Bhagavad-gītā 15.1 , Vṛndāvana , 1973-10-28

Pradyumna: "The Blessed Lord said = There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas." [Bg. 15.1]

Prabhupāda: So this is the description of Vedic literature. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. That will be described. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vida jñāne. Vid-dhātu. From vid-dhātu, the word Veda has come. Vid means knowledge. There are different kinds of knowledge, and all kinds of knowledge you can get perfectly from the Vedas. There is Dhanur-veda, Āyur-veda, Ṛg-veda, Sāma-veda, different branches of Veda, but the objective of studying Vedas means to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. All kinds of Vedas. Any book of knowledge. There are different types of book of knowledge. So if by studying the books of different types of knowledge one comes to the understanding of knowing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, then his knowledge is perfect.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante [Bg. 7.19]. After studying Vedas, speculative knowledge, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān, when one is actually a wise man, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate, he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Why? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]. Because Kṛṣṇa is everything. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ. Whatever we see, whatever we experience, that is, everything, Kṛṣṇa's energy. This material world is also expansion of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Similarly, the spiritual world is also expansion of Kṛṣṇa's energy. The brahma-jyotir is also expansion of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Paramātmā is also expansion of Kṛṣṇa's plenary portion. In this way, when one understands perfectly well that whatever we are experiencing, that is Kṛṣṇa's energies...

It is described in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa,

jyotsnā vistāriṇī yathā
parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktis
sarvedam akhilaṁ jagat

[Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.22.52]

This jagat, akhila jagat, is nothing but manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ. Para-brahman is Kṛṣṇa. We may be Brahman... Because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, therefore we are Brahman. Now we are identifying with this matter. So mukti means when we stop identifying with this matter and we learn how to realize ahaṁ brahmāsmi. Simply realization not. To act as Brahman, Brahman, that is perfection of knowledge, not to simply realize. Just like for example a person, he feels that "I am Indian." That is very good. But Mahatma Gandhi, he also was Indian, but he acted as a first-class Indian. Therefore Mahatma Gandhi is so much adored.

So simply to realize that "I am Brahman," ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is not perfection. That is aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ, uncleansed intelligence. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Simply understanding ahaṁ brahmāsmi will not help us, because it is stated in the śāstra that āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ: even by severe austerities and penances one comes to the stage of merging into Brahman, sāyujya mukti, still, there is chance of falling down. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ. Why? Now, anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ: one who has not realized the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, he falls down.

We have seen many big, big sannyāsī in India, very learned scholar, and very nicely they can describe śāstra also, but they are entangled in politics. Why? If this world is mithyā, jagan mithyā, you have rejected it, then why you are again coming to politics? Why you are coming in the mithyā world? Because there is no realization. Aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ. Ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninaḥ. They are thinking that "We have now become liberated," māninaḥ. Actually, they are not liberated, because aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ, their intelligence is not yet clear. Therefore, even after severe austerities, penances, they come to the point of Brahman realization, because they have no realization of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, they fall down. Because there is no engagement.

I do not wish to name the big, big sannyāsīs of India who fell down in this way. But you know that the Māyāvādī sampradāya, they take this world as mithyā. Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. If jagat is mithyā, then why you come down again for philanthropic activities, for political activities? That is called māyā. That is the last snare of māyā. Māyā dictates that "Now we have failed to become minister, to [become] president, and so many other big, big posts. Now you become Brahman." You are already Brahman. Simply you have to realize. That's all. That is knowledge, that "I am not the..." Brahman realization means that "I am not this body." Because so long one identifies with this body, he is no better than animal. That is the first lesson. Kṛṣṇa says in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. Dehi and dehina.

So that is preliminary knowledge of Brahman realization. But if you do not fix up in your Brahman realization... That is parā-bhakti.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

When actually one is liberated from the bodily concept of life and he sees spiritual identity everywhere, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18], then he can be situated in the activities of Brahman. The bhakti-yoga is the activities of Brahman. The Māyāvādī philosopher, they are thinking that after Brahman realization there is no more activity. But that is not the fact. Real activity begins after Brahman realization. That is Brahman activity. That is bhakti-yoga. Kṛṣṇa is Paraṁ Brahman, and we are Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. Naturally we are also Brahman, because part and parcel of gold must be gold. There is no doubt about it. But it does not mean that the small particle of gold is equal to the gold mine. That is not possible. Part is never equal to the whole.

So Kṛṣṇa has already described bhakti-yoga. Now He is describing about the activities of this material world. Traiguṇya-viṣayā. Material world, activities of the material world means to act in such a way that you become liberated at the end and go back to home, back to Godhead. That is real activities of this material world, not to act as the animals---eating, sleeping, mating.

So this material world is now described, compared with a banyan tree, which has its root upwards, above. That means this material world is created from the spiritual world. Eko nārāyaṇa āsīt. In the spiritual world there is always Nārāyaṇa. Even Śaṅkarācārya, he says, nārāyaṇaḥ avyaktāt paraḥ. The spiritual world has nothing to do with this material world. This material world is created, just like the banyan tree, it takes its root and it is created. So the seed of the creation is in the spiritual world. Sa īkṣata, sa asṛjata. The creation is coming from the spiritual world. Spiritual world means the kingdom of God, Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛṣṇa. So here the material world is described as ūrdhva-mūlam. In other words, it is reflection of the spiritual world. Just like if you stand on the shore of a lake, you will find all the trees reflected in the water downwards. Real tree is on the shore of the lake, and the reflection is downwards. The upper part of the tree has gone down. So this material world is compared with that reflection. It is chāya.

In Brahma-saṁhitā also, it is said, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā [Bs. 5.44]. The superintending deity of this material world is Goddess Durgā, durgā-śakti. So he creates..., she creates this material world, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekāḥ, Kṛṣṇa's energy. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ [Bg. 7.4]. This material energy is His energy. The energy is always compared with feminine part, and the energetic is always compared with the male part. Male part and female part. Kṛṣṇa also said in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4]. So He is the seed-giving father. Bījo 'haṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 7.10]. So He is the original seed of this material world. And from there, from the spiritual world, it has expanded.

Ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam [Bg. 15.1]. Avyayam, eternal. This material energy also eternal. There are three kinds of energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead = the material energy, the spiritual energy and the marginal energy. From the material energy, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ, this material creation is effected. And the spiritual energy, the Vaikuṇṭha-loka, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ avyaktaḥ avyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20], that is eternal. So that is spiritual world. And in between the two worlds, material and spiritual, there is one energy. That is living energy. We living entities, we are marginal energy. We are also energy. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām, jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat [Bg. 7.5]. Kṛṣṇa describes the marginal energy, the jīva-bhūta, the living entities.

So jīva-bhūta, living entities, they are actually prakṛti, not puruṣa. Puruṣa is Supreme Personality of Godhead. Puruṣa means enjoyer. But Māyāvādī philosophy, they want to turn the prakṛti into puruṣa. The jīva, jīva is described as prakṛti, parā-prakṛti. Jīva-bhūta. They are better than, superior than the matter because they adjust matter. The resources, the material resources, they try to enjoy it. They cannot enjoy, but try to enjoy it. Therefore it is called superior energy. But it is energy, not the energetic.

So this material world is eternal, and the living entities, they are also eternal, avyaya. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. And eternal... This material world is eternal in this sense = because it is Kṛṣṇa's energy. If Kṛṣṇa is eternal, His energy is also eternal. But the manifestation of this energy is temporary. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. Energy is there. Unless the energy is there, how it is manifested? Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. There are so many energies within you, within me. They are not always manifest, but at times they are manifest. They are called acintya-śakti. Things are happening without our calculation. That is acintya-śakti, inconceivable energy. As Kṛṣṇa has got inconceivable energy... He creates this material world by His inconceivable energy, vast oceans, vast lump of matter, the universe.

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

[Bs. 5.48]

So Mahā-Viṣṇu, by His breathing only, unlimited number of universes are coming and going into. So such inconceivable energies are there. And because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we have got also inconceivable energy, which is not always manifest, but at times it manifests. Similarly, this material world is avyaya, eternal energy, but it is not false, as the Māyāvādī philosophers say jagan mithyā. No. Jagat is not mithyā, but it is fact, but it is temporary. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. We don't say that this world is false. Why it should be false? If has come from the truth, actually truth, how it can be? Pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idam, pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate [Īśopaniṣad, Invocation]. It is perfect. But it is being misused. That is māyā.

How it is being misused? Kṛṣṇa says that He is the enjoyer = bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is the proprietor of all the lokas, all the brahmāṇḍas. But unfortunately, we are dismissing Kṛṣṇa. We are trying to be the enjoyer of this material world. That is māyā. The world is not māyā, but the intention of the living entities to enjoy this material world, to satisfy his senses, that is māyā. He is becoming entangled. Just to try to enjoy this material world... That the so-called scientists and philanthropists and politicians, they are trying to enjoy this material world to their best capacity, and they are inventing devices how to enjoy it. This is māyā.

That is answered in the Bhagavad-gītā = daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. They are allured by this māyā: "Try to enjoy me," and these conditioned souls are after that, how to enjoy. Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna [Bg. 2.45]. So Vedas also says that "If you make such-and-such sacrifice, then you will be elevated to such-and-such higher planetary system to become demigods and enjoy beautiful woman, higher standard of life." So yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācam, veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ [Bg. 2.42].

So we must understand what is this material world, how it is working. That will be described in this Fifteenth Chapter:

ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham
aśvatthaṁ prāhur avyayam
chandāṁsi yasya parṇāni
yas taṁ veda sa veda-vit

One who understands what is the constitution of this material world, how it is working, what we are, why we have come here, why we are so struggling hard for existence, what is our duty, how to get out of this entanglement... That is Vedic knowledge. Not only to get out of this material entanglement, but to be engaged. Because simply to get out is not the final business. Suppose you are being employed in a place you do not like; you want to change. Simply if you resign your post, that is not good. You must take another nice post. Then it is good. Similarly, simply to become freed from this material ent...

[break] ...is to remain eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is..., that is perfection of life. Anyone who is engaged in the eternal service of the Lord, he is perfect, he is mukta. Muktir hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6]. This is mukti. Mukti means to be freed from the useless activities. The material activities, they are all useless activities, because in the bodily concept of life. Just like the monkey = he is also very active. In Vṛndāvana we have got good experience, always active---but useless. Therefore Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described, phalgu-vairāgya. The monkey is vairāgī. He lives in the forest. He has no cloth even. Other vairāgīs, they have got little cloth, but these monkeys have no cloth. [laughter] And they live in forest and eat fruits, vegetarian, but rascal number one.

So therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī has said,

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
phalgu vairāgyaṁ kathyate

[Brs. 1.2.256]

Phalgu means less valuable, less important. Or there is Phalgu River. Phalgu River, you know, in Gayā there is a Phalgu River. On the bed of the river you'll find all sand, dry, but if you push your hand little below the sand, you will find water. This is practi... Therefore it is called phalgu-vairāgya. Actually, outside, as vairāgī, no cloth, even does not touch even cloth, but inside, every monkey has one dozen wife at least. So this kind of phalgu-vairāgī or markaṭa-vairāgī is not required. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī says,

prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
phalgu vairāgyaṁ kathyate

[Brs. 1.2.256]

Vairāgya... Actually, we cannot make actually vairāgya. Vairāgya means to refrain from material enjoyment, or sense enjoyment. That is vairāgya.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ...
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

Jñāna and vairāgya, these two things are required to purify our existence. And that is made possible simply by devotional service to Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ, janayaty āśu vairāgyam. Very soon one becomes vairāgī.

Just like these European, American boys, they are vairāgīs. They were engaged in full material enjoyment, but they have given up for Kṛṣṇa's sake everything = no illicit sex life, no intoxication, no meat-eating and no gambling. They have given up. This is vairāgya. But the energy is utilized for Kṛṣṇa's service. They are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world. It was the duty of the Indians. Unfortunately, the Indians are callous. They are now after technology. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised all Indians,

bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra

[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

The para-upakāra, to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Everybody is suffering for want of God consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore it is the greatest humanitarian work, welfare activities, is to distribute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So it was the duty of the Indians. Bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra. Anyone who has taken birth as a human being in India, his duty is to perfect his life by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious and distribute it all over the world. That is his duty. But they are not doing. Some way or other, I have collected some these young Europeans and Americans. They are helping in this movement.

So we have come to Vṛndāvana for this purpose, that those who are actually serious to render service to Kṛṣṇa, they should join this movement, heart and soul, and help broadcasting this movement all over the world.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya. All glories to Prabhupāda. [end]