Shree Bhagavaan uvaacha:
kaalosmi lokakshayakritpravruddho lokaansamaahartumiha pravruttaha |
ritepi tvaam na bhavishyanti sarve yevasthitaahaa pratyaneekeshu yodhaahaa || 32 ||
Shree Bhagavaan said:
I am time, the seasoned annihilator of the worlds, engaged in destroying all these people. Even without your (effort), all those hostile warriors will not exist in the future.
kaalaha : time
asmi : I am
lokakshayakrit : annihilator of the worlds
pravruddhaha : seasoned
lokaan : people
samaahartumiha : this destruction
pravruttaha : engaged
rite : without
api : even
tvaam : your
na : not
bhavishyanti : exist in the future
sarve : all
ye : those
avasthitaahaa : situated
pratyaneekeshu : hostile
yodhaahaa : warriors
After a long wait, Shri Krishna, as the cosmic form, spoke to Arjuna, revealing himself and his mission of destroying the universe and all the living beings residing in it. It is said that Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atom bomb, uttered this shloka when he saw the power of his creation for the first time. Shri Krishna declared himself to be “kaala”, which means time as well as death. They mean the same thing because in time, everything dies. He also used the word “pravruddha” which means mature or seasoned, indicating that he was well versed in the task of destruction, that it wasn’t a one time thing.
Our mind works within the gamut of space and time, therefore it is difficult to comprehend what Arjuna saw. He probably saw the past, the present and the future happening in an instant, all at the same time. With this vision, Shri Krishna was able to show the future to Arjuna. The Mahaabhaarata war had ended, leaving few Kaurava warriors alive. In other words, Shri Krishna himself had determined that the war would be won by the Paandavas. They fought like any other army would, but the real work behind the scenes was done by Shri Krishna.
Many of us sometimes think, what will happen if I stop working one day? Lest we attach undue importance to our actions and puff up our ego, Shri Krishna gives us a lesson in humility. He reveals that ultimately, it is he who is running the show. If he wants to do something, he will do it with whatever means available, even if it means generating a thought in one person or in a million people.
Now, if we hear this, we may think, why should I do anything at all? I can retire right away since it is ultimately Ishvara who is doing everything. Arjuna probably had the same thought. He would have wondered what was the need for him to fight, reinforcing the argument he made in the first chapter when we wanted to run away from the war.
Anticipating this, Shri Krishna makes a bold statement in the next shloka.
Shree Bhagavaan uvaacha: