namas tubhyam anantāya
sattva-sthāya ca sāmpratam
namaḥ—all obeisances; tubhyam—unto You, my Lord; anantāya—who are everlasting, transcending the three phases of time (past, present and future); durvitarkya-ātma-karmaṇe—unto You, who perform inconceivable activities; nirguṇāya—which are all transcendental, free from the inebriety of material qualities; guṇa-īśāya—unto You, who control the three modes of material nature; sattva-sthāya—who are in favor of the material quality of goodness; ca—also; sāmpratam—at present.
My Lord, all obeisances unto You, who are eternal, beyond time’s limits of past, present and future. You are inconceivable in Your activities, You are the master of the three modes of material nature, and, being transcendental to all material qualities, You are free from material contamination. You are the controller of all three of the modes of nature, but at the present You are in favor of the quality of goodness. Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto You.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead controls the material activities manifested by the three modes of material nature. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, nirguṇaṁ guṇa-bhoktṛ ca: the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always transcendental to the material qualities (sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa), but nonetheless He is their controller. The Lord manifests Himself in three features—as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara—to control these three qualities. He personally takes charge of sattva-guṇa as Lord Viṣṇu, and He entrusts the charge of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa to Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Ultimately, however, He is the controller of all three guṇas. Lord Brahmā, expressing his appreciation, said that because Lord Viṣṇu had now taken charge of the activities of goodness, there was every hope that the demigods would be successful in fulfilling their desires. The demigods were harassed by the demons, who were infested with tamo-guṇa. However, as Lord Brahmā has previously described, since the time of sattva-guṇa had now arrived, the demigods could naturally expect to fulfill their desires. The demigods are supposedly well advanced in knowledge, yet they could not understand the knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the Lord is addressed here as anantāya. Although Lord Brahmā knows past, present and future, he is unable to understand the unlimited knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Fifth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Demigods Appeal to the Lord for Protection.”
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