Srimad Bhagavatam 11.11.08 - Symptoms of Liberated and Conditioned Soul (download mp3)
by Satyananda Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
deha-stho ’pi na deha-stho
vidvan svapnad yathotthitah
adeha-stho ’pi deha-sthah
kumatih svapna-drg yatha
One who is enlightened in self-realization, although living within the material body, sees himself as transcendental to the body, just as one who has arisen from a dream gives up identification with the dream body. A foolish person, however, although not identical with his material body but transcendental to it, thinks himself to be situated in the body, just as one who is dreaming sees himself as situated in an imaginary body.
In Lord Krsna’s discussion of the different characteristics of liberated and conditioned souls, the Lord first clarified the distinction between the eternally liberated Personality of Godhead and the marginal potency, the innumerable jivas, who are sometimes conditioned and sometimes liberated. In this and the next nine verses, the Lord describes the different symptoms of liberated and conditioned jiva souls. In a dream one sees oneself in an imaginary body, but upon waking one gives up all identification with that body. Similarly, one who has awakened to Krsna consciousness no longer identifies with the gross or subtle material bodies, nor does he become affected by the happiness and distress of material life. On the other hand, a foolish person (kumati) does not awaken from the dream of material existence and is afflicted with innumerable problems due to false identification with the gross and subtle material bodies. One should become situated in one’s eternal spiritual identity (nitya-svarupa). By properly identifying oneself as the eternal servant of Krsna, one becomes relieved of his false material identity, and therefore the miseries of illusory existence immediately cease, just as the anxiety of a troublesome dream ceases as soon as one awakens to his normal, pleasant surroundings. It should be understood, however, that the analogy of awakening from a dream can never be applied to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never in illusion. The Lord is eternally awake and enlightened in His own unique category called visnu-tattva. Such knowledge is easily understood by one who is vidvan, or enlightened in Krsna consciousness.