Chapter 11: The Universal Form

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 11.32

sri-bhagavan uvaca

kalo 'smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho

lokan samahartum iha pravrttah

rte 'pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve

ye 'vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah

SYNONYMS

sri-bhagavan uvaca -- the Personality of Godhead said; kalah -- time; asmi -- I am; loka -- of the worlds; ksaya-krt -- the destroyer; pravrddhah -- great; lokan -- all people; samahartum -- in destroying; iha -- in this world; pravrttah -- engaged; rte -- without, except for; api -- even; tvam -- you; na -- never; bhavisyanti -- will be; sarve -- all; ye -- who; avasthitah -- situated; prati-anikesu -- on the opposite sides; yodhah -- the soldiers.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.

PURPORT

Although Arjuna knew that Krsna was his friend and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was puzzled by the various forms exhibited by Krsna. Therefore he asked further about the actual mission of this devastating force. It is written in the Vedas that the Supreme Truth destroys everything, even the brahmanas. As stated in the Katha Upanisad (1.2.25),

yasya brahma ca ksatram ca

ubhe bhavata odanah

mrtyur yasyopasecanam

ka ittha veda yatra sah

Eventually all the brahmanas, ksatriyas and everyone else are devoured like a meal by the Supreme. This form of the Supreme Lord is the all-devouring giant, and here Krsna presents Himself in that form of all-devouring time. Except for a few Pandavas, everyone who was present on that battlefield would be devoured by Him. Arjuna was not in favor of the fight, and he thought it was better not to fight; then there would be no frustration. In reply, the Lord is saying that even if he did not fight, every one of them would be destroyed, for that was His plan. If Arjuna stopped fighting, they would die in another way. Death could not be checked, even if he did not fight. In fact, they were already dead. Time is destruction, and all manifestations are to be vanquished by the desire of the Supreme Lord. That is the law of nature.

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