यद्यद्विभूतिमत्सत्त्वं श्रीमदूर्जितमेव वा

तत्तदेवावगच्छ त्वं मम तेजोंऽशसम्भवम् ॥४१॥


yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ

śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā

tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ

mama tejo-’ṁśa-sambhavam


yat yat—whatever; vibhūti—opulences; mat—having; sattvam—existence; śrīmat—beautiful; ūrjitam—glorious; eva—certainly; vā—or; tat tat—all those; eva—certainly; avagaccha—you must know; tvam—you; mama—My; tejaḥ—splendor; aṁśa—partly; sambhavam—born of.

Know that all beautiful, glorious and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.

yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ

śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā

tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ

mama tejo-’ṁśa-sambhavam

“Know that all beautiful, glorious and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.”

So, just before speaking about this verse, I just highlight some of the Sanskrit words that we may address or are addressed by other commentators in this particular verse.

vibhuti – opulences ; srimat – beautiful ; urjitam – glorious ; tejah – splendor

So, I’d like to give a little bit of context to this verse.

In the previous chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, we studied (this is from the 9th chapter), we studied the 27th verse where Krishna had said to Arjuna:

“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering to Me.”

And so, in the conclusion of this particular chapter, Krishna was speaking to Arjuna about the need of a life that is completely centered around Him, and as an offering to Him. The very last verse in that previous chapter 9 goes:

“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.”

So we have come to this point where Krishna is encouraging Arjuna to utterly surrender and take shelter of Him.

And so, if we look now at this 10th chapter (and it’s been titled “The Opulence of the Absolute”), where much of the opulence of the Supreme Being is enunciated or listed. We will address in a couple of minutes why Krishna may be doing this, but let me read first from the first three verses in this chapter:

“The Supreme Lord said: My dear friend, mighty-armed Arjuna, listen again to my Supreme word, which I shall impart to you for your benefit and which will give you great joy.”

So, we see that Krishna is now going to speak in such a manner that it gives support to why it is that He is asking Arjuna to become completely focused upon, surrendered to, and engaged in the loving service of Krishna.

So, the next verse:

“Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin, for in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and sages.”

So, the demigods were greatly powerful living beings that were empowered to manage the affairs and the natural laws of the universe, and they were often worshiped, or honored and worshiped in the Vedic culture because it was seen that they managed and provided for the prime necessities of life. And while they were honored as greatly powerful beings, Krishna makes the point that all of the demigods and the sages, they did not know His actual origin.

The next verse:

“He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds – he only, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins.”

So, Krishna had been speaking to Arjuna about the need for him to engage in what Arjuna considered would be ghastly act of warfare, even against his own family members, and he had been repeatedly assuring Arjuna that if he did this in a mood of devotion, he would not be held accountable karmically for these activities. And He has been stressing the need for Arjuna to become utterly focused upon and surrendered to Him, and that it is in his interest. And so now the things that Krishna is speaking about should give some assurance to Arjuna that this is the right advice, and this is the right thing to do.

Even Arjuna was later to reveal to Krishna, after seeing in the next chapter the universal form of the Lord, the virata rupa, this massive cosmic manifestation, that Arjuna suddenly felt very afraid. He said, “I’ve disrespected You. Sometimes I’ve made jokes of You. I’ve laid upon the same bed with You, and treated You as a friend, not knowing Your actual glory.” And so here Krishna is actually beginning this process of describing His—just a small part of His magnificent opulence, so that Arjuna will take his direction and advice very seriously.


Now reading on, another two verses, verses 7 and 8, in the same chapter:

“He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.”

“I am the source of all spiritual—”

So just speaking to this for a moment, Krishna’s stressing that one who actually comes to know Him or know about Him without doubt will completely alter his behavior towards Krishna. He will engage in unalloyed, meaning not for any material motivation or reason but out of pure love, that they would engage in this process of bhakti.

Now the next verse:

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.”

So, these were verses that are leading up to this verse that we’re just reading. And, as I said, from hearing these other verses, we can see where the direction that Krishna is steering Arjuna towards: the acceptance of Him as the all-powerful personality of Godhead, and that, out of natural spiritual affection, one should surrender to and serve in a mood of profound and ecstatic love, the Supreme Lord.

So, in the last two verses which we had read and studied, we hear Krishna referencing:

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

And then the other verse, 10.10, was, Krishna speaks to His destroying—and as He said,

“…with the shining lamp of knowledge, the darkness born of ignorance.”

And of course, the foundation of this ignorance is the adoption and the complete absorption in the illusion that the material body is the self and all of the bad things that come from that.

So now from this point onwards Krishna begins to give a list of His vast opulences. And He doesn’t, of course, cover everything. He covers just some of His endless opulence. Some of the things that He mentions are representative of Him, and some of them are direct expansions of Him. And what it is, is giving Arjuna, and us, the assurance that Krishna, that He can deliver on His word or His promises, being such a vastly powerful, infinitely powerful, personality.

So, in the first commentary that I would like to read from, it’s from the great Sridhara Swami, from the Rudra or Vallabha sampradaya, a different lineage than ours, but Sridhara Swami was greatly honored. He’s from the 13th century, some point in the 13th century. And his commentaries on the Bhagavad-gita and the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Bhagavat Purana, are honored by the spiritual masters within our lineage.

So, Sridhara Swami states:

“The subject matter of Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence is now being concluded. Lord Krishna informs that as His vibhuti is infinite and endless it is not possible to state them all and they only have been stated in brief.”

So that is the summary, the essence of what this verse is stating, what Krishna is stating. The word that Krishna used, and I had said earlier on, just bring your attention to it, this word vibhuti is translated by Srila Bhaktividanta Swami Prabhupada as being opulences, but it can also mean great powers. It can be applied in different ways. And opulence here doesn’t mean just opulence in forms of wealth, but the opulence of having great power and great ability as well.

In the next commentary, this is from Sri Madhva Acharya, one of the founding spiritual masters in our lineage, and he states:

“In whatever forms the manifestations of majesty, greatness, beauty and power are seen, they should be known as minuscule fractions of Lord Krishna’s vibhuti or divine, transcendental opulence. Manifesting as the Brahman, He becomes the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. Manifesting as Brahma…”

Brahma here is referencing the personality who is charged with the manifesting the creation of this universe, taking the provided subtle ingredient prakriti and creating or manifesting form from it.

“…manifesting as Brahma He becomes the ruler of the aggregate of the 330 million demigods. Having established as the predominant goal in the Sama Veda, He is known as Sama, predominant in the Vedas.”

So, the Vedas were divided into four—no, they existed as four, and were recorded, written down for the first time, by Srila Vyasadeva—the Ṛg Veda, Artha Veda, Yajur Veda and Sama Veda. And the Sama Veda is considered of great significance and importance. It is predominant.

“…He is known as Sama, predominant in the Vedas. Thus the principle of manifesting vibhuti. It is clear and apparent that the Supreme Lord Krishna’s avatars or incarnations and expansions are different from His vibhuti and are also distinctly different from the demigods and all jiva or embodied beings.”

So just speaking to that point, the Vedas teach that we should see both as being one, and yet a distinction between Krishna and everything that manifests from Him.

So, the vibhuti, His opulences, including those which pervade the material world, should be understood as being different from His expansions or avatars or incarnations, and also too they are distinct from the both the demigods and the living beings within this world.

And then quoting from the Sri Isopanisad, the invocation mantra:

oṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ

pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate

pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya

pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

The translation:

“The Supreme Lord is perfect and complete and because He is perfect and complete all that emanates from Him are perfectly complete. Whatever is produced from the complete is complete in itself. Because He is complete even though unlimited completeness emanates from Him, He remains eternally complete.”

So this is a very profound spiritual idea that if we could come to actually appreciate would be quite transformative for us.

But what is happening is Krishna is describing how, when one views any of His opulences, when we see something majestic or beautiful or glorious within the material creation, one not only can, but should, be reminded of Krishna.

So, I just have a note here: You’ll see that in many traditional cultures, people have a tendency, and it’s more—and I’ll use the word primitive, not in a derogatory way, but in a more basic sort of life, people generally worship nature. They were able to perceive some higher, more absolute existence in great things. When they saw something that was very great, it made them think of a superior power. That’s actually considered a very pious perspective, that you see something that is extraordinarily great, and you immediately perceive that there is some superior power behind it, whether it was a great mountain or a great river or something that was the biggest or best or the most awe-inspiring of all in that particular category. So when they would look at such a thing, that they would feel something special, that it inspired, it invoked—I mean people are still very much like this today. It would make them feel in some way the presence of God. And so these people would be worshiping God through nature.

So, we are not suggesting that nature is God, but the perspective that Krishna is offering, that by listening to this instruction we can learn how to connect our lives to that which is divine, to that which is all-powerful, by the principle of either association or remembrance.

Having read in this chapter, all of the different things: “Amongst bodies of water, I am the ocean.” He says that even He is the taste of water. Amongst great aquatics, He is represented by the shark. By animals of prey, He is represented by the lion. I mean it’s just like this long list of all these great immovable objects. He said, “I am the Himalayas,” this vast mountain range. And so what it does is to instill within the spiritual aspirant the understanding that through the principle of association or by remembrance of these instructions that when seeing something, I can feel intimately connected. I can remember Krishna and thereby remember His instructions.

So, in closing I will just read once again the verse:

“Know that all beautiful, glorious and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.”

Thank you very much.