|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 25: The Glories of Lord Ananta|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 5.25.1
tasya mula-dese trimsad-yojana-sahasrantara aste ya vai kala bhagavatas tamasi samakhyatananta iti satvatiya drashtri-drisyayoh sankarshanam aham ity abhimana-lakshanam yam sankarshanam ity acakshate
sri-sukah uvaca -- Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; tasya -- of the planet Patala; mula-dese -- in the region beneath the base; trimsat -- thirty; yojana -- eight-mile units of measurement; sahasra-antare -- at an interval of one thousand; aste -- remains; ya -- which; vai -- indeed; kala -- an expansion of an expansion; bhagavatah -- of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tamasi -- related to darkness; samakhyata -- called; anantah -- Ananta; iti -- thus; satvatiyah -- the devotees; drashtri-drisyayoh -- of matter and spirit; sankarshanam -- the drawing together; aham -- I; iti -- thus; abhimana -- by self-conception; lakshanam -- symptomized; yam -- whom; sankarshanam -- Sankarshana; iti -- thus; acakshate -- learned scholars describe.
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said to Maharaja Parikshit: My dear King, approximately 240,000 miles beneath the planet Patala lives another incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the expansion of Lord Vishnu known as Lord Ananta or Lord Sankarshana. He is always in the transcendental position, but because He is worshiped by Lord Siva, the deity of tamo-guna or darkness, He is sometimes called tamasi. 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 Sankarshana. Thus the mundane conditioned soul thinks himself the Supreme Lord.
There is a class of men akin to Mayavadi philosophers who misinterpret the aham brahmasmi 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 Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.8): janasya moho 'yam aham mameti. As explained in the above verse, Lord Sankarshana is the predominating Deity of this false conception. Krishna confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (15.15):
sarvasya caham hridi sannivishto
mattah smritir jnanam apohanam 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 Sankarshana, 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 Sankarshana, He is sometimes called tamasi. The name tamasi does not indicate that He has a material body. He is always transcendental, but because He is the Supersoul of Lord Siva, who must perform tamasic activities, Sankarshana is sometimes called tamasi.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness