Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb
As described in this chapter, when the Supreme Personality of Godhead entered the womb of Devaki to kill Kamsa, all the demigods understood that the Lord was living within Devaki's womb, and therefore in veneration they offered Him the Garbha-stuti prayers.
Kamsa, under the protection of his father-in-law, Jarasandha, and with the help of his demoniac friends like Pralamba, Baka, Canura, Trnavarta, Aghasura, Mustika, Bana and Bhaumasura, began oppressing the members of the Yadu dynasty. Therefore, the members of the Yadu dynasty left their homes and sought shelter in such states as Kuru, Pancala, Kekaya, Salva and Vidarbha. Only some of them stayed with Kamsa, as nominal friends.
After Kamsa killed the sad-garbhas, the six sons of Devaki, one after another, Anantadeva entered Devaki's womb and was transferred to the womb of Rohini by the manipulation of Yogamaya, who was following the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself, who was soon to appear as the eighth son of Devaki, ordered Yogamaya to take birth from the womb of Yasodadevi. Because Krsna and His potency, Yogamaya, appeared simultaneously as brother and sister, the world is full of Vaisnavas and saktas, and there is certainly some rivalry between them. Vaisnavas worship the Supreme Lord, whereas saktas, according to their desires, worship Yogamaya in forms like Durga, Bhadrakali and Candika. Following the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yogamaya transferred Baladeva, Sankarsana, the seventh child of Devaki, from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini. Because Sankarsana appears in order to increase love of Krsna, He is known as Baladeva. One may take auspicious strength from Him to become a devotee of the Lord, and therefore He is also known as Balabhadra.
After Yogamaya transferred the seventh child of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared within the heart of Vasudeva and transferred Himself into the heart of Devaki. Because the Lord was present in her heart, Devaki, as her pregnancy continued, appeared effulgent. Upon seeing this effulgence, Kamsa was full of anxiety, but he could not harm Devaki because of their family relationship. Thus he began indirectly thinking of Krsna and became fully Krsna conscious.
Meanwhile, because of the Lord's presence within the womb of Devaki, all the demigods came to offer the Lord their prayers. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, they said, is eternally the Absolute Truth. The spiritual soul is more important than the gross body, and the Supersoul, Paramatma, is still more important than the soul. The Supreme Godhead is absolutely independent, and His incarnations are transcendental. The prayers of the demigods glorify and exalt devotees and explain the fate of persons who superficially consider themselves liberated from the conditions of material nature. A devotee is always safe. When a devotee fully surrenders at the lotus feet of the Lord, he is completely liberated from the fear of material existence. By explaining why the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends, the prayers of the demigods clearly confirm the Lord's statement in Bhagavad-gita (4.7):
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself."
yadunam kadanam cakre
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; pralamba--by the asura named Pralamba; baka--by the asura named Baka; canura--by the asura named Canura; trnavarta--by the asura named Trnavarta; mahasanaih--by Aghasura; mustika--by the asura named Mustika; arista--by the asura Arista; dvivida--by the asura named Dvivida; putana--by Putana; kesi--by Kesi; dhenukaih--by Dhenuka; anyaih ca--and by many others; asura-bhupalaih--by demoniac kings on the surface of the globe; bana--by King Bana; bhauma--by Bhaumasura; adibhih--and by others as well; yutah--being assisted; yadunam--of the kings of the Yadu dynasty; kadanam--persecution; cakre--regularly performed; bali--very powerful; magadha-samsrayah--under the protection of Jarasandha, the King of Magadha.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Under the protection of Magadharaja, Jarasandha, the powerful Kamsa began persecuting the kings of the Yadu dynasty. In this he had the cooperation of demons like Pralamba, Baka, Canura, Trnavarta, Aghasura, Mustika, Arista, Dvivida, Putana, Kesi, Dhenuka, Banasura, Narakasura and many other demoniac kings on the surface of the earth.
This verse supports the following statement given by the Lord in Bhagavad-gita (4.7-8):
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
vinasaya ca duskrtam
sambhavami yuge yuge
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium."
The Lord's purpose in maintaining this material world is to give everyone a chance to go back home, back to Godhead, but kings and political leaders unfortunately try to hinder the purpose of the Lord, and therefore the Lord appears, either personally or with His plenary portions, to set things right. It is therefore said:
garbham sancarya rohinyam
tasyah kuksim gatah krsno
dvitiyo vibudhaih stutah
"Krsna appeared in the womb of Devaki after transferring Baladeva to the womb of Rohini by the power of Yogamaya." Yadubhih sa vyarudhyata. The kings of the Yadu dynasty were all devotees, but there were many powerful demons, such as Salva, who began to persecute them. At that time, Jarasandha, who was Kamsa's father-in-law, was extremely powerful, and therefore Kamsa took advantage of his protection and the help of the demons in persecuting the kings of the Yadu dynasty. The demons naturally appeared more powerful than the demigods, but ultimately, because of help received from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demons were defeated and the demigods triumphant.
te pidita nivivisuh
salvan vidarbhan nisadhan
videhan kosalan api
te--they (the kings of the Yadu dynasty); piditah--being persecuted; nivivisuh--took shelter or entered (the kingdoms); kuru-pancala--the countries occupied by the Kurus and Pancalas; kekayan--the countries of the Kekayas; salvan--the countries occupied by the Salvas; vidarbhan--the countries occupied by the Vidarbhas; nisadhan--the countries occupied by the Nisadhas; videhan--the country of Videha; kosalan api--as well as the countries occupied by the Kosalas.
Persecuted by the demoniac kings, the Yadavas left their own kingdom and entered various others, like those of the Kurus, Pancalas, Kekayas, Salvas, Vidarbhas, Nisadhas, Videhas and Kosalas.
eke tam anurundhana
hatesu satsu balesu
saptamo vaisnavam dhama
yam anantam pracaksate
garbho babhuva devakya
eke--some of them; tam--unto Kamsa; anurundhanah--exactly following his policy; jnatayah--relatives; paryupasate--began to agree with him; hatesu--having been killed; satsu--six; balesu--children; devakyah--born of Devaki; augrasenina--by the son of Ugrasena (Kamsa); saptamah--the seventh; vaisnavam--of Lord Visnu; dhama--a plenary expansion; yam--unto whom; anantam--by the name Ananta; pracaksate--is celebrated; garbhah--embryo; babhuva--there was; devakyah--of Devaki; harsa-soka-vivardhanah--simultaneously arousing pleasure and lamentation.
Some of their relatives, however, began to follow Kamsa's principles and act in his service. After Kamsa, the son of Ugrasena, killed the six sons of Devaki, a plenary portion of Krsna entered her womb as her seventh child, arousing her pleasure and her lamentation. That plenary portion is celebrated by great sages as Ananta, who belongs to Krsna's second quadruple expansion.
Some of the chief devotees, such as Akrura, stayed with Kamsa to satisfy him. This they did for various purposes. They all expected the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear as the eighth child as soon as Devaki's other children were killed by Kamsa, and they were eagerly awaiting His appearance. By remaining in Kamsa's association, they would be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead take birth and display His childhood pastimes, and Akrura would later go to Vrndavana to bring Krsna and Balarama to Mathura. The word paryupasate is significant because it indicates that some devotees wanted to stay near Kamsa in order to see all these pastimes of the Lord. The six children killed by Kamsa had formerly been sons of Marici, but because of having been cursed by a brahmana, they were obliged to take birth as grandsons of Hiranyakasipu. Kamsa had taken birth as Kalanemi, and now he was obliged to kill his own sons. This was a mystery. As soon as the sons of Devaki were killed, they would return to their original place. The devotees wanted to see this also. Generally speaking, no one kills his own nephews, but Kamsa was so cruel that he did so without hesitation. Ananta, Sankarsana, belongs to the second catur-vyuha, or quadruple expansion. This is the opinion of experienced commentators.
bhagavan api visvatma
viditva kamsajam bhayam
bhagavan--Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; api--also; visvatma--who is the Supersoul of everyone; viditva--understanding the position of the Yadus and His other devotees; kamsa-jam--because of Kamsa; bhayam--fear; yadunam--of the Yadus; nija-nathanam--who had accepted Him, the Supreme Lord, as their supreme shelter; yogamayam--unto Yogamaya, the spiritual potency of Krsna; samadisat--ordered as follows.
To protect the Yadus, His personal devotees, from Kamsa's attack, the Personality of Godhead, Visvatma, the Supreme Soul of everyone, ordered Yogamaya as follows.
The words bhagavan api visvatma viditva kamsajam bhayam are commented upon by Srila Sanatana Gosvami. Bhagavan svayam is Krsna (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). He is Visvatma, the original Supersoul of everyone, because his plenary portion expands as the Supersoul. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (13.3): ksetra jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata. Lord Krsna is the ksetra jna, or Supersoul, of all living entities. He is the original source of all expansions of the Personality of Godhead. There are hundreds and thousands of plenary expansions of Visnu, such as Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vasudeva, but here in this material world, the Visvatma, the Supersoul for all living entities, is Ksirodakasayi Visnu. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.61), isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese'rjuna tisthati: "The Supreme Lord is situated in the heart of all living entities, O Arjuna." Krsna is actually Visvatma by His plenary expansion as visnu-tattva, yet because of His affection for His devotees, He acts as Supersoul to give them directions (sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca).
The affairs of the Supersoul pertain to Ksirodakasayi Visnu, but Krsna took compassion on Devaki, His devotee, because He understood her fear of Kamsa's persecution. A pure devotee is always fearful of material existence. No one knows what will happen next, for one may have to change his body at any moment (tatha dehantara-praptih). Knowing this fact, a pure devotee acts in such a way that he will not have his life spoiled by being obliged to accept another body and undergo the tribulations of material existence. This is bhayam, or fear. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat (Bhag. 11.2.37). This fear is due to material existence. Properly speaking, everyone should always be alert and fearful of material existence, but although everyone is prone to be affected by the ignorance of material existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is always alert to the protection of His devotees. Krsna is so kind and affectionate toward His devotees that He helps them by giving them the intelligence by which to exist in this material world without forgetting Him even for a moment. The Lord says:
aham ajnana-jam tamah
"Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance." (Bg. 10.11)
The word yoga means "link." Any system of yoga is an attempt to reconnect our broken relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are different types of yoga, of which bhakti-yoga is the best. In other yoga systems, one must undergo various processes before attaining perfection, but bhakti-yoga is direct. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (6.47):
yoginam api sarvesam
sraddhavan bhajate yo mam
sa me yuktatamo matah
"Of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all." For the bhakti-yogi, a human body is guaranteed in his next existence, as stated by Lord Krsna (sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate). Yogamaya is the spiritual potency of the Lord. Out of affection for His devotees, the Lord always stays in spiritual touch with them, although otherwise His maya potency is so strong that she bewilders even exalted demigods like Brahma. Therefore the Lord's potency is called yogamaya. Since the Lord is Visvatma, He immediately ordered Yogamaya to give protection to Devaki.
gaccha devi vrajam bhadre
anyas ca kamsa-samvigna
vivaresu vasanti hi
gaccha--now go; devi--O you who are worshipable for the whole world; vrajam--to the land of Vraja; bhadre--O you who are auspicious for all living entities; gopa-gobhih--with cowherds and cows; alankrtam--decorated; rohini--by the name Rohini; vasudevasya--of Vasudeva, Krsna's father; bharya--one of the wives; aste--is living; nanda-gokule--in the estate of Nanda Maharaja known as Gokula, where hundreds and thousands of cows are maintained; anyah ca--and other wives; kamsa-samvignah--being afraid of Kamsa; vivaresu--in secluded places; vasanti--are living; hi--indeed.
The Lord ordered Yogamaya: O My potency, who are worshipable for the entire world and whose nature is to bestow good fortune upon all living entities, go to Vraja, where there live many cowherd men and their wives. In that very beautiful land, where many cows reside, Rohini, the wife of Vasudeva, is living at the home of Nanda Maharaja. Other wives of Vasudeva are also living there incognito because of fear of Kamsa. Please go there.
Nanda-gokula, the residence of King Nanda, was itself very beautiful, and when Yogamaya was ordered to go there and encourage the devotees with fearlessness, it became even more beautiful and safe. Because Yogamaya had the ability to create such an atmosphere, the Lord ordered her to go to Nanda-gokula.
devakya jathare garbham
sesakhyam dhama mamakam
tat sannikrsya rohinya
devakyah--of Devaki; jathare--within the womb; garbham--the embryo; sesa-akhyam--known as Sesa, the plenary expansion of Krsna; dhama--the plenary expansion; mamakam--of Me; tat--Him; sannikrsya--attracting; rohinyah--of Rohini; udare--within the womb; sannivesaya--transfer without difficulty.
Within the womb of Devaki is My partial plenary expansion known as Sankarsana or Sesa. Without difficulty, transfer Him into the womb of Rohini.
The first plenary expansion of Krsna is Baladeva, also known as Sesa. The Sesa incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead supports the entire universe, and the eternal mother of this incarnation is mother Rohini. "Because I am going into the womb of Devaki," the Lord told Yogamaya, "the Sesa incarnation has already gone there and made suitable arrangements so that I may live there. Now He should enter the womb of Rohini, His eternal mother."
