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Thread: Gita 11.47

  1. #1

    Gita 11.47

    In Bhagavad Gita 11.47 it is stated,

    sri-bhagavan uvaca
    maya prasannena tavarjunedam rupam param darsitam atma-yogat
    tejo-mayam visvam anantam adyam yan me tvad anyena na drsta-purvam

    which translates to

    The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, happily have I shown you, by My mAyA, this supreme cosmic form within this world. No one before you has ever seen this cosmic form, unlimited and full of glaring effulgence.

    This verse has always puzzled me - because the Lord is saying that no one before Arjuna has ever seen the cosmic form of the Lord in the world. ( I am assuming this is since the beginning of this kalpa only)

    Since Self Realization is considered to be a step higher than attaining a vision of the cosmic form of the Lord, which is still essentially a dualistic realization, how many people have ever experienced self realization in this world? How far are the widespread claims about many sages attaining samAdhi true in light of such events being a real rarity?

    What exactly does the phrase "no one before Arjuna had ever seen the Lord" mean? We know Arjuna is the incarnation of Indra, who is a high order devatA. Sri Shankara's commentary does not really elaborate on it, and simply says no one prior to Arjuna was ever blessed with that vision.

    Please share your opinions on any implicit meanings hidden in the verse.
    He is the one on whom our hope depends. For if Hanuman survives, all we though dead are yet alive. But if his precious life be lost though living still we are but dead: He is our hope and sure relief -Jambavan (Yuddha Kanda. 74). Impossibility=Hanuman

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Madhavan View Post
    In Bhagavad Gita 11.47 it is stated,
    sri-bhagavan uvaca
    maya prasannena tavarjunedam rupam param darsitam atma-yogat
    tejo-mayam visvam anantam adyam yan me tvad anyena na drsta-purvam

    which translates to The Supreme Lord said: My dear Arjuna, happily have I shown you, by My mAyA, this supreme cosmic form within this world. No one before you has ever seen this cosmic form, unlimited and full of glaring effulgence.

    This verse has always puzzled me - because the Lord is saying that no one before Arjuna has ever seen the cosmic form of the Lord in the world. ( I am assuming this is since the beginning of this kalpa only)

    Since Self Realization is considered to be a step higher than attaining a vision of the cosmic form of the Lord, which is still essentially a dualistic realization, how many people have ever experienced self realization in this world? How far are the widespread claims about many sages attaining samAdhi true in light of such events being a real rarity?

    What exactly does the phrase "no one before Arjuna had ever seen the Lord" mean? We know Arjuna is the incarnation of Indra, who is a high order devatA. Sri Shankara's commentary does not really elaborate on it, and simply says no one prior to Arjuna was ever blessed with that vision.

    Please share your opinions on any implicit meanings hidden in the verse.
    Namaste M,
    I have read this sloka many times , and frankly just enjoyed it. I did ponder the notion that Arjun was the 1st one to view this Universal form , with a divine eye. Now, I have not figure this out i.e. 'no one before Arjuna...'
    But perhaps the clue is in the next passage? Could it mean no one on this earth has see this Universal form? Why do I say this? It is due to what Krsna says (11.48),
    Neither by reciting the vedas ( some say studying) nor by sacrifices (yajya) nor by studies,; neither alms giving nor by ritual (acts or kriyabhih) nor by tapas ... can I be seen in this world of mortals (Sri Jnanadeva's words) also nrloke or material world (Swami Prabhupada's words) being beheld in this Form, O hero of the Kurus, by anyone save thyself.


    A few other points of conversation - you have mentioned Arjun as an Incarantion of Indra... rightly so. He is also called out as Nara by Krsna in the Mahabharata (Vana Parva). So there is a Divine nature to Arjun to begin with and an association with Narayana from the past.

    With Self Realization, or Brahma Sakshtkara, turiyatit chetana (sustained turya), I do not see this as a step higher ( or for that matter ,lower). We have discussed this with others on several occasions. We did a back of the napkin calcuation of the number of enlightened there could be on this earth. Its not millions to my chagrin.

    just some ideas.

    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 03 October 2007 at 07:01 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3

    Re: Gita 11.47

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    With Self Realization, or Brahma Sakshtkara, turiyatit chetana (sustained turya), I do not see this as a step higher ( or for that matter ,lower). We have discussed this with others on several occasions. We did a back of the napkin calcuation of the number of enlightened there could be on this earth. Its not millions to my chagrin.
    Why I call vishvarUpa darshana a step lower to Brahma Sakshtkara is because had vishvarUpa darshana been the ultimate turiyatit chetana, Arjuna would have known his identity with Lord Krishna. Arjuna obviously did not know that, because he was totally wonderstuck at the vast difference between him and the Lord. Infact, he gets afraid at the end ( no one is afraid in turiyatit chetana because there is no second to be afraid of). Morever, at the end of it all Arjuna begs pardon to the Lord for his previous misconducts if any. The vision through divine eye, I beleive is that of Soma. There is no seer-seen distiinction in advaita jnAna, whereas such relationship is evident in the vishvarUpa darshana. Knowing Brahman to be the cause of all causes and knowing his infinite glory that extends beyond space and time is the vishvarUpa darshana.

    True, vishvarUpa darshana is an incredibly difficult vision to attain for people in the world, and is a rare privilege even for high ranking devatAs like Indra who is sung with so many praises in the Rig Veda.
    He is the one on whom our hope depends. For if Hanuman survives, all we though dead are yet alive. But if his precious life be lost though living still we are but dead: He is our hope and sure relief -Jambavan (Yuddha Kanda. 74). Impossibility=Hanuman

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    Namaste Freinds,

    This is an excellent verse to discuss and there will be as many views as mouths. To me one critical clue is Shri Krishna's saying :--- you see Rudra, Vishnu, etc. etc. -- and also see what you wish to see.

    Visvwarupa darshan is unique to each seer. It cannot be that what Arjuna saw, I would also see. That Arjuna retained fear is another clue that it is not the highest attainment but it is the darshan of Kala. And Kala has different flavour for each.

    Om
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

  5. #5

    Re: Gita 11.47

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post

    This is an excellent verse to discuss and there will be as many views as mouths. To me one critical clue is Shri Krishna's saying :--- you see Rudra, Vishnu, etc. etc. -- and also see what you wish to see.
    and also see what you wish to see - is probably supposed to mean that you will find whatever you want to. Since the mind of God is a superset of the individual mind, it would already incorporate in it whatever the individual mind can ever wish to see.

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Visvwarupa darshan is unique to each seer. It cannot be that what Arjuna saw, I would also see. That Arjuna retained fear is another clue that it is not the highest attainment but it is the darshan of Kala. And Kala has different flavour for each.
    I doubt if the vishvarUpa is a subjective form because it is supposed to comprise whatever that exists in the dual realm. Different seers do see differences in the rUpa, for eg, BrahmANDa puraNa says that Lord Brahma was able to see 10,000 times more details in the form than Arjuna(Indra). So a higher dieity's vision of the form would be superset of a lower diety. And if a human being were to see it, he might see much less than Indra.

    I would feel that "No one before you has ever seen this cosmic form" would imply that no one who is less qualified than Arjuna had seen the form to the same extent as Arjuna. So, the more a yogi is advanced spiritually, the more he can see within the form. One who is as spiritually evolved as Indra will see the same vishvarUpa that was seen by Arjuna, and one who has become equal to Brahma will see as much as Brahma etc.( which should be the highest possible)
    He is the one on whom our hope depends. For if Hanuman survives, all we though dead are yet alive. But if his precious life be lost though living still we are but dead: He is our hope and sure relief -Jambavan (Yuddha Kanda. 74). Impossibility=Hanuman

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Madhavan View Post
    Why I call vishvarUpa darshana a step lower to Brahma Sakshtkara is because had vishvarUpa darshana been the ultimate turiyatit chetana, Arjuna would have known his identity with Lord Krishna. Arjuna obviously did not know that, because he was totally wonderstuck at the vast difference between him and the Lord. Infact, he gets afraid at the end ( no one is afraid in turiyatit chetana because there is no second to be afraid of). Morever, at the end of it all Arjuna begs pardon to the Lord for his previous misconducts if any. The vision through divine eye, I beleive is that of Soma. There is no seer-seen distiinction in advaita jnAna, whereas such relationship is evident in the vishvarUpa darshana. Knowing Brahman to be the cause of all causes and knowing his infinite glory that extends beyond space and time is the vishvarUpa darshana.

    True, vishvarUpa darshana is an incredibly difficult vision to attain for people in the world, and is a rare privilege even for high ranking devatAs like Indra who is sung with so many praises in the Rig Veda.
    Namaste M,
    I see your POV on this.... makes sense. I guess the notion of higher-lower suggests that of value and importance.


    The good news is at the end, Arjun lets Krsna know, nasto mohaha smrtir labdha [18.73] , my illusion is dispelled and memory regained. This Mohaha at is root is muh or delusion. It is more then just a confused state. It is the notion that the world looks like X and it is really Y. That "I" have been the doer of actions; with moha removed "I" am not acting at all and reside in the Grace of Being.

    This is profound, as some think that Arjun has regained quietude of mind, or is not disturbed in mind. Yet he also says all doubts have been removed. For me, this is not an intellectual awakening of Arjun, but of him coming into full consciousness. This points to the fact that Arjun has achieved Brahma Sakshtkara, turiyatit chetana(sustained turya), from the best teacher one could have.

    Arjuna: a—"no" + rajju—"rope," the symbol of bondage, and na "no." Although he is free, he thinks he is in bondage. Also from arj, "to earn". Now, Arjun is without the rope.




    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 October 2007 at 10:29 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #7

    Re: Gita 11.47

    I took it literally to mean that that was the first time humanity had viewed the supreme lord like this, so it was an event of great significance, and since then, because of the teachings of Krsna, more have followed....

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    It interesting to note what other religious traditions have said about this. In Genesis it says that Enoch not only saw God's face but walked with him. In Islam, while Sunni's believe that God cannot be visually represented while we are still human we can see the pysical form of God when we die. Shias on the other hand consider this antrhopormophorbic idea to be blashpemeous. According to Shias Gods form can never be comprehended.

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    What does the sloka mean by Maya? doesnt that mean Falsehood or illusion?
    "My spiritual father is Swami Vivekananda" Canibus

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    Re: Gita 11.47

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagefrakrobatik View Post
    What does the sloka mean by Maya? doesnt that mean Falsehood or illusion?
    Namaste

    I think the term here is Atmayoga and not maya but there are many versions of the BG.
    BG. 11.47: " Beacause I desired to show thee favour, Arjuna, By my Selfs myterious power ( Atmayoga ) I showed thee this my All-Highest form - Glorious, all-embracing, infinite, primeval - Which none has seen before save thee.

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