[Throughout his visit in Badger this year, Srila Narayana Maharaja
based his evening lecture course on Srila Bhaktvinoda Thakuras
book, Sri Srimad Bhagavata Arka Maricimala. In that book, Srila Bhaktivinoda
Thakura explains different principles of existence in different chapters,
each of which are like the suns illuminating rays. The particular
chapter, or ray, of this class is called The Traits of the bound
Souls. In each chapter the Thakura quotes many verses of the
Bhagavatam to clarify the matter, and Srila Narayana Maharaja clarified
the subject still further for his international audience of 600 devotees:]
There are various types of svamsa (plenary) incarnations, such as
the purusa-avataras, and lila-avataras like Lord Rama. There are three
purusa-avataras; the first, second and third Visnu incarnations: Karanadakasayi
Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu, and Ksirodakasayi Visnu. [Each of these
incarnations controls various aspects of creation, maintenance and
destruction of material existence.]
Regarding the Lords incarnation as the infinitesimal living
entity (vibhinamsa jiva), to understand this more clearly, we may
take the example of cintamani. Cintamani is a transcendental, wish-fulfilling
stone. It can create all opulences to fulfill anyones desires,
such as for gold coins, etc. Cintamani remains the same, no matter
how much gold emanates from it. Although the gold emanates from cintamani,
it is not cintamani itself. Similarly, something is there of the Lords
qualities in the living entity, in very minute quantity. When the
gold is in the cintamani, there is no distorted transformation. However,
when it will come out of the cintamani, it will be transformed. Similarly,
when the jiva is Krsna conscious, he has spiritual qualities like
Sri Krsna, but when he is entangled in maya, those qualities appear
lost and perverted; material qualities abound.
ekah suddha svayam-jyotir
nirguno sau gunasrayah
sarva-go navrtah saksi
[The Supreme Soul is one. He is pure, nonmaterial and self-effulgent.
He is the reservoir of all good qualities, and He is all-pervading.
He is without material covering and He is the witness of all activities.
He is completely distinguished from other living entities, and He
is transcendental to all embodied souls.(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.7)]
The above-mentioned verse describes the qualities of Parabrahma, the
Supreme Soul. There is some difference between that Supreme Soul and
the individual soul. Some persons say that we are all God. These persons
utter such phrases as tat tvam asi, sarvam kalvidam
brahma , prajnanam brahma*[See endnote1]
and aham brahmasmi.
Why have these statements been uttered in the Srutis (Vedas)?*[See
endnote 2] You should know that Sankaracarya is very tricky.
Although he appeared as the leader of the impersonalists, he has actually
come to fulfill the desire of Lord Krsna. Krsna had told him, Go
and hide Me from all the demons who are serving Me, worshipping Me
(by arcana and puja) with a desire to be very strong like Hiranyakasipu
and Ravana. Go and tell them, Why are you worshipping
Krsna? You yourself are brahma. Sarvam kalvidam brahma. We are all
You should know that we are not brahma, meaning we are not an impersonal
God. We are part and parcel of Sri Krsna who is the Supreme Brahma,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are eternal servants of Lord
Krsna. Krsna is one without a second, whereas the jiva is unlimited
in number. In one drop of blood there are millions of jivas. The jivas
are unlimited in number here, in Vaikuntha and in Goloka Vrndavana
and in all cases and all places they are different from the
Lord. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has quoted the above-mentioned verse,
wherein the Lord is personally telling the differences between Himself
and the unlimited, infinitesimal living entities.
Is the jiva here in this microphone? Can you say, or not? No, he is
not here. Is Paramatma (Supersoul) here or not? Yes. Nothing in this
world exists without Paramatmas presence.
In this body, on the other hand, there is both jiva and Paramatma.
There are two souls within each body the infinitesimal jiva
and the Lords manifestation as Paramatma. One is entangled in
fruitive karma and the other is a witness. The Supreme Lord does not
enjoy anything material. He is not conditioned, but the jivas are
so. They are sense enjoyers, engaged in trying to enjoy the fruits
of their activities.
As stated in the above-mentioned verse, the Supreme Lord is eternally
pure. Maya is far away from Him and His abode. Yogamaya is there,
however, and she is visuddha (completely pure and transcendental).
