The Birth of Lord Krsna
As described in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, Hari in His original form, appeared as Visnu so that His father and mother could understand that their son was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they were afraid of Kamsa, when the Lord appeared as an ordinary child they took Him to Gokula, the home of Nanda Maharaja.
Mother Devaki, being fully transcendental, sac-cid-ananda, does not belong to this material world. Thus the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared with four hands, as if born from her womb. Upon seeing the Lord in that Visnu form, Vasudeva was struck with wonder, and in transcendental happiness he and Devaki mentally gave ten thousand cows in charity to the brahmanas. Vasudeva then offered prayers to the Lord, addressing Him as the Supreme Person, Parabrahman, the Supersoul, who is beyond duality and who is internally and externally all-pervading. The Lord, the cause of all causes, is beyond material existence, although He is the creator of this material world. When He enters this world as Paramatma, He is all-pervading (andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham), yet He is transcendentally situated. For the creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material world, the Lord appears as the guna-avataras--Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara. Thus Vasudeva offered prayers full of meaning to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Devaki followed her husband by offering prayers describing the transcendental nature of the Lord. Fearing Kamsa and desiring that the Lord not be understood by atheistic and materialistic nondevotees, she prayed that the Lord withdraw His transcendental four-armed form and appear like an ordinary child with two hands.
The Lord reminded Vasudeva and Devaki of two other incarnations in which He had appeared as their son. He had appeared as Prsnigarbha and Vamanadeva, and now this was the third time He was appearing as the son of Devaki to fulfill their desire. The Lord then decided to leave the residence of Vasudeva and Devaki, in the prison house of Kamsa, and at this very time, Yogamaya took birth as the daughter of Yasoda. By the arrangement of Yogamaya, Vasudeva was able to leave the prison house and save the child from the hands of Kamsa. When Vasudeva brought Krsna to the house of Nanda Maharaja, he saw that by Yogamaya's arrangement, Yasoda, as well as everyone else, was deeply asleep. Thus he exchanged the babies, taking Yogamaya from Yasoda's lap and placing Krsna there instead. Then Vasudeva returned to his own place, having taken Yogamaya as his daughter. He placed Yogamaya on Devaki's bed and prepared to be a prisoner as before. In Gokula, Yasoda could not understand whether she had given birth to a male or a female child.
disah prasedur gaganam
vavau vayuh sukha-sparsah
agnayas ca dvijatinam
santas tatra samindhata
manamsy asan prasannani
jayamane 'jane tasmin
nedur dundubhayah samam
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha--on the occasion of the Lord's appearance; sarva--all around; guna-upetah--endowed with material attributes or facilities; kalah--a favorable time; parama-sobhanah--all-auspicious and very favorable from all points of view; yarhi--when; eva--certainly; ajana janma-rksam--the constellation of stars known as Rohini; santa-rksa--none of the constellations were fierce (all of them were peaceful); graha-tarakam--and the planets and stars like Asvini; disah--all directions; praseduh--appeared very auspicious and peaceful; gaganam--all of outer space or the sky; nirmala-udu-gana-udayam--in which all the auspicious stars were visible (in the upper strata of the universe); mahi--the earth; mangala-bhuyistha-pura-grama-vraja-akarah--whose many cities, towns, pasturing grounds and mines became auspicious and very neat and clean; nadyah--the rivers; prasanna-salilah--the waters became clear; hradah--the lakes or large reservoirs of water; jalaruha-sriyah--appeared very beautiful because of blooming lotuses all around; dvija-ali-kula-sannada-stavakah--the birds, especially the cuckoos, and swarms of bees began to chant in sweet voices, as if praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vana-rajayah--the green trees and plants were also very pleasing to see; vavau--blew; vayuh--the breeze; sukha-sparsah--very pleasing to the touch; punya-gandha-vahah--which was full of fragrance; sucih--without pollution by dust; agnayah ca--and the fires (at the places of sacrifice); dvijatinam--of the brahmanas; santah--undisturbed, steady, calm and quiet; tatra--there; samindhata--blazed; manamsi--the minds of the brahmanas (who because of Kamsa had always been afraid); asan--became; prasannani--fully satisfied and free from disturbances; sadhunam--of the brahmanas, who were all Vaisnava devotees; asura-druham--who had been oppressed by Kamsa and other demons disturbing the discharge of religious rituals; jayamane--because of the appearance or birth; ajane--of Lord Visnu, who is always unborn; tasmin--in that situation; neduh--resounded; dundubhayah--kettledrums; samam--simultaneously (from the upper planets).
Thereafter, at the auspicious time for the appearance of the Lord, the entire universe was surcharged with all the qualities of goodness, beauty and peace. The constellation Rohini appeared, as did stars like Asvini. The sun, the moon and the other stars and planets were very peaceful. All directions appeared extremely pleasing, and the beautiful stars twinkled in the cloudless sky. Decorated with towns, villages, mines and pasturing grounds, the earth seemed all-auspicious. The rivers flowed with clear water, and the lakes and vast reservoirs, full of lilies and lotuses, were extraordinarily beautiful. In the trees and green plants, full of flowers and leaves, pleasing to the eyes, birds like cuckoos and swarms of bees began chanting with sweet voices for the sake of the demigods. A pure breeze began to blow, pleasing the sense of touch and bearing the aroma of flowers, and when the brahmanas engaging in ritualistic ceremonies ignited their fires according to Vedic principles, the fires burned steadily, undisturbed by the breeze. Thus when the birthless Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to appear, the saints and brahmanas, who had always been disturbed by demons like Kamsa and his men, felt peace within the core of their hearts, and kettledrums simultaneously vibrated from the upper planetary system.
As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities are all transcendental and that one who factually understands them is immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord's appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man, who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord's appearance is explained in the previous chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure.
When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the constellation known as Rohini was also predominant because this constellation is considered very auspicious. Rohini is under the direct supervision of Brahma, who is born of Visnu, and it appears at the birth of Lord Visnu, who in fact is birthless. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Krsna's birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious.
At that time, in all directions, east, west, south, north, everywhere, there was an atmosphere of peace and prosperity. Auspicious stars were visible in the sky, and on the surface in all towns and villages or pasturing grounds and within the mind of everyone there were signs of good fortune. The rivers were flowing full of water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The forests were full with beautiful birds and peacocks. All the birds within the forests began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance with their consorts. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, and the sensation of bodily touch was very pleasing. At home, the brahmanas, who were accustomed to offer sacrifices in the fire, found their homes very pleasant for offerings. Because of disturbances created by the demoniac kings, the sacrificial fire had been almost stopped in the houses of brahmanas, but now they could find the opportunity to start the fire peacefully. Being forbidden to offer sacrifices, the brahmanas were very distressed in mind, intelligence and activities. But just on the point of Krsna's appearance, automatically their minds became full of joy because they could hear loud vibrations in the sky of transcendental sounds proclaiming the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
On the occasion of Lord Krsna's birth, seasonal changes took place throughout the entire universe. Krsna was born during the month of September, yet it appeared like springtime. The atmosphere, however, was very cool, although not chilly, and the rivers and reservoirs appeared just as they would in sarat, the fall. Lotuses and lilies blossom during the day, but although Krsna appeared at twelve o'clock midnight, the lilies and lotuses were in bloom, and thus the wind blowing at that time was full of fragrance. Because of Kamsa's disturbances, the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies had almost stopped. The brahmanas and saintly persons could not execute the Vedic rituals with peaceful minds. But now the brahmanas were very pleased to perform their daily ritualistic ceremonies undisturbed. The business of the asuras is to disturb the suras, the devotees and brahmanas, but at the time of Krsna's appearance these devotees and brahmanas were undisturbed.
vidyadharyas ca nanrtur
apsarobhih samam muda
jaguh--recited auspicious songs; kinnara-gandharvah--the Kinnaras and Gandharvas, inhabitants of various planets in the heavenly planetary system; tustuvuh--offered their respective prayers; siddha-caranah--the Siddhas and Caranas, other inhabitants of the heavenly planets; vidyadharyah ca--and the Vidyadharis, another group of inhabitants of the heavenly planets; nanrtuh--danced in transcendental bliss; apsarobhih--the Apsaras, beautiful dancers in the heavenly kingdom; samam--along with; muda--in great jubilation.
The Kinnaras and Gandharvas began to sing auspicious songs, the Siddhas and Caranas offered auspicious prayers, and the Vidyadharis, along with the Apsaras, began to dance in jubilation.
mumucur munayo devah
mandam mandam jaladhara
avirasid yatha pracyam
disindur iva puskalah
mumucuh--showered; munayah--all the great sages and saintly persons; devah--and the demigods; sumanamsi--very beautiful and fragrant flowers; muda anvitah--being joyous in their attitude; mandam mandam--very mildly; jala-dharah--the clouds; jagarjuh--vibrated; anusagaram--following the vibrations of the sea waves; nisithe--late at night; tamah-udbhute--when it was densely dark; jayamane--on the appearance of; janardane--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu; devakyam--in the womb of Devaki; deva-rupinyam--who was in the same category as the Supreme Personality of Godhead (ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih); visnuh--Lord Visnu, the Supreme Lord; sarva-guha-sayah--who is situated in the core of everyone's heart; avirasit--appeared; yatha--as; pracyam disi--in the east; induh iva--like the full moon; puskalah--complete in every respect.
The demigods and great saintly persons showered flowers in a joyous mood, and clouds gathered in the sky and very mildly thundered, making sounds like those of the ocean's waves. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, who is situated in the core of everyone's heart, appeared from the heart of Devaki in the dense darkness of night, like the full moon rising on the eastern horizon, because Devaki was of the same category as Sri Krsna.
As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.37):
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
This verse indicates that Krsna and His entourage are of the same spiritual potency (ananda-cinmaya-rasa). Krsna's father, His mother, His friends the cowherd boys, and the cows are all expansions of Krsna, as will be explained in the brahma-vimohana-lila. When Brahma took away Krsna's associates to test the supremacy of Lord Krsna, the Lord expanded Himself again in the forms of the many cowherd boys and calves, all of whom, as Brahma saw, were visnu-murtis. Devaki is also an expansion of Krsna, and therefore this verse says, devakyam deva-rupinyam visnuh sarva-guha-sayah.
At the time for the Lord's appearance, the great sages and the demigods, being pleased, began to shower flowers. At the seashore, there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.
When things were adjusted like this, Lord Visnu, who is residing within the heart of every living entity, appeared in the darkness of night as the Supreme Personality of Godhead before Devaki, who appeared as one of the demigoddesses. The appearance of Lord Visnu at that time could be compared to the rising of the full moon in the sky on the eastern horizon. The objection may be raised that since Lord Krsna appeared on the eighth day of the waning moon, there could be no rising of the full moon. In answer to this it may be said that Lord Krsna appeared in the dynasty which is in the hierarchy of the moon; therefore, although the moon was incomplete on that night, because of the Lord's appearance in the dynasty wherein the moon is himself the original person, the moon was in an overjoyous condition, so by the grace of Krsna he could appear as a full moon. To welcome the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the waning moon became a full moon in jubilation.
Instead of deva-rupinyam, some texts of Srimad-Bhagavatam clearly say visnu-rupinyam. In either case, the meaning is that Devaki has the same spiritual form as the Lord. The Lord is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, and Devaki is also sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. Therefore no one can find any fault in the way the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, appeared from the womb of Devaki.
Those who are not in full knowledge that the appearance and disappearance of the Lord are transcendental (janma karma ca me divyam) are sometimes surprised that the Supreme Personality of Godhead can take birth like an ordinary child. Actually, however, the Lord's birth is never ordinary. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is already situated within the core of everyone's heart as antaryami, the Supersoul. Thus because He was present in full potency in Devaki's heart, He was also able to appear outside her body.
