Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 25, The Glories Of Devotional Service, Text 17

Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 25, The Glories Of Devotional Service, Text 17


Transcription : His Grace Krishna Dasa
Editing : Ramananda Raya Dasa
Audio Version :  click here

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

Srimad Bhagavatam,Third Canto,Chapter 25,The Glories of Devotional Service. Text 17

Tada purusa atmanam
kevalam prakrteh param
nirantaram svayam-jyotir
animanam akhanditam

tada – then; purasah – the individual soul; atmanam – himself; kevalam – pure; prakrteh param – transcendental to material existence; nirantaram – nondifferent; svayam-jyotih – self-effulgent; animanam – infinitesimal; akhanditam – not fragmented.

Translation by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
At that time the soul can see himself to be transcendental to material existence and always self-effulgent, never fragmented, although very minute in size.

Please repeat after me.
At that time the soul can see himself to be transcendental to material existence and always self-effulgent, never fragmented, although very minute in size.

So is it clear? Everybody? I am going to ask you questions. Those who still don’t understand this point, because this is, the whole thing is resting on understanding these, these two points. How many of you are in tune? Okay, once again, first of all let’s go back. Who is speaking to whom? How many of you remember? Who is speaking to whom? How many of you have been attending the class for the last 3 days? And who is speaking to whom? How many of you remember that? Ok. Yes, Siddana. Very good. Kapiladeva is speaking to His mother. What is Kapiladeva’s mother’s name? Devahuti. Who is Devahuti? Kardama Muni’s wife. And who is Devahuti? Whose daughter is Devahuti? How many of you remember? Svayambhuva Manu’s daughter. So, such an exalted personality. Kardama Muni is a self realized soul. The Lord has decided to appear as his son and therefore Brahma personally came and told him to get married to Devahuti. And although Svayambhuva Manu is the ruler of the entire planet but he offers his daughter in marriage to a person who didn’t have any place to stay. Kardama Muni didn’t have any house. He didn’t have, where was Kardama Muni living? Kardama Muni was living on the bank of a river under a tree, no house. Then why did, why did the father of Devahuti who was a king, offer his daughter who throughout her lifetime never experienced any hardship, to a person like that. This is the Vedic Culture. In Vedic Culture, the personality or the greatness or the qualification of a person is not judged by his material situation but according to his spiritual situation. Yes, materially he did not have, he did not even have even a roof above his head, Kardama Muni. But spiritually he was a self realized soul. Spiritually he was so powerful that, what to speak of a house, he built an entire planet. And not just a planet, he built a planet, he constructed a planet just by, from his, just from his mind, by chanting mantra, that the planet could travel all over the universe. So this is how powerful these individuals used to be. Just as Krishna can create, just from His mind, these exalted personalities also could create.  Did Krishna take earth, water, and fire and then created the universe. Did Krishna have to create it like that? How did Krishna create?  Krishna’s creation is, He just glanced at the material nature and the material nature became manifested. How did Krishna create? Krishna says : let there be light and there was light. This is how Krishna creates. And Krishna’s devotees, also are sometimes equally powerful as Krishna. Krishna allows them to become as powerful as He Himself. That is one opulence, called shasti. This shasti is a power, a kind of liberation, power of liberation that enables one to have the same kind of opulence as Krishna.

So in this way, the devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead also display their power. Anyway Kardama Muni left home. Kapiladeva, the young son was at home, meant to take care of His mother.  And then the mother, what’s the name of the mother once again? Devahuti. How many of you forgot the name? Kapiladeva asked His mother, Devahuti. Mother Devahuti actually asked Kapiladeva about the basic facts of life. And what is the basic fact of life?  That how can I get out of this miserable material bondage, how can I become free from this disgusting onslaught of my senses, how can I get rid of these desire to enjoy this material pleasure? So this is the most important consideration of our existence. The purpose of human form of life is not to make arrangement for material comfort but the purpose of human form of life is to get out of the miserable condition of our material existence. And that is what that we become aware of the fact only when we came across the teachings of the Vedas, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.

Before you came across Srila Prabhupada, did anyone of you have this understanding, before you came across Krishna? Before that, what was the understanding? The understanding was the purpose of life is [unclear] As long as you are alive, just eat, drink and be merry. Isn’t it? Everything you did was with that purpose. Your education, your occupation, your involvement in your job and everything was simply to make money to enjoy. But what did Prabhupada tell you when you came across ISKCON and through the devotees of ISKCON you came across Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, from the books of Srila Prabhupada’s teaching, when you came across the understanding from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, from his devotees and from his book, what did you learn? Did you learn that the goal of life is to eat, drink and be merry? What did you learn? You learn the goal of human form of life is to get out of this material bondage. And here, we are becoming aware of that teaching in a very, very scientific and systematic way. This chapter, the 25th chapter of the 3rd canto has been described as The Glories of Devotional Service. So in this verse Kapiladeva is explaining to His mother the condition of a spirit soul. What is the spirit soul like? He is giving the understanding of the spirit soul. And when does the spirit soul become aware of its identity? When the spirit soul is free from its material contamination. When the spirit soul becomes purified, then the spirit soul becomes aware that the soul is transcendental to material existence. The soul is transcendental to material existence, meaning the soul’s existence is not dependent upon its involvement in the material nature. Soul can exists beyond material nature. That is our existence here in this world is through our body. We have the body, that’s why we are here. Right? But the soul’s existence is beyond this body. The soul exists beyond this body. How many of you are in agreement with me? Is the soul’s existence relative to the body or independent of this body? Independent. Very good. So all of you are in agreement with me. So very good.

So soul’s existence is not relative to the body or dependent upon this body. But material existence is dependent upon this body. We will be experiencing everything in this material nature as long as we have this body. Like all that you have acquired, your house, your family, your bank balance, your educational qualification, your prestige, your position, all will become nothing, a big zero when you leave your body. Will you be able to take a single penny with you? Provided you accept the fact that you are going to die someday, doesn’t sound very nice but the reality is some day all of us will have to die. In the material nature, they want to avoid that condition. In the west, they don’t show death. In America, they don’t want people to see that someone is dying. They are all, they hush it out. Why? Because they don’t want to, they don’t want people to become aware of the harsh reality of the material existence, that life will end in death. Consciously or unconsciously, they simply try to avoid that  factor. But Krishna Consciouness, what is the beginning of Krishna Consciousness?  Mritur Ma Amritam Gamaya, the spiritual life begins with that consideration. Death. Mritur but ma means avoiding conquering, amritam gam, enter into the region of immortality. You are not going to enter the region of immortality by avoiding death but by overcoming death, by conquering death. Can you defeat your enemy by running away from your enemy? Can you avoid your enemy, can you conquer your enemy by running away? To conquer your enemy, what you have to do? You have to face him. Similarly if you want to conquer death, then you have to face death, you have to understand what it is, what its feature is like and then only you can overcome. And the Vedas are giving us the means to overcome death. [unclear] in us to overcome death.

So the point is that at death, everything material will come to end. Isn’t it? Everything material will come to an end. You may be a very famous person. One may be a Prime Minister of India or even the President of the United States of America. But when he is dead, when Obama dies, will he still be recognized as the President of the United States? When Manmohan Singh dies, will anyone recognized him as the Prime Minister of India? No. Even his own son won’t recognize him, unless he comes in the form of a ghost. So this is the reality. So he is making the point. The soul is transcendental to matter. The soul is transcendental to material existence and always self effulgent. At the pure stage, the soul is self effulgent.  It is full of light. What kind of light is that?  That is the light of knowledge. The real light is the light of knowledge and what is the real darkness? The darkness is the darkness of ignorance. We can create this artificial light by means of electricity. But that will not illuminate the soul. But what illuminates the soul is the light of knowledge. We see that these great personalities are luminous, that they are effulgent. But what causes that effulgence? It is the light of knowledge, it is the spiritual power, spiritual potency that causes that light. It’s never fragmented, that means it is never separated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It always maintains its connection.

So to understand this point I will go back to day before yesterday’s class. We consider the soul being, the soul projecting its consciousness toward matter and the soul projecting its consciousness toward Krishna. You remember that? How many of you remember that point? Material existence is when the soul is looking away from Krishna. That is the material existence. The soul, because he looks away from Krishna, he looks at Krishna’s inferior energy, apara-prakrti and because he is in contact with inferior material energy, material nature, the soul is the living entity, develops the tendency to lord over. Because it’s the natural tendency of a superior predominant over the inferior.  So material nature is inferior, the jiva is superior. So as soon as the living entity comes across the material nature, what happens? He develops a tendency to lord over. Now, is the living entity lord or servant? Servant. Whose servant? Krishna’s servant. But he forgot Krishna. So whose servant he is? He becomes the servant of maya but he doesn’t think that, he thinks that I have become the lord of the material nature and that’s what is maya. He is the servant but he thinks that he is the lord and master, and then, that is what causes him the forgetfulness of himself, actual identity and that’s the covering of false ego. Then comes the covering of intelligence by which he constantly thinks how he is going to enjoy this material nature and then through his mind, his consciousness constantly flows towards the material nature.

So that is one state of a living entity’s existence.  What is that state called? Conditioned. Very good. That state is called the conditioned state. But there is another state of existence. When a living entity is looking towards Krishna. When a living entity is looking towards Krishna, then what happens?  Then he is situated in his real identity. See, the point I am trying to make here that in both the state, the living entity is connected to Krishna. In one state he is forgetful of his connection to Krishna and in the other state he is aware of his connection to Krishna. So when he is aware of his connection to Krishna, then he is in liberated state. But when he is not aware of, then he is conditioned but he is always connected to Krishna. That is the point that has been made here through this never fragmented or never separated from Krishna. Prabhupada dealt with that point in the purport.

And Prabhupada is pointing out, that is the mistake that the Mayavadi makes. Mayavadis, what is the mayavad philosophy? Mayavada philosophy is the philosophy or theory of illusion. Their understanding is: Brahman is the absolute. And Brahman, when becomes affected by maya, then Brahman becomes non-Brahman. Non Brahman has three aspects. Non-Brahman has, when the Brahman is affected by mode of goodness, then he is an incarnation. When the Brahman is in the mode of passion, he is the jiva. And when Brahman is in the mode of ignorance, he is vastu, substance, he is material element. So jivas are influenced by the mode of passion and ignorance. And when the jiva comes to mode of goodness, then jivas becomes Narayana and when the jivas become free from mode of goodness, then he becomes a Brahman. So their understanding is that God is also in maya but in the mood of goodness. Ultimately there is Brahman. The incarnations, the form of the Lord is effect of the mode of goodness, like Krishna, Vishnu, all the demigods, they are all in the mode of goodness. Even the sannyasis are in the mode of goodness. Therefore they all are Narayana. They address the sannyassi as Narayana. Now the mistake, that is what Prabhupada is pointing out, that they don’t have the proper understanding. The Mayavada philosophy is simply to bewilder the living entity. There are two considerations, Brahmanvada and Mayavada. Brahmavad also is a part of impersonal, is a kind of impersonalistic theory but the Brahmanvada is positive impersonalism, whereas Mayavada is negative impersonalism. The difference between Brahman, so Brahman is there, Brahman is the energy of the Lord and Brahman is nirakara. Brahman is without form but Brahman is not the absolute. Brahman is the energy. Beyond the energy is the energetic. Beyond Brahman is Parambrahma, the Parambrahma, although Brahman may be without form but Parambrahma is personal Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan.  As Arjuna is addressing Krishna. Also Srimad Bhagavatam is pointing out vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate.that, those who are knower of the truth tattva-vidas. Vedas. They speak about the absolute truth yaja jnanam advayam.  It is advayam  non-different, non-doer. That has being identified as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. This has been explained as when you look at the absolute truth from a distance, then you see him as Brahman. When you come closer to Him, then you see Him as Paramatma and when you come very close to Him, then you see Him as Bhagavan. In this respect an example has been given, like say now the sun is up in the sky, from the room, from inside the room, how you are seeing the sun? We are seeing the sun as light, then you go out of this room or stand by the window and see the sun. How do you see the sun ? You see the sun as the globe but when you go into the sun, what will you see? You will see the sun planet, you will see the sun god, you will see there are so many people surrounding. The sun planet is full of so many living entities. Just as this planet is full of living entities, sun planet is also full of living entities. Only difference is that there, because it is a fiery planet, everything there is fiery. There are palaces, made of what? Fire. There are living entities. Their bodies are made of what? Fire. So that is the only difference. You go there, you will see that there are people, there is sun god. So when you saw from the distance, we didn’t see Him as a person, we saw Him as the energy. But as we came closer to Him, we saw Him as a personality. Similarly when we see the Lord from a distance, when our understanding about Him is fragmented, then we see Him as Brahman. When you come closer to Him, or in simple words, through jnana,  through the process of jnana, when one sees the Lord, he sees Him as Brahmajyoti. Through astanga yoga when he achieves perfection, he sees Him as the Paramatma. And when through devotional service, he renders service unto Him and develops a personal relationship with Him, then he gets to see Him as Bhagavan. The same person because of our approach to Him, we see Him in different ways, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate, although He is one. When you get close to Him, one means what? How do you see Him ? That the Brahmajyoti is His bodily effulgence. We see that the Paramatma aspect is, He is present in every living entity’s heart. The same person, He is situated in everyone’s heart, as the Supersoul or Paramatma. And His bodily effulgence which permeates the entire spiritual sky is the Brahmajyoti and that the Brahmajyoti also is the cause of the creation of this material nature. So in this way, the understanding becomes clear. As I mentioned at the beginning of the class, in order to get this understanding we have to have the qualified teacher. Without a qualified teacher we cannot have this knowledge. We cannot have this understanding, just as before you met Srila Prabhupada, before you come across ISKCON, before you become exposed to Prabhupada’s teachings we didn’t have this knowledge. But after we came across Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, we became clear.

Now this point that Prabhupada is making can be summarized in a very simple way. That this is what Prabhupada is pointing out here through Kapila’s teachings, is the teachings of this verse, this particular verse is actually talking about acintya bheda abheda-tattva, qualitatively one but quantitatively different. Jiva and isvara, qualitatively one, isvara or Bhagavan is saccidananda. Jiva also is saccidananda but jiva is minute. The expression here is animanam, infinitesimal, very minute, very small, that is what a jiva is, very small. Whereas isvara is absolute. Jiva is minute,  isvara is absolute. Isvara is absolute saccidananda, jiva is minute saccidananda. Qualitatively they are one but quantitatively they are different. Therefore we cannot say that jiva and isvara is one or same. They are different. Like qualitatively a drop of water is water and an ocean of, ocean is also water but does anybody take a drop of water and say: here is the ocean? Does anybody ever say that? No. So that is the difference that we have to understand. That jivas are minute. We all are minute saccidananda and isvara or Krishna or Bhagavan is absolute saccidananda.

Now for the minute saccidanada to be, to retain its saccidananda situation have to be connected to or become aware of his connection to that absolute saccidananda. Just like a spark of fire. A spark, what is a spark? Is the spark fire? Or something else? The spark is fire. But it is a minute fire, there is a hugh fire, big fire blazing and sometimes we see some sparks coming out. What happens when the spark comes out of the fire? Soon it becomes extinguished, isn’t it? It just disappears, meaning it becomes extinguished and after being extinguished, what happens? It falls outside the fire. What is outside the fire? Ash and it falls in ash and it becomes ash. Although it was a spark, it was fire, but now it’s not fire. Why? Bacause it has become separated from the fire. So similarly, when the jiva becomes separated from Krishna, it loses its fiery quality or spiritual quality, it loses its saccidananda aspect and becomes opposite to that. When you lose some quality, what happens? You are rich, you have money. When you don’t have money, then what you are? You are poor. That means you have become something else. So similarly jiva is saccidananda but when the jiva loses its quality of saccidananda, it becomes asat, acid and nirananda.  Just like a state of inflammable object which was a spark at one time, now it will become ash.

Now this particle, to become fire again, can it become fire again? Can the state of inflammable object that was spark at one time, can it become spark again? How? All it has to do is to go back to the fire. Similarly when the jiva re-establishes his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he regains its saccidananda aspect. So this is the, this is what Prabhupada is pointing out in the purport, explaining the purport of this verse. At that time the soul can see himself. At what time? When the soul is free from material bondage. When the soul is free from material bondage, at that time he can see himself to be transcendental to material existence and always self effulgent, no more ignorant. He is situated in the light of knowledge, and he is never fragmented, he is never separated from the Lord and although very minute in size, he is minute but he is not separated from the Lord or he is not isolated from the Lord.  He has the same qualities as the Lord. Hare Krishna. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada !