Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 11 (Vishwaroopadarshana)

Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 11 – Vishwaroopadarshana-Yoga (Infinite form visibility Yoga)

School of Yoga explains Bhagavad Geeta Chapter 11 Arjuna said – I’m now convinced about your origin and capabilities and wish to see you in the form you spoke about. Therefore, if you think I have the capability, show me.

Sri Krishna said:  OK. Take a look. Behold the Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Aswins, Maruts and other marvels. Also, see the dynamic and static universe integral to my being. But, for this, I have to give you special vision capability.

Saying this, Sri Krishna showed him his divine form, with many mouths and eyes, marvellous sights, divine ornaments and weapons. He was wearing heavenly garlands, anointed with celestial perfumes – all resplendent and boundless with faces on all sides.

Arjuna saw many universes with its divisions integrated into one. Hair on end, an amazed Arjuna spoke to Sri Krishna with joined palms.
  • I see all the Gods in your body and hosts of all types of beings, Brahma, all the Rshis, and celestial serpents. You are infinite on all sides, with countless arms, stomachs, mouths and eyes.
  • In fact, I cannot see your beginning, middle or end. I see you wearing a crown, with a club and discuss.
  • In fact, radiance blazes everywhere, hard to look at, all round dazzling like a flaming fire or sun and immeasurable.
  • You are imperishable, the supreme being, the treasure-house of the universe, the imperishable guardian of eternal dharma, the ancient Purusha.
  • Also, you are without beginning, middle or end; infinite in power, of infinite reach, the suns and moons being your eyes, the sacrificial fire is your mouth, heating the universe with your radiance.
  • The space between heaven and earth in all quarters are filled by you, everyone is trembling with fear.
  • Also, hosts of deivas enter into you, great rshis and siddhas pronounce “May it be well”. The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, Viswas, Asvins, Maruts, Ushampas, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Asuras, Siddhas all gaze at you in amazement.
  • Consequently, seeing your immeasurable form with so many mouths eyes, arms, thighs and feet, with many stomachs and tusks, the worlds are terror-struck as I am.
  • When I see you touching the sky, blazing in colours, with mouth wide open and fiery eyes, my heart trembles in fear, not knowing the four quarters, finding neither courage nor peace.
  • Also, all the sons of Dhratarashtra with hosts of kings, Bhishma, Drona, Sutaptra along with our warrior chiefs enter hurrying into your mouth, terrible with tusks and fearful to look at. In fact, some are sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed to powder. In truth, they rush into your flaming mouths like torrents of river rushing into an ocean or moths rushing into a blazing fire to their destruction. Devouring everything, you lick your lips.
  • Your rays fill the world with your radiance, so fierce is your form. As a result of this vision, I bow to you, have mercy. I desire to know you; I know not your purpose.

Sri Krishna said: I am the world destroying Time, engaged in wiping out the world. In fact, even without you, the hostile armies will not survive. So, stop worrying, arise and get fame. Conquer your enemies and get fame. In fact, I have already killed them, you are merely the instrument.  Slay Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna and others who are already doomed by me.

Sanjaya said: Having heard Sri Krishna, Arjuna, with joined palms, trembling, prostrating, addressed Sri Krishna in a voice chocked and overwhelmed with fear. It is true, Oh Sri Krishna, the world sings your praises, the evil flee while the Siddhas bow to you. And why should they not, you are the primal cause of Brahma, you are imperishable, the being and non being, that which is supreme, the ancient Purusha, the knower and knowable, and the supreme abode.

  • You pervade this Universe. You are Vayu, Agni, Varuna, Moon, Prajapati and the ancestor. Salutations to you a thousand times and again, before and after, on all sides. You are all.
  • If I have been casual with you, it is from ignorance. Please forgive me if I have insulted you without knowing your greatness.
  • You are the father of this moving and static world, the greatest Guru, for none can excel you. So, I prostrate before you, forgive me. Bear with me as a father to a son, friend to a friend and a lover with his beloved. I rejoice at your universal form, but I am afraid and request you to show me that form which I can relate to, with mace and discuss in hand.

Sri Krishna said: You have been privileged to see something which no study, sacrifice, gifts or rituals can achieve. Don’t be afraid, I will revert to my original form.

Sanjaya said: With this, Sri Krishna went back to his original form.

Arjuna said: I feel calmer, seeing you in Human form.

Sri Krishna said: It’s not easy to see this form, but by unswerving devotion as devotee can see this reality. He who works from me, accepts me as Supreme, is devoted to me, free from attachment and hatred to any being.

School of Yoga explains the Bhagavad-Geeta – chapter 11: the saankhya of Mahat (the conceptual base of overall creation)

  • Everything comes from the Source/ Truth/ Origin or Brahman. This is a state of eternal, infinite, unchanging peace.
  • The Brahman experiences existential anxiety (do I exist?) and desires self-expression (I want to see myself).
  • Brahman sacrifices itself to create itself. This is primordial sacrifice adiyagna (Sri Krishna).
  • From Brahman, nir-guna-Brahman (Brahman without attributes) and sa-guna-Brahman (Brahman with attributes or Eeshwara or Supreme Soul – Paramatma).
  • From sa-guna-Brahman or Eeshwara emerge Purusha (primordial Identity, Self or experiencer) and Prakriti (primordial manifestation or energy).
  • Prakriti and Purusha weave with each other to create primordial karma (action).
  • From karma (action), guna (attributes) emerges. Gunas are a weave of Purusha and Prakriti. When Purusha (experiencer) is ascendant over Prakriti (manifestation), it is called tamas (delusion). Similarly, when Prakriti is ascendant over Purusha, the attribute is called rajas (passion or flow) and finally, when Purusha and Prakriti are in balance, this is called sattva (harmony or balance).
  • Purusha and Prakriti continue weaving to create Hiranyagarbha (golden egg) or BrahmaaNda (Brahma’s egg or Cosmos) the universe that houses all karma. 
  • Since karma creates transactions and bonds, these result in creation of multiple identities/ souls or atma of varying complexities. The primordial Identity, which is the identity of Hiranyagarbha is called Vishnu. Vishnu is the repository of maya (farce).

