Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 4: The Haḿsa-guhya Prayers

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.4.29

yad yan niruktaḿ vacasā nirūpitaḿ

dhiyākṣabhir vā manasota yasya

mā bhūt svarūpaḿ guṇa-rūpaḿ hi tat tat

sa vai guṇāpāya-visarga-lakṣaṇaḥ


yat yat — whatever; niruktam — expressed; vacasā — by words; nirūpitam — ascertained; dhiyā — by so-called meditation or intelligence; akṣabhiḥ — by the senses; — or; manasā — by the mind; uta — certainly; yasya — of whom; bhūt — may not be; sva-rūpam — the actual form of the Lord; guṇa-rūpam — consisting of the three qualities; hi — indeed; tat tat — that; saḥ — that Supreme Personality of Godhead; vai — indeed; guṇa-apāya — the cause of the annihilation of everything made of the material modes of nature; visarga — and the creation; lakṣaṇaḥ — appearing as.


Anything expressed by material vibrations, anything ascertained by material intelligence and anything experienced by the material senses or concocted within the material mind is but an effect of the modes of material nature and therefore has nothing to do with the real nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord is beyond the creation of this material world, for He is the source of the material qualities and creation. As the cause of all causes, He exists before the creation and after the creation. I wish to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him.


One who manufactures names, forms, qualities or paraphernalia pertaining to the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot understand Him, since He is beyond creation. The Supreme Lord is the creator of everything, and this means that He existed when there was no creation. In other words, His name, form and qualities are not materially created entities; they are transcendental always. Therefore by our material concoctions, vibrations and thoughts we cannot ascertain the Supreme Lord. This is explained in the verse ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [BRS. 1.2.234].

Prācetasa, Dakṣa, herein offers prayers unto the Transcendence, not to anyone within the material creation. Only fools and rascals think God a material creation. This is confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (9.11):

avajānanti māḿ mūḍhā

mānuṣīḿ tanum āśritam

paraḿ bhāvam ajānanto

mama bhūta-maheśvaram

"Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be." Therefore, one must receive knowledge from a person to whom the Lord has revealed Himself; there is no value in creating an imaginary name or form for the Lord. Śrīpāda Śańkarācārya was an impersonalist, but nevertheless he said, nārāyaṇaḥ paro 'vyaktāt: Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is not a person of the material world. We cannot assign Nārāyaṇa a material designation, as the foolish attempt to do when they speak of daridra-nārāyaṇa (poor Nārāyaṇa). Nārāyaṇa is always transcendental, beyond this material creation. How can He become daridra-nārāyaṇa? Poverty is found within this material world, but in the spiritual world, there is no such thing as poverty. Therefore the idea of daridra-nārāyaṇa is merely a concoction.

Dakṣa very carefully points out that material designations cannot be names of the worshipable Lord: yad yan niruktaḿ vacasā nirūpitam. Nirukta refers to the Vedic dictionary. One cannot properly understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead merely by picking up expressions from a dictionary. In praying to the Lord, Dakṣa does not wish material names and forms to be the objects of his worship; rather, he wants to worship the Lord, who existed before the creation of material dictionaries and names. As confirmed in the Vedas, yato vāco nivartante/ aprāpya manasā saha: the name, form, attributes and paraphernalia of the Lord cannot be ascertained through a material dictionary. However, if one reaches the transcendental platform of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes well acquainted with everything, material and spiritual. This is confirmed in another Vedic mantra: tam eva viditvāti mṛtyum eti. If one can somehow or other, by the grace of the Lord, understand the transcendental position of the Lord, one becomes eternal. This is further confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):

janma karma ca me divyam

evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ

tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma

naiti mām eti so 'rjuna

"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." Simply by understanding the Supreme Lord, one goes beyond birth, death, old age and disease. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī therefore advised Mahārāja Parīkṣit in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.1.5):

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā

bhagavān īśvaro hariḥ

śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca

smartavyaś cecchatābhayam

"O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead. who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries."

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