Published on October 17th, 2022 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada3
Bhagavad-gita 7.4 MP3 Audio Class Vrndavana, August 10, 1974
In this material world we are trying to become happy, but that is like will-o’-the wisp, false thing. Real life is in the society of Krishna. If you enter into the society, friendship and love of Krishna, that is perfection of life.
Pradyumna: Translation: “Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, and false ego–altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies.”
bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha
Bhinna means separated. Separated means… Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina. Krsna is everywhere. As it is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita,
eko ‘py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim
yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Krsna, by His one plenary portion… When we say of Krsna, Krsna is not alone. Krsna has unlimited expansions. Just like one expansion is Paramatma. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati. Krsna expands Himself. There are millions and trillions of living entities. Anantyaya kalpate. The living entities… Sa ca anantyaya kalpate. So Krsna’s expansion is also ananta. Not only within the heart of all living entities, but He is within the atom also. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara. But this is only one plenary portion, expansion of Krsna. Therefore in the morning we were studying… Or yesterday. That to understand Krsna philosophically or in truth, it requires a little intelligence. Therefore Krsna says, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye, yatatam api siddhanam.
So Krsna expands by His energy, one of the energy, external energy. Therefore it is called apara. Krsna will explain in the next verse, apareyam, inferior energy. For Krsna there is no superior or inferior, but for us it is superior and inferior. Because Krsna is the supreme spirit soul. Take, for example, just like electricity is producing heat and cool also. There is refrigerator. That is being worked out by the electric energy. And the heater is also being worked out by the electric energy. So we may distinguish this, that “This is heat and this is cold.” But for Krsna there is no such distinction. That will be understood by further explanation of this chapter.
So these energies, the external energy, Krsna says, they are separated. Separated means you cannot perceive Krsna directly from this energy. All materialistic scientists, they cannot understand that earth is also Krsna’s energy, water is also Krsna’s energy, fire is also Krsna’s energy. But they are energy, that they can understand. They are accepting… The scientists, they are accepting that these are different energies, but whose energy, that they do not know. Therefore Krsna is explaining herewith that “It is My energy, separated energy.” If we analytically study how water can be energy of Krsna… We should study Krsna and Krsna’s energies very intelligently. Wherefrom this vast water of ocean came into existence? But we can understand from Bhagavad-gita that this vast water has come from Krsna’s energy. Now, try to understand how Krsna’s energy can produce so large amount of water. So far I am concerned, I study in this way, that we produce perspiration from our body. That perspiration may be one ounce of water, but that is produced from my body. And Krsna has got inconceivable energy. I have got also inconceivable energy. How the water is coming out, I do not know. It is inconceivable. But it is coming out. That’s a fact. So I am a very small, teeny living entity. If I can produce… Because I am always limited, therefore my energy is also limited. But Krsna is unlimited, so He can produce water from the perspiration of His body unlimitedly. We have to understand like that. Otherwise it is not possible to understand how apah, water, came from the energy of Krsna. It is coming from the living entity. Water is not coming from matter. Just like your perspiration is not coming… When the body is dead, the water is not coming, but so long you are living, the perspiration is there.
Therefore the source of all material elements is originally the supreme life, not matter. That is explained here. Bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh. But they are separated. How they are separated? That is explained in a different verse.
maya tatam idam sarvam
na caham tesv avasthitah
It is separated because in this material world you cannot directly perceive the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Na caham tesv avasthitah. “I am not present there. Although it is coming from My energy, still, I am not present there.” This is simultaneously-one-and-different philosophy.
So Krsna says that ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir asta… Everything is finer. Just like the earth is grosser than the water. Water, finer. Earth you cannot move, but water can move. Therefore it is finer. And finer than the earth is the fire, and finer than the fire is air, and finer than the air is ether, and finer than the ether is the mind, and finer than the mind is intelligence, and finer than intelligence is my identity, ahankara. And finer than the ahankara is the soul. You have to study soul–finer, finer, finer, finer, finer. It is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita in another place that indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah, manasas tu para buddhih… In this, say, finer, finer. And the soul is very small magnitude finer. Kesagra-sata-bhagasya satadha kalpitasya ca. So everything is explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. If we accept, then we get full knowledge. The beginning of the Bhagavad-gita… In this chapter, Krsna says, asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tac chrnu: “Without any doubt and in full, as you can understand Me, I am going to explain.”
So these five elements, gross elements, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham…, kham. And finer than…, manah, buddhih, ahankarah, mind, intelligence and false ego. False ego means I am identifying with this matter, which I am not. Therefore ahankara. This ahankara is false ahankara, which I am not. I am accepting that I am this body, but actually I am not. Therefore I am saying, it is false ego. Real ahankara is aham brahmasmi. There is also ahankara. Ahankara cannot be abolished. Ahankara will be there, but ahankara has to be cleansed. Therefore bhakti-marga, the path of bhakti-yoga, is the cleansing process, clearing process. Ceto-darpana-marjanam. Everything is there, but it has to be cleansed. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, you’ll be able to cleanse your misconception of life. Misconception of life is that “I am this matter.” This is ahankara, false ahankara. But I am actually not this matter; I am spirit soul. Therefore pure ahankara is aham brahmasmi, a spirit soul. That is the beginning of understanding. Aham brahmasmi, that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita that brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati. If one understands this fact, that “I am not this material body; I am a spirit soul,” that is called brahma-bhuta.
So gradually, by understanding the teachings of Bhagavad-gita and practicing it in life, we shall very easily understand the atma-tattvam. That is the real business of human life. Unfortunately, we are not interested in the matter of understanding atma-tattvam. Srotavyadini rajendra nrnam santi sahasrasah. Sukadeva Gosvami says, “My dear King…” He was speaking to Maharaja Pariksit that “For ordinary men there are many subject matter of hearing.” Srotavyadini. Srotavya means the subject matter for hearing. So Sukadeva Gosvami says, “For the ordinary man…” Who is that ordinary man? Apasyatam atma-tattvam. Apasyatam, one who has no interest to see what he is. Everyone is under this contemplation that he is this body and his bodily interest is the prime interest. But nobody sees the atma-tattvam. Therefore Sukadeva Gosvami says, srotavyadini rajendra nrnam santi sahasrasah. We have got so many books, so many newspapers, so many magazines. We hear and read. But we are not interested in hearing Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, where atma-tattvam, the science of soul, is described.
So why they are not interested? Now, apasyatam atma-tattvam grhesu grha-medhinam. Grhesu, now, household life… They are thinking, “This is life.” Tatala saikate vari-bindu-sama, suta-mita-ramani-samaje. Vidyapati, a great poet, Vaisnava poet, he has sung that… We are happy within this material world. How? Suta-mita-ramani-samaje. Suta. Suta means children, and mita means friends, and ramani means woman. So actually, our material life, existing, is society, friendship and love. If there are nice, beautiful women at home, children and friends, we are taking, “This is our life.” But that is not life. Real life is to understand what I am, atma-tattvam. Atma-tattvam. Without understanding atma-tattvam, the life is failure. Therefore Vidyapati sings, tatala saikate vari-bindu-sama, suta-mita-ramani-samaje. We have created this society, friendship and love in this material world for becoming happy. Everyone wants to be happy, because that is his natural inclination. Anandamayo ‘bhyasat. As Krsna is happy always… You will see. Krsna is enjoying His life with Srimati Radharani and the gopis or the cowherds boys or His father, mother. That is spiritual, everything. Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih. That is ananda-cinmaya. A similar imitation here in this material world. The same thing, suta-mita-ramani-samaje. But it is false. Just like you see water in the desert. You’ll see there is vast mass of water in the desert, and the animal falsely go to drink the water and dies. Similarly, in this material world, this suta-mita-ramani-samaje, what we are trying to become happy, that is like will-o’-the wisp, false thing. Real life is in the society of Krsna.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura therefore says, krsnera samsara kara chadi’ anacara. If you enter into the society, friendship and love of Krsna, that is perfection of life. Not in this false, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh. They are separated energy. This is also made by the Krsna’s energies, but it is separate, reflection, false representa… Chayeva. Chayeva means just like shadow. Just like you see your face in the mirror, but it is not actually the face. It is simply… The face is here, and the shadow is there. Similarly, this material world, made of bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhih, they are just like reflection of the real life in the spiritual world. Therefore it is called separated energy. Why Krsna says? Krsna says here that bhinna. Bhinna means separated. The example I have already… Sometimes I give. Just like I speak in the tape recorder. When you play, replay the tape recorder, the same voice will come. But that is not myself. That is my separated energy. With my energy I have spoken something, I have vibrated some sound. That is recorded in the tape. When it is played back, it produces exactly the same sound, but still, it is separated from me. Try to understand. This material world is like that, bhinna, separate. The real life is in the spiritual world. The real life is… Therefore in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, satyam param dhimahi: “The real truth, the Absolute Truth, I am offering my obeisances to the Absolute Truth.” So Krsna is the Absolute Truth. Krsna is explaining Himself. If we want to understand Krsna, then, instead of speculating about Krsna, better take what Krsna teaching Himself. That will be perfect.
