Translation by Edwin Arnold (1832 - 1904)

Arjuna
Language: English  after the Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) 
    Yea! I have seen! I see!
    Lord! all is wrapped in Thee!
The gods are in Thy glorious frame! the creatures
    Of earth, and heaven, and hell
    In Thy Divine form dwell,
And in Thy countenance show all the features
 
    Of Brahma, sitting lone
    Upon His lotus-throne;
Of saints and sages, and the serpent races
    Ananta, Vâsuki.
    Yea! mightiest Lord! I see
Thy thousand thousand arms, and breasts, and faces,
 
    And eyes, -- on every side
    Perfect, diversified;
And nowhere end of Thee, nowhere beginning,
    Nowhere a centre! Shifts
    Wherever soul's gaze lifts
Thy central Self, all-willing, and all-winning!
 
    Infinite King! I see
    The anadem on Thee,
The club, the shell, the discus; see Thee burning
    In beams insufferable,
    Lighting earth, heaven, and hell
With brilliance blinding, glorious, flashing, turning
 
    Darkness to dazzling day,
    Look I whichever way.
Ah, Lord! I worship Thee, the Undivided,
    The Uttermost of thought,
    The Treasure-Palace wrought
To hold the wealth of the worlds; the shield provided
 
    To shelter Virtue's laws;
    The Fount whence Life's stream draws
All waters of all rivers of all being:
    The One Unborn, Unending:
    Unchanging and unblending!
With might and majesty, past thought, past seeing!
 
    Silver of moon and gold
    Of sun are glances rolled
From Thy great eyes; Thy visage beaming tender
    Over the stars and skies,
    Doth to warm life surprise
Thy Universe. The worlds are filled with wonder
 
    Of Thy perfections! Space
    Star-sprinkled, and the place
From pole to pole of the heavens, from bound to bound,
    Hath Thee in every spot,
    Thee, Thee! -- Where Thou art not
O Holy, Marvellous Form! is nowhere found!
 
    O Mystic, Awful One!
    At sight of Thee, made known,
The Three Worlds quake; the lower gods draw nigh Thee;
    They fold their palms, and bow
  Body, and breast, and brow,
And, whispering worship, laud and magnify Thee!
 
    Rishis and Siddhas cry
    "Hail! Highest Majesty!"
From sage and singer breaks the hymn of glory
    In holy melody,
    Sounding the praise of Thee,
While countless companies take up the story,
 
    Rudras, who rides the storms,
    Th' Adityas' shining forms,
Vasus and Sâdhyas, Viswas, Ushmapas,
    Maruts, and those great Twins,
    The heavenly, fair, Aswins,
Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Siddhas, Asuras, -- 
 
    These see Thee, and revere
    In silence-stricken fear;
Yea! the Worlds, -- seeing Thee with form stupendous,
    With faces manifold,
    With eyes which all behold,
Unnumbered eyes, vast arms, members tremendous,
 
    Flanks, lit with sun and star,
    Feet planted near and far,
Tushes of terror, mouths wrathful and tender; -- 
    The Three wide Worlds before Thee
    Adore, as I adore Thee,
Quake, as I quake, to witness so much splendor!
 
    I mark Thee strike the skies
    With front in wondrous wise
Huge, rainbow-painted, glittering; and thy mouth
    Opened, and orbs which see
    All things, whatever be,
In all Thy worlds, east, west, and north and south.
 
    O Eyes of God! O Head!
    My strength of soul is fled,
Gone is heart's force, rebuked is mind's desire!
    When I behold Thee so,
    With awful brows a-glow,
With burning glance, and lips lighted with fire,
 
    Fierce as those flames which shall
    Consume, at close of all,
Earth, Heaven! Ah me! I see no Earth and Heaven!
    Thee, Lord of Lords! I see,
    Thee only -- only Thee!
Ah! let Thy mercy unto me be given!
 
    Thou Refuge of the World!
    Lo! to the cavern hurled
Of Thy wide-opened throat, and lips white-tushed,
    I see our noblest ones,
    Great Dhritarashtra's sons,
Bhishma, Drona, and Karna, caught and crushed!
 
    The Kings and Chiefs drawn in,
    That gaping gorge within;
The best of all both armies torn and riven!
    Between Thy jaws they lie
    Mangled fell bloodily,
Ground into dust and death! Like streams down driven
 
    With helpless haste, which go
    In headlong furious flow
Straight to the gulfing maw of th' unfilled ocean,
    So to that flaming cave
    These heroes great and brave
Pour, in unending streams, with helpless motion!
 
    Like months which in the night
    Flutter towards a light,
Drawn to their fiery doom, flying and dying,
    So to their death still throng,
    Blind, dazzled, borne along
Ceaselessly, all these multitudes, wild flying!
 
    Thou, that hast fashioned men,
    Devourest them agen,
One with another, great and small, alike!
    The creatures whom Thou mak'st,
    With flaming jaws Thou tak'st,
Lapping them up! Lord God! Thy terrors strike
 
    From end to end of earth,
    Filling life full, from birth
To death, with deadly, burning, lurid dread!
    Ah, Vishnu! make me know
    Why is Thy visage so?
Who art Thou, feasting thus upon Thy dead?
 
    Who? awful Deity!
    I bow myself to Thee,
Nâmostu Tê Devavara! Prasîd!
    O Mightiest Lord! rehearse
    Why hast Thou face so fierce?
Whence did this aspect horrible proceed?

Authorship

Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-04-08
Line count: 138
Word count: 778