Anything you take material, material thing has no value, it is inferior, but by the touch of the superior energy, the living entity, it becomes important

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"Anything you take material, material thing has no value, it is inferior, but by the touch of the superior energy, the living entity, it becomes important"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

The whole material world is important because the living entity is utilizing it for his purpose. This New Delhi city is important because the living entity is utilizing it for purpose. Otherwise it was a jungle. Anything you take material, material thing has no value, it is inferior, but by the touch of the superior energy, the living entity, it becomes important.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Hyderabad, November 26, 1972:

Prabhupāda: This is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. One must understand that the soul is encaged within this body and mind. So if you try to become, by bodily comforts or mental satisfaction, it will never be possible. Happiness will never be possible. Therefore Bhāgavata says, yayātmā suprasīdati. Ātma means soul. Suprasīdati. Prasīdati means becomes happy. And su means very, very much happy. How? Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the mature instruction of Vyāsadeva on Vedic wisdom. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Migama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ idam. Nigama means Vedas. It is like kalpa-taru, desire tree. Whichever thing you desire you can get from Vedic knowledge. Nigama-kalpa-taru. Kalpa-taru means desire tree. We have got experience of this tree-mango tree, orange tree, or so many trees. So you can get a particular type of fruit from a particular type of tree. But in the spiritual world all the trees are desire trees. Whatever you want you can get. If you want mango from orange tree, then you'll get. We get this information from Vedas. Cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-lakṣāvṛteṣu (Bs. 5.29). Kalpa-vṛkṣa means the desire tree. Not only one, two, lakṣāvṛteṣu, there are thousands and thousands of desire trees. That is the spiritual world. We have no information of the material world even. We are trying to go to the moon planet, we have not full information. And the moon planet is one of the nearest planets. But there are innumerable, millions and millions of planets within one universe. And there are millions and millions of universes. We get this information from Vedic literature. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi (Bs. 5.40). Jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi means millions of universes. Koṭiṣv vasudhādi vibhūti-bhinnam. And each universe is full of millions and millions of planets. And each planet is of different type, different climate, different living entities. These are the information. You cannot expect the same planet or same atmosphere everywhere. Just like even on this planet. I am coming from Europe, America, the climate is different. India's climate is different. Even on this planet. So each and every planet they of different nature. And all the living entities are there. In the Bhagavad-gītā we get information, sarva-ga. Sthāṇur acalo 'yam, sarva-ga. It is not fact that only on this planet there are living entities, and other planets there are no living entities. No, that is not a fact. Anyway, here the proposal is how to achieve perfect happiness of ātma. Ātma, I have already explained, ātma means the body, ātma means the mind, and ātma means the soul. So unless you get happiness of the soul, simply trying to get happiness of the body and the mind, you'll never get happiness. That is the information in this verse. Sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). Dharma means religion, English translation. But according to the Vedic understanding dharma means the characteristic. Everything has got a characteristic. In the chemical laboratory when something is tested the characteristic is tested. "This is this chemical, it has got so many characteristics." So our characteristic, we living entities, we have got our characteristic. What is that characteristic, general characteristics? In this meeting we may be sitting, so many people, one may be Hindu, one may be... Because I am talking of Hindu, Muslim, Christian. Here the word is used, dharma. Sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). So dharma, we generally understand that I am Hindu, I am Muslim, I am Christian, I am Arya-samaji, I am this, I am that. That is generally taken as dharma. But according to Vedic principle dharma means characteristic. Just like chili—to become hot—the characteristic of chili. We test in the market when we go to purchase chili, we test how strong it is hot. If it is not very strong in its hottiness, then we reject. "No, no, it is not good chili." Chili must be very hot. That is characteristic, that is dharma. Sugar must be very sweet. That is characteristic, that is dharma. Sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). So at the present moment, being entrapped by the material nature, we have accepted different types of dharmas. That is artificial. That is artificial. "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am Buddhist," "I am this," "I am that." These are all in relationship with this body. Accidentally if I am born in a Hindu family, or Muslim family, or Christian family, I identify myself, "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." But real identification is, as I have already explained to you, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman. I am the spirit soul. So when you come to that platform of spiritual understanding then our characteristic should be manifested. What is that? That is explained here, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Bhakti—to become devotee of the Supreme Lord. That is our real characteristic. To become devotee is already manifest. I am devotee to my country, I am devotee to my society, I am devotee to my family, I am devotee to my husband, to my wife, to my children. So devotion is already there. But that is not paro dharmo. When we become devotee of the Supreme Lord, that is our real characteristic. Devotion is already there, service is already there. Nobody can say that, "I do not serve anyone." No, that is not possible. You must serve. Because that is your characteristic, that is your dharma. Everyone is serving. If a person has nobody to serve, he keeps a cat, he keeps a dog and serves him. So to give service, to love somebody else, that is my real characteristic. But I am missing the point. I am loving cats and dogs and so many things, but I am missing to love God. That is the missing point. Love is there, object of love is there, but it is misplaced. Therefore, we are not getting happiness. When it will be properly placed, love and the object of love, then we'll be happy. This is explanation of this verse. Sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6). Para. Para means superior. And apara means inferior. There are two kinds of nature—para and apara. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo.... Bhūmir āpo 'nalo...

Devotee: Vāyu.

Prabhupāda: Vāyu, vāyu. Khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca. Bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā. Bhinnā me prakṛti. This bhinnā means separated. This material nature—earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego—Lord Kṛṣṇa says that "They are My nature, but separated." Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā (BG 7.5). They are inferior nature, this material nature, inferior, but there is another superior nature. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā. Para means superior. What is that? Jīva-bhūtaṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat (BG 7.5)—the living entity. Just like the whole material world is important because the living entity is utilizing it for his purpose. This New Delhi city is important because the living entity is utilizing it for purpose. Otherwise it was a jungle. Anything you take material, material thing has no value, it is inferior, but by the touch of the superior energy, the living entity, it becomes important. Therefore there are two nature—inferior nature and superior nature. Similarly, there are two kinds of dharmas. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, this, that or white, black, so many ways, according to the designation of the body you have created dharma or characteristics. That is inferior quality. But when you come to the superior quality of characteristics, of dharma, then you become happy. Anywhere there are two qualities always-inferior and superior. When you are attached to the inferior quality you don't get very much satisfaction, but when you come to the superior quality then you get satisfaction, happiness. So here it is said, dharma, religion, or the characteristics of human beings, there are so many, but sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6), that is superior quality of religion or characteristic. What is that? Sa vai puṁsām paro dharmo, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). "Following which you become a devotee of the Adhokṣaja." Adhokṣaja means the Supreme Lord, God. God has got many names. Actually God has no name, but according to different calculation or different situation, He has got a name. Just like Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the characteristic of the Supreme Lord. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. If God is not all-attractive... Not everyone is all-attractive, but God is all-attractive. Therefore, He is called Kṛṣṇa. God appeared as the son of Vasudeva or Nanda Mahārāja, therefore He is called Yaśodānanda, Nandananda, Vasudevanandana. His relationship. Kṛṣṇa enjoys the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, therefore He is called Rādhā-ramaṇa. Rādhā-Govinda. So God's name is there according to His pastimes, relationships. So Kṛṣṇa is the supreme name because it means all-attractive. Similarly, here it is name, God's name, Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Adha. Adha means defeated. Adha-kṛta. Subdued. What is that subdued? Akṣaja-jñānam. Akṣa. Akṣa means eyes, direct perception. We want... We say sometimes, "Can you show me God?" Akṣa. Or akṣaja means ah, the alphabet, and kṣa, beginning from ah up to kṣa. So all the letters are there. So we make words by combination of these letters. So akṣaja, so within our power, we make so many words by combining these alphabets, but God is beyond that. Akṣaja-jñānam. Either you are beyond the direct perception or beyond your word-making capacity. Therefore God's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ-kṛta akṣaja jñānam jata. So adhokṣaja means beyond direct sense perception. That is also nice name of God. God is not understood by speculating our senses.

athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
jānāti tattvaṁ (bhagavan mahimno)
na cānya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan
(SB 10.14.29)

We cannot understand God by mental speculation, that is not possible. Realization God means when God reveals unto you. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). By our these blunt senses, speculating, we cannot understand what is God. Therefore His name is Adhokṣaja, beyond material speculation. And still you have to apply your bhakti, devotion. Just try to understand. He is beyond our sense perception, but still we have to search Him out and employ our feelings of devotion, love. Therefore, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. One side is beyond the perception of senses and another side you have to love Him. If I say, "Love the air", as an example, so that love is not very factual. How can I love air, something in the air? Somebody must be person, then love is possible. Somebody must be tangible, then there is love possible. Here it is called bhakti. Bhakti means application of love. Bhaja sevayā. When you love you serve somebody. That is called bhakti. Therefore, what kind of love? That is also described here. Ahaitukī—without any motive. Here in this material world, I love you, you love me, with a motive of sense gratification. Actually there is no love in the world, material world. The show of love is there with a motive. Here love of Godhead means ahaitukī—without any motive. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihata means without being deterred, without being impeded. If you develop your love of Godhead... You must know first of all what is that God, Adhokṣaja, because beyond your mental perception. But fortunately, if you understand what is God, and when you begin to love Him without any motive... Generally we go to temple, to church, or to mosque, anywhere, the place of worship, "O God give us our daily bread." There is a motive. Similarly, others also, they go to the temple, "O God, I am in need of money, I am distressed, kindly mitigate my distress, give me some money." There is motive. But here it is said ahaitukī, without any motive. If you can love God who is beyond your sense perception and without any motive, that activities of love will never be stopped. Ahaituky apratihatā—without being impeded. Without being impeded by any material condition. That means that if you actually love God, there is no condition. Because you are poor man you cannot love God, that is not the fact. Or because you are rich man you cannot love God, no, that is also not fact. Because you are not educated you cannot love God, that is also not acceptable. Because you are very much educated, highly philosophical... So many conditions you can bring but all these conditions are not applicable in the business, in the transaction, of loving God without motive. So this is the description of love of Godhead and if we practically try to cultivate this knowledge of Godhead, that is called, that process is called bhakti. That process is called bhakti. It is enunciated in the Vedic language that,

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
(CC Madhya 19.170)

Upādhi, now we are covered by designation. The same example-vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22). We are dressed in two kinds of subtle and gross dresses, this material body and mind, intelligence, ego. So when we become free from these designations, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. And you become purified, nirmala. Mal means dirt and nirmala means without any dirt, without any dirty things, simply spiritual.