Srimad Bhagavatam 11.03.34 - Krishna is the trans-personal shelter of all the things that shelter us (download mp3)
by Chaitanya Charan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
nistham arhatha no vaktum
yuyam hi brahma-vittamah
King Nimi inquired: Please explain to me the transcendental situation of the Supreme Lord, Narayana, who is Himself the Absolute Truth and the Supersoul of everyone. You can explain this to me, because you are all most expert in transcendental knowledge.
According to Srila Sridhara Svami, in the previous verse the sages informed the King, narayana-paro mayam añjas tarati dustaram: simply by unalloyed devotion to Lord Narayana, one can very easily cross over the ocean of material illusion. Therefore, in this verse the King is requesting specific information about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. It is significant in this verse that the King refers to the Supreme Lord as Narayana, Brahman and Paramatma. Although King Nimi is already understood to be a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by his question he wants to clarify that the Personality of Godhead is the highest transcendental truth. In the Bhagavatam (1.2.11):
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jñanam advayam
bhagavan iti sabdyate
“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan.” Therefore it is to be understood that the word narayana in this verse refers to the Bhagavan feature of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world.
Generally the speculative philosophers become attracted to the impersonal Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth, whereas the mystic yogis meditate upon the Paramatma, the Supersoul within everyone’s heart. On the other hand, those who have achieved mature transcendental knowledge surrender directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan, who is eternally situated in His own abode, called Vaikuntha-dhama. In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna clearly says, brahmano hi pratisthaham: “I am the source of the impersonal Brahman.” Similarly, it is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam that the Supersoul, Ksirodakasayi Visnu, is a secondary plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. King Nimi wants the sages to make clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original feature of the Absolute Truth, and therefore he places his question before the next of the nine Yogendras, Pippalayana.
According to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura the word nistha can also be translated as “firm faith.” In this sense, Nimi Maharaja is inquiring about the process of developing perfect faith in the Supreme Lord (bhagavan-nistha).