Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 23


अत्र मां मृगयन्त्यद्धा युक्ता हेतुभिरीश्वरम् ।गृह्यमाणैर्गुणैर्लिङ्गैरग्राह्यमनुमानत: ॥ २३ ॥


atra māṁ mṛgayanty addhāyuktā hetubhir īśvaramgṛhyamāṇair guṇair liṅgairagrāhyam anumānataḥ


Although I, the Supreme Lord, can never be captured by ordinary sense perception, those situated in human life may use their intelligence and other faculties of perception to directly search for Me through both apparent and indirectly ascertained symptoms.


According to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the word yuktāḥ in this verse indicates those engaged in the regulative practice of bhakti-yoga. The devotees of the Lord do not abandon their intelligence and become mindless fanatics, as some fools think. As indicated by the words anumānataḥ and guṇair liṅgaiḥ, a devotee engaged in bhakti-yoga intensely searches out the Personality of Godhead through all of the rational faculties of the human brain. The word mṛgayanti, or “searching,” does not, however, indicate an unregulated or unauthorized process. If we are searching for the telephone number of a particular person, we look in the authorized telephone directory. Similarly, if we are searching for a particular product, we go to a specialized store where we are likely to find what we are looking for. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī points out that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not a product of the imagination, and thus we cannot whimsically imagine what the Lord might be. Therefore, to gain information about Lord Kṛṣṇa, one must conduct a regulated search in the authorized Vedic scriptures. The word agrāhyam in this verse indicates that no one can achieve or understand Lord Kṛṣṇa by ordinary speculation or through the activities of the material senses. In this regard Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states the following verse in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.234): “No one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, quality and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.” The words gṛhyamāṇair guṇaiḥ indicate the rational and intellectual faculties of the human brain. All of these can be used to directly and indirectly perceive the Personality of Godhead. Indirectly one may experience the Lord through His creation. Since we are experiencing this world through our intelligence (and senses), we may conclude that our own intelligence must have a creator and that creator is therefore supremely intelligent. Thus, through simple logic any sane person can understand that there is a Supreme Personality of Godhead who is controlling everything. One may also directly perceive the Lord through chanting and hearing His holy names and glories. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ means that one should always chant and hear of the glories of the Lord. One who perfectly hears and chants will undoubtedly see the Lord face to face. Lord Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading, and one should search for Him everywhere. By the transcendental senses, purified by bhakti-yoga, one may directly perceive the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As indicated by the word addhā in this verse, this perception is direct and not imaginary. This point has been elaborately explained by Śrīla Prabhupāda in his purport to this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.2.35): “The Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is in every living being along with the individual soul, and this fact is perceived and hypothesized in our acts of seeing and taking help from the intelligence.”