Chapter Twenty-six

 

THE UNIVERSAL FORM

 

DEVOTEE: In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna reveals His universal form to His devotee Arjuna. This is a very special form of the Lord that is not one of the Lord's eternal spiritual forms. After revealing this form, He says to Arjuna, "O Arjuna, whatever you wish to see, behold at once in this body of Mine! This universal form can show you whatever you now desire to see and whatever you may want to see in the future. Everything - moving and non-moving - is here completely, in one place." [Bg. 11.7] In other words, Arjuna was able to see what even the greatest scientists cannot see - everything past, present, and future, everywhere in the universe, even while sitting in one place. Do the Jewish scriptures describe any visions of God similar to this universal form?
RABBI: There is a statement similar to this. It says, "When an individual looks into these permutations in a proper manner, he can see all of the creation. He is like a person looking into a glass mirror, who sees both his own face, and the faces of all who pass by." [Meditation and the Kabbalah, p 78] In other words, when a person properly chants the names of God, he can become qualified to see this form.
DEVOTEE: Because of Ajuna's purity, Lord Krsna agreed to give him divine eyes to see His universal form. The statement you just quoted from Meditation and the Kabbalah clearly says, it was by properly chanting the names of God (looking into the permutations in a proper manner) that a person could qualify himself to see this form. According to Vedic understanding also, if one chants the holy names of the Lord properly, without offense, the Lord will reveal everything to us according to His pleasure. Pure chanting ultimately means to chant the Lord's holy names while not maintaining even a tinge of desire separate from the desire of the Lord. That is pure devotion. Arjuna was not known for always chanting the Lord' s names like a religious monk, priest or rabbi might, but he was certainly a soul fully surrendered to Lord Krsna and thus became qualified to see the universal form.

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