signs & miracles
Yes, I will tell you of My
splendorous Vibhutis, but only of those which are prominent, O Arjuna, for My
opulence is limitless.
sixty-nine Vibhutis of Lord mentioned from the twentieth to the
thirty-eighth verses of this chapter 10 Gita
"Listen Arjuna, I am
telling you the Supreme Truth. Nobody knows my origin. It is not possible
for even the Divine Sages to know my origin or true nature, because I
existed before any of them were even born. The living and nonliving came
into being because of Me. I am without a beginning and without any end. I
am the Lord of all this creation. Those who realize my Supreme Glory and
transcendental powers become tuned with Me. They take pleasure in talking
about me and My glory. When these righteous people continue to live in My
Divine Light, I give them Buddhi-Yoga. They march ahead in this path and
merge in Me when their ignorance is finally dispelled."
At the end (Ch 10
Gita) Lord Krishna says, "Arjuna, there is no end to My Divine Glories.
This is only a brief description to give you some idea. Wherever you find
brilliance, power, or glory, be sure it is a manifestation of a spark of
My Divine effulgence. Or leaving aside these details, it will be
sufficient if I say that I hold together this whole world with just one
small spark of My Divine Power."
Now why is it that Lord Krishna selects a particular item as Vibhuti? What
is the technique of contemplating or dwelling upon it? How does such a
contemplation or dwelling lead to Divine awareness? In the opening verse
of this chapter, Lord Krishna says, "Arjuna, I will now tell you My
supreme word. I am doing this because I wish you well. I want to do good
for you." That means that we should recognize, understand, and contemplate
on these Vibhutis or glories of God for our own good.
Lord Krishna mentions that the Himalayas represent His Vibhuti among the
mountains. There are many mountains in the world. Of all those mountains,
the Himalayas are the most scenic and beautiful. The Indian subcontinent
is protected from the cold northern winds by this mountain range. Many
holy rivers like the Ganges originate from this range. There are many holy
shrines and places of pilgrimage. From time immemorial, many persons have
practiced penance and thus created a soul-lifting atmosphere in the
Himalayas. Any person who visits the Himalayas cannot help but feel the
Divine vibrations from the majestic lofty peaks, the beautiful evergreen
trees, cool and clear springs, pure air, roaring rivers, deep valleys, and
beautiful landscapes, all contributing a cumulative effect of arousing
Divine feelings inside.
The Himalayas are healthy for the body, inspiring for the mind,
stimulating for the soul, and are the best of mountains to hold high the
flag of glory of God. If you dwell upon the Himalayas as a magnificent
manifestation of the smallest portion of the Divine, then you can very
well say that God is beyond comprehension. Even the smartest and strongest
individual and his idea of being "big" in the world appears as a dwarf.
Thus the Himalayas remind us of the glory of God and help to eliminate our
Quite a few names and items are mentioned in this chapter. It is most
important that one understand the mythology behind them. Gods (Verse 2)
are those, recognized by scriptures, who control the activities of the
universe. The great sages (Verses 2, 6, and 25) are seven in number: 1)
Bhrigu, 2) Marichi, 3) Atri, 4) Pulaha, 5) Pulastya, 6) Kratu, and 7)
Angira. Of these seven Maharishis, Bhrigu was the best.
The four Manus are 1) Svarochisha, 2) Svayambhuva, 3) Raivata, and 4)
Auttama. The Devarishi Narada is a devotee of Vishnu who sings the glory
of God all the time. Asita was the son of Sage Kashyapa. Devala was the
son of Asita.
Adityas are twelve in number. They are the sons of Aditi. Their names are
Daksha, Mitra, Aryaman, Shakra, Varuna, Amsha, Bhaga, Vivasvat, Pushan,
Savitri, Tvashtra, and Vishnu. They each preside over one month, and
Vishnu is the best of them.
Maruts are the wind-gods, forty-nine in number. Marichi is the best of
The Vedas are four: Rik-veda, Sama-veda, Yajur-veda, and Atharva-veda. Of
these Sama-veda is musical in character and hence most appealing and
elevating, and best represents the glory of God.
Rudras are eleven: Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajita, Vrishakapi,
Shambhu, Kapardi, Raivata, Mrigavyadha, Sharva, and Kapali. Shambhu, who
is known also as Shankara, is the best.
Yakshas and Rakshasas are higher in creation as they are celestial beings.
Of these demi-gods, Kubera represents the glory of God and was the
grandson of Sage Pulastya. He practiced strict penance. Lord Brahma was
pleased and granted him his wish and also gave him the well-known aerial
There are eight Vasus: Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Ahah, Anila, Anala, Pratyusha,
and Prabhasa. Of these, Anala or Fire is looked upon as the mouth of gods.
Fire is also supposed to carry the offerings to the various Deities. Hence
the Lord calls Fire as his own Self.
Meru is the name of that mountain which is supposed to be the axis around
which all the heavenly bodies rotate. It is supposed to contain quite a
bit of gold and jewels. It was used to churn the ocean and remove the
nectar from it. Esoterically, it stands for the nerve Sushuma which is the
path through which the Divine power rises to the top of the head.
Brihaspati is the illustrious priest of the Gods. He is the Son of Angira,
one of the seven celestial seers. He has been the family priest of Indra.
Skanda is the generalissimo of the Gods. He has six heads and twelve
hands. He is the son of Lord Shiva. He destroyed the three demons known
for the fortified forts.
Of all the trees, the fig tree (ficus religiosa) is looked upon as a
manifestation of the glory of God. It is also the center of so many
rituals that are supposed to yield the desired fruits. The word Ashwatha
is also broken up as "A," Shwa, and Tha, which means "nothing for
tomorrow." Symbolically, this means that the aspirant attains
Self-knowledge and is not required to be born again.
Om is the one word among words that represents the Divine glory. The
Yoga-Sutras, Mandukya-Upanishad, etc., all sing the glory of Om. Gita also
mentions (Chapter 8, Verse 13) that he who chants Om and remembers Brahma
while leaving the body goes to the highest state. Om is the best mantram
leading to Self-knowledge.
Japa-Yajna is supposed to be the best among the sacrifices. It does not
involve any violence and takes the aspirant to the higher areas of
Narada, a great devotee of Vishnu, is the best among the celestial seers.
Gandharvas are the celestial beings who specialize in music and dance.
Chitraratha is the king of this group. Kapila is the son of the great Yogi
Kardama. His mother, Devahuti, was also a highly evolved soul. He
propounded the Sankhya system of philosophy and was endowed with
knowledge, virtue, humility, etc.
The celestial horse Uchchaihishrava and the elephant Airavata were
obtained during the churning of the ocean. They are among the fourteen
jewels obtained from the ocean.
Thunderbolt, being most effective, is the best of the weapons.
Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, can give anything the devotee prays for.
Kandarpa, the sexual desire, necessary to continue the progeny, represents
Vasuki was the serpent that was used as a rope to tie around Mount Meru
and was used to churn the ocean. Of the reptiles, Ananta or Shesha forms a
cozy bed for Lord Vishnu. It has one thousand hoods. The earth appears as
small as a sesame seed resting on the top of its hood.
Vasuki represents the gross matter of the serpent, while Ananta or Shesha
represents the divine serpent power.
Varuna is the water-god who gives rain.
Aryama is the head of the ancestors, or Pitrus.
Yama, the god of death, is the most impartial of rulers and hence
represents Godís glory.
Prahlad was the son of Hiranya Kashipu, a demon who hated Lord Vishnu.
Although Prahlad was a demon by birth, he still was a great devotee of
Among the wise, the Lord says he is Ushana, the famous priest Sukracharya
who knew the Sanjivani Vidya. He was the preceptor of the King of Demons.
He revived those demons who were killed by the Gods.
Much can be said about each of the sixty-nine Vibhutis mentioned from the
twentieth to the thirty-eighth verses of this chapter. It is desirable
that every aspirant look into these items mentioned above and try to
understand their spiritual significance. Once the mind learns the method
of recognizing a Vibhuti or special manifestation of Divine glory, it will
see many more Vibhutis all around. Thus the mind will remember God, repeat
His name, and dwell upon Him throughout all the day and night. This will
result in cleansing the personality and thus make him fit for the direct
perception of the universal aspect of God.