Capturing Krishna

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.07.23 - Capturing Krishna (download mp3)
by Rohini Nandan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 11.7.23
atra mam mrgayanty addha
 yukta hetubhir isvaram
grhyamanair gunair lingair
 agrahyam anumanatah

Although I, the Supreme Lord, can never be captured by ordinary sense perception, those situated in human life may use their intelligence and other faculties of perception to directly search for Me through both apparent and indirectly ascertained symptoms.

According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the word yuktah in this verse indicates those engaged in the regulative practice of bhakti-yoga. The devotees of the Lord do not abandon their intelligence and become mindless fanatics, as some fools think. As indicated by the words anumanatah and gunair lingaih, a devotee engaged in bhakti-yoga intensely searches out the Personality of Godhead through all of the rational faculties of the human brain. The word mrgayanti, or “searching,” does not, however, indicate an unregulated or unauthorized process. If we are searching for the telephone number of a particular person, we look in the authorized telephone directory. Similarly, if we are searching for a particular product, we go to a specialized store where we are likely to find what we are looking for. Srila Jiva Gosvami points out that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not a product of the imagination, and thus we cannot whimsically imagine what the Lord might be. Therefore, to gain information about Lord Krsna, one must conduct a regulated search in the authorized Vedic scriptures. The word agrahyam in this verse indicates that no one can achieve or understand Lord Krsna by ordinary speculation or through the activities of the material senses. In this regard Srila Rupa Gosvami states the following verse in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234):

atah sri-krsna-namadi
 na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
 svayam eva sphuraty adah

“No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Sri Krsna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.”

The words grhyamanair gunaih indicate the rational and intellectual faculties of the human brain. All of these can be used to directly and indirectly perceive the Personality of Godhead. Indirectly one may experience the Lord through His creation. Since we are experiencing this world through our intelligence (and senses), we may conclude that our own intelligence must have a creator and that creator is therefore supremely intelligent. Thus, through simple logic any sane person can understand that there is a Supreme Personality of Godhead who is controlling everything.

One may also directly perceive the Lord through chanting and hearing His holy names and glories. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh means that one should always chant and hear of the glories of the Lord. One who perfectly hears and chants will undoubtedly see the Lord face to face. Lord Krsna is all-pervading, and one should search for Him everywhere. By the transcendental senses, purified by bhakti-yoga, one may directly perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As indicated by the word addha in this verse, this perception is direct and not imaginary. This point has been elaborately explained by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to this verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.2.35):

bhagavan sarva-bhutesu
 laksitah svatmana harih
drsyair buddhy-adibhir drasta
 laksanair anumapakaih

“The Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krsna, is in every living being along with the individual soul, and this fact is perceived and hypothesized in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence.”

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