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SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI'S
Translation By Kushkratha Dasa
A Little Nectar of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His Devotees
The Nectar of Shri Krishna
The Svayam-rupa, Vilasa, Svamsa, and Avesa Forms of the Lord page 1
Purusavatara and Guna Avataras page 3
The Lila-avataras page 7
Description of the Manvantara-avataras, Yuga-avataras, Prabhava-avataras, vaibhava avataras, and Their abodes 13
Description of the Most Important Forms of the Lord 18
Lord Krishna is not an incarnation of Nara-Narayana Rsi or Lord Vamana
Lord Krishna's killing the demons proves he is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead
The Nectar of Shri Krishna
The Svayam-rupa, Vilasa, Svamsa, and Avesa Forms of the Lord
1 I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Krishna, who is glorified in the following verses of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.46 and 11.5.22).
"I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Krishna, the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead who, in order to liberate the conditioned souls from the cycle of repeated birth and death, appears in the material world in the forms of His innumerable incarnations."
2 "In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions."*
3 May the honey-sweet flute music that flows from Lord Mukunda's lotus mouth fill me with bliss.
4 Glory to the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, the Lord's names spoken by Shri Chaitanya's mouth, which drown the world in pure love!
5 Of Shri Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, manifested by the louts words of my master, this book is a summary.
6 This book will describe two kinds of nectar: the nectar of Shri Krishna, and the nectar of His devotees. First will be the nectar of Krishna, nectar relished by the Lord's friends.
7-8 Because the Vedic revelation is the best of all evidence, I will base my arguments on it and not on material logic. The best of sages accepts the Vedic revelation as the best evidence, for he said (Vedant-sutra 1.1.3): "The Supreme is understood from the Vedic revelation".
9 With the words (Vedanta-sutra 2.1.11) "The Supreme cannot be understood by material logic" he directly criticised material logic.
10 To prove that the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, is the best of they who are worthy of worship, His forms will be described here, one after another.
11 In His abodes beyond the worlds of matter, the Supreme Lord is manifest in three kinds of forms: 1. svayam-rupa 2. tad-ekatma-rupa and 3. avesa-rupa.
12 The svayam-rupa is said to be the original form, not manifested from any other.
13 It is described in Brahma-samhita (5.1)
"Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."*
14 The svayam-rupa is not different from His original form. In the tad-ekatma-rupa the Lord's form and other features are different from His original form. The tadekatma-rupa forms are divided into two types: 1. vilasa-rupa and 2. svamsa-rupa.
15-16 When the Lord displays numerous forms with different features by His inconceivable potency, such forms are called vilasa-vigrahas.* In this way from Lord Govinda is manifest Lord Narayana, the master of the spiritual sky, and from Lord Narayana is manifest Lord Vasudeva.
17 These forms manifest other forms that have lesser power, and are called svamsa-rupas. The forms headed by Lord Sankarsana and the forms headed by Lord Matsya, each manifest in His own abode, are examples of these forms.
18-9 Exalted individual souls (jivas) into whom Lord Janardana enters with a portion of His knowledge-potency and other potencies, are called avesas. Sesa, Narada, and the four Kumaras are examples of them in Vaikuntha. They were seen by Akrura, as described in the Tenth Canto.
20 Prakasa-rupas are the same form manifest in many places.
21-2 If numerous forms, all equal in their features, are displayed simultaneously, such forms are called prakasa-vigrahas of the Lord.* Lord Krishna did this in the many places of Dvaraka. This will be proved when Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.69.2 is quoted here.
23 Sometimes, without abandoning His Krishna-form, Lord Krishna manifests a four-arm form. This is a prakasa-rupa of His two-arm form.
24 The many forms of the Supreme Lord each have their own abode in the spiritual sky, beyond the touch of matter. This is confirmed in the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana, and in many other Vedic literatures also.
The Purusa and Guna Avataras
1 Now the Lord's incarnations, among which Shri Krishna is the best, will be described.
2-3 To act in the material world, the Supreme Lord appears in the previously described forms and in other ways, as if He had never appeared in that way before. These appearances are known as "incarnations". In this way He appears in His tad-ekatma forms, such as Sesasayi Vishnu, and in His empowered devotees, such as Maharaja Vasudeva.
4-5 Again there are three kinds of incarnations of the Lord: 1. purusa-avatara 2. guna-avataras, and 3. lila-avataras. These incarnations are mostly svamsa-rupa and avesa-rupa forms. The Lord may also appear in His svayam-rupa among them.
6 Now the purusa-avataras will be described. In Vishnu Purana (6.8.59) it is said:
"I offer my respectful obeisances to the eternal, unchanging purusa-avatara, who has a great variety of transcendental qualities, who seems to be impure although He is supremely pure, who appears in many forms, who is full of transcendental knowledge, and who is the origin of all transcendental powers and opulences."
Shridhara Svami notes that the phrase "tasyaiva anu" means "after the Supreme Controller is described."
7-8 Here is an explanation. He who is expanded from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who although He seems to be part of the manifested and unmanifested material modes, in truth only observes them, and who is the source of many incarnations of Godhead, the Sruti-sastras describe as the purusa-avatara. For example, Shrimad-Bhagavatam explains (2.6.40):
"Karanarnavasayi Vishnu is the first incarnation of the Supreme Lord."
9 The different purusa-avataras are described in Satvata Tantra:
"Vishnu has three forms called purusas. The first, Maha-Vishnu, is the creator of the total material energy (mahat), the second Garbhodasayi, who is situated within each universe, and the third is Ksirodasayi, who lives in the heart of every living being. He who knows these becomes liberated from the clutches of maya."*
10 The first purusa-avatara is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.4.3):
"When the primeval Lord Narayana created His universal body out of the five elements produced from Himself and then entered within that universal body by His own plenary portion, He thus became known as the Purusa."*
11 Brahma-samhita (5.10-13) also describes Him:
"The Lord of the world Maha-Vishnu is manifest in him (Lord Mahesvara) by His subjective portion in the form of His glance."**
"The Lord of the mundane world, Maha-Vishnu, possesses thousands of thousands of heads, eyes and hands. He is the source of thousands of thousands of avataras in His thousands of thousands of subjective portions. He is the creator of thousands of thousands of individual souls.**
"The same Maha-Vishnu is spoken of by the name of Narayana in this mundane world. From that eternal person has sprung the vast expanse of water of the spiritual causal ocean. The subjective portion of Sankarsana who abides in Paravyoma, the above supreme purusa with thousands of subjective portions, reposes in the state of divine sleep (yoga-nidra) in the waters of the spiritual causal ocean."**
"The spiritual seeds of Sankarsana existing in the pores of skin of Maha-Vishnu are born as so many golden sperms. These sperms are covered with five great elements."**
12 In this passage the word "linga" means "different from the original form (svayam-rupa) of the Lord".
13 Brahma-samhita 5.14 then describes the second purusa-avatara:
"The same Maha-Vishnu entered into each universe as His own separate subjective portions."**
14 That the Lord expands as Lord Pradyumna and thus becomes the origin of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu is confirmed in the Narayana-upakhyana of the Moksa-dharma:
"As Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, lotus-naveled Lord Pradyumna is the father of Lord Aniruddha."
15 The third purusa-avatara is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.8):
"Others conceive of the Personality of Godhead residing within the body of the region of the heart and measuring only eight inches, with four hands carrying a lotus, a wheel of a chariot, a conchshell and a club respectively."*
16 From the purusa-avatara Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva, who maintain, create, and destroy the material universe, are said to have come.
17 They are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.23):
"The transcendental Personality of Godhead is indirectly associated with the three modes of material nature, namely passion, goodness, and ignorance, and just for the material world's creation, maintenance and destruction He accepts the three qualitative forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Of these three, all human beings can derive benefit from Vishnu, the form of the quality of goodness."*
As controllers of them they have a relationship with the material modes of nature. Only the one (Lord Vishnu) that is a svamsa-avatara has no relation with the modes.
As the subtle Hiranyagarbha and the gross Viraja, Brahma, who is born from the Lord's lotus navel, is manifest in order to enjoy and create. Thus he has two features.
20 Four-headed Vairaja Brahma appears in order to create the material universe and perform other duties. Sometimes Lord Vishnu Himself becomes Brahma and creates the universe.
21 Padma Purana explains:
"In some maha-kalpas a jiva soul becomes Brahma by devotional service, and in other maha-kalpas Lord Maha-Vishnu Himself becomes Brahma."
22 In a maha-kalpa where Lord Vishnu personally becomes the creator Brahma, He enters the material universe as Viraja Brahma and enjoys transcendental bliss. Thus the kalpas are divided into those ruled by the Lord and those ruled by a jiva.
23 When the scriptures say that the Personality of Godhead becomes Brahma, some say that in general this means that the Lord personally appears, and others say this means the Lord appears as an avesa-avatara.
24 Brahma-samhita (5.49) explains:
"I adore the Primeval Lord Govinda from whom the separated subjective portion Brahma receives his power for the regulation of the mundane world, just as the Supreme manifests some portion of his own light in all the effulgent gems that bear the names of Suryakanta, etc."**
25 Brahma is generally born from Garbhodakasayi Vishnu's lotus-navel, although the scriptures explain that sometimes he is born from water, fire, wind, or another element.
Siva appears in eleven forms and eight forms. Generally he has ten arms and five heads, with three eyes on each head.
27 The scriptures explain that, as Brahma is, so Siva is sometimes a jiva soul and sometimes an amsa-avatara like Lord Sesa.
28 Because He is an incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, He is generally beyond the modes of material nature. However, because he is touched by the mode of ignorance, He is thought to be affected by it. This is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.3):
"Lord Siva is always associated with the three modes of nature."
29 He is described in Brahma-samhita (5.45):
"Just as milk is transformed into curd by the actions of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither the same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Sambu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction."**
30 Sometimes He is born from Brahma's forehead and other times from Vishnu's forehead. At the kalpa's end He is born from Lord Sankarsana as the fire of time.
31 Siva's form named Sadasiva, who is a direct expansion of the Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes, is free from the slightest scent of the mode of ignorance, and resides in Sivaloka, is described in the Vayu Purana and other scriptures.
32 He, is the original form of Lord Siva, is described in Brahma-samhita (5.8):
"Rama-devi, the spiritual (cit) potency, beloved consort of the Supreme Lord, is the regulatrix of all entities. The divine plenary portion of Krishna creates the mundane world. At creation there appears a divine halo of the nature of His own subjective portion (svamsa). This halo is divine Sambhu (Sadasiva), the masculine symbol or manifested emblem of the Supreme Lord. This halo is the dim twilight reflection of the supreme eternal effulgence. This masculine symbol is the subjective portion of divinity who functions as progenitor of the mundane world, subject to the supreme regulatrix (niyati). The conceiving potency in regard to mundane creation makes her appearance out of the supreme regulatrix. She is Maya, the limited, non-absolute (apara) potency, the symbol of mundane feminine productivity. The intercourse of these two brings forth the faculty of perverted cognition, the reflection of the seed of the procreative desire of the Supreme Lord."**
33 Lord Vishnu is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.15):
"Into that universal lotus flower Lord Vishnu personally entered as the Supersoul, and when it was thus impregnated with all the modes of material nature, the personality of Vedic wisdom, whom we call the self-born, was generated."*
34 The Vishnu described here is considered to be Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. Because He is a vilaasa-avatara of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu the great sages call Him "Narayana", "the Universal Form", and "the All-pervading Supersoul".
35 The residences of Lord Vishnu in this material world, which are described in the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana and other Vedic literatures, now will be described in brief. Vishnu-dharmottara Purana explains:
36-38 "Above Sivaloka is the place named Vishnuloka, which is 50 000 yojanas in measurement and cannot be approached from any other planet. Above it, to the east of Mount Meru, and in the midst if an ocean, is the splendid golden realm called Maha-visnuloka. There, resting on the couch of Ananta Sesa, and accompanied by Shrimati Laksmi-devi, Lord Vishnu, the master of all the demigods, takes a nap at the end of the summer season.
39-40 "East of Mount Meru, in the midst of a milk-ocean is another splendid city of the Lord. There, resting on the couch of Ananta Sesa, and accompanied by Shrimati Laksmi-devi, the Lord sleeps during the four months of the monsoon season.
41 "In the southern part of that milk-ocean is a very beautiful and splendid island 25,000 yojanas wide called Svetadvipa.
42 "O Yadava, the people there are splendid as the sun and handsome as the cooling moon. They are so splendid even the demigods cannot gaze on them."
43-4 In the Brahmanda Purana it is said:
"Surrounded by the ocean of milk is a beautiful golden island 100 000 yojanas wide named Svetadvipa, which is washed on all sides by the playful jasmine and lotus waves of the splendid milk-ocean."
45-6 Vishnu Purana, Moksa-dharma, and other scriptures say, "Svetadvipa is on the northern shore of the milk-ocean." Padma Purana says, "Svetadvipa is north of the pure milk-ocean."
47-8 All Vedic literatures explain that Lord Vishnu and His many incarnations are beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature. When the word "sattva-tanu" is used to describe Him, it should be interpreted to mean either "He who expands the activities of the mode of goodness (sattvam tanoti)" or "He who is the controller of the mode of goodness."
49 This is confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.88.5):
"Shri Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is situated beyond the range of material nature; therefore He is the supreme transcendental person. He can see everything inside and outside; therefore He is the supreme overseer of all living entities. If someone takes shelter at His lotus feet and worships Him, he also attains a transcendental position."*
50-1 In this way it is understood that the word "sattva-tanu" means "He who is the best." Thus the scriptures establish the eternality of devotional service to the Lord.
52 Furthermore, in Padma Purana:
"Krishna is the origin of Lord Vishnu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the sastras should be the servants of these two principles."*
53 There it is also said:
"In order to bewilder the moving and non-moving inhabitants of the material universe, the Puranas and other Vedic scriptures may sometimes say that this or that demigod is the Supreme Lord. The actual final conclusion of all Vedic literatures, however, is that only Lord Vishnu and no one else, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
54 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.26):
"Those who are serious about liberation are certainly non-envious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Vishnu and His plenary portions."*
55-6 The svamsa-avataras here are called kalas. Brahma, Siva and all other demigods are inferior to the svamsa-avataras of Lord Vishnu.
57 There it is also said (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.18.21):
"Who can be worthy of the name of the Supreme Lord but the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna? Brahmaji collected the water emanating from the nails of His feet in order to award it to Lord Siva as a worshipful welcome. This very water (the Ganges) is purifying the whole universe, including Lord Siva."*
58-9 In Maha-varaha Purana also:
"Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, and other incarnations are equal to Lord Vishnu, for they are not different from Lord Vishnu Himself. Brahma and the other material demigods are described as not equal to Lord Vishnu, although as His potency they are also equal to Him."
1. Now, primarily following Shrimad-Bhagavatam, I will write whatever I know of the lila-avataras (pastime incarnations).
2 The four Kumaras are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.6):
"First of all, in the beginning of creation, there were the four unmarried sons of Brahma (the Kumaras), who, being situated in a vow of celibacy, underwent severe austerities for realisation of the Absolute Truth."*
3-4 The devotees consider the four Kumaras a single incarnation. In order to preach devotional service and pure transcendental knowledge, they appear as the perpetually five year old, fair complexioned sons of the demigod Brahma.
5 Narada Muni is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.8):
"In the millennium of the rsis, the Personality of Godhead accepted the third empowered incarnation in the form of Devarsi Narada, who is a great sage among the demigods. He collected expositions of the Vedas which deal with devotional service and which inspire non fruitive action."*
6-7 To preach everything about His own devotional service, Lord Hari, who is splendid as the moon, appeared from the demigod Brahma as Devarsi Narada. In the first kalpa-the Brahma Kalpa, the four Kumaras appear, and then Narada follows them. This happens in every kalpa.
8 Lord Varaha is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.3.7):
"The supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices accepted the incarnation of a boar (the second incarnation), and for the welfare of the earth He lifted the earth from the nether regions of the universe."*
9 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.1) also:
"Lord Brahma said: When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon (Hiranyaksa) appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk."*
10 In this, the first kalpa, He appeared twice. To rescue the earth he appeared during the Svayambhuva-manvantara from Brahma's nostril, and during the Caksusa-manvantara He appeared from the water.
11-2 Lord Varaha, the best of tusked beasts, appears to kill Hiranyaksa and rescue the earth. Sometimes Varaha is a wild animal of the forest and sometimes He is a domestic animal. Sometimes He is dark as a rain-cloud, and sometimes He is white as the moon. In this way Smrti-sastra describes two gigantic form of Lord Varaha, the form of Vedic sacrifices.
13 The scriptures explain that the Pracetas' son, Daksa, beget children during the reign of Caksusa Manu. It was then that Hiranyaksa was born.
14 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (4.30.49):
"His previous body had been destroyed, but he, the same Daksa, inspired by the supreme will, created all the desired living entities in the Caksusa-manvantara."*
15 In King Uttanapada's dynasty, Diti was the daughter of the Pracetas' son, Daksa. Diti's son was Hiranyaksa.
16 In the beginning of the kalpa no one had been born yet, even from Manu. Where, then, was the Pracetas' son Daksa? Where was Diti? Where was Diti's son?
17 In answer to Vidura's question, Maitreya Muni described Lord Varaha's pastimes at two different times as if they had happened at the same time.
18 Because of a sage's curse to Manu a cosmic devastation occurred in the middle of Manu's reign. This is described in a Purana.
Note: The scripture here is Matsya Purana.
19 In another scripture it is said that, caused by the lotus-navelled Lord's pastimes, this cosmic devastation unexpectedly occurred in Caksusa Manu's reign.
Note: The scripture here is Vishnu-dharmottara Purana.
20 A cosmic devastation occurs at the end of each Manu's reign. This is described by Markandeya Muni in the following verses of Vishnu-dharmottara Purana:
21 "When Manu's reign is ended the faultless demigods that controlled the world during the manvantara travel to the planet Maharloka and remain there.
22 "O Yadava, at that time Manu, Indra, and the demigods take shelter of Brahmaloka, which is very difficult to attain.
23 "O Vraja, then the Supreme Lord becomes a powerful, wave-garlanded ocean and completely covers the Bhutala and Satala planets.
24 "O Yadava, then everything in Bhurloka is destroyed. O king of kings, only the famous great mountains are not destroyed.
25 "O best of the Yadu dynasty, then the earth-goddess becomes a boat and protects all seeds without discrimination.
26-7 "O tiger among kings, the future Manu and future seven sages famous in the world will take shelter in a boat. Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe, will assume the form of a horned fish and will playfully pull that boat from place to place.
28 "After tying the boat to the peaks of the Himalayas, that fish, the Lord of the universes, will become invisible. Then Manu and the sages will stay where they are.
29 "O king, then the time will become like Satya-yuga. The waters will recede to their normal level, and Manu and the sages will recreate everything.
30 Saying "A cosmic devastation does not occur at the end of Manu's region. That devastation is an illusion Lord Vishnu shows to Manu", Shridhara Svami does not think there is such a devastation.
31 The fish incarnation, Lord Matsya, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.15):
"When there was a complete inundation after the period of the Caksusa Manu and the whole world was deep within water, the Lord accepted the form of a fish and protected Vaivasvata Manu, keeping him up on a boat."*
32 Also in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.12):
"At the end of the millennium, the would be Vaisvata Manu, of the name Satyavrata, would see that the Lord in the fish incarnation is the shelter of all kinds of living entities, up to those in the earthly planet. Because of my fear of the vast water at the end of the millennium, the Vedas come out of my (Brahma's) mouth, and the Lord enjoys those vast waters and protects the Vedas."*
33 Also in Padma Purana
"When Brahma said this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of the senses, assumed the form of a fish and entered the waters of the ocean."
34 Lord Matsya appeared in two kalpas, as Lord Varaha had done. In the first appearance, during Svayambhuva Manu's reign, He killed a demon and rescued the Vedas. In the second appearance, during Caksusa Manu's reign, He was merciful to Satyavrata.
35 The first appearance of Lord Matsya is described in the quotations in Text 33 and the second half of Text 32. The second appearance is described in the quotations in Text 31 and the first half of Text 32. Thus Lord Matsya appeared as Lord Varaha had.
36 In this way there is a hint of Lord Matsya's appearance during the reigns of the other Manus. In this way from Vishnu-dharmottara Purana it is understood that Lord Matsya appears fourteen times.
37 Lord Yajna is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.12):
"The seventh incarnation was Yajna, the son of Prajapati Ruci and his wife Akuti. He controlled the period during the change of the Svayambhuva Manu and was assisted by demigods such as His son Yama."*
38 Because Lord Yajna delivered (hari) the three planetary systems from great sufferings, He was given the name "hari" by His maternal grandfather Manu.
39 Nara Narayana Rsis are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.9):
"In the fourth incarnation, the Lord became Nara and Narayana, the twin sons of the wife of King Dharma. Thus He undertook severe and exemplary penances to control the senses."*
40 In another scripture these two brothers, are called Hari and Krishna. They are considered a single incarnation, as are the four Kumaras.
41 Lord Kapila is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.10):
"The fifth incarnation, named Lord Kapila, is foremost among perfected beings. He gave an exposition of the creative elements and metaphysics to Asuri Brahmana, for in course of time this knowledge had been lost."*
42 Kapila Muni appeared as the son of Kardama and Devahuti. Because of His ruddy complexion, Brahma gave Him the name Kapila.
43-4 In Padma Purana:
"Lord Kapila, who is an amsa-avatara of Lord Vasudeva, spoke the Sankhya philosophy, which properly explains the meaning of the Vedas, to Asuri Brahmana, the demigods headed by Brahma, and the great sages headed by Bhrgu Muni. Then a different Kapila spoke a different Sankhya philosophy, full of faulty logic and in opposition to all the Vedas, to a different Asuri Brahmana."
45 Lord Dattatreya is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.4):
"The great sage Atri prayed for offspring, and the Lord, being satisfied with him, promised to incarnate as Atri's son, Dattatreya (Datta, the son of Atri). And by the grace of the lotus feet of the Lord, many Yadus, Haihayas, etc., became so purified that they obtained both material and spiritual blessings."*
46 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.11):
"The sixth incarnation of the purusa was the son of the sage Atri. He was born from the womb of Anasuya, who prayed for an incarnation. He spoke on the subject of transcendence to Alarka, Prahlada and others (Yadu, Haihaya, etc.)."*
47 In Brahmanda Purana it is said that when Atri Muni's wife, Anasuya, requested Him, the Lord became her son.
48 Lord Hamsa is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.19):
"O Narada, you were taught about the science of God and His transcendental loving service by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation of Hamsavatara. He was very much pleased with you, due to your intense proportion of devotional service. He also explained unto you, lucidly, the full science of devotional service, which is especially understandable by person who are souls surrendered unto Lord Vasudeva, the Personality of Godhead."*
52 A regal swan come from the water, the Lord said: "As a swan can divide milk and water, So I can understand the nature of everything."
53 Lord Dhruvapriya is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.8):
"Being insulted by sharp words spoken by the co-wife of the king, even in his presence, Prince Dhruva, though only a boy took to severe penances in the forest. And the Lord, being satisfied by his prayer, awarded him the Dhruva planet, which is worshipped by great sages, both upward and downward."*
54 Because this incarnation is described as having appeared in the reign of Svayambhuva Manu, because His name is not specifically given here, and because Lord Yajna and many other incarnations have already been described, by the process of elimination it should be said that this incarnation is Lord Prsnigarbha. This is like Govardhana Hill in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.21.18).
Note: It is clear that the unnamed hill in that verse is Govardhana Hill.
55 In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.3.32 and 41):
"My dear mother, best of the chaste, in your previous birth, in the Svayambhuva millennium, you were known as Prsni, and Vasudeva, who was the most pious Prajapati, was named Sutapa. Since I found no one else as highly elevated as you in simplicity and other qualities of good character, I appeared in this world as Prsnigarbha, or one who is celebrated as having taken birth from Prsni."*
56 Because His name and pastimes are otherwise not mentioned here (in Shrimad Bhagavatam's list of incarnations), it is likely that this incarnation is Lord Prsnigarbha.
57 If only to approach (Dhruva) the Lord had descended in that form, then the Lord would also appear before others in a different form each time.
58 Lord Rsabhadeva is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.13):
"The eight incarnation was King Rsabha, son of King Nabhi and his wife Merudevi. In this incarnation the Lord showed the path of perfection, which is followed by those who have fully controlled their senses and who are honoured by all orders of life."*
59 The fair-complexioned Lord appeared to teach the duties of the renounced order. Because He was supremely virtuous, He was famous as Rsabha (the best).
60 Maharaja Prthu is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (1.3.14):
"O brahmanas, in the ninth incarnation, the Lord, prayed for by sages, accepted the body of a king (Prthu) who cultivated the land to yield various produces, and for that reason the earth was beautiful and attractive.
61 When the sages massaged Vena's right arm, from it the Supreme Lord appeared as the great king Prthu, who was splendid as pure gold.
62 These thirteen lila-avataras, from the Four Kumaras to Maharaja Prthu, all appeared during the reign of the first (Svayambhuva) Manu. Lord Varaha and Lord Matsya, however, appeared again during the reign of Caksusa Manu.
63 Lord Nrsimha is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.18):
"In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nrsimha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiranyakasipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane."*
64 Shri Laksmi-Nrsimha and many other vilasa-avataras are described in the Smrti-sastra. In the Padma Purana and other scriptures Their different forms and pastimes are described.
65 Lord Nrsimha appeared before the churning of the milk-ocean in the reign of the sixth (Caksusa) Manu. He appeared before the appearance of Lord Kurma in the reign of the sixth Manu.
66 Lord Kurma is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.16):
"The eleventh incarnation of the
Lord took the form of a tortoise whose shell served as a pivot for the
Mandaracala Hill, which was being used as a churning rod by the theists and
atheists of the universe."*
67 In the Padma Purana it is said that on the demigods' request He lifted the earth. In another scripture also it is said that He appeared in the beginning of the Kalpa and lifted the earth.
68 Lord Dhanvantari and Mohini-devi are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.17):
"In the twelfth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Dhavantari, and in the thirteenth He allured the atheists by the charming beauty of a woman and gave nectar to the demigods to drink."*
Lord Dhanvantari appeared twice: during the reigns of the sixth (Caksusa) and the seventh (Vaisvasvata) Manus.
70 During the reign of the sixth Manu, dark-complexioned, two-armed Lord Dhanvantari, the original teacher of the Ayur Veda, carrying pot of nectar in His two arms appeared from the churning of the milk ocean. During the reign of the seventh Manu, He appeared again, in the same form, as the prince of Varanasi.
71 Shri Mohini
To bewilder the demons and to please Lord Siva, the unconquerable Personality of Godhead twice appeared as Mohini-devi.
72 In this way, in the reign of the sixth (Caksusa) Manu, four avataras, beginning with Lord Nrsimha, are described.
73 Lord Vamana is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.19):
"In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf-brahmana (Vamana) and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Maharaja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land."*
74 Lord Vamana appeared three times in this kalpa. During the reign of the first (Svayambhuva) Manu, He visited the sacrifice performed by Vaskala, the king of the danavas. Then, in the reign of Vaisvasvata Manu, and visited the sacrifice performed by Dhundhu. Then, in the seventh catur-yuga of that manvantara, He appeared as the son of Kasyapa and Aditi. In this way, to accept a donation, He appeared three times as Lord Trivikrama.
75 Lord Parasurama is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.20):
"In the sixteen incarnation of the Godhead, the Lord (as Bhrgupati) annihilated the administrative class (ksatriyas) twenty one times, being angry with them because of their rebellion against the brahmanas (the intelligent class)."*
76 Fair-complexioned Lord Parasurama appeared as the son of Renuka-devi and Jamadagni. Some say He appeared during the 17th catur-yuga, and others say He appeared during the 22nd catur-yuga.
77 Lord Ramacandra is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.22):
"In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rama. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian ocean and then killing the atheist King Ravana, who was on the other side of the sea."*
78 Splendid as a new blade of durva grass, and accompanied by Sumitra's two sons and by Bharata, He appeared in the Treta-yuga of the 24th catur-yuga as the son of Kausalya and Dasaratha.
79 In His scripture the three avataras beginning with Laksmana are described. Bharata is dark as a raincloud and Sumitra's two sons are splendid as gold.
80 In Padma Purana it is said that Bharata and Satrughna are incarnations of the Lord's conchshell and cakra. There it is also said that Laksmana is an incarnation of Lord Sesa.
81 Lord Vyasa is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.21):
"Thereafter, in the seventeenth incarnation of Godhead, Shri Vyasadeva appeared in the womb of Satyavati through Parasara Muni, and he divided the one Veda into several branches and sub-branches, seeing that the people in general were less intelligent."*
82 Lord Krishna Himself said: "Of dividers of the Veda I am Dvaipayana." In Vishnu Purana and other scriptures He is also described in this way.
83 For example (Vishnu Purana 3.4.5 explains):
"Know that Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa is Lord Narayana. Who, other than the lotus-eyed Supreme Lord, could have written the Mahabharata?"
84 In the scriptures it is said that Apantaratama Muni became Dvaipayana Vyasa. Is Vyasa a jiva who attained sayujya-mukti, or is He an amsa-avatara of Lord Vishnu? Some say He is an avesa-avatara.
85 Lords Krishna and Balarama are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.23):
"In the nineteenth and twentieth incarnations, the Lord advented Himself as Lord Balarama and Lord Krishna in the family of Vrsni (the Yadu dynasty), and by so doing He removed the burden of the world."*
86 Lord Balarama
Begotten by His father Vasudeva, Lord Balarama appeared in the wombs of two mothers. His complexion was white as camphor. He always dressed in garments as dark as a raincloud.
87 Meeting with Lord Sesa, who holds the earth, Lord Balarama, whose second expansion is Lord Sankarsana appeared.
88 Sesa appears in two features: 1. as the maintainer of the universe, and 2. as the couch of Lord Vishnu. As the maintainer of the universe He is an avesa-avatara of Lord Sankarsana, and as Lord Vishnu's couch He thinks Himself the Lord's servant and friend.
89 Begotten by His father, Maharaja Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, who is dark as raincloud, and who has two and sometimes four arms, appeared in the womb of His mother, Devaki.
90 Lord Buddha is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.24):
"Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya-just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist."*
91 After two thousand years of Kali-yuga had passed, He appeared. His complexion was the colour of a patala flower, His head was shaven, and He had two arms.
92 When Suta Gosvami spoke Lord Buddha's appearance was in the future. Now his appearance in Dharmaranya is in the past.
93 Lord Kalki is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.25):
"Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugas, the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki incarnation and become the son of Vishnu-yasa. At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers."*
94 In Padma Purana it is said that the same person who was Manu, Dasaratha and Vasudeva will become Vishnu-yasa.
95 Lord Kalki's glory is eloquently described in Brahmanda Purana. Some say it is Lord Buddha who appears as Kalki in Kali-yuga after Kali-yuga.
96 Beginning with Lord Vamana, eight of the avataras here described appeared in the reign of Vaivasvata Manu. These 25 avataras are called kalpa-avataras because for the most past they appear once in each kalpa.
Description of the Manvantara-avataras, Vibhava-avataras, and Their abodes
1 The Manvantara-avataras
Lord Mukunda's incarnations that appear among the demigods to aid Indra and destroy Indra's enemies, are known as manvantara-avataras.
2 Lord Yajna and the other manvantara-avataras may appropriately be called kalpa-avataras. Because they appear during the Manus' reigns they are called Manvantara-avataras.
3 The manvantara-avataras, beginning with Lord Yajna and ending with Lord Brhadbhanu, appear, one after another, in the reigns of the Manus beginning with Svayambhuva Manu.
4 Lord Yajna in the reign of Svayambhuva, the first Manu.
Lord Yajna was already described in the previous chapter, so He will not be written of here.
5 Lord Vibhu in the reign of Svarocisca, the second Manu.
He is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 8.1.21-22:
"Vedasira was a very celebrated rsi. From the womb of his wife, whose name was Tusita, came the avatara named Vibhu.*
6 "Vibhu remained a brahmacari and never married throughout his life. From him, eighty-eight thousand other saintly persons took lessons on self-control, austerity and similar behaviour."*
7 Lord Satyasena appeared during the reign of Uttama, the third Manu. Satyasena is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam (8.1.25-26):
"In this manvantara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Sunrta, who was the wife of Dharma, the demigod in charge of religion. The Lord was celebrated as Satyasena, and He appeared with other demigods, known as the Satyavratas.*
8 "Satyasena, along with His friend Satyajit, who was the king of heaven, Indra, killed all the untruthful, impious and misbehaved Yaksas, Raksasas and ghostly living entities, who gave pains to other living beings."*
9 Lord Hari, who appeared during the reign of Tamasa, the fourth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.1.30):
"Also in this manvantara, the Supreme Lord, Vishnu took birth from the womb of Harini, the wife of Harimedha, and He was known as Hari. Hari saved His devotee Gajendra, the King of the elephants, from the mouth of a crocodile."*
10 To become free from all that is undesirable, every morning the saintly devotees meditate on Lord Hari, who rescued Gajendra.
11 Lord Vaikuntha, who appeared in the reign of Raivata, the fifth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.5.4-5):
"From the combination of Subhra and his wife, Vikuntha, there appeared the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, along with demigods who were His personal plenary expansions.*
12 "Just to please the goddess of fortune, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vaikuntha, at her request, created another Vaikuntha planet, which is worshipped by everyone."*
13 It is said He created the eternal, all-pervading Maha-Vaikuntha world above Satyaloka.
14 Lord Ajita, who appeared during the reign of Caksusa, the sixth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.5.9-10):
"In this sixth manvantara millennium, Lord Vishnu, the master of the universe, appeared in His partial expansion. He was begotten by Vairaja in the womb of his wife Devasambhuti, and His name was Ajita.*
15 "By churning the ocean of milk, Ajita produced nectar for the demigods. In the form of a tortoise, He moved here and there, carrying on His back the great mountain known as Mandara."*
16 Lord Vamana, who appeared during the reign of Vaivasvata, the seventh Manu, has already been described. The seven manvantara-avataras that will appear in the future, in the reigns of Savarni and the other Manus, will now be described.
17 Lord Sarvabhauma, who will appear during the reign of Savarni, the eight Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.17):
"In the eighth manvantara, the greatly powerful Personality of Godhead Sarvabhauma will take birth. His father will be Devaguhya, and His mother will be Sarasvati. He will take the kingdom away from Purandara (Lord Indra) and give it to Bali Maharaja."*
18 Lord Rsabha, who will appear in the reign of Daksa-savarni, the ninth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.20):
"Rsabhadeva, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will take birth from his father, Ayusman and his mother, Ambudhara. He will enable the Indra named Adbhuta to enjoy the opulence of the three worlds."*
19 Lord Visvaksena, who will appear in the reign of Brahma-savarni, the tenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.23):
"In the home of Visvasrasta, a plenary portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womb of Visuci as the incarnation known as Visvaksena. He will make friends with Sambhu."*
20 Lord Dharmasetu, who will appear in the reign of Dharma-savarni, the eleventh Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.26):
"The son of Aryaka known as Dharmasetu, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will appear from the womb of Vaidhrta, the wife of Aryaka, and will rule the three worlds."*
21 Lord Svadhama, who will appear in the reign of Ruda-savarni, the twelfth Manu is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.29):
"From the mother named Sunrta and the father named Satyasaha will come Svadhama, a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will rule that manvantara."*
22 Lord Yogesvara, who will appear in the reign of Deva-sarvarni, the thirteenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.32):
"The son of Devahotra known as Yogesvara will appear as a partial incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His mothers' name will be Brhati. He will perform activities for the welfare of Divaspati."*
23 Lord Brhadbhanu, who will appear in the reign of Indra-savarni, the fourteenth Manu, is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (8.13.35):
"O King Pariksit, in the fourteenth manvantara the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear from the womb of Vitana and His father's name will be Satrayana. This incarnation will be celebrated as Brhadbhanu, and He will administer spiritual activities."*
24 Because Lord Yajna and Lord Vamana were described before, twelve manvantara-avataras are listed here. In this way the description of manvantara-avataras is concluded.
25-6 The Yugas-avataras
In Satya-yuga the incarnation is said by colour and name to be white Lord Hari. In the Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas the incarnations are red, blue and black respectively. As for different kinds of worship the manvantara-avataras descend in Satya-yuga and other yugas, so, one after another, do the yuga-avataras.
27 In this way 24 lila, manvantara, and yuga avataras have been described.
28 The cycle of kalpas, beginning with Brahma-kalpa and ending with Padma-kalpa is repeated a thousand times. The present kalpa is called Sveta-varaha-kalpa.
29 During the reign of Svayambhuva Manu, at the beginning of Brahma-kalpa, the four Kumaras, Narada Muni, and many other incarnations appeared. Other Incarnations also appeared later, during the reigns of Caksusa and other Manus.
30 The Manus, beginning with Svayambhuva, appear one after the other in each kalpa, and the manvantara-avataras, beginning with Lord Yajna, also appear in the same way.
31 Vajra's question in Vishnu-dharmottara-Purana:
"O Brahmana, you have said that in every day of Brahma, 14 Manus always appear, one after the other. O knower of religion, are there any other Manus? Please break my doubt."
32-3 Shri Markandeya's reply:
"O great king, in each kalpa there are 14 Manus. You should not doubt. Know that, as you have said, they all have the same form. Sometimes some, by the Supreme Lord's potency, are different.
34-5 There are four other kinds of avataras: 1. avesa-avatara, 2. prabhava-avatara, 3. vaibhavavastha-avatara, and 4. paravastha-avatara. The avesa-avataras may be understood from the previous descriptions of the Kumaras, Narada Muni, Maharaja Prthu, and others.
36 In Padma Purana:
"All-powerful Lord Hari entered the Kumaras and Narada."
37 In the same book:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has four arms and holds a conchshell and cakra, entered Maharaja Prthu."
38 In that book it is also said: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead also entered Parasurama."
39 It is also said:
"O goddess, I have thus described to you the pastimes of Lord Parasurama, who is a sakty-avesa-avatara of Lord Vishnu.
40 In Vishnu-dharma Purana it is seen that Lord Kalki is also an avesa-avatara.
41-3 There it is said:
"In Kali-yuga Lord Hari is not seen in a directly visible incarnation as He is seen in the Satya and other yugas. For this reason it is written that He appears in three yugas (tri-yuga). At the end of Kali-yuga, Lord Vasudeva enters the learned Vedic scholar Kalki and corrects the situation in the material world. Then, entering many saintly persons who had taken birth before, the Lord fulfils His plan in Kali-yuga."
44 For them the status of being an avatara of the Lord is only a metaphor.
Note: This is because the avesa-avataras are jivas.
45 Prabhava-avataras and Vaibhava-avataras
The personal forms of Lord Hari that are less than His paravastha forms are called by different names according to the differing degrees of their powers.
46-7 With the eye of the scriptures the prabhava-avataras are seen to be two kinds. The first kind is briefly manifest and not very famous. Among them are Mohini, Hamsa, and the yuga-avataras beginning with Sukla. The second kind are authors of scriptures. Generally they are great sages. Among them are Dhanvantari, Rsabha, Vyasa, Dattatreya, and Kapila.
48-9 The vaibhava-avataras are Kurma, Matsya, Nara's friend Narayana Rsi, Varaha, Hayagriva, Prsnigarbha, Balarama, and the fourteen manvantara-avataras beginning with Yajna. In this way 21 vaibhava-avataras are listed.
50-1 Among the nine vyuha incarnations Varaha and Hayagriva are the best, and among the manvantara-avataras four, Hari, Vaikuntha, Ajita and Vamana, are the best. These six vaibhava-avataras are like the paravavastha forms of the Lord.
52 With the eye of the scriptures it is written that some of these avataras have abodes within the material universe. The words of Vishnu-dharmottara Purana are evidence for this.
53 In Vishnu-dharmottara Purana:
"Above that is the fifth place, a red world named Mahatala. In that place is a great lake 100 000 yojanas (800 000 miles) in breadth. There Lord Hari, in the form of Kurma, personally resides.
54 "Above that place is another of the same size, where there is a lake 300 000 yojanas (2 400 000 miles) in breadth. In that lake Lord Hari in His form of Matsya resides.
55-7 "Nara's friend Narayana Rsi resides at Badarikasrama. Nr-Varaha is said to reside on Maharloka, where His abode is 3 000 000 yojanas (24 000 000 miles) in breadth. Ananta Sesa's beautiful abode is 500 000 yojanas (4 000 000 miles) in breadth.
58 "The beautiful and self-effulgent realm Varahaloka touches the material universe as it stands beneath everything. There in the form of Svetavaraha, the Supreme Lord resides.
59 "Above that is another realm of the same size. This fourth realm, its ground coloured yellow, is named Gabhasthitala. There the Supreme Lord Vishnu, splendid as hundreds of moons and decorated with golden ornaments, appears in a form with a horse's head.
60-2 "Above Brahmaloka is the home of Prsnigarbha. Where Krishna stays there Balarama, whose amsa-avatara resides in Patalaloka, who always carries a palm-tree flag, who is eloquent, who is decorated with a forest garland, who carries a plough, club, and sword, who is decorated with blue garments, and who always wears on His head a jewel-picture of Ananta Sesa, stays also.
63-4 "Above Brahmaloka is the realm of Lord Hari. In Svarloka is the home of Lord Vishnu, who is the son of Vikuntha-devi. The Lord is also personally manifested in Vaikunthaloka.
65-7 Lord Ajita's residence is considered to be on Dhruvaloka, and Lord Vamana's residence is considered to be on Bhuvarloka. Lord Trivikrama's residence is said to be on Tapoloka, and Lord Narayana's spiritual asrama is on Brahmaloka. He has also created a residence above Brahmaloka. This was explained in Hari-vamsa (127.37), where Maharaja Indra said to Narada Muni:
68 "O sage, above all the worlds Lord Vishnu made His own abode, which eclipses even my realm."
69 In the spiritual sky is the supremely wonderful home of all the avataras. In the scriptures that is described.
70 In Padma Purana:
"All the splendid avataras, beginning with Matsya and Kurma, eternally reside in the eternal realm of Vaikuntha."
Description of the Most Important Forms of the Lord
1 In some places Lord Krishna is said to be an avatara of Nara's friend Narayana Rsi, and in other places it is said He is an avatara of Lord Vamana. The wise do not accept these statements.
2 In Skanda Purana:
"Dharma's two sons, who are named Nara and Narayana Rsi, and who are amsa-avataras of Lord Hari, have now taken birth as Krishna and Arjuna in the dynasty of the moon-god."
3 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.1.59
"That Nara-Narayana Rsi, who is a partial expansion of Krishna, has now appeared in the dynasties of Yadu and Kuru, in the forms of Krishna and Arjuna respectively, to mitigate the burden of the world."*
4 A very strong argument is found in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.69.16):
"The Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is the incarnation of Narayana Rsi, the friend of Nara Rsi, thus worshipped the sage Narada according to Vedic regulative principles. Welcoming him with sweet nectarean words, He addressed Narada as bhagavan, or one who is self-sufficient, possessing all kinds of knowledge, renunciation, strength, fame, beauty, and similar other opulences. He particularly asked Narada, What can I do in your service?"*
5 The following statement of Maharaja Indra in the Hari-vamsa supports the idea that Krishna is an incarnation of Vamana:
"O sage Narada, the same Vishnu who was Vamana and to whom I gave a portion of the yajnas, has now become this boy Krishna, on whom I now gaze with love."
6-7 Lord Krishna is not an incarnation of Narayana Rsi and Vamana because such a view is contradicted by scripture. Rather, it is said that They are amsa-avataras of Him and He is the paravastha (the supreme form of the Lord), That Narayana Rsi is an amsa-avatara of Lord Krishna is confirmed in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28). That Lord Vamana has the same status is seen in Hari-vamsa:
8-9 "O best of the demigods, in ancient times, by performing austerities, Aditi worshipped Lord Vishnu. He was pleased with her and offered a benediction. She said, O Lord, I desire a son like You. He replied, No one in the world is equal to Me. Therefore, as an amsa-avatara, I will personally become your son."
10-1 That Shri Krishna is the paravastha form of the Lord is clearly proved by what was previously said. In the scriptures He is called paravastha and sampurnavastha (the complete form of the Lord). This refutes the idea that He is an amsa-avatara. Statements supporting that idea should be seen in a different way.
12 The Skanda Purana verse quoted in Text 2 should be interpreted in this way:
"Krishna and Arjuna for whom Nara and Narayana Rsis are dear as Their own selves, have appeared in this world, taking shelter of the ksatriya dynasty descending from the moon-god."
13 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 4.1.59 (quoted in Text 3) Nara and Narayana Rsis, who are amsa-avataras of Lord Hari, should be taken as the subject of the sentence, and Krishna and Arjuna, who appeared at the end of Dvapara-yuga, should be taken as the object.
Note: In this way the verse is interpreted to mean:
"Nara and Narayana Rsis, who are amsa-avataras of Lord Hari, entered the transcendental bodies of Krishna and Arjuna, and came with Them as They appeared in the dynasties of Yadu and Kuru in order to mitigate the burden of the world."
14 The quote from the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.69.16, quoted in Text 4) should be understood in this way:
Lord Krishna, who because He taught (the Vedic knowledge to Brahma) at the beginning of the universe is called "purana-rsi (the eldest sage)", is the shelter of the three purusa-avataras. When He associated with the human beings in Martyaloka, He imitated their nature, and in that context He worshipped (Narada) Muni. Even though His amsa-avatara, Narayana Rsi, is Narada's guru, in His ksatriya-pastimes Lord Krishna worshipped Narada Muni.
15 The quote from Hari-vamsa (Text 5, describing Lord Krishna as an incarnation of Vamana), is explained in this way:
Indra spoke these words out of envy and ignorance. In no circumstances is Lord Krishna the avatara of any other form of the Lord.
16 Now the most important forms of the Lord (paravastha-avatara) will be described. Padma Purana explains:
"In Lord Nrsimha, Ramacandra, and Krishna the six transcendental opulences are perfect and complete. They are the paravasthas (most important forms of the Lord). From Him (Krishna) they are manifested as lamps are lighted from an (original) lamp.
17 Lord Nrsimha is described in Shridhara Svami's commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1., and 10.87.1):
"Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nrsimdeva, who is always enlightening Prahlada Maharaja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the devotees. His mercy is distributed like moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him again and again."*
18 "Lord Nrsimhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing to His chest the goddess of fortune. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself. Let us offer obeisances unto Nrsimhadeva."*
19 "(Narada) Muni described to King (Yudhisthira) the anger of the pillar's son (Lord Nrsimha), which with its deep roar stunned lotus-born Brahma."
20 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.8.32-33)
"The hair on Nrsimhadeva's head shook the clouds and scattered them here and there, His glaring eyes stole the effulgence of the luminaries in the sky, and His breathing agitated the seas and oceans. Because of His roaring all the elephants in the world began to cry in fear.*
21 "Airplanes were thrown into outer space and the upper planetary system by the hair on Nrsimhadeva's head. Because of the pressure of the Lord's lotus feet, the earth appeared to slip from its position, and all the hills and mountains sprang up due to His intolerable force. Because of the Lord's bodily effulgence, both the sky and all directions diminished in their natural illumination."*
22 (Shridhara Svami also explains in His commentary on Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.1):
"Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non devotees like Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja."*
23-4 The blissful glories of Lord Nrsimha are described in the Nrsimha-tapani Upanisad. It is said that Lord Nrsimha resides both in Janaloka and in the world of Vishnuloka, which is above all.
25 Shri Ramacandra
Greater even than the one (Lord Nrsimha) before, exalted with the six transcendental qualities and a nectar moon of all sweetness, Lord Ramacandra, the best of the Raghus, shines with great splendour.
26 In Padma Purana:
"Let us offer our respectful obeisances to Lord Ramacandra, the Personality of Godhead, who is the delight of King Raghu, who broke Siva's bow, and who is the sandal paste that delights Sita-devi's heart.
27 The Shri Ramacana-dipika describes Lord Ramacandra's birth-festival:
28 "During the ninth tithi, when five planets were exalted, when Jupiter was conjoined with the moon in the constellation Punarvasu in Cancer on the ascendant and when the sun was in Aries, from the arani-wood of Ayodhya was kindled a sacrificial fire of unprecedented power manifested to burn to ashes the palasa-wood fuel (of a great host of demons)."
29 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.34):
"O Maha-purusa, I worship Your lotus feet. You gave up great regal opulence, which is most difficult to renounce and is hankered after by even the great demigods. Being the most faithful follower of the path of religion, You thus left for the forest in obedience to Your father's words. You chased after the mystic deer Marica, which Your dear Sita desired to get."
30 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (9.11.20-21)
"Lord Ramacandra's reputation for having killed Ravana with showers of arrows at the request of the demigods and for having built a bridge over the ocean does not constitute the factual glory of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Ramacandra, whose spiritual body is always engaged in various pastimes. Lord Ramacandra has no equal or superior, and therefore He had no need to take help from the monkeys to gain victory over Ravana.*
31 "Lord Ramacandra's spotless name and fame, which vanquishes all sinful reactions, are celebrated in all directions, like the ornamental cloth of the victorious elephant that conquers all directions. Great saintly persons like Markandeya Rsi still glorify His characteristics in the assemblies of great emperors like Maharaja Yudhisthira. Similarly, all the saintly kings and all the demigods, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, worship the Lord by bowing down with their helmets. Let me offer my obeisances unto His lotus feet."*
32-3 In the verse from Shrimad-Bhagavatam quoted in Text 30, the word "atta" means "manifested", and the word "lila-tanu" means "whose spiritual body is always engaged in various pastimes". The compound word "adhika-samya-vimukta-dhama" means "He who has no equal or superior". The word "samya" means "equality" and it is grammatically analysed as a svarthesyah-pratyaya. "Vimukta" means "without", and "adhika" and "sama" mean "superior" and "equal". In the verse quoted in Text 31, the word "naka-palah" means "the heavenly demigods, headed by Maharaja Indra, and the word "vasu-palah" means "the earthly kings."
34-6 In the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana it is said that Lord Ramacandra, Laksmana, and the others are incarnations of the forms of the Lord that begin with Lord Vasudeva. In the Padma Purana, however, it is said that Lord Ramacandra is Lord Narayana and Laksmana and the others are Ananta Sesa, and the Lord's cakra and conch respectively. In the smrti-sastra it is said that Lord Ramacandra resides in Madhya-desa in the city of Ayodhya-pura. It is also said that He resides in Maha-Vaikunthaloka.
37 Lord Krishna is described by Bilvamangala Thakura:
"There may be many all-auspicious incarnations of the Personality of Godhead, but who other than Lord Shri Krishna can bestow love of God upon the surrendered souls?"*
38-9 Devaki's son Krishna, who is an unprecedented ocean of the nectar of sweetness and opulence, has been served and worshipped from time immemorial. In the Puranas and other scriptures it is said that He resides in four abodes: Vraja, Mathura, Dvaraka, and Gokula.
40 Here someone may object: "But it is clearly said that Lord Nrsimha and Lord Ramacandra are equal to Lord Krishna." The answer to this objection is seen in the Vishnu Purana:
41-2 Maitreya's question in the Fourth Canto of Vishnu Purana:
"As Hiranyakasipu and Ravana (this demon) enjoyed sensual pleasures unavailable for even the great demigods, and then was personally killed by Lord Vishnu Himself. Why did (this demon) not attain sayujya-mukti then? Only as Sisupala did he attain sayujya-mukti, the liberation of merging into eternal Lord Hari?"
43 Shri Parasara's answer:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who maintains, creates, and destroys the entire cosmic manifestation, manifested the unprecedented form of Lord Nrsimha in order to kill Hiranyakasipu, the king of the demons. The thought that Lord Nrsimha was actually the Supreme Lord Vishnu was not manifest in Hiranyakasipu's mind. Because Hiranyakasipu was overwhelmed by the mode of passion, at the time of his death he was not able to meditate on the transcendental Personality who was killing him. For these reasons Hiranyakasipu did not attain liberation, but instead took birth as the demon Ravana, whose sense gratification was greater than all the pleasures in the three worlds.
44-5 "For these reasons Hiranyakasipu was not able to fix his mind in meditation on the supremely opulent and independent Personality of Godhead, who has neither beginning nor end."
"When Hiranyakasipu was born again as the demon Ravana, he became a slave to lust. His mind was completely attached to Sita-devi, and he was therefore not able to fix his mind in meditation on the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form as Ramacandra, the son of Dasaratha. As Ravana was being killed by Ramacandra, the demon thought Rama to be an ordinary human being, and for this reason Ravana did not attain liberation because of being killed by the Lord, but in his next birth as Sisupala, merely attained seemingly imperishable opulence and power, which was celebrated throughout the entire earth.
46 "In this birth as Sisupala he was able to completely hate the Supreme Lord Krishna. He constantly criticised Lord Krishna with words, and in this way constantly called out the Lord's holy names. With great animosity he constantly meditated on Krishna's form, decorated with splendid yellow garments, golden bracelets, and a glittering crown adorned with a peacock feather. He meditated on Krishna's eyes handsome as blossoming lotus petals, and Krishna's four broad arms, holding the conch, cakra, club and lotus. While walking, eating, bathing, sitting, sleeping, and performing all other activities, Sisupala remembered Krishna with hatred. His mind never deviated from Krishna for even a moment.
47 "Determined to die at Krishna's hand, Sisupala repeatedly insulted the Lord, and when Lord Krishna finally dispatched the Sudarsana cakra to kill him, Sisupala could understand that the glittering effulgence of the cakra was actually the imperishable Supreme Brahman.
48-9 "In this way, when Sisupala was killed by the Lord's Sudarsana cakra, all his sins were burned away, and he attained sayujya-mukti, entering the Lord's own transcendental form.
"O Maitreya, I have thus explained the entire situation to you. He is certainly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (If) when He is spoken of and remembered in a spirit of hatred, He gives a result difficult for the demigods, demons and all others to attain, then what kind of result does He give to they who love Him and serve Him with devotion?"
50-1 In this passage Parasara did not mention the Lord's two associates that took birth three times in the world. These two associates are not thought to take birth in every kalpa for then they would fall down in every kalpa. That is not an acceptable idea.
52-55 Parasara Muni's prose answer to Maitreya is now summarised in verse:
Hiranyakasipu could not understand that the wonderful form of Lord Nrsimha displayed by Lord Hari was actually Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakasipu was pious. He was sure that Lord Nrsimha was very extraordinary, but because he was overcome with passion he could not fix his mind on Him. Because he was personally killed by the Lord, Hiranyakasipu attained extraordinary and rarely achieved sense-gratification and opulence in his next birth as Ravana.
56-7 Because he could not recognise Lord Nrsimha as Lord Vishnu, and because he was not filled with hatred for Him, Hiranyakasipu was not fixed in meditation on the Lord. If without meditation on the Lord he had hated Him, he would have gone to hell as King Vena had gone. Because he was killed by the Lord's own hand, he attained great good fortune. Thinking them, (Parasara) refers to the Lord's transcendental virtues here by speaking the word "eva" (certainly).
58-9 Because he was not absorbed in meditation on the Lord and because his sins were not yet destroyed, he could not see the Lord's pure nature. Even though the Lord was manifest before him, he could not merge into the form of His Supreme Brahma. In his birth as Ravana, he became a slave to lust. At the time of his death He thought Lord Rama a mere human being.
60-2 Then he took birth as Sisupala, and again he attained great opulence. Because in that birth he chanted all the names of the goddess of fortune's husband, Lord Narayana, he could understand that Lord Vishnu had killed him twice. For this reason, out of great hatred he always chanted the Lord's names and criticised Him in many ways.
63-4 Gazing at the Lord's form, he became convinced that this was Lord Vishnu. Always and everywhere he remembered the Lord as he always chanted His names. In this way the great flood of sins born from his hatred of the Lord became burned up. When the Lord threw His cakra at the end, its splendour destroyed his demonic nature and purified his vision. Then he saw that the splendid Supreme Brahman had a humanlike form. Then the cakra destroyed his demon's body and he merged into the Supreme Brahman.
65 Considering his explanation that (this demon) attained liberation from the pastimes of child (Krishna), but when he was in the form of Kalanemi or other forms did not attain liberation from the Lord's activities in other circumstances, (Parasara) said (Text 49), "ayam hi bhagavan" (Krishna is certainly the Supreme Personality of Godhead).
66-7 In this way it is established that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He at once attracts the hearts of both they who love Him and they who hate Him. Therefore the glorification of Him in Text 49 is not surprising. Considering this prose explanation, (it is said) how much greater (than the destination of they who hate the Lord is than the destination attained by they who) serve Him with love?
SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI'S
A little nectar of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees
Some names of the Lord
The liberation of the demons
Lord Krishna is the original Lord, who expands into many forms
Lord Krishna's inconceivable, mutually contradictory qualities
Lord Krishna is the origin of Lord Narayana and the Purusa-avataras
Lord Krishna is not an incarnation of Lord Vishnu's hair
Lord Krishna is superior to Lord Vasudeva
Lord Krishna is superior to the impersonal brahmana
Lord Krishna is not an incarnation of Lord Narayana
Lord Krishna's supreme position
68-70 Now please hear the reason for all the Lord's names. Some are names of Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, and others are names of Lord Krishna, the best of the Yadus. The names Daityari (the enemy of the demons), pundarikaksa (the lotus-eyed one), sarngi (the holder of the saranga bow), garuda-vahana (He who rides on Garuda), pitambara (He who is dressed in yellow garments), cakra-pani (the holder of the Sudarsana cakra), shrivatsanka (He who is decorated with the mark of Shrivatsa), and catur-bhuja (He who has four arms) are names of both Lord Narayana and Lord Krishna.
71 Because He is Vasudeva's son, the Lord is called Vasudeva. Because He was born in the Madhu dynasty, He is called Madhava.
72 In Shri Hari-vamsa (63.36) also:
"The gopis in Vrndavana called Krishna Damodara, because He was bound with a rope (dama)."
73-4 There again (Shri Hari-vamsa 158.30-32):
Resting in a cart-wheel cradle, (child) Krishna killed a cruel and powerful demoness named Putana who, pretending to be full of maternal affection, offered Him her breast smeared with poison. When the residents of Vraja saw the demoness was killed, they exclaimed: "This child is born again (adhah-aksa-ja)". For this reason, Krishna is known as adhoksaja."
75 The commentary explains: "Adhah means "beneath", "aksa" means "the cart-wheel" and "ja" means "born again". In this way they said the word "adhoksaja (He who is born again under the cart-wheel)."
76 There again (Indra to Lord Krishna in Hari-vamsa 75.85):
"I am king of the demigods and You are king of these surabhi cows. For this reason, the worlds will eternally address You as 'Govinda' (king of the cows."
77 There again (Indra to Krishna in Hari-vamsa 75.86)
"The surabhi cows have made You their king. O Krishna, because You are a king greater than I, the demigods in heaven will call You Upendra (above Indra)."
78 In Vishnu Purana:
"O Krishna, because You killed the Kesi demon, You will be known in this world by the name Kesava (the killer of Kesi)."
79 Interpreted in another way, these may be names of Lord Narayana, the husband of goddess of fortune.
80 How can demons who hate the Personality of Godhead and have never come in contact with Lord Krishna attain liberation? (That they cannot attain liberation is confirmed) by the use of the word "eva" (certainly) twice (in the following verses).
81 In Bhagavad-gita (16.19-20):
"Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life.*
82 "Attaining such repeated birth amongst the species of demoniac life, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence."*
83 In these verses Krishna says: "If those who hate Me do not come into contact with Me in My form as Krishna, they will certainly take birth in a very low species."
84 Therefore Lord Krishna is the best of the three (paravastha forms of the Lord). Why should this be surprising? His exalted nature (of granting liberation to His enemies) cannot be seen in any other (form of the Lord).
85 In the description of the fourteen-syllable mantra in the Svayambhuva-agama, Lord Ramacandra, Lord Nrsimha, and the other incarnations are worshipped as disguised forms of Him (Lord Krishna).
86(a) (Here someone may object: Is it not) said in the scriptures that (all the Lord's forms are equal?) In Maha-Varaha Purana (it is said):
"All the Lord's forms are eternal and imperishable. They are free from birth and death. They are never material.
"They are full of all bliss, all knowledge, and all virtue. They are free of any fault."
86(b) Furthermore, in Shri-Narada-pancaratra:
"When the jewel known as vaidurya touches other materials, it appears to be separated into different colours. Consequently the forms also appear different. Similarly, according to the meditational ecstasy of the devotee, the Lord, who is known as Acyuta (infallible), appears in different forms, although He is essentially one."*
Therefore, why do you say there is a hierarchy of the Lord's forms?
87 (In answer) it may be said: Because He is the Supreme Lord, all His forms are perfect and complete. Still, He does not show all His potencies in His forms.
88 When a small measure of His potencies is manifest, (His form) is called amsa-avatara. When by His wish many different potencies are manifest, (His form is called) purna-avatara.
89 Opulence, sweetness, mercy, and strength are prominent among His many potencies.
90 (The different forms of the Supreme Lord are considered) more or less complete according to the extent to which His various potencies are manifest or not manifest.
91-2 A small lamp and a great fire are equally effective in burning a house or something else, but only the great fire brings relief from the sufferings of cold weather. In the same way, the more the Supreme Lord manifests His transcendental qualities, the more the devotees and living entities in general find relief from the cycle of birth and death.
93 He may be one and He may be many. He may be an amsa-avatara and He may be the origin of the amsa-avataras. Because of His limitless and inconceivable potency nothing is impossible.
94 One form may be manifest as many. (This is described) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.69.2):
"It is astounding that Lord Shri Krishna, who is one without a second, expanded Himself in sixteen thousand similar forms to marry sixteen thousand queens in their respective homes."*
95 Many forms may combine to become one form. (This is described) in Padma Purana:
"The Supreme Person, Lord Hari, who is the original creator of everything, and who is faultless and beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature, expanded Himself into many forms, and then again all these forms combined together, and only one Lord Hari was manifest."
96 Although He is one, He manifests as many amsa-avataras and He has many different, even mutually contradictory potencies. (This is described) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.40.7 (where Akrura prays to the Lord):
"Their thoughts placed in You, they worship You, who have one form and many forms."
97 Also in Kurma Purana:
"He is neither great nor small. He is great and small. He is colourless. He is said to have red eyes. It is said that by the touch of His potencies the Supreme Lord has many mutually contradictory qualities."
98 "In the Personality of Godhead there are no faults, but only a great variety of mutually contradictory virtues."
99 The following prose statement of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.9.34-36) describes the inconceivable, mutually contradictory, variegated potencies of the Supreme Lord:
"O Lord, You need no support, and although You have no material body, You do not need co-operation from us. Since You are the cause of the cosmic manifestation and You supply its material ingredients without being transformed, You create, maintain and annihilate this cosmic manifestation by Yourself. Nevertheless, although You appear engaged in material activity, You are transcendental to all material qualities. Consequently these transcendental qualities of Yours are extremely difficult to understand."*
100 "These are our inquiries. The ordinary conditioned soul is subject to the material laws, and he thus receives the fruits of his actions. Does Your Lordship, like an ordinary human being, exist within this material world in a body produced by the material modes? Do You enjoy or suffer the good or bad results of actions under the influence of time, past work and so forth? Or, on the contrary, are You present here only as a neutral witness who is self-sufficient, free from all material desires, and always full of spiritual potency? We certainly cannot understand Your actual position."*
101 "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, all contradictions can be reconciled in You. O Lord, since You are the Supreme Person, the reservoir of unlimited spiritual qualities, the supreme controller, Your unlimited glories are inconceivable to the conditioned souls. Many modern theologians argue about right and wrong without knowing what is actually right. Their arguments are always false and their judgements inconclusive because they have no authorised evidence with which to gain knowledge of You. Because their minds are agitated by scriptures containing false conclusions, they are unable to understand the truth concerning You. Furthermore, because of polluted eagerness to arrive at the right conclusion, their theories are incapable of revealing You, who are transcendental to their material conceptions. You are one without a second, and therefore in You contradictions like doing and not doing, happiness and distress, are not contradictory. Your potency is so great that it can do and undo anything as You like. With the help of that potency, what is impossible for You? Since there is no duality in Your constitutional position, You can do everything by the influence of Your energy."*
102 O unchanging Personality of Godhead, Your activities, which You do without a material body, without resting on the earth or any other material planet, and without any outside help, are difficult to understand.
Note: This is a paraphrase of the verse quoted in text 99.
103 In the verse quoted in text 100 the words "guna-visarga-patitah paratantryena" are explained in these words:
The Lord's nature is revealed in the description of the battle between the demigods and demons. In that battle (Lord Vishnu) fell and became dependant on the demigods, who are really dependent on Him. His dependence was done out of kindness to them.
104-5 In the verse quoted in text 100 the word "sva-krta" means "accepted", "kusalakusalam" means "auspiciousness" and "inauspiciousness" and "happiness and distress", "atmaramah" means "neutral", and "na vidamah" means "we do not understand how these contradictions can exist in You."
106-7 In text 101 the word "bhagavati" begins a clause of two words and the word "isvare" begins a clause of five words. The word "bhagavati" clearly means that the Lord is all-knowing and has transcendental qualities. The word "kevale" clearly means that He is the Brahman.
108 Although as the Brahman He is impartial to everyone, as His first two features He is inclined to His devotees.
Note: The first two features here, meaning the clause beginning with the word "bhagavati" refers to Bhagavan.
109 Someone may object: How can the one Supreme Personality of Godhead manifest two forms simultaneously?
Here it is said (in the verse quoted in text 101): "O Supreme Lord, Your unlimited glories are inconceivable to the conditioned souls. Many modern theologians argue about right and wrong without knowing what is actually right. Their arguments are always false and their judgements inconclusive because they have no authorised evidence with which to gain knowledge of You. Because their minds are agitated by scriptures containing false conclusions, they are unable to understand the truth concerning You. Furthermore, because of polluted eagerness to arrive at the right conclusion, their theories are incapable of revealing You, who are transcendental to their material conception."*
110 The Lord's inconceivable potency is described in text 101: "With the help of that potency what is impossible for You?" Because many different mutually contradictory powers are present in it, the Lord's potency is considered inconceivable.
111 In Vedanta-sutra it is said:
"Because He is the root from which the Vedic scriptures have come, the Supreme Truth may be understood by the revelation of scripture."
In Skanda Purana it is said:
"Inconceivable things cannot be understood by material logic."
Inconceivable powers are sometimes present even in jewels and other ordinary material things.
112 Without potency like this the Lord's supremacy is not complete. Without His being unfathomable His glory cannot be described.
113 To they who see illusions or mirages, the Lord's supremacy is not manifest.
114 In text 101, first comes the phrase beginning with "na hi", then the phrase beginning with "uparata", and then the six words beginning with "bhagavati". Here the original sequence of words is not useful.
Note: Text 101 is to be interpreted with the words in this sequence and not their original sequence.
115 That the Lord has mutually contradictory qualities (ubhayam), as described in text 101, is not refuted by either scripture or logic. However, by they who do not know the truth and who think in terms of the higher and lower things of the material world, You (are not understood). You are like a rope (that is mistaken for a snake).
116 Someone may object: He is the Brahman of non-dual knowledge, and again He is Bhagavan, the Supreme Person who has many different qualities. He is seen to have two forms.
The reply: Text 101 says "svarupa-dvayabhavat", which means that sometimes contradictory qualities are not separated in two different forms. Two contradictory qualities may both be present in a single (form of the Lord).
Note: Here someone claims that contradictory qualities are not present together in one of the Lord's forms. He claims that one quality is present in one form and its opposite is present in another form of the Lord. This idea is refuted in text 101.
117 Contradictions seen in the pastimes of the Lord's potencies are His inconceivable opulence. They decorate Him. They are not defects.
118 A description of these mutually contradictory qualities is seen in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.4.16):
"My Lord, even the learned sages become disturbed in their intelligence when they see that Your Greatness engages in fruitive work although You are free from all desires, that You take birth although You are unborn that You flee out of fear of the enemy and take shelter in a fort although You are the controller of invincible time, and that You enjoy householder life surrounded by many women although You enjoy in Your Self."*
119 If these things were not true, then (the sages) intelligence would be bewildered. That is not so. The (Lord's) inconceivable potency is the cause of these pastimes. Whatever He wishes it manifests.
120 Now that this has been said, (Lord Krishna's) real nature will be described.
Here someone may object: Is it not so that Lord Krishna is not superior to either the purusa-avatara or to the Supersoul, who is the master of the universe?
Note: Here an imaginary objector argues that Lord Krishna is not the original form of the Lord, but only an expansion of Lord Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. His argument begins in Text 120 and continues until text 140. Shrila Rupa Gosvami refutation of this idea begins in Text 141.
121 Furthermore, (it is said) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.1-5):
"In the beginning of the creation, the Lord first expanded Himself in the universal form of the purusa 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.*
122 "A part of the purusa 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.*
123 "It is believed that all the universal planetary systems are situated on the extensive body of the purusa, but He has nothing to do with the created material ingredients. His body is eternally in spiritual existence par excellence.*
124 "The devotees, with their perfect eyes, see the transcendental form of the purusa who has thousands of legs, thighs,arms and faces-all extraordinary. In that body there are thousands of heads, ears, eyes, and noses. They are decorated with thousands of helmets and glowing earrings and are adorned with garlands.*
125 "This form (the second manifestation of the purusa) is the source and indestructible seed of multifarious incarnations within the universe. From the particles and portions of this form, different living entities, like demigods, men and others, are created."*
(In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.1 quoted in text 121) the word "adau" means "before all the other avataras", "bhagavan" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead", "mahad-adibhih" means "beginning with the mahat-tattva", "loka-sisrksaya" means "with a desire to create the material planets", "paurusam" means either "the form of the purusa-avatara" or "brearing the name purusa", "rupam" means "a form of bliss and knowledge", and "jagrhe" means "manifested".
127 "Sambhutam" means "properly or truthfully manifested with the desire to create the material planets." "Sodasa-kalam" means "in whom are the sixteen principles of material action."
128 Following the revelation of scripture, the Vaishnavas define these sixteen principles of action as the Lord's potencies, which are described in Bhakti-viveka and other scriptures.
129 "Shri, Bhu, Kirti,, Ila, Lila, Kanti, Vidya, Vimala, Utkarsini, Jnana, Kriya, Yoga, Prahvi, Satya, Isana, and Anugraha are (the Lord's) sixteen principal potencies."
130 First the three forms of the purusa-avatara were described, and then the form of the Lord that enters the material universe and becomes the creator was described.
131 (In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.2, quoted in text 122 it is said that from the navel-lake lotus (of the Lord) who enters the universe and lies down on its waters, (Brahma is manifest). This is very clear.
132 (In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.3 quoted in text 123) it is said that all the planets are situated in the whorl and other parts of the lotus flower sprouted from the Lord's navel-lake.
133 His form in spiritual existence par excellence (sattvam urjitam), the Lord lies down.
134 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.4-5, quoted in texts 124 and 125, it is said that this form of the Lord is origin of His multifarious incarnations.
135 As in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.4.3):
"When the primeval Lord Narayana created His universal body out of the five elements produced from Himself and then entered within that universal body by His own plenary portion, He thus became known as the Purusa."***
136 The word "narayana" here means "the master of the spiritual sky". As the purusa-avatara (atma), He created His universal form from the material elements, and then by His amsa-avatara entered the universe. This form is called the purusa-avatara.
137 Fearing the question "What is the point of all this?" (he) says: Four-armed Lord Garbhodakasayi Vishnu,who is His vilasa expansion, enters the lotus flower of the material planets and, in a form that bears the name Vishnu, reclines on the ocean of milk.
138 Becoming the Supersoul staying in the hearts of living entities in material bodies from the demigods down to immovable creatures, He seems to have many different forms.
139 Considered a vilasa expansion, He is described as a form of Lord Vishnu in the Satvata-tantra: "The third (purusa-avatara) stays in all living beings."
140 Then, worshipped by the demigods on the shore of the milk ocean, He descended and bore the name Krishna.
141 Our answer to this argument is the words a disembodied voice spoke to the demigods in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.1.23):
142 "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, who has full potency, will personally appear as the son of Vasudeva. Therefore all the wives of the demigods should also appear in order to satisfy Him."*
The words "bhagavan purusah parah" in this verse prove that the purusa-avatara that creates the mahat-tattva is an amsa-avatara of Lord Krishna.
144 It is seen that Shrila Shridhara Svami agrees with this view, for in commenting on Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.85.31 he says that the phrase "amsa-bhagena" means "by a part of a part". In this way it is clear that Shri Krishna is the Original Personality of Godhead, perfect and complete.
145-6 This is confirmed in Devaki's prayer (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.85.31):
"My dear Krishna, I know that Maha-Vishnu, who is lying in the causal ocean of the cosmic manifestation, and who is the source of this whole creation, is simply an expansion of Your plenary portion. Creation, maintenance, and annihilation of this cosmic manifestation are being effected only by Your plenary portion. I am, therefore, taking shelter of You without any reservation."*
The purusa-avatara is a part (amsa) of Lord Krishna. Material nature is a part of the purusa-avatara. The modes are part of material nature. Creation and other material actions are parts of the modes.
148 Also in the same scripture (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.14):
"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 (Garbhodakasayi Vishnu), and that Narayana is Your plenary portion. All Your plenary portions are transcendental. They are absolute and are not creations of maya."*
In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.13 Brahma addressed Krishna as Narayana. However, after Brahma saw Lord Krishna's astonishing opulence, and also after seeing that Krishna is the source of millions of material universes, Brahma became afraid, considering he had committed an offense, and he proclaimed "Are You not Narayana".
150-1 By addressing Lord Krishna as "adhisa (Lord of Lords)" Brahma affirmed that Lord Krishna is superior to the innumerable expansions of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu who are also Lords of the creation, and who are all-pervading within the material universe. By addressing Lord Krishna as "sarva-dehinam atma (everyone's dearest life)", Brahma affirmed that Lord Krishna is the Supreme father of all conditioned souls confined to material bodies within the material world, and that He is also the father of all the liberated residents of the Vaikuntha spiritual world. By addressing Lord Krishna as "akhila-loka-saksi (the witness who observes the actions of all living entities)", Brahma affirmed that Lord Krishna sees everything. By speaking the words "nara-bhu-jalayanat (because of having His abode in the water born from Garbhodakasayi Vishnu)" Brahma explained the derivation of the word "narayana". By speaking the words "narayano 'nigam (Lord Narayana is Your plenary portion)", Brahma affirmed that Lord Narayana is an expansion of Lord Krishna. At the end of this verse Brahma refers to "maya", the Lord's illusory energy. We may note here that the spiritual world constitutes three fourths of the Lord's opulence. Only one fourth of the Lord's potency is taken up by the material energy.
152 O Lord, in Bhagavad-gita (10.42) You said:
"With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe."
The forms of the purusa-avataras are spiritual. They are not manifestations of the material energy, as Universal Form is.
153 In Brahma-samhita (5.48):
"The Brahmas and other lords of the mundane worlds appear from the pores of the Maha-Vishnu and remain alive for the duration of His one exhalation. I adore the primeval Lord, Govinda, for Maha-Vishnu is a portion of His plenary portion."*
154 If the purusa-avatara is an expansion of Lord Krishna, then Ksirodakasayi Vishnu must be a pastime-incarnation of Lord Krishna.
155 Here some may object: Is it not so that (Krishna and Balarama), who appeared in the Yadu dynasty, are incarnation of a black and white hair of Lord Vishnu. This is clearly described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.26):
156 "When the world is overburdened by the fighting strength of kings who have no faith in God, just to diminish the distress of the world, a black and white hair of the Lord incarnate on the earth. To expand His transcendental glories the Lord acts extraordinarily. No one can properly estimate how great He is."
157 (To this objection I reply:) O, don't interpret this verse in that way. Please listen and I will now give the proper interpretation of the verse. The word "kalaya" means "with great artistry", "sita" means "bound", and "krishna" means "very dark". The compound word "sita-Krishna-kesa" means "He whose beautiful black hair is neatly tied". The word "kalaya" indicates that Lord Krishna was the most expert of all artists.
Note: The entire verse may then be interpreted in the following way:
"When the world is overburdened by the fighting strength of kings who have no faith in God, the Lord, just to diminish the distress of the world, descends in His original form, with beautiful black hair neatly tied on His head. The Lord is the most expert of all artists, and just to expand His transcendental glories, He performs many graceful and extraordinary pastimes. No one can properly estimate how great He is."
158 The word "kalaya" may also be interpreted to mean "with His plenary portion". If this meaning is accepted the verse may be interpreted in the following way:
"Lord Krishna, the Supreme performer of pastimes, has beautiful black hair. He descended to the material world, accompanied by His plenary portion (kalaya)."
159 In the Vishnu-dharmottara Purana Markandeya Muni describes to Maharaja Vajra (the king's) father, Aniruddha, who appears on the ocean of devastation:
160 Vajra's question:
"Who is the person in the form of a child that again and again you see at each millenium's end? I do not know, and I am very eager to know."
161-2 Shri Markandeya Muni's reply:
"Again and again I saw the Supreme Lord, the master of the universes. Still, as the kalpa was being destroyed I was bewildered by maya, and I could not understand who He was. When the kalpa's destruction had passed, I could understand that He was your father, Aniruddha, the master of the universes, and that He was an avatara manifested from your grandfather, Lord Krishna."
Had it been otherwise (in other words, had it been that Lord Krishna is an avatara of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu), then the best of sages would have said "tam shri-krishnam vijanami prappitamaham" (I know that Your grandfather is Lord Krishna). In this way the mistaken idea (that Lord Krishna is) an avatara of (Lord Vishnu's) hair is refuted.
Note: What He did say was "prapitamahat" (Aniruddha is an avatara manifested from your grandfather, Lord Krishna).
165 Here someone may object: Is it not so that although Lord Krishna may be superior to the purusa-avataras, Lord Vasudeva, who is served by all opulences, who appears in many forms in the spiritual world of three quarters of the Lord's opulence, whose charming splendour is more glorious than billions of rising suns, who sometimes dark as a new raincloud and sometimes splendid as gold, who is famous as a vilasa-avatara of Lord Maha-Vaikuntha-natha, who is the Supersoul, and who is endowed with strength, knowledge, heroism, and glory, is superior to Him?
Note: The imaginary objector's argument continues until Text 178. In text 179 Shrila Rupa Gosvami begins his reply.
166 The catur-vyuha expansions (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha) are collectively known by the name "maha-avastha" (the most important form of the Lord). The first of Them (Lord Vasudeva) is supremely worshipable. He is said to be the controlling Deity of consciousness and the origin of pure goodness.
167 Shri Sankarsana is considered His amsa-avatara. Sankarsana is the second member of the catur-vyuha. He is known by the name "jiva" because He is the birthplace of all the jivas (living entities).
168 His bodily lustre is sweeter than many billions of full autumn moons. He is the worshipable Deity of false-ego. Ananta Sesa is His amsa-avatara. As the Supersoul in the hearts of Lord Siva, impiety, snakes, death, and the community of demons, He is the cause of the universe's dissolution.
169 Lord Pradyumna is the third member of the catur-vyuha. He is a vilasa-avatara of Lord Sankarsana. He is the Deity of intelligence, and He is worshipped by the intelligent. He is served by goddess Laksmi, who recites prayers in Ilavrta-varsa. He is said sometimes to be the colour of pure gold and sometimes He is splendid as a dark cloud. He is the cause of the universe's creation. Kamadeva is His amsa-avatara. As the Supersoul of Brahma, the prajapatis, Kamadeva, and those attached to sense-gratification, He creates everything.
170 Lord Aniruddha is the fourth member of the catur-vyuha. He is said to be an amsa-avatara of Lord Pradyumna. Lord Aniruddha is the Deity of the mind, and He is worshipped by the philosophers. He is the colour of a dark cloud. He carefully protects the universe. As the Supersoul of piety, the Manus, demigods, and the earthly kings, He maintains the universe.
171 In the Moksa-dharma it is said that Lord Pradyumna is the Deity of mind, and Lord Aniruddha is the Deity of false-ego.
172 This explanation is corroborated by all the Pancaratra-sastras.
173 In Padma Purana it is said that the catur-vyuha expansions, which begin with Lord Vasudeva, preside over the four directions of the spiritual world.
174 They also reside in the material world. (Lord Vasudeva) resides in the city of Devavati in Jalavrti Vaikuntha, (Lord Sankarsana) resides in the city of Dvaraka in Vishnuloka above Satyaloka, (Lord Pradyumna) resides in the city of Airavati in Svetadvipa north of the pure ocean, and (Lord Aniruddha) resides on the couch of Ananta's lap in the ocean of milk.
175 The Satvata-tantra describes nine vyuha expansions of the Personality of Godhead as: 1. Vasudeva, 2. Sankarsana, 3. Pradyumna, 4. Aniruddha,, 5. Narayana, 6. Nrsimha 7. Hayagriva,, 8. Varaha, and 9. Brahma. The Brahma mentioned here should be understood to be the previously described avatara of Lord Hari.
176 However, the catur-vyuhas (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha), who have four splendid arms and are decorated with eternal and limitless transcendental opulences, are the best.
177 Lord Vasudeva is flooded with perfect transcendental bliss. His opulences have no limit. Because He is the ruler of the spiritual sky He is the first of all transcendental Deities.
178 Therefore I think the person named Krishna who descended (to the material world) was an avatara of Lord Vasudeva for this is explained in all scriptures.
Note: The opponent ends His argument here. Shrila Rupa Gosvami begins his reply in the next text.
179 That is not logical. Please listen. The answer (to your objection) is now given. Lord Krishna, the son of Devaki, is said to be superior to Lord Vasudeva.
180 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28):
"All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead."*
Here the word "pumsah" means "of the purusa-avatara", "amsah" means "the avataras headed by Varaha and Rsabhadeva", "Kalah" means "the avataras headed by the Kumaras, "tu (but)" distinguishes Lord Krishna from these other forms of the Godhead, "bhagavan" means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and "svayam (personally)" refutes the idea that Krishna is an avatara of Vasudeva.
182 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.2) it is said:
"My dear Lord, Your form is transcendental to all material elements. I can understand that You have mercy upon me because You are revealing that form, standing before me like a small child. But although I am Lord Brahma, the so-called creator of this universe, I am unable to ascertain the transcendental potencies of Your body. And if I am unable to understand the spiritual potency of Your child-like body, then what can I understand about Your transcendental pastimes?"*
Here "deva" is a name for Lord Vasudeva, the first of the catur-vyuha expansions, "deva-vapusah" means "of He who has the form of Lord Vasudeva". "mahi" means "glory", "saksat" means "of You", "kah" means "the demigod Brahma" "avasitum" means to understand, "na ise" means "I am not able", and "atma-sukanubhuteh" means "of You whose form is spiritual".
184-5 We many note the use of the phrase "kim uta" (what to speak of) in this verse. This phrase is used when comparing something great to another thing of lesser stature. An example may be seen in the following sentence: "The kaustubha jewel is more effulgent than hundreds and millions of suns, what to speak of small lamp."
186 In another way: A great darkness is not able to extinguish even a small lamp, what to speak of the kaustubha jewel, which is more brilliant than millions of suns.
187 The phrase "what to speak of" is used when a great thing is compared to something small. That small thing is then again compared to something even smaller.
188 The word "mad-anugrahasya" may be understood to mean "of You who is very merciful to me by revealing this unprecedented and wonderful form".
189 "Svecchamayasya" means "He who acts to fulfil all the desires of His devotees." The words "na bhutamayasya" (He who is not the resting place of all living entities) refute the idea that Lord Krishna is the purusa-avatara, who is the resting place of all living entities.
190 The phrase "nese mahi tv avasitum manasantarena" means "O Lord, although it may be possible for someone to understand something of Your transcendental glories by meditating on them without any deviation, still, I cannot understand anything about Your glories. For me Your transcendental opulences are inconceivable."
191 In these words the demigod Brahma, who properly understands the entire situation, affirms that Lord Krishna's glory is greater than the glory of both Vasudeva (the purusa-avatara) and the impersonal Brahman.
192 In the Svayambhuva-agama's meditation on the fourteen-syllable mantra it is said that the catur-vyuha forms, beginning with Lord Vasudeva, are avataras of Lord Krishna.
193 In the Kramadi-dipika's description of the eight-syllable mantra it is said that the catur-vyuha forms, beginning with Lord Vasudeva, are avataras of Lord Krishna, the master of Gokula.
194 Here someone may object: How is it proper to say that Lord Krishna is superior to the impersonal Brahman? It has been clearly proved that the Personality of Godhead and the impersonal Brahman are one and the same.
195 The one Supreme Lord is described in many ways in the Vedic literatures. Sometimes He is called the purusa-avatara, sometimes the Supersoul, sometimes the impersonal Brahman, and sometimes the personification of transcendental knowledge.
196 In the Skanda Purana:
"The astanga-yogis say the Lord is the Supersoul, they who have faith in the Upanisads say He is the impersonal Brahma, and the jnana-yogis say He is transcendental knowledge personified."
197 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11):
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."*
198 (To this objection I reply): Please hear Lord Kapila's explanation in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.32.33):
199 "A single object is appreciated differently by different senses due to its having different qualities. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one, but according to different scriptural injunctions He appears to be different."*
The Personality of Godhead has many different forms. He appears in different forms according to the worship performed by His devotees.
201-2 As, although it is always one, milk is perceived by the senses in many different ways according to its form, taste, and other qualities, the eyes perceiving its whiteness and the tongue its sweetness, so the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although He is one, is perceived by different methods of worship in different ways.
203-4 As the tongue only, and no other sense, perceives sweetness, and as each sense has its own object, so all different methods of worship are like the different senses and devotional service is like the mind, which perceives everything.
205 In the best scriptures it is said that Shri Krishna's sweetness and other qualities are superior to the qualities of the impersonal Brahman.
206 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.6-7):
"Nondevotees, however, cannot realise You in Your full personal feature. Nevertheless, it may be possible for them to realise Your expansion as the impersonal Supreme by cultivating direct perception of the Self within the heart. But they can do this only by purifying their mind and senses of all conceptions of material distinctions and all attachment to material sense objects. Only in this way will Your impersonal feature manifest itself to them."***
207 "There may be some philosophers and scientists who can study the cosmic nature from atom to atom; they may be so advanced that they can count the atomic composition of the atmosphere or all the planets and stars in the sky, or even the shining molecular parts of the sun or other stars and luminaries in the sky. But it is not possible to count Your qualities."*
208 Here someone many object: The Supreme Lord's qualities cannot be counted because His form is material and therefore His qualities are like a mirage. What is surprising in about that?
209 (I reply:) It is not so. His qualities are not material. Because they are manifest from His own nature they are full of bliss.
210 In Brahma-tarka:
"The Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari, has transcendental qualities manifested by His own nature. Neither Lord Vishnu nor the liberated souls are considered different from their transcendental qualities."
211 In Shri Vishnu Purana (1.9.43):
"May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the purest of all who are pure, and in whom are neither the modes of nature beginning with goodness, nor any material qualities, be merciful to me."
212 In the same scripture (Vishnu Purana 6.5.79):
"The word "bhagava" means that the Lord has all knowledge,, power, strength, opulence, heroism, and glory. He has no faults or defects.
213 Also in Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 255.39-40)
"When the Vedic literatures describes the Personality of Godhead as being without any qualities (nirguna), this means that the Lord does not possess any material qualities. It does not mean that He has no spiritual qualities."
214 Also, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.16.29):
"Many transcendental qualities are eternally present in the Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, and are never to be separated from Him."*
215 In this way Lord Krishna is the supremely powerful and blissful Personality of Godhead, who possesses uncountable millions of transcendental attributes.
216 The qualityless, formless, impersonal Brahman is said to be like light shining from the sun of Shri Krishna.
217 (Lord Krishna says in) Bhagavad-gita (14.26-27):
"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in nay circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.*
218 "And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahma, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal."*
Here "brahma-bhuyaya" means "attaining a form for transcendental pastimes", and "mam bhakti-yogena sevate" means "with love he worships Me, who am full of bliss."
220 The result of performing avyabhivari bhakti (full devotional service without falling down) is service performed with love. Impersonal liberation, however, is attained by even the Lord's enemies.
221 Arjuna might have objected: "O Krishna, You were born in the Yadu dynasty. How can You be the Brahman?" To answer this Krishna spoke Bhagavad-gita 14.27 (quoted in text 218). The word "hi" (certainly) hints "Yes, I, who stand before you, My spiritual form filled with many different kinds of bliss." Brahmanah" means "the spiritual form of Brahman", and "pratistha" means "the shelter". (Krishna) is like the effulgent sun, which is the shelter of a flood of light.
222-3 "Avyaya" (imperishable) and "amrta" (eternal) modify eternal liberation. "Sasvata dharma" is "bhagavad-dharma". "Aikantika sukha" is "the sweet festival of loving devotional service, by which the happiness of impersonal liberation is completely eclipsed."
224 In Brahma-samhita (5.40):
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the Impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes."*
The Brahman, which is described with adjectives beginning with "niskala" (complete), and which has a variety (bhinnam) of opulences (vibhuti) beginning with the earth and other planets (vasudha-adi), is always the effulgence (prabha) of powerful (prabhava) Govinda. I worship Govinda (govindam aham bhajami). In this way the meaning of the verse is made clear.
226 (Here someone may object) I understand your argument. You have said that Shri Krishna is an avatara of Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikunthaloka.
227 His birth and other pastimes and His exalted nature declare that He is a vilasa-avatara of Lord Narayana.
228 Lord Narayana's supreme position is described in the sruti, smrti and tantras. No one is equal to or greater than Him. Before the creation (of the material planets), during the Brahma-kalpa, Lord Narayana revealed His own form in the Vaikuntha world to the demigod Brahma.
229 (This is described) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.9-16:)
"The Personality of Godhead, being thus very much satisfied with the penance of Lord Brahma, was pleased to manifest His personal abode. Vaikuntha, the supreme planet above all others. This transcendental abode of the Lord is adored by all self-realised persons freed from all kinds of miseries and fear of illusory existence."*
230 "In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory, external energy, it cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and the demons worship the Lord as devotees.*
231 "The inhabitants of the Vaikuntha planets are described as having a glowing sky-bluish complexion. Their eyes resemble lotus flowers, their dress is of yellowish colour, and their bodily features very attractive. They are just the age of growing youths, they all have four hands, they are all nicely decorated with pearl necklaces with ornamental medallions, and they all appear to be effulgent. Some of them are effulgent like coral and diamonds in complexion and have garlands on their heads, blooming like lotus flowers, and some wear earrings.*
232 "The Vaikuntha planets are also surrounded by various airplanes, all glowing and brilliantly situated. These airplanes belong to the great mahatmas or devotees of the Lord. The ladies are as beautiful as lightning because of their celestial complexions, and all these combined together appear just like the sky decorated with both clouds and lightning.*
233 "The goddess of fortune in her transcendental form is engaged in the loving service of the Lord's lotus feet, and being moved by the black bees, followers of spring, she is not only engaged in variegated pleasure-service to the Lord, along with her constant companions-but is also engaged in singing the glories of the Lord's activities.*
234(a) "Lord Brahma saw in the Vaikuntha planets the Personality of Godhead, who is the Lord of the entire devotee community, the Lord of the goddess of fortune, the Lord of all sacrifices, and the Lord of the universe, and who is served by the foremost servitors like Nanda, Sunanda, Prabhala and Arhana, His immediate associates.*
234(b) "The Personality of Godhead, seen leaning favourably towards His loving servitors, His very sight intoxicating and attractive, appeared to be very much satisfied. He had a smiling face decorated with an enchanting reddish hue. He was dressed in yellow robes and wore earrings and a helmet on his head. He had four hands and His chest was marked with the lines of the goddess of fortune.*
234(c) "The Lord was seated on His throne and was surrounded by different energies like the four, the sixteen, the five, and the six natural opulences, along with other insignificant energies of the temporary character. But He was the factual Supreme Lord enjoying His own abode."*
235 (In the verse quoted in Text 229), "yat" means "of which", "param" means "further supreme" (there is no place superior to this abode), "sanklesa" means "five kinds of material afflictions, beginning with ignorance, "vimoha" means "illusion" and "sadhvasam" means "fear of material existence". These material disadvantages do not exist in that supreme abode, where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is personally manifest, and where He is adored by they who are like Him.
236 (An explanation of the verse quoted in Text 230 follows:) There are the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There are no material modes of nature, and there is no predominance of the influence of time, which destroys all things. There is no illusory, external energy, the root of so many unwanted things, so how can there be the mahat-tattva and other material transformation? In this way the eternal perfection of Vaikunthaloka is described.
237 (An explanation of the verse quoted in Text 231 follows:) There are the great devotees of Lord Hari have complexions that are either blue, red, green, or white. They worship the Lord, who manifests forms with these different colours like those of the Lord they worship. Or, from beginningless time their bodily lustre is like the Lord's.
238 (An explanation of the verse quoted in Text 233 follows:) There goddess Shri, who is an amsa-avatara of Padma-devi, the goddess of fortune, and who is the form of transcendental opulence, respectfully engages in devotional service along with many different transcendental opulences. The word "kusumakara" means "springtime, the king of seasons", and "anugaih" means "followers". The followers of spring are summer, monsoon-season, and other seasons.
The goddess of fortune is also engaged in singing the glories (gayati) of the Lord's activities (priya-karma). "Gayati" (singing) here is a present-active-participle (satr), and "karma" (activities) is formed by adding the affix "tin" to the verbal root "kr".
239-40 (An explanation of the verses quoted in texts 234a and b follows) He saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Vaikuntha planets. How was the Lord described? The very sight of the Lord was intoxicating and attractive. Because the appearance of the Lord created such intense bliss among the devotees, it is said that the sight of the Lord was like an intoxication. The Lord is also described as being bluish in complexion and dressed in yellow garments.
241 Text 234 c's description of the Lord's Maha-yoga's potencies will now be explained in the words of Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda:
242 "The Smrti-sastra describes four potencies: 1. hladini (bliss), 2. kirti (fame), 3. karuna (mercy), and 4. tusti (satisfaction). Sixteen potencies have already been described.
243 "There are also five kinds of knowledge, beginning with sankhya-yoga."
244 They are described in the Pancaratra:
"Sankhya, yoga, renunciation, austerity, and devotional service to Lord Kesava are the five branches of knowledge by which a wise man attains Lord Hari."
245 The Lord is surrounded by these 25 extraordinary potencies, beginning with opulence and piety, eternally. In the demigod Brahma and other jivas these potencies are only briefly and slightly present. The Lord enjoys pastimes in His abode of Vaikuntha eternally, what to speak of the pastimes He enjoys as the abode of Goddess Shri.
246 In Bhargava-Tantra:
"The possessor of potencies (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) and the potencies themselves (the individual living entities) are not different. That they are not different is explained in the passage beginning with the word "sveccha".
247 Furthermore in Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 255.57-64):
"On the border of the material and spiritual worlds flows the auspicious Viraja river, whose waters were manifest from the perspiration of the Personified Vedas.
248 "On the far shore of that river, in the spiritual sky, is the eternal, imperishable, unlimited spiritual world, which is three fourths of all existence, which is made of pure goodness, which never decays, which is the abode of Brahman, which is splendid as countless millions of suns and fires, which never withers, which contains all knowledge, which is splendid, which is not touched by any of the periods of cosmic devastation, which is immeasurable, which is free from old-age, which is the eternal spiritual reality, which is free from material states beginning with wakefulness and sleep, which has a golden splendour, which is the abode of liberation, which brings spiritual bliss, which has no equal or superior, which has no beginning or end, which is auspicious, which is wonderfully glorious, which is charming, which is eternal, and which is an ocean of bliss. These are the qualities of Lord Vishnu's supreme abode.
249 "That abode of Lord Hari is not illuminated by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.
250 "Even in hundreds and millions of Brahma's days one cannot completely describe this eternal and faultless abode of Lord Vishnu."
251 As before (Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda 256,9-21):
"Very fortunate great souls who serve the Lord's feet, who are filled with the nectar of loving service to feet of Shri's husband, attain Lord Vishnu's supreme abode, which gives the bliss of spiritual love. That is Lord Hari's abode of Vaikuntha, which is filled with many cities, airplanes and jewel palaces."
252 "In its midst is a splendid city named Ayodhya surrounded by many walls colourful with gold and jewels, many jewel arches, and four great doors.
253 "By gatekeepers headed by Canda, and by Kumuda and others, it is protected. Canda and Pracanda guard the eastern gate. Bhadra and Subhadra the southern gate, Jaya and Vijaya the western gate, and Dhata and Vidhata the northern gate.
254 "Kumuda, Kumudaksa, Pundarkia, Vamana, Sankukarna, Sarvanetra, Sumukha, and Supratisthita guard the directions of this city, O beautiful-faced Parvati.
255 "it is filled with palaces brilliant as millions of blazing fires. It is filled with splendid men and women eternally in the perfection of youth.
256 "In the centre is the Lord's beautiful place enclosed by jewel walls, beautiful with great gates, surrounded by many vimanas and palaces, and decorated with splendid apsara women everywhere.
257 "In the centre is the king's splendid, beautiful and very festive place, filled with jewels, containing thousands of ruby pillars, filled with eternally liberated souls, and beautiful with songs of the Sama Veda.
258 "In the centre of that place is a beautiful and auspicious throne made of all the Vedas and surrounded by the eternal personified Vedas and the deities of religion, knowledge, opulence, and renunciation."
259 There also (in another passage of Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda 256,23-54):
"In the centre reside the deities of fire, sun and moon, Kurma-avatara, Ananta Sesa, and Garuda, the master of the three Vedas. The Vedic hymns and all sacred mantras also stay in that holy place, which is made of all the Vedas, and which is known in the Smrti-sastra as the yoga-pitha.
260 "In the centre is an eight-petalled lotus flower as brilliant as the rising sun, and in the centre of that flower is the Gayatri mantra. O beautiful Parvati, in that place the Supreme Personality of Godhead sits with the goddess of fortune.
261 "He is young, dark as a blue lotus petal, and splendid as millions of suns. His limbs are splendid and handsome, and His features graceful and delicate.
262 "His delicate hands and feet are like blossoming red lotuses, His eyes are blossoming lotuses, and His graceful eyebrows are two vines.
263 "His nose is handsome. His cheeks are handsome. His lotus mouth is handsome. He is glorious with teeth like a row of pearls. His gracefully smiling coral lips are handsome.
264 "His smiling lotus face is splendid as a full moon. He shines with earrings the colour of rising suns.
265 "He is glorious with glistening curly black hair decorated with mandara and parijata flowers.
266 "He is decorated with a Kaustubha jewel splendid as the rising sun. He is splendid with gold and pearl necklaces around His conchshell neck.
267 "He is glorious with four broad powerful arms, with four broad lionlike shoulders. He is glorious with many bracelets, armlets, and rings.
268 "His splendid broad chest is decorated with forest garlands and with the kaustubha jewel and other ornaments splendid as millions of rising suns.
269 "He is glorious with a lotus navel that is Brahma's birthplace. He wears fine yellow garments splendid as the rising sun.
270 "He is glorious with anklets wonderful with many jewels. His nails are splendid as glistening moons.
271 "He is more handsome than millions of Kamadevas. He is an ocean of handsomeness. His limbs are anointed with glistening sandal paste. He is decorated with a forest garland. He is glorious with two raised hands holding a conch and cakra and His two other hands granting blessings and fearlessness.
272 "Decorated with golden and silver necklaces, beautiful golden Goddess Maha-Laksmi sits at His left.
273 "She has all virtues. Her form is always at the beginning of youth. She wears jewel earrings. Her curly hair is black.
274 "Her limbs are anointed with glistening sandal paste. She is decorated with splendid flowers. Her curly hair is decorated with mandara, ketaki and jati flowers.
275 "Her eyebrows are beautiful. Her nose is beautiful. Her hips are beautiful. She has large raised breasts. Her beautiful smiling lotus face is splendid as the full moon.
276 "She is splendid with earrings the colour of the rising sun. She is the colour of molten gold. Her ornaments are made of gold.
277 "She has four hands. She is decorated with a golden louts. She is decorated with a necklace of golden lotuses wonderfully studded with many jewels. She is decorated with rings, bracelets, armlets, and necklaces.
278 "Her two upraised hands hold two lotus flowers, and her two other hands hold golden matulunga fruits.
279 "In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead eternally enjoys transcendental bliss in the company of His eternal companion, Maha-Laksmi, in the eternal spiritual sky.
280-1 "O girl with the beautiful face, Bhu and Lila stay at His sides, and the potencies headed by Vimala stay on the petals in the eight directions. Vimala, Utkarsini, Jnana, Kriya, Yoga, Prahvi, Satya, and Isana are the Lord's queens. Holding camaras splendid as nectar moons, they please their husband, the infallible Lord.
282 "Decorated with all ornaments, splendid as millions of blazing fires, filled with all virtues, their hands lotus flowers and their faces like cooling moons, five hundred transcendental apsaras reside in the inner rooms of the palace. Surrounded by them, the king, the Personality of Godhead, shines with great splendour.
283 "Surrounded by the devotees headed by Ananta Sesa, Garuda the king of birds, General Visvakena and other eternally liberated associates, and accompanied by Goddess Rama, the Supreme Person enjoys with great opulence."
Because these things are materially impossible, what has been directly and indirectly and again and again said here should be accepted by philosophers on faith.
285 There (in Vaikuntha) the Vedas, which are Lord Narayana's breath, have form. The perspiration born from His limbs is supremely purifying.
286 Because it consists of three fourths of the Lord's energy, the spiritual world is called tripad-bhuta. Being a manifestation of one fourth of the Lord's energy, the material world is called eka-pad.*
287 In the verse quoted in Text 248, "amrtam" means "nectar", "sasvatam" means "ever new and fresh", "suddha-sattvam" means "not material", and the series of words beginning with "nitya" and "aksara" mean (that the spiritual world) is free from the six material transformations.
Note: The six material transformations are birth, growth, existence, change, decay, death.
288 Accompanied by Goddess Laksmi and other associates, the catur-vyuha expansions headed by Lord Vasudeva are manifest in the eight directions, beginning with the east.
289 In the directions beginning with the southeast, the palaces of Laksmi, Sarasvati, Rati, and kanti respectively are situated.
Note: The directions are southeast, southwest, northwest, and northeast.
290 In the second part of the spiritual sky, 24 Vishnu-expansions, beginning with Lord Kesava, are manifest in the eight directions and are counted in groups of three.
Note: These forms of the Lord are: Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madhusudana, Trivikrama, Vamana, Shridhara, Hrsikesa, Padmanabha, Damodara, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Padyumna, Aniruddha, Purusottama, Adhoksaja, Nrsimha, Acyuta, Janardana, Upendra, Hari and Krishna.
291 In the third part of the spiritual sky, ten incarnations of the Lord, beginning with Matsya and Kurma, are manifest in the ten directions.
292 In the fourth part of the spiritual sky, Satya, Acyuta, Ananta, Durga, Visvaksena, Gajanana, Sankhanidhi and Padmanidhi are manifest in the eight directions.
293 In the fifth part of the spiritual sky, the four Vedas, beginning with the Rg Veda, Savitri, Garuda, piety, and sacrifice are manifest as before.
294 In the sixth part of the spiritual sky the Lord's conch, cakra, club, lotus, sword, Sarnga bow, and club are manifest. In the seventh part of the spiritual sky the devotees headed by Indra are manifest.
295 (The Indra here is not the same as the Indra in the material world. The scriptures explain:)
"In the spiritual world the Sadhyas, Maruts, and Visvadevas are all eternal. Other (Sadhyas, Maruts, and Visvadevas), who are rulers of the three heavenly realms of the material world, are not eternal."
296 74 forms of the Lord, beginning with the form of Lord Vasudeva, are manifest on the same number (74) of planets in the spiritual sky.
297 Bhrgu Muni and others have proved (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 89) that Lord Vishnu better than Siva and Brahma. There again, the purusa-avatara Lord Vasudeva is better than Lord Vishnu, and Lord Narayana, the master of Maha-Vaikunthaloka is better than Lord Vasudeva.
298 Lord Siva, who is known as Sadasiva and Sambhu, is manifest in the northeast part of Vaikunthaloka.
299 Therefore I say that They, the original Personality of Godhead (Lord Narayana) and the vilasa-avatara (Lord Krishna) are not different, because They are like one lamp that lights another lamp.
Note: Here the imaginary opponent concludes his attempt, begun in Text 226, to prove that Lord Narayana is the original Personality of Godhead and Lord Krishna is expanded from Him. In the next verse Shrila Rupa Gosvami begins his rebuttal.
300 O eloquent one, don't speak. You don't understand Krishna's great opulence and sweetness.
301 Here Shrimad-Bhagavatam, which is the mature fruit of the Vedic tree of knowledge and the essence of all Vedanta philosophy, is the best of all evidence.
302 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.21):
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the master of the three worlds and the three principal demigods (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva). No one is equal to or greater than Him. By His spiritual potency, known as svarajya-laksmi, all His desires are fulfilled. While offering their dues and presents in worship, the predominating deities of the planets touch the lotus feet of the Lord with their helmets. They offer prayers to the Lord."*
This verse states that no one is equal to (asamya) or greater than (atisaya) Lord Krishna. Because Lord Krishna is described as better than all others forms of the Lord, it is shown that He is also better than Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha.
304 The use of the word "svayam" shows that Lord Krishna is not dependant on anyone else.
305 (In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 9.11.20), Lord Ramacandra is described as "without equal or superior". However, because He is not described as "svayam" (independent) He is not independent of Lord Krishna. Because He enjoys humanlike pastimes as Lord Krishna does, the form of Lord Ramacandra is most dear to Lord Krishna.
306 The words of Lord Krishna in Brahmanda Purana:
"Matsya, Kurma, and many others are My personally forms. Still, Ramacandra, the son of Dasaratha, is most dear to My heart."
307 "Svayam tv asamyatisayah" (Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, without equal or superior, Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.21) and "krishnas tu bhagavan svayam" (Shri Krishna is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28) are two quotes that describe Lord Krishna's supreme power and opulence. Because He is not dependent on any form of the Lord, Krishna is the best.
308 The word "tryadhisa" (the lord of all kinds of threes) used in the verse quoted in Text 302 may be interpreted to mean "He who is the master of Dvaraka, Mathura, and Goloka, or it may mean "He who is the master of the three purusa-avataras, Karanokadasayi Vishnu, the master of the material energy, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, who appears as the Universal Form, and Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, the all-pervading Supersoul."
309 The word "svarajya-laksmy-apta-samasta-kamah" means that all the Lord's desires are fulfilled. "Sva" may mean "by Himself" or "by His own supreme potency", "svarajya", which comes from the verb "raj", means "supreme independence", "laksmi" means "supreme opulence", and "apta-samasta-kamah" means "He whose every desire is perfectly fulfilled".
310 "Cira" means "They who live for a very long time", "loka-palaih" means "by the demigods headed by Brahma", ""kirita-kotya" means "with millions of helmets", "idita" means "honoured by prayers", and "pada-pithah" means "the feet on His transcendental form."
311 When the demigods' helmets, studded with diamonds and other jewels, collided together at the Lord's feet, they made a flood of sound considered here to be prayers. This is an utpreksa metaphor, where different things are assumed to be identical.
312 The demigods headed by Brahma perform their prescribed duties, and thus follow the Lord's orders. That is the offering described here.
SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI'S
Lord Krishna is the creator of the numberless universes
A story of Lord Brahma
The structure of the universes
Laksmi-devi cannot attain Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama
Lord Krishna's holy name
Lord Krishna is original Personality of Godhead
All the avataras are present in Lord Krishna's form
The Pastimes of the avataras are manifest in Vrndavana
Although Krishna is unborn He takes birth
The revelation of Lord Krishna's form
Lord Krishna is not formless
Lord Krishna reveals Himself by His own wish
Lord Krishna's pastimes are eternal
Lord Krishna's prakata and aprakata pastimes
Nanda and Yasoda
Lord Krishna's return to Vraja
Laksmana enters the spiritual world
Lord Krishna's aprakata pastimes in Dvaraka
The different parts of Lord Krishna spiritual abode
Lord Krishna's sweetness
The Nectar of Shri Krishna's Devotees page 17
The devotees should be worshipped
313 Now some passages from the Puranas will be quoted.
314 Unlimited variegated material universes are manifested by the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
315 Many universes, some as large as one billion yojanas in measurement, are manifested from the variegated potencies of Lord Hari.
Note: One yojana equals eight miles.
316 Some universes are one billion yojanas in diameter, others are 1000 billion x 10,000 yojanas in diameter, and still others are 100 million billion x 100 yojanas in diameter.
317 Some universes contain 20 plenary systems, others contain fifty planetary systems, and others contain 70 planetary systems. Other universes contain a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or a hundred-thousand planetary systems.
318 In each universe there is a great community of demigods headed by Brahma. These demigods are the possessors of thousands and thousand of great powers and opulences. In some universes Indra and his associates live for 100 maha-kalpas, and Brahma and his associates have a life-span of 100 million billion maha-kalpas.
Note: One maha-kalpa equals 432 million earth years.
319 The demigods beginning with Brahma and Indra are described in the verse quoted in Text 302, where it is said that the demigods, who live for a very long time, touch the lotus feet of the Lord with their millions of helmets and thus offer prayers to the Lord.
320 One day, when Lord Krishna was in the Sudharma assembly house in Dvaraka city, the palace doorman approached the Lord and said that the demigod Brahma was waiting at the door, eager to see the Lord's lotus feet.
321 The Lord asked: "Which Brahma has come to the door? Please ask him. Hearing the Lord's words, the doorman went again, asked him, returned, and said to Lord Krishna: "He is the four-headed Brahma, the father of the Four Kumaras."
322 When Lord Hari said, "Bring him." Brahma was brought in. Brahma fell down like a stick to offer obeisances. Krishna asked him, "Why did you come here?" Brahma replied, "Lord, later I will tell why I have come, but first I wish to know why You asked, 'Which Brahma?' Lord, there is no Brahma other than me.
323 Lord Krishna smiled and meditated. The demigods from ten million universes then hurried to Dvaraka city. Among the many Brahmas some had eight heads, some sixty-four heads, some a hundred heads, some a thousand heads, some a hundred thousand heads, and some ten million heads. Among the many Sivas some had twenty heads, some fifty heads, some a hundred thousand heads and arms. Among the many Indras some had a hundred thousand eyes, and some had a million eyes. Many other demigods, with many kinds of forms and ornaments, also came. Then they all approached Lord Krishna and bowed down before His lotus feet. When the four-headed Brahma saw all this he became mad with wonder.
324 In Vishnu-dharma Purana, Uttara-khanda, it is said that all the material universes have the same structure and the same kind of residents:
325 "O king, all material universes have the same form. They have the same regions and the same kinds of living entities."
326 A resolution of the apparent contradiction is given here.
Note: The story of the many Brahmas shows that the demigods have different forms from one universe to the next. The statement of Text 325 affirms that their forms are the same.
327 In Kurma Purana:
"When contradictions are found in the Vedic scripture, it is not that one statement is wrong. Rather, both statements should be seen in such a way that there is no contradiction."
328 At a certain time Lord Hari destroys all the material universes in a single moment.
329 In Vishnu-dharma Purana, Uttara-khanda:
"As I have already explained to you, Lord Hari destroys all the numberless material universes at the same time, and then the universes remain in their unmanifest state within the material energy, prakrti. This is known as the Lord's night."
330 After destroying them, the Lord creates the universes again. Sometimes He makes them all different, and sometimes He makes them all the same.
331 Thus we have spoken the introduction to the topic we will address in writing.
332 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.12):
"The Lord appeared in the mortal world by His internal potency, yoga-maya. He came in His eternal form, which is just suitable for His pastimes. These pastimes were wonderful for everyone, even for those proud of their own opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha. This His (Shri Krishna's) transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments."*
In this verse "martya-lilaupayikam" (just suitable for His pastimes in the mortal world) modifies "bimbam" (form) in the previous verse.
334 Because of their wonderful and variegated sweetness, heroism, opulence, and other transcendental qualities, the human-like pastimes of the Supreme Lord charm the heart more than His pastimes as a demigod or other being.
335 The word "bimbam" (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.2.11) refers to He who is the origin of all the Lord's forms full of six opulences.
336 Because He is the abode of all virtue and handsomeness, it is said He is the right person to enjoy wonderful humanlike pastimes.
337 In the verse quoted in Text 332, "sva-yoga-maya" means "the Lord's spiritual potency", "balam" means "power" and "darsayata" means "revealing". It is as if the Lord said, "See the wonderful power of My spiritual potency, even the slightest fragrance of which is not manifest even in the highest planets of the material world!" By this potency the Lord reveals His form, which charms the entire world. That is the meaning of the word "sva-yoga-maya" hear.
338 This form fills even Lord Narayana and the other avataras with great and new wonder.
339 "Saubhagarddheh" means "the highest, most wonderful handsomeness" and "param padam" means "He who is the abode of the most exalted eternal opulence."
340 "Bhusana" refers to the Kaustubha gem, shark-shaped earrings and other ornaments decorating the Lord's body. Here it is said that the Lord's form has no equal or superior.
341 Because He is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, there is no difference between the Lord and His form. The idea that they are different is only an imagination.
342 In Kurma Purana:
"For the Supreme Lord there is no difference between His body and His self."
343 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.44.14) in the words of the women of Mathura city:
"What austerities must the gopis have performed? With their eyes they always drink the nectar of the face of Lord Krishna, which is the essence of loveliness and is not to be equalled or surpassed. That loveliness is the only abode of beauty, fame and opulence. It is self-perfect, ever fresh and extremely rare."*
344 In the words of Lord Krishna to Lord Balarama (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.15.8):
"This land Vrndavana (Vrajabhumi) is glorified today. Your lotus feet have touched the earth and grass, Your fingers have touched the trees and creepers, and Your merciful eyes have glanced upon rivers, hills, birds, and beasts. The gopis have been embraced by Your arms and even the goddess of fortune desires this. Now all of these are glorified."*
His heart overcome with bliss by seeing the sweetness of Shri Vrndavana and its residents, Lord Hari praised them in the beginning of this prayer. Then, seeing that Lord Balarama was the origin of their excellences, Lord Hari praised Him.
346 This verse should not be taken as a serious description of Lord Balarama's superiority over Lord Krishna. Rather, Lord Krishna is speaking playful joking words out of friendship for Lord Balarama.
347 In this verse Lord Krishna explains that the gopis are embraced by Lord Balarama to His chest. Even the goddess of fortune aspires to be embraced in this way by Lord Balarama.
348 Although the goddess of fortune, Laksmi-devi, aspired for the embrace of Lord Balarama, she never became worthy to attain it.
349 Although Shrimati Laksmi-devi eternally remains on the chest of Lord Narayana, the master of the Vaikuntha planets, she aspires to rest on the chest of Lord Krishna. This means that she considers the form of Lord Krishna superior to the form of Lord Narayana.
350 The story (of Shrimati Laksmi-devi's attempt to attain Lord Krishna) is described in the Puranas. A summary of that account is written here.
351 Seeing Krishna's handsomeness, and becoming very greedy to attain Him, Laksmi-devi performed great austerities for that purpose. When Krishna noticed her austerities, He said to her, "Why do you perform austerities?" She replied, "I wish to become a gopi and enjoy pastimes with You in Vraja." He said, "That is very difficult to attain." She said, "Lord, I then wish to become a golden line on Your chest." He said, "So be it." Then she assumed that form and stayed on His chest.
352 The wives of the Kaliya serpent allude to this story in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.16.36):
"O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kaliya attained such a opportunity to be touched by the dust of Your lotus feet. For this end, the goddess of fortune performed austerities for centuries, giving up all other desires, and taking austere vows."*
353 The glory of Krishna's holy name is said to be greater than that of any other name of the Lord.
354 In Brahmanda Purana:
"The pious results derived from chanting the thousand names of Lord Vishnu three times can be attained by only one repetition of the holy name of Krishna."*
355 In Skanda Purana:
"Lord Krishna's holy name, which is the sweetest of sweet things, the most auspicious of auspicious things, and the transcendental fruit of the vine of all Vedic literature, delivers, O best of the Bhrgus, anyone who, either with faith or contempt, chants it even once."
356 Because the scriptures use the word "svayam" (personally) again and again to describe Him, Lord Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other scriptures Lord Krishna is declared to be the original form (svayam-rupa) of the Personality of Godhead.
357 In Brahma-samhita (5.1):
"Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."*
358 Again in Brahma-samhita (5.39):
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who by His various plenary portions appeared in the world in different forms and incarnations such as Lord Rama, but who personally appears in His supreme original form as Lord Krishna."
359 Therefore Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha, is a vilasa-avatara of Lord Krishna.
360 The prayers of the Personified Vedas contain the essence of knowledge. Understanding that essence of knowledge, Narada Muni offered obeisances to Lord Krishna, and said (Shrimad Bhagavatam 10.87.46):
361 "I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Krishna, the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead."
362 Here someone may object: Lord Krishna was born in the Yadu dynasty at the end of the Dvapara-yuga. How can Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikunthaloka, who has no beginning, be a vilasa-avatara of Him?
363 I reply: Don't speak in this way. Although He has no beginning, He plays the pastime of taking birth. Again and again Lord Krishna appears by His own wish.
364 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.15):
"The Personality of Godhead, the all-compassionate controller of both the spiritual and material creations, is unborn, but when there is friction between His peaceful devotees and persons who are in the material modes of nature, He takes birth just like fire, accompanied by the mahat-tattva."*
Here "sva" means "the devotees" and "sva-santa-rupesu" describes their nature. "Santi" means "faith in the Lord", and "santa" means "they who have faith in the Lord."
366 The devotees here are 1. those headed by Maharaja Vasudeva, 2. those headed by Maharaja Nanda, and 3. the sadhus. The "itaraih" (others) are they who oppose the devotees. They are 1. those headed by King Kamsa, and 2. those headed by other demons. "Svarupaih" means "very (su) ugly (arupa)". That is the meaning here.
367 "Abhyardyamanesu" means "harassed from all directions", "anukampitatma" means "He whose heart is full of compassion, para means those places, headed by Goloka Vrndavana, that are free from the touch of the illusory energy", "avara" means "the material universes, which are under the spell of the illusory energy," and "isa" means "the controller of both the spiritual and material creations."
