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Manifestation of the Absolute

Chapter 10

Lord Krishna said: O Arjuna, listen once again to My supreme word that I shall speak to you, who are very dear to Me, for your welfare. (10.01)


Neither the celestial controllers nor the great sages know My origin because I am the origin of celestial controllers and great sages also. (10.02)

One who knows Me as the unborn, the beginningless, and the Supreme Lord of the universe, is considered wise among mortals and becomes liberated from the bondage of Karma. (10.03)

Intellect, knowledge, non-delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control over the mind and senses, tranquility, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, contentment, austerity, charity, fame, ill fame---these diverse qualities in human beings arise from Me alone. (10.04-05)

If you forgive others, God will also forgive you. Resist no evil with evil. Love your enemies, and pray for those who mistreat you. One should control anger toward the wrong-doer. The controlled anger itself punishes the wrong-doer if the wrong-doer does not ask forgiveness (MB 5.36.05). One who does wrong is destroyed by the same act of wrong doing if he or she does not ask forgiveness (MS 2.163). One who unconditionally forgives others is happy because the anger of the forgiver is exterminated. Progress in spiritual discipline is impeded if one's interpersonal relationship is full of hurt and negative feeling, even for a single living entity. Therefore, one must learn to forgive and to ask forgiveness.

Even virtue has its own vice. Forgiveness may often be construed as a sign of weakness; therefore, clemency is the strength of the strong and a virtue for the weak. A person should be forgiven if he or she has sincerely asked forgiveness, if it is the first offense, if the offense was not intentional, and if the offender has been helpful in the past. The tool of punishment may be used ---without any feeling of revenge---to correct and teach intentional and repeated offenders.

The conduct of the saint with divine qualities and the sinner with demonic qualities is analogous to that of the sandal tree and the axe. The axe cuts down the tree, but the fragrant sandal imparts its perfume to the very axe that cut it. A saint forgives the sinner thinking that its sinner’s nature and he or she can’t do otherwise. (TR 7.36.04).

The seven great sages and also four Manus from whom all the creatures of the world were born originated from My mental power. (10.06)

One who truly understands My manifestations and yogic powers, is united with Me by unswerving devotion. There is no doubt about it. (10.07)

I am the origin of all. Everything evolves from Me. The wise who understand this worship Me with love and devotion. (10.08)

That which is One has become this all (RV 8.58.02).

My devotees remain ever content and delighted. Their minds remain absorbed in Me and their lives surrendered unto My Will. They always enlighten each other by talking about Me. (10.09)

Devotees are the well wishers of everyone and help others to advance on the spiritual path.


I give the powers of analysis and reasoning to understand the metaphysical science---to those who are ever united with Me and lov­ingly contemplate Me---by which they come to Me. (10.10)

We are given powers of analysis and reasoning (Viveka) that can be used to understand the metaphysical science or Self-knowledge.

I, who dwell within their inner psyche as consciousness, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the shining lamp of transcendental knowledge as an act of compassion for them. (10.11)

All other forms of Krishna can be achieved by different means of worship, but Krishna Himself can be achieved only by devotion and exclusive love. The lamp of spiritual knowledge and God-realization can be easily ignited by the intense spark of devotion, but never by in­tellect and logic alone.

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Being, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal Being, the primal god, the unborn, and the omnipresent. All saints and sages have thus acclaimed You, and now You Yourself are telling me that. (10.12-13)


O Krishna, I believe all that You have told me to be true. O Lord, nei­ther the celestial controllers nor the demons fully know Your manifestation. (See also 4.06) (10.14)

O Creator and Lord of all beings, God of all celestial rulers, the Supreme person, and Lord of the universe, only You know Yourself by Yourself. (10.15)

The Vedas left the final question of the origin of ul­timate Reality unanswered by stating that nobody knows the ultimate source from where this creation has come. Sages went further by stating that perhaps even He does not know (RV 10.129.06-07). One who says that I know God does not know; one who knows the Truth says that I do not know. God is the unknown to a person of true knowledge; only the ignorant claim to know God (KeU 2.01-03). The ultimate source of cosmic energy is and will remain a big mystery. Any specific description of God, including a description of heaven and hell, is nothing but a mental speculation.

Therefore, only You are able to fully describe Your own divine glo­ries or the manifestations by which You exist pervading all the universes. (10.16)

How may I know You, O Lord, constantly contemplating on You? In what form of manifestation are You to be thought of by me, O Lord? (10.17)

O Lord, explain to me again, in detail, Your yogic power and glory because I am not satiated by hearing Your nectar-like words. (10.18)


Lord Krishna said: O Arjuna, now I shall explain to you My prominent divine manifestations because My manifestations are end­less. (10.19)

O Arjuna, I am the Supreme Spirit (or Supersoul) abiding in the inner psyche of all beings as soul (Atma). I am also the creator, maintainer, and destroyer---or the beginning, the middle, and the end---of all beings. (10.20)

Spirit has no origin and is a property of the Supreme Being, just as sunlight is a property of the sun (BS 2.03.17). The Supreme Being and Spirit are like sun and sunlight, different as well as non-different (BS 3.02.28). Within living beings, Spirit is the controller. Spirit is different from the physical body, just as fire is different from wood.

The senses, mind, and intellect cannot know Spirit or universal consciousness because the senses, mind, and intellect get their power to function from Spirit alone (KeU 1.06). Spirit supplies power and supports the senses, just as air burns and supports fire (MB 12.203.03). Spirit is the basis and support behind every form of power, movement, intellect, and life in this universe. It is the power by which one sees, hears, smells, thinks, loves, hates, and de­sires objects.

I am the Vishnu. I am the radiant sun among the luminaries; I am the controller of wind; I am the moon among the stars. (10.21)

I am the Vedas. I am the celestial rulers. I am the mind among the senses; I am the consciousness in living be­ings. (10.22)

I am Lord Shiva. I am the god of wealth; I am the god of fire and the mountains. (10.23)

I am the chief of priests and the army general of the celestial controllers, O Arjuna. I am the ocean among the bodies of water. (10.24)

I am the great sage, Bhrigu. I am the monosyllable cosmic sound ‘AUM’ among words; I am the silent repetition of mantra (Japa) among the spiritual disciplines, and I am the Himalaya among the mountains. (10.25)

A constant chanting of a mantra or any holy name of God is considered by saints and sages of all religions to be the easiest and most powerful method of Self-realization in the present age. The practice of this spiritual discipline with faith will drive sound vibrations into the deeper layers of mind where it works like a damper in preventing the rise of waves of negative thoughts and ideas, leading the way to inner awakening in due course of time. Meditation is the extended and higher stage of this process. One must first practice this before going into transcendental meditation. Swami Harihar says: There should be no desire to gain any worldly objects in exchange for the repetition of the divine name. The spiritual force of the divine name should not be applied even for the destruction of sin. It should be resorted to for divine re­alization only.

The form of the Lord cannot be known nor compre­hended by the human mind without a name. If one chants or meditates on the name without seeing the form, the form flashes on the screen of the mind as an object of love. Saint Tulasidasa said: Place the lamp of the name of the Lord near the door of your tongue if you want the light both inside and outside. The name of God is greater than both impersonal and personal aspects of God because the power of the name has control over both aspects of God. It is said that the best of all spiritual efforts is to always remember and repeat the name of God.

I am the holy fig tree among the trees, Narada among the sages, and I am all other celestial rulers. (10.26)

Know Me as the celestial animals among the animals and the King among men. I am the thunderbolt among weapons, and I am Cupid for procreation. (10.27-28)

I am the water-god and the manes. I am the controller of death. I am the time or death among the healers, lion among the beasts, and the king of birds among birds. (10.29-30)

I am the wind among the purifiers and Lord Rama among the warri­ors. I am the crocodile among the sea creatures and the holy Ganga river among the rivers. (10.31)

I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of all creation, O Arjuna. Among knowledge I am knowledge of the supreme Self. I am logic of the logician. (10.32)

I am the letter ‘A’ among the alphabets. I am the dual compound among the compound words. I am endless time. I am the sustainer, and I am omniscient. (10.33)

I am the all-devouring death and also the origin of future beings. I am the seven goddesses or guardian angels presiding over the seven qualities---fame, prosperity, speech, memory, in­tellect, resolve, and forgiveness. (10.34)

I am the Vedic and other hymns. I am the mantras; I am November-December among the months, I am spring among the seasons. (10.35)

I am gambling of the cheats, splendor of the splendid, victory of the victorious, resolution of the resolute, and goodness of the good. (10.36)

Both good and bad are the product of divine power (Maya). Maya creates a multitude of merits and demerits that have no real existence. The wise do not attach too much importance to it. One should develop good qualities and get rid of bad ones. After enlightenment, both good and bad, virtue and vice, are transcended, just as darkness vanishes after the sunrise. Vice and virtue are not two things, but one, the difference being only the degree of manifestation. It is true that God also dwells in the most sinful beings, but it is not proper to hate them or associate with them. Gandhi said: Hate the sin and not the sinner.

One should view the marvelous cosmic drama, full of pairs of opposites in life, with ever-joyous heart because there is no good or evil, only different masks of the cosmic actor. The scriptures de­nounce the idea of growing rich by unfair means, such as gambling, gifts, and bribes. They recommend honest labor, sweat of the brow, such as cultivating a cornfield, that is good for society as well as the in­dividual (RV 10.34.13).

I am Krishna, Vyasa, Arjuna, and the power of rulers, the statesmanship of the seekers of victory. I am silence among secrets and Self-knowledge of the Jnani (10.37-38)

I am the origin of all beings, O Arjuna. There is nothing, ani­mate or inanimate, that can exist without Me. (See also 7.10 and 9.18) (10.39)

A big tree---with many branches, leaves, flow­ers, fruits, and seeds---remains inside a tiny seed in unmanifest form and becomes manifest again and again into a tree. The tree again be­comes unmanifest into the seed. Similarly all manifestations remain in the Absolute in unmanifest form and become manifest during creation and unmanifest during dissolution again and again. The fruit remains hidden in the seed and the seed in the fruit; similarly God is in human beings and human beings in God.


There is no end of My divine manifestations, O Arjuna. This is only a brief description by Me of the extent of My divine manifestations. (10.40)

The variety in the universe, from the highest celestial controllers to the smallest insects and even the inert dust, is nothing but a manifestation of One and the same Absolute.

Whatever is endowed with glory, brilliance, and power---know that to be a manifestation of a very small fraction of My splendor. (10.41)

Through His cosmic sound vibration, God made all things; not one thing in creation was made without His cosmic energy. This cosmic manifestation is non-separate from the Absolute just as sunshine is not separate from the sun (BP 4.31.16). The entire creation is a partial revelation and part and parcel of the Infinite. The divine manifests its glory through creation. The beauty and splendor of the visible universe are only a small fraction of His glory.

What is the need for this detailed knowledge, O Arjuna? I continually support the entire universe by a very small fraction of My divine power. (10.42)

Quantitatively, manifest creation is a very small fraction of the Absolute. The universe reflects the divine splen­dor for human beings to see the invisible Lord. One should learn to perceive God, not only as a person or vision, but also through His splendor as manifested in the universe and through His laws that govern and control nature and life. He is existence, goodness, and beauty.


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