One of the twelve great personalities is Bhismadeva (svayambhur naradah sambhuh kumarah kapilo manuh prahlada, janako bhismah). In Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.9.42), Bhisma, a great authority to be followed by devotees, says that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated in the core of everyone's heart, just as the sun may be on everyone's head. Yet although the sun may be on the heads of millions and millions of people, this does not mean that the sun is variously situated. Similarly, because the Supreme Personality of Godhead has inconceivable potencies, He can be within everyone's heart and yet not be situated variously. Ekatvam anupasyatah (Isopanisad 7). The Lord is one, but He can appear in everyone's heart by His inconceivable potency. Thus although the Lord was within the heart of Devaki, He appeared as her child. According to the Visnu purana, therefore, as quoted in the Vaisnava-tosani, the Lord appeared like the sun (anugrahasaya). The Brahma-samhita (5.35) confirms that the Lord is situated even within the atom (andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham). He is situated in Mathura, in Vaikuntha and in the core of the heart. Therefore one should clearly understand that He did not live like an ordinary child in the heart or the womb of Devaki. Nor did He appear like an ordinary human child, although He seemed to do so in order to bewilder asuras like Kamsa. I he asuras wrongly think that Krsna took birth like an ordinary child and passed away from this world like an ordinary man. Such asuric conceptions are rejected by persons in knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ajo 'pi sann avyayatma bhutanam isvaro 'pi san (Bg. 4.6). As stated in Bhagavad-gita, the Lord is aja, unborn, and He is the supreme controller of everything. Nonetheless, He appeared as the child of Devaki. This verse describes the inconceivable potency of the Lord, who appeared like the full moon. Understanding the special significance of the appearance of the Supreme Godhead, one should never regard Him as having taken birth like an ordinary child.
tam adbhutam balakam ambujeksanam
virocamanam vasudeva aiksata
tam--that; adbhutam--wonderful; balakam--child; ambuja-iksanam--with eyes resembling lotuses; catuh-bhujam--with four hands; sankha-gada-adi--bearing a conchshell, club, disc and lotus (in those four hands); udayudham--different weapons; srivatsa-laksmam--decorated with a particular type of hair called Srivatsa, which is visible only on the chest of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; gala-sobhi-kaustubham--on His neck was the Kaustubha gem, which is particularly available in Vaikunthaloka; pita-ambaram--His garments were yellow; sandra-payoda-saubhagam--very beautiful, being present with the hue of blackish clouds; maha-arha-vaidurya-kirita-kundala--of His helmet and earrings, which were studded with very valuable Vaidurya gems; tvisa--by the beauty; parisvakta-sahasra-kuntalam--brilliantly illuminated by scattered, fully grown hair; uddama-kanci-angada-kankana-adibhih--with a brilliant belt on His waist, armbands on His arms, bracelets on His wrists, etc.; virocamanam--very beautifully decorated; vasudevah--Vasudeva, the father of Krsna; aiksata--saw.
Vasudeva then saw the newborn child, who had very wonderful lotuslike eyes and who bore in His four hands the four weapons sankha, cakra, gada and padma. On His chest was the mark of Srivatsa and on His neck the brilliant Kaustubha gem. Dressed in yellow, His body blackish like a dense cloud, His scattered hair fully grown, and His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidurya, the child, decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles and other ornaments, appeared very wonderful.
To support the word adbhutam, meaning "wonderful," the decorations and opulences of the newborn child are fully described. As confirmed in the Brahma-samhita (5.30), barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam: the hue of the Lord's beautiful form resembles the blackish color of dense clouds (asita means "blackish," and ambuda means "cloud"). It is clear from the word catur-bhujam that Krsna first appeared with four hands, as Lord Visnu. No ordinary child in human society has ever been born with four hands. And when is a child born with fully grown hair? The descent of the Lord, therefore, is completely distinct from the birth of an ordinary child. The Vaidurya gem, which sometimes appears bluish, sometimes yellow and sometimes red, is available in Vaikunthaloka. The Lord's helmet and earrings were decorated with this particular gem.
sa vismayotphulla-vilocano harim
sutam vilokyanakadundubhis tada
muda dvijebhyo 'yutam apluto gavam
sah--he (Vasudeva, also known as Anakadundubhi); vismaya-utphulla-vilocanah--his eyes being struck with wonder at the beautiful appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; harim--Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sutam--as his son; vilokya--observing; anakadundubhih--Vasudeva; tada--at that time; krsna-avatara-utsava--for a festival to be observed because of Krsna's appearance; sambhramah--wishing to welcome the Lord with great respect; asprsat--took advantage by distributing; muda--with great jubilation; dvijebhyah--to the brahmanas; ayutam--ten thousand; aplutah--overwhelmed, surcharged; gavam--cows.
When Vasudeva saw his extraordinary son, his eyes were struck with wonder. In transcendental jubilation, he mentally collected ten thousand cows and distributed them among the brahmanas as a transcendental festival.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has analyzed the wonder of Vasudeva upon seeing his extraordinary child. Vasudeva was shivering with wonder to see a newborn child decorated so nicely with valuable garments and gems. He could immediately understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had appeared, not as an ordinary child but in His original, fully decorated, four-handed form. The first wonder was that the Lord was not afraid to appear within the prison house of Kamsa, where Vasudeva and Devaki were interned. Second, although the Lord, the Supreme Transcendence, is all-pervading, He had appeared from the womb of Devaki. The third point of wonder, therefore, was that a child could take birth from the womb so nicely decorated. Fourth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was Vasudeva's worshipable Deity yet had taken birth as his son. For all these reasons, Vasudeva was transcendentally jubilant, and he wanted to perform a festival, as ksatriyas do to celebrate the birth of a child, but because of his imprisonment he was unable to do it externally, and therefore he performed the festival within his mind. This was just as good. If one cannot externally serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can serve the Lord within one's mind, since the activities of the mind are as good as those of the other senses. This is called the nondual or absolute situation (advaya jnana). People generally perform ritualistic ceremonies for the birth of a child. Why then should Vasudeva not have performed such a ceremony when the Supreme Lord appeared as his son?
athainam astaud avadharya purusam
param natangah krta-dhih krtanjalih
sva-rocisa bharata sutika-grham
virocayantam gata-bhih prabhava-vit
atha--thereafter; enam--to the child; astaut--offered prayers; avadharya--understanding surely that the child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead; purusam--the Supreme Person; param--transcendental; nata-angah--falling down; krta-dhih--with concentrated attention; krta-anjalih--with folded hands; sva-rocisa--by the brilliance of His personal beauty; bharata--O Maharaja Pariksit, descendant of Maharaja Bharata; sutika-grham--the place where the Lord was born; virocayantam--illuminating all around; gata-bhih--all his fear disappeared; prabhava-vit--he could now understand the influence (of the Supreme Personality of Godhead).
O Maharaja Pariksit, descendant of King Bharata, Vasudeva could understand that this child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Having concluded this without a doubt, he became fearless. Bowing down with folded hands and concentrating his attention, he began to offer prayers to the child, who illuminated His birthplace by His natural influence.
Struck with such great wonder, Vasudeva now concentrated his attention on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Understanding the influence of the Supreme Lord, he was surely fearless, since he understood that the Lord had appeared to give him protection (gata-bhih prabhava-vit). Understanding that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present, he appropriately offered prayers as follows.
vidito 'si bhavan saksat
purusah prakrteh parah
sri-vasudevah uvaca--Sri Vasudeva prayed; viditah asi--now I am fully conscious of You; bhavan--Your Lordship; saksat--directly; purusah--the Supreme Person; prakrteh--to material nature; parah--transcendental, beyond everything material; kevala-anubhava-ananda-svarupah--Your form is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, and whoever perceives You becomes transcendentally blissful; sarva-buddhi-drk--the supreme observer, the Supersoul, the intelligence of everyone.
Vasudeva said: My Lord, You are the Supreme Person, beyond material existence, and You are the Supersoul. Your form can be perceived by transcendental knowledge, by which You can be understood as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I now understand Your position perfectly.
Within Vasudeva's heart, affection for his son and knowledge of the Supreme Lord's transcendental nature both awakened In the beginning Vasudeva thought, "Such a beautiful child has been born, but now Kamsa will come and kill Him." But when he understood that this was not an ordinary child but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he became fearless. Regarding his son as the Supreme Lord, wonderful in everything, he began offering prayers appropriate for the Supreme Lord. Completely free from fear of Kamsa's atrocities, he accepted the child simultaneously as an object of affection and as an object of worship by prayers.
sa eva svaprakrtyedam
tad anu tvam hy apravistah
pravista iva bhavyase
sah--He (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); eva--indeed; sva-prakrtya--by Your personal energy (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram); idam--this material world; srstva--after creating; agre--in the beginning; tri-guna-atmakam--made of three modes of energy (sattva-rajas-tamo-guna); tat anu--thereafter; tvam--Your Lordship; hi--indeed; apravistah--although You did not enter; pravistah iva--You appear to have entered; bhavyase--are so understood.
My Lord, You are the same person who in the beginning created this material world by His personal external energy. After the creation of this world of three gunas [sattva, rajas and tamas], You appear to have entered it, although in fact You have not.
In Bhagavad-gita (7.4) the Supreme Personality of Godhead clearly explains:
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
This material world of three modes of nature--sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna--is a composition of earth, water, fire, air, mind, intelligence and false ego, all of which are energies coming from Krsna, yet Krsna, being always transcendental, is aloof from this material world. Those who are not in pure knowledge think that Krsna is a product of matter and that His body is material like ours (avajananti mam mudhah). In fact, however, Krsna is always aloof from this material world.
In the Vedic literature, we find the creation described in relationship to Maha-Visnu. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.35):
eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, the original Personality of Godhead. By His partial plenary expansion as Maha-Visnu, He enters into material nature. Then He enters every universe as Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and He enters all the elements, including every atom of matter, as Ksirodakasayi Visnu. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms." Govinda is partially exhibited as antaryami, the Supersoul, who enters this material world (andantara-stha) and who is also within the atom. The Brahma-samhita (5.48) further says:
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
This verse describes Maha-Visnu as a plenary expansion of Krsna. Maha-Visnu lies on the Causal Ocean, and when He exhales, millions of brahmandas, or universes, come from the pores of His body. Then, when Maha-Visnu inhales, all these brahmandas disappear. Thus the millions of brahmandas controlled by the Brahmas and other demigods come and go in this material world through the breathing of Maha-Visnu.
Foolish persons think that when Krsna appears as the son of Vasudeva, He is limited like an ordinary child. But Vasudeva was aware that although the Lord had appeared as his son, the Lord had not entered Devaki's womb and then come out. Rather, the Lord was always there. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading, present within and without. pravista iva bhavyase: He only seemed to have entered the womb of Devaki and to have now appeared as Vasudeva's child. The expression of this knowledge by Vasudeva indicates that Vasudeva knew how these events took place. Vasudeva was certainly a devotee of the Lord in full knowledge, and we must learn from devotees like him. Bhagavad-gita (4.34) therefore recommends:
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth." Vasudeva begot the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet he was in full knowledge of how the Supreme Lord appears and disappears. He was therefore tattva-darsi, a seer of the truth, because he personally saw how the Supreme Absolute Truth appeared as his son. Vasudeva was not in ignorance, thinking that because the Supreme Godhead had appeared as his son, the Lord had become limited. The Lord is unlimitedly existing and all-pervading, inside and outside. Thus there is no question of His appearance or disappearance.
yatheme 'vikrta bhavas
tatha te vikrtaih saha
virajam janayanti hi
drsyante 'nugata iva
prag eva vidyamanatvan
na tesam iha sambhavah
evam bhavan buddhy-anumeya-laksanair
grahyair gunaih sann api tad-gunagrahah
anavrtatvad bahir antaram na te
sarvasya sarvatmana atma-vastunah
yatha--as; ime--these material creations, made of material energy; avikrtah--actually not disintegrated; bhavah--with such a conception; tatha--similarly; te--they; vikrtaih saha--association with these different elements coming from the total material energy; nana-viryah--every element is full of different energies; prthak--separated; bhutah--becoming; virajam--the whole cosmic manifestation; janayanti--create; hi--indeed; sannipatya--because of association with the spiritual energy; samutpadya--after being created; drsyante--they appear; anugatah--entered within it; iva--as if; prak--from the very beginning, before the creation of this cosmic manifestation; eva--indeed; vidyamanatvat--due to the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; na--not; tesam--of these material elements; iha--in this matter of creation; sambhavah--entering would have been possible; evam--in this way; bhavan--O my Lord; buddhi-anumeya-laksanaih--by real intelligence and by such symptoms; grahyaih--with the objects of the senses; gunaih--with the modes of material nature; san api--although in touch; tat-guna-agrahah--are not touched by the material qualities; anavrtatvat--because of being situated everywhere; bahih antaram--within the external and internal; na te--there is no such thing for You; sarvasya--of everything; sarva-atmanah--You are the root of everything; atma-vastunah--everything belongs to You, but You are outside and inside of everything.
The mahat-tattva, the total material energy, is undivided, but because of the material modes of nature, it appears to separate into earth, water, fire, air and ether. Because of the living energy [jiva-bhuta], these separated energies combine to make the cosmic manifestation visible, but in fact, before the creation of the cosmos, the total energy is already present. Therefore, the total material energy never actually enters the creation. Similarly, although You are perceived by our senses because of Your presence, You cannot be perceived by the senses, nor experienced by the mind or words [avan-manasa-gocara]. With our senses we can perceive some things, but not everything; for example, we can use our eyes to see, but not to taste. Consequently, You are beyond perception by the senses. Although in touch with the modes of material nature, You are unaffected by them. You are the prime factor in everything, the all-pervading, undivided Supersoul. For You, therefore, there is no external or internal. You never entered the womb of Devaki; rather, You existed there already.
This same understanding is explained by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.4):
maya tatam idam sarvam
na caham tesv avasthitah
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable through the gross material senses. It is said that Lord Sri Krsna's name, fame, pastimes, etc., cannot be understood by material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed. As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.38):
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
One can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always, within oneself and outside oneself, if one has developed the transcendental loving attitude toward Him. Thus for people in general, He is not visible. In the above-mentioned verse from Bhagavad-gita, therefore, it is said that although He is all-pervading, everywhere present, He is not conceivable by the material senses. But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting in Him. As discussed in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the entire material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different energies, the superior, spiritual energy and the inferior, material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread all over the universe, the energy of the Lord is spread all over the creation, and everything is resting in that energy.
Yet one should not conclude that because He is spread all over He has lost His personal existence. To refute such arguments, the Lord says, "I am everywhere, and everything is in Me, but still I am aloof." For example, a king heads a government which is but the manifestation of the king's energy; the different governmental departments are nothing but the energies of the king, and each department is resting on the king's power. But still one cannot expect the king to be present in every department personally. That is a crude example. Similarly, all the manifestations that we see, and everything that exists, both in this material world and in the spiritual world, are resting on the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The creation takes place by the diffusion of His different energies, and, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita, He is everywhere present by His personal representation, the diffusion of His different energies.
One may argue that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates the whole cosmic manifestation simply by His glance, cannot come within the womb of Devaki, the wife of Vasudeva. To eradicate this argument, Vasudeva said, "My dear Lord, it is not very wonderful that You appeared within the womb of Devaki, for the creation was also made in that way. You were lying in the Causal Ocean as Maha-Visnu, and by Your breathing, innumerable universes came into existence. Then You entered into each of the universes as Garbhodakasayi Visnu. Then again You expanded Yourself as Ksirodakasayi Visnu and entered into the heart of all living entities and entered even within the atoms. Therefore Your entrance into the womb of Devaki is understandable in the same way. You appear to have entered, but You are simultaneously all-pervading. We can understand Your entrance and nonentrance from material examples. The total material energy remains intact even after being divided into sixteen elements. The material body is nothing but a combination of the five gross elements--namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. Whenever there is a material body, it appears that such elements are newly created, but actually the elements are always existing outside of the body. Similarly, although You appear as a child in the womb of Devaki, You are also existing outside. You are always in Your abode, but still You can simultaneously expand Yourself into millions of forms.
"One has to understand Your appearance with great intelligence because the material energy is also emanating from You. You are the original source of the material energy, just as the sun is the source of the sunshine. The sunshine cannot cover the sun globe, nor can the material energy--being an emanation from You--cover You. You appear to be in the three modes of material energy, but actually the three modes of material energy cannot cover You. This is understood by the highly intellectual philosophers. In other words, although You appear to be within the material energy, You are never covered by it."
We hear from the Vedic version that the Supreme Brahman exhibits His effulgence and therefore everything is illuminated. We can understand from Brahma-samhita that the brahmajyoti, or the Brahman effulgence, emanates from the body of the Supreme Lord. And from the Brahman effulgence, all creation takes place. It is further stated in the Bhagavad-gita that the Lord is the support of the Brahman effulgence. Originally He is the root cause of everything. But persons who are less intelligent think that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes within this material world, He accepts material qualities. Such conclusions are not mature, but are, made by the less intelligent.
ya atmano drsya-gunesu sann iti
vyavasyate sva-vyatirekato 'budhah
vinanuvadam na ca tan manisitam
samyag yatas tyaktam upadadat puman
yah--anyone who; atmanah--of his own real identity, the soul; drsya-gunesu--among the visible objects, beginning with the body; san--being situated in that position; iti--thus; vyavasyate--continues to act; sva-vyatirekatah--as if the body were independent of the soul; abudhah--a rascal; vina anuvadam--without proper analytical study; na--not; ca--also; tat--the body and other visible objects; manisitam--such considerations having been discussed; samyak--fully; yatah--because he is a fool; tyaktam--are rejected; upadadat--accepts this body as reality; puman--a person.
One who considers his visible body, which is a product of the three modes of nature, to be independent of the soul is unaware of the basis of existence, and therefore he is a rascal. Those who are learned have rejected his conclusion because one can understand through full discussion that with no basis in soul, the visible body and senses would be insubstantial. Nonetheless, although his conclusion has been rejected, a foolish person considers it a reality.
Without the basic principle of soul, the body cannot be produced. So-called scientists have tried in many ways to produce a living body in their chemical laboratories, but no one has been able to do it because unless the spirit soul is present, a body cannot be prepared from material elements. Since scientists are now enamored of theories about the chemical composition of the body, we have challenged many scientists to make even a small egg. The chemicals in eggs can be found very easily. There is a white substance and a yellow substance, covered by a shell, and modern scientists should very easily be able to duplicate all this. But even if they were to prepare such an egg and put it in an incubator, this man-made chemical egg would not produce a chicken. The soul must be added because there is no question of a chemical combination for life. Those who think that life can exist without the soul have therefore been described here as abudhah, foolish rascals.
Again, there are those who reject the body, regarding it as insubstantial. They are of the same category of fools. One can neither reject the body nor accept it as substantial. The substance is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and both the body and the soul are energies of the Supreme Godhead, as described by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5):
bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
yayedam dharyate jagat
"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. But besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe."
The body, therefore, has a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as the soul does. Since both of them are energies of the Lord, neither of them is false, because they come from the reality. One who does not know this secret of life is described as abudhah. According to the Vedic injunctions, aitadatmyam idam sarvam, sarvam khalv idam brahma: everything is the Supreme Brahman. Therefore, both the body and the soul are Brahman, since matter and spirit emanate from Brahman.
Not knowing the conclusions of the Vedas, some people accept the material nature as substance, and others accept the spirit soul as substance, but actually Brahman is the substance. Brahman is the cause of all causes. The ingredients and the immediate cause of this manifested material world are Brahman, and we cannot make the ingredients of this world independent of Brahman. Furthermore, since the ingredients and the immediate cause of this material manifestation are Brahman, both of them are truth, satya; there is no validity to the expression brahma satyam jagan mithya. The world is not false.
Jnanis reject this world, and foolish persons accept this world as reality, and in this way they are both misguided. Although the body is not as important as the soul, we cannot say that it is false. Yet the body is temporary, and only foolish, materialistic persons, who do not have full knowledge of the soul, regard the temporary body as reality and engage in decorating this body. Both of these pitfalls--rejection of the body as false and acceptance of the body as all in all--can be avoided when one is fully situated in Krsna consciousness. If we regard this world as false, we fall into the category of asuras, who say that this world is unreal, with no foundation and no God in control (asatyam apratistham te jagad ahur anisvaram). As described in the Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, this is the conclusion of demons.
tvatto 'sya janma-sthiti-samyaman vibho
vadanty anihad agunad avikriyat
tvayisvare brahmani no virudhyate
tvad-asrayatvad upacaryate gunaih
tvattah--are from Your Lordship; asya--of the entire cosmic manifestation; janma--the creation; sthiti--maintenance; samyaman--and annihilation; vibho--O my Lord; vadanti--the learned Vedic scholars conclude; anihat--who are free from endeavor; agunat--who are unaffected by the modes of material nature; avikriyat--who are unchanging in Your spiritual situation; tvayi--in You; isvare--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; brahmani--who are Parabrahman, the Supreme Brahman; no--not; virudhyate--there is a contradiction; tvat-asrayatvat--because of being controlled by You; upacaryate--things are going on automatically; gunaih--by the operation of the material modes.
O my Lord, learned Vedic scholars conclude that the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the entire cosmic manifestation are performed by You, who are free from endeavor, unaffected by the modes of material nature, and changeless in Your spiritual situation. There are no contradictions in You, who are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Parabrahman. Because the three modes of material nature--sattva, rajas and tamas--are under Your control, everything takes place automatically.
As stated in the Vedas:
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
"The Supreme Lord has nothing to do, and no one is found to be equal to or greater than Him, for everything is done naturally and systematically by His multifarious energies." (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8) Creation, maintenance and annihilation are all conducted personally by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram). Yet ultimately the Lord does not need to do anything, and therefore He is nirvikara, changeless. Because everything is done under His direction, He is called srsti-karta, the master of creation. Similarly, He is the master of annihilation. When a master sits in one place while his servants work in different duties, whatever the servants are doing is ultimately an activity of the master, although he is doing nothing (na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate). The Lord's potencies are so numerous that everything is nicely done. Therefore, He is naturally still and is not directly the doer of anything in this material world.
sa tvam tri-loka-sthitaye sva-mayaya
bibharsi suklam khalu varnam atmanah
sargaya raktam rajasopabrmhitam
krsnam ca varnam tamasa janatyaye
sah tvam--Your Lordship, who are the same person, the Transcendence; tri-loka-sthitaye--to maintain the three worlds, the upper, middle and lower planetary systems; sva-mayaya--by Your personal energy (atma-mayaya); bibharsi--assume; suklam--the white form of Visnu in goodness; khalu--as well as; varnam--color; atmanah--of the same category as You (visnu-tattva); sargaya--for the creation of the entire world; raktam--the reddish color of rajo-guna; rajasa--with the quality of passion; upabrmhitam--being charged; krsnam ca--and the quality of darkness; varnam--the color; tamasa--which is surrounded by ignorance; jana-atyaye--for the ultimate destruction of the entire creation.
My Lord, Your form is transcendental to the three material modes, yet for the maintenance of the three worlds, You assume the white color of Visnu in goodness; for creation, which is surrounded by the quality of passion, You appear reddish; and at the end, when there is a need for annihilation, which is surrounded by ignorance, You appear blackish.
Vasudeva prayed to the Lord, "You are called suklam. Suklam, or 'whiteness,' is the symbolic representation of the Absolute Truth because it is unaffected by the material qualities. Lord Brahma is called rakta, or red, because Brahma represents the qualities of passion for creation. Darkness is entrusted to Lord Siva because he annihilates the cosmos. The creation, annihilation and maintenance of this cosmic manifestation are conducted by Your potencies, yet You are always unaffected by those qualities." As confirmed in the Vedas, harir hi nirgunah saksat: the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always free from all material qualities. It is also said that the qualities of passion and ignorance are nonexistent in the person of the Supreme Lord.
