According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, the Supreme Truth is realized in three stages. First there is impersonal Brahman, or the impersonal Absolute; then the Paramātmā, or localized aspect of Brahman. The neutron of the atom may be taken as the representation of Paramātmā, who also enters into the atom. This is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā. But ultimately the Supreme Divine Being is realized as the supreme all-attractive person (Kṛṣṇa) with full and inconceivable potencies of opulence, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation. These six potencies are fully exhibited by Śrī Rāma and Śrī Kṛṣṇa when They descend before human beings. Only a section of human beings—the unalloyed devotees—can recognize Kṛṣṇa on the authority of revealed scriptures, but others are bewildered by the influence of material energy. The Absolute Truth is therefore the Absolute Person who has no equal or competitor. The impersonal Brahman rays are the rays of His transcendental body, just as the sun's rays are emanations from the sun.
According to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, the material energy is called avidyā, or nescience, and is exhibited in the fruitive activities of sense enjoyment. But although the living being has the tendency to be illusioned and trapped by the material energy for sense enjoyment, he belongs to the antimaterial energy, or spiritual energy. In this sense the living being is the positive energy, whereas matter is the negative energy. Matter does not develop unless in contact with the superior spiritual, or antimaterial, energy, which is directly part and parcel of the spiritual whole. The subject matter of this spiritual energy exhibited by living beings is undoubtedly very complicated for an ordinary man, who is therefore astounded by the subject. Sometimes he partially understands it through the imperfect senses, and sometimes he fails to know it altogether. It is best, therefore, to hear from the highest authority, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or from His devotee who represents Him in the chain of disciplic succession.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for the purpose of understanding God. The spiritual master is the living representative of Kṛṣṇa who helps externally, and Kṛṣṇa as Supersoul helps internally. The living entity can take advantage of such guidance and make his life successful. We request that everyone read authoritative literature in order to understand this movement. We have published Bhagavad-gītā As It Is; Teachings of Lord Caitanya; Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; and The Nectar of Devotion. We are also publishing our magazine Back to Godhead every month in many languages. Our mission is to save human society from the pitfalls of incarnating again in the cycle of birth and death.
Everyone should attempt to go to Kṛṣṇa. We have published an article in our Back to Godhead magazine entitled "Beyond the Universe." This article describes a place beyond this universe according to knowledge which is in Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is a very popular book, and there are many editions of it in America and also many from India. Unfortunately, however, many rascals have come to the West to preach Bhagavad-gītā. They are designated as rascals because they are bluffers who do not give real information. In our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, however, the spiritual nature is authoritatively described.
This cosmic manifestation is called "nature," but there is another nature, which is superior. The cosmic manifestation is inferior nature, but beyond this nature, which is manifested and unmanifested, there is another nature, which is called sanātana, eternal. It is easy to understand that everything manifested here is temporary. The obvious example is our body. If one is thirty years old, thirty years ago his body was not manifested, and in another fifty years it will again be unmanifested. That is a factual law of nature. It is manifested and again annihilated, just as waves in the sea rise frequently and then recede. The materialist, however, is simply concerned with this mortal life, which can be finished at any moment. Furthermore, as this body will die, so the entire universe, this gigantic material body, will be annihilated, and whether we are fortunate or unfortunate, on this planet or another planet, everything will be finished. Why then are we wasting our time trying to go to a planet where everything will be finished? We should try to go to Kṛṣṇaloka. This is spiritual science; we must try to understand it, and, after understanding it ourselves, we should preach this message to the whole world. Everyone is in darkness. Although people have no knowledge, they are very proud. But it is not advancement of knowledge to go to the moon after ten years of effort and take a rock and come back. The space travelers are very proud: "Oh, I have touched it." But what have they gained? Even if we were able to live there, it would not be for long. It will all be destroyed in the end.
Try to find that planet from which one will never return, where there is eternal life, and where one can dance with Kṛṣṇa. This is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Take this movement seriously, for Kṛṣṇa consciousness gives one a chance to reach Kṛṣṇa and to dance with Him eternally. From Vedic literature we understand that this material world is a manifestation of only one fourth of the complete creation of God. The three-fourths portion of God's creation is the spiritual world. That we find in Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, "This material world is but a fractional part of the whole." If we look as far as we can see—up to the sky—our vision is still confined within only one universe, and there are unlimited universes clustered together within what is called the material world. But beyond those clusters of unlimited numbers of universes is the spiritual sky, which is also mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that beyond the material world is another nature, which is eternal; there is no history of its beginning, and it has no end. "Eternal" refers to that which has no end and no beginning. The Vedic religion is therefore called eternal because no one can trace back when it began. The Christian religion has a history of two thousand years, and the Muhammadan religion also has a history, but if one were to trace back Vedic religion, he would not find its historical beginning. Therefore it is called eternal religion.
We may rightly say that God created this material world, and this indicates that God existed before the creation. This very word "created" suggests that before the creation of the cosmic manifestation, the Lord was existing. Therefore God is not under the creation. If God were under the creation, how could He have created? He would instead have been one of the objects of this material creation. But God is not under the creation; He is the creator, and therefore He is eternal.
There is a spiritual sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets and innumerable spiritual living entities, but those who are not fit to live in that spiritual world are sent to this material world. Voluntarily we have accepted this material body, but actually we are spirit souls who should not have accepted it. When and how we accepted it cannot be traced. No one can trace the history of when the conditioned soul first accepted the material body. There are 8,400,000 forms of living entities 900,000 species of living entities are within the water, 2,000,000 species of life are among the plants and vegetables. Unfortunately, this Vedic knowledge is not instructed by any university. But these are facts. Let the botanist and anthropologist research into the Vedic conclusion. Darwin's theory of the evolution of organic matter is, of course, very prominent in the institutions of learning. But the Bhāgavata Purāṇa and other authoritative scriptures of scientific magnitude describe how the living entities in different forms of body evolve one after another. It is not a new idea, but educators are giving stress only to Darwin's theory, although in Vedic literature we have immense information of the living conditions in this material world.