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Among two of the incarnations, there is Kapila and Buddha. And Kapila is practically, finally, the classical Sankhya-ist atheist. How could it be?

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"Among two of the incarnations, there is Kapila and Buddha" |"And Kapila is practically, finally, the classical Sankhya-ist atheist" |"How could it be"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes. This is imitation Kapila, and there is... Original Kapila is Devahūti, son of Devahūti, Kapila... Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So Kapila, this Kapila is atheist Kapila. He's a different Kapila. Original Kapila is the son of Devahūti, son of Kardama Muni and Devahūti.
Room Conversation with Prof. Regamay, Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Lausanne -- June 4, 1974, Geneva:

Prof. Regamay: Now, I'm still concerned with two of the incarnation which have... Because for me this is the doctrine of personalism and personal highest form of God. Now, among two of the incarnations, there is Kapila and Buddha. And Kapila is practically, finally, the classical Sāṅkhya-ist atheist. How could it be?

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is imitation Kapila, and there is... Original Kapila is Devahūti, son of Devahūti, Kapila.

Prof. Regamay: It's what we can't find in Bhagavad-gītā with...

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So Kapila, this Kapila is atheist Kapila. He's a different Kapila. Original Kapila is the son of Devahūti, son of Kardama Muni and Devahūti. That is described in the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, God. Kapila. And actually, he enunciated sāṅkhya philosophy. And this sāṅkhya philosophy which is known in Europe amongst the European scholars, that is the atheist Kapila. It is not the original Kapila.

Prof. Regamay: So that's not a true Kapila.

Prabhupāda: No.

Prof. Regamay: And Buddha?

Prabhupāda: Buddha is śaktyāveśa-avatāra. We accept Lord Jesus Christ also, śaktyāveśa-avatāra; Mohammed, śaktyāveśa-avatāra. Śaktyāveśa-avatāra means a living entity especially empowered and he preaches the philosophy on behalf... That is called śaktyāveśa-avatāra. There are different types of avatāras. Guṇāvatāra, manvantarāvatāra, yugāvatāra, līlāvatāra, śaktyāveśāvatāra, like that. They are described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. About avatāras. You find out Teachings of Lord Caitanya, avatāras. Innumerable avatāras. Come here. Find out this chapter. Avatāra saṅkhyeyaḥ. It is compared, just like in the river, the waves are flowing. You cannot count, or in the... What is that? Avatāra. Read, read that chapter.

Nitāi: "Lord Caitanya continued: The expansions of Lord Kṛṣṇa who come to the material creation are called avatāras, or incarnations. Avatāra means one who descends from the higher spiritual sky. In the spiritual sky there are innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets, and from such a planet, the expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes to this universe, and therefore He is called avatāra. Avatāra means to descend. The first descent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead from the expansion Saṅkarṣaṇa is the puruṣa incarnation. This is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, both in the First Canto, Third Chapter, as well as in the Sixth Chapter. It is said there that the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends as the first puruṣa incarnation of the material creation, and He immediately manifests sixteen elementary energies. He is known as Mahā-Viṣṇu lying in the Causal Ocean, and He is the original incarnation in the material world. He is the Lord of time, nature, cause and effect, mind, ego, and the five elements, the three modes of nature, the senses and the universal form. He is independent and the master of all objects, moveable and immovable, in the material world. The influence of the material nature cannot reach beyond the Virajā or the Causal Ocean, and this is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Second Canto, Ninth Chapter. On the Vaikuṇṭha planets there is no influence of the modes of material nature. There is no mixture of modes of goodness, passion and ignorance, neither is there any influence of material time. On those planets, the liberated associates of Kṛṣṇa live eternally, and they are worshiped both by the demigods and the demons. The material nature acts in two capacities as māyā and pradhāna. Māyā is the direct cause, and pradhāna means the elements of the material manifestation. The first puruṣa-avatāra, Mahā-Viṣṇu, glances over the material nature, and thereby the material nature becomes agitated, and the puruṣa-avatāra thus impregnates matter with the living entities. By His glancing, consciousness is created, and consciousness is known as mahat-tattva. The predominating deity of mahat-tattva is Vāsudeva. Consciousness is then divided into three departmental activities under the three guṇas or modes of nature. Consciousness in the mode of goodness is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, as the predominating Deity of Aniruddha. Consciousness in the mode of material passion produces intelligence, and the predominating Deity is called Pradyumna. He is the master of the senses. Consciousness in the mode of ignorance is the cause of the production of the ether, the sky and the cause of production of the hearing instrument, the ear. The cosmic manifestation is a combination of all these, and thereby the innumerable universes are created. Nobody can count how many universes there are. These innumerable universes are being produced from the pores on the body of Mahā-Viṣṇu. It is also said that as innumerable atoms are coming and going through the holes in a window, so from the pores of the body of Mahā-Viṣṇu, innumerable universes emanate. From His breathing also, innumerable universes are being produced and annihilated. All His energies are spiritual. They have nothing to do with the material energy. In the Brahma-saṁhitā this fact is also stated. In the Fifth Chapter, fifty-fourth verse, it is said that the predominating deity of each universe, Brahmā, lives only during one breath of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Mahā-Viṣṇu again is the original Supersoul of all the universes. He is also the master of the universes. That is the description of the first incarnation known as Mahā-Viṣṇu. The second Viṣṇu incarnation enters into each and every universe, and in each and every universe He spreads water from His body and on that water He lies down. From His navel the stem of a lotus flower grows, and on that lotus flower the first creature, Brahmā, is born. Within the stem of that lotus flower, there are fourteen divisions of planetary systems which are created by Brahmā. In each universe, the Lord as Viṣṇu maintains the universe tending to its needs, and although He is within the universe, the influence of the material energy cannot touch Him. The same Viṣṇu, when it is required, takes the form of Lord Śiva and annihilates the cosmic... (break) ...Viṣṇu who is the master of the universe, and in each universe there is a manifestation of the Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu. Although He is within the material nature, still, He is not touched by it. The third incarnation of Viṣṇu is also an incarnation of the mode of goodness. As the Kṣīrodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu, He is also the Supersoul of all living entities, and He resides in the ocean of milk within the universe. Thus Lord Caitanya described the puruṣāvatāras. Then He described the līlāvatāras. He said that there is no count, no limit or count, for the līlā or pastime avatāras, but some of them may be described by the Lord. For example, Matsya, Kūrma, Raghunātha, Nṛsiṁha, Vāmana and Varāha. A description of the qualitative incarnations of Viṣṇu, or guṇāvatāras, is as follows: Brahmā is one of the living entities, but he is very powerful on account of his devotional service. Such a primal living entity by the influence of the mode of material passion is situated as Brahmā. He is made powerful by the Garbhodakaśāyī-Viṣṇu directly, and therefore Brahmā has the power to create innumerable living entities. A description of Brahmā is given in the Brahma-saṁhitā, Fifth chapter, fiftieth verse. Brahmā is likened to the valuable stones influenced by the rays of the sun, and the sun is likened to the Supreme... (break) ...lamp. Although both lamps are of equal candle power, still, one is accepted as the original and the other is said to be kindled by the original lamp."

Prabhupāda: This is very good example. There are many candles. Just like you ignite one candle. Then from this candle, another candle, another candle. Then many thousands of candles. So each candle is of the same power, lighting power. But still the first one is called original. So far the candle power is concerned, they are of equal flame, but still, the first candle, the second candle, the third candle. like that.

Prof. Regamay: Yes, I understand.

Prabhupāda: Dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya dīpāyate vivṛta-hetuḥ (Bs. 5.46). They are not derived from any other power. They are all Viṣṇu-tattva. Dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya dīpāyate, yas tādṛg eva ca viṣṇu-tayā vibhāti (Bs. 5.46). This is the expansion of Viṣṇu, Viṣṇu-tayā. Govindam ādi-puruṣam. He is always referring, Govinda, Kṛṣṇa. Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **.