This chapter is narrated by Lord Krishna to help Arjun meditate on God by reflecting upon his magnificent and resplendent glories. In chapter nine, Shree Krishna revealed the science of bhakti, or loving devotion, and described some of his opulences. Here, he expounds further on his infinite glories, with the desire to increase Arjun’s bhakti. These verses are pleasing to read and enchanting to hear.
Shree Krishna reveals that he is the source of everything that exists. The varieties of qualities of humans arise from him. The seven great Sages, the four great Saints, and the fourteen Manus were born from his mind, and from them all people in the world have descended. Those who know that everything proceeds from him engage in his devotion with great faith. Such devotees derive great satisfaction in conversing about his glories and enlightening others about him. Since their minds are united with him, he dwelling within their hearts gives the divine knowledge by which they can easily attain him.
Upon hearing him, Arjun declares that he is convinced entirely about Shree Krishna’s paramount position, and proclaims him to be the Supreme Divine Personality. He requests the Lord to further describe his divine glories that are like nectar to hear. Shree Krishna reveals that since he is the beginning, middle, and end of all things, everything that exists is a manifestation of his powers. He is the infinite reservoir of beauty, glory, power, knowledge, and opulence. Whenever we observe extraordinary splendor anywhere, whatever catches our imagination, sends us in raptures, and infuses us with bliss, we should know it to be but a spark of the opulence of God. He is the powerhouse from where all beings and things get their magnificence. For the remaining portion of the chapter, he goes on to describe the objects, personalities, and activities that best display his opulence. Finally, he concludes by saying that the magnitude of his glory cannot be judged by the sum total of what he has described, for he upholds unlimited universes in a fraction of his being. Thus, we must make God, who is the source of all glory, the object of our worship.
The Blessed Lord said: Listen again to my divine teachings, O mighty armed one. Desiring your welfare because you are my beloved friend, I shall reveal them to you.
Neither celestial gods nor the great sages know my origin. I am the source from which the gods and great seers come.
Those who know me as unborn and beginningless, and as the Supreme Lord of the universe, they among mortals are free from illusion and released from all evils.
From me alone arise the varieties in the qualities amongst humans, such as intellect, knowledge, clarity of thought, forgiveness, truthfulness, control over the senses and mind, joy and sorrow, birth and death, fear and courage, non-violence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame, and infamy.
The seven great Sages, the four great Saints before them, and the fourteen Manus, are all born from my mind. From them, all the people in the world have descended.
Those who know in truth my glories and divine powers become united with me through unwavering bhakti yog. Of this there is no doubt.
I am the origin of all creation. Everything proceeds from me. The wise who know this perfectly worship me with great faith and devotion.
With their minds fixed on me and their lives surrendered to me, my devotees remain ever contented in me. They derive great satisfaction and bliss in enlightening one another about me, and conversing about my glories.
To those whose minds are always united with me in loving devotion, I give the divine knowledge by which they can attain me.
Out of compassion for them, I, who dwell within their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance, with the luminous lamp of knowledge.
Arjun said: You are the Supreme Divine Personality, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal God, the Primal Being, the Unborn, and the Greatest. The great sages, like Narad, Asit, Deval, and Vyas, proclaimed this, and now you are declaring it to me yourself.
O Krishna, I totally accept everything you have told me as the truth. O Lord, neither gods nor the demons can understand your true personality.
Indeed, you alone know yourself by your inconceivable energy, O Supreme Personality, the Creator and Lord of all beings, the God of gods, and the Lord of the universe!
Please describe to me your divine opulences, by which you pervade all the worlds and reside in them. O Supreme Master of Yog, how may I know you and think of you. And while meditating, in what forms can I think of you, O Supreme Divine Personality?
Tell me again in detail your divine glories and manifestations, O Janardan. I can never tire of hearing your nectar.
The Blessed Lord spoke: I shall now briefly describe my divine glories to you, O best of the Kurus, for there is no end to their detail.
O Arjun, I am seated in the heart of all living entities. I am the beginning, middle, and end of all beings.
Amongst the twelve sons of Aditi I am Vishnu; amongst luminous objects I am the sun. Know me to be Marichi amongst the Maruts, and the moon amongst the stars in the night sky.
I am the Sāma Veda amongst the Vedas, and Indra amongst the celestial gods. Amongst the senses I am the mind; amongst the living beings I am consciousness.
Amongst the Rudras know me to be Shankar; amongst the demons I am Kuber. I am Agni amongst the Vasus and Meru amongst the mountains.
O Arjun, amongst priests I am Brihaspati; amongst warrior chiefs I am Kartikeya; and amongst reservoirs of water know me to be the ocean.
I am Bhrigu amongst the great seers and the transcendental Om amongst sounds. Amongst chants know me to be the repetition of the Holy Name; amongst immovable things I am the Himalayas.
Amongst trees I am the banyan tree; of the celestial sages I am Narad. Amongst the Gandharvas I am Chitrath, and amongst the siddhas I am the sage Kapil.
Amongst horses know me to be Ucchaihshrava, begotten from the churning of the ocean of nectar. I am Airavata amongst all lordly elephants, and the king amongst humans.
I am the Vajra (thunderbolt) amongst weapons and Kamadhenu amongst the cows. I am Kaamdev, the god of love, amongst all causes for procreation; amongst serpents I am Vasuki.
Amongst the snakes I am Anant; amongst aquatics I am Varun. Amongst the departed ancestors I am Aryama; amongst dispensers of law I am Yamraj, the lord of death.
I am Prahlad amongst the demons; amongst all that controls I am time. Know me to be the lion amongst animals, and Garud amongst the birds.
Amongst purifiers I am the wind, and amongst wielders of weapons I am Lord Ram. Of water creatures I am the crocodile, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.
O Arjun, know me to be the beginning, middle, and end of all creation. Amongst sciences I am the science of spirituality, and in debates I am the logical conclusion.
I am the beginning “A” amongst all letters; I am the dual word in grammatical compounds. I am the endless Time, and amongst creators I am Brahma.
I am the all-devouring Death, and I am the origin of those things that are yet to be. Amongst feminine qualities I am fame, prosperity, fine speech, memory, intelligence, courage, and forgiveness.
Amongst the hymns in the Sāma Veda know me to be the Brihatsama; amongst poetic meters I am the Gayatri. Of the twelve months of the Hindu calendar I am Margsheersh, and of seasons I am spring, which brings forth flowers.
I am the gambling of the cheats and the splendor of the splendid. I am the victory of the victorious, the resolve of the resolute, and the virtue of the virtuous.
Amongst the descendants of Vrishni, I am Krishna, and amongst the Pandavas I am Arjun. Know me to be Ved Vyas amongst the sages, and Shukracharya amongst the great thinkers.
I am just punishment amongst means of preventing lawlessness, and proper conduct amongst those who seek victory. Amongst secrets I am silence, and in the wise I am their wisdom.
I am the generating seed of all living beings, O Arjun. No creature moving or non-moving can exist without me.
There is no end to my divine manifestations, O conqueror of enemies. What I have declared to you is a mere sample of my infinite glories.
Whatever you see as beautiful, glorious, or powerful, know it to spring from but a spark of my splendor.
What need is there for all this detailed knowledge, O Arjun? Simply know that by one fraction of my being, I pervade and support this entire creation.