368 "Mahat" means "They who are great". Here it refers to Lord Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha, and to the catur-vyuha expansions beginning with Lord Vasudeva.
369 Lord Krishna's expansions (krishna vyuha) are superior to Lord Narayana's expansions, which are headed by Lord Vasudeva. Lord Krishna's expansions join with Their vilasa-avataras, Lord Narayana's expansions, and as one They appear in this world.
370 The "amsas" here are the famous purusa-avataras, as well as Ramacandra, Nrsimha, Varaha, Vamana, Nara's friend (Narayana Rsi), Hayagriva, Ajita, and others.
371 All these incarnations are eternally present in Lord Krishna.
372 For this reason the pastimes of these avataras are seen in Vrndavana.
373 Lord Narayana's pastimes are seen in the wonderful display to Lord Brahma in Vrndavana of millions of universes and their demigods. This pastime is understood to be manifested by the Lord's amsa-avatara.
374 The pastimes of Lord Vasudeva and other avataras are seen in Mathura, Dvaraka, and other places as well as in the Lord's childhood pastimes in Vraja. When Shridama assumed the form of Garuda, Krishna assumed a four-armed form, and when the Adityas approached Him, the Lord manifested twelve arms.
375 The pastimes of killing the demons are performed by Lord Sankarsana. Also, the forms of Lord Pradyumna and Lord Aniruddha are eternally present in the district of Mathura, as confirmed by the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, Varaha Purana, and other Vedic Literatures.
376 In this way the Deities headed by the Lord who rests on Ananta manifest the purusa-avataras' pastimes in the district of Mathura.
377 Whenever Lord Krishna displayed a pastime it was recorded in the narrations of the Puranas.
378 Whatever forms, beginning with the form of Lord Ramacandra, Lord Krishna manifested in His pastimes are present even today in Mathura district.
379 Once a hundred million billion cows in Vrndavana produced a great ocean of milk. Krishna then assumed the form of the avatara Ajita and with the gopas, who had become devas and asuras, churned it.
380 In Brahmanda Purana:
"The Supreme Personality in Vaikuntha, who has four arms, is the master of Svetadvipa, and Nara-Narayana Rsi are Nanda's son, who enjoys pastimes in the land of Vrndavana.
381 "Lord Krishna has limitless avataras that all enchant the heart. As hundreds and thousand of sparks (come from) a great fire and then enter it again, so (numberless avataras come from) Lord Hari, and then enter Him again."
382 In this way the word "mahad-amsa-yuktah", which refers to the amsa-avataras of the all-powerful Lord, is explained.
383 According to the intimate relationships between Shri Krishna, the primeval Lord, and His devotees, the Puranas describe Him by various names. Sometimes He is called Narayana; sometimes Upendra (Vamana), the younger brother of Indra, king of heaven; and sometimes Ksirodakasayi Vishnu. Sometimes He is called the thousand-hooded Sesa Naga and sometimes the Lord of Vaikuntha.*
384 Now that this has been explained, I will again write about the original subject of our discussion.
385 Although Lord Krishna is unborn, He takes birth.
386 Here someone may object: How is it possible for a person to be unborn and again to take birth? This statement is self-contradictory.
Thinking someone may say this, I reply: The Supreme Personality of Godhead possesses inconceivable power and opulence.
387 As the element fire, which is present in many different substances, sometimes, for certain reasons, becomes manifest in firewood, a jewel, or something else, so Lord Krishna sometimes, for certain reasons, manifests His birth and other pastimes.
388 By manifesting the glory of His pastimes He shows mercy to the devotees. That is the great reason He reveals the pastimes that begin with His birth.
389 To show mercy to His devotees when they are troubled by fearful demons is another reason for (His appearance in this world).
390 Brahma and other demigods' appeal that the Lord remove the burden of the earth planet is only a secondary reason. (It is not as important as the other reasons).
391 Even today, if a sincere devotee earnestly longs to see Lord Krishna's pastimes, the Lord who is an ocean of mercy, will show them.
392 Even today, some rare exalted devotees, overcome with pure love for Krishna, are able to see Shri Krishna enjoying pastimes in Vrndavana.
393 If Lord's personal associates have eternal forms, why should it be surprising that the Lord Himself has an eternal form?
394 To silence they who have faith in dry logic, I now write some quotes from the Puranas.
395 In Brahma's prayers in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.22):
"O Krishna, this universe appears real because it is manifested by the potency of illusion emanating from You, whose unlimited transcendental forms are full of eternal happiness and knowledge."***
386 In Shri Brahmanda Purana:
"Lord Hari's form has neither beginning nor end. What are called its birth and death are only His coming and going (from the material world).
397 In Brhad-Vishnu Purana:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of the universes. His avataras are eternal. His form is eternal. His handsomeness is eternal. His fragrance is eternal. His opulence and bliss are eternal.
398 In Padma Purana (Patala-khanda 73.12-13), Shrila Vyasadeva's words to Shri Krishna, revealed in a conversation with Maharaja Ambarisa:
"O Krishna, the Upanisads describe You as the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Truth and the creator and master of the universes. O Lord I desire to see You with my own eyes. O Lord, please let me see You."
399 Shri Krishna's reply (Padma Purana, Patala-khanda 73.17-19):
"Lord Krishna then said to me, "Look! I will show you My form, which is hidden from the Vedas." O king, then I saw the infallible Lord as a cowherd boy, splendid as a dark cloud, dressed in yellow garments, sitting at the base of a kadamba tree, laughing with the cowherd boys, and surrounded by gopis.
400 There (Padma Purana, Patala-khanda 73.23-25)
"Smiling as He walked through Vrndavana, Lord Krishna said: 'This form of Mine you have seen is eternal, transcendental, faultless, free from karma, peaceful, eternal, full of knowledge, blissful, perfect, complete, and handsome with lotus-petal eyes.
401 "The Vedas say this form is the original cause of all causes and is real, all-pervading, blissful, spiritual, eternal, and auspicious."
402 In Shri Vasudeva Upanisad (3.5):
"By devotional service one may understand My eternal spiritual form, which is full of knowledge and bliss, self-effulgent, free from material duality and without beginning, middle or end."
403 Here someone may object: Is it not true that the Supreme Lord is actually formless, but He creates an illusory form of Himself as Krishna so He may be visible (to the conditioned souls)?
404 The Lord's statement in Moksa-dharma (Mahabharata, Santi-parva 341.33.45):
"You don't understand Me. You see that I have a form. If I wish I can destroy everything in a moment. I am the Supreme Lord, the master of the universes.
405 "O Narada, this form of Mine that you are seeing is created by Me. It is made of all material elements and modes of nature. You are not able to understand My actual nature."
406 In Padma Purana:
"The sruti and smrti-sastras proclaim that the Supreme Controller, Lord Hari, is ultimately formless, nameless and inactive."
407 To this objection I reply: This is explained in Shri Vasudevadhyatma:
"Because no one can understand all His qualities, the Supreme Lord is called 'nameless'. Because His form is not material, He is called 'formless'. Because He does not perform material acts, the wise call the ancient Supreme Person 'inactive'.
408 The quote from Moksa-dharma (Text 404) should be interpreted in this way:
409 That quote should be interpreted to mean: "Don't think My form is like the material form of a conditioned soul."
410 By stating that the Lord's form is invisible, (this quote) shows that His form is not material.
411 In the second half of this verse (Text 404) Lord Krishna explains that He reveals His form according to His own wish, which cannot be thwarted. Again, He says that if He wishes, in a moment He can become invisible. The word "nasyeyam" here means "I may become invisible".
412 The next verse from the Moksa-dharma (quoted in Text 405), should be interpreted in this way: "O Narada if you think that My form is a product of the illusory material energy (yan mam pasyasi narada sarva-bhuta-gunair yuktam), then please understand that such a conception is simply an illusion I have Myself created (maya hy esa maya srsta). You should not think that My form is at all material (naivam tvam jnatum arhasi.)"
413 Sometimes the word "maya" is used to mean the Lord's transcendental potency.
414 In Catur-veda-sikha:
"The Lord possesses an internal potency named 'maya'. For this reason the sages call eternal Lord Vishnu, 'maya-maya' (the master of the internal potency known as maya)."
This verse from Sruti-sastra is quoted by Shripada Madhvacarya in his commentary (on Vedanta-sutra).
415 That Lord Krishna reveals Himself by His own wish is described in Moksa-dharma (Mahabharata, Santi parva 338.13-20):
"When He is pleased, the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of the demigods, shows Himself. Otherwise He is invisible.
416 "(Once, while performing an agnihotra-yajna, the priest) Brhaspati became angry. He raised the sacrificial ladle and repeatedly struck the sky. He shed tears of anger.
417 "(After the sacrifice was concluded), the various demigods all arrived, each claiming his share of the sacrificial results. Then it was asked, "Why did Lord Hari not show Himself?"
418 "Then Uparicara Vasu and all the members of the assembly pacified the sage by saying:
419 "The Supreme Lord Hari only accepts those sacrificial offerings given in an unangry frame of mind. (Because he became angry during the course of this sacrifice) neither you nor we were able to see the Lord. O Brhaspati, only one who attains the mercy of Lord Hari is able to see Him."
420 In the same scripture the words of the three sages Ekata, Dvita, and Trita (Mahabharata, Santi-parva 338,25-27):
"When their vow was completed the disembodied voice of a goddess who is very pleasing to the Lord said with sweet and deep words, 'You devotees are still attached to philosophical speculation. How can you see the all-powerful Lord?"
421 By the agency of His prakasa potency, which reveals Him according to His own wish, the Lord appears before the eyes. Otherwise He is not within the eye's range of perception.
422 In Shri Narayanadhyatma:
"The eternally invisible Supreme Lord may be seen with (the help of) His own transcendental potency. Without it who can see the limitless Lord?"
423 In Padma Purana:
"Because His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, Lord Krishna is beyond the perception of the senses. By the power of His own transcendental potency the Lord shows Himself to His devotees."
424 Shri Krishna's form is situated in one place, and it is also all-pervading. It is manifest in these two way simultaneously.
425 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.9.13-14):
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning and no end, no exterior and no interior, no front and no rear. In other words, He is all-pervading. because He is not under the influence of the element of time, for Him there is no difference between past, present and future; He exists in His own transcendental form at all times. Being absolute, beyond relativity, He is free from distinctions between cause and effect, although He is the cause and effect of everything. That unmanifested person, who is beyond the perception of the senses, has now appeared as a human child, and mother Yasoda, considering Him her own ordinary child, bound Him to the wooden mortar with a rope."*
426 In the pastime of being bound with a rope, as described in these two verses, Lord Krishna, the prince of Vraja, appeared in these two ways (situated in one place and all-pervading).
427 In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other Puranas, the eternality of Lord Krishna's pastimes is clearly described.
428 The words of Dvaraka's residents in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.10.26):
"Oh, how supremely glorified is the dynasty of King Yadu, and how virtuous is the land of Mathura, where the Supreme leader of living beings, the husband of the goddess of fortune, has taken His birth and wanders in His childhood."*
429 The use of the present tense in the word "ancati" in the words of the Dvaraka residents declares that the Lord's pastimes are eternal.
430 In Sukadeva Gosvami's words in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.48):
"Lord Shri Krishna is He who is known as Jana-nivasa, the ultimate resort of all living entities and who is also known as Devaki-nandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything inauspicious as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He destroys all things, inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert. His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of Vrndavana. May He be all glorious and happy!"*
431 Shri Narada's words to Shri Yudhisthira in Skanda Purana, Mathura-khanda:
"Krishna is enjoying pastimes in Vrndavana with Balarama, the cowherd boys, calves and young cows."
432 When the two (Narada and Yudhisthira) spoke Lord Krishna was in Dvaraka. The present-tense in this verse, therefore, proclaims that these pastimes are eternal.
433 Lord Siva's words to Parvati-devi in Padma Purana, Patala-khanda:
"This sage and all the demigods always yearn to reside in auspicious Mathura-puri, where Krishna, killer of Kamsa stays."
434 The people of Vraja, the Yadavas, the demigods headed by Brahma, Indra, and Kuvera's sons (Nalakuvara and Manigriva), the sages headed by Narada, and others headed by demons, snakes and yaksas are the Lord's associates in His pastimes.
435 The Lord's pastimes are said to be of two kinds: 1. prakata (manifest) and 2. aprakata (not manifest).
436 Expanded in limitless forms, Lord Krishna eternally enjoys many pastimes. Sometimes Lord Krishna in one of His forms manifests in the material universe His birth and His pastimes with His associates.
437 According to Shri Krishna's wish, His pastime potency arranges the different natures of His different close associates.
438 The Lord's pastimes that are visible in the material world are called 'prakata' (manifest). Other pastimes, which are not visible in the material world, are called 'aprakata' (not manifest).
439 In His prakata pastimes, Lord Krishna travels from Gokula to Mathura to Dvaraka.
440 In each of these places His aprakata pastimes are present. This is stated again and again in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.90.48 (quoted in Text 430).
441 By Brahma's order Maharaja Vasudeva and the other associates of the Lord incarnate, by their partial expansions, in the upper material planets as Kasyapa Muni and others. Then, at the appropriate time, these expansions merge into their origins, the forms of Maharaja Vasudeva and the other devotees that eternally enjoy pastimes with the Lord.
442 Lord Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who enjoys transcendental pastimes and whose vilasa-avatara is Lord Narayana, the husband of the goddess of fortune, appeared first as Sankarsana, then as the other catur-vyuha avataras, and then as Himself in the heart of King Vasudeva.
443 In the 28th cycle of four yugas, towards the end of the Dvapara-yuga, Lord Krishna descended to the earth in response to the demigods' request that He relieve the burden of the earth. He appeared as Lord Aniruddha who lies down on the ocean of milk. Then that form became one with the form of Lord Krishna in Maharaja Vasudeva's heart. Then He was transferred to Devaki's heart.
444 Showered (by Devaki-devi) with the blissful nectar of pure parental love, Lord Krishna grew as the moon (grows from new to full).
445 Then, during the month of Bhadra, on the eight day of the dark moon, in the middle of the night, within the maternity room of Kamsa's prison, Shri Krishna left Devaki's heart and appeared before her.
446 His mother and all the women present thought a boy had taken birth without difficulty in the ordinary way.
447 The form of Shri Krishna sometimes manifests four arms and sometimes two arms. In either feature He never abandons His transcendental qualities, handsomeness and pastimes.
448 Still, it is said that Lord Krishna's two-armed form is most important. The other form is said to be secondary because when it is sometimes manifest it conceals that most important form. Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.10.48) and (7.15.75) explains:
"My dear Maharaja Yudhisthira, all of you (the Pandavas) are extremely fortunate, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, lives in your palace, just like a human being. Great saintly persons know this very well, and therefore they constantly visit this house."*
449 Then morose Maharaja Vasudeva took his son to the home of Yasoda-devi, the queen of Vraja. Placing his own son in Yasoda's house, Vasudeva took Yasoda's daughter and left.
450 Although Shri Krishna is without any beginning the eternal son of Yasoda-devi (in the spiritual world), in His prakata pastimes He appeared in this way.
451 In the beginning of Lord Krishna's prakata pastimes, Vraja's king, Nanda performed a great festival. Whatever the Lord Krishna does, beginning with His childhood, in His prakata pastimes, He does many thousands of times in His aprakata pastimes.
452 Because He enjoys many happy pastimes, delighting His dear associates, and even enchanting Himself, Lord Krishna is called "lila-purusottama" (the most playful person).
453 Because the parental love of Vraja's king and queen has no equal or superior, Lord Krishna eternally thinks Himself their son.
454 In ancient times some devotees have said that the Lord appeared in His Vasudeva feature in the home of Maharaja Vasudeva and at the same time He appeared, along with Yogamaya, in His original form as Shri Krishna in the village of Vraja.
455 When Maharaja Vasudeva arrived in Vraja, he entered the maternity room, saw (Yasoda's) daughter and, taking her with him, returned to Mathura. The Vasudeva expansion (Maharaja Vasudeva carried with him) then merged in the body of Shri Krishna.
456 Because this pastime is very confidential, it was not related in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Nevertheless, Sukadeva Gosvami and other great devotees have indirectly described it in some of their writings.
457 (Sukadeva Gosvami explains that Nanda Maharaja is the actual father of Shri Krishna) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.5.1):
"Nanda Maharaja was naturally very magnanimous, and when Lord Shri Krishna appeared as his son, he was overwhelmed by jubilation."*
458 (This is again mentioned) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.6.43):
"Nanda Maharaja was very liberal and simple. He immediately took his son Krishna on his lap as if Krishna had returned from death."*
459 Also in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.9.21):
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the son of Mother Yasoda is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realisation by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self."*
460 In Brahma's prayers (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.1):
"Let me offer my respectful 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, flute, and a bugle made of buffalo horn. He stands before me with small lotus feet."*
461 (The difference between Krishna's appearance in Vrndavana and His appearance in Mathura and Dvaraka is described in) Yamala Tantra:
"The Krishna known as Yadukumara is Vasudeva Krishna. He is different from the Krishna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadukumara Krishna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krishna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any times leaves Vrndavana.*
462 "Vrndavana-Krishna always has two arms. He never has four arms. He eternally enjoys pastimes with a certain gopi."
463 In His prakata form Lord Krishna goes to the Yadus' capitol, Mathura. Concealing His real identity as the son of Vraja's king, He shows Himself as Lord Vasudeva. Vasudeva has sometimes with two arms and sometimes four arms.
464 Yadava-Krishna goes to Dvaraka and manifests the same pastimes He showed in Mathura.
465 There (in Dvaraka) He manifests His third and fourth catur-vyuha expansions: Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
466 Beginning with His marriages, many wonderful and extraordinary pastimes of His catur-vyuha expansions are described there.
467 During the Lord's prakata pastimes, the people of Vraja were separated from Him for three months. Then Lord Krishna again appeared. For three months He appeared among (or returned to) them.
468 Here the word "sangati" may be interpreted in two ways, as "appearance" or "return".
Concerned for the welfare of His dear devotees, whose hearts were overcome with pain in His separation, He suddenly appeared among them.
470 When from Uddhava they heard Krishna's message, Krishna, wearing a forest garland, suddenly appeared among them in Vraja.
471 That Shri Krishna, although remaining in Dvaraka, appeared in Vraja is described again and again in many Vedic scriptures, beginning with Brhad Vishnu Purana.
472 When Lord Krishna appeared in Vraja, which had been tormented with separation from Him, the people of Vraja thought His journey to Mathura had been only a bad dream.
Showing love for His friends and the truthfulness of His word (travelling) by chariot and other vehicles, Lord Krishna returned to His dear Vraja.
474 "The truthfulness of His word is described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.39.35):
"Krishna was very much affected upon seeing the plight of the gopis and He therefore consoled them. He told them they should not be aggrieved; He was coming back very soon after finishing His business."*
475 In the same way (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.45.23), where Lord Krishna says to Maharaja Nanda and Yasoda devi):
"My dear father and mother, I know you will be feeling separation by returning to Vrndavana and leaving Us here, but please rest assured that I shall be coming back to Vrndavana just after giving some satisfaction to my real father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaki, My grandfather, and other relatives and family members."*
476 Shri Krishna's promise was repeated by His dearest friend, the Yadava minister Uddhava.
477 (Uddhava said to Nanda and Yasoda, in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.46.35 and 34):
"I have brought a message from Krishna to the effect that He will soon come back to Vrndavana and satisfy you both by His personal presence. Now that Krishna has killed Kamsa, the Yadava's enemy, in the wrestling arena, Krishna has promised that He will come back to Vrndavana after finishing His business in Mathura. This promise He will surely fulfil."*
478 That Shri Krishna kept this promise (to return to Vraja) is confirmed by the words of Dvaraka's residents (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 1.11.9):
479 "O lotus-eyed Lord, whenever You go away to Mathura, Vrndavana or Hastinapura to meet Your friends and relatives, every moment of Your absence seems like a million years. O infallible one, at that time our eyes become useless, as if bereft of sun."*
480 (This verse should be interpreted in the following way): "O Lotus eyed Lord (bho ambujaksa), You have gone (bhavan apsasara) to Mathura (Mathun), eagerly desiring to see Nanda Maharaja and Your other friends and relatives there (suhrd-didrksasaya)." The word "madhun" means "the village of Vraja in the district of Mathura." Because the city of Mathura is not meant here the friends are the Lord's friends in Vraja.
481 Shri Krishna travelled by chariot to Mathura, killed the demon Dantavakra, and then returned to Vraja. This is clearly described in prose and verse in Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 279.24-26):
482 "After killing Dantavakra, Lord Krishna bathed in the Yamuna, entered Nanda's Vraja, greeted and consoled His parents who yearned (to see Him) was embraced by them as tears (streamed down their) necks, bowed down before the gopas, consoled them, and offered them many garments, ornaments, and other gifts.
483 "Under a desire tree by the Yamuna's charming shore Krishna enjoyed pastimes with the gopis day and night. Dressed as a gopa, he stayed there for two months, happily enjoying charming pastimes filled with the nectar of great love."
Here "uttirya" means "bathing". The Lord killed the demon, bathed in the Yamuna, and went to Vraja.
485 Although in His prakata pastimes the Lord is sometimes briefly absent, (in His aprakata pastimes) in His three abodes He enjoys pastimes eternally (and is never absent).
486 In the Padma Purana's description of Shri Krishna's return to Vraja, another pastime is also related (Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda 279.27):
487 "Then, by Lord Krishna's mercy, the gopas headed by Nanda, their wives and children, and the cows, birds, deer and other living entities there, all in glorious spiritual forms, entered spiritual airplanes and went to the highest Vaikuntha realm."
Lord Krishna at once sent to Vaikuntha the demigods headed by Drona, who were amsa-avataras of the devotees headed by Vraja's king.
489 With the residents of Gokula, who to Him are dearer than the dearest, Lord Krishna eternally enjoys pastimes in Vrndavana.
490 In Skanda Purana, Ayodhya-mahatmya, the following is heard about Laksmana:
491 "As everyone watched, Indra spoke sweet words to Laksmana who, true to His word, had assumed the form of Ananta Sesa.
492 "Indra said: "O Laksmana, O hero, O destroyer of enemies, You have fulfilled Your mission of assisting the demigods. Please return to Your own transcendental abode. O Lord, Your form of Ananta Sesa, who has glittering hoods, has now come. Please return to your own eternal abode in the realm of Lord Vishnu."
493 "After speaking thus, Indra, in the company of the demigods, respectfully placed Laksmana on Ananta Sesa, who had come from Patalaloka and who can carry all the universes, and then he himself went to Devaloka."
494 Desiring to perform His aprakata pastimes, the Lord manifested at Dvaraka the illusions that began with a sage's curse.
495 Then, accompanied by they who as amsa-avataras of the demigods and their followers had incarnated in the Vrsni dynasty, the Lord, in His form as Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, went to His own abode.
496 With the Yadavas and others who eternally enjoy pastimes with Him, Lord Krishna continued to enjoy pastimes at Dvaraka.
497 The Lord's abode is said to be in two parts: Mathura and Dvaraka. They say Mathura is also in the two parts: Gokula and Mathura City.
498 The abode named Goloka manifests its opulence as the abode Gokula. Goloka is described in Brahma-samhita (5.43 and 56):
499 "Below the planet named Goloka Vrndavana are the planets known as Devi-dhama, Mahesa-dhama and Hari-dhama. These are opulent in different ways. They are managed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, the original Lord. I offer my obeisances unto Him."*
500-1 "I worship the transcendental seat known as Svetadvipa, where as loving consorts the Laksmis in their unalloyed spiritual essence practice the amorous service of the Supreme Lord Krishna as their only lover; where every tree is a transcendental purpose tree; where the soil is a purpose gem, all water is nectar, every word is a song, every gait is a dance, the flute is the favourite attendant, effulgence is full of transcendental bliss and the supreme spiritual entities are all enjoyable and tasty, where numberless milk-cows always emit transcendental oceans of milk, and where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the space of half a moment. That realm is known as Goloka only to a very few self-realised souls in this world."**
502 Because (Gokula) is the potency of (Goloka, Goloka) is more glorious.
503 In Padma Purana, Patala-khanda:
"Glorious Mathura is greater than Vaikuntha. Living there for single day creates devotion for Lord Hari.
504 "The seven holy cities of Ayodhya, Mathura, Mayapura, Varanasi, Kanci, Avantika, Jaganatha Puri, and Dvaraka grant liberation.
505 "Mathura is the best of these seven holy cities. O goddess, please hear of its glories. It is the most exalted part of the Vaikuntha world."
506 It has already been shown that (Goloka) is the abode of the Lord's eternal pastimes. In Padma Purana (Lord Krishna) explains that (Goloka) is eternal.
507 "Know that My Mathura, Vrndavana forest, Yamuna, cowherd boys, and gopis are all eternal."
508 Although small, earthly Mathura is very wonderful. It expands or contracts according to Lord Krishna's pastimes.
509 The demigod Brahma directly saw that many many material universes are situated within earthly Vrndavana.
510 During the rasa-dance pastime billions of gopis were on the Yamuna's shore. How could this wonder happen?
511-13 At the time of the Lord's prakata appearance the places of His pastimes could be seen only by His personal associates. Others could not see them. At present, however, the many hills, forests, villages and other places (in Vrndavana) that had been decorated with Lord Krishna's childhood and other pastimes still wonderfully remain (and can be seen by all).
514 The place that was once rich with His pastimes is now empty for both they who are qualified to see them and also for others.
515 However, because He has inconceivable powers, for the Lord, His dear devotees, His abode, and His pastimes, what is not possible?
516 The wise know that this is true about Dvaraka.
517(a) In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.31.23-24):
"O king, when Lord Hari left Dvaraka, the ocean at once flooded the Lord's abode.
517(b) "Lord Krishna eternally stays there. Remembrance of it brings all-auspiciousness and removes all inauspiciousness."
518 Another transcendental opulence of Lord is the wonder of His ability, displayed before the eyes of Narada Muni, to manifest many forms simultaneously.
519 Although the sun, moon and planets then were not the ordinary material planets of the world, the devotees in the Lord's pastimes saw them as material.
520 Although Shri Krishna eternally performs pastimes in Gokula, Mathura, and Dvaraka, His pastimes in Gokula are sweeter than the others.
521 In Sammohana Tantra:
"The Personality of Godhead has many thousands of avataras. Of them the childhood form of Shri Krishna is the most extraordinary."
The span of life is divided in three parts: childhood, youth, and old-age. Childhood extends from birth to the age of 16 years.
523 In Brahmanda Purana:
"Although I appear in many different forms, all full in six opulences, none of these forms is equal to My form as the cowherd boy Krishna."
524 In the great Tantras are spoken many great mantras, headed by the famous 10-syllable and 18-syllable mantras, decorated with Lord Krishna's glories."
525 The best of all evidence is Gopala-tapani Upanisad, which Lord Krishna spoke to Brahma in the beginning.
526 Lord Krishna's sweetness in Vraja is of four kinds, the sweetness of His: 1. opulence, 2. Pastimes, 3. flute, and 4. handsome form.
527 The Sweetness of His opulence
Served by the nectar of opulence and sweetness, nectar never heard of before, Lord Krishna enjoys pastimes in Vraja.
528 When the demigods headed by Brahma and Siva reverentially offer prayers, Lord Krishna does not even glance at them from the corner of His eye.
529 Shri Narada's words in Brahmanda Purana:
"O Krishna, in Your childhood pastimes You killed many demons You could not have killed when You were an adult holding the cakra in Your hand. O Lord Hari, when, as a child playing with friends, You knitted Your eyebrows, the demigods headed by Brahma and Siva trembled in fear."
530 (Lord Krishna's childhood) pastimes (are described) in Padma Purana:
"All Lord Krishna's pastimes are wonderful. Still, His pastimes as a cowherd boy are more charming than all others."
531 In Brhad-Vamana Purana (Lord Krishna says):
"Although I have many enchanting pastimes, when I remember the rasa dance, I do not know what happens to My heart."
532 (The Sweetness) of (Lord Krishna's) Flute:
All sweetness of sound in all the world drowns in a single atom of the sound of (Lord Krishna's) flute.
533 Plunged in deep bliss, the moving and inert change natures when (Lord Krishna's) enchanting (flute) sounds.
534 Saying, "Is this a mystic mantra that charms (it's hearers), or is it wonderful nectar drunk by our ears?" The demigods headed by Siva become bewildered.
535-6 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.35.14-15 (a gopi says to Mother Yasoda):
"My dear mother, your son is very expert among the cowherd boys. He knows all the different arts, how to tend the cows and how to play the flute. He composes His own songs, and to sing them He puts His flute to His mouth. When He plays, either in the morning or in the evening, all the demigods like Lord Siva, Brahma, Indra and Candra, bow their heads and listen with great attention. Although they are very learned and expert, they cannot understand the musical arrangements of Krishna's flute. They simply listen attentively and try to understand, but they become bewildered and nothing more."*
537 In the 21st and 35th Chapters of the Tenth Canto of Shrimad-Bhagavatam the goddess of Vraja describe the very wonderful sweetness of (Lord Krishna's flute).
538 (The sweetness of Lord Krishna's) form
The beauty of the son of Maharaja Nanda is incomparable. Nothing is higher than His beauty, and nothing can equal it. His beauty is like waves in an ocean of nectar. This beauty is attractive both for moving and nonmoving objects.*
539 In the Tantras: "I will now describe the process of Meditation on Nanda's son, Krishna, whose charming handsomeness has never been seen or heard of before, and whose lotus toenails are worshipped by the personified handsomeness of many billions of Kamadevas."
540 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.29.40):
"My dear Lord Krishna, where is that woman within the three worlds who cannot be captivated by the rhythms of the sweet songs coming from Your wonderful flute? Who cannot fall down from the path of chastity in this way? Your beauty is the most sublime within the three worlds. Upon seeing Your beauty, even cows, birds, animals and trees in the forest are stunned in jubilation."*
The Nectar of Shri Krishna's Devotees
1 Lord Krishna's devotees must be worshipped. If His devotees are not (worshipped) a grave offence is committed.
2 In Padma Purana:
"Vaishnavas should serve the great devotees headed by Markandeya Muni, Maharaja Ambarisa, Uparicara Vasu, Shrila Vyasadeva, Vibhisana Maharaja, Pundarika, Maharaja Bali, Lord Siva, Maharaja Prahlada, Shri Vidura, Dhruva Maharaja, Shri Dalbya, Parasara Muni, Bhismadeva, and Narada Muni. If one serves Lord Krishna but does not serve them, he commits a great sin.
3 In Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya:
"They who worship Lord Govinda but do not worship His devotees are proud hypocrites who do not attain Lord Vishnu's mercy."
4 In Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda:
"My dear Devi, although the Vedas recommend worship of demigods, the worship of Lord Vishnu is topmost. However, above the worship of Lord Vishnu is the rendering of service to Vaishnavas, who are related to Lord Vishnu."*
5 There also (Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda):
"They who worship Lord Govinda but do not worship His devotees should not be known as devotees. They should be known to be only proud hypocrites."
6 In Adi purana (where Lord Krishna told Arjuna):
"Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servants are factually My devotees."*
7 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.19.21 (Lord Krishna says):
"The worship of My devotees is more important than worshipping Me."
8 Among all the devotees of the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja is the best. His glories are described in Skanda Purana, Shrimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures.
9 In Skanda purana Lord Siva says:
"A devotee is one who understands Lord Krishna in truth. I am not among them. Among all Lord Krishna's devotees Prahlada Maharaja is the best."
10 Prahlada Maharaja's words in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.26):
"O my Lord, O Supreme, because I was born in a family full of the hellish material qualities of passion and ignorance, what is my position? And what is to be said of Your causeless mercy, which was never offered to Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, or the goddess of fortune, Laksmi? You never put Your lotus hand upon their heads, but You have put it upon mine."*
11 Lord Nrsimha's words there (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 7.10.210:
"Those who follow your example will naturally become My pure devotees. You are the best example of My devotee, and others should follow in your footsteps."*
12 The Pandavas are even greater than Prahlada Maharaja and the devotees like him. Shrimad-Bhagavatam may be seen as the clear evidence for this.
13 Shri Narada's words in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.10.48-50 and 7.15.75-77):
"My dear Maharaja Yudhisthira, all of you (the Pandavas) are extremely fortune for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, lives in your palace just like a human being. Great saintly persons know this very well, and therefore they constantly visit this house."*
14 "The impersonal Brahman is Krishna Himself because Krishna is the source of the impersonal Brahma. He is the origin of the transcendental bliss sought by great saintly persons, yet He, the Supreme Person, is your most dear friend and constant well wisher and is intimately related to you as the son of your maternal uncle. Indeed, He is always like your body and soul. He is worshippable, yet He acts as your servant and sometimes as your spiritual master.*
15 "Exalted persons like Lord Siva and Lord Brahma could not properly describe the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. May the Lord, who is always worshipped as the protector of all devotees by great saints who observe vows of silence, meditation, devotional service, and renunciation, be pleased with us."*
16 Shrila Shridhara Svami comments:
"To the king who lamented, 'Ah Prahlada, who saw the Lord, was fortunate', Narada Muni spoke the three verses beginning with 7.10.48."
17 Shridhara Svami further comments on these three verses:
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead did not personally stay in Prahlada Maharaja's home (although He did stay in the Pandava's home). The great sages did not travel to Prahlada's home in order to see the Supreme Lord (although they did visit the Pandavas home for this purpose). The Supreme Lord did not become the intimate relative of Prahlada Maharaja (as He became the maternal cousin of the Pandavas). The Supreme Lord also did not personally express great pleasure in the daily activities of Prahlada Maharaja (as He did with the Pandavas). For all these reasons Narada said that the Pandavas were more fortunate that either himself (Narada) or Prahlada.'
18 Because of their constant intimate association with Krishna and close family ties with Him, some members of the Yadu dynasty are more exalted than the Pandavas.
19 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.82.28 and 30):
"Your majesty Ugrasena, king of the Bhojas, factually the Yadus are the only persons within this world who are perfect in all respects. All glories unto you! All glories unto you! The specific condition of your perfection is that you are always seeing Lord Krishna, who is sought after by many mystic yogis undergoing severe austerities and penances for great numbers of years. All of you are in direct touch with Lord Krishna at every moment."*
20 "Your majesty, King of the Bhojas, you are related with the Yadu dynasty by matrimonial relationship and by blood relationship also. As a result you are constantly in touch with Lord Krishna, and you have no difficulty in seeing Him at any time. Lord Krishna moves with you, talks with you, sits with you, rests with you, and dines with you. The Yadus appear to be always engaged in worldly affairs with are considered to lead to the royal road to hell. But due to the presence of Lord Krishna, the Original Personality of Godhead in the Vishnu category, who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, all of you are factually relieved from all material contamination and are situated in the transcendental position of liberation and Brahman existence."*
21 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.90.46:
"The Yadavas loved Krishna so intensely that in their regular activities: in sleeping, sitting, travelling, talking, sporting, cleansing and bathing, they were simply absorbed in thoughts of Krishna, and paid no attention to bodily necessities."*
22 Uddhava, whose wonderful glories are described in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, is the best of all the Yadavas.
23 Lord Krishna's words in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.15):
"O Uddhava, neither Brahma, Siva, Sankarsana, Laksmi nor I Myself am dear to Me as you."
24 (Lord Krishna also said to Uddhava in Shrimad-Bhagavatam 11.16.29): ("O Uddhava) among the devotees you are my representative."
25 Even from his own childhood, Uddhava was a great devotee of Lord Krishna.
26 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.2):
"Uddhava was one who even in his childhood, at the age of five years, was so absorbed in the service of Lord Krishna, that when he was called by his mother for morning breakfast, he did nor wish to have it."*
27 There also (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 3.4.31):
"Uddhava is not inferior to Me in any way because He is never affected by the modes of material nature."*
28 Here is the meaning of this verse, "Yad-gunaih" means "with Uddhava's qualities", "prabhuh" means "I, the Lord", and "n-arditah" means ""na requested", or the meaning may be "yat" means "because", "gunaih" means "by the modes of nature beginning with the mode of goodness", and "na arditah" means "not troubled". This means that Uddhava is beyond the modes of material nature. The reason is given in the word "prabhuh", which means "able to taste the nectar of devotional service.
29 The gopis of Vraja are more exalted even than Uddhava. Uddhava begs to attain the same sweetness of love (they bear for Lord Krishna),
30 In Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.58 (Uddhava said):
"Among all the living entities who have accepted the human form of life, the gopis are super excellently successful in their mission. Their thought is thoroughly absorbed in the lotus feet of Krishna. Great sages and saintly persons are also trying to be absorbed in meditation upon the lotus feet of Krishna, who is Mukunda Himself, the giver of liberation, but the gopis, have lovingly accepted the Lord, are automatically accustomed to this habit. They do not depend on any yogic practice . The conclusion is that one who has attained the gopis's condition of life does not have to take birth as Lord Brahma or be born in a brahmana family or be initiated as a brahmana."*
31 In Brhad-Vamana Purana, speaking to the sages headed by Bhrgu, Brahma said:
:Although I performed severe austerities for six thousand years to attain the dust from the Vraja-gopis' lotus feet, I was unable to attain it."
32 The sages headed by Bhrgu said:
"In this world are many devotees, among whom Narada is the first, the dust of whose feet persons like you may take. Still, you neglect them for the dust of the gopis feet. This fills me with doubt. What is the reason. O Lord, please tell."
33 Brahma said:
"My sons, the beautiful girls of Vraja are the best of women. Neither I, Lord Siva, Ananta Sesa, nor Laksmi-devi, are equal to them in any way.
34 In Adi Purana, Arjuna said (to Lord Krishna):
"In the three worlds, which devotees know You most intimately? With whom are You always pleased? To whom do You bear love without equal?
35 The Personality of Godhead replied:
"O king, neither Brahma, Siva, Laksmi nor My own self are as dear to Me as the gopis.
36 "How many devotees do I love in this world? Still, the gopis are more dear to Me than My own life-breath.
37 "O mighty Arjuna, neither the great sages, yogis, nor demigods headed by Siva understand Me as well as do the gopis of Vraja.
38 "Neither by austerities, Vedic study, saintly conduct, nor knowledge am I conquered. I am conquered only by love. The gopis are proof of that.
39 "The gopis understand My glories, service to Me, faith in Me, and meditation upon Me. O son of Prtha, others do not understand these things intimately.
40 "The gopis worship My body. O son of Prtha, no one else worships Me with more intimate love."
41 It is not surprising that Uddhava, who begged to take birth as a blade of grass sprinkled with the dust of their feet, yearned to attain the same sweetness of love they (bore for Lord Krishna).
42 (He says) in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.47.61):
"The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons, and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which one should search for by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers, or herbs in Vrndavana because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet."*
after serving Lord Krishna, the devotees of Krishna should serve the beautiful-eyebrowed girls of Vraja with offerings of prasadam-flowers and other offerings.
44 Shrimati Radharani is the best of all the gopis. Her superiority is described in the Puranas, Agamas, and other Vedic literatures.
45 In Padma Purana:
:Just as Shrimati Radharani is most dear to Shri Krishna, Her bathing place known as Radha-kunda is also dear to Him. Among all the gopis, Shrimati Radharani is supermost and very dear to Lord Krishna."*
46 Also in Adi Purana:
"O son of Prtha, in the three worlds the earth planet, where the town of Vrndavana is situated, is most fortunate. There the gopis stay. There My (beloved), who is named Radha, stays."