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SB 10.86.48

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Please note: The synonyms, translation and purport of this verse were composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


namo 'stu te 'dhyātma-vidāṁ parātmane
anātmane svātma-vibhakta-mṛtyave
sa-kāraṇākāraṇa-liṅgam īyuṣe


namaḥ—obeisances; astu—may there be; te—unto You; adhyātma—the Absolute Truth; vidām—for those who know; para-ātmane—the Supreme Soul; anātmane—to the conditioned jīva soul; sva-ātma—from Yourself (in the form of time); vibhakta—who gives; mṛtyave—death; sa-kāraṇa—having a cause; akāraṇa—having no cause; liṅgam—the forms (respectively, the material form of the universe and also Your original spiritual form); īyuṣe—who assume; sva-māyayā—by Your own mystic potency; asaṁvṛta—uncovered; ruddha—and blocked; dṛṣṭaye—vision.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


Let me offer my obeisances unto You. You are realized as the Supreme Soul by those who know the Absolute Truth, whereas in Your form of time You impose death upon the forgetful souls. You appear both in Your causeless spiritual form and in the created form of this universe, thus simultaneously uncovering the eyes of Your devotees and obstructing the vision of the nondevotees.


When the Lord appears before His devotees in His eternal, spiritual form, their eyes become "uncovered" in the sense that all vestiges of illusion are dispelled and they drink in the beautiful vision of the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. For the nondevotees, on the other hand, the Lord "appears" as material nature, His universal form, and in this way He covers their vision so that His spiritual, personal form remains invisible to them.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī gives another interpretation of this verse, based on an alternative understanding of anātmane, a form of the word anātmā: Various classes of men know the Absolute Truth in different ways. The devotees of the Lord who are in the reciprocal mood of neutral admiration (śānta-rasa) meditate on the Supreme as possessing a divine, personal form (ātmā or śrī-vigraha) transcending all aspects of material illusion. The impersonal philosophers (jñānīs) conceive of Him as formless (anātmā). And the envious demons see Him in the form of death.

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