The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma
This chapter describes Lord Brahma's attempt to take away the calves and cowherd boys, and it also describes the bewilderment of Lord Brahma and finally the clearance of his illusion.
Although the incident concerning Aghasura had been performed one year before, when the cowherd boys were five years old, when they were six years old they said, "It happened today." What happened was this. After killing Aghasura, Krsna, along with His associates the cowherd boys, went for a picnic within the forest. The calves, being allured by green grasses, gradually went far away, and therefore Krsna's associates became a little agitated and wanted to bring back the calves. Krsna, however, encouraged the boys by saying, "You take your tiffin without being agitated. I shall go find the calves." And thus the Lord departed. Then, just to examine the potency of Krsna, Lord Brahma took away all the calves and cowherd boys and kept them in a secluded place.
When Krsna was unable to find the calves and boys, He could understand that this was a trick performed by Brahma. Then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, in order to please Lord Brahma, as well as His own associates and their mothers, expanded Himself to become the calves and boys, exactly as they were before. In this way, He discovered another pastime. A special feature of this pastime was that the mothers of the cowherd boys thus became more attached to their respective sons, and the cows became more attached to their calves. After nearly a year, Baladeva observed that all the cowherd boys and calves were expansions of Krsna. Thus He inquired from Krsna and was informed of what had happened.
When one full year had passed, Brahma returned and saw that Krsna was still engaged as usual with His friends and the calves and cows. Then Krsna exhibited all the calves and cowherd boys as four-armed forms of Narayana. Brahma could then understand Krsna's potency, and he was astonished by the pastimes of Krsna, his worshipable Lord. Krsna, however, bestowed His causeless mercy upon Brahma and released him from illusion. Thus Brahma began to offer prayers to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
sadhu prstam maha-bhaga
srnvann api katham muhuh
sri-sukah uvaca--Sukadeva Gosvami said; sadhu prstam--I have been very much honored by your inquiry; maha-bhaga--you are a greatly fortunate personality; tvaya--by you; bhagavata-uttama--O best of devotees; yat--because; nutanayasi--you are making newer and newer; isasya--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; srnvan api--although you are continuously hearing; katham--the pastimes; muhuh--again and again.
Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: O best of devotees, most fortunate Pariksit, you have inquired very nicely, for although constantly hearing the pastimes of the Lord, you are perceiving His activities to be newer and newer.
Unless one is very advanced in Krsna consciousness, one cannot stick to hearing the pastimes of the Lord constantly. Nityam nava-navaya-manam: even though advanced devotees hear continually about the Lord for years, they still feel that these topics are coming to them as newer and fresher. Therefore such devotees cannot give up hearing of the pastimes of Lord Krsna. premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti. The word santah is used to refer to persons who have developed love for Krsna. Yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami (Brahma-samhita 5.38). Pariksit Maharaja, therefore, is addressed as bhagavatottama, the best of devotees, because unless one is very much elevated in devotional service, one cannot feel ecstasy from hearing more and more and appreciate the topics as ever fresher and newer.
satam ayam sara-bhrtam nisargo
prati-ksanam navya-vad acyutasya yat
striya vitanam iva sadhu varta
satam--of the devotees; ayam--this; sara-bhrtam--those who are paramahamsas, who have accepted the essence of life; nisargah--feature or symptom; yat--which; artha-vani--the aim of life, the aim of profit; sruti--the aim of understanding; cetasam api--who have decided to accept the bliss of transcendental subjects as the aim and object of life; prati-ksanam--every moment; navya-vat--as if newer and newer; acyutasya--of Lord Krsna; yat--because; striyah--(topics) of woman or sex; vitanam--of debauchees, who are attached to women; iva--exactly like; sadhu varta--actual conversation.
Paramahamsas, devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Krsna in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Krsna at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer. They are attached to such topics, just as materialists are attached to topics of women and sex.
The word sara-bhrtam means paramahamsas. The hamsa, or swan, accepts milk from a mixture of milk and water and rejects the water. Similarly, the nature of persons who have taken to spiritual life and Krsna consciousness, understanding Krsna to be the life and soul of everyone, is that they cannot give up krsna-katha, or topics about Krsna, at any moment. Such paramahamsas always see Krsna within the core of the heart (santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti). Kama (desires), krodha (anger) and bhaya (fear) are always present in the material world, but in the spiritual, or transcendental, world one can use them for Krsna. Kamam krsna-karmarpane. The desire of the paramahamsas, therefore, is to act always for Krsna. Krodham bhakta-dvesi jane. They use anger against the nondevotees and transform bhaya, or fear, into fear of being deviated from Krsna consciousness. In this way, the life of a paramahamsa devotee is used entirely for Krsna, just as the life of a person attached to the material world is used simply for women and money. What is day for the materialistic person is night for the spiritualist. What is very sweet for the materialist--namely women and money--is regarded as poison by the spiritualist.
sandarsanam visayinam atha yositam ca
ha hanta hanta visa-bhaksanato 'py asadhu
This is the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. For the paramahamsa, Krsna is everything, but for the materialist, women and money are everything.
api guhyam vadami te
bruyuh snigdhasya sisyasya
guravo guhyam apy uta
srnusva--please hear; avahitah--with great attention; rajan--O King (Maharaja Pariksit); api--although; guhyam--very confidential (because ordinary men cannot understand the activities of Krsna); vadami--I shall explain; te--unto you; bruyuh--explain; snigdhasya--submissive; sisyasya--of a disciple; guravah--spiritual masters; guhyam--very confidential; api uta--even so.
O King, kindly hear me with great attention. Although the activities of the Supreme Lord are very confidential, no ordinary man being able to understand them, I shall speak about them to you, for spiritual masters explain to a submissive disciple even subject matters that are very confidential and difficult to understand.
bhagavan idam abravit
tatha--thereafter; agha-vadanat--from the mouth of Aghasura; mrtyoh--death personified; raksitva--after saving; vatsa-palakan--all the cowherd boys and calves; sarit-pulinam--to the bank of the river; aniya--bringing them; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna; idam--these words; abravit--spoke.
Then, after saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghasura, who was death personified, Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, brought them all to the bank of the river and spoke the following words.
aho 'tiramyam pulinam vayasyah
aho--oh; ati-ramyam--very, very beautiful; pulinam--the bank of the river; vayasyah--My dear friends; sva-keli-sampat--full with all paraphernalia for pastimes of play; mrdula-accha-balukam--the very soft and clean sandy bank; sphutat--in full bloom; sarah-gandha--by the aroma of the lotus flower; hrta--attracted; ali--of the bumblebees; patrika--and of the birds; dhvani-pratidhvana--the sounds of their chirping and moving and the echoes of these sounds; lasat--moving all over; druma-akulam--full of nice trees.
My dear friends, just see how this riverbank is extremely beautiful because of its pleasing atmosphere. And just see how the blooming lotuses are attracting bees and birds by their aroma. The humming and chirping of the bees and birds is echoing throughout the beautiful trees in the forest. Also, here the sands are clean and soft. Therefore, this must be considered the best place for our sporting and pastimes.
The description of Vrndavana forest as given herewith was spoken by Krsna five thousand years ago, and the same condition prevailed during the time of the Vaisnava acaryas three or four hundred years ago. Kujat-kokila-hamsa-sarasa-ganakirne mayurakule. Vrndavana forest is always filled with the chirping and cooing of birds like cuckoos (kokila), ducks (hamsa) and cranes (sarasa), and it is also full of peacocks (mayurakule). The same sounds and atmosphere still prevail in the area where our Krsna-Balarama temple is situated. Everyone who visits this temple is pleased to hear the chirping of the birds as described here (kujat-kokila-hamsa-sarasa).
atra bhoktavyam asmabhir
vatsah samipe 'pah pitva
carantu sanakais trnam
atra--here, on this spot; bhoktavyam--our lunch should be eaten; asmabhih--by us; diva-arudham--it is very late now; ksudha arditah--we are fatigued with hunger; vatsah--the calves; samipe--nearby; apah--water; pitva--after drinking; carantu--let them eat; sanakaih--slowly; trnam--the grasses.
I think we should take our lunch here, since we are already hungry because the time is very late. Here the calves may drink water and go slowly here and there and eat the grass.
vatsan arudhya sadvale
muktva sikyani bubhujuh
samam bhagavata muda
tatha iti--as Krsna proposed, the other cowherd boys agreed; payayitva arbhah--they allowed to drink water; vatsan--the calves; arudhya--tying them to the trees, allowed them to eat; sadvale--in a place of green, tender grasses; muktva--opening; sikyani--their bags of eatables and other paraphernalia; bubhujuh--went and enjoyed; samam--equally; bhagavata--with the Supreme personality of Godhead; muda--in transcendental pleasure.
Accepting Lord Krsna's proposal, the cowherd boys allowed the calves to drink water from the river and then tied them to trees where there was green, tender grass. Then the boys opened their baskets of food and began eating with Krsna in great transcendental pleasure.
krsnasya visvak puru-raji-mandalair
abhyananah phulla-drso vrajarbhakah
sahopavista vipine virejus
krsnasya visvak--surrounding Krsna; puru-raji-mandalaih--by different encirclements of associates; abhyananah--everyone looking forward to the center, where Krsna was sitting; phulla-drsah--their faces looking very bright because of transcendental pleasure; vraja-arbhakah--all the cowherd boys of Vrajabhumi; saha-upavistah--sitting with Krsna; vipine--in the forest; virejuh--so nicely and beautifully made; chadah--petals and leaves; yatha--just as; ambhoruha--of a lotus flower; karnikayah--of the whorl.
Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Krsna sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Krsna, thinking that Krsna might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.
To a pure devotee, Krsna is always visible, as stated in the Brahma samhita (santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti) and as indicated by Krsna Himself in Bhagavad-gita (sarvatah pani-padam tat sarvato 'ksi-siro-mukham). If by accumulating pious activities (krta-punya-punjah) one is raised to the platform of pure devotional service, Krsna is always visible in the core of one's heart. One who has attained such perfection is all-beautiful in transcendental bliss. The present Krsna consciousness movement is an attempt to keep Krsna in the center, for if this is done all activities will automatically become beautiful and blissful.
kecit puspair dalaih kecit
pallavair ankuraih phalaih
sigbhis tvagbhir drsadbhis ca
kecit--someone; puspaih--by flowers; dalaih--by nice leaves of flowers; kecit--someone; pallavaih--on the surface of bunches of leaves; ankuraih--on the sprouts of flowers; phalaih--and some on fruits; sigbhih--some actually in the basket or packet; tvagbhih--by the bark of trees; drsadbhih--on rocks; ca--and; bubhujuh--enjoyed; krta-bhajanah--as if they had made their plates for eating.
Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.
sarve mitho darsayantah
hasanto hasayantas ca-
sarve--all the cowherd boys; mithah--to one another; darsayantah--showing; sva-sva-bhojya-rucim prthak--different varieties of foodstuffs brought from home, with their separate and different tastes; hasantah--after tasting, they were all laughing; hasayantah ca--and making others laugh; abhyavajahruh--enjoyed lunch; saha-isvarah--along with Krsna.
All the cowherd boys enjoyed their lunch with Krsna, showing one another the different tastes of the different varieties of preparations they had brought from home. Tasting one another's preparations, they began to laugh and make one another laugh.
Sometimes one friend would say, "Krsna, see how my food is relishable," and Krsna would take some and laugh. Similarly, Balarama, Sudama and other friends would taste one another's food and laugh. In this way, the friends very jubilantly began to eat their respective preparations brought from home.
bibhrad venum jathara-patayoh srnga-vetre ca kakse
vame panau masrna-kavalam tat-phalany angulisu
tisthan madhye sva-parisuhrdo hasayan narmabhih svaih
svarge loke misati bubhuje yajna-bhug bala-kelih
bibhrat venum--keeping the flute; jathara-patayoh--between the tight clothing and the abdomen; srnga-vetre--both the horn bugle and the cow-driving stick; ca--also; kakse--on the waist; vame--on the left-hand side; panau--taking in hand; masrna-kavalam--very nice food prepared with rice and first-class curd; tat-phalani--suitable pieces of fruit like bael; angulisu--between the fingers; tisthan--staying in this way; madhye--in the middle; sva-pari-suhrdah--His own personal associates; hasayan--making them laugh; narmabhih--with joking words; svaih--His own; svarge loke misati--while the inhabitants of the heavenly planets, Svargaloka, were watching this wonderful scene; bubhuje--Krsna enjoyed; yajna-bhuk bala-kelih--although He accepts offerings in yajna, for the sake of childhood pastimes He was enjoying foodstuffs very jubilantly with His cowherd boyfriends.
Krsna is yajna-bhuk--that is, He eats only offerings of yajna--but to exhibit His childhood pastimes, He now sat with His flute tucked between His waist and His tight cloth on His right side and with His horn bugle and cow-driving stick on His left. Holding in His hand a very nice preparation of yogurt and rice, with pieces of suitable fruit between His fingers, He sat like the whorl of a lotus flower, looking forward toward all His friends, personally joking with them and creating jubilant laughter among them as He ate. At that time, the denizens of heaven were watching, struck with wonder at how the Personality of Godhead, who eats only in yajna, was now eating with His friends in the forest.
When Krsna was eating with His cowherd boyfriends, a certain bumblebee came there to take part in the eating. Thus Krsna joked, "Why have you come to disturb My brahmana friend Madhumangala? You want to kill a brahmana. This is not good." All the boys would laugh and enjoy, speaking such joking words while eating. Thus the inhabitants of the higher planets were astonished at how the Supreme personality of Godhead, who eats only when yajna is offered, was now eating like an ordinary child with His friends in the forest.
vatsas tv antar-vane duram
bharata--O Maharaja Pariksit; evam--in this way (while they were enjoying their lunch); vatsa-pesu--along with all the boys tending the calves; bhunjanesu--engaged in taking their food; acyuta-atmasu--all of them being very near and dear to Acyuta, Krsna; vatsah--the calves; tu--however; antah-vane--within the deep forest; duram--far away; vivisuh--entered; trna-lobhitah--being allured by green grass.
O Maharaja Pariksit, while the cowherd boys, who knew nothing within the core of their hearts but Krsna, were thus engaged in eating their lunch in the forest, the calves went far away, deep into the forest, being allured by green grass.
tan drstva bhaya-santrastan
uce krsno 'sya bhi-bhayam
mitrany asan ma viramate-
hanesye vatsakan aham
tan--that those calves were going away; drstva--seeing; bhaya-santrastan--to the cowherd boys, who were disturbed by fear that within the dense forest the calves would be attacked by some ferocious animals; uce--Krsna said; krsnah asya bhi-bhayam--Krsna, who is Himself the fearful element of all kinds of fear (when Krsna is present, there is no fear); mitrani--My dear friends; asat--from your enjoyment of eating; ma viramata--do not stop; iha--in this place, in this spot; anesye--I shall bring back; vatsakan--the calves; aham--I.
When Krsna saw that His friends the cowherd boys were frightened, He, the fierce controller even of fear itself, said, just to mitigate their fear, "My dear friends, do not stop eating. I shall bring your calves back to this spot by personally going after them Myself."
In the presence of Krsna's friendship, a devotee cannot have any fear. Krsna is the supreme controller, the controller of even death, which is supposed to be the ultimate fear in this material world. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat (Bhag. 11.2.37). This fear arises because of lack of Krsna consciousness; otherwise there cannot be any fear. For one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, this material world of fear becomes hardly dangerous at all.
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
Bhavambudhih, the material ocean of fear, becomes very easy to cross by the mercy of the supreme controller. This material world, in which there is fear and danger at every step (padam padam yad vipadam), is not meant for those who have taken shelter at Krsna's lotus feet. Such persons are delivered from this fearful world.
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
Everyone, therefore, should take shelter of the Supreme Person, who is the source of fearlessness, and thus be secure.
vicinvan bhagavan krsnah
iti uktva--saying this ("Let Me bring your calves personally"); adri-dari-kunja-gahvaresu--everywhere in the mountains, the mountain caves, the bushes and narrow places; atma-vatsakan--the calves belonging to His own personal friends; vicinvan--searching out; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; krsnah--Lord Krsna; sa-pani-kavalah--carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand; yayau--started out.
"Let Me go and search for the calves," Krsna said. "Don't disturb your enjoyment." Then, carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, immediately went out to search for the calves of His friends. To please His friends, He began searching in all the mountains, mountain caves, bushes and narrow passages.
The Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8) assert that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do personally (na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate) because He is doing everything through His energies and potencies (parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate). Nonetheless, here we see that He took personal care to find the calves of His friends. This was Krsna's causeless mercy. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram: all the affairs of the entire world and the entire cosmic manifestation are working under His direction, through His different energies. Still, when there is a need to take care of His friends, He does this personally. Krsna assured His friends, "Don't be afraid. I am going personally to search for your calves." This was Krsna's causeless mercy.
ambhojanma-janis tad-antara-gato mayarbhakasyesitur
drastum manju mahitvam anyad api tad-vatsan ito vatsapan
nitvanyatra kurudvahantaradadhat khe 'vasthito yah pura
drstvaghasura-moksanam prabhavatah praptah param vismayam
ambhojanma-janih--Lord Brahma, who was born from a lotus flower; tat-antara-gatah--now became entangled with the affairs of Krsna, who was enjoying luncheon pastimes with His cowherd boys; maya-arbhakasya--of the boys made by Krsna's maya; isituh--of the supreme controller; drastum--just to see; manju--very pleasing; mahitvam anyat api--other glories of the Lord also; tat-vatsan--their calves; itah--than that place where they were; vatsa-pan--and the cowherd boys taking care of the calves; nitva--bringing them; anyatra--to a different place; kurudvaha--O Maharaja Pariksit; antara-dadhat--kept hidden and invisible for some time; khe avasthitah yah--this person Brahma, who was situated in the higher planetary system in the sky; pura--formerly; drstva--was observing; aghasura-moksanam--the wonderful killing and deliverance of Aghasura from material tribulation; prabhavatah--of the all-potent Supreme Person; praptah param vismayam--had become extremely astonished.
O Maharaja Pariksit, Brahma, who resides in the higher planetary system in the sky, had observed the activities of the most powerful Krsna in killing and delivering Aghasura, and he was astonished. Now that same Brahma wanted to show some of his own power and see the power of Krsna, who was engaged in His childhood pastimes, playing as if with ordinary cowherd boys. Therefore, in Krsna's absence, Brahma took all the boys and calves to another place. Thus he became entangled, for in the very near future he would see how powerful Krsna was.
When Aghasura was being killed by Krsna, who was accompanied by His associates, Brahma was astonished, but when he saw that Krsna was very much enjoying His pastimes of lunch, he was even more astonished and wanted to test whether Krsna was actually there. Thus he became entangled in Krsna's maya. After all, Brahma was born materially. As mentioned here, ambhojanma janih: he was born of ambhoja, a lotus flower. It does not matter that he was born of a lotus and not of any man, animal or material father. A lotus is also material, and anyone born through the material energy must be subject to the four material deficiencies: bhrama (the tendency to commit mistakes), pramada (the tendency to be illusioned), vipralipsa (the tendency to cheat) and karanapatava (imperfect senses). Thus Brahma also became entangled.
Brahma, with his maya, wanted to test whether Krsna was actually present. These cowherd boys were but expansions of Krsna's personal self (ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih). Later Krsna would show Brahma how He expands Himself into everything as His personal pleasure, ananda-cinmaya-rasa. Hladini saktir asmat: Krsna has a transcendental potency called hladini sakti. He does not enjoy anything that is a product of the material energy. Brahma, therefore, would see Lord Krsna expand His energy.
Brahma wanted to take away Krsna's associates, but instead he took away some other boys and calves. Ravana wanted to take away Sita, but that was impossible, and instead he took away a maya Sita. Similarly, Brahma took away mayarbhakah: boys manifested by Krsna's maya. Brahma could show some extraordinary opulence to the mayarbhakah; but he could not show any extraordinary potency to Krsna's associates. That he would see in the very near future. Mayarbhakasya isituh. This bewilderment, this maya, was caused by the supreme controller, prabhavatah--the all-potent Supreme person, Krsna--and we shall see the result. Anyone materially born is subject to bewilderment. This pastime is therefore called brahma-vimohana-lila, the pastime of bewildering Brahma. Mohitam nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam (Bg. 7.13). Materially born persons cannot fully understand Krsna. Even the demigods cannot understand Him (muhyanti yat surayah). Tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye (Bhag. 1.1.1). Everyone, from Brahma down to the small insect, must take lessons from Krsna.
tato vatsan adrstvaitya
puline 'pi ca vatsapan
ubhav api vane krsno
tatah--thereafter; vatsan--the calves; adrstva--not seeing there within the forest; etya--after; puline api--to the bank of the Yamuna; ca--also; vatsapan--could not see the cowherd boys; ubhau api--both of them (the calves and the cowherd boys); vane--within the forest; krsnah--Lord Krsna; vicikaya--searched all over; samantatah--here and there.
Thereafter, when Krsna was unable to find the calves, He returned to the bank of the river, but there He was also unable to see the cowherd boys. Thus He began to search for both the calves and the boys, as if He could not understand what had happened.
Krsna could immediately understand that Brahma had taken away both the calves and the boys, but as an innocent child He searched here and there so that Brahma could not understand Krsna's maya. This was all a dramatic performance. A player knows everything, but still he plays on the stage in such a way that others do not understand him.
vatsan palams ca visva-vit
sarvam vidhi-krtam krsnah
kva api--anywhere; adrstva--not seeing at all; antah-vipine--within the forest; vatsan--the calves; palan ca--and their caretakers, the cowherd boys; visva-vit--Krsna, who is aware of everything going on throughout the whole cosmic manifestation; sarvam--everything; vidhi-krtam--was executed by Brahma; krsnah--Lord Krsna; sahasa--immediately; avajagama ha--could understand.
When Krsna was unable to find the calves and their caretakers, the cowherd boys, anywhere in the forest, He could suddenly understand that this was the work of Lord Brahma.
Although Krsna is visva-vit, the knower of everything happening in the entire cosmic manifestation, as an innocent child He showed ignorance of Brahma's actions, although He could immediately understand that these were the doings of Brahma. This pastime is called brahma-vimohana, the bewilderment of Brahma. Brahma was already bewildered by Krsna's activities as an innocent child, and now he would be further bewildered.
tatah krsno mudam kartum
tan-matrnam ca kasya ca
cakre visva-krd isvarah
tatah--thereafter; krsnah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mudam--pleasure; kartum--to create; tat-matrnam ca--of the mothers of the cowherd boys and calves; kasya ca--and (the pleasure) of Brahma; ubhayayitam--expansion, both as the calves and as the cowherd boys; atmanam--Himself; cakre--did; visva-krt isvarah--it was not difficult for Him, for He is the creator of the whole cosmic manifestation.
Thereafter, just to create pleasure both for Brahma and for the mothers of the calves and cowherd boys, Krsna, the creator of the entire cosmic manifestation, expanded Himself as calves and boys.
Although Brahma was already entangled in bewilderment, he wanted to show his power to the cowherd boys; but after he took away the boys and their calves and returned to his abode, Krsna created further astonishment for Brahma, and for the mothers of the boys, by establishing the lunch pastimes in the forest again and replacing all the calves and boys, just as they had appeared before. According to the Vedas, ekam bahu syam: the Personality of Godhead can become many, many millions upon millions of calves and cowherd boys, as He did to bewilder Brahma more and more.
yavad vatsapa-vatsakalpaka-vapur yavat karanghry-adikam
yavad yasti-visana-venu-dala-sig yavad vibhusambaram
yavac chila-gunabhidhakrti-vayo yavad viharadikam
sarvam visnumayam giro 'nga-vad ajah sarva-svarupo babhau
yavat vatsapa--exactly like the cowherd boys; vatsaka-alpaka-vapuh--and exactly like the tender bodies of the calves; yavat kara-anghri-adikam--exactly to the measurement of their particular varieties of legs and hands; yavat yasti-visana-venu-dala-sik--not only like their bodies but exactly like their bugles, flutes, sticks, lunch bags and so on; yavat vibhusa-ambaram--exactly like their ornaments and dress in all their varied particulars; yavat sila-guna-abhidha-akrti-vayah--their exact character, habits, features, attributes and explicit bodily features; yavat vihara-adikam--exactly according to their tastes or amusements; sarvam--everything in detail; visnu-mayam--expansions of Vasudeva, Visnu; girah anga-vat--voices exactly like theirs; ajah--Krsna; sarva-svarupah babhau--created everything in detail as Himself, without any change.
By His Vasudeva feature, Krsna simultaneously expanded Himself into the exact number of missing cowherd boys and calves, with their exact bodily features, their particular types of hands, legs and other limbs, their sticks, bugles and flutes, their lunch bags, their particular types of dress and ornaments placed in various ways, their names, ages and forms, and their special activities and characteristics. By expanding Himself in this way, beautiful Krsna proved the statement samagra-jagad visnumayam: "Lord Visnu is all-pervading."
As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.33):
advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca
Krsna, param brahma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is adyam, the beginning of everything; He is adi-purusam, the ever-youthful original person. He can expand Himself in more forms than one can imagine, yet He does not fall down from His original form as Krsna; therefore He is called Acyuta. This is the Supreme personality of Godhead. Sarvam visnumayam jagat. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Krsna thus proved that He is everything, that He can become everything, but that still He is personally different from everything (mat-sthani sarva-bhutani na caham tesv avasthitah). This is Krsna, who is understood by acintya-bhedabheda-tattva philosophy. purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate: Krsna is always complete, and although He can create millions of universes, all of them full in all opulences, He remains as opulent as ever, without any change (advaitam). This is explained by different Vaisnava acaryas through philosophies such as visuddhadvaita, visistadvaita and dvaitadvaita. Therefore one must learn about Krsna from the acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda: one who follows the path of the acaryas knows things as they are. Such a person can know Krsna as He is, at least to some extent, and as soon as one understands Krsna (janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah), one is liberated from material bondage (tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so 'rjuna).
kridann atma-viharais ca
sarvatma pravisad vrajam
svayam atma--Krsna, who is personally the Supreme Soul, the Supersoul; atma-go-vatsan--now expanded into calves that were also He Himself; prativarya atma-vatsapaih--again He Himself was represented as the cowherd boys controlling and commanding the calves; kridan--thus Himself constituting everything in these transcendental pastimes; atma-viharaih ca--enjoying Himself by Himself in different ways; sarva-atma--the Supersoul, Krsna; pravisat--entered; vrajam--Vrajabhumi, the land of Maharaja Nanda and Yasoda.
Now expanding Himself so as to appear as all the calves and cowherd boys, all of them as they were, and at the same time appear as their leader, Krsna entered Vrajabhumi, the land of His father, Nanda Maharaja, just as He usually did while enjoying their company.
Krsna usually stayed in the forest and pasturing ground, taking care of the calves and cows with His associates the cowherd boys. Now that the original group had been taken away by Brahma, Krsna Himself assumed the forms of every member of the group, without anyone's knowledge, even the knowledge of Baladeva, and continued the usual program. He was ordering His friends to do this and that, and He was controlling the calves and going into the forest to search for them when they went astray, allured by new grass, but these calves and boys were He Himself. This was Krsna's inconceivable potency. As explained by Srila Jiva Gosvami, radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmat. Radha and Krsna are the same. Krsna, by expanding His pleasure potency, becomes Radharani. The same pleasure potency (ananda-cinmaya-rasa) was expanded by Krsna when He Himself became all the calves and boys and enjoyed transcendental bliss in Vrajabhumi. This was done by the yogamaya potency and was inconceivable to persons under the potency of mahamaya.
tat-tad-vatsan prthan nitva
tat-tad-gosthe nivesya sah
tat-tat-vatsan--the calves, which belonged to different cows; prthak--separately; nitva--bringing; tat-tat-gosthe--to their respective cow sheds; nivesya--entering; sah--Krsna; tat-tat-atma--as originally different individual souls; abhavat--He expanded Himself in that way; rajan--O King Pariksit; tat-tat-sadma--their respective houses; pravistavan--entered (Krsna thus entered everywhere).
O Maharaja Pariksit, Krsna, who had divided Himself as different calves and also as different cowherd boys, entered different cow sheds as the calves and then different homes as different boys.
Krsna had many, many friends, of whom Sridama, Sudama and Subala were prominent. Thus Krsna Himself became Sridama, Sudama and Subala and entered their respective houses with their respective calves.
utthapya dorbhih parirabhya nirbharam
matva param brahma sutan apayayan
tat-matarah--the mothers of the respective cowherd boys; venu-rava--because of the sounds played on flutes and bugles by the cowherd boys; tvara--immediately; utthitah--awakened from their respective household duties; utthapya--immediately lifted their respective sons; dorbhih--with their two arms; parirabhya--embracing; nirbharam--without feeling any weight; sneha-snuta--which was flowing because of intense love; stanya-payah--their breast milk; sudha-asavam--tasting just like a nectarean beverage; matva--accepting the milk like that; param--the Supreme; brahma--Krsna; sutan apayayan--began to feed their respective sons.
The mothers of the boys, upon hearing the sounds of the flutes and bugles being played by their sons, immediately rose from their household tasks, lifted their boys onto their laps, embraced them with both arms and began to feed them with their breast milk, which flowed forth because of extreme love specifically for Krsna. Actually Krsna is everything, but at that time, expressing extreme love and affection, they took special pleasure in feeding Krsna, the Parabrahman, and Krsna drank the milk from His respective mothers as if it were a nectarean beverage.
Although all the elderly gopis knew that Krsna was the son of mother Yasoda, they still desired, "If Krsna had become my son, I would also have taken care of Him like mother Yasoda. "This was their inner ambition. Now, in order to please them, Krsna personally took the role of their sons and fulfilled their desire. They enhanced their special love for Krsna by embracing Him and feeding Him, and Krsna tasted their breast milk to be just like a nectarean beverage. While thus bewildering Brahma, He enjoyed the special transcendental pleasure created by yogamaya between all the other mothers and Himself.
samlalitah svacaritaih praharsayan
sayam gato yama-yamena madhavah
tatah--thereafter; nrpa--O King (Maharaja Pariksit); unmardana--by massaging them with oil; majja--by bathing; lepana--by smearing the body with oil and sandalwood pulp; alankara--by decorating with ornaments; raksa--by chanting protective mantras; tilaka--by decorating the body with tilaka marks in twelve places; asana-adibhih--and by feeding them sumptuously; samlalitah--in this way cared for by the mothers; sva-acaritaih--by their characteristic behavior; praharsa-yan--making the mothers very much pleased; sayam--evening; gatah--arrived; yama-yamena--as the time of each activity passed; madhavah--Lord Krsna.
Thereafter, O Maharaja Pariksit, as required according to the scheduled round of His pastimes, Krsna returned in the evening, entered the house of each of the cowherd boys, and engaged exactly like the former boys, thus enlivening their mothers with transcendental pleasure. The mothers took care of the boys by massaging them with oil, bathing them, smearing their bodies with sandalwood pulp, decorating them with ornaments, chanting protective mantras, decorating their bodies with tilaka and giving them food. In this way, the mothers served Krsna personally.
gavas tato gostham upetya satvaram
svakan svakan vatsataran apayayan
muhur lihantyah sravad audhasam payah
gavah--the calves; tatah--thereafter; gostham--to the cow sheds; upetya--reaching; satvaram--very soon; hunkara-ghosaih--by making jubilant mooing sounds; parihuta-sangatan--to call the cows; svakan svakan--following their respective mothers; vatsataran--the respective calves; apayayan--feeding them; muhuh--again and again; lihantyah--licking the calves; sravat audhasam payah--abundant milk flowing from their milk bags.
Thereafter, all the cows entered their different sheds and began mooing loudly, calling for their respective calves. When the calves arrived, the mothers began licking the calves' bodies again and again and profusely feeding them with the milk flowing from their milk bags.
All the dealings between the calves and their respective mothers taking care of them were enacted by Krsna Himself.
asit snehardhikam vina
purovad asv api hares
tokata mayaya vina
go-gopinam--for both the cows and the gopis, the elderly cowherd women; matrta--motherly affection; asmin--unto Krsna; asit--there ordinarily was; sneha--of affection; rdhikam--any increase; vina--without; purah-vat--like before; asu--there was among the cows and gopis; api--although; hareh--of Krsna; tokata--Krsna is my son; mayaya vina--without maya.
Previously, from the very beginning, the gopis had motherly affection for Krsna. Indeed, their affection for Krsna exceeded even their affection for their own sons. In displaying their affection, they had thus distinguished between Krsna and their sons, but now that distinction disappeared.
The distinction between one's own son and another's son is not unnatural. Many elderly women have motherly affection for the sons of others. They observe distinctions, however, between those other sons and their own. But now the elderly gopis could not distinguish between their own sons and Krsna, for since their own sons had been taken by Brahma, Krsna had expanded as their sons. Therefore, their extra affection for their sons, who were now Krsna Himself, was due to bewilderment resembling that of Brahma. Previously, the mothers of Sridama, Sudama, Subala and Krsna's other friends did not have the same affection for one another's sons, but now the gopis treated all the boys as their own. Sukadeva Gosvami, therefore, wanted to explain this increment of affection in terms of Krsna's bewilderment of Brahma, the gopis, the cows and everyone else.
sneha-vally abdam anvaham
sanair nihsima vavrdhe
yatha krsne tv apurvavat
vraja-okasam--of all the inhabitants of Vraja, Vrndavana; sva-tokesu--for their own sons; sneha-valli--the creeper of affection; a-abdam--for one year; anu-aham--every day; sanaih--gradually; nihsima--without limit; vavrdhe--increased; yatha krsne--exactly accepting Krsna as their son; tu--indeed; apurva-vat--as it had not been previously.
Although the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, the cowherd men and cowherd women, previously had more affection for Krsna than for their own children, now, for one year, their affection for their own sons continuously increased, for Krsna had now become their sons. There was no limit to the increment of their affection for their sons, who were now Krsna. Every day they found new inspiration for loving their children as much as they loved Krsna.
palayan vatsapo varsam
ittham--in this way; atma--the Supreme Soul, Krsna; atmana--by Himself; atmanam--Himself again; vatsa-pala-misena--with the forms of cowherd boys and calves; sah--Krsna Himself; palayan--maintaining; vatsa-pah--tending the calves; varsam--continuously for one year; cikride--enjoyed the pastimes; vana-gosthayoh--both in Vrndavana and in the forest.
In this way, Lord Sri Krsna, having Himself become the cowherd boys and groups of calves, maintained Himself by Himself. Thus He continued His pastimes, both in Vrndavana and in the forest, for one year.
Everything was Krsna. The calves, the cowherd boys and their maintainer Himself were all Krsna. In other words, Krsna expanded Himself in varieties of calves and cowherd boys and continued His pastimes uninterrupted for one year. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, Krsna's expansion is situated in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. Similarly, instead of expanding Himself as the Supersoul, He expanded Himself as a portion of calves and cowherd boys for one continuous year.
ekada carayan vatsan
sa-ramo vanam avisat
ekada--one day; carayan vatsan--while taking care of all the calves; sa-ramah--along with Balarama; vanam--within the forest; avisat--entered; panca-sasu--five or six; tri-yamasu--nights; hayana--a whole year; apuranisu--not being fulfilled (five or six days before the completion of one year); ajah--Lord Sri Krsna.
One day, five or six nights before the completion of the year, Krsna, tending the calves, entered the forest along with Balarama.
Up to this time, even Balarama was captivated by the bewilderment that covered Brahma. Even Balarama did not know that all the calves and cowherd boys were expansions of Krsna or that He Himself was also an expansion of Krsna. This was disclosed to Balarama just five or six days before the completion of the year.
tato vidurac carato
gavo vatsan upavrajam
carantyo dadrsus trnam
tatah--thereafter; vidurat--from a not-distant place; caratah--while pasturing; gavah--all the cows; vatsan--and their respective calves; upavrajam--also pasturing near Vrndavana; govardhana-adri-sirasi--on the top of Govardhana Hill; carantyah--while pasturing to find; dadrsuh--saw; trnam--tender grass nearby.
Thereafter, while pasturing atop Govardhana Hill, the cows looked down to find some green grass and saw their calves pasturing near Vrndavana, not very far away.
drstvatha tat-sneha-vaso 'smrtatma
sa go-vrajo 'tyatmapa-durga-margah
dvi-pat kakud-griva udasya-puccho
'gad dhunkrtair asru-paya javena
drstva--when the cows saw their calves below; atha--thereafter; tat-sneha-vasah--because of increased love for the calves; asmrta-atma--as if they had forgotten themselves; sah--that; go-vrajah--herd of cows; ati-atma-pa-durga-margah--escaping their caretakers because of increased affection for the calves, although the way was very rough and hard; dvi-pat--pairs of legs together; kakut-grivah--their humps moving with their necks; udasya-pucchah--raising their heads and tails; agat--came; hunkrtaih--lowing very loudly; asru-payah--with milk flowing from the nipples; javena--very forcibly.
When the cows saw their own calves from the top of Govardhana Hill, they forgot themselves and their caretakers because of increased affection, and although the path was very rough, they ran toward their calves with great anxiety, each running as if with one pair of legs. Their milk bags full and flowing with milk, their heads and tails raised, and their humps moving with their necks, they ran forcefully until they reached their calves to feed them.
Generally the calves and cows are pastured separately. The elderly men take care of the cows, and the small children see to the calves. This time, however, the cows immediately forgot their position as soon as they saw the calves below Govardhana Hill, and they ran with great force, their tails erect and their front and hind legs joined, until they reached their calves.
sametya gavo 'dho vatsan
vatsavatyo 'py apayayan
gilantya iva cangani
lihantyah svaudhasam payah
sametya--assembling; gavah--all the cows; adhah--down at the foot of Govardhana Hill; vatsan--all their calves; vatsa-vatyah--as if new calves had been born from them; api--even though new calves were present; apayayan--fed them; gilantyah--swallowing them; iva--as if; ca--also; angani--their bodies; lihantyah--licking as they do when newborn calves are present; sva-odhasam payah--their own milk flowing from the milk bags.
The cows had given birth to new calves, but while coming down from Govardhana Hill, the cows, because of increased affection for the older calves, allowed the older calves to drink milk from their milk bags and then began licking the calves' bodies in anxiety, as if wanting to swallow them.
go-vatsair dadrsuh sutan
gopah--the cowherd men; tat-rodhana-ayasa--of their attempt to stop the cows from going to their calves; maughya--on account of the frustration; lajja--being ashamed; uru-manyuna--and at the same time becoming very angry; durga-adhva-krcchratah--although they passed the very rough way with great difficulty; abhyetya--after reaching there; go-vatsaih--along with the calves; dadrsuh--saw; sutan--their respective sons.
The cowherd men, having been unable to check the cows from going to their calves, felt simultaneously ashamed and angry. They crossed the rough road with great difficulty, but when they came down and saw their own sons, they were overwhelmed by great affection.
Everyone was increasing in affection for Krsna. When the cowherd men coming down from the hill saw their own sons, who were no one else than Krsna, their affection increased.
jatanuraga gata-manyavo 'rbhakan
uduhya dorbhih parirabhya murdhani
ghranair avapuh paramam mudam te
tat-iksana-utprema-rasa-apluta-asayah--all the thoughts of the cowherd men merged in the mellow of paternal love, which was aroused by seeing their sons; jata-anuragah--experiencing a great longing or attraction; gata-manyavah--their anger disappeared; arbhakan--their young sons; uduhya--lifting; dorbhih--with their arms; parirabhya--embracing; murdhani--on the head; ghranaih--by smelling; avapuh--obtained; paramam--the highest; mudam--pleasure; te--those cowherd men.
At that time, all the thoughts of the cowherd men merged in the mellow of paternal love, which was aroused by the sight of their sons. Experiencing a great attraction, their anger completely disappearing, they lifted their sons, embraced them in their arms and enjoyed the highest pleasure by smelling their sons' heads.
After Brahma stole the original cowherd boys and calves, Krsna expanded Himself to become the boys and calves again. Therefore, because the boys were actually Krsna's expansions, the cowherd men were especially attracted to them. At first the cowherd men, who were on top of the hill, were angry, but because of Krsna the boys were extremely attractive, and therefore the cowherd men immediately came down from the hill with special affection.
tatah pravayaso gopas
krcchrac chanair apagatas
tatah--thereafter; pravayasah--elderly; gopah--cowherd men; toka-aslesa-sunirvrtah--became overjoyed by embracing their sons; krcchrat--with difficulty; sanaih--gradually; apagatah--ceased from that embracing and returned to the forest; tat-anusmrti-uda-sravah--as they remembered their sons, tears began to roll down from their eyes.
Thereafter the elderly cowherd men, having obtained great feeling from embracing their sons, gradually and with great difficulty and reluctance ceased embracing them and returned to the forest. But as the men remembered their sons, tears began to roll down from their eyes.
In the beginning the cowherd men were angry that the cows were being attracted by the calves, but when the men came down from the hill, they themselves were attracted by their sons, and therefore the men embraced them. To embrace one's son and smell his head are symptoms of affection.
vrajasya ramah premardher
mukta-stanesv apatyesv apy
vrajasya--of the herd of cows; ramah--Balarama; prema-rdheh--because of an increase of affection; viksya--after observing; aut-kanthyam--attachment; anu-ksanam--constantly; mukta-stanesu--who had grown up and were no longer drawing milk from their mothers; apatyesu--in regard to those calves; api--even; ahetu-vit--not understanding the reason; acintayat--began to consider as follows.
Because of an increase of affection, the cows had constant attachment even to those calves that were grown up and had stopped sucking milk from their mothers. When Baladeva saw this attachment, He was unable to understand the reason for it, and thus He began to consider as follows.
The cows had younger calves who had started sucking milk from their mothers, and some of the cows had newly given birth, but now, because of love, the cows enthusiastically showed their affection for the older calves, which had left off milking. These calves were grown up, but still the mothers wanted to feed them. Therefore Balarama was a little surprised, and He wanted to inquire from Krsna about the reason for their behavior. The mothers were actually more anxious to feed the older calves, although the new calves were present, because the older calves were expansions of Krsna. These surprising events were taking place by the manipulation of yogamaya. There are two mayas working under the direction of Krsna--mahamaya, the energy of the material world, and yogamaya, the energy of the spiritual world. These uncommon events were taking place because of the influence of yogamaya. From the very day on which Brahma stole the calves and boys, yogamaya acted in such a way that the residents of Vrndavana, including even Lord Balarama, could not understand how yogamaya was working and causing such uncommon things to happen. But as yogamaya gradually acted, Balarama in particular was able to understand what was happening, and therefore He inquired from Krsna.
kim etad adbhutam iva
vrajasya satmanas tokesv
apurvam prema vardhate
kim--what; etat--this; adbhutam--wonderful; iva--just as; vasudeve--in Vasudeva, Lord Sri Krsna; akhila-atmani--the Supersoul of all living entities; vrajasya--of all the inhabitants of Vraja; sa-atmanah--along with Me; tokesu--in these boys; apurvam--unprecedented; prema--affection; vardhate--is increasing.
What is this wonderful phenomenon? The affection of all the inhabitants of Vraja, including Me, toward these boys and calves is increasing as never before, just like our affection for Lord Krsna, the Supersoul of all living entities.
This increase of affection was not maya; rather, because Krsna had expanded Himself as everything and because the whole life of everyone in Vrndavana was meant for Krsna, the cows, because of affection for Krsna, had more affection for the older calves than for the new calves, and the men increased in their affection for their sons. Balarama was astonished to see all the residents of Vrndavana so affectionate toward their own children, exactly as they had been for Krsna. Similarly, the cows had grown affectionate toward their calves--as much as toward Krsna. Balarama was surprised to see the acts of yogamaya. Therefore He inquired from Krsna, "What is happening here? What is this mystery?"
keyam va kuta ayata
daivi va nary utasuri
prayo mayastu me bhartur
nanya me 'pi vimohini
ka--who; iyam--this; va--or; kutah--from where; ayata--has come; daivi--whether demigod; va--or; nari--woman; uta--or; asuri--demoness; prayah--in most cases; maya--illusory energy; astu--she must be; me--My; bhartuh--of the master, Lord Krsna; na--not; anya--any other; me--My; api--certainly; vimohini--bewilderer.
Who is this mystic power, and where has she come from? Is she a demigod or a demoness? She must be the illusory energy of My master, Lord Krsna, for who else can bewilder Me?
Balarama was surprised. This extraordinary show of affection, He thought, was something mystical, performed either by the demigods or some wonderful man. Otherwise, how could this wonderful change take place? "This maya might be some raksasi-maya," He thought, "but how can raksasi-maya have any influence upon Me? This is not possible. Therefore it must be the maya of Krsna." He thus concluded that the mystical change must have been caused by Krsna, whom Balarama considered His worshipable personality of Godhead. He thought, "It was arranged by Krsna, and even I could not check its mystic power." Thus Balarama understood that all these boys and calves were only expansions of Krsna.
iti sancintya dasarho
vatsan sa-vayasan api
sarvan acasta vaikuntham
caksusa vayunena sah
iti sancintya--thinking in this way; dasarhah--Baladeva; vatsan--the calves; sa-vayasan--along with His companions; api--also; sarvan--all; acasta--saw; vaikuntham--as Sri Krsna only; caksusa vayunena--with the eye of transcendental knowledge; sah--He (Baladeva).
Thinking in this way, Lord Balarama was able to see, with the eye of transcendental knowledge, that all these calves and Krsna's friends were expansions of the form of Sri Krsna.
Every individual is different. There are even differences between twin brothers. Yet when Krsna expanded Himself as the boys and calves, each boy and each calf appeared in its own original feature, with the same individual way of acting, the same tendencies, the same color, the same dress, and so on, for Krsna manifested Himself with all these differences. This was Krsna's opulence.
naite suresa rsayo na caite
tvam eva bhasisa bhid-asraye 'pi
sarvam prthak tvam nigamat katham vadety
uktena vrttam prabhuna balo 'vait
na--not; ete--these boys; sura-isah--the best of the demigods; rsayah--great sages; na--not; ca--and; ete--these calves; tvam--You (Krsna); eva--alone; bhasi--are manifesting; isa--O supreme controller; bhit-asraye--in the existence of varieties of difference; api--even; sarvam--everything; prthak--existing; tvam--You (Krsna); nigamat--briefly; katham--how; vada--please explain; iti--thus; uktena--having been requested (by Baladeva); vrttam--the situation; prabhuna--(having been explained) by Lord Krsna; balah--Baladeva; avait--understood.
Lord Baladeva said, "O supreme controller! These boys are not great demigods, as I previously thought. Nor are these calves great sages like Narada. Now I can see that You alone are manifesting Yourself in all varieties of difference. Although one, You are existing in the different forms of the calves and boys. Please briefly explain this to Me." Having thus been requested by Lord Baladeva, Krsna explained the whole situation, and Baladeva understood it.
Inquiring from Krsna about the actual situation, Lord Balarama said, "My dear Krsna, in the beginning I thought that all these cows, calves and cowherd boys were either great sages and saintly persons or demigods, but at the present it appears that they are actually Your expansions. They are all You; You Yourself are playing as the calves and cows and boys. What is the mystery of this situation? Where have those other calves and cows and boys gone? And why are You expanding Yourself as the cows, calves and boys? Will You kindly tell Me what is the cause?" At the request of Balarama, Krsna briefly explained the whole situation: how the calves and boys were stolen by Brahma and how He was concealing the incident by expanding Himself so that people would not know that the original cows, calves and boys were missing. Balarama understood, therefore, that this was not maya but Krsna's opulence. Krsna has all opulences, and this was but another opulence of Krsna.
"At first," Lord Balarama said, "I thought that these boys and calves were a display of the power of great sages like Narada, but now I see that all these boys and calves are You." After inquiring from Krsna, Lord Balarama understood that Krsna Himself had become many. That the Lord can do this is stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.33). Advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam: although He is one, He can expand Himself in so many forms. According to the Vedic version, ekam bahu syam: He can expand Himself into many thousands and millions but still remain one. In that sense, everything is spiritual because everything is an expansion of Krsna; that is, everything is an expansion either of Krsna Himself or of His potency. Because the potency is nondifferent from the potent, the potency and the potent are one (sakti-saktimatayor abhedah). The Mayavadis, however, say, cid-acit-samanvayah: spirit and matter are one. This is a wrong conception. Spirit (cit) is different from matter (acit), as explained by Krsna 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." Spirit and matter cannot be made one, for actually they are superior and inferior energies, yet the Mayavadis, or Advaita-vadis, try to make them one. This is wrong. Although spirit and matter ultimately come from the same one source, they cannot be made one. For example, there are many things that come from our bodies, but although they come from the same source, they cannot be made one. We should be careful to note that although the supreme source is one, the emanations from this source should be separately regarded as inferior and superior. The difference between the Mayavada and Vaisnava philosophies is that the Vaisnava philosophy recognizes this fact. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's philosophy, therefore, is called acintya-bhedabheda--simultaneous oneness and difference. For example, fire and heat cannot be separated, for where there is fire there is heat and where there is heat there is fire. Nonetheless, although we cannot touch fire, heat we can tolerate. Therefore, although they are one, they are different.
tavad etyatmabhur atma-
purovad abdam kridantam
dadrse sa-kalam harim
tavat--for so long; etya--after returning; atma-bhuh--Lord Brahma; atma-manena--by his (Brahma's) own measurement; truti-anehasa--by a moment's time; purah-vat--just as previously; a-abdam--for one year (by human measurement of time); kridantam--playing; dadrse--he saw; sa-kalam--along with His expansions; harim--Lord Hari (Sri Krsna).
When Lord Brahma returned after a moment of time had passed (according to his own measurement), he saw that although by human measurement a complete year had passed, Lord Krsna, after all that time, was engaged just as before in playing with the boys and calves, who were His expansions.
Lord Brahma had gone away for only a moment of his time, but when he returned, a year of human time had passed. On different planets, the calculation of time is different. To give an example, a man-made satellite may orbit the earth in an hour and twenty-five minutes and thus complete one full day, although a day ordinarily takes twenty-four hours for those living on earth. Therefore, what was but a moment for Brahma was one year on earth. Krsna continued to expand Himself in so many forms for one year, but by the arrangement of yogamaya no one could understand this but Balarama.
After one moment of Brahma's calculation, Brahma came back to see the fun caused by his stealing the boys and calves. But he was also afraid that he was playing with fire. Krsna was his master, and he had played mischief for fun by taking away Krsna's calves and boys. He was really anxious, so he did not stay away very long; he came back after a moment (of his calculation). When Brahma returned, he saw that all the boys, calves and cows were playing with Krsna in the same way as when he had come upon them; by Krsna's display of yogamaya, the same pastimes were going on without any change.
On the day when Lord Brahma had first come, Baladeva could not go with Krsna and the cowherd boys, for it was His birthday, and His mother had kept Him back for the proper ceremonial bath, called santika-snana. Therefore Lord Baladeva was not taken by Brahma at that time. Now, one year later, Brahma returned, and because he returned on exactly the same day, Baladeva was again kept at home for His birthday. Therefore, although this verse mentions that Brahma saw Krsna and all the cowherd boys, Baladeva is not mentioned. It was five or six days earlier that Baladeva had inquired from Krsna about the extraordinary affection of the cows and cowherd men, but now, when Brahma returned, Brahma saw all the calves and cowherd boys playing with Krsna as expansions of Krsna, but he did not see Baladeva. As in the previous year, Lord Baladeva did not go to the woods on the day Lord Brahma appeared there.
yavanto gokule balah
sa-vatsah sarva eva hi
mayasaye sayana me
nadyapi punar utthitah
yavantah--whatsoever, as many as; gokule--in Gokula; balah--boys; sa-vatsah--along with their calves; sarve--all; eva--indeed; hi--because; maya-asaye--on the bed of maya; sayanah--are sleeping; me--my; na--not; adya--today; api--even; punah--again; utthitah--have risen.
Lord Brahma thought: Whatever boys and calves there were in Gokula, I have kept them sleeping on the bed of my mystic potency, and to this very day they have not yet risen again.
For one year Lord Brahma kept the calves and boys lying down in a cave by his mystic power. Therefore when Brahma saw Lord Krsna still playing with all the cows and calves, he began trying to reason about what was happening. "What is this?" he thought. "Maybe I took those calves and cowherd boys away but now they have been taken from that cave. Is this what has happened? Has Krsna brought them back here?" Then, however, Lord Brahma saw that the calves and boys he had taken were still in the same mystic maya into which he had put them. Thus he concluded that the calves and cowherd boys now playing with Krsna were different from the ones in the cave. He could understand that although the original calves and boys were still in the cave where he had put them, Krsna had expanded Himself and so the present demonstration of calves and boys consisted of expansions of Krsna. They had the same features, the same mentality and the same intentions, but they were all Krsna.
ita ete 'tra kutratya
tavanta eva tatrabdam
kridanto visnuna samam
itah--for this reason; ete--these boys with their calves; atra--here; kutratyah--where have they come from; mat-maya-mohita-itare--different from those who were mystified by my illusory potency; tavantah--the same number of boys; eva--indeed; tatra--there; a-abdam--for one year; kridantah--are playing; visnuna samam--along with Krsna.
A similar number of boys and calves have been playing with Krsna for one whole year, yet they are different from the ones illusioned by my mystic potency. Who are they? Where did they come from?
Although appearing like calves, cows and cowherd boys, these were all Visnu. Actually they were visnu-tattva, not jiva-tattva. Brahma was surprised. "The original cowherd boys and cows," he thought, "are still where I put them last year. So who is it that is now keeping company with Krsna exactly as before? Where have they come from?" Brahma was surprised that his mystic power had been neglected. Without touching the original cows and cowherd boys kept by Brahma, Krsna had created another assembly of calves and boys, who were all expansions of visnu-tattva. Thus Brahma's mystic power was superseded.
evam etesu bhedesu
ciram dhyatva sa atma-bhuh
satyah ke katare neti
jnatum neste kathancana
evam--in this way; etesu bhedesu--between these boys, who were existing separately; ciram--for a long time; dhyatva--after thinking; sah--he; atma-bhuh--Lord Brahma; satyah--real; ke--who; katare--who; na--are not; iti--thus; jnatum--to understand; na--not; iste--was able; kathancana--in any way at all.
Thus Lord Brahma, thinking and thinking for a long time, tried to distinguish between those two sets of boys, who were each separately existing. He tried to understand who was real and who was not real, but he couldn't understand at all.
Brahma was puzzled. "The original boys and calves are still sleeping as I have kept them," he thought, "but another set is here playing with Krsna. How has this happened?" Brahma could not grasp what was happening. Which boys were real, and which were not real? Brahma was unable to come to any definite conclusion. He pondered the matter for a long while. "How can there be two sets of calves and boys at the same time? Have the boys and calves here been created by Krsna, or has Krsna created the ones lying asleep? Or are both merely creations of Krsna?" Brahma thought about the subject in many different ways. "After I go to the cave and see that the boys and calves are still there, does Krsna go take them away and put them here so that I come here and see them, and does Krsna then take them from here and put them there?" Brahma could not figure out how there could be two sets of calves and cowherd boys exactly alike. Although thinking and thinking, he could not understand at all.
evam sammohayan visnum
svayaiva mayayajo 'pi
svayam eva vimohitah
evam--in this way; sammohayan--wanting to mystify; visnum--the all-pervading Lord Krsna; vimoham--who can never be mystified; visva-mohanam--but who mystifies the entire universe; svaya--by his (Brahma's) own; eva--indeed; mayaya--by mystic power; ajah--Lord Brahma; api--even; svayam--himself; eva--certainly; vimohitah--was put into bewilderment, became mystified.
Thus because Lord Brahma wanted to mystify the all-pervading Lord Krsna, who can never be mystified, but who, on the contrary, mystifies the entire universe, he himself was put into bewilderment by his own mystic power.
Brahma wanted to bewilder Krsna, who bewilders the entire universe. The whole universe is under Krsna's mystic power (mama maya duratyaya), but Brahma wanted to mystify Him. The result was that Brahma himself was mystified, just as one who wants to kill another may himself be killed. In other words, Brahma was defeated by his own attempt. In a similar position are the scientists and philosophers who want to overcome the mystic power of Krsna. They challenge Krsna, saying, "What is God? We can do this, and we can do that." But the more they challenge Krsna in this way, the more they are implicated in suffering. The lesson here is that we should not try to overcome Krsna. Rather, instead of endeavoring to surpass Him, we should surrender to Him (sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja).
Instead of defeating Krsna, Brahma himself was defeated, for he could not understand what Krsna was doing. Since Brahma, the chief person within this universe, was so bewildered, what is to be said of so-called scientists and philosophers? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. We should give up all our tiny efforts to defy the arrangement of Krsna. Instead, whatever arrangements He proposes, we should accept. This is always better, for this will make us happy. The more we try to defeat the arrangement of Krsna, the more we become implicated in Krsna's maya (daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya). But one who has reached the point of surrendering to the instructions of Krsna (mam eva ye prapadyante) is liberated, free from krsna-maya (mayam etam taranti te). The power of Krsna is just like a government that cannot be overcome. First of all there are laws, and then there is police power, and beyond that is military power. Therefore, what is the use of trying to overcome the power of the government? Similarly, what is the use of trying to challenge Krsna?
From the next verse it is clear that Krsna cannot be defeated by any kind of mystic power. If one gets even a little power of scientific knowledge, one tries to defy God, but actually no one is able to bewilder Krsna. When Brahma, the chief person within the universe, tried to bewilder Krsna, he himself was bewildered and astonished. This is the position of the conditioned soul. Brahma wanted to mystify Krsna, but he himself was mystified.
The word visnum is significant in this verse. Visnu pervades the entire material world, whereas Brahma merely occupies one subordinate post.
jivanti loma-vila-ja jagadanda-nathah
The word nathah, which refers to Lord Brahma, is plural because there are innumerable universes and innumerable Brahmas. Brahma is but a tiny force. This was exhibited in Dvaraka when Krsna called for Brahma. One day when Brahma came to see Krsna at Dvaraka, the doorman, at Lord Krsna's request, asked, "Which Brahma are you?" Later, when Brahma inquired from Krsna whether this meant that there was more than one Brahma, Krsna smiled and at once called for many Brahmas from many universes. The four-headed Brahma of this universe then saw innumerable other Brahmas coming to see Krsna and offer their respects. Some of them had ten heads, some had twenty, some had a hundred and some had a million heads. Upon seeing this wonderful exhibition, the four-headed Brahma became nervous and began to think of himself as no more than a mosquito in the midst of many elephants. Therefore, what can Brahma do to bewilder Krsna?
tamyam tamovan naiharam
nihanty atmani yunjatah
tamyam--on a dark night; tamah-vat--just as darkness; naiharam--produced by snow; khadyota-arcih--the light of a glowworm; iva--just as; ahani--in the daytime, in the sunlight; mahati--in a great personality; itara-maya--inferior mystic potency; aisyam--the ability; nihanti--destroys; atmani--in his own self; yunjatah--of the person who attempts to use.
As the darkness of snow on a dark night and the light of a glowworm in the light of day have no value, the mystic power of an inferior person who tries to use it against a person of great power is unable to accomplish anything; instead, the power of that inferior person is diminished.
When one wants to supersede a superior power, one's own inferior power becomes ludicrous. Just as a glowworm in the daytime and snow at night have no value, Brahma's mystic power became worthless in the presence of Krsna, for greater mystic power condemns inferior mystic power. On a dark night, the darkness produced by snow has no meaning. The glowworm appears very important at night, but in the daytime its glow has no value; whatever little value it has is lost. Similarly, Brahma became insignificant in the presence of Krsna's mystic power. Krsna's maya was not diminished in value, but Brahma's maya was condemned. Therefore, one should not try to exhibit one's insignificant opulence before a greater power.
tavat sarve vatsa-palah
pasyato 'jasya tat-ksanat
tavat--so long; sarve--all; vatsa-palah--both the calves and the boys tending them; pasyatah--while he was watching; ajasya--of Lord Brahma; tat-ksanat--immediately; vyadrsyanta--were seen; ghana-syamah--as having a complexion resembling bluish rainclouds; pita-kauseya-vasasah--and dressed in yellow silk garments.
Then, while Lord Brahma looked on, all the calves and the boys tending them immediately appeared to have complexions the color of bluish rainclouds and to be dressed in yellow silken garments.
While Brahma was contemplating, all the calves and cowherd boys immediately transformed into visnu-murtis, having bluish complexions and wearing yellow garments. Brahma was contemplating his own power and the immense, unlimited power of Krsna, but before he could come to a conclusion, he saw this immediate transformation.
nupuraih katakair bhatah
catuh-bhujah--having four arms; sankha-cakra-gada-rajiva-pana-yah--holding conchshell, disc, club and lotus flower in Their hands; kiritinah--bearing helmets on Their heads; kundalinah--wearing earrings; harinah--wearing pearl necklaces; vana-malinah--wearing garlands of forest flowers; srivatsa-angada-do-ratna-kambu-kankana-panayah--bearing the emblem of the goddess of fortune on Their chests, armlets on Their arms, the Kaustubha gem on Their necks, which were marked with three lines like a conchshell, and bracelets on Their hands; nupuraih--with ornaments on the feet; katakaih--with bangles on Their ankles; bhatah--appeared beautiful; kati-sutra-anguli-yakaih--with sacred belts around the waist and with rings on the fingers.
All those personalities had four arms, holding conchshell, disc, mace and lotus flower in Their hands. They wore helmets on Their heads, earrings on Their ears and garlands of forest flowers around Their necks. On the upper portion of the right side of Their chests was the emblem of the goddess of fortune. Furthermore, They wore armlets on Their arms, the Kaustubha gem around Their necks, which were marked with three lines like a conchshell, and bracelets on Their wrists. With bangles on Their ankles, ornaments on Their feet, and sacred belts around Their waists, They all appeared very beautiful.
All the Visnu forms had four arms, with conchshell and other articles, but these characteristics are also possessed by those who have attained sarupya-mukti in Vaikuntha and who consequently have forms exactly like the form of the Lord. However, these Visnu forms appearing before Lord Brahma also possessed the mark of Srivatsa and the Kaustubha gem, which are special characteristics possessed only by the Supreme Lord Himself. This proves that all these boys and calves were in fact directly expansions of Visnu, the Personality of Godhead, not merely His associates of Vaikuntha. Visnu Himself is included within Krsna. All the opulences of Visnu are already present in Krsna, and consequently for Krsna to demonstrate so many Visnu forms was actually not very astonishing.
The Srivatsa mark is described by the Vaisnava-tosani as being a curl of fine yellow hair on the upper portion of the right side of Lord Visnu's chest. This mark is not for ordinary devotees. It is a special mark of Visnu or Krsna.
a-anghri-mastakam--from the feet up to the top of the head; apurnah--fully decorated; tulasi-nava-damabhih--with garlands of fresh tulasi leaves; komalaih--tender, soft; sarva-gatresu--on all the limbs of the body; bhuri-punyavat-arpitaih--which were offered by devotees engaged in the greatest pious activity, worshiping the Supreme Lord by hearing, chanting and so on.
Every part of Their bodies, from Their feet to the top of Their heads, was fully decorated with fresh, tender garlands of tulasi leaves offered by devotees engaged in worshiping the Lord by the greatest pious activities, namely hearing and chanting.
The word bhuri-punyavad-arpitaih is significant in this verse. These forms of Visnu were worshiped by those who had performed pious activities (sukrtibhih) for many births and who were constantly engaged in devotional service (sravanam kirtanam visnoh). Bhakti, devotional service, is the engagement of those who have performed highly developed pious activities. The accumulation of pious activities has already been mentioned elsewhere in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.12.11), where Sukadeva Gosvami says,
ittham satam brahma-sukhanubhutya
dasyam gatanam para-daivatena
sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah
"Those who are engaged in self-realization, appreciating the Brahman effulgence of the Lord, and those engaged in devotional service, accepting the Supreme personality of Godhead as master, as well as those who are under the clutches of maya, thinking the Lord an ordinary person, cannot understand that certain exalted personalities--after accumulating volumes of pious activities--are now playing with the Lord in friendship as cowherd boys."
In our Krsna-Balarama Temple in Vrndavana, there is a tamala tree that covers an entire corner of the courtyard. Before there was a temple the tree was lying neglected, but now it has developed very luxuriantly, covering the whole corner of the courtyard. This is a sign of bhuri-punya.
svakarthanam iva rajah-
candrika-visada-smeraih--by pure smiling like the full, increasing moonlight; sa-aruna-apanga-viksitaih--by the clear glances of Their reddish eyes; svaka-arthanam--of the desires of His own devotees; iva--just as; rajah-sattvabhyam--by the modes of passion and goodness; srastr-palakah--were creators and protectors.
Those Visnu forms, by Their pure smiling, which resembled the increasing light of the moon, and by the sidelong glances of Their reddish eyes, created and protected the desires of Their own devotees, as if by the modes of passion and goodness.
Those Visnu forms blessed the devotees with Their clear glances and smiles, which resembled the increasingly full light of the moon (sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam). As maintainers, They glanced upon Their devotees, embracing them and protecting them by smiling. Their smiles resembled the mode of goodness, protecting all the desires of the devotees, and the glancing of Their eyes resembled the mode of passion. Actually, in this verse the word rajah means not "passion" but "affection." In the material world, rajo-guna is passion, but in the spiritual world it is affection. In the material world, affection is contaminated by rajo-guna and tamo-guna, but in the suddha-sattva the affection that maintains the devotees is transcendental.
The word svakarthanam refers to great desires. As mentioned in this verse, the glance of Lord Visnu creates the desires of the devotees. A pure devotee, however, has no desires. Therefore Sanatana Gosvami comments that because the desires of devotees whose attention is fixed on Krsna have already been fulfilled, the Lord's sidelong glances create variegated desires in relation to Krsna and devotional service. In the material world, desire is a product of rajo-guna and tamo-guna, hilt desire in the spiritual world gives rise to a variety of everlasting transcendental service. Thus the word svakarthanam refers to eagerness to serve Krsna.
In Vrndavana there is a place where there was no temple, but a devotee desired, "Let there be a temple and seva, devotional service." Therefore, what was once an empty corner has now become a place of pilgrimage. Such are the desires of a devotee.
prthak prthag upasitah
atma-adi-stamba-paryantaih--from Lord Brahma to the insignificant living entity; murti-madbhih--assuming some form; cara-acaraih--both the moving and the nonmoving; nrtya-gita-adi-aneka-arhaih--by many varied means of worship, such as dancing and singing; prthak prthak--differently; upasitah--who were being worshiped.
All beings, both moving and nonmoving, from the four-headed Lord Brahma down to the most insignificant living entity, had taken forms and were differently worshiping those visnu-murtis, according to their respective capacities, with various means of worship, such as dancing and singing.
Innumerable living entities are engaged in different types of worship of the Supreme, according to their abilities and karma, but everyone is engaged (jivera 'svarupa' haya--krsnera 'nitya-dasa'); there is no one who is not serving. Therefore the maha-bhagavata, the topmost devotee, sees everyone as being engaged in the service of Krsna; only himself does he see as not engaged. We have to elevate ourselves from a lower position to a higher position, and the topmost position is that of direct service in Vrndavana. But everyone is engaged in service. Denial of the service of the Lord is maya.
ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya
yare yaiche nacaya, se taiche kare nrtya
"Only Krsna is the supreme master, and all others are His servants. As Krsna desires, everyone dances according to His tune.' (Cc. Adi 5.142)
There are two kinds of living entities--the moving and the nonmoving. Trees, for example, stand in one place, whereas ants move. Brahma saw that all of them, down to the smallest creatures, had assumed different forms and were accordingly engaged in the service of Lord Visnu.
One receives a form according to the way one worships the Lord. In the material world, the body one receives is guided by the demigods. This is sometimes referred to as the influence of the stars. As indicated in Bhagavad-gita (3.27) by the words prakrteh kriyamanani, according to the laws of nature one is controlled by the demigods.
All living entities are serving Krsna in different ways, but when they are Krsna conscious, their service is fully manifest. As a flower in the bud gradually fructifies and yields its desired aroma and beauty, so when a living entity comes to the platform of Krsna consciousness, the beauty of his real form comes into full blossom. That is the ultimate beauty and the ultimate fulfillment of desire.
anima-adyaih--headed by anima; mahimabhih--by opulences; aja-adyabhih--headed by Aja; vibhutibhih--by potencies; catuh-vimsatibhih--twenty-four in number; tattvaih--by elements for the creation of the material world; paritah--(all the visnu-murtis) were surrounded; mahat-adibhih--headed by the mahat-tattva.
All the visnu-murtis were surrounded by the opulences, headed by anima-siddhi; by the mystic potencies, headed by Aja; and by the twenty-four elements for the creation of the material world, headed by the mahat-tattva.
In this verse the word mahimabhih means aisvarya, or opulence. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can do whatever He likes. That is His aisvarya. No one can command Him, but He can command everyone. Sad-aisvarya-purnam. The Lord is full in six opulences. The yoga-siddhis, the perfections of yoga, such as the ability to become smaller than the smallest (anima-siddhi) or bigger than the biggest (mahima-siddhi), are present in Lord Visnu. Sad-aisvaryaih purno ya iha bhagavan (Cc. Adi 1.3). The word aja means maya, or mystic power. Everything mysterious is in full existence in Visnu.
The twenty-four elements mentioned are the five working senses (panca-karmendriya), the five senses for obtaining knowledge (panca-jnanendriya), the five gross material elements (panca-mahabhuta), the five sense objects (panca-tanmatra), the mind (manas), the false ego (ahankara), the mahat-tattva, and material nature (prakrti). All twenty-four of these elements are employed for the manifestation of this material world. The mahat-tattva is divided into different subtle categories, but originally it is called the mahat-tattva.
kala--by the time factor; svabhava--own nature; samskara--reformation; kama--desire; karma--fruitive action; guna--the three modes of material nature; adibhih--and by others; sva-mahi-dhvasta-mahibhih--whose own independence was subordinate to the potency of the Lord; murti-madbhih--possessing form; upasitah--were being worshiped.
Then Lord Brahma saw that kala (the time factor), svabhava (one's own nature by association), samskara (reformation), kama (desire), karma (fruitive activity) and the gunas (the three modes of material nature), their own independence being completely subordinate to the potency of the Lord, had all taken forms and were also worshiping those visnu-murtis.
No one but Visnu has any independence. If we develop consciousness of this fact, then we are in actual Krsna consciousness. We should always remember that Krsna is the only supreme master and that everyone else is His servant (ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya). Be one even Narayana or Lord Siva, everyone is subordinate to Krsna (siva-virincinutam). Even Baladeva is subordinate to Krsna. This is a fact.
ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya
yare yaiche nacaya, se taiche kare nrtya
(Cc. Adi 5.142>
One should understand that no one is independent, for everything is part and parcel of Krsna and is acting and moving by the supreme desire of Krsna. This understanding, this consciousness, is Krsna consciousness.
yas tu narayanam devam
sa pasandi bhaved dhruvam
"A person who considers demigods like Brahma and Siva to be on an equal level with Narayana must certainly be considered an offender." No one can compare to Narayana, or Krsna. Krsna is Narayana, and Narayana is also Krsna, for Krsna is the original Narayana. Brahma himself addressed Krsna, narayanas tvam na hi sarva-dehinam: "You are also Narayana. Indeed, You are the original Narayana." (Bhag. 10.14.14)
Kala, or the time factor, has many assistants, such as svabhava, samskara, kama, karma and guna. Svabhava, or one's own nature, is formed according to the association of the material qualities. Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu (Bg. 13.22). Sat and asat-svabhava--one's higher or lower nature--is formed by association with the different qualities, namely sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. We should gradually come to the sattva-guna, so that we may avoid the two lower gunas. This can be done if we regularly discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam and hear about Krsna's activities. Nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya (Bhag. 1.2.18). All the activities of Krsna described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, beginning even with the pastimes concerning Putana, are transcendental. Therefore, by hearing and discussing Srimad-Bhagavatam, the rajo-guna and tamo-guna are subdued, so that only sattva-guna remains. Then rajo-guna and tamo-guna cannot do us any harm.
Varnasrama-dharma, therefore, is essential, for it can bring people to sattva-guna. Tada rajas-tamo-bhavah kama-lobhadayas ca ye (Bhag. 1.2.19). Tamo-guna and rajo-guna increase lust and greed, which implicate a living entity in such a way that he must exist in this material world in many, many forms. That is very dangerous. One should therefore be brought to sattva-guna by the establishment of varnasrama-dharma and should develop the brahminical qualifications of being very neat and clean, rising early in the morning and seeing mangala-aratrika, and so on. In this way, one should stay in sattva-guna, and then one cannot be influenced by tamo-guna and rajo-guna.
kama-lobhadayas ca ye
ceta etair anaviddham
sthitam sattve prasidati
The opportunity for this purification is the special feature of human life; in other lives, this is not possible. Such purification can be achieved very easily by radha-krsna-bhajana, devotional service rendered to Radha and Krsna, and therefore Narottama dasa Thakura sings, hari hari viphale janama gonainu, indicating that unless one worships Radha-Krsna, one's human form of life is wasted. Vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah. janayaty asu vairagyam (Bhag. 1.2.7). By engagement in the service of Vasudeva, one very quickly renounces material life. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement, for example, being engaged in vasudeva-bhakti, very quickly come to the stage of being nice Vaisnavas, so much so that people are surprised that mlecchas and yavanas are able to come to this stage. This is possible by vasudeva-bhakti. But if we do not come to the stage of sattva-guna in this human life, then, as Narottama dasa Thakura sings, hari hari viphale janama gonainu--there is no profit in gaining this human form of life.
Sri Viraraghava Acarya comments that each of the items mentioned in the first half of this verse is a cause for material entanglement. Kala, or the time factor, agitates the modes of material nature, and svabhava is the result of association with these modes. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura says, bhakta-sane vasa. If one associates with bhaktas, then one's svabhava, or nature, will change. Our Krsna consciousness movement is meant to give people good association so that this change may take place, and we actually see that by this method people all over the world are gradually becoming devotees.
As for samskara, or reformation, this is possible by good association, for by good association one develops good habits, and habit becomes second nature. Therefore, bhakta-sane vasa: let people have the chance to live with bhaktas. Then their habits will change. In the human form of life one has this chance, but as Narottama dasa Thakura sings, hari hari viphale janama gonainu: if one fails to take advantage of this opportunity, one's human life is wasted. We are therefore trying to save human society from degradation and actually elevate people to the higher nature.
As for kama and karma--desires and activities--if one engages in devotional service, one develops a different nature than if one engages in activities of sense gratification, and of course the result is also different. According to the association of different natures, one receives a particular type of body. Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-yoni janmasu (Bg. 13.22). Therefore we should always seek good association, the association of devotees. Then our life will be successful. A man is known by his company. If one has the chance to live in the good association of devotees, one is able to cultivate knowledge, and naturally one's character or nature will change for one's eternal benefit.
api hy upanisad-drsam
satya--eternal; jnana--having full knowledge; ananta--unlimited; ananda--fully blissful; matra--only; eka-rasa--always existing; murtayah--forms; asprsta-bhuri-mahatmyah--whose great glory is not touched; api--even; hi--because; upanisat-drsam--by those jnanis who are engaged in studying the Upanisads.
The visnu-murtis all had eternal, unlimited forms, full of knowledge and bliss and existing beyond the influence of time. Their great glory was not even to be touched by the jnanis engaged in studying the Upanisads.
Mere sastra jnana, or knowledge in the Vedas, does not help anyone understand the personality of Godhead. Only one who is favored or shown mercy by the Lord can understand Him. This is also explained in the Upanisads (Mundaka Upanisad 3.2.3):
nayam atma pravacanena labhyo
na medhasa na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas
tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam
"The Supreme Lord is not obtained by expert explanations, by vast intelligence, or even by much hearing. He is obtained only by one whom He Himself chooses. To such a person, He manifests His own form."
One description given of Brahman is satyam brahma, ananda-rupam: "Brahman is the Absolute Truth and complete ananda, or bliss." The forms of Visnu, the Supreme Brahman, were one, but They were manifested differently. The followers of the Upanisads, however, cannot understand the varieties manifested by Brahman. This proves that Brahman and Paramatma can actually he understood only through devotion, as confirmed by the Lord Himself in Srimad-Bhagavatam: bhaktyaham ekaya grahyah (Bhag. 11.14.21). To establish that Brahman indeed has transcendental form, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives various quotations from the sastras. In the Svetasvatara Upanisad (3.8), the Supreme is described as aditya-varnam tamasah parastat, "He whose self-manifest form is luminous like the sun and transcendental to the darkness of ignorance." Ananda-matram ajaram puranam ekam santam bahudha drsyamanam: "The Supreme is blissful, with no tinge of unhappiness. Although He is the oldest, He never ages, and although one, He is experienced in different forms." Sarve nityah sasvatas ca dehas tasya paratmanah: "All the forms of that Supreme Person are eternal." (Maha-varaha purana) The Supreme Person has a form, with hands and legs and other personal features, but His hands and legs are not material. Bhaktas know that the form of Krsna, or Brahman, is not at all material. Rather, Brahman has a transcendental form, and when one is absorbed in it, being fully developed in bhakti, one can understand Him (premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena). The Mayavadis, however, cannot understand this transcendental form, for they think that it is material.
Transcendental forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His person are so great that the impersonal followers of the Upanisads cannot reach the platform of knowledge to understand them. Particularly, the transcendental forms of the Lord are beyond the reach of the impersonalists, who can only understand, through the studies of the Upanisads, that the Absolute Truth is not matter and that the Absolute Truth is not materially restricted by limited potency.
Yet although Krsna cannot be seen through the Upanisads, in some places it is said that Krsna can in fact be known in this way. Aupanisadam purusam: "He is known by the Upanisads." This means that when one is purified by Vedic knowledge, one is then allowed to enter into devotional understanding (mad-bhaktim labhate param).
tac chraddadhana munayo
pasyanty atmani catmanam
"The seriously inquisitive student or sage, well equipped with knowledge and detachment, realizes that Absolute Truth by rendering devotional service in terms of what he has heard from the Vedanta-sruti." (Bhag. 1.2.12) The word sruta-grhitaya refers to Vedanta knowledge, not sentimentality. Sruta-grhita is sound knowledge.
Lord Visnu, Brahma thus realized, is the reservoir of all truth, knowledge and bliss. He is the combination of these three transcendental features, and He is the object of worship for the followers of the Upanisads. Brahma realized that all the different forms of cows, boys and calves transformed into Visnu forms were not transformed by mysticism of the type that a yogi or demigod can display by specific powers invested in him. The cows, calves and boys transformed into visnu-murtis, or Visnu forms, were not displays of visnu-maya, or Visnu energy, but were Visnu Himself. The respective qualifications of Visnu and visnu-maya are just like those of fire and heat. In heat there is the qualification of fire, namely warmth; and yet heat is not fire. The manifestation of the Visnu forms of the boys, cows and calves was not like the heat, but rather like the fire--they were all actually Visnu. Factually, the qualification of Visnu is full truth, full knowledge and full bliss. Another example may be given with material objects, which may be reflected in many, many forms. For example, the sun is reflected in many waterpots, but the reflections of the sun in many pots are not actually the sun. There is no actual heat and light from the sun in the pot, although it appears as the sun. But each and every one of the forms Krsna assumed was fully Visnu.
We should discuss Srimad-Bhagavatam daily as much as possible, and then everything will be clarified, for Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature (nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam). It was written by Vyasadeva (maha-muni-krte) when he was self-realized. Thus the more we read Srimad-Bhagavatam, the more its knowledge becomes clear. Each and every verse is transcendental.
evam sakrd dadarsajah
yasya bhasa sarvam idam
evam--thus; sakrt--at one time; dadarsa--saw; ajah--Lord Brahma; para-brahma--of the Supreme Absolute Truth; atmanah--expansions; akhilan--all the calves and boys, etc.; yasya--of whom; bhasa--by the manifestation; sarvam--all; idam--this; vibhati--is manifested; sa-cara-acaram--whatever is moving and nonmoving.
Thus Lord Brahma saw the Supreme Brahman, by whose energy this entire universe, with its moving and nonmoving living beings, is manifested. He also saw at the same time all the calves and boys as the Lord's expansions.
By this incident, Lord Brahma was able to see how Krsna maintains the entire universe in different ways. It is because Krsna manifests everything that everything is visible.
tad-dhamnabhud ajas tusnim
tatah--then; atikutuka-udvrtya-stimita-ekadasa-indriyah--whose eleven senses had all been jolted by great astonishment and then stunned by transcendental bliss; tad-dhamna--by the effulgence of those visnu-murtis; abhut--became; ajah--Lord Brahma; tusnim--silent; puh-devi-anti--in the presence of a village deity (gramya-devata); iva--just as; putrika--a clay doll made by a child.
Then, by the power of the effulgence of those visnu-murtis, Lord Brahma, his eleven senses jolted by astonishment and stunned by transcendental bliss, became silent, just like a child's clay doll in the presence of the village deity.
Brahma was stunned because of transcendental bliss (muhyanti yat surayah). In his astonishment, all his senses were stunned, and he was unable to say or do anything. Brahma had considered himself absolute, thinking himself the only powerful deity, but now his pride was subdued, and he again became merely one of the demigods--an important demigod, of course, but a demigod nonetheless. Brahma, therefore, cannot be compared to God--Krsna, or Narayana. It is forbidden to compare Narayana even to demigods like Brahma and Siva, what to speak of others.
yas tu narayanam devam
sa pasandi bhaved dhruvam
"One who considers demigods like Brahma and Siva to be on an equal level with Narayana must certainly be considered an offender." We should not equate the demigods with Narayana, for even Sankaracarya has forbidden this (narayanah paro'vyaktat). Also, as mentioned in the Vedas, eko narayana asin na brahma nesanah: "In the beginning of creation there was only the Supreme personality, Narayana, and there was no existence of Brahma or Siva." Therefore, one who at the end of his life remembers Narayana attains the perfection of life (ante narayana-smrtih).
itirese 'tarkye nija-mahimani sva-pramitike
anise 'pi drastum kim idam iti va muhyati sati
cacchadajo jnatva sapadi paramo 'ja-javanikam
iti--thus; ira-ise--Lord Brahma, the lord of Sarasvati (Ira); atarkye--beyond; nija-mahimani--whose own glory; sva-pramitike--self-manifest and blissful; paratra--beyond; ajatah--the material energy (prakrti); atat--irrelevant; nirasana-mukha--by the rejection of that which is irrelevant; brahmaka--by the crest jewels of the Vedas; mitau--in whom there is knowledge; anise--not being able; api--even; drastum--to see; kim--what; idam--is this; iti--thus; va--or; muhyati sati--being mystified; cacchada--removed; ajah--Lord Sri Krsna; jnatva--after understanding; sapadi--at once; paramah--the greatest of all; aja-javanikam--the curtain of maya.
The Supreme Brahman is beyond mental speculation, He is self-manifest, existing in His own bliss, and He is beyond the material energy. He is known by the crest jewels of the Vedas by refutation of irrelevant knowledge. Thus in relation to that Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, whose glory had been shown by the manifestation of all the four-armed forms of Visnu, Lord Brahma, the lord of Sarasvati, was mystified. "What is this?" he thought, and then he was not even able to see. Lord Krsna, understanding Brahma's position, then at once removed the curtain of His yogamaya.
Brahma was completely mystified. He could not understand what he was seeing, and then he was not even able to see. Lord Krsna, understanding Brahma's position, then removed that yogamaya covering. In this verse, Brahma is referred to as iresa. Ira means Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and Iresa is her husband, Lord Brahma. Brahma, therefore, is most intelligent. But even Brahma, the lord of Sarasvati, was bewildered about Krsna. Although he tried, he could not understand Lord Krsna. In the beginning the boys, the calves and Krsna Himself had been covered by yogamaya, which later displayed the second set of calves and boys, who were Krsna's expansions, and which then displayed so many four-armed forms. Now, seeing Brahma's bewilderment, Lord Krsna caused the disappearance of that yogamaya. One may think that the maya taken away by Lord Krsna was mahamaya, but Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments that it was yogamaya, the potency by which Krsna is sometimes manifest and sometimes not manifest. The potency which covers the actual reality and displays something unreal is mahamaya, but the potency by which the Absolute Truth is sometimes manifest and sometimes not is yogamaya. Therefore, in this verse the word aja refers to yogamaya.
Krsna's energy--His maya-sakti, or svarupa-sakti--is one, but it is manifested in varieties. parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8). The difference between Vaisnavas and Mayavadis is that Mayavadis say that this maya is one, whereas Vaisnavas recognize its varieties. There is unity in variety. For example, in one tree, there are varieties of leaves, fruits and flowers. Varieties of energy are required for performing the varieties of activity within the creation. To give another example, in a machine all the parts may be iron, but the machine includes varied activities. Although the whole machine is iron, one part works in one way, and other parts work in other ways. One who does not know how the machine is working may say that it is all iron; nonetheless, in spite of its being iron, the machine has different elements, all working differently to accomplish the purpose for which the machine was made. One wheel runs this way, another wheel runs that way, functioning naturally in such a way that the work of the machine goes on. Consequently we give different names to the different parts of the machine, saying, "This is a wheel," "This is a screw," "This is a spindle," "This is the lubrication," and so on. Similarly, as explained in the Vedas,
parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
Krsna's power is variegated, and thus the same sakti, or potency, works in variegated ways. Vividha means "varieties." There is unity in variety. Thus yogamaya and mahamaya are among the varied individual parts of the same one potency, and all of these individual potencies work in their own varied ways. The samvit, sandhini and ahladini potencies--Krsna's potency for existence, His potency for knowledge and His potency for pleasure--are distinct from yogamaya. Each is an individual potency. The ahladini potency is Radharani. As Svarupa Damodara Gosvami has explained, radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmat (Cc. Adi 1.5). The ahladini-sakti is manifested as Radharani, but Krsna and Radharani are the same, although one is potent and the other is potency.
Brahma was mystified about Krsna's opulence (nija-mahimani) because this opulence was atarkya, or inconceivable. With one's limited senses, one cannot argue about that which is inconceivable. Therefore the inconceivable is called acintya, that which is beyond cintya, our thoughts and arguments. Acintya refers to that which we cannot contemplate but have to accept. Srila Jiva Gosvami has said that unless we accept acintya in the Supreme, we cannot accommodate the conception of God. This must be understood. Therefore we say that the words of sastra should be taken as they are, without change, since they are beyond our arguments. Acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet: "That which is acintya cannot be ascertained by argument." People generally argue, but our process is not to argue but to accept the Vedic knowledge as it is. When Krsna says, "This is superior, and this is inferior," we accept what He says. It is not that we argue, "Why is this superior and that inferior?" If one argues, for him the knowledge is lost.
This path of acceptance is called avaroha-pantha The word avaroha is related to the word avatara, which means"that which descends." The materialist wants to understand everything by the aroha-pantha--by argument and reason--but transcendental matters cannot be understood in this way. Rather, one must follow the avaroha-pantha, the process of descending knowledge. Therefore one must accept the parampara system. And the best parampara is that which extends from Krsna (evam parampara-praptam). What Krsna says, we should accept (imam rajarsayo viduh). This is called the avaroha-pantha.
Brahma, however, adopted the aroha-pantha. He wanted to understand Krsna's mystic power by his own limited, conceivable power, and therefore he himself was mystified. Everyone wants to take pleasure in his own knowledge, thinking, "I know something." But in the presence of Krsna this conception cannot stand, for one cannot bring Krsna within the limitations of prakrti. One must submit. There is no alternative. Na tams tarkena yojayet. This submission marks the difference between Krsna-ites and Mayavadis.
The phrase atan-nirasana refers to the discarding of that which is irrelevant. (Atat means "that which is not a fact.") Brahman is sometimes described as asthulam ananv ahrasvam adirgham, "that which is not large and not small, not short and not long." (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 5.8.8) Neti neti: "It is not this, it is not that." But what is it? In describing a pencil, one may say, "It is not this; it is not that," but this does not tell us what it is. This is called definition by negation. In Bhagavad-gita, Krsna also explains the soul by giving negative definitions. Na jayate mriyate va: "It is not born, nor does it die. You can hardly understand more than this." But what is it? It is eternal. Ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire: "It is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. It is not slain when the body is slain." (Bg. 2.20) In the beginning the soul is difficult to understand, and therefore Krsna has given negative definitions:
nainam chindanti sastrani
nainam dahati pavakah
na cainam kledayanty apo
na sosayati marutah
"The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can it be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind." (Bg. 2.23) Krsna says, "It is not burned by fire." Therefore, one has to imagine what it is that is not burned by fire. This is a negative definition.
tato 'rvak pratilabdhaksah
kah paretavad utthitah
krcchrad unmilya vai drstir
tatah--then; arvak--externally; pratilabdha-aksah--having revived his consciousness; kah--Lord Brahma; pareta-vat--just like a dead man; utthitah--stood up; krcchrat--with great difficulty; unmilya--opening up; vai--indeed; drstih--his eyes; acasta--he saw; idam--this universe; saha-atmana--along with himself.
Lord Brahma's external consciousness then revived, and he stood up, just like a dead man coming back to life. Opening his eyes with great difficulty, he saw the universe, along with himself.
We actually do not die. At death, we are merely kept inert for some time, just as during sleep. At night we sleep, and all our activities stop, but as soon as we arise, our memory immediately returns, and we think, "Oh, where am I? What do I have to do?" This is called suptotthita-nyaya. Suppose we die. "Die" means that we become inert for some time and then again begin our activities. This takes place life after life, according to our karma, or activities, and svabhava, or nature by association. Now, in the human life, if we prepare ourselves by beginning the activity of our spiritual life, we return to our real life and attain perfection. Otherwise, according to karma, svabhava, prakrti and so on, our varieties of life and activity continue, and so also do our birth and death. As explained by Bhaktivinoda Thakura, mayara vase, yaccha bhese', khaccha habudubu bhai: "My dear brothers, why are you being washed away by the waves of maya?" One should come to the spiritual platform, and then one's activities will be permanent. Krta-punya-punjah: this stage is attained after one accumulates the results of pious activities for many, many lives. Janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate (Cc. Madhya 8.70). The Krsna consciousness movement wants to stop koti-janma, repeated birth and death. In one birth, one should rectify everything and come to permanent life. This is Krsna consciousness.
sapady evabhitah pasyan
diso 'pasyat purah-sthitam
sapadi--immediately; eva--indeed; abhitah--on all sides; pasyan--looking; disah--in the directions; apasyat--Lord Brahma saw; purah-sthitam--situated in front of him; vrndavanam--Vrndavana; jana-ajivya-druma-akirnam--dense with trees, which were the means of living for the inhabitants; sama-priyam--and which was equally pleasing in all seasons.
Then, looking in all directions, Lord Brahma immediately saw Vrndavana before him, filled with trees, which were the means of livelihood for the inhabitants and which were equally pleasing in all seasons.
Janajivya-drumakirnam: trees and vegetables are essential, and they give happiness all year round, in all seasons. That is the arrangement in Vrndavana. It is not that in one season the trees are pleasing and in another season not pleasing; rather, they are equally pleasing throughout the seasonal changes. Trees and vegetables provide the real means of livelihood recommended for everyone. Sarva-kama-dugha mahi (Bhag. 1.10.4). Trees and vegetables, not industry, provide the real means of life.
yatra--where; naisarga--by nature; durvairah--living in enmity; saha asan--live together; nr--human beings; mrga-adayah--and animals; mitrani--friends; iva--like; ajita--of Lord Sri Krsna; avasa--residence; druta--gone away; rut--anger; tarsaka-adikam--thirst and so on.
Vrndavana is the transcendental abode of the Lord, where there is no hunger, anger or thirst. Though naturally inimical, both human beings and fierce animals live there together in transcendental friendship.
The word vana means "forest." We are afraid of the forest and do not wish to go there, but in Vrndavana the forest animals are as good as demigods, for they have no envy. Even in this material world, in the forest the animals live together, and when they go to drink water they do not attack anyone. Envy develops because of sense gratification, but in Vrndavana there is no sense gratification, for the only aim is Krsna's satisfaction. Even in this material world, the animals in Vrndavana are not envious of the sadhus who live there. The sadhus keep cows and supply milk to the tigers, saying, "Come here and take a little milk." Thus envy and malice are unknown in Vrndavana. That is the difference between Vrndavana and the ordinary world. We are horrified to hear the name of vana, the forest, but in Vrndavana there is no such horror. Everyone there is happy by pleasing Krsna. Krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau. Whether a gosvami or a tiger or other ferocious animal, everyone's business is the same--to please Krsna. Even the tigers are also devotees. This is the specific qualification of Vrndavana. In Vrndavana everyone is happy. The calf is happy, the cat is happy, the dog is happy, the man is happy--everyone. Everyone wants to serve Krsna in a different capacity, and thus there is no envy. One may sometimes think that the monkeys in Vrndavana are envious, because they cause mischief and steal food, but in Vrndavana we find that the monkeys are allowed to take butter, which Krsna Himself distributes. Krsna personally demonstrates that everyone has the right to live. This is Vrndavana life. Why should I live and you die? No. That is material life. The inhabitants of Vrndavana think, "Whatever is given by Krsna, let us divide it as prasada and eat." This mentality cannot appear all of a sudden, but it will gradually develop with Krsna consciousness; by sadhana, one can come to this platform.
In the material world one may collect funds all over the world in order to distribute food freely, yet those to whom the food is given may not even feel appreciative. The value of Krsna consciousness, however, will gradually be very much appreciated. For instance, in an article about the temple of the Hare Krsna movement in Durban, South Africa, the Durban Post reported, "All the devotees here are very active in the service of Lord Krsna, and the results are obvious to see: happiness, good health, peace of mind, and the development of all good qualities." This is the nature of Vrndavana. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah: without Krsna consciousness, happiness is impossible; one may struggle, but one cannot have happiness. We are therefore trying to give human society the opportunity for a life of happiness, good health, peace of mind and all good qualities through God consciousness.
brahmadvayam param anantam agadha-bodham
vatsan sakhin iva pura parito vicinvad
ekam sa-pani-kavalam paramesthy acasta
tatra--there (in Vrndavana); udvahat--assuming; pasupa-vamsa-sisutva-natyam--the play of being a child in a family of cowherd men (another of Krsna's names is Gopala, "He who maintains the cows"); brahma--the Absolute Truth; advayam--without a second; param--the Supreme; anantam--unlimited; agadha-bodham--possessing unlimited knowledge; vatsan--the calves; sakhin--and His friends, the boys; iva pura--just as before; paritah--everywhere; vicinvat--searching; ekam--alone, all by Himself; sa-pani-kavalam--with a morsel of food in His hand; paramesthi--Lord Brahma; acasta--saw.
Then Lord Brahma saw the Absolute Truth--who is one without a second, who possesses full knowledge and who is unlimited--assuming the role of a child in a family of cowherd men and standing all alone, just as before, with a morsel of food in His hand, searching everywhere for the calves and His cowherd friends.
The word agadha-bodham, meaning "full of unlimited knowledge," is significant in this verse. The Lord's knowledge is unlimited, and therefore one cannot touch where it ends, just as one cannot measure the ocean. What is the extent of our intelligence in comparison to the vast expanse of water in the ocean? On my passage to America, how insignificant the ship was, like a matchbox in the midst of the ocean. Krsna's intelligence resembles the ocean, for one cannot imagine how vast it is. The best course, therefore, is to surrender to Krsna. Don't try to measure Krsna.
The word advayam, meaning "one without a second," is also significant. Because Brahma was overcast by Krsna's maya, he was thinking himself the Supreme. In the material world, everyone thinks, "I am the best man in this world. I know everything." One thinks, "Why should I read Bhagavad-gita? I know everything. I have my own interpretation." Brahma, however, was able to understand that the Supreme Personality is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah. Another of Krsna's names, therefore, is paramesvara.
Now Brahma saw Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing as a cowherd boy in Vrndavana, not demonstrating His opulence but standing just like an innocent boy with some food in His hand, loitering with His cowherd boyfriends, calves and cows. Brahma did not see Krsna as catur-bhuja, the opulent Narayana; rather, he simply saw an innocent boy. Nonetheless, he could understand that although Krsna was not demonstrating His power, He was the same Supreme person. people generally do not appreciate someone unless he shows something wonderful, but here, although Krsna did not manifest anything wonderful, Brahma could understand that the same wonderful person was present like an ordinary child, although He was the master of the whole creation. Thus Brahma prayed, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami: "You are the original person, the cause of everything. I bow down to You." This was his realization. Tam aham bhajami. This is what is wanted. Vedesu durlabham: one cannot reach Krsna merely by Vedic knowledge. Adurlabham atma-bhaktau: but when one becomes a devotee, then one can realize Him. Brahma, therefore, became a devotee. In the beginning he was proud of being Brahma, the lord of the universe, but now he understood, "Here is the Lord of the universe. I am simply an insignificant agent. Govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami."
Krsna was playing like a dramatic actor. Because Brahma had some false prestige, thinking that he had some power, Krsna showed him his real position. A similar incident occurred when Brahma went to see Krsna in Dvaraka. When Krsna's doorman informed Lord Krsna that Lord Brahma had arrived, Krsna responded, "Which Brahma? Ask him which Brahma." The doorman relayed this question, and Brahma was astonished. "Is there another Brahma besides me?" he thought. When the doorman informed Lord Krsna, "It is four-headed Brahma," Lord Krsna said, "Oh, four-headed. Call others. Show him." This is Krsna's position. For Krsna the four-headed Brahma is insignificant, to say nothing of "four-headed scientists." Materialistic scientists think that although this planet earth is full of opulence, all others are vacant. Because they simply speculate, this is their scientific conclusion. But from the Bhagavatam we understand that the entire universe is full of living entities everywhere. Thus it is the folly of the scientists that although they do not know anything, they mislead people by presenting themselves as scientists, philosophers and men of knowledge.
drstva tvarena nija-dhoranato 'vatirya
prthvyam vapuh kanaka-dandam ivabhipatya
sprstva catur-mukuta-kotibhir anghri-yugmam
natva mud-asru-sujalair akrtabhisekam
drstva--after seeing; tvarena--with great speed, hastily; nija-dhoranatah--from his swan carrier; avatirya--descended; prthvyam--on the ground; vapuh--his body; kanaka-dandam iva--like a golden rod; abhipatya--fell down; sprstva--touching; catuh-mukuta-koti-bhih--with the tips of his four crowns; anghri-yugmam--the two lotus feet; natva--making obeisances; mut-asru-su-jalaih--with the water of his tears of joy; akrta--performed; abhisekam--the ceremony of bathing His lotus feet.
After seeing this, Lord Brahma hastily got down from his swan carrier, fell down like a golden rod and touched the lotus feet of Lord Krsna with the tips of the four crowns on his heads. Offering his obeisances, he bathed the feet of Krsna with the water of his tears of joy.
Lord Brahma bowed down like a stick, and because Lord Brahma's complexion is golden, he appeared to be like a golden stick lying down before Lord Krsna. When one falls down before a superior just like a stick, one's offering of obeisances is called dandavat. Danda means "stick," and vat means "like." It is not that one should simply say, "dandavat." Rather, one must fall down. Thus Brahma fell down, touching his foreheads to the lotus feet of Krsna, and his crying in ecstasy is to be regarded as an abhiseka bathing ceremony of Krsna's lotus feet.
He who appeared before Brahma as a human child was in fact the Absolute Truth, Parabrahman (brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate). The Supreme Lord is narakrti; that is, He resembles a human being. It is not that He is four-armed (catur-bahu). Narayana is catur-bahu, but the Supreme Person resembles a human being. This is also confirmed in the Bible, where it is said that man was made in the image of God.
Lord Brahma saw that Krsna, in His form as a cowherd boy, was Parabrahman, the root cause of everything, but was now appearing as a human child, loitering in Vrndavana with a morsel of food in His hand. Astonished, Lord Brahma hastily got down from his swan carrier and let his body fall to the earth. Usually, the demigods never touch the ground, but Lord Brahma, voluntarily giving up his prestige as a demigod, bowed down on the ground before Krsna. Although Brahma has one head in each direction, he voluntarily brought all his heads to the ground and touched Krsna's feet with the tips of his four helmets. Although his intelligence works in every direction, he surrendered everything before the boy Krsna.
It is mentioned that Brahma washed the feet of Krsna with his tears, and here the word sujalaih indicates that his tears were purified. As soon as bhakti is present, everything is purified (sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam). Therefore Brahma's crying was a form of bhakty-anubhava, a transformation of transcendental ecstatic love.
cirasya padayoh patan
aste mahitvam prag-drstam
smrtva smrtva punah punah
utthaya utthaya--rising repeatedly; krsnasya--of Lord Krsna; cirasya--for a long time; padayoh--at the lotus feet; patan--falling down; aste--remained; mahitvam--the greatness; prak-drstam--which he had previously seen; smrtva smrtva--remembering and remembering; punah punah--again and again.
Rising and falling again and again at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna for a long time, Lord Brahma remembered over and over the Lord's greatness he had just seen.
As stated in one prayer,
srutim apare smrtim itare
bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah
aham iha nandam vande
yasyalinde param brahma
"Let others study the Vedas, smrti and Mahabharata, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Maharaja, in whose courtyard is crawling the Supreme Brahman. Nanda Maharaja is so great that the Parabrahman is crawling in his yard, and therefore I shall worship him." (Padyavali 126)
Brahma was falling down in ecstasy. Because of the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who exactly resembled a human child, Brahma was naturally astonished. Therefore with a faltering voice he offered prayers, understanding that here was the Supreme Person.
sanair athotthaya vimrjya locane
mukundam udviksya vinamra-kandharah
krtanjalih prasrayavan samahitah
sanaih--gradually; atha--then; utthaya--rising; vimrjya--wiping; locane--his two eyes; mukundam--at Mukunda, Lord Sri Krsna; udviksya--looking up; vinamra-kandharah--his neck bent; krta-anjalih--with folded hands; prasraya-van--very humble; samahitah--his mind concentrated; sa-vepathuh--his body trembling; gadgadaya--faltering; ailata--Brahma began to offer praise; ilaya--with words.
Then, rising very gradually and wiping his two eyes, Lord Brahma looked up at Mukunda. Lord Brahma, his head bent low, his mind concentrated and his body trembling, very humbly began, with faltering words, to offer praises to Lord Krsna.
Brahma, being very joyful, began to shed tears, and he washed the lotus feet of Krsna with his tears. Repeatedly he fell and rose as he recalled the wonderful activities of the Lord. After repeating obeisances for a long time, Brahma stood up and smeared his hands over his eyes. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments that the word locane indicates that with his two hands he wiped the two eyes on each of his four faces. Seeing the Lord before him, Brahma began to offer prayers with great humility, respect and attention.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Thirteenth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma."
HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada