CHENNAI: The essence of the Bhagavad Gita is contained in the section where the Lord reveals His transcendental form to Arjuna. The Lord tells Arjuna that it is through His Atma Shakti that he was able to behold such a form that is not to be seen by anyone. That the Supreme Brahman is not easily conquered but he can be conquered by His Bhaktas is evident in this divine revelation to Arjuna who displays all the qualities of a true devotee. To know the truth that the Supreme God controls the manifold and diverse functions and attributes of nature and creation is one thing; and to be able to see a physical manifestation of this transcendental truth is another thing.

Arjuna was awe struck by the enormity and the exquisite all inclusiveness of the most terrible and pleasing aspects of the entire universe that the form reflected. An overwhelmed Arjuna requested the Lord to revert to His form as Lord Krishna. It is then that the Lord stated that neither the study of the Vedas, nor the performance of sacrifices, nor scholarship, gifts, ceremonial rites or severe austerities could make one eligible for the direct perception of the divine form which is possible for the true devotees. The Lord’s statement is symbolic of the fact that the truths of Vedanta are within the grasp of those who are recipients of His grace and thereby remain His staunch devotees, pointed out Sri N. Veezhinathan in a lecture.

The Lord affirms that out of compassion for those who seek His grace, He reveals His supremacy. He destroys the darkness born of ignorance by lighting up the lamp of wisdom. He speaks of devotion as a means to this Jnana. It is through Bhakti that divine grace flows and through this is sparked the power of understanding.

Lord Krishna extols the quality of devotion and highlights His predilection for the devout. He willingly accepts whatever is offered to Him with devotion and in whatever form He is worshipped. Though the paths of Karma and Jnana are prescribed, it is shown that Bhakti is the underlying foundation for all efforts towards salvation. Devotion makes the effort fruitful. The spirit of true surrender is exemplified in the attitude and way of life of the devout.