Petitioning God – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 10, Vs 13-18

Arjuna petitions Lord Krishna
Arjuna petitions Lord Krishna

Petitioning God

This Bhagavad Gita of eighteen chapters is a conversation between Arjuna and his childhood friend and Guru, Lord Krishna. Since chapter two, we have been hearing mostly from Lord Krishna. Now Arjuna, petitioning God, his guru, takes these verses to do so:

Arjuna is speaking:
So say all the sages—Devarshi Narada, Asita Devela, and Vyasa—and so you yourself tell me.

This refers to what Arjuna has said in the previous verse—that Lord Krishna is Absolute God, the Highest Abode, the best means of purification, and the Eternal Divine Individual who is Personal God. Here he gives this description its credentials for having been said by these three sages, and even by Lord Krishna Himself.

The three sages mentioned are Devarshi Narada, the ‘god-sage’ and famous blissfully-mad devotee who ‘carries messages from the gods to humans’; Asita Devala, ‘the virtuous and unbound dark one’; and Vyasa himself, the author of the Mahabharata from which this Bhagavad Gita is taken.

The name Vyasa means ‘arranger, or complier’. Vyasa sometimes shows up in his own work. He has a great sense of humor, usually putting himself in a poor light. This cagey fellow, who hides himself inside his own stories, is full of covert messages. For instance, we have a god-sage (Devarshi Narada) who carries messages to folks like us, and another sage (Asita Devala) who is without bounds and is dark but virtuous. Might this indicate that the messages themselves are ‘dark’, hidden, and carrying ‘virtuous’ esoteric teachings? Knowing the author, it is likely.

Vyasa is telling us in this roundabout way, that he is spilling the beans on that secret yoga we talked about earlier, and that we are going to have to learn how to read between the lines to get everything he is telling us. How do we do that? We do yoga sadhana and let experience be our guide in this, and consult guru to either validate our understanding or correct us.

14 – 15
All that You tell me I regard as Divine Truth. Indeed, neither the gods nor the demons understand Your manifestations. 
You know Yourself by Your Self alone, O First and Highest Purusha, Lord of Beings, Lord of Worlds, God of gods.

When Arjuna says “You know Yourself by Your Self alone,” he reveals his understanding of Lord Krishna’s awareness of Himself as Absolute and Self-Knowing.

Speaking of Lord Krishna as the first and highest purusha, he acknowledges Him as the first individual in the Absolute to become Self-aware and knowing Others as the same as Himself. He is therefore Lord of Beings, lord of those individuals like ourselves who have come into being.

Calling Him Lord of Worlds, Arjuna acknowledges Him as Creator. The Illusion of this Creation, this world, is often spoken of in scriptures as awesome and amazing for a reason—it is so powerfully difficult to see beyond because of the Power behind it: Absolute God.

Calling Him God of gods, he acknowledges Him as lord of those individuals who became what we humans think of as ‘gods’. The traditional ‘gods’ are Divine Individuals who, upon becoming self-aware and knowing Others, immediately accepted them all as the same as themselves.

16 – 18
Please describe completely, your divine manifestations by which you pervade and abide in all these worlds. How can I know You by constant meditation, Lord of Yoga, and in what aspects of being are you to be known by me? Please explain to me in complete detail, Your power and manifestations, for there is no end to my desire to hear your nectar-like words.

Arjuna wants to hear more.
Arjuna wants to hear more.

Now look who’s being cagey! Arjuna is covering all the bases. Not only does he not want to miss anything, any detail, and do his practice perfectly, but he has a hidden agenda: He is swimming in loving devotion for his guru and wants to keep him talking, for it is bringing forth a happiness that he wants to sustain as long as possible.

Guru cannot resist this kind of devotion (which is why devotion is so effective), so of course Lord Krishna will accommodate Arjuna with an answer. In our next installment, we will get to listen in as He explains.

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Namaste (I bow to the divine one you really are),
Durga Ma


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