Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 20: Studying the Structure of the Universe

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.20.33

yat tat karmamayaḿ lińgaḿ

brahma-lińgaḿ jano 'rcayet

ekāntam advayaḿ śāntaḿ

tasmai bhagavate nama iti


yat — which; tat — that; karma-mayam — obtainable by the Vedic ritualistic system; lińgam — the form; brahma-lińgam — which makes known the Supreme Brahman; janaḥa person; arcayet — must worship; ekāntam — who has full faith in the one Supreme; advayam — nondifferent; śāntam — peaceful; tasmai — unto him; bhagavate — the most powerful; namaḥ — our respects; iti — thus.


Lord Brahmā is known as karma-maya, the form of ritualistic ceremonies, because by performing ritualistic ceremonies one may attain his position and because the Vedic ritualistic hymns become manifest from him. He is devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead without deviation, and therefore in one sense he is not different from the Lord. Nevertheless, he should be worshiped not as the monists worship him, but in duality. One should always remain a servitor of the Supreme Lord, the supreme worshipable Deity. We therefore offer our respectful obeisances unto Lord Brahmā, the form of manifest Vedic knowledge.


In this verse, the word karma-mayam ("obtainable by the Vedic ritualistic system") is significant. The Vedas say, svadharma-niṣṭhaḥ śata janmabhiḥ pumān viriñcatām eti: "One who strictly follows the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma for at least one hundred births will be rewarded with the post of Lord Brahmā." It is also significant that although Lord Brahmā is extremely powerful, he never thinks himself one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; he always knows that he is an eternal servitor of the Lord. Because the Lord and the servant are identical on the spiritual platform, Brahmā is herein addressed as bhagavān. Bhagavān is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, but if a devotee serves Him with full faith, the meaning of the Vedic literature is revealed to him. Therefore Brahmā is called brahma-lińga, which indicates that his entire form consists of Vedic knowledge.

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