BRAHMA'S PRAYER TO LORD SRI KRISHNA
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Srimad Bhagavatam 10/14/1- 61
SB 10.14.1: Lord Brahma said: My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Lord,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore I offer my humble obeisances
and prayers just to please You. O son of the king of the cowherds, Your transcendental
body is dark blue like a new cloud, Your garment is brilliant like lightning,
and the beauty of Your face is enhanced by Your gunja earrings and the peacock
feather on Your head. Wearing garlands of various forest flowers and leaves, and
equipped with a herding stick, a buffalo horn and a flute, You stand beautifully
with a morsel of food in Your hand.
SB 10.14.2: My dear Lord, neither I nor anyone else can estimate the potency
of this transcendental body of Yours, which has shown such mercy to me and which
appears just to fulfill the desires of Your pure devotees. Although my mind is
completely withdrawn from material affairs, I cannot understand Your personal
form. How, then, could I possibly understand the happiness You experience within
SB 10.14.3: Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social
positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body,
words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities,
dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally
and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise
unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.
SB 10.14.4: My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the best path for
self-realization. If someone gives up that path and engages in the cultivation
of speculative knowledge, he will simply undergo a troublesome process and will
not achieve his desired result. As a person who beats an empty husk of wheat cannot
get grain, one who simply speculates cannot achieve self-realization. His only
gain is trouble.
10.14.5: O almighty Lord, in the past many yogis in this world achieved the platform
of devotional service by offering all their endeavors unto You and faithfully
carrying out their prescribed duties. Through such devotional service, perfected
by the processes of hearing and chanting about You, they came to understand You,
O infallible one, and could easily surrender to You and achieve Your supreme abode.
SB 10.14.6: Nondevotees, however, cannot realize You in Your full personal
feature. Nevertheless, it may be possible for them to realize Your expansion as
the impersonal Supreme by cultivating direct perception of the Self within the
heart. But they can do this only by purifying their mind and senses of all conceptions
of material distinctions and all attachment to material sense objects. Only in
this way will Your impersonal feature manifest itself to them.
SB 10.14.7: In time, learned philosophers or scientists might be able to count
all the atoms of the earth, the particles of snow, or perhaps even the shining
molecules radiating from the sun, the stars and other luminaries. But among these
learned men, who could possibly count the unlimited transcendental qualities possessed
by You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have descended onto the surface
of the earth for the benefit of all living entities?
SB 10.14.8: My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless
mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds
and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely
eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.
SB 10.14.9: My Lord, just see my uncivilized impudence! To test Your power
I tried to extend my illusory potency to cover You, the unlimited and primeval
Supersoul, who bewilder even the masters of illusion. What am I compared to You?
I am just like a small spark in the presence of a great fire.
SB 10.14.10: Therefore, O infallible Lord, kindly excuse my offenses. I have
taken birth in the mode of passion and am therefore simply foolish, presuming
myself a controller independent of Your Lordship. My eyes are blinded by the darkness
of ignorance, which causes me to think of myself as the unborn creator of the
universe. But please consider that I am Your servant and therefore worthy of Your
SB 10.14.11: What am I, a small creature measuring seven spans of my own hand?
I am enclosed in a potlike universe composed of material nature, the total material
energy, false ego, ether, air, water and earth. And what is Your glory? Unlimited
universes pass through the pores of Your body just as particles of dust pass through
the openings of a screened window.
SB 10.14.12: O Lord Adhoksaja, does a mother take offense when the child within
her womb kicks with his legs? And is there anything in existence — whether
designated by various philosophers as real or as unreal — that is actually
outside Your abdomen?
SB 10.14.13: My dear Lord, it is said that when the three planetary systems
are merged into the water at the time of dissolution, Your plenary portion, Narayana,
lies down on the water, gradually a lotus flower grows from His navel, and Brahma
takes birth upon that lotus flower. Certainly, these words are not false. Thus
am I not born from You?
SB 10.14.14: Are You not the original Narayana, O supreme controller, since
You are the Soul of every embodied being and the eternal witness of all created
realms? Indeed, Lord Narayana is Your expansion, and He is called Narayana because
He is the generating source of the primeval water of the universe. He is real,
not a product of Your illusory Maya.
SB 10.14.15: My dear Lord, if Your transcendental body, which shelters the
entire universe, is actually lying upon the water, then why were You not seen
by me when I searched for You? And why, though I could not envision You properly
within my heart, did You then suddenly reveal Yourself?
SB 10.14.16: My dear Lord, in this incarnation You have proved that You are
the supreme controller of Maya. Although You are now within this universe, the
whole universal creation is within Your transcendental body — a fact You
demonstrated by exhibiting the universe within Your abdomen before Your mother,
SB 10.14.17: Just as this entire universe, including You, was exhibited within
Your abdomen, so it is now manifested here externally in the same exact form.
How could such things happen unless arranged by Your inconceivable energy?
10.14.18: Have You not shown me today that both You Yourself and everything within
this creation are manifestations of Your inconceivable potency? First You appeared
alone, and then You manifested Yourself as all of Vrindavana's calves and cowherd
boys, Your friends. Next You appeared as an equal number of four-handed Vishnu
forms, who were worshiped by all living beings, including me, and after that You
appeared as an equal number of complete universes. Finally, You have now returned
to Your unlimited form as the Supreme Absolute Truth, one without a second.
SB 10.14.19: To persons ignorant of Your actual transcendental position, You
appear as part of the material world, manifesting Yourself by the expansion of
Your inconceivable energy. Thus for the creation of the universe You appear as
me [Brahma], for its maintenance You appear as Yourself [Vishnu], and for its
annihilation You appear as Lord Trinetra [Shiva].
SB 10.14.20: O Lord, O supreme creator and master, You have no material birth,
yet to defeat the false pride of the faithless demons and show mercy to Your saintly
devotees, You take birth among the demigods, sages, human beings, animals and
even the aquatics.
SB 10.14.21: O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul,
master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these
three worlds, but who can estimate where, how and when You are employing Your
spiritual energy and performing these innumerable pastimes? No one can understand
the mystery of how Your spiritual energy acts.
SB 10.14.22: Therefore this entire universe, which like a dream is by nature
unreal, nevertheless appears real, and thus it covers one's consciousness and
assails one with repeated miseries. This universe appears real because it is manifested
by the potency of illusion emanating from You, whose unlimited transcendental
forms are full of eternal happiness and knowledge.
10.14.23: You are the one Supreme Soul, the primeval Supreme Personality, the
Absolute Truth — self-manifested, endless and beginningless. You are eternal
and infallible, perfect and complete, without any rival and free from all material
designations. Your happiness can never be obstructed, nor have You any connection
with material contamination. Indeed, You are the indestructible nectar of immortality.
SB 10.14.24: Those who have received the clear vision of knowledge from the
sunlike spiritual master can see You in this way, as the very Soul of all souls,
the Supersoul of everyone's own self. Thus understanding Your original personality,
they are able to cross over the ocean of illusory material existence.
SB 10.14.25: A person who mistakes a rope for a snake becomes fearful,
but he then gives up his fear upon realizing that the so-called snake does not
exist. Similarly, for those who fail to recognize You as the Supreme Soul of all
souls, the expansive illusory material existence arises, but knowledge of You
at once causes it to subside.
SB 10.14.26: The conception of material bondage and the conception of liberation
are both manifestations of ignorance. Being outside the scope of true knowledge,
they cease to exist when one correctly understands that the pure spirit soul is
distinct from matter and always fully conscious. At that time bondage and liberation
no longer have any significance, just as day and night have no significance from
the perspective of the sun.
SB 10.14.27: Just see the foolishness of those ignorant persons who consider
You to be some separated manifestation of illusion and who consider the self,
which is actually You, to be something else, the material body. Such fools conclude
that the supreme soul is to be searched for somewhere outside Your supreme personality.
SB 10.14.28: O unlimited Lord, the saintly devotees seek You out within their
own bodies by rejecting everything separate from You. Indeed, how can discriminating
persons appreciate the real nature of a rope lying before them until they refute
the illusion that it is a snake.
SB 10.14.29: My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy
of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those
who speculate to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know
You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years.
10.14.30: My dear Lord, I therefore pray to be so fortunate that in this life
as Lord Brahma or in another life, wherever I take my birth, I may be counted
as one of Your devotees. I pray that wherever I may be, even among the animal
species, I can engage in devotional service to Your lotus feet.
SB 10.14.31: O almighty Lord, how greatly fortunate are the cows and ladies
of Vrindavana, the nectar of whose breast-milk You have happily drunk to Your
full satisfaction, taking the form of their calves and children! All the Vedic
sacrifices performed from time immemorial up to the present day have not given
You as much satisfaction.
SB 10.14.32: How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and
all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune,
because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme
Brahman, has become their friend.
SB 10.14.33: Yet even though the extent of the good fortune of these residents
of Vrindavana is inconceivable, we eleven presiding deities of the various senses,
headed by Lord Shiva, are also most fortunate, because the senses of these devotees
of Vrindavana are the cups through which we repeatedly drink the nectarean, intoxicating
beverage of the honey of Your lotus feet.
SB 10.14.34: My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever
in this forest of Gokula and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the
lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched
for in the Vedic mantras.
10.14.35: My mind becomes bewildered just trying to think of what reward other
than You could be found anywhere. You are the embodiment of all benedictions,
which You bestow upon these residents of the cowherd community of Vrindavana.
You have already arranged to give Yourself to Putana and her family members in
exchange for her disguising herself as a devotee. So what is left for You to give
these devotees of Vrindavana, whose homes, wealth, friends, dear relations, bodies,
children and very lives and hearts are all dedicated only to You?
SB 10.14.36: My dear Lord Krishna, until people become Your devotees, their
material attachments and desires remain thieves, their homes remain prisons, and
their affectionate feelings for their family members remain foot-shackles.
SB 10.14.37: My dear master, although You have nothing to do with material
existence, You come to this earth and imitate material life just to expand the
varieties of ecstatic enjoyment for Your surrendered devotees.
SB 10.14.38: There are people who say, "I know everything about Krishna." Let
them think that way. As far as I am concerned, I do not wish to speak very much
about this matter. O my Lord, let me say this much: As far as Your opulences are
concerned, they are all beyond the reach of my mind, body and words.
SB 10.14.39: My dear Krishna, I now humbly request permission to leave. Actually,
You are the knower and seer of all things. Indeed, You are the Lord of all the
universes, and yet I offer this one universe unto You.
SB 10.14.40: My dear Sri Krishna, You bestow happiness upon the lotuslike Vrishni
dynasty and expand the great oceans consisting of the earth, the demigods, the
brahmanas and the cows. You dispel the dense darkness of irreligion and oppose
the demons who have appeared on this earth. O Supreme Personality of Godhead,
as long as this universe exists and as long as the sun shines, I will offer my
obeisances unto You.
SB 10.14.41: Sukadeva Goswami said: Having thus offered his prayers, Brahma
circumambulated his worshipable Lord, the unlimited Personality of Godhead, three
times and then bowed down at His lotus feet. The appointed creator of the universe
then returned to his own residence.
SB 10.14.42: After granting His son Brahma permission to leave, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead took the calves, who were still where they had been a year
earlier, and brought them to the riverbank, where He had been taking His meal
and where His cowherd boyfriends remained just as before.
SB 10.14.43: O King, although the boys had passed an entire year apart from
the Lord of their very lives, they had been covered by Lord Krishna's illusory
potency and thus considered that year merely half a moment.
SB 10.14.44: What indeed is not forgotten by those whose minds are bewildered
by the Lord's illusory potency? By that power of Maya, this entire universe remains
in perpetual bewilderment, and in this atmosphere of forgetfulness no one can
understand his own identity.
SB 10.14.45: The cowherd boyfriends said to Lord Krishna: You have returned
so quickly! We have not eaten even one morsel in Your absence. Please come here
and take Your meal without distraction.
SB 10.14.46: Then Lord Hrishikesha, smiling, finished His lunch in the company
of His cowherd friends. While they were returning from the forest to their homes
in Vraja, Lord Krishna showed the cowherd boys the skin of the dead serpent Aghasura.
10.14.47: Lord Krishna's transcendental body was decorated with peacock feathers
and flowers and painted with forest minerals, and His bamboo flute loudly and
festively resounded. As He called out to His calves by name, His cowherd boyfriends
purified the whole world by chanting His glories. Thus Lord Krishna entered the
cow pasture of His father, Nanda Maharaja, and the sight of His beauty at once
produced a great festival for the eyes of all the cowherd women.
SB 10.14.48: As the cowherd boys reached the village of Vraja, they sang, "Today
Krishna saved us by killing a great serpent!" Some of the boys described Krishna
as the son of Yasoda, and others as the son of Nanda Maharaja.
SB 10.14.49: King Parikshit said: O brahmana, how could the cowherd women have
developed for Krishna, someone else's son, such unprecedented pure love —
love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.
SB 10.14.50: Sri Sukadeva Goswami said: O King, for every created being the
dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else —
children, wealth and so on — is due only to the dearness of the self.
SB 10.14.51: For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered:
he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions
like children, wealth and home.
SB 10.14.52: Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of
kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body
are never as dear as the body itself.
SB 10.14.53: If a person comes to the stage of considering the body "mine"
instead of "me," he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self.
After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one's desire to continue
living remains strong.
SB 10.14.54: Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied
living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole
material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.
SB 10.14.55: You should know Krishna to be the original Soul of all living
entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless
mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of
His internal potency.
SB 10.14.56: Those in this world who understand Lord Krishna as He is see all
things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme
SB 10.14.57: The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source
of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is
the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. What, then, could one ascertain to
be separate from Him?
SB 10.14.58: For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the
Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari,
the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water
contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is param padam, Vaikuntha, the place
where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every
SB 10.14.59: Since you inquired from me, I have fully described to you those
activities of Lord Hari that were performed in His fifth year but not celebrated
until His sixth.
SB 10.14.60: Any person who hears or chants these pastimes Lord Murari performed
with His cowherd friends — the killing of Aghasura, the taking of lunch
on the forest grass, the Lord's manifestation of transcendental forms, and the
wonderful prayers offered by Lord Brahma — is sure to achieve all his spiritual
SB 10.14.61: In this way the boys spent their childhood in the land of Vrindavana
playing hide-and-go-seek, building play bridges, jumping about like monkeys and
engaging in many other such games.
The 4 Catuh-sloki verses
The 11 Rudras
Before his activity in creating the universe, Brahma saw the Lord and inquired
from Him about the creation. His four questions to the Lord came to be known as
the Catuh-sloki verses, which are the four original verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam
spoken before creation by the Lord to His servant Brahma.
These Catuh-sloki verses were taught by the Supreme Lord Vishnu
to Brahma at the time of creation, and all other Vedic literature was expanded
from them. The Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) is considered to be the complete
expansion of these four verses. (Bhag.2.9.32-35)
The prelude to the answers is this verse under discussion,
wherein the Lord informs Brahma- that knowledge of Him, the Supreme Absolute Truth,
as it is stated in the revealed scriptures, is very subtle and cannot be understood
unless one is self-realized by the grace of the Lord.
The Lord says that Brahma- may take the answers as He explains them. This means
that transcendental knowledge of the absolute Supreme Being can be known if it
is made known by the Lord Himself. By the mental speculation of the greatest mundane
thinkers, the Absolute Truth cannot be understood. Thus it is called the supreme
These were Brahma's four questions:
(1) What are the forms of the Lord both in matter
and in transcendence?
(2) How are the different energies of the Lord working?
(3) How does the Lord play with His different energies?
(4) How may Brahma- be instructed to discharge the duty entrusted to Him?
So, as requested by Lord Brahma-, the personality
of Godhead will explain all about the four questions put forward by Brahma-, and
others also which are parts and parcels of the same questions.
The Personality of Godhead said: Knowledge about
Me as described in the scriptures is very confidential, and it has to be realized
in conjunction with devotional service. The necessary paraphernalia for that process
is being explained by Me. You may take it up carefully. (Bhag.2.9.31)
of Me, namely My actual eternal form and My transcendental existence, color, qualities
and activities — let all be awakened within you by factual realization, out of
My causeless mercy." (Bhag.2.9.32)
["A person interested
in transcendental knowledge must therefore always directly and indirectly inquire
about it to know the all-pervading truth."]
Brahma-, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation,
when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause
of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead,
and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead."
[Prior to this
cosmic creation, only I exist, and nothing else, either gross, subtle, or primordial.
After creation, only I exist in everything, and after annihilation, only I remain
Brahma-, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me,
has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to
be in darkness." (Bhag.2.9.34)
appears to be truth without Me is certainly My illusory energy, for nothing can
exist without Me. It is like a reflection of real light in the shadows, for in
the light there are neither shadows nor reflections."]
Brahma-, 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." (Bhag.2.9.35)
the material elements enter the bodies of all living beings and yet remain outside
them all, I exist within all material creations and yet am not within them."]
"O Brahma-, just follow this conclusion
by fixed concentration of mind, and no pride will disturb you, neither in the
partial nor in the final devastation." (Bhag.2.9.37)
"On the disappearance of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, Hari, who is the object of transcendental enjoyment for the senses
of devotees, Brahma-, with folded hands, began to re-create the universe, full
with living entities, as it was previously." (Bhag.2.9.39)
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