Gita Series – 123: Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. Verse 35 – 46:

Sañjaya said, “Hearing those words of Krishna, Arjuna trembling with folded hands, bowed to the Lord again and spoke to Him with shaky voice.”

Arjuna said, “Krishna, the world becomes rapturous on listening to Your praises, scared demons flee, the Siddha-s bow to You. O, the Great Soul, why should they not bow before You, who is greater than Brahmā, the god of creation. (Brahmā looks after the act of creation and is controlled by Brahman, the Supreme Lord, who is also known as Brahma.) You are the abode of this universe, eternal, both manifest and unmanifest and much beyond these both too. You are primordial, the ancient and the ultimate resort of this universe. You are both knowledge and the knower. It is You, who permeate this universe in different shapes and forms. You are Vāyu, Yama, Agni, Varuṇa, Moon, Brahmā, no, the father of Brahmā himself. I offer my obeisance to You, thousands of times, again and again. Obeisance to You from Your front and back and from all Your sides. You are limitless in power and omnipresent.“I have addressed You as Krishna, Yādava, Friend considering You only as my friend, unaware of Your greatness. I seek Your forgiveness for the inappropriate words that I have used while playing, resting or eating together either privately or even in the presence of other friends. You are the father of this world for both animate and inanimate, worthy of worship and the Supreme master. You have no equals in the three worlds and You are the nonpareil power. Therefore, Lord, I prostrate at Your feet and please show mercy on me for my transgressions and forgive me just like a father forgives his son, a friend tolerating another friend and a spouse putting up with his beloved.

“I have rejoiced in Your Viśhvarūpa form that was never seen before. But, at the same time, I was disturbed and frightened. O, Lord, therefore please bless me with Your magnificent divine form with four arms, with club, chakra (disc), conch and lotus and adorned with a crown. O, Lord, with thousands of arms, appear again in Your four armed form.

Arjuna was so frightened on seeing the cosmic form of Krishna. This is evident in the way in which he spoke, with a lot repetitions. He was repeatedly praising the Lord and was clearly fumbling for words. The magnificence of Viśhvarūpa form got embedded very deeply in the mind of Arjuna. For example, Arjuna knows pretty well that the Brahman or Brahma or the Lord is incomparable. Because of the bewildered mental condition of Arjuna at that time, he could have drawn this comparison. Otherwise, a person of Arjuna’s caliber would not have ever attempted to draw this comparison.

Arjuna was a close playmate of Krishna. During those playful days, Arjuna did not realise Krishna’s magnificence. Arjuna gradually begins to realise Krishna only during war preparations. Within a short span of time, Arjuna had the opportunity to have Viśhvarūpa darśana of the Lord. This had become possible for Arjuna because of his unshakable faith in the Lord as his spiritual master. Even a perfected student like Arjuna could not withstand the grandeur of effulgence of the Lord, nothing need to be said about other aspirants. The blinding effulgence of the Lord can never be seen directly through biological eyes. That is why scriptures never talked about appearance of the Lord in His primordial Self illuminating form. Even for Arjuna, the Lord did not show His Self illuminating form. Viśhvarūpa form of the Lord is basically His mighty māyā form. Had Krishna chosen to reveal His Self radiating form, the whole world would have been burnt to ashes.

Arjuna was so scared of the cosmic form of Krishna, he pleads with the Lord to appear in His original Vishnu form. The form of Vishnu is always considered very auspicious. After witnessing the cosmic form of Krishna, Arjuna longs to see the auspicious form of the Lord, with which he is very familiar. Arjuna knows pretty well, that if he continues to have this kind of mind set, he cannot win the battle. Arjuna wanted a calm mind to win the battle. An agitated mind never offers solution and on the contrary gives more trouble, as an agitated mind loses its capacity to think properly to arrive at the correct decision.

Further Readings:

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 32 - 34

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 47 - 55

Bhagavad Gita Chapter XI. 14 - 31