Materialists--What Do They Know?

73/08/30 London, Bhagavad-gita 2.28


avyaktadini bhutani
vyakta-madhyani bharata
avyakta-nidhanany eva
tatra ka paridevana
 [Bg. 2.28]

"All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?"

Prabhupada: ...believing in the existence of soul. So soul is eternal. So there is nothing, no cause for lamentation, because soul will remain. Even the body is destroyed, there is no cause for lamentation. And those who do not believe that "There is no soul; everything was void in the beginning,..." So in the beginning there was void and in the middle it is manifested. Then again it is void. So void to void, where there is lamentation? This is the argument Krsna is giving. Both ways you cannot lament. Then?

Pradyumna: (purport) "Yet even if, for argument's sake, we accept the atheistic theory, there is still no cause for lamentation. Apart from the separate existence of the soul, the material elements remain unmanifested before creation. From this subtle state of unmanifestation comes manifestation. Just as from ether, air is generated; from air, fire is generated; from fire, water is generated; and from water, earth becomes manifested. From the earth, many varieties of manifestations..."

Prabhupada: This is the process of creation. From ether, then sky, then air, then fire, then water, then earth. This is the process of creation. Yes.

Pradyumna: "Take for example a big skyscraper manifested from the earth. When it is dismantled, the manifestation becomes again unmanifested and remains as atoms in the ultimate stage. The law of conservation of energy remains, but in course of time things are manifested and unmanifested. That is the difference. Then what cause is there for lamentation either in the stage of manifestation or unmanifestation? Somehow or other, even in the unmanifested stage, things are not lost. Both in the beginning and at the end all elements remain unmanifested, and only in the middle are they manifested, and this does not make any real material difference. And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita (antavanta ime dehah) that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (nityasyoktah saririnah) but that soul is eternal, then we must remember always that the body is like a dress. Therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization and the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body."

Prabhupada: One point in this connection is that at night when I am dreaming I forget this body. This body, in dream, I am seeing that I have gone in a different place, talking with different men, and my position is different. But at that time I don't remember that actually my body is lying on the bed in the apartment where I have come. But we don't remember this body. It is everyone's experience. Similarly, when you come again, awakening stage in the morning after getting up from the bed, I forget all the bodies I created in my dream. So which one is correct? This is correct? This body's correct, or that body's correct? Because at night I forget this body, and in daytime I forget the other dreaming body. So both of them not correct. It is simply hallucination. But I am correct because I see at night, I see in daytime. So I am eternal, the body is not eternal. This is the fact. Antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah [Bg. 2.18]. Saririnah, the owner of the body, is eternal, but not the body. In so many ways, Krsna is explaining about the material condition of this body. But those who are not very intelligent, with poor fund of knowledge, it is very difficult for them to understand. Otherwise, things are very clear. This point is very clear. That at night I forget this body, and in daytime I forget the body at night. This is a fact. Similarly, I may forget the body of my last appearance, last duration of life, or I may not know the future body. But I will exist, and the body may change, but I'll have to accept another body which is temporary. But I, as I exist, it means I have got a body. That is spiritual body.

So spiritual body is existing, and spiritual advancement means first of all to know spiritual identification of myself. Just like Sanatana Gosvami went to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu after retiring from his ministership. So he first of all said that, ke ami, kene amaya jare tapa-traya: "Actually, I do not know what I am, and why I am subjected to the miserable condition of life." Therefore the miserable condition of life is this body. Because I get... In dream also. When I get another body, sometimes we find that on top of the very tall bamboo or tall mountain I am just now, I'm falling down . And I'm afraid, I sometimes cry, "Now, I am now falling down." So this body, this material body, which body I belong to, which I am... Actually, I do not belong to any of these bodies. I have got a separate spiritual body.

So this human life is meant for that realization, that "I am not this material body, I have a spiritual body." Then next question will be, "Then what is my function?" In the present body under some material condition I am thinking, "This is my body," and the body is produced under certain condition of this country or this family; therefore, "This is my family, this is my country, this is my nation." Everything in bodily concept of life. And if I am not this body, then in relationship with this body, either my family or my country or my society, or my other relationships, they are also false because the body is false. Therefore Sankaracarya theorized this: brahma satyam jagan mithya. Brahman means the soul is actually the fact, not the material manifestation. Material manifestation, of course, he says false. We don't say false. We say temporary. So our main concern is that I am not temporary. My body is temporary. Now I am working for the body. That is illusion. Aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. Then what is real fact? Real fact is that I am spiritual particle, and the whole spirit is Krsna, or God. Therefore, as part and parcel of God it is my duty to serve God. That is spiritual life, bhakti-yoga, That is called svarupa. And in another place, the Bhagavad-gita confirms it that sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. When I realize that I am not this body, then immediately I transcend the three modes of material nature: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. Under the bodily concept of life, I am influenced by one of the modes of material nature and acting.

