Actual Reality is Spiritual World

SB 10.84.24-25 - Actual Reality is Spiritual World (download mp3)
by Hare Krishna Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.84.24-25
yatha sayanah purusa
 atmanam guna-tattva-drk
 na veda rahitam param
evam tva nama-matresu
 visayesv indriyehaya
mayaya vibhramac-citto
 na veda smrty-upaplavat

A sleeping person imagines an alternative reality for himself and, seeing himself as having various names and forms, forgets his waking identity, which is distinct from the dream. Similarly, the senses of one whose consciousness is bewildered by illusion perceive only the names and forms of material objects. Thus such a person loses his memory and cannot know You.

Just as a person’s dream is a secondary reality created from the stock of his memories and desires, so this universe exists as the inferior creation of the Supreme Lord, in no real way separate from Him. And just as the person who awakens from sleep experiences the higher reality of his waking life, so the Supreme Lord also has His distinct, higher reality beyond everything we know of this world. In His own words,

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

na ca mat-sthani bhutani
 pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho
 mamatma bhuta-bhavanah

“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everything, I am not part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.” (Bg. 9.4-5)