brāhmam astraṁ pradarśitam
naivāsau veda saṁhāraṁ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Know from Me that this is the act of the son of Droṇa. He has thrown the hymns of nuclear energy [brahmāstra], and he does not know how to retract the glare. He has helplessly done this, being afraid of imminent death.
The brahmāstra is similar to the modern nuclear weapon manipulated by atomic energy. The atomic energy works wholly on total combustibility, and so the brahmāstra also acts. It creates an intolerable heat similar to atomic radiation, but the difference is that the atomic bomb is a gross type of nuclear weapon, whereas the brahmāstra is a subtle type of weapon produced by chanting hymns. It is a different science, and in the days gone by such science was cultivated in the land of Bhārata-varṣa. The subtle science of chanting hymns is also material, but it has yet to be known by the modern material scientists. Subtle material science is not spiritual, but it has a direct relationship with the spiritual method, which is still subtler. A chanter of hymns knew how to apply the weapon as well as how to retract it. That was perfect knowledge. But the son of Droṇācārya, who made use of this subtle science, did not know how to retract. He applied it, being afraid of his imminent death, and thus the practice was not only improper but also irreligious. As the son of a brāhmaṇa, he should not have made so many mistakes, and for such gross negligence of duty he was to be punished by the Lord Himself.
na hy asyānyatamaṁ kiñcid
jahy astra-teja unnaddham
astra-jño hy astra-tejasā
O Arjuna, only another brahmāstra can counteract this weapon. Since you are expert in the military science, subdue this weapon’s glare with the power of your own weapon.
For the atomic bombs there is no counterweapon to neutralize the effects. But by subtle science the action of a brahmāstra can be counteracted, and those who were expert in the military science in those days could counteract the brahmāstra. The son of Droṇācārya did not know the art of counteracting the weapon, and therefore Arjuna was asked to counteract it by the power of his own weapon.
śrutvā bhagavatā proktaṁ
spṛṣṭvāpas taṁ parikramya
brāhmaṁ brāhmāstraṁ sandadhe
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: Hearing this from the Personality of Godhead, Arjuna touched water for purification, and after circumambulating Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he cast his brahmāstra weapon to counteract the other one.
āvṛtya rodasī khaṁ ca
When the rays of the two brahmāstras combined, a great circle of fire, like the disc of the sun, covered all outer space and the whole firmament of planets.
The heat created by the flash of a brahmāstra resembles the fire exhibited in the sun globe at the time of cosmic annihilation. The radiation of atomic energy is very insignificant in comparison to the heat produced by a brahmāstra. The atomic bomb explosion can at utmost blow up one globe, but the heat produced by the brahmāstra can destroy the whole cosmic situation. The comparison is therefore made to the heat at the time of annihilation.
ami hi tvam sura-sangha visanti
kecid bhitah pranjalayo grnanti
svastity uktva maharsi-siddha-sanghah
stuvanti tvam stutibhih puskalabhih
All the demigods are surrendering and entering into You. They are very much afraid, and with folded hands they are singing the Vedic hymns.
The demigods in all the planetary systems feared the terrific manifestation of the universal form and its glowing effulgence and so prayed for protection.
rudraditya vasavo ye ca sadhya
visve ‘svinau marutas cosmapas ca
viksante tvam vismitas caiva sarve
The different manifestations of Lord Siva, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Sadhyas, the Visvedevas, the two Asvis, the Maruts, the forefathers and the Gandharvas, the Yaksas, Asuras, and all perfected demigods are beholding You in wonder.
rupam mahat te bahu-vaktra-netram
drstva lokah pravyathitas tathaham
O mighty-armed one, all the planets with their demigods are disturbed at seeing Your many faces, eyes, arms, bellies and legs and Your terrible teeth, and as they are disturbed, so am I.
nabhah-sprsam diptam aneka-varnam
drstva hi tvam pravyathitantar-atma
dhrtim na vindami samam ca visno
O all-pervading Visnu, I can no longer maintain my equilibrium. Seeing Your radiant colors fill the skies and beholding Your eyes and mouths, I am afraid.
damstra-karalani ca te mukhani
diso na jane na labhe ca sarma
prasida devesa jagan-nivasa
O Lord of lords, O refuge of the worlds, please be gracious to me. I cannot keep my balance seeing thus Your blazing deathlike faces and awful teeth. In all directions I am bewildered.
pasyami tvam sarvato ‘nanta-rupam
nantam na madhyam na punas tavadim
pasyami visvesvara visva-rupa
O Lord of the universe, I see in Your universal body many, many forms—bellies, mouths, eyes—expanded without limit. There is no end, there is no beginning, and there is no middle to all this.
Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is unlimited; thus through Him everything could be seen.
kiritinam gadinam cakrinam ca
tejo-rasim sarvato diptimantam
pasyami tvam durniriksyam samantad
Your form, adorned with various crowns, clubs and discs, is difficult to see because of its glaring effulgence, which is fiery and immeasurable like the sun.
tvam aksaram paramam veditavyam
tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam puruso mato me
You are the supreme primal objective; You are the best in all the universes; You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest; You are the maintainer of religion, the eternal Personality of Godhead.
pasyami tvam dipta-hutasa-vaktram
sva-tejasa visvam idam tapantam
You are the origin without beginning, middle or end. You have numberless arms, and the sun and moon are among Your great unlimited eyes. By Your own radiance You are heating this entire universe.
There is no limit to the extent of the six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Here and in many other places there is repetition, but according to the scriptures, repetition of the glories of Krsna is not a literary weakness. It is said that at a time of bewilderment or wonder or of great ecstasy, statements are repeated over and over. That is not a flaw.
dyav a-prthivyor idam antaram hi
vyaptam tvayaikena disas ca sarvah
drstvadbhutam rupam ugram tavedam
loka-trayam pravyathitam mahatman
Although You are one, You are spread throughout the sky and the planets and all space between. O great one, as I behold this terrible form, I see that all the planetary systems are perplexed.
Dyav-aprthivyoh (the space between heaven and earth) and loka-trayam (the three worlds) are significant words in this verse because it appears that not only Arjuna saw this universal form of the Lord, but others in other planetary systems also saw it. The vision was not a dream. All who were spiritually awake with the divine vision saw it.
Arjuna saw in that universal form unlimited mouths and unlimited eyes. It was all wondrous. The form was decorated with divine, dazzling ornaments and arrayed in many garbs. He was garlanded gloriously, and there were many scents smeared over His body. All was magnificent, all-expanding, unlimited. This was seen by Arjuna.
These two verses indicate that there is no limit to the hands, mouths, legs, etc., of the Lord. These manifestations are distributed throughout the universe and are unlimited. By the grace of the Lord, Arjuna could see them while sitting in one place. That is due to the inconceivable potency of Krsna.
bhaved yugapad utthita
yadi bhah sadrsi sa syad
bhasas tasya mahatmanah
If hundreds of thousands of suns rose up at once into the sky, they might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.
What Arjuna saw was indescribable, yet Sanjaya is trying to give a mental picture of that great revelation to Dhrtarastra. Neither Sanjaya nor Dhrtarastra was present, but Sanjaya, by the grace of Vyasa, could see whatever happened. Thus he now compares the situation, as far as it can be understood, to an imaginable phenomenon (i.e. thousands of suns).
tatraika-stham jagat krtsnam
sarire pandavas tada
At that time Arjuna could see in the universal form of the Lord the unlimited expansions of the universe situated in one place although divided into many, many thousands.
The word tatra (there) is very significant. It indicates that both Arjuna and Krsna were sitting on the chariot when Arjuna saw the universal form. Others on the battlefield could not see this form because Krsna gave the vision only to Arjuna. Arjuna could see in the body of Krsna many thousands of universes. As we learn from Vedic scriptures, there are many universes and many planets. Some of them are made of earth, some are made of gold, some are made of jewels, some are very great, some are not so great, etc. Sitting on his chariot, Arjuna could see all these universes. But no one could understand what was going on between Arjuna and Krsna.
tatah sa vismayavisto
pranamya sirasa devam
Then, bewildered and astonished, his hair standing on end, Arjuna began to pray with folded hands, offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord.
Once the divine vision is revealed, the relationship between Krsna and Arjuna changes immediately. Before, Krsna and Arjuna had a relationship based on friendship, but here, after the revelation, Arjuna is offering obeisances with great respect, and with folded hands he is praying to Krsna. He is praising the universal form. Thus Arjuna’s relationship becomes one of wonder rather than friendship. Great devotees see Krsna as the reservoir of all relationships. In the scriptures there are twelve basic kinds of relationships mentioned, and all of them are present in Krsna. It is said that He is the ocean of all the relationships exchanged between two living entities, between the gods, or between the Supreme Lord and His devotees.
It is said that Arjuna was inspired by the relationship of wonder, and in that wonder, although he was by nature very sober, calm and quiet, he became ecstatic, his hair stood up, and he began to offer his obeisances unto the Supreme Lord with folded hands. He was not, of course, afraid. He was affected by the wonders of the Supreme Lord. The immediate context is wonder; his natural loving friendship was overwhelmed by wonder, and thus he reacted in this way.
pasyami devams tava deva dehe
sarvams tatha bhuta-visesa-sanghan
brahmanam isam kamalasana-stham
rsims ca sarvan uragams ca divyan
Arjuna said: My dear Lord Krsna, I see assembled together in Your body all the demigods and various other living entities. I see Brahma sitting on the lotus flower as well as Lord Siva and many sages and divine serpents.
Arjuna sees everything in the universe; therefore he sees Brahma, who is the first creature in the universe, and the celestial serpent upon which the Garbhodakasayi Visnu lies in the lower regions of the universe. This snake bed is called Vasuki. There are also other snakes known as Vasuki. Arjuna can see from the Garbhodakasayi Visnu up to the topmost part of the universe on the lotus-flower planet where Brahma, the first creature of the universe, resides. That means that from the beginning to the end, everything could be seen by Arjuna sitting in one place on his chariot. This was possible by the grace of the Supreme Lord, Krsna.
evam etad yathattha tvam
drastum icchami te rupam
O greatest of all personalities, O supreme form, though I see here before me Your actual position, I wish to see how You have entered into this cosmic manifestation. I want to see that form of Yours.
The Lord said that because He entered into the material universe by His personal representation, the cosmic manifestation has been made possible and is going on. Now as far as Arjuna is concerned, he is inspired by the statements of Krsna, but in order to convince others in the future who may think that Krsna is an ordinary person, he desires to see Him actually in His universal form, to see how He is acting from within the universe, although He is apart from it. Arjuna’s asking the Lord’s permission is also significant. Since the Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is present within Arjuna himself; therefore He knows the desire of Arjuna, and He can understand that Arjuna has no special desire to see Him in His universal form, for he is completely satisfied to see Him in His personal form of Krsna. But He can understand also that Arjuna wants to see the universal form to convince others. He did not have any personal desire for confirmation. Krsna also understands that Arjuna wants to see the universal form to set a criterion, for in the future there would be so many imposters who would pose themselves as incarnations of God. The people, therefore, should be careful; one who claims to be Krsna should be prepared to show his universal form to confirm his claim to the people.
manyase yadi tac chakyam
maya drastum iti prabho
yogesvara tato me tvam
If You think that I am able to behold Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that universal Self.
It is said that one can neither see, hear, understand nor perceive the Supreme Lord, Krsna, by the material senses. But if one is engaged in loving transcendental service to the Lord from the beginning, then one can see the Lord by revelation. Every living entity is only a spiritual spark; therefore it is not possible to see or to understand the Supreme Lord. Arjuna, as a devotee, does not depend on his speculative strength; rather, he admits his limitations as a living entity and acknowledges Krsna’s inestimable position. Arjuna could understand that for a living entity it is not possible to understand the unlimited infinite. If the infinite reveals Himself, then it is possible to understand the nature of the infinite by the grace of the infinite. The word yogesvara is also very significant here because the Lord has inconceivable power. If He likes, He can reveal Himself by His grace, although He is unlimited. Therefore Arjuna pleads for the inconceivable grace of Krsna. He does not give Krsna orders. Krsna is not obliged to reveal Himself to anyone unless one surrenders fully in Krsna consciousness and engages in devotional service. Thus it is not possible for persons who depend on the strength of their mental speculations to see Krsna.
pasya me partha rupani
sataso ‘tha sahasrasah
The Blessed Lord said: My dear Arjuna, O son of Prtha, behold now My opulences, hundreds of thousands of varied divine forms, multicolored like the sea.
Arjuna wanted to see Krsna in His universal form, which, although a transcendental form, is just manifested for the cosmic manifestation and is therefore subject to the temporary time of this material nature. As the material nature is manifested and not manifested, similarly this universal form of Krsna is manifested and unmanifested. It is not eternally situated in the spiritual sky like Krsna’s other forms. As far as a devotee is concerned, he is not eager to see the universal form, but because Arjuna wanted to see Krsna in this way, Krsna reveals this form. This universal form is not possible to be seen by any ordinary man. Krsna must give one the power to see it.
pasyadityan vasun rudran
asvinau marutas tatha
O best of the Bharatas, see here the different manifestations of Adityas, Rudras, and all the demigods. Behold the many things which no one has ever seen or heard before.
Even though Arjuna was a personal friend of Krsna and the most advanced of learned men, it was still not possible for him to know everything about Krsna. Here it is stated that humans have neither heard nor known of all these forms and manifestations. Now Krsna reveals these wonderful forms.
ihaika-stham jagat krtsnam
mama dehe gudakesa
yac canyad drastum icchasi
Whatever you wish to see can be seen all at once in this body. This universal form can show you all that you now desire, as well as whatever you may desire in the future. Everything is here completely.
No one can see the entire universe sitting in one place. Even the most advanced scientist cannot see what is going on in other parts of the universe. Krsna gives him the power to see anything he wants to see, past, present and future. Thus by the mercy of Krsna, Arjuna is able to see everything.
na tu mam sakyase drastum
divyam dadami te caksuh
pasya me yogam aisvaram
But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give to you divine eyes by which you can behold My mystic opulence.
A pure devotee does not like to see Krsna in any form except His form with two hands; a devotee must see His universal form by His grace, not with the mind but with spiritual eyes. To see the universal form of Krsna, Arjuna is told not to change his mind but his vision. The universal form of Krsna is not very important; that will be clear in the verses. Yet because Arjuna wanted to see it, the Lord gives him the particular vision required to see that universal form.
Devotees who are correctly situated in a transcendental relationship with Krsna are attracted by loving features, not by a godless display of opulences. The playmates of Krsna, the friends of Krsna and the parents of Krsna never want Krsna to show His opulences. They are so immersed in pure love that they do not even know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In their loving exchange they forget that Krsna is the Supreme Lord. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that the boys who play with Krsna are all highly pious souls, and after many, many births they are able to play with Krsna. Such boys do not know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They take Him as a personal friend. The Supreme Person is considered as the impersonal Brahman by great sages, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the devotees, and as a product of this material nature by ordinary men. The fact is that the devotee is not concerned to see the visva-rupa, the universal form, but Arjuna wanted to see it to substantiate Krsna’s statement so that in the future people could understand that Krsna not only theoretically or philosophically presented Himself as the Supreme but actually presented Himself as such to Arjuna. Arjuna must confirm this because Arjuna is the beginning of theparampara system. Those who are actually interested to understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and who follow in the footsteps of Arjuna should understand that Krsna not only theoretically presented Himself as the Supreme, but actually revealed Himself as the Supreme.
The Lord gave Arjuna the necessary power to see His universal form because He knew that Arjuna did not particularly want to see it, as we have already explained.
evam uktva tato rajan
darsayam asa parthaya
paramam rupam aisvaram
Sanjaya said: O King, speaking thus, the Supreme, the Lord of all mystic power, the Personality of Godhead, displayed His universal form to Arjuna.
In red desert
Three fingers and a skull
Are laid on fur
The stones of a circle
Turn to frogs
The skeleton of a child
The birth of an army
A Nexion is opened.
WYRD – AZANIGIN
That which is beyond personal Destiny. That which causes expression of itself via the implementation or provocation of acts which in their design achieve long term aims beyond the causal death of an individual; changing aspects of a society by significant creations and thus changing a whole race of people – fulfilling the destiny or Wyrd of the ethos of a civilization. Acts that inaugurate a new Aeon. The causal nature that is dictated by the essence of things – ‘fate’ etc.
Brahma first created the nescient engagements which are five in number.
1) Self-deception - Moha
2) The sense of death - Andha Tamisra
3) Anger after frustration - Tamisra
4) The sense of false ownership - Maha Moha
5) Forgetfulness of one’s real identity - Tamas
Before creating the living entities in their different species of life, their living conditions were created by Brahma.
Brahma then gave up his body and began a new term of creation.
In the beginning Brahma created the four Kumaras; Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat Kumara.
Brahma asked his four sons to generate progeny. The Kumaras declined, which made Brahma very angry. He tried to control his anger but it came out from between his eyebrows in the form of a child in a mixed colour of red and blue. The child was crying and was therefore called Rudra. He was given eleven places to reside. Rudra then began to increase the progeny of the universe with offspring resembling himself in every way. They attempted to devour the universe, which made Brahma very afraid. He told Rudra to go and perform penance and wait for the time of dissolution, when his services would be called upon.
This is an excellent clip from the film ‘Raja Kaliamman’ — very powerful portayal of Kali! Highly recommended viewing!