Nirvana means void of material existence. Nirvana, this impersonal conception is also nirvana. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that this impersonal philosophy is another phase of the void philosophy

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"Nirvana means void of material existence. Nirvana, this impersonal conception is also nirvana. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that this impersonal philosophy is another phase of the void philosophy"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Nirvāṇa means void of material existence. Nirvāṇa, this impersonal conception is also nirvāṇa. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that this impersonal philosophy is another phase of the void philosophy. Veda... Covered void philosophy. Impersonalism is covered void philosophy.
Lecture on BG 5.26-29 -- Los Angeles, February 12, 1969:

"Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future (BG 5.26)." So first thing is that suppose somebody speaks of me very harshly. Naturally we become angry. Just like somebody calls me, "You are dog," or "you are hog." But if I am self-realized, if I know perfectly well that I am not this body so you call me hog, dog, or king, emperor, majesty, what is that? I am not this body. So either you call me, "Your majesty," or you call me a dog or a pig, what I have got to do? I am neither his majesty nor a dog nor a cat—nothing of the sort. I am servant of Kṛṣṇa.

So this requires little training. Actually this is the fact. Suppose I have got some dress, black dress. Somebody calls, "You black dress," is that cause of anger? Somebody calls you black dress. So this is simply my false identification with the dress that I become angry. Actually if I am self-realized, self-disciplined... Self-discipline means not to identify with this body. That is self-discipline. It requires training of course. Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches therefore, tṛṇād api sunīcena. That a smaller than the smallest grass. Actually if I realized what is the spiritual dimension, actually my dimension, length and breadth you cannot measure because I am actually a very small spiritual particle. You cannot measure one ten-thousandth part of the tip of your hair. That is my measurement. So if I am smaller than the grass, that's a fact. I am still smaller, smaller, I do not know how smaller but I am thinking of this body. An elephant is thinking that "I am so big," or a man is thinking, "I am so big," ant is thinking, "I am so small." This smallness, bigness is due to this body. Therefore in Bhagavad-gītā you will find, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). One who is learned he does not see the small body or big body. He sees the particle of soul, spirit soul, therefore sama-darśinaḥ. He knows that the small particle of spirit is there in the ant and in the elephant. Therefore he sees the elephant and the ant on the same level, on spiritual vision, not on this external vision. This is called self-realization.

Self-realization you have heard so many times. What is that self-realization? Self-realization means I am not this body, I am spirit soul. That is self-realization. So if I am smaller than the grass then if somebody says that "You are lower than the grass," or "You are smaller than the grass," that's a fact. So sometimes this insulting words may come from others but if you are self-realized you know that I am not this body. So let him insult. Let me tolerate. Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches that taror api sahiṣṇunā. Toleration like the tree. Best example. You cannot find any tolerant living entity than a tree because it is standing day and night in scorching heat, in severe cold, there is wind, there is rainfall, it does not not make any protest—standing tolerant. People are taking leaves, flowers, fruits, cutting, and never protests. This is a symbol of toleration. Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends that you become tolerant than the tree and smaller than the small grass on the street and you give all honor to others and don't expect any honor. Because people do not know how to honor me. Real honor is that you are servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is real honor. And if I say, "Your majesty, your honor, your lordship," they are all false. Real honor is when I call you that you are servant of God or servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is real honor.

So self-discipline and constantly endeavoring for perfection. This is the perfection. Always be situated in self-realized condition that I am not this body. This is perfection. Actually it is. But due to my ignorance I am identifying with this body, therefore I am now self-realized. So constantly endeavoring. This cannot be attained all of a sudden. One has to practice. It is a fact. But one has to realize this fact by endeavoring. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness practice. All the yoga practice or philosophical speculation or anything—all practice targets to one point—that I am spirit soul. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am Brahman. I am not this matter. This is perfection. A man who has made sufficient progress to this realization is more perfect. This is the way of perfection. And assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future. One has simply... If I am realized then this material composition of this body is disbursed and I am the spirit soul, small particle, I am immediately promoted to the spiritual sky. That is the highest perfection. In the spiritual sky either you remain as a small spark of spirit soul, molecules. Just like there are millions of molecules of shining matter in the sunshine. So if I remain as molecule in the brahmajyoti, that is also possible. The impersonalist wants that. Or if I enter into some spiritual planet and associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead that is also another spiritual existence. Although both of them are spiritual existence, this spiritual existence is impersonal. To remain as molecular part of the Brahman rays or spiritual rays, that is impersonal. And to have a spiritual form just like Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, that is another spiritual perfection. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy.

And nirvāṇa, nirvāṇa, the Buddha philosophy is just above the material conditional life but on the margin of spiritual existence. That is... Nirvāṇa means void of material existence. Nirvāṇa, this impersonal conception is also nirvāṇa. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that this impersonal philosophy is another phase of the void philosophy. Veda... Covered void philosophy. Impersonalism is covered void philosophy. They are all the same. Śaṅkara's philosophy of impersonalism and Lord Buddha's philosophy void is almost the same. Real life, real spiritual life is this Vaiṣṇava philosophy. Vaiṣṇava philosophy, to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Just like we are sitting here face to face. We are talking, you are hearing. You can have this perfection. That is personal conception of spiritual perfection. Go on.