Vishwa means Universe. Rupa means form. Darshana is sight. This
Yoga is the yoga of seeing God in His Universal form. Krishna had
appeared as a man in Dwaparyuga. Some people considered Him as somebody
with superhuman powers. Even those who looked upon Him as God did not
realise that He pervaded the universe. Arjuna also never thought like
that. It was only after Krishna talked to Him in so many details about
His unmanifested, beginning less and endless existence, and His various
vibhutis, that Arjuna got some insight into God's universality. At this
stage, I think, even we are not in a position to fully comprehend by
what is meant as Vishwarupa or Universal form.
All we know by now is
that God is energy which can manifest itself into any form and any shape.
We also know that the universe, though stands separately from Him, on
its own, it is supported by Him. This support is not from outside. It is
He who is inside all beings, in part, to give them life force. We have
seen further that this entire universe is a manifestation of His
negligible percentage of energy. He is unimaginable times bigger. He is
beyond the scope of understanding of senses, mind and intellect. Now let
us stretch our imagination and think, how he would look if the limitless
energy (God) manifested fully, how it would look. If He is death, how He
would look in that manifested form. How He would appear as creator (Brahmadev,
preserver (Vishnu) and destroyer (Shankara)?
When Krishna told
Arjuna that He has pervaded the Universe by just, say, one fraction of
His unmanifested form, Arjuna said, "O Lord, all my delusion is
vanished by Your teaching. The most confidential spiritual education You
have given is great. You are the cause for birth and death of this
Universe. This I have heard from You. I also heard You are Supreme God
and have realized Your inexhaustible glory. Now that I see
you in front of me in this manifested human form, I desire to see
your Universal form in all its glory. O God, if you think that I can
behold that cosmic form of Yours, then kindly show that to me."
In verses no. 5,6,7,
Krishna says, "Arjuna, you can now see my hundreds of thousands of
different forms. They are divine and of various colours. See now the
different manifestations of Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Asvini-Kumars and
all other demigods. See now such wonders as you have never seen before.
Whatever you wish to see, behold it at one and the same time in my
manifested Universal body. You can also see whatever you want to see in
future. Moving and non moving, all entities are here. However, you
cannot see this form with eyes. Hence, I give you divine sight. Now
behold My opulence!
At this stage, in
verses no. 10 to 14, Sanjaya, who was narrating what happened on the
battlefield of Kurukshetra, describes briefly this Universal form of
God. Sanjay says,
manifestation of God
Arjuna saw in the
Universal form of God, innumerable mouths, eyes and mysterious wonderful
visions. The entire body was decorated whit illumined ornaments, had
held many divine weapons which were upraised. He wore celestial garlands
and garments. His body was smeared with many divine scents. Everything
was mystifying, shining, unending and all pervading. If hundreds of
thousands of suns were to rise at once in the sky, their combined
radiance might resemble the lustre of the great form. At that time
Arjuna saw in that Universal body, the entire Universe contained, though
divided into many different parts. Arjuna was astonished and bewildered.
His hair stood out on his body at the sight of this unbelievable form,
and bowing his head, he stood with folded hands to pray the Supreme God.
"O God, I see in
your body all the demigods. I see hordes of various kinds of animals. I
also see Brahmadev sitting on the lotus flower. Then there is the Lord
Siva, all the sages and divine serpents as well. You have many many
arms, bellies, mouths and eyes spread everywhere. There is no end, no
middle and no beginning. You are pervading everywhere. O' God of the
Universe, I do see now Your Universal form. You are wearing on all sides
crowns on your heads, clubs and maces in your hand along with circular
discs (chakras). Your immeasurable radiance, spread everywhere like
blazing sun and fire, is blinding me. It is difficult to see You and
understand this Your form fully."
