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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 – Vibhuti Yoga, The Path of Divine Glory
What is divine vision (Vibhuti Darshana)?
There is a distinct difference between jadat darshana (worldly vision) vs. vibhuti darshana (divine vision). The worldly vision binds us whereas the divine vision liberates us. For example, nowadays when we buy anything at the store the attractiveness of the object or the presentation of the object is more important than the functionality of it. For example, the wrapper of the chocolate is more attractive than the taste of the chocolate. The appearance, color coordination, decoration on the top of the food, the string used to tie the box are all the more appealing to the eyes than the taste of it.
Similarly, when we see different places and enjoy the beauty of it, the pleasantness, the stillness or the attractions towards an object is worldly vision, ‘jagat darshana’. On the contrary, when we visit the same places and see the divinity behind all of them then it is ‘ divine vision – vibhuti darshana’. We can look at a beautiful flower and think of the Lord who created it with the awesome color, petals, softness in texture, fragrance, and wonder what’s behind that particular flower and all its beauty along with the diversity, the individuality of so many other flowers, then we are experiencing the divinity, which is divine vision. This vision expands not just flowers but to all plants, bushes, vines, trees, creepers, worms, insects, birds, animals to the variety of emotions in each individual, the diverse beings, the nations, the sufferings, the differences which further expands to the planets, their harmonious rotations, revolutions! Wow! This physical body of mine is but one speck in the cosmos. What’s behind all these is the divine vision.
Why is the Bhagavad Gita in the form of a dialogue?
Many discussions are unproductive or even counterproductive. Some wish to only talk and not listen. Some dislike even hearing the opposing viewpoint. Few others are threatened when they are proved wrong. Some are insecure and don’t want to show it out, often raise their voice. There are few, who want to argue just to prove they are right and the opponent is wrong. When logic fails, their emotions take over and some get angry, upset, agitated and aggressive. Some use the wealth, power and authority to prove themselves right others resort to emotional blackmail. Such discussion bloats the ego and create conflict, animosity, ill feeling and defeats the purpose of discussion. These are ‘vidandavada’.
On the contrary, a dialogue between any two individuals is ‘vada’, discussion between a master and a disciple is called ‘samvada’. Bhagavad gita is samvada between Sri Krishna and Arjuna. We should not approach a knowledgeable person to argue or test his intelligence but with humility and respect to seek his/her guidance and mentorship.
When we approach with an attitude to challenge the master, it is the ego in us that is playing an active role. We need to be cautious of this behavior. Because Arjuna was humble and listening attentively, we are blessed with this Gita today. If he had expressed an indifference, Sri Krishna would not have taught these. Sri Krishna also teaches us a lesson to speak only when the listener is attentive, if not just stop talking.
What determines some to be deep into spirituality while others not?
How can a human achieve the highest in spirituality?
This question reminds me of quotes, ‘ nothing comes easy, ‘ Everything is difficult before they’re easy, ‘ Quitters never win and winners never quit’.
Vyavasaya, hard work is the basis, foundation, fundamental step to success. In Sanskrit it is called. ‘Bhagiratha Prayatna’ because Bhagirata put his life time effort to bring the river Ganges from heaven to earth and led her to the ocean ~ tenacity to meet all the obstacles to win the battle, reach your goal, destination. Rigorous tenacious practice makes anything permanent.
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the ability to decide, before we act, decision making is a vital skill, whether to do or not. Some postpone the decision till the end and struggle under stress, while others let the situations take control so they don’t have to make any decisions.
The wise know that all decisions need to be made on analysis of the given situation, the outcome of the actions based on those decisions. It has to be for the common good and not with an attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’ That ability to make a stern decision wisely for the good of all is His glory. To pursue in spiritual path when so many distractions are around us is the conviction of the seeker in scriptures and the great teachings and guidance of reputed teachers, together with practice of what’s taught with a single pointed focus on the Self, Atman.
Why should we not waste this precious gift of human life, as Gita mentions here?
Time is the best disciplinarian. We all should know this from our life experiences. Monday through Friday, we are on time for everything from morning till night and on weekends, we tend to wake up late, shower late, late lunch and by the time we’re ready for the day, it is already 4 pm. Why? Because we do not worry about time. We call it a relaxing mode. We get half the things done than weekdays.
Time makes us punctual, makes us keep up with deadlines, to perform our daily routine and our duties regularly and systematically in an organized fashion, otherwise work expands with time and nothing gets done thereby increasing the mental strain, stress, agitation and anxiety.
The Lord of Death, Yama is the ultimate disciplinarian because the very thought of death, and fear of him causes one to be disciplined with one’s ife and behavior.
Sri Adi Sankara in his Bhaja govindam says, “seasons come and go, days and years pass by, times plays on, man worries and ages, yet his desires do not wane!”
Time keeps on ticking in the fractions of seconds and minutes, soon the weeks, months and years pass by. Time once lost is lost forever, never to return. It is much more precious than anything that we possess. Using the time wisely should be the priority in life. We can accomplish so much more if only we realize this. We should be conscious of this and use the time very wisely so as not to waste the God given gift to live to our fullest potential every day.
Since our physical presence on this earth is temporary, it is important to realize that there is no point in collecting and hoarding our opinions, information, prejudices, likes and dislikes from within, wealth, houses, vehicles, and relationships. In a fraction of a second, death can snatch everything.
When ‘I’ is not there’, ‘mine’ has no existence. Knowing, understanding, realizing that we leave everything behind, we should not waste the precious time in accumulating anything unnecessary.
Time is a mind created concept. We have astronomical, astrological, biological, geological and many more times. But the source of time is the mind and the source of mind is beyond time. It is eternal and timeless. There is only, ‘now’ (no other way). In this ‘Now’ we need to focus on our purpose of life, Self realization, atma jnana, the supreme and sacred secret knowledge is the only purpose of being born as a human being.
What are the glories of Brahman?
The glories of Nirguna Brahman, the divine vision.
Death is the glory of the Lord and man tries to beat it. People are born and they experience death among the family members, friends and relatives but still the wonder is, they act as though they are immortal. Even the slightest thought of death to them is not in their radar. Leaving this body after being active, alert and animated, transitioning to a new realm, leaving behind everything including the physical body, name & form, this departure as ‘death’ is His glory.
The five elements together with their magnitude that are the real basic needs of human. The air, breeze, soft, gentle, harsh, tornado and hurricane, typhoon that blows away homes. Where does that power come from? The thought of fire and the magnitude of fire that sweeps the land there every year during the summer and the extraordinary work of those firemen amidst the heat, amazes me. Both the fire (the element) and the human potential who fights it are both His glory!! His act.
The water that those firemen use, always flow from top to bottom, from the higher altitude to the lower. That’s His glory!!
The enormous vast unlimited space describes the magnanimity of the Divine’s heart to accommodate everything in Him.
Finally the Earth, that holds billions of people walking on it everyday and night, how does it hold the weight of so many lives, trees, forests, species, waterbodies? Isn’t it amazing that It rotates and revolves in the specific measures with such a weight in it and even a minute distortion would cause drastic changes to the lives on earth? These five elements and other planets, the galaxy, the entire constellation are all the glories of the divinity.
We all interact with people of all colors, race and religion. Why can’t people get along? The wars, hatred, animosity, killings are because of primitive thinking. If you look at it, everywhere people work hard, raise their children, and love their parents. What’s the difference? If we look for differences we will see the differences in height, weight, color, shape and size but aren’t we similar? This often reminds me of the fireworks. Aren’t all the sparkles of different colors that emanates in the sky are from the same source?
Why do we hate and kill each other when the truth is we are here from the same source and only for a short time? All these emotions, attitudes that arise based on our own karma is also His glory.
The weeds, bonsai, bushes, plants, creepers, vines, trees with lots of different flowers with stamens and stigma in each of those flowers appear different but they all make the world so beautiful with the variety of colors, fragrances and shades. We, humans can only copy them in our painting and poems but cannot create even one single thing. Take the time to stop and see the world in awe!
Do we ever have a sense of gratitude for this wonderful gift? Do we even take the time to watch and reflect the wonders of His glories? These trees give us shade, flowers, fragrance, fruits, while cows & goats give us milk, horse & elephants help us carry things, do any of them expect anything in return? Due to our pompous ego, we humans, expect a ‘thank you’ when we pick up the fallen kerchief of another person and get upset when we don’t get it!!
These identify His presence in all beings and in the ego, which is also, powered by Him. Unless we experience the heat we won’t’ appreciate the shade.
The thousands of variety of species that live on this earth from ants to worms, insects and all types of parasites, bacteria, amphibians, dogs, cats, squirrels, bunnies to cats, dogs, elephants and all other wild animals, many of them are in the forests around the globe. It is amazing to think of who feeds them, how they multiply and how they help in the maintenance of biodiversity and as humans with the sixth sense we only destroy the nature for the simple greed, not realizing that our time on this planet is limited. We have only rented this planet for a few years. Our contribution to the universe is the rent but we neither pay rent nor keep it safe, naturally we need to come to reap what we sow! Otherwise the entire universe would stop functioning with the consequences of karma. That’s also His glory!!
Thinking of the entire forest, rural and urban places, mountains, deserts and oceans with all the species of life is all His glory!
His presence is in everything. He appears to be hidden because we don’t have the vision to see Him even though He is right in front of us. We are not yet qualified to identify His presence.
