Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda


Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) — Chapter XI: 23-24

August 14, 2019

™daṁṣṭrākarālāni ca te mukhāni
  dṛṣṭvai ’va kālānalasannibhāni
diśo na jāne na labhe ca śarma
  prasīda deveśa jagannivāsa (XI-25)

™amī ca tvāṁ dhṛtarāṣṭrasya putrāḥ
  sarve sahai ’vā ’vanipālasaṅghaiḥ
bhīṣmo droṇaḥ sūtaputras tathā ’sau
  sahā ’smadīyair api yodhamukhyaiḥ (XI-26)

™vaktrāṇi te tvaramāṇā viśanti
  daṁṣṭrākarālāni bhayānakāni
kecid vilagnā daśanāntareṣu
  saṁdṛśyante cūrṇitair uttamāṅgaiḥ (XI-27)

XI/25. Having seen thy mouths fearful with teeth (blazing) like the fires of cosmic dissolution, I know not the four quarters, nor do I find peace. Have mercy, O Lord of the gods, O abode of the universe.

XI/26. All the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, with the hosts of kings of the earth, Bhīṣma,
Droṇa and Karṇa, with the chief among our warriors,

XI/27. They hurriedly enter into thy mouths with terrible teeth and fearful to behold. Some are found sticking in the gaps between the teeth with their heads crushed to powder.

Swamiji's Commentary

      This ‘fearful mouth’ is all-changing time – as revealed in verse 32. Here we are only concerned with Arjuna’s vision.

      ‘I know not the four quarters’ means that space seems to lose its spatiality, for the mind and the intellect, when confronted with the cosmic vision, stand still. East, west, north and south are arbitrary creations of man for his own orientation. ‘Above’ and ‘below’ are merely relative. These words have no meaning in limitless space where there is no floor or ceiling. When the divine eye perceives the cosmic being, the intellect is awakened to its own limitations, and man, who derives his sense of security from the creations of ignorance, suddenly finds himself in a state of divine insecurity. If even this earth is a pin-point in the cosmos which does not respond to the human sense of direction, what else can man rely upon? There is a momentary doubting restlessness, which, however, is removed by realisation of the cosmic consciousness.

      Even the time-sense is blurred in this vision. Arjuna, with his divine eye, sees even at this stage, the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra entering death. It is a known fact that the light of the distant star we see today left it hundreds years ago; and something is happening there at this very moment which will be revealed to our limited vision only in the far future. Thus, elsewhere, the present is past and the future is already present!

 

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