Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Tattva Sutra > Chapter-3

Chapter Three

Acit-padartha-prakarana

Matter

 

Introduction by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here someone may ask: In what form or with what potency does the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the modes of nature and whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, act to create the material universes?

 

     To answer this question, the author of the sutras begins this chapter, which gives the definition of the word “acit" (matter).

 

Sutra 21

 

maya-shaktir acid gunavati paravara-karya-rupa ca

 

     maya—illusory; shaktih—potency; acit—matter; gunavati—possessing the modes of material nature; para—high; avara—and low; karya—actions; rupa—forms; ca—and.

 

     Matter is the illusory potency, maya, which controls the modes of nature and creates a variety of forms and actions, from the lowest to the highest.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here the Supreme Lord's potency is named Maya. In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.10) it is said:

 

mayam tu prakritim vidyan

     mayinam tu maheshvaram

 

     "Although maya (illusion) is false or temporary, the background of maya is the supreme magician, the Personality of Godhead, who is Maheshvara, the supreme controller."*

 

     In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.5) it is also said:

 

ajam ekam lohita-shukla-krishnam

     bahvih prajah janayanti sarupam

ajo hy eko jushamano 'nushete

     jahaty enam bhukta-bhogam ajo 'nyah

 

     "A unborn man enjoys an unborn red, white, and black woman who bears many children like herself. Another unborn man first enjoys and then forsakes her."

 

     (Translator's note: The unborn woman is the material nature. The colors red, white, and black are the modes of passion, goodness, and ignorance. The many children are the ingredients of the material universes. The first unborn man is the conditioned soul. The second unborn man is the soul who, after trying to enjoy matter, finally renounces the world and attains liberation.)

 

     In His Govinda-bhashya commentary on Vedanta-sutra, Shrila Baladeva Vidyabhushana explains:

 

     pralaye 'ti-saukshmyad vibhanarhanu-bhuta-sattvadi-guna tamah-shabdita mula-prakritir ajety ucyate shrishti-kale tudbhuta-sattadi-gunavibhakta-nama-rupa pradhanavyaktadi-shabdita lohitady-akarajyotir utpanneti. mahan avyakte liyate 'vyaktam akshare 'ksharam tamasiti shruteh.

 

     "At the time of cosmic devastation the three modes of nature become subtle and unmanifested. This is called tamah, the unborn root of matter. At the time of cosmic creation the modes of nature manifest a great variety of names and forms, beginning pradhana and avyakta. In this way forms of red and other colors are manifested. In the Shruti-shastra it is said, `mahan avyakte liyate 'vyaktam akshare 'ksharam tamasi' (At the time of cosmic devastation the mahat-tattva merges into the avyakta, the avyakta merges into the akshara, and the akshara merges into tamah)."

 

     In the Isha Upanishad (mantra 11) it is said:

 

vidyam cavidyam ca yas

     tad vedobhayam saha

 

     "Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality."*

 

     In the Sankhya-karika, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in these words:

 

mula-prakritir avikritir mahad-

     adyah prakriti-vikritayah sapta

shodashakas tu vikaro na

     prakritir vikritih purushah

 

     "The root of matter does not change. From that root seven transformations, beginning with mahat-tattva, are manifested. From them sixteen transformations are manifested. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond the root of matter and its various transformations."

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead tells the demigod Brahma (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.34):

 

rte 'rtham yat pratiyeta

     na pratiyeta catmani

tad vidyad atmano mayam

     yathabhaso yatha tamah

 

     "O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness."*

 

     In Shandilya's Bhakti-sutra (3.1.86) it is said:

 

tac-chaktir maya jada-samanyat

 

     "This potency of the Lord is called maya, for it is material by nature."

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (9.10), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

mayadhyakshena prakritih

     suyate sa-caracaram

hetunanena kaunteya

     jagad viparivartate

 

     "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.14), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also declares:

    

daivi hy esha gunamayi

     mama maya duratyaya

mam eva ye prapadyante

     mayam etam taranti te

 

     "This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."*

 

     The the Kanada-sutra, Fourth Adhyaya, Second Ahnika, it is said:

 

sad akarana-van nityam

 

     "Reality is eternal. It was not created by anyone."

 

     In the Vaisheshika-sutra it is said:

niravayavam dravyam avadhih sa eva paramanuh

 

     "The atom is the smallest unit of matter. It can never be divided."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.11.1-2), Shri Maitreya declares:

 

caramah sad-visheshanam

     aneko 'samyutah sada

paramanuh sa vijneyo

     nrinam aikya-bhramo yatah

 

     "The material manifestation's ultimate particle, which is indivisible and not formed into a body, is called the atom. It exists always as an invisible identity, even after the dissolution of all forms. The material body is but a combination of such atoms, but it is misunderstood by the common man.*

 

sata eva padarthasya

     svarupavasthitasya yat

kaivalyam parama-mahan

     na vishesho nirantarah

 

     "Atoms are the ultimate state of the manifest universe. When they stay in their own forms without forming different bodies, they are called the unlimited oneness. There are certainly different bodies in physical forms, but the atoms themselves form the complete manifestation."*

 

     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."***

 

     Here someone may protest: This potency creates the material world independently, without the help of anyone else. Why must you postulate the existence of a Supreme God?

 

     To answer this protest, the author of the sutras speaks these words:

 

Sutra 22

 

jadatvat kriti-shunya cetana-prerita bhavati samjnavad-vat

 

     jadatvat—because of being inert; kriti—activity; shunya—without; cetana—by consciousness; prerita—pushed into action; bhavati—is; samjnavat—conscious; vat—like.

 

     Matter is naturally inert, for it is neither alive nor conscious. When conscious life pushes it into action, matter appears to be alive and conscious.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Matter is naturally inert, for it is neither alive nor conscious. It has no power to perform any action. When conscious life pushes it into action, matter appears to become warm with life. It is under these conditions that matter appears to act, becoming the creator of the universe. That is the meaning. This is described in Bhagavad-gita (9.10), where the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

mayadhyakshena prakritih

     suyate sa-caracaram

 

     "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and is producing all moving and unmoving beings."*

 

     In the Aitareya Upanishad (1.1.1) it is said:

 

sa aikshata imal lokan ashrijata

 

     "With a glance the Supreme Personality of Godhead created the material worlds."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (15.14), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

aham vaishvanaro bhutva

     praninam deham ashritah

prapana-samayuktah

     pacamy annam catur-vidham

 

     "I am the fire of digestion in every living body, and I am the air of life, outgoing and incoming, by which I digest the four kinds of foodstuff."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Kapila (3.26.19) explains:

 

daivat kshubhita-dharminyan

     svasyam yonau parah puman

adhatta viryam sasuta

     mahat-tattvam hiranmayam

 

     "After the Supreme Personality of Godhead impregnates material nature with His internal potency, material nature delivers the sum total of the cosmic intelligence, which is known as Hiranmaya. This takes place in material nature, when she is agitated by the destinations of the conditioned souls."*

 

     The sankhya acaryas explain:

 

prakritih kartri purushas tu pushkara-palasa-van nirlepah

 

     "It is the material nature that acts. The Supreme Personality of Godhead remains aloof, like a lotus leaf untouched by water."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.26.17), Lord Kapila explains:

    

prakriter guna-samyasya

     nirvisheshasya manavi

ceshta yatah sa bhagavan

     kala ity upalakshitah

 

     "My dear mother, O daughter of Svayambhuva Manu, the time factor, as I have explained, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whom the creation begins as a result of the agitation of the neutral, unmanifested nature."*

 

     In the Markandeya Purana, Devi-mahatmya, Brahma tells Prakriti

 

tvayaiva dharyate sarvam

     tvayaitat shrijyate jagat

tvayaitat palyate devi

     tvam atsyante ca sarvada

 

     "You maintain everyone. You create the universe. You protect it. It enters you at the end."