The evolution of a man from the hunting stage who lived on animals, to tribal life sustained on fish to village life on agriculture to cities on industrialization and globalization, technology, all His glory!! Steve Job’s Apple, Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, the creation of the International Space Station, space shuttles orbiting around the planets Saturn and Mars – all these are the enormous human potential to think, plan, act. detour and as we make errors, share, contribute, evolve, grow is all due to the power in each of us. Without that inner presence none of these would happen. It is simply amazing to recognize the glorious presence within and behind everything in and around each of us.
The rivers all around the earth in every country, giving drinking water is His glory. We may fight in sharing with other states and countries but we have forgotten the originator. With the entire salty ocean around the land mass where does this water come from? If you say rain, where does rain come from?, If you say the evaporation from the ocean water to the clouds, where did that ocean water come from? Where did the heat of the Sun come from? How is it that there is a balance between the water body and the land mass? How about the temperature of the planet? Who is the operator behind the scene for these? Supreme alone IS!!
More than a billion people plus all other species and the nature has provided all of them with drinking water. It is beyond the concept of a human being. We refrain from sharing with our neighbor, the neighboring state because of selfishness, ego, arrogance. Not only that we have also started contaminating them. That’s also His play.
That mighty power that supports the entire sustenance of this universe is His glory!!
This takes us to the atrocities of humans, the greed, the liar, the evil, the demons, rakshasas of the earth, destroying the biodiversity, deforestation, polluting the rivers and the atmosphere, hurting girls, women and children, genetically modifying the crops in the name of development, adding pesticides to plants to protect them from insects, which eventually goes inside all edibles, not to mention destroys the insects and worm species. These are also His glories, unless we experience unrighteousness, we would not recognize the good and righteousness. Unless we walk in the sun, we won’t appreciate the shade.
Imagine an infant, little toddlers, spending time with them is the practical application of vedanta. As they grow, the difference in their attitudes, the possessiveness, selfishness due to their desires, the ‘I’ and ‘mine’ attitude and the parents guiding them away from such inclinations to be more inclusive, selflessness, forgiving and sharing. The entire growth of a child as how an individual in moulded by the circumstances, situations and by the people that are in one’s life is His glory. Life is undoubtedly a field of experience. One has to stop to observe this miracle, step by step with a deeper understanding, going beyond the annamaya kosha, food sheath.
Finally, Everything in this universe is in a cyclical process, whether it is the blooming of a flower, or the season, rotation of all planets, revolution of the earth and the birth & death of any species. The realization of the Self as the witness and the divinity in everything around us, happening in a cyclical process and ‘me’, the ego, too would come back again and again in a different body (Self is ever present) to observe, learn, correct my mistakes, experience the good and the not so good, based on my actions and karmic results is nothing but His glory!! There is nothing other than Him. He IS and He alone IS!!
Lord’s glories are visible all around us. They are referred to as Vibhuti and His infinite potential to create is referred as yoga.
It is normal that the more we know on any subject we want to express it and expand it further. If one can bike five miles, wants to try ten miles next time, the one who starts a small business, wants to expand his customer base, one who learns to sing wants to learn more and share with others, similarly, the infinite Lord has manifested in millions of wondrous ways.
He alone appears as all things and being in enormous forms, shapes, sizes and colors. He is both the outer glories that are blatantly visible and the inner glories that are very subtle. He is also the thought, feelings and emotions. Love, compassion, forgiveness and thoughts, intelligence that makes the decisions. His creative power is yoga and the various manifestations are His vibhuti.
Gold is the essence of all jewelry. Grain is the essence of a variety of dishes. Sugar is the essence of all sweets. Once we see the essence, that’s vibhuti and seeing the many in one and One in many is yoga.
Virtues are greatly appreciated by Sri krishna and they too are His glory. He mentions a few of them in this chapter. He says even if one of them is with us, we are lucky for all of them are His glory.
Kirthi – is fame, not because of worldly accomplishments but by doing service, seva. That’s His glory.
Sri – is prosperity not just wealth but the goodness, the punya karmas, meritorious actions. Great persons and even deities name start with Sri. Sri krishna, Sri Rama, Sri Lakshmi etc..
Vaak – purity of speech, ability to speak the truth, speak gently for the welfare of all, also called Vani. Goddess Saraswathi is referred to as Vani
Smrithi – is memory. We need a good memory to put the pieces together even in spiritual study. Otherwise we may forget what we learned earlier. Good memory is remembering good things and forgetting unwanted things. That is His glory.
Medha – is the ability to grasp, understand what is said.
Shruti – is to stay grounded, firm on your path. Endurance is very important in the spiritual path.
Kshama – forgiveness. Ability to forgive others and oneself so one can be at peace. Non forgiveness leads to anger, revenge etc
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