Canto 1: CreationChapter 8: Prayers by Queen Kuntī and Parīkṣit Saved

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.8.30

janma karma ca viśvātmann

ajasyākartur ātmanaḥ

tiryań-nṝṣiṣu yādaḥsu

tad atyanta-viḍambanam


janma — birth; karma — activity; ca — and; viśva-ātmanO soul of the universe; ajasya — of the unborn; akartuḥ — of the inactive; ātmanaḥ — of the vital energy; tiryak — animal; nṛ — human being; ṛṣiṣuin the sages; yādaḥsuin the water; tat — that; atyanta — veritable; viḍambanam — bewildering.


Of course it is bewildering, O soul of the universe, that You work, though You are inactive, and that You take birth, though You are the vital force and the unborn. You Yourself descend amongst animals, men, sages and aquatics. Verily, this is bewildering.


The transcendental pastimes of the Lord are not only bewildering but also apparently contradictory. In other words, they are all inconceivable to the limited thinking power of the human being. The Lord is the all-prevailing Supersoul of all existence, and yet He appears in the form of a boar amongst the animals, in the form of a human being as Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, etc., in the form of a ṛṣi like Nārāyaṇa, and in the form of an aquatic like a fish. Yet it is said that He is unborn, and He has nothing to do. In the śruti mantra it is said that the Supreme Brahman has nothing to do. No one is equal to or greater than Him. He has manifold energies, and everything is performed by Him perfectly by automatic knowledge, strength and activity. All these statements prove without any question that the Lord's activities, forms and deeds are all inconceivable to our limited thinking power, and because He is inconceivably powerful, everything is possible in Him. Therefore no one can calculate Him exactly; every action of the Lord is bewildering to the common man. He cannot be understood by the Vedic knowledge, but He can be easily understood by the pure devotees because they are intimately related with Him. The devotees therefore know that although He appears amongst the animals, He is not an animal, nor a man, nor a ṛṣi, nor a fish. He is eternally the Supreme Lord, in all circumstances.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness