Lecture [partially recorded] , Montreal , 1968-07-18
Prabhupāda: Cloud cannot cover the sun. There may be a cloud overcast in the sky for hundred miles, but even hundred miles, is it possible to cover the sun, hundred miles' cloud? The sun is itself so many hundreds of thousand times more than this earth. So māyā cannot cover the Supreme Brahman. Māyā can cover the small particles Brahman. So we may become covered by māyā, or cloud, but the Supreme Brahman is never covered by māyā.
That is the difference of opinion between Māyāvāda philosophy and Vaiṣṇava philosophy. The Māyāvāda philosophy says that the Supreme is covered. The Supreme cannot be covered. Then how He becomes supreme? The covering becomes supreme. Oh, there are so many arguments and so many...
But we follow that the cloud covers the small particles of sunshine. But sun remains as it is. And we practically see also when we go by jet plane, we are over the cloud. There is no cloud upside. Sun is clear. In the lower status there is some cloud. If you go thousands of miles up, we don't see any cloud; everything sunshine.
Is there any question?
Devotee (1): Is the cloud in our mind, or is the cloud in the sky also?
Prabhupāda: Everything is in your mind. Yes. So you have to clear your mind. That's all. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
[”’Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’]
The whole process is to clear the mind. Yes?
Devotee (2): Prabhupāda, even when the mind is cleared, does there not continue to be an objective temporary existence of material phenomena? Even when the mind is cleared, the material world still exists for so long as the [indistinct] it dissolves, so there's still temporary existence.
Devotee (2): So is that material principle which is manifested in beings is gone?
Prabhupāda: No. Material principle is side by side. Just like the cloud is always there in the sky, but if you be above the cloud, then it is all right. So you have to become above the material principles. And to become above the material principles means to accept everything in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, dovetailed with Kṛṣṇa. That will save you. You have to become above the cloud. Just like the jet plane takes the friendly sky. So we have to take the friendly energy, the spiritual energy. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.13].
[O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.]
Mahātmā, those who are mahātmā, great souls, they take shelter of the nature where there is no more cloud. Then it is very nice. You go on. So we have to become above the cloud. Not to be influenced by the material nature, but we take shelter of Rādhārāṇī, the spiritual nature, not of Durgā.
Devotee (2): But the cloud still exists within the mind.
Prabhupāda: That doesn't matter. The police exists, but if you are not criminal, it has nothing to do with you. You are not afraid of the police. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14].
[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.]
Police has nothing to do with law-abiding persons. Let the māyā remain there. You have nothing to do with her.
Guest: Swāmījī, we always think of the pictures of Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa. There are, full of pictures here, and also the usual pictures of Viṣṇu, Lakṣmī. When you think of the word "consciousness" and "life," as applied to the image of God, it seems to make sense. But how do you apply the concept of consciousness and life to a God conceived of in the terms like this image here?
Prabhupāda: Image... The image..., we are not worshiping image.
Guest: No, what I meant was in the very abstract sense of God, as we're talking about with Brahman...
Prabhupāda: There are stages, stages of God realization. Brahman realization is the first realization of God. Just like if you want to go to the... If you come to the light, sunshine, your first experience is the sunshine. But if you go still further, you..., if you are able to enter into the sun planet, that is another stage. And if you can find out the predominating deity in the sun planet, that is another stage.
Similarly, the Brahman means you come out of the darkness of ignorance, or māyā. That is Brahman realization. But if you go further, then you realize Supersoul, Paramātmā. And if you go further, then you realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11].
[Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.]
The... Just like the same example, the sunshining, sun and the sun-god, they are one and the same. But when you are in the sunshine, you cannot say that you are seeing the sun-god. That will be mistake. But one who is in association with the sun-god, he's already in the sun planet, he is in front of the sun-god, and he is in sunshine. Is that clear? Yes.
Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Advaya-jñāna. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. Advayam, that light, is everywhere. Either sunshine or sun planet or sun-god, there is light. There is no darkness. Similarly, either you remain in the impersonal Brahman or absorbed in Paramātmā or in association with the Supreme Personality, it is all spiritual stage.
But when you compare, then a person who is in direct touch with sun-god, he's far superior than the person who is in the sunlight. He cannot claim equal status. Sunlight may be possible within your room. That does not mean that you are associating with the sun-god.
So impersonal Brahman realization is also Brahman realization. The personal Brahman realization is the highest platform. Brahmaṇo 'ham pratiṣṭhā [Bg. 14.27].
[And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal.]
In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll see that Kṛṣṇa says that "The impersonal Brahman is resting on Me." Ahaṁ pratiṣṭhā. Just like this bag is resting on this table. The table is more important than this bag. Similarly... Just like the sun planet. Although we are seeing it is just like a disk and the sunshine is overcast all over the universe, that does not mean that sunshine is more important than the sun disk.
It is due to the sun disk that the sunshine is all over the universe. And if you think that sunshine is distributed all over the universe, therefore it is greater than the sun disk—no. The importance of the sun disk is more than the universally distributed sunshine.
So impersonal Brahman realization is just like realization of the sunshine, but there are other stages. And the highest stage is to associate with the Supreme. Just like this picture, they are associating person to person. [pause]
Another point is, as individual soul we require association, person to person. That is our nature. The Bhāgavata replies, ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvad aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ [SB 10.2.32].
[[Someone may say that aside from devotees, who always seek shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not devotees but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to this question, Lord Brahmā and the other demigods said:] O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.]
If somebody thinks by simple impersonal realization of Brahman, if he thinks that he has become liberated, then his intelligence is polluted. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvad aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ. Aviśuddha means not free from contamination. His intelligence is not free. Why? Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho [SB 10.2.32].
The same example can be given. Suppose you are taking a jet plane to go to the sun planet or moon planet, but you are in the sunshine. You are more higher above the cloud region. Cloud is after, say, a few miles up, if you go, there is no more cloud. Finished. If you go above seven miles up, oh, there is no more clouds. There is no question of māyā. That's all right. But if you go continually, if you do not get shelter in any other planet, then the next stage will be you have to come back. You cannot remain in that impersonal sunshine. You have to take shelter. If you don't get shelter, then you come back.
Similarly, the impersonalist, for the time being they may think that they have Brahman realization, but because by nature he wants association, without getting association of the Supreme Lord he has to come back to make association with this nonsense. And this is practically we have seen. Many sannyāsī: brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā,
[The Supreme Brahman is the only truth, and this material world is false.]
"Brahman is truth and the world is false." They take sannyāsa, and after some time they come to the hospital opening business. They come down again to politics, hospitals, philanthropy, welfare work. Why? If brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, if this whole world is false, why you are taking this hospital business? Because there is no place. He has no engagement, and he wants association. He wants to render some service, but there is no service to Kṛṣṇa. He comes to give service to the nonsense māyā.
So āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padam [SB 10.2.32]. After accepting sannyāsa and all this renunciation, because he has no shelter to render service to the Supreme Lord, he comes down to render service to this nonsense, which he left. Mithyā, it is false. He again comes to the false. I have seen one sannyāsī in India, very learned, very good scholar. Now he's rotting in the jail. He has taken to political movement. He wants to make..., nullify this Pakistan and so many things. Now he has become a politician.
Vivekananda came here to preach in 1893 to Vedānta. Now he learned the business of opening hospital. If you have taken sannyāsa, that brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā,
[The Supreme Brahman is the only truth, and this material world is false.]
"The world is false; Brahman is reality," then why you come to the false platform again? He has to, because he has no information of the reality. He wants to render service, but because he has not found out where to render service, he has to come to engage himself in this mithyā platform, which he has rejected as mithyā.
So āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho [SB 10.2.32]. Even by their austerity and penances they go so up... Just the same example: a very nice sputnik, and running 20,000 miles in a hour, going up and up... [break] [end]