य: सृष्ट्वेदमनुप्रविश्य ऋषिणा चक्रे पुर: शास्ति ता: ।
यं सम्पद्य जहात्यजामनुशयी सुप्त: कुलायं यथा
तं कैवल्यनिरस्तयोनिमभयं ध्यायेदजस्रं हरिम् ॥ ५० ॥
yaḥ sṛṣṭvedam anupraviśya ṛṣiṇā cakre puraḥ śāsti tāḥ
yaṁ sampadya jahāty ajām anuśayī suptaḥ kulāyaṁ yathā
taṁ kaivalya-nirasta-yonim abhayaṁ dhyāyed ajasraṁ harim
yaḥ — who; asya — this (universe); utprekṣakaḥ — the one who watches over; ādi — in its beginning; madhya — middle; nidhane — and end; yaḥ — who; avyakta — of the unmanifested (material nature); jīva — and of the living entities; īśvaraḥ — the Lord; yaḥ — who; sṛṣṭvā — having sent forth; idam — this (universe); anupraviśya — entering; ṛṣiṇā — along with the jīva soul; cakre — produced; puraḥ — bodies; śāsti — regulates; tāḥ — them; yam — to whom; sampadya — by surrendering; jahāti — gives up; ajām — the unborn (material nature); anuśayī — embracing her; suptaḥ — a sleeping person; kulāyam — his body; yathā — as; tam — upon Him; kaivalya — by His purely spiritual status; nirasta — kept away; yonim — material birth; abhayam — for fearlessness; dhyāyet — one should meditate; ajasram — incessantly; harim — the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.
He is the Lord who eternally watches over this universe, who exists before, during and after its manifestation. He is the master of both the unmanifest material energy and the spirit soul. After sending forth the creation He enters within it, accompanying each living entity. There He creates the material bodies and then remains as their regulator. By surrendering to Him one can escape the embrace of illusion, just as a dreaming person forgets his own body. One who wants liberation from fear should constantly meditate upon Him, Lord Hari, who is always on the platform of perfection and thus never subject to material birth.
By glancing upon the dormant universe at the time of sending forth the jīva souls into creation, the Supreme Lord provides all their necessities: For those living entities who are fruitive workers, He provides the intelligence and senses needed to achieve success in material work. For those who seek transcendental knowledge, He provides the intelligence by which they can merge into the spiritual effulgence of God, thus attaining liberation. And for the devotees He provides the understanding that leads them to His pure devotional service.
To arrange for these varied facilities, the Lord impels material nature to begin the process of universal evolution. Thus the Lord is the nimitta-kāraṇam, or effective cause, of creation. He is also the upādāna-kāraṇam, the ingredient cause, inasmuch as everything emanates from Him and He alone is constantly present before, during and after the manifestation of the created cosmos. Lord Nārāyaṇa Himself states this in the Catuḥ-ślokī Bhāgavatam:
nānyad yat sad-asat-param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ’vaśiṣyeta so ’smy aham
“It is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Bhāg. 2.9.33) Primeval Māyā and the jīva soul may deserve the respective titles of upādāna and nimitta causes of creation in a relative sense, but the Lord, after all, is the origin of both of them.
Until he chooses to accept the mercy of the Personality of Godhead, the jīva soul is anuśayī, helplessly bound up in the embrace of illusion. When he turns to the Lord’s worship, he becomes anuśayī in a different sense: fallen like a rod to pay obeisances at the Lord’s feet. By that surrender the soul easily casts illusion aside. Even though the liberated soul may still seem to be living in a material body, the connection he has with it is only an external appearance; he pays no more regard to it than a sleeping man pays to his body while busily engaged far, far away in his dream-world.
One gives up ignorance by abandoning false identification with one’s material body. Sometimes one can achieve this state only by a severe effort that takes many lifetimes, but in some cases the Lord may show special consideration for one He favors, regardless of how little credit that soul may have earned by regulated practice. In the words of Śrī Bhīṣmadeva, yam iha nirīkṣya hatā gatāḥ svarūpam: “Those who simply saw Kṛṣṇa on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra attained their original forms after being killed.” (Bhāg. 1.9.39) That even demons like Agha, Baka and Keśī were liberated by Lord Kṛṣṇa without having performed any spiritual practices is an indication of His unique position as the original Personality of Godhead. Knowing this, we should put aside all fear and doubt and give ourselves fully to the process of devotional service.
As his final words of commentary on this chapter, Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī writes:
“With their effulgence, the crest jewels among all the śrutis offer āratī to the lotus feet of Lord Mādhava. I pay homage to Him, who bestows the material enjoyment honored by material workers, and who also grants the divine connection with Him prized by those who bow down to Him with reverence.”
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura also takes this opportunity to offer this humble prayer:
vāladhī rauti vo manāk
prasādaṁ labhatāṁ yasmād
viśiṣṭaḥ śveva nāthati
“O devotees, this poor creature is standing at your doorway, waving his tail and barking. Please let him have a little prasādam so that he may become exceptional among dogs and get the best of masters as his owner.” Here the ācārya makes a pun on his own name: viś(iṣṭaḥ), “exceptional”; śva(iva), “like a dog”; nātha(ati), “having a master.” Such is the perfection of Vaiṣṇava humility.
Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda to the Tenth Canto, Eighty-seventh Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Prayers of the Personified Vedas.”