Gita Series – 116: Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. Verse 32 – 36

Arjuna, I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all creations; among knowledge, I am the knowledge of Self; among debaters, I am the reasoning; among the letters, I am the letter  / A; among grammar, I am the conjunction. In reality, I am eternal, maintainer of the universe having face on all directions. I am the all destroying death; I am the origin of all births. Among women I am Kīrti, Śrī, Vāk, Smṛti, Medhā, Dhṛti and Kṣamā; among Vedic hymns I am Bṛhatsāma; among Vedic meters, I am Gāyatrī; among the lunar months I am mārgaśīrṣa (margashirsha); among the seasons, I am the winter; among the fraudulent practices, I am the gambling; among the splendour, I am the Splendid; among the victorious, I am the victory; among the resolves, I am the resolute; among the goodness, I am the good.”

Krishna continues to list out the best ones and says He is in that form. Instead of saying that He is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscience He refers to those who have excelled in a particular aspect. The Brahman is responsible for creation, sustenance and dissolution. Knowing about the Brahman is called knowledge, which is different from worldly knowledge or materialistic knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is the Supreme knowledge that elucidates the ways and means to realise the Brahman. Spiritual knowledge is Supreme because, it discusses about the subtlest of all, the Brahman, leading to liberation.

There are three types of deliberations – jalpa, vāda and vitaṇḍa. These are the types of deliberations and analysis to prove one’s point of view on a subject. Vāda is purely based on reasoning. Hence Krishna says that He is the reasoning in such deliberations. Any deliberation without reasoning is the job of ignorant and not of the wise. When Krishna says that He is in the form of अ or A, He actually refers to the first letter of any language, as all the languages are divine. Conjunction is a grammatical term that establishes a connection between two linguistic units, without which a sentence cannot be formed. Without a proper sentence, the intended meanings of different words cannot be expressed.

Time is a factor that is applicable only to mortals. In verse X. 30 also, there is a reference to time. There Krishna means the division of time for mortals. Here, He means the time of the Brahman. Since the Brahman is beyond time, He is the beginning, the middle and the end of the universe. Brahman alone transcends time factor. Because of His of eternity, He is the perpetual sustainer of the universe, yuga-s after yuga-s. Brahman having faces in all directions is the characterisation of cosmic form of the Brahman and His omnipresence. This could also mean that He rules over both gross and subtle aspects of the universe. He is the supreme ruler of both birth and death. The intended message of Krishna is to shed the ego during one’s life time.

Krishna refers to Kīrti, Śrī, Vāk, Smṛti, Medhā, Dhṛti and Kṣamā to seven names and say that they are the best seven, amongst the women. The meaning of these proper nouns are, fame, fortune, speech, memory, intellect, steadfastness and patience. Krishna says that women should be endowed with these qualities. They are the presiding deities of these seven great virtues associated with women. Again Krishna refers to Sāma Veda. A proper recitation of Sāma Veda soothes the mind because of the melody associated with it while rendering. There are many psalms in Sāma Veda and Bṛhatsāma is one among them. These verses are in praise of lord Indra, the chief of gods. Bṛhatī refers to the meter of the verses. Gāyatrī is a well known meter of Vedic hymns. Most of the verses of Vedas are composed in Gāyatrī chandas, the best among all the meters.

Mārgaśīrṣa (margashirsha) is one of the solar months comprising of second fortnight of December and the first fortnight of January. It is said that if one observes austerities during mārgaśīrṣa (margashirsha), when the best weather conditions prevail, they are rewarded by the divine. The month of mārgaśīrṣa (margashirsha)is neither hot nor too cold nor rainy and hence, it is always pleasant. As per Indian lunar calendar twelve solar months are divided into six groups of two months each known as ṛtu-s. The month of mārgaśīrṣa (margashirsha) falls under hemanta ṛtu, the winter season. For a good meditation, the climate should be neither hot nor cold. Because of the pleasant weather conditions, Krishna makes a reference to this season. Gambling is considered as a fraudulent game because, for winning the game no skills are required. Victory is achieved by cheating others. This statement of Krishna is a typical example of His omnipresence. He not only exists in good, but also exists in bad, as otherwise, omnipresence has no meaning.

Among the splendour Krishna says that He is the splendid. It means that He is in the splendid, the cause of splendour. Among the triumphant, He is the victory as victory alone makes a triumphant. He is the resolve amongst the resolute. He is the good among goodness. Being good is the cause for goodness.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. 27 - 31

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. 37 - 42

Bhagavad Gita. Chapter XI. 1 - 4