The Bhagavad Gita – Capsule 11


The Bhagavad Gita in Capsules – Chapter 11

The book “The Prasthānatraya – An Introduction” by Revered Swami Harshananda, President of Ramakrishna Math, Bengaluru was published in 2001. The Swami has bestowed on us a summary of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita of Lord Krishna. I bow my head in reverence and in praise of Swamiji and pray for his blessings in my taking the liberty of retyping the summary from the book and posting it in my blog.

This is the Summary of the eleventh chapter, Vishvarūpa Darshana Yoga


Arjuna’s curiosity being roused by this, he requests Lord Srīkrishna to show to him hsi divine form. The Lord endows him with a divine sight and reveals his Vishvarūpa or universal divine form.

It is an extraordinary form with myriads of faces, ornaments and weapons. Decorated with divine garlands and garments, the wondrous cosmic form is more brilliant than a million suns. The whole world of variegated forms constitutes only a small part of his being.

Excited by wonder and joy, Arjuna starts praying to that Divinity. This beautiful prayer hymn of 17 verses gives a nice description of the Vishvarūpa or the cosmic form.

All beings – divine, human and subhuman – are being seen in Him. He has several arms, bellies and faces.

He is extraordinarily brilliant. He has pervaded the whole space. All beings like gods and sages are praising Him with folded hands. The various heroes arrayed in the battlefield are entering into Him and getting destroyed like moths in the fire.

Gripped with fear and wonder, Arjuna prays to Him to reveal who He is.

The Lord replies that He is Time, the eternal destroyer, come to annihilate the warriors in the enemy armies. Since this task will be achieved by Him even without Arjuna’s involvement,the Lord advises Arjuna to fight, get victory and fame, and enjoy the kingdom.

Arjuna once again prays to the Lord praising Him, and asking for forgiveness for having treated Him lightly during moments of intimate friendship.

He then requests Him to withdraw the cosmic form and reappear in his usual human form.

After doing so, Srīkrishna tells him that his cosmic form cannot be seen by the study of the Vedas or performance of sacrifices or even austerity, but only by single-minded devotion.


Courtesy: Swami Harshananda  (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)


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