The Opulence of the Absolute



 - CHAPTER 10 -

The Opulence of the Absolute


TEXT 1

çré-bhagavän uväca

bhüya eva mahä-bäho

çåëu me paramaà vacaù

yat te ’haà préyamäëäya

vakñyämi hita-kämyayä

SYNONYMS

çré-bhagavän uväca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; bhüyaù—again; eva—certainly; mahä-bäho—O mighty-armed; çåëu—just hear; me—My;paramam—supreme; vacaù—instruction; yat—that which; te—to you; aham—I; préyamäëäya—thinking you dear to Me; vakñyämi—say; hita-kämyayä—for your benefit.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Listen again, O mighty-armed Arjuna. Because you are My dear friend, for your benefit I shall speak to you further, giving knowledge that is better than what I have already explained.

PURPORT

The word bhagavän is explained thus by Paräçara Muni: one who is full in six opulences, who has full strength, full fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty and renunciation, is Bhagavän, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. While Kåñëa was present on this earth, He displayed all six opulences. Therefore great sages like Paräçara Muni have all accepted Kåñëa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now Kåñëa is instructing Arjuna in more confidential knowledge of His opulences and His work. Previously, beginning with the Seventh Chapter, the Lord has already explained His different energies and how they are acting. Now in this chapter He explains His specific opulences to Arjuna. In the previous chapter He has clearly explained His different energies to establish devotion in firm conviction. Again in this chapter He tells Arjuna about His manifestations and various opulences.

The more one hears about the Supreme God, the more one becomes fixed in devotional service. One should always hear about the Lord in the association of devotees; that will enhance one’s devotional service. Discourses in the society of devotees can take place only among those who are really anxious to be in Kåñëa consciousness. Others cannot take part in such discourses. The Lord clearly tells Arjuna that because Arjuna is very dear to Him, for his benefit such discourses are taking place.

TEXT 2

na me viduù sura-gaëäù

prabhavaà na maharñayaù

aham ädir hi devänäà

maharñéëäà ca sarvaçaù

SYNONYMS

na—never; me—My; viduù—know; sura-gaëäù—the demigods; prabhavam—origin, opulences; na—never;mahä-åñayaù—great sages; aham—I am; ädiù—the origin; hi—certainly; devänäm—of the demigods; mahä-åñéëäm—of the great sages; ca—also;sarvaçaù—in all respects.

TRANSLATION

Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin or opulences, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and sages.

PURPORT

As stated in the Brahma-saàhitä, Lord Kåñëa is the Supreme Lord. No one is greater than Him; He is the cause of all causes. Here it is also stated by the Lord personally that He is the cause of all the demigods and sages. Even the demigods and great sages cannot understand Kåñëa; they can understand neither His name nor His personality, so what is the position of the so-called scholars of this tiny planet? No one can understand why this Supreme God comes to earth as an ordinary human being and executes such wonderful, uncommon activities. One should know, then, that scholarship is not the qualification necessary to understand Kåñëa. Even the demigods and the great sages have tried to understand Kåñëa by their mental speculation, and they have failed to do so. In theÇrémad-Bhägavatam also it is clearly said that even the great demigods are not able to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They can speculate to the limits of their imperfect senses and can reach the opposite conclusion of impersonalism, of something not manifested by the three qualities of material nature, or they can imagine something by mental speculation, but it is not possible to understand Kåñëa by such foolish speculation.

Here the Lord indirectly says that if anyone wants to know the Absolute Truth, “Here I am present as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I am the Supreme.” One should know this. Although one cannot understand the inconceivable Lord who is personally present, He nonetheless exists. We can actually understand Kåñëa, who is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, simply by studying His words inBhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam. The conception of God as some ruling power or as the impersonal Brahman can be reached by persons who are in the inferior energy of the Lord, but the Personality of Godhead cannot be conceived unless one is in the transcendental position.

Because most men cannot understand Kåñëa in His actual situation, out of His causeless mercy He descends to show favor to such speculators. Yet despite the Supreme Lord’s uncommon activities, these speculators, due to contamination in the material energy, still think that the impersonal Brahman is the Supreme. Only the devotees who are fully surrendered unto the Supreme Lord can understand, by the grace of the Supreme Personality, that He is Kåñëa. The devotees of the Lord do not bother about the impersonal Brahman conception of God; their faith and devotion bring them to surrender immediately unto the Supreme Lord, and out of the causeless mercy of Kåñëa they can understand Kåñëa. No one else can understand Him. So even great sages agree: What is ätmä, what is the Supreme? It is He whom we have to worship.

TEXT 3

yo mäm ajam anädià ca

vetti loka-maheçvaram

asammüòhaù sa martyeñu

sarva-päpaiù pramucyate

SYNONYMS

yaù—anyone who; mäm—Me; ajam—unborn;anädim—without beginning; ca—also; vetti—knows;loka—of the planets; mahä-éçvaram—the supreme master; asammüòhaù—undeluded; saù—he;martyeñu—among those subject to death; sarva-päpaiù—from all sinful reactions; pramucyate—is delivered.

TRANSLATION

He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds—he only, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins.

PURPORT

As stated in the Seventh Chapter (7.3), manuñyäëäà sahasreñu kaçcid yatati siddhaye: those who are trying to elevate themselves to the platform of spiritual realization are not ordinary men; they are superior to millions and millions of ordinary men who have no knowledge of spiritual realization. But out of those actually trying to understand their spiritual situation, one who can come to the understanding that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the proprietor of everything, the unborn, is the most successful spiritually realized person. In that stage only, when one has fully understood Kåñëa’s supreme position, can one be free completely from all sinful reactions.

Here the Lord is described by the word aja, meaning “unborn,” but He is distinct from the living entities who are described in the Second Chapter as aja. The Lord is different from the living entities who are taking birth and dying due to material attachment. The conditioned souls are changing their bodies, but His body is not changeable. Even when He comes to this material world, He comes as the same unborn; therefore in the Fourth Chapter it is said that the Lord, by His internal potency, is not under the inferior, material energy, but is always in the superior energy.

In this verse the words vetti loka-maheçvaramindicate that one should know that Lord Kåñëa is the supreme proprietor of the planetary systems of the universe. He was existing before the creation, and He is different from His creation. All the demigods were created within this material world, but as far as Kåñëa is concerned, it is said that He is not created; therefore Kåñëa is different even from the great demigods like Brahmä and Çiva. And because He is the creator of Brahmä, Çiva and all the other demigods, He is the Supreme Person of all planets.

Çré Kåñëa is therefore different from everything that is created, and anyone who knows Him as such immediately becomes liberated from all sinful reactions. One must be liberated from all sinful activities to be in the knowledge of the Supreme Lord. Only by devotional service can He be known and not by any other means, as stated in Bhagavad-gétä.

One should not try to understand Kåñëa as a human being. As stated previously, only a foolish person thinks Him to be a human being. This is again expressed here in a different way. A man who is not foolish, who is intelligent enough to understand the constitutional position of the Godhead, is always free from all sinful reactions.

If Kåñëa is known as the son of Devaké, then how can He be unborn? That is also explained in Çrémad-Bhägavatam: When He appeared before Devaké and Vasudeva, He was not born as an ordinary child; He appeared in His original form, and then He transformed Himself into an ordinary child.

Anything done under the direction of Kåñëa is transcendental. It cannot be contaminated by material reactions, which may be auspicious or inauspicious. The conception that there are things auspicious and inauspicious in the material world is more or less a mental concoction because there is nothing auspicious in the material world. Everything is inauspicious because the very material nature is inauspicious. We simply imagine it to be auspicious. Real auspiciousness depends on activities in Kåñëa consciousness in full devotion and service. Therefore if we at all want our activities to be auspicious, then we should work under the directions of the Supreme Lord. Such directions are given in authoritative scriptures such as Çrémad-Bhägavatam and Bhagavad-gétä, or from a bona fide spiritual master. Because the spiritual master is the representative of the Supreme Lord, his direction is directly the direction of the Supreme Lord. The spiritual master, saintly persons and scriptures direct in the same way. There is no contradiction in these three sources. All actions done under such direction are free from the reactions of pious or impious activities of this material world. The transcendental attitude of the devotee in the performance of activities is actually that of renunciation, and this is called sannyäsa. As stated in the first verse of the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä, one who acts as a matter of duty because he has been ordered to do so by the Supreme Lord, and who does not seek shelter in the fruits of his activities ( anäçritaù karma-phalam), is a true renouncer. Anyone acting under the direction of the Supreme Lord is actually a sannyäsé and a yogé,and not the man who has simply taken the dress of the sannyäsé, or a pseudo yogé.

TEXTS 4–5

buddhir jïänam asammohaù

kñamä satyaà damaù çamaù

sukhaà duùkhaà bhavo ’bhävo

bhayaà cäbhayam eva ca


ahiàsä samatä tuñöis

tapo dänaà yaço ’yaçaù

bhavanti bhävä bhütänäà

matta eva påthag-vidhäù

SYNONYMS

buddhiù—intelligence; jïänam—knowledge;asammohaù—freedom from doubt; kñamä—forgiveness; satyam—truthfulness; damaù—control of the senses; çamaù—control of the mind; sukham—happiness; duùkham—distress; bhavaù—birth;abhävaù—death; bhayam—fear; ca—also; abhayam—fearlessness; eva—also; ca—and; ahiàsä—nonviolence; samatä—equilibrium; tuñöiù—satisfaction; tapaù—penance; dänam—charity; yaçaù—fame; ayaçaù—infamy; bhavanti—come about;bhäväù—natures; bhütänäm—of living entities;mattaù—from Me; eva—certainly; påthak-vidhäù—variously arranged.

TRANSLATION

Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity,charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone.

PURPORT

The different qualities of living entities, be they good or bad, are all created by Kåñëa, and they are described here.

Intelligence refers to the power to analyze things in their proper perspective, and knowledge refers to understanding what is spirit and what is matter. Ordinary knowledge obtained by a university education pertains only to matter, and it is not accepted here as knowledge. Knowledge means knowing the distinction between spirit and matter. In modern education there is no knowledge about spirit; they are simply taking care of the material elements and bodily needs. Therefore academic knowledge is not complete.

Asammoha, freedom from doubt and delusion, can be achieved when one is not hesitant and when he understands the transcendental philosophy. Slowly but surely he becomes free from bewilderment. Nothing should be accepted blindly; everything should be accepted with care and with caution.Kñamä, tolerance and forgiveness, should be practiced; one should be tolerant and excuse the minor offenses of others. Satyam, truthfulness, means that facts should be presented as they are, for the benefit of others. Facts should not be misrepresented. According to social conventions, it is said that one can speak the truth only when it is palatable to others. But that is not truthfulness. The truth should be spoken in a straightforward way, so that others will understand actually what the facts are. If a man is a thief and if people are warned that he is a thief, that is truth. Although sometimes the truth is unpalatable, one should not refrain from speaking it. Truthfulness demands that the facts be presented as they are for the benefit of others. That is the definition of truth.

Control of the senses means that the senses should not be used for unnecessary personal enjoyment. There is no prohibition against meeting the proper needs of the senses, but unnecessary sense enjoyment is detrimental for spiritual advancement. Therefore the senses should be restrained from unnecessary use. Similarly, one should restrain the mind from unnecessary thoughts; that is called çama.One should not spend one’s time pondering over earning money. That is a misuse of the thinking power. The mind should be used to understand the prime necessity of human beings, and that should be presented authoritatively. The power of thought should be developed in association with persons who are authorities in the scriptures, saintly persons and spiritual masters and those whose thinking is highly developed. Sukham, pleasure or happiness, should always be in that which is favorable for the cultivation of the spiritual knowledge of Kåñëa consciousness. And similarly, that which is painful or which causes distress is that which is unfavorable for the cultivation of Kåñëa consciousness. Anything favorable for the development of Kåñëa consciousness should be accepted, and anything unfavorable should be rejected.

Bhava, birth, should be understood to refer to the body. As far as the soul is concerned, there is neither birth nor death; that we have discussed in the beginning of Bhagavad-gétä. Birth and death apply to one’s embodiment in the material world. Fear is due to worrying about the future. A person in Kåñëa consciousness has no fear because by his activities he is sure to go back to the spiritual sky, back home, back to Godhead. Therefore his future is very bright. Others, however, do not know what their future holds; they have no knowledge of what the next life holds. So they are therefore in constant anxiety. If we want to get free from anxiety, then the best course is to understand Kåñëa and be situated always in Kåñëa consciousness. In that way we will be free from all fear. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.2.37) it is stated, bhayaà dvitéyäbhiniveçataù syät: fear is caused by our absorption in the illusory energy. But those who are free from the illusory energy, those who are confident that they are not the material body, that they are spiritual parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who are therefore engaged in the transcendental service of the Supreme Godhead, have nothing to fear. Their future is very bright. This fear is a condition of persons who are not in Kåñëa consciousness. Abhayam,fearlessness, is possible only for one in Kåñëa consciousness.

Ahiàsä, nonviolence, means that one should not do anything which will put others into misery or confusion. Material activities that are promised by so many politicians, sociologists, philanthropists, etc., do not produce very good results because the politicians and philanthropists have no transcendental vision; they do not know what is actually beneficial for human society. Ahiàsä means that people should be trained in such a way that the full utilization of the human body can be achieved. The human body is meant for spiritual realization, so any movement or any commissions which do not further that end commit violence on the human body. That which furthers the future spiritual happiness of the people in general is called nonviolence.

Samatä, equanimity, refers to freedom from attachment and aversion. To be very much attached or to be very much detached is not the best. This material world should be accepted without attachment or aversion. That which is favorable for prosecuting Kåñëa consciousness should be accepted; that which is unfavorable should be rejected. That is called samatä, equanimity. A person in Kåñëa consciousness has nothing to reject and nothing to accept save in terms of its usefulness in the prosecution of Kåñëa consciousness.

Tuñöi, satisfaction, means that one should not be eager to gather more and more material goods by unnecessary activity. One should be satisfied with whatever is obtained by the grace of the Supreme Lord; that is called satisfaction. Tapas means austerity or penance. There are many rules and regulations in the Vedas which apply here, like rising early in the morning and taking a bath. Sometimes it is very troublesome to rise early in the morning, but whatever voluntary trouble one may suffer in this way is called penance. Similarly, there are prescriptions for fasting on certain days of the month. One may not be inclined to practice such fasting, but because of his determination to make advancement in the science of Kåñëa consciousness, he should accept such bodily troubles when they are recommended. However, one should not fast unnecessarily or against Vedic injunctions. One should not fast for some political purpose; that is described inBhagavad-gétä as fasting in ignorance, and anything done in ignorance or passion does not lead to spiritual advancement. Everything done in the mode of goodness does advance one, however, and fasting done in terms of the Vedic injunctions enriches one in spiritual knowledge.

As far as charity is concerned, one should give fifty percent of his earnings to some good cause. And what is a good cause? It is that which is conducted in terms of Kåñëa consciousness. That is not only a good cause, but the best cause. Because Kåñëa is good, His cause is also good. Thus charity should be given to a person who is engaged in Kåñëa consciousness. According to Vedic literature, it is enjoined that charity should be given to thebrähmaëas. This practice is still followed, although not very nicely in terms of the Vedic injunction. But still the injunction is that charity should be given to the brähmaëas. Why? Because they are engaged in higher cultivation of spiritual knowledge. A brähmaëa is supposed to devote his whole life to understanding Brahman. Brahma jänätéti brähmaëaù: one who knows Brahman is called a brähmaëa. Thus charity is offered to the brähmaëas because they are always engaged in higher spiritual service and have no time to earn their livelihood. In the Vedic literature, charity is also to be awarded to one in the renounced order of life, thesannyäsé. The sannyäsés beg from door to door, not for money but for missionary purposes. The system is that they go from door to door to awaken the householders from the slumber of ignorance. Because the householders are engaged in family affairs and have forgotten their actual purpose in life—awakening their Kåñëa consciousness—it is the business of the sannyäsés to go as beggars to the householders and encourage them to be Kåñëa conscious. As it is said in the Vedas, one should awake and achieve what is due him in this human form of life. This knowledge and method is distributed by the sannyäsés; hence charity is to be given to the renouncer of life, to the brähmaëas, and similar good causes, not to any whimsical cause.

Yaças, fame, should be according to Lord Caitanya, who said that a man is famous when he is known as a great devotee. That is real fame. If one has become a great man in Kåñëa consciousness and it is known, then he is truly famous. One who does not have such fame is infamous.

All these qualities are manifest throughout the universe in human society and in the society of the demigods. There are many forms of humanity on other planets, and these qualities are there. Now, for one who wants to advance in Kåñëa consciousness, Kåñëa creates all these qualities, but the person develops them himself from within. One who engages in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord develops all the good qualities, as arranged by the Supreme Lord.

Of whatever we find, good or bad, the origin is Kåñëa. Nothing can manifest itself in this material world which is not in Kåñëa. That is knowledge; although we know that things are differently situated, we should realize that everything flows from Kåñëa.

TEXT 6

maharñayaù sapta pürve

catväro manavas tathä

mad-bhävä mänasä jätä

yeñäà loka imäù prajäù

SYNONYMS

mahä-åñayaù—the great sages; sapta—seven; pürve—before; catväraù—four; manavaù—Manus; tathä—also; mat-bhäväù—born of Me; mänasäù—from the mind; jätäù—born; yeñäm—of them; loke—in the world; imäù—all this; prajäù—population.

TRANSLATION

The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the Manus [progenitors of mankind] come from Me, born from My mind, and all the living beings populating the various planets descend from them.

PURPORT

The Lord is giving a genealogical synopsis of the universal population. Brahmä is the original creature born out of the energy of the Supreme Lord, who is known as Hiraëyagarbha. And from Brahmä all the seven great sages, and before them four other great sages, named Sanaka, Sananda, Sanätana and Sanat-kumära, and the Manus, are manifested. All these twenty-five great sages are known as the patriarchs of the living entities all over the universe. There are innumerable universes and innumerable planets within each universe, and each planet is full of population of different varieties. All of them are born of these twenty-five patriarchs. Brahmä underwent penance for one thousand years of the demigods before he realized by the grace of Kåñëa how to create. Then from Brahmä came Sanaka, Sananda, Sanätana and Sanat-kumära, then Rudra, and then the seven sages, and in this way all the brähmaëas and kñatriyas are born out of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmä is known as Pitämaha, the grandfather, and Kåñëa is known as Prapitämaha, the father of the grandfather. That is stated in the Eleventh Chapter of the Bhagavad-gétä (11.39).

TEXT 7

etäà vibhütià yogaà ca

mama yo vetti tattvataù

so ’vikalpena yogena

yujyate nätra saàçayaù

SYNONYMS

etäm—all this; vibhütim—opulence; yogam—mystic power; ca—also; mama—of Mine; yaù—anyone who;vetti—knows; tattvataù—factually; saù—he;avikalpena—without division; yogena—in devotional service; yujyate—is engaged; na—never; atra—here;saàçayaù—doubt.

TRANSLATION

One who is factually convinced of this opulence and mystic power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.

PURPORT

The highest summit of spiritual perfection is knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless one is firmly convinced of the different opulences of the Supreme Lord, he cannot engage in devotional service. Generally people know that God is great, but they do not know in detail how God is great. Here are the details. If one knows factually how God is great, then naturally he becomes a surrendered soul and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord. When one factually knows the opulences of the Supreme, there is no alternative but to surrender to Him. This factual knowledge can be known from the descriptions in Çrémad-Bhägavatam and Bhagavad-gétä and similar literatures.

In the administration of this universe there are many demigods distributed throughout the planetary system, and the chief of them are Brahmä, Lord Çiva and the four great Kumäras and the other patriarchs. There are many forefathers of the population of the universe, and all of them are born of the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa, is the original forefather of all forefathers.

These are some of the opulences of the Supreme Lord. When one is firmly convinced of them, he accepts Kåñëa with great faith and without any doubt, and he engages in devotional service. All this particular knowledge is required in order to increase one’s interest in the loving devotional service of the Lord. One should not neglect to understand fully how great Kåñëa is, for by knowing the greatness of Kåñëa one will be able to be fixed in sincere devotional service.

TEXT 8

ahaà sarvasya prabhavo

mattaù sarvaà pravartate

iti matvä bhajante mäà

budhä bhäva-samanvitäù

SYNONYMS

aham—I; sarvasya—of all; prabhavaù—the source of generation; mattaù—from Me; sarvam—everything;pravartate—emanates; iti—thus; matvä—knowing;bhajante—become devoted; mäm—unto Me; budhäù—the learned; bhäva-samanvitäù—with great attention.

TRANSLATION

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

PURPORT

A learned scholar who has studied the Vedasperfectly and has information from authorities like Lord Caitanya and who knows how to apply these teachings can understand that Kåñëa is the origin of everything in both the material and spiritual worlds, and because he knows this perfectly he becomes firmly fixed in the devotional service of the Supreme Lord. He can never be deviated by any amount of nonsensical commentaries or by fools. All Vedic literature agrees that Kåñëa is the source of Brahmä, Çiva and all other demigods. In the Atharva Veda(Gopäla-täpané Upaniñad 1.24) it is said, yobrahmäëaà vidadhäti pürvaà yo vai vedäàç ca gäpayati sma kåñëaù: “It was Kåñëa who in the beginning instructed Brahmä in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past.” Then again the Näräyaëa Upaniñad (1) says, atha puruño ha vai näräyaëo ’kämayata prajäù såjeyeti:“Then the Supreme Personality Näräyaëa desired to create living entities.” The Upaniñad continues,näräyaëäd brahmä jäyate, näräyaëäd prajäpatiù prajäyate, näräyaëäd indro jäyate, näräyaëäd añöau vasavo jäyante, näräyaëäd ekädaça rudrä jäyante, näräyaëäd dvädaçädityäù: “From Näräyaëa, Brahmä is born, and from Näräyaëa the patriarchs are also born. From Näräyaëa, Indra is born, from Näräyaëa the eight Vasus are born, from Näräyaëa the eleven Rudras are born, from Näräyaëa the twelve Ädityas are born.” This Näräyaëa is an expansion of Kåñëa.

It is said in the same Vedas, brahmaëyo devaké-putraù: “The son of Devaké, Kåñëa, is the Supreme Personality.” (Näräyaëa Upaniñad 4) Then it is said,eko vai näräyaëa äsén na brahmä na éçäno näpo nägni-samau neme dyäv-äpåthivé na nakñaträëi na süryaù: “In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Näräyaëa. There was no Brahmä, no Çiva, no water, no fire, no moon, no stars in the sky, no sun.” (Mahä Upaniñad 1) In the Mahä Upaniñad it is also said that Lord Çiva was born from the forehead of the Supreme Lord. Thus the Vedas say that it is the Supreme Lord, the creator of Brahmä and Çiva, who is to be worshiped.

In the Mokña-dharma Kåñëa also says,

prajäpatià ca rudraà cäpy

aham eva såjämi vai

tau hi mäà na vijänéto

mama mäyä-vimohitau

“The patriarchs, Çiva and others are created by Me, though they do not know that they are created by Me because they are deluded by My illusory energy.” In the Varäha Puräëa it is also said,

näräyaëaù paro devas

tasmäj jätaç caturmukhaù

tasmäd rudro ’bhavad devaù

sa ca sarva-jïatäà gataù

“Näräyaëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him Brahmä was born, from whom Çiva was born.”

Lord Kåñëa is the source of all generations, and He is called the most efficient cause of everything. He says, “Because everything is born of Me, I am the original source of all. Everything is under Me; no one is above Me.” There is no supreme controller other than Kåñëa. One who understands Kåñëa in such a way from a bona fide spiritual master, with references from Vedic literature, engages all his energy in Kåñëa consciousness and becomes a truly learned man. In comparison to him, all others, who do not know Kåñëa properly, are but fools. Only a fool would consider Kåñëa to be an ordinary man. A Kåñëa conscious person should not be bewildered by fools; he should avoid all unauthorized commentaries and interpretations on Bhagavad-gétä and proceed in Kåñëa consciousness with determination and firmness.

TEXT 9

mac-cittä mad-gata-präëä

bodhayantaù parasparam

kathayantaç ca mäà nityaà

tuñyanti ca ramanti ca

SYNONYMS

mat-cittäù—their minds fully engaged in Me; mat-gata-präëäù—their lives devoted to Me; bodhayantaù—preaching; parasparam—among themselves; kathayantaù—talking; ca—also; mäm—about Me;nityam—perpetually; tuñyanti—become pleased; ca—also; ramanti—enjoy transcendental bliss; ca—also.

TRANSLATION

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

PURPORT

Pure devotees, whose characteristics are mentioned here, engage themselves fully in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Their minds cannot be diverted from the lotus feet of Kåñëa. Their talks are solely on the transcendental subjects. The symptoms of the pure devotees are described in this verse specifically. Devotees of the Supreme Lord are twenty-four hours daily engaged in glorifying the qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Lord. Their hearts and souls are constantly submerged in Kåñëa, and they take pleasure in discussing Him with other devotees.

In the preliminary stage of devotional service they relish the transcendental pleasure from the service itself, and in the mature stage they are actually situated in love of God. Once situated in that transcendental position, they can relish the highest perfection which is exhibited by the Lord in His abode. Lord Caitanya likens transcendental devotional service to the sowing of a seed in the heart of the living entity. There are innumerable living entities traveling throughout the different planets of the universe, and out of them there are a few who are fortunate enough to meet a pure devotee and get the chance to understand devotional service. This devotional service is just like a seed, and if it is sown in the heart of a living entity, and if he goes on hearing and chanting Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare, that seed fructifies, just as the seed of a tree fructifies with regular watering. The spiritual plant of devotional service gradually grows and grows until it penetrates the covering of the material universe and enters into the brahmajyoti effulgence in the spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky also that plant grows more and more until it reaches the highest planet, which is called Goloka Våndävana, the supreme planet of Kåñëa. Ultimately, the plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of Kåñëa and rests there. Gradually, as a plant grows fruits and flowers, that plant of devotional service also produces fruits, and the watering process in the form of chanting and hearing goes on. This plant of devotional service is fully described in the Caitanya-caritämåta ( Madhya-lélä,Chapter Nineteen). It is explained there that when the complete plant takes shelter under the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, one becomes fully absorbed in love of God; then he cannot live even for a moment without being in contact with the Supreme Lord, just as a fish cannot live without water. In such a state, the devotee actually attains the transcendental qualities in contact with the Supreme Lord.

The Çrémad-Bhägavatam is also full of such narrations about the relationship between the Supreme Lord and His devotees; therefore the Çrémad-Bhägavatam is very dear to the devotees, as stated in the Bhägavatam itself (12.13.18). Çrémad-bhägavataà puräëam amalaà yad vaiñëavänäà priyam. In this narration there is nothing about material activities, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. Çrémad-Bhägavatam is the only narration in which the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord and His devotees is fully described. Thus the realized souls in Kåñëa consciousness take continual pleasure in hearing such transcendental literatures, just as a young boy and girl take pleasure in association.

TEXT 10

teñäà satata-yuktänäà

bhajatäà préti-pürvakam

dadämi buddhi-yogaà taà

yena mäm upayänti te

SYNONYMS

teñäm—unto them; satata-yuktänäm—always engaged; bhajatäm—in rendering devotional service;préti-pürvakam—in loving ecstasy; dadämi—I give;buddhi-yogam—real intelligence; tam—that; yena—by which; mäm—unto Me; upayänti—come; te—they.

TRANSLATION

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

PURPORT

In this verse the word buddhi-yogam is very significant. We may remember that in the Second Chapter the Lord, instructing Arjuna, said that He had spoken to him of many things and that He would instruct him in the way of buddhi-yoga. Now buddhi-yoga is explained. Buddhi-yoga itself is action in Kåñëa consciousness; that is the highest intelligence. Buddhi means intelligence, and yoga means mystic activities or mystic elevation. When one tries to go back home, back to Godhead, and takes fully to Kåñëa consciousness in devotional service, his action is called buddhi yoga. In other words, buddhi-yoga is the process by which one gets out of the entanglement of this material world. The ultimate goal of progress is Kåñëa. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Kåñëa, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.

When a person knows the goal of life but is addicted to the fruits of activities, he is acting in karma-yoga.When he knows that the goal is Kåñëa but he takes pleasure in mental speculations to understand Kåñëa, he is acting in jïäna-yoga. And when he knows the goal and seeks Kåñëa completely in Kåñëa consciousness and devotional service, he is acting inbhakti-yoga, or buddhi-yoga, which is the completeyoga. This complete yoga is the highest perfectional stage of life.

A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Kåñëa from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Kåñëa consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Kåñëa, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is not intelligent enough to make progress on the path of self-realization but is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.

TEXT 11

teñäm evänukampärtham

aham ajïäna-jaà tamaù

näçayämy ätma-bhäva-stho

jïäna-dépena bhäsvatä

SYNONYMS

teñäm—for them; eva—certainly; anukampä-artham—to show special mercy; aham—I; ajïäna-jam—due to ignorance; tamaù—darkness; näçayämi—dispel; ätma-bhäva—within their hearts; sthaù—situated;jïäna—of knowledge; dépena—with the lamp;bhäsvatä—glowing.

