7-Minute Bhagavatam

7-Minute Bhagavatam

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.33-34
by
Gopiparanadhana Dasa
Language 
English
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Transcript 


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.33 and 1.2.34
Continuing the explanation of the second chapter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with verse thirty-three:
asau guṇa-mayair bhāvair
 bhūta-sūkṣmendriyātmabhiḥ
sva-nirmiteṣu nirviṣṭo
 bhuṅkte bhūteṣu tad-guṇān
“The Supersoul enters into the bodies of the created beings who are influenced by the modes of material nature and causes them to enjoy the effects of these modes by the subtle mind.”
Embodied souls in this world see themselves enjoying and suffering in their visible bodies. What they don’t see is that their physical bodies originated from an invisible level of material existence, of subtle powers attracting the senses and mind. If it weren’t for the impulses of the senses and mind to enjoy tastes, sounds, and so on, the living entity would have never taken on a gross body in the first place. A thoughtful person who develops his subtle perception can learn something about his senses, mind, and the molecular potencies of matter, but without guidance from divine authority he will never understand that the creator of the universe is also personally involved in his life.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam reveals that the Supreme Lord enters every living body to help the body’s inhabitant soul attempt to enjoy and control. As expressed in this verse by the word bhuṅkte, it is as if He were Himself enjoying through the soul’s senses. In fact, however, the inert stuff of matter is of no interest to the Lord, who gets His enjoyment only from loving reciprocations with living beings, His devotees. It is only said that He is enjoying because He empathizes with His creatures, always wanting that they be happy. Or, taking bhuṅkte as an implied causative form, only the finite souls are doing the enjoying, while He is facilitating them. Without His reminding them constantly of their identities and purposes, they would not be able to function at all.
Now verse thirty-four:
bhāvayaty eṣa sattvena
 lokān vai loka-bhāvanaḥ
līlāvatārānurato
 deva-tiryaṅ-narādiṣu
“Thus the Lord of the universes maintains all planets inhabited by demigods, men, and lower animals. Assuming the roles of incarnations, He performs pastimes to reclaim those in the mode of pure goodness.”
The Personality of Godhead’s involvement in this world does not end with His creating it and then entering it as a passive overseer. He also comes to show aspects of His personal life in His own abode, appearing as His innumerable avatāras. Among these, the līlā-avatāras come motivated by the desire to share His enjoyment with His devotees rather than to fulfill such administrative purposes as those of the Supersoul and the regulator of the mode of goodness. Nonetheless, the pastime incarnations are also essential for sustaining the creation, and They all carry with Them the pure goodness of Vaikuṇṭha. Unless the Supreme Lord provided these glimpses of His personality, the demigods, sages, and ordinary living beings would have no idea of what He really is – no knowable object to whom to devotee their service. But most importantly the Lord and His intimate devotees derive exquisite pleasure from His appearances in the varied forms of demigods, animals, and humans.
When the Supersoul appears to be many, that is a kind of illusion, because there is only one Paramātmā who distributes Himself everywhere. The līlā-avatāras are actually many, as They are in the spiritual world from where They descend. Although there is no counting Them, in the next chapter Śrī Sūta will briefly describe some of the most prominent, including not only direct Viṣṇu expansions but also empowered jīvas like the four Kumāras and Nārada.