Bhagavad-gītā 2.23 , Hyderabad , 1972-11-27
nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ
na cainaṁ kledayanty āpo
na śoṣayati mārutaḥ
So definition by negation. Directly we cannot appreciate what is that spiritual fragment, particle, which is within this body. Because the length and breadth of that spirit soul is impossible to be measured by our material instruments, although the scientists say that we can measure it. Anyway, even it is possible, first of all, you have to see where the soul is situated. Then you can attempt to measure it.
So first of all, you cannot see even, because it is very, very small, one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. Now, because we cannot see, by our experimental knowledge we cannot appreciate. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is describing the existence of the self, soul, in a negative way = "It is not this." Sometimes when we cannot understand, the explanation is given = "It is not this." If I cannot express what it is, then we can express in a negative way that "It is not this."
So what is that "not this"? The "not this" is that "It is not material." The spirit soul is not material. But we have got experience of material things. Then how to understand that it is the negative? That is explained in the next verse, that nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi: you cannot cut the spirit soul by any weapon, knife, sword or pistol[?]. It is not possible. Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi. The Māyāvāda philosophy says that "I am Brahman. Due to my illusion, I feel I am separated. Otherwise, I am one." But Kṛṣṇa says that mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. So does it mean that the, from the whole spirit, this fragment has been separated by cutting into piece? No. Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi. It cannot be cut into pieces.
Then? Then the answer is that the spirit soul fragment is eternal. Not that by māyā it has become separated. No. How it can be? Because it cannot be cut into pieces. If I say... Just like they put the arguments ghaṭākāśa-poṭākāśa, that "The sky within the pot and the sky outside the pot, on account of the wall of the pot, the sky within the pot is separated." But how it can be separated? It cannot be cut into pieces. For argument's sake... Actually, we are very, very small particle, molecular parts of the spirit. So... And they are eternally part. Not that circumstantially it has become part, and again it can join. It can join, but not that in a homogeneous way, mixed-up way. No.
Even it is joined, it..., the soul keeps his separate existence. Just like a green bird, when he enters into the tree, it appears that the bird is now merged into the tree. But it is not that. The bird keeps its identity within the tree. That is the conclusion. Although both the tree and the bird being green, it appears that the bird is now merged into the tree, this merging does not mean that, that the bird and the tree has become one. No. It appears like that. Because both of them are the same color, it appears that the bird has..., there is no more existence of the bird. But that is not a fact. The bird is...
Similarly, we are individual spirit soul. The quality being one, say, greenness, when one merges into the Brahman effulgence, the living entity does not lose his identity. And because he does not lose the identity, and because the living entity by nature is joyful, he cannot stay in the impersonal Brahman effulgence for many days, because he has to seek out joyfulness. That joyfulness means varieties.
So in the Brahman effulgence it is, simply being cin-mātra, simply spirit, there is no varieties of spirit. It is simply spirit. Just like the sky. The sky is also matter. But in the sky there is no variety. If you want varieties, even in this material world, then you have to take shelter of a planet, either you come to the earthly planet or go to the moon planet or sun planet. Similarly, the Brahman effulgence is the glowing rays from the body of Kṛṣṇa. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi [Bs. 5.40].
Just like the sunshine is glowing effulgence from the sun globe, and within the sun globe there is the sun-god, similarly, there is, in the spiritual world, there is Brahman effulgence, impersonal, and within the Brahman effulgence, there are spiritual planets. They are called Vaikuṇṭhalokas. And the topmost of the Vaikuṇṭhaloka is Kṛṣṇaloka. So from Kṛṣṇa's body, the Brahman effulgence is coming out. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi [Bs. 5.40]. Everything is existing in that Brahman effulgence. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni nāhaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ [Bg. 9.4]. Everything existing on His effulgence, Brahman effulgence.
Just like the whole material world, innumerable planets, they are existing on the sunshine. The sunshine is impersonal effulgence of the sun globe, and there are millions of planets resting on the sunshine. Everything is happening on..., on account of the sunshine. Similarly, the Brahman effulgence coming out, the rays coming out from the body of Kṛṣṇa, and everything is resting on that Brahman effulgence.
Actually, different types of energies. Just like from the sunshine there are different types of colors, energies that is creating this material world. Just like we can experience practically = when there is no sunshine in Western countries, when there is snow, all the leaves of the tree immediately falls down. It is called fall, the season. It remains only wood, piece of wood only.
Again, when there is spring season, the sunshine is available, all at a time they become green. So as the sunshine is working in this material world, similarly the ultimate bodily rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the origin of all creation. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi [Bs. 5.40]. On account of the Brahman effulgence, millions and millions of brahmāṇḍas, or universes, are coming out.
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
So here, this beginning of spiritual understanding, that spirit, the Supreme Spirit, cannot be cut into pieces. Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ. Now try to understand. We are thinking, the modern scientists, they are thinking that there cannot be any life in the sun globe. No. There is life. We get information from Vedic literature that there is life. There are also human beings like us, but they're made of fire. That's all. Because we have got teeny experience that "How in the fire a living entity can live?"
To answer this problem, Kṛṣṇa says that nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ.
[aside:] Why you are sitting there? You come here.
Nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ: the spirit soul cannot be burned. If it would have been burned, then according to our Hindu system, we burn the body, then the soul is burned. Actually, the atheists think like that, that when the body's burned, everything is finished. Big, big professor, they think like that. But here, Kṛṣṇa says, nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ: "It is not burned." Otherwise, how it exists? Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. Everything is very clearly stated. The soul does not burn; neither it can be cut into pieces.
Then = na cainaṁ kledayanty āpaḥ. Neither it is moistened. It cannot be wet in touch with water. Now in the material world we find that anything, however hard it is... Just like stone or iron, it can be cut into pieces. There is separate machine or instrument. It can be cut... Anything can be cut into pieces.
And anything can be melted also. It requires a different type of temperature only, but everything can be burned and melted. Then anything can be moistened, can be wet. But here it is said, na cainaṁ kledayanty āpo na śoṣayati mārutaḥ [Bg. 2.23] = neither it can be evaporated. That is eternity. That means any material condition cannot affect the soul. Asaṅgo 'yaṁ puruṣaḥ.
In the Vedas it is said this living entity is always without any touch with this material world. It is simply a covering. It is not in touch. Just like my body, the present, this body, although it is covered by the shirt and the coat, it is not attached. It is not mixed up. The body keeps always separate. Similarly, the soul always keeps separate from this material covering. It is simply on account of various plans and desires that he's making for lording over this material nature. Everyone can see.
The, every living being is trying to lord it over the material nature. That is his disease. He wants to lord it. He's servant, but artificially, he wants to become Lord. That is the disease. Everyone... Ultimately, when he fails to lord it over the material world, he says, "Oh, this material world is false. Now I shall become one with the Supreme." Brahmā satyaṁ jagan mithyā. But because the spirit soul is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, so by nature he is joyful. He is seeking after joy.
Every one of us, we are working so hard to find out some pleasure of life. So that pleasure of life cannot be had in the spiritual effulgence. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we get this information that āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padam [SB 10.2.32]. Kṛcchreṇa, after undergoing severe austerity and penance, one may merge into the Brahman effulgence.
Sāyujya-mukti. It is called sāyujya-mukti. Sāyujya, to merge. So āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padam. Even one goes up to that point, to merge into the Brahman existence after severe austerity and penances, still, they fall down. Patanty adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means again comes into this material world. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32].
Why they fall down? Anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. They'll never agree God is person. They'll never agree. Their teeny brain cannot accommodate that God, the Supreme, can be a person. Because he has experience of the person of himself, or others; if God is a person like me and you, then how He can create universe..., innumerable universes?
Therefore, to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead it requires enough pious activities. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. After speculating in the impersonal philosophical way, when one is mature, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān, when he's actually wise... So long he cannot understand that the Supreme
Absolute Truth is person, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Bhagavān. That... Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. This is statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata: "Those who know the Absolute Truth, they know that Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, they are one. It is different phases of understanding only."
Just like if you see one hill from a distant place, you will find impersonal, hazy, something cloudy. If you go still forward, then you can see it is something greenish. And if you go actually within the hill, you'll see there are so many animals, trees, men. Similarly, those who are trying to understand the Absolute from distance place or far away, they are realizing, by speculation, impersonal Brahman.
Those who are still forward, yogīs, they can see localized aspect. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. They can see, dhyāna avasthita, localized within himself. This is Paramātmā feature. And those who are devotees, they see Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of God, eye to eye, one person to another. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13].
So actually the ultimate, the last word of the Absolute Truth, is person. But..., but unfortunately, those who are mūḍhas, or less intelligent, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11], "Oh, Kṛṣṇa? He may be God, but He has become a person taking the help of māyā." This is Māyāvāda philosophy. They are studying māyā; they put God also within māyā. This is Māyāvāda philosophy. But God is not māyā. God is never covered by māyā.
Kṛṣṇa says that mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14] = "Anyone who surrenders unto Me, he becomes free from the clutches of māyā." How Kṛṣṇa can be within māyā? That is not very good philosophy. Simply by surrendering unto Kṛṣṇa, you become free from māyā. How the person, the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, can be within māyā?
Therefore Kṛṣṇa said, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam, paraṁ bhāvam ajānantaḥ [Bg. 9.11]. They do not know how much potential the Lord is, how much powerful He is. They are comparing the power of the Supreme Lord with his own power, a frog philosophy, the Dr. Frog. Frog is considering, "Atlantic Ocean may be a little bigger than the well." Because he is living always.
Kūpa-maṇḍūka-nyāya. It is, Sanskrit it is called kūpa-maṇḍūka-nyāya. Kūpa means well, and maṇḍūka means the frog. The frog is perpetually within the well, and if somebody informs him that there is another big span of water, Atlantic Ocean, he simply calculates that "It may be a little more than this well, little more than this well." But he cannot understand how great He is.
So God is great. We cannot understand how great He is. That is our folly. We are simply calculating, "He may be one inch greater than me. Or one foot greater than me." That is mental speculation. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3] = "Out of many millions of men, one may try to make his life successful, understanding the Absolute Truth." And yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin me vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3].
So we cannot understand God by our mental speculation. Neither we can understand what is the measurement of the soul. That is not possible. Therefore we have to take information from the highest authority, Kṛṣṇa, what is the nature of God, what is the nature of Absolute Truth, what is the nature of the soul. We have to hear.
We have to hear. Therefore the Vedic literature is called śruti. You cannot make experiment. That is not possible. But unfortunately, there is a section of people who think that they can make experiment, they can know the Absolute by mental speculation.
The Brahmā-saṁhitā says:
vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām
so 'py asti yat prapada-sīmny avicintya-tattve
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Panthās tu koṭi-vatsara-sampragamyaḥ. For many millions of years if you make your progress in the sky to find out God, where is God... Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi: not this ordinary plane, but on the plane of air, the velocity of air. Or mind. The velocity of mind is very quick. Immediately, you are sitting here, your mind can go many millions of miles away if you have got idea.
So either on the plane of mind or by the plane of air, and traveling for many millions of years, you cannot find out. Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅga... [Bs. 5.34]. Muni-puṅgavānām. Not only ordinary person, but great saintly person, sages, they also cannot.
So another place it is said in the Brahmā-saṁhitā = vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. Vedeṣu. If you simply study Vedas, although the ultimate goal of studying Veda is to know Kṛṣṇa, but if you want to study Vedas by your own speculative process, then He'll always remain rare. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. But if you approach a devotee of the Lord, he can deliver. He can deliver.
Mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat, naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim [SB 7.5.32]. Prahlāda Mahārāja says that "You cannot have Kṛṣṇa consciousness..." Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not so easy. You cannot have it unless you surrender yourself.
Niṣkiñcanānām, mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat. So long you do not take the dust of the lotus feet of a devotee, niṣkiñcanānām, who has nothing to do with this material world---he's simply concerned with the service of the Lord---unless you are in touch with such a person, it is not possible to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These are the statements of the śāstra.
So Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and He is person. But we cannot understand Him unless we go through a kṛṣṇa-bhakta. Therefore to understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has come down as a bhakta, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. So we have to understand Kṛṣṇa through Lord Caitanya. Because Kṛṣṇa Himself has come... Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne.
Rūpa Gosvāmī, when he met first Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Not first; for the second time. First time he met when..., while he was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. And then, after meeting, Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted them to fulfill His mission. So they decided to resign from the government service and join Caitanya Mahāprabhu to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Therefore when Rūpa Gosvāmī met Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Allahabad, Prayāga, the first verse he composed in this connection, he said, namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53] = "My Lord, You are the most munificent incarnation." Why? "Because You are distributing kṛṣṇa-prema. People cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa, and what to speak of kṛṣṇa-prema. But that kṛṣṇa-prema, You are distributing like anything." Namo mahā-vadān... "Therefore You are the most munificent, charitable person." Namo mahā-vadānyāya. Vadānya means one who is very charitable, gives in charity as much as you like.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, because people misunderstood Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa asked in the Bhagavad-gītā that "You surrender unto Me." What can He do? He's God. He's Kṛṣṇa. He's asked you, orders you = "You surrender. I take charge of you." Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpe... But still, people misunderstood = "Oh, why shall I surrender to Kṛṣṇa?
He's also a man like me. Maybe a little important. But why shall I surrender unto Him?" Because here the material disease is not to surrender. Everyone is puffed-up = "I am something." This is material disease. Therefore, to become cured from this material disease, you have to surrender.
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
So unless you are prepared to surrender... That is a great difficult job for the materialistic person. Nobody wants to surrender. He wants to compete. Individually, person to person, family to family, nation to nation, everyone is trying to become the master. Where is the question of surrendering? There is no question of surrendering.
So this is the disease. Therefore Kṛṣṇa demands that to cure this rascaldom, or most chronic disease, you surrender. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. "Then? If I surrender, then whole thing will be failure? My business, my plans, my so many things...?" No. "I take charge of you. I take charge of you."
Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ. "Don't be worried." So much assurance is there. Still, we are not prepared to surrender. This is our material disease. Therefore Kṛṣṇa came again as a devotee just to show how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa---Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam [SB 11.5.32].
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific and authorized. It is not a bogus thing, something manufactured by concoction of the mind. It is authorized, based on the Vedic instruction, as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. So we teach only this philosophy, that you...
Kṛṣṇa, here is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You are searching after God. You cannot understand what is God. Here is God, Kṛṣṇa. His name, His activities, everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. You accept and surrender unto Him. And as Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65].
So we are speaking the same thing as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. We don't misinterpret. We don't spoil the whole Bhagavad-gītā. We don't do this mischief. Sometimes people, they say, "Swāmījī, you have done wonderful." But what wonderful? I am not a magician. My only credit is I have not spoiled the Bhagavad-gītā. I have presented as it is. Therefore it is successful.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]