Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 1: The Activities of Mahārāja Priyavrata

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.1.11

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

nibodha tātedam ṛtaḿ bravīmi

māsūyituḿ devam arhasy aprameyam

vayaḿ bhavas te tata eṣa maharṣir

vahāma sarve vivaśā yasya diṣṭam


śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the supreme person, Lord Brahmā, said; nibodha — kindly hear with attention; tāta — my dear son; idam — this; ṛtam — true; bravīmiI am speaking; — not; asūyitumto be jealous of; devam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arhasi — you ought; aprameyam — who is beyond our experimental knowledge; vayam — we; bhavaḥ — Lord Śiva; te — your; tataḥ — father; eṣaḥ — this; mahā-ṛṣiḥNārada; vahāmaḥ — carry out; sarve — all; vivaśāḥ — unable to deviate; yasya — of whom; diṣṭam — the order.


Lord Brahmā, the supreme person within this universe, said: My dear Priyavrata, kindly hear attentively what I shall say to you. Do not be jealous of the Supreme Lord, who is beyond our experimental measurements. All of us, including Lord Śiva, your father and the great sage Mahārṣi Nārada, must carry out the order of the Supreme. We cannot deviate from His order.


Of the twelve great authorities in devotional service, four — Lord Brahmā himself, his son Nārada, Svāyambhuva Manu and Lord Śiva — were present before Priyavrata. They were accompanied by many other authoritative sages. Brahmā first wanted to impress upon Priyavrata that although these great personalities are all authorities, they cannot possibly disobey the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described in this verse as deva, which means "always glorious." The power, glory and potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can never be diminished. In the Īśopaniṣad, the Lord is described as apāpa-viddha, which indicates that He is never affected by anything materially considered sinful. Similarly, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes the Supreme Personality of Godhead as being so powerful that nothing we might consider abominable can affect Him. An example sometimes given to explain the position of the Supreme Lord is that of the sun, which evaporates urine from the earth but is never affected by contamination. The Supreme Lord can never be accused of doing anything wrong.

When Lord Brahmā went to induce Priyavrata to accept the responsibility for ruling the universe, he did not go whimsically; he was following the dictations of the Supreme Lord. Indeed, Brahmā and other genuine authorities never do anything without His permission. The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart. In the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye: the Lord dictated Vedic knowledge to Brahmā through his heart. The more a living entity is purified by devotional service, the more he comes in direct contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā:

teṣāḿ satata-yuktānāḿ

bhajatāḿ prīti-pūrvakam

dadāmi buddhi-yogaḿ taḿ

yena mām upayānti te

"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." (Bg. 10.10) Lord Brahmā, therefore, had not come to Priyavrata by his own whims: rather, it is understood that he had been ordered to persuade Priyavrata by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose activities cannot be understood by material senses and who is therefore described herein as aprameya. Thus Lord Brahmā first advised Priyavrata to hear his words with attention and without envy.

Why one is induced to perform certain acts despite his desire to do something else is indicated herein. One cannot disobey the orders of the Supreme Lord, even if one is as powerful as Lord Śiva. Lord Brahmā. Manu or the great sage Nārada. All these authorities are certainly very powerful, but they do not have the power to disobey the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since Lord Brahmā had come to Priyavrata in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Lord, he first wanted to dispel any suspicions that he might be acting as Priyavrata's enemy. Lord Brahmā was following the orders of the Supreme Lord, and therefore it would be worthwhile for Priyavrata to accept Lord Brahmā's order, as the Lord desired.

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