Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Song of God (Bhagavad Gita) — Chapter XI: 8

August 5, 2022

™na tu māṁ śakyase draṣṭum anenai ’va svacakṣuṣā
divyaṁ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaraṁ (XI-8)

XI/8. But thou art not able to behold me with these, thine own eyes; I give thee the divine eye; behold my lordly yoga.

Swamiji's Commentary

      These physical eyes of ours are useless beyond a certain very limited range of the spectrum. We cannot see what the microscope or the telescope sees. We cannot see what the X-ray sees. Hence, neither the "severally all" nor the "underlying one" is within the field of our physical vision. We are able to see only a few of the several and the one is, of course, beyond the limits of our visualization. This is not because of the insufficiency or inefficiency of the "light within," but because of the limitation of the senses themselves. Helen Keller was able to enjoy the beauty of a flower, though she was blind from a very early age.

    It is an incontrovertible fact that the divine eye potentially exists in us, whether or not the pineal gland is the atrophied remnant of this divine eye (the third eye), or, whether or not it lies at the center of the eyebrows. The brain-center or "sixth sense" enables us to visualize, with closed eyes, a scene not present before us. That is the divine eye which is far beyond all our present concepts of extra-sensory perception. That light is still available and active, even when this brain-center is "closed."

    As we shall presently see, this "sense" is able to transcend space and time, and cannot be adequately explained. There is not even a need for explanations, since this is and can only be God's gift ("I give thee"). As long as the "I" functions, the divine eye remains closed. When the non-existence of the "I" is directly realized, the divine eye perceives all as the divine. This divine eye is not an organ, but the realization of the divine.

    Yogamaishvaram in the text has been translated as "lordly yoga." Yoga is union. Ishvara's yoga is the immediate union of the reality and the appearance, the one and the many - which is and shall ever be a divine mystery to the little "I."

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