Chapter 5: Hymn to the Absolute Truth

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrī Brahma-saḿhitā 5.46

dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya

dīpāyate vivṛta-hetu-samāna-dharmā

yas tādṛg eva hi ca viṣṇutayā vibhāti

govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi


dīpa-arciḥ — the flame of a lamp; evaas; hi — certainly; daśā-antaram — another lamp; abhyupetya — expanding; dīpāyate — illuminates; vivṛta-hetu — with its expanded cause; samāna-dharmā — equally powerful; yaḥ — who; tādṛk — similarly; eva — indeed; hi — certainly; ca — also; viṣṇutayā — by His expansion as Lord Viṣṇu; vibhāti — illuminates; govindamGovinda; ādi-puruṣam — the original person; tam — Him; ahamI; bhajāmi — worship.


The light of one candle being communicated to other candles, although it burns separately in them, is the same in its quality. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda who exhibits Himself equally in the same mobile manner in His various manifestations.


The presiding Deities of Hari-dhāma, viz., Hari, Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu, etc., the subjective portions of Kṛṣṇa, are being described. The majestic manifestation of Kṛṣṇa is Nārāyaṇa, Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, whose subjective portion is Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the prime cause, whose portion is Garbhodakaśāyī. Kṣīrodakaśāyī is again the subjective portion of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The word "Viṣṇu" indicates all-pervading, omnipresent and omniscient personality. In this śloka the activities of the subjective portions of the Divinity are enunciated by the specification of the nature of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The personality of Viṣṇu, the embodied form of the manifestive quality (sattva-guṇa) is quite distinct from that of Śambhu who is adulterated with mundane qualities. Viṣṇu's subjective personality is on a level with that of Govinda. Both consist of the unadulterated substantive principle. Viṣṇu in the form of the manifest causal principle is identical with Govinda as regards quality. The manifestive quality (sattva-guṇa) that is found to exist in the triple mundane quality, is an adulterated entity. being alloyed with the qualities of mundane activity and inertia. Brahmā is the dislocated portion of the Divinity. manifested in the principle of mundane action, endowed with the functional nature of His subjective portion; and Śambhu is the dislocated portion of the Divinity manifested in the principle of mundane inertia possessing similarly the functional nature of His subjective portion. The reason for their being dislocated portions is that the two principles of mundane action and inertia being altogether wanting in the spiritual essence any entities, that are manifested in them, are located at a great distance from the Divinity Himself or His facsimiles. Although the mundane manifestive quality is of the adulterated kind, Viṣṇu, the manifestation of the Divinity in the mundane manifestive quality. makes His appearance in the unadulterated manifestive principle which is a constituent of the mundane manifestive quality. Hence Viṣṇu is the full subjective portion and belongs to the category of the superior īśvaras. He is the Lord of the deluding potency and not alloyed with her. Viṣṇu is the agent of Govinda's own subjective nature in the form of the prime cause. All the majestic attributes of Govinda, aggregating sixty in number, are fully present in His majestic manifestation, Nārāyaṇa. Brahmā and Śiva are entities adulterated with mundane qualities. Though Viṣṇu is also divine appearance in mundane quality (guṇa-avatāra), still He is not adulterated. The appearance of Nārāyaṇa in the form of Mahā-Viṣṇu, the appearance of Mahā-Viṣṇu in the form of Garbhodakaśāyī and the appearance of Viṣṇu in the form of Kṣīrodakaśāyī, are examples of the ubiquitous function of the Divinity. Viṣṇu is Godhead Himself, and the two other guṇa-avatāras and all the other gods are entities possessing authority in subordination to Him. From the subjective majestic manifestation of the supreme self-luminous Govinda emanate Kāraṇodakaśāyī, Garbhodakaśāyī, Kṣīrodakaśāyī and all other derivative subjective divine descents (avatāras) such as Rāma, etc., analogous to communicated light appearing in different candles, shining by the operation of the spiritual potency of Govinda.

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