Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 3, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 39.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 3, Chapter 24, The Renunciation Of Kardama Muni, Text 39.


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, Chapter twenty four, ‘The Renunciation of Kardama Muni’, text thirty nine.

mam atmanam svayam-jyotih


atmany evatmana viksya

visoko ‘bhayam rchhasi


mam — Me; atmanam — the Supreme Soul, or Paramatma; svayam-jyotih — self-effulgent; sarvabhuta — of all beings; guha— in the hearts; asayam — dwelling; atmani — in your own heart; eva — indeed; atmana — through your intellect; viksya — always seeing, always thinking; visokah— free from lamentation; abhayam — fearlessness; rcchasi — you will achieve.


In your own heart, through your intellect, you will always see Me, the supreme self-effulgent soul dwelling within the hearts of all living entities. Thus you will achieve the state of eternal life, free from all lamentation and fear.


People are very anxious to understand the Absolute Truth in various ways, especially by experiencing the brahma-jyotir, or Brahman effulgence, by meditation and by mental speculation. But Kapiladeva uses the word mam to emphasize that the Personality of Godhead is the ultimate feature of the Absolute Truth. In Bhagavad-gita the Personality of Godhead always says mam, “unto Me,” but the rascals misinterpret the clear meaning. Mam is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He appears in different incarnations and understand that He has not assumed a material body but is present in His own eternal, spiritual form, then one can understand the nature of the Personality of Godhead. Since the less intelligent cannot understand this point, it is stressed everywhere again and again. Simply by seeing the form of the Lord as He presents Himself by His own internal potency as Krishna or Rama or Kapila, one can directly see the brahma-jyotir, because the brahma-jyotir is no more than the effulgence of His bodily luster. Since the sunshine is the luster of the sun planet, by seeing the sun one automatically sees the sunshine; similarly, by seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead one simultaneously sees and experiences the Paramatma feature as well as the impersonal Brahman feature of the Supreme.

The Bhagavatam has already enunciated that the Absolute Truth is present in three features—in the beginning as the impersonal Brahman, in the next stage as the Paramatma in everyone’s heart, and, at last, as the ultimate realization of the Absolute Truth, Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who sees the Supreme Person can automatically realize the other features, namely the Paramatma and Brahman features of the Lord. The words used here are visoko ‘bhayam rcchasi. Simply by seeing the Personality of Godhead one realizes everything, and the result is that one becomes situated on the platform where there is no lamentation and no fear. This can be attained simply by devotional service to the Personality of Godhead.

[End of Purport]

mam atmanam svayam-jyotih


atmany evatmana viksya

visoko ‘bhayam rchhasi

In your own heart, through your intellect, you will always see Me, the supreme self-effulgent soul dwelling within the hearts of all living entities. Thus you will achieve the state of eternal life, free from all lamentation and fear.

So, who is saying this? Lord Kapiladeva. To whom? His father. When He is saying this? When His father is about to leave home for the forest. So yesterday we discussed that the purpose of going to the forest is to perceive the Lord, to establish a relationship with the Lord. But when the relationship is already established and the Lord is at home, then what’s the need of going to the forest? That was the purport that Prabhupada discussed yesterday in the previous verse. Prabhupada explained, which is the continuity of the instructions of Kapiladeva Himself from one of the previous verses, that His instructions are twofold: one is His direct instruction and His other instructions are the Vedas. And both are absolute. His direct instructions as well as the injunctions of the Vedas both are of the same nature. Both are absolute.

Now, since the Vedas says pancasvordham vanam vrajet, after one reaches the age of fifty one should go to the forest. At one point in time one should retire from family life and go to the forest. Like, it is advised that one should follow the instructions of the Vedas and following that instruction Kardama Muni decided to go to the forest even though Kapiladeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared to him as his own son.

So now Kapiladeva is saying, it’s a very important point in this verse, He is saying gachha, yesterday’s verse said gachha, go! Go! What was the verse yesterday gachha kamam mayapristho. Go according to your desire with My approval. Gachha, go. Kamam, according to your desire. Mayapristho, approved by Me, as it has been approved by Me. Mayi sannyasta-karmana, offering all your activities unto Me. Jitva sudurjayam mrityum, conquering unconquerable or very difficult to conquer death. Conquering death, that is very difficult to conquer. And amrtatvaya mam bhaja, in order to achieve amrtatva, in order to achieve immortality mam bhaja. Prabhupada again also mentioned in the purport that this is the ultimate conclusion of Sankhya philosophy. Mam bhaja. Serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as in Bhagavad Gita Krishna says mam ekam sharanam vraja. Here also we are finding the similar instruction. Mam bhaja, serve Me. Serve Me. So this is the conclusion. Just as that verse was the ultimate conclusion of Bhagavad Gita, after Kapila’s instruction this is the conclusion of Sankhya philosophy. Mam bhaja.

And then in today’s verse He is pointing out that after, when you do that, then you will see Me in your heart. It doesn’t matter wherever you are. Whether you are at home or whether you are in the forest. Whether you are at home or whether you are in the middle of the forest the goal of life is to see Me. Sarva guhasayam. Guha asayam. Guha means a cave but here guha indicates a very special kind of cave. What kind of cave? The heart. In the cave of the heart who dwells? Normally in the mountain cave a lion dwells but in the heart of human beings, in the heart of living entities, who dwells? The Supreme Personality of Godhead dwells. So if one is situated in proper spiritual understanding then he can see the Lord in the core of his heart.

Let me see if I can remember that verse. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also is saying something in the same…I was just trying to remember that, that see Me… Sada hridaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah. [CC Adi 1.4] That is Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura speaking about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Same point. Sarva guhasayam. The Lord is situated in the heart. So Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is saying that that Supreme Personality of Godhead…No, I am sorry, that is not Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, that is Svarupa Damodara Goswami. Svarupa Damodara Goswami is saying that Sacinandana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of mother Saci, let Him reside hridaya-kandare, in the cave of your heart eternally, all the time. Let the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Sacinandana…that means He is already there but you be fortunate enough to see Him. Let Him sada hridaya-kandare sphuratu. The word sphuratu means manifest. Let Him become manifest. He is there but unfortunately we are not able to see Him. But when we perform devotional service, when we practice the process of bhakti, or as we said, bhajasva mam, or mam bhaja, by doing that the Lord, who is already in the heart, will become manifest.

How will He become manifest? How does the Supreme Personality of Godhead become manifest? The consideration of manifestation is our purification of our senses, our spiritual senses. Now, due to our involvement with the material senses our spiritual senses have become contaminated. Our spiritual senses have become covered over. Because of our impurities of the material senses the pure spiritual senses have become covered. So when that covering is removed then what will happen? We will be able to see the Lord who is already there in the heart.

In this respect also Prabhupada gives a very wonderful example of the sun becoming covered by a cloud. The sun is covered by the cloud. The sun is in the sky. Like today, you go out of the room. Will you see the sun? We won’t see the sun. We won’t see the sun because it is covered by the cloud. But when we fly we see that. Now, if you take a plane out of Indore and soon it will go above the cloud. When it goes above the cloud then you see that the sun is there. The sun was not covered. Your eyes were covered. The sun was always there. The cloud cannot cover the sun. The cloud can only cover our eyes. It’s only in some area that the cloud was covering and the people, those who are residing below that region, their eyes are covered.

So that is what Maya is like. Maya is covering our consciousness. Maya is covering our senses, spiritual senses. And as a result of that we are not able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is so close, who is there in our hearts. The spirit soul is there in the heart. The Supersoul is also there in the heart. We are spirit souls but we are not able to see Him although they are just standing side by side! Saman viksye puruse nimagna. In the same tree there are two birds. One is eating the fruit and the other is watching him eat the fruit. Now the bird that is eating the fruit will he see anything beside the fruit? He doesn’t see anything but the fruit. So that is our situation. We are so absorbed in eating the fruits of our activities, enjoying the results of our activities that we do not have any time to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is just standing next to us. But at least fortunately we found out the method how to see Him, how to remove the covering. And that is called sadhana bhakti, devotional service in practice.

So please practice this process very sincerely. Also remember that at some point one becomes slack in his spiritual life. It is one very common factor. Devotees when they start off they start off with a great enthusiasm, utsahamayi. One is very enthusiastic. At the beginning one is very enthusiastic about spiritual life but then the next stage is ghana dharala, it’s diluted. That enthusiasm, that intensity is not there but we should be very careful that we do not become prey to that fallacy, or that defect. Because we have seen so many devotees after coming to Krishna consciousness go away although at the beginning they were so enthusiastic. It’s a very common factor. Devotees come and then they go away. Why they go away? Because their intensity is lost. Because their sadhana bhakti becomes slack. Now if the sadhana bhakti becomes slack you’ll never be able to achieve perfection. Siddhi, or spiritual perfection comes from sadhana. If the sadhana bhakti is slack then there is no question of siddhi. One has to become very serious about spiritual life. Now some day one may come back especially when one realizes that now he will have to die, then where will he go? Generally a devotee comes back when he realizes that there is…but then again, why take a chance? What if we do not come back? What if there is no opportunity? What if we are in a situation when there is no association of devotees. Then what’s going to happen? Those who have come back and left their body in Krishna consciousness, we have seen, they have achieved great advancement.

Like, it has happened. Like many devotees, not many, but some devotees when they realize that they are going to die, although they have left ISKCON, although they have unfortunately become very fallen, but then they came back when they got some very serious disease and they realize now they are going to die. They came back to the association of devotees. And then in the association of devotees they became fixed up again. When you come back to the association of devotees in a very sincere mood then you realize the importance of spiritual life. Because spiritual life is real. And when you face a situation like that, that now you are going to die, now who can help you at that time? Can any doctor help you at that time? Can the big politicians help you at that time? Who can help you at that time? Can your relatives help you at that time? Nobody! Nobody can help you at that time. The only people who can help you at that time are the devotees of Krishna because the devotees of Krishna can remind you of Krishna. Therefore, it is always preferable to stay in the association of devotees and never, ever leave.

So when it is so important to remain in the association of devotees, now remain in the association of devotees favorably. Take advantage! This is another mistake that people make. Because of their false ego, because of their material motivations, in spite of being in the association of devotees they don’t take advantage of the association of devotees. They don’t associate. They live in the island. Why? Because they want to become the biggest devotee. Labha, puja, pratistha: distinction, adoration and profit. Association means be together! Be together! Just like a drop of water falls in the water. Does it maintain its identity anymore? It becomes that mass of water. So the association means that, just become one with the spirit of unity. No other selfish interest. Selfish interest means separate interest. Like, if I have a separate interest then I will create a shield around me and I will become separate. Although in the water I will not become a part of the water. So this is another thing that a devotee has to be very, very careful [about].

So first of all, do not ever think that; or rather try your best to become a part of the community of devotees that you are in. Become a part. So much so, that you don’t have a separate identity besides that whole community of devotees. Then only the perfect spiritual atmosphere will be created and you will derive the perfect spiritual benefit. Do not allow anything to separate you from the community that you are in. Community means, the simple Sanskrit expression for that is sadhu sanga. Sanga, the community. Sadhu sanga. That is to associate. And practice devotional service, sadhana bhakti. Continue to practice. Like all the programs, all that is happening, all that is designed by Srila Prabhupada is for perfect arrangement for our spiritual development. Srila Prabhupada knew how to help us to make spiritual advancement. That’s why Srila Prabhupada created ISKCON the way it is and Prabhupada designed the programs the way it is. Get up in the morning! Attend the mangala arotika! Then attend the morning programs. Chant! Preferably chant in the temple with the devotees. That’s another association. Keep yourself free in the morning. It is not difficult. Even those who are working, their morning is free. You go to work at what time? [unclear], when do you go to work? [devotee: ten thirty]  Ten thirty. So you can stay in the temple till eight thirty, right? And you can come to the temple at four thirty. I am just suggesting. [laughs] So those who are living outside they can make this kind of arrangement. Navadvipa, what about you? You wake up at three thirty. [devotee: three] At three o’clock. So why don’t you come over to the temple in the morning? Come to the temple, attend mangala arotika and chant. And those who are living in the temple make it a point to chant in the morning together. Ganga Narayana tried to make that program very effectively. In the beginning I was noticing many, but nowadays I see that not many devotees are there, coming to the temple for chanting. Gauravani, what time do you get up nowadays? So many times I told you, why don’t you wake up in time, early. Attend the mangala arotika. This is how we show respect to Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada made the arrangement and if we don’t follow that arrangement that means we are not showing respect to Srila Prabhupada. So please, show respect to Srila Prabhupada. Follow the programs. Get up in the morning, attend mangala arotika, chant in the temple with the devotees. Then you will see what the benefit will be. You’ll feel so much better that way.

You see, service means for Krishna. Now if we don’t develop this attachment to Krishna then the service will not be for Krishna. There may be very much service, like, people work. There are so many people working so hard but are they for Krishna? Even in the temple if you render your service it will not be for Krishna unless you develop your love for Krishna. So that’s why I am putting this emphasis. Attend the morning programs. Attend the evening programs. In the evening we started this ‘Gita Patha’. Everybody, make it a point to come. Yesterday I noticed, how many of you were there in yesterday’s Gita Patha? Yeah, so many of you were not there. Why were you not there? [devotee answers they went to visit a temple, Mahakaleshwara] How many of you went to Mahakaleshwara? Okay. Vijayananda, where were you? [answer unclear] Okay, so will you be in the Gita Patha this evening? Okay. Some devotees like Radha Vallabha is busy in the restaurant. Those who are busy, those who have service  they cannot come. That’s understandable. But Radha Vallabha your morning program is ‘pakka’. You are coming to mangala arotika? Okay, what about your chanting? Chant in the temple. So make it a point to. Since you have late night and you cannot come to the temple in the morning for mangala arotika, it’s okay, but at least whenever you…because in the morning you have to chant, if you don’t chant in the morning will you get any time to chant during the day?  No, so chant. Make it a point to chant in the morning in the temple with the devotees.

How many of you like this idea? And how many are going to follow that? Very good! Please, make it a point. Because all these are for your own spiritual benefit. Do you want to leave ISKCON? Go away? Does anybody want to leave? Now this is the way to stay. If you don’t practice you fall out. I am speaking out of my experience. In last thirty five years I have seen. Many, many devotees, fixed up devotees, sannyasis, gurus, GBCs, fixed up, very, very staunch devotees left, went away. Why? Because they didn’t get the taste. And they didn’t get the taste because they didn’t take the medicine. Sadhana bhakti is the medicine. You take the medicine, your disease will be cured, your jaundice will be cured and you’ll get the taste of honey. If you have jaundice how will honey taste like? Will honey taste like honey? Honey tastes like poison when you have jaundice. So the sadhana bhakti is the medicine that will cure you of your spiritual jaundice. Become fixed up in your spiritual life.

Thank you very much! Hare Krishna!

