|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Six Sandarbhas > Krishna Sandarbha|
Some Words of Acknowledgement
tau santoshayata santau shrila-rupa-sanatanau
dakshinatyena bhattena punar etad vivicyate
tasyadyam granthana-lekham kranta-vyutkranta-khanditam
paryalocyatha paryayam kritva likhati jivakah
tau-them; santoshayata-pleasing; santau-saintly devotees; shrila-rupa-Shrila Rupa Gosvami; sanatanau-and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami; dakshinatyena-from south India; bhattena-by Shrila Gopala Bhatöa Gosvami; punah-again; etat-this; vivicyate-is described; tasya-his; adyam-original; granthana-lekham-writing; kranta-vyutkranta-various fallacious arguments; khanditam-refuting; paryalocya-considering; atha-now; paryayam-systematic arrangement; kritva-having done; likhati-writes; jivakah-Jiva Gosvami.
Shrila Gopala Bhaööa Gosvami, the great philosopher from the southern provinces who greatly pleased Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, left many valuable notes which defeat various philosophical misconceptions. Systematically arranging these notes, and considering their content, Jiva Gosvami writes this book, Krishna-sandarbha.
atha purvam sandarbha-trayena yasya sarva-paratvam sadhitam, tasya shri-bhagavato nirdharanaya sandarbho 'yam arabhyate.
atha-now; purvam-previously; sandarbha-trayena-by the three Sandarbhas; yasya-of whom; sarva-paratvam-the position as the ultimate phase of the absolute truth superior to everything and any other conception of God; sadhitam-conclusively demonstrated; tasya-of Him; shri-bhagavatah-the Personality of Godhead, full of all opulences and powers; nirdharanaya-for the specific description; sandarbhah-essay; ayam-this; arabhyate-is begun.
In the previous three sandarbhas the conception of God as the Supreme Person full of all powers and opulences is proved to be the ultimate phase of the Absolute Truth, superior to every other conception of God. This essay is written to give a specific description of that Supreme Personality of Godhead.
atha iti nirdharanam. bahushv ekasya nirnayah
atha iti-beginning with the word atha; nirdharanam-the word nirdharana; bahusu--among many; ekasya-of one; nirnayah- conclusion.
By the word nirdharana it is intendied that Bhagavan is the ultimate feature of the Absolute Truth.
atha tatra prathamasya dvitiye vadanti ityadina tad ekam eva tattvam brahmaditaya shabdyate ity uktam.
atha-now; tatra-in this connection; prathamasya-of the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11);
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth
call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."*
tad eva brahmadi-trayam tasya tritiye vivicyate. brahma tv iha
iti tad brahma-darshanam
tat-that; eva-certainly; brahma-adi-beginning with Brahman; trayam-three feature; tasya-of that; tritiye-in the Third Canto; vivicyate-is delineated; brahma-Brahman; tu-also; iha-here; yatra-whenever; ime-in all these; sat-asat-gross and subtle; rupe-in the forms of pratishiddhe-on being nullified; sva-samvida-by self-realization; avidyaya-by ignorance; atmani-in the self; krte-having been imposed; iti-thus; tat-that is; brahma-darshanam-the process of seeing the Absolute.
These three features of the Absolute are described in the Third Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The following verse (1.3.33) describes the Lord's Brahman feature:
"Whenever a person experience, by self-realization, that both the gross and subtle bodies have nothing to do with the pure self, at that time he sees himself as well as the Lord in His Brahman feature."*
ity-adina tatra viviktam apy ekakaravirbhavataya
samshayabhavat tat-tan-nirdharanartham tat-tad-vacanam
iti-adina-by this and other verses; tatra-in this connection; viviktam-discerned; api-manifestation; samshaya- of doubt; abhavat-because of the absence; tat-tat-various; nirdharana of discrimination; artham-for the purpose; tat-tat-various; vacanam-descriptions; na-not; uddhriyate-should be raised.
According to this verse and other descriptions in the Vedic literatures, the Brahman feature of the Absolute has only one unvariegated aspect, and therefore, without any doubt, it does not require an elaborate description in many words.
shri-bhagavat-paramatmanos tu nanavirbhavatvat tani vacanani tat-tan-nirdharanartham uddhriyante.
shri-bhagavat-of the all-opulent Personality of Godhead; paramatmanoh-and of His localized expansion as the all-pervading Supersoul; tu-however; nana-variegated; avirbhavatvat-because of manifestation; tani vacanani-many words; tat-tat-various; nirdharana-of discriminations; artham- for the purpose; uddhriyante-may be raised.
However, the Paramatma and Bhagavan features of the Absolute manifest a great variety of qualitites, and therefore they require an elaborate description.
tatreshvaro nirakaro nastiti pran nirnitam
tatra-inthis connection; ishvarah-the Supreme Controller; nirakarah-without form or qualitites; na-not; asti-is; prak-previously; nirnitam-conclusively demonstated.
Here we may note that in the final conclusion the Supreme Controller is not without form and qualities. This has been proved in the earlier portion of this book (the previous Sandarbhas).
paramatma-shabdena ca sarvantaryami-purushah pratipaditas teshv eva sandarbheshu. tatha ca sati tasmims tritiyadhyayarambhe evam abhashyam.
paramatma-shabdena-by the word Paramatma; ca-also; sarva-antaryami-all-pervading; purusah-Supreme Person; pratipaditah-described; teshu-in these; eva-certainly; sandarbheshu-in the Sandarbhas; tatha-in the same way; ca- also; sati-being; tasmin-in this; tritiya-adhyaya-of the Third Chapter; arambhe-in the endeavor; evam-in this way; abhashyam-I described.
The Paramatma, or all-pervading expansion of the Supreme Person present in everyone's heart and in every atom, I have already described in the Third Chapter (Paramatma-sandarbha) of this book.
nanu purvam brahmaditaya tridhaiva tattvam ekam uktam tatra brahmanah kim lakshanam bhagavat-paramatmanor va, tatra tatra visheshah kashcid va kim astiti shri-shaunakadi-prashnam ashankya shri-suta uvaca
nanu-Is it not so?; purvam-previously; brahma-adi-yaya- beginning with Brahman tridha-in three ways; eva-certainly; tattvam-the Absolute Truth; ekam-single; uktam-is described; tatra-in this connection; brahmanah-of Brahman; kim-what?; lakshanam-characteristic; bhagavat-of Bhagavan; paramatmanoh-of Paramatma; va-or; tatra tatra-in various points; visheshah-specific distinction; kashcit-certain; va- or; kim-what?; asti-is; iti-thus; shri-shaunaka-adi-of Shaunaka and the other sages; prashnam-querry; ashankya- guessing; shri-sutah-Suta Gosvami; uvaca-said.
"Formerly you said that althout the Absolute Truth is one, It is manifestated in three features. What are the qualities of these three features: Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan?" Thimking that this question might arise in the minds of Shaunaka and the other sages, Suta Gosvami said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.1):
jagrihe paurusham rupam
jagrihe-accepted; paurusham-plenary portion as the purusha incarnation; rupam-form; bhagavan-the Personility of Godhead; mahat-adibhih-with the ingredients of the material world; sambhutam-thus there was the creation of; shodasha-kalam- sixteen primary principles; adau-in the beginning; loka-the universes; sishrikshaya-on the intention of creating.
"In the beginning of the creation, the Lord (Bhagavan) first expanded Himself in the universal form of the purusha incarnation and manifested all the ingredients for the material creation. And thus at first there was the creation of the sixteen principles of material action. This was for the purpose of creating the material universe."*
yah shri-bhagavan purna-sad-aishvaryatvena purvam nirdishöah, sa eva paurusham rupam purushatvenamnayate yad rupam tad evadau sargarambhe jagrihe. prakrita-pralayeshv asmin linam sat-prakaöataya svi-kritavan.
yah-who; shri-bhagavan-Bhagavan; purna-full; sat- six; aishvaryatvena-by possessing the opulences; purvam- previously; nirdishöah-described; sah-he; eva-certainly; paurusham-of the Purusha incaration; rupam-the form; purushatvena-as a person; amnayate-is considered; yat-which; rupam-form tat-that; eva-certainly; adau-in the beginning; sarva-arambhe-at the time of creation; jagrihe-accepted; prakrita-of the material manifestation; pralayeshu-at the times of dissolution; asmin-in Him; linam-dissappearance; sat--of reality; prakaöataya-by manifestation; svi-kritavan- accepted.
This verse says that Shri Bhagavan, who was described in the previous chapter as the possesor of six opulences in full perfection, accepts the personal form of the purusha incarnation at the beginning of the material creation. At the time of annihilation, the material world enters again within the purusha incarnation and only the eternal spiritual reality is manifest.
kim artham? tatraha--loka-sishrikshaya. tasminn eva linanam lokanam samasti-vyasty-upadhi-jivanam sishrikshaya pradurbhavanartham ity arthah.
kim artham?-why?; tatra-in this connection; aha-he says; loka-the universes; sishrikshaya-on the intention of creating; tasmin-in Him; eva-certainly; linanam-of the merged; lokanam-universes; samsasti-distinct; vyasti-as one; upadhi-deceptively appearing; jivanam-of living entities; sishrkshaya-on the intention of creating; pradurbhavana-of manifesting; artham-for the purpose; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
The question may be raised: "Why does Bhagavan accept the form of the purusha-incarnation?" To answer this question. Suta Gosvami uses the word loka-sishrikshaya (for the purpose of creating the material universe). Along with the material universes, the eternally individual living entities entered the Lord's body at the time of devastation, and appeared to have become one with Him, although their individuality actually remained intact. In order to again manifest the living entities and universes, Bhagavan expands Himself as the purusha incarnation.
kidrisham sat tad rupam linam asit tatraha--mahad-adibhih sambhutam militam antar-bhuta-mahad-adi-tattvam ity arthah.
kidrisham-like what?; sat-real; tat-that; rupam-form; linam-disappearance; asit-was; tatra-in this connection; aha-he says; mahat-adibhih-with the ingredients of the material world; sambhutam-thus there was the creation of; militam-assembled together; antah-bhuta-entered within; mahat-adi-ingredients of material creation; adi-beginning with; tattvam-principle; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
One may ask what form the material universes took when they became merged within the body of the purusha-incarnation. To answer this question, Suta Gosvami used the word "mahad-adibhih" (with the ingredients of the material world). The mahat-tattva and other ingredients of the material world were thus contained within the body of the purusha-incarnation.
sambhuyambhodhim abhyeti mahanadyo nagapagah ity adau hi sambhavatir milanarthah. tatra hi mahad-adini linany asann iti.
sambhuya-having come into existence; ambhonidhim-the oceans; abhyeti-attains; maha-nadi-adyah-the great rivers; naga-from the mountains; apagah-flowing; iti-thus; adau- beginning; hi-certainly; sambhavatih-creation; milana- meeting; arthah-purpose; tatra-there; hi-certainly; mahat- the mahat-tattva; adini-etc.; linani-merged; asan- become; iti-thus.
The merging of the creation into the Supreme is described in the Vedic literatures: "The creation enters the Supreme
as rivers flow from the mountains and enter the ocean." In this way the mahat-tattva and other ingredients of the material world enter the form of the purusha-incarnation.
tad evam vishnos tu trini rupani ity adau mahat-srashöritvena prathamam purushakhyam rupam yacchayate, yac ca brahma-samhitadau karanarnavashayi-sankarshanatvena shruyate, tad eva jagrihe iti pratipaditam.
tat-therefore; evam in this way; vishnoh-of Vishnu; tu-certainly; trini-three; rupani-forms; iti-thus; adau-in the beginning; mahat-of the mahat-tattva; srashöritvena-by being the creator; prathamam-first; purusha-purusa incarnation; akhyam-named; rupam-form; yacchayate-is presented; yat- which; ca-also; brahma-samhita-in the Brahman-samhita; adau-and other Vedic literatures; karana-arnava-shayi- resting on the causal ocean; sankarshanatvena-as Lord Sankarshana; shruyate-is heard form authorized sources; tat- therefore; eva-certainly; jagrihe iti-the verse beginning with the word jagrihe; pratipaditam-is established.
The first purusha-incarnation is described as the original creator of the ingredients of the material world. This is confirmed in the Satvata Tantra:
"Vishnu, has three forms called purushas The first, Maha-Vishnu, is the creator of the total material energy (mahat), the second is Garbhodakashayi, who is situated within each universe, and the third is Kshirodakashayi, who lives in the heart of every living being."
That first purusha-incarnation, Lord Sankarshana, who lies down on the causal ocean is described in the Brahma-samhita and other Vedic literatures, as well as the verse beginning with the word "jagrihe" which was quoted in Text 9.
punah kidrisham tad rupam. tatraha shidasha-kalam tat-shrishöy-upayogi-purna-shaktity arthah.
punah-again; kidrisham-like what?; tat-that: rupam- form; tatra-in this connection; aha-he explains; shodasha-kalam-withthe 16 elements of creation; tat-that; shrishöi-for creation; upayogi-suitable; purna-perfect and complete; shakti-potencies; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
To further explain the nature of the Lord, Suta Gosvami uses the word "shodasha-kalam" (with the 16 elements of creation). This word shows that the Lord possesses all potencies required to manifest the material cosmos.
tad evam yas tad rupam jagrihe, sa bhagavan. yat tu tena grihitam tat tu sva-shrijyanam ashrayatvat paramatmeti paryavasitam.
tat-that; evam-in this way; yah-who; tat-that; rupam- form; jagrihe-accepted; sah-He; bhagavan-Bhagavan; yat- because; tu-indeed; tena-by Him; grihitam-accepted; tat- therefore; tu-certainly; sva-shrijyanam-of that created by Him; ashrayatvat-because of being the shelter; parama-atma- Paramatma; iti-thus; paryavasitam-determined.
In conclusion, it is Bhagavan who accepts the form of the first purusha-incarnation (Karanodakashayi Vishnu) described in this verse (Text 9). When the Lord enters the universes He assumes the feature known as Paramatma.
tasya purusha-rupasya visarga-nidanatvam api pratipadayitum aha sardhena
tasya-of Him; purusha-rupasya-in the form of the purusa incarnation; visarga-the secondary phase of creation; nidanatvam-the state of giving; api-also; pratipadayitum-to conclusively describe; aha-speaks; sardhena-the following one and a half verses.
To describe how the second purusha-incarnation arranges the activities of the secondary phase of creation within each universe, (Suta Gosvami) speaks the next one and a half verses (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.2-3):
brahma vishva-shrijam patih
yasya-whose; ambhasi-in the water; shayanasya-lying down; yoga-nidram-sleeping inmeditation; vitanvatah-ministering; na-bhi-navel; hrada-out of the lake; ambujat-from the lotus; asit-was manifested; brahma-the grandfather of the living beings; vishva-the universe; shrijam-the engineers; patih-master; yasya-whose; avayava-bodily expansion; samsthanaih- situated in; kalpitah-is imagined; loka-planets of inhabitants; vistarah-various;
"A part of the purusha lies down within the water of the universe. From the navel lake of His body sprouts a lotus stem, and from the lotus flower atop this stem, Brahma, the master of all engineers in the universe, becomes manifest. It is believed that all the universal planetary systems are situated on the extensive body of the purusha."*
yasya purusha-rupasya dvitiyena vyuhena brahmandam pravishya ambhasi garbhodake shayanasyety adi yojyam.
yasya-of whom; purusha-rupasya-in the form of the purusha incarnation; dvitiyena in the second; vyuhena-expansion; brahma-andam-the material universe; pravishya-having entered; ambhasi-on the water; garbhodake-on the Garbhodaka ocean; shayanasya-resting; iti-thus; adi-beginning; yojyam- suitable.
This verse describes how the second purusha-incarnation (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu) enters the universes and lies down (shayanasya) on the Garbhodaka ocean (ambhasi).
yasya ca tadrishatvena tatra shayanasya avayava-samsthanaih sakshac chri-caranadi-sanniveshair lokasya vistaro virad-akarah prapancah kalpitah.
yasya-of whom; ca-also; tadrishatvena-by the state of being like this; tatra-there; shayanasya-resting; avayava- bodily expansions; samsthanaih-situated in; sakshat- directly; shri-carana-of the lotus feet; adi-and other parts of the Lord's transcendental form; sanniveshaih-by contact; lokasya- of the material world; vistarah-the expansion; viraö-akarah-the universal form prapancah-the material cosmos; kalpitah-imagined.
In these verses the words "shayanasya" (resting) and "avayava-samsthanaih" (situated on the limbs of His transcendental form) show that the transcendental feet and other limbs of the Lord were spread throughout the material universe. Because of this entrance of the Lord into the universe it is sometimes considered that the entire universe is the body of the Lord (viraö-rupa).
yatha tad-avayava-sanniveshas tathaiva patalam etasya hi pada-mulam ity adina navinopasakan prati manah-sthairyaya prakhyapitah, na tu vastutas tad eva yasya rupam ity arthah.
yatha-just as; tat-His; avayava-bodily expansion; sanniveshah-contact; tatha-in the same way; eva-certainly; patalam-the planets at the bottom of the universe; etasya-of His; hi-exactly; pada-mulam-soles of the feet; iti-thus; adina-beginning with; navina-neophyte; upasakan-devotees; prati-to; manah-of the mind; sthairyaya-for fixing; prakhyapitah-described; na-not; tu-but; vastutah-real; tat-that; eva-certainly; yasya-of Him; rupam-form; iti- thus; arthah-the meaning.
The entrance of the transcendental form of the Lord within the material universe is the cause of the conception of the universe as the Lord's form. This conception of the universal form if the Lord is described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.26):
"Persons who have realized it have studied that the planets known as Patala constitute the bottoms of the feet of the Universal Lord, and the heels and the toes are the Rasatala planets. The ankles are the Mahatala planets, and His shanks constitute the Talatala planets."*
This conception of the Lord's Universal form is meant to help the neophyte devotees fix their minds on the Lord's form. The Universal Form is not actually real. It is only an imagination.
yad va, candrama manaso jatah ity arabhya padbhyam
bhumir dishah shrotrat tatha lokan akalpayat iti shrutes tair hetu-bhutair loka-visöaro racita ity arthah.
yad va-perhaps; candramah-the moon; manasah-from the mind; jatah-born; iti-thus arabhya-beginning; padbhyam- with His two feet; bhumih-the earth; dishah-the directions; shrotrat-from the ear; tatha-in the same way; lokan-the varities of material manifestation; akalpayat-created; iti- thus; shruteh-from the Shruti-shastra (Rg Veda 10.90.13-14); taih-by these; hetu-bhutaih-as the cause; loka-of the material world; vistarah-the expanse; racitah-created; iti- thus; arthah-the meaning.
The conception of the Lord's Universal Form may also be understood in the following way: Because the different varieties of the material manifestation have emanated from the different limbs of the Lord's form, the universe may be considered a form of the Lord. This is confirmed in the Vedic hymns:
"the moon is born from the mind of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
-Rig Veda 10.90.13
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead created the earth from His two lotus feet. He created the different directions from His sense of hearing. He created the different parts of the material world from the parts of His transcendental body."
-Rig Veda 10.90.14
tatha ca bharate moksha-dharme narayaniye garbhodake shayanasya rupantarena shvetadvipa-pater vakyam
tatha-in the same way; ca-also; bharate-in the Mahabharata; moksha-dharme-in the Moksha-dharma; narayaniye-in the Narayaniya; garbha-udake-in the Garbhodaka ocean; shayanasya-resting; rupa-the form; antarena-by being within; shvetadvipa-pateh-of Lord Vishnu, the master of Shvetadvipa; vakyam-the statement.
In the Mahabharata's Moksha-dharma Narayaniya (Shanti-parva 339.12-14), Lord Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, in His form as the master of Shvetadvipa, confirms this explanation in the following verses:
asman-murtish caturthi ya
sashrijac chesham avyayam
sa hi sankarshanah proktah
pradyumnam so 'py ajijanat
pradyumnad aniruddho 'ham
sargo mama punah punah
aniruddhat tatha brahma
sthavarani carani ca
asmat-My; murtih-form; caturthi-fourth; ya-which; sa-it; ashrijat-created; shesham-Shesha; avyayam- imperishable; sah-He; hi-certainly; sankarshanah- Sankarshana; proktah-described; pradyumnam-to Pradyumna; sah-He; api-certainly; ajijanat-gave birth; pradyumnat- from Pradyumna; aniruddhah-Aniruddha; aham-I; sargah- creation; mama-My; punah puhah-again and again; aniruddhat- from Aniruddha; tatha-in the same way; brahma-Brahma; tat- from His; nabhi-from the navel; kamala-from the lotus flower; udbhavah-born; brahmanah-from Brahma; sarva-all; bhutani-material elements and living entities; sthavarani-non-moving; carani-and moving; ca-also.
"From My fourth expansion the eternal form of Lord Shesha is manifest. Then Lord Sankarshana is manifest and from Him Lord Pradyumna appears. From My appearance as Lord Pradyumna I again appear as Lord Aniruddha. From the lotus flower of Lord Aniruddha's navel, Brahma is born, and form Brahma all the material elements as well as the moving and non-moving living entities appear."
paramatmeti yam prahuh
maha-purusha-sam jnam sa
labhate svena karmana
tasmat prasutam avyaktam
pradhanam tad vidur budhah
avyaktad vyaktam apannam
aniruddho hi lokeshu
mahan atmeti kathyate
yo shau vyaktatvam apanno
nirmame ca pitamaham
paramatma-Paramatma; iti-thus; yam-whom; prahuh- describe; sankhya-yoga-vidah-learned in the sankhya-yoga philosophy; janah-persons; maha-purusha-of the Supreme Person; samjnam-name; sah-He; labhate-attains; svena-by Hos own; karmana-transcendental activities; tasmat-from Him; prasutam-is born; avyaktam-unmanifest; pradhanam-primordial elements of material creation; tat-that; viduh-understand; budhah-those who are learned; avyaktat-from that unmanifested material nature; vyaktam-manifestation; apannam- attained; loka-of the material world; shrishöi-of the creation; artham-for the purpose; ishvarat-from the Supreme Controller; aniruddhah-Aniruddha; hi-certainly; lokeshu-within all living entities; mahan atma-the Supersoul; iti-thus; kathyate-is described; yah asau-He; vyaktatvam-manifestation; apannah- attained; nirmame-created; ca-also; pitamaham-Brahma.
Vedavyasa also explains:
"They who are learned in sankhya-yoga declare that Lord Aniruddha is the all-pervading Supersoul. Lord Sankarshana's transcendental deeds have expanded His reputation as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The wise know that the unmifest origins (pradhana) of material creation have emanated from Lord Shankarshana, and because of Him this original form of matter evolves into the manifest material world. Lord Aniruddha, the all-pervading Supersoul present in each universe, appears from Lord Sankarshana, and He creates Brahma, the grandfather of all living entities."
tad evam sankarshanasya vaibhavam uktvaniruddhasyapy aha aniruddho hiti, lokeshu pratyekam brahmandeshu mahatma paramatma. vyaktatvam prakaöyam pradyumnad iti sheshah.
tat-therefore; evam-in this way; sankarshanasya-of Lord Sankarshana; vaibhavam-the glory; uktva-having described; aniruddhasya-of Lord Aniruddha; api-also; aha-describes; aniruddhah-Aniruddha; hi-certainly; iti-thus; lokeshu-in the worlds; pratyekam-in each; brahmandesu-universe mahatma- the word mahatma; paramatma-is Paramatma; vyaktatvam- vyaktatvam; prakaöyam-manifestation; pradyumnat-from Pradyumna; iti-thus; sheshah-the remainder of the verse is clear.
The first part of this passage describes the glories of Lord Sankarshana, and the second part, beginning with the words aniruddho hi", describes the glories of Lord Aniruddha. The word "lokeshu" means "in each universe" and the word "mahatma" means the all-pervading Supersoul (paramatma). The word "vyaktatvam" means manifested from Lord Pradyumna." The rest of the verse is clear and requires no comment.
sutena tv abheda-vivakshaya pradyumnah prithan noktah vishnos tu trini rupani itivat.
sutena-by Suta Gosvami; tu-indeed; abheda-the non-difference of the forms of Lord Vishnu; vivakshaya-with a desire to explain; pradyumanah-Lord Pradyumna; prithak- specifically; na-not; uktah-described; vishnos tu trini rupani-the verse beginning vishnos tu trini rupani; itivat-just as.
Because Suta Gosvami wanted to emphasize that all Vishnu-forms are actually the same single Personality of Godhead, he did not place Lord Pradyumna's name in this verse. The same reason prompted the author of Satvata Tantra to avoid specifically naming the various the various purusha-incarnations when he spoke the verse beginning "vishnos tu trini rupani" (which has been quoted in Anuccheda 1, Text 14).
seyam prakriya dvitiyasya shashöhe drishyate, yatha-sa esha adyah purushah.
sa iyam-this same; prakriya-activity of creation; dvitiyasya-of the Second Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; shashöhe-in the Sixth Chapter (verse 39) ; drishyate-is observed; yatha-just as; sah eshah adyah purushah-in the verse sa esha adyah purushah kalpe kalpe shrijaty ajah atmatmany atmanatmanam sa samyacchati pati ca.
The same description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's creation of the material world is found in the following verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.6.39):
"The Supreme original Personlity of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna, expanding His plenary portion as Maha-Vishnu, the first incarnation, creates this manifested cosmos, but He is unborn. The creation, however, takes place in Him, and the material substance and manifestations are all Himself. He maintains them for some time and absorbs them into Himself again."*
ity adi-padye öika sa esha adyo bhagavan yah purushavatarah san shrishöy-adikam karoti ity esha.
iti-thus; adi-padye-in the first line of the verse; öika-commentary; sah eshah adyah-the phrase beginning with these words; bhagavan-refer to Bhagavan; yah-who is; purusha-avatarah-the purusha incarnation; san-being so; shrishti-adikam-the creation, maintenance and anihillation of the material world; karoti-performs; iti-thus; esha-the commentary.
In his commentary on the first line of this verse, Shridhara Svami explains:
"The phrase `sa esha adyah' refers to Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appears as the purusha-incarnation, and thus creates, maintains and annihilates the material worlds."
evam adyo 'vatarah purushah parasya.
evam-in the same way; adyah avatarah purushah parasya-the verse adyo 'vatarah purushah parasya kalah svabhavah sad-asan-manash ca dravyam vikaro guna indriyani viraö svaraö sthasnu carishnu bhumnah.
The first purusha-incarnation is also described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.6.42):
"Karanarnavashayi Vishnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and He is the master of eternal time, space, cause and effects, mind, the elements, the material ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form of the Lord, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, and the sum total of all living beings, both moving and nonmoving."*
ity atra öika parasya bhumnah purushah prakriti-pravartako yasya sahasra-shirsha ity ady ukto lila-vigrahah sa adyo 'vatara ity esha.
iti-thus; atra-for this verse; öika-commentary; parasya-of the word parasya; bhumnah-means the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purushah-the word purusha prakriti-pravartakah yasya-means the creator of the material manifestation; sahasra-shirshah ity-adi-uktah-the verse sahasra-shirshah purushah sahasrakshah sahasra-pat sa bhumim vishvato vritvatyatishöhad dashangulam; lila-for pastimes; vigrahah-form; sah-He; adyah avatarah-the word adyah avatarah; iti-thus; esa-it.
Shridhara Svami explains in his commentary:
"In this verse the word `parasya' means `of the Supreme Personality of Godhead' and the word `purushah' means `the purusha-incarnation, who creates the material world'.
"This first purusha-incarnation (Karanodakashayi Vishnu) is described in the Rig Veda (10.90.1): `The Supreme Personality of Godhead then appeared as the first purusha-incarnation, who had thousands of faces, eyes and feet. Expanding in all directions, the purusha-incarnation exceeded the dimensions of the universe by the measurement of ten fingers.'
"We may also note in the connection that the Lord accepts the form of the purusha-incarnation (adyo 'vatarah) in order to enjoy transcendental pastimes."
tatha tritiyasya vimshe daivena ity adikam.
tatha-in the same way; tritiyasya-of the Third Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; vimshe-in the Twentieth Chapter; daivena iti adikam-the verse daivena durvitarkyena parenanimishena ca jata-kshobhad bhagavato mahan asid guna-trayat.
In the same way, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.20.12) it is said:
"When the equilibrium of the three modes of nature was agitated by the unseen activity of the living entity, by Maha-Vishnu, and by the force of time, the total material elements were produced."*
so 'nu ity antam sa-öikam eva prakaranam atranusandheyam.
so 'nu-iti-antam-the verse so snuvishöo bhagavata yah shete salilashaye loka-samstham yatha-purvam nirmame samsthaya svaya; sa-along with; öikam-the commentary of Shridhara Svami: yah salilashaye garbhodakasyantah shete tena bhagavatanuvishöo `dhishöhitah san sa svaraö svaya samsthaya nama-rupadi-kramena; eva-certainly; ; prakaranam-subject for discussion; atra-in this matter; anusandheyam-should be carefully studied.
The next verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.20.27) along with Shridhara Svami's commentary, should be carefully studied.
Note: The verse and commentary are given below.
Shrimad-Bhagavatam: "When that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is lying on the Garbhodaka ocean entered the heart of Brahma, Brahma brought his intelligence to bear, and with the intelligence invoked he began to create the universe as it was before."*
Shridhara Svami's Commentary: "This verse explains that the Lord lies down on the waters (salilashaye) of the Garbhodaka ocean (garbhodakasyantah) and enters (adhishöhita) the heart of Brahma. By his own intelligence the seemingly independent Brahma then created all the forms and names of the material universe."
tasmad viraötvena tad-rupam na vyakhyatam.
tasmat-from this study; viraötvena-as the Universal Form; tat-His; rupam-form; na-not; vyakhyatam-should be described.
From the study of this verse and commentary it will become clear that the Universal Form is not actually a form of the Lord.
tasmac ca vasudeva-sthaniyo bhagavan purushad anya evety ayatam.
tasmat-from this study; ca-also; vasudeva-sthaniyah- the Lord; s appearance as Vashudeva; bhagavan-His Bhagavan feature; purushat-from the purushaincarnation; anyah- different; eva-certainly; iti-thus; ayatam-follows.
From the careful study of this verse it will also become clear that the Lord's Bhagavan feature, who is also known as Vasudeva, is separately manifested from His appearance as the purusha-incarnations.
atha tasya rupa-dvayasya samanyata aika-vidhyena sva-rupam aha
tad vai bhagavato rupam
vishuddham sattvam urjitam iti.
atha-now; tasya-His; rupa-forms; dvayasya-of the two; samanyate-are the same; aika-vidhyena-with the same quality; sva-rupam-the Lord's form; aha-he describes; tat-vai-but that is; bhagavatah-of the Personality of Godhead; rupam- form; vishuddham-purely; sattvam-existance; urjitam- excellence; iti-thus.
These two forms (Bhagavan-Vasudeva and the purusha-incarnation) possess the same spiritual quality. This is described (by Suta Gosvami in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.3):
"The body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally in spiritual existence par excellence, and has nothing to do with the created material ingredients."*
tat shri-bhagavatah paurusham rupam vai prasiddhau vishuddhorjita-sattvabhivyaktatvac chakti-svarupayor abhedac ca tad-rupam evety arthah.
tat shri-bhagavatah-the phrase tat shri-bhagavatah; paurusham-of the purusha incarnation; rupam vai-the phrase rupam vai; prasiddhau-in perfection; vishuddha-pure; urjita-excellence; sattva-existence; abhivyaktatvat-because of the manifestation; shakti-of the potency; svarupayoh-and of His own transcendental form; abhedat-because of non-difference; ca-also; tat-His rupam-form; eva-certainly; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
In this verse the phrase "tad vai bhagavato rupam" describes the form of the purusha-incarnation. This verse describes the Lord's supremely pure spiritual form, which, in one sense, is not different from His transcendental potency.
uktam dvitiyam purusha-vyuham adhikritya svarupatvam tad-rupasya natah param parama yad bhavatah svarupam ity atra.
uktam-previously described; dvitiyam-second; purusha-vyuham-purusha incarnation; adhikritya-with reference to; svarupatvam-the nature; tat-of His; rupasya-form; na-do not; atah-hereafter; parama-O Supreme; yat-that which; bhavatah-of Your Lordship; svarupam-eternal form; iti-thus; atra-in this connection.
The transcendental nature of the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the following prayer offered by Brahma to Garbhodakashayi Vishnu (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.9.3):
"O my Lord, I do not see a form superior to Your present form of eternal bliss and knowledge."*
vishuddham jadyamshenapi rahitam, svarupa-shakti-vrittitvat. urjitam sarvato balavat, paramananda-rupatvat.
vishuddham-pure; jadya-of inert matter; amshena-by a fragment; api-even; rahitam-devoid; svarupa-of His own form; shakti-of the potency; vrittitvat-because of existence; urjitam-powerful and glorious; sarvatah-under all conditions; balavat-powerful; parama-supreme; ananda-bliss; rupatvat- because of possessing a form.
In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam verse (1.3.3) quoted in Text 1, the word "vishuddham" (pure) means that because the Supreme Personality of Godhead has all transcendental potencies, He can therefore remain always pure and free from even the slightest trace material contamination. The word "urjitam" (powerful and glorious) means that because the Lord's form is full of supreme spiritual bliss, He remains always powerful and glorious and His spiritual prowess never becomes diminished under any circumstance.
ko hy evanyat kah pranyad yad esha akasha anando na syat iti shruteh.
kah-who?; hi-certainly; eva-indeed; anyat-from another (from the material world); kah-who? pranyat-from transcendence; yat-if; eshah-He; akashah-the unlimited Personlility of Godhead; anandah-full of bliss; na-not; syat-is; iti-thus; shruteh-from the Taittariya Upanishad (2.7.1).
The Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7.1) says:
"The Personality of Godhead must be full of transcendental bliss, for if He were not, then how would it be possible for anyone to find any kind of spiritual or even material happiness?"
tad evam purushasya dvidha sthana-karmani uktva svarupavad-akaram tv eka-prakaram aha
tat-therefore; evam-in this way; purusashya-of the purusha incarnation; dvidha-in two ways; stana-place; karmani-and activities; uktva-having described; svarupavat-akaram-the Lord's transcendental form; tu-also; eka-one; prakaram-nature; aha-describes.
In the first three verses of the First Canto, Third Chapter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (quoted in Anuccheda 1, Text 9, Anuccheda 2, Text 2, and Anuccheda 3, Text 1), the place of residence and the activities of the purusha-incarnation were described by Suta Gosvami. Then, in Verse 4, he described the Lord's transcendental form in the following way:
pashyanty ado rupam adabhra-cakshusha
pashyanti-see; adah-the form of the purusha; rupamp- form; adabhra-perfect; cakshusha-by the eyes; sahasra-pada- thousands of legs; uru-thighs; bhuja-anana-hands and faces; adbhutam-wonderful; sahasra-thousands of; murdha-heads; shravana-ears; akshi-eyes; nasikam-noses; sahasra- thousands; mauli-garlands; ambara-dresses; kundala-earrings; ullasat-all glowing.
"The devotees, with their perfect eyes, see the transcendental form of the purusha who has thousands of legs, thighs, arms and faces-all extraordinary. In that body there are thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses. They are decoreated with thousands of helmets and glowing earrings and are adorned with garlands."*
adah paurusham rupam, ahabhra-cakshusha bhakty-akhyena, purushah sa parah partha bhaktya labhyas tv ananayaya ity ukteh, bhaktir evainam nayati bhaktir evainam darshayati ity-adi-shrutesh ca.
adah-the form of the purusha; paurusham-of the purusha incarnation; rupam-form; adabhra-perfect; cakshusha-by the eyes; bhakti-akhyena-known as pure devotional service; purushah-the Supreme Personality; sah-He; parah-the Supreme, than whom no one is greater; partha-O son of Pritha; bhaktya-by devotional service; labhyah-can be achieved; tu- but; ananyaya-unalloyed, undeviating devotion; iti-thus; ukteh-from the statement; bhaktih-devotional service; eva- certainly; enam-Him; nayati-leads to; bhaktih-devotional service; eva-certainly; enam-Him; darshayati-reveals; iti- thus; adi-beginning; shruteh-from the shruti-shastra; ca- also.
In this verse the words "ado rupam" indicate the form of the purusha-incarnation, and the words "adabhra-cakshusha" mean "eyes made perfect by pure devotional service".
That one is able to see and understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the process of devotional service is confirmed by the following quotes:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion."*
"Pure devotional service leads the worshiper to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and makes the Lord visible to His devotee."
tatra prathamasya sahasrapad-aditvam paramatma-sandarbhe
tatra-in this connection; prathamasya-of the first purursa incarnation; sahasrapat-aditvam-the Universal form with thousands of faces, eyes and feet; paramatma-sandarbhe-in the Paramatma Sandarbha; vyanjitam-has been elaborately described.
The Lord's Universal Form, manifested from the first purusha-incarnation, and displaying thousands of faces, eyes and feet, has already been described in the Paramatma-sandarbha.
tritiyasyashöame tu dvitiya-purushasya vyuham upalakshya shri-maitreyena
tritiyasya-of the Third Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; ashöame-in the Eighth Chapter; tu-also; dvitiya-purushasya- of the second purusha incarnation; vyuham-the form; upalakshya-with reference to; shri-maitreyena-by Maitreya Muni.
In the following verses from the Third Canto, Eighth Chapter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Maiteya Muni describes the form of the second purusha-incarnation (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu).
preksham kshipantam haritopaladreh
preksham-the panorama; kshipantam-deriding; harita- green; upala-coral; adreh-of the hell; sandhya-abra-niveh- of the dress of the evening sky; uru-great; rukma-gold; murdhnah-on the summit; ratna-jewels; udadhara-waterfalls; aushadhi-herbs; saumanasya-of the scenery; vana-srajah-flower garland; venu-dress; bhuja-hands; anghripa-trees; anghreh-legs.
"The luster of the transcendental body of the Lord mocked the beauty of the coral mountain. The coral mountain is very beautifully dressed by the evening sky, but the yellow dress of the Lord mocked its beauty. There is gold on the summit of the mountain, but the Lord's helmet, bedecked with jewels, mocked it. The mountain's waterfalls, herbs, etc., with a panorama of flowers, seem like garlands, but the Lord's gigantic body, and His hands and legs, decorated with jewels, pearls, tulasi leaves and flower garlands, mocked the scene on the mountain."*
parardhya-very valuable; keyura-ornaments; mani-praveka-highly valuable jewels; paryasta-disseminating; dordanda-arms; sahasra-shakham-with thousands of branches; avyakta-mulam-self-situated; bhuvana-universal; anghripa- trees; indram-the Lord; ahi-indra-Anantadeva; bogaih-by hoods; adhivita-surrounded; valsham-shoulders.
"As a sandalwood tree is decorated with fragrant flowers and branches, the Lord's body was decorated with valuable jewels and pearls. He was the self-situated tree, the Lord of all others in the universe. And as a sandalwood tree is covered with many snakes, so the Lord's body was also covered by the hoods of Ananta."*
cara-moving animals; acara-nonmoving trees; okah-the place or situation; bhagavat-the Personality of Godhead; mahidram-the mountain; ahi-indra-Shri Anantadeva; bandhum- friend; salila-water; upagudham-submerged; kiriöa-helmets; sahasra-thousands; hiranya-gold; shringam-peaks; avirbhavat-manifested; kaustubha-the Kaustubha jewel; ratna-garbham-ocean.
"Like a great mountain, the Lord stands as the abode for all moving and nonmoving living entities. He is the friend of the snakes because Lord Ananta is His friend. As a mountain has thousands of golden peaks, so the Lord was seen with the thousands of golden-helmeted hoods of Ananta-naga; and as a mountain is sometimes filled with jewels, so also His transcendental body was fully decorated with valuable jewels. As a mountain is sometimes submerged in the ocean water, so the Lord is sometimes submerged in the water of devastation."*
tatha navamasya caturdashe shri-shukena
jatasyasit suto dhatur
atrih pitri-samo gunaih
tatha-in the same way; navamasya-of the Ninth Canto; catudashe-in the fouteenth chapter; shri-shukena-by Shukadeva; sahasra-shirasah-who has thousands of heads; pumsah-of Lord Vishnu (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu); nabhi-hrada-saroruhat- from the lotus produced from the lake of the navel; jatasya-who appeared; asit-there was; sutah-a son; dhatuh-of Lord Brahma; atrih-by the name Atri; pitri-samah-like his father; gunaih-qualified.
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.14.2) Shukadeva Gosvami says:
"Lord Vishnu (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu) is also known as Sahasra-shirsha Purusha. From the lake of His navel sprang a lotus, on which Lord Brahma was generated. Atri, the son of Lord Brahma, was as qualified as his father."*
tatra shri-bhagavantam sushöhu spashöi-kartum garbhodakasthasya dvitiyasya purushasya vyuhasya nanavataritvam vivrinoti
tatra-in this matter; shri-bhagavantam-ShRi Bhagavan ; sushthu-nicely; spashöi-kartum-to clarify; garbhodakasthasya- resting on the Garbhodaka ocean; dvitiyasaya-of the second; purushasya-purusha incarnation; vyuhasya-of the form; nana- various; avataritvam-the source of the other incarnation; vivrinoti-describes.
in order to clarify the exact nature of Shri Bhagavan, Suta Gosvami says that the second purusha-incarnation (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu) is the origin from whom the other incarnations of Godhead emanate. He says (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.5):
nidhanam bijam avyayam
etat-this (form); nana-multifarious; avataranam-of the incarnations; nidhanam-source; bijam-seed; avyayam- indestructible; yasya-whose; amsha-plenary portion; amshena- part of the plenary portion; shrijyante-create; deva-demigods; tiryak-animals; nara-adayah-human beings and others.
"This form [the second manifestation of the purusha] is the source and indestructible seed of multifarious incarnations within the universe. From the particles and portions of this form, different living entities, like demigods, men and others, are created."*
etad iti brahmanda-stham ity arthah. nidhanam sarovaranam samudra iva sadaivashrayah. ata evavyayam anapakshayam bijam udgama-sthanam. na kevalam avataranam bijam jivanam apity aha- yasyamshamsheneti.
etat-this; iti-thus; brahmanda-stham-situated in the material universe; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning; nidhanam- the word nidhanam; sarovaranam-of bodies of water; samudrah-the ocean; iva-as; sada-always; ashrayah-the shelter; ata eva-therefore; avayam-the word avayam (this); anapakshayam-imperishable; bijam-the word bijam (seed); udgama-sthanam-place of origin; na-not; kevalam-exclusively; avataranam-of the incarnations; bijam-the seed; jivanam- of the individual living entities; api-also; iti-thus; aha-he describes. yasya amsa-amsena iti-by the phrase yasyamshamshena.
In the verse the word "etat" means "that form which is situated within the material universe". The word "nidhanam" indicates that Garbhodakashayi Vishnu is the source of all other incarnations of the Supreme Lord just as the ocean is the large reservoir of water, which is the original source of the other smaller bodies of water. The word "avyayam" means "indestructible" and the word "bijam" means origin".
The second purusha-incarnation is not only the source of the vishnu-tattva forms of the Supreme Lord, but is also the source of the individual living entities (jivas). This is confirmed by the phrase "yasyamshamshena".
etat iti yasya shaktitvenamshau prakriti-shuddha-samashöi-jivau. tayor amshena parampara-samyuktena vritti-samuha-dvayena
na ghaöata udbhavah prakriti-purushayor ajayor
ubhaya-yuja bhavanty asu-bhrito jala-budbudavat ity uktatvat.
etat iti-the verse beginning with the word etat (Bhagavatam 10.87.31) yasya-of whom; shaktitvena-by the state of the two potencies; amshau-two parts; prakriti-shuddha-samasti-of the material energy; jivau-and the individual living entitiy; tayoh-of them; amshena-by the part and parcel; parampara-series; sam yuktena-endowed; vritti-samuha-of activities; dvayena-by the pair; na-not; ghaöate-occurs; udbhavah-manifestation; prakriti-of the material energy; purushayoh-and the ocntroller; ajayoh-unborn; ubhaya-with both; yuja-endowed; bhavanti-are; asu-bhritah-living entities; jala-of water; budbhudavat-like bubbles; iti-thus; uktatvat-from the statement.
That the Supreme Lord is the creator of the individual living entities (jivas) is confirmed by the following statement of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.31):
"The living entities are created by the contact of the Supreme Controller with His material energy, just as bubbles and foam are produced on the surface of the water."*
atha pracuryena tad-avataran kathayams tad-aikya-vivakshaya tad-amshamshinam apy avirbhava-matram ganayati vimsatya
atha-now; pracuryena-elaborately; tat-His; avataran- incarnations; kathayan-describing; tat-His; aikya-non- difference; vivakshaya-with a desire to explain; tat-of Him; amsha-of the parts; amshinam-of the parts; api-also; avirbha/va-manifestation; matram-only; ganayati-enumerates; vimshatya-by twently.
Although desiring to elaborately describe the innumerable incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (vishnu-tattva), and His potencies (jiva-tattva), Suta Gosvami briefuly summarizes the list of these incarnations, and only describes twenty incarnations in this chapter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (Canto One, Chapter Three).
sa eva prathamam devah
kaumaram sargam ashritah
cacara dushcaram brahma
sah-that; eva-certainly; prathamam-first; devah- Supreme Lord; kaumaram-named Kumaras (unmarried); sargam- creation; ashritah-under; cacara-performed; dushcaram-very difficult to do; brahma-in the order of Brahman; brahmacaryam- under discipline to realize the Absolute (Brahman); akhanditam-unbroken.
The description of the Lord's incarnations begins with the following verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.6):
"First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahma [the Kumaras], who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realization of the Absolute Truth."*
yo 'mbhasi shayano yash ca sahasra-pad-adi-rupah sa eva purushakhyo devah. ete camsha-kalah pumsah ity upasamharasyapi samvadat. kaumaram catuhsana-rupam. brahma brahmano bhutva.
yah-who; ambhasi-on the Garbhodaka ocean; shayanah- resting; yah-who; ca-also; sahasra-pat-of the Universal Form with thousands of faces and feet; adi-beginning with; rupah- with forms; sah eva-He indeed; purusha-akhyah-known as the purusha incarnation; devah-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ete camshah kalah punsah-the verse beginning with the phrase ete camsha-kala-pumsah; iti-thus; upasamharsya-of the conclusion; api-also; samvadat-from the statement; kaumaram-the word kaumaram; catuhsana-rupam- consisting of the Four Kumaras; brahma-the word brahma; brahmanah-qualified Briahmanas; bhutva-having become.
In this stanza the phrase "sa eva devah" refers to the second purusha incarnation who lies down on the Garbhodaka ocean and who appears in many forms, beginning with the Universal Form who manifests thousands of faces and thousands of feet. At the conclusion of this summary account of the Lord's incarnations, Suta Gosvami explains (1.3.28):
"All the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead."*
We may also note that the word "kaumaram" in this verse refers to the Four Kumaras, and the word "brahma" means "having become qualified brahmanas".
dvitiyam tu bhavayasya
yajneshah saukaram vapuh
dvitiyam-the second; tu-but; bhavaya-for the welfare; asya-of this earth; rasatala-of the lowest region; gatam- having gone; mahim-the earth; uddharishyan-lifting; upadatta-extablished; yajeshah-the proprietor or the supreme enjoyer; saukaram-hoggish; vapuh-incarnation; asya-of this; vishvasyo-universe udbhavaya-for the welfare.
The Lord's second incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.7):
"The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar [the second incarnation], and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe."*
We may note that the Lord accepted this incarnation for the welfare of the earth.
dvitiyam ity anena prithivy-uddharanam dvir api kritam. lila-sajatyena tv ekavad varnyate.
dvitiyam iti-the verse beginning with the word dvitiyam; anena-by this; prithivi-of the earth; uddharanam-lifting; dvih-twice; api-even; kritam-done; lila-of the pastime; sajatyena-because of sameness; tu- although; ekavat-as one; varnyate-is described.
Although the Lord assumed the form of a boar and lifted the earth on two separate occasions, these two incarnations of the Lord as described together, because they performed almost exactly the same pastime.
purvam hi svayambhuva-manvantaradau prithivi-majjane tam uddharishyan pashcac ca shashöha-manvantara-jata-pracetasa-daksha-kanyaya aditer garbhodbhavana hiranyakshena saha yuddhe 'shöama-manvantara-jata-prithivi-majjane tam uddharishyann ity arthah.
purvam-in the beginning; hi-certainly; svayambhuva-of Svayambhuva manvantara-of the Manvantara; adau-in the beginning; prithivi-of the earth; majjane-in the immersion; tam-the earth; uddharishyan-lifting; pashcat-afterwards; ca-also; sashöha-in the sixth; manvantara-manvantara period; jata-born; pracetasa-daksha-of the progenitor Daksha; kanyayah-of the daughter; diteh-of Diti; garbha-from the womb; udbhavena-born; hirnayakshena-Hiranyaksha; saha- with; yuddhe-in the fight; ashöama-in the eighth; manvantara- manvantara period; jata-produced; prithivi-of the earth; majjane-in the immersion; tam-the eart; uddharishyan-lifting; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
In the beginning of the creation, during the reign of Svayambhuva Manu, the Lord first assumed the form of a boar to lift the earth, which had fallen into the waters of the Garbhodaka ocean. Later, the progenitor Daksha, who was born in the reign of the sixth Manu, gave birth to a daughter named Diti who in turn became the mother of the demon Hiranyaksha. During the reign of the sixth Manu, the Lord asumed the form of a boar for the second time, fought with Hiranyaksha, and again lifted the earth from the Garbhodaka ocean.
tatradau vidher ghrianad ante nirat iti puranantaram
ayam kvacic catushpat syat
kvacit syan nri-varahakah
tatra-in this connection; adau-in the beginning; vidheh-of Brahma; ghranat-from the nostril; ante-in the end; nirat-from the water; iti-thus; purana-antaram-within the Puranas; ayam-He; kvacit-sometimes; catushpat-in theform of a four-legged animal; syat-may appear; kvacit-sometimes; syat-may appear; nri-varahakah-as a boar; kadacit- sometimes; jalada-as a rain-cloud; shyamah-dark; kadacit- sometimes; candra-as the moon; pandurah-pale.
The Lord's incarnations are summarily described in this verse from the Puranas:
"In the beginning of the creation the Lord appeared from Brahma's nostril (as Varaha), and at the end of thecreation He appeared as a fish in the water (as Matsya)."
The following explanatiuon also appears in the Puranas:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead sometimes assumes the form of a four-legged animal, and sometimes He appears as a boar. Sometimes His form is white as the moon, and sometimes it is dark as a monsoon cloud."
uktash ca pralayash cakshushadau devadi-shrishöish ca caturthe
cakshushe tv antare prapte
yah sasarja praja ishöah
sa daksho daiva-coditah
uktah-described; ca-also; pralayah-anihillation; cakshusha-adau-in the beginning of the reign of Cakshusha Manu; deva-of the demigods; adi-beginning withy; shrishöih- creation; ca-also; caturthe-in the Fourth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; cakshushe-named Caakshusha; tu-but; antare-the manvantara; prapte-when it happened; prak-previous; sarge- creation; kala-vidrute-destroyed in due course of time; yah- one who; sasarja-created; prajah-living entities; ishöah- desirable; sah-he; dakshah-Daksha; daiva-a-by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; coditah-inspired.
Although everything had been destroyed at the end of the fifth Manu's reign, in the beginning of Cakshusha's (the sixth Manu) reign, Daksha (the grandfather of Lord Varaha's opponent, Hiranyaksha) helped to re-create the class of living entities known as demigods. This is confirmed in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.30.49):
"His previous body had been destroyed, but he, the same Daksha, inspired by the supreme will, created all the desired living entities in the Cakshusha manvantara."*
tritiyam rishi-sargam vai
devarshitvam upetya sah
tantram satvatam acashöa
naishkarmyam karmanam yatah
tritiyam-the third one; rshi-sargam-the millennium of the rishis; vai-certainly; devarshitvam-incarnation of the rrishi amongst the demigods; upetya-having accepted; sah-he; tantram-exposition of the vedas; satvatam-which is especially meant for devotional service; acashöa-collected; naishkarmyam-nonfruitive; karmanam-of work; yatah-from which.
The third incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.8):
"In the millennium of the rishis, the Personality of Godhead accepted the third empowered incarnation in the form of Devarshi Narada, who is a great sage among the demigods. He collected expositions of the Vedas which deal with devotional service and which inspire nonfruitive action."*
rishi-sargam upetya tatrapi devarshitvam shri-naradatvam upetya. satvatam vaishnavam tantram pancaratragamam. karmanam karmakarenapi satam shri-bhagavad-dharmanam yatas tantran naishkarmyam karma-bandha-mocakatvena karmabhyo nirgatatvam tebhyo bhinnatvam pratiyata iti sheshah.
rishi-sargam upetya-these words; tatrapi-nevertheless; devarshtitvam-this word; shri-naradatvam-the state of being Narada Muni; upetya-in relation to; satvatam-this word; vaishnavam-in relation to Lord Vishnu; tantram-Tantra; pacaratra-agamam-the Narada-pancaratra; karmanam-this word; karma-of karma; akarena-with form; api-although; satam-of the transcendental shri-bhagavat-dharmanam- activities of devotional service to the Lord; yatah-this word; tantrat-from this scripture; naishkarmyam-this word; karma-of karma; bandha-of the bondage; mocakatvena-because of releasing; karmabhyah-from karma; nirgatatvam-the state of having left; tebhyah-of them; bhinnatvam-the state of being different; pratiyate-is known; iti-thus; sheshah-the remainder of the verse.
In this verse the word "rishi-sargam" means the millenium of the rishis", and the word "devarshitvam" refers to Narada. The words "tantram satvatam" means the Vaishnava scripture Narada-pancaratra. "karmanam" means "the transcendental activities of devotional service". The words "naishkarmyam yatah" explain that the actitives of devotional service release the performer from the bondage of karmic reaction, and are therefore very different from ordinary material activities."*
akarot dushcaram tapah
turye-in the fourth of the line; dharma-kala-wife of Dharmaraja; sarge-being born of; nara-narayanau-named Nara and Narayana; rishi-sages; bhutva-becoming; atma-upashama-controlling the senses; upetam-for achievement of ; akarot-undertook; dushcaram-very strenuous; tapah-penance.
The Lord's fourth incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.9):
"In the fourth incarnation, the Lord became Nara and Narayana, the twin sons of the wife of King Dharma. Thus He undertook severe and exemplary penances to control the senses."*
turye iti dharmasya bhagavata-mukhyasya kalayah shraddha-pushöy-adi-sahityena paöhitayah shri-bhagavac-chakti-lakshanaya muktesh ca sarge pradurbhave. anayor ekavataratvam hari-krishnabhyam sodarabhyam api saha.
turye iti-in the verse beginning with the word turye; dharmasya-of Dharma; bhagavata-mukhyasya-the great devotee of the Lord; kalayah-of the wife; shraddha-ushöi-adi-sahityena-with great faith and learning; paöhitayah- learned; shri-bhagavat-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; shakti-lakshanayah-empowered with the potency; mukteh- named Mukti; ca-also; sarge-the word sarge; pradurbhave- appeared; anayoh-of the two of them; eka-avataratvam-the state of being a single incarnation; hari-krishnabhyam-Nara Narayana Rishis; sodarabhyam-two brothers; api-and; saha- with.
In this verse, which begins with the word "turye", the word "dharma" is the name of a great devotee of the Lord, and the word "kalayah" refers to Mukti-devi, his faithful, learned wife, who was full of all good qualities and specifically empowered by the Personality of Godhead. The word "sarge" means that the Lord appeared as Nara Narayana Rishis, the two sons of Dharma and Mukti.
pancamah kapilo nama
pancamah-the fifth one; kapilah-Kapila; nama-of the name; sid-dheshah-the foremost amongst the perfect; kala- time; viplutam-lost; provaca-said; asuraye-unot the brahmana named Asuri; sankhyam-metaphysics; tattva-grama- the sum total of the creative elements; vinirnayam-expostion; asuri-Asuri; namne-named; vipraya-to the Brahamana.
The Lord's fifth incarnation is described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.10)
"The fifth incarnation, named Lord Kapila, is foremost among perfected beings. He gave an exposition of the creative elements and metaphysics to Asuri Brahmana, for in course of time this knowledge had been lost."*
tattvam sankhyam jagada ha
brahmadibhyash ca devebhyo
bhrigv-adibhyas tathaiva ca
kapilo 'nyo jagada ha
sankhyam asuraye 'nyasmai
pancamah iti-in this verse beginning with the word pancamah; kapilah-Lord Kapilah; vasudeva-akhyah-known as Vasudeva; tattvam-philosophy; sankhyam-sankhya; jagada ha-spoke brahma-adibhyah-headed by Brahma; ca-and; devebhyah-to the demigods; bhrigu-adibhyah-headed by Bhrgu; tatha-in same way; eva-certainly; ca-also; tatha-in the same way; eva-certainly; asuraye-to Asuri Brahmana; sarva-veda-of all the Vedas; arthaih-by the conclusions; upabrimhitam-substantiated; sarva-veda-all Vedic instructions; viruddham-opposed; ca-also; kapilah anyah-another Kapila; jagada ha-spoke; sankhyam-sankhya philosophy; asuraye anyasmai-to another Asuri Brahmana; kutarka-with faulty logic; paribrimhitam-expanded.
The original Lord Kapila, and a later imposter who assumed the same name, are both described in the following verses of Padma Purana:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Lord Kapila and spoke the original Sankhya philosophy, which eloquently presents the same philosophy expounded in all the Vedic literatures. This incarnation of the Lord instructed the Brahmana Asuri, many great demigods headed by Brahma, and many sages, headed by Bhrgu.
