tamyāṁ tamovan naihāraṁ
nihanty ātmani yuñjataḥ
tamyām—on a dark night; tamaḥ-vat—just as darkness; naihāram—produced by snow; khadyota-arciḥ—the light of a glowworm; iva—just as; ahani—in the daytime, in the sunlight; mahati—in a great personality; itara-māyā—inferior mystic potency; aiśyam—the ability; nihanti—destroys; ātmani—in his own self; yuñjataḥ—of the person who attempts to use.
As the darkness of snow on a dark night and the light of a glowworm in the light of day have no value, the mystic power of an inferior person who tries to use it against a person of great power is unable to accomplish anything; instead, the power of that inferior person is diminished.
When one wants to supersede a superior power, one’s own inferior power becomes ludicrous. Just as a glowworm in the daytime and snow at night have no value, Brahmā’s mystic power became worthless in the presence of Kṛṣṇa, for greater mystic power condemns inferior mystic power. On a dark night, the darkness produced by snow has no meaning. The glowworm appears very important at night, but in the daytime its glow has no value; whatever little value it has is lost. Similarly, Brahmā became insignificant in the presence of Kṛṣṇa’s mystic power. Kṛṣṇa’s māyā was not diminished in value, but Brahmā’s māyā was condemned. Therefore, one should not try to exhibit one’s insignificant opulence before a greater power.
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