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CC Madhya 6.173 (1975)

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 173

jīvera dehe ātma-buddhi--sei mithyā haya
jagat ye mithyā nahe, naśvara-mātra haya


jīvera—of the living entities; dehe—in the body; ātma-buddhi—considering as the self; sei—that; mithyā—untruth; haya—is; jagat—the cosmic manifestation; ye—that; mithyā—untruth; nahe—not; naśvara-mātra—only temporary; haya—is.


"The theory of illusion can be applied only when the living entity identifies himself with the body. As far as the cosmic manifestation is concerned, it cannot be called false, although it is certainly temporary.


The living entity is the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. Being part and parcel of the Lord, he is constitutionally pure, but due to his contact with material energy, he identifies himself with either the gross or the subtle material body. Such identification is certainly false and constitutes the genuine platform of the theory of illusion. The living entity is eternal: he can never be subjected to the limits of time, as are his gross and subtle bodies. The cosmic manifestation is never false, but it is subject to change by the influence of the time factor. For a living entity to accept this cosmic manifestation as the field for his sense enjoyment is certainly illusory. This material world is the manifestation of the material energy of the Lord. This is explained by Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.4):

bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

The material world is the inferior energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but it is not a fact that the Supreme Lord has been transformed into this material world. The Māyāvādī philosophers, devoid of true understanding, have confused the theory of illusion and the theory of the cosmic manifestation by word jugglery. The theory of illusion can be applied to a person who identifies himself with the body. The living entity is the superior energy of the Supreme Lord, and the material world is the inferior energy. Both, however, are prakṛti (energy). Although the energies are simultaneously one with the Lord and different from Him, the Lord never loses His personal form due to the transformation of His different energies.