etad bhagavato rūpaṁ
sthūlaṁ te vyāhṛtaṁ mayā
aṣṭabhir bahir āvṛtam
etat—all these; bhagavataḥ—of the Personality of Godhead; rūpam—form; sthūlam—gross; te—unto you; vyāhṛtam—explained; mayā—by me; mahī—the planets; ādibhiḥ—and so on; ca—unlimitedly; avaraṇaiḥ—by coverings; aṣṭabhiḥ—by eight; bahiḥ—external; āvṛtam—covered.
Thus by all this, the external feature of the Personality of Godhead is covered by gross forms such as those of planets, which were explained to you by me.
As explained in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.4), the separated material energy of the Personality of Godhead is covered by eight kinds of material coverings: earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and false ego. All these are emanations from the Personality of Godhead as His external energy. These coverings are just like the covering of clouds for the sun. The cloud is a creation of the sun, yet it actually covers the eyes so that one cannot see the sun. The sun cannot be covered by the clouds. The cloud can at utmost extend a few hundreds of miles in the sky, but the sun is far greater than millions of miles. So a hundred-mile covering is not competent to cover millions of miles. Therefore, one of the various energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot, of course, cover the Lord. But these coverings are created by Him to cover the eyes of the conditioned souls who want to lord it over the material nature. Actually the conditioned souls are covered by the illusory creative cloud of matter, and the Lord reserves the right of not being exposed to their eyes. Because they have no eyes of transcendental vision and because they cannot see the Personality of Godhead, they therefore deny the existence of the Lord and the transcendental form of the Lord. The covering of the gigantic material feature is accepted by such men with a poor fund of knowledge, and how this is so is explained in the following verse.
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