Avatara – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 11-14

“When I assume human form, the ignorant deride Me, not knowing My highest existence as Maheśhvara. The ignorant, whose hopes, actions and knowledges are ineffectual, are harmful, as they cling like demons to whatever enthralls them. But those Great Souls who have attained My divine nature through their singleminded devotion to Me, know Me as the origin of all creation, the Imperishable Absolute. Always engaged in yoga, their continuous practice and devotion glorifies Me. Worshipping Me thus, they are united with Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 11-14 

Lord Krish
Lord Krishna, Avatara of Vishnu, Sustainer of LIfe

11
When I assume human form, the ignorant deride Me, not knowing My highest existence as Maheśhvara.  

  • Ignorant – at a loss about, stupefied, bewildered, perplexed, confused, a fool.
  • Deride – treat as unworthy of serious consideration, dismiss, despise, disesteem, treat with contempt, look down on. 

Lord Krishna is an avatara, a temporary human manifestation of an eternally existent God. As a manifestation, an avatar looks and acts like a human being, but by calling Himself Maheshvara, Lord Krishna is telling us that He is actually Absolute God, even though He has taken up residence in a human body in the relative realm of this world.

  • Maheśhvara – Great God, great lord, sovereign. From maha (great, mighty, strong) and ishvara (another name of God meaning master or lord). Maheśhvara is God in the highest sense, Absolute God (See “God is One and Two” regarding the nature of God).

The Absolute is the source of creation but not an acting agent. Absolute God does nothing at all, yet an avatara comes to earth from time to time to take bodily form for a reason. According to the Gita, the purpose of an avatara is to mitigate the prevalence of suffering. Aside from any specific mission, an avatara’s mere presence alone is a tonic to the world. 

“The ignorant deride Me”
An avatara is usually not known for what he or she is, but is hated, insulted, completely missed by the ordinary person. The ordinary person sees only the body and is thus unable to recognize an avatara.  

No one who isn’t one can recognize one.

There are descriptions of avataras, but they are not correct but apply to the Divine Bodies of yogis who have succeeded in Yoga. An avatara will fit all of the following descriptions, even though they are not always easy to see:

  • Unusual circumstances surround their birth
  • They are born with an unusual degree of awareness of their surroundings
  • They are born with an identifying mark on the body
  • They do not see the body as the self, but as a place to be
  • An avatara has genius and multiple talents and abilities
  • An avatara has strong empathy, awareness of the suffering in the world, and takes on that suffering to mitigate it
  • They remember coming to this world, and they remember the experience
  • They come with a mission
  • They have special powers not possessed by most humans, but rarely expose them

12
The ignorant, whose hopes, actions and knowledges are ineffectual, are harmful, as they cling like demons to whatever enthralls them.

Lord Krishna is shedding some light on the ordinary person’s inability to discern an avatara by further describing ignorance: Even though what they want, what they do and what they know are ineffectual and harmful, they continue to cling to them. 

Alternate translation
The ignorant, those whose hopes, actions and knowledges are useless, are seduced by attaching demonic entities that delude them and cause harm.

There are thought to be many levels of existence, some better than our own, and some worse. Entities of the lower worlds are considered to be demonic in nature, and have a vested interest in bringing us down to their own level.

I’m not talking about ghouls and ghosts that go bump in the night, but entities that can attach themselves to humans and cause trouble. They particularly like deterring people from any spiritual progress toward liberation and knowing God/Truth. They do this primarily by seducing humans to chase after the glitter of the attractions the senses provide. They have enough knowledge to know that this will work.

This is not a subject that should be dwelt upon, but it should also not be ignored or denied, for secrecy only gives a thing more power.

13-14
But those Great Souls who have attained My divine nature through their singleminded devotion to Me, know Me as the origin of all creation, the Imperishable Absolute. 
Always engaged in yoga, their continuous practice and devotion glorifies Me. Worshipping Me thus, they are united with Me.

Now it appears that not every one of us is ignorant or chasing after glitter that is not gold. There are Great Souls among us. These two verses give us a picture of these Great Souls: They know the Absolute to be the origin of creation, and they are single-mindedly devoted to the Absolute and to the constant God-practice of yoga. Glorifying God through this practice, they are with God, sitting at the right hand of God.

  • Glorify – to make clear by one’s actions; to venerate, worship, and be grateful to, etc. 

What Lord Krishna has taught Arjuna, this ‘profound secret’, glorifies God, making God/Truth more clear to Arjuna (and to us). This ‘secret yoga‘ is a demonstration of gratitude that goes beyond the norm, and is the worship that brings one into union with the worshipped: God, Truth, the Absolute. It is the tonic of the avatara mitigating the sorrows of the world.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


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One thought on “Avatara – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 11-14

  1. galtarr

    Thank you Durga Ma

    Article is an eye opener and validates my ignorance toward all that glitters. As a matter of fact I am taking off my wedding ban. HaHAh

    Like

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