The Cosmos is Manifested and Annihilated by Krishna

By Madhudvisa dasa - 2.6 2023

By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. (Bhagavad-gita 9.4)

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable through the gross material senses. It is said that Lord Sri Krishna’s name, fame, pastimes, etc., cannot be understood by material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always within himself and outside himself if he has developed the transcendental loving attitude towards Him. Thus for people in general He is not visible.

Here it is said that although He is all-pervading, everywhere present, He is yet not conceivable by the material senses. But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting in Him. As we have discussed in the Seventh Chapter, the entire material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different energies, the superior spiritual energy and the inferior material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread all over the universe, the energy of the Lord is spread all over the creation, and everything is resting in that energy.

And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very source of creation. (Bhagavad-gita 9.5)

The Lord says that everything is resting on Him. This should not be misunderstood. The Lord is not directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this material manifestation. Sometimes we see a picture of Atlas holding the globe on his shoulders; he seems to be very tired, holding this great earthly planet. Such an image should not be entertained in connection with Krsna’s upholding this created universe. He says that although everything is resting on Him, still He is aloof. The planetary systems are floating in space, and this space is the energy of the Supreme Lord. But He is different from space. He is differently situated. Therefore the Lord says, “Although they are situated on My inconceivable energy, still, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I am aloof from them.” This is the inconceivable opulence of the Lord.

As the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, always rests in ethereal space know that in the same manner all beings rest in Me. (Bhagavad-gita 9.6)

For the ordinary person it is almost inconceivable how the huge material creation is resting in Him. But the Lord is giving an example which may help us to understand. Space is the biggest manifestation we can conceive. The cosmic manifestation rests in space. Space permits the movement of even the atoms and on up to the greatest planets, the sun and the moon. Although the sky (or wind or air) is great, still it is situated within space. Space is not beyond the sky.

Similarly, all the wonderful cosmic manifestations are existing by the supreme will of God, and all of them are subordinate to that supreme will. As we generally say, not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus everything is moving under His will: by His will everything is being created, everything is being maintained, and everything is being annihilated. Still He is aloof from everything, as space is always aloof from the activities of the atmosphere.

O son of Kunti, at the end of the millennium every material manifestation enters into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency I again create. (Bhagavad-gita 9.7)

The creation, maintenance and annihilation of this material cosmic manifestation is completely dependent on the supreme will of the Personality of Godhead. “At the end of the millennium” means at the death of Brahma. Brahma lives for one hundred years, and his one day is calculated at 4,300,000,000 of our earthly years. His night is of the same duration. His month consists of thirty such days and nights, and his year of twelve months. After one hundred such years, when Brahma dies, the devastation or annihilation takes place; this means that the energy manifested by the Supreme Lord is again wound up in Himself. Then again, when there is need to manifest the cosmic world, it is done by His will: “Although I am one, I shall become many.” This is the Vedic aphorism. He expands Himself in this material energy, and the whole cosmic manifestation again takes place.

The whole cosmic order is under Me. By My will it is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end. (Bhagavad-gita 9.8)

This matter is the manifestation of the inferior energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This has already been explained several times. At the creation, the material energy is let loose as mahat-tattva, into which the Lord as His first Purusa incarnation, Maha-Visnu, enters. He lies within the Causal Ocean and breathes out innumerable universes, and into each universe the Lord again enters as Garbhodakasayi Visnu. Each universe is in that way created. He still further manifests Himself as Ksirodakasayi Visnu, and that Visnu enters into everything-even into the minute atom. This fact is explained here. He enters into everything.