The Brilliance of Thousands of Suns (Gita 11.12)


“If, in the sky, thousands of Suns came together at once
It might be something like the brilliant effulgence of that great being.”

दिवि सूर्यसहस्रस्य भवेद् युगपदुत्थिता । यदि भाः सदृशी सा स्याद् भासस्तस्य महातमनः ।।

If you were never at a Deep Purple concert, in the front row, you would have no idea how loud it was. But someone who was there could give you a very good idea by comparing it to something you did experience. Let’s say you went to a Metallica concert once and thought it was loud. So the person could say, “You know that Metallica concert you went to? Well, Deep Purple concerts were twice as loud!”

That is exactly what is going on in this text.

The narrator of the Gita is seeing in his vision-trance the tremendous Universal Form of the “Great Being” – God, and he is trying to convey to his audience just how brilliantly effulgent and bright it is. We have no idea, because we are not seeing it, but we do know how bright the Sun is. So the narrator says, “You know the Sun you see up there in the sky? Well, if thousands of them came together up there at once it  might resemble the brilliant effulgence of this divine being.”

Can we see this form directly with our own eyes?


It requires a quest however. The normal blindness of the material eyes must be cured, then the Universal Form of Kṛṣṇa becomes abundantly seen all around, directly – and there is no need for metaphor. Without this “divine vision” it is impossible to fully visualize, even in our imagination, what the Universal Form looks like. But if we apply our devotion to it, try sincerely to meditate upon the metaphoric descriptions, our imaginations can attract divine mercy and thereupon can begin to directly envision the same sight that the narrator of Bhagavad Gita is envisioning.

Why is Kṛṣṇa’s universal form so bright?

Because Kṛṣṇa is the one and only “shaktiman” – he is the one and only possessor of all energies. Energy is always bright. The Sun is a sustained, controlled explosion of nuclear energy. Fire is energy. Electricity is energy (lightning is bright). Energy is always bright.


Because brightness is caused by the motion of particles, and the waves that result. Energy initiates motion, thereby causing brightness. So energy is always bright.

Kṛṣṇa is so brilliantly bright because everything that exists – every Sun in every sky, every lightning bolt, etc. all energy that exists is his energy. This is what I would like to remember and perceive directly when I contemplate the dazzling brilliance of that great soul, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Energy exists to fulfill the purpose of its source. We exert energy to get a task done. Energy is always connected to the accomplishment of a task. When energy does not have a clear and productive task, there is dangerous current in the electrical system. A living thing with unproductive energy experiences frustration and depression.

Kṛṣṇa is so very bright because all energy belongs to him. That means you too, and me too. And that is something I am happy about. E every energy is his energy. From this statement the key to attaining true happiness and joy can be discovered! The key is that all energy must be used to accomplish his tasks. This produces ānanda or “bliss.”

What is Kṛṣṇa’s task?


“Rasa” is ānanda being fully enjoyed at its peak. To enjoy rasa is Kṛṣṇa’s only task. It is therefore our only task, since we are Kṛṣṇa’s energy. This means that the purpose of life is bliss. There is no other reason to exist. Bliss is experienced when we give all our energy to Kṛṣṇa’s enjoyment of Rasa.

How does Kṛṣṇa enjoy Rasa?

Through prema.

“Prema” is love. The highest bliss is enjoyed by the energy used to relish pure, selfless love.

The bright brilliance of Kṛṣṇa’s universal form reminds me that I really desire to give all my energy 100% to Kṛṣṇa in the shape of pouring towards him infinite, pure spontaneous love. That love is more brilliant than a thousand suns rising together in the sky.

May such a brilliant outpouring of love erupt always from my heart, and from yours!

Hari bol.

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1 Comment

  1. Trying to count my blessings having stumbled into the infinite down poring of causeless mercy from that Great Soul, Sri Krishna in His pure form of Compassion as Mahaprabu. This down poring comes through His great devotees who have submitted and accepted to be what they in truth are, the energy of that Being, wonderful beyond description. Thank you for inspiration an blessings!


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