The Tenth Teaching
The Tenth Teaching
Splendor of Divine Power
Great Warrior, again hear my word in its supreme form;
Desiring your utmost good, I tell you the greatest teaching.
Neither the multitude of gods nor great sages know my origin,
I am the source from which all the gods and sages emerge.
Whoever knows me as the unborn, the Beginningless, the great Lord of all worlds-he alone sees truly and is free from all harm.
Understanding, wisdom, non-delusion, patience, truth, control, tranquility, joy, suffering, being, nonbeing, fear and fearlessness,
nonviolence, equanimity, contentment, penance, charity, glory, disgrace-all these arise from me alone.
The seven ancient great sages and the four ancestors from whom all beings descend arose from my own depths, mind born.
The man who can understand my power and my discipline is forever united with me by his unwavering love.
I am the source of everything and everything proceeds from me;
Filled with my existence, wise men realizing this, are devoted to me.
Thinking and living deep in me, they enlighten one another by constantly telling of me for their own joy and delight.
To those who are steadfast, who love me with true devotion; I give the yoga of understanding, which will bring them to where I am.
Acting with deep compassion from within my own being, I dispel all ignorance born darkness with the radiant light of wisdom.
You are the supreme, the infinite spirit, the highest abode, sublime purifier, man’s spirit, eternal, divine, the primordial god, unborn, omnipotent.
So the ancient seers spoke of you as did the epic poet Vyasa and the bards, ancestors and men; and now you confirm it yourself.
Lord Krishna, I realize all you told me is true; neither the gods nor the demons can grasp your infinite forms.
You alone know yourself through the Self, Krishna: Supreme among Men, Sustainer, Lord of Creatures, God of Gods, Master of the Universe!
Tell me without reserve the divine self-manifestations by which you pervade these worlds and grace them with so many splendors.
Lord of Discipline, how can I know you? Which of your many forms should I meditate upon-in what diverse aspects can I think of you, Krishna?
Recount in full extent the discipline and power of your Self; Krishna, I can never hear enough of your honey-sweet words.
Listen, Arjuna, as I recount for you in essence the divine powers of my Self, endless in my extent.
I am the Self, Arjuna, abiding in the heart of all beings; I am their beginning, their life span, and their end as well.
I am Vishnu striding among sun gods, the radiant sun among lights; I am lightning among wind gods, the moon among the stars.
I am the song in sacred lore; I am Indra, king of the gods; I am the mind of the senses, the consciousness of creatures.
I am gracious Shiva among howling storm gods, the lord of wealth among demigods and demons, fire blazing among the bright gods; I am golden Meru towering over the mountains.
Arjuna, know me as the gods’ teacher, chief of the household priests; I am the god of war among generals; I am the ocean of lakes.
I am Bhrigu, priest of the great seers; of words, I am the eternal syllable OM,
The prayer of sacrifices, I am Himalaya, the measure of what endures.
Among trees, I am the sacred fig tree; I am chief of the divine sages, leader of the celestial musicians, the recluse philosopher among saints.
Among horses, know me as the immortal stallion born from the sea of elixir,
among elephants the divine king’s mount; among men, the king.
I am the thunderbolt among weapons, among cattle, the magical wish granting cow; I am the procreative god of love, the king of the snakes.
I am the endless cosmic serpent the lord of all sea creatures; I am chief of the ancestral fathers; of restraints, I am death.
I am the pious son of demons; of measures, I am time; I am the lion among wild animals, the eagle among birds.
I am the purifying wind, the warrior Rama bearing arms, the sea monster crocodile, the flowing river Ganges.
I am the beginning, the middle, and the end of creations, Arjuna; of sciences, I am the science of the Self; I am the dispute of orators.
I am the vowel A of the letters,
The pairing of words in a compound; I am indestructible time, the creator facing everywhere at once.
I am death the destroyer of all, the source of what will be, the feminine powers: fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, resolve, patience.
I am the great ritual chant, the meter of sacred song, the most sacred month in the year, the spring blooming with flowers.
I am the dice game of gamblers, the brilliance of fiery heroes.
I am victory and resolve, the wisdom of the wise.
I am Krishna among my mighty Kinsmen; I am Arjuna among the Pandava princes; I am the epic poet Vyasa among sages, the inspired singer among bards,
I am the scepter of rulers, the morality of ambitious men; I am the silence of mysteries-what men of knowledge know.
Arjuna, I am the divine seed within all beings; nothing animate or animate could exist without me.
Fiery Hero, endless is my divine power-of my powers extent I have barely hinted.
Whatever in this world is excellent and glows with, lucid and beauty-be sure it has its source in a fragment of my divine splendor.
What need is there for all these details, Arjuna? Just know that I am, and that I support the entire world with a single fragment of myself.
As I Understand It:
In this chapter Krishna ceases to be a charioteer and a friend of Arjuna. He reveals Himself as God. And Arjuna is no longer a warrior but a seeker after truth, a devotee of the Lord. He knows Krishna as the source of all the beings and things-the Ultimate Reality that transcends all opposites, like the Brahman of Upanishads, the Reality beyond duality. Arjuna realizes that as a devotee he can only experience God in the state of deep meditation, Samadhi.
The rest of the tenth teaching is filled with unfamiliar names from Hindu mythology. The point is that whatever divine category one is talking about Krishna is the best, the chief, the most beautiful and the most awesome.
Krishna is the Atman, the inner Self in all beings that is experienced in deep meditation.
Krishna is Arjuna’s innermost Self.
Krishna is the innermost Self of all beings.
It is no use knowing all the details Krishna tells Arjuna, “The important fact is to know that I am and I am the source and essence of all.”
The Bhagavad Gita, Translated for the Modern Reader with general introduction by Eknath Easwaran, chapter introductions by Diana Morrison. Nilgiri Press, Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, California.1996 (1st Pub. 1985).
The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna Counsel in Time of War, Translation and Introduction by Barbara Stoler Miller. Bantam Doubleday Dell Group, Inc. New York. Bantam Books, 1986.
Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation, Stephen Mitchell, Three Rivers Press, New York, 2000.