Chapter 11: The Universal Form
maya prasannena tavarjunedam
rupam param darsitam atma-yogat
tejo-mayam visvam anantam adyam
yan me tvad anyena na drsta-purvam
çré bhagavän uväca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; mayä—by Me; prasannena—happily; tava—unto you; arjuna—O Arjuna; idam—this; rüpam—form; param—transcendental; darçitam—shown; ätma-yogät—by My internal potency; tejomayam—full of effulgence; viçvam—the entire universe; anantam—unlimited; ädyam—original; yat me—that which is Mine; tvat-anyena—besides you; na dåñöa-pürvam—no one has previously seen.
The Blessed Lord said: My dear Arjuna, happily do I show you this universal form within the material world by My internal potency. No one before you has ever seen this unlimited and glaringly effulgent form.
Arjuna wanted to see the universal form of the Supreme Lord, so out of His mercy upon His devotee Arjuna, Lord Kåñëa showed His universal form full of effulgence and opulence. This form was glaring like the sun, and its many faces were rapidly changing. Kåñëa showed this form just to satisfy the desire of His friend Arjuna. This form was manifested by Kåñëa through His internal potency, which is inconceivable by human speculation. No one had seen this universal form of the Lord before Arjuna, but because the form was shown to Arjuna, other devotees in the heavenly planets and in other planets in outer space could also see it. They did not see it before, but because of Arjuna they were also able to see it. In other words, all the disciplic devotees of the Lord could see the universal form which was shown to Arjuna by the mercy of Kåñëa. Someone commented that this form was shown to Duryodhana also when Kåñëa went to Duryodhana to negotiate for peace. Unfortunately, Duryodhana did not accept the peace offer, but at that time Kåñëa manifested some of His universal forms. But those forms are different from this one shown to Arjuna. It is clearly said that no one has ever seen this form before.