Gita Jnana is described as both Brahmn Vidya and yog shastra, meaning knowledge of the highest reality and means to its attainment. While the Truth is expounded in the entire Bhagwad Gita, Arjun’s experience of the cosmic vision is described in the eleventh chapter, called Vishwaroop Darshan Yog – the Yog of Universal Form.
After listening to several glorious manifestations of the Lord in the tenth chapter called Vibhuti Yog, Arjun now wants to behold Krishn’s immortal form with his own eyes. For this he is granted divine vision. Among all animate and inanimate things, Arjun sees the entire Kaurav force including chariots entering like a fast-flowing river into the wide-open jaws of the terrifying form of the Lord. When Arjun questions it in bewilderment, Krishn states that he is the all-destroying Kaal, Time, and all those who have come into being, dissolve and merge in Him.
Arjun is, thus, made to realise that the Divine being omnipresent, is contained in everything, and being omniscient and omnipotent, He does everything as part of divine play. Whether Arjun engages in the battle or not, his kith and kin have been vanquished and he is to merely become an instrument to enact what has already been done. For man, there is past, present and future. For the Divine, who is beginningless and infinite, three periods of time have merged into eternal now. Arjun is unaware of this and therefore suffers from mental breakdown.
The all-inclusive vision that is the basis of the Hindu way of life is universal in nature and is the birthright of the entire mankind, says Swami Chidananda. It brings the awareness that one being alone exists and what we see or perceive is nothing but this one and non-dual being. This being the fact, how can we dare to treat anything with disdain or disrespect? All things are moving temples of this great reality and are worthy of respect and reverence. Our whole life should be a dynamic and creative process of bringing maximum benefit and welfare to all. The objective of revealing the Lord’s universal form was to impart the secret -- of how to live in this world and yet remain in a state of inner communion with the Lord.
In his parting message to Uddhav, an equally beloved friend, in the eleventh section of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishn asks him to see the Lord in everything around him. The Divine can be attained by a worshipful attitude to all around us. Consciousness is patent in something and latent in others but is ever-present. The basis of all ethics, morality, and dharma lies in this grand vision of Vishwaroop, the cosmic form. It forms the basis of good behaviour, compassion, and kindness, reverence for life, and respect among individuals.
The vision of the Vishwaroop can free us from all the ills of our society by constantly rooting us in the Divine. Here Narayan is calling out to Nar, man, with outstretched arms to come and merge into Him and allay all fears. This is analogous to what Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.”