viśvaṁ vai brahma-tan-mātraṁ
viśvam—the material phenomenon; vai—certainly; brahma—the Supreme; tat-mātram—the same as; saṁsthitam—situated; viṣṇu-māyayā—by the energy of Viṣṇu; īśvareṇa—by the Personality of Godhead; paricchinnam—separated; kālena—by the eternal time; avyakta—unmanifested; mūrtinā—by such a feature.
This cosmic manifestation is separated from the Supreme Lord as material energy by means of kāla, which is the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Lord. It is situated as the objective manifestation of the Lord under the influence of the same material energy of Viṣṇu.
As stated previously by Nārada before Vyāsadeva (Bhāg. 1.5.20), idaṁ hi viśvaṁ bhagavān ivetaraḥ: this unmanifested world is the self-same Personality of Godhead, but it appears to be something else beyond or besides the Lord. It appears so because of its being separated from the Lord by means of kāla. It is something like the tape-recorded voice of a person who is now separated from the voice. As the tape recording is situated on the tape, so the whole cosmic manifestation is situated on the material energy and appears separate by means of kāla. The material manifestation is therefore the objective manifestation of the Supreme Lord and exhibits His impersonal feature so much adored by impersonalist philosophers.
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