The Bhagavadgita  

Chapter XI: Vishwaroop Darshan Yoga (The Yoga of the Vision of the Universal Form)  

1                    Arjuna said: The most secret words of spiritual wisdom that have been spoken by You as an act of kindness to me, thanks to them this delusion of mine has disappeared.

2                    For, Sri Krishna, I have heard from You in detail an account of the evolution and dissolution of beings, and also Your immortal glory.

3                    Lord, You are precisely what you declare Yourself to be.  But I long to see Your divine form, O best of persons.

4                    Sri Krishna, if You consider me as capable of beholding it, then, O Lord of Yoga, reveal to me Your imperishable form.

5                    Sri Bhagavan said: Arjuna, behold presently in hundreds and thousands My multifarious divine forms, of diverse colours and different shapes

6                    Behold in Me, Arjuna, the twelve sons of Aditi, the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras (gods of destruction), the two  Aswinikumaras (the twin-born physicians of gods) and the forty-nine Maruts (wind-gods), and see many more wonderful forms never seen before.

7                    Arjuna, behold in this body of Mine, comprised in one limb, the entire creation both animate and inanimate and whatever else you desire to see.

8                    But surely you cannot see Me with these gross eyes of yours; therefore I vouchsafe to you the divine eye.  With this you behold My divine power of Yoga.

9                    Sanjaya said: My lord!  Sri Krishna, the supreme Master of Yoga, having said thus, then revealed to Arjuna His supreme divine Form.

10               Arjuna saw the supreme Deity possessing many mouths and eyes, presenting many a wonderful sight, decked with many divine ornaments, wielding many uplifted divine weapons,

11               wearing divine garlands and clothes, besmeared all over with divine sandal pastes, full of wonders, infinite and having faces on all sides.

12               If there be the effulgence of a thousand suns bursting forth all at once in the heavens, even that would hardly approach the splendor of the mighty Lord.

13               Arjuna, then, saw in the person of that supreme Deity, comprised in one limb, the whole universe with its manifold divisions.

14               Then, Arjuna, full of wonder and with the hairs standing on end, bowed his head to the divine Lord and with joined palms addressed Him thus.

15               Arjuna said: Lord, I behold in Your body all gods and multitudes of different beings, Brahma perched on his lotus-seat, Siva and all Rsis and celestial serpents.

16               O Lord of the universe, I see You endowed with numerous arms, bellies, faces and eyes and having infinite forms extended on all sides.  O Form Universal, I see neither Your beginning nor middle nor end.

17               I see You endowed with a diadem, mace and circular weapon (Chakra), a mass of splendor shining all round, having a brilliance like that of blazing fire and sun, dazzling and immeasurable on all sides.

18               You are the supreme Indestructible worthy of being realized; You are the ultimate resort of this universe.  You are the protector of eternal Dharma; I consider You to be the eternal, imperishable Being.

19               I see You without beginning, middle, or end, possessing unlimited prowess and endowed with numberless hands, having the moon and the sun for Your eyes, and blazing fire for Your mouth, and scorching this universe by Your radiance.

20               Yonder space between heaven and earth and all the quarters are filled by You alone.  Seeing this marvelous, dreadful Form of Yours, O mighty Lord, all the three worlds feel greatly alarmed.

21               Those hosts of gods are entering You; some with palms joined out of fear are chanting Your names and glories.  Hosts of Maharsis and Siddhas saying, ‘Let there be peace’, are extolling You by means of the very best praises.

22               The eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, eight Vasus, Sadhyas, Viswedevas, the two Aswinikumaras, forty-nine Maruts, manes and multitudes of Gandharvas, Yaksas, Asuras and Siddhas, all are looking at You utterly amazed.

23               Lord, seeing this vast and terrible Form of Yours, possessing numerous faces and eyes, many arms, thighs and feet, many bellies and many teeth, the worlds are terrified; so am I.

24               Lord, seeing Your Form reaching the heavens, effulgent, many-coloured, having its mouth wide open and possessing large shining eyes, I, with my inner self frightened, have lost self-control and find no peace.

25               Seeing Your faces with fearful teeth, resembling the raging fire at the time of universal destruction, I am utterly bewildered, and find no happiness; therefore, be kind to me, O Lord of celestials and Abode of the universe.

26               All those sons of Dhrtarastra with hosts of kings are entering You.  Bhisma, Drona, and yonder Karna, with the principal warriors on our side as well,

27               are rushing headlong into Your fearful mouths set with terrible teeth; some are seen stuck up between Your teeth with their heads crushed.

28               As the divers streams of rivers rush towards the sea alone, so those warriors of the mortal world are entering Your blazing mouths.

29               As moths rush with great speed into the blazing fire for destruction, even so all these people are with great rapidity entering Your mouths for destruction.

30               Swallowing through Your burning mouths, You are licking all those people on all sides.  Lord, Your terrible brilliance is burning the entire universe, filling it with radiance.