In this verse, the three colors mentioned--sukla, rakta and krsna--are not to be understood literally, in terms of what we experience with our senses, but rather as representatives of sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. After all, sometimes we see that a duck is white, although it is in tamo-guna, the mode of ignorance. Illustrating the logic called bakandha-nyaya, the duck is such a fool that it runs after the testicles of a bull, thinking them to be a hanging fish that can be taken when it drops. Thus the duck is always in darkness. Vyasadeva, however, the compiler of the Vedic literature, is blackish, but this does not mean that he is in tamo-guna; rather, he is in the highest position of sattva-guna, beyond the material modes of nature. Sometimes these colors (sukla-raktas tatha pitah) are used to designate the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras. Lord Ksirodakasayi Visnu is celebrated as possessing a blackish color, Lord Siva is whitish, and Lord Brahma is reddish, but according to Srila Sanatana Gosvami in the Vaisnava-tosani-tika, this exhibition of colors is not what is referred to here.
The real understanding of sukla, rakta and krsna is as follows. The Lord is always transcendental, but for the sake of creation He assumes the color rakta as Lord Brahma. Again, sometimes the Lord becomes angry. As He says in Bhagavad-gita (16.19):
tan aham dvisatah kruran
ksipamy ajasram asubhan
asurisv eva yonisu
"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." To destroy the demons, the Lord becomes angry, and therefore He assumes the form of Lord Siva. In summary, the Supreme personality of Godhead is always beyond the material qualities, and we should not be misled into thinking otherwise simply because of sense perception. One must understand the position of the Lord through the authorities, or mahajanas. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28), ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam.
tvam asya lokasya vibho riraksisur
grhe 'vatirno 'si mamakhilesvara
nirvyuhyamana nihanisyase camuh
tvam--Your Lordship; asya--of this world; lokasya--especially of this martya-loka, the planet earth; vibho--O Supreme; riraksisuh--desiring protection (from the disturbance of the asuras); grhe--in this house; avatirnah asi--have now appeared; mama--my; akhila-isvara--although You are the proprietor of the entire creation; rajanya-samjna-asura-koti-yutha-paih--with millions of demons and their followers in the roles of politicians and kings; nirvyuhyamanah--which are moving here and there all over the world; nihanisyase--will kill; camuh--the armies, paraphernalia, soldiers and retinues.
O my Lord, proprietor of all creation, You have now appeared in my house, desiring to protect this world. I am sure that You will kill all the armies that are moving all over the world under the leadership of politicians who are dressed as ksatriya rulers but who are factually demons. They must be killed by You for the protection of the innocent public.
Krsna appears in this world for two purposes, paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam: to protect the innocent, religious devotees of the Lord and to annihilate all the uneducated, uncultured asuras, who unnecessarily bark like dogs and fight among themselves for political power. It is said, kali-kale nama-rupe krsna avatara. The Hare Krsna movement is also an incarnation of Krsna in the form of the holy name (nama-rupe). Every one of us who is actually afraid of the asuric rulers and politicians must welcome this incarnation of Krsna: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Then we will surely be protected from the harassment of asuric rulers. At the present moment these rulers are so powerful that by hook or by crook they capture the highest posts in government and harass countless numbers of people on the plea of national security or some emergency. Then again, one asura defeats another asura, but the public continues to suffer. Therefore the entire world is in a precarious condition, and the only hope is this Hare Krsna movement. Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared when Prahlada was excessively harassed by his asuric father. Because of such asuric fathers--that is, the ruling politicians--it is very difficult to press forward the Hare Krsna movement, but because Krsna has now appeared in His holy name through this movement, we can hope that these asuric fathers will be annihilated and the kingdom of God established all over the world. The entire world is now full of many asuras in the guise of politicians, gurus, sadhus, yogis and incarnations, and they are misleading the general public away from Krsna consciousness, which can offer true benefit to human society.
ayam tv asabhyas tava janma nau grhe
srutvagrajams te nyavadhit suresvara
sa te 'vataram purusaih samarpitam
ayam--this (rascal); tu--but; asabhyah--who is not civilized at all (asura means "uncivilized," and sura means "civilized"); tava--of Your Lordship; janma--the birth; nau--our; grhe--into the home; srutva--after hearing; agrajan te--all the brothers born before You; nyavadhit--killed; sura-isvara--O Lord of the suras, the civilized persons; sah--he (that uncivilized Kamsa); te--Your; avataram--appearance; purusaih--by his lieutenants; samarpitam--being informed of; srutva--after hearing; adhuna--now; eva--indeed; abhisarati--will come immediately; udayudhah--with raised weapons.
O my Lord, Lord of the demigods, after hearing the prophecy that You would take birth in our home and kill him, this uncivilized Kamsa killed so many of Your elder brothers. As soon as he hears from his lieutenants that You have appeared, he will immediately come with weapons to kill You.
Kamsa has here been described as asabhya, meaning "uncivilized" or "most heinous," because he killed the many children of his sister. When he heard the prophecy that he would be killed by her eighth son, this uncivilized man, Kamsa, was immediately ready to kill his innocent sister on the occasion of her marriage. An uncivilized man can do anything for the satisfaction of his senses. He can kill children, he can kill cows, he can kill brahmanas, he can kill old men; he has no mercy for anyone. According to the Vedic civilization, cows, women, children, old men and brahmanas should be excused if they are at fault. But asuras, uncivilized men, do not care about that. At the present moment, the killing of cows and the killing of children is going on unrestrictedly, and therefore this civilization is not at all human, and those who are conducting this condemned civilization are uncivilized asuras.
Such uncivilized men are not in favor of the Krsna consciousness movement. As public officers, they declare without hesitation that the chanting of the Hare Krsna movement is a nuisance, although Bhagavad-gita clearly says, satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah. According to this verse, it is the duty of the mahatmas to chant the Hare Krsna mantra and try to spread it all over the world to the best of their ability. Unfortunately, society is in such an uncivilized state that there are so-called mahatmas who are prepared to kill cows and children and stop the Hare Krsna movement. Such uncivilized activities were actually demonstrated in opposition to the Hare Krsna movement's Bombay center, Hare Krsna Land. As Kamsa was not expected to kill the beautiful child of Devaki and Vasudeva, the uncivilized society, although unhappy about the advancement of the Krsna consciousness movement, cannot be expected to stop it. Yet we must face many difficulties in many different ways. Although Krsna cannot be killed, Vasudeva, as the father of Krsna, was trembling because in affection he thought that Kamsa would immediately come and kill his son. Similarly, although the Krsna consciousness movement and Krsna are not different and no asuras can check it, we are afraid that at any moment the asuras can stop this movement in any part of the world.
athainam atmajam viksya
devaki tam upadhavat
kamsad bhita suvismita
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; atha--after this offering of prayers by Vasudeva; enam--this Krsna; atmajam--their son; viksya--observing; maha-purusa-laksanam--with all the symptoms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu; devaki--Krsna's mother; tam--unto Him (Krsna); upadhavat--offered prayers; kamsat--of Kamsa; bhita--being afraid; su-vismita--and also being astonished by seeing such a wonderful child.
Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Thereafter, having seen that her child had all the symptoms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Devaki, who was very much afraid of Kamsa and unusually astonished, began to offer prayers to the Lord.
The word suvismita, meaning "astonished," is significant in this verse. Devaki and her husband, Vasudeva, were assured that their child was the Supreme Personality of Godhead and could not be killed by Kamsa, but because of affection, as they thought of Kamsa's previous atrocities, they were simultaneously afraid that Krsna would be killed. This is why the word suvismita has been used. Similarly, we are also astounded upon thinking of whether this movement will be killed by the asuras or will continue to advance without fear.
rupam yat tat prahur avyaktam adyam
brahma jyotir nirgunam nirvikaram
satta-matram nirvisesam niriham
sa tvam saksad visnur adhyatma-dipah
sri-devaki uvaca--Sri Devaki said; rupam--form or substance; yat tat--because You are the same substance; prahuh--You are sometimes called; avyaktam--not perceivable by the material senses (atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih); adyam--You are the original cause; brahma--You are known as Brahman; jyotih--light; nirgunam--without material qualities; nirvikaram--without change, the same form of Visnu perpetually; satta-matram--the original substance, the cause of everything; nirvisesam--You are present everywhere as the Supersoul (within the heart of a human being and within the heart of an animal, the same substance is present); niriham--without material desires; sah--that Supreme Person; tvam--Your Lordship; saksat--directly; visnuh--Lord Visnu; adhyatma-dipah--the light for all transcendental knowledge (knowing You, one knows everything: yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati).
Sri Devaki said: My dear Lord, there are different Vedas, some of which describe You as unperceivable through words and the mind. Yet You are the origin of the entire cosmic manifestation. You are Brahman, the greatest of everything, full of effulgence like the sun. You have no material cause, You are free from change and deviation, and You have no material desires. Thus the Vedas say that You are the substance. Therefore, my Lord, You are directly the origin of all Vedic statements, and by understanding You, one gradually understands everything. You are different from the light of Brahman and Paramatma, yet You are not different from them. Everything emanates from You. Indeed, You are the cause of all causes, Lord Visnu, the light of all transcendental knowledge.
Visnu is the origin of everything, and there is no difference between Lord Visnu and Lord Krsna because both of Them are visnu-tattva. From the Rg Veda we understand, om tad visnoh paramam padam: the original substance is the all-pervading Lord Visnu, who is also Paramatma and the effulgent Brahman. The living entities are also part and parcel of Visnu, who has various energies (parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca). Visnu, or Krsna, is therefore everything. Lord Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita (10.8), aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." Krsna, therefore, is the original cause of everything (sarva-karana-karanam). When Visnu expands in His all-pervading aspect, we should understand Him to be the nirakara-nirvisesa-brahmajyoti.
Although everything emanates from Krsna, He is ultimately a person. Aham adir hi devanam: He is the origin of Brahma, Visnu and Mahesvara, and from them many other demigods are manifested. Krsna therefore says in Bhagavad-gita (14.27), brahmano hi pratisthaham; "Brahman rests upon Me." The Lord also says:
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." (Bg. 9.23) There are many persons who worship different demigods, considering all of them to be separate gods, which in fact they are not. The fact is that every demigod, and every living entity, is part and parcel of Krsna (mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah). The demigods are also in the category of living entities; they are not separate gods. But men whose knowledge is immature and contaminated by the modes of material nature worship various demigods, according to their intelligence. Therefore they are rebuked in Bhagavad-gita (kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah). Because they are unintelligent and not very advanced and have not properly considered the truth, they take to the worship of various demigods or speculate according to various philosophies, such as the Mayavada philosophy.
Krsna, Visnu, is the actual origin of everything. As stated in the Vedas, yasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati. The Absolute Truth is described later in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.28.15) as satyam jnanam anantam yad brahma-jyotih sanatanam. The brahmajyoti is sanatana, eternal, yet it is dependent on Krsna (brahmano hi pratisthaham). The Brahma-samhita states that the Lord is all-pervading. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham: He is within this universe, and He is within the atom as Paramatma. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhu-ti-bhinnam: Brahman is also not independent of Him. Therefore whatever a philosopher may describe is ultimately Krsna, or Lord Visnu (sarvam khalv idam brahma, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan). According to different phases of understanding, Lord Visnu is differently described, but in fact He is the origin of everything.
Because Devaki was an unalloyed devotee, she could understand that the same Lord Visnu had appeared as her son. Therefore, after the prayers of Vasudeva, Devaki offered her prayers. She was very frightened because of her brother's atrocities. Devaki said, "My dear Lord, Your eternal forms, like Narayana, Lord Rama, Sesa, Varaha, Nrsimha, Vamana, Baladeva, and millions of similar incarnations emanating from Visnu, are described in the Vedic literature as original. You are original because all Your forms as incarnations are outside of this material creation. Your form was existing before this cosmic manifestation was created. Your forms are eternal and all-pervading. They are self-effulgent, changeless and uncontaminated by the material qualities. Such eternal forms are ever-cognizant and full of bliss; they are situated in transcendental goodness and are always engaged in different pastimes. You are not limited to a particular form only; all such transcendental, eternal forms are self-sufficient. I can understand that You are the Supreme Lord Visnu." We may conclude, therefore, that Lord Visnu is everything, although He is also different from everything. This is the acintya-bhedabheda-tattva philosophy.
naste loke dvi-parardhavasane
maha-bhutesv adi-bhutam gatesu
vyakte 'vyaktam kala-vegena yate
bhavan ekah sisyate 'sesa-samjnah
naste--after the annihilation; loke--of the cosmic manifestation; dvi-parardha-avasane--after millions and millions of years (the life of Brahma); maha-bhutesu--when the five primary elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether); adi-bhutam gatesu--enter within the subtle elements of sense perception; vyakte--when everything manifested; avyaktam--into the unmanifested; kala-vegena--by the force of time; yate--enters; bhavan--Your Lordship; ekah--only one; sisyate--remains; asesa-samjnah--the same one with different names.
After millions of years, at the time of cosmic annihilation, when everything, manifested and unmanifested, is annihilated by the force of time, the five gross elements enter into the subtle conception, and the manifested categories enter into the unmanifested substance. At that time, You alone remain, and You are known as Ananta Sesa-naga.
At the time of annihilation, the five gross elements--earth, water, fire, air and ether--enter into the mind, intelligence and false ego (ahankara), and the entire cosmic manifestation enters into the spiritual energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who alone remains as the origin of everything. The Lord is therefore known as Sesa-naga, as Adi-purusa and by many other names.
Devaki therefore prayed, "After many millions of years, when Lord Brahma comes to the end of his life, the annihilation of the cosmic manifestation takes place. At that time the five elements--namely earth, water, fire, air and ether--enter into the mahat-tattva. The mahat-tattva again enters, by the force of time, into the nonmanifested total material energy; the total material energy enters into the energetic pradhana, and the pradhana enters into You. Therefore after the annihilation of the whole cosmic manifestation, You alone remain with Your transcendental name, form, quality and paraphernalia.
"My Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You because You are the director of the unmanifested total energy, and the ultimate reservoir of the material nature. My Lord, the whole cosmic manifestation is under the influence of time, beginning from the moment up to the duration of the year. All act under Your direction. You are the original director of everything and the reservoir of all potent energies."
yo 'yam kalas tasya te 'vyakta-bandho
cestam ahus cestate yena visvam
nimesadir vatsaranto mahiyams
tam tvesanam ksema-dhama prapadye
yah--that which; ayam--this; kalah--time (minutes, hours, seconds); tasya--of Him; te--of You; avyakta-bandho--O my Lord, You are the inaugurator of the unmanifested (the original mahat-tattva or prakrti); cestam--attempt or pastimes; ahuh--it is said; cestate--works; yena--by which; visvam--the entire creation; nimesa-adih--beginning with minute parts of time; vatsara-antah--up to the limit of a year; mahiyan--powerful; tam--unto Your Lordship; tva isanam--unto You, the supreme controller; ksema-dhama--the reservoir of all auspiciousness; prapadye--I offer full surrender.
O inaugurator of the material energy, this wonderful creation works under the control of powerful time, which is divided into seconds, minutes, hours and years. This element of time, which extends for many millions of years, is but another form of Lord Visnu. For Your pastimes, You act as the controller of time, but You are the reservoir of all good fortune. Let me offer my full surrender unto Your Lordship.
As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.52):
yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam
raja samasta-sura-murtir asesa-tejah
yasyajnaya bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakro
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
"The sun is the king of all planetary systems and has unlimited potency in heat and light. I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose control even the sun, which is considered to be the eye of the Lord, rotates within the fixed orbit of eternal time." Although we see the cosmic manifestation as gigantic and wonderful, it is within the limitations of kala, the time factor. This time factor is also controlled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram). Prakrti, the cosmic manifestation, is under the control of time. Indeed, everything is under the control of time, and time is controlled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the Supreme Lord has no fear of the onslaughts of time. Time is estimated according to the movements of the sun (savita). Every minute, every second, every day, every night, every month and every year of time can be calculated according to the sun's movements. But the sun is not independent, for it is under time's control. Bhramati sambhrta-kala-cakrah: the sun moves within the kala-cakra, the orbit of time. The sun is under the control of time, and time is controlled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the Lord has no fear of time.
The Lord is addressed here as avyakta-bandhu, or the inaugurator of the movements of the entire cosmic manifestation. Sometimes the cosmic manifestation is compared to a potter's wheel. When a potter's wheel is spinning, who has set it in motion? It is the potter, of course, although sometimes we can see only the motion of the wheel and cannot see the potter himself. Therefore the Lord, who is behind the motion of the cosmos, is called avyakta-bandhu. Everything is within the limits of time, but time moves under the direction of the Lord, who is therefore not within time's limit.
martyo mrtyu-vyala-bhitah palayan
lokan sarvan nirbhayam nadhyagacchat
tvat padabjam prapya yadrcchayadya
susthah sete mrtyur asmad apaiti
martyah--the living entities who are sure to die; mrtyu-vyala-bhitah--afraid of the serpent of death; palayan--running (as soon as a serpent is seen, everyone runs away, fearing immediate death); lokan--to the different planets; sarvan--all; nirbhayam--fearlessness; na adhyagacchat--do not obtain; tvat-pada-abjam--of Your lotus feet; prapya--obtaining the shelter; yadrcchaya--by chance, by the mercy of Your Lordship and Your representative, the spiritual master (guru-krpa, krsna-krpa); adya--presently; su-sthah--being undisturbed and mentally composed; sete--are sleeping; mrtyuh--death; asmat--from those persons; apaiti--flees.
No one in this material world has become free from the four principles birth, death, old age and disease, even by fleeing to various planets. But now that You have appeared, My Lord, death is fleeing in fear of You, and the living entities, having obtained shelter at Your lotus feet by Your mercy, are sleeping in full mental peace.
There are different categories of living entities, but everyone is afraid of death. The highest aim of the karmis is to be promoted to the higher, heavenly planets, where the duration of life is very long. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (8.17), sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh: one day of Brahma equals 1,000 yugas, and each yuga consists of 4,300,000 years. Similarly, Brahma has a night of 1,000 times 4,300,000 years. In this way, we may calculate Brahma's month and year, but even Brahma, who lives for millions and millions of years (dvi-parardha-kala), also must die. According to Vedic sastra, the inhabitants of the higher planetary systems live for 10,000 years, and just as Brahma's day is calculated to equal 4,300,000,000 of our years, one day in the higher planetary systems equals six of our months. Karmis, therefore, try for promotion to the higher planetary systems, but this cannot free them from death. In this material world, everyone from Brahma to the insignificant ant must die. Therefore this world is called martya-loka. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (8.16), abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino'rjuna: as long as one is within this material world, either on Brahmaloka or on any other loka within this universe, one must undergo the kala-cakra of one life after another (bhutva bhutva praliyate). But if one returns to the Supreme Personality of Godhead (yad gatva na nivartante), one need not reenter the limits of time. Therefore, devotees who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord can sleep very peacefully with this assurance from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.9), tyaktva deham punar janma naiti: after giving up the present body, a devotee who has understood Krsna as He is need not return to this material world.
The constitutional position for the living entity is eternity (na hanyate hanyamane sarire, nityah sasvato 'yam). Every living entity is eternal. But because of having fallen into this material world, one wanders within the universe, continually changing from one body to another. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
(Cc. Madhya 19.151)
Everyone is wandering up and down within this universe, but one who is sufficiently fortunate comes in contact with Krsna consciousness, by the mercy of the spiritual master, and takes to the path of devotional service. Then one is assured of eternal life, with no fear of death. When Krsna appears, everyone is freed from fear of death, yet Devaki felt, "We are still afraid of Kamsa, although You have appeared as our son." She was more or less bewildered as to why this should be so, and she appealed to the Lord to free her and Vasudeva from this fear.
In this connection, it may be noted that the moon is one of the heavenly planets. From the Vedic literature we understand that one who goes to the moon receives a life with a duration of ten thousand years in which to enjoy the fruits of pious activities. If our so-called scientists are going to the moon, why should they come back here? We must conclude without a doubt that they have never gone to the moon. To go to the moon, one must have the qualification of pious activities. Then one may go there and live. If one has gone to the moon, why should he return to this planet, where life is of a very short duration?
sa tvam ghorad ugrasenatmajan nas
trahi trastan bhrtya-vitrasa-hasi
rupam cedam paurusam dhyana-dhisnyam
ma pratyaksam mamsa-drsam krsisthah
sah--Your Lordship; tvam--You; ghorat--terribly fierce; ugrasena-atmajat--from the son of Ugrasena; nah--us; trahi--kindly protect; trastan--who are very much afraid (of him); bhrtya-vitrasa-ha asi--You are naturally the destroyer of the fear of Your servants; rupam--in Your Visnu form; ca--also; idam--this; paurusam--as the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dhyana-dhisnyam--who is appreciated by meditation; ma--not; pratyaksam--directly visible; mamsa-drsam--to those who see with their material eyes; krsisthah--please be.
My Lord, because You dispel all the fear of Your devotees, I request You to save us and give us protection from the terrible fear of Kamsa. Your form as Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is appreciated by yogis in meditation. Please make this form invisible to those who see with material eyes.
The word dhyana-dhisnyam is significant in this verse because the form of Lord Visnu is meditated upon by yogis (dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah). Devaki requested the Lord, who had appeared as Visnu, to conceal that form, for she wanted to see the Lord as an ordinary child, like a child appreciated by persons who have material eyes. Devaki wanted to see whether the Supreme Personality of Godhead had factually appeared or she was dreaming the Visnu form. If Kamsa were to come, she thought, upon seeing the Visnu form he would immediately kill the child, but if he saw a human child, he might reconsider. Devaki was afraid of Ugrasena-atmaja; that is, she was afraid not of Ugrasena and his men, but of the son of Ugrasena. Thus she requested the Lord to dissipate that fear, since He is always ready to give protection (abhayam) to His devotees. "My Lord," she prayed, "I request You to save me from the cruel hands of the son of Ugrasena, Kamsa. I am praying to Your Lordship to please rescue me from this fearful condition because You are always ready to give protection to Your servitors." The Lord has confirmed this statement in the Bhagavad-gita by assuring Arjuna, "You may declare to the world, My devotee shall never be vanquished."
While thus praying to the Lord for rescue, mother Devaki expressed her motherly affection: "I understand that this transcendental form is generally perceived in meditation by the great sages, but I am still afraid because as soon as Kamsa understands that You have appeared, he might harm You. So I request that for the time being You become invisible to our material eyes." In other words, she requested the Lord to assume the form of an ordinary child. "My only cause of fear from my brother Kamsa is due to Your appearance. My Lord Madhusudana, Kamsa may know that You are already born. Therefore I request You to conceal this four-armed form of Your Lordship, which holds the four symbols of Visnu--namely the conchshell, the disc, the club and the lotus flower. My dear Lord, at the end of the annihilation of the cosmic manifestation, You put the whole universe within Your abdomen; still, by Your unalloyed mercy, You have appeared in my womb. I am surprised that You imitate the activities of ordinary human beings just to please Your devotee."
Devaki was so afraid of Kamsa that she could not believe that Kamsa would be unable to kill Lord Visnu, who was personally present. Out of motherly affection, therefore, she requested the Supreme Personality of Godhead to disappear. Although because of the Lord's disappearance Kamsa would harass her more and more, thinking that the child born of her was hidden somewhere, she did not want the transcendental child to be harassed and killed. Therefore she requested Lord Visnu to disappear. Later, when harassed, she would think of Him within her mind.
janma te mayy asau papo
ma vidyan madhusudana
kamsad aham adhira-dhih
janma--the birth; te--of Your Lordship; mayi--in my (womb); asau--that Kamsa; papah--extremely sinful; ma vidyat--may be unable to understand; madhusudana--O Madhusudana; samudvije--I am full of anxiety; bhavat-hetoh--because of Your appearance; kamsat--because of Kamsa, with whom I have had such bad experience; aham--I; adhira-dhih--have become more and more anxious.
O Madhusudana, because of Your appearance, I am becoming more and more anxious in fear of Kamsa. Therefore, please arrange for that sinful Kamsa to be unable to understand that You have taken birth from my womb.
Devaki addressed the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Madhusudana. She was aware that the Lord had killed many demons like Madhu who were hundreds and thousands of times more powerful than Kamsa, yet because of affection for the transcendental child, she believed that Kamsa could kill Him. Instead of thinking of the unlimited power of the Lord, she thought of the Lord with affection, and therefore she requested the transcendental child to disappear.
ado rupam alaukikam
sriya justam catur-bhujam
upasamhara--withdraw; visvatman--O all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead; adah--that; rupam--form; alaukikam--which is unnatural in this world; sankha-cakra-gada-padma--of the conchshell, disc, club and lotus; sriya--with these opulences; justam--decorated; catuh-bhujam--four hands.
O my Lord, You are the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Your transcendental four-armed form, holding conchshell, disc, club and lotus, is unnatural for this world. Please withdraw this form [and become just like a natural human child so that I may try to hide You somewhere].
Devaki was thinking of hiding the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not handing Him over to Kamsa as she had all her previous children. Although Vasudeva had promised to hand over every child to Kamsa, this time he wanted to break his promise and hide the child somewhere. But because of the Lord's appearance in this surprising four-armed form, He would be impossible to hide.
visvam yad etat sva-tanau nisante
yathavakasam purusah paro bhavan
bibharti so 'yam mama garbhago 'bhud
aho nr-lokasya vidambanam hi tat
visvam--the entire cosmic manifestation; yat etat--containing all moving and nonmoving creations; sva-tanau--within Your body; nisa-ante--at the time of devastation; yatha-avakasam--shelter in Your body without difficulty; purusah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parah--transcendental; bhavan--Your Lordship; bibharti--keep; sah--that (Supreme Personality of Godhead); ayam--this form; mama--my; garbha-gah--came within my womb; abhut--it so happened; aho--alas; nr-lokasya--within this material world of living entities; vidambanam--it is impossible to think of; hi--indeed; tat--that (kind of conception).
At the time of devastation, the entire cosmos, containing all created moving and nonmoving entities, enters Your transcendental body and is held there without difficulty. But now this transcendental form has taken birth from my womb. People will not be able to believe this, and I shall become an object of ridicule.
As explained in Caitanya-caritamrta, loving service to the Personality of Godhead is of two different kinds: aisvarya-purna, full of opulence, and aisvarya-sithila, without opulence. Real love of Godhead begins with aisvarya-sithila, simply on the basis of pure love.
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Pure devotees, whose eyes are anointed with the ointment of prema, love, want to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Syamasundara, Muralidhara, with a flute swaying in His two hands. This is the form available to the inhabitants of Vrndavana, who are all in love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Syamasundara, not as Lord Visnu, Narayana, who is worshiped in Vaikuntha, where the devotees admire His opulence. Although Devaki is not on the Vrndavana platform, she is near the Vrndavana platform. On the Vrndavana platform the mother of Krsna is mother Yasoda, and on the Mathura and Dvaraka platform the mother of Krsna is Devaki. In Mathura and Dvaraka the love for the Lord is mixed with appreciation of His opulence, but in Vrndavana the opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not exhibited.
There are five stages of loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead--santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Devaki is on the platform of vatsalya. She wanted to deal with her eternal son, Krsna, in that stage of love, and therefore she wanted the Supreme Personality of Godhead to withdraw His opulent form of Visnu. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura illuminates this fact very clearly in his explanation of this verse.
Bhakti, bhagavan and bhakta do not belong to the material world. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (14.26):
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
sa gunan samatityaitan
"One who engages in the spiritual activities of unalloyed devotional service immediately transcends the modes of material nature and is elevated to the spiritual platform." From the very beginning of one's transactions in bhakti, one is situated on the transcendental platform. Vasudeva and Devaki, therefore, being situated in a completely pure devotional state, are beyond this material world and are not subject to material fear. In the transcendental world, however, because of pure devotion, there is a similar conception of fear, which is due to intense love.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah) and as confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah), without bhakti one cannot understand the spiritual situation of the Lord. Bhakti may be considered in three stages, called guni-bhuta, pradhani-bhuta and kevala, and according to these stages there are three divisions, which are called jnana, jnanamayi and rati, or prema--that is, simple knowledge, love mixed with knowledge, and pure love. By simple knowledge, one can perceive transcendental bliss without variety. This perception is called mana-bhuti. When one comes to the stage of jnanamayi, one realizes the transcendental opulences of the Personality of Godhead. But when one reaches pure love, one realizes the transcendental form of the Lord as Lord Krsna or Lord Rama. This is what is wanted. Especially in the madhurya-rasa, one becomes attached to the Personality of Godhead (sri-vigraha-nistha-rupadi). Then loving transactions between the Lord and the devotee begin.
The special significance of Krsna's bearing a flute in His hands in Vrajabhumi, Vrndavana, is described as madhuri. .. virajate. The form of the Lord with a flute in His hands is most attractive, and the one who is most sublimely attracted is Srimati Radharani, Radhika. She enjoys supremely blissful association with Krsna. Sometimes people cannot understand why Radhika's name is not mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam. Actually, however, Radhika can be understood from the word aradhana, which indicates that She enjoys the highest loving affairs with Krsna.
Not wanting to be ridiculed for having given birth to Visnu, Devaki wanted Krsna, with two hands, and therefore she requested the Lord to change His form.
tvam eva purva-sarge 'bhuh
prsnih svayambhuve sati
tadayam sutapa nama
sri-bhagavan uvaca--the Supreme Personality of Godhead said to Devaki; tvam--you; eva--indeed; purva-sarge--in a previous millennium; abhuh--became; prsnih--by the name Prsni; svayambhuve--the millennium of Svayambhuva Manu; sati--O supremely chaste; tada--at that time; ayam--Vasudeva; sutapa--Sutapa; nama--by the name; prajapatih--a Prajapati; akalmasah--a spotlessly pious person.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead replied: My dear mother, best of the chaste, in your previous birth, in the Svayambhuva millennium, you were known as Prsni, and Vasudeva, who was the most pious Prajapati, was named Sutapa.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead made it clear that Devaki had not become His mother only now; rather, she had been His mother previously also. Krsna is eternal, and His selection of a father and mother from among His devotees takes place eternally. Previously also, Devaki had been the Lord's mother and Vasudeva the Lord's father, and they were named Prsni and Sutapa. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears, He accepts His eternal father and mother, and they accept Krsna as their son. This pastime takes place eternally and is therefore called nitya-lila. Thus there was no cause for surprise or ridicule. As confirmed by the Lord Himself 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." One should try to understand the appearance and disappearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from Vedic authorities, not from imagination. One who follows his imaginations about the Supreme Personality of Godhead is condemned.
avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
The Lord appears as the son of His devotee by His param bhavam. The word bhava refers to the stage of pure love, which has nothing to do with material transactions.
yuvam vai brahmanadistau
praja-sarge yada tatah
tepathe paramam tapah
yuvam--both of you (Prsni and Sutapa); vai--indeed; brahmana adistau--ordered by Lord Brahma (who is known as Pitamaha, the father of the Prajapatis); praja-sarge--in the creation of progeny; yada--when; tatah--thereafter; sanniyamya--keeping under full control; indriya-gramam--the senses; tepathe--underwent; paramam--very great; tapah--austerity.
When both of you were ordered by Lord Brahma to create progeny, you first underwent severe austerities by controlling your senses.
Here is an instruction about how to use one's senses to create progeny. According to Vedic principles, before creating progeny one must fully control the senses. This control takes place through the garbhadhana-samskara. In India there is great agitation for birth control in various mechanical ways, but birth cannot be mechanically controlled. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (13.9), janma-mrtyu jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam: birth, death, old age and disease are certainly the primary distresses of the material world. People are trying to control birth, but they are not able to control death; and if one cannot control death, one cannot control birth either. In other words, artificially controlling birth is not any more feasible than artificially controlling death.
According to Vedic civilization, procreation should not be contrary to religious principles, and then the birthrate will be controlled. As stated in Bhagavad-gita (7.11), dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo'smi: sex not contrary to religious principles is a representation of the Supreme Lord. People should be educated in how to give birth to good children through samskaras, beginning with the garbhadhana-samskara; birth should not be controlled by artificial means, for this will lead to a civilization of animals. If one follows religious principles, he automatically practices birth control because if one is spiritually educated he knows that the after-effects of sex are various types of misery (bahu-duhkha-bhaja). One who is spiritually advanced does not indulge in uncontrolled sex. Therefore, instead of being forced to refrain from sex or refrain from giving birth to many children, people should be spiritually educated, and then birth control will automatically follow.
If one is determined to make spiritual advancement, he will not beget a child unless able to make that child a devotee. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18), pita na sa syat: one should not become a father unless one is able to protect his child from mrtyu, the path of birth and death. But where is there education about this? A responsible father never begets children like cats and dogs. Instead of being encouraged to adopt artificial means of birth control, people should be educated in Krsna consciousness because only then will they understand their responsibility to their children. If one can beget children who will be devotees and be taught to turn aside from the path of birth and death (mrtyu-samsara-vartmani), there is no need of birth control. Rather, one should be encouraged to beget children. Artificial means of birth control have no value. Whether one begets children or does not, a population of men who are like cats and dogs will never make human society happy. It is therefore necessary for people to be educated spiritually so that instead of begetting children like cats and dogs, they will undergo austerities to produce devotees. This will make their lives successful.
mattah kaman abhipsantau
varsa--the rain; vata--strong wind; atapa--strong sunshine; hima--severe cold; gharma--heat; kala-gunan anu--according to seasonal changes; sahamanau--by enduring; svasa-rodha--by practicing yoga, controlling the breath; vinirdhuta--the dirty things accumulated in the mind were completely washed away; manah-malau--the mind became clean, free from material contamination; sirna--rejected, dry; parna--leaves from the trees; anila--and air; aharau--eating; upasantena--peaceful; cetasa--with a fully controlled mind; mattah--from Me; kaman abhipsantau--desiring to beg some benediction; mat--My; aradhanam--worship; ihatuh--you both executed.
My dear father and mother, you endured rain, wind, strong sun, scorching heat and severe cold, suffering all sorts of inconvenience according to different seasons. By practicing pranayama to control the air within the body through yoga, and by eating only air and dry leaves fallen from the trees, you cleansed from your minds all dirty things. In this way, desiring a benediction from Me, you worshiped Me with peaceful minds.
Vasudeva and Devaki did not obtain the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their son very easily, nor does the Supreme Godhead accept merely anyone as His father and mother. Here we can see how Vasudeva and Devaki obtained Krsna as their eternal son. In our own lives, we are meant to follow the principles indicated herewith for getting good children. Of course, it is not possible for everyone to get Krsna as his son, but at least one can get very good sons and daughters for the benefit of human society. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that if human beings do not follow the spiritual way of life, there will be an increase of varna-sankara population, population begotten like cats and dogs, and the entire world will become like hell. Not practicing Krsna consciousness but simply encouraging artificial means to check the population will be futile; the population will increase, and it will consist of varna-sankara, unwanted progeny. It is better to teach people how to beget children not like hogs and dogs, but in controlled life.
Human life is meant not for becoming a hog or dog, but for tapo divyam, transcendental austerity. Everyone should be taught to undergo austerity, tapasya. Although it may not be possible to undergo tapasya like that of Prsni and Sutapa, the sastra has given an opportunity for a method of tapasya very easy to perform--the sankirtana movement. One cannot expect to undergo tapasya to get Krsna as one's child, yet simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra (kirtanad eva krsnasya), one can become so pure that one becomes free from all the contamination of this material world (mukta-sangah) and goes back home, back to Godhead (param vrajet). The Krsna consciousness movement, therefore, is teaching people not to adopt artificial means of happiness, but to take the real path of happiness as prescribed in the sastra--the chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra--and become perfect in every aspect of material existence.
evam vam tapyatos tivram
evam--in this way; vam--for both of you; tapyatoh--executing austerities; tivram--very severe; tapah--austerity; parama-duskaram--extremely difficult to execute; divya-varsa--celestial years, or years counted according to the higher planetary system; sahasrani--thousand; dvadasa--twelve; iyuh--passed; mat-atmanoh--simply engaged in consciousness of Me.
