Srimad Bhagavatam 02.01.38 - Glories of Bhagavatam (download mp3)
by Dauji Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
iyān asāv īśvara-vigrahasya
yaḥ sanniveśaḥ kathito mayā te
sandhāryate ’smin vapuṣi sthaviṣṭhe
manaḥ sva-buddhyā na yato ’sti kiñcit
I have thus explained to you the gross material gigantic conception of the Personality of Godhead. One who seriously desires liberation concentrates his mind on this form of the Lord, because there is nothing more than this in the material world.
In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.10), the Supreme Personality of Godhead has verily explained that the material nature is only an order-carrying agent of His. She is one of the different potencies of the Lord, and she acts under His direction only. As the supreme transcendental Lord, He simply casts a glance over the material principle, and thus the agitation of matter begins, and the resultant actions are manifested one after another by six kinds of gradual differentiations. All material creation is moving in that way, and thus it appears and disappears in due course.
Less intelligent persons with a poor fund of knowledge cannot accommodate the thought of this inconceivable potency of the Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, by which He appears just like a human being (Bg. 9.11). His appearance in the material world as one of us is also His causeless mercy upon the fallen souls. He is transcendental to all material conceptions, but by His unbounded mercy upon His pure devotees, He comes down and manifests Himself as the Personality of Godhead. Materialistic philosophers and scientists are too much engrossed with atomic energy and the gigantic situation of the universal form, and they offer respect more seriously to the external phenomenal feature of material manifestations than to the noumenal principle of spiritual existence. The transcendental form of the Lord is beyond the jurisdiction of such materialistic activities, and it is very difficult to conceive that the Lord can be simultaneously localized and all-pervasive, because the materialistic philosophers and scientists think of everything in terms of their own experience. Because they are unable to accept the personal feature of the Supreme Lord, the Lord is kind enough to demonstrate the virāṭ feature of His transcendental form, and herein Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī has vividly described this form of the Lord. He concludes that there is nothing beyond this gigantic feature of the Lord. None of the materialistic thoughtful men can go beyond this conception of the gigantic form. The minds of the materialistic men are flickering and constantly changing from one aspect to another. Therefore, one is advised to think of the Lord by thinking of any part of His gigantic body, and by one’s intelligence only one can think of Him in any manifestation of the material world — the forest, the hill, the ocean, the man, the animal, the demigod, the bird, the beast or anything else. Each and every item of the material manifestation entails a part of the body of the gigantic form, and thus the flickering mind can be fixed in the Lord only and nothing else. This process of concentrating on the different bodily parts of the Lord will gradually diminish the demoniac challenge of godlessness and bring about gradual development of devotional service to the Lord. Everything being a part and parcel of the complete whole, the neophyte student will gradually realize the hymns of Īśopaniṣad which state that the Supreme Lord is everywhere, and thus he will learn the art of not committing any offense to the body of the Lord. This sense of God-mindedness will diminish one’s pride in challenging the existence of God. Thus one can learn to show respect to everything, for all things are parts and parcels of the supreme body.