"An imposter later assumed the name Kapila and spoke an illogical, atheistic theory opposed to the Vedas. He spoke this theory, to his disciple named Asuri, and claimed his atheism to be the actual Sankhya philosophy. In this way there are two contradictory philosophies, both bearing the same name of Sankhya."
shashöham atrer apatyatvam
vritah prapto `nasuyaya
shashtham-the sixth one; atreh-of Atri; apatyatvam- sonship; vritah-being prayed for; praptah-obtained; anasuya; anvikshikim-on the subject of transcencence; alarkaya-unto Alarka; prahlada-adibhyah-unto Prahlada and others; uvivan-spoke.
The sixth incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.11):
"The sixth incarnation of the purusha was the son of the sage Atri. He was born from the womb of Anasuya, who prayed for an incarnation. He spoke on the subject of transcendence to Alarka, Prahlada and others [Yadu, Haihaya, etc]."*
atrina tat-sadrisha-putrotpatti-matram prakaöam yacitam iti. caturtha-skandhady-abhiprayah.
atrina-by Atri Muni; tat-Him; sadrisha-like; putra-of a son; utpatti-matram-appearing; prakaöam-manifested; yacitam-begged; iti-thus; caturtha-skandha-of the Fourth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; abhiprayah-meaning.
The Fourth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam relates the story of Atri Muni's prayer to have a son exactly like the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
etad-vakyenanasuyaya tu dadacit sakshad eva shrimad-ishvarasyaiva putra-bhavo vrito 'stiti labhyate.
etat-this; vakyena-by the words; anasuyaya-by Anasuya; tu-also; kadacit-at some time; sakshat-directly; eva-certainly; shrimat-ishvarasya-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva-certainly; putra-bhavah-the status as a son; vritah-begged; asti-it is; iti-thus; labhyate-is attained.
After Atri Muni offered his prayer, his wife, Anasuya also prayed that the Supreme Personality of Godhead become her son.
uktam ca brahmanda-purane pati-vratopakhyena
yuyam yadi prasanna me
vararha yadi vapy aham
mama putratvam eshyatha iti.
uktam-spoken; ca-also; brahmanda-purane-in the Brahmanda Purana; pati-vrata-of the devoted wife; upakhyena-in the story; anasuya-Anasuya; abravit-spoke; natva-offering obeisances; devan-to the lords; brahma- Brahma; isha-Shiva; keshavan-and Keshava; yuyam-You; yadi-if; prasannah-pleased; me-with me; vara-arhah-grantes of benedictions; yadi-of; va-or; api-also; aham-I; prasada-abhimukhah-favored by you; sarve-all of You; mama--my; putratvam-the status of son; eshyatha-please accept; iti- thus.
This is described in the Pati-vrata narration of the Brahmanda Purana:
"Anasuya offered obeisances and prayed before Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva: My Lords, if you are pleased with me, and if you desire me to ask from you some sort of blessings, then I pray that you combine together to become my son."
anvikshikim atma-vidyam. shri-visnor evavataro `yam dattah.
anvikshikim-the word anvikshikim; atma-vidyam-on the subject of transcendence; shri-vishnoh-of Shri Vishnu; eva-certainly; ; avatarah-incarnation; ayam-this; dattah- Dattatreya.
In this verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.11, quoted at the beginning of this anuccheda) the word "anvikshikim" means "on the subject of transcendence". This incarnation of the Lord as the son of Atri Muni is known as Dattatreya.
tatah saptama akutyam
rucer yajno `bhyajayata
sa yamadyaih sura-ganair
sa yajnas tada svayam indor `bhud ity arthah
tatah-after that; saptame-the seventh in the line; akutyam-in the womb of Akuti; ruceh-by Prajapati Ruci; yajnah-the Lordsh incarnation as Yaja; abhyajayata- advented; sah-He; yama-adyaihj-with Yama and others; sura-gannaih-with demigods; apat-ruled; svayambhuva-antaram-the change of the period of Svayambhuva Manu; sah yajnah-the words sah yajna; tada-then; svayam-personally; indrahy-King Indra; abhut-become; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
The Supreme Lord's seventh incarnation is described in the following verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.12):
"The seventh incarnation was Yajna, the son of Prajapati Ruci and his wife Akuti. He controlled the period during the change of the Svayambhuva Manu and was assisted by demigods such as His son Yama."*
The words "sa yajnah" indicate that the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally assumed the post of Indra.
tatah ity ayam eva matamahena manuna harir ity anuktah.
tatah iti-the verse beginning with the word tatah; ayam-He; eva-certainly; matamahena-by His maternal Grandfather; manuna-Manu; harih-Lord Hari; iti-thus; anuktah-repeated.
This verse, beginning with the word "tatah", narrates Lord Hari's appearance as Lord Yajna, at the end of His maternal grandfather Svayambhuva Manu's reign.
ashöame merudevyam tu
nabher jata urukramah
darshayan vartma dhiranam
urukrama rishabho jatah
ashöame-the eighth of the incarnations; merudevyam tu-in the womb of Merudevi, the wife of; nabheh-King Nabhi; jatah-took birth; urukramah-the all-powerful Lord; darshayan-by showing; vartma-the way; dhiranam-of the perfect beings; sarva-all; ashrama-orders of life; namaskritam-honored by; urukramah-the word urukrama; rishabhah-as Lord Rishabhadeva; jatah-appeared.
The Supreme Lord's eighth incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.13):
"The eighth incarnation was King Rishabha, son of King Nabhi and his wife Merudevi. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honored by all orders of life."*
This verse describes the incarnation of the Supreme Lord as Lord Rishabhadeva.
ashöame ity ayam evavesha ity eke.
ashöame iti-in the verse beginning with the word ashöame; ayam-He; eva-certainly; aveshah-empowered incarnation; iti-thus; eke-some.
Some say that the person described in this verse is an avesha (empowered) incarnation.
rishibhir yacito bheje
navamam parthivam vapuh
dugdhemam oshadhir vipras
tenayam sa ushattamah
parthivam vapu raja-deham prithu-rupam dugdha adugdha. ushattamah kamaniyatamah.
rishibhih-by the sages; yacitah-being prayed for; bheje-accepted; navamam-the ninth one; parthivam-the ruler of the earth; vapuh-body; dugdha-milking; imam-all these; oshadhih-products of the earth; viprah-O brahmanas; tena-by; ayam-this; sah-he; ushattamah-beautifully attractive; parthivam vapuh-these words; raja-of the kings; rupam-in the form; prithu-rupam-as King Prithu; dugdha-the word dugdha; adugdha-milked; ushattamah-the word ushattamah; kamaniyah tama-beautifully attractive.
The Lord's ninth incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.14):
"O brahmanas, in the ninth incarnation, the Lord, prayed for by sages, accepted the body of a king [Prithu] who cultivated the land to yield various produces, and for that reason the earth was beautiful and attractive."*
In this verse the words "parthivam vapuh" mean the body of a king", and the word "dugdha" means "milking" and the word "ushattamah" means beautifully attractive."
rupam sa jagrihe matsyam
navy aropya mahi-mayyam
apad vaivasvatam manum
rupam-form; sah-He; jagrihe-accepted; matsyam-of a fish; cakshusha-Cakshusha; udadhi-water; samplave- inundation; navi-on the boat; aropya-keeping on; mahi-the earth; mayyam-drowned in; apat-protected; vaivasvatam- Vaivasvata; manum-Manu, the father of man.
The Lord's tenth incarnation is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.15):
"When there was a complete inundation after the period of the Cakshusha Manu and the whole world was deep within water, the Lord accepted the form of a fish and protected Vaivasvata Manu, keeping him up on a boat."*
cakshusha-manvantare tad-ante ya udadhi-samplavas tasmin. vaivasvatam iti bhavini samjna satyavratasya. prati-manvantaravasane 'pi pralayah shruyate.
cakshusha-of Cakshusha Manu; manvantare-in the reign; tat-of that; ante-at the end; yah-which; udadhi-of the oceans; samplavah-inundation; tasmin-in which; vaivasvatam- the word "vaivasvata"; iti-thus; bhavini-considered; samjna-a name; satyavratasya-of Satyavrata; prati-of each; manvantara-Manu's reign; avasane-at the conclusion; api-also; pralayah-partial devestation; shruyate-is heard in the revealed scriptures.
We may note in this verse the description of the great inundation at the conclusion of Cakshusha Manu's reign. Vaivasvata is another name of Satyavrata. At the end of each Manu's reign there is a partial devastation. This is described in the revealed scriptures.
shri-vishnu-dharmottare prathama-kande manvantare parikshine kidrishi dvija jayate ity adi, shri-vajra-prashnasya manvantare parikshine ity adi shri-markandeya-dattottare
sarvam avritya tishöhati
bhurlokam ashritam sarvam
tada nashyati yadava
na vinashyanti rajendra
naur bhutva tu mahi-devi ity adi
shri-vishnu-dharmottare-in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana; prathama-kande-in the First Canto; manvantare-when Manu's reign; parikshine-is over; kidrishi-what?; dvija-O Brahmana' jayate-happens; iti-thus; adi-beginning with; shri-vajra-of Maharaja; prashnasya-of the question; manvantare parikshine-when Manu's reign is ended; iti-thus; adi-beginning with; shri-markandeya-by Markandeya Muni; datta-given; uttare-in the reply; urmi-mali-the wave-filled ocean; maha-vagah-very powerful and violent; sarvam-everything; avritya-covering; tishöhati-is situated; bhurlokam-the middle planetary system; ashritam-taking shelter; sarvam-everything; tada-then; nashyati-becomes destroyed; yadava-O descendent of Maharaja Yadu; na-not; vinashyanti-become destroyed; raja-indra- O best of kings; vishrutah-celebrated; kula-parvatah-the seven great sages; nauh-a boat; bhutva-constructing; tu-also; mahi-devi-the earth; iti-thus; adi-beginning.
This partial devestation is described in the First Canto of the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana, where Maharaja Vajra asks Markandeya Muni:
"O learned brahmana, please tell me what happens at the end of Manu's reign?"
"O descendent of Maharaja Yadu, O best of kings, at the end of Manu's reign the oceans expand and cover the middle and lower planetary systems with ferocious waves. At that time all living entities on those planets perish, and only the celebrated seven sages survive, protected in a boat."
evam eva manvantareshu samharah ity adi prakaranam shri-hari-vamshe tadiya-öikasu ca spashöam eva. tatash cakshushety upalakshanam eva jneyam.
evam-in this way; eva-certainly; manvantareshu-in the periods of manvantara; samharah-the end; iti-thus; adi- beginning; prakaranam-subject; shri-hari-vamshe-in the Hari-vamsha; tadiya-if it; öikasu-in the commentaries; ca-also; spashöam-clear; eva-certainly; tatah-from this; cakshusha- Cakshusha Manu; iti-thus; upalakshanam-characteristic; eva- certainly; jeyam-may be known.
This description of the partial devestation at the end of the reigns of Cakshusha and the other Manus is also found in the Hari-vamsha and its commentaries.
rupam ity ayam api varahavat prathama-shashöha-manvantarayot avatarat. tadvad eva ca dvitiya ekatayaiva varnitah.
rupam iti ayam-in this verse beginning with word "rupam"; api-also; varahavat-just as Varaha; prathama-in the first; shashöha-and sixth; manvantarayoh-manvanatara period; avatarat-descended-two; ekataya-as one; eva-certainly; varnitah-described.
We may note that, just as Lord Varaha does, Lord Matsya appears first at the end of the first Manu's reign, and secondly He appears at the end of the sixth Manu's reign. The description in the scriptures often combines the accounts of both incarnations into one narrative.
matsyo yuganta-samaye manunopalabdhah
visramsitan uru-bhaye salile mukhan me
adaya tatra vijahara ha veda-margan
matsyah-incarnation of the fish; yuga-anta-at the end of the millennium; samaye-at the time of; manuna-the would-be Vaivasvata Manu; upalabdhah-seen; kshonimayah-up to the earthly planets; nikhila-all; jiva-living entities; nikaya-ketah-shelter for; visramsitan-emanating from; uru-great; bhaye-out of fear; salile-in the water; mukhat-from the mouth; me-mine; adaya-having taken to; tatra-there; vijahara-enjoyed; ha-certainly; veda margan-all the Vedas.
Lord Matsya (the fish incarnation) is described in the next verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.12):
"At the end of the millennium, the would-be Vaivasvata Manu, of the name Satyavrata, would see that the Lord in the fish incarnation is the shelter of all kinds of living entities, up to those in the earthly planets. Because of my fear of the vast water at the end of the millennium, the Vedas come out of my [Brahma's] mouth, and the Lord enjoys those vast waters and protects the Vedas."*
prishöha ekadashe vibhuh
sura-the theist; asuranam-of the atheists; udadhim-in the ocean; mathnatam-churning; mandaracalam-the Mandaracala Hill; dadhre-sustained; kamaöha-tortoise; rupena-in the form of; prishthe-shell; ekadashe-the eleventh in the line; vibhuh-the great; spastam-the meaning is clear.
The eleventh incarnation is described in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.16):
"The eleventh incarnation of the Lord took the form of a tortoise whose shell served as a pivot for the Mandaracala Hill, which was being used as a churning rod by the theists and atheists of the universe."*
sura ity ayam eva sura-prarthanat kshaunim dadhre iti padme. anyatra tu tad-artham kalpadau ca pradurabhavad iti.
sura iti ayam-in this verse beginning with the word "sura"; eva-certainly; sura-of the demigods; prarthanat-because of the prayers; kshaunim-Mandara Mountain; dadhre-held; iti-thus; padme-in the Padma kalpa; anyatra-at another circumstance; tat-artham-for the same purpose; kalpa-of the kalpa; adau-at the beginning; ca-also; pradurabhavat-appeared; iti-thus.
Prayed to by the demigods, the Lord appeared as Kurma-avatara and held up the Mandaracala Hill. Some commentators say Lord Kurma appeared during the Padma-kalpa, and others say He appeared at the beginning of the kalpa.
trayodashamam eva ca
apayayt suran anyan
mohinya mohayan striya
dhanvantaram-the incarnation of Godhead named Dhanvantari; dvadashamam-the twelfth in the line; trayodashamam-the thirteenth in the line; eva-certainly; ca-and; apayat-gave to drink; suran-the demigods; anyan-others; mohinya-by charming beauty; mohayan-alluring; striya-in the form of a woman.
The twelfth and thirteenth incarnations are described in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.17):
"In the twelfth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Dhanvantari, and in the thirteenth He allured the atheists by the charming beauty of a woman and gave nectar to the demigods to drink."*
bibhrad ity uttarenanvayah. dvadashamam dhanvanataram rupam bibhrat, trayodashamam ca mohini-rupam bibhrat. suran apayayat sudham iti sheshah. kena rupena. mohinya striya tad-rupenety arthah. kim kurvan anyan mohayan. dhanvantari-rupena sudham copaharann iti sheshah. ajitasyavatara ete trayah.
bibhrat-assumed the form; iti-thus; uttarena anvayah- should be understood; dvadashamam dhanvantaram-Lord Dhanvantari, the twelfth incarnation; rupam-the form; bibhrat- assumed; suran-the demigods; apayat-gave to drink; sudham- nectar; iti sheshah-should be added to complete the sentence; kena-with what? rupena-form; mohinya-by charming beauty; striya-in the form of a woman; tad-rupena-by this form; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning; kim-what; kurvan-activities did the Lord perform?: anyan-others; asuran-the demons; mohayan--alluring; dhanvantari-of Lord Dhanvantari; rupena-with the form; sudham-the nectar; ca-also; upaharah-brought; iti- thus; sheshah-the remainder of the verses; ajitasya-of the inconquerable Supreme Personality of Godhead; avatarah- incarnations; ete-these; trayah-three.
In this verse the word "bibhrat" (assuming the form) should be understood (although unexpressed). The Lord assumed the form of Dhanvantari in the twelfth incarnation, and He also appeared in the form of Mohini-devi in the thirteenth incarnation. In the phrase "suran apayayat" (gave drink to the demigods), the word "nectar" should be understood, although unexpressed. What was the form of Mohini-devi like? This is answered by the words "mohinya striya" (by the charming beauty of a woman). What activities did the Lord perform in this incarnation? The Lord allured and bewildered the atheists. In this way three incarnations of the inconquerable Supreme Personality of Godhead are described.
dhanvantaram ity ayam samudra-mathanat shashöhe kashi-rajat saptame iti jneyam.
dhanvantaram iti ayam-in the verse beginning with the word "dhanvanataram"' samudra-of the ocean; mathanat-from the churning; shashöhe-in the sixth manvantara; iti-thus; jneyam-should be understood.
During the reign of the sixth Manu, Lord Dhanvantari appeared from the churning of the milk-ocean. He also appeared as the son of the king of Kashi during the reign of the seventh Manu.
bibhrad daityendram urjitam
dadara karajair urav
erakam kaöa-krid yatha
narasimham rupam bibhrat
caturdasham-the fourteenth in the line; nara-simham-the incarnation of the Lord as half-man and half-lion; bibhrat- advented; daitya-indram-the king of the atheists; urjitam- strongly built; dadara-bifurcated; karajaih-by the nails; urau-on the lap; erakam-canes; kaöa-krit-carpenter; yatha-just like; narasimham-of Lord Narasimha; rupam-the form; bibhrat- assumed.
The Lord's fourteenth appearance, in the form of Lord Nrisimha, is described in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.18)
"In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nrisimha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiranyakashipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane."*
kritvagad adhvaram baleh
pancadasham-the fifteenth in the line; vamanakam-the dwarf-brahmana; kritva-by assumption of; agat-went; adhvaram-arena of sacrifice; baleh-of King Bali; pada-trayam- three steps only; yacamanah-begging; pratyaditsuh-willing at heart to return; tri-pishöapam-the kingdom of the three planetary systems; kritva-the word "kritva"; prakaöayya-means "assuming the form".
The fifteenth incarnation is described in the following verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.19):
"In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana [Vamana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Maharaja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land."*
panca ity ayam kalpe 'sminn adau vaskaler adhvaram agat, tato dhundhos tato baler iti jneyam. tathaiva trishu trivikramatvam ca.
panca iti ayam-in this verse beginning with the word "panca"; kalpe-in the millenium; asmin-in this; adau-in the beginning; vashkaleh-of Maharaja Bali; adhvaram-to the sacrifice; agat-went; tatah-dundhoh tatah baleh-of Maharaja Bali; iti-thus; jneyam-should be understood; tatha-in the same way; trishu-in the three planetary systems; trivikramatvam-the incarnation of the Lord as Trivikrama; ca- also.
This verse describes the incarnation of Lord Vamanadeva, who entered the sacrificial arena of Maharaja Bali, and later assumed the gigantic form of Lord Trivikrama, which crossed over the three planetary systems.
pashyan brahma-druho nripan
nih-kshatram akaron mahim
avatare-in the incarnation of the Lord; shodashame-the sixteenth; pashyan-seeing; brahma-druhah-disobedient to the orders of the brahmanas; nripan-the kingly order; trih-sapta-thrice seven times; kritvah-had done; kupitah-being engaged; nih-negation; kshatram-the administrative class; akarot-did perform; mahim-the earth; avatare-in the incarnation of the Lord; shri-parashurama-abhidhe-known as Lord Parashurama.
The sixteenth incarnation of the Lord is described in the following verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.20)
"In the sixteenth incarnation of the Godhead, the Lord [as Bhrigupati] annihilated the administrative class [kshatriyas] twenty-one times, being angry with them because of their rebellion against the brahmanas [the intelligent class].
