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ŚB 11.9.19


केवलात्मानुभावेन स्वमायां त्रिगुणात्मिकाम् ।
सङ्क्षोभयन् सृजत्यादौ तया सूत्रमरिन्दम ॥ १९ ॥


sva-māyāṁ tri-guṇātmikām
saṅkṣobhayan sṛjaty ādau
tayā sūtram arindama


kevala — pure; ātma — of His own Self; anubhāvena — by the potency; sva-māyām — His own energy; tri — three; guṇa — modes; ātmikām — composed of; saṅkṣobhayan — agitating; sṛjati — He manifests; ādau — at the time of creation; tayā — with that energy; sūtram — the mahat-tattva distinguished by the power of action; arindama — O subduer of the enemies.


O subduer of the enemies, at the time of creation the Personality of Godhead expands His own transcendental potency in the form of time, and agitating His material energy, māyā, composed of the three modes of material nature, He creates the mahat-tattva.


The word kevala means “pure” and indicates that the Lord’s kālaśakti, or time potency, is a transcendental energy nondifferent from His personal body. The brāhmaṇa addresses King Yadu here as arindama, subduer of the enemies. This indicates that although the topic of māyā, or illusory creation, is being discussed, the King need not worry, because as a staunch devotee of the Lord, he is able to subdue the real enemies of life, namely lust, anger and greed, which make one a prisoner in māyā’s kingdom. The word sūtram indicates the mahat-tattva, on which many material creations rest, just like jewels rest on a thread. In the state of pradhāna, or material equilibrium, the modes of nature do not interact. In the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Lord Kapila explains in His Sāṅkhya teachings that the Supreme Personality of Godhead agitates the neutral state of nature and thus creation takes place. The created manifest form of nature in which fruitive activities are stimulated is called mahat-tattva, as indicated in this verse.

If one tries to renounce the illusory creation of the Lord by taking shelter of impersonal Vedānta philosophy, thus artificially equating the infinite consciousness of the Lord and the infinitesimal consciousness of the conditioned soul, one’s analysis will fall far short of reality. The word sva-māyām in this verse indicates that the illusory potency that covers the conditioned souls is always subordinate to the Lord, whose consciousness is infallible and infinite and who is always a person.