This secret of the soul supreme,
Out of compassion unto me
That thou hast told, hath cast away
All this delusion from my mind.
I have heard at length, O lotus-eyed,
The origin and end of things,
From thy own self, and also all
Thy greatness inexhaustible.
So is it all, O Lord supreme,
Even as thou hast declared to me;
And now I wish to see thy form
Divine, O thou Supremest Soul.
If thou, O Lord, dost think that I
Can bear to see thy form divine,
Then do thou show, O Lord of Yoga,
Thy soul eternal unto me.
The Blessed Lord said:
Behold, O Pritha's son, my form,
In hundreds and in thousands too;
Of different kinds, and all divine,
Of various colours, various shapes.
See Rudras, Vasus, Adityas,
And Asvins two, and Maruts all;
And many wonders never seen
Before this all, O Bharata.
And in my body, Gudakesa,
Behold thou all the universe,
The movable, immovable,
With aught else thou dost wish to see.
But verily thou hast no power
To see me with these eyes of thine;
A sight divine I give to thee;
Behold my Yoga of sovereign power.
And having spoken thus, O king,
Hari, the mighty Lord of Yoga
Then to the son of Pritha showed
His glorious form, supreme, divine.
With many mouths and many eyes,
And many a form of wondrous sight,
And many an ornament divine,
And many weapons lifted high.
With garlands and with clothes divine,
And unguents all divine perfumed,
And full of splendour, wonderful,
Boundless, with face turned everywhere.
If the splendour of a thousand suns
At once should rise up in the sky,
That would indeed be like the light
And glory of that mighty Soul.
There then the son of Pandu saw,
Within the body of the Lord
Of Devas, all the universe,
Together and in many parts.
Then filled with wonder, and with hair
Standing on end, Dhananjaya,
Bent down his head before the Lord,
And spoke to him with folded palms.
I see all Devas in thy body, Lord!
And all the groups of various beings see;
Brahma, the Lord, upon his lotus throne;
Celestial serpents, and the Rishis all.
I see thy boundless form on every side,
Of countless bosoms, countless arms and eyes;
Nor end, nor middle, nor thy source I see,
O Lord of all, of universal form.
With discus, mace, and diadem I behold,
A mass of radiance, shining everywhere;
So hard to gaze at, blazing all around,
Like burning sun or fire, and measureless.
Deathless thou art, supremest Lord to know,
The mighty refuge of the universe!
Eternal Dharma's changeless guardian thou
Thou art the ancient being, I believe.
Thou hast no middle, end, nor any source;
Of infinite power, the Sun and Moon thine eyes;
Of countless arms, thy mouth a blazing fire,
Kindling with glory all the universe.
And all the space that lies between heaven and earth,
And quarters all, is filled by thee alone;
Thy wondrous, awful form, O high-souled one,
The three worlds see and tremble in affright.
The hosts of gods all enter into thee;
And some in fear adore with folded palms;
The Rishis great and Siddhas cry "All-hail"!
And praise thee so with many glorious hymns.
And Rudras, Vasus, Sadhyas, Adityas,
And Visvas, Maruts, Ushmapas and Asvins,
Asuras, Siddhas, Yakshas, Gandharvas,
Are gazing on thee, full of wonder all.
Thy glorious form; with many mouths and eyes,
And thighs, and feet, and arms, O mighty one,
With many bosoms, many fearful teeth,
The world beholds and trembles, so do I.
Thou touchest heaven, shining with many hues,
With open mouths, and large and blazing eyes;
Beholding thee, my soul is filled with fear;
And I have left, O Vishnu, strength nor peace.
Seeing thy mouths, all set with fearful jaws,
Like fires that blaze when all the world hath end,
I see nor space around, nor shelter find!
Mercy, O Lord, refuge of all the worlds!
And all the sons of Dhritarashtra here,
With all the hosts of monarchs of the earth,
And Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Suta's son,
With all the mighty warriors of our hosts.
All quickly rush into thy open mouths,
With fearful jaws, so awful to behold;
And some are seen stuck in between thy teeth,
And there their heads are crushed to powder all.
As rivers in their many waters' mass
All turn their face towards the sea and flow,
So do these heroes in the world of men
Enter thy mouths, blazing on every side.
