Lecture Excerpt

Montreal, July 18, 1968
Prabhupada: Cloud cannot cover the sun. There may be a cloud overcast in the sky for hundred miles, but even hundred miles, is it possible to cover the sun, hundred miles cloud? The sun is itself so many hundreds of thousand times more than this earth. So maya cannot cover the Supreme Brahman. Maya can cover the small particles Brahman. So we may become covered by maya or cloud, but the Supreme Brahman is never covered by maya. That is the difference of opinion between Mayavada philosophy and Vaisnava philosophy. The Mayavada philosophy says that the Supreme is covered. The Supreme cannot be covered. Then how He becomes supreme? The covering becomes supreme. Oh, there are so many arguments and so many... But we follow that the cloud covers the small particles of sunshine. But sun remains as it is. And we practically see also when we go by jet plane, we are over the cloud. There is no cloud outside. Sun is clear. In the lower status there is some cloud. If you go thousands of miles up, we don't see any cloud. Everything sunshine. Is there any question?
Devotee (1): Is the cloud in our mind or is the cloud in the sky also?
Prabhupada: Everything is in your mind. Yes. So you have to clear your mind. That's all. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The whole process is to clear the mind. Yes?
Devotee (2): Prabhupada, even when the mind is cleared, does there not continue to be an objective temporary existence of material phenomena? Even when the mind is cleared, the material world still exists for so long as the (indistinct), so there's still temporary existence.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Devotee (2): So is that material principle which is manifested in beings is gone...
Prabhupada: No. Material principle is side by side. Just like the cloud is always there in the sky, but if you be above the cloud, then it is all right. So you have to become above the material principles. And to become above the material principles means to accept everything in Krsna consciousness, dovetailed with Krsna. That will save you. You have to become above the cloud. Just like the jet plane takes the friendly sky. So we have to take the friendly energy, the spiritual energy. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. Mahatma, those who are mahatma, great souls, they take shelter of the nature where there is no more cloud. Then it is very nice. You go on. So we have to become above the cloud. Not to be influenced by the material nature, but we take shelter of Radharani, the spiritual nature. Not of Durga.
Devotee (2): But the cloud still exists within the mind.
Prabhupada: That doesn't matter. The police exists, but if you are not criminal it has nothing to do with you. You are not afraid of the police. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. Police has nothing to do with law-abiding persons. Let the maya remain there. You have nothing to do with her. Yes?
Guest: Swamiji, we always think of the pictures of Visnu and Krsna. There are, full of pictures, here, and also the usual pictures which you... When you think of the word "consciousness" and "life," as applied to the image of God, it seems to make sense. But how do you apply the concept of consciousness and life to a God conceived of in the terms like this image here?
Prabhupada: Image... The image, we are not worshiping image.
Guest: No, what I meant was in the vague, abstract sense of thought, as we're talking about with Brahman...
Prabhupada: There are stages, stages of God realization. Brahman realization is the first realization of God. Just like if you want to go to the... If you come to the light, sunshine, your first experience is the sunshine. But if you go still further, you..., if you are able to enter into the sun planet, that is another stage. And if you can find out the predominating deity in the sun planet, that is another stage. Similarly, the Brahman means you come out of the darkness of ignorance or maya. That is Brahman realization. But if you go further, then you realize Supersoul, Paramatma. And if you go further, then you realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. The... Just like the same example, the sunshining, sun and the sun-god, they are one and the same. But when you are in the sunshine, you cannot say that you are seeing the sun-god. That will be mistake. But one who is in association with the sun-god, he's already in the sun planet, he is in front of the sun-god, and he is in sunshine. Is that clear? Yes. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. Advaya-jnana. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam [SB 1.2.11]. Advayam, that light, is everywhere. Either sunshine or sun planet or sun-god, there is light. There is no darkness. Similarly, either you remain in the impersonal Brahman or absorbed in Paramatma or in association with the Supreme Personality, it is all spiritual stage. But when you compare, then a person who is in direct touch with sun-god, he's far superior than the person who is in the sunlight. He cannot claim equal status. Sunlight may be possible within your room. That does not mean that you are associating with the sun-god.
So impersonal Brahman realization is also Brahman realization. The personal Brahman realization is the highest platform. Brahmano 'ham pratistha. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll see that Krsna says that "The impersonal Brahman is resting on Me." Aham pratistha. Just like this bag is resting on this table. The table is more important than this bag. Similarly... Just like the sun planet. Although we are seeing it is just like a disk and the sunshine is overcast all over the universe, that does not mean that sunshine is more important than the sun disk. It is due to the sun disk that the sunshine is all over the universe. And if you think that sunshine is distributed all over the universe, therefore it is greater than the sun disk—no. The importance of the sun disk is more than the universally distributed sunshine. So impersonal Brahman realization is just like realization of the sunshine, but there are other stages. And the highest stage is to associate with the Supreme. Just like this picture, they are associating person to person. Another point is, as individual soul we require association, person to person. That is our nature. The Bhagavata replies, ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah [SB 10.2.32]. If somebody thinks by simple impersonal realization of Brahman, if he thinks that he has become liberated, then his intelligence is polluted. Ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah. Avisuddha means not free from contamination. His intelligence is not free. Why? Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho [SB 10.2.32].
The same example can be given. Suppose you are taking a jet plane to go to the sun planet or moon planet, but you are in the sunshine. You are more higher above the cloud region. Cloud is after, say, a few miles up, if you go, there is no more cloud. Finished. If you go above seven miles up, there is no more clouds. There is no question of maya. That's all right. But if you go continually, if you do not get shelter in any other planet, then the next stage will be you have to come back. You cannot remain in that impersonal sunshine. You have to take shelter. If you don't get shelter, then you come back. Similarly, the impersonalist, for the time being they may think that they have Brahman realization, but because by nature he wants association, without getting association of the Supreme Lord he has to come back to make association with this nonsense. And this is practically we have seen. Many sannyasis, brahma satyam jagan mithya, "Brahman is truth and the world is false." They take sannyasa, and after some time they come to the hospital opening business. They come down again to politics, hospitals, philanthropy, welfare work. Why? If brahma satyam jagan mithya, if this whole world is false, why you are taking this hospital business? Because there is no place. He has no engagement and he wants association. He wants to render some service, but there is no service to Krsna. He comes to give service to the nonsense maya. So aruhya krcchrena param padam [SB 10.2.32]. After accepting sannyasa and all this renunciation, because he has no shelter to render service to the Supreme Lord, he comes down to render service to this nonsense thing which he left. Mithya, it is false. He again comes to the false. I have seen one sannyasi in India, very learned, very good scholar. Now he's rotting in the jail. He has taken to political movement. He wants to make, nullify this Pakistan and so many things. Now he has become a politician. Vivekananda came here to preach in 1893 to Vedanta. Now he learned the business of opening hospital. If you have taken sannyasa, that brahma satyam jagan mithya, "The world is false; Brahman is reality," then why you come to the false platform again? He has to, because he has no information of the reality. He wants to render service, but because he has not found out where to render service, he has to come to engage himself in this mithya platform, which he has rejected as mithya. So aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho [SB 10.2.32]. Even by their austerity and penances they go so up... Just the same example. A very nice sputnik, and running 20,000 miles an hour... (end)

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