What Arjuna saw was Hiranyagarbha. Since, Sri Krishna is adiyagna, this would have been natural and easy. Therefore, the details that Arjuna are no surprise, because this is what one would see in BrahmaaNda or Hiranyagarbha (golden egg or Cosmos).

School of Yoga explains the architecture of the Cosmos (BrahmaaNda or Hiranyagarbha):

It would be appropriate to detail the various worlds / realms that are supposed to exist in the Indian cosmic system (BrahmaaNda or Hiranyagarbha) (reference – and ( This also forms part of the BrahmaaNda-Purana, Vishnu-Purana and Bhagavad-Purana (2.5)

There are 14 regions of existence or loka. according to neelamata-puraaNa.

Seven are considered vyahritis or oordhva-loka (mystical utterances of the seven regions) and remaining seven are considered paatala-loka (lower regions);

The seven vyahritis (mystical regions) are

  1. Satya-loka (Region of Truth) – This is the region of Truth, where there is no death.
  2. Tapah-loka (Region of Austerity) – This is the region which comes out of austerity. This region is inhabited by Vaibharaajas and cannot be consumed by fire.
  3. Jana-loka (jana means people) – This is considered to be the region inhibited by the sons of Brahma such as Sanandana reside. 
  4. Mahar-loka (region of the maharishees) – This is a region beyond dhruva and the region of the maharishees. This may also mean the Milky Way.
  5. Suvar-loka (vishnu-puraaNa Ch. 7) – region beyond bhuvar-loka, considered to be beyond the Sun up until dhruva (Pole star) which is supposed to be ruled by Indra and his deivas. This may include the entire Solar system. It has 9 orbits (mandala) called dhruva-mandala, sani-mandala (Saturn), brhaspati-mandala (Jupiter), angaaraka-mandala (Mars), sukra-mandala (Venus), budha-mandala (Mercury), nakshatra-mandala (Constellation), chandra-mandala (Moon), surya-mandala (Sun). 
  6. Bhuvar-loka (region of energy) – This is also known as (dyu-loka or jyotir-loka), this is the region of existence where energy predominates and there is no matter (this may also be equated with the region where earth’s magnetic field exists). Vishnu-puraaNa chapter 7 says that it is the space between Earth and the Sun, where Siddhas move. 
  7. Bhu-loka (region of existence) – This is plane of existence of all humans as we know it. It consists of a central land mass (jambudveepa) surrounded by six other land masses called Plaksha, Saalmala, Kusa, Krauncha, Saaka and Pushkara.  This area consists of mountains, oceans, rivers etc.  

Paataala-loka or bila-svargaa (lower regions of existence) comprises:

  1. Atala-loka – Region ruled by Bala, who with his mystical powers has created 3 tyes of women in a yawn; svairini – self-willed, who like to marry men from their own group, kaamini – lustful, who marry men from any group and punchashalees, who keep changing partners.
  2. Vitala-loka – Region ruled by hara-bhava, where gold called hataka is created
  3. Sutala-loka – Region created by Vishwakarman, ruled by Bali Chakravarti.
  4. Talatala-loka – Region ruled by Maaya, a demon-architect skilled in sorcery, who created the magical city of Tripura.
  5. Mahatala-loka – Region of the naagas (many hooded serpents), sons of kadru (called krodhavadsha), Kuhaka, Takshaka, Kaliya and Sushena along with their families.
  6. Rasatala-loka – Region at the sole of the feet of Vishnu where danavaas and daityas reside
  7. Paataala-loka – Region of Vaasuki, who is the snake that adorns Siva.
Comments on BrahmaaNda or Hiranyagarbha

The etymology of the two Sanskrit words Vishnu and Brahma are as follows:

  • Vishnu (Vis) means that which expands, thus corresponding to an expanding universe or increasing entropy in any system.
  • Brahma (Brh) means anything that is big or expanded, aNda means egg. This corresponds to BrahmaaNda or Brahma’s egg.

Decoding the various realms (loka).

It is clear that the description contains two aspects, a material aspect of the Universe intertwined with a metaphysical aspect of Yoga. While the seven constituents of oordhva-loka are obviously related to the physical and metaphysical Universe in their gross and subtle aspects, paataala-loka seems to be more of a reflection of the realm inside ourselves. This can be seen from the allusion to the shad-ripu (six poisons) that are clearly indicated in the representation of the regions. The alignment of the paataala-lokas to the chakras on the spinal column is an assumption and not substantiated by evidence.

Going from first principles that everything is a play of Purusha (experiencer or primordial Identity) with Prakriti (manifestation of Identity), we can close out the first (Satya-loka), last (Paataala-loka) and middle realms (bhu-loka or Earth) as follows;

  • Satya-loka is the realm of Truth and equivalent to Brahman, so it is a state of nir-guNa-Brahman, where Purusha experiences itself, but does not manifest. It is a state of Truth, infinite peace or pure consciousness where manifestation (Prakriti) is in nir-guNa state.
  • Paataala-loka is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Vaasuki is a serpent that is in a state of material rest or pure Purusha or null, which means Prakriti is in nir-guna state here also. This is also a state of nir-guNa-Brahman or pure infinite peace or zero-state-Purusha.
  • Bhu-loka or Earth is where Purusha and Prakriti are playing out Maaya in all its states of consciousness and attributes (guna).
  • Importantly, the movement into the oordhva-lokas seems to be one of mix of electromagnetic as well as metaphysical realms, while the paataala-loka seems to be intrinsic to the Self.
  • In terms of creation, all inhabitants of BrahmaaNda are progeny of Brahma, whether they inhabit oordhva-loka or paataala-loka, other than the maharishees (seers) who inhibit mahar-loka whose origin seems to be indeterminate, so one has to assume that they come directly from Brahman.

Let us look at the pair or regions on opposite sides of the Earth (bhu-loka). Since bhu-loka is the seventh region, there will be one more on the paataala-loka side.

  • Bhuvar-loka and atala-loka:
    • In bhuvar-loka, which is the Earth’s atmosphere, there is only space. So, Purusha experiences reduced consciousness because there is no material transaction. Prakriti manifests predominantly as rajo-guna, as magnetic energy where consciousness of Purusha is still fixed by its relationship with the Earth. Meanwhile, Prakriti has begun shedding tamo-guna and is manifesting as rajo-guna.
    • Similarly, in atala-loka, Identity (Purusha) experiences contraction because it is transacting with fewer souls (jiva), while Prakriti has become more tamasic.
    • This slide of Prakriti to tamas can be derived from the allegorical vision that Baala yawns to create three types of women. Yawning is indicative of Purusha experiencing lethargy. Also, allusion to sexual preference of women is indicative of restless boredom (tamas) of Prakriti and sexual desires (kaama) in Purusha.
  • Suvar-loka and vitala-loka.
    • Suvar-loka is clearly the Solar system. Why is this important?
    • Earth has a magnetic field; all creatures on Earth exhibit some form of electrical conductivity.
    • Similarly, each of the other planets in the Solar system also have magnetic fields.
    • Additionally, planets affect each other’s magnetic fields depending on orbits with respect to each other, their size and inter-planet distance. For example, we know that the Moon influences tides on Earth depending on whether it is waxing or waning. We also know that the Human body comprises 75% water. Imagine the impact a waxing or waning Moon on the Human body due to change in flow of electrolytes. If the Moon can influence us and our reactions, then what about other planets? Does it not stand to reason that large entities such as Sun, Saturn and Jupiter will impact Human state of experience in some form? This is suvar-loka, where experience is created.
    • Vitala-loka is where gold is created.
    • Gold is prized because it is one of the most stable metals. It does not decay or tarnish and it is classified as a diamagnetic material (one that is not magnetic).
  • So, while Purusha in suvar-loka experiences increased sattva-guna and reduced rajo-guna, in vitala-loka, Purusha experiences wealth and greed (lobha), a tamo-guna of Prakriti.
  • The pairing of mahar-loka and sutala-loka is almost prophetic.
    • Mahar-loka is the place where maharishees or Great Seer’s reside. What is the role of these maharishees?
    • Let us look at the first principles of action (karma). There are four types of karma
      • agami-karma (karma that which is currently getting created),
      • prarabda-karma (karma that has come up for repayment),
      • sanchita-karma (overall karma available with any entity) and
      • samasthi-karma (karma that affects all creation on account of a macro event such as earthquake, eclipse, cyclone, monsoon, epidemic etc.).
    • How is sanchita-karma transferred to prarabda-karma? Obviously, the number of entities that a person interacts with are too many for anyone to try and control reconciliation. Hence, resolution of debt between entities needs to be orchestrated. This is done by entities that have requisite control over praana (creative force) called maharishees at mahar-loka who also manage samasti-karma (macro-action which overrides all individual action).
    • Once, the reconciliation parameters of karma are fixed, these are then coded into the movement of the planets in the suvar-loka so that the magnetic and gravitational forces influence decision making on bhu-loka as existence.
    • On the paataala-loka side, sutala-loka is created by Vishwakarma, a celestial architect and ruled by Bali Chakravarti, a Regent who was just and virtuous. Hence, on the face of it, its position in nether-world does not make sense.
    • However, let us look at the transformation of Bali Chakravarti. He conducted a sacrifice (yagnya), which was officiated by Shukracharya (the Guru of asuras and member of mahar-loka because he is the governing principle of Planet Venus). Shukracharya recognised Vishnu in vaamana form and warned Bali, but Bali ignored the warning and ended up sacrificing everything (for full story, read vaamana-avathaara of Vishnu at this link).
    • The realm of sutala-loka is one where Purusha experiences stubbornness and pride (madha), even to the extent of not being able to cognise the advice of one’s Guru. This is a tamo-guna of Prakriti.
  • Jana-loka and talatala-loka
    • Jana-loka is inhabited by the sons of Brahma (prajapathis) and a natural progression of mahar-loka. For the maharishees to rearrange prarabda-karma and samasti-karma, there must be a higher architectural hierarchy where control of mahar-loka is exerted.
    • For example, a computer needs a motherboard (jana-loka) on which an operating system (mahar-loka) is loaded so that programmes can be run (bhuvar-loka) for specific situations (bhu-loka).
    • Jana-loka is a hierarchically the highest level in terms of creation management or mahat.
    • At the opposite end, talatala-loka is a city created by sorcery.
    • Talatala-loka was created by maayasura, a brilliant architect to protect the city of Tripura from destruction.
    • The city consisted of three fortresses, all mobile but connected such that they come into confluence only on a particular day.
    • On the day of confluence, the city was destroyed by Siva (tamo-guna) using Vasuki (who lives in pataala-loka) as the missile (Read the mythology here).
    • Talatala-loka is the realm where Purusha experiences moha (delusion), a tamo-guna of Prakriti.
  • Tapah-loka and mahatala-loka
    • Tapah is austerity. Austerity comes from sacrifice (yagnya).
    • Primordial sacrifice (adiyagnya) is Sri Krishna. This is the realm from where Purusha and Prakriti emerge to start creation. It is the starting point of sa-guna-Brahman, Paramatma, Eeshwara, Vishnu and Sri Krishna.
    • On the other side, mahatala is the realm of krodhavasha (power of anger), daughter of Daaksha, wife of Kaashyapa and mother of asuras (read the mythology here).
    • It is inhabited by Naagas, who are known for their short temper. This is the realm where Purusha experiences anger (krodha), which is a tamo-guna of Prakriti.
  • Rasaatala-loka – this is the region where Daityas and Daanavas reside and located at the sole of Vishnu, thus representing the other end of BrahmaaNda or Hiranyagarbha.
    • Rasaatala means “region of essence”. The root of all shadripu (six treacherous qualities) is identification of the Self with the environment. The problems start with comparison of oneself with others which results in envy (maatsaryam) which is the root of all other afflictions.
    • Interestingly, all the inhabitants in pataala-loka, starting from atala-loka until rasaatala-loka, are descendants of Daksha, who was also created by Brahma. So, rasatala-loka represents the other end of jana-loka.
  • Pataala-loka – This is the region inhabited by Vaasuki who adorns Siva, and his sister Manasa (cognition). Here Purusha is in Siva or nir-guna state, the state of null or pure tamas.
Srimad-Bhagavat-PuraaNam on evolution of cosmic architecture (mahat):
  • (Srimad-Bhagavat-PuraaNam – 2.5.21 onwards) The evolution of knowledge is minutely explained. It starts with Vishnu creating the universe for its own pleasure (this can also be interpreted as experience of a loss of Identity which made Vishnu seek to manifest), the onset of time, karma and svabhaava.
  • Verse 23-24 – Creation of mahat (concept of cosmic architecture) is achieved by application of attributes (guna). This results in creation of matter (tamas), wisdom or balance (sattva) and work or effort or energy (kriya). There is formation of ahamkaara (sense of doer-ship), which is another representation of attributes. This occurs in the form of vaikaarika (that which is modulated or harmonic) which is a sattvic outcome, taijasa (effulgent or manifesting power and drive) which is raajasic and taamasa (lethargic or delusional) which is manifestation of tamas.
  • Verse 25 onwardsAhamkaara is the origin of the five primordial elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether). Sound also emanates from ahamkaara and provides evidence of existence to the subject (seer) and object (seen). For example – when someone exclaims “the light has turned green, it signifies a change in state. This is through use of sound (shabda)”. From ether comes air (whose svabhaava or character is sound, vitality, energy, zeal and strength). From air comes fire, with characteristics of quality of colour, sound and touch. From fire came water with added character of taste in addition to sound, touch and colour. From water emerged earth with added character of smell. 
  • Verse 30 onwards – From the mix of the above elements emerged cognition and the 10 kinetic and cognitive senses. But all this creation just kept growing without any motility in the form of an egg (Hiranyagarbha). But, once Brahman gave it life, Purusha burst forth from Hiranyagarbha and emerged, with seven higher regions above the waist and seven regions below the waist.
  • Verse 37 – Brahmins represent the mouth, kshatriyas represent the arms, vaishyas represent the thighs and shudras, the feet. This seems to conform to the traditional occupation of brahmanas being teachers and priests requiring the mouth, kshatriyas being warriors requiring strong arms, vaishyas being business people requiring to travel and shudras being workers represented by the feet.
    • Waist upwards – bhuvar-loka is the navel, suvar-loka is the heart, mahar-loka is the breast, jana-loka is the neck, tapo-loka is the crown and satya-loka is the head.
    • Earth (Bhu-loka) is not specified, but the region between the navel and thigh is the hips. This region houses the genitals and this the pelvic area is the crossover from motivation to movement, thus all the three attributes get located here. Deeply allegory in these verses.
    • Going downwards- atala-loka is the waist, vitala-loka is the thighs, sutala-loka is the knees, talatala-loka is the shanks, mahatala-loka is the ankles, rasaatala-loka is the feet and paataala-loka is the sole.

