Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Tattva Sutra > Chapter-1

Chapter One


The Truth


Introduction by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura





     jiyan madana-mohanah


     All glories to Madana-mohana, who is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. He is dear to the saintly devotees, and He is an ocean of mercy for the fallen souls.





     vivrinomi yatha-mati


     I, who thirst to taste a drop of Lord Madana-mohana's mercy, shall now write these sutras describing the eternal truths of spiritual life. As far as I understand, so I shall write.


pranamya krishna-chaitanyam

     bharadvajam sanatanam

tattva-sutram sa-vyakhyanam

     bhashayam vivritam maya


     Bowing down before Lord Shri Krishna Chaitanya, the eternal maintainer of all the worlds, I shall now write this Tattva-sutra and a commentary upon it.


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11) Suta Gosvami explains:


vadanti tat tattva-vidas

     tattvam yaj jnanam advayam

brahmeti paramatmeti

     bhagavan iti shabdyate


     "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call the non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan."*


     In the Yajur Veda, Vajasaneya-samhita, seventh mantra, it is said:


yasmin sarvani bhutani

     atmaivabhud vijanatah

tatra ko mohah kah shoka

     ekatvam anupashyatah


     "One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?"*


     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.7), the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself declares:


mattah parataram nanyat

     kincid asti dhananjaya

mayi sarvam idam protam

     sutre mani-gana iva


     "O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests on Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."*


     In the mangalacarana of the Narada-pancaratra, the author of that book declares:


dhyayet tam paramam brahma

     paramatmanam ishvaram

niriham ati-nirliptam

     nirgunam prakriteh param


sarvesham sarva-rupam ca


satyam nityam ca purusham

     puranam param avyayam


     "One should meditate on the Supreme Truth, who is known as Brahman, Paramatma, and Ishvara. His activities are never material. He is never touched by matter. He is never touched by the modes of material nature. He is beyond the world of matter. He is the master of all. He is everything. He is the cause of all causes. He is the eternal truth, the ancient and imperishable Supreme Person."


     In the Markandeya Purana, Fourth Chapter, it is said:


yasmad anutaram nasti

     yasman nasti brihattaram

yena vishvam idam vyaptam

     ajena jagad-adina


     "Nothing is smaller than He. Nothing is greater than He. He is the unborn creator of the universes. He is present everywhere."


     Here someone may protest: Is it not so that Shri Vyasadeva and other authors of sutras must always begin their sutra books with the word "atha" (now)? The sutras "athato brahma-jijnasa" and "athato dharma-jijnasa" are examples of this. This must be done both to bring auspiciousness and to state the topic one wishes to understand. Thus when one writes a book about Brahman or about dharma one must begin with an introduction describing the topic to be discussed in the book. Why has the author of Tattva-sutra not done this?


     If this protest is spoken, I give the following reply: This protest is not correct. Because in the first sutra of this book the supremely auspicious Supreme Personality of Godhead is described, there is no need for a separate mangalacarana to invoke auspiciousness. Also, the subject matter of this book is self-evident, and so it needs no introduction. Therefore, without any introduction, the first sutra declares:


Sutra 1


     ekah paro nanyah


     ekah—one; parah—Supreme; na—not; anyah—another.


     The Supreme is one. He has no rival.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     The Shruti-shastra declares:


ekam evadvitiyam brahma neha nanasti kincana


     "There is one Supreme God. He has no rival. There are not many Gods."


     Here someone may protest: If it were so that there is only one Supreme God and no other Gods, then that one God would have to perform by Himself all the many duties involved in creating, maintaining, and destroying the universes. He would have to perform them all without any help from anyone else.


     To refute this protest, the author of the sutras speaks the following words:


Sutra 2


aguno 'pi sarva-shaktir ameyatvat


     agunah—beyond the modes of material nature; api—even; sarva—all; shaktih—potencies; ameyatvat—because of being limitless.


