SB 1.10 - The eternal nature of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes

Having spoken about the time of His appearance, the ladies next speak about the place of His appearance. The dynasty of Yadu and the land of Mathurā are glorious because the husband of the goddess of fortune by taking birth there is wandering in His childhood. The Lord’s appearance and disappearance are transcendental and is like the rising and setting of the sun. The sun is ever present in the solar system but becomes visible and invisible at a scheduled time. Similarly the Lord appears and disappears at certain times but He exists at all times and at every place. One who knows this truth in terms of the statements of revealed scriptures becomes liberated, which is otherwise very difficult to attain. But one who thinks that the birth and activities of the Lord are similar to those of ordinary living beings cannot get liberation. If simply by knowing the transcendental birth and activities of the Lord one can get liberation easily, we can just imagine the good fortune of those who actually enjoyed the company of the Lord. They must have attained something more than what is known as liberation.

By using the present tense when the ladies say that Kṛṣṇa by taking birth in Mathurā and moving about (cañcati) and performing pastimes, they indicate that the birth and activities of Kṛṣṇa are eternal. Their intention can be understood by comparing their first statement describing the pastime of creation in the past tense ya eka āsīt (1.10.21) and the vision of the sages in the present tense (1.10.23). How can the birth and activities be eternal? Since the Lord has unlimited forms at all times, He has unlimited manifestations. Because of that He has unlimited pastimes of birth and activities. And thus He has unlimited manifestations of places and associates in this world and the spiritual world for those pastimes. Thus though there are beginnings and endings of His birth and activities for each of these manifested forms in each of these places, the moment a portion of the birth or activities ends or even before it ends, the birth and activities begin in other places. Because there is no lack of continuity in the Lord, His birth and activities are eternal. Sometimes the birth and activities take place in a slightly different manner and sometimes in exactly the same manner because of difference or oneness of different conditions. And as well one form becomes many for performing different actions at once. At that time it should be understood that Kṛṣṇa has different identities in each of these different active forms because they perform different actions. And there is a particular appearance of rasa caused by the particular pastime in the particular place.

Kṛṣṇa’s birth and pastimes together are eternal. Thus it is recommended to perform meditation on the pastimes which took place previously since they are eternal. Though the Lord disappears, He is still recommended as the best object of worship. The Lord’s birth is different from our material birth. Some say that the pastimes as well as the devotees and dhāmas are called eternal because there are many manifestations of His birth and activities in infinite, eternal dhāmas in the material world.