Text of the Bhagavagd Gita (Mother's Institute of Research) - Session 32: Chapter 10—Verses 1-28 (18 March 2000)

Chapter 10 Verses 1-16

We are now entering into chapter 10.

Because what is said in the 9th chapter is of capital importance, the 10th chapter begins by the restatement of the main essence of the 9th chapter. And Sri Krishna Himself said that what has been said so far in the 9th chapter is parapaṁ vacaḥ, is the supreme word, it is not our interpretation that the 9th chapter contains the supreme word, Sri Krishna Himself says at the very beginning of the 10th chapter: parapaṁ vacaḥ śṛṇu me, you listened to Me the highest word, the sacred word which is of the greatest importance:

bhūya eva mahābāho śṛṇu me parapaṁ vacaḥ |

bhūya eva means: again, once more, once more listen to Me, once more listen of the parapaṁ vacaḥ, the supreme word.

yat te ’haṁ prīyamāṇāya vakṣyāmi hitakāmyayā ||10.1||

This is being told because of hita-kāmyayā, because of the welfare and because of Sri Krishna’s mood by a sense of prīya, a sense of love for Arjuna. This 10th chapter therefore up to verse 11 is a re-statement with some additional knowledge still being bestowed upon Arjuna. As we know this 9th chapter was the description of the integral knowledge, the supreme knowledge which is all sided; it is also the description of the triple Yoga combined together, synthesis of Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti. Therefore from verse 2 up to verse 11 is a re-statement of the integral knowledge and integral Yoga in briefest terms with one important new element which takes the argument of the Bhagavad Gita one step farther and that is in verse 6. What is stated in verse 6 is something new which was not told so far. We know that from chapter 7 onwards, in every chapter there is something new that is added as far as the knowledge of the Divine is concerned: God knowledge, soul knowledge and world knowledge; these three knowledges put together is integral knowledge, and in one way or the other in every chapter there is something additionally told to us as far as the knowledge of the Divine is concerned.

Now, this 6th verse is very important because it describes the Divine in the movement, the Divine in the formation of the cosmos, the Divine in cosmic movement, the world formation, the Divine in the world. And Sri Krishna says:

maharṣayaḥ sapta pūrve catvāro manavas tathā |
madbhāvā mānasā jātā yeṣāṁ loka imāḥ prajāḥ ||10.6||

loka imāḥ prajāḥ, all these people they have been born out of Me, out of the Supreme but through sapta maharṣayaḥ, through seven Rishis of the ancient times, catvāro manavastathā, and through four Manus”. Now, this is a new knowledge which is being given in this chapter; that in this movement of the Supreme, the world is created through a certain movement of principles of being. These principles of being are seven; these principles are embodied at the mental level in the form of seven Rishis.

This is a very ancient tradition in Indian knowledge. In the Vedas there is the mention of seven Rishis; there is also mention of the four fold movement of the Divine when the world is created. Both these propositions are Vedic propositions; they are taken from the Veda; that is why the Bhagavad Gita is nothing but a continuation of the Vedic knowledge. According to the tradition seven Rishis were bhṛgu, marīci, atri, pulaśa, aṅgiras, kratu, and pulaṣya. These are the seven Rishis which have been mentioned in the Rig Veda. Each one of them represents one of the important principles of existence.

Now, if you want a comment upon it, it can be said, in the light of the Vedic knowledge, that there are seven planes of existence. The Veda speaks of seven principles, which are to be found in the world. Upanishad speaks of sapta sapta (Muṇḍ. Upn. 2.1.8.), that the whole world is so designed that everywhere you find seven principles existing, one of them more predominant, others subordinate. At the lowest when it comes down it is ‘physical’, which we see very easily, physical principle. Then, higher than the physical is the ‘mental’: it is called in the Veda: dyau. The physical is called pṛthivī and higher than that is the mental, which is called dyau. Between the dyau and the physical (pṛthivī), there is another principle which is called antarikṣa: pṛthivī, antarikṣa, dyau, these are three principles which we can see more easily here.

Then, higher than that is satya, the Truth: satyam, ṛtam, bṛhat, this is the 4th principle. The 5th is ānanda, the Bliss. Sixth is cit, Consciousness, Force and higher than that is sat, the supreme Existence: so, Existence, Consciousness-Force, Bliss, Truth, Mind, Life, and Matter.

These are the seven principles and the whole world is nothing but the manifestation of these seven principles. Even the physical have all others involved in it, they are not absent, but physical is more prominent, others are subdued. In the Life principle, life is more manifest than others are subdued. In the Mind, Mind is more prominent, others are subdued and so on, but all the present principles are present there in the world.

Question: What I want to say is manomaya, ānandamaya koṣas, all these koṣa(s)

The koṣa(s), what we call the concept of koṣa(s) is a later concept. First there are principles. Here Sri Krishna refers to seven principles; at a later stage they become manifest in human consciousness when these principles become more crystallised; crystallisation of these principles individually is the function of koṣa: koṣa is nothing but a body.

A purely physical body is the annamaya koṣa, then prāṇamaya koṣa is the praṇā body, Pranic body; then comes manomaya body, manomaya koṣa, the mental body. Now, most of us have only these three bodies, we have not yet formed the vijñānamaya: to form a vijñānamaya koṣa requires a lot of sādhāna, it is an existing body, it is not a koṣa, therefore it is not automatic in us. In the animals manomaya koṣa is not present, therefore mental faculties do not operate. As we move forward koṣa(s) are formed. Very few people can be said to have vijñānamaya koṣa, it is still to be formed and ānandamaya koṣa very few people, very rarely can it be developed, that is why we are not automatically ānandamaya.

If we had the koṣa, then the powers which are manifested in that koṣa become automatic. Even small children are mental because mental koṣa exists, therefore mental faculties begins to operate even in small children. Children may not know how to reason out like you and I can reason out things but the question of how, why, what, these are mental questions, these are automatic in the child. The child does not need to learn; these are automatic questions which are especially mental in character.

So, koṣa(s) are different from these seven principles. Principles exist everywhere but as koṣa(s) they have to be crystallised. In the human being only the three koṣa(s) have been crystallised: annamaya, praṇāmaya, manomaya. Then if you develop further by sādhāna, by great tapasyā, then vijñānamaya koṣa can be developed; then can be developed ānandamaya koṣa. Now, ānandamaya koṣa is still not the last, although in the Taittiriya Upanishad, it speaks only of ānandamaya koṣa as the top. But according to this knowledge it is still not the topmost, it is top but not the topmost; there can be citmaya koṣa, satmaya koṣa, but that means a tremendous developed consciousness of which we do not have even imagination. So, because in our human evolution ānandamaya koṣa is the rarest, therefore it has been regarded as topmost and once you attain into Ananda, others become also easier of access therefore they are not mentioned as koṣa(s).

In due course when the super-humanity will be born, these koṣa(s) will become much more crystallised and therefore manifest. So, this is the first principle of manifestation. Seven Rishis who symbolise seven principles of existence, because of these seven principles the whole world is manifested in the way it is manifested. This is one of the secrets of the manifestation of the world. Up till now this knowledge was not given to us; even when the supreme knowledge was given, the 9th chapter, this particular detail was not given. So Sri Krishna now adds it here to make integral knowledge really integral and complete.

Then Sri Krishna speaks of, catvāro manavastathā, (10.6). Mere seven principles are not enough for explaining the world. In addition to seven principles in the world, there is a four fold character of the world: seven principles and four characters. They are as it were like a weaving of a garment; the world may be regarded as a garment of which seven principles and four characters when they are all woven together that gives a complete fabric of the world.

What are these four characters? These are given in the Rig Veda in the hymn of Purusha. There is a very special hymn where there is a sacrifice of Purusha: the supreme Lord gives Himself into Para Prakriti. This knowledge was given to us in the 7th chapter when Sri Krishna says: ‘I have not one nature; I have two natures’: Apara Prakriti, and Para Prakriti. So, the knowledge of Para Prakriti is given already in the seventh chapter. Now, in the hymn of creation, where there is a Purusha sacrifice, in the Rig Veda, the Purusha manifests the world by offering Himself wholly into the Para Prakriti as a result of which Para Prakriti begins to manifest. It means there is a constant relationship between the supreme Divine as Purusha and supreme Divine as Para Prakriti: it is the same Purusha, same Reality but having two faces as it were.

He is a Purusha, Supreme is also Para Prakriti, that is why dve śirśe, this is the description of the Supreme given in the Veda, the Divine has two heads. While describing the Divine in a very physical form, Veda says that it has got two heads; it has got four horns, the śṛṇga, the horns are four. And trayo padasya it has got three feet. So, if you can visualise a creature…it is a kind of analogy so as to give a very clear idea. That this Reality has two heads; that is the beginning. The creation cannot take place without the beginning and that beginning has two heads: the Supreme as Purusha and Supreme as Para Prakriti. It has four horns: sat, cit, ananda, and Truth: these are the four horns. And three feet: Matter, Life and Mind are the three feet. So, three feet and four horns put together are seven principles of which now there is a mention here sapta rishis, the seven Rishis are four horns and three feet.

…Sat, Chit, Ananda and Truth principle, these four plus three, Matter, Life and Mind. Now, such is the description of the supreme Reality given in the form of an image. In the hymn of creation therefore in the Rig Veda, it is said that Purusha throws Himself fully in Para Prakriti. In other words without the will of Purusha, Para Prakriti would not move. Para Prakriti is the power of energy, but held back. It is only when Purusha wills and throws Himself, gives Himself entirely to Para Prakriti, Para Prakriti receive the will and manifests that will. So the whole movement arises in the world because of Para Prakriti’s impulsion from Purusha. But when this sacrifice takes place then the Divine manifests four parts of Himself.

The first is Wisdom, second is the Power, third is Love, and fourth is Skill. There are four manu(s), four powers: manu of Wisdom, manu of Power, manu of Love and manu of Skill. Therefore all human beings have got these four characters, everybody, every one of us. We have something of wisdom, something of power, something of love and something of skill: our total personality is nothing but a combination of these four. In varying degrees they are present. Wherever there is a manifestation, you will find seven principles and four characters. This is the secret of the whole world: wherever you look you will always find the presence of seven principles and four characters.

It is on this wisdom that the society of India was cast into four varṇa(s): the Brahmin representing the wisdom, Kshatriya representing the power or strength, Vaishya representing love, because Love is a matter of exchange and all commerce is exchange, and that is the speciality of the commerce, and Shudra represents skills, labour, work, perfection in the work. That is why in every society, every human being and every society will always have this four fold character, always these 4 powers will automatically manifest, whenever you want to organise anything, you will find these four characters, they automatically will begin to operate. It is inevitable even if you try to blot out this varṇa system, it arises. Even in the Soviet system, they don’t know about these four principles at all, but these 4 categories of people exist: there are labourers, there are merchants, there are administrators, and there are philosophers, so all the four exist even in the Soviet system, these four exist.

The entire hymn of creation, the puruṣasūkta (Rig Veda 10, 90), is fully brought here in one line, seven principles. That is why it is said Bhagavad Gita is a summary of the whole of the Veda: maharṣayaḥ sapta pūrve catvāro manavas tathā, seven principles and four manu(s), four characters; mad-bhāvā, they are all born from Me. These seven principles and four characters, mad-bhāvā, are all created by Me, they have all arisen from Me; mānasā jātā, particularly they are manifested in the mental plane. Now, this is a very important word mānasā jātā, in the mental plane the distinctions become more clear; if you go higher than the mind these distinctions cease to be distinctions: Sat is Chit, Chit is Ananda. You cannot even say Sat, Chit and Ananda: it is a mental operation. There is such a unity at the higher levels that even to speak of seven is not possible, to speak of four is not possible, it is all united, it is all one as it were.

But at the mānasā, at the level of the mind, the distinction becomes clearer; therefore this idea of seven principles and four characters is much more true at the mental level. So, mānasā jātā yeṣāṁ loka imāḥ prajāḥ ||10.6||, this world and all the people here are all born out of Me, (at the mental level), in the form of 7 principles and 4 characters.

So, this is the new knowledge that you get in chapter 10. Now, this is very important because chapter 10 onwards, there is a constant emphasis upon the world. We must remember the original line of argument of the Bhagavad Gita. We must remember that the question of Arjuna arises in the battlefield. Now, the question was whether he should remain in the battlefield or go out of the battlefield. And he had decided that he will not fight and he would go out of the battlefield. And Sri Krishna has to tell him ‘Be in the battlefield’. Now, ‘battlefield’ is a part of the world; but this world could be understood best only when you relate this world to the highest principles, because this world itself is a resultant of the supreme principles. That is why Sri Krishna has to lift Arjuna out of the battlefield for sometime, take him to the idea of the immortal in the second chapter, and then gradually develop the idea of Purushottama, the Lord of the being, to whom sacrifice is to be made, and then from 7, 8, and 9th chapters they are all devoted to the description of the supreme Reality, the highest reality.

Having described all this now comes returns as it were to this world because the main question of Arjuna was about the battlefield here. So unless all this knowledge is brought back at the level of the physical world, the answer can not be given. All this is only as it were, the premise. If Reality is integral, if Reality can be known by integral paths, then what is to be done now farther is in regard to this world. Therefore in chapter 10, we are brought very powerfully to the understanding of the world as it is. And that is why now Sri Krishna adds this new idea of a detailed process of world making. What is this world? Sri Krishna wants to tell Arjuna that his presence in the battlefield is not an accident. Behind every event, there is a long background starting from the supra-cosmic reality, comic reality, individual reality, seven principles, four characters, all this is present behind every event; therefore to imagine that an event takes place just by accident is an ignorant perception.

Comment: So, there is no such thing as coincidence.

There is no accident. Everything is a long process of development and the so-called accident is actually a part of a design. It may happen as an accident because our minds are not open to the highest truth. We do not seize the rhythm of the world, we do not seize the principles of the world, we do not know the characters of the world, so things appear as if suddenly something happens, we are taken unaware, it is because we are ignorant. But if we are luminous in our consciousness then we shall see that if any event takes place there is a significance; there is a meaning in it.

So, Sri Krishna wants to point out to Arjuna: ‘Your being on the battlefield has a meaning, it is not as if you have just come like that accidentally, as if you could have escape coming here, there was a long chain of history behind your coming into the battlefield; that you have come now disappointed is also not an accident; that you have become deluded, you have become completely disheartened, discourage, that even is not an accident. That shows that by coming into this experience of the battlefield your mind is knocked as it were, strongly knocked, almost knocked out, so that at present moment you are not able to think even. You have now seen that all the ideas that you had so far in your consciousness, all the training that you had so far is found to be wanting: it is not capable of giving an answer to the question that you have in your mind’.

It is a very important stage where you really confess ‘I do not know’. Most of the human beings always know. For them to come to a point when they say ‘I do not know’ is itself a tremendous state, because then only in the vacuum only the knowledge can be filled. If there is no vacuum how can you fill it? So Arjuna was brought to a state where there was now a real vacuum: sammūḍhaḥ, he was deluded, he knew, ‘I have no answer, I don’t know what is to be done’. So, that even is not an accident. This is the time where a momentous teaching can be given; supreme knowledge could be revealed. And without supreme knowledge being revealed your question cannot be answered. Your coming to battlefield, its ‘meaning’, my asking you to remain in the battlefield can be justified only when you know the totality and particularly when you know that there is only one Reality, that that Reality is a very complex reality; that complex reality itself is at work, there is nothing else which is at work, you are not at work, he is not at work, she is not at work. It is the supreme Reality which is at work.

Comment: So viṣāda is a reference here.

Yes. This is the significance of his viṣāda, because he did not know that there is something quite huge behind it; that supra-cosmic, cosmic, individual reality manifesting in the world and that only working in the world and nothing else working in the world, this realisation has to be completed before Sri Krishna Himself says “That one who is manifesting is Myself”, and this command of action that I am asking you now to perform is not my individual command. Look at the supreme Reality, it is that Reality which is in the war, it is that Reality which is asking you ‘fight!’

Now, this is the climax to which Sri Krishna wants to take His disciple step by step. And therefore this 10th chapter now comes with a message of the omnipresence of the Divine, the dynamic omnipresence of the Divine, vibhūti yoga: vibhūti is pre-eminent manifestation, bhūti is becoming, manifestation, vibhūti is pre-eminent; the pre-eminent movement of the Divine in which you see that the whole world is nothing but the Divine: viśvato mukhaṁ; you see that everywhere is the face of the Divine that you see. Now, this great vision of the Divine Himself everywhere is again a preparation of what is to come in the 11th chapter, which is a climax, where everywhere the divine is Himself manifested.

He is being prepared. The 10th chapter is the beginning of a great preparation. Before the whole reality is manifested, the whole universe is manifested as the manifestation of the supreme divine, viśvarūpa darśanaṁ, is being prepared now in the 10th chapter by showing that there is a universal dynamic presence of the Divine everywhere. And how do you see that dynamic presence of the Divine? There is only one Reality; whatever is, is divine. But to see that Divine which you cannot easily see, you see in the pre-eminent becomings; what you cannot see in the small, you can see in the large.

Question: How do we know that it is coming from the Divine and it is not some other input?

That is the substance of the first nine chapters: to eliminate all others hypotheses. All the nine chapters are being given to eliminate all the other possibilities. In fact Arjuna when he raises his question…in his questions and in the reason that he gives for escaping from the battlefield, in the reason that he gives there is one premise that it is lacking which Sri Krishna supplies in the very 2nd chapter. He said: ‘In all your arguments, there is one thing that you have not mentioned which all the wise men mention’. He says: ‘you speak like a wise man but you are not a wise man because a wise man begins with the right premise which you are not starting with’. What is that right premise? That which is: na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre, (2.20) “That which is not killed even when the body is killed”.

So you are now contemplating, worried about things about which the wise men are never worried. So, the first premise was missing. If that premise is missing then the kind of condition that you arrive at, is arrived at. You omit that premise and everything is in doubt, you cannot find an answer to the question.

Comment: So I think the answer to the 11th Shloka in the 2nd chapter, is coming in the 10th chapter, 6th Shloka.

Right, quite right, it is all a continuation. You see, the Gita is a very unified body of knowledge. At every step there is a development of the argument and if you study Gita very closely you find it is a marvellous composition in which every question that arises in the human mind is raised and answered effectively.

So, Sri Krishna says that if you want to know that the Divine is present everywhere because there is only one Reality then it can be more easily seen in certain specific examples. The whole of the 10th chapter is therefore given to the description of those phenomena where the divinity is more manifest, and can be seen more clearly.

Now, before we proceed further, let us at least read the verses that we have not read so far. As I told you from verse 2 to verse 11 is a reiteration of all that is said in chapter 9 that is why Sri Krishna says: “Now, listen again…”

bhūya eva mahābāho śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ ||10.1||

“Now, listen again, paramaṁ vacaḥ, this great word, the supreme word, the secret of secrets, rājaguhya, that secret word which we have described so much over so many sessions here, that is now summarised once again by Sri Krishna in these verses. It is the statement of integral knowledge and integral Yoga in 8 or 9 verses.

And the first statement He makes is:

na me viduḥ suragaṇāḥ prabhavaṁ na maharṣayaḥ |
aham ādir hi devānāṁ maharṣīṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ ||10.2||

“Even the gods do not know Me, nor the Maharishis, they do not know the beginning of anything, because aham ādir hi, because I am the origin, origin even of Devas and of Maharishis. Since I am the origin of them, how can they know Me? I am the origin of devānāṁ maharṣīṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ.” ‘I am the origin of everything’ is the summary of the statement of the supra-cosmic reality from where all the cosmos proceeds.

yo mām ajam anādiṁ ca vetti lokamaheśvaram |
asaṁmūḍhaḥ sa martyeṣu sarvapāpaiḥ pramucyate ||10.3||

“One who knows Me, yo vetti, one who knows Me, yo vetti mām, as what? ajam, unborn, anādiṁ, having no beginning…”, now another is added, “loka-maheśvaram, I am the Lord, I am no only the origin, I am also the Lord, whoever knows Me as such, asaṁmūḍhaḥ, he becomes illumined; sarva-pāpaiḥ pramucyate, this knowledge purifies everybody from all the sins and therefore he is pramucyate, he attains to liberation.”

That is in one line He gives integral knowledge and integral Yoga, in one line. “He who knows Me as ajam anādiṁ loka-maheṣvaram, whoever knows Me integrally as one having no origin and unborn and yet the Lord of all the creatures and all the worlds he becomes illumined and becomes liberated.”

buddhir jñānam asamohaḥ kṣamā satyam damaḥ śamaḥ |
sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ bhavo ’bhāvo bhayaṁ cābhayam eva ca ||10.4||

“All the things in the world that you see, behind everything is Myself: buddhi, intellect; jñāna, knowledge; asaṁmohaḥ, disillusionment; kṣamā, forgiveness; satyam, truth; damaḥ, control; śamaḥ, contentment; sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ, the happiness and misery; bhavo ’bhāvo, being and non-being; fear and fearlessness, all these along with…

ahiṁsā samatā tuṣṭis tapo dānaṁ yaśo ’yaśaḥ |
bhavanti bhāvā bhūtānāṁ matta eva pṛthagvidhāḥ ||10.5||

“Non-violence, equanimity, great satisfaction, tapasyā, giving, fame, infamy, all these and all the creatures which are known separately by division, they are all from Me.”

maharṣayaḥ sapta pūrve catvāro manavas tathā |
madbhāvā mānasā jātā yeṣāṁ loka imāḥ prajāḥ ||10.6||

“Seven great Rishis and the four great Manus also have come out of Me at the mental level and out of them have come out these worlds and these peoples.”

etāṁ vibhūtiṁ yogaṁ ca mama yo vetti tattvataḥ |
so ’vikampena yogena yujyate nātra saṁśayaḥ ||10.7||

“All those who know: etāṁ vibhūtiṁ yogaṁ ca mama yo vetti tattvataḥ, all those who know Me in fundamental principles, (now principles are described, seven principles, and four characters) he who know Me principally through all the principles and knows, vibhūtiṁ, knows even special manifestations, he gets united, ‘vikaṁpena, he does not tremble.” Arjuna was trembling; that is why He uses the word ’vikampena. “This tremble will cease if you know all this, then there will be no trembling at all, of this there is no doubt.”

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate |

“I am the beginning of everything; everything is sustained by Me.

iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāvasamanvitāḥ ||10.8||

Having known Me as the origin of everything, the wise people are filled with devotion.” It is a combination of knowledge giving rise to devotion, the synthesis of knowledge and devotion.

maccittā madgataprāṇā bodhayantaḥ parasparam |

They become endowed with My mind; mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā, their entire life-force, Pranic energy is entirely given to Me; bodhayantaḥ parasparam, they even exchange their ideas among themselves about Me.

cathayantaś ca, they speak about Me; māṁ nityaṁ tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca ||10.9||

They try to satisfy Me and they are themselves delighted because of Me.

teṣāṁ satatayuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prītipūrvakam |
dadāmi buddhiyogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te ||10.10||

“When they are constantly united and when they constantly devote themselves, prīti-pūrvakam, with complete devotion then I give them buddhi-yogaṁ, then I give them the Buddhi Yoga by which they come to Me.”

With regard to Buddhi yoga we have seen in the 2nd chapter Sri Krishna gives the idea of Buddhi yoga: the 2nd chapter itself is called Buddhi Yoga. But that Buddhi Yoga is a Yoga by which the Real and the unreal are discriminated between: by Buddhi Yoga you discriminate and distinguish between that which is eternal and that which is not eternal. You distinguish between Purusha and Prakriti; you come out of the clutches of Prakriti and you enter into Purusha consciousness. That is the basic message of the 2nd chapter. If you make your Buddhi, your intellect pure and sharp, then you will see what is real and what is unreal; then you will see what is eternal and what is not eternal; then you will see what is Purusha and what is Prakriti; then you will see how you are bound at Prakriti and how you can liberate yourself from Prakriti and enter into Purusha consciousness.

Now, another Buddhi yoga is now given in the 10th chapter which arises out of devotion; that was purely by intellectual operations that you perceived the distinctions, but now: teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam “If you devote yourself to Me thoroughly, all those who are devoted to the supreme Divine thoroughly they are given a gift as it were; dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ, to them I give a boon of Buddhi yoga, I give them entire integral knowledge which comes by purified intelligence. So, even if you don’t start by Buddhi Yoga…you start with Bhakti yoga, then even Bhakti yoga gives you the boon of Buddhi yoga. Whether you start with Buddhi yoga in which case you ultimately go to bhakti, starting with knowledge you come to bhakti, or you start with bhakti and you come to knowledge.

So, in the 10th chapter now we are told that even if you don’t start with Buddhi yoga but you have simply love for the Divine, then the Divine Himself will give you the power of discrimination Buddhi yoga.

teṣām evānukaṁpārthaṁ aham ajñānajaṁ tamaḥ |
nāśayāmy ātmabhāvastho jñānadīpena bhāsvatā ||10.11||

“Those who now attain to this love and therefore Buddhi yoga, in that case with the light, jñāna-dīpena, by the light of lamp and knowledge I destroy. What do I destroy? tamaḥ ajñāna-jaṁ, the darkness which is born of ignorance and that too I do with anukaṁpārthaṁ, with compassion.”

In other words even the tremendous sādhanā and tapasyā we do, there is still a possibility of your not attaining to the Supreme. After the great tapasyā, there must intervene ānukaṁpā, there must intervene the Grace. Mere Buddhi yoga, mere Bhakti yoga is not enough; mere Karma yoga is not enough. All this will lead you to a stage where the supreme Divine graces you anukaṁpārthaṁ.

Sri Aurobindo says: “aspiration from below and Grace from above”; when the two are conjunct, combined together that becomes the condition of fulfilment.

So, this is the summary of all that has been said so far which ends with Grace ultimately, all the teaching ultimately ends with ānukaṁpārthaṁ; with Grace the Divine descends and leads you to the Supreme.

Now, Arjuna begins to ask a question. Having seen all this, now you can see the complete change in the mentality of Arjuna. Compare his mentality with the 2nd chapter where he decisively says: ‘I will not fight!’, decisively, he does not ask even Sri Krishna: ‘what is your view?’ He has come to the conclusion himself and says: ‘I will not fight!’ Afterwards he asks questions in the 3rd & 4th chapters, a few questions.

But now the whole mentality is changed and he says:

paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān |
puruaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam ādidevam ajaṁ vibhum ||10.12||

bhavān, you, you are paramaṁ pavitraṁ dhāma paraṁ brahma, now I realise you are paraṁ brahma, you are the supreme Reality, paraṁ dhāma, the supreme Abode, pavitraṁ paramaṁ, you are the supreme holiness; puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ, you are the eternal Purusha; you are divyaṁ, you are Divine; ādidevam, the origin of all the gods; ajaṁ, unborn; vibhuṁ, one who is spread out.

āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve devarṣir nāradas tathā |
asito devalo vyāsaḥ svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me ||10.13||

“This is how you are described by the Rishis, āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ, all the Rishis call you by all these epithets; sarve devarṣi, all the devarṣi, devarṣir nāradas tathā, even the devarṣir nārada also call you by all these epithets; asito devalo vyāsaḥ, these are also great Vibhutis, great Rishis, and You Yourself are describing Yourself in the same way; svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me, You are telling me about Yourself in the same way.”

sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye, now he accepts, “Now manye, I accept, I now believe, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ, all this is true, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye, I now believe that all that You have said is true; yan māṁ vadasi keśava, what you are telling me, yan māṁ vadasi, what You are telling me…”

na hi te bhagavan vyaktiṁ vidur devā na dānavāḥ ||10.14||

“O Lord, even the Devas and the dānavā (s),none of them know You.”

svayam evātmanātmānaṁ vettha tvaṁ purṣottama, only You Yourself know Yourself, nobody else knows You…

svayam evātmanātmānaṁ vettha tvaṁ purṣottama |
bhūtabhāvana bhūteśa devadeva jagatpate ||10.15||

“You are bhūteśa, you are the Lord of all the creatures, all that has become here and all the creatures, you are Lord of that, deva-deva, even you are the God of gods, jagat-pate, You are the Lord of the universe.

vaktum arhasy aśeṣena divyā hy ātmavibhūtayaḥ |
yābhir vibhūtibhir lokāṅ imāṁs tvaṁ vyāpya tiṣṭhasi ||10.16||

“Now, having seen all this…”, having accepted all that Sri Krishna has said so far now in his heart a new curiosity arises and therefore he says:

vaktum arhasy aśeṣena divyā hyātmavibhūtayaḥ |

Now you tell me, aśeṣena, without remainder, You tell me fully…

Chapter 10—Verses 16-28

…Yes, the mind has assented, will has consented, the heart is full of love, these three conditions of śraddha are fulfilled now: the real śraddha is: the mind assents, the will consents and the heart becomes filled with love. Then, you can say it is the right condition of śraddha, not belief what normally people…śraddha is not their śraddha: it is a dynamic will to make real what you believe, that is śraddha. śraddha Is a dynamic movement which does not stop merely at the belief, which wants to make belief ‘real’ by experience, by realisation: that is śraddha. And that śraddha has three conditions: assent of the mind; consent of the will; and heart filled with love. All the three conditions are now obtained in the consciousness of Arjuna.

So, he says now…now he wants to hear more:

vaktum arhasy “You now deserve to tell me, you should tell me now, aśeṣena, without remainder, fully, divyā hyātmavibhūtayaḥ, all Your divine manifestations, pre-eminent manifestations, which can be seen in the world, kindly narrate to me:

yābhir vibhūtibhir lokāṅ imāṁs tvaṁ vyāpya tiṣṭhasi ||10.16||

“Those pre-eminent manifestations by which the whole world is pervaded by You, all these Vibhutis, pre-eminent manifestations, please narrate to me.”

kathaṁ vidyām ahaṁ yogiṁs tvāṁ sadā paricintayan |
keṣu keṣu ca bhāveṣu cintyo ’si bhagavan mayā ||10.17||

“How shall I know You, You who are Yogi and who is always contemplated, in which forms, keṣu keṣu ca bhāveṣu, in which forms, cintyo ’si, You can be contemplated, O Bhagavan! O Lord! mayā, by me. Please tell me in what forms shall I think of You. You narrate to me all the different forms in which You can be seen.”

vistareṇātmano yogaṁ vibhūtiṁ ca janārdana |
bhūyaḥ kathaya tṛptir hi śṛṇvato nāsti me ’mṛtam ||10.18||

vistareṇā, in detail; vistareṇātmano yogaṁ vibhūtiṁ ca janārdana |
“You tell me Your Vibhutiyoga
in detail. bhūyaḥ kathaya, tell me again; You have already told me something but now tell me again,

bhūyaḥ kathaya tṛptir hi śṛṇvato nāsti me ’mṛtam ||10.18||

Where is the satisfaction in my heart when you tell me such immortal things, such nectarous things…”

It is as if all is flowing from His nectar. “…So, please pour this nectar on me, and tell me in detail without remainder everything that is to be seen in which I can have sight of You and I can then contemplate on You.”

Now, śrī bhavavān uvāca, Sri Krishna answers this question:

hanta te kathayiṣyāmi, “In deed I will tell you; divyā hy ātma vibhūtayaḥ, all My special manifestations I will tell you; but, prādhānyataḥ, I will tell you only the principal manifestations.” Arjuna had said: “Tell me without remainder”, but Sri Krishna says: “I will tell you but not in detail, I will only tell you prādhānyataḥ, only principal, some main events, some main manifestations.” Why? Because nāsty anto vistarasya me, “because there is no end of my great expansions. So, because there is no end of my expansions, if I have to tell you everything, it will be endless and it will never be stopped, therefore I will only tell you in principal features wherever I can be seen.”

Now comes the real content of this 10th chapter, where Sri Krishna, where the supreme Divine can be seen. In metaphysical terms the content of these verses from 20 up to 42, 20 to 42 these 23 verses; they give us what is called ‘The theory of Vibhuti’, in metaphysical terms.

“What is Vibhuti?” Is itself a question. The description that is given here is easy enough. When Sri Krishna says: “Among Pandavas I am Dhananjaya, I am Myself Arjuna, among Vrishnis I am Krishna, among warriors I am Rama”, these are easy to grasp. But what is behind these descriptions? Why do you call it Vibhuti?

What is Vibhuti? The basic point about Vibhuti is that this world is not a static world: this world is a dynamic world. This dynamic world is gradually unfolding more and more of what is contained in the seed. The seed itself is nothing but ‘divine’. This divine seed is flowering; this flowering has a certain rhythm, certain principles of development: this flowering is not pell-mell in a chaotic manner; there is a system in this development. But in all this development at every stage, first to be seen is the omnipresence of the Divine. Whether the world is at a lower level of manifestation, or at a middle level of manifestation, or even at a higher level of manifestation, the one thing that you have to see everywhere is the presence of the Divine; and this is quite difficult.

You can see the Divine in the sunlight, but you cannot see the same Divine in the night, the darkness. It is easy to see the Divine in a saint, very difficult to see the Divine in the sinner; very easy to see God in the benevolent, but very difficult to see God in the miser. In the Goodness one can see the Divine more easily; in the evil it is very difficult to see the Divine. So the first thing that Sri Krishna tells Arjuna is whether in the beginning, or in the middle or in the end, first remember that all this is born out of the divine seed: “I am at the beginning of everything, I am at the middle, I am at the end; and see the Divine everywhere”.

It is only because it is very difficult to see the Divine everywhere that you can see first in the Vibhutis, in some special manifestations. And then when you know what is a special manifestation, then you will learn that in every stage of manifestation, it is the Divine, it is in the weak…the Divine is weak in the weak. The Divine is strong in the strong people. The Divine is both in goodness and in evil. The Divine is present in the outcast, the Divine is equally present in the one who is worshipped, who is great, who is majestic, dignified. There is, in other words, in this world a ‘process of evolution’.

If we now take up chapter 7, in which Sri Krishna says: “I have two natures: the higher nature and the lower nature.” The lower nature is not independent of the higher nature, but lower nature itself is a manifestation of the higher nature, therefore you have to see that even in the lower nature, the presence of the higher nature. If the higher has become lower, some operation has taken place. Normally you should be able to see only the higher nature everywhere because it is the only thing in the world. If the Divine is still seen as un-divine because there is fallen somewhere a veil of ignorance. It is the veil of ignorance which makes us see ‘un-divine’; when that veil is lifted up, then you see the Divine everywhere.

We have Sri Aurobindo’s description of the court scene. Sri Aurobindo was arrested, taken to the jail and then brought in the court for prosecution. And Sri Aurobindo says in that court Sri Krishna tells him: “Now look at the judge”, and then he says: “I looked at the judge, I saw my beloved smiling at me; I looked at my prosecutor; it was not my prosecutor whom I saw; it was Narayana whom I was. I looked all around and I saw Vasudeva all over.” And then Sri Krishna says: “Now do you fear? I have overridden everything in the world, I am present everywhere. In the prosecutor I am there, in the judge I am there; in the accused I am there, among all the witnesses I am present.” The Divine is everywhere. When the veil of ignorance is lifted, there is no enemy then, there is no friend, everybody is a beloved divine.

This is the perception to which Sri Krishna is trying Arjuna to take. Now, how is it that the higher has become lower? What is this veil of ignorance? The answer is that the veil of ignorance arises when the individual, which is itself the child of Purushottama and Para Prakriti, each one of us is a Jivatman, is the individual. We are all children of Purushottama and Para Prakriti, the supreme Reality which has two faces, two heads.

In the supreme Consciousness of Para Prakriti, there is perfection, in every movement there is perfection. All perfections are manifestations of Para Prakriti. If you see that the strength is most manifest in the lion, that means that there is some kind of perfection of Para Prakriti which becomes manifest in the lion. All the Vibhutis are manifestations of Para Prakriti under a given stress of development of Apara Prakriti. When the lower Prakriti is evolving, developing, when a stage is reached in the development of acute explosion, it burst out as it were, then Para Prakriti begins to manifest. All of us are in a sense Vibhutis, as Sri Krishna Himself says: “There is nothing which is not Vibhuti”. Everything is a manifestation of the Divine.

Only we are covered under the veil of ignorance and individuals who have the capacity of manifesting the Supreme, we are covered and therefore ‘incapacitated’. In the condition of incapacity we struggle, we strive. In this striving there is a lot of conflict and division. What is easily available is striven after by us with a tremendous effort and even then what is gained is little. In this movement of…limping movement, in which we develop very gradually, with great difficulty, with great obstruction and opposition, a time comes of acute stress when suddenly the higher nature manifests.

You find for example mother with a child, a mother which has been so docile, so quite, so very much in the mood of supplication, all the time begging people to protect the child, because of excessive love for the child, that woman suddenly if the child is snatched from her, she becomes Mahakali, she will not tolerate any kind of obstruction, under the stress her real form of Para Prakriti, the fierce and terrible and mighty force of the divine Mother manifests, she becomes Vibhuti for that moment.

This is the potentiality in every one of us, but under the state of crisis in our case in our evolving individuals, it happens like an explosion. These explosions take place temporarily, for the time being, but again we return to our ordinary weaknesses. But if you can hold on, that temporally manifestation, as a character of yours, then that is really called a Vibhuti: that which can happen only temporarily, under a great stress, if that can be held by you, as a part of your character, then you become special manifestation. If every manifestation therefore, you become perfect, it is a perfect manifestation. In all of the other movements, there is imperfection.

So, Sri Krishna will describe here those manifestations, where there is a permanent characteristic of manifestation of Para Prakriti, not a full manifestation of Para Prakriti because that would be the complete manifestation of all aspects of the Divine, but in some specific threads of development, on certain lines of development. But even that is sufficient to tell you that if this is possible under special circumstances, in certain individuals, it is also possible for everyone, and therefore you can see the Divine everywhere even when the special manifestations have not come out. You can then see the Divine everywhere, whether that Divine manifests in Para Prakriti’s form and is perfection or not. To perceive the dynamic omnipresence of the Divine and to perceive the possibility of a perfect manifestation of the Divine: that is the secret of Vibhutiyoga.

This is what Sri Krishna wanted to tell Arjuna, that all these individuals who are here, they are all manifestation of the Divine: Drona and Karna, as well as Yudhishtira and Arjuna, and Bharata and Bhima and others, they are all manifestations of the Divine. The entire battle is the divine manifestation. In this battle everyone is carrying the Divine’s will. Even unwillingly he carries out the Divine’s will without knowledge; he has now the privilege of knowing the divine will divinely, supremely with the revelation: “Therefore I now declare to you: fight!” The answer of Sri Krishna is not merely an intellectual answer but shows him that here is the presence of the Divine everywhere and “I am the source of everything, and I give you the command: fight!”

Comment: So, it is the dialogue of Nara and Narayan.

That’s right, absolutely, correct. I think we shall stop here now because the description of the Vibhutis is not so difficult. But this was the most important part which explains what is the purpose of this Vibhutiyoga and why Sri Krishna enumerates, so that all the Vibhutis when they are known fully become to know the omnipresence of the Divine. And then this battlefield will not be seen as if something contrary to the Divine. This battlefield itself is a work, which will show you the depth of the Divine’s presence: the battlefield itself is the Divine’s field.

Therefore, Kurukshetra is Dharmakshetra which was right in the very first word of the Bhagavad Gita that is what is described, and this is the purpose of this Vibhutiyoga which will lead us then in the 11th chapter into Vishvarupadarshan. That we shall see next time.