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TEXT 1 (a)
atha vishnuto jivanam bhedah
tatha hi shvetashvatarah pathanti
dva suparna sayuja sakhaya
samanam vriksham parishasvajate
tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty
anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti
atha—now; vishnutah—from Vishnu; jivanam—of the living entities; bhedah—the distinction; tatha hi—furthermore; svetasvatarah—the Shvetashvatara Upanishad; pathanti—reads; dva—two; suparna—birds; sayuja—associated; sakhaya—friends; samanam—the same; vriksham—tree; parishasvajate—contacting; tayoh—of the two; anyah—the other; pippalam—banyan fruit; svadu—palatable; atti—eats; anashnan—not eating; anyah—the other; abhicakashiti—observes.
4. The jivas (living entities) are different from Lord Vishnu:
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6-7) explains: "Two birds reside in the metaphorical banyan tree of the material body. One of them is engaged in eating the material happiness and distress which is the fruit of that tree, while the other does not eat, but only witnesses the actions of his friend. The witness is the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and the fruit-eater is the living entity.
TEXT 1 (b)
samane vrikshe purusho nimagno
hy anishaya shocati muhyamanah
jushtam sada pashyaty anyam isham
asya mahimanam eti vita-shokah
samane—same; vrikshe—on the tree; purushah—person; nimagnah—entered; hi—certainly; anishaya—helplessly; shocati—laments; muhyamanah—bewildered; jushtam—happy; sada—continually; pashyati—sees; anyam—the other; isham—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; asya—of Him; mahimanam—the glories; eti—goes; vita—free from; shokah—lamentation.
"Although the two birds are on the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to His friend who is the Lord and knows His glories_at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties."
sad yany ahur manishinah
bhede tani pratiyante
tenasau tasya gocarah
brihat-samhitayam—in the Brihat-samhita; upakrama—beginning; upasamharau—and end; abhyasah—repetition; apurvata-phalam—not known by the material senses; artha-vada—prayers; upapatti—and logic; ca—and; lingam—characteristic; tatparya—in determining the meaning; nirnaye—in the establishment; iti--thus; tatparya—of a correct understanding; lingani—characteristics; shat—six; yani—which; ahuh—describe; manishinah—philosophers; bhede—in difference;_tani—they; pratiyante—are proved; tena tena—by that; asau—this tasya—of that; gocarah—the field of perception.
The Brihat-samhita explains: "Learned philosophers have concluded that the correct interpretation of the Vedic texts is determined by understanding-—their beginning and concluding statements, what is repeatedly stated within them, evidence presented within them which is beyond the power of the limited material senses to perceive, and the prayers and logical arguments presented within them. A correct understanding of these six elements leads to a proper interpretation of the Vedas. By studying in this way one comes to the correct interpretation-—that the living entities are different from the Supreme."
TEXT 3 (a)
kim ca mundake
yada pashyah pashyate rukma-varnam
kartaram isham purusham brahma-yonim
tada vidvan punya-pape vidhuya
niranjanah paramam samyam upaiti
kim ca—and furthermore; mundake—in the Mundaka Upanishad; tada—when; pashyah—the seer; pashyate—sees; rukma—of gold; varnam—the color; kartaram—the supreme actor; isham—of Godhead; purusham—the Personality; brahma—of the Supreme Brahman; yonim—the source; tada—then; vidvan—the learned devotee; punya—pious deeds; pape—s well as sins; vidhuya—having cleansed; niranjanah—free from material contact; paramam—supreme; samyam—equality; upaiti—attains.
The Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.3) explains: "One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, becomes free from the reactions to past pious and sinful deeds, and becomes liberated, attaining the same transcendental platform as the Lord."
TEXT 3 (b)
yathodakam shuddhe shuddham
asiktam tadrig eva bhavati
evam mune vijanata
atma bhavati gautama
kathake—in the Katha Upanishad; ca—and; yatha—just as; udakam—water; shuddhe—in the pure; shuddham—pure; asiktam—cast; tadrik—like that; eva—certainly; bhavati—becomes; evam—in this way; mune—O sage; vijanatah—of one situated in transcendental knowledge; atma—the supreme spirit; gautama—O Naciketa.
The Katha Upanishad (2.1.15) explains: "O Naciketa, when a drop of pure water is thrown into a reservoir of pure water, the drop does not change it's nature in any way. In the same way, the individual living entity, when situated in transcendental knowledge, does not change his nature when he comes into contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but retains his individuality in all respects."
TEXT 4 (a)
brahmaham eko jivo 'smi
nanye jivo na ceshvarah
syur itittham ca dushitam
anyatha nitya ity adi-
brahma—the Supreme Brahman; aham—I; ekah—one; jivah—living entity; asmi—am; na—not; anye—others; jivah—living entities; na—not; ca—and; ishvarah—Supreme Personality of Godhead; mat—of me; avidya—by ignorance; kalpitah—imagined; te—they; syuh—may come into existance; iti—thus; ittham—in this say; ca—and; dushitam—the polluted conclusion; anyatha—otherwise; nitya-iti-adi—beginning with the word nitya; shruti—of the Vedas; artha—the meaning; na—not; upapadyate—may be interpreted.
The impersonalist followers of Shankaracarya proclaim:
"I, the living entity, am the only supreme, and other living entities, as well as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, do not actually exist, but are only imagined in the mind when there is ignorance of my actual nature." This is their polluted conclusion.
The following Vedic quotation, beginning with the word nitya, presents the actual truth. It is stated so clearly that the impersonalists cannot twist a different meaning from it.
TEXT 4 (b)
tatha hi kathah pathanti
nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
tam atmastham ye 'nupashyanti dhiras
tesham shantih shashvati netaresham
tatha hi—furthermore; hi—certainly; kathah—the Katha Upanishad; pathanti—reads; nityah—a single eternal; nityanam—among the many eternals; cetanah—a single conscious being; cetananam—among many conscious beings; ekah—one; bahunam—of the many; yah—who; vidadhati—grants; kaman—the desires; tam—Him; atmastham—situated within the heart; ye—those who; anupashyanti—see; dhirah—saintly persons; tesham—of them; shantih—peace; shashvati—eternal; na—not; itaresham—of others.
The Katha Upanishad (2.2.13) explains: "Of all eternals, there is one who is the chief eternal. Of all conscious living entities, there is one who is the chief conscious entity. That supreme living entity, the Personality of Godhead, maintains the others, and fulfills their desires according to their merits. Only saintly persons, who can see, within and without, the same Supreme Lord, can actually attain to perfect and eternal peace."
ekasmad ishvaran nityac
cetanat tadrisha mithah
bhidyante bahavo jivas
tena bhedah sanatanah
ekasmat—one; ishvarat—supreme Personality of Godhead; nityat—eternal; cetanat—conscious; tadrishah—like this; mithah—mutually; bhidyante—are distinct entities; bahavah—the many; jivah—individual souls; tena—by this; bhedah—distinction; sanatanah—eternal.
This verse states that both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual loving entities are eternal and conscious. By affirming the eternality of both the one and the many, the distinction between them is described as eternal.
Note: Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks in this connection that the impersonalists may object that the distinction between the living entity (jiva) and the Supreme (ishvara) is not an eternal distinction. To support their view they may quote many verses from the Upanishads, such as sarvam khalv idam brahma (everything is brahman), and tat tvam asi shvetaketo (O Shvetaketu, you are that). Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana replies to their objections in the following way:
TEXT 6 (a)
ragadeh pranata yatha
prana—life force; eka—exclusively dependent; vrittitvat—because of the nature; raga—adeh—of the senses; pranata—the life force; yatha—just as; tatha—in the same way; brahma—the supreme; adhina-vritteh—completely dependent; jagatah—from the material universe; brahma—the distinct Supreme; ucyate—is described.
Just as the life-force is different from the senses of the material body which are completely dependent upon it, in the same way the Supreme Lord is distinct from the material world which is completely dependent upon Him.
TEXT 6 (b)
tatha hi chandogye pathyate
na vai vaco na cakshumsi na shrotrani na manamsity acakshate. prana ity acakshate. prano hy evaitani sarvani bhavati. iti.
tatha hi—moreover; chandogye—in the Chandogya Upanishad; pathyate—it is read; na—not; vai—certainly; vacah—words; na—nor; cakshumsi—eyes; na—nor; shrotrani—ears; na—nor; manamsi—minds; iti—thus; acakshate—names; pranah—the life-force; iti—thus; acakshate—he names; pranah—the life-force; hi—indeed; eva—certainly; etani—them; sarvani—all; bhavati—is; iti--thus.
The Chandogya Upanishad (5.1.15) explains in this connection: "The different senses, such as the voice, sense of sight, sense of hearing, and the mind, are all known as the life-force, but the actual life-force is different from all these senses, which are dependent upon it. They are named after the life-force, although it is actually different from them."
Note: Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains in this connection that the mayavadis may argue that the Vedas say: "sarvam khalv idam brahma (everything is brahman)" and "tat tvam asi shvetaketo (O Shvetaketu, you are that)", and therefore the only thing in existance is impersonal brahman, and everything else is an illusion. To counter this argument, Baladeva Vidyabhushana quotes this verse from the Chandogya Upanishad, where there is an explanation of how everything is brahman. The various senses are dependent upon the life-force, and therefore, they are collectively known as the life-force, although the actual life-force is different from them. In this way the senses are designated as the life-force because they are manifested from the life-force, although they are actually different from it. In the same way, the individual living entities have emanated from the Supreme Brahman, and they are therefore designated Brahman to show their source of origin, although they are actually different from the Supreme Brahman.
brahma-vyapyatvatah kaishcij jagad brahmeti manyate.
yad uktam shri-vishnu-purane
yo 'yam tavagato deva
satyam eva jagat-srashta
yatah sarvagato bhavan
brahma—by the Absolute Truth; vyapyatvatah—because of being present everywhere; kaishcit—by some; jagat—the material universe; brahma—identical with the Supreme; manyate—is considered; yat—which uktam—spoken; shri-vishnu-purane—in the Vishnu Purana; yah—who; ayam—this; tava—to You; agatah—approached; deva—O Lord; samipam—near; devata—of demigods; ganah—the host; satyam—the eternally real Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva—certainly; jagat—of the material world; srashta—the creator; yatah—because; sarvagatah—all-pervading; bhavan—You.
Some maintain that because the Supreme is all-pervading, the material universe must be identical with Him.
The Vishnu Purana dispels this misconception: "O Supreme Personality of Godhead, although You have created this material universe, and although You are everywhere present within it, You are nevertheless eternally distinct from it."
pakshau yau svi-kritau paraih
tau vidvadbhir nirakritau
pratibimba—a reflected manifestation; pariccheda—a different manifestation; pakshau—the two parties; yau—which; svi-kritau—accepted; paraih—by others; vibhutva—because of all-pervasiveness; avishayatvabhyam—because of being beyond the reach of the material senses; tau—they; vidvadbhih—by those who know the truth; nirakritau—not accepted.
Some maintain that the universe is identical with the Supreme because the universe is the Supreme's reflected image, and others say that they are identical because the Supreme has divided Himself into the various pieces that constitute the universe. Those who are wise do not accept these faulty arguments, because they know that the Supreme is simultaneously all-pervading and beyond the reach of the material senses.
Note: Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains the defect in the arguments of these two groups of mayavadis. The first group of mayavadis say that just as the sun or moon may be reflected in various pots or reservoirs of water, in the same way, the Supreme reflects Himself-—the reflections being the individual living entities. This view cannot be maintained because the Supreme is, by His very nature, all-pervading. Something all-pervading cannot be reflected anywhere, just as the all-pervading dimension of space, upon which all the material elements rest, cannot be reflected anywhere.
The opinion of the second camp of mayavadis is that the Supreme has cut Himself into many little pieces which are the individual living entities and the material elements. This view cannot be held because the Supreme is avishaya-—spiritual, beyond the reach of the material senses. Because the Supreme is spiritual, imperishable, and without change, He cannot be cut into many pieces as the mayavadis say.
advaitam brahmano bhinnam
bhinnam va tvayocyate
adye dvaitapattir ante
advaitam—the Supreme Brahman, who is one without a second; brahmanah—from the Brahman; bhinnam—different; abhinnam—not different; va—or; tvaya—by you; ucyate—spoken; adye—in the beginning; dvaita—of difference; apattih—attainment; ante—in the end; siddha—perfection; sadhanata—attainment; shruteh—from the Vedas.
O Mayavadis, you insist that the individual living entities and the Supreme are identical, even though this view contradicts all the descriptions found in the Vedic texts.
alikam nirgunam brahma
shraddheyam vidusham naivety
alikam—untrue; nirgunam—without attributes; brahma—Supreme; pramana—of evidence; avishayatvatah—because of the non-perception; shraddha—faith; iyam—this; vidusham—of those who are intelligent and learned in the spiritual science; na—not; eva—certainly; iti—thus; ucire—said; tattva—of the truth; vadinah—the knowers.
There is no evidence to support the erroneous conception that the Supreme is an amorphous mass without any qualities. Those who know the truth declare that those learned in the spiritual science never accept such a conclusion.
Note: In this connection, Shrila Bhaktisiddhaanta Sarasvati Thakura comments that the three sources of evidence-—direct perception, logic, and scriptural revelation-—tell us that although the Supreme is devoid of material qualities, He possesses innumerable spiritual qualities. That the Supreme possesses spiritual qualities (bhagavan) in the ultimate issue is described in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11):
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti shabdyate
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavaan (full of all opulences)."