Srimad Bhagavatam 11.29.13-14 - Wisdom-What is and How to get It (download mp3)
by Braj Raj Priya Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
iti sarvāṇi bhūtāni
jñānaṁ kevalam āśritaḥ
brāhmaṇe pukkase stene
brahmaṇye ’rke sphuliṅgake
akrūre krūrake caiva
sama-dṛk paṇḍito mataḥ
O brilliant Uddhava, one who thus views all living entities with the idea that I am present within each of them, and who by taking shelter of this divine knowledge offers due respect to everyone, is considered actually wise. Such a man sees equally the brāhmaṇa and the outcaste, the thief and the charitable promoter of brahminical culture, the sun and the tiny sparks of fire, the gentle and the cruel.
A series of opposites is set forth here — namely the high-class brāhmaṇa and the low-class aborigine, the thief who steals from respectable persons and the respecter of brahminical culture who gives charity to brāhmaṇas, the all-powerful sun and the insignificant spark, and finally the kind and the cruel. Ordinarily, the ability to distinguish between such opposites qualifies one as intelligent. How, then, can the Lord state that ignoring such obvious differences establishes one as a wise man? The answer is given by the words mad-bhāvena: a wise person sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead within everything. Therefore, although externally perceiving and dealing with the varieties of material situations, a wise man is more impressed by and concerned with the overwhelming unity of all existence, which is based on the presence of the Supreme Lord within everything. As explained here, a truly wise person is not limited to superficial material discrimination.