The purusha enters each and every one of the countless universes. He manifests Himself in as many separate forms as there are universes.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.68
When the purusha exhales, the universes are manifested with each outward breath.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.69
Thereafter, when He inhales, all the universes again enter His body.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: In His form as Karanodakashayi Vishnu the Lord impregnates material nature by His glance. The transcendental molecules of that glance are particles of spirit, or spiritual atoms [THE JIVAS AS SPIRITUAL SPARKS], which appear in different species of life according to the seeds of their individual karma from the previous cosmic manifestation. And the Lord Himself, by His partial representation, creates a body of innumerable universes and again enters each of those universes as Garbhodakashayi Vishnu. His coming in contact with maya is explained in the Bhagavad-gita by a comparison between air and the sky. The sky enters everything material, yet it is far away from us.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.70
Just as atomic particles of dust pass through the openings of a window, so the networks of universes pass through the pores of the skin of the purusha.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.71
“The Brahmas and other lords of the mundane worlds appear from the pores of Maha-Vishnu and remain alive for the duration of His one exhalation. I adore the primeval Lord, Govinda, of whom Maha-Vishnu is a portion of a plenary portion.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: This description of the Lord’s creative energy is from the Brahma-samhita (5.48), which Lord Brahma compiled after his personal realization. When Maha-Vishnu exhales, the spiritual seeds of the universes emanate from Him in the form of molecular particles like those that are visible, three times the size of an atom, when sunlight is diffused through a small hole. In these days of atomic research it will be a worthwhile engagement for atomic scientists to learn from this statement how the entire creation develops from the spiritual atoms emanating from the body of the Lord.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.72
“Where am I, a small creature of seven spans the measure of my own hand? I am enclosed in the universe composed of material nature, the total material energy, false ego, ether, air, water and earth. And what is Your glory? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just like particles of dust passing through the opening of a window.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: When Lord Brahma, after having stolen all Krishna’s calves and cowherd boys, returned and saw that the calves and boys were still roaming with Krishna, he offered this prayer (SB. 10.14.11) in his defeat. A conditioned soul, even one so great as Brahma, who manages the affairs of the entire universe, cannot compare to the Personality of Godhead, for He can produce numberless universes simply by the spiritual rays emanating from the pores of His body. Material scientists should take lessons from the utterances of Sri Brahma regarding our insignificance in comparison to God. In these prayers of Brahma there is much to learn for those who are falsely puffed up by the accumulation of power.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.73
Balarama’s own expansion is called Maha-shankarshana, and His fragment, the purusha, is counted as a kala, or a part of a plenary portion.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.75
I say that this kala is Maha-Vishnu. He is the Maha-purusha, who is the source of the other purushas and who is all-pervading.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.76
Garbhodashayi and Kshirodashayi are both called purushas. They are plenary portions of Karanodashayi Vishnu, the first purusha, who is the abode of all the universes.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: The symptoms of the purusha are described in the Laghu-bhagavatamrita. While describing the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the author has quoted from the Vishnu Purana (6.8.59), where it is said, “Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Purushottama, Lord Krishna, who is always free from the contamination of the six material dualities; whose plenary expansion, Maha-Vishnu, glances over matter to create the cosmic manifestation; who expands Himself in various transcendental forms, all of which are one and the same; who is the master of all living entities; who is always free and liberated from the contamination of material energy; and who, when He appears in this material world, seems one of us, although He has an eternally spiritual, blissful, transcendental form.” In summarizing this statement, Rupa Gosvami has concluded that the plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who acts in cooperation with the material energy is called the purusha.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.77
“Vishnu has three forms called purushas. The first, Maha-Vishnu, is the creator of the total material energy [mahat], the second is Garbhodashayi, who is situated within each universe, and the third is Kshirodashayi, who lives in the heart of every living being. He who knows these three becomes liberated from the clutches of maya.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: This verse appears in the Laghu-bhagavatamrita (Purva 2.9), where it has been quoted from the Satvata-tantra.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.78
Although Karanodashayi Vishnu is called a kala of Lord Krishna, He is the source of Matsya, Kurma and the other incarnations.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.79
“All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the purusha-avataras. But Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In every age He protects the world through His different features when the world is disturbed by the enemies of Indra.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: This quotation is from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28).
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.80
That purusha [Karanodakashayi Vishnu] is the performer of creation, maintenance and destruction. He manifests Himself in many incarnations, for He is the maintainer of the world.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.81
That fragment of the Supreme Lord, known as the Maha-purusha, appears for the purpose of creation, maintenance and annihilation and is called an incarnation.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.82
That Maha-purusha is identical with the Personality of Godhead. He is the original incarnation, the seed of all others, and the shelter of everything.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.83
“The purusha [Maha-Vishnu] is the primary incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Time, nature, prakriti (as cause and effect), the mind, the material elements, false ego, the modes of nature, the senses, the universal form, complete independence and the moving and nonmoving beings appear subsequently as His opulences.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: Describing the incarnations and their symptoms, the Laghu-bhagavatamrita has stated that when Lord Krishna descends to conduct the creative affairs of the material manifestation, He is an avatara, or incarnation. The two categories of avataras are empowered devotees and tad-ekatma-rupa (the Lord Himself). An example of tad-ekatma-rupa is Shesha, and an example of a devotee is Vasudeva, the father of Lord Krishna. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana has commented that the material cosmic manifestation is a partial kingdom of God where God must sometimes come to execute a specific function. The plenary portion of the Lord through whom Lord Krishna executes such actions is called Maha-Vishnu, who is the primal beginning of all incarnations. Inexperienced observers presume that the material energy provides both the cause and the elements of the cosmic manifestation and that the living entities are the enjoyers of material nature. But the devotees of the Bhagavata school, which has scrutinizingly examined the entire situation, can understand that material nature can independently be neither the supplier of the material elements nor the cause of the material manifestation. Material nature gets the power to supply the material elements from the glance of the supreme purusha, Maha-Vishnu, and when empowered by Him she is called the cause of the material manifestation. Both features of material nature, as the cause of the material creation and as the source of its elements, exist due to the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The various expansions of the Supreme Lord who act to empower the material energy are known as plenary expansions or incarnations. As illustrated by the example of many flames lit from one flame, all these plenary expansions and incarnations are as good as Vishnu Himself; nevertheless, because of their activities in controlling maya, sometimes they are known as mayika, or having a relationship with maya. This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.6.42).
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.84
“In the beginning of the creation, the Lord expanded Himself in the form of the purusha incarnation, accompanied by all the ingredients of material creation. First He created the sixteen principal energies suitable for creation. This was for the purpose of manifesting the material universes.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.1). The commentary of Madhva on Srimad-Bhagavatam mentions that the following sixteen spiritual energies are present in the spiritual world: (1) sri, (2) bhu, (3) lila, (4) kanti, (5) kirti, (6) tushti, (7) gir, (8) pushti, (9) satya (10) jnanajnana, (11) jaya utkarshini, (12) vimala, (13) yogamaya, (14) prahvi, (15) ishana and (16) anugraha. In his commentary on the Laghu-bhagavatamrita, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana has said that the above energies are also known by nine names: (1) vimala, (2) utkarshini (3) jnana, (4) kriya, (5) yoga, (6) prahvi, (7) satya, (8) ishana and (9) anugraha. In the Bhagavat-sandarbha of Srila Jiva Gosvami (text 103) they are described as sri, pushti, gir, kanti, kirti, tushti, ila, jaya; vidyavidya, maya, samvit, sandhini, hladini, bhakti, murti, vimala, yoga, prahvi, ishana, anugraha, etc. All these energies act in different spheres of the Lord’s supremacy.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.85
Although the Lord is the shelter of everything and although all the universes rest in Him, He, as the Supersoul, is also the support of everything.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.86
Although He is thus connected with the material energy in two ways, He does not have the slightest contact with it.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: In the Laghu-bhagavatamrita, Srila Rupa Gosvami, commenting upon the Lord’s transcendental position beyond the material qualities, says that Vishnu, as the controller and superintendent of material nature, has a connection with the material qualities. That connection is called yoga. However, the person who directs a prison is not also a prisoner. Similarly, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vishnu directs or supervises the qualitative nature, He has no connection with the material modes of nature. The expansions of Lord Vishnu always retain their supremacy; they are never connected with the material qualities. One may argue that Maha-Vishnu cannot have any connection with the material qualities, because if He were so connected, Srimad-Bhagavatam would not state that material nature, ashamed of her thankless task of acting to induce the living entities to become averse to the Supreme Lord, remains behind the Lord in shyness. In answer to this argument, it may be said that the word guna means “regulation.” Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are situated within this universe as the directors of the three modes, and their connection with the modes is known as yoga. This does not indicate, however, that these personalities are bound by the qualities of nature. Lord Vishnu specifically is always the controller of the three qualities. There is no question of His coming under their control.
Although the causal and element-supplying features exist in material nature by dint of the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord is never affected by glancing over the material qualities. By the will of the Supreme Lord the different qualitative changes in the material world take place, but there is no possibility of material affection, change or contamination for Lord Vishnu.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.87
“This is the opulence of the Lord. Although situated within the material nature, He is never affected by the modes of nature. Similarly, those who have surrendered to Him and have fixed their intelligence upon Him are not influenced by the modes of nature.”
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.11.38).
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.88
Thus the Bhagavad-gita also states again and again that the Absolute Truth always possesses inconceivable power.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.89
[Lord Krishna said:] “I am situated in the material world, and the world rests in Me. But at the same time I am not situated in the material world, nor does it rest in Me in truth.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: Nothing in existence is possible unless energized by the will of the Lord. The entire manifested creation is therefore resting on the energy of the Lord, but one should not therefore presume that the material manifestation is identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A cloud may rest in the sky, but that does not mean that the sky and the cloud are one and the same. Similarly, the qualitative material nature and its products are never identical with the Supreme Lord. The tendency to lord it over material nature, or maya, cannot be a feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When He descends to the material world, He maintains His transcendental nature, unaffected by the material qualities. In both the spiritual and material worlds, He is always the controller of all energies. The uncontaminated spiritual nature always exists within Him. The Lord appears and disappears in the material world in different features for His pastimes, yet He is the origin of all cosmic manifestations.
The material manifestation cannot exist separate from the Supreme Lord, yet Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in spite of His connection with the material nature, cannot be subordinate to nature’s influence. His original form of eternal bliss and knowledge is never subordinate to the three qualities of material nature. This is a specific feature of the Supreme Lord’s inconceivable potencies.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.90
“O Arjuna, you should know this as My inconceivable opulence.” This is the meaning propagated by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.91
That Maha-purusha [Karanodakashayi Vishnu] is known as a plenary part of Him who is Lord Nityananda Balarama, the favorite associate of Lord Chaitanya.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.92
I have thus explained the ninth verse, and now I shall explain the tenth. Please listen with rapt attention.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.93
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, a partial part of whom is Garbhodakashayi Vishnu. From the navel of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu sprouts the lotus that is the birthplace of Brahma, the engineer of the universe. The stem of that lotus is the resting place of the multitude of planets.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: In the Mahabharata, Shanti-parva, it is said that He who is Pradyumna is also Aniruddha. He is also the father of Brahma. Thus Garbhodakashayi Vishnu and Kshirodakashayi Vishnu are identical plenary expansions of Pradyumna, the original Deity of Brahma, who is born from the lotus flower. It is Pradyumna who gives Brahma direction for cosmic management. A full description of Brahma’s birth is given in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.8.15–16).
Describing the features of the three purushas, the Laghu-bhagavatamrita says that Garbhodakashayi Vishnu has a four-handed form, and when He Himself enters the hollow of the universe and lies down in the ocean of milk He is known as Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, who is the Supersoul of all living entities, including the demigods. In the Satvata-tantra it is said that the third purusha incarnation, Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, is situated as the Supersoul in everyone’s heart. This Kshirodakashayi Vishnu is an expansion of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu for pastimes.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.94
After creating millions of universes, the first purusha entered into each of them in a separate form, as Sri Garbhodakashayi.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.95
Entering the universe, He found only darkness, with no place in which to reside. Thus He began to consider.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.96
Then He created water from the perspiration of His own body and with that water filled half the universe.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.97
The universe measures five hundred million yojanas. Its length and breadth are one and the same.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.98
After filling half the universe with water, He made His own residence therein and manifested the fourteen worlds in the other half.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: The fourteen worlds are enumerated in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Fifth Chapter. The upper planetary systems are (1) Bhu, (2) Bhuvar, (3) Svar, (4) Mahar, (5) Janas, (6) Tapas and (7) Satya. The seven lower planetary systems are (1) Tala, (2) Atala, (3) Vitala, (4) Nitala, (5) Talatala, (6) Mahatala and (7) Sutala. The lower planets as a whole are called Patala. Among the upper planetary systems, Bhu, Bhuvar and Svar constitute Svargaloka, and the rest are called Martya. The entire universe is thus known as Triloka.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.99
There He manifested Vaikuntha as His own abode and rested in the waters on the bed of Lord Shesha.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.100-101
He lay there with Ananta as His bed. Lord Ananta is a divine serpent having thousands of heads, thousands of faces, thousands of eyes and thousands of hands and feet. He is the seed of all incarnations and is the cause of the material world.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: In the reservoir of water first created by the perspiration of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, the Lord lies on the Shesha plenary expansion of Vishnu, who is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam and in the four Vedas as follows:
sahasra-shirsha purushar sahasrakshar sahasra-pat
sa bhumim vishvato vritvatyatishthad dashangulam The Vishnu form called Ananta-shayana has thousands of hands and legs and thousands of eyes, and He is the active generator of all the incarnations within the material world.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.103
From His navel grew a lotus flower, which became the birthplace of Lord Brahma.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.104
Within the stem of that lotus were the fourteen worlds. Thus the Supreme Lord, as Brahma, created the entire creation.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.105
And as Lord Vishnu He maintains the entire world. Lord Vishnu, being beyond all material attributes, has no touch with the material qualities.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana says that although Vishnu is the predominating Deity of the quality of goodness in the material world, He is never affected by the quality of goodness, for He directs that quality simply by His supreme will. It is said that all living entities can derive all good fortune from the Lord simply by His will. In the Vamana Purana it is said that the same Vishnu expands Himself as Brahma and Shiva to direct the different qualities.
Because Lord Vishnu expands the quality of goodness, He has the name Sattvatanu. The multifarious incarnations of Kshirodakashayi Vishnu are known as Sattvatanu. Therefore in all Vedic scriptures Vishnu has been described as being free from all material qualities. In the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said:
harir hi nirgunar sakshat purushar prakriter parar
sa sarva-drig upadrashta tam bhajan nirguno bhavet
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is always uncontaminated by the modes of material nature, for He is beyond the material manifestation. He is the source of the knowledge of all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma, and He is the witness of everything. Therefore one who worships the Supreme Lord Vishnu also attains freedom from the contamination of material nature.” (SB. 10.88.5) One can attain freedom from the contamination of material nature by worshiping Vishnu, and therefore He is called Sattvatanu, as described above.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.105
Assuming the form of Rudra, He destroys the creation. Thus creation, maintenance and dissolution are created by His will.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: Maheshvara, or Lord Shiva, is not an ordinary living being, nor is he equal to Lord Vishnu. Effectively comparing Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, the Brahma-samhita says that Vishnu is like milk, whereas Shiva is like yogurt. Yogurt is nothing like milk, but nevertheless it is milk also.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.106
He is the Supersoul, Hiranyagarbha, the cause of the material world. The universal form is conceived as His expansion.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.107
That Lord Narayana is a part of a plenary part of Lord Nityananda Balarama, who is the source of all incarnations.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.108
I have thus explained the tenth verse. Now please listen to the meaning of the eleventh verse with all your mind.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.109
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose secondary part is the Vishnu lying in the ocean of milk. That Kshirodakashayi Vishnu is the Supersoul of all living entities and the maintainer of all the universes. Shesha Naga is His further subpart.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.110
The material planets rest within the stem that grows from the lotus navel of Lord Narayana. Among these planets are seven oceans.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.111
There, in part of the ocean of milk, lies Shvetadvipa, the abode of the sustainer, Lord Vishnu.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: In the Siddhanta-shiromani, an astrological text, the different oceans are described as follows: (1) the ocean of salt water, (2) the ocean of milk, (3) the ocean of yogurt, (4) the ocean of clarified butter, (5) the ocean of sugarcane juice, (6) the ocean of liquor and (7) the ocean of sweet water. On the southern side of the ocean of salt water is the ocean of milk, where Lord Kshirodakashayi Vishnu resides. He is worshiped there by demigods like Brahma.
Cc. Adi-lila. 5.112
He is the Supersoul of all living entities. He maintains this material world, and He is its Lord.
BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT: The Laghu-bhagavatamrita (Purva 2.36–42) gives the following description of the Vishnuloka within this universe, quoted from the Vishnu-dharmottara: “Above Rudraloka, the planet of Lord Shiva, is the planet called Vishnuloka, 400,000 miles in circumference, which is inaccessible to any mortal living being. Above that Vishnuloka and east of the Sumeru Hill is a golden island called Maha-Vishnuloka, in the ocean of salt water. Lord Brahma and other demigods sometimes go there to meet Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu lies there with the goddess of fortune, and it is said that during the four months of the rainy season He enjoys sleeping on that Shesha Naga bed. East of Sumeru is the ocean of milk, in which there is a white city on a white island where the Lord can be seen sitting with His consort, Lakshmiji, on a throne of Shesha. That feature of Vishnu also enjoys sleeping during the four months of the rainy season. The Shvetadvipa in the milk ocean is situated just south of the ocean of salt water. It is calculated that the area of Shvetadvipa is 200,000 square miles. This transcendentally beautiful island is decorated with desire trees to please Lord Vishnu and His consort.” There are references to Shvetadvipa in the Brahmanda Purana, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata and Padma Purana, and there is the following reference in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.15.18).
shvetadvipa-patau chittam shuddhe dharma-maye mayi
dharayan chvetatam yati shad-urmi-rahito narar
“My dear Uddhava, you may know that My transcendental form of Vishnu in Shvetadvipa is identical with Me in divinity. Anyone who places this Lord of Shvetadvipa within his heart can surpass the pangs of the six material tribulations: hunger, thirst, birth, death, lamentation and illusion. Thus one can attain his original, transcendental form.”