arthendriyābhāsam anidram avraṇam
chāyātapau yatra na gṛdhra-pakṣau
tam akṣaraṁ khaṁ tri-yugaṁ vrajāmahe
vipaścitam—unto the omniscient; prāṇa—how the living force is working; manaḥ—how the mind is working; dhiya—how the intelligence is working; ātmanām—of all living entities; artha—the objects of the senses; indriya—the senses; ābhāsam—knowledge; anidram—always awake and free from ignorance; avraṇam—without a material body subject to pains and pleasures; chāyā-ātapau—the shelter for all who are suffering from ignorance; yatra—wherein; na—not; gṛdhra-pakṣau—partiality toward any living being; tam—unto Him; akṣaram—infallible; kham—all-pervading like the sky; tri-yugam—appearing with six opulences in three yugas (Satya, Tretā and Dvāpara); vrajāmahe—I take shelter.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead directly and indirectly knows how everything, including the living force, mind and intelligence, is working under His control. He is the illuminator of everything and has no ignorance. He does not have a material body subject to the reactions of previous activities, and He is free from the ignorance of partiality and materialistic education. I therefore take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, who is eternal, all-pervading and as great as the sky and who appears with six opulences in three yugas [Satya, Tretā and Dvāpara].
In the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in this way: janmādy asya yato’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Lord is the origin of all emanations, and He directly and indirectly knows everything about all the activities within His creation. Therefore the Lord is addressed here as vipaścitam, one who is full of all knowledge or who knows everything. The Lord is the Supreme Soul, and He knows everything about the living entities and their senses.
The word anidram, meaning “always awake and free from ignorance,” is very important in this verse. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: it is the Lord who gives intelligence to everyone and who causes everyone to forget. There are millions and millions of living entities, and the Lord gives them directions. Therefore He has no time to sleep, and He is never in ignorance of our activities. The Lord is the witness of everything; He sees what we are doing at every moment. The Lord is not covered by a body resulting from karma. Our bodies are formed as a result of our past deeds (karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa), but the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not have a material body, and therefore He has no avidyā, ignorance. He does not sleep, but is always alert and awake.
The Supreme Lord is described as tri-yuga because although He appeared variously in Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga and Dvāpara-yuga, when He appeared in Kali-yuga He never declared Himself the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Lord appears in Kali-yuga as a devotee. Thus although He is Kṛṣṇa, He chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra like a devotee. Still, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32) recommends:
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, whose complexion is not black like that of Kṛṣṇa but is golden (tviṣākṛṣṇam), is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is accompanied by associates like Nityānanda, Advaita, Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa. Those who are sufficiently intelligent worship this Supreme Personality of Godhead by performing saṅkīrtana-yajña. In this incarnation, the Supreme Lord declares Himself not to be the Supreme Lord, and therefore He is known as Tri-yuga.
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