Text of the Bhagavagd Gita (Mother's Institute of Research) - Session 33: Chapter 10—Verses 29-42 (25 March 2000)

To understand this particular chapter 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 becoming and ‘special’ becomings. These two meanings are both illustrated in the enumeration that we shall find here: varieties of becoming 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 becoming 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 sometimes 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 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 the 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’.

The third meaning of perfect…this relates to the sense of ‘sovereignty’. When there is an expression which is not opposed by any other, and when that expression rules over all other forces, then we say that that expression is ‘perfect’.

So, ‘sovereignty’, ‘unity’, and ‘maximum’, these are the three meanings of ‘perfection’.

Now, if you examine the meaning of the word ‘maximum’, you will find that in the world in a given situation, there is maximum, but not in itself: it is like the horizon. In a given view of things the horizon completes your vision and nothing more is added while you are standing at a particular standpoint. But if you change your stand, if you move farther or backwards, then the horizon either recedes or goes forward. So, the word maximum has significance only in a certain situation but not in absolute terms: there is nothing like ‘absolute maximum’.

And yet there is a meaning; that is to say there is constant increase of potency and constant addition to actualise values. I am using two words here which are new: ‘potency’ and ‘value’. Potency is the ‘power of expression’, and value is the ‘meaning of expression’. In the movement of the world, there is a constant increase of power of expression. In a sense you might say, there is no end of it, it goes on maximising itself. Meaning of values also goes on expanding itself, so as far as the movement of manifestation is concerned, there is a constant movement towards a more and more and more, and in a given situation if you reach maximum you say: now it is perfect. But we must understand it is only with regard to particular situation.

In a given company you can say who is the wealthiest, you can count each one wealth and you say now this is the wealthiest, but that is because you limit a particular field, but if you ask what is the wealthiest in the world it includes the also past, present and future: so it becomes indefinite. So, in terms of more and more and more, it is always relative.

But in terms of ‘sovereignty’, in terms of ‘unity’, you can have at every stage a perception of perfection; it does not depend upon this situation or that situation or any situation. Wherever there is a movement which is sovereign, you say it’s absolute. Whenever an expression stands out in a ruling position, stands out as something that overarches everything and there is no opposition to it, you call it perfect. Similarly about ‘unity’, in any given situation, there is a kind of unity of such a nature that everything is in its proper place. Now, sovereignty and unity, these are the two characteristics basically of perfection. Maximisation is only a ‘relative’ perfection. Perfections in themselves are either in the terms of sovereignty or in terms of unity. Usually both are common together: the sovereignty of movement and unification of movement, unity of movement, they obtain together.

Now, we have seen in the Bhagavad Gita and exposition of the idea of Para Prakriti in the 7th chapter: ‘Para Prakriti’ as distinguished from ‘Apara Prakriti’, the ‘higher nature’ as distinguished from ‘lower nature’.

Now, what is the distinction between the two? In the higher nature also there are activities, movements, qualities, powers, forces, properties, all these things that are obtained in the movement are also in Para Prakriti, and the same is also in Apara Prakriti. But the distinction is that in Para Prakriti’s movement, all movements are ‘sovereign’, and all movements are ‘unified’: that is the mark of Para Prakriti. Whenever any movement takes place it is unopposed, every movement: in Para Prakriti every movement is unopposed. Therefore, every movement is sovereign. There is no sense of opposition at all; every action therefore is sovereign; every expression is sovereign, it rules over all the others. And secondly all the movements are unified and that is also another mark. In Para Prakriti no movement is seen as isolated movement. Every movement is seen as part of the totality, of the whole, and every movement is automatically unified with all the others. There is an automatic harmony.

There is a subordinate corollary of this and this is that in Para Prakriti everything is devoid of struggle, devoid of effort; there is spontaneity, effortlessness; and automatic strength, inherent strength.

Now these are the special qualities by which you can distinguish between what is pertaining to Para Prakriti and what is not pertaining to Para Prakriti. Wherever there is an expression which is ‘sovereign’, wherever there is an expression which is ‘unified’, wherever there is a movement which is devoid of effort, where there is spontaneity is perfect.

Now these characteristics also are found in Apara Prakriti from time to time. And whenever these appear even in Apara Prakriti, we can say that’s perfect. A smile of the child which happens spontaneously, effortlessly, that smile is perfect, because there is no opposition to it, there is no constraint on it, it issues automatically spontaneously, effortlessly. A child answering a question to an examiner in a small school, at a very low level of examination and the child simply says: “I don’t know”. It’s a perfect answer. You simply love it because, there is innocence, there is a perfect sincerity, a spontaneity.

Now, these ideas about perfection are important to be kept in mind when we consider this Vibhuti Yoga. What Sri Krishna wants to explain to us is that in this world of manifestation, there are two levels of manifestation: one manifestation that takes place in Para Prakriti and another manifestation that takes place in Apara Prakriti. In Para Prakriti everything is perfect; in Apara Prakriti everything is imperfect. And yet this imperfection tends towards perfection and this is very important. In Apara Prakriti everything is imperfect, but it tends towards perfection. So, unless you know what is perfect we won’t understand how it tends towards perfection. There are therefore degrees of imperfections: there are lesser degrees of imperfections, greater degrees of imperfection. Wherever there is a higher degree of imperfection, it is viśeśa vibhuti, it is special becoming… Higher degrees tending towards greater perfection: that is Vibhuti.

So, you might say that when you visualise the whole world, you have to visualise the world with God’s eyes. It is as if God Himself is viewing the world. The right perception of the world is not the perception that we have in our ignorance: we do not understand the world, we do not appreciate the world in the right way and we react to the world in our evaluation of the world according to what effect it produces upon our small individual field.

What Sri Krishna wants to tell Arjuna is to open out to the world and see the omnipresence of the dynamic Divine in the world. This is very important because Sri Krishna wants to tell Arjuna that the Kurukshetra in which he is placed is a field of divine action; that if Divine is present everywhere, he must know how to see the Divine everywhere, and you have to treat the world as if you are treating the Divine. If the world is present everywhere, that you have to deal with each one, each event, each field, each quality as if it is the Divine. Unless Arjuna tries to see the world and Kurukshetra in that context, he will not get the real answer to his question: that this Kurukshetra itself is the field of the Divine, is himself the Divine, the Divine Himself is manifesting as Kurukshetra.

