BG CH10 Summary & CH11, Verse 1-8 (101)


Lesson 101 covers: Proper understanding of cause of universe, Stages to understanding God, Five standpoints of knowing Ishvara, Meaning of third eye (eye of wisdom).

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10 Summary + Chapter 11: Verse 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

General Intro:

Structure of Bhagavad Gita:

  • CH 1-6 is called: prathama-ṣaṭkam. (initial 6).
    • Highlights: jīva svarūpa. Also clears mind of psychological issues.
    • Focus: Action / karma-yoga.
  • CH 7-12 is called: madhyama-ṣaṭkam. (middle 6).
    • Highlights: Īśvara-svarūpa.
    • Focus: Bhakti (devotion).
  • CH 13-18 is called: carama-ṣaṭkam. (last 6).
    • Highlights: jīva-īśvara-aikyam. Establishes one-ness between samaṣṭi / vyaṣṭi.
    • Focus: Jñāna-yoga.

Īśvara svarūpa: Nature of the “Cause of the Universe”:

  • All scriptures generally define the Highest Cause as: jagat kāraṇam (maker of the world).
  • This forces mind to:
    • Imagine features of the make.
    • Place maker in different time/space region, since not seen on earth.
      • EG: Whenever we see product (effect), like Sistine Chapel – we don’t see the maker (cause).
      • Therefore, when maker is not perceived, mind infers the maker based on rāga-dveṣa This is how all “false news” and conspiracy theories originate.
  • So far, knowledge of Īśvara is:
    • Indirect (parokṣa): Because Lord is not perceived directly.
    • Inferred (anumita): Reasoning based on partial-knowledge (in this case). Forms distorted conclusion.
    • Imagined (kalpita): Result of indirect knowledge + inference.
  • And how does such mind imagine Īśvara? He is most:
    • Intelligent > Becomes > Human-like with 100 heads.
    • Powerful > Becomes > Human-like with many embellishments/weapons/most-feared.
    • Additionally, imagination further provoked when see different forms of Parameśvara in scriptures, like: Śiva, Viṣṇu, Rāma, Kāli, Brahmāji (4-heads).
  • What kind of problems this brings?
    • Anxiety, because:
      • Which one is real?
      • When will I see Lord?
        • Ironically nobody asks: “How will I recognize Rāma/Jesus, if nobody has seen before?”. Because MY IMAGINATION has seen Him.
    • Confusion, because other credible devotees claim seeing:
      • Jesus
      • Tyāgarāja (19th century Indian classical music composer) experiencing Rāma.
      • Mīrābai (16th century Hindu mystic-poet) seeing Kṛṣṇa.
  • Therefore if one knows Bhagavān as only the maker of world, then understanding is vague/incomplete.

How to CORRECT the understanding (with God being only know as maker):

  • Need to ask question, “What is the material out of which the maker (Lord) created?”.
    • Lord finds the material within Himself. There is no material outside Lord.
    • New understanding changes to: Īśvara is…
      • Intelligent-cause (nimitta-kāraṇam) / sarva-jñānam: all knowledge.
      • Material-cause (upādāna-kāraṇam) of the world.
  • Meaning, material-cause is never away from product-effect.
    • EG: Gold is never away from ornaments. Wood/furniture. Clay/pots.
    • EG: Perceiving the table, one doesn’t ask for the vision of wood. Because cause-effect are never apart.
    • Similarly, if say: “Īśvara is maker/creator”, then Īśvara is inferred/imagined. But when say, “Īśvara is material from which creation IS”, then Īśvara’s material-cause becomes directly perceived (pratyakṣa) in all forms. EG: Is bangle-form of Gold… imagined or directly perceived?
  • In this way, attempting to experience presence of Īśvara is partial knowledge.
    • Because the very mind is also made of upādāna-kāraṇam, which is not separate from it’s cause.
    • Meaning, jīva is never NOT witnessing Īśvara darśanam.
  • Then why jīva suffers?
    • Because hasn’t been educated about Īśvara-svarūpam. Result is, motivation to mediate most of time. Attempting to experience higher states of mind. Thinking they’re better then “normal day-to-day states of mind”.
    • In most cases, jīva wants to FIRST see or experience a miracle, which is supposed to validate presence of Īśvara.
  • What is proper cognition of a viśva-rūpa-bhakta? Perspective of world transforms.
    • BEFORE: World is world.
    • AFTER: World is manifestation of Bhagavān’s material/efficient cause.
      • EG: I appreciate beauty of ornaments. But back of mind: gold, gold, gold, etc…

Summary of Chapter 10:

VERSE 1-11:

  • Krishna tells us definition of Īśvara being both: nimitta & upādāna-kāraṇam.
    • EG 1: Spider is both the intelligent-cause of the web-geometric-framework. And cause of the web-material.
    • EG 2: At night time: I (self), in reference to my mind, become both the intelligent & material cause of the dream-jagat.
      • Meaning the mountain climber, the thirst and mountain – are modifications of my mind saṃskārās.
      • And the truth of the mind is self (combination of both intelligence and awareness)…
        • …who is awaring the mountain climber’s mind…
        • ….lending material for the mountain…
        • …and lending intelligence for body to desire water.
        • This mountain climber is called ___ (your name).
  • To come to the understanding that there is only One appearing as many, Krishna gives order of progression:
    1. eka rūpa īśvara: Lord in one form, as person.
    2. viśva-rūpa-īśvara: Learn to value all manifestations as Īśvara. Reason? Reduces rāga/dveṣa attachments (which maintain extroverted rajasic-mind, unsuitable for jñāna-yoga). Meaning, buddhi refrains forming likes/dislikes about anything. It remains objective.
    3. arūpa-īśvara (nirguṇa): aham brahman asmi.
  • Why is Arjuna asking for vibhūtis?
    • Because Īśvara is too vast to conceive for mind, which hasn’t refined it’s viveka/vairāgyam.
    • So asking for symbolism which represents the WHOLE.
      • EG: Flag represents WHOLE country.

VERSE 20-39: Krishna enumerates Glories:

  • Krishna says everything is My glory. Pick something that you find attractive. And remember Īśvara in that.
    • EG: Intelligence of Aero-dynamics of bird was borrowed to fly airplane.
  • Krishna showed what are 2 greatest glories through symbolism. Both are nirguṇa. Rest are saguṇa.
  • V20 (nirguṇa): Krishna starts with cit (consciousness), which is the self-evident “I”, because of which 5 kośās are known.
  • V39 (nirguṇa): Krishna ends with sat (existence).
    • EG: Ring exists. Necklace exists. Bangle exists. Exists why? Because of Gold alone.

VERSE 42: Conclusion:

  • Krishna said, up to now, I am in jagat.
  • Actually, I am NOT in jagat. But jagat is in Me.
    • EG: All ornaments are names-forms, resting in ONE Gold. Similarly, jagat vibhūtis are nothing but infinite names-forms, whose reality depends on Īśvara.
  • Finally, what does it mean to enjoy COMPLETE vision of Īśvara?
    • 2-fold understanding of buddhi is required:
      • To see Īśvara in the world. Called: vibhūti-yoga (CH10 title).
      • To see world in Īśvara. Called: viśvarūpa-darśanam-yoga (CH11 title).
  • IN SHORT: I am in all objects. And all objects are in me.

Introduction to Chapter 11:

  • Title of CH11: Yoga of Vision of Cosmic Form: Viśvarūpa-darśana-yoga.
    • “Yoga” word (end of each CH title), mainly refers to, ONE episode.
  • Difference between CH10 & CH11 title:
    • CH10: Vibhūti: To recognize Īśvara in different mithyā forms. In other words: Īśvara is in jagat.
    • CH11: Viśvarūpa: To recognize that the essence of ALL mithyā forms is Īśvara. In other words: Jagat is in Īśvara.
  • TRANSLATION OF CH11 TITLE: Seeing Īśvara in form of entire jagat (time/space/all forms), at once.
  • Context how CH11 is continuation of CH10:
    • In last verse of CH10, Krishna said “You’ve seen only one part of my ānanda (limitless) nature”. This caught Arjuna’s attention because, in CH10, Arjuna was shown Īśvara as the material & efficient-cause obtaining in individual vibhūtis.
    • Therefore Arjuna is compelled to ask Krishna to reveal Himself as Īśvara’s ānanda (limitlessness) in form of the jagat.
      • To have such vision, the mind needs to be present. Else can’t perceive nor remember. Therefore one explanation of how finite mind can appreciate infinity is Krishna temporarily heightens Arjuna’s antaḥ karaṇa ability, which gives capacity to see everything at once. EG: Up & down. Front & back. 14-lokās.
    • Since the listener of Gītā, doesn’t have Arjuna’s special vision, one can still enjoy viśvarūpa-darśanam through firm knowledge.
      • What knowledge?
        • Jagat is of the material-cause which enjoys it’s existence in Īśvara, whose truth is Brahman.
        • Therefore, we continue training our antaḥkaraṇa to recognize mithyā is never sperate from Then devotee is always undergoing Īśvara-darśanam.
  • Above understanding also prevents dualistic interpretation of CH11. Because it’s favorite chapter of dualists.
    • Dualistic interpretation of CH11:
      • 1) Finite subject “I” AND Infinite object “Īśvara”.
      • 2) See Īśvara in form of iṣṭa-devata (seeing Lord in one finite form) – through devatā-sākṣātkāra (perception of Lord).
        • How to get deva-sākṣātkāra like Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Jesus, Gaṇapati, etc? Scriptures (eg: 18 purāṇās) prescribe:
          • Visualize deva (according to person’s idea).
          • Perform tapas (concentration/meditation). Involves:
            • Receiving mantra for inducing the iṣṭa-deva vision.
            • Repeat mantra. How many times? Puraścaraṇa.
            • Meaning: Mantra syllables x 100,000 (1 lakh). EG: 24 syllables = repeat mantra 2.4Mil times.
          • Result is deva-darśanam. Not a mental projection. But Vedic science.
            • EG: Stories of devotee visions: Mīrābai, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Sathya Sai Baba.
  • Advaita vision of CH11: Īśvara can be understood from several viewpoints.
    • Standpoint 1:
      • The truth of Īśvara, jagat and jīva… is one same Consciousness (Brahman).
    • Standpoint 2:
      • When Brahman is seemingly conditioned by His māyā śakti, Brahman is referred to as: jagat-kārṇam or Īśvara.
    • Standpoint 3: Īśvara is of 2 natures:
      • Parā-prakṛti / śuddha-caitanya / vivarta-upādāna-kāraṇa: Brahman.
      • Aparā-prakṛti / māyā-avacchina-caitanya / pariṇāmi-upādāna-kāraṇa: Brahman conditioned by māyā.
    • Standpoint 4:
      • Īśvara can be seen as Brahman conditioned by antaḥ-karaṇa, called jīva. (antaḥ-karaṇa-avacchina-caitanya).
        • The conditioned antaḥ karaṇa is called ahaṃkāra “I-sense” (or pramātā; individual knower).
    • Standpoint 5:
      • Result of prayers of many people, asking for action to be taken about particular situation, Bhagavān’s māyā assumes a suitable form (for the circumstance). Thus avatāra is born.
  • In all 5 standpoints, ONE caitanya-brahman (owning to it’s māyā), is bases of Īśvara, jagat and jīva.
    • And what is jagat / viśvarūpa / virāt? Total gross (physical) body of Īśvara.
      • EG: Gross body of:
        • Jīva: sthūla-śarīra.
        • Īśvara: virāt / jagat / viśvarūpa.
  • How do we know Īśvara is form of jagat?
    • Because we see the jagat directly (effect never separate from cause).
      • If true, then why are people desiring vision of Lord (churches, temples, meditations, etc)? Because don’t know that jagat they live in, IS form of Īśvara. Only śāstra gives this knowledge.
  • If 5 points are well ascertained, then CH11 can help bring about a perspective-change of the world.
    • World is not so physical, but there is subtle depth to it. EG:
      • To a scientist, the world is: chemicals, atoms, electrons.
      • To CH11 bhakta, there is certain clarity, which is not scientifically detectable.
  • Perspective-change will DEPEND on student’s self-inquiry of previous 10 chapters.
    • EG: Sañjaya (right hand man of King Dhṛtarāṣṭra), who was blessed with divine vision by Vyāsa, and remotely heard Krishna-Arjuna narrative, he was deeply moved by CH11 for a lifetime.
    • Whereas, Arjuna got frightened. Because saw pieces of body-parts of Pāṇḍavas & Kauravas (including Droṇa/Bhīṣma) sticking out of Jaws of Death. Meaning, Arjuna’s self-knowledge isn’t completely firm. Hasn’t fully grasped meaning of “I am not separate from this cosmic form (virāt) of splendid and horrifying .”
  • Now, let’s see what happens. CH11 STARTS…


Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 1

mat anugrahāya paramam guhyam adhyātma-saṃjñitam
yat tvayā uktam vacaḥ tena mohaḥ ayam vigataḥ mama

This supreme secret teaching named adhyātmam has been imparted by You for blessing me. This delusion of mine has gone by that.

