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CC Madhya 20.359

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 359

janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi


janma-ādi — creation, maintenance and dissolution; asya — of this (the universe); yataḥ — from whom; anvayāt — directly from the spiritual connection; itarataḥ — indirectly from the lack of material contact; ca — also; artheṣu — in all affairs; abhijñaḥ — perfectly cognizant; sva-rāṭ — independent; tene — imparted; brahma — the Absolute Truth; hṛdā — through the heart; yaḥ — who; ādi-kavaye — unto Lord Brahmā; muhyanti — are bewildered; yat — in whom; sūrayaḥ — great personalities like Lord Brahmā and other demigods or great brāhmaṇas; tejaḥ-vāri-mṛdām — of fire, water and earth; yathā — as; vinimayaḥ — the exchange; yatra — in whom; tri-sargaḥ — the material creation of three modes; amṛṣā — factual; dhāmnā — with the abode; svena — His own personal; sadā — always; nirasta-kuhakam — devoid of all illusion; satyam — the truth; param — absolute; dhīmahi — let us meditate upon.


“‘O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.’


This verse, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 1.1.1), links the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with the Vedānta-sūtra with the words janmādy asya yataḥ. It is stated that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, is the Absolute Truth beyond the material creation. This has been accepted by all ācāryas. Even Śaṅkarācārya, the most elevated impersonalist, says in the beginning of his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā: nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktāt. When this material creation is not yet manifested from the mahat-tattva, it is called avyakta, and when it is demonstrated from that total energy, it is called vyakta. Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond this vyakta-avyakta, manifested and unmanifested material nature. This is the chief qualification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He assumes a particular incarnation. Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that although they both took birth many, many times before, Kṛṣṇa remembers everything about His previous appearances but Arjuna does not remember. Since Kṛṣṇa is beyond the cosmic creation, He is in the exalted position of being able to remember everything in the past. Everything within the cosmic creation has a material body, but Kṛṣṇa, being beyond the material cosmic creation, always has a spiritual body. He imparted Vedic knowledge into the heart of Brahmā. Although Brahmā is the most important and exalted personality within this universe, he could not remember what he did in his past life. Kṛṣṇa had to remind him through the heart. When Lord Brahmā was thus inspired, he was able to create the entire universe. Remembering everything about the past and inspiring Lord Brahmā to create are vivid examples of the characteristics called svarūpa-lakṣaṇa and taṭastha-lakṣaṇa.