alakṣito ’gnau patitaḥ pataṅgamo
yathā nṛsiṁhaujasi so ’suras tadā
na tad vicitraṁ khalu sattva-dhāmani
sva-tejasā yo nu purāpibat tamaḥ
alakṣitaḥ—invisible; agnau—in the fire; patitaḥ—fallen; pataṅgamaḥ—an insect; yathā—just as; nṛsiṁha—of Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva; ojasi—in the effulgence; saḥ—he; asuraḥ—Hiraṇyakaśipu; tadā—at that time; na—not; tat—that; vicitram—wonderful; khalu—indeed; sattva-dhāmani—in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in pure goodness; sva-tejasā—by His own effulgence; yaḥ—He who (the Lord); nu—indeed; purā—formerly; apibat—swallowed up; tamaḥ—the darkness within the material creation.
Just as a small insect falls forcefully into a fire and the insignificant creature becomes invisible, when Hiraṇyakaśipu attacked the Lord, who was full of effulgence, Hiraṇyakaśipu became invisible. This is not at all astonishing, for the Lord is always situated in pure goodness. Formerly, during creation, He entered the dark universe and illuminated it by His spiritual effulgence.
The Lord is situated transcendentally, in pure goodness. The material world is generally controlled by tamo-guṇa, the quality of ignorance, but the spiritual world, because of the presence of the Lord and His effulgence, is free from all contamination by darkness, passion or contaminated goodness. Although there is a tinge of goodness in this material world in terms of the brahminical qualifications, such qualifications sometimes become invisible because of the strong prevalence of the modes of passion and ignorance. But because the Lord is always transcendentally situated, the material modes of passion and ignorance cannot touch Him. Whenever the Lord is present, there cannot be any darkness from the mode of ignorance. It is stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.31):
“Godhead is light. Nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead there is no nescience.” This material world is full of darkness and ignorance of spiritual life, but by bhakti-yoga this ignorance is dissipated. The Lord appeared because of the bhakti-yoga exhibited by Prahlāda Mahārāja, and as soon as the Lord appeared, the influence of Hiraṇyakaśipu’s passion and ignorance was vanquished as the Lord’s quality of pure goodness, or the Brahman effulgence, became prominent. In that prominent effulgence, Hiraṇyakaśipu became invisible, or his influence became insignificant. An example illustrating how the darkness of the material world is vanquished is given in the śāstra. When Brahmā was created from the lotus stem growing from the abdomen of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā saw everything to be dark, but when he received knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything became clear, as everything becomes clear when one comes from night to sunshine. The important point is that as long as we are in the material modes of nature, we are always in darkness. This darkness cannot be dissipated without the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is invoked by the practice of bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga creates a transcendental situation with no tinges of material contamination.
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