Om Namah Shivaya - Om Namo Venkatesaya  

The Song of God - Swami Venkatesananda enlarged 4th edition - 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa

10 - Vibhuti Vistara Yoga - The Yoga of the Divine Glories

Om parthaya pratibodhitam bhagavata narayanena svayam vyasena grathitam purana munina madhye mahabharatam advaita 'mrta varsinim bhagavatim astadasa 'dhyayinim amba tvam anusamdadhami bhagavad gite bhava dvesinim
1. Om. O Bhagavad Gita, with which Partha (Arjuna) was illumined by lord Narayana himself and which was composed within the Mahabharata by the ancient sage Vyasa, O divine mother, the destroyer of rebirth, the showerer of the nectar of advaita (oneness) and consisting of eighteen chapters - upon thee, O Bhagavad Gita, O affectionate mother, I meditate.
namo 'stu to vyasa visala buddhe phulla 'ravinda 'yata patra netra yena tvaya bharata taila purnah prajvalito jnanamayah pradipah
2. Salutations unto thee, O Vyasa of broad intellect, and with eyes like the petals of full-blown lotuses, by whom the lamp of knowledge, filled with the oil of the Mahabharata has been lighted.
prapanna parijataya totravetrai 'ka panaye jnana mudraya krsnaya gita 'mrta duhe namah
3. Salutations to Krsna, the parijata or the bestower of all desires for those who take refuge in him, the holder of the whip in one hand, the holder of the symbol of knowledge and the milker of the nectar of the Bhagavad Gita.
sarvo 'panisado gavo dogdha gopala nandanah partho vatsah sudhir bhokta dugdham gita 'mrtam mahat
4. All the upanisad are the cows, the milker is Krsna the cowherd boy, Arjuna is the calf, men of purified intellect are the drinkers, the milk is the great nectar of the Gita.
vasudeva sutam devam kamsa canura mardanam devaki parama 'nandam krsnam vande jagad gurum
5. I salute lord Krsna, the world teacher, the son of Vasudeva, the destroyer of Kamsa and Canura, the supreme bliss of Devaki.
bhisma drona tata jayadratha jala gandhara nilotpala salya grahavati krpena vahani karnena velakula asvatthama vikarna ghora makara duryodhana 'vartini so 'ttirna khalu pandavai rana nadi kaivartakah kesavah
6. With Krsna as the helmsman, verily, was crossed by the Pandava the battle-river whose banks were Bhisma and Drona, whose water was Jayadratha, whose blue lotus was the king of Gandhara, whose crocodile was Salya, whose current was Krpa, whose billow was Karna, whose terrible alligators were Asvatthama and Vikarna, whose whirlpool was Duryodhana.
parasarya vacah sarojam amalam gitartha gandhotkatam nanakhya 'nakakesaram hari katha sambodhana 'bodhitam loke sajjana satpadair ahar ahah pepiyamanam muda bhuyad bharata pankajam kali mala pradhvamsi nah sreyase
7. May this lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with many stories as its stamens, fully opened by the discourses on Hari, the destroyer of the sins of Kali, and drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, day by day, become the bestower of good on us.
mukam karoti vacalam pangum langhayate girim yat krpa tam aham vande parama 'nanda madhavam
8. I salute that Krsna, the source of supreme bliss, whose grace makes the dumb eloquent and the cripple cross mountains.
yam brahma varune 'ndra rudra marutah stunvanti divyaih stavair vedaih sanga pada kramo 'panisadair gayanti yam samagah dhyana 'vasthita tad gatena manasa pasyanti yam yogino yasya 'ntam na viduh sura 'sura gana devaya tasmai namah
9. Salutations to that God whom Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra and the Marut praise with divine hymns, of whom the Sama-chanters sing by the veda and their anga, in the pada and krama methods, and by the upanisad, whom the yogi see with their minds absorbed in him through meditation, and whose end the hosts of the deva and asura know not.
to know god
X:1 - The Blessed Lord said: O Arjuna, listen to My supreme word. I shall declare it to you, who art beloved, for your welfare.
X:2 - Neither the hosts of the gods, nor the great sages know My origin; for I am the source of all the gods and the great sages.
The spiritual meaning here should not be overlooked.
"I will tell you this wonderful truth, for I alone can"- i.e. Only God can know God.
The Kenopanishad ridicules the little man who prattles: "I know God", and emphatically poses the riddle: "He who knows, knows not and he who knows not, knows".
How can I know God?
Can the finite measure the infinite?
At best, the 'I' can disappear and dissolve in God.
The commandment 'Please listen' is important, too.
Spiritual truths are not heard by the physical ear, the conditioned mind or the prejudiced intellect, but with the ear in the centre of the heart.
When the truth is heard with that ear, a fresh mind and calm intellect, it becomes a living truth - the word made flesh.
Two types of beings are mentioned in the second verse - gods and sages.
This can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically.
Metaphorically, the gods are the powers that preside over the various organs and functions of the body.
Each element is presided over by a divinity and governs an organ.
The sages can be interpreted to refer to the mental faculties.
These (the senses and the mind) cannot know God, for he is their creator and lord.
Literally , the gods and sages were also created by God and hence are finite and in some measure imperfect - incapable of grasping the infinite.
No doubt, through their insight they have become intuitively aware of the reality of God, but they cannot know him because he cannot be objectified.
There is something in master which is in direct communion with God.
This omnipresence which is the unveiled divinity in the master is also in every being, but as the veiled divinity.
never forget god
X:3 - He who knows me as unborn and beginningless, the great Lord of the worlds, he, among mortals, is undeluded; he is liberated from all sins.
What is God's own knowledge of himself?
What is God's wisdom concerning himself?
First, he is unborn and, therefore, beginningless; and second, he is the great lord of the worlds, or planes of consciousness or viewpoints.
Here is an interesting thesis, antithesis, synthesis and transcendence.
God is unborn and is not involved in all these passing appearances or phenomena.
Who, then, is the controller of these phenomena which, by their orderliness and purposefulness, suggest such a governor? It is God.
He is not involved in them, yet they do not function independently of him!
Shall we, then, compare God to a despotic ruler who whimsically controls the destinies of people without getting involved in their miseries in any way? Oh, no!
That would leave no room for his great compassion and love, which virtually 'compel' him to serve those who are devoted to him.
He is very intimately conscious of the problems and strivings of mankind and, therefore, whenever the balance of right-andwrong is greatly upset, he incarnates himself.
God's own nature keeps the entire universe vibrating and scintillating, but in that there is neither an action nor an actor.
In other words he is not limited to unity, mere infinity (as opposed to finitude), or transcendental (as opposed to sensible) nature.
He is one; he is many; he is one in many; he is many in one; and he is that inexpressible 'something' which we all try to express in various ways.
Hence one who realises God as this, that, both, neither, and that which remains when all pairs of opposites have been affirmed, denied and transcended (by fusion), is never deluded.
He is free from sin, for if sin is forgetfulness of God, he never forgets God!
one and many
X:4 - Intellect, wisdom, non-delusion, forgiveness, truth, self-restraint, calmness, happiness, pain, birth, death, fear and also fearlessness,
X:5 - non-injury, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame and infamy, these are the different kinds of qualities of beings arise from Me.
The danger of a negative approach in metaphysics is that the subtle truth which transcends (but in a way includes) all viewpoints is lost sight of.
Hence, the goal of the yogi is beyond philosophy and metaphysics.
It is the great eloquent silence which is the substratum for the one (the monosyllabe Om) and the many (language and speech), beyond all affirmations and denials.
That goal is the supreme peace which is the foundation of the created universe (one) and all the objects in it (many).
It is that supreme bliss which is the basis for the experience of undifferentiated happiness (one) and of different experiences (many) from the highest pleasure to the worst pain.
God is the bed of the river, and all these are its waters which flow on and on from immemorial past to unforeseeable future.
In the light of this truth the shadow called the ego vanishes.
Hence, the Lord enumerates a few of the many qualities that characterise our inner being and topography.
You will notice that they all arise from him.
You will notice, too, that they are self-contradictory.
We see this wonder in nature: elements like fire and water are present everywhere and peacefully co-exist though their natures are different.
All of them have God as their substratum.
They all spring from him, they exist on account of him, but they do not in any way limit him - nor need we 'protect' him by denying their indescribable and wonderful relation with him.
One who see this welcomes all experiences.
Such a one was Swami Sivananda.
He welcomed joy and sorrow; He was not ashamed to be glorified, nor was He bothered if He was insulted even by His own disciples.
All these arise in God.
However, this spirit is not easy to grasp.
What do we do till then?
Look for that God experience.
manu and dhatu
X:6 - The seven Maharshis, the four Kumaras, and the Manus, are born out of My Nature and My mind; and all creatures in these realms descend from them.
X:7 - He who in truth knows these manifold manifestations of My Being and Yoga-power of Mine, becomes established in the unshakeable Yoga; there is no doubt about it.
Hinduism, especially Hindu mythology, has woven colourful legends into a charming pattern of creation.
The Bhagavatam and many other scriptures contain interesting stories which invariably conclude with the note, 'All this is the Lord's play'.
The four ancient sages who were the first born of the Creator's mind were not interested in progeny.
The second lot of seven were prompted by the indweller to do this job, whilst the four illuminated the path of renunciation and return.
These eleven sages and the mand, 'were born of my mind'.
In other words, they are not to be mistaken for gross, physical, material beings!
They are the thought-forms or the dreams of the Lord.
They are the archetypes in the macrocosm of certain physiomental faculties in the microcosm.
The four ancient sages represent the four aspects of the mind - the conscious, the subconscious, the intellect and the egoity.
The seven sages, however, represent the seven dhatu (components) of the physical body.
The mana are thoughts themselves in the waking state, and the dreams of the dream-state.
But all these are only in the cosmic mind! i.e.
They are God's dreams.
And, 'from them are these creatures born in this world'! i.e.
The concrete, material, sensible world that seems to exist is nothing more than God's dream-object.
Why, then, do we not experience it as such?
Because the dream is still in progress and we are all dream-objects.
Whilst the dream is in progress, no-one can convince the dreamer that he is dreaming!
All seems so real.
It is only on awakening that the dream is realised to have been a dream.
The knower of this truth practises the 'unshakable yoga' for he is no more deluded, though he sees both sides - the dream and the dreamer dreaming his dream!
X:8 - I am the source of all; from me everything evolves; understanding thus, the wise, endowed with meditation, worship Me.
X:9 - With their minds and lives entirely absorbed in Me, enlightening each other and always speaking of me, they are satisfied and delighted.
God is the source of all.
The whole universe has issued from him as dream objects issue from your consciousness during dream; yet it remains within him, pervaded by him, essentially one with him - nay, is he himself.
The enlightened ones do not merely repeat these formulae or think about these truths, but what they say and think is flavoured by the nature of their 'own being.
It is not the lips that utter the words, or the brain that thinks these thoughts.
It is the entire being which expresses the truth, for that being is steeped in the realisation of this truth.
The Lord is lord of the universe.
When you enter into the spirit of this teaching your citta becomes totally saturated with God.
The word 'saturated' is highly inadequate because saturated means that there is a medium in which something else is held, whereas 'maccitta' does not mean that.
God is not a percept or a concept.
When all mental activities cease and the unreality of the ego is realised, God reveals himself, and you realise that everything there is is totally pervaded by him.
When your whole being cries out that this is the truth, what happens to you is maccitta.
So, the enlightened person is silent, unless it be the divine will that he should teach.
Such enlightened men talk to one another, keeping one another awake and enlightened.
To them there is absolutely no guru-disciple or teacher-taught relationship, but it is merely a case of enlightened persons talking about God.
That is the spirit in which the Bhagavatam was narrated, and that is the spirit in which all the great ones assemble, singing the glories of God without in the least considering themselves to be more enlightened than the others.
In their eyes it is simply two hands scratching two sides of the face.
X:10 - To them who are ever steadfast, worshipping Me with love, I give the Yoga of discrimination en the buddhi, by which they come to Me.
X:11 - Out of mere compassion for them, I, dwelling within their Self, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, by the luminous lamp of knowledge.
We can talk about God.
We can love God.
We can constantly meditate upon God.
We can serve humanity as manifest God.
We can - and should - do all these and much more.
But God-realisation is his gift.
We should not forget this for a single moment in our life.
Hence, lord Krsna reminds us of this great truth at every turn in the Gita.
We cannot demand, except in the sense of yearning God-realisation.
Who demands? The ego!
We do not deserve God-realisation so long as the ego is active.
When the ego is not there, who is there to demand?
This is the greatest of all puzzles, which only God can solve.
Therefore the wise seeker leaves this final step to him.
This does not mean that fatalistically we give up our sadhana (spiritual practice). Oh, no.
That would be impossible if we were sincere in our spiritual aspiration and if we were mature enough to commence our spiritual returnflight.
The man who says: "I am unable to do even japa, (repetition of God's Name) or meditation, because God has not blessed me with such opportunities and grace," is still far below the 'human' stage of evolution (though, like an actor, he may wear a human mask).
In addition, he is clever enough to invent a philosophic argument to hide it!
It is our irrepressible nature to strive, to do sadhana, but only God destroys our ignorance - not because we deserve it, but out of sheer compassion.
What do we deserve?
We have only used the faculties bestowed upon us by him, as they should be used.
Is there great merit in this? No.
So if God destroys our ignorance, it is not because we deserve it (if our arrogance feels so, the veil of ignorance will become thicker), but out of his sheer compassion for us.
X:12 - Arjuna said : You are the Supreme Brahman, the supreme abode, the supreme Purifier; the eternal divine Purusha, the primeval God, unborn and omnipresent.
X:13 - All the sages have thus declared you; also the divine sage Narada; so also Asita, Devala and Vyasa; and now you yourself sayest so to me.
X:14 - O Krishna, I totally accept as truth all that you have told me. Neither the gods nor the demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.
X:15 - Verily, you yourself knowest Yourself by Yourself, Supreme Purusha, source and Lord of all beings, God of gods, Ruler of the world.
Hymns are as old as time, and hymn singing is a method adopted by the devout seeker
(a) to side-track the doubting intellect, with its insatiable 'appetite' to destroy knowledge aimlessly, and
(b) to appeal directly to the light of God within to reveal itself.
In the east, the Sama-chanters particularly, resorted to singing the glories of God in his various aspects, invoking his blessings and grace in various ways and for different purposes.
In the west, the psalmist did the same.
(Incidentally, note the phonetic similarity between psalm and Sama - which refer to the same thing - and which were later extended to 'charm' in white and black magic.)
This ancient method has been recaptured by the highly advanced scientist of today and reintroduced into society in the form of 'suggestion' which the psychologist defines as 'the inducing, or the attempt to induce an idea, belief, decision, action, etc., by one individual in another through stimulation, whether verbal or otherwise, but exclusive of argument'.
Even as hypnosis can be self-applied, suggestion, too, can become auto-suggestion; but it should again be 'exclusive of argument' .
It has, however, been the experience of all mystics that such acceptance was eventually rewarded by direct experience of the reality which the hymn 'suggested'.
X : 16 - Thou shouldst indeed tell, without reserve, of thy divine glories by which thou existeth, pervading all these worlds. (None else can do so.)
X : 17 - How shall I, ever meditating, know thee, 0 yogin? In what aspects or things, 0 blessed Lord, art thou to be thought of by me?
X : 18 - Tell me again in detail, 0 Krsna, of thy yoga power and glory; for I am not satisfied with what I have heard of thy life-giving and nectar-like speech.
'Tell me again' - not only indicates Arjuna's thirst for wisdom, but a method which all of us can adopt to whip up interest, keep away boredom and thus keep the inner receptor open for the reception of divine light.
In the words of the wise there is always a germinal seed.
Arjuna is a wise seeker; his prayer here is the prayer of all sincere seekers who realise their own limitations though they will rise above them one day.
Our mind can grasp only that which is 'below' it in the degree of subtlety.
It cannot grasp something which is more subtle.
The sieve is a very crude illustration: if the particles of flour are smaller than the perforations of the sieve, it cannot hold them.
That which is capable of being grasped is obviously more limited than the grasping instrument.
But is it possible to limit the infinite?
The transcendental aspect of God is extremely subtle and so cannot be grasped by the mind and intellect.
The mind can govern the senses and grasp through them the object of their perception.
However, the mind also has the power to fall back on itself and thus, in a mysterious way, experience (and infer) that which is the essence of the objects and of itself - not, however, as an object of thought.
This process can be called intuition.
The wise devotee resorting to 'manifestations of God' in order to meditate upon him, utilises these two avenues open to him.
He approaches God through God's own manifestations, but he also wisely peeps through these into their 'heart' where, as it were, he first infers and later experiences the presence of a super-physical, spiritual reality.
a remarkable attitude
X:19 - The Blessed Lord said : Yes. I will declare to you My divine glories in their prominence, O Arjuna! There is no end to their detailed description.
X:20 - I am the Self, O Gudakesha, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all beings.
Here is a very interesting prologue to a startling approach to the supreme being - a warning that we should accept the symbol, but not confine the reality to it.
God is in it, but not confined to it.
It is God, but not to the exclusion of anything else.
If the caution administered in these two verses is borne in mind, almost anything will lead us to God - for in effect the whole universe is the manifestation of a part of his infinite glory and power.
Again, we can only take a few manifestations, we cannot encompass even these in their entirety with our limited mind.
Try to think of space in its entirety.
The mind reels and staggers!
But any form will do - for God is the self in the hearts of all beings.
He is the reality in all appearances.
He is the truth represented by the symbol.
He is the noumenon in all phenomena.
He is the formless Brahman in all forms.
He is that in this.
Everything in the universe is filled with the same energy, with the same intelligence, the same consciousness.
Thus, the objects that we use in our life, the actions that we do with this body, the persons to whom our actions are directed, are nothing but the manifestations of God.
This is a remarkable truth, which, until it becomes a realisation is a remarkable attitude.
Constant vigilance is necessary in order not to lose sight of the goal.
We have our feet planted firmly on the ground and let our heart and mind fly aloft in the realms of the infinite.
We grasp the form and let the indwelling presence envelop our heart, our consciousness.
X:21 - Among the Adityas, I am Vishnu; among the luminaries, I am the radiant sun; I am Marichi among the Maruts; among stars the moon am I.
X:22 - Of the Vedas I am the Sama Veda; of the Devas I am Indra; of the senses I am the mind; in living beings I am the living force knowledge.
X:23 - And, among the Rudras I am Shiva; among the Yakshas and Rakshasas, I am Kubera; among the Vasus I am Pavaka; among the mountains I am the Meru.
All these names of gods deserve deep study and research.
We do not recognise the existence of many gods.
We are not polytheists.
We are not even pantheists, believing in one deity somehow enveloping all.
Indeed, we are not even monotheists, believing in one God.
We are monists, believing that one alone exists, and that ultimately even the distinction between God, world and man ought to be resolved into the transcendental self-realisation of nonduality.
All the names of gods and deities, divine and demoniacal beings, mentioned in the scriptures and alluded to here have a meaning and are not mere proper names.
The twelve aditya have been identified with the twelve signs of the zodiac.
The twelve suns are worth identifying in the heavens, of whom the most powerful is Visnu whose light envelops all (that is the literal meaning of the word).
'Of all luminaries I am the sun' - which is most luminous.
In all these it will be noticed that we are asked to regard the best as the manifestation of God.
This does not mean that only the best is his manifestation.
At the present stage it is easier for the mind to accept it to be so, and eventually its vision will expand in concentric circles to include all else into it, for, 'among the senses I am the mind'.
Thus, the mind's own undefiled substratum with unlimited potentialities, is God himself.
He is the 'intelligence among living beings'.
When this 'knower' of all is understood and realised, all objects will be perceived as divine, one with the subject!
X:24 - And, among the household priests, Arjuna, know me to be the chief, Brihaspati; among the army generals I am Skanda; and of bodies of water I am the ocean.
X:25 - Among the great sages I am Bhrigu; among words I am the monosyllable Om; among sacrifices I am japa; among immovable things the Himalayas I am.
X:26 - Among the trees I am the peepul; among the divine sages I am Narada; of singers of the gods I am Citraratha; and among perfected beings I am Kapila.
X:27 - Of horses know me to be Uccaihsrava, who rose out of the ocean, born of the amrita; of lordly elephants I am Airavata, and among men I am the monarch.
God's manifestations are not confined to the human kingdom.
A careful study will reveal the astonishing truth that the Lord describes himself as the best among all animate, inanimate and insentient objects, and it is a blunder to limit God to human beings alone!
There are infinite varieties of plants, animals and minerals.
This merely shows that God is infinite.
The essence is one and infinite, the manifestation is diverse and infinite.
Infinity plus one equals infinity plus infinity.
In all these diverse phenomena the truth is only one, yet has no specific form but is not condemned to formlessness.
God's own grace is guiding the research of modern scientists to the discovery that even minerals are alive, 'Vibrating' masses of energy.
When we come to regard the entire universe as the body of God, we can easily understand that the mineral kingdom is to him what the hairs and nails are to us.
The yajna for this age is mantra repetition.
However, we neglect this simple but highly efficacious mode of adoring God, and cling to outmoded and anti-social forms of sacrifice (like animal sacrifice).
The yajna of japa is a continuous pouring of the oblation of the mantra into the 'inner fire' of godlove.
X:28 - Among weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the wish-fulfilling cow Surabhi; of procreators I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Vasuki, the chief.
X:29 - I am Ananta among the Nagas; I am Varuna among water-Deities; Aryaman among the manes I am; among the dispensers of law I am Yama.
X:30 - And, I am Prahlad among the demons; among the reckoners I am time; among beasts I am their king, the lion; and among birds I am Garuda, the feathered carrier of Vishnu.
X:31 - Among the purifiers I am Pavana, the wind; Rama among the warriors am I; among the fishes I am the shark; among the streams I am the Ganga.
With great tact, wisdom and circumspection, lord Krsna introduces here objects and concepts that are generally regarded as 'evil' by man.
Weapons are evil, but God is the thunderbolt, the most terrible among them - equal to a number of 500-megaton hydrogen bombs together!
He is not only the celestial wish-fulfilling cow, but also the chief of poisonous and non-poisonous serpents.
He is the God of love whom sages and yogi's dread!
Even so, he is the shark, the lion, and so on.
All these have their own place in God's plan.
We do not remember this and hence we fear them and regard them as evil and unnecessary.
They seem to be unpleasant to our self-centred, self-loving and luxury-addicted personality and hence we hate them.
Yet the more we push them away, the more we cling to them.
'I am Yama among the governors' but for Yama (identified with death) this world would not even have standing room for the population, and the aged would be compelled to lead an existence worse than death.
Yama or death regulates all things in this world.
Without such a governor, the pendulum might swing too much towards one extreme.
There is great good within what we regard as evil; the inclusion of Prahlida's name in this list is indicative of this.
Though born of demoniacal ancestry, Prahlada was a great devotee of the Lord.
It is not from which genes we were born, but what we are that matters; and in all of us there is the highest divinity waiting to be revealed.
X:32 - Among creations I am the beginning, the middle and also the end, O Arjuna! Among the sciences I am the science of the Self; and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.
X:33 - Among the letters I am the A, and the dual among the compounds; also I am the inexhaustible or everlasting time; and of creators I am Brahma, whose manifold faces turn everywhere.
X:34 - And I am all-devouring Death, and prosperity of those who are to be prosperous; among feminine qualities I am fame, prosperity, speech, memory, intelligence, firmness and forgiveness.
X:35 - Among the hymns I am the Brihatsaman; among metres Gayatri am I; among the months I am Margasirsa; among seasons I am the flower-bearing spring.
God is the source and end of all beings and, therefore, all creations.
But he is the middle, too.
If the middle is absent, there is neither one end nor the other.
Though 'I' and 'You' seem to be very real, the only reality is what is between us - the connecting link - which is God, the consciousness, life.
That is the meaning of the words 'omnipresent', 'eternal' , 'infinite' , which we use freely without considering their significance.
The omnipresent God alone exists; and the one cannot undergo birth or death (beginning or end).
Birth is of another, and dissolution is into another.
Hence, God is without these stages, yet he is their substratum.
It is worth noting that the science of the self is regarded as the best of sciences.
Modern science, though predominantly materialistic so far, is gradually leading us to this conclusion.
Note, too, that the prosperity of a wealthy man comes from God.
If you are able to behold that prosperity as a divine manifestation, all jealousy, desire and hatred vanish and you admire only the divine.
The Lord exalts logic among controversialists.
Discussion and even controversy may lead those taking part to greater and greater heights of search for the truth.
Provided, of course, it does not generate lower passions, heat and hatred, we can use logic and pursue it to its own logical conclusion, leaping from there into God's lap.
X:36 - I am the gambling of the fraudulent; I am the splendour of the splendid; I am victory; I am determination of those who are determined; I am the goodness of the good.
X:37 - Among Vrishnis I am Vasudeva; among the Pandavas I am Arjuna; among sages I am also Vyasa; among poets I am the bard Usana.
X:38 - Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory I am morality; of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom.
We have reached the conclusion of this list of special manifestations, given by the Lord for our meditation in order to enable us to perceive their underlying divinity and eventually, by a process of expansion of our inner vision, to perceive all as God.
Krsna also identifies himself as God's manifestation, as well as the disciple Arjuna and the chronicler Vyasa.
If the goodness of the good is God's manifestation, even so is the gambling of the cheat!
This does not mean that Krsna sanctions gambling or that we should become expert gamblers before we can know God!
Far from it.
Here is a double-edged sword.
Subjectively, these evils are to be ruthlessly and scrupulously avoided, as they lead us away from God.
Objectively, when these qualities are found in others, we should refrain from condemning them, but endeavour to 'see through' even this veil of evil and enjoy a vision of the glorious God hidden within.
This teaching and this technique, when applied to our daily life, enable us to develop the spirit of understanding.
We learn to find God (and not faults) in all.
All are evolving.
We must not cultivate faults in ourselves, but we must not despair when their presence in us comes to our notice.
Furthermore, we must not recognise the presence of faults in others - thinking about others' faults only imports them into ourselves.
It is when we are confronted with our own failures that humility arises, paving the way for devotion and growth in the divine.
The best way to preserve a secret is 'silence'!
What a Divinity of practical wisdom Krsna is!
god, goal of the search
X:39 - And I am the seed of all beings, O Arjuna; there is no being, whether moving or unmoving, that can exist without Me.
X:40 - There is no end to my divine glories, O Arjuna. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulences.
There is an interesting dialogue in the Chandogya upanisad between a guru and a disciple.
The guru asks the disciple to bring a small (banyan) fruit - a variety of the fig.
The fruit is then broken.
There are thousands of small seeds in it.
One of them is isolated and broken.
"What do you find?" asks the guru.
The disciple replies: "Nothing".
"Ah, well, nothing? It is that nothing that has given birth to this gigantic tree."
That nothing contains the complete blue-print of the whole tree to its minutest details.
That is what makes the mango tree spring from the mango-seed and a banyan tree from the banyan seed, without the slightest error.
Scientists nowadays are busy analysing the mysterious factor in the human seed that is responsible for transmitting various characteristics from parent to offspring.
Even this search is bound, eventually, to lead us to the feet of God, provided, of course, that at the right moment we allow thought with its concepts and images, as also reason with its thesis and antithesis, to drop away, yielding place to pure wonderment.
Beyond this 'seed' is the unmanifest, transcendental godhead.
That godhead is clothed, as it were, with this manifestation-potential; even as each isolated, invisible electron coursing through a copper-wire contains the potentiality of the manifestation of its light and power.
This manifestation-potential and the consciousness 'within' it are not really two different and distinct entities, but one and the same.
Hence, if we zealously pursue our quest, anything - moving or unmoving - will take us to the goal, God.
may he reveal himself
X:41 - Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.
X:42 - But of what avail to you is the knowledge of all these details, O Arjuna? With a single fragment of myself I pervade and support this entire universe.
Mr. Louis Orton in his 'Hypnotism Made Practical' says: "A lecturer began to address his audience thus: 'What is mind? Nobody knows. We only know the manifestations of mind.' The lecturer might have said just as truly: 'What is matter? Nobody knows. We know only the manifestations of matter.' What do we know except through manifestations?"
This question drove the ancient eastern mystic into the depths of his own being.
God's divine glory is spread out before us in this manifest universe.
God's divine potency within the earth, in the rays of the sun and the showers of rain, bestows prosperity on us all.
God's divine power (call it love) sustains the entire creation, keeping the stars and planets at the precise distance from one another conducive to the welfare of all, and guides them along their individual orbits in accordance with his eternal law.
His power creates, sustains and dissolves (redeems).
Yet all the manifestations do not exhaust God, either spatially or spiritually.
We can go to the limits of this universe, but we shall still find God spread out beyond.
We can dive ever deeper into the heart of each atom of matter, only to discover with unabated wonderment that we have entered a greater realm of his power and his glory.
For the manifest universe is the expression of a very small part of his power and glory.
May he reveal himself to us!
For only he can - when our mind stops functioning.
It is God we are seeing, it is God we are living in.
Unfortunately we try to grasp this truth with our puny little mind and senses, and all we can clasp is a pebble.
Om Tat Sat
Thus in the Upanishad of the Bhagavad Gita, the Science of the Eternal, the Scripture of Yoga, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, ends the tenth chapter entitled: The path of devotion - Vibhuti Vistara Yoga - The Yoga of the Divine Glories.

gri ganesaya namah! sri gopala krsnaya namah! dharo 'vaca bhagavan paramesana bhaktir avyabhicarini prarabdham bhujyamanasya katham bhavati he prabho
1. The Earth said: O Lord! The supreme one! How can unflinching devotion arise in him who is immersed in his worldly life, O Lord?
sri visnur uvaca prarabdham bhujyamano hi gita 'bhyasa ratah sada sa muktah sa sukhi loke karmana no 'palipyate
2. Lord Visnu said: Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who is regular in the study of the Gita, becomes free. He is the happy man in this world. He is not bound by karma.
maha papadi papani gita dhyanam karoti cet kvacit sparsam na kurvanti nalini dalam ambuvat
3. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so, sins do not taint him who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.
gitayah pustakam yatra yatra pathah pravartate tatra sarvani tirthani prayaga 'dini tatra vai
4. All the sacred places of pilgrimage like Prayaga, etc., dwell in that place where the book, the Gita, is kept and where the Gita is read.
sarve devas ca rsayo yoginah pannagas ca ye gopala gopika va 'pi narado 'ddhava parsadaih
5. All the gods, sages, yogi, divine serpents, gopala, gopika (friends and devotees of lord Krsna), Narada, Uddhava and others (dwell there).
sahayo jayate sighram yatra gita pravartate yatra gita vicaras ca pathanam pathanat srutam tatra 'ham niscitam prthvi nivasami sadai 'va hi
6. Help comes quickly where the Gita is recited and, O Earth, I dwell at all times where the Gita is read, heard, taught and contemplated upon.
gita 'sraye 'ham tisthami gita me co 'ttamam grham gita jnanam upasritya trimllokan palayamy aham
7. I take refuge in the Gita and the Gita is my best abode. I protect the three worlds with the knowledge of the Gita.
gita me parama vidya brahma rupa na samsayah ardha matra 'ksara nitya sva 'nirvacya padatmika
8. The Gita is my highest science, which is doubtless of the form of Brahman, the eternal, the ardhamatra (of the sacred monosyllable om), the ineffable splendour of the self.
cidanandena krsnena prokta sva mukhato 'rjunam veda tray! parananda tattva 'rtha jnana samyuta
9. It was spoken by the blessed Krsna, the all-knowing, through his own mouth to Arjuna. It contains the essence of the three veda, knowledge of the reality. It is full of supreme bliss.
yo 'stadasa japen nityam naro niscala manasah jnana siddhim sa labhate tato yati param padam
10. He who recites the eighteen chapters of the Gita daily, with a pure, unshaken mind, attains perfection in knowledge, and reaches the highest state or supreme goal.
