CC Adi 3.89
- sambhāvanaṁ tava parivraḍhima-svabhāvam
- māyā-balena bhavatāpi niguhyamānaṁ
- paśyanti kecid aniśaṁ tvad-ananya-bhāvāḥ
ullaṅghita—passed over; tri-vidha—three kinds; sīma—the limitations; sama—of equal; atiśāyi—and of excelling; sambhāvanam—by which the adequacy; tava—Your; parivraḍhima—of supremacy; svabhāvam—the real nature; māyā-balena—by the strength of the illusory energy; bhavatā—Your; api—although; niguhyamānam—being hidden; paśyanti—they see; kecit—some; aniśam—always; tvat—to You; ananya-bhāvāḥ—those who are exclusively devoted.
“O my Lord, everything within material nature is limited by time, space and thought. Your characteristics, however, being unequaled and unsurpassed, are always transcendental to such limitations. You sometimes cover such characteristics by Your own energy, but nevertheless Your unalloyed devotees are always able to see You under all circumstances.”
This verse is also quoted from the Stotra-ratna (13) of Yāmunācārya. Everything covered by the influence of māyā is within the limited boundaries of space, time and thought. Even the greatest manifestation we can conceive, the sky, also has limitations. From the authentic scriptures, however, it is evident that beyond the sky is a covering of seven layers, each ten times thicker than the one preceding it. The covering layers are vast, but with or without coverings, space is limited. Our power to think about space and time is also limited. Time is eternal; we may imagine billions and trillions of years, but that will still be an inadequate estimate of the extent of time. Our imperfect senses, therefore, cannot think of the greatness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, nor can we bring Him within the limitations of time or our thinking power. His position is accordingly described by the word ullaṅghita. He is transcendental to space, time and thought; although He appears within them, He exists transcendentally. Even when the Lord’s transcendental existence is disguised by space, time and thought, however, pure devotees of the Supreme Lord can see Him in His personal features beyond space, time and thought. In other words, even though the Lord is not visible to the eyes of ordinary men, those who are beyond the covering layers because of their transcendental devotional service can still see Him.
The sun may appear covered by a cloud, but actually it is the eyes of the tiny people below the cloud that are covered, not the sun. If those tiny people rose above the cloud in an airplane, they could then see the sunshine and the sun without impediment. Similarly, although the covering of māyā is very strong, Lord Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.14):
- daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ye prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” To surpass the influence of the illusory energy is very difficult, but those who are determined to catch hold of the lotus feet of the Lord are freed from the clutches of māyā. Therefore, pure devotees can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but demons, because of their miscreant behavior, cannot understand the Lord, in spite of seeing the many revealed scriptures and the uncommon activities of the Lord.