Cultivating Attitude of Caring

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.31-33 - Cultivating Attitude of Caring (download mp3)
by Navina Nirada Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.84.31
sannikarso ’tra martyanam
gangam hitva yathanyambhas
 tatratyo yati suddhaye

In this world familiarity breeds contempt. For example, one who lives on the banks of the Ganges might travel to some other body of water to be purified.

SB 10.84.32-33
yasyanubhutih kalena
 layotpatty-adinasya vai
svato ’nyasmac ca gunato
 na kutascana risyati
tam klesa-karma-paripaka-guna-pravahair
 avyahatanubhavam isvaram advitiyam
pranadibhih sva-vibhavair upagudham anyo
 manyeta suryam iva megha-himoparagaih

The Supreme Lord’s awareness is never disturbed by time, by the creation and destruction of the universe, by changes in its own qualities, or by anything else, whether self-caused or external. But although the consciousness of the Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme one without a second, is never affected by material distress, by the reactions of material work or by the constant flow of nature’s modes, ordinary persons nonetheless think that the Lord is covered by His own creations of prana and other material elements, just as one may think that the sun is covered by clouds, snow or an eclipse.

Things of this world are inevitably destroyed by one means or another. Time itself causes the eventual decay of every created being — a fruit, for instance, which may grow ripe but then must either rot or be eaten. Some things, like lightning, destroy themselves as soon as they are manifested, while others are destroyed suddenly by external agents, as a clay pot is by a hammer. Even in living bodies and other things whose existence continues for some time, there is a constant flux of various qualities that are destroyed and replaced by others.

In contrast to all of this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s awareness is never disrupted by anything. Only out of ignorance could one imagine Him to be an ordinary human being subject to material conditions. Mortal beings are covered by their entanglement in fruitive activities and their consequent happiness and distress, but the Supreme Lord cannot be covered by what are in fact His own expansions. Analogously, the immense sun is the source of the relatively insignificant phenomena of clouds, snow and eclipses, and so it cannot be covered by them, though the ordinary observer may think that it is.