Srimad Bhagavatam 12.11.09-16 - Universe and the Self (download mp3)
by Radhapati Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
yāvān ayaṁ vai puruṣo
yāvatyā saṁsthayā mitaḥ
tāvān asāv api mahā-
Just as one can determine the dimensions of an ordinary person of this world by measuring his various limbs, one can determine the dimensions of the Mahāpuruṣa by measuring the arrangement of the planetary systems within His universal form.
svātma-jyotir bibharty ajaḥ
tat-prabhā vyāpinī sākṣāt
śrīvatsam urasā vibhuḥ
Upon His chest the almighty, unborn Personality of Godhead bears the Kaustubha gem, which represents the pure spirit soul, along with the Śrīvatsa mark, which is the direct manifestation of this gem’s expansive effulgence.
vāsaś chando-mayaṁ pītaṁ
brahma-sūtraṁ tri-vṛt svaram
bibharti sāṅkhyaṁ yogaṁ ca
mauliṁ padaṁ pārameṣṭhyaṁ
His flower garland is His material energy, comprising various combinations of the modes of nature. His yellow garment is the Vedic meters, and His sacred thread the syllable om composed of three sounds. In the form of His two shark-shaped earrings, the Lord carries the processes of Sāṅkhya and yoga, and His crown, bestowing fearlessness on the inhabitants of all the worlds, is the supreme position of Brahmaloka.
sattvaṁ padmam ihocyate
Ananta, the Lord’s sitting place, is the unmanifest phase of material nature, and the Lord’s lotus throne is the mode of goodness, endowed with religion and knowledge.
mukhya-tattvaṁ gadāṁ dadhat
apāṁ tattvaṁ dara-varaṁ
asiṁ carma tamo-mayam
kāla-rūpaṁ dhanuḥ śārṅgaṁ
The club the Lord carries is the chief element, prāṇa, incorporating the potencies of sensory, mental and physical strength. His excellent conchshell is the element water, His Sudarśana disc the element fire, and His sword, pure as the sky, the element ether. His shield embodies the mode of ignorance, His bow, named Śārṅga, time, and His arrow-filled quiver the working sensory organs.
indriyāṇi śarān āhur
ākūtīr asya syandanam
His arrows are said to be the senses, and His chariot is the active, forceful mind. His external appearance is the subtle objects of perception, and the gestures of His hands are the essence of all purposeful activity.
All activity is ultimately aimed at the supreme perfection of life, and this perfection is awarded by the merciful hands of the Lord. The gestures of the Lord remove all fear from the heart of a devotee and elevate him to the Lord’s own association in the spiritual sky.