|Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for Mankind||Chapter 16: King Citraketu Meets the Supreme Lord|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.16.37
kṣity-ādibhir eṣa kilāvṛtaḥ
saptabhir daśa-guṇottarair aṇḍa-kośaḥ
yatra pataty aṇu-kalpaḥ
sahāṇḍa-koṭi-koṭibhis tad anantaḥ
kṣiti-ādibhiḥ — by the ingredients of the material world, headed by earth; eṣaḥ — this; kila — indeed; āvṛtaḥ — covered; saptabhiḥ — seven; daśa-guṇa-uttaraiḥ — each ten times more than the previous one; aṇḍa-kośaḥ — egg-shaped universe; yatra — in whom; patati — falls; aṇu-kalpaḥ — like a minute atom; saha — with; aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭibhiḥ — millions of such universes; tat — therefore; anantaḥ — (You are called) unlimited.
Every universe is covered by seven layers — earth, water, fire, air, sky, the total energy and false ego — each ten times greater than the previous one. There are innumerable universes besides this one, and although they are unlimitedly large, they move about like atoms in You. Therefore You are called unlimited [ananta].
The Brahma-saḿhitā (5.48) says:
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
The origin of the material creation is Mahā-Viṣṇu, who lies in the Causal Ocean. While He sleeps in that ocean, millions of universes are generated as He exhales, and they are all annihilated when He inhales. This Mahā-Viṣṇu is a plenary portion of a portion of Viṣṇu, Govinda (yasya kalā-viśeṣaḥ). The word kalā refers to a plenary portion of a plenary portion. From Kṛṣṇa, or Govinda, comes Balarāma; from Balarāma comes Sańkarṣaṇa; from Sańkarṣaṇa, Nārāyaṇa; from Nārāyaṇa, the second Sańkarṣaṇa; from the second Sańkarṣaṇa, Mahā-Viṣṇu; from Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu; and from Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu controls every universe. This gives an idea of the meaning of ananta, unlimited. What is to be said of the unlimited potency and existence of the Lord? This verse describes the coverings of the universe (saptabhir daśa-guṇottarair aṇḍa-kośaḥ). The first covering is earth, the second is water, the third is fire, the fourth is air, the fifth is sky, the sixth is the total material energy, and the seventh is the false ego. Beginning with the covering of earth, each covering is ten times greater than the previous one. Thus we can only imagine how great each universe is, and there are many millions of universes. As confirmed by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (10.42):
kiḿ jñātena tavārjuna
viṣṭabhyāham idaḿ kṛtsnam
ekāḿśena sthito jagat
"But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe." The entire material world manifests only one fourth of the Supreme Lord's energy. Therefore He is called ananta.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness