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Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya Prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Bhedabheda-vicara)
Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya, and Prayojana (Simultaneous Oneness and Difference)
Vani-Madhava was a vicious person. Reproached by Vrajanatha, in his mind he plotted how to harm both Vrajanatha and the babajis. He met with some thugs and together they decided that when he returned from Shrivasa's courtyard, Vrajanatha would be attacked at a secluded place near Lakshmana-tila. Hearing of this plot, Vrajanatha decided to visit the saintly elderly babaji only during the daytime. Also, he would not visit Shrivasa's courtyard every day, and when he did it would be only in the daytime and accompanied by a bodyguard. Vrajanatha had some tenants. Among them was an expert fighter name Harisha Doma. Vrajanatha said to Harisha, "Today a great calamity has fallen upon me. If you help, I may be protected from it." Harisha replied, "Sir, I will do whatever you ask. Give the word, and I will kill your enemy." Vrajanatha said, "Vani-Madhava wants to harm me. I am no longer able to visit the Vaishnavas in Shrivasa's courtyard. Vani-Madhava plans to have me attacked on the road." Harisha replied, "Sir, how can he attack you when Harisha is there? Know that this bamboo club will fall on Vani-Madhava Thakura's head. Sir, take me with you whenever you go to Shrivasa's courtyard. Who can harm you? I can defeat a hundred fighters."
Accompanied by Harisha Doma, Vrajanatha would visit Shrivasa's courtyard only once every two or four days. He could not stay for long. He could not hear discussions of the spiritual truth. In his heart he became sad. Ten or twenty days passed in this way, and then Vani-Madhava died of snakebite. Hearing the news of Vani-Madhava's death, the Vaishnava Vrajanatha thought, “Is this fate of a person who hates Vaishnavas?" In his mind he remembered these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.1.38):
adya vabda-shatante va
mrityur vai praninam dhruvah
"One may die today or after hundreds of years, but death is sure for every living entity."*
He thought, "No one lives forever. Everyone must die. What obstacle now stops me from going to Shrivasa's courtyard every day?" That evening at sunset Vrajanatha went to Shrivasa's courtyard and offered dandavat obeisances to the saintly babaji. He said, "From today on I will visit your feet every day. The obstacle Vani-Madhava has left this world." The very merciful babaji was a first silent and thoughtful, unhappy to hear that a person whose spiritual intelligence was not awakened had died. Then he said, "It is said (Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita Antya 2.163):
" `A person is sure to achieve the results of his fruitive activities.'*
"The soul must go where Lord Krishna sends him. Baba, are you unhappy at heart?"
Vrajanatha: The only unhappiness in my heart is that for some days I have not heard the nectar of your teachings. That has troubled my heart. I wish to hear the remaining teachings of the Dasha-mula.
Babaji: I am always ready to teach you. Just tell me how far you have heard and what questions have risen in your mind.
Vrajanatha: What is the name of the pure philosophy Shri Shri Gaura-kishora taught to the world? Advaita-vada, Shuddhadvaita-vada, Vishishtadvaita-vada, and Dvaita-vada are the names of the philosophies taught by the previous acaryas. Did Shri Gaurangadeva accept one of these philosophies, or did He teach a different philosophy? In describing the sampradayas, you said that Shri Gauranga is in the Brahma-sampradaya. Did He teach the Dvaita-vada of Shri Madhvacarya, or did He teach something else?
Babaji: Baba, please listen to the eighth verse of the Dasha-mula:
hareh shakteh sarvam cid-acid-akhilam syat parinatih
vivartam no satyam shrutim iti viruddham kali-malam
harer bhedabhedau shruti-vihita-tattvam su-vimalam
tatah premnah siddhir bhavati nitaram nitya-vishaye
"The entire spiritual and material creation is manifested from the potency of Lord Hari. The impersonalist idea is an impurity of the Kali-yuga and it is refuted by the Vedas. The pure truth taught by the Vedas is the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda (simultaneous oneness and difference). By understanding this truth one eventually attains the perfection of love for the Supreme Eternal."
The conclusions taught in the Upanishads are called “Vedanta" (the conclusion of the Vedas). Shrila Vyasadeva summarized these conclusions in a book of four chapters, a book called the Brahma-sutra or Vedanta-sutra. The truly learned people of this world respectfully accept the authority of this book. The general conclusion is that the Vedanta-sutra gives a proper exposition of the truths taught in the Vedas. The different acaryas have each explained Vedanta-sutra in a way to support their conclusions. Shri Shankaracarya used the Vedanta-sutra to support his philosophy of impersonalism (vivarta-vada). He said that the philosophy of parinama-vada is not correct, for it must lead to the conclusion that Brahman is not the highest. He taught a philosophy called vivarta-vada, which is also called mayavada. To support this philosophy of vivarta-vada, he collected quotations from all the Vedas. It seems that the philosophy of parinama-vada must have been popular before his time. By establishing his vivarta-vada, Shri Shankara suppressed the parinama-vada. Still, the vivarta-vada is only one of many theories. Displeased with it, Shri Madhvacarya created the theory of dvaita-vada. He collected quotes from all the Vedas to support his theory of dvaita-vada. In the same way Shrimad Ramanujacarya established the Vishishtadvaita-vada and collected quotations from the Vedas to support it. Shri Nimbarka Acarya established his philosophy of dvaitadvaita-vada and he also collected many quotes from the Vedas to support it. Shri Vishnu Svami preached the philosophy of shuddhadvaita-vada, which he based on the Vedanta-sutra and the texts of the Vedas. The mayavada philosophy preached by Shri Shankaracarya is opposed to the truths of devotional service. Each with his own philosophy, the four Vaishnava acaryas taught that devotional service is the highest conclusion. Shriman Mahaprabhu based His philosophy on all the statements of the Vedas. His philosophy is called “acintya-bhedabheda" (simultaneous oneness and difference). This philosophy accepts the basic framework of Madhvacarya's teachings.
Vrajanatha: What is the parinama-vada?
Babaji: There are two kinds of parinama-vada.: brahma-parinama-vada and shakti-parinama-vada. The brahma-parinama-vada teaches that Brahman becomes transformed into the individual souls and the material world. Thus they say that only Brahman exists, and to support their idea they quote these words of the Chandogya Upanishad (6.2.1):
"Brahman is one without a second."
This theory may be called "advaita-vada" (impersonalism). Look. In this context "vivarta" and parinama" are synonyms. On the other hand, the philosophy of shakti-parinama-vada declares that Brahman Himself never becomes transformed. Rather it is Brahman's inconceivable potency that becomes transformed. The jiva-shakti becomes transformed into the individual spirit souls and the maya-shakti becomes transformed into the material world. If this version of parinama-vada is accepted, Brahman does not become transformed. The act of transformation is defined in these words:
sa-tattvato 'nyatha-budhhir vikara ity udahritah
"Transformation is when something appears to be what it is not."
What is transformation? transformation is when something appears to be different than what it is. Milk becomes transformed into yogurt. It is still milk in essence. It only appears to be something else. That is transformation. According to the brahma-parinama-vada, they individual spirit souls and the material world are both transformations of Brahman. This idea is not correct. Of this there is no doubt. The impersonal Brahman has no qualities. Therefore it has nothing that could be transformed into something else. Therefore it cannot be said to be the origin of transformations. Therefore the brahma-parinama-vada theory is not good. On the other hand, the shakti-parinama-vada does not have these defects. According to shakti-parinama-vada, Brahman is not transformed. rather it is Brahman's potency, which can do any impossible thing, that is transformed into the atomic individual souls and into the perverted reflection that is the material world. When Brahman desires, "Let the individual souls come into existence", numberless souls are manifested from His potency. When Brahman desires, "Let the material world come into existence", material universes without limit are manifested from His potency. These things are not transformations of Brahman. If someone says, "If Brahman has a desire, then Brahman is transformed. The desire itself is a transformation of the original desireless Brahman. How is it possible that Brahman can be transformed in this way?" then I reply, "You are assuming that Brahman's desire is like the desires possessed by the individual spirit souls. That is why you say Brahman's desire is evidence that Brahman becomes transformed. The individual spirit soul is very small, and therefore his desire naturally touches Brahman's other potencies. For this reason the soul's desires are actually transformations. However, Brahman's desires are completely independent. They are part of His intrinsic nature and are not subjected to outside influences. They are at once the same as and different from His potencies. Therefore Brahman's desires are part of His original nature. They do not involve any transformations. Ordered by His desires, His potencies act. His potencies then become transformed. The living entity's small intelligence does not have the power to discover these subtle truths unaided. These truths are known only by hearing the testimony of the Vedas. Now we may consider the nature of the transformation of the potency. The example of milk being transformed into yogurt is not the only example to show the transformation of potency. Although material analogies cannot give one a complete understanding of spiritual realities, they can help one understand certain aspects of it. Even though it is material in nature, a cintamani jewel is said to produce many other jewels within itself being changed in any way. The spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead creates in a way like that. The Supreme Personality of Godhead remains completely unchanged after creating, buy His desire and with the aid of His inconceivable potency, the numberless individual souls and numberless material universes consisting of fourteen planetary systems. This explanation that the Supreme is “untransformed" does not mean that the Supreme exists only as the qualityless impersonal Brahman. The word "brahman" means the greatest (brihat). Therefore the word "brahman" directly refers to the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the master of six opulences. If we only say that He is "untransformed" and do not say anything else about Him, we do not accept His cit-shakti (spiritual potency). The truth is that by the power of His inconceivable potency, He is simultaneously the qualityless Brahman, and the Supreme Person who possesses a host of spiritual qualities. Therefore to say only that He is "untransformed" means to understand only half of His nature, and thus not understand Him in full. The Vedas have used the instrumental (by), ablative (from), and locative (in) cases to describe His relationship with the material world. In the Taittiriya Upanishad (3.1.1) it is said:
yato va imani bhutani jayante. yena jatani jivanti. yat praty abhisamvishanti. tad vijajnasva tad brahma.
"Please know that Brahman is He from whom all living beings are born, by whose power they remain alive, and into whom they enter at the end."
When it is said that the living beings are manifested from Brahman, the ablative case is used. When it is said that the living beings live by Brahman's power, the instrumental case is used. When it is said that the living beings enter into Brahman, the locative case is used. In this way it is said that the Supreme has qualities. This shows that He is the Supreme Person, for it is a person that has qualities. Shrila Jiva Gosvami describes the Supreme Person in these words:
ekam eva paramam tattvam svabhavikacintya-shaktya sarvadaiva svarupa-tad-rupa-vaibhava-jiva-pradhana-rupena caturdhavatishthate. suryantara-mandala-sthita teja iva mandala tad-bahir-gata-tad-rashmi-tat-praticchavi-rupena.
"The Absolute Truth is one. Still, by His inconceivable potency He is manifested in four ways: 1. svarupa (His original form), 2. tad-rupa-vaibhava (His incarnations), 3. jiva (the individual spirit souls), and 4. pradhana (the material energy). These four features are like: 1. the interior of the sun planet, 2. the sun's surface, 3. the sunlight, and 4. the reflection of the sun."
This example, of course, explains only a small part of the Lord's nature. His svarupa (original form) is His form of eternity, knowledge and bliss. His svarupa-vaibhava (manifestations of His form) are His spiritual abode, name, associates, and paraphernalia. The jiva-shakti is the abode of the numberless eternally liberated and conditioned individual souls, who are tiny particles of spirit. The pradhana is the material world of subtle and gross material elements. As these four features are eternal, so the oneness of the Absolute truth is also eternal. Someone may ask: "How is it possible that the Lord is eternally manifest in these four ways, but still is eternally one? Is it not a contradiction that He is both one and many simultaneously?" To this the answer is given: The intelligence of the individual living entities will certainly declare that it is impossible. But why should it not be possible? The intelligence of the individual living entity is very small and limited, and, on the other hand, the powers of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are beyond human conception. Therefore, for the Lord it is not impossible.
Vrajanatha: How do you define "vivarta-vada"?
Babaji: In the Vedas there is description of transformation (vivarta), but that description is not at all like what has become known as the "vivarta-vada". Shri Shankaracarya has used the words "vivarta" and vivarta-vada" to mean “maya-vada" (the philosophy of impersonalism). The true meaning of the word "vivarta" is given in these words:
atattvato 'nyatha buddhir vivarta ity udahritah
"The word `vivarta' means `misunderstanding the true nature of a certain thing'."
The individual is a tiny particle of spirit. But when he is imprisoned in the gross and subtle material body, he becomes bewildered and thinks, "I am this gross and subtle material body." Thus he misunderstands his true identity. “Misunderstanding" is the only definition of "vivarta" given in the Vedas. Someone may think, "I am Raghunatha Bhattacarya, the son of Sanatana Bhattacarya", and someone else may think, "I am Sadhu Candala, the son of Vishe Candala". In this way the intelligence becomes bewildered.. Both of those persons are individual souls, tiny particles of spirit. They are not Raghunatha Bhatöacarya and Sadhu Candala. Still, they are bewildered and they think they are identical with the material body. To mistake a rope for a snake or the glistening on a seashell's surface for silver are other examples of misunderstandings (vivartas). By all these examples the Vedas teach that one should throw far away the idea that he is identical with the material body. The mayavadis (impersonalists), however, reject this proper use of the word "vivarta" and teach a funny theory they call "vivarta-vada". They say that the idea "I am the Supreme" is the true idea, and the misconception, or vivarta, is the idea "I am an individual spirit soul". By accepting this kind of “vivarta-vada" one will not understand what is the actual truth. The true vivarta-vada does not at all contradict the shakti-parinama-vada. On the other hand, the mayavadis' (impersonalists') vivarta-vada is only an object of laughter. The mayavadis' vivarta-vada is of three kinds: 1. the soul is really Brahman but he becomes bewildered into thinking that he is an individual soul, 2. the idea that the individual souls are reflections of Brahman, and 3. the idea that Brahman takes a nap and dreams that He has become the many individual souls. None of these are the true vivarta-vada. The evidence of the Vedas refutes them all.
Vrajanatha: What is this mayavada philosophy? My intelligence does not understand it.
Babaji: Try to understand it soberly and carefully. The maya-shakti is a perverted reflection of the svarupa-shakti (internal potency). The maya-shakti cannot enter the spiritual world. The maya-shakti is the controller of the material world. Because he is bewildered by ignorance, the soul enters the material world. Spiritual things are real and do have an independent, separate existence. However, the mayavada theory does not accept the reality of spiritual things. The mayavada theory declares that the individual soul is actually Brahman, and it is only by the influence of maya that he thinks he is different from Brahman. The mayavada theory declares that as long as he is under maya's influence, the soul thinks he is an individual soul, but when he becomes free of maya's influence, the soul learns that he is actually Brahman. The mayavada theory declares that when maya's influence ceases, the individual spirit soul also ceases to exist. In his way liberation is thought to mean nirvana, or the souls merging into the existence of Brahman. In this way the mayavada theory does not accept the existence of a pure individual spirit soul, free from maya's clutches. The mayavada theory also declares that when he incarnates in the material world, Brahman must take shelter of maya and accept a body made of matter. Brahman thus does not have a spiritual form and must accept a form made of matter. Thus Brahman accepts the different material forms of His incarnations, descends to the material world, performs very great deeds, leaves His material form behind, and returns to His own abode. The mayavadis' offer one kindness to the Supreme Lord. They say the the individual souls and the incarnations of Brahman have one difference. They say that the individual souls are dependent on their past karma, are pushed into the gross material body against their will, and, carried along by the strong current of their past karma, are forced to suffer old-age, death, and re-birth. On the other hand, the Supreme Lord accepts a material body, material identity, material name, material qualities, and other material things voluntarily, by His own will, and by His own will at a certain time He abandons those material things and becomes again manifest as pure spiritual consciousness. Although He performs activities, the Lord is not forced to accept the karmic results of those actions. All these are the mistaken conclusions of the mayavadis.
Vrajanatha: Do the Vedas give any evidence to support the mayavada philosophy?
Babaji: No. In no place do the Vedas teach the mayavada philosophy. Actually, the mayavada philosophy is identical with Buddhism. In the Padma Purana Lord Shiva tells Parvati:
pracchannam baudham ucyate
mayaiva kalpitam devi
"The mayavada philosophy is impious. It is covered Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in the form of a brahmana in Kali-yuga I teach this imagined mayavada philosophy."*
Vrajanatha: O master, why did Lord Shiva, who is the best of the Vaishnavas and the leader of the demigods, do such a wicked deed?
Babaji: Lord Shiva is a guna-avatara of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At one time the demons had taken to following the path of devotion in order to fulfill their own sinful lusty desires. Seeing this, the merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, concerned for the benefit of the true, the sincere devotees.
decided to deter the demons from following the path of devotion. With this in mind, He called for Lord Shiva and told him, "O Shiva, that the demons in the mode of ignorance are now preaching the path of pure devotional service is not good for the world. Please write a book to bewilder the demons. Conceal the truth about Me and preach the mayavada, impersonal philosophy. The demons will then leave the path of pure devotional service and take shelter of impersonalism. That will be very pleasing to My genuine pure devotees. Of this there is no doubt. The great Vaishnava Shiva unhappily accepted this order of the Supreme Lord. However, he placed the Lord's order on his head and obediently preached the mayavada philosophy. How can there be any fault, then, for Lord Shiva, the spiritual master of the entire world?
Vrajanatha: For the good of all the conditioned souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead turns the wheel of the material world of birth and death. The Sudarshana-cakra He holds in His hand brings only good. His order brings only good. The servant's duty is to carry out his master's order. Therefore the pure Vaishnavas do not blame Lord Shiva for descending as Shankaracarya and preaching the mayavada philosophy. Now I will recite the scriptural evidence for all this. Please listen. In the Padma Purana the Supreme Lord tells Shiva:
tvam aradhya yatha shambho
grahishyami varam sada
dvaparadau yuge bhutva
svagamaih kalpitais tvam tu
janan mad-vimukhan kuru
mam ca gopaya yena syat
"O Shiva, because you worship Me, I will always give My blessings to you. In Kali-yuga, mislead the people in general by propounding imaginary meanings of the Vedas to bewilder them. In this way conceal Me and make the people turn away from Me."
In the Varaha Purana the Supreme Lord tells Shiva:
esha moham shrijamy ashu
yo janan mohayishyati
tvam ca rudra maha-baho
"O mighty-armed Shiva, please write books filled with lies, and thus bewilder the people.
prakasham kuru catmanam
aprakasham ca mam kuru
"O mighty-armed one, please preach a collection of lies. Place yourself in the forefront, and conceal Me."
Babaji: Do any Vedic passages refute the mayavada theory?
Vrajanatha: All the Vedas refute the mayavada theory. Searching through all the Vedas, the mayavadis have found four statements to buttress their argument, and these they call maha-vakyas (the great statements of the Vedas). These four statements are (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1):
sarvam khalv idam brahma
"Everything is Brahman."
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 4.4.19 and Kaöha Upanishad 2.1.11:
neha nanasti kincana
"Nothing is different from Brahman."
Aitareya Upanishad 1.5.3:
"Brahman is consciousness."
Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7:
tat tvam asi shvetaketo
"O Shvetakaetu, you are that."
Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10:
"I am Brahman."
What does the first of these maha-vakyas teach? It teaches that the material world and the individual souls are all Brahman, that there is nothing but Brahman. What is the nature of Brahman? That is explained in another place in the Vedas. In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.8) it is said:
na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate
na tat-samash cabhyadhikash ca vidyate
parasya shaktir vividhaiva shruyate
svabhaviki jnana-bala-kriya ca
"The Supreme Lord has nothing to do. Nothing is equal to Him or greater than Him. He acts in different phases by manifesting His parts and parcels which are all simultaneously differently situated by His unlimited, variegated potencies. Each potency acts quite naturally in sequences, providing Him full knowledge, power, and pastimes."*
In these words Brahman and Brahman's potency are accepted as one. Here it is said that the potency is the property (svabhaviki) of Brahman, and it is also said that the potency is manifested in many different ways (vividha). Because the potency and the master who possesses the potency are not different, it may certainly be said that nothing is different from Brahman. However, when we look at the material world, we can also see that in another sense Brahman and His potency are certainly different. In the Vedas (Kaöha Upanishad 2.13 and Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.10) it is said:
nityo nityanam cetanash cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman
"The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying the necessities of life for the many other living entities."*
In these words of the Vedas variety is accepted as an eternal fact. In the other passages of the Vedas (Shvetashvatara Upanishad 6.8) the Lord's potency and His knowledge, power, and pastimes are also considered, in one sense, to be different from Him.
Now let us consider these words of Aitareya Upanishad (1.5.3):
"Brahman is consciousness."
Here it is said that Brahman is identical with consciousness. The nature of consciousness is described in these words of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.21):
tam eva dhiro vijnaya
prajnam kurvita brahmanah
"A wise man who understands the Supreme falls in love with Him."
Here the word "prajna" does not mean merely "consciousness". Here it means "love and devotion".
Now let us consider these words of Chandogya Upanishad (6.8.7):
tat tvam asi shvetaketo
"O Shvetakaetu, you are that."
These words supposedly teach that the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit soul are identical. However, the proper explanation of these words is found in this passage from the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.10):
yo va etad aksharam gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa kripanah
"He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization."*
The words "tat tvam asi" therefore actually mean "He who has attained devotion to the Lord is a true brahmana."
Now let us consider these words of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (1.4.10:
"I am Brahman."
Some thinkers say that the knowledge described in these words does not culminate in devotional service as its final attainment. This idea is criticized by these words of Isha Upanishad (mantra 9):
andham tamah pravishanti
ye 'vidyam upasate
tato bhuya iva te tamo
ya u vidyayam ratah
"Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance. Worse still are those engaged in the culture of so-called knowledge."*
These words mean that persons who are ignorant and do not know that they are pure spirit souls enter into terrible blinding darkness. However, they who, even though they become free from that ignorance, foolishly think that the individual soul is Brahman and not a tiny particle of spirit, enter into an even more terrible blinding darkness of ignorance. O baba, the Vedas are like an ocean that has no shore. One should carefully study each mantra of each Upanishad, and then one should study the Upanishads together as a whole. In that way one will understand the true meaning of the Vedas. However, if one only studies a few passages here and there, the conclusion he gets at the end will be horrible and wrong. Therefore, are carefully studying all the branches of the Vedas, Shriman Mahaprabhu taught the final conclusion: that the individual spirit souls and the material world are simultaneously, inconceivably one and different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Babaji: Please explain to me more clearly how this philosophy of inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference is the true teaching of the Vedas.
Vrajanatha: In the Chandogya Upanishad (3.14.1) it is said:
sarvam khalv idam brahma
"Everything is Brahman."
In the Chandogya Upanishad (7.25.2) it is said:
atmaivedam sarvam iti
"The Supreme Soul is everything."
In the Chandogya Upanishad (6.2.1) it is said:
sad eva saumyedam agra asid ekam evadvitiyam
"In the beginning only the Supreme existed. There was none but Him."
In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (5.4) it is said:
evam sa devo bhagavan varenyo
yoni-svabhavan adhitishöhaty ekah
"As the sun shines in all directions: above, below, and across, so the glorious Supreme Personality of Godhead rules all creatures."
These passages describe the oneness part of simultaneous oneness and difference.
In the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.1) it is said:
om brahma-vid apnoti param
"One who understands the Supreme, attains the Supreme."
In the Kaöha Upanishad (1.2.22 and 2.1.4) it is said:
mahantam vibhum atmanam matva dhiro na shocati
"A wise man who meditates on the all-pervading Supreme Soul never laments."
In the Taittiriya Aranyaka, First Anuvaka, it is said:
satyam jnanam anantam brahma. yo veda nihitam guhayam parame vyoman. so 'shnute sarvan kaman saha brahmana vipashcita.
"Brahman is limitless, eternal, and all-knowing. A person who knows that Brahman stays both in the spiritual sky and in the hearts of all creatures attains Brahman. He associates with the all-knowing Brahman. All his desires are fulfilled."
In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.9) it is said:
yasmat param naparam asti kincit
yasmin naniyo na jyayo 'sti kincit. . . .
. . . tenedam purnam purushena sarvam
"There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies."*
In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.16) it is said:
"The Supreme Person is fully aware of everything. He is the Supersoul, the master of all transcendental qualities."*
In the Kaöha Upanishad (2.23) and the Mundaka Upanishad (3.2.3) it is said:
tasyaisha atma vivrinute tanum svam
"The Supreme Lord is attained only by one who He Himself chooses. To such a person He manifests His own form."*
In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.19) it is said:
tam ahur agryam purusham mahantam
"Learned transcendentalists explain that God is the greatest, the original person."*
In the Isha Upanishad (mantra 8) it is said:
yathatathyato 'rthan vyadadhat
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has been fulfilling everyone's desires since time immemorial."*
In the Kena Upanishad (3.6 and 3.10) it is said:
naitad ashakam vijnatum yad etad yaksham iti
"I do not understand who this yaksha is."
In the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.7) it is said:
asad va idam agra asit. tato vai sajayata. tad atmanam svayam akuruta. tasmat tat sukritam ucyata iti.
"In the beginning only the Supreme existed. From Him everything was born. Then He personally appeared within the world. That is why He is called `sukrita' (the creator)."
In the Kaöha Upanishad (2.13) and the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (6.13) it is said:
"Of all eternal beings one is the most important."
In the Mandukya Upanishad (mantra 2) it is said:
sarvam hy etad brahmayam atma brahma so 'yam atma catush-pat
"The Supreme soul is the greatest. He is everything. He manifests in four forms."
In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.5.14) it is said:
ayam atma sarvesham bhutanam madhu
"All living beings find that the Supreme Person is sweet like nectar."
In these and countless other passages, the Vedas declare that the individual souls are eternally different from the Supreme. Every part of the Vedas is beautiful and good. No part should be rejected. That the individual souls are eternally different from the Supreme is the truth. That the individual souls are eternally non-different from the Supreme is also the truth. Both are true simultaneously. All the Vedas declare that difference and non-difference are both true. This simultaneous difference and non-difference is inconceivable, beyond the power of human intelligence to understand. Applying material logic to understand it will bring only confusion. What the Vedas speak is always the truth. The Vedas' statements should not be rejected merely because they are beyond the understanding of our tiny human intelligence. In the Kaöha Upanishad (1.2.9) it is said:
naisha tarkena matir apaneya
"Ordinary material logic cannot be used to disprove the truths taught by the Vedas."
In the Kena Upanishad (2.2) it is said:
naham manye su-vedeti no na vedeti veda ca
"I do not think, `I do not know anything about the Supreme'. Neither do I think, `I know everything about the Supreme'."
In these passages the Vedas declare that the Lord's potency is inconceivable. Therefore material logic is not the proper tool with which to understand the Lord's potency. In the Mahabharata it is said:
puranam manavo dharmah
na hantavyani hetubhih
"The Puranas, Manu-samhita, the Vedas with all their limbs, and the science of Vedic medicine are the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are His commands. Material logic cannot refute them."
Thus simultaneous oneness and difference is the pure truth, the conclusion taught by the Vedas. when one considers the final goal and need of all individual souls, he will see that there is no conclusion but simultaneous oneness and difference. When one understands this truth of simultaneous oneness and difference, he will see that the difference between the soul and the Supreme is eternal. Without understanding this difference, the individual soul cannot attain the true goal of life: love for the Supreme.
Babaji: What evidence from scripture and logic shows that love for the Supreme is the final goal of life?
Vrajanatha: The Vedas (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.4) declare:
prano hy esha yah sarva-bhutair vibhati
vijanan vidvan bhavate nati-vadi
atma-krida atma-ratih kriyavan
esha brahma-vidam varishöhah
"The Supreme Person is the life of all that live. One who knows Him is not eager to talk of other things. Such a person loves the Lord, always remembers the Lord's pastimes, and is active in the Lord's service. He is the best of transcendentalists."
In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (2.4.5 and 4.5.6) it is said:
na va are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam bhavaty atmanas tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati
"Every living being loves others not to please them, but to please himself."
These words of Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad show that love is the individual soul's primary need and goal. Baba, love for the Supreme is described in many passages of the Vedas and the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. It is clearly described in these words of the Taittiriya Aranyaka, Seventh Anuvaka:
ko hy evanyat kah pranyat. yad esha akasha anando na syat. esha hy evanandayati.
"Who could live, who could breathe, if he did not find pleasure in his heart? Living in the heart, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gives pleasure to all living beings."
Happiness is a state of being created by love. All spirit souls strive to find pleasure. Persons striving for liberation think liberation will bring them pleasure. That is why they are mad after liberation. Materialists think material sense objects will bring them pleasure. That is why they chase after sense objects. The hope for pleasure pushes the living entity into action. The devotees act so they can find pleasure in service to Lord Krishna. Thus all living entities are searching for pleasure and for love. For the sake of pleasure and love they are even willing to give up their bodies. The conclusion is this: everyone sees pleasure and love as their final goal, their true need. No one will deny it. One may be an atheist, one may be a theist, one may be a proponent of fruitive work (karma-vadi), one may be an impersonalist (jnana-vadi), one may be a hedonist (kami), one may be an ascetic (nishkami), all living entities are searching for pleasure and love. All search for pleasure and love, but not everyone finds it. The proponents of fruitive work think they will find pleasure and love in Svargaloka. However, the Bhagavad-gita (9.21) says of them:
kshine punye martya-lokam vishanti
"When they have thus enjoyed heavenly sense pleasure, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus, through the Vedic principles, they achieve only flickering happiness."*
This means that eventually they must fall down from Svargaloka. In this way their plan to enjoy becomes frustrated. When a person fails to find true pleasure in the wealth, children, fame, power, and other things available in the world of human beings, he begins to desire the pleasures available in Svargaloka. When he must fall from Svargaloka he realizes that the pleasures available there are not very valuable. Then he sees that the pleasures of the human worlds, of Svargaloka, and of the highest material planets, even up to the planet of the demigod Brahma, are all temporary. Then he begins to search for impersonal liberation. When he finally attains impersonal liberation, he sees that there is not real pleasure in that either. Then he searches for another path to follow. How is it possible to find either pleasure or love in impersonal liberation? If a person's sense of identity is annihilated, how can he enjoy any pleasure? Or if everything becomes one, how can he enjoy any pleasure? Who will exist to experience the pleasure? If I lose my identity, who will exist to experience Brahman? The statement "Pleasure exists in impersonal liberation" has no meaning, for no one exists to experience the pleasure. In impersonal liberation does pleasure exist, or does it not exist? What is the conclusion? If my personal identity is destroyed, then everything about me is destroyed. What remains of me, that I can experience the attainment of a goal or the fulfillment of a need? In impersonal liberation I do not exist. I do not exist at all. If someone says, "In impersonal liberation I exist as Brahman", then Brahman does not perform any action. Is it not so? If I become Brahman eternally, then there is nothing for me to attain, and therefore I need not perform any action. Therefore in impersonal liberation is not the way to attain pleasure or love. Actually impersonal liberation does not exist. It is only a trick played on the individual soul. It is a flower imagined to float in the sky. Devotional service is the only method by which the individual souls can attain the true goal of their live and fulfill their true needs. The final stage of devotional service is love and pleasure. That love and pleasure are eternal. Pure Krishna is eternal, and pure love for Him is also eternal. Therefore, when one accepts the truth of inconceivable oneness and difference, he can attain the eternal perfection of true love. If there is no simultaneous oneness and difference, then the eternal spiritual love that is the soul's true goal and need becomes not-eternal. That non-eternality attacks the love and destroys it. Therefore all Vedic scriptures confirm that simultaneous inconceivable oneness and difference is the true conclusion. All other conclusions are meaningless speculations.
Plunged into an ocean of bliss as again and again he thought about the meaning of spiritual love, Vrajanatha walked home.