ISKCON Press


Bhagavad-gītā 8.21–22

Type:
Bhagavad-gītā
Date:
November 19
Year:
1966
Place:
New York

Prabhupāda:

avyakto ‘kṣara ity uktas
tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim
yaṁ prāpya na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
Bg 8.21

This verse we have been discussing last day, that avyaktaḥ akṣaraḥ. Avyakta means which is not manifested. This material world is manifested, but the spiritual world is not manifested before us. But, although not manifested, that part of this creation is eternal. Akṣara. Akṣara means “which has no annihilation.” In the material world everything is born, it stays for some time, it develops, it gives some by-products, then it dwindles and then vanishes. These six forms of changes of the material form—ṣaḍ-vikāra. This is called in Sanskrit word ṣaḍ-vikāra, six kinds of changes. But the spiritual world, avyakta, which is not manifested at the present moment before us, that is akṣara. Akṣara means it is eternal. It does not annihilate.

Now, this spiritual vision at the present moment, because we are covered by the material dress, or material senses, therefore the spiritual world or anything spiritual is not conceivable due to our material senses. But we can feel that there is something spiritual. That is possible. Although we are fully in ignorance of the spiritual matter, still, we can feel. If you analyze yourself silently, “What I am? I am this finger? I am this body? I am this hair?” you’ll deny, “No I am not this.” So beyond this body, what is, that is spiritual. That we can feel. Similarly, as we cannot find our self within this matter, although I’m here, that we can distinguish, the distinction between dead body and living body, something minus. That something is spirit. That something is spirit. Although we have no eyes to see, but the spirit is there. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Avināśi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. That spiritual existence is eternal, whereas this body is not eternal.

Now, here it is said that avyaktaḥ akṣaraḥ: “That nonmanifested, spiritual atmosphere is nonmanifested.” But how it can be manifested? We have little feeling of it, but how it can be manifested? Yes. It can be manifested. And that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which we are preaching. In the Vedic literature it is said that ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ.1) Indriya means the senses. We perceive or we get knowledge through the instruments of different senses—eyes, ear, or smelling, tongue, touch. These are our five sense for gathering knowledge. And there are five senses for working. So we have got ten senses. And the ten senses are being conducted by the mind. So ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ.

Now, because Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is complete spirit and He’s absolute, therefore His name is also spirit; His name, His form, His quality, His, I mean to say, opulence, His paraphernalia—everything is spiritual. But at the present moment, due to our material bondage or condition, we cannot understand what is spiritual. But this ignorance can be moved by this process, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. How it is? I’ll give you example. Just like a man is sleeping. A man is sleeping. How you can awake him? By vibration of sound. “Mr. such-and-such, just get up. Get up! The time is up.” Although he is now practically unconscious, he cannot see, he cannot, er, still, that hearing process is so prominent that a sleeping man can be awakened by vibration of sound. Similarly, the spirit soul, although it is now overpowered by this material bondage or material conditions, that spiritual consciousness can be revived by this transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And for practical example, we are experiencing, and some of you…

Now, this is Sanskrit word. Some of you do not know what is the meaning of this Hare Kṛṣṇa. This meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa is… It is just addressing the Supreme Lord and His energy, Harā. Harā is the energy, and Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. So we are addressing, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa: “O the energy of the Lord, O the Lord, please accept me.” That’s all. “Please accept me.” We have no other prayer. “Please accept me.” Lord Caitanya taught that we should simply cry, and we shall simply pray for accepting us. That’s all. So this vibration is simply a cry for addressing the Supreme Lord, requesting Him, “Please accept me. Please accept me.”

ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya
Cc. Antya 20.32, Śikṣāṣṭaka 5

This prayer was offered by Lord Caitanya. He’s praying, “O my dear Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda…” Kṛṣṇa appeared as a foster son of Nanda Mahārāja. And Kṛṣṇa is very delighted when He is connected with some of His devotees’ names. So Lord Caitanya addresses Him, “O the son of Nanda, somehow or other, I have now fallen in this ocean of nescience, ignorance. Please pick me up and fix me as one of the atoms of Your lotus feet.” That’s all. Just like a man fallen in the ocean, the only survival is… If somebody goes and picks him just one inch above the water, he feels immediately relieved. Immediately. So as soon as we are fixed up in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the immediate relief. Immediately. There is no question about it. It is such a nice thing.

So although we cannot perceive the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord, His name, His fame… Simply by speculating that what is the name of God, he cannot understand what is the name of God. Simply by speculating what is the form of God, it is not possible to understand. But as soon as you become situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ.2) If you engage yourself in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, then gradually God will reveal Himself before you. Oh, you cannot see God by your own endeavor. But if you qualify yourself, God will reveal Himself and you’ll see Him. This is the process. You cannot order, “O God, please come before me and dance before me.” No. He cannot be order-supplier. But you have to do in such a way that He’ll be pleased to reveal Himself before you and you’ll see Him fully.

