If we'll just do as Krsna asks, He'll remove the covering from our eyes.
A lecture given in Hyderabad, India, November 29, 1972
avyakto 'yam acintyo 'yam
avikaryo 'yam ucyate
tasmad evam viditvainam
"It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable, and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body." -Bhagavad-gita 2.25
In So Many Ways Krsna is convincing Arjuna that the spirit soul is immortal. Avyakto 'yam: It is not manifest to the blunt material eyes. We cannot see it, because the magnitude of the soul is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. Very small. Smaller than the atom. That spirit soul is everywhere. Sarva gatah. And wherever the spirit soul lives within the material world, he has a body and a heart, and within that heart Krsna is also there. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati. Both of them the soul and Krsna are living there. Therefore, anor aniyan mahato mahiyan: Krsna can become greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. This is God.
When Krsna was playing as a child, He ate earth, and His playmates complained to mother Yasoda, "Mother, your son Krsna is eating earth."
Mother Yasoda asked for an explanation: "Krsna, why are You eating earth? I have given You sandesa [a sweet]."
Krsna said, "No, Mother, I have not eaten earth."
"No, Your friends are complaining."
"No, they have become My enemies this morning. We had some quarrel. Therefore they have combined so that you will chastise Me."
Mother Yasoda wanted to solve the problem. "All right, show me Your mouth. Open Your mouth. I want to see."
When Krsna opened His mouth, His mother saw innumerable universes inside.
This is Krsna. Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan. Krsna enters within the universe, but at the same time millions of universes are within His mouth. This is the explanation of "greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest."
Of course, although mother Yasoda saw Krsna's display, she could not believe it, because she never thought that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She always thought, "He is my tiny child." That's all. "I have to take care of Him." These are called paternal feelings vatsalya-rasa.
Krsna is served by the devotees in many rasas transcendental mellows or humors. Someone is serving as His servant. Someone is serving as His friend. Someone is serving as His father and mother. Someone is serving as His conjugal lover. These are the five primary mellows in which a devotee is connected with Krsna.
There are seven other rasas. They are secondary. For example, somebody is serving Krsna as an enemy, like the asuras, the demons. They also serve Krsna, but as His enemy. Somebody serves by giving pleasure to Krsna, another by fighting with Him.
So there are twelve rasas. Akhila-rasamrta-sindhu all the rasas we experience within this world come from Krsna. Janmadyasya yatah. The Vedanta-sutra says that everything within our experience is in Krsna. That is Krsna. He was stealing, which we generally consider not very good business. But stealing is also in Krsna. He's famous as Makhana-cora, the stealer of butter.
All our dealings in the material world are only a perverted reflection of our dealings with Krsna in the spiritual world. But the impersonalists, who are unaware of the spiritual world, have no information that Krsna is always busy. Because He's a person, He's always busy. He wants to please the gopijanas the cowherd boys and the gopis, His constant companions.
Krsna is sanatana, eternal, and His dealings with His devotees are also sanatana. And these dealings are possible not here but in the sanatana-dhama, the eternal world. We cannot have sanatana dealings with Krsna in the material world. Therefore Krsna comes to canvass the conditioned souls: "For eternal happiness, for eternal dealings, come to Me in My eternal place." Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama.
Why not in the material world? By nature the material world is not permanent; it is temporary. Janmadi. Everything in the material world has a date of birth, and anything which has a date of birth must have a date of death also. That is the nature of the material world.
Here we can practice sanatana-dharma, the eternal occupation, but sanatana-dharma is actually performed in the spiritual world. In business one is trained to become an apprentice and then he's given a post. Similarly, Sanatana Gosvami explains, devotees who are perfectly trained in devotional service are first of all given birth in the universe where Krsna is present.
Of course, Krsna is always present everywhere, just as the sun is always present in the sky. When the sun sets, it is not within my vision, but the sun is still in the sky. Similarly, Krsna is always present. We have to make our eyes fit to see Him. How? Lord Brahma explains:
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Only the devotees who have loving affection for Krsna can see Him. The propensity to love Krsna is there already. But we have transferred that loving propensity to maya, illusion. The whole process of Krsna consciousness is to transfer the loving propensity from maya back to Krsna. This is the simple definition of Krsna consciousness. We have love for Krsna, but being illusioned, being falsely positioned, we are trying to love something which is not Krsna maya, Krsna's maya, or illusion.