TRANSLATION

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

PURPORT

When Lord Caitanya was in Benares promulgating the chanting of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare, thousands of people were following Him. Prakäçänanda Sarasvaté, a very influential and learned scholar in Benares at that time, derided Lord Caitanya for being a sentimentalist. Sometimes philosophers criticize the devotees because they think that most of the devotees are in the darkness of ignorance and are philosophically naive sentimentalists. Actually that is not the fact. There are very, very learned scholars who have put forward the philosophy of devotion. But even if a devotee does not take advantage of their literatures or of his spiritual master, if he is sincere in his devotional service he is helped by Kåñëa Himself within his heart. So the sincere devotee engaged in Kåñëa consciousness cannot be without knowledge. The only qualification is that one carry out devotional service in full Kåñëa consciousness.

The modern philosophers think that without discriminating one cannot have pure knowledge. For them this answer is given by the Supreme Lord: those who are engaged in pure devotional service, even though they be without sufficient education and even without sufficient knowledge of the Vedic principles, are still helped by the Supreme God, as stated in this verse.

The Lord tells Arjuna that basically there is no possibility of understanding the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, simply by speculating, for the Supreme Truth is so great that it is not possible to understand Him or to achieve Him simply by making a mental effort. Man can go on speculating for several millions of years, and if he is not devoted, if he is not a lover of the Supreme Truth, he will never understand Kåñëa, or the Supreme Truth. Only by devotional service is the Supreme Truth, Kåñëa, pleased, and by His inconceivable energy He can reveal Himself to the heart of the pure devotee. The pure devotee always has Kåñëa within his heart; and with the presence of Kåñëa, who is just like the sun, the darkness of ignorance is at once dissipated. This is the special mercy rendered to the pure devotee by Kåñëa.

Due to the contamination of material association, through many, many millions of births, one’s heart is always covered with the dust of materialism, but when one engages in devotional service and constantly chants Hare Kåñëa, the dust quickly clears, and one is elevated to the platform of pure knowledge. The ultimate goal, Viñëu, can be attained only by this chant and by devotional service, and not by mental speculation or argument. The pure devotee does not have to worry about the material necessities of life; he need not be anxious, because when he removes the darkness from his heart, everything is provided automatically by the Supreme Lord, who is pleased by the loving devotional service of the devotee. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gétä. By studying Bhagavad-gétä, one can become a soul completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord and engage himself in pure devotional service. As the Lord takes charge, one becomes completely free from all kinds of materialistic endeavors.

TEXTS 12–13

arjuna uväca

paraà brahma paraà dhäma

pavitraà paramaà bhavän

puruñaà çäçvataà divyam

ädi-devam ajaà vibhum


ähus tväm åñayaù sarve

devarñir näradas tathä

asito devalo vyäsaù

svayaà caiva bravéñi me

SYNONYMS

arjunaù uväca—Arjuna said; param—supreme;brahma—truth; param—supreme; dhäma—sustenance; pavitram—pure; paramam—supreme; bhavän—You; puruñam—personality; çäçvatam—original; divyam—transcendental; ädi-devam—the original Lord; ajam—unborn; vibhum—greatest; ähuù—say; tväm—of You; åñayaù—sages; sarve—all; deva-åñiù—the sage among the demigods; näradaù—Närada; tathä—also; asitaù—Asita; devalaù—Devala; vyäsaù—Vyäsa; svayam—personally; ca—also; eva—certainly; bravéñé—You are explaining; me—unto me.

TRANSLATION

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Närada, Asita, Devala and Vyäsa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.

PURPORT

In these two verses the Supreme Lord gives a chance to the modern philosopher, for here it is clear that the Supreme is different from the individual soul. Arjuna, after hearing the essential four verses of Bhagavad-gétä [BG. 10.8-11] in this chapter, became completely free from all doubts and accepted Kåñëa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He at once boldly declares, “You are paraà brahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” And previously Kåñëa stated that He is the originator of everything and everyone. Every demigod and every human being is dependent on Him. Men and demigods, out of ignorance, think that they are absolute and independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That ignorance is removed perfectly by the discharge of devotional service. This has already been explained in the previous verse by the Lord. Now, by His grace, Arjuna is accepting Him as the Supreme Truth, in concordance with the Vedic injunction. It is not that because Kåñëa is Arjuna’s intimate friend Arjuna is flattering Him by calling Him the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth. Whatever Arjuna says in these two verses is confirmed by Vedic truth. Vedic injunctions affirm that only one who takes to devotional service to the Supreme Lord can understand Him, whereas others cannot. Each and every word of this verse spoken by Arjuna is confirmed by Vedic injunction.

In the Kena Upaniñad it is stated that the Supreme Brahman is the rest for everything, and Kåñëa has already explained that everything is resting on Him. The Muëòaka Upaniñad confirms that the Supreme Lord, in whom everything is resting, can be realized only by those who engage constantly in thinking of Him. This constant thinking of Kåñëa is smaraëam,one of the methods of devotional service. It is only by devotional service to Kåñëa that one can understand his position and get rid of this material body.

In the Vedas the Supreme Lord is accepted as the purest of the pure. One who understands that Kåñëa is the purest of the pure can become purified from all sinful activities. One cannot be disinfected from sinful activities unless he surrenders unto the Supreme Lord. Arjuna’s acceptance of Kåñëa as the supreme pure complies with the injunctions of Vedic literature. This is also confirmed by great personalities, of whom Närada is the chief.

Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and one should always meditate upon Him and enjoy one’s transcendental relationship with Him. He is the supreme existence. He is free from bodily needs, birth and death. Not only does Arjuna confirm this, but all the Vedic literatures, the Puräëas and histories. In all Vedic literatures Kåñëa is thus described, and the Supreme Lord Himself also says in the Fourth Chapter, “Although I am unborn, I appear on this earth to establish religious principles.” He is the supreme origin; He has no cause, for He is the cause of all causes, and everything is emanating from Him. This perfect knowledge can be had by the grace of the Supreme Lord.

Here Arjuna expresses himself through the grace of Kåñëa. If we want to understand Bhagavad-gétä, we should accept the statements in these two verses. This is called the paramparä system, acceptance of the disciplic succession. Unless one is in the disciplic succession, he cannot understand Bhagavad-gétä. It is not possible by so-called academic education. Unfortunately those proud of their academic education, despite so much evidence in Vedic literatures, stick to their obstinate conviction that Kåñëa is an ordinary person.

TEXT 14

sarvam etad åtaà manye

yan mäà vadasi keçava

na hi te bhagavan vyaktià

vidur devä na dänaväù

SYNONYMS

sarvam—all; etat—this; åtam—truth; manye—I accept; yat—which; mäm—unto me; vadasi—You tell;keçava—O Kåñëa; na—never; hi—certainly; te—Your; bhagavan—O Personality of Godhead;vyaktim—revelation; viduù—can know; deväù—the demigods; na—nor; dänaväù—the demons.

TRANSLATION

O Kåñëa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the demigods nor the demons, O Lord, can understand Your personality.

PURPORT

Arjuna herein confirms that persons of faithless and demonic nature cannot understand Kåñëa. He is not known even by the demigods, so what to speak of the so-called scholars of this modern world? By the grace of the Supreme Lord, Arjuna has understood that the Supreme Truth is Kåñëa and that He is the perfect one. One should therefore follow the path of Arjuna. He received the authority of Bhagavad-gétä.As described in the Fourth Chapter, the paramparäsystem of disciplic succession for the understanding of Bhagavad-gétä was lost, and therefore Kåñëa reestablished that disciplic succession with Arjuna because He considered Arjuna His intimate friend and a great devotee. Therefore, as stated in our Introduction to Gétopaniñad, Bhagavad-gétä should be understood in the paramparä system. When the paramparä system was lost, Arjuna was selected to rejuvenate it. The acceptance by Arjuna of all that Kåñëa says should be emulated; then we can understand the essence of Bhagavad-gétä, and then only can we understand that Kåñëa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TEXT 15

svayam evätmanätmänaà

vettha tvaà puruñottama

bhüta-bhävana bhüteça

deva-deva jagat-pate

SYNONYMS

svayam—personally; eva—certainly; ätmanä—by Yourself; ätmänam—Yourself; vettha—know; tvam—You; puruña-uttama—O greatest of all persons;bhüta-bhävana—O origin of everything; bhüta-éça—O Lord of everything; deva-deva—O Lord of all demigods; jagat-pate—O Lord of the entire universe.

TRANSLATION

Indeed, You alone know Yourself by Your own internal potency, O Supreme Person, origin of all, Lord of all beings, God of gods, Lord of the universe!

PURPORT

The Supreme Lord, Kåñëa, can be known by persons who are in a relationship with Him through the discharge of devotional service, like Arjuna and his followers. Persons of demonic or atheistic mentality cannot know Kåñëa. Mental speculation that leads one away from the Supreme Lord is a serious sin, and one who does not know Kåñëa should not try to comment on Bhagavad-gétä. Bhagavad-gétä is the statement of Kåñëa, and since it is the science of Kåñëa, it should be understood from Kåñëa as Arjuna understood it. It should not be received from atheistic persons.

As stated in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.2.11):

vadanti tat tattva-vidas

tattvaà yaj jïänam advayam

brahmeti paramätmeti

bhagavän iti çabdyate

The Supreme Truth is realized in three aspects: as impersonal Brahman, localized Paramätmä and at last as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So at the last stage of understanding the Absolute Truth, one comes to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A common man or even a liberated man who has realized impersonal Brahman or localized Paramätmä may not understand God’s personality. Such men, therefore, may endeavor to understand the Supreme Person from the verses of Bhagavad-gétä, which are being spoken by this person, Kåñëa. Sometimes the impersonalists accept Kåñëa as Bhagavän, or they accept His authority. Yet many liberated persons cannot understand Kåñëa as Puruñottama, the Supreme Person. Therefore Arjuna addresses Him as Puruñottama. Yet one still may not understand that Kåñëa is the father of all living entities. Therefore Arjuna addresses Him as Bhüta-bhävana. And if one comes to know Him as the father of all the living entities, still one may not know Him as the supreme controller; therefore He is addressed here as Bhüteça, the supreme controller of everyone. And even if one knows Kåñëa as the supreme controller of all living entities, still one may not know that He is the origin of all the demigods; therefore He is addressed herein as Devadeva, the worshipful God of all demigods. And even if one knows Him as the worshipful God of all demigods, one may not know that He is the supreme proprietor of everything; therefore He is addressed as Jagatpati. Thus the truth about Kåñëa is established in this verse by the realization of Arjuna, and we should follow in the footsteps of Arjuna to understand Kåñëa as He is.

TEXT 16

vaktum arhasy açeñeëa

divyä hy ätma-vibhütayaù

yäbhir vibhütibhir lokän

imäàs tvaà vyäpya tiñöhasi

SYNONYMS

vaktum—to say; arhasi—You deserve; açeñeëa—in detail; divyäù—divine; hi—certainly; ätma—Your own;vibhütayaù—opulences; yäbhiù—by which; vibhütibhiù—opulences; lokän—all the planets; imän—these; tvam—You; vyäpya—pervading; tiñöhasi—remain.

TRANSLATION

Please tell me in detail of Your divine opulences by which You pervade all these worlds.

PURPORT

In this verse it appears that Arjuna is already satisfied with his understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa. By Kåñëa’s grace, Arjuna has personal experience, intelligence and knowledge and whatever else a person may have through all these agencies, and he has understood Kåñëa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For him there is no doubt, yet he is asking Kåñëa to explain His all-pervading nature. People in general and the impersonalists in particular concern themselves mainly with the all-pervading nature of the Supreme. So Arjuna is asking Kåñëa how He exists in His all-pervading aspect through His different energies. One should know that this is being asked by Arjuna on behalf of the common people.

TEXT 17

kathaà vidyäm ahaà yogiàs

tväà sadä paricintayan

keñu keñu ca bhäveñu

cintyo ’si bhagavan mayä

SYNONYMS

katham—how; vidyäm aham—shall I know; yogin—O supreme mystic; tväm—You; sadä—always; paricintayan—thinking of;keñu—in which; keñu—in which; ca—also; bhäveñu—natures; cintyaù asi—You are to be remembered;bhagavan—O Supreme; mayä—by me.

TRANSLATION

O Kåñëa, O supreme mystic, how shall I constantly think of You, and how shall I know You? In what various forms are You to be remembered, O Supreme Personality of Godhead?

PURPORT

As it is stated in the previous chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is covered by His yoga-mäyä.Only surrendered souls and devotees can see Him. Now Arjuna is convinced that His friend, Kåñëa, is the Supreme Godhead, but he wants to know the general process by which the all-pervading Lord can be understood by the common man. Common men, including the demons and atheists, cannot know Kåñëa, because He is guarded by His yoga-mäyäenergy. Again, these questions are asked by Arjuna for their benefit. The superior devotee is concerned not only for his own understanding but for the understanding of all mankind. So Arjuna, out of his mercy, because he is a Vaiñëava, a devotee, is opening for the common man the understanding of the all-pervasiveness of the Supreme Lord. He addresses Kåñëa specifically as yogin because Çré Kåñëa is the master of the yoga-mäyä energy, by which He is covered and uncovered to the common man. The common man who has no love for Kåñëa cannot always think of Kåñëa; therefore he has to think materially. Arjuna is considering the mode of thinking of the materialistic persons of this world. The words keñu keñu ca bhäveñu refer to material nature (the word bhäva means “physical things”). Because materialists cannot understand Kåñëa spiritually, they are advised to concentrate the mind on physical things and try to see how Kåñëa is manifested by physical representations.

TEXT 18

vistareëätmano yogaà

vibhütià ca janärdana

bhüyaù kathaya tåptir hi

çåëvato nästi me ’måtam

SYNONYMS

vistareëa—in detail; ätmanaù—Your; yogam—mystic power; vibhütim—opulences; ca—also; jana-ardana—O killer of the atheists; bhüyaù—again; kathaya—describe; tåptiù—satisfaction; hi—certainly; çåëvataù—hearing; na asti—there is not; me—my; amåtam—nectar.

TRANSLATION

O Janärdana, again please describe in detail the mystic power of Your opulences. I am never satiated in hearing about You, for the more I hear the more I want to taste the nectar of Your words.

PURPORT

A similar statement was made to Süta Gosvämé by the åñis of Naimiñäraëya, headed by Çaunaka. That statement is:

vayaà tu na vitåpyäma

uttama-çloka-vikrame

yac chåëvatäà rasa-jïänäà

svädu svädu pade pade

“One can never be satiated even though one continuously hears the transcendental pastimes of Kåñëa, who is glorified by excellent prayers. Those who have entered into a transcendental relationship with Kåñëa relish at every step the descriptions of the pastimes of the Lord.” (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.1.19) Thus Arjuna is interested in hearing about Kåñëa, and specifically how He remains as the all-pervading Supreme Lord.

Now as far as amåtam, nectar, is concerned, any narration or statement concerning Kåñëa is just like nectar. And this nectar can be perceived by practical experience. Modern stories, fiction and histories are different from the transcendental pastimes of the Lord in that one will tire of hearing mundane stories but one never tires of hearing about Kåñëa. It is for this reason only that the history of the whole universe is replete with references to the pastimes of the incarnations of Godhead. The Puräëas are histories of bygone ages that relate the pastimes of the various incarnations of the Lord. In this way the reading matter remains forever fresh, despite repeated readings.

TEXT 19

çré-bhagavän uväca

hanta te kathayiñyämi

divyä hy ätma-vibhütayaù

prädhänyataù kuru-çreñöha

nästy anto vistarasya me

SYNONYMS

çré-bhagavän uväca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; hanta—yes; te—unto you;kathayiñyämi—I shall speak; divyäù—divine; hi—certainly; ätma-vibhütayaù—personal opulences;prädhänyataù—which are principal; kuru-çreñöha—O best of the Kurus; na asti—there is not; antaù—limit; vistarasya—to the extent; me—My.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Yes, I will tell you of My splendorous manifestations, but only of those which are prominent, O Arjuna,for My opulence is limitless.

PURPORT

It is not possible to comprehend the greatness of Kåñëa and His opulences. The senses of the individual soul are limited and do not permit him to understand the totality of Kåñëa’s affairs. Still the devotees try to understand Kåñëa, but not on the principle that they will be able to understand Kåñëa fully at any specific time or in any state of life. Rather, the very topics of Kåñëa are so relishable that they appear to the devotees as nectar. Thus the devotees enjoy them. In discussing Kåñëa’s opulences and His diverse energies, the pure devotees take transcendental pleasure. Therefore they want to hear and discuss them. Kåñëa knows that living entities do not understand the extent of His opulences; He therefore agrees to state only the principal manifestations of His different energies. The word prädhänyataù (“principal”) is very important because we can understand only a few of the principal details of the Supreme Lord, for His features are unlimited. It is not possible to understand them all. And vibhüti, as used in this verse, refers to the opulences by which He controls the whole manifestation. In the Amara-koça dictionary it is stated that vibhüti indicates an exceptional opulence.

The impersonalist or pantheist cannot understand the exceptional opulences of the Supreme Lord nor the manifestations of His divine energies. Both in the material world and in the spiritual world His energies are distributed in every variety of manifestation. Now Kåñëa is describing what can be directly perceived by the common man; thus part of His variegated energy is described in this way.

TEXT 20

aham ätmä guòäkeça

sarva-bhütäçaya-sthitaù

aham ädiç ca madhyaà ca

bhütänäm anta eva ca

SYNONYMS

aham—I; ätmä—the soul; guòäkeça—O Arjuna;sarva-bhüta—of all living entities; äçaya-sthitaù—situated within the heart; aham—I am; ädiù—the origin; ca—also; madhyam—middle; ca—also;bhütänäm—of all living entities; antaù—end; eva—certainly; ca—and.

TRANSLATION

I am the Supersoul, O Arjuna, seated in the hearts of all living entities. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

PURPORT

In this verse Arjuna is addressed as Guòäkeça, which means “one who has conquered the darkness of sleep.” For those who are sleeping in the darkness of ignorance, it is not possible to understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests Himself in various ways in the material and spiritual worlds. Thus this address by Kåñëa to Arjuna is significant. Because Arjuna is above such darkness, the Personality of Godhead agrees to describe His various opulences.

Kåñëa first informs Arjuna that He is the soul of the entire cosmic manifestation by dint of His primary expansion. Before the material creation, the Supreme Lord, by His plenary expansion, accepts the puruñaincarnations, and from Him everything begins. Therefore He is ätmä, the soul of the mahat-tattva,the universal elements. The total material energy is not the cause of the creation; actually the Mahä-Viñëu enters into the mahat-tattva, the total material energy. He is the soul. When Mahä-Viñëu enters into the manifested universes, He again manifests Himself as the Supersoul in each and every entity. We have experience that the personal body of the living entity exists due to the presence of the spiritual spark. Without the existence of the spiritual spark, the body cannot develop. Similarly, the material manifestation cannot develop unless the Supreme Soul, Kåñëa, enters. As stated in the Subala Upaniñad, prakåty-ädi-sarva-bhütäntar-yämé sarva-çeñé ca näräyaëaù: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead is existing as the Supersoul in all manifested universes.”

The three puruña-avatäras are described in Çrémad-Bhägavatam. They are also described in the Sätvata-tantra. Viñëos tu tréëi rüpäëi puruñäkhyäny athoviduù: the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests three features—as Käraëodakaçäyé Viñëu, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu and Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu—in this material manifestation. The Mahä-Viñëu, or Käraëodakaçäyé Viñëu, is described in the Brahma-saàhitä (5.47). Yaù käraëärëava-jale bhajati smayoga-nidräm: the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa, the cause of all causes, lies down in the cosmic ocean as Mahä-Viñëu. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the beginning of this universe, the maintainer of the universal manifestations, and the end of all energy.

TEXT 21

ädityänäm ahaà viñëur

jyotiñäà ravir aàçumän

marécir marutäm asmi

nakñaträëäm ahaà çaçé

SYNONYMS

ädityänäm—of the Ädityas; aham—I am; viñëuù—the Supreme Lord; jyotiñäm—of all luminaries; raviù—the sun; aàçu-män—radiant; maréciù—Maréci; marutäm—of the Maruts; asmi—I am; nakñaträëäm—of the stars; aham—I am; çaçé—the moon.

TRANSLATION

Of the Ädityas I am Viñëu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Maréci, and among the stars I am the moon.

PURPORT

There are twelve Ädityas, of which Kåñëa is the principal. Among all the luminaries twinkling in the sky, the sun is the chief, and in the Brahma-saàhitäthe sun is accepted as the glowing eye of the Supreme Lord. There are fifty varieties of wind blowing in space, and of these winds the controlling deity, Maréci, represents Kåñëa.

Among the stars, the moon is the most prominent at night, and thus the moon represents Kåñëa. It appears from this verse that the moon is one of the stars; therefore the stars that twinkle in the sky also reflect the light of the sun. The theory that there are many suns within the universe is not accepted by Vedic literature. The sun is one, and as by the reflection of the sun the moon illuminates, so also do the stars. Since Bhagavad-gétä indicates herein that the moon is one of the stars, the twinkling stars are not suns but are similar to the moon.

TEXT 22

vedänäà säma-vedo ’smi

devänäm asmi väsavaù

indriyäëäà manaç cäsmi

bhütänäm asmi cetanä

SYNONYMS

vedänäm—of all the Vedas; säma-vedaù—the Säma Veda; asmi—I am; devänäm—of all the demigods;asmi—I am; väsavaù—the heavenly king; indriyäëäm—of all the senses; manaù—the mind; ca—also; asmi—I am; bhütänäm—of all living entities; asmi—I am;cetanä—the living force.

TRANSLATION

Of the Vedas I am the Säma Veda; of the demigods I am Indra, the king of heaven; of the senses I am the mind; and in living beings I am the living force [consciousness].

PURPORT

The difference between matter and spirit is that matter has no consciousness like the living entity; therefore this consciousness is supreme and eternal. Consciousness cannot be produced by a combination of matter.

TEXT 23

rudräëäà çaìkaraç cäsmi

vitteço yakña-rakñasäm

vasünäà pävakaç cäsmi

meruù çikhariëäm aham

SYNONYMS

rudräëäm—of all the Rudras; çaìkaraù—Lord Çiva; ca—also; asmi—I am; vitta-éçaù—the lord of the treasury of the demigods; yakña-rakñasäm—of the Yakñas and Räkñasas; vasünäm—of the Vasus;pävakaù—fire; ca—also; asmi—I am; meruù—Meru;çikhariëäm—of all mountains; aham—I am.

TRANSLATION

Of all the Rudras I am Lord Çiva, of the Yakñas and Räkñasas I am the Lord of wealth [Kuvera], of the Vasus I am fire [Agni], and of mountains I am Meru.

PURPORT

There are eleven Rudras, of whom Çaìkara, Lord Çiva, is predominant. He is the incarnation of the Supreme Lord in charge of the mode of ignorance in the universe. The leader of the Yakñas and Räkñasas is Kuvera, the master treasurer of the demigods, and he is a representation of the Supreme Lord. Meru is a mountain famed for its rich natural resources.

TEXT 24

purodhasäà ca mukhyaà mäà

viddhi pärtha båhaspatim

senänénäm ahaà skandaù

sarasäm asmi sägaraù

SYNONYMS

purodhasäm—of all priests; ca—also; mukhyam—the chief; mäm—Me; viddhi—understand; pärtha—O son of Påthä; båhaspatim—Båhaspati; senänénäm—of all commanders; aham—I am; skandaù—Kärtikeya; sarasäm—of all reservoirs of water; asmi—I am;sägaraù—the ocean.

TRANSLATION

Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Båhaspati. Of generals I am Kärtikeya, and of bodies of water I am the ocean.

PURPORT

Indra is the chief demigod of the heavenly planets and is known as the king of the heavens. The planet on which he reigns is called Indraloka. Båhaspati is Indra’s priest, and since Indra is the chief of all kings, Båhaspati is the chief of all priests. And as Indra is the chief of all kings, similarly Skanda, or Kärtikeya, the son of Pärvaté and Lord Çiva, is the chief of all military commanders. And of all bodies of water, the ocean is the greatest. These representations of Kåñëa only give hints of His greatness.

TEXT 25

maharñéëäà bhågur ahaà

giräm asmy ekam akñaram

yajïänäà japa-yajïo ’smi

sthävaräëäà himälayaù

SYNONYMS

mahä-åñéëäm—among the great sages; bhåguù—Bhågu; aham—I am; giräm—of vibrations; asmi—I am; ekam akñaram— praëava; yajïänäm—of sacrifices; japa-yajïaù—chanting; asmi—I am;sthävaräëäm—of immovable things; himälayaù—the Himälayan mountains.

TRANSLATION

Of the great sages I am Bhågu; of vibrations I am the transcendental oà. Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa], and of immovable things I am the Himälayas.

PURPORT

Brahmä, the first living creature within the universe, created several sons for the propagation of various kinds of species. Among these sons, Bhågu is the most powerful sage. Of all the transcendental vibrations, the  ( oàkära) represents Kåñëa. Of all sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kåñëa. Sometimes animal sacrifices are recommended, but in the sacrifice of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, there is no question of violence. It is the simplest and the purest. Whatever is sublime in the worlds is a representation of Kåñëa. Therefore the Himälayas, the greatest mountains in the world, also represent Him. The mountain named Meru was mentioned in a previous verse, but Meru is sometimes movable, whereas the Himälayas are never movable. Thus the Himälayas are greater than Meru.

TEXT 26

açvatthaù sarva-våkñäëäà

devarñéëäà ca näradaù

gandharväëäà citrarathaù

siddhänäà kapilo muniù

SYNONYMS

açvatthaù—the banyan tree; sarva-våkñäëäm—of all trees; deva-åñéëäm—of all the sages amongst the demigods; ca—and; näradaù—Närada; gandharväëäm—of the citizens of the Gandharva planet; citrarathaù—Citraratha; siddhänäm—of all those who are perfected; kapilaù muniù—Kapila Muni.

TRANSLATION

Of all trees I am the banyan tree, and of the sages among the demigods I am Närada. Of the Gandharvas I am Citraratha, and among perfected beings I am the sage Kapila.

PURPORT

The banyan tree ( açvattha) is one of the highest and most beautiful trees, and people in India often worship it as one of their daily morning rituals. Amongst the demigods they also worship Närada, who is considered the greatest devotee in the universe. Thus he is the representation of Kåñëa as a devotee. The Gandharva planet is filled with entities who sing beautifully, and among them the best singer is Citraratha. Amongst the perfect living entities, Kapila, the son of Devahüti, is a representative of Kåñëa. He is considered an incarnation of Kåñëa, and His philosophy is mentioned in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Later on another Kapila became famous, but his philosophy was atheistic. Thus there is a gulf of difference between them.

TEXT 27

uccaiùçravasam açvänäà

viddhi mäm amåtodbhavam

airävataà gajendräëäà

naräëäà ca narädhipam

SYNONYMS

uccaiùçravasam—Uccaiùçravä; açvänäm—among horses; viddhi—know; mäm—Me; amåta-udbhavam—produced from the churning of the ocean; airävatam—Airävata; gaja-indräëäm—of lordly elephants; naräëäm—among human beings; ca—and; nara-adhipam—the king.

TRANSLATION

Of horses know Me to be Uccaiùçravä, produced during the churning of the ocean for nectar. Of lordly elephants I am Airävata, and among men I am the monarch.

PURPORT

The devotee demigods and the demons ( asuras) once took part in churning the sea. From this churning, nectar and poison were produced, and Lord Çiva drank the poison. From the nectar were produced many entities, of which there was a horse named Uccaiùçravä. Another animal produced from the nectar was an elephant named Airävata. Because these two animals were produced from nectar, they have special significance, and they are representatives of Kåñëa.

Amongst the human beings, the king is the representative of Kåñëa because Kåñëa is the maintainer of the universe, and the kings, who are appointed on account of their godly qualifications, are maintainers of their kingdoms. Kings like Mahäräja Yudhiñöhira, Mahäräja Parékñit and Lord Räma were all highly righteous kings who always thought of the citizens’ welfare. In Vedic literature, the king is considered to be the representative of God. In this age, however, with the corruption of the principles of religion, monarchy decayed and is now finally abolished. It is to be understood that in the past, however, people were more happy under righteous kings.

TEXT 28

äyudhänäm ahaà vajraà

dhenünäm asmi kämadhuk

prajanaç cäsmi kandarpaù

sarpäëäm asmi väsukiù

SYNONYMS

äyudhänäm—of all weapons; aham—I am; vajram—the thunderbolt; dhenünäm—of cows; asmi—I am;käma-dhuk—the surabhi cow; prajanaù—the cause for begetting children; ca—and; asmi—I am;kandarpaù—Cupid; sarpäëäm—of serpents; asmi—I am; väsukiù—Väsuki.

TRANSLATION

Of weapons I am the thunderbolt; among cows I am the surabhi. Of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa, the god of love, and of serpents I am Väsuki.

PURPORT

The thunderbolt, indeed a mighty weapon, represents Kåñëa’s power. In Kåñëaloka in the spiritual sky there are cows which can be milked at any time, and they give as much milk as one likes. Of course such cows do not exist in this material world, but there is mention of them in Kåñëaloka. The Lord keeps many such cows, which are called surabhi. It is stated that the Lord is engaged in herding thesurabhi cows. Kandarpa is the sex desire for presenting good sons; therefore Kandarpa is the representative of Kåñëa. Sometimes sex is engaged in only for sense gratification; such sex does not represent Kåñëa. But sex for the generation of good children is called Kandarpa and represents Kåñëa.

TEXT 29

anantaç cäsmi nägänäà

varuëo yädasäm aham

pitèëäm aryamä cäsmi

yamaù saàyamatäm aham

SYNONYMS

anantaù—Ananta; ca—also; asmi—I am; nägänäm—of the many-hooded serpents; varuëaù—the demigod controlling the water; yädasäm—of all aquatics; aham—I am; pitèëäm—of the ancestors;aryamä—Aryamä; ca—also; asmi—I am; yamaù—the controller of death; saàyamatäm—of all regulators; aham—I am.

TRANSLATION

Of the many-hooded Nägas I am Ananta, and among the aquatics I am the demigod Varuëa. Of departed ancestors I am Aryamä, and among the dispensers of law I am Yama, the lord of death.

PURPORT

Among the many-hooded Näga serpents, Ananta is the greatest, as is the demigod Varuëa among the aquatics. They both represent Kåñëa. There is also a planet of Pitäs, ancestors, presided over by Aryamä, who represents Kåñëa. There are many living entities who give punishment to the miscreants, and among them Yama is the chief. Yama is situated in a planet near this earthly planet. After death those who are very sinful are taken there, and Yama arranges different kinds of punishments for them.

TEXT 30

prahlädaç cäsmi daityänäà

kälaù kalayatäm aham

mågäëäà ca mågendro ’haà

vainateyaç ca pakñiëäm

SYNONYMS

prahlädaù—Prahläda; ca—also; asmi—I am;daityänäm—of the demons; kälaù—time; kalayatäm—of subduers; aham—I am; mågäëäm—of animals; ca—and; måga-indraù—the lion; aham—I am;vainateyaù—Garuòa; ca—also; pakñiëäm—of birds.

TRANSLATION

Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahläda, among subduers I am time, among beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuòa.

PURPORT

Diti and Aditi are two sisters. The sons of Aditi are called Ädityas, and the sons of Diti are called Daityas. All the Ädityas are devotees of the Lord, and all the Daityas are atheistic. Although Prahläda was born in the family of the Daityas, he was a great devotee from his childhood. Because of his devotional service and godly nature, he is considered to be a representative of Kåñëa.

There are many subduing principles, but time wears down all things in the material universe and so represents Kåñëa. Of the many animals, the lion is the most powerful and ferocious, and of the million varieties of birds, Garuòa, the bearer of Lord Viñëu, is the greatest.

TEXT 31

pavanaù pavatäm asmi

rämaù çastra-bhåtäm aham

jhañäëäà makaraç cäsmi

srotasäm asmi jähnavé

SYNONYMS

pavanaù—the wind; pavatäm—of all that purifies;asmi—I am; rämaù—Räma; çastra-bhåtäm—of the carriers of weapons; aham—I am; jhañäëäm—of all fish; makaraù—the shark; ca—also; asmi—I am;srotasäm—of flowing rivers; asmi—I am; jähnavé—the River Ganges.

TRANSLATION

Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Räma, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

PURPORT

Of all the aquatics the shark is one of the biggest and is certainly the most dangerous to man. Thus the shark represents Kåñëa.

TEXT 32

sargäëäm ädir antaç ca

madhyaà caiväham arjuna

adhyätma-vidyä vidyänäà

vädaù pravadatäm aham

SYNONYMS

sargäëäm—of all creations; ädiù—the beginning;antaù—end; ca—and; madhyam—middle; ca—also; eva—certainly; aham—I am; arjuna—O Arjuna; adhyätma-vidyä—spiritual knowledge; vidyänäm—of all education; vädaù—the natural conclusion; pravadatäm—of arguments;aham—I am.

TRANSLATION

Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.

PURPORT

Among the created manifestations, the first is the creation of the total material elements. As explained before, the cosmic manifestation is created and conducted by Mahä-Viñëu, Garbhodakaçäyé Viñëu and Kñérodakaçäyé Viñëu, and then again it is annihilated by Lord Çiva. Brahmä is a secondary creator. All these agents of creation, maintenance and annihilation are incarnations of the material qualities of the Supreme Lord. Therefore He is the beginning, the middle and the end of all creation.

For advanced education there are various kinds of books of knowledge, such as the four Vedas, their six supplements, the Vedänta-sütra, books of logic, books of religiosity and the Puräëas. So all together there are fourteen divisions of books of education. Of these, the book which presents adhyätma-vidyä,spiritual knowledge—in particular, the Vedänta-sütra—represents Kåñëa.

Among logicians there are different kinds of argument. Supporting one’s argument with evidence that also supports the opposing side is called jalpa. Merely trying to defeat one’s opponent is calledvitaëòä. But the actual conclusion is called väda. This conclusive truth is a representation of Kåñëa.

TEXT 33

akñaräëäm a-käro ’smi

dvandvaù sämäsikasya ca

aham eväkñayaù kälo

dhätähaà viçvato-mukhaù

SYNONYMS

akñaräëäm—of letters; a-käraù—the first letter; asmi—I am; dvandvaù—the dual; sämäsikasya—of compounds; ca—and; aham—I am; eva—certainly; akñayaù—eternal; kälaù—time; dhätä—the creator;aham—I am; viçvataù-mukhaù—Brahmä.

TRANSLATION

Of letters I am the letter A, and among compound words I am the dual compound. I am also inexhaustible time, and of creators I am Brahmä.

PURPORT

A-kära, the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, is the beginning of the Vedic literature. Without a-kära,nothing can be sounded; therefore it is the beginning of sound. In Sanskrit there are also many compound words, of which the dual word, like räma-kåñëa, is called dvandva. In this compound, the words rämaand kåñëa have the same form, and therefore the compound is called dual.

Among all kinds of killers, time is the ultimate because time kills everything. Time is the representative of Kåñëa because in due course of time there will be a great fire and everything will be annihilated.

Among the living entities who are creators, Brahmä, who has four heads, is the chief. Therefore he is a representative of the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa.

TEXT 34

måtyuù sarva-haraç cäham

udbhavaç ca bhaviñyatäm

kértiù çrér väk ca näréëäà

småtir medhä dhåtiù kñamä

SYNONYMS

måtyuù—death; sarva-haraù—all-devouring; ca—also; aham—I am; udbhavaù—generation; ca—also;bhaviñyatäm—of future manifestations; kértiù—fame;çréù—opulence or beauty; väk—fine speech; ca—also; näréëäm—of women; småtiù—memory; medhä—intelligence; dhåtiù—firmness; kñamä—patience.

TRANSLATION

I am all-devouring death, and I am the generating principle of all that is yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience.

PURPORT

As soon as a man is born, he dies at every moment. Thus death is devouring every living entity at every moment, but the last stroke is called death itself. That death is Kåñëa. As for future development, all living entities undergo six basic changes. They are born, they grow, they remain for some time, they reproduce, they dwindle, and finally they vanish. Of these changes, the first is deliverance from the womb, and that is Kåñëa. The first generation is the beginning of all future activities.

The seven opulences listed—fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience—are considered feminine. If a person possesses all of them or some of them he becomes glorious. If a man is famous as a righteous man, that makes him glorious. Sanskrit is a perfect language and is therefore very glorious. If after studying one can remember a subject matter, he is gifted with a good memory, or småti. And the ability not only to read many books on different subject matters but to understand them and apply them when necessary is intelligence ( medhä), another opulence. The ability to overcome unsteadiness is called firmness or steadfastness ( dhåti). And when one is fully qualified yet is humble and gentle, and when one is able to keep his balance both in sorrow and in the ecstasy of joy, he has the opulence called patience ( kñamä).

TEXT 35

båhat-säma tathä sämnäà

gäyatré chandasäm aham

mäsänäà märga-çérño ’ham

åtünäà kusumäkaraù

SYNONYMS

båhat-säma—the Båhat-säma; tathä—also; sämnäm—of the Säma Veda songs; gäyatré—the Gäyatré hymns; chandasäm—of all poetry; aham—I am; mäsänäm—of months; märga-çérñaù—the month of November-December; aham—I am; åtünäm—of all seasons; kusuma-äkaraù—spring.

TRANSLATION

Of the hymns in the Säma Veda I am the Båhat-säma, and of poetry I am the Gäyatré. Of months I am Märgaçérña [November-December], and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.

PURPORT

It has already been explained by the Lord that amongst all the Vedas, He is the Säma Veda. TheSäma Veda is rich with beautiful songs played by the various demigods. One of these songs is the Båhat-säma, which has an exquisite melody and is sung at midnight.

In Sanskrit, there are definite rules that regulate poetry; rhyme and meter are not written whimsically, as in much modern poetry. Amongst the regulated poetry, the Gäyatré mantra, which is chanted by the duly qualified brähmaëas, is the most prominent. The Gäyatré mantra is mentioned in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Because the Gäyatré mantra is especially meant for God realization, it represents the Supreme Lord. This mantra is meant for spiritually advanced people, and when one attains success in chanting it, he can enter into the transcendental position of the Lord. One must first acquire the qualities of the perfectly situated person, the qualities of goodness according to the laws of material nature, in order to chant the Gäyatré mantra. The Gäyatré mantra is very important in Vedic civilization and is considered to be the sound incarnation of Brahman. Brahmä is its initiator, and it is passed down from him in disciplic succession.

The month of November-December is considered the best of all months because in India grains are collected from the fields at this time and the people become very happy. Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Kåñëa’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord, Kåñëa.

TEXT 36

dyütaà chalayatäm asmi

tejas tejasvinäm aham

jayo ’smi vyavasäyo ’smi

sattvaà sattvavatäm aham

SYNONYMS

dyütam—gambling; chalayatäm—of all cheats; asmi—I am; tejaù—the splendor; tejasvinäm—of everything splendid; aham—I am; jayaù—victory; asmi—I am; vyavasäyaù—enterprise or adventure;asmi—I am; sattvam—the strength; sattva-vatäm—of the strong; aham—I am.

TRANSLATION

I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.

PURPORT

There are many kinds of cheaters all over the universe. Of all cheating processes, gambling stands supreme and therefore represents Kåñëa. As the Supreme, Kåñëa can be more deceitful than any mere man. If Kåñëa chooses to deceive a person, no one can surpass Him in His deceit. His greatness is not simply one-sided—it is all-sided.

Among the victorious, He is victory. He is the splendor of the splendid. Among the enterprising and industrious, He is the most enterprising, the most industrious. Among adventurers He is the most adventurous, and among the strong He is the strongest. When Kåñëa was present on earth, no one could surpass Him in strength. Even in His childhood He lifted Govardhana Hill. No one can surpass Him in cheating, no one can surpass Him in splendor, no one can surpass Him in victory, no one can surpass Him in enterprise, and no one can surpass Him in strength.

TEXT 37

våñëénäà väsudevo ’smi

päëòavänäà dhanaïjayaù

munénäm apy ahaà vyäsaù

kavénäm uçanä kaviù

SYNONYMS

våñëénäm—of the descendants of Våñëi; väsudevaù—Kåñëa in Dvärakä; asmi—I am; päëòavänäm—of the Päëòavas; dhanaïjayaù—Arjuna; munénäm—of the sages; api—also; aham—I am; vyäsaù—Vyäsa, the compiler of all Vedic literature; kavénäm—of all great thinkers; uçanä—Uçanä; kaviù—the thinker.

TRANSLATION

Of the descendants of Våñëi I am Väsudeva, and of the Päëòavas I am Arjuna. Of the sages I am Vyäsa, and among great thinkers I am Uçanä.

PURPORT

Kåñëa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Baladeva is Kåñëa’s immediate expansion. Both Lord Kåñëa and Baladeva appeared as sons of Vasudeva, so both of Them may be called Väsudeva. From another point of view, because Kåñëa never leaves Våndävana, all the forms of Kåñëa that appear elsewhere are His expansions. Väsudeva is Kåñëa’s immediate expansion, so Väsudeva is not different from Kåñëa. It is to be understood that the Väsudeva referred to in this verse of Bhagavad-gétä is Baladeva, or Balaräma, because He is the original source of all incarnations and thus He is the sole source of Väsudeva. The immediate expansions of the Lord are called sväàça (personal expansions), and there are also expansions called vibhinnäàça(separated expansions).

Amongst the sons of Päëòu, Arjuna is famous as Dhanaïjaya. He is the best of men and therefore represents Kåñëa. Among the munis, or learned men conversant in Vedic knowledge, Vyäsa is the greatest because he explained Vedic knowledge in many different ways for the understanding of the common mass of people in this Age of Kali. And Vyäsa is also known as an incarnation of Kåñëa; therefore Vyäsa also represents Kåñëa. Kavis are those who are capable of thinking thoroughly on any subject matter. Among the kavis, Uçanä, Çukräcärya, was the spiritual master of the demons; he was an extremely intelligent and far-seeing politician. Thus Çukräcärya is another representative of the opulence of Kåñëa.

TEXT 38

daëòo damayatäm asmi

nétir asmi jigéñatäm

maunaà caiväsmi guhyänäà

jïänaà jïänavatäm aham

SYNONYMS

daëòaù—punishment; damayatäm—of all means of suppression; asmi—I am; nétiù—morality; asmi—I am; jigéñatäm—of those who seek victory; maunam—silence; ca—and; eva—also; asmi—I am; guhyänäm—of secrets; jïänam—knowledge; jïäna-vatäm—of the wise; aham—I am.

TRANSLATION

Among all means of suppressing lawlessness I am punishment, and of those who seek victory I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am the wisdom.

PURPORT

There are many suppressing agents, of which the most important are those that cut down miscreants. When miscreants are punished, the agency of chastisement represents Kåñëa. Among those who are trying to be victorious in some field of activity, the most victorious element is morality. Among the confidential activities of hearing, thinking and meditating, silence is most important because by silence one can make progress very quickly. The wise man is he who can discriminate between matter and spirit, between God’s superior and inferior natures. Such knowledge is Kåñëa Himself.

TEXT 39

yac cäpi sarva-bhütänäà

béjaà tad aham arjuna

na tad asti vinä yat syän

mayä bhütaà caräcaram

SYNONYMS

yat—whatever; ca—also; api—may be; sarva-bhütänäm—of all creations; béjam—seed; tat—that;aham—I am; arjuna—O Arjuna; na—not; tat—that; asti—there is; vinä—without; yat—which; syät—exists; mayä—Me; bhütam—created being; cara-acaram—moving and nonmoving.

TRANSLATION

Furthermore, O Arjuna, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being—moving or nonmoving—that can exist without Me.

PURPORT

Everything has a cause, and that cause or seed of manifestation is Kåñëa. Without Kåñëa’s energy, nothing can exist; therefore He is called omnipotent. Without His potency, neither the movable nor the immovable can exist. Whatever existence is not founded on the energy of Kåñëa is called mäyä, “that which is not.”

TEXT 40

nänto ’sti mama divyänäà

vibhüténäà parantapa

eña tüddeçataù prokto

vibhüter vistaro mayä

SYNONYMS

na—nor; antaù—a limit; asti—there is; mama—My;divyänäm—of the divine; vibhüténäm—opulences;parantapa—O conqueror of the enemies; eñaù—all this; tu—but; uddeçataù—as examples; proktaù—spoken; vibhüteù—of opulences; vistaraù—the expanse; mayä—by Me.

TRANSLATION

O mighty conqueror of enemies, there is no end to My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulences.

PURPORT

As stated in the Vedic literature, although the opulences and energies of the Supreme are understood in various ways, there is no limit to such opulences; therefore not all the opulences and energies can be explained. Simply a few examples are being described to Arjuna to pacify his inquisitiveness.

TEXT 41

yad yad vibhütimat sattvaà

çrémad ürjitam eva vä

tat tad evävagaccha tvaà

mama tejo-’àça-sambhavam

SYNONYMS

yat yat—whatever; vibhüti—opulences; mat—having;sattvam—existence; çré-mat—beautiful; ürjitam—glorious; eva—certainly; —or; tat tat—all those; eva—certainly; avagaccha—must know; tvam—you;mama—My; tejaù—of the splendor; aàça—a part;sambhavam—born of.

TRANSLATION

Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.

PURPORT

Any glorious or beautiful existence should be understood to be but a fragmental manifestation of Kåñëa’s opulence, whether it be in the spiritual or material world. Anything extraordinarily opulent should be considered to represent Kåñëa’s opulence.

TEXT 42

atha vä bahunaitena

kià jïätena tavärjuna

viñöabhyäham idaà kåtsnam

ekäàçena sthito jagat

SYNONYMS

atha vä—or; bahunä—many; etena—by this kind; kim—what; jïätena—by knowing; tava—your; arjuna—O Arjuna; viñöabhya—pervading; aham—I; idam—this;kåtsnam—entire; eka—by one; aàçena—part; sthitaù—am situated; jagat—universe.

TRANSLATION

But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

PURPORT

The Supreme Lord is represented throughout the entire material universes by His entering into all things as the Supersoul. The Lord here tells Arjuna that there is no point in understanding how things exist in their separate opulence and grandeur. He should know that all things are existing due to Kåñëa’s entering them as Supersoul. From Brahmä, the most gigantic entity, on down to the smallest ant, all are existing because the Lord has entered each and all and is sustaining them.

There is a Mission that regularly propounds that worship of any demigod will lead one to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the supreme goal. But worship of demigods is thoroughly discouraged herein because even the greatest demigods like Brahmä and Çiva represent only part of the opulence of the Supreme Lord. He is the origin of everyone born, and no one is greater than Him. He is asamaurdhva, which means that no one is superior to Him and that no one is equal to Him. In the Padma Puräëa it is said that one who considers the Supreme Lord Kåñëa in the same category with demigods—be they even Brahmä or Çiva—becomes at once an atheist. If, however, one thoroughly studies the different descriptions of the opulences and expansions of Kåñëa’s energy, then one can understand without any doubt the position of Lord Çré Kåñëa and can fix his mind in the worship of Kåñëa without deviation. The Lord is all-pervading by the expansion of His partial representation, the Supersoul, who enters into everything that is. Pure devotees, therefore, concentrate their minds in Kåñëa consciousness in full devotional service; therefore they are always situated in the transcendental position. Devotional service and worship of Kåñëa are very clearly indicated in this chapter in verses eight through eleven. That is the way of pure devotional service. How one can attain the highest devotional perfection of association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead has been thoroughly explained in this chapter. Çréla Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa, a great äcärya in disciplic succession from Kåñëa, concludes his commentary on this chapter by saying, 

yac-chakti-leçät suryädyä

bhavanty aty-ugra-tejasaù

yad-aàçena dhåtaà viçvaà

sa kåñëo daçame ’rcyate

From Lord Kåñëa’s potent energy even the powerful sun gets its power, and by Kåñëa’s partial expansion the whole world is maintained. Therefore Lord Çré Kåñëa is worshipable.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Tenth Chapter of the Çrémad Bhagavad-gétä in the matter of the Opulence of the Absolute.




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