  • Arjuna shows appreciation for Krishna’s supreme teaching in CH1-6. Arjuna heard…
    • Nature of individual is Consciousness:
      • Not a part, product or property of the body-mind.
      • It is independent, pervades and enlivens the body-mind.
      • Not limited by the attributes of the body-mind.
      • Survives all 3 states (Waking, Dream, Sleep) and death.
      • Description in detail: CH 2 (12-25).
  • madanugrahāya tvayā vacaḥ uktaṃ: your sacred words were imparted to save me from my false notions, causing sorrow.
  • Because of this teaching, uktaṃ tvayā mama ayaṃ mohaḥ vigataḥ, my delusion is corrected.
    • Two types of delusions:
      • Dharma-adharma: what is right/wrong.
      • Ātmā-anātmā: ever-available and momentary.
    • BG deals with both.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 2

bhava api ayau hi bhūtānām śrutau vistaraśaḥ mayā
tvattaḥ kamala-patra-akṣa māhātmyam api ca avyayam

Oh Krsna! Verily, the origin and dissolution of beings as well as (Your) inexhaustible glory were heard by me from You in detail.

  • Arjuna gives overview of CH 7-10 (Īśvara svarūpam)
  • Arjuna calls Kṛṣṇa, kamalapatrākṣa (O glorious Lord worthy alone of worship, whose eyes are like lotus petals)…
    • You are defined as (jagat kāraṇam), the material cause of the world, just as Ocean is material cause of all waves.
      • Who is present in all 3 aspects of creation: sṛṣṭi, sthiti, layam.
    • Ātma Bodha, verse 8 also compliments: Entire cosmos of billions of galaxies, is like small bubbles the total Ocean.
  • In short: Bhagavān is in form of time/space/laws-orders/objects.
  • Arjuna says, my delusion of Lord is also gone, but not totally. That’s why I have a request…

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 3

evam etat yathā āttha tvam ātmānaṃ parameśvara
draṣṭum icchāmi te rūpam aiśvaram puruṣottama

It is just so as You describe Yourself. Oh Lord! I desire to see Your divine form.

  • Parameśvara: often used for Lord Śiva. And Puruṣottama is often used for Viṣṇu. Vyāsa uses both in one verse, indicating they’re both Īśvara.
  • Arjuna says: I have understood everything is divine/sacred. Everything is worthy of worship. Because material is Bhagavān
    • However I still find myself seeing world through eyes of strong likes/dislikes. Meaning, there is a GAP between what I AM, and what I KNOW.
  • And for this reason, te rūpam aiśvaraṃ draṣṭum icchāmi: I desire viśvarūpa darśanam in all situations.
    • EG: Sacred is no longer isolated to temple. But everything becomes (as if) in a temple. EG: Eating, air.
  • So where does Arjuna stand in his transformation so far: 2 situations to overcome.
    • Situation 1:
      • Knowledge is intellectual. Arjuna heard Krishna, but doesn’t feel all that is here is God. Because of old notions.
        • EG: kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, mātsarya.
      • Meaning even God is helpless, if bhakta’s mind is not prepared.
        • EG: When Rāvaṇa saw Rāma first time, no impact. Same with Kansa/Kṛṣṇa.
    • Situation 2:
      • Īśvara darśanam is often described in purāṇās, Rāmayaṇa, Mahābhārata as thrilling extraordinary experience.
        • But it doesn’t last, nor has significant life transformation. Because mind’s saṃskāras quickly overshadow the inspiration.
      • When both situations resolved, this person has opened one’s third eye (divya cakṣuḥ). Meaning, eye is opened due to previous preparedness.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 4

manyase yadi tat śakyam mayā draṣṭum iti prabho
yogeśvara tataḥ me tvam darśaya ātmānam avyayam

Oh! Lord, If you consider that it can be seen by me, then You show me Your inexhaustible form, Oh Lord!

  • Arjuna realizes cleaning up the mind is a time consuming and gradual process.
    • It requires: Karma Yoga, upāsanam, following dharmic values, devotion.
  • Therefore he asks: Can you temporarily remove the veils from my mind, so I can glimpse and enjoy viśvarūpa.
  • Caution: No question of Krishna showing viśvarūpa, because nothing is away from the whole.
    • Therefore, “viśvarūpa darśanam” just means: Removing obstacles from mind, denying me mature vision.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 5

śrībhagavān uvāca
paśya me pārtha rūpāṇi śataśaḥ atha sahasraśaḥ
nānā-vidhāni divyāni nānā-varṇa-ākṛtīni ca

The Lord said — Oh! Arjuna, See My divine forms of various kinds, various colours and forms, in hundreds and in thousands.

  • Arjuna, you cannot see Me (endless, colorful glory), because…
    • You’re not taking your time to deliberately see the One cause in and through all forms.
    • Haven’t applied suffice effort to break the old narrative towards the world/people.
    • But because you asked, I will temporarily suspend the mind’s filters.
  • We will see that Arjuna is initially in awe, but quickly becomes dissatisfied.
    • Meaning even if Lord Himself opens one’s vision, persons likes/dislikes are so strong, they even judge Lord’s direct clarity.
    • Thus any artificially induced experience cannot bring guaranteed permanent transformation. Because it’s resting on an ignorant foundation.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 6

paśya ādityān vasūn rudrān aśvinau marutāḥ tathā
bahūni adṛṣṭa-pūrvāṇi paśya āścaryāṇi bhārata

Oh Arjuna ! See adityas, vasus, rudras, asvins, and maruts. See many wonders which are not seen before.

  • Universe is governed by laws-orders. Laws-orders are called “deva/devata” (gods).
    • Each governs an aspect of creation. EG:
      • 12 ādityān devas: Sun deva obtaining in 12 months of year. EG: Each month, sun = different quality.
      • Rudra deva: Ten sense organs and antaḥkaraṇa.
      • Aśvini Kumārās: Presides over prāṇa.
      • Maruts: Different forms of vāyu (wind).

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 7

iha ekastham jagat kṛtsnam paśya adya sacara-acaram
mama dehe guḍākeśa yat ca anyat draṣṭum icchasi

Oh, Arjuna! See here and now, in my body, the entire Universe with the movable and the immovable placed together and also anything else that you desire to see.

  • Mama dehe: In my body, see the entire universe.
    • In MB, Yaśoda asked Krishna to open mouth. Inside she saw all 14 lokās floating in Krishna’s small mouth.
      • She was thrown back because mind unprepared.
    • In the same way Arjuna, I will show you all 14 lokās exiting simultaneously, in Me. Only then, you will understand the vastness of my Body.
      • EG: Milky way galaxy has tens of billions of solar systems.
  • What is symbolism of Krishna being blue? Represents the vast sky.

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 11, Verse 8

na tu mām śakyase draṣṭum anena eva sva-cakṣuṣā
divyam dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaram

However, You cannot see Me with this (ordinary) eye of yours. I shall give you a divine eye. See My divine power.

  • Krishna distinguishes two kinds of eyes:
  • Physical eye (laukika cakṣuḥ): Can’t see Īśvara. EG:
    • Rāvaṇa didn’t see Īśvara upon seeing Rāma. Kamsa/Krishna.
    • Tourist goes to temple to take picture of various idols. Talks about what date art/statue was erected. Misses out reality starting him. Hence CH 9: Greatest “open secret”.
  • Divine eye (divya cakṣuḥ): Developed from prepared mind & proper attitude.
    • EG: pañca mahā bhūthās are worshipped everywhere. No longer need to worship:
      • Ākaśa liṅga (space) in only Chidambaram.
      • Vāyu liṅga (air) in only Srikalahasti.
      • Fire in only Tiruvannamalai.
      • Water in only Jambukesvaram, Thiruvanaikaval.
      • Earth in only in Kanchipuram.
  • Thus for viśvarūpa bhakta, going “near God” is meaningless.
  • Next Sanjaya (right hand man of Dhrihtarashtra) will say something…


Keywords: adityan, ahamkara, akasa, akasha, ananda, anatma, antah karana, antahkarana, antakarana, apara-prakrti, arupa, ashvins, asvini, atma, atma bodha, bhagavan, bhishma, bhisma, bramaji, cakshu, caksu, darsana, darshanam, deva-darshanam, dhritarashtra, dhrtarastra, drona, ganapati, ganesha, ishtha-devata, ishvara, ista-devata, istha-deva, jagat-karana, jiva, jnana, kali, kama, kamalapatraksa, kamalapatraksha, krishna, krsna, kumara, linga, lokas, matsarya, maya, maya avachina caintanya, mirabai, nimitta-karana, nirguna, panca, pancha maha bhuta, para-prakrti, parameshvara, paramesvara, paroksha, parosa, prakriti, pramata, prana, puranas, purascarana, purashcarana, purushottama, purusottama, rama, ravana, saguna, samashti, samasti, samskaras, sanjaya, sarira, sastra, satkam, shakti, sharira, shiva, siva, srsti, sthiti, sthula, svarupa, tyagaraja, upadana-karana, upasana, vayu, vibhuti, vibhutis, virat, vishnu, vishva-rupa, vishvarupa, vishvarupadarshanam, visnu, vyasa, vyashti, vyasti, yashoda, yasoda

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 10 Nov, 2020


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