Knowledge of Godhead

25th Jan 2004
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble pranams! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

The following is a beautiful verse recited by Lord Brahma to Srila Narada muni while Lord Brahma was ecstatically describing the various scheduled incarnations of Lord Krishna:

SB 2.7.42
    yeṣāṁ sa eṣa bhagavān dayayed anantaḥ
sarvātmanāśrita-pado yadi nirvyalīkam
te dustarām atitaranti ca deva-māyāṁ
naiṣāṁ mamāham iti dhīḥ śva-śṛgāla-bhakṣye

But anyone who is specifically favored by the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, due to unalloyed surrender unto the service of the Lord, can overcome the insurmountable ocean of illusion and can understand the Lord. But those who are attached to this body, which is meant to be eaten at the end by dogs and jackals, cannot do so.

In the previous verse Brahmaji is telling that neither Brahma nor all the sages born before Narada know fully the omnipotent Personality of Godhead. In this verse Brahmaji is explaining the following nicely.

1. Why we are not able to understand the Lord?
mamāham iti dhīḥ śva-śṛgāla-bhakṣye
We are attached to this body, which is meant to be eaten at the end by dogs and jackals. This misconception of identifying the material body with the spirit soul prevents us from understanding the Lord.

2. What is the result of not understanding the Supreme?
naiṣāṁ te dustaram atitaranti ca devamāyām
If we do not have the knowledge of Godhead, we will be eternally submerged in the ocean of illusion.

3. Then what is the way out of this ocean of illusion?
sarvātmana-aśrita-pado yadi nirvyalīkam
We should surrender ourselves to the Lord without any reservations and serve Him without any pretensions.

4. Now what is the connection between surrendering (and performing unalloyed service) to the Lord and acquiring knowledge of Godhead? This can be understood more clearly from the verses in BG 10.10-11: 

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ  bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te

teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with shining lamp of knowledge, the darkness born of ignorance.

This same point is stressed by Lord Brahma also in this verse when he refers to the Lord as - dayayed anantaḥ (unlimitedly merciful). When we surrender to such a Lord, due to His unlimited mercy, He reveals us the transcendental knowledge to overcome the illusion.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.