Chapter 11

Viswaroopa Darshana Yoga

(The Yoga of Cosmic Vision)

1. Arjuna said: "Out of compassion for me Thou hast disclosed the mystery concerning the Knowledge of the Supreme; and with it, my delusion has been dispelled.

2. "From Thee, O Lotus-eyed One, have I heard in full about the origin and the dissolution of beings and also about Thy Immortal Glory.

3. "Lord! Thou art precisely what Thou hast declared Thyself to be. Even so, O Purushottama, I crave to behold Thy Cosmic Form as the Supreme Ishwara.

4. "O Lord! O Yogeswara 55 ! If Thou thinkest it possible for me to behold the sight, then do reveal to me Thy Eternal Form."

5. The Blessed Lord said: "Behold, O Partha, My Divine Forms in their hundreds and thousands, infinitely diverse and equally various in their colors and aspects.

6. "Behold in Me the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Aswin twins, and the Maruts; behold, O Bharata, numerous marvels never revealed before.

7. "Behold today in My body, O Gudakesa, the entire Universe with all its moving and non-moving beings, and whatever else thou desirest to see.

8. "But thou canst not see My Cosmic Form with thine ordinary eyes; therefore, I bless thee with Divine vision, using which behold My Supreme Power.

9. Sanjaya said: "Having thus spoken, O King, the Great Lord of Yoga, Sri Hari, revealed to Partha His supremely glorious Cosmic Form as Ishwara,

10. With many mouths and many eyes, many wondrous aspects, many divine ornaments, and many brandished weapons divine;

11. Wearing heavenly garlands and raiments, anointed with celestial perfumes, wonderful, resplendent, boundless and Omnipresent.

12. Were the splendor of a thousand suns to blaze forth all at once in the sky, that might perchance resemble the splendor of that Mighty One!

13. Then did Arjuna see, concentrated in one place in the person of that Supreme God, the entire Universe with its manifold divisions.

14. Wonderstruck, his hair standing on end, Dhananjaya, head bent low in reverence and adoration, and palms joined, addressed the Lord.

15. He said: "Within Thy Form, O Lord, I see all the gods, diverse multitude of beings and also Brahma the Creator seated on a lotus, surrounded by the Rishis and serpents divine.

16. "I see Thee everywhere, infinite in form, with countless arms, stomachs, mouths and eyes. Neither Thy end nor middle, nor beginning do I see, O Lord of the Universe, O Universal Form!

17. "I behold Thee, a brilliant mass of indescribable effulgence, adorned with Thy club, mace, discus and scepter; blazing everywhere like burning fire and the incandescent sun, hard to look at, and passing all measure!

18. "Thou art the Imperishable, the Supreme Being that is to be realized; Thou art the ultimate refuge of this Universe; Thou art also the Eternal Guardian of the Eternal Dharma and Thou art, I believe, the Everlasting Being.

19. "Thou hast no beginning, middle nor end; infinite is Thy might and innumerable are Thy arms, O One having the Sun and Moon for Thine eyes! Thy mouth is a blazing fire that scorches the entire Universe with its radiance.

20. "By Thee alone are filled the spaces between heaven and earth and all quarters; and, O Almighty Lord, the three worlds tremble at the sight of Thy wondrous but awe-inspiring form.

21. "Yonder, hosts of gods are entering Thee; some, awe-struck, praise Thee with folded palms, while multitudes of sages and Siddhas hailing Thee are singing hymns to Thine glory.

22. "The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, all the gods, the twin Aswins, Maruts, Manes, the host of Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras, and Siddhas - all gaze on Thee in wonderment!

23. "O Mahabahu, seeing this stupendous and awesome form of Thine with countless mouths, eyes, thighs, feet, bellies and teeth, the worlds are terror stricken; and so am I!

24. "As I behold Thy Cosmic Form reaching to the very heavens, effulgent, glowing with colors, gaping mouths and resplendent eyes, I am terrified, my Lord, and my peace of mind deserts me.

25. "And as I see Thy numerous mouths with fearful jaws resembling the fire of Doom, I am utterly bewildered and petrified. Be merciful, O Lord, in Whom this Universe abides.

26. "All the sons of Dhritarashtra and with them many kings, Bhishma, Drona and Kama too, as also our warrior chiefs -

27. "I see them all rushing headlong into Thy fearful jaws. Some indeed are mangled between Thy teeth, their heads being crushed to atoms.

28. "As rivers in torrential flood rush towards the sea, so are these heroes among men rushing into Thy flaming jaws.

29. "As moths fly into the flame only to be killed, even so these people are plunging headlong into Thy mouths to meet their doom.

30. "Thou seemest to swallow up the worlds with Thy flaming mouths, and Thou appearest to be smacking Thy lips. Thy fierce rays blaze forth, filling the whole Universe with Thy luster.

31. "Tell me, O Lord, who art Thou so dread of form? I bow to Thee, O God Supreme! Have mercy and tell me about Thyself, O Primal One, for I comprehend not Thy purpose nor what Thou dost."

