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Inane Interpolations In Bhagvad-Gita - 12

PART 12

Chapter - 11: Vishvarupa-sandarsanaYoga

This 55 verses chapter is about the Omnipresence of the Supreme Spirit, and owing to the improbability of their being, v9-v14, make an amusing reading. V3 states that Krishna grants Arjuna the divine sight required to espy Vishvarupa (His Universal Form). Of course, the ESP that Vyāsa granted Sanjaya (Ch18, V75) was to enable him to monitor the goings on at the battleground in order to appraise Dhrutarāshtra the blind king about the same.

Thus, only from Arjuna’s averments could have Sanjaya gathered what he (Arjuna) was divining of the Vishvarupa, which obviously was beyond his (Sanjaya’s) own espial. But v9-v14 would have him talk about the Vishvarupa as if he himself was witnessing the same, even before Arjuna uttered a word about it. However, v29 which seeks to emphasize what was already pictured in v28, albeit with an unnecessary as well as an inferior, though not silly, simile is but an interpolation.

Having heard about the Glories of the Supreme from Krishna in the previous chapter, Arjuna said –

Ch11, V4

If Thou so feel, I’m worthy
Let me espy, Thy True Self.

manyase yadi tach chhakyaṁ mayā draṣhṭum iti prabho
yogeśhvara tato me tvaṁ darśhayātmānam avyayam

At that Krishna said –

Ch11, V5

Divine I let thee, divinity Mine      
Of hues varied colours ’n kinds.

paśhya me pārtha rūpāṇi śhataśho ’tha sahasraśhaḥ
nānā-vidhāni divyāni nānā-varṇākṛitīni cha  
Ch11, V6

Find Adityās, twelve therein 
Vāsus eight, and Aswin twins 
Rudrās eleven ’n Maruts four-nine
Wonders umpteen none else seen.

paśhyādityān vasūn rudrān aśhvinau marutas tathā
bahūny adṛiṣhṭa-pūrvāṇi paśhyāśhcharyāṇi bhārata

 

Ch11, V7

May thou discern in My frame  
Much more than thy thought would take.

ihaika-sthaṁ jagat kṛitsnaṁ paśhyādya sa-charācharam
mama dehe guḍākeśha yach chānyad draṣhṭum ichchhasi

Ch11, V8

Bestow thee that ESP 
Helps which espy form Supreme 
Beyond the pale of god’s own sight.

na tu māṁ śhakyase draṣhṭum anenaiva sva-chakṣhuṣhā
divyaṁ dadāmi te chakṣhuḥ paśhya me yogam aiśhwaram

As already discussed at the beginning of this chapter, in spite of his inability to espy the Vishvarupa, and before Arjuna had uttered a word about it, Sanjaya went on describing it as if he himself was espying it.

V9

evam uktvā tato rājan mahā-yogeśhvaro hariḥ
darśhayām āsa pārthāya paramaṁ rūpam aiśhwaram

O King, then having spoken this, Hari, the great Yogeshwara, showed the supreme form of Ishvara to Paartha.

V10

aneka-vaktra-nayanam anekādbhuta-darśhanam
aneka-divyābharaṇaṁ divyānekodyatāyudham

With several faces and eyes, showing several marvellous sights, wearing several divine

ornaments, armed with several divine uplifted weapons.

V11

divya-mālyāmbara-dharaṁ divya-gandhānulepanam          
sarvāśhcharya-mayaṁ devam anantaṁ viśhvato-mukham

Wearing divine garlands and clothes, anointed with divine fragrances, all of these wonderful (sights) were shining and infinite, with faces on all sides.

V12

divi sūrya-sahasrasya bhaved yugapad utthitā
yadi bhāḥ sadṛiśhī sā syād bhāsas tasya mahātmanaḥ

Should thousands of suns happen to rise in the sky simultaneously, their blaze would resemble the light of that magnificent one.

V13

tatraika-sthaṁ jagat kṛitsnaṁ pravibhaktam anekadhā
apaśhyad deva-devasya śharīre pāṇḍavas tadā

Then, the Paandava saw the entire universe with many divisions located in one place in the body of that lord of lords.

V14

tataḥ sa vismayāviṣhṭo hṛiṣhṭa-romā dhanañjayaḥ
praṇamya śhirasā devaṁ kṛitāñjalir abhāṣhata

Thereafter, filled with bewilderment, his hair standing on end, Dhananjaya, with folded hands, bowed his head to the lord and began to speak.

In view of Sanjaya’s ‘visual’ limitations, this amusing account of his is improbable for its ever happening on two more counts –

Having seen Vishvarupa, Arjuna described it in similar terms and more that is after Sanjaya gave him the mike

Ch11,V15

In Thou find I 
Brahma on lotus, 
Gods and sages   
Beings ’n serpents!

paśhyāmi devāns tava deva dehe
sarvāns tathā bhūta-viśheṣha-saṅghān
brahmāṇam īśhaṁ kamalāsana-stham
ṛiṣhīnśh cha sarvān uragānśh cha divyān

Ch11,V16

With no beginning
End none sighted,
Boundless find I
In Thee universe!

aneka-bāhūdara-vaktra-netraṁ                                
paśhyāmi tvāṁ sarvato ’nanta-rūpam
nāntaṁ na madhyaṁ na punas tavādiṁ
paśhyāmi viśhveśhvara viśhva-rūpa

Ch11,V17

Find I blinding
Light that blazing 
From Thy diadem  
Club and discus!

kirīṭinaṁ gadinaṁ chakriṇaṁ cha
tejo-rāśhiṁ sarvato dīptimantam
paśhyāmi tvāṁ durnirīkṣhyaṁ samantād
dīptānalārka-dyutim aprameyam

So on, and

Ch11,V31

Who art Thou, this Terrible Thing! 
For what avail, mission this Thine!! 
Gripped now am with urge to know.

ākhyāhi me ko bhavān ugra-rūpo
namo ’stu te deva-vara prasīda
vijñātum ichchhāmi bhavantam ādyaṁ
na hi prajānāmi tava pravṛittim

Then, Krishna averred:

Ch11, V47

As thou please Me, so I’ve shown
Form My Endless, none else seen.

mayā prasannena tavārjunedaṁ
rūpaṁ paraṁ darśhitam ātma-yogāt
tejo-mayaṁ viśhvam anantam ādyaṁ
yan me tvad anyena na dṛiṣhṭa-pūrvam

Ch11, V48

Take to penance
Or pore over four Vedas  
None that helps to see this Form.

na veda-yajñādhyayanair na dānair
na cha kriyābhir na tapobhir ugraiḥ
evaṁ-rūpaḥ śhakya ahaṁ nṛi-loke
draṣhṭuṁ tvad anyena kuru-pravīra

Ch11, V49

Having beheld My bewildering Form
Now ease with My Form Normal.

mā te vyathā mā cha vimūḍha-bhāvo
dṛiṣhṭvā rūpaṁ ghoram īdṛiṅ mamedam
vyapeta-bhīḥ prīta-manāḥ punas tvaṁ
tad eva me rūpam idaṁ prapaśhya

Then Krishna added,

Ch11, V52

Ever craved gods ’n angels too

Just to behold what thee beheld.

su-durdarśham idaṁ rūpaṁ dṛiṣhṭavān asi yan mama
devā apy asya rūpasya nityaṁ darśhana-kāṅkṣhiṇaḥ

Ch11, V53

Austerities well Vedic grasp
Charity, as well ritual regimen  
Get none to what thou had seen.

nāhaṁ vedair na tapasā na dānena na chejyayā
śhakya evaṁ-vidho draṣhṭuṁ dṛiṣhṭavān asi māṁ yathā

So, we have Krishna’s word that none else in the universe but Arjuna had witnessed Vishvarupa. Also , Sanjaya had stated towards the very end of the Gita that

Ch18, V75

It’s with Vyasa’s grace I've heard
This peerless art of yogic life 
Which Lord Krishna taught Pārtha.

vyāsa-prasādāch chhrutavān etad guhyam ahaṁ param
yogaṁ yogeśhvarāt kṛiṣhṇāt sākṣhāt kathayataḥ svayam

Needless to say, if per chance, Sanjaya had an improbable peep at the Vishvarupa, he wouldn’t have forgotten that celestial experience in a hurry and would have surely recalled it, and mentioned it in the above verse. Besides, he was not known to have lied at any stage in his Kurukshetra reportage in the Mahabharata, these v9–v14 are unquestionable interpolations that have all along been seemingly escaping the attention of one and all! Hope this singular circumstance would enable Gita’s admirers as well as detractors to see that in the present form it cannot be taken at its face value for good or bad.

One may see how the inferior v29 as under, inserted after Vyāsā’s profound v28, exhibits the interpolator’s unmistakable limitation of imagination:

Ch11, V28

Rivers as run, towards the seas 
So these armies, towards Thy mouths.

yathā nadīnāṁ bahavo ’mbu-vegāḥ                        
samudram evābhimukhā dravanti

tathā tavāmī nara-loka-vīrā
viśhanti vaktrāṇy abhivijvalanti

V29

athā pradīptaṁ jvalanaṁ pataṅgā                                                       
viśhanti nāśhāya samṛiddha-vegāḥ
tathaiva nāśhāya viśhanti lokās
tavāpi vaktrāṇi samṛiddha-vegāḥ

Like moths enter a blazing fire with great speed for their destruction, so also do these people enter your mouths with great speed for their destruction.

Hence, though these seven interpolative verses, as such are not detrimental to Gita’s philosophical essence, just the same they prove the point that it was tampered with   poetically as well.

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