Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.7.19–20

March 18


Prabhupāda: … vidvān ātmano lakṣaṇaiḥ paraiḥ ahaṁ mamety asad-bhāvaṁ [SB 7.7.19-20]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.7.19-20

"Ātmā" refers to the Supreme Lord or the living entities. Both of them are spiritual, free from birth and death, free from deterioration and free from material contamination. They are individual, they are the knowers of the external body, and they are the foundation or shelter of everything. They are free from material change, they are self-illuminated, they are the cause of all causes, and they are all-pervading. They have nothing to do with the material body, and therefore they are always uncovered. With these transcendental qualities, one who is actually learned must give up the illusory conception of life, in which one thinks, "I am this material body, and everything in relationship with this body is mine."
. [aside:] You can sit down this side. Dehādau mohajaṁ tyajet. So, Prahlāda Mahārāja is instructing his demon class friends. They are not demons, but they are sons of demons. Just like you are. [laughter] You are not demons, but you are sons of demons. [chuckles] Is it right? [laughs] But you have no more connection with your demon father. That’s nice. So, in some of these, I think Back to Godhead No. 40, Hayagrīva has written a very nice article, Constitution of the Soul. It is very nicely written. So, demonic principle is they do not give stress on the soul. They are bodily conscious that “I am this body.” And as soon as one is such foolishly conceiving body as self, his activities will be demonic. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kunape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. The demons also sometimes they have got conception of the soul, they believe in transmigration of the soul, but though they… Simply on the platform of accepting this body as self, they have been compared with animals. 

So, Prahlāda Mahārāja has very nicely analyzed the characteristics of the soul by twelve items: ātmā, nitya, avyaya, śuddha, eka, kṣetra-jña, āśraya, avikriya, sva-dṛk, hetuḥ, vyāpaka, asaṅgī, anāvṛta. These things I have explained in Calcutta. Again we may repeat. These are important points. The characteristic of ātmā, either ātmā or paramātmā, the same characteristics are there. Exactly like gold bar and gold particle. The chemical composition of the gold bar and the gold particle is the same. So, ātmā nitya eternal. The materialistic scientists, they have no information of the ātmā. They think that this material combination of elements evolved some living force. That is their theory. As such they think that in other planets, where the atmosphere is different, they think there is no life, because they do not know that life means presence of the ātmā, and the ātmā, the soul, can live in any condition of material existence, any condition. Even in fire the ātmā can live because according to the information we receive from Bhagavad-gītā, the ātmā is never burned even in the fire. It is never moistened in the water. It cannot be cut into pieces. These things are there. This material body can be cut into pieces, it can be burned, it can be wetted in water, but ātmā, spirit soul, is different from this body. 

The material scientists, they have no information of ātmā. Therefore they think that in the moon planet there is no life, in the sun planet there is no life. Simply… This is kūpa-maṇḍūka-nyāya. Dr. Frog PhD., he’s thinking in his own way. Dr. Frog thinks that this three feet dimension of the well is all in all, there cannot be anything. These rascal philosopher and rascal scientist, they think in that way, Dr. Frog. There cannot be Atlantic Ocean. That three feet dimension, well water is sufficient. Therefore we have to receive knowledge from authorities. We cannot speculate. Speculation will not help us in approaching the real destination. 

So, Prahlāda Mahārāja, whatever he is saying—he’s an authority—we should accept. Ātmā, nitya—eternal. Avyaya—inexhaustible. Avyaya, śuddha. Śuddha means pure, without any contamination. Śuddha, eka. Eka means individual. Eka. Kṛṣṇa is also individual and the living entity is also individual, eka. Kṣetra-jña—fully conscious of his bodily activities, kṣetra-jña. Āśraya—the basic principle. As I am, I am spirit soul, I am the basic principle of development of this body, similarly Kṛṣṇa is the basic principle of development of this universe. That is the difference. I know where is the pains and pleasure, what are the defects and favorable condition in my body, but I do not know what is favorable for your body. Therefore I am not kṣetra-jña, conversant with your bodily activities, but Kṛṣṇa knows. kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata [Bg. 13.3]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 13.3

O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion.
. Kṛṣṇa says that “I am also kṣetra-jña, knower of the body, but I know everyone’s body.” That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa, Paramātmā, the Supersoul, and the individual soul. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they make one. That is not possible. Kṣetra-jña, āśraya, avikriya—unchangeable. Sva-dṛk—he can see himself by contemplation, by meditation. Sva-dṛk, hetuḥ—cause. Vyāpaka-all—pervading. I am all-pervading within this body, in my body. I am not all-pervading in your body. If I pinch your body I do not feel any pain, but if I pinch my body I feel pain. Therefore, “I am all-pervading”, means I am all-pervading in this body by consciousness. Anywhere you touch, the consciousness is there feeling touch. Vyāpaka, asaṅgī. Asaṅgī means without being mixed up. The same example, that fishing but not touching the water. Oil, you drop some oil on the water it will float, it will not mix. When you emulsify water it changes the color, but it is there. That will be explained in the next verse. Another example is milk. The milk, pure milk, there is butter, but you cannot see the butter in the milk. But if you could… [break] 

…on the same platform by the paṇḍita, by the learned, because he does not see the outward coverings, he sees the inner soul, the characteristics of the soul as described. But the demons, they cannot see the inner soul. They cannot distinguish the characteristics of the soul. Simply they see superficially and, identifying with the body, there is always trouble. “I am this nation”, “I am Englishman,” “I am German,” “I am American,” “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am brāhmaṇa”, “I am this,” “I am that,” designation. So, one has to become free from this designation before one can understand what is spiritual life. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 19.170

" 'Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and, simply by being employed in the service of the Lord, one's senses are purified.'
. Sarvopādhi… These are designations, superficial. 

So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that etair dvādaśabhir vidvān ātmano lakṣaṇaiḥ paraiḥ. Paraiḥ means superior. You have to distinguish ātmā by superior characteristics, not by inferior characteristics. And by understanding the ātmā’s real position, ahaṁ mamety asad-bhāvaṁ dehādau mohajaṁ tyajet. You should give up the bodily identification which is a production of illusion, mohajaṁ. Production of illusion. As soon as I think I am American, “Why American money should go to India?” Immediately he becomes disqualified to become a member of the [indistinct], immediately. Because the same demoniac principle—“I am this.” Mohajaṁ. Mohajaṁ—this is the production of illusion. Prahlāda Mahārāja says tyajet, “You should give up these demonic principles,” tyajet. Tyajet, this is [indistinct]—must, must. There are different forms of verbs in Sanskrit. This form of verb means must. There is no argument, you must. Just like in Vedas says tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]—must, must go. So here also Prahlāda Mahārāja says tyajet. This dehātma-buddhi, this upādhi, this designation is dangerous for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, tyajet. 

svarṇaṁ yathā grāvasu hema-kāraḥ
kṣetreṣu yogais tad-abhijña āpnuyāt
kṣetreṣu deheṣu tathātma-yogair
adhyātma-vid brahma-gatiṁ labheta

Now he’s giving a very nice example. Just like what, what is called, a technical, soil expert? 

Devotee: Geologist. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Devotee: Geologist? 

Prabhupāda: No, no geologist is different. 

Devotee: Agronomist. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? What was that? 

Devotee: Agronomist. 

Prabhupāda: What is that exact word used? Soil expert. [laughter] Soil expert means… 

Devotee: Conservationist. 

Prabhupāda: Eh? 

Devotee: Conservationist? 

Prabhupāda: No. 

Devotee: Agronomist. 

Prabhupāda: Huh? 

Devotee: Agronomist. 

Prabhupāda: Agronomist? 

Devotee: Yes. Agra means field, one who studies the earth. 

Prabhupāda: And just like one can understand from the characteristics of the particular soil, that there is gold. In this [place] there is possibility of gold. That is agronomist? 

Devotee: No, that would be geologist. 

Prabhupāda: Geologist? 

Devotee: Yes. 

Prabhupāda: All right, geologist. [laughter] So…. I don’t think geologist. [laughter] Geologist is different. You have no dictionary? Where is my dictionary? 

Devotee: It is in the next room. Should I get it? 

Prabhupāda: All right, we shall see later on. Take it for agronomist, geologist. But soil expert [laughter]. Soil expert to… He knows how to find out a particular type of mine. They can find out, “Here there is mica, in this soil there is coal, in this soil there is gold.” So Prahlāda Mahārāja is giving very nice example that, svarṇaṁ yathā grāvasu hema-kāraḥ. Hema-kāraḥ means goldsmith, not goldsmith. Goldsmith is manufacturer of gold ornaments. Hema-kāraḥ means gold expert, you can say. He can find out in the soil where there is gold mine. Still there are. I know when I was managing Dr. Bose’s laboratory, one chemist, Chandra Bhusan Vadery [?], he was a well known chemist in Calcutta. So, one Marwari gentleman was after him. He said that “I know how to find out gold mine.” So, the Marwari gentleman spent after him lakhs of rupees and he said that “Here there is gold,” but unfortunately gold was not found. [chuckles] And the gentleman lost so much money. So, but there are experts otherwise how gold mines are found out? There are experts. So here it is said… It is not new thing. Prahlāda Mahārāja said that this art is known millions and millions of years ago. It is not that the modern science has discovered airplane, modern science has discovered how to go to other planet and they have mining industry, no. These are all known. There is no question of modern science. Now, otherwise how Prahlāda Mahārāja gave this example? Vivikta, viviktatma jnana, jnani napi bhavena brahmata praktikasam syat [?]. 

Question may be put by opposing party that simply by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious how one can know God? What will be your answer? What will be your answer? Suppose an opposing party says that “All right, I accept that you are Kṛṣṇa conscious or God conscious, you have devoted your life for Kṛṣṇa, so how do you find, how do you see Kṛṣṇa that you are working for Him?” What will be the answer? Are you following blindly or you have experience of Kṛṣṇa? Yes. What will be the answer? It’s a very intelligent question. People will ask you, perhaps they ask, “Have you seen Kṛṣṇa?” “Why you are Kṛṣṇa conscious?” What is your answer? 

Devotee: You see Him through śāstra and the teachings of the spiritual master and His arca-vigraha. 

Prabhupāda: Of course that’s nice, but then you are following blindly your spiritual master. What is your experience? 

Devotee: Your heart becomes pure. 

Prabhupāda: Hm. 

Devotee: First you can hear Kṛṣṇa before you see Him and this is a purification process. And the purification process can be felt and then you ask the person, “You can feel it yourself by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, why not try it?” 

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, you have tried, whether you have seen? That is the question. You have tried for the last four or five years, whether you have seen Kṛṣṇa? 

Devotee: We cannot see Kṛṣṇa because our eyes are impure… 

Prabhupāda: Then you are following blindly. 

Devotee: [indistinct] the scriptures and the śāstras we get pure. 

Prabhupāda: He has feeling. That is [indistinct]. Anubhava ananta svarupa, parameśvara. That is the [indistinct]. You can feel His presence, that is being explained here. [reads Sanskrit commentary] It is very simple. Prahlāda Mahārāja is saying that as the expert gold miner, when he sees there are gold particles in the field, naturally he concludes…. Still, in India there is a river, in that river gold particles, in the water gold particles can be found. Gold particles. Many poor men they whole day work and strain the water in different way and get some little gold, still. So, by the symptoms, by the symptoms the expert gold miner finds out that here is gold, gold mine. Because within the soil, or with the soil you find some gold particles. That is the way, here it is said. Similarly, one can find out Kṛṣṇa by the symptoms, the characteristics, of this world. That is common sense. Just in everything there is a controller. There is a life. Just like in my body, I am controlling this body, and there is living force, living symptoms. Similarly, this whole world which is going on, there are so many things that is, that requires nice brain. This planetary system is moving nicely, exactly to the order. So, one should consider that there must be some brain behind this—how things are going so nicely. That is common sense. Just like the gold mine expert, as soon as he finds some gold particles either in the vicinity, water or land, they consider there is gold mine. Similarly, when you find that things are going on so nicely, there is a big brain behind this. That is the statement of Professor Einstein. He also says that as we make progress and we see wonderful things, we are bound to believe that there is a big brain. There is a big brain. [reads Sanskrit commentary] So, as the poor man goes to the river side and by straining the water by—they have a specific process, they find out some gold—similarly, a person kṣetreṣu deheṣu ātma adhyātma-vid brahma-gatiṁ labheta [?]. This meditation means thinking very deeply what I am, what I am. And the process of the yoga system is the same system as you strain water and find out gold. Similarly, if you follow the yoga system, dhyāna, dhāraṇa, āsana, prāṇāyāma—that is mechanical—then you will find that “I am the spirit soul and there is Supreme Soul, Kṛṣṇa.” That is possible. That is really perfection of yoga practice. Not that simply pressing the nose, no. Actually perfection of yogic meditation is to understand the self; the soul is there and the Supersoul is there. The process is there. 

aṣṭau prakṛtayaḥ proktās
traya eva hi tad-guṇāḥ
vikārāḥ ṣoḍaśācāryaiḥ
pumān ekaḥ samanvayāt

Aṣṭau prakṛtayaḥ, eight material elements, that is described in the Bhagavad-gītā-bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vayuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.4

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.
—earth, water, fire, air, sky, and the mind, ahaṅkāra, mind, egotism and khaṁ mano buddhi, and intelligence. These are gross and subtle material elements. Aṣṭau prakṛtayaḥ proktās traya eva hi tad-guṇāḥ, and these material elements are moving by the interaction of the three material qualities—sattva-guṇa, raja-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. One who is situated in the sattva-guṇa, he is also existing on these eight material elements. And one who is existing in the modes of passion, he is also existing on the… Brāhmaṇa’s body, take for example. Brāhmaṇa is in the sattva-guṇa, and kṣatriya is in the raja-guṇa. Vaiśya is mixed up and śūdra is the tamo-guṇa. So existing means the consciousness according to the contamination of different condition of the guṇas… This condition is the guṇas. Sattva-guṇa, one who is in sattva-guṇa, his consciousness is different from the consciousness of the raja-guṇa. One whose consciousness is raja-guṇa, his consciousness is different from the tamo-guṇa. In this way you will find different types of consciousness. In pure there are three. If they’re mixed up-three into three, it becomes nine. Again mixed up-nine into nine, it becomes eighty-one. Again mixed up-eighty-one… In this way you will find varieties of life. But they’re based on the three types of consciousness—sattva-guṇa consciousness, raja-guṇa consciousness, tamo-guṇa consciousness. So when one is transcendental to this contaminated consciousness, polluted by the three qualities of material nature, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

aṣṭau prakṛtayaḥ proktās
traya eva hi tad-guṇāḥ
vikārāḥ ṣoḍaśācāryaiḥ
pumān ekaḥ samanvayāt

But the soul is the same. By external affection in the material world under different qualities, he’s appearing different. Therefore, we have got 8,400,000 of species of life, by different consciousness. When one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness there is no such differentiation, there is one consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, I am His servant, that’s all. So long one does not come to this platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no possibility of so-called eternity, fraternity, unity, universal brotherhood, that is not possible. It is impossible because they are all contaminated. 

dehas tu sarva-saṅghāto
jagat tasthur iti dvidhā
atraiva mṛgyaḥ puruṣo
neti netīty atat tyajan

[reads Sanskrit commentary] The Sankhya philosophy here, the description is Sankhya philosophy. Twenty-four elements, twenty-four elements. Eight gross and subtle elements, and then their production, the ten indriya, senses, working senses, and knowledge acquiring senses. Eight, ten, eighteen. Then the sense objects, five. Eighteen plus five, twenty-three. And then the ātmā, the soul. Twenty-four elements, the Sankhya philosophy, they are analyzed. The Sankhya philosophy. The European philosophers they like very much this Sankhya philosophy system because in the Sankhya philosophy these twenty-four elements have been very much lucidly explained. Sankhya philosophy. Dehas tu sarva-saṅghāto jagat. So there are two kinds of bodies, jagat and tasthuḥ-moving and not moving. But they’re all combination of these twenty-four elements. atraiva mṛgyaḥ puruṣo neti netīty, now, one has to find out the ātmā from these twenty-four elements by eliminating, “Where is ātmā, where is ātmā, where is ātmā.” But one can find out in that way provided he follows the rules and regulations, and the process. That is possible. 

vimṛśadbhir asatvaraiḥ

So further explanation, this is subject matter little difficult, but it is very important. Prahlāda Mahārāja is explaining to his demonic class friends. Five years old boy how he’s explaining the Sankhya philosophy because he’s a devotee and he has heard the whole philosophy from authorities, Nārada Muni. Mūkhaṁ karoti vācālaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim. Therefore, the spiritual master’s mercy is described, mūkhaṁ karoti vācālam. Mūkham means dumb, one who cannot speak. He becomes a great lecturer or speaker. Although he is dumb but he can become a great lecturer, mūkhaṁ karoti vācālam. Paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim, and one who is lame, who cannot walk, he can cross over the mountains. Mūkhaṁ karoti vācālaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate… Yat kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande, that by whose mercy these things are possible, I offer my respectful obeisances, param ānanda bhavam, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, reservoir of all pleasure. By Kṛṣṇa’s mercy it is possible. By material calculation it is not possible. Material calculation one will say that “How it is possible, you say the dumb is lecturing very nicely? That is not possible.” Or, “That lame man is now crossing the mountains?” So materially it is not possible. But by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa or His representative… Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, five years old boy, he is explaining so nicely about the constitution of the soul. Why? Because he has obtained the mercy of Nārada Muni, the representative of Kṛṣṇa. So it is possible. So we’ll stop. [end]