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SB 11.16.37

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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


pṛthivī vāyur ākāśa
āpo jyotir ahaṁ mahān
vikāraḥ puruṣo 'vyaktaṁ
rajaḥ sattvaṁ tamaḥ param
aham etat prasaṅkhyānaṁ
jñānaṁ tattva-viniścayaḥ


pṛthivī—the subtle form of earth, aroma; vāyuḥ—the subtle form of air, touch; ākāśaḥ—the subtle form of sky, sound; āpaḥ—the subtle form of water, taste; jyotiḥ—the subtle form of fire, form; aham—false ego; mahān—the mahat-tattva; vikāraḥ—the sixteen elements (earth, water, fire, air and sky, the five working senses, the five knowledge-acquiring senses and the mind); puruṣaḥ—the living entity; avyaktam—material nature, prakṛti; rajaḥ—the mode of passion; sattvam—the mode of goodness; tamaḥ—the mode of ignorance; param—the Supreme Lord; aham—I am; etat—this; prasaṅkhyānam—all that has been enumerated; jñānam—knowledge of the above-mentioned elements by individual symptoms; tattva-viniścayaḥ—steady conviction, which is the fruit of knowledge.

Translation and purport composed by disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda


I am form, taste, aroma, touch and sound; false ego; the mahat-tattva; earth, water, fire, air and sky; the living entity; material nature; the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance; and the transcendental Lord. All these items, along with knowledge of their individual symptoms and the steady conviction that results from this knowledge, represent Me.


Having given a brief but detailed synopsis of His personal opulences within this world, the Lord now briefly summarizes the opulences that expand from His bodily effulgence. It is stated in Brahma-saṁhitā that all of the material universes with their infinite varieties, transformations and opulences rest on the bodily effulgence of the Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has elaborately explained this point in his commentary on this verse.

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