SB 8.17: The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi’s Son
As explained in this chapter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, being very pleased by the payo-vrata ceremony performed by Aditi, appeared before her in full opulence. At her request, the Lord agreed to become her son.
After Aditi performed the payo-vrata ceremony for twelve continuous days, the Lord, who was certainly very pleased with her, appeared before her with four hands and dressed in yellow garments. As soon as Aditi saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead present before her, she immediately got up, and with great ecstatic love for the Lord she fell to the ground to offer respectful obeisances. Aditi’s throat was choked because of ecstatic feelings, and her entire body trembled with devotion. Although she wanted to offer suitable prayers to the Lord, she could not do anything, and thus she remained silent for some time. Then, feeling solace, observing the beauty of the Lord, she offered her prayers. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul of all living entities, was very pleased with her, and He agreed to become her son by incarnating as a plenary expansion. He was already pleased by Kaśyapa Muni’s austerities, and thus He agreed to become their son and maintain the demigods. After giving His word of honor to this effect, the Lord disappeared. Following the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Aditi engaged in the service of Kaśyapa Muni, who could see by samādhi that the Lord was within him and who thus placed his semen in the womb of Aditi. Lord Brahmā, who is known as Hiraṇyagarbha, understood that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had entered Aditi’s womb. Thus he offered prayers to the Lord.
sva-bhartrā kaśyapena vai
anv atiṣṭhad vratam idaṁ
For advancement in anything, especially in spiritual life, one must strictly follow the bona fide instructions of the teacher. Aditi did this. She strictly followed the instructions of her husband and guru. As confirmed in the Vedic injunctions, yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. One should have complete faith in the guru, who helps the disciple make progress in spiritual life. As soon as the disciple thinks independently, not caring for the instructions of the spiritual master, he is a failure (yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ’pi). Aditi very strictly followed the instructions of her husband and spiritual master, and thus she was successful.
cacāra ha payo-vratam
This is the process of bhakti-yoga.
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” One simply has to concentrate upon the lotus feet of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ). Then the mind and senses will be controlled, and one can engage himself fully in the devotional service of the Lord. The devotee does not need to practice the haṭha-yoga system to control the mind and senses; his mind and senses are automatically controlled because of unalloyed devotional service to the Lord.
nanāma bhuvi kāyena
babhūva tūṣṇīṁ pulakākulākṛtis
tuṣṭāva sā devy aditiḥ kurūdvaha
udvīkṣatī sā pibatīva cakṣuṣā
ramā-patiṁ yajña-patiṁ jagat-patim
After observing the payo-vrata, Aditi was certain that the Lord had appeared before her as Ramā-pati, the husband of all good fortune, just to offer her sons all opulences. She had performed the yajña of payo-vrata under the direction of her husband, Kaśyapa, and therefore she thought of the Lord as Yajña-pati. She was completely satisfied to see the master and Lord of the entire universe come before her to fulfill her desire.
śaṁ naḥ kṛdhīśa bhagavann asi dīna-nāthaḥ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the master of those who observe vows and austerities, and it is He who bestows benedictions upon them. He is worshipable for the devotee throughout the devotee’s life, for He never breaks His promises. As He says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.31), kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati: “O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” The Lord is addressed here as acyuta, the infallible, because He takes care of His devotees. Anyone inimical to the devotees is certainly vanquished by the mercy of the Lord. The Lord is the source of the Ganges water, and therefore He is addressed here as tīrtha-pāda, indicating that all the holy places are at His lotus feet, or that whatever He touches with His foot becomes a holy place. Bhagavad-gītā, for example, begins with the words dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre. Because the Lord was present on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, it became a dharma-kṣetra, a place of pilgrimage. Therefore the Pāṇḍavas, who were extremely religious, were assured of victory. Any place where the Supreme Personality of Godhead displays His pastimes, such as Vṛndāvana or Dvārakā, becomes a holy place. The chanting of the holy name of the Lord — Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare — is pleasing to the ear, and it expands good fortune to the audience who hears it chanted. Owing to the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Aditi was fully assured that the troublesome condition created for her by the demons would now be ended.
svairaṁ gṛhīta-puru-śakti-guṇāya bhūmne
vyāpāditātma-tamase haraye namas te
In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 2.117) it is said:
siddhānta baliyā citte nā kara alasa
ihā ha-ite kṛṣṇe lāge sudṛḍha mānasa
Anyone trying to become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious must know the Lord’s glories as far as they are possible to understand. Here Aditi hints at these glories. The universe is nothing but the external potency of the Lord. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (9.4): mayā tatam idaṁ sarvam. Whatever we see in this universe is but an expansion of the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as the sunshine and heat all over the universe are expansions of the sun. When one surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he surpasses the influence of the illusory energy, for the Supreme Lord, being fully wise and being situated in the heart of everyone, especially in the heart of the devotee, gives one intelligence by which one is sure never to fall into illusion.
dyo-bhū-rasāḥ sakala-yoga-guṇās tri-vargaḥ
jñānaṁ ca kevalam ananta bhavanti tuṣṭāt
tvatto nṛṇāṁ kim u sapatna-jayādir āśīḥ
iti hovāca bhārata
yat sapatnair hṛta-śrīṇāṁ
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being situated in everyone’s heart, and especially in the hearts of His devotees, is always ready to help devotees in adversity. Since He knows everything, He knows how things are to be adjusted, and He does the needful to relieve the suffering of His devotee.
putrair icchasy upāsitum
hatānāṁ yudhi vidviṣām
striyo rudantīr āsādya
draṣṭum icchasi duḥkhitāḥ
krīḍato draṣṭum icchasi
apāraṇīyā iti devi me matiḥ
yat te ’nukūleśvara-vipra-guptā
na vikramas tatra sukhaṁ dadāti
When a person is favored by brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas, no one can defeat him. Even the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not interfere when one is protected by a brāhmaṇa. It is said, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The Lord’s first inclination is to give all benedictions to the cows and brāhmaṇas. Therefore if brāhmaṇas favor someone, the Lord does not interfere, nor can anyone interfere with the happiness of such a person.
santoṣitasya vrata-caryayā te
mamārcanaṁ nārhati gantum anyathā
svāṁśena putratvam upetya te sutān
goptāsmi mārīca-tapasy adhiṣṭhitaḥ
māṁ ca bhāvayatī patyāv
evaṁ rūpam avasthitam
sarvaṁ sampadyate devi
aditir durlabhaṁ labdhvā
harer janmātmani prabhoḥ
upādhāvat patiṁ bhaktyā
kaśyapas tad abudhyata
praviṣṭam ātmani harer
aṁśaṁ hy avitathekṣaṇaḥ
dāruṇy agniṁ yathānilaḥ
A forest fire begins when two pieces of wood rub against one another, being agitated by the wind. Actually, however, fire belongs neither to the wood nor to the wind; it is always different from both. Similarly, here it is to be understood that the union of Kaśyapa Muni and Aditi was not like the sexual intercourse of ordinary human beings. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has nothing to do with the human secretions of sexual intercourse. He is always completely aloof from such material combinations.
The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.29), samo ’haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu: “I am equal toward all living entities.” Nonetheless, to protect the devotees and kill the demons, who were a disturbing element, the Lord entered the womb of Aditi. Therefore this is a transcendental pastime of the Lord. This should not be misunderstood. One should not think that the Lord became the son of Aditi the way an ordinary child is born because of sexual intercourse between man and woman.
Here it may also be appropriate to explain, in these days of controversy, the origin of life. The life force of the living entity — the soul — is different from the ovum and semen of the human being. Although the conditioned soul has nothing to do with the reproductive cells of man and woman, he is placed into the proper situation because of his work (karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa). Life is not, however, a product of two secretions, but is independent of all material elements. As fully described in Bhagavad-gītā, the living entity is not subject to any material reactions. He can neither be burnt by fire, cut by sharp weapons, moistened by water, nor dried by the air. He is completely different from the physical elements, but by a superior arrangement he is put into these material elements. He is always aloof from material contact (asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣaḥ) but because he is placed in a material condition, he suffers the reactions of the material modes of nature.
puruṣaḥ prakṛti-stho hi
bhuṅkte prakṛtijān guṇān
kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ’sya
“The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil amongst various species.” (Bg. 13.22) Although the living entity is aloof from the material elements, he is put into material conditions, and thus he must suffer the reactions of material activities.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead exists everywhere (aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham). Therefore when one chants His transcendental names — Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare — the Supreme Personality of Godhead is automatically pleased by such saṅkīrtana. It is not that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is absent; He is present there. And when a devotee utters the transcendental name, it is not a material sound. Therefore, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is naturally pleased. A devotee knows that the Lord is present everywhere and that one can please Him simply by chanting His holy name.
urukrama namo ’stu te
tri-guṇāya namo namaḥ
ananta-śaktiṁ puruṣaṁ yam āhuḥ
kālo bhavān ākṣipatīśa viśvaṁ
sroto yathāntaḥ patitaṁ gabhīram
The time factor is sometimes described as kāla-srota, waves of time. Everything in this material world is within the time factor and is being carried away by waves of attraction, which represent the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
prajāpatīnām asi sambhaviṣṇuḥ
divaukasāṁ deva divaś cyutānāṁ
parāyaṇaṁ naur iva majjato ’psu
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Eighth Canto, Seventeenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Supreme Lord Agrees to Become Aditi’s Son.”