"The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is a movement aiming at the spiritual reorientation of mankind through the simple process of chanting the holy names of God." - His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Friday, March 17, 2017
Body Death: Goodness, Passion, Ignorance
There is yoga, and there is yogamāyā. Yogamāyā
means forgetfulness. First of all we have to understand what is the
soul. At the present moment, people are in such darkness that they do
not even understand the soul. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā first of all teaches what the soul is:
“As the embodied soul continually passes in
this body from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes
into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by
such a change.”
The word dehī
means “the proprietor of the body.” We are thinking, “I am this body,”
but actually this is not so. We are the proprietors of the body, and
that is the real understanding of the self. We do not say, “I am this
finger” or “I am this hand.” Rather, we say, “This is my finger, this is
my head, this is my leg, etc.” Similarly, the same can be said about
the entire body. “This is my body.” This means that I am the proprietor of this body. The body has been given by māyā, the material energy.
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the
influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be
the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature.”
The living entity receives different types of bodies according to karma.
One living entity may receive a cat body, another a dog body, and so
forth. Why are there so many different bodies? Why not one kind of body?
The answer to this is also given in Bhagavad-gītā (13.22):
“It is due to his association with the modes of material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.”
Because the soul within the body associates
with the three modes of material nature (goodness, passion and
ignorance), he receives different types of bodies. One doesn’t have to
aspire for his next body; one need only rest assured that it will be a
On the other hand, Kṛṣṇa
does not say what kind of body one will be awarded. That depends on
qualification. If one associates with the mode of goodness, he is
elevated to the higher planetary systems. If he associates with the mode
of passion, he remains here. And if one associates with the mode of
ignorance and darkness, he goes down to lower life forms—animals, trees
and plants. This is the proclamation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (14.18):
“Those situated in the mode of goodness
gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion
live on the earthly planets; and those in the mode of ignorance go down
to the hellish worlds.”
There are 8,400,000 species of life, and all of these arise from one’s association with the modes of nature (kāraṇaṁguṇa-saṅgo ’sya).
And, according to the body, one undergoes distress and happiness. One
cannot expect a dog to enjoy the same happiness that a king or rich man
enjoys. Whether one enjoys this or that happiness or suffers this or
that distress, both distress and happiness are due to the material body.
Yoga means transcending the distress or happiness of the material body. If we connect ourselves with Kṛṣṇa through the supreme yoga, we can get rid of material happiness and distress arising from the body. Reconnecting with Kṛṣṇa is called bhakti-yoga, and Kṛṣṇa comes to instruct us in this supreme yoga.
In essence, He says, “Just revive your connection with Me, you rascal. Give up all these manufactured yogas and religions and just surrender unto Me. That is Kṛṣṇa’s instruction, and Kṛṣṇa’s representative, the incarnation or the guru, says the same thing. Although Kapiladeva is an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, He acts as the representative of Kṛṣṇa, the guru. If we just accept the principle of surrender unto Kṛṣṇa,
we will become actually transcendental to so-called material happiness.
We should not be captivated by material happiness or aggrieved by
material distress. These are causes for bondage. Material happiness is
not actual happiness. It is actually distress.
We try to be happy by
obtaining money, but money is not very easily obtained, and we have to
undergo a great deal of distress to get it. However, we accept this
distress with the hope of getting some false happiness. If we purify our
senses, on the other hand, we can come to the spiritual platform. Real
happiness lies in engaging our senses to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa. In this way our senses are spiritualized, and this is called ādhyātmika-yoga or bhakti-yoga. This is the yoga that Lord Kapiladeva is herein expounding.