"I think and
believe now that You are the Akshara (imperishable) God and the ultimate
resting place of the universe. You are ever existing and the oldest. You
are the maintainer of eternal religion, the best of men among men. You
have no beginning, no middle and end. Your power is inexhaustible, Your
arms are unlimited and the sun and moon are Your eyes. I see You whit
blazing fire coming out from Your mouth. You are lighting and spreading
heat in the entire Universe by Your own radiance. You alone have spread
Yourself in all directions, throughout the sky and also in the spaces in
between. All the three worlds are perturbed to see this mystifying
terrible form of Yours. Hosts of demigods are surrendering to You,
entering into You. Some of them are very much scared and are offering
prayers with folded hands. Rishis, sages and hosts of "siddhas"
(Dnyanis) are crying "Peace, Peace," and are praying You with
Vedic hymns. All Rudras, Adityas, Vasus, Sadhyas, Visvadevas, Maruts (Vayus),
Ashwini Kamars, ancestors, gandharvas, yakshas, Asuras and demigods are
beholding You in wonder. All the worlds are perturbed to see Your form
with its many faces, eyes, arms, thighs, legs, bellies and Your horrible
teeth. As they are disturbed so am I. O' Vishnu, seeing You thus
reaching the sky and with innumerable radiant colours, gaping mouths,
great glowing eyes, my mind is disturbed by fear. I cannot keep my mind
steady and no longer maintain its equilibrium."
fear on seeing the universal form
O' Great Lord Your
blazing deathlike mouths and horrifying teeth make me lose my balance of
mind, because of fear. I cannot distinguish between North, South, West,
East. I do not have peace. I am bewildered. Please be gracious to me.
All these sons of Dhrutarashtra, along with their kings and soldiers,
and Bhishma, Drona, Karna, as well as, chief warriors from our army are
rushing into Your fearful mouths. Some of them are trapped and their
heads get smashed between Your teeth. As the many waves of the rivers
flow into an ocean, so are all these great warriors entering your
blazing mouths. As moths dash in a blazing fire to get destroyed, so do
all these people are rushing at full speed into Your mouths. O' Vishnu,
I see You devouring all of them, licking your tongues again and again,
into your flaming mouths. You have covered the entire universe with your
lustre and You are scorching it. Please tell me, Who are You? O' Great
one, I bow to You. Please Grace me. You are the primal Lord. I want to
know about You because I do not know what You are up to."
is a human being in front of God?
Arjuna was aghast and
immensely terrified by seeing the universal form of God. He now trembled
with fear. He had asked for it. We see this Universe as a gigantic space
with various planets, stars, comets etc. in it. But our world is limited
to earth. Our life is confined to our own activities and those of our
relations, friends etc. Our knowledge of the world is also limited. When
we look up in the sky, all we see is blue empty space, a big void, with
sun glowing in some corner. In the night we see same space but instead
of the sun there is the moon and stars. We can imagine, from what we
have learnt so far, that God, in unmanifested energy form is supporting
all these stars, planets including our earth. We know that some of Him
came to form, as Universe. We are also manifestations of Him. Now
stretch your imagination and picture before your mind His Universal
form. Wherever your eyes can see up in space, you see His huge mouths
and eyes and ears with tongues protruding out from each mouth. If you
take a side glance, all you see is huge bellies and innumerable hands.
If you see down on earth, you see many legs. You do not see a billionth
of a millimetre space which is not occupied by this form. Then you see
everything including your neighbours, people from other cities and
countries entering those mouths from all sides. You also see some coming
out from some mouths. Where are you, my dear reader? Do you see yourself
as any significant person with wealth, power, status fame in this world?
Who are you? What is your body? Where is it? It is moving slowly and
steadily towards onother e of those thousands mouths, to be crushed
between those teeth and burnt into its blazing fire. You will be
finished. Yes, you will come out again from some another mouth and start
moving towards the one which is devouring other people. You are coming
out from God. You are going into Him only to come out again. If you were
to see this form of God, you would die untimely death. But God wants you
and I and all of us to live happily, cast off the fear of death, and
enjoy in true sense. So He remains unmanifested, away from our knowledge
yet very close to us. He is fearful yet He says to us, "Do not fear
Me, I do not want anything from you. Just think of Me as you go about
doing your work and offer me only your love. I will take you to My abode
which is something to wonder about."
Now let us see how
Krishna allayed Arjuna's fears. In verses nos. 32 to 34 He says, "I
am Time, the destroyer of Universe. I have come here to destroy all
people. With the exception of You (Pandavas) all the soldiers on both
sides will be killed. Therefore get up, fight and win. Enjoy this
flourishing kingdom. They have been already killed by Me before. You
just be an instrument of mine. Drona, Bhishma, Jayadratha, Karna and
other great warriors have already been killed by Me. Therefore, you now
kill them without getting disturbed. Fight and you will conquer your
enemies in this war.
The universal form of
God that Arjuna saw, portrayed His existence as Time at that moment.
DwaparaYuga was nearing its end. In course of time all people had to
die. Majority of the population was going to die in that great war. This
was preordained. Hence God showed Arjuna how His form was at that
instant. Arjuna was going to be just an instrument. If he were to refuse
to fight, all of them would still be killed. Arjuna was given an
opportunity to do his Karma and be done with it. It was not right for
him to think whether his action was good or bad. He had been drawn into
the war, because of some events in the past. Now the time had come to
put into action God's wish. It was the right action for Arjuna to take.
Krishna told him to rise to the occasion and fight without bothering to
think what would happen. If Arjuna performed his duty in a non attached
manner, he would not be bound by Karma. But if he thought, he himself
was responsible to the killings, this would be an attachment to his
Karma and he would be thrown into the cycle of rebirth again.
We have to learn an
important lesson here. Time is God. Time is Death. The physical form is
Time's food. All of us are going to die. This life will come to an end
sooner or later. Time will eat us up. The body, as you see and care for,
will be gone. Yet Karma will remain behind with the astral body of three
main constituents - mind, intellect and ego. This will create a bondage
to the Atma, who is none other than you yourself. Because of this
bondage you will be born again and again, thousands of times
in different forms, to pay for your Karma and to do new Karma in
next human life. It is to be noted that the human life is the only life
which gives opportunity to come out of the cycle, yet it is also the
only life in which Karma is performed.
Time also controls our
life. We must understand its importance. When you procrastinate and keep
your work pending, you are losing time. You are running away from God.
Your work loses its value and success eludes you. Think it over. How
many times have you kept your work pending, just because you were lazy
or tempted to please your senses by engaging yourself in some other
activity? You may be doing it even today. You have been doing so because
you, probably, did not understand real value of time. Now, I assume, you
have. So, as of this moment, get up and rise to the occasion.
If you want to achieve
something in life, be it materialistic or spiritual, do not let time
give you the slip. You will slip and sleep for a long time. Every second
of time is important. Use your intelligence and plan your day's
activities, keeping three aims in mind,
to finish unfinished jobs.
to undertake new jobs which you desire to do.
to drop from your mind those desires which are no good and hence
get those jobs out from your system.
Follow the rules of
performing Karma and you will have Time with you. He will no longer be a
dreadful destroyer. He will be a friendly God to you. Remember, as you
are understanding Gita in Kaliyuga, you have Krishna by your side. You
are Arjuna, his friend. He has revealed His secret to you and says,
"Now get up and do your right Karma. I am with you."
How many times have you
heard remarks like this "O' I should have done this before."
"I have no time", "We lost time", etc.? The truth is
that people uttering these remarks did not keep pace with time.
Ultimately they were the losers. You must have also heard the famous
English proverb "Time is Money." It is true. If you know the
value of Time and if you keep pace with it, you beat others in the race.
Your work gets done. God is pleased with you. You get what you want and
what you deserve. So, let us not wait any more time. Whatever happened
has happened. Time has swallowed many things. Past is gone, in Time's
mouth. It is crushed. It will not come again in same form. Time is all
set to eat your future. All you have is your present. You master it and
even Death will be your friend. So the message is "ACT NOW";
and perform your actions without attachment yet with enthusiasm and joy.
of the universal form of God on Arjuna
When Krishna told
Arjuna to get ready and fight (do his right Karma), Arjuna bowed. He was
scared to see the universal form of God. He bowed again and again and in
a faltering voice said that he understood what God had said. He praised
God saying, His name is a source of joy to all and every good person is
attached to Him. Sages, Yogis and Dnyanis pay Him their respect. Only
the demons are scared and they run helter skelter. He further said,
"You are greater than Brahmadev, who is responsible for creation of
the universe. How is it possible, therefore, that these superior
demigods will not pay their homage to You? You are the refuge of the
universe. You are manifested, unmanifested and still greater than both
these forms, as Akshara, the imperishable."
Arjuna then went on
praising God, in verses nos. 38 to 46, thus. He said, "You are
Original, the oldest and the end of this universe. You know everything
yet You are unknowable. You are the supreme refuge, creator and prevador
of the universe. Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Aapa (water), the moon, the
Brahmadev are all Your forms. You are the father and the grandfather. I
bow you a thousand times, again and again. You are the Master, all in
all, Your power has no limit. You are all pervading. So I offer my
salutations to You from front, behind, from all sides."
"I regarded You as
my friend and addressed You as "O Krishna, O Yadava, O my friend
etc., not understanding Your glory. Please forgive me for that. I have
joked with You many time I have ridiculed You, sat together with You,
played with You, sometimes alone and sometimes with other friends. At
that time I have spoken harsh words to You. Please forgive me for all
those offences. You are the father of everything. You are the chief to
be worshipped. None is equal to You. How can anyone be greater than You?
You are the supreme God who must be worshipped by one and all. I fall on
your feet and beg for mercy. As a father tolerates the son's impudence,
or a friend tolerates friend's rebuke, or a wife pardon's husbands
irregularities, so may You pardon my wrong actions done to You."
desire to see God in human form again
"After seeing the
Universal form, which I could never see before, I am happy Yet my mind
is in a grip of fear. Hence please Grace me, God and reveal again Your
form which my eyes are accustomed to see. Yet, I also wish to see Your
four-armed form with club, wheel, conch, and lotus flower in Your hands.
Yes, I long to see that form of Vishnu."
in attitude on understanding universal form
Arjuna had known
Krishna, the God incarnate, as a human being with some extraordinary
powers. But as his Knowledge and understanding was limited by senses,
and his mind he did not know what God really is. When he saw the
universal form of his dear friend, he was much shaken and dismayed. We
are not so fortunate as Arjuna to see that form. May be it is better for
us not to see it. We might suddenly stop breathing. But we can imagine
what God is like and hold Him in respect. Arjuna was transformed in
mind. His attitude changed. If you read this chapter again and again and
try to understand God in His universal form, perhaps you may also change
for the better.
Krishna was pleased to
see this transformation in Arjuna. He said that He showed Arjuna the
universal form by His power to manifest. No one before had seen Him in
that form with all His glory and effulgence. It is not possible for
anybody in this world to see that form of God. Neither by studying and
practising Vedic rituals, nor by performing Yagnyas, nor by charity, nor
by severe penances, nor by any pious activity can anyone, in this
material world, see Him thus. Krishna comforted Arjuna saying not to get
scared or confused by seeing that form. He promised to come back to that
form which he was accustomed to see.
disappeared from Arjuna's sight in that universal form and appeared
before Him as Vishnu with four arms, holding a conch, chakra (wheel),
mace and a lotus flower, smiling benevolently at him. Arjuna was still
in the grip of fear. So Krishna came back to His materialistic incarnate
form as before, holding the reins of chariot horses in His two hands.
