Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 4: Drumila Explains the Incarnations of Godhead to King Nimi

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.4.2

śrī-drumila uvāca

yo anantasya gunān anantān

anukramiṣyan sa tu bāla-buddhiḥ

rajāḿsi bhūmer gaṇayet kathañcit

kālena naivākhila-śakti-dhāmnaḥ

SYNONYMS

śrī-drumilaḥ uvācaŚrī Drumila said; yaḥ — who; vai — indeed; anantasya — of the unlimited Lord; guruṇā — the transcendental qualities; anantān — which are unlimited; anukramiṣyan — trying to enumerate; saḥhe; tu — certainly; bāla-buddhiḥ — is a person of childish intelligence; rajāḿsi — the particles of dust; bhūmeḥ — on the earth; gaṇayet — one may count; kathañcit — somehow; kālenain time; na eva — but not; akhila-śakti-dhāmnaḥ — (the qualities) of the reservoir of all potencies.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Drumila said: Anyone trying to enumerate or describe fully the unlimited qualities of the unlimited Supreme Lord has the intelligence of a foolish child. Even if a great genius could somehow or other, after a time-consuming endeavor, count all the particles of dust on the surface of the earth, such a genius could never count the attractive qualities of the Personality of Godhead, who is the reservoir of all potencies.

PURPORT

In reply to King Nimi's request that the nava-yogendras describe all the qualities and pastimes of the Lord, Śrī Drumila here explains that only the most foolish person would even attempt such a comprehensive description of the unlimited qualities and pastimes of the Personality of Godhead. Such foolish, childish persons, however, are far more advanced than ignorant materialistic scientists who actually try to describe all knowledge without even referring to the Personality of Godhead. In other words, although it is impossible to describe the Lord fully, foolish atheistic scientists attempt to describe all knowledge without even having reached the most preliminary knowledge of the Personality of Godhead. Such atheistic persons should be understood to be shortsighted and of very weak intelligence, despite their showy material achievements, which ultimately end in great suffering and destruction. It is said that Lord Anantadeva Himself, with His innumerable tongues, cannot even begin to vibrate completely the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The example given in this verse is very nice. No human being can hope to count the number of particles on the surface of the earth; therefore no one should foolishly try to understand the Supreme Lord by his own tiny endeavor. One should submissively hear knowledge of God as it is spoken by God Himself in Bhagavad-gītā, and thus one should gradually be elevated to the stage of hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. According to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by tasting a drop of seawater one can get a general idea of the flavor of the entire ocean. Similarly, by submissively hearing about the Personality of Godhead one can acquire a qualitative understanding of the Absolute Truth, although quantitatively one's knowledge can never be complete.

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