31               Tell me who You are with a form so terrible.  My obeisance to You, O supreme Deity; be kind.  I wish to know You, the Primal Being, in essence; for I know not Your purpose.

32               Sri Bhagavan said: I am the inflamed Kala (Time), the destroyer of the worlds.  My purpose here is to destroy these people.  Even without you all those warriors arrayed in the enemy’s camp will not survive.

33               Therefore, do you arise and win glory; conquering foes, enjoy the affluent kingdom.  These warriors stand already slain by Me; be you only an instrument, Arjuna.

34               Do you kill Drona and Bhisma and Jayadratha and Karna and other brave warriors, who stand already killed by Me; fear not.  You will surely conquer the enemies in this war; therefore, fight.

35               Sanjaya said: Hearing these words of Bhagavan Kesava, Arjuna tremblingly bowed to Him with joined palms, and bowing again in extreme terror spoke to Sri Krishna in a faltering voice.

36               Arjuna said: Lord, it is but meet that the universe exults and is filled with love by chanting Your names and glory; terrified Raksasas are fleeing in all directions, and all the hosts of Siddhas are bowing to You.

37               O noble soul, why should they not bow to You, who are the progenitor of Brahma himself and the greatest of the great?  O Infinite Lord of celestials, Abode of the universe, You are that which is existent (Sat) and that which is non-existent (Asat), and also that which is beyond both, viz., the indestructible Brahma.

38               You are the prime Deity, the most ancient Person; You are the ultimate resort of this universe.  You are both the knower and the knowable, and the highest abode.  It is You who pervade the universe, assuming endless forms.

39               You are Vayu (Wind-god), Yama (God of death), Agni (Fire-god), Moon-god, Brahma, the Creator of beings, nay the father of Brahma himself.  Obeisance, obeisance to You a thousand times; salutations, O salutations to You, again and again.

40               O Lord of infinite prowess, my salutations to You from before and from behind.  O soul of all, my obeisance to You from all sides.  You, who possess limits might, pervade al; therefore You are all.

41               Ignorant of this greatness of Yours, and thinking You only to be a friend, the way in which I have wantonly addressed You, either through heedlessness or even affection, as ‘Krishna’, ‘Yadava’, ‘Friend’ and so on,

42               and the way in which You have been slighted by me in jest while playing, reposing in bed, sitting or dining, either alone or in the presence of others -- I crave forgiveness for all that from You, who are infinite, O infallible Lord.

43               You are the Father, also, the greatest teacher of this animate and inanimate creation and supremely adorable. O Possessor of incomparable glory, in all the three worlds there is no one else equal to You; how can anyone be superior?

44               Therefore, Lord, laying my body at Your feet and bowling low, I seek to propitiate You, the ruler of all and worthy of all praise.  It behoves You to condone my fault even as a father condones the fault of his son, a friend that of his friend and the loving husband that of his beloved consort.

45               Having seen that which was unseen before, I feel delighted; at the same time my mind is tormented by fear.  Pray reveal to me that divine form, the form of Vishnu with four arms.  O Lord of celestials, Abode of the universe, be gracious.

46               I wish to see You adorned in the same way with a diadem on the head and holding a mace and a circular weapon (Chakra) in two of Your hands.  O Lord with a thousand arms, O all-formed one, appear again in the same four-armed Form.

47               Sri Bhagavan said: Arjuna, being pleased with you, I have shown you, through My own power of Yoga, this supreme, shining, primal and infinite Universal Form, which was not seen before by anyone else than you.

48               Arjuna, in this mortal world I cannot be seen in this Form by anyone else than you, either through the study of  Vedas or of rituals, or again through gifts, sacrifices of austere penances.

49               Seeing such a dreadful Form of Mine as this, be not perturbed or perplexed; with a fearless and complacent mind, behold once again the same four-armed Form of Mine, bearing the conch, Chakra, mace and lotus.

50               Sanjaya said: Having thus spoken to Arjuna, Bhagavan Vasudeva again showed to him in the same way His own four-armed Form; and then assuming a gentle appearance, the high souled Sri Krishna consoled the frightened Arjuna.

51               Arjuna said: Sri Krishna, seeing this gentle human form of Yours, I have now become composed and am my normal self again.

52               Sri Bhagavan said: This Form of Mine (with four arms) which you have seen is exceedingly difficult to perceive.  Even the gods are always eager to behold this Form.

53               Neither by study of Vedas, nor by penance, nor by charity, nor by ritual can I be seen in this Form (with four arms) as you have seen Me.

54               Through single-minded devotion, however, I can be seen in this Form (with four arms), and known in essence and even entered into, O valiant Arjuna.

55               Arjuna, he who works for My sake, depends on Me, is devoted to Me, has no attachment, and is free from malice towards all beings, reaches Me.

Thus, in the Upanisad sung by the Lord, the science of Brahma, the scripture on Yoga, the dialogue between Sri Krsna and Arjuna, ends the eleventh chapter entitled “Vishwaroop Darshan Yoga” (The Yoga of the Vision of the Universal Form)