एवं पृष्टो महादेव: स्वयम्भूर्भूतभावन: ।
ध्यायमान: प्रश्नबीजं नाभ्यपद्यत कर्मधी: ॥ १८ ॥
evaṁ pṛṣṭo mahā-devaḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; evam — thus; pṛṣṭaḥ — questioned; mahā-devaḥ — the great god Brahmā; svayam-bhūḥ — without material birth (born directly from the body of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu); bhūta — of all conditioned souls; bhāvanaḥ — the creator (of their conditioned life); dhyāyamānaḥ — seriously considering; praśna — of the question; bījam — the essential truth; na abhyapadyata — did not reach; karma-dhīḥ — intelligence bewildered by his own activities of creation.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, Brahmā himself, who is born directly from the body of the Lord and who is the creator of all living entities within the material world, being the best of the demigods, seriously contemplated the question of his sons headed by Sanaka. The intelligence of Brahmā, however, was affected by his own activities of creation, and thus he could not discover the essential answer to this question.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has quoted three verses from the Second Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as follows. In the Ninth Chapter, verse 32, Lord Kṛṣṇa blessed Brahmā with realized knowledge of the Lord’s actual form, qualities and activities. In the Ninth Chapter, verse 37, the Lord ordered Brahmā to rigidly carry out the Lord’s injunctions and affirmed that Brahmā would thus never be bewildered in his cosmic decision-making. In the Sixth Chapter, verse 34, Lord Brahmā assured his son Nārada, “O Nārada, because I have caught hold of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, with great zeal, whatever I say has never proved to have been false, nor is the progress of my mind ever deterred, nor are my senses ever degraded by temporary attachment to matter.”
In the present verse in this Thirteenth Chapter of the Eleventh Canto, Lord Kṛṣṇa states that Brahmā unfortunately did become bewildered by his creative functions, thus providing a grave lesson to all of the Lord’s empowered representatives. Although one may be elevated to an exalted position in the Lord’s transcendental service, at any moment there is danger of false pride polluting one’s devotional mentality.