[Here are three questions that I did not come across a seeker raising them. Nor did I find any teacher discussing directly those specific issues and answering them in a logical way. Maybe my literature search is incomplete, I admit. Before I go on to provide my replies to these questions, I will very much appreciate to know the reactions / thoughts of the interested / knowledgeable readers – ramesam.]

The Questions:

A.  Bhagavad-Gita related:

1.  The normally chatty, questioning Arjun becomes totally silent while witnessing the Cosmic Form of Lord Krishna (Viswaruupa samdarshan in Chapter XI). It falls on Sanjay to describe the enchanting Cosmic Form.  Arjun finds his voice again only after Krishna withdraws His Cosmic Form and assumes the normal familiar personality.  Sage Vyasa, the author, could as well have made Arjun to describe what he saw. Why did the Sage choose to depict Arjun to be wordless while witnessing the Ultimate Reality?

2.  Related to the same Chapter, The Cosmic Form is shown to be highly scary, ‘red in tooth and claw’, chewing away people and gods, fires and flares oozing out of nostrils, stamping on and stomping the creatures. A Compassionate and kind, tender and loving, caring and caressing form of a benevolent godhead was not shown. Nor a calm and serenely quiet silvery waters blossoming with beautiful lotuses and round green leaves was presented. Why did Sage Vyasa choose to present the Ultimate, the God of Gods, the Pure Consciousness, in such a fierce and threatening form?

B.  Advaita siddhanta related:

3.  In the ultimate understanding of Advaita, the world ‘as it is’ Is Brahman (isavaasya midagum sarvam, neha naanaasti kincana). World is not separate from Brahman. In other words, the world is the form that Brahman appears from moment to moment.

Why do the Non-duality teachers add the phrase ‘from moment to moment’ for the historyless (time invariant) immutable Brahman?


  1. For 1, I would ask, What other questions was Arjuna left with with his truth seeking interrogation of Sri Krishna when the Vishwaroopa was shown? Why should it be a surprise that he remained silent?

    For 2. I would say that this is consistent with the following lines
    Ab jananti ma mudha manushi tanumashritam
    Param bhavam jananto mama bhutamaheshwaram
    (Fools deride Me who have assumed the human form, without knowing My real nature as Lord of the Universe).
    There are numerous objectives that were being addressed by Bhagavad Gita in the context of knowledge and the mechanism God wished to show people had for dishing out justice in the world of humanity. Vyasa realised that people needed to know if God truly existed to dispense justice in the world of humanity and the above lines as well as Vishwaroopa samdarshan were designed to make it clear that Sri Krishna is the destroyer of evil. Caring and benevolent God and lotuses are not what was required in the battlefield of Mahabharatta.

    3.Every moment in the life of a jiva is a new universe that is qualitatively different from that of a moment ago, such is the nature of impermanence in the transactional world and the universe.

  2. One possible answer to both questions relies on how literally we take the account. If we take it literally we have only speculation about Arjuna’s silence or Vyasa’s motives. If, on the other hand one draws upon an interpretive understanding of the players we might get nearer the truth.

    The interpretation of names is most elaborately covered by Parahahansa Yogananda, following his guru Sri Yukteshwar, in ‘God Speaks to Arjuna’. The battle he sees is between the hundred offspring of bind mind, Dritharashtra (one who hold tight to the reins of the kingdom of senses): these are the hundred sense tendencies supported by the likes of Bhishma (the feeling of existence) and Drona (habitual inner tendency) as well as the obstacles to yoga: Karna/raga, Vikarna/dvesha, jayadratha/abhinivesha, etc.

    Opposing them are the five sons of Pandu/buddhi, supported by the aids to yoga such as Drishtakeshu/yama, Saibhya/niyama, Kuntiboja/asana, etc. Of the five sons, Arjuna stars for Divine self-control.

    And the narrator, Samjaya, one who has conquered all is impartial introspection. Bhagavan Krishna, obviously, stands for Pure consciousness that is manifest as the entire cosmos and everything in it.

    The two questions now become: Q1. Why is the one who is still battling for self control unable to say anything about consciousness, whilst consciousness is available only though impartial introspection? Q2. Why is everything destroyed/resolved in consciousness?

    Over to you…

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