Friday, April 22, 2011

How shall I know Thee...

The Indian Mythology 'Mahabharata' has a long philosophical poetry 'Bhagwat Gita', in which main character Arjuna asks Krishna the divine incarnate, how do I know/ understand God. And here I quote some of the responses I loved, which gives me comfort and meaning ...

I will tell thee of my divine powers, but only in some of my principle preeminences, for there is no end to the detail of my self-extension in the universe.

I am the self which abides in the heart of all beings.
I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings.

Among lights and splendours I am the radiant sun.
I am lord of wealth and fire. Among the immovable I'm Himalayas.

I am mind among the senses and in living beings I am consciousness.
I am the Time among those who recon and measures and I am wind among purifiers.

Of creation, I am the beginning, and the end and also the middle.
I am spiritual knowledge among the many branches of knowledge and I am the logic of those who debate.

I am the letter A among letters, the dual among compounds.
I am imperishable Time; I am the bearer (of all existences) whose faces are everywhere.

I am all devouring death and I am the origin of all that shall come into being.
Among feminine qualities I am glory, beauty, speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and forgiveness.
Among the seasons, the flowery season (spring) I am.

I am the gambling of the cunning, splendour of the splendid, I am resolution and victory.
I am the Sattwik (virtuous) qualities of the good.

I am the sceptre of the rulers, I am the wise policy of those who seek to succeed and conquer;
I am the silence of things secret, and the knowledge of the knower am I.

There is no end to my divine powers/ attributes ... whatsoever is glorious, beautiful, or mighty and forceful, do thou know all that verily as born from a fragment of My splendour. But what need has thou to know this detail... I support this entire universe with an infinitesimal portion of Myself.

[While we must identify ourselves impartially with the universal divine Becoming in all its extension, its good and evil, its perfection and imperfection, light and darkness, we must at the same time realise that there is an ascending evolutionary power in it, an increasing intensity of its revelation in things, a hierarchical secret something that carries us upward from the first concealing appearances through higher and higher forms towards the larger ideal nature of the universal Godhead...

It is the Godhead who manifests himself in the great thinker, the hero, the leader of men, the great teacher, sage, prophet, religious founder, saint, lover of man, the great poet, the great artist, the great scientist, the ascetic self-tamer, the tamer of things and events and forces. The work itself, the high poem, the perfect form of beauty, the deep love, the noble act, the divine achievement is a movement of godhead, it is the Divine in Manifestation.

Certainly there is an ignorant way of taking this truth, as there is an ignorant way of taking all truth; but it has its proper place, its indispensable function in the divine economy of nature. It must be based on the recognition of the divine self in all men and all creatures; it must be consistent with an equal heart to the great and the small, the eminent and the obscure manifestation. God must be seen in the ignorant, the humble, the weak, the vile, the outcast.

... It is not the outward individual (except as a symbol)that is to be thus recognised and set high, but one Godhead who displays himself in the power. But this does not abrogate the fact that there is an ascending scale in manifestation, and that nature mounts upwards in her degree of self-expression from her groping dark or suppressed symbols, to the first visible expression of the Godhead. Each great being, each great achievement is a sign of her power of self-exceeding and a promise of the final the supreme exceeding. ... - Sri Aurobindo, commentatries on Gita]


  1. Jyo:

    How have you been doing? What a coincidence! I was just reading what Shashi Tharoor has written on the Mahabharata in his book "Bookless in Baghdad."

    Take care.

    Joy always,

  2. Hey Susan,
    Good to see you here. I have been into a long hibernation. How have you been? I'm surviving and growing :)
    You must have submitted the thesis... wondering where now. I might shift to Chennai in near future... lets see...

    Never heard of this book of Shashi Tharoor. Will have to update myself of all that has been going in India soon :)

    Tk care
    May there be Peace