Chapter 8: Attaining the Supreme

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Bhagavad-gita As It Is 8.22

purusah sa parah partha

bhaktya labhyas tv ananyaya

yasyantah-sthani bhutani

yena sarvam idam tatam

SYNONYMS

purusah -- the Supreme Personality; sah -- He; parah -- the Supreme, than whom no one is greater; partha -- O son of Prtha; bhaktya -- by devotional service; labhyah -- can be achieved; tu -- but; ananyaya -- unalloyed, undeviating; yasya -- whom; antah-sthani -- within; bhutani -- all of this material manifestation; yena -- by whom; sarvam -- all; idam -- whatever we can see; tatam -- is pervaded.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all, is attainable by unalloyed devotion. Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading, and everything is situated within Him.

PURPORT

It is here clearly stated that the supreme destination, from which there is no return, is the abode of Krsna, the Supreme Person. The Brahma-samhita describes this supreme abode as ananda-cinmaya-rasa, a place where everything is full of spiritual bliss. All the variegatedness manifest there is of the quality of spiritual bliss -- nothing there is material. That variegatedness is expanded as the spiritual expansion of the Supreme Godhead Himself, for the manifestation there is totally of the spiritual energy, as explained in Chapter Seven. As far as this material world is concerned, although the Lord is always in His supreme abode, He is nonetheless all-pervading by His material energy. So by His spiritual and material energies He is present everywhere -- both in the material and in the spiritual universes. Yasyantah-sthani means that everything is sustained within Him, within either His spiritual or material energy. The Lord is all-pervading by these two energies.

To enter Krsna's supreme abode or the innumerable Vaikuntha planets is possible only by bhakti, devotional service, as clearly indicated here by the word bhaktya. No other process can help one attain that supreme abode. The Vedas (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 3.2) also describe the supreme abode and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Eko vasi sarva-gah krsnah. In that abode there is only one Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose name is Krsna. He is the supreme merciful Deity, and although situated there as one He has expanded Himself into millions and millions of plenary expansions. The Vedas compare the Lord to a tree standing still yet bearing many varieties of fruits, flowers and changing leaves. The plenary expansions of the Lord who preside over the Vaikuntha planets are four-armed, and they are known by a variety of names -- Purusottama, Trivikrama, Kesava, Madhava, Aniruddha, Hrsikesa, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Sridhara, Vasudeva, Damodara, Janardana, Narayana, Vamana, Padmanabha, etc.

The Brahma-samhita (5.37) also confirms that although the Lord is always in the supreme abode, Goloka Vrndavana, He is all-pervading, so that everything is going on nicely (goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah). As stated in the Vedas (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8), parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate/ svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca: His energies are so expansive that they systematically conduct everything in the cosmic manifestation without a flaw, although the Supreme Lord is far, far away.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness