741215 - Lecture SB 03.26.03 - Bombay

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

741215SB-BOMBAY - December 15, 1974 - 39:55 Minutes

Devotee: (leads chanting) (devotees repeat)

anādir ātmā puruṣo
nirguṇaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
pratyag-dhāmā svayaṁ-jyotir
viśvaṁ yena samanvitam
(SB 3.26.3)

Nitai: (break) (leads chanting of synonyms)


"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Soul, and He has no beginning. He is transcendental to the material modes of nature and beyond the existence of this material world. He is perceivable everywhere because He is self-effulgent, and by His self-effulgent luster the entire creation is maintained."


anādir ātmā puruṣo
nirguṇaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
pratyag-dhāmā svayaṁ-jyotir
viśvaṁ yena samanvitam
(SB 3.26.3)

In the previous verse we had already discussed, jñānaṁ puruṣasya ātma-darśanam (SB 3.26.2). Puruṣasya... The living entity is also called puruṣa, and the Supreme Lord is also called puruṣa. So real puruṣa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are not puruṣa; we are prakṛti, living entities. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām (BG 7.5). After explaining this jaḍa-prakṛti, or the dull matter... That is called jaḍa-prakṛti—bhūmi, earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego. These are all jaḍa-prakṛti, material. Sometimes it is misunderstood, "Mind is spiritual." No, mind is material. Intelligence, that is also material. And this false ego with designation, that is, "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," so many designations, "I am cat," "I am dog," "I am human being," this is also material conception. I am neither dog, neither cat, neither demigod nor human being. I am ātmā. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi.

So there are two kinds of puruṣa: one puruṣa in the material world, as we are. We are artificially claiming to be puruṣa. Puruṣa means enjoyer. The karmīs, they are trying to enjoy this material world. They are working day and night very hard to enjoy. That is..., means puruṣābhimāna. Actually, we are not puruṣa. We are prakṛti, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā that "Above this material prakṛti—earth, water, air, fire—there is another prakṛti," Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, "which is parā-prakṛti." And what is that? Jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat (BG 7.5). Jīva-bhūta, that living entity, that is superior prakṛti. This is inferior prakṛti, matter, and jīva is superior prakṛti. But the jīva, under false ego, he is trying to enjoy this material prakṛti. Yayā, "by the superior prakṛti," yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat.

This jagat, this material world, is existing on the spiritual prakṛti. You can calculate what is your this body. This body is existing on the spiritual body. Just like your shirt: the shirt is existing on your actual hand. The shirt has got a hand because you have got hand. So matter is impersonal. But because the superior prakṛti, jīva, he is person, therefore the matter appears like a person. Because I have got hands and legs, therefore this cloth has got hands and legs. Otherwise, the cloth has no hands and legs; it is impersonal. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni. This body is just like dress. Just like your coat has got hand, your pant has got leg, but either the pant or coat has no leg, no hands. Because you have got leg and hand, therefore the coat has got leg and hand. You can... Everyone can understand. It is very easy. So the original, the spirit soul, has got form. Therefore the cloth has been cut into form. It is very easy to understand. Otherwise, how you get the form? And in this form the spirit soul is trying to enjoy this material world. But it is not puruṣa. It cannot enjoy. That is false. That is illusion. Ato gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8).

So by our desire we get a particular type of form. It may be human being, it may be demigod, it may be elephant, it may be cat, it may be dog, it may be tree—in this way, in different forms, 8,400,000 different forms, we are trying to enjoy this material world. This is called material conditional life. Because we are failing to understand ātma-darśana. Because the purpose is ātma-darśana. Jñānaṁ niḥśreyasārthāya puruṣasya ātma-darśanam. Ātmā. One should see his real identification: "What I am?" That is the inquiry of a human being, athāto brahma jijñāsā, that when I understand that "I am not this body; I am Brahman," then we should go on inquiring about further about Brahman: "What is the form of Brahman? What is Para-brahman? What is the relationship between Para-brahman and the Brahman? Why Brahman has come to this material world and he has got this material body? This material body is finishable, temporary, and Brahman is eternal. Why this conjunction?" These are brahma-jijñāsā. This is Vedānta-sūtra, brahma-jijñāsā.

So this is jñāna. But we are wasting our time—this jñāna, that jñāna. But real jñāna, there is no. We are being educated, so-called scientific education. Just like one is studying the earth, soil expert. One is studying the water. One is, chemical—"What are the chemicals composition of water? What is the chemical composition...?" In this way we are acquiring jñāna. But that is not jñāna. That is called technology, śilpa-naipuṇya. In Sanskrit it is called śilpa-naipuṇya. That is not jñāna. Real jñāna is ātma-darśanam. That is jñāna. So... But we are wasting our time temporary, śilpa-darśanam. But ātma-darśanam we want. That is real jñāna.

So that ātma-darśanam is described here, everywhere, in all the Vedic literatures. The first ātma-darśana is anādi. Anādi: there is no beginning. We have got experience, beginning. Every one of us, we have got experience that this body has a beginning. From the father and mother we got this body in a small, pealike form. And the first, after the sex, the two secretion emulsified, and it forms into a pealike body. And that pealike body develops. And as first there becomes nine holes, these nine holes... That is not manifested, but first of all there are holes: the nostrils, the ear, the mouth, the rectum, genital. In this way a body is formed. So body is formed upon the spirit soul, not that automatically forms. Unless there is spirit... A seed. A seed fructifies in suitable condition into big tree because the soul takes shelter within the seed. If you fry the seed, no tree will come out. Similarly, the matter is grown up on the spirit. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it says, yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat (BG 7.5): "The jagat, the material world, is existing on the spirit soul." Similarly, this spirit soul, as our body, your body, that is also..., this body is resting on the spirit soul. Similarly, this gigantic body of this universe, that is also resting on the gigantic spirit. That is Kṛṣṇa. Not that equal.

We are very small, and God is great. So the great body, this universal body, as Kṛṣṇa showed universal body to Arjuna, so it is possible for Kṛṣṇa to show the universal body, virāḍ-rūpa. You cannot show. You cannot show. It was Arjuna's request to exhibit the virāḍ-rūpa because Arjuna knew it that "Because I am accepting Kṛṣṇa God, so many God will be there later on. A man will claim to become God. But as I am requesting Kṛṣṇa to show the virāḍ-rūpa, similarly, if some fool accepted the another fool as God, he should request him, 'Please show your virāḍ-rūpa.' Then accept him. Otherwise, don't accept." So God has virāḍ-rūpa. So both God and we are, living entity, are of the same quality. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi means so 'ham. These words, Vedic words, are there to indicate that "Qualitatively, I am as good as God. He is spirit soul; I am also spirit soul. He has got creative power; I have got creative power. He has got senses; I have got senses." Everything just similar, facsimile. In the Bible it is said, "Man is made after God." Is it not said like that? That means God has exactly the same form. And therefore man is made also the same form. So in this way both God and the living entities, they are anādi. Anādi: there is no beginning.

Then in the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, na jāyate. Na jāyate means anything which is born, it has got beginning. But living entity or Kṛṣṇa, or God, they have no beginning. Kṛṣṇa is also beginningless, and we are also beginningless. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is combination of small particles or molecules of bright substance. So, so long the sun is there, the sunshine is there. Sunshine means the combination of the bright molecules, molecular part. Similarly, we are parts of the brahma-jyoti. Brahmajyoti means combination of unlimited living entities. Svayaṁ-jyotir, it is said. Svayaṁ-jyotir viśvam. Svayaṁ-jyotir viśvaṁ yena samanvitam. That jyoti is spread all over the universe. All over the universe. So the living entities are there just like sunshine is spread all over the universe. And what is the sunshine? A combination of small bright particles. Similarly, we are also bright, jyoti. And that is realization, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that "I am also small particle jyoti, and the Supreme Brahman is also jyoti." Yasya prabhā (Bs. 5.40). And what is this prabhā, this prabhā, this jyoti? It is Kṛṣṇa's bodily rays.

Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad..., brahmaṇaḥ ahaṁ pratiṣṭhā (BG 14.27). The jyoti is coming, brahma-jyoti is coming, from Kṛṣṇa's body. Therefore you will find in the picture of Kṛṣṇa there is some jyoti on His face. That is expanded. That is brahma-jyoti. That is explained in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam (Bs. 5.40). On account of that jyoti, brahma-jyoti... Just like on account of the sunshine all the planets are resting and rotating. That is scientific. Due to the heat of the sunshine, all the planets in the sky, they are rotating. It is due to sunshine. Similarly, this brahmāṇḍa, this universe—not only one universe, but millions of universes—they are also rotating in the brahma-jyoti. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. And what is that jagad-aṇḍa? Koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam. In each brahmāṇḍa, in each universe, there are unlimited number of planets. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhā. Vasudhā means planets or globes. This earthy planet is called vasudhā. Aśeṣa—not one, but aśeṣa, unlimited. Aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti. Vibhūti means each planet is saturated with different types of atmosphere. Just like the moon planet. The scientist says that it is below zero two hundred degrees. It is very cold. That's a fact. Because it is very cold, therefore the shining from so much distance in the evening, we feel very comfortable. Not in the sunshine. God's arrangement is so nice. You require both. The sunshine also you require, and the moonshine also you require. If simply there is sunshine, then you die. And if there will be simply moonshine, then you will also die. Both.

But there is another planetary system. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ (BG 15.6). There is another..., paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ (BG 8.20), another nature where, yatra, na bhāsayate sūryaḥ, there is no need of sunshine, there is no need of moonshine, because the each planet is svayaṁ-jyoti. Here we have got one planet, the sun planet, jyoti. But there, in the Vaikuṇṭha, all the planets, Vaikuṇṭha planets... Vaikuṇṭha means vigata-kuṇṭha. Kuṇṭha means anxiety. Here, in this planet, you are full of anxiety. And if you are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭhaloka, there is no anxiety. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12): simply ānanda, no anxiety. Here you must suffer anxiety, asad-grahāt, on account of accepting this asat. Asat means untruth or temporary, which will not exist. Tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt (SB 7.5.5). This is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction, that this materialistic individuality, on account of accepting this asad-grahāt—asat, not permanent, not true—sadā samudvigna-dhiyām, always full of anxiety. So in the material world you are trying to be free of anxiety. That is not possible. That is not... Therefore it is required, ātma-darśanam. Jñānam ātma-darśanam. Jñānaṁ niḥśreyasārthāya puruṣasya ātma-darśanam. First of all you know what is your position. Just like when one man is diseased, the physician first of all diagnose that what is the disease; then he gives medicine. Similarly, first of all you ascertain what is your constitutional position. You try to understand.

That is the beginning everywhere. That is Vedic literature. The Bhagavad-gītā, in the beginning, the first instruction is that dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara... (BG 2.13). Asmin dehe. There is dehī, the proprietor of the... So we do not understand that, and we become very expert in reading Bhagavad-gītā. This is the first instruction. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe. Therefore ātma-darśanam. First of all, you try to understand what you are. You are this body or something else? That is ātma-darśanam. I am not body. That's a fact. I am spirit soul. But I have become bodily conscious on account of loss of knowledge, ajñāna, ajñāna. Therefore guru means,

cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

It is the guru's business to operate the blind, cataractic eye..., eyeball, and giving eyesight. So how it is done? Now, jñānāñjana-śalākayā. Just like in the darkness you cannot see. But if there is lamp, you can see. So jñāna means knowledge. You must know what is your position. There are śāstra. You read Bhagavad-gītā, try to understand your position. That is ātma-darśanam. Ātma-darśanam. Everything is there. Ātma-darśanam.

So first ātma-darśanam is that anādir ātmā. Ātmā: the soul and the Supersoul, both of them. We must always know that soul and Supersoul, īśvara and Parameśvara. So ātmā... Ātmā means Bhagavān; ātmā means this individual ātmā. So both of them are anādi. But we have got experience ādi, birth and death. So that is not ātma-darśanam. You have to understand that there is no ādi, there is no beginning. Anādir ātmā puruṣaḥ. Puruṣa, that either the soul or the Supersoul, both of them are puruṣa. Puruṣa means having form and having the desire to enjoy, enjoy blissful life. That is called puruṣa. Puruṣa is always desiring to enjoy. And prakṛti is enjoyable. That is the distinction between puruṣa and prakṛti. But ātmā—Paramātmā is puruṣa, and the jīvātmā is prakṛti. Then nirguṇa. Nirguṇa. Therefore Arjuna was advised by Kṛṣṇa, traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna: "My dear Arjuna, you try to be nirguṇa." This all Vedic knowledge, or any knowledge—Veda means knowledge—that is traiguṇya, of this material world, having...

Material world means the three guṇas: sattva-, rajo-, tamo-guṇa. So one has to become above these three guṇas. That is ātma-darśanam, above three guṇa. How to become above three guṇa? Very easy. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that,

māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān...
(BG 14.26)

Guṇān, these guṇa, samatītya, samyag-rūpeṇa atītya, perfectly overcoming. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. Immediately he is situated in the Brahman platform. So ātmā is nirguṇa. Nirguṇa stage means when you are engaged in devotional service, that is your nirguṇa stage. Devotional service is nirguṇa. All other services or activities... We are rendering service. Either you are rendering service in office, or to your family, or to your cat, or to your dog, or to your government, or to your society—you must be giving some service. There is no escape. But that is saguṇa service, under these material laws. So you have to give nirguṇa service. If you give nirguṇa, then you become nirguṇa.

Then what is that nirguṇa? When you render service to Kṛṣṇa.

māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
(BG 14.26)

It is not difficult at all. You can become immediately nirguṇa as soon as you engage in the service of the Lord. And so long you keep yourself in that position, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you remain nirguṇa. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14). Saguṇa means māyā. Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante: "One who surrenders to Me," māyām etāṁ taranti, "no māyā touching; no in contamination of māyā." Māyām etāṁ taranti. There is nirguṇa. Nirguṇa means be engaged in the devotional..., loving devotional service of Kṛṣṇa. That is... Then you are svarūpa-darśana, ātma-darśana. That is your ātma-darśana, nirguṇa. Prakṛteḥ para. As Kṛṣṇa is prakṛteḥ para... Prakṛteḥ... Prakṛti means this material world, and para means transcendental. So prakṛteḥ para. You cannot serve Kṛṣṇa unless you also become prakṛteḥ parḥ, not within this material world.

So to accept your service, to make you nirguṇa, prakṛteḥ para, Kṛṣṇa accepts this arcā-vigraha to accept your service. Kṛṣṇa is standing here, you offering, and He is ready to accept your service. "No, I am very poor man." No, the poor, rich, He doesn't concern. Ahaituky apratihatā. Service rendering to Kṛṣṇa cannot be checked in any material circumstance. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihatā means it cannot be checked. Any position, you can do. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). Even if you are born in the low-grade family, pāpa-yoni, striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyās te 'pi yānti parām, everyone is delivered. These things are there.

So this is ātma-darśana, that how to become nirguṇa, how to become transcendental, prakṛteḥ para. Pratyag-dhāmā..., pratyag-dhāmā, all-pervading. Of course, we cannot become all-pervading. But we are limited all-pervading. Kṛṣṇa is actual all-pervading. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). In the chapter kṣetra and kṣetra-jña, "the body and the proprietor of the body," Kṛṣṇa say that the soul is kṣetra-jña and the body is kṣetra. Actually, you are doing. Kṣetra means just like you work in the field. If you have got one acre of land, you do your tilling, agricultural work, in that. If you have got 100 acres of land... So similarly, we have got a particular type of field of activities, this body. I can do something; you can do something else. So this is kṣetra-kṣetra-jña. But this is... So far individual living entity, soul, is concerned, he is also all-pervading. All-pervading means within this limited body. So long I am present within this body, anywhere of the body I feel, I am present here. You pinch; you feel, "Yes, there is pain." That means I am present here. I am present there. This is called consciousness.

But there is another consciousness—so don't mix it up—that Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That consciousness, sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata: that Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere. Sarva-kṣetreṣu. That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ ca, kṣetra-jñaṁ ca aham: "I am also kṣetra-jña. I am also soul, but I am Supersoul." How? Now, sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata: "I am present in everyone's body." I am not present in your body. You are not present in my body. I am present in my body. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). But Kṛṣṇa is present, everyone's body. That is the distinction between Kṛṣṇa and me. You don't make one. How? You cannot understand what is going on pains and plea..., in my mind, body. I can understand. Then how you are present in me? How you have become Kṛṣṇa? How you have become God? This is the God's qualification. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu (BG 13.3). If you can understand everyone's pains and pleasure, then you are God. If you cannot say what is my pains and pleasure and you come as God, then I am not going to accept. What kind of God you are? God must be present everywhere. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). That is God. That is one of the God's feature. Māṁ ca kaścit... There is another verse, that "I know everyone's position, but nobody knows Me." That is the distinction between living entity and God. God knows everything, but we do not know God. We do not know God.

So we must always know. So when it is said, pratyag-dhāmā svayaṁ-jyotiḥ, it is described the Paramātmā, or Supersoul. Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā. Paramātmā's business is to witness, witness, to see our activities, because He is within our body. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. So He is..., He is so kind, He is... That is described in Upaniṣad, that the two birds are sitting in one tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is simply witnessing. That witness bird is God, Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is ātmā. So He is giving chance, as we want. Actually, Kṛṣṇa wants that "You don't try to eat forbidden apple, the..., this apple tree, but you give up this. You come to Me." That Kṛṣṇa wants. But because we want to eat, we want to enjoy this material world, He is so kind, He is sitting along with us and giving us...

Just like you sometimes take your dog, and whatever the dog wants, you allow him to do, out of love; similarly, whatever we wanting to do, Kṛṣṇa is allowing, "All right." Kṛṣṇa's real desire is, "You rascal. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam (BG 18.66)," but I'll not do. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is giving me all chances: "Do whatever you like. But if... You reap the result. If you hear My word, then you give up this. You come again. Because your position is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Your position, My position, is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Your position is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Why you are rotting in this..., within this material world?" In this way, if we understand our position and God's position and our relationship with God, in this way, if we become enlightened, jñānam, then ātma-darśanam. Ātma-darśanam, that means self-realization.

So this human life is meant for self-realization, not simply wasting time like cats and dogs, eating, sleeping, mating and... No. That is not human life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Everyone should be interested to understand himself, God and his relationship. Then the life will be successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)