Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 3 Chapter 27
Understanding Material Nature
prakṛti-stho ’pi puruṣo
nājyate prākṛtair guṇaiḥ
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Personality of Godhead said; prakṛti-sthaḥ — residing in the material body; api — although; puruṣaḥ — the living entity; na — not; ajyate — is affected; prākṛtaiḥ — of material nature; guṇaiḥ — by the modes; avikārāt — from being without change; akartṛtvāt — by freedom from proprietorship; nirguṇatvāt — from being unaffected by the qualities of material nature; jala — on water; arkavat — like the sun.
The Personality of Godhead Kapila continued: When the living entity is thus unaffected by the modes of material nature, because he is unchanging and does not claim proprietorship, he remains apart from the reactions of the modes, although abiding in a material body, just as the sun remains aloof from its reflection on water.
sa eṣa yarhi prakṛter
saḥ — that very living entity; eṣaḥ — this; yarhi — when; prakṛteḥ — of material nature; guṇeṣu — in the modes; abhiviṣajjate — is absorbed; ahaṅkriyā — by false ego; vimūḍha — bewildered; ātmā — the individual soul; kartā — the doer; asmi — I am; iti — thus; abhimanyate — he thinks.
When the soul is under the spell of material nature and false ego, identifying his body as the self, he becomes absorbed in material activities, and by the influence of false ego he thinks that he is the proprietor of everything.
avaśo ’bhyety anirvṛtaḥ
tena — by this; saṁsāra — of repeated birth and death; padavīm — the path; avaśaḥ — helplessly; abhyeti — he undergoes; anirvṛtaḥ — discontented; prāsaṅgikaiḥ — resulting from association with material nature; karma-doṣaiḥ — by faulty actions; sat — good; asat — bad; miśra — mixed; yoniṣu — in different species of life.
The conditioned soul therefore transmigrates into different species of life, higher and lower, because of his association with the modes of material nature. Unless he is relieved of material activities, he has to accept this position because of his faulty work.
arthe hy avidyamāne ’pi
saṁsṛtir na nivartate
dhyāyato viṣayān asya
svapne ’narthāgamo yathā
arthe — real cause; hi — certainly; avidyamāne — not existing; api — although; saṁsṛtiḥ — the material existential condition; na — not; nivartate — does cease; dhyāyataḥ — contemplating; viṣayān — objects of the senses; asya — of the living entity; svapne — in a dream; anartha — of disadvantages; āgamaḥ — arrival; yathā — like.
Actually a living entity is transcendental to material existence, but because of his mentality of lording it over material nature, his material existential condition does not cease, and just as in a dream, he is affected by all sorts of disadvantages.
ata eva śanaiś cittaṁ
prasaktam asatāṁ pathi
viraktyā ca nayed vaśam
ataḥ eva — therefore; śanaiḥ — gradually; cittam — mind, consciousness; prasaktam — attached; asatām — of material enjoyments; pathi — on the path; bhakti-yogena — by devotional service; tīvreṇa — very serious; viraktyā — without attachment; ca — and; nayet — he must bring; vaśam — under control.
It is the duty of every conditioned soul to engage his polluted consciousness, which is now attached to material enjoyment, in very serious devotional service with detachment. Thus his mind and consciousness will be under full control.
mayi bhāvena satyena
yama-ādibhiḥ — beginning with yama; yoga-pathaiḥ — by the yoga system; abhyasan — practicing; śraddhayā anvitaḥ — with great faith; mayi — unto Me; bhāvena — with devotion; satyena — unalloyed; mat-kathā — stories about Me; śravaṇena — by hearing; ca — and.
One has to become faithful by practicing the controlling process of the yoga system and must elevate himself to the platform of unalloyed devotional service by chanting and hearing about Me.
sarva — all; bhūta — living entities; samatvena — by seeing equally; nirvaireṇa — without enmity; aprasaṅgataḥ — without intimate connections; brahma-caryeṇa — by celibacy; maunena — by silence; sva-dharmeṇa — by one’s occupation; balīyasā — by offering the result.
In executing devotional service, one has to see every living entity equally, without enmity towards anyone yet without intimate connections with anyone. One has to observe celibacy, be grave and execute his eternal activities, offering the results to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
santuṣṭo mita-bhuṅ muniḥ
maitraḥ karuṇa ātmavān
yadṛcchayā — without difficulty; upalabdhena — with what is obtained; santuṣṭaḥ — satisfied; mita — little; bhuk — eating; muniḥ — thoughtful; vivikta-śaraṇaḥ — living in a secluded place; śāntaḥ — peaceful; maitraḥ — friendly; karuṇaḥ — compassionate; ātma-vān — self-possessed, self-realized.
For his income a devotee should be satisfied with what he earns without great difficulty. He should not eat more than what is necessary. He should live in a secluded place and always be thoughtful, peaceful, friendly, compassionate and self-realized.
sānubandhe ca dehe ’sminn
prakṛteḥ puruṣasya ca
sa-anubandhe — with bodily relationships; ca — and; dehe — towards the body; asmin — this; akurvan — not doing; asat-āgraham — bodily concept of life; jñānena — through knowledge; dṛṣṭa — having seen; tattvena — the reality; prakṛteḥ — of matter; puruṣasya — of spirit; ca — and.
One’s seeing power should be increased through knowledge of spirit and matter, and one should not unnecessarily identify himself with the body and thus become attracted by bodily relationships.
nivṛtta — transcended; buddhi-avasthānaḥ — the stages of material consciousness; dūrī-bhūta — far off; anya — other; darśanaḥ — conceptions of life; upalabhya — having realized; ātmanā — by his purified intellect; ātmānam — his own self; cakṣuṣā — with his eyes; iva — as; arkam — the sun; ātma-dṛk — the self-realized.
One should be situated in the transcendental position, beyond the stages of material consciousness, and should be aloof from all other conceptions of life. Thus realizing freedom from false ego, one should see his own self just as he sees the sun in the sky.
sato bandhum asac-cakṣuḥ
mukta-liṅgam — transcendental; sat-ābhāsam — manifest as a reflection; asati — in the false ego; pratipadyate — he realizes; sataḥ bandhum — the support of the material cause; asat-cakṣuḥ — the eye (revealer) of the illusory energy; sarva-anusyūtam — entered into everything; advayam — without a second.
A liberated soul realizes the Absolute Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental and who is manifest as a reflection even in the false ego. He is the support of the material cause and He enters into everything. He is absolute, one without a second, and He is the eyes of the illusory energy.
yathā jala-stha ābhāsaḥ
svābhāsena tathā sūryo
jala-sthena divi sthitaḥ
yathā — as; jala-sthaḥ — situated on water; ābhāsaḥ — a reflection; sthala-sthena — situated on the wall; avadṛśyate — is perceived; sva-ābhāsena — by its reflection; tathā — in that way; sūryaḥ — the sun; jala-sthena — situated on the water; divi — in the sky; sthitaḥ — situated.
The presence of the Supreme Lord can be realized just as the sun is realized first as a reflection on water, and again as a second reflection on the wall of a room, although the sun itself is situated in the sky.
svābhāsair lakṣito ’nena
evam — thus; tri-vṛt — the threefold; ahaṅkāraḥ — false ego; bhūta-indriya-manaḥ-mayaiḥ — consisting of body, senses and mind; sva-ābhāsaiḥ — by its own reflections; lakṣitaḥ — is revealed; anena — by this; sat-ābhāsena — by a reflection of Brahman; satya-dṛk — the self-realized soul.
The self-realized soul is thus reflected first in the threefold ego and then in the body, senses and mind.
buddhy-ādiṣv iha nidrayā
līneṣv asati yas tatra
bhūta — the material elements; sūkṣma — the objects of enjoyment; indriya — the material senses; manaḥ — mind; buddhi — intelligence; ādiṣu — and so on; iha — here; nidrayā — by sleep; līneṣu — merged; asati — in the unmanifest; yaḥ — who; tatra — there; vinidraḥ — awake; nirahaṅkriyaḥ — freed from false ego.
Although a devotee appears to be merged in the five material elements, the objects of material enjoyment, the material senses and material mind and intelligence, he is understood to be awake and to be freed from the false ego.
anaṣṭo naṣṭavan mṛṣā
naṣṭe ’haṅkaraṇe draṣṭā
manyamānaḥ — thinking; tadā — then; ātmānam — himself; anaṣṭaḥ — although not lost; naṣṭa-vat — as lost; mṛṣā — falsely; naṣṭe ahaṅkaraṇe — because of the disappearance of the ego; draṣṭā — the seer; naṣṭa-vittaḥ — one who has lost his fortune; iva — like; āturaḥ — distressed.
The living entity can vividly feel his existence as the seer, but because of the disappearance of the ego during the state of deep sleep, he falsely takes himself to be lost, like a man who has lost his fortune and feels distressed, thinking himself to be lost.
yo ’vasthānam anugrahaḥ
evam — thus; pratyavamṛśya — after understanding; asau — that person; ātmānam — his self; pratipadyate — realizes; sa-ahaṅkārasya — accepted under false ego; dravyasya — of the situation; yaḥ — who; avasthānam — resting place; anugrahaḥ — the manifester.
When, by mature understanding, one can realize his individuality, then the situation he accepts under false ego becomes manifest to him.
puruṣaṁ prakṛtir brahman
na vimuñcati karhicit
nityatvād anayoḥ prabho
devahūtiḥ uvāca — Devahūti said; puruṣam — the spirit soul; prakṛtiḥ — material nature; brahman — O brāhmaṇa; na — not; vimuñcati — does release; karhicit — at any time; anyonya — to one another; apāśrayatvāt — from attraction; ca — and; nityatvāt — from eternality; anayoḥ — of them both; prabho — O my Lord.
Śrī Devahūti inquired: My dear brāhmaṇa, does material nature ever give release to the spirit soul? Since one is attracted to the other eternally, how is their separation possible?
yathā gandhasya bhūmeś ca
na bhāvo vyatirekataḥ
apāṁ rasasya ca yathā
tathā buddheḥ parasya ca
yathā — as; gandhasya — of aroma; bhūmeḥ — of earth; ca — and; na — no; bhāvaḥ — existence; vyatirekataḥ — separate; apām — of water; rasasya — of taste; ca — and; yathā — as; tathā — so; buddheḥ — of intelligence; parasya — of consciousness, spirit; ca — and.
As there is no separate existence of the earth and its aroma or of water and its taste, there cannot be any separate existence of intelligence and consciousness.
akartuḥ karma-bandho ’yaṁ
guṇeṣu satsu prakṛteḥ
kaivalyaṁ teṣv ataḥ katham
akartuḥ — of the passive performer, the nondoer; karma-bandhaḥ — bondage to fruitive activities; ayam — this; puruṣasya — of the soul; yat-āśrayaḥ — caused by attachment to the modes; guṇeṣu — while the modes; satsu — are existing; prakṛteḥ — of material nature; kaivalyam — freedom; teṣu — those; ataḥ — hence; katham — how.
Hence even though he is the passive performer of all activities, how can there be freedom for the soul as long as material nature acts on him and binds him?
nivṛttaṁ bhayam ulbaṇam
kvacit — in a certain case; tattva — the fundamental principles; avamarśena — by reflecting upon; nivṛttam — avoided; bhayam — fear; ulbaṇam — great; anivṛtta — not ceased; nimittatvāt — since the cause; punaḥ — again; pratyavatiṣṭhate — it appears.
Even if the great fear of bondage is avoided by mental speculation and inquiry into the fundamental principles, it may still appear again, since its cause has not ceased.
tīvrayā mayi bhaktyā ca
śrī-bhagavān uvāca — the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; animitta-nimittena — without desiring the fruits of activities; sva-dharmeṇa — by executing one’s prescribed duties; amala-ātmanā — with a pure mind; tīvrayā — serious; mayi — unto Me; bhaktyā — by devotional service; ca — and; śruta — hearing; sambhṛtayā — endowed with; ciram — for a long time.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One can get liberation by seriously discharging devotional service unto Me and thereby hearing for a long time about Me or from Me. By thus executing one’s prescribed duties, there will be no reaction, and one will be freed from the contamination of matter.
jñānena — in knowledge; dṛṣṭa-tattvena — with vision of the Absolute Truth; vairāgyeṇa — with renunciation; balīyasā — very strong; tapaḥ-yuktena — by engagement in austerity; yogena — by mystic yoga; tīvreṇa — firmly fixed; ātma-samādhinā — by self-absorption.
This devotional service has to be performed strongly in perfect knowledge and with transcendental vision. One must be strongly renounced and must engage in austerity and perform mystic yoga in order to be firmly fixed in self-absorption.
dahyamānā tv ahar-niśam
agner yonir ivāraṇiḥ
prakṛtiḥ — the influence of material nature; puruṣasya — of the living entity; iha — here; dahyamānā — being consumed; tu — but; ahaḥ-niśam — day and night; tiraḥ-bhavitrī — disappearing; śanakaiḥ — gradually; agneḥ — of fire; yoniḥ — the cause of appearance; iva — as; araṇiḥ — wooden sticks.
The influence of material nature has covered the living entity, and thus it is as if the living entity were always in a blazing fire. But by the process of seriously discharging devotional service, this influence can be removed, just as wooden sticks which cause a fire are themselves consumed by it.
dṛṣṭa-doṣā ca nityaśaḥ
sve mahimni sthitasya ca
bhukta — enjoyed; bhogā — enjoyment; parityaktā — given up; dṛṣṭa — discovered; doṣā — faultiness; ca — and; nityaśaḥ — always; na — not; īśvarasya — of the independent; aśubham — harm; dhatte — she inflicts; sve mahimni — in his own glory; sthitasya — situated; ca — and.
By discovering the faultiness of his desiring to lord it over material nature and by therefore giving it up, the living entity becomes independent and stands in his own glory.
yathā hy apratibuddhasya
sa eva pratibuddhasya
na vai mohāya kalpate
yathā — as; hi — indeed; apratibuddhasya — of one who is sleeping; prasvāpaḥ — the dream; bahu-anartha-bhṛt — bearing many inauspicious things; saḥ eva — that very dream; pratibuddhasya — of one who is awake; na — not; vai — certainly; mohāya — for bewildering; kalpate — is capable.
In the dreaming state one’s consciousness is almost covered, and one sees many inauspicious things, but when he is awakened and fully conscious, such inauspicious things cannot bewilder him.
prakṛtir mayi mānasam
evam — thus; vidita-tattvasya — to one who knows the Absolute Truth; prakṛtiḥ — material nature; mayi — on Me; mānasam — the mind; yuñjataḥ — fixing; na — not; apakurute — can do harm; ātma-ārāmasya — to one who rejoices in the self; karhicit — at any time.
The influence of material nature cannot harm an enlightened soul, even though he engages in material activities, because he knows the truth of the Absolute, and his mind is fixed on the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
yadā — when; evam — thus; adhyātma-rataḥ — engaged in self-realization; kālena — for many years; bahu-janmanā — for many births; sarvatra — everywhere; jāta-vairāgyaḥ — detachment is born; ā-brahma-bhuvanāt — up to Brahmaloka; muniḥ — a thoughtful person.
When a person thus engages in devotional service and self-realization for many, many years and births, he becomes completely reluctant to enjoy any one of the material planets, even up to the highest planet, which is known as Brahmaloka; he becomes fully developed in consciousness.
yad gatvā na nivarteta
yogī liṅgād vinirgame
mat-bhaktaḥ — My devotee; pratibuddha-arthaḥ — self-realized; mat-prasādena — by My causeless mercy; bhūyasā — unlimited; niḥśreyasam — the ultimate perfectional goal; sva-saṁsthānam — his abode; kaivalya-ākhyam — called kaivalya; mat-āśrayam — under My protection; prāpnoti — attains; iha — in this life; añjasā — truly; dhīraḥ — steady; sva-dṛśā — by knowledge of the self; chinna-saṁśayaḥ — freed from doubts; yat — to that abode; gatvā — having gone; na — never; nivarteta — comes back; yogī — the mystic devotee; liṅgāt — from the subtle and gross material bodies; vinirgame — after departing.
My devotee actually becomes self-realized by My unlimited causeless mercy, and thus, when freed from all doubts, he steadily progresses towards his destined abode, which is directly under the protection of My spiritual energy of unadulterated bliss. That is the ultimate perfectional goal of the living entity. After giving up the present material body, the mystic devotee goes to that transcendental abode and never comes back.
yadā na yogopacitāsu ceto
māyāsu siddhasya viṣajjate ’ṅga
ananya-hetuṣv atha me gatiḥ syād
ātyantikī yatra na mṛtyu-hāsaḥ
yadā — when; na — not; yoga-upacitāsu — to powers developed by yoga; cetaḥ — the attention; māyāsu — manifestations of māyā; siddhasya — of a perfect yogī; viṣajjate — is attracted; aṅga — My dear mother; ananya-hetuṣu — having no other cause; atha — then; me — to Me; gatiḥ — his progress; syāt — becomes; ātyantikī — unlimited; yatra — where; na — not; mṛtyu-hāsaḥ — power of death.
When a perfect yogī’s attention is no longer attracted to the by-products of mystic powers, which are manifestations of the external energy, his progress towards Me becomes unlimited, and thus the power of death cannot overcome him.