Mahārāja Parīkṣit was very eager to hear about the churning of the ocean, and therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī began to explain to him how the demigods, having been cursed by Durvāsā Muni, were defeated in battle by the asuras. When the demigods were deprived of their heavenly kingdom, they went to the assembly house of Lord Brahmā and informed Lord Brahmā of what had happened. Then Brahmā, along with all the demigods, went to the shore of the ocean of milk and offered prayers to Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.
Ksirodakasayi Visnu (BG and SB)
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 7 - 12
The science of God analyzes the constitutional position of God and His diverse energies. Material nature is called prakṛti, or the energy of the Lord in His different puruṣa incarnations (expansions) as described in the Narada-pancaratra, one of the Sātvata-tantras:
- viṣṇos tu trīṇi rūpāṇi
- puruṣākhyāny atho viduḥ
- ekaṁ tu mahataḥ sraṣṭṛ
- dvitīyaṁ tv aṇḍa-saṁsthitam
- tṛtīyaṁ sarva-bhūta-sthaṁ
- tāni jñātvā vimucyate
"For material creation, Lord Kṛṣṇa's plenary expansion assumes three Viṣṇus. The first one, Mahā-viṣṇu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramātmā. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Viṣṇus can be liberated from material entanglement."
There are no spiritual diversities in the brahma-jyotir as there are in the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, and the impersonalist accepts this brahma-jyotir as the ultimate eternal goal. The Paramātmā manifestation is also a temporary all-pervasive aspect of the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The Paramātmā manifestation is not eternal in the spiritual world. Therefore the factual Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa. He is the complete energetic person, and He possesses different separated and internal energies.
Mahā-viṣṇu, enters. He lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes, and into each universe the Lord again enters as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Each universe is in that way created. He still further manifests Himself as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and that Viṣṇu enters into everything—even into the minute atom. This fact is explained here. He enters into everything.
Now, as far as the living entities are concerned, they are impregnated into this material nature, and as a result of their past deeds they take different positions. Thus the activities of this material world begin. The activities of the different species of living beings are begun from the very moment of the creation. It is not that all is evolved.
They are also described in the Narada-pancaratra, one of the Sātvata-tantras. Viṣṇos tu trīṇi rūpāṇi puruṣākhyāny atho viduḥ: the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests three features—as Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu—in this material manifestation. The Mahā-viṣṇu, or Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.47). Yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga-nidrām: the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, the cause of all causes, lies down in the cosmic ocean as Mahā-viṣṇu. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the beginning of this universe, the maintainer of the universal manifestations, and the end of all energy.
Among the created manifestations, the first is the creation of the total material elements. As explained before, the cosmic manifestation is created and conducted by Mahā-viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and then again it is annihilated by Lord Śiva. Brahmā is a secondary creator. All these agents of creation, maintenance and annihilation are incarnations of the material qualities of the Supreme Lord. Therefore He is the beginning, the middle and the end of all creation.
SB Canto 1
His plenary parts are viṣṇu-tattva, or the Lordship of Godhead. From Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the next manifestation is Baladeva. From Baladeva is Saṅkarṣaṇa, from Saṅkarṣaṇa is Nārāyaṇa, from Nārāyaṇa there is the second Saṅkarṣaṇa, and from this Saṅkarṣaṇa the Viṣṇu puruṣa-avatāras. The Viṣṇu or the Deity of the quality of goodness in the material world is the puruṣa-avatāra known as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu or Paramātmā. Brahmā is the deity of rajas (passion), and Śiva of ignorance. They are the three departmental heads of the three qualities of this material world. The creation is made possible by Brahma's quality of passion and his endeavor, it is maintained by the goodness of Viṣṇu, and when it requires to be destroyed, Lord Śiva does it by the tāṇḍava-nṛtya. The materialists and the foolish human beings worship Brahmā and Śiva respectively.
There are three puruṣa features who effect the material creation, and this form, who is known as the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is the first of the three. The others are known as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, which we shall know one after another. The innumerable universes are generated from the skin holes of this Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and in each one of the universes the Lord enters as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also mentioned that the material world is created at certain intervals and then again destroyed. This creation and destruction is done by the supreme will because of the conditioned souls, or the nitya-baddha living beings.
Downwards from the earthly planetary system there are seven lower planetary systems inhabited by the asuras and similar other materialistic living beings.
From Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu there is expansion of the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is the collective Paramātmā of all living beings. He is called Hari, and from Him all incarnations within the universe are expanded.
Therefore, the conclusion is that the puruṣa-avatāra is manifested in three features—first the Kāraṇodakaśāyī who creates aggregate material ingredients in the mahat-tattva, second the Garbhodakaśāyī who enters in each and every universe, and third the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu who is the Paramātmā of every material object, organic or inorganic.
This also has already been explained. The Viṣṇu who is the plenary portion of the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Supersoul of the universal life, and He is known as the maintainer of the universe or Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. So the three features of the original puruṣa are thus understood. And all the incarnations within the universe are emanations from this Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.
In different millennia there are different incarnations, and they are innumerable, although some of them are very prominent, such as Matsya, Kūrma, Varāha, Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana and many others. These incarnations are called līlā incarnations. Then there are qualitative incarnations such as Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva (or Rudra) who take charge of the different modes of material nature.
This Brahmā is in charge of further creations in the universe, secondarily reflected by the potency of the Omnipotent. Within the halo of the universe there is a transcendental planet known as Śvetadvīpa, which is the abode of the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Paramātmā feature of the Supreme Lord. Whenever there is trouble in the universe that cannot be solved by the administrative demigods, they approach Brahmājī for a solution, and if it is not to be solved even by Brahmājī, then Brahmājī consults and prays to the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu for an incarnation and solution to the problems. Such a problem arose when Kaṁsa and others were ruling over the earth and the earth became too much overburdened by the misdeeds of the asuras. Brahmājī, along with other demigods, prayed at the shore of the Kṣīrodaka Ocean, and they were advised of the descent of Kṛṣṇa as the son of Vasudeva and Devakī. So some people say that the Lord appeared because of the prayers of Brahmājī.
This ocean of milk and the Śvetadvīpa planet are the replica of Vaikuṇṭhaloka within the universe. Neither Brahmājī nor the demigods like Indra can enter into this island of Śvetadvīpa, but they can stand on the shore of the ocean of milk and transmit their message to Lord Viṣṇu, known as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Therefore, the Lord is rarely seen by them, but the inhabitants of Dvārakā, because of their being pure devotees without any tinge of the material contamination of fruitive activities and empiric philosophical speculation, can see Him face to face by the grace of the Lord. This is the original state of the living entities and can be attained by reviving our natural and constitutional state of life, which is discovered by devotional service only.
As we have discussed many times, the Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu resides within each and every universe in two capacities, namely as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu has His own planet on the northern top of the universe, and there is a great ocean of milk where the Lord resides on the bed of the Ananta incarnation of Baladeva. Thus Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira has compared the Yadu dynasty to the ocean of milk and Śrī Balarāma to the Ananta where Lord Kṛṣṇa resides. He has compared the citizens of Dvārakā to the liberated inhabitants of the Vaikuṇṭhalokas. Beyond the material sky, further than we can see with our eyes and beyond the sevenfold coverings of the universe, there is the Causal Ocean in which all the universes are floating like footballs, and beyond the Causal Ocean there is an unlimited span of spiritual sky generally known as the effulgence of Brahman.
SB Canto 2
And above the luminary planets, called also the heavenly places of the universal directorate demigods, are the Mahar, Janas and Tapas planetary systems, and, above all, the Satyaloka planetary system, where the chief directors of the modes of material nature reside, namely Viṣṇu, Brahmā and Śiva. This Viṣṇu is known as the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and He acts as the Supersoul in every living being. There are innumerable universes floating on the Causal Ocean, and in each of them the representation of the virāṭ form of the Lord is there along with innumerable suns, moons, heavenly demigods, Brahmās, Viṣṇus and Śivas, all of them situated in one part of the inconceivable potency of Lord Kṛṣṇa, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (10.42).
The polar star of the universe and the circle thereof is called the Śiśumāra circle, and therein the local residential planet of the Personality of Godhead (Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu) is situated. Before reaching there, the mystic passes over the Milky Way to reach Brahmaloka, and while going there he first reaches Vaiśvānara-loka, where the demigod controls fire. On Vaiśvānara-loka the yogī becomes completely cleansed of all dirty sins acquired while in contact with the material world. The Milky Way in the sky is indicated herein as the way leading to Brahmaloka, the highest planet of the universe.
The Lord's pastimes in the internal potency are displayed in His activities in Vṛndāvana, but His external potential works are directed in His features of Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī offers his good counsel to the interested Vaiṣṇavas when he says that they should not be interested in hearing only about the Lord's activities (like rāsa-līlā), but must be keenly interested in His pastimes in His features of the puruṣāvatāras in connection with sṛṣṭi-tattva, creational functions, following the examples of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the ideal disciple, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the ideal spiritual master.
This material world is a manifestation of the three modes goodness, passion and ignorance, and the Supreme Lord, for the creation, maintenance and destruction of the material world, accepts three predominating forms as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śaṅkara (Śiva). As Viṣṇu He enters into every body materially created. As Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu He enters into every universe, and as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu He enters the body of every living being. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, being the origin of all viṣṇu-tattvas, is addressed here as paraḥ pumān, or Puruṣottama, as described in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.18). He is the complete whole. The puruṣāvatāras are therefore His plenary expansions. Bhakti-yoga is the only process by which one can become competent to know Him. Because the empiric philosophers and mystic yogīs cannot conceive of the Personality of Godhead, He is called anupalakṣya-vartmane, the Lord of the inconceivable way, or bhakti-yoga.
The ingredients for creation and the subordinate creator, Brahmā, are first created by Lord Viṣṇu in His first and second incarnations. The first puruṣa incarnation is Mahā-viṣṇu, and the second puruṣa incarnation is the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, from whom Brahmā is created. The third puruṣa avatāra is the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who lives as the Supersoul of everything in the universe and maintains the creation generated by Brahmā. Śiva is one of the many sons of Brahmā, and he annihilates the creation. Therefore the original creator of the universe is Viṣṇu, and He is also the maintainer of the created beings by His causeless mercy. As such, it is the duty of all conditioned souls to acknowledge the victory of the Lord and thus become pure devotees and live peacefully in this world, where miseries and dangers are always in existence. The conditioned souls, who take this material creation as the place for satisfaction of the senses and thus are illusioned by the external energy of Viṣṇu, remain again to be subjected to the laws of material nature, creation and destruction.
SB Canto 3
It is learned from the revealed scriptures that the moon was born from the milk ocean. There is a milk ocean in the upper planets, and there Lord Viṣṇu, who controls the heart of every living being as Paramātmā (the Supersoul), resides as the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Those who do not believe in the existence of the ocean of milk because they have experience only of the salty water in the ocean should know that the world is also called the go, which means the cow. The urine of a cow is salty, and according to Āyur-vedic medicine the cow's urine is very effective in treating patients suffering from liver trouble. Such patients may not have any experience of the cow's milk because milk is never given to liver patients. But the liver patient may know that the cow has milk also, although he has never tasted it. Similarly, men who have experience only of this tiny planet where the saltwater ocean exists may take information from the revealed scriptures that there is also an ocean of milk, although we have never seen it.
When Lord Kṛṣṇa appears on a mission, all His plenary portions accompany Him. When He appeared as the son of Vasudeva, there were differences of opinion about His incarnation. Some said, "He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Some said, "He is an incarnation of Nārāyaṇa," and others said, "He is the incarnation of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu." But actually He is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead—kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28)—and Nārāyaṇa, the puruṣas and all other incarnations accompany Him to function as different parts of His pastimes. Mahad-aṁśa-yuktaḥ indicates that He is accompanied by the puruṣas, who create the mahat-tanva. It is confirmed in the Vedic hymns, mahāntaṁ vibhum ātmānam.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is so mild and merciful, as described in the above verses, and yet He is the Lord of all kinds of threes. He is the Supreme Lord of the three worlds, the three qualities of material nature and the three puruṣas (Kāraṇodakaśāyī, Garbhodakaśāyī and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu). There are innumerable universes, and in each and every universe there are different manifestations of Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra. Besides that, there is the Śeṣa-mūrti who bears all the universes on His hoods. And Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of all of them. As the incarnation of Manu, He is the original source of all Manus in innumerable universes. Each universe has manifestations of 504,000 Manus. He is the Lord of the three principal potencies, namely cit-śakti, māyā-śakti and taṭastha-śakti, and He is the complete master of six kinds of fortune—wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation.
We purposely do not include them all here to avoid an increase in the volume of this book. The entire matter is explained in Bhagavad-gītā, as quoted above: the Lord reserves the right of not being exposed to everyone. He always keeps Himself out of the vision of the nondevotees, who are devoid of love and devotion, and thus He puts them still further away from the Lord. The Lord appeared on the invitation of Brahmā, who prayed before the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and therefore when the Lord appeared, all the forms of Viṣṇu amalgamated with Him, and when the mission was fulfilled, all of them disintegrated from Him in the usual course.
Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead from whom the three creative incarnations, namely the puruṣa-avatāras—Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu—expand. The whole material creation is conducted by the three puruṣas in successive stages under the external energy of the Lord, and thus material nature is controlled by Him. Thinking material nature to be independent is like seeking milk from the nipplelike bags on the neck of a goat. The Lord is independent and desireless. He does not create the material world for His own satisfaction as we create our household affairs to fulfill our material desires. Actually the material world is created for the illusory enjoyment of the conditioned souls, who have been against the transcendental service of the Lord since time immemorial. But the material universes are full in themselves. There is no scarcity for maintenance in the material world.
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is the original Personality of Godhead. By His partial plenary expansion (Mahā-viṣṇu), He enters into material nature, and then into each and every universe (as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu), and then (as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu) into all the elements, including every atom of matter. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms."
The first puruṣa is Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the second puruṣa is Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and the third puruṣa is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, in whom is contemplated the virāṭ-puruṣa, the gigantic form in which all the planets with their different developments and inhabitants are floating.
The three deities Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara (Śiva), the executive heads of the three modes of material nature (passion, goodness and ignorance), are all generated from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is described herein by Brahmā. From the Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, many Viṣṇu incarnations expand at different ages in the duration of the cosmic manifestation. They are expanded only for the transcendental happiness of the pure devotees. The incarnations of Viṣṇu, who appear at different ages and times, are never to be compared to the conditioned souls. The viṣṇu-tattvas are not to be compared to deities like Brahmā and Śiva, nor are they on the same level. Anyone who compares them is called a pāṣaṇḍī, or infidel. Tamasaḥ, mentioned herein, is the material nature, and the spiritual nature has a completely separate existence from tamaḥ.
There are three Viṣṇus mentioned. One is Mahā-viṣṇu, another is Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and the third is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam discusses all these three Viṣṇus, and here also it is confirmed that Viṣṇu is the cause of creation. From Bhagavad-gītā also we learn that prakṛti begins to work and is still working under Kṛṣṇa's, or Viṣṇu's, glance of superintendence, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is unchangeable. One should not mistakenly think that because the creation emanates from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He has therefore transformed into this material cosmic manifestation. He exists in His personal form always, but the cosmic manifestation takes place by His inconceivable potency. The workings of that energy are difficult to comprehend, but it is understood from Vedic literature that the conditioned soul creates his own destiny and is offered a particular body by the laws of nature under the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who always accompanies him as Paramātmā.
The other half of the universe remains vacant, and that vacant region is called outer space. Then the lotus flower sprouts from His abdomen and produces the first living creature, Brahmā. Then again, as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Lord enters into the heart of every living entity, including Brahmā. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter. The Lord says, "I am seated in everyone's heart, and by Me are remembrance and forgetfulness made possible." As the witness of the activities of the individual entities, the Lord gives each one remembrance and intelligence to act according to his desire at the time he was annihilated in his last birth in the last millennium. This intelligence is invoked according to one's own capacity, or by the law of karma.
The words bhaktānām anurūpātma-darśanam mean that the Lord is always pleased to favor the devotee in the particular form in which the devotee wants to worship and render service unto Him. In this verse it is stated that Brahmā approached Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This form of the Lord is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Whenever there is some trouble and Brahmā has to approach the Lord, he can approach Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and it is the grace of the Lord that whenever Brahmā approaches about disturbances in the universe, the Lord gives him relief in so many ways.
"No one is greater than I." There are innumerable expansions of the Lord, and all of them are puruṣas, or enjoyers, but neither the virāṭ-puruṣa nor the puruṣa-avatāras—Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu—nor any of the many other expansions, is the original. In each universe there are Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the virāṭ-puruṣa and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The active manifestation of the virāṭ-puruṣa is described here. persons who are in the lower grade of understanding regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead may think of the universal form of the Lord, for that is advised in the Bhāgavatam.
When we speak of Kṛṣṇa, this refers to the complete category of viṣṇu-tattva. Kṛṣṇa includes the three puruṣa incarnations, namely Mahā-viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, as well as all the incarnations taken together. This is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan: (Bs. 5.39) Lord Kṛṣṇa is perpetually situated with His many expansions, such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana, Madhusūdana, Viṣṇu and Nārāyaṇa. He exists with all His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions, and each of them is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The words parasya para-cintakāḥ mean those who are fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. Such persons enter directly into the kingdom of God, the Vaikuṇṭha planets, or, if they are worshipers of the plenary portion Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, they remain within this universe until its dissolution, and after that they enter.
SB Canto 4
Mahā-viṣṇu, from whose breathing millions of universes emanate and into whom they are again withdrawn, may be accepted as the Lord of the universe. Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, from whose abdomen sprouted the lotus flower which is the birthplace of Brahmā, may also be considered the Lord of the universe. Similarly, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is the Supersoul of all living entities, may also be considered the Lord of the universe. Then, under the order of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Viṣṇu form within this universe, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva may also be accepted as the Lords of the universe.
The word sahasraśīrṣā refers to the Personality of Godhead known as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Although the Lord appeared as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, He has been described here as Sahasraśīrṣā Viṣṇu because He is nondifferent from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. According to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī in his Bhāgavatāmṛta, the Sahasraśīrṣā Personality of Godhead who appeared at that time was the incarnation known as Pṛśnigarbha. He created the planet known as Dhruvaloka for the habitation of Dhruva Mahārāja.
In the Vedas it is said, yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3): knowledge received through the transcendental, causeless mercy of the Lord is so perfect that by that knowledge the devotee becomes acquainted with all the different manifestations of the Lord. Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu was present before Dhruva Mahārāja, who could also understand the Lord's two other forms, namely Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kāraṇodakaśāyī (Mahā) Viṣṇu. Regarding Mahā-viṣṇu, it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.48):
Even Brahmā, although the topmost living creature within this universe, was not allowed to enter the Dhruvaloka. Whenever there is a crisis within this universe, the demigods go to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and they stand on the beach of the Milk Ocean. So the fulfillment of Dhruva Mahārāja's demand—a position more exalted than that of even his great-grandfather, Brahmā—was offered to him.
Here in this verse the Lord is described as mukti-pati, which means "one under whose lotus feet there are all kinds of mukti." There are five kinds of mukti-sāyujya, sārūpya, sālokya, sāmīpya and sārṣṭi.
The Lord was attractive for everyone—not only the King but also the priestly order, who were very much addicted to the performance of Vedic rituals. Because the Lord is all-attractive, He is called Kṛṣṇa, or "one who attracts everyone." The Lord appeared in the sacrificial arena of Mahārāja Pṛthu as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is a plenary expansion of Lord Kṛṣṇa. He is the second incarnation from Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is the origin of material creation and who expands as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who then enters into each and every universe. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is one of the puruṣas who control the material modes of nature.
SB Canto 5
All living entities are the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature. As confirmed in Brahma-saṁhitā: aṇḍāntara-sthaṁ paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. The Lord is situated in this universe as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. He is also situated within every atom. According to the Vedic statement: īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). The Supreme Lord is situated everywhere, and wherever He is situated is His temple. We even offer respects to a temple from a distant place, and all living entities should similarly be offered respect. This is different from the theory of pantheism, which holds that everything is God. Everything has a relationship with God because God is situated everywhere.
SB Canto 6
When He is realized in His impersonal form He is called the Supreme Brahman, when realized as the Paramātmā He is called antaryāmī, and when He expands Himself in different forms for material creation He is called Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. When He is realized as Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha—the Caturvyūha, who are beyond the three forms of Viṣṇu—He is the Vaikuṇṭha Nārāyaṇa. Above realization of Nārāyaṇa is realization of Baladeva, and above that is realization of Kṛṣṇa. All these realizations are possible when one engages fully in devotional service. The covered core of one's heart is then completely open to receiving an understanding of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His various forms.
The three puruṣas—Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu—the material nature, the total material energy, the false ego, the five material elements, the material senses, the mind, the intelligence and consciousness cannot create the material manifestation without the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Vāsudeva, who is an expansion of Nārāyaṇa, expands Himself as Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Saṅkarṣaṇa. From Saṅkarṣaṇa comes a second Nārāyaṇa expansion, and from this Nārāyaṇa come further expansions of Vāsudeva, Pradyumna, Saṅkarṣaṇa and Aniruddha. The Saṅkarṣaṇa in this group is the original cause of the three puruṣas, namely Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is situated in every universe in a special planet called Śvetadvīpa. This is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā: aṇḍāntara-stha. The word aṇḍa means this universe. Within this universe is a planet called Śvetadvīpa, where Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is situated. From Him come all the incarnations within this universe.
From Kṛṣṇa, or Govinda, comes Balarāma; from Balarāma comes Saṅkarṣaṇa; from Saṅkarṣaṇa, Nārāyaṇa; from Nārāyaṇa, the second Saṅkarṣaṇa; from the second Saṅkarṣaṇa, Mahā-viṣṇu; from Mahā-viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu; and from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu controls every universe. This gives an idea of the meaning of ananta, unlimited. What is to be said of the unlimited potency and existence of the Lord? This verse describes the coverings of the universe (saptabhir daśa-guṇottarair aṇḍa-kośaḥ). The first covering is earth, the second is water, the third is fire, the fourth is air, the fifth is sky, the sixth is the total material energy, and the seventh is the false ego. Beginning with the covering of earth, each covering is ten times greater than the previous one. Thus we can only imagine how great each universe is, and there are many millions of universes. As confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (10.42):
SB Canto 7
The three different forms of Mahā-viṣṇu—namely Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who are the origin of creation and maintenance—are gradually being described. From Mahā-viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is generated, and from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu gradually expands. Thus Mahā-viṣṇu is the original cause of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu comes the lotus flower from which Lord Brahmā is manifested. Thus the original cause of everything is Viṣṇu, and consequently the cosmic manifestation is not different from Viṣṇu. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.8), wherein Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is an expansion of Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is an expansion of Saṅkarṣaṇa.
After Kṛṣṇa comes Balarāma, after Balarāma is Saṅkarṣaṇa, then Aniruddha, Pradyumna, Nārāyaṇa and then the puruṣa-avatāras—Mahā-viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. All of them are avatāras.
One must hear about the avatāras. Narrations about such avatāras are called avatāra-kathā, the narrations of Kṛṣṇa's expansions. Hearing and chanting these narrations is completely pious. Sṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). One who hears and chants can become puṇya, purified of material contamination.
The living entity desires a particular type of material enjoyment, and thus the Lord supplies him with a body, which is like a machine. Just to keep him alive in that body, the Lord remains with him as the puruṣa (Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu). This is also confirmed in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.35):
- eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
- yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
"I worship the Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who enters the existence of every universe and every atom by one of His plenary portions and thus manifests His infinite energy throughout the material creation." The living entity, being part and parcel of the Lord, is known as jīva. The Supreme Lord puruṣa remains with the jīva to enable him to enjoy material facilities.
SB Canto 8
Thus Kṛṣṇa says that the entire material world is maintained by His partial representation as Paramātmā. The Lord enters every universe as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and then expands Himself as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu to enter the hearts of all living entities and even enter the atoms. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Every universe is full of atoms, and the Lord is not only within the universe but also within the atoms. Thus within every atom the Supreme Lord exists in His Viṣṇu feature as Paramātmā, but all the viṣṇu-tattvas emanate from Kṛṣṇa. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.2), aham ādir hi devānām: Kṛṣṇa is the ādi, or beginning, of the devas of this material world—Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara. Therefore He is described here as bhagavate bṛhate.
Because of the prayers offered by the demigods in the previous chapter, Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu was pleased with the demigods, and thus He appeared before them. The demigods were almost blinded by His transcendental bodily effulgence. At first, therefore, they could not even see any part of His body. After some time, however, when Brahmā could see the Lord, he, along with Lord Śiva, began to offer the Lord prayers.
Lord Brahmā said: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, being beyond birth and death, is eternal. He has no material qualities. Yet He is the ocean of unlimited auspicious qualities.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
There are innumerable brahmāṇḍas, all of which emanate from the pores of Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and in every brahmāṇḍa there is a Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who is a partial expansion of Aniruddha. This Aniruddha is a partial expansion of Pradyumna, who is partially represented as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Supersoul of all living entities. These Viṣṇu expansions are different from Kṛṣṇa, who resides in Goloka Vṛndāvana. When it is said that the demigods offered prayers to the Lord by chanting the puruṣa-sūkta, this indicates that they pleased the Lord by enunciating prayers of bhakti.
The word vṛṣākapi refers to one who satisfies His devotee in every way and frees His devotee from all material anxieties. Vṛṣa refers to religious performances like sacrifices. Even without the execution of sacrifices, the Lord can still enjoy the supermost comforts of the heavenly planets.
While in trance, Lord Brahmā heard the words of Lord Viṣṇu vibrating in the sky. Thus he told the demigods: O demigods, hear from me the order of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the Supreme Person, and execute it attentively without delay.
Ādi-kavi is Lord Brahmā. In the beginning of the creation, Lord Brahmā received the instructions of Vedic knowledge from Lord Viṣṇu through the medium of the heart (hṛdā). The same principle is confirmed herewith. While Brahmā was in trance, he was able to hear the words of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and he carried the Lord's message to the demigods. Similarly, in the beginning, Brahmā first received the Vedic knowledge from the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the core of the heart. In both instances the same process was used in transmitting the message to Lord Brahmā. In other words, although Lord Viṣṇu was invisible even to Lord Brahmā, Lord Brahmā could hear Lord Viṣṇu's words through the heart. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is invisible even to Lord Brahmā, yet He descends on this earth and becomes visible to people in general.
He is the original source of all expansions of the Personality of Godhead. There are hundreds and thousands of plenary expansions of Viṣṇu, such as Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vāsudeva, but here in this material world, the Viśvātmā, the Supersoul for all living entities, is Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (18.61), īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe'rjuna tiṣṭhati: "The Supreme Lord is situated in the heart of all living entities, O Arjuna." Kṛṣṇa is actually Viśvātmā by His plenary expansion as viṣṇu-tattva, yet because of His affection for His devotees, He acts as Supersoul to give them directions (sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15)).
The affairs of the Supersoul pertain to Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, but Kṛṣṇa took compassion on Devakī, His devotee, because He understood her fear of Kaṁsa's persecution. A pure devotee is always fearful of material existence. No one knows what will happen next, for one may have to change his body at any moment (tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13)). Knowing this fact, a pure devotee acts in such a way that he will not have his life spoiled by being obliged to accept another body and undergo the tribulations of material existence. This is bhayam, or fear. Bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syāt (SB 11.2.37). This fear is due to material existence.
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, the original Personality of Godhead. By His partial plenary expansion as Mahā-viṣṇu, He enters into material nature. Then He enters every universe as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and He enters all the elements, including every atom of matter, as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms." Govinda is partially exhibited as antaryāmī, the Supersoul, who enters this material world (aṇḍāntara-stha) and who is also within the atom. The Brahma-saṁhitā (5.48) further says:
You were lying in the Causal Ocean as Mahā-viṣṇu, and by Your breathing, innumerable universes came into existence. Then You entered into each of the universes as Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Then again You expanded Yourself as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and entered into the heart of all living entities and entered even within the atoms. Therefore Your entrance into the womb of Devakī is understandable in the same way. You appear to have entered, but You are simultaneously all-pervading. We can understand Your entrance and nonentrance from material examples. The total material energy remains intact even after being divided into sixteen elements. The material body is nothing but a combination of the five gross elements—namely earth, water, fire, air and ether.
Thus the duck is always in darkness. Vyāsadeva, however, the compiler of the Vedic literature, is blackish, but this does not mean that he is in tamo-guṇa; rather, he is in the highest position of sattva-guṇa, beyond the material modes of nature. Sometimes these colors (śukla-raktas tathā pītaḥ) are used to designate the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras. Lord Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is celebrated as possessing a blackish color, Lord Śiva is whitish, and Lord Brahmā is reddish, but according to Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī in the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī-ṭīkā, this exhibition of colors is not what is referred to here.
The real understanding of śukla, rakta and kṛṣṇa is as follows. The Lord is always transcendental, but for the sake of creation He assumes the color rakta as Lord Brahmā. Again, sometimes the Lord becomes angry. As He says in Bhagavad-gītā (16.19):