Bhagavad-gita Today, June 3, 2020

Date: 
Wed, 2020-06-03


Krishna's explanations of the self, the world, and the source of all existence are the most complete and convincing we've ever heard. Don't just take our word for it, though; you decide:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 8.3

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities.

PURPORT:

Brahman is indestructible and eternally existing, and its constitution is not changed at any time. But beyond Brahman there is Parabrahman. Brahman refers to the living entity, and Parabrahman refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The constitutional position of the living entity is different from the position he takes in the material world. In material consciousness his nature is to try to be the lord of matter, but in spiritual consciousness, Krishna consciousness, his position is to serve the Supreme. When the living entity is in material consciousness, he has to take on various bodies in the material world. That is called karma, or varied creation by the force of material consciousness.

In Vedic literature the living entity is called jivatma and Brahman, but he is never called Parabrahman. The living entity (jivatma) takes different positions -- sometimes he merges into the dark material nature and identifies himself with matter, and sometimes he identifies himself with the superior, spiritual nature. Therefore he is called the Supreme Lord's marginal energy.

According to his identification with material or spiritual nature, he receives a material or spiritual body. In material nature he may take a body from any of the 8,400,000 species of life, but in spiritual nature he has only one body. In material nature he is manifested sometimes as a man, demigod, animal, beast, bird, etc., according to his karma. To attain material heavenly planets and enjoy their facilities, he sometimes performs sacrifices (yajna), but when his merit is exhausted he returns to earth again in the form of a man. This process is called karma.

The Chandogya Upanishad describes the Vedic sacrificial process. On the sacrificial altar, five kinds of offerings are made into five kinds of fire. The five kinds of fire are conceived of as the heavenly planets, clouds, the earth, man and woman, and the five kinds of sacrificial offerings are faith, the enjoyer on the moon, rain, grains and semen.