Srimad Bhagavatam 11.28.01 - Role of Jnana for Devotees (download mp3)
by Ras Gopal Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
na praśaṁsen na garhayet
viśvam ekātmakaṁ paśyan
prakṛtyā puruṣeṇa ca
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: One should neither praise nor criticize the conditioned nature and activities of other persons. Rather, one should see this world as simply the combination of material nature and the enjoying souls, all based on the one Absolute Truth.
Material situations and activities appear to be good, passionate or ignorant according to the interaction of the modes of nature. These modes are produced by the illusory potency of the Lord, which is itself not different from its master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So a devotee of the Lord remains aloof from the illusory, temporary manifestations of material nature. At the same time, he accepts material nature as the potency of the Lord and thus essentially real. The example may be given that modeling clay is shaped by a child into various playful forms such as tigers, men or houses. The modeling clay is real, whereas the temporary shapes it assumes are illusory, not being actual tigers, men or houses. Similarly, the entire cosmic manifestation is modeling clay in the hands of the Supreme Lord, who acts through māyā to shape the glaring temporary forms of illusion, which absorb the minds of those who are not devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.