2.3
July 5, 2010

Gita Talk #12: Does the Infinitely Wondrous Universe Give a Damn About You and Me?

Does the infinitely wondrous universe give a damn about you and me?

Yes and no.

On one hand, the universe (Krishna) is beyond all caring and concern about human beings, and even our existence:

You gulp down all worlds, everywhere
swallowing them in your flames,
and your rays, Lord Vishnu, fill all
the universe with dreadful brilliance.   (11.30)

And the universe also has a little bit different sense of time:

all beings remain within me.
They are gathered back into my womb
at the end of the cosmic cycle—
a hundred fifty thousand
billion of your earthly years—   (BG 9.7)

That’s the “No” part.  The universe doesn’t give a damn.

But at the same time, the universe (Krishna) is also everything moral and human, too:

Understanding and wisdom,
patience, truth, peace of mind,
pleasure and pain, being
and nonbeing, fear and courage.

nonviolence, equanimity,
control, benevolence, fame,
dishonor—all these conditions
come forth from me alone.   (10.4-5)

Whatever in this world is excellent
and glows with intelligence or beauty—
be sure that it has its source
in a fragment of my divine splendor.   (10.41-42)

This all makes sense, if you think about it.

On one hand, the universe looks upon the earth as if from a distant galaxy.  If an asteroid destroyed all humanity tomorrow, the universe would remain essentially unchanged.

On the other hand, the wondrous universe (Krishna) is also the smallest cell in our body, and it’s everything we feel and do, including love, morality, and all we hold most dear:  I am the source from which gods and sages emerge.  (BG 10.2)

That’s the “Yes” part.  Not only does the universe care, we ARE the wondrous universe.

Does the Infinitely Wondrous Universe Give a Damn About You and Me?

Yes and no!

Chapters 10 & 11 of the Bhagavad Gita are one of the high points of world literature and spirituality.  The energy, the power, the vision, the message, all are unsurpassed.  In these chapters we have the clearest statement yet of the central message of the Gita, and of Yoga itself:

–The universe is infinitely wondrous.
–Each of us is an integral part of that infinite wonder.
–To realize that infinite wonder all we have to do is to lovingly focus our minds on it.

He who can understand
the glory of my manifestations
is forever united with me
by his unwavering love.

I am the source of all things,
and all things emerge from me;
knowing this wise men worship
by entering my state of being.   (BG 10.7-8
)

What do you you think of Chapters 10 & 11?
What are your favorite passages?
What questions do you have?
What comments would you like to make?

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Bob Weisenberg

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