Arjuna said: Thanks to the most profound words of spiritual wisdom that you have spoken out of kindness to me. This delusion of mine has entirely disappeared. Lord, you are precisely what you declare yourself to be. But I long to see your divine form possessed of wisdom, glory, energy, strength, valour and effulgence. O purushottama, the supreme being, Krishna, if you think that it can be seen by me, then, o lord of yoga, reveal to me your imperishable form.
Lord Krishna said: Arjuna, behold in me the twelve sons of aditi, twenty eight vasus, the eleven rudras (gods of destruction), the two ashvinikumaras (the twin-born physicians of gods), the forty - nine maruts (wind-gods) and witness many more wonderful forms never seen before. But surely you cannot see me with these physical eyes of yours, therefore, I vouchsafe to you the divine eye. With this you behold my divine power of yoga.
Sanjaya said: My lord! having spoken thus, Krishna, the supreme mast er of yoga forthwith revealed to Arjuna his supremely glorious divine form. Arjuna saw the supreme deity possessing many mouths and eyes presenting a wonderful sight decked with many divine ornaments wielding many uplifted divine weapons, wearing divine garlands and vestments, anointed all over with divine fragrances, full of all wonders, infinite and having faces on all sides. Then Arjuna, full of wonder and with the hair standing on end reverentially bowed his head to the divine lord and with folded hands addressed him thus:
Arjuna said: O Lord of the universe, I see you as the supreme indestructible worthy of being known, the ultimate refuge of this universe, the protector of the ageless dharma; I consider you to be the eternal imperishable being. I see you without beginning, middle or end possessing unlimited powers and endowed with numberless arms having the moon and the sun for your eyes and blazing fire for your mouth and scorching this universe by your radiance. Lord, seeing this stupendous and dreadful form of yours possessing numerous mouths, eyes, arms, thighs, feet, bellies and teeth, the worlds are terror-struck; so am I. Lord, seeing your form reaching the heavens , effulgent multi-coloured, having its mouth wide open and possessing large flaming eyes, I, with my inmost self frightened have lost self-control and find no peace. All those sons of Dhritrashtra with hosts of kings are entering you. Bhishma, Drona and yonder Karna with the principal warriors on our side as well are rushing headlong into your fearful mouths looking all the more terrible on account of the teeth; some are seen stuck up in the gaps between your teeth with their heads crushed. As the myriad streams of rivers rush towards the sea alone, so do those warriors of the mortal world enter your flaming mouths. O Lord Vishnu! your fiery rays fill the whole universe with their fierce radiance and are scorching it. Tell me who you are with a form so terrible? My obeisance to you, O best of gods; be kind to me. I wish to know you, the primal being, in particular; for I know not what you intend to do.
Lord Krishna said: I am mighty Kaal (the eternal Time-spirit), the destroyer of the worlds. I am out to exterminate these people. Even without you, all those warriors arrayed in the enemy's camp shall die. Therefore you do arise and win glory; conquering foes and enjoy the affluent kingdom. These warriors stand already slain by me; be you only an instrument, Arjuna.
Sanjaya said: Hearing these words of bhagavan keshava, Arjuna tremblingly bowed to him with joined palms and bowing again in extreme terror spoke to Shri Krishna in faltering accents:
Arjuna said: O Lord, you are vayu (the wind-god), yama (the god of death), agni (the god of fire), varuna (the god of water), the moon, brahma (the Lord of creation), nay, the father of brahma himself. Hail, hail to you, a thousand times; salutations, repeated salutations to you once again. The way in which I have importunately called you either through intimacy or thoughtlessly, “Ho Krishna! Ho Yadava! and so on”, unaware of the greatness of yours and thinking you only to be a friend and the way in which you have been slighted by me in jest, while at play, reposing, sitting or at meals either alone or even in the presence of others for all that, O immeasurable lord, I crave forgiveness from you. Having seen your wondrous form which was never seen before, I feel transported with joy; at the same time my mind is tormented by fear.
Lord Krishna said: Arjuna! pleased with you, I have shown you through my power of yoga, this supreme, effulgent, primal and infinite cosmic form which has never been seen before by anyone other than you. Arjuna, in this mortal world I cannot be seen in this form by anyone other than you, either through the study of the vedas or by rituals or through gifts, actions or austere penances.
Sanjaya said: Having spoken thus to Arjuna, bhagavan vasudeva revealed to him his own four-armed form and then assuming a genial form, the high-souled Shri Krishna consoled the frightened Arjuna.
Arjuna said: Krishna, seeing this gentle human form of yours, I have regained my composure and I am my own-self again.
Lord Krishna said: This form of mine (with four-arms) which you have just seen is exceedingly difficult to behold. Even the gods are always eager to see this form. Through single-minded devotion, however, I can be seen in this form (with four - arms) known in essence and even entered into, O valiant Arjuna. Arjuna, he who performs all his duties for my sake, depends on me, is devoted to me, has no attachment and is free from malice towards all beings, reaches me.