Gita Series – 115: Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. Verse 23 – 26

Among the eleven Rudras-s, I am Śiva; among the Yakṣa-s and Rākṣasa-s I am Kubera; among the eight Vasu-s, I am the god of fire; among the mountains, I am the Meru; among the priests, I am their chief Bṛuhaspati; among the war generals, I am Skanda; among the waters, I am the ocean; among the great seers, I am Bhṛgu; among words, I am the sacred syllable OM; among the offerings, I am the japa; among the immovable, I am the Himālaya; among the trees, I am Aśvattha; among the celestial sages, I am Nārada; among the Gadharva-s, I am Citraratha; among the Siddhas I am the sage Kapila.”

Krishna continues to declare His manifested forms. It is to be understood that every manifestation is nothing but the reflection of the Brahman. Krishna refers to the best amongst different types of His manifestations.

Rudra is explained as “forcibly leading this creation upwards. He puts down all those who arrogantly obstruct His courses and kills the evil opponents. Though thus, terrible, he is beneficent and compassionate to the distressed.” (Source: Secrets of Rig Veda by R.L. Kashyap). There are said to be eleven Rudra-s known as Ekādaśa Rudra-s (ekādaśa means eleven) and they are Hara, Bahurūpa, Tryambaka, Aparājita, Vṛṣākapi, Śambhu, Kaparadī, Raivata Mṛgavyādha, Śarva and Kapālī. Out of the eleven Rudra-s, Śṁbhu is Śiva, the chief amongst the Rudra-s.

Yakṣa-s are a class of demigods and goddesses. Chief among them is Kubera, the one who protects the wealth. Yakṣa-s are said to be protecting different regions and hence known as lokapāla-s. There are eight lokapāla-s protecting four cardinal and four intermediate points of the world.

Vasu-s are a class of gods who are highly benevolent. Their names differ in various scriptures. Vasu-s are eight in number and generally known as aṣṭavasu-s. According to Vishnu Purana the names of these gods are Āpa (Water), Dhruva (the pole star), Soma (moon), Dhava or Dhara, Anila (wind), Anala or Pāvaka (fire), Pratyuśa (the dawn), and Prabhāsa (the light). Amongst them Anala or Pāvaka is said to the chief.

Meru is the mythological mountain, the top of which is the Abode of Lord Shiva and His consort Pārvatī. Meru is also said to be one of the peaks of Himalayan Mountains from which the holy river Ganges originates.

Bṛuhaspati is the chief of priests. Priests are those who conduct sacrificial rituals and are authorities on rituals. Bṛuhaspati is the celestial priest for gods and goddesses. He is the son of the famous sage Aṅgirās. It is also said that Bṛuhaspati shines in the form of planet Jupiter.

Skanda is the son of Shiva and Pārvatī and is also known as Kārttikeya. He is called god of war as leader of Śiva's hosts against the enemies of the gods.

Ocean is the only water body that does not dry and also occupies major portion of the earth.

Bhṛgu is the mind-born son of Brahmā. He is one among the ten maharshi-s (great sages) created by the first Manu. He is also said be the father of Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu. Bhṛgu is considered as one of the great exponents of mantras and has revealed a number of mantra-s to the world. It is also said that he tested sattva guna of Lord Vishnu by kicking on His chest and his foot prints still remain in the chest of Lord Vishnu. Bhṛgu is also considered as one of the nine Brahmā-s, who existed at different times.

OM or ॐ is symbolic representation of the Brahman. OM is most commonly known as praṇava. Every mantra and every sacred verse begins with OM. It is the Śabdabrahman, the sound form of the Lord.

Japa is considered as the most effective ritual. Mental repetition of mantra is japa. It is several times more potent than rituals and leads to direct perception of the Lord.

Himālaya mountain ranges are said to be highly sacred and full of natural beauty and even today, there are number of sages meditating on the Lord in Himālaya. Number of sages attained liberation by meditating in Himālaya mountain. On the top of this mountain rage, the chief of mountain resides.

Aśvattha tree (pipal tree and its botanical name is ficus religiosa) is yet another symbol of sacredness and is said to be the chief of plant kingdom.

Nārada is a celestial sage, also known as devariṣi (divine sage). Krishna makes a reference to Nārada for the second time here. The earlier reference is in the verse 13 of this chapter. Nārada is a highly evolved sage and sings songs in praise of the Lord.

Gadharva-s are celestial musicians and are very attractive to look at. They have a separate world called as Gandharvaloka. There are two types of gandharva-s, celestial and earthly. There are said to be sixteen celestial gandharva-s and Citraratha is the chief among them. Apsaras, their wives also belong to this category.

Siddhas are also a kind of sages who are thoroughly perfected by perpetual meditation, as a result of which attained eight types of super human powers, known as siddhi-s. There are many such siddhas living in astral plane even today. Kapila is famous among them. He is the founder of Sāṃkhya system of philosophy. Brahmā made His personal appearance and told Siddha Kapila that he is the lord of Siddhas.

Thus, Krishna has chosen the best among the bests and says that they are His own Self.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. 19 - 22

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. 27 - 31

Bhagavad Gita Chapter X. 1 - 5