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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Puranas > Shrimad Bhagavatam Canto Ten, Chapter Fourteen

Shrimad-Bhagavatam

Canto Ten, Chapter Fourteen

with the commentaries of Shrila Shridhara Swami,

Shrila Sanatana Goswami

and Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura

 

 

 

Text 1

 

shri-brahmovaca

 

naumidya te 'bhra-vapushe tadid-ambaraya

†††† gunjavatamsa-paripiccha-lasan-mukhaya

vanya-sraje kavala-vetra-vishana-venu-

†††† lakshma-shriye mridu-pade pashupangajaya

 

†††† shri-brahma uvaca-Shri Brahma said; naumi-I offer my humble obeisances; idya-O worshipable one; te-to You; abhra-cloud; vapushe-form; tadit-lightning; ambaraya-garments; gunja-gunja; avatamsa-earrings; paripiccha-peacock feather; lasat-glittering; mukhaya-face; vanya-forest; sraje-garland; kavala-morsel of food; vetra-stick; vishana-horn; venu-flute; lakshma-characterized; shriye-glory; mridu-soft; pade-feet; pasupangajaya-son of a gopa.

 

 

†††† Brahma said: My dear Lord, You are the only worshipful Supreme Lord, Personality of Godhead. Therefore I am offering my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. Your bodily features are of the color of clouds filled with water. You are glittering with a silver electric aura emanating from Your yellow garments.

†††† Let me offer my respectful repeated obeisances unto the son of Maharaja Nanda who is standing before me with conchshell, earrings, and peacock feather on His head. His face is beautiful. He is wearing a helmet, garlanded with forest flowers, and He stands with a morsel of food in His hand. He is decorated with cane and bugle, and He carries a buffalo horn and flute. He stands before me with small lotus feet.*

 

Commentaries

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami's Shri Bhavartha-dipika:

 

catudashe 'dbhutam drishtva

†††† purvagantuka-nishcayam

anishah kartum astaushit

†††† krishnam brahma vimohitah

 

 

†††† In the fourteenth chapter, seeing these unprecedented wonders and not having the power to understand them, bewildered Brahma offered prayers to Lord Krishna.

 

†††† Trembling in fear of the offense he has committed, and still unable to understand the Lord's glories, Brahma simply glorifies the form he sees before him. He speaks this verse, which begins with the word "naumi". He says, "O worshipable one (idya), to You (te) I offer my respectful obeisances."

†††† Here the dative case is used with the same meaning as the accusative. Or, the dative case is used because the Lord who is glorified here is the object of the sentence, and therefore the goal of the prayers. Because the Lord is the goal the dative case is appropriate. Or, the meaning is, ďI offer these prayers to please You". (In that sense also the dative case is appropriate).

†††† "Abhra-vapushe" means "to He whose form is a cloud," "tadid-ambaraya" means "to He whose garments are lightning, "gunjavatamsa" means ď gunja earrings", "paripiccha" means ďpeacock-feather", "lasan-mukhaya" means "to He whose face is splendid in this way", "vanya-sraje" means "to He who wears a forest garland", ďkavala-vetra-vishana-venu-lakshma-shriye" means "to He who is handsome in this way", "mridu-pade" means ďto he whose feet are delicate", and "pashupangajaya" means "to He who is the son of a gopa".

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami's Shri Vaishnava-toshani:

 

 

†††† Now the object of the Lord's great mercy, and now plunged in the nectar of transcendental love for Him, Brahma gazes at the Lord's supremely charming form, qualities, pastimes, and opulences, and describes the form he sees in this verse, which begins with the word "naumi".

†††† The word "idya" here means "O You who should be glorified with prayers". It means "Neither Brahma, nor the Lord of Vaikuntha, nor Your many incarnations (should be glorified as You are). That is the meaning. This is so because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead within whom all incarnations exist and You are the origin from which the incarnations and everything else has come. Therefore I glorify You." Why (do I glorify You)? The answer is given in the word "te", which means "to attain Your association".

†††† Here the Lord Himself may object: "By realizing My form as impersonal Brahman and all-pervading Paramatma have you not already attained My association?"

†††† Brahma replies by speaking the words "abhra-vapushe tadid-ambaraya", which mean "(I have not attained the association of You), whose splendid dark form is like a water-bearing black cloud, and who wears garments yellow as lightning".

†††† The Lord may then object: "Is it not so that what you have described is the form of the Lord of Vaikuntha, or the form of Lord Rama, the master of the Raghus?"

†††† Fearing the Lord might say that, Brahma, to refute Him, says, "gunjavatamsa-paripiccha-lasan-mukhaya vanya-sraje".

†††† "Paripiccha" here means "paritah" (everywhere) "piccha" (peacock feathers), or ďan ornament of many peacock feathers". "vanya-sraje" means "He who wears a garland of many different kinds of flowers, leaves, and other things that had grown in the forest".

†††† His mind attracted by the Lord's childhood pastimes, Brahma described them in the words "kavala-vetra-vishana-venu-lakshma-shriye mridu-pade pashupangajaya".

†††† "Kavala" means "Holding a mouthful of rice and yogurt in His left hand", "vetra-vishana" means "with a horn and stick tucked under His left arm", "venu" means "with a flute tucked in the waist of His garment". "lakshma" means extraordinary features, "shriye" means "glorious and handsome", and "mridu-pade" means "His feet were delicate because He was only a boy". Because the Lord is his own father, spiritual master, and Deity, Brahma, out of great respect, does not specifically mention the Lord's age. Hinting at many here unspoken Vrindavana pastimes such as the Lord's decorating His limbs with colorful pictures and designs drawn in mineral pigments found in the forest, Brahma speaks the word ďpashupangajaya", which means "the son of Shri Nanda".

†††† Here Brahma says, "Because You are eternally a child and You eternally have these features, I offer these prayers in order to attain association with You in this form of a cowherd boy." With great longing Brahma speaks these prayers with this aim in mind.

†††† In this way, with adjective after adjective, Brahma expresses His feelings of wonder.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti's Shri Sarartha-darshini Tika:

 

 

bhakti-jnana-mahaishvarya-

†††† madhuryabdhau patan vidhih

astaut priti-vidhau prashnot-

†††† taram coktam caturdashe

 

 

†††† In the fourteenth chapter Brahma, drowning in an ocean of devotion to the Lord, awareness of the Lord, and the Lord's great sweetness and opulence, offers prayers. Also, a question about love for the Lord is answered.

 

 

mama ratna-vanig-bhavam

†††† ratnany aparicinvatah

hasantu santo jihremi

†††† na sva-svantar-vinoda-krit

 

 

†††† Let the saintly devotees laugh at me because I am a gem merchant that does not carefully count his gems. I am not ashamed. I feel bliss to have placed the Lord's pastimes in my heart.

 

 

shrimad-guru-padambhoja-

†††† dhyana-matraika-sahasam

vidhi-stavambudheh param

†††† yiyasati mano mama

 

 

†††† Courageous by meditating on my spiritual master's lotus feet, my mind yearns to cross the ocean of Brahma's prayers.

 

†††† Directly seeing Lord Krishna, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, and who is the son of the king of the gopas, Brahma, filled with wonderful faith and devotion, describes the Lord in this verse, which begins with the word "naumi".

††† Brahma says: "O worshipable one (idya), who I now see present in all beings from Brahma down to the immovable plants and who are therefore known as Vasudeva, the all-pervading, and who are supremely glorious as You expand in many thousands of incarnations, I glorify You with prayers. I offer prayers to You as one does to a master taking rest, or I offer prayers to please You or to attain Your association."

†††† The description of the Lord here as He whose ďform is a cloud, and whose garments are lightning" shows that the Lord removes the burning sufferings of the world and is the life of the cataka birds that are His devotees.

†††† Here the word "gunjavatamsa" means ďa crown of guna". The word "avatamsa" may mean either "crown", "earrings", or ďflower-garland".

†††† The word "paripiccha" means that a peacock feather was placed on the top of His crown. "Lasan-mukha" means that His face was extraordinary with the many decorations of His crown.

†††† The guna and other decorations of Vrindavana are more glorious than the priceless jewel ornaments of Vaikuntha.

†††† "Vanya-sraje" means "He who is garlanded with the flowers and leaves of Vrindavana forest." These decorations are more glorious than decorations made with parijatas and other flowers from the forests of the heavenly planets.

†††† The words "kavala-vetra-vishana-venu-lakshma-shriye" describe the Lord's glorious handsomeness. His feet as a young cowherd boy are more glorious than His feet in all His incarnations.

†††† "Mridu-pade" means "He whose feet are very delicate," Seeing the Lord wander in the forest with His delicate feet makes the devotees faint with concern for the Lord's well-being.

†††† The word "pashupangajaya" shows that Maharaja Nanda is more fortunate than Maharaja Vasudeva and the other devotees.

 

Text 2

 

asyapi deva vapusho mad-anugrahasya

†††† sveccha-mayasya na tu bhuta-mayasya ko 'pi

neshe mahi tv avasitum manasantarena

†††† sakshat tavaiva kim utatma-sukhanubhuteh

 

†††† asya-of this; api-even; deva-O Lord; vapushah-form; mad-anugrahasya-merciful to me; sveccha-mayasya-which appears by Your own desire; na-not; tu-indeed; bhuta-mayasya-made of material elements; kah-Brahma; api-even; na-nit; ishe-am able; mahi-the potency; tv-indeed; avasitum-to measure; manasantarena-with the mind; sakshat-directly; tava-of You; eva-indeed; kim uta-what to speak?; atma-own; sukha-of the happiness; anubhuteh-from the experience.

 

 

†††† Your appearance as a cowherd child is for the benefit of the devotees, and although I have committed offenses to Your lotus feet by stealing away Your cows, boys, and calves, I can understand that You have mercy upon me. That is Your transcendental quality. You are very affectionate toward Your devotees. In spite of Your affection for me, I cannot estimate the potency of Your bodily activities. It is to be understood that when I, Lord Brahma, the supreme personality of the universe, cannot estimate the childlike body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then what to speak of others? And if I cannot estimate the spiritual potency of Your childlike body, then what can I understand about Your transcendental pastimes?*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here the Lord May object, "You say. `I am offering prayers', but why do you describe only My form (and nothing else about Me in your prayers)?"

†††† To answer this objection Brahma speaks this verse, which begins with the word "asyapi". He says, "Even though (api) I am Brahma (kah), I do not (na) have the power (ishe) to understand (avasitum) the glory (mahi) of this form (vapushah) You have casually manifested before me. If You are kind to me (mad-anugrahasya), and You appear in whatever forms Your devotees wish (svecchamayasya), then why do I not have the power to understand You?

†††† Then Brahma answers his own question. He says: "na tu bhuta-mayasya", which means, "Your inconceivable form is made of pure goodness". Then Brahma says, "sakshat tavaiva kim utatma-sukhanubhuteh", which means, "If this is so, then how is it possible for anyone to really understand You as You are? Who, employing only his limited material mind (manasantarena), has the power to understand the true glories of You, who have now descended to this world, who are beyond the modes of material nature, and who are filled with transcendental bliss?"

†††† Or, the word "bhutamayasya" may mean "the universal form of the Lord, which is made of material elements". Then the sentence becomes, "I cannot understand the glory of Your universal form, so how can I understand the extraordinary form I have just described, a form beyond both the controlled material energy and the demigods who control it?" Thus the meaning of this verse is, "How can anything be said to describe this form?"

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here the Lord May object, "You say. `I am offering prayers', but why do you describe only My form (and nothing else about Me in your prayers)?"

†††† To answer this objection Brahma speaks this verse, which begins with the word "asyapi". The word ďvapushah" means either "of Your many incarnations" or "of a certain incarnation". The word "mad-anugrahasya" means "which showed mercy to me by protecting the the material world created by Brahma. You did this by preaching the true religion and by destroying irreligion." The words "na tu bhutamayasya" mean ďwhich is not made of the five material elements, and is not even like the bodies of the demigods, who have bodies made of light."

†††† If all this is true, then what kind of body is this? Brahma answers by speaking the word "atma-sukhanubhuteh", which means, "it is the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead". Or, it may mean, "even when the mind is turned away from material sense-objects and turned within, still it is not possible to understand this form of bliss. How much more so, then, is it not possible to understand the direct nature of You, the origin of all incarnations of Godhead?" The remainder of this verse has been clearly explained by the other commentators.

†††† "Therefore," Brahma implies, "my prayer shall be simply describing this form that I have seen." Or, the word "vapushah" may mean, "of Your form as a cowherd boy, which is more glorious than even Your splendid form as the master of Vaikuntha". Or, this phrase may mean, ďEven though I am Brahma, I still cannot understand this form of a cowherd boy".

†††† The words "kim uta" mean,"I cannot even understand Your impersonal Brahman feature, what to speak of understanding Your four-armed form of Lord Narayana, who is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, so how can I understand this form of a cowherd boy?" The words "kim uta" here imply that the forms of the impersonal Brahman and Lord Narayana are less glorious than the form of Lord Krishna the cowherd boy.

†††† This is also seen in the use of the three adjectives here (mad-anugrahasya, svecchamayasya, and na tu bhutamayasya). ďMad-anugrahasya" means "even though I am a great offender, You are still merciful to me", ďsvecchamayasya" means, "by Your own will You appear in many different forms, such as the form of Lord Damodara. You do this to show mercy to the living entities. You show mercy not only to the devotees, but to everyone." What does the phrase ďna tu bhutamayasya" mean? They mean that with humble words, with words choked with emotion, Brahma says, "Your form is not material, for You are the only shelter of the entire universe, and You have descended here to benefit the entire universe".

†††† If the alternate reading of "nanu" (indeed) is accepted instead of the phrase "na tu", then the meaning is clear. This alternate reading was also implied by Shridhara Svami when in his commentary on this verse he said, "Or, the word `bhutamayasya' may mean `the universal form of the Lord, which is made of material elements'." In this interpretation the word "na" has the same meaning as "nanu" and the word "tu" is understood to mean "certainly". The rest of the verse remains the same whether "na tu" or "nanu" are accepted. Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.3.24 and 10.2.26 are examples of transcendental prayers that describe the form of the Lord.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest: "O Brahma, you are the all-powerful master of the universe, I am the son of a gopa who lives in the forest. You are the oldest, and I am just a boy. You are the most learned, for you know the meaning of the Vedas and you are most saintly and virtuous. Because I am engaged in herding some calves, I have no knowledge. I do not untouched even the slightest fragrance of the saintly conduct described in the Smriti-shastras. I simply wander aimlessly, eating a morsel of food. You are the master of the illusory potency maya. You are filled with transcendental bliss. You are the supreme controller himself, whereas I, bewildered by Your maya potency and my heart filled with grief, aimlessly wander in this forest. It is I who am not worthy to offer prayers to you."

†††† Fearing that Lord Krishna would speak these crooked words, Lord Brahma said, "In truth I have foolishly committed a great offense. Then he spoke this verse, which begins with the word "asya".

†††† Brahma says, "O Lord, (deva), I do not understand the glories of Your form, which appears to be bewildered and intent only on childish activities. If I cannot understand this form, then how can I understand the glories of the most expert and sublime form You will soon manifest to enjoy teenage (kaishora) pastimes? If I cannot understand that form, then how can I understand the transcendental bliss You feel in Your heart? Even though You are always filled with limitless bliss, You experience more bliss by Your pastimes of herding the calves. If I cannot understand the bliss Your friends feel in their hearts, then how can I understand the bliss that You personally feel. If I cannot understand You even when my mind is withdrawn from sense objects and brought under control, then how can I understand You when my mind is fickle and wavering? If even I, the demigod Brahma, cannot understand You, then how can others understand You?

†††† "With this series of five `how can I's, I have proved my complete inability to understand You. I will never understand You by scripture-study, austerity, yoga, or any other like means. I will understand You only if You place Your merciful glance upon me."

†††† Thus, to earn Lord Krishna's merciful glance, Brahma spoke these prayers describing Lord Krishna's transcendental form. Brahma thought, "Even though I am an offender, still You are merciful to me. I can guess that this must be so, for first You bewildered me by displaying Your great powers and opulences, and then, after some time, You gave me the gift of being able to see You in this form. You did this because You are merciful."

†††† Here the word "svecchamayasya" means, ďbecause You love Your affectionate (prema-bhakti) devotees, You appear in different forms to satisfy their desires to see You and serve You in different ways."

†††† Here Lord Brahma hints, "Even though I am an offender, and even though I am only very pale reflection of a true devotee, still I may be eligible to get a small amount of Your mercy."

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest, "If I have desire and mercy, then I must have a human body, for these qualities are naturally present only in human bodies." To this Brahma replies with the phrase "na tu bhutamayasya", which means, Your body is not material, it is spiritual." In Brahma-samhita (5.32) it is said:

 

 

angani yasya sakalendriya-vrittimanti

 

 

†††† "Each of Lord Krishna's limbs possesses in Himself the full-fledged functions of all organs."**

 

†††† This means that each limb and sense of Lord Govinda's transcendental body can perform the function of any other limb or sense. However, just as Lord Krishna manifests His different incarnations only a certain times, when He deems it appropriate, so Lord Krishna manifests this extraordinary power of His various limbs and senses only a certain times, when He deems it appropriate. Generally He does not manifest it. Generally He sees with His eyes, hears with His ears, and thinks with His mind. Generally He does not see with His hands, or employ the extraordinary interchangeable powers of His other limbs and senses.

†††† Or, the words "deva vaupshah" may be considered one word, "deva-vapushah", which then means ďthe form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead". In this interpretation the word "mad-anugrahasya" (You have been merciful to me) may mean, "You are merciful to me because today You have shown me Your Vasudeva form", or it may mean "You showed Your mercy to me by personally appearing before me and teaching me the four important verses (catuh-shloki) of Shrimad-Bhagavatam".

†††† The word "svecchamayasya" means "Your desires are all at once fulfilled. O Lord, in this way You different from us, the conditioned souls who have external bodies made of material elements."

†††† Then Brahma says, "Even though I am Brahma, I cannot understand the glory of Your form, which is not material. Even though I am the teacher of the self-manifested Vedas and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which is the final fruit of all the Vedas, still I cannot understand the glory of Your transcendental form. How, then, can I understand You directly when You appear in Your original form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a form that is the origin of all Your incarnations, a form that appears like the form of a human being?

†††† "What is this original form like? In this original form You enjoy happy pastimes of stealing yogurt, drinking the breast-milk of the gopi Yashoda, herding the calves, and playing like a child. These pastimes are extraordinarily glorious, even in comparison to Your other incarnations. In these pastimes You experience great transcendental bliss."

 

 

Text 3

 

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva

†††† jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam

sthane sthitah shruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir

†††† ye prayasho 'jita jito 'py asi tais trilokyam

 

†††† jnane-in gaining knowledge; prayasam-unneccesary endeavor; udapasya-setting far aside; namanta-completely surrendering; eva-certainly; jivanti-live; san-mukharitam-declared by great realized devotees; bhavadiya-vartam-discussions about You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sthane sthitah-situated in their own positions; shruti-gatam-received aurally; tanu-van-manobhih-by the body, words, and mind; ye-those who; prayashah-almost always; ajita-O my unconquerable Lord (beyond perception and unlimioted;y independent; jitah-conquered; api-indeed; asi-You are; taih-by such pure devotees; trilokyam-within the three worlds.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, those devotees who have thrown away the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth and have therefore abandoned discussing empiric philosophical truths should hear from self-realized devotees about Your holy name, form, pastimes, and qualities. They should completely follow the principles of devotional service and remain free from illicit sex, gambling, intoxication, and animal slaughter. Surrendering themselves fully with body, words, and mind, they can live in any ashrama or social status. Indeed, You are conquered by such persons, although You are always unconquerable."*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† How will the ignorant conditioned souls escape the material world of birth and death? This verse is spoken to answer that question. Here the word "udapasya" means "not done, even slightly". This verse means, "Remaining in their own positions, the people should always hear from self-realized devotees about You. They should surrender to You and worship You with body, mind, and words. Even if they do nothing but this, they will conquer You, who cannot be conquered by anyone else in the three worlds. Since this is so, what is the use of struggling to attain impersonal realization?"

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† "O Lord, if a person somehow or other worships or serves You, You allow Yourself to come under their control." That is the gist of this verse. The word "udapasya" means, "when one completely (ud) abandons (apasya) all efforts to understand You".

††† "Tanu-van-manobhir namantah" means, ďworshiping and serving You with body, mind, and words." This means respectfully folding one's hands as one hears about Lord Krishna's glories, being very happy to speak Lord Krishna's glories, and employing one's mind to always remember Lord Krishna's glories.

†††† "San-mukharitam" means, "even though, so they may always speak the truth, so their senses may not become agitated, and for a host of other reasons, saintly persons like to remain silent, they nevertheless become very eager to talk about Your glories." The rest of this verse is already explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† The words "vartam jivanti" mean, ďhearing from the saintly devotees, they make these descriptions of You their very life and soul".

†††"Ajita" means, "O Lord who cannot be attained by the ordinary endeavors of the body, mind, and words". ćThe Lord cannot be attained in this way because: 1. He is not within the material senses' range of perception, and 2. He appears only when He Himself wishes to appear.

†††† "Jito 'si" means, "You become submissive". This means, "when the devotees serve You in different ways, You personally appear before them." Or, it means, ďYou are then directly attained by the body, mind, and words". This means, "You are attained by the body when the devotee touches Your lotus feet with His hands and serves You in various ways with his various limbs, You come when Your devotee calls Your names, and You show Yourself to Your devotee when the devotee uses his mind to meditate on You."

†††† Or, since the word "tanu-van-manobhih" is in the instrumental case, the passage could be interpreted to mean, ďalong with Your body, mind, and words". This means, ďO Lord, Your body, mind, and words are also conquered by the devotee. Your body is conquered when You always stay by Your devotee's side, Your words are conquered when You speak many words glorifying Your devotee, and Your mind is conquered when You always think of Your devotee." In this alternate interpretation the rest of the verse is understood as before.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here someone may protest: In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.8) it is said:

 

 

tam eva viditvati-mrityum eti

 

 

†††† "By understanding the Supreme one is able to escape the world of repeated birth and death."

 

†††† If this is so, then how will the ignorant people in general, who have no knowledge of the Supreme, escape this world of birth and death? This verse is spoken to answer this protest.

†††† Here the word "udapasya" means, "not doing, even slightly", and "san-mukharitam" means, "even though the saintly devotees are inclined to remain silent, Your sweetness, O Lord, impels them to eagerly talk about You." Thus the devotees need not wander from one pilgrimage place to another. They may stay in one place where there are devotees, hear the glories of the Lord from the other devotees, and serve (namantah) the Lord with body, mind, and words.

†††† With his body the devotee may employ his hands to touch the Lord or his head to touch the ground when offering obeisances to the Lord. He may use his words to chant the glories of the Lord, or he may use his words to glory the devotees. For example, he may say, "I offer my respectful obeisances to the Vaishnavas, who relish hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead". With his mind and intelligence he may always meditate on what he has heard of the descriptions of the Lord. In this way worshiping the Lord becomes the very life and soul of the devotee.

†††† "Ajita jito 'pi" means, "thus even though the devotee may not do any other thing, by doing these things, he conquers You, O Lord, who cannot be conquered in any other way. However, they who have attained impersonal liberation by cultivating impersonal knowledge cannot bring You under their control. On the other hand they who relish hearing about You not only bring You under their control, but they also easily cross beyond the material world of repeated births and deaths. There is nothing at all surprising in this. Thus by hearing about You, one attains real knowledge of You, and in this way one is able to escape the material world of repeated birth and death." That is the true meaning of these words of the Shruti-shastra:

 

 

tena samsaram api taranti

 

 

†††† "By understanding the truth of the Supreme, they cross beyond this world of repeated birth and death."

 

Text 4

 

shreyah-sritim bhaktim udasya te vibhoh

†††† klishyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye

tesham asau kleshala eva shishyate

†††† nanyad yatha sthula-tushavagahatinam

 

†††† shreyah-sritim-the auspicious path of liberation; bhaktim-devotional service; udasya-giving up; te-of You; vibhoh-O my Lord; klishyanti-accept increased difficulties; ye-all those persons; kevala-only; bodha-labdhaye-for obtaining knowledge; tesham-for them; asau-that; kleshala-trouble; eva-only; shishyate-remains; na-not; anyat-anything else; yatha-as much as; sthula-bulky; tusha-husks of rice; avagahatinam-of those beating.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the only auspicious path. If one gives it up simply for speculative knowledge or the understanding that these living beings are spirit souls and the material world is false, he undergoes a great deal of trouble. He only gains troublesome and inauspicious activities. His endeavors are like beating a husk that is already devoid of rice. One's labor becomes fruitless.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Without engaging in devotional service, no one can attain perfect knowledge. That is the gist of this verse. ďShreyah" means "liberation and good fortune", and "sritim" means "path". Liberation and good fortune are like two swiftly moving streams fed by a lake. ďTe" means "of You", and "bhaktim udasya" means, "rejecting devotional service, which is the path to true auspiciousness". For such persons only trouble (kleshalah) remains (shishyate).

†††† Here is the meaning: One who rejects a small amount of actual rice and instead beats a large quantity of empty husks will not attain any result for his efforts. In the same way, they who think devotional service unimportant and strive instead for impersonal realization also do not attain any tangible result for their efforts.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In this way it is said that if a person somehow or other engages in some devotional service, he will attain the greatest benefit. How, then, can one properly describe the glories of pure devotional service? They who reject devotional service and instead struggle to attain impersonal realization become very unhappy. That is the only result of all their efforts. That is the gist of this verse.

†††† The path of devotional service brings all auspicious things, including true spiritual knowledge. They who reject devotional service and contemptuously throw it far away commit a great offense.

†††† The phrase "klishyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye" may mean, "such persons suffer greatly as they perform severe austerities to attain pure (kevala) spiritual knowledge". Or, it may mean, "they struggle to attain spiritual knowledge completely untouched (kevala) by devotional service". The word "eva" (indeed) here hints that other results, such as attainment of Svargaloka or purification of the heart are not being considered here.

†††† Here someone may protest: Is it not true that by repeated struggles on the path of yoga one does indeed attain fame and wealth as unavoidable by-products of his efforts? To this protest the reply is given: One may attain them, but he will not attain anything else.

†††† Here an example is given. As a fool will beat empty husks of rice, to the amusement of intelligent onlookers, and attain as his only results: 1. the destruction of a great pile of empty husks, and 2. a great soreness in his hands and other limbs, so in the same way the impersonalists labor to attain spiritual knowledge.

†††† Here the word "vibho" means "O master". This word indicates a person who must be worshiped. They who refuse to worship Him will fall into hell. That is the meaning implied here. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.3) it is said:

 

 

ya esham purusham sakshad

†††† atma-prabhavam ishvaram

na bhajanty avajananti

†††† sthanad bhrashtah patanty adhah

 

 

†††† "Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty to the Primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position."*

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† By serving the Lord with even only one of the different processes of devotional service that begin with hearing and chanting His glories, one attains all perfection. This is described in the following words of the Nrisimha Purana:

 

 

patreshu pushpeshu phaleshu toyeshv

†††† akrita-labhyeshu vadaiva satsu

bhaktya su-labhye purushe purane

†††† muktyai kim artham kriyate prayatnah

 

 

†††† "Please tell me: If the ancient Supreme Personality of Godhead is easily attained by devotedly offering Him pleasant flowers, leaves, fruit, and water, which are all easily available for free without having to spend any money, then why should one undergo a great struggle to attain impersonal liberation?"

 

†††† In this verse it is said that they who reject devotional service and instead undergo a great struggle to attain spiritual knowledge attain misery as their only result. Shrila Shridhara Svami has explained:

 

†††† " `Shreyah' means `liberation and good fortune', and `sritim' means `path'. Liberation and good fortune are like two swiftly moving streams fed by a lake. `Te' means `of You', and `bhaktim udasya' means, `rejecting devotional service'."

 

†††† The phrase "shreyah-sritim bhaktim udasya" means, "rejecting devotional service, which gives all the auspicious results provided by speculative knowledge, fruitive work, or any other means". The impersonal ideas (bodhah) thus attained bring (la) only sufferings (klesha). Only sufferings remain (shishyate) for such a person.

†††† Here an example is given with the word "sthula-tushavagahatinam", which means, "After rejecting a small quantity of actual rice, a person may with great effort gather a great mountain of empty rice-husks and with great effort try to thresh rice from it. Such a person will attain suffering as the only result of his labor. His hands and other limbs will become sore. That is the only result he will obtain."

 

 

Text 5

 

pureha bhuman bahavo 'pi yoginas

†††† tvad-arpiteha nija-karma-labdhaya

vibudhya bhaktyaiva kathopanitaya

†††† prapedire 'njo 'cyuta te gatim param

 

†††† pura-previously; iha-in this world; bhuman-O Lord; bahavah-many; api-also; yoginah-yogis; tvat-to You; arpita-offered; iha-endeavors; nija-own; karma-work; labdhaya-attained; vibudhya-understanding; bhaktya-by devotional service; eva-indeed; katha-topics; upanitaya-cultivated; prapedire-attained; anjah-easily; 'cyuta-O infallible Lord; te-they; gatim-destination; param-supreme.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind, and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage of entering into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Transcendental knowledge is attained only by devotional service. It is not otherwise, and that is proved by the activities of the saintly persons described in this verse.

†††† "Bhuman" means, "O all-pervading one", and "iha" means "in this world". Brahma said, ďMany yogis, unable to attain transcendental knowledge by engaging in various kinds of yoga, instead offered even their material activities unto You." The second line of this verse may also be considered not two but one large compound word.

†††† Brahma continued, "By hearing and chanting Your glories, they were able to approach You, and by engaging in devotional service they were able to understand You. Thus they easily attained Your supreme abode."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The path to auspiciousness described in the previous verse is not merely a matter of words. It is a reality directly seen by many persons in the past. That is described in this verse.

†††† "Bhuman" here means, "O Lord whose glories have no end". This verse describes engagement in devotional service. Here "yoginah api" mean "even though they were already liberated souls", "te" means ďof You", and "kathopanitaya" means "by hearing and chanting Your glories". The spiritual practice these persons adopted is described in the word "tvad-arpitehah".

†††† Here someone may protest: Is it not true that devotional service, which brings one to the supreme destination, is very rare and difficult to attain? This protest is answered by the word "kathopanitaya". This word may mean "made perfect by descriptions of Your pastimes", or it may also mean, "inspired by the description of Your glories".

†††† "Param" means, "the highest". ďAcyuta" means, "O Lord, by devotional service to You one attains the highest perfection, from which one never again falls down". Or, this passage may also mean, "By engaging in devotional service the yogis attain Your association. Thus they attain the supreme destination."

†† ††The words "param gatim" may refer either to the spiritual world of Vaikuntha, or to pure love of God. Understanding that this is the supreme goal, the yogis then attain it. The rest of the verse is the same as in the previous explanation.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† In the previous two verses positive and negative arguments were offered to prove that devotional service is the true way to attain the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse the example of great saintly persons is presented as evidence to further prove this truth.

†††† "Bhuman" means "O Lord", "iha" means, "in this material universe", "yoginah" means "persons engaged in bhakti-yoga", "tvad-arpitehah" means, "who offered their activities to You and engaged all the activities of their senses in Your devotional service".

†††† "Nija-karma" means, "having faith in bhakti-yoga alone, they turned from the activities of varnashrama-dharma and engaged instead in hearing and chanting Your glories". ďLabdhaya" means "attained by performing these activities of hearing and chanting", "katha" means, "hearing, chanting, and remembering Your glories", ďupa" means "greatly", nitaya" means ďattained", "bhaktya" means "devotion characterized by pure love (prema)", and "vibudhya" means "directly seeing Your qualities, pastimes, and other features". "Param gatim" means "the status of being loving (premavan) personal associates of the Lord". That status they attain.

†††† Or, as the previous verse explained that impersonal knowledge (kevala-bodha) is ultimately fruitless, so this verse explains that the yoga practiced by the impersonalists is also fruitless. This verse gives the activities of saintly persons in the past as evidence to prove this truth.

†††† Here Brahma says, "After a long time, the yogis understand that their yoga activities are all fruitless, and then they offer their activities to You. In these two ways they attain devotional service mixed with knowledge (jnana-mishra). Thus they are able to understand You."

 

Text 6

 

tathapi bhuman mahimagunasya te

†††† vibodhhum arhaty amalantaratmabhih

avikriyat svanubhavad arupato

†††† hy ananya-bodhyatmataya na canyatha

 

†††† tathapi-nevertheless; bhuman-O Lord; mahima-glory; agunasya-qualities without limit; te-of You; vibodhhum-to understand; arhati-is able; amalantaratmabhih-by they who are pure in heart; avikriyat-because of not being subject to material transformations; svanubhavat-because of being perceived by His own wish; arupatah-becasue His form is not material; hi-indeed; ananya-bodhyatmataya-because He is not perceived in any other way; na-not; ca-and; anyatha-otherwise.

 

 

†††† Nevertheless, O Lord whose glories are limitless, they who are pure in heart and who control their senses are able to see something of Your glories. They can see Your glories because You personally appear in Your devotee's pure heart, because You give them spiritual senses with which to see You, and because You are manifested by Your own wish. It is not otherwise.

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Thus far it has been said that it is difficult to attain knowledge of either the impersonal qualityless aspect of the Supreme, or His personal form filled with transcendental qualities. In the previous verse Brahma said, "O Lord You can be attained only by devotional service, which begins with hearing and chanting Your glories. There is no other way." Now, this verse declares that although it is said that it is very difficult to understand either of these features of the Supreme, nevertheless the qualityless Brahman can be understood to a certain extent. However, the personal form of the Lord cannot be understood at all, for it has limitless inconceivable qualities, This is confirmed in the next verse (text 7).

†††† Here Brahma says, "O Lord, Your glories are limitless. Only the who are pure in heart and who control their senses are able to see something of Your glories." Or, the words "vibodhum arhati" may also be interpreted to mean, ďare able to to know something of Your glories". Or, these words may mean, "only certain persons are able to know something of Your glories".

†††† How is it possible to know something of Your glories? The answer is given in the word "svanubhavat", which means, "You personally appear in the devotee's heart".

†††† Here someone may protest: But is it not so that the heart and mind can only perceive material things, which are by nature always changing? This protest is answered here by the word ďavikriyat", which means "by a heart purified of the limitations of ever-changing material perception, a heart thus able to perceive the Supreme."

†††† Here someone may again protest: Is it not so that because something is directly perceived within the heart it must be, by definition, not the Supreme? This objection is answered here by the word "arupatah". "Rupa" here means ďsense-object". Therefore "arupatah" means ďbecause the material senses are not here the tools of perception, the Supreme may be thus seen in the heart". Therefore there is no error in this statement that the Supreme is seen in the heart.

†††† By what means is the Lord thus manifested? The answer is given in the word "ananya-bodhya", which means ďHe is manifested by His own wish". There is no other way (na canyatha). The Lord decides, "So be it", and then He is suddenly visible to someone.

†††† Brahma may ask, "Does Mother Lakshmi, who is Your internal potency, and whose thoughts and senses are completely pure, have the power by herself to understand Your glories?" The answer is given: No. She is not able. How does one become able? The answer is given in the word "svanubhavat", which means, "You personally appear, by Your own wish, in the devotee's heart".

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here it may be asked: "O Lord, O supreme object of worship, what person has the power to describe the glories of You and devotional service to You? O Lord filled with transcendental qualities, we do not have the power to truthfully understand the glories of even one of Your many qualities." Or it may be said, "the glories of devotional service being what they are, it is not possible to know all the glories of You, who are a great ocean of limitless transcendental qualities. However, somehow or other, it may be possible for some persons to understand something of some of Your qualities." That is explained in this verse, which begins with the word "tathapi".

†††† "Te gunah" means "Your qualities, such as compassion", and "mahima" means "glory". ďMahima" may be divided into "mahi" and ma". In that case "ma" means "the glory of Goddess Lakshmi." Then the phrase means, "some person may be able to know something of Her glory". Or, the word "ma" may mean ďShri Radha, the supreme goddess of fortune". That Shri Radha is the supreme goddess of fortune is always true in all Her eternal pastimes, even when She enjoys pastimes as a little girl. Or, the phrase "mahi viboddhum arhati" may mean, "in this way one is able to understand His glory".

†††† The method one may adopt to understand the Lord's glory is described in the word "svanubhavat", which means ďby direct perception". By the special mercy of the supremely merciful Lord one may attain the great good fortune of seeing Him directly. What is that mercy of the Lord like? It is ďnirvikara", which means "perfect and complete". What is the direct perception of the Lord like? That is described in the word "ananya-bodhatmataya", which means ďonly by the Lord's wish is one able to see the form of the Lord". "Arupatah" means "this is so because He is inconceivable". It is not otherwise. Without directly seeing the Lord it is not possible to understand the true extent of His glories. Thus the qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are supremely great and spiritual.

†††† Or, it may be asked: "When will one attain the good fortune to see the Lord directly?" The answer is given: The Lord reveals Himself by His own wish. Therefore it cannot be predicted when one will have His audience. No one can say.

†††† Or, it may be said, "No one is able to understand, even slightly, the glories of the Lord who has limitless qualities." Then someone may ask, "Since her heart is pure (avikriyat) and since the Lord appears before someone by His own wish (svanubhavat), does even Mother Lakshmi not have the power to understand the Lord's glories?" Here the word ďna" (not), spoken in a plaintive voice filled with emotion, is actually meant to imply "yes" in this rhetorical question.

†††† The reason for this is given in the word "bhuman", which is in the vocative case, and which means, "O Lord whose glories are endless". The word "ananya-bodhatmataya" here shows that in the word "arupatah" the letter "a" means "of Lord Vishnu", and therefore that whole word means "from the form of Lord Vishnu". This is because in the Lord's case there is no different between Him, the possessor of qualities, and the qualities He possesses. He is the same as His qualities. It is not otherwise. That is not a lie. Shrila Yamunacarya (Shri Stotra-ratna, verse 16) explains:

 

 

upary upary abja-bhuvo 'pi purushan

 

 

†††† "O Lord, desiring to measure one of Your transcendental qualities, the words of the Vedas again and again multiply by a hundred the qualities of the demigod Brahma. Although eternally engaged in this way, they cannot cross beyond even one of Your qualities."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Although the Lord's transcendental form can be seen directly only by a person who engages in unalloyed loving devotional service (prema-bhakti), nevertheless the Lord's impersonal Brahman feature can be seen even by a person who only attains impersonal knowledge or impersonal knowledge mixed with devotional service. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself explains:

 

 

jnanam ca mayi sannyaset

 

 

†††† "To attain Me one should abandon all ideas that I am impersonal."

 

†††† Therefore this verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam describes the situation after one has already abandoned the idea of impersonalism. Therefore this verse describes pure devotional service.

†††† This verse begins with the word "tathapi", which means "nevertheless", and which is connected to the clause "Even though one has not yet attained pure devotional service". This clause should be understood, even though it is not expressed, to precede this verse.

†††† In the word "bhuman", "bhu" means ďmanifestation", and therefore one whose manifestation is charming is "bhuman". "Agunasya" means ďwithout material qualities", and "mahima" means ďYour glories". The Lord Himself says:

 

 

madiyam mahimanam ca

†††† para-brahmeti-shabditam

vetsyasy anugrihitam me

†††† samprashnair vivritam hrdi

 

 

†††† "In answer to your questions I will reveal in your ćheart My transcendental glory, which is called the Supreme Brahman."

 

†††† In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.9.10), Dhruva Maharaja says:

 

 

sa brahmani sva-mahimany api natha

 

 

†††† "My Lord, the transcendental bliss derived from meditating upon Your lotus feet of hearing about Your glories from pure devotees is so unlimited that it is far beyond the stage of brahmananda, wherein one thinks himself merged in the impersonal Brahman as one with the Supreme."*

 

†††† In this passage the word "mahima" refers to Brahman. Here it is said the Supreme is known of its own accord. This is the same as saying "the food cooks" or ďthe ax chops down the tree". Actually, as there is another cause behind the food or the ax, so there is another cause that enables one to understand the Supreme. What is that cause? The answer is given in the words "amalantaratmabhih" (by they who are pure in heart) and svanubhavat" (because the Lord is manifested by His own wish).

†††† Here someone may protest: The activities of the mind are by nature subject to the changes inherent in material nature. The Supreme, however, is always aloof from all such material changes. How, then, is it possible for the material mind to directly perceive the spiritual Supreme ?

†††† The answer is given in the word "avikriyat", which means "without material transformations". Material transformations are a product of the illusory potency, maya. When maya no longer acts, then the subtle material body of mind, intelligence and false ego is no longer manifested. That is the situation when a person perceives the Supreme.

†††† Here someone may again protest: Still, the Supreme cannot be perceived by the senses.

†††† To this question the answer is given in the word ďarupatah". "Rupa" here means "what is seen by the material senses", and "a-rupa" then means ďwhat cannot be seen by the material senses". Therefore ďarupatah" means "because the Supreme cannot be seen by the material senses". However, there is no fault in saying that the form of the Supreme may be experienced by tools other than the material senses.

†††† Here someone may ask: What is this other way of seeing the Supreme?

†††† To this question the answer is given in the word ďananya-bodhatmataya", which means "because the Supreme cannot be understood in any other way". This means that the Supreme is not a material sense-object, such as sound or touch. The Supreme therefore cannot be perceived as one perceives material sense objects. However, the form of the Supreme can be perceived on His own terms, spiritually, and not as an object of perception for material senses.

 

 

Text 7

 

gunatmanas te 'pi gunan vimatum

†††† hitavatirnasya ka ishire 'sya

kalena yair va vimitah su-kalpair

†††† bhu-pamshavah khe mihika dyu-bhasah

 

†††† gunatmanah-the overseer of the three qualities; te-of You; api-certainly; gunan-the qualities; vimatum-to count; hitavatirnasya-who have descended for the benefit of all living entities; ke-who?; ishire-were able; asya-of the universe; kalena-in due course of time; yaih-by whom; va-or; vimitah-counted; su-kalpaih-by great scientists; bhu-pamshavah-the atoms of the universe; khe-in the sky; mihikah-particles of snow; dyu-bhasah-the illuminating stares and planets.

 

 

†††† In time, great scientists may be able to count all the atoms of the universe, all the stars and planets in the sky, and all the particles of snow, but who among them can count the unlimited transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He descends on the surface of the globe for the benefit of all living entities.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† This verse means, "O master of all qualities, who is able to count all of Your qualities?" Since this is impossible, it is also impossible to discuss Your qualities in the great detail they deserve.

†††† What are You like? The answer is given here: "You descend on the surface of the globe to benefit all living entities by revealing Your transcendental qualities to them."

†††† Here someone may protest: What task is impossible for the wise when they have enough time to labor at it? If the great philosophers only had enough time for research, they could certainly count all the transcendental qualities of the Supreme Lord.

†††† That protest is answered in this verse by the passage beginning with the word "kalena". The word "va" (or) is used here to begin the refutation of the protester's argument. That refutation is: "In time, great scientists may be able to count all the atoms of the universe, all the stars and planets in the sky, and all the particles of snow, but who among them can count the unlimited transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead?*"

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† This verse means, "O Lord who have descended to this world, no one can understand all the glories of Your transcendental qualities." Here Brahma hints, "Because I was unaware of them, it seems like Your transcendental qualities were dormant, asleep, and now they are manifest before me. Now it is like they are awake. O Lord, now it is clearly determined that You have many transcendental qualities.

†††† "Since that is Your nature, there arises the possibility of counting the number of them. However, the question may be raised: Who has the power to count all of Your glorious qualities? The answer to this question must certainly be: No one has that power. The reason for that is given in the word `hitavatirnasya' (You descend on the surface of the globe for the benefit of all living entities).

†††† Here is the meaning: The Lord manifests specific qualities to benefit the conditioned souls in specific ways. Now, because the individual spirit souls are limitless in number, and because the individual natures they possess are also limitless in number, therefore the personal qualities the Supreme Lord manifests to benefit them must also be limitless in number. It is not possible to count the number of something that is limitless, so therefore no one has the power to count all the glories and qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

†††† The earth-atoms and other particles here are all progressively more and more tiny. Therefore they are given as examples of very numerous things that seem to be limitless in number.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† If they do not engage in loving devotional service (prema-bhakti), even wise philosophers who have crossed beyond the ocean of material illusion cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead's form, which is filled with auspicious transcendental qualities. Here Brahma may say, "If I and the people who live in my universe cannot understand You even when we see You, and if no one is thus able to count all Your charming qualities, then how can it be said that anyone can even perceive all the many varieties of Your transcendental sweetness? Your personal qualities are both eternal and transcendental. They are not material." In the Brahma-tarka it is said:

 

 

gunaih svarupa-bhutais tu

†††† guny asau harir ishvarah

 

 

†††† "Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, possesses many transcendental qualities."

 

†††† In this verse of Shrimad-Bhagavatam the word "api" means "but". Therefore Brahma says, "But Your qualities are limitless. Therefore who has the power to count them all?" The answer is, of course, that no one has that power. It may be noted that the periphrastic perfect is not used here for the verb "ish". That is the poetic license of the saintly author of Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

†††† The word "hitavatirnasya" means "who descended to this world to cure the conditioned souls' disease of repeated birth and death". The word "va" is used to begin the refutation of the opposing argument.

†††† Here Brahma says, "Sankarshana Muni and other wise philosophers may be able to count all the atoms of the universe. Even greater than that, they may be able to count all the stars and planets in the sky. Even greater than that, they may be able to count all the particles of snow. Still, Sankarshana Muni and the other great philosophers cannot find the limit of Your transcendental qualities.

†††† Or, the word "gunatmanah" may be interpreted to mean "of the material universe, which is made of the three modes of matter". Interpreted in this way, the verse means, ďO Lord, no one is able to count all the qualities of You, who have descended to protect this world made of the three modes of nature. How, then, can anyone count Your very wonderful transcendental pastimes, such as Your stealing of the gopis' yogurt?"

 

Text 8

 

tat te 'nukampam su-samikshamano

†††† bhunjana evatma-kritam vipakam

hrid-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te

†††† jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

 

†††† tat-therefore; te-Your; anukampam-compassion; su-samikshamanah-hoping for; bhunjanah-enduring; eva-certainlt; atma-kritam-done by himself; vipakam-fruitive results; hrit-with the heart; vak-words; vapurbhih-and body; vidadhan-offering; namah-obeisances; te-unto You; jiveta-may live; yah-anyone who; mukti-pade-in liberation; sa-he; daya-bhak-a bona-fide candidate.

 

 

†††† One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words, and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You is certainly a bona-fide candidate for becoming liberated.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: One should engage in devotional service. The word "su-samikshamanah" means, ďthinking, `When will the Lord be merciful to me?' "

†††† This means that a person who, without becoming attached, patiently accepts what destiny gives him because of his past karma, and who does not try to counteract his past karma by performing severe austerities or other like deeds, and who lives his life in that way, gains liberation as his proper inheritance. As the only way to gain an inheritance is to patiently live out one's life, so the only way to gain the inheritance of liberation is to patiently live out one's life as a devotee of the Lord.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The word "su-samikshamanah" here means ďfully expecting". The word "eva" (certainly) should be carried again into the verse where appropriate.

†††† One must experience the results of past karma. That is unavoidable. Therefore one should not be concerned about the happiness and distress that comes in this way.

†††† "Vipakam" means "the results of various past deeds". The phrase "hrid-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namah" means that one should be attached to devotional activities and to nothing else.

†††† "Mukti-padam" means either "liberation", or "the city of Lord Shiva", or "the abode of Vaikuntha", or "the lotus feet of the Lord", or if the letter "a" is understood to precede (yo 'mukti) the word "mukti", it may mean "because they are plunged in the nectar ocean of the Supreme Lord's glories, the devotees consider impersonal liberation to be like a tiny drop from the salt-water ocean".

†††† "Pade" means either "the lotus feet", or "love for the Lord's lotus feet". "Daya" means "gift" and "bhak" means "one who gives". The word "hrid-vag-vapurbhih" (with mind, words, and body) is related to this act of giving. Simply by desiring in his mind (hrid) such a person gives liberation to others. By his words (vag), and also by the touch of his body (vapuh), and in other ways also, he again gives liberation.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† "O Lord, a person who renounces all other spiritual practices and engages in devotional service, attains You." That is the gist of this verse. Someone may ask, "What is a devotee's outlook on life? How does he act?" To answer these questions, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† The phrase "atma-kritam vipakam" is explained in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.9):

 

 

dharmasya hy apavargasya

†††† nartho 'rthayopakalpate

 

 

†††† "All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain."*

 

†††† Thus a devotee knows that present happiness has past devotional activities as its cause and present suffering has past offenses as its cause. Thus a devotee peacefully endures all happiness and suffering and patiently waits for the Lord's mercy. He knows that his present happiness and suffering is really all the Lord's mercy on him.

†††† A devotee thinks, "As a father sometimes mercifully gives a cup of milk to his small son, at other times mercifully gives him bitter nimba medicine, at other times embraces and kisses him, and at other times spanks him, in the same way the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is like my father knows what is in truth good and bad for me, who am like His son. I do not know it myself. O Lord, I have no devotion for You. That is why time and karma have their power over me. It is because You are merciful to me that I sometimes enjoy and sometimes suffer. In truth the Supreme Lord is serving me in this way." Maharaja Prithu explains (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.31):

 

 

yatha cared bala-hitam pita svayam

†††† tatha tvam evarhasi nah samihitum

 

 

†††† "Therefore, please do not ask me to take some material benefits from You, but as a father, not waiting for the son's demand, does everything for the benefit of the son, please bestow upon me whatever You think best for me."*

 

†††† A person who every day prays like Prithu Maharaja, and who every day offers obeisances with His body, mind, and words, and who lives out his life patiently tolerating the sufferings that naturally come his way, inherits "mukti-pada", which means first "service to the Supreme Lord's feet" and second, ďliberation from the world of repeated births and deaths". As a son's qualification to receive his inheritance is simply that he has patiently lived out his life, in the same way a devotee's qualification to receive his inheritance of "mukti-pada" is simply that he patiently lived out his life as he followed the path of devotional service. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.17) it is said:

 

 

dritaya iva shvasanty asu-bhrito te 'nuvidhah

 

 

†††† "O Lord, they who do not engage in Your devotional service breathe in vain. Their breathing is like breathing of a bellows."

 

 

Text 9

 

pashyesha me 'naryam ananta adye

†††† paratmani tvayy api mayi-mayini

mayanvitatyekshitum atma-vaibhavam

†††† hy aham kiyan aiccham ivarcir agnau

 

†††† pashya-see; isha-O Lord; me-of me; anaryam-unworthiness; ananta-O unlimited; adye-the original; paratmani-the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tvayi-You; api-also; mayi-of the masters of illusion; mayini-the master of illusion; mayam-illusory power; vitatya-expanding; ikshitum--to see; atma-Your; vaibhavam-power; hi-indeed; aham-I; kiyan--how much; aiccham-desired; iva-like; arcih-a spark; agnau-in the fire.

 

 

†††† O Lord, see my wickedness. When I employed my mystic powers on You, who are my father, who are the Supersoul, and who bewilder all other masters of mystic power, I only desired to see Your own power and glory. What am I in comparison to You? I am like a spark compared to a fire.

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† After offering the preceding prayers to the Lord, in this verse Brahma begs forgiveness for his offense. He says, ďO Lord, see my wickedness. When I employed my mystic powers on You, who bewilder all other masters of mystic power, I only desired to see Your own power and glory. What am I in comparison to You? I am nothing. I am like a spark compared to a fire. I am nothing."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In this verse Brahma confesses his offense. Here ďisha" means "O master", "ananta" means ďHe whose glories are limitless", "adye" means ďto the father", and "paratmani" means "to the supreme spiritual master". Here the Lord is addressed as spiritual master because, staying in Brahma's heart, the Lord taught him all the Vedas.

†††† "Mayi-mayini" means "he who bewilders the masters of mystic power", and "tvayy api" means ďto Lord Krishna". Here Brahma says, "O Lord Krishna, it was not proper of me to try to use my mystic powers to bewilder You. Still, Your mystic power was far greater than mine." ďAtma-vaibhavam ikshitum aiccham" means "I desired to see the glory of Your mystic powers". This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.13.15):

 

 

drashtum manju mahitvam anyad api

 

 

†††† "Brahma wanted to see the power of Krishna."*

 

†††† The word "hi" means either "indeed" or ďalas!". In the passage beginning with the word ďkiyan", Brahma says, "Although, in one sense, I did not commit an offense, still I am very lowly and insignificant in comparison to You."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† With great contrition Brahma says here, "I I did not perform even the slightest devotional service. Instead I committed many offenses." Brahma says, " O Lord, see my anaryam". "Arya" means "a person who is both good and wise", "aryam" means "the nature of such a person", and "anaryam" means "the opposite of that nature". Thus "anaryam" means "wickedness" and "folly".

†††† Here Brahma says, "O Lord, please either punish me or forgive me. If You do neither, then the wickedness and folly of persons like myself only increases."

†††† What is Brahma's wickedness and folly here? Brahma explains, "Although, because You created me, You are my father (adye), I offended You when You were enjoying lunch with Your friends. That was my wickedness. I offended a person whose powers and opulences have no limit (anante). That was my folly. I offended a person who bewilders the masters of mystic power. That was my supreme folly.

†††† "Even though You are very great in this way, I still manifested my own mystic power because I wished to see Your own power and glory. What am I in relation to You? What is my size in relation to You. I am like a spark that, after taking birth from a great fire, then desires to burn that fire away."

 

Text 10

 

atah kshamasvacyuta me rajo-bhuvo

†††† hy ajanatas tvat-prithag-isha-maninah

ajavalepandha-tamo-'ndha-cakshusha

†††† esho 'nukampyo mayi nathavan iti

 

†††† atah-therefore; kshamasva-please excuse; acyuta-O infallible one; me-me; rajo-bhuvah-born from the mode of passion; hi-indeed; ajanatah-ignorant; tvat-from You; prithag-different; isha-a master; maninah-proudly thinking; aja-of the unborn; avalepa-covering; andha-tamah-by the darkness of ignorance; andha-blinded; cakshusha-with eyes; eshah-he; anukampyah-to be pitied; mayi-in me; nathavan-having a master; iti-thus.

 

 

†††† O infallible Lord, because I was born from the mode of passion, I was foolish, and because my eyes were blinded by the darkness of Your illusory potency, I foolishly thought I was a great controller independent of You. Please think of me in this way: "He is my servant. I should forgive him."

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The words "rajo-bhuvah", "atah", and "ajanatah" mean "ignorant because of taking birth from the mode of passion". The words ďajavalepandha-tamo-'ndha-cakshusha" mean ďIntoxicated by thinking, `I am Brahma, the unborn creator of the universe', my eyes were blinded with ignorance." Because of this Brahma thought "I am a powerful controller. I am independent."

†††† "Esho 'nukampyo mayi nathavan iti" means ďEven though I may be a master in certain situations, aside from those situations You are my master. Therefore please think of me as Your servant. Thinking, `This person should receive My mercy', please forgive me."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here Brahma says, "Because You are very great and glorious and I am very tiny and insignificant, therefore please forgive me." In the series of adjectives beginning with ďrajo-bhuvah" Brahma reveals how tiny and insignificant he is. The word "hi", which means "indeed", should be connected with all these adjectives.

†††† The passage beginning with "acyuta" means ďWhen a person somehow surrenders unto You, his offenses are all forgiven. Because of Your great glory such a surrendered soul never falls down under any circumstances." Here Brahma says, "esho 'nukampyah" (mercy should be given to me). Why is that? Brahma declares, "nathavan" (because I am Your servant).

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest: Is it not true that You are Brahma, the great controller of the universe? How have you become a servant?

†††† To this protest Brahma replies: "O Lord, You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all. I now approach You to take shelter of You alone." The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, the reason for speaking this series of adjectives is given in the word "ajavalepandha-tamo-'ndha-cakshusha" which means "I was covered by the illusory potency maya. Thus my eyes were blinded with ignorance."

 

††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Brahma says, "O Lord, because I am wicked, I should be punished. Because I am foolish, I should be forgiven. Still, because You are merciful, You should forgive me." Brahma says, "O infallible Lord, because You possess mercy and a host of other good qualities, therefore You never fall down and You never make a mistake. On the other hand, I am very lowly and fallen. Therefore please forgive my offense." In the Niti-shastra it is said:

 

 

nice dayadhike spardha

 

 

††† "He who is most fallen should receive the most mercy."

 

†††† Then Brahma proceeds to describe his fallen condition. He says that he is "rajo-bhuvah". "Rajah" means either "the mode of passion" or "dust". Therefore "rajo-bhuvah" means either "Your son, born from the mode of passion" or "Your son, born from dust". Then he says, "ajanatas tvat-prithag-isha-maninah", which means "because I was very foolish, I though myself a great controller independent of You".

†††† Then Brahma explains his proud misconception that he is a great controller. He says, "ajavalepandha-tamo-'ndha-cakshusha", which means "Proud of being the great demigod Brahma, my eyes were blinded with the darkness of ignorance". Here poetic license is used to avoid making ďtamah" the end of the compound word.

†††† Then Brahma says, "O Lord, when the moon of Your mercy rises it will drive away the darkness of my false pride. Only then will You become visible to me. There is no other way."

†††† If Lord Krishna protests: Why should I forgive you? Then Brahma replies with the word, "anukampyah", which means "I should be forgiven".

†††† Then Brahma says, "mayi nathavan iti", which means "Please think of me as Your servant. Please think, `Brahma thought he was independent, but actually he was always in the grip of My illusory potency. Actually he is always dependent on Me.' " The word "nathavan" is defined in these words of Amara-kosha:

 

 

para-tantrah paradhinah

†††† paravan nathavan api

 

 

†††† "The words para-tantra, paradhina, paravan, and nathavan all mean `dependent'."

 

 

Text 11

 

kvaham tamo-mahad-aham-khacaragni-var-bhu-

†††† samveshtitanda-ghata-sapta-vitashti-kayah

kvedrig-vidhaviganitanda-paranu-carya-

†††† vatadhva-roma-vivarasya ca te mahitvam

 

†††† kva-where?; aham-I; tamah-material nature; mahat-the total material energy; aham-false ego; kha-ether; cara-air; agni-fire; vah-water; bhu-earth; samveshtita-surrounded by; anda-ghata-a pot-like universe; sapta-vitashti-seven vitastis; kayah-body; kva-where?; idrik-such; vidha-like; aviganita-unlimited; anda-universes; paranu-carya-moving like the atomic dust;vatadhva-air holes; roma-of the hair on the body; vivarasya-of the holes; ca-also; te-You; mahitvam-greatness.

 

 

†††† Where am I, a small creature of seven spans the measure of my own hand? I am enclosed in the universe composed of material nature, the total material energy, false ego, ether, air, water, and earth. And what is Your glory? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just like particles of dust passing through the opening of a window.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest: Is it not true that the entire material universe is your body and you are the controller of it? If Lord Krishna protests in this way, then Brahma speaks this verse in reply.

†††††† Here "tamah" means "material nature", ďmahat" means "the total material energy", ďaham" means "false ego", "kha" means ďether", "cara" means "air", "agni" means "fire", "var" means "water", and "bhu" means "earth".

†††† Brahma says, "The material universe is like a great pot made of these elements beginning with material nature. Within this universe-pot I am a creature whose body is the size of seven spans the measure of my own hand. Where am I? Where is Your greatness and glory?

†††† "What are You like? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just like particles of dust passing through the opening of a window. Therefore, because I am very lowly and insignificant, You should be merciful to me."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "Alas, because I am so fallen and insignificant, I am not worthy even to beg forgiveness from You, who are supremely great and glorious." The metaphor identifying the material universe as a pot shows both the greatness of Lord Krishna and the insignificance of Brahma. The word "mahitvam" means "glory". Brahma says, "Because You are so great and glorious, You should show mercy to me spontaneously, of Your own wish."

 

††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest, "You are famous as the creator of the universe. Therefore it is not false pride when you think yourself a great controller. However, what great power and opulence do I possess? Please tell Me that." Brahma speaks this verse in reply to that protest.

†††††† Here "tamah" means "material nature", ďmahat" means "the total material energy", ďaham" means "false ego", "kha" means ďether", "cara" means "air", "agni" means "fire", "var" means "water", and "bhu" means "earth".

†††† Brahma says, "The material universe is like a great pot made of these elements beginning with material nature. Within this universe-pot, which extends from Patalaloka to Satyaloka, I am a creature whose body is the size of seven spans the measure of my own hand.

†††† "Where am I? And what is Your glory? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just like particles of dust passing through the opening of a window. That is Your glory. You are the creator of the mahat-tattva. You are the first purusha-avatara. My power and glory compares to Yours as a locust compares to Garuda. In others words, my glory is not to be taken seriously.

 

Text 12

 

utkshepanam garbha-gatasya padayoh

†††† kim kalpate matur adhokshajagase

kim asti-nasti-vyapadesha-bhushitam

†††† tavasti kuksheh kiyad apy anantah

 

†††† utkshepanam-kicking; garbha-gatasya-of a child in the womb; padayoh-of the feet; kim-whether; kalpate-considers; matuh-of the mother; adhokshaja-to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; agase-for an offense; kim-whether?; asti-is; na-not; asti-is; vyapadesha-explanations; bhushitam-decorated; tava-of You; asti-is; kuksheh-of the belly; kiyat-how much; api-also; an-not; antah-within.

 

 

†††† O Lord Adhokshaja, does a mother take offense when the child kicks within her womb? How much of existence, whether philosophers decorate it with the words it "It exists" or with the words "It does not exist", is outside Your abdomen?

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Furthermore, is the kicking of a child in the womb an offense to the mother? "Asti-nasti-vyapadesha" means "being and non-being", or it may mean "subtle and gross", or it may mean "cause and effect". ďBhushitam" means "said". Or, "bhushitam" may mean situated (ushitam) in the material world (bhu). Thus this phrase means "all that exists".

†††† Then Brahma says, "O Lord Adhokshaja, does anything exist that is outside Your abdomen?" The meaning here is that there is not anything outside Lord Krishna's abdomen. Then Brahma says, "Since everything is within Your abdomen, I am also within Your abdomen, and since I am within Your abdomen, You are like my mother. Therefore You should forgive my offense."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† This gist of this verse is, "Furthermore, offenses committed by persons like myself have no effect on You. They do not count as offenses. The word "adhokshaja" means ďHe who was metaphorically said to be born again under a cart". This pastime is described in Shri Hari-vamsha (Shri Vishnu-parva, 101.30-33), Shri Vasudeva-mahatmya, where Shri Narada said:

 

 

adho 'nena shayanena

†††† shakatantara-carina

rakshasi nihata raudra

†††† shakuni-vesha-dharini

 

putana nama ghora sa

†††† maha-kaya maha-bala

visha-digdham stanam kshudra

†††† prayacchanti janardane

 

 

†††† "Then Lord Krishna, who had wandered underneath the cart and fallen asleep there, killed the ferocious, tall, and very powerful demoness Putana, who had smeared poison on her breast and then offered it to Lord Krishna.

 

 

dadrishur nihatam tatra

†††† rakshasim vana-gocarah

punar-jato 'yam ity ahur

†††† uktas tasmad adhokshajah

 

 

†††† "When the inhabitants of Vrindavana saw the giant demoness Putana had been killed by Krishna, they cried out: `Krishna is safe! It is as if He has taken birth (ja) for a second time under (adhah) the cart's axle (aksha).' Because the vrajavasis called out in this way, Lord Krishna is known as Adhokshaja."

 

†††† The commentator on Hari-vamsha gives this explanation:

 

†††† "Because He was born (ja) again under (adhah) the cart's axle (aksha), the Lord was called Adhokshaja."

 

†††† In this way the meaning of this name is revealed in the Lord's great pastimes as the son of Vraja's king. This word (adhokshaja) in the vocative case has within its womb another reason for Lord Krishna to forgive Brahma's offense. By using this name, Brahma hints, "O Lord, in Your pastimes in this world You committed theft and many other offenses. Still, it is seen that the people of Vraja always forgave You and gave You their mercy. For this reason also You should forgive my offense." That is the meaning.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "O Lord, You must forgive my offense because You are my mother." Thinking Lord Krishna identical with the second purusha-avatara, Lord Padmanabha, Brahma speaks this verse. Is the kicking of a child in the womb an offense to the mother? It is not.

†††† The word "asti-nasti-vyapadesha-bhushitam" means "It may be said `This exists' or `That does not exist', and in this way one may ascertain that one thing is a reality and another thing is an illusion." All of this reality and illusion taken together is the material universe.

†††† Here Brahma asks, "O Lord, is this sum totality of all existence within or abdomen or outside of it? It is certainly within Your abdomen. Therefore I am also within Your abdomen. Therefore I am Your son and You are my mother. Therefore You, my mother, should forgive me, Your son." In Bhagavad-gita (9.17) Lord Krishna declares:

 

 

pitaham asya jagatah

†††† mata dhata pitamahah

 

 

†††† "I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support, and the grandsire."*

 

 

Text 13

 

jagat-trayantodadhi-samplavode

†††† narayanasyodara-nabhi-nalat

vinirgato 'jas tv iti van na vai mrisha

†††† kintv ishvara tvan na vinirgato 'smi

 

†††† jagat-worlds; traya-three; anta-end; udadhi-ocean; samplava-flood; ude-inde the water; narayanasya-of Lord Narayana; udara-in the abdomen; nabhi-of the navel; nalat-from the stem; vinirgatah-emerged; ajah-unborn; tu-indeed; iti-thus; vak-words; na-not; vai-indeed; mrisha-false; kintu-however; ishvara-O Lord; tvat-from You; na-not; vinirgatah-emerged; asmi-I am.

 

 

†††† When the three worlds are destroyed and there is a great flood, Brahma is born from Lord Narayana's lotus navel. These words are not false. O Lord, am I not born from You?

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "Furthermore, it is well known that I was born from You". Brahma says, "When the three worlds were destroyed and there was a great flood, on the water of that flood was Lord Narayana, and on Lord Narayana's abdomen there was a navel. From the stem of that navel I was born. These words are not false." Here the word "vai" means "certainly".

†††† Then Brahma continues, "Furthermore, am I not born from You?" The answer to this rhetorical question is, ďYes. I am indeed born from You."††††

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "You, who are directly my father, should excuse this offense committed by me, Your son." Here the word "nala" means "the stem of a lotus flower". By this word the entire lotus flower is implied. In the Vishva Dictionary it is said:

 

 

naline tu nalam matam

 

 

†††† "The world "nala (stem) can refer to the entire lotus flower."

 

†††† The word "nala" here is a tad-dhita. Thus it means "the thing that has a stem". Here the word "tu" means "indeed". It is used here because Brahma wishes to emphasize that he was directly born from Lord Narayana. The prefix "vi" added to "nirgatah" here indicates that before he was born Brahma was a long time in the abdomen of Lord Narayana.

†††† Here the word "ishvara" means "O Supreme Personality of Godhead". It is not appropriate to interpret this world to mean "O father". With this word Brahma devotedly addresses the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Or, this passage may be interpreted, "O Lord, even though I was born from Lord Narayana, it is true that I was born from You, for You are not different from Lord Narayana."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest, "Is it not true that a son is born from a mother's womb? The child does not stay forever in the womb." If the Lord raises this protest, then Brahma gives this reply, "When the three worlds are destroyed and there is a great flood, then everything becomes one in the flooding waters, and eventually a new Brahma is born. Was I not born from You? Indeed I was born from You."

 

Text 14

 

narayanas tvam na hi sarva-dehinam

†††† atmasy adhishakhila-loka-sakshi

narayano 'ngam nara-bhu-jalayanat

†††† tac capi satyam na tavaiva maya

 

†††† narayanah-Lord Narayana; tvam-You; na-not; hi-certainly; sarva-dehinam-all; atma-the Supersoul; asi-You are; adhisha-O Lord; akhila-loka-of all the worlds; sakshi-the witness; narayanah-known as Narayana; angam-plenary portuion; nara-of Nara; bhu-born; jala-in the water; ayanat-due to the place of refuge; tat-that; ca-and; api-certainly; satyam-highest truth; na-not; tava-Your; eva-at all; maya-the illusory energy.

 

 

†††† O Lord of lords, You are the seer of all creation. You are indeed everyone's dearest life. Are You not, therefore, my father Narayana? Narayana refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu), and that Narayana is Your plenary portion. All Your plenary portions are transcendental. They are absolute and are not creations of maya.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may ask, "The son of Narayana you may be, but how did you come to be My son?" To answer this challenge, Brahma spoke this verse. The word "na" (not) is spoken here in irony. The meaning is, "You certainly are Narayana".

†††† If Lord Krishna challenges, "Why do you say I am Narayana?", then Brahma replies, "sarva-dehinam atmasi" (You are indeed everyone's dearest life). Brahma says, "Are You not Narayana?"

†††† "Nara" means "all living entities", and ďayana" means "shelter". Therefore "Narayana" means "the shelter of all living entities". Brahma thus says, "Because You are the Supersoul of all living beings, You must be Narayana." Thus, changing the pitch of his voice, Brahma asks ironically, "O Lord of lords, You are not Narayana?"

†††† Here "adhisha" means "creator", and ďayana" means "creation". Therefore Narayana means. "He from whom creation (ayana) of all living entities (nara) is manifest." Here Brahma says, "You are that person."

†††† Brahma also says, "akhila-loka-sakshi", which means "You are the witness who observes all living entities". Interpreted in this way, Narayana means "You who know (ayase) all living entities (nara)."

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest, "This may be a very good etymological explanation of the word `Narayana', but still I am not that Narayana." Fearing that Lord Krishna would protest in this way, Brahma spoke the passage beginning with the words ďnarayano 'ngam".

†††† "Narayana" may also be explained in this way: ďNara" means "the living entities born from Nara (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu)", or it may also mean "the water born from Nara". The resting place (ayana) of these is called Narayana. Thus the words "narayano 'ngam" mean "Narayana is one of Your forms". In the Smriti-shastra it is said:

 

 

naraj jatani tattvani

†††† naraniti vidur budhah

tasya tany ayanam purvam

†††† tena narayanah smritah

 

 

†††† "The wise know that the elements born from Nara are called naras. He who is the resting place of these elements is called Narayana."

 

†††† In the scriptures it is also said:

 

 

apo nara iti prokta

†††† apo va nara-sunavah

ayanam tasya ya purvam

†††† tena narayanah smritah

 

 

†††† "Because it is manifested from Nara (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu), this water (the Garbhodaka ocean) is called nara. He who rests on this water is called Narayana."

 

†††† Here Lord Krishna may protest, "My form is limitless and all-pervading. How can it rest on the water?" Brahma answers by affirming, "tac capi satyam na" (It is real. It is not a creation of maya).

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here the word "angam" means "one of Your forms". Lord Krishna may protest, "The words `nara-bhu-jalayanat' (Narayana refers to one whose abode is in the water born from Nara, Garbhodakashayi Vishnu) imply that Narayana has a body. Bodies are by nature temporary and unreal. If Narayana has a body, must it not also be temporary and unreal?"

†††† To this protest Brahma gives the following reply: ďtac capi satyam na tavaiva maya", which means "The water where Narayana rests is real and Lord Narayana Himself is also real. They are not creations of maya."

†††† The word "api" here means "also". Here Brahma says, "Because Your pastimes are real, this taking shelter of the water is also real, for it plays a part in Your pastimes." Thus because is is manifested from Nara (Garbhodakashayi Vishnu), who is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this water (the Garbhodaka Ocean) is also real and eternal. Therefore, because is not a creation of maya, this water (the Garbhodaka Ocean) is limitless, and because it is limitless, it is possible that limitless Narayana can lie down upon it.

†††† Or, directly seeing that Lord Krishna is more glorious than Narayana, Brahma is afraid to address Him as Narayana, and instead in this verse he anxiously and straightforwardly says, "narayanas tvam na" (You are not Narayana). Here ďadhisha" means "O master of the universes".

†††Here Brahma affirms, "narayanas tvam na" (You are not Narayana). Then he says, "narayano 'ngam nara-bhu-jalayanat" (This is so because Narayana, who rests on the water, is Your expansion). In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.4.3) it is said:

 

 

bhutair yada pancabhir atma-srishtaih

†††† puram virajam viracayya tasmin

svamshena vishtah purushabhidhanam

†††† avapa narayana adi-devah

 

 

†††† "When the primeval Lord Narayana created His universal form from the five material elements He Himself created, He manifested His own plenary expansion and then entered that universal form. That plenary expansion was called the Purusha-avatara."

 

††† The Narayana mentioned in this verse is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the origin of all incarnations. He assumed the form of the Narayana who lies down on the water (of the Garbhodaka Ocean), a form known as the Purusha-avatara. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.32) it is said:

 

 

yan-mitram paramanandam

†††† purnam brahma sanatanam

 

 

†††† "How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune because the Absolute Truth, the source of all transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend."*

 

†††† From these words, which will be spoken later in this chapter, it is clear that Krishna is the full, original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore Brahma says, "tvam akhila-loka-sakshi" (You are the witness who sees everything in all the universes). In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.11) it is said:

 

 

kvedrig-vidhaviganitanda-paranu-carya-

 

 

†††† "And what is Your glory? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just like particles of dust passing through the opening of a window."*

 

†††† That Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead is also confirmed by the fact that Brahma himself had just before seen many millions of material universes manifested in one place in Vrindavana forest. Narayana is the master of only one universe. But Krishna, because He is described here as "sarva-dehinam atma" (the Supersoul of all living entities), is the Supersoul of all, of all living entities in all, in limitless millions, of universes. The rest is explained as before.

†††† Here Lord Krishna may raise the following protest: In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.1.19-20) it is said:

 

 

brahma tad-upadharyatha

†††† saha devais taya saha

jagama sa-trinayanas

†††† tiram kshira-payo-nidheh

 

 

†††† "Thereafter, having heard of the distress of mother earth, Lord Brahma, with mother earth, Lord Shiva, and all the other demigods, approached the shore of the ocean of milk.*

 

 

tatra gatva jagan-natham

†††† deva-devam vrishakapim

purusham purusha-suktena

†††† upatasthe samahitah

 

 

†††† "After reaching the shore of the ocean of milk, the demigods worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu, the master of the whole universe, the Supreme God of all gods, who provides for everyone and diminishes everyone's suffering. With great attention, they worshiped Lord Vishnu, who lies on the ocean of milk, by reciting the Vedic mantras known as Purusha-sukta."*

 

†††† In this passage the Purusha-avatara Narayana is described as the Supersoul of the universal form (virat). Therefore it should be understood that Krishna is an incarnation of Narayana. Therefore it is correct to address Krishna by the names Narayana and Purusha-avatara. Why, then, do tell Me "narayanas tvam na" (You are not Narayana)?

 

†††† Brahma refutes Krishna's argument in these words: In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.1-3) it is said:

 

 

jagrihe paurusham rupam

†††† bhagavan mahad-adibhih

sambhutam shodasha-kalam

†††† adau loka-sisrikshaya

 

 

†††† "In the beginning of the creation, the Lord 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.*

 

 

yasyambhasi shayanasya

†††† yoga-nidram vitanvatah

nabhi-hradambujad asid

†††† brahma vishva-srijam patih

 

 

†††† "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.*

 

 

yasyavayava-samsthanaih

†††† kalpito loka-vistarah

tad vai bhagavato rupam

†††† vishuddham sattvam urjitam

 

 

†††† "It is believed that all the universal planetary systems are situated on the extensive body of the purusha, but He has nothing to do with the created material ingredients. His body is eternally in spiritual existence par excellence."*

 

†††† Here is the meaning: In the beginning of the material creation (adau) the Supreme Personality of Godhead (purushottamah) desired to create the material worlds (loka-sisrikshaya) with the mahat-tattva and other material principles (mahad-adibhih). Thus, with a glance He manifested (jagrihe) His form of the purusha incarnation (paurusham rupam).

†††† How was the creation manifested? The answer is given in the words "shodasha-kalam" (And thus at first there was the ćcreation of the sixteen principles of material action). The first eight of these sixteen principles of material action are described in these words of scripture:

 

 

anima mahima praptih

†††† prakamyam laghimeshita

tatha kamavashayitvam

†††† vashitety ashta-siddhayah

 

 

†††† "There are eight mystic perfections. They are the powers to: 1. make oneself very small, 2. make oneself very large, 3. attain whatever one desires, 4. enjoy whatever one wishes, 5. make oneself very light, 6. control the material energy, 7. obtain anything from anywhere, and 8. bring others under his control."

 

†††† Six more principles are described in these words of Vishnu Purana (6.5.74):

 

 

aishvaryasya samagrasya

†††† viryasya yashasah shriyah

jnana-vairagyayosh capi

†††† shanŽam bhaga itingana

 

 

††† "KrishŽa is full in all opulences, namely strength, wealth, fame, beauty, knowledge, and renunciation."*

 

†††† Two more principles are described in these words of scripture:

 

 

lila-kripabhidhau viishŽoh

†††† sva-pararthau gunav ubhau

lila svasyaiva saukhyaya

†††† paresham tu kripa smrita

 

 

†††† "Lord VishŽu has two important qualities: 1. His pastimes, and 2. His mercy. His pastimes are for His own happiness and His mercy is for the happiness of others."

 

†††† The first purusha incarnation manifests the mahat-tattva and the sixteen principles of matter. The second purusha incarnation then enters the material universe and resides there. This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.2 quoted above.

†††† After the material universe is created and the second purusha incarnation enters it and lies down on the waters of the Garbhodaka Ocean, a lotus flower grows from the purusha's navel lake. On that lotus Brahma is born.

†††† What is that lotus like? That lotus grows from the navel lake of the purusha. On its whorl, petals, and other parts the different planets of the universe are situated.

†††† What is the form of NarayaŽa like? That is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.3. This incarnation (Garbhodakashayi VishŽu) should not be confused with Kshirodakashayi VishŽu, who lies down on the ocean of milk. He is a different incarnation of the Lord. They are different because Kshirodakashayi VishŽu entered the lotus flower grown from Garbhodakashayi VishŽu's navel. This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.15):

 

 

tal-loka-padmam sa u eva vishŽuh

†††† pravivishat sarva-guŽavabhasam

 

 

†††† "Into that universal lotus flower Lord VishŽu personally entered as the Supersoul, and when it was thus impregnated with all the modes of material nature, the personality of Vedic wisdom, who we called the self-born, was generated."*

 

†††† The third purusha incarnation (Kshirodakashayi VishŽu) is the origin of twenty-two incarnations beginning with the Kumaras described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.6 and culminating in Lord Kalki. Although included among these incarnations of the third purusha incarnation, Lord KrishŽa's position is unique. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28) explains:

 

 

ete camsha-kalah pumsah

†††† krishŽas tu bhagavan svayam

 

 

†††† "All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri KrishŽa is the original Personality of Godhead."*

 

†††† In this way it is seen that the Kumaras and other incarnations are all plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the purusha incarnation, but Lord Shri KrishŽa is the original Personality of Godhead. The word "tu" (but) indicates Lord KrishŽa's difference. He is the bhagavan (Supreme Personality of Godhead) who original assumed the forms of the purusha incarnations (jagrihe paurusham rupam) as described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.1. The word "svayam" here indicates Lord KrishŽa's supreme independence. Lord KrishŽa is not dependent on or manifested from any other form of the Lord as one lamp is lit from another lamp. Thus Lord KrishŽa is not manifested from any other form of the Lord. Rather Lord KrishŽa is the original lamp and all the other forms of the Lord are like lamps lit from the original lamp, KrishŽa. This is described in Brahma-samhita (5.59):

 

 

yasyaika-nishvasita-kalam athavalambya

†††† jivanti loma-vilaja jagadaŽda-nathah

vishŽur mahan sa iha yasya kala-vishesho

†††† govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

 

 

†††† "The Brahmas and other lords of the mundane worlds appear from the pores of the Maha-VishŽu and remain alive for the duration of His one exhalation. I adore the primeval Lord, Govinda, for Maha-VishŽu is a portion of His plenary portion."*

 

†††† Thus Lord KrishŽa is not really to be counted among the other incarnations of the Lord, for Lord KrishŽa's sweetness and charm is special and much greater that what is manifested by the other pastime incarnations and other incarnations of the Lord.

 

††† Here someone may protest: It may very well be that Lord KrishŽa is perfect and complete in every way. Still, in the Padma PuraŽa, Moksha-dharma, it is said that Kshirodakashayi VishŽu is Aniruddha of the Catur-vyuha. How, then, is it possible that Kshirodakashayi VishŽu is a mere expansion of the Lord and not the original Lord Himself?

†††† To this protest the following reply is given: The truth is that Vasudeva and the other forms of the Catur-vyuha are all plenary portions of Lord KrishŽa, whose great glory has no equal or superior. Aniruddha and the other forms of the Catur-vyuha are expanded from Maha-NarayaŽa, and Maha-NarayaŽa is expanded from Lord KrishŽa. This is described in the Brahma-samhita (5.59) verse quoted above.

†††† Thus KrishŽa is the origin of Kshirodakashayi VishŽu. Thus when the demigods approached the shore of the milk-ocean they easily attained the mercy of Lord KrishŽa. The words of that passage do not intend to describe another form of the Lord. This is also explained in the following words of Padma PuraŽa:

 

 

anugrahaya devanam

†††† tatra sannhito harih

 

 

†††† "To show mercy to the demigods, Lord KrishŽa personally descended to this earth."

 

†††† Indeed, it is said in that passage that, in response to the demigods' prayers, Lord KrishŽa, taking with Him all His other forms, descended to the earth. That is the opinion of Shrila Shridhara Svami. In his explanation of Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.9, Shrila Shridhara Svami says:

 

 

amshena purusha-rupeŽa bhago mayaya bhajanam ikshaŽam yena tena

 

 

†††† "Here the word `amsha' means `with the form of the purusha incarnation', and `bhagena' means `glancing at the illusory potency, maya'."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest, "Then you are the son of NarayaŽa, but what does that have to do with Me?" To this protest Brahma replies by changing the inflection of his voice and asking the rhetorical question: "narayaŽas tvam na hi" (You are not NarayaŽa?) The answer to this rhetorical question is, "You are indeed NarayaŽa." The word "adhisha" means "O master of masters".

 

†††† Here Brahma may say: In Bhagavad-gita (10.42) You have said:

 

 

vishtabhyaham idam kritsnam

†††† ekamshena sthito jagat

 

 

†††† "With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire creation."*

 

†††† NarayaŽa is merely the Supersoul, the all-pervading witness present in the hearts of all conditioned souls. However, You are the origin of NarayaŽa, for as You explain in this verse of Bhagavad-gita, with a single fragment of Yourself You pervade and support the entire creation. That fragment of Yourself is NarayaŽa.

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may again protest, "O Brahma, I stay in Vrindavana. Because My complexion is black, I am called KrishŽa. NarayaŽa stays on the water called Nara. Therefore He is called NarayaŽa. How is it possible that I am He?

†††† To this protest Brahma replies: The name "NarayaŽa" is defines in these words of the scriptures:

 

 

nara-bhu-jalayanat

 

 

†††† "He is called NarayaŽa because He rests on the water manifested from Nara (Garbhodakashayi VishŽu)."

 

 

apo nara iti prokta

†††† apo va nara-sunavah

ayanam tasya ya purvam

†††† tena narayaŽah smritah

 

 

†††† "Because it is manifested from Nara (Garbhodakashayi VishŽu), this water (the Garbhodaka ocean) is called nara. He who rests on this water is called NarayaŽa."

 

†††† He who is called NarayaŽa because He rests on the water born from Nara, is a plenary portion of You (narayaŽo 'ngam). Therefore, if I rest within His abdomen, then I rest within Your abdomen also.

†††† Furthermore, as I have already said in text 2 of this chapter, "svecchamayasya na tu bhutamayasya" (Your desires are all fulfilled an Your form is not made of the material elements). This means that Your form of the boy KrishŽa and Your form of the Vasudeva who is part of the Catur-vyuha are both eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. Therefore Your plenary expansion NarayaŽa is eternal and real, situated in transcendental goodness, existing for all time, and all-pervading, present everywhere.

†††† Your universal form is not like that. The universal form is a manifestation of the illusory potency, maya. The word ďca" (also) here indicates that the forms of the other incarnations, such as Matsya and Kurma are also expansions of Lord KrishŽa and they are also eternal, transcendental, and real.

 

 

Text 15

 

tac cej jala-stham tava saj jagad-vapuh

†††† kim me ca drishtam bhagavams tadaiva

kim va su-drishtam hridi me tadaiva

†††† kim no sapady eva punar vyadarshi

 

†††† tat-that; cet-if; jala-on the water; stham-staying; tava-of You; sat-real; jagat-of the universe; vapuh-form; kim-whether; me-of me; ca-and; drishtam-seen; bhagavan-O Supreme Personality of Godhead; tada-then; eva-indeed; kim-whether?; va-or; su-drishtam-properly seen; hridi-in the heart; me-of me; tada-then; eva-indeed; kim-whether?; na-not; u-indeed; sapadi-simultaneously; eva-indeed; punah-again; vyadarshi-seen.

 

 

†††† O Lord, if Your transcendental form, the shelter of the universe, was then resting on the Garbhodaka waters, why could I not see it? Why was I later able to see that form in My heart? Why was I suddenly able to see it a second time also?

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† This verse proves that Lord KrishŽa's form is all-pervading. Here Brahma says, " O Lord whose powers are beyond conception, if Your NarayaŽa form, which lies on the water and is the shelter of the universe, is transcendental, real, and eternal, then why could I not find it, even when I searched for a hundred years on the lotus stem?"

†††† To this Lord KrishŽa may reply, "You searched outside. You should have looked within your heart."

†††† To this Brahma may reply, "I looked in my heart. Still I did not see You. It was when I performed austerities that I suddenly saw You. The idea that You are limited by time and space is not true. That idea is an illusion."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† This verse proves that Lord KrishŽa's form is eternal, real, and transcendental. The passage beginning with the words ďkim va" asserts that it was not with material eyes that Brahma saw Lord Garbhodakashayi VishŽu (jala-stham). Here the prefix "su" hints that it was only after hearing and following the Lord's order "tapa tapa" (Perform austerities. Perform austerities.) that Brahma was able to see the Lord. The words "tada eva" hint that it was only after great effort and a long time that Brahma was able to see the Lord. The words "kim no" hint that it was not by Brahma's endeavor alone that he was able to see the Lord. Then Brahma says that he could not again (punah) see the Lord in his heart. This means that the Lord blessed Brahma by appearing once in his meditation. Then when the Lord disappeared again, Brahma was overcome with feelings of separation. Thus, in order to see the Lord again, Brahma performed austerities. Even after performing austerities, Brahma still could not see the Lord in his heart. Then, after some time, suddenly he saw the Lord in his heart. Or, at first the Lord was not seen, but later, by the Lord's mercy, He was seen. That may be the meaning of the passage beginning with the word "kim". Was (kim) the Lord not seen eventually with His transcendental handsomeness, paraphernalia, and associates? Certainly the Lord was seen. The meaning is the Lord reveals Himself by His own wish. When He wishes one may see His transcendental form, pastimes, associates, the water of the Garbhodaka Ocean, and other things in relation to Him. Although water and other material elements not part of the Lord's paraphernalia, are not spiritual, and although the Supreme Lord is NarayaŽa eternally and that NarayaŽa form is spiritual, nevertheless, the Lord's pastimes, associates, and all else in relation with Him is not material or made of material elements. It is all eternal and spiritual.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: If Lord NarayaŽa's form is situated in transcendental pure goodness, then how is it possible that He lie down on the material Garbha Ocean? If the Lord is indeed unlimited and all-pervading, it should not be possible for Him to be confined to a certain part of a limited, not-all-pervading material ocean.

†††† If this protest is raised, Brahma gives the following reply: O Lord whose Yogamaya potency is inconceivable, if Your NarayaŽa form was in the water, then why was I not able to see it even though I searched the lotus stem for a hundred years?

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may reply: Lord NarayaŽa was there in the water. You could not see Him only because You were covered by ignorance.

†††† If this is said, Brahma gives this reply: Then why was I able to see You when I meditated on You? Why was I amble to see You another time also? Even though You seemed to be a limited, not-all-pervading form resting on the Garbhodaka water, by Your inconceivable potency You actually kept all the universes in Your abdomen. The truth is that You are indeed all-pervading. You exist in all times and places simultaneously. Your Yogamaya potency sometimes hides You and sometimes reveals You. In this way You are sometimes seen, and at other times not seen. In this way it should be understood.

 

Text 16

 

atraiva maya-dhamanavatare

†††† hy asya prapancasya bahih sphutasya

kritsnasya cantar jathare jananya

†††† mayatvam eva prakati-kritam te

 

†††† atra-here; eva-indeed; maya-of illusion; dhamana-O subduer; avatare-in the incarnation; hi-indeed; asya-of this; prapancasya-material world of five elements; bahih-outside; sphutasya-manifested; kritsnasya-complete; ca-and; antah-within; jathare-the abdomen; jananya-of the mother; mayatvam-illusion; eva-indeed; prakati-kritammanifested; te-of You.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, in this incarnation You have proved that You are the supreme controller of maya. You remain within the cosmic manifestation, and yet the whole creation is within You. This fact has already been proved by You when You exhibited the whole universal creation within Your mouth before Your mother Yashoda. By Your inconceivable potency of Yogamaya, You can make such things effective without external help.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† In these three verses (16-18) Brahma says, "O Lord, if this material world made of water and other elements were the highest reality, then You would certainly be limited. However, You have clearly shown that this material world is only the play of Your illusory potency maya."

†††† "Maya-dhamana" here means "O subduer of illusion". Brahma says, "In this incarnation You allowed Your mother to see that the entire external material universe is in truth present within Your abdomen."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: If this is so, then the water and other elements of the material world would be real, just like the water of the Garbhodaka Ocean. Is that idea contradicted by the scriptures and by the experience of the great sages?

†††† In these two verses (16 and 17) Brahma replies: Yes. That is true. The material world is an illusion.

†††† The word "maya-dhamanavatare" means that this incarnation and all in relation to it are completely free of material illusion (maya). This means that they who worship this incarnation also escape the influence of material illusion.

†††† Used in relation to the word "maya-dhamanavatare", the word "eva" means "even" and "hi" means "indeed". The words "mayatvam prakati-kritam" mean "the great illusion of the material world". "Jananyah prakati-kritam" mean "You showed this illusion even to Your mother, Yashoda". These words are offered as evidence to prove that the material world is an illusion.

†††† Here "ca" means "even" and it is used with the word "kritsnasya". Or, it is used to mean ďalso". Interpreted in this way, it refers all that was previously described. With the words "antar jathare", Brahma gives an example to prove his argument. Here something that has already been proved true is used to prove the truth of something else.

†††† Here is the meaning: "Just as Your sudden appearance and then, a moment later, disappearance, was an illusion, like a dream or a mirage, so in the same way the idea that the entire material creation is outside of You is also an illusion. Yashoda revealed this truth to Nanda and the others. This refers to the time when, as He was drinking from His mother's breast, infant KrishŽa yawned and showed His mother the entire universe within His mouth. Because he knows all that occurs in his universe, and also because He received special mercy from the Lord, Brahma was able to know of these two occasions when Lord KrishŽa showed His mother the entire universe in His mouth. Thus Brahma says, ďO Lord, in this way You showed Your mother the universe in Your mouth".

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "I rest on the Garbhodaka Ocean, and thus I am certainly present within the universe. How is it possible, then, that the universe rests within My abdomen? After all, if a pot sits within a house no one will say that the house also sits within the pot. Also, My body is transcendental, made of pure goodness. Therefore whatever is in My body must also be transcendental. Therefore the universe that was seen within My body must be different from the external material universe, which is certainly not transcendental. This being so, You are certainly not present in My abdomen."

†††† Fearing that Lord KrishŽa would protest in this way, Brahma speaks these two verses (16 and 17) to prove that the universe within Lord KrishŽa is the material universe made of maya. Thus the universe outside of Lord KrishŽa and the universe within Lord KrishŽa's abdomen are one and the same.

†††† Here the word "maya-dhamana" means "O subduer of illusion". In the remainder of the verse Brahma says, "O Lord, You showed that the entire material universe, although seemingly outside of You, is also present within Your abdomen". The word "jananyah" means "to Your mother, Yashoda", and "mayatvam" means ďillusion".

†††† Here Brahma hints, "O Lord, it is by the power of Your inconceivable Yogamaya potency that the material universe is present within Your transcendental body and, at the same time, You are present everywhere in the material universe. Since this is true, at this moment I stand within Your abdomen. Therefore You are my mother."

 

 

Text 17

 

yasya kukshav idam sarvam

†††† atmam bhati yatha tatha

tat tvayy apiha tat sarvam

†††† kim idam mayaya vina

 

†††† yasya-of whom; kukshau-in the abdomen; idam-this; sarvam-all; sa-atmam-with Yourself; bhati-is manifested; yatha-as; tatha-so; tat-that; tvayi-in You; api-even; iha-here; tat-that; sarvam-all; kim-whether?; idam-this; mayaya-maya; vina-without.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord KrishŽa, the whole cosmic manifestation that we are visualizing at present is all within Your body. Yet I am seeing You outside, and You are also seeing me outside. How can such things happen without being influenced by Your inconceivable energy?*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "The external material universe may have been reflected inside My abdomen. Still, why do you say that the universe is all an illusion of maya?"

†††† To answer that protest, Brahma speaks this verse. Here he says, "As everything is manifested within Your abdomen, so, in the same way, everything is also manifested outside of You. Furthermore, the everything that is manifested within You includes Yourself. In this way You Yourself are also manifested within Your abdomen along with everything else. How can this occur without the action of Your illusory potency, maya?"

†††† Here is the meaning: "O Lord, if the external material world were reflected within Lord KrishŽa, then the image of the world would be reversed, as all reflections are. Also, because here You would assume the role of the mirror, You would not be present in the reflection, for the mirror itself is never present among the reflected images. Therefore the conclusion is that all of this is the working of Your illusory potency."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Is it not so that a reflection is always unreal and what is perceived directly, not reflected, is always real?" If Lord KrishŽa protests in this way, Brahma replies with this verse.

†††† Here "satmam" means "along with Yourself". The rest of the verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, Lord KrishŽa may also protest: "If one is real, then the other must also be real. Then they both must be real." If Lord KrishŽa protests in this way, Brahma replies with this verse. Here Brahma says, "In this situation both are completely identical in all respects. This is unlike the situation of an image and its reflection. Therefore it is not true that these two are like an image and its reflection. Of, since no one has ever heard of or proved the existence of multiple completely identical universes, therefore one of these two universes must be an illusion.

†††† If Lord KrishŽa protests, "Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.11 describes the existence of multiple universes", then Brahma may reply, "If this is so, then the spiritual universes, which are directly manifested by the Lord would be equal to the material universes manifested from His material potency. That is not a logical idea. Also, this idea is clearly contradicted by the many statements of Shruti and Smriti declaring the material world an illusion, like a dream or a fantasy imposed on the individual spirit souls. Therefore the proper conclusion is that the material world is maya (illusory) in all respects." That is confirmed in this verse by the use of the words "tat sarvam" (everything).

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "Because they are not different in any way, the universe within Your abdomen and the universe outside of You are both one, the same universe. In this way it is understood that the universe within Your abdomen is a product of the illusory potency maya." Therefore Brahma says here, "the universe manifest outside of You is identical with the universe manifested in Your abdomen."

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Is it not true that the universe manifested in My abdomen is a reflection of the universe manifested outside of Me?" To this protest Brahma replies: "You are also present (satmam) in that ćreflected universe."

†††† The meaning here is that when an image is reflected in a mirror, the mirror itself does not appear among the reflected objects. In this way it is proved that the same external material universe (and not merely its reflection) that was manifested outside Lord KrishŽa was also manifested within His abdomen.

†††† Here the word "tvayi" (within You) means ďjust as the universe present in Your abdomen rests within You, in the same way the universe that seems to be outside of You also rests within You."

†††† Brahma then concludes, "Therefore (tat), since there is not the slightest scent of difference between these two universes, how can the universe within Your abdomen be manifested without the presence of Your illusory potency, maya (kim idam mayaya vina)? Therefore the universe within Your abdomen must also be a product of the material potency maya. Therefore, since the universe seen in Your mouth by Your mother and the universe I see before me are both the same product of the illusory potency, maya, I am certainly standing within Your abdomen." Here, using the argument of Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.12, Brahma here begs the Lord, "Please forgive me."

 

Text 18

 

adyaiva tvad rite 'sya kim mama na te mayatvam adarshitam

†††† eko 'si prathamam tato vraja-suhrid-vatsah samasta api

tavanto 'si catur-bhujas tad akhilaih sakam mayopasitas

†††† tavanty eva jaganty abhus tad amitam brahmadvayam shishyate

 

†††† adya-now; eva-indeed; tvat-You; rite-without; asya-of this; kim-whether?; mama-of me; na-not; te-of You; mayatvam-illusion; adarshitam-shown; ekah-one; asi-You are; prathamam-first; tatah-then; vraja-of Vraja; suhrit-friends; vatsah--and calves; samastah-all; api-also; tavantah-to that extent; asi-are; catur-bhujah-four arms; tat-that; akhilaih-all; sakam-with; maya-by me; upasitah-worshiped; tavanti-to that extent; eva-indeed; jaganti-universes; abhuh-were; tat-that; amitam-without measure; brahma-Brahman; advayam-non-dual; shishyate-remains.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, leaving aside all other things, and just considering today's happenings, what I have seen, are they not all due to Your inconceivable energies? First of all, I saw You alone. Thereafter You expanded Yourself as Your friends, the calves, and all the existence of Vrindavana. Then I saw You and all the boys as four-handed VishŽus, and they were being worshiped by all elements and all demigods, including myself. Again they all became cowherd boys, and You remained alone as You were before.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "You did not show this only to Your mother. Today You showed it also to me." ďTvad-rite" means "except for You". Here Brahma says, "Did You just now show me how this material world is an illusion? You certainly did show me. Here Brahma says, ďFirst You were one. Then You were many four-armed forms worshiped by me and by all the elements. The word ďjaganti" means "universes". Although they were not mentioned before, the universes were also seen.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "If everything is a product of the illusory potency maya, then I must also be a product of the illusory potency maya."

†††† To this protest Brahma replies: "No. That is not the truth. Even though present in the material world, You and Your associates are spiritual reality. This I have today seen with my own eyes." Thus, eager to refute the idea that everything is illusion and reality does not exist, an idea created by false ego, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† Here Brahma says: "The material world of five elements is a product of the illusory potency, maya. O Lord, today did You not show me that even though You a now present in this material world of maya, a world that is like a dream or a fantasy, and even though You are seen to manifest many very wonderful forms in this world, You are different from this world of maya? Did You not show this very clearly?" The answer to this rhetorical question is: "Yes. You certainly showed this to me."

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "How did I show you?" To this Brahma's reply is the passage beginning with the words "eko 'si". Here the word "suhrit" means ďthe boys who are Your friends". Here Brahma says, ďThose forms were not created by the illusory potency, maya. You Yourself were all those forms. All those forms were limitless. The boys, calves, and other forms You manifested were all limitless, not restricted in any way. Then, after manifesting that great variety of forms, You again became one, alone, the unrivaled, non-dual, Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead. This pastime is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.54, where the many forms manifested by Lord KrishŽa are described in these words:

 

 

satya-jnananantananda

 

 

†††† "The VishŽu-murtis all had eternal, unlimited forms, full of knowledge and bliss."*

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, all this time I have known that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that the entire external material world rests within Your abdomen, that all the many thousands of material universes come from the pores of Your transcendental body, and that, because they are manifested by the maya potency, all these material universes are illusory in nature. However, now I have personally seen that You possess very great spiritual opulences and with Your internal potency You have manifested many thousands of spiritual universes also.

†††† Here Brahma asks: "Today I have seen how You are the glorious creator of many thousands of material universes. What thing in these thousands of universes was not manifested from You?" The answer to this rhetorical question is: Everything was manifested from Your transcendental form.

†††† Here Brahma says: "What You showed me today was not a manifestation of Your maya potency. What You showed me was all spiritual."

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Why do you say is that?" Brahma replies with the words beginning with "eko 'si".

†††† Brahma says: "First You were alone. Then, by Your internal potency, You became all Your Vraja friends and all the calves. Then, by Your Yogamaya potency, You covered those forms and manifested many four-armed forms made of Your internal potency."

†††† What were these forms like? Brahma says, "They were worshiped by all spiritual living entities, from myself, who am the Brahma, down to the blades of grass." Brahma continues, "Then You became many spiritual universes, and then, by Your will, Yogamaya covered them. Now only the unlimitedly handsome form of the unrivaled, perfect, and complete Supreme Personality of Godhead remains. Thus, by the agency of Your Yogamaya and also by my good fortune, You now stand before me, and I now see You." That is the meaning.

†††† Because in the passage saying "You became this, and then You became that" the Lord's illusory potency maya is never mentioned as causing the appearance of the manifestations that begin with the Lord's Vraja friends and conclude with the many universes, it should be understood that the friends, universes, and everything else here are all spiritual in nature. Because here Brahma never says, "This You became by manifesting Your illusory potency, maya" and because does say, ď"tvad-rite 'sya kim" "What is there beside You?" it should be understood that the universes mentioned here are all spiritual.

 

 

Text 19

 

ajanatam tvat-padavim anatmany

†††† atmatmana bhasi vitatya mayam

srishtav ivaham jagato vidhana

†††† iva tvam esho 'nta iva trinetrah

 

†††ajanatam-of they who do not understand; tvat-padavim-Your nature; anatmani-in the material world; atma-You; atmana--by Yourself; bhasi-are manifested; vitatya-expanding; mayam-maya; srishtau-in the creation; iva-like; aham-I; jagatah-of the universe; vidhane-in maintenance; iva-like; tvam-You; eshah-He; ante-at the end; iva-like; trinetrah-Shiva.

 

 

†††† Persons who are unaware of Your inconceivable energy cannot understand that You alone expand Yourself as the creator Brahma, maintainer VishŽu, and annihilator Shiva.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "O Brahma, if what I have shown to you is all pure and spiritual, then why did You say it is maya, like the maya of the material world?" To this Brahma replies: "That may be. Still, You are the first, without any rival. To fulfill a specific mission, You sometimes come to the material world. You come in many forms, as guŽa-avataras, and as many other incarnations, such as Lord Matsya. What I meant when I spoke those words is that although You are independent, You still enter the world that is bound by maya." That is the gist of these two verses (19 and 20).

†††† Here Brahma says: "When You enter the material world, You voluntarily expand Your maya potency to bewilder persons ignorant of Your true nature." Lord KrishŽa may then ask: "How do I manifest that maya?" To this Brahma may reply: "To manifest this world of maya, You engage me, Brahma, in the task of creation, You personally accept the task of maintenance, and You engage Shiva in the task of destruction."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, to they who do not understand Your glories, You seem to be different than You are in truth."

†††† The word "padavim" means either "truth" or "the path of devotional service". "Atmani" means "in the material body, which of itself has no life", ďatma" means "You Yourself", and "atmana" means "appear to be an ordinary conditioned soul".

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may ask: "Why do such persons not understand the great difference that exists between the individual spirit soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a difference described in the Shruti and Smriti shastras?" To this Brahma replies with the words "Vitatya mayam", which mean ďbecause they have no devotion for You, such persons become bewildered by maya."

†††† Here Brahma says: "Although I appear to be the creator of the universe, You are the actual creator." This has already been explained in previous verses.

†††† The words "tvam eshah" mean "You appear as Lord VishŽu, who is in no way different from You, in order to protect the worlds during the reign of the Manus." Brahma continues: "VishŽu, Shiva, and I, Brahma, understand all this perfectly."

†††† When one thus understands that the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the material universes is ultimately performed by Lord KrishŽa, and the various demigods are merely His agents, the ignorance of the common people who think otherwise is clearly seen. Still, because their activities of creation, maintenance and destruction place them so far above the ordinary conditioned souls, Brahma, VishŽu, and Shiva are generally thought of as the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of the universe.

†† ††Or, the words "bhasi vitatya mayam" may mean ďexpanding Your maya potency as the mahat-tattva, the create, maintain, and destroy the universe." Here Brahma may say: In truth You create, maintain, and destroy the universe. This is proved in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1):

 

 

janmady asya yatah

 

 

†††† "Lord Shri KrishŽa is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the manifested universes."*

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, the non-devotees cannot understand Your limitless glories and Your multitudes of spiritual universes. That is why they insist that You must be material, a product of the material potency maya."

†††† Here "tvat-padavim" means "devotional service, which is the path that leads to You", and ďajanatam" means "they who, although proud of being very learned, remain ignorant of that devotional path". ďAnatmany atmatmana bhasi" means "by Your own will You come to the material world". Here Brahma says, ďO Lord, in this way it is seen that You are different from the individual spirit souls."

†††† The ignorant persons described here interpret Brahma's words in the following way: "The words `bhasi vitatya mayam' mean `O Lord, even though originally You have no form, You expand Your maya potency, and thus create a material form for Yourself. As I come under the grip of the mode of passion when I create the material world, so do You also come under its grip. When You become VishŽu You become under the grip of the mode of goodness. In this way You maintain the universe. Finally, as Shiva comes under the grip of the mode of ignorance when he destroys the universe, so do You also come under its grip.

†††† "In truth You have no form, and therefore Your forms as Brahma, VishŽu, and Shiva are all material forms made of the maya potency. Your form of NarayaŽa who lies down on the KaraŽa Ocean is also material, and the forms of all Your incarnations are also material. The forms of the calves, boys, and four-armed VishŽus that You showed me a moment ago are also all material in their natures." That is the way these fools speak.

 

Text 20

 

sureshv rshishv isha tathaiva nrishv api

†††† tiryakshu yadahsv api te 'janasya

janmasatam durmada-nigrahaya

†††† prabhoh vidhatah sad-anurgahaya ca

 

†††† suresh-among the demigods; rishishu-among the sages; isha-O Lord; tatha-so; eva-indeed; nrishv-among human beings; api-also; tiryakshu-among animals; yadahsv-among fish; api-also; te-of You; ajanasya-who never take birth; janma-birth; asatam-of the non-devotees; durmada-of false pride; nigrahaya-for subduing; prabhoh-of ths Lord; vidhatah-the creator; sat-to the devotees; anurgahaya-for mercy; ca-also.

 

 

†††† O Lord, You expand Yourself in different incarnations. Among the demigods You incarnate as Vamanadeva, among the great sages You incarnate as Parashurama, among the human beings You appear as Yourself, as Lord KrishŽa, or a Lord Rama, among the animals You appear as the boar incarnation, and among the aquatics You appear as the incarnation of fish. And yet You have no appearance. You are always eternal. Your appearance and disappearance are made possible by Your inconceivable energy just to give protection to the faithful devotees and to annihilate the demons.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami does not comment on this verse.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is:" O Lord, because Your mercy has no limit, to benefit even these foolish persons You descend to this world in many different forms." In the ďajanasya" the word "jana" means "birth". Therefore "ajanasya" means "He who protects His devotees from taking birth again in the material world".

†††† The word "durmada" means the false pride where one thinks, "I am the most learned in all the scriptures. I am the most perfect in yoga." "Nigrahaya" means ďto remove that false pride". The meaning here is that by devotedly hears of Lord KrishŽa's pastimes, one becomes free of all false pride.

†††† The Lord does not descend to this world only to benefit these foolish persons. He also comes to please the saintly devotees. That is confirmed by the word "sad-anugrahaya". Thus the Lord curbs the false pride of the impious, firmly establishes the principles of true religion, manifests His sweet pastimes and many other kinds of pastimes also, and gives His mercy to His devotees.

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Why do you say that I am merciful to the impious?" To this Brahma replies by speaking the word "prabho", which means "O supremely independent one". Or, this question may also be answered by the words, "O Lord, if You are not merciful to them, how will they become free from material desires?" The word ďprabho" may also mean "O supremely capable one". Thus Brahma says, "O Lord nothing is impossible for You".

†††† The word "vidhatah" means "O Lord who descends to this world in many different incarnations". This interpretation of this word in the vocative case is appropriate in this context.

†††† Or, Brahma says, "bewildered by Your maya potency, the materialists think Your incarnations are ordinary conditioned souls. They think in this way because they hear that Your incarnations are born and perform many activities that seem like the activities of ordinary persons." Or, if the last two lines of the previous verse are considered to be part of this verse, the sentence may be expanded to include the words, ďIn truth, We three (Brahma, VishŽu, and Shiva) are also Your incarnations. As We three take birth to create, protect, and destroy the universe, so Your other incarnations also take birth to fulfill various missions in this world. Thus their birth is not like the births of the conditioned souls." That is the meaning of the "passage beginning with the word ďjanma". Thus Nara-NarayaŽa Rishi take birth as the sons of Dharma Muni, and many other incarnations of the Lord also take birth among the demigods.

†††† Or, if the question, "O Lord, why do You appear among Your devotees?" is asked, the passage beginning with the word "tvad-rite" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.18) may be quoted in reply. To show the truth of that, Brahma also speaks the passage beginning with the word "shrishtau" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.19).

†††† Brahma says: "O Lord, to create, maintain, and destroy the universes, You appear as Brahma, VishŽu, and Shiva, and to fulfill many other purposes You appear among the living entities as Nara-NarayaŽa Rishi and many other incarnations." The meaning is: "O Lord, even though You enter within the material world, You are always eternal, spiritual, and transcendental, and even though You manifest many different forms, You are always one."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, to show the devotees the truth about You and the way to attain You, and also to protect them from being defeated by the demons, You appear in many incarnations." Brahma also says, "O Lord You descend to the this world to destroy the proud demons, who think "We know everything. You also descend to show mercy to the devotees. You do this by allowing them to directly see Your transcendental, eternal, and blissful form, qualities, and pastimes." This is also described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.2.35):

 

 

sattvam na ced dhatar idam nijam bhavet

 

 

†††† "O Lord, cause of all causes, if Yourtranscendental body were not beyond the modes of material nature, one could not understand the difference between matter and transcendence. Only by Your presence one can understand the transcendental nature of Your Lordship, who are the controller of material nature. Your transcendental nature is very difficult to understand unless one is influenced by the presence of Your transcendental form."*

 

 

Text 21

 

ko vetti bhuman bhagavan paratman

†††† yogeshvarotir bhavatas tri-lokyam

kva va katham va kati va kadeti

†††† vistarayan kridasi yoga-mayam

 

†††† kah-who; vetti-knows; bhuman-O supreme great one; bhagavan-O Supreme Personality of Godhead; paratman-O Supersoul; yogeshvara-O master of mystic power; utih-pastimes; bhavatah-of Your Lordship; tri-lokyam-in the three worlds; kva-where?; va-or; katham-how?; va-or; kati-how many?; va-or; kada-when?; iti-thus; vistarayan-expanding; kridasi-You play; yoga-mayam-spiritual energy.

 

 

†††† O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul, master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these worlds, but who can estimate where, how, and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing Your pastimes? No one can understand the mystery of these activities.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "If I am completely independent and can do whatever I like, then why would I voluntarily take birth among the fish and other lower species? Why would I engage in begging and other degraded activities, as I did in My incarnation of Vamana and other incarnations? Why in this incarnation do I sometime flee in fear and do other activities less than what could be desired?"

†††† To refute this protest of the Lord, Brahma speaks this verse. In the series of vocative-case words beginning with ďbhuman", Brahma affirms that the Lord is beyond the understanding of ordinary living entities.

†††† Brahma says: "In these three worlds, who can understand Your pastimes? Who can estimate where, how, and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing Your pastimes?" The meaning here is the Lord's pastimes are inconceivable because they are manifested by His Yogamaya potency.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Someone may ask Lord KrishŽa: "Is it not true that in Your various incarnations You sometimes perform very ordinary activities, as if You were an ordinary conditioned soul?" To resolve that doubt, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† Here "bhuman" "means "O limitless one", "bhagavan" means "O master of all opulences", "paratman" means "O Supersoul hidden in everyone's heart", and "yogeshvara" means ďO Lord able to perform any impossible feat". One after another, these words describe the Lord's quality of being beyond the understanding of ordinary souls.

†††† The word "yogamaya" here refers to the Lord's potency that manifests His forms and pastimes, which are all eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. Here the words ďyogamayam vistarayan" show that the Lord's pastimes are eternal and spiritual. I have already elaborately explained this truth in the second part of my book Shri Brihad-Bhagavatamrita. The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

††† Or, "yoga" may be interpreted to mean ďpowers and opulences", and "mayam" may be interpreted to mean "mercy to the devotees". In this way the word "yogamaya" may mean "the Supreme Lord's very powerful and opulent mercy to His devotees". The meaning here is that the Lord's pastimes are inconceivable because they display great powers and opulences and because they are limitless.

†††† Or, someone may protest: "Why is it that many of the Supreme Lord's pastimes show less than exemplary desires on His part?" Brahma speaks this verse to silence that protest. Brahma says, "O Lord, Because they are manifested by Your Yogamaya potency, Your pastimes are beyond the understanding of ordinary persons. Ordinary persons are clearly bewildered about their true nature."

†††† The four vocative words in this verse confirm that this interpretation is correct. Thus because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the understanding of ordinary persons, so His pastimes are also beyond their understanding. In this way it is proved.

†††† Here Brahma says, "O Lord, to understand the truth of Your pastimes, the people must surrender to Your pure devotee. Then they will be delivered from this world of birth and death. There is no other way."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Is it not true that I took birth in this world in order to remove the earth's burden, that Rama took birth to kill RavaŽa, and that Shukla and other incarnations took birth to preach the science of spiritual life? That is all well known. My incarnations did not come to curb the false pride of fools who think they know everything."

†††† To this protest Brahma may reply: "Yes. That is true. Still, no one is able to know completely in what situations, for what purpose, or when You descend to this world and manifest Your pastimes." That is the gist of this verse.

†††† Here "bhuman" means "O Lord whose limitless form pervades the universe", "bhagavan" means "O Lord who, even though all-pervading, possess six opulences in fullness and perfection", "paramatman" means "O Lord who, even though who possess six opulences, are the Supersoul in everyone's heart", "yogeshvara" means ďyogamayam" means "the potency by which Your powers and opulences are seen", "utih" means "Your pastimes, which begin with Your birth", and "trilokyam" means "in the three worlds".

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, who can understand Your pastimes in the three worlds?" The implied answer to this rhetorical question is: "No one can understand Your pastimes." That is declared in the third line of this stanza.

†††† Here someone may protest: "O Lord, is it not true that Your forms are limitless, all-pervading, and the masters of the six opulences? Although they are not made of material elements, still they are present in the three material worlds to enjoy the service of Your devotees. This means, then, that all Your pastimes are present in every place and every moment of time simultaneously. How is this possible?" To answer this doubt, ćBrahma speaks the fourth line of this stanza.

†††† here Brahma says, "O Lord, even though all Your pastimes are always present, Your inconceivable Yogamaya potency allows the appropriate devotees to see them at the appropriate times. At other times, when it is not appropriate to reveal them, Yogamaya conceals Your pastimes, although they certainly continue to exist.

 

Text 22

 

tasmad idam jagad ashesham asat-svarupam

†††† svapnabham asta-dhishaŽam puru-duhkha-duhkham

tvayy eva nitya-sukha-bodha-tanav anante

†††† mayata udyad api yat sad ivavabhati

 

†††† tasmat-therefore; idam-this; jagat-universe; ashesham-entire; asat-temporary; svarupam-form; svapna-a dream; abham-nature; asta-dhishaŽam-covered consciousness; puru-duhkha-duhkham-with many great sufferings; tvayi-in You; eva-indeed; nitya-eternal; sukha-happiness; bodha-awareness; tanau-in the body; anante-limitless; mayatah-because of maya; udyat-coming forth; api-although; yat-what; sat-eternal; iva-like; avabhati-is manifested.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, this whole cosmic manifestation is just like a flashing dream, and its temporary existence simply disturbs the mind. As a result, we are full of anxiety in this existence. To live within this material world means simply to suffer and to be full of miseries. And yet this temporary existence of the material world appears to be pleasing and dear on account of its having evolved from Your body, which is eternal and full of bliss and knowledge.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†† ††Here someone may protest: "O Lord, if Your various incarnations possess glories that have no limit, why is it that the conditioned souls think the temporary material world to be their true and real home?" To answer that doubt, Brahma speaks this verse.

††† Here "asta-dhishaŽam" means "where consciousness is covered over". The words "tvayi" and "udyat" mean "because it is manifested from You", and "sad iva" mean "it appears to be eternal and substantial".

†††† Here Brahma says: "Matter seems to have Your qualities of eternity, bliss, and consciousness because it is manifested from You and You are its creator." That is the meaning here.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is, "O Lord, Your incarnations and pastimes are eternal spiritual reality. This material world, however, is in one sense an illusion, although it another sense it is also real because it has a relationship with You." Brahma continues, "This is so because Your pastimes are manifested by Your Yogamaya potency."

†††† In the beginning, Brahma explained that the material world is an illusion. Then, in verses 16 through 18 of this chapter, he refuted that idea. Now, in this verse he reconciles those two ideas. Here the Lord may say, "I am the mother who has created the material world. Why do You say, then, that it is an illusion?" To answer, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† The meanings of some words follow. "Anta" means destruction" and "an" means without. Therefore ďananta" means "He who never dies", or, in other words, "He who lives eternally". Therefore, even something that seems to be unreal must be in one sense real if it has a relationship with the eternal "ananta".

†††† The word "svapnabham" means "temporary like a dream". Still, even though it is temporary in this way, the material world is in one sense eternal, for it has a relationship with the supreme eternal. "Asta-dhishaŽam" means ďwithout conscious". However, because it has a relationship with the supreme conscious person, the material world must also be, in one sense, conscious also. "Para-duhkha-duhkham" means "filled with sufferings". Still, because it has a relationship with the supremely blissful person, the material world must also be, in one sense, blissful also. The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, in this verse Brahma hints, "O Lord, this world is also real, for within its confines one can engage in devotional service to You and thus one can attain the highest auspiciousness."

†††† Brahma also says, "O Lord, Your incarnations and pastimes are inconceivably glorious. Because the planets in this material world are manifested only temporarily, the material world is said to be temporary and not eternal. As a dream is only temporary, so the material is only temporarily manifested.

†††† The material world is said to be "asta-dhishaŽam" (unconscious) because most of the living entities in the world are unaware of the true glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The reason for all this is given in the words ďmayata udyat" (it is manifested from the maya potency).

†††† Here Brahma hints: "O Lord, although You are the creator of the material world, nevertheless attaining You is the highest goal for they who live in the material world. Thus You are both the creator and the goal. A person who know that You are the goal engages in Your devotional service. For such a person the material world is certainly real, for he uses his stay within it to attain the highest benefit."

†††† Here the word "iva" is used in the colloquial sense of "not superior to". Or, it may mean "like" in the sense that for a person always engaged in service to the Lord this material world becomes like the spiritual world of VaikuŽtha. The remainder of the verse is as Shrila Shridhara Svami has explained it.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, this material world manifested from the maya potency is limited and it is in constant flux. On the other hand, Your personal form is perfectly pure and spiritual."

†††† Here the word "asat" means "what does not exist in all phases of time". "Svapnabham" means ďwhat is temporary and of restricted consciousness, like a dream". That word should not be interpreted to mean that the material world is false like a dream. In the Seventh Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said:

 

 

pradhana-pumbhyam naradeva satya-krit

 

 

†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead and His material creation are both real."

 

†††† In his commentary on this verse, Shripada Madhvacarya quotes the following words of the Shruti-shastra:

 

 

satyam hy evedam vishvam asrijata

 

 

†††† "Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead created it, the material world is real."

 

†††† "Asta" means "lost" and dhishaŽam" means "knowledge". Thus "asta-dhishaŽam" means ďwhen knowledge is stolen by ignorance". "Nityam" refers to the Lord's sandhini potency of eternal existence, ďsukham" refers to the Lord's hladini potency of spiritual bliss, and "bodha" refers to the Lord's samvit potency of transcendental knowledge.

†††† Here Brahma says, "O Lord, because of these three potencies Your forms are all eternal and full of knowledge and bliss." Brahma continues, "O Lord, You are the original creator. From You comes the maya potency, and from the maya potency comes the material world." The words "sad iva" here mean "as if manifested in all phases of time".

†††† Or, this verse may mean, "O Lord, You manifest Your many auspicious forms just to give mercy to the devotees." Interpreted in this way, the words "jagad asat-svarupam" mean "without You the material world is an inauspicious place".

†††† Here someone may protest: "Is it not true that the material world is an illusion? What is the use, then, of considering under what circumstances the material world is auspicious or inauspicious?"

†††† To this protest Brahma replies with the word ďsvapnabham", which means "like a dream". The material world is like a dream. It is not to be believed. However, even though because they are in material consciousness (asta-dhishaŽam) they experience many sufferings (para-duhkha-duhkha), the conditioned souls still think the material world an auspicious place. In their eyes the objects of material sense gratification are sources of bliss. That is why they think the material world is auspicious (sad ivabhati).

 

 

Text 23

 

ekas tvam atma purushah puraŽah

†††† satyah svayam-jyotir ananta adyah

nityo 'ksharo 'jasra-sukho niranjanah

†††† purŽadvayo mukta upadhito 'mritah

 

†††† ekah-one; tvam-You; atma-Superson; purushah-Supreme Personality of Godhead; puraŽah-ancient; satyah-eternal; svayam-jyotih-self-effulgent; ananta-limitless; adyah-the first; nityah-eternal; aksharah-imperishable; ajasra-sukhah-always blissful; niranjanah-untouched by matter; purŽa-perfect and complete; advayah-without any rival; mukta-free; upadhitah-from all material designations; amritah-immortal.

 

 

†††† My conclusion is, therefore, that You are the Supreme Soul, Absolute Truth, and the supreme, original person, and although You have expanded Yourself in so many VishŽu forms, or in living entities and energies, by Your inconceivable transcendental potencies, You are the supreme one without a second. You are the supreme Supersoul. You are the Absolute Truth, and You are not of this material darkness. You are the source of the original brahmajyoti as well as the material luminaries. Your transcendental effulgence is identical with the brahmajyoti. Because You are not one of the creations of this material world, Your existence as You are will continue. Your body is indestructible. The material body is always full of threefold miseries, but Your body is full of being, bliss, knowledge, and eternity. You are always complete. Although many expansions from the complete are visible, the complete is one without a second. Since Your pastimes are spiritual, there is no possibility of their being contaminated by the material modes of nature. There is no other competitor of second identity than Yourself. You are the original nectar of immortality, indestructible.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, You are the eternal spiritual reality." Here Brahma says, "O Lord, the material body, which is easily seen, is not eternal and spiritual. It is the soul, which cannot be seen by material senses, that is eternal and spiritual. Furthermore, whatever undergoes change cannot be eternal and spiritual. Material transformations, which begin with birth, never affect You. This is so for You are the original cause (adya) of all. Therefore You never take birth."

†††† The reason Lord KrishŽa is the original cause of all is given in the word "puraŽah", which means "He who existed before the material world was created". The reason Lord KrishŽa existed before the material world was created is given in the word "purushah", which means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead". This is explained in the following words of the Shruti-shastra:

 

 

purvam evaham ihasam

 

 

†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Before the material creation, I existed."

 

 

tat purushasya purushatvam

 

 

†††† "That person who existed before the material world is the Supreme Person."

 

†††† The idea that Lord KrishŽa takes birth again and again, like a conditioned soul, is refuted here by the word "nityah", which means "eternal". The four words "purŽa", "ajasra-sukhah", "aksharah", and ďamritah" refute (respectively) the ideas that the Lord grows, changes, becomes weaker, and, finally, dies.

†††† The reason the Lord is perfect and complete (purŽa) is given in the words "anantah" and "advayah", which declare that the Lord is not bound by the limitations of time, space, or the ordinary nature of things. Then, to prove that Lord KrishŽa is eternal (amrita), Brahma explains that Lord KrishŽa is not affected by the four kinds of karmic reaction. To prove that Brahma uses the three words "svayam-jyotih", "niranjanah" and "mukta upadhitah".

††† Here is the meaning: The word "adyah" refutes the idea that Lord is created at a certain point in time. In addition to that, a person attains an object either by performing actions, or by attaining knowledge. The idea that Lord KrishŽa required to perform actions to attain His desire is refuted here by the word "atma", and the idea that He needs knowledge to attain His desires is refuted here by the word ďsvayam-jyotih".

†††† Material transformations occur on the external material body or external material covering. For example, the external covering of rice is transformed when the husk is removed by threshing. However, Lord KrishŽa has no external material body. This Brahma explains with the words "mukta upadhitah".

†††† Transformation for the good, or improvement, is done either by attaining a good quality, or removing a bad quality. The idea that Lord KrishŽa does not already have all good qualities and therefore needs to attain them is refuted here by the word ďpurŽa", and the idea that Lord KrishŽa has some bad qualities and therefore requires to be purified of them is refuted by the word "niranjanah", which means "pure".

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In this verse Brahma proves that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the eternal spiritual reality, a truth he has already described in this chapter, and he also proves that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is different from the individual spirit souls. Here the words "ekas tvam atma purushah" mean, "You are the all-pervading Supersoul, present in the hearts of all conditioned souls". This is described in the following words of Vedic literature:

 

 

puri shayanat purushah

 

 

†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead resides in the city of the heart."

 

†††† "PuraŽah" means "even though He existed, with all His powers and opulences, before the material world was created, Lord KrishŽa is always a fresh youth." This means that Lord KrishŽa is the all-powerful supreme controller.

†††† These three words (1. ekah, 2. atma, and 3. purushah) thus describe, in that order, 1. Brahman, 2. the Supersoul (Paramatma), and 3. the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Parameshvara). Lord KrishŽa's powers, opulences, and other attributes are not manifestations of matter. This Brahma affirms with the word "satyah".

†††† Here someone may protest: "But Lord KrishŽa has a form. He can even be seen. How is it possible, then, that He is eternal and spiritual?"

†††† To this protest Brahma replies with the word ďsvayam-jyotih", which means "He can reveal Himself to whomever He likes. By His own mercy He makes Himself visible to someone." Furthermore, Lord KrishŽa is "anantah", which means "There is no upper limit beyond which He cannot go". Lord KrishŽa is also "adyah", which means ďThere was no time in the past when He did not exist". In this way Lord KrishŽa cannot be bound by any kind of limit or restriction.

†††† Or, "anantah" may mean "limitless", ďadyah" may mean "he who is not born, as the conditioned souls are", "nityah" may mean "whose form is always the same and never changes", and ďakshara" may mean "unchanging". "Aksharah" may also mean "beyond the material world". This usage of "akshara" is seen in these words of Bhagavad-gita (15.16):

 

 

ksharah sarvaŽi bhutani

 

 

†††† "There are two classes of beings: the fallible and the infallible. In the material world every living entity is fallible (kshara), and in the spiritual world every living entity is called infallible (akshara)."*

 

†††† "Ajasra-sukhah" means "He who is always blissful" or "He whose body is filled with intense bliss", "niranjanah" means "He who is pure and free of impurities", "purŽah" means "He who is perfect and complete, and thus does not require anything that He does not already have", "advayah" means "He who has no contact with persons whose nature is not like His", and "mukta upadhitah" means "He who without any ulterior motive (upadhi) always benefits all living entities", or it may also mean "He who is naturally endowed with all these virtues". "Amritah" means "He who never dies", or it may also mean "He who rescues His devotees from the material world, which is the land of repeated deaths".

†††† In this way the idea that because He has a form, Lord KrishŽa must be like an ordinary conditioned soul, and therefore must be attached to the material world, not able to control whether He is visible to others, limited, forced to assume different forms because He stays in the womb, becomes born, and goes through various material transformations, experiencing only small happinesses, impure, forced to associate with others whose natures are not congenial to His nature, encased within a material body, and a resident of the material world, is refuted. If he wishes, the reader may search the scriptures to find the evidence for all these truths, one by one.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, although You have many forms, by Your inconceivable potency Your form is one." Here the words "ekas tvam atma" mean "You are the Supersoul". Here the word "ekah" must refer to Lord KrishŽa, for the individual spirit souls are many, and cannot be said to be one.

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "The Supersoul has no form. He is not a person. After all, the word `person' generally refers to being that has a form. You say I am a person. Am I a young person?"

†††† Here Brahma replies: No. You are the oldest.

†††† Lord KrishŽa protests: I am Nanda's son. I am young. It is not right to say that I am the oldest.

†††† Brahma replies: It is true that You are the son of Nanda, but is is also true that You exist eternally (satyah), in all three phases of time. Therefore You are the oldest person.

†††† Lord KrishŽa: The Supreme Person You describe is the creator of time, karma, and everything else. How is it possible that I am He?

†††† Brahma: Please do not argue. You are self-effulgent (svayam-jyotih).

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Am I like the sun, existing only within a certain area of space?

†††† Brahma: No. You are limitless (anantah). For You time and space impose no limits.

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Then the Supreme has many incarnations, and I am one of them.

†††† Brahma: You are the source (adyah) of all incarnations. You are the root of the Lord's incarnations.

†††† Lord KrishŽa: In the next lifetime of Brahma will I again incarnate in this form?

†††† Brahma: You are eternal (nityah). The material universe is ancient, real, and eternal. However, at the end of Brahma's lifetime it is not longer manifested in the same form. That is what is meant when it is said that the material universe is not eternal. On the other hand, You will remain eternally in this form as the son of Nanda. Therefore You are said to be eternal. Your form is eternal and unchanging because You are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Vedic literatures confirm this by saying:

 

 

yo 'sau saurye tishthati

 

 

†††† "Lord KrishŽa is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead who formerly appeared in the Surya-vamsha."

 

†††† In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is said:

 

 

yah sakshat para-brahmeti govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham vrindavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam

 

 

†††† "Lord KrishŽa, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, and who sits under a kalpa-vriksha tree in Vrindavana forest, is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead."

 

†††† In Bhagavad-gita (14.27) You Yourself affirm:

 

 

brahmaŽo hi pratishthaham

 

 

†††† "I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman."*

 

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may again protest: Any form is, by its very nature, subject to the six transformations. Thus forms are always being diminished moment after moment. How is it possible that I am like that?

†††† Brahma: No. You are not like that. You are unchanging (aksharah).

†††† Lord KrishŽa: They who have forms must experience sometimes happiness and sometimes sufferings.

†††† Brahma: You are always full of bliss (ajasra-sukhah).

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Is it not true that in My early childhood I was greedy to drink My mother's breast milk and then to steal the gopis' butter and yogurt? In My later childhood was I not angry with Kaliya and a host of others? In My teenage years was I not lusty to enjoy with the gopis? Therefore I am impure. I am contaminated by lust and a host of other vices.

†††† Brahma: That is not true. You are supremely pure (niranjanah). Your so-called lust and other vices are all pure and spiritual.

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Still, I am dependent on the gopis and many others. Because I need them, therefore I am not perfect and complete.

†††† Brahma: You are perfect and complete (purŽa). Your being dependent on Your loving devotees does not negate Your perfection and completeness.

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Is there another person like Me, or is there no one else like Me?

†††† Brahma: No one else is like You (advayah).

†††† Lord KrishŽa: Very well then, because there is no one else like Me, I am therefore the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, many people think I am simply a transformation of transcendental knowledge.

†††† Brahma: You are not a transformation of transcendental knowledge (mukta upadhitah). In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is said:

 

 

vidyavidyabhyam bhinnah

 

 

†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond both knowledge and ignorance."

 

†††† This is so because You are beyond all limiting designations. In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

 

amritam shashvatam brahma

 

 

†††† "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternal. He is far beyond any limiting designation."

 

†††† In this passage the word "amrita" means ďThe Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond any limiting designation". The word "amrita" here may also be interpreted to mean "He who never dies".

 

Text 24

 

evam-vidham tvam sakalatmanam api

†††† svatmanam atmatmataya vicakshate

gurv-arka-labdhopanishat-sucakshusha

†††† ye te tarantiva bhavanritambudhim

 

†††† evam-vidham-like this; tvam-You; sakalatmanam-of all souls; api-also; svatmanam-the Supersoul; atmatmataya-as the Supersoul; vicakshate-sees; guru-great; arka-sun; labdha-attained; upanishat-of the Upanishads; sucakshusha-with the eyes; ye-who; te-they; taranti-cross over; iva-like; bhava-of repeated birth and death; anrita-of maya; ambudhim-the ocean.

 

 

†††† In the Upanishads it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is as effulgent as the sun and is the origin of everything, and anyone who can understand that original person becomes liberated from the material conditional life.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "By understanding You in this way, the people become liberated." Here the words ďtvam", "ye", and "vicakshante" mean ďthey who see You properly". How do they see the Lord? They see Him as the Supersoul of all living beings (atmatmataya). They do not see Him from a little distance, as one might see his children. They see Him very intimately: as the Supersoul present in the hearts of all living beings.

†††† How are they able to see Him in that way? The answer is given in the word "gurv-arka-labdhopanishat-sucakshusha", which means "with eyes enlightened by Upanishad-knowledge obtained from the spiritual-master sun." Thus they are able to cross the ocean of material existence (tarantiva bhavanritambudhim).

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "By attaining this kind of knowledge about You, which is to say by engaging in devotional service to You, such persons easily become liberated from the ćmaterial world." Brahma here says: "They see You as the Supersoul and the controller of all living entities. They see You as more dear (atmataya) than their own lives."

†††† Or, these words may mean, "They see You as the Supersoul of all living entities, the Supersoul who stays in my own heart also". Brahma continues: "Somehow or other thinking of You as their dearest friend, and understanding You in the ways previously described, Your devotees cross over the illusory material world, which is here called an ocean because it is so difficult to cross." Or, the word "anrita" may mean "because material existence is flimsy, insubstantial, and basically an illusion, simply by attaining transcendental knowledge one can cross beyond it." The word "iva" here means "because knowledge of the Supersoul is included within knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead one easily understands the Supersoul also.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "Even they who worship Your feature as the varietyless Brahman can, by engaging in devotional service to the Supersoul, who has a form and is a person, become fortunate. If they become fortunate in this way, they will attain faith in You. Then they are called shanta-bhaktas, devotees in the rasa of neutrality."

†††Here Brahma says: "With devotion they see You as the Supersoul (atmatmataya). They see that You have a form and You are a person, that You are charming and handsome, that You delight the eyes, the mind, and the heart, that You have the qualities (evam-vidham) described in the previous verses, and that You are the Supersoul present in all living entities (sakalatmanam)." This is also described in the following words of Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:

 

 

paramatmataya krishŽe

†††† jata shanti ratir mata

 

 

†† ††"By understanding that Lord KrishŽa is the Supersoul, one attains the neutral stage of devotional service."

 

†††† The question may be asked: "How is this attained?" Brahma answers by saying: "The spiritual master is like the sun. By studying under his direction one attains the knowledge of the Upanishads. By understanding that knowledge one crosses over the ocean of illusions that is material existence."

 

 

Text 25

 

atmanam evatmatayavijanatam

†††† tenaiva jatam nikhilam prapancitam

jnanena bhuyo 'pi ca tat praliyate

†††† rajjvam aher bhoga-bhavabhavau yatha

 

†††† atmanam-Yourself; eva-indeed; atmataya-as the Supersoul; avijanatam-unaware; tena-by that; eva-indeed; jatam-born; nikhilam-all; prapancitam-material world; jnanena-by the knowledge; bhuyah-greatly; api-even; ca-also; tat-that; praliyate-enters; rajjvam-of a rope; aheh-of a snake; bhoga-experience; bhava-existence; abhavau-and non-existence; yatha-as.

 

 

†††† There are many so-called meditators who do not know that You are the Supreme Soul. One who is always absorbed in meditation on Your original form of KrishŽa easily crosses over the ocean of material nescience. But person who do not know that You are the Supreme Soul remain within this material world in spite of their so-called meditation. If, by the association of Your devotees, a person comes to the knowledge that Lord KrishŽa is the original Supersoul, then it is possible for him to cross over the ocean of material ignorance. For instance, a person becomes transcendental to the mistake of thinking a rope is a snake. As soon as one understands that the rope is not a snake, he is liberated from fear. One who understands You, therefore, need no more fear the material existence.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† In the next four verses (25-28) three statements are made, one after another. These statements are: 1. By knowledge, they transcend, 2. They transcend, and 3. By knowledge of the Supersoul they transcend. In this verse (25), the first of these statements (by knowledge they transcend) is made, in the next verse (26) the second statement (they transcend) is made, and in the next two verses (27 and 28) the third statement (by knowledge of the Supersoul, they transcend) is made.

†††† Here someone may ask: "Why does transcendental knowledge enable one to transcend the material realm? " To this question the answer is given in this verse: "because ignorance is the root of material existence". This means that ignorance has created the material world of five elements. Here the words "rajjvam aher bhoga-bhavabhavau yatha" mean "like the mistake of thinking a rope is a snake."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: Liberation to easy to attain. "Atmanam evatmatayavijanatam" means "of they who do not understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is free from material desires, the law of karma, and all other material disadvantages", and "tenaiva jatam nikhilam prapancitam" means "by that ignorance of the true nature of the Supreme, the material world of five elements is created".

†††† Or, these words may mean, "the material world is created for persons who do not think the Supreme Personality of Godhead is their dear friend". Or, the words "jnanena bhuyo 'pi ca tat praliyate" may mean, "simply by understanding the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead all foolish impersonalist ideas, such as the thoughts `I am the supreme controller' or `I am the all-opulent Supreme' are at once destroyed."

†††† Here the word "ca" implies "the desire for impersonal liberation and all other foolish desires are also destroyed". What more need be said? The verse explains: ďthen it is possible for him to cross over the ocean of material ignorance." The words "bhuyo 'pi" mean ďeven though the material world is very great and formidable".

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here someone may ask: "Do they not transcend the material world? Why do you say `as if' (iva) they transcend it? Why is is said here that the material world is unreal?"

†††† The answers to these questions follow: These two verses (24 and 25) describe the vivarta-vada theory of the impersonalists, who claim that the material world is unreal and the act of transcending the material world is also unreal. That is why the word "as if" is sarcastically used here in describing the act of transcending the material world.

†††† Here "atmanam" means "the individual spirit soul", and "atmataya avijanatam" means ďunaware of theself that is full of knowledge and bliss". The first two lines of this verse mean, "because they are covered by ignorance, the living entities are not able to understand the true nature of the soul. It is because of their ignorance that the material world of five elements was created."

†††† The word "bhuyah" means "again". ďPraliyate" means "by sankhya, yoga, renunciation, austerity, and devotional service one becomes aware that the self is different from the external material body. This knowledge puts an end to the material world of five elements." The verse then explains: "For instance, a person becomes transcendental to the mistake of thinking a rope is a snake. As soon as one understands that the rope is not a snake, he is liberated from fear. One who understands You, therefore, need no more fear the material existence."

 

 

Text 26

 

ajnana-samjnau bhava-bandha-mokshau

†††† dvau nama nanyau sta rita-jna-bhavat

ajasra-city atmani kevale pare

†††† vicaryamaŽe taraŽav ivahani

 

†††† ajnana-ignorance; samjnau-knowledge; bhava-bandha-material bodnage; mokshau-liberation; dvau-two; nama-indeed; na-not; anyau-others; stah-are; rita-jna-bhavat-from true knowledge; ajasra-citi-in unobstructed consciousness; atmani-in the spirit soul; kevale-transcendental; pare-spiritual; vicaryamaŽe-being considered; taraŽau-within the sun; iva-like; ahani-day and night.

 

 

†††† So-called liberation and bondage have no meaning for a person who is already engaged in Your devotional service, just as a person who knows that the rope is not a snake is unafraid. A devotee knows that this material world belongs to You, and he therefore engages everything in Your transcendental loving service. Thus there is no bandage for him. For a person who is already situated in the sun planet, there is no question of the appearance or disappearance of the sun in the name of day or night. It is also said that You, KrishŽa, are just like the sun and maya is like darkness. When the sun is present there is no question of darkness. So, for those who are always in Your presence, there is no question of bondage or liberation. They are already liberated. On the other hand, persons who falsely think themselves to be liberated without taking shelter of Your lotus feet fall down because there intelligence is not pure.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here someone may ask: "Is it not true that they who have spiritual knowledge transcend the material world? Why, then was it said in that previous verse that it is `as if' (iva) they transcend the material world?" This verse is spoken in reply to that question.

†††† The words "ajnana-samjnau bhava-bandha-mokshau" mean "the words `liberation' and `material bondage' are spoken only out of ignorance". These two words `liberation' and `material bondage' are well known. Still, one situated in spiritual knowledge knows that they are not truly different from each other.

†††† Then someone may ask: "If this is so, then why do you spend so much time talking about `liberation' and `material bondage'?" Explaining the true goal of life, Brahma answers this question in the second half of this verse.

†††† He says, "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is completely pure. He knows everything. For Him there is neither `material bondage' nor `liberation', just as within the sun there is neither `day' nor `night'."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "Whether one transcends the cycle of birth and death is not very important, and liberation is not the final goal of life." These two (transcendence and liberation) are not different from true spiritual knowledge. In truth, the idea that they are not identical with spiritual knowledge is an illusion.

†††† Here Brahma says: "When one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is filled with spiritual knowledge, and who is pure, and untouched by matter, then material bondage and liberation become irrelevant. They are both seen to be illusions only."

†††† Here an example is given: "As on the sun there are neither day nor night, so for the Supreme Personality of Godhead there are neither material bondage nor liberation." In this way it is said that liberation from the cycle of birth and death is a very insignificant attainment. It is not the real goal of life. Or, these words may mean, "when one's mind understands the transcendental Supreme Personality of Godhead, then material bondage and liberation are revealed to be illusions only."

†††† Here someone may ask: "Why is it that simply by understanding the truth of thematerial bondage and liberation are revealed to be illusions only?" The answer is given in the word "ajasra-citi", which means (filled with transcendental knowledge". By understanding the Supreme, who is filled with transcendental knowledge, one attains transcendental knowledge also.

†††† Here an example is given to show this illusion. Brahma says: "It is like the sun, where there are no days and also no nights, which separate one day from another."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "The material world is an illusion, and therefore to transcend it is also an illusion." Here Brahma says, "the ideas of material bondage and liberation are both illusions. When one is situated in transcendental knowledge one knows that they are not different from each other. When one understands that he is a pure spirit soul, different from the external material body, then he is no longer bewildered by the illusion of material bondage and liberation."

†††† Here Brahma gives an example. He says: "As day and night do not exist on the sun, so material bondage and liberation do not exist when one understands the spiritual truth.

 

Text 27

 

tvam atmanam param matva

†††† param atmanam eva ca

atma punar bahir mrigya

†††† aho 'jna-janatajnata

 

†††† tvam-You; atmanam-the Supersoul; param-something else; matva-considering; param-other; atmanam-self; eva-indeed; ca-and; atma-self; punah-again; bahih-outside; mrigya-to be sought; ahah-Oh; ajna-janata-of ignorant persons; ajnata-ignorance.

 

 

†††† If one therefore thinks that the Supersoul is something different from Your personality, and thus searches out the Supersoul somewhere else, in the forest or in the caves of the Himalayas, his condition is very lamentable. You are present in everyone's heart, and there is no need to search out the Supersoul anywhere else. If someone does so, he is simply in ignorance.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here someone may protest: "Is it not true that knowledge of life's goal destroys ignorance? Why, then, should one be interested in knowledge of the spiritual soul specifically?"

†††† To this protest Brahma gives the following reply: ďThe living entity does not understand his true identity. Therefore knowledge of the true nature of the spirit soul is important." In this context, filled with surprise, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, these persons think that the self is the material body or something else material. Thus they ascribe material attributes to the self. Even though they think the self is identical with the body, when the body dies, they still think the self has gone elsewhere, and they search, `Where has the self gone?' This is very surprising. After all, if one misplaces an object in one's house, one does not go roaming in the forest to search where he has misplaced it."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "They who, even though they understand that each self is a spiritual soul distinct from the five material elements, think that You, O Lord, are an individual spirit soul, and thus not fundamentally different from the other spirit souls, are the greatest fools."

†††† Here the words "tvam atmanam param matva" mean ďEven though You are the Supersoul, they think that You are an ordinary conditioned soul encased within a material body." Here "api" means "and".

†††† Here Brahma says, "The truth is that You are the all-pervading Supersoul. You exist everywhere, both within and without. Therefore no one need go outside to search for You."

†††† Here the word "apunah" (not again) begins with the negative prefix "a". This prefix is described in the following words of the Amara-kosha Dictionary:

 

 

abhave na hy a no napi

 

 

†††† "The words `na', `hi', `a', `no', and `napi' all mean `not'."

 

†††† The conclusion is that the non-devotees need not search Vrindavana or any other place to find Lord KrishŽa. They can find Him as the Supersoul within their own bodies. The word ďaho" means "How surprising!"

†††† "Ajna-janatajnata" means ďthe folly of fools". Their folly is this: Even though the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervading, and even though He has many unique qualities, as have been previously described, these fools deny the truth that He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) and the individual spirit soul are different persons.

†††† The elision of the letter "a" here in the word ďajna" is according to the standard of Vedic grammar. In some readings the word is "ajna-janajnata".

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, so-called philosophers who reject Your personal form are like fools who try to thresh empty husks of rice, as has already been described here (in text 4)."

†††† Hee the word "ca" means "even though". Here Brahma says, "O Lord, these persons think that Your personal form of the Supersoul is a manifestation of the maya potency, and the real, pure Supersoul is to be sought somewhere else." Here the idea of folly (the folly of fools) is repeated because Brahma is so surprised (aho) by these persons.

†††† This is the meaning: Vivarta-vada, pariŽama-vada, and other impersonalist theories describe only what occurs in the material world manifested from the maya potency, a world different from the world of spirit. These theories cannot hope to describe the world of spirit, which is full of knowledge. This is described in the following words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam's Third Canto:

 

 

shabdam brahma vapur dadhat

 

 

†††† "Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead revealed His form, which is purely spiritual and is described in the Vedas."

 

†††† In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.18.12) it is also said:

 

 

yat tad vapur bhati vibhushaŽayudhair

†††† avyakta-cid-vyaktam adharayad dharih

babhuva tenaiva sa vamanah. . .

 

 

†††† "The Lord appeared in His original form, with ornaments and weapons in His hands. Although this ever-existing form is not visible in the material world, he nonetheless appeared in this form. Then, in the presence of His father and mother, He assumed the form of Vamana, a brahmaŽa-dwarf, a brahmacari, just like a theatrical actor."*

 

†††† In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.13.54) it is said:

 

 

satya-jnananantananda-

†††† matraika-rasa-murtayah

 

 

†††† "The VishŽu-murtis all had eternal, unlimited forms, full of knowledge and bliss, and existing beyond the influence of time."*

 

†††† In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is said:

 

 

govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham vrindavana-sura-bhuruha-talasinam

 

 

†††† "Lord KrishŽa, who sits under a kalpa-vriksha tree in Vrindavana forest, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss."

 

†††† In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is also said:

 

 

tasam madhye sakshad brahma gopala-puri

 

 

†††† "In this midst of that spiritual world is the spiritual city of Lord KrishŽa."

 

†††† Here the word "purŽa-brahmatmake" means ďThe Supreme Lord's form, abode, and all else in relation to Him is always perfectly spiritual in nature." They who do not have the eyes of these and other statements in the Shruti and Smriti shastras are blind. Following blind so-called spiritual teachers (the blind prarampara), they fall into the impersonalist theory of vivarta-vada.

†††† The word "aho" here shows that Brahma is amazed that such lamentable creatures exist within his creation. In some readings the last word is "ajna-janajnata".

 

 

Text 28

 

antar-bhave 'nanta bhavantam eva

†††† hy atat tyajanto mrigayanti santah

asantam apy anty ahim antareŽa

†††† santam guŽam tam kim u yanti santah

 

†††† antar-bhave-within; ananta-O limitless one; bhavantam-You; eva-indeed; hi-indeed; atat-not that; tyajantah-rejecting; mrigayanti-search; santah-saints; asantam-non-existent; api-even; anti-present nearby; ahim-snake; antareŽa-within; santam-being; guŽam-rope; tam-that; kim-whether?; u-indeed; yanti-attain; santah-saints.

 

 

†††† One who is transcendental to such a position understands that You are unlimited. You are both within and without. Your presence is everywhere. Instead of searching for the Supersoul anywhere else, a devotee only concentrates his mind on You within. Actually one who is liberated from the material concept of life can search for You. Others cannot. The simile of thinking the rope to be a snake is applicable only to those who are still in ignorance of You. Actually the existence of a snake besides the rope is only within the mind. The existence of maya, similarly, is only within the mind. Maya is nothing but ignorance of Your personality. When one forgets Your personality, that is the conditional state of maya. Therefore one who is fixed upon You, both internally and externally is not illusioned.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, they who are wise know the real truth of Your Supersoul form." here the word "bhava" means "it is" and refers to the body, which is made of material elements and contains a spirit soul. Here Brahma says, "O Lord, in that material body they search for You and they reject everything that is not You."

†† ††Here someone may protest: Knowledge of the spiritual reality is sufficient. Why be concerned to negate what is not spiritual?"

†††† Fearing that someone would raise this protest, Brahma declares: "Without first rejecting what is false it is not possible to establish the truth". The practical activities of saintly persons are given as an example in the second half of this verse.

†††† "Anti" means "nearby", and "asantam apy anty ahim antareŽa" means "without negating the illusion of a snake". Here Brahma says: "Without first understanding that the `snake' is an illusion, how can the saintly persons understand that what is before them is truly a rope?"

†††† Or, these words may be interpreted to mean, ďWithout first rejecting the illusion, can they then understand that what is near them is a rope?" The answer is: ďThey cannot understand." Therefore, the conclusion is, ďBy understanding the Supersoul, one attains liberation."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, saintly persons search for You within and without, for You are all-pervading." Here "ananta" means "-O limitless one, who are present everywhere, within and without".

†††† With a touch of sarcasm, Brahma rhetorically asks, ďO Lord, do the saintly devotees search for You only within their own bodies?" The answer implied here is, "No. They do not. They also look for You outside their bodies."

†††† Here someone may ask: "How do they do that?" The answer is given in the second half of this verse: "They reject all false conceptions of the self, false conceptions dear to the materialists. Without first rejecting these false conceptions, one cannot attain pure knowledge." ďAntareŽa" here means "without rejecting that illusion".

†††† Here Brahma says: "Thinking, `I am not the Lord. Rather, I belong to the Lord. I am His property', the devotees reject the impersonalists false idea that they are the Lord themselves. O Lord, in this way the devotees attain You."

†††† Or, this passage may mean "rejecting all that is material, all that is separate from the Lord."In this way it is said, "Without first rejecting matter it is not possible to attain the spiritual, the true reality". That is the meaning of the second half of this verse.

†††† Or, then someone may ask: "How do the wise search for the Lord?" The answer is given with the word "antar-bhave", which means "They search in the lotus of the heart". Thus they reject everything that is "atat", which means "everything that does not help the search to find the Lord."

†††† Here someone may ask: "By remembering the Lord one becomes automatically free from all that is separate from Him. Why, then, should one artificially struggle to reject what is not the Lord?"

†††† This question is answered by the second half of this verse. The answer is: "Without first renouncing material sense gratification, fruitive work, and the speculative theories of the impersonalists, it is not possible to become perfect in always remembering the Lord." The remainder of the verse is as has already been explained.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, the wise do not think that You have a material body made by the maya potency. It is the conditioned soul who has a material body. To rescue the conditioned soul from the contamination of maya, they search for the soul itself, who is by nature both pure and spiritual. They search for the individual spirit soul, who resides within the material body (antar-bhave), who takes birth in different species of life countless times (ananta-bhavantam), and who has very little true knowledge."

†††† Here someone may ask: "What do they do?" The answer is given: "They reject maya, all that is produced by maya, and all that is different (atat) from the spirit soul."

†††† Here someone may protest: "Is it not true that knowledge of the spirit soul is all one needs? Why need one reject all that is not spiritual?"

†††† Fearing that someone would raise this protest, Brahma declares: "Without first rejecting what is material, one cannot attain the spiritual truth."

†††† The activities of the saintly devotees are described in the second half of this verse. "Anti" means "nearby", and "asantam apy anty ahim antareŽa" means ďwithout negating the illusion of a snake". Here Brahma says: "Without first understanding that the `snake' is an illusion, how can the saintly persons understand that what is before them is truly a rope?" The implied answer to this rhetorical question is: "They cannot understand without first becoming free of that illusion." In the Shruti-ashatra it is said:

 

 

asango hy ayam purushah

 

 

†††† "The spirit soul is, by nature, aloof from matter."

 

†††† This means that the spirit soul is by nature different from the gross and subtle material bodies, and therefore the lamentations, illusions, and other misfortunes that are an inevitable part of that body are not really his. However, because of ignorance, the soul mistakes the material body for himself. Therefore, without first understanding, "I am not the material body", how is it possible for one to understand the true nature of the eternal, pure spiritual soul? It is not possible. That is the meaning here.

 

Text 29

 

athapi te deva-padambuja-dvaya-

†††† prasada-leshanugrihita eva hi

janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno

†††† na canya eko 'pi ciram vicinvan

 

†††† atha-therefore; api-indeed; te-Your; deva-My Lord; padambuja-dvaya-of the two lotus feet; prasada-of the mercy; lesha-by only a trace; anugrihita-favored; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; janati-one knows; tattvam-the truth; bhagavat-of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahimnah-of the greatness; na-never; ca-and; anya-another; ekah-one; api-although; ciram-for a long period; vicinvan-speculating.

 

 

†††† My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate in order to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here someone may ask: "But if liberation is attained only by transcendental knowledge, why have you described devotional service?" This verse is spoken to answer that question.

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, although I have spoken as if transcendental knowledge very easily falls into the palm of one's hand, the truth is that transcendental stays only in a small fragment of the mercy of Your lotus feet. Only when one is blessed with that mercy may one understand the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (bhagavan-mahimnah)."

†††† Or, this may considered two words (bhagavan and mahimnah). Interpreted in that way, the sentence means "O Lord, only then may one understand Your glories". Here "eko 'pi ciram vicinvan" means "someone who spends a long time trying to discern what is the Supreme and what is not the Supreme."

 

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, although Your glory is clearly manifested in this way, one can see Your glory only by Your mercy." "Deva" here means "O all-glorious Lord", or else it may mean "O all-pervading Lord", or it may mean "O Lord who enjoys pastimes in Vrindavana eternally". In these ways "deva" is interpreted as a word in the vocative case. It may also be interpreted as a adjective (in a karmadharaya-samasa) modifying the word ďpadambuja".

†††† "Prasada" means either "happiness" or ďmercy". To "prasada" is then added ďleshanugrihitah" (favored by a small part). Or, ďprasada" may mean "the remnants of tulasi or other offerings". This is called "maha-prasada". The word ďhi" means "certainly".

†††† "Bhagavan" means "O Lord who manifests Your mercy and other virtues". This is the reason for the Lord's mercy. Other persons are not merciful like He.

†††† Or, devotional service has been the central topic discussed in this chapter. Even though some words were spent refuting various fallacies, in every verse Brahma prayed for devotional service. Considered from this point of view, the glory (mahimnah) here is the glory of devotional service.

†††† The word "tattvam" here means either "the truth of its nature" or "the truth of its extent". ďEkah" means either "alone" or "alone the best, as for example Lord Shiva is the best". "Vicinvan" means either "investigating by studying the scriptures" or "investigating by performing yoga". Although it is only by the complete mercy of the Lord that one can understand His true nature, nevertheless the word "lesha" (a small particle of mercy) is used here to emphasize how difficult it is to attain even a small part of the Lord's mercy.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, it is only when he attains a small particle of devotional service to You that the individual spirit soul is able to experience spiritual bliss. There is no other way."

†††† here Brahma says" "O Lord, even if he is completely free of maya and all that come from maya, an individual spirit soul must fist have a small particle of the mercy of Your lotus feet before he can understand Your glory. Here the words "janati tattvam mahimnah" mean "he understand the the truth of the glory of Brahman." This interpretation is corroborated by the following words of Lord Matsya (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.38):

 

 

madiyam mahimanam ca

†††† para-brahmeti shabditam

vetsasy anugrihitam me

†††† samprashnair vivritam hridi

 

 

†††† "You will be thoroughly advised and favored by Me, and because of your inquiries, everything about My glories, which are known as param brahma, will be manifest within your heart. Thus you will know everything about Me."*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami comments in these words:

 

†††† "This verse means: `Because you have obtained My mercy, you will understand the Supreme Brahman'."

 

†††† The "prasada-lesha" (small part of mercy) described here is the kind of devotional service mixed with the modes of nature that is attained by the jnanis. The word ďanugrihitah" means "when material knowledge has come to an end and when the so-called spiritual knowledge of impersonalism has also come to an end, then one may attain the mercy of the Lord". This is explained by the Lord Himself in the following words:

 

 

jnanam ca mayi sannyaset

 

 

†††† "To attain Me one should first reject the impersonalist theory."

 

†††† Thus a person who rejects the impersonalist theory, and considers pure devotional service the only true path istruly wise. To such a person the Lord gives a small particle of His mercy, and that mercy is engagement in the Lord's devotional service.

†††† In the last line of this verse Brahma says: ďHowever, a person who thinks `once I have attained the result there is no need to continue with spiritual activities', and who thus abandons both paths, the path of impersonalism and the path of devotional service, cannot understand the Lord's glories, even if he is a great (eko 'pi) guru of thousands of impersonalists, and even if by studying many scriptures and carefully following the practice of yoga, he struggles (vicinvan) for a long time (ciram) to understand the Lord's glories."

 

 

Text 30

 

tad astu me natha sa bhuri-bhago

†††† bhave 'tra vanyatra tu va tirashcam

yenaham eko 'pi bhavaj-jananam

†††† bhutva nisheve tava pada-pallavam

 

†††† tat-that; astu-may be; me-of me; natha-O master; sa-that; bhuri-bhagah-great good fortune; bhave-in birth; atra-here; va-or; anyatra-in another place; tu-indeed; va-or; tirashcam-among the animals; yena-by which; aham-I; ekah-one; api-even; bhavaj-jananam-of Your devotees; bhutva-becoming; nisheve-I serve; tava-of You; pada-pallavam-thelotus feet.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, I pray that I may be so fortunate that, in this life or in another life, wherever I may take my birth, I may be counted as one of Your devotees. Wherever I may be, I pray that I may be engaged in Your devotional service.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

††† "Tat" means "therefore" and "bhuri-bhagah" means "great good fortune". Here Brahma says: "Either in this birth as Brahma, or in another birth, even in the animal species, I pray only to be counted as one of Your devotees. Thus I will enthusiastically engage in Your devotional service."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "O Lord, by engaging in Your devotional service, one attains Your mercy."

†††† "Natha" means "O Lord who fulfills all desires". Here Brahma says: "I am fortunate to have attained the post of Brahma. Still, I am not very fortunate." Here the word "bhuri-bhagah" means "very fortunate". Brahma says: "Even though I am Your eldest son, birth as Your devotee would be the greatest good fortune for me".

†††† In the words "eko 'pi bhavaj-jananam bhutva nisheve" the prefix "ni" is used to emphasize the exalted nature of devotional service. The words "bhave 'tra vanyatra" mean "either in this birth as Brahma, or in another birth". Here Brahma hints: "I do not wish to take birth in a lower species, like those of the insects or worms, if in such a birth I cannot engage in devotional service to You. However, if I can engage in devotional service to You, I may take birth as Brahma, or I may take birth in any other form." The remainder of the verse has been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, this verse may be interpreted: "O Lord, by serving Your devotees, one attains Your mercy." In this interpretation the word "ekah" has the same meaning as previously, and the words "bhavaj-jananam bhutva nisheve tava pada-pallavam" mean "I serve the lotus feet of Your devotees".

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may ask: "O Brahma, O crest jewel of they who know both the spiritual goal and the way to attain it, you have now described the path of knowledge and the path of devotional service. Which do you wish to follow?" This verse is Brahma's reply to that question. By speaking the word ďnatha" (O master), which is in the vocative case, Brahma reveals his desire to become a servant of the Lord.

†††† If Lord KrishŽa says: "O Brahma, please carefully consider what is more valuable and what is less. Then you request what is most valuable," then Brahma may reply with the statement beginning with the word "bhuri-bhagah", which means "the greatest good fortune my mind can conceive".

†††† The second line of this verse means, "a fortunate birth in any form of life, from Brahma down to the lowest animal". In the scriptures it is said:

 

 

gajo gridhro vaŽik-pathah

 

 

†††† "An elephant, a vulture, and a merchant became great devotees of the Lord."

 

†††† In these words it is seen that even animals may engage in devotional service to the Lord. By using the word ďtirshcam" (of births as animals) in the plural, Brahma is performing a funeral ceremony to commemorate the death of his desire to attain liberation. By using the word "atra" (here), he prays that he may take birth a thousand times. He says, "May I take any sort of birth (eko 'pi) among Your devotees, and, as either a neophyte or a perfect devotee, I will serve You."

†††† In the first verse of this chapter Brahma described Lord KrishŽa's sweetness, and in verses 2-30 Brahma described the Lord's supreme opulence. In verses 3 and 8, Brahma described the superiority of pure devotional service. In verses 27 and 19 Brahma discussed the theories of the impersonalists. In verses 4 and 5 Brahma explained the great value of devotional service and the complete uselessness of impersonalism. In verses 28 and 29 Brahma described devotional service mixed with jnana. In verse 24 Brahma described devotional service in the rasa of neutrality (shanta-bhakti). In verse 30 Brahma described devotional service in the rasa of servitorship (dasya-bhakti).

†††† After that point, in the passage beginning with verse 31, Brahma becomes plunged in the ocean of sweetness and he speaks prayers describing spontaneous (ragatmaka) devotional service in the rasas of parenthood and conjugal love. That is the outline of Brahma's prayers.

 

Text 31

 

aho 'ti-dhanya vraja-go-ramaŽyah

†††† stanyamritam pitam ativa te muda

yasam vibho vatsataratmajatmaja

†††† yat-triptaye 'dyapi na calam adhvarah

 

†††† ahah-Oh; ati-very; dhanya-fortunate; vraja-go-ramaŽyah-the cows and gopis of Vraja; stanyamritam-the nectar of their breasts; pitam-drunk; ativa-greatly; te-they; muda-happily; yasam-of whom; vibhah-O Lord; vatsataratmajatmaja-in the form of the calves and the gopis' sons; yat-triptaye-for the staisfaction of whom; adya-today; api-even; na-not; ca-and; alam-enough; adhvarah-yajnas.

 

 

†††† The gopis and cows of Vrindavana are so fortunate that they have been able to supply their breast milk to You. Persons who are engaged in performing great sacrifices and offering many valuable goats in the sacrifice cannot attain the perfection of understanding You., but simply by devotional service these innocent village women and cows are all able to satisfy You with their milk. You have drunk their milk to satisfaction, yet You are never satisfied by those engaged in performing sacrifices.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† In these seven verses (31-37) Brahma enthusiastically declares that birth as a devotee, in whatever species or situation, is better than birth among the demigods or other exalted beings.

†††† "Vraja-go-ramaŽyah" means "the cows and gopis of Vraja". Here Brahma says: "O Lord, all the Vedic yajnas taken together have not the power to satisfy You. Still, You became very happy and satisfied by drinking the breast-milk of these cows and gopis when You became their sons."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In these ten verses (31-40) Brahma glorifies the dear devotees of the Lord. Either he prays to have devotion like that of the people of Vraja, or he prays to able to serve their lotus feet. The reason he offers these prayers is given in the nyaya:

 

 

madhureŽa samapayet

 

 

†††† "It that way one tastes a great sweetness".

 

†††† Also, Lord KrishŽa Himself is greatly glorified when the praises of His devotees are sung. That is another reason for Brahma to offer these prayers.

†††† "Aho" is spoken either out of wonder or to invoke auspiciousness. "Ati-dhanyah" means "having attained the greatest success", "ramaŽyah" means ďwho pleased You, O Lord, by offering their breast-milk," ďyat-triptaye" means "to please You", "vibho" means "O all-perfect Lord", "pitam" means ďO Lord, even though You are all-perfect and all-complete, You still drank their breast milk", and "ativa" means ďgreatly". Here also the adverb "muda" (happily) is used.

†††† Brahma says: "O Lord, when You became the calves and gopa boys, You directly drank their milk." The word ďativa" hints that the Lord concealed His original form at that time. "Adyapi" means either "from that moment to this moment" or "even now, when Your childhood pastimes are manifested".

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† In these two verses (31 and 32) Brahma says: "O Lord, I am the lowest of Your devotees. Therefore it is only by You mercy that my prayer will bear its proper fruit. However, it is not proper for persons like myself to request the position of Your greatest devotees, who love You in the pure vatsalya-rasa and other exalted rasas. That position is very difficult to attain. My words here are meant only to glorify it."

†††† Here Brahma says: "The cows and gopis of Vraja are very fortunate". Here the word "aho" means that the full extent of Brahma's feeling of wonder cannot be properly understood by the mind or expressed with words.

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, manifesting Your form of eternity, knowledge, and bliss, You drank their breast-milk, which was like nectar flowing from their bodies. Furthermore, You did this with great pleasure (muda).

†††† "Also, even though You drank that milk again and again, Your pleasure from drinking increased from moment to moment. Furthermore, You became the calves because the cows could not bear not being able to give their milk to You, and You also became the gopis' sons because had You not the gopis would not have attained such close association with You.

†††† "O Lord, pushed by intense greed, You expanded into many forms among the cows and gopis, and You could not stop drinking the nectar-milk flowing from their breasts. This means that because You are naturally filled with transcendental bliss, the bodies of these cows and gopis must also be filled with transcendental bliss."

†††† Here the word "yat-triptaye" means "to please You", for the dictionaries confirm:

 

 

trip priŽane

 

 

†††† "The verb `trip' meanms `to please'."

 

†††† Brahma concludes: "O Lord, from beginningless time (adyapi) persons like myself have performed every possible yajna, yajnas performed with flawless mantras, rituals, purificatory ceremonies, and a host of other ceremonies. Still, all these yajnas were not enough to satisfy You."

 

 

Text 32

 

aho bhagyam aho bhagyam

†††† nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam

yan-mitram paramanandam

†††† purŽam brahma sanatanam

 

†††† ahah-what great; bhagyam-good fortune; ahah-what great; bhagyam-good fortune; nanda-of Maharaja Nanda; gopa-of the other cowherd men; vraja-okasam-of the other residents of Vrajabhumi; yat-of whom; mitram-the friend; parama-anandam-the supreme bliss; purŽam-complete; brahma-the Absolute Truth; sanatanam-eternal.

 

 

†††† How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men, and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††The word "aho" is repeated here in order to indicate that the good fortune is limitless in every way.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "The cows and gopis who gave their breast-milk to Lord KrishŽa are not the only fortunate ones. Nanda Maharaja and the other residents of Vraja are all very fortunate also."

†††† Here the word "aho" is spoken to express either great joy or great good fortune. "Nanda-gopa-vrajaukasam" means either "of they who have their homes in Nanda's Vraja", or "of Nanda, the gopas, the cows, the birds, and all others who have their homes in Vraja".

†††† Here Brahma hints: "How can I describe the good fortune of Nanda Maharaja? And if f I cannot describe his good fortune, then how can I describe the supreme good fortune of all the other gopas?"

†††† Here "yan-mitram" means "their friend", ďparamanandam" means "he who brings intense transcendental bliss that pushes away petty, lesser happinesses, and also drives away suffering, lamentation, and other unwanted experiences. "PurŽam" means "who does not need help from anyone". "Brahma" means "He is all-pervading. There is no place where He cannot be found." ďsanatanam" means "He is eternal. There is no point in time when He cannot be found". Or, "yan-mitram purŽam brahma sanatanam" means "The perfect Supreme Brahman who is the eternal friend of the gopas".

†††† The Lord is not only the deliverer from dangers, but He is also blissful, as explained by the word "paramanandam", which means either "He whose form is filled with transcendental bliss", or "he who gives transcendental (parama) bliss (anandam) to others".

†††† Here the word "mitram" (friend) means that in this situation Lord KrishŽa does not manifest His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that revelation would destroy the love present in the rasa of friendship. Or, the words ďmitram purnam brahma" mean "Nanda and the people of Vraja are Your friends, even though You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The neuter gender is used here throughout because all these words modify the neuter word ďbrahma".

†††† Radha and the youthful gopis, who are all very dear to Lord KrishŽa, are not specifically glorified here because their pastimes with Lord KrishŽa are not yet manifested in the Lord's early, childhood pastimes. Or, it may be that they are not glorified here because Brahma, being Lord KrishŽa's direct son, is shy to mention them. Or, perhaps Brahma does not mention them simply because their pastimes with the Lord are very confidential.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† In the previous verse Brahma praised the devotees who have spontaneous love in the rasa of parenthood, and in this verse he praises the devotees who have spontaneous love in the rasa of friendship. In this way he praises the devotees in the rasa of parenthood and in the other rasas also.

†††† The words "aho bhagyam" are repeated because Brahma is filled with bliss and wonder. The neuter gender of the word "paramanandam" is a poetic license of the sages (arsha). The word "brahma" here is defined in the following words of the Shruti-shastra:

 

 

satyam vijnanam anandam brahma

 

 

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

 

†††† The word "parama" here indicates that Lord KrishŽa is the origin and basis of the impersonal Brahman. The word ďpurŽam" here indicates that Lord KrishŽa is not the impersonal Brahman, nor is He an amsha incarnation of the Lord.

†††† This Brahman is then described to be the friend (mitram) of Shridama and the other cowherd boys. Then Brahma refutes the idea that Lord KrishŽa is their friend for a specific period of time only. Using the word "nityam" (eternal) Brahma affirms that Lord KrishŽa is their friend for all time. Therefore, because their friendship with Lord KrishŽa exists for all time, Shridama and the other cowherd boys also exist for all time. In the scriptures it is said:

 

 

ayam tuttamo brahmaŽah

 

 

†††† "A brahmaŽa is the most exalted of persons."

 

†††† Because a brahmaŽa is exalted, therefore his personal qualities are also exalted. In the same way, because Lord KrishŽa's friendship is eternal, the other qualities of Lord KrishŽa are here hinted to be eternal also. Thus the word "mitram" means "friend".

†††† Here Brahma says: "How greatly fortunate are all the residents of Nanda's Vraja, including even the cows and the birds! If they are all fortunate, then how much more fortunate must be King Nanda himself and his gopa friends?"

†††† Someone may ask: "What is that good fortune?" Brahma replies: "Lord KrishŽa, there eternal and blissful Supreme Personality of Godhead, has become the friend and relative (mitram) of the people of Vraja, who love Him in the rasa of parenthood and other rasas." This means that the people of Vraja treat KrishŽa as their friend, and He reciprocates by treating them as His friends. This is described by the gopas in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.26.13):

 

 

dustyajash canurago 'smin

†††† sarvesham no vrajaukasam

nanda te tanaye 'smasu

†††† tasyapy autpattikah katham

 

 

†††† "My dear Nanda, we do not know why we are so attracted by Your son KrishŽa. We want to forget Him, but this is impossible. Why are we so naturally affectionate to Him? Just imagine how wonderful it is!"*

 

†††† This is so because the Supreme Personality of Godhead feels spontaneous love for the residents of Vraja. For this reason He fills the residents of Vraja with transcendental bliss. Also, because their forms are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, the residents of Vraja brought great wonder to Brahma.

 

Text 33

 

esham tu bhagya-mahimacyuta yavad astam

†††† ekadashaiva hi vayam bata bhuri-bhagah

etad-dhrishika-cashakair asakrit pibamah

†††† sharvadayo 'nghry-udaja-madhv-amritasavam te

 

†††† esham-of them; tu-indeed; bhagya-of the good fortune; mahima-the glory; acyuta-O infallible Lord; yavat-as much as; astam-may be; ekadasha-eleven; eva-certainly; hi-indeed; vayam-we; bata-indeed; bhuri-bhagah-very fortunate; etad-dhrishika-of the senses; cashakaih-with the cups; asakrit-again and again;pibamah-we drink; sharvadayah-headed by Indra; anghri-of the feet; udaja-lotus; madhu-amritasavamnectar; te-of You.

 

 

†††† I am simply surprised, therefore, with the fortunate position of Maharaja Nanda, mother Yashoda, and the cowherd men and gopis, becauseYou, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, are existing here as their most intimate lovable object. My dear Lord, no one can actually appreciate the good fortune of these residents of Vrindavana. We are all demigods, controlling deities of the various senses of the living entities, and we are proud of enjoying such privileges, but actually there is no comparison between our position and the position of these fortunate residents of Vrindavana because they are actually relishing Your presence and enjoying Your association by dint of their activities.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "The glory of Vraja's residents must remain undescribed. Who has the power to describe it?"

†††† Here "sharvadayah" means "the demigods headed by Indra, who is the presiding deity of false-ego", and "ekadasha" means "the eleven demigods headed by Candra". Here Brahma uses the word "vayam" (we), referring to himself, because he has a high opinion of himself. Thus Brahma declares that the thirteen demigods (Indra+Brahma+eleven demigods headed by Candra) who control the mind, intelligence, false-ego, eyes, and other senses are very fortunate (bhuri-bhagah).

†††† "Etad-dhrishika-cashakaih" means with the drinking-cups of the senses". Here Brahma says: "With those cups of the senses we drink the nectar of the lotus feet of Lord KrishŽa, who is the fourteenth Deity, the ruler of the mind". Brahma says: "We demigods are the rulers of the senses. If, each of us employing only the one sense that he controls, we serve You and thus attain success, how can we describe the success and good fortune of they who serve You with all the senses?"

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "Who has the power to properly describe the glories of Vraja's residents? Even we demigods have attained the goal of life simply by a little association with them."

†††† Here the word "tu" is used either as a sort of sidelong glance, or as a rhetorical ornament. "Acyuta" means "O Lord whose devotees possess glories that never become diminished".

†††† The word "anghry-udaja-madhu" means "the honey of the lotus feet". This nectar consists of service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, using one's spiritual intelligence to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, firmly deciding to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, gazing at the Lord's transcendental form, hearing descriptions of the Lord, and many other like activities.

†††† Someone may ask: "What is this honey like?" The answer is given in the word "amritasavam". In that word "amrita" means "the sweetest nectar" and ďasavam" means "life-giving".

†††Or, "amrita" may mean "of the liberated souls, who are free from death" and "asavam" may mean "the delightful, intoxicating nectar". This nectar is so sweet that it makes one completely forget all about impersonal so-called liberation.

†††† Because they constantly drink this nectar, the residents of Vraja are more glorious than any other devotees. That is explained in the second line of this verse.

†††† In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.5.30) it is said:

 

 

dig-vatarka-praceto 'shvi-

†††† vahnindropendra-mitra-kah

 

 

†††† "From the mode of goodness the mind is generated and becomes manifest, as also the ten demigods controlling the bodily movements. Such demigods are known as the controller of directions, the controller of air, the sun-god, the father of Daksha Prajapati, the Ashvini-kumaras, the fire-god, the king of heaven, the worshipable deity in heaven, the chief of the Adityas, and Brahmaji, the Prajapati. All come into existence."*

 

†††† Thus ten demigods control the ten senses. The moon-god, who controls the mind, is the eleventh. The word "vayam" (we) refers to Brahma, who controls the intelligence. The word ďsharvadayah" refers to Lord Rudra. This word is a bahuvrihi-samasa describing Lord Rudra's qualities. Thus there thirteen demigods are mentioned here. The remainder of this verse has been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, because the anus and genital are not directly used in devotional service, Mitra and Prajapati, who control these parts of the body, are not mentioned here, and therefore the list of demigods here is actually eleven. Or, because men and women may serve the Lord by giving birth to VaishŽava children, Prajapati may be included here in the list of demigods, and it may Upendra, the controller of the feet, who is omitted from this list to keep the number of demigods at eleven. Upendra may be omitted because He is not a demigod. Rather, He is an incarnation of Lord Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead.

†††† Even though the residents of Vraja have spiritual bodies that are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, it is still appropriate to say that the various controlling demigods preside over the activities of their senses. That is so because Candra and the other demigods here are not the same as the demigods of material world. Rather, these demigods are residents of the spiritual world and their forms are also spiritual, eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

†††† Or, perhaps the material demigods are intended here because they are, in one sense, not different from the original controlling demigods present in the spiritual world. This is so because the material demigods are like shadows of the demigods in the spiritual world.

†††† Or, perhaps these words are spoken according to the external vision of the materialists, and therefore the material demigods are intended. In the eternal spiritual world the original demigods are also eternal. This is described in the following words of Padma PuraŽa, Uttara-khaŽda:

 

 

nityah sarve pare dhamni

†††† ye canye ca divaukasah

te vai prakrita-nake 'smin

†††† na nityas tridasheshvarah

 

 

†††† "The demigods and others who live in the spiritual world are all eternal, whereas the thirty million demigods of the material world are not eternal."

††††

†††† Or, perhaps, another interpretation may be: Now that for a moment he has directly seen something of Lord KrishŽa's intense and multifaceted sweetness, in this verse Brahma praises his own good fortune. Brahma says: "O Lord, with the drinking-cups of our senses we drink the honey of Your lotus feet."

†††† What is this honey like? It is described in the word ďamritasavam", which means "an intoxicating beverage sweet like nectar". Another interpretation of the word ďvayam" (we) is "the nine rulers of the planets, excluding Nairriti, plus Candra and Surya, which then comes to eleven."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The gist of this verse is: "Furthermore, we also have become fortunate by our contact with the residents of Vraja."

†† ††Here Brahma says: "The glory of Vraja's residents must remain undescribed. Who has the power to describe it?" Brahma continues: "Even we, the eleven demigods who control the various senses, have become very fortunate. With the drinking-cups of our senses we eleven demigods, excluding the deities of the two vulgar senses and also excluding the Deity of the consciousness, a Deity (Vamana) who is not different from Lord Vasudeva, drink with our eleven senses the sweet and intoxicating nectar of Your lotus feet, lotus feet decorated with tinkling anklets, and nectar where ego, action, will, sound, touch, form, taste, smell, glorification, massaging, and approaching You are employed for Your service."

†††† Even though they do not experience the sense objects there, the demigods who control the various senses do certainly reside in the senses of the conditioned souls. For example, Brahma resides in the intelligence, Surya resides in the eyes, and other demigods reside in the other senses. Without the aid of these controlling demigods, one cannot use the senses to see forms, taste tastes, or perceive anything at all, even if the object of perception is Lord KrishŽa Himself.

†††† Brahma and the other demigods yearn to attain love for Lord KrishŽa. That is why even the words of they who directly see Lord KrishŽa fills them with bliss.

†††† Although these demigods have power only on the functioning power of the senses, still they falsely imagine that they are able to experience whatever is experienced by the senses of the conditioned souls. In truth these demigods have jurisdiction only over material senses. They are not the controllers of the spiritual senses, although they may proudly claim that they are.

†††† The activities of they who are filled with pure love for Lord KrishŽa are not within the jurisdiction of these demigods. This is seen in the following words of Shri Padyavali:

 

 

mithyapavada-vacasapy abhimana-siddheh

 

 

†††† The personal associates of the Lord have spiritual bodies that are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. Their senses are also spiritual, like those of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Their senses are not material. How can Brahma and the other material demigods enter these spiritual senses?

†††† Or, perhaps in this verse Brahma congratulates the demigods for somehow, somewhere being able to taste the sweetness of Lord KrishŽa. The word "ekadasha" may divided into ďeka" and "dasha". Interpreted in this way, ďeka" means "the demigods' good fortune has no peer", and "dasha" means "we, the protectors of the ten directions, have become very fortunate (bhuri-bhagah)."

†††† Here someone may ask: "What is the good fortune of the demigods?" This question is answered in the second half of this verse.

†††† With his forefinger Brahma touches his eyes and ears and says: "O Lord, as You leave Vraja Village to tend the calves, with our eyes and ears we drink the nectar of Your handsomeness and beautiful music."

 

 

Text 34

 

tad bhuri-bhagyam iha janma kim apy atavyam

†††† yad gokule 'pi katamanghri-rajo-'bhishekam

yaj-jivitam tu nikhilam bhagavan mukundas

†††† tv adyapi yat-pada-rajah shruti-mrigyam eva

 

†††† tat-that; bhuri-bhagyam-great good fortune; iha-in this; janma-birth; kim api-something; atavyam-in the forest; yat-what; gokule-in Gokula; api-even; katama-of anyone; anghri-of the feet; rajah-in the dust; abhishekam-bath; yaj-jivitam-the life; tu-indeed; nikhilam-all; bhagavan-the Lord; mukundah-Mukunda; tv-indeed; adya-today; api-also; yat-pada-rajah-the dust of whose feet; shruti-by the Vedas; mrigyam-sought; eva-certainly.

 

 

†††† I am most humbly praying at Your lotus feet for You to please give me any sort of birth within this Vrindavana forest so that I may be able to be favored by the dust of the feet of some of the devotees of Vrindavana. Even if I am given the chance to grow just as the humble grass in this land, that will be a glorious birth for me. But if I am not so fortunate to take birth within the forest of Vrindavana, I beg to be allowed to take birth outside the immediate area of Vrindavana so that when the devotees go out they will walk over me. Even that would be a great fortune for me. I am just aspiring for a birth in which I will be smeared by the dust of Your devotees' feet. I can see that everyone here is simply full of KrishŽa consciousness. They do not know anything but Mukunda. All the Vedas are indeed searching after the lotus feet of KrishŽa.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†† ††In this verse Brahma says: "In this verse I repeated the request I made in verse 30." Someone may ask: ďWhat is that request?" The answer is: "I request a birth in the world of human beings, in the forest of Gokula."

†††† Then someone may ask: "What will you gain by leaving Satyaloka and taking birth in Gokula?" To this Brahma answers with the words: "katamanghri-rajo-'bhishekam", which mean "then I will be able to bathe in the dust from the feet of some of the residents of Gokula".

†††† Then someone may ask: "Why are the residents of Gokula so fortunate?" In the third line of this verse Brahma answers this question by saying, "Lord Mukunda is their entire life".

†††† In the fourth line Brahma explains that Lord KrishŽa is very difficult to attain. There the word "shruti-mrigyah" means "although they search for Him, the Vedas have not been able to see Lord KrishŽa."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Desiring either devotion like that of the residents of Nanda's Vraja or direct service to their lotus feet, Brahma speaks this verse. With the five words beginning with ďiha", Brahma rejects the five obstacles to devotional service, obstacles that begin with impersonal liberation.

†††† By speaking the word "janma" (birth) Brahma rejects impersonal liberation. By speaking the word "iha" (here) Brahma rejects residence in Svargaloka. By speaking the word "kim api" (anywhere) Brahma rejects birth as a brahmaŽa. By speaking the word "atavyam" (in the forest), Brahma rejects birth in the cities and towns. By speaking the word "gokule" (in Gokula), Brahma rejects fleeing to other forests to practice artificial austerities.

†††† The word "kim api" (anywhere) refers to birth as an insignificant blade of grass. In such a birth Brahma will be bathed by the dust of the feet of Vraja's residents.

†††† The word "abhisheka" means "a bathing of all parts of the body, beginning with the head". Or, this word may mean "the eager success obtained by all limbs of the body". Or, it may mean "bathing in a single particle of dust". The idea here is that a single particle of this sacred dust contains within it all holy places and has the power to grant any status of life that one may desire.

†††† The words "yat-pada-rajah shruti-mrigyam" mean ďEven though they diligently search for it, and even though Lord KrishŽa has personally descended to this world, the Vedas still cannot find the dust of Lord KrishŽa's lotus feet." the vedas search for Lord KrishŽa is described in these words of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.5.1):

 

 

brahma puccham pratishtha

 

 

†††† "In these five ways one searches for the Supreme."

 

†††† In the Katha Upanishad (1.3.9) it is said:

 

 

tad vishŽoh paramam padam

 

 

††† "One who follows the spiritual path attains the transcendental abode of Lord VishŽu."

 

†††† Here the word "brahma" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and the paths of jnana and karma and other paths are all spoken in relation to Him. Otherwise, if one accepts the idea that once the goal is attained the means employed to attain it may be rejected, then the description here of the Supreme and of jnana and other paths is not to be accepted.

†††† Here "mukundah" means "He who gives rare devotional service to persons like myself" and "bhagavan" means "He who manifests all powers and opulences". ďYaj" means "of Gokula's residents", and ďjivitam nikhilam" mean "O Lord, without You the residents of Gokula cannot live for even a moment". In this way the highest spiritual love is described. The remainder of this verse has already been described by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, Lord KrishŽa may ask: "You prayed to attain any sort of birth where You would be touched by the dust from the feet of Gokula's residents. Why did you not ask for a birth as a gopa or one of the other people there?"

†††† In the second half of this verse Brahma gives his reply. He says: "O Lord, the Personified Vedas are the most senior and venerable persons. They are my teachers. If they find it difficult to attain the dust of Your feet, then it is not proper for me to pray as You suggest. How can I pray to become a gopa or other Gokula resident, who have all conquered Your lotus feet by the greatness of their love?"

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Brahma says: "Now I shall perform a funeral ceremony to celebrate the death of my desire to attain liberation or any kind of power or opulence in this world. Now my only thought is: How shall I attain the dust of Gokula's residents' feet? I pray that I may become fortunate in that way. I may become fortunate if the residents of Gokula place their merciful glance upon me."

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may ask: "What good fortune do you seek?" To this Brahma replies: "Any kind of birth in Vrindavana forest. For example, birth as a tender blade of darba grass or other kind of grass. Then Your dear gopa friends and the other residents of Vraja will place their feet upon me. That will be a great good fortune for me.

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may say: "This will be very difficult for you to attain. I suggest you give up this desire and pray for something else, something more appropriate."

†††† If Lord KrishŽa says this, then Brahma may give the following reply: "Then I pray that I may take birth as a stone in the footpath in Gokula, or even in marking the boundary of Gokula. Then I will be bathed with the dust from the feet of Your tailors, weavers, artisans, or other servants.

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may say: "Why are the residents of Vraja so great and glorious? and why are you, who are Brahma, the creator of the worlds and worshiped by all the living entities in the worlds, not embarrassed to desire to be touched by the dust of the feet of the low-born people of Vraja?

†††† To this Brahma may reply: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the very life of the residents of Gokula."

†††† In the Amara-kosha Dictionary it is said:

 

 

bhagah shri-kama-mahatmye

 

 

†††† "The word `bhaga' may mean `handsomeness', `desire', or `glory'."

 

†††† Therefore the word "bhagavan' means `He who is handsome, speaks poetically, and has a host of other virtues." "Mukundah" means "He whose face (mukh) is like a kunda (jasmine) flower."

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, Your handsomeness, gentle smile, and other attractive features are the only things that sustain the lives of Gokula's residents. Without these features of Yours, Gokula's residents would at once die. O Lord, their intense and uncommon love for You is the reason the residents of Gokula are so exalted."

†††† Here the word "nikhilam" (entire) means that for their entire lives the people of Vraja had no desire for eating, drinking, or any other material happiness. The last line of this verse means, "Even today the Vedas are searching for the dust of the Gokula residents' feet. Even today the Vedas have not yet found it. How can I, whom only a Brahma, be more important or more exalted than the Vedas personified? That is why, O Lord, I am embarrassed to offer the prayer that You suggest.

†††† "Therefore I now repeat the request I spoke in verse 30. If I follow the path of vaidhi-bhakti (devotional service in practice), I may eventually come to the stage of following in the footsteps of Gokula's residents. Then eventually I may become plunged in the nectar ocean of spontaneous (raganuga) love for You. That is my request."

 

Text 35

 

esham ghosha-nivasinam uta bhavan kim deva rateti nash

†††† ceto vishva-phalat phalam tvad-param kutrapy ayan muhyati

sad-veshad iva putanapi sa-kula tvam eva devapita

††† yad-dhamartha-suhrit-priyatma-tanaya-praŽashayas tvat-krite

 

†††† esham-of them; ghosha-nivasinam-the residents of Vraja; uta-indeed; bhavan-You; kim-whether?; deva-O Lord; rata-will give; iti-thus; nah-of us; cetah-mind; vishva-of the world; phalat-from thr result; phalam-the4 result; tvad-param-devoted to You; kutrapi-somewhere; ayat-considering; muhyati-is bewildered; sad-veshat-by dressing nicely; iva-as if; putana-Putana; api-aslo; sa-kula-with family; tvam-You; eva-indeed; deva-O Lord; apita-was caused to attain; yat-what; dhama-homes; artha-wealth; suhrit-friends; priya-dear; atma-selves; tanaya-children; praŽa-lives; ashayah-and minds; tvat-krite-for Your sake.

 

 

†††† My Lord, sometimes I am puzzled as to how Your Lordship will be able to repay, in gratitude, the devotional service of these residents of Vrindavana. Although I know that You are the supreme source of all benediction, I am puzzled to know how You will be able to repay all the service that You are receiving from these residents of Vrindavana. I think of how You are so kind, so magnanimous, that even Putana, who came to cheat You by dressing herself as a very affectionate mother, was awarded liberation and the actual post of a mother. And other demons belonging to the same family, such as Aghasura and Bakasura, were also favored with liberation. Under the circumstances, I am puzzled. These residents of Vrindavana have given You everything: Their bodies, their minds, their love, their homes. Everything is being utilized for Your purpose. So how will You be able to repay their debt? You have already given Yourself to Putana! I surmise that You shall ever ever remain a debtor to the residents of Vrindavana, being unable to repay their loving service.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, how can anyone properly describe the success of these people of Vraja? Their loving service has placed You in their debt."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may ask: "Does anything exist that I have not the power to give to repay My debt? How can I be a debtor?"

†††† To this Brahma replies: "Is there any gift You can give that is better than the gift of Yourself, which is the best of all gifts? When I think of this, my mind becomes bewildered."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may say: "Well then, if I give Myself in payment, then my debt will be absolved and I no longer will be a debtor."

†††† Then Brahma may reply: "That is not true. It is not true. Simply by pretending to be Your devotee Putana attained You as a gift. And then, if You say `I shall also give Myself to Putana's relatives', then I say whatever gift You give to Putana, Bakasura, and Aghasura is not a good enough gift to give to Your pure devotees, whose homes and everything else are all meant for You alone."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here the word "muhyati" means "bewildered because of being unable to come to a conclusion". Or, it may mean "Because You are in debt to them, You are now under their dominion. That means that You will abandon persons like Myself and instead always stay with the people of Vraja." Thinking in this way Brahma became bewildered and overwhelmed with grief.

†††† "Sa-kula" means "with Bakasura and Aghasura". Therefore it is because of their relationship with Putana that Bakasura and Aghasura were touched by the Lord and able to attain His association. The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† The word "api" is correctly connected to the word "vishva-phalat". "Kutrapi" (anywhere) here means "any kind of birth in Mathura's land of Vraja". The word "kutrapi" is here placed in its proper position in the sentence. "Ayat" is the present active participle of the verb "i" (to go). "Sad-dveshat" means "because of hating the devotees and even trying to kill them".

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, even though she was famous for killing children and performing many demonic activities, Putana and her family members attained You. Because she offered her breast milk to You, You allowed her to attain Your association.

†††† The passage beginning with the word "iva" means ďin truth, she happily attained the Lord's association". ďApita" means "Spiritual bliss is not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Therefore when Putana attained that bliss she also attained the Lord Himself". Then Brahma says: "The people of Vraja are all Your friends. Therefore it is inevitable that they attain Your association."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may say: "then I shall give the people of Vraja My transcendental abode, My wealth, and a host of other gifts. And I will also give Myself to them. In that way I will become free of My debt to them."

†††† In the last line of this verse Brahma replies to this proposal. Brahma says: "O Lord, to serve You (tvat-krite), they have offered everything to You. If You give them in return only in measure equal to what they have given to You, then Your great generosity will not be gloriously manifest."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Brahma may say: "O Lord, I have earnestly requested that I may attain the dust of the feet of Gokula's residents. I may attain that dust, or I may not attain it. If You do not wish to clearly respond to my request, then I ask that You please answer one question that I have. My question is: What reward will You give the residents of Gokula?"

†††† Here the word "uta" is used for asking a question. It means: "This question I ask".

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may say: "You know all the truths of the Vedas. Simply reflect and You will know the truth of this."

†††† In answer to these words Brahma speaks the words beginning with "nash cetah", where "nah" means ďour". By using the plural here Brahma means "Not only my heart, but also the hearts of Shiva, the four Kumaras, Narada, and all the wise philosophers are all bewildered by this."

†††† What are these hearts like? Brahma may say: ďAlthough with great intelligence we search in all times and places, we could not find any result to be obtained that is superior to You. You are the best result." Here the word ďayat" is a present active participle of the verb "i" (to go).

†††† Here is the meaning. Brahma says: "O Lord, You are the result attained by the residents of Vraja. They have attained You as their so, or in many other relationships also. That is why I used the genitive case in the words beginning with `esham' and ending with `bhavan'.

†††† "If something better than You existed, then You would give it to the people of Vraja. However, no such thing exists. That is why our minds are now bewildered."

†††† To this Lord KrishŽa may reply: "O Brahma, you do not understand the truth of this. I could see how in the future the people of Vraja would attain spontaneous love for Me, so from the very beginning I gave them the result of that love. I gave them Myself in the form of their son or other relative or associate. Others may be grateful for gifts that have already been given, but I am grateful for gifts that will be given in the future, and I reciprocate these gifts even before they are given."

†††† If Lord KrishŽa were to speak these words, then Brahma may give this reply: "That is true, my Lord. Still, You live by a code of right conduct." This Brahma explains with the words "sad-veshad iva" which have the same meaning as ďsad-veshad eva".

†††† Then Brahma may say: "Even though Putana was most sinful, she and her family members were able to attain You. You gave Yourself to them. Therefore the residents of Vraja, whose homes, possessions, actions, and all else were dedicated to Your service, certainly also attained You. You gave Yourself to them." By the movements of his nose, eyes, eyebrows, and neck, Brahma communicates what is not directly spoken here.

†††† Then Brahma may say: "O Lord, first You gave Yourself to the degraded sinner Putana, and then You gave Yourself to Vraja's residents, who are the exalted crest-jewels of all saintly persons. Since You have already given Yourself to Putana, You cannot rightly give Yourself again as a gift to someone else. Therefore You are now in debt to the residents of Vraja."

 

Text 36

 

tavad ragadayah stenas

†††† tavat kara-griham griham

tavan moho 'nghri-nigado

†††† yavat krishŽa na te janah

 

†††† tavat-for that long; ragadayah-beginning with passionate attachment; stenah-thieves; tavat-for that long; kara-griham-a prison; griham-home; tavat-for that long; mohah-illusion; anghri-on the feet; nigadah-shackles; yavat-as long as; krishŽa-KrishŽa; na-not; te-of You; janah-people.

 

 

†††† It is said that attachment for material objects and home is due to illusion, which makes a living entity conditioned in the material world. But this is only the case for persons who are not in KrishŽa consciousness. In the case of the residents of Vrindavana, such obstructions, as attachment to hearth and home, are nonexistent. Because their attachment has been converted unto You, and their home has been converted into a temple because You are always there, and because they have forgotten everything for Your sake, there is no impediment. For a KrishŽa conscious person, there is no such thing as impediments in heart and home. Nor is there illusion.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "But is it not true that even the great sannyasis, who are free of lust and other vices, affirm that I am the best and none is better than Me? Why, then, would giving Myself not be adequate to pay My debt to the residents of Vraja?"

†††† To answer this protest, Brahma speaks this verse. He says: "O KrishŽa, until people become Your devotees, their material attachments and desires remain thieves, their homes remain prisons, and their affectionate feelings for their family members remain foot-shackles. For Your devotees, however, these various attachments, now directed toward You, become the causes of liberation. Thus Your devotees became as renounced as the greatest sannyasis. And they worship You better than do the greatest sannyasis."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here "adi" means "anger and other vices". Brahma says: "O Lord, Your devotees employ even their anger in devotional service to You, for by rebuking the foolish materialists, they ultimately bring them to liberation." Here "krishŽa" means "O Supreme Personality of Godhead". The remainder of this verse is already explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, Lord KrishŽa may protest: "If they have dedicated their homes and everything else for My sake alone, then why do the people of Vraja nevertheless enjoy different pleasures, manifest attachment and love for others, receive guests, engage in all the different activities of householder life, and have great love for each other?" By speaking the words "krishŽa na te janah", Brahma answers this protest.

†† ††Or, the word "KrishŽa" may mean "O giver of all transcendental bliss". In this second interpretation the two words "na te" are considered the single word ďnate", which means "bowing down with devotion". ďStenah" means "thieves that steal one's intelligence, discrimination, forbearance, and other jewellike virtues", and "ragadayah" means "attachment to sense pleasures". "Adi" means "many vices, such as the anger that comes when attempts for sense gratification are thwarted".

†††† Thus afflicted with many troubles, the materialistic householder feels that his home is a place of suffering, just like a prison cell. The great love he feels for his family bewilders him. It becomes like foot shackles that hinder his movements and rob him of his freedom.

†††† Here is the meaning. Here Brahma says: "O Lord, because they spontaneously offer everything to You and then accept the remnants of those offerings as maha-prasada, the attachment, greed, and other so-called faults of Your devotees act only to increase the love they feel for You, the anger they feel for the non-devotees also increases the devotees' love for You, their hospitality to VaishŽava guests, their various household duties, their welfare activities for the people in general, their hearing about Your glories, and their other activities all act to increase their love for You. Indeed, they avoid whatever has no relation with You."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Should not such persons be rebuked? After all, they always worship Me, even though I have no power to fulfill their desires."

†††† To this Brahma replies: "O Lord KrishŽa, O Lord who attracts everyone's mind and heart, if the people of Vraja were to not engage in Your service, then their singing, dancing and other happy pastimes would all become thieves. These activities would become like a series of great calamities. Then their homes would become miserable prisons, their love for other devotees would become bewildering foot-shackles, and their independence would be lost."

†††† Or, these words may be interpreted: "O Lord, Your attachment and other emotions are directed to the spiritual world of VaikuŽtha, and Your love is directed to the goddess of fortune, Shrimati Lakshmi-devi." The remainder is the same as in the first interpretation.

†††† Here Brahma may say: "O Lord, as the people of the world worship You, You reciprocate appropriately. What fault is there on Your part?"

†††† Or, these words may be interpreted: "O Lord, if the people of Vraja do not engage in devotional service to You, then their attachment for their bodies, cows, and others will become like thieves, their homes will become prison cells, and their love for their relatives and friends will become foot-shackles."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "Is it not true that householders have fallen into a network of material life, where the ropes are wife, children, and a host of other persons and things? That is what the sannyasis say."

†††† To this Brahma may reply: "Yes. That is true. Still, householders who are Your devotees, who have wives that are Your devotees and children with spiritual virtues like Yours, are better than these sannyasi critics." That is the gist of this verse.

†††† Here Brahma says: "Attachment, hatred, and other material emotions are great thieves who rob the living entities of the great treasure of their knowledge, happiness, and other advantages. With the idea `No one may spit on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme ruler', the rebellious souls are bound by their karma, placed in the prison cell of household life, and bound with foot-shackles of a host of illusions."

†††† Brahma says: "O Lord KrishŽa, as long as the living entities do not attain the mercy of Your devotees, their attachments and other emotions will be thieves to plunder them. However, when the living entities become Your devotees, then their attachment becomes placed in Your devotees, their hatred becomes placed in whatever impedes Your devotional service, and their love becomes placed in You. In this way the devotees' attachment, hatred, and love become sanctified. They help the devotee and they give him bliss, knowledge, and a host of advantages.

†††† "In that way the same home that formerly was a prison cell created by favorable and unfavorable karmic reactions, becomes for Your devotee a place filled with service to You, hearing and chanting Your glories, and a host of other activities meant to please You. These activities carry one to the eternal abode of the Lord.

†††† "Thus the devotees' affection for other devotees creates in him love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. How can householders like this be compared to ordinary sannyasis? In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.22.40) it is said:

 

 

"kricchro mahan iha bhavarŽavam aplavesham

†††† shad-varga-nakram asukhena titirshanti

 

 

†††† " `The ocean of nescience is very difficult to cross because it is infested with many dangerous sharks. Although those who are non-devotees undergo severe austerities and penances to cross that ocean, we recommend that you simply take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord, which are like boats for crossing the ocean. Although the ocean is difficult to cross, by taking shelter of His lotus feet you will overcome all dangers'."*

 

†††† "In this verse my son Sanat-kumara criticizes the non-devotee sannyasis. Devotee householders are more advanced than such sannyasis. The residents of Vraja have thousands of times more love for You than householders who live in other places, for the residents of Vraja have You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as their son or other relation. That is why You have become their submissive servant."

 

Text 37

 

prapancam nisprapanco 'pi

†††† vidambayasi bhu-tale

prapanna-janatananda-

†††† sandoham prathitum prabho

 

†††† prapancam-material; nisprapancah-spiritual; api-also; vidambayasi-You imitate; bhu-of the earth; tale-on the surface; prapanna-janata-of the surrendered devotees; ananda-sandoham-great bliss; prathitum-to spread; prabhah-O Lord.

 

 

†††† I can also understand that Your appearance as a small cowherd boy, a child of the cowherd men, is not at all a material activity. You are so much obliged by their affection that You are here to enthuse them with more loving service by Your transcendental presence. In Vrindavana there is no distinction between material and spiritual because everything is dedicated to Your loving service. My dear Lord, Your Vrindavana pastimes are simply to enthuse Your devotees. If someone takes Your Vrindavana pastimes to be material, he will be misled.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may say: "For each of the residents of Vraja I am either the son or another kind of relative or friend. That is My identity." If Lord KrishŽa were to say this, then Brahma replies by speaking this verse.

†††† Here Brahma says: "O Lord, You do this to bring great bliss to Your surrendered devotees." However, Brahma also hints: "O Lord, by pretending to be their son or other relative or friend, You do not become free from Your debt to the residents of Vraja."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here the word "prapancam" means "a son or other kind of relative or friend". Here Brahma says: "O Lord, even though (api) You are beyond the material world of five elements (nishprapancah), You pretend (vidambayasi) to be resident of the earth (bhu-tale)."

†††† The question may be asked: "Why does the Lord do this?" Brahma answers: "You do this to give bliss to Your devotees by enabling them to hear of Your Vraja pastimes." The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Then someone may ask: "O Lord is it true that You become their son and other relative or friend and then enjoy pastimes with the residents of Vraja?" To answer this question, Brahma speaks this verse.

†††† The word "nishprapancah" may also mean ďYou who liberate the conditioned souls from the material world of five elements". "Vidambayasi" may mean ďYou make steady". Then Brahma says: "O Lord, by manifesting Your pastimes with the residents of Vraja, You bring great bliss to Your surrendered devotees."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may say: "Some persons claim that because I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead it is not a fact that I am the son or other friend or relative in Vraja. However, it is a fact. These persons are mistaken." In this verse Brahma replies to that statement of the Lord.

†††† Brahma says: "O Lord, although You are beyond this material world of five elements, You always stay on the earth and pretend that You are an ordinary resident of the material world. In this way You imitate the activities of an ordinary son or other relative or friend. As material sons act in relation to material fathers, and as other kinds of relations and friends act in relation to each other, so You act also.

†††† "Thus Your relationships with Your devotees are not insubstantial and unreal as are the relations of material father and material son and other like relationships in the material world. Because You exist beyond the material world, when You manifest these relationships they are all eternal. Even though they are all eternal, spiritual, and beyond the material world, Your pastimes still resemble the actions of the material world. That is the conclusion spoken in the scriptures.

†††† "Why do You imitate ordinary activities in this way? You do this to give to Your surrendered devotees the bliss of relishing the descriptions of Your Vraja pastimes. You do this to place on the earth a bliss greater than the bliss of impersonal Brahman and greater even than hearing the pastimes of VaikuŽtha."

†††† Here is the meaning: A lamp does not seem to shine as brightly in daylight as it does in darkness. A diamond does not seem to shine as brightly when resting on a glittering silver tray as it does on a tray of dark glass. In the same way the spiritual pastimes of the Lord do not seem as wonderful in the spiritual world as they do in the material world of maya, the world of five elements. Even though the land of Vraja is in truth spiritual, it is seen to be material by ordinary persons, just as spiritual Lord KrishŽa is seen to be an ordinary material person and Lord KrishŽa spiritual pastimes are also seen to be material. In this way Lord KrishŽa pastimes are seen to be very wonderful. Here the word "prabho" means "O Lord, please count me among Your surrendered devotees."

 

 

Text 38

 

jananta eva janantu

†††† kim bahuktya na me prabho

manaso vapusho vaco

†††† vaibhavam tava gocarah

 

†††† janantah-persons who think they are aware of Your unlimited potency; eva-certainly; janantu-let them think like that; kim-what is the use?; bahuktya-with many words; na-not; me-my; prabhah-O Lord; manasah-of the mind; vapushah-of the body; vacah-of the words; vaibhavam-opulences; tava-Your; gocarah-within the range.

 

 

†††† There are people who say, "I know everything about KrishŽa." Let them think that way. As far as I am concerned, I do not wish to speak very much about this matter. O my Lord, let me say this much. As far as Your opulences are concerned, they are all beyond the reach of my mind, body, and words.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† From the very beginning of these prayers it has been said that Lord KrishŽa cannot be completely understood, for His qualities are both inconceivable and limitless. Some philosophers may say: "We understand Lord KrishŽa perfectly." In this verse Brahma mocks such persons. Here Brahma says: "O Lord, Your glories are far beyond my mind and all my powers of understanding.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In this verse Brahma concludes his argument, begun in verse 3, that knowledge is insignificant in comparison to the glory of devotional service. Brahma says: "They who are proud, thinking themselves great paŽditas who know the glory (vaibhavam) of Your devotional service, may understand Your glories." This means "They may strive to understand Your glories, and they may attain that understanding". Here Brahma speaks sarcastically. He hints: "How can mere knowledge, which is by nature pathetic and feeble, have the power to describe in many words the glory of devotional service?"

†††† Then Brahma says: "O Lord who has limitless wonderful powers and glories, because they are limitless and inconceivable, Your glories are beyond the reach of my body's power to describe in writing, my words' power of description, and my mind's power of thinking. It is all beyond my power".

†††† Or, Brahma began these prayers by describing Lord KrishŽa's form, and the proceeded to refute many objections, answer many doubts, and glorify devotional service. Now he comes to his conclusion.

†††† "Prabho" means "O Lord who is most handsome and who has all auspicious qualities," or, in other words, ďO most extraordinary, excellent Lord". Here the proper sequence of the words is "tava vapusho vaibhavam na me gocarah" (the glory of Your form is beyond my perception). Or, the sequence may be: "tava manaso vaibhavam na me gocarah" (the glory of Your mind and other senses is beyond my perception).

†††† Here Brahma hints: "O Lord, Your mind is deeper than many millions of oceans, and Your body which is both all-pervading and limited to certain place, is the form of the fathomless Vedas." Or, these words may mean, "O Lord, even though You appear to be limited and not all-pervading, You are certainly the greatest in every respect. The glory of the words You speak to Your friends and other associates is not within the scope of my power to understand."

†††† Or, concluding His prayers to Lord KrishŽa by describing the glory of Nanda's village of Vraja, Brahma here mocks the bewildered fools who think they understand the truth of the Lord and His Vraja. This he does in verses 35-38.

†††† The residents of Vraja follow the Lord. Therefore their glories are also beyond the understanding of Brahma. Here Brahma says: "O master of Gokula, the glory of Vraja's residents is beyond the understanding of my body, words, and mind. It is even beyond Your understanding. Therefore, they who are proud to understand everything about the residents of Vraja are all the greatest fools, and it is right that the wise mock them and laugh at them." The remainder of the verse is as in the first interpretation.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa might say: "If this is all true, then please tell me how many wise philosophers are there like You who can so brilliantly explain everything about about My transcendental form, the residents of My Vraja, and My devotional service? You know. Please speak." Fearing that Lord KrishŽa would speak such crooked words, Brahma speaks this verse with embarrassment, trembling, and remorse. He says: "They who know may know, but I am a great fool."

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may protest: "If that is so, then why have You spoken all these words?" In reply Brahma says: ďkim bahuktya" (what is the use of all my words?). Brahma says: "O Lord, to speak many words in Your presence is simply a sign of foolishness."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may again protest: "My dear Brahma, you are trying to cheat Me with your words." In reply, Brahma speaks the words beginning with "na". Brahma says: ďO Lord, my mind cannot understand Your power and opulence. I have meditated on them without limit, and still I do not understand them. "Vapusha" here means "with my eyes". Brahma hints: "In verse 7, I have already explained the word "vacah".

†††† Or, these words may mean: "O Lord, My mind has no power to understand Your opulences. How could I have the power to understand them with my mind? I have already affirmed this in verse 2. How can I understand anything of Your body, or of Your words, which spoke the Vedas? Indeed, You never spoke to me directly. How important are persons like myself in Your presence? Persons like myself are all very unimportant."

 

Text 39

 

anujanihi mam krishŽa

†††† sarvam tvam vetsi sarva-drik

tvam eva jagatam natho

†††† jagad eva tavarpitam

 

†††† anujanihi-please give permission; mam-to me; krishŽa-O Lord KrishŽa; sarvam-all; tvam-You; vetsi-know; sarva-drik-seeing all; tvam-You; eva-indeed; jagatam-of the universes; nathah-O Lord; jagat-the universe; eva-indeed; tava-of You; arpitam-offered.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Lord of all creation, although I sometimes falsely think that I am the master of this universe. I may be the master of this universe, but there are innumerable universes, and there are innumerable Brahmas also who preside over these universes. But actually You are the master of them all. As the Supersoul in everyone's heart, You know everything. Please therefore accept me as Your surrendered servant. I hope that You will excuse me for disturbing You in Your pastimes with Your friends and calves. Now if You will kindly allow me, I will immediately leave so You can enjoy Your friends and calves without my presence.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Brahma speaks this verse after abandoning the pride he felt on being the master of the universe. Here Brahma says: ďO Lord, You know everything. You know Your own glories and You also know whatever knowledge and power is possessed by persons like myself. Therefore You are "sarva-drik" (one who sees everything). You are the master of all the universes and therefore You know everything about all the universes. I now offer to You my body as well as the universe that is my home."

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† By speaking these prayers Brahma attained the Lord's mercy, mercy that enabled him to be very humble and free from pride. Now Brahma requests permission to return to his home. That is the topic of this verse.

†††† Here Brahma says: "O KrishŽa, O Lord who has all the qualities natural for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You know Your own opulences and powers, which are spiritual and free from any touch with matter. This is because You are `sarva-drik', or one who knows everything."

†††† Or, perhaps, with the word "sarva-drik", Brahma ironically asks: "O Lord, do even You know everything about Your own opulences and powers?" the implied answer being: "Because Your glories are limitless, even You do not know their full extent."

†††† In this way Brahma hints: "I am not worthy to praise Your glories. Therefore please give me permission to depart. Furthermore, rejecting all my pride so that I may attain perfection in Your devotional service, I now offer to You everything that I possess." That is the gist of the second half of this stanza. The remainder of this verse has been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, Lord KrishŽa may say here: "O Brahma, you have now requested any sort of birth here in Vrindavana. Why do you wish to leave Vrindavana and go somewhere else?" To answer this question, Brahma speaks the passage beginning with the word ďsarvam".

†††† Here Brahma says: "My situation is that I am four-headed Brahma, a demigod. I am not worthy to stay here in Vraja. Your situation is that You are controlled by the love of Vraja's residents and You are very eager to please them. O KrishŽa, only beloved of Vraja's people, You know everything. Why should I stay any longer here in Vraja?

†††† "However, in order to attain the fulfillment of my request, I will now offer to You everything that I possess. You are already the master of all the universes. Therefore I do not really possess anything that I can offer to You. So because I do not possess anything to offer, I shall now offer to You my desire to offer something to You.

†††† Or, Lord KrishŽa may say: "O Brahma, you are the creator and master of the universe. Why are you so humble?"

†††† To this Brahma replies: "You are the master (nathah) of the universes (jagatam). I am only Your servant."

†††† Then Lord KrishŽa may say: "Do I not see that You are the grandfather of the universe, and the universe is filled with Your children, grandchildren, and descendants? You are certainly the controller of the universe."

†††† Then Brahma replies: "This universe is Yours. It was You who first gave this universe to me. Therefore I am not the master of the universe. It was You who gave me the power to preside over this universe."

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† Here Lord KrishŽa may say: "Very well, perhaps You do not know the full extent of all my powers and opulences. Still, I do not know the full extent of Your powers and opulences either." Thinking, "what kind of reply will I speak if Lord KrishŽa says that", Brahma, embarrassed and distraught, speaks this verse.

†††† Here the word "anujanihi" means "please give me permission to depart." Here Brahma says: "I am not worthy to stay here even for a moment. Therefore please give me permission to depart. I should go to Satyaloka. That is the place where persons like myself belong."

†††† Here the word "krishŽa" means "O Lord, You attract my mind and heart." Here Brahma says: "O Lord, You have not replied, even with a meaningful glance, to the request I made in verse 34. Therefore, what more shall I do here?

†††† "I became an obstacle troubling Your lunch-pastimes by the riverbank. Therefore I am an offender. It is because of my offense that I could not taste the nectar of many words from Your mouth. Therefore I will quickly depart. I will go far away.

†††† "Now please reclaim Your calves and finish Your lunch pastimes with Your dear friends, joking and laughing with them as they eat by the riverbank. Why should I recklessly repeat my request again and again? Indeed, You (tvam) know (vetsi) everything (sarvam) about the mind, body, and words of persons like myself.

†††† "Just because I created this universe does not mean ćthat I am its master. It is You who are the master of not only this, but of many other universes also.

†††† "Therefore, I now offer to You this very small universe, which is Your property to begin with. Whatever You desire is proper. You know everything. Therefore please do with this universe whatever You wish."

 

 

Text 40

 

shri-krishŽa vrishŽi-kula-pushkara-josha-dayin

†††† kshma-nirjara-dvija-pashudadhi-vriddhi-karin

uddharma-sharvara-hara kshiti-rakshasa-dhrug

†††† a-kalpam arkam arhan bhagavan namas te

 

†††† shri-krishŽa-O Lord KrishŽa; vrishŽi-kula-of nthe VrishŽi dynasty; pushkara-to the lotus; josha-pleasure; dayin--giving; kshma-of the earth; nirjara-demigods; dvija-brahmanas; pashu-cows; udadhi-oceans; vriddhi-increase; karin-doing; uddharma-of impiety; sharvara-the darkness; hara-removing; kshiti-on the earth; rakshasa-of the demons; dhruk-the enemy; a-kalpam-until the end of the kalpa; arkam-the sun; arhan-O Lord; bhagavan-O Lord; namah-obeisances; te-to You.

 

 

†††† My dear Lord KrishŽa, Your very name suggests that You are all-attractive. The attraction of the sun and moon are all due to You. By the attraction of the sun You are beautifying the very existence of the Yadu dynasty. With the attraction of the moon, You are enhancing the potency of the land, the demigods, the brahmaŽas, the cows, and the oceans. Because of Your supreme attraction, demons like Kamsa and others are annihilated. Therefore it is my deliberate conclusion that You are the only worshipable Deity within the creation. Accept my humble obeisances until the annihilation of this material world. As long as there is sunshine in this material world, kindly accept my humble obeisances.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† In this verse Lord KrishŽa dismisses His servant, and Brahma offers respectful obeisances. "VrishŽi-kula-pushkara-josha-dayin" means "O Lord who are like a sun delighting the lotus flower of the VrishŽi dynasty." "Kshma" means ďthe earth", "nirjara" means "the demigods", "dvija-pashudadhi-vriddhi-karin" means "who nourishes the earth, the demigods, the brahmaŽas and the cows". The first line of this verse means "O Lord who are like the moon".

†††† "Uddharma" means "irreligion", ďsharvara" means "blinding darkness", and ďhara" means "removing". Of these, the first statement compares the Lord to the moon and the second compares Him to the sun. Therefore Brahma hints: "O Lord who are like both the moon and the sun".

†††† "Kshiti-rakshasa-dhruk" means "O enemy of Kamsa and the other demons on the earth". Thus again Brahma hints a comparison with the sun. Then, thinking the sun very insignificant in comparison to Lord KrishŽa, Brahma says: ďarkam arhan", which means "O Lord who are worshiped by the sun-god". "Bhagavan namas te" means "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, I offer obeisances to You until the end of the kalpa."

 

 

sa-sakhi-vatsaka-mokshaŽa-kautuka

†††† druta-vilambita-putra-mude 'dbhutam

nikhila-rupam ato dadhad acyuto

†††† 'vatu sa vah kalayan vraja-mangalam

 

 

†††† May infallible Lord KrishŽa, who brings auspiciousness to the land of Vraja, who happily rescued His friends and calves, who expanded into many forms, and who at once filled His son, Brahma, with wonder and joy, protect us.

 

†††† Translator's note: This verse is written in the meter druta-vilambita. Shrila Shridhara Svami included the meter's name in the second line of this verse.

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† In the word "shri krishŽa", the word "shri " means "who possesses all kinds of handsomeness and grace", and "krishŽa" means "who, possessing all handsomeness, attracts the hearts and minds of all". These words mean that Lord KrishŽa is always and in all respects more handsome than any other being. That is described in the word ďvrishŽi-kula-pushkara-josha-dayin".

†††† The reason Lord KrishŽa is the most handsome is given in the word "bhagavan", which means "O master of all opulences". The remainder of this verse has already been explained by Shrila Shridhara Svami.

†††† Or, in this one stanza, with great devotion Brahma offers prayers that glorify Lord KrishŽa's wonderful holy names, briefly describes the purpose of all of Lord KrishŽa's incarnations, touches Lord KrishŽa's lotus feet, and bows down to offer respectful obeisances to Him.

††† The word "vrishŽi-kula-pushkara-josha-dayin" "as the sunrise drives away the darkness and sheds light upon the lotus flowers, so the appearance of Lord KrishŽa destroys the sufferings of Shri Vasudeva and the Yadavas and fills them with transcendental bliss. These themes have already been discussed in the verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. For example, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.17 it was said:

 

 

sa bibhrat paurusham dhama

 

 

†††† "While carrying the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the core of his heart, Vasudeva bore the Lord's transcendentally illuminating effulgence, and thus he became as bright as the sun."*

 

†††† In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.38 it was said:

 

 

dishtya hare 'sya bhavatah pado bhuvo

 

 

†††† "O Lord, we are fortunate because the heavy burden of the demons upon this earth is removed by Your appearance. Indeed, we are certainly fortunate, for we shall be able to see upon this earth and in the heavenly planets the marks of lotus, conchshell, club, and disc that adorn Your lotus feet."*

 

†††† "Kshma-nirjara-dvija-pashudadhi-vriddhi-karin" means "O moon who expands the ocean of the earth, the demigods, the brahmaŽas, and the cows and other animals". ďUddharma-sharvara-hara" means "O Lord who brings happiness and directly removes the sufferings caused by the proponents of atheism and irreligion".

†††† Although Brahma could have simply said that Lord KrishŽa increases the good fortune of the earth, and from that one could infer the increase of the good fortune of the brahmaŽas and cows, because in this incarnation the Lord specifically protects the brahmaŽas and cows, they are here mentioned separately. Or, perhaps they are mentioned separately because Brahma is eager to include the great sages of Maharloka and other places and the cows of Goloka and other places.

†††† Or, perhaps these words refer to the residents of Vraja exclusively. In this interpretation the word "kshma-nirjara" means "the brahmaŽas", "dvija" means "the birds", and "pashu" means "the cows, buffalo, and other animals". Because they are all very numerous, they are here called "oceans". In this interpretation, then, the word "vriddhi-karin" means "who increases the good fortune of the residents of Vraja especially".

†††† Now, toward the end of this description, Brahma explains that teaching the religion of loving devotional service is Lord KrishŽa's primary purpose in coming to the material world. "Dharma" (religion) here refers to devotional service, and "uddharma" (irreligion) refers to impersonal speculation and other so-called spiritual paths that might lead a person away from the true path of devotion. That true path of devotional service is eternally manifest, although it may sometimes be concealed by darkness (sharvara). Here Brahma says that Lord KrishŽa removes (hara) that darkness.

†††† Then Brahma speaks word "kshiti-rakshasa-dhruk". The word "kshiti-rakshasa" refers to two kinds of living entities. Some are called rakshasas because, like demons who move about under the cover of night's darkness, they move about within the darkness of the world of repeated births and deaths. Because they create obstacles on the path of devotional service, which is the only real life for all living entities, these persons are called rakshasas. Because within their hearts they conceal a demonic nature, these persons are actually demons.

†††† Another class of rakshasas is the enemies of VrishŽi dynasty and the other associates of Lord KrishŽa. These persons, like Kamsa and his associates, are openly demons. Lord KrishŽa is thus the enemy (dhruk) of these different kinds of demons. Lord KrishŽa merely removes the false pride and other faults of the first class of demons, but the second class of demons, like Kamsa and his associates, Lord KrishŽa directly kills.

†††† These activities are actually for the demons' true benefit, as is declared here by the word "bhagavan", which means "O supremely merciful Lord". The Lord is called merciful here because He teaches the saintly devotees how to serve Him with devotion. The word "arhan" means: "O Lord, only You can perform this unprecedented activity (of first revealing the truth of devotional service). No one else has the power to do it." Or, the word "arhan" may mean "O Lord, You are all-powerful. You can do anything."

†††† Here the word "akalpam" means "until the end of my (Brahma's) life". Or, this word may mean "Your ornaments (kalpam) from (a) Your peacock-feather crown and gunja necklace to the morsel of food in Your left hand."

†††† "Arkam" is the name of a tree that bears a flower not suitable to offer to Lord KrishŽa. Therefore this tree is not honored by the VaishŽavas. Here Brahma says: "O Lord Your powers, opulences, and glories are manifest everywhere in the material world, even down to the lowly arka tree." In conclusion, Brahma says: "O KrishŽa, O supremely blissful son of Nanda, I offer my respectful obeisances to You (namas te)."

 

 

shrimac-chaitanyadevanu-

†††† grihitanam anugrahat

tesham mude stutir brahmi

†††† vyakhyateyam yatha-ruci

 

 

†††† By the mercy of they who have attained Lord Chaitanyadeva's mercy, for their pleasure, and according to their wishes, I have written this commentary on Brahma's prayers.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

††† Here Brahma hints: "O Lord, although, because You know that I am an offender, You do not speak to me, still, please give to me the nectar of Your merciful glance. By always drinking this nectar I will preserve my life until the kalpa's end." After speaking these words, Brahma bows down to offer respects. That is the gist of this verse.

†††† Referring to the Lord's right eye, which is the original form of the sun, Brahma says: "vrishŽi-kula-pushkara-josha-dayin", which means "O sun who makes the lotus flower of the VrishŽi dynasty bloom, please mercifully make the lotus flower of me also bloom."

†††† Then, referring to the Lord's left eye, which is the original form of the moon, Brahma says: "kshma-nirjara-dvija-pashudadhi-vriddhi-karin", which means "O moon who expands the oceans of the human beings and other residents of the earth, the demigods in Svargaloka, and the birds and cows in Vrindavana, please mercifully expand the good fortune of me, the lowest of the demigods."

†††† Then, referring to the Lord's two eyes, which are like the sun and moon risen together, Brahma says: "uddharma-sharvara-hara". "Uddharma" means atheism and impiety", and "sharvara" means "blinding darkness". In the Amara-kosha Dictionary it is said:

 

 

sharvaras tv andha-tamasah

 

 

†††† " `Sharvara' means `blinding darkness'."

 

†††† "Hara" here means "who removes". Here Brahma hints: "O Lord, please mercifully remove my impiety, which was seen in my attempt to bewilder even You with my mystic potency. Please remove it so I will never act in this way again."

†††† Then Brahma says: "kshiti-rakshasa-dhruk", which means "O Lord, even though You are the enemy of Aghasura and the other demons on the earth, nevertheless You give them residence in Your own spiritual abode. I am a demon like them. I am a brahma-rakshasa from Satyaloka, for I became the enemy of Your friends and calves. Therefore, as You punished the other demons, please also punish me.

†††† "If he sees that his master is either merciful or cruel, the servant is encouraged to continue living. But if he sees that his master is indifferent and does not care at all, then a servant no longer desires to maintain his life."

†††† Then Brahma thought within his heart: "Alas! Alas! Thinking that it was not proper for my master, the great Lord of lords, to hold a stick, be decorated with gunja, mineral dyes, peacock feathers, and other like ornaments, and enjoy pastimes with cowherd boys, I foolishly committed an offense to Him and to His friends. Let me beg forgiveness from them."

†††† In the word "a-kalpam arkam arhan bhagavan namas te", "a-kalpam" means "including Your gunja necklace and other ornaments", and "arkam" means ďeven the arka tree, which bears flowers that cannot be offered to the Lord". Here "Brahma says: ďeverything in the land of Vraja, including even Your ornaments and even the arka trees". "Arhan" means ďO object of worship".

†††† Then Brahma says: "O Lord who can be merciful or merciless, who can grant me auspiciousness or trouble, I offer my respectful obeisances to You (namas te)."

 

 

sarva-samshaya-hrit sarva-

†††† bhakti-siddhanta-santatih

astu brahma-stutish citta-

†††† bhittau me caru-citrita

 

 

†††† May Brahma's prayers, which remove all doubts, teach all the truths of devotional service, and are an expert and graceful architect, build a wonder on the foundation stone of my heart.

 

Text 41

 

shri-shuka uvaca

 

ity abhishtutya bhumanam

†††† trih parikramya padayoh

natvabhishtam jagad-dhata

†††† sva-dhama pratyapadyata

 

†††† shri-shukah uvaca-Shri Shukadeva Gosvami said; iti-thus; abhishtutya-offering prayers; bhumanam-to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; trih-thrice; parikramya-circumambulating; padayoh-to the feet; natva-bowing; abhishtam-desired; jagad-dhata-the creator of the universe; sva-dhama-own abode; pratyapadyata-returned.

 

 

†††† Shri Shukadeva Gosvami said: In this way Brahma, the master of this universe, after offering humble and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and circumambulating Him three times, was ready to return to his abode known as Brahmaloka.*

 

†††† Shrila Shridhara Svami:

 

†††† Thus Brahma bowed down before Lord KrishŽa's feet. Here the word "abhishtam" means either "worshiped by all" or "loved by all".

 

†††† Shrila Sanatana Gosvami:

 

†††† Here "bhumanam" means "He whose glory is limitless", "iti" means "thus", and ďabhishtuya" means "praising (shtuya) everything (abhi)". Or, "bhumanam" may mean "even though He is all-pervading, He stands in that way, as if He is not all-pervading."

†††† Here it is said: "After thrice devotedly circumambulating most dear KrishŽa, Brahma returned to his home in Satyaloka." At first, overcome by embarrassment and other like emotions, Brahma yearned to reside in Vraja. He thought, "Let me give up my post as Brahma and take birth somewhere, anywhere, in Vraja".

†††† But now that he attained Lord KrishŽa's mercy, Brahma instead returned to his own abode, which is very dear to him. This is because he is the creator of the universe and if he left his post the universe would not function properly. Therefore Lord KrishŽa sent him back to Satyaloka.

 

†††† Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti:

 

†††† The meaning here is that Lord KrishŽa sent Brahma back to his own home, which is very dear to him. Brahma is the creator of the universe, and if he suddenly abandons his post, the universe would not function properly. In the Nyaya it is said:

 

 

yavad adhikaram avisthitir adhikarikaŽam

 

 

†††† "Authorities should fulfill the duties of their posts for as long as they are assigned."

 

†††† Here it is understood that when his term as Brahma is completed, he will attain his desire.

 

 

Text 42

 

tato 'nujnapya bhagavan

†††† sva-bhuvam prag avasthitan