Is the universal form in the Gita’s ninth chapter a conceptualization and the eleventh chapter, a revelation?

by Chaitanya Charan dasAugust 26, 2014

From Revati Vallabha Prabhu

Answer Podcast

Transcribed by: Argha Maji

Question: Is the universal form in the Gita’s ninth chapter a conceptualization and the eleventh chapter, a revelation?

Answer: Yes. It is described that the ninth chapter focuses primarily, at least in the description there. So 9.15 hints at the description of the universal form.

āna-yajñena cāpy anye

yajanto mām upāsate

ekatvena prithaktvena

bahudhā viśvato-mukham ( 9.15 BG)

bahudhā viśvato-mukham, here viśvato-mukham refers to the universal form. It is mentioned that those who worship the Supreme Lord with knowledge,

jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye

yajanto mām upāsate

They are worshipping me with jñāna-yajña. And then how can one see Krishna everywhere in the universe, as permeating all universal elements, animating those elements, sustaining those elements. That is described in subsequent verses.

He is for example, aham kratur aham yajñah, elements of sacrifice. It is He who manifests as death and as immortality. It is he who is the grandfather, the goal, the shelter. So these verses describe how Krishna permeates, animates, sustains and it is He who is the whole universe. Prabhupada says in a purport that in one sense everything is Krishna. This is more of a devotional reconceptualization of the world so that one sees God everywhere .

Whereas the 11th chapter description is a revelation. So Arjuna desires to see the rūpam

aiśvaram.

manyase yadi tac chakyam

mayā drashtum iti prabho ( BG 11.4)

So, Arjuna says, “If it is possible my Lord please help me to see you.” What does Arjuna want to see ? This is told in the previous verse 11.3,

evam etad yathāttha tvam

ātmānam parameśvara

drashtum icchāmi te rūpam

aiśvaram purushottama

So, as I am seeing you, I know this is the ultimate reality but at the same time, I want to know your rūpam aiśvaram, so can you reveal yourself to me? So Krishna then reveals himself.

In the ninth chapter itself, rūpam aiśvaram has been hinted at when Krishna says

paśya me yogam aiśvaram ( BG 9.5), you see my yogam aiśvaram. So, there Krishna talks essentially about the concept of his being present in this world and beyond this world also. So, aiśvaram, opulence. There it is yogam aiśvaram, here it is rūpam aiśvaram. So it means how Krishna is present all over the universe as the vishvarupa. So, its true that ninth chapter is more of conceptualization, where eleventh chapter is more of revelation. But at the same time, the conceptualization cannot become authentic without revelation and the revelation is desired by seeker, Arjuna because there is some conceptualization. Yes, the Lord is present all over the universe and I would like to see it.

The Lord’s body is the whole universe, so I would like to see it. So, the two are not necessarily separated, they are connected. But with respect to focus, the description of universal form in ninth chapter is more of conceptualization and eleventh chapter is more of revelation. But at the same time, there is a connection between the two, in the sense that both are talking about seeing the Lord and his opulence as manifested in this world, in this world of matter. So the way in which it is done, is from bottom half in ninth chapter and top down in eleventh chapter. But essentially it is manifesting God in matter. Seeing God’s greatness in the greatness of his material universe.

Thank you. Hare Krishna

 

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Chaitanya Charan das

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