Srimad Bhagavatam 10.89.52-57 - Krishna's Qualities That Shows his Suprememost Position (download mp3)
by Radhika Vallabha Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tatah pravistah salilam nabhasvata
tatradbhutam vai bhavanam dyumat-tamam bhrajan-mani-stambha-sahasra-sobhitam
From that region they entered a body of water resplendent with huge waves being churned by a mighty wind. Within that ocean Arjuna saw an amazing palace more radiant than anything he had ever seen before. Its beauty was enhanced by thousands of ornamental pillars bedecked with brilliant gems.
tasmin maha-bhogam anantam adbhutam
Translation:In that palace was the huge, awe-inspiring serpent Ananta Sesa. He shone brilliantly with the radiance emanating from the gems on His thousands of hoods and reflecting from twice as many fearsome eyes. He resembled white Mount Kailasa, and His necks and tongues were dark blue.
dadarsa tad-bhoga-sukhasanam vibhum
cakradibhir murti-dharair nijayudhaih
pustya sriya kirty-ajayakhilardhibhir
nisevyamanam paramesthinam patim
Arjuna then saw the omnipresent and omnipotent Supreme Personality of Godhead, Maha-Visnu, sitting at ease on the serpent bed. His bluish complexion was the color of a dense rain cloud, He wore a beautiful yellow garment, His face looked charming, His broad eyes were most attractive, and He had eight long, handsome arms. His profuse locks of hair were bathed on all sides in the brilliance reflected from the clusters of precious jewels decorating His crown and earrings. He wore the Kaustubha gem, the mark of Srivatsa and a garland of forest flowers. Serving that topmost of all Lords were His personal attendants, headed by Sunanda and Nanda; His cakra and other weapons in their personified forms; His consort potencies Pusti, Sri, Kirti and Aja; and all His various mystic powers.
Srila Prabhupada mentions that “the Lord has innumerable energies, and they were also standing there personified. The most important among them were as follows: Pusti, the energy for nourishment; Sri, the energy of beauty; Kirti, the energy of reputation; and Aja, the energy of material creation. All these energies are invested in the administrators of the material world, namely Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and Lord Visnu, and in the kings of the heavenly planets, Indra, Candra, Varuna and the sungod. In other words, all these demigods, being empowered by the Lord with certain energies, engage in the transcendental loving service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
vavanda atmanam anantam acyuto
jisnus ca tad-darsana-jata-sadhvasah
tav aha bhuma paramesthinam prabhur
beddhañjali sa-smitam urjaya gira
Lord Krsna offered homage to Himself in this boundless form, and Arjuna, astonished at the sight of Lord Maha-Visnu, bowed down as well. Then, as the two of them stood before Him with joined palms, the almighty Maha-Visnu, supreme master of all rulers of the universe, smiled and spoke to them in a voice full of solemn authority.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti makes the following observations on this verse: Just as Lord Krsna offered obeisances to His own Deity during the worship of Govardhana Hill, so now also He paid homage to His Visnu expansion for the purpose of playing out His pastimes. The Lord is ananta, possessed of countless manifestations, and this eight-armed form is among them. He is acyuta, “never falling from His position,” in the sense that He never stops engaging in His humanlike pastimes as a cowherd boy of Vrndavana. Thus to safeguard the special sanctity of His humanlike pastimes as Krsna, He offered obeisances to His own plenary expansion.
Lord Maha-Visnu appeared before Krsna and Arjuna as bhuma, the supremely opulent one, and as paramesthinam prabhuh, the Lord of multitudes of Brahmas ruling over millions of universes. With solemn authority He spoke in such a way as to bewilder Arjuna, in obedience to Sri Krsna’s intention. His smile hinted at His private thoughts, which Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti has revealed for our benefit: “My dear Krsna, by Your desire I will describe My superiority, even though I am Your expansion. At the same time, however, I will subtly imply in My statements the supreme position of Your beauty, character and power and the fact that You are the source from which I emanate. Just see how clever I am — that in front of Arjuna I am confidentially divulging My true identity as nondifferent from You.”