atha vā bahunaitena
kiḿ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaḿ kṛtsnam
ekāḿśena sthito jagat
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 10.42
But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
The Supreme Lord is represented throughout the entire material universes by His entering into all things as the Supersoul. The Lord here tells Arjuna that there is no point in understanding how things exist in their separate opulence and grandeur. He should know that all things are existing due to Krishna’s entering them as Supersoul. From Brahma, the most gigantic entity, on down to the smallest ant, all are existing because the Lord has entered each and all and is sustaining them.
There is a Mission that regularly propounds that worship of any demigod will lead one to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the supreme goal. But worship of demigods is thoroughly discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahma and Shiva represent only part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. He is the origin of everyone born, and no one is greater than Him. He is asamaurdhva, which means that no one is superior to Him and that no one is equal to Him. In the Padma Purana it is said that one who considers the Supreme Lord Krishna in the same category with demigods—be they even Brahma or Shiva—becomes at once an atheist. If, however, one thoroughly studies the different descriptions of the opulences and expansions of Krishna’s energy, then one can understand without any doubt the position of Lord Sri Krishna and can fix his mind in the worship of Krishna without deviation. The Lord is all-pervading by the expansion of His partial representation, the Supersoul, who enters into everything that is. Pure devotees, therefore, concentrate their minds in Krishna consciousness in full devotional service; therefore they are always situated in the transcendental position. Devotional service and worship of Krishna are very clearly indicated in this chapter in verses eight through eleven. That is the way of pure devotional service. How one can attain the highest devotional perfection of association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been thoroughly explained in this chapter. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana, a great acarya in disciplic succession from Krishna, concludes his commentary on this chapter by saying,
yad-amsena dhrtam vishvam
sa krsno dasame ’rcyate
From Lord Krishna’s potent energy even the powerful sun gets its power, and by Krishna’s partial expansion the whole world is maintained. Therefore Lord Sri Krishna is worshipable.
Commentary by Sri Vishvanatha Chakravarthi Thakur of Gaudiya Sampradaya:
Know the results that come from these many separate pieces of knowledge. By one portion alone, by the paramatma in human form, fixing myself (vistabhya) in the world which I have created, supporting this created world by being its basis, superintending the world by being its ruler, controlling the world by being its controller, pervading the world by being pervasive, and creating the world by beings its cause, I remain here.
Everything in the universe is Krishna alone, and he is thus worthy of service. By intelligence given by that realization, one should taste his sweetness. This has ben explained in this chapter.
Commentary by Sri Ramanuja of Sri Sampradaya:
10.42 What is the use to you of this detailed knowledge taught by Me? I sustain this universe with an infinitesimal fraction of My power — this universe consisting of sentient and non-sentient entities, whether in effect or causal condition, whether gross or subtle — in such a manner that it does not violate My will in preserving its proper form, existence and various activities. As said by Bhagavan Parasara: ‘On an infinitesimal fraction of this energy, this universe rests’ (V. P., 1.9.53).
Commentary by Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna again explains in a sublime and incomparable way to Arjuna who is still eager to hear more about Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence. Lord Krishna reveals that whatever is glorious, wonderful and majestic that is pre-eminently distinguished by the qualities of grandeur, beauty and power should be known to arise from just a fraction of His almighty splendour.
Commentary by Sri Madhvacharya of Brahma Sampradaya:
Lord Krishna speaks in general about His vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence. They all are verily manifestations of His spiritual form and are endowed with an infinitesimal measure of His power and splendour. In the Paingi scripture the same has been stated: In particular Brahma, Shiva, Garuda, Emperors of the whole Earth examples such as Bharata and Yudhisthira and great devotees of the Supreme Lord such as Hanuman and Arjuna are minute fractions of the Supreme Lords vibhuti. Narayana, Rama, Vishnu, Narasingha, etc. are avatars or direct incarnations and expansions of the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself. In the Gautama section it is mentioned that Krishna is the Supreme Lord in the maximum fullness and His other avatars are expansions of Him. The seers, sages, the munis, the enlightened, the self-realised, the powerful sons of Manu are all fragments of Lord Krishna’s vibhuti. Others are incarnations of Lord Krishna Humself. The Bhagavat Purana has declared that sages and seers such as Bhrigu and Brihaspati are fragments and others such as Vamana and Varaha, and Buddha and the like are His avatars with the same power, majesty and potency as Him. His avatars are transcendental and eternal exactly like Him in potency although of different forms. Lord Krishna speaks the words mama tejo’msa- sambhavan which means are born from a fraction of His power should be understood to be endowed with a fraction of His splendour and not born from it. Endowment due to association with His vibhuti creates a permanent effect which manifests as a fraction of His vibhuti.
