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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Tattva Sutra > Chapter-2

Chapter Two

Cit-padartha-prakarana

Spirit

 

Introduction by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here someone may ask: To whom does the Supreme Personality of Godhead give mercy when He creates the material universes and performs other activities? Why does He give His mercy to these persons?

 

     To answer this question by showing that the Supreme Personality of Godhead creates the material universes and performs many other activities in order to give mercy to the invididual spirit souls, and also by showing, using all the Vedanta scriptures as evidence, the true nature of the individual spirit souls, the author of these sutras now begins this chapter, which gives an elaborate definition of the word “cit" (spirit).

 

Sutra 11

 

cetanah paranugatas tad-vidhi-vashyatvat

 

     cetanah—conscious spirit souls; para—the Supreme; anugatah—following; tat—of Him; vidhi—the order; vashyatvat—because of ebing under the control.

 

     The many conscious beings are followers of the Supreme, for they must obey His commands.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here the word "cetanah" means "conscious spirit souls". The plural is used here to indicate that the souls are many in number. the word "paranugatah" means that the souls are subordinate to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are under His control. This is so because they must obey His commands. In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

ya atmani tishthan atmanam antar yamayati

 

     "Residing in the heart, the Supreme Personality of Godhead controls the individual living entities.

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (18.61) it is said:

 

ishvarah sarva-bhutanam

     hrid-deshe 'rjuna tishthati

 

     "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wandering of all living entities."*

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra, Second Night, First Chapter, Lord Sadashiva explains:

 

jivas tat-pratibimbash ca

     bhokta ca sukha-duhkhayoh

kecid vadanti tam nityam

     karanasya gunena ca

 

     "The individual spirit soul, who is like a reflection of the Supreme Lord, suffers and enjoys in the material world. Some sages say that this eternal soul has qualities like those of the Lord Himself.

 

vidyamanat tirodhanam

     tirodhanac ca sambhavah

dehad dehantaram yati

     na mrityus tasya kutracit

 

     "Sometimes the individual soul is visible, and sometimes he disappears. When he disappears, he is born again in another body. The soul never dies. He merely travels from one material body to another."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.5-6), the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

apareyam itas tv anyam

     prakritim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho

     yayedam dharyate jagat

 

     "Besides this inferior nature, O Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.*

 

etad yonini bhutani

     sarvanity upadharaya

aham kritsnasya jagatah

     prabhavah pralayas tatha

 

     "Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution."*

 

     In the Upanishads it is said:

 

shvetaketo tat tvam asi

 

     "O Shvetaketu, you are that."

 

     In the Shrila Madhvacarya's Tattva-muktavali (text 6) it is said:

 

sakshat tat tvam asiti veda-vishaye vakyam tu yad vidyate

     tasyartham kurute svakiya-mata-vid bhede 'rpayitva matim

tac-chabdo 'vyayam eva bhedaka iti tam tatra bhedyo yatah

     shashthi-lopa-mita tam eva na hi tad-vakyartha etadrishah

 

     "The mayavadi commentator on the Vedanta claimed that the words `tat tvam asi' are the maha-vakya, the most important statement of the Vedas. According to his explanation, `tat' means `the Supreme', `tvam' means `you', and `asi' means `are'. He interpreted the words to mean `You are the Supreme', and he claimed there is no difference between the Supreme and the individual spirit souls.

     "The Vaishnava commentator on Vedanta interpreted these words in a different way, saying that `tat-tvam' is a possessive compound word (shashthi-tatpurusha-samasa). According to his explanation `tat' means `of the Supreme', and the entire sentence means `you are the servant of the Supreme'. In this way the proper meaning of the scriptural statement is clearly shown."

 

     In the Shri Chaitanya-candrodaya-nataka is presented the following opinion held by the devotees of the Lord:

 

     vasudevah para devata vasudeva parat paramatmanah sankarshano jiva ity adi jivayati jivam karotiti jivah. na tu svayam jivah. sa catma shabda-brahma para-brahma. mamobhe shashvati tanu iti tad-ukteh. tasmad eva jiva-shrishtir ity arthah.

 

     "The word `Vasudeva' means `the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than the greatest'. The scriptural statement `sankarshano jivah' means, `Lord Sankarshana gives life (jivayati) to the individual spirit souls'. These words do not mean that Lord Sankarshana is Himself an individual spirit soul (jiva). Rather, Lord Sankarshana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. This is confirmed by the words `mamobhe shashvati tanu'. Therefore the conclusion is that Lord Sankarshana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the creator of the individual spirit souls."

 

     Here someone may protest: Is it not so that the Shruti-shastras declare, "ayam atma brahma" (the individual soul is the Supreme)? Is it not so, then, that the individual spirit souls are not in any way different from the Supreme? Why, then, do you claim that the individual spirit souls are subordinate to and dependent upon the Supreme?

 

     Replying to this protest, the author of the sutras reveals the truth. He says:

 

Sutra 12

 

te canady-anantah para-shakti-visheshatvat

 

     te—they; ca—and; an—without; adi—beginning; an—without; antah—end; para—fo the Supreme; shakti—potency; visheshatvat—because of being specific.

 

     They have neither beginning nor end, for they are a specific potency of the Supreme.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The individual spirit souls have neither beginning nor end, for they are a specific potency of the Supreme, and the potencies of the Lord have neither beginning nor end. In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

yathagner bahavo visphulingah

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is like a great fire, and the individual spirit souls are like sparks of that fire."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (15.7) the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

mamaivamsho jiva-loke jiva-bhutah

 

     "The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts."

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra, Lord Shiva declares:

 

kecid vadanti tam nityam

     karanasya gunena ca

 

     "Some sages say that the eternal individual souls have qualities like those of the Lord Himself."

 

     Lord Shiva again declares:

 

kecid vadanty anityam ca

     mithyaiva kritrimah sada

praliyate punas tatra

     pratibimbo yatha raveh

 

     "Other sages say that the individual spirit soul is not eternal, that the soul is an illusion, artificial, an imagination, that the soul is like a reflection of sunlight on water, and that, as a reflection eventually disappears, so the individual soul eventually ceases to exist."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.5-6), the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

apareyam itas tv anyam

     prakritim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho

     yayedam dharyate jagat

 

     "Besides this inferior nature, O Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (2.28), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again explains:

 

avyaktadini bhutani

     vyakta-madhyani bharata

avyakta-nidhanany eva

     tatra ka parivedana

 

     "All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there of lamentation?"*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.18) it is said:

 

na jayate mriyate va vipashcin

     nayam kutashcin na babhuva kashcit

ajo nityah shashvato 'yam purano

     na hanyate hanyamane sharire

 

     "For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."*

 

     Here someone may say: Since the individual spirit souls are a specific potency of the Lord, they are in all respects one with Him. They are not in any way different from Him.

 

     Concerned that someone may speak in this way, in the next sutra the author emphasizes the difference between the individual souls and the Supreme Lord.

 

Sutra 13

 

cid-ananda-svarupa api parato bhinna nitya-satyatvabhavat

 

     cit—spirit; ananda—bliss; svarupah—natures; api—although; paratah—from the Supreme; bhinna—different; nitya—eternal; satyatva—nature; abhavat—because of the non-existence.

 

     Although they are spiritual and blissful, the individual spirit souls are different from the Supreme, for it is not inevitable that they are always situated in the spiritual reality.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Although they are spiritual and blissful, the individual spirit souls are different from the Supreme. Here is the reason why: it is not inevitable that they are always situated in the spiritual reality. The natural position of the individual spirit souls is the be situated in the spiritual reality. However, it is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself who places them in that spiritual reality. The Supreme Lord is always situated in that reality. However, for the individual spirit souls it is possible to be placed apart from the spiritual reality.

 

     In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

nityo nityanam

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the one eternal who controls the many eternals."

 

satyasya satyam

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the controller of all existence."

 

parat param

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is greater than the greatest."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (2.45), the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-sthah

 

     "O Arjuna, be free from all dualities and be established in the self."*

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.2) and Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6) it is said:

 

samane vrikshe purusho nimagno

     'nishaya shocati muhyamanah

jushtam yada pashyati anyam isham

`    asya mahimanam iti vita-shokah

 

     "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 of all anxieties."*

 

     In the next sutra the author describes the idea that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit souls are both one and different simultaneously.

 

Sutra 14

 

tesham paratvam kecid apare bhedam itare tubhayam

 

     tesham—of them; paratvam—status as the Supreme; kecit—some; apare—others; bhedam—difference; itare—other; tu—but; ubhayam—both.

 

     Some say the individual souls are the Supreme. Others say the individual souls are different from the Supreme. Still others say the individual souls are both one and different from the Supreme.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Badarayana and his followers affirm that the individual souls are the Supreme. Kashyapada and his followers affirm that the individual souls are different from the Supreme. Sandilya and his followers affirm that because the individual souls are part and parcel of the Supreme, the souls are different from the Supreme, and because the souls are part and parcel of the Supreme, the souls are not different from the Supreme. Different kinds of evidence may be produced to support all these different views. For example, in the Upanishads it is said:

 

ayam atma brahma

 

     "The individual soul is Brahman."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.1) and Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6) it is said:

 

dva suparna sayuja sakhaya

     samanam vriksham praishasvajate

tayor anyah pippalam svadv atty

     anashnann anyo 'bhicakashiti

 

     "In the individual spirit soul and the Supersoul, Supreme Personality of Godhead, are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree (the sense gratification afforded by the material body), and the other bird (the Supersoul) is not trying to eat these fruits, but is simply watching His friend.*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.2.4) it is said:

 

asya visramshamanasya

     sharira-sthasya dehinah

dehad vimucyamanasya

     kim atra parishishyate. etad vai tat.

 

     "The question is asked: When the embodied soul becomes liberated and leaves his material body behind, who will control him? The answer is: The Supreme still controls him."

 

     In the Chandogya Upanishad (3.14.1) it is said:

 

sarvam khalv idam brahma taj-jalan iti shanta upasita

 

     "This entire world is the Supreme. Therefore a peaceful and saintly person should devote himself to worshiping the Supreme."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.4) it is said:

 

prano hy esha yah sarva-bhutair vibhati

     vijanan vidvan bhavate nativadi

atma-krida atma-ratih kriyavan

     esha brahma-vidam varishthah

 

     "A sage who understands the Supreme, the life of all that live, will not speak of anyone but Him. Such a sage has fallen in love with the Supreme Lord. He is eager to hear of the Lord's pastimes. He actively serves the Lord. Such a sage is the best of all transcendentalists."

 

     Here someone may say: The conflicting claims of these different philosophies will certainly bewilder the living entities' minds.

 

     Fearing that someone would say this, the author of the sutras proceeds to explain that there is no real conflict among these seemingly conflicting views. They are separate aspects of a single philosophy. He says:

 

Sutra 15

 

sarvesham samanjasyam satvata-vijnanasya bhramatvabhavat pramana-sad-bhavac ca

 

     sarvesham—of all; samanjasyam—correctness; satvata-vijnanasya—of one who knows the truth; bhramatva—bewilderment; abhavat—because of the non-existence; pramana—evidence; sad-bhavat—because of the existence; ca—and.

 

     All are true, because the evidence of scripture is always true and because the seeming conflict does not bewilder they who know the truth.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     All these sages are correct, because they who know the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and understand that these conflicting views are aspects of single philosophy, are not bewildered. These differing views are also correct because the previously quoted passages of Shruti-shastra, passages that are evidence for these different views, must all be correct. That is the meaning. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.22.4) The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

mayam madiyam udgrihya

     vadatam kim nu durghatam

 

     "All such philosophers spoke under the shelter of My mystic potency, and thus they could say anything without contradicting the truth."***

 

     In the Taittiriya Upanishad (3.1.1) it is said:

 

     yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti yat prayanty abhisamvishanti

 

     "All created beings emanate from the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By His power they remain alive. They attain Him at the end."

 

     After thus describing the true nature of the individual spirit souls, the author of the sutras proceeds to describe the renunciation of all unwanted things. He also describes the means to attain the highest goal in life. He says:

 

Sutra 16

 

vicara-ragau cetana-dharmau svarupa-pravritti-bhavat

 

     vicara—thinking; ragau—and loving; cetana—of the conscious spirit soul; dharmau—two natures; svarupa—own nature; pravritti—action; bhavat—because of the existence.

 

     The conscious spirit souls possess thinking and loving, for these two are part of their nature.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Thinking creates knowledge. Therefore knowledge is part of the soul's nature. Loving creates bliss. Therefore bliss is part of the soul's nature. these are part of the soul's nature.

 

     In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

satyam jnanam anandam

 

     "Eternity, knowledge, and bliss are part of the soul's nature."

 

     In the Vedanta-sutra (4.1.3) it is said:

 

atmeti tv avagacchanti grahayanti ceti

 

     "The wise know and teach the science of the soul."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (7.7.19), Shri Prahlada declares:

 

atma nityo 'vyayah shuddha

     ekah kshetrajna ashrayah

avikriyah svadrig-ghetur

     vyapako 'sangy-anavritah

 

     "Atma 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 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 Ťnothing to do with the material body, and therefore they are always uncovered."*

 

     In the Vishnu Purana, Shri Prahlada declares:

 

ya pritir avivekanam

     vishayeshv anapayini

tvam anusmaratah sa me

     hridayan napasarpatu

 

     "Fools fall in love with what the material senses see. I am not like them. O Supreme Lord, I have fallen in love with You. I always think of You. I pray that You will never leave my heart."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (2.24) the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam

     akledyo 'shoshya eva ca

nityah sarva-gatah sthanur

     acalo 'yam sanatanah

 

     "The individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable, and eternally the same."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.1.41-42), Vasudeva Maharaja says:

 

svapne yatha pashyati deham idrisham

     manorathenabhinivishta-cetanah

drishta-shrutabhyam manasanucintayan

     prapadyate tat kim api hy apasmritih

 

     "Having experienced a situation by seeing or hearing about it, one contemplates and speculates about that situation, and thus one surrenders to it, not considering his present body. Similarly, by mental adjustments one dreams at night of living under different circumstances, in different bodies, and forgets his actual position. Under this same process, one gives up his present body and accepts another (tatha dehantara-praptih).*

 

yato yato dhavati daiva-coditam

     mano-vikaratmakam apa pancasu

guneshu maya-raciteshu dehy asau

     prapadyamanah saha tena jayate

 

     "At the time of death, according to the thinking, feeling, and willing of the mind, which is involved in fruitive activities, one receives a particular body. In other words, the body develops according to the activities of the mind. Changes of body are due to the flickering of the mind, for otherwise the soul could remain in its original, spiritual body."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.3.10 and 2.3.6) it is said:

 

yada pancavatishthante

     jnanani manasa saha

buddhish ca na viceshtati

     tam ahuh paramam gatim

 

     "When the five senses are peaceful, and when the mind and intelligence do not strive for material things, one attains the highest goal of life. This the wise say."

 

indriyanam prithag-bhavam

     udayastamayau ca yat

prithag utpadyamananam

     matva dhiro na shocati

 

     "In the course of life the senses rise and again they set. Aware that he, the soul, is different from the senses, a wise person does not grieve."

 

     In the next sutra the author describes the root from which desirable and undesirable kinds of love have grown. He says:

 

Sutra 17

 

pare 'nuraktih svabhaviki shreyas-kari ca itareshv aupadhiki duhkha-prada ca

 

     pare—for the Supreme; anuraktih—love; svabhaviki—natural; shreyas-kari—bringing bliss; ca—and; itareshv—for others; aupadhiki—material; duhkha—suffering; prada—bringing; ca—and.

 

     Love for the Supreme is natural, spiritual, and brings the highest bliss. Love for what is not the Supreme is artificial, material, and brings only sufferings.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Love for the Supreme is natural, spiritual, and brings the highest bliss. Love for what is not the Supreme, that is to say love for wealth, children, wife, and others, is artificial, material, and brings with it the sufferings of this world of repeated birth and death. That is the meaning here. In the the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (3.8) it is said:

 

tam eva viditvati-mrityum eti

 

     "By understanding the Supreme one crosses beyond death."

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.5) it is said:

 

ajo hy eko jushamano 'nushete

 

     "One unborn soul tries to enjoy the world. Another unborn soul renounces the world."

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead advises (Bhagavad-gita 18.66):

 

sarva-dharman parityajya

     mam ekam sharanam vraja

aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

     mokshasyishyami ma shucah

 

     "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."*

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead again declares in Bhagavad-gita (9.29):

 

samo 'ham sarva-bhuteshu

     na me dveshyo na me priyah

ye bhajanti tu mam bhaktya

     mayi te teshu capy aham

 

     "I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him."*

 

     Here someone may ask: If the soul is by nature spiritual and blissful, then how does he come in touch with unwanted material things?

 

     Fearing that someone would ask this question, the author speaks the following words:

 

Sutra 18

 

upadhi-krita hi kleshah

 

     upadhi—the designation of the material body; krita—done; hi—indeed; kleshah—sufferings.

 

     Sufferings are caused by the soul's misidentification with the material body.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Sufferings are caused by the soul's misidentification with the material body. In the Shruti-shastra it is said:

 

kapuya-caranah kapuyan yonim apadyante

 

     "Identifying with matter, the soul takes birth in a mother's womb."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (2.63), the Lord says:

 

buddhi-nashat pranashyati

 

     "When intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.3.15) it is said:

 

yada sarve prabhidyante

     hridaye 'sya ku-granthayah

atha martyo 'mrito bhavaty

     etav anushasanam

 

     "When all the heart's knots are cut, the mortal becomes immortal. That is the teaching of scripture."

 

     In the Isha Upanishad (mantra 3) it is said:

 

asurya nama te loka

     andhena tamasavritah

tamsh te pretyabhigacchanti

     ye ke catma-hano janah

 

     "The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known as the world of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance."*

 

     In Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Shri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu it is said:

 

kleshas tu papam tad-bijam avidya ceti tat tridha

 

     "Sin, the root of sin, and ignorance, are the three causes of suffering."

 

     In the Isha Upanishad (mantra 9) it is said:

 

andham tamah pravishanti

     ye 'vidyam upasate

 

     "Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance."*

 

     Thus the sufferings of the individual spirit souls are caused by the souls' misidentification with the material body. When the bonds of that misidentification are cut, then the soul attains liberation. To reveal this truth, the author of the sutras speaks the following words:

 

Sutra 19

 

anartha-nivrittir muktih sva-pada-prapakatvat

 

     anartha—of what is not wanted; nivrittih—renunciation; muktih—liberation; sva—own; pada—nature; prapakatvat—because of giving.

 

     Because it restores the soul to its original nature, renunciation of materialism brings liberation.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Misidentification with the material body places the soul in an inauspicious condition, a condition that breeds worthless material desires. By renouncing those material desires, the soul becomes free from the cycle of repeated birth and death. This is so because by that renunciation the soul attains its original nature, which is spiritual and full of bliss. That is the meaning here. This is described in the following words of Taittiriya Upanishad (2.4.1):

 

sata saumya tada sampanno bhavati. anandam brahmano vidvan  na bibheti kutashcana

 

     "O saintly one, a person who knows spiritual bliss never fears."

 

     In Shandilya's Bhakti-sutra (3.2.93) it is said:

 

tad-aikyam nanatvaikatvam upadhi-yoga-hanad aditya-vat

 

     "The soul is both one and different from the Supreme. When he is freed form the material body, the soul is glorious like the sun."

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.17-18) it is said:

 

etad-alambanam sreshtham

     etad-alambanam param

etad-alambanam jnatva

     brahmaloke mahiyate

 

     "Taking shelter of the Supreme is the most auspicious activity. Taking shelter of the Supreme is the most auspicious activity. One who takes shelter of the Supreme becomes glorious in the spiritual world.

 

na jayate mriyate va vipashcin

     nayam kutashcin na babhuva kashcit

ajo nityah shashvato 'yam purano

     na hanyate hanyamane sharire

 

     "For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.6), Yamaraja says:

 

na samparayah pratibhati balam

     pramadyantam vitta-mohena mudham

ayam loko nasti para iti mani

     punah punar vasham asadyate me

 

     "Fools intoxicated by wealth say this world is all and there is no other. These fools will not be glorious in their next birth. Again and again they will come under my grip."

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.2.9) it is also said:

 

naisha tarkena matir apaneya

     proktanyenaiva su-jnanaya preshtha

yantv amapah satya-dhritir batasi

     tvadrin no bhuyan naciketah preshtha

 

     "O dear one, the truth cannot be known by material logic. It is known only by learning it from a self-realized soul. Because you are sincere and determined, you have learned the truth. O dear Naciketa. I pray that my other disciples will be like you."

 

     The words of the sages are our bridge to understand the truth. In the Mahabharata (Bhishma-parva 5.22) it is said:

 

acintyah khalu ye bhava

     na tamsh tarkena yojayet

prakritibhyah param yat tu

     tad acintyasya lakshanam

 

     "Anything transcendental to material nature is called inconceivable, whereas arguments are all mundane. Since mundane arguments cannot touch transcendental subject matters, one should not try to understand transcendental subject matters through mundane arguments."*

 

     In Shri Vyasa's Vedanta-sutra (2.1.11) it is said:

 

tarkapratishthanat

 

     "Transcendental topics cannot be understood by argument or logic."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.21), Shri Suta Gosvami explains:

 

bhidyate hridaya-granthish

     chidyante sarva-samshayah

kshiyante casya karmani

     drishta evatmanishvare

 

     "Thus the knot in the heart is pierced, and all misgiving are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions is terminated when one sees the Self as the master."*

 

     Liberation is described in these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.10.6):

 

muktir hitvanyatha-rupam

     svarupena vyavasthitih

 

     "Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives the up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies."*

 

     Here someone may ask: If it is by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that the individual spirit souls are given independence, and if by exercising that independence the souls find only sufferings, then why is that gift of independence considered mercy on the Lord's part?

 

     Fearing that someone would ask this question, the author of the sutras speaks the following words:

 

Sutra 20

 

jivanam itaranurakti-hetur ishvara-karunyam tata eva tesham svatantrya-siddheh

 

     jivanam—of the individual spirit souls; itara—for another; anurakti—love; hetuh—the cause; ishvara—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; karunyam—the mercy; tatah—then; eva—indeed; tesham—of them; svatantrya—of independence; siddheh—from the perfection.

 

     Because by the Lord's mercy they are independent, the individual spirit souls can turn from the Lord and love others in His place.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     To make them powerful and glorious, the Supreme Lord gives independence to the individual spirit souls. Using this independence, the souls may forget the Lord and become attached to the objects of the material senses. That is the meaning. In the Upanishads it is said:

 

anena jivenatmananupravishya nama-rupe vyakaravani na tam vijanatha ya ima yad yushmakam antaram babhuva

 

     "Entering with the individual soul, I will create the name and form."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.10) it is said:

 

yam yam lokam manasa samvibhati

     vishuddha-sattvah kamayate yamsh ca kaman

tam tam lokam jayate tamsh ca kamams

     tasmad atma-jnam hy arcayed bhuti-kamah

 

     "A person who is pure in heart attains whatever he desires. He enters whatever world he desires. A person who desires auspiciousness should worship such a self-realized soul."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (3.2.2) it is also said:

    

kaman yah kamayate manyamanah

     sakamabhir jayate tatra tatra

paryapta-kamasya kritatmanas tu

     ihaiva sarve praviliyanti kamah

 

     "One who desires material things is born again to fulfill his desires. A person who attains the Supreme finds that all his desires are fulfilled. All his material desires disappear."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.16.34), the Nagapatnis say to Lord Krishna:

 

anugraho 'yam bhavata krito hi no

     dando 'satam te khala-kalmashapahah

yad dandashukatvam amushya dehinah

     krodho 'pi te 'nugraha eva sammatah

 

     "What You have done here is actually mercy for us, since the punishment You give to the wicked certainly drives away all their contamination. Indeed, because this conditioned soul, our husband, is so sinful that he has assumed the body of a serpent, You anger toward him is obviously to be understood as Your mercy."***