aham mahendro nirrtih pracetah
somo ’gnir isah pavano virincih
aditya-visve vasavo ’tha sadhya
marud-gana rudra-ganah sasiddhah
anye ca ye visva-srjo ’maresa
yasyehitam na viduh sprsta-mayah
sattva-pradhana api kim tato ’nye
aham—I, Yamaraja; mahendrah—Indra, the King of heaven; nirrtih—Nirrti; pracetah—Varuna, the controller of water; somah—the moon; agnih—fire; isah—Lord Siva; pavanah—the demigod of the air; virincih—Lord Brahma; aditya—the sun; visve—Visvasu; vasavah—the eight Vasus; atha—also; sadhyah—the demigods; marut-ganah—masters of the wind; rudra-ganah—the expansions of Lord Siva; sa-siddhah—with the inhabitants of Siddhaloka; anye—others; ca—and; ye—who; visva-srjah—Marici and the other creators of the universal affairs; amara-isah—the demigods like Brhaspati; bhrgu-adayah—the great sages headed by Bhrgu; asprsta—who have not been contaminated; rajah-tamaskah—by the lower modes of material nature (rajo-guna and tamo-guna); yasya—of whom; ihitam—the activity; na viduh—do not know; sprsta-mayah—who are illusioned by the illusory energy; sattva-pradhanah—chiefly in the mode of goodness; api—although; kim—what to speak of; tatah—than them; anye—others.
I, Yamaraja; Indra, the King of heaven; Nirrti; Varuna; Candra, the moon-god; Agni; Lord Siva; Pavana; Lord Brahma; Surya, the sun-god; Visvasu; the eight Vasus; the Sadhyas; the Maruts; the Rudras; the Siddhas; and Marici and the other great rsis engaged in maintaining the departmental affairs of the universe, as well as the best of the demigods headed by Brhaspati, and the great sages headed by Bhrgu are all certainly freed from the influence of the two base material modes of nature, namely passion and ignorance. Nevertheless, although we are in the mode of goodness, we cannot understand the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What, then, is to be said of others, who, under illusion, merely speculate to know God?
The men and other living entities within this cosmic manifestation are controlled by the three modes of nature. For the living entities controlled by the base qualities of nature, passion and ignorance, there is no possibility of understanding God. Even those in the mode of goodness, like the many demigods and great rsis described in these verses, cannot understand the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, one who is situated in the devotional service of the Lord is transcendental to all the material qualities. Therefore the Lord personally says that no one can understand Him but the bhaktas, who are transcendental to all material qualities (bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]). As stated by Bhismadeva to Maharaja Yudhisthira in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.9.16):
“O King, no one can know the plan of the Lord [Sri Krsna]. Even though great philosophers inquire exhaustively, they are bewildered.” No one, therefore, can understand God by speculative knowledge. Indeed, by speculation one will be bewildered (muhyanti). This is also confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (7.3):
Among many thousands of men, one may endeavor for perfection, and even among the siddhas, those who have already become perfect, only one who adopts the process of bhakti, devotional service, can understand Krsna.
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