Truth Amid Chaos – Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10

What’s your vision of Universal Power? Is it like a God? Is it a cosmic light? Or an infinite space? The Gita is a story of ascension, a classic root of Hindu philosophy many thousands of years old. In this chapter the blue God Krishna offers to Arjuna many different images of Supreme power by comparing it to familiar objects.

The Bhagavad Gita outlines the eternal laws of Nature, life, death, and how to ascend to higher dimensions. Everything is symbolic. So, if we open our eyes and ears, it’s directly relevant to the issues we face today. Krishna’s song offers the concepts through which people can attain ascension and freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth. The blue God says he comes down to Earth whenever humans become separated the Laws of Nature. He empowers every person to take responsibility and embrace their divine nature, to release habits and thought forms that are no longer relevant in higher realities. With each chapter the Gita lessons are more refined and specific. Just enjoy and listen with an open mind, as you would hear a story.

Once upon a time, in a faraway land, Gods ruled the Earth, and all learning took place in the form of stories and sacred verses, that people knew and passed down with each generation. 

The warrior prince Arjuna and his chariot driver the God Krishna, gaze over a vast battlefield, where Arjuna is required by royal duty to kill half of his family lineage. He is horrified and refuses to fight. Krishna tells him exactly how focus his mind in a higher understanding in which he will be stronger, bring benefit to his family, and incur no Karma for himself. Ultimately Arjuna accepts his destiny to fight this war. He and his brothers win and ascend to the heavenly realms.

In Chapter 10, Krishna shows how he is the source of everything that exists and gives a summary of the creation of the universe born from him. As the original, highest Supreme God, he’s sometimes seen as a fun-loving blue god playing the flute. But Lord Krishna is actually the original Supreme Almighty Power. The God called Vishnu is an expansion of him, like a professional role of creator. The God Brahma was born from the material energy of that. So we have the Hindu Trinity: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. 

Then genesis began, and it is quite different from Biblical stories. First Brahma issued forth the four Kumaras, which are realized perfect beings that roam the universal field as children. These were the first mind creations, meaning showed up without a physical birth. Next came the seven great Sages called the Saptarishi, the ‘mind-born sons’ of Brahma whose task is the procreation of the human population. These are the seven stars of the Big Dipper, Ursula Major, and the North Star, the pinnacle of heaven, upon which revolves the Zodiac, and all the other celestial bodies in space. Then come the fourteen Manus, also mind-born offspring of Brahma who rule the administration of humankind from the skies, to establish and protect the Sacred Laws of Nature. Each of these fourteen Manus rules an era, or cycle that last for billions of years. Right now, we are living in the era of the seventh Manu. Below that are the celestial abodes, in which many angelic beings or devatās are directly responsible for maintaining the universe. 

So, we can say that Krishna is the original forefather of all forefathers. After each era the universe completely dissolves and is recreated again. To be a Manu is a very important job. For example, a few thousand years ago the seventh Manu was warned that the world would soon be destroyed in a giant flood. Manu built a boat for his people and all the animals, which he tied it to the horn of the great fish. The fish guided Manu’s boat through the flood to the top of a mountain. When the floodwaters receded, Manu poured butter and cultured milk into the sea, from which arose a woman so that she and Manu were able to repopulate the earth after the flood. This story is quite similar to the flood of the Sumerian tablets, Gilgamesh Epic, and the  Old testament.

To teach Arjuna the true power of the divine, Krishna compares his powers to other legendary gods. These are stories that every Indian knows, just like Westerners remember Bible characters Adam and Eve, Moses, the Ten Commandments, and Jesus.

The Laws of Nature, Truth, and celestial power are universal. However, the way we imagine this can be quite different. Krishna explanins from a cultural perspective, because otherwise it’s impossible to conceive of such immense power with the five senses and the mind. Every culture has its sacred pillars, mental images of religion, offering visual images and stories to help humans imagine the uinconceivable. The purpose of religion was never to bind, but to support and empower. Sadly, manipulation and control in organized religions have led many to reject the concept of God, which may NOT be an old man with a beard. Sometimes a blue god playing the flute can be an effective image. 

Although the LAws of Nature never change, there is one big difference between Eastern and Western cosmology.  The concept of rebirth is a cornerstone of all Eastern cultures. Krishna says “the Soul Never Dies.” Even the original Bible writings and words of Jesus held the concept of reincarnation. However, in 545 AD  Roman Emperor Justinian made all the church leaders sign an edict that anyone who asserts the “preexistence of souls” would be punished by death. But the Pope Vigilius at the time refused to sign the Emperor’s edict into law. 

So, Emperor Justinian had Pope Vigilius arrested, he convinced the other church leaders that the papal decree was authentic, and effectively forced the Pope to accept it against his will. Clearly the underlying motive was control. If people realized they were forever the children of God they might no longer need an Emperor, pay taxes, or support the Holy Roman Church. They decided to teach that God made brand new souls at conception and only baptism by the Church could bring their souls to God, otherwise people would be forever “cut off from God and doomed to Hell.” Maybe the edict was just an Emperor working in his best interest, but it was a big turning point in Western history. Nowadays his doctrine that you only live once is accepted throught the West, and has a powerful effect on our underlying reality. Maybe his selfishness led to unintended consequences in modern times, as people reject religious control and even deny the concept of God – like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Krishna says God is a reflection of His energies, but he doesn’t tell us how to visualize that omniscient almighty power. This is highly personal and cultural. He says this is the Supreme power and reservoir of knowledge, truth, and beauty. He says since God is the source of all, we should make Him the object of our devotion. Of course, we know the Supreme power includes both Male and Female, we say “Him” as we don’t have a word for that.  Krishna reaffirms that Arjuna should accept his destiny and fight the battle holding his mind  on the Supreme power without fear, and he will win.

As you listen to the verses of Chapter 10, I invite you to ponder these questions:

  1. How did Brahma create the world according to Hindu legend?
  2. Who built a boat and guided people to safety in the great Hindu flood?
  3. Which Roman Emperor banned reincarnation from the church doctrines? What was the year and the name of the pope arrested for refusing to sign it?
  4. Do you believe in reincarnation? How does your belief or disbelief affect your life?
  5. What’s your unique personal vision of the ultimate creator? How do you imagine something so all-powerful?
  6. What parallel events in the modern world illustrate these concepts? 

 

Bhagavad Gita 10.1

The Blessed Lord said: Listen again to my divine teachings, O mighty armed one. Desiring your welfare because you are my beloved friend, I shall reveal them to you.

Bhagavad Gita 10.2

Neither celestial gods nor the great sages know my origin. I am the source from which the gods and great seers come.

Bhagavad Gita 10.3

Those who know me as unborn and beginningless, and as the Supreme Lord of the universe, they among mortals are free from illusion and released from all evils.

Bhagavad Gita 10.4

All the qualities amongst humans, such as intellect, wisdom, clarity of thought, forgiveness, truthfulness, control over the senses and mind, joy and sorrow, birth and death, fear, and courage.

Bhagavad Gita 10.5

non-violence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame, and infamy, these various

states of living beings arise from me only.

Bhagavad Gita 10.6

The seven great Sages, the four great Saints before them, and the fourteen Manus, are all born of my mind. From them, all the people in the world have descended.

Bhagavad Gita 10.7

Those who know in truth my glories and divine powers become united with me through the unwavering devotional path. Of this there is no doubt.

Bhagavad Gita 10.8

I am the origin of all creation. Everything proceeds from me. The wise who know this worship me perfectly with great faith and devotion.

Bhagavad Gita 10.9

With minds fixed on me and their lives surrendered to me, my devotees remain ever delighted in me. They derive great satisfaction and bliss in enlightening one another about me, and conversing about my glories.

Bhagavad Gita 10.10

To those whose minds are always united with me in loving devotion, I offer the supreme knowledge by which they can attain me.

Bhagavad Gita 10.11

Out of compassion for them, I, who dwell within their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, with the luminous lamp of knowledge.

Bhagavad Gita 10.12

Arjun said: You are the Supreme Divine Personality, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal God, the Primal Being, the Unborn, and the Greatest One.

Bhagavad Gita 10.13

All the great sages, like Narad, Asit, Deval, and Vyas, proclaimed this. And now you are declaring it to me yourself.

Bhagavad Gita 10.14

O Krishna, I totally accept everything you have told me as the truth. O Lord, neither gods nor the demons can understand your true nature.

Bhagavad Gita 10.15

Indeed, you alone know yourself by your inconceivable energy, O Supreme Personality, the Creator and Lord of all beings, the God of gods, and the Lord of the universe!

Bhagavad Gita 10.16

Please describe to me your divine abundance, by which you pervade all the worlds and reside in them.

Bhagavad Gita 10.17

O Supreme Master of Yoga, how may I know you and think of you? And while meditating, in what forms can I think of you, O Supreme Divine One?

Bhagavad Gita 10.18

Describe for me again completely your divine glories and manifestations, O Janardan. I can never tire of hearing your sweet words.

Bhagavad Gita 10.19

The Blessed Lord spoke: I shall now briefly illustrate my divine glories to you, O best of the Kurus, for there is no end to their description.

Bhagavad Gita 10.20

O Arjun, I am seated in the heart of all living entities. I am the beginning, middle, and end of all beings.

Bhagavad Gita 10.21

Amongst the twelve sons of Aditi I am Vishnu. Among effulgent objects I am brighter than the sun. Know me to be Marichi amongst the Maruts, and the moon among the stars in the night sky.

Bhagavad Gita 10.22

I am the Sāma Veda amongst the Vedas, and Indra among the celestial gods. Among the senses I am the mind. Among living beings, I am consciousness.

Bhagavad Gita 10.23

Among the Rudras know me to be Shankar. Among the demons I am the King Kuber. I am Agni amongst the Vasus and Meru among the mountains.

Bhagavad Gita 10.24

O Arjun, among priests I am Brihaspati. Among warrior chiefs I am Kartikeya, and among reservoirs of water know me to be the vast ocean.

Bhagavad Gita 10.25

I am Bhrigu amongst the great seers and the transcendental Om of sounds. Among chants know me to be the repetition of the Holy Name. Among immovable things I am the Himalayas.

Bhagavad Gita 10.26

Among trees I am the sacred fig tree. Of the celestial sages I am Narad. Among the Gandharvas I am King Chitrath, and amongst the siddhas I am the sage Kapil.

Bhagavad Gita 10.27

Among horses know me to be Ucchaihshrava, the seven-headed flying horse born from the churning of ocean of nectar. I am Airavata among all lordly elephants, and the King among humans.

Bhagavad Gita 10.28

I am the Vajra thunderbolt of weapons and Kamadhenu, divine wish-fulfilling cow. Amongs all causes for procreation I am Kaamdev, the god of lust and desire. Amongst serpents I am King Vasuki.

Bhagavad Gita 10.29

Amongst the snakes I am the divine Anant. Amongst aquatics I am Varun, King of the waters. Amongst the departed ancestors I am the friend Aryama. Among dispensers of law I am Yamraj, the king of death.

Bhagavad Gita 10.30

I am the devoted Prahlad amongst the demons.. Among all that controls I am time. Know me to be the lion among animals, and Garud among the birds.

Bhagavad Gita 10.31

Among purifiers I am the wind, and amongst wielders of weapons I am Lord Ram. Of water creatures I am the crocodile, and of flowing rivers I am the great Ganges.

Bhagavad Gita 10.32

O Arjun, know me to be the beginning, middle, and end of all creation. Amongst sciences I am the science of spirituality. And in debates I am the natural conclusion.

Bhagavad Gita 10.33

I am the beginning “A” of all letters. Of compound words I am the double. I am endless Time, and among creators I am the four-faced god Brahma.

Bhagavad Gita 10.34

I am the all-devouring Death, and I am the origin of those things that are yet to be. Among feminine qualities I am fame, prosperity, fine speech, memory, intelligence, courage, and forgiveness.

Bhagavad Gita 10.35

Amongst the hymns in the Sāma Veda know me to be the Brihatsama. Among poetic meters I am the Gayatri. Of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar. I am  the cold Margsheersh, and of seasons I am spring, which brings forth flowers.

Bhagavad Gita 10.36

I am the gambling of the cheats and the splendor of the splendid. I am the victory of the victorious, the resolve of the resolute, and the virtue of the virtuous.

Bhagavad Gita 10.37

Among the descendants of Vrishni, I am Krishna, and amongst the Pandavas I am Arjun. Know me to be Ved Vyas among the sages, and Shukracharya among the great thinkers.

Bhagavad Gita 10.38

I am just punishment among means of preventing lawlessness, and proper conduct among those who seek victory. Of secrets I am silence, and of the wise I am their wisdom.

Bhagavad Gita 10.39

I am the original seed of all living beings, O Arjun. No creature moving or non-moving can exist without me.

Bhagavad Gita 10.40

There is no end to my divine manifestations, O conqueror of enemies. What I have declared to you is a mere sample of my infinite glories.

Bhagavad Gita 10.41

Whatever you see as beautiful, magnificent, or powerful, know it to spring from but a spark of my splendor.

Bhagavad Gita 10.42

What need is there for all this description, O Arjun? Simply know that by a small fraction of my being, I pervade and support this entire creation.

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