Chapter 10: The Opulence of the Absolute

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.37

vrishnīnām vāsudevo 'smi

pāndavānām dhana˝jayah

munīnām apy aham vyāsah

kavīnām uśanā kavih

SYNONYMS

vrishnīnām — of the descendants of Vrishni; vāsudevahKrishna in Dvārakā; asmiI am; pāndavānām — of the Pāndavas; dhana˝jayahArjuna; munīnām — of the sages; api — also; ahamI am; vyāsahVyāsa, the compiler of all Vedic literature; kavīnām — of all great thinkers; uśanāUśanā; kavih — the thinker.

TRANSLATION

Of the descendants of Vrishni I am Vāsudeva, and of the Pāndavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyāsa, and among great thinkers I am Uśanā.

PURPORT

Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Baladeva is Krishna's immediate expansion. Both Lord Krishna and Baladeva appeared as sons of Vasudeva, so both of Them may be called Vāsudeva. From another point of view, because Krishna never leaves Vrindāvana, all the forms of Krishna that appear elsewhere are His expansions. Vāsudeva is Krishna's immediate expansion, so Vāsudeva is not different from Krishna. It is to be understood that the Vāsudeva referred to in this verse of Bhagavad-gītā is Baladeva, or Balarāma, because He is the original source of all incarnations and thus He is the sole source of Vāsudeva. The immediate expansions of the Lord are called svāmśa (personal expansions), and there are also expansions called vibhinnāmśa (separated expansions).

Amongst the sons of Pāndu, Arjuna is famous as Dhana˝jaya. He is the best of men and therefore represents Krishna. Among the munis, or learned men conversant in Vedic knowledge, Vyāsa is the greatest because he explained Vedic knowledge in many different ways for the understanding of the common mass of people in this Age of Kali. And Vyāsa is also known as an incarnation of Krishna; therefore Vyāsa also represents Krishna. Kavis are those who are capable of thinking thoroughly on any subject matter. Among the kavis, Uśanā, Śukrācārya, was the spiritual master of the demons; he was an extremely intelligent and far-seeing politician. Thus Śukrācārya is another representative of the opulence of Krishna.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness