TEXT 37
tattvanam bhagavams tesam
katidha pratisankramah
tatremam ka upasiran
ka u svid anuserate
SYNONYMS
tattvanam—of the elements of nature; bhagavan—O great sage; tesam—of them; katidha—how many; pratisankramah—dissolutions; tatra—thereupon; imam—unto the Supreme Lord; ke—who are they; upasiran—being saved; ke—who are they; u—who; svit—may; anuserate—serve the Lord while He sleeps.
TRANSLATION
Please describe how many dissolutions there are for the elements of material nature and who survives after the dissolutions to serve the Lord while He is asleep.
PURPORT
In the Brahma-samhita (5.47–48) it is said that all the material manifestations with innumerable universes appear and disappear with the breathing of Maha-Visnu lying in yoga-nidra, or mystic sleep.
yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
“Govinda, the ultimate and Supreme Personality of Godhead [Lord Krsna], lies sleeping unlimitedly on the Causal Ocean in order to create unlimited numbers of universes during that sleep. He lies on the water by His own internal potency, and I worship that original Supreme Godhead.
“Due to His breathing, innumerable universes come into existence, and when He withdraws His breath there occurs the dissolution of all the lords of the universes. That plenary portion of the Supreme Lord is called Maha-Visnu, and He is a part of the part of Lord Krsna. I worship Govinda, the original Lord.”
After the dissolution of the material manifestations, the Lord and His kingdom beyond the Causal Ocean do not disappear, nor do the inhabitants, the Lord’s associates. The associates of the Lord are far more numerous than the living entities who have forgotten the Lord due to material association. The impersonalist’s explanation of the word aham in the four verses of the original Bhagavatamaham evasam evagre etc.—is refuted here. The Lord and His eternal associates remain after the dissolution. Vidura’s inquiry about such persons is a clear indication of the existence of all the paraphernalia of the Lord. This is also confirmed in the Kasi-khanda, as quoted by both Jiva Gosvami and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, who follow in the footsteps of Srila Sridhara Svami.
na cyavante hi yad-bhakta
mahatyam pralayapadi
ato ’cyuto ’khile loke
sa ekah sarva-go ’vyayah
“The devotees of the Lord never annihilate their individual existences even after the dissolution of the entire cosmic manifestation. The Lord and the devotees who associate with Him are always eternal, in both the material and spiritual worlds.”

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