tat-kālaṁ kila coditaḥ
sisṛkṣāyāṁ matiṁ cakre
dadarśa kevalaṁ dhvāntaṁ
nānyat kim api sarvataḥ
sañjātaḥ – when Caturmukha Brahmā was born; coditaḥ – being inspired; bhagavat-śaktyā – by the potency of Śrī Bhagavān; tat-kālaṁ kila – at that very moment; pūrva-saṁskāra-saṁskṛtam – in accordance with the impressions he had undergone in his previous birth; matim cakre – he absorbed his mind; sisṛkṣāyām – in matters concerning his duties of creation; sarvataḥ – on all sides; dadarśa – he perceived; kevalam dhvāntam – only darkness; na anyat – nothing else; kim api – at all.
After manifesting from the lotus flower, Brahmājī, who is empowered by Bhagavān’s potency, absorbed his mind in the subject of creation according to his previous impressions. However, he saw nothing but darkness in all four directions.
Now the activities of four-headed Brahmā are being described in this verse beginning with sañjātaḥ. First of all Brahmājī wanted to create the material world. However, he saw nothing but darkness all around.
Furthermore, we find the following description in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. When Brahmā appeared from the lotus flower, he began to situate himself in its pericarp, but he could not see anything because of the dense darkness. Brahmājī wanted to see by casting his glance in four directions at once, and in so doing, he manifested four faces in the four directions.
At that time, when the cosmos had been dissolved and the vast waters were agitated into whirlpools by the force of the wind, Brahmā, the original demigod, was situated in the lotus flower that had emerged from the water. However, he could neither factually understand the situation of the world nor of his own self. Being seated on the upper surface of the lotus flower, he began to consider, “Who am I? What is the origin of this unique lotus flower within the water? How did it appear? There must definitely be something below it, and this lotus flower must also be situated upon some supporting base.”
Deliberating in this way, Brahmājī entered the path formed by the hollow within the middle of the lotus stem. Still, despite approaching the base of the lotus stem, namely Nārāyaṇa’s navel, he was incapable of understanding anything, even after making extensive research. Retiring from his investigation with his ambition unfulfilled, Brahmājī returned once more to his sitting-place on top of the lotus flower. There he sat in a posture for meditation, and by controlling his breathing he gradually concentrated his consciousness by introspection.
Due to Brahmājī’s previous impressions, he had a desire to create. Every living entity acquires a particular nature in accordance with his previous impressions and, in accordance with his nature, different types of endeavors appeal to his heart. This is called adṛṣṭa (unseen) because it is the fruit of action performed in previous lives. In Brahmājī’s heart was the desire to create just as he had done in the previous creation. Similarly, certain qualified living entities may also attain the position of Brahmā.