anyad evahuh sambhavad
anyad ahur asambhavat
iti susruma dhiranam
ye nas tad vicacaksire
anyat—different; eva—certainly; ahuh—it is said; sambhavat—by worshiping the Supreme Lord, the cause of all causes; anyat—different; ahuh—it is said; asambhavat—by worshiping what is not the Supreme; iti—thus; susruma—I heard it; dhiranam—from the undisturbed authorities; ye—who; nah—unto us; tat—about that subject matter; vicacaksire—perfectly explained.
It is said that one result is obtained by worshiping the supreme cause of all causes and that another result is obtained by worshiping what is not supreme. All this is heard from the undisturbed authorities, who clearly explained it.
The system of hearing from undisturbed authorities is approved in this mantra. Unless one hears from a bona fide acarya, who is never disturbed by the changes of the material world, one cannot have the real key to transcendental knowledge. The bona fide spiritual master, who has also heard the sruti-mantras, or Vedic knowledge, from his undisturbed acarya, never presents anything that is not mentioned in the Vedic literature. In the Bhagavad-gita (9.25) it is clearly said that those who worship the pitrs, or forefathers, attain the planets of the forefathers, that the gross materialists who make plans to remain here stay in this world, and that the devotees of the Lord who worship none but Lord Krsna, the supreme cause of all causes, reach Him in His spiritual sky. Here also in Sri Isopanisad it is verified that one achieves different results by different modes of worship. If we worship the Supreme Lord, we will certainly reach Him in His eternal abode, and if we worship demigods like the sun-god or moon-god, we can reach their respective planets without a doubt. And if we wish to remain on this wretched planet with our planning commissions and our stopgap political adjustments, we can certainly do that also.
Nowhere in authentic scriptures is it said that one will ultimately reach the same goal by doing anything or worshiping anyone. Such foolish theories are offered by self-made "spiritual masters" who have no connection with the parampara, the bona fide system of disciplic succession. The bona fide spiritual master cannot say that all paths lead to the same goal and that anyone can attain this goal by his own mode of worship of the demigods or of the Supreme or whatever. Any common man can very easily understand that a person can reach his destination only when he has purchased a ticket for that destination. A person who has purchased a ticket for Calcutta can reach Calcutta, but not Bombay. But the so-called spiritual masters say that any and all paths will take one to the supreme goal. Such mundane and compromising offers attract many foolish creatures, who become puffed up with their manufactured methods of spiritual realization. The Vedic instructions, however, do not uphold them. Unless one has received knowledge from the bona fide spiritual master who is in the recognized line of disciplic succession, one cannot have the real thing as it is. Krsna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita (4.2):
"This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
When Lord Sri Krsna was present on this earth, the bhakti-yoga principles defined in the Bhagavad-gita had become distorted; therefore the Lord had to reestablish the disciplic system beginning with Arjuna, who was the most confidential friend and devotee of the Lord. The Lord clearly told Arjuna (Bg. 4.3) that it was because Arjuna was His devotee and friend that he could understand the principles of the Bhagavad-gita. In other words, only the Lord's devotee and friend can understand the Gita. This also means that only one who follows the path of Arjuna can understand the Bhagavad-gita.
At the present moment there are many interpreters and translators of this sublime dialogue who care nothing for Lord Krsna or Arjuna. Such interpreters explain the verses of the Bhagavad-gita in their own way and postulate all sorts of rubbish in the name of the Gita. Such interpreters believe neither in Sri Krsna nor in His eternal abode. How, then, can they explain the Bhagavad-gita?
Krsna clearly says that only those who have lost their sense worship the demigods for paltry rewards (Bg. 7.20, 23). Ultimately He advises that one give up all other ways and modes of worship and fully surrender unto Him alone (Bg. 18.66). Only those who are cleansed of all sinful reactions can have such unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord. Others will continue hovering on the material platform with their paltry ways of worship and thus will be misled from the real path under the false impression that all paths lead to the same goal.
In this mantra of Sri Isopanisad the word sam-bhavat, "by worship of the supreme cause," is very significant. Lord Krsna is the original Personality of Godhead, and everything that exists has emanated from Him. In the Bhagavad-gita (10.8) the Lord says,
"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts."
Here is a correct description of the Supreme Lord, given by the Lord Himself. The words sarvasya pra-bhavah indicate that Krsna is the creator of everyone, including Brahma, Visnu and Siva. And because these three principal deities of the material world are created by the Lord, the Lord is the creator of all that exists in the material and spiritual worlds. In the Atharva Veda (Gopala-tapani Upanisad 1.24) it is similarly said, "He who existed before the creation of Brahma and who enlightened Brahma with Vedic knowledge is Lord Sri Krsna." Similarly, the Narayana Upanisad (1) states, "Then the Supreme Person, Narayana, desired to create all living beings. Thus from Narayana, Brahma was born. Narayana created all the Prajapatis. Narayana created Indra. Narayana created the eight Vasus. Narayana created the eleven Rudras. Narayana created the twelve Adityas." Since Narayana is a plenary manifestation of Lord Krsna, Narayana and Krsna are one and the same. The Narayana Upanisad (4) also states, "Devaki's son [Krsna] is the Supreme Lord." The identity of Narayana with the supreme cause has also been accepted and confirmed by Sripada Sankaracarya, even though Sankara does not belong to the Vaisnava, or personalist, cult. The Atharva Veda (Maha Upanisad 1) also states, "Only Narayana existed in the beginning, when neither Brahma, nor Siva, nor fire, nor water, nor stars, nor sun, nor moon existed. The Lord does not remain alone but creates as He desires." Krsna Himself states in the Moksa-dharma, "I created the Prajapatis and the Rudras. They do not have complete knowledge of Me because they are covered by My illusory energy." It is also stated in the Varaha Purana: "Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and from Him the four-headed Brahma was manifested, as well as Rudra, who later became omniscient."
Thus all Vedic literature confirms that Narayana, or Krsna, is the cause of all causes. In the Brahma-samhita (5.1) also it is said that the Supreme Lord is Sri Krsna, Govinda, the delighter of every living being and the primeval cause of all causes. The really learned persons know this from evidence given by the great sages and the Vedas, and thus they decide to worship Lord Krsna as all in all. Such persons are called budha, or really learned, because they worship only Krsna.
The conviction that Krsna is all in all is established when one hears the transcendental message from the undisturbed acarya with faith and love. One who has no faith in or love for Lord Krsna cannot be convinced of this simple truth. Those who are faithless are described in the Bhagavad-gita (9.11) as mudhas-fools or asses. It is said that the mudhas deride the Personality of Godhead because they do not have complete knowledge from the undisturbed acarya. One who is disturbed by the whirlpool of material energy is not qualified to become an acarya.
Before hearing the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna was disturbed by the material whirlpool, by his affection for his family, society and community. Thus Arjuna wanted to become a philanthropic, nonviolent man of the world. But when he became budha by hearing the Vedic knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita from the Supreme Person, he changed his decision and became a worshiper of Lord Sri Krsna, who had Himself arranged the Battle of Kuruksetra. Arjuna worshiped the Lord by fighting with his so-called relatives, and in this way he became a pure devotee of the Lord. Such accomplishments are possible only when one worships the real Krsna and not some fabricated "Krsna" invented by foolish men who are without knowledge of the intricacies of the science of Krsna described in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
According to the Vedanta-sutra, sambhuta is the source of birth and sustenance, as well as the reservoir that remains after annihilation (janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]). The Srimad-Bhagavatam, the natural commentary on the Vedanta-sutra by the same author, maintains that the source of all emanations is not like a dead stone but is abhijna, or fully conscious. The primeval Lord, Sri Krsna, also says in the Bhagavad-gita (7.26) that He is fully conscious of past, present and future and that no one, including demigods such as Siva and Brahma, knows Him fully. Certainly half-educated "spiritual leaders" who are disturbed by the tides of material existence cannot know Him fully. They try to make some compromise by making the mass of humanity the object of worship, but they do not know that such worship is only a myth because the masses are imperfect. The attempt by these so-called spiritual leaders is something like pouring water on the leaves of a tree instead of the root. The natural process is to pour water on the root, but such disturbed leaders are more attracted to the leaves than the root. Despite their perpetually watering the leaves, however, everything dries up for want of nourishment.
Sri Isopanisad advises us to pour water on the root, the source of all germination. Worship of the mass of humanity by rendering bodily service, which can never be perfect, is less important than service to the soul. The soul is the root that generates different types of bodies according to the law of karma. To serve human beings by medical aid, social help and educational facilities while at the same time cutting the throats of poor animals in slaughterhouses is no service at all to the soul, the living being.
The living being is perpetually suffering in different types of bodies from the material miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. The human form of life offers one a chance to get out of this entanglement simply by reestablishing the lost relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Lord. The Lord comes personally to teach this philosophy of surrender unto the Supreme, the sambhuta. Real service to humanity is rendered when one teaches surrender to and worship of the Supreme Lord with full love and energy. That is the instruction of Sri Isopanisad in this mantra.
The simple way to worship the Supreme Lord in this age of disturbance is to hear and chant about His great activities. The mental speculators, however, think that the activities of the Lord are imaginary; therefore they refrain from hearing of them and invent some word jugglery without any substance to divert the attention of the innocent masses of people. Instead of hearing of the activities of Lord Krsna, such pseudo spiritual masters advertise themselves by inducing their followers to sing about them. In modern times the number of such pretenders has increased considerably, and it has become a problem for the pure devotees of the Lord to save the masses of people from the unholy propaganda of these pretenders and pseudo incarnations.
The Upanisads indirectly draw our attention to the primeval Lord, Sri Krsna, but the Bhagavad-gita, which is the summary of all the Upanisads, directly points to Sri Krsna. Therefore one should hear about Krsna as He is by hearing from the Bhagavad-gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, and in this way one's mind will gradually be cleansed of all contaminated things. Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.17) says, "By hearing of the activities of the Lord, the devotee draws the attention of the Lord. Thus the Lord, being situated in the heart of every living being, helps the devotee by giving him proper directions." The Bhagavad-gita (10.10) confirms this: dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te.
The Lord's inner direction cleanses the devotee's heart of all contamination produced by the material modes of passion and ignorance. Nondevotees are under the sway of passion and ignorance. One who is in passion cannot become detached from material hankering, and one who is in ignorance cannot know what he is or what the Lord is. Thus when one is in passion or ignorance, there is no chance for self-realization, however much one may play the part of a religionist. For a devotee, the modes of passion and ignorance are removed by the grace of the Lord. In this way the devotee becomes situated in the quality of goodness, the sign of a perfect brahmana. Anyone can qualify as a brahmana if he follows the path of devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.4.18) also says:
abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah
ye 'nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah
sudhyanti tasmai prabhavisnave namah
Any lowborn person can be purified by the guidance of a pure devotee of the Lord, for the Lord is extraordinarily powerful.
When one attains brahminical qualifications, he becomes happy and enthusiastic to render devotional service to the Lord. Automatically the science of God is unveiled before him. By knowing the science of God, one gradually becomes freed from material attachments, and one's doubtful mind becomes crystal clear by the grace of the Lord. One who attains this stage is a liberated soul and can see the Lord in every step of life. This is the perfection of sambhava, as described in this mantra of Sri Isopanisad.
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