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SB 1.3 - The universal form of the Lord

Although all the universal planetary systems are imagined to be situated on the body of the puruṣa, still He has nothing to do with the created material ingredients. His body is eternally in spiritual existence par excellence. The conception of the virāṭ-rūpa or viśva-rūpa of the Lord is meant for the neophyte who can hardly think of the transcendental form of the Personality of Godhead. To him a form means something of this material world, and therefore an opposite conception of the Absolute is necessary in the beginning to concentrate the mind on the power extension of the Lord. The extension of the power of the Lord in the form of virāṭ-rūpa and the Lord Himself are one in one sense, but at the same time the Lord is different from the mahat-tattva. The potency of the Lord and the Lord are simultaneously different and non different. The conception of the virāṭ-rūpa, especially for the impersonalist, is thus non different from the eternal form of the Lord. This eternal form of the Lord exists prior to the creation of the mahat-tattva, and it is stressed here that the eternal form of the Lord is spiritual or transcendental to the modes of material nature.

The devotees see the transcendental form of the puruṣa who has thousands of legs, thighs, arms and faces, thousands of heads, ears, eyes and noses, and decorated with thousands of helmets and earrings. One can understand the transcendent Lord only by devotional service. The Lord is formless to the neophytes, but He is in transcendental form to the expert servitor. This second manifestation of the puruṣa is the source of multifarious incarnations within the universe. From the particles and portions of this form, different living entities, like demigods, men and others are created.