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731009 - Lecture BG 13.15 - Bombay

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

731009BG-BOMBAY - October 09, 1973 - 29:46 Minutes

Pradyumna: Translation: "The Supersoul is the original source of all senses, yet He is without senses. He is unattached, although He is the maintainer of all living beings. He transcends the modes of nature, and at the same time He is the master of all modes of material nature." (BG 13.15)

Prabhupāda: Now we can see, these are contradictory. Sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁ sarvendriya-vivarjitam. He's the origin of all senses, but He has no senses. Sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁ sarvendriya-vivarjitam.

Asaktam: He has no attachment, but at the same time, sarva-bhṛc ca, He's maintainer of everyone. Nirguṇam, without any qualities; guṇa-bhoktṛ ca, but He is the enjoyer of all qualities. So this requires elucidation, how these contradictions are adjusted. This requires knowledge.

Somebody is taking that God is without any form, because here it is said, sarvendriya-varjitam, vivarjitam. Vivarjitam, specifically He has no indriyas. So if God has no indriya, then He's nirākāra. But in the previous verse Kṛṣṇa has said that "Yes, I have got My indriyas. I can see everything. I can hear everything." So unless He has got ears and eyes to see . . . we cannot conceive anything that a man without any eyes can see. Is there any such idea? Or a man without having ears can hear also? We cannot conceive any such thing. But these things have to be adjusted.

The adjustment is that He has eyes, He has ears, He has legs, He has hands—everything He has got. Because sarvendriya-guṇābhāsam. He's the origin. In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that the Absolute Truth is the origin of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). So without a thing being existing in the Absolute Truth, how that can be manifested in this relative truth? This world is relative truth. So there is everything, but only one has to understand what is that everything. That everything is spiritual, and this is material. When it is said that He's sarvendriya-vivarjitam, that means He has no material senses. He has got senses. He has got eyes, He has got hands, legs, everything, but they are not material.

But a man with poor fund of knowledge, they cannot understand that without material body, how there can be possible of possessing a body. Because we are accustomed to see the material things, we have no eyes to see spiritual, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Therefore Kṛṣṇa, to benefit us, to become merciful upon us, He appears in this form, arcā-vigraha, so that we can see Him. Because we have learned to see wood, stone, earth, some solid materials. We cannot see subtle things. Just like everyone knows you have got mind, I have got mind. But you cannot see my mind, I cannot see your mind. Because it is subtle. I have got my egotism, you have got your egotism, but we cannot find out what is that egotism. Even the material subtle things we cannot see, what to speak of spiritual things. Spiritual . . . spirit is still more subtle.

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
buddhes tu ya paratas saḥ
(BG 3.42)

That spirit soul is above the intelligence. Grossly, we can understand our material senses, indriyāṇi. Then, above these material senses, we can understand also that without the action of the mind, these material senses also do not work. If mind is not in order, in spite of my possessing these hands and legs, I cannot work. Madman just like. He cannot work properly because mind is distorted. So superior than the senses is the mind. Mind is superior than the senses, and the intelligence is still more superior than the mind, and the spirit soul is still more superior than the intelligence. That is the position.

So we cannot see even mind, intelligence, what to speak of seeing the soul. So we cannot see even the individual soul which is living within your body, within my body. You cannot see my soul, I cannot see your soul. Just like when a person dies, his sons and daughters or relatives cry, "Oh, our father has gone." Now, father has gone, but the father which you have seen so long, the hands and legs and head, that is lying there. Why do you say father has gone? That means the thing which has gone from within the body of the father, he has never seen, neither it is possible to see. But at the time of death he understands that, "My real father, the soul, which was within this body, he has now gone." Therefore our vision is always imperfect.

I am seeing you, your hands and legs and head, but I am actually not seeing you. You are seeing me, you are seeing my hands and legs, but you are not seeing me. So even the particles of spirit soul, the part and parcel of God, we cannot see. How we can see God? Even a small particle, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). All living entities are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Just like if even a drop of ocean water we cannot recognize, how we can recognize the ocean? Similarly, we living entities, we are simply small particle of the spirit soul, Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ. So we cannot see. No medical man has ever seen what is that soul, although they are perceiving there is soul. Now medical men, cardiologists, they are accepting, "Yes, there is soul." But we cannot see.

Therefore we have to make our eyes cleansed so that we can see. Just like sometimes we cannot see the smallest particle, but when we see with, what is called? Telescope? Or Microscope. Microscope, we can see; it is magnified. So we have to make our eyes fit to see. Otherwise everything is there. Therefore the śāstra says, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). These blunt senses, those who are depending on the blunt senses, they can say nirākāra, because he cannot see. He has no eyes to see what is that ākāra, what is that form. Because he cannot see, therefore he says nirākāra. Nothing is nirākāra. Neither God is nirākāra, nor you are nirākāra. We have got ākāra. The ākāra is also mentioned in the śāstra. What is that? One ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. You know the point of the hair. If you divide into ten thousand parts, that one part is the magnitude of the soul.

śatadhā kalpitasya ca
jīva-bhāgaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ
sa cānantyāya kalpate
(CC Madhya 19.140)

So the soul is there, but you cannot see even the topmost point of the hair. And if we divide that hair into ten thousand part, then these eyes cannot see. Therefore we say nirākāra. No nirākāra. There is ākāra, but these eyes cannot see.

Therefore we have to understand through śāstra. Just like Kṛṣṇa says: "I have got My body, but My body is not like your body; My body is different." That body is described, sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat (BG 13.14). He has got such a body—it is expanded—that everywhere He has got His eyes and legs and hands and all other senses. In the next verse it is confirmed, sarvendriya-guṇābhāsam. He can see. Therefore He has got the eyes, guṇābhāsa, the origin of seeing power. But sarvendriya-vivarjitam. But He has no these material senses.

When it is said sarvendriya-vivarjitam, "devoid of all senses," that means He's devoid of . . . He has nothing to do with these material senses. He has got senses—He has got eyes, He has got ears, legs, everything—but they are not material; they are spiritual. But we cannot see spiritual. Therefore we say, "God is nirākāra. The spirit soul is nirākāra."

This is our nonsense. It is not that God has no ākāra. He has got ākāra. You have to qualify yourself to see the form of the Lord. That is required. That how we can learn? That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55): "What I am actually," tattvataḥ, "in truth, if you want to know, then you have to take the path of devotional service." He never says that, "By karma or by jñāna, by yoga you can see Me." No. That is not possible.

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram
(BG 18.55)

So we do not know actually in truth what is God; therefore with our material conception we think that God is nirākāra. God is not nirākāra. He has ākāra, but we have no power to see Him. And because we have no power to see Him, therefore God takes the form like this. He's God, He's not different from God, but He's visible to our blunt eyes. Therefore we say sometimes, "It is idol." It is not idol. We are not worshiping idol, stone. Just like some rascal says that "If by worshiping stone, God is available, then I can worship the mountain." Pathar pūjā ke hari mile meita puje pahar. So this rascal does not know that this is not worship of pathar; it is worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally. But to show us mercy, because we cannot see the Supreme Personality of Godhead with these blunt eyes, He has assumed the form of a stone. This is called arcā-mūrti. It is His mercy.

Therefore śāstra says, arcye śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. One should not . . . one should avoid these things. When arcā-mūrti, the Deity worship in the temple, if one thinks it is made of stone, it is made of wood, that is very offensive. One should not think like that. God is omnipotent, all-powerful. He can accept your service even in this form. But because He has assumed this form, don't neglect it that, "It is stone." Then it will be offensive. It is to show you mercy, arcā-mūrti. Otherwise all the great saintly persons, just like Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, all big, big ācāryas who were actually controlling the Vedic civilization still, they established thousands of temples and mūrtis, especially in South India. Still Raṅganātha temple, Tirupati temples, visited by hundreds and thousands of people. So does it mean they have all become fools? They go to see some stone? No.

Therefore one has to become a devotee. Because only devotee can understand that "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally standing before me." That devotee. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena (Bs. 5.38). Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He visited Jagannātha temple, He was very anxious to see the Deity, Jagannātha temple. And as soon as He entered the Jagannātha temple, immediately He fainted: "Oh, here is My Lord." And others are seeing, "What is this foolish man? Here is a wooden form of Jagannātha, and this man is fainted." But that is the difference between this man and you. Unless you develop your devotional attitude, you cannot see God. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55).

Therefore those who are not devotees, they cannot see God. It is not possible. Even God comes before him . . . just like when Kṛṣṇa was present before everyone; five thousand years ago He was present. In the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, He was present. All the soldiers, all the kings, everyone was seeing Him, but only Arjuna and few of the Pāṇḍavas, they knew that, "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa." Not all of them. But all of them got salvation. Everyone who died in the presence of Kṛṣṇa—that is stated—they all got salvation. Because after all, they saw Kṛṣṇa. So that is the position. When Kṛṣṇa was personally present, even the few Pāṇḍavas and the few inhabitants in Vṛndāvana, nobody could understand Him that the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Others . . . there is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

itthaṁ satāṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā
dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para-daivatena
māyāśritānāṁ nara-dārakeṇa
sākaṁ vijahruḥ kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ
(SB 10.12.11)

Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, when he was describing Kṛṣṇa was playing with the cowherd boy, he is remarking, "Now, who are these cowherd boys?" Kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ: "They have accumulated the highest stock of pious activities, therefore they are now playing with the Supreme Lord." What is this Kṛṣṇa? Itthaṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā: "Those who are after Brahman, impersonal Brahman, those who after the happiness of brahma-sukha, here is the source of that Brahman." Brahmaṇo 'haṁ pratiṣṭhā.

Here is the source of that Brahman. Itthaṁ satāṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para-daivatena: "Those who are devotees," dāsyaṁ gatānām, "those who have accepted the servitude of the Lord, for them, here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para . . . and māyāśritānāṁ nara-dārakeṇa: "And those who are under the influence of external energy, māyā, they are thinking an ordinary human being, boy, nara-dārakeṇa. "But those who are playing with Him," sākaṁ vijahruḥ kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ (SB 10.12.11), "they have accumulated pious activities for many, many lives. Now they are allowed to play with the Supreme Personality of Godhead." So that is possible. That is possible.

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram
(BG 18.55)

If you actually can understand Kṛṣṇa through devotional service . . . not by challenging, not by mental speculation, not by meditation, not by fruitive activities. No. If you actually become a devotee and develop the consciousness of love for Kṛṣṇa, then God will be appreciated, God will be seen. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā (BG 7.25). Otherwise He'll not be visible. He's not exposed to the nondevotees. He's simply exposed, He can reveal Himself, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234), when one engages himself in the devotional service beginning with the tongue.

The devotional service begins with the tongue. Now, it is also another astonishment: service with the tongue. Yes. Service with the tongue means if you chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that requires tongue. And if you simply take kṛṣṇa-prasāda, that requires tongue. With these two business of the tongue you can realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take kṛṣṇa-prasāda, and gradually you'll understand what is God. Therefore this word is used, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. Because by using the tongue you develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, love for Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

And Kṛṣṇa being satisfied with your love . . . because real thing is bhakti. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. Here we are offering a little food, little leaf, little flower. But what is the essence? What is the value of flower? Value, there is practically no value. But yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. The real value is that the flower is offered with devotion, the food is offered with devotion.

Therefore the devotee gradually realizing that, "Yes, I am offering this flower directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I am offering the food directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead." He is eating. He is perceiving. He is taking the prasādam. He's advancing. He's chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. It is self-evident. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. This devotional service is directly appreciated. You haven't got to take certificate from others. If you be engaged in devotional service, you actually realize. Therefore it is called pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. Other things will remain in theoretical, but this is such a nice thing, devotional service, that you directly understand how much you are making progress, how much you have appreciated God, how much you have understood Kṛṣṇa. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ su-sukham. Su-sukham.

And also there is no trouble. Very easily and very happily it is performed. Just like the devotional service. One may be illiterate, one may be having no qualification, but the process is so nice, to prepare flower garland for Kṛṣṇa, to prepare food for Kṛṣṇa, for chanting Kṛṣṇa, for reading books for Kṛṣṇa, for hearing about Kṛṣṇa. You simply hear; you don't do anything. Simply if you hear, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23), you become devotee. Simply by hearing. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). You remain in your place. It doesn't matter what you are, but if you simply hear about Kṛṣṇa, then you become devotee. It is so nice. You don't require any education. You don't require any money, don't require anything. You simply hear. That is also confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
(SB 1.2.17)

Suhṛt satām. He is special friend of the devotees. Suhṛt satām. Satām means those who are devotees. Asatām means nondevotee. So He is suhṛt satām. So He is sitting within your heart. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. So hearing about Kṛṣṇa is so beneficial because as soon as you begin hearing about Kṛṣṇa with little devotion and faith, Kṛṣṇa immediately understands that "This living entity is now serious." Because He is within your heart. So śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. "Now this man, this living entity . . ." Especially man.

Cats and dogs cannot hear; that is not possible. They can also hear, but special facility for the human being. So a man can hear. So when Kṛṣṇa sees that you are hearing, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ . . . that hearing itself is puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. If you simply hear, you'll acquire some pious result. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. And if you chant, you get more pious result. Puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. The result will be hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi. All abhadrāṇi, all mischievous things, will be washed away. Hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi vidhunoti. Vidhunoti. Kṛṣṇa helps you to wash it away because He's your friend. He's everyone's friend, but a special friend to the devotees. Suhṛt-satām.

That is also stated in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. Samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ (BG 9.29): "I'm equal to everyone." Otherwise how He can be God? Nobody is His enemy, nobody is His friend. But ye tu bhajanti māṁ bhaktyā: persons who are engaged in devotional service with love and faith, for them special consideration. Special consideration.

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
(BG 10.10)

These are the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā. If you engage yourself always, satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatām, in bhajana, in offering devotional service . . . teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, with love—not that official, love—then He'll talk with you. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. He'll give you intelligence. He'll talk with you. Because He is within your heart. Simply you have to qualify yourself how to talk with Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, Kṛṣṇa is not far away. He's within your heart. Otherwise, He is very, very far away. If you want to understand by your intelligence, what intelligence you have got? You have to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead by your service, and then He'll reveal Himself: "Here I am. What do you want?" That is the process.

So sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁ sarvendriya-vivarjitam. He has no . . . this is understood very easily. It is very easily . . . very easy. Just like a fish can live within the water. He has got also his senses. He has got his organs, and everything is there, but it is specially made for living in the water. You cannot live in the water with these hands and legs. That is not possible. It is practical. But the fish can live. Because he has got special hands and legs, he is very happy there. He is not happy . . . as soon as you take it from the water and put on the land, he dies. Similarly, if you are taken from land and put into the water, you'll die. So everything requires special hands, legs. Why don't you understand it? Similarly, to live in the spiritual world, you require spiritual hands and legs.

So Kṛṣṇa is supreme spiritual being. He has got His spiritual hands and legs and eyes. Why you accuse that He has no form? It is nonsense. It is less intelligent. He has got form. But the different things which you cannot, your poor intelligence cannot accommodate; therefore Kṛṣṇa says this is jñāna. One has to learn this. Sarvendriya-guṇābhāsaṁ sarvendriya-vivarjitam. Sarvendriya-vivarjitam means He has no spiritual senses or spiritual hands and legs, er, material hands and legs. So we have also spiritual hands and legs, but now it is covered by these material things. Therefore we cannot understand our own position also. That we cannot . . . ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am also spirit soul." Therefore because it is materially covered . . . but Kṛṣṇa's body is not materially covered.

Therefore anyone who thinks Kṛṣṇa's body is also materially covered . . . the Māyāvādī philosophers, they say that, "God, when He comes in this material world, He accepts a material body." That is rascaldom. He never accepts material body. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam (BG 9.11). If God also accepts a material body, then what is the difference between God and ourself? He has nothing material. Everything spiritual. Everything spiritual. Even if He accepts material body, He can act spiritually. That is His power. Because material body, material energy is also His energy. Just like electric energy. The expert electrician can transform the electric energy into heat or into cold. That is his manipulation. Even if He accepts material energy, He can use it spiritually. That is His power. All-powerful.

So we have to understand these things. And these things can be understood only by submissive hearing and cleansing our dirty things within the heart by devotional service. Then we can understand what is the actual nature of Kṛṣṇa, or God.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya . . . (end)