Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 9: Appearance of the Demon Vṛtrāsura

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.9.42

atha bhagavaḿs tavāsmābhir akhila-jagad-utpatti-sthiti-laya-nimittāyamāna-divya-māyā-vinodasya sakala-jīva-nikāyānām antar-hṛdayeṣu bahir api ca brahma-pratyag-ātma-svarūpeṇa pradhāna-rūpeṇa ca yathā-deśa-kāla-dehāvasthāna-viśeṣaḿ tad-upādānopalambhakatayānubhavataḥ sarva-pratyaya-sākṣiṇa ākāśa-śarīrasya sākṣāt para-brahmaṇaḥ paramātmanaḥ kiyān iha vārtha-viśeṣo vijñāpanīyaḥ syād visphulińgādibhir iva hiraṇya-retasaḥ


atha — therefore; bhagavanO Lord; tava — of You; asmābhiḥ — by us; akhila — all; jagat — of the material world; utpatti — of the creation; sthiti — maintenance; laya — and annihilation; nimittāyamāna — being the cause; divya-māyā — with the spiritual energy; vinodasya — of You, who amuse Yourself; sakala — all; jīva-nikāyānām — of the hordes of living entities; antaḥ-hṛdayeṣuin the cores of the hearts; bahiḥ api — externally also; ca — and; brahma — of impersonal Brahman, or the Absolute Truth; pratyak-ātma — of the Supersoul; sva-rūpeṇa — by Your forms; pradhāna-rūpeṇa — by Your form as the external ingredients; ca — also; yathā — according to; deśa-kāla-deha-avasthāna — of country, time, body and position; viśeṣam — the particulars; tat — of them; upādāna — of the material causes; upalambhakatayā — by being the exhibitor; anubhavataḥ — witnessing; sarva-pratyaya-sākṣiṇaḥ — the witness of all different activities; ākāśa-śarīrasya — the Supersoul of the whole universe; sākṣāt — directly; para-brahmaṇaḥ — the Supreme Absolute Truth; paramātmanaḥ — the Supersoul; kiyān — of what extent; iha — herein; — or; artha-viśeṣaḥ — special necessity; vijñāpanīyaḥto be informed; syāt — may be; visphulińga-ādibhiḥ — by the sparks of the fire; iva — like; hiraṇya-retasaḥto the original fire.


O Lord, as the small sparks of a fire cannot possibly perform the actions of the whole fire, we sparks of Your Lordship cannot inform You of the necessities of our lives. You are the complete whole. Therefore, of what do we need to inform You? You know everything because You are the original cause of the cosmic manifestation, the maintainer and the annihilator of the entire universal creation. You always engage in Your pastimes with Your spiritual and material energies, for You are the controller of all these varied energies. You exist within all living entities, within the cosmic manifestation, and also beyond them. You exist internally as Parabrahman and externally as the ingredients of the material creation. Therefore, although manifested in various stages, at different times and places, and in various bodies, You, the Personality of Godhead, are the original cause of all causes. Indeed, You are the original element. You are the witness of all activities, but because You are as great as the sky, You are never touched by any of them. You are the witness of everything as Parabrahman and Paramātmā. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, nothing is unknown to You.


The Absolute Truth exists in three phases of spiritual understanding — Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān (brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate). Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the cause of Brahman and Paramātmā. Brahman, the impersonal Absolute Truth, is all-pervading, and Paramātmā is locally situated in everyone's heart, but Bhagavān, who is worshipable by the devotees. is the original cause of all causes. A pure devotee is aware that since nothing is unknown to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He need not be informed of a devotee's conveniences and inconveniences. A pure devotee knows that there is no need to ask the Absolute Truth for any material necessities. Therefore, while informing the Supreme Lord about their distress in being attacked by Vṛtrāsura, the demigods apologized for offering prayers for their safety. A neophyte devotee, of course, approaches the Supreme Lord for relief from distress or poverty, or for speculative knowledge of the Lord. Bhagavad-gītā (7.16) mentions four kinds of pious men who begin devotional service to the Lord — one who is distressed (ārta), one in need of money (arthārthī), one who is inquisitive (jijñāsu) and one who is searching for the Absolute Truth (jñānī). A pure devotee, however, knows that since the Lord is omnipresent and omniscient, there is no need to offer prayers or worship Him for one's personal benefit. A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord without demanding anything. The Lord is present everywhere and knows the necessities of His devotees; consequently there is no need to disturb Him by asking Him for material benefits.

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