Krsna Book 1970 – 02 – Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb

Krsna Book 1970 – 02 – Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb


Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma,
Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, And now, Chapter 2: Prayers by the Demigods
for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb. King Kaṁsa not only occupied the kingdoms
of the Yadu, Bhoja, and Andhaka dynasties and the kingdom of Śūrasena, but he also made
alliances with all the other demoniac kings, as follows: the demon Pralamba, demon Baka,
demon Cāṇūra, demon Tṛṇāvarta, demon Aghāsura, demon Muṣṭika, demon Ariṣṭa, demon Dvivida,
demon Pūtanā, demon Keśī and demon Dhenuka. At that time, Jarāsandha was the king of Magadha
province (known at present as Behar state). Thus by his diplomatic policy, Kaṁsa consolidated
the most powerful kingdom of his time, under the protection of Jarāsandha. He made further
alliances with such kings as Bāṇāsura and Bhaumāsura, until he was the strongest. Then
he began to behave most inimically towards the Yadu dynasty into which Kṛṣṇa was to take
His birth. Being harassed by Kaṁsa, the kings of the
Yadu, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties began to take shelter in different states such as the
state of the Kurus, the state of the Pañcālas and the states known as Kekaya, Śālva, Vidarbha,
Niṣadha, Videha and Kośala. Kaṁsa broke the solidarity of the Yadu Kingdom, as well as
the Bhoja and Andhaka. He made his position the most solid within the vast tract of land
known at that time as Bhāratavarṣa. When Kaṁsa killed the six babies of Devakī
and Vāsudeva one after another, many friends and relatives of Kaṁsa approached him and
requested him to discontinue these heinous activities. But all of them became worshipers
of Kaṁsa. When Devakī became pregnant for the seventh
time, a plenary expansion of Kṛṣṇa known as Ananta appeared within her womb. Devakī was
overwhelmed both with jubilation and lamentation. She was joyful, for she could understand that
Lord Viṣṇu had taken shelter within her womb, but at the same time she was sorry that as
soon as her child would come out, Kaṁsa would kill Him. At that time, the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, being compassionate upon the fearful condition of the Yadus, due to
atrocities committed by Kaṁsa, ordered the appearance of His Yogamāyā, or His internal
potency. Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of the universe, but He is especially the Lord of the Yadu
dynasty. This Yogamāyā is the principal potency of
the Personality of Godhead. In the Vedas it is stated that the Lord, the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, has multipotencies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate. All the different potencies
are acting externally and internally, and Yogamāyā is the chief of all potencies. He
ordered the appearance of Yogamāyā in the land of Vrajabhūmi, in Vṛndāvana, which is
always decorated and full with beautiful cows. In Vṛndāvana, Rohiṇī, one of the wives of
Vāsudeva, was residing at the house of King Nanda and Queen Yaśodā. Not only Rohiṇī, but
many others in the Yadu dynasty were scattered all over the country due to their fear of
the atrocities of Kaṁsa. Some of them were even living in the caves of the mountains.
The Lord thus informed Yogamāyā: “Under the imprisonment of Kaṁsa are Devakī and Vāsudeva,
and at the present moment, My plenary expansion, Śeṣa, is within the womb of Devakī. You can
arrange the transfer of Śeṣa from the womb of Devakī to the womb of Rohiṇī. After this
arrangement, I am personally going to appear in the womb of Devakī with My full potencies.
Then I shall appear as the son of Devakī and Vāsudeva. And you shall appear as the daughter
of Nanda and Yaśodā in Vṛndāvana. “Since you will appear as My contemporary
sister, people within the world will worship you with all kinds of valuable presentations:
incense, candles, flowers and offerings of sacrifice. You shall quickly satisfy their
desires for sense gratificiation. People who are after materialistic affection will worship
you under the different forms of your expansions, which will be named Durgā, Bhadrakālī, Vijaya,
Vaiṣṇavī, Kumuda, Caṇḍikā, Kṛṣṇa, Mādhavī, Kanyakā, Māyā, Nārāyaṇī, Īśānī, Śārada and
Ambikā.” Kṛṣṇa and Yogamāyā appeared as brother and
sisteróthe Supreme Powerful and the supreme power. Although there is no clear distinction
between the Powerful and the power, power is always subordinate to the Powerful. Those
who are materialistic are worshipers of the power, but those who are transcendentalists
are worshipers of the Powerful. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Powerful, and Durgā is the supreme
power within the material world. Actually people in the Vedic culture worship both the
Powerful and the power. There are many hundreds of thousands of temples of Viṣṇu and Devī,
and sometimes they are worshiped simultaneously. The worshiper of the power, Durgā, or the
external energy of Kṛṣṇa, may achieve all kinds of material success very easily, but
anyone who wants to be elevated transcendentally must engage in worshiping the Powerful in
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Lord also declared to Yogamāyā that His
plenary expansion, Ananta Śeṣa, was within the womb of Devakī. On account of being forcibly
attracted to the womb of Rohiṇī, He will be known as Saṅkarṣaṇa and would be the source
of all spiritual power or bala, by which one could be able to attain the highest bliss
of life which is called ramaṇa. Therefore the plenary portion Ananta would be known
after His appearance either as Saṅkarṣaṇa or Balarāma.
In the Upaniṣads it is stated, Nāyaṁ ātmā bala hinena labhya. The purport is that one
cannot attain the Supreme or any form of self-realization without being sufficiently favored by Balarāma.
Bala does not mean physical strength. No one can attain spiritual perfection by physical
strength. One must have the spiritual strength which is infused by Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa.
Ananta or Śeṣa is the power which sustains all the planets in their different positions.
Materially this sustaining power is known as the law of gravitation, but actually it
is the display of the potency of Saṅkarṣaṇa. Balarāma or Saṅkarṣaṇa is spiritual power,
or the original spiritual master. Therefore Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, who is also the incarnation
of Balarāma, is the original spiritual master. And the spiritual master is the representative
of Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who supplies spiritual strength. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta
it is confirmed that the spiritual master is the manifestation of the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.
When Yogamāyā was thus ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she circumambulated
the Lord and then appeared within this material world according to His order. When the Supreme
Powerful Personality of Godhead transferred Lord Śeṣa from the womb of Devakī to the womb
of Rohiṇī, both of them were under the spell of Yogamāyā, which is also called yoga-nidrā.
When this was done, people understood that Devakī’s seventh pregnancy was a miscarriage.
Thus although Balarāma appeared as the son of Devakī, He was transferred to the womb
of Rohiṇī to appear as her son. After this arrangement, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Kṛṣṇa, who is always ready to place His full potencies in His unalloyed devotees, entered
as the Lord of the whole creation within the mind of Vāsudeva. It is understood in this
connection that Lord Kṛṣṇa first of all situated Himself in the unalloyed heart of Devakī.
He was not put into the womb of Devakī by seminal discharge. The Supreme Personality
of Godhead, by His inconceivable potency, can appear in any way. It is not necessary
for Him to appear in the ordinary way by seminal injection within the womb of a woman.
When Vāsudeva was sustaining the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his
heart, he appeared just like the glowing sun whose shining rays are always unbearable and
scorching to the common man. The form of the Lord situated in the pure unalloyed heart
of Vāsudeva is not different from the original form of Kṛṣṇa. The appearance of the form
of Kṛṣṇa anywhere, and specifically within the heart, is called dhāma. Dhāma does not
only refer to Kṛṣṇa’s form, but His name, His form, His quality and His paraphernalia.
Everything becomes manifest simultaneously. Thus the eternal form of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead with full potencies was transferred from the mind of Vāsudeva to the mind of Devakī,
exactly as the setting sun’s rays are transferred to the full moon rising in the east.
Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, entered the body of Devakī from the body of
Vāsudeva. He was beyond the conditions of the ordinary living entity. When Kṛṣṇa is
there, it is to be understood that all His plenary expansions, such as Nārāyaṇa, and
incarnations like Lord Nṛsiṁha, Varāha, etc., are with Him, and they are not subject to
the conditions of material existence. In this way, Devakī became the residence of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead who is one without a second and the cause of all creation. Devakī
became the residence of the Absolute Truth, but because she was within the house of Kaṁsa,
she looked just like a suppressed fire, or like misused education. When fire is covered
by the walls of a pot or is kept in a jug, the illuminating rays of the fire cannot be
very much appreciated. Similarly, misused knowledge, which does not benefit the people
in general, is not very much appreciated. So Devakī was kept within the prison walls
of Kaṁsa’s palace, and no one could see her transcendental beauty which resulted from
her conceiving the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Kaṁsa, however, saw the transcendental beauty of his sister Devakī, and he at once concluded
that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had taken shelter in her womb. She had never before
looked so wonderfully beautiful. He could distinctly understand that there was something
wonderful within the womb of Devakī. In this way, Kaṁsa became perturbed. He was sure that
the Supreme Personality of Godhead would kill him in the future and that He had now come.
Kaṁsa began to think: “What is to be done with Devakī? Surely she has Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa
within her womb, so it is certain that Kṛṣṇa has come to execute the mission of the demigods.
And even if I immediately kill Devakī, His mission cannot be frustrated.” Kaṁsa knew
very well that no one can frustrate the purpose of Viṣṇu. Any intelligent man can understand
that the laws of God cannot be violated. His purpose will be served in spite of all impediments
offered by the demons. Kaṁsa thought: “If I kill Devakī at the present moment, Viṣṇu
will enforce His supreme will more vehemently. To kill Devakī just now would be a most abominable
act. No one desires to kill his reputation, even in an awkward situation; if I kill Devakī
now, my reputation will be spoiled. Devakī is a woman, and she is under my shelter; she
is pregnant, and if I kill her, immediately all my reputation, the result of pious activities
and duration of life, will be finished.” He also further deliberated: “A person who
is too cruel, even in this lifetime is as good as dead. No one likes a cruel person
during his lifetime, and after his death, people curse him. On account of his self-identification
with the body, he must be degraded and pushed into the darkest region of hell.” Kaṁsa thus
meditated on all the pros and cons of killing Devakī at that time.
Kaṁsa finally decided not to kill Devakī right away but to wait for the inevitable future.
But his mind became absorbed in animosity against the Personality of Godhead. He patiently
waited for the deliverance of the child, expecting to kill Him, as he had done previously with
the other babies of Devakī. Thus being merged in the ocean of animosity against the Personality
of Godhead, he began to think of Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu while sitting, while sleeping, while
walking, while eating, while workingóin all the situations of his life. His mind became
so much absorbed with the thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that indirectly he
could see only Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu around him. Unfortunately, although his mind was so absorbed
in the thought of Viṣṇu, he is not recognized as a devotee because he was thinking of Kṛṣṇa
as an enemy. The state of mind of a great devotee is also to be always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa,
but a devotee thinks of Him favorably, not unfavorably. To think of Kṛṣṇa favorably is
Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but to think of Kṛṣṇa unfavorably is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
At this time Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, accompanied by great sages like Nārada and followed by
many other demigods, invisibly appeared in the house of Kaṁsa. They began to pray for
the Supreme Personality of Godhead in select prayers which are very pleasing to the devotees
and which award fulfillment of their desires. The first words they spoke acclaimed that
the Lord is true to His vow. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa descends in this
material world just to protect the pious and destroy the impious. That is His vow. The
demigods could understand that the Lord had taken His residence within the womb of Devakī
in order to fulfill this vow. The demigods were very glad that the Lord was appearing
to fulfill His mission, and they addressed Him as satyaṁ param, or the Supreme Absolute
Truth. Everyone is searching after the truth. That
is the philosophical way of life. The demigods give information that the Supreme Absolute
Truth is Kṛṣṇa. One who becomes fully Kṛṣṇa conscious can attain the Absolute Truth. Kṛṣṇa
is the Absolute Truth. Relative truth is not truth in all the three phases of eternal time.
Time is divided into past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa is Truth always, past, present and future.
In the material world everything is being controlled by supreme time, in the course
of past, present and future. But before the creation, Kṛṣṇa was existing, and when there
is creation, everything is resting in Kṛṣṇa, and when this creation is finished, Kṛṣṇa
will remain. Therefore, He is Absolute Truth in all circumstances. If there is any truth
within this material world, it emanates from the Supreme Truth, Kṛṣṇa. If there is any
opulence within this material world, the cause of the opulence is Kṛṣṇa. If there is any
reputation within this material world, the cause of the reputation is Kṛṣṇa. If there
is any strength within this material world, the cause of such strength is Kṛṣṇa. If there
is any wisdom and education within this material world, the cause of such wisdom and education
is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is the source of all relative truths.
This material world is composed of five principal elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether,
and all such elements are emanations from Kṛṣṇa. The material scientists accept these
primary five elements as the cause of the material manifestation, but the elements in
their gross and subtle states are produced by Kṛṣṇa. The living entities who are working
within this material world are also products of His marginal potency. In the Seventh Chapter
of the Bhagavad-gītā, it is clearly stated that the whole manifestation is a combination
of two kinds of energies of Kṛṣṇa, the superior energy and the inferior energy. The living
entities are the superior energy, and the dead material elements are His inferior energy.
In its dormant stage, everything remains in Kṛṣṇa.
The demigods continued to offer their respectful prayers unto the supreme form of the Personality
of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, by analytical study of the material manifestation. What is this material
manifestation? It is just like a tree. A tree stands on the ground. Similarly, the tree
of the material manifestation is standing on the ground of material nature. This material
manifestation is compared with a tree because a tree is ultimately cut off in due course
of time. A tree is called vṛkṣa. Vṛkṣa means that thing which will be ultimately cut off.
Therefore, this tree of the material manifestation cannot be accepted as the Ultimate Truth.
The influence of time is on the material manifestation, but Kṛṣṇa’s body is eternal. He existed before
the material manifestation, He is existing while the material manifestation is continuing,
and when it will be dissolved, He will continue to exist.
The Kathā Upaniṣad also cites this example of the tree of material manifestation standing
on the ground of material nature. This tree has two kinds of fruits, distress and happiness.
Those who are living on the tree of the body are just like two birds. One bird is the localized
aspect of Kṛṣṇa known as the Paramātmā, and the other bird is the living entity. The living
entity is eating the fruits of this material manifestation. Sometimes he eats the fruit
of happiness, and sometimes he eats the fruit of distress. But the other bird is not interested
in eating the fruit of distress or happiness because he is self-satisfied. The Kathā Upaniṣad
states that one bird on the tree of the body is eating the fruits, and the other bird is
simply witnessing. The roots of this tree extend in three directions. That means the
root of the tree is the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. Just
as the tree’s root expands, so, by association of the modes of material nature (goodness,
passion and ignorance), one expands his duration of material existence. The taste of the fruits
are of four kinds: religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and ultimately, liberation.
According to the different associations in the three modes of material nature, the living
entities are tasting different kinds of religiosity, different kinds of economic development, different
kinds of sense gratification and different kinds of liberation. Practically all material
work is performed in ignorance, but because there are three qualities, sometimes the quality
of ignorance is covered with goodness or passion. The taste of these material fruits is accepted
through five senses. The five sense organs through which knowledge is acquired are subjected
to six kinds of whips: lamentation, illusion, infirmity, death, hunger and thirst. This
material body, or the material manifestation, is covered by seven layers: skin, muscle,
flesh, marrow, bone, fat and semina. The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire,
air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes,
two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum. And there are ten kinds of internal
air passing within the body: prāṇa, āpana, udāna, vyāna, samāna, etc. The two birds seated
in this tree, as explained above, are the living entity and the localized Supreme Personality
of Godhead. The root cause of the material manifestation
described here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead
expands Himself and takes charge of the three qualities of the material world. Viṣṇu takes
charge of the modes of goodness, Brahmā takes charge of the modes of passion, and Lord Śiva
takes charge of the modes of ignorance. Brahmā, by the modes of passion, creates this manifestation,
Lord Viṣṇu maintains this manifestation by the modes of goodness, and Lord Śiva annihilates
it by the modes of ignorance. The whole creation ultimately rests in the Supreme Lord. He is
the cause of creation, maintenance and dissolution. And when the whole manifestation is dissolved,
in its subtle form as the energy of the Lord, it rests within the body of the Supreme Lord.
“At the present,” the demigods prayed, “the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa is appearing just for the
maintenance of this manifestation.” Actually the Supreme Cause is one, but, being deluded
by the three modes of material nature, less intelligent persons see that the material
world is manifested through different causes. Those who are intelligent can see that the
cause is one, Kṛṣṇa. As it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā: sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam. Kṛṣṇa,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of all causes. Brahmā is the deputed
agent for creation, Viṣṇu is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa for maintenance, and Lord Śiva is
the expansion of Kṛṣṇa for dissolution. “Our dear Lord,” the demigods prayed, “it
is very difficult to understand Your eternal form of personality. People in general are
unable to understand Your actual form; therefore You are personally descending to exhibit Your
original eternal form. Somehow people can understand the different incarnations of Your
Lordship, but they are puzzled to understand the eternal form of Kṛṣṇa with two hands,
moving among human beings exactly like one of them. This eternal form of Your Lordship
is ever increasing in transcendental pleasure for the devotees. But for the nondevotees,
this form is very dangerous.” As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa is very pleasing
to the sādhu. It is said, paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ. But this form is very dangerous for the demons
because Kṛṣṇa also descends to kill the demons. He is, therefore, simultaneously pleasing
to the devotees and dangerous to the demons. “Our dear lotus-eyed Lord, You are the source
of pure goodness. There are many great sages who simply by samādhi, or transcendentally
meditating upon Your lotus feet and thus being absorbed in Your thought, have easily transformed
the great ocean of nescience created by the material nature to no more than water in a
calf’s hoofprint.” The purpose of meditation is to focus the mind upon the Personality
of Godhead, beginning from His lotus feet. Simply by meditation on the lotus feet of
the Lord, great sages cross over this vast ocean of material existence without difficulty.
“O self-illuminated one, the great saintly persons who have crossed over the ocean of
nescience, by the help of the transcendental boat of Your lotus feet, have not taken away
that boat. It is still lying on this side.” The demigods are using a nice simile. If one
takes a boat to cross over a river, the boat also goes with one to the other side of the
river. And so when one reaches the destination, how can the same boat be available to those
who are still on the other side? To answer this difficulty, the demigods say in their
prayer that the boat is not taken away. The devotees still remaining on the other side
are able to pass over the ocean of material nature because the pure devotees do not take
the boat with them when they cross over. When one simply approaches the boat, the whole
ocean of material nescience is reduced to the size of water in a calf’s hoofprint. Therefore,
the devotees do not need to take a boat to the other side; they simply cross the ocean
immediately. Because the great saintly persons are compassionate toward all conditioned souls,
the boat is still lying at the lotus feet of the Lord. One can meditate upon His feet
at any time, and by so doing, one can cross over the great ocean of material existence.
Meditation means concentration upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Lotus feet indicate the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are impersonalists do not recognize the lotus
feet of the Lord, and therefore their object of meditation is something impersonal. The
demigods express their mature verdict that persons who are interested in meditating on
something void or impersonal cannot cross over the ocean of nescience. Such persons
are simply imagining that they have become liberated. “O lotus-eyed Lord! Their intelligence
is contaminated because they fail to meditate upon the lotus feet of Your Lordship.” As
a result of this neglectful activity, the impersonalists fall down again into the material
way of conditioned life, although they may temporarily rise up to the point of impersonal
realization. Impersonalists, after undergoing severe austerities and penances, merge themselves
into the Brahman effulgence or impersonal Brahman existence. But their minds are not
free from material contamination; they have simply tried to negate the material ways of
thinking. That does not mean that they have become liberated. Thus they fall down. In
the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that the impersonalist has to undergo great tribulation in realizing
the ultimate goal. At the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is also stated that
without devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot achieve
liberation from the bondage of fruitive activities. The statement of Lord Kṛṣṇa is there in the
Bhagavad-gītā, and in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the statement of the great sage Nārada is
there, and here also the demigods confirm it. “Persons who have not taken to devotional
service are understood to have come short of the ultimate purpose of knowledge and are
not favored by Your grace.” The impersonalists simply think that they are liberated, but
actually they have no feeling for the Personality of Godhead. They think that when Kṛṣṇa comes
into the material world, he accepts a material body. They therefore overlook the transcendental
body of Kṛṣṇa. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: Avajānanti mām mūḍhāḥ. In spite
of conquering material lust and rising up to the point of liberation, the impersonalists
fall down. If they are engaged just in knowing things for the sake of knowledge and do not
take to the devotional service of the Lord, they cannot achieve the desired result. Their
achievement is the trouble they take, and that is all. It is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gītā
that to realize Brahman identification is not all. Brahman identification may help one
become joyful without material attachment or detachment and to achieve the platform
of equanimity, but after this stage, one has to take to devotional service. When one takes
to devotional service after being elevated to the platform of Brahman realization, he
is then admitted into the spiritual kingdom for permanent residence in association with
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the result of devotional service. Those who
are devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead never fall down like the impersonalists.
Even if the devotees fall down, they remain affectionately attached to their Lordship.
They can meet all kinds of obstacles on the path of devotional service, and freely, without
any fear, they can surmount such obstacles. Because of their surrender, they are certain
that Kṛṣṇa will always protect them. As it is promised by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā:
“My devotees are never vanquished.” “Our dear Lord, You have appeared in Your
original unalloyed form, the eternal form of goodness, for the welfare of all living
entities within this material world. Taking advantage of Your appearance, all of them
can now very easily understand the nature and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Persons who belong to the four divisions of the social order (the brahmacārīs, the gṛhasthas,
the vānaprasthas and the sannyāsīs) can all take advantage of Your appearance.
“Dear Lord, husband of the goddess of fortune, devotees who are dovetailed in Your service
do not fall down from their high position like the impersonalists. Being protected by
You, the devotees are able to traverse over the heads of many of māyā’s commanders-in-chief,
who can always put stumbling blocks on the path of liberation. My dear Lord, You appear
in Your transcendental form for the benefit of the living entities so that they can see
You face to face and offer their worshipful sacrifices by ritualistic performance of the
Vedas, mystic meditation and devotional service as recommended in the scriptures. Dear Lord,
if You did not appear in Your eternal transcendental form, full of bliss and knowledgeówhich can
eradicate all kinds of speculative ignorance about Your positionóthen all people would
simply speculate about You according to their respective modes of material nature.”
The appearance of Kṛṣṇa is the answer to all imaginative iconography of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Everyone imagines the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead according
to his mode of material nature. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the Lord is the oldest person.
Therefore a section of religionists imagine that God must be very old, and therefore they
depict a form of the Lord like a very old man. But in the same Brahma-saṁhitā, that
is contradicted; although He is the oldest of all living entities, He has His eternal
form as a fresh youth. The exact words used in this connection in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
are vijñānam ajñānabhid āpamārjanam. Vijñānam means transcendental knowledge of the Supreme
Personality. Vijñānam is also experienced knowledge. Transcendental knowledge has to
be accepted by the descending process of disciplic succession as Brahmā presents the knowledge
of Kṛṣṇa in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Brahma-saṁhitā is vijñānam as realized by Brahmā’s transcendental
experience, and in that way he presented the form and the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa in the transcendental
abode. Ajñānabhid means that which can match all kinds of speculation. In ignorance, people
are imagining the form of the Lord; sometimes He has no form and sometimes He has form,
according to their different imaginations. But the presentation of Kṛṣṇa in the Brahma-saṁhitā
is vijnanamóscientific, experienced knowledge given by Lord Brahmā and accepted by Lord
Caitanya. There is no doubt about it. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s form, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flute, Kṛṣṇa’s coloróeverything
is reality. Here it is said that this vijñānam is always defeating all kinds of speculative
knowledge. “Therefore, without Your appearing as Kṛṣṇa, as You are, neither ajñānabhid (nescience
of speculative knowledge) nor vijñānam would be realized. Ajñānabhid apamarjanamóby Your
appearance the speculative knowledge of ignorance will be vanquished and the real experienced
knowledge of authorities like Lord Brahmā will be established. Men influenced by the
three modes of material nature imagine their own God according to the modes of material
nature. In this way God is presented in various ways, but Your appearance will establish what
the real form of God is.” The highest blunder committed by the impersonalist
is to think that when the incarnation of God comes, He accepts the form of matter in the
modes of goodness. Actually the form of Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa is transcendental to any material
idea. Even the greatest impersonalist, Śaṅkarācārya, has admitted that nārāyaṇaḥ paro ívyaktat:
the material creation is caused by the avyakta impersonal manifestation of matter or the
nonphenomenal total reservation of matter, and Kṛṣṇa is transcendental to that material
conception. That is expressed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as śuddha-sattva, or transcendental. He does
not belong to the material mode of goodness, and He is above the position of material goodness.
He belongs to the transcendental eternal status of bliss and knowledge.
“Dear Lord, when You appear in Your different incarnations, You take different names and
forms according to different situations. Lord Kṛṣṇa is Your name because You are all attractive;
You are called Śyāmasundara because of Your transcendental beauty. Śyāma means blackish,
yet they say that You are more beautiful than thousands of Cupids. Kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya.
Although You appear in a color which is compared to the blackish cloud, because You are transcendental
Absolute, Your beauty is many many times more attractive than the delicate body of Cupid.
Sometimes You are called Giridhārī because You lifted the hill known as Govardhana. You
are sometimes called Nandanandana or Vāsudeva or Devakīnandana because You appear as the
son of Mahārāja Nanda or Devakī or Vāsudeva. Impersonalists think that Your many names
or forms are according to a particular type of work and quality because they accept You
from the position of a material observer. “Our dear Lord, the way of understanding is
not to study Your absolute nature, form and activities by mental speculation. One must
engage himself in devotional service; then one can understand Your absolute nature, transcendental
form, name and quality. Actually only a person who has a little taste for the service of
Your lotus feet can understand Your transcendental nature or form and quality. Others may go
on speculating for millions of years, but it is not possible for them to understand
even a single part of Your actual position.” In other words, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, cannot be understood by the nondevotees because there is a curtain of
Yogamāyā which covers Kṛṣṇa’s actual features. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ
sarvasya. The Lord says, “I am not exposed to anyone and everyone.” When Kṛṣṇa came,
He was actually present on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and everyone saw Him. But not
everyone could understand that He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Still, everyone
who died in His presence attained complete liberation from material bondage and was transferred
to the spiritual world. “O Lord, the impersonalists or nondevotees
cannot understand that Your name is identical with Your form.” Since the Lord is absolute,
there is no difference between His name and His actual form. In the material world there
is a difference between form and name. The mango fruit is different from the name of
the mango. One cannot taste the mango fruit simply by chanting, “Mango, mango, mango.”
