Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3th Canto, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 36

Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3th Canto, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 36


etan me janma loke ‘smin
mumuksuṇam durasayat
prasankhyanaya tattvanam

etat — this; me — My; janma — birth; loke — in the world; asmin — in this; mumuksunam  — by those great sages seeking liberation; durasayat — from unnecessary material desires; prasankhyanaya — for explaining; tattvanam — of the truths; sammataya — which is highly esteemed; atma-darsane — in self-realization.

My appearance in this world is especially to explain the philosophy of Sankhya, which is highly esteemed for self-realization by those desiring freedom from the entanglement of unnecessary material desires.

Here the word durasayat is very significant. Dur refers to trouble or duhkha, miseries. Asayat means “from the shelter.” We conditioned souls have taken shelter of the material body, which is full of troubles and miseries. Foolish people cannot understand the situation, and this is called ignorance, illusion, or the spell of maya. Human society should very seriously understand that the body itself is the source of all miserable life. Modern civilization is supposed to be making advancement in scientific knowledge, but what is this scientific knowledge? It is based on bodily comforts only, without knowledge that however comfortably one maintains his body, the body is destructible. As stated in Bhagavad-gita, antavanta ime dehah: these bodies are destined to be destroyed. Nityasyoktah saririnah refers to the living soul, or the living spark, within the body. That soul is eternal, but the body is not eternal. For our activity we must have a body; without a body, without sense organs, there is no activity. But people are not inquiring whether it is possible to have an eternal body. Actually they aspire for an eternal body because even though they engage in sense enjoyment, that sense enjoyment is not eternal. They are therefore in want of something which they can enjoy eternally, but they do not understand how to attain that perfection. Sankhya philosophy, therefore, as stated herein by Kapiladeva, is tattvanam. The Sankhya philosophy system is designed to afford understanding of the real truth. What is that real truth? The real truth is knowledge of how to get out of the material body, which is the source of all trouble. Lord Kapila’s incarnation, or descent, is especially meant for this purpose. That is clearly stated here.
[End of Purport]

etan me janma loke ‘smin
mumuksuṇam durasayat
prasankhyanaya tattvanam

My appearance in this world is especially to explain the philosophy of Sankhya, which is highly esteemed for self-realization by those desiring freedom from the entanglement of unnecessary material desires.

So this chapter is describing the renunciation of Kardama Muni. Who is Kardama Muni? Kardama Muni is the father of Kapiladeva. And who is Kapiladeva? Kapiladeva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And why did Kapiladeva come here is being explained here. He is explaining, He is telling why He came. He came to expound, to establish the Sankhya philosophy. He came to teach people the Sankhya philosophy which is conducive or which is highly esteemed for self realization. Who aspire for self realization? Prabhupada is explaining here that those desiring freedom from entanglement of unnecessary material desires. What does self realization, or liberation mean? Liberation means to become free from material bondage.
Now, why should one want to become free from material bondage? Why does one want to become free from certain situation? If somebody is very much enjoying in some position, some situation, does he want to become free from that situation or does he want to change the situation? If you are enjoying then do you want to go somewhere else, leaving that situation? No. When does one want to get out of a certain situation? Like, say, if there is a fire, would you like to be in that fire? You’ll immediately run out of there. But if there is a festival going on do you want to leave that situation? Do you want to? No.

So those who actually understand that this material existence, the existence in the material nature is difficult, full of difficulties, is troublesome they only want to become free from their bondage. So that is what has been described here. Mumuksunam. Who is a mumuksu? Mumuksu is a person who wants to get out of this material situation.
Now, who wants to get out of the material situation? One who is situated in that knowledge, in the real knowledge, tattvanam, the truth. One who is situated in knowledge. Now, what is the knowledge? The real knowledge is the knowledge about the material nature and also the knowledge about the spiritual nature. Tattva here, or truth, indicates knowledge about our proper understanding about the material nature as well as the spiritual nature. And what is the reality of the material nature? What is the real characteristic of the material nature? The actual characteristic of the material nature is: it is dukhalayam, a place of suffering. The actual knowledge of the material nature is it is temporary. Everything here is temporary. You may be enjoying very nicely but it’s temporary. The craving of every living entity is to enjoy. That is atma’s inherent characteristic. Souls or everybody wants to enjoy because the inherent characteristic of atma is anandamaya. Atma is joyful, so atma wants to be always joyful. But in the material nature the living entity is not joyful. He is searching for joy. He is hankering for joy but he suffers. And sometimes there is enjoyment, what is that enjoyment? That enjoyment is cessation of pain. When the pain is reduced then he thinks it is alright (?)

So those who are desirous, those who are eager to get out of material nature, the bondage of material nature because they understood the actual reality of material nature, for them this Sankhya philosophy is very conducive. It’s highly esteemed. Now what is the Sankhya philosophy? Sankhya philosophy is actually the knowledge. There are different aspects of Vedic philosophy and one branch of Vedic philosophy deals with jnana or knowledge. There is a Karma Kanda and Jnana Kanda. Karma Kanda is work, action, to understand what is proper action. But philosophies like Sankhya and Yoga, especially Sankhya, is the philosophy of knowledge. And what is actual knowledge as I mentioned? To know about the material nature is knowledge? To know about material nature is not knowledge.

As Prabhupada mentioned in the purport to this that the so called scientists are making so many claims that they have made so much advancement. But Prabhupada is mentioning they simply made advancement in sense gratification. They made arrangement for better sense gratification. That is not advancement. Like, to be able to move from one place to another place very quickly is not real advancement. To live in this body comfortably is not advancement. You may be moving very fast, you may be living a comfortable life in a big house in a nice bed with all the facilities, but some day you have to die. And then when you die you will come back again. And you’ll again be in the same situation.

The other day I was explaining about or giving the example of one sage, Mudgala. He performed so much austerities and acquired so much pious activities that Indra came from the heaven to take him to the heavenly planets. So he came and said, “I want to take you to the heavenly planet.” So he said that, “What’s the benefit of going to the heavenly planet?” And he said that, “The benefit of heavenly planet is that you will have a lot of happiness, all your desires will be fulfilled. Whatever you want, you’ll immediately get there. That is the heavenly planet. Whatever you want, you will get it.” And he said, “Okay, that is the advantage of going to the heavenly planet and tell me what is the disadvantage of the heavenly planet.” He said, “In the heavenly planet when your piety is exhausted, because in heavenly planet you cannot make new piety, new punya you cannot make there, and when you enjoy in the heavenly planet, fulfilling your desire you exhaust your piety. And when all your piety will be finished then you’ll fall down to this earth planet again.”

So, he was intelligent. He said that, “If I again have to come back to earth planet then why should I go there? For the time being I may be able to fulfill my desires by getting whatever I want, I may enjoy by fulfilling my desires, but you are saying that ultimately when my piety will be exhausted then again I will fall down here.” Kshine punye martya-lokam visanti [Bg. 9.21]. Kshine punya, when the punya (piety) is kshina, becomes exhausted then one will fall down. Intelligent person. Very intelligent consideration. So he said, “I don’t want to go there. I would rather go to a place from where I do not have to come back again, because all these austerities I am performing to get out of here, let that departure from here be permanent. Not temporary.” Then he was told, “Yes, there is a place. Here all the way up to Satyaloka, Brahma’s abode, is full of suffering. Although there is enjoyment but not eternal enjoyment, endless enjoyment, permanent enjoyment. If you want permanent enjoyment then you have to go to parama dhama. That place has been described as parama dhama. So that parama dhama is the place where the Lord resides.”

Now the question is how does one go to parama dhama? Can you go to parama dhama by performing austerities? No. Up to Brahmaloka you can go performing austerities, tapasya. But in order to go to parama dhama, which is beyond this material nature, you have to become a devotee of the Lord. You have to surrender to the Lord. That is the qualification to go to parama dhama.

So, Sankhya philosophy is the analytical study. What is that analytical study? The analytical study explains first the material nature. And the purpose of Sankhya is not only just to analyze the material nature but through this analysis come to a point of understanding the spiritual nature. Generally Sankhya analyzes material nature with twenty four considerations: five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), five senses (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, touch), five objects of the senses (form, taste, smell, sound, touch). So these are the five objects of the senses: rupa, rasa, shabda, sparsha, gandha (form, touch, sound, taste and smell). And then their consideration is five working senses: pada, pani, payu, udhara, upastha (hands, legs, belly, anus and genitals). So twenty. Then three subtle senses, I mean subtle materials. Those three subtle materials are? Mind, intelligence and false ego. Then the consideration is Mahat-tattva: the sum total, the basic ingredient of material creation. The finest material element, Mahat-tattva, from which this material nature became manifested.

Now after the Mahat-tattva then they considered that…but still there is an observer. This material nature is there but someone is witnessing the material nature, observing the material nature, object, rather subject. That subject is ‘I’. So ‘I’ didn’t fall in this twenty four, so ‘I’ is different. The material nature has been analyzed by these twenty four considerations. But the ‘I’ couldn’t be found in there. So this ‘I’ is twenty fifth consideration. It is non material. Then the ‘I’ or the soul and then the Supreme Soul or Supersoul, twenty sixth consideration.
So the main point is, what Sankhya is doing is that Sankhya is taking us beyond the material nature. That is the purpose of Sankhya. In Bhagavad Gita also Krishna briefly gives the essence of Sankhya, just in one verse. Two verses, actually. Krishna is establishing that Sankhya in the form of

Bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakritir astadha
[Bg 7.4]

So prakriti here has been described or analyzed by bhinna prakritir with astadha, eight elements. Bhinna prakritir astadha. But then He is saying
Apareyam itas tv anyam
prakritim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat
[Bg 7.5]

That this is inferior nature of Mine, but beyond this inferior there is a superior element, superior consideration. Jiva-bhutam, the living entity. The living entities are not a product of this material nature. The living entities are coming from para prakriti. Prakritim viddhi me param. So this is the point, the purpose of Sankhya is actually to transcend the material nature and come to the spiritual nature through knowledge, jnana. And that jnana is the analytical study. This branch of jnana is analytical study. Otherwise we cannot understand the… or rather, how do we understand intellectually, how do we conceive the existence of spiritual sky? Somebody may say that there is a spiritual world, spiritual sky. Now how do we get to know about the spiritual sky? How do you get the knowledge of the existence of the spiritual sky? That is the purpose of Sankhya. Like, analyze the material nature. You’ll come to a point when you will see that there is something other than matter. Something that is beyond matter. That is the soul. So the soul must have come from somewhere else because soul is not matter. The whole matter has been analyzed up to the point of Mahat-tattva, but soul was not there, so soul is beyond Mahat-tattva. Soul is beyond material experience. So this is the knowledge and when one becomes situated in knowledge then he aspires to get out of this material nature. Knowledge by itself is not enough.

When Vidura was instructing Dhritarashtra he made this point. He said, “Knowledge by itself is not enough.” He is saying that you may have the knowledge of food, you may be an expert of food, you may have the perfect knowledge of food, how to cook and what are the ingredients and how to select the ingredients and everything, but that knowledge alone is not going to satisfy your hunger. When you are hungry that knowledge is not going to fill up your stomach. When you are hungry you have to eat. And when you are eating your stomach will automatically become satisfied, whether you have the knowledge or not. Whether you know how to cook the food or not, whether you have the knowledge of the food or not, that doesn’t matter. What really matters is eating. So similarly, just knowledge about this material nature may guide us to something. Let’s say, for example, I am hungry and I have the knowledge that the food is there. Or I have the knowledge how to cook the food, where to get the food, get the basic ingredients and how to cook, and then I can satisfy my hunger. Knowledge can help us to satisfy the hunger but knowledge itself cannot satisfy our hunger. Therefore ultimately we have to give up knowledge also. We should not give up means we should not depend upon knowledge. Jnana karmada anavritam.

What is the ultimate consideration? Just as by eating only we can satisfy our hunger, similarly through devotional service to Krishna we can satisfy the craving of our souls. Soul’s craving is for joy. That joy can be achieved only through developing our devotion to Krishna. Srimad Bhagavatam is pointing that out time and time again.

We come across many people who have knowledge, but they can’t accept Krishna. What’s the point in having that knowledge? Or as we come across many people in India also, like, they have knowledge but ultimately their conclusion is, God is, Bhagavan is, or Param Satya is nirakara, is formless. So what’s the point in having that kind of knowledge? Can you see devotion? Can you develop your devotion through nirakara? Can you become devotee of nirakara Brahman? No. Nirakara, one aspect is there which is nirakara, nirvishesha, but that is only the partial aspect, the energy aspect. But the personality aspect is sakara. Brahman is the energy. That is nirakara. Light is the energy. That light is nirakara. It doesn’t have any form. It only helps us to see. But the bulb from where the light is coming that is sakara. The electricity may be nirakara but the powerhouse is sakara. Generator is sakara. The operator is sakara. They have forms. So to say that ultimate Absolute Truth is nirakara is only a temporary or partial understanding. And the real understanding is ultimately as we said, like eating the food. Knowledge is one thing and eating the food to satisfy your stomach is another thing. Knowledge cannot feed your stomach. But when you eat then you yourself can see what happens to you. When you eat then your stomach is satisfied. Then nobody has to tell you what happened to you. Does anybody have to come and tell you? Maybe somebody has to come and tell you “Don’t eat so much!” Because over eating also will cause you distress. You yourself, the person who is eating he can see what happens to me.

So this is how, when one becomes engaged in devotional service to the Lord, he automatically feels what happens. He automatically realizes what is happening. He sees. He experiences. By developing our loving relationship to Krishna we experience the joy. We experience the security. We experience the care and how Krishna IS actually taking care. Phalena paricaiyate. It’s not a matter … that’s why when one gets into devotional service he loses interest for logic and argument. Why argue if somebody doesn’t want to listen and understand? If a person comes and tells that, “No, by eating your hunger will not subside”, what’s the point in arguing with him? The only thing is that you consider he is unfortunate. If somebody comes and tells by eating food…eating food is not necessary. When you are hungry you go and sit down in a quiet place and meditate that you are not this body because this hunger is relative to the body. So if you don’t have a body then you won’t have any hunger. So if somebody comes and gives you that logic and gets into an argument, after you had a nice feast of mahaprasada [laughs] then you feel that what’s the point in talking to him? What’s the point in arguing with him? He is missing out on the joy of tasting nice Krishna prasada. He is missing out on the joy of feeling the satisfaction of fulfilling your hunger. So that’s why devotees are not interested in argument. Na tams tarkena yojayet acintyah khalu ye bhava. So bhava, bhava, the experience that is beyond the conception of mind, acintyah, that cannot be established by tarkena, by argument. What’s the point in wasting time in argument? But at the same time for the sake of preaching we have to convince people.
Like the other day, someone came and told me that one astrologer calculated his horoscope and told him that he will achieve liberation after this life. I said, “Very good! Very good prediction.”  It gave me an opportunity to preach to him, to explain what is liberation. So it is possible. One can achieve liberation after this life. It’s not difficult. And I was thinking that he has come to the right place. [laughter] So if you want to become liberated, actually not only liberated, liberation comes secondary. When one chants the Holy Name does he achieve liberation? At what stage a chanter of the Holy Name achieve liberation? Who knows? Yes? [devotee: namabhasa] Namabhasa. Very good.

koti-janme brahma-jnane yei mukti naya
ei kahe, namabhase sei mukti haya
[CC Antya 3.195]

The millions of lifetimes of Brahman realization cannot give the liberation but just in the namabhasa, namabhasa means the clearing stage. Offensive stage, clearing stage, pure stage. So in the clearing stage one achieves liberation. Namabhase sei mukti haya. If just by in the clearing stage, not pure chanting, gives us liberation then what to speak of pure chanting? What is the achievement of pure chanting? What happens when one…yes, Jayesh? Very good. Pure chanting gives Krishna prema. Why Krishna prema is superior to mukti, liberation? How can you describe that? Okay, yes? [devotee: namabhasa is just a glimpse of the Holy Name. So the glimpse of the Holy Name is rewarding something. The full Holy Name is pure, pure…a benediction that is higher than that.] Okay, very good. Yeah, the clear, better understanding or the more clear understanding will be, say, you are in the prison house and you become free from the prison. You’re released from the prison. Will that situation be the ultimate perfection? Because when you come out of the prison there are so many people, those who are free, in the free world but are they all happy? Not all of them are happy. But in order to be happy you have to have a place to stay. You will have to have money to spend, food to eat. So you have to have these arrangements. Now, just coming out of the prison is like becoming liberated. But after liberation, after coming out of the prison, if you come to a situation…okay, so that is compared to liberation. If getting out of the prison house is compared to liberation then Krishna prema, achieving Krishna prema or total shelter of Krishna is something like not only getting out of the prison but if you’re taken to the palace of the king and you are given the opportunity to live in the palace with the king. So you see the difference? Just getting out of the prison is not the ultimate goal. To be a prince of the king and live in the palace and enjoy all his opulence is the ultimate goal. So pure chanting will give us, that will enable us to be elevated to Goloka Vrindavana, or the abode of Krishna, or the parama dhama as we just discussed and reside there in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a simple understanding, but it is factual because it is coming from the scriptures. It must be true otherwise why people like Prabhupada, why people like Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, why people like Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, why people like Vyasadeva, why people like Sukadeva Goswami, why people like four Kumaras, why people like Lord Brahma are promoting this? If it was not real then why since time immemorial all these great personalities are accepting this process? So that is the proof. The most intelligent people, the most accomplished people, the most powerful people have accepted this process. Therefore, it is intelligent to follow the process, to follow this path.

Yes, Radharani?
Question:  [inaudible]
BCS: There are two stages. One is called svarupa siddhi and the other is called vastu siddhi. The svarupa siddhi is the stage when one is situated in his svarupa, spiritual identity, but he is still in his material body. That stage is called svarupa siddhi or jivan-mukti. Jivan-muktah sa ucyate. Nikhilasva apy avasthasu jivan-muktah sa ucyate.
iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate
[Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187]
When one becomes a pure devotee of Krishna, when one’s karmana manasa gira, when one with his activities, karmana, manasa, with the mind, and gira, with his words constantly serves the Lord he is considered to be jivan-mukta. That means when one can do that? Only when one is situated in his svarupa siddhi he can do that. Sadhana stage and siddhi stage. Sadhana means practicing stage, siddhi means perfected stage. Yes, one can become perfect when he is still in his material body. And then the time comes for him to leave the material body. Then he achieves the vastu siddhi, physically goes back to the spiritual sky. But both the stages are the same. Both the stages are perfect spiritual stages, whether he is here or there. Like, if you are an ambassador of Indian government, or say South African government in India, are you South African or an Indian? South African. So your situation may be in India but you are a South African, right? And under all circumstances you are actually in South Africa. So when you are purely situated, that means when you perfectly developed your relationship with Krishna, then whether you are in the material nature or spiritual nature it doesn’t matter. You are perfectly related to Krishna. But then sometimes the government calls you back, “Okay, come back to South Africa.” So you’ll do that. So for a devotee who is a pure devotee of the Lord his situation is like that. When he is here he serves the Lord. Karmana manasa gira, he serves the Lord with his body, mind and words.

Question: [inaudible]
BCS: Which example?
Question: [inaudible]
BCS: Yeah, right, pure devotees. Pure devotees are the examples. And in that respect we have to understand that although it seems that they have a material body, it’s not a material body. That’s why Prabhupada gives the example of fire and iron. When the iron is red hot, is it iron or fire? So the body of a pure devotee is not material. It is spiritual. It is spiritualized.

Question: Someone may have knowledge but if he doesn’t have faith in the knowledge, [inaudible] because you were saying just knowledge is not enough. So if someone really has knowledge and has faith in it, he will definitely execute it also. So if one doesn’t have faith then what he has done, studied or heard, can we really call it as knowledge?
BCS: Let’s go back to that example I gave, knowledge of food and eating food. If you really have the knowledge of food then you will eat when you are hungry. You understand? Knowledge of the food means knowing the characteristic of food: what is the purpose of food? But just knowledge alone of the food is not enough. How to cook the food is not enough. You have to know how to satisfy your hunger. That is the purpose of food.

Question: In other words if someone has genuine knowledge he is going to be a devotee.
BCS: Yeah, right, devotion automatically has knowledge. Devotion is the mother. Bhakti Devi is the mother and she has two children, Jnana and Vairagya, knowledge and detachment. The person who is situated in pure devotional service he is in full knowledge and he is also detached from everything material.

Question: If someone has a, I mean he is not yet a pure devotee, fully purified, but he is engaged in devotional service and he is experiencing the bliss of devotional service. Such a person, if he doesn’t cultivate knowledge at the same time side by side, so despite of being engaged in devotional service is it true that he can easily get distracted by other things?
BCS: Yeah. So, you see, at that stage of sadhana bhakti cultivation of knowledge is necessary. What you are saying is the stage of sadhana bhakti. He is not siddha. He didn’t achieve perfection but he is practicing. So when you are practicing, what you are practicing? You have to understand that. Certain degree of knowledge is, cultivation of knowledge is necessary. Like, why do we have Bhagavatam class? We are not saying just always render service. We have called a Bhagavatam class. We have Bhagavad Gita classes. We have other arrangements for cultivation of or understanding the spiritual life.

Question: [inaudible]
BCS: Yeah. Atma jnana means knowledge about the soul and that atma jnana automatically becomes manifest for a devotee. Like, you may not have atma jnana before but by becoming a devotee you will automatically get atma jnana. But just as, like again we go back to the same point that he was making, that when you are attending Bhagavatam class what jnana you are getting? It is divya jnana or atma jnana.

Question: [inaudible]
BCS: Before coming to the ashrama your attitude towards the devotees were sentimental, somewhat sentimental. And now it is becoming practical. So there is a difference, that is because now you are seeing that from a distance when you looked at them it was so easy to look at everyone as pure devotees, address them as ‘prabhu’ and become prepared to do anything for them. But when you come close then you began to see that they have their defects, or their dealings sometimes are not that desirable. So whatever it is that you recognize, just as you are practicing to become a devotee, others are also practicing to become a devotee. So they may not be a pure devotee now but some day they’ll also become pure devotees. Just as some day you’ll also become a pure devotee. So be patient and tolerant. And I tell you the spiritual life is very, very purifying. It’s very purifying. I have seen with time how devotees change. Like, I remember when I joined there was one devotee who was so obnoxious. He was very difficult and nobody used to like him. Because he was so cantankerous, quarrelsome, proud, but now that devotee…actually, those days nobody wanted to associate with him but today everybody, he has become so pleasant that everybody loves him.  So how did he change? Because he is practicing the process and the process is purifying. So the point is when you are in the association of devotees don’t be critical, but be tolerant and maintain a humble attitude. Yes, when you are close to them you will find many faults with them but at the same time you can consider if they have those faults, how many faults you have? That is how we should maintain our humble disposition and maintain our tolerance. That’s how you become humble, as you asked how to become humble.


Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa

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