Chapter 11

  1. Arjuna said:
    Just out of your friendship you have spoken to me these great secrets of the soul. Your words have removed my illusions.
  2. I have heard from you in detail about the creation and destruction of all living things, Lotus-eyed one. And I have experienced infinite wonders.
  3. Thus what you have spoken is of the real spirit, greatest of divine Masters. Now I wish to see your real divine form, finest of individuals.
  4. If you think it is possible for me to see this, my Lord, divine master of yoga, show me your eternal soul.
  5. The Blessed One said:
    Scion of Partha, just see my forms; hundreds of thousands of combinations and countless colours.
  6. Best of the Bharatas, see the twelve sons of Aditi, the eight Vasus, the eleven forms of Rudra, the two Ashvinis, the fourty-nine Maruts, and many other awe-inspiring forms that you have never seen before.
  7. In this one place you can see the entire world completely and immediately. Both the mobile and immobile are here in this body, Arjuna, and everything you could wish to see.
  8. But you cannot see me with your own eyes. I will give you divine eyes to see my divine mastery of yoga.
  9. Sanjaya said:
    Thus, after saying this my King, the greatest divine master of yoga, the praised one, showed unto Arjuna the greatest divine form.
  10. Many mouths, many eyes, many awe-inspiring sights, many divine ornaments, and many divine weapons wielded.
  11. Divine necklaces (malas), wearing divine dresses, covered in divine perfumes, all awe-inspiring, godly, infinite and present all at once.
  12. There were many thousands of suns in the sky all at once, as if their light was the very radiance of the supersoul.
  13. Arjuna could see the entire world all in once place, divided into many. This was the God of gods, manifest in that very moment as the universe.
  14. Thus Arjuna was overwhelmed with awe, his hair standing on end. He bowed his head in respect, with folded hands toward the divine, and began to speak.
  15. Arjuna said:
    I can see all the divine in your divine body. And all the living beings gathered. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva sitting upon a lotus flower, and all the great sages and the divine serpents.
  16. I can see many arms, torsos, mouths and eyes. I can see you in every direction, with no beginning, middle or end, divine Master of all. I see you as the all.
  17. I can see helms, maces, spheres, and radiance, glowing in every direction. I see you, but it is difficult to bear, like blazing flames everywhere or the light of the sun, beyond measure.
  18. You must be realized as the absolute, the greatest foundation of the all. You are the infinite upholder of the way. In my opinion you are the eternal supreme individuality.
  19. Without beginning, middle or end. Infinite glories, infinite arms, eyes like the sun and moon. I see you with blazing fire burning from your mouth, giving warmth to all existence.
  20. From the reaches of space to this earth and filling all in between, are you alone, in all directions. By the sight of your awe-inspiring and terrifying form, the three worlds themselves tremble, great soul.
  21. You are within the entire school of spirits. Some of them are folding their hands from fear, offering supplication. The great sages proclaim peace, the school of magicians sing their incantations unto you with invocations from the ancient rituals.
  22. All of the forms of Shiva, the Adityas, the Vasus and the Sadhyas, the Vishvedevas, the Ashvinu, Maruts, and the ancestors, schools of divine choirs (Gandharvas), Yakshas, demons and mages are all looking upon you in awe.
  23. The great form of you has many faces and eyes, great warrior. Many arms, waists and legs, many torsos, and many fangs; and upon seeing them all the worlds tremble. As do I.
  24. There are many glowing colours reaching to the heavens, open mouths, great glowing eyes. Seeing you I am shaken within my soul. I have lost all balance and my mind is troubled, Vishnu.
  25. Seeing your terrible teeth and faces, which are like the fires of death, I have lost all sense of direction. I plead for grace, divine Master, comforter of worlds.
  26. All of these sons of Dhirtarashtra, and these warrior kings, Bhisma, Drona, Karna, as well as the generals of our armies, they are all within your jaws, mightiest warrior.
  27. They are entering, rushing into your terrible fangs. I see some of them, devoured by you, their heads crushed in your teeth.
  28. As the rivers flow into the oceans, so do all these kings of the world flow into your mouths, and burn.
  29. As moths are drawn into a blazing fire to their destruction, so are all people drawn with great swiftness into your mouths.
  30. You are devouring all the people from all directions with your burning mouths glowing. You are covering all the world with your radiance, your terrible rays scouring all, Vishnu.
  31. Please show me grace, lord of the gods, and explain to me your fierce form. I wish to know you as you really are, for I do not understand your purpose.
  32. The Blessed One said:
    I am Time, the destroyer of worlds. I am that which destroys all who are in the world. And all who are on this battlefield today are doomed to die, except for you.
  33. Thus, rise up! Gain fame in conquering your foes. Enjoy the prosperous Kingdom you will gain. For all those here have already been destined to be destroyed by me. You will just be the vessel for this, Arjuna.
  34. Drona, and Bhisma, and Jayadratha, and Karna, and all the other great warriors have already been killed by my will. You must destroy them, so be not troubled. Only fight and conquer your enemies.
  35. Sanjaya said:
    Thus hearing Krishna's words, with folded hands, trembling Arjuna offered respectful motions (namaste) many times over. Then he spoke fearfully to Krishna, his voice wavering.
  36. Arjuna said:
    Divine Master of the senses, by your glory the world is rightfully yours. It rejoices in union with you, and the demons are running fearfully in all directions. The whole school of mages are motioning respectfully as well (namaste).
  37. Why should they not offer respect unto you, great soul? You are the superior Brahma, the divine creator. Infinite, God of the gods, comfort of the world. You are never-ending, and thus beyond the real and unreal.
  38. You are the God of gods, the oldest of individuals. You are the great comfort of this existence, you are the knower and the known, and the greater fulfillment. This entire existence is filled by you, infinite form.
  39. You control the air, fire, water, the moon. You are the father, the great-grandfather, and I offer you honours upon honours unto you. Let it be so a thousand times over, again and again I offer my respect unto you!
  40. Before you and behind you I offer respect. I offer my respect unto you from all directions, because you are all things, limitless strength and limitless force. You envelop all things, thus you are all things.
  41. Having assumed you to merely be my friend, Krishna, my dear friend, whatever I may have said was out of foolishness or out of love, without knowing your true greatness.
  42. Whenever I may have joked about you or dishonoured you, relaxing and sitting with you while dining together. Or when I was alone or with other friends, ideal one, I ask your forgiveness for all these unthinkable acts.
  43. You are the father of all the dimensions, mobile and immobile. You are worthy of worship, the glorious guru. There is none equal to you. How could there possibly be any who is greater in all the three worlds, most powerful lord?
  44. Thus I offer up my whole body in respect for you. I beg unto you for mercy, the divine who is worthy of worship. Like a father unto a son, like a friend unto a friend, like a lover unto his beloved, so I ask you to treat me, divine one.
  45. I am filled with joy at seeing this which I had never seen before. But my mind is also shaken with fear. So please grace me once more with your divine form, Master of gods, comfort of the world.
  46. With your helm, club, and wheel-like weapon (chakra) in your hand, that is how I wish to see you. Thousand armed one, I wish to see you in your four-armed form, representative of all that is.
  47. The Blessed One said:
    Arjuna, I will gladly show you this great form, through the union of the soul. It completely radiates upon the entire universe, infinitely. It is my most real form, which no one has ever seen prior to you.
  48. Never through the priestly rituals, nor by study, nor by charity, nor by any saintly acts, nor strict ascetic acts, has anyone else in this world of matter seen this form before you, greatest warrior of the Kurus.
  49. Let it neither trouble nor confuse you to see this horrible form of mine. Free from fear, contented of mind, again simply witness this, my form.
  50. Sanjaya said:
    Thus, speaking in this way to Arjuna, Krishna once again showed him his true form. This brought much fear to him, so once again the great soul returned to his more beautiful form.
  51. Arjuna said:
    Looking once more upon your beautiful human form, punisher of enemies, I am now relaxed in my mind, I am once again composed.
  52. The Blessed One said:
    This form of mine that you have seen is very difficult to bear seeing. Even the divine spirits constantly long to gaze upon it.
  53. I have never made it possible, either by the study of scripture, or ascetic acts, or charity, or worship, to see me as you have seen me.
  54. But through the direct experience of devotion, Arjuna, I have made it possible to see and be aware . In fact, in this way you can enter the real, great warrior.
  55. Doing my work, see me as the great individual. Being devoted to me, free from intellectual attempts at knowing, one who is without enemies among all living beings will come into me, son of Pandu.