Chapter 11The Vision of the Universal FormVerse 16


Sanskrit Vocal





Commentaries of the Four Authorized Vaisnava Sampradayas

as confirmed in the Garga Samhita Canto 10, Chapter 61, Verses 23, 24, 25, 26
Rudra Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Sridhara Swami's Commentary

In Lord Krishna's visvarupa or divine universal form was seen unlimited eyes and hands and bodies and forms on every side; but it was not possible to detect their end or their beginning and middle because the Supreme Lord is all pervading and infinite.

Brahma Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Madhvacarya's Commentary

The word aneka means infinitely innumerable. In Lord Krishna's visvarupa or divine universal form were seen multitudinous arms, faces, stomachs and eyes unlimitedly. The Supreme Lord has unlimited vision in past present and future. He is unlimited in every aspect conceivable. manifestations in many wonderful and phenomenal forms. The Rig Veda states that with His shoulders the Supreme Lord creates all gross material worlds and the three spaces between them. The Yajur Veda confirms this also.

The word visva denotes without any restrictions whatsoever being unlimited. Everything, everywhere regarding Lord Krishna is infinitely endless and complete in all manifestations and so are the unlimited arms, faces, stomachs and eyes of the Supreme Lord's visvarupa. The compound word ananta- rupam means innumerable are His forms and it also means that His forms are unlimited. The Yajur Veda states: The Supreme Lord Krishna is superior to the most supreme, greater then the total creation, the one without a second, the One who manifests all manifested forms unlimitedly. The Aditya Purana states that the Supreme Lords unlimited forms in material existence is manifested by prakriti or the material substratum pervading all physical existence. Prakriti being the representative of the Supreme Lord's material energy is thus without beginning, middle or end in all its activities.

The Supreme Lord Krishna and all of His Vedically authorised avataras or divine incarnations and expansions are fully saccidananda possessing eternal existence, unlimited cognizance and endless bliss. There is no limitation in any of His forms. They are never born neither are they capable of death. They manifest themselves into the material existence for a specific purpose and after a period of time they unmanifest themselves again.

Whatever manifestation of infinity there is outwards in external space the same manifestation of infinity is found inwards within the internal etheric heart where an infinitesimal portion of Lord Krishna, the ?tma or eternal soul resides of all sentient beings. By the medium of the ?tma all space including the universes sun and moon etc. are encompassed within including all the demigods such as the firegod Agni and the windgod Vayu. These things are not impossible because of the inconceivable power of the Supreme Lord. The Vishnu Purana states: Inconceivable indeed is the Supreme Lord power, so much so that it is not possible to resolve His inconceivability by argument or debate. This is because His inconceivability is transcendental to words, thoughts and even imagination. Never by reason can the possible or impossible lilas or divine pastimes of the Supreme Lord Krishna be explained by even the most refined intellect in a rational manner. Otherwise the conclusive evidence of Lord Krishna performing phenomenally impossible activities would give rise to erroneous inferences and bizarre conclusions negating His absolute, almighty paramount position as the Ultimate cause and goal of all existence. It would be like someone attempting to explain a lighting bolt based upon the sound of thunder. One sometimes hears philosophers and intellectuals speak about that when transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord are found in even minuscule proportions within jivas or embodied beings there is contradiction; but this is no way constitutes any defect in the Supreme Lord. Such transcendental qualities found in jivas may seem to appear to contradict each other from the material vision of one who is unaware of the actual tattva or conclusive truth. But all seemingly contradictions are harmoniously established within the Supreme Lord and any contradictions perceived in others is completely dependent upon their capacity to delegate these qualities and also on the level of consciousness of the perceiver. It is only a mater of poetic licence to use the words madhyan or middle in the verse as the words na adim meaning no beginning and na antam meaning no end clearly includes whatever is between. The Supreme Lord Krishnas visvarupa is His divine universal form and is not of the form of the universe which is situated within it like a speck of light. He possesses infinite forms which are all unlimited. As all His forms are eternal they are without any ending and thus they are always unlimited.

Sri Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Ramanuja's Commentary

Everywhere from every angle of vision could be seen infinite amounts of unlimited arms, stomachs, faces, and eyes. The word visvesvara means Lord of the universe and visvarupa the divine universal form denotes the Supreme Lord to whom all the cosmos is part of His transcendental body. As the Supreme Lord Krishna is ananta or endless it is understandable that He has no beginning, middle or end and this was perceived by Arjuna.

Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya:


Kesava Kasmiri's Commentary

Addressed as visvesvara or controller of the universe within the visvarupa or divine universal form of Lord Krishna was beheld infinite forms with unlimited arms, stomachs, faces and eyes extending in all directions. As He is infinite He has no beginning, middle or end.

Thus ends commentaries of chapter 11, verse 16 of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

Verse 16

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