Commentary by Sri Keshava Kashmiri of Kumara Sampradaya:
Although it is not possible to describe all Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence, still in order to please His devotees, Lord Krishna concisely reveals that whatever being or object that possesses brilliance, majesty and beauty and is excellently endowed with wisdom, power and might should be known surely to be but a spark of effulgence from Lord Krishna’s vibhuti.
Commentary by Sri Adi Shankaracharya of Advaita Sampradaya:
10.42 Athava, or, on the other hand; kim, what is the need; of tava jnatena, your knowing; etena bahuna, this extensively-but imcompletely-in the above manner, O Arjuna? You listen to this subject that is going to be stated in its fullness: Aham, I; sthitah, remain; vistabhya, sustaining, supporting, holding firmly, in a special way; idam, this; krtsnam, whole; jagat, creation; ekamsena, by a part, by a foot [The Universe is called a foot of His by virtue of His having the limiting adjunct of being its efficient and material cause.] (of Myself), i.e. as the Self of all things [As the material and the efficient cause of all things]. The Vedic text, ‘All beings form a foot of His’ (Rg., Pu. Su. 10.90.3; Tai. Ar. 3.12.3) support this. [A Form constituted by the whole of creation has been presented in this chapter for meditation. Thereby the unqualified transcendental Reality, implied by the word tat (in tattva-masi) and referred to by the latter portion of the Commentator’s quotation (viz tripadasyamrtam divi: The immortal three-footed One is established in His own effulgence), becomes established.]
Commentary by Sri Abhinavagupta of Kaula Tantra Sampradaya:
10.19-42 Hanta te etc. upto jagat sthitah. I am the Soul etc. (verse 20) : By this [the Bhagavat] wards off the exclusion [of any being as different form Him]. Otherwise the sentences like ‘Of the immovable [I am] the the Himalayas’ (verse 25) etc., would amount to the exclusive statement that the Himalayan range is the Bhagavat and not any other one. In that case, the indiscriminateness of the Brahman is not established and hence the realisation of the Brahman would be a partial (or conditioned) one. For, the [present] text of exposition is intended for that seeker whose mind cannot contemplate on the all-pervasiveness [of the Brahman], but who [at the same time] is desirous of realising that [all-pervasiveness]. Hence, while concluding, [the Bhagavat] teaches the theory of duality-cumunity by saying ‘whatsoever being exists with the manifesting power’ etc., and then concludes the topic with the theory of absolute unity, as ‘Or what is the use of this elaboration;…..I remain pervading this [universe] by a single fraction [of Myself] This has been declared indeed [in the scriptures] as : ‘All beings constitute [only] His one-fourth; His [other] immortal three-forths are in the heaven.’ (Rgveda, X, xc, 3). Thus, all this and the prime cause of creatures, are nothing but the Bhagavat (Absolute). And hence, He Himself becomes the object of knowledge of all, but being comprehended with the different strange qualities.
Sanskrit Shloka Without Transliteration Marks:
atha va bahunaitena
kim jñatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat
Sanskrit to English Word for Word Meanings:
atha vā — or; bahunā — many; etena — by this kind; kim — what; jñātena — by knowing; tava — your; arjuna — O Arjuna; viṣṭabhya — pervading; aham — I; idam — this; kṛtsnam — entire; eka — by one; aḿśena — part; sthitaḥ — am situated; jagat — universe.