Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 16: The Lord's Opulence

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.16.9

aham ātmoddhavāmīṣāḿ

bhūtānāḿ suhṛd īśvaraḥ

ahaḿ sarvāṇi bhūtāni

teṣāḿ sthity-udbhavāpyayaḥ


ahamI am; ātmā — the Supersoul; uddhavaO Uddhava; amīṣām — of these; bhūtānām — living entities; su-hṛt — the well-wisher; īśvaraḥ — the supreme controller; ahamI am; sarvāṇi bhūtāni — all entities; teṣām — of them; sthiti — the maintenance; udbhava — creation; apyayaḥ — and annihilation.


My dear Uddhava, I am the Supersoul of all living entities, and therefore I am naturally their well-wisher and supreme controller. Being the creator, maintainer and annihilator of all entities, I am not different from them.


Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī points out that the Personality of Godhead maintains an ablative and genitive relationship with His opulences. In other words, the Lord is not different from all living entities, because they are coming from Him and they belong to Him. The Lord gave a similar explanation to Arjuna in the Tenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (10.20), beginning with the same words, aham ātmā. Although the Lord describes His external, or material, opulences, the Lord's position is always transcendental and nonmaterial. Just as the living soul within the body gives life to the body, similarly, the Lord, by His supreme potency, gives life to all universal opulences.

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