Chapter 7: Lord Kapila Begins to Explain Self-Realization
iti sva-mātur niravadyam īpsitaṁ
niśamya puṁsām apavarga-vardhanam
dhiyābhinandyātmavatāṁ satāṁ gatir
After hearing of His mother’s uncontaminated desire for transcendental realization, the Lord thanked her within Himself for her questions, and thus, His face smiling, He explained the path of the transcendentalists, who are interested in self-realization.
Devahūti has surrendered her confession of material entanglement and her desire to gain release. Her questions to Lord Kapila are very interesting for persons who are actually trying to get liberation from material entanglement and attain perfection. Unless one is interested in understanding his spiritual life, or his constitutional position, and unless he also feels inconvenience in material existence, his human form of life is spoiled. Only a foolish man does not care for the transcendental necessities of life and simply engages like an animal in eating, sleeping, defending and mating. Lord Kapila was very much satisﬁed by His mother’s questions because the answers stimulate one’s desire for liberation from the conditional life of material existence. Such questions are called apavarga-vardhanam. Those who are actually spiritually interested are called sat, or devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. Sat means “that which eternally exists,” and asat means “that which is not eternal.” Unless one is situated on the spiritual platform, he is not sat; he is asat. The asat stands on a platform which will not exist, but anyone who stands on the spiritual platform will exist eternally. As spirit soul, everyone exists eternally, but the asat has accepted the material world as his shelter, and therefore he is full of anxiety. Asad-grāhān, the desire to enjoy matter, is the cause of the soul’s being asat. Actually, the spirit soul is not asat. As soon as one is conscious of this fact and takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he becomes sat. Satāṁ gatiḥ, the path of the eternal, is very interesting to persons who are after liberation, and His Lordship Kapila began to speak about that path.
Those who are sat are thus transcendentalists advanced in spiritual life, and when they hear questions from those who want to understand spiritual life, they become very happy. Transcendentalists are not interested in worldly talks. Indeed, worldly talks are very disgusting to them, and they avoid the company of those who talk about nonsensical worldly affairs. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised His disciples: grāmya-kathā nā śunibe. The word grāmya refers to that pertaining to one’s village, society or neighborhood. People are interested in talking about grāmya-kathā. Newspapers, for instance, are ﬁlled with grāmya-kathā. There is no spiritual understanding in them. In the United States there are many newspapers, and simply to publish the New York Times many trees have to be killed. Now there is a paper scarcity. Why are they uselessly killing trees just for grāmya-kathā? They are only interested in making a proﬁt.
There is, however, another kind of kathā – kṛṣṇa-kathā. There are literatures which may be nicely presented from the literary point of view, but if there is no gloriﬁcation of the Supreme Lord, they are useless.
na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo
jagat-pavitraṁ pragṛṇīta karhicit
tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham uśanti mānasā
na yatra haṁsā niramanty uśik-kṣayāḥ
“Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.5.10)
Worldly literatures are like places where crows take pleasure. In the bird society, there are crows and swans, and crows are interested in places where ﬁlthy things are thrown. However, swans prefer nice clear water with lotus ﬂowers, and it is in such places that they take their pleasure. Similarly, there are men who are like crows and men like swans. That is a natural division. According to an old English proverb, birds of a feather ﬂock together. Crows mix with crows, and swans mix with swans. Since devotees are like swans (haṁsas), a most advanced devotee is called paramahaṁsa. The paramahaṁsas are not interested in subjects ﬁt for crows. A person who is interested in inquiring about transcendental subjects, kṛṣṇa-kathā, makes a paramahaṁsa very glad. Therefore Kapiladeva was very glad to hear that His mother was eager to receive information on how to be delivered from material bondage:
atha me deva sammoham
apākraṣṭuṁ tvam arhasi
yo ’vagraho ’haṁ mametīty
etasmin yojitas tvayā
“Now be pleased, my Lord, to dispel my great delusion. Due to my feeling of false ego, I have been engaged by Your māyā and have identiﬁed myself with the body and consequent bodily relations.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.25.10)
Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised His disciples never to eat palatable food, never to talk about village topics and never to read ordinary novels, poems and newspapers. One may ask, “How is it that in the modern age these Europeans and Americans of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement do not take interest in newspapers?” Newspapers are very popular in the West. Each day the papers are published in three or four editions, and they are all selling. However, these American boys and girls who have come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness have stopped reading newspapers. They do not know what is happening from day to day, and it does not matter. All of this is a waste of time. It is better that they read literatures like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Why waste one’s valuable time?
Kapiladeva was very glad that His mother was interested only in spiritual advancement. This material world is called pavarga, and to nullify it is called apavarga. In this material world, people are laboring very hard simply to earn some money. This creates a hellish situation, and this is the way of material life. People have become so dull that they do not understand the meaning of liberation. They have become just like animals. If an animal is informed that there is such a thing as liberation, how will he understand it? It is not possible. Similarly, at the present moment, human beings have become exactly like animals. They do not know the meaning of apavarga, liberation. Yet there was a time when people understood that human life was meant for apavarga. The questions are raised by Devahūti, and the answers are given by Kapiladeva. That is apavarga-vardhanam. As far as material maintenance is concerned, the śāstras never stress it. Rather, they say that one’s maintenance will come automatically. God gives food to animals, birds and aquatics. Why should He not give it to one who is interested in apavarga? Unfortunately people have no faith, and therefore good association is required.
People should not waste their time associating with crows; they should associate with swans. When garbage is thrown out, crows and dogs come to see what is there, but no sane man will go. Those who are interested in trying to get pleasure out of this material world are actually chewing the chewed. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.30). If one picks up a piece of sugarcane which has already been chewed, he is a fool. We must know that the juice has already been taken out of that sugarcane. What will one get by chewing it? However, there are animals who are simply interested in chewing the chewed. Material life means chewing the chewed. A father educates his son to earn a livelihood, get married and settle down, but he himself already knows that by doing this he has not become satisﬁed. Why, then, is he engaging his son in this same business? A real father is one who does not allow his son to chew the chewed. Pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt . . . na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyum: one should not become a father or a mother unless one is able to save his children from the impending clutches of death. (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.5.18) That is the duty of the father and mother. How can this be done? A father and mother should educate their son in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then he can be saved. They should educate the son in such a way that there is no pavarga. If we do not go forward to liberation, we promote a civilization of cats and dogs. Eating, sleeping, mating, defending, fearing and dying are all experienced by cats and dogs, but human life is meant for another purpose. Of course we have to maintain the body; it is not that we should neglect it. But we should not unnecessarily engage in the maintenance of the body.
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
“A human being who identiﬁes this body made of three elements as the self, who considers the by-products of the body to be his kinsmen, who considers the land of his birth as worshipable, and who goes to a place of pilgrimage simply to take a bath rather than meet men of transcendental knowledge there, is to be considered like a cow or an ass.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.84.13)
From the Vedas we can receive education of all kinds. On a
mango tree, there are ripened mangoes and green mangoes. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripened mango of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge: nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalam. If the mango is tasted by the parrot, it becomes doubly tasty. The word śuka means parrot, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī spoke Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It is therefore more relishable from his lips.
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṁ phalaṁ
pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ālayaṁ
muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
“O expert and thoughtful men, relish Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.3) It is regrettable that in India, where these literatures are available, people are not interested. They are interested in Marxist literature but not Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and this is India’s misfortune.
When a student hears spiritual subjects attentively, the spiritual master becomes very happy. Kapiladeva was very happy to see His mother eager to understand spiritual subject matters. He therefore thanked His mother for her inquiry.
Generally people are interested in things that give immediate pleasure. We want to taste something tasty to the tongue, regardless of whether it is edible or not. Hogs very readily eat stool, and they do so without discrimination. They have no idea of tapasya, penance. When one engages in spiritual realization, one has to undergo tapasya. However, this has been made very easy by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. All we have to do is spare a little time and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, but we are not even ready for this much tapasya. Kṛṣṇa is more interested in leading us down the path of liberation than we are in going. He has given us a very simple
method: harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. We need only chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. To perfect this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, there is no hard and fast rule. Simply by chanting, we will attain perfection. Being contaminated by Kali-yuga, however, we are unfortunate and therefore we have no attraction to the holy names of Kṛṣṇa. Thus when Kapiladeva or His representative sees someone a little interested, he becomes very glad and thanks him. When Kapiladeva saw His mother interested, He thanked her from within, not openly.
Kapiladeva was very glad, and He began to speak. Kapiladeva was an incarnation of God and was a young boy; therefore His face was very beautiful. When He answered this question, He became even more beautiful, and He smiled because He was pleased at His mother’s question. Kṛṣṇa is also very beautiful, but when a devotee serves Him and comes to Him, He becomes even more beautiful. When a devotee with all his heart and soul serves Kṛṣṇa, dresses Him in nice garments and gives Him a ﬂower, Kṛṣṇa smiles. If you can get Kṛṣṇa to smile upon you just once, your life’s goal is fulﬁlled.
Thus smiling, Kapiladeva began to enlighten His mother.
yoga ādhyātmikaḥ puṁsāṁ
mato niḥśreyasāya me
duḥkhasya ca sukhasya ca
The Personality of Godhead answered: That yoga system which relates to the Lord and the individual soul, which is meant for the ultimate beneﬁt of the living entity, and which causes detachment from all happiness and distress in the material world, is the highest yoga system.
In the material world, everyone is striving for some material happiness, but as soon as we get some material happiness, there is also material distress. In the material world one cannot have unadulterated happiness. Any kind of happiness one has is contaminated by distress also. For example, if we want to drink milk, we have to bother to maintain a cow and keep her ﬁt to supply milk. Drinking milk is very nice; it is also pleasure. But for the sake of drinking milk one has to accept so much trouble. The yoga system, as here stated by the Lord, is meant to end all material happiness and material distress. The best yoga, as taught in Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa, is bhakti-yoga. It is also mentioned in the Gītā that one should try to be tolerant and not be disturbed by material happiness or distress. Of course, one may say that he is not disturbed by material happiness, but he does not know that just after one enjoys so-called material happiness, material distress will follow. This is the law of the material world. Lord Kapila states that the yoga system is the science of the spirit. One practices yoga in order to attain perfection on the spiritual platform. There is no question of material happiness or distress. It is transcendental. Lord Kapila will eventually explain how it is transcendental, but the preliminary introduction is given here.
The attempt in this material world to maximize happiness and minimize distress is called the struggle for existence. Generally yoga is practiced to acquire some material proﬁt. There are eight kinds of yogic perfection (siddhis): aṇimā, laghimā, prāpti, īśitva, vaśitva, mahimā, prākāmya and kāmāvasāyitā. A real yogī can become smaller than the smallest, lighter than the lightest and bigger than the biggest. Whatever he wants he can produce immediately in his hand. He can even create a planet. These are some of the yoga-siddhis, but here it is stated that the supreme yoga system does not aim at material happiness or relief from distresses caused by material inconvenience. Everyone is trying to get out of material distress and gain some happiness. In any case, when something is material, there is only so-called happiness and so-called distress. For instance, there may be ﬁreworks going on, and this may be happiness for someone but distress for us. Some people are thinking that these ﬁreworks are very enjoyable, and we are thinking that they are very inconvenient. That is the material world. On one side there is happiness, and on the other side there is distress. Both happiness and distress are actually illusions. In summer, water is happiness, but in winter it is distress. The water is the same, but at one time it brings happiness and at another time it brings distress. When a son is born, he brings happiness, but when he dies, he brings distress. In either case, the son is the same.
This material world is the world of duality, and we cannot understand happiness without distress or distress without happiness. This is therefore called the relative world. Spiritual happiness is above these dualities, and that spiritual happiness is the perfection of yoga. Yoga ādhyātmikaḥ. Yoga is the happiness of the soul, and the individual soul can be happy when it is with the Supersoul, the Supreme Soul. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. There is the Supreme Soul, or the supreme living being, and there are many individual souls, individual beings. We are many, but the principal living being is one, Kṛṣṇa. He is the ﬁre, and we are the sparks from that ﬁre. The sparks are illuminated when they are with the original ﬁre, but if the sparks no longer associate with the original ﬁre, they are extinguished. Similarly, our real happiness is in enjoying with the Supreme Being. Happiness is being in His company. Kṛṣṇa is not alone, but is always with His friends, either the gopīs or the cowherd boys, or with His mother and father. We never ﬁnd Kṛṣṇa alone. He may be with Rādhārāṇī or with His devotees. He is like a king or president. When one says that the king or president is coming, it is understood that he is not coming alone. He comes with his secretaries, ministers and many others.
The word yoga means “connection,” and ātmā means “soul” and sometimes “mind” or “body.” The material body has nothing to do with the Supreme Being because the Supreme Being is completely spiritual. He has no material covering. One who thinks that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Being, has a material covering is himself covered by māyā. Kṛṣṇa does not say that He comes as an ordinary living being. Rather, His advent is totally transcendental. Janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ. We therefore have to learn how Kṛṣṇa takes His birth, which is not ordinary. If it were ordinary, why should we observe the Janmāṣṭamī ceremony? His birth is divyam, divine. Everything about Kṛṣṇa is divine, and if we think that Kṛṣṇa is like us, we immediately become mūḍhas, fools. In the words of Bhagavad-gītā (9.11):
avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.”
Actually Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Being, the original spirit soul. We are simply minute parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. If we connect with Kṛṣṇa, we are illuminated just as Kṛṣṇa is illuminated. If we fall down from Kṛṣṇa, our spiritual power and illumination are extinguished. The word yoga means connecting or linking with that original source. Yoga is the Sanskrit word meaning “connection,” and viyoga means “disconnection.”
Kapiladeva is referred to as Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhagavān makes no mistakes. Nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktāt: even Śaṅkarācārya says that “Bhagavān, Nārāyaṇa, does not belong to this material world.” When we speak of Bhagavān, or when the śāstras refer to Bhagavān, we refer to Him who is above material understanding. As stated here, śrī-bhagavān uvāca. It does not say vyāsadeva uvāca or kapiladeva uvāca. Similarly, in Bhagavad-gītā, Vyāsadeva says, śrī-bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān refers to Him who is above the defects of this material world. Bhagavān is not subject to the four deﬁciencies of the living entities. Being imperfect, living entities are illusioned and subject to commit mistakes. They also have the tendency to cheat others. When one who has no knowledge tries to become a teacher or preacher, he is actually cheating others. Since we ourselves do not possess perfect knowledge, we simply try to teach what Śrī Bhagavān says. We do not manufacture our own teachings. So-called scholars and learned men manufacture their own teachings and give their opinions. In the West especially, we ﬁnd much philosophical speculation and mental gymnastics, but such philosophy can never be perfect. We have to take our ideas from Bhagavān; then they will be perfect. We read Bhagavad-gītā because it is perfect. There is no mistake in it; there is no illusion in it; there is no cheating in it. Nor is it delivered by one whose senses are imperfect. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (7.26):
bhaviṣyāṇi ca bhūtāni
māṁ tu veda na kaścana
“O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all things that are yet to come. I also know all living entities; but Me no one knows.”
God knows everything, but we do not know what is God. That is our position. Our position is not knowing. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati (Bhagavad-gītā 18.61). Īśvara, God, Kṛṣṇa, is situated in everyone’s heart. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: “I have entered into everyone’s heart.” (Bhagavad-gītā 15.15) The Supreme Lord refers not only to the hearts of human beings but to those of animals and everything else.
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
The Supreme Lord is within the atom as Paramātmā, and therefore He is also within the individual soul. Being within everything, He knows everything. Since He knows everything, we have to take lessons from Him. If we take what Bhagavān says as perfect knowledge, we receive perfect knowledge. For receiving this knowledge, there is a disciplic succession (paramparā), which is described in Bhagavad-gītā (4.2):
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
“This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way.” This Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy is very easy because we do not manufacture ideas. We take the ideas and the words delivered by the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, or His incarnation or representative. His representative does not say anything which Kṛṣṇa Himself does not say. It is very easy to be a representative, but one cannot be a representative of Kṛṣṇa if one tries to interpret Kṛṣṇa’s words in a whimsical way.
There is no authority superior to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and if we stick to this principle, we can become gurus. We don’t need to change our position to become a guru. All we have to do is follow in the disciplic succession stemming from Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has advised: āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra’ ei deśa (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 7.128). Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed people to learn from Him and then go teach people within their own villages. One may think, “I am illiterate and have no education. I was not born in a very high family. How can I become a guru?” Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that it is not very difﬁcult. Yāre dekha, tāre kaha ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa: “Simply speak whatever Kṛṣṇa speaks. Then you become a guru.” Whoever speaks what Kṛṣṇa has not spoken is not a guru but a rascal. A guru only speaks what Kṛṣṇa has spoken. This is the śāstric injunction.
avaiṣṇavo gurur na syād
vaiṣṇavaḥ śva-paco guruḥ
“A scholarly brāhmaṇa expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge is unﬁt to become a spiritual master without being a Vaiṣṇava, but a person born in a family of a lower class can become a spiritual master if he is a Vaiṣṇava.” (Padma Purāṇa)
People are in darkness, and they have to be enlightened. We have ﬁnally come from the animal kingdom to the human form, and now this human form gives us the opportunity to get out of the cycle of birth and death. The mission of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society is to awaken people to their original consciousness. Jīva jāga, jīva jāga, gauracānda bale. The word gauracānda refers to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who tells the living entity, “Get up! Get up! How long will you continue to sleep?” Kota nidrā yāo māyā-piśācīra kole. The same is stated here. It is the prime business of human beings to connect again with the Supreme Soul. The purpose of yoga is to awaken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and connect oneself again with Kṛṣṇa. That is ādhyātmika-yoga. Yoga does not mean showing some mystic magic. The supreme yogī is described by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (6.47):
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ
“And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.”
There are many yogīs and many different types of yoga systems, and all of these are discussed in Bhagavad-gītā. There is haṭha-yoga, karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga and rāja-yoga; however, the real yoga system is meant for reviving our connection with Kṛṣṇa. Here it is said: yoga ādhyātmikaḥ puṁsām. Ādhyātmikaḥ: we are living entities, souls. It is not that we are disconnected from Kṛṣṇa, but we have simply forgotten Him. It is not possible to be disconnected, but it is possible to be covered. In the words of Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (7.25):
nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya
mūḍho ’yaṁ nābhijānāti
loko mām ajam avyayam
“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My eternal creative potency [yogamāyā]; and so the deluded world knows Me not, who am unborn and infallible.”
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:
dehino ’smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
“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.
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
“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.” (Bhagavad-gītā 3.27)
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):
kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo ’sya
“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 different body. 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):
ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ
“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 (kāraṇaṁ guṇa-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.