"Intro 1 to Bhagavad-gita"

66/02/19-20 New York.
Continuation of the first tape recording, done by Srila Prabhupada himself

...muktir hitvanyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. Svarupena vyavasthitih. Mukti means liberation from the contaminated consciousness of this material world and to become situated in pure consciousness. And the whole instruction, instruction of Bhagavad-gita, is targeted to awaken that pure consciousness. We'll find in the last stage of the instruction of Bhagavad-gita that Krsna is asking Arjuna whether he is now in purified consciousness. Whether he was in purified consciousness. The purified consciousness is to act according to the direction of the Lord. That is purified consciousness. That is the whole sum and substance of purified consciousness.

Consciousness is already there, but because we are part and parcels, therefore we are affected. There is affinity of being affected by the material modes. But the Lord being Supreme, He is never affected. He is never affected. That is the difference between the Lord and the Supreme..., Supreme Lord and the...

Now this consciousness is... What is this consciousness? This consciousness is that "I am." What I am? When in contaminated consciousness this "I am" means that "I am the lord of all I survey." This is impure consciousness. And "I am the enjoyer." The whole material world is moving that every living being is thinking that "I am the lord and I am the creator of this material world." The consciousness has got two psychic movement or two psychic division. One is that "I am the creator," and the other is "I am the enjoyer." So the Supreme Lord is actually the creator and He is actually the enjoyer. And the living entities, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, he's not actually the creator or the enjoyer, but he's a cooperator. Just like the whole machine. The part of the machine is the cooperator, is the cooperator. Or if we can study just the constitution of our body. Now, in the body there are hands, there are legs, there are eyes, and all these instruments, working, but all these parts and parcels of the body, they are not enjoyer. The stomach is the enjoyer. The leg is moving from one place to another. The hand is collecting, the hand is preparing foodstuff, and the teeth is chewing, and everything, all parts of body, are engaged in satisfying the stomach because the stomach is the principle fact within the organization of this body. And everything should be given to the stomach. Pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam [SB 4.31.14]. Just like you can see a tree green by pouring water in the root. Or you can become healthy... The parts of the body -- the hands, the legs, the eyes, the ears, the fingers -- everything keeps in healthy stage when the parts of the body cooperate with the stomach. Similarly, the supreme living being, the Lord, He is the enjoyer. He is the enjoyer and He is the creator. And we, I mean to say, subordinate living beings, the products of the energy of the Supreme Lord, we are just to cooperate with Him. That cooperation will help. Just for example, a good foodstuff taken by the fingers. If the fingers think that "Why should we give it to the stomach? Let us enjoy." That is a mistake. The fingers are unable to enjoy. If fingers want the fruit of enjoyment of that particular foodstuff, the fingers must put it into the stomach. So the whole arrangement is that the central figure, central figure of creation, central figure of enjoyment, is the Supreme Lord, and the living entities, they are simply cooperator. By cooperation, by cooperation they enjoy. The relation is just like the master and the servant. If the master is satisfied, if the master is fully satisfied, the servants are automatically satisfied. That is the law. Similarly, the Supreme Lord should be satisfied, although the tendency for becoming creator and the tendency to enjoy this material world is, they are also in the living entities because it is there in the Supreme Lord. He has created, He has created the manifested cosmic world.

Therefore we shall find in this Bhagavad-gita that the complete whole, comprising the supreme controller, the controlled living entities, the cosmic manifestation, the eternal time, and the activities, all of them are completely explained. So the whole thing taking together completely is called the Absolute Truth. The complete whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is therefore the complete Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. As I have explained, that the manifestation are due to His different energies, and He is the complete whole.

The impersonal Brahman is explained in the Bhagavad-gita that impersonal Brahman is also subordinate to the complete person. Brahmano 'ham pratistha [Bg. 14.27]. Impersonal Brahman is also. It is... The impersonal Brahman is more explicitly explained in the Brahma-sutra as the rays. As there is the rays of the sunshine, sun planet, similarly, the impersonal Brahman is the shining rays of the Supreme Brahman or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore impersonal Brahman is incomplete realization of the absolute complete whole, and so also the conception of Paramatma. These things are also explained. Purusottama-yoga. When we shall read the chapter of Purusottama-yoga it will be seen that the Supreme Personality, Purusottama, is above the impersonal Brahman and partial realization of Paramatma.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. In the Brahma-samhita, the beginning is started like this: isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah/ anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1]." Govinda, Krsna, is the cause of all causes. He is the primal Lord." So the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah.

Impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat part, eternity. And Paramatma realization is the realization of sat-cit, eternal knowledge part realization. But realization of the Personality of Godhead as Krsna is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit, and ananda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Vigraha means form. Avyaktam vyaktim apannam manyante mam abuddhayah [Bg. 7.24]. People with less intelligence, they consider the Supreme Truth as impersonal, but He is a person, a transcendental person. This is confirmed in all Vedic literature. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). So, as we are also persons, individual living beings, we are persons, we have got our individuality, we are all individual, similarly the Supreme Truth, the Supreme Absolute, He is also, at the ultimate issue He is a person. But realization of the Personality of Godhead is realization of all the transcendental features like sat, cit, and ananda, in complete vigraha. Vigraha means form. Therefore the complete whole is not formless. If He is formless or if He is less in any other thing, He cannot be complete whole. The complete whole must have everything within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete. The complete whole Personality of Godhead has immense potencies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. That is also explained in Bhagavad-gita, how He is acting in different potencies. This phenomenal world, or the material world, where we are now put, is also complete by itself because purnam idam [Isopanisad, Invocation]. The 24 elements of which, according to Sankhya philosophy, the 24 elements of which this material universe is a temporary manifestation, are completely adjusted to produce complete things which are necessary for the maintenance and subsistence of this universe. No extraneous effort by any other unit is required for the maintenance of the universe. It's at its own time, fixed up by the energy of the complete whole, and when the time is complete, these temporary manifestations will be annihilated by the complete arrangement of the complete. There is complete facility for the small complete units, namely, the living entities, to realize the complete. And all sorts of incompleteness is experienced on account of incomplete knowledge of the complete. So the Bhagavad-gita is the complete knowledge of the Vedic wisdom.

The whole Vedic knowledge is infallible. There are different examples how we take Vedic knowledge as infallible. Take for example, so far the Hindus are concerned, and how they accept the Vedic knowledge as complete, here is an insignificant example. Just like the cow dung. The cow dung is the stool of an animal. According to smrti or Vedic wisdom, if one touches the stool of an animal he has to take his bath to purify himself. But in the Vedic scriptures the cow dung is as stated as pure. Rather, impure place or impure things are purified by touch of the cow dung. Now if one argues how it is that in one place it is said that the stool of the animal is impure and another place it is said that the cow dung which is also the stool of an animal, it is pure, so it is contradictory. But actually, it may appear to be contradictory, but because it is Vedic injunction, therefore for our practical purposes we accept it. And by that acceptance we are not committing mistake. It has been found by modern chemists, modern science, one Dr. Lal Mohan Gosal, he has very minutely analyzed the cow dung and he has found that cow dung is a composition of all antiseptic properties. So similarly, he has also analyzed the water of the Ganges out of curiosity. So my idea is that Vedic knowledge is complete because it is above all doubts and all mistakes. So, and Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is therefore infallible. It comes down through the perfect disciplic succession.

Therefore Vedic knowledge is not a thing of research. Our research work is imperfect because we are searching everything with imperfect senses. Therefore the result of our research work is also imperfect. It cannot be perfect. We have to accept the perfect knowledge. The perfect knowledge is coming down, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, just we have begun, evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. We have to receive the knowledge from the right source in disciplic succession of spiritual master beginning from the Lord Himself. So Bhagavad-gita is spoken by the Lord Himself. And Arjuna, the, I mean to say, the student who took lessons of the Bhagavad-gita, he accepted the whole story as it is, without any cutting. That is also not allowed, that we accept a certain portion of Bhagavad-gita and reject another portion. That is also not accepted. We must accept the Bhagavad-gita without interpretation, without any cutting, and without our own whimsical participation in the matter because it should be taken as the most perfect Vedic knowledge. The Vedic knowledge is received from the transcendental sources because the first word was spoken by the Lord Himself. The words spoken by the Lord is called apauruseya, or not delivered by any person of the mundane world, who is infected with four principles of imperfectness. A living being of the mundane world has four defective principles of his life, and they are 1) that he must commit mistake, 2) he must be sometimes illusioned, and 3) he must try to cheat others, and 4) he's endowed with imperfect senses. With all these four principles of imperfectness, one cannot deliver the perfect form of information in the matter of all-pervading knowledge. The Vedas are not like that. The Vedic knowledge was imparted in the heart of Brahma, the first created living being. And Brahma in his turn disseminated the knowledge to his sons and disciples as they were originally received from the Lord. The Lord, being purnam or all-perfect, there is no chance of His becoming subjected to the laws of material nature. One should therefore be intelligent enough to know that except the Lord, nobody is the proprietor of anything within the universe. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gita:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah
[Bg. 10.8]

The Lord is the original creator. He is the creator of Brahma, He is the creator... That is also explained. He is the creator of Brahma. In the 11th Chapter the Lord is addressed as prapitamaha [Bg. 11.39] because Brahma is addressed as pitamaha, the grandfather, but He is the creator of the grandfather also. So nobody should claim to be the proprietor of anything, but he must accept things which are set aside by the Lord as his quota of maintenance. Now, there are many examples how we have to utilize the allotment of the Lord. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Arjuna, he decided in the beginning that he should not fight. That was his own contemplation. Arjuna said to the Lord that it was not possible for him to enjoy the kingdom after killing his own kinsmen. And that point of view was due to his conception of the body. Because he was thinking that the body was himself and the bodily relatives, his brothers, his nephews, his father-in-law or his grandfather, they were expansion of his body, and he was thinking in that way to satisfy his bodily demands. And the whole thing was spoken by the Lord just to change the view. And he agreed to work under the direction of the Lord. And he said, karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73].

Therefore in this world the human being is not meant for quarreling like the cats and dogs. They must be intelligent enough to realize the importance of the human life and refuse to act like ordinary animal. He should... A human being should realize the aim of human life. This direction is given in all the Vedic literature, and the essence is given in the Bhagavad-gita. Vedic literature are meant for the human being and not for the cats and dogs. The cats and dogs can kill their eatable animals, and for that there is no question of sin on their part. But if a man kills an animal for the satisfaction of his uncontrolled taste, he must be responsible for breaking the laws of nature. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly explained that there are three kinds of activities according to the different modes of nature: the activities of goodness, the activities of passion, the activities of ignorance. Similarly, there are three kinds of eatables also: eatables in goodness, eatables on passion, eatables on ignorance. They're all clearly described, and if we properly utilize the instructions of the Bhagavad-gita, then our whole life will become purified and ultimately we shall (be) able to reach the destination. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6].

