|Canto 2: The Cosmic Manifestation||Chapter 1: The First Step in God Realization|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.1.19
mano nirviṣayaḿ yuktvā
tataḥ kiñcana na smaret
padaḿ tat paramaḿ viṣṇor
mano yatra prasīdati
tatra — thereafter; eka — one by one; avayavam — limbs of the body; dhyāyet — should be concentrated upon; avyucchinnena — without being deviated from the complete form; cetasā — by the mind; manaḥ — mind; nirviṣayam — without being contaminated by sense objects; yuktvā — being dovetailed; tataḥ — after that; kiñcana — anything; na — do not; smaret — think of; padam — personality; tat — that; paramam — Supreme; viṣṇoḥ — of Viṣṇu; manaḥ — the mind; yatra — whereupon; prasīdati — becomes reconciled.
Thereafter, you should meditate upon the limbs of Viṣṇu, one after another, without being deviated from the conception of the complete body. Thus the mind becomes free from all sense objects. There should be no other thing to be thought upon. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, is the Ultimate Truth, the mind becomes completely reconciled in Him only.
Foolish persons, bewildered by the external energy of Viṣṇu, do not know that the ultimate goal of the progressive search after happiness is to get in touch directly with Lord Viṣṇu, the Personality of Godhead. Viṣṇu-tattva is an unlimited expansion of different transcendental forms of the Personality of Godhead, and the supreme or original form of viṣṇu-tattva is Govinda, or Lord Kṛṣṇa, the supreme cause of all causes. Therefore, thinking of Viṣṇu or meditating upon the transcendental form of Viṣṇu, specifically upon Lord Kṛṣṇa, is the last word on the subject of meditation. This meditation may be begun from the lotus feet of the Lord. One should not, however, forget or be misled from the complete form of the Lord; thus one should practice thinking of the different parts of His transcendental body, one after another. Here in this verse, it is definitely assured that the Supreme Lord is not impersonal. He is a person, but His body is different from those of conditioned persons like us. Otherwise, meditation beginning from the praṇava (oḿkāra) up to the limbs of the personal body of Viṣṇu would not have been recommended by Śukadeva Gosvāmī for the attainment of complete spiritual perfection. The Viṣṇu forms of worship in great temples of India are not, therefore, arrangements of idol worship, as they are wrongly interpreted to be by a class of men with a poor fund of knowledge; rather, they are different spiritual centers of meditation on the transcendental limbs of the body of Viṣṇu. The worshipable Deity in the temple of Viṣṇu is identical with Lord Viṣṇu by the inconceivable potency of the Lord. Therefore, a neophyte's concentration or meditation upon the limbs of Viṣṇu in the temple, as contemplated in the revealed scriptures, is an easy opportunity for meditation for persons who are unable to sit down tightly at one place and then concentrate upon praṇava oḿkāra or the limbs of the body of Viṣṇu, as recommended herein by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the great authority. The common man can benefit more by meditating on the form of Viṣṇu in the temple than on the oḿkāra, the spiritual combination of a-u-m as explained before. There is no difference between oḿkāra and the forms of Viṣṇu, but persons unacquainted with the science of Absolute Truth try to create dissension by differentiating between the forms of Viṣṇu and that of oḿkāra. Here it is indicated that the Viṣṇu form is the ultimate goal of meditation, and as such it is better to concentrate upon the forms of Viṣṇu than on impersonal oḿkāra. The latter process is also more difficult than the former.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness