The above verse is from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.14.29). The Brahma-saṁhitā states, vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau (BS 5.33). Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the ultimate goal of knowledge (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15)), one who is not a pure devotee and who is not engaged in the service of the Lord cannot understand Him. Lord Brahmā therefore confirms this. Vedeṣu durlabham: “It is very difficult to understand the Supreme Lord simply through one’s studies.” Adurlabham ātma-bhaktau: “However, it is very easy for the devotees to capture the Lord.” The Lord is known as ajita (unconquerable). No one can conquer the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the Lord consents to be conquered by His devotees. That is His nature. As stated in the Padma Purāṇa:
- ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ
- sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
Being pleased by devotional activities, the Lord reveals Himself to His devotees. That is the way to understand Him.
The verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam quoted by Gopīnātha Ācārya was originally spoken by Lord Brahmā when he was defeated by Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Brahmā had stolen all the calves and cowherd boys in order to test Kṛṣṇa’s power. Lord Brahmā admitted that his own extraordinary powers within the universe were not in the least comparable to the unlimited powers of Lord Kṛṣṇa. If Lord Brahmā can make a mistake in understanding Kṛṣṇa, what to speak of ordinary persons, who either misunderstand Kṛṣṇa or falsely present a so-called incarnation of Kṛṣṇa for their own sense gratification.