Bhagavadgita -Radhakrishnan 14

The Bhagavadgita -S. Radhakrishnan

4. Ultimate Reality

God is responsible for both the ideal plan and the concrete medium through which the ideal becomes the actual, the conceptual becomes the cosmic. The containerization of the conceptual plan requires a fullness of existence, an objectification in the medium of potential matter. While God's ideas are seeking for existence, the world of existence is striving for perfection. The Divine pattern and the potential matter, both these are derived from God, who is the beginning, the middle and the end, Brahma, Visnu and Siva. God with His creative ideas is Brahma. God who pours out His love and works with a patience which is matched only by His love is Vishnu, who is perpetually at work saving the world. When the conceptual becomes the cosmic, when heaven is established on earth, we have the fulfillment represented by Siva. God is at the same time wisdom, love and perfection.

The three functions cannot be torn apart. Brahma, Visnu and Siva are fundamentally one though conceived in a threefold manner. The Gita is interested in the process of redeeming the world. So the aspect of Visnu is emphasized. Krsna represents the Visnu aspect of the Supreme. Visnu is a familiar deity in the Rg. Veda. He is the great pervader, from vis, to pervade.[1] He is the internal controller who pervades the whole universe. He gathers to Himself in an ever increasing measure the position and dignity of the Eternal Supreme. Taittiriya Aranyaka says : "To Narayana we bring worship ; to Vasudeva our meditations and in this may Visnu assist us. "[2]

Krsna, [3] the teacher of the Gita, becomes identified with Visnu, the ancient Lord of the Sun, and Narayana, an ancient God of cosmic character and the goal or resting place of gods and men.


References and Context

  1. Amara states, vyapake paramevare. It is traced also from vis, to enter. Taittnriya Up. says : "Having created that world, he after-wards entered into it." See also Padma Purana. Visnu as the Lord entered into prakrti. sa eva bhagavan visnuh prakrtyam avivesaha.
  2. X, I, 6. naraya u ya vidmahe vasudevaya dhimahi tan no visnuh pracodayat Narayana says : "Being like the Sun, I cover the whole world with rays, and I am also the sustainer of all beings and am hence called Vasudeva." M.B., XII, 341, 41.
  3. karsati sarvarm krsnah. He who attracts all or arouses devotion in all is krsna. Vedantaratnamanjusa (p. 52) says that Krsna is so called because he removes the sins of his devotees, papam karsayati, nirmulayati. Krsna is derived from krs, to scrape, because he scrapes or draws away all sins and other sources of evil from his devotees. krsater vslekhanarthasya rupam bhaktajanapapcidtidosakarsanat krsnah. Q.B.G., VI, 34