We are now to enter upon the 11th chapter which is perhaps the most famous chapter and the most powerfully poetic passage in the whole of the Gita. When we say it is powerful on the poetic point of view, we mean three things. First of all a great poetry must have vision: vision of the Truth. The greater the vision, the greater intensity of the vision, the greater the vastness of the vision, the greater is the poetic force. We can say greatly only about great things, therefore the vision must be very great. Secondly it must have a tremendous rhythm, the words must be rhythmic so that the song that emerges out of these rhythmic words, they g o echoing and re-echoing in your consciousness even when once heard, these words repeat themselves in our ears. And thirdly the style and substance must melt with each other. If the emotion that you want to create is of laughter the words themselves must laugh; if what is to be said is full of pathos and sorrow, the words must be sorrowful; if what is to be said is terrible, impetuous, powerful, mighty, and the rhythms of the words and the sounds of the words themselves must be equally mighty and impetuous.
Now, you will see here in this particular chapter all the three things at a very high level. There is first the vision: a vision which is demanded by Arjuna. Arjuna has been listening to the exposition of the nature of Reality. We have seen from the chapter n°7 onwards, every chapter has given a new aspect of the knowledge of the Reality: chapter n°7, n°8, n°9, n°10… in a sense chapter n°10 completes the description of the Reality in which what has been said is that there is only one Reality; that this reality is transcendental exceeds everything, everybody, exceeds many…
…it exceeds many, it exceeds all; many are in one, one is in many; all are in one, one is in all. Everything in the world is a vibration of the Divine, is a manifestation of the Divine. This is the basic substance which has been revealed to Arjuna by Sri Krishna, as a result of it the narrow framework in which Arjuna was working up till now, as a result of which he had come to a crisis, he had come to a kind of a difficult problem which he could not solve, that narrowness is now broken.
In the very first verse we shall read now, he says: “My bewilderment has gone.” He says here: moho ’yaṁ vigato mama (XI, 1), “My vigato, my bewilderment, vigato, is gone.” So, now we find Arjuna in a new frame of consciousness: it is not Arjuna in the very first chapters where he was bewildered and he wanted to run away and he said “I will not use my bow and arrow”, that frame of consciousness is gone. It is a new man as it were, before us.
In the first place he was not even a seeker, he did not even enquire. In the first chapter in simply says: “I will not fight”, he does not even ask Sri Krishna as to what he should do; later only he asks this question.