Jayadeva Gosvāmī, in his Gīta-govinda, has sung as follows: "The Lord has saved the Vedas in His form as a fish, and He has borne the whole universe on His back in the form of a tortoise. He has picked up this earthly planet from the water in the form of a boar. He has killed Hiraṇyakaśipu in the form of Nṛsiṁha. He has cheated Mahārāj Bali in the form of Vāmana. He has annihilated all the dynasties of the kṣatriyas in the form of Paraśurāma. He has killed all the demons in the form of Lord Rāma. He has accepted the great plow in the form of Balarāma. He has annihilated all the atheistic persons in the form of Kalki. And He has saved all the poor animals in the form of Lord Buddha."* These are some of the descriptions of the incarnations emanating from Kṛṣṇa, and from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is understood that innumerable incarnations are always coming out from the body of Kṛṣṇa, just like waves in the ocean. No one can even count how many waves there are, and similarly no one can count how many incarnations are coming from the Lord's body.
- All of these incarnations of Godhead are described in the author's Śrīmad Bhiigavatam, Volume I, Chapter 3.
59. Kṛṣṇa Gives Salvation to the Enemies that He Kills
Another name for salvation is apavarga. Apavarga is the opposite of pavarga, or the various miserable conditions of material existence. Pavarga consists of the combinations of five letters: pa, pha, ba, bha, and ma. These letters are the first letters of the words for five different conditions as described below. The first letter, pa, comes from the word parābhava, which means "defeat." In this material struggle for existence, we are simply meeting defeat. Actually, we have to conquer birth, death, disease and old age, and because there is no possibility of overcoming all these miserable conditions, due to the illusion of māyā, we are simply meeting with parābhava, or defeat. The next letter, pha, is taken from the word phenila. Phenila is the foam which is found on the mouth when one is very tired (as is commonly observed with horses). The letter ba comes from the word bandha, or bondage. Bha is taken from the word bhīti, or fearfulness. Ma is taken from the word mṛti, or death. So the word pavarga signifies our struggle for existence and our meeting with defeat, exhaustion, bondage, fearfulness and, at last, death. Apavarga means that which can nullify all of these material conditions. Kṛṣṇa is said to be the giver of apavarga, the path of liberation.
For the impersonalist and the enemies of Kṛṣṇa, liberation means to merge into the supreme. The demons and the impersonalists do not care for Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He gives this liberation even to His enemies and to the impersonalists. There is the following statement in this connection: "O Murāri (Kṛṣṇa)! How wonderful it is that although the demons, who were always envious of the demigods, have failed to penetrate Your military phalanx, they have penetrated the region of mitra, the sun globe." The word mitra is used metaphorically. Mitra means the sun globe, and mitra also means friend. The demons who opposed Kṛṣṇa as enemies wanted to penetrate His military phalanx; but instead of doing this, they died in battle, and the result was that they penetrated the planet of Mitra, or the sun planet. In other words, they entered into the Brahman effulgence. The example of the sun planet is given here because the sun is ever-illuminating, like the spiritual sky, where there are innumerable illuminating Vaikuṇṭha planets. The enemies of Kṛṣṇa were killed, and instead of penetrating Kṛṣṇa's phalanx, they entered into the friendly atmosphere of the spiritual effulgence. That is the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore He is known as the deliverer of His enemies also.