School of Yoga explains the Soul (atma) and rebirth

It’s only natural that one should wonder what happens to the Soul (atma) after death. Some aspects that need to be considered are…

  • In sanatana-dharma, there is no death. The Soul (atma), moves out of the body once its prarabda-karma has been exhausted.
  • The Soul (atma) remains unchanged through each of these births and the embodiment of the Soul (atma) that has in experiencing this life is called jiva.
  • When the person dies, the jiva does not die, but continues experiencing (Purusha) and adding karma (action) due to its experiencing of duality (like-dislike, attraction-repulsion, good-bad etc.).
  • Physically, respiration stops, the person dies and the jiva leaves the body with praana (motility). The body is disposed and reverts to its primordial elements. The praana in this situation is the udaana-vaayu (upward flowing motility).
  • The jiva in this form is called preta (that which has gone to the other world). At this time, the jiva is disoriented after having lost the body that it was used to and having experienced the brutality of death.
  • Para-loka-vidya espouses that the jiva does not wait for reconciliation, but moves to another body immediately. This contradicts the principle espoused by Sri Krishna in Chapter 8, 9 and other chapters, where he says that a person gets what he or she sows, which means that the process of rebirth is a clearly mapped reconciliation process.
  • Let us look at the following quote from Chhandogya Upanishad – “Having become cloud he rains down. Then he is born as rice, corn, herbs, tree, sesamum and beans. From them the escape is beset with most difficulties. For, whoever the person may be who eats the food and begets offspring, he henceforth becomes like unto them.” (Chhandogya Upanishad: 10.5.).
  • How can reconciliation happen if the jiva moves immediately to another body after expiration? There is simply no opportunity for all the players with whom one has debts (rinn), to be available for prarabda-karma to be reconciled.
  • Another contradiction is the prevalence of other realms (lokas) such as abode of Yama (yama-loka), abode of the ancestors (pitr-loka), brahma-loka, chandra-loka etc. in the various puraaNaas such as naaradiya-puraaNa etc. How can these realms exist outside of Vishnu since Sri Krishna says that everything is embedded in the BrahmaaNda. Again, this confusion needs to be resolved.
  • Obviously, there is a great deal of confusion and reconciliation required. However, it is entirely possible that the ancient texts are using different terminologies to describe creation and re-creation. Also, it is possible that since the journey of Souls (atma) is a subtle one, one needs greater perception of the subtle aspects of praaNa to decipher the Truth.

School of Yoga posits views that may be contrary to accepted positions: 

  • There is a discernible degree of confluence between the ancient texts on the origin of matter and the Universe and science. The confusion arises in the interpretation and reconciliation of points of convergence and divergence.
  • An important conclusion is that all creation comes from one source, whether it is good, bad or indifferent, matter or energy. This is illusion (maaya) and the only thing outside this egg of matter (Hiranyagarbha) is Brahman.
  • Paataala-loka’s seems to represent shadripu (six deluders) which cover all aspects of tamo-guna of Prakriti. Hence, it might be interpreted as aspects within the Self which prevent a person from achieving the design potential of becoming sthitha-pragnya (a person of steady awareness).
  • The Kundalini is also a serpent that rests in null position until she emerges to move up from Brahmadvaara (door of Brahma) to Brahmarandra (opening of Brahma). The Kundalini, a serpent, is Shakti. When she merges with Siva, there is merger with Brahman. Clearly, ancient Indian mythology is metaphysical and needs to be understood in the architectural framework of Yoga. So, it is possible that the paatala-loga might be allegorically associated with the chakras and kundalini.
  • There are some differences between the different ancient texts and their various interpretations. For example, Srimad-Bhagavad-PuraaNa suggests that Prakriti was creating matter by itself but it burst out of its egg only when Brahman provided the motility in the form of Purusha. Then, creation burst out of the egg as Vishnu. In essence, it does not violate the position adopted by School of Yoga that Purusha and Prakriti weave together to create. Another, aspect is whether the egg, after the manifestation of Vishnu, remained an egg or just remained as Vishnu. The argument is irrelevant because we do know that the Universe expands and the expanding boundary can be referred to as the perimeter of Hiranyagarbha.
  • Additionally, there is some confusion on the journey of souls (atma) after expiration, but the subject is too vast and different, thus requiring greater research.

School of Yoga explains the lesson learned in Chapter 11

  • Sri Krishna is a manifestable state that controls creation and maintenance but does not participate in the operations.
  • From the description of Arjuna’s vision, one can conclude that birth, living and death is brutal and without sentiment. So, one must stop attaching sentiment to action (like-dislike, good-bad, right-wrong etc.).

The Transliteration of The Bhagavad-Geeta – Chapter 11 follows:

The Sanskrit words are in red italics and meaning, before the words, are in black.

(1-2) Arjuna said – Out of compassion for me (mad-anugrahya) this supreme secret called adhyatma (paramam-guhyam-adhyatma-samjnitam) which you have spoken, by that word this delusion has left me (yat-tva-yuktam-vaccha-tena-moham–ayam-vigatah-mama). Indeed, creation and dissolution of beings I have heard in great detail (bhavapyayou-hi-bhootanam-shrutau-vistarsho-maya), from you, O Lotus-eyed, also supreme soul and imperishable (tvathaha-kamala-patra-aksha-mahatma-api-cha-avyayam).

(3-4) Thus, this you have declared yourself to be the Supreme Soul (tvam-etat-yatha-aatthha-tvam-aatmanam-parameeshwaram), I wish to see you in your Sovereign Supreme Self form (drshtum-icchami-te-roopam-eishvaram-purushottam). If you think that is possible for me to see it, O Lord! (manyase-yadi-tat-shakyam-maya-drshtum-iti-prabho), O Lord of Yogis, then show me your imperishable Self (yogeshwar-tatho-me-tvam-darshaya-aatmanam-avyayam).

Sri Krishna said (5-6) Behold my forms by the hundreds and thousands (pashya-me-roopani-shatasha-atha-sahasrasham) of different divine types, different colours and shapes (nana-vidhani-divyani-nana-varna-akrtini-cha). Behold Aadityas, Vasus, Rudraas, Ashvinis, Maruths, also, (pashy-aadita-vaasoon-rudras-ashvinau-maruthas-thatha), many previously unseen wonders (bahuni-adrishta-poorvani-pasya-aashcharya).