Thus you spent twelve thousand celestial years performing difficult activities of tapasya in consciousness of Me [Krsna consciousness].
tada vam paritusto 'ham
tapasa sraddhaya nityam
bhaktya ca hrdi bhavitah
vriyatam vara ity ukte
madrso vam vrtah sutah
tada--then (after the expiry of twelve thousand celestial years); vam--with both of you; paritustah aham--I was very much satisfied; amuna--by this; vapusa--in this form as Krsna; anaghe--O My dear sinless mother; tapasa--by austerity; sraddhaya--by faith; nityam--constantly (engaged); bhaktya--by devotional service; ca--as well as; hrdi--within the core of the heart; bhavitah--fixed (in determination); pradurasam--appeared before you (in the same way); vara-da-rat--the best of all who can bestow benedictions; yuvayoh--of both of you; kama-ditsaya--wishing to fulfill the desire; vriyatam--asked you to open your minds; varah--for a benediction; iti ukte--when you were requested in this way; madrsah--exactly like Me; vam--of both of you; vrtah--was asked; sutah--as Your son (you wanted a son exactly like Me).
O sinless mother Devaki, after the expiry of twelve thousand celestial years, in which you constantly contemplated Me within the core of your heart with great faith, devotion and austerity, I was very much satisfied with you. Since I am the best of all bestowers of benediction, I appeared in this same form as Krsna to ask you to take from Me the benediction you desired. You then expressed your desire to have a son exactly like Me.
Twelve thousand years on the celestial planets is not a very long time for those who live in the upper planetary system, although it may be very long for those who live on this planet. Sutapa was the son of Brahma, and as we have already understood from Bhagavad-gita (8.17), one day of Brahma equals many millions of years according to our calculation (sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmano viduh). We should be careful to understand that to get Krsna as one's son, one must undergo such great austerities. If we want to get the Supreme Personality of Godhead to become one of us in this material world, this requires great penance, but if we want to go back to Krsna (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna), we need only understand Him and love Him. Through love only, we can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore declared, prema pum-artho mahan: love of Godhead is the highest achievement for anyone.
As we have explained, in worship of the Lord there are three stages--jnana, jnanamayi and rati, or love. Sutapa and his wife, Prsni, inaugurated their devotional activities on the basis of full knowledge. Gradually they developed love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and when this love was mature, the Lord appeared as Visnu, although Devaki then requested Him to assume the form of Krsna. To love the Supreme Personality of Godhead more, we want a form of the Lord like Krsna or Rama. We can engage in loving transactions with Krsna especially.
In this age, we are all fallen, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to bestow upon us love of Godhead directly. This was appreciated by the associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Rupa Gosvami said:
namne gaura-tvise namah
In this verse, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is described as maha-vadanya, the most munificent of charitable persons, because He gives Krsna so easily that one can attain Krsna simply by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. We should therefore take advantage of the benediction given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and when by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra we are cleansed of all dirty things (ceto-darpana-marjanam), we shall be able to understand very easily that Krsna is the only object of love (kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet).
Therefore, one need not undergo severe penances for many thousands of years; one need only learn how to love Krsna and be always engaged in His service (sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah). Then one can very easily go back home, back to Godhead. Instead of bringing the Lord here for some material purpose, to have a son or whatever else, if we go back home, back to Godhead, our real relationship with the Lord is revealed, and we eternally engage in our eternal relationship. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, we gradually develop our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person and thus attain the perfection called svarupa-siddhi. We should take advantage of this benediction and go back home, back to Godhead. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has therefore sung, patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara: Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as an incarnation to deliver all fallen souls like us and directly bestow upon us love of Godhead. We must take advantage of this great benediction of the great personality of Godhead.
anapatyau ca dam-pati
na vavrathe 'pavargam me
ajusta-gramya-visayau--for sex life and to beget a child like Me; anapatyau--because of possessing no son; ca--also; dam-pati--both husband and wife; na--never; vavrathe--asked for (any other benediction); apavargam--liberation from this world; me--from Me; mohitau--being so much attracted; deva-mayaya--by transcendental love for Me (desiring Me as your beloved son).
Being husband and wife but always sonless, you were attracted by sexual desires, for by the influence of devamaya, transcendental love, you wanted to have Me as your son. Therefore you never desired to be liberated from this material world.
Vasudeva and Devaki had been dam-pati, husband and wife, since the time of Sutapa and Prsni, and they wanted to remain husband and wife in order to have the Supreme Personality of Godhead as their son. This attachment came about by the influence of devamaya. Loving Krsna as one's son is a Vedic principle. Vasudeva and Devaki never desired anything but to have the Lord as their son, yet for this purpose they apparently wanted to live like ordinary grhasthas for sexual indulgence. Although this was a transaction of spiritual potency, their desire appears like attachment for sex in conjugal life. If one wants to return home, back to Godhead, one must give up such desires. This is possible only when one develops intense love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said:
param param jigamisor bhava-sagarasya
(Cc. Madhya 11.8)
If one wants to go back home, back to Godhead, one must be niskincana, free from all material desires. Therefore, instead of desiring to have the Lord come here and become one's son, one should desire to become free from all material desires (anyabhilasita-sunyam) and go back home, back to Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us in His Siksastaka:
na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
"O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want Your causeless devotional service, birth after birth." One should not ask the Lord to fulfill any materially tainted desires.
gate mayi yuvam labdhva
varam mat-sadrsam sutam
gramyan bhogan abhunjatham
gate mayi--after My departure; yuvam--both of you (husband and wife); labdhva--after receiving; varam--the benediction of (having a son); mat-sadrsam--exactly like Me; sutam--a son; gramyan bhogan--engagement in sex; abhunjatham--enjoyed; yuvam--both of you; prapta--having been achieved; manorathau--the desired result of your aspirations.
After you received that benediction and I disappeared, you engaged yourselves in sex to have a son like Me, and I fulfilled your desire.
According to the Sanskrit dictionary Amara-kosa, sex life is also called gramya-dharma, material desire, but in spiritual life this gramya-dharma, the material desire for sex, is not very much appreciated. If one has a tinge of attachment for the material enjoyments of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, one is not niskincana. But one really should be niskincana. Therefore, one should be free from the desire to beget a child like Krsna by sexual enjoyment. This is indirectly hinted at in this verse.
aham suto vam abhavam
prsnigarbha iti srutah
adrstva--not finding; anyatamam--anyone else; loke--in this world; sila-audarya-gunaih--with the transcendental qualities of good character and magnanimity; samam--equal to you; aham--I; sutah--the son; vam--of both of you; abhavam--became; prsni-garbhah--celebrated as born of Prsni; iti--thus; srutah--I am known.
Since I found no one else as highly elevated as you in simplicity and other qualities of good character, I appeared in this world as Prsnigarbha, or one who is celebrated as having taken birth from Prsni.
In the Treta-yuga the Lord appeared as Prsnigarbha. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, prsnigarbha iti so 'yam treta-yugavataro laksyate.
tayor vam punar evaham
adityam asa kasyapat
upendra iti vikhyato
vamanatvac ca vamanah
tayoh--of you two, husband and wife; vam--in both of you; punah eva--even again; aham--I Myself; adityam--in the womb of Aditi; asa--appeared; kasyapat--by the semen of Kasyapa Muni; upendrah--by the name Upendra; iti--thus; vikhyatah--celebrated; vamanatvat ca--and because of being a dwarf; vamanah--I was known as Vamana.
In the next millennium, I again appeared from the two of you, who appeared as My mother, Aditi, and My father, Kasyapa. I was known as Upendra, and because of being a dwarf, I was also known as Vamana.
trtiye 'smin bhave 'ham vai
tenaiva vapusatha vam
jato bhuyas tayor eva
satyam me vyahrtam sati
trtiye--for the third time; asmin bhave--in this appearance (as Krsna); aham--I Myself; vai--indeed; tena--with the same personality; eva--in this way; vapusa--by the form; atha--as; vam--of both of you; jatah--born; bhuyah--again; tayoh--of both of you; eva--indeed; satyam--take as truth; me--My; vyahrtam--words; sati--O supremely chaste.
O supremely chaste mother, I, the same personality, have now appeared of you both as your son for the third time. Take My words as the truth.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead chooses a mother and father from whom to take birth again and again. The Lord took birth originally from Sutapa and Prsni, then from Kasyapa and Aditi, and again from the same father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaki. "In other appearances also," the Lord said, "I took the form of an ordinary child just to become your son so that we could reciprocate eternal love." Jiva Gosvami has explained this verse in his Krsna-sandarbha, Ninety-sixth Chapter, where he notes that in text 37 the Lord says, amuna vapusa, meaning "by this same form." In other words, the Lord told Devaki, "This time I have appeared in My original form as Sri Krsna." Srila Jiva Gosvami says that the other forms were partial expansions of the Lord's original form, but because of the intense love developed by Prsni and Sutapa, the Lord appeared from Devaki and Vasudeva in His full opulence as Sri Krsna. In this verse the Lord confirms, "I am the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, but I appear in full opulence as Sri Krsna." This is the purport of the words tenaiva vapusa. When the Lord mentioned the birth of Prsnigarbha, He did not say tenaiva vapusa, but He assured Devaki that in the third birth the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna had appeared, not His partial expansion. Prsnigarbha and Vamana were partial expansions of Krsna, but in this third birth Krsna Himself appeared. This is the explanation given in Sri Krsna-sandarbha by Srila Jiva Gosvami.
etad vam darsitam rupam
nanyatha mad-bhavam jnanam
etat--this form of Visnu; vam--unto both of you; darsitam--has been shown; rupam--My form as the Supreme Personality of Godhead with four hands; prak-janma--of My previous appearances; smaranaya--just to remind you; me--My; na--not; anyatha--otherwise; mat-bhavam--Visnu's appearance; jnanam--this transcendental knowledge; martya-lingena--by taking birth like a human child; jayate--does arise.
I have shown you this form of Visnu just to remind you of My previous births. Otherwise, if I appeared like an ordinary human child, you would not believe that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, has indeed appeared.
Devaki did not need to be reminded that the Supreme personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu, had appeared as her son; she already accepted this. Nonetheless, she was anxious, thinking that if her neighbors heard that Visnu had appeared as her son, none of them would believe it. Therefore she wanted Lord Visnu to transform Himself into a human child. On the other hand, the Supreme Lord was also anxious, thinking that if He appeared as an ordinary child, she would not believe that Lord Visnu had appeared. Such are the dealings between devotees and the Lord. The Lord deals with His devotees exactly like a human being, but this does not mean that the Lord is one of the human beings, for this is the conclusion of nondevotees (avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam). Devotees know the Supreme Personality of Godhead under any circumstances. This is the difference between a devotee and a nondevotee. The Lord says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru: "Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances and worship Me." A nondevotee cannot believe that simply by thinking of one person, one can achieve liberation from this material world and go back home, back to Godhead. But this is a fact. The Lord comes as a human being, and if one becomes attached to the Lord on the platform of loving service, one's promotion to the transcendental world is assured.
yuvam mam putra-bhavena
yasyethe mad-gatim param
yuvam--both of you (husband and wife); mam--unto Me; putra-bhavena--as your son; brahma-bhavena--knowing that I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ca--and; asakrt--constantly; cintayantau--thinking like that; krta-snehau--dealing with love and affection; yasyethe--shall both obtain; mat-gatim--My supreme abode; param--which is transcendental, beyond this material world.
Both of you, husband and wife, constantly think of Me as your son, but always know that I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By thus thinking of Me constantly with love and affection, you will achieve the highest perfection: returning home, back to Godhead.
This instruction by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to His father and mother, who are eternally connected with Him, is especially intended for persons eager to return home, back to Godhead. One should never think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as an ordinary human being, as nondevotees do. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, personally appeared and left His instructions for the benefit of all human society, but fools and rascals unfortunately think of Him as an ordinary human being and twist the instructions of Bhagavad-gita for the satisfaction of their senses. Practically everyone commenting on Bhagavad-gita interprets it for sense gratification. It has become especially fashionable for modern scholars and politicians to interpret Bhagavad-gita as if it were something fictitious, and by their wrong interpretations they are spoiling their own careers and the careers of others. The Krsna consciousness movement, however, is fighting against this principle of regarding Krsna as a fictitious person and of accepting that there was no Battle of Kuruksetra, that everything is symbolic, and that nothing in Bhagavad-gita is true. In any case, if one truly wants to be successful, one can do so by reading the text of Bhagavad-gita as it is. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu especially stressed the instructions of Bhagavad-gita: yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa. If one wants to achieve the highest success in life, one must accept Bhagavad-gita as spoken by the Supreme Lord. By accepting Bhagavad-gita in this way, all of human society can become perfect and happy.
It is to be noted that because Vasudeva and Devaki would be separated from Krsna when He was carried to Gokula, the residence of Nanda Maharaja, the Lord personally instructed them that they should always think of Him as their son and as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That would keep them in touch with Him. After eleven years, the Lord would return to Mathura to be their son, and therefore there was no question of separation.
ity uktvasid dharis tusnim
pitroh sampasyatoh sadyo
babhuva prakrtah sisuh
sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti uktva--after instructing in this way; asit--remained; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tusnim--silent; bhagavan--Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atma-mayaya--by acting in His own spiritual energy; pitroh sampasyatoh--while His father and mother were factually seeing Him; sadyah--immediately; babhuva--He became; prakrtah--like an ordinary human being; sisuh--a child.
Sukadeva Gosvami said: After thus instructing His father and mother, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, remained silent. In their presence, by His internal energy, He then transformed Himself into a small human child. [In other words, He transformed Himself into His original form: krsnas tu bhagavan svayam.]
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (4.6), sambhavamy atma-mayaya: whatever is done by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is done by His spiritual energy; nothing is forced upon Him by the material energy. This is the difference between the Lord and an ordinary living being. The Vedas say:
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
(Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8)
It is natural for the Lord to be untinged by material qualities, and because everything is perfectly present in His spiritual energy, as soon as He desires something, it is immediately done. The Lord is not a prakrta-sisu, a child of this world, but by His personal energy He appeared like one. Ordinary people may have difficulty accepting the supreme controller, God, as a human being because they forget that He can do everything by spiritual energy (atma-mayaya). Nonbelievers say, "How can the supreme controller descend as an ordinary being?" This sort of thinking is materialistic. Srila Jiva Gosvami says that unless we accept the energy of the Supreme personality of Godhead as inconceivable, beyond the conception of our words and mind, we cannot understand the Supreme Lord. Those who doubt that the Supreme personality of Godhead can come as a human being and turn Himself into a human child are fools who think that Krsna's body is material, that He is born and that He therefore also dies.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Fourth Chapter, verses 28 and 29, there is a description of Krsna's leaving His body. Maharaja Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami, "When all the members of the Yadu dynasty met their end, Krsna also put an end to Himself, and the only member of the family who remained alive was Uddhava. How was this possible?" Sukadeva Gosvami answered that Krsna, by His own energy, destroyed the entire family and then thought of making His own body disappear. In this connection, Sukadeva Gosvami described how the Lord gave up His body. But this was not the destruction of Krsna's body; rather, it was the disappearance of the Supreme Lord by His personal energy.
Actually, the Lord does not give up His body, which is eternal, but as He can change His body from the form of Visnu to that of an ordinary human child, He can change His body to any form He likes. This does not mean that He gives up His body. By spiritual energy, the Lord can appear in a body made of wood or stone. He can change His body into anything because everything is His energy (parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate). As clearly said in Bhagavad-gita (7.4), bhinna prakrtir astadha: the material elements are separated energies of the Supreme Lord. If He transforms Himself into the arca-murti, the worshipable Deity, which we see as stone or wood, He is still Krsna. Therefore the sastra warns, arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matih. One who thinks that the worshipable Deity in the temple is made of wood or stone, one who sees a Vaisnava guru as an ordinary human being, or one who materially conceives of a Vaisnava as belonging to a particular caste is naraki, a resident of hell. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can appear before us in many forms, as he likes, but we must know the true facts: janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah (Bg. 4.9). By following the instructions of sadhu, guru and sastra--the saintly persons, the spiritual master and the authoritative scriptures--one can understand Krsna, and then one makes his life successful by returning home, back to Godhead.
tatas ca saurir bhagavat-pracoditah
sutam samadaya sa sutika-grhat
yada bahir gantum iyesa tarhy aja
ya yogamayajani nanda-jayaya
tatah--thereafter; ca--indeed; saurih--Vasudeva; bhagavat-pracoditah--being instructed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sutam--his son; samadaya--carrying very carefully; sah--he; sutika-grhat--from the maternity room; yada--when; bahih gantum--to go outside; iyesa--desired; tarhi--exactly at that time; aja--the transcendental energy, who also never takes birth; ya--who; yogamaya--is known as Yogamaya; ajani--took birth; nanda-jayaya--from the wife of Nanda Maharaja.
Thereafter, exactly when Vasudeva, being inspired by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was about to take the newborn child from the delivery room, Yogamaya, the Lord's spiritual energy, took birth as the daughter of the wife of Maharaja Nanda.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura discusses that Krsna appeared simultaneously as the son of Devaki and as the son of Yasoda, along with the spiritual energy Yogamaya. As the son of Devaki, He first appeared as Visnu, and because Vasudeva was not in the position of pure affection for Krsna, Vasudeva worshiped his son as Lord Visnu. Yasoda, however, pleased her son Krsna without understanding His Godhood. This is the difference between Krsna as the son of Yasoda and as the son of Devaki. This is explained by Visvanatha Cakravarti on the authority of Hari-vamsa.
dvah-sthesu pauresv api sayitesv atha
dvaras ca sarvah pihita duratyaya
tah krsna-vahe vasudeva agate
svayam vyavaryanta yatha tamo raveh
vavarsa parjanya upamsu-garjitah
seso 'nvagad vari nivarayan phanaih
taya--by the influence of Yogamaya; hrta-pratyaya--deprived of all sensation; sarva-vrttisu--having all their senses; dvah-sthesu--all the doormen; pauresu api--as well as other members of the house; sayitesu--sleeping very deeply; atha--when Vasudeva tried to take his transcendental son out of the confinement; dvarah ca--as well as the doors; sarvah--all; pihitah--constructed; duratyaya--very hard and firm; brhat-kapata--and on great doors; ayasa-kila-srnkhalaih--strongly constructed with iron pins and closed with iron chains; tah--all of them; krsna-vahe--bearing Krsna; vasudeve--when Vasudeva; agate--appeared; svayam--automatically; vyavaryanta--opened wide; yatha--as; tamah--darkness; raveh--on the appearance of the sun; vavarsa--showered rain; parjanyah--the clouds in the sky; upamsu-garjitah--very mildly resounding and raining very slightly; sesah--Ananta-naga; anvagat--followed; vari--showers of rain; nivarayan--stopping; phanaih--by spreading His hoods.
By the influence of Yogamaya, all the doorkeepers fell fast asleep, their senses unable to work, and the other inhabitants of the house also fell deeply asleep. When the sun rises, the darkness automatically disappears; similarly, when Vasudeva appeared, the closed doors, which were strongly pinned with iron and locked with iron chains, opened automatically. Since the clouds in the sky were mildly thundering and showering, Ananta-naga, an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, followed Vasudeva, beginning from the door, with hoods expanded to protect Vasudeva and the transcendental child.
Sesa-naga is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead whose business is to serve the Lord with all necessary paraphernalia. When Vasudeva was carrying the child, Sesa-naga came to serve the Lord and protect Him from the mild showers of rain.
maghoni varsaty asakrd yamanuja
margam dadau sindhur iva sriyah pateh
maghoni varsati--because of Lord Indra's showering rain; asakrt--constantly; yama-anuja--the River Yamuna, who is considered the younger sister of Yamaraja; gambhira-toya-ogha--of the very deep water; java--by the force; urmi--by the waves; phenila--full of foam; bhayanaka--fierce; avarta-sata--by the whirling waves; akula--agitated; nadi--the river; margam--way; dadau--gave; sindhuh iva--like the ocean; sriyah pateh--unto Lord Ramacandra, the husband of the goddess Sita.
Because of constant rain sent by the demigod Indra, the River Yamuna was filled with deep water, foaming about with fiercely whirling waves. But as the great Indian Ocean had formerly given way to Lord Ramacandra by allowing Him to construct a bridge, the River Yamuna gave way to Vasudeva and allowed him to cross.
nanda-vrajam saurir upetya tatra tan
gopan prasuptan upalabhya nidraya
sutam yasoda-sayane nidhaya tat-
sutam upadaya punar grhan agat
nanda-vrajam--the village or the house of Nanda Maharaja; saurih--Vasudeva; upetya--reaching; tatra--there; tan--all the members; gopan--the cowherd men; prasuptan--were fast asleep; upalabhya--understanding that; nidraya--in deep sleep; sutam--the son (Vasudeva's son); yasoda-sayane--on the bed where mother Yasoda was sleeping; nidhaya--placing; tat-sutam--her daughter; upadaya--picking up; punah--again; grhan--to his own house; agat--returned.
When Vasudeva reached the house of Nanda Maharaja, he saw that all the cowherd men were fast asleep. Thus he placed his own son on the bed of Yasoda, picked up her daughter, an expansion of Yogamaya, and then returned to his residence, the prison house of Kamsa.
Vasudeva knew very well that as soon as the daughter was in the prison house of Kamsa, Kamsa would immediately kill her; but to protect his own child, he had to kill the child of his friend. Nanda Maharaja was his friend, but out of deep affection and attachment for his own son, he knowingly did this. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that one cannot be blamed for protecting one's own child at the sacrifice of another's. Furthermore, Vasudeva cannot be accused of callousness, since his actions were impelled by the force of Yogamaya.
devakyah sayane nyasya
vasudevo 'tha darikam
pratimucya pador loham
aste purvavad avrtah
devakyah--of Devaki; sayane--on the bed; nyasya--placing; vasudevah--Vasudeva; atha--thus; darikam--the female child; pratimucya--binding himself again; padoh loham--iron shackles on the two legs; aste--remained; purva-vat--like before; avrtah--bound.
Vasudeva placed the female child on the bed of Devaki, bound his legs with the iron shackles, and thus remained there as before.
yasoda nanda-patni ca
jatam param abudhyata
na tal-lingam parisranta
yasoda--Yasoda, Krsna's mother in Gokula; nanda-patni--the wife of Nanda Maharaja; ca--also; jatam--a child was born; param--the Supreme Person; abudhyata--could understand; na--not; tat-lingam--whether the child was male or female; parisranta--because of too much labor; nidraya--when overwhelmed with sleep; apagata-smrtih--having lost consciousness.
Exhausted by the labor of childbirth, Yasoda was overwhelmed with sleep and unable to understand what kind of child had been born to her.
Nanda Maharaja and Vasudeva were intimate friends, and so were their wives, Yasoda and Devaki. Although their names were different, they were practically nondifferent personalities. The only difference is that Devaki was able to understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had been born to her and had now changed into Krsna, whereas Yasoda was not able to understand what kind of child had been born to her. Yasoda was such an advanced devotee that she never regarded Krsna as the Supreme personality of Godhead, but simply loved Him as her own child. Devaki, however, knew from the very beginning that although Krsna was her son, He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Vrndavana, no one regarded Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When something very wonderful happened because of Krsna's activities, the inhabitants of Vrndavana--the cowherd men, the cowherd boys, Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda and the others--were surprised, but they never considered their son Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes they suggested that some great demigod had appeared there as Krsna. In such an exalted status of devotional service, a devotee forgets the position of Krsna and intensely loves the Supreme Personality of Godhead without understanding His position. This is called kevala-bhakti and is distinct from the stages of jnana and jnanamayi bhakti.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Third Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Birth of Lord Krsna."