Giving Up I Consciousness To Appreciate Lord's Creation

Srimad Bhagavatam 8.12.08 - Giving Up I Consciousness To Appreciate Lord's Creation (download mp3)
by Madan Gopal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 8.12.8
ekas tvam eva sad asad dvayam advayam ca
svarnam krtakrtam iveha na vastu-bhedah
ajñanatas tvayi janair vihito vikalpo
yasmad guna-vyatikaro nirupadhikasya

My dear Lord, Your Lordship alone is the cause and the effect. Therefore, although You appear to be two, You are the absolute one. As there is no difference between the gold of a golden ornament and the gold in a mine, there is no difference between cause and effect; both of them are the same. Only because of ignorance do people concoct differences and dualities. You are free from material contamination, and since the entire cosmos is caused by You and cannot exist without You, it is an effect of Your transcendental qualities. Thus the conception that Brahman is true and the world false cannot be maintained.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the living entities are representations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's marginal potency whereas the various bodies accepted by the living entities are products of the material energy. Thus the body is considered material, and the soul is considered spiritual. The origin of them both, however, is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. As the Lord explains in Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5):

bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva ca
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakrtir astadha

apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat

"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. But besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe." Thus both matter and the living entities are manifestations of energy of the Supreme Lord. Since the energy and the energetic are not different and since the material and marginal energies are both energies of the supreme energetic, the Supreme Lord, ultimately the Supreme Personality of Godhead is everything. In this regard, the example may be given of gold that has not been molded and gold that has been molded into various ornaments. A gold earring and the gold in a mine are different only as cause and effect; otherwise they are the same. The Vedanta-sutra describes that Brahman is the cause of everything. Janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. Everything is born of the Supreme Brahman, from which everything emanates as different energies. None of these energies, therefore, should be considered false. The Mayavadis' differentiation between Brahman and maya is only due to ignorance.

Srimad Viraraghava Acarya, in his Bhagavata-candra-candrika, describes the Vaisnava philosophy as follows. The cosmic manifestation is described as sat and asat, as cit and acit. Matter is acit, and the living force is cit, but their origin is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in whom there is no difference between matter and spirit. According to this conception, the cosmic manifestation, consisting of both matter and spirit, is not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idam hi visvam bhagavan ivetarah: "This cosmic manifestation is also the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although it appears different from Him." In Bhagavad-gita (9.4) the Lord says:

maya tatam idam sarvam
jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sarva-bhutani
na caham tesv avasthitah

"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them." Thus although someone may say that the Supreme Person is different from the cosmic manifestation, actually He is not. The Lord says, maya tatam idam sarvam: "In My impersonal feature I am spread throughout the world." Therefore, this world is not different from Him. The difference is a difference in names. For example, whether we speak of gold earrings, gold bangles or gold necklaces, ultimately they are all gold. In a similar way, all the different manifestations of matter and spirit are ultimately one in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. ekam evadvitiyam brahma. This is the Vedic version (Chandogya Upanisad 6.2.1). There is oneness because everything emanates from the Supreme Brahman. The example already given is that there is no difference between a golden earring and the gold mine as it is. The Vaisesika philosophers, however, because of their Mayavada conception, create differences. They say, brahma satyam jagan mithya: "The Absolute Truth is real, and the cosmic manifestation is false." But why should the jagat be considered mithya? The jagat is an emanation from Brahman. Therefore the jagat is also truth.

Vaisnavas, therefore, do not consider the jagat to be mithya; rather, they regard everything as reality in connection with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

anasaktasya visayan
yatharham upayuñjatah
nirbandhah krsna-sambandhe
yuktam vairagyam ucyate

prapañcikataya buddhya
mumuksubhih parityago
vairagyam phalgu kathyate

"Things should be accepted for the Lord's service and not for one's personal sense gratification. If one accepts something without attachment and accepts it because it is related to Krsna, one's renunciation is called yuktam vairagyam. Whatever is favorable for the rendering of service to the Lord should be accepted and should not be rejected as a material thing." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.255-256) The jagat should not be rejected as mithya. It is truth, and the truth is realized when everything is engaged in the service of the Lord. A flower accepted for one's sense gratification is material, but when the same flower is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead by a devotee, it is spiritual. Food taken and cooked for oneself is material, but food cooked for the Supreme Lord is spiritual prasada. This is a question of realization. Actually, everything is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore everything is spiritual, but those who are not advanced in proper knowledge make distinctions because of the interactions of the three modes of material nature. In this regard, Srila Jiva Gosvami says that although the sun is the only light, the sunshine, which is exhibited in seven colors, and darkness, which is the absence of sunshine, are not different from the sun, for without the existence of the sun such differentiations cannot exist. There may be varied nomenclature because of different conditions, but they are all the sun. The puranas therefore say:

jyotsna vistarini yatha
parasya brahmanah saktis
tathedam akhilam jagat

"Just as the illumination of a fire, which is situated in one place, is spread all over, the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Para-brahman, are spread all over this universe." (Visnu Purana 1.22.53) Materially, we can directly perceive the sunshine spreading itself according to different names and activities, but ultimately the sun is one. Similarly, sarvam khalv idam brahma: everything is an expansion of the Supreme Brahman. Therefore, the Supreme Lord is everything, and He is one without differentiation. There is no existence separate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.