As moths into a burning lamp in haste
Enter, and perish in a moment all,
So do these people rush into thy mouths,
Quickly, and to their destruction fall.
Thou swallowest up the worlds with flaming mouths.
And lickest them again on every side.
Thy piercing rays of glory fill the world
With burning radiance, Vishnu, everywhere.
Who art thou, tell me, in this awful form?
I worship thee! Be pleased, O Lord supreme!
I wish to know thee, O primeval one!
Thy acts and ends I do not understand.
The Blessed Lord said:
Death am I, destroyer of the world;
Made manifest on earth to slay mankind,
Even without thee, know these warriors all,
Arrayed in hostile ranks, shall cease to be.
Therefore arise, and win thy great renown;
Conquer thy foes, enjoy the happy realms!
By me already all these have been slain,
Be thou the instrument, O Arjuna.
Drona and Bhishma, and Jayadratha,
Karna, and other mighty warriors too,
Are slain by me. Slay them, nor be distressed;
Fight thou, and quell thy foemen in the field.
Hearing these words of Kesava, trembling all,
With folded hands, Arjuna, who wears a crown,
Saluting low, to Krishna spoke again,
In a choked voice, all overwhelmed with fear.
Rightly, O Hrishikesa, the universe
Delighteth and rejoiceth in thy praise,
The Rakshasas to every quarter fly
In fear, the hosts of Siddhas bow to thee.
And why, O high-souled one, should they not bow?
Greater than Brahma, nay, his source art thou;
The infinite Lord of Devas, home of worlds;
Immortal, Sat, Asat, and mightier still.
Primeval Deva, the ancient Man art thou,
And thou the refuge of the world supreme
And knower thou, and known, the highest goal;
Of infinite form, filling the universe.
And Yama and Varuna, Agni, Air and Moon,
Prajapati, and great-grandfather thou;
All hail to thee, a thousand times, all hail!
Hail, hail to thee, again, again all hail!
Obeisance from before and from behind,
On every side obeisance, O thou all!
Of infinite power, of infinite glory thou,
Pervading all, and therefore thou art All.
Thinking of thee as friend, presumptuously,
If I have called thee Krishna, Yadava, friend,
Unconscious of thy glory that I see,
Or carelessly, or fondly in my love;
And if in sport I have not honoured thee,
At play, reposing, sitting or at meals,
Alone, or else with others, I implore,
Forgive my error, O thou boundless one!
Thou sire of all that move or do not move,
Worthy of worship, greater than the great.
Thou hast no equal in the threefold world,
Who can excel thee, O thou matchless one!
My body thus before thee I prostrate,
And crave forgiveness, O thou Lord supreme!
As father with a son, as friend with friend,
As a lover with his love, so bear with me.
I joy to see I had not seen before,
And yet my mind is trembling all in fear;
Let me behold thy other form, O Lord!
Have mercy, Lord, O refuge of the world!
With crown and mace, and discus in thy hand
Again I wish to see thee as before;
Assume that same four-armed form again,
O thou of thousand forms, of all the forms!
The Blessed Lord said:
Through my favour, Arjuna, have I shown,
By power of Yoga, this glorious form supreme,
Primeval, universal, infinite,
Which none but thee hath ever seen before.
Neither by Vedas, study, sacrifice
Nor alms, nor actions, penances austere,
May I be seen within this world of men
By any in this form which thou hast seen.
Be not bewildered, be not thou afraid,
For having seen this awful form of mine;
Dispel thy fear, and with a joyous mind,
Behold again as I am wont to be.
Then Krishna, speaking thus to Arjuna, showed
Again to him his own more gentle form,
And comforted the fearful one thereby:
The Lord supreme assumed a gentle form.
Having beheld thy human form,
So gentle, O Janardana,
My mind is now composed again,
And I have gained my native peace.
The Blessed Lord said:
It is hard indeed to see this form
Of mine, which thou hast seen today;
The Devas do forever long
To see me in this form of mine.
Neither by Vedas, nor by gifts,
Nor penance, nor yet sacrifice,
Can I be visioned in this form,
Even as thou hast seen today.
By prayer to me alone may I
Be visioned, Arjuna, in this form,
And known and seen in essence true,
And entered into, mighty one.
Who acts for me, whose goal am I,
All unattached, who prays to me,
And beareth enmity to none,
He comes to me, O Pandava.