Arjuna came back to his senses, his mind again back in the present, and
his fear disappeared. He said, "O God, seeing now this human form
of Yours, I am feeling at ease and am comforted. Now I am myself
form not possible to see again
Krishna then told him
that what was shown to Arjuna was something out of reach for anybody
else. Even His vibhutis seek for an opportunity to see this form but
they can's see it. In this material world one can see Him only in the
form in which He incarnated Himself on earth. His other form has to be
understood only; and only by undiluted, one pointed loving devotion can
one know Him or even see Him and become one with Him.
We on earth have not
seen God in human form. But as He has said, we must carry out our right
Karma in the right way. When we are able to perform every Karma in a
non-attached way, we will be able to have a steady intellect, which is
necessary to understand Him. Then with devotion and love we can go into
a mental state where everything is God to us. Then in some life we may
reach Him, our father's home.
Finally, in the last
verse no. 55 of this chapter, He declared. "He who engages in doing
My work, remains devoted to Me and whose mind has no other attachment;
he who has no enmity with anybody - he certainly comes to Me".
Sometimes, the words
"My work" can be misunderstood. Many people may think that
they have to give up their own work and carry on Krishna's work. The
question is what could be His work? His Karma is Divine. His work is
creation, preservation, destruction of the universe. When He appears as
incarnation, His work is to uphold Dharma. How can we do this work?
We are responsible for
the downfall of Dharma. When we follow wrong path, stay away from right
Karma, our Dharma starts tumbling. When this happens everywhere and on a
large scale, He sends His emissaries as saints to create an atmosphere
congenial to carry out His work. If we ourselves stick to our own Dharma
and do the right Karma, we will be doing what He wants us to do. His
work does not mean only singing His Bhajans, offering sacrifices or
worshipping Him; and finding time to do these activities by giving up
You are born according
to your Prarabdha Karma. You will live till such time that this Karma
gets over. In the mean time you will be doing many Karmas. He expects
you to carry out your accepted responsibilities and jobs in the right
way and to remember Him while doing your jobs. In this way, as you live
in this world, you get your share of good and bad days, as everybody
else does. Yet you advance in your path to reach Him. Our origin is in
Him. We have to go back to
Him. The only way to do that is to remember Him all the time. How can we
to remember God?
Start the day by
thinking about Him. Before you get out of your bed, remember Him. It may
take two minutes of your time to do that. How much easy it is for us to
remember an event in the past which has affected us greatly? A friend's
abusing remarks, an insult by a colleague, a prize won in a contest, a
love letter from fiancee - all these and many such instances come to our
mind, time and again, right from the moment we open our eyes in the
morning from good sleep. Do we remember Him? Difficult, is it not? Why,
because we have many likes and dislikes, inflated ego and a very strong
attachment to Karma. Do we like God, do we have even a negligible
attachment to Him? If not, how can we do His work?
train the mind. Pray Him for two minutes, feel happy and joyful, no
matter what situation you have to face in the day. Then get yourself
into action. Perform all your Karmas which are right at that time. Do
not give in to the demands of the mind if they come in the way of your
work. Concentrate all your energy on the work in hand and instead of
thinking about any other matter, think about God.
service to others
Develop good habits
which will have something to do with God. This could be meetings of a
spiritual group, service to the needy, poor and downtrodden. While you
wish to enjoy physical pleasure to please your senses in your leisure
time, spare some of that time for such benevolent activities. Devote
your time, spend money if you can and if you wish to, on others to
fulfil their needs. However, do not do that under compulsion or against
your mind. Such work must be done with free will and love. Service to
the needy and poor is God's work. This service may not be a big task.
If you have acquired
some skills in any subject, you can teach them free of charge to
somebody who could profitably use them, but has no money to pay you. One
can find many ways to do God's work if one wants to. But keep in mind
that spending your whole day in a God's House, singing, worshipping,
does not mean you are doing His work. That is your work. You try to be
near Him but He may not come near you; or even when He is so near, you
may not see Him or know Him.
The ultimate Karma is
for humanity. This is possible when you develop attachment to Him and
begin to realise that He is everybody and everything.