SB 11.16: The Lord’s Opulence
In this chapter the Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, describes His manifest opulences in terms of His specific potencies of knowledge, strength, influence, and so on.
Śrī Uddhava offered glorification to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and ultimate shelter of all holy places, saying, “The Supreme Lord has no beginning and no end. He is the cause of the birth, maintenance and destruction of all living entities. He is the soul of all beings, and by secretly taking up residence within all living bodies He sees everything. The conditioned souls, on the other hand, are bewildered by His external energy and thus are unable to see Him.” After offering such prayers at the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrī Uddhava revealed his desire to know about the Lord’s various opulences in heaven, on earth, in hell and in all directions. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa then described all these opulences, after which He commented that all power, beauty, fame, opulence, humility, charity, charm, good fortune, valor, tolerance and wisdom — wherever they are manifest — are simply expansions from Himself. It therefore cannot be truthfully said that a material object actually possesses these opulences. Such conceptions are the results of mentally combining two ideas to produce an object that exists only in the imagination, such as a sky flower. Material opulences are not substantially true, and therefore one should not become too involved in meditating upon them. The pure devotees of the Supreme Lord utilize their intelligence to properly regulate the activities of their speech, mind and vital force and thus perfect their existence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.