Author Topic: CHAPTER 10 - Divine Manifestations  (Read 408 times)


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CHAPTER 10 - Divine Manifestations
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:57:47 PM »
The Lord is the source of all manifestations
In the seventh discourse and in the ninth, the essential nature of the Lord and His manifestations have been pointed out. Now it is necessary to point out in what forms of being the Lord should be thought of; and it is also necessary to describe the essential nature of the Lord, - though it has been described already, - as it is a hard thing to understand. With this view, the Lord says:

The Blessed Lord said:
1. Again, O mighty-armed, listen to My Supreme word, which I, from a desire for thy well - being, shall speak to thee who art delighted.
Supreme: as revealing the unsurpassed Thing. Delighted: you are intensely delighted with My speech, as though you are drinking the immortal nectar. Why should He speak of it?

The Lord says:
2. Neither the hosts of the Gods nor the Great Rishis know my origin; for I am the source of all the Gods and the Great Rishis.
Prabhava (interpreted as origin) may also mean "Great Lordly Power." Rishis: such as Bhrigu. Moreover,

3. He who knows Me as unborn and beginningless, as the great Lord of the worlds, he among mortals is undeluded, he is liberated from all sins.
Because I am the source of the Gods and the Great Rishis, none else exists as the source of My existence; wherefore, I am unborn and beginningless. Because I am beginningless, therefore, I am unborn. Undeluded: devoid of delusion. All sins: consciously or unconsciously incurred. For the following reason also I am the great Lord of the worlds:

4 - 5. Intelligence, wisdom, non - illusion, patience, truth, self - restraint, calmness, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear, and security; innocence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, beneficence, fame, shame; (these) different kinds of dispositions of beings arise from Me alone.
Intelligence (buddhi) is the power which the inner sense (antah-karana) has of understanding subtle objects of thought. He, indeed, is said to be intelligent who is possessed of this power. Wisdom is the knowledge of the Self and other such things. Non - illusion consists in acting with discrimination when anything has to be done or known at the moment. Patience: not being agitated in mind when assaulted or abused. Truth: giving utterance to one's own actual experience of things, as heard or seen, with a view to impress it on the mind of another. Self-restraint: quieting the external senses. Calmness: the tranquility of the inner sense or Antah-karana Innocence: not injuring living beings. Contentment: being satisfied with one's present acquisitions. Austerity: bodily torture accompanied with the restraint of the senses. Beneficence: sharing (one's own things) with others as far as one's own means may permit. Fame: due to dharma. Shame: due to adharma. All these different dispositions of living beings mentioned above, such as intelligence, arise from Me alone, the Lord (Isvara), according to their respective karma. Moreover,

6. The seven Great Rishis as well as the four ancient Manus, with their being in Me, were born of mind; and theirs are these creatures in the world.
The seven great Rishis such as Bhrigu, as well as the four Manus of the past ages known as Savarnis, had directed their thoughts to Me exclusively and were therefore endowed with the power of Vishnu. They were produced by Me by mind alone. Born in the creation of these Manus and of the Great Rishis are these creatures comprising the moving and the unmoving beings.

Knowledge of the Lord's Glory conduces to Yoga

7. He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine is endowed with unshaken Yoga; there is no doubt of it.
He who knows in truth this vast extent of My being and My achievement (Yoga) - or Yoga may here stand for what is born of Yoga, viz., the power of achieving and controlling mighty things as well as Omniscience - he is endowed with unshaken Yoga, i.e., with steadiness in right knowledge. What is that unshaken Yoga with which they are endowed? The answer follows:

8. I am the source of all; from Me everything evolves; thus thinking the wise worship Me, endowed with contemplation.
I, the Supreme Brahman, termed Vasudeva, am the source of the whole world. From Me alone evolves the whole universe in all its changes, including existence and disappearance, action, effect and enjoyment. Thus thinking, the wise who know the Supreme Reality worship Me, ardently engaged in the contemplation of the Supreme Reality. Moreover,

9. With their thought on Me, with their life absorbed in Me, instructing each other, and ever speaking of Me, they are content and delighted.
All their senses (pranas) such as the eye are absorbed in Me. Or - according to another interpretation - their very life (prana) is devoted to Me. They ever speak of Me as possessed of supreme wisdom, power, might and other qualities. They thus obtain satisfaction and are delighted as if in the company of the beloved.

The Lord endows His devotees with wisdom
As to those who worship Me devoutly in the ways mentioned above,

10. To these, ever devout, worshipping Me with love, I give that devotion of knowledge by which they come to Me.
To them who are ever devout, worshipping Me, not for any purpose of their own, but out of love for Me, - to them I give that devotion of right knowledge (buddhi-yoga) of My essential nature by which they those who worship Me "with their thought on Me" (x. 9) and so on - know Me, the Supreme Lord, the Self, as their own Self.
Why doest Thou give the devotion of knowledge (buddhi-yoga) to Thy devotees? And what is that obstacle in the path leading to Thee which the devotion of knowledge that Thou givest to Thy devotees serves to remove? In answer to this question, the Lord says:

11. Out of mere compassion for them, I, abiding in their self, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, by the luminous lamp of wisdom.
Out of mere compassion: out of mercy, anxious as to how they may attain bliss. I dwell in their Antah-karana which is engaged, in thinking exclusively of the Self and destroy the darkness of ignorance, - that illusory knowledge which is caused by the absence of discrimination, - by the lamp of wisdom, by the lamp of discriminatory knowledge, fed by the oil of pure Devotion (Bhakti - prasada), fanned by the wind of earnest meditation on Me, furnished with the wick of right intuition purified by the cultivation of piety, chastity and other virtues, held in the antah-karana which is completely detached from all worldly concerns, placed in the wind-sheltered enclosure of the mind which is withdrawn from the sense-objects and untainted by attachment and aversion, and shining with the light of right knowledge generated by incessant practice of concentration and meditation.

Arjuna's question about the Lord's manifestations
Having heard of the Lord's Glory and His mysterious power, Arjuna says:

Arjuna said:
12 - 13. The Supreme Brahman, the Supreme Light, the Supreme Purifier art Thou. All the Rishis declare Thee as Eternal, Divine Purusha, the Primal God, Unborn, Omnipresent; so said the divine sage Narada, as also Asita, Devala and Vyasa; and Thou Thyself also sayest (so) to me.
The Supreme Brahman: the Highest Self. The Primal God: the God who existed before all other Gods. Rishis: such as Vasishtha.

14. I believe to be true all this which Thou sayest to me; for neither the Gods nor the Danavas, O Lord, know Thy manifestation.
Because Thou art the source of the Devas and others, therefore,

15. Thou Thyself knowest Thyself as the Self, O Purusha Supreme, O Source of beings, O Lord of beings, O God of Gods, O Ruler of the world.
Knowest Thyself: as the Lord, as the Isvara possessed of unsurpassed wisdom, sovereignty and other powers.

16. Thou shouldst indeed tell, without reserve, of Thy divine Glories, by which Glories Thou remainest pervading all these worlds.

17. How shall I, ever meditating, know Thee, O Yogi; in what several things, O Lord, art Thou to be thought of by Me?

18. Tell me again in detail, O Janardana, of Thy power and Glory, for there is no satiety for me in hearing the immortal.
Tell me in detail of Thy mysterious power (Yoga) and sovereignty (aisvarya) and the various things to be meditated upon. Janardana is so called because He sends - or causes to go (ardayati) - the Asuras, those people (janas) who are the enemies of the Gods, to hell and the like; or because He is prayed to by all people for worldly success and salvation. Tell me again of them, though described before; for, there is no satiety in hearing the immortal (ambrosia) of the speech issuing from Thy mouth.

The Lord's enumeration of His manifestations

The Blessed Lord said:
19. Now will I tell thee of My heavenly Glories, in their prominence, O best of the Kurus; there is no limit to My extent.
Now I will tell you of My heavenly Glories, in their prominence, i.e., where they are severally the most prominent. It is not, indeed, possible even in a whole century to describe all of them, as there is no limit to the extent of My Glories. Now, listen to this, in the first place:

20. I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning and the middle, as also the end, of all beings.
You should think of Me as the innermost Self, seated in the heart within of all beings. - 'Gudakesa’ means either ‘conqueror of sleep ’or ‘thick - haired’ - He who is unable to think of Me as the Self should think of Me in those things which are mentioned below; for I am the source, the stay, and the end of all beings.

21. Of the Adityas I am Vishnu; of the radiances, the resplendent Sun; I am Marichi of the Maruts; of the asterisms, the Moon.
Of the twelve Adityas, I am the Aditya known as Vishnu. Maruts are a kind of Devatas.

22. Of the Vedas I am the Sama-Veda, I am Vasava of the Gods, and of the senses I am the mind, I am the intelligence in living beings.
Gods: such as the Rudras and the Adityas. Vasava: i.e., Indra. Of the eleven senses I am the mind. Chetana, sentiency or intelligence, is that state of the intellect (buddhi) which manifests itself in the aggregate of the body and the senses.

23. And of the Rudras I am Sankara, of the Yakshas and Rakshasas the Lord of wealth, and of the Vasus I am Agni, of the mountains I am the Meru.
The Rudras are eleven in number, and the Vasus eight. The Lord of wealth: Kubera.

24. And of the household priests of kings, O son of Pritha, know Me the chief one, Brihaspati; of generals I am Skanda, of lakes I am the Ocean.
Brihaspati is the chief of priests because he is the household priest of Indra. Skanda is the general of the Gods. Of the natural - i.e., made by the Gods - reservoirs, I am the Ocean.

25. Of the Great Rishis I am Bhrigu; of words I am the one syllable ‘Om’; of offerings I am the offering of Japa (silent repetition), of unmoving things the Himalaya.

26. Of all trees (I am) the Asvattha, and Narada of divine Rishis, Chitraratha of Gandharvas, the Sage Kapila of the Saints (Siddhas).
Divine Rishis: Who are Devas and are at the same time Rishis or seers of mantras. The Saints (Siddhas): those who at their very birth attained to a very high degree of Dharma, of knowledge, of detachment (vairagya) from worldly concerns, and of supremacy.

27. Know Me among horses as Uchchaisravas, born of Amrita, of lordly elephants the Airavata, and of men the king.
Uchchais-sravas is the name of the kingly horse, who was born in the ocean when it was churned for the amrita (ambrosia). Know Me among kingly elephants as the Airavata, the offspring of Iravat.

28. Of weapons I am the thunderbolt, of cows I am the Kamadhuk, I am the progenitor Kandarpa, of serpents I am Vasuki.
The thunderbolt: the Vajra made of Dadhichi's bone. Kamadhuk: that cow of Vasishtha which yielded all objects desired; or any cow in general which may yield plenty of milk. Kandarpa: Kama or love. Vasuki: the lord of serpents.

29. And Ananta of snakes I am, I am Varuna of water - beings, and Aryaman of Pitris I am, I am Yama of controllers.
Ananta: the king of snakes. Varuna: the king of water gods. Water-beings: the Devatas or Gods connected with waters. Aryaman is the king of Pitris.

30. And Prahlada am I of Diti's progeny, of reckoners I am Time, and of beasts I am the lord of beasts, and Vainateya of birds.
The lord of beasts: the lion or the tiger. Vainateya: Vinata's son, Garutmat.

31. Of purifiers I am the wind, Rama of warriors am I, of fishes I am the shark, of streams I am the Ganges.
Of those who bear weapons I am Rama, Dasaratha's son.

32. Of creations I am the beginning and the middle and also the end; of all knowledges I am the knowledge of the Self, and Vada of disputants.
I am the source, the stay and the end of all evolution. - At the commencement (x. 20) it was said that He is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all sentient existence; but here the whole creation in general is referred to. The knowledge of the Self is the chief among all knowledges, because it leads to moksha. By ‘disputants’ we should here understand the several kinds of disputation, - vada, jalpa, vitanda, etc., Vada is the chief of them, as it is an means of determining truth.

33. Of letters the letter ‘A’ am I, and dvandva of all compounds; I am, verily, the inexhaustible Time; I am the All-faced Dispenser.
‘Time’ here refers either to what is generally so called, - viz., 'kshana,’ a moment, the ultimate element of time or to the Supreme Lord who is the Time (Kala=the Measurer) even of time. I am the Dispenser of results of actions to the whole world.

34. And I am all-seizing Death, and the prosperity of those who are to be prosperous; of the feminine (I am) Fame, Fortune and Speech, Memory, Intelligence, Constancy, Endurance.
Death is of two sorts, he who seizes wealth, etc., and he who seizes life. Of them the seizer of life is the all-seizer. I am He. Or, I am the Supreme Lord who is the All- seizer, because of His carrying all away at the time of pralaya or dissolution. I am the prosperity - and the means of attaining it - of those who are to be prosperous in future, who are fit to attain prosperity. I am Fame, etc., the best of the feminine; and possessed of the mere semblance thereof, people regard themselves successful in life.

35. Of Samans also I am the Brihat-Saman, of metres Gayatri am I, of months I am Margasirsha, of seasons the flowery season.
'Brihat - Saman’ is the chief of the Samans. Of the Riks, composed in Gayatri and other metres, I am the Gayatri Rik. The flowery season is what is called Vasanta, the spring.

36. I am the gambling of the fraudulent, I am the splendor of the splendid, I am victory, I am effort, I am the goodness of the good.
Gambling: such as dice-play. I am the victory of the victorious; I am the effort of those who make an effort.

37. Of the Vrishnis I am Vasudeva, of the Pandavas I am Dhananjaya. and of the saints I am Vyasa, of the sages I am Usanas the sage.
Vasudeva: Myself, who am your friend. Vrishnis: the descendants of Yadu. The saints: those who are engrossed in meditation and know all things. Sages: those of extensive knowledge, the omniscient beings.

38. Of punishers I am the sceptre, of those who seek to conquer I am the polity, and of things secret I am also silence, the knowledge of knowers am I.

39. And what is the seed of all being, that also am I, O Arjuna. There is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without me.
To conclude the present section, the Lord summarises His Glory (vibhuti) as follows: - There is no being without Me; for, anything into which I have not entered would be without Self (could not exist) and would be void (sunya). Wherefore, everything is of My nature, i.e., I am the essence of everything)

40. There is no end of My heavenly Glories, O harasser of thy foes: but the details of My Glory have been declared only by way of instance.
It is indeed not possible for anybody to describe or know the exact extent of the Divine Glories of the Lord, the Self of all.

Divine Glory described in brief

41. Whatever being is glorious, prosperous, or Strong that know thou to be a manifestation of a part of My Splendor.
My: the Isvara's.

42. But, of what avail to thee is this vast thing being known, O Arjuna? I stand sustaining this whole world by one part (of Myself).
Of what avail to you can be this knowledge of vast but imperfect details? Listen, I will tell you completely of it. I stand sustaining firmly this whole world by one part, by one limb, by one foot; i.e., one part of Myself constitutes all beings. So says the chant: ‘All beings form His foot.’- (Taittriya Aranyaka, 3 - 12).

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