अथवा बहुनैतेन किं ज्ञातेन तवार्जुन |
विष्टभ्याहमिदं कृत्स्नमेकांशेन स्थितो जगत् || 42||
atha vā bahunaitena kiṁ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣhṭabhyāham idaṁ kṛitsnam ekānśhena sthito jagat
athavā—or; bahunā—detailed; etena—by this; kim—what; jñātena tava—can be known by you; arjuna—Arjun; viṣhṭabhya—pervade and support; aham—I; idam—this; kṛitsnam—entire; eka—by one; anśhena—fraction; sthitaḥ—am situated; jagat—creation
But what need is there of your acquiring this detailed knowledge, Ο Arjuna? With a single fragment of Myself I stand supporting the whole universe.
The Lord ends this Discourse by declaring that there is no use of the detailed enumeration of His Divine Glories, because they are infinite, and the infinite cannot be rendered in terms of the finite. The Lord then sums up the whole idea in a single proclamation that the whole universe, with everything in it, is only a fragment of His Glory. What contemplation, what imaginative flight, what understanding, what vision, can fathom and comprehend the Infinity of the Lord? These millions and millions of worlds are all pervaded by the Lord. His power is infinite.
In the presence of the Lord, what is man? Let him bow down to the Lord. Let him sing the Lord’s Glory. Let him offer himself up to the Lord. Let him live in the Lord, for there is nothing else but the Lord wherever he may turn. Egoism and pride have no place in the heart of the man who can think of the Lord’s Glory. His little strength, little good, little beauty, little power, are nothing indeed, nothing before the Glory of the Lord. Thus thinking man realises the truth that the Lord is All and he is himself a part of the Lord.
Swami Vivekananda Says —
All that we see of God is only a part, just as we see only one portion of the universe, and all the rest is beyond human cognition. “I, the universal; so great am I that even this universe is but a part of Me.” That is why we see God as imperfect, and do not understand Him. The only way to understand Him and the universe is to go beyond reason, beyond consciousness.[Source]
Sri Ramakrishna Says —
SHRISH: ”God exists and He alone does everything. But the attributes we ascribe to Him are not the right ones. How can a man conceive of Him? His nature is infinite.”
MASTER: ”What need is there of your counting the number of trees and branches in an orchard? You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Do that and be happy. The aim of human birth is to love God. Realize that love and be at peace.
“Suppose you have entered a tavern for a drink. Is it necessary for you to know how many gallons of wine there are in the tavern? One glass is enough for you. What need is there of your knowing the infinite qualities of God? You may discriminate for millions of years about God’s attributes and still you will not know them.”[Source]
The pundit had studied the Vedas and the other scriptures. He loved to discuss philosophy. The Master, seated on the couch, cast his benign look on the pundit and gave him counsel through parables.
MASTER (to the pundit): “There are many scriptures like the Vedas. But one cannot realize God without austerity and spiritual discipline. ‘God cannot be found in the six systems, the Vedas, or the Tantra.’
“But one should learn the contents of the scriptures and then act according to their injunctions. A man lost a letter. He couldn’t remember where he had left it. He began to search for it with a lamp. After two or three people had searched, the letter was at last found. The message in the letter was: ‘Please send us five seers of sandesh and a piece of wearing-cloth.’ The man read it and then threw the letter away. There was no further need of it; now all he had to do was to buy the five seers of sandesh and the piece of cloth.[Source]
One evening when Swami Vivekananda was returning from Dakshineswar with Devendra, he said to him: “Look at the Milky Way. It is just like a stream of milk. Do you know that every moment millions of suns and moons are being formed within it? That is the source of the stars. Just imagine what an inconceivable Being is the ruler of this vast universe! And a tiny man with his limited intellect is trying to fathom and comprehend Him! Is He so easily obtainable?” After listening to Swamiji, Devendra was absorbed in the thought of the Infinite. He then concluded that it was not possible for a man to realize God. This greatly troubled him, and he could not sleep for three days. At last he went to Girish and told him the cause of his anxiety. Girish said to him: “But it is also true that the Ruler of this universe, from whom this cosmic creation evolves, incarnates Himself in a human body and gives liberation to sinners like us.” Devendra was relieved to hear this, and his mind became calm again.
[Source: They Lived with God: Life Stories of Some Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Chetanananda (p. 375).]
Question: By what is this universe pervaded?
Answer: The universe is only a fragrant of the Lord, and by a single aspect of His, all this is pervaded. (The idea is that in the Infinite form of the Lord, this whole universe occupies a very small part).
- Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 46
- Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 52
- Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 7, Verse 2
- The Story of Svetaketu – Thou Art That – Chandogya Upanishad