|Canto 11: General History||Chapter 3: Liberation from the Illusory Energy|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.3.34
niṣṭhām arhatha no vaktuḿ
yūyaḿ hi brahma-vittamāḥ
śrī-rājā uvāca — the King said; nārāyaṇa-abhidhānasya — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, named Nārāyaṇa; brahmaṇaḥ — of the Absolute Truth; parama-ātmanaḥ — of the Supersoul; niṣṭhām — the transcendental situation; arhatha — you may kindly; naḥ — to us; vaktum — speak; yūyam — all of you; hi — indeed; brahma-vit-tamāḥ — the most expert knowers of the Supreme.
King Nimi inquired: Please explain to me the transcendental situation of the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa, who is Himself the Absolute Truth and the Supersoul of everyone. You can explain this to me, because you are all most expert in transcendental knowledge.
According to Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, in the previous verse the sages informed the King, nārāyaṇa-paro māyām añjas tarati dustarām: simply by unalloyed devotion to Lord Nārāyaṇa, one can very easily cross over the ocean of material illusion. Therefore, in this verse the King is requesting specific information about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa. It is significant in this verse that the King refers to the Supreme Lord as Nārāyaṇa, Brahman and Paramātmā. Although King Nimi is already understood to be a devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by his question he wants to clarify that the Personality of Godhead is the highest transcendental truth. In the Bhāgavatam (1.2.11):
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaḿ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān." Therefore it is to be understood that the word nārāyaṇa in this verse refers to the Bhagavān feature of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world.
Generally the speculative philosophers become attracted to the impersonal Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth, whereas the mystic yogīs meditate upon the Paramātmā, the Supersoul within everyone's heart. On the other hand, those who have achieved mature transcendental knowledge surrender directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān, who is eternally situated in His own abode, called Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa clearly says, brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham: "I am the source of the impersonal Brahman." Similarly, it is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that the Supersoul, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is a secondary plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. King Nimi wants the sages to make clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original feature of the Absolute Truth, and therefore he places his question before the next of the nine Yogendras, Pippalāyana.
According to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura the word niṣṭhā can also be translated as "firm faith." In this sense, Nimi Mahārāja is inquiring about the process of developing perfect faith in the Supreme Lord (bhagavan-niṣṭhā).
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