In the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad it is stated that there are two birds sitting on the same tree, and one of these birds is eating the fruit of this tree while the other bird is simply witnessing his activities. Only when the bird eating the fruit looks at the other bird does he become free from all anxieties. This is the position of the infinitesimal living entity. As long as he is forgetful of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who witnesses all his activities, he is subjected to the threefold miseries. But when he looks to the Supreme Lord and becomes the Supreme Lord's devotee, he becomes free from all anxieties and material miseries. The living entity is eternally subordinate to the Supreme Lord; the Supreme Lord is always the master of all energies, whereas the living entity is always under the domination of the Lord's energies. Although qualitatively one with the Supreme Lord, the living entity has the tendency to lord it over material nature; however, being infinitesimal, he is actually controlled by material nature. Thus the living entity is called the marginal potency of the Lord.
In the Upanisads the example is given of two birds sitting on a tree. One bird - the jiva, or living entity - is enjoying the fruits of that tree, and the other bird - Paramatma - is simply witnessing
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
Transference of the atomic individual soul to another body is made possible by the grace of the Supersoul. The Supersoul fulfills the desire of the atomic soul as one friend fulfills the desire of another. The Vedas, like the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad, as well as the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, compare the soul and the Supersoul to two friendly birds sitting on the same tree. One of the birds (the individual atomic soul) is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird (Kṛṣṇa) is simply watching His friend. Of these two birds—although they are the same in quality—one is captivated by the fruits of the material tree, while the other is simply witnessing the activities of His friend. Kṛṣṇa is the witnessing bird, and Arjuna is the eating bird. Although they are friends, one is still the master and the other is the servant. Forgetfulness of this relationship by the atomic soul is the cause of one's changing his position from one tree to another, or from one body to another. The jīva soul is struggling very hard on the tree of the material body, but as soon as he agrees to accept the other bird as the supreme spiritual master—as Arjuna agreed to do by voluntary surrender unto Kṛṣṇa for instruction—the subordinate bird immediately becomes free from all lamentations. Both the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.1.2) and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (4.7) confirm this:
- samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagno
- 'nīśayā śocati muhyamānaḥ
- juṣṭaṁ yadā paśyaty anyam īśam
- asya mahimānam iti vīta-śokaḥ
"Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories—at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties." Arjuna has now turned his face towards his eternal friend, Kṛṣṇa, and is understanding the Bhagavad-gītā from Him. And thus, hearing from Kṛṣṇa, he can understand the supreme glories of the Lord and be free from lamentation.
BG Chapters 13 - 18
The demoniac person, who has no faith in God or the Supersoul within himself, performs all kinds of sinful activities simply for sense gratification. He does not know that there is a witness sitting within his heart. The Supersoul is observing the activities of the individual soul. As it is stated in the Upaniṣads, there are two birds sitting in one tree; one is acting and enjoying or suffering the fruits of the branches, and the other is witnessing. But one who is demoniac has no knowledge of Vedic scripture, nor has he any faith; therefore he feels free to do anything for sense enjoyment, regardless of the consequences.
SB Canto 1
The living entities are separated parts and parcels of the Lord, and the conditioned living entities, who are unfit for the spiritual kingdom, are strewn within the material world to enjoy matter to the fullest extent. As Paramātmā and eternal friend of the living entities, the Lord, by one of His plenary portions, accompanies the living entities to guide them in their material enjoyment and to become witness to all activities. While the living entities enjoy the material conditions, the Lord maintains His transcendental position without being affected by the material atmosphere. In the Vedic literatures (śruti) it is said that there are two birds in one tree.* One of them is eating the fruit of the tree, while the other is witnessing the actions. The witness is the Lord, and the fruit-eater is the living entity. The fruit-eater (living entity) has forgotten his real identity and is overwhelmed in the fruitive activities of the material conditions, but the Lord (Paramātmā) is always full in transcendental knowledge. That is the difference between the Supersoul and the conditioned soul. The conditioned soul, the living entity, is controlled by the laws of nature, while the Paramātmā, or the Supersoul, is the controller of the material energy.
The Vaiṣṇavites, the devotees of the Lord, do believe, as above explained, that nothing can take place without the sanction of the Supreme Lord. He is the supreme director, for He confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15) that He, as all-pervading Paramātmā, stays in everyone's heart and keeps vigilance over all actions and witnesses all activities. The argument of the atheist that one cannot be punished for one's misdeeds unless proved before a qualified justice is refuted herein, for we accept the perpetual witness and constant companion of the living being. A living being may forget all that he might have done in his past or present life, but one must know that in the same tree of the material body, the individual soul and the Supreme Soul as Paramātmā are sitting like two birds. One of them, the living being, is enjoying the fruits of the tree, whereas the Supreme Being is there to witness the activities. Therefore the Paramātmā feature, the Supreme Soul, is actually the witness of all activities of the living being, and only by His direction can the living being remember or forget what he might have done in the past. He is, therefore, both the all-pervading impersonal Brahman and the localized Paramātmā in everyone's heart. He is the knower of all past, present and future, and nothing can be concealed from Him.
SB Canto 3
The buddhi-yoga process of self-realization with intelligence transcendental to the mind (devotional service) can alone elevate one from the conditioned state of material entanglement in the cosmic construction. The conditioned state of the living entity is like that of a person who is within the depths of a huge mechanical arrangement. The mental speculators can reach the point of buddhi-yoga after many, many lifetimes of speculation, but the intelligent person who begins from the platform of intelligence above the mind makes rapid progress in self-realization. Because the buddhi-yoga process entails no fear of deterioration or retrogression at any time, it is the guaranteed path to self-realization, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (2.40). The mental speculators cannot understand that the two birds (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad) sitting in one tree are the soul and the Supersoul. The individual soul eats the fruit of the tree, while the other bird does not eat the fruit but only observes the activities of the eating bird. Without attachment, the witnessing bird helps the fruit-eating bird perform fruitful activities. One who cannot understand this difference between the soul and the Supersoul, or God and the living entities, is certainly still in the entanglement of the cosmic machinery and thus must still await the time when he will be free from bondage.
The next question put forward by Vidura to Maitreya is, "Why are the living entities subjected to so many miseries and misfortunes in spite of the Lord's presence in their hearts as the Supersoul?" The body is considered a fruitful tree, and the living entity and the Lord as Supersoul are like two birds seated in that tree. The individual soul is eating the fruit of the tree, but the Supersoul, the Lord, is witnessing the activities of the other bird. A citizen of the state may be in miseries for want of sufficient supervision by the state authority, but how can it be possible that a citizen suffers from other citizens while the chief of the state is personally present? From another point of view, it is understood that the jīva living entity is qualitatively one with the Lord, and thus his knowledge in the pure state of life cannot be covered by nescience, especially in the presence of the Supreme Lord. How then does the living entity become subjected to ignorance and covered by the influence of māyā? The Lord is the father and protector of every living entity, and He is known as the bhūta-bhṛt, or the maintainer of the living entities. Why then should the living entity he subjected to so many sufferings and misfortunes? It should not be so, but actually we see that it happens everywhere. This question is therefore put forward by Vidura for solution.
Here it is stated that within the heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides as the Supersoul. This situation is also explained in Bhagavad-gītā: the Supersoul rests beside the individual soul and acts as a witness. This is also confirmed elsewhere in the Vedic literature: two birds are sitting on the same tree of the body; one is witnessing, and the other is eating the fruits of the tree. This puruṣa, or Paramātmā, who resides within the body of the individual soul, is described in Bhagavad-gītā (13.23) as the upadraṣṭā, witness, and the anumantā, sanctioning authority. The conditioned soul engages in the happiness and distress of the particular body given him by the arrangement of the external energy of the Supreme Lord. But the supreme living being, or the Paramātmā, is different from the conditioned soul. He is described in Bhagavad-gītā as maheśvara, or the Supreme Lord. He is Paramātmā, not jīvātmā. Paramātmā means the Supersoul, who is sitting by the side of the conditioned soul just to sanction his activities. The conditioned soul comes to this material world in order to lord it over material nature. Since one cannot do anything without the sanction of the Supreme Lord, He lives with the jīva soul as witness and sanction-giver. He is also bhoktā; He gives maintenance and sustenance to the conditioned soul.
SB Canto 4
Remaining within the hearts of all living entities, the Lord bestows remembrance by which the living entities can enjoy certain things. Thus the living entities create their enjoyable honeycombs and then enjoy them. The example of the bees is appropriate because when bees try to enjoy their honeycomb, they have to suffer the bites of other bees. Because bees bite one another when they enjoy honey, they are not exclusively enjoying the sweetness of the honey, for there is also suffering. In other words, the living entities are subjected to the pains and pleasures of material enjoyment, whereas the Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing their plans for sense enjoyment, is aloof from them. In the Upaniṣads the example is given of two birds sitting on a tree. One bird (the jīva, or living entity) is enjoying the fruits of that tree, and the other bird (Paramātmā) is simply witnessing. In the Bhagavad-gītā (13.23) the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Paramātmā is described as upadraṣṭā (the overseer) and anumantā (the permitter).
SB Canto 6
The individual soul and the Supreme Soul live together within the body. This is confirmed in the Upaniṣads by the analogy that two friendly birds live in one tree—one bird eating the fruit of the tree and the other simply witnessing and directing. Although the individual living being, who is compared to the bird that is eating, is sitting with his friend the Supreme Soul, the individual living being cannot see Him. Actually the Supersoul is directing the workings of his senses in the enjoyment of sense objects, but as these sense objects cannot see the senses, the conditioned soul cannot see the directing soul. The conditioned soul has desires, and the Supreme Soul fulfills them, but the conditioned soul is unable to see the Supreme Soul.
SB Canto 7
The living entity is bound by the subtle body, consisting of the mind, intelligence and false ego. At the time of death, therefore, the position of the mind becomes the cause for the next body. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (8.6), yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram: at the time of death the mind sets the criteria for the spirit soul's being carried to another type of body. If a living being resists the dictation of the mind and engages the mind in the loving service of the Lord, the mind cannot degrade him. The duty of all human beings, therefore, is to keep the mind always engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)). When the mind is engaged at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, the intelligence is purified, and then the intelligence gets inspiration from the Supersoul (dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam). Thus the living entity makes progress toward liberation from material bondage. The individual living soul is subject to the laws of fruitive activity, but the Supersoul, Paramātmā, is not affected by the fruitive activities of the individual soul. As confirmed in the Vedic Upaniṣad, the Paramātmā and the jīvātmā, who are likened to two birds, are sitting in the body. The jīvātmā is enjoying or suffering by eating the fruits of the bodily activities, but the Paramātmā, who is free from such bondage, witnesses and sanctions the activities of the individual soul as the individual soul desires.
By an analytical study of the entire constitution of the body, one can surely come to the conclusion that the soul is different from all the body's material constituents, such as earth, water, fire and air. Thus the difference between the body and soul can be realized by a person who is thoughtful (manīṣī or muni), and after this realization of the individual spirit soul one can very easily understand the supreme spirit soul. If one thus realizes that the individual soul is subordinate to the supreme spirit soul, he achieves self-realization. As explained in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, there are two souls within the body. The body is called kṣetra, and there are two kṣetra jñas, or occupants of the body, namely the Supersoul (Paramātmā) and the individual soul. The Supersoul and the individual soul are like two birds sitting on the same tree (the material body). One bird, the individual, forgetful bird, is eating the fruit of the tree, not caring for the instructions of the other bird, which is only a witness to the activities of the first bird, who is his friend. When the forgetful bird comes to understand the supreme friend who is always with him and trying to give him guidance in different bodies, he takes shelter at the lotus feet of that supreme bird. As explained in the yoga process, dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). When one actually becomes a perfect yogī, by meditation he can see the supreme friend and surrender unto Him. This is the beginning of bhakti-yoga, or actual life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
SB Canto 8
When Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa how He could remember incidents that had taken place so long ago, the Lord answered that Arjuna was also present at that time. Because Arjuna is Kṛṣṇa's friend, wherever Kṛṣṇa goes, Arjuna goes. But the difference is that Kṛṣṇa remembers everything, whereas the living entity like Arjuna, being a minute particle of the Supreme Lord, forgets. Therefore it is said, the Lord's vigilance is never diminished. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15). Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca: the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature is always present within the hearts of all living entities, and from Him come memory, knowledge and forgetfulness. This is also indicated in this verse by the word suparṇam, which means "friend." In the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (4.6) it is therefore said, dvā suparṇa-sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣaṁ pariṣasvajāte: two birds are sitting on the same tree as friends. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other is simply observing. This observing bird is always present as a friend to the eating bird and giving him remembrance of things he wanted to do. Thus if we take into account the Supreme Personality of Godhead in our daily affairs, we can see Him or at least perceive His presence everywhere.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The Kaṭha Upaniṣad also cites this example of the tree of the material manifestation standing on the ground of material nature. This tree has two kinds of fruits, distress and happiness. Those who are living in the tree of the body are just like two birds. One bird is the localized aspect of Kṛṣṇa known as the Paramātmā, and the other bird is the living entity. The living entity is eating the fruits of this material manifestation. Sometimes he eats the fruit of happiness, and sometimes he eats the fruit of distress. But the other bird is not interested in eating the fruit of distress or happiness because he is self-satisfied. The Kaṭha Upaniṣad states that one bird on the tree of the body is eating the fruits, and the other bird is simply witnessing. The roots of this tree extend in three directions. This means that the root of the tree is the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. Just as the tree's root expands, so, by association of the modes of material nature (goodness, passion and ignorance), one expands his duration of material existence. The tastes of the fruits are of four kinds: religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and, ultimately, liberation. According to the different associations in the three modes of material nature, the living entities are tasting different kinds of religiosity, different kinds of economic development, different kinds of sense gratification and different kinds of liberation. Practically all material work is performed in ignorance, but because there are three qualities, sometimes the quality of ignorance is covered with goodness or passion. The taste of these material fruits is accepted through five senses. The five sense organs through which knowledge is acquired are subjected to six kinds of whips: lamentation, illusion, infirmity, death, hunger and thirst. This material body, or the material manifestation, is covered by seven layers: skin, flesh, blood, marrow, bone, fat and semen. The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum. And there are ten kinds of internal air passing within the body: prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna, samāna, etc. The two birds seated in this tree, as explained above, are the living entity and the localized Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramātmā.
The personified Vedas continued by saying that the Supersoul and the individual soul, or Paramātmā and jīvātmā, cannot be equal in any circumstance, although both of them sit within the same body, like two birds sitting in the same tree. As declared in the Vedas, these two birds, although sitting as friends, are not equal. One is simply a witness. This bird is Paramātmā, or the Supersoul. And the other bird is eating the fruit of the tree. That is the jīvātmā. When there is cosmic manifestation, the jīvātmā, or the individual soul, appears in the creation in different forms, according to his previous fruitive activities, and due to his long forgetfulness of real existence, he identifies himself with a particular form awarded to him by the laws of material nature. After assuming a material form, he is subjected to the three material modes of nature and acts accordingly to continue his existence in the material world. While he is enwrapped in such ignorance, his natural opulences become almost extinct. The opulences of the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, are not diminished, although He appears within this material world. He maintains all opulences and perfections in full while keeping Himself apart from all the tribulations of this material world. The conditioned soul becomes enwrapped in the material world, whereas the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, leaves it without being affected, just as a snake sheds his skin. The distinction between the Supersoul and the conditioned individual soul is that the Supersoul, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, maintains His natural opulences, known as ṣaḍ-aiśvarya, aṣṭa-siddhi and aṣṭa-guṇa.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So anyone within this material world, they are prisoners. Bhrāmayan yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa as Hṛṣīkeśa, He is sitting in everyone's heart as Paramātmā, and He is guiding. This is confirmed in the Vedas that two birds are sitting on one tree. These two birds, one is Kṛṣṇa and another, the living entity, Paramātmā and jīvātmā. The jīvātmā is eating the fruit, and Paramātmā is simply becoming witness. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. Paramātmā is seeing, Hṛṣīkeśa is seeing that you are doing this. So we may forget what nuisance we had done in our last life, but Paramātmā is there, witness; you have to get a body according to your work. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). You are working, that is being witnessed by the Paramātmā. And He is also giving advice. Because we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, we have rebelled against Kṛṣṇa. We want to act according to our whims.
So when we try to connect with the Supreme, then we can understand there is God and I am also there. We have got intimate relationship. That is explained in the Vedas. Two birds are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit and the other bird is simply witnessing. The witnessing bird is God, Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is the living entity. So God is witnessing all our activities, and our mental situation. So He orders māyā, the external energy, prakṛti, that "He requires to be given a body like this," and the material nature gives the living entity a particular type of body, and they are numbering 8,400,000.
There are three kinds of evidences. Pratyakṣa, direct sense perception, and śabda-pramāṇa, evidence from the Vedic statement, and anumāna, aitihya, historical or hypothesis. So out of all evidences, the evidence which is called, derived from Vedic statement, that is accepted as most authoritative. Therefore Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, they are Vedas. There is statement that two birds are sitting on the same tree. The tree is compared, the body is compared with the tree. And two birds, namely the Supersoul, Kṛṣṇa, and the living entity, individual soul, they are sitting together. And one is eating the fruit of the tree and the other is simply witnessing. This is our position. The other friendly bird, Kṛṣṇa or Supersoul, is giving us opportunity to act with this body as I like. He's giving us opportunity. Kṣetra-jña. I am the proprietor of this body. I have been allowed to utilize this body as I like. And the facility is given by the Supersoul.
Kṛṣṇa is also sitting within the heart, and I am also sitting within the heart, just like two friends on the same bar. This is also described in the Upaniṣad. Samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagnaḥ. They are sitting, equally, on the same level. Nimagnaḥ. The bird is eating the fruit of the tree, or the jīva soul, the living entity, he is making his fruitive action. Kṣetra-jña. These are all described. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). The owner and the occupier. I am the occupier of this body, and the owner is Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa is always present in your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). You'll find in Bhagavad-gītā: "The Lord is present in everyone's heart as Supersoul." We are both, the soul, living entity, and the Supersoul, both are in the, sitting in this tree of body. One is eating the fruit. Another is witness. That is also described in the Vedas. The Lord is there. So as soon as you begin the process of devotional service and gradually develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Lord, who is sitting within your heart, He will help you.
Now, you will find in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
"Any person who is devoutedly, is attached to Me and is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious with love and faith, unto him, I give dictation in such a way that he will come to Me. He will come to Me." How He will give me dictation? Oh, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati: (BG 18.61) "The Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion, He is situated within your heart." Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati. That we individual souls and the Supreme Soul, both of them are sitting in this tree of body. That is the Vedic injunction. The Veda says that two birds, just like friends, they are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is not eating the fruit but is simply observing the activities of the other bird.
This description we get from Vedic literature. The bird which is not eating the fruit of the tree, he is the Supersoul. And the bird which is eating the fruit of the tree, he is the soul, individual soul. That is, we are. We are sitting in this tree of body, and we are eating. This body means every one of us has got a particular body for particular type of distress or enjoyment. Every living being is responsible for his past acts, and he gets a body, either human body or animal body, American body or Indian body or African body. There are different kinds of... I have several times repeated that 8,400,000's of different bodies.
Prabhupāda: Brahman means this fragmental portion, and the Supreme Brahman... What was that question? Brahman? Supersoul. Supersoul is Kṛṣṇa. Supersoul is Kṛṣṇa, and we..., I am, you are, you are soul, we are jīva, and the Supreme Soul is Kṛṣṇa. This verse the next morning we shall discuss, we came this morning up to that point. We've come up to that verse.
So Supersoul, Supersoul is the Supreme Lord. Supersoul is also there. They are situated together. From the Vedic Upaniṣads we get this information that two birds are sitting on one tree. The one bird is eating the fruits, and the other bird is simply witness. So witnessing bird is the Supersoul, and the bird which is enjoying and suffering of this material contamination or attachment, that is soul.
Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). The Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, He is the enjoyer, He is the proprietor, and He is the real friend. In the Vedic scripture you'll find, He's such a nice friend that I am transmigrating from one body to another, and Kṛṣṇa is also transmigrating in the same body. Supersoul. Suppose I am transmigrating to the body of a hog. Oh, Kṛṣṇa is present there also. He's such a friend. Now, suppose we have got our friends. So when I've got richness, I am very rich, I will have so many friends. Suppose I am poverty-stricken now, no friends come to us. Kṛṣṇa is not such a friend. Kṛṣṇa is such a good friend. In whatever condition you may live, He is always with you. He is always with you. In the Vedic literature you find that two birds are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is witnessing. That witnessing bird is Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is myself. I am eating, I am enjoying the fruits of my work in this material world, and Kṛṣṇa is simply observing. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was talking so many things; Kṛṣṇa was observing. But when Arjuna came to his senses, he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa: śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). Similarly, the bird, the Supersoul bird, is sitting. He's simply waiting for the opportunity when he'll say, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa I surrender unto You. Now protect me. Give me instruction." He is waiting.
So, anyone can see God within his heart, if he adopts the process, bona fide process. Nārāyaṇa is within you. Therefore, great, great saintly persons, they are sitting in a lowly place, alone. But he is not alone. He is with Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa. He is seeing always there. So he is not alone. We are always accompanied by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as paramātmā, antaryāmī, within the heart. That is the Vedic statement, that there are two birds sitting on the same tree. One bird is enjoying the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is simply witnessing. So the two birds, jīvātmā and paramātmā, are always associated. He is so kind, He is just looking forward, "When this jīvātmā, who is illusioned, bewildered, captivated by this material world, material enjoyment, when he will come back again to Me?" Just like father and the son, the son who has gone out of home. The father is always looking forward when the son would come back at home and enjoy. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme father, He is always looking forwad when we shall go back to Him.
For our happiness we require cooperation of some friend. That is our practical experience. But if we make Kṛṣṇa as our supreme friend... He is supreme friend. He's so supreme friend that... You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, everything is explained. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Sarva-bhūtānām. Of all living entities, within the core of the heart, Kṛṣṇa is sitting there along with the living entity. The living entity is also within the heart and the supreme living entity, Kṛṣṇa, is also sitting by him. This is confirmed in the Upaniṣad, that two birds are sitting on one tree. One bird is eating the fruit and another bird is simply observing. So the observing bird is Kṛṣṇa and the eating bird is the living entity. Two birds.
Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara, the Supreme, He is everywhere. Mayā tatam idaṁ sarvam. We have already explained. So He is within the core of our heart. So whatever we desire, He understands. He is omnipotent, omniscient. He can immediately understand. Therefore it should be understood that there are two living entities. One is Paramātmā and the other is the jīvātmā. Jīvātmā. That is clearly explained in the Bhāgavata, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi (BG 13.3).
In Upaniṣad also there is a verse that the two birds are sitting in one tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree and the other bird is simply observing. The observing bird is Kṛṣṇa or the Supersoul, and the eating bird is the individual soul. So as you desire... That is said, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna... (BG 18.61). He is sitting with me. He is so friendly that He is giving us guidance always and He is waiting for the time when you shall give up your desires and surrender to the other bird, the observing bird. That is Kṛṣṇa, Paramātmā. Paramātmā is so kind that I am taking the body of human being—He is there. I am taking the body of an animal—He is there. I am taking the body of a demigod—He is there. I am taking the body of a demigod—He is there. He is so nice friend, He is always... And giving me advice that "Why you are suffering in this way, creating your desires and suffering? Why you are doing this? Better you stop this. You surrender to Me. Come back to home, back to Godhead."
Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to us. But the same relationship—He is the owner; we are simply occupier. There are two persons interested in this body. One is the individual soul, living entity, and the other is the Supersoul, God. He is also within this body.
Where He is staying? Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). God is living within the core of the heart, and the living entity, he is also living within this core of heart. They are living just like two birds sitting on the branch of one tree. These are the Vedic statement. So there are two birds sitting on the branch of the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird, simply witnessing. This is the Vedic statement. So the eating bird, we are, living entity. We are eating the fruit as we are working, and the result of our working, we are enjoying. But God, the Supersoul, He is not interested in eating the fruits of the tree. He is self-satisfied. He is simply observing how you are working, because we are working with this body and God is situated in the same heart. So God is there, and we, individual soul, also there.
Just like in agriculture. The land is owned by the state or the king. And it is rented or occupied by somebody else. And the land is the field of action. So Kṛṣṇa is giving direction. Kṛṣṇa is giving direction, and the living entity is there. He is acting according to that direction.
So both Kṛṣṇa and the living entity are sitting in one tree. That is stated in the Upaniṣad. Two birds are sitting in one tree. One is eating the fruit of the tree and other is simply witnessing. The witnessing bird is Kṛṣṇa. And the bird who is eating the fruits of the tree, he is the living entity. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they cannot distinguish between the jīva soul, jīvātmā, and Paramātmā. They know it, but because they are monists, to establish their theory, they say there is no two, there is one. No. Kṛṣṇa says two. One kṣetrajñaḥ, the jīvātmā, and the other kṣetrajñaḥ He is, Kṛṣṇa. The difference between the two is that the individual living entity knows only about his kṣetra, body, but the other living entity, the supreme living entity, He knows all the bodies, everywhere, anywhere, throughout the whole creation. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15). This is the difference.
So as father is always kind to the son, similarly, the supreme father is so kind that we are flying from this tree to that tree, this body to that body. So Kṛṣṇa is also flying, but He's not affected. That is explained in the Upaniṣad, that the one individual soul bird, he is eating the forbidden fruit of the tree and enjoying or suffering the result. But the other bird, he's simply witnessing. Witnessing. Upadraṣṭā anumantā. That is described. Upadraṣṭā means witness. Upa means... You cannot avoid the vigilence of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot do anything concealed. Everything is known to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is called upadraṣṭā.
Just like a landlord has got hundreds of house, and each house is occupied by one tenant, but the landlord is occupier of all the houses, similarly, in each body there are two living entities. One living entity is the soul, individual soul, and the other living entity is the Supreme Lord. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). He is situated, both of them are situated within this heart. Hṛd-deśe, it is pointed out. Now, you have got... you, everyone knows, from the heart the energy is distributed to the whole body, and as soon as the heart stops to work, no more body existing. Everyone will know. Therefore the heart is the office, sitting office, of both the soul and the Supersoul. Ātmā and Paramātmā.
That is described in the Upaniṣad, that two birds are sitting in one tree. This one tree is this whole body and the two birds—one the individual soul and the other is the Supersoul—both of them are sitting as friends. One bird is eating the fruits of the tree, and the other bird is simply onlooker. Upadraṣṭā anumantā. The one bird who is eating the fruit is asking, "Shall I eat the fruit?" And the other bird says, "No." But he says, "No, I shall eat." "All right, you eat at your risk." This is going on.
Individually, man to man, family to family, society to society, nation to nation, there is always competition. But this competition will stop as soon as there is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that "I am not proprietor, we are not proprietor, Kṛṣṇa is proprietor." That's all. That is the means of śānti.
- bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
- suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām...
- (BG 5.29)
These three things, if we understand properly, that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme enjoyer, bhoktā; He's friend also. Kṛṣṇa is so nice friend that... Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, is situated in everyone's heart as friend. That is stated in the Upaniṣads. Two birds are sitting on one tree as friend. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other friend is simply witnessing. He is friend, He's supreme friend, not so-called friend. Actually He's our supreme friend. He's always trying to get us back to home, back to Godhead.
As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that in each body there is a soul, kṣetra-jña. Idaṁ śarīraṁ kṣetram ity abhidhīyate. The body... I am not this body, but I know it is my body. Therefore I am kṣetra-jña and the body is kṣetra. And Kṛṣṇa says that kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). That sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata, in every body, that manifestation of God, or Kṛṣṇa, is called Paramātmā, or Supersoul. So the Supersoul and the soul, both of them are sitting on this body. It is compared with a tree. Just like on the tree two birds sitting, friendly birds. One is eating the fruit and another is simply witnessing. Upadraṣṭā-anumantā.
Kṛṣṇa, God is so kind. Whatever you want, you take. That is, nature is helping. Nature is working under the direction of God, and whatever you want, He understands, because He is sitting with you within the heart, like two birds. One bird is eating, one bird is simply seeing. The seeing bird is God and eating bird is the living entity. So that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. Fifteenth Chapter. "I am sitting in everyone's heart." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). One Dr. Farquar, in our college life, he was a Scotsman, so he did not believe in the karma-vāda. And there are so many philosophers like that. But actually, īśvara, Kṛṣṇa, God, is sitting within your heart. He is witness.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said anumantā upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā means witness. This is also explained in the Upaniṣads, that one bird is eating, another bird is seeing. The seeing bird is God, upadraṣṭā. He's noting down that you like this. He's noting down that you like to eat such and such thing.
As the living entity enters this material world, Kṛṣṇa is also there along with him. Sometimes the Māyāvādī philosophers, they mistake that the soul and the Supersoul, there is no such difference: only the soul is the Supersoul, or the Supersoul is the soul; ātmā, Paramātmā, they are both one. But not they are not both one. They are two. That is stated in the Upaniṣads, that they are sitting in one tree like two birds, friendly birds. One is enjoying the fruit of the tree; other is only witnessing. So the witnessing bird is Paramātmā, and the fruit-eating bird is ātmā. These are the Vedic statements.
Actually we are dependent. I want something; Kṛṣṇa gives us through the material agent. At the same time, He also accompanies, as a friend. The footnote is there: dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣaṁ pariṣasvajāte tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svādv atty anaśnann anyo 'bhicākaśīti. Śruti-mantra. So both the living entity, and the Supersoul is sitting on the same tree. This body is supposed to be the tree, and the heart is supposed to be the nest. And in the nest, as there are two birds, similarly, there is one bird, the living entity, individual, and the Supersoul, both. One is eating the fruit; the other is simply observing, witnessing. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. Anumantā means "giving order."
This Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is in everyone's heart. He is also sitting with me in the heart. I, as spirit soul, I am sitting there, and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu as Paramātmā, as guiding Supersoul, He is also sitting in the same position. One is... It is stated in the Upaniṣad that two birds are sitting in one tree. One bird is eating the fruit and the other bird is simply witnessing. So Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu as Paramātmā, He is witnessing the activities of the individual soul. And according to the activities of the individual soul, He is getting the necessary result. He is witness. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is confirmed, anumantā and upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā means witness. Suppose you are doing something. I have nothing to do with your activities, but I can see..., I am seeing what you are doing. So He is upadraṣṭā. And anumantā. Anumantā means the individual soul cannot do anything without the sanction of the Supersoul. Either you may do something good or bad, but it has to be taken sanction from the Supersoul.
Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe (BG 18.61). Kṛṣṇa is not far away. Kṛṣṇa is always with you. He, He's so friendly that just like two birds... It is said in the Upaniṣads: the one bird is eating the fruit of the tree; another bird is simply guiding and seeing. Because this material world, living entity wanted to enjoy. Just like you have seen that the dog and the master. The master is so friendly to the dog out of love. It is a dog, but when it is passing stool, he's waiting. Why? Is the duty of the master to wait because the dog is passing stool? No. Out of love. Out of love. We can see from practical example. Similarly... The master may be a great millionaire, but still, he loves the dog so much that on the morning walk he takes his dog and the dog is passing urine... What, what business dog has got? To pass urine and stool and go this way and that way. But the master is attending. Similarly, God, or Kṛṣṇa, is so affectionate that we have come here in this material world simply to pass stool and urine, still He's attending. Still, He's attending. Just imagine what merciful is Kṛṣṇa.
In the Upaniṣad it is said that Paramātmā, Kṛṣṇa, and the living entity they are sitting on the same tree, samāni vṛkṣe. One living entity is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other living entity is simply witnessing, anumantā. So Kṛṣṇa, He's situated in everyone's heart, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Because without His sanction, the living entity cannot do anything. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15), Kṛṣṇa says that "I am seated in everyone's heart." So, the living entity wants to do something out of his own whims, Kṛṣṇa says, or Kṛṣṇa gives good consultation that "This will not make you happy, don't do this." But he is persistent, he will do it. Then Kṛṣṇa sanctions, Paramātmā, "All right, you do it, at your risk." This is going on. Everyone of us (is) very intimately connected with Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is sitting in everyone's heart. Kṛṣṇa is so kind, that He is simply waiting, "When this rascal will turn his face towards Me." He simply is, he is so kind. But we living entities, we are so rascal, we shall turn our face to everything except Kṛṣṇa. This is our position.
Kṣetra-jña means I know about the pains and pleasure of my body. You know the pains and pleasure of your body, but I do not know the pains and pleasure of your body, neither you know the pains and pleasure of my body. This is individual soul. But another, Supersoul, is... That is Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. He knows your pains and pleasure, my pains and pleasure, his pains and pleasure, everyone's. Sarva-jña. Therefore, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). He is actually, because He is present with you as friend...
This is confirmed in the Upaniṣad. Two birds are sitting on the same tree as friends. One is eating the fruit, one is simply observing. Anumantā. That is stated in the Bhag... Upadraṣṭā anumantā. Anumantā. Anumantā means you cannot touch any fruit of this world without the sanction of the Supersoul. Therefore He is anumantā.
Veda says, apāni-pāda javano grahitā: "The Supreme Absolute Truth has no legs, has no hands, but He accepts whatever you offer." Now, how He accepts? He has no hand; then how He accepts? But they have no brain. They have no brain. When it is said that "He has no hand," it is said that "He has no hand like you." When he says that "He has no leg," it means that "He has no leg like you." If he has no hand, then how Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati tad aham aśnāmi bhakty-upahṛtam: (BG 9.26) "If I accept them"? If He is far away within the Goloka Vṛndāvana, goloka eva nivasaty akhilātmā (Bs. 5.37), but He has got such a hand-although He is living in Goloka Vṛndāvana, far, far away, He will immediately Whatever you offer, He will take. That kind of hand, not your three feet hand. If somebody offers me downstairs, "Prabhupāda, take this flower," but I am here. How can I take? But He can take. He can take. That is called apāni-pāda javano grahitā paśyaty acakṣuḥ. He can see. His eyes are not like this, that beyond this wall I cannot see anything. He can see everyone, what you are doing nonsense. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. As witness, He is seeing. He is within your heart. How you will hide it? Anumantā upadraṣṭā.
The Upaniṣad also it is stated that He... The two birds are sitting on the same tree, the jīvātmā and paramātmā. The one bird is eating forbidden fruit, and the other bird is seeing. So He is seeing. But how He is seeing? The Veda, the Vedic literatures, apaśyati. Therefore sees. Apaśyati means see. But you said, acakṣuḥ. He has no eyes. How He sees? That is His eyes. He has no eyes like you, a three feet distance, that's all, finished, your eyesight. He can see. From many thousands and millions of miles away He can see. So it is the distinction. When it is stated, impersonalism, He is not a person like us.
So when it is said, pratyag-dhāmā svayaṁ-jyotiḥ, it is described the Paramātmā, or Supersoul. Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā. Paramātmā's business is to witness, witness, to see our activities, because He is within our body. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. So He is, He is so kind, He is... That is described in Upaniṣad, that the two birds are sitting in one tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is simply witnessing. That witness bird is God, Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is ātmā. So He is giving chance, as we want. Actually, Kṛṣṇa wants that "You don't try to eat forbidden apple, the, this apple tree, but You give up this. You come to Me." That Kṛṣṇa wants. But because we want to eat, we want to enjoy this material world, He is so kind, He is sitting along with us and giving us... Just like you sometimes take your dog, and whatever the dog wants, you allow him to do, out of love; similarly, whatever we wanting to do, Kṛṣṇa is allowing, "All right." Kṛṣṇa's real desire is "You rascal. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam (BG 18.66)," but I'll not do. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is giving me all chances: "Do whatever you like. But if... You reap the result. If you hear My word, then you give up this. You come again. Because your position is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Your position, My position, is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Your position is prakṛteḥ paraḥ. Why you are rotting in this, within this material world?"
So the Supersoul is also living with the..., along with this ordinary living entities as friends. That is described in the Upaniṣad, that two birds are sitting on one tree. One bird is eating the fruit and the other bird is simply witness. Paramātmā, upadraṣṭā anumantā. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Paramātmā is existing within our heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). He is simply upadraṣṭā. He is not enjoying. He has no interest to enjoy this material world. But the other bird, the living entity, he is trying to enjoy this material world. And according to his karma, upadraṣṭā... I wanted to do something or I have done something. The resultant action, I will have to enjoy or suffer in the next life. The witness is the Paramātmā, sākṣī, upadraṣṭā anumantā, antaryāmī, sākṣī. We cannot do anything without the knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramātmā feature. He is fulfilling our desires and waiting for the opportunity when the living entity will give up this business of eating the fruit of this body, of the tree, and simply become engaged, again come back to the Supersoul. That opportunity He is looking after.
Īśvara, the Supersoul, it is said here, antaḥ puruṣa-rūpeṇa, the Supersoul. And the Bhagavad-gītā also confirms, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. He is situated in everyone's heart. In the Upaniṣads also, it is said that two birds are sitting in one tree. So one bird is eating the fruit, and the other bird is simply observing as witness. Anumantā upadraṣṭā—in the Bhagavad-gītā. So just imagine. There is no limit of the living entities. Sa anantyāya kalpate. Anantyāya means there is no numerical count. Innumerable. Nityo nityānām. Nityānām, bahuvacana, plural number... So there is no limit of these living entities. And still, Kṛṣṇa has to live within the heart of every living entity. Just see. And every living entity has different business. And He has to sanction and witness.
We are trying to adjust things externally, but that will never be fulfilled. Durāśayā. This is hope against hope. You cannot do anything independently because you are fully under the clutches of māyā. Bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Kṛṣṇa says, "My dear Arjuna, Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, is situated in the core of everyone's heart." He is not far away. And He is observing. In the Upaniṣads it is said that there are two birds on one tree. One is eating the fruit, and the other is witnessing. The witnessing bird is Kṛṣṇa, and the eating bird is the jīvātmā.
Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati: (BG 18.61) "My dear Arjuna, the Lord is situated in everyone's heart." Why He is situated there? Because He is the suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). We are sons of God. He is very sorry that unnecessarily we are wandering within this universe and suffering in different types of bodies, and this is going on. So īśvara, He is very well-wisher, friend. He is simply trying to turn His face towards you. That's it. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 18.61). He has given little freedom, so do whatever you like. But He is simply taking the chance, "When this rascal will turn towards Me?" That is His business. That is stated in the Vedic śāstra, that two birds are sitting in the same tree. One is eating the fruit and the other is simple witnessing. So the eating bird is the jīvātmā, individual soul, and the witness bird is God, Paramātmā. So He is giving us the facility.
Suhṛt means who is always wishing your good. The Vedic information says that the Supreme Lord as Supersoul is sitting with you in the same tree. The individual soul and the Supersoul is sitting in the heart and this body is considered as tree, and He is seeing your, my activities. He is trying to get me back to Godhead. So in whichever form of life I am transmigrating He is also going with me.
Just like two birds. So he is acting as my friend. That is described in the Upaniṣad, that two birds are sitting in one tree in friendly terms. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is simply witnessing. So the bird which is eating the fruit of the tree, that means we are enjoying happiness or distress out of my own activities or this bodily activities... But the other bird, or Supersoul, He is not affected with the activities of the body. He is simply looking when this bird will turn to Him. That is His friendship. So suhṛt, this very word is suhṛt. So īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). This is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and all Vedic literature. So that suhṛt is simply looking to the opportunity when the other bird, instead of eating the fruit, looks to his friend. That's all. He's simply waiting for the opportunity. And He's sending His servant, He's coming Himself as incarnation, He is leaving books like Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bible, just to attract me. "My dear friend, come this side. Come this side." Suhṛt.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
When I am actually serious to have connection with Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is sitting in everyone's heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So Kṛṣṇa can understand. We cannot hide anything from Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. Because Kṛṣṇa is sitting side by side, just like two birds, sitting side by side. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree. Another bird is the witness. That is the Vedic version. So as soon as I become serious to know about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa can understand, "Now My friend is very serious." So He will find out a bona fide guru for him. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). By the, by the double mercy... Kṛṣṇa's mercy, and guru's mercy. If one is serious, Kṛṣṇa is satisfied: "Now he's serious about finding out, about knowing Me." Then Kṛṣṇa gives him direction that "Here is guru, My representative. You take shelter of him and you will get Me." This is the way.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭa. "I am sitting there." The living entity and the Supreme Person as Paramātmā, both of them are sitting in this body. That is explained in the Upaniṣad. Two birds are sitting in the same tree. One bird is eating, and one bird is witnessing. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, anumantā. Because we have tried, we have taken the opportunity to live independently, Kṛṣṇa or the Paramātmā is so kind that He has given... Just like a child is playing, and sometimes he is going to catch the fire, and the parents are obstructing, similarly, Kṛṣṇa, being the supreme father, He is always guiding. Although we are given the freedom to enjoy this material world, but without His sanction, you cannot enjoy, you cannot touch anything. But He is giving the facilities. Because kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vāñchā kare, we wanted to enjoy, to lord it over this material world, He has given us chance, "All right, enjoy. Enjoy to your best capacity." But He is witnessing. Witnessing means you want something, Kṛṣṇa is supplying. The material agent, Kṛṣṇa's prakṛti, or the material nature is supplying you ingredients. But Kṛṣṇa is sanctioning, and you are desiring. You are desiring, "I want this." Kṛṣṇa says, "No, you will not be happy," but you insist: "No. I want this." "All right. You take this." Kṛṣṇa's material energy is there; He is supplying the ingredients.
Ksetrajña means the living entities. Kṣetra means this body, and jña means proprietor or the knower of this body. Just like when there is some pain and pleasure, you know. Therefore you are kṣetrajña; we are all kṣetrajña. And Kṛṣṇa says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. And that is Paramātmā. When Kṛṣṇa says, "I am also kṣetrajña..." Not this kṣetrajña. Sometimes they misunderstand that the individual soul, living entity, and Paramātmā is the same. No. He says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi: "I am also one of the birds sitting on this body." That is confirmed in the Upaniṣad. Two birds are sitting in one tree. So one bird is witnessing. The witnessing bird is the Paramātmā, antaryāmī. He is looking after all your activities, witness. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. Bhagavad-gītā: upadraṣṭā. You don't think that whatever you are doing, nobody is witnessing. Sarvato pani-padas tat sarvato akṣi. Therefore, when it is said paśyaty acakṣuḥ... Paśyaty acakṣuḥ. Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has got such nice eyes that He can see your activities anywhere. He sees. But His that seeing, that eye or His eyes, are not exactly... Because we cannot see. As soon as I am closing my eyelids I cannot see you. So what is the power of this seeing? But He can see from within your heart what you are thinking, what you are feeling, what you are acting. And He is giving also sanction. You cannot act anything without His sanction because everything is property of Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). So if you want to enjoy something, you have to take sanction from the proprietor. Otherwise you cannot take, unless He sanctions.
So there are two ātmās, namely ātmā and Paramātmā. This is explained in the Upaniṣad, that "There are two birds on one tree. This tree is this body, and the two birds, one is ātmā and the other is Paramātmā." So one bird is simply witnessing what the other bird is doing, and the other bird, jīvātmā, he is eating the fruit. So therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that,
- īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
- hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati
- bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
- yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
- (BG 18.61)
That īśvara, that Paramātmā, is sitting also within this body, but He's observing what the jīvātmā wants to do. According to that, He is supplying a machine. This machine means this body, yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. This machine is manufactured by the external energy, māyā. So therefore we are jīvātmā; we are different from the Paramātmā. Those who are equalizing Paramātmā and jīvātmā, they are not in perfect knowledge. Either purposefully they are misleading, or they do not know the perfect knowledge.
Prabhupāda: That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te: "I give him intelligence by which he can always live with Me," upayānti. He is living along with... Every living entity is living with God. But out of his ignorance, he does not know. So what for the other bird is there? What He is doing? And He is living as witness. He is friend, that "What this nonsense is doing? He will suffer." So He is finding out the opportunity how he will take instruction from the other bird, God. And He gives instruction. But to whom? When he surrenders, and he is engaged in this service, then He gives him instruction. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi (BG 10.10). He gives. God is giving intelligence to everyone, but the nondevotee, he is not surrendered; he will not accept.
Hayagrīva: It, it seems that he believes in the Paramātmā present within all beings but does not believe in the jīva along with Paramātmā. Is this a typical impersonalist position?
Prabhupāda: That means he does not know what is love. If God loves the living entity, then He must be well-wisher, friend of the living entity. And because God expands Himself unlimitedly, therefore He lives with the living entity, and living entities are unlimited. That is said in the Bhagavad-gītā: īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). In Upaniṣads also it is confirmed that two birds are sitting on tree; one is eating the fruit and the other is simply witness. So this witnessing bird is God; therefore Paramātmā and jīvātmā live together. And there are many other places-sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15). He reminds the living entity that "Unless Paramātmā is there, I forget everything of my past life." But because I wanted to enjoy something in my past life, God gives him the opportunity and reminds him, "Now you wanted this. Here is the opportunity. You do it." So Paramātmā is always with the jīva.
Furthermore, in the 15th verse of chapter 15, Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says, "I am seated in everyone's heart. By all the Vedas I am to be known; I am the Compiler of Vedanta and I know Veda as it is." The Supreme Lord, seated in everyone's heart, is described in both the Mundaka and Svetasvetara Upanisads; "Dwa suparna sayuja sakhaya . ." The Supreme Lord and the individual spirit soul are sitting in the body as two friendly birds in a tree. The one bird is eating the fruits of the tree or reactions of material activities and the other bird, the Supersoul, is witnessing.