There's one section of Mahabharata after the war where Arjun asks Sri Krishna to recite again the knowledge the latter recited during war, and Sri Krishna rebukes him for having weak memory and says I cannot recite it because then I was in yoga (union) with Parbrahman .

So it means, the real source of Bhagvad Gita is Parbrahman, not Vishnu or Krishna . Am I right ?

so everytime , it seems Sri Krishna is saying "I am ....(some greatness)" , it is actually the hidden Parbrahman who'se saying that from the mouth of Sri Krishna.

for eg :

Of the Adityas I am Vishnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Marici, and among the stars I am the moon. (Bhagavad Gita 10.21)

So , it is Parbrahman who's actually saying this ? Now Mahabharata (incl BG) was written by Krishna Dwaipayan (Ved vyasa) , so why we attribute BG to Sri Krishna when he's just being messenger of god ?

no offense intended by this question . apologies in advance

  • Suppose you make the claim that Krishna was not Brahman in the BG. What, would you consider, as disproving your claim? What kind of evidence would disprove your claim, in your opinion?
    – user16581
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 12:06
  • For example, you could say - "if such and such kind of statement is present in either BG or the Mahabharata, then I would consider it as disproving the claim that Krishna is not brahman in the BG." I can say for example, that, "Adi Shankara says that Krishna is brahman in his gita-bhAshya" and you may simply say that you do not consider it as disproving your claim. You need to first have clarity on what you would consider as disproving your claim. Without that, trying to answer your question is difficult. I ask for that clarity from you.
    – user16581
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 12:27
  • 1
    You can go through this answer @Curious Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 15:49
  • @srimannarayanakv deep respect for your understanding Sir ! I was just going through your answer and gave it +1 . its unfortunate most of our people failed to realize that it was Parbrahm , the supreme lord itself who's speaking through Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna was merely the medium then , isn't it ? Similary , Rig veda and Yajurveda in purusha Suktam says "The lord of the world is not born , but appears out of womb in various forms" , meaning god itself is not born ,but is present in core of all beings
    – Curious
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 15:53
  • 2
    – Lakhi
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 16:40

4 Answers 4


This is going to be a long answer, so I request you to bear with me.

In the comments section, I asked the OP, what exactly he/she would consider as disproving the statement that "Krishna is not the brahman in the Bhagavad Gita but is merely a medium". At the time of writing this answer, I did not receive any response from the OP on this matter. So, I do not know whether this answer will convince the OP. But here, I will be arguing that Krishna is indeed brahman in the Bhagavad Gita and not just a medium.

Now, the Bhagavad Gita, is an integral part of the Mahabharata epic. But some people may consider Bhagavad Gita as an independent text. We will not go into the question of which viewpoint is more valid. However, the OP asks the above question based on other statements in the Mahabharata and not based on any internal evidence from the Gita, so I believe I am justified in using the Mahabharata as the basis when answering the question. (Having said that, I will later also be using internal evidence from the Gita (which is also part of the Mahabharata), to show that Krishna is the brahman in the Bhagavad Gita.) I also understand that some people here place more importance on the samhita portion of the Rig Veda. Now Krishna is not mentioned in the Rig Veda, but Vishnu is mentioned and Krishna is Vishnu's incarnation (I will again quote Mahabharata to show this). So I will also be using the samhita portion of the Rig Veda first to show that right from the Rig Veda, Vishnu is always considered as the supreme brahman. OK, that's the introduction and sorry that it had to be so long.

Important note: In order to remove any accusations of Vaishnava bias, I will not be using any Vaishnava translations. All translations here, will be from non-Vaishnava sources and in each case, I will mention the source of the translation.

Let me first start with the Rig Veda Samhita, since some people hold the opinion that only the Samhita portion of the Rig Veda is to be taken as valid.

Rig Veda 7.99.2 (This hymn is dedicated to Vishnu)

na te viṣṇo jāyamāno na jāto deva mahimnaḥ param antam āpa | ud astabhnā nākam ṛṣvam bṛhantaṃ dādhartha prācīṃ kakubham pṛthivyāḥ ||

Translation by H H Wilson (based on Sayana’s commentary) is available here

enter image description here

Translation by Ralph Griffith is available here

2 None who is born or being born, God Viṣṇu, hath reached the utmost limit of thy grandeur. The vast high vault of heaven hast thou supported, and fixed earth's eastern pinnacle securely.

The above verse is thus clearly stating that Vishnu is the Supreme.

Rig Veda 7.40.5

asya devasya mīḷhuṣo vayā viṣṇoreṣasya prabhṛthe havirbhiḥ | vide hi rudro rudriyaṃ mahitvaṃ yāsiṣṭaṃ vartiraśvināvirāvat ||

Translation by H H Wilson (based on Sayana’s commentary) is available hereenter image description here

Note that there is a foot note # 1 in the above quote. This is what the foot note has to say – enter image description here

The foot note says that according to the scholiast (Sayana, here) all other gods are branches of Vishnu. Vishnu himself is all the divinities. (This reminds me of the Viswarupa of Krishna/Vishnu, where all the gods are seen in the body of Krishna).

The above translation of Wilson also has the meaning of requesting Rudra to bestow on the Rishi/devotee, the magnificence of Vishnu’s nature. In essence, it is treating Rudra as the Guru who bestows the Knowledge of the Vishnu (paramAtman) to the devotee.

Now, let us go to the translation of Ralph Griffith here -

5 With offerings I propitiate the branches of this swift-moving God, the bounteous Viṣṇu. Hence Rudra gained his Rudra-strength: O Aśvins, ye sought the house that hath celestial viands.

Griffith’s translation straightaway says that Rudra gained his strength from Vishnu.

Kindly note, I have no intention of going into Vishnu vs Shiva/Rudra arguments here. I am merely presenting the translations/commentaries of people who have no affinity to Vaishnavism. I do acknowledge there are statements praising Shiva/Rudra/Indra/other gods as the supreme. I am merely presenting those statements which unambiguously praise Vishnu as the supreme brahman. So once again, I request people not to turn this into a Vishnu vs Shiva or other gods issue.

Rig Veda 1.22.20-21

tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṃ padaṃ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ | divīva cakṣurātatam || tad viprāso vipanyavo jāghṛvāṃsaḥ samindhate | viṣṇoryat paramaṃ padam ||

Translation by H H Wilson (based on Sayana’s commentary) is available here

enter image description here

Translation by Ralph Griffith is available here

20 The princes evermore behold that loftiest place where Viṣṇu is, Laid as it were an eye in heaven. 21 This, Viṣṇu's station most sublime, the singers, ever vigilant, Lovers of holy song, light up.

Note that the Rig Vedic verse is saying that Vishnu’s state is supreme, thus place Vishnu as the supreme God. However, let me elaborate on this more below.

The supreme state of Vishnu is nothing but the state of the all-pervading Brahman. How do we know this? This paramapada of Vishnu is mentioned in the Katha Upanishad.

vijñānasārathiryastu manaḥ pragrahavānnara | so'dhvanaḥ pāramāpnoti tadviṣṇoḥ paramaṃ padam || (Katha Upanishad 3.9)

Commenting on this verse, Shankara says -

व्यापनशीलस्य ब्रह्मणः परमात्मनो वासुदेवाख्यस्य परमं प्रकृष्टं परं स्थानं सतत्त्वमित्येतत्यदसौ आप्नोति विद्वान् । vyāpanaśīlasya brahmaṇaḥ paramātmano vāsudevākhyasya paramaṃ prakṛṣṭaṃ paraṃ sthānaṃ satattvamityetatyadasau āpnoti vidvān |

He, the wise one, attains the supreme, that is excellent or high, state of the all-pervading Brahman, the Reality in all, which as the supreme Self (of the universe), is designated as Vāsudeva.

Note that vAsudeva is one of the names of Vishnu/Krishna. Thus, the above quotes show that the Rig Veda treats Vishnu as the Supreme (highest brahman).

Let me next proceed to the Mahabharata, minus the Bhagavad Gita. The below quotes are only a sample and many similar statements can be found in the Mahabharata. For the Mahabharata, the numbering of the verses and chapters, is based on the BORI critical edition. This edition can be found here.

Instances from the Mahabharata, (minus the Bhagavad Gita), showing that Krishna/Vishnu is the supreme brahman.

Mahabharata: 1.1.20-22 (Adi parva)

AdyaM puruShamIshAnaM puruhUtaM puruShTutam | RRitamekAkSharaM brahma vyaktAvyaktaM sanAtanam || 20|| asachcha sachchaiva cha yadvishvaM sadasataH param | parAvarANAM sraShTAraM purANaM paramavyayam || 21|| ma~NgalyaM ma~NgalaM viShNuM vareNyamanaghaM shuchim | namaskRRitya hRRiShIkeshaM charAcharaguruM harim || 22||

Translation by van Buitenen (a Western Indologist)

I bow to the primeval Purusha, the Lord, first one to receive oblations in Vedic rituals, one to whom first orisons are sung, one who is the Truth, one who is symbolized by the one-syllabled (Om), one who is Brahman, one who is manifest and unmanifest, Eternal, the existent and the non-existent and beyond the existent and non-existent, the aggregate of the entire universe, the creator of things high and low, the Ancient one, the supreme immutable, who is blissful and brings forth bliss, who is Vishnu, the all-pervading, the most desirable (by seekers of salvation), free from all sins and pure, who is Hrishikesha (the Lord of the senses, who impels the sensory organs), the God Hari, who is the guru (preceptor) of all creatures, those that move and those that move not.

Note: Vishnu, Hrishikesha, Hari are all names of Vishnu/Krishna and are also used in the Bhagavad Gita also to refer to Krishna.

Mahabharata: 1.1.193-195 (Adi parva)

bhagavAnvAsudevashcha kIrtyate.atra sanAtanaH | sa hi satyamRRitaM chaiva pavitraM puNyameva cha || 193|| shAshvataM brahma paramaM dhruvaM jyotiH sanAtanam | yasya divyAni karmANi kathayanti manIShiNaH || 194|| asatsatsadasachchaiva yasmAddevAtpravartate | santatishcha pravRRittishcha janma mRRityuH punarbhavaH || 195||

Translation by van Buitenen

The eternal and unchanging blessed Lord (Bhagavan), vAsudeva (Krishna) is glorified here (in the Mahabharata). He is true, he is right, he is pure and holy. He is the eternal Brahman, supreme and immovable, the everlasting Light, of whose divine exploits, the wise tell the tales. From Him begins the existent that is not yet, and the non-existent that becomes. Continuity, pravritti, birth, death, rebirth (are from Him).

Note: vAsudeva is a name of Krishna, which is used in the Bhagavad Gita to refer to Krishna. The above is a direct statement saying that Vishnu/Krishna is glorified in the Mahabharata.

Mahabharata: 1.57.83-87 (Adi parva)

anugrahArthaM lokAnAM viShNurlokanamaskRRitaH | vasudevAttu devakyAM prAdurbhUto mahAyashAH || 83|| anAdinidhano devaH sa kartA jagataH prabhuH | avyaktamakSharaM brahma pradhAnaM nirguNAtmakam || 84|| AtmAnamavyayaM chaiva prakRRitiM prabhavaM param | puruShaM vishvakarmANaM sattvayogaM dhruvAkSharam || 85|| anantamachalaM devaM ha.nsaM nArAyaNaM prabhum | dhAtAramajaraM nityaM tamAhuH paramavyayam || 86|| puruShaH sa vibhuH kartA sarvabhUtapitAmahaH | dharmasa.nvardhanArthAya prajaj~ne.andhakavRRiShNiShu || 87||

Vishnu, whose fame is great, who is worshiped by all the worlds, the Unmanifest, Akshara, Brahman, and Cause, to favor all the worlds became manifest in Devaki by Vasudeva –God without beginning or end, the Lord, Maker of the universe, who is without attributes as well as the imperishable Soul (Atman), and Nature, the ultimate Source, the Man, the Maker of all things, the Yoker of Being, the stable Intransient, the Unending, Unmoving God, the Swan, the Lord Nārāyana, whom they call the unaging, sempiternal Place, supreme and everlasting. He is the ubiquitous Purusha, Maker (kartA), and Grandfather of all creatures; and so in order to further the growth of Dharma, he was born amidst the Andhaka-Vršnis (as Krishna).

The above shows that Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, who is none other than the supreme brahman.

Mahabharata: 2.35.22-25 (Sabha parva)

Below are statements by Bhishma, who is arguably one of the greatest characters in the Mahabharata epic.

kRRiShNa eva hi lokAnAmutpattirapi chApyayaH | kRRiShNasya hi kRRite bhUtamidaM vishvaM samarpitam || 22|| eSha prakRRitiravyaktA kartA chaiva sanAtanaH | parashcha sarvabhUtebhyastasmAdvRRiddhatamo.achyutaH || 23|| buddhirmano mahAnvAyustejo.ambhaH khaM mahI cha yA | chaturvidhaM cha yadbhUtaM sarvaM kRRiShNe pratiShThitam || 24|| AdityashchandramAshchaiva nakShatrANi grahAshcha ye | dishashchopadishashchaiva sarvaM kRRiShNe pratiShThitam || 25||

Translation by van Buitenen

Krishna alone is the origin of the worlds as well as their dissolution, for Krishna's sake is all that exists here offered. He is the Unmanifest Cause and the Sempiternal Doer, higher than all creatures; it is thus that Acyuta is the eldest. Spirit, mind, the Large One, wind, fire, water, ether and earth, and the fourfold creation, all rest upon Krishna. The sun, the moon, the stars, the planets, the points of the compass and the intermediate points—it all rests on Krishna.

Mahabharata 3.187.50-55 (Vana parva)

Below are the statements of Markandeya –

yaH sa devo mayA dRRiShTaH purA padmanibhekShaNaH | sa eSha puruShavyAghra sambandhI te janArdanaH || 50|| asyaiva varadAnAddhi smRRitirna prajahAti mAm | dIrghamAyushcha kaunteya svachChandamaraNaM tathA || 51|| sa eSha kRRiShNo vArShNeyaH purANapuruSho vibhuH | Aste harirachintyAtmA krIDanniva mahAbhujaH || 52|| eSha dhAtA vidhAtA cha saMhartA chaiva sAtvataH | shrIvatsavakShA govindaH prajApatipatiH prabhuH || 53|| dRRiShTvemaM vRRiShNishArdUlaM smRRitirmAmiyamAgatA | AdidevamajaM viShNuM puruShaM pItavAsasam || 54|| sarveShAmeva bhUtAnAM pitA mAtA cha mAdhavaH | gachChadhvamenaM sharaNaM sharaNyaM kauravarShabhAH || 55||

Translation by van Buitenen –

The God whom I have seen before, of the lotus-like eyes, he, tiger among men, is your ally Janārdana. Because of boons he bestowed upon me my memory has not deserted me, and I have title to a long life and to death at my choosing, Kaunteya. That primeval person, the ubiquitous lord, is Krsna Värsneya, the strong-armed Hari of unimaginable soul, who sits here as though at play. This Sātvata is the Placer and Disposer and Destroyer, this Govinda of the Srivatsa curl is the sovereign master of the Prajapatis. When I saw the tiger like Vršni, this memory returned to me: that he is the unborn God of the beginning, Visnu, the Person of the yellow robe. The Mādhava is the father and the mother of all the creatures: bulls of the Bharatas, go to him for refuge, he shall grant it!

All the high-lighted words are the names of Krishna/Vishnu.

Next quote is from Udyoga parva, which shows that Krishna, by means of his own yoga, makes the world go around. He is not in union with some other mystic power to run the universe. He alone is running the universe. These are the statements of Samjaya to Dhrutarashtra. It is the same Samjaya who narrates the Bhagavad Gita to Dhrutarashtra in the subsequent chapter Bhishma parva.

Mahabharata 5.66.4-15 (Udyoga parva)

narakaM shambaraM chaiva ka.nsaM chaidyaM cha mAdhavaH | jitavAnghorasa~NkAshAnkrIDanniva janArdanaH || 4|| pRRithivIM chAntarikShaM cha dyAM chaiva puruShottamaH | manasaiva vishiShTAtmA nayatyAtmavashaM vashI || 5|| bhUyo bhUyo hi yadrAjanpRRichChase pANDavAnprati | sArAsArabalaM j~nAtuM tanme nigadataH shRRiNu || 6|| ekato vA jagatkRRitsnamekato vA janArdanaH | sArato jagataH kRRitsnAdatirikto janArdanaH || 7|| bhasma kuryAjjagadidaM manasaiva janArdanaH | na tu kRRitsnaM jagachChaktaM bhasma kartuM janArdanam || 8|| yataH satyaM yato dharmo yato hrIrArjavaM yataH | tato bhavati govindo yataH kRRiShNastato jayaH || 9|| pRRithivIM chAntarikShaM cha divaM cha puruShottamaH | vicheShTayati bhUtAtmA krIDanniva janArdanaH || 10|| sa kRRitvA pANDavAnsatraM lokaM saMmohayanniva | adharmaniratAnmUDhAndagdhumichChati te sutAn || 11|| kAlachakraM jagachchakraM yugachakraM cha keshavaH | Atmayogena bhagavAnparivartayate.anisham || 12|| kAlasya cha hi mRRityoshcha ja~NgamasthAvarasya cha | Ishate bhagavAnekaH satyametadbravImi te || 13|| Ishannapi mahAyogI sarvasya jagato hariH | karmANyArabhate kartuM kInAsha iva durbalaH || 14|| tena va~nchayate lokAnmAyAyogena keshavaH | ye tameva prapadyante na te muhyanti mAnavAH || 15||

Janardana Madhava has, as though in play, defeated Naraka, Sambara, Kamsa, and the king of Cedi, all of gruesome aspect. This Supreme Person, whose soul is superior, has, by a mere act of will, brought earth, atmosphere, and heaven into his power. King, time and again you have asked me about the Pāndavas to learn their strengths and weaknesses—now listen as I tell you. Put the entire world on one side and Janardana on the other, and Janārdana exceeds the entire world in substance. Janārdana could reduce this world to ashes with a thought, but not the entire universe could render Janārdana ashes. Wherever there is truth, wherever Law, wherever modesty and honesty, there is Govinda. Where Krsna stands there is victory. As though in play, Janārdana, Supreme Person, soul of the creatures, keeps earth, atmosphere, and heaven running. Setting up the Pāndavas as his disguise and beguiling as it were the world, he wishes to burn down your sons, who are befuddled and prone to lawlessness. The blessed Kesava by his own Yoga makes go around and around, ceaselessly, the Wheel of the World, the Wheel of the Eons. In truth, I tell you, the blessed Lord alone governs time and death, and the standing and moving creatures. Hari, the great Yogin, though he rules the world, yet undertakes acts like any powerless peasant. Thus Keśava beguiles the worlds with his own Yoga, but men who seek mercy with him are not deceived.

The above quotes show that Krishna does not depend on anyone else to run the universe.

More statements from Samjaya to Dhrutarashtra regarding Krishna.

Mahabharata 5.68.2-14 (Udyoga parva)

sa~njaya uvAcha|| shrutaM me tasya devasya nAmanirvachanaM shubham | yAvattatrAbhijAne.ahamaprameyo hi keshavaH || 2|| vasanAtsarvabhUtAnAM vasutvAddevayonitaH | vAsudevastato vedyo vRRiShatvAdvRRiShNiruchyate || 3|| maunAddhyAnAchcha yogAchcha viddhi bhArata mAdhavam | sarvatattvalayAchchaiva madhuhA madhusUdanaH || 4|| kRRiShirbhUvAchakaH shabdo Nashcha nirvRRitivAchakaH | kRRiShNastadbhAvayogAchcha kRRiShNo bhavati shAshvataH || 5|| puNDarIkaM paraM dhAma nityamakShayamakSharam | tadbhAvAtpuNDarIkAkSho dasyutrAsAjjanArdanaH || 6|| yataH sattvaM na chyavate yachcha sattvAnna hIyate | sattvataH sAtvatastasmAdArShabhAdvRRiShabhekShaNaH || 7|| na jAyate janitryAM yadajastasmAdanIkajit | devAnAM svaprakAshatvAddamAddAmodaraM viduH || 8|| harShAtsaukhyAtsukhaishvaryAddhRRiShIkeshatvamashnute | bAhubhyAM rodasI bibhranmahAbAhuriti smRRitaH || 9|| adho na kShIyate jAtu yasmAttasmAdadhokShajaH | narANAmayanAchchApi tena nArAyaNaH smRRitaH || 10|| pUraNAtsadanAchchaiva tato.asau puruShottamaH || 10|| asatashcha satashchaiva sarvasya prabhavApyayAt | sarvasya cha sadA j~nAnAtsarvamenaM prachakShate || 11|| satye pratiShThitaH kRRiShNaH satyamatra pratiShThitam | satyAtsatyaM cha govindastasmAtsatyo.api nAmataH || 12|| viShNurvikramaNAdeva jayanAjjiShNuruchyate | shAshvatatvAdanantashcha govindo vedanAdgavAm || 13|| atattvaM kurute tattvaM tena mohayate prajAH | eva.nvidho dharmanityo bhagavAnmunibhiH saha || 14|| AgantA hi mahAbAhurAnRRisha.nsyArthamachyutaH || 14||

Translation by Van Buitenen –

Samjaya said: Indeed I have heard the propitious explanation of the God's names– as far as I can know; for Keśava is beyond the measure of knowledge. He is Vasudeva, because he clothes the creatures, because he is wealth, because he is the womb of the Gods. Inasmuch as he is known for his masculinity, he is called Visnu. Know, Bhārata, that he is Mādhava because of his hermithood, meditation, and Yoga, and inasmuch as he dissolves all beings he is Madhuhan and Madhusudana. Krsi betokens the earth, and na expresses bliss; and since Krsna combines them both he is the eternal Krsna. The lotus is the highest abode, everlasting, undecaying, never-ending—so he is the Lotus-eyed One, because he is of such nature. He is Janārdana because he terrifies the dasyus. Since his vigor never gives out and he never lacks in vigor, he is, for this vigor, Sätvata. He is Bull-eyed, because he is bull-like. Inasmuch as he has not been born from a mother, he is the Unborn, the vanquisher of armies. They know him as Dāmodara, because he tames the Gods with his self-luminousness. He has become Hrsikesa because of his joy, his happiness, his lordship of pleasures. As he carries heaven and earth in his arms, he is known as the Great-armed One. He is Adhoksaja, because he never shrinks downward, and is known as Nārāyana, because he is the course of men. He is Purusottama, because he fills up and brings down. They call him All, because he is the source and dissolution of all that is existent and nonexistent, and because he always knows all. Krsna stands firm on truth and truth stands firm on him, and Govinda is truth beyond truth—therefore he has the name of True. Because of his striding he is Visnu, because of his triumphing he is Jisnu, because of his eternality Ananta, and because of his finding cows Govinda. He makes the unreal real, and thereby confuses the creatures. Such is he, constant in Law, the blessed Lord, and he shall come with the hermits, he, Great-armed Acyuta, to avoid bloodshed.

Please note that till now, all the quotations from the Mahabharata given were from before the Bhagavad Gita episode. This goes to show that in the Mahabharata, even before the Bhagavad Gita episode, Krishna is considered as the supreme brahman.


Post the Anu-gita episode, which the OP lists above, where Krishna allegedly could not recall the Gita, Krishna meets Utanka on his way to Dwaraka. Utanka requests Krishna to show him his Vishwarupa, the same one that Arjuna has seen, and Krishna shows him his Viswarupa. Here, the Viswarupa is referred to as a Vaishnava form. This should put to rest all speculations that Krishna was in union with some other entity, during the duration of the Gita narration. Here are the relevant Sanskrit verses and translation by Bibek Debroy.

Mahabharata 14.54 (Ashwamedhika parva)

utta~Nka uvAcha|| abhijAnAmi jagataH kartAraM tvAM janArdana | nUnaM bhavatprasAdo.ayamiti me nAsti sa.nshayaH || 1|| chittaM cha suprasannaM me tvadbhAvagatamachyuta | vinivRRittashcha me kopa iti viddhi parantapa || 2|| yadi tvanugrahaM ka~nchittvatto.arho.ahaM janArdana | draShTumichChAmi te rUpamaishvaraM tannidarshaya || 3|| vaishampAyana uvAcha|| tataH sa tasmai prItAtmA darshayAmAsa tadvapuH | shAshvataM vaiShNavaM dhImAndadRRishe yaddhana~njayaH || 4|| sa dadarsha mahAtmAnaM vishvarUpaM mahAbhujam | vismayaM cha yayau viprastaddRRiShTvA rUpamaishvaram || 5|| utta~Nka uvAcha|| vishvakarmannamaste.astu yasya te rUpamIdRRisham | padbhyAM te pRRithivI vyAptA shirasA chAvRRitaM nabhaH || 6|| dyAvApRRithivyoryanmadhyaM jaThareNa tadAvRRitam | bhujAbhyAmAvRRitAshchAshAstvamidaM sarvamachyuta || 7|| saMharasva punardeva rUpamakShayyamuttamam | punastvAM svena rUpeNa draShTumichChAmi shAshvatam || 8|| vaishampAyana uvAcha|| tamuvAcha prasannAtmA govindo janamejaya | varaM vRRiNIShveti tadA tamutta~Nko.abravIdidam || 9|| paryApta eSha evAdya varastvatto mahAdyute | yatte rUpamidaM kRRiShNa pashyAmi prabhavApyayam || 10|| tamabravItpunaH kRRiShNo mA tvamatra vichAraya | avashyametatkartavyamamoghaM darshanaM mama || 11|| utta~Nka uvAcha|| avashyakaraNIyaM vai yadyetanmanyase vibho | toyamichChAmi yatreShTaM maruShvetaddhi durlabham || 12||

‘Utanka said, “O Janardana! I know that you are the creator of the universe. There is no doubt that I know this because of your favours. O Achyuta! My mind is full of extremely calm sentiments. O scorcher of enemies! Know that my anger has ebbed away. O Janardana! If I truly deserve any favours from you, then show me a favour. I wish to see your divine form. Reveal it to me.”’ Vaishampayana continued, ‘Pleased with him, he showed him the eternal Vaishnava form that the intelligent Dhananjaya had seen.226 He saw the great-souled one’s universal form, with giant arms. Having seen that universal form, the brahmana was filled with wonder. ‘Utanka said, “With a form like this, you are the creator of the universe and I bow down before you. Your feet cover the earth and your head envelopes the firmament. The space between the firmament and the earth is covered by your stomach. O Achyuta! All the directions are covered by your arms. O god! Withdraw your supreme and indestructible form again. I wish to see your own eternal form again.”’


