Śrīmad Bhāgavatam | Canto 2 Chapter 5
The Cause of All Causes
deva-deva namas te ’stu
tad vijānīhi yaj jñānam
nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada said; deva — of all demigods; deva — the demigod; namaḥ — obeisances; te — unto you as; astu — are; bhūta-bhāvana — the generator of all living beings; pūrva-ja — the firstborn; tat vijānīhi — please explain that knowledge; yat jñānam — which knowledge; ātma-tattva — transcendental; nidarśanam — specifically directs.
Śrī Nārada Muni asked Brahmājī: O chief amongst the demigods, O firstborn living entity, I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Please tell me that transcendental knowledge which specifically directs one to the truth of the individual soul and the Supersoul.
yad rūpaṁ yad adhiṣṭhānaṁ
yataḥ sṛṣṭam idaṁ prabho
yat saṁsthaṁ yat paraṁ yac ca
tat tattvaṁ vada tattvataḥ
yat — what; rūpam — the symptoms of manifestation; yat — what; adhiṣṭhānam — background; yataḥ — from where; sṛṣṭam — created; idam — this world; prabho — O my father; yat — in which; saṁstham — conserved; yat — what; param — under control; yat — what are; ca — and; tat — of this; tattvam — the symptoms; vada — please describe; tattvataḥ — factually.
My dear father, please describe factually the symptoms of this manifest world. What is its background? How is it created? How is it conserved? And under whose control is all this being done?
sarvaṁ hy etad bhavān veda
sarvam — all and everything; hi — certainly; etat — this; bhavān — your good self; veda — know; bhūta — all that is created or born; bhavya — all that will be created or born; bhavat — all that is being created; prabhuḥ — you, the master of everything; kara-āmalaka-vat — just like a walnut within your grip; viśvam — the universe; vijñāna-avasitam — within your knowledge scientifically; tava — your.
My dear father, all this is known to you scientifically because whatever was created in the past, whatever will be created in the future, or whatever is being created at present, as well as everything within the universe, is within your grip, just like a walnut.
yat-paras tvaṁ yad-ātmakaḥ
ekaḥ sṛjasi bhūtāni
yat-vijñānaḥ — the source of knowledge; yat-ādhāraḥ — under whose protection; yat-paraḥ — under whose subordination; tvam — you; yat-ātmakaḥ — in what capacity; ekaḥ — alone; sṛjasi — you are creating; bhūtāni — the living entities; bhūtaiḥ — with the help of the material elements; eva — certainly; ātma — self; māyayā — by potency.
My dear father, what is the source of your knowledge? Under whose protection are you standing? And under whom are you working? What is your real position? Do you alone create all entities with material elements by your personal energy?
ātman bhāvayase tāni
na parābhāvayan svayam
ātman (ātmani) — by self; bhāvayase — manifest; tāni — all those; na — not; parābhāvayan — being defeated; svayam — yourself; ātma-śaktim — self-sufficient power; avaṣṭabhya — being employed; ūrṇa-nābhiḥ — the spider; iva — like; aklamaḥ — without help.
As the spider very easily creates the network of its cobweb and manifests its power of creation without being defeated by others, so also you yourself, by employment of your self-sufficient energy, create without any other’s help.
nāhaṁ veda paraṁ hy asmin
nāparaṁ na samaṁ vibho
sad-asat kiñcid anyataḥ
na — do not; aham — myself; veda — know; param — superior; hi — for; asmin — in this world; na — neither; aparam — inferior; na — nor; samam — equal; vibho — O great one; nāma — name; rūpa — characteristics; guṇaiḥ — by qualification; bhāvyam — all that is created; sat — eternal; asat — temporary; kiñcit — or anything like that; anyataḥ — from any other source.
Whatever we can understand by the nomenclature, characteristics and features of a particular thing — superior, inferior or equal, eternal or temporary — is not created from any source other than that of Your Lordship, thou so great.
sa bhavān acarad ghoraṁ
yat tapaḥ susamāhitaḥ
tena khedayase nas tvaṁ
parā-śaṅkāṁ ca yacchasi
saḥ — he; bhavān — your good self; acarat — undertook; ghoram — severe; yat tapaḥ — meditation; su-samāhitaḥ — in perfect discipline; tena — for that reason; khedayase — gives pain; naḥ — ourselves; tvam — your good self; parā — the ultimate truth; śaṅkām — doubts; ca — and; yacchasi — giving us a chance.
Yet we are moved to wonder about the existence of someone more powerful than you when we think of your great austerities in perfect discipline, although your good self is so powerful in the matter of creation.
etan me pṛcchataḥ sarvaṁ
ahaṁ budhye ’nuśāsitaḥ
etat — all those; me — unto me; pṛcchataḥ — inquisitive; sarvam — all that is inquired; sarva-jña — one who knows everything; sakala — over all; īśvara — the controller; vijānīhi — kindly explain; yathā — as; eva — they are; idam — this; aham — myself; budhye — can understand; anuśāsitaḥ — just learning from you.
My dear father, you know everything, and you are the controller of all. Therefore, may all that I have inquired from you be kindly instructed to me so that I may be able to understand it as your student.
vatsa te vicikitsitam
yad ahaṁ coditaḥ saumya
brahmā uvāca — Lord Brahmā said; samyak — perfectly; kāruṇikasya — of you, who are very kind; idam — this; vatsa — my dear boy; te — your; vicikitsitam — inquisitiveness; yat — by which; aham — myself; coditaḥ — inspired; saumya — O gentle one; bhagavat — of the Personality of Godhead; vīrya — prowess; darśane — in the matter of.
Lord Brahmā said: My dear boy Nārada, being merciful to all (including me) you have asked all these questions because I have been inspired to see into the prowess of the Almighty Personality of Godhead.
nānṛtaṁ tava tac cāpi
yathā māṁ prabravīṣi bhoḥ
avijñāya paraṁ matta
etāvat tvaṁ yato hi me
na — not; anṛtam — false; tava — of yours; tat — that; ca — also; api — as you have stated; yathā — in the matter of; mām — of myself; prabravīṣi — as you describe; bhoḥ — O my son; avijñāya — without knowing; param — the Supreme; mattaḥ — beyond myself; etāvat — all that you have spoken; tvam — yourself; yataḥ — for the reason of; hi — certainly; me — about me.
Whatever you have spoken about me is not false because unless and until one is aware of the Personality of Godhead, who is the ultimate truth beyond me, one is sure to be illusioned by observing my powerful activities.
yena sva-rociṣā viśvaṁ
rocitaṁ rocayāmy aham
yathārko ’gnir yathā somo
yena — by whom; sva-rociṣā — by His own effulgence; viśvam — all the world; rocitam — already created by His potency; rocayāmi — do manifest; aham — I; yathā — as much; arkaḥ — the sun; agniḥ — fire; yathā — as; somaḥ — the moon; yathā — as also; ṛkṣa — the firmament; graha — the influential planets; tārakāḥ — the stars.
I create after the Lord’s creation by His personal effulgence [known as the brahmajyoti], just as when the sun manifests its fire, the moon, the firmament, the influential planets and the twinkling stars also manifest their brightness.
tasmai namo bhagavate
māṁ vadanti jagad-gurum
tasmai — unto Him; namaḥ — offer my obeisances; bhagavate — unto the Personality of Godhead; vāsudevāya — unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; dhīmahi — do meditate upon Him; yat — by whose; māyayā — potencies; durjayayā — invincible; mām — unto me; vadanti — they say; jagat — the world; gurum — the master.
I offer my obeisances and meditate upon Lord Kṛṣṇa [Vāsudeva], the Personality of Godhead, whose invincible potency influences them [the less intelligent class of men] to call me the supreme controller.
sthātum īkṣā-pathe ’muyā
mamāham iti durdhiyaḥ
vilajjamānayā — by one who is ashamed; yasya — whose; sthātum — to stay; īkṣā-pathe — in front; amuyā — by the bewildering energy; vimohitāḥ — those who are bewildered; vikatthante — talk nonsense; mama — it is mine; aham — I am everything; iti — thus vituperating; durdhiyaḥ — thus ill conceived.
The illusory energy of the Lord cannot take precedence, being ashamed of her position, but those who are bewildered by her always talk nonsense, being absorbed in thoughts of “It is I” and “It is mine.”
dravyaṁ karma ca kālaś ca
svabhāvo jīva eva ca
vāsudevāt paro brahman
na cānyo ’rtho ’sti tattvataḥ
dravyam — the ingredients (earth, water, fire, air and sky); karma — the interaction; ca — and; kālaḥ — eternal time; ca — also; sva-bhāvaḥ — intuition or nature; jīvaḥ — the living being; eva — certainly; ca — and; vāsudevāt — from Vāsudeva; paraḥ — differentiated parts; brahman — O brāhmaṇa; na — never; ca — also; anyaḥ — separate; arthaḥ — value; asti — there is; tattvataḥ — in truth.
The five elementary ingredients of creation, the interaction thereof set up by eternal time, and the intuition or nature of the individual living beings are all differentiated parts and parcels of the Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva, and in truth there is no other value in them.
nārāyaṇa — the Supreme Lord; parāḥ — is the cause and is meant for; vedāḥ — knowledge; devāḥ — the demigods; nārāyaṇa — the Supreme Lord; aṅga-jāḥ — assisting hands; nārāyaṇa — the Personality of Godhead; parāḥ — for the sake of; lokāḥ — the planets; nārāyaṇa — the Supreme Lord; parāḥ — just to please Him; makhāḥ — all sacrifices.
The Vedic literatures are made by and are meant for the Supreme Lord, the demigods are also meant for serving the Lord as parts of His body, the different planets are also meant for the sake of the Lord, and different sacrifices are performed just to please Him.
nārāyaṇa-paraḥ — just to know Nārāyaṇa; yogaḥ — concentration of mind; nārāyaṇa-param — just with an aim to achieve Nārāyaṇa; tapaḥ — austerity; nārāyaṇa-param — just to realize a glimpse of Nārāyaṇa; jñānam — culture of transcendental knowledge; nārāyaṇa-parā — the path of salvation ends by entering the kingdom of Nārāyaṇa; gatiḥ — progressive path.
All different types of meditation or mysticism are means for realizing Nārāyaṇa. All austerities are aimed at achieving Nārāyaṇa. Culture of transcendental knowledge is for getting a glimpse of Nārāyaṇa, and ultimately salvation is entering the kingdom of Nārāyaṇa.
tasyāpi draṣṭur īśasya
sṛjyaṁ sṛjāmi sṛṣṭo ’ham
tasya — His; api — certainly; draṣṭuḥ — of the seer; īśasya — of the controller; kūṭa-sthasya — of the one who is over everyone’s intelligence; akhila-ātmanaḥ — of the Supersoul; sṛjyam — that which is already created; sṛjāmi — do I discover; sṛṣṭaḥ — created; aham — myself; īkṣayā — by glance over; eva — exactly; abhicoditaḥ — being inspired by Him.
Inspired by Him only, I discover what is already created by Him [Nārāyaṇa] under His vision as the all-pervading Supersoul, and I also am created by Him only.
sattvaṁ rajas tama iti
nirguṇasya guṇās trayaḥ
gṛhītā māyayā vibhoḥ
sattvam — the mode of goodness; rajaḥ — the mode of passion; tamaḥ — the mode of ignorance; iti — all these; nirguṇasya — of the Transcendence; guṇāḥ trayaḥ — are three qualities; sthiti — maintenance; sarga — creation; nirodheṣu — in destruction; gṛhītāḥ — accepted; māyayā — by the external energy; vibhoḥ — of the Supreme.
The Supreme Lord is pure, spiritual form, transcendental to all material qualities, yet for the sake of the creation of the material world and its maintenance and annihilation, He accepts through His external energy the material modes of nature called goodness, passion and ignorance.
badhnanti nityadā muktaṁ
māyinaṁ puruṣaṁ guṇāḥ
kārya — effect; kāraṇa — cause; kartṛtve — in activities; dravya — material; jñāna — knowledge; kriyā-āśrayāḥ — manifested by such symptoms; badhnanti — conditions; nityadā — eternally; muktam — transcendental; māyinam — affected by material energy; puruṣam — the living entity; guṇāḥ — the material modes.