Maya cannot attract the Lord, but the jiva is very minute, and he
can be attracted by maya at any time. Sri Krsna is always pure and
self-illuminating, whereas the jiva, influenced by illusion, can be
contaminated by mistaken identity. Sri Krsna is nirguna. Nirguna can
be taken to mean without qualities. At the same time all transcendental
qualities are present in Him. Nirguna and saguna (with all qualities)
are therefore the same. Krsna is both nirguna and saguna, and the
jivas can also come to this stage.
All transcendental qualities are in Krsna. He is very beautiful. He
is here in this world, but in the form of four-handed Paramatma (in
the individual heart and in each atom). To those who perform bhajana
of Krsna like Sri Bilvamangala Thakura and others, Krsna Himself appears,
as Vrajendra-nandana. To those who serve Vaikuntha Narayana in His
four-handed form, He appears as Lord Narayana. To others He appears
as the very small Paramatma the witness of all our activities.
Jiva is not like that. Sri Krsna is the eternal Absolute Truth.
The jiva is the infinitesimal spirit soul, and He is supreme (param)
among all jivas. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. Of
all eternals, He is the supreme, and of all living beings, He is supreme.
As stated in the above-mentioned verse, there are nine qualities of
the Lord that are different from the qualities of the conditioned
ekahone without a second; suddhaheternally pure; svayamself;
jyotiheffulgent; nirgunahwithout material qualifications;
asauthat; guna-asrayahthe reservoir of good qualities;
sarva-gahable to go everywhere (The liberated living entities
can also be everywhere, as they desire to serve; Sri Krsna fulfills
their wish); anavrtahwithout being covered by matter; saksiwitness;
niratmawithout another self; atma-atmanahto the body and
The jiva is a separated part and parcel of Krsna, but dont think
he is separate. He has no separate existence. He will always be subordinate
to Krsna, in Goloka Vrndavana and here also.
[Question:] Is the jiva conscious of what he is doing when he chooses
to turn away from Krsna and look towards maya?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] No; he is thinking, I am doing the
best thing. I will enjoy. He is like a baby boy who is trying
to catch fire. He does not realize what he is doing. He thinks the
fire is something to eat.
[Question:] You explained that Sripad Sankaracaryas duty was
to keep the demons away from bhakti. But if the demons practice bhakti,
why wouldnt they become purified?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] They want to be like demons; they want
only material power. Ravana performed bhakti of Brahma and Sankara,
for power and control of the world to give trouble to the world.
Druva Maharaja performed bhakti for power. He worshipped Lord Narayana
for a kingdom. So bhakti must be there. Without bhakti you cannot
do anything, and with bhakti you can attain Svarga (heaven), or whatever
Once, Vidura went to Badrikasrama in the Himalaya Mountains. Maitreya
Rsi was there, and he was very learned and an object of Lord Krsnas
mercy. Krsna had previously told Vidura, Later on you should
go to Maitreya. I have told everything to Uddhava and Maitreya. Maitreya
will give you all knowledge. Vidura now approached Maitreya
Rsi and asked him, It is very amazing that although the jiva
is a conscious being and always connected with Lord Krsna, Parabrahma,
he becomes entangled in maya. How is this? (Srimad-Bhagavatam
Maitreya replied, I can tell you, in brief, the only reason.
Lord Krsnas power is agatan-gatan patiyasi sakti that
power can make the impossible possible. This is the only reason. She
(that power), hides the mercy of Krsna (Paramatma), and the jiva becomes
a conditioned soul.
She is the power of Krsna. She cannot do anything against Krsnas
will. Why, then, is Krsna doing such a thing that so many jivas are
intensely suffering? The answer is that there are so many pastimes
of Krsna. Why not this one? This is srsti-lila, the pastime of creating
the material world. There should be no lacking in Sri Krsnas
variety of pastimes. There will be no question: Why? Krsna
is quite independent. You cannot ask Him the question: Why have
You done so? You cannot understand Him by argument or logic.
Acinta khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet
[We should not try to understand things beyond our material
conception by argument and counter-argument.(Skanda Purana)]
Dont try to understand transcendental things by your limited
mind. We should rely on what the Vedas have told, and especially what
the essence of the Vedas, Srimad-Bhagavatam, has told. We should rely
on what the Gosvamis who have given us the essence of Srimad-bhagavatam
have told. We should rely on them.
Only by Sri Krsnas inconceivable energy does the jiva come under
the sway of the misconceptions of I, me and
mine. By that, he becomes bewildered by maya. By constitutional
form, the jiva is pure. Although minute, he has come from cit-sakti
(Krsnas transcendental power); there is nothing material in
We see that we are now bound by a material body of five elements.
After the glancing of the Lord over the un-manifest material nature,
first mahat-tattva comes, then false ego, after that mind and intelligence,
and then this gross body. This is called bondage but this bondage
is not reality; it does not touch the soul. Do not think it is true.
This misunderstanding is called svarupa-brahma, misconception of the
self, and especially the misconception of bodily identification.
Maitreya Rsi was telling all this to Vidura, and he continued to reply
in the following ways:
If there is no sun, there is darkness. What is darkness? There is
actually no existence of darkness; it is simply an absence of the
sun. Similarly, if there is no service to Krsna, there is maya. As
you sleep at night, you may see in a dream that your head is being
cut off. However, when you awaken, you will see that nothing like
that has happened. Similarly, when you awaken to Krsna consciousness
by the mercy of guru, you will think, What was I seeing? It
was like a dream. If suffering is coming, dont be upset
or nervous. Think only that this apparent suffering is due to your
yad arthena vinamusya
[The living entity is in distress regarding his self-identity.
His misconception has no factual background. He is like a man who
dreams that he sees his head cut off.]
Here is another example: The moon is in the sky. There is water in
a pond, and the moon is reflected in it. There is also a tree there
on the bank of that pond, and when the wind blows and there are ripples
in the pond, it seems as though the moon and the tree are moving back
and forth. Actually, the tree is where it was and so is the moon
they are not trembling. Similarly the jiva is serving Krsna, but it
seems like he is not serving.
yatha jale candramasah
kampadis tat-krto gunah
drsyate sann api drastur
atmano natmano gunah
[As the moon reflected on water appears to the seer to tremble
due to being associated with the quality of the water, so the self
associated with matter appears to be qualified as matter.]
If you place a cloth over a watch, you do not see any movement
but there is movement. Similarly you are the cit-sakti jiva (spirit
soul, the transcendental energy of the Lord). You are somehow serving
Lord Krsna even in this stage of bondage, but you dont realize
it. The demon Kamsa was serving in an indirect way. If there was no
Kamsa, there would be no sweet pastimes of Sri Krsna in Vraja. If
there was no Ravana, there would be no sweet pastimes of Lord Rama.
Dont think you are not serving; you are simply in a dream.
Sri Narada had a momentary vision of Sri Krsna in His form of Lord
Narayana, and then the Lord disappeared. Narada wept bitterly, and
then an aerial voice came and said, Dont be upset. By
my mercy I have given you a momentary vision to increase your transcendental
greed. Now you cannot see me because there is a slight scent of maya
in your heart. Now you should go everywhere with your vina instrument
and glorify me.
You will thus become fully purified, and qualified to see me perpetually.
Narada muni bhajaya vina radhika-ramana name
Nama amani, udita haya, bhakata-gita-same
[The supremely rasika Narada Muni plays his vina, singing the
names of Sri Radhika-ramana. Hearing this kirtana, Sri Radha and Sri
Radhika-ramana Themselves immediately descend, dancing and tasting
the bhava of Their own devotees. (Narada Muni, verse 1)]
Lord Narayana told him, Wait for some time, and in the end you
will attain my association. This took place in Naradas
former life. In that life, having followed the Lords instructions,
Narada achieved perfection. Now, in this life, he told Srila Vyasadeva:
prayujyamane mayi tam
suddham bhagavatim tanum
[Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate
of the Personality of Godhead, I quit the body made of five material
elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work stopped.]
Thus, Narada explained his own lifes experience.
We all have a siddha-deha, a beautiful transcendental form, and by
that form we can serve Krsna. Now that form is covered. However, by
the mercy of Krsna and guru, all anarthas (unwanted habits and mentalities)
gradually go away and we reach the stage of bhava. At that time suddha-sattva
(devotion that is transcendental to the modes of material nature)
descends, and we can realize our siddha-deha. This stage is called
Here Narada Muni is in vastu-siddhi (the spiritual body, with no encumbrance
of the material covering), not only svarupa-siddhi. He had realized
the svarupa-siddhi stage before. We each have a very beautiful, marvelous
body called siddha-deha, which is hidden here in the heart. By receiving
the mercy of Sri Krsna, as Narada received it, this gross body, mind,
intelligence, false ego and contaminated consciousness go away. This
is a general rule. This was also true of Druva Maharaja. He left his
gross body, but no one else could see this.
Regarding Lord Krsna, on the other hand, do not think that He left
His material body when He disappeared from the worlds vision.
Materialists say that a dead body was there, and that smarta brahmanas
performed samskaras (the last rites) of that body. This is cheating
and nothing else.
Try to attain the mercy of Gurudeva, and through him, try to perform
bhajana as Narada Rsi did.
srnvan su-bhadrani rathanga-paner
janmani karmani ca yani loke
gitani namani tad-arthakani
gayan vilajjo vicared asangah
[An intelligent person who has controlled his mind and conquered fear
should give up all attachment to material objects such as wife, family
and nation. He should wander freely without embarrassment, hearing
and chanting the holy names of the Lord, the bearer of the chariot
wheel. The holy names of Krsna are all-auspicious because they describe
His transcendental birth and activities, which He performs within
this world for the salvation of the conditioned souls. Thus the holy
names of the Lord are sung throughout the world. (Srimad-bhagavatam
jatanurago druta-citta uccaih
hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty
unmada-van nrtyati loka-bahyah
[By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage
of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal
servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to
a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries
or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is
indifferent to public opinion. (Srimad-bhagavatam 11.2.40)]
Such a pure devotee has no shyness at all. He chants loudly. Whether
he is naked or dressed, he does not know. He always remembers the
pastimes of Krsna, sometimes weeping, Krsna where are You?
Sometimes he rolls on the ground, laughing ho, ho. All
ordinary people think that he is mad, but he is not mad.
This status is the aim and object of our life, so you should try for
it. Always try to engage your mind in sravanam (hearing), arcanam
(worshipping), and especially nama-sankirtana (chanting the holy names
of the Lord). If you are always engaged in these ways, maya will not
be able to attract you; otherwise she can attract you.
Gaura-premanande hari hari bol
*[Endnote 1 The general meaning of prajnanam
brahma is transcendental knowledge is non-different from
brahma (the impersonal, spiritual absolute truth. The real meaning
is Sri Krsnas identity is realized by love and devotion
(bhakti) (Editorial Advisors)]
[Endnote 2 Similarly, the Chandogya Upanisad
(6.8.7) teaches, tat tvam asi: You are non-different from that
Supreme Truth. In this prayer, the personified Vedas refer to
the finite enjoyer of material bodies (the jiva soul) as an expansion
of the transcendental reservoir of all potencies, the Supreme Lord.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.20 Purport)
The Mayavadi philosopher teaches the philosophy of tat tvam asi, saying,
You are the same as God. He forgets that tat tvam asi
applies in terms of the marginal position of the living entity, who
is like sunshine. There is heat and light in the Sun, and there is
heat and light in the sunshine, and thus they are qualitatively one.
But one should not forget that the sunshine rests on the Sun. (Srimad-Bhagavatam
Tat tvam asi is but a side word in the Vedic literatures, and therefore
this word cannot be the primeval hymn of the Vedas. Sripada Sankaracarya
has given more stress on the side word tat tvam asi than on the primeval
principle omkara. (Srimad-Bhagavatam Introduction)
The Vedic injunctions say, tat tvam asi, You are the same,
and soham, I am the same. The impersonalist conception
of these mantras is that the Supreme Lord, or the Absolute Truth,
and the living entity are one, but from the devotees point of
view these mantras assert that both the Supreme Lord and our selves
are of the same quality. Tat tvam asi, ayam atma brahma. Both the
Supreme Lord and the living entity are spirit. (Srimad-Bhagavatam
From the statement tat tvam asi, found in the Chandogya Upanisad,
it is to be understood that spiritual knowledge is not impersonal
but entails gradually perceiving the pure spiritual soul within the
material body. Just as in Bhagavad-gita Krsna repeatedly says aham,
or I, this Vedic aphorism uses the word tvam, or you,
to indicate that just as the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality
of Godhead, the individual spark of Brahman (tat) is also an eternal
personality (tvam). Therefore, according to Srila Jiva Gosvami it
is to be understood that the individual spark of Brahman is eternally
conscious. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has further pointed out that
instead of wasting time trying to understand the truth in its impersonal
aspect, which is merely the negation of temporary material variety,
one should try to understand oneself to be an eternally conscious
entity in the jiva category. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.38 Purport)]
Editorial advisors: Pujyapad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Transcriber and proof-reader: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Narayani dasi, Krsna bhakti dasi and Anita dasi