Now the Lord proceeds to grant that boon as it were. But from the point of view of the argument of the Gita this is perhaps the climax of the argument. What Sri Krishna wanted to reveal as a knowledge, (because all these chapters refer to basically to a synthesis of knowledge and devotion along with Karma also continues at the same time), so from the point of view of knowledge, it is a deliberate step from the side of Sri Krishna because up till now whatever has been said is only in the form of words in conception; but knowledge is completed only when there is sakśatkara, when there is a real vision, it has to be completed.
But more importantly, there is one very important revelation to be made, not only in the form of a vision. We have seen that in the Bhagavad Gita the Karma yoga has three steps, this is to repeat what we have said in the first chapters of the Bhagavad Gita: the first step is that desires for the fruits of action are to be renounced. This is the first step: ‘Do action, but give up the fruits of action, renounce them’.
The second is to see that your sense of your doer–ship of action is also false and therefore has also to be renounced. There is a vast Prakriti, a vast nature of which you are a small machine or a cog in the machine; therefore the idea that ‘I am the doer’ is also a false idea: that also has to be given and therefore whatever action has to be done is to be offered to the Divine. This is the second step: offering of your action to the Divine, knowing very well that you are not the doer of action that Prakriti is the doer and Prakriti is itself ruled by the Master of works, by the Lord Himself. Therefore action has to be done as a sacrifice at the altar of the Master of works: this is the second step of the Karma yoga of the Gita.
The third is: divyam karma. You have to do as an instrument of the Divine what is the divine work; and divine work can be done only when you know what is the divine will. Now, up till now what is the divine will has not been revealed to Arjuna. He has been told that he should do according to Divine’s will, but the knowledge of that divine will is still not revealed to him, that’s still remain to be told and it is this chapter…there is not only the revelation of the Divine but also the revelation of the Divine’s will and as a result the supreme secret of devotion emerges out of it: when you know the Divine, the knowledge of the Divine is the first kindling of the true Bhakti for the Divine.
That is why Sri Krishna says that ‘the one who knows Me is My greatest devotee’, there are many kinds of devotee, but it is only the Jnani who is parama bhakta, who is the supreme Bhakta; and from that Bhakti emerges the motivation of action. There is no greater motivation of action than a complete devotion to the Divine and to do the Divine’s will whatever it may be. It is there that the knowledge of the Divine’s will is to be revealed.
And that is why there are three things at the same time which are brought to a climax: the knowledge of the Divine in shatśakara form, (not only in conception but directly), you perceive the Divine; the highest devotion to the Divine is kindled; and the revelation of the Divine’s will. All the three in the highest forms are expressed.
That is why the importance of this chapter: it is not only the description that you find. Very often the description is so great and so vast that these three things which are done through this description are lost. But if you read again and again, again and again, then you will find that behind this great vision these three great things are wrought, are accomplished by Sri Krishna, reveals to the eye of Arjuna, which is a physical eye, but now Sri Krishna will get the divine eye to him through which he sees the Divine in His full splendour. The vision, as Sri Krishna says, nobody in the history of the world has ever before had this kind of vision of the Divine: first time that divine vision is revealed to an individual human being, such a vast vision is given.
Secondly the greatest devotion begins to emerge as a result of it. That is towards the end of the chapter we shall see that manifestation of greatest devotion. In the middle of the chapter we have the revelation of the Divine’s will. What is that revelation we shall see when we will come to it, but these three things are accomplished in this chapter that is why the importance of this great chapter.
Now, śrī bhagavān uvāca, He says:
paśya me pārtha rūpāṇi śataśo ’tha sahasraśaḥ |
nānāvidhani divyāni nānāvarṇākṛtīni ca ||5|| (XI)
“paśya me pārtha, Ô Partha, Ô Arjuna, paśya, see; me rūpāṇi, My forms.”
That means this is not the vision of the immutable Reality; this is not the vision of the silent Brahman: silent Brahman has no forms. It is the dynamic Reality, the dynamic forms of the Reality. “rūpāṇi śataśo, hundreds of My forms; ’tha sahasraśaḥ, thousands of forms; nānāvidhani, of various kinds; divyāni, these are all forms which are divine; nānāvarṇākṛtīni, My akṛtī, My forms and My varṇa, My colours are of various kinds and now, behold all of them.”
paśyādityān vasūn rudrān aśvinau marutas tathā |
bahūny adṛṣtapūrvāṇi paśyāścaryāṇi bhārata ||6|| (XI)
In one little phrase the whole thing is described, as it were, in a summary form. paśyādityān vasūn rudrān aśvinau marutas tathā | “Look at the suns, ,Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Ashwins, Maruts, and never seen before forms, bahūny adṛṣtapūrvāṇi, various forms which have never been seen before, paśya, see them; aścaryāṇi, they are wonderful.”
ihaikasthaṁ jagat kṛtsnaṁ paśyādya sacarācaram |
mama dehe guḍākeśa yac cānyad draṣṭum icchasi ||7|| (XI)
“See now in My body, mama dehe paśya, you see in My body; adya, now; you see now in My body; sacarācaram jagat, the entire world consisting of immobile and mobile things; ikasthaṁ, all of them are united; ikasthaṁ, they are all many of them, all of them; sahastra, they are hundreds of them, thousands of them, but ikasthaṁ, they are all united in Me. See all this, anyad ca draṣṭum icchasi, and whatever else you want to see, you see.”
na tu māṁ śakyase draṣṭum anenaiva svacakṣuṣā |
“You will not be able to see all this with your own eyes; na tu māṁ śakyase, you will not be able to draṣṭum māṁ, you will not be able to see Me; anenaiva svacakṣuṣā, with your eyes you will not be able to see.
divyaṁ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ; therefore I give you, divyaṁ cakṣuḥ, I give you the divine sight; paśya me yogam aiśvaram ||8|| (XI), see My majestic and My highest form.”
sañjaya uvāca, now Sanjaya describes:
evam uktvā tato rājan mahāyogeśvaro hariḥ |
darśayām āsa pārthāya paramaṁ rūpam aiśvaram ||9|| (XI)
“rājan, Ô King, (this is addressed to Dhritharashtra, Sanjaya is speaking to Dhritharashtra),he rājan, evam uktvā, having said this, mahāyogeśvaro hariḥ, the great Lord who is Himself the Lord of all Yoga, darśayām āsa, He showed to Partha, paramaṁ rūpam aiśvaram: the highest vision of the Divine was manifested.”