“Your mind has been perturbed upon seeing this horrible feature of Mine. Now let it be finished. My devotee, be free from all disturbance. With a peaceful mind you can now see the form you desire.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.49)
The virata-rupa is the universal form. It is a divine vision, produced only by the Divine. It is something like placing everything that exists into a single image. The time factor is also accounted for. With the unique version displayed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra to the bow-warrior Arjuna, the outcome to the impending war was shown. Practically all the soldiers, with the exception of Arjuna and his brothers, were seen rushing into the many mouths of Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“All the sons of Dhritarashtra along with their allied kings, and Bhishma, Drona and Karna, and all our soldiers are rushing into Your mouths, their heads smashed by Your fearful teeth. I see that some are being crushed between Your teeth as well.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.26-27)
The vision came at Arjuna’s request. The proof was there previously. Markandeya Rishi informed the Pandava brothers that Krishna is none other than Narayana, who is the lone person surviving the universal dissolution. This is because Narayana, who is also known as Vishnu, never takes birth and never dies. He is aja, or unborn. His existence is ananta, or unlimited. We are similar in quality, except during our existence we can become subject to illusion that is found in the material world.
The universal form was awesome to behold, but Arjuna soon requested Krishna to transform back into His two-handed form. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for the devotees this form is more attractive than anything, including a vision of everything that exists.
1. There is potential for interaction
Imagine being at a museum. There is the most amazing exhibit in the world. It is more mind blowing than a painting. It is like a three dimensional sculpture, but not static. It is something like a GIF image, which has motion.
As great as the experience is, there is no interaction. Simply not possible. The limit is appreciation, viewing in awe and reverence. With Krishna, or God the person, there is endless space for interaction. The battlefield of Kurukshetra is one example. It featured three different moods within a short period of time. Krishna and Arjuna were friends. They were also in a task relationship, where Krishna served at Arjuna’s direction. The singing of the Bhagavad-gita is the time when Krishna became guru and Arjuna disciple.
2. The flute can create a most amazing sound
The two-handed form is not without paraphernalia. In one hand Krishna holds His flute. This object is always with Him, throughout the different manifestations. In His earlier years in Vrindavana, the child Krishna plays on the flute when the cows wander astray. The darling son of Yashoda places His lotus feet on the sacred Govardhana Hill and produces an enchanting sound to catch everyone’s attention.
3. The clothes bring to mind the love of mother Yashoda
The virata-rupa creates fear, as it makes the observer feel very small. So much more is going on simultaneously in the three worlds. The individual is limited in their sphere of influence. Only the local space. A world leader can wield more power, but they still can’t leave the temporary body and read the minds of every other person.
The clothes on Krishna create a loving sentiment. Upon seeing the garments for a split second the person familiar with the life and pastimes of Krishna immediately remembers the affection shown by mother Yashoda in Vrindavana. She dresses Him every single day. The clothes and ornaments receive the benediction of getting an enhanced stature due to association with Krishna. The paraphernalia is so important that the sighting of a single peacock feather can stir so many ecstatic emotions.
4. The smile removes pride
Under the influence of ahankara, or false ego, there is pride in the ability to influence outcomes. The truth is that the three modes of material nature must first cooperate in order for any result to manifest. This swelling of pride is a great hindrance towards advancement in spiritual life. The more one is attached to their temporary body and the abilities that come with it, the more likely they are to continue in the cycle of birth and death.
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
In the two-handed form, Shri Krishna’s smile alone can remove pride. The virata-rupa brings fear, but it does not necessarily purify the consciousness. The smile is part of Krishna’s all-attractiveness, and the more one is drawn to that well-wisher of Arjuna and the Pandavas, the more progress they make towards the ultimate goal of liberation.
From natural effulgence beaming bright,
That virata-rupa an amazing sight.
But Arjuna desiring Krishna again,
Who happily transformed then.
Two-handed, holding the flute,
Tearing out pride by the root.
Endless room for interaction the chance,
Bliss from a single ornament a glance.
Categories: the four