(7-8) Here, behold, centred in one place, the whole universe (iha-ekastham-jagat-pashyam), now moving-unmoving (adya-sa-chara-aacharam), in my body, that and other visions you with to see (mama-dehe-yat-cha-anyat-drishtum-icchasi). But you cannot see me even with these eyes of yours (na-tu-maam-shakyase-drishtu-anena-eva-svachkshusha), I give you divine vision to behold my Powerful Yoga (divya-dadami-te-chakshuhu-pashya-me-yogam-aishwaryam).

Sanjaya said (9-10) Rajah (Drithrashtra), having thus spoken, the Great Yogi Hari, (evam-uktva-thatho-rajan-maha-yogeswaro-harihi) showed Partha the Supreme Sovereign form (darshayamasa-parthaya-param-roopam-aiswaryam). With multiple muzzles and eyes, numerous unique visions (aneka-vaktra-nayanam-aneka-adboota-darshanam), with multiple divine ornaments (aneka-divya-aabharanam), many divine weapons lifted (divya-aneka-udyata-aayudam).

(11-12) Wearing divine apparel and garlands (divya-maalyambara-dharam) anointed with divine scents (divya-gandha-anulepanam), everywhere astonishing visions (sarva-aschaarya-mayam), divine endless faces on all sides (devam-anantam-vishwato-mukham). In a sky a thousand Suns were rising simultaneously (divi-soory-sahasrasya-bhave-udgadhita), If splendour like that were possible, such would be of a mighty Soul (yadi-ba-sadrishi-sa-syat-bhasah-tasya-maha-atmanaha).

(13-14) There, in one place, the whole universe divided in many parts (trtra-ekastham-jagat-kritsnam-pravibhaktam-anekadha) Pandava saw then in the body of the God of Gods (apasyat-deiva-deivasya)shareere-pandavas-thatha). Then he, filled with wonder, hair standing on end, Arjuna prostrated the Deiva with joined hands and spoke (tatah-sa-vismaya-aavishto-hrishtaroma-dhananjayaha-pranamya-shirisa-deivam-krtanjali-abhashata).

Arjuna said (15-16) I see all deities in your divine body (pashyami-deivan-tava-deiva-dehe), also communities of various types of creatures (sarva-thatha-bhoota-vishesha-sanghaan), Lord Brahma seated on a Lotus (brahmanam-isam-kamala-aasana-stham), rishis and all types of divine serpents (hrishin-cha-sarvan-urgaan-divyan). I see many arms, stomachs, mouths and eyes in every part of your endless body (aneka-baahu-udara-vaktra-netram-pashyami-tvaam-sarvataha-ananta-roopam), I can see no end, no middle, not even you’re beginning in your Universal form, Vishveshwar (na-antaha-na-madhyam-na-punah-tava-aadim-pashyami-vishveshwara-vishva-roopa).

(17-18) Decorated with a diadem, club, discuss and filled with radiance everywhere and shining (kiritinam-gadinam-chakrinaam-cha-tejo-raashim-sarvatra-deeptimantam), I see you very hard to look at all around blazing hot like the immeasurable Sun (pashyami-tvaam-door-nirikshyam-samantaat-deept-anal-arka-dhyutim-aprameyam). You are Supreme Indestructible worthy of cognisance (tvam-aksharam-paramam-veditvyam), you are the Supreme Universal treasure house (tvam-vishvasya-param-nidhanam), you are imperishable, the eternal preserver of Dharma (tvam-avyayam-shashvata-dharma-gopta) that is universal, I think that you are Purusha (sanatana-tva-m-purusho-mato-me).

(19-20) Without beginning, middle or end, of infinite virility, having infinite arms, having the Sun and Moon for eyes (anaadi-madhya-antam-ananta-veeryam-ananta-baahum-shashi-soorya-netram), I see you with flaming mouth, your own radiance heating this universe (pashyami-tvaam-dipta-huta-vaktram-sva-tejasaa-vishvam-idam-tapantam). Indeed, all quarters and interspace of this Earth and Heavens are filled by you alone (dyava-prithviyoh-idam-antaram-hi-vyaptam-tvaya-ekena-dishaha-cha-sarvaha), I am seeing this unique ferocious form of yours with the three worlds trembling in fear, Great Soul (drishtva-adbhootam-roopam-ughram-tava-idam-loka-trayam-pravyathitham-maha-atma).

(21-22) In fact, communities of Deivas enter you, some in fear, with joined palms, after uttering a prayer that all may be well (ami-hi-tvam-sura-sangha-vishanti-kechit-bheetaha-pranjalayaha-grnanti-svasti-iti-uktva), communities or seers and sages praise you glorifying hyms (maharishi-siddha-samghah-sthuvani-tvaam-sthuthubhihi-pushkalabhuhi). The Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, and Sadhyas, Viswadevas, Ashvinis, Maruts, and Pitrus, also communities of Gandharva, Yakshya, Asura, Siddhas, and all others look at you in astonishment (rudra-aditya-vasuve-ye-cha-saadhya-visve-asvinau-marutaha-cha-usmapah-cha-gandharva-yaksha-asura-siddha-samgha-vikshanti-tvaam-vismitah-cha-eva-sarve).

(23-24) Your form is huge with multiple mouths and eyes, many arms, thighs and feet (roopam-mahar-bahu-vaktra-netram-bahu-baahu-uru-paadam), many stomachs, fearful with multiple tusks, seeing this world, I am indeed distressed (bahu-udaram-bahu-damstra-karaalam-drshtva-lokaha-pravyathithaha-thatha-aham). Touching the sky, blazing in many colours, with mouths wide open, with inflamed large eyes (nabhaha-sprsham-deepta-aneka-varnam-vyatt-ananam-deepta-vishala-netram), having seen the true you, I am terrified within my soul, lose my courage and find no peace, Vishno! (drishtva-hi-tvam-pravyathitha-antar-atma-dhritim-na-vindami-shamam-cha-vishno).

(25-27) Having seen your mouth with terrifying tusks and blazing like pralaya fires (damshtra-karaalani-cha-te-mukhani-drishteva-kala-anala-sannibhani), I lose orientation, purpose and am unable to be calm. Have mercy, Lord of the Devas in whom the Universe resides (disho-na-jane-na-labhe-cha-sharm-praseeda-devesha-jagannivasa). These and all the sons of Dhrithrashtra, along groups of kings, Bhishma, Drona, Sutaputra, also with warrior chiefs from our side (ami-cha-tvaam-dhrthrashtra=putraha-sarve-saha-eva-avanipala-samgha-bhishm-dronaha-sootaputra-thatha-asau-saha-asmadeeyouhu-api-yoddha-mukhaihi). They hurry and enter your terrible toothed mouth that is fear inspiring, some are seen sticking between the teeth, their heads crushed to powder (vaktrani-te-tvaramana-vishanti-damshtra-karalani-kechit-vilagnah-dashana-antareshu-samdrshyante-choortinaih-uttama-sangaihi).

(28-29) Just as torrents of many rivers are truly directed towards the sea (yatha-nadinaam-bahavah-ambuvegaah-samudram-eva-abhimukha-dravanti), similarly, these worldly heroes enter your flaming mouths (thatha-tava-mi-naraloka-veeraha-vishanti-vaktrani-abhivijvalanti). Just as moths enter a blazing fire to destruction with increased speed (yatha-pradeeptam-jvalanam-patangaha-vishanti-naashaaya-samriddha-vegha), similarly earthlings also enter your mouths with increased speed only (thatha-eva-nashaya-vishanti-lokaha-tava-apivaktraani-samriddhavegha).

(30-31) Frequently licking you swallow all in every side of the world with flaming mouths, (lelihyase-grasamaan-samantaat-lokaan-samagraan-vadanaih-jvalabhihi), your fierce radiant brightness fills the whole universe by its heat, Vishno (tejobhihi-aapoorya-jagat-samagram-bhasaha-tava-ugraha-pratapanti-vishno. Tell me who you are, I salute your fearsome form, supreme deity, show mercy (aakhyaahi-me-kah-bhavan-ughra-roopa-namaha-astu-deivavar-praseeda), I wish to know your primal state, indeed I cannot understand your purpose (vignyatum-icchami-bhavantam-aadhyam-na-hi-prajanami-tava-pravartim).

Sri Krishna replies (32-34) I am the mighty world destroying Time, now destroying the world (kalaha-asmi-loka-ksaya-krt-pravriddh-lokaan-samaarhutam-iti-pravarttah), even without you none of the entire arrayed hostile armies shall live (rte-api-tvaam-na-bhavishyanti-sarve-ye-avasthithaha-prathyanikeshu-yoddha). Therefore, stand up and achieve fame of having conquered your enemies and enjoy unparalleled power (tasmaat-tvam-utthishta-yashaha-labhsva-jitva-shatrun-bhunksva-raajyam-samriddham), these have already been killed by me, you will be a mere instrument, left-handed one (mayai-eva-ete-nihataha-poorvam-eva-nimittamaatram-bhava-savyasaachin). Drona and Bhishma and Jayadratha and Karna and other valiant warriors have been by slain by me. Do not vacillate, fight and you shall conquer your opponents in battle (drona-cha-bhishma-cha-jayadratha-cha-karna-thatha-anyaan-api-yoddha-veeran-maya-hatan-tvam-jahi-maa-vyathishtaa-yudhasva-jetasi-rane-saptnaan).

Sanjaya said (35) having heard Keshava’s speech, with joined palms, trembling, he with a diadem prostrated again and again, even addressed Krishna in a choked voice overwhelmed with fear and deep respect (sanjaya-uvacha-etat-chutva-vachanam-keshavasya-kritvanjalir-vepamana-kireeti-namaskarastu-bhooya-evaha-krishnan-bheeta-bheetaha-pranamyaha).

Arjuna said (36-37) In their place, Hrishikesa, in praising you, the world is delighted and rejoices and Rakshasas are afraid and run everywhere and the entire community of Siddhas bow to you (shane-Hrishikesha-tava-prakeertya-jagat-prahrshyati-anurajyate-cha-rakshamsi-bheetani-dashaha-dravanti-sarva-namasyanti-cha-siddi-samgha). And why should they not, Great Soul, you are superior to Brahma also, the primal creator, infinite, Lord of the deities, abode of the Universe, you are the imperishable being, which is also the supreme non-being (kasmaat-the-na-nameran-mahatma-gariyase-brahmanaha-api-aadi-kartre-ananta-deivesa-jagannivasa-tvam-aksharam-sat-asat-tat-param-yat).

(38-40) You are the primordial Deity, ancient Purusha, you are Supreme refuge of this Universe, you know everything and are the supreme abode, and you pervade the Universe, you are of infinite forms (tvam-adideivaha-purushaha-puranaha-tvam-asya-vishvasya-param-nidhaanam-vettha-asi-vedham-cha-param-cha-dhaama-tvaya-tatam-vishvam-ananta-roopa). You are Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, Moon, Prajapathi, you are the great-grandfather and a thousand salutations, salutations to you, again and again also, salutations, salutation to you (vayuhu-yamaaha-agnihi-varunaha-shashankaha-prajapatihi-tvam-prapitamahaha-cha-namaha-namahate-astu-sahasra-krtva-punah-cha-bhooyaha-api-namaha-namaha-te). Salutations in front also behind you, also do it on every side, even everywhere, encompassing all infinite virility, immeasurable power, you pervade everything, wherever there is anything (namaha-purastaat-ath-prshtathah-te-namaha-astu-te-sarvataha-eva-sarva-ananta-veerya-amita-vikram-tvam-sarvam-samaproshi).

(41-42) If I have been presumptuous in regarding you as a friend and saying “O Krishna”, “O Yadava”, “O Companion”, these were due to ignorance of your greatness by me, from carelessness, even due to affection. (sakha-iti-matva-prasabham-yat-uktam-he-krishna-he-yadava-he-sakha-iti-ajnyata-mahimanam-tava-idam-maya-pramaadaat-pranayena-va-api). If and for the sake of in jest I have been disrespectful to you while at play, during rest, sitting or eating or when by myself, Achyuta, or in company, for this I ask your forgiveness without restraint (yat-cha-avahaasaartham-astakrtaha-asi-vihaara-shayya-aasana-bhojana-eshu-ekah-athva-api-achyta-tat-samaksham-tat-kshaamaye-tvaam-aham-aprameyam).

(43-44) You are the father of the people, of the moving and unmoving, thou are to be revered and Guru, none is weightier or equal to you. Where can anyone in the three worlds also of your unmatched prowess?  (pitasi-lokasya-chara-achara-asya-tvam-asya-poojya-cha-guru-gariyaan-na-tvat-samamah-asti-abhyadhikaha-kutaha-anya-lokatreyaapi-apratima-prabhaava). Therefore, having respectfully bowed the body, I propitiate you, the Lord who is adorable, like a father to a son, friend to a friend, like a beloved should to the beloved, bear me, my deity. (tasmaat-pranamyaha-pranidhaaya-kaayam-prasaadaye-tvaam-aham-eesham-eedyam-pita-eva-putr-asya-sakheva-sakhyu-priyaha-priyaayaaha-aharsya-deiva-sodhum).

(45-46) I have delighted in what has never been seen, my cognition is frightened and distressed, show to me, my deity, that merciful form, Lord of deities, abode of the Universe (adrishta-poorva-hrshitaha-drstva-bhayena-cha-pravyathitham-manaha-me-darsaya-roopam-praseeda-deiveisha-jagannivasa). Crowned, bearing a mace, bearing a discuss in the hand, I wish to see you just as before, as the same four-armed form, instead of thousand-armed Universal form (kireetinam-gadinam-chakra-hastham-ichhami-tvaam-drashtum-aham-thatha-eva-thena-eva-roopena-chatur-bhujena-sahasra-baho-bhava-vishva-moorte).

Sri Krishna said (47-49) I am pleased with you, so I showed you this Supreme form, by the Yoga of my soul, full of Universal splendour, endless, primordial, this that I have shown you has not been seen before (maya-prasannena-tava-idam-roopena-param-darshitam-aatma-yogaat-tejo-mayam-vishvam-anantam-aadyam-yat-me-tvat-anyena-na-drishta-poorvam). Not by the study Vedas, Yagnya, not by gifts and not by actions either, nor by severe tapas either, such a form that I showed you, is possible to be seen any other in the world of men (na-veda-yagnya-adhyayainairn-danaiern-cha-kriyabhihi-na-tapobihi-ughra-evam-roopa-shakhaihi-aham-nrloka-drshtum-tvat-anyena-tvat-kuruveera). Be not alarmed, do not be perplexed by my form with qualities like this (ma-te-ma-cha-vimooda-bhaavo-drishtva-roopam-ghoram-idrk-mama-idam), with your fear dispelled, with peaceful cognition, again behold that form you truly had of me (vyapetbhihi-preeta-manaha-punah-tvam-tat-eva-me-roopam-idam-prapashya). 

Sanjaya said (50) Thus, to Arjuna, Vaasudeiva, so having spoken, his own form showed again and consoled him who was terrified by becoming once again the pleasant bodied great soul. (iti-arjunan-vaasudeivas-thatho-krthva-svakam-roopam-darshaya-maasa-bhooyaha-aashvasayaamasa-cha-bheetam-enam-bhootva-punah-soumya-vapuhu-maha-atma).

Arjuna said (51) After seeing this gentle human form of yours, Janardana, now I am composed in my consciousness and my normal nature is restored (drshtv-idam-maanusham-roopam-tava-soumya-janardhana-idanim-asmi-savrittaha-sachetaha-prafriti-gataha).

Sri Krishna said (52-55) Very hard to behold this form of mine you have seen (sudur-darsham-idi-roopam-drishtvanasi-yat-mama), deities always desire to behold this form (deiva-api-asya-roopasya-nitya-darshana-kanksinaah). I am not accessible for vision as you have seen of me by Vedas, nor austerities, nor charities, nor sacrifices (na-aham-vedaih-tapasa-na-danena-na-chejyaasa-shakya-evam-vidaah-drishtum-drishtvaanasi-maam-tatha). By single minded devotion only can you cognise this form of mine, understand and experience the subtlety (bhaktya-tu-ananyaya-shakya-aham-evam-vidhaha-jnyatu-drishtum-cha-tattvena-praveshtum-cha). Performs actions for me, regards me as Supreme, is devoted to me, is detached from society, without aggression (vairaha= virility) to all creation, he who does this, comes to me (mat-karma-krit-mat-param-mat-bhaktah-sanga-virjitaha-nir-vairaha-sarva-bhooteshu-yaha-saha-maam-eti).

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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