Seeing, perceiving, realising and intuiting are some stages in one’s grasp of the essence of things. In spiritual parlance, this is attributed to the ‘bhava’ with which we understand and interpret the world and ourselves. Each one of us looks at the world but how each one views it is the basis of the bhava. Likewise, each object assumes a value because of the individual’s bhava. A mere Tulsi leaf assumes sacredness when we regard it with the significance it is attributed with.
If we understand that the Lord is the material and the prime cause of everything, the vision of the universe gets modified. This is what happened to Arjuna when he beheld the Lord’s cosmic form, and this is symbolic of realisation which cannot happen but for God’s grace, Swami Omkarananda said in a discourse.
In the case of the Lord’s infinite glory, the Vedas accept that He is beyond thought and word and can only be realised as an experience. Yet in the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord enables Arjuna to see His infinite form by granting him divine vision. This cosmic vision of the Supreme Brahman is known as Viswarupa and is symbolic of His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. No wonder, Arjuna is overwhelmed by what he sees with divine eyes granted by Lord Krishna. The supreme form, comprising faces on every side with many mouths and eyes and varied wonderful sights, is also seen by Sanjaya, who reports it to Dhritarashtra. The effulgence is indescribable and so is the manifold grandeur that is shown to Arjuna, says Sanjaya. As Arjuna stands speechless at this sight, the Lord guides him through, pointing out the beautiful aspects in it — the fish, the stars, etc. Next He makes him see the violence, bloodshed and gruesome aspects that co-exist along with this magnificence. His form amalgamates all aspects of the universe and Arjuna is moved from wonder to fear and horror at these sights.
It is human tendency to react with joy and sorrow at worldly occurrences. But the Gita teaches that one should transcend the effects of these, rise above likes and dislikes to gain the detachment for realisation.
Keywords: Bhagavad Gita