sa ittham udviksya tad-abja-nala-
nadibhir antar-jalam avivesa
nabhim vicinvams tad avindatajah
sah—he (Brahma); ittham—in this way; udviksya—contemplating; tat—that; abja—lotus; nala—stem; nadibhih—by the pipe; antah-jalam—within the water; avivesa—entered into; na—not; arvak-gatah—in spite of going inside; tat-khara-nala—the stem of the lotus; nala—pipe; nabhim—of the navel; vicinvan—thinking much of it; tat—that; avindata—understood; ajah—the self-born.
Lord Brahma, thus contemplating, entered the water through the channel of the stem of the lotus. But in spite of entering the stem and going nearer to the navel of Visnu, he could not trace out the root.
By dint of one’s personal endeavor one may go nearer to the Lord, but without the Lord’s mercy one cannot reach the ultimate point. Such understanding of the Lord is possible only by devotional service, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (18.55): bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah.
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