Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
The Eighteen Lectures
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL
IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN
By CHARLES WILKINS 1785
L E C T U R E. I1.
Display of the Divine Nature in The Form of the Universe.
(The Lord's Transfiguration)
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LECT URE XI.
DISPLAY OF THE DIVINE NATURE IN THE FORM OF THE UNIVERSE.
THIS supreme mystery, distinguished by the name of the Adiātma or ruling spirit, which, out of loving kindness, thou hast made known unto me hath dissipated my ignorance and perplexity. I have heard from thee a full account of the creation and destruction of all things, and of the mightiness of thy inexhaustible spirit. It is even as thou half described thyself, O mighty Lord, I am now, most elevated of men, anxious to behold thy divine countenance; wherefore, if thou thinkest I may behold it, shew me thy never-failing spirit.
Behold, O Arjuna, my million forms divine, of various species, and diverse shapes and colours. Behold the Āditya
, and the Vasus., and the Rūdras, and the Maruts, and the-twins Asvin and Kumar 9. Behold things wonderful, never seen before. Behold, in this my body,
the whole world animates and inanimate, and all things else thou hast a mind to see. But as thou art unable to see with· these thy natural eyes, I will give thee a heavenly eye, with which behold my divine connection.
The mighty compound and divine being Hari, having, O Raja, thus spoken, made evident unto Arjun his supreme and heavenly form; of many a mouth and eye; many a wondrous fight; many a heavenly· ornament; many an up-raised weapon; adorned with celestial robes and, chaplets; anointed with heavenly _essence; _ covered with every marvelous thing; the eternal God, - whose countenance is turned · on every side. The glory and amazing splendor of this mighty being may be likened to the sun rising at once into the heavens, with a thousand times more than usual brightness. The son of Pāṇḍu then beheld within the body of the God of Gods standing together, the whole universe divided forth into its vast variety. He was overwhelmed with wonder, and every hair was raised on end. He bowed down his head before the God, and thus addressed him with joined hands.
I behold, O God I within thy breast, the Devas assembled, and every specific tribe of beings. I see Brahma,
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that Deity sitting on his lotus-throne; all thesis and heavenly O" oragass9
I see thyself, on all sides, of infinite shape, formed with abundant arms, and bellies, mouths, and eyes; but I can neither discover thy beginning, thy middle, nor again thy end, O universal Lord, form of the universe I see thee with a crown, and armed with club and Chakra96, a mass of glory, darting refulgent beams around. I see thee, difficult to be seen shining on sides with light immeasurable, like the ardent fire or glorious sun.
Thou art the Supreme Being incorruptible and worthy to be known! Thou art prime supporter of the universal orb. I Thou art the never-failing and eternal guardian of religion. Thou art from all beginning, and. l esteem thee Puruṣa91. I see thee without beginning, without middle, and without end; of velour infinite; of arm innumerable; the sun and
the moon thy eyes; thy mouth a flaming fire, and the whole world shining with thy reflected. Glory. The space between the heavens and the earth is possessed by thee alone, and. every point around: the three regions of the Universe O mighty spirit l behold the wonders of thy awful countenance with troubled minds. Of the celestial bands, some I see fly to thee for refuge; whilst some afraid, with joined hands sing fort h thy praise.
The Mahaṛṣis, holy bands, hail thee, and glorify thy name with adorating praises. The Rūdras, the Ādityas, the Vasus, and all those beings the world esteemeth good; Asvin and Kumar, the Maruts and the Uṣmapas; the Gandharvas and the Yakṣas, with the holy tribes of Suras, all stand gazing on thee, and alike amazed. The worlds, alike with me, are terrified to behold thy wondrous form gigantic; with many mouths and eyes; with many arms, and legs, and breasts; with many bellies, and with rows of dreadful teeth. Thus, as I see thee, touching the heavens, and shining with such glory; of such various hues, with widely-opened mouths, an. d bright expanded eyes, I am disturbed within me; my resolution faileth me, O Vishnu and I find no rest. Having beholden thy dreadful, teeth, and gazed on thy countenance, emblem of Time’s last fire, I know not which way I turn I find no peace! Have mercy then, O God of Gods! thou mansion of the universe! The sons of Dhṛitarāshṭra, now, with all those rulers of the land, Bhīṣma, Drona, the son of Suta, and even the fronts of our army, seem to be precipitating themselves hastily into thy mouths discovering such frightful rows of teeth! Whilst some appear to stick between thy teeth with their bodies sorely mangled. As the rapid streams of full-flowing
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rivers roll on to meet the ocean's bed; even so these heroes of the ·human race rush on towards thy flaming mouths. As troops of insects with increasing speed seek their own destruction in the flaming fire; even so these people, with swelling fury, seek their own destruction. Thou involvest and swallowest them altogether, even unto the last, with thy flaming mouths; whilst the whole world is filled with thy glory, as thy awful beams, O Vishnu, shine forth on all sides! Reverence be unto thee, thou most exalted! Deign to make known unto me who is this God of awful figure! I am anxious to learn thy source, and ignorant of what thy presence here portendeth.
I am Time, the destroyer of mankind, matured, come hither to seize at once all these who stand before us. Except thyself 98 not one of all these warriors, destined against us in these numerous ranks, shall live. Wherefore, arise! seek honor and renown! defeat the foe, and enjoy the full-grown kingdom! They are already, as it were, destroyed by me. Be thou alone the immediate agent99. Be not disturbed I Kill Drona, and Bishma, and Jayadratha, and Karna, and all the other heroes of the
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war already killed by me. Fight! and thou shalt defeat thy rivals in the field.
S A N J A Y.
W h e n the trembling Arjun heard these words from. the mouth of Krishna, he saluted him with joined hands, and addressed him in broken accents, and bowed down terrified before him.
Hṛṣīkeśa the universe rejoiceth because of thy renown, and is filled with zeal for thy service. The evil spirits are terrified and flee on all sides; whilst the holy tribes bow down in adoration before thee. And wherefore should they not, O mighty Being! bow down before thee, who, greater than Brahma, art the prime Creator! eternal God- of Gods! the world’s mansion! Thou art the incorruptible Being, distinct from all things transient! Thou art before all Gods, the ancient Puruṣa, and the supreme supporter of the universe! Thou knowest all things, and art worthy to be known; thou art the supreme mansion, and by thee, O infinite form! the universe was spread abroad. Thou art Vāyu the God of wind; Agni the God of fire, Varuṇa the God of oceans, Śaśānka the moon, Prajāpati the God of nations, and Prapitāmaha
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the mighty ancestor. Reverence! Reverence be unto thee a thousand times repeated! Again, and again Reverence! Reverence be unto thee! Reverence be Un to thee before and behind! Reverence be unto thee on all sides, O thou who art overall! Infinite is thy power and thy glory! Thou includest all things, wherefore thou art all things! Having regarded thee as my friend, I forcibly called thee Krishna, Yadava, Friend! but, alas! I was ignorant of this thy greatness, because I was blinded by my affection and presumption. Thou hast, at times, also in sport been treated ill by me; in thy recreations, in thy bed, on thy chair, and at thy meals; in private and in public; for which, O Being inconceivable! I humbly crave thy forgiveness.
Thou art the father of all things animates and inanimate; thou art the sage instructor of the whole, worthy to be adored! There is non-e like unto thee; where then, in the three worlds, is there. one above thee? Wherefore I bow down; and, with my body prostrate upon the ground, crave thy mercy, Lord! worthy to be adored; for thou shouldst bear with me, even as a father with his son, a friend with his friend, a lover with his beloved. I am well pleased with having beheld things before never seen; yet my mind is overwhelmed with awful fear.
Have mercy, then, O heavenly Lord! O mansion of the universe! And shew n1e thy celestial form. I wish to behold thee with the diadem on thy head, and thy hands armed with the club and Chakra; assume then, O God of a thousand arms, image of the universe! thy four-armed form100.
Well pleased, O Arjuna, I have shewn thee, by my divine power, this my supreme form the universe in all its glory, infinite and eternal, which was never seen by anyone except thyself; for no one, O valiant Kuru! In the three worlds, except thyself, can such a fight of me obtain; nor by the Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor profound study; nor by charitable gifts, nor by deeds, nor by the most severe mortifications of the flesh. Having beholden my form, thus awful, be not disturbed, nor let thy faculties be cofounded. When thou art relieved from thy fears, and thy mind is restored to peace, then behold this my wondrous form again.
The son of Vasudeva having thus spoken unto Arjuna, shewed him again his natural form; and having re-affirmed his milder shape, he presently assuaged the fears of the affrighted Arjuna.
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Having beheld they placid human shape, I am again collected; my mind is no more disturbed, and I am once more returned to my natural state.
Thou hast beholden this my marvelous shape, so very difficult to be seen, which even the Devas are constantly anxious to behold. But I am not to be seen, as thou hast seen me, even by the assistance of the Vedas, by mortifications, by sacrifices, by charitable gifts; but I am to be seen, to be known in truth, and to be obtained by means of that worship which is offered up to me alone; and he goeth unto me whose works are done for me; who esteemeth me supreme; who is my servant only; who hath abandoned all consequences, and who liveth amongst all men without hatred.