Bhagawatam 108: Brahma searches for his origins; Supreme Lord manifests in his heart

Janārdhanāya namah

Upon seeing Lord Sankarśana, the hearts of Sanatkumara and other sages overflowed with devotion so much so that they could not even speak. Singing His glories profusely again and again they prayed to Him. At that time, Lord Sankarśana preached the sacred Bhāgawatam to Sanatkumara who by then was diligently treading the path of liberation.

Subsequently, upon the request of the supremely dedicated Muni Sānkhyāyana, Maharishi Sanatkumara preached Bhāgawatam to him. Maharishi Sānkhyāyana was the crown jewel amongst Paramahamsas and was well-versed in this knowledge called Paramahamsa dharma.

With the desire that the glories of the Supreme Lord should be rendered even in the later periods of time, Maharishi Sānkhyāyana imparted the knowledge of this sacred Bhāgawatam to his dearest disciples Parāśara and Brihaspati,” said Maitreya Maharishi.

He further continued, “Maharishi Parāśara is our Guru. Upon the request of Maharishi Pulastya, Parāśara Maharishi taught me this sacred Bhāgawatam. My dear son! Your dedication is laudable. With absolute dedication you serve me. Therefore I will teach you Bhāgawatam as I have heard from my master Maharishi Parāśara.

In the earliest stages creation, Lord Nārāyaṇa was in Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and was sleeping on His snake-bed with His eyes closed. Having put the process of creation to rest, He was in his original blissful form. His illuminating power cannot deplete even when He is in yogic-sleep, isn’t it? At that time, this entire creation was submerged with water.

So ’ntaḥ śarīre ’rpita-bhūta-sūkṣmaḥ kālātmikāṁ śaktim udīrayāa

Uvāsa tasmin salile pade sve yathānalo dāruṇi ruddha-vīrya

Lord Nārāyaṇa did not bring forth the energy that was dormant within Him. Just as firewood traps fire within itself, He retained within him all the subtle elements and continued to reside in the waters of the ocean.

When creation has to commence, He activates His inner energy known as kāla (eternal time). Together with power of consciousness (cit śakti), He lay in those waters for a period of 1000 Mahā-yugas. Then His time-energy (kāla shakti) began its task of creation.

At that moment, He had to regulate the destiny of living beings, who had emerged through the process of creation, based on the results of their earlier fruitive actions. He then saw the varied universes and the hordes of living beings that were lying dormant within Him.

Slowly and gradually He shifted his attention towards the subtle principles. With this, the group of subtle principles was ready to manifest. Influence by time (kāla shakti) the traits of action (rajo guna) got disturbed. They caused these subtle principles of creation to become visible at His navel.

When the time for the fructification of the collective destiny of the living beings neared, the subtle principles of creation collectively manifested in the form of a lotus bud which emerged from the navel of the Supreme Lord. This lotus, which glowed radiantly like the Sun, illumined with its rays all the waters of the vast ocean.

This lotus was in the form of the three worlds. It illumines the objects that are due to be experienced by the living being. In the form of the Self, Śri Mahavishnu himself entered this lotus. From it Lord Brahma, who was an embodiment of Vedas, emerged.

Lord Brahma became famous as swayambhu or self-born. To this Lord Brahma, who was seated within the lotus, the universe was not visible even though He searched within the lotus. He moved his eyes once and looked out into space. As He was looking keenly in the four directions, He acquired four heads representing the four directions.

It was annihilation time. The winds of destruction generated huge devastating waves in the ocean. Lord Brahma was seated in the lotus that had emerged from these gigantic waves. To His surprise, He could not understand anything about himself or the creation or the lotus.

He became aware of his individual existence ‘I exist’. But then he thought, ‘Who am I sitting in this lotus? How come apart from this single lotus there is nothing else to be seen in these vast waters? If so, from where did this lotus emerge? As it cannot exist without support, it is sure that there is something beneath this lotus which supports it’.

Firmly concluding in this manner, through the medium of the lotus stem He entered into the waters of the ocean and began intensively searching for the support which was holding the lotus. In the process of searching He travelled through the lotus stem and finally reached the navel from where the lotus had emerged. However He could not decipher anything. The entire area was enveloped in total darkness. He kept searching through this darkness trying to know the cause behind his birth but it was of no avail.

A long time passed in this manner. In the hands of the Supreme Lord, time which manifests in its three forms of past, present and future, is merely a tool. In living beings who believe they own the body, this time generates intense fear and reduces their longevity.

Even after this long intense search Brahma could not fulfill his desire. He could not trace the support. He gave up his efforts and returned back to the lotus which was his residence. Gradually he conquered his breath and controlled his mind. He attained the state of absolute meditation. He spent a hundred years in this deep meditation. Then wisdom dawned in him.

He could now see the original cause, for whom he had been searching infinitely, shining radiantly on its own accord in his heart. To Him the 10,000 heads of serpent Adishesha were like umbrellas. The rays that emerged from the gems that glittered on their hoods were driving away the darkness that had enveloped the waters of the ocean during dissolution.

The lotus- like white body of this serpent Adishesha was the bed on which a Puruśa (the Supreme Lord) was sleeping. He was all alone. Brahma noticed that the body of this Supreme Lord was glowing luminously. He had bamboo sticks as His shoulders and trees as His feet. In front of His lustrous body even the splendorous coral mountain fades. That coral mountain, which glows due to being clothed superbly by the evening clouds, pales in front of the yellow golden clothing worn by this Supreme Lord.

If its many golden peaks appear like crowns that decorate it, the crown of the Supreme Lord outshone them all and mocked at them. To that mountain, gems, streams, medicinal herbs and flowers together form an exquisite garland (vanamāla), nevertheless the vanamāla garland worn by the Supreme Lord ridicules and defeats it.

In length and breadth this gigantic body of the Supreme Lord is incomparable with any other object. Within this colossal body, the three worlds are contained in the right proportions.

Upendrāya namah

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