We may note in this connection that the sixteenth incarnation is known as Lord Parashurama.
avatare ity ayam saptadashe catur-yuge dvavimshe tv iti kecit. avesha evayam.
avatare-incarnation; iti-thus; ayam-he; saptadashe-seventeenth; catur-yuge-cycle of four yugas; dvavimshe-twenty-second; tu-indeed; iti-thus; kecit-some; aveshah-empowered incarnation; eva-indeed; ayam-he.
Some say the incarnation of Lord Parashurama appears in the seventeenth cycle of four yugas, and others say He appears in the twenty-second cycle. Lord Parashurama is an avesha (empowered) incarnation.
tatah saptadashe jatah
cakre veda-taroh shakha
drishöva pumso 'lpa-medhasah
tatah-thereafter; saptadashe-in the seventeenth incarnation; jatah-advented; satyavatyam-in the womb of Satyavati; parasharat-by Parashara Muni; cakre-prepared; veda-taroh-of the desire tree of the Vedas; shakhah- branches; drishöva-be seeing; punsah-the people in general; alpa-medhasah-less-intelligent. spashöam-the meaning is clear.
The seventeenth incarnation is described in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.21):
"Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Shri Vyasadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parashara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and sub-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent."*
tatah ity asya purva-janmany apantaratamatva-shravanad avesha iti kecit. tat-samyujyad ayam sakshad amsha evety anye.
tatah iti asya-in this verse beginning with the word "tatah"; purva-janmani-in his previous birth; ap-antaratamatva-within the water; shravanat-fromthe scriptures; aveshah-empowered incarnation; iti-thus; kecit-some; tat-samyujyat-from being one with the Lord; ayam-he; sakshat- directly; amshah-a part; eva-certainly; iti-thus; anye- others.
Some say Vyasa is an empowered incarnation because there is description of his previous birth as the sage Apantaratama, as described in some scriptures, and others claim that he is actually vishnu-tattva, a direct expansion of Lord Vishnu.
cakre viryany atah param
nara-human being; devatvam-divinity; apannah-having assumed the form of; sura-the demigods; karya-activities; cikirshaya-for the purpose of performing; samudra-the Indian Ocean; nigraha-adini-controlling, etc.; cakre-did perform; viryani-superhuman prowers; atah param-thereafter.
The Lord's eighteenth incarnation is described in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.22):
"In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rama. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Ravana who was on the other side of the sea."*
naradevatvam raghava-rupena. atah param ashöadashe. asya sakshat purushasya skandhe shri-rama-gitayam vishva-rupam darshayato brahma-vishnu-rudra-krita-stutih shruyate.
naradevatvam-the word "naradevatvam"; raghava-rupena- in the form of the descendent of Maharaja Raghu; atah param- thereafter; ashöadashe-in the eighteenth cycle of four yugas; asya-of Him; sakshat-directly; purushasya-of the purusha incarnation; skandhe-in the Skandha Purana; shri-rama-gitayam-in the Rama-gita; vishva-rupam-the Universal Form; darshayatah-revealing; brahma-by Brahma; vishnu-by Vishnu; rudra-and by Rudra; krita-offered; stutih-prayers; shruyate-are heard.
The word "naradevatvam" in this verse refers to Lord Ramacandra, the descendant of Maharaja Raghu, and the word atah param" indicates that Lord Rama appeared in the eighteenth cycle of four yugas. Lord Rama is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The chapters of the Skanda Purana known as the Rama-gita recount Lord Rama's revelation of His Universal Form as well as the prayers offered to Him by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
naradeva ity ayam caturvimshe catur-yuge tretayam.
naradeva ity ayam-the verse beginning with the word "naradeva"; caturvimshe-in the twenty-fourth; catur-yuge-in the cycle of four yugas; tretayam-in the Treta-yuga.
Some commentators think Lord Ramacandra appeared in the Treta-yuga of the twenty-fourth cycle of four yugas.
vrishnishu prapya janmani
rama-krishnav iti bhuvo
bhagavan aharad bharam
ekonavimshe-in the nineteenth; vimshatime-in the twentieth also; vrishnishu-in the Vrishni dynasty; prapya- having obtained; janmani-births; rama-Balarama; krishnau- Shri Krishna; iti-thus; bhuvah-of the world; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; aharat-removed; bharam-burden.
The next verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.23) describes the nineteenth and twentieth incarnations:
"In the ninteenth and twentieth incarnation, the Lord advented Himself as Lord Balarama and Lord Krishna in the family of Vrishni [the Yadu dynasty], and by so doing He removed the burden of the world."*
bhagavan iti sakshat shri-bhagavata evavirbhavo 'yam, na tu purusha-samjnasyaniruddhasyeti vishesha-pratipatty-artham.
bhagavan-the word "bhagavan"; iti-thus; sakshat- directly; shri-bhagavatah-of Shrii Bhagavan; eva-certainly; avirbhavah-manifestation; ayam-He; na-not; tu-but; purusha-samjnasya-of the purusha incarnation; aniruddhasya-of Lord Aniruddha; iti-thus; vishesha-specific; pratipatti-perception; artham-meaning.
By using the word "bhagavan" in this verse, Suta Gosvami says that Lord Krishna is directly Bhagavan, the original form of the Personlity of Godhead. He is not an expansion of the purusha-incarnation Lord Aniruddha.
tatra tasya sakshad rupatvat shri-krishna-rupena, nijamsha-rupatvad rama-rupenapi bhara-haritvam bhagavata evety ubhayatrapi bhagavan aharad bharam iti shlishöam eva.
tatra-there; tasya-of Him; rupatvat-because of the form; shri-krishna rup/ena-in the form of Lord Krishna; nija-own; amsa-plenary portion; rupatvat-because of having the form; rama-rupena-in the form of Lord Balarama; api- also; bhara-of the burden; haritvam-the position of taking away; bhagavatah-of the Personality of Godhead; eva-certainly; iti-thus; ubhayatra- in both; api-also; bhagavan aharat bharam-the Lord removed the burden of the earth; iti-thus; shlishöam-two meanings; eva-certainly.
Lord Krishna is directly the original form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Lord Balarama is His immediate plenary expansion. Both Krishna and Balarama removed the burden of the earth, so the phrase "bhagavan aharad bharam" may refer to either of Them.
ato ramasyapy aniruddhavataratvam pratyakhyatam. shri-krishnasya vasudevatvat shri-ramasya ca sankarshanatvad yuktam eva ca tad iti.
atah-from this; ramasya-of Lord Balarama; aniruddha-of Lord Aniruddha; avataratvam-the state of being an incarnation; pratyakhyatam-is rejected; shri-krishnasya-of Lord Krishna; vasudevatvat-from the state of being Lord Vasudeva; shri-ramasya-of Lord Balarama; ca-also; sankarshanatvat- from the state of being Lord Sankarshana; yuktam-proper; eva- certainly; ca-also; tat-therefore; iti-thus.
We may note here that Lord Balarama is not an expansion of Lord Aniruddha. Just as Lord Krishna is directly the original form of Lord Vasudeva, in the same way, Lord Balarama is the original form of Lord Sankarshana. This is the proper understanding of the transcendental forms of Lord Krishna and Balarama.
tatah kalau sampravritte
tatah-thereafter; kalau-the age of Kali; sampravritte- having ensued; sammohaya-for the purpose of deluding; sura- theists; dvisham-those who are envious; buddhah-Lord Buddha; namna-of the name; anjana-sutah-whose mother Anjana; kikaöeshu-in the province of Gaya (Bihar); bhavishyati-will take place; kikatesu-the word "kikatesu"; gaya-pradese-means in the province of Gaya.
The next verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.24) describes the twenty-first incarnation:
"Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist."*
tatah ity ayam kaler abda-sahasra-dvitiye gate vyaktah. mundita-munditah paöala-varno dvi-bhujah.
tatah iti ayam-in the verse beginning with the word tatah; kaleh-of the age of Kali; abda-years; sahasra-thousand; dvitiye-in the second; gate-passed; vyaktah-manifested; mundita-with shaved; mundah-head; paöala-varnah-with a ruddy complexion; dvi-bhujah-with two arms.
Lord Buddha appears when two thousand years of the Kali age have passed. He appears in a human-like form with two hands, a ruddy complexion and a shaved head.
namna kalkir jagat-patih
yuga-sandhyayam kaler ante.
atha-thereafter; asau-the same Lord; yuga-sandhyayam-at the conjunction of the yugas; dasyu-plunderers; prayeshu-almost all; rajasu-the governing personalities; janita-will take His birth; vishnu-named Vishnu; yashasah-surnamed Yasha; namna-in the name of; kalkih-the incarnation of the Lord; jagat-patih-the Lord of the creation; yuga-sandhyayam-the words yuga-sandhyayam; kaleh ante-mean at the end of the age of Kali.
The twenty-second incarnation is described in the next verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.25):
"Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Vishnu Yasha. At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers."*
The phrase "at the conjunction of the two yugas" here means "at the end of Kali-yuga."
atha ity ayam kalkir buddhash ca prati-kali-yuga evety eke. etau caveshav iti vishnu-dharma-matam. tatha hi-
atha iti ayam-in the verse beginning with the word "atha"; kalkih-Kalki; buddhah-Buddha; ca-and; prati-in each; kali-yuga-Kali-yuga; eva-certainly; iti-thus; eke-each; etau-they; ca-also; aveshau-empowered incarnations; iti-thus; vishnu-dharma-of the Vishnu-dharma; matam-opinion; tatha hi-it is explained.
Lord Buddha and Lord Kalki are both empowered (avesha) incarnations who appear in every Kali-yuga. This is confirmed in Vishnu-dharma Purana:
drishyate na kalau harih
kritadishv eva tenaisha
pratyaksha-visible to the eyes; rupa-form; drik-manifesting; devah-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; drishyate-is seen; na-not; kalau-in the Kali-yuga; harih-Lord Hari; kritadishu-in the Satya, Treta and Dv/papara-yugas; eva-certainly; tena-by that; eshah-He; triyugah-who appears in three yugas; paripaöhyate-is described in the scriptures.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, does not personally appear in the Kali-yuga. Because He only appears in the Satya, Treta, and Dvapara-yugas, and not in the Kali-yuga, the scriptures call Him Triyuga (He who appears in three yugas).
kaler ante ca samprapte
kaleh-of the Kali-yuga; ante-at the end; ca-and; samprapte-attained; kalkinam-Kalki; brahma-vadinam-self-realized and a learned preacher of Krishna consciousness; anupravishya-having entered; kurute-creates; vasudevah-Lord Vasudeva; jagat-of the universe; sthitim-the auspicious condition.
At the end of Kali-yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, enters the body of the learned brahmana Kalki and gives him extraordinary powers. Through the agency of Kalki, the Supreme Lord restores the universe to an auspicious condition.
teshu teshu kalau prabhuh
kritva pravesham kurute
yad abhipretam atmanah iti.
purva-previously; utpanneshu-born; bhuteshu-in the living entities; teshu teshu-in all ofo them; kalau-in the Kali-yuga; prabhuh-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kritva-having done; pravesham-entrance; kurute-performs; yat-what; abhipretam-intention; atmanah-of the self; iti-thus.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead then enters the hearts of all the great sages who were born before the Kali-yuga and grants extraordinary powers to them. In this way the Lord executes His purpose at the end of the Kali-yuga."
atha shri-hayagriva-hari-hamsa-prishnigarbha-vibhu-satyasena-vaikunöhajita- sarvabhauma-vishvaksena-dharmasetu-sudhama-yogeshvara-brihadbhanv-adinam shukladinam canuktanam sangrahartham aha
atha-now; shri-hayagriva-Hayagriva; hari-Hari; hamsa-Hamsa; prishnigarbha-Prishnigarbha; vibhu-Vibhu; satyasena-Satyasena; vaikunöha-Vaikunöha; ajita-Ajita; sarvabhauma-Sarvabhauma; vishvaksena-Vishvaksena; dharmasetu-Dhrmasetu; sudhama-Sudhama; yogeshvara-Yogeshvara; brihadbhanu-Brihadbhanu; adinam-beginning with; shukla-Shukla; adinam-beginning with; ca-also; anuktanam-not described; sangraha-multitude; artham-for the purpose; aha-spoke.
Wishing to indicate the Lord's other innumerable other incarnations not described in this passage, such as Hayagriva, Hari, Hamsa, Prishnigarbha, Vibhu, Satyasena, Vaikunöha, Ajita, Sarvabhauma, Vishvaksena, Dharmasetu, Sudhama, Yogeshvara, Brihadbhanu, Shukla, and many others, Suta Gosvami spoke the following verse (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.26):
avatara hy asankhyeya
hareh sattva-nidher dvijah
sarasah syuh sahasrashah
avatarah-incarnations; hi-certainly; asankhyeyah-innumerable; hareh-of Hari, the Lord; sattva-nidheh-of the ocean of goodness; dvijah-the brahmanas; yatha-as it is; avidasinah-inexhaustible; kulyah-rivulets; sarasah-of vast lakes; syuh-are; sahasrashah-thousands of.
"O brahmanas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water."*
herer avatara asankhyeyah sahasrasah sambhavanti, hi prasiddhau. asankhyeyatve hetuh-sattva-nidheh sattvasya sva-pradurbhava-shakteh sevadhi-rupasya.
hareh avatarah asankhyeyah sahasrashah-these words; sambhavanti-are manifested; prasiddhau-in fame; asankhyeyatve-in the matter of being innumerable; hetuh-the reason; sattva-nidheh-the words "sattva-nidheh"; sattvasya-of transcendental existence; sva-own; pradurbhava-manifestation; shakteh-potency; sevadhi-of a great tresure; rupasya-in the form.
In this verse the words "harer avatara asankhyeyah sahasrashah" indicate the innumerable celebrated incarnations of Lod Hari. Why the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable is described in the word "sattva-nidheh" (transcendental treasure). The Lord is like an immeasurably valuable jewel that has the power to appear in an unlimited number of forms.
atraiva drishöantah-yatheti; avidasino 'pekshaya-shunyat sarasah sakashat kulyas tat-svabhava-krita nirjhara avidasinyah sahasrashah sambhavanti.
atra-in this connection; eva-certainly; drishöantah-an example; yatha iti-in the phrase beginning with the word "yatha"; avidasinah-inexhaustible; apekshaya-shunyat-because they never dwindle; sarasah-of vast lakes; sakshat-directly; kulyah-rivulets; tat-svabhava-kritah-by their own nature; nirjharah-rivulets; avidasinyah-inexhaustable; sahasrashah-thousands of; sambhavanti-come into existence.
In this verse a appropriate example is given: the incarnations of the Personality of Godhead are compared to innumerable (sahasrashah) rivulets (kulyah) flowing from inexhaustible (avidasinah) sources of water (sarasah).
atra ye 'mshavataras teshu caisha vishesho jneyah. shri-kumara-naradadishv adhikarikeshu jnana-bhakti-shakty-amshaveshah, shri-prithu-adishu kriya-shakty-amshaveshah, kecit tu svayam aveshah. tesham bhagavan avaham iti vacanat.
atra-in this connection; ye-those who; amsha-partial; avatarah-incarnations; teshu-among them; ca-also; eshah-one; visheshah-specific group; jneyah-should be known; shri-kumara-the four Kumaras; narada-Narada Muni; adishu-and others; adhikarikeshu-devotees; jnana-with transcendental knowledge; bhakti-and devotional service; shakti-with the potencies; amsha-aveshah-empowered incarnations; shri-prithu-King Prithu; adishu-and others; kriya-shakti-with the potency to perform remarkable deeds; aveshah-invested; kecit-others; tu-also; svayam-personally; aveshah-entrance; tesham-of them; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead endowed with all powers and opulences; eva-certainly; aham-I am; iti-thus; vacanat-the words of scripture.
"Some of the incarnations mentioned in this list of Shrimad-Bhagavatam are living entities empowered with certain potencies of the Lord. The Four Kumaras, Narada, and others are empowered with transcendental knowledge and devotional service. King Prithu and others are specifically empowered with the potency to perform remarkable deeds (kriya-shakti). Some of these listed incarnations are personal appearances on the Lord's part. This is confirmed in the Lord's own declaration:
"I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead, endowed with all powers and opulences."
atha shri-matsyadevadishu sakshad amshatvam eva. tatra camshatvam nama sakshad-bhagavattve 'py avyabhicari-tadrisha-tad-iccha-vashat sarva-daivaikadeshatayaivabhivyakta-shakty-adikatvam iti jeyam. tathaivodaharishyate- ramadi-murtishu kala-niyamena tishöhan iti.
atha-now; shri-matsyadeva-of Lord Matsya; adishu-and others; sakshat-directly; amshatvam-incarnations; eva-certainly; tatra-there; ca-also; amshatvam-the state of being an incarnation; nama-certainly; sakshat-directly; bhagavattve-the state of being the Personality of Godhead; api-also; avyabhicari-without diminution; tadrisha-like this; tat-His; iccha-by the desire; vashat-because of the control; sarva-all; daiva-the demigods; ekadeshataya-by being in one place; iva-as it were; abhivyakta-manifested; shakti-potency; adikatvam-beginning with; iti-thus; jeyam-should be understood; tatha-in the same way; eva-certainly; udaharishyate-may be quoted; rama-adi-the incarnation of Lord Rama etc.; murtishu-in different forms; kala-niyamena-by the order of plenary portions; tishöhan-existing; iti-thus.
Included in this list of incarnations are Lord Matsya and other direct incarnations of the Supreme Lord, who appears with all divine opulences and potencies. These direct incarnations of the Lord are described in the following verse of Brahma-samhita (5.39):
"I worship Govinda the primeval Lord, who by His various plenary portions appeared in the world in different forms and incarnations such as Lord Rama, but who personally appears in His suprme original form as Lord Krishna."*
avatarah iti-tatra caisha vishesha ity atraitad uktam bhavati-bhavan khalu tridha prakashate- 1. svayam-rupeh; 2. tad-ekatma-rupah; 3. avesha-rupash ceti. tatra 1. ananyapeksha-rupah svayam-rupah; 2. svarupabhede 'pi tat-sapeksha-rupadih tad-ekatma-rupah; 3. jiva-visheshavishöa avesha-rupah. 2. tad-ekatma-rupo 'pi dvi-vidha- 2a. tat-samah 2b. tad-amshash ca. 3. avesho 'pi tridhah 3a. bhakti- 3b. -jana- 3c. kriya-shakti-pradhanyena.
avatarah iti-in the verse beginning with the word "avatarah"; tatra-there; ca-also; eshah-He; visheshah-specific; iti-thus; atra-gere; etat-this; uktam-is described; bhavati-is; bhagavan-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; khalu-certainly; tridha-in three features; prakashate-is manifest; svayam-rupah-personal form; tat-ekatma-rupah-a form almost like His original form; avesha-rupah-an empowered living entity; tatra-in this connection; ananya-apeksha-rupah-not at all different from His original form; svayam-rupah-is known as "svayam-rupa"; svarupa-abhede api-although not different from His original form; tat-sapeksha-rupa-adih-forms emanated from His original form; tat-eka-atma-rupah-known as "tad-ekatma-rupa"; jiva-vishesha-avishöah-an empowered living entity; avesha-rupah-kinown as "avesha-rupa"; tat-eka-atma-rupah-the tadekatma-rupa forms; api-also; dvi-vidha-in two features; tat-samah-equal to the original form; tat-amshah-an expansion of the original form; ca-also; aveshah-empowered incarnations; api-also; ; tridhah-three varieties; bhakti-devotional service; jnana-knowledge; kriya-activities; shakti-with the potencies; pradhanyena-principally.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in three kinds of incarnations: 1. svayam-rupa, or His original form; 2. tad-ekatma-rupa, or forms appearing slightly different from His original feature; and 3. avesha-rupa, or individual living entities granted some extraordinary power by the Lord.
The tad-ekatma-rupa incarnations are of two kinds: 1. tat-sama, or those directly like the Lord's original form; and 2. tad-amsha, or incarnations expanded from the Lord's form and manifesting only part of His qualities.
The avesha-rupa empowered living entities are divided into three categories, those empowered with: 1. pure devotional service, 2. transcendental knowledge, and 3. extraordinary prowess to perform remarkable deeds.
tatra svayam-rupo yatha shri-brahma-samhitayam
ishvarah paramah krishnah
anadir adir govindah
tatra-in this connection; svayam-rupah-the svayam-rupa incarnation; yatha-just as; brahma-samhitayam-in the Brahma-samhita; ishvarah-the controller; paramah-supreme; krishnah-Lord Krishna; sat-eternal existence; cit-absolute knowledge; ananda-absolute bliss; vigrahah-whose form; anadih-without beginning; adih-the origin; govindah-Lord Govinda; sarva-karana-karanam-the cause of all causes.
The original svayam-rupa feature of the Supreme Lord is described in the Brahma-samhita (5.1):
"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."*
tat-samo yatha tasyaiva paravyoma-nathah iti pratipatsyate; yatha paravyomavarana-sthas tasya vasudevah. tad-amsho yatha-tada paramavyomavarana-sthah sankarshanadih matsyadish ca. aveshash ca tat-sthah-narada-catuhsana-shesha-prithvadayah.
tat-samah-"tat-sama"; yatha-just as; tasya-of Him; eva-certainly; paravyoma-nathah-the Lord of Vaikunöha; iti-thus; pratipatsyate-is understood; yatha-just as; paravyoma-avarana-sthah-remaining away from the Vaikunöha world; tasya-of Him; vasudevah-Vasudeva; tat-amshah-the tad-amsha avarana-sthah-remaining away from Vaikunöha; sankarshana-adih-beginning with Lord Sankarshana; matsya-adih-beginning with Lord Matsya; ca-also; aveshah-empowered incarnations; ca-and; tat-sthah-remaining in the material world; narada-Narada Muni; catuhsana-the Four Kumaras; shesha-Shesha; prithu-Maharaja Prithu; adayah-and others.
Examples of the Lord's tat-sama incarnation are: 1. Narayana, the Lord of Vaikunöha, and 2. Lord Vasudeva, who appears within the material world.
Examples of the Lord's tad-amsha incarnations are: 1. Lord Sankarshana, and the many forms of the Lord expanded from Him, and 2. Lord Matsya, and many similar other incarnations.
Examples of the avesha incarnations are: 1. Narada, who is empowered with pure devotional service, 2. the Four Kumaras, who are empowered with transcendental knowledge, and 3. Shesha and Maharaja Prithu, who are empowered with extraordinary power to perform remarkable deeds.
sa ete svayam-rupadayo yadi vishva-karyartham apurva iva prakaöi-bhavanti, tada avatara ucyante. te ca kadacit svayam eva prakaöi-bhavanti; dvarantarena ca; dvaram ca kadacit svarupam, bhaktadi-rupam ca bhavati. tatra ca svayam-rupa-tat-samau-paravasthau; amshantaratamya-kramena prabhavah
tatra svayam-rupah krishnah. tat-sama-prayau- shri-nrisimha-ramau. vaibhava-rupau- kroda-hayagrivau. anye prabhava-prayah.
tatra-there; svayam-rupah-"svayam-rupa"; krishnah-Krishna; tat-sama-prayau-"tat-sama"; shri-nrisimha-ramau-Lord Nrisimha and Lord Ramacandra; vaibhva-rupau-"vaibhava-rupa"; kroda-hayagrivau-Varaha and Hayagriva; anye-others; prabhava-prayah-principally prabhava-rupa forms.
The Lord's original form (svayam-rupa) is Shri Krishna. Examples of the Lord's tat-sama incarnations are Lord Nrisimha and Lord Ramacandra. Examples of the Lord's vaibhava-rupa are Lord Varaha and Lord Hayagriva. Most of the other incarnations are considered to be prabhava-rupa forms of the Lord.
te cavatarah karya-bhedena tri-vidhah-purushavatarah, gunavatarah, lilavatarash ceti. tatradya ubhaye-shri-paramatma-sandarbhe darshitah, atyantash ca-sa eva prathamam devah ity adinatraiva prakrantah. ete punah panca-vidhah- dviparardhavatarah, kalpavatarah, manvantaravatarah, yugavatarah, svecchamaya-samayavataras ceti. tat-tad-adhikari-lilatvat te ca kramena-purushadayah, kshirodashayy-adayah, yajnadayah, shukladayah,shri-krishna-ramadayash ca.
te-they; ca-also; avatarah-incarnations; karya-of activities; bhedena-by differences; tri-vidhah-three types; purusha-avatarah-purusha-incarnations; guna-avatarah-incarnations of the modes of material nature; lila-avatarah-pastime incarnations; ca-and; iti-thus; tatra-there; adyah-the first; ubhaye-both; shri-paramatma-sandarbhe-in the Paramatma-sandarbha; darshitah-described; atyantah-limitless; ca-also; sah eva prathamam devah-iti adina-in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.3.6, quoted in Anuccheda 6; prakrantah-powerful; ete-the y; punah-again; panca-vidhah-of five types; dvaiparardha-avatarah-incarnations remaining for the lifetime of Brahma; kalpa-avatarah-incarnations remaining for a kalpa; manvantara-avatarah-incarnations remaining for the lifetime of Manu; yuga-avatarah-incarnations appearing in each yuga; sva-icchamaya-samaya-avatarah-incarnations who appear whenever They wish; ca-also; iti-thus; tat-tat-adhikari-lilatvat-because of various pastimes; te-they; ca-also; kramena-one after another; purusha-adayah-the purusha-incarnations and similar forms of the Supreme Lord; kshirodashayi-adayah-Kshirodakashayi-Vishnu and similar forms; yajna-adayah-Lord Yajna and others; shukla-adayah-Lord Shukla and others; shri-krishna-rama-adayah ca-Rama, Krishna, and other forms.
Because of Their different activities, the incarnations of the Lord are divided into three categories: 1. purusha-avataras, 2. guna-avataras (incarnations in charge of the modes of material nature) and 3. lila-avataras (pastime-incarnations). These incarnations of the Lord have been elaborately described both in the Paramatma-sandarbha (2.18), and in the verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.6-28) already quoted in the first portion of this Krishna-sandarbha.
These incarnations of the Lord are futher divided into five categories: 1. dvaiparardha-avatara (incarnations who appear in each lifetime of Brahma), 2. kalpa-avatara (incarnations who appear in each kalpa), 3. manvantara-avatara (incarnations who appear in the reign of the Manus), 4. yuga-avatara (incarnations who appear in each yuga), and 5. svecchamaya-samaya-avatara (incarnations who appear whenever They wish).
Examples of these kinds of incarnations follow: 1. The purusha-avataras are dvaiparardha-avataras, 2. Lord Kshirodakashayi Vishnu and similar incarnations are kalpa-avataras, 3. Lord Yaja and similar incarnations are manvantara-avataras, 4. Lord Shukla and similar other incarnations are yuga-avataras, and 5. Lord Shri Krishna, Lord Balarama, and other forms of the Lord are svecchamaya-samaya-avataras.
eshu manvantaratavarash ca- yajna-vibhu-satyasena-hari-vaikunöhajita-vamana-sarvabhauma-rshabha-vishvaksena-dharmasetu-sudhama-yogeshvara-brihadbhanavah kramena caturdasha. rishabho 'yam ayushmat-putrah, nabhi-putras tv anyah. esu yajnah praya aveshah- tasya prithu-pada-graha-shravanat. hari-vaikunöha-vamanas tu paravasthopama vaibhavasthah; tadrishatvena varnanat. anye prayah prabhavavasthah, nati-varnanat.
eshu-among them; manvanata-avatarah-the manvantara incarnations; ca-also; yajna-Yaja; vibhu-Vibhu; satyasena-Satyasena; hari-Hari; vaikunöha-Vaikunöha; ajita-Ajita; vamana-Vamana; sarvabhauma-Sarvabhauma; rishabha-Rishabha; vishvaksena-Vishvaksena; dharmasetu-Dharmasetu; sudhama-Sudhama; yogeshvara-Yogeshvara; brihadbhanavah-and Brihadbhanu; kramena-caturdasha-fourteen; rishabhah-Rishabha; ayam-this; ayushmat-putrah-the son of Ayushmat; nabhi-putrah-the son of Nabhi; tu-but; anyah-another; eshu-among them; yajnah-Yajna; prayah-principally; aveshah-an empowered living entity; tasya-of him; prithu-many; pada-words; graha-accepting; shravanat-from hearing; hari-Hari; vaikunöha-Vaikunöha; vamanah-Vamana; tu-but; paravastha-upamah-almost like the most powerful incarnations; vaibhavasthah-vaibhava-rupa forms of the Lord; tadrishatvena-like Them; varnanat-because of the description; anye-others; prayah-principally; prabhavavasthah-prabhava-rupa forms of the Lord; na-not; ati-from the elaborate; varnanat-description.
A list of the manvantara-avataras follows: 1. Yajna, 2. Vibhu, 3. Satyasena, 4. Hari, 5. Vaikunöha, 6. Ajita, 7. Vamana, 8. Sarvabhauma, 9. Rishabha, 10. Vishvaksena, 11. Dharmasetu, 12. Sudhama, 13. Yogeshvara, and 14. Brihadbhanu.
The Rishabha mentioned here is the son of Ayushmat. The Rishabha who is the son of Maharaja Nabhi is a different person.
Lord Yajna is an empowered living entity (avesha-rupa). This is confirmed by ample evidence in the Vedic literature.
The Vedic literature states that Lord Hari, Lord Vaikunöha, and Lord Vamana, are vaibhava forms of the Lord. Most of the other incarnations in this list are prabhava-rupa forms of the Lord, although there is not a very elaborate description of Their status.
atha yugavatarah shukla-rakta-shyama-krishnah.
atha-now; yugavatarah-the yugavataras; shukla-Lord Shukla; rakta-Lord Rakta; shyama-Shyama; krishnah-and Krishna.
The yuga-avataras are: 1. Shukla, 2. Rakta, 3. Shyama, and 4. Krishna.
atra purusha-bhedanam brahmadinam cavirbhava-samayo brahma-kalpa-pravritteh purvam eva. catuhsana-narada-varaha-matsya-yajna-nara-narayana-kapila-datta-hayash/ irsha-hamsa-prishnigarbha-rshabhadeva-prithunam svayambhuve; varaha-matsyayoh punash cakshushiye ca; nrisimha-kurma-dhanvantari-mohininam cakshushe; kurmah kalpadav api; dhanvantarir vaivasvate 'pi; vamana-bhargava-raghavendra-dvaipayana-rama-krishna-buddha-kalkinam vaivasvate; manvantara-yugavataranam tada tadaiva jneyah.
atra-in this connection; purusha-bhedanam-of the purusha-incarnations; brahma-of Brahma; adinam-and others; ca-and; avirbhav-of appearance; samayah-time; brahma-kalpa-of the Brahma-kalpa; pravritteh-the beginning; purvam-before; eva-certainly; catuhsana-the Four Kumaras; narada-Narada; varaha-Varaha; matsya-Matsya; yajna-Yajna; nara-narayana-Nara-Naraya/ba Rishis; kapila-Kapila; datta-Dattatreya; hayashirsha-Hayagriva; hamsa-Hamsa; prishnigarbha-Prishnigarbha; rishabhadeva-Rishabhadeva; prithunam-Prithu; svayambhuva-in the reign of Svayambhuva Manu; varaha-matsayoh-of Varaha and Matsya; punah-again; cakshushiye-in the reign of Cakshusha Manu; ca-also; nrisimha-Nrisimha; kurma-Kurma; dhanvantari-Dhanvantari; mohininam-and Mohini-devi; cakshushe-in the reign of Cakshusha Manu; kurmah-Kurma; kalpa-of the kalpa; adau-in the beginning; api-also; dhanvantarih-Dhanvantari; vaivasvate-in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu; api-also; vamana-Vamana; bhargava-Parashurama; raghava-indra-Lord Ramacandra; dvaipayana-Vyasadeva; rama-Balarama; krishna-Krishna; buddha-Buddha; kalkinam-and Kalki; vaivasvate-in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu; manvantara-yuga-avataranam-of the manvantara and yugavataras; tada tada-at these time periods; eva-certainly; jneyah-may be known.
The purusha-avataras appear before the birth of Brahma and the other living entities. The Four Kumaras, Narada, Varaha, Matsya, Yajna, Nara-Narayana Rishis, Kapila, Dattatreya, Hayagriva, Hamsa, Prishnigarbha, Rishabhadeva, and Prithu appear during the reign of Svayambhuva Manu. Varaha and Matsya appear in both the Svayambhuva and Cakshusha periods. Nrisimha, Kurma, and Mohini-devi appear in the reign of Cakshusha Manu. Kurma appears in the beginning of the kalpa, and Dhanvantari appears in both the Cakshusha and Vaivasvata milleniums. Vamana, Parashurama, Ramacandra, Vyasadeva, Balarama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki appear in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu. This is the schedule of the Manvantara-avataras and yuga-avataras.
atha vibhutir aha
rishayo manavo deva
kalah sarve harer eva
atha-now; vibhutih-the potencies; aha-he describes; rishayah-all the sages; manavah-all the Manus; devah-all the demigods; manu-putrah-all the descendants of Manu; maha-ojasah-very powerful; kalah-portion of the plenary portion; sarve-all collectively; hareh-of the Lord; eva-certainly; sa-prajapatayah-along with the Prajapatis; smritah-are known.
Suta Gosvami now describes the potencies of the Lord (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.27):
"All the rishis, Manus, demigods and descendants of Manu, who are especially powerful, are plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord. This also includes the Prajapatis."*
kala vibhutayah. alpa-shakteh prakashad vibhutitvam. maha-shaktas tv aveshatvam iti bhedah.
kalah-the word "kala"; vibhutayah-means "potencies"; alpa-little; shakteh-because of potency; prakashat-because of manifestation; vibhutitvam-the state of being vibhuti; maha-shakteh-because of great potency; tu-but; aveshatvam-the status of avesha; iti-thus; bhedah-the distinction.
The word "kala" in this verse means "potencies" (vibhuti). Those comparatively less powerful are called vibhuti, and those more powerful are called avesha incarnations.
tad evam paramatmanam sangam eva nirdharya proktanuvada-purvakam shri-bhagvantam apy akarena nirdharayati
ete camsha-kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam iti.
tat-therefore; evam-in this way; paramatmanam-Lord Paramatma; sa-along with; angam-His expansions; eva-certainly; nirdharya-having specifically described; prokta-spoken; anuvada-repeatedly said; purvakam-previously; shri-bhagavantam-Lord Bhagavan; api-also; akarena-with His form; nirdharayati-specifically describes; ete-all these; ca-and; amsha-plenary portions; kalah-portions of the plenary portions; pumsah-of the Suprme; krishnah-Lord Krishna; tu-but; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; svayam-in person; iti-thus.
After concluding the description of the various expansions of Lord Paramatma, and His various potencies, Suta Gosvami proceeds to describe the original form (Bhagavan) of the Personality of Godhead in the next verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28):
"All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead."*
ete purvoktah. ca-shabdanuktash ca, prathamam uddishöasya pumsah purushasya amsha-kalah.
ete-all these; purva-previously; uktah-described; ca-shabda-by the word "ca"; anuktah-those not described; ca-also; prathamam-at first; uddishöasya-of the described; pumsah-of the purusha incarnation; purushasya-of the purusha incarnations; amsha-plenary portions; kalah-portions of the plenary portions.
In this verse the word "ete" (all these) refers to the incarnations previously described in this chapter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The word "ca" (and) is meant to include all the incarnations not mentioned in this list. The word pumsah" means "of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who expands as the purusha-incarnations" and the words amsha-kalah" mean "plenary portions and portions of the plenary portions".
kecid amshah svayam eva amshah sakshad-amshatvenamshatvena ca dvi-vidhah; kecid amshavishöatvad amshah; kecit tu kala vibhutayah.
kecit-some; amshah-expansions; svayam-personally; eva-certainly; amshah-incarnations; sakshat-directly; amshatvena-by the status of incarnation; amsha-amshatvena-by the status of a portion of the plenary portion of the Lord; ca-also; dvi-vidhah-two kinds of incarnation; kecit-some; amsha-by a portion of the Lord; avishöatvat-because of the entrance; amshah-are incarnations; kecit-and others; tu-also; kalah vibhutayah-are the Lord's potencies.
In this way the incarnations of the Lord may be grouped into two categories. Some are plenary portions of the Lord and others are portions of the plenary portions of the Lord. In addition to these there are empowered living entities (avesha incarnations) and incarnations of the Lord's potencies (kala).
iha ye vimshatitamavataratvena kathitah, sa krishnas tu bhagavan, purushasyapy avatari yo bhagavan sa esha evety arthah.
iha-in this connection; ye-those who; vimshatitama-twenty; avataratvena-by manifesting as incarnations; kathitah-described; sah-He; krishnah tu bhagavan svayam-but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead; purushasya-of the purusha incarnation; api-even; avatari-the source of incarnation; yah-who; bhagavan-Lord Bhagavan; sah eshah-that person; eva-certainly; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
Someone may protest: Krishna has already been described as the twentieth in the list of incarnations. For this reason, when Suta Gosvami says "Krishnas to bhagavan" the intention is that Bhagavan refers to Lord Vasudeva, the origin of the purusha incarnation.
atra anuvadam anuktvaiva na vidheyam udirayet iti vacanat krishnasyaiva bhagavattva-lakshano dharmah sadhyate, na tu bhagavatah krishnatvam ity ayatam.
atra-in this connection; anuvadam-the subject; anuktva-not stating; eva-certainly; na-not; vidheyam-the predicate; udirayet-one should speak; iti-thus; vacanat-from the scriptures; krishnasya-of Krishna; eva-certainly; bhagavattva-status of the original Personality of Godhead; lakshanah-characteristic; dharmah-nature; sadhyate-is conclusively demonstrated; na-not; tu-but; bhagavatah-of Bhagavan; krishnatvam-the state of being Krishna; iti-thus; ayatam-is attained.
To this objection we reply: The following grammatical rule is found in the Ekadashi-tattva:
"One should not state a predicate before its subject."
Therefore it cannot be avoided that in this sentence Krishna is the subject and Bhagavan is the pedicate. By word-jugglery no one can change the clear meaning of this verse: that Krishna is the original form of the Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan), and no one can say that Lord Vasudeva assumed the form of Krishna. In this way this verse clearly demonstrates that Krishna is the original form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and not merely a form expanded from Vasudeva.
tatash ca shri-krishnasyaiva bhagavattva-lakshana-dharmitve siddhe mulavataritvam eva sidhyati, na tu tatah pradurbhutatvam. etad eva vyanakti- svayam iti. tatra ca svayam eva bhagavan, na tu bhagavatah pradurbhutataya, na tu va bhagavattadhyasenety arthah.
tatah-therefore; ca-also; shri-krishnaya-of Lord Krishna; eva-certainly; bhagavattva-the status of the original form of the Personality of Godhead; lakshana-characteristic; dharmitve-nature; siddhe-perfect; mula-avataritvam-the status as the origin of all incarnations; eva-certainly; sidhyati-is conclusively demonstrated; na-not; tu-but; tatah-from Him; pradurbhutatvam-expansion; etat-this; eva-certainly; vyanakti-is manifested; svayam-by the word "svayam"; iti-thus; tatra-in this connection; ca-also; svayam-in person; eva-certainly; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; na-not; tu-but; bhagavatah-from the original Personality of Godhead; pradurbhutataya-as an expansion; na-not; tu-but; va-or; bhagavatta-the status of the original Personality of Godhead; adhyasena-by false attribution; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning.
This verse conclusively proves that Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead and the source of all the incarnations, and not simply an expansion of Vishnu. This is emphasized by the use of the word "svayam" (in person). Krishna is the original Godhead in person, He is not merely an expansion of the original Godhead, and the status of the original Godhead is not falsely attributed to Him.
na cavatara-prakarane 'pi paöhita iti samshayah; paurvaparye purva-daurbalyam prakritivat iti nyayena.
na-not; ca-also; avatara-of incarnations; prakarane-in the description; api-even; paöhitah-mentioned; iti-thus; samshayah-doubt; purva-in the beginning; aparye-and in the end; purva-the beginning; daurbalyam-weakness; prakritivat-by nature; iti-thus; nyayena-by the example.
Someone may object: Has not Krishna already been mentioned in the list of incarnations of Godhead?
To this I reply: The rules of literary composition state:
"More significant facts, and facts meant to be emphasized should be placed at the end of a composition, for the final parts of a composition are naturally considered more important by the reader."
Therefore, because the statement "Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead" is placed at the end of the list of incarnations, that is to be stressed more than the fact that He is also included in that list.
yathagnishöome- yady udgata vicchidyad akakshinena yajate, yadi pratiharta sarvasva-dakshinena iti shruteh.
yatha-just as; agnishöome-in the prayers for the agnishöoma sacrifice; yadi-if; udgata-the Udgata priest; vicchidyat-may interrupt; adakshinena-without remuneration; yajate-performs the sacrifice; yadi-if; pratiharta-his assistant, the Pratiharta priest; sarvasv-everything; dakshinena-in remuneration; iti-thus; shruteh-from the Shruti.
In the description of the Agnishöoma sacrifice, the Shruti-shastra explains:
"If the Udgata priest leaves prematurely and does not complete the sacrifice, he becomes ineligible to receive the priestly remuneration. If his assistant, the Pratiharta priest, then completes the sacrifice, that assistant becomes then entitled to receive all the priestly rewards."
This is another example of the great significance of the final statement or the final activity.
tayosh ca kadacid dvayor api vicchede prapte viruddhayoh prayashcittayoh samuccayasambhave ca param eva prayashcittam siddhantitam tadvad ihapiti.
tayoh-of the two; ca-also; kadacit-at a certain time; dvayoh-of the two; api-also; vicchede-when the difference; prapte-is attained; viruddhayoh-of opposing; prayashcittayoh-methods of atonement; samuccaya-of reconciliation; sambhave-in the lack; ca-also; param-last; eva-certainly; prayashcittam-method of atonement; siddhantitam-should be considered conclusive; tadvat-in that way; iha-in this; api-also; iti-thus.
When two contradictory methods of atonement are prescribed in the scriptures, and the difference between them cannot be reconciled by learned scholars, the atonement mentioned last is always considered to overrule what was stated previously and is taken as the final conclusion.
In the same way, the inclusion of Krishna in the list of incarnations is overruled by the statement that appears at the conclusion of the description of the incarnations: that Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.
athava krishnas tu iti shrutya prakaranasya badhat, yatha shankara-shariraka-bhashye shruty-adibaliyastvac ca na badhah iti sutre, te haite vidyacita eva iti shrutih, manash-cid-adinam agninam prakarana-praptam kriyanupravesha-lakshanam asvatantryam badhitva vidya-cittvenaiva svatantryam sthapayati tadvad ihapiti.
athava-or; krishnah tu-the phrase "Krishnas tu"; iti-thus; shrutya-by the Shruti-shastra; prakaranasya-of the description; badhat-because of contradiction; yatha-just as; shankara-of Shankaracarya; shariraka-bhashye-in the commentary on the Vedanta-sutra; shruti-of the Shruti-shastra; adi-baliystvat-because of superiority of evidence; ca-also; na-no; badhah-contradiction; iti-thus; sutre-in the sutra; te-they; ha-certainly; ete-they; vidya-citah-full of transcendental knowledge; eva-certainly; iti-thus; shrutih-the Shruti-shastra; manah-cit-adinam-beginning with the words "manashcid"; agninam-of Agnideva; prakarana-praptam-the description; kriya-anupravesha-lakshanam-in the description of the activities; asvatantryam-lack of independence; badhitva-having refuted; vidya-cittvena-because of transcendental knowledge; eva-certainly; svatantryam-independence; sthapayati-establishes; tadvat-to that extent; iha-here; api-also; iti-thus.
Someone may object: Your Purana may say that Krishna is the original form of the Personality of Godhead, but this conception of God is contradicted by the ultimate scriptural authority: the Shruti-shastra. The actual authority is the Shruti, as confirmed in Vedanta-sutra, which, eloquently explained by Shankaracarya in Shariraka-bhashya, says (Vedanta-sutra 3.3.50) :
shruty-adibaliyastvac ca na badhah
"There is no fault in this statement because the Shruti is the most significant and conclusive evidence."
To this I reply: The Shruti-shastra does not contradict the Bhagavatam's explanation that Krishna is the Original Suprme Personality of Godhead. The Shruti clearly explains:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of all transcendental knowledge."
The passage in the Vajasaneyi-samhita that begins with the phrase "manashcit" and that recounts the story of Agnideva clearly refutes the misconception that the Supreme Godhead is not independent, and clearly explains that because the Godhead is full of all knowledge, He must threfore also be supremely independent, and free to do whatever He likes.
The Shruti does not deny that Krishna is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, but rather, by describing the Lord's supreme independence, supports it.
ata etat prakarane 'py anyatra kvacid api bhagavac-chabdam akritva tatraiva bhagavan aharad bharam/ ity anena kritavah. tatash casyavatareshu ganana tu svayam bhagavan apy asau svarupastha eva nija-parijana-vrindanam ananda-vishesha-camatkaraya kim api madhuryam nija-janmadi-lilaya pushnan kadacit sakala-loka-drishyo bhavatity apekshayaivety ayatam.
atah-therefore; etat-this; prakarane-in the description; api-although; anyatra-in another place; kvacit-sometimes; api-although; bhagavat-shabdam-the word "bhagavan"; akritva-not saying; tatra-there; eva-certainly; bhagavan-the Personality of Godhead; aharat-removed; bharam-burden; iti-thus; anena-by this; kritavan-He did; tatah-from this; ca-also; asya-of Him; avatareshu-among the incarnations; ganana-counting; tu-but; svayam-in person; bhagavan-the original Personality of Godhead; api-also; asau-He; svarupasthah-in His original form; eva-certainly; nija-own; parijana-vrindanam-of associates; ananda-transcendental bliss; vishesha-specific; camatkaraya-for the wonder; kim api-indescribable; madhuryam-sweetness; nija-own; janma-adi-beginning with His appearance; lilaya-by His pastimes; pushnan-increasing; kadacit-sometimes; sakala-all; loka-by the residents of the earth; drishyah-visible; bhavati-became; iti-thus; apekshaya-for this purpose; eva-certainly; iti-thus; ayatam-arrived.
Although Krishna is sometimes not specifically declared the original Personality of Godhead, when Krishna is counted in this (Bhagavatam, 1st Canto, 3rd Chapter) list of incarnations, He is declared the original Godhead in the phrase "bhagavan aharad bharam (The original Personality of Godhead then removed the burden of the world)".
Therefore, even though counted in the list of incarnations, Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead who, to fill His associates with bliss and wonder, and to expand the sweetness of His birth and other pastimes, sometimes comes to this world and is seen by all.
ramadi-murtishu kala-niyamena tishöhan
nanavataram akarod bhuvaneshu kintu
krishnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami
yatha-as; uktam-described; brahma-samhitayam-in the Brahma-samhita; rama-adi-the incarnation of Lord Rama, etc.; murtishu-in different forms; kala-niyamena-by the order of plenary portions; tishöhan-existing; nana-various; avataram-incarnations; akarot-executed; bhuvaneshu-within the worlds; kintu-but; krishnah-Lord Krishna; svayam-personally; samabhavat-appeared; paramah-the supreme; puman-person; yah-who; govindam-unto Lord Govinda; adi-purusham-the original person; tam-unto Him; aham-I; bhajami-offer obeisances.
This is confirmed in Brahma-samhita (5.50):
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who by His various plenary portions appeared in the world in different forms and incarnations such as Lord Rama, but who personally appears in His supreme original form as Lord Krishna."*
avatarash ca prakrita-vaibhave 'vataranam iti jneyam. shri-krishna-sahacaryena shri-ramasyapi purushamshatvatyayo jeyah. atra tu-shabdo 'msha-kalabhyah pumshash ca sakashad bhagavato vailakshanyam bodhayati.
avatarah-incarnations; ca-and; prakrita-vaibhave-in the material world; avataranam-descent; iti-thus; jneyam-known; shri-krishna-of Shri Krishna; sahacaryena-by the state of being the intimate companion; shri-ramasya-of Lord Balarama; api-also; purusha-of the Purusha incarnation; amshatva-the state of being a partial expansion; atyayah-negation; jeyah-known; atra-gere; tu-shabdah-the word "tu"; amsha-kalabhyah-to the parts and parts of the parts; pumsah-of the purusha incarnation; ca-and; sakashat-in the presence; bhagavatah-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan); vailakshanyam-difference; bodhayati-teaches.
The word incarnation is defined: "The descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead into the material world".
Because Lod Balarama is Lord Krishna's constant intimate companion, therefore Lord Balarama cannot be an expansion of the purusha-incarnation, but He must be a direct expansion of Lord Krishna.
By using the word "tu" (but), Lord Krishna is clearly distinguished from the "amsha-kalah" (plenary portions and parts of the plenary portions of the purusha-incarnation). Lord Krishna is not another expansion of the purusha-incarnation.
yad va, anena tu-shabdena savadharana shrutir iyam pratiyate. tatah savadharana shrutir balavati iti nyayena shrutyeva shrutam apy anyesham maha-narayanadinam svayam-bhagavattvam guni-bhutam apadyate.
yad va-furthermore; anena-by this; tu-shabdena-word "tu"; sa-avadharana-with emphasis; shrutih-text; iyam-this; pratiyate-is established; tatah-from that; sa-avadharana-with emphasis; shrutih-the text; balavati-is strengthened; iti-thus; hyayena-by the statement; shrutya-by the text; iva-as it were; shrutam-heard; api-even; anyesham-of others; maha-narayana-adinam-of Lord Narayana and other expansions of the Personality of Godhead; svayam-bhagavattvam-the state of being the original Personality of Godhead; guni-bhutam-made unimportant; apadyate-is.
The word "tu" may also be used simply to emphasize a statement, and may mean "certainly" or "indeed". (This is confirmed in the statement "savadharana shrutir balavati" (The word tu is used for emphasis). Taken in this way, the word "Tu" emphasizes that only Krishna is the Original form of the Personality of Godhead, Narayana or any of the other secondary expansions of the Lord, are not the original form of the Lord.
evam pumsha iti bhagavan iti ca prathamam upakramoddishöasya tasya shabda-dvayasya tat-sahodarena tenaiva shabdena ca pratinirdeshattav eva khalv etav iti smarayati. uddesha-pratinirdeshayoh pratitisthagitata-nirashanaya vidvadbhir eka eva shabdah prayujyate tat-sama-varno va; yatha jyotishöomadhikarane vasante vasante ca jyotisha yajeta ity atra jyotih-shabdo jyotishöoma-vishaye bhavati.
evam-in this way; pumsah-of the purusha incarnation; iti-thus; bhagavan-the Original Personality of Godhead; iti-thus; ca-also; prathamam-in the beginning; upakrama-uddishöasya-of the statement; tasya-that; shabda-of the words; dvayasya-of the pair; tat-His; sahodarena-with the brother (Lord Balarama); tena-with Him; eva-certainly; shabdena-by the word; ca-also; pratinirdeshattau-the two repetitions; eva-certainly; khalu-indeed; etau-the two; iti-thus; smarayeti-causes to remember; uddesha-of the first statement; pratinirdeshayoh-and of the repetition; pratiti-of the conclusion; sthagitata-hidden meaning; nirashanaya-for refuting; vidvadbhih-by the learned; ekah-one; eva-certainly; shabdah-word; prayujyate-is uded; tat-sama-varnah-spelled in the same way; va-also; yatha-just as; jyotishöoma-adhikarane-in the connection with the Jyotishöoma sacrifice; vasante vasante-every spring; ca-also; jyotisha-with the Jyotishöoma ceremony; yajeta-one should offer sacrifice; iti-thus; atra-here; jyotih-shabdah-the word "jyotih"; jyotishöoma-vishaye-in connection with the Jyotishöoma sacrifice; bhavati-is.
The words "pumshah" (the purusha-incarnations) and "bhagavan" (the Original Personality of Godhead) are also used in this chapter of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (Canto One, Chapter Three), in the first verse (jagrihe paurusham rupam bhagavan mahad-adibhih), and in verse 23, where the Lord is described with His brother (rama-krishnav it bhuvo bhagavan aharad bharam). To refute any agrument by the learned that it should be interpreted to have a different, hidden meaning, the word bhagavan" is used twice in this chapter. This is so just as the word jyotih is repeated in the chapter describing the jyotishöoma-yajna (vasante vasante ca jyotisha yajeta: every spring one should offer a jyotishöoma-yajna).
atra tattvavada-guravas tu "ca-shabda-sthane sva-shabdam paöhitvaivam acakshate- ete prokta avatara mula-rupi svayam eva. kim svarupah? svamsha-kalah, na tu jivavad vibhinnamshah.
atra-in this connection; tattvavada-the followers of Shripada Madhvacarya; guravah-the spiritual masters; tu-but; ca-also; shabda-sthane-in place of the word; sva-"sva" (own); shabdam-the word; paöhitva-reading; evam-in the following way; acakshate-declare; ete-these; proktah-mentioned; avatarah-incarnations; mula-rupi-the origin; svayam-in person; eva-certainly; kim-what are; svarupah-His own forms; sva-own; amsha-plenary portions; kalah-and portions of the plenary portions; na-not; tu-but; jivavat-as the individual living entities; vibhinnamshah-eternally distinct parts.
The tattvavada-gurus accept a different reading of this verse, replacing the word "ca" (and) with the word "sva" (own). They say:
"The word `ete' in this verse refers to the incarnations of the Lord and the word `bhagavan svayam' refers to the Lord Himself, whose form is the origin of the incarnations. What is the Lord's form? His forms are mentioned in the words svamsha-kalah (The incarnations, which are His own plenary portions and portions of the portions, are His forms). His forms are not vibhinnamsha (separated parts), as are the jivas."
svamsash catha vibhinnamsha
iti dvedhamsha ishyate
amshino yat tu samarthyam
yat svarupam yatha sthitih
svamshah-Personal expansions; ca-also; atha-now; vibhinnamshah-separate expansions; iti-thus; dvedha-two; amshah-expansions; ishyate-are distinguished; amshinah-of the source of all expansions; yat-which; tu-also; samarthyam-ability; yat-which; svarupam-own from; yatha-just as; sthitih-status.
This is confirmed in the Varaha Purana:
"The two kinds of expansions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead are: 1. svamsha (personal expansions) and 2. vibhinnamsha (separate persons). The svamsha expansions are unlimitedly powerful. Their form and personality are the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
tad eva nanumatro 'pi
bhedah svamshamshinah kvacit
vibhinnamsho 'lpa-shaktih syat
tat-therefore; eva-certainly; na-not; anumatrah-comparison; api-although; bhedah-difference; svamsha-of the personal expansions; amshinah-and the Original Personality of Godhead; kvacit-at all; vibhinnamshah-the separate expansions; alpa-small; shaktih-power; syat-is; kincit-somewhat; samarthya-matra-yuk-with power.
"There is not the slightest difference between the svamsha expansions and the Original Personality of Godhead. The vibhinnamsha expansions are very weak in comparison to Them."
atrocyate amshanam amshi-samarthyadikam tad-aikyenaiva mantavyam. tac ca yathavidasina ity adau tasyakshayatvena tasam akshayatvam yatha tadvat, amshamshitvanupapatter eva. tatha ca shri-vasudevaniruddhayoh sarvatha samye prasakte kadacid aniruddhenapi shri-vasudevasyavirbhavana prasajjyeta. tac ca shruta-viparitam ity asad eva. tasmad asty evavaöary-avatarayos taratamyam.
atra-in this connection; ucyate-it is said; amshanam-of the expansions; amshi-of the source of the incarnations; samarthya-power; adikam-etc.; tat-with Him; aikyena-with equality; eva-certainly; mantavyam-should be considered; tat-therefore; ca-also; yathavidasina iti adau-in the verse beginning "yathavidasina"; tasya-of Him; akshayatvena-with eternity; tasam-of them; akshayatvam-eternity; yatha-just as; tadvat-in the same way; amsha-amshitva-of the stte of the incarnations or the source of the incarnations; anupapatteh-of the state of being inapplicable; eva-certainly; tatha-in the same way; ca-also; shri-vasudeva-of Lord Vasudeva; aniruddhayoh-and Lord Aniruddha; sarvatha-always; samye-in equality; prasakte-devoted; kadacit-sometimes; aniruddhena-by Lord Aniruddha; api-also; shri-vasudevasya-of Lord Vasudeva; avirbhavana-the appearance; prasajjyeta-is aspired for; tat-that; ca-also; shruta-viparita-contradicting the Vedic literatures; iti-thus; asat-false; eva-certainly; tasmat-therefore; asti-there is; eva-certainly; avatari-of the source of the incarnation; avatarayoh-and of the incarnation; taratamyam-gradations of higher and lower.
Here it is said that both the Original Personality of Godhead and His expansions (amshas) are equally powerful. In the phrase "yathavidasinah kulyah sarasah syuh sahasrashah" (The incarnations of the Lord are innumerable like rivulets flowing from inexaustible sources of water) (1.3.26) it may be understood that, because the Lord and His expansions share the same nature, as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal, so His expansions are also eternal. Although Lord Vasudeva and Lord Aniruddha are equal in all respects, Lord Aniruddha sometimes devotedly meditates on Lord Vasudeva. To argue that this is cotradicted by the Shruti-shastra is wrong. For the Supreme Lord, who is the source of all incarnations, and for all His expansions, there are gradations of higher and lower.
ata eva tritiyasyashöame
asinam urvyam bhagavantam adyam
sankarshanam devam akunöha-sattvam
vivitsavs tattvam atah parasya
kumara-mukhya munayo 'nvapricchan
svam eva dhishnyam bahu manayantam
yad vasudevabhidham amananti
atah eva-therefore; tritiyasya-of the Third Canto; ashöame-in the Eighth Chapter; asinam-seated; urvyam-in the bottom of the universe; bhagavantam-unto the Lord; adyam-the original; sankarshanam-sankarshana; devam-the Personality of Godhead; akunöha-sattvam-undeterred knowledge; vivitsavah-being inquisitive to know; tattvam atah-truth like this; parasya-regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kumara-the boy-saint; mukhyah-headed by; munayah-great sages; anvapricchan-inquired like this; svam-Himself; eva-thus; dhishnyam-situated; bahu-greatly; manayantam-esteemed; yat-that which; vasudeva-Lord Vasudeva; abhidham-by the name; amananti-acknowledge.
This is confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.3-4):
"Some time ago, being inquisitive to know, Sanat-kumara, the chief of the boy-saints, accompanied by other great sages, inquired exactly like you about the truths regarding Vasudeva, the Supreme, from Lord Sankarshana, who is seated at the bottom of the universe. At that time Lord Sankarshana was meditating upon His Supreme Lord, whom the learned esteem as Lord Vasudeva."*
ity adau vasudevasya sankarshanad api paratvam shruyate. yat tu tesham tatha vyakhyanam tatra krishnas tu ity anarthakam syat, bhagavan svayam ity anenaivabhipreta-siddheh.
iti-thus; adau-beginning; vasudevasya-of Lord Vasudeva; sankarshanat-from Lord Sankarshana; api-even; paratvam-superiority; shruyate-is heard; yat-which; tu-also; tesham-of them; tatha-in that way; vyakhyanam-explanation; tatra-in that connection; krishnah-Lord Shri Krishna; tu-but; iti-thus; anarthakam-without meaning; syat-is; bhagavan-the Original Personality of Godhead; svayam-in person; iti-thus; anena-by this; eva-certainly; abhipreta-intented meaning; siddheh-because of the perfection.
This verse clearly states that Lord Vasudeva is superior to Lord Sankarshana. These gradations of higher and lower do not refer to Krishna. The phrase krishnas tu (but Krishna) separates Him from them. Krishna is then declared to be "bhagavan svayam" (the original Supreme Personality of Godhead).
kim ca, taih svayam eva prakasadivan naivam parah iti sutre sphuöam amshamshi-bhedo darshitah.
kim ca-furthermore; taih-by them; svayam-in person; eva-certainly; prakasha-of manifestations; adi-original source; vat-like; na-not; evam-in this way; parah-superior; iti-thus; sutre-in the Vedanta-sutra; sphuöam-clearly; amsha-of the expansions; amshi-of the Original Personality of Godhead, the source of all expansions; bhedah-the difference; darshitah-is observed.
This is also confirmed in Vedanta-sutra (2.3.45):
"No one is superior to the Original Personality of Godhead, from whom everything has expanded."
In this sutra the difference between the Original Personality of Godhead and His expansions is clearly shown.
amshatve 'pi na matsyadi-rupi para evam-vidho jiva-sadrishah.-yatha tejo-'mshasyaiva suryasya khadyotasya ca naika-prakaratety-adina. tasmat sthite bhede sadhv eva vyakhyatam krishnas tu bhagavan svayam iti.
amshatve-in the matter of being an expansion; api-even; na-not; matsya-adi-rupi-manifest in many transcendental forms such as the forms of Lord Matsya, Lord Varaha, etc.; parah-superior; evam-vidhah-in this way; jiva-the individual living entities (vibhinnamsha expansions); sadrishah-like; yatha-just as; tejah-of effulgence; amshasya-of a small particle; eva-certainly; suryasya-of the sun; khadyotasya-of a
glowworm; ca-and; na-not; eka-one; prakarata-type; iti-thus; adina-beginning; tasmat-therefore; sthite bhede-in considering the distinction; sadhu-nicely; vyakhyatam-described; krishnah tu bhagavan svayam iti-"Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead".
As the splendid sun is not like the tiny fireflies, so the svamsha expansions, such as Lord Matsya, are not like the jivas. This difference is clearly enunciated in the statement "Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam" (Lord Shri Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead).
indrari iti padyardham tv atra nanv eti, tu-shabdena vakyasya bhedanat, tac ca tavataivakanksha-paripurteh. eka-vakyatve tu ca-shabda ekakarishyata. tatash ca indrari ity atrarthat ta eva purvokta eva mridayanti ity ayati. shri-sutah.
indra-ari-the enemies of Indra; iti-thus; padya-of the verse; ardham-half; tu-but; atra-here; na-not; anveti-follows; tu-shabdena-by the word "tu"; vakyasya-of the statement; bhedanat-because of difference; tat-therefore; ca-also; tavata-to that extent; eva-certainly; akanksha-paripurteh-because all His desires are automatically fulfilled; eka-vakyatve-as one statement; tu-the word "tu"; ca-shabdena-and the word "ca"; ekakarishyate-become as if one word; tatah-then; ca-also; indrari-the enemies of Indra; iti-thus; atra-here; arthat-from the meaning; te-they; eva-certainly; mridayanti-crush; iti-thus; ayati-goes; shri-sutah-Shri Suta Gosvami.
The word "indrari" begins the second half of this verse (1.3.28). Because the word "tu" here divides the sentence, and because the Lord's desires are always fulfilled, the meaning of this verse is affirmed. The word "tu" has the same meaning as the word "ca". The phrase beginning with "indrari" is followed by the phrase beginning mridayanti". This verse is spoken by Shri Suta Gosvami.
tad evam shri-krishno bhagavan, purushas tu sarvantaryamitvat paramatmeti nirdharitam.
tat-therefore; evam-in this way; shri-krishnah-Shri Krishna; bhagavan-the Original Personality of Godhead; purushah-the Purusha incarnations; tu-but; sarv-antaryamitvat-because they are all-pervading; paramatma-are known as the Supersoul; nirdharitam-concluded.
In this way Shri Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan). Because He is all-pervading, the Purusha-incarnation is known as the Paramatma (Supersoul).
tatrashankyate, nanv idam ekam amsitva-pratipadakam vakyam amsatv-pratipadaka-bahuvakya-virodhe guna-vadah syat.
tatra-in this connection; ashankyate-it may be doubted; nanu-is it not so; idam-this; ekam-one; amshitva-the source of all incarnations; pratipadakam-demonstrating; vakyam-statement; amshatva-as an expanded incarnation; bahu-many; vakya-statements; virodhe-contradicting; guna-vadah-description; syat-is.
Someone may doubt: "You have presented a single quote to demonstrate that Krishna is the original source of all incarnations of Godhead. This single quote, however, contradicts many other quotes that describe Krishna as an expansion of the Personality of Godhead, and not the source of all incarnations."
atrocyate. tani kim shri-bhagavatiyani parakiyani va.
atra-in this connection; ucyate-it may be said; tani-them; kim-what?; shri-bhagavatiyani-supporting that Krishna is the original source of all incarnations; parakiyani-the opposite view; va-or.
To this doubt I reply: Let us consider which scriptural verses support the view that Shri Krishna is the original source of all incarnations, and which verses present a different opinion.
Texts 4 and 5
adye janma-guhyadhyayo hy ayam sarva-bhagavad-avatara-vakyanam sutram sucakatvat prathamika-paöhat tair uttaratra tasyaiva vivaranac ca tatra ca "ete camsa-kalah pumsah iti paribhasha-sutram.
adye-in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; janma-guhya-adhyayah-the chapter describing the mystery of the Lord's appearance in this material world (Chapter Three); hi-certainly; ayam-this; sarva-of all; bhagavat-of the Personality of Godhead; avatara-of the incarnations; vakyanam-of the description; sutra-concise explanation; sucakatvat-because of delineating; prathama-first; eka-paöhat-from the first reading; taih-by them; uttaratra-later; tasya-of that; eva-certainly; vivaranat-because of describing; ca-also; tatra-there; ca-also; ete camsha-kalah pumsah iti-the verse beginning "ete camsha-kalah pumsah"; paribhasha-sutram-explanatory aphorism.
This (third) chapter in the First Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam tells the secret of the Lord's birth and gives a summary of all the descriptions of the Lord's incarnations. Because it comes at the beginning of the book, and because it describes what will follow later on, its "ete camsha-kalah pumsah" verse (1.3.28) is a is the paribhasha-sutra (definition of terms, or system of abbreviations, placed in the beginning of book, which must be understood in order to properly understand the remainder of the book), for the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.
avatara-vakyeshu anyan purushamshatvena janiyat, krishnas tu svayam-bhagavattveneti pratijna-karane granthartha-nirnayakatvat.
avatara-of the Lord's incarnations; vakyeshu-in the descriptions; anyan-others; purusha-of the Purusha-incarnations; amshatvena-as a partial expansion; janiyat-should know; krishnah-Krishna; tu-but; svayam-bhagavattvena-as the Original form of the Personality of Godhead; iti-thus; pratijna-karane-the first description of the truth to be demonstrated; grantha-of the book; artha-the meaning; nirnayakatvat-because of conclusively establishing.
Because in the opening statement of a book the truth (pratijna) the book intends to establish is presented,
in these descriptions of the incarnations, one should know that Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the others are expansions of the purusha-incarnation.
tad uktam, aniyame niyama-karini paribhasha iti.
tat-therefore; uktam-it is said; aniyame-in that which appears to be disorganized; niyama-karini-giving the key to the organization; paribhasha-is known as the paribhasha-sutra; iti-thus.
A paribhasha-sutra is defined in the following quote:
"A paribhasha-sutra explains the proper method for understanding a book. It gives the key by which one may understand the actual purport of a series of apparently unrelated facts and arguments."
atha paribhasha ca sakrid eva paöhyate shastre, na tv abhyasena; yatha vipratishedhe param karyam iti, tatash ca vakyanam koöir apy ekenaivamuna shasaniya bhaved iti nasya gunanuvadatvam.
atha-now; paribhasha-the paribhasha-sutra; ca-and; sakrit-once; eva-certainly; paöhyate-is read; shastre-in a book; na-not; tu-but; abhyasena-repeatedly; yatha-just as; vipratishedhe-in the situation where two grammatical rules are mutually contradictory; param-the second; karyam-should be done; iti-thus; tatah-from this; ca-also; vakyanam-of statements; koöih-millions; api-even; ekena-by one; eva-certainly; amuna-by this; shasaniya-governed; bhavet-may be; iti-thus; na-not; asya-of that; guna-of the qualities; anuvadatvam-repetition.
The paribhasha-sutra is only stated once in a book, and it is not repeated. A single paribhasha-sutra may govern the contents even of a very large book with millions of statements or arguments. An example of this is the paribhasha-sutra vipratishedhe param karyam," which governs the entire text of Panini's Ashöadhyayi.
praty utaitad viruddhayamananam etad anugunartham eva vaidushi, na ca paribhashikatvat tac-chastra eva sa vyavaharo jneyo na sarvatreti gaunatvam ashankyam.
prati uta-on the contrary; etat-this; viruddhayamananam-of those statements which contradict this; etat-this; anuguna-artham-non-conflicting meaning; eva-certainly; vaidushi-knowledge; na-not; ca-also; paribhashikatvat-because of being a paribhasha-sutra; tat-that; shastre-in the book; eva-certainly; sah-that; vyavaharah-procedure; jneyah-known; na-not; sarvatra-everywhere; iti-thus; gaunatvam-the condition of being a secondary meaning; ashankyam-doubtful.
Someone may object: Many verses in the text of Shrimad-Bhagavatam contradict the statement of your so-called paribhasha-sutra. If this verse contradicts the text of the book it is supposed to explain, then the argument that it is the paribhasha-sutra for Shrimad-Bhagavatam is certainly a very weak and doubtful argument.
paramartha-vastu-paratvac ca shri-bhagavatasya tatrapy arthikatvac ca tasyah paribhashayah.
parama-artha-vastu-paratvat-because of presenting the highest goal of life; ca-also; shri-bhagavatasya-of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; tatra api-nevetheless; arthikatvat-because of attaining the state of the town-crier; ca-also; tasyah-of that; paribhashayah-paribhasha-sutra.
To this objection I reply: Shrimad-Bhagavatam describes the ultimate phase of the Absolute Truth and the supreme goal of life. It is not a loose collection of nice stories for casual reading. The weightiness of the subject matter of the Bhagavatam demands that it be prefaced by a paribhasha-sutra to explain the subject matter to follow.
kim ca pratijna-vakya-matrasya ca drishyate paratrapi nana-vakyantaopamardakatvam.
kim ca-furthermore; pratijna-vakya-matrasya-of the primary assertion; ca-also; drishyate-is seen; paratra-in other scriptures; nana-various; vakya-statements; antara-within; upamardakatvam-refuting.
The objector continues: In many Vedic literatures your assertion that Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead is emphatically refuted.
yathakashasyanutpatti-shrutih prananam ca tac-chrutih sva-virodhini nanya shrutis ca; "atmani vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati, idam sarvam yad ayam atma ityadinopamardyate.
yatha-just as; akashasya-of the sky; anutpatti-not produced; shrutih-shruti-mantra; prananam-of the life-breath; ca-also; tat-of that; shrutih-the shruti-mantra; sva-virodhini-contradicting this; na-not; anya-other; shrutih-shruti-mantras; ca-also; atmani-when the Absolute Truth; vijnate-is understood; sarvam-everything; idam-this; vijnatam-understood; bhavati-becomes; idam-this; sarvam-everything; yat-which; ayam-this; atma-Supreme Self; iti-thus; adina-by these and other quotes; upamardyate-is refuted.
For example, the Chandogya Upanishad explains that the Abstract Brahman effulgence is the actual feature of the Absolute Truth. This is confirmed in the statement Akashasyanutpattih" (The primeval Brahman effulgence is without an origin in time). The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.5.6) explains: "atmani vijnate sarvam idam vijatam bhavati" (When the Supreme Self is understood, then everything becomes known). The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad further says (2.4.5): "idam sarvam yad ayam atma" (Everything that exists is nothing but the Suprme Self.) In this way the most authoritative statements of the Shruti describe the Absolute Truth as the Abstrct Brahman effulgence, and refute your idea that the Absolute Truth is the Personality Krishna.
ata eva shri-svami-prabhritibhir apy etad eva vakyam tat-tad-virodha-nirasaya bhuyo bhuya eva darshitam.
atah eva-for this very reason; shri-svami-prabhritibhih-by the actual Vedic authorities, who accept Shridhara Svami as their leader; api-even; etat-this; eva-certainly; vakyam-statement; tat-tat-these; virodha-contradictions; nirasaya-for rejection; bhuyah bhuyah-repeatedly; eva-certainly; darshitam-explained.
The actual Vedic authorities, who accept Shridhara Svami as their leader, repeatedly refute these arguments.
tad evam shri-bhagavata-mate siddhe ca tasya vakyasya balavattamatve shri-bhagavatasya sarva-shastropamardakatvena prathame sandarbhe pratipannatvat, asminn eva pratipatsyamanatvac ca parakiyanam apy etad anugunyam eva vidvajjana-drishöam-yatha rajnah shasanam tathaiva hi tad-anucaranam apiti.
tat-therefore; evam-in this way; shri-bhagavata-of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; mate-in the opinion; siddhe-perfect; ca-also; tasya-of this; vakyasya-statement; balavt-tama-tve-in the position of being the most authoritative evidence; shri-bhagavatasya-of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; sarva-shastra-upamardakatvena-by the condition of being the most authoritative of all the Vedic literatures; prathame sandarbhe-in the first Sandarbha (Tattva-sandarbha); pratipannatvat-because of being established; asmin-in this; eva-certainly; pratipatsyamanatvat-because of being about to be known; ca-and; parakiyanam-of others; api-even; etat-this; anugunyam-non-contadictory nature; eva-certainly; vidvat-jana-by learned scholars; drishöam-seen; yatha-just as; rajnah-of the king; shasanam-the order; tatha-in the same way; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; tat-his; anucaranam-of the followers; api-also; iti-thus.
Because in the first (Tattva) sandarbha the truths that the opinion of Shrimad-Bhagavatam is perfect, and the statements of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam are conclusive and eclipse any scripture that contradicts them, is proven, and because in this book the same truths will again be proven, therefore the wise see that other scriptures all follow Shrimad-Bhagavatam, just as courtiers follow their king's orders.
tatra shri-bhagavatiyani vakyani tad-anugatarthataya darshyante. tatramshenavatirnasya iti amshesa shri-baladevena sahety arthah. kalabhyam nitaram hareh iti hareh kala prithvi, abhyam shri-rama-krishnabhyam iti.
tatra-there; shri-bhagavatiyani-of Shrimad-Bhagavatam; vakyani-statements; tat-this; anugata-following; arthataya-the meaning; darshyante-are explained; tatra-there; amshena-with a plenary portion; avatirnasya-descended; iti-thus; amshena-with a plenary portion; shri-baladevena-with Lord Baladeva; saha-accompanied; iti-thus; arthah-the meaning; kala-of Hari; iti-thus; hareh-of Hari; kala-part; prithvi-the earth; abhyam-by the two of them; shri-rama-krishnabhyam-by Krishna and Balarama; iti-thus.
Now let us consider whether the verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam contradict the statement of the paribhasha-sutra ("krishnas tu bhagavan svayam"). The statement tatramshenavatirnasya" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.1.2) may be presented as a statement contradicting the assertion of our paribhasha-sutra, and someone may claim that these words mean The Supreme Godhead appeared in this material world by expanding Himself as Shri Krishna". Actually, however, this is not the proper interpretation of these words. The word amshena" should be understood to mean "with His plenary portion, Lord Baladeva", and the entire statement should be interpreted: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, appeared in this material world accompanied by His plenary portion, Lord Baladeva."
The statement "kalabhyam nitaram hareh" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.20.48) may also be presented as a statement contradicting our paribhasha-sutra, and someone may claim that these words mean "The Suprme Godhead appeared in the forms of His two expansions, Krishna and Balarama." Actually, however, this is not the proper interpretation of these words. "Kalabhyam" (by the two plenary portions) is not actually one word, but the two words "kala" and "abhyam",
joined by sandhi. The phrase "hareh kala" means the earth planet, which is one of Lord Hari's many potencies, and abhyam" means "by Krishna and Balarama". The actual meaning of this statement is: "The earth planet appeared very beautiful because of the presence of Krishna and Balarama."
dishöyamba te kukshi-gatah parah puman
amshena sakshad bhagavan bhavaya nah
ity atra yo matsyadi-rupena "amshena" eva purvam "nah" asmakam bhavaya abhut; he amba sa tu sakshat svayam eva kukshi-gatah astiti.
dishöysh-by fortune; amba-O mother; te-your; kukshi-gatah-in the womb; parah-the Supreme; puman-Personality of Godhead; amshena-with all His energies, His parts and parcels; sakshat-directly; bhagavan-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavaya-for the auspiciousness; nah-of all of us; iti-thus; atra-in this verse; yah-who; matsya-adi-rupena-in the form of Lord Matsya, and the Lord's other plenary portions; eva-certainly; purvam-formerly; nah-asmakam-the word "nah" means "of all of us"; bhavaya-for the auspiciousness; abhut-appeared; he amba-O mother; sah-He; tu-indeed; sakshat svayam-the word "sakshat" means "personally"; eva-certainly; kukshi-gatah-in the womb; asti-is; iti-thus.
Someone may claim that the verse "dishöyamba te kukshi-gatah parah puman amshena sakshad bhagavan bhavaya nah" from Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.41) contradicts the view presented in our paribhasha-sutra ("krishnas tu bhagavan svayam"). Such a person may interpret this verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam to mean "O mother Devaki, for your good fortune and ours, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself has expanded into His plenary portion known as Krishna. In His Krishna-expansion, He is now within your womb."
This is not the proper way to understand the meaning of this verse. The word "amshena" means "by His appearance as Lord Matsya and other incarnations", and the second line of the verse should be understood in the past tense. In this way one will be able to per