These three modes of material nature, being further manifested as matter, knowledge and activities, put the eternally transcendental living entity under conditions of cause and effect and make him responsible for such activities.
sa eṣa bhagavāḻ liṅgais
tribhir etair adhokṣajaḥ
sarveṣāṁ mama ceśvaraḥ
saḥ — He; eṣaḥ — this; bhagavān — the Personality of Godhead; liṅgaiḥ — by the symptoms; tribhiḥ — by the three; etaiḥ — by all these; adhokṣajaḥ — the Superseer Transcendence; su-alakṣita — veritably unseen; gatiḥ — movement; brahman — O Nārada; sarveṣām — of everyone; mama — mine; ca — as also; īśvaraḥ — the controller.
O Brāhmaṇa Nārada, the Superseer, the transcendent Lord, is beyond the perception of the material senses of the living entities because of the above-mentioned three modes of nature. But He is the controller of everyone, including me.
kālaṁ karma svabhāvaṁ ca
māyeśo māyayā svayā
ātman yadṛcchayā prāptaṁ
kālam — eternal time; karma — the fate of the living entity; svabhāvam — nature; ca — also; māyā — potency; īśaḥ — the controller; māyayā — by the energy; svayā — of His own; ātman (ātmani) — unto His Self; yadṛcchayā — independently; prāptam — being merged in; vibubhūṣuḥ — appearing differently; upādade — accepted for being created again.
The Lord, who is the controller of all energies, thus creates, by His own potency, eternal time, the fate of all living entities, and their particular nature, for which they were created, and He again merges them independently.
karmaṇo janma mahataḥ
kālāt — from eternal time; guṇa-vyatikaraḥ — transformation of the modes by reaction; pariṇāmaḥ — transformation; svabhāvataḥ — from the nature; karmaṇaḥ — of activities; janma — creation; mahataḥ — of the mahat-tattva; puruṣa-adhiṣṭhitāt — because of the puruṣa incarnation of the Lord; abhūt — it took place.
After the incarnation of the first puruṣa [Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī Viṣṇu], the mahat-tattva, or the principles of material creation, take place, and then time is manifested, and in course of time the three qualities appear. Nature means the three qualitative appearances. They transform into activities.
mahatas tu vikurvāṇād
tamaḥ-pradhānas tv abhavad
mahataḥ — of the mahat-tattva; tu — but; vikurvāṇāt — being transformed; rajaḥ — the material mode of passion; sattva — the mode of goodness; upabṛṁhitāt — because of being increased; tamaḥ — the mode of darkness; pradhānaḥ — being prominent; tu — but; abhavat — took place; dravya — matter; jñāna — material knowledge; kriyā-ātmakaḥ — predominantly material activities.
Material activities are caused by the mahat-tattva’s being agitated. At first there is transformation of the modes of goodness and passion, and later — due to the mode of ignorance — matter, its knowledge, and different activities of material knowledge come into play.
so ’haṅkāra iti prokto
vikurvan samabhūt tridhā
vaikārikas taijasaś ca
tāmasaś ceti yad-bhidā
jñāna-śaktir iti prabho
saḥ — the very same thing; ahaṅkāraḥ — ego; iti — thus; proktaḥ — said; vikurvan — being transformed; samabhūt — became manifested; tridhā — in three features; vaikārikaḥ — in the mode of goodness; taijasaḥ — in the mode of passion; ca — and; tāmasaḥ — in the mode of ignorance; ca — also; iti — thus; yat — what is; bhidā — divided; dravya-śaktiḥ — powers that evolve matter; kriyā-śaktiḥ — initiation that creates; jñāna-śaktiḥ — intelligence that guides; iti — thus; prabho — O master.
The self-centered materialistic ego, thus being transformed into three features, becomes known as the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance in three divisions, namely the powers that evolve matter, knowledge of material creations, and the intelligence that guides such materialistic activities. Nārada, you are quite competent to understand this.
tāmasād api bhūtāder
vikurvāṇād abhūn nabhaḥ
tasya mātrā guṇaḥ śabdo
liṅgaṁ yad draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ
tāmasāt — from the darkness of false ego; api — certainly; bhūta-ādeḥ — of the material elements; vikurvāṇāt — because of transformation; abhūt — generated; nabhaḥ — the sky; tasya — its; mātrā — subtle form; guṇaḥ — quality; śabdaḥ — sound; liṅgam — characteristics; yat — as its; draṣṭṛ — the seer; dṛśyayoḥ — of what is seen.
From the darkness of false ego, the first of the five elements, namely the sky, is generated. Its subtle form is the quality of sound, exactly as the seer is in relationship with the seen.
nabhaso ’tha vikurvāṇād
abhūt sparśa-guṇo ’nilaḥ
parānvayāc chabdavāṁś ca
prāṇa ojaḥ saho balam
vāyor api vikurvāṇāt
udapadyata tejo vai
tejasas tu vikurvāṇād
āsīd ambho rasātmakam
rūpavat sparśavac cāmbho
ghoṣavac ca parānvayāt
viśeṣas tu vikurvāṇād
ambhaso gandhavān abhūt
nabhasaḥ — of the sky; atha — thus; vikurvāṇāt — being transformed; abhūt — generated; sparśa — touch; guṇaḥ — quality; anilaḥ — air; para — previous; anvayāt — by succession; śabdavān — full of sound; ca — also; prāṇaḥ — life; ojaḥ — sense perception; sahaḥ — fat; balam — strength; vāyoḥ — of the air; api — also; vikurvāṇāt — by transformation; kāla — time; karma — reaction of the past; svabhāvataḥ — on the basis of nature; udapadyata — generated; tejaḥ — fire; vai — duly; rūpavat — with form; sparśa — touch; śabdavat — with sound also; tejasaḥ — of the fire; tu — but; vikurvāṇāt — on being transformed; āsīt — it so happened; ambhaḥ — water; rasa-ātmakam — composed of juice; rūpavat — with form; sparśavat — with touch; ca — and; ambhaḥ — water; ghoṣavat — with sound; ca — and; para — previous; anvayāt — by succession; viśeṣaḥ — variegatedness; tu — but; vikurvāṇāt — by transformation; ambhasaḥ — of water; gandhavān — odorous; abhūt — became; para — previous; anvayāt — by succession; rasa — juice; sparśa — touch; śabda — sound; rūpa-guṇa-anvitaḥ — qualitative.
Because the sky is transformed, the air is generated with the quality of touch, and by previous succession the air is also full of sound and the basic principles of duration of life: sense perception, mental power and bodily strength. When the air is transformed in course of time and nature’s course, fire is generated, taking shape with the sense of touch and sound. Since fire is also transformed, there is a manifestation of water, full of juice and taste. As previously, it also has form and touch and is also full of sound. And water, being transformed from all variegatedness on earth, appears odorous and, as previously, becomes qualitatively full of juice, touch, sound and form respectively.
vaikārikān mano jajñe
devā vaikārikā daśa
vaikārikāt — from the mode of goodness; manaḥ — the mind; jajñe — generated; devāḥ — demigods; vaikārikāḥ — in the mode of goodness; daśa — ten; dik — the controller of directions; vāta — the controller of air; arka — the sun; pracetaḥ — Varuṇa; aśvi — the Aśvinī-kumāras; vahni — the fire-god; indra — the King of heaven; upendra — the deity in heaven; mitra — one of the twelve Ādityas; kāḥ — Prajāpati Brahmā.
From the mode of goodness the mind is generated and becomes manifest, as also the ten demigods controlling the bodily movements. Such demigods are known as the controller of directions, the controller of air, the sun-god, the father of Dakṣa Prajāpati, the Aśvinī-kumāras, the fire-god, the King of heaven, the worshipable deity in heaven, the chief of the Ādityas, and Brahmājī, the Prajāpati. All come into existence.
taijasāt tu vikurvāṇād
buddhiḥ prāṇaś ca taijasau
taijasāt — by the passionate egoism; tu — but; vikurvāṇāt — transformation of; indriyāṇi — the senses; daśa — ten; abhavan — generated; jñāna-śaktiḥ — the five senses for acquiring knowledge; kriyā-śaktiḥ — the five senses of activities; buddhiḥ — intelligence; prāṇaḥ — the living energy; ca — also; taijasau — all products of the mode of passion; śrotram — the sense for hearing; tvak — the sense for touching; ghrāṇa — the sense for smelling; dṛk — the sense for seeing; jihvāḥ — the sense for tasting; vāk — the sense for speaking; doḥ — the sense for handling; meḍhra — the genitals; aṅghri — the legs; pāyavaḥ — the sense for evacuating.
By further transformation of the mode of passion, the sense organs like the ear, skin, nose, eyes, tongue, mouth, hands, genitals, legs, and the outlet for evacuating, together with intelligence and living energy, are all generated.
yadaite ’saṅgatā bhāvā
na śekur brahma-vittama
yadā — as long as; ete — all these; asaṅgatāḥ — without being assembled; bhāvāḥ — remained so situated; bhūta — elements; indriya — senses; manaḥ — mind; guṇāḥ — modes of nature; yadā — so long; āyatana — the body; nirmāṇe — in being formed; na śekuḥ — was not possible; brahma-vit-tama — O Nārada, the best knower of transcendental knowledge.
O Nārada, best of the transcendentalists, the forms of the body cannot take place as long as these created parts, namely the elements, senses, mind and modes of nature, are not assembled.
tadā saṁhatya cānyonyaṁ
cobhayaṁ sasṛjur hy adaḥ
tadā — all those; saṁhatya — being assembled; ca — also; anyonyam — one another; bhagavat — by the Personality of Godhead; śakti — energy; coditāḥ — being applied; sat-asattvam — primarily and secondarily; upādāya — accepting; ca — also; ubhayam — both; sasṛjuḥ — came into existence; hi — certainly; adaḥ — this universe.
Thus when all these became assembled by force of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this universe certainly came into being by accepting both the primary and secondary causes of creation.
tad aṇḍam udake śayam
jīvo ’jīvam ajīvayat
varṣa-pūga — many years; sahasra-ante — of thousands of years; tat — that; aṇḍam — the universal globe; udake — in the causal water; śayam — being drowned; kāla — eternal time; karma — action; svabhāva-sthaḥ — according to the modes of nature; jīvaḥ — the Lord of the living beings; ajīvam — nonanimated; ajīvayat — caused to be animated.
Thus all the universes remained thousands of aeons within the water [the Causal Ocean], and the Lord of living beings, entering in each of them, caused them to be fully animated.
sa eva puruṣas tasmād
aṇḍaṁ nirbhidya nirgataḥ
saḥ — He (the Lord); eva — Himself; puruṣaḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tasmāt — from within the universe; aṇḍam — Hiraṇyagarbha; nirbhidya — dividing; nirgataḥ — came out; sahasra — thousands; ūru — thighs; aṅghri — legs; bāhu — arms; akṣaḥ — eyes; sahasra — thousands of; ānana — mouths; śīrṣavān — with heads also.
The Lord [Mahā-Viṣṇu], although lying in the Causal Ocean, came out of it, and dividing Himself as Hiraṇyagarbha, He entered into each universe and assumed the virāṭ-rūpa, with thousands of legs, arms, mouths, heads, etc.
kaṭya-ādibhir adhaḥ sapta
yasya — whose; iha — in the universe; avayavaiḥ — by the limbs of the body; lokān — all the planets; kalpayanti — imagine; manīṣiṇaḥ — great philosophers; kaṭi-ādibhiḥ — down from the waist; adhaḥ — downwards; sapta — seven systems; sapta ūrdhvam — and seven systems upwards; jaghana-ādibhiḥ — front portion.
Great philosophers imagine that the complete planetary systems in the universe are displays of the different upper and lower limbs of the universal body of the Lord.
puruṣasya mukhaṁ brahma
kṣatram etasya bāhavaḥ
ūrvor vaiśyo bhagavataḥ
padbhyāṁ śūdro vyajāyata
puruṣasya — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mukham — mouth; brahma — is the brāhmaṇas; kṣatram — the royal order; etasya — of Him; bāhavaḥ — the arms; ūrvoḥ — the thighs; vaiśyaḥ — are the mercantile men; bhagavataḥ — of the Personality of Godhead; padbhyām — from His legs; śūdraḥ — the laborer class; vyajāyata — became manifested.
The brāhmaṇas represent His mouth, the kṣatriyas His arms, the vaiśyas His thighs, and the śūdras are born of His legs.
bhūrlokaḥ kalpitaḥ padbhyāṁ
bhuvarloko ’sya nābhitaḥ
hṛdā svarloka urasā
bhūḥ — the lower planetary systems up to the stratum of the earth; lokaḥ — the planets; kalpitaḥ — it is so imagined or said; padbhyām — out of the legs; bhuvaḥ — the upper; lokaḥ — the planetary system; asya — of Him (the Lord); nābhitaḥ — from the navel abdomen; hṛdā — by the heart; svarlokaḥ — the planetary systems occupied by the demigods; urasā — by the chest; maharlokaḥ — the planetary system occupied by great sages and saints; mahā-ātmanaḥ — of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The lower planetary systems, up to the limit of the earthly stratum, are said to be situated in His legs. The middle planetary systems, beginning from Bhuvarloka, are situated in His navel. And the still higher planetary systems, occupied by the demigods and highly cultured sages and saints, are situated in the chest of the Supreme Lord.
grīvāyāṁ janaloko ’sya
mūrdhabhiḥ satyalokas tu
grīvāyām — up to the neck; janalokaḥ — the Janaloka planetary system; asya — of Him; tapolokaḥ — the Tapoloka planetary system; stana-dvayāt — beginning from the breast; mūrdhabhiḥ — by the head; satyalokaḥ — the Satyaloka planetary system; tu — but; brahmalokaḥ — the spiritual planets; sanātanaḥ — eternal.
From the forefront of the chest up to the neck of the universal form of the Lord are situated the planetary systems named Janaloka and Tapoloka, whereas Satyaloka, the topmost planetary system, is situated on the head of the form. The spiritual planets, however, are eternal.
tat-kaṭyāṁ cātalaṁ kḷptam
ūrubhyāṁ vitalaṁ vibhoḥ
jānubhyāṁ sutalaṁ śuddhaṁ
jaṅghābhyāṁ tu talātalam
mahātalaṁ tu gulphābhyāṁ
iti lokamayaḥ pumān
tat — in His; kaṭyām — waist; ca — also; atalam — the first planetary system below the earth; kḷptam — situated; ūrubhyām — on the thighs; vitalam — the second planetary system below; vibhoḥ — of the Lord; jānubhyām — on the ankles; sutalam — the third planetary system below; śuddham — purified; jaṅghābhyām — on the joints; tu — but; talātalam — the fourth planetary system below; mahātalam — the fifth planetary system below; tu — but; gulphābhyām — situated on the calves; prapadābhyām — on the upper or front portion of the feet; rasātalam — the sixth planetary system below; pātālam — the seventh planetary system below; pāda-talataḥ — on the bottom or soles of the feet; iti — thus; loka-mayaḥ — full of planetary systems; pumān — the Lord.
My dear son Nārada, know from me that there are seven lower planetary systems out of the total fourteen. The first planetary system, known as Atala, is situated on the waist; the second, Vitala, is situated on the thighs; the third, Sutala, on the knees; the fourth, Talātala, on the shanks; the fifth, Mahātala, on the ankles; the sixth, Rasātala, on the upper portion of the feet; and the seventh, Pātāla, on the soles of the feet. Thus the virāṭ form of the Lord is full of all planetary systems.
bhūrlokaḥ kalpitaḥ padbhyāṁ
bhuvarloko ’sya nābhitaḥ
svarlokaḥ kalpito mūrdhnā
iti vā loka-kalpanā
bhūrlokaḥ — the entire planetary system from Pātāla to the earthly planetary system; kalpitaḥ — imagined; padbhyām — situated on the legs; bhuvarlokaḥ — the Bhuvarloka planetary system; asya — of the universal form of the Lord; nābhitaḥ — out of the navel abdomen; svarlokaḥ — the higher planetary system, beginning with the heavenly planets; kalpitaḥ — imagined; mūrdhnā — from the chest to the head; iti — thus; vā — either; loka — the planetary systems; kalpanā — imagination.
Others may divide the whole planetary system into three divisions, namely the lower planetary systems on the legs [up to the earth], the middle planetary systems on the navel, and the upper planetary systems [Svarloka] from the chest to the head of the Supreme Personality.