TEXTS 42–44
prajāpati-patiḥ sākṣād
bhagavān giriśo manuḥ
dakṣādayaḥ prajādhyakṣā
naiṣṭhikāḥ sanakādayaḥ
marīcir atry-aṅgirasau
pulastyaḥ pulahaḥ kratuḥ
bhṛgur vasiṣṭha ity ete
mad-antā brahma-vādinaḥ
adyāpi vācas-patayas
tapo-vidyā-samādhibhiḥ
paśyanto ’pi na paśyanti
paśyantaṁ parameśvaram
SYNONYMS
prajāpati-patiḥBrahmā, the father of all progenitors; sākṣāt—directly; bhagavān—the most powerful; giriśaḥ—Lord Śiva; manuḥManu; dakṣa-ādayaḥ—headed by King Dakṣa; prajā-adhyakṣāḥ—the rulers of humankind; naiṣṭhikāḥ—the strong brahmacārīs; sanaka-ādayaḥ—headed by Sanaka; marīciḥMarīci; atri-aṅgirasauAtri and Aṅgirā; pulastyaḥPulastya; pulahaḥPulaha; kratuḥKratu; bhṛguḥBhṛgu; vasiṣṭhaḥVasiṣṭha; iti—thus; ete—all of them; mat-antāḥ—ending with me; brahma-vādinaḥbrāhmaṇas, speakers on Vedic literature; adya api—up to date; vācaḥ-patayaḥ—masters of speaking; tapaḥ—austerities; vidyā—knowledge; samādhibhiḥ—and by meditation; paśyantaḥ—observing; api—although; na paśyanti—do not observe; paśyantam—the one who sees; parama-īśvaram—the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
TRANSLATION
The most powerful Lord Brahmā, the father of all progenitors; Lord Śiva; Manu, Dakṣa and the other rulers of humankind; the four saintly first-class brahmacārīs headed by Sanaka and Sanātana; the great sages Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhṛgu and Vasiṣṭha; and my humble self [Nārada] are all stalwart brāhmaṇas who can speak authoritatively on Vedic literature. We are very powerful because of austerities, meditation and education. Nonetheless, even after inquiring about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom we always see, we do not know perfectly about Him.
PURPORT
According to the foolish Darwinian theory of the anthropologists, it is said that forty thousand years ago Homo sapiens had not appeared on this planet because the process of evolution had not reached that point. However, the Vedic histories—the purāṇas and Mahābhārata—relate human histories that extend millions and millions of years into the past. In the beginning of creation there was a very intelligent personality, Lord Brahmā, and from him emanated all the Manus, and the brahmacārīs like Sanaka and Sanātana, as well as Lord Śiva, the great sages and Nārada. All these personalities underwent great austerities and penances and thus became authorities in Vedic knowledge. Perfect knowledge for human beings, as well as all living entities, is contained in the Vedas. All the above-mentioned great personalities are not only powerful—being cognizant of past, present and future—but are also devotees. Still, in spite of their great education in knowledge, and despite their meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Viṣṇu, they cannot actually understand the perfection of the living entity’s relationship with Lord Viṣṇu. This means that these personalities are still limited as far as their knowledge of the unlimited is concerned. The conclusion is that simply by advancing one’s knowledge, one cannot be accepted as an expert in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood not by advanced knowledge, but by pure devotional service, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (18.55). Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: unless one takes to pure, transcendental devotional service, he cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in truth. Everyone has some imperfect ideas about the Lord. So-called scientists and philosophical speculators are unable to understand the Supreme Lord by virtue of their knowledge. Knowledge is not perfect unless one comes to the platform of devotional service. This is confirmed by the Vedic version:
athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno
na cānya eko ’pi ciraṁ vicinvan
(Bhāg. 10.14.29)
The speculators, the jñānīs, go on speculating about the Supreme Personality of Godhead for many, many hundreds of thousands of years, but unless one is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot understand His supreme glories. All the great sages mentioned in this verse have their planets near Brahmaloka, the planet where Lord Brahmā resides along with four great sages—Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra. These sages reside in different stars known as the southern stars, which circle the polestar. The polestar, called Dhruvaloka, is the pivot of this universe, and all planets move around this polestar. All the stars are planets, as far as we can see, within this one universe. According to Western theory, all the stars are different suns, but according to Vedic information, there is only one sun within this universe. All the so-called stars are but different planets. Besides this universe, there are many millions of other universes, and each of them contains similar innumerable stars and planets.

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