Dealing with Challenges

Srimad Bhagavatam 11.22.31 - Dealing with Challenges (download mp3)
by Srivas Thakur Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 11.22.31
drg rupam arkam vapur atra randhre
 parasparam sidhyati yah svatah khe
atma yad esam aparo ya adyah

Sight, visible form and the reflected image of the sun within the aperture of the eye all work together to reveal one another. But the original sun standing in the sky is self-manifested. Similarly, the Supreme Soul, the original cause of all entities, who is thus separate from all of them, acts by the illumination of His own transcendental experience as the ultimate source of manifestation of all mutually manifesting objects.

Form is recognized by the function of the eye, and the eye’s function is understood by the presence of perceivable form. This interaction of sight and form further depends on the presence of light provided by the demigods, whose service of universal management depends on the presence of those who are to be managed, namely the living entities experiencing form with their eyes. Thus the three factors — adhyatma, represented by the senses such as the eye; adhibhuta, the sense objects such as form; and adhidaiva, the influence of the controlling deities — exist in an interdependent relationship.

The sun globe itself is said to be self-manifest, self-luminous and self-experiencing; it does not share the interdependence of the senses and sense objects although facilitating their function. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead facilitates the interdependent experiences of all living entities. For example, newspapers, radio and television reveal world events to the mass of people. Parents reveal facts about life to their children, teachers to their students, friends to friends, and so on. The government manifests its will to the people and the people to their government. The sun and moon reveal the visual forms of all objects, and the perception of sound reveals audible form. The vibrations of particular types of music or rhetoric reveal the inner feelings of other living beings, and other types of knowledge are revealed by aroma, touch and taste. In this way, through the interaction of the senses and mind with innumerable sense objects, different types of knowledge are acquired. All such informative interactions, however, depend upon the supreme illuminating power of the Personality of Godhead. As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.52), yac-caksur esa savita sakala-grahanam: “Among all the planets the sun is considered the eye of the Supreme Lord.” The Personality of Godhead is eternally omniscient by His own transcendental potency, and thus no one can reveal anything to the Lord about anything. Still, Lord Krsna humbly accepts our prayers offered in Krsna consciousness. In conclusion, Lord Krsna clearly explains here that His sublime characteristics are completely different from those of the manifest universe. The Lord is therefore the supreme transcendental entity, free from all material influence.

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