Real Perception

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.07.21 - Real Perception (download mp3)
by Radhapati Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.7.21
purusatve ca mam dhirah
avistaram prapasyanti

In the human form of life, those who are self-controlled and expert in the spiritual science of Sankhya can directly see Me along with all of My potencies.

We find the following statement in the Vedas: purusatve cavistaram atma sahita-prajñanena sampanna-tamo vijñatam vadati vijñatam pasyati veda svastanam veda lokalokau martyenamrtam ipsaty evam sampanno ’thetaresam pasunam asana-pipase evabhijñanam. “In the human form of life, the soul is fully endowed with intelligence to understand spiritual knowledge. Thus, in human life the soul may speak realized knowledge, see the truth, know the future and also understand the reality both of this world and of the next. Taking advantage of the experience of mortal life, the soul in human form may endeavor for immortality, and the human body is fully equipped to achieve this end. In such an elevated state the soul is certainly well acquainted with the ordinary activities of animals, such as eating and drinking.”

The human form of life (purusatve) is very significant because it affords us the opportunity to perfect our existence. The Sankhya system mentioned here is best illustrated by the instructions of Lord Kapila to His mother, Devahuti. Lord Kapila is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His mother approached Him, saying:

nirvinna nitaram bhumann
yena sambhavyamanena
 prapannandham tamah prabho

“I am very sick of the disturbance caused by my material senses, for because of this sense disturbance, my Lord, I have fallen into the abyss of ignorance.” (Bhag. 3.25.7) Lord Kapila delivered to His mother a highly analytical summary of all material and spiritual reality. It is significant that Lord Kapila did not discriminate against His mother because she was a woman, nor did He consider her incapable of understanding the most elaborate spiritual knowledge. Thus, in a Krsna conscious society of liberated souls, any man, woman or child may become a great devotee of Lord Krsna without discrimination. It is also significant that in the highly intellectual Sankhya system enunciated by Lord Kapila, the solid conclusion is surrender to the lotus feet of the pure devotees and love of Godhead. In Lord Kapila’s instructions in the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, He emphasizes the need to take shelter of the pure devotees of the Lord. In the present verse Lord Krsna says, sankhya-yoga-visaradah: those who are expert in taking shelter of the pure devotees and who can thus understand the actual situation of this world are able to see Krsna in His personal form, along with His internal and external potencies.

A spiritual master becomes bona fide by his full surrender to his spiritual master; but as explained in this chapter, one may also act as his own guru. This means that an intelligent and perceptive person can understand the nature of this world and his own limitations. Such a person then becomes very much inclined to associate with the pure devotees of the Lord and to receive the mercy of those who are advanced in Krsna consciousness. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, sankhya-yoga, as described here, refers to the rigorous intellectual progress of the jñana-yoga system, along with the devotion of bhakti-yoga, which emphasizes the mercy of the lotus feet of the pure devotees.

Actually, jñana-yoga is a factor in the bhakti-yoga system, since Krsna is jñana-gamya, or the goal of all knowledge. The Lord also says in Bhagavad-gita (10.10) that He personally enlightens a sincere devotee with all knowledge. In this chapter, Lord Krsna is training Uddhava to see the Lord’s personal form in the course of his daily experiences in the material world. The Lord has already indicated to Uddhava that he will travel throughout the world in samadhi, or trance, and now Lord Krsna is preparing Uddhava to travel as a true sannyasi seeing the Personality of Godhead everywhere.

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