 

     In the next sutra the author shows that the illusory potency, maya, is a prison for the conditioned souls.

 

Sutra 23

 

sa parananuraktanam karavad dehadi-bandhana-rupa

 

     sa—it; para—for the Supreme Personality of Godhead; an—without; anuraktanam—love; kara—a prison; vat—like; deha—material bodies; adi—beginning with; bandhana—bondage; rupa—the from.

 

     The material world is like a prison where souls who hate the Supreme Personality of Godhead are confined. There the souls are bound with many shackles, such as the material bodies in which they dwell.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here the word "sa" means "the material nature", "para" means "the Supreme Personality of Godhead", and "ananuraktanam" means "of they who, exercising their independence, have no love for the Lord and are fond of disobeying His orders". For such persons the material nature provides a series of shackles, which begin with the material bodies in which the conditioned souls dwell. This is described in the following words of the Katha Upanishad (2.2.7):

 

yonim anye prapadyante

     shariratvaya dehinah

sthanum anye 'nusamyanti

     yatha karma yatha shrutam

 

     "They who do not love the Supreme Personality of Godhead enter a mother's womb, and again dwell in a material body. Some even become unmoving trees and plants. They attain different stations in life according to their past deeds and according to their thoughts at the moment of death."

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.2.1) it is said:

 

puram ekadasha-dvaram

     ajasyavakra-cetasah

 

     "The unborn Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose heart is supremely pure, also resides in the city of eleven gates that is the material body of the conditioned soul."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (14.5), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

sattvam rajas tama iti

     gunah prakriti-sambhavah

nibadhnanti maha-baho

     dehe dehinam avyayam

 

     "Material nature consists of the three modes: goodness, passion, and ignorance. When the living entity comes in contact with nature, he becomes conditioned by these modes."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (5.18), the Supreme Personality of Godhead explains:

 

vidya-vinaya-sampanne

     brahmane gavi hastini

shuni caiva shvapake ca

     panditah sama-darshinah

 

     "The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater (outcaste)."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.2.4) it is said:

 

asya visramsamanasya

     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 Shrimad-Bhagavatam (26.1), Lord Kapila says:

 

atha te sampravakshyami

     tattvanam lakshanam prithak

yad viditva vimucyeta

     purushah prakritir gunaih

 

     "My dear mother, now I shall describe unto you the different categories of the Absolute Truth, knowing which any person can be released from the influence of the modes of material nature."*

 

Sutra 24

 

anadir ananta ca parameshvara-shaktitvat

 

     anadih—without beginning; ananta—without end; ca—and; parameshvara—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; shaktitvat—because of being the potency.

 

     Because it is the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the material nature has neither beginning nor end.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Because it is the potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the material nature has neither beginning nor end. In the Smriti-shastra it is said:

 

prakritim purusham caiva

     viddhy anadi hy ubhav api

 

     "Please know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His material energy are both beginningless."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1) it is said:

 

janmady asya yato 'nvayad itarash cartheshv abhijnah svarat

     tene bhrama hrida ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah

tejo vari-mridam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mrisha

     dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi

 

     "O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance, and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth."*

 

     Although it has neither beginning nor end, matter is situated within the confines of time and space. The author describes this in the foillowing two sutras.

 

Sutra 25

 

kalo narthantaram baddhanam prakriti-sambandha-rupatvat

 

     kalah—time; na—not; artha—category; antaram—another; baddhanam—of they who are bound; prakriti—of matter; sambandha—relationship; rupatvat—because of the nature.

 

     Time is not another major category of existence. It is the intermediary that establishes the relationship between the conditioned souls and the material nature.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Some claim that time is a major category of existence, and they quote the following words of the Markandeya Purana to support their idea:

 

kala-kashthadi-rupena

     parinama-pradayini

 

     "In the form of seconds, minutes, and other parts of its nature, time changes everything in the material world."

 

     The idea that time is a major category of existence is rejected by this sutra. Time is not a major category. It is merely an intermediary who establishes a relationship.

 

     In Shandilya's Bhakti-sutra it is said:

 

cid-acitor na tritiyam

 

     "The major categories are: 1. spirit, and 2. matter. There is no third."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.26.16), Lord Kapila explains:

 

prabhavam paurusham prahuh

     kalam eke yato bhayam

ahankara-vimudhasya

     kartum prakritim iyushah

 

     "The influence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is felt in the time factor, which causes fear of death due to the false ego of the deluded soul who has contacted material nature."*

 

Sutra 26

 

saivadhishthana-rupini desha-samjnita

 

     sa—that; eva—indeed; adhishthana—place; rupini—in the form; desha—place; samjnita—called.

 

     Matter provides a dwelling place for the conditioned souls. This place is called, "the three dimensions of material Ťspace".

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Matter provides a dwelling place for the conditioned souls. This place is called, "the three dimensions of material space". An example of material space is given in these words of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad (4.6-7):

 

samane vrikshe purusho nimagno

     'nishaya shocati muhyamanah

 

     "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."*

 

     The "tree" here is the material dwelling place (the body) of the conditioned soul.

 

     Many philosophers assert that the element earth is the resting-place of the other material elements. This is described in the following words of the Mundaka Upanishad (2.1.3):

 

etasmaj jayate prano

     manah sarvendriyani ca

kham vayur jyotir apah

     prithivi vishvasya dharini

 

     "From the Supreme Personality of Godhead are born life, mind, all the senses, ether, air, fire, and water. All these rest on the element earth."

 

     In a previous mantra (Mundaka Upanishad 2.1.2) it is said:

 

divyo hy amurtah purushah

     sa bahyabhyantaro hy ajah

aprano hy amanah shubhro

     hy aksharat paratah parah

 

     "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is effulgent and transcendental. He is unborn. He is present everywhere in the material world. He is within and without everything. His form is not material. His life-force is not material. His mind is not material. He is supremely glorious. He is greater than the immortal spirit souls."

 

     In the Markandeya Purana it is said:

 

adhara-bhuta jagatas tvam eka

 

     "O material potency of the Lord, you are the resting-place of the entire universe."

 

     In the next sutra the author reveals the many delusions that bewilder the conditioned souls.

 

Sutra 27

 

jade baddhasyananda-bhramo vaikuntha-bhramash casangat

 

     jade—in the material world; baddhasya—of the conditioned soul; ananda—of happiness; bhramah—bewilderment; vaikuntha—of the spiritual world; bhramah—bewilderment; ca—and; asa\ngat—because of attachment.

 

     Because of attachment to inert matter, the conditioned soul is bewildered about happiness and about the spiritual world.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The conditioned soul is bewildered about happiness. Because he is attached to the material world, he thinks he will find happiness in the material world: in Svargaloka, in an excellent material body, or in some other way. Because he is attached to the objects in this material world he is also bewildered about the Supreme Personality of Godhead and about the transcendental abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.10.26), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

rajo-'dhika karma-para

     duhkhe ca sukha-maninah

 

     "In the human race the mode of passion is very prominent. Humans are always busy in the midst of miserable life, but they think themselves happy in all respects."*

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.1.12) Naciketa tells Yamaraja, the lord of death:

 

svarge loke na bhayam kincanasti

     na tatra tvam na jaraya bibheti

ubhe tirtva ashanayapipase

     shokatigo modate svarga-loke

 

     "In the spiritual world there is not fear of old age, or of you, O death. There one crosses beyond both of them. In the spiritual world there is no anxiety to attain food and drink. The residents of the spiritual world enjoy transcendental bliss."

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (1.1.26), Naciketa says:

    

shvo 'bhava martyasya yad antakaitat

     sarvendriyanam jarayanti tejah

api sarvam jivitam alpam eva

     tavaiva bahas tava nritya-gite

 

     "Every human being soon meets his death. Quickly his senses become old and weak. Everyone's life is brief. Your chariots, singing, and dancing will last for only a moment."

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.12) it is said:

 

parikshya lokan karma-citan brahmano

     nirveda-mayan nasty akritah kritena

tad-vijnanartham gurum evabhigacchet

     samit-panih shrotriyam brahma-nishtham

 

     "Seeing the true nature of the heavenly material planets attained by pious deeds, a brahmana no longer desires to go there. He becomes renounced and desires to learn the science of transcending the material world.

     "To learn the transcendental subject matter, one must approach a spiritual master. In doing so he should carry fuel to burn in sacrifice. The symptom of such a spiritual master is that he is expert in understanding the Vedic conclusion and therefore he constantly engages in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."*

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.10) it is said:

 

ishta-purtam manyamana varishtham

     nanyac chreyo vedayante pramudhah

nakasya prishthe sukrite 'nubhutva

     imam lokam hinataram va vishanti

 

     "Thinking material pious deeds the best of all actions, and affirming that no other action is better than them, fools go to Svargaloka, enjoy, and then again return to this world or the worlds beneath it."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (2.62-63), the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

 

dhyayate vishayan pumsah

     sangas teshupajayate

sangat sanjayate kamah

     kamat krodho 'bhijayate

 

     "While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.*

 

krodhad bhavati sammohah

     sammohat smriti-vibhramah

smriti-bhramshad buddhi-nasho

     buddhi-nashat pranashyati

 

     "From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool."*

 

     In his commentary on these words, Shri Sha\nkaracarya explains:

 

sarvanarthasya mulam uktam vishayabhidhyanam

 

     "Here it is said that contemplation of sense objects is the root of all that is undesirable."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (4.9), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also declares:

 

janma karma ca me divyam

     evam yo vetti tattvatah

tyaktva deham punar janma

     naiti mam eti so 'rjuna

 

     "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (15.3-4), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also declares:

 

ashvattham enam su-virudha-mulam

     asanga-shastrena dridhena chittva

 

tatah padam tat parimargitavyam

     yasmin gata na nivartanti bhuyah

 

     "The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this tree with the weapon of detachment. So doing one must seek that place from which, having once gone, one never returns."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (15.6), the Supreme Personality of Godhead also declares:

 

na tad bhasayate suryo

     na shashanko na pavakah

yad gatva na nivartante

     tad dhama paramam mama

 

     "That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world."*

 

     Now the author of the sutras will reveal the way the soul can become free from these illusions. The author says:

 

Sutra 28

 

vivekena tato vimuktih

 

     vivekena—by discrimination; tatah—from that; vimuktih—feedom.

 

     Using the intelligence's power of discrimination, one can become free from these illusions.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here the word "tatah" means "from the two previously described illusions", "muktih" means “the individual souls attain freedom", and "vivekena" means "by understanding the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit soul".

 

     In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.12) it is said:

 

atmanam ced vijaniyad

     ayam astiti purushah

kim icchan kasya kamaya

     shariram anusajjate

 

     "If a person knows the true nature of the soul, and if he thinks, `I am spirit', then what will he desire in this material world? How will he become attached to his material body?"

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (2.2.9) it is said:

 

bhidyate hridaya-granthish

     chidyante sarva-samshayah

kshiyante casya karmani

     tasmin drishte paravare

 

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

 

     The wise transcendentalists are described in these words of Bhagavad-gita (4.33 and 39):

 

shreyan dravyamayad yajnaj

     jnana-yajnah parantapa

sarvam karmakhilam partha

     jnane parisamapyate

 

     "O chastiser of the enemy, the sacrifice of knowledge is greater than the sacrifice of material possessions. O son of Pritha, after all, the sacrifice of work culminates in transcendental knowledge."*

