Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 15, Verse 12

यदादित्यगतं तेजो जगद्भासयतेऽखिलम् |
यच्चन्द्रमसि यच्चाग्नौ तत्तेजो विद्धि मामकम् || 12||

yad āditya-gataṁ tejo jagad bhāsayate ’khilam
yach chandramasi yach chāgnau tat tejo viddhi māmakam

yatwhich; āditya-gatamin the sun; tejaḥbrilliance; jagatsolar system; bhāsayateilluminates; akhilamentire; yatwhich; chandramasiin the moon; yatwhich; chaalso; agnauin the fire; tatthat; tejaḥbrightness; viddhiknow; māmakammine

Translation

BG 15.12: Know that I am like the brilliance of the sun that illuminates the entire solar system. The radiance of the moon and the brightness of the fire also come from me.

Commentary

Our human nature is such that we are attracted toward what we feel is significant. By regarding the body, spouse, children, and wealth as significant, we become attracted to them. In these verses, Shree Krishna reveals that it is his energy which manifests in all significant things in creation. He says he is responsible for the effulgence of the sun. Scientists estimate that the sun emits every second as much energy as millions of nuclear power plants. It has been doing so since billions of years, and yet it has neither got depleted, nor has anything gone wrong in its processes. To think that such an amazing celestial body as the sun came into being by random probability, as a result of a big bang, is naive. The sun is what it is by the glory of God.

Similarly, the moon performs an amazing function by lighting up the night sky. Through mundane intellect, we may conclude scientifically that the moonshine just happens to exist because of the reflection of the sun’s light. However, this amazing arrangement has been brought into place by God’s opulence, and the moon is one of the many manifestations of God’s vibhūtis (opulences). In this context, there is a story in the Kenopaniṣhad. It relates that there was a prolonged war between the devatās (celestial gods) and the daityas (demons residing in the nether regions), in which the devatās finally won. However, their victory led to pride and they began thinking they had secured it by their own prowess. To destroy their pride, God manifested as a yakṣha (a kind of semi-celestial being), and situated himself in the celestial sky. His form was exceedingly effulgent. Indra, the king of heaven, first spotted him and was astonished to see that a mere yakṣha was more effulgent than him. He sent Agni, the fire god to inquire about him. Agni went to the yakṣha and said, “I am the fire god, and I possess the power of burning the entire universe to ashes in a moment. Now please reveal who you are.” God, in the form of the yakṣha, put a blade of straw in front and said, “Please burn this.” Seeing it, Agni began laughing, “Will this puny blade of grass be any test for my unlimited power?” However, when Agni lunged forward to burn it, God switched his power source off from inside him. Poor Agni himself began shivering with cold; where is the question of burning anything else? He returned to Indra, embarrassed at his failure in the assigned task.

Indra then sent Vayu, the wind god to inquire into the personality of the yakṣha. Vayu went and announced, “I am the wind god and, if I wish, in a moment I can turn the whole world upside down. Now you please reveal who you are.” Again, God, in the form of the yakṣha, put the piece of straw in front of him and requested, “Please turn this over.” Seeing the straw, Vayu chuckled. He moved ahead with great speed, but in the meantime God switched off his energy source too. Poor Vayu found it extremely difficult even to drag his own feet; where was the question of turning anything else over? Finally, Indra went himself, to determine who the yakṣha was. However, when Indra came, God disappeared, and in his place, his divine Yogmaya power, Uma, was seated. When Indra inquired from her about the yakṣha, Uma replied, “He was your Supreme Father, from whom all of you celestial gods derive your strength. He had come to destroy your pride.”