Anyway, in conclusion I can say, on the other hand, when you practice the process then what will happen? Then you will experience what Kapiladeva is telling His father:

mam atmanam svayam-jyotih


atmany evatmana viksya

visoko ‘bhayam rchhasi

Viksya means what? Viksya means to see. See, you’ll be able to see in your heart. You’ll be able to see Me in your heart. Now what’s the process? The process is sadhana bhakti. Do you want to do that? Do you want to see the Lord in the heart? Is the Lord in your heart? How many of you think that the Lord is in your heart? How many of you want to see the Lord in your heart? So if you want to see the Lord in your heart then do you have to practice the process? So this is the process. Just follow the process.

Hare Krishna! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!

Does anybody have any question?

Yes, Shantirupa?

Devotee: [inaudible]

BCS: Yeah, how to come out of the mode of ignorance. What is the mode of ignorance? Let us go to the point of today’s discussion. Mode of ignorance, is it experienced through the material senses or spiritual senses? [devotee: through the material senses] Through the material senses. Now, how do we get rid of our material contamination? [devotee: by devotional service] By devotional service. That devotional service will remove the covering that is caused by this…our senses have become impure because of its covering. The covering is the impurity. Now how do we remove that covering? Again we go back. Same point; sadhana bhakti. Practice the devotional service. You see the thing is devotional service. Until we are affected by the impurities then the devotional service will not be pure. So it is devotional service in practice. But by practicing devotional service the impurities will be removed. Then it will become pure devotional service. So devotional service in practice and pure devotional service. So become situated in pure devotional service. Practice the process with all sincerity. Take the medicine with full faith. Or at least even though the faith is not there, take the medicine![devotee: the faith is there] So take the medicine, the disease will be cured. Okay, Hare Krishna!

Yes, Jayesh?

Devotee: When I sit at one place in the temple chanting in the association of devotees I feel drowsy. So can I chant walking in the temple?

BCS: Or you can stand on your head! [laughter] Yeah, okay, if you feel drowsy, then okay, walk. I thought of standing on head because Tamala Krishna Maharaja, in the early days, prior to that he used to practice yoga. So in the early days when it used to happen, when he used to fall asleep, he used to stand on his head and chant. [laughs]

Any other question? Yes, Angad?

Devotee: [inaudible]

BCS: slackness

Devotee: Is this a stage in devotional service or a part of devotional service [inaudible]?

BCS: It is a part of devotional service when your devotional service is covered by ignorance. But if you can transcend at least the mode of ignorance, then there won’t be any slackness. In the mode of passion devotional service can become very active. That is desirable. And by the mode of passion being engaged in devotional service is purifying. Then it is not mode of passion. Then it is spiritualized. So this is how we actually come to the pure platform of devotional service. Okay?

Devotee: Guru Maharaja, this slackness is due to the taste of maya.

BCS: Maya means material nature. Material nature means false ego. False ego means selfish interest. But when it is for Krishna then there is no maya. Therefore, the objective is yat karosi yad asnasi.[Bg 9.27] Whatever you do, you must do it for Krishna. Do it for Krishna. No personal interest.

Yes, Nanda Vraja?

Devotee: When we do the chanting, in the mind comes what is to be done the whole day [inaudible]

BCS: You see, it will happen. What to do? Like, mind is there and mind’s business is to think. But when you see that the mind is running away, when you are chanting where should your mind be? Should be in the Holy Name. Mind should be in the Holy Name. Now thinking of other things means, where the mind is going? It is going away from the Holy Name. So it is going away from the Holy Name so when you detect that it has gone away from the Holy Name. What are you supposed to do? Bring it back to the Holy Name! And in this way keep on practicing and then you’ll be able to perfect it.


Devotee: Regarding this question I suggest reading the second Canto about giving elaborate instructions on the ten offences, also recommending the chanting loudly to overcome that. Loud voice.

BCS: Yeah, that’s also a very good way of overcoming the influence of ignorance or slackness. Chant loudly, because loud chanting will wake you up and wake others up also. [laughs]

Okay, thank you all very much! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!


Transcription : Her Grace Ranga Radhika Dasi
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio reference:  click here