A World of Varieties
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.13.51-52 - A World of Varieties (download mp3) , (download flv)
by Dayal Chandra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
prthak prthag upasitah
All beings, both moving and nonmoving, from the four-headed Lord Brahma down to the most insignificant living entity, had taken forms and were differently worshiping those visnu-murtis, according to their respective capacities, with various means of worship, such as dancing and singing.
Innumerable living entities are engaged in different types of worship of the Supreme, according to their abilities and karma, but everyone is engaged (jivera ‘svarupa’ haya-krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’); there is no one who is not serving. Therefore the maha-bhagavata, the topmost devotee, sees everyone as being engaged in the service of Krsna; only himself does he see as not engaged. We have to elevate ourselves from a lower position to a higher position, and the topmost position is that of direct service in Vrndavana. But everyone is engaged in service. Denial of the service of the Lord is maya.
ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya
yare yaiche nacaya, se taiche kare nrtya
“Only Krsna is the supreme master, and all others are His servants. As Krsna desires, everyone dances according to His tune.” (Cc. Adi 5.142)
There are two kinds of living entities — the moving and the nonmoving. Trees, for example, stand in one place, whereas ants move. Brahma saw that all of them, down to the smallest creatures, had assumed different forms and were accordingly engaged in the service of Lord Visnu.
One receives a form according to the way one worships the Lord. In the material world, the body one receives is guided by the demigods. This is sometimes referred to as the influence of the stars. As indicated in Bhagavad-gita (3.27) by the words prakrteh kriyamanani, according to the laws of nature one is controlled by the demigods.
All living entities are serving Krsna in different ways, but when they are Krsna conscious, their service is fully manifest. As a flower in the bud gradually fructifies and yields its desired aroma and beauty, so when a living entity comes to the platform of Krsna consciousness, the beauty of his real form comes into full blossom. That is the ultimate beauty and the ultimate fulfillment of desire.
All the visnu-murtis were surrounded by the opulences, headed by anima-siddhi; by the mystic potencies, headed by Aja; and by the twenty-four elements for the creation of the material world, headed by the mahat-tattva.
In this verse the word mahimabhih means aisvarya, or opulence. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can do whatever He likes. That is His aisvarya. No one can command Him, but He can command everyone. Sad-aisvarya-purnam. The Lord is full in six opulences. The yoga-siddhis, the perfections of yoga, such as the ability to become smaller than the smallest (anima-siddhi) or bigger than the biggest (mahima-siddhi), are present in Lord Visnu. Sad-aisvaryaih purno ya iha bhagavan (Cc. Adi 1.3). The word aja means maya, or mystic power. Everything mysterious is in full existence in Visnu.
The twenty-four elements mentioned are the five working senses (pañca-karmendriya), the five senses for obtaining knowledge (pañca-jñanendriya), the five gross material elements (pañca-mahabhuta), the five sense objects (pañca-tanmatra), the mind (manas), the false ego (ahankara), the mahat-tattva, and material nature (prakrti). All twenty-four of these elements are employed for the manifestation of this material world. The mahat-tattva is divided into different subtle categories, but originally it is called the mahat-tattva.