Gita Series – 115: Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. Verse 27 – 31

Among the horses, I am the celestial horse Uccaiḥśrava (uchchaihshrava), born out of the nectar; among the mighty elephants, I am Airāvata; among men, I am the emperor; among the weaponries, I am the thunderbolt; among the cows, I am the celestial cow Kāmadhenu; among desires, I am the sexual desire; among the serpents, I am Vāsuki; among nāga-s, I am Ananta; among the aqualtic creatures, I am Varuṇa, among the pitṛ-s, I am Aryamā; among the rulers, I am Yama; among the demons, I am Prahlāda; among reckoners, I am the time; among animals, I am the lion; among birds, I am Garuḍa; among purifiers, I am the wind; among the warriors, I am Rāma; among the fishes, I am the shark; among the rivers, I am the Ganges.”

Uccaiḥśrava (uchchaihshrava) is the name of the horse obtained during churning of the ocean by gods and demons. This horse originated along with the nectar. It is considered as the chief of amongst the horses because of its divine origin. This horse is being used by lord Indra. Airāvata, a white elephant, is also said to have been obtained while churning the ocean. This elephant is also being used by Indra. Emperor is the king of kings and hence considered as the supreme amongst the kings. Indra has got a thunderbolt as his weapon. This thunder bolt is the spinal cord of the great sage Dadhīci. This thunderbolt is described in Bhāgavata. The spinal cord of sage Dadhīci is highly energised because of his meditating power and devotion. Subsequently, this spinal cord was further energised by Lord Vishnu and handed over to Indra. Hence, Indra’s thunderbolt is considered as the most powerful weapon. Kāmadhenu is the celestial cow. She was also obtained during churning of the ocean. She is capable of providing whatever is asked for. (Churning of ocean: It is said that ocean of milk was churned by gods on one side and demons on the other side by using the serpent Vāsuki as the churning chord and a mountain as the churner. At the end of this mythological churning, nectar (amṛta) was obtained and shared amongst gods)

Krishna says that He is the desire of procreation amongst all the desires. Krishna draws a line between sensual pleasure and the pleasure of procreation. Pleasure of procreation is considered as one of the important and sacred duties of mankind. As far as animals are concerned, they do not indulge in sex as a duty. Hence any over indulgence in sensual pleasure is considered as bestial act. If someone thinks that indulgence in sex is a sinful act, it means he does not know śāstra-s. Śāstra-s only prohibits certain days when sex is to be avoided. Krishna says that He is in the form of sexual desire, subject to the precepts of śāstra-s.

Vāsuki is the name of a serpent that adorns the ring finger of Shiva. This serpent offered its services to be used as a rope during the churning process of the ocean. Ananta is a nāga. There is difference between serpents and nāga-s. Serpents are single hooded and nāga-s are multi hooded. Ananta is the name of the nāga on which Lord Vishnu has His famous yogic sleep. Varuṇa is the rain god or the god of waters. Because of the purification nature of water, its lord Varuṇa is adored as the best amongst purifiers. Since water forms the major portion of the universe, the chief of water is praised by the Lord. Pitṛ-s are the deceased ancestors. It is believed that when a soul leaves the gross body, it first reaches the world of ancestors for a sojourn. The world of ancestors is ruled by Aryamā.

Yama is the lord of death. Krishna has given a lot importance to the moment of death. At the time of death, Krishna repeatedly says that one should think about Him. According to Hindu mythology, Yama takes away the soul with him and gives its due treatment depending upon its karmic account. It is also believed that an afflicted soul undergoes two stages of punishment. One is in the astral plane without embodiment and another at earth with embodiment. Yama is the lord who decides how a soul is to be treated in the astral plane. These astral planes are known as heaven and hell. There are several versions of theory of incarnation. Yama is the god of justice and he never does anything that is prescribed as unjust in scriptures. He also guards the southern side of the universe.

Prahlāda belongs to demonic lineage. He developed great devotion towards Vishnu. Narasiṁha avatar of Vishnu is only to prove that His devotee is right about the omnipresent nature of the Lord. Time is the most important aspect of the universe. A man’s life span is decided by time. The duration of the universe is decided by time. All those that are bound by time are perishable. The Brahman alone is beyond time, hence He is Imperishable. Lion is known as king of animal kingdom and hence considered as supreme amongst animals. Garuḍa is a mythical bird and is considered as the vehicle of Vishnu. Apart from water, Krishna says that wind is also a purifier. Water is a gross purifier and wind is the subtle purifier. Only the wind gets converted into prāṇa and purifies the body.

The main character of the famous epic Rāmāyaṇa is Śrī Rāma, known for His virtuous deeds. He is also a great warrior. Both Śrī Rāma and Śrī Kriṣṇa are the incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu. Shark is one of the biggest and mightiest of aquatic kingdom. The river Ganges is considered to be most sacred river and is said to originate from the heavens and flows across after washing the sacred feet of the Lord Viṣṇu. There are different stories associated with the origin of the river Ganges.

Krishna has thus identified Himself with the best amongst different activities of life. Krishna would not have dealt in such a great length merely to describe the best amongst His creations. There are subtle interpretations to each of these bests. His Krishna discreetly makes a reference to kuṇḍalinī energy through these verses. For example, Ganges is said to represent the spinal cord and Śrī Rāma is the symbolic representation of sense control.