Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.18.23

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ŚB 1.18.23

अहं हि पृष्टोऽर्यमणो भवद्भ‍ि-
राचक्ष आत्मावगमोऽत्र यावान् ।
नभ: पतन्त्यात्मसमं पतत्‍त्रिण-
स्तथा समं विष्णुगतिं विपश्चित: ॥ २३ ॥
ahaṁ hi pṛṣṭo ’ryamaṇo bhavadbhir
ācakṣa ātmāvagamo ’tra yāvān
nabhaḥ patanty ātma-samaṁ patattriṇas
tathā samaṁ viṣṇu-gatiṁ vipaścitaḥ


aham — my humble self; hi — certainly; pṛṣṭaḥ — asked by you; aryamaṇaḥ — as powerful as the sun; bhavadbhiḥ — by you; ācakṣe — may describe; ātmaavagamaḥ — as far as my knowledge is concerned; atra — herein; yāvān — so far; nabhaḥ — sky; patanti — fly; ātmasamam — as far as it can; patattriṇaḥ — the birds; tathā — thus; samam — similarly; viṣṇugatim — knowledge of Viṣṇu; vipaścitaḥ — even though learned.


O ṛṣis, who are as powerfully pure as the sun, I shall try to describe to you the transcendental pastimes of Viṣṇu as far as my knowledge is concerned. As the birds fly in the sky as far as their capacity allows, so do the learned devotees describe the Lord as far as their realization allows.


The Supreme Absolute Truth is unlimited. No living being can know about the unlimited by his limited capacity. The Lord is impersonal, personal and localized. By His impersonal feature He is all-pervading Brahman, by His localized feature He is present in everyone’s heart as the Supreme Soul, and by His ultimate personal feature He is the object of transcendental loving service by His fortunate associates the pure devotees. The pastimes of the Lord in different features can only be estimated partly by the great learned devotees. So Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī has rightly taken this position in describing the pastimes of the Lord as far as he has realized. Factually only the Lord Himself can describe Himself, and His learned devotee also can describe Him as far as the Lord gives him the power of description.

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