So here it is said, avyaktaḥ akṣaraḥ. The transcendental, there is. Because it is spoken in the Bhagavad-gītā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking Himself, there is no cause of doubting. There is no cause of doubting. The only thing is how to feel it, how to understand it. That understanding will gradually be developed, and it will be…, the truth will be revealed to you if you go on with this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma… This is simple process, very simple process. Even children can take part in it. Even a child of six months took part in it. Perhaps in the last meeting you have seen. There was a small child, sitting on the lap of his father, and he was also [claps] joining. You see. Because automatic. A dog will dance, a cat will dance, a child will dance. There is no necessity of preliminary qualification for understanding, because it is from the spiritual platform. It is from the spiritual platform.

So this simple process will reveal before you what is spiritual kingdom, what is God, what you are, what is this material world, why you are conditioned, what is the remedy. Everything will be… Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam.3) Gradually, step by step by step by step.

So avyakto ‘kṣara ity uktaḥ: “It is in the Vedic literature it is said that that spiritual world and the spirit, everything is nonmanifested, but still, that is eternal, eternal.” We have to see through the books of knowledge. We have to believe. And it will be revealed, if you follow. Just like you purchase a ticket for going to India, some India Airline or Pan American Airline, you purchase. But why do you purchase? You can disbelieve. So what is the evidence that I shall go to India by purchasing the ticket? But still, with faith, because people are going there, the company’s running, under certain circumstances, you create some faith, “Yes, it will take me.” And actually, when you purchase ticket and sit down on the plane, ah, next morning you get down. So you have to be… But faith, why you are accepting that faith? Because it is a company which is authorized, which is recognized, and therefore you are creating faith. Faith you must have. Without faith, you cannot go a step forward, even in your ordinary life. But faith, what faith? Ah, the belief and faith should be in the authorized, authorized place. That is the process. Faith we must have. Without faith, we cannot make progress, but not blind faith, but to accept something which is recognized.

So here Bhagavad-gītā is recognized. Bhagavad-gītā is recognized, so far India is concerned, cent percent. Either they may be theist or atheist, that doesn’t matter. Bhagavad-gītā is accepted by all classes of men in India. And so far outside India is concerned, all scholars, all religionists, all philosophers, they have accepted this Bhagavad-gītā as authority. So there is no doubt about Bhagavad-gītā’s being authority. Even Professor Einstein, he was reading regularly this Bhagavad-gītā, such a great scientist. So there are many evidences. So you believe this, that there is a spiritual atmosphere and that is the kingdom of God. And here it is stated that yaṁ prāpya na nivartante, if you somehow or other, you can reach that spiritual atmosphere, then the result is na nivartante, you’ll have no more to take this material body, na nivartante. Tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. So you’ll become quietly and happily situated in your eternal life. Don’t you think?

Now, suppose if you are placed in some country where you can understand that “In this country I’ll have no more death, no more miseries, no more old age, no more disease,” will you not be happy? Suppose you are transferred to a country where these things are available… Oh, yes, I shall, I must be happy. If I can get some place where going I’ll have not to die again or not to become old and not to have any diseases, oh, certainly I shall accept it. That is my desire, heart’s desire. I want. I want that. Why you want that? Because you have got the right to have that prerogative. You have got the right. Therefore you want. You are eternal. You are blissful. You are full of knowledge. Simply you are covered by this material entanglement. Therefore you have forgotten yourself. Now, here is the chance. Here is the chance to take advantage and revive my original status of life, original status of life. Here it is clearly said, yaṁ prāpya na nivartante: “If you somehow or other can approach that spiritual atmosphere, then you haven’t got to return again in this land of miseries of the atmosphere.”

We have already discussed that we are trying to become happy by transferring ourself to the moon planet. Now the present movement is going there. We are thinking that if we can transfer ourself to the moon planet, we shall be happy. Oh, it is useless. Bhagavad-gītā has already informed you that even if you go to the highest planet, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino ‘rjuna [Bg. 8.16], even if you go by some way or other… You cannot go. That is a dream only. But still, if you go by your sputnik or by aeronautic means, but still, the four principles of material miseries, namely birth, death, old age and disease, you cannot avoid. So it is not our business to have our place anywhere within this material world. Either this country or that country or this planet or that planet, you’ll never be happy. Here is information. Avyaktaḥ akṣara ity uktas tam āhuḥ paramāṁ gatim. If you can reach that highest perfectional stage of life, then only you’ll no longer be required to come back again to this nonsense material world. Yes. This is the information you get.

And where you shall do, what you shall do there? Some philosophers think that that spiritual atmosphere must be impersonal, impersonal, void. There are some philosophers, they think like that, that “There is. We accept the spiritual atmosphere.” The impersonalists, Śaṅkarites, even the Buddhists, they also, some way or other, they accept that there is the voidness. But the Bhagavad-gītā does not disappoint you in that way. That voidness philosophy has created atheism. Because, just try to understand clearly, I am spiritual being. I want enjoyment. That is my life. I want enjoyment. But as soon as my future is void, I must be inclined to enjoy this material life. Therefore they simply

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