Before the battle, vyAsa gives the boon of divine vision to Samjaya. As per this boon, Samjaya can not only see the battle, but he can even know the thoughts of the mind of everyone and he virtually would know everything about the battle.

Mahabharata 6.2 (Bhishma parva)

vyAsa uvAcha|| eSha te sa~njayo rAjanyuddhametadvadiShyati | etasya sarvaM sa~NgrAme naparokShaM bhaviShyati || 9|| chakShuShA sa~njayo rAjandivyenaiSha samanvitaH | kathayiShyati te yuddhaM sarvaj~nashcha bhaviShyati || 10|| prakAshaM vA rahasyaM vA rAtrau vA yadi vA divA | manasA chintitamapi sarvaM vetsyati sa~njayaH || 11||

As per the highlighted portions, the boon to Samjaya is 1. divine vision (chakshu means eyes) 2. even thoughts in the mind are available to Samjaya. 3. Samjaya will be sarvaj~na (all-knowing) as far as the battle is concerned 4. Samjaya will know everything whether they are evident (prakAshaM) or hidden (rahasyaM).

Elsewhere, as per Samjaya's own words, Samjaya has seen everything.

hayAnAM cha gajAnAM cha shUrANAM chAmitaujasAm | pratyakShaM yanmayA dRRiShTaM dRRiShTaM yogabalena cha || 5| (Mbh 6.16.5)

Thus, Samjaya has both seen the ViswarUpa and knew the thoughts of both Krishna and Arjuna and he knew everything about the scene of the Gita discourse. If anyone else was allegedly present during the Gita discourse, apart from Krishna and Arjuna, Samjaya would have known it. But Samjaya does not mention any third entity being present at that scene. This also shows that there was no other third entity present, apart from Krishna and Arjuna.


In Edit2 it was shown that Samjaya was all-knowing as far as the battlefield scenes (including BG) are concerned. Now, let us look at what Samjaya himself says at the end of the Gita discourse.

vyāsaprasādācchrutavānētadguhyamahaṅ param. yōgaṅ yōgēśvarātkṛṣṇāt sākṣātkathayataḥ svayam৷৷18.75৷৷

English Translation By Swami Gambirananda: 18.75 Through the favour of Vyasa I heard this secret concerning the supreme Yoga from Krsna, the Lord of yogas, while He Himself was actually speaking!

Van Buitenen's translation: By Vyāsa's grace I have heard this supreme mystery, this yoga, from that Master of Yoga Krsna himself, who told it in person.

Samjaya is saying that Krishna himself told the Gita in person (no mysterious third entity involved).

In fact, it is interesting to look at Shankara's commentary here -

৷৷18.75৷৷ --,vyāsaprasādāt tataḥ divyacakṣurlābhāt śrutavān imaṅ saṅvādaṅ guhyatamaṅ paraṅ yōgam? yōgārthatvāt granthō.pi yōgaḥ? saṅvādam imaṅ yōgamēva vā yōgēśvarāt kṛṣṇāt sākṣāt kathayataḥ svayam? na paramparayā৷৷

English Translation Of Sri Shankaracharya's Sanskrit Commentary By Swami Gambirananda: 18.75 And vyasa-prasadat, through the favour of Vyasa, by having received divine vision from him; aham, I; srutvan, heard; etat [The Commentator uses etam in the masculine gender, in place of etat in the text, because it refers to the masculine word samvada.] (should rather be etam), this; guhyam, secret dialogue, such as it is; concerning the param, supreme; Yogam, Yoga-or, this dialogue itself is the Yoga because it is meant for it-; krsnat, from Krsna; yogeswarat, from the Lord of yogas; kathayatah, while He was speaking; svayam, Himself; saksat, actually; not indirectly through others.

Shankara is saying that Krishna is speaking by Himself and not indirectly through others.

Concerning the Viswarupa, here is what Samjaya has to say -

tacca saṅsmṛtya saṅsmṛtya rūpamatyadbhutaṅ harēḥ. vismayō mē mahān rājan hṛṣyāmi ca punaḥ punaḥ৷৷18.77৷৷

English Translation By Swami Gambirananda: 18.77 O king, repeatedly recollecting that greatly extraordinary form of Hari, I am struck with wonder. And I rejoice again and again.

Van Buitenen's translation: Whenever I recall that miraculous form of Hari, I am stunned to the core, sire, and rejoice anew.

Samjaya is saying that the ViswarUpa is a form of Hari/Krishna. It is not some other entity displaying the ViswarUpa.

Shankara also says the same thing -

Sanskrit Commentary By Sri Shankaracharya: ৷৷18.77৷৷ --, acca saṅsmṛtya saṅsmṛtya rūpam atyadbhutaṅ harēḥ viśvarūpaṅ vismayō mē mahān rājan? hṛṣyāmi ca punaḥ punaḥ৷৷kiṅ bahunā --,

Finally, that the Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna (no mysterious third entity is involved) is confirmed by Samjaya.

sañjaya uvāca ityahaṅ vāsudēvasya pārthasya ca mahātmanaḥ. saṅvādamimamaśrauṣamadbhutaṅ rōmaharṣaṇam৷৷18.74৷৷

Translation by Van Buitenen: Samjaya said: Thus have I heard this Colloquy” of Väsudeva and the great-spirited Partha, marvelous and enrapturing.

rājansaṅsmṛtya saṅsmṛtya saṅvādamimamadbhutam. kēśavārjunayōḥ puṇyaṅ hṛṣyāmi ca muhurmuhuḥ৷৷18.76৷৷

Translation by Van Buitenen: Sire, whenever I reflect on this wondrous, holy Colloquy of Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice anew.

PS: I have already spent a long time and effort in writing up this answer and this answer is very long. I will take a temporary break here. I might extend this answer to show instances from the Bhagavad Gita itself and post-BG Mahabharata parvas to further show that Krishna/Vishnu is the supreme brahman. I believe when there are so many quotations saying that Krishna/Vishnu is the supreme brahman, we cannot take an isolated quotation, to overturn one of the fundamental premises of the Mahabharata. However, to each his/her own.

  • Hi , I appreciate the efforts you have taken and given you +1 but , as far as the mention of "Vishnu" in rigveda, what's to say that Vishnu is not just one of the names of formless brahman ? Vishnu in sanskrit after all means "pervading one" . Vasudev similarly means "resident lord" , the one which is residing in everyone as soul. "Krishna" means either black or attractive in sanskrit . So when in Mahabharata , characters praise Krishna as the supreme lord, what's to say they aren't praising formless Brahman ? after all , even author of Mahabharata itself has real name "Krishna dwaipayan"
    – Curious
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 13:22
  • (continued ...) and hence it strongly means there were other people by the name of "Krishna" even around that time of Sri Krishna or even before that. !
    – Curious
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 13:25
  • As per Purusha suktam of Rigveda, the supreme Purusha (Brahman) is not born from womb, but pervades as soul of all living entities born from womb : "prajapatishcharati garbhe antaha ajayamano bahudha vijayate the Supreme Creator moves inside the cosmic womb. (Though) unborn He takes birth in a variety of ways " Since sri krishna is born from womb of devaki, as per rigvedic principle of Purusha suktam , is he god ??
    – Curious
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 13:29
  • 1
    Wow, you have so many questions! This is good. But please ask these as separate questions - one question at a time. It is difficult to address all these in the comments section. Here is a short answer - In a text like Mahabharata, Vishnu himself is the formed as well as the formless brahman. Brahman with form and brahman without form, are not two separate entities. As for the praise of Krishna, this is very easy - just look at the context of the praise. Now if you want to pursue all this, please ask separately. I will answer them in due course of time (not today). Thanks for understanding.
    – user16581
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 14:17
  • whats the quality of my questions . Is it good :D
    – Curious
    Commented Nov 24, 2019 at 16:15

Bhagwat Geeta said by Krishna himsef. And Krishna is no differ than Parbrahma. In other word, Krishna is Parbrahma. And it's proof we can find in Bhagwat Geeta easily.

In Geeta When Krishna says I am Parbrahma, then some may say (coz of partial knowledge) It is not Krishna who is saying I am Parbrahma, BUT instead Parbrahma himself saying by making Krishna as medium.

But following Shlokas of Bhagwat Geeta will shows us that It is actually Krishna who is saying all these things.... Because Krishna is talking about his Body (body of krishna) also in following shlokas and also speaks about his births.

जन्म कर्म च मे दिव्यमेवं यो वेत्ति तत्त्वत: |
त्यक्त्वा देहं पुनर्जन्म नैति मामेति सोऽर्जुन || 9||

BG 4.9: Those who understand the divine nature of my birth and activities, O Arjun, upon leaving the body, do not have to take birth again, but come to my eternal abode.

Here Krishna is talking about of his birth. If Parbrahma was making Krishna as medium then How Krishna is talking about his birth. Krishna said, one who actually come to know about reason/purpose of my births and activities (like some makes fun of Krishna having GFs), he/she will be free from cycle of rebirth.

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम् |
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम् || 11||

BG 9.11: Fools, deride me by seeing my divine human form, unable to comprehend my supremme nature as the ultimate controller of all living entities.

Here Krishna simply called those persons "foolish" who thinks Krishna is not Parbrahma by seeing his human form/body.

When Krishna alive, that time also some people were unable to recognize him. And after thousands of years later too, some people unable to recognize him only because of their partial knowledge.

अर्जुन उवाच |
परं ब्रह्म परं धाम पवित्रं परमं भवान् |
पुरुषं शाश्वतं दिव्यमादिदेवमजं विभुम् || 12||
आहुस्त्वामृषय: सर्वे देवर्षिर्नारदस्तथा |
असितो देवलो व्यास: स्वयं चैव ब्रवीषि मे || 13||

BG 10.12-13: Arjun said: You are the Supreme Divine Personality, the Supreme Abode, the Supreme Purifier, the Eternal God, the Primal Being, the Unborn, and the Greatest. The great sages, like Narad, Asit, Deval, and Vyas, proclaimed this, and now you are declaring it to me yourself.

Here highlighted sages also told Arjuna that Krishna is parbrahma (told by Arjuna himself to Krishna).


Hence Krishna is talking about his human body and births which simply means it is krishna who is talking. If there is any different Parbrahma than Krishna who is speaking then why would he says something like... "My body", "My birth" and "Foolish can't recognize my Parbrahma swaroop by seeing my divine body" etc.


The concept that messenger of God is separate from God and creator lives in some imaginary heavens and is separate from the creation has become popular because of widespread Abrahamic religions spread out among majority of population of Kaliyuga(age of ignorance) where the concept of soul and its linked law of Karma, reincarnation are rejected rather matter is considered only reality and body is worshipped as soul and preserved in graves just like ancient egyptians used to make huge pyramids for dead kings and aristocrats. This has lead to confusion, violence all over the world where Dharma has become mere hypocrisy associated with some particular name of God or their prophet, rather than core Santana Dharma(eternal law) and focus on self-realization. Even the animals, insects know they are bodies made of matter and fight for food, mate and shelter and die in the process, than what is the use of intellect of man, who is made in the image of Purusha/God. What differs man from animals is the presence of intellect, logic and reasoning and ability to speak,share and ability to renounce, seeking immortality, hence renunciation has been the highest virtue among yogis and enlightened beings of Sanatana Dharma with Ashrama stage(Brahmcharya, Grihasta, Vanprasta and Sanyassa) being its integral part.

BG 7.24: The less intelligent think that I, the Supreme Lord Shree Krishna, was formless earlier and have now assumed this personality. They do not understand the imperishable exalted nature of my personal form.

As per Sanatana Dharma and Vedas, God is one infinite immortal master Paramatma Purusha Brahman and rest all jivas are dependent slave Aatma undergoing cyclic reincarnation according to their Karmas until enlightened. Jivanmuktas are perfected beings who have subdued their senses in very past times and have merged their minds in Yoga/Kaivalya through Nirvikalpa Samadhi and gained 8 opulent powers of Brahman and become one with Brahman eternally. In the beginning of this creation, Brahma emerged from Hiranayagarbha(golden womb) and did Tapas on Brahman for 100 years before creating this creation. Krishna-Arjuna were reincarnation of sages Nara-Narayana(Vishnu) who are also doing Tapas in mountains of Badrinath. Lord Shiva himself is adiyogi always merged in Tapas of Brahman. All the trinity are already one with Brahman and are Brahman.

In Vanaparvan (12. 46, 47), Krishna says to Arjuna,"O invincible one, you are Nara and I am Hari Narayana, and we, the sages Nara-Narayana, have come to this world at the proper time.." In the same Parva, chapter 30 (verse 1); Shiva says to Arjuna — "In former birth you were Nara and with Narayana as your companion, performed austerities for thousands of years at Badari"

A perfect Aatma, without any desire of senses,matter or ego and established in itself/Kaivalya is Paramatma/God itself. Nirguna Purusha and Triguna Prakriti has become all the 4 yugas, 4 varnas and 4 dishas/directions(Moksha, Dharma, Artha and Kama) and 4 feets of 4 yugas.

Nirguna Purusha = Tapas (Soul & Moksha)

Satva Guna = Satya/truth(Intellect & Dharma)

Rajas Guna = Shauch/cleanliness(Mind & Artha)

Tamas Guna = Bhakti(Body & Kama)

Since, its Kaliyuga and Tamas/darkness dominates, so majority of people identify their consciousness with body(just like animals) by default, but not soul and reject Vedas concept of Atman as same as Brahman, reject presence of Atman and become atheist and speak all kind of lies and remain unclean from mind and body and dont do Tapas.

The Remedy of Kaliyuga

(38) Laborers being dressed up as mendicants of austerity, will accept religious charity to earn their living and mount a high seat to speak about religious matters without any knowledge of dharmic principles. (39-40) With their minds constantly full of stress, emaciated by famine and taxes in times of scarcity with droughts on the surface of the earth, oh King, the people of Kali-yuga will be troubled by countless worries and live in fear. Lacking in clothing, food, drink, rest, sexual love [vyavâya, also called 'change'], bathing and personal ornaments they will appear like ghostly creatures. (41) In the age of Kali one will even over a single coin develop enmity [5.14 and 5.14: 26], reject friendly relations, kill oneself [be suicidal] and even kill one's relatives [domestic violence]. (42) Only interested in the petty service of the stomach and the genitals one, even being born in a respectable family, will not protect the elderly parents, the wife and the children.

Hence, Bhakti of Puranas is recommended for majority of them as the first step. But the trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha and other Vedic-Puranic deities like Surya, Ganesha, Shakti etc., existed before Sat Yuga and have identified themselves with immortal Brahman and are Brahman.

The essence of Vedanta is that there is but one Being and that every soul is that Being in full, not a part of that Being. - Swami Vivekananda

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥

'You are the fullness. There is fullness, here is fullness. From the fullness, the fullness is born. Remove the fullness from the fullness and the fullness alone remains.' - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad


The sub-questions of the question are:

  1. So , it is Parbrahman who's actually saying this ?

  2. Now Mahabharata (incl BG) was written by Krishna Dwaipayan (Ved vyasa) , so why we attribute BG to Sri Krishna when he's just being messenger of god ?

As far as 1st sub-question is concerned, I had already answered it under another question stating that While giving discourse to Arjuna, the mind of Sri Krishna was merged in the BRAHMAN and thus he had been speaking as a BRAHMAN itself.

Coming to the 2nd sub-question, the following are my observations:

a) There is a difference between the messenger of the Almighty and a Yogi of the highest order, who has no desires left and thus his/her mind merged in the Almighty, thus becoming the BRAHMAN.

b) We have to remember that Sri Krishna falls into the category of Yogi of the highest order, but not in the 1st category of messenger. A great devotee like Tukaram, who is a cut above the ordinary mortals, but not yet achieved the stage of a Yogi, can be called a messenger of the Almighty, because many divine qualities like compassion, ego less stage, desirelessness, etc, can be seen in him/her.

c) We have to remember that Sri Krishna of that era, sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi of our earlier generation, etc, were born of uterine only, but achieved the stage of YOGI. The concept of Purusha of Purusha Sukta, born out of nothing, is mystic and very difficult to explain, but can only be experienced.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .