janmādy asya yato 'nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi
janma-ādi—creation, maintenance and dissolution; asya—of this (the universe); yataḥ—from whom; anvayāt—directly from the spiritual connection; itarataḥ—indirectly from the lack of material contact; ca—also; artheṣu—in all affairs; abhijñaḥ—perfectly cognizant; sva-rāṭ—independent; tene—imparted; brahma—the Absolute Truth; hṛdā—through the heart; yaḥ—who; ādi-kavaye—unto Lord Brahmā; muhyanti—are bewildered; yat—in whom; sūrayaḥ—great personalities like Lord Brahmā and other demigods or great brāhmaṇas; tejaḥ-vāri-mṛdām—of fire, water and earth; yathā—as; vinimayaḥ—the exchange; yatra—in whom; tri-sargaḥ—the material creation of three modes; amṛṣā—factual; dhāmnā—with the abode; svena—His own personal; sadā—always; nirasta-kuhakam—devoid of all illusion; satyam—the truth; param—absolute; dhīmahi—let us meditate upon.
" 'I offer my obeisances unto Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, who is the supreme all-pervading Personality of Godhead. I meditate upon Him, the transcendent reality, who is the primeval cause of all causes, from whom all manifested universes arise, in whom they dwell and by whom they are destroyed. I meditate upon that eternally effulgent Lord who is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations and yet is beyond them. It is He only who first imparted Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmā, the first created being. Through Him this world, like a mirage, appears real even to great sages and demigods. Because of Him, the material universes, created by the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I meditate, therefore, upon Him, the Absolute Truth, who is eternally existent in His transcendental abode and who is forever free of illusion.'
This verse, quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.1), links Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with the Vedānta-sūtra with the words janmādy asya yataḥ. It is stated that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, is the Absolute Truth beyond the material creation. This has been accepted by all ācāryas. Even Śaṅkarācārya, the most elevated impersonalist, says in the beginning of his commentary on Bhagavad-gītā: nārāyaṇaḥ paro 'vyaktāt. When this material creation is not yet manifested from the mahat-tattva, it is called avyakta, and when it is demonstrated from that total energy, it is called vyakta. Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond this vyakta-avyakta, manifested and unmanifested material nature. This is the chief qualification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead when He assumes a particular incarnation. Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna that they both took birth many, many times before. Kṛṣṇa remembers everything about His previous appearances, but Arjuna does not remember. Since Kṛṣṇa is beyond the cosmic creation, He is in the exalted position of being able to remember everything in the past. Everything within the cosmic creation has a material body, but Kṛṣṇa, being beyond the material cosmic creation, always has a spiritual body. He imparted Vedic knowledge into the heart of Brahmā. Although Brahmā is the most important and exalted personality within this universe, he could not remember what he did in his past life. Kṛṣṇa has to remind him through the heart. When Lord Brahmā was thus inspired, he was able to create the entire universe. Remembering everything about the past and inspiring Lord Brahmā to create are vivid examples of the characteristics called svarūpa-lakṣaṇa and taṭastha-lakṣaṇa.
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