32. The Blessed Lord said: "I am TIME, inflamed now and engaged in destroying the worlds. Even without thy slaying them, not one of the warriors ranged for battle against thee shall survive.

33. "Therefore, do thou arise, fight, and win glory. Defeat thy foes, conquer, and earn unrivalled kingdom. By Me, these warriors have already been slain; thou art no more than an instrument of Mine, O Savyasachin!

34. "Slay thou Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Kama and other warrior chiefs, all already doomed and slain by Me. Be not dismayed! Fight! Victory is thine over these foes on the battlefield."

35. Sanjaya said: Hearing these words of Kesava, Arjuna, palms united, head bowed, body trembling, said with a choking and faltering voice that was filled with fear:

36. "It is right, O Hrishikesa, that the Universe exults and rejoices in chanting Thy name, virtues and glory. While the Rakshasas in dread fly in all directions, the Siddhas in reverence bow to Thee.

37. "And why should they not, O Paramatma, bow to Thee the Primeval Cause of even Brahma the Creator? O Infinite Being, O Lord of gods, O Abode of the Universe! Thou art the Imperishable, Being (Sat) and non-Being (Asat) and that which transcends all these!

38. "Thou art the Primal God and the Ancient Being; Thou art the One into Whom the entire Universe finally dissolves; Thou art, at once, the Knower and also That which is to be known; by Thee, O Lord of Infinite Form, is the whole Universe pervaded.

39. "Thou art the wind, death, fire, water, moon, the progenitor of beings, and the ultimate Grandfather. Hail to Thee, a thousand times Hail, and repeatedly so.

40. "Salutations to Thee, O Lord, from every conceivable side and every imaginable angle. Thy prowess is infinite and Thy might is measureless. Thou pervadest all and therefore Thou ART all!

41. "Whatever I have importunately said to Thee in the past in presumption based on familiarity and intimacy, taking Thee for a mere mortal, addressing Thee on equal terms as O Krishna, O Yadava, etc., - believe me, it was all in ignorance of Thy true nature."

42. "In whatsoever way I might have been insulting to Thee, O Achyuta, in jest, while reposing, at meals, in privacy or in company - please forgive my trespasses, O Immeasurable One!

43. "Thou art the Father of the world, of the moving as well as the non-moving beings; Thou art its adored and worthiest Master; there is none equal to Thee; how then can anyone be greater than Thee? Matchless is Thy power in all the three worlds!

44. "Therefore, prostrating before Thee, O Lord, I beseech Thy Grace. Please bear with me even as a father does with his son, a friend with another friend, and a husband with his beloved spouse.

45. "I rejoice having seen what has never been seen before and yet, O Lord, I am overwhelmed with fear. O God of gods, have mercy and show me Thy original form.

46. "I crave to see Thee even as Thou wast, with Thy crown, and with Thy discus and the mace in Thy hands. Revert Thou please to Thine benign Divine Form, O Universal Being!"

47. The Blessed Lord said: "Graciously, O Arjuna, have I through My unique power, shown thee this Supreme, Resplendent, Universal, Infinite and Primal Form of Mine which none but thee has ever seen.

48. "Not by the study of the Vedas or the other scriptures, not by sacrifice, not by charities, nor even the performance of severe penance and other austerities, can I ever be seen as thou hast been privileged to do.

49. "Be thou neither afraid nor bewildered to behold this awesome form of Mine. Banish thy fear, ease thy mind and behold Me once again in My usual form."

50. Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus to Arjuna, Vaasudeva reverted to His normal benign form, gently consoling him who was trembling with fear.

51. Arjuna said: "Janardana, beholding again Thy gentle human form, I have regained my composure and am myself again."

52. The Blessed Lord said: "Very difficult indeed it is to behold My Cosmic Form which thou hast seen and which the gods are always clamoring to see.

53. "Not by Vedas, not by penance, nor through charity, nor by sacrificial ritual, can anyone behold Me in the Form that thou hast been privileged to see.

54. "But, O Parantapa, by staunch and unswerving devotion, I may in this Form be known, realized and merged into.

55. "Arjuna, he whose every act is dedicated to Me, who looks upon Me as the Supreme, who is devoted to Me, who has no attachment and who is free from malice to all beings - such a one comes to Me."

Thus in the Bhagavad Gita, the Essence of the Upanishads, the Science of Brahman, the Scripture of Yoga, the Dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, ends the eleventh chapter, entitled:



55The Great Lord of Yoga.


46One possessed of unique power.
47Whirlwind among the forty nine wind gods.
48Gods of destruction.
49Deities associated with Indra.
50Or Namasmarana - repetition of the holy names of God.
51Sacred peepul tree.
52The snake used as a rope for churning the Ocean of Milk.
53The thousand-hooded snake on which Narayana rests.
54Gambling of cheats-Every manifestation of power, glory, or intelligence comes from the Lord. It may be distorted if the medium of manifestation is wicked or unrighteous.