pathe 'samarthah sampurne tato 'rdham patham acaret tada go danajam punyam labhate na 'tra samsayah
11. If a complete reading is not possible, even if only half of it is read, he attains the benefit of giving a cow as a gift. There is no doubt about this.
tribhagam pathamanas to ganga snana phalam labhet sadamsam japamanas to soma yaga phalam labhet
12. He who recites one-third part of it achieves the merit of a bath in the sacred Ganga, and he who recites one-sixth of it attains the merit of performing a soma ritual.
eka 'dhyayam to yo nityam pathate bhakti samyutah rudra lokam avapnoti gano bhutva vasec ciram
13. That person who reads one chapter with great devotion attains to the world of Rudra and, having become an attendant of lord Siva, lives there for many years.
adhyayam sloka padam va nityam yah pathate narah sa yati naratam yavan manvantaram vasundhare
14. If one reads a quarter of a chapter or even part of a verse daily, he, O Earth, retains a human body till the end of a world-cycle.
gitayah sloka dasakam sapta panca catustayam dvau trin ekaih tad ardham va slokanam yah pathen narah candra lokam avapnotii varsanam ayutam dhruvam gita patha samayukto mrtomanusatam vrajet
15,16. He who repeats ten, seven, five, four, three, two verses or even one or half a verse, attains the region of the moon and lives there for ten thousand years. Accustomed to the daily study of the Gita, the dying man comes back to life again as a human being.
gita 'bhyasam punah krtva labhate muktim uttamam gite 'ty uccara samyukto mriyamano gatim labhet
17. By repeated study of the Gita he attains liberation. Uttering 'Gita' at the time of death, one attains liberation.
gita 'rtha sravana 'sakto maha papa yuto 'pi va vaikuntham samavapnoti visnuna saha modate
18. Though full of sins, one who is ever intent on hearing the meaning of the Gita, goes to the kingdom of God and rejoices with lord Visnu.
gita 'rtham dhyayate nityam krtva karmani bhurisah jivanmuktah sa vijneyo deha 'nte paramam padam
19. He who meditates on the meaning of the Glita, having performed a lot of good actions, attains the supreme goal after death. Such a man should be known as a jivanmukta (sage liberated while living).
gitam asritya bahavo bhubhujo janaka 'dayah nirdhuta kalmasa loke gita yatah paratn padam
20. In this world, taking refuge in the Gita, many kings like Janaka and others have reached the highest state or goal, purified of all sins.
gitayah pathanam krtva mahatmyam naiva yah pathet vrtha patho bhavet tasya srama eva by udahrtah
21. He who fails to read this Glory of the Gita after having read the Gita, loses the benefit thereby, and the effort alone remains.
etan mahatmya sahyuktam gita 'bhyasam karoti yah sa tat phalam avapnoti durlabharn gatim apnuyat
22. One who studies the Gita, together with this Glory of the Gita, attains the fruits mentioned above and reaches the state which is otherwise very difficult to attain.
suta uvaca mahatmyam etad gitaya maya proktam sanatanatn gitante ca pathed yas to yad uktam tat phalarnlabhet
23. Suta said: This greatness or Glory of the Gita which is eternal, as narrated by me, should be read at the end of the study of the Gita and the fruits mentioned therein will be obtained.
iti sri varaha purane gri gita mahatmyam sampurnam
Thus ends the Glory of the Gita contained in the Varaha purana.

This was a glimpse of the gospel of Lord Krishna - simple, direct, yet profound. It is not one of pessimism or escapism, but is full of robust common sense. And if it sometimes seems to be puzzling, it is because common sense is so uncommon in the complex world of today.
You may be quite certain that one direction is east and the opposite direction west. But, if you move a little, you suddenly discover that east and west meet you! You are the divider, and from another point of view, you are the meeting point. In fact, it is the mind that creates all this duality which multiplies into endless diversity, creating conflicts and confusion all the way through.
There is only oneness and cosmic unity. There just cannot be two infinites or two omnipresences. The origin of the perception of diversity is enshrouded in mystery - maya. But Krishna boldly assumes responsibility for even that! "I am seated in the hearts of all; from me are memory, knowledge, as well as their absence, " says He.
The manifest universe is the body of God, and the supreme spirit is the indweller. Even this distinction was made to suit human analogy and to satisfy the duality-ridden intellect. We make an arbitrary distinction between our body and our spirit which seems to be justified because at one stage - death - the spirit leaves the body. This, obviously, does not apply to the Lord and His Body, for He is eternal and infinite, and does not leave His Body.
What a sublime vision! What a world-uniting doctrine! What a fountain of love! What a soft blow to shatter all distinctions and differences! What a divine cord of love to unite all mankind in oneness - divinity!

Swami Venkatesananda

Om Tat Sat
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