 

shraddhaval labhate jnanam

     mat-parah samyatendriyah

jnanam labdhvaparam shantim

     acirenadhigacchati

 

     "A faithful man who is absorbed in transcendental knowledge, and who subdues his senses, quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace."*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (16.16 and 16.21) the Lord also declares:

 

aneka-citta-vibhranta

     moha-jala-samavritah

prasaktah kama-bhogeshu

     patanti narake 'sucau

 

     "Thus perplexed by various anxieties and bound by a network of illusions, one becomes too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and falls down into hell."*

 

tri-vidham narakasyedam

     dvaram nashanam atmanah

kamah krodhas tatha lobhas

     tasmad etat trayam tyajet

 

     "There are three gates leading to this hell: lust, anger, and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul."*

 

     In the Bhagavad-gita (7.16), the Lord also declares:

 

catur-vidha bhajante mam

     janah sukritino 'rjuna

arto jijnasur artharthi

     jnani ca bharatarshabha

 

     "O best among the Bharatas (Arjuna), four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me: the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.8.25), Queen Kunti tells Lord Krishna:

 

vipadah santu tah shashvat

     tatra tatra jagat-pate

bhavato darshanam yat syad

     apunar-bhava-darshanam

 

     "I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths."*

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra, Second Night, Second Chapter, it is said:

 

shri-krishna-bhakta-sangena

     bhaktir bhavati naishthiki

animitta ca sukhada

     hari-dasya-prada shubha

 

     "By associating with the devotees of Shri Krishna, one attains unwavering, unmotivated, blissful devotional service, service that eventually allows one to serve Lord Krishna directly.

 

yatha vrksha-latanam ca

     navinah komalankurah

vardhate megha-varshena

     shushkah surya-karena ca

 

tathaiva bhaktalapena

     bhakti-vrksha-navankurah

vardhate shushkatam yati

     cabhaktalapa-matratah

 

     "As a tender new sprout on vines or trees grows with the rains and withers with the scorching sunshine, so a new sprout on the tree of devotional service grows by conversing with devotees and withers by conversing with non-devotees."

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (4.34), the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

tad viddhi pranipatena

     pariprashnena sevaya

upadekshyanti te jnanam

     jnaninas tattva-darshinah

 

     "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (7.3), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again says:

 

manusyanam sahasreshu

     kashcid yatati siddhaye

yatatam api siddhanam

     kashcin mam vetti tattvatah

 

     "Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and out of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (7.19), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again says:

 

bahunam janmanam ante

     jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti

     sa mahatma su-durlabhah

 

     "After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."*

 

Sutra 29

 

na ca prakrita-vad indriya-grahyatvam vaikunthasyadhokshajatvat

 

     na—not; ca—and; prakrita—the material world; vat—like; indriya—by the material senses; grahyatvamto be grasped; vaikunthasya—of the spiritual world; adhokshajatvat—because of being beyond the perception of the material senses.

 

     The material senses can perceive the material world, but they cannot perceive the spiritual world in the same way, for that world is beyond their ability to know.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     Here someone may protest: Do not the scriptures say, "vaikuntham tad-adhishthanam drashtum te munayo gatah" (Many sages have gone to see the spiritual world)? Many devarshis, brahmarshis, and other great souls have gone to the spiritual world, seen the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and returned to this world to describe what they have seen. Why have you spoken these mistaken words that will bewilder all who hear them?

 

     To refute this protest, the author of the sutras begins this passage beginning with sutra 29.

 

     The Supreme Personality of Godhead and His spiritual world cannot be perceived by the material senses in the same way the material world is perceived by them. this is so because the spiritual world is beyond the knowledge of the material senses (adhokshaja). That is the meaning. The idea that the spiritual world can be seen by material senses is an idea created by the illusory energy of the Lord. In truth the spiritual world is beyond the perception of the material senses. In the scriptures it is said:

 

vaikunthah kalpito yena

     loko loka-namaskritah

 

     "The spiritual world of Vaikuntha is worshiped by all the worlds."

