Why Krishna performs Human Like Pastimes

2016-07-21
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.17 - Why Krishna performs Human Like Pastimes (download mp3)
Sridama Sakha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
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SB 10.84.17
aniha etad bahudhaika atmana
 srjaty avaty atti na badhyate yatha
bhaumair hi bhumir bahu-nama-rupini
 aho vibhumnas caritam vidambanam

Translation: 
Indeed, the humanlike pastimes of the Almighty are simply a pretense! Effortlessly, He alone sends forth from His Self this variegated creation, maintains it and then swallows it up again, all without becoming entangled, just as the element earth takes on many names and forms in its various transformations.

Purport: 
The one Supreme expands Himself as many without diminishing His completeness. He does this effortlessly, without depending on anyone or anything else. This mystic process of the Lord’s self-expansion is incomprehensible to all but Himself, but the example of the substance earth and its manifold products bears enough resemblance to provide some idea. The same example is also presented in an often-cited passage of the Chandogya Upanisad (6.1), vacarambhanam vikaro namadheyam mrttikety eva satyam: “Earth’s transformations are merely verbal creations of the process of naming; the substance earth itself is alone real.”

Srila Sridhara Svami suggests that this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam answers a possible objection on the part of Lord Krsna: “How can I create, maintain and destroy the universe if I am Vasudeva’s son?” The answer is given by the words aho vibhumnas caritam vidambanam: “You are the perfectly complete whole, and Your birth and pastimes are only an imitation of ordinary persons’ activities in the material world. You simply pretend to be under higher control.”

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