Srimad Bhagavatam 11.09.13 - Absorption in Krishna (download mp3)
by Pankajanghri Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
tadaivam atmany avaruddha-citto
na veda kiñcid bahir antaram va
yathesu-karo nrpatim vrajantam
isau gatatma na dadarsa parsve
Thus, when one’s consciousness is completely fixed on the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one no longer sees duality, or internal and external reality. The example is given of the arrow maker who was so absorbed in making a straight arrow that he did not even see or notice the king himself, who was passing right next to him.
It is understood that when a king moves on a public street he is heralded by kettledrums and other musical instruments and is accompanied by soldiers and other members of his retinue. Thus, despite this royal extravaganza passing right by his workshop, the arrow maker did not even notice because he was completely absorbed in his prescribed duty of making an arrow straight and sharp. One who is completely absorbed in loving devotional service to the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, no longer pays attention to material illusion. In this verse the word bahis, “external,” refers to the innumerable objects of material sense gratification, such as food, drink, sex, and so on, which drag the senses of the conditioned soul into material duality. The word antaram, or “internal,” refers to memory of previous sense gratification or hopes and dreams for future materialistic situations. One who is seeing everywhere the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, categorically rejects both internal and external illusion. This is called mukti-pada, or the status of liberation. On this platform there is neither attraction nor aversion to sense objects; rather, there is loving absorption in the Absolute Truth, Krsna, and an overwhelming desire to please Him by devotional service. One who gives up the reality of Krsna will be forced to wander uselessly in the kingdom of mental speculation. One who cannot see that the Absolute Truth, Lord Krsna, is the background and basis of everything that exists will be bewildered by the false concept that there is something that is not Krsna. Everything emanates from the Lord, and He is the Lord of everything. This simple understanding is the actual existential situation.