Nonexistent And Existent.
73/08/22 London, Bhagavad-gita 2.16
nasato vidyate bhavo
nabhavo vidyate satah
ubhayor api drsto 'ntas
tv anayos tattva-darsibhih
"Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent there is no endurance, and of the existent there is no cessation. This seers have concluded by studying the nature of both."
There are two things, sat and asat. Sat means which exists, and asat means which does not exist, temporary. It appears and again disappears. That is asat. The example is just like the sky and the cloud. Cloud appears, exists for some time, again disappears. But the sky remains always. This is the distinction between sat and asat, try to understand. Sky, this material sky, this also does not exist, but so far our experience is concerned, we can understand the distinction between sat and asat. Permanent and temporary. We cannot say "nonexistent" exactly. Existing. When the cloud comes, it has got some activities, there is rainfall and, on account of rainfall, on the ground there is some new vegetation, new flowers, everything looks very green. In the rainy season we get some products. So we cannot say it is false, but we can say it is temporary. Similarly, material world, matter, is not false. But it is nonpermanent. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. You'll find it in the Bhagavad-gita. The Mayavadi philosopher says brahma satyam jagan mithya. The spirit is truth, and jagat, this material world, is untruth, mithya, false. We say that everything is emanating from the Supreme. Yato va imani bhutani jayante. Everything is emanating from Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth. So that cannot be false. Because Absolute Truth, how from truth, false will come? This is our philosophy. The matter may be temporary, but it is not false. The Vedic injunction is ma asatah. Ma asato sad gamaya. Don't try to be entangled with the asat. Sad asat. But try to come to the platform of sat.
In the previous verse, yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha, Krsna says: "Those who are not disturbed by the material changes..." Sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram so 'mrtatvaya kalpate. Our mission, human mission, is to come to the platform of amrtatvam, immortality. We have discussed this point. Amrtatvam, immortality. The modern civilization, the so-called scientists, philosophers, they cannot imagine even that there is possibility of becoming immortal. They cannot imagine. Their brain is so dull that they cannot think of, that we can become immortal. Then how Krsna is speaking about immortality? Is He speaking something nonsense, utopian? No, He is speaking the fact. Otherwise, if Krsna speaks something nonsense, utopian, then nobody would be interested to read Bhagavad-gita. We may be third-class men, that we indulge in Bhagavad-gita, and Krsna is speaking something utopian, nonsense. But there are big, big acaryas -- Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya. Why they are giving attention to the reading of Bhagavad-gita? Krsna does not speak anything nonsense. It is fact. So if it is the fact that there is possibility of becoming immortal... That is sat.
So sat... Our business should be to be engaged in the sat platform, not in the asat platform. Asat platform, nonpermanent, or according to somebody's opinion, false. So false or nonpermanent, whatever it may be, the real human civilization should be based on the purpose of becoming immortal, sat, not asat. That is the distinction between India and other countries. Now I am not speaking of India of today, but India as it is. Big, big acaryas, just like Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva is the original acarya. Therefore the birthday of guru is called vyasa-puja. Vyasa-puja means original guru. Guru is the representative of Vyasadeva. This throne is called vyasasana, sitting place of Vyasadeva. So one who is representative of Vyasadeva, he can sit on this throne. So guru, by parampara system, guru is seated on the vyasasana because he is the representative. Just like in the high court, the bench, it is called bench. Actually, the bench is to be used by the head of the executive power, the king or the president. But the high court judge is the representative of the head executive; therefore, he sits on that bench.
So Vyasadeva, so learned scholar, everyone knows how great scholar he was. He has written so many books. Four Vedas, eighteen Puranas, then Vedanta-sutra, then Upanisads. So many things. Recorded, not written, recorded. So such a big scholar was residing... He was guiding the whole society, but he was living very humbly. Even Canakya Pandita, he was prime minister, but he was living in a cottage. That is the distinction between Vedic or Indian civilization and the modern civilization. The Indian civilization means they are interested in sat, and others they are interested in asat. Asat means which will not exist. I've already explained. In India, of course, materially, five hundred, five thousand years ago, materially also, India was very opulent. Why five thousand years? Even five hundred years or four hundred years, India was so opulent that Europeans were attracted to go to India. Even during the time of Mogul Empire. It was so opulent. Those who have gone to India, you'll find if you visit in Delhi, the Red Fort. Red Fort you'll find there are pictures of birds and trees on the wall and the eyes of the bird is now hole or some parts. Means it was bedecked with jewel. On the wall there was decoration of birds. Just like we paint now. There is also paint. But that is not painting. Set up with stones, and the eyes and other parts of the bird, or trees, flowers, they are bedecked with different types of jewels. Now all these jewels have been taken away when British government was there, and they are now protected in the British museum. So far I have heard. But the jewels were taken away. That's a fact. Anyone can see that. So material opulence and... Of course, in India, it was not considered to have a big tin car or plastic plates. Material opulence means jewels, gold, silk, butter, that is material opulence. Not plastic pots or plastic bucket, plastic cloth. It has no value. So anyway, India was concerned material opulence, whatever is gotten from the nature, not by industry, not engaging oneself in industry. Therefore, India, the leaders of India now, they are finding that on account of our negligence to the material side of life, we have become poor.
