Krishna's Pastimes are Human Like but Not Human

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.89.57 - Krishna's Pastimes are Human Like but Not Human (download mp3)
by Candramauli Swami at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.89.57
vavanda atmanam anantam acyuto
 jisnus ca tad-darsana-jata-sadhvasah
tav aha bhuma paramesthinam prabhur
 beddha├▒jali 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.”