Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva #4

Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #4, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary


His Holiness Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja: …names...You have the secondary names but it is still, it is something what He is doing. Then you have just 'Supreme' and... Does that make sense? Things that are just the Absolute Truth, ones like that. Then those are then... In other words, it is primary that is very special. With Paramātmā and Brahman, then you are dealing with secondary names. But with Bhagavān, then you are dealing with primary names because then the primary name means it is in relationship to His devotee.

Reading from Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva Study Guide: He also protects the souls in the material world by taking the avatāra forms such as Rāma and Nṛsiṁha. In the spiritual sky, paravyoma, one of Kṛṣṇa's expansions known as Nārāyaṇa is present eternally. After understanding Brahman, Paramātmā and the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, a truly learned person surrenders to the supreme shelter, fully expert in the affairs of rasa-vipaścit Brahman, Kṛṣṇa and enjoys eternally...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa-and? [referring to the typo in the study guide] Who is there? Supposed to be, probably the devotees. Or... Oh, I get it. Okay.

Reading from the Study Guide: A truly learned person surrenders to the supreme shelter, fully expert in the affairs of rasa-vipaścit Brahman, Kṛṣṇa. He enjoys eternally with the Lord, fulfilling his desires in dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, and madhurya rasa.

The Paramātmā expansion of Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad Gītā,

"What need is there Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself, I pervade and support this entire universe." (Bg 10.42)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura is here indicating that this means He is maintaining the universe, a fragment of Himself, so that means, one, His expansion, Paramātmā, it doesn’t take much of His potencies to manifest. And then He then takes care of this vast universe then with His potency. So you are not actually dealing with... How you say? Managing the material energy is not a big deal. It is for us, we work very hard. Dedicate ourselves, do so many heavy, very serious works to try to become lord of the universe. But Kṛṣṇa with just a fraction of a portion of His energy takes care of that. And even then He has no interest, so He is just basically doing it for the benefit of the living entities. Does that make sense? So it is not actually a big deal.

Reading from the Study Guide: The brahmajyoti as the bodily effulgence of Kṛṣṇa is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā:

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited and which displays the varieties of countless planets, with their different opulences, in millions and millions of universes. (BS 5.40)

There is a kārikā (to define the form of the Lord):

"Unlike the jīva, in Kṛṣṇa there is no difference between Himself and His body, between Himself and His qualities. In His spiritual form, His body is His self and His qualities are Himself. Though Kṛṣṇa is situated as one form of medium size, He is also situated everywhere.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, He is not overly... He is not too big, not too small, so it says medium size. So He is not... Yeah. In other words, they probably wouldn’t invite Him for the basketball team. [Laughter] Right?

Reading from the Study Guide: Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad says...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hmm. It is also Īśopaniṣad.

Reading from the Study Guide: "The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, He is special in that He... There is no difference between Him and His body, it is the same, or Him and His qualities. He means His form, His qualities. Right? His name, His form, His qualities are Him. And then He has with the devotees His pastimes. And there His expansions are technically, they are also Him. But because they are separately conscious, therefore then they are counted, means they are... How you say? One is, one understands it in this way. One knows the oneness, but the importance in pastimes is the difference. Does that make sense? There is a oneness in mood, there is a oneness in purpose, but the actual form of the pastime takes place because of the difference.

Reading from the Study Guide: Nārada Pañcarātra says:

"The Supreme Lord is endowed with all qualities in perfect...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: All qualities in perfect? Probably, in perfection.

Reading from the Study Guide: ...without birth, maintenance and destruction common to material bodies. His body is conscious, devoid of material qualities, composed of bliss. His form is devoid of distinctions between a body and possessor of the body, quality and possessor of the quality, devoid of internal difference.

It has been shown above that...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so that's probably into that...

Reading from the Study Guide: It has been shown above that Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān, full of eternity knowledge and bliss, is the shelter of Paramātmā and Brahman, and is the Supreme Lord. Now it is necessary to show how the Vedas indicate Kṛṣṇa by secondary and primary reference (gauṇa and mukhya), and by negative and positive statements (vyatireka and anvaya). 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, gauṇa and mukhya. Gauṇa means it is primary, I mean, excuse me, secondary. Mukhya means it is primary. Okay? Like that, so that is used many times, this kind of reference. 

Reading from the Study Guide: Kṛṣṇa is described by direct abhidhā using the words in the Chāndogya Upaniṣad:

"In surrendering to Śyāma, Kṛṣṇa, I take shelter of the essence of His pleasure potency. In taking shelter of the pleasure potency, I surrender to Kṛṣṇa. (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.13.1)

Śavala means the variegated svarūpa śakti of Kṛṣṇa. The abhidhā vṛtti or primary meaning of the word Śyāma is Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja? In here, that negative or positive statement, the Vedas indicate Kṛṣṇa by the negative and positive statement, define it? What is the...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Well, negative means He is not, you know... How you say? Controlled by the material nature, He is not... These kind-of things, like that. He will give example here.

Prabhu (1): Okay, okay.

Reading from the Study Guide: In the Ṛg Veda Saṁhitā and Āraṇyopaniṣad 5th mantra it is said:

"The wise continuously see the highest form of Viṣṇu. This supreme form, perceived with spiritual eyes, is Kṛṣṇa."

Again in the Ṛg Veda it is said:

"I saw a cowherd. He never falls from His position."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that is negative: He never falls from His position.

Reading from the Study Guide: "Sometimes He is near, and sometimes far. Wandering on various paths, He is a friend, decorated with a variety of clothes. He comes again and again to the material world." (Ṛg Veda 1.164 Sūkta 31 Ṛk) In this Vedic statement Kṛṣṇa's eternal pastimes are directly described. It is also said:

"I desire to go to the houses of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, where the cows have big horns and fulfill the desires of the devotees. This supreme abode of Kṛṣṇa reveals itself completely." (Ṛg Veda 1.154 Sūkta 6 Ṛk) In this Vedic mantra, Kṛṣṇa in Goloka is described very nicely. There are many more direct descriptions of Kṛṣṇa in the Vedas. The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad describes the Lord by figures of speech (lakṣaṇā vṛtti):

"There is no one greater than Him. There is no one smaller or lager than Him. By this person everything becomes complete. He is situated firmly like a tree, surrounded by effulgence." [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.9]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No one greater than Him, no one smaller than Him, you are also dealing with the negative. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (1): Okay, yes.

Reading from the Study Guide: "By this person everything becomes complete. He is situated firmly like a tree, surrounded by effulgence."

Kaṭha Upaniṣad says:

"Just as the element fire enters the world and takes the form of many similar fires, the Supreme Lord, the soul of all souls, enters the material world as many jīvas. [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.9]

That which is like the original but dependent is called counter-image or pratibimba. Though the jīva is an expansion of Paramātmā and thus similar, it can never become the original, being situated at a distance from the original. As the sun particles situated in its external rays, so Paramātmā has the jīvas as His expansions.

Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad says:

"O my Lord, sustainer of all lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to your pure devotee. (Īśopaniṣad 15) One cannot see the Lord without pure bhakti. Pure bhakti does not arise without the mercy of the Lord. In this verse the devotee pleads for the Lord's mercy.

Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad says:

"The soul is the honey for all living entities. He is the Lord of all living entities, the king of all living entities." [Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 2.5.14-15]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, "This Soul is the honey..." So it should be a capital S. So many of these in here aren’t capital. Okay, so that's 2.5.14-15. Here the scriptures... We saw before also on the first page we started on. 

Prabhu (1): The end?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah.

Prabhu (1): Yeah, I marked that.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, so it's Lord should be capital, Controller, Creator, Lord of the universe, Maintainer, Protector. Because those are... Yeah. Those are all... And before that also. His pastimes, you know, the paragraph before, all the He’s and His, all that, they also need to be capitalized.

Prabhu (2): Mahārāja, there is so many, so many of these ślokas, they prove that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So what is so hidden in the Veda? How is it hidden that...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because people won’t take it directly. And so they’ll interpret. And you... It is like this, if I have 50 verses that are talking about something else and then one verse, it says something different. You know what I am saying? I have one topic and 50 verses are talking on the topic in one way and one verse talks on it in a different way. What will I take? 

Prabhu (2): The 50. 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The 50, yeah, so like that. That is the difficulty. You know, it's like, there is a 100,000 verses in the Mahābhārata. 25,000 are about the Pāṇḍavas. And then of that you see, when it is actually about the Pāṇḍavas, they are always interacting with Kṛṣṇa. But how many people who read the Mahābhārata then surrender to Kṛṣṇa? No, because there are 75,000 verses that are on all kinds of other things. So they even don’t necessarily think that the Mahābhārata is about the Pāṇḍavas. You know what I am saying? Pāṇḍavas are major stories in there, but there are so many stories there. But the book is about the Pāṇḍavas. Means, they will all agree that the Pāṇḍavas are described there. Does that make sense? But their interaction with Kṛṣṇa may not be brought out.

Also then you have the potency, the potency covers. And then because it covers then you can’t understand. Does that make sense? Yeah, so then when Lord Caitanya comes He removes that covering, so then you can very easily see the essence, because otherwise before that it couldn’t be seen. You know, like when Lord Caitanya went to Puri, then Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, all these verses, he knew these verses but they didn’t mean anything to him. Then after having seen Lord Caitanya, then he understood what these verses meant, you know, about how the Lord would come in His avatāra and all these different things, then he understood here is that avatāra. Is that okay?

Prabhu (2): Yes.

Reading from the Study Guide: Here the scriptures are hinting at Kṛṣṇa by describing His quality. Kṛṣṇa is described as the sweetness of all living beings, the Lord and King. Ātmā here refers to Kṛṣṇa. This is the usage in the Bhāgavatam as well.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, here, because he says ātmā, which refers to as Kṛṣṇa. Because otherwise then they might not understand.

Reading from the Study Guide: "O King, understand that Kṛṣṇa is the soul of all souls of the universe. [SB.10.14.52]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So anytime it is talking about Him, it will always be capital. The Soul - capital, of all souls - that will be small.

Reading from the Study Guide: That Soul is without sin...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Has to be capital.

Reading from the Study Guide: ...without old age, without death, without lamentation, without hunger, without thirst, fully truthful and whose wish is always fulfilled. If He desires friendship, by His wish, friends appear and with them he can obtain satisfaction. (Chāndogya Upaniṣad [8.1.2-9, 8.2.1])

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes?

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, isn’t it that just the body becomes old, dies, lamentation, hunger?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, but the living entity thinks he is that. And because of that then he suffers from old age, death, you know, in other words, why is lamentation there, hunger, all these different things? They don’t bother. Right? So, it is not that it is, you could just say, it is just the body because the soul identifies with it. But the point is is, Kṛṣṇa’s body doesn’t do that anyway. It doesn’t get old, it doesn’t have death. There is no hunger, thirst. Does that make sense? The living entity, what he desires, he is trying to fulfill. Kṛṣṇa just desires it, it happens. Does that make sense?

Reading from the Study Guide: "I surrender to the energy of Śyāma through Śyāma. I surrender to Śyāma through His energy." [Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.13.1]

The Vedas indicate Kṛṣṇa by negative or contrary statements (vyatireka) in many places. Kaṭha Upaniṣad:

"Neither sun, moon, stars, lightning, what to speak of fire, can reveal the Supreme. Rather all the luminary objects, in accordance with the Lord, receive their own existence. Everything rests on the existence of the Lord." [Kaṭha Upaniṣad. 2.2.15]

"I know that great person as transcendental to the material world, self illuminating like the sun. The jīva, knowing Him, surpasses death. There is no other path for crossing death. His hands and feet are spread everywhere. His eyes, head, mouth and ears are everywhere. He exists spreading Himself in all things." (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.8,16)

"His form is beyond material sense perception. No one can see Him with material eyes. Those who, by meditation, know Him who is situated in the heart, attain liberation." (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 4.20)

Prabhu (2): Mahārāja, this "by meditation" would be aparokṣa or adhokṣaja?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Depends on here, but the words that they are using, then you are seeing His potency everywhere, so that would be the adhokṣaja. Like that. Does that make sense? You are gaining it by understanding how Kṛṣṇa has entered into everything. Right? Is that okay?