 

     No one returns from the spiritual world. This is described in Bhagavad-gita (15.6), where the Supreme Personality of Godhead says:

 

tad gatva na nivartante

     tad dhama paramam mama

 

     "One who reaches My abode never returns to this material world."*

 

     In Bhagavad-gita (8.16), the Supreme Personality of Godhead again says:

 

mam upetya tu kaunteya

     punar janma na vidyate

 

     "One who attains My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again."*

 

     In the Tattiriya Upanishad (2.4.1) it is said:

 

yato vaco nivartante

 

     "The descriptive power of speech fails in the realm of the Absolute Truth."*

 

     It is also said:

 

tatra sattvam nirmalatvat

     prakasha-kamanamayam

 

     "The spiritual world is made of pure goodness. There every desire is at once fulfilled."

 

     It is also said:

 

vaikunthah kalpito yena

     loko loka-namaskritah

 

     "The spiritual world of Vaikuntha is worshiped by all the worlds."

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra, Lord Sadashiva explains:

 

goloko nitya-vaikuntho

     yathakasho yatha dishah

 

     "The eternal spiritual world of Goloka is situated in the spiritual sky."

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.9-11) the following description of Brahma's vision of Vaikuntha is given:

 

tasmai sva-lokam bhagavan sabhajitah

     sandarshayam asa param na yat-padam

vyapeta-sanklesa-vimoha-sadhvasam

     sva-drishtavadbhih purushair abhishtutam

 

     "The Personality of Godhead, being thus very much satisfied with the penance of Lord Brahma, was pleased to manifest His personal abode, Vaikuntha, the supreme planet above all others. This transcendental abode of the Lord is adored by all self-realized persons freed from all kinds of miseries and fear of illusory existence.*

 

pravartate yatra rajas tamas tayoh

     sattvam ca mishram na ca kala-vikramah

na yatra maya kim utapare harer

     anuvrata yatra surasurarcitah

 

     "In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any Ťof their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory, external energy. It cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and demons worship the Lord as devotees.

 

tad-darshanahlada-pariplutantaro

     hrishyat-tanuh prema-bharashru-locanah

nanama padambujam asya vishva-shrig

     yat-paramahamsyena pathadhigamyate

 

     "The inhabitants of the Vaikuntha planets are described as having a glowing sky-bluish complexion. Their eyes resemble lotus flowers, their dress is of yellowish color, and their bodily features are very attractive. They are just the age of growing youths, they all have four hands, they are all nicely decorated with pearl necklaces with ornamental medallions, and they all appear to be effulgent."*

 

     In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.2), the demigod Brahma, now freed from illusion, speaks the following prayer:

 

asyapi deva vapusho mad-anugrahasya

     svecchamayasya na tu bhuta-mayasya ko 'pi

neshe mahi tv avasitum manasantarena

     sakshat tavaiva kim utatma-sukhanubhuteh

 

     "My dear Lord, neither I nor anyone else can estimate the potency of this transcendental body of Yours, which has shown such mercy to me and which appears just to fulfill the desires of Your pure devotees. Although my mind is completely withdrawn from material affairs, I cannot understand Your personal form. How, then, could I understand the happiness You experience within Yourself."***

 

     In the Mundaka Upanishad (2.2.9) it is said:

 

hiranmaye pare koshe

     virajam brahma nishkalam

tac chubhram jyotisham jyotis

     tad yad atma-vido viduh

 

     "The self-realized souls know that the spiritual world is effulgent, pure, glorious, and never touched by matter."

 

     Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quoted these words of Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.11):

 

vadanti tat tattva-vidas

     tattvam yaj jnanam advayam

brahmeti paramatmeti

     bhagavan iti shabdyate

 

     "Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call the non-dual substance Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan."*

 

     In the Narada-pancaratra it is said:

 

jyotir-abhyantare rupam

     atulam shyamasundaram

 

     "In the midst of the spiritual world's splendor resides the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His peerless form dark and handsome."

 

     In the Brahma-samhita (5.1) it is said:

 

ishvarah paramah krishnah

     sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah

anadir adir govindah

     sarva-karana-karanam

 

     "Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."*

 

     In the Isha Upanishad (mantra 8) it is said:

 

sa-paryagac chukram akayam avranam

     ashnaviram shuddham apapa-viddham

kavir manishi paribhuh svayambhur

     yathathyato 'rthan vyadadhac chashvatibhyah samabhyah

 

     "Such a person must factually know the greatest of all, who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure, and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient philosopher, who has been fulfilling everyone's desires since time immemorial."*

 

     In the Brahmanda Purana, the demigods offer these prayers glorifying Lord Krishna, who stays in Shri Radha's heart:

 

sad eva saumyedam agra

     asin madhyandino jaguh

tvam hi tat paramam brahma

     tubhyam nityam namo namah

 

     "You are the Supreme Brahman, whom the Madhyandina recension of the Veda glorifies with the words `sad eva saumyedam agra asit'. We offer our obeisances to You again and again.

 

dve vidye veditavye ca

     shabda-brahma param ca yat

tat tvam hi shabda-paramam

     brahma tasmai nata vayam

 

     "The Vedas glorify You with the words, `dve vidye veditavye'. You are the Supreme Brahman described in the Vedas. We offer our obeisances to You again and again.

 

ekam evadvitiyam yad

     brihad-aranyako 'bravit

tad ekam brahma tvam deva

     tasmai nityam namo namah

 

     "The Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad describes You with the words, `ekam evadvitiyam'. You are the Supreme Brahman described in the Vedas. We offer our obeisances to You again and again.

 

eko vai purusho yo hi

     nityam sad-asad-atmakam

shruti-dvayasya vishayam

     tvam naumi purusho 'vyayam

 

     "The Vedas glorify You with the words, `eko vai purushah'. You are the imperishable Supreme Person described in the Vedas. We offer our obeisances to You again and again."

 

Sutra 30

 

indriyani tad-vishayas taj-jata-bhavash ca manasa saha prakritash cid-upadhitvaj janyatvac ca

 

     indriyani—senses; tad-vishayah—their field of perception; taj-jata-bhavash—what is borhn from them; ca—and; manasa—with the mind; saha—with; prakritash—material; cit—of the consciousness; upadhitvat—because of material designations; janyatvat—because of having been created; ca—and.

 

     The senses and mind, what they perceive, and the results produced by their acts of perception, are all material, for these are all created within the material world and they are all the result of the soul's misidentifying itself as a material body.

 

Commentary by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

 

     The word "indriyani" here refers to both the knowledge-acquiring senses and the working senses. What the knowledge-acquiring senses perceive is form, taste, smell, sound, and touch. What the working senses do is the five actions, which begin with walking. The results produced by their acts of perception are the mind's activity of accepting some things and rejecting others. All these are material, for they are all created within the material world and they are all the result of the soul's misidentifying itself as a material body. In the Upanishads it is said:

 

evam etasmad atmanah sarve pranah sarvendriyaniti tan mano 'shrijata

 

     "From the Supreme all the life-airs and all the senses were created. Then He created the mind."

 

     In the Katha Upanishad (2.3.7-8) it is said:

 

indriyebhyah para hy artha

     arthebhyash ca param manah

manasas tui para buddhir

     buddher atma mahan parah

 

     "Higher than the senses are the sense-objects. Higher then the sense-objects is the mind. Higher than the mind is the intelligence. Higher than the intelligence is the soul. Higher than the soul is the mahat-tattva.

 

mahatah param avyaktam

     avyaktat purushah parah

purushan na param kincit

     sa kashtha sa para gatih

 

     "Higher than the mahat-tattva is the unmanifested. Higher than the unmanifested is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing is higher than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the highest. He is the supreme destination."