Vibhuti means opulence. God Himself creates out of His energy other forms and keeps part of His power with each of them for some purpose. These forms are also given names, but they are all His Vibhutis. In this chapter He explains how He is the original cause and describes some of His vibhutis.

God's origin

            A question may arise in one's mind as to how God was created? Nobody in the Universe can answer this question. If He had parents then the next question will be who were their parents? In this way we reach a point beyond which we cannot think. God is that point. He is the origin. Even demigods and deities don't know how He was born, if at all He had a birth. Great sages, who have found out about the creation, do not know from where the creator came. God could not be born. Because then, he must suffer death. What would happen then? All these questions are meaningless.

            He says in verses nos. 2 and 3 "Neither the demigods nor the great sages know My origin because I am their source. He who knows Me as the unborn, as the one without beginning, as the Master of all the worlds - he only, unduluded among mortals, is freed from all sins."

Omnipresence of God

            These two verses tell us many things. Firstly, God is somebody or something which exists all the time. He is just there. If it is so He could not have a form. He must be some superior form of energy. We do not know this. We can only guess like that because it is our experience that for every action or movement some energy is essential. We also know that this energy can be transformed from light energy to heat energy and so on. We see huge machines running on electricity. This is electrical energy which comes from huge reservoirs of water. Scientists have invented atomic energy which lies in an atom. This energy can be used for good or bad purposes. An atom which was supposed to be the smallest particle of an element has been divided and subdivided and the energy contained in it is released. Energy is used to fly aeroplanes, send rockets and satellites in the sky. It is used to create steamers and submarines which sail on the surface as well as underneath water. We, humans are still finding out many usages for energy, which never gets exhausted. Perhaps the greatest power of energy that we can see is in Vayu ( the Wind), Teja (Heat and Light) and Aapa (Water), as well as in Prithvi (Earth). A high speed wind can knock down skyscrapers and uproot trees. Heat or Light energy can cause fires. Floods can wash away entire cities while earthquake can wipe them out. These elements exist and are part of His Prakruti. So all we can say is that God is some energy - electrical, heat, wind etc. etc., all combined into one. We can further imagine that this energy, which cannot be seen in its original form, is capable of taking any form, any shape and remain as powerful as ever in that form. From where this energy came will always be a mystery. When you look at water in a reservoir can you think or imagine how that peaceful looking water generates unimaginable energy? Do we know how this energy came to be there?

            We understand energy. We do not know its source. We can reason, therefore, that form wherever this energy comes from, it must be some gigantic powerhouse. Yet when we think of the planets, galaxies, stars which roam about in space with tremendous force and there is no end, nor beginning to the area in which they move, we wonder about this great power house where this energy must be stored. We cannot think about such a huge powerhouse because if we do then we should have some idea of its dimensions. We know by now, that the expanse of Akash has no dimensions at all. It is there, wherever you go: Hence this energy is not contained in a house. It has no dimensions. It just exists. Since when? We do not know. Will it be over some day? We do not know but we don't think so. Then from where did it come from and how is it there? Does it move or is stationary? How is it transformed? We do not know. This energy, as we can imagine, is what we call God. Therefore, God has no birth. He has no beginning because for every beginning there most be some end.

Human behaviour knowing God's omnipresence

            God is beginningless, endless. He is the father, the origin of all that exists. Krishna says, "he who knows this, is freed of his sins." This is another revelation. Knowing "this" is behaving like "this". If He is the origin, the great Father and Mother of all beings, then how should we behave in our daily life?

            You meet a young boy at a social gathering. You don't like him for some reason. You show your dislike in the way you talk to him. If he comes to you to talk, you ignore him and walk away. That boy is not bothered. After a week you come to know that this young lad is the only son of the most influential man in your town. His father is capable of causing you untold harm  or getting your difficult pending jobs done. What happens next is a change of your attitude to that boy. When you meet him next, you are nice to him. You say to yourself, "I don't want unnecessary trouble; and maybe through this boy I could approach his father some day, if need be, for some work." Your thinking is right. But why do you change your attitude? Because you know that his father is very influential. He has uncanny powers. If you are not nice to his son, He may be displeased with you.

            Now, my friend, just think of all the other people that you meet in your life and also think, that even though they have different parents, all of them have one Great Father. All are children of God. All individual Atmas are different because of their Karmas, yet they come from Him. If you are not nice to any one, He, the Great Farther may be displeased with you. On the other hand, if you are really nice, you have no hatred, jealousy, envoy for anybody; if you love all and are ready to do selfless service to any third party as and when an opportunity comes, He will be pleased with you. So it is said by Krishna, that he, who knows that God is the origin of all, and remains aloof from temptations and delusions, is freed from sins.

            This world is full of people with various qualities of mind. All of them have their origin in God. e.g. Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses and the mind, happiness and sorrow, birth, death, fear, fearlessness as well as, non-violence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and blasphemy - all these qualities are created by God alone. We can understand energy in the form of heat, light, water, wind, electricity etc., but how about thinking of energy creating feelings? Unimaginable, is it not? Well, that is God, the unthinkable, unknowable, unimaginable something. When it is said, 'He is everything', it means everything. There is nothing, perceptible or unperceptible which does not come from Him. That is God's mangnificence.

            In verse no. 7 He says, "The seven great sages and the other great four sages before them and the Manus all came from Me. They are born from my mind. All the living beings on the various planets come from them."

Greatness of God

            Now we begin to understand His greatness. We also know He has a mind. It does not mean that He is a human form. It only goes to prove that mind is energy. We also know that the name of His vibhuti, who is responsible for creation, is Bramhadev. God set aside apart of Himself (the energy) and gave it separate identity and powers to create Universe, planets and everything else. Bramhadev created sages and gave them powers. Manu is supposed to be the original Man. These were responsible for manifestation of all kinds of forms. Yet they, including Bramhadev, God's own vibhuti who created the Universe, cannot understand Him. Imagine Pacific ocean as God and a bucketful of its water as Bramhadev. How can that water get an idea of God? When He created out of Himself these sages and Manu etc., He remained in them with His powers, yet He was outside them also.

            You may have an electric high power cable running in your factory where you work. It may carry a currant of say 2000 volts. All the lamps in the premises can have that high voltage, yet the current is not exhausted. It still remains outside the factory, and at the source it may be several thousands of volts in strength.

Effect of knowledge of Vibhutis on devotion

            He, who fully understands and realises this great opulence of God, engages himself in the highest form of devotion to God. There is no doubt about this. When a devotee, who worships God, knows that He is not confined to that little Mandir or church or Mosque or House of God; he is not limited by the shape and form of the idol he worships, his devotion will increase and he will not allow anything to come in his way of devotion. His mind will remain firm. It will not stray away to other demigods. It is therefore, necessary for us to know God's opulence through His vibhutis. People who realise these vibhutis, worship Him with undiluted devotion. Their minds are centred on God. They spend their leisure time in singing His Bhajans, songs, psalms; talking to others about Him; hold discourses and discuss Him. This is their amusement, pleasure. They feel very happy doing these activities than running after fulfilling sensual pleasures. Once God's omnipresence is understood and a knowledge of His vibhutis is obtained, our minds can stop wandering.

            Such people are more blessed than others because God strengthens their intellect and directs it in such a way that it becomes steady and firm. Devotees who firmly believe His vibhutis, His expanse, His sovereignty and omnipresence, are moved to greater heights of devotion by Him. He takes care that do they not fall down by succumbing to delusion and temptation. He comes to reside in the intellect of these devotees and His light removes darkness of ignorance from their minds. This is His superlative blessing.

            We know from above that in order to strengthen the intellect and make it steady, we can count on God's direct help. Arjuna also felt the same way. In verses nos. 12 to 18 Arjuna prays to Krishna, thus,

Arjuna's request to know Vibhutis of God

            "You are supreme Brahma, the last resort and the purest Absolute truth. You are permanent, You shine by yourself, You are God, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages like Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa confirm this and now You Yourself are telling me the same. I accept this truth and all that You have told me. I also know that neither the demigods nor demons can understand Your personality. You are the origin of all, Master of all God of Gods and Father of universe. Only You can know yourself. Now please tell me in greater details, of Your vibhutis by which you pervade all the worlds. O Krishna You are the Supreme Yogi. How shall I constantly think of You? How shall I know You? Tell me the various forms in which You can be remembered. So, please tell me about the Yogic power of Your vibhutis. I am never contented hearing about You because the more I hear the more I want to know.

            Arjuna's request is for the benefit of mankind. We have understood by now that mind holds tremendous energy. It can do harm or it can do good. When it is spent in satisfying senses, it does harm. When it is directed to God, it does good. By nature, it always goes to please senses. This is also His game. Yet He has given us intellect to control the mind and stop from going down the drain. But it is not easy. His Prakruti runs the entire Universal show by its three gunas. Out of them, Raja guna, which is responsible for all Karma, resides not only in senses and mind but also in intellect. So desires that excite senses and mind, also excite intellect. Mind's energy flows in  wrong direction. God knows this so He is giveng information about His opulence, majestic expanse for us to understand Him better. He promises that if we realise His greatness through His vibhutis, our devotion to Him will increase. He Himself will come and stay in the intellect. If that happens, what power His Prakruti can exercise? So Arjuna is keen to know His vibhutis. We should also be keen and enthusiastic to understand and know them.

Some Vibhutis of God

            Krishna now tells Arjuna some of His vibhutis. He says, in verses 19 and 20, "Arjuna, there is no limit to My manifestations, so I will tell you only those which are prominent. First of all, understand that the Atma in all beings is Me. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings."

            As everything proceeds from the ever existing energy which is called God, and as this energy is required for life's operations, it is evident that God is present in every being. Yet, as said earlier, He is not in the beings. He is in all of them as Atma (part of Himself) yet He stays away as Paramatma (superior Atma). Parmatma is different from Atma because each Atma is in a state of bondage while Paramatma is not. We have seen before, that God has mind. He also has intellect which is far superior to those of human beings.

            On earth, we know that some sort of administrative machinery is required to run the affairs of each country, state, city and village. Human mind has planned various ways and means to have efficient administration. Human intellect has put those plans in action. However, managing the affairs of a country is comparatively simple than running the affairs of the Universe. God has done it and for that He Himself created His vibhutis. In verses no. 21 to 39 He has talked about a few of them.

            Among the Adityas, He is Vishnu, of all lights He is the sun, of all the winds He is Marichi and among stars He is the Moon. Among the Vedas He is Sama Veda, among demigods He is Indra. He is the mind of the senses and He is the living force called Chetana in all living beings. Of all Rudras He is Lord Siva, among Yaksas and Raksasas He is Kubera (Lord of wealth), among Vasus He is Agni (fire) and among mountains He is Meru. Among priests He is Brihaspati, among generals He is Kartikeya and among bodies of water He is the ocean. He is Bhrugu Rishi among the Maharishis, He is the original Akshara AUM in all languages, He is the chanting in holy names and He is Himalaya among mountains. Among trees He is "Asvattha" (a kind of tree), among all the sages He is Narada, Chitraratha among Gandharvas and sage Kapila among Dnyanis. Among horses He is Uchaishrava, produced when the ocean was churned by Demigods and Raksasas. He is Airavata among lordly elephants and among men He is the Monarch. He is the thunderbolt among weapons and among cows He is Surabhi (also called Kamadhenu). Among causes for procreation (begetting offspring's) He is Kandarpa, the demigod of love also called Madan, among serpents He is Vasuki. Among the many-hooded Nagas He is Ananta and among the aquatics He is Varuna. Among departed ancestors He is Aryama, among the regulators of law He is Yama, the lord of death. He is Pralhad among devoted demons, Time in calculations, lion among beasts and Garuda among birds. He is the wind among purifiers, Rama among wielders of weapons (warriors), shark among the fish and Ganges among the flowing rivers. Among alphabets He is "A" and among compound words He is the dual compound. The inexhaustible time is He and among creators He is Brahmadev. He is the all-devouring death and the generating quality of all that is to happen in future. Among women He is fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.

            Among hymns of Sama Veda He is the Brihat-Sama, and among poetry He is Gayatri. Among the months He is Margashirsha (November-December) and He is the flower bearing spring among all seasons. He is the gambling among cheats, splendour of the splendid, the victory, the adventure and the strength of the strong. Among descendants of Vrushi, He is Vasudeva and among Pandavas He is Arjuna. Among sages He is Vyasa and among philosopher poets He is Ushana. Among the means of suppression He is punishment and among those who desire success He is morality. Among secrets He is silence and He is the wisdom of the wise. Moreover, He is the seed of all creations. There is no being - moving or non moving - that can exist without Him.

            Thus, there is no end to His divine manifestations. Krishna says in verse no. 40 "What I have told you is just a little indication of My infinite greatness. In the last two verses no. 41 and 42 He declares,

            "Understand and know that every entity, which is glorious, beautiful or resplendent with lustre has been created from the spark of My splendour. But what is the need for you to have detailed knowledge of My Vibhutis. I pervade this entire Universe with but a single fragment of My self. Thus ends chapter 10 on Vibhuti- Yoga.


            It is important for us to know that God is everywhere. He is the power, glory, magnificence and greatness in everything. His power may make a cruel person dreadful because of God's Vibhuti existing in even cruelty; yet His laws of Karma are infallible. We have to learn that if we want to do good Karma, He will be with us always. Realise His presence and give up fear, including fear of death, because He is death. A knowledge of His opulence, as described above, should make us understand Him better. He is great we say. But when we realise that in spite of being in all Vibhutis, it is only a fraction of Himself that exists in all, then we know that He is beyond our understanding. No vibhuti knows Him. All of them combined may have a drop of His energy. We cannot imaging how great He is. But, at least, now we understand Him a little more clearly.

Copyright © 2003
R.P.L. Kornet®
. Alle rechten voorbehouden aan Bhai Gavankar™ India.