nama ādyāya bījāya
vikārair vyaktim īyuṣe
namaḥ—I offer my respectful obeisances; ādyāya—unto the original living creature; bījāya—the seed of the cosmic manifestation; jñāna—of knowledge; vijñāna—and of practical application; mūrtaye—unto the deity or form; prāṇa—of the life air; indriya—of the senses; manaḥ—of the mind; buddhi—of the intelligence; vikāraiḥ—by transformations; vyaktim—manifestation; īyuṣe—who has obtained.
I offer my obeisances to the original personality within this universe, Lord Brahmā, who is cognizant and who can apply his mind and realized intelligence in creating this cosmic manifestation. It is because of his activities that everything within the universe is visible. He is therefore the cause of all manifestations.
The Vedānta-sūtra begins by declaring that the Absolute Person is the original source of all creation (janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]). One may ask whether Lord Brahmā is the Supreme Absolute Person. No, the Supreme Absolute Person is Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā receives his mind, intelligence, materials and everything else from Kṛṣṇa, and then he becomes the secondary creator, the engineer of this universe. In this regard we may note that the creation does not take place accidentally, because of the explosion of a chunk. Such nonsensical theories are not accepted by Vedic students. The first created living being is Brahmā, who is endowed with perfect knowledge and intelligence by the Lord. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye: although Brahmā is the first created being, he is not independent, for he receives help from the Supreme Personality of Godhead through his heart. There is no one but Brahmā at the time of creation, and therefore he receives his intelligence directly from the Lord through the heart. This has been discussed in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Lord Brahmā is described in this verse as the original cause of the cosmic manifestation, and this applies to his position in the material world. There are many, many such controllers, all of whom are created by the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu. This is illustrated by an incident described in Caitanya-caritāmṛta. When the Brahmā of this particular universe was invited by Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā, he thought that he was the only Brahmā. Therefore when Kṛṣṇa inquired from His servant which Brahmā was at the door to visit, Lord Brahmā was surprised. He replied that of course Lord Brahmā, the father of the four Kumāras, was waiting at the door. Later, Lord Brahmā asked Kṛṣṇa why He had inquired which Brahmā had come. He was then informed that there are millions of other Brahmās because there are millions of universes. Kṛṣṇa then called all the Brahmās, who immediately came to visit Him. The catur-mukha Brahmā, the four-headed Brahmā of this universe, thought himself a very insignificant creature in the presence of so many Brahmās with so many heads. Thus although there is a Brahmā who is the engineer of each universe, Kṛṣṇa is the original source of all of them.
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