     Because He is limitless, He has all powers, even though He remains beyond the touch of the modes of material nature.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     This sutra means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the modes of nature and He has all powers. This is so because He is limitless, which is to say that he cannot be measured or understood by direct perception of the material senses or by any other material means. this is described in the following words of Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.19):


parasya shaktir vividhaiva shruyate

     svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca


     "His potencies are multifarious, and thus His deeds are automatically performed as a natural sequence."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.35) Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami explains:


bhagavan sarva-bhuteshu

     lakshitah svatmana harih

drishyair buddhy-adibhir drashta

     lakshanair anumapakaih


     "The Personality of Godhead Lord Shri Krishna is in every living being along with the individual soul. And this fact is perceived and hypothesized in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.20.7) it is also said:


ekah shuddhah svayam-jyotir

     nirguno 'sau gunashrayah

sarvago 'navritah sakshi

     niratmatmatmanah parah


     "The individual soul is one, pure, non-material, and self-effulgent. He is the reservoir of all good qualities, and He is all-pervading. He is without material covering, and He is the witness of all activities. He is completely distinguished from other living entities, and He is transcendental to all embodied souls."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.7.23) it is also said:


atra mam mrigayanty addha

     yuta hetubhir ishvaram

grihyamanair gunair lingair

     agrahyam anumanatah


     "Although I, the Supreme Lord, can never be captured by ordinary sense perception, those situated in human life may use their intelligence and other faculties of perception to directly search for Me through apparent and indirectly ascertained symptoms."***


     In the Narada-pancaratra it is said:


prakriteh param ishtam ca

     sarvesham abhivanchitam

svecchamayam param brahma

     pancaratrabhidham smritam


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the world of matter, who is the supreme object of worship, whose desires are all fulfilled, and whom all living entities yearn to attain, is described in the Pancaratras."


     Here someone may protest: You consider the Supreme both beyond the modes of material nature and the master of all potencies. How is it possible to ascribe these two mutually contradictory natures to the Lord?


     In the following words the author of the sutras refutes this protest:


Sutra 3



viruddha-samanyam tasmin na citram


     viruddha-samanyam—mutually contradictory qualities; tasmin—in Him; na—not; citram—wonder.


     No one should be surprised that the Supreme possesses mutually contradictory natures.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     That the Supreme Personality of Godhead possesses mutually contradictory natures should not be a source of wonder. In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.19) it is said:


apani-pado javano grihita

     pashyaty acakshuh sa shrinoty akarnah


     "Although the Supreme Lord is described as having no hands or legs, He nonetheless accepts all sacrificial offerings and moves very quickly. He has no material eyes, yet He sees everything. He has no material ears, yet He hears everything."*


     In Bhagavad-gita (4.39-40), the Lord declares:


shraddhaval labhate jnanam

     tat-parah samyatendriyah

jnanam labdhva param shantim



     "A faithful man who is dedicated to transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses is eligible to achieve such knowledge, and having achieved it he quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace.*


ajnash cashraddadhanash ca

     samshayatma vinashyati

nayam loko 'sti na paro

     na sukham samshayatmanah


     "But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God consciousness. They fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next."*


     Here someone may ask: How can one understand the truth of this Supreme who has many mutually contradictory natures?


     To answer this question the author of the sutras speaks the following words:


Sutra 4


sa sac-cid-anando jnanagamyo bhakti-vishayatvat


     sah—He; sat—eternal; cit—full of knowledge; anandah—full of bliss; jnana—by knowledge; agamyah—not approachable; bhakti—of devotional service; vishayatvat—becaus of being in the range of perception.


     He is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. He cannot be known by ordinary knowledge, for He is known only by devotional service.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     The Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. He cannot be known by the material mind or described by material words. He is known only by devotional service. The Shruti-shastra declares:


yad vacanabhyuditam yan mano na manute


     "The material mind cannot understand the Supreme. Material words cannot describe Him."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.12.21), the Supreme Lord Himself declares:


bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah


     "I am understood only by devotional service."


     In the Shruti-shastra it is said:


brahma sac-cid-ananda-lakshanam


     "The Supreme is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss."


     In Brahma-samhita (5.1) it is said:


ishvarah paramah krishnah


anadir adir govindah



     "Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."*


     In the Vishnu Purana is the following explanation of the word sac-cid-ananda:


hladini sandhini samvit

     tvayy eka sarva-samshraye

hladatapakari mishra

     tvayi no guna-varjita


     "O Lord, You are the support of everything. The three attributes hladini, sandhini, and samvit exist in You as one spiritual energy. But the material modes, which cause happiness, misery, and mixtures of the two, do not exist in You, for You have no material qualities."*


     A commentary on this verse follows:


     the verse means, "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in You, who are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme controller, and the shelter of all, exists one inconceivable potency, which is manifested in three as hladini, sandhini, and samvit." That is the meaning. The question may be asked, "O Lord, what are You like?" The verse explains, "O Lord, You are beyond the material modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance." This means that the material modes, which cause happiness, misery, and mixtures of the two, do not exist in the Lord. It is the potency of spiritual bliss that exists in the Lord. Thus it is said.


