TEXTS
rtvija ucuh
arhasi muhur arhattamarhanam asmakam anupathanam namo nama ity etavat sad-upasiksitam ko ’rhati puman prakrti-guna-vyatikara-matir anisa isvarasya parasya prakrti-purusayor arvaktanabhir nama-rupakrtibhi rupa-nirupanam; sakala-jana-nikaya-vrjina-nirasana-sivatama-pravara-guna-ganaika-desa-kathanad rte.
SYNONYMS
rtvijah ucuh—the priests said; arhasi—please (accept); muhuh—again and again; arhat-tama—O most exalted, worshipable person; arhanam—offering of worship; asmakam—of us; anupathanam—who are Your servants; namah—respectful obeisances; namah—respectful obeisances; iti—thus; etavat—so far; sat—by exalted personalities; upasiksitam—instructed; kah—what; arhati—is able (to make); puman—man; prakrti—of material nature; guna—of the modes; vyatikara—in the transformations; matih—whose mind (is absorbed); anisah—who is most incapable; isvarasya—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; parasya—beyond; prakrti-purusayoh—the jurisdiction of the three modes of material nature; arvaktanabhih—which do not reach up to, or which are of this material world; nama-rupa-akrtibhih—by names, forms and qualities; rupa—of Your nature or position; nirupanam—ascertainment, perception; sakala—all; jana-nikaya—of mankind; vrjina—sinful actions; nirasana—which wipe out; sivatama—most auspicious; pravara—excellent; guna-gana—of the transcendental qualities; eka-desa—one part; kathanat—by speaking; rte—except.
TRANSLATION
The priests began to offer prayers to the Lord, saying: O most worshipable one, we are simply Your servants. Although You are full in Yourself, please, out of Your causeless mercy, accept a little service from us, Your eternal servants. We are not actually aware of Your transcendental form, but we can simply offer our respectful obeisances again and again, as instructed by the Vedic literatures and authorized acaryas. Materialistic living entities are very much attracted to the modes of material nature, and therefore they are never perfect, but You are above the jurisdiction of all material conceptions. Your name, form and qualities are all transcendental and beyond the conception of experimental knowledge. Indeed, who can conceive of You? In the material world we can perceive only material names and qualities. We have no other power than to offer our respectful obeisances and prayers unto You, the transcendental person. The chanting of Your auspicious transcendental qualities will wipe out the sins of all mankind. That is the most auspicious activity for us, and we can thus partially understand Your supernatural position.
PURPORT
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do with material perception. Even the impersonalist Sankaracarya says. narayanah paro ’vyaktat: “Narayana. the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond the material conception.” We cannot concoct the form and attributes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must simply accept the description given in Vedic literatures about the Lord’s form and activities. As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.29):
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor, who is tending the cows, yielding all desires, in abodes built with spiritual gems and surrounded by millions of purpose trees. He is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune.” We can have some conception of the Absolute Truth, His form and His attributes simply by reading the descriptions given in Vedic literatures and authoritative statements given by exalted personalities like Brahma, Narada, Sukadeva Gosvami and others. Srila Rupa Gosvami says, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih: [BRS. 1.2.234] “We cannot conceive the name, form and qualities of Sri Krsna through our material senses.” Because of this, other names for the Lord are adhoksaja and aprakrta, which indicate that He is beyond any material senses. Out of His causeless mercy upon His devotees, the Lord appeared before Maharaja Nabhi. Similarly, when we are engaged in the Lord’s devotional service, the Lord reveals Himself to us. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. This is the only way to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah: [Bg. 18.55] one can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service. There is no other way. We have to hear from the authorities and from the sastras and consider the Supreme Lord in terms of their statements. We cannot imagine or concoct forms and attributes of the Lord.

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