Divine vision - In Gita Verse 11.19 You are without origin, middle or end. Your glory is unlimited. You have numberless arms, and the sun and moon are Your eyes. I see You with blazing ﬁre coming forth from Your mouth, burning this entire universe by Your own radiance.
Arjuna can see all this because of Divine eyes and through Divine Eyes he can see Divine vision.
In this verse let us get clarity regarding Divine Vision:
For Divine Vision a right medium is equally necessary. Then you can see the face of the whole universe enclosed in a small fruit or flower. Here, the whole, the immense, is hidden in every atom. The whole of the ocean is ensconced in a single drop of water. If you can look deeply and totally into a drop, you will see the whole ocean hidden in it.
Arjuna too, could see, because he is in such deep love with Krishna. It is a rare kind of friendship that exists between him and Krishna. It is no wonder that Arjuna, in a moment of deep intimacy with Krishna, sees the universal form of the divine in him.
It is not that such a thing has happened only once, it has happened thousands of times. It always happens. It is a different thing that all of the instances have not been recorded.
It is good to understand if the divine vision, once gifted, can be withdrawn. Divine vision, really, can neither be given as a gift nor withdrawn. It happens in some moments and it can be lost again. It is really happening. In some moments you touch the peak of your consciousness where everything is seen so clearly. But it is very arduous to live on that peak; it takes millions of lives to deserve it, to earn this blessing. Ordinarily one has to come down from that peak again and again. It is as if you jump off the ground. and for a moment, like a bird on the wing, you are out of the gravitational pull of the earth – but only for a moment. With the passing of the moment you are back on the ground again. But you have known how it is to fly like a bird on the wing for a moment.
In the same way consciousness has its own field of gravitation, its magnetic pull which keeps it down. In a particular situation your consciousness is able to take such a high jump that, like a flash of lightning, you can have a glimpse of the immense, and then you return to the earth. For sure, now you are not the same person you were before you had the glimpse. You cannot be the same again, because even a momentary glimpse of the immense is enough to change you; you are now a different person. But the glimpse is again lost.
It is as though I am walking on a dark night and there is a sudden flash of lightning which enables me to see clearly the flowers and the hills before me. With the lightning gone, the flowers and the hills are again enveloped in darkness. But now I am not the same person I was before the lightning occurred, although I am back in the same darkness. It is even worse. Before the lightning, I was not aware that there are hills and flowers and trees, but now I am aware that they are there. Although the darkness is as deep as before, now it cannot deprive me of my awareness of the hills and trees and flowers; now they have become parts of my being. Whether I see them again or not, I know in the depths of my being that they are there, that they exist. Now the fragrance of the flowers will reach me even in the dark, and the winds will bring me a message from the hills. Darkness can hide them from me, but it cannot erase my awareness that they exist.
No one can give you the divine vision, but Krishna seems to be telling Arjuna that he will give it to him. This is what creates difficulty for you. Really, human language suffers from obscurity; it still lacks clarity of expression. We have to use words that don’t have the vitality to convey what one really means to say. One often says, “I gave so and so my love.” But love cannot be given, it is not a commodity. Love simply happens; it is neither given nor taken. But putting it into words, a mother says, “I give so much love to my son.” It is a wrong statement. Love has just happened between the mother and her son.
It is the same linguistic clumsiness that has led to this question with regard to Krishna’s statement about divine vision. It is nothing more than that. Like love, it happens; it cannot be given or taken. And like love, it can also be lost. Heights are attained and lost; it is difficult to stay at great heights. Hillary and Tensing climbed Everest, hoisted a flag there, and then returned to the plains. It is hard to live on Everest, or on any great height for that matter. It is possible, however, that someday we will manage to live on Everest for a long period. But to live at the peak of consciousness is still more difficult, tremendously difficult. But it is not impossible. People like Krishna live there. People like Arjuna once in a while leap to it, see it and drop back to the earth.
Divine vision happens; it is not a thing to be given or taken. But our language thinks in terms of give and take, and therefore this difficulty has arisen. It would be correct to say that divine vision happened between Krishna and Arjuna in that moment. Krishna was the instrument, the medium, and Arjuna was the one who took the jump. But in ordinary language we will say that Krishna gifted him with divine vision. As if someone with open and loving eyes looks at me sitting here, something will happen to him. But when it happens he will say that it is a gift from me. But who am I to gift it? – although I will say it the same way if I have to say it in words. But in reality I cannot gift it.
Chemistry has a term known as catalytic agent, and it is significant. A catalytic agent is one whose very presence causes something to happen. It facilitates and accelerates the process of this happening, although it does not do anything in the matter and remains completely unaffected itself. For example, if we have to produce water by combining hydrogen and oxygen, then we will need the presence of electricity for this combination to take place. Without the presence of electricity hydrogen and oxygen will refuse to combine and turn into water.
It is because of lightning in the sky that the elements of hydrogen and oxygen in the clouds combine and produce water and rain. Without the aid of lightning, clouds would not turn into rain. But no one can say that electricity does anything to affect this change; it does nothing. On its part electricity remains absolutely inactive and unaffected by this process of hydrogen and oxygen combining and turning into water. Its presence is enough to do the miracle.
There are many catalytic agents like electricity known to the science of chemistry, and all investigations show that catalysts lose nothing in the process; neither do they lose or do anything.
Krishna is such a catalytic agent.