     In the Markandeya Purana, Shakti-mahatmya, First Chapter, Candi declares:


tan natra vismayah karyo

     yoga-nidra jagat-pateh

maha-maya haresh caitat

     taya sammohitam jagat


     "No one should be surprised that the Supreme Personality of Godhead enjoys pastimes of yoga-nidra (mystic sleep). After all, the Lord's illusory potency maya bewilders the entire material world.


jnanainam api cetamsi

     devi bhagavati hi sa

balad akrishya mohaya

     maha-maya prayacchati


     "Entering even the sages' hearts, Goddess Maha-maya bewilders the conditioned souls.


taya vishrijyate vishvam

     jagad etac caracaram

saisha prasanna varada

     nrinam bhavati muktaye


     "By her this entire material universe of moving and unmoving beings is created. When she is satisfied she gives the blessing of liberation to the conditioned souls.


sa vidya parama mukter

     hetu-bhuta sanatani

samsara-bandha-hetush ca

     saiva sarveshvareshvari


     "She is the eternal transcendental knowledge that brings liberation. She is also the potency that binds the conditioned souls in the world of birth and death. She is the goddess of all goddesses."


     In Bhagavad-gita (9.8-9), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:


prakritim svam avashtabhya

     vishrijami punah punah

bhuta-gramam imam kritsnam

     avasham prakriter vashat


     "The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end.*


na ca mam tani karmani

     nibadhnanti dhananjaya

udasinavad asinam

     asaktam teshu karmasu


     "O Dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached, seated as though neutral."*


     In the Hayashirsha-pancaratra it is said:


anando dvi-vidhah prokto


amurtasyashrayo murto

     murtanando 'cyuto matah


     "The Supreme Lord's transcendental bliss is said to be of two kinds: 1. that of His form, and 2. that of His formless aspect. The form of the Lord is the shelter of His formless aspect. Therefore it is the bliss of the Lord's aspect with form that is really eternal and imperishable.


amurtah paramatma ca

     jnana-rupash ca nirgunah

sva-svarupash ca kutastho

     brahma ceti satam matam


     "The Lord's form and His formless aspect are  both full of knowledge and beyond the touch of the material modes. These qualities are also present in the original forms of the individual spirit souls.


amurta-murtayor bhedo

     nasti tattva-vicaratah

bhedas tu kalpito vedair

     mani-tat-tejasor iva


     "In truth, there is no real difference between the Lord's form and His formless aspect. The difference is only an imagination of the Vedas. The two are like a jewel and its splendor."


     In the Kapila-pancaratra it is said:


dve brahmani tu vijneye

     murtam camurtam eva ca

murtamurta-svabhavo yo

     dhyeyo narayano vibhuh


     "The Supreme has two aspects: 1. His transcendental form, and 2. His formless aspect. Thus it should be known that all-powerful Lord Narayana has a form and is formless also."


     In the Hayashirsha-pancaratra it is said:


ya ya shrutir jalpati nirvishesham

     sa sabhidhatte sa-vishesham eva

vicara-yoge santi hanta tasam

     prayo baliyah sa-vishesham eva


     "The Vedas say that the Supreme has no qualities. But they also say that He certainly does have qualities. By carefully considering all the statement of the Vedas, we have come to the conclusion that more weight should be given to the statements affirming the Lord's possession of transcendental qualities."


     Here someone may protest: If this is so, and the Supreme Lord is attained by devotional service, then the Supreme Lord must be a resident of the material world, (for devotional services are rendered in the material world).


     To refute this idea the author now speaks the fifth sutra.


Sutra 5


sa ca satyo nityo 'nadir ananto desha-kalaparicchedat


     sah—He; ca—and; satyah—real; nityah—eternal; anadih—without beginning; anantah—without end; desha—of space; kala—and time; aparicchedat—beyond the limits.


     He is the eternal Supreme Truth, beginningless and endless, for He exists beyond the limits of space and time.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     In the Shruti-shastra it is said:


satyam jnanam anandam brahma


     "The Supreme is the eternal reality, full of knowledge and bliss."


nityo 'vinashi


     "The Supreme is eternal. He never dies."


avinashi va re 'yam atma


     "The Supreme Lord never dies."


sa-bhumim sarvatah sprishtva va atyatishtha


     "The Supreme Lord is present everywhere in the material world, but He is also beyond it."


     In Bhagavad-gita it is said:


sarvam avritya tishthati


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervading."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:


naiveshitum prabhur bhumna

     ishvaro dhama-maninam


     "Matter has no power to prevail over the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the spiritual worlds."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.10) it is also said:


pravartate yatra rajas tamas tayoh

     sattvam ca mishram na ca kala-vikramah

na yatra maya kim utapare harer

     anuvrata yatra surasurarcitah


     "In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory, external energy. It cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and demons worship the Lord as devotees."*


     In the Katha Upanisad (1.3.15) it is said:


ashabdam asparsham arupam avyayam

     tatharasam nityam agandhavam ca yat

anady anantam mahatah param dhruvam

     nicarya tam mrityu-mukhat pramucyate


     "The Supreme is beyond material sound, touch, form, taste, or smell. He is eternal. He never dies. He has neither beginning nor end. He is beyond the material world. One who takes shelter of Him escapes the mouth of death."


     Here someone may protest: If the Supreme Lord is beyond the material world, as you say, then why does He create the material universes in the first place?


     To answer this protest, the author of the sutras speaks the following words:


Sutra 6


paro 'pi cij-jadabhyam vilasi vishva-siddheh


     parah—transcendental; api—although; cit—with conscious beings; jadabhyam—in inert matter; vilasi—playful; vishva—of thew material universes; siddheh—of the completion.


     Although He is transcendental, the playful Lord creates the material universes filled with conscious beings and inert matter.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     In the Aitareya Upanishad (1.1.1) it is said:


sa aikshata


     "With a glance the Supreme Personality of Godhead created the material worlds."


     In the Chandogya Upanishad (6.2.3) it is said:


eko 'ham bahu syam prajayeya


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead thought: I am one. Let Me become many. I shall father many children."


     In the Taittiriya Upanishad (3.1.1) it is said:


yato va imani bhutani jayante


     "The Supreme Absolute Truth is that from which everything is born."*


     In the Katha Upanishad (2.3.2-3) it is said:


yad idam kim ca jagat sarvam

     prana ejati nihshritam

mahad-bhayam vajram udyatam

     ya etad vidur amritas te bhavanti


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is powerful like a thunderbolt. The entire world moves in fear of Him. They who know this become immortal.


bhayad asyagnis tapati

     bhayat tapati suryah

bhayad indrash ca vayush ca

     mrityur dhavati pancamah


     "Out of fear of Him, fire burns. Out of fear of Him, the sun shines. Out of fear of Him, Indra, Vayu, and Yama act."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.42) The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:


mad-bhayad vati vato 'yam

     suryas tapati mad-bhayat

varshatindro dahaty agnir

     mrityush carati mad-bhayat


     "It is because of My supremacy that the wind blows, out of fear of Me. The sun shines out of fear of Me, and the lord of clouds, Indra, sends forth showers out of fear of Me. Fire burns out of fear of Me, and death goes about taking its toll out of fear of Me."*


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.1) it is said:


bhagavan api ta ratrih


vikshya rantum manash cakre

     yogamayam upashritah


     "Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, full of all opulences, yet upon seeing those autumn nights scented with blossoming jasmine flowers, He turned His mind toward loving affairs. To fulfill His purposes He employed His internal potencies."***


     In Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita it is said:


madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam

     sakala-nigama-valli-sat-phalam cit-svarupam

sakrid api parigitam shraddhaya helaya va

     bhrigu-vara nara-matram tarayet krishna-nama


     "The holy name of Lord Krishna is the sweetest of the sweet and the most auspicious of the auspicious. It is the ripened fruit of the vine of all the Vedas. It is conscious and spiritual. O best of the Bhrigu dynasty, chanted only once, either with faith or even with contempt and mockery, the holy name of Lord Krishna delivers the chanter."


     Shrila Shukadeva Gosvami tells Maharaja Parikshit (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 12.3.14):


katha imas te kathita mahiyasam

     hitaya lokeshu yashah pareyusham

vijnana-vairagya-vivakshaya vibhor

     vaco vibhutir na tu paramarthyam


     "O mighty Parikshit, I have related to you the narrations of all these great kings, who spread their fame throughout the world and then departed. My real purpose was to teach transcendental knowledge and renunciation. Stories of kings lend power and opulence to these narrations but do not in themselves constitute the ultimate aspect of knowledge."***


     In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad (2.95) it is said:


avirbhava tirobhava sva-pade

     tishthati tamasi rajasi sattviki

manushi vijnana-ghana ananda-ghanash

     sac-cid-anandaika-rase bhakti-yoge tishthati


     "Whether visible or invisible in this world, My form always stays in My own abode. My form is also present as the Deity of ignorance, the Deity of passion, and the Deity of goodness. My humanlike form, which is eternal and full of transcendental knowledge and bliss, is is present when My devotees serve Me with devotion."


     In the next sutra the author refutes the idea that the transcendental potency is different from the Lord Himself.


Sutra 7


tac-chaktitas tattvadhikyam iti cen na tad-abhedat


     tat—of Him; shaktitah—from the potency; tattva—truth; adhikyam—more; iti—thus; cet—if; na—not; tat—from Him; abhedat—because of non-difference.


     If someone claims, "The Lord is different from His potency", then I reply, "No. It is not so, for they are not different".


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     If someone claims that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the creator of the worlds, is different from His potency, then this sutra is spoken to refute him. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not different from His many potencies, the potencies are not different from Him. This is described in the following words of the Nyaya-shastra:


shakti-shaktimator abhedah


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all potencies, is not different from His potencies."


     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.8) it is said:


svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca


     "The Lord's potencies of knowledge, power, and action share His own nature. They are not different from Him."


     In Vishnu Purana (1.22.53) it is said:



     jyotsna vistarini yatha

parasya brahmanah shaktis

     tathedam akhilam jagat


     "Just as the illumination of a fire, which is situated in one place, is spread all over, the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahman, are spread all over the universe."*


     In the Markandeya Purana, Devi-mahatmya, the sage explains:


etat te kathitam bhupa

     devi-mahatmyam uttamam

evam prabhava sa devi

     yayedam dharyate jagat


     "O king, now I will describe to you the glories of the goddess. By her power she sustains the entire world.


vidya tathaiva kriyate


taya tvam esha vaishyash ca

     tathaivanye vivekinah


     "She is the potency of Lord Vishnu. From her comes transcendental knowledge. You and many others have attained transcendental knowledge by her grace."


     In the Narada-pancaratra, Second Night, Third Chapter, Lord Shiva explains:


eka ishah prathamato

     dvidha-rupo babhuva sah

eka stri vishnu-maya ya

     puman ekah svayam vibhuh


     "The Supreme Lord is one. Still, He is manifested in two forms. On form is female: the potency of Lord Vishnu. The other form is male: the all-powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.


sa ca svecchamayah shyamah

     saguno nirgunah svayam

tam drishtva sundarim lilam

     ratim kartum samudyatah


     "His form is dark. All His desires are at once fulfilled. He has all transcendental virtues. He is free of the modes of material nature. Anyone who directly sees Him will fall in love with Him and yearn to enjoy charming pastimes with Him."


     Here someone may protest: Is it not so that by creating the material worlds and performing other activities the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes affected by that activity and His nature becomes different from what it was before? Does He not become enamored of what He has created?


     In the next sutra the author refutes this misconception.


Sutra 8


kartapy avikarah svatantryat


     karta—the creator; apy—although; avikarah—without change; svatantryat—because of independence.


     Because He is supremely independent, He does not become changed, even though He is the creator.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     Here the protester declares, "whoever creates the material world must of necessity become affected by passionate attachment, hatred, and other like emotions." To this protest the reply is that because He is supremely independent and can do whatever He wishes to do, by His own will the Lord remains peaceful and aloof from material passions. Therefore, even though He is the creator of the material world, the Lord is not affected by material passions. In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.19) it is said:


nishkalam nishkriyam shantam

     niravadyam niranjanam


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete. He is peaceful and flawless. He is never affected by the material energy. His actions are never material."


     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.14) it is said:


anyatra dharmad anyatradharmad

     anyatrasmat kritakritat

anyatra bhutac cabhavyac ca

     yat tat pashyasi tad vada


     "You can see the Supreme, who stands beyond material piety and impiety, beyond past and future. Please tell me about Him."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.9.13-16) it is said:


na cantar na bahir yasya

     na purvam napi caparam

purvaparam bahish cantar

     jagato yo jagac ca yah


tam matvatmajam avyaktam

     martya-lingam adhokshajam

gopikolukhale damna

     babandha prakritam yatha


     "the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning and no end, no exterior and no interior, no front and no rear. In other words, He is all-pervading. Because He is not under the influence of the element of time, for Him there is no difference between past, present, and future. He exists in His own transcendental form at all times. Being absolute, beyond relativity, He is free from distinctions between cause and effect, although He is the cause and effect of everything. That unmanifested person, who is beyond the perception of the senses, has now appeared as a human child, and mother Yashoda, considering Him her own ordinary child, bound Him to the wooden mortar with a rope.*


tad-dama badhyamanasya

     svarbhakasya kritagasah

dvy-angulonam abhut tena

     sandadhe 'nyac ca gopika


     "When mother Yashoda was trying to bind the offending child, she saw that the binding rope was short by a  distance the width of two fingers. Thus she brought another rope to join to it.*


yathasit tad api nyunam

     tenanyad api sandadhe

tad api dvy-angulam nyunam

     yad yad adatta bandhanam


     "the new rope also was short by a measurement of two fingers, and when another rope was joined to it, it was still two fingers too short. As many ropes as she joined, all of them failed. Their shortness could not be overcome."*


     In the next sutra the author reveals that the Supreme Lord does not increase when He creates the universe. Neither does He become less when He destroys the universe.


Sutra 9


sadaika-rupah purnatvat


     sada—always; eka—one; rupah—form; purnatvat—because of being perfect and complete.


     Because He is perfect and complete, His nature is always unchanged.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     In the Isha Upanishad it is said:


purnam adah purnam idam

     purnat purnam udacyate


     "The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete."*


     Here someone may ask: If the Supreme Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, then what motivates Him to He create the material world?


     In the next sutra the author answers this question.


Sutra 10


karunyam tat-kriya-hetur nanyad apta-kamatvat


     karunyam—compassion; tat—of Him; kriya—of the activities; hetuh—the reason; na—not; anyat—another; apta—attained; kamatvat—because of His desires.


     Compassion is the motive of His actions. He has no other motive, for His every desire is at once fulfilled without any effort on His part.


Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     Compassion is the motive of the Supreme Lord's actions. He has no other motive, for His every desire is at once fulfilled without any effort on His part. However, the conditioned souls act in a different way. They are busily engaged in various activities to attain their desires.



     In the Shruti-shastra it is said:


atmanah kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati


     "The conditioned souls act to fulfill their material desires."


satya-kamah satya-sankalpah


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no need to act to fulfill His desires, for His every wish is at once fulfilled without His having to act."


     In the Smriti-shastra it is said:




     "There is not anything that the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not attain merely by wishing for it.


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.7.2-3), Vidura asks the following question:


brahman katham bhagavatas


lilaya vapi yujyeran

     nirgunasya gunah kriyah


     "O great brahmana, since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the complete spiritual whole and is unchangeable, how is He connected with the material modes of nature and their activities? If this is His pastime, how do the activities of the unchangeable take place and exhibit qualities without the modes of nature?"*


kridayam udyamo 'rbhasya

     kamash cikridishanyatah

svatas triptasya ca katham

     nivrittasya sadanyatah


     "Boys are enthusiastic to play with other boys or with various diversions because they are encouraged by desire. But there is no possibility of such desire for the Lord because He is self-satisfied and detached from everything at all times.*


     Shri Maitreya Muni aswered in these words (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.7.9):


seyam bhagavato maya

     yan nayena virudhyate


     "Certain conditioned souls put forward the theory that the Supreme Brahman, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is overcome by illusion, or maya, and at the same time they maintain that He is unconditioned. This is against all logic."*


     The following commentary is given for this verse:


     This verse means, "the idea that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of inconceivable transcendental potencies and the supreme controller of all, can become bewildered by the illusory potency maya is an idea that is against all logic."


     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.36) it is also said:


sa va idam vishvam amogha-lilah

     shrijaty avatty atti na sajjate 'smin

bhuteshu cantarhita atma-tantrah

     sad-vargikam jighrati sad-guneshah


     "The Lord, whose activities are always spotless, is the master of the six senses and is fully omnipotent with six opulences. He creates the manifested universes, maintains them, and annihilates them without being in the least affected. He is within every living being and is always independent."*


     In the Taittiriya Upanishad (3.6.1) it is said:


anandad dhy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante anandena jatani Ťjivanti anandam prayanty abhisamvishanti


     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is bliss. From His bliss all living entities are born. Because of His bliss they remain alive. Departing this world, they attain Him, the supreme bliss."