Reading from the Study Guide: In this manner, the Vedas give abundant descriptions of Kṛṣṇa by figurative (gauṇa) and contrary (vyatireka) statements. The literal (mukhya) and supporting (anvaya) statements can be recognized as such only by the power of Kṛṣṇa's spiritual energy, or cit-śakti.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, the direct and the contrary, then those are pretty straightforward. But then... How you say? Okay. Oh, no, here is it is saying that, it is saying different. It is saying, in this way there is so many ways Kṛṣṇa is described. But whether it is direct or supporting, these statements can only be understood by the power of Kṛṣṇa’s cit-potency. So unless one is coming in the paramparā, one can’t understand it. So that answers your question also. So even though they can see the words, they won’t understand it that way because the cit-potency is not there. Okay?

Prabhu (2): Yes.

Reading from the Study Guide: In the prayers of the personified Vedas in the Bhāgavatam, it is said:

"O Kṛṣṇa, You destroy the energy of māyā called ajā, which gives rise to the three modes of nature, full of fault. Through Your own energy You are the Lord of all powers. You awaken all the energy of the moving and non-moving entities. The Vedas describe You in two ways. When You operate with māyā-śakti You are described in one way, and when You use your internal energy or ātmā śakti in performing Vraja-līlā, You are described in another way. (SB 10.87.14)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, when He is doing all these great things, the elements of Brahman and Paramātmā, then He is described in one way, as the Lord, as the Master. And when He is described in His pastimes with His devotees, especially here then in Vraja-līlā, He is described in another way. Then it is the sweetness, that interaction, that kindness, so like that kind of... Does that make sense? 

Reading from the Study Guide: This kārikā summarizes the point:

"One cannot see anywhere in the scriptures acts as glorious as Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, such as his conquest of Brahmā, Śiva and Indra, the rāsa dance, or the bringing together of his guru with his lost sons. Therefore the devotees say that Kṛṣṇa's supremacy is self-evident."

Or as Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad says:

"You are the Lord of all other controllers such as Brahmā and Śiva. You are the Lord of all the devatās such as Indra. You are the Lord of all the prajāpatis. You are superior to the supreme. We know you as the worshipable Lord, master of all the worlds, and absorbed... [Study Guide text ends abruptly]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Absorbed... He is absorbed in His pastimes. Hmm? That's like the other things, there is parts missing.

Reading from the Study Guide: CHAPTER FOUR Kṛṣṇa is Endowed With All Energies

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So we see that was then Kṛṣṇa as the Absolute Truth. So it establishes then His place, and how everyone, means, only by His grace can you understand Him. The śāstras are also talking about Him, establishing His presence. And then there is a major difference between Him and His pastimes, means, His pastimes in the material world and His pastimes in the spiritual world. Here it is always His greatness, His power, His glory.

Reading from the Study Guide: CHAPTER FOUR 

Kṛṣṇa is Endowed With All Energies

The topic of energy and the possessor of energies has been under discussion for a long time. Some people say that whatever is seen in the universe is but a manifestation of energy. They doubt whether there is anything other than energy. Energy is the revealer of things. The things themselves cannot be realized but are perceived only through their energy. Among the examples they give, the following is one.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It's just like you have vaiśeṣika, then its things is atoms, so it is just energy, like that's all there is.

Reading from the Study Guide: Earth has various qualities. What we call earth is but a collection of those qualities. One cannot say whether earth exists or not, after taking away the qualities. Qualities are energy. Therefore energy is the only principle of existence.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Here, "one cannot say whether earth exists or not after taking away the qualities." But the point is is, they can’t say or not, so why are they coming to the conclusion? They are saying, "Since you can’t say or not, therefore it is like this." It has its qualities but those qualities  are what you perceive, its existence is there. So, therefore, we can see that if this is the principle, like that, that means then the qualities are always there. But there is still a source of those qualities. Right? Those qualities are coming from the earth. Earth may be described by the qualities but still the qualities are dependent upon the earth. So, you know, it's just... In other words they are very intelligent, but not quite enough. They just fall short there.

Reading from the Study Guide: Others counter this argument by saying that energy has no separate existence; it is an inseparable nature of the object. What the object reveals is called energy.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, the object has energy, not that energy supported the object. That's just like the... What is it? Paramārtha guru, he had one disciple, he went to get butter. So then he got the butter in a leaf cup and he is bringing it back to the āśrama. And then he is contemplating, "Now this butter is being held up by the leaf cup. But the reason the leaf cup is there is the butter, so which is actually the support? The butter or the leaf cup?" So in this then he decided if he turns the cup upside-down, if the butter is actually the support, then it will, nothing will happen. But if it is not, if the leaf cup is the supreme, then the butter will fall out. So, of course, the butter fell out, like that, so...

Prabhu (3): So he brought the superior?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, so he brought back the leaf cup. And so, in this way then they prepared lunch, like that... [Laughter] So, these kind of disciples are not very important.

Reading from the Study Guide: The great devotees have concluded that energy (quality) is one entity and the possessor of energy (object) is another entity. Though they are different they are yet inseparable. Because man's mind is limited, he cannot understand the deep relation between the energy and energetic.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, so he is saying because of the limitation one cannot understand by one’s own intellectual methods. Some people, they get very upset, "I can’t understand it, therefore it doesn’t exist." So that means, okay, if something that you don’t understand doesn’t exist, so that means, so for the common man that means he can’t understand quantum physics. Does that mean it doesn’t exist? You know, so the point is is, it is simply pride that we say that.

So we have to understand there is the object and then the qualities that it has. Both exist simultaneously. At the same time, the qualities are dependent upon the object for their existence. The energy always comes from the energetic. Like that. But if one can’t understand then don’t be too disturbed, it is just that the mind and intelligence is limited.

Prabhu (3): Just like if you don't understand death, then you may not die.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, yes, if you don't understand death... Like little kids, they don't understand death, so they... Nothing happens to them, right?

Reading from the Study Guide: The object and its energy, though distinct, are yet not different. Difference and non-difference coexist. This inconceivable different and non-different nature between an object and its energy is described in Caitanya Caritāmṛta:

"Śrī Rādhā is the full power, and Lord Kṛṣṇa is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures. They are indeed the same, just as musk and its scent are inseparable, or as fire and its heat are nondifferent. Thus Rādhā and Lord Kṛṣṇa are one, yet They have taken two forms to enjoy the mellows of pastimes. (CC Ādi 4.96-98)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? Does that make sense? So, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa eternally exist, but They take these two different forms so that They may have pastimes. Therefore when the Lord is one, then it is still Kṛṣṇa with Rādhā there. Does that make sense? Because it can’t be Lord Caitanya as the original one because that means He is already tasting Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, having already been manifest. Does that make sense? So you have a bit of a chronology here. Kṛṣṇa and His energy are non-different, He expands His energy, then tasting that pastime, that, then He comes as Lord Caitanya to taste what His energy tastes. Because otherwise He already knows what it is Himself to be, from His perspective what it is being one with the energy. But He does't know what it is like being... He knows His view of the energetic, He doesn’t know what the view is of the energy.

Prabhu (3): So can it be also like in aspect of Bhagavān, so Kṛṣṇa actually, He manifests also interactions. Let's say, like in... As Brahman Kṛṣṇa is there but there is not necessarily interaction, that's why it looks like He is... He may not have qualities. 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, you could. But I don't... But they are not really looking at relationship as being the basis. They are looking at relationship as mundane. So because He has no... There are no seeming interactions because there is no relationship, therefore the Brahman is supreme. That is what they are taking, as opposed to that Brahman is subservient to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is Supreme because He is the source of those qualities. Those qualities are... The effulgence of those qualities is the Brahman. But because they only understand mundane relationship, they don’t understand spiritual relationship, therefore Brahman is higher than mundane relationships, so therefore it is supreme. They don’t understand that it is subservient to Kṛṣṇa who is the Supreme enjoyer of relationship.

Prabhu (3): And don’t the Māyāvādīs also look for relationships? They say that, okay, "I am Brahman," or "I am God."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, I mean, they do, but it is not official. Means, they like to be God and everyone respect them as God. But why would they be interested in that taste of being respected as God if everybody is God? So it is not important, it is just another taste. Does that make sense? So that is why there is cheating, that is why there is mistake. That's why there is...

Because even though they try so hard, there is still something wrong in what they do. There is still something wrong, you know. So as far as getting out of the material world, they have a fairly good idea, but the problem is, it is not complete because the living entity being conscious, then he needs to be conscious and interactive, so then when he is conscious then there will be a difficulty because he only has been conscious in the material world. So when he becomes conscious of interaction, of relationship, then he will only think of the material world and immediately he will fall from Brahman into the material world again. So that is what the limitation is. So it is great for getting you out of the material world but it is not great for keeping you out of the material world. The only way to keep out of the material world is to get into the spiritual world. But of the two, getting out of the material world and getting into the spiritual world, getting out is just giving up an annoyance. But getting into the spiritual world - that is actual positive. That is the natural position of the living entity. That is where you are supposed to be. So getting out of the material world is only part of situating himself in his natural position. Like that. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (3): Yeah.

Reading from the Study Guide: This conclusion can be found in the Veda and Vedānta. In the scriptures the following statement is seen: śakti śaktimator abhedaḥ

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, the Śakti and the Śaktimān are abhedaḥ, They are non-different

Reading from the Study Guide: "The energy and the energetic are nondifferent." Actually there is no object except Kṛṣṇa. For that reason Kṛṣṇa is called advaya or without a second. Those who are dedicated to Brahman or Paramātmā, however, cannot easily identify Kṛṣṇa as the supreme object.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, catch what we are saying here. This is, we are using the term object in another way, it is not being grammatically used here. Object meaning that He is the only object, everything else is qualities, everything else is energy. He is the only object, everything else is energy. Does that make sense? So then... Yeah.

Reading from the Study Guide: Although the object is one only, that one object appears in three different ways according to qualification of the observer of the object.

Prabhu (3): Do the other people say, like those who have the goal of Brahman or Paramātmā, so they consider that Brahman is object?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. It just said here, is that this object appears in three ways: so as Brahman, as Paramātmā, as Bhagavān. So the fullest understanding of the object is Bhagavān because then you understand all His qualities and all His pastimes. Otherwise, with Brahman there is only seeming experience of qualities, but there is no specific qualities. Through it then you are able to get all the qualities of this world, all the experiences. Paramātmā, then everything is being controlled in that, but there is no pastimes with Him, so He is just the Lord, the Controller, the Maintainer, the Destroyer, like this. Only with Bhagavān then you have the actual pastimes. Then it works very nicely. Yeah?

Reading from the Study Guide: Three people may view a mountain from three different angles. On the north side is mist. The person viewing from the north side discerns the mountain as a huge peak surrounded by mist. Bright sunlight is falling on the southern side. The person who views from the south side sees the mountain as an effulgent rock wall. The person who views the mountain from the side without any external influences sees the complete mountain clearly; he sees the actual mountain. In perceiving the Absolute Truth as well, learned men see the truth differently according to their different points of view.

Prabhu (3): Can we apply the analogy, like the blind men not see the elephant?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, that is there, but then you don’t have someone who is actually seeing. So that is why they are using this one. Means, is you are coming up with different things, different ideas of the same Absolute, and they come up with different ideas. But that would be, here is, he is trying to show, is there is Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, and like that. So, in other words, one sees the peak, but with the mist. So, he... It is not... The other one just sees that it is bright light, you know. One sees it as a little bit of a… Like an element, it is like a mountain, but it is mainly mist. But one who doesn’t have it from any influences of the mist or the sunlight, the bright sun, then he is able to see the mountain in its completeness. Does that make sense? So this analogy works like that. That other analogy would be, because there no one is seeing it properly, that's there. So, means, it shows, it is expanding on how you get different perspectives, but it is not showing the three, Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. So that is what is this one is telling you.

Reading from the Study Guide: Those who cultivate knowledge and try to see the absolute conclude that the Absolute Truth, which is the opposite of material existence, is devoid of form, change, energy and action. This they call Brahman.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So they are trying to cultivate knowledge and see the Absolute Truth. So it is through knowledge that they are trying to see the Absolute Truth, not through service, through devotion. Knowledge is important, but it is not the knowledge itself that will reveal the Lord because He is transcendental. So, therefore, knowledge cannot approach the Lord. The Lord being all things, He can reveal Himself through knowledge but that knowledge has to be in connection with the Supreme, it has to come in Paramparā, it has to be heard with the proper faith and attention, then that knowledge will reveal. So it is actually the faith that is revealing, like that. The faith, the devotion, the cit-potency reveals. So that is why they can’t understand. It sounds great, "Yes, through my intelligence I will understand or through my work I will understand," but it is neither of those, it is through one’s devotion that one understands. And the medium may be work or knowledge.

Reading from the Study Guide: However, they have not discerned the real nature of the ultimate truth. Those who, using their intelligence, search for the final object, perceive the friend of the soul, Paramātmā, endowed with a form and similar in nature to the individual soul. Those who see the Absolute Truth by means of bhakti yoga, whose vision is without obstacles, understand the Lord as He is, as Bhagavān, full of all energies, all sweetness and all opulences.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So we see here, is that those who cultivate knowledge, try to see the Absolute Truth, then they are concluding that the Absolute must be opposite of the material. Material is mundane, so spiritual must be the opposite. So, therefore, the Lord has no qualities or anything. So they try to see Him in Brahman, though they don't really, they can’t actually understand His real nature. Because He is a person, but that they cannot discern.

Then those who are in Paramātmā, then they see that He is the friend of the living entity and He has a form similar to the living entity. So He is still coming from Himself, you are still going from your experience, right?

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, how do we explain "similar in nature to the individual soul"?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: "With a form and similar in nature" means that He looks like we look like. So they are able to relate, as a friend. Because there has to be something in common to be a friend.

Prabhu (1): So does it mean Paramātmā, He deals with us according to our nature? Is that what He shows...? According to how we are, that's how He reacts?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: I mean, that aspect is there because they are still using their intelligence. They are not... It still hasn’t come to the platform of devotion. So it is still, it is about the individual living entity and his search after the Absolute. So one comes to the level of Brahman, the other to Paramātmā. "But those who see the Absolute by means of bhakti-yoga, means through service, devotion, whose vision is without obstacles," means without any mundane considerations, "understand the Lord as He is, as Bhagavān, full of all energies, all sweetness and all opulence." Because the others, they are still trying through their intelligence, to use... So one is cultivating through intellectual speculation, "Okay is the mundane is this way, therefore the spiritual must be the opposite." Then we have the Paramātmā, then they are using their intelligence, you know, they are looking for the final object, so they go through a mechanical process with their intelligence and then engage the senses and all. Does that make sense? They get to the point of dhyāna, or meditation. Yeah? Does it make sense? 

Prabhu (1): Yeah.