So the real understanding of Krsna, that this material world is also Krsna… But we do not know how to use it for Krsna. If we take to that process… Krsna’s energy should be for Krsna’s purpose. That is Vaisnava philosophy. Vaisnava philosophy never says that this world is false. Why it is false? It is not false. As the Mayavadi philosopher says that brahma satyam jagan mithya. No. Why jagan mithya? Just like this temple is constructed. If somebody says, “Yes, it is very nicely constructed, but it is all false,” shall I be happy? No. And actually, why it is false? It is not false. It is Krsna’s energy, the bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh. What is this temple? This temple is combination of this bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh. Tejo-vari-mrdam vinimayah. This brick, what is this brick? Brick means you take earth, mix with water and put into the fire–it becomes brick. And there is air. So it is Krsna’s energy. It is not material. It is Krsna’s energy. Because the philosophy is that Krsna’s energy should be used for Krsna’s purpose. Then it is spiritual. That is our philosophy. Srila Rupa Gosvami, this, gives this formula:
vairagyam phalgu kathyate
Phalgu-vairagya. Phalgu means false. False. The phalgu, from River Phalgu is… Here, in India, there is a River Phalgu. You’ll see that there is no water on the surface of the river. But if you push your hand within the sand, you’ll get water. So phalgu-vairagya means that I am giving up, renouncing everything, superficially, but within me there is a desire how to become God. I am giving up, but I cannot give up this desire. There is big, big philosophy on this point. The… They are trying to become one with God. But a devotee does not try to become one with God or separated from God. They are satisfied. In whatever condition God keeps him, he’s satisfied.
So separated energy, in this way you have to understand, that although this energy is separated from Krsna, it can be used for Krsna. And when it is used for Krsna, then it is spiritual. It is no more material. Material means forgetfulness. Karmis are constructing big, big houses, skyscraper houses. The purpose is to enjoy himself. The same thing, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh, mixing together, brick or stone or cement, if it is used for Krsna, then it is yukta-vairagya.
yuktam vairagyam ucyate
So our philosophy is that. Although this material world, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh, they are separated from Krsna, we can use it for Krsna. Just like the same example: The tape recorder, it is material, but it can be used for Krsna’s purpose. We are writing books, recording in the tape recorder. That nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate. There is no need of giving up this bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh, as the Mayavadi philosopher says. You can utilize. After all, it is Krsna’s energy. This is the best philosophy, that one man’s property should be used for the proprietor. That is the best use.
So we do not neglect this bhumir apah…, although it is separated energy, but when we reconnect in the service of the Lord, it becomes spiritual. It requires little time to understand. And the example, as we have given many times, that you put one iron rod in the fire. It becomes warm, warmer, warmer, warmer. Then, when it is red-hot, it is no longer iron rod, but it is fire. Similarly, everything in this material world, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh, although it is separated from Krsna, if you engage it in the service of Krsna, it is no more material. It is spiritual. This is the philosophy of Vaisnavas. Nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe yuktam vairagyam ucyate.
So this is Krsna consciousness. If you always remember that everything, whatever we are using, that is Krsna’s energy… We are also Krsna’s energy, jiva-bhuta. That will be explained in the next verse. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param. Another prakrti, para-prakrti, spiritual energy. What is that? Jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate. So both of us… The matter is also Krsna’s energy, and the spirit soul is also Krsna’s energy. And there is another, spiritual world. That is also Krsna’s energy. Everything is Krsna’s energy. So when the spiritual energy is engaged in the service of Krsna, even this material energy, bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh, that also becomes converted into spiritual energy exactly like that iron rod converted into fire.
So it requires intelligence. If you think how all things can be changed into spiritual world, that is Krsna consciousness movement.
Thank you very much. (end)
[740810BG.VRN Bhagavad-gita 7.4 Vrndavana, August 10, 1974]
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada