Bhagavad Gita 11.16


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aneka-bāhūdara-vaktra-netraḿ
paśyāmi tvāḿ sarvato ’nanta-rūpam
nāntaḿ na madhyaḿ na punas tavādiḿ
paśyāmi viśveśvara viśva-rūpa

Translation of Bhagavad Gita 11.16

O Lord of the universe, O universal form, I see in Your body many, many arms, bellies, mouths and eyes, expanded everywhere, without limit. I see in You no end, no middle and no beginning.

Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is unlimited; thus through Him everything could be seen.

Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:

Visvesvara means the original person, the origin of this form.

Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:

11.16 I behold Your infinite form on all sides with many arms, stomachs, mouths and eyes. O Lord of the universe, namely, the controller of the universe, O Universal Form having the universe as Your body! As You are infinite, therefore, I see no end, no middle and no beginning for You.

Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:

In Lord Krishna’s visvarupa or divine universal form was seen unlimited eyes and hands and bodies and forms on every side; but it was not possible to detect their end or their beginning and middle because the Supreme Lord is all pervading and infinite.

Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:

The word aneka means infinitely innumerable. In Lord Krishna’s visvarupa or divine universal form were seen multitudinous arms, faces, stomachs and eyes unlimitedly. The Supreme Lord has unlimited vision in past present and future. He is unlimited in every aspect conceivable. manifestations in many wonderful and phenomenal forms. The Rig Veda states that with His shoulders the Supreme Lord creates all gross material worlds and the three spaces between them. The Yajur Veda confirms this also.

The word visva denotes without any restrictions whatsoever being unlimited. Everything, everywhere regarding Lord Krishna is infinitely endless and complete in all manifestations and so are the unlimited arms, faces, stomachs and eyes of the Supreme Lord’s visvarupa. The compound word ananta- rupam means innumerable are His forms and it also means that His forms are unlimited. The Yajur Veda states: The Supreme Lord Krishna is superior to the most supreme, greater then the total creation, the one without a second, the One who manifests all manifested forms unlimitedly. The Aditya Purana states that the Supreme Lords unlimited forms in material existence is manifested by prakriti or the material substratum pervading all physical existence. Prakriti being the representative of the Supreme Lord’s material energy is thus without beginning, middle or end in all its activities.

The Supreme Lord Krishna and all of His Vedically authorised avataras or divine incarnations and expansions are fully saccidananda possessing eternal existence, unlimited cognizance and endless bliss. There is no limitation in any of His forms. They are never born neither are they capable of death. They manifest themselves into the material existence for a specific purpose and after a period of time they unmanifest themselves again.

Whatever manifestation of infinity there is outwards in external space the same manifestation of infinity is found inwards within the internal etheric heart where an infinitesimal portion of Lord Krishna, the ?tma or eternal soul resides of all sentient beings. By the medium of the ?tma all space including the universes sun and moon etc. are encompassed within including all the demigods such as the firegod Agni and the windgod Vayu. These things are not impossible because of the inconceivable power of the Supreme Lord. The Vishnu Purana states: Inconceivable indeed is the Supreme Lord power, so much so that it is not possible to resolve His inconceivability by argument or debate. This is because His inconceivability is transcendental to words, thoughts and even imagination. Never by reason can the possible or impossible lilas or divine pastimes of the Supreme Lord Krishna be explained by even the most refined intellect in a rational manner. Otherwise the conclusive evidence of Lord Krishna performing phenomenally impossible activities would give rise to erroneous inferences and bizarre conclusions negating His absolute, almighty paramount position as the Ultimate cause and goal of all existence. It would be like someone attempting to explain a lighting bolt based upon the sound of thunder. One sometimes hears philosophers and intellectuals speak about that when transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord are found in even minuscule proportions within jivas or embodied beings there is contradiction; but this is no way constitutes any defect in the Supreme Lord. Such transcendental qualities found in jivas may seem to appear to contradict each other from the material vision of one who is unaware of the actual tattva or conclusive truth. But all seemingly contradictions are harmoniously established within the Supreme Lord and any contradictions perceived in others is completely dependent upon their capacity to delegate these qualities and also on the level of consciousness of the perceiver. It is only a mater of poetic licence to use the words madhyan or middle in the verse as the words na adim meaning no beginning and na antam meaning no end clearly includes whatever is between. The Supreme Lord Krishnas visvarupa is His divine universal form and is not of the form of the universe which is situated within it like a speck of light. He possesses infinite forms which are all unlimited. As all His forms are eternal they are without any ending and thus they are always unlimited.

Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:

Addressed as visvesvara or controller of the universe within the visvarupa or divine universal form of Lord Krishna was beheld infinite forms with unlimited arms, stomachs, faces and eyes extending in all directions. As He is infinite He has no beginning, middle or end.

Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:

11.16 Pasyami, I see; tvam, You; aneka-bahu-udara-vaktra-netram, as possessed of numerous arms, bellies, mouths and eyes; ananta-rupam, having infinite forms; sarvatah, all around. Visveswara, O Lord of the Universe; visva-rupa, O Cosmic Person; na pasyami, I see not; [‘I do not see-because of Your all-pervasiveness.’] tava, Your; antam, end; na madhyam, nor the middle-what lies between two extremities; na punah, nor again; the adim, beginning-I see not the limit (end) nor the middle, nor again the beginning, of You who are God! Furthermore,

Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:

Sri Abhinavagupta did not comment on this sloka.

Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:

aneka-bahudara-vaktra-netram
pasyami tvam sarvato ’nanta-rupam
nantam na madhyam na punas tavadim
pasyami visvesvara visva-rupa

Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:

aneka — many; bāhu — arms; udara — bellies; vaktra — mouths; netram — eyes; paśyāmi — I see; tvām — You; sarvataḥ — on all sides; ananta-rūpam — unlimited form; na antam — no end; na madhyam — no middle; na punaḥ — nor again; tava — Your; ādim — beginning; paśyāmi — I see; viśva-īśvara — O Lord of the universe; viśva-rūpa — in the form of the universe.


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