|Canto 8: Withdrawal of the Cosmic Creations||Chapter 1: The Manus, Administrators of the Universe|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 8.1.11
yaḿ paśyati na paśyantaḿ
cakṣur yasya na riṣyati
taḿ bhūta-nilayaḿ devaḿ
yam — He who; paśyati — the living entity sees; na — not; paśyantam — although always seeing; cakṣuḥ — eye; yasya — whose; na — never; riṣyati — diminishes; tam — Him; bhūta-nilayam — the original source of all living entities; devam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; suparṇam — who accompanies the living entity as a friend; upadhāvata — everyone should worship.
Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly watches the activities of the world, no one sees Him. However, one should not think that because no one sees Him, He does not see, for His power to see is never diminished. Therefore, everyone should worship the Supersoul, who always stays with the individual soul as a friend.
Offering prayers to Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Kuntīdevī, the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, said, alakṣyaḿ sarva-bhūtānām antar bahir avasthitam: "Kṛṣṇa, You reside both inside and outside of everything, yet the unintelligent conditioned souls cannot see You." In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead through jñāna-cakṣuṣaḥ, eyes of knowledge. He who opens these eyes of knowledge is called a spiritual master. Thus we offer our prayers to the spiritual master with the following śloka:
cakṣur unmīlitaḿ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance." (Gautamīya Tantra) The guru's task is to open the disciple's eyes of knowledge. When the disciple is awakened from ignorance to knowledge, he can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead everywhere because the Lord actually is everywhere. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. The Lord resides within this universe, He resides within the hearts of all living entities, and He resides even within the atom. Because we lack perfect knowledge, we cannot see God, but a little deliberation can help us to see God everywhere. This requires training. With a little deliberation, even the most degraded person can perceive the presence of God. If we take into account whose property is the vast ocean, whose property is the vast land, how the sky exists, how the numberless millions of stars and planets are set in the sky, who has made this universe and whose property it is, we should certainly come to the conclusion that there is a proprietor of everything. When we claim proprietorship over a certain piece of land, whether individually or for our families or nations, we should also consider how we became the proprietors. The land was there before our birth, before we came to the land. How did it become our property? Such deliberation will help us understand that there is a supreme proprietor of everything — the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Supreme Godhead is always awake. In the conditioned stage we forget things because we change our bodies, but because the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not change His body, He remembers past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.1), imaḿ vivasvate yogaḿ proktavān aham avyayam: "I spoke this science of God — Bhagavad-gītā — to the sun-god at least forty million years ago." When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa how He could remember incidents that had taken place so long ago, the Lord answered that Arjuna was also present at that time. Because Arjuna is Kṛṣṇa's friend, wherever Kṛṣṇa goes, Arjuna goes. But the difference is that Kṛṣṇa remembers everything, whereas the living entity like Arjuna, being a minute particle of the Supreme Lord, forgets. Therefore it is said, the Lord's vigilance is never diminished. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15). Sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca: the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature is always present within the hearts of all living entities, and from Him come memory, knowledge and forgetfulness. This is also indicated in this verse by the word suparṇam, which means "friend." In the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (4.6) it is therefore said, dvā suparṇa-sayujā sakhāyā samānaḿ vṛkṣaḿ pariṣasvajāte: two birds are sitting on the same tree as friends. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other is simply observing. This observing bird is always present as a friend to the eating bird and giving him remembrance of things he wanted to do. Thus if we take into account the Supreme Personality of Godhead in our daily affairs, we can see Him or at least perceive His presence everywhere.
The words cakṣur yasya na riṣyati mean that although we cannot see Him, this does not mean that He cannot see us. Nor does He die when the cosmic manifestation is annihilated. The example is given in this connection that the sunshine is present when the sun is present, but when the sun is not present, or when we cannot see the sun, this does not mean that the sun is lost. The sun is there, but we cannot see it. Similarly, although we cannot see the Supreme Personality of Godhead in our present darkness, our lack of knowledge, He is always present, seeing our activities. As the Paramātmā, He is the witness and adviser (upadraṣṭā and anumantā). Therefore, by following the instructions of the spiritual master and studying authorized literatures, one can understand that God is present before us, seeing everything, although we have no eyes with which to see Him.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness