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.
The body is compared with a tree, and two birds are there
- 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 1 - 6
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.
Arjuna is advised herewith by the Lord not to lament for the bodily change of his old grandfather and his teacher. He should rather be happy to kill their bodies in the righteous fight so that they may be cleansed at once of all reactions from various bodily activities. One who lays down his life on the sacrificial altar, or in the proper battlefield, is at once cleansed of bodily reactions and promoted to a higher status of life. So there was no cause for Arjuna's 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. The devotees know this truth, and therefore they discharge their duties sincerely, without being overly anxious for rewards.
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 (BG 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?
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 (BG 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 (BG 13.23) the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Paramātmā is described as upadraṣṭā (the overseer) and anumantā (the permitter).
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
The Supreme Godhead is always awake. In the conditioned stage we forget things because we change our bodies, but because the Supreme Personality of Godhead does not change His body, He remembers past, present and future. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 4.1), imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam: "I spoke this science of God—Bhagavad-gītā—to the sun-god at least forty million years ago." 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 (BG 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.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
The body (the total body and the individual body are of the same composition) may figuratively be called "the original tree." From this tree, which fully depends on the ground of material nature, come two kinds of fruit—the enjoyment of happiness and the suffering of distress. The cause of the tree, forming its three roots, is association with the three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. The fruits of bodily happiness have four tastes—religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation—which are experienced through five senses for acquiring knowledge in the midst of six circumstances: lamentation, illusion, old age, death, hunger and thirst. The seven layers of bark covering the tree are skin, blood, muscle, fat, bone, marrow and semen, and the eight branches of the tree are the five gross and three subtle elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego. The tree of the body has nine hollows—the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the rectum and the genitals—and ten leaves, the ten airs passing through the body. In this tree of the body there are two birds: one is the individual soul, and the other is the Supersoul.
As indicated by the word dvi-khagaḥ, the living elements within the body resemble two birds in a tree. Kha means "sky," and ga means "one who flies." Thus the word dvi-khagaḥ refers to birds. In the tree of the body there are two birds, or two living elements, and they are always different. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 13.3), the Lord says, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata: "O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies." The kṣetra jña, the owner of the body, is also called the khaga, the living entity. Within the body there are two such kṣetra jñas—the individual soul and the Supersoul. The individual soul is the owner of his individual body, but the Supersoul is present within the bodies of all living entities. Such a thorough analysis and understanding of the bodily structure cannot be obtained anywhere but in the Vedic literature.
When two birds enter a tree, one may foolishly think that the birds become one or merge with the tree, but actually they do not. Rather, each bird keeps its individual identity. Similarly, the individual soul and the Supersoul do not become one, nor do they merge with matter. The living entity lives close to matter, but this does not mean that he merges or mixes with it (asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣaḥ), although material scientists mistakenly see the organic and inorganic, or animate and inanimate, to be mixed.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency.
By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency.
By chance, two birds have made a nest together in the same tree. The two birds are friends and are of a similar nature. One of them, however, is eating the fruits of the tree, whereas the other, who does not eat the fruits, is in a superior position due to His potency.
This tree of material existence has two seeds, hundreds of roots, three lower trunks and five upper trunks. It produces five flavors and has eleven branches and a nest made by two birds. The tree is covered by three types of bark, gives two fruits and extends up to the sun. Those lusty after material enjoyment and dedicated to family life enjoy one of the tree's fruits, and swanlike men in the renounced order of life enjoy the other fruit. One who with the help of the bona fide spiritual masters can understand this tree to be a manifestation of the potency of the one Supreme Truth appearing in many forms actually knows the meaning of the Vedic literature.
The sun is situated in a specific location but is reflected in countless jewels and appears in innumerable localized aspects. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although eternally present in His transcendental abode, Goloka Vṛndāvana, is reflected in everyone's heart as the Supersoul. In the Upaniṣads it is said that the jīva (living entity) and the Paramātmā (Supersoul) are like two birds sitting in the same tree. The Supersoul engages the living being in executing fruitive work as a result of his deeds in the past, but the Paramātmā has nothing to do with such engagements. As soon as the living being ceases to act in terms of fruitive work and takes to the service of the Lord (the Paramātmā), coming to know of His supremacy, he is immediately freed from all designations, and in that pure state he enters the kingdom of God, known as Vaikuṇṭha.
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
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 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.
Just like a child wants to do something according to his whims. Father checks him, "My dear child, do not do this." But if he likes, if he persists, father says, "All right, you do it." This is the position. The Hṛṣīkeśa, Paramātmā, He is always guiding us, but we do not accept His guidance. This is our position. Arjuna has accepted Kṛṣṇa, that "I shall be guided by You. Although You'll not fight." Therefore here it is said, Hṛṣīkeśa, He's guiding Arjuna. The hṛṣīka means the senses. Hṛṣīka-īśa. Īśa means Lord, master, īśvara or īśa. So Hṛṣīkeśa. Actually, He is the master of the senses. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find. In the Eleventh Chapter it is said, sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat, "God has His hands and legs all over the universe." What is that? This, our hand, our legs, this is God's hands, God's leg. He is the master. I am claiming, "This is my hand," but as soon as God withdraws the power of your hand, it is paralyzed, you cannot repair. Therefore the real proprietor is Kṛṣṇa. You are not proprietor. You have been given the facility to use it, for..., use it not for your sense gratification, but for the satisfaction of the Lord. Then your life is perfect. Because the things belongs to Kṛṣṇa. He is Hṛṣīkeśa. He is the master. Just like we are sitting in this house. Somebody has given us. Similarly, everything belongs to God. This is self-realization. My body belongs to God, my mind belongs to God, my intelligence belongs to God, I am spirit soul, I am part and parcel of God. Therefore everything belongs to...Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything belongs to God. So if you don't use it for God, that is called demonism. And if you use it for God, that is devotion.
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.
Viṣṇujana: "...confirm this concept of two kinds of souls by comparing them 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 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 his activity. 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."
Prabhupāda: That is the eternal relationship. These are confirmed in Vedic literature just like Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad, Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad. The system is whatever is mentioned in the Vedas, that is authoritatively accepted. That is the Vedic understanding. If there is some evidence in the Vedas... Just like in law court, if there is some section in the lawbook, then the lawyers, the judge, accept it. "Yes, it is like this." Similarly knowledge. Vedas means knowledge. So perfect knowledge is there. Therefore if the evidence is there in the statement of Vedas, that is the proof. Śabda-pramāṇa. 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.
They are sitting, two birds... That is stated in the Upaniṣads. Sitting on one tree. This body is tree, and Paramātmā and jīvātmā, both of them are sitting on the same tree. The jīvātmā is relishing the fruit of the tree, and Paramātmā is only observer. Paramātmā is observer. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā, simply seeing our activities. Kṛṣṇa is so kind, God is so kind, that He is living with me just to turn my face towards Him. He's so.... Just looking after the opportunity when this living entity....
- mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
- jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
- manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
- prakṛti-sthāni karṣati
- (BG 15.7)
He is struggling for existence in this material world with his concocted mind and senses. So Kṛṣṇa is looking for the opportunity when the living entity will come back to Him. Because we are all sons.
So father, if the son is bewildered, gone out of the home and loitering in the street, the father is very anxious to get him back, although the son has forgotten. This is the position. Therefore, as Paramātmā, He's guiding us. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ. "I am sitting in everyone's heart." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). From Him, we get the remembrance.
"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.
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 this is the formula of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
- bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
- suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
- jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
- (BG 5.29)
If you really want peace, then this is the formula. You should always know that Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer of everything, He is the proprietor of everything, and He is the only sincere friend. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā. One who understands this secret, he becomes happy. peace is for him. Thank you very much. Now if there is any question, you can ask.
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. Therefore, He comes personally, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham. The general opportunity for human being is to understand God, or Kṛṣṇa, and go back to Him again. We have come from Him, but we are attracted by this material enjoyment, which is not very pleasurable. It is suffering. Just like here, without this fan, it was uncomfortable, excessive heat. So, excessive heat, excessive cold, so many things, adhibautic, adhyatmic, adhidaivic. We are actually suffering always. This is the nature of this material world. Stringent laws of the material world. And still we are trying to become happy by some adjustment. This is called struggle for existence. In this way we cannot be happy.
So the impersonalists, brahmavādīs, they realize about that brahmajyoti. And the yogis, they realize the Supersoul, Supersoul. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati: (BG 18.61) "Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portions, He is situated in everyone's heart." We are sitting together. Several times we have described this, that two birds are sitting in the same tree. The two birds means one, the Supersoul, and other, the individual living entity. So by yogic process, by concentrating our mind, focusing our mind to the Supersoul, one can experience that partial, plenary expansion of the Lord, Supersoul. Just like in the... The same example can be given, that the sun, at noontime, if you inquire thousands and thousands of people scattered over thousands and thousands of miles away, everyone will say that "The sun is on my head." Similarly, the Supreme Lord is also represented by the Supersoul conception in everyone's heart. Not only in everyone's heart, but even in every atom He is represented. So that realization is the second stage. And the third stage is to realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
We have several times explained in this meeting that there, there are two birds: the individual soul and the Supersoul. They're sitting in this tree of this body. So the Supersoul is called adhiyajña. These are all the technical names. You can remember. The Supersoul is called adhiyajña, and the soul is called adhibhūta.
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. In another place also Kṛṣṇa says kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3). The question of the kṣetra-jña, the owner of the body and the body. In this Chapter, in the Thirteenth Chapter, it is discussed. So in that chapter Kṛṣṇa says that "I am also one of the owner of the body, but the difference of this singular individual body and Myself is this, that the individual soul knows about his own body. But so far I am concerned, I am present in everyone's body and I know everything of everyone's body." Just like you are a spirit soul, I am a spirit soul within this body. You know the pleasure and pains of your body. I know the pleasure and pains of my body. But Kṛṣṇa, he knows the pleasure and pains of your body and pleasure and pains of my body and everyone's body. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is Paramātmā. Jīvātmā and Paramātmā.
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." This is... He is always asking. So īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). He is staying in everyone's heart and He is omnipotent. He understands what I desire.
Proprietor soul... Just like in a house there are two kinds of persons: the occupier and the landlord. The landlord is actually the proprietor of the house, and the tenant is occupier. Similarly, there are two souls within this body. That is stated in the Vedic literature. Just like two birds on one tree. So the living entity, the individual soul, is there. He is also one bird. And the Supersoul, or God, is also there. So God, the Supersoul is simply observing the activities of the individual soul. And He has given freedom to the individual soul. Because the individual soul has come in this material world to enjoy independent of the Supersoul. That is the material disease. He has to remain under the protection. He is already under the protection of the Supersoul, but he is thinking that he is independent. That is called māyā. He is not independent.
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.
We are seeking friendship with so many people to get our motive realized. But if we make Kṛṣṇa, if we know Kṛṣṇa is already ready... In the Upaniṣad it is said that two birds in friendly way are sitting in the same tree, the body. So if we understand, "Kṛṣṇa is my best friend..." Kṛṣṇa says, suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. He's not only my friend, your friend, but He's a friend of everyone. So that friendship is equally distributed. But if one becomes special devotee, ye tu bhajanti māṁ prītyā, with love and affection, one who is engaged in the service of the Lord, He's especially inclined to him. That is Kṛṣṇa's mercy to the devotee. Kṛṣṇa is equal to everyone, but He is specially inclined to the devotees who is engaged in His service with love and faith.
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
Kṛṣṇa gives him... Because He specially takes care of the devotee...
So everyone's heart, He is sitting. Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. But He takes special care of the devotee, guides him, gives him intelligence. What kind of intelligence? Yena mām upayānti te. Just to give him the clue how one can go back to home, back to Godhead. Kṛṣṇa does not give intelligence how one can gain some material prosperity. That is entrusted to the māyā—daivī māyā or Durgādevī.
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.
Yesterday we have discussed that two souls, the individual soul and the Supersoul, both of them are living within this body. This body is compared... In the Upaniṣads, the body is compared with a tree, and two birds are there. One bird is the individual soul, we, and the other bird is the Supersoul, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He is always flying with the other bird, the living entity. We are trying to enjoy this material world. Just like you have seen a bird sitting in this branch, going another branch, another tree. This is all seeking some pleasure.
Similarly, we are also... Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). We are enjoying a standard of comfort in this life, and I am preparing another standard of living condition next life. So I shall fly over to another body. Tathā-dehāntara prāptiḥ. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind...
Because we are all sons of Kṛṣṇa... We are wandering in this material world as mad chap. Just like a rich man's son has become mad. He leaves his home and loitering in the street and eating in the garbage. That is our position. We are the sons of the richest person
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.This subject matter was written, I think, by Milton, the Paradise Lost. So the Paramātmā is sitting within your heart to guide you. And without His permission, you cannot enjoy anything. But He gives permission. When you are persistent He gives permission, "All right, you can do it—at your own risk." And when He is fed up, he may come to God again, "What shall I do?" But God's open declaration is that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). The Supersoul bird is always expecting when this individual soul bird will turn towards Him. He is so merciful. He is going, "My dear friend, why you are trying to become happy by enjoying this material fruit produced by your work in this body?"
This is also explained in the Upaniṣads, that there are two birds in this tree body. One is observing and other is enjoying. So the observing bird is the Paramātmā, Kṛṣṇa. He is upadraṣṭā. He is simply seeing your activities, how you are doing, and giving you the effect. And anumantā. Kṛṣ..., He does not want it. What you are doing now, Kṛṣṇa does not want it. But because you wanted persistently to do it, so He gives permission because without His permission, you cannot do it. This is the conclusion. Upadraṣṭā anumantā, bhartā.
He is the maintainer. You cannot get anything without His mercy. There may be ample supply of necessities of life by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, and there may be scarcity. So they are now complaining about overpopulation. There is no question of overpopulation. Kṛṣṇa is quite competent, able to maintain everyone. But as you become godless, as you become disobedient to the laws of God, there will be restriction. You cannot have full supply of necessities of life. That time has already come. All these rascals, godless rascals, they are now suffering.
The only remedy is to become devotee. He is bhartā. He can maintain many millions. There is no question of overpopulation. He can maintain. Bhartā. But nature will not supply. Nature will restrict supply if you become godless. Therefore nature is very strong, strict. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). He'll restrict supply.
In the Upaniṣads also it is explained that in this tree—the body's taken as tree—there are two birds sitting as friends. One, the living entity, and the other is the Supersoul, Paramātmā, ātmā and Paramātmā. So Kṛṣṇa is so kind that actually He's supplying my order. I want to eat like tiger. Kṛṣṇa is ordering material nature, "Well, he wants a tiger's body. Give him a tiger's body." I want to eat like hogs and dogs. Kṛṣṇa orders material..., "Give him a body like a hog. He can eat very peacefully all kinds of stools." That's all. This is going on. This is going on. And if I want a body to serve Kṛṣṇa, he'll give us. Ye yathā mām... This is the meaning of ye yathā māṁ prapadyant (BG 4.11)e. "As you desire, I give you. If you want a body to serve Me, you'll get a Vaiṣṇava body, and you will be able to serve Kṛṣṇa." And if you want to serve cats and dogs, then you get a cats and dogs body. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya (BG 13.22). Guṇa means... According to the guṇa, you make your desire, That is contamination. And as there is contamination, as there is similar disease, similarly, as we desire similar body, we can get by the order of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives order because we want it. Kṛṣṇa does not force you to enter into the dog's body or hog's body or demigod's body or human being's body, but as we create situation by desire, Kṛṣṇa gives us the facility to possess such body, and we work on, and we reap another result. This is called material existence.
If you can understand everyone's pains and pleasure, then you are God. If you cannot say what is my pains and pleasure and you come as God, then I am not going to accept. What kind of God you are? God must be present everywhere. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). That is God. That is one of the God's feature. Māṁ ca kaścit... There is another verse, that "I know everyone's position, but nobody knows Me." That is the distinction between living entity and God. God knows everything, but we do not know God. We do not know God.
So we must always know. 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?" In this way, if we understand our position and God's position and our relationship with God, in this way, if we become enlightened, jñānam, then ātma-darśanam. Ātma-darśanam, that means self-realization.
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.
Prabhupāda: ...sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati. 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.
But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very easy, and everyone should become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the aim of life. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). 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.
So Kṛṣṇa is so friendly that He always lives with us just to turn our face towards Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). What is His business? He is simply waiting for the time when we shall turn our face to Kṛṣṇa. That is His business. But unfortunately, we do not want Kṛṣṇa. We want something which is not Kṛṣṇa. That is our disease.
Ātmārāma means we have to give up for good the dictation of the mind. Then you are liberated. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇanuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). This is Ambarīṣa Mahārāja's example. All devotees, they have no other desires. Vaikuṇṭha. Prahlāda Mahārāja also says, tvad-vīrya-gāyana-mahāmṛta-magna-cittaḥ: (SB 7.9.43) "I am simply engaged in describing the powerful activities of Your Lordship." That should be our life. If you stick to this point, then we shall not speak anything except glorifying the Supreme Lord. If we make that point fixed up, we shall not talk foolishly. Simply vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇanuvarṇane. We shall use our legs to go to the temples. We shall use our eyes to see the Deity, how nicely He is decorated, and appreciate. We shall use our hand in cleansing the temple, in playing the instruments, khol, karatāla, for chanting. So, ear for hearing Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, nose for smelling the flower offered to Kṛṣṇa... In this way, hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). When you engage your senses, hṛṣīkeśa sevanam... The senses are not yours, because this body is given by Kṛṣṇa through the agency of māyā. You wanted this thing. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). He knows what you are wanting because He is constantly seeing you. He is sitting within your heart, the same tree, two birds. One bird is I am, the individual soul; another bird is Kṛṣṇa. So He knows, and He is giving us, giving me the facility.
- īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānām
- hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati
- bhrāmāyān sarva-bhūtāni
- yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
- (BG 18.61)
He knows what I am desiring, and He is asking māyā, "Give him this body."
So in this way, if we remain entrapped in the laws of material nature, then it is not good. Na sādhu manye yata atmāno yam asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ (SB 5.5.4). This practice we should give up. Mano-dharma. Mental concoction. We should immediately accept Kṛṣṇa's instruction and be situated in atmā-dharma. That is ātmārāma. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekāṁ śaraṇam vraja
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. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna ti..., bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni (BG 18.61). You cannot, out of your own power, you can go to the higher planetary, lower planetary, anywhere. No. That is to be sanctioned by God. Bhrāmayan. I want to go here, there. He will give me facility. And what is the process? Now, yantra, a machine. Just like you have got the machine, aeroplane, you go from here to there, similarly, this is also a yantra, this is also a machine. The difference is that this is God-made machine or Yes, everything is God-made, and your machine is man-made. Here the machine is growing automatically, and your machine, each and every machine you have to manufacture in the factory. That is the difference. Both of them are machine, but this machine is God-made, and the other machine is man-made.
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. And He is ātmeśvara. And He is the proprietor of myself because I am part and parcel of God. So therefore He is the Supreme. So He is Just like you are part and parcel of your father. Similarly, everyone of us we are part and parcel of the Supreme Father.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So one should be pious and without any motive, not only pious. Pious is the first condition, who can approach God; otherwise he does not. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). These classes of men, duṣkṛtina, miscreants, always committing sinful activities, duṣkṛtina; and mūḍha, rascals, fools; and narādhamāḥ, lowest of the mankind; māyayāpahṛta-jñānā, whose knowledge has been taken away by māyā—such demonic person do not surrender to God. But pious man who has got background, pious activities, such person, when they are distressed, they approach God. They know that God is friend of all living entities. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). Actually, He is the friend. As friend, He is living with the soul as Supersoul. That is stated in the Vedas, that two birds are sitting on the same tree. The tree, this is the tree. This body is tree, and one bird is the individual soul, and the other bird is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Supersoul. So God is always accompanying the individual soul to turn him back to home, back to Godhead. He is so nice friend. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām.
Similarly, a living entity has got independence, but not full independence. He cannot do anything without the sanction of God. That is his dependence. 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. "All right. Take these ingredients. What do you want?" "I want a three-hundred-story skyscraper building." "All right. Take it. Take it." The ingredients... The sky... You cannot create the ingredients. The ingredients is kṣitir-ap-tej-marud-van (?). You take earth, water, fire, air, and combine it and make a skyscraper building. But the ingredients does not belong to you. It is Kṛṣṇa's. Kṣitir-ap-tej-marud-van (?). Prakṛtir me aṣṭadhā. Bhinnā prakṛtir me aṣṭadhā. "They are My property. That is Mine. Actually it is Mine." You cannot create water, you cannot create fire, you cannot create earth. It is God's property. You take it and satisfy your senses. That's all. That's your business. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmaṇī sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Prakṛti is supplying. But how prakṛti is supplying? How the material nature is supplying you ingredients? Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10). "Under My direction." So what is the difficulty? And how can you become God? How you can become greater than God? This is all foolishness. You are completely under the control. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). You are completely under the prakṛti, this material nature.
Those who have read Bhagavad-gītā, you know. 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).
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Therefore... Therefore there are two kṣetra-jñas: one, the jīvātmā, and one, the Paramātmā. The Māyāvādīs do not accept it. They say the only kṣetra-jñaḥ. Jivātmā and Paramātmā the same.
Chandobhai: Dvau suparṇā...
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is confirmed by the Upaniṣads.
Chandobhai: Dvau suparṇā are there...
Prabhupāda: There are two birds.
Dr. Patel: In Bhagavad-gītā it is said.
Prabhupāda: Two birds, two birds. Yes. Two birds. Bhagavad-gītā, it is clearly said. Anumantā upadraṣṭā. One kṣetra-jña is anumantā and upadraṣṭā; another kṣetra-jña is not anumantā. He's simply enjoying.
Dr. Patel: But that is... Dvāv imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś cākṣara... kṣaraḥ sarvāṇi bhūtāni kūṭa-stho 'kṣara ucyate. Uttamaḥ puruṣas tv anyaḥ paramātmety... (break) ...uttama puruṣa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṣara and akṣara means conditioned soul and liberated soul. Those who are in the Vaikuṇṭha world, spiritual world, they are all liberated souls. And those who are within this material world, they are conditioned souls. So...
Dr. Patel: When I read...
Prabhupāda: Now, let us finish. So this should be clearly understood, that in this body the both the Paramātmā and jīvātmā living.
Dr. Patel: Stay together, live together.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But the Māyāvādīs, they says there is no jīvātmā. The same thing, Paramātmā. That is not.
Dr. Patel: Those two birds are living on the same tree.
Prabhupāda: That is the difference. That is the difference. Paramātmā and jīvātmā, what is the difference? Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. I... This is very practical, that I am the jīvātmā. I am living in this body. I know the business of my body, pains and pleasures, but I do not know what is the pains and pleasures of your body. You also do not know what is the pains and pleasures... Therefore we are individual. But Paramātmā, because He's there, He knows what is your pains and pleasure, what is my pains and pleasure. Not only you, but all living entities. That is Paramātmā. So those who are falsely claiming that "I am Paramātmā," this is the test: whether you are cognizant of everything?
Prabhupāda: So the God, He is also with me always as friend. So one, it is said in the Upaniṣad, there are two birds in one tree. The two birds means I, individual soul, and God, the Supreme Soul. The individual soul is limited within this body. And God is everywhere, in every body, in every atomic particle, everywhere. Because I am individual soul, I can understand my bodily pains and pleasure. But I cannot understand your bodily pains and pleasure. But God, being all-pervading, He can understand my pains and pleasure, He can understand your pains and pleasure, He can understand cats' and dogs' pains and..., everyone. This is the difference between me and God. Sometimes they mistake, because God is also within this body, I am also within this body, therefore they think that there is no other individual soul than God, therefore I am God. So if I am God, then you are also God. And if there is more than one God, there is not God. God is one. There cannot be two. So if I think I am God, then everyone is also God, so God becomes plural, so there is not God. God is one. Therefore, God is great, we are small. In quality we are one. Just like the president and the citizen, as man they are one. But in power, the citizen and the president, they are different. So these things can be understood if one is sober and very great thinker: they can understand that God is situated with me, He can help me also.