तस्य मूलदेशे त्रिंशद्योजनसहस्रान्तर आस्ते या वै कला भगवतस्तामसी समाख्यातानन्त इति सात्वतीया द्रष्टृदृश्ययो: सङ्कर्षणमहमित्यभिमानलक्षणं यं सङ्कर्षणमित्याचक्षते ॥ १ ॥
tasya mūla-deśe triṁśad-yojana-sahasrāntara āste yā vai kalā bhagavatas tāmasī samākhyātānanta iti sātvatīyā draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ saṅkarṣaṇam aham ity abhimāna-lakṣaṇaṁ yaṁ saṅkarṣaṇam ity ācakṣate.
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; tasya — of the planet Pātāla; mūla-deśe — in the region beneath the base; triṁśat — thirty; yojana — eight-mile units of measurement; sahasra-antare — at an interval of one thousand; āste — remains; yā — which; vai — indeed; kalā — an expansion of an expansion; bhagavataḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tāmasī — related to darkness; samākhyātā — called; anantaḥ — Ananta; iti — thus; sātvatīyāḥ — the devotees; draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ — of matter and spirit; saṅkarṣaṇam — the drawing together; aham — I; iti — thus; abhimāna — by self-conception; lakṣaṇam — symptomized; yam — whom; saṅkarṣaṇam — Saṅkarṣaṇa; iti — thus; ācakṣate — learned scholars describe.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, approximately 240,000 miles beneath the planet Pātāla lives another incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the expansion of Lord Viṣṇu known as Lord Ananta or Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa. He is always in the transcendental position, but because He is worshiped by Lord Śiva, the deity of tamo-guṇa or darkness, He is sometimes called tāmasī. Lord Ananta is the predominating Deity of the material mode of ignorance as well as the false ego of all conditioned souls. When a conditioned living being thinks, “I am the enjoyer, and this world is meant to be enjoyed by me,” this conception of life is dictated to him by Saṅkarṣaṇa. Thus the mundane conditioned soul thinks himself the Supreme Lord.
There is a class of men akin to Māyāvādī philosophers who misinterpret the ahaṁ brahmāsmi and so ’ham Vedic mantras to mean, “I am the Supreme Brahman” and “I am identical with the Lord.” This kind of false conception, in which one thinks himself the supreme enjoyer, is a kind of illusion. It is described elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.5.8): janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti. As explained in the above verse, Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa is the predominating Deity of this false conception. Kṛṣṇa confirms this in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15):
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.” The Lord is situated in everyone’s heart as Saṅkarṣaṇa, and when a demon thinks himself one with the Supreme Lord, the Lord keeps him in that darkness. Although such a demoniac living entity is only an insignificant part of the Supreme Lord, he forgets his true position and thinks he is the Supreme Lord. Because this forgetfulness is created by Saṅkarṣaṇa, He is sometimes called tāmasī. The name tāmasī does not indicate that He has a material body. He is always transcendental, but because He is the Supersoul of Lord Śiva, who must perform tamasic activities, Saṅkarṣaṇa is sometimes called tāmasī.