From the subject matter under discussion, we can gain a clear understanding of the difference between the impersonalists and the personalists. The impersonal conception recommends merging into the existence of the Supreme, and the voidist philosophy recommends making all material varieties void. Both these philosophies are known as Māyāvāda. Certainly the cosmic manifestation comes to a close and becomes void when the living entities merge into the body of Nārāyaṇa to rest until another creation, and this may be called an impersonal condition, but these conditions are never eternal. The cessation of the variegatedness of the material world and the merging of the living entities into the body of the Supreme are not permanent because the creation will take place again, and the living entities who merged into the body of the Supreme without having developed their Kṛṣṇa consciousness will again appear in this material world when there is another creation.
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- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Those in ignorance of this think that spiritual existence is opposed to material variety. But actually, in the spiritual sky, one attains a spiritual form. There are spiritual activities, and the spiritual situation is called devotional life. That atmosphere is said to be uncontaminated, and there one is equal in quality with the Supreme Lord. To obtain such knowledge, one must develop all the spiritual qualities. One who thus develops the spiritual qualities is not affected either by the creation or by the destruction of the material world.
SB Canto 4
There are some philosophers, called nondualists, who because of their impersonal conception think that varieties are false. In this verse it is specifically stated, yo māyayā viracitam. This indicates that the varieties are a manifestation of the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus because the energy is nondifferent from the Godhead, the varieties are also factual. The material varieties may be temporary, but they are not false. They are a reflection of the spiritual varieties. Here the word praticakṣaṇāya, "there are varieties," announces the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as Nara-Nārāyaṇa Ṛṣi and who is the origin of all varieties of material nature.
This King is the master of the three worlds, and he is directly empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is without change, and he is an incarnation of the Supreme known as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra. Being a liberated soul and completely learned, he sees all material varieties as meaningless because their basic principle is nescience.
The reciters of these prayers are describing the transcendental qualities of Pṛthu Mahārāja. These qualities are summarized in the words sākṣād bhagavān. This indicates that Mahārāja Pṛthu is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead and therefore possesses unlimited good qualities. Being an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mahārāja Pṛthu could not be equaled in his excellent qualities. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is fully equipped with six kinds of opulences, and King Pṛthu was also empowered in such a way that he could display these six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in full.
A nitya-mukta never forgets his position as the eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who does not forget this position and knows that he is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord is nitya-mukta. Such a nitya-mukta living entity represents the Supersoul as His expansion. As stated in the Vedas, nityo nityānām. Thus the nitya-mukta living entity knows that he is an expansion of the supreme nitya, or the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead. Being in such a position, he sees the material world with a different vision. The living entity who is nitya-baddha, or eternally conditioned, sees the material varieties as being actually different from one another. In this connection we should remember that the embodiment of the conditioned soul is considered to be like a dress. One may dress in different ways, but a really learned man does not take dresses into consideration.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental and not contaminated by this material world. But although He is concentrated spirit soul without material variety, for the benefit of the conditioned soul He nevertheless accepts different types of sacrifice performed with various material elements, rituals and mantras and offered to the demigods under different names according to the interests and purposes of the performers.
For material prosperity there are recommendations in the Vedas for various types of yajña (sacrifice). In Bhagavad-gītā (3.10) it is confirmed that Lord Brahmā created all living entities, including human beings and demigods, and advised them to perform yajña according to their material desires (saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā). These performances are called yajñas because their ultimate goal is to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu.
Unfortunately, unless the living entity has information of the spiritual world and the Vaikuṇṭhas, there is a 99.9 percent chance of his falling down again into material existence. There is, however, a small chance of being promoted to a spiritual planet from the Brahman effulgence, or the brahmajyoti. This brahmajyoti is considered by impersonalists to be without variety, and the Buddhists consider it to be void. In either case, whether one accepts the spiritual sky as being without variety or void, there is none of the spiritual bliss which is enjoyed in the spiritual planets, the Vaikuṇṭhas or Kṛṣṇaloka. In the absence of varieties of enjoyment, the spirit soul gradually feels an attraction to enjoy a life of bliss, and not having any information of Kṛṣṇaloka or Vaikuṇṭhaloka, he naturally falls down to material activities in order to enjoy material varieties.
SB Canto 5
From Vedic literature we learn that when the Supreme Lord glances (sa aikṣata) over the material energy, the three modes of material nature become manifest and create material variety. Before He glances over the material energy, there is no possibility of the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the material world. The Lord existed before the creation, and consequently He is eternal and unchanging. Therefore how can any human being, however great a scientist or philosopher he may be, understand the ways of the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Although the sky, or space, is the resting place of everything, the sky does not mix with anything, nor is it entangled. Similarly, the sun is not at all attached to the water in which it is reflected within innumerable reservoirs, and the mighty wind blowing everywhere is not affected by the innumerable aromas and atmospheres through which it passes. In the same way, a self-realized soul is completely detached from the material body and the material world around it. He is like a person who has awakened and arisen from a dream. With expert vision sharpened by detachment, the self-realized soul cuts all doubts to pieces through knowledge of the self and completely withdraws his consciousness from the expansion of material variety.
Coming to this conclusion of all knowledge, one should give up the false conception of material variety that one imposes upon the soul and thus cease one's material existence. The mind should be fixed on Me, since I am all-pervading.
Because the mind, which is the resting place of the senses, has created the identification with a new body, the threefold material variety of high, middle and low class appears as if present within the reality of the soul. Thus the self creates external and internal duality, just as a man might give birth to a bad son.
Although thus not existing in reality, this manifestation of transformations created from the mode of passion appears real because the self-manifested, self-luminous Absolute Truth exhibits Himself in the form of the material variety of the senses, the sense objects, the mind and the elements of physical nature.
The impersonalists of Saranātha differ from those of Vārāṇasī, for the Vārāṇasī impersonalists propagate the idea that the impersonal Brahman is truth whereas material varieties are false, but the Saranātha impersonalists do not even believe that the Absolute Truth, or Brahman, can be understood as the opposite of māyā, or illusion. According to their vision, materialism is the only manifestation of the Absolute Truth.
Factually both the Kāśīra and the Saranātha Māyāvādīs, as well as any other philosophers who have no knowledge of the spirit soul, are advocates of utter materialism. None of them have clear knowledge regarding the Absolute or the spiritual world. Philosophers like the Saranātha Māyāvādīs who do not believe in the spiritual existence of the Absolute Truth but consider material varieties to be everything do not believe that there are two kinds of nature, inferior (material) and superior (spiritual), as described in the Bhagavad-gītā.
The spiritual senses are beyond the material senses. A materialist can think only of the negation of material variety; he cannot understand spiritual variety. He thinks that spiritual variety simply contradicts material variety and is a negation or void, but such conceptions cannot even reach the precincts of spiritual realization. The wonderful activities of the gross body and subtle mind are always imperfect. They are below the degree of spiritual understanding and are ephemeral. The spiritual mellow is eternally wonderful and is described as pūrṇa, śuddha, nitya-mukta—that is, complete, perfectly pure and eternally liberated from all material conceptions. When we are unable to fulfill our material desires, there is certainly sorrow and confusion.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So nirviśeṣa, without varieties, there cannot be any ānanda. Variety is the mother of enjoyment. So we are trying to... We are disgusted with these material varieties. Therefore some is trying to make these varieties zero and some is trying to make these varieties impersonal. But that will not give us the exact transcendental pleasure. If you can go up into the Brahman effulgence and take shelter of Kṛṣṇa or Nārāyaṇa... There are innumerable planets in the Brahman effulgence. They are called Vaikuṇṭhaloka. And the topmost Vaikuṇṭhaloka is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. So if you are fortunate enough to take shelter in one of these planets, then you are eternally happy in blissful condition of knowledge. Otherwise, simply to merge into the Brahman effulgence is not very safe. Because we want ānanda.
Prabhupāda: Now if one comes to the understanding, enlightenment, this is the beginning of enlightenment—self-understanding, that "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. I do not belong to this material world. I am not part and parcel of this country, this world, or this material atmosphere, but I am part and parcel of the Supreme." This is enlightenment. Read it again.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "The Blessed Lord said, 'O Pārtha, when a man gives up all varieties of sense enjoyment...' " (BG 2.55)
Prabhupāda: Now if you are interested with so many varieties, material varieties... Suppose I belong to this country, then I have got so much duty, so many duties. If I belong to this world, if I belong to the human society, if I belong to this and that. But if you simply belong to Kṛṣṇa, that is enlightenment. Yes, go on.
For the jñānīs, those who are seeking out the Absolute Truth by speculative knowledge, they want to make these varieties of material world as void. The Buddha philosophy, śūnyavādi. Because they are disgusted with these material varieties, therefore they want something opposite. That opposite is voidism, śūnyavāda. The śūnyavāda or, little more further, that is brahmavāda, without any varieties, simply the light, brahmajyoti. This is also another realization. Śūnyavāda, to make this material world null and void, they come to the impersonal Brahman effulgence. This is Brahman realization.
And then, for the yogis, the localized aspect, Paramātmā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). By meditation. This is Paramātmā realization. And then, ultimately, Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In the previous verse it has been stated, vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhāḥ (BG 2.56). If you are attached to these material varieties, then you cannot enter into the spiritual varieties, or in the spiritual world. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. If you have got a pinch of desire to enjoy this material world, then you'll have to remain here as, either as Lord Brahmā or as a small ant, according to your karma. But when you completely become free from material attachment, then the spiritual world is... So when the Buddha philosophy says śūnyavāda, nirvāṇa, nirvāṇa, it means the same thing, vīta-rāga, you have to become detached. You have to make this material enjoyment zero.
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha... Anyone actually who is seeking after self-realization, there are three divisions. Either you have to realize as impersonal Brahman or as localized Paramātmā or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if you realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then automatically you realize impersonal Brahman and Paramātmā also. Just like if you have got one crore of rupees, then one hundred rupees, ten rupees or one thousand rupees or one lakh of rupees, they're all included, similarly, if you realize Kṛṣṇa...
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). That everyone is trying to realize the Absolute Truth. Either in the shape of Brahman or Paramātmā or nullifying these material varieties, śūnyavāda, they are trying to approach Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He's giving direct opportunity, direct opportunity that "You can surrender unto Me, and I'll take charge of you." Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66).
Similarly these foolish persons who are thinking that "I shall merge into the brahmajyoti," they are less intelligent because they cannot exist there. He has got inclination, desires. There is no facility for fulfilling your desires unless you go to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in order to fulfill the desires he'll come again to this material world. Because he wants activities, pleasure. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt. The spirit soul and the Supreme Lord is by nature joyful. Whenever there is question of joyfulness there must be varieties. So there is no variety. So without variety he cannot remain therefore very long. He has to come. But because he has no information of the spiritual varieties he is bound to come back to this material variety. That's all. So therefore their intelligence is less. They are not very high class men. Yes.
Similarly, the impersonalists, they think that "I am Brahman, but I am not this matter." That is a fact. I am spirit. I am not this matter. But that understanding is not sufficient. What is my position as spirit? Then, when we come to the supreme spirit, the all-spirit, that is perfection of knowledge. So impersonal conception is simply a negation of these material varieties. But above that, there is spiritual variety. And that is real knowledge. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Negation... Just like there is no fever. In diseased condition one is trying to get out of the feverish condition. So by medicinal treatment one gets out of fever. But that is not healthy condition. That is not final. There is negation of fever. That's admitted. That's all right. But that is convulsion (convalescent) stage. You may relapse again. When you actually come to the healthy state, that is your life.
They are not necessary for a person who is advanced. But in the preliminary stage we have such necessities. This creates atmosphere, but at the same time, these varieties are not, I mean to say, material varieties. They are spiritual varieties. The place where we are trying to approach, Vaikuṇṭha, there the inhabitants are like this. They have got this tilaka, they have got... Of course, we haven't got four hands, but they have got four hands. There are two hands also. And they are dressed like this. So these things are not material varieties as much as chanting is not material vibration.
Besides that, any path you follow, you have to follow the regulative principles as they are enacted by authorities. So in our disciplic succession, previous ācāryas, they have advised that you should have your dress like this, you should have your head like this, you... So we have to follow that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Our principle is to follow the footprints of authorities.
They don't want varieties. Because they have got a very bad experience of the varieties in the material world, they, as soon as there is question of varieties, they become shuddered, "Oh, again varieties?" They do not know that there is blissful varieties in association with Kṛṣṇa. They can not accommodate in their brain on account of poor fund of knowledge. Therefore they want sāyujya-mukti, to merge into the existence of the..., to become one with the Supreme. That is possible. You can have it. But it you lose your individuality then you can get eternity, but you cannot get blissful life of knowledge, because you lose your individuality. So that is suicidal. But a living entity being individual soul, he cannot remain in that impersonal state of life. Because the other two factors, namely acquire knowledge and acquire blissful life, is wanting there. It is simply negation of these material varieties. Or eternity only—sat. But there are two other parts, cit and ānanda. That is absent there.
Paramātmā is plenary expansion, and Brahman is impersonal effulgence. So if one understands Kṛṣṇa by question and answer, then he understands the other three features. But simply by understanding the impersonal feature, Brahman effulgence, one cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Neither by understanding or seeing the Paramātmā, one can understand Kṛṣṇa. To see the Paramātmā is the business of the yogis. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). Yoginaḥ, the yogis they are trying to see Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu within their heart by meditation. Meditation means this. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). And the jñānīs they want to stop these material varieties, make it impersonal, and merge into the existence of Brahman effulgence. But devotees, they do not, neither of them, neither they even want to be transferred to the Vaikuṇṭhaloka. They are satisfied in any condition life, provided they have got the opportunity to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is the ambition.
The trunk, the root is on the up, and the foliage, which is on the up, that has come down. Similarly, this material world is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter: ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham. Generally, we see tree downwards, root, but in the reflection you will find the roots upward. Therefore ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākham means these material varieties are simply an imitation of the original variety. Just like I'll give you very nice example. Just there will be a great fair. Just like we had in this Allahabad, Māgha-melā. So because government knew that many people will come to take bath in the Ganges, confluence of Ganges and Yamunā, all of a sudden, a great city, practically, was developed. Those who have seen—so many houses, camps, electric lights, post office, everything. Temporary, created. But as soon as... It is maintained also so long the melā, the fair, is going on. And as soon as the duration of melā is finished, all people go away and the temporary township is also demolished.
And if you actually enter the mountain you'll find there are so many houses, so many trees, so many animals. The vision is the same mountain. But on account of my different position, I see hazy cloud or something green or something animated. But the final stage is the varieties. A mountain, there are so many trees, so many animals, so many men, so many houses—varieties.
So the Absolute Truth is not without varieties. That is spiritual variety. That is not material variety. But the Māyāvādīs, they think that... Because they are seeing the Absolute Truth from distant place, far away, they think that in the Absolute Truth there is no variety. As soon as there are varieties, it is material. That is their misunderstanding. No.
So that is tattva-jñāna. Unless we understand the varieties of the Absolute Truth, if we simply stick to the indefinite, impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth, then there is chance of falling down. Generally, they fall down. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Because they are not allowed to enter into the Vaikuṇṭha planets, they simply remaining in the Brahman effulgence, and that does not stay. They fall down. Again they come down in these material varieties. We have seen many, many sannyāsīs. They first of all give up... Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "The jagat is mithyā." And ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I have no more anything to do. I have become Nārāyaṇa." Then he comes down again to feed the daridra-nārāyaṇa. That's all.
So guru means repeatedly his business is to enlighten the disciple how to become detached to this material world. Simply detachment will not help you. The other philosophy, Śūnyavādi, that you make zero this material detachment... No. That is not possible. We have got... Because we are ānandamaya, we want ānanda, sac-cid-ānanda. Actually, we are searching after eternal life, sat. That is sat, eternal life. And cit means knowledge. And ānanda... Sac-cid-ānanda. We are seeking that. Partially, if we simply understand eternity, that will not help us. We must have blissful knowledge. So the Māyāvādīs, those who are impersonalists, they want to make these material varieties of life zero. Because they are very much disgusted with this material life. So jagan mithyā. They say, "This is mithyā. This is false."
Brahma-bhūtaḥ means to make this material world null and void and you come to the another world, spiritual world. So if you cannot enter into the spiritual world, mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54), if you simply remain brahma-bhūtaḥ, then you will fall down. Because you are by nature seeking ānanda, blissful life. So if you do not get varieties of life... Just like we want varieties in this material world. This material world is simply imitation of the spiritual world. So we are attached to the varieties; therefore we are seeking ānanda. But because it is material and we are spiritual being, we cannot enjoy this ānanda, material varieties fully. There are so many defects, inebrieties, and we are seeking that spiritual variety. So if you don't enter into the spiritual world with spiritual variety then you will again fall down. That is called bhakti-yoga.
So this is spiritual varieties. Material varieties cannot give us full satisfaction. Therefore you want change. Change, another change, another change. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (SB 7.5.30). Here in the material world we are simply chewing the chewed. Once chewed and thrown it away, again somebody is coming chewing. So spiritual variety is not like that. Spiritual varieties is ānandāmbudhi-vardhanam. The more you are attached to spiritual variety, it is just like ocean. An ocean does not increase, but spiritual varieties are said they are increasing. Now just like here you have got the Arabian Sea. It is not increasing. It would have increased, then Bombay town would have been finished long ago. So it is not increasing. It has got a certain limit.
So if you desire that, Kṛṣṇa will give you the oppor... Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante (BG 4.11). Mām... Kṛṣṇa is everything. Kṛṣṇa is brahmajyoti; Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). So if you want oneness, so you will be allowed outside the Vaikuṇṭha planet in the brahmajyoti. But there you cannot stay. That is the difficulty. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Because we want varieties of enjoyment... In the brahmajyoti you are simply live eternally, but there is no varieties. But because these persons, they have no information of the Vaikuṇṭha varieties, they have to come down again to these material varieties. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (SB 10.2.32). This is the process.
Kṛṣṇa is everywhere. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-sthaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Bs. 5.35). He is everywhere. So how it can be impersonal? Therefore the jñānam, which considers of impersonality without any varieties, that is not jñānam. That is not niḥśreyasārthāya, that is simply a temporary appeasement. That because I am disgusted with this material varieties, let it be zero, void. That is a temporary solace. We cannot remain without varieties. That is not possible. If there is nobody here, and you sit down, make meditation, you can sit down for fifteen minutes or twenty minutes, then you will go away. This is not possible because the spirit soul, either the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Soul, or the living entity, he is also spirit, both of them are Brahman. Parabrahman and ordinary Brahman. We are ordinary Brahman and Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Brahman. So Brahman, either Supreme or ordinary is seeking after happiness. That is Brahman life.
So these varieties are material varieties. Material varieties means when it is nonmanifested, it is called pradhāna, and when it is manifested, it is called prakṛti, or nature, material nature. But these varieties, the material pradhāna... Pradhāna is nityam, but the prakṛti is not nityam. Nityam means eternal. But there is another world, paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ (BG 8.20). That is sanātanaḥ. That is eternal. We have got this experience of this material world. This is not eternal. This is... Just we have got experience of this body. This body is created at a certain stage, and it will stay for some time, and it will transform into many other forms from this body, and then it will dwindle, and then it will vanish. Similarly, the whole material creation is like that. It is created by the interaction of the three modes of material nature.
So the prakṛti cannot give birth to the varieties. That is wrong theory. That is wrong theory. The real variety begins when the prakṛti is in touch with the Puruṣa. That is our experience also. How we can say that prakṛti can give birth or woman can give birth to a child or many children without being touch with man? Where is our experience? There is no such thing. Therefore we should not take prakṛti as everything. We must find out the Puruṣa. Therefore the puruṣa who gives birth to these material varieties, that is Lord Śiva, and the prakṛti which gives birth to these varieties, that is Durgā. Therefore the original prakṛti and puruṣa is represented by śiva-liṅga, and devī-patha(?). Those who are worshiper of śiva-liṅga, they know the devī-patha(?) and the śiva-liṅga, they are worshiped.
So the mission of human life should be how to clarify this consciousness again into that pure consciousness of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the mission of human life. The consciousness is impure; therefore there are so many varieties, material varieties, and we are captivated by these material varieties. But that is not giving us any happiness. We are especially very much unhappy on account of janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). So if we want to get relief from the miserable condition of this material life... This place is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam: (BG 8.15) "This place is meant for miseries." Do not try to become happy here. That is foolishness, mūḍha. Nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam. "The mūḍhas, these rascals, they do not know that here he cannot be..., one cannot be happy, because real happiness is when he comes back to Me."
Because they have no rest, they become perturbed. Therefore this śloka says, ye 'nye 'ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ: (SB 10.2.32) "Because these impersonalists, although they are almost liberated, still, on account of their negligence to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, without having shelter, their intelligence is not purified still." They are simply accepting something opposite to these imperfect varieties of this material world. They want to make the spiritual world without varieties because they have got a very bad experience of this material varieties. So their conception is just the opposite. Just the opposite. There must not be any varieties. Just like there are... They say Kṛṣṇa... Because they are convinced the Supreme Brahman is impersonal, brahmajyoti, so when brahmajyoti appears, He must take a form of this material world.
Even there are twin, still, we'll find some difference. The father, mother can see. There is variety. Here it is said, bhūteṣu guṇa-vaicitryāt. They are guṇa-vaicitryāt. Therefore we don't find two men of the same nature, two men of the same thinking. Varieties, varieties, this is going on. But that is our cause of bondage, varieties. But if we can surpass these varieties, as Kṛṣṇa advises in the Bhagavad-gītā, trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna. Nistrai-guṇyo, nirguṇa. Nirguṇa does not mean no varieties. Nirguṇa means not these material varieties—the spiritual varieties. So they misunderstand. Spiritual varieties they think material varieties. So nistraigunyo: we have to overcome the varieties of this material nature. We have come to the spiritual platform. And how it is possible?
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
Suppose if I simply give you a lump of flour. Will you enjoy? But the same flour, you make kacoris, luci, puri, and this and... Oh, you'll enjoy. The ingredient is the same, but when it variety, it is enjoyable. Similarly, spiritual varieties... The impersonalists, they being fed up with this material varieties, they want to make it zero. But that will not help us. In zero we cannot be happy, because we are by nature, we want to enjoy. Enjoy means there must be varieties. The same flour, but you pick up some different varieties of flour and keep it, oh, you'll enjoy. "Oh, it is very nice." Therefore Kṛṣṇa has given so many varieties.
So the varieties of life... Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis (Bs. 5.37). Ānanda-cinmaya. These varieties, this is material variety. We cannot enjoy here, but there is spiritual variety. That is ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ. Just like Kṛṣṇa Himself is expanding Himself as gopīs, as cowherds boys, as calves and cows and trees in Vṛndāvana.
One who has no information of Kṛṣṇa, one who does not take shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he may take the sāyujya-mukti after severe penances and austerities, but again he'll fall down, because he wants ānanda. Simply impersonal, without any varieties, he cannot have ānanda. That spiritual variety is available in the Kṛṣṇaloka, in the Vaikuṇṭha. So for want of spiritual variety, you'll again like to come into the material variety. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. Ye 'nye ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas (SB 10.2.32). So this kind of mukti is not first-class mukti. Therefore Vaiṣṇavas, they do not want it. Vaiṣṇava does not want any kind of mukti. This Vaiṣṇava wants simply to remain in the service of the Lord. They don't aspire for any kind of mukti. Mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4).
So unless and until we have got a stay in the Vaikuṇṭha planets, which are situated in the Brahman effulgence, then simply in the impersonal Brahman effulgence we cannot stay, because there is no variety. Therefore to enjoy variety, one has to come down again to this material variety. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ anādṛta, anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Because we are living entities, part and parcel of the supreme living entity, Param Brahman, Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, so, as Śrī Kṛṣṇa is by nature joyful, ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12), similarly we are also joyful. We are also seeking after that joyful life. That joyful life is eternally possible when we dance with Kṛṣṇa, not dance alone or dance with anyone else. So unless we get that position, there is no actually happiness. Because variety is the mother of enjoyment.
When we approach the personal Brahman, Param Brahman, that variety is available, and there we can enjoy. From there we do not return. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). So simply impersonal Brahman realization, that happiness is not perfect, neither this material varieties are perfect. So brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. When we are fed up with these material varieties, we try to enter in the impersonal Brahman. But even in the impersonal Brahman, when there is want of varieties, then again we come back to these material varieties. Therefore we see so many learned scholars, sannyāsīs, they give up these material varieties as mithyā and enter into the impersonal Brahman, but without variety there, they come again to the material variety for opening schools and hospitals. This is the fact.
Anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. Because they have not adored or glorified the lotus feet of the Lord, they are not allowed into the Goloka Vṛndāvana or Vaikuṇṭha planet. And they cannot remain perpetually in the impersonal Brahman effulgence. They come down again to these material varieties. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ (SB 10.2.32). They cannot go upwards. They come, come down. That we have practically seen. All big, big swamis, all Vedantists, but they could not find. Even big, big swamis, they are now taking to Bhāgavata and other Vaiṣṇava literature at the present moment. Because their own literature is finished. How long they'll simply call for Brahman? Unless they come to Kṛṣṇa, there is no varieties of enjoyment.
The material variety is the perverted reflection of the spiritual variety. As it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter: ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākha. This tree, this material world (is) compared with a aśvattha vṛkṣa. The root is up, upstairs, upwards, and the branches and leaves are down, downwards. Why? Because it is reflection, chaya, or māyā. The real tree is in the Vaikuṇṭha planet or in the spiritual world. It is only simply reflection. Just like a tree standing on the bank of reservoir of water, on the bank of a lake or a river, you'll see the tree is reflected downwards. So this description in the Fifteenth Chapter of this material world, downwards... Ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākha means this is only a perverted reflection of the spiritual world. The real tree is in the spiritual world. The other day, who was asking about this question? Some of our...? Ūrdhva-mūlam adhah-śākha? Who was asking me? Eh? Oh. Gopāla. He's not here. All right.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
They want to simply negate, nullify, but they have no positive information, so they are called Māyāvādī. So the Śaṅkarites... Śaṅkarites, of course, they give positive information. Brahma satya jagan mithyā. They say that this world is false and Brahman is reality. But because we want reality in variety, therefore impersonal philosophy, although we take it as a matter of sectarian philosophy, it does not appeal to the heart because by nature we want enjoyment. And whenever there is question of enjoyment, there must be variety. Variety is the mother of enjoyment. So philosophically or theoretically, we may accept voidness, negation, out of frustration. When we are frustrated in these material varieties we adopt the suicidal policy, "Let me commit suicide, finish." This is called Māyāvāda. Actual spiritual variegatedness, unless one is informed about it and one is situated in spiritual varieties, there is no satisfaction.
Arrival Addresses and Talks
Very honored brāhmaṇa, Jagannātha Miśra's son, grandson of Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, very social, aristocratic position. But still, He gave up everything. That means that although He had nothing material, but to show us that material things should be renounced, that is sannyāsa; and enter into the spiritual family of Kṛṣṇa. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). He does not become again entangled in these material varieties of life. In material world there is also varieties, but that is false. This morning we were discussing this point, mirage. In the mirage there is a show of false water, and the animal runs after it. But there is no water, and finally he becomes more thirsty, and it is desert; he falls down and dies. So the material world means we are running after false family. But don't think that there is no real family life. There is real family. That is Kṛṣṇa's real family, eternal family, blissful family.
So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that it is activities of liberated stage. Everyone is trying to get liberation from these material pangs, every philosophy. Buddha philosophy, they are also trying-nirvāṇa. Nirvāṇa means extinguish this. So they want to make void. All these material varieties, they want to make it zero. That is Buddha philosophy. Māyāvāda philosophy is more or less like that. It is a second edition of Buddha philosophy. Zero, but that zero is without life. Māyāvāda philosophy says, "Yes, that zero, but with life." That is the mistake. If there is life, then there must be varieties. Life without variety is not possible. Dead body without variety, not life without variety. So these are the defects of all other philosophies. They're not defects, but the class of people amongst whom the philosophy was taught, they could not understand more than that. That's all.
Prabhupāda: If God has created the material world and material variety, so means He is in full awareness how to do things nicely. That is perfectness of God. He knows everything how to do it perfectly, naturally. Just like even a child, we get daily experience, when we offer some cake in the Deity room, the child immediately takes it and puts in the mouth. Although she is very small baby, (s)he doesn't require any education about taking the cake and what to do with it. Immediately puts in the mouth. So this natural, what is called, knowledge, that is God's knowledge. He knows everything perfectly well, and when He produces a rose flower, it is all-perfect. That is God's... God is not..., He has to get the knowledge through some source. He is already in awareness of everything. That is God. So He hasn't got to know His capacity through matter.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Everything is emanated from that Absolute Truth. That is the fountainhead of everything. We cannot manufacture anything. It is not possible. But this is shadow and that is reality. And in the shadow... Just like photograph. You find that everything in detail of your beautiful face in the photograph, but that is not reality. That's all. So you'll find everything in details, all... Or you can understand actual photograph, actual idea, actual notion of the spiritual world by scrutinizingly studying this material world. The impersonalists, they think that in the material varieties there are so many abominable inebrieties, therefore in the spiritual world all these things should be minus, void. That is their material calculation. They cannot think that in the spiritual world also there is love. Because here, in this world, the so-called love or lust is frustrated and followed by so many calamities that therefore they cannot conceive that in the spiritual world also there is love.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Varieties is there. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He's changing varieties, atmosphere of life. But he's packed up in this material world. That freedom... He's asking for freedom, but he does not know the freedom is the shelter of Kṛṣṇa. That he'll not accept. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has arranged so many varieties. In disgust the Māyāvādīs, they want to make the varieties variety-less, nirviśeṣa. And the Buddhists they want to make it zero. But that is also not possible. Remain zero for some time. Again he will want varieties. Big, big Māyāvādī sannyāsī, they preach so much brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, but again they come to the political work, social work. Simply remain as brahma, "I am brahma," you cannot remain for many days. Then he has to accept these material varieties. Variety is the mother of enjoyment, so therefore our proposition is "Come to the real variety, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life will be successful."
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is beyond. That beyond is realized, as I explained to you, in different angle of vision. Some, impersonal, without any variety, and some, localized Paramātmā, and some, the Supreme Being. As you are sitting, I am sitting, we are talking, so the Absolute Truth is a person, Supreme Person, Supreme Being, and we approach Him, talk with Him, sit with Him, play with Him. That is Kṛṣṇa realization. First of all, negation of the material varieties, then impersonal realization, then localized realization, then personal realization. Just like a diseased man. First of all cure, then healthy activities. A diseased man has got activities. He also eats, he also sleeps, he also evacuates, but all troublesome. Therefore, being disgusted, he wanted to make everything zero. But if he hears that again sleeping, again eating, again evacuating is healthy life, he thinks it is something like his diseased condition. But healthy life is different from diseased life. So some philosophers, they are trying to negate this diseased condition only, without any realization of healthy life. So I think Buddha philosophy is called nirvāṇa, negation of this diseased condition of life, pains and pleasure.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: By desire you are creating everything. Why these material varieties? You desire. In the spiritual world also, varieties. You desire. You want to serve Kṛṣṇa as His friend, you want to serve Kṛṣṇa as His lover, you want to serve Kṛṣṇa as His father, as His servant, or you want to serve Kṛṣṇa by supplying fruits and flowers, or river Yamunā. Everything, whatever you like, Kṛṣṇa will give you opportunity, in this material and the spiritual world.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: After complete annihilation and then, when the creation starts again...
Prabhupāda: There is no question of annihilation.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: I mean the material universe.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is manifest, not manifest. Not annihilation. The energy is there. Just like sometimes I become angry, and sometime I am peaceful. But that means anger is annihilated. Anger is there. It may be manifest at any time. There is no question of annihilation. You say like that because actually it is vyakta, avyakta: manifest and nonmanifest.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Yaśodā-nandana... What is that? Braja-jana-rañjana... Huh? Yāmuna-tīra-bana-cārī. Rādhā-mādhava kuñja-bihārī, yāmuna-tīra-bana-cārī. So Yamunā is spiritual. Yāmuna-tīra is spiritual. The varieties, the Māyāvādī cannot understand. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ (SB 10.2.32). They want varieties, but don't accept spiritual variety. Therefore again material life. No other alternative. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanti. Again material varieties, philanthropic work, political work, this work, that work. First of all they give up-brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, the jagan mithyā. And again they come out to open school. Why you come here again? Āruhya kṛcchreṇa param..., patanty adhaḥ. Why? Anādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. They could not capture the spiritual varieties. Anādṛta. As soon as there is spiritual varieties they think it is māyā. That is Māyāvāda. There is no māyā. Spiritual variety, there is no māyā. Variety is the mother of enjoyment.