- yāvān ahaṁ yathā-bhāvo
- tathaiva tattva-vijñānam
- astu te mad-anugrahāt
yāvān—as I am in eternal form; aham—Myself; yathā—as much as; bhāvaḥ—transcendental existence; yat—those; rūpa—various forms and colors; guṇa—qualities; karmakaḥ—activities; tathā—so and so; eva—certainly; tattva-vijñānam—factual realization; astu—let it be; te—unto you; mat—My; anugrahāt—by causeless mercy.
All of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities and activities—let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of My causeless mercy.
The secret of success in understanding the intricacies of knowledge of the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, is the causeless mercy of the Lord. Even in the material world, the father of many sons discloses the secret of his position to the pet sons. The father discloses the confidence unto the son whom he thinks worthy. An important man in the social order can be known by his mercy only. Similarly, one must be very dear to the Lord in order to know the Lord. The Lord is unlimited; no one can know Him completely, but one's advancement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord can make one eligible to know the Lord. Here we can see that the Lord is sufficiently pleased with Brahmājī, and therefore He offers His causeless mercy to him so that Brahmājī may have the factual realization of the Lord by His mercy only.
In the Vedas also it is said that a person cannot know the Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead simply by dint of mundane education or intellectual gymnastics. One can know the Supreme Truth if one has unflinching faith in the bona fide spiritual master as well as in the Lord. Such a faithful person, even though illiterate in the mundane sense, can know the Lord automatically by the mercy of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā also, it is said that the Lord reserves the right of not being exposed to everyone, and He keeps Himself concealed from the faithless by His yoga-māyā potency.
To the faithful the Lord reveals Himself in His form, quality and pastimes. The Lord is not formless, as wrongly conceived by the impersonalist, but His form is not like one that we have experienced. The Lord discloses His form, even to the extent of measurement, to His pure devotees, and that is the meaning of yāvān, as explained by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, the greatest scholar of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
The Lord discloses the transcendental nature of His existence. The mundane wranglers make mundane conceptions of the form of the Lord. It is said in the revealed scriptures that the Lord has no mundane form; therefore persons with a poor fund of knowledge conclude that He must be formless. They cannot distinguish between the mundane form and the spiritual form. According to them, without a mundane form one must be formless. This conclusion is also mundane because formlessness is the opposite conception of form. Negation of the mundane conception does not establish a transcendental fact. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord has a transcendental form and that He can utilize any one of His senses for any purpose. For example, He can eat with His eyes, and He can see with His leg. In the mundane conception of form, one cannot eat with one's eyes or see with his leg. That is the difference between the mundane body and the spiritual body of sac-cid-ānanda (BS 5.1). A spiritual body is not formless; it is a different type of body, of which we cannot conceive with our present mundane senses. Formless therefore means devoid of mundane form, or possessing a spiritual body of which the nondevotee can have no conception by the speculative method.
The Lord discloses to the devotee His unlimited varieties of transcendental bodies, all identical with one another with different kinds of bodily features. Some of the transcendental bodies of the Lord are blackish, and some of them are whitish. Some of them are reddish, and some are yellowish. Some of them are four-handed and some of them two-handed. Some of them are like the fish, and some are like the lion. All these different transcendental bodies of the Lord, without any differential category, are disclosed to the devotees of the Lord by the mercy of the Lord, and thus the impersonalists' false arguments claiming the formlessness of the Supreme Truth do not appeal to a devotee of the Lord, even though such a devotee may not be very advanced in devotional service.
The Lord has unlimited numbers of transcendental qualities, and one of them is His affection for His unalloyed devotee. In the history of the mundane world we can appreciate His transcendental qualities. The Lord incarnates Himself for the protection of His devotees and for the annihilation of the faithless. His activities are in relationship with His devotees. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is full of such activities of the Lord in relationship with His devotees, and the nondevotees have no knowledge of such pastimes. The Lord lifted the Govardhana Hill when He was only seven years old and protected His pure devotees at Vṛndāvana from the wrath of Indra, who was overflooding the place with rain. Now this lifting of the Govardhana Hill by a seven-year-old boy may be unbelievable for the faithless, but for the devotees it is absolutely believable. The devotee believes in the almighty potency of the Lord, while the faithless say that the Lord is almighty but do not believe it. Such men with a poor fund of knowledge do not know that the Lord is the Lord eternally and that one cannot become the Lord by meditation for millions of years or by mental speculation for billions of years.
The impersonal interpretation of the mundane wranglers is completely refuted in this verse because it is clearly stated here that the Supreme Lord has His qualities, form, pastimes and everything that a person has. All these descriptions of the transcendental nature of the Personality of Godhead are factual realizations by the devotee of the Lord, and by the causeless mercy of the Lord they are revealed to His pure devotee, and to no one else.