The material energy, in which we are presently entangled, is the inferior energy. The material creation is made possible by this energy, which covers the living entities with ignorance (avidya) and induces them to perform fruitive activities
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
One should know perfectly the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes, as well as the temporary material creation with its temporary demigods, men and animals. When one knows these, he surpasses death and the ephemeral cosmic manifestation with it, and in the eternal kingdom of God he enjoys his eternal life of bliss and knowledge.
By its so-called advancement of knowledge, human civilization has created many material things, including spaceships and atomic energy. Yet it has failed to create a situation in which people need not die, take birth again, become old or suffer from disease. Whenever an intelligent man raises the question of these miseries before a so-called scientist, the scientist very cleverly replies that material science is progressing and that ultimately it will be possible to render man deathless, ageless and diseaseless. Such answers prove the scientists' gross ignorance of material nature. In material nature, everyone is under the stringent laws of matter and must pass through six stages of existence: birth, growth, maintenance, production of by-products, deterioration and finally death. No one in contact with material nature can be beyond these six laws of transformation; therefore no one—whether demigod, man, animal or plant—can survive forever in the material world.
The duration of life varies according to species. Lord Brahmā, the chief living being within this material universe, lives for millions and millions of years, while a minute germ lives for some hours only. But no one in the material world can survive eternally. Things are born or created under certain conditions, they stay for some time, and, if they continue to live, they grow, procreate, gradually dwindle and finally vanish. According to these laws, even the Brahmās, of which there are millions in different universes, are all liable to death either today or tomorrow. Therefore the entire material universe is called Martyaloka, the place of death.
Material scientists and politicians are trying to make this place deathless because they have no information of the deathless spiritual nature. This is due to their ignorance of the Vedic literature, which contains full knowledge confirmed by mature transcendental experience. Unfortunately, modern man is averse to receiving knowledge from the Vedas, Purāṇas and other scriptures.
From the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (6.7.61) we receive the following information:
- viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā
- kṣetra-jñākhyā tathā parā
- tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate
- (CC Madhya 6.154)
Lord Viṣṇu, the Personality of Godhead, possesses different energies, known as parā (superior) and aparā (inferior). The living entities belong to the superior energy. The material energy, in which we are presently entangled, is the inferior energy. The material creation is made possible by this energy, which covers the living entities with ignorance (avidyā) and induces them to perform fruitive activities. Yet there is another part of the Lord's superior energy that is different from both this material, inferior energy and the living entities. That superior energy constitutes the eternal, deathless abode of the Lord. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.20):
- paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo
- 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
- yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- naśyatsu na vinaśyati
All the material planets—upper, lower and intermediate, including the sun, moon and Venus—are scattered throughout the universe. These planets exist only during the lifetime of Brahmā. Some lower planets, however, are vanquished after the end of one day of Brahmā and are again created during the next day of Brahmā. On the upper planets, time is calculated differently. One of our years is equal to only twenty-four hours, or one day and night, on many of the upper planets. The four ages of earth (Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara and Kali) last only twelve thousand years according to the time scale of the upper planets. Such a length of time multiplied by one thousand constitutes one day of Brahmā, and one night of Brahmā is the same. Such days and nights accumulate into months and years, and Brahmā lives for one hundred such years. At the end of Brahmā's life, the complete universal manifestation is vanquished.