Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 4: The Haḿsa-guhya Prayers

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.4.49-50

sa vai yadā mahādevo

mama vīryopabṛḿhitaḥ

mene khilam ivātmānam

udyataḥ svarga-karmaṇi

atha me 'bhihito devas

tapo 'tapyata dāruṇam

nava viśva-sṛjo yuṣmān

yenādāv asṛjad vibhuḥ


saḥ — that Lord Brahmā; vai — indeed; yadā — when; mahā-devaḥ — the chief of all the demigods; mama — My; vīrya-upabṛḿhitaḥ — being increased by the potency; mene — thought; khilam — incapable; ivaas if; ātmānam — himself; udyataḥ — attempting; svarga-karmaṇiin the creation of the universal affairs; atha — at that time; me — by Me; abhihitaḥ — advised; devaḥ — that Lord Brahmā; tapaḥ — austerity; atapyata — performed; dāruṇam — extremely difficult; nava — nine; viśva-sṛjaḥ — important personalities to create the universe; yuṣmān — all of you; yena — by whom; ādauin the beginning; asṛjat — created; vibhuḥ — the great.


When the chief lord of the universe, Lord Brahmā [Svayambhū], having been inspired by My energy, was attempting to create, he thought himself incapable. Therefore I gave him advice, and in accordance with My instructions he underwent extremely difficult austerities. Because of these austerities, the great Lord Brahmā was able to create nine personalities, including you, to help him in the functions of creation.


Nothing is possible without tapasya. Lord Brahmā, however, was empowered to create this entire universe because of his austerities. The more we engage in austerities, the more we become powerful by the grace of the Lord. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva advised His sons, tapo divyaḿ putrakā yena sattvaḿ śuddhyed: "One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one's heart is purified." (Bhāg. 5.5.1) In our material existence we are impure, and therefore we cannot do anything wonderful, but if we purify our existence by tapasya, we can do wonderful things by the grace of the Lord. Therefore tapasya is very important, as stressed in this verse.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness