Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) — Chapter XI: 18-19

August 10, 2018

™tvam akṣaraṁ paramaṁ veditavyaṁ
tvam asya viśvasya paraṁ nidhānaṁ
tvam avyayaḥ śāśvatadharmagoptā
sanātanas tvaṁ puruṣo mato me (XI-18)

™anādimadhyāntam anantavīryam
anantabāhuṁ śasisūryanetraṁ
paśyāmi tvāṁ dīptahutāśavaktraṁ
svatejasā viśvam idaṁ tapantaṁ  (XI-19)

XI/18. Thou art the imperishable, the supreme being, who should be known. Thou art the great treasure-house of this universe; thou art the imperishable protector of the eternal dharma; thou art the ancient person, I deem.

XI/19. I see thee without beginning, middle or end, infinite in power, of endless arms, the sun and the moon being thine eyes, the burning fire thy mouth, heating the whole universe with thy radiance.


Swamiji's Commentary

     God is the inexhaustible treasure-house of this universe for the very simple reason that nothing in him is ever destroyed! There is and can only be change of form or mutation. That, in fact, is the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘naṣ’ – to become invisible. We call it‘destruction’ for it suits our limited vision and understanding; “what I cannot see does not exist!”

      Arjuna’s experience here supports the ‘continuous creation’ or ‘steady state’ theory in regard to the universe. God’s nature (the vast universe) becomes partly manifest and that manifestation later becomes unmanifest. It does not in any way alter the quantum of his nature which remains constant. As scientists are saying nowadays, the distribution of the galaxies today is the same as it was millions of years ago and will be the same millions of years hence; they may change place or form (though in infinite space such expressions have no real meaning), but essentially they will remain the same.

     ‘The sun and the moon being thine eyes’ and the subsequent descriptions in verse 19 make us wonder: are we actually seeing parts of God’s infinite body and calling it the universe with its diverse classes of existence? Krishna’s friends were once entering the mouth of a python, saying: “Look at this mountain-cave; does it not look like the mouth of a python?” Are we making the same mistake? When actually looking at the cosmic form of the Lord, are we saying: “Look at the sun and the moon, they are like the two eyes of the Lord.”? They are, perhaps, his eyes!

Back to Daily Readings