Reading from the Study Guide: So in Kaṭha Upaniṣad: "One cannot understand the Supreme Soul by studying the Vedas or by hearing many scriptures or by one's mental energy. The Lord reveals Himself to the person who accepts the Lord as his master. That person alone attains the Lord. [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that means, you can't, "by studying the Vedas, by hearing many scriptures or by one's mental energy," that is not how you will understand the Lord. Right? It is one who respects... Accepts the Lord as His master, then He is revealed. So He may come through these mediums, but it is not going to be otherwise. Yes?

Prabhu (4): So, Mahārāja, so, according to Bhāgavatam, the definition of bhakti, that it brings naturally detachment and knowledge. Which knowledge are you talking about?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It brings natural knowledge? 

Prabhu (4): And detachment.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Means... Oh, knowledge and detachment. Means, one will have so much knowledge because... In other words, these others are taking their knowledge and trying to see the Lord, but here is... And through their renunciation, they are trying to be renounced, they are trying to use their intelligence to see the Lord. But here in devotional service, by rendering service to Kṛṣṇa then knowledge and detachment come automatically.  So the things that they use that are so difficult to try to gain and apply to see the Lord, they still don’t see the Lord, so with great difficulty. But the devotee without any difficulty serves the Lord, and then this knowledge and detachment comes automatically. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (4): Like which knowledge they... What kind of knowledge... [indistinct]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Means, what kind of knowledge? What are these options of knowledge that you are thinking that it could be?

Prabhu (4): I was thinking, what kind of knowledge...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But you are saying "what kind," you must have categories, otherwise why would you be confused?

Prabhu (4): Yeah, because they, the jñānī, they are trying to study that God... [indistinct]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: They are still using the Veda and all that, but they don’t understand it. They are detached, they understand, but they are not really detached from the material world and they don’t understand the Lord. But the devotees get the same knowledge. That doesn’t mean that you will be, you know, expert at… How you say? The world champion in pogo stick hopping or something, you know. It means, you understand the Lord and His energies, and His pastimes – name, form, qualities, pastimes, like that, which they can’t understand through their intelligence.

Prabhu (3): So this is actually the causeless mercy of the Lord, no?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Causeless mercy of the Lord, yes.

Prabhu (3): So it's like when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was going down to Southern, He met the devotee who was holding Bhagavad-gītā upside-down and crying?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, because actually had... He had actual knowledge. And the ones harassing him, though they probably knew Sanskrit and the Bhagavad-gītā frontwards and backwards, they didn’t actually have knowledge.

Prabhu (3): Because the knowledge, that is the realization. That is the real knowledge.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, you can say that: realization is the real knowledge. Okay? There, so you get the...

Reading from the Study Guide: In the Bhāgavatam it is written:

"O Lord, only those who attain a particle of mercy for Your lotus feet can understand Your glory. Those who search for You by studying the scriptures using logic cannot understand You at all. [SB 10.14.29]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, you are studying the scriptures with the idea that the studying is part of the devotional process and you are going to use that knowledge in devotional process, then through that one may see the Lord. But here, but those who are studying the scriptures and then apply logic on what they have studied, that they will never see the Lord. Does that make sense? Yes? No?

Prabhus: Yes, yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: There is a difference here. Always in all these things there is always a subtle difference. That's why we have to... Why these things sometimes are very technically described or analyzed, because it is in these differences that makes a difference between whether it is devotional service or not. If you have this whole wide range of activities, and down the middle there is a razor’s edge, therefore you need to be able to discern between these various activities. Otherwise, how you will define that actual path? Yeah? Does that make sense?

Prabhus: Yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so then we will continue with the next paragraph tomorrow?

Prabhu (3): Monday.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Monday, yes, on Monday.

Oṁ Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare 

Jaya! Śrīla Prabhupāda kī jaya!

[end of lecture]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Once the main hut, all the other side huts are all established ...[indistinct] a very strict rule...

Prabhu (3): There will be a line on the ground "Don't cross."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: [Laugher] What do you call it?

Prabhu (3): "Minefield"

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Lakṣmaṇa-rekhā, if you step across, finished.

Prabhus: [Laughter] [indisctinct]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: [Laugher] Yeah, yeah. Okay.


Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #4, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary

    All comments.