Krsna says, mama maya: "Maya is also Mine." For example, the cloud is made by the sun. The sun evaporates water from the ocean, and the water becomes a cloud. The business of the cloud is to cover our eyes from seeing the sun, but actually the cloud has no separate existence, and as soon as the sun is bright, the cloud disappears. Bhutva bhutva praliyate: The cloud comes into existence, and again it disappears. Similarly, maya, illusion, is only sometimes generated. The material world is impermanent. It comes and goes. Maya simply covers our eyes.
But although the cloud can cover my eyesight, it cannot cover the sun. Similarly maya cannot touch Krsna. The Mayavada philosophy says that when Krsna comes here He comes covered by maya. No. This is not correct. Maya cannot touch Krsna. When Vyasadeva realized Krsna before writing the Srimad-Bhagavatam, he saw Krsna and maya. Maya was in the background. Maya cannot come in front of Krsna. So Krsna is never covered by maya. It is our eyes which are covered by maya.
So we, the fragments of Krsna, are covered by maya, but Krsna is not. The theory that Krsna becomes covered is nonsense. Krsna is the controller of maya. And we are controlled by maya. That is the difference. Krsna is mayadhisa, the controller ofmaya, and we are mayadhina, controlled by maya.
Yet we can become free. When an airplane goes above the clouds, you have immense sunlight. The clouds are below. Similarly, you can go above maya. You can transcend maya and see Krsna always. That is possible. How? Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te: You simply surrender to Krsna, and Krsna will arrange that you are no longer under maya. Simple process. Just do as Krsna demands sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me." This is sanatana-dharma.
We are, after all, servants of Krsna, but artificially we are trying to become masters of the material world. We are therefore sent here. Just as those who are revolutionary, who do not care for state laws, are sometimes killed or put into the prisonhouse, those who are not voluntarily surrendering to Krsna are put into the prisonhouse of the material world. They are forced to surrender.
And when you falsely think you have become free "I have now become liberated. I have become God" you fall into the last snare of maya. How can you become God? What capacity do you have? God has created so many things. What have you created? God has shown so many things. What have you done?
Still, people falsely think, "I am God." This is the last snare of maya. Everyone is trying to lord it over material nature. We think, "I want to become a cabinet minister." "I want to become president." "I want to become a business magnate." And when everything fails, we want to become God. That is also maya. It is not possible to become God.
Our relationship with God, Krsna, is that we are meant to serve Him. But we have forgotten our real position, our sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma means that the living entity is a part of the whole and is therefore meant to serve the whole. Because my finger is part of my body, its business is to carry out my order, to serve the whole body. If I want my finger to come to my head, it comes at once. Similarly, our business is to serve Krsna. But when we want to become lord, independent of Krsna, we place ourselves in maya. The Prema Vivarta states, krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga-vancha kare/ nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare: "When the living entity wants to enjoy material nature, he is immediately victimized by the material nature." As soon as we desire to imitate Krsna, that is maya. We create the situation of maya. "I want to become Krsna. I want to become God. I want to become the Lord." This is maya.
Krsna is sanatana, eternal. We are also sanatana. But when we forget to serve Krsna, we serve temporary things. And when we engage again in the service of Krsna, we return to our sanatana-dharma, eternally serving Krsna.
Dharma means "characteristic." You cannot change dharma. The characteristic of sugar is sweetness, and the characteristic of chili is pungency. Everything has its characteristic. That is called its dharma. You purchase chili, and if it is not very pungent you throw it away "Oh, it is not good" because the dharma of the chili is lacking. Similarly, if you take sugar and find it salty, then you say, "Oh, what is this?"
So everything has some characteristic, and we as living entities have our characteristic. We are sanatana, eternal. Our characteristic is to serve God. If I don't serve God, then the characteristic will remain and I'll have to serve maya, thinking in illusion that I have become master. For example, a man has a motorcar. To purchase a motorcar and maintain it requires lots of money, and to get this money he has to work very hard. But then he thinks, "Now I have a motorcar. Very nice." Still, he is serving the motorcar, that's all.
This is the position. One is actually servant, not master, but he thinks that he's master. This is maya. When we give up the falsely prestigious claim that we are master, then we are liberated.
Now we are struggling hard within the material world under the influence of maya, changing between different bodies. Sometimes I go to the heavenly planets, sometimes to the hellish planets. Sometimes I am a rich man, sometimes a poor man, abrahmana, a sudra, a tiger, a tree. In this way, everywhere within the universe the living entities are struggling for existence. Krsna says:
"All living entities are My parts and parcels, but foolishly, carried by mental concoction within the material world, they are struggling to become master."
This is the disease. The rascals are pulled by the ear by prakrti, material nature. Material nature dictates, "Do this," and I have to do it. To one who has associated with the mode of ignorance, prakrti gives the body of a hog. Then prakrti tells him, "Come here. Eat the stool." And he eats. "Oh, so nice." This is maya. Is stool a very nice thing? But prakrti has given the hog a certain type of body, and he is relishing, "Oh, stool is so nice." In the human form of body also, people are eating so many nonsense things in the restaurants, in the hotels. And they're relishing, "Oh, it is so nice." This is maya.
Our business is to serve, but because we take the attitude "I don't like to serve Krsna" or "I am Krsna," we are placed under the clutches of maya immediately. And under the illusion of maya, we associate with the different modes of material nature, and so we have to take birth. Sad-asad-yoni-janmasu. One becomes a hog, one becomes a dog, one becomes a human being, a demigod, a tree, a plant 8,400,000 species and forms of life. Krsna says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya … aham bija-pradah pita: "Of all these forms whatever they may be I am the father."
So if Krsna is the original father of every living entity, how has one become a brahmana, one a sudra, one a tree, one a tiger, a hog, an Indra, a Brahma? How is that?
We get our births in different types of body because we associate with different modes of nature. My mind carries me to the next body. It is foolish to say, "This man is now dead. Everything is finished." That is rascaldom. He is not finished. His life is going on.
Foolish rascals say, "Now this man is dead, finished." Big, big professors say, "Swamiji, after death everything is finished." And they're professors. Just see. Rascals and fools are becoming leaders, professors, politicians. How will the people be happy when they are always led into ignorance and enamored by the external feature of Krsna's energy?
The material world is also Krsna's energy. But we are attracted by the material energy when we should be attracted by the spiritual. As explained in the Bhagavad-gita, both energies are Krsna's: apara (inferior) energy and para (superior) energy. But we are now attracted by the material elements of the apara energy: bhumir apo analo vayuh earth, water, fire, air. And because we are attracted by the material energy, when we construct a very nice stone house we think, "Now, yes, my life is successful. I have a very nice house of stone." Am I stone? No. Still, my attraction is for the stone. Therefore Krsna gives me facility: "All right, take the stone and try to be happy. But you'll never be happy. You'll be happy when you surrender to Me."
For example, a father gives his child all facilities to play, but at the same time the father says, "My dear child, don't play like this. It is not good." But because the child persists, the father sometimes says, "All right, you play like that." Similarly, Krsna does not want us to come to the material world and be attracted by earth, water, air, fire, and sky and become great scientists and make combinations of these five elements. What is this world? Tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mrsa: This world is a mixture of fire, earth, water, air, and sky. It is a false thing.
As this world is a combination of these five elements, our body is also a combination of these same five elements, and we are attracted to it. "Oh, I have such a nice, strong, beautiful body American body, Indian body, brahmana body, this body, that body." All maya. You'll never be happy by this bodily concept of life.
Krsna indirectly explains this point when He says, acchedyo 'yam adahyo 'yam akledyo 'sosya eva ca: "The individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried." Since the body is burned to ashes, how can we be the body? When a man is dead, the body is put into the fire and burned. Then how are we the body?
The body is made of three elements: bile, mucus, and air. It is a bag of bones and flesh and blood. If one thinks, "I am this body," then he is go-kharah a cow or an ass. Anyone in the bodily concept of life is an animal. And how can you receive knowledge from a person who is an animal? You cannot get any knowledge from the cows or the asses.
To speak frankly, practically everyone is in the bodily concept of life. Therefore the modern civilization is an animal civilization, not a human civilization. Human civilization begins when one understands, "I am not this body. I am spirit soul (aham brahmasmi)." As long as people are under the bodily concept of life, theirs is a civilization of cats and dogs, that's all.
Thank you very much.