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the Lord's Incarnations
bhagavac-chakti-karyeshu trividheshu sva-shaktiman
vilasan vartate krishnash cij-jiva-mayikeshu ca
The two philosophies—advaita-vada, or monism, from Vedanta and materialism from Sankhya—have been current from time immemorial. Monism has been further divided into two, namely vivarta-vada and Mayavada. Among all these philosophers, some say the material world is a transformation of Brahman, some say it is false, and some have established the material world as beginningless. Swanlike persons, however, say that although Lord Krishna is separate from all activities and their cause, by His inconceivable potency and through His three principle energies the Lord is nevertheless present and involved in the activities of Vaikuntha, the living entities, and the material world.
cit-karyeshu svayam krishno jive tu paramatmakah
jade yajneshvarah pujyah sarva-karma-phala-pradah
Krishna is personally present in spiritual activities, He is present as Supersoul in the living entities, and He is worshiped as Yajneshvara in the material world. He alone awards the results of all activities.
sarvamshi sarva-rupi ca sarvavatara-bijakah
krishnas tu bhagavan sakshan na tasmat para eva hi
All the existing personal expansions and all the created separated expansions, the living entities, are products of Krishna's energy, therefore Lord Shri Krishna is the origin of all expansions. Nothing can manifest outside of His energy, therefore He is the source of all forms. All incarnations of the Lord emanate from Him, therefore He is the source of all incarnations. Lord Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no truth superior to Him.
acintya-shakti-sampannah sa krishnah karunamayah
maya-baddhasya jivasya kshemaya yatnavan sada
That Krishna is inconceivably powerful and merciful. He is ardently engaged in the welfare of the living entities who have been conditioned by Maya due to misuse of their independence.
yad yad bhagavato jivas tat tad bhagavato harih
avatirnah svashaktya sah kridativa janaih saha
When the conditioned souls receive various forms according to their nature, the Supreme Lord Krishna, by His inconceivable potency, agrees to accompany them by incarnating and enjoying pastimes with them.
matsyeshu matsya-bhavo hi kacchape kurma-rupakah
meru-dandayute jive varaha-bhavavan harih
When the living entities accept the position of fish, the Lord accepts His fish incarnation, Matsya. Matsya is without danda. When the living entities gradually accept the position of vajra-danda, then the Lord incarnates as Kurma. When vajra-danda gradually becomes meru-danda, the Lord incarnates as Varaha.
nrisimho madhya-bhavo hi vamanah kshudra-manave
bhargavo 'sabhyavargeshu sabhye dasharathis tatha
When the living entities accept the combined position of human and animal, the Lord accepts His incarnation of Nrisimha. When the living entities are short, He appears as Vamana. When the living entities are uncivilized, He comes as Parashurama. When they are civilized, He appears as Ramacandra.
sarva vijnana-sampanne krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
tarka-nishthanare buddho nastike kalkir eva ca
When the living entities possess the wealth of practical knowledge, then Lord Krishna Himself appears. When the living entities develop the tendency for argument, the Lord appears as Buddha. And when they are atheistic, the Lord comes as Kalki. These are well-known facts.
avatara harer bhavah kramorddhva-gatimad-dhridi
na tesham janma-karmadau prapanco vartate kvacit
In the course of the gradual development of the living entities' hearts, the Lord incarnates in a form corresponding to the mood of the devotees. The source and activities of those forms are untouched by material contamination.
jivanam krama-bhavanam lakshananam vicaratah
kalo vibhajyate shastre dashadha rishibhih prithak
tat tat kalagato bhavah krishnasya lakshyate hi yah
sa eva kathyate vijnair avataro hareh kila
After consideration, the sages have divided the history of the living entities' advancement into ten periods of time. Each period has different symptoms, with each successive mood superior to the previous. Each progressive mood is described as an incarnation.
kenacid bhajyate kalash catur-vimshatidha vida
ashtadasha-vibhage va cavatara-vibhagashah
Some learned scholars have divided this period of time into twenty-four and ascertained twenty-four incarnations. Yet there are others who have divided it into eighteen with the corresponding number of incarnations.
mayaya ramanam tuccham krishnasya cit svarupinah
jivasya tattva-vijnane ramanam tasya sammatam
Some people say that the Supreme Lord is omnipotent, therefore He may sometimes incarnate by His inconceivable energy in a material body, and all incarnations can therefore be accepted simply as historical incidents. According to the opinion of swanlike Vaishnavas, this statement is extremely unreasonable because it is impossible for Lord Krishna to accept a material body and perform material activities. Such action would be insignificant and abominable for Him. But His appearance and pastimes in the hearts of the realized living entities' are accepted by both the sadhus and Krishna.
chayayah surya-sambhogo yatha na ghatate kvacit
mayayah krishna-sambhogas tatha nasyat kadacana
As the sun cannot enjoy its shadow, Krishna cannot enjoy maya.
mayashritasya jivasya hridaye krishna-bhavana
kevalam kripaya tasya nanyatha hi kadacana
What to speak of Krishna enjoying maya, He is not even seen by persons who are under the shelter of maya. Yet simply by the mercy of Krishna one can easily see Him through samadhi.
shri krishna-caritam sakshat samadhi-darshitam kila
na tatra kalpana mithya netihaso jadashritah
The pure activities of Krishna have been perceived through the samadhi of swanlike persons like Vyasadeva. Krishna's activities are not exactly historical like those of people under the clutches of maya, because Krishna's activities are not limited to any time or place. Nor are His activities comparable with the activities of ordinary people.
vayam tu caritam tasya varnayamah samatasah
tattvatah kripaya krishna- chaitanyasya mahatmanah
After careful consideration and by the mercy of Shri Krishna Chaitanya we will herein briefly describe the activities of Krishna.
sarvesham avataranam artho bodhyo yatha maya
kevalam krishna-tattvasya cartho vijnapito 'dhuna
The explanation on the science of Krishna that is presented in this book may be applied to His various incarnations. The conclusion is that Krishna is the root cause and seed of all incarnations. He is eternally enjoying pastimes with the living entities as the Supersoul. The Supersoul reciprocates according to the mood and realization a living entity acquires while traveling on the path of fruitive activities. But Krishna does not personally appear until spiritual attachment arises in the hearts of the living entities. Therefore all other incarnations appear from the Supersoul, of whom Krishna is the original seed (see Chapter 2 verses 22-23).
vaishnavah sara-sampannas tyaktva vakya-malam mama
grihnam tu sara-sampattim shri krishna-caritam muda
We appeal to the swanlike Vaishnavas to ignore the imperfections of these verses and happily relish Krishna's activities, which are the essence and wealth of all living entities.
vayam tu bahu-yatnena na shakta desha-kalatah
samuddhartum manisham na prapanca-pidita yatah
Regarding these descriptions of Krishna's activities, despite much effort we were unable to restrain our intelligence from considerations of time and space, because we are not free from the pangs of material life.
tathapi gaura-candrasya kripa-vari-nishevanat
sarvesham hridaye krishna rasabhavo nivartatam
Still, after drinking the shower of mercy from Shri Gaurachandra, the son of Shaci and our only guide, let whatever little we have described herein enter the hearts of all living entities to fill the absence of krishna-rasa; that is, let everyone relish the transcendental mellows in relationship with Krishna.
Thus ends the Third Chapter of Shri Krishna-samhita, entitled
“Descriptions of the Lord's Incarnations.”
May Lord Krishna be pleased.