Canto 5: The Creative ImpetusChapter 25: The Glories of Lord Ananta

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.25.1

śrī-śuka uvāca

tasya mūla-deśe triḿśad-yojana-sahasrāntara āste vai kalā bhagavatas tāmasī samākhyātānanta iti sātvatīyā draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ sańkarṣaṇam aham ity abhimāna-lakṣaṇaḿ yaḿ sańkarṣaṇam ity ācakṣate

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvācaŚrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; tasya — of the planet Pātāla; mūla-deśein the region beneath the base; triḿśat — thirty; yojana — eight-mile units of measurement; sahasra-antare — at an interval of one thousand; āste — remains; — which; vai — indeed; kalāan expansion of an expansion; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tāmasī — related to darkness; samākhyātā — called; anantaḥAnanta; iti — thus; sātvatīyāḥ — the devotees; draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ — of matter and spirit; sańkarṣaṇam — the drawing together; ahamI; iti — thus; abhimāna — by self-conception; lakṣaṇam — symptomized; yam — whom; sańkarṣaṇamSańkarṣaṇa; iti — thus; ācakṣate — learned scholars describe.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, approximately 240,000 miles beneath the planet Pātāla lives another incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the expansion of Lord Viṣṇu known as Lord Ananta or Lord Sańkarṣaṇa. He is always in the transcendental position, but because He is worshiped by Lord Śiva, the deity of tamo-guṇa or darkness, He is sometimes called tāmasī. Lord Ananta is the predominating Deity of the material mode of ignorance as well as the false ego of all conditioned souls. When a conditioned living being thinks, "I am the enjoyer, and this world is meant to be enjoyed by me," this conception of life is dictated to him by Sańkarṣaṇa. Thus the mundane conditioned soul thinks himself the Supreme Lord.

PURPORT

There is a class of men akin to Māyāvādī philosophers who misinterpret the ahaḿ brahmāsmi and so'ham Vedic mantras to mean, "I am the Supreme Brahman" and "I am identical with the Lord." This kind of false conception, in which one thinks himself the supreme enjoyer, is a kind of illusion. It is described elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.8): janasya moho 'yam ahaḿ mameti. As explained in the above verse, Lord Sańkarṣaṇa is the predominating Deity of this false conception. Kṛṣṇa confirms this in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15):

sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo

mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca

"I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness." The Lord is situated in everyone's heart as Sańkarṣaṇa, and when a demon thinks himself one with the Supreme Lord, the Lord keeps him in that darkness. Although such a demoniac living entity is only an insignificant part of the Supreme Lord, he forgets his true position and thinks he is the Supreme Lord. Because this forgetfulness is created by Sańkarṣaṇa, He is sometimes called tāmasī. The name tāmasī does not indicate that He has a material body. He is always transcendental, but because He is the Supersoul of Lord Śiva, who must perform tamasic activities, Sańkarṣaṇa is sometimes called tāmasī.

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