So the (purport) (?) purpose is that the East and West difference is that the Eastern people, Eastern people means India, they stressed on this sat portion, the permanent portion, the spiritual civilization. Their aim was "How to make this life perfect so that I can become immortal." As I explained the other day, aihistam yat punar janmejaya, yat tat punar janmajayaya.(?) The whole effort was how to conquer over birth and death. So modern people they do not understand that birth and death can be conquered. They can imagine it. Sometimes they say that "By scientific advancement, someday we shall become immortal." They also expect to become immortal. But, expect or not expect, here is the information from Bhagavad-gita. Krsna says; He's not speaking something nonsense or utopian. It is fact that we should be interested in the permanent, permanent life, not temporary life. This life, this material life is temporary. We may live for ten years or ten hours. There are living entities, they live for ten minutes and there are living entities who are living for ten millions or ten billions of years. Just like in the Brahmaloka, they live billions of years. So all these duration of life, different types of duration of life, are there within this material world, but still, it is not permanent. Even if you live for ten billions of years or you live for ten minutes or ten seconds, it is nonpermanent. That is being explained here. Nasato vidyate bhavah. Asatah, or this material body, it has no endurance, it will not endure, it will not be permanently existing. Nabhavo vidyate satah: And the soul is permanent. He, it has no change; it will never be nonexistent. Krsna is explaining. When Krsna says, "My dear Arjuna, you, Me, and all these kings and soldiers assembled here, it is not that we did not exist in the past," so what is that? That means we are not this body. This body was not existing in the past in my past life, or duration of life. But as I am soul, I am existing now, I did exist in the past, and I will exist in the future. That is sat. Therefore, spirit has no such change.
Narottama dasa Thakura has sung, sat-sanga chadi' kainu asate vilasa te karana lagila mora karma-bandha-phansa. Karma-bandha-phansa means entangled. Sometimes we have got experience, that threads, they become entangled. It is very difficult to find out where the beginning is. Sometimes spoiled. So, on account of our attachment to this material body, we are becoming entangled. Sat-sanga chadi' kainu asate vilasa. This meeting, as we are holding, this is called sat-sanga. Sat-sanga because here there is no other business, talking all nonsense, some material things. Here only we talk about the spirit soul, about Krsna, about relationship with Krsna, how to act to satisfy Krsna. This is the business here. That is the reference. (?) Formerly, this place, Manor, was known as Piggot's Manor. Now we have named Bhaktivedanta Manor. What is the difference? Formerly, it was for sense gratification. Now it is meant for elevating one to the spiritual standard of life. So anything can be changed like that for sat-sanga. Sat-sangat mukta duhsanga. If you continue sat, as it is said, sat-sanga, then you advance in spiritual life. And if you associate with asat, then you become degraded. This is the policy. Sat-sanga chadi kainu asate vilasa te karane lagila mora karma-bandha-phansa. Don't be entangled. Try to become liberated from the entanglement. That is the mission of life.
So these things cannot be understood so long we are in the darkness. Darkness means sinful life. The more we are engaged in sinful life, we cannot understand what is sat-sanga and what is asat-sanga. So we should be purified. The whole human life is meant for purification. Yasmat suddhyet sattvam. Sattvam. Sattvam means existence. Suddhyet. Suddhyet means becomes purified. Just like a diseased man, contaminated by some disease. The medical treatment means he has to be purified from the contamination. Similarly, we are impure in this material existence, by contamination of the three modes of material nature: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna -- goodness, passion and ignorance. So even if we are contaminated by the quality of goodness of this material world, that is also contaminated. That is also cause of our entanglement. Goodness... A brahmana, if he thinks that "Now I have brahminical qualifications, I am now educated, I am very cleansed, I am very controlled" -- these things are brahmana qualification -- "I know what is what," jnanam vijnanam, but he does not try for becoming immortal, then that kind of thinking is also bondage, that "I am this, I am that." Even though he is very learned, sattva samo damas titiksa suci, all these good qualities are there. But if he does not try to be, go further ahead, how to become immortal, so this type of fine entanglement is also entanglement. And those who are passionate, they are thinking, "I am so rich, I am so powerful, I have got so many nice business, bank balance, I have got my big family, nice wife." These are passion conception of life. So they are certainly bound up. And those who are ignorant, means one does not know what is the value of life, lying down anywhere, lazy, sleeping, unclean, do not know the value of life, they are in ignorance. They are very firmly bound up.
So liberation means the more you are enlightened the value of life, the more, then you become liberated. The more you become liberated, the more you are advanced in your spiritual knowledge, sat, sat, sat-sanga. Therefore, these meetings which we hold every day, they are meant for advancing in spiritual life. Here, there is no program how to become very rich, how to possess more motorcars, how to have more bank balance, how to have nice dress. These are material things. Or ignorance: how to sleep thirty-four hours a day, although we have got twenty-four hours only. So here we see big, big men, they sleep up to two o'clock. Early rising means two o'clock. That is also early, but not at day two o'clock. At night, two o'clock, if you rise, that is nice. But they are accustomed to get up, two o'clock. Because they think "The more we sleep, we enjoy life." Therefore, they are sunyavadi. They want to become zero, sleeping always. Sunyavadi. "Make everything zero." That is called sunyavadi. No, that is not life. Sunyavadi is not life. Activity is life. Kirtaniyah sada harih [Cc. Adi 17.31]. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says: "Don't become zero, but be engaged always in chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra." That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's cult. We are not going to be zero. We want to be very active, but active not for sense gratification but for Krsna's service.
Now what is Krsna's service? That we are teaching, how to worship Krsna.
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
These are nine kinds of services. They are sat. The more we are engaged in these nine kinds of different occupation of devotional service, the more we are elevated, and the more we are engaged in activities of material sense gratification, we are degraded. Srama eva hi kevalam. You have got nice office, material point of view, nice business. So if you perform that business, office work, your duty, very nicely, but you have no Krsna consciousness, sastra says that srama eva hi kevalam. It is simply wasting time and laboring hard. That's all. Therefore Krsna says that this is the distinction between sat and asat. And we should not be very much interested with the asat. Then our life is spoiled. We should be interested with sat. That will make our life successful. Then we make progress for amrtatva.
Unfortunately, the people at the present moment, they do not know, neither they can imagine even that there is possibility of becoming immortal. This is very important point. There is not possibility, there is fact. And krsna-kirtana is so important. In the sastra, many places, it is said. Kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet. That param is, means spiritual. There are two kinds of, para and apara-prakrti. Apara-prakrti, para-prakrti. Apareyam. I am, this material world is apara, inferior energy. Itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param. Besides this, there is another prakrti, another nature, which is para. Para means spiritual. So we should be interested with the para, not with the apara. Why? Now that is real life. That is real life. Here it is said ubhayor api. Considering both this para and apara, the superior and inferior. Tattva-darsibhih. Who will study? Tattva-darsibhih. Tattva-darsi means those who have realized the truth, tattva-darsi. And we find this word tattva in various places. Tattvatah.
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
In another place, janma karma ca me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. Tato mam jnatva visate tad-anantaram. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. This word tattvatah is very important. Tattvatah means the absolute truth. Truth. Tattva -- means truth. In the Bhagavata also, we'll find vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. Tattva-vidah. Those who are aware of the truth, they call this tattva. What is that tattva? Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. That tattva is called sometimes Brahman, sometimes Paramatma, and sometimes Bhagavan. The Bhagavan is the last word of tattva. Therefore, you'll find in every stanza, Vyasadeva is writing, but he's writing sri bhagavan uvaca. Don't think... Vyasadeva says, that "Although I am writing, I am not the speaker. The speaker is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Sri bhagavan uvaca. "The authority is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not I." The modern so-called philosophers, scientists, scholars, they say, "I think. I think." What is your value? The great personalities, they will not say like that. Never they will say. Therefore Krsna even says, tattva-darsibhih: "It has been concluded by higher authorities." He is Himself authority; still He's not speaking that "I say." No. Sometimes He says matam mama: "That is My opinion." But He's also following the principle, authoritative, tattva-darsibhih. Tattva-darsibhih sankhye (?) ubhayor api drsto 'ntah, conclusion. Although Krsna is saying that this is sat and this is asat, this is permanent and this is nonpermanent, but still, He is giving evidences that tattva-darsibhih, those who have seen the truth, they have concluded like that. This is, means, authority. "They have concluded like that. Don't think that I am manufacturing something. No." Tattva-darsibhih. This is the way of understanding. Whether tattva-darsibhih. We also give reference sometimes in the modern age that such and such professor says such and such. But they are not tattva-darsibhih. They are all speculator. They are not tattva-darsibhih. But we have to go to the tattva-darsi.
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadeksyanti te jnanam
So this tattva-darsi, tattva, this word you should learn very nicely. That that is authoritative, and others they are not authoritative. They are simply speculation. Speculation means mental platform; it has no value. As this body is also nonpermanent, the mind is also flickering. Mind is flickering, accepting something and rejecting something. The same thing now accepted, again rejected. This is mind's business. So mind cannot be tattva-darsi. Of course we have to think with mind, but under the direction of authority. Then we can reach real tattva.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti sabdyate
The Bhagavan is the last word of tattva.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.16 -- London, August 22, 1973