Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 16


यस्मिन्विरुद्धगतयो ह्यनिशं पतन्तिविद्यादयो विविधशक्तय आनुपूर्व्यात् ।तद्ब्रह्म विश्वभवमेकमनन्तमाद्य-मानन्दमात्रमविकारमहं प्रपद्ये ॥ १६ ॥


yasmin viruddha-gatayo hy aniśaṁ patantividyādayo vividha-śaktaya ānupūrvyāttad brahma viśva-bhavam ekam anantam ādyamānanda-mātram avikāram ahaṁ prapadye


My dear Lord, in Your impersonal manifestation of Brahman there are always two opposing elements — knowledge and ignorance. Your multi-energies are continually manifest, but the impersonal Brahman, which is undivided, original, changeless, unlimited and blissful, is the cause of the material manifestation. Because You are the same impersonal Brahman, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.


In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said that the unlimited impersonal Brahman is the effulgence of the transcendental body of Govinda. In that unlimited effulgent aura of the Supreme Personality of Godhead there are innumerable universes with innumerable planets of different categories. Although the Supreme Person is the original cause of all causes, His impersonal effulgence, known as Brahman, is the immediate cause of the material manifestation. Dhruva Mahārāja therefore offered his respectful obeisances unto the impersonal feature of the Lord. One who realizes this impersonal feature can enjoy the unchangeable brahmānanda, described here as spiritual bliss. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura describes that this impersonal feature, or Brahman manifestation, of the Supreme Lord is meant for persons who are essentially very advanced but still not able to understand the personal features or variegatedness of the spiritual world. Such devotees are known as jñāna-miśra-bhaktas, or devotees whose devotional service is mixed with empiric knowledge. Because the impersonal Brahman realization is a partial understanding of the Absolute Truth, Dhruva Mahārāja offers his respectful obeisances. It is said that this impersonal Brahman is the distant realization of the Absolute Truth. Although apparently Brahman seems to be devoid of energy, factually it has different energies working under the headings of knowledge and ignorance. On account of these different energies, there is continually a manifestation of vidyā and avidyā. Vidyā and avidyā are very nicely described in Īśopaniṣad. It is said there that sometimes, due to avidyā, or a poor fund of knowledge, one accepts the Absolute Truth as ultimately impersonal. But in fact the impersonal and personal realizations develop in proportion to the development of devotional service. The more we develop our devotional service, the more closely we approach the Absolute Truth, which, in the beginning, when we realize the Absolute Truth from a distant place, is manifest as impersonal. People in general, who are under the influence of avidyā-śakti, or māyā, have neither knowledge nor devotion. But when a person who is a little advanced and is therefore called a jñānī advances even more, he is in the category of a jñāna-miśra-bhakta, or a devotee whose love is mixed with empiric knowledge. When he is still further advanced, he can realize that the Absolute Truth is a person with multi-energies. An advanced devotee can understand the Lord and His creative energy. As soon as one accepts the creative energy of the Absolute Truth, the six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are also understood. Devotees who are still further advanced, in full knowledge, can understand the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Only on that platform can one fully enjoy transcendental bliss. An example is given in this connection by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura of a person proceeding towards a destination. As he approaches, he sees the destination from a distant place, just as we see a city from a distance. At that time he simply understands that the city is situated at a distance. When he comes still nearer, however, he sees the domes and flags. But as soon as he enters the city, he sees various paths, gardens, lakes, marketplaces with shops, and persons buying. He sees varieties of cinema houses, and he sees dancing and jubilation. When a person actually enters the city and personally sees the activities of the city, he becomes satisfied.