thousandfold; manifold, divine, of many colors and forms. (5)

Behold the sons of the Mother, the Breaths, the Thunderers, the twin Healers,. the Storm-powers! Behold, O son of Bharata, many wonders unseen before!

Behold the whole world gathered together here, things moving and unmoving, within My body; and whatsoever else thou wouldst see, O thou of crested locks!

But Me thou canst not behold with this vision of thine. I give thee divine vision! Behold my lordly power!


Another great explanation “In the Studies of the Bhagavad-Gita, New York) to ponder over;

But how can Krishna “show” Arjuna the reality of Spirit when it is not of this plane? How can Masters convince us of the truth of the facts and principles about which we study in the great scriptures of the world when we can’t “see” on those planes? They give us a true way to perceive and to at least intellectually understand psychology, history and philosophy. They point out, and cause to appear, archeological and philosophical “finds” that can easily support the ideas of ancient civilizations and ancient knowledge. But in our material world these things are still evidence, not “tangible proof.”

Because his pupil was ready, Krishna temporarily lifted the veil from Arjuna’s eyes so he could see with his inner eye, so he could use his spiritual vision. Theosophy teaches that we all have these powers on inner planes, but that they are sleeping, and have to be uncovered and awakened before we can use them.


"But how can Krishna “show” Arjuna the reality of Spirit when it is not of this plane?
Because his pupil was ready, Krishna temporarily lifted the veil from Arjuna’s eyes so he could see with his inner eye, so he could use his spiritual vision."

Though the 11th discourse is indeed quite descriptive of the Universal Form of Krishna, are we to take "show, seeing" etc. in a literal sense?  Perhaps this word, though for lack of better ones to use, can be understood as direct conception, or highly developed intuition.  What would you say to this idea?  Further, what role does Sanjaya play in this discourse, any thoughts on this?  He as well is indeed seeing this transformation of Arjuna...

For we can read in the 37th, 38th, and 40th slokas;

"And how should they not, O Mighty Being, bow to Thee, Greater (than all else), the Primal Cause even of Brahmâ, O Infinite Being, O Lord of Gods, O Abode of the Universe; Though art the Imperishable, the Being and the non-Being, That which is Supreme."

"Thou art the Primal God, the Ancient Purusa;  Thou art the Supreme Abode of all this, Thou art the Knower and the Knowable and the Supreme Abode.  By Thee is all pervaded, O Being of infinite forms."

"Hail to Thee before and behind !  Hail to Thee on every side !  O All !  Thou, infinite in power and infinite in daring, pervadest all, wherefore Thou art All. "

To see in the literal sense any of the above would be a contradiction to the nature described.  As to recognize or see something as an object, one must be able to discern whence and where it begins and ends.  Words such as "All, Infinite, All Pervading, Imperishable, Being and non-Being" would not possible if we take the "sight" in its literal sense, even if it were "spiritual vision."   However, all this seeing would all make sense if we were to understand it as a developed intuitive faculty.   

It is the mind that 'sees' our texts tell us, so in order to 'see' the mind must be consisting of the same particular plane of matter one is observing.  This, I believe is what this 'inner eye' is suggesting- purified antahkarana, or mind, the third 'eye.'  Any thoughts?


Hi Kristan:

Pardon my ignorance, what is the meaning of "Sanjaya?"


It appears Sanjaya is sort of a narrator of the discourses between Krishna and Arjuna, relaying these discourses to Dhritarâshtra, the King.  It is seen in the very two slokas of the first chapter.  And in this chapter, G.11.9;

Sanjaya said;
Having thus spoken, O King, then, Hari, the great Lord of Yogins, showed to the son of Pritha the Supreme Form as Îswara."

When Sanjaya says 'O King' he is addressing Dhritarâshtra.  My question, is what are these two figures representing in the human constitution?  I find it quite interesting that Sanjaya is able to feel and 'see' what Arjuna feels and 'sees' and relays them onto the King, who is said to be blind.


Here's a few thoughts posted last year when this study first began.  

Sri Krishna Prem offers a good insight into what the characters of the Gita might symbolise from a theosophical perspective in his book  “The Yoga of the Bhagavat Gita” (1953).

The story of the Bhagavad Gita as it takes place on the sacred field is told to the blind king Dhritarashtra by his assistant, Sanjaya.  Sanjaya has the gift of being able to see and hear at a distance, given to him by Vyasa, hence he is able to see and overhear the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna far away on the battlefield. He explains this in the closing verses of the book, “Thus did I hear this wonderful dialogue between Krishna and the high-souled Arjuna, which caused my hair to rise. Through the grace of Vyasa I heard this supreme and profound yoga direct from Krishna, the Lord of Yoga, Himself teaching it.”  (Ch.18: 74-75)

Krishna is the Supreme Self instructing Arjuna, who is the higher Mind (or Buddhi-Manas).  

King Dhritarashtra represents the empirical ego (lower manas) blinded by egoism and foolish infatuation.  Dhritarashtra is sometimes portrayed as a king torn between adherence to Dharma on the one hand and pleasing his son, Duryodhana, on the other. 

Duryodhana (who represents kama) effectively runs the kingdom, seeking power, opposing and plotting against the legitimate ruler and eventually exiling him (i.e. the pandavas).  With Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana we have the analogy of the lower manas which lets itself be ruled by desire and selfish pursuit, which in turn risks shutting itself off from the wisdom of the higher-Manas.  

Sanjaya, who recounts the events of the Bhagaved Gita to Drhitarashtra, may be said to represent the link or bridge between the Higher and Lower Manas  (Arjuna and Dritarashtra).   This link or bridge is called the antaskarana (antakaranah) in Theosophy.  It is through this link that the lower manas is able to receive the wisdom of the Higher Mind or Buddhi-Manas.


Here's some more food for thought on Sanjaya. The term literally means something like "complete victory" or "(he who) conquers all", or something along those lines. Here's the definition from the Heritage Sanskrit Dictionary (translated roughly from the French):

"संजय Sanjaya var. Sanjaya: of Sanjaya ("who conquers all,"), the Bard of Dhritaraashtra; he knows the past, present and future through his divine vision [divyacakṣus]; he is made the ambassador of Yudhisthira to Upaplavya to try to avoid war; he recounts the great battle to Dhritaraashtra."

What is interesting to me is the link here to divine vision, divya-caksus, the exact same term used to describe the vision Krishna gives to Arjuna in this chapter.

I remember reading a bit on Sanjaya in Swami Yogananda's translation and commentary on the Gita, so looked it up again. Here's an excerpt:

"Sanjaya means, literally, completely victorious; "one who has conquered himself." He alone who is not self-centered has the ability to see clearly and to be impartial. Thus, in the Gita, Sanjaya is divine insight; for the aspiring devotee, Sanjaya represents the power of impartial intuitive self-analysis, discerning introspection. It is the ability to stand aside, observe oneself without any prejudice, and judge accurately. Thoughts may be present without one's conscious awareness. Introspection is that power of intuition by which the consciousness can watch its thoughts. It does not reason, it feels—not with biased emotion, but with clear, calm intuition."

In terms of their symbolism in the human constitution, I would suppose that Dhritarashtra, being blind and also being the one whom the story is being told and the king of the land on which the battle is being fought, would represent the mind, or perhaps the mind that is dependent upon the senses (the "blind sense-mind"), as HPB says in the Voice of the Silence: the Raja of the senses. Sanjaya would then, I think, represent the power of perception in action, whether divine or mundane. He is that power which relays information to the "blind" mind.

But I'm sure there's more to it than this...


In the Mahabharata, the story from which the Gita comes, there are two great families at odds, the Kurus and the  Pandavas.  The  Kuru's are led by the King Dhritarashtra, Arjuna's uncle, who is blind.  So he is accompanied by a court servant of sorts named Sanjaya.  So in the Gita Sanjaya is recounting to the King what he sees unfolding since the king is unable to witness the events on his own.  As stated by others this has symbolic value in the story.  But that is why Sanjaya's name keeps coming up.


"are we to take "show, seeing" etc. in a literal sense?  Perhaps this word, though for lack of better ones to use, can be understood as direct conception, or highly developed intuition."

When we see with our physical eyes, we know the outer world through the images produced in our mind.  Our vision is limited to a range of vibrations.  There is inner seeing where it also involves internal images but the objects do not have to be within close proximity.  Then, there is direct perception where there is no need of any medium; therefore, it is more accurate.  These are broad generalities of different levels of seeing - the first is related to the senses, the second to the third-eye  and the last to the light of buddhi.  I imagine sometime we use all three faculties, one being more predominant than the other. 

In an exalted state of consciousness, there may not be any distinction between seeing and knowing and experiencing since all are integrated and the physical senses may be just dormant. 


I think you are right Barb, sight is a metaphor for spiritual perception. Maybe physical sight serves as a good analogy.


"I find it quite interesting that Sanjaya is able to feel and 'see' what Arjunafeels and 'sees' and relays them onto the King, who is said to be blind."

Don't we do this in a much lower form when we feel empathy for others?  When we find ourselves in this state, in a way, we become that which we empathized.

If I may add one more idea which I omitted in my previous post on various types of sight, that is, the element of subjective and objective seeing.  When interact with others everyday, our mind automatically translates their form, clothes, size, into mental images that give us information about the tangible aspects of our perception.   At the same time, our mind also picks up the non-physical aspects, like qualities of kindness, selfishness, pride, etc and translate them into subtle impressions. 

So, I wonder if it is possible that the description of "All, Infinite, All Pervading, Imperishable, Being and non-Being" is, to some degree a subjective impression of sacredness that Arjuna was experiencing. 

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on December 6, 2014 at 2:00pm

I believe empathy does play a major part in our daily lives, and how we are able to successfully interact with others.  Understanding someone beyond the scope of body language and words is very important. This, if practiced will only aid to the emotional and moral development of humanity. 

Barbra brings up an interesting point here;

"When we find ourselves in this state, in a way, we become that which we empathized."

This is true, which some would say, is an issue. "I am happy because you are happy" is just the same as "I am sad because you are sad."  Is this not true?  Empathy is important, there is no doubt about this, but there must be a line to be drawn between Compassion, empathy, and emotional entanglement.  Do you agree?  Is it necessary to put ourselves in the same emotional state of the person we wish to connect with in order for us to understand and act Compassionately? 

Metaphysically, there is a connection with Sanjaya and Arjuna, which Peter has shown as the antahkarana.  Thank you for that Peter.  Though, as HPB says, it is a term that varies depending on the school of philosophy.  This provides a lot to think about when we understand Sanjaya as the antahkarana and explore the other meanings of the word.

Do you mind to elaborate "subjective impression of sacredness"  as I am slightly confused by what you mean.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on December 6, 2014 at 8:09pm

I agree it is necessary to have a line drawn between the feeling of empathy and total submersion in others.   Without it, we are pulled hither and thither.  In response to the comment that “Sanjaya is able to feel and 'see' what Arjuna feels and 'sees,' I was trying to illustrate if empathy, at our low level, can enable us to tune into other’s inner world, imagine what a master could do.

When we perceive the inner qualities of those around us, we get a subjective impression, it translates sometimes into a feeling or a thought.  This process is what enables us to say this person is very nice, or kind, or hateful, etc.  In this instance with Arjuna, I imagine he was perceiving the divinity in Krishna and it translates into a feeling of awe which was expressed with the words, like All, Infinite, All Pervading………

“This provides a lot to think about when we understand Sanjaya as the antahkarana and explore the other meanings of the word.”  

From what I read in the theosophical  literature, anthkarana is the bridge or link between the lower and higher mind.  How do you understand it?

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on December 7, 2014 at 4:03am

I understand the antahkarana to have two meanings, depending on the context it is used in.

One meaning, one may understand it to be the conglomeration of; ahamkara, buddhi, manas, and citta.  The internal instrument.

The other context I understand it quite the same way as mentioned in Theosophical writings, "the bridge between the lower mind (head) and the higher mind (heart), between the Divine Ego and the personal soul of man."

Both are correct.  Often, I find, the definitions we may be quite familiar with to take on a different meaning when the context changes, even more so with sanskrit terms, which context is pretty much everything.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 22, 2014 at 9:10am

Reg. Antahkarana :

Since we are discussing Theosophy it is important that we use Sanskrit terms which have been given specific theosophical meanings, and not mix up with meanings given in other systems of philosophy.

Theosophically, Antahkarana is Lower Mind--or rather the higher aspect of Lower mind which is the connecting link between the mind of Man and the Higher Immortal Mind. Antahkarana may be destroyed by too much indulgence in sensuality and selfishness, in which case man becomes a soulless being, a scourge on earth. 

Constantly attending to what the Buddha calls the Laws of Virtue, and living by the dictates of Divine Conscience, the Antahkarana bridge is kept alive and vibrating, and this is the only salvation of man, the only bridge by which he may unite with his Higher Self.

This is one of the most important theosophical tenet.

Let us not unnecessarily mix up theosophy with Vedanta.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on December 9, 2014 at 10:15pm

In many ways Sanjaya is an impartial witness.  He does not seem to have taken sides in the battle. 

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on December 9, 2014 at 11:50am

Pondering over these ideas. Very interesting passages. I went to the Sanskrit to see what terms are being used there, and I think it may be helpful to share that a little.

First, the term used for "sight" or "seeing" here is indeed "caksur", which is simply the Sanskrit for "eye" "sight", etc. Krishna differentiates between Arjuna's "eye" or "sight" and his own "eye" or "sight": Arjuna's being "his own", and Krishna's being "divine" (divya).

But there's another term of interest in these verses and that's the Sanskrit term "paśya" (translated here as "behold!"). Paśya seems to basically indicate that which can be beheld, i.e. that which is manifest, and/or the act of beholding it. As HPB says, whichever plane we are operating on, the things of that plane are, for us, our current reality. So that which is beheld with the "divine sight" must be that which is able to be beheld, i.e. that which is manifest.

In the last verse Gerry quoted above "I give thee divine vision! Behold my lordly power!" the Sanskrit is: "divyaṃ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaram". Perhaps we could also translate it as: "I give you divine sight, behold my union with Isvara."

In the next verse, spoken by Sanjaya, we have another term describing that which is "seen" by Arjuna:

"Thereupon, O king, having spoken thus, Hari, the mighty Lord of power, revealed to the son of Pritha the supreme lordly form." (Johnston tr.)

The Sanskrit of "supreme lordly form" is "paramaṃ rūpam aiśvaram", the param-rupa of Isvara. So this is the body of Isvara, or the manifested Logos, it would seem, or the feminine Logos, if I understand Subba Row properly (seeNotes on the Gita, Section I, the paragraph beginning "These, it must be remembered...", and see SD I:137-38).

Perhaps there's a clue of what is "seen" by Arjuna in Subba Row's explanation of the "four forms of Vach":

"The whole cosmos in its objective form is vaikhari Vach, the light of the Logos is the madhyama form, and the Logos itself the pasyanti form, and Parabrahmam the para aspect of that Vach."

The term "pasya" occurs again and again in this chapter of the Gita. That which is seen is that which is capable of being "beheld" by the "divine sight", i.e. the body or form of Isvara, the (manifested) Logos itself (?). So it would seem that we perhaps can take "sight" in a literal sense, in terms of divine/spiritual sight.

In the SD (I:289-90), HPB quotes a commentary:

"The Initial Existence in the first twilight of the Maha-Manwantara (after the Maha-Pralaya that follows every age of Brahma) is a conscious spiritual qualityIn the manifested worlds (solar systems) it isin its objective subjectivitylike the film from a Divine Breath to the gaze of the entranced seer. ... It is Substance to our spiritual sight. It cannot be called so by men in their waking state; ...

Note the same difference here as Krishna makes between his sight (spiritual sight) and Arjuna's sight (men in their waking state). HPB continues to say that:

The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance.*

* Or the “dream of Science,” the primeval really homogeneous matter, which no mortal can make objective in this Race or Round either.

Which no mortal can make objective. But that's not to say that it cannot be made objective.

The commentary goes on to explain that this "mother substance":

" the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe. It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the atoms in their functional duties..."

And in this chapter of the Gita, the first thing Arjuna describes when he sees what Krishna shows him is:

"I behold the gods in Thy body, O divine One!" (11:15)

What are those gods if not the Forces and Powers residing in that Mother Substance?

This leads me to suppose that what Krishna is showing Arjuna in this chapter is that "matrix of all the living and existing Forces". It is the "body" of the manifested logos itself.

Would love to hear other's thoughts on these ideas.

Permalink Reply by Peter on December 13, 2014 at 5:37am

Jon,  thanks for these thoughtful and insightful connections.  At a more general level of looking at the verses, what stands out for me is that Krishna has already described his nature and divine manifestations to Arjuna in chapter 10, but Arjuna hasn't yet "seen" it. In this chapter 11, Krishna gives Arjuna 'the divine eye', without which Arjuna is unable to see the true 'form' of Krishna.

11.8: But with these eyes of yours you cannot see Me. I give you a divine eye; behold, now, My sovereign yoga-power.

Interestingly, the reason Sanjaya is able to describe to the blind King Dhritarasthra what happens between Krishna and Arjuna on the sacred field of battle is because he too is given the 'divine eye' by Vyasa (another name for Krishna, according to Sankara) - see chapter 18:75.  Hence he also sees the Divine Form revealed to Arjuna in chapter 11.

One line of exploration might be, 'why does the divine eye have to be given?'.  Is it, then, something that cannot be acquired by effort?

What is the nature of this 'divine eye'? Does the answer to this have something to do with the idea that the eye that sees is made of the same substance as that which is seen?

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 22, 2014 at 5:44pm

Is it possible that the divine eye is the spiritual third eye mentioned in the Secret Doctrine and to be activated it must be developed slowly over time through practice?  The giving of the eye to Arjuna and Sanjaya could be devices for the story to unfold and need not have a literal meaning.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 22, 2014 at 8:17pm

It appears that the Pineal Gland, the organ in the brain of the Divine Eye, is activated by two mutually complementary methods : Entire renunciation of personality and total identification of self with, and unswerving devotion to Humanity--an ardent aspiration of the Soul to merge in Infinity, as Plato says. It is the highest Devotion which activates the Divine Eye.

But Master of Wisdom can temporarily awaken the Jnana Chakshu in a devotee for accomplishment of an end for the benefit of the world. Krishna did it for Arjuna, and Sage Vyasa (Badarayana) did it for Sanjaya. But the devotee who receives such a privilege must have attained a certain level of self-development and inward purity. Both the recipients in the instant case were high souled ones. Sanjaya was not only the charioteer of the Dhritarashtra but his confidant and counselor, as he was wise and devoted.

The ancient Soma mystery seems to be connected with the awakening of the Divine Eye. Only those who were worthy and fit were admitted into it. (Glossary on Soma)

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 22, 2014 at 9:25am

That is a very pertinent explanation. Yes, what Arjuna beheld is the form of the Heavenly Man, Virad Purusha--of which every thing / being is originated, formed, evolve, and into which they all finally merge--Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari Vach - the embodiment of Para.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 22, 2014 at 7:56am


This is a very difficult question as we do not know how "seeing" is on the plane of Higher Manas and the plane of Buddhi-Manas. It reminds of what HPB says on the difference between Higher Manasic experiences  and those of the  Lower brain-mind :

"Occultism teaches that physical man is one, but the thinking man septenary, thinking, acting, feeling, and living on seven different states of being or planes of consciousness, and that for all these states and planes the permanent Ego (not the false personality) has a distinct set of senses." (Trans. p. 73)

We know only lower mental seeing in terms of time and space, subject and object distinctions. But it is not so on Higher Manasic states.

The Lower Manas has to be thoroughly purified and blended with Higher Manas so that the dual Manas in incarnated state become One--having destroyed the bridge of Antahkarana : Then only can the purified mind of man, One with his "Father"  see "things in themselves" Then time and space, subject object distinctions vanish. "Seeing" is only a figure of speech; it should be experiencing by one's whole being--becoming one with the thing to be known.

We cannot even conceive of such a "seeing." So all the descriptions of 'Seeing" in the 11th chapter of the Vishwarupa, I suppose, to be taken as figures of speech, as there can be no way of telling one of the experiences of the Ego on higher divine planes.

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on December 24, 2014 at 5:09pm

Thank you Ram,

You have mentioned some very important factors.

Understanding that 'seeing' here is to be taken as a figurative sense, not a literal seeing etc., is what I was referring to by suggesting that we may look at seeing as denoting something similar to direct intuitive perception, understanding this as being free from the lens of the lower personal mind, which I believe is a limiting factor.

Taken from what John has mentioned above regarding T. Subba Row's quotation;

"The whole cosmos in its objective form is vaikhari Vach, the light of the Logos is the madhyama form, and the Logos itself the pasyanti form, and Parabrahmam the para aspect of that Vach."

As this classification can be understood in a few ways, I am interested to know what the consensus is in how it is being used here.  From what I can understand, I believe that the classification of Vâk; vaikhari, madhyama, pasyanti, etc, can be applied  regarding a different, but by no means a far off subject.   

Further in Subba Rows lecture, he directly discusses this particular chapter and subject.  I believe it is section III, he mentions (if relevant);

"But this classification (mentioned above) must not be confused with that other classification which relates to the subdivisions of only one of these entities, which I have called the sthûla-sarira of Parabrahman.  This entity is in itself divisible into four planes of existence, that correspond to the four mâtrâs in prâna, as generally described.  Again this light which is the sûksma-sarîra of Parabrahmam must not be confounded with the astral light.  The astral light is simply the sûksma form of Vaisvânara..."

I hope not to confuse anyone, however, to me this is of some importance.  Just like almost all texts, these terms, including those belonging to Kabalistic, Vedantic, Buddhist, Gnostic etc., or any other philosophy, there seems to be dual meanings regarding some specific classifications.  This is what I have noticed.  T. Subba Row mentions that these three forms of vâk can be found in Patañjalis Mahabhaysa, of which I have not personally studied.   From what I can see, it appears that the first introduction of this classification that TSR mentions in his Gita lectures are dealing with the three forms of Vâk corresponding to the three manifestations of the Cosoms; the Karana (causal), Suksma (subtle), and Sthula (gross) bodies, this I believe, can be one general understanding of this classification. 

Further Subba Row states,

"... but so far as this light is concerned, all the manifested planes in the solar system are objective to it, and so it cannot be the astral light. [...] What I have said will explain to some extent why the Logos is considered as having visvarupam."

It's in interesting study... I hope I am understanding this correctly.  Any thoughts on this?

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Kristan Stratos on December 24, 2014 at 5:34pm

I have accidentally left out a portion in one of my reference quotations, please take note;

"But this classification (mentioned above) must not be confused with that other classification which relates to the subdivisions of only one of these entities, the manifested solar system, the most objective of these entities, which I have called the sthûla-sarira of Parabrahman.  This entity is in itself divisible into four planes of existence, that correspond to the four mâtrâs in prâna, as generally described.  Again this light which is the sûksma-sarîra of Parabrahmam must not be confounded with the astral light.  The astral light is simply the sûksma form of Vaisvânara..."

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 4, 2014 at 10:11am

I think human beings have golden moments in their lives.  They may be rare and far between but they indeed have golden moments which for perhaps just a blink in time the veil is lifted just a touch and we experience a little bit of a higher life.  Moments of intense love for others, admiration for the grandeur of nature or witnessing and acknowledging an act of sacrifice come to mind here.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 7, 2014 at 5:13pm

More from Judge Rendition:


O king, having thus spoken, Hari1, the mighty Lord of mysterious power, showed to the son of Pritha his supreme form; with many mouths and eyes and many wonderful appearances, with many divine ornaments, many celestial weapons upraised; adorned with celestial garlands and robes, anointed with celestial ointments and perfumes, full of every marvelous thing, the eternal God whose face is turned in all directions. The glory and amazing splendor of this mighty Being may be likened to the radiance shed by a thousand suns rising together into the heavens. The son of Pandu then beheld within the body of the God of gods the whole universe in all its vast variety. Overwhelmed with wonder, Dhananjaya2, the possessor of wealth, with hair standing on end, bowed down his head before the Deity, and thus with joined palms3 addressed him:


“I behold, O God of gods, within thy frame all beings and things of every kind; the Lord Brahma on his lotus throne, all the Rishis and the heavenly Serpents.4 I see thee on all sides, of infinite forms, having many arms, stomachs, mouths, and eyes. But I can discover neither thy beginning, thy middle, nor thy end, O universal Lord, form of the universe. I see thee crowned with a diadem and armed with mace and chakra5, a mass of splendor, darting light on all sides; difficult to behold, shining in every direction with light immeasurable, like the burning fire or glowing sun.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 7, 2014 at 5:16pm

More from Johnston Rendition:


Thereupon, O king, having spoken thus, Hari, the mighty Lord of power, revealed to the son of Pritha the supreme lordly form.

Many-faced, many-eyed, of many wonderful aspects,with many divine adornments, with many upraised divine weapons, (10)

With divine garlands and vestures, anointed with divine perfumes, altogether marvellous in nature, godlike, endless, facing everywhere.

Such as would be the radiance of a thousand suns bursting forth suddenly in the sky, such was the radiance of that Mighty Spirit.

There the son of Pandu beheld the whole world with all its differences gathered together in the body of that God of gods.

Then invaded with dismay, his flesh creeping, the conqueror of wealth bowing his head before the divinity, and with palms joined, spoke thus:


I behold the gods in Thy body, O divine One! and all the hosts of diverse beings; Brahma the Creator, seated on the lotus throne, and all the Seers and Serpents of wisdom. (15)

With many an arm and maw and face and eye, I behold Thee altogether endless-formed; neither end nor middle nor yet beginning of Thee do I see, O all-formed Lord of all!

With diadem, mace and disk, a mountain of light, through Thy whole being luminous I behold Thee, difficult to view, perfectly radiant like blazing fire or the sun, immeasurable.

Thou art to be known as the supreme Everlasting; Thou art the supreme treasure of the universe; Thou art the eternal guardian of the immemorial law, I esteem Thee to be the everlasting Spirit.

Without beginning, middle or end, of endless valor, mighty-armed, Whose eyes are sun and moon; I behold Thee of countenance like flaming fire, illuminating all the universe by Thy light.

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on December 8, 2014 at 7:26am


STUDIES IN THE BHAGAVAD GITA (New York)                                                                                                                                            “Many mouths and eyes – this must mean unlimited expression and unlimited perception. Celestial weapons – unlimited power to do and to conquer. The eternal God whose face is turned in all directions has to represent the unlimited power to perceive, a power which is at the heart of all being.

In Isis Unveiled 11, p.113, H.P.B. quotes Plato as saying, “……in consequence of this divine initiation, we become spectators of entire, simple, immovable, and blessed visions, resident in a pure light.” And continuing, She quotes Proclus as saying, “In all the initiations and mysteries, the gods exhibit many forms of themselves, and appear in a variety of shapes, and sometimes, indeed, a formless light of themselves is held forth to the view; sometimes this light is according to a human form, and sometimes it proceeds into a different shape.”

It is difficult to let go of preconceptions and ways of thinking, and Arjuna’s first perceptions are cast in terms of things and forms with which he is familiar. He still tends to see Krishna as a “being.” He is, however, stunned with the magnificence of this vision and we can see his perception begin to rise to more celestial levels. He begins to sense something of the Krishna that is behind the form.”

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 16, 2014 at 10:50am

More from Arjuna:  Judge Rendition

"Thou art the supreme inexhaustible Being, the end of effort, changeless, the Supreme Spirit of this universe, the never-failing guardian of eternal law: I esteem thee Purusha6, I see thee without beginning middle, or end, of infinite power with arms innumerable, the sun and moon thy eyes, thy mouth a flaming fire, overmastering the whole universe with thy majesty. Space and heaven, and earth and every point around the three regions of the universe are filled with thee alone. The triple world is full of fear, O thou mighty Spirit, seeing this thy marvelous form of terror. Of the assemblage of the gods some I see fly to thee for refuge, while some in fear with joined hands sing forth thy praise; the hosts of the Maharshis and Siddhas, great sages and saints, hail thee, saying “svasti,”7 and glorify thee with most excellent hymns. The Rudras, Adityas, the Vasus, and all those beings — the Sadhyas, Visvas, the Asvins, Maruts, and Ushmapas, the hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, and Siddhas8 — all stand gazing on thee and are amazed. All the worlds alike with me are terrified to behold thy wondrous form gigantic, O thou of mighty arms, with many mouths and eyes, with many arms, thighs and feet, with many stomachs and projecting tusks. For seeing thee thus touching the heavens, shining with such glory, with widely-opened mouths and bright expanded eyes, my inmost soul is troubled and I lose both firmness and tranquillity, O Vishnu. Beholding thy dreadful teeth and thy face like the burning of death, I can see neither heaven nor earth; I find no peace; have mercy, O Lord of gods, thou Spirit of the universe! The sons of Dhritarashtra with all these rulers of men, Bhishma, Drona and also Kama and our principal warriors, seem to be impetuously precipitating themselves into thy mouths terrible with tusks; some are seen caught between thy teeth, their heads ground down. As the rapid streams of full-flowing rivers roll on to meet the ocean, even so these heroes of the human race rush into thy flaming mouths. As troops of insects carried away by strong impulse find death in the fire, even so do these beings with swelling force pour into thy mouths for their own destruction. Thou involvest and swallowest all these creatures from every side, licking them in thy flaming lips; filling the universe with thy splendor, thy sharp beams burn, O Vishnu. Reverence be unto thee, O best of Gods! Be favorable! I seek to know thee, the Primeval One, for I know not thy work.”

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 16, 2014 at 10:53am

More From Arjuna:  From the Johnston Rendition

For all the expanse between heaven and earth is filled by Thee, and all the regions of space; beholding this wonderful and terrible form of Thine, the three worlds tremble, O Mighty Spirit!

For the host of the powers draw near to Thee, praising Thee, fearful, with joined palms; and the hosts of the Mighty Seers and Masters adore Thee with songs of praise, crying: Hail! Before Thee.

The Thunderers, the sons of the Mother, the Breaths, the Light-powers, the twin Healers, the Storm-powers, those who drink up the offering; seraphs, earth-sprites, the hosts of gods and Masters, all view Thee with awe.

Beholding Thy mighty form, many-faced, many-eyed, O mighty-armed one, with many maws, many terrible teeth, the worlds tremble, and I also.

For seeing Thee, reaching to the clouds, luminous, many-colored, wide-mouthed, with wide luminous eyes, trembling in heart, I find nor firmness nor peace, O Vishnu!

And beholding Thy mouths with terrible teeth, like unto Time’s consuming fires, I know not where I am, nor do I find any place of refuge. Be gracious to me, Lord of gods, upholder of the world!

And the sons of Dhritarashtra here, all of them, with the hosts of the princes of the earth, Bhishma, Drona, Karna yonder, son of the charioteer, and our leading warriors, too,

Hurrying enter Thy mouths, fearful, with terrible teeth; some of them are seen fixed between Thy teeth, their heads crushed.

As many rivers with impetuous waters run forward toward the ocean, so these heroes of the world of men enter Thy flaming mouth.

As moths enter a kindled flame swiftly, to their own destruction, so, verily, to their destruction the people swiftly enter thy mouths.

Thou consumest the people with licking tongues, all together in Thy blazing mouths; Thy terrible rays glow, O Vishnu, filling all the world with their radiance.

Declare to me who Thou art, terrible formed! Honor to Thee, best of gods! Be gracious! I would know Thee, Primal One; for Thy power I comprehend not!

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on December 19, 2014 at 8:27am

These extracts of the New York "Studies in the Gita" are very helpful to ponder over:

Conviction, like faith, carries with it tremendous power, and it is to be striven for. Without conviction of some sort, a life would have no meaning, no direction, and no effect upon the rest of humanity.

As stated before, there is help all along the way if we will keep "tuned in" to Those who are there to help. We often use the expression, "keeping something in mind." And this is what we have to do to allow our Inner Ego to enlighten these minds of ours.

Arjuna was able to see and identify with

the whole gamut of attitudes towards Deity. And we see a copy of the same variety in what goes on today. Some fear their God, some worship Him. Some look to God for refuge while others offer praise and adoration. The wise ones join their "God" in helping humanity. The degree of understanding of the nature of Deity is a measure of one's spiritual perception.

The whole Kosmos is guided and controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who - whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan Chohans or Angels - are "messengers" in the same sense only that they are the agents of karmic and Cosmic Laws.

The quotation goes on to say that these entities vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence and that "each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or coming cycle." Arjuna is experiencing a vision, not only of the magnificence of Deity, but also of the vast variety of the lives that form the "machinery" of the universe, just below the surface. The whole of that universe is alive and conscious, and these beings are the means by which the LAW works. At the same time, these intelligences that are still below the man stage are being trained and perfected so that at some time they may become operative in the form of man and experience the incarnation of the self-conscious Ego. They are a part of the Divine Form. Arjuna was ready for the vision, but not ready for its magnitude. He continues in his effort to bring it into his range of understanding.

Answers to Questions on the Ocean of Theosphy, p.10 gives these ideas on the subject of where the Masters are and the nature of the bodies in which They work:                                                "It is stated that They are [in physical bodies now], and further, that They live upon this earth. While Their bodies are shaped like ours, the physical substance of which they are composed is a very high degree of physical matter; ... strongly electric and magnetic, for if They possess the high powers spoken of, Their bodies would necessarily be of a kind that could stand the impact of and convey those powers. Masters could not visit an ordinary man without creating such disturbance in his physical body as would prevent ordinary perception and action. When They do come among mankind, They take the necessary precautions both to conceal Themselves, and also insulate Their powers by assuming and ordinary body of physical matter." 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 22, 2014 at 7:19pm

Margreet thank you for all that.  Perhaps you could synthesize what you have given us here into a couple of brief statements about what struck you the most about both this passage and the section of the Gita it is talking about.  You don't need to be long about it, just your thoughts on the subject too.

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on December 24, 2014 at 12:54pm

What came to mind reading the above is this:                                                                                    “The whole of Kosmos is guided and controlled and animated by an almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings….”, since the Macrocosm and Microcosm is one we realize that all these Hierarchies, the center of those forces, with their different degrees of consciousnesses are within and around us, each on their pilgrimage and it seems that they only can re-connect with their Spiritual essence through man, what great responsibility this is. Arjuna’s visions  gives one a feeling of wonder, we are all Arjuna’s  at different states of awakening and there is so much hidden and blocked from our internal vision. We do feel a change when we start reading more between the lines and find deeper meanings and specially when we try to apply the teachings to the best of our ability there must be evolving a channel to the spiritual side of our nature. When we look at nature for instance we see the beautiful colors of flowers, the trees, the green grass, the rainbow, the northern light etc., do we ever wonder what is behind and hidden in these energies, it seems to me that this is what Arjuna saw, the beauty and unity in all its grander, what an overwhelming sight it must have  been.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 28, 2014 at 11:46pm

Margreet, thank you for your lucid explanation.  It reminds me of Whitman's Leaves of Grass where he describes his sense of oneness in amazing detail.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 26, 2014 at 11:53pm

More from Judge edition:


“I am Time matured, come hither for the destruction of these creatures; except thyself, not one of all these warriors here drawn up in serried ranks shall live. Wherefore, arise! seize fame! Defeat the foe and enjoy the fullgrown kingdom! They have been already slain by me; be thou only the immediate agent, O thou both-armed one. 9 Be not disturbed. Slay Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna, and all the other heroes of the war who are really slain by me. Fight, thou wilt conquer all thine enemies.”


When he of the resplendent diadem 10 heard these words from the mouth of Kesava 11, he saluted Krishna with joined palms and trembling with fear, addressed him in broken accents, and bowed down terrified before him.


“The universe, O Hrishikesa 12, is justly delighted with thy glory and is filled with zeal for thy service; the evil spirits are affrighted and flee on all sides, while all the hosts of saints bow down in adoration before thee. And wherefore should they not adore thee, O mighty Being, thou who art greater than Brahma, who art the first Maker? O eternal God of gods! O habitation of the universe! Thou art the one indivisible Being, and Non-Being, that which is supreme. Thou art the first of Gods, the most ancient Spirit; thou art the final supreme receptacle 13 of this universe; thou art the Knower and that which is to be known, and the supreme mansion; and by thee, O thou of infinite form, is this universe caused to emanate. Thou art Vayu, God of wind, Agni, God of fire, Yama, God of death, Varuna, God of waters; thou art the moon; Prajapati, the progenitor and grandfather, art thou. Hail! hail to thee! Hail to thee a thousand times repeated! Again and again hail to thee! Hail to thee! Hail to thee from before! Hail to thee from behind! Hail to thee on all sides, O thou All! Infinite is thy power and might; thou includest all things, therefore thou art all things!

“Having been ignorant of thy majesty, I took thee for a friend, and have called thee ‘O Krishna, O son of Yadu, O friend,’ and blinded by my affection and presumption, I have at times treated thee without respect in sport, in recreation, in repose, in thy chair, and at thy meals, in private and in public; all this I beseech thee, O inconceivable Being, to forgive.

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on December 31, 2014 at 10:27am


Here again is an extract from the studies, it is helping me greatly in gaining deeper insight which is the reason I like to share it with all of you:

"The eleventh chapter shows that all imperfections as well as all perfections inhere in the universe and in ourselves. The same power that creates the one creates the other, each one of us is himself Creator, Preserver, Destroyer and Regenerator. And each one of us is the Perceiver, the unchanging that perceives all change. Krishna is telling Arjuna, and us, that we must rise above both good and evil and become one with the LAW. We are not our bodies. They change constantly. We are not our minds nor our emotions. We can change them. We are THAT and "THAT" is the Supreme Soul.

We "slay" the powers and forces of our lower nature when we nullify their power over us, and we do this by convincing ourselves that they are not "real" in life. Krishna, in his role as the Law of the re-cycling of all forms, has shown Arjuna that they are already slain by him.

It is difficult for us at our stage, but Nature has provided steps for us that will allow us to ascend gradually to this knowledge. Perhaps the first step is to consider the greatness and the goodness in ourselves and in the fine people we know; then to be aware of the greatness in those individuals down through history that have moved the world. The next step is to meditate on what we know of the saviors, the Mahatmas, the Avatars, and remember that They were once like us with the same potential that we all have. All these powers lie asleep in every being."

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 31, 2014 at 11:11am

These comments follow the maxim "Man is the microcosm of the macrocosm."  Perhaps another way of saying it is we are both Arjuna and Krishna at the same time.  The challenge and the journey might be described as a fundamental shift of identification away from the partial and separated to the universal and the whole.

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 31, 2014 at 10:50pm

Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis:


Here again is an extract from the studies, it is helping me greatly in gaining deeper insight which is the reason I like to share it with all of you:

"The eleventh chapter shows that all imperfections as well as all perfections inhere in the universe and in ourselves. The same power that creates the one creates the other, each one of us is himself Creator, Preserver, Destroyer and Regenerator. And each one of us is the Perceiver, the unchanging that perceives all change. Krishna is telling Arjuna, and us, that we must rise above both good and evil and become one with the LAW. We are not our bodies. They change constantly. We are not our minds nor our emotions. We can change them. We are THAT and "THAT" is the Supreme Soul.


Divine Form as including all forms is the name of the 11th chapter. Which means all that is good and evil, all contrasts and opposites, are included in it. Nothing is outside of SELF. As Brihadaranyaka says : There is nothing that is not included in IT; there is not anything which is not pervaded by it.

There is a beautiful passage in the Vishnu Purana which gives a vision of it in beautiful verses. Part of it--hymns of the gods to Vishnu-- rendered in English is :

"You are the earth, water, fire, wind, Akasa; all antahkarana (manas, buddhi, chitta , ahankara) are yourself; you are Pradhana, and the Para Purusha beyond Pradhana ; O, Self of All (Sarva Bhutatma), right from Brahma to the  blade of grass, visible and the invisible universe--seemingly separate and different--are indeed  your undivided Self ; salutation to thee, who, during the primordial creation, appeared as Brahma in the Lotus emanating from your navel, for the salvation of the world, is indeed yourself;  Indra, Surya, Rudra, Vasu, Ashwins, Marut, Moon--etc. are all different aspects of yourself; O, Govinda ! salutations to thee who exhibit demoniacal qualities of pride, hypocrisy, ignorance, absence of virtues -- called Daityas ; Salutations to thee who appear as Yakshatma-- those in whom the channels of spiritual knowledge (Jnana Naadi) are blocked and are obtuse, addicted to enjoyment of sense pleasures ; salutations to thee, O Supreme Spirit, whose form has taken the fearful aspect of  cruelty, delusion, (Rakshasatma); Salutation to thee who is the embodiment of Dharma (Dharma Swarupa) who hands out fruits appropriate to the merit of those who do righteously ; Salutation to thee who is Siddha-atma whom such changes of birth, death do not affect......."

Other forms which are mentioned are :

Nagatma, Rishi Rupa, Kalatma, Rudratma, Naratma, Pasu Rupa, Mukhyatma, Sarvatma, pure cause of causes, purest causeless cause of all causes, who includes all excluding nothing.

"We" are THAT. Tat Twam Asi ; THAT thou art O Swetaketu !

Permalink Reply by Jon Fergus on January 1, 2015 at 6:50pm

Thanks for sharing this Ramprakash. What a great quotation that is from Vishnu Purana!

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on January 2, 2015 at 7:36am

This is indeed a beautiful passage, to ponder over this and to let our mind go to every single thing around us, our likes and dislikes and then go within to the Adepts and the Masters and realize that this is all part of who we are and realize our connectedness to every manifestation and that which is beyond manifestation is for sure humbling.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 28, 2014 at 11:37pm

More from Judge Rendition

“Thou art the father of all things animate and inanimate; thou art to be honored as above the guru himself, and worthy to be adored; there is none equal to thee, and how in the triple worlds could there be thy superior, O thou of unrivaled power? Therefore I bow down and with my body prostrate, I implore thee, O Lord, for mercy. Forgive, O Lord, as the friend forgives the friend, as the father pardons his son, as the lover the beloved. I am well pleased with having beheld what was never before seen, and yet my heart is overwhelmed with awe; have mercy then, O God; show me that other form, O thou who art the dwelling-place of the universe; I desire to see thee as before with thy diadem on thy head, thy hands armed with mace and chakra; assume again, O thou of a thousand arms and universal form, thy four-armed shape!” 14


“Out of kindness to thee, O Arjuna, by my divine power I have shown thee my supreme form, the universe, resplendent, infinite, primeval, and which has never been beheld by any other than thee. Neither by studying the Vedas, nor by alms-giving, nor by sacrificial rites, nor by deeds, nor by the severest mortification of the flesh can I be seen in this form by any other than thee, O best of Kurus. Having beheld my form thus awful, be not disturbed nor let thy faculties be confounded, but with fears allayed and happiness of heart look upon this other form of mine again.”

Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 29, 2014 at 4:24am

Arjuna's remorse or, can we say, repentance, after seeing the Universal Form of the Real Krishna,  for having taken Krishna like other ordinary folks, and having conducted himself as such towards him, is very natural. Great Teachers, when they come among us, appear like us. Very few recognize the inward greatness of the Being in the body of the race which he takes up. Great majority of people neither know the Inner Living God within, nor understand the profound words of wisdom he speaks, they ever misunderstand and misjudge his actions and motives, and think he acts like they themselves act.

This common error of mankind finds its practical historical illustration in the History of the Theosophical Movement. While relatively few intuitive students had the capacity to recognize the great Beings concealed in the persons of HPB and WQJ, the crowd thought they were like them. Great credit to American Theosophists who alone, among the whole throng Theosophists, understood, recognized and stood by these two Great Adepts, and defended them. Even her close Associates like Olcott, Besant and others succumbed to the deceptions and delusions of personality, and betrayed them.

If and when a Great One comes, how many of us will be able to recognize the great Presence and not be misguided by insinuations and deceptions of our false personality ? 

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on December 29, 2014 at 10:48am

".....Oh God, show me that other form," This seems to indicate that this overwhelming vision seemed too much for Arjuna. The question is: Can we ever go back to ignorance once we have learned the truth? If we relate this to every day life, it not very likely, for once we know that  1+1=2 we will never forget that, we have a choice to ignore it or to work with it. The following quote from Robert Crosbie relates very well with Ramprakash's response:

"If we would look at the bodily H.P.B. as a mirror which reflected from above and from below as well, giving back to each who confronted it his own reflection according to his nature and power to perceive, we might get a better understanding of her nature. To discriminative, it was a well of inspiration; in it the commonplace, the Judas, the critic, and every other saw himself reflected. Mighty few caught a climpse of the real individuality. Each got the evidence that he sought. We have the Master's words that the body of H.P.B. was the best that they had been able to obtain for many centuries. Those who looked at the body and its human characteristics got what that view was capable of giving them; those who were able to look into the causes of things saw what their depths of sight gave them more or less of truth. "By their fruits, shall ye know me."

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on December 29, 2014 at 11:15am

It is such a difficult problem in a materialistic age.  There are so many imposters and so many self-proclaimed teachers. There is a great expression you might have heard.  "It takes one to know one."  What are the signs of a truly enlightened being?  For that we must return to Chapter 2 and the description of the Self-Governed Sage, which is a description of almost entirely internal conditions.  It is a good exercise, don't you think, to try and draw a mental picture, if you will, of a Sage or truly wise man (woman).  Surely the capacity to sacrifice on behalf of others is an important element.

Permalink Reply by barbaram on December 29, 2014 at 6:12pm

I think it is challenge to be able to recognize a sage.  It is easy to discern the imposters, the false teachers, those who speak with a forked tongue, who boast and brag about themselves.  But how those who are humble, who truly believe they are doing good for others, who believe they are in contact with the adepts or the fountain of wisdom and delivering the message to alleviate suffering in the world.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 31, 2014 at 1:26pm

End of Chapter 11


Vasudeva 15 having so spoken reassumed his natural form; and thus in milder shape the Great One presently assuaged the fears of the terrified Arjuna.


“Now that I see again thy placid human shape, O Janadana, who art prayed to by mortals, my mind is no more disturbed and I am self-possessed.”


“Thou hast seen this form of mine which is difficult to be perceived and which even the gods arc always anxious to behold. But I am not to be seen, even as I have shown myself to thee, by study of the Vedas, nor by mortifications, nor alms-giving, nor sacrifices. I am to be approached and seen and known in truth by means of that devotion which has me alone as the object. He whose actions are for me alone, who esteemeth me the supreme goal, who is my servant only, without attachment to the results of action and free from enmity towards any creature, cometh to me, O son of Pandu.”

Thus in the Upanishads, called the holy Bhagavad-Gita, in the science of the Supreme Spirit, in the book of devotion, in the colloquy between the Holy Krishna and Arjuna, stands the Eleventh Chapter, by name —


Permalink Reply by Ramprakash ML on December 31, 2014 at 9:23pm

Sanjaya referes to Krishna as Vasudeva. Etymological meaning of Vasudeva is sublime and the name goes well with the description given by Krishna of the Supreme Spirit and how it may be known.

sarvani tatra bhutani vasanti paramatmani

Bhuteshu cha sarvatma vasudeva tatah smritah                (Vishnu Purana)

Sanscrit verse Rendered in English :

All beings dwell in that Supreme Soul (Paramatma); the Supreme Soul (Sarvatma) dwells in all beings ; therefore the Supreme is known as Vasudeva.

Vasu = dwell ; Deva = Divine : Divine Dweller.

All sense of separateness vanish in this divine vision; one sees oneself in all, and all in oneself. Where then is even a faintest trace of selfish motives in action in the one who is blessed with such a vision ? He becomes the ALL--a consummation devoutly wished for by devotees. It is Universal Brotherhood practically realized.  

Replies to This Discussion

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on January 5, 2015 at 9:20pm

is there a relationship between dwelling in something and brooding (intense thought) on something?

Permalink Reply by barbaram on January 10, 2015 at 6:01pm

Hi Alex:

I do not see much difference between dwelling or brooding on something.  Do you?  They both entail holding a subject matter in one's mind.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on January 13, 2015 at 3:05pm

I use the two words interchangeably too.

Permalink Reply by Peter on January 14, 2015 at 3:57am

Hi Alex,

I would think that 'dwelling in', in the sense in which it is used in the passage "All beings dwell in that Supreme Soul,' refers to something like, 'all beings reside in the Supreme Soul.'  The word dwelling is here referring to a place, a residence, a home, residing etc.  Interestingly, we have that saying, 'Home is where the heart is', which may resonate with that passage.

'To dwell on' something normally means to persist in thinking about a particular thing or topic.

'To brood on' something has a similar meaning as 'to dwell on' but may also imply that negative feelings are involved such as worry, making ourselves unhappy or simmering resentment & so on.

Permalink Reply by Alex Papandakis on January 26, 2015 at 9:19pm

Thank you everyone for your thoughts here.  I was thinking that brooding was a form of activity that one does periodically.  To dwell, from one point of view, is to take up residence somewhere, to persist you might say.  If one broods on an idea, just use the word thinks about something long enough, then a point comes where the idea becomes present more and more of the time within our consciousness to the point to which one could say one lives there, dwells there.  Is this not what Krishna is asking the devotee to do, to take up residence in the Krishna Nature, in the Atman, the Self.  And this is accomplished by bringing the mind to attention on this subject again and again with ever more intensity?

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on December 31, 2014 at 1:28pm

End of Chapter 11 Johnston Edition

Through My favor toward thee, Arjuna, was this supreme form shown thee by My divine power, radiant, universal, endless, primal, seen by none before thee.

Not by Vedas, sacrifices, study, not by gifts or rites or harsh penances is the vision of Me to be gained in the world of men by any but thee, foremost hero of the children of Kuru!

Let not fear nor confusion overcome thee, beholding My form so terrible! Behold my former shape once more, thy fear gone, thy heart at rest!


Vasudeva thus addressing Arjuna, showed him once more His own form; the Mighty Spirit consoled him fearful, taking once more a friendly shape. (50)


Seeing this gracious human form of Thine, O arouser of men! I am now myself again, of quiet heart, returned to my own nature.


This form of Mine which thou hast seen is hard indeed to see! Even the gods ever desire a sight of this form!

Nor can I be seen thus through Vedas, penances, gifts, sacrifices, in the form which thou hast seen.

But I can be known thus through single-hearted love, Arjuna, and seen as I truly am, and entered, O consumer of the foe!

He who works for Me, intent on Me, loving Me, free from attachment, without enmity toward all beings, he comes to Me, O son of Pandu! (55)

Permalink Reply by Margreet Buitenhuis on January 2, 2015 at 7:58am

Studies in the Bhagavad Gita (New York)

"We reincarnating Egos have a very special and very difficult task to perform each time we incarnate in a new personality. We delegate the power of choice and responsibility to this lower mind with the hope that it will choose rightly and transform its nature from separative thoughts and actions to those of a universal and spiritual nature. The Ego wants to help, and does what it can, but it can't interfere or the choices of the personality will not be genuine and free. It is a process of knowledge and adjustment, but never dogma or command. Arjuna has to make the choices and see the light on his own. All this would be impossible if it were not for the fact that Arjuna and Krihna are really ONE."

It seems that whenever we can say "I see" a corner of the veil has been lifted a little.