Srimad Bhagavatam 11.05.23 - What is the Difficulty (download mp3)
by Gauranga Priya Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
hamsah suparno vaikuntho
dharmo yogesvaro ’malah
isvarah puruso ’vyaktah
In Satya-yuga the Lord is glorified by the names Hamsa, Suparna, Vaikuntha, Dharma, Yogesvara, Amala, Isvara, Purusa, Avyakta and Paramatma.
The sage Karabhajana Muni is replying to Videharaja Nimi’s questions about the varieties of the Lord’s incarnations. In Satya-yuga the Lord’s color is white, and He wears tree bark and a black deerskin as an ideal meditative brahmacari. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has explained the Lord’s various names in Satya-yuga as follows. Those who are self-realized know this supreme reality of the Personality of Godhead as Paramatma. Those souls who are situated in the religious system of varnasrama glorify Him as the hamsa who is transcendental to all the varnas and asramas. Persons absorbed in gross matter consider Him to be Suparna, “the beautifully winged” basis of the conceptions of cause and effect who flies within the subtle sky of the soul, as described in Chandogya Upanisad. Persons accustomed to wandering within this universe of subtle and gross matter created by the Lord’s illusory potency chant His name Vaikuntha. Persons deprived of the power of transcendental meditation (dharana), who are thus subject to falling from the path of religion, glorify Him as Dharma, or religion personified. Those who are forced to submit to the illusory modes of material nature and whose minds are uncontrolled and disturbed glorify Him as the most perfectly self-controlled Yogesvara. Persons tainted by a mixture of the modes of passion and ignorance call Him Amala, or the uncontaminated. Persons devoid of potency call Him Isvara, and those who consider themselves to be under His shelter chant His glories by the name Uttama Purusa. Those who know that this material manifestation is only temporary call Him Avyakta. In this way, in Satya-yuga Lord Vasudeva appears in various four-armed transcendental forms, and the jiva souls worship Him, each by their own particular process of devotional service. Therefore the Supreme Lord has many different names.