In this connection, one may ask how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always situated transcendentally, could enter the womb of Devaki, which had previously been entered by the six asuras, the sad-garbhas. Does this mean that the Sad-garbhasuras were equal to the transcendental body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The following answer is given by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
The entire creation, as well as its individual parts, is an expansion of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, even though the Lord enters the material world, He does not do so. This is explained by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.4-5):
maya tatam idam sarvam
na caham tesv avasthitah
na ca mat-sthani bhutani
pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, My Self is the very source of creation." Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Everything is an expansion of Brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet everything is not the Supreme Godhead, and He is not everywhere. Everything rests upon Him and yet does not rest upon Him. This can be explained only through the acintya-bhedabheda philosophy. Such truths cannot be understood, however, unless one is a pure devotee, for the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (18.55), bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: "One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service." Even though the Lord cannot be understood by ordinary persons, this principle should be understood from the statement of the sastras.
A pure devotee is always transcendentally situated because of executing nine different processes of bhakti-yoga (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam. arcanam vandanam dasyam sakhyam atma-nivedanam). Thus situated in devotional service, a devotee, although in the material world, is not in the material world. Yet a devotee always fears, "Because I am associated with the material world, so many contaminations affect me." Therefore he is always alert in fear, which gradually diminishes his material association.
Symbolically, mother Devaki's constant fear of Kamsa was purifying her. A pure devotee should always fear material association, and in this way all the asuras of material association will be killed, as the sad-garbhasuras were killed by Kamsa. It is said that from the mind, Marici appears. In other words, Marici is an incarnation of the mind. Marici has six sons: Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya (lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy). The Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in pure devotional service. This is confirmed in the Vedas: bhaktir evainam darsayati. Only bhakti can bring one in contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared from the womb of Devaki, and therefore Devaki symbolically represents bhakti, and Kamsa symbolically represents material fear. When a pure devotee always fears material association, his real position of bhakti is manifested, and he naturally becomes uninterested in material enjoyment. When the six sons of Marici are killed by such fear and one is freed from material contamination, within the womb of bhakti the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears. Thus the seventh pregnancy of Devaki signifies the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. After the six sons Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya are killed, the Sesa incarnation creates a suitable situation for the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, when one awakens his natural Krsna consciousness, Lord Krsna appears. This is the explanation given by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
devakyah putratam subhe
prapsyami tvam yasodayam
atha--therefore; aham--I; amsa-bhagena--by My plenary expansion; devakyah--of Devaki; putratam--the son; subhe--O all-auspicious Yogamaya; prapsyami--I shall become; tvam--you; yasodayam--in the womb of mother Yasoda; nanda-patnyam--in the wife of Maharaja Nanda; bhavisyasi--shall also appear.
O all-auspicious Yogamaya, I shall then appear with My full six opulences as the son of Devaki, and you will appear as the daughter of mother Yasoda, the queen of Maharaja Nanda.
The word amsa-bhagena is important in this verse. In Bhagavad-gita (10.42) the Lord says:
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat
"But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe." Everything is situated as a part of the Supreme Lord's potency. In regard to Lord Krsna's appearance in the womb of Devaki, Brahma played a part also because on the bank of the milk ocean he requested the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear. A part was also played by Baladeva, the first expansion of Godhead. Similarly, Yogamaya, who appeared as the daughter of mother Yasoda, also played a part. Thus jiva-tattva, visnu-tattva and sakti-tattva are all integrated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and when Krsna appears, He appears with all His integrated parts. As explained in previous verses, Yogamaya was requested to attract Sankarsana, Baladeva, from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini, and this was a very heavy task for her. Yogamaya naturally could not see how it was possible for her to attract Sankarsana. Therefore Krsna addressed her as subhe, auspicious, and said, "Be blessed. Take power from Me, and you will be able to do it." By the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, anyone can do anything, for the Lord is present in everything, all things being His parts and parcels (amsa-bhagena) and increasing or decreasing by His supreme will. Balarama was only fifteen days older than Krsna. By the blessings of Krsna, Yogamaya became the daughter of mother Yasoda, but by the supreme will she was not able to enjoy the parental love of her father and mother. Krsna, however, although not actually born from the womb of mother Yasoda, enjoyed the parental love of mother Yasoda and Nanda. By the blessings of Krsna, Yogamaya was able to achieve the reputation of being the daughter of mother Yasoda, who also became famous by the blessings of Krsna. Yasoda means "one who gives fame."
arcisyanti manusyas tvam
arcisyanti--will worship; manusyah--human society; tvam--unto you; sarva-kama-vara-isvarim--because you are the best of the demigods who can fulfill all material desires; dhupa--by incense; upahara--by presentations; balibhih--by different types of worship through sacrifice; sarva-kama--of all material desires; vara--the blessings; pradam--one who can bestow.
By sacrifices of animals, ordinary human beings will worship you gorgeously, with various paraphernalia, because you are supreme in fulfilling the material desires of everyone.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.20), kamais tais tair hrta jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah: "Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods." Therefore the word manusya, meaning "human being," here refers to one who does not know the actual goal of life. Such a person wants to enjoy the material world by taking birth in a highly elevated family with the benefits of education, beauty and immense wealth, which in this material world are desirable. One who has forgotten the real aim of life may worship goddess Durga, maya-sakti, under various names, for different purposes, and in different places. As there are many holy places for the worship of Krsna, there are also many holy places in India for the worship of Durgadevi, or Mayadevi, who took birth as the daughter of Yasoda. After cheating Kamsa, Mayadevi dispersed herself to various places, especially in Vindhyacala, to accept regular worship from ordinary men. A human being should actually be interested in understanding atma-tattva, the truth of atma, the spirit soul, and Paramatma, the supreme soul. Those who are interested in atma-tattva worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead (yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati). However, as explained in the next verse of this chapter, those who cannot understand atma-tattva (apasyatam atma-tattvam) worship Yogamaya in her different features. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.2) says:
nrnam santi sahasrasah
"Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor." Those who are interested in remaining in this material world and are not interested in spiritual salvation have many duties, but for one who is interested in spiritual salvation, the only duty is to surrender fully unto Krsna (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja). Such a person is not interested in material enjoyment.
sthanani ca nara bhuvi
vijaya vaisnaviti ca
kumuda candika krsna
madhavi kanyaketi ca
saradety ambiketi ca
namadheyani--different names; kurvanti--will give; sthanani--in different places; ca--also; narah--persons interested in material enjoyment; bhuvi--on the surface of the globe; durga iti--the name Durga; bhadrakali iti--the name Bhadrakali; vijaya--the name Vijaya; vaisnavi iti--the name Vaisnavi; ca--also; kumuda--the name Kumuda; candika--the name Candika; krsna--the name Krsna; madhavi--the name Madhavi; kanyaka iti--the name Kanyaka or Kanya-kumari; ca--also; maya--the name Maya; narayani--the name Narayani; isani--the name Isani; sarada--the name Sarada; iti--thus; ambika--the name Ambika; iti--also; ca--and.
Lord Krsna blessed Mayadevi by saying: In different places on the surface of the earth, people will give you different names, such as Durga, Bhadrakali, Vijaya, Vaisnavi, Kumuda, Candika, Krsna, Madhavi, Kanyaka, Maya, Narayani, Isani, Sarada and Ambika.
Because Krsna and His energy appeared simultaneously, people have generally formed two groups--the saktas and the Vaisnavas--and sometimes there is rivalry between them. Essentially, those who are interested in material enjoyment are saktas, and those interested in spiritual salvation and attaining the spiritual kingdom are Vaisnavas. Because people are generally interested in material enjoyment, they are interested in worshiping Mayadevi, the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vaisnavas, however, are suddha-saktas, or pure bhaktas, because the Hare Krsna maha-mantra indicates worship of the Supreme Lord's energy, Hara. A Vaisnava prays to the energy of the Lord for the opportunity to serve the Lord along with His spiritual energy. Thus Vaisnavas all worship such Deities as Radha-Krsna, Sita-Rama, Laksmi-Narayana and Rukmini-Dvarakadhisa, whereas durga-saktas worship the material energy under different names.
The names by which Mayadevi is known in different places have been listed by Vallabhacarya as follows. In Varanasi she is known as Durga, in Avanti she is known as Bhadrakali, in Orissa she is known as Vijaya, and in Kulahapura she is known as Vaisnavi or Mahalaksmi. (The representatives of Mahalaksmi and Ambika are present in Bombay.) In the country known as Kamarupa she is known as Candika, in Northern India as Sarada, and in Cape Comorin as Kanyaka. Thus she is distributed according to various names in various places.
Srila Vijayadhvaja Tirthapada, in his pada-ratnavali-tika, has explained the meanings of the different representations. Maya is known as Durga because she is approached with great difficulty, as Bhadra because she is auspicious, and as Kali because she is deep blue. Because she is the most powerful energy, she is known as Vijaya; because she is one of the different energies of Visnu, she is known as Vaisnavi; and because she enjoys in this material world and gives facilities for material enjoyment, she is known as Kumuda. Because she is very severe to her enemies, the asuras, she is known as Candika, and because she gives all sorts of material facilities, she is called Krsna. In this way the material energy is differently named and situated in different places on the surface of the globe.
garbha-sankarsanat tam vai
prahuh sankarsanam bhuvi
garbha-sankarsanat--because He will be taken from the womb of Devaki to that of Rohini; tam--Him (Rohini-nandana, the son of Rohini); vai--indeed; prahuh--people will call; sankarsanam--by the name Sankarsana; bhuvi--in the world; rama iti--He will also be called Rama; loka-ramanat--because of His special mercy in enabling people in general to become devotees; balabhadram--He will also be called Balabhadra; bala-ucchrayat--because of extensive bodily strength.
The son of Rohini will also be celebrated as Sankarsana because of being sent from the womb of Devaki to the womb of Rohini. He will be called Rama because of His ability to please all the inhabitants of Gokula, and He will be known as Balabhadra because of His extensive physical strength.
These are some of the reasons why Balarama is known as Sankarsana, Balarama or sometimes Rama. In the maha-mantra--Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare--people sometimes object when Rama is accepted as Balarama. But although devotees of Lord Rama may object, they should know that there is no difference between Balarama and Lord Rama. Here Srimad-Bhagavatam clearly states that Balarama is also known as Rama (rameti). Therefore, it is not artificial for us to speak of Lord Balarama as Lord Rama. Jayadeva Gosvami also speaks of three Ramas: Parasurama, Raghupati Rama and Balarama. All of them are Ramas.
tathety om iti tad-vacah
gam gata tat tathakarot
sandista--having been ordered; evam--thus; bhagavata--by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tatha iti--so be it; om--affirmation by the mantra om; iti--thus; tat-vacah--His words; pratigrhya--accepting the order; parikramya--after circumambulating Him; gam--to the surface of the globe; gata--she immediately went; tat--the order, as given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tatha--just so; akarot--executed.
Thus instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yogamaya immediately agreed. With the Vedic mantra om, she confirmed that she would do what He asked. Thus having accepted the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she circumambulated Him and started for the place on earth known as Nanda-gokula. There she did everything just as she had been told.
After receiving the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yogamaya twice confirmed her acceptance by saying, "Yes, sir, I shall do as You order," and then saying om. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments that om signifies Vedic confirmation. Thus Yogamaya very faithfully received the Lord's order as a Vedic injunction. It is a fact that whatever is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a Vedic injunction that no one should neglect. In Vedic injunctions there are no mistakes, illusions, cheating or imperfection. Unless one understands the authority of the Vedic version, there is no purpose in quoting sastra. No one should violate the Vedic injunctions. Rather, one should strictly execute the orders given in the Vedas. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (16.24):
tasmac chastram pramanam te
karma kartum iharhasi
"One should understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that one may gradually be elevated."
garbhe pranite devakya
aho visramsito garbha
iti paura vicukrusuh
garbhe--when the embryo; pranite--was carried from the womb; devakyah--of Devaki; rohinim--to the womb of Rohini; yoga-nidraya--by the spiritual energy called Yogamaya; aho--alas; visramsitah--is lost; garbhah--the embryo; iti--thus; paurah--all the inhabitants of the house; vicukrusuh--lamented.
When the child of Devaki was attracted and transferred into the womb of Rohini by Yogamaya, Devaki seemed to have a miscarriage. Thus all the inhabitants of the palace loudly lamented, "Alas, Devaki has lost her child!"
"All the inhabitants of the palace" includes Kamsa. When everyone lamented, Kamsa joined in compassion, thinking that perhaps because of drugs or some other external means, Devaki had undergone this abortion. The real story of what happened after Yogamaya attracted the child of Devaki into the womb of Rohini in the seventh month of Rohini's pregnancy is described as follows in the Hari-vamsa. At midnight, while Rohini was deeply sleeping, she experienced, as if in a dream, that she had undergone a miscarriage. After some time, when she awoke, she saw that this had indeed happened, and she was in great anxiety. But Yogamaya then informed her, "O auspicious lady, your child is now being replaced. I am attracting a child from the womb of Devaki, and therefore your child will be known as Sankarsana."
The word yoga-nidra is significant. When one is spiritually reconnected through self-realization, one regards his material life as having been like a dream. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (2.69):
ya nisa sarva-bhutanam
tasyam jagarti samyami
yasyam jagrati bhutani
sa nisa pasyato muneh
"What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage." The stage of self-realization is called yoga-nidra. All material activities appear to be a dream when one is spiritually awakened. Thus yoga-nidra may be explained to be Yogamaya.
bhagavan api visvatma
bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; api--also; visvatma--the Supersoul of all living entities; bhaktanam--of His devotees; abhayam-karah--always killing the causes of fear; avivesa--entered; amsa-bhagena--with all of His potential opulences (Sad-aisvarya-purna); manah--in the mind; anakadundubheh--of Vasudeva.
Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul of all living entities and who vanquishes all the fear of His devotees, entered the mind of Vasudeva in full opulence.
