Srimad Bhagavatam 12.04.30-31 - Gold vs God (download mp3)
by Guru Gauranga Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
na hi satyasya nānātvam
avidvān yadi manyate
nānātvaṁ chidrayor yadvaj
jyotiṣor vātayor iva
There is no material duality in the Absolute Truth. The duality perceived by an ignorant person is like the difference between the sky contained in an empty pot and the sky outside the pot, or the difference between the reflection of the sun in water and the sun itself in the sky, or the difference between the vital air within one living body and that within another body.
yathā hiraṇyaṁ bahudhā samīyate
nṛbhiḥ kriyābhir vyavahāra-vartmasu
evaṁ vacobhir bhagavān adhokṣajo
vyākhyāyate laukika-vaidikair janaiḥ
According to their different purposes, men utilize gold in various ways, and gold is therefore perceived in various forms. In the same way, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is inaccessible to material senses, is described in various terms, both ordinary and Vedic, by different types of men.
All those who are not pure devotees of the Supreme Lord are basically trying to exploit the Lord and His energies. According to their strategy of exploitation, they conceive of and describe the Absolute Truth in various ways. In Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the Absolute Truth presents Himself as He actually is for the benefit of sincere people who do not foolishly try to conceptually manipulate the Supreme Godhead.