That information is given in the Bhagavad-gita, that beyond this material sky, there is another spiritual sky; that is called sanatana sky. In this sky, this covered sky, we find everything temporary. It is manifested, it stays for some time, gives us some by-product, and then it becomes dwindling, and then vanishes. That is the law of this material world. You take this body, you take a fruit or anything what is created here, it has got its annihilation at the end. So beyond this temporary world there is another world for which the information is there, that paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20]. There is another nature which is eternal, sanatana, which is eternal. And the jiva, jiva is also described as sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatanah [Bg. 15.7]. Sanatana, sanatana means eternal. And the Lord is also described as sanatana in the 11th Chapter. So because we have got intimate relation with the Lord and we are all qualitatively one... The sanatana-dhama and the sanatana Supreme Personality and the sanatana living entities, they are on the same qualitatively plane. Therefore the whole target of Bhagavad-gita is to revive our sanatana occupation or sanatana..., that is called sanatana-dharma, or eternal occupation of the living entity. We are now temporarily engaged in different activities and all these activities being purified. When we give up all these temporary activities, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66], and when we take up the activities as desired by the Supreme Lord, that is called our pure life. [break] Therefore, sanatana-dharma, as mentioned above, that the Supreme Lord is sanatana, and the transcendental abode, which is beyond the spiritual sky, that is also sanatana. And the living entities, they are also sanatana. So association of the sanatana Supreme Lord, sanatana living entities, in the sanatana eternal abode is the ultimate aim of human form of life. The Lord is so kind upon the living entities because the living entities are claimed to be all sons of the Supreme Lord. The Lord declares sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayo yah [Bg. 14.4]. Every living, every type of living entity... There are different types of living entities according to their different karma, but the Lord claims that He is the father of all living entities, and therefore the Lord descends to reclaim all these forgotten conditioned souls back to the sanatana-dhama, the sanatana sky, so that the sanatana living entity may again reinstall in his sanatana position in eternal association of the Lord. He comes Himself by different incarnations, He sends His confidential servitor as sons or associates or acaryas to reclaim the conditioned souls.

And therefore sanatana-dharma does not mean any sectarian process of religion. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord. So far sanatana-dharma is concerned, it means the eternal occupation. Sripada Ramanujacarya has explained the word sanatana as "the thing which has neither any beginning nor any end." And when we speak of sanatana-dharma we must take it for granted on the authority of Sripada Ramanujacarya that it has no beginning, nor any end. The word religion is a little different from sanatana-dharma. Religion conveys the idea of faith. Faith may change. One may have faith in a particular process, and he may change the faith afterwards and adopt another faith. But sanatana-dharma means which cannot be changed, which cannot be changed. Just like water and liquidity. Liquidity cannot be changed from water. Heat and fire. Heat cannot be changed from fire. Similarly, the eternal function of the eternal living entity, which is known as sanatana-dharma, cannot be changed. It is not possible to change. We have to find out what is that eternal function of the eternal living entity. When we speak of sanatana-dharma therefore, we must take it for granted on the authority of Sripada Ramanujacarya that it has no beginning nor any end. The thing which has no end, no beginning, must not be any sectarian thing or limited by any boundary. When we hold on the conference on the sanatana-dharma, people belonging to some of the noneternal religious faiths may wrongly consider it that we are dealing in some sectarian thing. But if we go deep into the matter and take everything in the light of modern science, it will be possible for us to see sanatana-dharma as the business of all the people of the world, nay, all the living entities of the universe. Non-sanatana religious faith may have some beginning in the annals of the human society, but there cannot be any history of the sanatana-dharma because it continues to remain with the history of the living entities. So far living entities are concerned, we find it from the authority of the sastras that living entities have also no birth or death. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that the living entity is never born, nor does it ever die. He's eternal, indestructible, and continues to live after the destruction of his temporary material body. With reference to the above concept of sanatana-dharma we may try to understand the concept of religion from the Sanskrit root meaning of the word dharma. It means that which is constantly with the particular object. As we have already mentioned, when we speak of fire it is concluded at the same time that there is heat and light along with the fire. Without heat and without light, there is no meaning of the word fire. Similarly, we must find out the essential part of a living being which is always companion with him. That part of constant companion of the living being is his eternal quality, and the eternal part of the living being's quality is his eternal religion. When Sanatana Gosvami asked Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu about the svarupa -- we have already discussed about the svarupa of every living being -- svarupa or real constitution of the living being, the Lord replied that the constitutional position of the living being is to render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if we analyze this part of the statement of Lord Caitanya, we can very well see that every living being is constantly engaged in the business of rendering service to another living being. A living being serves another living being in different capacities, and by doing so, the living entity enjoys life. A lower animal serves a human being, a servant serves his master, A serves B master, B serves C master, and C serves D master, and so on. Under the circumstances, we can see that a friend serves another friend, and the mother serves the son, or the wife serves the husband, or husband serves the wife. If we go on searching in that spirit, it will be seen that there is no exception in the society of the living being where we do not find the activity of service. The politician present his manifesto before the public and convinces voters about his service capacity. The voter also gives the politician his valuable vote on expectation that the politician will give service to the society. The shopkeeper serves the customer and the artisan serves the capitalist. The capitalist serves his family and the family serves the head man in terms of the eternal capacity of eternal being. In this way we can see no living being is exempted from the practice of rendering service to other living being, and therefore we can conclude that service is a thing which is the constant companion of the living being, and therefore it may be safely concluded that rendering of service by a living being is the eternal religion of the living being. When a man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to the particular time and circumstances of birth, and thus one claims to be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, Buddhist, or any other sect, and sub-sect, such designations are non-sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu or a Christian, etc., but in all circumstances such change of religious faith does not allow a person to change his eternal engagement of rendering service to other. A Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, in all circumstances, he is servant of somebody, and thus to profess a particular type of faith is not to be considered as sanatana-dharma, but the constant companion of the living being, that is, rendering of service, is the sanatana-dharma. So factually, we are related in the service relationship with the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are eternally His supreme servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we partake, participate in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that makes us happy, not otherwise. Independently, as we have already explained that independently, any part of the body, the hand, the feet, the fingers, or any part of the body, independently, cannot be happy without cooperation with the stomach, similarly, the living entity can never be happy without rendering his transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. Now, in the Bhagavad-gita the worship of different demigods is not approved, is not approved because... It is said in the Bhagavad-gita [Bg. 7.20], the Lord says, kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah. Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah. Those who are directed by lust, only they worship the demigods other than the Supreme Lord, Krsna. We also may remember that when we speak of "Krsna" it is not a sectarian name. The "Krsna" name means the highest pleasure. It is confirmed that the Supreme Lord is the reservoir, is the storehouse of all pleasure. We are all hankering after pleasure. Anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). The living entities or the Lord, because we are full of consciousness, therefore our consciousness is after happiness. Happiness. The Lord is also perpetually happy, and if we associate with the Lord, cooperate with Him, take part in His association, then also we become happy. The Lord descends on this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrndavana full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krsna was in Vrndavana, His activities with His cowherd boys friends, with His damsels, with His friends, damsel friends, and with the inhabitants of Vrndavana and His occupation of cowherding in His childhood, and all these pastimes of Lord Krsna were full of happiness. The whole of Vrndavana, the whole population of Vrndavana, was after Him. They did not know except Krsna. Even Lord Krsna restricted His father, Nanda Maharaja in worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish that people need not worship any other demigod except the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the ultimate aim of life is to return to the abode of the Supreme Lord. The abode of Lord Krsna is described in the Bhagavad-gita, 15th Chapter, 6th verse,

na tad bhasayate suryo
na sasanko na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama

Now the description of that eternal sky... When we speak of sky, because we have material conception of the sky, therefore we think of sky with sun, moon, stars, like that. But the Lord says that the eternal sky, there is no need of sun. Na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah [Bg. 15.6]. Neither in that eternal sky there is need of moon. Na pavakah means neither there is necessity of electricity or fire for illuminating because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the brahmajyoti. Brahmajyoti, yasya prabha [Bs. 5.40], the rays of the supreme abode. Now in these days when people are trying to reach other planets, it is not very difficult to understand the abode of the Supreme Lord. The abode of the Supreme Lord is in the spiritual sky, and it is named as Goloka. In the Brahma-samhita it is very nicely described, goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah [Bs. 5.37]. The Lord, although resides eternally in His abode, Goloka, still He is akhilatma-bhutah, He can be approached from here also. And the Lord therefore comes to manifest His real form, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], so that we may not have to imagine. There is no question of imagination. The Lord's presence, by His causeless mercy He presents Himself in His Syamasundara-rupa.

Unfortunately, people with less intelligence deride at Him. Avajananti mam mudha [Bg. 9.11]. Because the Lord comes as one of us and just like plays with us as a human being, therefore we need not consider that Lord is one of us. It is His omnipotency that He presents Himself with His real form before us and displays His pastimes, just the prototype of His abode. So that abode of Lord, there are innumerable planets also in that brahmajyoti. Just like we have got innumerable planets floating on the sun rays, similarly, in the brahmajyoti, which is emanating from the abode of the Supreme Lord, Krsnaloka, Goloka, ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis [Bs. 5.37], all those planets are spiritual planets. They are ananda-cinmaya; they are not material planets. So the Lord says,

na tad bhasayate suryo
na sasanko na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama
[Bg. 15.6]

Now anyone who can approach that spiritual sky will not be required to come back again in this material sky. So long we are in the material sky, what to speak of approaching the moon planet.... The moon planet, of course, is the nearest planet, but even we approach the highest planet, which is called Brahmaloka, there also we have the same miseries of material life, I mean to say, the miseries of birth, death, old age, and diseases. No planets in the material universe is free from the four principles of material existence. The Lord therefore says in the Bhagavad-gita, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. The living entities are traveling from one planet to another. It is not that we can simply go to other planets by the mechanical arrangement of the sputnik. Anyone who desires to go to other planet, there is process. Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. If anyone wants to go to any other planet, say, moon planet, we need not try to go by the sputnik. The Bhagavad-gita instructs us, yanti deva-vrata devan. These moon planets or sun planets or the planets above this Bhuloka, they are called Svargaloka. Svargaloka. Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svargaloka. There are different status of planets. So Devaloka, they are known just like that. The Bhagavad-gita gives a very simple formula that you can go to the higher planets, Devaloka. Yanti deva-vrata devan. Yanti deva-vrata devan. Deva-vrata, if we practice the process of worshiping the particular demigod, then we can go to that particular planet also. We can go to the sun planet even, we can go to the moon planet, we can go to the heavenly planet, but Bhagavad-gita does not advise us to go to any one of these planets in the material world because even we go to the Brahmaloka, the highest planet, which is calculated by the modern scientist that we can reach the highest planet by traveling with sputniks for 40,000 years. Now it is not possible to live 40,000 years and reach the highest planet of this material universe. But if one devotes his life in the worshipment of the particular demigod he can approach the particular planet, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. Similarly, there is Pitrloka. Similarly, one who likes to approach the supreme planet, supreme planet... The supreme planet means the Krsnaloka. In the spiritual sky there are innumerable planets, sanatana planets, eternal planets, which are never destroyed, annihilated. But of all those spiritual planets there is one planet, the original planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana. So these informations are there in the Bhagavad-gita and we are given the opportunity for leaving this material world and get our eternal life in the eternal kingdom. Now in the 15th Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, the real picture of this material world is given. It is said there that

urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham
asvattham prahur avyayam
chandamsi yasya parnani
yas tam veda sa veda-vit
[Bg. 15.1]

Now, this material world is described in the Fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita as a tree which has got its root upwards, urdhva-mulam. Have you experience of any tree which has its root upwards? We have got this experience of a tree, root upwards by reflection. If we stand on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, we can see that the tree on the bank of the reservoir of water is reflected in the water as trunk downwards and the root upwards. So this material world is practically a reflection of the spiritual world. Just like the reflection of the tree on the bank of a reservoir of water is seen downwards, similarly, this material world, it is called shadow. Shadow. As in the shadow there cannot be any reality, but at the same time, from the shadow we can understand that there is reality...

First Tape Recording, Done by Srila Prabhupada Himself (part two)