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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 1 > Material World


Material World


1.What is the material world?


The material world is the perverted reflection of the spiritual world; that which is best in the ideal world is worst in its reflection and that which is lowest in the ideal is highest in its reflection. One can easily understand this by watching one's bodily limbs reflected in a mirror. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 31)


2.Does the material world have an independent existence?


The material world has no independent existence. It is simply a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. The existence, mood, and process, which are pure and auspicious in their ideal position, become inauspicious when reflected here. The qualities that directly create eternal auspiciousness there become pious activities when reflected here. The qualities that indirectly produce auspiciousness there create inauspiciousness here and are considered sinful activities.

(Caitanya-siksamrta Part 2 7/1)


3.Is the material world false?


The material world is not false; it is real, because of the will of Krsna. However, the material concept of "I and mine," which we are maintaining in the material world, is false. Those who say that the material world is false are Mayavadis—they are offenders. (Jaiva Dharma Chapter 7)


4.Why is the material world not false?


If you say that this visible world is false, how can you possibly fulfill your purpose? If you bring water in a pitcher, you can use it for many purposes. You cannot say that the pitcher is false, but you can say it is temporary. Similarly, since this visible world helps you fulfill your purpose, you cannot say it is false.(Tattva-sutra 10)


5.How is the material world temporary even though it is not false?


To say that the material world is eternal and real because it has emanated from the eternal cognizant Absolute Truth is unreasonable. Such a statement is an outright lie. To say that the material world is the transformation of God is also unreasonable. The truth is that this material world is real but temporary. As a touchstone produces gold, the energy of the Supreme Lord has produced the temporary material world.

(Sri Bhagavatarka-marici-mdld 1/15)


6.Is attachment to the material world auspicious?


I have wasted my time uselessly in trying to become happy in the material world. I have not gained anything; rather I have created havoc. What kind of material existence is this? It is just like a magic show. I am wasting my days uselessly by becoming attached to it.

(Kalyana-kalpataru Song 4)


7.What is the value of enjoyment in the material world?


There is no happiness in material enjoyment. We simply gratify our senses. Even if there is any happiness, it is only the absence of distress. Happiness that is full of fear is not actual happiness. Learned scholars call it distress. (Kalyana-kalpataru Song 3)


8.How is the total material ingredients (ego, five gross elements, their attributes, and the senses of the living entities) created? What are the living entities?


In the transcendental atmosphere (paravyoma), where spiritual majesty preponderates, there is present Sri Narayana who is not different from Krsna. Maha-Sahkarsana, subjective plenary facsimile of the extended personality of Sri Narayana, is also the divine plenary portion of the propagatory embodiment of Sri Krsna. By the power of His spiritual energy a plenary subjective portion of Him, eternally reposing in the neutral stream of Viraja forming the boundary between the spiritual and mundane realms, casts His glance, at creation, unto the limited shadow potency, Maya, who is located far away from Himself.


Thereupon Sambhu, lord of pradhana embodying the substantive principle of all material entities, who is the same as Rudra, the dim reflection of the Supreme Lord's own divine glance, consummates his intercourse with Maya, the efficient mundane causal principle. But he can do nothing independently of the energy of Maha-Visnu representing the direct spiritual power of Krsna.Therefore, the principle of mahdt, or the perverted cognitive faculty, is produced only when the subjective plenary portion of Krsna, viz., the prime divine avatdra Maha-Visnu who is the subjective portion of Sarikarsana, Himself the subjective portion of Krsna, is propitious towards the active mutual endeavors of Maya, Siva's consort (sakti), and pradhana or the principle of substantive mundane causality.


Agreeably to the initiative of Maha-Visnu, the consort of Siva creates successively the mundane ego (ahahkdra), the five mundane elements (bhutas) viz., space etc., their attributes (tanmatras) and the limited senses of the conditioned soul (flva). The constituent particles, in the form of effulgence of Maha-Visnu, are manifest as the individual souls (jlvas).

(Brahma-samhita 5.10 purport)