The word visvatma refers to one who is situated in everyone's heart (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati). Another meaning of visvatma is "the only lovable object for everyone." Because of forgetfulness of this object, people are suffering in this material world, but if one fortunately revives his old consciousness of loving Krsna and connects with Visvatma, one becomes perfect. The Lord is described in the Third Canto (3.2.15) as follows: paravareso mahad-amsa-yukto hy ajo 'pi jato bhagavan. Although unborn, the Lord, the master of everything, appears like a born child by entering the mind of a devotee. The Lord is already there within the mind, and consequently it is not astonishing for Him to appear as if born from a devotee's body. The word avivesa signifies that the Lord appeared within the mind of Vasudeva. There was no need for a discharge of semen. That is the opinion of Sripada Sridhara Svami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. In the Vaisnava-tosani, Srila Sanatana Gosvami says that consciousness was awakened within the mind of Vasudeva. Srila Viraraghava Acarya also says that Vasudeva was one of the demigods and that within his mind the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as an awakening of consciousness.
sa bibhrat paurusam dhama
bhrajamano yatha ravih
bhutanam sambabhuva ha
sah--he (Vasudeva); bibhrat--carried; paurusam--pertaining to the Supreme Person; dhama--the spiritual effulgence; bhrajamanah--illuminating; yatha--as; ravih--the sunshine; durasadah--very difficult even to look at, difficult to understand by sensory perception; ati-durdharsah--approachable with great difficulty; bhutanam--of all living entities; sambabhuva--so he became; ha--positively.
While carrying the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the core of his heart, Vasudeva bore the Lord's transcendentally illuminating effulgence, and thus he became as bright as the sun. He was therefore very difficult to see or approach through sensory perception. Indeed, he was unapproachable and unperceivable even for such formidable men as Kamsa, and not only for Kamsa but for all living entities.
The word dhama is significant. Dhama refers to the place where the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides. In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1) it is said, dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi. In the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no influence of material energy (dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam). Any place where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is present by His name, form, qualities or paraphernalia immediately becomes a dhama. For example, we speak of Vrndavana-dhama, Dvaraka-dhama and Mathura-dhama because in these places the name, fame, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Godhead are always present. Similarly, if one is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to do something, the core of his heart becomes a dhama, and thus he becomes so extraordinarily powerful that not only his enemies but also people in general are astonished to observe his activities. Because he is unapproachable, his enemies are simply struck with wonder, as explained here by the words durasado 'tidurdharsah.
The words paurusam dhama have been explained by various acaryas. Sri Viraraghava Acarya says that these words refer to the effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vijayadhvaja says that they signify visnu-tejas, and Sukadeva says bhagavat-svarupa. The Vaisnava-tosani says that these words indicate the influence of the Supreme Lord's effulgence, and Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that they signify the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
tato jagan-mangalam acyutamsam
samahitam sura-sutena devi
dadhara sarvatmakam atma-bhutam
kastha yathananda-karam manastah
tatah--thereafter; jagat-mangalam--auspiciousness for all living entities in all the universes of the creation; acyuta-amsam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never bereft of the six opulences, all of which are present in all His plenary expansions; samahitam--fully transferred; sura-sutena--by Vasudeva, the son of Surasena; devi--Devaki-devi; dadhara--carried; sarva-atmakam--the Supreme Soul of everyone; atma-bhutam--the cause of all causes; kastha--the east; yatha--just as; ananda-karam--the blissful (moon); manastah--being placed within the mind.
Thereafter, accompanied by plenary expansions, the fully opulent Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is all-auspicious for the entire universe, was transferred from the mind of Vasudeva to the mind of Devaki. Devaki, having thus been initiated by Vasudeva, became beautiful by carrying Lord Krsna, the original consciousness for everyone, the cause of all causes, within the core of her heart, just as the east becomes beautiful by carrying the rising moon.
As indicated here by the word manastah, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was transferred from the core of Vasudeva's mind or heart to the core of the heart of Devaki. We should note carefully that the Lord was transferred to Devaki not by the ordinary way for a human being, but by diksa, initiation. Thus the importance of initiation is mentioned here. Unless one is initiated by the right person, who always carries within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot acquire the power to carry the Supreme Godhead within the core of one's own heart.
The word acyutamsam is used because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Sad-aisvarya-purna, full in the opulences of wealth, strength, fame, knowledge, beauty and renunciation. The Supreme Godhead is never separated from His personal opulences. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.39), ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan: the Lord is always situated with all His plenary expansions, such as Rama, Nrsimha and Varaha. Therefore the word acyutamsam is specifically used here, signifying that the Lord is always present with His plenary expansions and opulences. There is no need to think of the Lord artificially as yogis do. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah (Bhag. 12.13.1). Yogis meditate upon the Supreme person within the mind. For a devotee, however, the Lord is present, and His presence need only be awakened through initiation by a bona fide spiritual master. The Lord did not need to live within the womb of Devaki, for His presence within the core of her heart was sufficient to carry Him. One is here forbidden to think that Krsna was begotten by Vasudeva within the womb of Devaki and that she carried the child within her womb.
When Vasudeva was sustaining the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, he appeared just like the glowing sun, whose shining rays are always unbearable and scorching to the common man. The form of the Lord situated in the pure, unalloyed heart of Vasudeva is not different from the original form of Krsna. The appearance of the form of Krsna anywhere, and specifically within the heart, is called dhama. Dhama refers not only to Krsna's form, but to His name, His form, His quality and His paraphernalia. Everything becomes manifest simultaneously.
Thus the eternal form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with full potencies was transferred from the mind of Vasudeva to the mind of Devaki, exactly as the setting sun's rays are transferred to the full moon rising in the east.
Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, entered the body of Devaki from the body of Vasudeva. He was beyond the conditions of the ordinary living entity. When Krsna is there, it is to be understood that all His plenary expansions, such as Narayana, and incarnations like Lord Nrsimha and Varaha, are with Him, and they are not subject to the conditions of material existence. In this way, Devaki became the residence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is one without a second and the cause of all creation. Devaki became the residence of the Absolute Truth, but because she was within the house of Kamsa, she looked just like a suppressed fire, or like misused education. When fire is covered by the walls of a pot or is kept in a jug, the illuminating rays of the fire cannot be very much appreciated. Similarly, misused knowledge, which does not benefit the people in general, is not very much appreciated. So Devaki was kept within the prison walls of Kamsa's palace, and no one could see her transcendental beauty, which resulted from her conceiving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Commenting upon this verse, Sri Viraraghava Acarya writes, vasudeva-devaki jatharayor hrdayayor bhagavatah sambandhah. The Supreme Lord's entrance into the womb of Devaki from the heart of Vasudeva was a heart-to-heart relationship.
sa devaki sarva-jagan-nivasa-
nivasa-bhuta nitaram na reje
bhojendra-gehe 'gni-sikheva ruddha
sarasvati jnana-khale yatha sati
sa devaki--that Devakidevi; sarva-jagat-nivasa--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sustainer of all the universes (mat-sthani sarva-bhutani); nivasa-bhuta--the womb of Devaki has now become the residence; nitaram--extensively; na--not; reje--became illuminated; bhojendra-gehe--within the limits of the house of Kamsa; agni-sikha iva--like the flames of a fire; ruddha--covered; sarasvati--knowledge; jnana-khale--in a person known as jnana-khala, one who possesses knowledge but cannot distribute it; yatha--or just as; sati--so being.
Devaki then kept within herself the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the foundation of the entire cosmos, but because she was under arrest in the house of Kamsa, she was like the flames of a fire covered by the walls of a pot, or like a person who has knowledge but cannot distribute it to the world for the benefit of human society.
In this verse the word jnana-khala is most significant. Knowledge is meant for distribution. Although there is already much scientific knowledge, whenever scientists or philosophers awaken to a particular type of knowledge, they try to distribute it throughout the world, for otherwise the knowledge gradually dries up and no one benefits from it. India has the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita, but unfortunately, for some reason or other, this sublime knowledge of the science of God was not distributed throughout the world, although it is meant for all of human society. Therefore Krsna Himself appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and ordered all Indians to take up the cause of distributing the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita throughout the entire world.
yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa
"Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Sri Krsna as they are given in Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." (Cc. Madhya 7.128) Although India has the sublime knowledge of Bhagavad-gita, Indians have not done their proper duty of distributing it. Now, therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement has been set up to distribute this knowledge as it is, without distortion. Although previously there were attempts to distribute the knowledge of Bhagavad-gita, these attempts involved distortion and compromise with mundane knowledge. But now the Krsna consciousness movement, without mundane compromises, is distributing Bhagavad-gita as it is, and people are deriving the benefits of awakening to Krsna consciousness and becoming devotees of Lord Krsna. Therefore the proper distribution of knowledge has begun by which not only will the whole world benefit, but India's glory will be magnified in human society. Kamsa tried to arrest Krsna consciousness within his house (bhojendra-gehe), with the result that Kamsa, with all his opulences, was later vanquished. Similarly, the real knowledge of Bhagavad-gita was being choked by unscrupulous Indian leaders, with the result that India's culture, and knowledge of the Supreme were being lost. Now, however, because Krsna consciousness is spreading, the proper use of Bhagavad-gita is being attempted.
tam viksya kamsah prabhayajitantaram
virocayantim bhavanam suci-smitam
ahaisa me prana-haro harir guham
dhruvam srito yan na pureyam idrsi
tam--her (Devaki); viksya--after seeing; kamsah--her brother Kamsa; prabhaya--with the enhancement of her beauty and influence; ajita-antaram--because of keeping Ajita, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, within herself; virocayantim--illuminating; bhavanam--the whole atmosphere of the house; suci-smitam--smiling and brilliant; aha--said to himself; esah--this (Supreme Person); me--my; prana-harah--who will kill me; harih--Lord Visnu; guham--within the womb of Devaki; dhruvam--certainly; sritah--has taken shelter; yat--because; na--was not; pura--formerly; iyam--Devaki; idrsi--like this.
Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead was within her womb, Devaki illuminated the entire atmosphere in the place where she was confined. Seeing her jubilant, pure and smiling, Kamsa thought, "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who is now within her, will kill me. Devaki has never before looked so brilliant and jubilant."
The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (4.7):
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself." In this age, at the present moment, there are inordinate discrepancies in the discharge of human duties. Human life is meant for God realization, but unfortunately the materialistic civilization is stressing only the senses of the body, not understanding the living force within the body. As clearly stated in Bhagavad-gita (dehino 'smin yatha dehe), within the body is the body's proprietor, the living force, which is more important. But human society has become so fallen that instead of understanding the living force within the body, people have become busy with external things. This is a discrepancy in human duties. Therefore Krsna has taken birth or taken shelter within the womb of the Krsna consciousness movement. Men of Kamsa's class, therefore, are very much afraid and are busy trying to stop this movement, especially in the Western countries. One politician has remarked that the Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like an epidemic and that if not checked immediately, within ten years it may capture governmental power. There is, of course, such potency in the Krsna consciousness movement. As stated by authorities (Cc. Adi 17.22), kali-kale nama-rupe krsna-avatara: in this age, Krsna has appeared in the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. The Krsna consciousness movement is spreading like wildfire all over the world, and it will go on doing so. Men who are like Kamsa are very much afraid of the movement's progress and acceptance by the younger generation, but as Krsna could not be killed by Kamsa, this movement cannot be checked by men of Kamsa's class. The movement will go on increasing more and more, provided the leaders of the movement remain firmly Krsna conscious by following the regulative principles and the primary activities of chanting the Hare Krsna mantra regularly.
kim adya tasmin karaniyam asu me
yad artha-tantro na vihanti vikramam
striyah svasur gurumatya vadho 'yam
yasah sriyam hanty anukalam ayuh
kim--what; adya--now, immediately; tasmin--in this situation; karaniyam--is to be done; asu--without delay; me--my duty; yat--because; artha-tantrah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is always determined to protect the sadhus and kill the asadhus; na--does not; vihanti--give up; vikramam--His prowess; striyah--of a woman; svasuh--of my sister; guru-matyah--especially when she is pregnant; vadhah ayam--the killing; yasah--fame; sriyam--opulence; hanti--will vanquish; anukalam--forever; ayuh--and the duration of life.
Kamsa thought: What is my duty now? The Supreme Lord, who knows His purpose [paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam], will not give up His prowess. Devaki is a woman, she is my sister, and moreover she is now pregnant. If I kill her, my reputation, opulence and duration of life will certainly be vanquished.
According to Vedic principles, a woman, a brahmana, an old man, a child and a cow should never be killed. It appears that Kamsa, although a great enemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was aware of the Vedic culture and conscious of the fact that the soul transmigrates from one body to another and that one suffers in the next life according to the karmas of this life. Therefore he was afraid of killing Devaki, since she was a woman, she was his sister, and she was pregnant. A ksatriya becomes famous by performing heroic acts. But what would be heroic about killing a woman who, while confined in his custody, was under his shelter? Therefore, he did not want to act drastically by killing Devaki. Kamsa's enemy was within Devaki's womb, but killing an enemy in such a nescient state would not be an exhibition of prowess. According to ksatriya rules, an enemy should be fought face to face and with proper weapons. Then if the enemy is killed, the victor becomes famous. Kamsa very conscientiously deliberated upon these facts and therefore refrained from killing Devaki, although he was completely confident that his enemy had already appeared within her womb.
sa esa jivan khalu sampareto
varteta yo 'tyanta-nrsamsitena
dehe mrte tam manujah sapanti
ganta tamo 'ndham tanu-manino dhruvam
sah--he; esah--that jealous person; jivan--while living; khalu--even; samparetah--is dead; varteta--continues to live; yah--anyone who; atyanta--very much; nrsamsitena--by executing cruel activities; dehe--when the body; mrte--is finished; tam--him; manujah--all human beings; sapanti--condemn; ganta--he will go; tamah andham--to hellish life; tanu-maninah--of a person in the bodily concept of life; dhruvam--without a doubt.
A person who is very cruel is regarded as dead even while living, for while he is living or after his death, everyone condemns him. And after the death of a person in the bodily concept of life, he is undoubtedly transferred to the hell known as Andhatama.
Kamsa considered that if he killed his sister, while living he would be condemned by everyone, and after death he would go to the darkest region of hellish life because of his cruelty. It is said that a cruel person like a butcher is advised not to live and not to die. While living, a cruel person creates a hellish condition for his next birth, and therefore he should not live; but he is also advised not to die, because after death he must go to the darkest region of hell. Thus in either circumstance he is condemned. Kamsa, therefore, having good sense about the science of the soul's transmigration, deliberately refrained from killing Devaki.
In this verse the words ganta tamo 'ndham tanu-manino dhruvam are very important and require extensive understanding. Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his Vaisnava-tosani-tika, says: tatra tanu-maninah papina iti dehatma-buddhyaiva papabhiniveso bhavati. One who lives in the bodily concept, thinking, "I am this body," involves himself, by the very nature of this conception, in a life of sinful activities. Anyone living in such a conception is to be considered a candidate for hell.
adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram
punah punas carvita-carvananam
(Bhag. > 7.5.30)
One who is in a bodily concept of life has no control over sense gratification. Such a person can do anything sinful to eat, drink, be merry and enjoy a life of sense gratification, not knowing of the soul's transmigration from one body to another. Such a person does whatever he likes, whatever he imagines, and therefore, being subject to the laws of nature, he suffers miserably again and again in different material bodies.
yavat kriyas tavad idam mano vai
karmatmakam yena sarira-bandhah
In the bodily concept of life, a person is karmanubandha, or conditioned by karma, and as long as the mind is absorbed in karma, one must accept a material body. Sarira-bandha, bondage to the material body, is a source of misery (klesa-da).
na sadhu manye yata atmano 'yam
asann api klesada asa dehah
Although the body is temporary, it always gives one trouble in many ways, but human civilization is now unfortunately based on tanu-mani, the bodily concept of life, by which one thinks, "I belong to this nation," "I belong to this group," "I belong to that group," and so on. Each of us has his own ideas, and we are becoming increasingly involved, individually, socially, communally and nationally, in the complexities of karmanubandha, sinful activities. For the maintenance of the body, men are killing so many other bodies and becoming implicated in karmanubandha. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami says that tanu-mani, those in the bodily concept of life, are papi, sinful persons. For such sinful persons, the ultimate destination is the darkest region of hellish life (ganta tamo 'ndham). In particular, a person who wants to maintain his body by killing animals is most sinful and cannot understand the value of spiritual life. In Bhagavad-gita (16.19-20) the Lord says:
tan aham dvisatah kruran
ksipamy ajasram asubhan
asurisv eva yonisu
asurim yonim apanna
mudha janmani janmani
mam aprapyaiva kaunteya
tato yanty adhamam gatim
"Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, are cast by Me into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life. Attaining repeated birth among the species of demoniac life, such persons can never approach Me. Gradually they sink down to the most abominable type of existence." A human being is meant to understand the value of human life, which is a boon obtained after many, many births. Therefore one must free oneself from tanu-mani, the bodily concept of life, and realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
iti ghoratamad bhavat
sannivrttah svayam prabhuh
aste pratiksams taj-janma
iti--thus (thinking in the above-mentioned way); ghora-tamat bhavat--from the most ghastly contemplation of how to kill his sister; sannivrttah--refrained; svayam--personally deliberating; prabhuh--one who was in full knowledge (Kamsa); aste--remained; pratiksan--awaiting the moment; tat-janma--until the birth of Him; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari; vaira-anubandha-krt--determined to continue such enmity.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Deliberating in this way, Kamsa, although determined to continue in enmity toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead, refrained from the vicious killing of his sister. He decided to wait until the Lord was born and then do what was needed.
asinah samvisams tisthan
bhunjanah paryatan mahim
apasyat tanmayam jagat
asinah--while sitting comfortably in his sitting room or on the throne; samvisan--or lying on his bed; tisthan--or staying anywhere; bhunjanah--while eating; paryatan--while walking or moving; mahim--on the ground, going hither and thither; cintayanah--always inimically thinking of; hrsikesam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of everything; apasyat--observed; tat-mayam--consisting of Him (Krsna), and nothing more; jagat--the entire world.
While sitting on his throne or in his sitting room, while lying on his bed, or, indeed, while situated anywhere, and while eating, sleeping or walking, Kamsa saw only his enemy, the Supreme Lord, Hrsikesa. In other words, by thinking of his all-pervading enemy, Kamsa became unfavorably Krsna conscious.
Srila Rupa Gosvami has described the finest pattern of devotional service as anukulyena krsnanusilanam, or cultivating Krsna consciousness favorably. Kamsa, of course, was also Krsna conscious, but because he regarded Krsna as his enemy, even though he was fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, his Krsna consciousness was not favorable for his existence. Krsna consciousness, favorably cultivated, makes one completely happy, so much so that a Krsna conscious person does not consider kaivalya-sukham, or merging into the existence of Krsna, to be a great gain. Kaivalyam narakayate. For a Krsna conscious person, even merging into the existence of Krsna, or Brahman, as impersonalists aspire to do, is uncomfortable. Kaivalyam narakayate tridasa-pur akasa-puspayate. Karmis hanker to be promoted to the heavenly planets, but a Krsna conscious person considers such promotion a will-o'-the-wisp, good for nothing. Durdantendriya-kala-sarpa-patali protkhata-damstrayate. Yogis try to control their senses and thus become happy, but a Krsna conscious person neglects the methods of yoga. He is unconcerned with the greatest of enemies, the senses, which are compared to snakes. For a Krsna conscious person who is cultivating Krsna consciousness favorably, the happiness conceived by the karmis, jnanis and yogis is treated as less than a fig. Kamsa, however, because of cultivating Krsna consciousness in a different way--that is, inimically--was uncomfortable in all the affairs of his life; whether sitting, sleeping, walking or eating, he was always in danger. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. A nondevotee or atheist also cultivates God consciousness--by trying to avoid God in everything. For example, so-called scientists who want to create life by a combination of chemicals regard the external, material elements as supreme. Such scientists do not like the idea that life is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. As clearly stated in Bhagavad-gita (mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah), the living entities do not arise from a combination of material elements, such as earth, water, air and fire, but are separated portions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one can understand the position of the living entity as a separated portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by studying the nature of the living entity one can understand the nature of the Supreme Godhead, since the living entity is a fragmental sample of the Godhead. But because atheists are not interested in God consciousness, they try to be happy by cultivating Krsna consciousness in various unfavorable ways.
Although Kamsa was always absorbed in thoughts of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was not happy. A devotee, however, whether sitting on a throne or beneath a tree, is always happy. Srila Rupa Gosvami resigned from office as a government minister to sit beneath a tree, yet he was happy. Tyaktva turnam asesa-mandalapati-srenim sada tucchavat (Sad-gosvamy-astaka 4). He did not care for his comfortable position as minister; he was happy even beneath a tree in Vrndavana, favorably serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. For a nondevotee, the world is full of problems, whereas for a devotee the entire world is full of happiness.
visvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate
yat-karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam tam gauram eva stumah
This comfortable position of a devotee can be established by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Yasmin sthito na duhkhena gurunapi vicalyate (Bg. 6.22). Even when a devotee is superficially put into great difficulty, he is never disturbed.
brahma bhavas ca tatraitya
devaih sanucaraih sakam
girbhir vrsanam aidayan
brahma--the supreme four-headed demigod; bhavah ca--and Lord Siva; tatra--there; etya--arriving; munibhih--accompanied by great sages; narada-adibhih--by Narada and others; devaih--and by demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna; sa-anucaraih--with their followers; sakam--all together; girbhih--by their transcendental prayers; vrsanam--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can bestow blessings upon everyone; aidayan--pleased.
Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, accompanied by great sages like Narada, Devala and Vyasa and by other demigods like Indra, Candra and Varuna, invisibly approached the room of Devaki, where they all joined in offering their respectful obeisances and prayers to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can bestow blessings upon everyone.
Dvau bhuta-sargau loke 'smin daiva asura eva ca (Padma Purana). There are two classes of men--the daivas and the asuras--and there is a great difference between them. Kamsa, being an asura, was always planning how to kill the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His mother, Devaki. Thus he was also Krsna conscious. But devotees are Krsna conscious favorably (visnu-bhaktah smrto daivah). Brahma is so powerful that he is in charge of creating an entire universe, yet he personally came to receive the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhava, Lord Siva, is always jubilant in chanting the holy name of the Lord. And what to speak of Narada? Narada-muni, bajaya vina, radhika-ramana-name. Narada Muni is always chanting the glories of the Lord, and his engagement is to travel all over the universe and find a devotee or make someone a devotee. Even a hunter was made a devotee by the grace of Narada. Srila Sanatana Gosvami, in his Tosani, says that the word narada-adibhih means that Narada and the demigods were accompanied by other saintly persons, like Sanaka and Sanatana, all of whom came to congratulate or welcome the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even though Kamsa was planning to kill Devaki, he too awaited the arrival of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (pratiksams taj janma).
satya-vratam satya-param tri-satyam
satyasya yonim nihitam ca satye
satyasya satyam rta-satya-netram
satyatmakam tvam saranam prapannah
satya-vratam--the Personality of Godhead, who never deviates from His vow
To honor this vow, the Lord appeared.
*; satya-param--who is the Absolute Truth (as stated in the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, satyam param dhimahi); tri-satyam--He is always present as the Absolute Truth, before the creation of this cosmic manifestation, during its maintenance, and even after its annihilation; satyasya--of all relative truths, which are emanations from the Absolute Truth, Krsna; yonim--t;he cause; nihitam--entered). Therefore He is called antaryami, the inner force. *; ca--and; satye--in the factors that create this material world (namely, the five elements--earth, water, fire, air and ether); satyasya--of all that is accepted as the truth; satyam--the Lord is the original truth; rta-satya-netram--He is the origin of whatever truth is pleasing (sunetram); satya-atmakam--everything pertaining to the Lord is truth (sac-cid-ananda: His body is truth, His knowledge is truth, and His pleasure is truth); tvam--unto you, O Lord; saranam--offering our full surrender; prapannah--we are completely under Your protection.
The demigods prayed: O Lord, You never deviate from Your vow, which is always perfect because whatever You decide is perfectly correct and cannot be stopped by anyone. Being present in the three phases of cosmic manifestation--creation, maintenance and annihilation--You are the Supreme Truth. Indeed, unless one is completely truthful, one cannot achieve Your favor, which therefore cannot be achieved by hypocrites. You are the active principle, the real truth, in all the ingredients of creation, and therefore you are known as antaryami, the inner force. You are equal to everyone, and Your instructions apply for everyone, for all time. You are the beginning of all truth. Therefore, offering our obeisances, we surrender unto You. Kindly give us protection.
The demigods or devotees know perfectly well that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the true substance, whether within this material world or in the spiritual world. Srimad-Bhagavatam begins, therefore, with the words om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. .. satyam param dhimahi. Vasudeva, Krsna, is the param satyam, the Supreme Truth. The Supreme Truth can be approached or understood by the supreme method, as declared by the Supreme Truth: bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah (Bg. 18.55). Bhakti, devotional service, is the only way to understand the Absolute Truth. For protection, therefore, the demigods surrender to the Supreme Truth, not to the relative truth. There are persons who worship various demigods, but the Supreme Truth, Krsna, declares in Bhagavad-gita (7.23), antavat tu phalam tesam tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam: "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary." Worship of demigods may be useful for a limited time, but the result is antavat, perishable. This material world is impermanent, the demigods are impermanent, and the benedictions derived from the demigods are also impermanent, whereas the living entity is eternal (nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam). Every living entity, therefore, must search for eternal happiness, not temporary happiness. The words satyam param dhimahi indicate that one should search for the Absolute Truth, not the relative truth.
While offering prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nrsimhadeva, Prahlada Maharaja said:
balasya neha saranam pitarau nrsimha
nartasya cagadam udanvati majjato nauh
Generally it is understood that the protectors for a child are his parents, but this is not actually the fact. The real protector is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
taptasya tat-pratividhir ya ihanjasestas
tavad vibho tanu-bhrtam tvad-upeksitanam
If neglected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, a child, despite the presence of his parents, will suffer, and a diseased person, despite all medical help, will die. In this material world, where there is a struggle for existence, men have invented many means for protection, but these are useless if the Supreme Personality of Godhead rejects them. Therefore the demigods purposefully say, satyatmakam tvam saranam prapannah: "Real protection can be obtained from You, O Lord, and therefore we surrender unto You,"
The Lord demands that one surrender unto Him (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja), and He further says:
sakrd eva prapanno yas
tavasmiti ca yacate
abhayam sarvada tasmai
dadamy etad vratam mama
"If one surrenders unto Me sincerely, saying, 'My Lord, from this day I am fully surrendered unto You,' I always give him protection. That is My vow." (Ramayana, Yuddha-kanda 18.33) The demigods offered their prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He had now appeared in the womb of His devotee Devaki to protect all the devotees harassed by Kamsa and his lieutenants. Thus the Lord acts as satyavrata. The protection given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be compared to the protection given by the demigods. It is said that Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Siva, but when Lord Ramacandra went to kill him, Lord Siva could not give him protection.
Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, accompanied by great sages like Narada and followed by many other demigods, had now invisibly appeared in the house of Kamsa. They began to pray for the Supreme Personality of Godhead in select prayers which are very pleasing to the devotees and which award fulfillment of devotional desires. The first words they spoke acclaimed that the Lord is true to His vow. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna descends upon this material world just to protect the pious and destroy the impious. That is His vow. The demigods could understand that the Lord had taken His residence within the womb of Devaki to fulfill this vow. They were very glad that the Lord was appearing to fulfill His mission, and they addressed Him as satyam param, or the Supreme Absolute Truth.
Everyone is searching after the truth. That is the philosophical way of life. The demigods give information that the Supreme Absolute Truth is Krsna. One who becomes fully Krsna conscious can attain the Absolute Truth. Krsna is the Absolute Truth. Relative truth is not truth in all the three phases of eternal time. Time is divided into past, present and future. Krsna is Truth always, past, present and future. In the material world, everything is being controlled by supreme time, in the course of past, present and future. But before the creation, Krsna was existing, and when there is creation, everything is resting in Krsna, and when this creation is finished, Krsna will remain. Therefore, He is Absolute Truth in all circumstances, If there is any truth within this material world, it emanates from the Supreme Truth, Krsna. If there is any opulence within this material world, the cause of the opulence is Krsna. If there is any reputation within this material world, the cause of the reputation is Krsna. If there is any strength within this material world, the cause of such strength is Krsna. If there is any wisdom and education within this material world, the cause of such wisdom and education is Krsna. Therefore Krsna is the source of all relative truths.
Devotees, therefore, following in the footsteps of Lord Brahma, pray, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami, worshiping the adi-purusa, the supreme truth, Govinda. Everything, everywhere, is performed in terms of three principles, jnana-bala-kriya--knowledge, strength and activity. In every field, if there is not full knowledge, full strength and full activity, an endeavor is never successful. Therefore, if one wants success in everything, one must be backed by these three principles. In the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8) there is this statement about the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not need to do anything personally, for He has such potencies that anything He wants done will be done perfectly well through the control of material nature (svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca). Similarly, those who are engaged in the service of the Lord are not meant to struggle for existence. The devotees who are fully engaged in spreading the Krsna consciousness movement, more than ten thousand men and women all over the world, have no steady or permanent occupation, yet we actually see that they are maintained very opulently. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.22):
ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
"For those who worship Me with devotion, meditating on My transcendental form, I carry to them what they lack and preserve what they have." The devotees have no anxiety over what will happen next, where they will stay or what they will eat, for everything is maintained and supplied by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has promised, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: "O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes." (Bg. 9.31) From all angles of vision, therefore, in all circumstances, if one fully surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no question of one's struggling for existence. In this connection, the commentary by Sripada Madhvacarya, who quotes from the Tantra-bhagavata, is very meaningful:
sac-chadba uttamam bruyad
anandantiti vai vadet
attrtvac ca tada danat
satyattya cocyate vibhuh
Explaining the words satyasya yonim, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Krsna is the avatari, the origin of all incarnations. All incarnations are the Absolute Truth, yet the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna is the origin of all incarnations. Diparcir eva hi dasantaram abhyupetya dipayate (Brahma-samhita 5.46). There may be many lamps, all equal in power, yet there is a first lamp, a second lamp, a third lamp and so on. Similarly, there are many incarnations, who are compared to lamps, but the first lamp, the original Personality of Godhead, is Krsna. Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami.
The demigods must offer worship in obedience to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but one might argue that since the Supreme Godhead was within the womb of Devaki, He was also coming in a material body. Why then should He be worshiped? Why should one make a distinction between an ordinary living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead? These questions are answered in the following verses.
ekayano 'sau dvi-phalas tri-mulas
catu-rasah panca-vidhah sad-atma
sapta-tvag asta-vitapo navakso
dasa-cchadi dvi-khago hy adi-vrksah
eka-ayanah--the body of an ordinary living being is fully dependent on the material elements; asau--that; dvi-phalah--in this body we are subject to material happiness and distress, which result from karma; tri-mulah--having three roots, the three modes of nature (goodness, passion and ignorance), upon which the body is created; catuh-rasah--four rasas, or tastes; panca-vidhah--consisting of five senses for acquiring knowledge (the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch); sat-atma--six circumstances (lamentation, illusion, old age, death, hunger and thirst); sapta-tvak--having seven coverings (skin, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow and semen); asta-vitapah--eight branches (the five gross elements--earth, water, fire, air and ether--and also the mind, intelligence and ego); nava-aksah--nine holes; dasa-chadi--ten kinds of life air, resembling the leaves of a tree; dvi-khagah--two birds (the individual soul and the Supersoul); hi--indeed; adi-vrksah --this is the original tree or construction of the material body, whether individual or universal.
The body [the total body and the individual body are of the same composition] may figuratively be called "the original tree." From this tree, which fully depends on the ground of material nature, come two kinds of fruit--the enjoyment of happiness and the suffering of distress. The cause of the tree, forming its three roots, is association with the three modes of material nature--goodness, passion and ignorance. The fruits of bodily happiness have four tastes--religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation--which are experienced through five senses for acquiring knowledge in the midst of six circumstances: lamentation, illusion, old age, death, hunger and thirst. The seven layers of bark covering the tree are skin, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow and semen, and the eight branches of the tree are the five gross and three subtle elements--earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. The tree of the body has nine hollows--the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the rectum and the genitals--and ten leaves, the ten airs passing through the body. In this tree of the body there are two birds: one is the individual soul, and the other is the Supersoul.
This material world is composed of five principal elements--earth, water, fire, air and ether--all of which are emanations from Krsna. Although materialistic scientists may accept these five primary elements as the cause of the material manifestation, these elements in their gross and subtle states are produced by Krsna, whose marginal potency also produces the living entities working within this material world. The Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita clearly states that the entire cosmic manifestation is a combination of two of Krsna's energies--the superior energy and the inferior energy. The living entities are the superior energy, and the inanimate material elements are His inferior energy. In the dormant stage, everything rests in Krsna.
Material scientists cannot give such a thorough analysis of the material structure of the body. The analysis of the material scientists concerns itself only with inanimate matter, but this is inadequate because the living entity is completely separate from the material bodily structure. In Bhagavad-gita (7.5) the Lord says:
apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
yayedam dharyate jagat
"Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all the living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe." Although the material elements emanate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, they are separated elements and are sustained by the living elements.
As indicated by the word dvi-khagah, the living elements within the body resemble two birds in a tree. Kha means "sky," and ga means "one who flies." Thus the word dvi-khagah refers to birds. In the tree of the body there are two birds, or two living elements, and they are always different. In Bhagavad-gita (13.3), the Lord says, ksetra jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata: "O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies." The ksetra jna, the owner of the body, is also called the khaga, the living entity. Within the body there are two such ksetra jnas--the individual soul and the Supersoul. The individual soul is the owner of his individual body, but the Supersoul is present within the bodies of all living entities. Such a thorough analysis and understanding of the bodily structure cannot be obtained anywhere but in the Vedic literature.
When two birds enter a tree, one may foolishly think that the birds become one or merge with the tree, but actually they do not. Rather, each bird keeps its individual identity. Similarly, the individual soul and the Supersoul do not become one, nor do they merge with matter. The living entity lives close to matter, but this does not mean that he merges or mixes with it (asango hy ayam purusah), although material scientists mistakenly see the organic and inorganic, or animate and inanimate, to be mixed.
Vedic knowledge has been kept imprisoned or concealed, but every human being needs to understand it in truth. The modern civilization of ignorance is simply engaged in analyzing the body, and thus people come to the erroneous conclusion that the living force within the body is generated under certain material conditions. People have no information of the soul, but this verse gives the perfect explanation that there are two living forces (dvi-khaga): the individual soul and the Supersoul. The Supersoul is present in every body (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati), whereas the individual soul is situated only in his own body (dehi) and is transmigrating from one body to another.
tvam eka evasya satah prasutis
tvam sannidhanam tvam anugrahas ca
tvan-mayaya samvrta-cetasas tvam
pasyanti nana na vipascito ye
tvam--You (O Lord); ekah--being one without a second, You are everything; eva--indeed; asya satah--of this cosmic manifestation now visible; prasutih--the original source; tvam--Your Lordship; sannidhanam--the conservation of all such energy when everything is annihilated; tvam--Your Lordship; anugrahah ca--and the maintainer; tvat-mayaya--by Your illusory, external energy; samvrta-cetasah--those whose intelligence is covered by such illusory energy; tvam--unto You; pasyanti--observe; nana--many varieties; na--not; vipascitah--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 Brahma, Lord Siva and even Visnu, 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 evadvitiyam brahma. There is no second existence. Those who are truly vipascit, learned, are those who have reached the platform of understanding and observing the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any condition of life. premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti (Brahma-samhita 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'nukampam susamiksamanah (Bhag. 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. Tesam aham samuddharta mrtyu-samsara-sagarat (Bg. 12.7). The appearance of distress is a negative process intended to give the devotee relief from this material world, which is called mrtyu-samsara, 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 vipascit, or learned. A nondevotee, therefore, is perturbed in distress, but a devotee welcomes distress as another feature of the Lord. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. A devotee can actually see that there is only the Supreme Personality of Godhead and no second entity. Ekam evadvitiyam. There is only the Lord, who presents Himself in different energies.
Persons who are not in real knowledge think that Brahma is the creator, Visnu the maintainer and Siva 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 (kamais tais tair hrta jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah). 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-gita (9.23):
ye 'py anya-devata bhakta
te 'pi mam eva kaunteya
"Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, 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 Krsna, one can completely discharge one's duties; there is no need to worship various deities or demigods. These various divinities are observed by the mudhas, fools, who are bewildered by the three modes of material nature (tribhir gunamayair bhavair ebhih sarvam idam jagat). Such fools cannot understand that the real source of everything is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam). Not being disturbed by the Lord's various features, one should concentrate upon and worship the Supreme Lord (mam ekam saranam vraja). This should be the guiding principle of one's life.
bibharsi rupany avabodha atma
ksemaya lokasya caracarasya
satam abhadrani muhuh khalanam
bibharsi--You accept; rupani--varieties of forms, such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Rama and Nrsimha; avabodhah atma--in spite of having different incarnations, You remain the Supreme, full of knowledge; ksemaya--for the benefit of everyone, and especially the devotees; lokasya--of all living entities; cara-acarasya--moving and nonmoving; sattva-upapannani--all such incarnations are transcendental (suddha-sattva); sukha-avahani--full of transcendental bliss; satam--of the devotees; abhadrani--all inauspiciousness or annihilation; muhuh--again and again; khalanam--of the nondevotees.
O Lord, You are always in full knowledge, and to bring all good fortune to all living entities, You appear in different incarnations, all of them transcendental to the material creation. When You appear in these incarnations, You are pleasing to the pious and religious devotees, but for nondevotees You are the annihilator.
This verse explains why the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears as an incarnation again and again. The incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead all function differently, but their main purpose is paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam--to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. Yet even though the duskrtis, or miscreants, are annihilated, this is ultimately good for them.
kurvanti govatsa-padam bhavabdhim
tvayi--in You; ambuja-aksa--O lotus-eyed Lord; akhila-sattva-dhamni--who are the original cause of all existence, from whom everything emanates and in whom all potencies reside; samadhina--by constant meditation and complete absorption (in thoughts of You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead); avesita--fully absorbed, fully engaged; cetasa--but by such a mentality; eke--the one process of always thinking of Your lotus feet; tvat-pada-potena--by boarding such a boat as Your lotus feet; mahat-krtena--by that action which is considered the most powerful original existence or which is executed by mahajanas; kurvanti--they make; govatsa-padam--like the hoofprint of a calf; bhava-abdhim--the great ocean of nescience.
O lotus-eyed Lord, by concentrating one's meditation on Your lotus feet, which are the reservoir of all existence, and by accepting those lotus feet as the boat by which to cross the ocean of nescience, one follows in the footsteps of mahajanas [great saints, sages and devotees]. By this simple process, one can cross the ocean of nescience as easily as one steps over the hoofprint of a calf.
The true mission in life is to cross the ocean of nescience, of repeated birth and death. Those in the darkness of ignorance, however, do not know this mission. Instead, being carried away by the waves of material nature (prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah), they are undergoing the tribulations of mrtyu-samsara-vartmani, repeated birth and death. But persons who have achieved knowledge by the association of devotees follow the mahajanas (mahat-krtena). Such a person always concentrates his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord and executes one or more of the nine varieties of devotional service (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam). Simply by this process, one can cross the insurmountable ocean of nescience.
Devotional service is powerful in any form. Sri-visnoh sravane pariksid abhavad vaiyasakih kirtane (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.265). According to this verse, Maharaja Pariksit became liberated by fully concentrating his mind on hearing the Lord's holy name, attributes and pastimes. Similarly, Sukadeva Gosvami simply glorified the Lord, and by speaking on the subject matters of Krsna that constitute the entire Srimad-Bhagavatam, he too was liberated. One may also be liberated simply by sakhya, friendly behavior with the Lord. Such is the power of devotional service, as we learn from the examples set by the Lord's many pure devotees.
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
We have to follow in the footsteps of such devotees, for by this one easy process one can cross the great ocean of nescience just as one might cross a small hole created by the hoof of a calf.
Here the Lord is described as ambujaksa, or lotus-eyed. By seeing the eyes of the Lord, which are compared to lotus flowers, one becomes so satisfied that one does not want to turn his eyes to anything else. Simply by seeing the transcendental form of the Lord, a devotee is at once fully absorbed in the Lord in his heart. This absorption is called samadhi. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah (Bhag. 12.13.1). A yogi is fully absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for he has no other business than to think of the Lord always within the heart. It is also said:
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
"For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the demon Mura, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoofprint. His goal is param padam, or Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step." (Bhag. 10.14.58) This process is recommended here by authorities like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva (svayambhur naradah sambhuh), and therefore we must take to this process in order to transcend nescience. This is very easy, but we must follow in the footsteps of great personalities, and then success will be possible.
In regard to the word mahat-krtena, it is also significant that the process shown by great devotees is not only for them but also for others. If things are made easy, this affords facility for the person who has made them easy and also for others who follow the same principles. The process recommended in this verse for crossing the ocean of nescience is easy not only for the devotee but also for common persons who follow the devotee (mahajano yena gatah sa panthah).
svayam samuttirya sudustaram dyuman
bhavarnavam bhimam adabhra-sauhrdah
bhavat-padambhoruha-navam atra te
nidhaya yatah sad-anugraho bhavan
svayam--personally; samuttirya--perfectly crossing; su-dustaram--which is very difficult to cross; dyuman--O Lord, who appear exactly like the sun, illuminating the darkness of this world of ignorance; bhava-arnavam--the ocean of nescience; bhimam--which is extremely fierce; adabhra-sauhrdah--devotees who are incessantly friendly to the fallen souls; bhavat-pada-ambhoruha--Your lotus feet; navam--the boat for crossing; atra--in this world; te--they (the Vaisnavas); nidhaya--leaving behind; yatah--on to the ultimate destination, Vaikuntha; sat-anugrahah--who are always kind and merciful to the devotees; bhavan--You.
O Lord, who resemble the shining sun, You are always ready to fulfill the desire of Your devotee, and therefore You are known as a desire tree [vancha-kalpataru]. When acaryas completely take shelter under Your lotus feet in order to cross the fierce ocean of nescience, they leave behind on earth the method by which they cross, and because You are very merciful to Your other devotees, You accept this method to help them.
This statement reveals how the merciful acaryas and the merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead together help the serious devotee who wants to return home, back to Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in His teachings to Rupa Gosvami, said:
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
(Cc. Madhya 19.151)
One can achieve the seed of bhakti-lata, devotional service, by the mercy of guru and Krsna. The duty of the guru is to find the means, according to the time, the circumstances and the candidate, by which one can be induced to render devotional service, which Krsna accepts from a candidate who wants to be successful in going back home, back to Godhead. After wandering throughout the universe, a fortunate person within this material world seeks shelter of such a guru, or acarya, who trains the devotee in the suitable ways to render service according to the circumstances so that the Supreme Personality of Godhead will accept the service. This makes it easier for the candidate to reach the ultimate destination. The acarya's duty, therefore, is to find the means by which devotees may render service according to references from sastra. Rupa Gosvami, for example, in order to help subsequent devotees, published such devotional books as Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Thus it is the duty of the acarya to publish books that will help future candidates take up the method of service and become eligible to return home, back to Godhead, by the mercy of the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, this same path is being prescribed and followed. Thus the devotees have been advised to refrain from four sinful activities--illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling--and to chant sixteen rounds a day. These are bona fide instructions. Because in the Western countries constant chanting is not possible, one should not artificially imitate Haridasa Thakura, but should follow this method. Krsna will accept a devotee who strictly follows the regulative principles and the method prescribed in the various books and literatures published by the authorities. The acarya gives the suitable method for crossing the ocean of nescience by accepting the boat of the Lord's lotus feet, and if this method is strictly followed, the followers will ultimately reach the destination, by the grace of the Lord. This method is called acarya-sampradaya. It is therefore said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah (Padma Purana). The acarya-sampradaya is strictly bona fide. Therefore one must accept the acarya-sampradaya; otherwise one's endeavor will be futile. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings:
tandera carana sevi bhakta sane vasa
janame janame haya, ei abhilasa
One must worship the lotus feet of the acarya and live within the society of devotees. Then one's endeavor to cross over nescience will surely be successful.
ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas
tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah
aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah
patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah
ye anye--anyone, or all others; aravinda-aksa--O lotus-eyed one; vimukta-maninah--falsely considering themselves free from the bondage of material contamination; tvayi--unto You; asta-bhavat--speculating in various ways but not knowing or desiring more information of Your lotus feet; avisuddha-buddhayah--whose intelligence is still not purified and who do not know the goal of life; aruhya--even though achieving; krcchrena--by undergoing severe austerities, penances and hard labor; param padam--the highest position (according to their imagination and speculation); tatah--from that position; patanti--they fall; adhah--down into material existence again; anadrta--neglecting devotion to; yusmat--Your; anghrayah--lotus feet.
[Someone may say that aside from devotees, who always seek shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not devotees but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to this question, Lord Brahma and the other demigods said:] O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.
Aside from devotees, there are many others, nondevotees, known as karmis, jnanis or yogis, philanthropists, altruists, politicians, impersonalists and voidists. There are many varieties of nondevotees who have their respective ways of liberation, but simply because they do not know the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet, although they falsely think that they have been liberated and elevated to the highest position, they fall down. As clearly stated by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.3):
aprapya mam nivartante
"Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world." It doesn't matter whether one is a karmi, jnani, yogi, philanthropist, politician or whatever; if one has no love for the lotus feet of the Lord, one falls down. That is the verdict given by Lord brahma in this verse.
There are persons who advocate accepting any process and who say that whatever process one accepts will lead to the same goal, but that is refuted in this verse, where such persons are referred to as vimukta-maninah, signifying that although they think they have attained the highest perfection, in fact they have not. In the present day, big, big politicians all over the world think that by scheming they can occupy the highest political post, that of president or prime minister, but we actually see that even in this life such big prime ministers, presidents and other politicians, because of being nondevotees, fall down (patanty adhah). To become president or prime minister is not easy; one must work very hard (aruhya krcchrena) to achieve the post. And even though one may reach his goal, at any moment one may be kicked down by material nature. In human society there have been many instances in which great, exalted politicians have fallen from government and become lost in historical oblivion. The cause of this is avisuddha-buddhayah: their intelligence is impure. The sastra says, na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum (Bhag. 7.5.31). One achieves the perfection of life by becoming a devotee of Visnu, but people do not know this. Therefore, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (12.5), kleso 'dhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam. Persons who do not ultimately accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead and take to devotional service, but who instead are attached to impersonalism and voidism, must undergo great labor to achieve their goals.
sreyah-srtim bhaktim udasya te vibho
klisyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
To achieve understanding, such persons work very hard and undergo severe austerities, but their hard labor and austerities themselves are their only achievement, for they do not actually achieve the real goal of life.
Dhruva Maharaja at first wanted to achieve the greatest material kingdom and greater material possessions than his father, but when he was actually favored by the Lord, who appeared before him to give him the benediction he desired, Dhruva Maharaja refused it, saying, svamin krtartho'smi varam na yace: "Now I am fully satisfied. I do not want any material benediction." (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 7.28) This is the perfection of life. Yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah (Bg. 6.22). If one achieves the shelter of the Lord's lotus feet, one is fully satisfied and does not need to ask for any material benediction.
At night, no one can see a lotus, for lotuses blossom only during the daytime. Therefore the word aravindaksa is significant. One who is not captivated by the lotus eyes or transcendental form of the Supreme Lord is in darkness, exactly like one who cannot see a lotus. One who has not come to the point of seeing the lotus eyes and transcendental form of Syamasundara is a failure. premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. Those who are attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in love always see the Lord's lotus eyes and lotus feet, whereas others cannot see the Lord's beauty and are therefore classified as anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah, or neglectful of the Lord's personal form. Those who neglect the Lord's form are surely failures on every path in life, but if one develops even a little love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is liberated without difficulty (svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat). Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead recommends in Bhagavad-gita (9.34), man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru: "Simply think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer some slight homage to Me." Simply by this process, one is guaranteed to return home, back to Godhead, and thus attain the highest perfection. The Lord further affirms in Bhagavad-gita (18.54-55):
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me. One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God."
tatha na te madhava tavakah kvacid
bhrasyanti margat tvayi baddha-sauhrdah
tvayabhigupta vicaranti nirbhaya
tatha--like them (the nondevotees); na--not; te--they (the devotees); madhava--O Lord, husband of the goddess of fortune; tavakah--the followers of the devotional path, the devotees; kvacit--in any circumstances; bhrasyanti--fall down; margat--from the path of devotional service; tvayi--unto You; baddha-sauhrdah--because of being fully attached to Your lotus feet; tvaya--by You; abhiguptah--always protected from all dangers; vicaranti--they move; nirbhayah--without fear; vinayaka-anikapa--the enemies who maintain paraphernalia to oppose the bhakti cult; murdhasu--on their heads; prabho--O Lord.
O Madhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path of devotion, they do not fall like nondevotees, for You still protect them. Thus they fearlessly traverse the heads of their opponents and continue to progress in devotional service.
Devotees generally do not fall down, but if circumstantially they do, the Lord, because of their strong attachment to Him, gives them protection in all circumstances. Thus even if devotees fall down, they are still strong enough to traverse the heads of their enemies. We have actually seen that our Krsna consciousness movement has many opponents, such as the "deprogrammers," who instituted a strong legal case against the devotees. We thought that this case would take a long time to settle, but because the devotees were protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we unexpectedly won the case in one day. Thus a case that was expected to continue for years was settled in a day because of the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has promised in Bhagavad-gita (9.31), kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: "O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes." In history there are many instances of devotees like Citraketu, Indradyumna and Maharaja Bharata who circumstantially fell down but were still protected. Maharaja Bharata, for example, because of his attachment to a deer, thought of the deer at the time of death, and therefore in his next life he became a deer (yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram). Because of protection by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, the deer remembered his relationship with the Lord and next took birth in a good brahminical family and performed devotional service (sucinam srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto 'bhijayate). Similarly, Citraketu fell down and became a demon, Vrtrasura, but he too was protected. Thus even if one falls down from the path of bhakti-yoga, one is ultimately saved. If a devotee is strongly situated in devotional service, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has promised to protect him (kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati). But even if a devotee circumstantially falls down, he is protected by Madhava.
The word Madhava is significant. Ma, mother Laksmi, the mother of all opulences, is always with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and if a devotee is in touch with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all the opulences of the Lord are ready to help him.
yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama
Wherever there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and His devotee Arjuna, Partha, there is victory, opulence, extraordinary power and morality. The opulences of a devotee are not a result of karma-kanda-vicara. A devotee is always protected by all of the Supreme Lord's opulences, of which no one can deprive him (tesam nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam vahamy aham). Thus a devotee cannot be defeated by any opponents. A devotee, therefore, should not deviate knowingly from the path of devotion. The adherent devotee is assured all protection from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
sattvam visuddham srayate bhavan sthitau
saririnam sreya-upayanam vapuh
tavarhanam yena janah samihate
sattvam--existence; visuddham--transcendental, beyond the three modes of material nature; srayate--accepts; bhavan--Your Lordship; sthitau--during the maintenance of this material world; saririnam--of all living entities; sreyah--of supreme auspiciousness; upayanam--for the benefit; vapuh--a transcendental form or body; veda-kriya--by ritualistic ceremonies according to the directions of the Vedas; yoga--by practice of devotion; tapah--by austerities; samadhibhih--by becoming absorbed in transcendental existence; tava--Your; arhanam--worship; yena--by such activities; janah--human society; samihate--offers (its obligation unto You).
O Lord, during the time of maintenance You manifest several incarnations, all with transcendental bodies, beyond the material modes of nature. When You appear in this way, You bestow all good fortune upon the living entities by teaching them to perform Vedic activities such as ritualistic ceremonies, mystic yoga, austerities, penances, and ultimately samadhi, ecstatic absorption in thoughts of You. Thus You are worshiped by the Vedic principles.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (18.3), yajna-dana-tapah-karma na tyajyam: the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, charity, austerity and all such prescribed duties are never to be given up. Yajno danam tapas caiva pavanani manisinam (18.5): even one who is very much advanced in spiritual realization must still execute the Vedic principles. Even in the lowest stage, the karmis are advised to work for the sake of the Lord.
yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra
loko 'yam karma-bandhanah
"Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world." (Bg. 3.9) The words yajnarthat karmanah indicate that while performing all kinds of duties, one should remember that these duties should be performed to satisfy the Supreme Lord (sva-karmana tam abhyarcya). According to Vedic principles, there must be divisions of human society (catur-varnyam maya srstam). There should be brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras, and everyone should learn to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead (tam abhyarcya). This is real human society, and without this system we are left with animal society.
