yathedaṁ sṛjate viśvaṁ
In every inquisitive mind the important question of the creation of the phenomenal world arises, and therefore for a personality like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was to know all the activities of the Lord from his spiritual master, such an inquiry is not uncommon. For every unknown thing, we have to learn and inquire from a learned personality. The question of creation is also one of such inquiries to be made to the right person. The spiritual master, therefore, must be one who is sarva-jña, as stated hereinbefore in connection with Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Thus all inquiries on God which are unknown to the disciple may be made from the qualified spiritual master, and here the practical example is set by Mahārāja Parīkṣit. It was, however, already known to Mahārāja Parīkṣit that everything we see is born out of the energy of the Lord, as we have all learned in the very beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (janmādy asya yataḥ). So Mahārāja Parīkṣit wanted to know the process of creation. The origin of creation was known to him; otherwise he would not have inquired how the Personality of Godhead, by His different energies, creates this phenomenal world. The common man also knows that the creation is made by some creator and is not created automatically. We have no experience in the practical world that a thing is created automatically. Foolish people say that the creative energy is independent and acts automatically, as electrical energy works. But the intelligent man knows that even the electrical energy is generated by an expert engineer in the localized powerhouse, and thus the energy is distributed everywhere under the resident engineer’s supervision. The Lord’s supervision in connection with creation is mentioned even in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.10), and it is clearly said there that material energy is a manifestation of one of many such energies of the Supreme (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate). An inexperienced boy may be struck with wonder by seeing the impersonal actions of electronics or many other wonderful things conducted by electrical energy, but an experienced man knows that behind the action is a living man who creates such energy. Similarly the so-called scholars and philosophers of the world may, by mental speculation, present so many utopian theories about the impersonal creation of the universe, but an intelligent devotee of the Lord, by studying the Bhagavad-gītā, can know that behind the creation is the hand of the Supreme Lord, just as in the generating electrical powerhouse there is the resident engineer. The research scholar finds out the cause and the effect of everything, but research scholars as great as Brahmā, Śiva, Indra and many other demigods are sometimes bewildered by seeing the wonderful creative energy of the Lord, so what to speak of the tiny mundane scholars dealing in petty things. As there are differences in the living conditions of different planets of the universe, and as one planet is superior to others, the brains of the living entities in those respective planets are also of different categorical values. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, one can compare the long duration of life of the inhabitants of Brahmā’s planet, which is inconceivable to the inhabitants of this planet earth, to the categorical value of the brain of Brahmājī, also inconceivable to any great scientist of this planet. And with such high brain power, even Brahmājī has described in his great saṁhitā (Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1) as follows:
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
“There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavān, but Kṛṣṇa is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person, and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes.”
Brahmājī admits Lord Kṛṣṇa to be the supreme cause of all causes. But persons with tiny brains within this petty planet earth think of the Lord as one of them. Thus when the Lord says in the Bhagavad-gītā that He (Lord Kṛṣṇa) is all in all, the speculative philosophers and the mundane wranglers deride Him, and the Lord regretfully says:
avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.” (Bg. 9.11) Brahmā and Śiva (and what to speak of other demigods) are bhūtas, or powerful created demigods who manage universal affairs, much like ministers appointed by a king. The ministers may be īśvaras, or controllers, but the Supreme Lord is maheśvara, or the creator of the controllers. Persons with a poor fund of knowledge do not know this, and therefore they have the audacity to deride Him because He comes before us by His causeless mercy occasionally as a human being. The Lord is not like a human being. He is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, or the Absolute Personality of Godhead, and there is no difference between His body and His soul. He is both the power and the powerful.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit did not ask his spiritual master, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, to narrate Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes in Vṛndāvana; he wanted to hear first about the creation of the Lord. Śukadeva Gosvāmī did not say that the King should hear about the direct transcendental pastimes of the Lord. The time was very short, and naturally Śukadeva Gosvāmī could have gone directly to the Tenth Canto to make a shortcut of the whole thing, as generally done by the professional reciters. But neither the King nor the great speaker of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam jumped up like the organizers of Bhāgavatam; both of them proceeded systematically, so that both future readers and hearers might take lessons from the example of the procedure of reciting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Those who are under the control of the external energy of the Lord, or in other words those who are in the material world, must first of all know how the external energy of the Lord is working under the direction of the Supreme Personality, and afterwards one may try to enter into the activities of His internal energy. The mundaners are mostly worshipers of Durgā-devī, the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, but they do not know that Durgā-devī is but the shadow energy of the Lord. Behind her astonishing display of material workings is the direction of the Lord, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.10). The Brahma-saṁhitā affirms that Durgā-śakti is working by the direction of Govinda, and without His sanction the powerful Durgā-śakti cannot move even a blade of grass. Therefore the neophyte devotee, instead of jumping at once to the platform of transcendental pastimes presented by the internal energy of the Lord, may know how great the Supreme Lord is by inquiring about the process of His creative energy. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta also, descriptions of the creative energy and the Lord’s hand in it are explained, and the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta has warned the neophyte devotees to be seriously on guard against the pitfall of neglecting knowledge about Kṛṣṇa in regard to how great He is. Only when one knows Lord Kṛṣṇa’s greatness can one firmly put one’s unflinching faith in Him; otherwise, like the common man, even the great leaders of men will mistake Lord Kṛṣṇa for one of the many demigods, or a historical personality, or a myth only. The transcendental pastimes of the Lord in Vṛndāvana, or even at Dvārakā, are relishable for persons who have already qualified themselves in advanced spiritual techniques, and the common man may be able to attain to such a plane by the gradual process of service and inquiries, as we shall see in the behavior of Mahārāja Parīkṣit.