In the Bhagavata also it is stated: yaya sammohito jiva atmanam tri-gunatmakam manute anartham [SB 1.7.5]. So because I have accepted this body which is made of either of the three modes of material nature, and identifying, therefore I have created so many anartha. Anartha means unwanted things. Tat-krtam cabhipadyate. And after creating in bodily relationships so many unwanted things, I am absorbed in thought, that "I am, I belong to such and such nation. Therefore I have got my duty to do this, do that for the nation, or to the society, or to the family, or to my personal self, or to my wife, my children." This is, according to Vedic conception, this is illusion. Aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. Janasya moho 'yam. Moha means illusion. I am creating illusory circumstances and becoming entangled. This is my position. But my real objective is how to get out of this illusion and come to my original consciousness, Krsna consciousness, and then I get back. Krsna consciousness means spiritual body. As soon as I act on the basis of my spiritual body, that is called liberation. That is wanted. Then I live blissfully in eternal life of knowledge. That is my problem.

But people are being educated on this bodily concept of life, and they are creating problems, and in order to solve the problems, they are becoming entangled in sinful activities. Just like this morning we were discussing about killing the baby's body within the womb, abortion. Because we do not know that the soul within the body of the baby... That cannot be killed. That cannot be killed. But that is also explained, that one who knows the eternity of the soul, he does not kill anyone, neither the soul is killed. But we are creating problem. Because the soul has taken shelter in this body and the so-called medical science advising to destroy that body, that means he is becoming entangled. The person who is advising... I understand that one gentleman comes here, his wife is a medical doctor and her business is to check the pregnant wife, woman, and advise whether the child should be killed or not. This is the business.

So the situation of the world, due to ignorance of the soul they are creating so many sinful activities and becoming entangled. But they have no knowledge how they are becoming entangled. This is maya's, praksepatmika-sakti, avaranatmika. Although he is being entangled, but he's thinking that he's advancing, advancing in scientific knowledge. This is their knowledge. The gentleman was talking that he's a mining engineer. So mining engineer, his business is to make the atmosphere within the mine very comfortable. Just imagine, he has gone down within the earth just like the mousehole, and he's improving that mousehole. After being educated, after getting degrees, his position is to enter into the dark, dark, I mean to say, hole of the earth, and he's trying to scientific advancement by cleansing the air within the mine. He's condemned that he has been forced to give up the outer, outer space, free air. He has been condemned to go within the earth, and he's proud of scientific advancement. This is going on. This is scientific advancement.

So manute anartham. That is Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva, before writing Srimad-Bhagavatam by the, under the instruction of Narada, he meditated what is the position. Bhakti-yogena manasi samyak pranihite amale apasyat purusam purnam mayam ca tad-apasrayam [SB 1.7.4]. He saw, realized, there are two things: the maya and Krsna. Mayam ca tad-apasrayam. Taking shelter of Krsna. This maya cannot stand without Krsna. But Krsna is not affected by maya. Because Krsna is not affected, absorbed. But the living entities, yaya sammohito jiva, the living entities, they become affected by the presence of maya. Krsna is not affected. Just like the sun and the sunshine. Sunshine means combination of illuminating particles. That is sunshine. It is scientifically proven. Sparks, little atomic sparks, shining sparks. So similarly, we are also just like the shining sparks of Krsna. Krsna is compared with the sun. Krsna -- -surya-sama, maya haya andhakara. Now when there is cloud, maya, the sun is not affected. But the small particles, sunshine, they are affected. Just try to understand. Here is sun, and below, many millions of miles below, the cloud. And the cloud is covering part of the sunshine which is combination of illuminating particles. So the maya or the cloud cannot cover the sun, but it can cover the minute shining particles. So we are affected. Krsna is not affected.

Therefore, Vyasadeva saw, apasyat purusam purnam. He saw... Just like in airplane, you go above the cloud. The sun is not affected at all by the cloud. Although below the airplane you'll see vast mass of cloud. Similarly, maya cannot affect Krsna. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita says daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya. Mama maya [Bg. 7.14], Krsna says, "My illusory energy." Krsna is never affected by the illusory energy. Exactly like the cloud. But the Mayavadi philosophers, they say that when impersonal Absolute Truth comes, appears, they also accept the incarnation, but their philosophy is that ultimately the Absolute Truth is impersonal. When He appears as a person, He accepts the maya body. This is Mayavada. Krsna may be accepted as the Supreme God, but He has accepted a material body. That means they want to compare Krsna with ordinary living entity, and that is condemned in the Bhagavad-gita. It is said that avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11]. Because Krsna comes in His original form... Original form is two-handed. It is also accepted in the Bible: "Man is made after the image of God." So God has got two-handed. Even the four-handed Visnu form is not the original form. Visnu form is secondary manifestation of Sankarsana. So Krsna is never affected by maya. This is point.

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ascaryavat pasyati kascit enam
ascaryavad vadati tathaiva canyah
ascaryavac cainam anyah srnoti
srutvapy enam veda na caiva kascit

"Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all."

Prabhupada: So we shall discuss tomorrow. Hare Krsna. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 2.28 -- London, August 30, 1973