Brahmā wanted to bewilder Kṛṣṇa, who bewilders the entire universe. The whole universe is under Kṛṣṇa's mystic power (mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14)), but Brahmā wanted to mystify Him. The result was that Brahmā himself was mystified, just as one who wants to kill another may himself be killed. In other words, Brahmā was defeated by his own attempt. In a similar position are the scientists and philosophers who want to overcome the mystic power of Kṛṣṇa. They challenge Kṛṣṇa, saying, "What is God? We can do this, and we can do that." But the more they challenge Kṛṣṇa in this way, the more they are implicated in suffering. The lesson here is that we should not try to overcome Kṛṣṇa. Rather, instead of endeavoring to surpass Him, we should surrender to Him (sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66)).
Instead of defeating Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā himself was defeated, for he could not understand what Kṛṣṇa was doing. Since Brahmā, the chief person within this universe, was so bewildered, what is to be said of so-called scientists and philosophers? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. We should give up all our tiny efforts to defy the arrangement of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, whatever arrangements He proposes, we should accept. This is always better, for this will make us happy. The more we try to defeat the arrangement of Kṛṣṇa, the more we become implicated in Kṛṣṇa's māyā (daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā). But one who has reached the point of surrendering to the instructions of Kṛṣṇa (mām eva ye prapadyante) is liberated, free from kṛṣṇa-māyā (māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14)). The power of Kṛṣṇa is just like a government that cannot be overcome. First of all there are laws, and then there is police power, and beyond that is military power. Therefore, what is the use of trying to overcome the power of the government? Similarly, what is the use of trying to challenge Kṛṣṇa?
From the next verse it is clear that Kṛṣṇa cannot be defeated by any kind of mystic power. If one gets even a little power of scientific knowledge, one tries to defy God, but actually no one is able to bewilder Kṛṣṇa. When Brahmā, the chief person within the universe, tried to bewilder Kṛṣṇa, he himself was bewildered and astonished. This is the position of the conditioned soul. Brahmā wanted to mystify Kṛṣṇa, but he himself was mystified.
The word viṣṇum is significant in this verse. Viṣṇu pervades the entire material world, whereas Brahmā merely occupies one subordinate post.
- yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
- jīvanti loma-vila-jā jagadaṇḍa-nāthāḥ
- (BS 5.48)
The word nāthāḥ, which refers to Lord Brahmā, is plural because there are innumerable universes and innumerable Brahmās. Brahmā is but a tiny force. This was exhibited in Dvārakā when Kṛṣṇa called for Brahmā. One day when Brahmā came to see Kṛṣṇa at Dvārakā, the doorman, at Lord Kṛṣṇa's request, asked, "Which Brahmā are you?" Later, when Brahmā inquired from Kṛṣṇa whether this meant that there was more than one Brahmā, Kṛṣṇa smiled and at once called for many Brahmās from many universes. The four-headed Brahmā of this universe then saw innumerable other Brahmās coming to see Kṛṣṇa and offer their respects. Some of them had ten heads, some had twenty, some had a hundred and some had a million heads. Upon seeing this wonderful exhibition, the four-headed Brahmā became nervous and began to think of himself as no more than a mosquito in the midst of many elephants. Therefore, what can Brahmā do to bewilder Kṛṣṇa?