TEXT 248
ananta avatara krsnera, nahika ganana
sakha-candra-nyaya kari dig-darasana
SYNONYMS
ananta—unlimited; avatara—incarnations; krsnera—of Lord Krsna; nahika ganana—there is no possibility of counting; sakha-candra-nyaya—by the analogy of the moon and the branches of a tree; kari—I make; dik-darasana—a slight indication.
TRANSLATION
"There are innumerable incarnations of Krsna, and there is no possibility of counting them. We can simply indicate them by giving the example of the moon and the branches of a tree.
PURPORT
Although the moon appears to be located in the branches of a tree, it is actually situated very far away. Similarly, none of the avataras, or incarnations, of Lord Krsna are within this material world, but they are visible by the causeless mercy of the Lord. We should not consider them to belong to this material world. As stated in Bhagavad-gita:
avajananti mam mudha
manusim tanum asritam
param bhavam ajananto
mama bhuta-mahesvaram
"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." (Bg. 9.11)
Avataras descend of their own free will, and although they may act like ordinary human beings, they do not belong to this material world. Lord Krsna and His avataras can be understood only by the grace of the Lord.
nayam atma pravacanena labhyo
na medhaya na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas
tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam
(Katha Upanisad 1.2.23)
athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko 'pi ciram vicinvan
(Bhag. 10.14.29)

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