Ancient India
The Divine Powers of Krishna

Krishna

   Yet again, O you of mighty arms, listen to my excellent words, which, out of a wish for your welfare, I speak to you who are delighted with them.

   Not the multitudes of gods, nor the great sages know my source; for I am in every way the origin of the gods and great sages. Of all mortals, he who knows me to be unborn, without beginning, the great lord of the world, being free from delusion, is released from all sins.

   Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from delusion, forgiveness, truth, restraint of the senses, tranquillity, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear, and also security, harmlessness, 1 equability, contentment, penance, making gifts, glory, disgrace, all these different tempers of living beings are from me alone.

   The seven great sages, and likewise the four ancients and the Manus, 2 whose descendants are all these people in the world, were all born from my mind, and all share in my powers. Whoever correctly knows these powers and emanations of mine, becomes possessed of spiritual discipline free from indecision; of this there is no doubt.

   The wise, full of devotion, worship me, believing that I am the origin of all, and that all moves on through me. Concentrating their minds on me, offering their lives to me, instructing each other, and speaking about me, they are always contented and happy. To these, who are constantly disciplined, and who worship with spiritual discipline, I give that knowledge by which they attain to me. And remaining in their hearts, I destroy, with the brilliant lamp of knowledge, the darkness born of ignorance in such men out of compassion for them.


Arjuna

   You are the supreme Brahman, the supreme goal, the holiest of the holy. All sages, as well as the divine sage Narada, Asita Devala, and Vyasa, 3 call you the eternal being, divine, the first god, the unborn, the all-pervading. And so, too, you tell me yourself, Krishna.

   I believe all this that you tell me is true; for, O lord, neither the gods nor demons understand your manifestations. You only know your self by your sel£ O best of beings, creator of all things, lord of all things, god of gods, lord of the univers, be pleased to declare without leaving anything out all your divine emanations, by.which emanations you stand pervading all these wor!ds.

   How shall I know you, O you of mystic 4 power, always meditating on you? And in what various entities, O lord, should I meditate on you? Again, Krishna, do you yourself declare your powers and emanations, because hearing this nectar, I still feel unsatisfied.


Krishna



   Well then, O best of Kauravas, I will state to you my own divine emanations, but only the chief ones, for there is no end to the extent of my emanations.

   I am the self, Arjuna, seated in the hearts of all beings.

   I am the beginning and the middle and the end also of all beings.

   I am Vishnu among the Adityas, 5 the beaming sun among the shining bodies, I am Mariki among the Maruts, 6 and the moon among the lunar mansions.

   Among the Vedas, I am the Sama-veda. 7

   I am Indra among the gods. 8

   I am mind among the senses.

   I am consciousness in living beings. 9

   And I am Sankara among the Rudras, 10 the lord of wealth among Yakshas and Rakshasas. 11 And 1 am fire among the Vasus, 12 and Meru 13 among the high topped mountains.

   And know me, Arjuna, to be Brihaspati, 14 the chief among domestic priests. I am Skanda among generals. 15

   I am the ocean among reservoirs of water.

   I am Bhrigu among the great sages. 16

   I am the single syllable among words. 17

   Among sacrifices I am the Gapa sacrifice, 18 the Himalayas among the firmly-fixed mountaips, the Asvattha among all trees, 19 and Narada among divine sages, 20 Kitraratha among the heavenly singers, 21 the sage Kapila among the Siddhas. 22

   Among horses know me to be Ukkaissravas, brought forth by the labous for the nectar, and Airavata among the great elephants, 23 and the ruler of men among men.

   I am the thunderbolt among weapons, the wish-giving cow among cows. 24

   And I am love which generates.

   Among serpents I am Vasuki. Among Naga snakes I am Ananta, I am Varuna among aquatic beings. 25 And I am Aryaman among the manes, and Yama among rulers. Among demons, too, I am Pralhada. 26

   I am the king of death, the king of time, Kala, 27 among those that count.

   Among beasts I am the lord of beasts, and the son of Vinatâ among birds. 28 I am the wind among those that blows, am Râma among those that wield weapons. 29 Among fishes I am Makara, 30 and among rivers the Ganges.

   Of created things I am the beginning and the end and the middle also.

   Among sciences, I am the science of the Adhyatma, and I am the argument of controversialists. 31 Among letters I am the letter A, and among the group of compounds the copulative compound. 32

   I myself am time inexhaustible, and I the creator whose faces are in all directions. 33

   I am death the destoyer of all, and the source of what is to be.

   And among females, fame, fortune, speech, memory, intellect, courage, forgiveness.

   Likewise among Sâman hymns, I am the Brihat-sâman, and I the Gâyatrî among poetic meters. 34

   I am Mârgasirsha among the months, 35 the spring among the seasons, of cheats, I am the game of dice, I am the greatness of the great, I am victory, I am industry, I am the goodness of the good.

   I am Vasudeva among the descendants of Vrishni, 36 and I am Arjuna among the Pandavas.

   Among sages also, I am Vyasa, and among the discerning ones, I am the discerning Ushanas. 37

   I am the rod of those that restrain, and the policy of those that desire victory.

   I am silence respecting secrets.

   I am the knowledge of those that have knowledge.

   And, O Arjuna, I am also that which is the seed of all things.

   There is nothing movable or immovable which can exist without me.

   O terror of your foes, there is no end to my divine emanations.

   Here I have declared the extent of those emanations only in part. Whatever thing there is of power, or glory, or splendor, know all that to be produced from portions of my energy. Or rather, Arjuna, what have you to do, knowing all this at large? I stand supporting all this by but a single portion of myself.

Translated by Kashinath Trimbak Telano, 1882
Edited and annotated by Richard Hooker



Next
Krishna's Totality


World Cultures

World Cultures Home Page


©1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 10-19-97