सत्य: स्वयंज्योतिरनन्त आद्य: ।
पूर्णाद्वयो मुक्त उपाधितोऽमृत: ॥ २३ ॥
satyaḥ svayaṁ-jyotir ananta ādyaḥ
nityo ’kṣaro ’jasra-sukho nirañjanaḥ
pūrṇādvayo mukta upādhito ’mṛtaḥ
ekaḥ — one; tvam — You; ātmā — the Supreme Soul; puruṣaḥ — the Supreme Person; purāṇaḥ — the oldest; satyaḥ — the Absolute Truth; svayam-jyotiḥ — self-manifested; anantaḥ — without end; ādyaḥ — without beginning; nityaḥ — eternal; akṣaraḥ — indestructible; ajasra-sukhaḥ — whose happiness cannot be obstructed; nirañjanaḥ — devoid of contamination; pūrṇa — complete; advayaḥ — without a second; muktaḥ — free; upādhitaḥ — from all material designations; amṛtaḥ — deathless.
You are the one Supreme Soul, the primeval Supreme Personality, the Absolute Truth — self-manifested, endless and beginningless. You are eternal and infallible, perfect and complete, without any rival and free from all material designations. Your happiness can never be obstructed, nor have You any connection with material contamination. Indeed, You are the indestructible nectar of immortality.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī explains how the various terms of this verse demonstrate that the transcendental body of Lord Kṛṣṇa is free from the characteristics of material bodies. All material bodies go through six phases: birth, growth, maturity, reproduction, decline and destruction. But Lord Kṛṣṇa does not take material birth, since He is the original reality, a fact clearly indicated here by the word adya, “original.” We take our material birth within a particular material atmosphere, in material bodies that are amalgamations of various material elements. Since Lord Kṛṣṇa existed long before the creation of any material atmosphere or element, there is no question of material birth for His transcendental body.
Similarly, the word pūrṇa, meaning “full and complete,” refutes the concept that Lord Kṛṣṇa could grow, since He is ever-existing in fullness. When one’s material body becomes mature, one can no longer enjoy as in youth; but the words ajasra-sukha, “enjoying unobstructed happiness,” indicate that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s body never reaches so-called middle age, since it is always full of spiritual youthful bliss. The word akṣara, “undiminishing,” refutes the possibility that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s body grows old or declines, and the word amṛta, “immortal” negates the possibility of death.
In other words, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental body is free from the transformations of material bodies. The Lord does, however, create innumerable worlds and expand Himself as innumerable living entities. But the Lord’s so-called reproduction is completely spiritual and does not take place at a certain phase of bodily existence; rather, it constitutes the Lord’s eternal proclivity to expand His spiritual bliss and glories.
As the Lord states in śruti, pūrvam evāham ihāsam: “I alone existed in the beginning.” Therefore here the Lord is called puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ, “the primeval enjoyer.” This original puruṣa expands Himself as the Supersoul and enters every living being. Still, He is ultimately the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, as stated in the Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad: yaḥ sākṣāt para-brahmeti govindaṁ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaṁ vṛndāvana-sura-bhūruha-talāsīnam. “The Absolute Truth Himself is Govinda, who has an eternal form of bliss and knowledge and who is sitting beneath the shady desire trees of Vṛndāvana.” This Absolute Truth is beyond material ignorance and beyond even ordinary spiritual knowledge, as stated in the same Gopāla-tāpanī śruti: vidyāvidyābhyāṁ bhinnaḥ. Thus, in many ways the supremacy of Lord Kṛṣṇa has been established in the Vedic literature, and it is here confirmed by Lord Brahmā himself.