But the devotee who knows that there is no difference between the name and the form of
the Lord chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma
Rāma, Hare Hare and realizes that he is always in Kṛṣṇa’s company.
For persons who are not very advanced in absolute knowledge of the Supreme, Lord Kṛṣṇa exhibits
His transcendental pastimes. They can simply think of the pastimes of the Lord and get
the full benefit. Since there is no difference between the transcendental name and form of
the Lord, there is no difference between the transcendental pastimes and the form of the
Lord. For those who are less intelligent (like women, laborers or the mercantile class),
the great sage Vyāsadeva wrote Mahābhārata. In the Mahābhārata, Kṛṣṇa is present in His
different activities. Mahābhārata is history, and simply by studying, hearing and memorizing
the transcendental activities of Kṛṣṇa, the less intelligent can also gradually rise to
the standard of pure devotees. The pure devotees, who are always absorbed
in the thought of the transcendental lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and who are always engaged in
devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are never to be considered to be in the material
world. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained that those who are always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness,
by body, mind and activities, are to be considered liberated even within this body. This is also
confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā: those who are engaged in the devotional service of the
Lord have already transcended the material position.
Kṛṣṇa appears to give a chance both to the devotees and nondevotees for realization of
the ultimate goal of life. The devotees get the direct chance to see Him and worship Him.
Those who are not on that platform get the chance to become acquainted with His activities
and thus become elevated to the same position. “O dear Lord,” the demigods continued, “You
are unborn; therefore we do not find any reason for Your appearance other than for Your pleasurable
pastimes.” Although the reason for the appearance of the Lord is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā
(He descends just to give protection to the devotee and vanquish the nondevotee), actually
He descends for His pleasure-meeting with the devotees, not really to vanquish the nondevotees.
The nondevotees can be vanquished simply by material nature. “The action and reaction
of the external enregy of material nature (creation, maintenance and annihilation) are
being carried on automatically. But simply by taking shelter of Your holy nameóbecause
Your holy name and Your personality are nondifferentóthe devotees are sufficiently protected.” The
protection of the devotees and the annihilation of the nondevotees are actually not the business
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He descends. They are just for His transcendental
pleasure. There cannot be any other reason for His appearance.
“Our dear Lord, You are appearing as the best of the Yadu dynasty, and we are offering our
respectful humble obeisances unto Your lotus feet. Before this appearance, You also appeared
as the fish incarnation, the horse incarnation, the tortoise incarnation, the swan incarnation,
as King Rāmacandra, as Paraśurāma, and as many other incarnations. You appeared just
to protect the devotees, and we request You in Your present appearance as the Supreme
Personality of Godhead Himself to give us similar protection all over the three worlds
and remove all obstacles for the peaceful execution of our lives.
“Dear mother Devakī, within your womb is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing
along with all His plenary extensions. He is the original Personality of Godhead appearing
for our welfare. Therefore you should not be afraid of your brother, the King of Bhoja.
Your son Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the original Personality of Godhead, will appear for the protection
of the pious Yadu dynasty. The Lord is appearing not only alone but accompanied by His immediate
plenary portion, Balarāma.” Devakī was very much afraid of her brother
Kaṁsa because he had already killed so many of her children. She used to remain very anxious
about Kṛṣṇa. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is stated that in order to pacify Devakī, all the demigods,
along with their wives, used to always visit her to encourage her not to be afraid that
her son would be killed by Kaṁsa. Kṛṣṇa, who was within her womb, was to appear not only
to diminish the burden of the world but specifically to protect the interest of the Yadu dynasty,
and certainly to protect Devakī and Vāsudeva. Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the
Second Chapter of Kṛṣṇa, “Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Womb.”

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