|Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation||Chapter 9: Answers by Citing the Lord's Version|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.9.35
yathā mahānti bhūtāni
tathā teṣu na teṣv aham
yathā — just as; mahānti — the universal; bhūtāni — elements; bhūteṣu ucca-avaceṣu — in the minute and gigantic; anu — after; praviṣṭāni — entered; apraviṣṭāni — not entered; tathā — so; teṣu — in them; na — not; teṣu — in them; aham — Myself.
O Brahmā, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos and at the same time do not enter into the cosmos; similarly, I Myself also exist within everything created, and at the same time I am outside of everything.
The great elements of material creation, namely earth, water, fire, air and ether, all enter into the body of all manifested entities — the seas, mountains, aquatics, plants, reptiles, birds, beasts, human beings, demigods and everyone materially manifested — and at the same time such elements are differently situated. In the developed stage of consciousness, the human being can study both physiological and physical science, but the basic principles of such sciences are nothing but the material elements and nothing more. The body of the human being and the body of the mountain, as also the bodies of the demigods, including Brahmā, are all of the same ingredients — earth, water, etc. — and at the same time the elements are beyond the body. The elements were created first, and therefore they entered into the bodily construction later, but in both circumstances they entered the cosmos and also did not enter. Similarly, the Supreme Lord, by His different energies, namely the internal and external, is within everything in the manifested cosmos, and at the same time He is outside of everything, situated in the kingdom of God (Vaikuṇṭhaloka) as described before. This is very nicely stated in the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.37) as follows:
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
"I worship the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who, by expansion of His internal potency of transcendental existence, knowledge and bliss, enjoys in His own and expanded forms. Simultaneously He enters into every atom of the creation."
This expansion of His plenary parts is also more definitely explained in the same Brahma-saḿhitā (5.35) as follows:
eko 'py asau racayituḿ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiḿ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
"I worship the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who, by one of His plenary portions, enters into the existence of every universe and every particle of the atoms and thus unlimitedly manifests His infinite energy all over the material creation."
The impersonalists can imagine or even perceive that the Supreme Brahman is thus all-pervading, and therefore they conclude that there is no possibility of His personal form. Herein lies the mystery of His transcendental knowledge. This mystery is transcendental love of Godhead, and one who is surcharged with such transcendental love of Godhead can without difficulty see the Personality of Godhead in every atom and every movable or immovable object. And at the same time he can see the Personality of Godhead in His own abode, Goloka, enjoying eternal pastimes with His eternal associates, who are also expansions of His transcendental existence. This vision is the real mystery of spiritual knowledge, as stated by the Lord in the beginning (sarahasyaḿ tad-ańgaḿ ca). This mystery is the most confidential part of the knowledge of the Supreme, and it is impossible for the mental speculators to discover by dint of intellectual gymnastics. The mystery can be revealed through the process recommended by Brahmājī in his Brahma-saḿhitā (5.38) as follows:
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaḿ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaḿ
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
"I worship the original Personality of Godhead, Govinda, whom the pure devotees, their eyes smeared with the ointment of love of Godhead, always observe within their hearts. This Govinda, the original Personality of Godhead, is Śyāmasundara with all transcendental qualities."
Therefore, although He is present in every atom, the Supreme Personality of Godhead may not be visible to the dry speculators; still the mystery is unfolded before the eyes of the pure devotees because their eyes are anointed with love of Godhead. And this love of Godhead can be attained only by the practice of transcendental loving service of the Lord, and nothing else. The vision of the devotees is not ordinary; it is purified by the process of devotional service. In other words, as the universal elements are both within and without, similarly the Lord's name, form, quality, pastimes, entourage, etc., as they are described in the revealed scriptures or as performed in the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, far, far beyond the material cosmic manifestation, are factually being televised in the heart of the devotee. The man with a poor fund of knowledge cannot understand, although by material science one can see things far away by means of television. Factually, the spiritually developed person is able to have the television of the kingdom of God always reflected within his heart. That is the mystery of knowledge of the Personality of Godhead.
The Lord can award anyone and everyone liberation (mukti) from the bondage of material existence, yet He rarely awards the privilege of love of Godhead, as confirmed by Nārada (muktiḿ dadhāti karhicit sma na bhakti-yogam). This transcendental devotional service of the Lord is so wonderful that the occupation keeps the deserving devotee always rapt in psychological activities, without deviation from the absolute touch. Thus love of Godhead, developed in the heart of the devotee, is a great mystery. Brahmājī previously told Nārada that the desires of Brahmājī are never unfulfilled because he is always absorbed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord; nor has he any desire in his heart save and except the transcendental service of the Lord. That is the beauty and mystery of the process of bhakti-yoga. As the Lord's desire is infallible because He is acyuta, similarly the desires of the devotees in the transcendental service of the Lord are also acyuta, infallible. This is very difficult, however, for the layman to understand without knowledge of the mystery of devotional service, as it is very difficult to know the potency of touchstone. As touchstone is rarely found, a pure devotee of the Lord is also rarely to be seen, even amongst millions of liberated souls (koṭiṣv api mahāmune). Out of all kinds of perfections attained by the process of knowledge, yoga perfection in devotional service is the highest of all and the most mysterious also, even more mysterious than the eight kinds of mystic perfection attained by the process of yogic performances. In the Bhagavad-gītā (18.64) the Lord therefore advised Arjuna about this bhakti-yoga:
śṛṇu me paramaḿ vacaḥ
"Just hear from Me again about the most confidential part of the instructions in Bhagavad-gītā." The same was confirmed by Brahmājī to Nārada in the following words:
idaḿ bhāgavataḿ nāma
yan me bhagavatoditam
sańgraho 'yaḿ vibhūtīnāḿ
tvam etad vipulīkuru
Brahmājī said to Nārada, "Whatever I have spoken to you about the Bhāgavatam was explained to me by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and I am advising you to expand these topics nicely so that people may easily understand the mysterious bhakti-yoga by transcendental loving service to the Lord." It is to be noted here that the mystery of bhakti-yoga was disclosed to Brahmājī by the Lord Himself. Brahmājī explained the same mystery to Nārada, Nārada explained it to Vyāsa, Vyāsa explained it to Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and that same knowledge is coming down in the unalloyed chain of disciplic succession. If one is fortunate enough to have received the knowledge in the transcendental disciplic succession, surely he will have the chance to understand the mystery of the Lord and that of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the sound incarnation of the Lord.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness