Seeing With the Divine Eye, Not the Human Vision

Arjuna, thus far, has looked upon the world with the normal human sight. He sees the separate beings and forms, and he sees the oppositions. the separations and the fragmentation; he has accepted the Oneness intellectually, but has not “seen” it or experienced it with the revelatory vision that makes it more than an idea or a belief. That is about to change. Sri Krishna responds to Arjuna’s request by agreeing to it, and indicates that it is not with the human vision that one can see this, but only with the “inmost seeing” of the “divine eye”. This divine eye experiences all forms as part of one larger unified Being, moved by the Will of that being, and acting under the impulsion and intention of that Being. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “Thou shalt see many wonders that none has beheld; thou shalt see today the whole world related and unified in my body and whatever else thou willest to behold.”

“It is the vision of the One in the Many, the Many in the One,–and all are the One. It is this vision that to the eye of the divine Yoga liberates, justifies, explains all that is and was and shall be. Once seen and held, it lays the shining axe of God at the root of all doubts and perplexities and annihilates all denials and oppositions. It is the vision that reconciles and unifies.”

Sri Aurobindo points out that while Arjuna has this experience and this vision, he still lives in the human standpoint and thus, he is overwhelmed and experiences terror at the sight. The Taittiriya Upanishad reminds us that if we make even a little bit of difference in the Eternal, then we will experience fear, but when we live in the consciousness of Oneness, then the basis for fear disappears. It is clear that Arjuna therefore is seeing the Divine Vision from the basis of his experience of separateness, and there are further steps of development for him thereafter to harmonize and unify that new standpoint as an operative basis for his future life and action.

“The soul admitted to the divine knowledge which beholds all things in one view, not with a divided, partial and therefore bewildered seeing, can make a new discovery of the world and all else that it wills to see…; it can move on the basis of this all-relating and all-unifying vision from revelation to completing revelation.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 10, The Vision of the World-Spirit–Time the Destroyer, pp. 364-365

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