To understand this particular chapter n°10 more centrally, we may go back to the understanding of the word ‘Vibhuti’. This word has two parts: ‘Vi’ and ‘Bhuti’. Bhuti is becoming and Vi has two meanings: Viveda=varieties and Vishesha=special, ‘varieties’ of becomings and ‘special’ becoming. These two meanings are both illustrated in the enumeration that we shall find here: varieties of becomings of the Divine and special becomings of the Divine.
Secondly there is a distinction between ‘being’ and ‘becoming’: the Divine is both ‘being’ and ‘becoming’. Becoming depends on the being whatever is in the being manifests in the becoming. Basically the ‘being’ is perfect, therefore the ‘becoming’ also must be perfect, but that is not so. There are ‘varieties’ of becomings but there are also ‘special’ becomings. If in the world, everything was perfect there would be nothing like special becomings. It is because some are imperfect and some are tending towards perfection, and sometime there is a perfect manifestation that is why we have to use the word Vibhuti.
But first let us try to understand what is perfection? It is in the context of the meaning of perfection that we shall understand the meaning of Vibhuti. If we examine our own idea of perfection, we shall normally tend to think of it in terms of ‘maximum’. You add more, and more, and more, and more, and more, until you say now nothing more is needed or required: that is what we call ‘maximum’, perfection as maximum.
But there are other meanings and much better meanings of perfection. When a child utters the first sound, or the first articulation of the sound, we shall say it is perfect, although there are many better sounds available in the world, but when a child utters an articulated word we say “it’s perfect”. Similarly we speak of a painting and we say this painting is perfect. Try to understand what we mean by perfection in that context. If it is a question of maximum, then we may say that is the colours are more and more and more, if the composition is more and more and more, surely we don’t mean, when we say this painting is perfect ‘that’ kind of maximum.
There is another sense in which we use the word ‘perfection’: that is ‘equilibrium’. When something is in a state of equilibrium, then relationship between various things is truly related to each other in such a way that little more or little less would make a difference: it becomes unbalanced. It’s not a question of ‘maximum’; it’s a question of proportion: such a proportion of combination of things that the harmony of relationships comes to an equilibrium. So, this is the second meaning of perfection, it relates to relationships, it relates to the concept of unity. Such relationships put together in such proportions that everything hangs together in a beautiful unified form: that is also called ‘perfect’.