Chapter 11: The Universal Form

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 11.1

arjuna uvāca

mad-anugrahāya paramaḿ

guhyam adhyātma-saḿjñitam

yat tvayoktaḿ vacas tena

moho 'yaḿ vigato mama


arjunaḥ uvācaArjuna said; mat-anugrahāya — just to show me favor; paramam — supreme; guhyam — confidential subject; adhyātma — spiritual; saḿjñitamin the matter of; yat — what; tvayā — by You; uktam — said; vacaḥ — words; tena — by that; mohaḥ — illusion; ayam — this; vigataḥ — is removed; mama — my.


Arjuna said: By my hearing the instructions You have kindly given me about these most confidential spiritual subjects, my illusion has now been dispelled.


This chapter reveals Kṛṣṇa as the cause of all causes. He is even the cause of the Mahā-Viṣṇu, from whom the material universes emanate. Kṛṣṇa is not an incarnation; He is the source of all incarnations. That has been completely explained in the last chapter.

Now, as far as Arjuna is concerned, he says that his illusion is over. This means that Arjuna no longer thinks of Kṛṣṇa as a mere human being, as a friend of his, but as the source of everything. Arjuna is very enlightened and is glad that he has such a great friend as Kṛṣṇa, but now he is thinking that although he may accept Kṛṣṇa as the source of everything, others may not. So in order to establish Kṛṣṇa's divinity for all, he is requesting Kṛṣṇa in this chapter to show His universal form. Actually when one sees the universal form of Kṛṣṇa one becomes frightened, like Arjuna, but Kṛṣṇa is so kind that after showing it He converts Himself again into His original form. Arjuna agrees to what Kṛṣṇa has several times said: Kṛṣṇa is speaking to him just for his benefit. So Arjuna acknowledges that all this is happening to him by Kṛṣṇa's grace. He is now convinced that Kṛṣṇa is the cause of all causes and is present in everyone's heart as the Supersoul.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness