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SB 10.2.28

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


tvam eka evāsya sataḥ prasūtis
tvaṁ sannidhānaṁ tvam anugrahaś ca
tvan-māyayā saṁvṛta-cetasas tvāṁ
paśyanti nānā na vipaścito ye


tvam—You (O Lord); ekaḥ—being one without a second, You are everything; eva—indeed; asya sataḥ—of this cosmic manifestation now visible; prasūtiḥ—the original source; tvam—Your Lordship; sannidhānam—the conservation of all such energy when everything is annihilated; tvam—Your Lordship; anugrahaḥ ca—and the maintainer; tvat-māyayā—by Your illusory, external energy; saṁvṛta-cetasaḥ—those whose intelligence is covered by such illusory energy; tvām—unto You; paśyanti—observe; nānā—many varieties; na—not; vipaścitaḥ—learned scholars or devotees; ye—who are.


The efficient cause of this material world, manifested with its many varieties as the original tree, is You, O Lord. You are also the maintainer of this material world, and after annihilation You are the one in whom everything is conserved. Those who are covered by Your external energy cannot see You behind this manifestation, but theirs is not the vision of learned devotees.


Various demigods, beginning from Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and even Viṣṇu, are supposed to be the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world, but actually they are not. The fact is that everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, manifested in varieties of energy. Ekam evādvitīyaṁ brahma. There is no second existence. Those who are truly vipaścit, learned, are those who have reached the platform of understanding and observing the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any condition of life. premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (BS 5.38). Learned devotees accept even conditions of distress as representing the presence of the Supreme Lord. When a devotee is in distress, he sees that the Lord has appeared as distress just to relieve or purify the devotee from the contamination of the material world. While one is within this material world, one is in various conditions, and therefore a devotee sees a condition of distress as but another feature of the Lord. Tat te'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). A devotee, therefore, regards distress as a great favor of the Lord because he understands that he is being cleansed of contamination. Teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā mṛtyu-saṁsāra-sāgarāt (BG 12.7). The appearance of distress is a negative process intended to give the devotee relief from this material world, which is called mṛtyu-saṁsāra, or the constant repetition of birth and death. To save a surrendered soul from repeated birth and death, the Lord purifies him of contamination by offering him a little distress. This cannot be understood by a nondevotee, but a devotee can see this because he is vipaścit, or learned. A nondevotee, therefore, is perturbed in distress, but a devotee welcomes distress as another feature of the Lord. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. A devotee can actually see that there is only the Supreme Personality of Godhead and no second entity. Ekam evādvitīyam. There is only the Lord, who presents Himself in different energies.

Persons who are not in real knowledge think that Brahmā is the creator, Viṣṇu the maintainer and Śiva the annihilator and that the different demigods are intended to fulfill diverse purposes. Thus they create diverse purposes and worship various demigods to have these purposes fulfilled (kāmais tais tair hṛta jñānāḥ prapadyante 'nya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20)). A devotee, however, knows that these various demigods are but different parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that these parts need not be worshiped. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.23):

ye 'py anya-devatā bhaktā
yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
te 'pi mām eva kaunteya
yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam

"Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kuntī, is really meant for Me alone, but it is offered without true understanding." There is no need to worship the demigods, for this is avidhi, not in order. Simply by surrendering oneself at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, one can completely discharge one's duties; there is no need to worship various deities or demigods. These various divinities are observed by the mūḍhas, fools, who are bewildered by the three modes of material nature (tribhir guṇamayair bhāvair ebhiḥ sarvam idaṁ jagat). Such fools cannot understand that the real source of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (mohitaṁ nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam (BG 7.13)). Not being disturbed by the Lord's various features, one should concentrate upon and worship the Supreme Lord (mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja). This should be the guiding principle of one's life.

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Demigods +
Lord Viṣṇu the Supreme Personality of Godhead +