Reaching the Treasure in the East

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.31 - Reaching the Treasure in the East (download mp3)
by Shubha Vilas Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.47.31
atma j├▒ana-mayah suddho
 vyatirikto ’gunanvayah
 maya-vrttibhir iyate

Being composed of pure consciousness, or knowledge, the soul is distinct from everything material and is uninvolved in the entanglements of the modes of nature. We can perceive the soul through the three functions of material nature known as wakefulness, sleep and deep sleep.

It is clearly stated here that the soul, atma, is constituted of pure knowledge, pure consciousness, and is thus ontologically distinct from the material nature. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti points out that the word atma may also be taken to mean “the Supreme Soul, Lord Krsna.” Since the Lord has just explained in the previous verses that all material phenomena are expansions of Himself, the phrase maya-vrttibhir iyate indicates that by studying this world deeply we will come to the perception of God. From this point of view also, the gopis were advised not to lament.