The modern activities of human society are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam as the activities of go-khara, cows and asses (sa eva go-kharah). Everyone is acting in a bodily concept of life involving society, friendship and love for the improvement of economic and political conditions, and thus all activities are enacted in ignorance. The Supreme Personality therefore comes to teach us how to act according to the Vedic principles. In this age of Kali, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and preached that in this age the Vedic activities cannot be systematically performed because people are so fallen. He gave this recommendation from the sastras:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way." The Krsna consciousness movement is therefore teaching people all over the world how to chant the Hare Krsna mantra, and this has proved very much effective in all places at all times. The Supreme Personality of Godhead appears in order to teach us Vedic principles intended for understanding Him (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah). We should always know that when Krsna and Lord Caitanya appeared, They appeared in suddha-sattva bodies. One should not mistake the body of Krsna or Caitanya Mahaprabhu to be a material body like ours, for Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as needed for the benefit of the entire human society. Out of causeless mercy, the Lord appears in different ages in His original suddha-sattva transcendental body to elevate human society to the spiritual platform upon which they can truly benefit. Unfortunately, modern politicians and other leaders stress the bodily comforts of life (yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke) and concentrate on the activities of this ism and that ism, which they describe in different kinds of flowery language. Essentially such activities are the activities of animals (sa eva go-kharah). We should learn how to act from Bhagavad-gita, which explains everything for human understanding. Thus we can become happy even in this age of Kali.
sattvam na ced dhatar idam nijam bhaved
guna-prakasair anumiyate bhavan
prakasate yasya ca yena va gunah
sattvam--suddha-sattva, transcendental; na--not; cet--if; dhatah--O reservoir of all energies, cause of all causes; idam--this; nijam--personal, spiritual; bhavet--could have been; vijnanam--transcendental knowledge; ajnana-bhida--which drives away the ignorance of the material modes; apamarjanam--completely vanquished; guna-prakasaih--by the awakening of such transcendental knowledge; anumiyate--becomes manifested; bhavan--Your Lordship; prakasate--exhibit; yasya--whose; ca--and; yena--by which; va--either; gunah--quality or intelligence.
O Lord, cause of all causes, if Your transcendental body were not beyond the modes of material nature, one could not understand the difference between matter and transcendence. Only by Your presence can one understand the transcendental nature of Your Lordship, who are the controller of material nature. Your transcendental nature is very difficult to understand unless one is influenced by the presence of Your transcendental form.
It is said, traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. Unless one is situated in transcendence, one cannot understand the transcendental nature of the Lord. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.29):
athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko 'pi ciram vicinvan
Only by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can one understand Him. Those who are in the modes of material nature, although speculating for thousands of years, cannot understand Him. The Lord has innumerable forms (ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan), and unless these forms, such as Lord Ramacandra, Nrsimhadeva, Krsna and Balarama, were transcendental, how could they be worshiped by devotees since time immemorial? Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah (Bg. 18.55). Devotees who awaken their transcendental nature in the presence of the Lord and who follow the rules and regulations of devotional service can understand Lord Krsna, Lord Ramacandra and other incarnations, who are not of this material world but who come from the spiritual world for the benefit of people in general. If one does not take to this process, one imagines or manufactures some form of God according to material qualities and can never awaken a real understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The words bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah signify that unless one worships the Lord according to the regulative devotional principles, one cannot awaken the transcendental nature. Deity worship, even in the absence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, awakens the transcendental nature of the devotee, who thus becomes increasingly attached to the Lord's lotus feet.
The appearance of Krsna is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to his mode of material nature. In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is the oldest person. Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahma-samhita, that is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal form as a fresh youth. The exact words used in this connection in the Srimad-Bhagavatam are vijnanam ajnana-bhidapamarjanam. Vijnana means transcendental knowledge of the Supreme Personality; vijnana is also experienced knowledge. Transcendental knowledge has to be accepted by the descending process of disciplic succession as Brahma presents the knowledge of Krsna in the Brahma-samhita. Brahma-samhita is vijnana as realized by Brahma's transcendental experience, and in that way he presented the form and the pastimes of Krsna in the transcendental abode. Ajnana-bhida means "that which can match all kinds of speculation." In ignorance, people are imagining the form of the Lord; sometimes He has no form and sometimes He has form, according to their different imaginations. But the presentation of Krsna in the Brahma-samhita is vijnana--scientific, experienced knowledge given by Lord Brahma and accepted by Lord Caitanya. There is no doubt about it. Sri Krsna's form, Sri Krsna's flute, Krsna's color--everything is reality. Here it is said that this vijnanam is always defeating all kinds of speculative knowledge. "Therefore," the demigods prayed, "without Your appearing as Krsna, as You are, neither ajnana-bhida (the nescience of speculative knowledge) nor vijnanam would be realized. Ajnana-bhidapamarjanam--by Your appearance the speculative knowledge of ignorance will be vanquished, and the real, experienced knowledge of authorities like Lord Brahma will be established. Men influenced by the three modes of material nature imagine their own God according to the modes of material nature. In this way God is presented in various ways, but Your appearance will establish what the real form of God is."
The highest blunder committed by the impersonalist is to think that when the incarnation of God comes, He accepts a form of matter in the mode of goodness. Actually the form of Krsna or Narayana is transcendental to any material idea. Even the greatest impersonalist, Sankaracarya, has admitted, narayanah paro 'vyaktat: the material creation is caused by the avyakta, the impersonal manifestation of matter or the nonphenomenal total reservoir of matter, and Krsna is transcendental to that material conception. This is expressed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam as suddha-sattva, or transcendental. The Lord does not belong to the material mode of goodness, for He is above the position of material goodness. He belongs to the transcendental, eternal status of bliss and knowledge.
"Dear Lord," the demigods prayed, "when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and forms according to different situations. Lord Krsna is Your name because You are all-attractive; You are called Syamasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Syama means blackish, yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of cupids. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya. Although You appear in a color which is compared to that of a blackish cloud, You are the transcendental Absolute, and therefore Your beauty is many, many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid. Sometimes You are called Giridhari because You lifted the hill known as Govardhana. You are sometimes called Nanda-nandana or Vasudeva or Devaki-nandana because You appear as the son of Maharaja Nanda or Devaki or Vasudeva. Impersonalists think that Your many names or forms are according to a particular type of work and quality because they accept You from the position of a material observer.
"Our dear Lord, the way of understanding is not to study Your absolute nature, form and activities by mental speculation. One must engage himself in devotional service; then one can understand Your absolute nature and Your transcendental form, name and quality. Actually, only a person who has a little taste for the service of Your lotus feet can understand Your transcendental nature or form and quality. Others may go on speculating for millions of years, but it is not possible for them to understand even a single part of Your actual position." In other words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, cannot be understood by the nondevotees because there is a curtain of yogamaya which covers Krsna's actual features. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita (7.25), naham prakasah sarvasya. The Lord says, "I am not exposed to anyone and everyone." When Krsna came, He was actually present on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, and everyone saw Him. But not everyone could understand that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, everyone who died in His presence attained complete liberation from material bondage and was transferred to the spiritual world.
Because foolish mudhas do not awaken their spiritual nature, they do not understand Krsna or Rama (avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam). Even big academic scholars, not considering the endeavors of the acaryas who have recommended devotional service in many elaborate commentaries and notes, think that Krsna is fictitious. This is due to a lack of transcendental knowledge and a failure to awaken Krsna consciousness. One should have the common sense to ask why, if Krsna or Rama were fictitious, stalwart scholars like Sridhara Svami, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Viraraghava, Vijayadhvaja, Vallabhacarya and many other recognized acaryas would have spent so much time to write about Krsna in notes and commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam.
na nama-rupe guna-janma-karmabhir
nirupitavye tava tasya saksinah
deva kriyayam pratiyanty athapi hi
na--not; nama-rupe--the name and form; guna--with attributes; janma--appearance; karmabhih--activities or pastimes; nirupitavye--are not able to be ascertained; tava--Your; tasya--of Him; saksinah--who is the direct observer; manah--of the mind; vacobhyam--words; anumeya--hypothesis; vartmanah--the path; deva--O Lord; kriyayam--in devotional activities; pratiyanti--they realize; atha api--still; hi--indeed (You can be realized by the devotees).
O Lord, Your transcendental name and form are not ascertained by those who merely speculate on the path of imagination. Your name, form and attributes can be ascertained only through devotional service.
As stated in the Padma Purana:
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah
"One cannot understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krsna through one's materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him." Since Krsna and His transcendental name, form and activities are all of a transcendental nature, ordinary persons or those who are only slightly advanced cannot understand them. Even big scholars who are nondevotees think that Krsna is fictitious. Yet although so-called scholars and commentators do not believe that Krsna was factually a historical person whose presence on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra is recorded in the history of Mahabharata, they feel compelled to write commentaries on Bhagavad-gita and other historical records. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: Krsna's transcendental name, form, attributes and activities can be revealed only when one engages in His service in full consciousness. This confirms Krsna's own words in Bhagavad-gita (18.55):
bhaktya mam abhijanati
yavan yas casmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva
"One can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God." Only by sevonmukha, by engaging oneself in the Lord's service, can one realize the name, form and qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"O Lord," the demigods say, "the impersonalists, who are nondevotees, cannot understand that Your name is identical with Your form." Since the Lord is absolute, there is no difference between His name and His actual form. In the material world there is a difference between form and name. The mango fruit is different from the name of the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting, "Mango, mango, mango." But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of the Lord chants Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and realizes that he is always in Krsna's company.
For persons who are not very advanced in absolute knowledge of the Supreme, Lord Krsna exhibits His transcendental pastimes. They can simply think of the pastimes of the Lord and get the full benefit. Since there is no difference between the transcendental name and form of the Lord, there is no difference between the transcendental pastimes and the form of the Lord. For those who are less intelligent (like women, laborers or the mercantile class), the great sage Vyasadeva wrote Mahabharata. In the Mahabharata, Krsna is present in His different activities. Mahabharata is history, and simply by studying, hearing, and memorizing the transcendental activities of Krsna, the less intelligent can also gradually rise to the standard of pure devotees.
The pure devotees, who are always absorbed in the thought of the transcendental lotus feet of Krsna and who are always engaged in devotional service in full Krsna consciousness, are never to be considered to be in the material world. Srila Rupa Gosvami has explained that those who are always engaged in Krsna consciousness by body, mind and activities are to be considered liberated even within this body. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Lord have already transcended the material position.
Krsna appears in order to give a chance to both the devotees and the nondevotees for realization of the ultimate goal of life. The devotees get the direct chance to see Him and worship Him. Those who are not on that platform get the chance to become acquainted with His activities and thus become elevated to the same position.
The Brahma-samhita (5.38) says:
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Although Krsna's transcendental form is presented as black, devotees who are in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead appreciate the Lord as Syamasundara, having a very beautiful blackish form. The Lord's form is so beautiful that the Brahma-samhita (5.30) also states:
venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who plays on His transcendental flute. His eyes are like lotus flowers, He is decorated with peacock plumes, and His bodily color resembles the color of a fresh black cloud, although His bodily features are more beautiful than millions of Cupids." This beauty of the Supreme Lord can be seen by devotees who are in love with Him, devotees whose eyes are anointed with love of Godhead (premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena).
The Lord is also known as Giridhari or Girivara-dhari. Because Krsna, for the sake of His devotees, lifted Govardhana Hill, the devotees appreciate the Lord's inconceivable strength; but nondevotees, in spite of directly perceiving the Lord's inconceivable strength and power, regard the Lord's activities as fictitious. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. Nondevotees cannot give any nomenclature for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet the Lord is known as Syamasundara and Giridhari. Similarly, the Lord is known as Devaki-nandana and Yasoda-nandana because He accepted the role of son for mother Devaki and mother Yasoda, and He is known as Gopala because He enjoyed the sport of maintaining the cows and calves. Therefore, although He has no mundane name, He is addressed by devotees as Devaki-nandana, Yasoda-nandana, Gopala and Syamasundara. These are all transcendental names that only devotees can appreciate and nondevotees cannot.
The history of Krsna the person has been openly seen by everyone, yet only those who are in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead can appreciate this history, whereas nondevotees, who have not developed their loving qualities, think that the activities, form and attributes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are fictitious. Therefore this verse explains, na nama-rupe guna janma-karmabhir nirupitavye tava tasya saksinah. In this connection, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given the example that persons suffering from jaundice cannot taste the sweetness of sugar candy, although everyone knows that sugar candy is sweet. Similarly, because of the material disease, nondevotees cannot understand the transcendental name, form, attributes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although they actually see the Lord's activities, either through authority or through history. The Puranas are old, authentic histories, but nondevotees cannot understand them, especially Srimad-Bhagavatam, which is the essence of Vedic knowledge. Nondevotees cannot understand even the preliminary study of transcendental knowledge, Bhagavad-gita. They simply speculate and present commentaries with absurd distortions. In conclusion, unless one elevates himself to the transcendental platform by practicing bhakti-yoga, one cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His name, form, attributes or activities. But if by chance, by the association of devotees, one can actually understand the Lord and His features, one immediately becomes a liberated person. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."
Srila Rupa Gosvami has therefore said that by affection and love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, devotees can express their mind to Him with their words. Others, however, cannot do this, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah).
srnvan grnan samsmarayams ca cintayan
namani rupani ca mangalani te
kriyasu yas tvac-caranaravindayor
avista-ceta na bhavaya kalpate
srnvan--constantly hearing about the Lord (sravanam kirtanam visnoh); grnan--chanting or reciting (the holy name of the Lord and His activities); samsmarayan--remembering (constantly thinking of the Lord's lotus feet and His form); ca--and; cintayan--contemplating (the transcendental activities of the Lord); namani--His transcendental names; rupani--His transcendental forms; ca--also; mangalani--which are all transcendental and therefore auspicious; te--of Your Lordship; kriyasu--in being engaged in the devotional service; yah--he who; tvat-carana-aravindayoh--at Your lotus feet; avista-cetah--the devotee who is completely absorbed (in such activities); na--not; bhavaya--for the material platform; kalpate--is fit.
Even while engaged in various activities, devotees whose minds are completely absorbed at Your lotus feet, and who constantly hear, chant, contemplate and cause others to remember Your transcendental names and forms, are always on the transcendental platform, and thus they can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
How bhakti-yoga can be practiced is explained in this verse. Srila Rupa Gosvami has said that anyone who has dedicated his life to the service of the Lord (iha yasya harer dasye) by his activities, his mind and his words (karmana manasa gira) may stay in any condition of life (nikhilasv apy avasthasu) and yet is no longer actually conditioned but is liberated (jivan-muktah sa ucyate). Even though such a devotee is in a material body, he has nothing to do with this body, for he is transcendentally situated. Narayana-parah sarve na kutascana bibhyati: because a devotee is engaged in transcendental activities, he is not afraid of being materially embodied. (Bhag. 6.17.28) Illustrating this liberated position, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prayed, mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi: "All I want is Your causeless devotional service in My life, birth after birth." (Siksastaka 4) Even if a devotee, by the supreme will of the Lord, takes birth in this material world, he continues his devotional service. When King Bharata made a mistake and in his next life became a deer, his devotional service did not stop, although some slight chastisement was given to him because of his negligence. Narada Muni says that even if one falls from the platform of devotional service, he is not lost, whereas nondevotees are lost entirely because they are not engaged in service. Bhagavad-gita (9.14) therefore recommends that one always engage at least in chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra:
satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
"Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, the great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."
One should not give up the process of devotional service, which is performed in nine different ways (sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, etc.). The most important process is hearing (sravanam) from the guru, sadhu and sastra--the spiritual master, the saintly acaryas and the Vedic literature. Sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, cittete kariya aikya. We should not hear the commentaries and explanations of nondevotees, for this is strictly forbidden by Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who quotes from the padma purana:
sravanam naiva kartavyam
sarpocchistam yatha payah
We should strictly follow this injunction and never try to hear from Mayavadis, impersonalists, voidists, politicians or so-called scholars. Strictly avoiding such inauspicious association, we should simply hear from pure devotees. Srila Rupa Gosvami therefore recommends, sri-guru-padasrayah: one must seek shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee who can be one's guru. Caitanya Mahaprabhu advises that a guru is one who strictly follows the instructions of Bhagavad-gita: yare dekha, tare kaha, 'krsna'--upadesa (Cc. Madhya 7.128). A juggler, a magician or one who speaks nonsense as an academic career is not a guru. Rather, a guru is one who presents Bhagavad-gita, Krsna's instructions, as it is. Sravana is very important; one must hear from the Vaisnava sadhu, guru and sastra.
The word kriyasu, meaning "by manual labor" or "by work," is important in this verse. One should engage in practical service to the Lord. In our Krsna consciousness movement, all our activities are concentrated upon distributing Krsna literature. This is very important. One may approach any person and induce him to read Krsna literature so that in the future he also may become a devotee. Such activities are recommended in this verse. Kriyasu yas tvac-caranaravindayoh. Such activities will always remind the devotees of the Lord's lotus feet. By fully concentrating on distributing books for Krsna, one is fully absorbed in Krsna. This is samadhi.
distya hare 'sya bhavatah pado bhuvo
bharo 'panitas tava janmanesituh
distyankitam tvat-padakaih susobhanair
draksyama gam dyam ca tavanukampitam
distya--by fortune; hare--O Lord; asyah--of this (world); bhavatah--of Your Lordship; padah--of the place; bhuvah--on this earth; bharah--the burden created by the demons; apanitah--now removed; tava--of Your Lordship; janmana--by appearance as an incarnation; isituh--You, the controller of everything; distya--and by fortune; ankitam--marked; tvat-padakaih--by Your lotus feet; su-sobhanaih--which are transcendentally decorated with the marks of conchshell, disc, lotus and club; draksyama--we shall surely observe; gam--upon this earth; dyam ca--in heaven also; tava anukampitam--due to Your causeless mercy upon us.
O Lord, we are fortunate because the heavy burden of the demons upon this earth is immediately removed by Your appearance. Indeed, we are certainly fortunate, for we shall be able to see upon this earth and in the heavenly planets the marks of lotus, conchshell, club and disc that adorn Your lotus feet.
The soles of the Lord's lotus feet are marked with sankha-cakra-gada-padma--conchshell, disc, club and lotus--and also by a flag and a thunderbolt. When Krsna walks on this earth or in the heavenly planets, these marks are visible wherever He goes. Vrndavana-dhama is a transcendental place because of Krsna's walking on this land frequently. The inhabitants of Vrndavana were fortunate to see these marks here and there. When Akrura went to Vrndavana to take Krsna and Balarama away to the festival arranged by Kamsa, upon seeing the marks of the Lord's lotus feet on the ground of Vrndavana, he fell down and began to groan. These marks are visible to devotees who receive the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (tavanukampitam). The demigods were jubilant not only because the appearance of the Supreme Lord would do away with the burdensome demons, but also because they would be able to see upon the ground the transcendental marks from the soles of the Lord's lotus feet. The gopis always thought of the Lord's lotus feet when He was walking in the pasturing grounds, and, as described in the previous verse, simply by thinking of the Lord's lotus feet, the gopis were fully absorbed in transcendence (avista-ceta na bhavaya kalpate). Like the gopis, one who is always absorbed in thought of the Lord is beyond the material platform and will not remain in this material world. It is our duty, therefore, always to hear, chant and think about the Lord's lotus feet, as actually done by Vaisnavas who have decided to live in Vrndavana always and think of the Lord's lotus feet twenty-four hours a day.
na te 'bhavasyesa bhavasya karanam
vina vinodam bata tarkayamahe
bhavo nirodhah sthitir apy avidyaya
krta yatas tvayy abhayasrayatmani
na--not; te--of Your Lordship; abhavasya--of whom there is no birth, death or maintenance as for an ordinary being; isa--O Supreme Lord; bhavasya--of Your appearance, Your birth; karanam--the cause; vina--without; vinodam--the pastimes (despite what is said, You are not forced to come to this world by any cause); bata--however; tarkayamahe--we cannot argue (but must simply understand that these are Your pastimes); bhavah--birth; nirodhah--death; sthitih--maintenance; api--also; avidyaya--by the external, illusory energy; krtah--done; yatah--because; tvayi--unto You; abhaya-asraya--O fearless shelter of all; atmani--of the ordinary living entity.
O Supreme Lord, You are not an ordinary living entity appearing in this material world as a result of fruitive activities. Therefore Your appearance or birth in this world has no other cause than Your pleasure potency. Similarly, the living entities, who are part of You, have no cause for miseries like birth, death and old age, except when these living entities are conducted by Your external energy.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (15.7), mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah: the living entities are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, and thus they are qualitatively one with the Lord. We can understand that when the Supreme Lord appears or disappears as an incarnation, there is no other cause than His pleasure potency. We cannot force the Supreme Personality of Godhead to appear. As He says in Bhagavad-gita (4.7):
yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham
"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion--at that time I descend Myself." When there is a need to diminish a burden created by the demons, the Supreme Godhead can do it in many ways because He has multifarious energies. There is no need for Him to come as an incarnation, since He is not forced to do anything like ordinary living entities. The living entities come to this material world in the spirit of enjoyment, but because they want to enjoy without Krsna (krsna-bahirmukha haiya bhoja-vancha kare), they suffer birth, death, old age and disease under the control of the illusory energy. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears, however, no such causes are involved; His descent is an act of His pleasure potency. We should always remember this distinction between the Lord and the ordinary living entity and not uselessly argue that the Lord cannot come. There are philosophers who do not believe in the Lord's incarnation and who ask, "Why should the Supreme Lord come?" But the answer is, "Why should He not come? Why should He be controlled by the desire of the living entity?" The Lord is free to do whatever He likes. Therefore this verse says, vina vinodam bata tarkayamahe. It is only for His pleasure that He comes although He does not need to come.
When the living entities come to this world for material enjoyment, they are entangled in karma and karma-phala by the Lord's illusory energy. But if one seeks shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, one is again situated in his original, liberated state. As stated here, krta yatas tvayy abhayasrayatmani: one who seeks shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord is always fearless. Because we are dependent on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we should give up the idea that without Krsna we can enjoy freedom in this material world. This idea is the reason we have become entangled. Now it is our duty to seek shelter again at the Lord's lotus feet. This shelter is described as abhaya, or fearless. Since Krsna is not subject to birth, death, old age or disease, and since we are part and parcel of Krsna, we also are not subject to birth, death, old age and disease, but we have become subject to these illusory problems because of our forgetfulness of Krsna and our position as His eternal servants (jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa'). Therefore, if we practice devotional service by always thinking of the Lord, always glorifying Him and always chanting about Him, as described in text 37 (srnvan grnan samsmarayams ca cintayan), we will be reinstated in our original, constitutional position and thus be saved. The demigods, therefore, encouraged Devaki not to fear Kamsa, but to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was already within her womb.
tvam pasi nas tri-bhuvanam ca yathadhunesa
bharam bhuvo hara yaduttama vandanam te
matsya--the fish incarnation; asva--the horse incarnation; kacchapa--the tortoise incarnation; nrsimha--the Narasimha incarnation; varaha--the Varaha incarnation; hamsa--the swan incarnation; rajanya--incarnations as Lord Ramacandra and other ksatriyas; vipra--incarnations as brahmanas like Vamanadeva; vibudhesu--among the demigods; krta-avatarah--appeared as incarnations; tvam--Your Lordship; pasi--please save; nah--us; tri-bhuvanam ca--and the three worlds; yatha--as well as; adhuna--now; isa--O Supreme Lord; bharam--burden; bhuvah--of the earth; hara--please diminish; yadu-uttama--O Lord Krsna, best of the Yadus; vandanam te--we offer our prayers unto You.
O supreme controller, Your Lordship previously accepted incarnations as a fish, a horse, a tortoise, Narasimhadeva, a boar, a swan, Lord Ramacandra, Parasurama and, among the demigods, Vamanadeva, to protect the entire world by Your mercy. Now please protect us again by Your mercy by diminishing the disturbances in this world. O Krsna, best of the Yadus, we respectfully offer our obeisances unto You.
In every incarnation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has a particular mission to execute, and this was true in His appearance as the son of Devaki in the family of the Yadus. Thus all the demigods offered their prayers to the Lord, bowing down before Him, and requested the Lord to do the needful. We cannot order the Supreme personality of Godhead to do anything for us. We can simply offer Him our obeisances, as advised in Bhagavad-gita (man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru), and pray to Him for annihilation of dangers.
distyamba te kuksi-gatah parah puman
amsena saksad bhagavan bhavaya nah
mabhud bhayam bhoja-pater mumursor
gopta yadunam bhavita tavatmajah
distya--by fortune; amba--O mother; te--your; kuksi-gatah--in the womb; parah--the Supreme; puman--Personality of Godhead; amsena--with all His energies, His parts and parcels; saksat--directly; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhavaya--for the auspiciousness; nah--of all of us; ma abhut--never be; bhayam--fearful; bhoja-pateh--from Kamsa, King of the Bhoja dynasty; mumursoh--who has decided to be killed by the Lord; gopta--the protector; yadunam--of the Yadu dynasty; bhavita--will become; tava atmajah--your son.
O mother Devaki, by your good fortune and ours, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, with all His plenary portions, such as Baladeva, is now within your womb. Therefore you need not fear Kamsa, who has decided to be killed by the Lord. Your eternal son, Krsna, will be the protector of the entire Yadu dynasty.
The words parah puman amsena signify that Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the verdict of the sastra (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). Thus the demigods assured Devaki, "Your son is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is appearing with Baladeva, His plenary portion. He will give you all protection and kill Kamsa, who has decided to continue his enmity toward the Lord and thus be killed by Him."
ity abhistuya purusam
yad-rupam anidam yatha
devah pratiyayur divam
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti--in this way; abhistuya--offering prayers; purusam--unto the Supreme Personality; yat-rupam--whose form; anidam--transcendental; yatha--as; brahma--Lord Brahma; isanau--and Lord Siva; purodhaya--keeping them in front; devah--all the demigods; pratiyayuh--returned; divam--to their heavenly homes.
After thus offering prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, the Transcendence, all the demigods, with Lord Brahma and Lord Siva before them, returned to their homes in the heavenly planets.
It is said:
adyapiha caitanya ei saba lila kare
yan'ra bhagye thake, se dekhaye nirantare
(Caitanya-bhagavata, Madhya 23.513)
The incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead appear continuously, like the waves of a river or an ocean. There is no limit to the Lord's incarnations, but they can be perceived only by devotees who are fortunate. The devatas, the demigods, fortunately understood the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus they offered their prayers. Then Lord Siva and Lord Brahma led the demigods in returning to their homes.
The word kuksi-gatah, meaning "within the womb of Devaki," has been discussed by Sri Jiva Gosvami in his Krama-sandarbha commentary. Since it was said at first that Krsna was present within the heart of Vasudeva and was transferred to the heart of Devaki, Sri Jiva Gosvami writes, how is it that Krsna was now in the womb? He replies that there is no contradiction. From the heart the Lord can go to the womb, or from the womb He can go to the heart. Indeed, He can go or stay anywhere. As confirmed in the Brahma-samhita (5.35), andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. The Lord can stay wherever He likes. Devaki, therefore, in accordance with the desire of her former life, now had the opportunity to seek the benediction of having the Supreme Personality of Godhead as her son, Devaki-nandana.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Second Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb."