If you know any of my writing, you know I like to put things as clear and simple as possible. But when the entire Śrīmad Bhāgavatam gets summarized in four short verses… even putting it as simple as possible is still going to bend our brains. Still, I hope that if you apply your human intelligence (it doesn’t have to be Einsteinian) to this English rendition – you’ll discover for your self many things that are the treasure you deserved to discover as a result of thousands of lifetimes of effort.
Today, here is the first verse of the four-verse original kernal of Bhāgavatam, translated from Canto Two, Chapter Nine, Text Thirty-Three according to the guidance of the sampradaya of Śrī Caitanya.
aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham
Hari: Only I exclusively exist – at the very beginning, at the end, and throughout the duration of everything else.
Brahmā: What exactly do you mean by “everything else”?
Hari: Every effect, and every cause. I am the causeless cause of all causes, the beginningless beginning of all beginnings, existing before, after and during everything else.
Brahmā: What do you mean by “exclusively exist”? Why do you use the word exclusively?
Hari: My existence is unique because it is self-effecting. I am beyond all cause and effect. I exist without dependence on any other circumstance. I exist simply as the self-manifesting experience of blissful existence.
Brahmā: Then, in the very beginning, are you all alone – a singular entity without plurality displayed in names, forms, qualities, and active expressions?
Hari: It can be poetically said that I was singular. But actually all pluralities of individuality eternally exist within my singular existence – as the mechanisms essential for the self-manifest experience of blissful existence.
Brahmā: If you are the only factuality before, after and during everything – then everything we see and everything we don’t see is actually you?
Hari: Yes. You asked to know my natural or material form – it is everything you will see during the manifestation of the universe. You also asked to know my supernatural or spiritual form – it is beyond cause and effect, existing before the beginning and after the end of everything else.
In the above, large text represents direct translation, small text represents clarification of the meaning, via Śrīdhara Swāmī, Jīva Goswāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, and Swāmī Prabhupāda.