ISKCON Press


Bhagavad-gītā 8.20–22

Type:
Bhagavad-gītā
Date:
November 18
Year:
1966
Place:
New York

Prabhupāda:

paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ‘nyo
‘vyakto ‘vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
naśyatsu na vinaśyati
[Bg. 8.20]

Now, this verse we have been discussing from the last day. There is another nature, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ. Bhāva means nature, and para, para means superior. So there is another, superior nature, avyaktaḥ avyaktāt sanātanaḥ. Vyakta means what you see manifested. Now, this material universe you are seeing manifested… Practically not seeing, but at least at night we can see how the stars are twinkling, so many planets innumerable. This is manifested. And beyond that manifestation there is covering of the universe. Vyakta-avyakta. And beyond that avyakta there is another, material nature, er, spiritual nature…

So Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that, that nature… Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ‘nyo ‘vyakto ‘vyaktāt sanātanaḥ. Sanātana means eternal. This nature, this material nature, it has got its beginning and end. But that spiritual nature, that has no beginning and no end. How it is? You can understand by simple example. Just like this sky, and in some insignificant part of the sky there is some cloud, and the cloud covers us. When there is cloud or snowfall we see everything is covered. But that covering is only an insignificant part of the whole sky. That covering is not for the whole sky. Because we are very minute, small, so a few hundred miles, if it is covered, this sky, we see that everything is covered. Similarly, this material sky is within the covering, with the covering of mahat-tattva, matter. And as this cloud, when it is clear, the original sky you can see, similarly, this covering of material matter, when it begins… Just like cloud has beginning and end, similarly, this material nature has beginning and end. Just like your body. It has got its beginning and end—simply for some time. We get our birth of this body, we stay for some time, it grows, it gives some by-products, then it dwindles, then vanishes—these six transformations. So similarly, anything material, manifestation that you are seeing, observing, that is under these six kinds of transformation. So at the end it will be vanquished.

So Kṛṣṇa says, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyo ‘vyakto ‘vyaktāt sanātanaḥ: [Bg. 8.20] “Beyond this vanquishing, cloudlike material nature, there is another superior nature which is sanātana, eternal. It has no beginning, no end.” And yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati: “When this material manifestation will be annihilated, that will remain.” Just like the cloud, when it is vanquished, when it is annihilated, the sky remains, similarly, spiritual sky will remain; the material covering of the spiritual sky will be vanquished. This is called ghaṭākāśa-poṭākāśa.

So there are many volumes of knowledge of this material sky and spiritual sky. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Second Canto, you will find description of the spiritual sky, what nature it is, what kind of people remain there, what is their feature—everything. Even we get information that in spiritual sky there is aeroplane, spiritual aeroplane in the spiritual sky. And the living entities, they are liberated. They travel on the spiritual sky on that plane, and it is so nice, just like lightning. The description is… They travel just like lightning. So everything is there. This is only imitation. This material sky and everything, whatever you see—all imitation, shadow. It is shadow. Just like in cinematographic picture you see the shadow of the real thing behind, similarly, this is only shadow. And in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñaḥ svarāṭ, yatra tri-sargo ‘mṛṣā [SB 1.1.1]. This material world is a combination of matter. Just like you have seen a nice girl’s doll in the showcase of the shopkeeper’s exactly just like a nice, beautiful girl. But that is imitation. Imitation. Every sane man knows, “Oh, this is imitation.”

So whatever we are seeing here, beautiful, they are all imitation of the real. As the doll is imitation of a beautiful girl, similarly, yasya satyatayā nityāpi satyam eva abhipadyate. Śrīdhara Svāmī says, “Because the spiritual world is real and this unreal manifestation appears to be real, appears to be real, but it is not real, we can understand reality will exist; reality will not vanquish.” That is… Reality means eternal. Therefore real pleasure, that is Kṛṣṇa. The material pleasure is temporary, not actual. Therefore those who are after reality, they don’t take part in this shadow pleasure. Shadow pleasure, they don’t take part. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says that yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati. That is reality. “When everything will be vanquished, that spiritual nature will continue to remain.” That remains always.

So our aim is, the human life’s aim is, to reach that spiritual sky, but they do not know. Bhāgavata says, na te viduḥ: “They do not know that there is reality.” There is reality. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know their self-interest, that this human life is meant for understanding that reality and prepare for being transferred into that real reality, not to remain. The whole Vedic literatures instructs us like that. Tamasi mā jyotir gama: “Don’t remain in this darkness.” This material world is darkness. We are artificially making it illuminated with electric light and fire and so many things, but the nature is dark. But that nature, that spiritual nature, is not dark. That is full of light. Just like the sun planet, there is no possibility of darkness, similarly, every planet there, they are self-illuminated, so there is no darkness. This description we’ll get from Bhagavad-gītā:

na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
[Bg. 15.6]

Lord Kṛṣṇa says, “Oh, that spiritual sky, there is no need of sun; there is no need of moon; there is no need of electricity.” Na tad bhāsayate sūryaḥ. Sūrya means sun. Na śaśāṅkaḥ: “Neither moon.” Na pāvakaḥ. Pāvakaḥ means fire, electricity. These things are not required there. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama: [Bg. 15.6] “That is My abode. Anyone who goes there, he doesn’t come back again.” We get eternal life.

So Kṛṣṇa says, avyakto ‘kṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim [Bg. 8.21]. That nonmanifested… Because in the material eyes, material science… It is not possible to, I mean to say, disclose by material science. What is material science? We cannot go even to this moon planet, what to speak of the spiritual planet. It is not possible. It is not possible. So avyakto ‘kṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim. That is the… If we want to penetrate the outer space, we should be able to penetrate this outer space or this covering, then enter into that spiritual sky, and there it is called paramāṁ gatim. That sort of journey is called supreme. Not that you go up 25,000 away from this planet and again come back. This is not very heroism. Oh, you should have to penetrate the whole material space and then penetrate the cover and then reach the real sky. Yes. And that information is here also in the Bhagavad-gītā. Paramāṁ gatim. That is the superior journey. That you cannot do with your tiny sputniks. It is not possible. That you have to do by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ [Bg. 8.6]. One who always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if by fortune at the time of death he thinks of Kṛṣṇa, he is at once transferred within a second. That is the process.

Therefore if we at all want to go, that spiritual sky, and attain real life, eternal life, blissful life, and full of knowledge, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ… Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. The Lord has got this body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. We have also that sort of body, but it is very small. Now it is covered by this matter, by this dress, and if we some way or other able to give up this false dress, then we reach that spiritual kingdom, God’s kingdom. That is paramāṁ gatim. Yaṁ prāpya: “If you can reach there, if you can achieve that perfection,” yaṁ prāpya na nivartante, “if at once you go, you cannot…, no more to come back. No more to come back.” Yaṁ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama: “That is My superior abode.”

So everyone should try to go there. God Himself comes to call you, He sends His son to call you, and the literatures are there, the scriptures are there. We should take advantage of this. This is meant for human body, human life, not for the cats and dogs. So we should take advantage of it. Human life is meant for that achievement. When we finish all this trouble… This trouble of repeating birth and death, the cycle of birth and death, this should be stopped. This is the information of Bhagavad-gītā. This is the perfection. Any system, either yoga system or jñāna system or bhakti system—anything, if you… Whatever you like, you can accept, but the ultimate goal is this paramāṁ gatim. If this is not achieved, then all yoga exercise and all philosophical speculation—all nonsense, simply waste of time, simply a waste of time. Ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim. If you can achieve this stage, that there is no other necessity of philosophizing or yogic practice or anything, if you receive that, if you reach that perfection. And if you do not reach that perfection, then it is all useless.

So ārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim. Nārādhito yadi haris tapasā tataḥ kim: [Nārada Pañcarātra] “One who reaches there, for him, all kinds of penances, austerities—no more required. And one who does not reach that place, all these austerities, penances—useless, simply waste of time.” So this should be the aim of human life. Human civilization, human society, should be so formed that they should have the opportunity. The human form of life is the opportunity to get this boon. So it is the duty of the state, duty of the parents, duty of the guardians, duty of the husband, duty of the father—everyone’s duty is how to elevate a living creature who has got this fortunate human form of life to understand this paramāṁ gatim, highest perfection of life. That should be the mode of thing. Simply have some eating and sleeping and mating and some defense and quarreling like cats and dogs—this is not civilization. The human civilization is this, that he should properly utilize this human form of life and take advantage of this knowledge and prepare himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that always, twenty-four hours, cent percent, he will be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa and at the time of death at once transferred there. This should be the process of life. Therefore we have taken this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Join us. Cooperate with us. You’ll… Yourself will be benefited, and the world will be benefited, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So yaṁ prāpya na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. The Lord says, “That superior place, superior nature, if somebody can go there, then he has no more to come back here. He gets the highest perfection of life.” Now, if there… What is there? What is the nature and what are the paraphernalia? Now, here it is said, puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā. Now, if we are at all interested to reach that supreme abode, then the process is bhakti. Bhaktyā. Bhaktyā means devotional service, submission, submission to the Supreme Lord. Bhaktyā means bhaja. It is a Sanskrit word. The root meaning is bhaja-dhātūkti. Bhaja. Bhaja means service. So bhaja-dhātūkti bhakti, bhaktyā.

Here it is clearly said, puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā. Tv ananyayā means “without any other engagement.” Bhakti means… The definition of bhakti, devotional service, is given in authoritative books like Nārada Pañcarātra. It is said there that… This is the definition of bhakti: sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Now we are encumbered with so many designations, designation. This body is Indian—it is a designation. Your body, American—it is a designation. You are not this body, not this designation. Suppose if your university gives you one degree, M.A. or B.A., Ph.D., oh, that degree you are not. It is a designation. So bhakti means you have to get yourself from this designation. Designation. Sarva upādhi. Upādhi means designation. So somebody, if gives me title, Sir Anatole, or this or that, oh, I become very happy: “Oh, I have got this ‘sir’ title.” But I forget that this is my designation. It will exist so long I have got this body. But the body is sure to vanquish, so designation will vanquish. When you get another body, then you get another designation. Suppose in this body I am American and next body you get China. Then you become Chinese designation. So we are changing our designation. We should stop this business of designation. You see? So sarvopādhi-vinir… If one is determined to get out of all these nonsense designations, then he can attain bhakti.

So sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Nirmalam means complete pure. What is that purity? “Oh, I am spirit. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. I am Brahman. I am Brahman. I am not this matter. This is my covering. I am now eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is my real identity.” So one who is freed from the designation and situated in his real constitutional position, that person, when he is fixed up, when he renders service in that way, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Hṛṣīkeṇa. Hṛṣīka means the senses. Now my senses are designated. When my senses will be free from designation and with that freedom, with that freedom, in that purity, when I shall engage in Kṛṣṇa consciousness service, that is called devotional service. So,

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

This is explained by Rūpa Gosvāmī. He says,

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
[Brs. 1.1.11]

Ānukūlyena, favorable. We have to serve Kṛṣṇa favorably, not unfavorably. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam. We want to serve God with some material purpose, some material gain. Of course, that is also nice. If somebody goes to God for some material gain, he is far greater than the person who never goes to God. That is admitted in the Bhagavad-gītā. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino ‘rjuna, ārto arthārthī. That is a better man. But we should not be… We should not go to God with some purpose of material benefit. We should be free from this. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. And jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam. Jñāna-karma. Karma means work with some fruitive result. “I am working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness just to get some profit out of it”—no, this should not be done. And jñāna. Jñāna means I am trying to understand Kṛṣṇa. Of course, we shall try to understand Kṛṣṇa, but God, or Kṛṣṇa, is so unlimited, we cannot actually understand. We cannot understand. It is not possible for us. Therefore we have to accept whatever we can understand. Just like this Bhagavad-gītā is presented for our understanding. We should so far understand.

So jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam, ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Anuśīlanam, culture of Kṛṣṇa favorably, that Kṛṣṇa, how Kṛṣṇa is pleased, we should do like that. We should know how Kṛṣṇa is pleased. How you can know? The Bhagavad-gītā is there, and take the right interpretation from a right person. Then you’ll know what Kṛṣṇa wants and do accordingly. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā. Then you are elevated to the first-class devotional service. You see? First-class devotional service. Everything should be anukūla. Anukūla means favorable.

So these things are there. It is a great science, and we have got immense literature for this. If we have got time, we can utilize. We can understand this science and prepare ourself for the supreme benefit.

So puruṣa… So in that spiritual planet, puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha, there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the spiritual planet there are… Just like you see here millions of planets or stars within this universe. This universe is a small particle only. There are many universes like this. And in the spiritual sky there are three… This is only one-fourth manifestation of the planets. There are other. Three-fourth is there in the spiritual sky. That information is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Ekāṁśena sthito jagat [Bg. 10.42]. So each and every spiritual planet, there is expansion of Kṛṣṇa, and they are differently named. In that picture we will find, our Bhāgavata. Innumerable. So puruṣa. They are all puruṣa. Puruṣa means the person. They are not imperson. Puruṣa. Puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ. But superior. Puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha bhaktyā labhyaḥ. You can approach that puruṣa simply by devotional service, not by challenge, not by philosophical speculation or not by exercise of this yoga and that yoga. No. Simply by surrender and devotional service. It is clearly stated. It is not stated that you can reach there by philosophical speculation, mental concoction or by some physical exercise. This is not possible. You have to reach there bhaktyā, by devotion, ananyayā, ananya-cetāḥ, without deviation to this karma, fruitive activities, or the philosophical speculation or this exercise. No. Simply, simply this devotional service, unalloyed devotional service without any mixture. If you can adopt that, then…

And how is that puruṣa? Yasya antaḥsthāni bhūtāni yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. He is such a puruṣa, He is such a person, that everything, whatever you see, is within Him, and He is without, all-pervading. He has got such energy. How it is, that? Just like the sun is fixed up in one place located, but the sun rays is, all over the universe is distributed, similarly, although God is there, still, His energy is distributed everywhere. And He is not different from His energy. Just like the sunshine and the sun is not different, the same, same illuminating substance, similarly, He is distributed all over by His energies, different energies, and He is not different from His energy. Just like if there is electric energy, you can light up any lamp from anywhere, similarly, if we are progressive, if we are advanced in devotional service, we can see God everywhere, anywhere. We require to be qualified. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. Those who developed that love of God, they are constantly, twenty-four hours, seeing God before him. Santaḥ sadaiva. Sadaiva means twenty-four hours, constantly. Not that “Oh, I have seen God yesterday night. Now He is not.” No. He is always with you. God is everywhere. You can see Kṛṣṇa everywhere. But we have to develop that eyes.

So these are the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We should invite you to come and cooperate with us. This is a great science. And let us take advantage of it.

Thank you very much. Now, if there is a question, you can put it. [end]

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