Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 18: The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.18.33

yasminn asańkhyeya-viśeṣa-nāma-

rūpākṛtau kavibhiḥ kalpiteyam

sańkhyā yayā tattva-dṛśāpanīyate

tasmai namaḥ sāńkhya-nidarśanāya te iti


yasminin You (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); asańkhyeya — innumerable; viśeṣa — particular; nāma — names; rūpa — forms; ākṛtau — possessing bodily features; kavibhiḥ — by great learned persons; kalpitā — imagined; iyam — this; sańkhyā — number; yayā — by whom; tattva — of the truth; dṛśā — by knowledge; apanīyate — is extracted; tasmai — unto Him; namaḥ — respectful obeisances; sāńkhya-nidarśanāya — who is the revealer of this numerical knowledge; te — unto You; iti — thus.


O my Lord, Your name, form and bodily features are expanded in countless forms. No one can determine exactly how many forms exist, yet You Yourself, in Your incarnation as the learned scholar Kapiladeva, have analyzed the cosmic manifestation as containing twenty-four elements. Therefore if one is interested in Sāńkhya philosophy, by which one can enumerate the different truths, he must hear it from You. Unfortunately, nondevotees simply count the different elements and remain ignorant of Your actual form. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.


Philosophers and scientists have been trying to study the entire cosmic situation and have been theorizing and calculating in different ways for millions and millions of years. However, the speculative research work of a so-called scientist or philosopher is always interrupted when he dies, and the laws of nature go on without regard for his work.

For billions of years changes take place in the material creation, until at last the whole universe is dissolved and remains in an unmanifested state. Constant change and destruction (bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate) is perpetually going on in nature, yet the material scientists want to study natural laws without knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the background of nature. As Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (9.10):

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ

sūyate sa-carācaram

hetunānena kaunteya

jagad viparivartate

"This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."

Now the material creation is manifest, eventually it will be annihilated and remain for many millions of years in a dormant state, and finally it will again be created. This is the law of nature.

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