In a state of realisation to which integral Yoga arrives (and which has been described up till chapter 9 so well, integral knowledge, integral action, integral divine, integral devotion), thus integral vision has three aspects. First it sees the Absolute, the Sovereign from where everything issues and yet who is Himself above everything that issues out of Him: that is the first vision. The second vision is, simultaneously, to the equal Self in all, not the sovereign, the vision of the sovereign is one aspect of the vision, but the second aspect of the vision is to see equality of the Divine in everything.

…and the third is the vision of the differences between being and being, expression and expression. And yet to find out how all these different things in the world are tending towards the Divine they are all formations of all movements which are all in a process of evolution so that you see the Divine as it were, in various masks, various disguises and detect the Divine under these disguises: you see a cruel master and yet you find in him the Divine. It is easy to see the master when the master is very benign, but to stand before the cruel master and yet to see the Divine in him, to see his power, the direction of his power, what his is aiming at. This is the real test of a real sage that even in what we call opposite, what are masks, what are very painful, even that to perceive the presence of the Divine who is leading the evolution of upwards.

I want to read out to you some time, later on, at the end of this, Sri Aurobindo’s description of Napoleon. Napoleon is a Vibhuti. Napoleon is even a Rakshasa, an egoist ‘par excellence’, and yet when you perceive Napoleon on the stage of the world, leading the armies, marching forward, slaughtering, ruling, commanding, organising, plotting, all kinds of activities, incessantly going on from his brain, if you see these activities, you find as it were, God Himself was striding across the stage of the world, a powerful Vibhuti, a special becoming of the Divine carrying the evolution of mankind within a short time from one stage to the other stage: you might say the whole world history was changed because of Napoleon.

That is one perception that we gain and that is the mark of a sage: the sage does not condemn anything; at the same time he is not blind, he knows the masks, he knows the imperfection of the masks, he knows where is Apara Prakriti, and yet he knows that through Apara Prakriti, Para Prakriti is forcing itself, trying to manifest itself. And the whole movement is towards that harmony in which ‘sovereignty’ and ‘unity’ are automatically reconciled, the real perfection is manifested.

In a sense you might say that everything in the world is a Vibhuti of the Divine, every one of us is a Vibhuti, because there is nothing else except the Divine in the whole world.

In that sense you might say even weakness is seen as strength: it is the weakness of the child that impels mother to put all her force and protecting wings around the child: weakness therefore induces so much of power. Outwardly the child is weak but it is a tremendous force of impulsion. It imparts in you so much inspiration to come forward to put your protection around the child. It is this vision which makes see that the mouse and the lion both are ‘sovereign’, not only the lion: what the lion cannot do, the mouse can do and vice-versa and for the lion caught in the net, mouse is supreme Lord because it is He, the mouse can liberate the lion.

So it is a different vision in which you find everything in the world, that which is weak and that which is strong, that which is good and that which is wicked, not that you become blind and say therefore everything is to be embraced equally, that also, and yet there are differences, differences because there are degrees of manifestation. This world is a gradual and a slow unfolding, and this slow and gradual unfolding, there are degrees of manifestation, and therefore wherever you see a great explosion of power, great explosion of quality, great explosion of force, great explosion of property, guṇa karma,…

Comment: Great explosion, but not in the negative form.

It can be also in the negative form.

Comment: Hitler for example.

Oh yes! Also. In the eyes you can see…everything! In the eyes of the Divine…actually Hitler was lesser than Napoleon: there is a beautiful poem written by Sri Aurobindo where he says: “Dwarf Napoleon”, that is Hitler, he is a dwarf Napoleon, who tried to be Napoleon in his mind, but he was a dwarf, he was crying and screaming all the time, not like Napoleon waking with great force and power and confidence.

As Sri Aurobindo says: “With the divine eyes when you look at the world, you must see first of all the sovereign Lord everywhere; you should see the one Self which is equal everywhere; and thirdly, you should see the masks and see behind the mask how much the force has manifested, what degree of manifestation, how it was tending towards the higher and higher and what we call ‘Vibhuti’ is nothing but a very special becoming when some kind of explosion takes place.”

In a sense, as I said, everything is a Vibhuti. What is not a Vibhuti? Everything is a special manifestation of the Divine. But we call Vibhuti in a special sense, when that explosion takes place, and there is some kind of a superb manifestation of a quality or power or personality or virtue or whatever, and there is a presence of something that is very great, viṣeṣa vibhuti, that which is special becoming, specially great: that is what is called “Vibhuti”, some kind of perfection, not entire perfection, perfection in the sense of ‘maximum’, not in the sense of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘unity’. Whenever there is a movement which seems ‘maximum’ at a given time, where the potency has increased to the maximum degree, and where the actualised values are enhanced to the maximum level.

Comment: In one field?

Whatever field…yes, that’s right; it’s not the totality. In whatever you have seen in the world, there are different departments, different domains, wherever you see potency rising to what we can call: ‘maximum’… (I told you when it is ‘maximum’, it is the limit of a field)…wherever you find maximum potency and wherever you find a further increase to actualise values, whatever values have been already actualised, when those values are enhanced still further by some addition, by some increase: this is the mark of Vibhuti.

Now, it is this definition that we should keep in mind when Sri Krishna now describes the Vibhutis. But even before describing Vibhutis Sri Krishna tells us:

aham ātmā guḍākeśa sarvabhūtāśayasthitaḥ |

This is the very first statement, where He says Himself, His own Self, which is equal in everywhere, which is the origin of everything that you must perceive first: aham ātmā guḍākeśa…(guḍākeśa, is the epithet of Arjuna, one who has conquered sleep):

aham ātmā guḍākeśa sarvabhūtāśayasthitaḥ |

“I am seated in everything that becomes.” So, ‘first you see that’, in a sense you might say, “I am Myself the first Vibhuti”:

aham ātmā guḍākeśa sarvabhūtāśayasthitaḥ |
aham ādiś ca madhyaṁ ca bhūtānām anta eva ca ||10.20||

“I am the beginning, I am the middle, I am the end of everything.” So, before you can see Vibhutis in the world, you must see first of all the Divine everywhere. That is the first condition of this perception of Vibhuti.

Now, comes the enumeration…at a first sight it might seem that this enumeration is pell-mell without any kind of order, but if you examine thoroughly, this whole list which is given, you will find there are three important descriptions given here: the description of that which is superhuman, description of gods, description of invisible objects, invisible realities. On the other end, description of great physical objects: that which is supra-physical, that which is superhuman, that which is invisible, the supra-physical worlds, and then on the other end the physical world and object of the physical world, and then the human beings. You will see these three descriptions coming now and then.

So, first of all the gods:

ādityānām ahaṁ viṣṇur “Among the suns I am Vishnu”.

According to the Vedic knowledge, there are twelve ādityā(s): Vishnu, Varuna, Pushan, Aṃśu, Dhāntri, Indra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Mitra, Parjanya, Tvastā: These are the twelve Adityas which have been described in the Vedic knowledge. “Out of these twelve I am Vishnu”, that is to say: if you want to see the ‘maximum’ of Aditya, then you will find him in Vishnu.

jyotiṣāṁ ravir aṁśumān, “Among the lights I am the bright Sun.”

marīcir marutām. There are 49 Maruts according to Vedic knowledge of which Marichi is one kind of a special kind of wind, so “I am specially Marichi among all the Maruts.

nakṣatrāṇām ahaṁ śaśī, “Among the constellation, I am śaśī, I am the Moon.”

Question: when you speak of the “Out of the suns, I am Vishnu”, does it at all refer to the Supermind?

No, here of course, you can take it as supramental also, but it’s not intended here. We can interpret it in that way, but here there is a clear distinction among so many kinds of lights.

Comment:Among the suns…”, it is also lights in the next one there is...

There are many lights, not only sunlight, there are many lights, among them, most ‘maximum’ light, the source of light is the Sun.

Question: And the one Adityas?

Aditya is not exactly the Sun; there are other gods who are called… (Aditya means: who are originators); Aditi, Aditya, those who are the beginners.

Question: I have another question: when you talk of perfection, why is there striving for perfection?

The striving towards perfection is impelled by Para Prakriti. Each one of us has within himself or herself Para Prakriti. It is not manifested, but every one of us is basically a child of Para Prakriti. It is because ignorance has entered into the field, therefore all our movements have become imperfect.

Ignorance creates three important conditions in us: first it creates the sense of ego; therefore wherever there is egoism, real perfection cannot manifest: the sovereignty and unity cannot manifest wherever there is ego. So, ‘that’ kind of perfection will not manifest. You may see behind egoistic people that movement which is tending towards perfection, but as long as ego remains that perfection will not be arrived at. Napoleon is egoist for example: behind his egoistic personality a vehemence of power is manifesting, therefore we call him Vibhuti, but as long as egoism remains he cannot become perfect.

Secondly, there is what you may call ‘inner conflict’ which arises out of ignorance. All of us are subject to inner conflicts. One part of the being wants one thing to be done; another part of the being wants something else to be done, and then there is a conflict: my body wants to become healthy, but my other part wants to be a glutton, as a result I cannot become healthy, the two are conflicting with each other.

Comment: To be or not to be.

To be or not to be. That is another conflict, which constantly comes because of this ignorance.

And third, is the mixture of three Gunas: Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. All of us are inflicted as it were, besieged, by these three cores; all our activities are subject to weakness, inertia, laziness, sloth, complete tendency towards sleep, rest. Or there is vehemence, passion, to win the world by struggle, not automatic as it happens with Para Prakriti where sovereignty is, but here there is a tremendous vehemence, a struggle to fight with others, to conquer whatever is supposed to be outside you. Sattwa, which is luminous, which is harmonious, but highly limited with a clear mind and definite will. Even then there are limitations: your mind cannot go beyond certain perception.

As Sri Aurobindo says, “mind cannot go beyond addition, subtraction, division, multiplication. You take the highest mind possible, it cannot go beyond these four operations; it can do many operations but of these four kinds. A very highly developed mind can calculate very rapidly, can divide rapidly, can multiply rapidly, but cannot go beyond this: so, even the defined mind has his limitations.

So, the mark of Apara Prakriti is the ‘presence of egoism’, ‘inner conflict’ and ‘subjection to these three Gunas’.

Now, your question was: whatever we are doing, our striving towards perfection, how is it impelled, from where the impulsion comes? The impulsion basically comes from Para Prakriti, which is already present, not to be created, but because it is clouded by this ignorance, it moves slowly, there is impulsion coming from there, but it is taken charge of by egoism, by conflict, and by these three Gunas; therefore that movement towards perfection is hampered by these limitations and gradually perfection manifest after a long effort, arduous effort, perseverant effort.

vedānāṁ sāmavedo ’smi: “Among the Veda, I am Sama Veda”.

As it is said there are three Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda. Rig Veda is the word of knowledge; Yajur Veda is the word of action; Sama Veda is the word of harmony. Because harmony is fundamentally a part of Para Prakriti, unity is a part of Para Prakriti, therefore, “Among the Vedas” He says, “I am Sama Veda.”

devānāmasmi vāsavaḥ: “Among the gods…”, there are many gods, “I am vasu, all the Vasavas. There are eight vasu(s) according to Vedic knowledge: the Pancha Mahabhutas, and then Moon, Sun, and Star, these are supposed to be vasu(s).

The vasu is a very important concept of the Vedic knowledge: that which can be consumed, by consumption of which, you are sustained. If you look at the physical world you will find it is the food that you consume, and food is nothing but a result of the five Pancha Mahabhutas: earth, fire, water, air, and ether; vasu is what we call fundamentally ‘the real substance’: real substance is the essence; it is only essence that can be consumed.

If a good drink is given to you, if the essence is in the drink, you will be able to enjoy it, if the essence is taken away and only water is given without essence in it, you will say it is insipid, it doesn’t nourish you: the nourishing comes by the addition of essence in whatever you take: this is the basic concept of vasu in the Rig Veda.

Now, what is vasu in the physical terms is transcended by a concept of vasu which is supra-physical in character. You can enjoy beauty for example, it is not the consumption of any particular object, but you enjoy beauty and by perception of beauty you are nourished: that also is vasu. Essence is that which, when consumed sustains you, is an object of consumption.

So, “Among the gods, I am those gods which are supposed to be entities of consumption.

Question: This would not have any link with Sat?

Absolutely it is sat, all vasu(s) are manifestations of sat, all other gods are gods of Consciousness, Energy, etc. But vasu(s) are fundamentally manifestations of Sat.

indriyāṇāṁ manaś cāsmi: “Among all the senses I am the mind.”

In Indian psychology it is said that ‘mind’ is the sixth sense. The five senses like touch, hearing, etc. are only manifestations of the mind. The mind is the sixth sense and the only sense actually. The real sense is the mind because even when senses are active but mind is not behind them, then sensation will not be felt. Sensations are felt only when the mind is joined with them. So…

indriyāṇāṁ manaś cāsmi bhūtānām asmi cetanā ||10.22||

“Among the objects of the world I am the consciousness.”

rudrāṇāṁ śaṅkaraś cāsmi, “Among rudrā(s) I am Shankara.” According to Vedic knowledge again there are 11 Rudras. Of these 11, Shankara is special manifestation of the Divine.

vitteśo yakṣarakṣasām, “Among the people who hold wealth, I am yakṣa.”

vasūnāṁ pāvakaś cāsmi, “Among the gods I am the Vasu, but among the Vasus I am pāvaka, I am Agni.

meruḥ śikhariṇām aham ||10.23||, “Among all the hills which have high peaks, I am Meru”, which is supposed to the centre higher than the Everest, the highest peak is of Meru.

purodhasāṁ ca mukhyaṁ māṁ viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim |

“Among the priests…” purodha is a priest, “…the one who is central and chief, O Partha! Know that he is Brihaspati”.

If one would have to comment upon each one of them, it would be very interesting and very, very…inspiring. To say a few words for example about Brihaspati, in the Veda there is a concept of a priest, a concept which is quite different from the word priest as we understand today. In our today’s evaluation the priest is a Pujari, or one who chants Mantras while we go on doing anything else, and his position is simply somebody who has to be given something, and in return to which he goes on reciting Mantras.

But in the Vedic concept, a priest is ‘one who moves forward’, in the front, without whom, you cannot march at all. We are all marching individuals in the world; we are all in a process of journey. Now, the journey can never be started, the journey cannot have the right direction unless there is a Purohita, unless there is a priest. So, actually priest is the leader: that is why the Rig Veda begins by the prayer to priest:

agnimīḷe purohitaṁ yajñasya devamṛtvijam | (1.1, 1)

It starts with the worship of Agni who is described as Purohita.

Now, among the Purohits (there are many Purohits; Agni is also a Purohit)... So, “Among the priest” Sri Krishna says, “I am Brihaspati”. Brihaspati is supposed to be the wisest, one who possesses full knowledge, who has a power of the soul, whose one word is capable of giving life, who vibrates with tremendous energy and breaks all the resistances. Then only he can be the leader. So…

purodhasāṁ ca mukhyaṁ māṁ viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim |
senānīnām aham skandaḥ…

I am Skanda among the commanders. Skanda is Karttikeya.

According to Purana Karttikeya is the first son of Shiva and Parvati. We know the whole story of the battle between the demons and the gods, and when the gods found that demons cannot be conquered at all, then they sought the help of the Supreme who said that only the child of Shiva can have the power to vanquish the demons and this was a very difficult problem because Shiva was in deep meditation, whose meditation cannot be broken and to bring him to a condition where he can produce a child was such a difficult task. Fortunately there was Parvati who was intent on getting the hand of Shiva. Taking advantage of this favourable condition Kama was deputed by the gods, and on a particular day which was very propitious, Kama affected Shiva’s meditation. But when he opened he himself manifested a fire as a result of which Kama, his body was burnt. This is a story which has a great symbolic meaning. The important point is that among all of them, when nobody could conquer the demons, it is only Skanda, only he could do it therefore,

senānīnām aham skandaḥ sarasām asmi sāgaraḥ ||10.24||

“All the enclosures of water, I am the ocean.”

Question: Has Brihaspati here has any meaning to the planet Brihaspati?


Question: And Karttikeya is Avatar?

He is not the Avatar.

Question: The one who is supposed to be in…


Question: The same Karttikeya?

It is the same Karttikeya.

Question: Can it also be that when transformation and devotion are joined together then you become…

…the great Karmayogi, and therefore the great warrior.

Question: Shiva and Parvati would…

There are many meanings of it; it is one of the meanings you can attach. Actually Puranic stories are symbolic and in many circumstances they can be interpreted in many ways, but this is one interpretation which is possible.

maharṣīṇāṁ bhṛgur ahaṁ, “Among the great Rishis, I am Bhrigu.” As you know Bhrigu is supposed to be the knower of past, present and future; a capacity which is specialised by the Maharishis, all Maharishis are trikalajñāni(s), but a Maharishis who knows these three times fully and is able to narrate, and to give to the world is a speciality of the manifestation of Bhrigu.

Even now we are Bhrigu Samhita(s), which are read by people in which future is, as it were, known, written down, and there are amazing examples, even when today, when we read the Bhrigu Samhita something which you cannot normally explain at all…I have heard a very interesting account of the Bhrigu Samhita from the former chief Justice of India, (I am giving his example, because judges will not exaggerate, or will not say something that is not justifiable, which is not evidenced). He said he went long ago to a Bhrigu Samhita when he was a lawyer, and it was predicted there he would one day become the chief of the department of Justice in the country. He was a lawyer at that time; he had not gone into the Judiciary. Secondly, he would have two sons, and then the first son’s horoscope will be as follows, and the second son’s horoscope will be as follows. And both the horoscopes as narrated at that time came true, and he has direct evidence of both the horoscopes. The horoscopes which were given in Bhrigu Samhita were given many years before the children were born. Now, when the children are born one does not know; you cannot predict exactly at this hour a child will be born and whose horoscope will be like this. Now, he himself has personally told me, so I have no reason to doubt it. He has also promised me that one day he will give me exactly the horoscopes of his two children which are found in the Bhrigu Samhita and the exact horoscopes of these two children when they were born: they are exactly identical.

So, this is the knowledge which is supposed to have been given to mankind by Bhrigu. So, even today we have some evidence of it and some of the other lesser Bhrigu Samhita: there are many kinds of Bhrigu Samhitas. There are many things which are true, some things which don’t come true, that is true, but according to me even if 5 percent comes true, it is amazing. Thousands of years ago it has been able to tell you that exactly at this time this will happen; that your name will happen to be beginning with such and such a letter, things of this kind, really amazing. Such knowledge exists in India, even today, even though corrupted, diminished, in many ways you might say almost lost, but still existing.


maharṣīṇāṁ bhṛgur ahaṁ girām asmy ekam akṣaram |

“Among the speeches I am the word letter, first letter which is “A”.”

yajñānāṁ japayajño ’smi, “Among sacrifices I am japayajño”.

There are many sacrifices, but among them, Sri Krishna gives the highest position to japayajña: this is because when you are completely devoted to the Divine nothing remains to be done for you, or by you, everything is done by the Divine. Then what remains for you? Accepting kirtayantaḥ, we always do kirtana of the Divine; that means all that remains to be done.

You are full of love and for the lover, there is nothing greater than to repeat the name of the beloved, all the time; there is no moment when you cannot be away from the memory of the beloved; therefore, japayajña is the highest of yajña(s).

sthāvarāṇāṁ himālayaḥ ||10.25||, “Among all the stable things in the world, I am Himalaya.”

aśvatthaḥ sarvavṛkṣāṇāṁ, “Among all the trees I am Ashvatta tree.”

devarṣīṇāṁ ca nāradaḥ |, “Among all the Rishis among the gods I am Narada.”

gandharvāṇāṁ citrarathaḥ, “Among the Gandharvas”, (there is another kind of invisible beings: Gandharvas), “I am Chitraratha”.

siḍdhāṇāṁ kapilo muniḥ ||10.26||, “Among those who have realised the Divine, those Munis who have realised the Divine, among them I am Kapila”.

Kapila is supposed to be the originator of Sankhya philosophy.

uccaiḥśravasam aśvānāṁ, “Among all the horses I am Ucchaishshravas.”

He is supposed to have come out of the churning of the ocean by the gods and the demons while there were churning so many things came out, among them was Uccaishshravas, a kind of a horse.

viddhi mām amṛtodbhavam, you understand that I am Uccaishshravas, who has arisen out of amṛtodbhavam, out of nectar he was born.

airāvataṁ gajendrāṇāṁ, “Among the elephants, know that I am Airavata;”

As you know Airavata is supposed to have 7 trunks.

narāṇāṁ ca narādhipam ||10.27||, “Among men I am the king.”

āyudhānām ahaṁ vajraṁ, “Among all the weapons, I am Thunderbolt: vajra.

dhenūnām asmi kāmadhuk, “Among all the cows I am the Kamadhenu.”

prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ, “Among all the agents of births, I am Kamadeva.”

sarpāṇāṁ asmi vāsukiḥ ||10.28||, “Among all the serpents I am Vasuki.”

That is the chief of all the Nagas.

anantaś cāsmi nāgānāṁ, “Among the Nagas, I am Ananta.”

varuṇo yādasām aham,…

Chapter 10—Verses 29-42

“Among all the creatures who live in the waters I am Varuna.”

pitṝṇām aryamā cāsmi, “Among the fathers I am Aryaman.”

yamaḥ saṁyamatām aham ||10.29||, “of those who control, who are the gods or beings which abide by law I am Yama.”

prahlādaś cāsmi daityānāṁ, “Among the wicked and the Rakshasas I am Prahlada.” kālaḥ kalayatām aham, “All that is moving I am Time.”

mṛgāṇāṁ ca mṛgendro’haṁ, “Among all the beasts I am Lion.”

vainateyaś ca pakṣiṇām ||10.30||, “Among all the birds I am Garuda.”

pavanaḥ pavatām asmi, “Among all that blows, I am the wind.”

rāmaḥ śastrabhṛtām aham, “Among those who can hold the weapons, among the warriors, I am Rama.”

jhaṣāṇāṁ makaraś cāsmi, “Among the creatures of the waters, I am Makara, I am crocodile.”

srotasām asmi jāhnavī,||10.31|| “Among all the rivers I am the Ganges.”

sargāṇām ādir antaś ca madhyaṁ caivāḥam arjuna |

“Among all the times I am the beginning, I am the middle, I am the end.”

adhyātmavidyā vidyānāṁ, “Among all the disciplines of knowledge I am adhyātmavidyā, the leaning that speaks of the soul.”

vādaḥ pravadatām aham ||10.32||, “ Among different kinds of debates I am vāda.” There are three kinds of debates, according to Indian logic: vāda, jalpa, vitaṇḍā.

When you argue for the sake of argument, it is called vitaṇḍā, you play upon words, you quip, you say you refuse to answer, you challenge the person and you say now you answer the question: it is vitaṇḍā; jalpa is when you argue by accusing the other party, it is not for the sake of eliciting of the truth, but only for accusing, this is called jalpa. The true vāda is one which debates in order to find out the truth. So, among three kinds of debates Sri Krishna says I am vāda: the debate which ends into search of the truth.

akṣarāṇāṁakāro ’smi, “Among all the letters I am “A”.”

dvandvaḥ sāmāsikasya ca, “Among all the compounds I am the dual.”

aham evākṣayaḥ kālo dhātāhaṁ viśvato mukhaḥ ||10.33||

“I am akṣayaḥ kālo, I am the time which never ends, I am eternal time; dhātāhaṁ, I am the creator, viśvato mukhaḥ, who has as many mouth as the entire universe.”

Question: what is this compound?

ramaḥ ca lakṣmaṇḥ ca rama lakṣmaṇau is called dvandva

In Sanskrit instead of saying: “Rama and Lakshman went in the forest”. So you don’t say: ramaḥ ca lakṣmaṇḥ ca vanam agacahtaṁ. Instead you simply say: rama lakṣmaṇau. So you combine Rama and Lakshman, that compound, (there are many other compounds also), ‘Rama and Lakshman both together went’, so you don’t say ramaḥ ca lakṣmaṇḥ ca, you say: rama lakṣmaṇau.

Comment: So, anything is compounded by two…

Yes, just two are compounded in this simple way, it is called dvandva, it is a simple compound: there are many other compounds: there is bṛhati compound; tatpuruś compound, many others compounds

When I appeared for the I.A.S. examination, as soon as I entered into my interview board, I was asked the question: “What is your name?” So I said: “My name is Kireet Chandra.” So I was asked: “Dissolve the compound.” This was the first question which I was asked: “Dissolve the compound.” So I said:

kirīte chaṅdraḥ yasyasaḥ kirīte chaṅdraḥ |

That is to say: it’s called balhurisamas, the one whose crown is the moon that is kirīte chaṅdraḥ. So, this is another kind of compound, so like that there are many compounds. In Sanskrit…it’s a very special language in which many things which are so detailed are put into a summary form as it were, by bringing so many words together: kadambari is one of the special examples where all kinds of compounds are used. It requires a tremendous capacity from the part of the author to say in a brief manner by combining so many words, but sometimes this one sentence is to be rendered in twenty lines, one sentence! So, that was because of these compounds: the art of making compounds and bringing so many ideas together in one single compound.

Comment: It’s just a verbal thing to which He is referring.

Yes, combination of words.

mṛtyuḥ sarvaharaś cāham udbhavaś ca bhaviṣyatām |

“I am the Destroyer, sarvaharaḥ mṛtyuḥ, I am the Death, aham udbhavaś, I am the Originator among all that is to be born.”

kīrtiḥ śrīr vāk ca nārīṇāṁ smṛtir medhā dhṛtiḥ kṣamā ||10.34||

“Among all the female energies, I am kīrti, Sri Lakshmi, vāk that is speech, smṛti that is memory, medhā is intelligence, dhṛtiḥ is patience, kṣamā is forgiveness.”

bṛhatsāma tathā sāmnāṁ : bṛhat-sāma is one of the special kind of chanda(s), in Sama Veda, there are many chanda(s) in Sama Veda, among them bṛhat-sāma is supposed to be one. So, among all the Sama, Sama Mantra are all sang, it’s music as it were. So the best music of Sama, of Sama Veda is bṛhat-sāma.

gāyatrī chandasām aham |: “among the chanda(s) I am gāyatrī;”

māsānāṁ mārgaśīrṣo ’ham : “among the months, I am Margashirsha,”

ṛtūnāṁ kusumākaraḥ ||10.35|| : “I am Spring among all the seasons.”

dyūtaṁ chalayatām asmi : “There are many ways of cunning, but among the cunning, I am dyūta, the play of dice,”

tejas tejasvinām aham : “among the illumined, I am the light ;”

jayo ’smi vyavasāyo ’smi sattvaṁ sattvavatām aham ||10.36||

“Among all those who make an effort, I am success. All those who are full of power and energy, I am the quality of energy, sattvaṁ.

vṛṣṇīnāṁ vāsudevo ’smi : “Among the Vrishnis, I am Vasudeva, Myself, Krishna,” ; pāṇdavānāṁ dhanañayaḥ | : “Among the Pandavas, I am Arjuna;”

munīnām apy ahaṁ vyāsaḥ : “Among all the Munis, I am Vyasa,”

kavīnām uśanā kaviḥ ||10.37|| : “Among the poets, I am Ushana.”

daṇḍo damayatām asmi : “Among all the punishments, I am the real punishment,”; nītir asmi jigīṣatām | : “Those who conquer, among them I am the policy, nīti;” maunaṁ caivāsmi guhyanāṁ : “Among all the secret knowledge, I am silence,”

jñānaṁ jñānavatām aham ||10.38|| : “Of those who are the knowers, I am the knowledge.”

yac cāpi sarvabhūtānāṁ bījaṁ tad aham arjuna |

“All these things have a seed, that seed I am;”

na tad asti vinā yat syān mayā bhūtāṁ carācaram ||10.39||

“Without Me nothing in the world, whether it is movable or unmovable, would exist.”

nānto ’sti mama divyānāṁ vibhūtināṁ parantapa |

“There is no end of My divyā vibhūti(s);”

eṣa tūddeśataḥ prokto vibhūter vistaro mayā ||10.40||

“I have told you only in brief, tūddeśataḥ, only with a specific purpose what I have selected; it is only a selective list that I have given you.”

yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā |
tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ mama tejoṁ ’śasaṁbhavam ||10.41||

“Wherever you see some special manifestation; wherever you see some kind of glory, some kind of essence, then there you find that I am there, and I am the originator of it.”

atha vā bahunaitena kiṁ : “What more should I tell you, bahunaitena kiṁ, this is enough, bahunaitena kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna, how will it benefit you now if I tell you more? In one word let Me tell you…”

viṣṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛtsnam ekāṁśena sthito jagat ||10.42||

“With only one ray of light of My being this entire universe is sustained.”

He has billions and billions of light rays, among them only one ray of light sustains the entire universe. If this is His mahata, His Vibhutis, this is His capacity, this is the supreme Lord.

Naturally therefore, we are now very anxious to see the Lord Himself, if one ray of light can be the sustainer of the whole universe. Therefore, Arjuna now will ask that Sri Krishna should manifest His divine form.

I think we shall take it up next time.

No, we finished the 10th chapter today.

Question: What is the sequence beside what you said in the beginning as to when Sri Krishna states the Vibhutis?

…sequence as I told you: that is the sequence.

“…The invisible, gods, super human beings, powers, the objects which are physical in character and among human beings Rishis, Munis, conquerors, leaders, kings and other human beings.”

Question: What is the relevance of the sarpā in reference to creation or the Gods?

sarpā is a special manifestation of the force of evolution. Normally sarpā is supposed to be the instigator among many myths. It is said that it was sarpā, the snake which tempted Eve to eat the fruit. That is in the story of Genesis: there were both living in paradise Adam and Eve, everything was wonderful but there was a tree of knowledge and it had a very beautiful fruit. They wouldn’t eat anything; there were forbidden actually to eat the fruit of knowledge, but it is the serpent which came and tempted Eve to eat this fruit. And Eve tempted the man, the woman tempted the man: this is the story.

Actually, this story is very significant. This paradise is the paradise of Para Prakriti. Adam and Eve are Purusha and Prakriti, the serpent is the force of evolution. There was as it were an intention to have the process of evolution as one of the plays of the Divine. It is not as if evolution was necessitated. One could have lived in Paraprakriti all the time, there was no need for this kind of evolutionary process, but this also was possible. As we had said earlier, the real freedom lies exactly here that when there are many possibles and all possibles are equally good and then you choose one of them, then it is completely free. Why you choose one instead of the other, there was no special reason. It was not as if that was better than this, remaining in paradise was as good as struggling also in the evolutionary process: both are equally good. So, this evolutionary process happened.

Now, this process of evolution is symbolised by the power of the serpent. As a result of this, the fruit of knowledge was eaten (actually it was the fruit of ignorance that was eaten, not knowledge!). But if you distinguish between wisdom and knowledge, in Paraprakriti everything was wisdom, but now here was the tree of knowledge which was a kind of ignorance. In fact ignorance is not necessarily bad: ignorance is only covering of knowledge, hiding the knowledge that is all, ignoring the knowledge: a partial manifestation of knowledge is ignorance.

So, ‘Serpent’ told Eve that while everything is wonderful here, there is also another enjoyment you can have when you partially manifest this knowledge, so this is the fruit if you eat there will be another game possible for you. It is said she was tempted, and then in turn she tempted Adam. Now, this is a very bitter full story because if you examine how ignorance is the parent of evolutionary movement and how ignorance actually binds each one of us who was actually free in the Paraprakriti, we all become bound.

How does it happen? Purusha by Himself is the originator of Prakriti, it is therefore said in the Bible that woman was taken out of the rib of man: it is actually the relationship between Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha and Prakriti are one and the same basically, the being and becoming: Purusha is being and Prakriti is becoming. Without being there can’t be any becoming: it is out of the being that becoming is brought out. So you might say out of the rib of the Purusha, of the being, the movement was brought out. Then this Prakriti works out the intention of Purusha. The serpent which came is actually the result of the intention of Purusha. Purusha said: ‘I want to play the game’, so that intention was working upon Prakriti. It was the message of Purusha to Prakriti in the form of this desire for evolution.

So, it is said that woman tempted man, but actually it is not true: it is man himself who wanted the evolutionary process. He intended the evolutionary process, so Prakriti obediently worked it out. The intention was actually manifestation of Purusha’s consciousness. The serpent itself came out basically as a manifestation of the intention of Purusha; then Prakriti worked out.

Now, how to work it out? This working out is a very interesting process: to make somebody who is awake and to make him asleep is a very difficult task. As I said once: if you are really awake and you try to sleep with a sense of awakening, you cannot sleep. Deliberately you cannot go to sleep. Something must happen, so Prakriti has to find another means: how to make this Purusha who is so much alive, so much awake, but he wanted to have this play of evolution which cannot be done without going to sleep, so Prakriti had to make a tremendous effort to make Purusha eat the fruit. This is called ‘the temptation’, that is to say… ‘temptation’…Why is it called temptation? It is called temptation because Purusha had to forget that He is Purusha, then only He can be tempted.

Now, for Purusha to forget that He is Purusha is one of the most difficult tasks, it can’t be done easily. So, first of all Prakriti weaves out a certain acuteness of division, then casts its net of division upon the consciousness of Purusha, then Purusha begins to see this net. While seeing this net, He is as if deviated from His waking consciousness. Now, an object has been produced, it gets engaged in this new object that has been produced by Prakriti…presented. Now, Purusha begins to look into it. As soon as he begins to look into it He is caught in the net, goes to sleep.

This is the whole story of bondage: we are all bound because we began to watch Prakriti. In the act of watching, we became engaged with it: this engagement is ‘bondage’. To get engaged, we, whole the time, want to see what is this net, and this net began to weave itself out, more and more spinning of it, and the whole world is nothing but a spinning process, and we are constantly engaged in watching, that ‘paradise’ is lost, is gone (only in consciousness, not lost really, it is only lost from our consciousness). We are now engaged in this net only, which is a very small narrow thing. Now we have to work it out because only through the process of evolution can it be done. This process of evolution is symbolised by the serpent.

Comment: It is difficult to dis-engage.

I read now.

This is the description of the…you can see how the Divine sees Napoleon as it were, because it is the description of Napoleon with the Divine vision: how the Vibhuti, seeing the Vibhuti, how the Divine sees in him the great force of evolution, sees the Divine in him, sees the Self which is equal in all, and sees how evolution is moved forward through this instrument called Napoleon.

The name of Napoleon has been a battle-field for the prepossessions of all sorts of critics, and, according to their predilections, idiosyncrasies and political opinions, men have loved or hated, panegyrised or decried the Corsican. To blame Napoleon is like criticising Mont Blanc or throwing mud at Kinchinjunga. This phenomenon has to be understood and known, not blamed or praised. Admire we must, but as minds, not as moralists. It has not been sufficiently perceived by his panegyrists and critics that Bonaparte was not a man at all, he was a force. Only the nature of the force has to be considered. There are some men who are self-evidently superhuman, great spirits who are only using the human body. Europe calls them supermen, we call them vibhutis. They are manifestations of Nature, of divine power presided over by a spirit commissioned for the purpose, and that spirit is an emanation from the Almighty, who accepts human strength and weakness but is not bound by them. They are above morality and ordinarily without a conscience, acting according to their own nature. For they are not men developing upwards from the animal to the divine and struggling against their lower natures, but beings already fulfilled and satisfied with themselves. Even the holiest of them have a contempt for the ordinary law and custom and break them easily and without remorse, as Christ did on more than one occasion, drinking wine, breaking the Sabbath, consorting with publicans and harlots; as Buddha did when he abandoned his self-accepted duties as a husband, a citizen and a father; as Shankara did when he broke the holy law and trampled upon custom and achar to satisfy his dead mother. In our literature they are described as Gods or Siddhas or Titans or Giants. Valmeki depicts Ravana as a ten-headed giant, but it is easy to see that this was only the vision of him in the world of imaginations, the “astral plane”, and that in the terms of humanity he was a vibhuti or superman and one of the same order of beings as Napoleon.


The Rakshasa is the supreme and thoroughgoing individualist, who believes life to be meant for his own untrammelled self-fulfilment and self-assertion. A necessary element in humanity, he is particularly useful in revolutions. As a pure type in man he is ordinarily a thing of the past; he comes now mixed with other elements. But Napoleon was a Rakshasa of the pure type, colossal in his force and attainment. He came into the world with a tremendous appetite for power and possession and, like Ravana, he tried to swallow the whole earth in order to glut his supernatural hunger. Whatever came in his way he took as his own, ideas, men, women, fame, honours, armies, kingdoms; and he was not scrupulous as to his right of possession. His nature was his right; its need his justification. The attitude may be expressed in some such words as these, “Others may not have the right to do these things, but I am Napoleon”.


The Rakshasa is not an altruist. If by satisfying himself he can satisfy others, he is pleased, but he does not make that his motive. If he has to trample on others to satisfy himself, he does so without compunction. Is he not the strong man, the efficient ruler, the mighty one? The Rakshasa has kama, he has no prema. Napoleon knew not what love was; he had only the kindliness that goes with possession. He loved Josephine because she satisfied his nature, France because he possessed her, his mother because she was his and congenial, his soldiers because they were necessary to his glory. But the love did not go beyond his need of them. It was self-satisfaction and had no element in it of self-surrender. The Rakshasa slays all that opposes him and he is callous about the extent of the slaughter. But he is never cruel. Napoleon had no taint of Nero in him, but he flung away without a qualm whole armies as holocausts on the altar of his glory; he shot Hofer and murdered Enghien. What then is there in the Rakshasa that makes him necessary? He is individuality, he is force, he is capacity; he is the second power of God, wrath, strength, grandeur, rushing impetuosity, overbearing courage, the avalanche, the thunderbolt; he is Balaram, he is Jehovah, he is Rudra. As such we may admire and study him.


But the vibhuti, though he takes self-gratification and enjoyment on his way, never comes for self-gratification and enjoyment. He comes for work, to help man on his way, the world in its evolution. Napoleon was one of the mightiest of vibhutis, one of the most dominant. There are some of them who hold themselves back, suppress the force in their personality in order to put it wholly into their work. Of such were Shakespeare, Washington, Victor Emmanuel. There are others like Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Goethe, who are as obviously superhuman in their personality as in the work they accomplish. Napoleon was the greatest in practical capacity of all moderns. In capacity, though not in character, he resembles Bhishma of the Mahabharat. He had the same sovran, irresistible, world-possessing grasp of war, politics, government, legislation, society; the same masterly handling of masses and amazing glut for details. He had the iron brain that nothing fatigues, the faultless memory that loses nothing, the clear insight that puts everything in its place with spontaneous accuracy. It was as if a man were to carry Caucasus on his shoulders and with that burden race successfully an express engine, yet note and forecast every step and never falter. To prove that anything in a human body could be capable of such work, is by itself a service to our progress for which we cannot be sufficiently grateful to Napoleon.


The work of Bonaparte was wholly admirable. It is true that he took freedom for a season from France, but France was not then fit for democratic freedom. She had to learn discipline for a while under the rule of the soldier of Revolution. He could not have done the work he did, hampered by an effervescent French Parliament ebullient in victory, discouraged in defeat. He had to organise the French Revolution so far as earth could then bear it, and he had to do it in the short span of an ordinary lifetime. He had also to save it. The aggression of France upon Europe was necessary for self-defence, for Europe did not mean to tolerate the Revolution. She had to be taught that the Revolution meant not anarchy, but a reorganisation so much mightier than the old that a single country so reorganised could conquer united Europe. That task Napoleon did effectively. It has been said that his foreign policy failed, because he left France smaller than he found it. That is true. But it was not Napoleon’s mission to aggrandise France geographically. He did not come for France, but for humanity, and even in his failure he served God and prepared the future. The balance of Europe had to be disturbed in order to prepare new combinations and his gigantic operations disturbed it fatally. He roused the spirit of Nationalism in Italy, in Germany, in Poland, while he established the tendency towards the formation of great Empires; and it is the harmonized fulfilment of Nationalism and Empire that is the future. He compelled Europe to accept the necessity of reorganisation political and social.


The punya of overthrowing Napoleon was divided between England, Germany and Russia. He had to be overthrown, because, though he prepared the future and destroyed the past, he misused the present. To save the present from his violent hands was the work of his enemies, and this merit gave to these three countries a great immediate development and the possession of the nineteenth century. England and Germany went farthest because they acted most wholeheartedly and as nations, not as Governments. In Russia it was the Government that acted, but with the help of the people. On the other hand, the countries sympathetic to Napoleon, Italy, Ireland, Poland, or those which acted weakly or falsely, such as Spain and Austria, have declined, suffered, struggled and, even when partially successful, could not attain their fulfilment. But the punya is now exhausted. The future with which the victorious nations made a temporary compromise, the future which Napoleon saved and protected, demands possession, and those who can reorganise themselves most swiftly and perfectly under its pressure, will inherit the twentieth century; those who deny it, will perish. The first offer is made to the nations in present possession; it is withheld for a time from the others. That is the reason why Socialism is most insistent now in England, Germany & Russia; but in all these countries it is faced by an obstinate and unprincipled opposition. The early decades of the twentieth century will select the chosen nations of the future.


There remains the question of Nationalism and Empire; it is put to all these nations, but chiefly to England. It is put to her in Ireland, in Egypt, in India. She has the best opportunity of harmonising the conflicting claims of Nationalism and Empire. In fighting against Nationalism she is fighting against her own chance of a future, and her temporary victory over Indian Nationalism is the one thing her guardian spirits have most to fear. For the recoil will be as tremendous as the recoil that overthrew Napoleon. The delusion that the despotic possession of India is indispensable to her retention of Empire, may be her undoing. It is indispensable to her, if she meditates, like Napoleon, the conquest of Asia and of the world; it is not necessary to her imperial self-fulfilment, for even without India she would possess an Empire greater than the Roman. Her true position in India is that of a trustee and temporary guardian; her only wise and righteous policy the devolution of her trust upon her ward with a view to alliance, not ownership. The opportunity of which Napoleon dreamed, a great Indian Empire, has been conceded to her and not to Napoleon. But that opportunity is a two-edged weapon which, if misused, is likely to turn upon and slay the wielder.

Question: Which book is it from?

It is a small article Sri Aurobindo wrote called “Historical Impressions”. I think it is in Volume 16 or 17, one of these two volumes. He has written there like this also analysis of Robespierre, Danton, Mirabeau, the all French Revolution; it is a wonderful exposition of the French Revolution, very briefly.

This is the way Vibhutis have to be seen and perceived.