Gita Daily Readings

26th August
Chapter XI: 47
The blessed Lord said: Oh Arjuna, this cosmic form has graciously been shown to thee by me by my own yoga power; full of splendor, primeval and infinite, this cosmic form of mine has never been seen before by anyone other than thyself.

Commentary

This all-important truth bears repetition any number of times: the ultimate vision of God is his own gift. In other words, the ego cannot see God, the shadow cannot grasp the substance, darkness cannot see light. Any "vision" that the ego has is its own creation. The ego will not accept something it does not understand, and therefore creates a misunderstanding! Even the eye of intuition with which the yogi sees God is God's own gift. People often wonder what that eye of intuition looks like. Countless guesses have been made with (to say the least) amusing results. In the hands of the spiritually jejune it has even degenerated to a surgical operation!

A wise Sanskrit maxim says: "Only a wise man knows what makes a man wise; the barren woman is not aware of labor pains." One who does not possess the eye of intuition does not know what it is; in the realm beyond the intellect "knowing" is "being." Thus, as long as the mind thinks, there will always be the rising and setting of an experiencer, the ego, with each experience; and as long as one's individual ego functions, he shuts out the gift of God. That gift is the eye of intuition.

But what is the eye of intuition? Ask him who is its bestower. No man knows. From the rapturous exclamations of those who have "seen" the cosmic form with the eye of intuition, others have tried to presume what it might be. Guesses are children of ignorance; and the arrogance which gives birth to them makes them diabolical imposters.

According to the Bhagavatam, Akrura had a cosmic vision before the Mahabharata war; yet Krishna says here that no one had seen it before Arjuna. There is no contradiction here if we realize that each man's experience is his own - unique and unparalleled. The ultimate experience of the absolute is the same for all, even as deep sleep is; but even the penultimate experience of a cosmic vision can differ, just as people's dreams are unique and individual.

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