Arjuna said, “mad-anugrahaya paramam
yat tvayoktam vacas tena
moho ‘yam vigato mama – This delusion of mine has been removed as a result of that speech of Yours which is supremely secret and known as adhyātma-sanjnitam, pertaining to the Self and which was uttered by You for my benefit.
O You with eyes like lotus leaves, the origin and dissolution of beings have been heard by me in detail from You. And Your eternal undecaying glory, magnificence and radiance too has been heard.
evam etad yathattha tvam
drastum icchami te rupam
aisvaram purusottama – O Supreme Lord, so it is, as You speak about Yourself. O Supreme Person, I wish to see this divine form of Yours.
manyase yadi tac chakyam
maya drastum iti prabho
yogesvara tato me tvam
darsayatmanam avyayam – O Lord, if You think that it is possible to be seen by me, then O Lord of Yoga, You show me Your eternal Self, ātmānam avyayam.”
The Blessed Lord said, “O son of Prthā, behold My forms in their hundreds and in thousands of different kinds, celestial and of various colours and shapes.
See the Adityas (Twelve Adityas), the Vasus (Eight Vasus), the Rudras (Eleven Rudras), the Asvins (Asvin twins) and the Maruts (Forty nine Maruts of seven groups and seven each). O scion of the Bharata dynasty, behold also many other wonders not seen before.
ihaika-stham jagat krtsnam
mama dehe gudakesa
yac canyad drastum icchasi – See now, O Gudākesa, the entire Universe existing together with the moving and non-moving, concentrated at the same place here in My body, as also whatever else you would like to see.
na tu mam sakyase drastum
divyam dadami te caksuh
pasya me yogam aisvaram – But you are not able to see Me merely with this eye of yours. However, I grant you, the divyam, supernatural caksuh, eye; behold My divine Yoga.”
Sanjaya said, “evam uktva tato rajan
darsayam asa parthaya
paramam rupam aisvaram – O King, having spoken thus, thereafter, Hari the great Master of Yoga showed to the son of Prthā, the Supreme Divine Form.
anantam visvato-mukham – Having many faces and eyes, possessing many sights, adorned with numerous celestial ornaments and holding many uplifted heavenly weapons. Wearing heavenly garlands and clothes, anointed with heavenly scents, abounding in all kinds of wonder, resplendent, infinite and with faces everywhere.
bhaved yugapad utthita
yadi bhah sadrsi sa syad
bhasas tasya mahatmanah – Should the effulgence of a thousand suns blaze forth simultaneously in the sky, that might be similar to the radiance of that exalted One.
tatraika-stham jagat krtsnam
sarire pandavas tada – At that time, Pāndava saw there, in the body of the God of gods, the whole Universe that is diversely differentiated united in the One.
tatah sa vismayavisto
pranamya sirasa devam
krtanjalir abhasata – Then having seen Him, Dhananjaya became filled with wonder with his hair standing on end, bowing down fully with his head to the Lord said with folded hands, with palms joined in salutation.
Arjuna said, “pasyami devams tava deva dehe
sarvams tatha bhuta-visesa-sanghan
brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham
rsims ca sarvan uragams ca divyan – O God, I see in Your body all the gods as also hosts of various classes of beings; Brahmā the Ruler of beings, sitting on a lotus seat and all the heavenly sages and serpents.
pasyami tvam sarvato ‘nanta-rupam
nantam na madhyam na punas tavadim
pasyami visvesvara visva-rupa – I see You as possessed of numerous arms, bellies, mouths and eyes; as having infinite forms all around. O Lord of the Universe, O Cosmic Person, I see not Your end nor the middle, nor again the beginning.
kiritinam gadinam cakrinam ca
tejo-rasim sarvato diptimantam
pasyami tvam durniriksyam samantad
diptanalarka-dyutim aprameyam – I see You as wearing a diadem, wielding a mace and holding a disc; a mass of brilliance glowing all around, difficult to look at from all sides, possessed of radiance of the blazing fire and sun and immeasurable.
tvam aksaram paramam veditavyam
tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam puruso mato me – You are the Immutable; the Supreme One to be known; You are most perfect repository of this Universe. You are the Imperishable, the Protector of the ever-existing dharma. You are the eternal Transcendental Person. This is my belief.
pasyami tvam dipta-hutasa-vaktram
sva-tejasa visvam idam tapantam – I see You as without beginning, middle and end, possessed of infinite valour, having innumerable arms, having the sun and the moon as eyes, having a mouth like a blazing fire, and heating up this Universe by Your own brilliance.
dyav a-prthivyor idam antaram hi
vyaptam tvayaikena disas ca sarvah
drstvadbhutam rupam ugram tavedam
loka-trayam pravyathitam mahatman – Indeed this intermediate space between heaven and earth as also all the directions are pervaded by You alone. O exalted One, the three worlds are struck with fear by seeing this astonishing fearful form of Yours.
ami hi tvam sura-sangha visanti
kecid bhitah pranjalayo grnanti
svastity uktva maharsi-siddha-sanghah
stuvanti tvam stutibhih puskalabhih – Those very groups of gods enter into You; struck with fear and unable to flee, some among them extol You with their palms joined. Groups of great sages and perfected beings praise You with elaborate hymns saying, svasti iti, ‘May it be well!’.
rudraditya vasavo ye ca sadhya
visve ‘svinau marutas cosmapas ca
viksante tvam vismitas caiva sarve – Those who are Rudras, Adityas, Vasus and the Sādhyas, Visve-devas, the two Asvins, the Maruts and the Usmapas and hosts of Gandharvas, Yakshas, demons and Siddhas – all of those very ones gaze at You, being indeed struck with wonder.
rupam mahat te bahu-vaktra-netram
drstva lokah pravyathitas tathaham – O mighty-armed One, seeing Your immense form with many mouths and eyes having many arms, thighs and feet and further with many bellies and fearful with many teeth, the creatures in the world are struck with terror and so am I.
nabhah-sprsam diptam aneka-varnam
drstva hi tvam pravyathitantar-atma
dhrtim na vindami samam ca visno – O Visnu, verily, seeing You touching heaven blazing with many colours, open-mouthed, with fiery eyes, I, becoming terrified in my mind do not find steadiness and peace.
damstra-karalani ca te mukhani
diso na jane na labhe ca sarma
prasida devesa jagan-nivasa – Having merely seen Your mouths made terrible with their teeth and resembling the fire of Dissolution, I have lost the sense of direction and hence find no comfort. Be gracious, O Lord of gods, O Abode of the Universe.
ami ca tvam dhrtarastrasya putrah
bhismo dronah suta-putras tathasau
sahasmadiyair api yodha-mukhyaih
vaktrani te tvaramana visanti
kecid vilagna dasanantaresu
sandrsyante curnitair uttamangaih – And into You enter all those sons of Dhrtarāstra along with multitudes of the rulers of the earth and also Bheeshma, Drona and that son of a Suta together with even our prominent warriors. They rapidly enter into Your terrible mouths with cruel teeth! Some are seen sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed!
yatha nadinam bahavo ‘mbu-vegah
samudram evabhimukha dravanti
tatha tavami nara-loka-vira
visanti vaktrany abhivijvalanti – As the numerous currents of the waters of flowing rivers rush towards the ocean alone, so also do those heroes of the human world enter into Your blazing mouths.
yatha pradiptam jvalanam patanga
visanti nasaya samrddha-vegah
tathaiva nasaya visanti lokas
tavapi vaktrani samrddha-vegah – As the moths enter with increased haste into the glowing fire for destruction, in that very way do the creatures enter into Your mouths too, with increased hurry for destruction.
lelihyase grasamanah samantal
lokan samagran vadanair jvaladbhih
tejobhir apurya jagat samagram
bhasas tavograh pratapanti visno – You lick Your lips while devouring all creatures from all sides with flaming mouths which are completely filling the entire world with heat. O Visnu, Your fierce rays are scorching.
khyahi me ko bhavan ugra-rupo
namo ‘stu te deva-vara prasida
vijnatum icchami bhavantam adyam
na hi prajanami tava pravrttim – Tell me who You are, fierce in form. Salutation be to You, O Supreme God. Be gracious, I desire to fully know You who are the Primal One. For I do not understand Your actions.”
The Blessed Lord said, “kalo ‘smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho
lokan samahartum iha pravrttah
rte ‘pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve
ye ‘vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah – I am the world-destroying Time grown in stature and now engaged in annihilating the creatures. Even without you, all the warriors who are arrayed in the confronting armies will cease to exist!
tasmat tvam uttistha yaso labhasva
jitva satrun bhunksva rajyam samrddham
mayaivaite nihatah purvam eva
nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin – Therefore, you rise up and gain fame by defeating enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. These have been definitely killed by Me even earlier; be you merely an instrument, O Savyasācin.
dronam ca bhismam ca jayadratham ca
karnam tathanyan api yodha-viran
maya hatams tvam jahi ma vyathistha
yudhyasva jetasi rane sapatnan – You destroy Drona and Bheeshma and Jayadratha and Karna as also the other heroic warriors who have been killed by Me. Do not be afraid. Fight! You shall conquer the enemies in battle.”
Sanjaya said, “etac chrutva vacanam kesavasya
krtanjalir vepamanah kiriti
namaskrtva bhuya evaha krsnam
sa-gadgadam bhita-bhitah pranamya – Hearing this utterance of Kesava, Kiriti, with joined palms and trembling, prostrating himself said again to Krsna with a faltering voice, bowing down overcome by fits of fear.”
Arjuna said, “sthane hrsikesa tava prakirtya
jagat prahrsyaty anurajyate ca
raksamsi bhitani diso dravanti
sarve namasyanti ca siddha-sanghah – It is proper, O Hrsikesa, that the world becomes delighted and attracted by Your praise; that the rāksasas, stricken with fear, run in all directions and that all the groups of the Siddhas bow down to You.
kasmac ca te na nameran mahatman
gariyase brahmano ‘py adi-kartre
ananta devesa jagan-nivasa
tvam aksaram sad-asat tat param yat – And why should they not bow down to You, O exalted One, who are greater than all and who are the Primal Creator even of Brahmā! O infinite One, Supreme God, Abode of the Universe, You are the Immutable, being and non-being and that which is Transcendental.
tvam adi-devah purusah puranas
tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam
vettasi vedyam ca param ca dhama
tvaya tatam visvam ananta-rupa – You are the Primal deity, the ancient Person; You are the Supreme Resort and Solace of this world. You are the knower as also the object of knowledge, and the Supreme Abode. O You of infinite forms, the Universe is pervaded by You.
vayur yamo ‘gnir varunah sasankah
prajapatis tvam prapitamahas ca
namo namas te ‘stu sahasra-krtvah
punas ca bhuyo ‘pi namo namas te – You are Air, Death and Fire, the god of the waters, the moon, the Lord of the creatures and the Great-Grandfather. Salutations! Salutation be to You a thousand times; Salutation to You again and again! Salutation!
namah purastad atha prsthatas te
namo ‘stu te sarvata eva sarva
sarvam samapnosi tato ‘si sarvah – Salutation to You in the East and behind. Salutation be to You on all sides indeed. O All! You are possessed of infinite strength and infinite heroism. You pervade everything; hence You are all!
sakheti matva prasabham yad uktam
he krsna he yadava he sakheti
ajanata mahimanam tavedam
maya pramadat pranayena vapi
yac cavahasartham asat-krto ‘si
eko ‘tha vapy acyuta tat-samaksam
tat ksamaye tvam aham aprameyam – Without knowing this greatness of Yours whatever was said by me to You, rashly, through inadvertence or even out of intimacy, thinking You to be a friend, addressing You as ‘O Krsna’, ‘O Yādava’ , ‘O friend’ – And that You have been discourteously treated out of fun – while walking, while on a bed, while on a seat and while eating, in privacy, or, O Acyuta, even in public, for that I beg pardon of You, the Incomprehensible One.
pitasi lokasya caracarasya
tvam asya pujyas ca gurur gariyan
na tvat-samo ‘sty abhyadhikah kuto ‘nyo
loka-traye ‘py apratima-prabhava – You are the Father of all beings moving and non-moving; to this world You are worthy of worship, the Teacher, and greater than a teacher. There is none equal to You; how at all can there be anyone greater even in all the three worlds, O You of unrivalled power?
tasmat pranamya pranidhaya kayam
prasadaye tvam aham isam idyam
piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuh
priyah priyayarhasi deva sodhum – Therefore, by bowing down and prostrating the body completely, I seek to propitiate You who are God and are adorable. O Lord, You should forgive as would a father forgive all the faults of a son, as a friend of a friend, and as a lover of a beloved.
tasmat pranamya pranidhaya kayam
prasadaye tvam aham isam idyam
piteva putrasya sakheva sakhyuh
priyah priyayarhasi deva sodhum – I am delighted by seeing something not seen heretofore and my mind is stricken with fear. O Lord, show to me that very form, O Supreme God, Abode of the Universe. Be gracious!
kiritinam gadinam cakra-hastam
icchami tvam drastum aham tathaiva
tenaiva rupena catur-bhujena
sahasra-baho bhava visva-murte – I want to see You just as before, wearing a crown, wielding a mace and holding a disc in hand. O You of Cosmic form, appear with that very form with your four hands.”
The Blessed Lord said, “maya prasannena tavarjunedam
rupam param darsitam atma-yogat
tejo-mayam visvam anantam adyam
yan me tvad anyena na drsta-purvam – Out of grace, O Arjuna, this Supreme radiant, cosmic, infinite, primeval form – which has not been seen before by anyone other than you has been shown to you by Me through the power of My own yoga.
na veda-yajnadhyayanair na danair
na ca kriyabhir na tapobhir ugraih
evam-rupah sakya aham nr-loke
drastum tvad anyena kuru-pravira – Not by the study of the Vedas and sacrifices, not by gifts, not even by rituals, nor even by severe austerities can I, in this form, be perceived in the human world by anyone other than you, O most valiant among the Kurus.
ma te vyatha ma ca vimudha-bhavo
drstva rupam ghoram idrn mamedam
vyapeta-bhih prita-manah punas tvam
tad eva me rupam idam prapasya – May you have no fear, and may not there be bewilderment by seeing this form of Mine so terrible. Becoming free from fear and gladdened in mind again, see this very earlier form of Mine.”
Sanjaya said, “Thus having spoken to Arjuna in that manner as stated above, Vāsudeva showed His own form again. And He, the exalted One, reassured this terrified one by again becoming serene in form.”
Arjuna said, “O Janārdhana, having seen this serene human form of Yours, I have now become calm in mind and restored to my own nature.”
The Blessed Lord said, “This form of Mine which you have seen is very difficult to see; even the gods are ever desirous of a vision of this form of Mine.”
naham vedair na tapasa
na danena na cejyaya
sakya evam-vidho drastum
drstavan asi mam yatha – Not through the Vedas, not by austerity, not by gifts, nor even by sacrifice can I be seen in this form as you have seen Me.
bhaktya tv ananyaya sakya
aham evam-vidho ‘rjuna
jnatum drastum ca tattvena
pravestum ca parantapa – But, O Arjuna, by single-minded devotion am I – in this form – able to be known and seen in reality, and also be entered into, O destroyer of foes.
yah sa mam eti pandava – O son of Pāndu, he who works for Me, accepts Me as the Supreme Goal, is devoted to Me, who is devoid of attachment and who is free from enmity towards all beings – such a devotee of Mine attains Me.
[Chapter 11, Slokas 11.01 – 11.55]
On Arjuna’s plea, Lord Krishna reveals His divine radiant form that can be seen only if He ordains it.
Lord Krishna bestows Arjuna with the divine eyesight for him to see the Supreme Self as well as whatever else he wishes to. The entire Universe both moving and non-moving, manifest and unmanifest and animate and inanimate all centered in the Divine Form of the Lord with the brilliance of thousands of suns. An astonishing sight with many faces and eyes everywhere, adorned with ornaments, wearing heavenly garlands and clothes, anointed with divine scents and holding many heavenly weapons.
Arjuna is wonderstruck seeing the diverse cosmos and entire gamut of creation united in the One that possesses the brilliance of a thousand suns and more. Arjuna has horripilation seeing the radiance and wondrous sight of the Lord of the Universe.
Arjuna is astonished at the wide cosmos and diverse beings in the Cosmic Form of Lord Krishna. He is dazzled by the brilliance of this Cosmic Form and is also fearful upon seeing this stupendous myriad gamut of creation. Lord Krishna, the personification of kindness and grace gave the divine vision to Arjuna to see His Self and anything else that he wished to.
Arjuna continues to describe the form that he sees through the divine vision that instills great fear in him.
As Arjuna continues to be astounded with the flaming mouths, numerous eyes, arms, weapons, bellies and the various creatures entering into the blazing fire of the Cosmic Form, he begs Lord Krishna to reveal Himself in entirety for him to know, realize, understand and experience the Primal One.
Arjuna bowing down to Lord Krishna in fear and trepidation surrenders to His Golden Lotus Feet who is the Immutable Brahman, Primal Cause, Primal Creator, Supreme God and Infinite One listening to the instructions of the Lord to fight and engage in rightful duty.
Arjuna seeks forgiveness from Lord Krishna for behaving with Him very causally not knowing who He is. Arjuna through the divine vision begins to know, understand, realize and experience the Supreme Self who is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Being, Supreme Light beyond the Vedas and the unsurpassable self-effulgent Supreme Person spoken about in the Vedas.
Arjuna is bewildered by the Cosmic Form of the Lord and the intensity of its radiance and the brilliance on all sides. He does shastanga namaskar to the Lord surrendering to Him in entirety seeking forgiveness for his mistakes and begs the Lord to reveal His sowmya form with a crown on His head, a mace and the disc with four hands. The Lord out of sheer kindness reveals to Arjuna that the Cosmic Form has not been seen by anyone and Arjuna was able to see it only by the power of the Lord’s Yoga. What can one say about the infinite benevolence of the Lord!
Lord Krishna reveals to Arjuna the serene form of His thus gladdening the mind of Arjuna and as He does so, says that this form of His has not been seen by anyone before and the gods are desirous of this vision and darshan.
Lord Krishna in the final verses of the Eleventh Chapter once again reiterates the importance of absolute surrender in every aspect in and of one’s existence. A devotee who works for the Lord, accepts Him as the Supreme Goal, is dedicated to Lord and who is bereft of attachment and enmity towards all beings will attain the Lord. A devotee who sees the Self existing equally as existing within and outside and all-pervading and as existing equally in all the beings will not injure the Self and thereby attain the Supreme Goal.